Read Chanthaboune today. She’s more amusing than I am.

I did lots of computer work yesterday, breaking at one point to go to the gym to spend half an hour on the treadmill and lift weights. Someone had left the leg press machine in the position for lying down and pushing with padded blocks on the shoulders. I don’t know how to put it more clearly, though I bet there is a weightlifting term for it. I couldn’t figure out how to change it to the sitting position, so I have nasty bruises today. I should have asked someone.

I got back to the computer stuff. After eight hours of it I quit to make Hallowe’en cookies for the Master Chorale. I made iced ghosts with black eyes, ginger cats with Sweet Caramel Sprinkle, chocolate bats and witches, butterscotch pumpkins, and chocolate-dipped pretzels with orange and black sprinkles. I arranged them all in my striped dishes for Hallowe’en flair. I did not take a photograph. It looked good, though.

It was a good rehearsal, too, it seemed to me, though perhaps not quite good enough, given that the concert is on Friday. I will miss the dress rehearsal. You know I never miss rehearsals, but I am working, so there it is.

ivy Here’s Ivy, beginning to take on a semblance of sweaterliness.

This is Elsebeth Lavold’s “Ivy,” from her Summer Breeze Collection. I’m making it in Knitpicks Essentials, with numbers 1 and 3 needles.

After rehearsal (to which I carpooled with La Bella and La Russe, who with great delicacy and without saying anything unkind filled me in on the current mess at the church we used to attend together), I continued reading Shirley Abbot’s The Bookmaker’s Daughter. This is our book for Book Club on Thursday, so I am reading it even though I also should be reading that fourth scary book for the R.I.P. challenge.

The Bookmaker’s Daughter is a memoir of life in the gangster glory days of Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is filled with all sorts of detail. Ronism said something over at his xanga recently on the difference between books in which the story arises from the details compared with those in which the details arise from the story, and this is one of the former. It causes me to want to go look things up — Al Capone and Sid McMath and early attitudes toward Jell-O.

I’ve been to Hot Springs. Steam rises up in the streets. Building a town on top of geothermal pools gives you something a bit special.

I don’t know anyone who has ever gone there to take the waters, but my husband came home with stories of Amazing Microwater. His crowd believes in magic. Not, as I always feel I have to add, in any sort of fashionable neo-pagan Magik. They believe in magic the way that I believe in germs. I think this causes them to be more vulnerable to charlatans than most of us are. My husband’s own father was impervious to bullets, and their last king was able to make himself the size of a fly, so they don’t have the level of difficulty in believing in Amazing Microwater that I do.

It cures cancer, he said, and high blood pressure, and it improves your vision. He had me look it up on the internet. To me, there is an irony to looking up something as ancient as snake oil on something as modern as the internet.

We read about how the Amazing water cures everything (except in the disclaimer, which says that they make no claims that it cures diseases) and how you can buy your own Amazing water machine which will put ions into your water, thus giving you, for only $719, the benefits of the Amazing water without the inconvenience of having to buy it in bottles. I suggested, having read about it, that a tablespoon of baking soda in tap water ought to have the same effect, and offered to fix him some. He declined. Not magic enough.

And thus ended the day. Today I must go up to the store and thence to class. It is probably that no knitting will again take place today.