swap III 002 Crafting at last! Here are pieces 2 and 3 of SWAP Part III. I finished up the skirt of burgundy cord, and got the machine sewing done on the green linen top.

“Linen” of course being a euphemism for “wrinkled.”

The reason I got some sewing done was that the internet went down at my house.

I had already done eight hours’ work, so I was able to switch to the sewing machine without too much angst, though I did still have Pampered Chef tasks to do.

When my son came home from work, he suggested that I call the tech people. I objected that I wouldn’t understand what they said anyway. I planned to wait for #1 daughter to get home.

He persuaded me. I called the tech guy. I told him my troubles: “My internet is not working on any of the computers,” I told him, and said that we had tried turning them off, and also had tried unplugging the modem, and had gone through the “fix me” options on all the computers, and tried not just AOL but several other browsers. If AOL is in fact a browser, which it might not be. He wasn’t bothered by my ignorance. swap III 001

He apologized, and suggested unplugging the router for five seconds, a strategy I had not yet tried.

I did, and indeed, everything was fine. I think it was the apology.

In any case, I was able to get back to work before rehearsal. I was glad to have the sewing done, too. This is the same top I made for SWAP I, the idea of using the same basic patterns with different fabrics being central to the SWAP concept.

Once I’ve hemmed and pressed this bedraggled garment, it should be quite nice. I’m thinking about doing some embroidery or something, but I should probably recognize that plain clothes are more versatile and useful and leave it alone.

Over dinner, I got caught up on #1 daughter’s dramas at work and with her car (still not fixed, and neither is mine, so I can sympathize). She is working, you may recall, at a weight-loss clinic. They began their day yesterday with a recap of the nasty comments customers had posted about them online. This served to make everyone cross all day, with a predictable rise in pettiness and short tempers.

swap III 003  It is in the nature of weight-loss clinics that the customers will be dissatisfied, it seems to me.

Hardly anyone actually loses weight and keeps it off. Those who do typically lose about 10% of their body weight, which is not usually enough to make them sylphlike, and then they still have the same approximate shape that they started out with.

The advertisements all have the phrase “results not typical” on them someplace, but people don’t internalize that.

#1 daughter begs to differ. She sees the files, after all. The customers who do what they’re told do lose weight. If they stick with it and keep coming in for the rest of their lives, they keep it off.

I don’t know that eating 1200 calories a day for the rest of their lives is actually a reasonable thing to do, especially in combination with having someone scold you every week, which appears to be a big part of the program. Again, it seems to me that this is bound to lead to dissatisfaction. The center is lucky that people just badmouth it online. They could be getting stink bombs in the mail or something.

Then came rehearsal.

Music has a lot in common with math. There is all that counting, of course, but there is also the need to work with imaginary stuff. swap III

Our marvelous director (he is Canadian, and keeps saying things about “American choirs,” but we forgive him; for all I know, he may be including Canadian choirs in his strictures, and he isn’t berating us for having gained four ounces, so it could be worse) was telling the basses to count a long sustained note in duples and then in triples. It seems to me that a long sustained note could be counted in rutabagas and hippopotami and it wouldn’t matter, since it is just one note.

But as I said, music requires us to work with imaginary stuff a lot. I might have my reservations about the counting, but I do cheerfully “Sing the comma” without taking a breath or even a luftpause, attach “shadow vowels” to the ends of the words, and think of infinity during legato passages, secure in my belief that all this makes some difference to the sound.

swap III 004 I’ve included a picture of a bowl of oatmeal. Not only does it share with you my humorous cereal bowl, which brightens my mornings even when they begin at a hideously early hour, but it also demonstrates that I am indeed eating properly again, after that rather long spell of pastry and chocolate. Not 1200 calories a day, mind you, but healthy foods.

However, I’ve also included the banana bread with pecans, because my boys would be very bratty about being served oatmeal for breakfast. I’d like to see those weight-loss counselors have to deal with my boys.

“Only 5,000 calories?!” they’d say. “Do you want me to be scrawny all my life?”