Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Post I Didn't Want to Write.

I've been avoiding writing this for a couple of days, despite keeping family and friends updated through Facebook statuses - maybe a blog post seems more final than a fleeting status message. Maybe I just got tired of actually voicing it. I started writing a post, but realized I was just rehashing every damned thing about the past few days, so I pulled it. No one needs to read the gory details.

My stepdad, Rich, died five days ago. It was sudden, brutal, and left us shattered. It wasn't a movie farewell, where we had time to reconnect and he had full speech and mastery of his limbs despite being hooked up to multiple machines. He didn't expire at a climactic period, his head gently lolling to one side and his eyes softly closing as if drifting off to sleep while we stood in loving vigil surrounding his bed. It was a death that crept up on all of us and snatched him away. Yet, in all of this, I have to believe that the prayers I asked for were enough to get God's attention long enough for Him to take Rich before the real pain began, and in that, I need to find some solace and be grateful. It's difficult.

The hardest part - well, one of them - was helping Heartbreaker get through this. He's old enough now that he understands that Grandpa's gone and he's not coming back. Nancy suggested some books for me to read to the kids, so I have to find some of them. I checked out the library yesterday, but none were in. Cutie Pie has a vague idea that Grandpa's gone, but the fact that he spent the better part of the last four years in and out of the hospital makes me wonder if he thinks Grandpa will be home eventually. This is so tough.

I've been knitting the Clementine Shawlette from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits; since this all blew up as I was knitting it up, I thought about giving it to my Mom as a prayer shawl. I don't know that she'd wear it, because she's not really the shawl type - she's the one who's always hot - but maybe. If she doesn't want to wear it, then I'll keep it. It's a beautiful ice blue DK-weight (Dolly, by Cascade Bollicine) that I received in a swap last year and it's perfect for the shawlette. I'm trying to knit it in one piece, so hopefully that will turn out well. Normally, it's two pieces knit separately and kitchener stitched together, but I was concerned that it I did it like that, it would look like Frankenshawl, a giant bump down the middle. We shall see.

I also finished the Chalice Baby Blanket for my mom's coworker. A fellow blogging knitter posted her pictures here, so you can see what it looks like. I've got to block it and let it shape, and then I'll post mine. I used the new private label yarn from Michael's, so the new mom won't have to sweat handwashing and pinning the blanket every time. It knit up nicely, but it was a little rough on the hands; I may just go back to Bernat or Lion Brand for my machine washable stuff in the future.

I finished the FINAL PAPER OF DOOM for school and did better than I dared hope. I finished the class, which I was terrified of as it was during the summer, and was thrilled with my grade. It was a great class, and I'm on to the next one starting on Monday. I've already put one mini-assignment up, and have to complete another by tomorrow. So much for my three weeks of blissful nothing. But it's all good; I'm ready to dive into another semester.

I managed to get through a couple of graphic novels recently, just to relax and let my brain enjoy a mini-vacation. I finally got to sit down and read Marvel Zombies 2 (with Ash from Evil Dead!) and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Now I have to track down the first compilation to see if it's as fun. It really is fun, too, not as scary as I thought it was going to be - then again, with Ash in it, why did I expect anything else?

I've been on a Hellboy kick lately, so I also checked out Hellboy: Wake the Devil. I don't understand how Hellboy was one of those comics that I always meant to check out when I was reading comics voraciously in the '90s, but somehow never got around to. I guess I was spending so much money on the 12,000 crossover issues and variant covers of X-Men that I had no cash left. (Okay, and Lady Death and Evil Ernie, and a few others here and there, too.) I remember leafing through an issue or two in the comic book store and loving it, so what the hell? Regardless, I'm a fan now and would love to eventually add all the trade paperbacks to my collection.

Of course, I got it ass-backwards and read Wake the Devil before Seed of Destruction, which I also have waiting, but as Seed of Destruction is the inspiration for the first movie, I picked up on the Wake the Devil storyline pretty quickly. I appreciated that I was familiar with most of the characters, good and bad, and therefore the storyline going in, and I really loved how they were all written. It made me appreciate the movie even more. I think I have to track down the Hellboy action figure the kids have somewhere in their room and display him on my shelf next to my Morpheus and my Daniel figures - it's that good.

I'm also in the middle of the Hellboy novel On Earth as it is in Hell by Lydia Ballard. Very good reading. Angels attack the Vatican to keep an ancient document from reaching the public, and the BPRD is called in to investigate and transport the document to headquarters. I haven't read further than that, since school reading is back, but I'll keep you posted.

Pictures of knitting to come; I haven't really felt like busting out the camera the past few days.

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