Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend of Wonder and Wedding Wranting


This turns into a rant by the end. You are forewarned, but you started it.

I'm glad you've got some green in your life. I know it must be hard going from a lush prodigal summer to a bare environment. It's interesting how we do things: I've got a sunset jade plant, which is of the desert variety, and you've got a pepper plant, which we're accustomed to growing in the Midwest. At least I am.

I love how you go through all these other fancy lace patterns until you come back to the one that you originally fell in love with and frolicked with before your mind was beckoned to the entire world of lace that lay beyond your simple pattern. It's like you went full circle, a rambunctious child that has to go and see and experience the big city lights before coming to the realization that the small town she grew up in was what fit her best.

Now that I've revealed them to the recipient, I can reveal them to you. I've been knitting on a pair of gloves for Kristopher out of Knitpicks Swish Superwash in Jade, which confused me with its color at first. I had a color card, Kris picked it out, I bought the yarn, and was very confused. The colors seemed earthier and army green that true green, but I began knitting and am now pleased with the color. It's still a darker earthy green, but it doesn't have as many brown undertones knitted up as when it was in the ball.

I knitted up the first glove and presented it to Kris completely unfinished, ends sticking out all over, since I wanted to check finger lengths and widths and such. He seems to enjoy it, though I have not washed it yet and hear that the length shrinks. We'll see, I suppose. I don't mind knitting them up again. Hopefully this will result in him wearing something over his fingers in the winter, as he usually is indisposed to. I don't know how he got away with it before, but I feel it is my duty as a knitter to clothe my man from the elements.

This weekend was fabulous and exciting. I arrived on Friday evening, driving through heavy rain out of my area to the glorious sunset clear sunset where Kris was. We had loads of fun, trying to watch some Doctor Who (though none of our tapes, since the only VCR in the house didn't work), watching some Doctor Who, hiking through a bit of Decorah, trying to fly my mini-kite, eating a bit of "authentic" Mexican food," knife shopping, and meeting up with the ladies we both know and love. We went out Saturday evening with Ben and Elisabeth and Kris tried ice cream for the first time in a year, and while it sat heavy in his stomach, there weren't serious repercussions yet. I hope things go well on that front. It'd be nice if he could eat some dairy and not feel completely sick. On Sunday evening we went over to Dr. E's, my old microbiology professor, farm, and played with her kids and the chickens and cows and pigs and cats and dog and had a grand time. There were brats straight from the hogs on their farm and yummy salad and delicious strawberry desert from whipped cream, cream cheese, fresh strawberries, and some delightfully expensive liquor that Dr. E's husband accidentally bought not knowing the price ($100 for a bottle of it and a bottle of Grand Marnier) for cooking in desserts. Dr. E says it should last for a lifetime. Then is was heading out and driving home to my abode to work in the morn.

I whipped up a batch of muffins for Alex's birthday at work, but I'm a bit scared, because I put an egg in them, and I don't think I baked them through all the way. I'm worried I'm going to kill him. I hope not. It's really the opposite of my job to kill people. I mean, they are good because they are super moist, but I'm really worried that they are moist at the expense of death. I hope we don't die.

I completely agree with your points about marriage and children. I haven't seen the movie, but I did see the previews, and I understand where you're coming from. I think it's interesting how our society connects those things. Evolutionarily, it makes sense to me. I mean, typically male and female species connect relationship-wise in order to mate and procreate. However, that is not to say that we don't have more complicated relationships in animals with higher-ordered brains.

In bonobos, which could arguably be some of the higher intelligence mammals, males and females are promiscuous, mating with many different partners, and the female raises the child on her own, but in larger groups of other bonobos. The female is the dominant figure in society, although the males have a more pronounced hierarchy.

In contrast, predatory birds, which tend to mate for life and are loyal to their partner, have small brains, and while deadly and cleaver, are seldom thought to be intelligent.

What I'm trying to say, is that even though we are intelligent animals, I don't think we can necessarily explain our relationship and mating behaviour from our animal and evolutionary backgrounds. If we were to, perhaps we would be more like the bonobos than the single life-long partner predatory birds our society wants us to be. I'd further attempt to explain this because of our Judeo-Christian backgrounds that encourage to be fruitful and prosper, and that the purpose of marriage is truly to have children. Except, of course, that you can check into many world religions and fertility and children are prized right along-side a home and marriage. They remain connected.

I feel my best explanation is a mixture of societal and physical realms. The Bible and our hormones both urge us to have children early and often. Only our reason tells us not to. The Bible urges children for many reasons, not the least of which is so that the religion has proponents. Our hormones are merely attempting to continue their lineage into a new line. Perpetuation of the species, plain and simple. Often means more chances for more genes perpetuated later and more chances (arguably) on survival, and early means that there is less chance of genetic and birth defect in the child.

Except we then hit our intelligence, that which has given rise to the wheel, electricity, and email. Our brains tell us that we have utterly overcome this planet, are decimating it, overpopulating it. As we have heard so eloquently put before, "If you don't think that overpopulation is the the world's greatest problems, you are a sadist." We've succeeded beyond nature's greatest hopes, and we're quickly approaching that spot in the graph of a differential equation where we stop growing in size and start dying just because we don't have enough resources to handle ourselves.

But back to your question, of which I am obviously far, far off topic: Why force ourselves to go through all the levels all at once, to get married and grow up and move out and take care of ourselves and have babies all at once, when just a month before we didn't even clean our own toilets? Because that's how it's always been done, and that's how it societaly appropriate to do it that way. Because our society likes babies of all species, even though most human babies aren't that cute. Because the younger you are, the less likely chance you have of giving your kids birth and genetic defects. Because the Bible told us that the main purpose of marriage is to have children.

It's stupid, it's evil, I hate it, but it's how our society runs, and how many societies run. Marriage is the start of a family and thus: children.

On a darker note, the connection of marriage and children has gotten much judicial press lately in all the gay marriage laws. Whatever one believes on the issue, it is interesting the points that the laws bring up, and how they make our society consider what we view marriage to be. A recent law was proposed in jest by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance in response to Justice Barbara Madsen upholding a Washington marriage law by saying that the law was enacted to "promote procreation and to encourage stable families ." Which, I would say, does about an equally incredible good job with your movie trailer at screaming rather than hinting that marriage is about babies and children.

I'm going on and on, but I also have strong feelings on the subject. I feel it's interesting that even our judicial courts seem to be taking against the world's fight against overpopulation. I, for one, stand with you in that fight. Karen, have kids when you want. Take no hurry. You've got a world of living to do, and your genes won't go bad for a long time. Besides, while I have a lot of knitting books and patterns, I definitely am not stocked up on the baby yarn and baby patterns. You've got to give me some time to get it together on that end. And that's going to take me awhile.

Oh, and K, beets don't dye the color that they are. They dye yellowish. It's fascinating what you want and what you actually get in life. The whole realm of natural dying is fascinating, actually. If I got involved in mordants, I might dally into it, but not quite yet.

You always keep me pondering my own existence,

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