Diary of a Marked W•man

Paris, February 2006

Monday the 13th: Anyone who has delved into psychology in search of understanding of self or others knows about the phenomenon called "projection". Those who haven't use the expression "It's the pot calling the kettle black".

The US president seems to suffer from a bad case of projection, where he sees WMDs and nukes not where they actually proliferate beyond control, i. e. in his own country, and with his country's illegal use of "sneaky nukes", in the form of so-called "conventional" ammuniton containing a nuclear substance called depleted uranium.

As can be expected from one who is not keen on self-analysis, the greater the violation, the greater the projection, and so we have the US president on the warpath yet again, pointing an accusing finger at Iran this time, even though the latest IAEA report denies the existence in this country of any weapon-making capability or intent, and terrorizing his citizens with the threat of "dirty bombs" in the hands of Muslim fanatics.

In the meantime the DU-induced health and environmental catastrophes continue to fester, unaddressed by the MSM. Talk about dirty! This stuff, which is banned by the treaties the US has signed, and at the very least by the Geneva Conventions, is beyond dirty, it's obscene and filthy.

So maybe the MSM are just covering up the US-made DU crisis by diverting the public's attention towards non-existent nukes in a far-away contry, populated by people who look funny and are therefore easy to hate. Who will have the nerve to call Bush on this inconsistency? Who will tell him to clean up his act first before blaming others?

Not the New York Times of course, because the babies born with horrific birth defects caused by DU exposure are not fit to print. I've noticed that "the paper of record" criticizes the administration just enough to keep its reputation of intellectual and journalistic integrity, (see for instance The Art of Saying Nothing - The New York Times Editorial of Wednesday 08 February 2006) but the rest of the time it is a warmonger just like the low-brow press.

And now this "but it would be preferable if the Iranian government was more willing to put the economic future of its people ahead of building nuclear bombs." Look who's talking! What was I saying about projection? All one has to do to know the real truth is to replace the enemy of the day by "the United States". Thus one would read "but it would be preferable if the United States government was more willing to put the economic future of its people ahead of building nuclear bombs." Even if it's not as "exciting"! See? It works!

That's why I have boycotted this yuppy rag since 2003 and I refuse to register online to read it for free. Sometimes I read articles from the International Herald Tribune online. I know this formerly independent paper has been bought by the NYT two or three years ago and it often reprints articles from the Grey Whore. They have this hard-to-define tone that is typical of the NYT. It starts with the title, where emotion-inducing words are used, words that evoke fear, danger, terror, (hey, the GWOT is not over yet!) as in "In Basra, the enemy lurks in the shadows". I noticed their articles often start with an anecdote where the first name of a representative member ot the people concerned by "the issue" is given, to make it seem more "real" as for instance: "Susan Silverfish was in a quandary. (Even if the person doesn't really exist you have to give first and last names to make it sound more real.) She had a flat tire and was driving on empty and the staff at the gas station where she stopped on the highway was on strike..." After this brief intro about a particular case, the camera zooms out to encompass the entire country and in the next paragraph one reads something like : "All over the United States it is now customary to see a picket line that prevents automobilists from using the self-service gas pumps blah blah blah..."

And then the article goes on to name an insider, someone well-placed at the heart of the issue, whose opinion is supposedly enlightened, to explain the reason the issue arises. Next someone on the opposite side of the controversy is quoted to give the reading public a fair and balanced view of the issue (yeah, right!). Then toward the end of the article on page 17 of Section C the real info is slipped in unobtrusively in the middle of a paragraph. This is THE piece of info that explains everything but although the NYT people want to claim that it gives you the info, they do their best to hide it from you so if you lose patience with the boring tone, the monotony of the invariable structure of the articles, you give up before reaching the end.

Fri. the 17th: Been quite busy lately.
Filet crochet: Did three insertions -bands of repeating floral motifs - with very fine thread (number 80) and crochet of 0.75mm. The result is a pixel 3.33mm square, or 30 pixels for a band 10 cm wide.

One of these three bands I downloaded from a French website and printed. The motif was a big flower with two big petals at the base, a large center with a chequer pattern, and smaller petals fanning out. There is also in the motif a sinuous vine, leaves and buds.

Once I got started I noticed that the chequer motif in the center of the left flower was irregular so I returned to the website, looked for the chart, clicked on every link but in vain. I couldn't find these particular items anymore, both the crocheted piece and the chart! Very bizarre. So I opened the file on my hard drive where they were stored and saw that there had been no printer malfunction, no misprint: the error was there on the chart I had downloaded. Then I looked at the crocheted sample and to my amazement saw that the irregular chequer pattern had been crocheted too! And not just once but the whole length of the insertion, which is rolled up but looks quite long. But it is quite visible that the mistake has been crocheted in on the first flower from the left and on the third, which is a repeat of the first. I wonder what she was thinking when she dutifully reproduced the mistake, not only the webmistress but mainly the crocheter who painstakingly reproduced it maybe six times. And God knows she had time to reflect, since there are 900 pixels per square the size of the width of the band.

From what I learned on the website, the woman buys old filet crochet pieces on e-bay and does the charts from them, so the crocheted piece came first... but the woman should have corrected the error! If one of the flowers had a perfect chequer heart, then the other one should have it too. No way was I going to crochet a defective chequer pattern at the heart of a flower! This pattern is precisely one of the charms of the motif, because it gives a half-tone where everything else is either black or white.

So I looked closely and saw where the mistake came from. Then I used some grid paper I had obtained by enlarging millimeter-paper on a copier, and set to work some flower heart surgery, and by using the good flower as a model I suceeded in correcting the defect. I tried unsuccessfully to reach the webmistress.

And then I went on my way, crocheting away, using the corrected chart when I reached the heart of the flower, and ended up as expected with two perfect flowers. Ta da.

With not enough thread left for another piece I decided to finish my Hawaiian appliqué project, the one I started last October. Though it was folded out of sight and I loved the colors, I was getting tired of it, I didn't know why. On this third piece my interest waned soon after starting the quilting around the central motif. After considering the issue for a while, I think the reason is that the lines are not very interesting to stitch along. By contrast, the small improvised motif on the first piece I did had lines that were very interesting: there were some curves and some angles that were challenging to execute and I really enjoyed the entire process (narrow curving angles are a lot of fun) but here... no. The overall effect is nice but the individual lines lack grace, like one finds in Oriental designs, and in design, grace is everything, because beauty comes from grace. Compare the curves on the Hawaiian flower designs with Persian, Chinese, Mongol or Arabic floral designs, and you'll be struck by the difference: all of the latter have extremely graceful curves, and once you've spent time with these, you'll find the Hawaiian designs lack grace. At least those found in the Dover/Root book. Therefore I will not use any more of these designs but will from now on seek my inspiration from the above-named Eurasian cultures.

There's a word for it, and it is ARABESQUE. An arabesque is, by definition, a graceful curve.

So I did another two rows of quilting stitches around the central motif, then I did finishing touches, little triangles between adjacent flowers and stems, and expected to sew down the binding in a jiffy and be done with it but noooo... (After clicking on the link scroll down to this sign: for Details).

I'm not going to pooh-pooh my own work and I will say in all honesty that the finished piece is splendid: eight bright red flowers as big as the palm of a hand radiating from the center on a sedate green background. Or maybe these are not flowers but, er... blood stains... Never mind.

So with this quilt out of the way at last I should have felt ready to start something new but I had all these crochet samples I did lately, those from the reprint of the old book, all together higgledy-piggledy in a plastic bag with the fine thread insertions and some older Irish crochet trial pieces I did last December. I needed to put some order in this mess, besides I had intended to show these samples to prospective customers -assuming I ever talk to anybody outside the Circle of the Damned- so I ironed them and after displaying them for a few days on a contrasting background for private enjoyment, I took the following steps:

  1. I needed clear transparent plastic folder sleeves so I shifted some papers that do not need perfect transparency into those cheap plastic sleeves I bought last back-to-school season to free up the clear ones. This took an hour or two.
  2. I put a crochet sample on a bright-color sheet of paper and pierced as many holes as were necessary to pass all the threads through. If for instance the sample was composed of three medallions plus some rows of crochet above and below the medallions, that makes 10 threads in all to pass through: two for each medallion, plus two for the part above and the part below .
  3. I fixed the threads in back of the sheet of paper with Scotch tape, and I repeated the operation until all my samples were cleaned up in this manner.
  4. Then I paired the samples back to back and slipped them into a clear folder sleeve for future presentation, and I added the fine crochet insertions as well to my sample folder.

Ah! Now at last I can start some new project afresh.


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