I got some basket-weaving kits for Christmas and only just this weekend had the energy to break one of them open and have a go at it. Only there hasn’t been any “go” so far other than spreading the components over the living room floor and squinting in confusion at the enormously complex and detailed instructions. There’s also a grid-like chart that purports to show you when to switch from the beige raffia to the black raffia, but that just makes it all the more incomprehensible. I cannot for the life of me figure how following these directions is going to result in the end product of a cool-looking turtle-pattern basket. I do know that I will never again deride basket-weaving with that old joke about people majoring in it. It turns out it’s really hard, and if any of my readers did major in it, I salute you. The instructions reassuringly tell me that “starting the basket is the hardest part”, so maybe there is hope yet, once I can figure what the heck I’m supposed to do. Ironically, included in the instruction packet is a missive about the spiritual lessons turtles teach us, including patience and persistence. I’m going to need both, otherwise I can see exactly where this is headed--towards me sobbing with frustration and covered head-to-toe in blood-stained raffia.
The Stardew Valley developers recently did a big update that everyone was all excited about, and I was too at first, but it’s starting to drive me crazy now. They added a tropical island to the map called “Ginger Island”, which seems to be run by some sort of parrot mafia. The parrots control all access to the most desirable areas of the island and their preferred currency is Golden Walnuts. Want to cross that bridge to get to the mine? BRAAWWWK!! Five Golden Walnuts. Want to get into the mushroom cave? BRAAWWWK!! Ten Golden Walnuts. You get the picture. I’ve had it up to here with trying to find these stupid Golden Walnuts in the deep bushes and jungle, but I’m not going to get anywhere on the island without them. Additionally, they added a Beach Farm, which does not allow you to use sprinklers, which means that trying to make any money off of crops is going to be nearly impossible. I decided to just go with the flow and created a hippie ‘toon for my beach farm. She has no ambition whatsoever. She’ll be my chill, anti-capitalist character that I’ll play when I just want to zone out and fish on the beach. Overall, the update was a good effort with mixed results. Good on them for trying to freshen up the game a bit.
Speaking of ambition, my gym re-opened right around the time I started to recover from my vacation-induced illness, so I’ve been easing back into it again, but I can tell I’ve lost some of my previous oomph. It took a toll on me to have the gym yanked out from under my nose again just when I was starting to get back to where I was, and now I don’t fully trust it will continue to be there once I get back to being able to do a hundred pounds on the leg press again. (I was this close to getting to one hundred and ten pounds, and now I’m stuck at around seventy-five and trying to build back up.) I told my trainer I wanted to back off a little bit on the heavy weight training. I realized while I was ill that I had been doing more than my body could handle. I’m no athlete, I’m not entering any competitions, I just loved the feeling of being strong and physically competent for the first time in my life, and perhaps I got a little carried away. So I’m backing off a bit. At our next session, we’re going to do body weight exercises, and I’ve asked her to show me how to do a proper push-up. Back to the basics.
In keeping with the theme of chillness, here is video of one of the very sweetest moments in Stardew Valley—the Dance of the Moonlight Jellies, that takes place on the eve of the last day of Summer. It’s such a sweet, simple, yet captivating event. I think we could all use one of the moments right now. Enjoy!