Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

The day of New Years Eve was quiet, a fresh blanket of snow covered New York, but it wouldn't stay for long as rain was predicted for the evening. I had some cleaning to do before I'd meet up with Stephanie at Dave and Katie's party. I also had some sweaters to repair.


Today I got Stephanie's Maneki Neko working again. It took a little soapy water, some WD-40, and a new battery. Now Japanese good luck cat welcomes the Chinese Year of the Tiger from my Brooklyn living room window. He also scares off errant squirrels.


After my friend Chris' husband, Irwin, passed away she asked me to repair two of his most colorful sweaters so she could pass them on to her son, Lucas (and eventually his son Itai). Two woolen time pieces described a smaller man with a sense of humor who enjoyed fine cigars and cigarettes. One sweater, I re-wove a shoulder, put on a new collar and darned moth holes. The other "Cosby" sweater just needed the shoulder re-attached. A hand-me-down is now an heirloom. They almost look new.


Then there's my gray raglan that wore thin and became unraveled. There's nothing special about it, but it was my favorite every-guy sweater — the Jimmy Stewart of pullovers. I wore it till it wore out, cigarette holes and all. I frogged the body up until the arms, re-conditioned and rejoined the old yarn. Then I re-knit the body downward in a 1X1 rib for a better fit.

TIP: Reconditioning Old Woolen Yarn
Wind yarn loosely into skeins, wash in light detergent, and then soak it overnight in this solution: dissolve 2 tbs "unflavored" gelatin and 1 tbs salt into a half-cup of warm water, then add to gallon of cold water. Squeeze excess and hang to dry. This returns the spring back into old wool fibers.


As I get older I greatly appreciate an intimate New Year's eve and good conversation with friends. I don't know why anyone would stand in a crowded street on a cold night waiting for a PortoSan to become available. Dave turned on the TV for the big countdown. Someone commented that it looked like the "Million Douchebag March" — a sea of plastic Nivea™ top hats screamed and basked in a televised moment. We all exchanged hugs, kisses, and cheers. I texted good tidings to a friend. Afterwards Stephanie and I wandered over to Freddy's for the first nightcap of the new year. We were treated to a fiery poi ball dance courtesy of one the bartenders, Bleu — a dramatic beginning of the new year.


Chinese New Year falls on February 14th this year. What will the Tiger year bring?  It's said to be a year of grand changes, both worldly and personal. In this Tiger year we are all advised to asses our fortune and luck — fortune being what you gain or lose, luck being inherent to your birth. One who is born in the Year of the Tiger is usually straightforward and outgoing by nature, but are also full of suspicion and at times impulsive. Tigers take pride in being unique and demonstrate their originality best at home. They tend to spend money and also like sharing in their good fortune.

Stephanie is moving in with me this month, we've both given this a lot of thought. Are we ready? I've made room and closet space, put things into storage, hung shelves, re-painted, re-organized — she's packed everything up and changed her address. Moving day is Thursday.
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