Archive for the 'Icarian games' Category

Strawberries, chocolate, and champagne

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Truly, this is a momentous day.

After a nice, long soaky bath,
These Eucalan baths are a little-known beauty secret of the stars.

and a torturous day stretched out on wires and pins (I could not bear to photograph it…it was hard enough to witness his suffering…), Icarus is ready for his debut:
Specs: Three full skeins Alchemy Haiku in lovely “Vermillion,” plus a single, sanity-sparing ball of Kidsilk Haze in “Villain;” U.S. size 3 needles, bamboo; blocking wires up the kazoo; 60+ pins; a case of Jacob’s Creek Shiraz-Cabernet; a bucket of tears; a stream of curses in four Indo-European languages.

But worth it. All of it, worth it. Indulge me, will you, while I show you yet another view?
Measurements: 76″ wingspan, 36″ from top edge to center point.

Aw, hell, days like this don’t come along very often:
A lone wing with portrait of Shelley in the background. Yes, she is the only mongrel in all of North America who has sat for a series of portraits. And yes, I know what you are thinking. But it’s a good kind of crazy.

Icarus in motion:
I got feathers, can’t I fly?

Icarus on the edge:

I’ve made things in the past that were cute, or functional, or delightful, or even a little ingenious. But I think this shawl is flat-out the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made.

I couldn’t be happier with it.

That pop you just heard? Champagne cork. The untrammelled celebration has begun Chez Mad Dog.

Raise a glass with me? And Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers.

Houston, we have a problem

Monday, November 20th, 2006

True to form, Icarus was my problem child to the bitter, bitter end. As promised, I finished him yesterday, but closure without tears? It was simply not to be.

But first, we shall discuss the fun part of the weekend!

Saturday afternoon Alex and I hit the Harvard-Yale Game, a.k.a. “The Big Game,” although I’ll have you know that in California “The Big Game” is between Berkeley and Stanford, so “The Big Game” is geographically relative, you see, and—as we would say in the academy—this “Big Game” signifier has no stable relationship to the signified…oh, wait…crap, it does. No matter where it happpens, what is signified, in fact, is an afternoon during which the American pseudo-aristocracy gets smashed on sangria and Heineken while wearing insignia gear, reliving their more-or-less distant youth, and verbally abusing people exactly like themselves who happen to have gone to another school.

Like so much that human beings do, it is the triumph of pure reason and good clean fun. Hoo-hah!

We never made it to the actual game, but we enjoyed the tailgate party greatly because we got to see our delightful friend, the Incomparable Kate—up from D.C. for the occasion—and meet her lovely mother and sister.
The Balersteins in full chat mode. (Photo courtesy of the Incomparable Kate.)

So far, a great weekend! The trouble began when we returned home and I decided to power through the last 2.5 rows of Icarus.

In an attempt to ease the pain of 550+ stitch rows, I turned on PBS. Soon Zeno had joined me to watch a semi-fascinating documentary program on Lee Harvey Oswald, a show which attempted to answer one of the age-old questions that still plague us today: Was Lee Harvey Oswald part of a conspiracy?
Ever since I was a little kitten, I’ve believed that Oswald acted alone.

Other questions in this category, by the way, include:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Did he fall or was he pushed?
What puts the “ape” in “apricot”?
What does she got that I ain’t got?
Shaken or stirred?

Zeno was remarkably attentive to the Oswald documentary, which makes me suspect that he is hatching his own plot to assassinate the president.

But then just as Oswald got his fateful job at the Texas School Book Depository…tragedy struck. Yes, with only two-thirds of the bind-off remaining, I ran out of yarn. Frankly, if someone had chosen to assassinate me at that moment, I might have regarded it as a tender mercy.

Once I had recovered my equilibrium, however, I realized that solutions that didn’t involve bullets might be in the offing.

I trundled off to Woolcott as soon as it opened on Sunday afternoon. My first stab at a remedy went something like this:
Kidsilk Spray in a deeper set of pinks. What’s not to like?

Lots, as it turns out. I bound off about 50 stitches, took a look, and realized to my horror that a beautiful handcrafted item had just been turned into a “Loving-Hands-at-Home” monstrosity. The darker burgundy was lovely, but where it shaded into a loud fuschia, it fought with Icarus’s dusty pink and looked as garish and out of place as a man wearing a clown suit in a cathedral.

For the second time, I tinked back a bind-off in mohair. Only the fact that I was in a public place kept me from howling, weeping, and rending my garments.

In defeat, I trudged back to Woolcott. This time, relief and succor presented itself in the form of a ball of Kidsilk Haze in a deep chocolate brown shade the Rowan folk call “Villain.” Misnomer. This yarn was no villain! It was my savior:
Alchemy Haiku and Kidsilk Haze. Two great laceweight mohairs that look great together!

Pale strawberry feathers with a chocolate edge.

A little stitch detail.

I gotta tell you, although I know that the propensity to rationalize in disastrous circumstances is great, I really am convinced that this shawl looks better with a darker edge than it would in all one color. I am just in love with the contrast and definition that “Villain” provides. Besides, who doesn’t love an outlaw?

And please. This is Icarus. We all know darn well that if you fly too near the sun, you’re gonna singe the tips of your feathers.

Back on Wednesday with a blocked and finished object! The excitement Chez Mad Dog is almost too great to contain!

The seven deadlies

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Yesterday, after three hours of writing (on a fellowship application and my dissertation, of course…because heaven knows I certainly would never “waste” the morning by working on a humorous and perhaps-slightly-embellished memoir about a woman who is, ahem, not in her “first youth” but who nonetheless decides to pack up her trusty dog in an old jalopy and go to California for graduate school where countless hilarious misadventures occur, nearly all involving some combination of organic kale, Bikram yoga, surfing lessons, VW vans converted to run on vegetable oil, Oakland-based muggers, paradoxically hostile peace activists, and relentless, soul-destroying homesickness for New York City…), and five hours at Woolcott, I really needed some physical activity.

Just maybe not quite as much physical activity as I actually got.

The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know, and once I got to the gym, my heart reasoned that I could do each and every one of my weight-lifting exercises with more weight. You know, 2. 5 pounds here and there. What could be the harm?

As I did these curls and presses and whatnot there in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirrors in that Temple of Narcissism that is the gym, I thought, “Hmm, my arms really look quite nice. Good definition there, girl!”

Pride, as you know, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Sometimes also known as Vanity. And pride, furthermore, goeth before a fall.

My arms, so powerful yesterday, are refusing to goeth anywhere today, including above my head. Well, okay, they will goeth, but they will not goeth gladly.

The big question is: will I go to the gym this evening and work through the pain? Or will I indulge in another of the Seven Deadlies—Sloth? Aided by Netflix and PopSecret brand microwave corn?

Or—even worse—will I decide to spend a week “working through” the Seven Deadly Sins instead of working on my dissertation (“…and tune in tomorrow when we’ll be doing…Wrath!”)?

Only time will tell. In the meantime, I am not so crippled that I can’t knit the final rows of Icarus:
She could only ignore my siren song for so long, people, before she surrendered to my seductive call.

The end is nigh, my friends. Eight rows and then, hallelujah, I shall be delivered!

I have a date with my blocking wires this weekend. Expect the full report on Monday…

Cowboy up

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Since my dear sister is leaving on a 19th-century-style train journey tomorrow and will be able to do hours and hours of uninterrupted knitting, which makes us green with envy even though green is not a becoming color on us so happy for her, I will be the lone KnitSister for the rest of the week.

Y’all are just going to have to cowboy up. As we used to say back when we were ridin’ the broncs and ropin’ them dogies. Ah, them were the days!

But I digress.

While Sarah is riding the Trans-Midland-Empire Railroad, I will be stuck here, still knitting Icarus,
For all the trouble he’s given me, I still find him breathtakingly handsome…

still trying to get my conference presentation under control, still trying to be frugal,
I have no idea where those balls of Koigu came from…

and still living with a murderous and very stupid cat.

Much has been said about the differences between cats and dogs, but I think the following contrast tells the whole story for me: when a dog owner dies tragically and alone in her home, it is common for the authorities to arrive days later to find the dog, in a heart-rending show of loyalty, still guarding the lifeless body; when a cat owner dies under similarly tragic circumstances, it is common for the authorities to arrive days later to find that the cat has eaten parts of her face.

Yes. I know it’s horrifying. But even if you are a cat lover, I challenge you to deny—and be honest, now—that if you were suddenly rendered lifeless, after a couple of days your feline “friend” would forget who you were and start regarding you as a really big helping of Fancy Feast.

I am resisting the joke about gravy as being too tasteless even for me.

But Zeno, our cat (or rather Alex’s cat by a previous relationship), is—in addition to being inexplicably surly and probably homicidal—the dumbest cat I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.

As you may have noticed, like most stepparents, I have mixed feelings about my stepcat at times.

The mix is about 90% loathing, 10% disgust.

This morning, Zeno got “stuck” in the driveway again (here he is atop the hood of the derelict truck, photographed through my office window last summer). He has done this 5,874 times and has yet to learn anything from experience.

He then spent the better part of 45 minutes sitting outside my window meowing. Apparently, he had once again gotten over to that side of the house and completely forgotten how to get back. This, added to his general confusion about how windows work, left the poor little demon high and dry. I tried to speak to him about it through the window:

Me: Dude, you can go right back through the gate, where you came from, and come inside and see me. I mean, if that’s what would fly your flag.

Zeno (shoots hateful look): Mrak-mrak!

Me: I’m telling you the truth. You’re the one with trust problems.

Zeno (sourly): Hell-whoa.

Me: Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not opening the window. It’s freezing out there.

Zeno (plaintively): Hell…whoa.

Appallingly, this kind of woman-cat conversation can go on for literally hours. But I think we’re stuck with Zeno. No one else would adopt him. He’s foul, after all.

No, I think we’ll just have to endure.

And luck being what it is, the little devil will probably live to be twenty-three.

Cowboy up.

Middlesex Fells

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I subsisted for most of last week mainly on this:
Note the marketing emphasis on “Original Flavor.” Right-io. Let me just say this, dear knitters: if you find yourself drinking CVS Nyquil-Knockoff Cold Medication for the flavor, seek professional help.

The only positive result of my lingering respiratory ailment is that I am now within striking distance of finishing Icarus. 15 rows remain. The excitement Chez Mad Dog is palpable!
Even if this week’s photos look remarkably like…last week’s!

Icarian close-up, with extra texture. He’s a very attractive boy, don’t you think?

Want to place a bet on how long it will take me to finish him from here? My goal is to have him knitted, blocked, and ready to take to my conference in Vancouver, B.C. by late next week. Can I do it?

Here’s my thinking: Icarus has already journeyed with me all over the United States, and I think he’s ready to do some international travel. He keeps hinting that he’d like to go to Monte Carlo, but I’m not falling for that. Knowing him, he may get up to shenanigans even in Canada, but I’m willing to take the risk.

Shelley, meanwhile, has run out of patience with my cold.

Around noon yesterday, she moved from sitting at my feet to sitting right by my chair. She then put one paw on my leg, and gave me a meaningful look that unmistakably said, “You know and I know that you’ve been shortening my walks all week because of so-called illness. Do the right thing. Make it up to me. Take me to the forest. Show me the habitat of the wee beasties my people call ‘prey’.”

Off we went to our local Primeval Forest,

the Middlesex Fells.
The dappled path into the woods. Wasn’t there something about this in the Brothers Grimm? Hmm.

When one of my California friends learned that I was living near something called the “Middlesex Fells,” he said, “Dude, like, are you living in a Jane Austen novel now?”

Dude! I so am!

In spite of being a canine and having a rather shallow brain pan, Shelley’s suggestion that we go to the forest could not have been more apt. I believe this may have been the best weekend in the area for leaves.

I realize that pictures of autumn leaves are a photographic cliché, but I cannot help myself. (I also like to share my autumn walks with all of you, but especially Monica, who does not get this kind of fall color where she lives.)

Besides. It is, as Jane Austen would say, a truth universally acknowledged that a knitter in possession of a good digital camera must be in want of an autumn forest.

Primeval forest and sky:

Primeval forest with light on leaves:

Primeval forest log and leaves:

New England, magnificent:

More Icarus progress when I return on Wednesday…

The Icarus report

Thursday, October 19th, 2006


Eastern Massachusetts: In other news today, there have been unconfirmed reports that so-called “KnitSister” Ellen Bales has begun the fourth and final chart on Icarus.

The shawl, a.k.a. “Mr. Icarus” and “Dr. Wax Wings,” has been known to be travelling with Bales since mid-August, when he was first spotted in her company in Denver, CO and Las Vegas, NV. A representative of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Las Vegas noted that a “Mr. Icarus” had been arrested on August 18th at the Luxor Hotel Casino for public indecency and had been fined an additional $500 for impersonating an angel at the high stakes gaming tables.

In recent weeks, however, there have been no further reports of Icarian misbehavior and it has appeared that the once rocky relationship between Bales and her young charge has smoothed considerably.

In one recent interview, Bales stated, “We’ve put Vegas behind us now, particularly that unfortunate incident involving the backless feathered chaps. No matter what the rest of the world may say, I believe that Icarus is basically a good boy. And there’s more of him to love all the time!”

Shipwrecked on a Fair Isle

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

In spite of some lovely weather and the ongoing amazement of the fall leaves,

things have been a little—how shall we put this?—suboptimal Chez Mad Dog this past week.

I have a cold, which would be bad enough even if I weren’t the world’s worst and most impatient patient. But I am.

Let me offer you this bit of perspective on precisely how bad I am: last time I had a cold, we were in the midst of watching Bleak House on PBS. Alex thoughtfully pointed out that Esther Summerson was behaving more nobly and courageously about having smallpox than I was about weathering a minor respiratory virus.

That might seem like a mean thing to say, if it weren’t so true.

Shelley doesn’t care if I’m sick and still wants to be walked:

We are also experiencing major leakage in our basement due to a corroded pipe. I think. But how would I really know? Our landlord (who we shall call Mr. Lee), a personal favorite of mine as you know, took an entire week to send someone out to look at it.

Last night, this lovely Chinese handyman showed up around 8 p.m. He immediately won my heart by declaring Shelley “so beautiful,” in spite of the fact that she was trying to jump up and kiss him.

Unfortunately, despite the immediate bond we formed over the indisputable beauty of my dog, we proceeded to have some communication issues.

Alex and I don’t speak Chinese and Mr. Yu spoke limited English. But everyone involved was giving it the old college try. Alex took Mr. Yu down to the basement to see the accumulated water damage of the past week. Yu seemed a bit puzzled.

Alex said, pointing first upstairs, “I will turn on shower,” then at Mr. Yu, “so that you,” now pointing at eyes, “can see.”

Mr. Yu nodded, still a bit puzzled. Alex ran up the stairs with Yu in pursuit. Alex turned on the water in the shower. Alex and Yu ran back down the stairs to the basement.

“Ah!” Yu said. “Too much water!” He seemed delighted with the flood. Or maybe he was just pleased that we had finally clarified the problem.

Yu worked for a while then emerged from the basement.

Mr. Yu: Okay, you call Lee.

Alex, puzzled, pointing to self: We should call Lee?

Mr. Yu: You call Lee!

Alex, puzzled, again pointing to self: I call Lee?

Mr. Yu, pointing to himself: No, no, Yu call Lee.

Who’s on first?

I’m not sure when the basement leakage will be fixed, but I do feel a bit better now that Mr. Yu has been here.

Icarus has a few more feathers:
Please say that you can see the progress. Even if you have to lie to me.

And I’ve been making my first efforts at Fair Isle knitting, with the help of the marvelous Kat from Woolcott:
Yes, it is embarrassing that I’ve been knitting since I was about six or seven and I still do almost nothing with multiple colors. But as you know, I’m sick right now. We can discuss the full shame of this multiple-color avoidance in depth at another time…

And now I must sign off so that I can swig some more DayQuil and make another pot of tea and sniffle quietly in the corner.

And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine. Thanks for asking.

That’s Mr. Icarus to you

Friday, October 13th, 2006

You know, graduate school is mostly an enriching experience. Except that sometimes you spend a whole day reading things like this:

“The future, which as an open, multiple, contested, undefineable site, never exists in general, but is always pluralized in singularities—each future being different. The challenge to the sub-politics that thrive in a risk society, then, could be formed more effectively if we were to find ways of actualizing particular connections between technologies and their futures.”

I would like to actualize a particular future singularity in which these people would no longer be allowed to write books.
I’d rather be nosing bees than reading that crap. Even if I end up getting stung.

In the event—unlikely though I’m certain this is—that the above quote was not completely clear to you upon first reading, I, having had the benefit (if that’s the right word for it) of context, have rendered the following translation from Jargon into English:

The future hasn’t happened yet, so any number of different things could, in fact, happen. It would be better if some of those things happened rather than others. I sure wish we could figure out how to make the positive things happen rather than the negative ones!

See how simple?

My advice to you is this: as soon as some Jargon Cowboy starts talking about “multiple, contested, undefineable sites” that are “pluralized in singularities,” you should reach for your gun. Them’s fightin’ words!

In light of this obscurantist garbage abstract material that I am confronting, I’m sure you’ll see why I say that it is good for a person’s soul to knit during graduate school. Because knitting is an activity that is both sensual and concrete. I have, for instance, “actualized particular connections” between my yarn and needles to make this sock for Alex:
This Trekking XXL sock is most assuredly not “pluralized in singularities.” Although there are multiple, open, and contested feet in this picture, some have been actualized as paws.

Specs: Trekking XXL, color 71; “designed” by me from various sock components including eye-of-patridge heel flap, pointed toe (instructions from Nancy Bush), and k2, p1 rib for the leg and foot. U.S. size 1 needles, 69 stitches.

To soothe our (or maybe just my) troubled spirits, I have composed the following haiku, which are dedicated to Icarus, who has recently sprouted some new feathers and is taking a truly unseemly delight in draining away my life force with his 400+ stitch rows and his incessant demands for vodka tonics:
Yeah, I got feathers. And by the way, that’s “Mr. Icarus” to you.

Icarus Haiku #1:
Forty rows left now
Your feathers: pink agony
What was I thinking?

Icarus Haiku #2:
I think I hate you
although you are so handsome
in fall’s dappled light.

Icarus Haiku #3:
Five hundred stitches:
even the fabric of life
itself has fewer.

Icarus Haiku #4:
Night passes to day.
Autumn to winter then spring.
I’m still knitting you.

Have a good weekend everyone! I’ll be—does this sound familiar?—knitting Mr. Icarus. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

The Old Bandit Chaps

Friday, September 29th, 2006

I have one word for you: Netflix.

Over the past two years, Netflix has revolutionized my relationship with our “home theater,” a lavish facility here Chez Stoux D’Ent that includes a two-bit DVD player hooked up to a 13-inch TV. No expense has been spared to bring high quality entertainment into our gracious home!

I was always the person who got to the video store and—put on the spot—could not think of one thing I actually wanted to watch. Half the time, I’d just get overloaded and confused and go home with nothing.

Those days are over. Thanks to Netflix.

(I swear I’m not getting kickbacks from the company for writing this. I swear. But if you, Joe Netflix Marketing, are reading this now, feel free to get in touch with an offer. Everyone has a price. And the price of a graduate student continues to drop as her dissertation drags on. It’s a little-known scientific law called the “Inverse Sell-Out Principle.”)

And I get a lot of knitting done while I’m watching my DVDs from Netflix. Shelley can vouch for this:
Oh, dear God, why? Why? Dogs don’t wear shawls!

We’ve been systematically watching all the extant episodes of Deadwood and, inevitably, Battlestar Galactica. Some of you who know about my uneasy relationship with sci fi and fantasy will peg Alex as the prime mover behind BSG. I’m just dying patiently waiting for the humans to triumph over the cylons—predictable inspiring as that will be—and for it all to be over.

In the meantime, I’ve made the Regia Bamboo socks, the ones I so cruelly abandoned in August when I took up with Icarus in Vegas, my BSG project:
Ever notice how no one ever knits on a space ship? I just want to point that out.

But I can highly recommend a delightfully maudlin, 1979 Soviet film we got from our “people” at Netflix entitled The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath.

Not only does Irony have Soviet production values that are so bad they’re good, but it features many strange and jarring jump cuts, enough to make you suspect that the editing crew was painfully underpaid, driven by unreasonable time pressures, and chronically drunk on Stoli.

Comrades, these were good and prosperous times in Soviet Union!

But if you watch it, watch it for the subtitles. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

To be fair, most of the dialogue was translated pretty well (and, I want to emphasize, certainly far, far better than I could do from English into Russian), but the film also includes several songs sung by its main characters. Here things went terribly, horribly wrong.

Song lyrics that were presumably mellifluous, even moving, in Russian were evidently fed word-by-word into a Russian-English dictionary by someone with a rudimentary grasp of the English language and they came out on the other side limping and bleeding, maimed beyond all recognition:

“I cognize both wisdom and happiness…” Cognize?

“You have left your besom in the bathhouse/
And the trumpets are deaf making you…”

Anyone who can convincingly explain to me what “besom” means in this context wins a ball of Trekking XXL and an honorable mention in the design contest. Even if you don’t design anything.

And my personal favorite, which deserves a little context: the gist of the song—as nearly as I could make out through the fog of translation—was that it is potentially better to experience love that is not passionate, but steady and sustainable.

“I do not blush from a stifling heat upsurge/
Whenever your sleeved arm rustles my trousers.”

(For proper scansion—if, heaven help us, that nicety enters into this foul rendering at all—I believe that here “sleeved” is to be pronounced in two syllables, “sleeve” and “ed”.)

Let’s hear from the translator, shall we? What have you got to say for yourself, Boris Mikhailovich?

“Comrades, I translate Russian song into good English with large dictionary using first word I see in entry. Is usually most popular!”

Apparently, Boris Mikhailovich also provided translation services for other films, giving us such wonderful English titles as (I’m not making these up), “Galoshes of Happiness,” “The Old Bandit Chaps,” and “Karl Marx: Young Years.”

Only heaven knows what was intended by the original Russian titles, and heaven keeps its secrets. Even in the face of a stifling heat upsurge.

Home is where the housework is

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

It is eerie, isn’t it, that my sister has a large stash of Danubio Style, the very same furry yarn that I deputized my friend to snag shameful quantities of at the Knit Out. Could there be something genetic in the attraction to brightly colored hairy yarn?

Is there anything we can do to avoid passing on this gene to our offspring?

On a related note (that is, the note of shameful yarn acquisition), the spirit of honesty forces me to make an accounting of the yarn that I have acquired since going on the so-called “yarn diet.” I shall proceed mathematically:
Four hanks of Nature Cotton.

Four balls of Danubio Style. Yessiree, there are four.

And what’s this? Two new balls of Trekking XXL, shown here enjoying their morning latte. I tell you, these yarns just move right in and make themselves at home.

Math is not my strong suit, but if I do not miss my mark, that makes ten total new balls of yarn. Where Operation Yarn Asceticism called for zero.

I find myself now thinking fondly of my dear uncle, who is always explaining his latest diet to you.

“Ellen,” he’ll say, while popping a massive bite of chocolate cake into his mouth and washing it down with a swig of port, “this is a great new diet. I’m cutting out all alcohol and sweets and most bread.”

Which brings us full circle…straight back to the genetic explanation.

Icarus is finally getting his feathers:
The excitement Chez Wax Wings ‘R Us can barely be contained.

But now we must turn to a darker topic: housework. While Alex was studying for his big exam—which he passed yesterday, praise be!—the house has descended further and further into chaos and savagery, particularly in those areas that are in his chore bailiwick.

Not exactly surprising and certainly forgivable.

However, at some point during the post-exam celebrations yesterday, my friend Dawn and I had this unsettling conversation:

Me: Oh, ha, ha, you know the house is a wreck because Alex has been so busy with this exam. I can’t wait for him to do his backlog of chores now that this is over! We’ve been living in degradation and savagery for the past two weeks.

Dawn: He actually does chores? Huh. I don’t mean to scare you because I know you guys are getting married next summer, but I don’t know a single married woman whose husband does his fair share of the housework. Personally, I had to spend the first two years of our marriage fighting with my husband just to get him to do minimal chores. And when was the last time he made me something to eat? I can’t even remember!

Me: Really? You mean this is really going to get worse after we’re married?

Dawn: Well, I don’t know. I’m just telling you my experience.

Now, you all know that I’m not exactly Heloïse myself, but I try to keep things above the level of chaos and savagery. Is Dawn’s dark prediction likely to come true?

Married women readers, what are your experiences?

Is Alex just doing chores now and executing unpleasant tasks like clearing off the Sunporch of the Damned as part of a nefarious plan to fool me into believing that we will have an equal partnership? When actually I will be stuck either doing everything in the house myself or having to argue about it constantly?

Is there any consensus on this topic? Do tell.