There are at least a couple more common skills that I have somehow avoided picking up until now, reckoning, I suppose, thoroughout my life that it was more important at any particular moment to work on playing piano or guitar or trying to learn more about esperanto, latin, ancient greek, japanese, french, or german, or learning how to make handbound books, or telling 16th-century fonts from 17th-century fonts, or finding out what is the deal with historical linguistics anyway, or countless other things over the years.
Two things that I just attempted to learn today, driven at last by necessity, were:
- How to tie a tie
- How to iron a shirt
On the first count, I think I got the Half-Windsor down at least. Of all the tie-knot instructions I could find on the internet, it was the only one that produced sensible-looking results, and that only after trying a good half-dozen times.
On the second, holy jesus and mother of the blessed fabrication of textiles, how do people do this? I got most of the major wrinkles out of the shirt I just bought, but man, every time I rotated the shirt on the board to iron a new bit it seemed to introduce more wrinkles. There seems to be no way to lay the damn thing actually flat, which sort of makes sense, since it's supposed to fit on my torso, which (despite appearances) is not actually two-dimensional.
Additionally, and this is not related to gettin' all dudsed up for the wedding, I did try to fashion a dust-jacket for my crumbling copy of McMurtrie's "The Golden Book" out of two sheets of letter paper taped together. It works pretty well, actually; the only thing I need to remember the next time I try to do such a thing is to make the beveled cuts at the corners a little bigger so there's not as much bunching-up around the fold.