PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: random orts (page 1 of 4)

Random Orts

  1. I’m amused? Bemused. I have discovered narcissists don’t fall very fall from their trees… and when you systematically find problems with every single person around you? It might be time to point the analysis inward. But, as the saying goes…. not my problem. All I have left is pity. And, admittedly, a little condescension. I’ll own that, and that alone.
  2. My job is awesomesauce. It’s a lot of work, it’s new and different challenges, new industries. Lots of new people and new interactions – learning is lifeblood. Energizing, invigorating. Add to the equation that I am working with some familiar faces and some new ones – laughter and shared experiences go a long way to building the backbone of a strong, successful team.
  3. Lip Service is all that it is. Actions speak louder than words. As much as I love words, they truly only go so far. I’ve learned now, to wait and see.  And even when I don’t like the result – well, at least I know.
  4. The garden is thriving. I made those kale chips, we’ve eaten crazy volumes of spinach, and the lettuce is pouring in. James is an amazing farmer! We were talking about fresh pico de gallo this morning, and as much as I don’t love summer heat, I sure can’t wait until it’s time to make that first big bowl.
  5. One of my favorite movie quotes (yes, there are many, and most from Pulp Fiction) comes from an earlier Tarantino gem, “True Romance.”  It reminds me of my father, who told me everything would be ok, even in those darkest times:  “That’s the way it goes. But don’t forget, it goes the other way too.” And it’s true. There was some drama this week, and I felt beaten down and worried, and then, as I always do, I pushed myself into action, decided to tackle some of my to-do’s, and encountered a completely unexpected gift, saving some money, getting things taken care of, finishing off my week on a higher note.
  6. In related news, we finally got rid of the land line. It took years for me to let go of that convenience, but the savings will be awesome, especially since the expected costs for our alarm system did NOT go up! Bonus!
  7. For my KC peeps on the Southside – have you tried Ward Parkway’s AMC theater lately? The remodel job is AMAZEBALLS. We actually are returning to going to the movies! They have new seats, a new policy (under 18? got to have a parent/guardian, and no minors at night), and just recently completed – a new bar.
  8. Being the adult/parent/better person sucks, but what’s the alternative? Descend to a level you know is unhealthy? Show your ass all over the internet? You can’t engage to disengage; you can’t argue with crazy. Or diseased. I’ve learned a lot over the years, and one thing I’ve grown to recognize is the warning light over the tunnel of victim interaction and it says “NOWHERE”. So while any hole in one’s heart can hurt, packing it full of conflict and prolonged interaction is only a temporary salve, and it rots away at things, prolonging healing. So I just pay attention to the core, of what is important, what is healthy, and just keep moving forward.
  9. Still knitting! And I set a new World Record for myself, too – didn’t buy a single skein of yarn in Q1 of this year! In other knitting content, we had Franklin Habit as our guest teacher this year for the Sunflower Knitting Guild’s Knitting in the Heartland.  He was a terrific teacher, and it was great to connect/re-connect with people I hadn’t seen in a while. Learning some of the history of lace styles from around the world, working on lace, and designing knitted tessellations was very cool (the tessellations kind of bent my brain, I will confess!)
  10. Life is good.

Random Orts

1. Ahhh, rain. I’ve been going a bit out of my mind in this heat. The other night I asked the Wo why on earth we haven’t heard about someone totally snapping and going off the chain. Because when I’m out and about in 100+ degree heat, I feel a little insane. Maybe it’s because the effort to snap and go berserk would require sweating even more, and the air is so oppressive, it feels like you can barely breathe. But today, we finally got a nice rainshower, and even though it’s massively humid and steamy, I’ll take it.  Nature was feeling rather crispy and the garden -even with regular watering- still felt like it was struggling under the oppressive dome of heat. Tomatoes are starting to come on a bit stronger, and we just hit the point where James had to can some to catch up. I’ve been cooking with them, eating the plain, just enjoying them in general – I said that Green is the New Orange this year, as Grubb’s Mystery Green has hit it out of the park with it’s gorgeous lime-green flesh and tart, bright flavoring.

2. Ahhhh, karma. It sometimes takes a while to catch up, but it’s lovely to see in action. I was paid a very high complement from a former client of mine, after learning they no longer wanted to work with a former employer. Turns out they’d kept the business there, in part, because of my efforts, and that of another person. After I was let go, the other person got pulled in another direction, and my “replacement” delivered quite the sub-par work. Not only did they recognize the quality of work I had provided, but how I also had covered for the junior person they’d assigned from another department.  It highlighted, once again, the long-term price tag of cutting your work force based on salary and thinking cheaper labor (and less intelligence) can cover your spread. I’ll be waiting for another round of sweet karma to visit another less-than-ethical group, as word drifted back to me about someone claiming a snazzy idea I’d had was their own, not mine. (I actually laughed out loud, because, really? I guess the only person you’re fooling is yourself.) Re-write history all you like, but when you try to do that, reality has a way of catching up with you…. Also, will people never remember that everyone talks to each other? You just look stupid.

3. Drama be gone. I’m done with it. I’m 43 (or 50?) and I lack the interest and energy to sustain it.

4. I thoroughly enjoy  my job. There are always snaggy things because, hey, it’s work, but by and large, I am happier, healthier, and despite being busier than ever, having a good time.

5. My knitting mojo has ADD. I have several projects that are screaming “ENOUGH ALREADY just FINISH ME” and yet I keep jumping from one to the next to the next. Sometimes I don’t knit at all.  It’s ok. It’ll come back with a vengeance, I’m pretty sure of it.

6. Didja hear that Trader Joe’s came to town?? Ha! I tell you, my social media feed was flooded the weekend they opened, mostly by people kvetching about how long the line was. We drove by the Ward Parkway location on the Friday they opened, and never, not once, have I seen that entire parking lot filled until that day. I nodded at the crazy, as the Wo and I laughed and said, “No way are we going in!” but it was fantastic to see that many cars at a mall that was arguably teetering on the brink of disaster 10 years ago.  It was also nice to finally see some KS shoppers making a pilgrimage East for once. (Our MO location sells booze – the KS one does not! You can have your better schools and top-notch snow removal, JOCO, we can buy liquor on SUNDAYS. YEAH!) We ended up going shopping there on a weekday morning, no problem, smooth sailing. The only thing about it is that a lot of the “fun” foods and snacky items play a trick on you – you think, “OH, wow, sweet potato chips! So delicious! And only $3!” and then you realize there’s only 7 ounces of chips in the bag and it’s easy to spend $75 and have half your goodies gone within a couple of days! It is like a World Market collided with a grocery store and an Aldi’s (TJ’s is owned by Aldi’s, btw), and it won’t replace our Price Chopper, certainly. But I’m really happy for what it means to our area, the tax revenue and how it will help the mall transform beyond its current state.

7. Apoplectic at Washington. I won’t even go into it any more, I just cannot believe the posturing for 2012 elections, over doing what is best for this country, and the majority of its citizens, who don’t happen to be billionaires or big business. But those are the people pulling the strings, and until we reform how our elected officials  actually operate (my suggestion is that they all have to live in dormitory-style housing without free healthcare for life, for starters) they will never represent you or me. Railing against taxes is a diversion, folks. Watch the documentary “Hot Coffee” for just a taste of how big corporate America is machinating a takeover of what is supposed to be the last bastion of equality, the court system. Be horrified. Prepare for the revolution. Or the zombie apocalypse. Whichever.

8. Crazy Cat Lady has been noticeably absent. We think she may have been taken in by her daughter, and we’ve deduced this from the pile-up of newspapers (something that never fails to amuse me, btw – yes, KC Star, there’s your subscriber, CCL. I’m sure she does the crossword every day.) and the distinct lack of ambulance and fire engine activity on the street.  Did you hear about that nutter who called 911 over 2100 times in a month? I guess there are crazier people to have living across the street!

That’s your Random Ort Update for the moment, peeps. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay enraged. But eschew the crazy.

Whoa, Nelly.

Look at the clock! Where did that time go? Let’s see… it’s now July 14th and I may have to kick this random-orts old school style.

1. Our washing machine committed suicide at the end of June. Dramatically, in fact. It decided to screech like a feral cat and imparted a burnt-rubber odor to the items being washed. We ended up getting one of those front-loader machines and the thing looks like R2D2 with about as many lights, choices, and buttons! So far, it seems pretty nifty and is very water-efficient.

2. There’s nothing like finding out disaster has struck again via Facebook. Husband posts something about finding out the hard way that pliers and a passenger window don’t mix. Followed immediately by a post “liking” Safelite Replacement. Yep. Because of the Honda windshield we replaced a while back, we got a frequent-customer discount! And another can of magic window cleaner. Woo!

3. Because bad things happen in threes (or more, who knows, it’s just superstition), our air conditioning slowly petered out on the holiday Monday after the 4th. The initial diagnosis was a coolant leak, that could go one of two ways – keep refilling it each year, or it would hemorrhage in a couple weeks and then we’d be looking at big bucks to fix it, as much as half the cost to just replace it. Yuck. But then! The technician couldn’t get it to load coolant, and he realized we had a clogged line – which was resolved by taking out the piston. Apparently particles from the wire can gather for a cocktail party, and once enough of them get together, it results in a kegger of microscopic particles, which form a paper-thin seal and the a/c won’t work. At that point, I would have been happy to kiss the receipt, because anything under $200 without the specter of a $3k bill on the horizon is a-ok with me.

4. I turned 42 the day we fixed the a/c. The day itself held little fanfare, though I did make my husband go into DQ and get me an ice cream cake. I love those things! We did have an early party – a whole bunch of the knitting crew and family met up over the weekend to celebrate, and I got some very lovely pressies and the enjoyment of being with my fiber-lovin’ brethren.

5. Tomato season has begun. Last night’s dinner was homemade French bread, goat cheese, and a garlic-basil-tomato bruschetta. Oh how I love the tomatoes! This year, I’m paying more attention to tasting them like I would judge BBQ or evaluate a wine – it’s kind of fun, and gives the master gardener of the house good feedback. There have been a few standouts, but the black tomatoes are far and away the kings of the fruit. Later this week, there will be fresh pico de gallo….

6. Speaking of bread, I am elevating my breadmaking skills by challenging myself to try new recipes. I bought The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and my first recipe turned out beautifully. (We needed hot dog buns so I made them, along with hamburger buns, and they were utterly fantastic!) Yesterday’s French bread was an old recipe, because many of the breads in  my new book require 2 days to complete them.  It’s fun, and I’m going to get a sourdough bread loaf I’m happy with if it kills me!

7. We went to the lake this past weekend and had a good time – the dogs got to swim and retrieve a lot, including a mis-adventure with James, who had leashed them to a large, unwieldy, wrought-iron bench as he threw out the dummies.  They were so excited, they ignored their leashes, and promptly dragged the bench straight off the concrete landing and into the water with them. I wish I’d been there to see that, but hearing about it was enough to give me the giggles. Of course, when I showed up, everything was soaked, including my husband, and it seemed a little early in the day for swimming…. but our driven dogs were going to haul that bench like a sleigh, so in he went to rescue them!

8. We came home from the lake about 6 hours after the microburst of storms went through, to a house with no power. Fun. After tending to the garden, we both showered and decided to high-tail it out of the sweltering house, to dinner and a movie. We saw Despicable Me, which is the must-see movie of the summer for the 8-year old set, and it was entertaining enough, certainly, but the fact that our power still wasn’t on was weighing on my mind. (We would keep trying the home number, to see if the answering machine would pick up.) On the drive home, we mulled our options – tough it out or call Momma Linda to get us a hotel room through Priceline, get dry ice in the morning for the deep freeze – and as we inched down our street, we felt a little bit of optimism creep up, and thankfully, as we crested the  hill by our house, saw that the porch light was on. 12 hours of power outtage, we didn’t lose anything in the freezer. I feel bad for residents East of us, as even today they are still trying to restore power and the heat index is going to HOT PINK crazy, upwards of 110.

9. I had a comment on my Circle of Life post, from the Realist, who told me I was ‘thinking too hard and feeling too much, kid’, and it was phrased exactly the way my father would have said it to me. In fact, I read it on my phone, and it took my breath away a bit. Thank you for that comment, because it was not only true – the story of my life, in fact – but it reminded me in a wonderful way the pragmatic was delivered from my Dad over the years. I was his kiddo, and I miss him like crazy still. Feeling like pieces of him are still around me are surprising, unexpected gifts.

With that, I leave you for today. I have some knitting to share, and will take pictures of this next awesome-o bread I’m going to make. It has bits of hard salami and gouda cheese in it. Oh yeah.

Sweet Orts

I just had lunch with a sales rep I’d never met before, and had already rescheduled the lunch date once. I even contemplated rescheduling again, because I’ve got a bunch to do in a short amount of time. But I decided to just relax, go have lunch, and meet her. We had a great time, and in a really odd, roundabout way, discovered we both had lost our fathers and shared similar mom relationships, the same values, politics. It was a good reminder to me that in putting oneself out there, even if it’s not your first choice of action for the day, good things often flow back.

After that lunch, I realized Mimi Murano was running, literally, on fumes. So I got to spend extra to buy my gas in Kansas, but opted to minimize the blow by filling up at CostCo. Right after I started fueling, a minivan pulled in behind me, and I realized, as I was staring into space, tiny hands were waving from the back seat at me. I waved back. The hands moved faster. I waved again. I said something to the mom, as she headed back to the driver’s seat – about how her kids were really friendly and we were waving at each other. She laughed and said they will talk to anyone, they love to talk. I told her it was pretty cute.  She got in the van for a few minutes, and then got out and told me her three-year-old daughter was begging to be let out so she could talk to me. Of course that was an unrealistic request, but it was so utterly charming. And another reminder that when you think you’re invisible, someone else might think you look like a really great person to talk to!

Last, but not least, my husband has begun ‘pre-missing’ me. He already lamented last night how much he will miss me this weekend, as I head East to St. Louis for the Spring Fling and spend four days immersed in yarn, knitting, friends and fun.  He’ll be busy, I know – selling tomato plants, continuing to churn through yard stuffs and working on the gardens, but it’s always nice to feel needed, and appreciated, and yes, when you’re gone, missed. I, in turn, have been making meals that produce plenty of leftovers so he’ll have dinner options. Though I just KNOW he’s gonna eat one of those KFC Double Down things in my absence….

Random Orts

1. I saw the Michael Jackson movie, “This Is It” and was just amazed. For all of his craziness, the man had musical and performance genius. Such a strange, tormented soul – not a man, not a boy.Not really human, not quite fully alien. I just kept thinking about how devastated these people in the film must have been – the dedication and drive and utter adulation they exhibited was astronomical. I also could not stop singing MJ tunes, and I believe even got an unintentional guffaw from my husband as I hit a very high “HEEEHHHH heeee” (ala, “The Way You Make Me Feel”.) Capitalizing on his death? Maybe. But I’m glad I saw it.

2. Oh, Career Builder. You think you know me, but then you send me some of the funniest job “matches”. Because I’ve done quite a bit of healthcare marketing, CareerBuilder thinks I should apply for jobs like, “Director of Radiology” and “Emergency Medicine Supervisor”. Those emails make me chuckle, as I imagine myself just …. winging it in the interview. “Why, yes. I studied all those things back at Johns Hopkins. (Nods seriously.) Of course, I thought about surgery, but it’s my love of the ER that really brought me back from the coast to do my residency.”

3. Christopher Walken simply cracks me up.

4. People I know are starting to get jobs, and second interviews (or third ones) and it’s heartening. Of course, I still ache for the moment when the conductor calls my name, and I get to exit the Unemployment Train, and I still miss my former clients, in a weird way. Like, I worry about them and wish I could still be working on their business, because I can say with a fair amount of certainty that nobody cared as much as I did.  I saw a competitor for one account on tv, and I know how I would have handled it, what I would have found out, etc. You can’t just replace that dedication or knowledge, but there it is. What’s done is done.

That’s it… this took all day in-between getting stuff done and beating the job drum. I’m sure there are a bunch of other things, and there has been knitting! More soon….. keep the good juju a-comin’!

Random Orts

1. My hand is on fire from thinking I would be impervious to jalapenos. I simply was holding them, as I cored and de-seeded over 100 of them. Later, I filled them with cream cheese. Next up, drenching them four times, freezing them & then storing them for spicy treats this winter! And a note to self to get some smaller gloves, because that was my other excuse – the ones we have are terribly floppy and not fun to wear for two hours. But then having your hand En Flambe for 10 hours is probably less desirable. Lesson! Learned!

2. Whoever writes for Grey’s Anatomy is well-aware of grief and how it ‘works’. I’d saved up this season to watch and the season premiere was like hitting yourself repeatedly with a tire iron. But it’s nice to be able to smile and nod and just get it, when I’m done crying. The oddest triggers still surprise me…. flipping on the radio to hear Bob Dylan and sobbing for fifteen minutes, deep abandoned sobs, as though it were new and fresh and brutal all over again.

3. Interviewing is reminding me of dating. Except it’s not really acceptable to drink during them.

4. The dogs are scrapping with each other sporadically as they adjust to life without Suzy. James and I just hit little jagged edges of grief, like catching your t-shirt on a nail, stopping you short. We miss her. I think the most charming thing she did, and it usually happened close to dinner time, or when she’d been alone for a while, was if you pointed at her with both index fingers, and said endearingly, “Who is the Suzy?!” over and over, she would curl her lips up and smile at you. The week she died, I tried to say it to her and I ended up bawling my head off, and then lying down on the floor with her and holding her. That’s what I did in the vet’s office, too. You know, there are points in your life, when you reach an age, and you endure things, that you just don’t give a good goddamn about how you look or what other people think. So in all my largesse, I laid on that cold tile floor with her, and then I walked out, carrying her collar and leash, doing the Ugly Cry as a waiting room full of people looked at me with some degree of fear in their eyes. The other sweet thing she did when we first moved in to the house was BedCheck at night. The Chessie in her gave her the instinct to guard, and she would patrol around the house after the lights were out, just to make sure everything was in order. She was the Suzy.

5. There have been positives that have come from my unemployment. Realizing and recognizing the enormous network of people out there that I have. Re-connecting with some awesome people, some of whom are in the same boat. Meeting new people, too. I’ve gotten a couple new friends and it just makes me marvel, that something that felt so wrenching could have so many positive off-shoots. Now the challenge is to find a new path and new environment that’s healthy and balanced. It’s fun to think about.

6. Brussels Sprouts. I am so excited for them to be in season. Roasted, with bacon & drizzled with balsamic vinegar? Heaven on earth!

7. Sunshine. Blessed, blessed sunshine. It was so dark and gloomy for so many days, I was having flashbacks to February in Minneapolis. It got so bad one year, a local company took a bunch of employees up in an airplane above the clouds, just to give everyone a dose of light. I hope it sticks around – I love a good rainy day or two, but I also love Fall sunshine….

8. Typos. I work my butt off to avoid them, but sometimes, even with the best of intentions and proofing, they just happen. And since our knitting guild is moving around right now (the current location is up for sale), we’re meeting at a couple different libraries this month and next. In an effort to be helpful, I updated the monthly reminder that goes out a day early, with the revised locations. Only, instead of “SHAWNEE library”, I missed the “S”. Which meant I sent out a notice for everyone to meet-up at the HAWNEE library. I’ll just have to channel my inner Austin Powers for tomorrow night’s meeting….yeah baby.

Random Orts

1. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Forensic Files, but I’m sitting here at the computer, Friday night, and FF is on the TV. I love it.  Who knew someone’s job is actually “Forensic Plumber”?  Did you know the toilet is designed to prevent the average adult from drowning in it? The only downside of this show is that it does an excellent job of convincing you that your spouse/SO is going to kill you.

2. Job Search: moving along. I’m balancing a bunch of options/ideas – whether to pursue agency work, freelance, go client-side, or write a hilarious memoir and retire early. It’s good to dream a little bit! Thank heavens for social networking and LinkedIn, because they’ve opened up so many doors, and I’m grateful for those who’ve taken the time to meet with me or written me back.

3. Mood Status: it’s essential to get out and about. I’ve done a couple lunches, and am connecting with people I haven’t spent time with in years, as well as some new people I’m just getting to know. Highly therapeutic. The spontaneously crying part of unemployment has faded, only to be replaced with anger, and excessive use of “DIAF!”  And there is also some relief. I feel terrible for a friend of mine who goes to work every day with a huge knot in the pit of his stomach, dreading every day, wondering if it will be his last, or what new unpleasantness awaits. Me? I’m optimistic, and excited at some prospects, and I no longer look over my shoulder, wondering minute-by-minute what is going to happen next. Oh yeah,  and getting emails from my two main clients expressing their extreme appreciation for me & disappointment I’m no longer on their accounts? Well, it only confirms that they saw the devotion I had to their business, so that’s awesome.  One said I was the best media person they’d had on their business, ever. If only kudos payed the bills! 🙂

4. Knitting – going well, I’m sailing along on the current sock-of-the-month club through The Studio, and they’re awesome. (Pictures! Yes! Soon!) I’ve got some great ideas for the next years’ club, too. A huge box of Miss Babs sock yarn arrived when I was in this week – at least unemployment curtails the yarn purchasing!

5. Cooking – huge spike of that at our house, what with more time for me to prepare meals, and a concerted effort to not eat out as much. I’m ready for fall, when we can have soups & stews simmering away in the crock pot.

That’s the most I can do, as I’m getting sleepy. Though I may have to stay up just to find out if this next Forensic Files feature will have the fiance turn out to be the killer. It looks like he did it, at this point. It usually turns out that way, the one who gets ya is someone you knew and trusted….

Random Orts!

It’s been a while. Yup. That whole ‘life’ thing gets in the way of blogging sometimes. Here’s the latest!

1. I spent a good chunk of my day on Friday in doctor’s offices. Basically the annual tune-up. Everything went well, all’s good – last month I felt a small lump/bump something-or-other and knew I had to get my appointment made for the now-annual mammo. Turns out, it doesn’t even register on a sonogram, so it’s just something to be mindful of and not worry about. Oddly enough, I spend so much of my energy worrying about crazy things, this incident didn’t worry me at all, up until the x-ray tech was on the phone to my doctor getting orders for additional tests. However, I was impressed with their efficiency and springing into action; in retrospect, wouldn’t want it any other way.

2. We are going on VACATION. Remember last year? We bought a $100 pool and had ourselves a staycation. Now everywhere you turn, you see something about staying home and building your own vacation. Whatev! Staycations are so last year. 😉  Don’t get me wrong – blender drinks in the pool was lovely. And we’ll do it again this year. But some of those pool drinks are going to be consumed in CANCUN. We’ve also booked two fishing trips while we’re down there – one’s at night! The resort we’re staying at looks lovely, and I’d been saving my airline miles for…wow, 12 years. So those helped a bunch. Now to count the days until we go. Oh, and the best part of this is that my doctor had asked if I’d taken a vacation or had plans to – I told her we really hadn’t gone anywhere since we got married, and that I was wanting to go to Mexico (not afraid of H1N1), and she adamantly ordered me to GO on vacation, go to Cabo, or Cancun, just stay away from Mexico City and enjoy myself.  So, Doctor’s Orders!

3. Work continues to be busy. We’ve had a few days of relative calm, but mostly it’s just all-out flying through the day. Home is busy, too – James has really put a ton of effort and time into the garden, and it looks awesome. He’s got 55 tomato plants a-growin’, so we shall not want for ‘maters later on! And peppers and eggplant and okra and beans and snap peas, plus we have lettuce and radishes and green onions and spinach right now. He’s definitely taken the garden to the next level this year!

4. So if you’re a knitter, or crocheter, or spinner, then you most likely know about Ravelry. I’d say that most places that have large gatherings of fiber-holics end up with most people referring to their “Rav Name” or even adding it to their nametag. Not a crazy thing or out of the ordinary. But there are some people who’ve been banned or kicked off the site, and let me tell you, there’s always one with an axe to grind! At the Fling, one lady went OFF on another knitter who’d just put her Ravname on her name tag. “This isn’t a Ravelry-sponsored event. What are you trying to be, exclusive?” (It went on for several awkward minutes.)  She was such a pill, and so mean about it, that those of us around her thought she was joking at first. After all, it’s not like Ravelry is some sort of niche offshoot group, in fact, it’s been a uniting force.  This lady ended up driving a couple friends of mine into a small ante-room to escape her, she was so angry and rude. I think that’s the kicker with any sort of group – even political – how you can be united in one direction or passion, and then you turn around and there’s somebody wearing a plushie suit with a confederate flag on the back, ready to pray for your sins and damn you for eating red meat. Or, just someone who loves a lotta fun fur.

5. Speaking of knitting, I’m flying along on a baby gift – the Moderene Baby Blanket (RavLink – yep, that’s me being exclusive!), which I’m making out of  Dark Horse from the Studio – it’s so soft, and not acrylic-y at all. I love the color ranges, too. Oh yeah, pictures. At some point. 🙂 BUT! I do have a picture of a stealth project a whole bunch of Spring Flingers worked on – I’ll explain more, but we had nearly 50 knitters contribute tiny knitted hearts to someone who needed some extra love. Pretty cool, and a great reminder that even though there may be bad apples here and there, the majority of folks are really good people.

Hearts Project

OK, it’s been a lazy Holiday Monday! Hope everyone had good weekends, spent at least some time this weekend remembering why it’s a holiday, and goes back to work refreshed & rejuvenated. That’s my goal, anyway. Oh, and yeah, check yer boobies. It’s important!

Random Orts. Shake ‘Em Like an iPod Nano.

1. We now both have iPod Nanos. James exclaimed he never ever thought he’d own anything Apple. I, on the other hand, work amongst the Mac devoted, and as a consumer, have looooved their marketing. So, when the new 8G Nanos went on sale at Target, coinciding with my work anniversary, I decided to engage in a little retail therapy. Since my husband likes to tell me I have to have everything better than him, I decided a couple days later to buy HIM one, too. I even loaded it with a ton of music.  So now we’re finally in this millenium, and I enjoyed using mine while doing yard work on Saturday. He was fairly amused by the “shake-to-shuffle” feature, which he proceeded to do for about five minutes (while it was hooked up to a speaker).  Mine is turquoise, his is black. I think they’re stupendous.

2. So I went to the Apple store on the Plaza, to get an armband thingy. I couldn’t have felt like a bigger Luddite if I’d tried.  I determined that one of the qualifications to be an Apple Genius is to have a really interesting haircut.

3. When we were at Em Chamas, there was one waiter who didn’t have much showmanship. He was the one serving flank steak. So now the big joke at home is to flip one’s emo hair while braying “FLANK STEAK”, just to illustrate your attitude and disdain for the situation at hand.

4. I have a dear friend coming to visit this weekend, so I was working on cleaning the guest bedroom. In the process, I discovered that I have a lot of yarn. That job springboarded to my Huge Project, and you can see, I’ve got some good storage upstairs. And a lot of yarn.

Just one day of sorting....

I still have a lot of work to do, but this makes me happy.

5. I need sunshine. This doldrums- rain crap, combined with freeze warnings, is making our household very emo. We are ready for spring.  Our thoughts on the weather can be accurately captured with two words:  FLANK STEAK.

6. My (very conservative) friend Shan accidentally went into a gay bar on one of our trips to NYC. He was reassured by the bartender (female) that it wasn’t, they served all kinds (including the two gay men at the bar).  He then told us it was a unique bar, because it had all these roosters all over the place.  I responded by asking him if he thought perhaps all the cocks in the room were a CLUE.

7. My friend Laura is finishing her final week of retail hell at Macy’s, before starting a really kick-ass job that will use her education and skills. She had posted about a certain crazy ceramic rooster that had gone on clearance and would make a great white elephant gift.

8. My friend Shan’s desk, as of last Friday:

Office Rooster

I love doing stuff like that. Ceramic rooster – $17. Making everyone laugh – worth every penny & then some.

9.  I finally got a Blackberry that works, exchanged by the eBay seller. I’ve discovered that you can chat with other Blackberry peeps (I have two!) and you can look up directions to Em Chamas because it’s in the Northland and you can’t remember the road, and you can see your email all the time. It’s pretty cool, I must say – and yes, I’d love an iPhone, but right now I’m stuck with T-Mobile (the aforementioned G-Foible) and this phone will at least get me through the end of our contract.  Still have that RAZR if anyone would like to take it off my hands; got a direct connection to Satan, should you need to be phoning him up anytime soon.

That’s it for today! Shake it up!

A Sprinkling of Random Orts….

1. The Crazy Cat Lady across the street is having a new roof put on. I thought that was odd, and the Wo confirmed it. There’s a reason you do roofs in the blazing heat of summer, because shingles have a sticky strip that needs to melt & adhere to the one below it, and if they don’t seal, all kindsa crap can get up in there & then the next big storm comes along and poof! The roof! The roof! The roof is in your yard! But anyway, she parked herself out there in a lawn chair, behind the big-ass dumpster with a beer, and was having a cackling ol’ time with the laborers. God, she is so crazy. We are just hoping that the enormous satellite dish that came off the roof goes INto the dumpster. Seriously. It’s like the size of the ones they use to talk to the moon. You stay classy, Crazy Cat Lady!

2. The dogs are not happy with the laboring going on across the street. Nor are they happy with the new neighborhood scallywag dogs, which seem to be a pair of mutts, one resembles a pit-bull-hound-somethin’ or other, and the other looks like the progeny of an overgrown long-haired dachsund that ravished a chihuahua one late summer afternoon. Good lord that little dog is a shit, running everywhere, barking this high-pitch trill the entire time, and his ears and tail stand upright (like a chihuahua’s) but they’re fringed with long fur, so this thing just looks ridiculous. Tripper tried to clamber OVER the fence to get at it, and boy am I glad we caught him in the act, because that would have just been awful. I think he was under the impression it was new, mutant breed of squirrel, and it HAD TO BE STOPPED.

3. The Great Kitchen Re-Organization was finally completed this afternoon. There are still portions that need cleaning & sorting, but the back breakfast nook/pantry area is clean, organized and whittled down. It is beautiful.  I threw away some old canisters that I liked, but knew no matter how much I lied to myself, just weren’t going to be used. And I sort of chortled nervously, like the Hoarding Police were going to come along and ticket me for Wastefulness. Now we have all the items we use the most in the most accessible places, and I discovered I have three (3) springform pans, none of which were thrown away, because they are all different sizes and they are each extremely beautiful. They’re next to the two different bundt pans, not to be confused with the mini-bundt pan muffin tin, or the daisy-cake pattern pan.  I love all my unitasking pans equally, yes I do. I stood by the back door and admired my work for several minutes tonight, because it was a lot of dirt, sweat & pitching out of things.

4. Speaking of stopping to admire your work. When I taught Amy to knit, I told her that when she came to the end of the row, to stop and admire what she had done.  A little bit later on, she asked me why I said to do that. I tell all my knitting students to do this, as they’re trying something new. Even though it’s just a row, it’s progress, often combined with an advancement of skill, and it should be recognized and rewarded. Even after all these years of knitting, I still love to stop and look at the fabric, hanging from my needles, to see what I have created with sticks and string.

5. The black-eyed pea dish from yesterday? Beans were still crunchy this morning. After 24 hours in a crock pot, on low. So I cranked it up to high and hoped for the best. They did finally cook, and were spicy & savory, but man, there was a lesson learned there, not a day into the new year: BUY CANNED.  Or at least do the boil-soak-overnight thing.

6. I’m going to try and tackle a little bit of organization up in the craft room this weekend; that was my original goal for my vacation, but with the acquisition of the fryer & french-fry cutter, the mess off the kitchen got bumped up the list. I’m glad it worked out that way, because the craft room can still be attacked in smaller chunks of time, but the kitchen area, with the dogs going out into the yard, needed to be finished – and gives me great satisfaction, since I do see it every day. Sigh. I don’t ever get as much done as I hope I will.

7.  I always have over-ambitious (unrealistic) goals for what I’ll accomplish – I’ve done that with knitting projects, too. Going out for dinner & hanging with friends? I simply must bring at least two projects, and perhaps a third, JUST IN CASE. Just in case we’re held hostage? Or snowed in? Or perhaps I fall headfirst into a large pile of cocaine, and consequently find myself knitting at warp speed, confused (but delighted) by my pratfall. I have, at long last, resurrected the Rambling Rows afghan – I’m on block 30, out of 46, and I realized from my Rav queue, I started this sucker over 2 years ago. So I’d like to finish it up while it’s still chilly in the house (it’s very cumbersome as a take-along project, and it’s also made of wool, so summer knitting on it doesn’t fly). Of course, I’ve also started a scarf, and committed to starting another one (and finishing it by the end of the month) in a Loopy Ewe KAL. Suddenly my Scarface scene doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, does it? (J/K! No-no up your nose.)

Tha’s all I’ve got for now! Enjoy the weekend!

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