PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: random orts (page 2 of 4)

My, What A Fetching Chapeau….

Yes. There has been knitting. I haven’t done much in the way of blogging it, partly because I haven’t done as much blogging in general, but whatevs. You forgive. We move on.

Here we have Hat #1, the lovely Koolhaas, by Jared Flood (Ravelry Link, FYI). This hat rekindled my love of twisted stitches, reminding me just how much I adore them. In fact, they sorta make me shriek with joy. Apparently I was so swept up in my twisted stitches, I opted not to follow the pattern accurately, and so I stunted the first few rows by not knitting them in pattern, and continuing to make the stitches travel. If you do not knit, never mind. I made the hat too short. That’s why you see my buddy Amy modeling it, because it went into her birthday stash.

Amy's Koolhaas

According to her mom, it was THE hat in the house, eschewing all others, for a while there. Flattery, Miss Amy, it will get you everywhere, and quite possibly into my stash! I’m going to teach her how to knit over the holiday break, and I’m looking forward to it.

Fresh on the heels of no-hat-for-old-Jen, I knit another Koolhaas, this time for James. He wears it well.

Big grins

Now, I am going to make myself a Koolhaas, and I cast on for one this weekend, in a beautiful merlot-cranberry merino. But I also needed a hat, and fast. Enter the Chunky Cabled Tam, from the latest issue of Knit 1. (Rav Link)  It’s a fast knit – two strands of Manos, doubled, and it sorta killed my hands. But I was determined, and it was whipped out over the weekend. Part way through, I tried it on and got an interesting reaction from my husband. Part amazement, part shock and maybe a sprinkle of horror. “Is that for you?” he enquired…. uh, yeah! “Wow!” I think we agreed it takes balls to wear it, and balls, well, not so much an issue for me. Chutzpah. I haz it.

Cabled Beret

Yes I Can Wear This Hat

Dramarama

Someone at work pointed out it has the potential to resemble uh, Blueberry Muffin, from Strawberry Shortcake, circa 1980.  I’ll grant them that there’s a resemblance, with the caveat it does only when worn IMPROPERLY.  That’s if you put the hat straight up on your head, and anyone who’s ever worn a beret or tam can tell you, nobody makes that look work well. So piss off, Strawberry Shortcake. I’m wearing the hat and everyone else can go suck it.

And, apparently, this is my general approach to the holidays. I’ve not even looked for cards or wrapping materials, and I remain unfazed. The more I participate in the crazy, the crazier it makes me, so I’m resisting. I can smell the panic around the corner, though.

Brilliant Little Orts….

1. OK, my first random ort is from the current issue of People magazine. Ya know, Sexiest Man Alive issue, blah blah blah (I get my People fo’ free! Rep gift.) I used to get US, too, but they finally figured out I don’t run ads in there so away it went. Anyway. I enjoyed the cover story (Hugh Jackman! Yes, I agree with the title!) and then happened upon this little four-page segment, where hot studly men had SCRATCH AND SNIFF circles on their photos, and you could smell the cologne they wear. Or at least say they wear. This is one brilliant bit of marketing, I think. The publisher was very careful to state that subscribers who’d requested scent-free issues did not receive this, and so on and so forth, and while none of the fragrances grabbed me by the collar and made me want to rush out and buy a bottle for the Wo? I laughed. Every. Single. Time I sniffed. Because how funny is that, I’m holding a sexy-hottie man’s picture up to my face, engaged in something I think would be pretty intimate to do to them in person, especially since I’m sniffing Chris Meloni’s neck. Only one brand name – but what a great way to get your product in the hands of engaged readers. Especially when it’s on Michael Phelps’ torso!

2. I have a cold. Bleah. We have been the House of Illness for too long – starting with James’ gout, and then he got pneumonia, and now that he’s on the mend, I’m on the decline. It’s not the worst cold ever? I’m just congested and feel like I’m in a stupor. (Except when I’m snorgling Taye Digge’s photo. I can still smell, obviously.)

3. I Wish I Had Taken A Picture #2: (yes, out of order) I just cleaned our stainless-steel coffee pot. It was really getting on my nerves, and despite trying to scrub it, the coffee stains weren’t budging. It looked like we’d been using it without even a rinse for ten years. (which isn’t true!) So to the internets I went, and, by god, there were a couple of solutions – dishwasher detergent, or OxyClean. Well, we use those little toss-in tablets, instead of powder or liquid, so I trundled downstairs and got some OxyClean. HOLY CRAP. It immediately started foaming, and because I’m nebbish and curious, I couldn’t walk away, so I poured off the foam and -gasp- started to see silver. I added more water, got out the scrub brush, did a few swipes, and gaped in amazement as I poured off a latte-colored mixture of suds and coffee oils, to see a like-new interior. IT WORKS. I’m pleased as punch. Kinda makes me wonder what in hell it’s doing to our clothes, though!

4. I Wish I Had Taken A Picture #1: The other morning, I went to let the dogs in, and it was that super-chilly morning, the one reminding us that it really is winter-time, and two dogs were waiting at the door, and came flying in. In the dark, I assumed the fleeting black dogs that passed me were the usual two who wait at the door: Polly and Suzy. I whistled for Tripper. Heard rustling, then a metallic clanking. Tripper likes to find random things all around the back yard & in James’ shed, so I yelled at him to “LEAVE IT!” and to come in. I can tell there’s a dog at the base of the stairs, and there’s more metal dragging. So I flip on the light, and it’s SUZY, and she’s decided she could could just go through the decorative fencing we’d put up around the grass garden. Uh, well, she did go through, HALF WAY. She had about 6′ of fence attached to her midriff. So out into the cold I went, asking her if she thought she was Winnie the Pooh or something, and quickly stretched the wire so she could step out of it. She was elated, scampering & jumping around, and all I could do was shake my head. And wish I’d snapped a photo of her ‘in fence’.

Next week’s Thanksgiving, which means a short work week for most, a big meal with family and friends, and for many, a big day of shopping. I’m thinking about finally breaking the habit and not going out. I believe I got rather cranky last year and didn’t really find anything we needed, even among the deals. Guess it depends on who’s name I get for Xmas gift-giving, I suppose. If you’re curious about whether or not it’s worth your while, you can always scope out the Black Friday sales flyers ahead of time. I always wonder who it is that’s scanning them and sending them in, hm? Someone at the printer? Someone at the newspaper? I think this year, nobody should even care about the deals getting leaked, most companies will be glad for the business any way they can get it. Happy Saturday night!

Random Orts!

1. I have a post-election hangover. I’m happy, I’m overwhelmed – I feel like our team worked really really hard and our prize came with a big ol’ dumpster out back we have to clean up and empty out. And there might be dead bodies in it. Great! Let me just get my mask on.

2. I swear, it’s not Political Random Orts! But, if I never hear a peep about Sarah Palin, ever again, I will be happy. She makes me crazier than Phill Kline ever did.  And I don’t give a rat’s ass what she does next, as long as she does it far, far, far away from me and the political future. Mmkay? Because all these newshounds egging her to run for President makes me want to start shopping for a new home. In Ireland. Or the Gaza Strip. Actually, I expressed such sentiments to an old friend of mine & she just replied, “I’ve always wanted to move to Mexico and teach my kitties how to make jewelry!” I wonder how well Polly would do with a soldering iron. We could make sculptures!

3. I have tomorrow off. I’ve already put a bunch of errands and to-do’s on my list, so it doesn’t feel like loads of fun, but that’s ok. It makes for a longer weekend, and I can do things at my own pace. And believe me, my laundry looks like a marathon right now!

4. Sleep. I have been hungover from Daylight Savings Time as well. It seems like we used to cherish the extra hour (and I do, really), and feel refreshed – but I find myself toddling off to bed at insanely early hours.. perhaps it’s that election hangover contributing to the problem?

5. Knitting. There simply has to be more knitting. There we go. It has been decreed.

6. Angie’s List. I responded to a general Twitter question this morning with a positive response, and within two hours, got a notice they’re following me now. Way to go, social media. I love it! I also need a new housekeeper. Sigh.

7. The Shield. I LOVE THIS SHOW. OMG. You all are well-aware of the heartthrob status Michael Chiklis holds in my life, but I am giving some serious, serious props to Walt Goggins, for some phenomenal, Emmy-worthy acting. He portrays evil, desperation, with shiny bits of barely-sympathy-evoking humanity and I am astonished each week by just how damned good he is. I am also freaked out about how this series and season may end. Only three episodes left! Garsh.

8. Breakfast for dinner. It’s just the greatest, isn’t it? It’s what we’re having tonight, and I must confess, the hashbrowns are my favorite part. 🙂  (I impulse-purchased some dried ones at CostCo & they’ve turned out to be one of the greatest things ever!) And let’s hope I can stay up past 9:00.

peace out, home fries.

Random ORTS!

I feel like I’m making soup with a little of this, a handful of that – mostly because I’m thinking about soup, since the weather turned. In any event, grab a bowl & hopefully, you’ll enjoy what I’m dishin’ out!

1. Two nights ago, I had a dream in which I single-handedly turned the Chiefs around. Not through any marketing innovation, but by being their most amazing, versatile running back (and sometimes, corner back. That’s how versatile I am.) I scored touchdown after touchdown, to the amazement of both teams and the crowds. I will say, however, the players were PISSED to have the very first female NFL player on their team and were extremely resentful of having their locker room reconfigured. And having to share the whirlpool. After telling JWo this, he requested I take us to the playoffs last night. (Sadly, it seems to have been a one-night-only miracle.)

2. It’s been New Recipes and Good Eatin’ at the NuWo residence this week. We started with my freshly-learned recipe on Monday – Yogurt Curry Chicken with Mango Mint Chutney; Tuesday was Slow-Cooker Chicken Stroganoff, last night was Sloppy Joes (I’d never made them for James before, ever – they were a staple in Iowa, and we didn’t use canned sauce.) Tonight is a Puttanesca pasta with tomatoes from the garden, and some variation on chicken spiedini that I plan to improvise. Cooler weather makes me want to cook!

3. I have spent over an hour going through a government website, searching for statistics by market, and have finally determined I will need to enlist the help of a librarian. Good thing I know one, who has already given me good next steps/options to go get the information. (I am also now convinced that all government reports are created by engineers and statisticians and have no use for people like me using their data.)

4. I also created a macro-flowchart of all our upcoming activity to provide a visual and perhaps assist in managing/requesting certain deadlines be “reasonable.” Apparently, cooler weather also makes me very analytical.

5. The afore-mentioned chicken stroganoff was delicious as a leftover lunch today, apart from the shard of BONE that was in it. It took hours for that sensation to leave my mouth. I wonder what the deep-rooted physiological reason for that is. Perhaps to curb any errant desires to eat glass? Gah.

6. The weather. Yes, it’s cooler. It’s been lovely. It’s also been rainy, and for two days, we basically had the Hurricane Formerly Known as Gustav parked over the state of Missouri. Now it’s moved up through to Illinois, and it’s continued to retain it’s hurricane-y shape, which is rather curious. Now we have Hanna and Ike bearing in on the Southeast – it’s crazy. I know we get tornadoes here in the Midwest, but it’s kind of odd to get the leftovers the way we have. Since JWo is essentially a meteorologist without the paperwork, we’ve had lots of weather conversations at home. It also works well with his science teachings – anything with “real-life” application is easier to absorb.

That’s the smattering of the day, campers. Plurk ya later & have a good evening – it’s almost Friday!!!!

Random ORTS!

Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve done some Random Orts. I have so many blog posts in my head, including the fact I completely ignored my Alphabet Soup Project immediately after starting it, but I think I’m going to shake off the smaller ones into a nice compact post and then maybe there will be enough space and room to let the other notions become full-fledged, viable posts.

1. Redonkulous travel observation, which was already made by someone else, somewhere, but when I read it, I was all, YEE-HAW and can I get an A-MEN?!  Women’s restroom stall doors opening inward …at the freakin’ airport.  I can see it being a-ok if it’s just you and your purse, but really? I have a fantastic piece of luggage (lemme give it it’s own Ort) and even the ease of travel with it is precluded by inward-opening doors. You have to somehow get all of you and your stuff into the stall – with extra clearance, unless you’re comfortable like that, not shutting the door. Speaking of which, my apologies again to the nameless, yet very surprised woman at O’Hare who had not locked her door on the handicapped stall, leading me to believe it was the only one available, and I swear, I was as surprised as you.

I’ve often thought it would be hilarious to just keep on going in. There’s room for two in those stalls. Don’t mind if I wait, do you? I’ll just park my luggage by yours, it’s so much easier to navigate in these, don’t you think?

2. My luggage. I put a lot of consideration into buying this item, because I knew I would be traveling a little bit, and I was replacing my previous small carry-on rolling suitcase, as this is a favorite item for burglars to steal. Because they load all your shit into suitcases & trot them out to their panel van. Burglars rarely seem to go around with Envirosaks, but maybe with the new efforts to Green Up, they, too, care about the earth.  In any event, both times I’ve been burgled, there went my suitcases, as well. So I didn’t want to muck around this time, and now that I have a very good alarm system, I was also prepared to spend a little more money, and get a Spinner-style suitcase. What this means is, no matter what direction you pull your suitcase, it will go. Unlike in-line wheels, which only go forwards and backwards.  I ultimately got this Heys carry-on, in bright turquoise, and I bought it at Overstock.com.  People on Overstock seemed to be mixed on their reviews, but I really like it. So I just wrote my review to offset the haters. It’s the perfect size for 1-2 days and it’s lightweight, rolls anywhere you want it to go, and -let’s face it – the bright color is fun.  The key though, is spinner wheels. And Costco sells the completer set, should we ever leave home on vacation ever again, ever. (Can you tell I kinda need a vacation?)  I think bright orange would suit the NuWos just fine!

3. Cooking with Suba. God love her, but my former co-worker Suba is Hindu, so I should probably find out the proper deity to whom I should sing her praises.  They have a lot. I don’t have that kind of dedication. So I’ll just sing her praises in general, to the almighty Internet, because she is fab-u-lous. And so enthusiastic about food and cooking. A designer by trade, Suba also designed her home, which is airy, open, clean, and as uncluttered as it could possibly get. Needless to say, I felt very, very bad about myself the entire time I stood in her kitchen.  But I worked through my shame, and still enjoyed myself immensely. We learned how to make Yogurt-Curry Chicken with Mango-Mint Chutney and Basil-Chocolate ice cream for dessert. Dayum. It was delicious, and it was good for me to stretch my wings beyond my tried-and-true Thai cooking. (Even though I’d kill, keel, keel and jump up and down shouting, “Keel! KEEL!” if I could learn how to properly make some of the salad dressings and sauces served by my favorite Thai restaurants.) I’m taking her class next month as well, just to keep the branching-out going. You can actually see photos of what we did over at her blog – check it out! And try not to drool. I’ve got a little puddle of saliva in my mouth, just remembering it all.

4. Alphabet Soup. Remember? I said I’d list five words a week that described me, and all I got through was …the letter “A”. Story of my life.  Let’s cram some in so I’m not quite so far behind. I’ve been traveling! (Can you hear the whine that just crept in there? I can.)  Bombastic, Bullish, Brainy, Big, Brave. Crabby, Condescending, Crafty (both ways), Crazy, Caring. Dramatic, Diva, Devoted, Driven, Difficult.  Entertaining, Exuberant, Ehhhh, that’s all I’ve got in me today. I owe ya three more “E’s”.

5. Knitting. I have to do more knitting. I have so many projects swirling around me, with more ideas coming each day, that I must give up some of the Packratting and Plurking and surfing and stick to my knitting! And tomato harvesting. That needs to happen, too.

6. OH Tomato Harvesting! Let me tell you, the fruit & vegetable strainer attachment for the KitchenAid mixer is heaven-sent. In previous years, we’ve used this little red jobber I bought for $20 at Williams-Sonoma, and you crank it and it suctions to the counter, until it decides to not suction and you flail wildly while tomato chunks threaten to fall all around you to the floor.  However, you cannot find this attachment anywhere in town, unless your town is called “New York City” or “Los Angeles” or maybe “Chicago.” I called all over the place, and finally gave up and bought it from Amazon. It arrived quickly and we churned out a lot of sauce. With probably another batch on the horizon.  I love my KitchenAid mixer, and yes, I’m in the Facebook group which is aptly titled, “I Love My KitchenAid Mixer!”. We are 261 strong, and one of the moderators IS a stand mixer. I’m sure it’s code for their PR person or something, but I appreciate the humor in that.

7. I am also a fan of Consumer Reports on Facebook. When we won the account, I immediately checked, and they didn’t have a FB page yet. I thought it would be a little presumptuous of me to create a page for them. Hi! I’m your #1 SuperFAN and I’m a little enthusiastic.  Do you mind if I sleep on your floor? Actually, that’s what I associate with the ultimate in self-loathing – a friend of a friend had hooked up with this guy (this all the way back in Minneapolis) and he “had to go to work the next day” so she couldn’t actually SLEEP in the bed with him (after he’d gotten what he needed.) So rather than leave, go home, and reconsider one’s choices in life, she asked him if she could at least sleep on the floor BY his bed.  Gah. Still gives me the creepy-crawlies to imagine feeling that desolate inside.

OK, that was not a particularly uplifting note to end on. Suffice it to say, I am brand-happy, slappy-pappy, and things are good-busy, but sometimes a little too busy. I need more sleep, I need less clutter, I need more knitting, and I’m doing ok with laughter.  I was thinking today, after seeing someone Plurk about how her new boyfriend has already told her “I love you”, but she’s not there yet, what that moment was like for me. And I still remember it, vividly, the first time JWo told me he loved me. But what I really see, as I look back and reflect, is how ten years ago (and it’s been just over ten years), I had no idea what love was when I hold it up to what our love IS. Fresh chipper new love is grand, it’s an Asti Spumante high, frothing with potential and the moment. But enduring love is…. so multifaceted. Sweet, with some tang and full and strong. It’s the reason I don’t want to polish my wedding band. I like the small lines all over it. I’ve worn this band five years, and a lot has happened in that time. A seriously shitton of happenings. Some of the hardest life experiences, ever.  And I got through those things with him.  I see my existence and endurance in those lines.

Now I just need to have the same approach with my face. I actually bought my first “anti-aging” product last week, mostly by accident, actually. I was at the CVS, chatting on my phone while shopping, and I needed some facial wipes. What can I say. The packaging was pink. I’m never really going to grow up, and that, I firmly believe, is the Serum of Youth.

Random Orts for Friday

1. Update on that crazy outdoor board from yesterday. Yes, I did call my sales rep at CBS Outdoor. I figured if the mistake was on their end, better they be proactive about it with the client, and if it wasn’t on their end, then they’d look good by alerting the client. Fortunately for everyone, it’s not on every single board, but there are a handful that are wrong. My rep was VERY appreciative, and I like building up a goodwill bank for a time down the road when I’ll need a little extra help!

2. Rachael of Yarn-A-Go-Go lost her mom early this morning. I’ve never met Rachael personally, but we’ve exchanged emails here and there, even as recently as this week, as she’s been at home with hospice and her mom and family. Peaceful thoughts in her direction. Oddly enough, there was great cartoon this week in the paper that really summed it all up:

3. The white trash across the street have been driving me NUTS. They sit outside pretty much all day long, listening to their music on their car stereo (with the trunk open). They must be drinking or getting stoned the whole time because I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone could sit outside in this humidity and watch the street and call that a full day. However, I did have a nice realization the other morning: they make an excellent layer to our security system. Apart from the fact they fit the profile of someone who would actually DO the breaking in, I figure the odds of someone rolling up on our house and breaking in again are even less with their crazytown circus across the street. If for no other reason than the fact our outdoor siren would drown out their music and that’d cut through their buzz enough (hopefully) to evoke a reaction.

4. Blog Debate. Currently taking place in my head, I can’t decide if I should just have my blog be front & center on my domain, or house it at plazajen.com/blog. I’m really leaning towards the latter, because it makes it easier for me, setting up the files and templates and stuff, but I also wonder if it makes it more of a challenge for people. (that extra click! who knows?! I have like, 42 people who read my blog and I’d really like to not alienate any of you.)

5. Storms. I am really, really really getting tired of rain and chances of tornadoes on a weekly basis. I grew up north and east of Cedar Rapids and was just sickened to see the entire downtown under water. Then the Boy Scouts in western IA, and the town of Chapman KS getting hit so badly, it feels like an apocalypse. Good thing I’m not one of those Rapture people, I’d be burning my devil mittens and giving my yarn away to heathens. GOOD THING.

6. Now I should explain the Devil Mittens. I love them. This came out on Ravelry some time ago, where a devout knitter caught sight of a sneak preview of the Subway Mittens, and became convinced the pocket was instead a flap, designed to unbutton and allow the traveler’s hand to be scanned for the bus pass micro-chip that had most certainly been implanted under their skin. In fact, they have a pocket for subway tokens. But the ensuing dialogue on the forums was hi-larious. Many spoke of the Rapture and that we would see it in our lifetime. And I refrained from trying to get anyone’s car, as a reference to one of my all-time favorite bumper stickers. (“When the Rapture Comes, Can I Have Your Car?”)

7. Organization, cleaning and sleeping are on my list for the weekend. And blender drinks, most likely. Are you doing anything fun?

And I Shall Do the Orts, and at Least One Shall Be Philosophical

Where to begin, where to begin.

1. I’m in a really good mood. Like, really good. I’m finally feeling like some of my old anchors and new irritants have blown free. There are still ties and strings and some remnants knocking into the side of the hull, but mostly, things are good. I had a great one-on-one with my boss, and things are just hunky-dory. I wish I had more work to do, but now that I’ve written that down, it should pick right back up & I’ll be stressed out in no time!

2. Being a Midwesterner. This really rocketed to the front of my head this weekend, as I took several knitting classes, and the instructor is from the East Coast. I hate to make sweeping, general statements about groups, so this feels rather fidgety to write. I’m writing from the perspective of a born & bred & never-left Midwesterner. Raised in NE Iowa, lived in Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri after college, I even felt that I crossed a little into the South when I left Iowa behind to reside in my current state. I know there are parallels between the South and the Midwest – but there are things about being in the Midwest that we claim in our own odd way. Idiosyncrasies, boundaries, just… WAYS. They’re “Our Ways”. Some things are more extreme up north, I’ve discovered. I’ve laughingly called one of our syndromes “Three Times for Pie”, because where I was raised, you waited until the third offer of pie before you could accept it, and actually enjoy it.

Why? Because it was the only way to guarantee it was truly ok, and not an imposition on your host, to eat that pie. That pie might be for her family tomorrow night. You never know. Midwesterners don’t ever want to be a burden, and that goes double if you’re in a guest/host(ess) situation. We have extreme regard for the guest/host dynamic. And it can be easy to violate. We expect to be asked if things are ok to do, you don’t just help yourself to things, and in return for your formality, we will do backflips to make your stay as accommodating as possible. Now, in Missouri, I’ve discovered, you only need to offer pie twice, and sometimes once, and it’s readily accepted. But that’s among people who know each other well, and if there was a whiff of doubt that said pie was originally destined for another occasion, well, the turning down of pie would still happen.

Now, I know that I don’t always fit the stereotype I’ve just begun sketching. I’m loud (that could be embarrassing, don’t draw attention to yourself so much), I speak up and say what I think, if I believe it will result in a good dialog, and I’ve even made some choices where I know -cognitively, intellectually KNOW – that I am putting the other person in an uncomfortable situation. This is in direct opposition to the MW Way. (And 99% of the time, those situations happen at work, and involve reps trying to get away with something.)

We don’t joke about hurting feelings, or say it’s a goal to make someone cry or humiliate them. That makes us shift uneasily in our seats, because if you can say it, you might even try to do it, and the laughter is polite (because still, we cannot stop being polite and proper), but it is nervous and has an awkward undertone. Some people can take it – some people can’t. Even if you can take it, you automatically feel defensive on behalf of the people who can’t. I remembered in a flash at lunch today that the instructor jokingly said to me that she hadn’t made me cry yet (or broken me yet, or something to that effect.) I responded in a very quiet voice that it would take a lot more than this, and might just be impossible. It is in those moments that I feel the mettle of my own being, it is a lovely moment of control and confidence and indeed, stubbornness, because I will not be broken for the amusement of someone else. Oh no. I physically feel my heels digging into the earth at the notion of such a tete-a-tete and I see myself ala Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, gesturing “come on, motherfucker” with my hand.

Now, I know that should someone have burst into tears, I believe this person would have felt terrible, never having truly intended for it to get to that point. Why do I think I know this? Because we’re all alike under our layers and baggage, and even if you are an asshat day trader who screams all day in the frenzied pit of paper money, we all were infants at one point, who looked to another to care for us, and to unconditionally love us, and we never lose that piece, to feel treasured and appreciated, acknowledged and understood.

And so, when I gave JWo a brief recap of today’s drama, his offer to slash everyone’s tires, once again, was the brief flash of light that makes me laugh and reminds me that it’s all small stuff. And it’s all IN the small stuff. How you behave, as a guest or a host, is defined in the small things – yes, it’s wonderful if you as the host pick up the check at the $300 dinner, and you take your guest and their kids to DisneyWorld, and you shuttle them to and fro on their vacation. But it’s in the small things, the words that dance between mouth and ear, the small kindnesses, the respect, the appreciation of effort: that is where the real measure is taken. I’m not going to go into all the details of the class, I’ll end up getting crispy-fried in a flame war, but I think I have a really balanced perspective of it. For me, I got some really good things out of the weekend, but wish it had gone “better” overall, in the nature of the tone and vibe.

Gee, I think after all that, I may have only one more Ort in me.
#3. Suzy made the paper on Saturday, with this fabulous photo:
Snout
The KC Star did a feature on Black Dogs (and the correlating “Syndrome”, that black dogs suffer a bad rap & are much harder to get adopted) & they encouraged readers to send in their pictures of adored black dogs. Suzy made the paper, Suzy & Polly made the online slide show, and poor Tripper, he didn’t make the cut at all. He’s young though, and finds his joy in chewing, eating grass, and playing with the other two.

Random Orts!

1. There are some strange wires sticking out of the wall next to the entry door at work. Every time I walk by them, I wonder what would happen if one were to put them on one’s tongue. What can I say. It’s always interesting in here.

2. I found out a someone who used to be exceptionally mean to me is sick. One word flashed in front of my eyes, several other thoughts bubbled up behind my lips, and then I just went with, “That sucks.” After all, what goes around comes around. Interestingly, the same word flashed in my husband’s head, and he chose not to say it (until I told him it had happened to me.) I love how we’re alike sometimes.

3. Speaking of reasons I love him, JWo sent me a link to a Craigslist ad, hawking “Antique crochet set – $20”. His email subject said, “Maybe It’s Not Just For Pussies Anymore”, referencing a time when I’d been a bit belligerent about the hooking craft, as it compared to knitting. Despite my previous entry, I don’t always know when to zip my lip, and if I think it could be funny, I usually err on the side of sharing. Oh, and the items for sale? CROQUET mallets and balls.

4. I’ve learned a bit of tolerance these past years. And quite a few other things, too. But I was really delighted most to get an email yesterday telling me I’d shown up in a reader’s dream, interrupting a sexual encounter by my presence. With my enormous spoonbill around my neck. Dancing. And laughing! Hey, it could happen.

5. Tripper does not like cowboys. We watched No Country For Old Men the other night – and he was watching it, too, which totally cracks me up. Like he’s going to whip out a little notebook and start critiquing the film or something. Anyway, when Josh Brolin appeared on-screen, he lost his shit. Deep rumbling growling, a modicum of barking, he was PISSED. Maybe it wasn’t the cowboy role; it could be that he just isn’t a fan of bad mustaches. Anyway, one helluva movie. High anxiety. Excellent. Made more remarkable by the absence of music – you don’t realize how much music leads or gives away in a film, until it’s not there.

6. I need to get a proper battery for my itty-bitty booklight, as I am tired of being Harriet the Spy each night, clutching a small flashlight under my chin to read.

7. I got the perfect yarn for my ISE6 pal, and then after I heard from my spoilee, I decided I needed to exchange it for even BETTER yarn. So now I just need to wind it and get knitting!

8. I do not understand “Milky Way Caramels” – there is no Milky Way inside, just caramel. Now, I’m not complaining? I love caramels? But talk about a brand association and not having it anywhere inside the actual product! (In my two days off last week, the candy supplies plummeted, so I picked a large quantity of post-Easter chocolate to keep the visitors happy.)

That’s it for today! Hump-de-Hump and all, and spring fever, and crazy fun connections being made all over the place. But none involving random wiring and my tongue. For now.

No Likey The Time Change

Don’t get me wrong – I do love getting home in daylight, without the sun sinking into the west and shadows creeping in along the edges. I am just not enthralled with the whole “getting up” part that bookends the beginning of the day. And yesterday, I discovered we’d forgotten to adjust the clock on the thermostat, so no wonder it was freezing chilly cold when I got up! (And it’s why I promptly went back to bed under warm covers.)

I have kitchen duty this week at work (which I only remembered today, so some kind soul did my work yesterday & this morning. The guilt!) and I follow the most fastidious man on the planet. I’m shocked he doesn’t clean the kitchen with a toothbrush. He actually dries all the bottoms of the coffee mugs as he moves them from the dishwasher to the cupboard. Dude takes his job seriously. At least the kitchen is spotless before I start my tour of duty….

And, in completely unrelated news (this is practically a Random Orts post but I’m not inclined to edit it…), the Wo and I got new phones when we renewed our contract with T-Mobile. The customer service person I talked to the other day almost got down on their knees and bowed through the phone, because we’ve been with them since 2000, and that’s like, 50 years in phone years. We both got slider phones – mine’s a RIZR and his is a Samsung somethin’ or other, and now we both have the internets on our phones, and we’re like a geriatric duo, figuring out how to browse while Mo-BILE. (not while driving, but just ON the mo-bile.) I’m struggling because Yahoo keeps coming up in GIANT FONTS! BIG LETTERS! Like it not only thinks I’m old, but I’m blind. No like. Don’t care for the tiny keys and I’m not going to convert to texting anytime soon (We didn’t get that package.) But it was fun to check my email while waiting for my lunch date to show up!

So much else going on – some bloggable, some not, one of my projects is hatching, and I’ll show you sooooon. Promise!

P.S. I discovered today that the whole process of consuming Pez is much more straightforward if you rip open the entire paper container and eat them straight away, instead of installing them into the little plastic dispenser. I’m all about cutting out the plastic middleman and unnecessary steps.

Random Orts!

1. Hope springs eternal. You know how I know this? I signed up for International Scarf Exchange #6. Sigh. I just can’t help hoping for the best! And, I also signed up to be an angel, if someone (like me) gets dropped by her pal. Pay it forward and all.

2. Houlihan’s has this amazing Margarita Flight. You get three margaritas for under $10, and I’m not kidding, these are basically regular-sized margaritas, all with primo tequila. YUM.

3. It’s a small world. My new sales rep is best friends with a couple that we know and see a few times a year.

4. Every time I tell the story of a former boss (told to me by someone who came from there), I am going to cry from laughter. In addition to being a heavy drinker, at all hours of the day and night, apparently this person likes to target shoot (outside, on a farm). And invited some employees to come along and “blow off a little steam”. His way is what he likes to call his “Mad Minute”, where he RUNS while firing a non-stop stream of bullets from some AK-47-esque machine gun, and on this occasion, TRIPPED and the person who witnessed it thought they were all going to die. (I had to stop typing and come back because this image makes me laugh so fucking hard I almost get a headache.)

5. My buddy Kyra just got tazed, bro.

6. My buddy Beth just dodged a crazy-ass double-murder/double-battery/police-escapee trial. Wait! Correct that sentence structure. Dodged it by not being a juror!

7. I have not been selected for jury duty OR been tazed this year. Sigh. At least it’s still early.

8. I think this only makes hedgehogs more appealing. I love any creature that can become as addled as me. By simply a paper tube.

9. I am plotting and cooking up several ideas and notions. It’s exciting.

10. Tripper is a doofus and I adore him.
Tripper Duuuude.

James says I’m giving him low self-esteem by calling him a dope, or a doofus, but I say because I say it with love in my voice, it’s only helpful. He’s just still incredibly awkward, and he’s bigger than Polly now, so everything he does just has this dopiness about it, because it should have its own sound-effects soundtrack. Gallumph!! and Waaaah-woooouuuwwww and SPLAT! He’s a good boy. But a doofus.

Polly Agrees

Polly agrees.

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