Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How Cute Is This Hat?

I finished my cable hat. I LOVE IT! I'm knitting another one right away. Yes, I'm going to wear it today, in spite of the balmy 78 degree weather.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knitting The Night Away

I recently discovered that one of my friends is a knitter. She is fantastic! I've known her for about 5 years and never once did I hear about this hobby of hers. Recently, we haven't been as close, but I'm trying to make up for my non-existence in my friends' lives. When I went to see her new home, I saw her work; she was working a bunch of scarves. Her work was so professional and her stitches were so pretty and orderly and neat (sort of like her). She gave me a bunch of good ideas which I put into practice right away. It was like I rediscovered my friend.

There is no local yarn store near me so basically my experience is limited to Michaels and JoAnns. Michaels had a big sale last Sunday, so I bought several skeins of a wine-colored Bernat yarn (sport satin). The pattern on the label was so cute that I ran home and downloaded the free pattern. It's a cute cable hat (easy pattern - good for me). This is my progress so far.

I love knitting with this yarn; it's so soft and the color is really beautiful. With money tight right now, I shouldn't really spend a lot on yarn. This stuff was $1 off and I had a coupon for an additional 15 percent off. I realize that I'm excited over Michael's yarn (which I assume is akin to being excited over a Walmart purchase). I would not know what to do with myself at a real yarn store with exotic and expensive yarns. I usually pick out solid color yarns, but I would like to find a really beautiful multi-colored yarn. The ones at Michaels do not feel pretty - more utilitarian.

After I mastered this pattern (which might require me knitting it a few more times), I'm going to try my skills at a shawl (also a free Bernat pattern). In addition to the wine-colored yarn, I bought jade-colored yarn from the same company. The shawl will probably be knitted with the jade yarn. I'm so excited about these patterns.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Forgot

I've had to start over so many times that I have lost a lot of my memories, both tangible and in my thoughts.

Occasionally someone who remembers me finds me on Facebook and send me an email. For a few, I sit on the email for weeks or months, not sure what to write back. Others, I respond to right away. I can't tell you why I do this; but it's quirky. One friend, from high school, wrote me a very nice email about 2 months ago. It's still in my inbox, but I haven't responded.

As I move past an event in my life; it's treated like the pages of a book folding up on top of themselves. In my head, the memory gets sucked into a black hole. I have a terrible time recalling so many things now, and now is when I really want to know. I protected myself to my own detriment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blog First, Title Last

My postings suffer because I focus on the title of the post; then I build some type of narrative around it. Because my mind is going so many different directions right now, I've decided to just start typing and the title will come to me.

Our office had a Christmas lunch at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, where we celebrated with a buffet lunch and then we all went to see the exhibition called ICE. ICE is a collection of ice scupltures (in Florida, yes, ice is a big deal) with a Christmas theme. Outside of this exhibit is a collection of Florida county Christmas wreaths. I had to take a picture of my hometown, Polk County.

Then we venture into the exhibit (really you are just walking into a big freezer). The hotel provides you with a heavy-duty jacket but you supply anything more, such as mittens, hats, or scarves. I brought my knitted hat. The ice scupltures were very well crafted and the room with gigantic ice ornaments was cool (no pun intended).

One room had two or three slides crafted from ice. I had to try it, but I sucked at it - I didn't slide down very fast. Steve said I was out of practice. However, after 30 minutes, the atmosphere was no longer fun and I was just pretty damn cold standing around a bunch of ice cubes. So the nice man at the door let me out of the freezer and we went from 9 degrees to a humid 80 degrees.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Close Up and Personal

Just a quick couple of photos, close up, of my latest scarf. The pattern is a tri-cable and it's really pretty. The yarn is just too busy to show it off well. I should have made this in one solid color and the pattern would pop out. Live and learn!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So You Just Figured Out We're In a Recession?

I have to laugh - the top story on the evening news was confirmation that yes Virginia, there is a recession, and we are in the thick of it. I roll my eyes at this news broadcast because while most of the country is just a few months into this ridiculous economy, I've been watching it unfold for about a year and a half.

Around June of 2007, a bunch of mortgage lenders starting losing business and shutting their doors. At that time, I was in the thick of the mortgage closing business so the monthly reports of friends and colleagues losing their jobs was troublesome and becoming more and more commonplace. So now, 18 months later, I'm thinking that I cannot imagine having to put up with this for another four or five years!

The news is also reporting that here in the State of Florida, we are in a serious budget shortfall, and, in order to balance, there are going to be massive state layoffs. Even if you don't work for the State, by now, everyone should realize there is always collateral fallout. Sort of like six degrees of separation, the massive loss of jobs is going to affect you in some way.

Is it too naive to hope that Obama can take this mess and turn it into something that will stimulate the economy and create new jobs? I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket (if you will permit me the tired cliche) but what else can I pin my hopes on?

If we need to go back to basics, then I'm ready to provide for my livelihood with my trade - knitting. I finished my reversible cable scarf - the pattern is so pretty but gets lost in the yarn I choose. No matter. It's warm, thick, soft, and about five long. I've hired myself a houseboy to model my creation (and he comes really cheap because he's a silly old man - but a really good sport, too). Just in time too, because it's supposed to be C-O-L-D these next few days.....well, cold for Florida, which is about 40 to 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I went to my dad's this holiday and we actually had a nice meal. No turkey, just ham, but I'm going to the store today and getting a turkey breast (thanks to my brother for that idea). Last year, we went out to eat and it was depressing and the food was not good. This year was a definite improvement in the food category and, most importantly, we have leftovers.

I haven't picked up my knitting since my move, but I managed to keep all my projects and stash in a fairly organized mess. After today, I'm hoping to spend one day this four-day weekend indulging in my favorite hobby.

I do a lot of thinking driving back and forth from my father's house. I can't believe that I'm almost 38 years old. I can't believe that I made it this far and didn't have children. Could I have messed up my life any more than I have?

Then I opened up all the windows, turned up my radio, and sang my voice out. That chased away the "poor me" pity party.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life In Short

I've downsized. Moved from a two-bedroom, two-and-one-half bath two story townhome to a one bedroom, one bath apartment. It's like moving from a mansion to a dorm room. I thought it would be cozy and quaint, but I'm feeling a bit out of sorts. I never thought I had a lot of "stuff" but I'm moving quite a few things into the discard and charity piles.

Good news is that I'm very close to work (as long as I continue to be employed there) and I will be saving money every month on rent, tolls, and gas.

I'm just a bit under-inspired.

That's all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Far Would You Go For Chocolate?

Tonight we drove a hour to go a chocolate store that allows you to make your own chocolate treats - all types of toppings and molds and treats to be decorated, dipped, and designed with white, dark, and milk chocolate. My designs turned out to be pretty remedial. Towards the end I was just piling stuff on top of each other and drizzling chocolate all over it. I just quit being fancy. Needless to say, this place is not offering me a job decorating goodies.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In What Direction Am I Headed?

First, I have to express my gratitude for every morning because I certainly need the "do-over" each new day provides.

Some anonymous person made sure I was notified that my ex-boyfriend just had a baby with his girlfriend. Am I upset about it? Yes, to the extent that I wish had a family. I don't need him anymore; leaving him three years ago was my survival instinct kicking in. But the news of his new child, something I had failed at during our time together, was difficult to process. Not much can come of me reliving past mistakes (as I have so many new ones to contemplate), so I force it to the back of my thoughts, where it only shows itself in my dreams.

I'm moving. To a smaller place much closer to my current job. I should be settled in by the end of the month. I'm determined to get back to knitting; I still feel so green and I believe my work reflects it. There is a yarn store called Sip N Knit near my new home, and they have a Tuesday night meeting where you can sit with other knitters. In fact, one of the women I work with is a knitter and we both agreed to do this together. Although she has a family and she very rarely has free time outside of work due to all their activities.

I went to JoAnn's yesterday evening and bought another book - I'm enthralled with the pictures (it's bound with a spiral binding so it lies flat). I also bought some new yarn, even though I don't have any particular project in mind.

I've tried to keep my Facebook page current. Do I really require a blog and a Facebook presence? Probably not. I'm pretty boring. Perhaps the blog could use more pictures? Facebook has enough little gadgets in it that just a few clicks and things are updated. The blog is harder because what is the likelihood that someone will continue to stop by unless the content is interesting.

I'll try.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where I Want To Be

While watching my all-time favorite show, Mad Men, I was struck by the ending scene where the protagonist is wading into the ocean (in the case of the tv show it was the Pacific).

I've always loved the ocean; so many of my childhood memories and feelings are tied up in our annual trips to the beach. For as far back as I can really remember (and what I can't remember I have evidenced in pictures), my family vacationed for one week a year during July-August in Anna Maria Island, Gulf of Mexico, Florida. We always stayed at the same motel, which was just a small collection of rooms; not the big hotel condominiums that you might be imagining.

If I could describe nirvana or heaven or the perfect peace, I would tell you about my vacations to Anna Maria Island. The whole summer was built upon the anticipation of piling in our little family car (we never had a big car; my parents drove a Ford Tempo or a Mazda 4-door low level model); all we packed was a bunch of beach towels and plastic floats and perhaps a few shirts and shorts. All the apartments had full kitchens; after we checked in, then Mom and I would drive to the supermarket and stock up on sandwich meat and basics for the week. This was the only time I loved grocery shopping (usually Mom had to drag me with her on her ritual Saturday morning shopping at home). Somehow, this grocery store was cooler than the one at home; after all, I could wear my bathing suit and flip flops to this grocery store and feel right at home.

The smell of the ocean and of Coppertone sunscreen would send me flying out of the apartment as soon as possible. The motel had a pool, and we would divide our time between the pool and the ocean. We were never afraid of the ocean water; I loved the way my skin felt after I got of the ocean - the salt sticking to my skin.

We would wake up so early! Mom would go out early mornings and walk down the beach looking for shells. We would eat breakfast together and Dad and I would work the Word Jumble Puzzle (our local paper didn't carry this - just another reason to love the beach). We would spend most of the morning out but around 12:30 to 2:00, we would pack it in because it was just too hot to be outside. We would eat lunch and then nap (because swimming all morning makes you tired). Around 3:00, we would get our second wind, my brother and I would go to the ocean and dig for the small bivalve shells. You could scoop up the sand and see them; then they would push out their slimy foot to start digging back into the sand. We would wade out with my mom to the sandbar that usually formed and hunt for sand dollars. We never went back to the apartment until it got dark.

Dinner was usually very casual; but we would go out to eat at least once during our week visit. There were two restaurants we would routinely visit - Fast Eddie's (whose motto was Warm Beer, Lousy Food) or Pete Renard's (who had a room with a revolving floor!). There was strip mall down the road and we would visit the gift shops to pick up little gifts for our friends and mementos of our trip (like a pooka shell necklace).

My parents would take a walk down the beach at night, sometimes my brother and I would join them, but sometimes not. When I think about this, I allow myself to believe that perhaps they were reconnecting on some romantic level. Fights between them were non-existent during this week; but at home, there were lost weekends, especially for my mother, where they would not speak to each other from Friday night to Monday morning.

It was during this time at the beach that I feel so connected to my parents and my brother. We seemed to share so much by just swimming together or laying on a beach towel or blanket reading books. The motel had a bookshelf in the lobby where they collected books and you could borrow or take or donate. I loved this bookshelf - it's where I first learned about romance novels. I gobbled those up one summer.

I feel so far away from that person I was during those trips; perhaps I can never recreate that sense of security and wholeness and peace. My life is so much about the littlest, tiniest bullshit now. I deal in minutiae and I get stressed because some (in the big picture) insignificant mistake has occurred. I have no control anymore; I've given into the stress of something that will not matter in 24 months or 24 days or 24 hours.

I really feel disconnected from my current life; I'm missing some type of meaningful existence or some sense of relaxation and calm. If I manage to get back to the beach, can I make a significant change in my life - will it be the answer I'm looking for?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't Expect Me To Be Patient

I worry about everything. And now, I'm starting to worry.

Things are spinning freakishly out of control. Who would have guessed? My life is all messed up.

Freakish does not adequate describe my life. I think one of the ladies at work is a demented psycho - she smiles this weird fake smile that makes me squirm. I can barely look at her when she breaks into this weird look. But looks I can forgive...I'm not a beauty either. But this girl has pushed me over the crazy ledge.

What did she do that makes me despise her so much? It's hard (and boring) to go into with relative strangers. I've decided that the best way to handle her is with the most basic and general answers I can muster. You see, part of this girl's most annoying characteristics is to ask me the most mundane and ridiculous questions. So I'm responding in kind.

Example of our conversation. I'm called Me. She-who-must-be-ignored is Her.

Her: (holding a Fedex airbill) How do I fill out one of these?
Me: Ummmmm (thinking she's got to be joking).
Her: What do I write in these spaces?
Me: ummmmm, the address where your package is going???
Her: How do I.....write my name.....use this ink-filled plastic tube in my hand.....function on a daily basis?
Me: Please go away and direct all future questions to our boss.

I have no patience. I'll show you how to use the fax machine. I will not tolerate you asking me three times (in a row) about the confirmation page that prints after you send a fax. It's in your hand!!! How can I further expand on a piece of paper that prints the time, date, fax number and the word "OK"?

So back to me being worried. I'm worried because I'm uprooting my life and home to move closer to this job and the people are freaking me out. I'm not feeling so confident.

Where's hope when I need it?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My First Tag

I have to give credit to Holly, who tagged me and inspired me to start posting again.

My seven weird and/or random facts about me:

1. I sleep with my eyeglasses on. Eventually I take them off sometime during the night but I really like the idea waking up and being able to see (I realize that this just means I should break down and get lasik surgery....)

2. I love the television show Mad Men. It's on AMC on Sunday nights. I watch it at 10 p.m. and then I watch the repeat immediately after at 11 p.m. (in case I miss anything).

3. Supposedly I saved my brother from drowning when we were very little. I was watching my brother (I was about 6, he was 3) while my parents were swimming in a local lake. My brother went into the water and started to struggle and I screamed for my parents, who got him out of the water. Now no one can exactly remember what happened and there are varying stories (I think I was on the beach; my mother thinks I was also in the water). Before you start getting upset with my parents, remember this was 1976 (admittedly things were a bit more lax) and my brother and I both learned to swim when we were very young.

4. I taught myself to knit on Memorial Day weekend of 2008.

5. My fondest childhood memories are summer vacations at Anna Maria Island, Gulf of Mexico. I often wish I could go back and re-create those feelings and that time.

6. I believe in karma; I believe I am still paying for the bad things I did to my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend.

7. I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy until the ripe old age of 12. I can still remember the exact day I found out the truth; I was devastated.

I don't know seven people with blogs; can I just owe you for the other five?


The Market Fell Apart But I'm Still Here

Wow, it's been a while since I've written. I did not mean to take such a long hiatus; and I've been thinking about the blog for weeks. I was not intentionally avoiding my duties; I liken my absence to the voicemail message from that friend who called weeks ago. I've been meaning to call her back but something else inevitably comes up.

My brother and his wife were in town on the weekend of September 20. My parents (and their significant others) hosted a dinner party for Tony and Julie. My brother and I agree that the weekend went smoothly as possible. I felt very left out; very out of place. I look so different than everyone else. My weight is ridiculous. Strangely, I don't feel that overweight or big, but the pictures taken show me a completely new, and very scary, side of me. I just see myself as plump, but I look at the pictures and I see a very big girl. I'm very scared and when I get scared, I just freeze. I can't do anything when I'm scared.

Last weekend, my mother celebrated her birthday. I went to a party at her house with some of her friends. It was a very nice day and I actually managed to buy her a gift. She's been very supportive (as usual) of my recent disengagement from the working public. I owe her a lot. And I was glad that my gift was thoughtful and not some last minute thing where I run to CVS and purchase a gift card.

I know you are wondering if I am gainfully employed. I am. I'm working for an attorney that I first worked for back in 2002 when I moved to Orlando with my ex-boyfriend. It's a job where I can work 8:30 to 5:00 and also have autonomy with my files. Another plus is that the office is pretty small and I have been asked (and eagerly stepped in) as the computer tech for the office. I'm going to have to move from my current residence and rent a place closer to the office. Right now, I'm spending a lot of money on gas and tolls. I can move to an apartment close to the office and save money on everything (gas, tolls, and rent).

The other issue I have with my current residence is that it is simply too big. I have too much room; I hate cleaning. I can tidy up and pick up after myself, but there is way too much room here and I seem to simply shut down when it comes to anything. I've given notice that I'm not renewing the lease so in November I'm out. I really need a smaller place.

I've been neglecting my knitting. But I will get back into it as soon as I am settled in whatever new apartment I rent. I'm working on a rug right now. I've finished the six squares that will be seamed together (no, they are not exactly the same shape so there will be challenges knitting it together). Here's a picture of it:

I feel really lucky and grateful to have a job and the possibilities in front of me. I'm missing hope. 2009 is going to be about me searching for hope.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Still On Track

It's lunchtime here in Central Florida, and I am still awaiting the arrival of Tropical Storm Fay. So far, not much rain has fallen and the winds are relatively calm. The local news people are telling me that we still start to feel the effects within a few hours. Oh joy.

I got up early today and completed phase two of my master cleaning plan. I cleaned all three bathrooms. Tomorrow is the bedroom.

Although now I have a ton of laundry piled up. Perhaps I need to start working on that today, since it's still relatively early and my hands are idle.

For the last three weekends in a row, my good friend Danielle has had garage sales. Last night, around 9 p.m. or so, I got the cleaning bug and hauled out a bunch of stuff for a garage sale. Danielle said she's going to have another one this Saturday.

If Danielle is still up to the fourth garage sale in a row this Saturday, I'm going to pack my car and take this stuff over to her house. I will take any offer for my things. I just want them gone. And, truthfully, I could use a little extra cash - I'm still unemployed.

Now if Danielle is sick of spending Saturdays in the sun watching people slowly peruse her driveway goods from their cars, then I will put my junk in our garage. My community does not allow individual driveway sales. The HOA have approved two semi-annual neighborhood-wide events, with one already earlier this year and the next in early October. My precious items will just sit and I will participate in the October sale.

I'm off to start my exciting day of laundry and reading and watching the rain come down.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Into My Life, A Little Rain Must Fall

Tropical Storm Fay is headed our way, probably hitting Central Florida tomorrow mid-morning.

I've been pretty lazy about housework lately. I'm at the point where is it too much to try to take care of in one morning. Therefore, in a sign of my ongoing maturity, I have decided to tackle one room a day. In this way, I get the house clean within the week under manageable conditions.

Today, the first day, I took on the kitchen. I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer. I stockpiled ice (for the storm). Also, the shelves and pantry are organized. The stove and microwave got a thorough cleaning. I even put stuff aside for my friend's garage sale at the end of the week. Finally, I got on my hands and knees and cleaned the floor.

Whew! I love a clean kitchen; although the rest of the house is unkempt, my kitchen gives me hope.

Tomorrow is the big storm and I'm taking on the bathrooms (2 and 1/2 technically). They aren't that big so I can consolidate them into "one room" for my cleaning schedule. I'll update you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Not a Prodigy

I've been knitting since Memorial Day weekend, which is about 3 months. I love knitting. It's the one hobby (other than reading) that I'm serious about and I haven't given up before I ever really started (Example: Piano lessons - which, by the way, I still have all my books, notes from the four or so lessons I took, and the Casio keyboard I bought. I keep hoping I will go back to it one day. Sure......just like I'm going to lose this weight).

Back to knitting. I feel invested with this hobby but practical in the same vein. I have not bought a ton of yarn (partly due to me being out of work but also because I'm not good enough to buy the expensive yarn). I'm really a novice. Especially when I peruse the knitting blogs and forums out there.

You know what really makes me jealous? Socks!!! People who knit socks. I am in awe over the beauty and the workmanship it takes to knit socks. I could spend all day looking at knitted socks. When I go to the bookstore, I flip through the books on sock knitting. However, one look at the instructions, and I'm convinced that I will never be able to do this. But I want to!!!

I find knitting so full of contradictions. When I first started reading about it, all the books and how-to guides said all you need to know are two stitches, knit and purl. Everything is built on the foundation of these two stitches. So I'm intrigued! I can knit and purl. So I'm a pro, right? Wrong. Every time I make a stride in my knitting education (knit and purl stitches, binding off, cables, i-cords), I'm confronted with what I don't to sew seams, how to block, how to properly weave-in the ends. And don't get me started on double-pointed needles and knitting in the round! I want to learn these techniques so badly (to produce those lovely knitted socks) but I really believe I should master the other techniques first.

So I'm slightly disappointed with my slow progress but overall I'm so glad that I picked up this hobby. Knitting has done wonders for my stress level and I can knit a fantastic scarf or washcloth. When I finally take that step to knit a pair of socks, I will post them proudly and loudly. Don't miss it! (But don't worry, you have at least a year to wait....)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Still Stumbling Along

I'm into my second (and last) week of babysitting. I've settled into a routine with the 2-year old. She's still unhappy to see me on certain occasions (I can't hold it against her). After this assignment, I have to start focusing on finding regular employment. I miss regular work, and the freedom that a paycheck brings you. It doesn't have to be a big paycheck, after all, there are no kids and no husband in my life. It's just me and a few bills.

I'm slowly working on my knitting. Funny thing is that once you learn one skill, you have to learn four other skills to finish a piece. I'm so backwards at blocking and seaming. I think I need to find a group of knitters in my area to sit down with and learn and watch.

I'm making a purse for the little girl I'm babysitting. It needs to be seamed and I have to make a cord for the shoulder strap. I'm not quite sure what an I-cord is, but I've seen it in my knitting books and I'm wondering if this would work.

My brother's one-year wedding anniversary was last Friday (the start of the Beijing Olympics). He's a very successful man; looking back on our childhood, it's so nice to see that he is happy and enjoying his life. I don't feel jealous or envious, even though I want those things for myself. His life doesn't cause me to break into fits (as I do when I compare myself to others); normally my brother and I are very competitive, but it's almost in a silly way. I can honestly say that I have no problem or neurosis about my (younger) brother far exceeding me in the life department.

I am in the process of accepting what I have in life. The past 10 years has made me desire a life with manageable stress and the simple basics.

Last Saturday, I was looking at silly stuff on the web. I found a site with the 25 worst album covers (this is the page here). Looking at the albums (and the subsequent comments from others) sent me into a fit of laughter, of which I haven't done in FOREVER. It felt so good. I was so happy to be laughing at something so silly. It was so intoxicating.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

As Promised, A Peek At My Knitting

This is the reversible cable scarf that I am knitting. I got the free pattern from this site. However, my choice of yarn doesn't show the cables very nicely. My scarf is going to end up being very thick. I really like the colors in this yarn (it's Acrylic/Alpaca blend).

I enjoy knitting this pattern - it's very easy to do (I can even do it while babysitting). I think I've got the hang of cables now. I plan to try to do more cable designs. They just look so nice and like you put a bunch of work into it (when really it's quite simple to do).

For my second project, I'm working on a sweater. The pattern is from a book I bought, Knitting Simple Sweaters From Luxurious Yarns. And no, I didn't use a luxurious yarn....I used a wool yarn that was on sale at Michael's.

I've finished the back panel and I'm so close to finishing the front panel. I will need to start and finish the sleeves. Once that is finished, I can block the garment and stitch everything together.

I'm already in trouble with this because I don't think that the width is correct. I'm comfortable with the length of it, but the width somehow doesn't look right. I did a gauge swatch but the actual garment still falls short somehow. I'm going to wait to make a final declaration until after the sweater is blocked. Perhaps this is the push I need to lose this weight - so my imperfect sweater will fit me.

I can't wait to get a job so I can start spending money on new yarns! I would love to try double-pointed needles or circular knitting next. I am going to refrain from buying any more pattern or how-to books. I can use the internet for the free patterns for now.

Knitting has become a part of me very quickly. It's something I always look forward to doing - no matter what else is on the table.

How Much Can I Take?

So I've been out of work for over three weeks now. I'm babysitting for the next two weeks (so I consider this work - hell, I'm getting paid for it and it gets me out of the house so it's work!!!).

Unfortunately for me, I entertained an offer to go back to my old job. This is how it went down....they called me and asked me (twice!!) to come back. So I made an appointment to go in for an interview. (Now, at this point, I'm a little miffed that I have to "interview" but I can play the game....) During the interview, they offered me considerably less than what I was making before to come back. I turned them down. Perhaps not the wisest decision financially but I was extremely disappointed by this turn of events. I felt that I put myself out to be humiliated by them. First, I agreed to an interview and then I had to sit there and listen to them try to sell me on a much lower salary.

Because I quit, this gives them the right to come back to me and shame me? I gave them more than 6 weeks notice before leaving. I treated them with respect at all times; this was not recipocated by my employer.

I finished knitting the front of my sweater; now I need to start the arms. I got distracted and now I'm kniting a cabled scarf (which I think it's going to be way to thick to wear). I'll post a picture of it later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Make Me a Better Person

Today I learned how to be a better person. Apparently, I'm not as nice as I should be. Normally, my response to this criticism (constructive or not) is "too bad, so sad". I don't feel the need to be what someone else thinks I should be, especially if it involves me being sweet or nice or any variance thereof.

However, this request came from my mother about my attitude towards her significant other. Okay, I'm going to try. Actually I've been making baby steps towards being nice to her SO but it's not enough for people to actually take notice and congratulate me. So I have to put on fake happiness and sweetness around those two and hope that they don't see it as sarcasm.

Summer television has kept me from being that crazy girl who flips the channels over and over and over, thinking that with each revolution I might stumble upon some amazing show (it never happens). I'm very satisfied with the reality shows (Project Runway, Shear Genius, Big Brother). Also, I'm into The Closer, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice, and most recently, Saving Grace. I can also be satiated by any repeat of Law and Order (any variation). The best part about the summer is Season Two of Mad Men on AMC.

Now, not to toot my own horn, but I discovered Mad Men before it was popular. This show is amazing; I downloaded the first season on iTunes, which I watch while I'm working out. My favorite part about the series is the scenes in the office. I definitely would have been right at home at Sterling Cooper - even if it was just a secretary. On second thought, I might even be too square for the 1960s - I can't stand cigarettes. But office cocktail could have definitely tempted me.

So if you need me this summer, I'll be at home (remember, no job), watching television, and practicing my smile for those who need sweetness in their lives.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Does It Really Matter?

My dreams have been crazy wild lately. They are so vivid to me, and they seem to be my just-before-waking dreams. I wake up so in the moment. Most of my dreams involve me being chased or followed, not always in a sinister way. Sometimes the dreams are very dark and scary (life-threatening), while others seem more fantasy or anime-like.

I was at the pool today (for only a few hours) and I'm so red. I'm too old to be damaging my skin like this. I made a mistake and I will not go to the pool again without covering my skin.

I'm going to Plant City tomorrow to visit my grandmother. Mom is coming to pick me up around 10 or so. My grandmother is a very sweet lady but her house is amazingly dirty and just barely qualifies for habitability. She's never ever been a housekeeper. When I was younger, my mother used to make me go over to the house and spend the day filling garbage bags with trash from the house, cleaning the kitchen, spraying for roaches, etc. I resented it so much because my mother never imposed this duty on my brother. Those days are long gone because my mother realized that she can't control my grandmother and persuade her to keep the house as "clean" as we left it. She's tired of being disappointed. Well, hello??? Who isn't disappointed with the people in our lives? Who among us hasn't disappointed someone? I am just so tired of being judged. My mother makes me feel like I'm being judged all the time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons, Just Relax

I'm feeling no pain right now. While I've been out of work for a whole week, I'm not feeling pressured to return to the land of the working man. I have been looking for other jobs in the area because I miss the interaction and the daily challenges any job can bring. My desire is to do something creative with my life; I love shopping at the craft stores and just browsing the aisles, touching the yarns, imagining if I had unlimited funds to buy and create all day. That dream makes me so happy. That's a first for me.

So I have enough money to last me through a few months; thus the reason for my seemingly-carefree life. I do need to find a job. I'm not crazy; just living for the moment for once. Living to be happy. Relaxing.

So I've completed the back panel of my sweater, and I'm almost done with the front portion of my sweater (picture follows). I don't think that this sweater is going to be proportionally correct. However, I'm still going full force. At least my actions will result in something moderately resembling a sweater.

The air conditioner in my apartment broke this weekend. Argh! All windows opened and two fans going. Didn't help much. I took me forever to fall asleep. I had to postpone knitting for two days as it was simply too uncomfortable for me to touch the wool. Mr. A/C repair man came by today and fixed it. Now I'm back in relative comfort and coolness.

Additionally, the battery in my car just died. I had to replace the battery - at a cost of $90. Things are breaking. At a time when I would normally see this as an indication that my life is crap, I just take these in stride. This is what happens - normal course of life. I'm happy to let the part of me go that always wants to assume the worst.

I am not nervous anymore because I know what I want. I want happiness. And it's easy to get it if I would just learn to relax. And have hope.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's About Undoing Things

Oh gosh. I had knitted about 15" of my sweater (the back panel) when, last night, I made a mistake. I tried in vain to fix it but ended up making it worse. I unknitted...

(Off Tangent: My co-worker Hillary had a loan that we funded but the house was not ready for closing, so she asked the title company to return the wire. This way she could re-send the wire when the house was ready to be transferred. When we contacted the lender about the proper procedure, our account executive asked "Did you unfund the loan?" The word unfund had us in giggles all day. We couldn't explain why. It's just a funny word.)...

all of the stitches, all rows, back to what I am guessing they call yarn puke. My pattern is so easy that I'm back to about 2" of new knitting. I'm really unsure of how to do the neck opening and how I am going to sew the seams together. I am not very good at sewing. I suspect I'll be on the Knitting Help site and asking a lot of questions.

As for my last day at work, we had a great little party at the aforementioned Hillary's house. We played karaoke all night; we had such a good time. I was offered a chance to come back to work in a few weeks. They think I need time to relax and regroup. I think I need to get away and stay away. Should I go back to the place that doesn't question that people have to work 10+ hours a day? I have no life outside of that office. No significant relationships with non-work friends or family. I have to establish a strong structure for my regular life. Work should be secondary, always. I have wasted so much time in my life. It's the central theme to my life. My goal is to turn that predilection around - as in unwaste.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is It Cold Enough For You?

I started my sweater. It's not exactly the yarn I wanted but this wool/acrylic blend was only $1 per skein at Michael's.

The lady at Michael's told me that just looking at my wool was making her hot. July in Florida; I guess that's the reason this stuff was so cheap.

This is my last week at work. My nerves are setting in but I'm trying to overcome my fears. I'm determined to make this a good decision. And I keep telling myself that everything is going to be okay.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Continuing Education

I'm going to JoAnn's today. I want to pick up some yarn for my first sweater. According to the pattern, I need a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend. I'm excited about it. I'll probably treat myself to Starbucks too, since there are two in the immediate vicinity.

Last night, I experimented with cables. I made a really simple test swatch of with a left-twisting cable. It worked!!!

I know that it's not perfect but the cable part of it looks right.

The funny thing about learning how to knit is that I started out with two books and a beginner's kit from JoAnn's. The how-to books were helpful, but now that I'm armed with a little bit of knowledge, I'm re-reading them and actually gaining so much more from them. I understand the concepts now and it feels more like reading for enjoyment than like I'm reading from a textbook.

My hair is so long - I need a hair cut. Hair cuts are very scary for me since my hair is naturally curly; I don't trust anyone. That's why my hair ends up this long.

Eventually I force myself into the salon, and they just take off a few inches and all the split ends, and I feel so much better. But taking that first step is so traumatic. From my youth to my late 20's, I always had short hair because my mother had no idea how to handle my thick frizzy hair. The easiest way for her to handle it was to cut it off. You see all these little girls with baby fine hair, so easy to brush and braid and put pigtails in. Not me. After my hair dries, if you try to brush it you will end up with a huge frizzy afro. I think my short hair aged me, and even though I'm fat, I still like long hair. I guess it would be nice if I could take care of it properly.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

No Compromise

My co-workers are still telling me that they can't believe I'm leaving. I hear from most folks that I will be back, that this work is in my blood. While I agree that the salary is very nice, I am 100% willing to walk away from it in order to find a better quality life. This week alone I've worked 12 to 14 hours EVERY DAY. There is no respite from this pattern. My trip from the house to the office is 30 to 40 minutes; I use this time to fantasize about the future and ponder on my wasted life. I'm not going to say that I'm not worried or scared, but I am also excited and willing to risk things in order to find a balance. I don't have a family or children; what is the reason I need to throw my whole life away for a job?

The community I live in switched cable companies. I basically ignored all the hubbub since basic cable and internet is provided as a part of my rent. However, I lost Internet connectivity for 2 days because my modem was not registered as a part of the network. Of course, working 12 hours a day means I have no time during the work week to focus on anything during normal hours. Today I called Brighthouse and managed to have the problem fixed within 2 hours.

The reason I mention this is because recently I've become more aware that I have to fix things. Nothing comes simply anymore. I have to solve problems, and I resent that. It's part of what makes me so angry about everything. I've never had anyone take care of me. I've always assumed the role of problem solver and person in charge. I am jealous of those people who get taken care of and can focus on themselves, while I have to concentrate on so many other things and I neglect myself in order to get everything done.

This is a part of my reasoning behind me leaving my job. I want a chance to do something for me.

I missed knitting this week. I am amassing a collection of washcloths. I'm trying to move onto something more substantial. I'm considering a sweater; my only concern being the cost of the yarn.

July is going to be a good month. I'm predicting it now. It's the start of new things for me. I hope.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In The Middle of a Mess

It's hard to describe just how difficult it is to be an employee at my present company. Yes, there are policies and procedures, but any outside person can effectively sway decision making because management is so afraid to take any stance. The only reason the company works is simply because the people working there are so dedicated and experienced; they make it work in spite of the obstacles and ridiculous demands of management. This is really the reason I'm leaving; I just cannot handle the bullshit anymore.

That being said, the people I work with are really funny. We seem to have as many good times as we do bad (and the bad are based on outside influences, not from each other). If I could force myself to stay, I would love to continue working with them. However, that alone is not enough to keep me there.

I'm working until July 11.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Car Needs Gas

It was raining so bad on the way home from work today. People actually pulled off the side of the road to wait the rain out. I did the responsible thing and got off my cell phone call and actually put both hands on the wheel. About half way home, my gas light came on. I absolutely must get gas before I go to work in the morning.

It looks like I'll be working through June. My replacement starts tomorrow. I have to train her in these next few weeks. Basically that means I have to do things EXACTLY by the book and I have to be on my best behavior. No more complaining or whining. It will be a rough few weeks. Being positive is not exactly my strong suit.

I am working on more washcloths; I've also just started working on a small purse. The purse is completely knitted, with a simple cord for the handle and button loop for the closure. My brother sent me a pattern for a laptop cover. Looks like a felting project, which I would like to learn how to do.

I'm watching Family Guy on Adult Swim. It's my nighttime routine. Very funny show but disturbing on many levels. I've fallen asleep with this playing on the tv and, as a result, have weird dreams. They say that if you fall asleep with the tv on you don't really fall into proper REM sleep. I find though, that the tv helps me to relax and unwind. I eventually turn it off. It's just a crutch.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

You Always Remember Your First

Driving to visit my dad this weekend, I thought about how my life has not taken any direct path. I have meandered all over the place, skipping key events due to my insecurities or my poor choices. I started by summarizing my major relationships with men; my father, who loved me but only when I was the perfect daughter, the husband who I had little physical affection with or for, the lover who I obsessed over. Somewhere in there I lost my direction; I found it acceptable to dismiss my obligations and left them for others to pay for it. I never had children. I jumped from job to job, trying to support someone else.

I see it in the way I knit. I make mistakes. Usually, when I try to fix it, I make the problem worse. So I cover it up the best way I can and go on. Covering up. Avoidance. That's the way I've lived my life now for longer than I can remember.

I have moments where I feel utterly terrified about life. I almost panic over it. Most of all I do not want my family to know what a failure I am. I feel like failure oozes from me; I struggle to cover up but it seeps through in my weight or my frizzy hair or any deficient part of me.

I love my family; I never want to be without them. However, I think they would be better off without me. My dreams are filled with people chasing me. I'm always running in my dreams. I run in real life, too (not physically, but figurately). I left my husband; I left my lover numerous times; I've left jobs with no safety net(as in Current Day in the Life of Deb). I never make it to safety in my dreams. I always wake up before I arrive or get caught. Some day I'm not going to be so lucky.

I knitted my first hat. It is so full of mistakes but I am happy with it anyway. It's sort of cute for a first hat. I'm going to knit some more washcloths but my next big project is a sweater. I'm waiting for needles I bought from eBay to arrive first.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Still Crazy After All These Years

During one six-year period in my life, I was addicted to a man. Our up and down relationship ended so many times, with me leaving but always coming back. The last time I obviously left for good, but not before I did the craziest things due to heartache and jealously and regret. I've cooled down since then, and I've always reassured myself that the craziness I suffered from was just a blip on the radar of my entire life. I think now that I was dead wrong.

I quit my job. Yep, I quit. In the middle of the worst economy in my lifetime, I quit. I don't feel bad about it. I am very nervous but I am avoiding that right now. I'm planning to take a month break and start to work again, this time with the right attitude. I know now, more than any other time in my life, that I have the ability to do most any office job. In the past, I was always so unsure about my abilities, but the one thing I learned in this mess of a career is that I always blow things out of proportion.

Leading us to this, that crazy period in my life was not just a one-time thing. It's a permanent affliction. I am freefalling through life, not really sure about anything, but outwardly appearing like everything is just fine. It's a very good thing that I never had children; I am classically unstable but I can hide it just fine, thank you very much. I have the appearance of a life. Perhaps I have to manufacture drama in my life in order to have any feelings at all.

I'll be able to blog more, although my current plan is work out the rest of June. We'll have to see what July brings.

I finished my scarf. I'm not going to have much use for it for another 7 months. I think I'm going to work on a hat now. I just want my knitting to look polished. And it doesn't.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Beginning Or The End?

Here's my latest project, a scarf. Boring because I am using one color, but I'm moving onto bigger and better projects as soon as it's done.

I can't figure out why I'm not happy. I think I need a change of scenery. This might be solve by me getting away from my job. Not just a vacation, but a change of careers. I would love to start over and reinvent myself somewhere new. I've got so many old things hanging over my head everywhere I look. I'm still so near to my hometown that I do not feel like I can ever truly let go and just live.

I'm ready for something new.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hurray For Saturday

I'm so glad the weekend is here. Thursday and Friday were killer days at work; this is the first time I left at the end of month, unsure of what Monday will bring. I usually don't leave until every loose end is finished and there are no ambiguous closings. This month was different. I don't know what is done and what is not done. I guess I will see on Monday.

There was a neighborhood garage sale today in my subdivision. When I was younger, my mother and I used to visit garage sales and rummage sales. My father hated it - he really disliked us purchasing other people's garbage. He never saw the value in getting a deal, or in the old adage that one man's junk is another man's treasure. Also, perhaps he could not see the long-term benefit of a parent and a child spending time together. As simple as it sounds, I am glad I have those memories of me and my mom together, even though I am sure I was a reluctant companion to her on those trips. Mom and I don't share the same tastes in hidden treasures. I don't really appreciate knick-knacks; I'm more utilitarian and prefer items that can be used and are functional.

Today, I bought a purse (from China, the lady who sold it told me - she was upset when I offered her $3 for her $5-labeled person (from China, yeah I heard you the first time) and two CDs. Then, I saw this end table, which would go well next to my bed. Right now, I have nothing, and stuff just gets dropped on the floor. I have eyeglasses (my nighttime reading junk glasses), barrettes (getting in bed and I realize I have a barrette in my hair - on the floor), a couple of books, some clothes, a bottle of water. You get the picture. Okay, so I bought the end table for $9 (priced at $10 - savings of 10%). I proceeded to walk it about four houses down to my house. So I had a good morning.

I finished my "checkered cloth" project for knitting. My first completed item. (In knitting lingo, it's a FO for Finished Object). Here's the picture:

It's far from perfect - it should be a square dishcloth but it's not. I didn't bind off the edge like I should - I cheated and did the easiest bind instead of following my pattern. I think I have a couple of missed stitches and gaps, but overall it's a solid piece of work. I'm so excited to start something else. I think I'm going to try a scarf. I'm still working with just one color. I could re-try the dishcloth with two colors instead of the scarf. I think I want to go to the yarn store. Perhaps tomorrow.

I just watched Casablanca for the first time. It's my third Bogart picture (thanks to Netflix). I've seen The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca. And I'm just amazed by the movies. Casablanca was every bit as good as I expected it to be, even knowing most of the lines through "Best Of" lists and it's constant reference in movies. The amazing thing about these movies is that they are so complex and yet simple at the same time. The movies feel mature and sophisticated compared to current cinema. However, they originate from a time where movie technology was so primitive (in comparison to today's movies). And to think about Bogart being such a huge box office movie star, when looking at him contemporarily, he seems so unsuitable. So I am reminded yet again that my first instinct is not always the one I should judge by.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Embracing My Inner Grandma

I have not yet given up on this hobby. I am becoming obsessive about it (who, me?)but I find it so relaxing at the same time. My mistakes frustrate me - I tend to just rip out everything I've done (even after working on it for a hour). Part of learning means I have to figure out how to fix the mistakes and not completely tear apart something for one little mistake. I am trying to hook up with other knitters so I can compare my style with theirs. It's easy with this craft to start doing something wrong and when no one experienced is watching you, you never know if you are doing it all wrong.

With knitting, they lure you in with the promise that you only have to learn two ways of stitches, and everything else is built off of these two stitches. Sounds so easy, right? I start reading ahead in my how-to books. (Sidebar: This was always my MO in school. I read ahead. And then when the teacher asked questions, thinking that she could stump us, I had already read and, VOILA!, I could answer the question and look like the brilliant one. I still do this today - always trying to anticipate where things are going.) Whoa!! There is a lot more than just alternating these two stitches - and making clothes?? I'm so confused. And these books try to say that a sweater is an "easy" project. The instructions are ridiculously confusing and insane and I can't wait to be able to do it. God help me, I want to keep living so I can make a damn sweater. Having something to do and to create has made me feel better being around here; I was having a hard time justifying why I'm here and if I have really amounted to anything after 37 years as me.

Anyway, enough about the meaning of my life. Here's where I made silly little swatch with a repeating pattern. See below. Still not good at the landing (ending) - see the tail?

So now I am attempting an actual item. The famed dishcloth. All one color. With a pattern. Very basic and boring. I'm so excited. Here's how it's going:

It's back to work tomorrow. Yuck. It's end of the month. Such a dreaded time for me. Luckily, I seriously have three really strong closers who I trust. Without them, I would be a basketcase. Around this time, I start going to work without makeup, and barely attempting to look like a professional. I try to get away with the most I can because basically I'm working there from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. without leaving the building. Last week, I worked three days, from 8 to 8. Enough of that.

My mom gave me her treadmill. I didn't really want it, but it's mine and now, it sits in my garage. I'm going to get up earlier tomorrow morning and try it out for about 30 minutes or so. That reminds me to charge up the Ipod. Now I can lose weight and be a skinny 40-something old maid with a really nice homemade dishcloth.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Never Promised You a Knitted Sweater

I bought two how-to-knit books at the bookstore (and another three fiction novels, I love bookstores). I spent two night just reading about knitting because I had to work late (thanks to the new no-overtime policy, rat bastards). I could never get out of work in enough time to get to the fabric store to actually buy some knitting needles and some yarn.

When I finally make it to JoAnn's, I buy a starter kit, some cheap yarn, and small scissors. Note to Self: There is a beginner's class for knitting at JoAnn's in June - I need to sign up. The first night I am totally confused. I can't decipher the pictures and the words describing how I am supposed to twist the yarn or my fingers or whatever! The next night I finally figure it out by watching a YouTube video. I finally figure how to get the first row of stitches on the needle.

Yep, I do this for two nights. Get one row of stitches on the needle and that's it. I unravel it and start all over. I can't figure out how to get to the next row. I read some more.

I figure out how to do more than one row. This is what I end up with:

I obviously didn't finish it off and I think it curled because of way I pulled it off. The curve is unintentional as I am supposed to be knitting a square of fabric.

I start over. This time I make a few more rows but then realize my stitches are getting mixed up or something because my project doesn't look right. This is what I end up with:

It's look a little more appropriate to a swatch of fabric, right? Whatever. Like you could do better. Of course, I just pull it off the needle (which is not the right away unless you want a sweater that unravels the first time you put it on).

After a week of lots and lots of do-overs, I finally understand how to get the yarn on the needle, how to do a knit stitch (perhaps not even, perfect stitches, but I still "get it"), and I figure out how to take the project off the needles (so that it stays secure).

This is my latest creation:

Let's look at it objectively, shall we? I need to weave those tails into the....well, for lack of a better word, the thing. And it's missing some stitches and it's kind of lop-sided, but it's finished off on all ends, and it's sort of beautiful to me. I am not a creative person. I don't draw or paint or cook or simply do something with my hands that amounts to a real tangible thing. One of the books I read said that knitting isn't really a skill but more of a craft because anyone can learn it. Oh great, just when I thought I was talented by creating this.....what was it? Oh yes, this thing. No matter. I'm proud that I spent two hours weaving yarn into a uneven 6" x 2" thing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Let Me Go!!!

I really hate my job. I cannot authorize overtime for my team, but the work is still coming in. They expect me to work on it (the salaried employee). The answer is no. This job is the reason, like it or not, than I am out of shape and that all of my friendships and familial relationships are in the toliet. I want out of this job.

I am learning how to knit. I bought two books (reading is fundamental) and I am going to buy the actual tools to start practicing. Of course, I think I think reading is the answer to everything.

I've been having weird dreams. I think I might start blogging about them. I will have to edit the names in order to protect the innocent.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

In Love With This Commercial

Perhaps it's just the song but I actually stop what I'm doing to watch this....

Tony Stark is No McDreamy

I saw two movies this weekend. Iron Man and Made of Honor.

MoH is just a reverse of My Best Friend's Wedding. And I don't watch Grey's Anatomy. But Can't Buy Me Love is a great 80's movie. I'm totally bored by this movie and I end up dreaming up my own idea for entry into the "star-crossed lovers end up at the altar with the wrong person" movies. I realize that we need to see a movie from the point of view from the person left at the altar. All of these types of movies completely disregard the feelings of the poor sap or pathetic girl left standing there in front of family and friends, watching their whole world fall apart. It's not funny or romantic or sensible. Why should I feel happy for the couple who finally realizes they should be together, only at the cost of someone else's future and feelings and happiness? What happens in these movies is almost tanamount to cheating. And even the music in this movie sucked. Love Song by Sara Bareilles; the song is on constant rotation on radio and television commercials. Yuck all around.

I AM IRON MAN. Great ending line. I'm not a Robert Downey, Jr. or Gwyneth Paltrow fan - normally I'm already forming opinions when I read this is how the roles are cast. Although I'm not a comic book fan, this movie is interesting, funny, engaging, and super cool. I'm awed by how cool the Iron Man outfit looks on screen. If you go, stay until the end credits. And then, if you are anything like me, go home and google what is said in the end so you will understand it. I'm just nerdy enough to sit through end credits but not enough to know the history behind the comic books.

Summer movie time is so much fun. To me, it feels like there is so much to be excited about. Now, reality usually mirrors real life; anticipation is usually so much better and thrilling than the actual act. It's the promise of great new exciting things. One can only hope that some of the promises materialize into the real thing. But, being the pessimist that I am, I'm not counting on it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ugly Is Right To The Bone

I can't help it. I'm just not a very friendly person in the morning. One of the worst things is to walk into to your job on a Monday morning and have someone immediately start telling you things that you need to do. Hello? Could I please put my purse away? Nope. I have to start answering her questions RIGHT THAT SECOND. Could I please catch my breath from walking up three flights of stairs (I am so out of shape)? Nope. I have to give my undivided attention to her.

And you know what else is annoying? People who walk up to my desk and hand me something that has nothing to do with the loan I'm currently working on. Hello? That's why there is a "in box" on my desk. Please do not hand me random pieces of paper. I work on four million things at one time and if you hand me that paper, I will probably put it in the file I'm currently working on. Then I will spend 30 minutes later in the day, searching for that damn piece of paper I know you handed me. Very annoying. I don't sit at my desk all day waiting for you to hand me something.

I learn something new every day, and every day I'm amazed at what I previously ignored or just did not understand. Wow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Funny Face

How amazing is this painting? I know the artist. Wait until I post the one he is working on now. It's about 2 weeks from completion.

I bought a desk today online at Target. It's a Pottery Barn-style but for the Target price. I can't wait for the stimulus check from the IRS. I'm going to buy a television. Yes, I am going to spend it. Those of you planning to stash it away in the savings account or to pay a bill aren't following directions! (And I am a HUGE believer in following directions.) So, even though I do not support the ideology of the Bush Presidency, I understand the purpose behind the checks. I'm going to kick the economy in the ass!!! I'm spending every little penny of my (estimated) $600.

What does the purchase of my desk have to do with the stimulus check? Nothing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Big Sleep

I'm wide awake, wishing I could find some way to fall asleep. I painted my toenails. I am now channel-surfing, trying to find that perfect movie on television. The one that does not require any thought and I can just leave it on in the background and doze off.

I think I'm really weird. I think I make weird faces (and I don't mean to). Truthfully, I am not very attractive. Upsetting, considering my parents are typically attractive people. And my brother is also appealing. How did I end up so far off?

My house is clean and has been for almost five days. I've actually done laundry during the work week; and I have been making my lunch at home.

I want to take a weekend trip to the beach - leave on Friday night and spend the weekend. I'm going to plan it this week; it will give me something to look forward to.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Next Two Weeks Will Be Hell

I'm not looking forward to the end of April. Every end of month is basically a big suck. With my job, I'm expected to control the world and all who inhabit it. I always fail. Currently, me and my team are in a "hurry up and wait" mode. Files are going to come in rapid fire next week, and we will have to compromise our standards for the sake of production.

I've been formulating short stories in my mind while driving to work. I'm wondering how well they would translate into the written word. I imagine that the shorter and sweeter the blog remarks the better - don't most people suffer from attention-deficient disorder? I fear that my stories would be like a wall of text and not very appealing to the masses. Still, I think it's something I should attempt.

I feel very alone tonight.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Figure It Out

Seriously, the stupidest thing happened at work today. Big deal VIPs were meeting today, and they lined us up outside of the conference room (reminiscent of picture day in elementary school) and we were introduced and paraded through their meeting. We waited outside of this meeting for 30 minutes (my feet were killing me - stupid high heels), for 2 seconds of exposure. One of the most lame experiences in my professional career.

To get our department ready for these guests, we had to clean up - organize - and put forward our best face. Of course, once we cleaned up all the files, then everyone came in and said we didn't have enough to do because there were no files on our desk.

My job is all about making the impossible happen and controlling the spin of the Earth on its axis, and why can't I make it all happen 30 minutes ago?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

Today, the local news was bombarded by a story out of Lakeland, my hometown. The story was revolting - six teenage girls kidnapped and severely beat another teen girl. The gang of girls videotaped the assault, allegedly to make a video for YouTube. While I am very disturbed by their behavior, I found the reporting of the incident to be so egregious. Over and over this morning, the news channel talking heads reported how terrible these actions were, and how sad it was that these girls decided to become insta-celebrities via YouTube. THE WHOLE TIME THEY LAMENT THIS THEY ARE PLAYING THE VIDEO ON THE SCREEN. How 'bout NOT showing the tape? Over and over I have to watch the video of this poor girl getting smacked around, while some blond robot woman regurgitates meaningless dialogue.

I know Lakeland is not as sophisticated as other cities, and Polk County just sounds a little "back-woods-y". However, I believe this just cements that Lakeland is the home of mostly white trash families raising the worst excuses for children - selfish, bratty, stupid kids. I never felt so bad about admitting my heritage before, but now I feel like this latest episode has forever tainted my hometown.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid

Has the decline in the job market and the economy (seriously, $3.30 a gallon for gas???) made everyone a sourpuss? What happened to being happy for happiness' sake? Of course, this is quite ironic coming from a grumpbump like me. Sometimes I fancy myself an actress and in this way I find it quite easy to pretend to be sweet and happy-go-lucky. Ah, but when you get to know me, I become quite the grouch.

It's just an overall sense that I get when I'm out and about that people seem so self-involved. I blame the economy - as everyone pulls inward to protect themselves. I have so many friends that lost their jobs due to the real estate market slowdown. Businesses we were dealing with a year ago have shut their doors. I've never been caught in such a marketplace before; I've always felt protected from ups and downs of the economy. Not now. Every week at work, I hear a familiar tune about how lucky I am to have a paycheck. Really, it feels like an excuse to make me work even harder. My work ethic is just fine; I don't need some employer twisting head into making me think I'm not working hard enough. My allegiance lies with me first; and I'm not foolish enough to think that my employer has my best interests in mind when making decisions.

The recession talk in the media scares me; I do not feel prepared to face a financial crisis. I'd rather the marketplace correct itself sooner rather than later as I have been feeling the pinch since last year. Perhaps because I work in the mortgage industry, and the lending crisis has been happening for more than a year. It's only recently been getting so much bad press due to the presidential elections. I will do my part for the economy by spending my entire economic stimulus check when it comes in May. I'm hoping Best Buy will have some good deals during this time as I have my eye on a new tv. And I will be very personable to the Best Buy associate lucky enough to deal with me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's All About You

I am working 50 to 60 hours per week on a constant basis. I am not proud of this.

I'm always planning something. What I do could be classified as scheming....I always have grandiose plans and ideas floating around; random thoughts on a CVS receipt, my to-do list running through my mind, or my hurried writing in my journal. It's the planning that keeps me looking forward to each day. I just don't feel satisfied until I can count some of these ideas as items accomplished.

Something on my horizon is another trip to D.C. I have not decided if I want to stretch my budget for this, as I don't think it would be too relaxing. My next vacation needs to be relaxing. I have fond memories of the Gulf Coast; my family would vacation there when I was young. Actually I have fantasized about moving to St. Pete/Clearwater; I can imagine driving to work and smelling the ocean. It would put me in such a good mood in the morning (as I am currently a terrible grumpbump when I wake up).

Even with all of my ridiculous worrying and negative thinking, I still have people in my life who love me. How crazy is that?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Maybe Just One Day Off

I need a day off just to take of all the little things that I've let pile up and have now become major issues. I get very overwhelmed very easily.

Last weekend, I saw Michael Buble in concert at the UCF Arena. I was worried that the show would be boring, although I really like his music. The show was awesome! He was so funny, kept everything very light. At point, he segued into Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. And his opening act is a group called Naturally 7, seven men who use their voices for song and for sound (as mimicking a musical instrument). The man who did percussion and the one who voiced the bass were the best of the group. Their music was Christian in type, but it was very enjoyable.

I was worried because I bought the tickets for my mom as a birthday gift, and I was not sure that the crooner/swing part of Michael Buble would interest her. Lucky for me that we had good seats and the two plus hours seemed to fly by. Even if you didn't know MB's original songs, the standards were great. The money was well spent.

I think I want to learn to knit. The reason? I need a skill. Having a technical mind notwithstanding, I have no abilities with my hands, voice, etc. I can't draw, my voice is pretty awful (I don't even have those half-witted friends who would lie to me and say I sing well to get me on American Idol), and my athletic abilities are only seen in my dreams. I saw a really cool picture book at Borders and I think I can take on this challenge.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dirty is Perpetual; Clean is a Pipe Dream

Explain to me why my house cannot stay clean for more than a few days? And just because it's not clean (in the sense that I would not want company over), doesn't automatically put you in the "dirty" category. I prefer the term "messy", as in I need to pick up my clothes (on the floor) and I need to put away the dishes (at least I managed to wash them). And when you work six days a week, spending your only day off cleaning up is not really something to look forward to.

My favorite quick clean routine consists of Febreeze, $1 Store Orange Wipes, and my Ipod. Febreeze is the greatest invention; it gives the illusion of clean without any strenuous work. If I could just apply those principles to my own life. No more poochy belly - just spray! All my electronic components working in harmony -just spray. Irony is that I can get rid of poochy belly because stereo/playstation/wii/hd tuner refuse to work in tandem and I'm constantly up and down trying to plug/unplug components as necessary.

And why do I live in the remotest part of the world where I get no over-the-air HD channels? I have a gift for picking out places to live with limited access to electronic media. And how did I go from talking about my housekeeping abilities to my HD-dysfunction?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lie Down With The Dogs, Get Up With A Black Eye?

The first game of the soccer season was yesterday, the Over-30 Division C League, that is. I brought the camera to get some action shots, but I was not that quick on the draw. I ended up with shots of guys standing around waiting for the ball to come to them.

The best part was when Steve shoved an opposing player for no reason, causing the crowd to call him a "hot head". Turns out that the ball smacked Steve in the eye and he was pushing the opponent from him because he couldn't see. Of course, I missed that shot, too.

The Dirt Dogs (Steve's team) lost 2-1. Steve walked away with a cool black eye, instead of some lame non-visual and therefore not very believeable injury.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...