30 November 2007

The winnah....

I can't stop blogging!

So I just wanted to put this out here, even though I've contacted everyone.
I'm playing Pay It Forward with four fabulous women. Please read their blogs. They are very cool!

And just a note: Megan and JB. I'll still play with you, too, but maybe on a different level since I know you two personally. :)

First winner: Bethany Actually. BA has a super adorable daughter who learned Do Re Mi of the Sound of Music and 40 years ago would have given Julie Andrews a run for her money (that is, if BA's girl had been in existence and JA wanted competition).

Second winner: Kat at Katstuff. Kat is very funny, crochets (which I cannot do, so I'm very jealous of her talent) and has a very busy December ahead of her. Uffda! Try to stay sane, Kat!

Third winner: Cate Ross at Mistress of All Evil. Cate and I 'met' last year during NaBloPoMo (she sympathized with me when I lamented that my workplace had blocked all personal blogs and so I couldn't read them at work anymore). Cate is an avid reader and has really good book reviews.

Fourth winner: CC at Camp Chaotic. I'm new to reading CC's blog, but she has some very cool projects and adorable kids. Plus she knows SAJ whom I've been reading for awhile and since one is cool, they both must be.

So these are my Pay It Forward participants. I'm so excited for this! I love having reasons to do projects. I only hope I don't let you ladies down.

Just for kicks...another Great Day story

Okay, and since I can't just end November like that, I have to write about my day.

Today we took a collection for a group of Army guys from our state who are at training right now and will be coming home for Christmas before being sent overseas. Our donations were to help them come home, and for giving money we could have a dress-down day.

These days are great, in that they have a good purpose and that we are really comfortable while we work all day. But we get a little too comfortable...at least I do...and I find that I have no desire to work because it feels like a vacation day more than a work day, even though I'm in my office and answering the phone and drawing up papers and such.

Well, today was awesome. I had a good morning of doing little, had a great lunch where I went and picked up a package at the post office containing my super awesome gift to myself: Six Feet Under! Then I went back to work and counted up the money donations (over $1300!) and finished up a bunch of work for tomorrow's work day. My boss (not WS from below, but another awesome man with whom I love to work) was working on an article for our newsletter and kept getting interrupted all afternoon. When I left for a meeting at 4 I asked him if he'd still be there when I returned – his answer, “Depends on how I do here.”

Well, he was still in his office when I got back at 5:20. As I walked down the hallway with a colleague I said loudly, “Huh, he must still be working on his article” and I poked my head in his office chuckling. He turned around in his chair, smiled and said, “Oh, no, I'm done. But now you have work to do.” (I edit and tweak his articles for him.) Great...but we both laughed.

We had a good day preparing for the weekend, scheduling his calendar (for once!) and planning for a couple presentations. It was just a good day all around.

Oh, and I was asked several times today if I had received a call for an interview this weekend. This part was just amusing.

Maybe I talked about this, maybe not. There was a job opening earlier this month for a position across the street. Basically it was a lateral move except for the money. I debated and debated, but in the end I decided that life is worth more than money. I love my job! And to change positions, move across the street and begin working with a totally new team just for money didn't seem smart at this time. So I didn't apply.

It was pretty amazing how many people were shocked about this (mostly the people putting in for it). I'm not sure if they think I'm stupid or if they were actually relieved because a little competition (not tooting my horn here) was no longer there.

My thing was that I already work with the head guys I would have been applying to directly work for. These guys are on several committees and work very closely with my current boss, hence I work closely with them. And to apply for a job to work with them seemed to me to be a bit of a slap in the face to my boss. He hired me just under a year ago and I gave my word to work for him, with him, for at least a year if not longer. He was new to his position and I was new to mine. We're still working out our bugs and becoming a stronger team. To step aside now just as we're starting to gel and apply for a job just for the money seemed unethical.

Granted my morals are usually a little off, and I'm sure most would say I'm an idiot for not applying, but as my friend Scott said, “There's something to be said with being happy.”

And for the first time in a very long while, I can honestly say I am truly happy in my job. What more could I ask for?

Buh Bye November, Hello December

Today ends NaBloPoMo. Many participants are reflecting on the past month, relishing that they don't have to write every day anymore, and thinking about their past posts.

To stick with the trend, I have really found this month to be fabulous. I really have enjoyed writing every night. It's been rare when I've struggled for things to say (though the beginning of the month was a bit rough). I have posted at least once, but sometimes twice or three times a day. This will be my 40th post for the month. And it's been great. I like reflecting on my day and thinking about how to tell my story. I'm still working on the humor aspect, and struggling with just how much about my job I can say – fear of being dooced and/or causing other problems keeps me vague.

I've “met” some fabulous people: Kat, Bethany Actually, Nicole, reconnected with Cate and found others who I read but haven't “met” yet. And I have projects set up for the future – yay Pay it Forward!

I'm honestly going to miss NaBloPoMo, though I hope to continue my writing trend.

Now, on to December! I have plans already – it's going to be a busy month. Tomorrow I'm returning to the land of South Beach because I've gained a few too many pounds since the marathon and need to lose them to feel better and to run better. Next week I'll see my niece and nephews in their respective Christmas programs. And slowly finishing up my shopping before the big day arrives.

I pulled out the rest of my Christmas decorations tonight and am going to decorate my office tomorrow AM. It's been fun to find all these fun things: my Santa boot, my stockings (one from when I was a baby, one from my last job when I would make them for my workers), the snowman my sister made, a bunch of cookie tins I didn't know I had, my nativity set I bought in Israel, and my favorite : my white yarn Christmas tree. I was talking with my mom on the phone while going through the Sterilite container and would 'ooh' and 'ahh' as I opened boxes and found these items. At one point I actually said, “This is like Christmas!” Duh!

The season is here (oh and we had snow last night and are supposed to get 6 inches tomorrow. There's a dirty joke there, but I'll let that go) and I'm ready. Despite all the parties which get old after the first few minutes, and the stress of figuring out the family side of everything, I really love this month. Advent is great, Christmas is great, Hanukkah is great (hi Debbie!) and I should have lots of fodder for another month of blogging.

29 November 2007

Tonight, we have a really big shoe...

I had a great day at work today. I finished a report (for the most part – there's still some tweaking that needs to be finished) that has been hanging over my head for a while now. I had tuna with sweet relish for lunch (yum!) and ran a bit. And the afternoon flew by but was exceptionally fabulous.

Toward the end of the day I ran across the street to deliver a certificate and stopped in to say hello to one of the head dudes (WS). This guy has been so fabulous since I came on board. He's light year's above me in rank and status but he talks to me like I'm an equal. For the last few months he has teased me about cookies – in fact, Wednesday at our meeting he asked when I was going to bring in Christmas cookies. I had said soon, and he said he'd bring in spritz cookies (his specialty). Another guy in the meeting started teasing us that we were going to have a cookie exchange at our next meeting and WS immediately said that I was a good cook and when he asks I usually bring in a bucket full.

Anyway, today I stopped in just to say hello on my way back to my office and we ended up talking for about 15 minutes (seems short but 15 minutes of this man's time is like hours in the real world) about everything: checklists he has to complete (and the few my boss has to in comparison), the elk head on his wall, his little Christmas tree (so he can get presents) to which I promised I'd bring in krumkake for him, which led to his discussion about spritz cookies he makes with his granddaughter, which led to family, my father, holidays and children and nieces and nephews and dating and 'the right guy is out there' and then back full circle to my job and how much I love it. He complimented me over and over again on what a great job I'm doing and how it's so nice to have me in that office.

Compliments coming from this man mean so much. He is such the person I want to be (though maybe a little less intense). He genuinely cares about his job and our company and its future. He is constantly looking ahead and wanting to make sure we're on the cutting edge and getting out there in front to set the pace for others. He's one to follow. And he truly, honest-to-God, cares about the people who work for him. When they get screwed over or are told bad information, he gets upset and does his best to correct the situation or to at least explain to his people why what happened happened. For him to see the basic work I do as doing it well, means so much. And he said that others say the same thing. At least he says it to me in person. I was very humbled when I walked out the door.

Then I went back and we had a retirement party for a man who has been a cornerstone of our company since 1969. It was very touching all the things people had to say about him and how many lives he has touched over the years. I got in the line at the end to congratulate him and he gave me a big hug and said, “Moe, I am so glad you are in that corner office now. You are going to really help keep this company going strong. You are so smart and outgoing and a great asset. Take care of that guy [my boss]. I'm really looking forward to see where you head. You're going to go far here.” I was very humbled and said we were here for him, not me. And he hugged me again and said, “You are going to be great here, Moe. Love ya! Keep it going.”

Again, fabulous words from someone I have respected and followed for so many years. And he's leaving. At least WS will still be around, but I have some big shoes to fill. And it's a little scary because I really, really, really don't want to let these men down. God help me.

28 November 2007

Pay It Forward

Who wants to play a game?

Thanks to Nicole at Pinch My Salt, I am participating in Pay it Forward - The Blog Edition. Here’s how it works: I will send handmade gifts to the first three people who leave a comment and tell me they are interested in playing. In order to play, you must have your own blog and you must continue to ‘pay it forward’ by promising the same thing to your readers.

Now, as far as the handmade gifts go, I don’t know yet what they will be. I also don’t know when I’ll get them sent. You may not receive the gift tomorrow or next week, but I do promise that it will get to you within the next 365 days! Sound good? I think it sounds great!

Remember, I will be choosing the first three people who respond by leaving a comment on this blog post. The requirements are that you have your own blog and are willing to send out three of your own homemade gifts (whatever you want to make, no rules or limitations here).

I am willing to ship my gifts anywhere in the world, so everyone is eligible to participate regardless of what country you are blogging from! Just please make sure you leave a valid e-mail address so I can contact you for shipping information.

So go ahead; leave a comment. Move this forward again. If I don't know you, please leave your email address or some way to contact you.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

27 November 2007

Here's the mail it never fails it makes me want to wag my tail...

I don't remember the rest of the song by Steve and Joe so forgive me. But it's true. I love mail and if I had a tail, it'd be wagging.

So lately to remedy my loneliness I have come up with a great way for me to get more mail - Free Samples!*

Disclaimer here**

Yes, folks, I have become a sample junkie. I get them via Wal-Mart, the Bargainist, and other various places. Over the past few months I have become quite addicted, checking the sites often for new updates. Of course the drawback is that after I have signed up to receive said free sample it's usually 4-6 weeks before they arrive. Now while that's a drawback (if I want the sample really, really soon) it's also great because after 4-6 weeks I have forgotten what I've signed up for and soon I have mail that I wasn't expecting.

So here are my packages. I have used a few, for example the little cup in front of the basket is one of a pair. Betty Crocker sent me Warm Delights Minis (2 per pack) and I had a chocolate craving the other day so I had one. But they also sent a coupon so I can replenish that supply as needed. :)

And just for kicks here's a list of the rest of the products in my basket of joy:

  • Two Dunkin Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast
  • One Folgers Gourmet Selections – Vanilla Biscotti
  • One Folgers Gourmet Selections – Creme Brulee
  • Two Viactiv packs
  • One Kotex Ultra Thin Ultra-Compact Pad with Wings (that last part is important)
  • Tresemme Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Pledge Multi Surface wipe
  • Pledge Clean and Dust Citrus wipe
  • Cottonelle Fresh Flushable Moist Wipe
  • Three Emer'gen-C Lemon-Lime drink mix
  • Three Eboost
  • One Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Lotion sample
  • Palmer's Shea Butter Formula Concentrated Cream
  • Palmer's Olive Butter Formula
  • Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula
  • Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain
  • Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom
  • Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom
  • Re Vive Lip and Perioral Renewal Cream
  • Re Vive Sensitif Cellular Repair Cream
  • Re Vive Moisturizing Renewal Cream
  • Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Moisture Lotion
  • Frizz-Ease Hair Serum
  • Sheerin Okho Face Cream
  • Loreal Skin Genesis
  • Amatokin Emulsion for the Face
  • Aveeno rejuvenating serum
  • Argan Care Code ar457 [ny-t] regenerating care
  • Gold Bond Body Powder
  • Dove Pro-age Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Gatorade Endurance Formula – Lemon lime
  • Jergens Ultra Healing, Skin Smoothing and Shea Butter samples
  • Two Loreal Vive Pro shampoo, conditioner and conditioning treatment
  • One Fiber-sure
  • One Metamucil berry burst
  • Post-It Education Notes (with coupons!)
  • Three Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer
  • Two Dove Ultimate Clear Smooth Cashmere deodorant
  • One Degree Ultra Clear Pure Satin with Tri-Clear
  • Two Airborne Power Pixies
  • Sunsilk de frizz sample
  • Awake dietary supplement citrus flavor
  • Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
  • Nivea Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream
  • Dove Energy Glow Beauty Body Lotion
  • Charmin Roll Extender

Whew! And who knows what will come tomorrow!

* Make sure if you do this to have a dedicated email account just for these sign ups...unless you like spam (not the kind you can eat, 'cause everyone knows that kind of spam is delicious).

** Yes, I know that to get mail you have to send mail but I really suck at sending letters especially since I left the InfoDesk because I have a tough time finding stamps. I know, the Post Office, but still. That's not the point.


26 November 2007

It's time I return

Those who know me know that up until maybe a year and a half ago, maybe even a year ago, I had pretty short hair. Hell, two years ago it was a pixie cut; last year it was just over a bob; now it's past my shoulder blades.

This is all well and good. I can put my hair up into a make-shift bun for work and the rest of the week I can pull it into a ponytail or braid it in the back (not that I do this well, but I try). I do like that I have options with my hair, not that I use them, but options are nice.

My one big beef is that I shed. I hate shedding. I know I did with short hair too, as it is natural for people to lose some hair each day, but at least it was small and not quite as distinguishable. Now it's like it's everywhere. Hair here, hair there. It drives.me.nuts.

I really, really have come to hate it when I'm washing my hair and I pull out hair. I hate wet hair on my hands. but in the shower I don't want to wash it down the drain (for fear of clogging). So I've decided to put it on my shower wall.

This I now define as Hair Art. I don't have a patent on this yet but I do create hair art.

Yes, I pull the loose hair from my head and place it on the wall. Then I take pictures of it before cleaning it off. (I don't keep them.)

As gross as this sounds, I do like some of them. Here are two of my favorites (two see texture, click to open large versions, but enter at your own risk):


Yes, it's time for me to go back to work.


25 November 2007

6FU

I'm really excited about this. For months I have been wanting to order the complete series of Six Feet Under. Even last year when the boys bought it for each other for day 1 (they celebrate the 12 days of Christmas and give each other a gift each day) I was so jealous.

A few months back I almost ordered it via B&N because I have my membership as well as two gift cards so it'd be almost $150 or so.

Well, Friday I took a gander at amazon just for kicks and saw that it was $115. I salivated for several moments and then decided to take the plunge.

Why do I like this show you ask? Well, once I was asked who would play me if Hollywood made a movie about my life (which they should and would if they only knew how cool and exciting I am) and my answer was Lauren Ambrose. At the time no one knew her and maybe people still don't but I like her acting and I think she'd be awesome as Moe. AND she'll be in a Fox series next year with Parker Posey which should be great – I mean, it's Parker Posey and all. :)

Which reminds me, I really need to have a Parker Posey marathon like we did in seminary and watch The House of Yes again. Weird and twisted...that's all Parker Posey.

Odd request

May I go back to work now?

I know, I'm insane, but I'm bored!

I've never liked long vacations. Well, I take that back. There were moments when I really loved not being at work or school. The two times I went to London for 10 days each were awesome. The week I spent in Colorado Springs with Tim was great. And others.

But most of my vacations have been pretty iffy. It's not that I don't enjoy taking time away from work, but when I'm already working only four 10-hour days a week so I always have a 3-day weekend, having extra time off gets a little old, especially when I don't have much to do during the time.

I did go through all my receipts from the year on Friday and now have them organized every so lovingly on my floor, awaiting more filing (tonight's project). So that was good (and bad since I figured out where all my money really went this year.)

But now what do I do? I still have another day to go before I can go back to work. Help!

And yes, I know I sound insane.

24 November 2007

'I don't care.'

This is a standard line where I live.

It's not that people don't actually care about things, but it's a line used so someone doesn't have to make a decision that may upset the other person(s) they are with. And the passive-aggressiveness here seems more valuable, at times, than stating what you really think or feel.

I have been guilty (very guilty) of using this line. Often it's not because I don't care but sometimes it's because I don't know what I'd like or where I'd want to go. Sometimes it's because I really don't care. But in thinking about it I wish I could learn to be more firm in my decisions and make up my mind so others I'm with wouldn't have to deal with this and get annoyed as I do when I'm the one doing the asking..

I've had a lot of trouble with this – decision making – and I'm trying hard to come up with ways I can force myself to make decisions and be decisive. I generally do okay on my own, but when others come into play I'm constantly second guessing my actions, because I live in the world of “I don't care.” I can make a decision for me and someone for dinner plans, but if they don't like it they probably won't tell me because they'll just say “I don't care” and the more I do that the more I'll get the reputation of (supposedly) walking all over everyone else.

I don't want that reputation. It would just be nice to not always feel like I have to make the decisions for others. I have enough trouble making them myself.

-----

Okay...so this is a weird post, I know. It's just that this is more than just dinner or what to do Friday night kind of decisions. This plays into relationships. I've had friends who have been ditched by guys who 'have their own decision to make' and my friends wonder “what he wants them to do? Should she wait for him? Put her life on hold? Or what?”

It's frustrating because their answer is right there in their question. Should she put her life on hold? No. Life doesn't hold for anything or anyone. Life continues on. When my friend Grant lost his wife Nicole he and I would email back and forth for awhile. He went back to work earlier than most expected him to, but as he said to me, “Moe, you better than most, know that life continues.” And it's true. You can't wait for someone else to make a decision to continue on with yours – your life or your own decisions.


23 November 2007

Evil Black Friday

I have never been a fan of shopping, especially in stores. My sister used to have to deal with me on a continual basis when it was time to shop. I would whine, I would cry, I would pout. I hated every moment of it and I hated everything she or my mother would pick out for me.

As I've grown I've found what works best for me. What works for me is to go shopping either a) when I'm motivated to shop, b) with someone who understands what I like, or c) all alone when I have to and when I know exactly what I want.

What's a little ironic is that my sister now has a daughter who is just like me. She isn't a big fan of shopping either and tends to (also) hate whatever her mom picks out. My sister finally got annoyed enough that she decided to send her daughter out shopping with her dad. HA! I'm sure that was fun.

Today is Black Friday. Aptly named, if I do say so myself. What is the appeal of getting up at 3am to be at the stores at 4am to shop? I know the deals are that good, but really, are they THAT worth it? I'm such an online shopper anyway but this day just annoys me.

But alas, when my awesome friend Tre called and said she was going to drag me out this evening, I did oblige. What was even more hilarious was that we went to Sportsman Warehouse which is not a place I'd ever go. We walked in and Tre found this hunter shirt that she totally fell in love with. I smiled politely and she said, “What?” I just smiled and she said, “I know we have different tastes.” I said, “Girl, we're polar opposites. I have no idea how we became or stayed friends.” She said, “I know! But it works!”

Somehow it does...very oddly at times. She's a little bit (well, a LOT bit) country and I'm a little more rock-n-roll. And we've been this way for 14 years. Crazy, but it works.


22 November 2007

Turkey!

You're not a turkey, at least I don't think you are but then how do I really know? With all the advances in science these days you may very well be a turkey and have incredible intelligence allowing for you to actually be able to read this. But what am I saying...if you had intelligence, even if you were a turkey, you probably wouldn't pick this blog to read – you'd be at dooce or fussy or whoorl or SAJ instead (or the countless others I read but can't think of right now because I'm a little bit of a turkey myself – not the smart kind).

But it is turkey day! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

My turkey day was pretty quiet. Mom came over and we had some weird supreme type of pizza with sausage and green and red peppers and black olives and pepperoni or something. It was okay. I made apple pie, as usual, and my apples turned to mush again (not usual). I don't know what I'm doing wrong. But that's beside the point. (though if you have ideas, please let me know)

We watched Ratatouille and ate and then went to Shopko because they had sales today and we figured it would be pretty quiet. I got the Lord of the Rings trilogy for $20 and White Christmas - my favorite! I was going to get the first season of Psych for $14.99! but they were out so I got a raincheck. The customer service lady was shocked since it's normally $52 there. I'm so smart.

Then we came back and were going to watch Garden State and my DVD player took a shit again in the middle of the movie. Mom's like, "Maybe you need to put that on your Xmas list". And I'm thinking, maybe I need to just get one before then. I mean, hello! I have White Christmas to be watching, not to mention all the other movies I have recently purchased and CSI comes via Amazon next week! HELLO!

Wow, my life revolves around tv. oh well...whatever.

So we flipped channels and found "Christmas with the Kranks" which turned out to be a really good show. I read the book a long time ago (Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham) actually - I read that on my way to Turkey when I was going to be there over Christmas for a business trip. Pretty cool.

Huh, how ironic. It's Turkey Day and I watched the movie based on the book I read when I went to Turkey. Weird, huh?

ANYWAY...Now I'm watching Ugly Betty and then will watch CSI and Grey's Anatomy off the tape. Then bed probably. I finished my blanket so now I need to start the next, whatever the next will be. I want to make the one for my couch but I need to color it out first so I don't screw it up. I'll probably do that too.

Anyway, how is your life today? Are you full of turkey and stuffing and such?


21 November 2007

Write what you want

The Goddess who is Eden wrote today about blogging. Hmm, imagine that. A blogger writing about blogging. That never happens.

But she had some good points when it comes to art, how it gets better with practice, and whether or not blogging is an art, there is something to be said about writing improving the more it is written.

One of my instructors for one of my favorite courses used to say, “if you want to be a better writer you have to write.” His goal was for me to write a novel. I can't quite get the plot thing down (hence, why I'm here and not at NaNoWriMo) but maybe in time I can. I would love to be able to actually do that and dedicate the book to him. JC wherever you are now, I miss talking with you. You are awesome.

But it did make me look back on this month (so far). Last year I struggled to get things out, things I thought I should say because dammit I had to blog yet for the day. This year it's felt different. I've wanted to write. I've wanted to say things and get them down. Often they are incoherent and equivocal because they don't quite make sense in my head, let alone when I put them down on paper. But I get them out.

Sometimes it's like it's building up inside and I just have to write. Often these moments come at work and I send myself emails with the blog posting for the night. Other times I email them to me but I never post them. I actually have two in my inbox right now waiting publication, and two meme's I've completed but set aside for days when I really don't have anything to say.

But do we ever not have anything to say? Blogging started as a web log – a place people could write their own thoughts, right? At least that was the understanding I had when I started – a place I could write my thoughts and if my friends or others wanted to read my thoughts and keep up with the goings-on in my life they could. But it seems blogging has evolved into this thing. A thing where you are either a mommy blogger or a political blogger or a photo blogger or whatever. And those of us who just write to write are lost in the shuffle. And I am okay with being lost in the shuffle. I do not need to be read by everyone. I just find it funny that if you are not one of the chosen groups you are not really counted.

I don't know. Maybe that's not true either. I write because I need to and I want to. If someone wants to read my dribble, they are more than welcome to. And if not, that's fine too because I will post what I want.

* And what fun! This is post 555! WOOHOO!

20 November 2007

Just keep running, just keep running*

Today's run was interesting. RB and I stayed in today (re: treadmills, joy) and were kind of in a rush. I was supposed to do 4 miles today but due to time restraints I only ran 3. The treadmill sucked, though we have new ones at work and they are a lot better than the old ones.

RB and I have been talking about training ideas and after today's run I think he's right – I need to get back to using music. We didn't talk while we ran today, which actually helped me keep going longer and a steady pace. Though I really missed the conversation, maybe it's better if we don't talk a lot while we run. I don't know. Talking helps to build the lung capacity, too, and keeps the run interesting (we had TV to distract us today) but breathing vs. talking...hmmm. I'm not sure.

And then to top it off after running I subsequently hit both of my knees on various drawers the rest of the day and they hurt! Great...can't wait for tomorrow's have-to 4-miler.

*I don't like this movie, but I tend to paraphrase it a lot.

19 November 2007

Knitters 'R Us

Kat asked for pictures of my knitting projects. But let me first state this disclaimer: I in no way claim to be a phenomenal knitter. I basically do flat items – blankets, scarves, blankets. I tried a sweater for my niece once but I couldn't quite figure it out so I gave up. So I stick to blankets, usually baby blankets. It's just a way to keep my hands busy in the winter while I watch TV.

Anyway, here you go:

Above: These are the two lap blankets I have completed for Debbie. The sizing is a little off so I just folded them up here so you could see the colors. These are super soft because I use baby blanket yarn. I love this stuff. It's washable and soft – two of my favorites.


This is the one I'm trying to complete. I started on the dark blue last spring and ran out of yarn. As you can see I use cheap Caron yarn because I'm poor and this stuff is kind of scratchy. I'm hoping when I wash it it'll get softer. Anyway, so after I ran out of dark blue I found the middle mixed color in my yarn drawer and the other lighter green blue and thought they might work. The colors aren't quite right but it doesn't look too bad.

I'm hoping to finish it soon so I can make my blanket for my living room with these colors:


These are the colors in my living room. I have a Turkish beige rug with the autumn red, black and smattering of blue in it, so I thought these colors would be great together. I just have to decide on my pattern and then start...after I finish the one above. I know...again with the Caron yarn, but this stuff is soft (Simply Soft!) and I do love how these blankets turn out.

So, there you go!

I'm pretty sure it's Monday

Yeah, it's Monday. I slept til 9:30 which is a total oddity for me but it is standard to sleep in on Monday's so it must be Monday.

First things first – I ran today and it was pretty great. I had a new running partner today. I run on a trail near my house and as I was heading to my starting point there was a beautiful black Lab sniffing around the yard by the trail. I kept walking and soon he was trotting along beside me. I started to jog and he ran ahead, sniffed around, looked back at me and when I caught up with him he jogged beside me. We went for 2 miles together before he started to chase a squirrel as I turned left onto a bridge and we lost each other.

I was kind of sad for the dog because he had no tags and I was really hoping he'd follow me all the way back so I could call animal control, or at least get him back to where we met. On the other hand, it was really fun to run with a dog. No offense, RB, but he was kind of fun to run with for a long distance. He was fun to watch running around, chasing squirrels, sniffing at everything and so sweet.

I'm sure the people walking along the trail thought I was breaking city ordinances by not having him on a leash. I could almost hear the old lady's thoughts who got freaked out by him when he stopped to sniff her dogs (He was fine, her dogs were the ones growling), “He should be on a leash. I'm going to report her.” I waited for her to say anything to me so I could say, “He's not my dog, though he's cute so I wish he was!”

So now I'm once again wishing I had a dog. But I need to have a house with a yard to have a dog because he'll need to have some place to run. And I need to figure out just what kind of dog I'd want because I don't like super big dogs, but I don't want a tiny dog that won't be able to run with me. I need a medium dog, short hair. Any suggestions?

18 November 2007

It's officially Saturday

I am stating today is Saturday. It has to be! I had pizza for dinner which is a Friday or Saturday night thing and I know it's not Friday because even though I worked no one was in the office and since it's cold out it can't be a Friday in the office because then everyone would be there. If it had been warm today and no one was in the office then maybe it could have been Friday because no one seems to ever be in the office on a Friday when it's warm outside.

So it must be Saturday.

I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow when it will actually be Monday and I don't want it to be.

Well, I haven't finished my cleaning as I had intended but I have been getting some knitting completed. That makes me happy because I really want to finish this lap blanket for Debbie so I can either start another one with better yarn or start my blanket for my couch.

I hope everyone else is having as much fun on this Saturday night as I am!

All turned around

Yesterday felt like Sunday when I drove up to AJ's party. Today felt more like Monday with a little bit of Saturday and Sunday mixed in. What in the world will tomorrow be?

Slept in this morning, had a nice long shower and then went in to work. I had a few hours to make up from last month so I can get paid for that day. It was really quiet at work (it being Sunday and all) but I got all my shredding done which made me happy. I didn't get enough of the rest of my goals completed so I may swing in tomorrow for a bit just to catch up a little more.

Then after swinging by Jimmy John's for lunch I came home and played the domestic for awhile: I plasticated my windows with a little help from a friend. One window was being a total bitch and not tightening up so it took a lot longer than I had planned. And then when I finally got it I got a little cocky and ended up putting a small hole in the middle window plastic. Whoops. Which helped me discover that I'm out of Scotch tape.

Now I need to frame and hang my new pictures and finish cleaning this messy apartment, because...it's time to decorate for Christmas! WOOHOO!

I love decorating for Christmas. I totally missed out on Halloween this year because my decorations were at my other storage facility and by the time I remembered this fact the season had passed me by. But this...I can not miss this. I love Christmas decorations. YAY! And I want to get it done soon so I can start baking this weekend.

In other news: today starts my Pre-Training training for the May marathon. I have 5 weeks of this: Sunday, off; Monday, 3M; Tuesday, 4M; Wednesday, 4M; Thursday, off or Xtrain; Friday, 3M; Saturday, 6M. Actually the training program I read said I could do 4-5 weeks of pre-training so with Thanksgiving and all, if I don't quite make it this week I'm not going to feel too bad. And so it begins...

17 November 2007

Growing up sucks

Today was A.J.'s 1st birthday party. My job was to take pictures which was very difficult with her 4-year-old brother want to “be part of the show too!” But AJ turned 1 and that's all that matters.


Hey AJ, is it your birthday party?

It was one of those days, though, where it was spent with family. And this isn't a bad thing but there are a lot of things going on that are causing some underlying tension. I try to stay out of it all but I'm part of it too, natch.

A big one was that I hadn't told my mother about the marathon in October. So many reasons – 1) whenever I tell her I'm going to do anything it immediately becomes the point of every.single.conversation with questions about how it's going and what are you eating for that and if I were seen eating anything 'not good' I would get the third degree about; 2) she may (emphasis on 'may') have offered to come up to watch me run and I didn't need that extra stress of taking care of her too; and 3) by the time I felt maybe comfortable with telling her then the inevitable questions of “why didn't you tell me this before” would have come up.

Well, the cat got out of the bag today. My SIL knew because I had to call her to see about blisters and a couple other issues that weekend and I had already told my brother about it. But she was sort of sworn to secrecy. Today we were talking to her about all her accomplishments this year and the spotlight was getting pretty hot on her so she blurts out, “Moe ran a marathon this year.”

Oooohhhh the burning of the eyes from my mother. I have scars. You can see them all over my face from other times this has happened. And the first thing out of her mouth was “You didn't tell me that.”

There was no word of “that's great!” or “congratulations” or “wow, that explains your obsession with running this year.” Just “you didn't tell me that” and “when was this”.

The tension was THICK.

As I drove home, watching intently for deer – damn hunting season, I pondered this. It's not like mother/daughter relationships are easy, and with being the youngest, that hasn't helped some situations either. Mom is one who likes to be needed, and I'm desperately trying to keep my own life my own, especially since I've moved back closer to home. When I was in the Cities it was easier because I did need her to keep me in touch with my siblings a little bit more. But now, I'm here and I can do that on my own, and I do. When I was in the Cities I spent my nights much as I do now – reading, knitting or watching tv or baking, I didn't go out and party. And Mom had told her boss earlier this year that she felt like she needed to make sure I got out and did things because I didn't have any friends. Which is wrong – I have friends here, I got out and did things, just maybe not what she was thinking I should be doing. And it's been tense much of the time.

Maybe that's the issue. I need my own life. And I need to be able to trust Mom with information I give her. And not find out later that she has told all of her friends. That was another issue once. I had been given some information that would affect Mom too and I told her and told her not to say anything to anyone about it. I found out later she told a lady she worked with about it (or maybe danced with, I don't remember – I just knew I didn't know her and mom had betrayed my trust). When I confronted mom she said, “Well she doesn't know you, so it's fine, she won't say anything about you.” But, Mom...it was also about a place I work, which you told her that too and other people work there who are also affected by this. Now they are in jeopardy too.

So I've been finding that I've been avoiding my mother more than I used to, and I get tense when spending time with her. I'm always on guard – with what I say, with what I do, with how I act. That can't be healthy. I'm not sure what to do.


Yeah, I could talk to her, but I don't know that that would help right now. There are defensive tactics that she takes immediately in any conversation and has trouble focusing on conversations (e.g. I'll be explaining something that happened at work that day and she'll be eating supper while reading the paper and occasionally saying “mmmm hmmmm”). So I'm kind of at an impasse right now. So I guess I'll just have to keep going until I can figure out how to talk to my mother. Sheeeit.


16 November 2007

Good Question

WCCO has a segment they call Good Question where they ask locals on the street about a topic and then try to find the answers. A recent one was about what you would ask God if you could ask him anything.

There were a lot of interesting questions - of course, the standards: What is the purpose of my life? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do children die? Am I doing enough?

This leads to me evaluating my own life and wondering what questions I would ask God. But then again, I do ask God these and other questions and whether or not I get answers seems to be whether I want to hear the answers being given. I'm sure God answers me but do I listen? Do I really hear God? Do I want to know? Would I like the answer I'm given?

15 November 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, A.J.!

Overheard speakerphone conversation

Caller looking for company: Where are you located?

Receptionist from company: Do you know where the airport is?

Caller: Yes.

Receptionist: Take Minnesota Ave north and turn on John Doe Road.

Caller: Are you on the west side or east side of Minnesota?

Receptionist: If you're heading north we'll be on the west side of the road.

My question is, if she was heading south, which side of the road would they be on?

Bull's Eye and I missed it

Today was Cities 97 Sampler day. For those of you out of the area, Cities 97 is an awesome local* radio station that puts together a sampler CD of various artists throughout the year. The tracks are from their own recordings in Studio C. The lead track this year is by Shawn Colvin who does a fabulous acoustic version of "Crazy". Remember that song - the up beat, pumping song "you're making me crazy"...well Shawn's version is ethereal. It's amazing. I heard it earlier this year and loved it. So I'm very, very sad I wasn't in the Cities this morning to purchase one.

And yes, this is one of those things that you have to be there the morning of to even have a smidgen of a chance to get a copy. They print only 30,000 copies and every person is limited to two. When they sell out, they sell out. No reprints, no exchanges, no substitutions. You have to find your way to a Target store in the Cities, camp out like you're waiting for a rock concert, and have your money ready.

The best part is that all the money goes to charity. All of it. Which makes it all the better and disproves that stupid email that always goes around this time of year that bitches about Target not allowing bell ringers and that Target doesn't support veterans or charities. A total lie.

So here is the track listing, just in case you were wondering. (You should be able to click on them and hear a bit of the songs.)

http://www.cities97.com/pages/sampler/2007vol19/index.html

A big shout out to Cities 97. Great work and thanks for all you do.

*I just noticed I typed "local" radio station. Well, it's local for those in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but not so local to me anymore. A pleading request to my comm guys at work - please allow streaming so I can listen to this station during the day! I miss it!

14 November 2007

sorry for the crappy post previously

Let me end the night with this instead:

I want to wish the gentleman well whose son is coming home from Kuwait tonight. God bless you, your son, and your family. Thank you all for the sacrifices you have made for us all. I'm proud to serve beside you.

Why didn't I think of that before?

As much as I want to build my equity by buying a house I realized tonight one big reason why I don't want to buy right now.

I agreed to bring a side salad type item for a lunch thing tomorrow and so I stopped at the nearby grocer to pick something up. It's freakin' cold here today with wind that is just insane. (Why? Why is there wind?)

So I was still in my work gear and doing the Truffle Shuffle* back to my car when I hear this guy standing on the corner say something to his friend about me. I shuffle to my car a little quicker, because seriously it was cold, but also I wasn't in the mood for a confrontation tonight.

Anyway, I'm buckling up (I'm a safety girl!**) and the guy knocks on my window. I lower it a little bit and he says, “Hey... uh hey there, girl. You look like you could go for a steak.” Now several things flash through my mind – a) he's going to kill me, b) he's cold and hungry and I should just give him money but I don't have any cash on me, and c) maybe today is a good day to be a vegetarian because ew! what kind of pick up line is that? And besides I have leftover chicken at home and I just swore off buying more unnecessary items and steak is truly unnecessary.

So I go with the latter and say, “Nah, I'm not a steak eater. I'm a vegetarian. Thanks though.” and rolled up my window. And as I drove home, I felt bad because I should have helped him out, though I'm not positive he needed help (maybe he really was trying to pick me up – or kill me) and maybe I need to start carrying more cash, because I'm not comfortable with strange men in my car (who want to pick me up – or kill me).

Then as I got to my apartment I realized that even though I really, really want a place I can call my own, having a house would be a little nerve wracking. Because – well, because I'd be there alone.

Now I know this seems a little odd since I had that post not long ago about how I hate coming home alone. But I realized that even if I do come home to an empty apartment, I'm not completely alone. There are people around me – next door, down the hall, the next floor up or down. There are people nearby. If I move to a house, my very own house all my very own, I will be all alone. And that is just a fear I'm not ready to face. There's safety in numbers and even if I don't know people in my apartment building, they are there.

* God bless Chunk.

** Yay Vivian!


13 November 2007

Moe's Randomizer

Today has been an off day, mostly because I wasn't at work, so I just have random things to talk about.

  • I can't understand how anyone where I work would want to complain about their job. We normally have a 4-day work week, working four 10's instead of five 8's. We get to workout at work (in fact, it's highly encouraged). And on weeks like this one where Monday was an official holiday, we also get Tuesday off for our holiday. So we had a four day weekend, we'll have a three day work week, another three day weekend and then two days before Thanksgiving (which we also get Friday after it off – for a fabulous 5 day weekend). Why do people complain? My job is great!
  • E&K: you'll love this one. I had Japanese today. And I loved it, again. AES met with me again to talk a little more about finances. I'm reinvesting some items so I can be well-off when I retire. But he wanted to meet over lunch so we could eat. So we had the California Roll, which I've had before and love, and then the Avocado Eel. Yes, I said eel. I can't believe I ate that but I loved it! E&K, when you guys come to visit we are totally going here and I plan to go a few more times before so I can be better versed on their menu (and maybe this time not tip over my diet coke).
  • I'm no Angela but I did return to knitting last night. I was watching the Monday shows on CBS and decided I should do something productive so I don't eat all night or waste time on the Internet. So I dug into my bag and found a half-completed (or half-started, which do you think?) blanket. This one will be a cluster of just using up some of my yarn but hopefully it'll turn out okay. It'll have a navy side, a myriad of colors in the middle and then light blue on the other end. It felt good to be back doing this again, even though I know I'm pretty basic at it all.
  • Debbie and I have begun planning our trip to Ohio next June (yes, already). We have two goals, maybe three: 1) Go to the Jake and see a game. 2) Go to Cincinnati. We're going to see our friends and some artsy fartsy kind of things. We're so stoked. I can't wait. Now we just have to figure out when to leave and all of the other stuff. (our 3rd goal may be seeing our friend Chris if we can make that work out too).
  • My sleep has been messed up lately. The past couple weeks I've been waking up in the middle of the night for no reason. So Sunday, knowing I could sleep in Monday if need be, I went to bed at what should be my normal time and still woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get to sleep for 2 ½ hours. Man, 150 minutes of tossing and turning until I could finally get to sleep. Yet last night I went to bed 2 hours later than normal and slept til 9. What is going on?

Okay...I'm done boring you for now. I'm sure I can do better tomorrow. Or at least bore you better.


12 November 2007

Anyone for a meat pie?

This morning I purchased tickets for Sweeney Todd. It'll be playing in Mpls in February and I can't wait!! Debbie and I are going to go and I'm really excited to see one of my favorite shows by my favorite composer with one of my favorite people.

My only dilemma is whether or not to see this before I go. Will it ruin it or will it make it all the better?

Part of my joy of this show is that I sang "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" for my senior recital. *sigh* I love this show...


11 November 2007

To all the Veterans

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation. ~President Woodrow Wilson

There's no place like home

It's good to be home. And yes, I'm quoting the Wizard of Oz only because it has been on TV a lot this weekend. And not that I don't like that musical or movie, but after 32 years of it when it came on Friday night I opted for Tango & Cash instead.

Anyway, so I'm back from my great weekend with my sister and her kids. After a long trip up to the cities, because we stopped for lunch and haircuts for the kids – not because I took the supposed longer trip route option, we made it to our hotel and then headed to the Mall of Death.

The kids had been given $10 from their grandparents for the trip so the focus was on “what can I get with my money” and “what do I want”, neither question either child new the answer to so it was kind of a cluster most of the time in the mall. My niece found a little purse that should have cost $8 but my sister doesn't think she got her change back from her $20 so it ended up costing $18. Great. My nephew, however, had a very tough time finding anything he wanted. I tried to encourage him to put his money in a savings account where it would grow with interest and then he'd have more money later to buy something he really wanted – like batting gloves. But alas, no.

So there were some tense moments and many moments of me reminding my sister that this is why I'm still single and not a mom. She'd laugh every time. At one point she said something to her daughter like, “Do you want to have more cousins?” “yes” was the reply to which my sister said, “Then blow your nose or your aunt is never going to have kids.” It seems odd, but trust me at that point of the sniffling between both children and the chomping of my nephew when he eats (it's like he thinks the food is going to disappear so he just keeps shoving it in – with his mouth open – slobbering it up like there's no tomorrow, and then when the food has emptied from his hand he chews with his mouth open so I can see it in all it's glory) I was seriously considering tubal ligation.

Don't get me wrong, I love kids. But at certain points I was very glad I was going home alone. and we did get to see Home Plate which my nephew really wanted to see and we ate at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. which he also wanted to do (he had shrimp, my niece had pizza while my sister and I had burgers).

But the fun of it all was going to The Lion King. The bad of that was that it had already been a very long day and so the kids were tired, esp. my niece. But my nephew who swore up and down that he wasn't going to like it and it was going to be boring was actually on the edge of his seat the entire time. That made me glad.

As for me, I started to tear up at the first note – not sure why exactly, but those first moments were intensely powerful. The rest of the play was amazing, the costumes, the acting, the singing. There were a few parts where I thought it drug a little but overall it was very awesome. I had gotten the kids binoculars from Scheels so they could see a little better. My nephew loved those and used them a lot. It was really a great time. And my happy moment was getting out of downtown Mpls without incident and finding my way back to 35W South easily. That made me happy because usually I'm driving the long way around just to get to where I know. I did a little this time only because I missed my initial turn because of other crazy drivers. I'm really, really glad I spent the money and we all went. It was wonderful.

Today we finished up our trip at the Medford Outlet Mall, where I found jeans, a sweater, a tee, socks and new shoes. Much needed items for me. And my nephew still didn't find anything he wanted to buy. Maybe he will take my advice and invest it instead.

Doubt it.

10 November 2007

Hakuna Matata

I am so excited for tonight!

Tonight my sister and her kids are joining me at The Lion King in Minneapolis. I'm so stoked for this. I had missed it the first time around and so to be able to go now and bring my niece and nephew along will be awesome.

My sister hasn't been to the Mall of Death before either so our plans are to check that place out. My nephew and I are planning to find Home Plate so at least it'll be a little fun for us. I hate the MoD but I'll make it work today. It'll be good to get away and spend some time with them.

Have a great day! I'll be back tomorrow with details on how it went! woohoo!

09 November 2007

Don't forget the candles.

Today is Andrea's Birthday. Happy Birthday, Superhero!

Her comments today made me think about my own birthday. I've never been one to really celebrate. Okay, wait, let me rephrase. I used to be a big "me me me" day kind of girl until the year my brother was in the hospital and my birthday consisted of a card from him and my sister and a spring coat from mom and dad. It was then that I realized that what my dad had been saying all those years really was true, "It's just another day."

I never had a coming out party or a Sweet-16 party. (Of course, let's be honest. I never went to or ever had any kind of party in high school.) When I turned 21 I had to close at work and did go out for a few drinks after - of course that was with a co-worker and not my boyfriend because he didn't want go out, even for one drink. When I was 22 I was at basic training and got to shoot an M-16 that day (talk about a party! woohoo!). Last year I made cupcakes on my birthday because I that was what I wanted to do (I had found a cool recipe to make bluebird nesting cupcakes, very fun). This year I was at a conference, recovering from being sick and came back and worked for a few hours (which I later found out I wasn't supposed to do). One of my friends felt badly for forgetting my birthday that he gave me three cards to make up for it. Funny man.

In college, my friend and I bonded completely and forever when we both discovered we didn't like to do the public displays of birthdays. So when it was choir time and they sang happy birthday to everyone I would vehemently deny that it was birthday and she would back me up, and vice versa. Now I send her flowers on an off day just for fun. She sends me cards on random Tuesdays. Instead of picking one day of the year to celebrate each other because it was destined by fate, we prefer to celebrate each other all year long.

And maybe that's my thing. I got annoyed with birthday's because it never seemed to be about what I wanted. I would have friends come up and say, "We need to go out and party tonight because it's your birthday!" And I would think, and sometimes say, "I don't like to party like that and I would rather just stay home, so why?" They would get mad and tell me I was spoiling their fun because they wanted to celebrate me. Well, if you want to celebrate me, shouldn't we be doing what I want? Celebrate me and let me go home and curl up on the couch and watch My Blue Heaven or Friends. Or come over and bake cookies or cupcakes with me. Or offer to do my laundry. Don't instill on me your definition of fun. How is that celebrating me?

I will say, one of my favorite birthday's was when my friend wanted to celebrate me and she asked me what kind of fun things I would like to do. At the time I was learning to knit so I said I wanted to learn how to purl. So we had a Purling Party. She made dinner (chicken, of course), my favorite cake (unbeknownst to me, but a super fun surprise) and it was a very small, low-key evening. For the longest time I didn't think the other guests knew but then they gave me earrings and taught me to purl so I was very happy. It was nice because it was what I wanted. And that's how birthday's should be. Celebrate yourself.

My birthday is pretty low-key. I'm okay if people "miss" it, because I know that people have lives outside of mine. I'm not the center of the universe, despite what my head sometimes tells me. And if you want to celebrate me - do it anytime - there's no need to wait for a specific day. :)