Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Day...

Okay, I've been reading a number of "blog365" bloggers...AND YET, how is it the whole "Last day of the year" thing has snuck up on me?!?

Ugh.

I don't have a year in review.  As much as I love sitting here writing about myself and my exploits, I actually don't reread much of what I post, if I did I could see myself re-editing for grammar and content a la all those college essays I could never finish...  I think that's what I like most about this "by the hip" bloggy thingie.  It's out there and unless it causes familial discord, I probably won't take it back cuz I can't.  It's cached somewhere whether I like it or not.

Here's another whopping realization for the year though, when I work 10+ hour days, I tend not to blog.  Shocking!  I know!  Really, there isn't anything to write about unless you're interested in the scintillating details of domestic accounting.  Yeah, me neither.  So I fell off the face of the earth again after the 26th.  Sorry about that, I'm still here, yep, just me and my overworked self...moving on...

I knit 90% of a cowl, then realized it didn't work with the needle size I was using and yes, had my cathartic moment as I transformed those yards and yards of an almost finished something back into a pretty ball of yarn.  This sums up my knitting for the year.  It's the process more than the product, it would seem.

I seem to have a "snow" headache this morning...which bodes very badly.  It is dismal and grey and looks like snow again...but I'm hoping it's just wishful thinking on the part of my sinuses what with reconnecting with some Tahoe folks lately.  Hear that Mother Nature?  No need for the white stuff to cover Seattle again, really!

And I have no plans for tonight.  At this point I will be very pleased with myself if I can make it through the work day and collapse in a heap on my bed by 8PM.  I am sad, I know.  I don't even think there is any champagne in the apartment.  Some Hornsby's Hard Apple Cider (crisp apple, yum!) will have to suffice.

Seriously, if I could have?  I'da hibernated this winter.  

Happy New Year's Eve and stuff!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Called for Rain...

So now the big threat is the coming flood.

I'm pretty sure I asked for clear skies and maybe a little sunshine for xmas...but who ever listens to me?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful...

...but unless you're still under the covers? It's not all that delightful in here...I'm wearing my pea coat as I write this.

I know, I know, I sound like that Massachusetts Snow Diary lady (much foul language, you have been warned).

If you did not get a present or xmas card from me this year...I tried, I really did, it's because I never made it to the post office due to the ice and snow (I seem to be the only person who still goes INTO the post office to buy such silly things as STAMPS you see).... I'm taking the more traditional route. Xmas is all about Jesus' b-day, right? And 12th night/Noche de los Reyes Magos/5th/6th of January is when the gifts and greetings really come into play, so that's where I'm at. Seriously, maybe the roads will be clear enough for me to go to work/post office/store by then?

Happy and safe holidays to you all.

Stay warm!

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Time with Pictures!

Andy got home just in time for the aftermath of 6 inches of snow. So that he wouldn't fall asleep at 6PM (and be up and AWAKE at 3 AM on a Monday morning/workday), we went for a walk to check out Gas Works Park and complete his exhaustion.

These are not sepia prints...this is pretty much what the world looked like as all the city lights reflected off the snow and the clouds, no flash, and hours past sunset...trippy eh?

So industrial, yet, so...pretty. It really is lovely what a layer of pristine snow will do to even the most toxic of monuments to our past.

So what he'd wanted to do was that whole "ta da" thing one does with your arms when presenting something big...as in "Those black dots behind me? People SLEDDING down Kite Hill."

When I showed him the picture though, Andy was all, "Okay, let's try again," but this time he apparently wanted to grow wings to prove his angelic innocence....ahem.

Snow Diva. Can't have a Snow Week Day without one.

Someone had a whole lot of time on their hands...or are maybe planning on someplace warm to spend the night. Not your traditional ice bricks, but dude, how cool! Igloo! No, I did not go in. I am young at heart, my knees, however, are ancient.

Ah, um, yeah, I wouldn't make this one full sized if you're unfortunate enough to be at work just now, cuz that lower right-hand um creation? NOT a baby snowman as I first thought as we were coming up from the bottom of the hill. My thought went from, "Oh, a whole snowman family" to "OH, my. Isn't someone creative! And/or possibly as juvenile as I am."

Homeward bound...and starting to snow...HARD.

It was still snowing when I went to bed...so we've got somewhere around 8 - 10 inch pockets of snow in places out there...about just below my knee in depth in others...and it's really hard to get off of slacks before it freezes your leg...just ask me how I know.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowed In...Yet Again

I know, the story is getting pretty old, especially without pictures. I will try to rectify that bit after a foray into the winter wonderland...maybe.

See, I think I've mentioned my super-human strengths and weaknesses enough for you to nod knowingly when I say, the pressure is making my head explode.

Snow storm = low pressure. Combine that with 24-hours of heated air blasting through the apartment and I can't tell if it's allergies from all the mold and dust, or the storm.

My eyeballs feel squished. No amount of Netti-potting is making them feel any better...or my brain...which feels like it's got an ice pick sticking out of the left temporal lobe. I love sinus issues, don't you?

Anyhow, we got 3, maybe 4 inches of snow over here right by the water/Gas Works Park. All the extra insulation is awesome, really, since the temperatures are shooting up to like 30 degrees!

Did I mention I have a window that pretty much makes up the whole of one living room wall? Or a door to my mini deck which is entirely made of glass? Or HUGE windows in each of the bedrooms? I am freezing in this apartment that was NEVER meant to experience temperatures in the 30s for more than a few hours at a time. As I explained to my mom the other day, Seattle = NO SUN. So when they make buildings they make HUGE PICTURE WINDOWS and lots of openings to the sky to let Mr. Blue Sky come in and not have a whole city fall into such moroseness and despair as to visit all of the bridges (and we have lots) to take flying leaps!

Where was I? Right, watching the backs of my hands get all purple-veiny from exposure. This is a new and rather odd experience. I grew up with girls that had .0001% body fat and on days when we'd have PE outside and it'd be a little chilly (Los Angeles chilly, mind) I'd see their arms and legs go all splotchy purple and always wondered why and how seeing as my firmly padded self never got that way.

No, I have not lost weight. My body mass is still pretty much the same as it's always been. In fact, at almost 35 I'm a good 20 pounds heavier than I was at my lightest (i.e. fencing weight), and yet hello purple arms! (I can't see my legs just now but if they are doing the same thing under so many layers I am doomed.)

So yeah, any time the weather would like to turn up the heat, even just a little? I'd be super grateful.

And I'm sorry I've been super whiny of late...I know the rest of the US is in the middle of much worse ice and snow storms (hee hee, typed out "snot" first...I am 12), but as horrific as it got in Tahoe during bad storm weather? I never felt this COLD or helpless. Seattle is as prepared for this kind of weather as LA is for rain. (Don't even get me started...) I think it's safe to say that there is such thing as Global Climate Change and maybe cities should start investing in such "luxuries" as snow plows and salt for these kinds of instances? (And of course, cooling shelters and extra water for the horrible stuff we see in summer at the other extreme of all this...) But hey, that's just me talkin'.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stir Crazy...

I'm starting to lose it.

I just got off the phone with my mom and I couldn't help whining and lamenting how LONG I've been stuck in this apartment (the sidewalks are too icy for someone of my graceful ability *cough* to navigate) when she says, "Mija, it's only been a day and a half."

Has it? Jeebus help me, it feels like FOR.EV.ER!

My boss's boss gave us all remote access to the server. Even though I'm "officially" on sick leave/vacation/whatever leave code I'm supposed to use for not being at work, I can't not keep working...aside from it being a sickness, if I don't keep at the paperwork, I will fall so far behind that I will go even crazier!

But you know what? At work? There are so many distractions that I just had no idea. There is tea to make, mail to pick up, documents to sort, there are people to interact with, emails to share and/or delete, things to do that take you out of your chair and far away from your computer. Physically farther away from your office chair than the length of my apartment...waaaaaaaay farther.

I've found I need that separation. For one thing? My chair here at home? NOT the most comfortable thing in the world. It was a clearance item at some office supply store and sucked from day one, but it was cheap. I found I could do work for about 20 minutes then I needed to take a break.

I took the trash out today, just to have something to do.

Then I checked the mail.

Then I went through the apartment looking for enough recycling to justify yet another trip down the stairs.

I have promised both my mom AND Andy that I will not leave the apartment tomorrow if the streets and sidewalks are just as icy. What with the high today peaking at 24 degrees? I am so doomed.

Andy has been out of town, driving down to mid-northern California and now back, but he promised to chauffeur me in his studded-snow-betired 'rolla on Sunday as long as I did not do anything else that involved my car and ice and the streets. Even if it's not in his plan, I think this will include taking me to go buy chains for my Matrix so I can actually make it to work on Monday if the predicted snow does show itself on Sunday night and the freezing temperatures continue to be so stubbornly low that the ice becomes something we have to live with instead of something we just endure every so often.

Did I mention that the other day when it was 34 degrees out I actually undid my scarf because it felt so, um WARM?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am Stooooopid, But Still Alive

I need to listen to my inner wuss a whole lot more.

And maybe even other people, like Erin, who stated quite plainly that I should not go out in all this....WEATHER.

See, the flakes got itty bitty. My road is a "secondary SDOT road" which means though it's not likely to be plowed, it's pretty highly used and not buried under a fresh sheet of snow. Which means my inner Calvinist-Work-Ethic convinced me that I should put in an appearance and make sure STUFF GOT DONE.

Please everyone, remind me I am the smallest of cogs in the system. Me not being there? No big whoop. But anyway...

I figured I'd go in, get payment requests ready, and leave before the sun (hahahahaha, yeah I know we haven't actually see the sun in a while but you know what I mean) went down and ta da! Everyone would be happy and life would keep moving briskly along.

Using the snow-driving skills I honed in Tahoe, I got there in one piece, no biggie. The parking lot was ALMOST EMPTY. This should have been a sign. It started to REALLY snow then and I was all, "tra la la, no worries, it'll go away soon." In the time it took me to open my passenger door and grab my bag, the entire seat was covered in flakes. I looked like Frosty the Overweight Snow Beast when I got to the door (did I mention I was wearing 3 layers of clothes as well as my pea coat?), and yet, instead of turning right around, I went in.

I think I was there about 45 minutes when I realized the snow flakes were NOT getting smaller. In fact, the rooves (roofs?) across the way were quite blanketed and looking THICK. It was at that point that I realized I was being reckless and not thinking of my mother again (this thought usually pops into my head just before I get into worlds of pain--bike accidents, sailing into storms, hiking across volcanic rock with no water, etc.). I was going to have to drive BACK in all that, what the hell was I thinking to venture out!

So, I dropped what I was doing, gathered up materials that I knew I could work on at home, and left as quickly as I could.

I only just made it in one piece. Mostly because the temperature started dropping pretty much as soon as I entered my work, it had to have. When I parked the thermostat read 33 degrees. When I skated to a stop about a mile from my apartment, hello 27 degrees! We were all driving on ice. All of a sudden I felt like I'd inadvertently driven into a bumper car arena...Especially as the guy behind me stopped centimeters from my bumper. The fact that I could see the "OH MY GOD" expression via my rear-view mirror makes me think possibly millimeters.

My favorite part was turning into the driveway of my building. I was only going 10 mph if that, mind...but yeah, goodbye traction and hello BRIGHT YELLOW PYLONS that divide the driveway and protect intercom/machine where you punch in the code to open the garage door! This is where I think instinct or past lives must have come into play.

I grew up in Southern California. We have no seasons, much less snow and ice. Yet, from the first time Andy took me out in his little 'rolla to "teach" me how to drive in the snow and ice of Tahoeland? I got it. If you asked me to explain what I would do if a car went into an uncontrollable spin, I could not tell to you how to fix it, but I will turn the wheel in the correct direction and touch the breaks in just the right way to counter and control the car in real life. This really is my one superpower.

I kept my back end from hitting the pylons and skated (did I mention the ice) under the garage door--and that bit was just dumb luck...I would have HIT the closed door if I hadn't pressed the remote opener with anticipation as I do every day coming home from work...there was NO stopping to wait for it.

Yep, white-knuckled and the adrenaline rush was nice...but I think I need a nap now.

Remind Me to Hold Off on the Sarcasm Next Time

Oh yeah, it snowed. Is snowing still. Well, lightly. But this is not Kings Beach. We've officially accumulated snow and yeah, all quiet on the western front here.

And yet, how surreal is it for me to watch from my closed glass deck door, two small children decked out in outfits akin to the little brother in "A Christmas Story" dragging toboggans behind them?

After a few seconds standing there clutching my coffee cup and making my brain work, I realized they are headed over to Gas Works Park, obviously, and not the nearest hill...which would be the street. Which would be why my inner wuss is winning the debate as to why I am not trying to get to work just this second and am instead surfing the news and posting on my blog....that weeee little hill that sits just outside the driveway of the apartment building.

So innocent. It curves just so, and is therefor your standard dangerous blind curve on a non-snow day. Really, it's just asking for someone big and driving too fast to ram into my car as I make the right turn to go to work.

An active imagination is not always a good thing to have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Storm Watch '08....um Take 2!

So the storm of the Seattle Century that was supposed to happen on Saturday with the snow and the winds and the ice and the pain...brought the super cold weather (the ice and the pain)...but really? Not much more than a bit of bother.

But now, boy howdy, people are a pumped! Bread shelves are empty! Bottled water was scarce! (I actually wasn't looking for either, just happened to be in those aisles as I wandered lonely as a cloud through the market wracking my brains for a good xmasy style gift for my older brother and SIL. Alas, I failed...

But I was able to buy some rice and beans and tomato sauce, no runs on such items in this neighborhood; so even if I do get snowed in tonight/tomorrow morning (STORM OF THE CENTURY! and all) I'll have my comfort food at hand. I'm actually really craving fideo (fee-day-oh)...a kind of um, pasta dish that is actually cooked like mexican rice (long twisted angel-hair noodles are broken up, fried in a bit of oil, and then cooked with water/stock and tomato sauce in a sorta kinda 3:1 ratio and after salting, set to simmer for 20 minutes but not drained, never drained) and is yummy with cooked chicken thrown in for the protein and maybe a side of mole...

If I can't have my mom's tamales, I will suffer with comfort food of the non-assembly line variety.

BTW, if it is about 30 degrees in your home because the heaters have been off all day and you just happen to have your housemate's aromatherapy-lavender-and-who-knows-what-all-else stuffed shoulder-drape-able-bean-bag thing (that you stick in the microwave and then put on sore muscles?) that was bought on a whim because a "hot chick" was selling them from a mall kiosk around? Dude! 3 minutes on high, wrap that sucker in a towel and stick it in your bed 20 minutes before you get in.

Heaven.

But back to the post...right, so we are supposed to get snow, again. 1 to 5 inches this time, as it's better-safe-than-sorry to tell us that 1" part seeing as last time they INSISTED 6 inches!!! Cuz yeah, hello? Metropolitan Seattle? Are you sure? And we all laughed at them when the .5-1.5 inches did fall. Seriously? 1 inch of snow is enough to shut this town down. AND YET my work believeth not in snow days. So we'll see.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So the Problem with Making Fudge for the Workmates?

Is that you're up until after midnight as you must taste it to make sure it is not poisoned. This stuff is SO not for the sugar-challenged. (I use the recipe on the back of that marshmallow pooffy/fluff stuff. I think it made me diabetic.)

And here is my "it snowed" picture. Yes, I know, there are many Seattle-based snow pictures from last night/this morning around the internets...you'd think this being the third winter in a row that I've dealt with snow in the land of "oh it NEVER snows here" that I'd be all whatevers about it. But as my lil' bro said something about his never getting a chance to see snow and I am a brat and sent him a picture of what I could see out my window, I thought I'd share it with you all as well.

Hmm, how hard would it be to chop this baby up (I live on the 3rd floor) and have it be my xmas tree instead of my tortured little pine thing?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DEEEEE-NIED...

Bob the Builder (there is sound, no I don't know how to turn it off...I would if I could), the original "Yes we can" man is sold out.

Everywhere.

What is up with that? I have a days-away-from-being-four-year-old for whom those die cast builder um buddies? Construction vehicle's with faces, would be perfect for.

Last year it was Thomas. Seriously I had to fake the Tar-jey $1 basket dealies into looking like old Thomas cuz there was NOTHING.

This year? What kind of Thomas can I get you? We have rows upon rows of displays, die cast, wooden, ye olde plastic, you name it.

But Bob? Goooooood Luck!

As one very helpful, very young, and obviously was last around the pre-school aged when she was said, "There's Manny though. I know he's not Bob, but do you think the kid will really notice?"

The look on my face was enough for her to lead me on to the "Home Depot" toy selection as the "other end of the spectrum" alternative to soft, big, pre-school hand sized construction toys. No faces on these things whatsoever. A good alternative, yes, but also not worth buying as I could just see his little face fall as the little construction pieces were taken out only for them NOT to be Bob's building pals.

Fanaticism in small children will be the death of me.

So tonight I'm going to shop for puzzles and coloring books and fat markers and anything and everything NOT Bob related...sigh.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Horror Movie...My Life As...

So if you wear glasses and they have semi-small frames and you perch them lower on your nose than usual, do you ever get the sense that you are "watching" your surroundings as you do, say, a TV/movie screen?

And maybe because you could not sleep thanks to a freaky sinus infection that is making your ear pound and you toss and turn and toss and turn ad infinitum until you play tag with your snooze bar at far too early in the morning, the world, even through your glasses and a cup of coffee, still seems fuzzier (and therefore more video-tape quality) than normal?

And that fake/tee vee-like setting is leaning far more towards horror movie than say soap opera thanks to the gray and overcast and altogether poopie weather you've been having and did you all know they are forecasting SNOW for Friday???!!!???

So as you meander through the hallways trying to look like you remember what you were doing (really now, my women's self-defense teacher would be so proud at how purposeful I've been walking around today...), you keep expecting something big and bad and scary to jump out at you and there will be axes and/or chainsaws involved cuz really those were the movies you just could not stand and had to leave the room when the motors started up and your older brother would tell you not to cuz it wasn't going to be so bad so you just cover your eyes and wait until he would say it was over AND HE LIED as you peaked through your fingers and saw really bad effects (by today's standards but you were 9 and really your imagination filled in the missing details far too well) and yeah, that would be my morning thus far.

And you know what?  This is me on NO Sudafed whatsoever.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Interlude...

See, I planned on writing about my failed trip to visit an uncle's house and filling in the time with my dragging my mom into South Pasadena and seriously walking much too far in the too-hot heat, maybe in the wrong direction, looking for, of all things, YARN, preferably of the woolen variety.

But now I don't feel like writing about the trip or the wool. Life is intervening again.

My great aunt has passed away and I'm at a loss as to what to say...and maybe I'm especially weirded out as my mom mentioned her during the endless walk from where we parked to the store (10 of those LONG LA city blocks...or would that be Pasadena blocks?). It was definitely a "keep quiet and listen to your mom" moment for me as I had to concentrate on not dropping from the heat.

Seriously, it's kind of a shock. My cousin just saw her last week! She was hale and hearty and now she's, um, not. No one's even sure what happened. Heart attack? Blood pressure induced? Brain aneurysm? We'll know more in a few days.

She's my dad's aunt. I haven't had a chance to talk to him about it. I know it was with her and my great uncle that my dad went to stay with when he first left home to make his fortune in the world abroad.

It's harsh, all this dying. But I suppose it's that time of year...extra stress + colder weather + older folks...all that noise. It's just...hard.

So today I leave you with something living...even through my torture:
I was going to try to make a few home-made tree decorations...but somehow I think anything more and I might end up pushing this poor little guy over the edge.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Part the Second...Sugar and the Masses

So first, some background:
I'm not sure how it started...possibly a very bleak, gray day wherein the Finance Team was overworked, overtired, and possibly on the brink of losing the proverbial "it."

What, pray tell, could save the day? Sugar, of course.

Someone busted out candy and it was manna from heaven. Dances of joy were performed, chatting replaced grumbling, mini-rant sessions calmed nerves, all pulled through.

From that day forth a "sugar altar" was designated and periodically all bring in tithes to sustain the masses. One of the commandments of this worship dictates:
  • S/he who travels, must bring back treats for those chained to their desks left behind...
Or something. Wouldn't I make a good Historian?

Anywho, it's true, we ply one another with treats (candies, chocolate, cookies, chocolate cookies...) to make it through the more hectic times of the month. Some days one person contributes to our sanity, others...well we're not a very coordinated bunch, there have been times when the tribute has indeed overflowed and maybe lasted a few days...we are bad.

Knowing I was going to the land of Mexican Candy, also known as East LA, I asked my coworkers what I could contribute that they would eat?

Did I mention I work for a GLOBAL non-profit? We joke that Accounting takes the whole "global" bit rather seriously with our multicultural members, so I just knew someone somewhere would have a treat from the "motherland" that might fit into the same category as what I'd run across.

Sure enough:
So here we have de la Rosa "masapan" and La Colonial tamarind balls.

As my Philippine coworker chided, the masapan is a "cheap knockoff" of a favorite childhood candy of his. I'd'a been offended but yeah, his version, whose name I can't remember, involves chocolate powder. And as we all know things are better when you add chocolate... Except for masapanes. No way, no how, dude... These "peanuts confection" (how international they've become) is perfect as is, to me, who grew up munching their crumbly goodness. I guess if I'd grown up munching on the chocolate version, I'd have a different opinion, to each his/her own.

The tamarind was also a suggestion from the Philippine contingent as really, the Spanish brought a whole lot of the same stuff to us and them...but as another coworker stated, those balls are like crack candy! Which had actually been her suggestion when I asked what "delicacy" I could possibly bring back from East LA. Close enough.

What I don't have pictures of is my mom, little brother, and I searching for tamarind (not tamarind flavored) sweets. Who knew there were so many kinds and varieties and creative ways or marketing them! There was only one "miss" when we bought what we thought was real tamarind/chilie paste in what looks like one of those old play-doh dolls that you could add "doh" to and squeeze and "doh" hair would grow out of the top? Yeah, can you just see the Accounting Office sucking on those?

Me neither. So I left them with my lil' bro as he likes them a lot. Hmm, that would explain how he convinced us to buy them. Yeah, I'm a bit slow, I admit it.

I also don't have pictures of my mom, my nephew, and I finally locating everything and more at the local Panederia (sweet bread shop) and Carniceria (butcher shop). Yeah, my mom's 'hood has such places. Yeah, I'm a little amazed at how much the place has changed since I lived there.

I tried to get a picture of the sweet bread we bought, but um, yeah, it disappeared before I got the camera out...I'm not sure how it happened. Magic! Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why I am a Bad Blogger, My LA Vacation...Sort of, Part the First

It's not that I want to keep my vacation secret from anyone...really! But um, yeah, you know those picture thingies that people share with one another?

Weeeeelllll, there weren't any. I know, I KNOW! I bought a new spiffier than I'd ever imagined camera to have on hand and take eleventy-million fotos...and I just didn't. In fact, my older brother took more pictures when he was checking out my camera than I did, the entire trip.

No really. I suck. I know. I had dinner with fellow blog-a-holic Richard, and yeah, NO BLOODY PICTURES!

I just finished going through the ones I can post (I don't do the "post family pics on the interwebs" as I am a conspiracy theorist at heart and I just know the wrong people are scanning through blogs to steal baby pictures and make them into parts of their own blogs or blog forbid, make something perverted and nasty). Besides, as they are not my children, I don't want to get anyone mad at me, you know?

When did I become my dad?

Instead I will share with you some highlights:

So, like a good paranoid traveler who over-thinks the whole packing/3-3-1/TSA deal, I showed up HOURS before the flight and there was NO ONE at SEATAC Airport.

Andy was all, "where are all the people" at the "the white zone is for loading and unloading only" (oh wait, they don't do that at SEATAC. Anyone who has ever been at LAX knows that electronic voice from hell of which I mock).

I digress.

So, no people and I am too undercaffeinated to remember I even own a camera, much less record a re-re-creation of "Abre Los Ojos" (or single re-creation of "Vanilla Sky"), of the EMPTY check-in area for posterity. No fewer than FIVE Virgin America um, attendants (?) asked me to let me let them check me in.

Security/TSA lines? A ghost town.

AND YET! When I had voiced one of my cajillion TSA-over-thinking concerns to Andy the night before, he said my best bet was just to do what the person in front of me was doing and let it be. I joked that I'd be behind the little old lady who'd never stepped foot in the airport...a 'yup. Though he was a little old man. And no, no pictures. I mean really, would you bust out your camera in front of the people who are looking for suspicious activity?

"Hello nice man who can keep me from my flight. Me? Oh nothing, just taking pictures to post on the intarwebs about how great security is here! For serious!"

Um, not with my luck.

Instead, waited until I was waaaaay past security and all the good picture-taking stuff before pulling out my camera. And by then I kinda had to, seeing as I still had no idea how to use it and was determined that I'd figure out all its ins and outs BEFORE imposing it on my family. So sit back, relax, and be prepared for my slideshow from the edge:
Can I go on your airplane? Hawaii, LA, no big difference, who'd miss me?

I love the wall-o-window of this airport.
Too bad I'm not a "Saturday Sky" participant. The sky was kinda cool. My goal, however, was to try to get a picture a plane taking off. (They go faster than you think! Yey for quick shutter-speed!)

Yes, these are the kinds of things that entertain me when on too little sleep and/or coffee.
I'm just about positive my seat mate thought I was super-dork. Check out my view:
Get it? Virgin America? An American flag on the wing?! So easily amused.

And then I decided I had to know if the zoom worked:
Seriously I am uber-dork. And um, geographically challenged...anyone know if this is Mt. Baker? Maybe?

And then we get to pretty much the last picture I took until maybe the last day I was in LA, when I made my niece, nephew, and mom pose for me...and failed miserably. My nephew hates pictures worse than I do. Family ties, I tell ya'. But yeah, this is proof positive that if I don't start using my camera more, the picture police are going to come and take it away and give it to someone more deserving:
See this mess? Still ON MY WAY to LA here, and about to land. Yeah, I know, I should not have had the camera out, slap my hand next time. To keep this picture from taking over blogger, the only thing I did was resize it to make it itty bitty (megabyte-wise, it's pretty big when you click it.)

Check out what happens when I center and crop and once again resize the image to be SMALLER:
18 years I lived in LA; 4 of those years I had monthly visits to an orthodontist whose chairs all faced this sign and not once in those visits with multiple cameras on hand, was I ever able to get such a clear shot.

***
The week flew by. I spent most of it playing with small children, yakking with my mom, and little brother, making lightning visits to scattered family, exploring parts of S. Pasadena to find some yarn (oh yeah, baybee), exploring parts of El Sereno for candy/confections for the folks at work, and staying up far too late watching my little brother's copies of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (seasons 4 through almost all of 6).

All of the "fun" (picture-worthy) stuff my mom and I had chatted about doing was totally canceled thanks to the fires and the smoke and the smog and the unbearable heat that gave me a TAN within minutes of poking my head/arms outside, and the hacking coughs the little ones ended up with. So instead we played with trucks and fire engines and colored and watched cartoons. I suppose I could have pulled out the camera to document these things...but I think I mentioned before about my suckage?

And how funny that I could have lied to you all and just said, sorry, can't post them, see above about crazy-tin-hat-wearing tendencies...I am a bit silly, I guess.

Next time, pictures that aren't of the airport, promise.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Am So That Grumpy Lady at Work...

...Sigh...

I'm all for people being happy at work, really and truly.

But do you have to whistle?  So damned loudly?  When you're walking RIGHT TOWARD ME so I hear it full force?  Like you want me to stop what I'm doing at the copy machine, look up at you, and smile or tell you what a great whistler you are?

Let me tell you right now, I'm not going to.  EVER.

Call  me old fashioned, but whistling and busting out into song while people around you are trying to have conversations with outside businesses and the like?  So not professional. 

I mean, yeah, I have been known to hum while I wash my Tupperware IN THE KITCHEN...but not while, say, scanning the eleventy million credit card statements while inches away from people who are busy with other work stuff.  But hey, that's just silly old (grumpy) me.

This people, is why they invented ear buds, seriously.  Now if only I could get away with wearing them when I go off to collect my print jobs and make copies...

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Street Where You Live...

I have, what I feel, is an UNNATURAL need to watch "My Fair Lady" just to listen to that stalker song...mostly because I've only seen the production once, a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

No, I have not gone over the deep end and fallen into infatuation with someone; instead blame 3 years of HS choir that have obviously scarred me for LIFE.

It's that time of year when we gussied ourselves up and got ready to sing at masses and assemblies and the holiday concerts...practicing and practicing and memorizing the songs just in case the girl in the Alto section behind me ONCE AGAIN lost her binder and the music director made me go without because of course, I'd memorized the songs. Classic good-girl Catch-22 there. URGH.

If I'm not careful I break into a rousing round of "Christmas in Kilarney" while washing dishes...it's just awful.

So I've been absent a bit since coming back from Cali...(And yeah, have the LL Cool Jay "Goin' back to Cali" song in my head...But see how good I've been not linking to any of these tunes to harass all of you?? My 2 readers that is :).)

I fell into the "re-entry" dole drums and then it was Turkey Day; I contributed dessert:
Up front is an adulterated version of "Hazelnut Pear Flan" from a old Vegetarian cookbook I love so much I've dragged that thing literally THOUSANDS of miles these last nine years...but I don't like hazelnuts enough to hunt them down and then grind them into a flour...so I used Pecans, which were both easier to obtain and crush. And really, it's more like a cake than a flan...which makes it kinda harder to eat after a huge meal...oops...but maybe the extra "weight" is from the pecans? I never know just how changed a recipe is unless I make the original...and um, I actually never have with this one.

Of course at the back is your standard pumpkin pie. But I cheated without even realizing it...what I honestly thought was a can of organic pumpkin innards turned out to be "organic pumpkin pie" innards...so I only had to add the milk and eggs and I felt like I'd been cheated somehow...but everyone seemed to like it, so we're all good.

And now, maybe, that my post-vacation ennui seems to be ending (last night I dreamt of my cousin, and he stayed my cousin for the duration, yey!), and the SMOG-Alert sinus infection is healing, and the next couple weeks are back to the standard work, work, work, I might be back to posting more regularly...maybe.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mischeif Managed...

I'm ba-ack.

But I'm not in the right headspace. Too many things going on in there lately. I need to cut back on the over-dwelling and digging up of old memories. They hurtses us something awful sometimes. But it's like...how can I explain so I don't sound too birken-stocky for your tastes?

But really now, you've read about how I must tell a story/dream to make it reality, if you didn't leave then...it's kinda the opposite for some of my memories. I share them with friends and family to get them out of the lurking subconscious so they won't haunt me at my most vulnerable...when I'm sick or tired or...of late, sleeping.

I've had some very poor nights recently where I'm dreaming a scene from my real life but the "players" are all the wrong people. Or maybe I should just say that the main player, the one whom I'm having a great conversation with, watching the stars with, programing the VCR with...that person becomes all wrong. That's when I find I'm slipping into nightmare mode and the cause is one big, bad X who I'd rather went to far far away and stayed there...I mean really now, just when I think I'm all done and over and oh-blah-de, oh-blah-da, life goes on, yeah! He comes back...urg.

It's like those bad b-movies I watched as a kid where the main character thinks the guy helping him/her out is this swell fellow and s/he thinks they're gonna be okay and so UNLIKE The Goonies where the big-bad is actually a sweetie, this big-bad turns out to be the deranged/serial killer/devil?

Yeah, those kind of dreams. But my X plays center stage and I don't realize that he's not my older or younger brother, or my uncle or Lev or Andy or even Richard until he starts ranting and going off on me and laughing that awful laugh that makes me realize I'm in hell and would rather like to wake up now, please...but can't because I suck at controlling my dreams.

Because of this I am distracted and would much rather inundate myself with diverse things as NPR podcasts or reading teen novels that frustrate me cuz it's kinda obvious the author has never driven a vehicle encumbered by snow chains and that whole poetic Justice/suspending my disbelief is rather limited and yet! I can't stop reading the damned thing.

I think it's because her vampire universe is so much more positive and happy than the Buffy-verse or the world of Anne Rice. Or rather, that's my theory. If I wasn't longing for shiny happy things...and yes, I will interrupt myself just here...I guess I do believe this book about danger and dying and bad things happening to good people is light and happy compared to what's swirling in my head just now...The mid-sentence revelations in my blog posts are such amazing things to me. But yeah, if it weren't for that I think I'd have had to ditch the book by now.

See, I know it's all about anxiety and if I just chilled a little more the eye tick would go away and I could sleep better and maybe my tummy would stop it's weird gurgling rumble-nauseous trend and life would slowly get better...but I just got back from L.A. and gah! Life and stress and not enough people at work and the end of the year and did I mention stress? It's a bit much right this second...

And it was 42 degrees on my drive to work this morning. As much as I could not stand the heat of "autumn" in Los Angeles... (more in my next post) I was really rather missing my sweat glands this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On the Ground...

I was not lying to work when I said my family does not believe in the internets.

One of the first tasks I took on was to fix the family my little brother's computer.  Hello land of viruses!  I think I might have been infected by one...or maybe it's all the smoke wreaking havoc with my lungs?  Dude, fire season is upon LA and I'm just amazed.  Why go camping?  You can get that burning smell in your clothes and hair by just walking outside to your car!

It's no longer that bad this morning, a, yup, it really is 4 AM.  No, we are not a family of party-hardies...I do not know what I'm doing up except for the fact that I woke myself up by scratching too hard...my skin is so dry I want to either dip myself in a vat of cream...or rip the whole thing off and have it done with.

Good times, oh yeah.

So, seeing as I am cough, cough, the computer expert 'round here...I was able to reinstall the system and almost get it back to the factory settings...almost.  Can anyone tell me why there is no longer any sound?  I thought I'd installed all the drivers necessary, but um, nothing.  No, I have not done the internet search thing, mostly because I'm still looking for the paperwork/the right buttons to click to find what kind of sound card is in this machine.

Am I the only one laughing at the fact that the former English major is the one finessing the set up of the computer?  I own a mac for a reason, people!

Anywho...I really should try to get some more sleep before the craziness of my family's regular schedule starts up...and as awful as I look, I was tempted to try to get a picture of where I am sitting so that you too could be startled/play that game where you find the hidden objects when you realized that you I am surrounded by an army of sundry google-eyed stuffed animals in various states of wear.  No really, the water-winged Elmo that is "peeking" over my shoulder to read the screen just about made me jump through my papery dry skin. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Theatre of the Absurd

I think I must really hate to travel.

Or I am too big of a procrastinator for my own good...

Except I tend to make work deadlines pretty well...okay maybe 1.5 hours over today...but I was also working up cheat sheets for the peeps taking over my daily tasks next week. What a horrible little drone I am, vacaying while short-staffed. I apologized profusely but there were both plane tickets and my sanity to think about. It's been YEARS since I've seen my mom.

And yeah, it would be 12:20 AM, and nope, I'm not ready to go.

I did not take this long to pack for Italy...what is wrong with me?

Okay, maybe it's because my head is too full right now...maybe I can use this post as a bit of a pensieve.

- A couple of days ago, a friend of mine forwarded a link to a contest being run by the woman who used to be my best friend in high school--but is now not communicating with me. I guess it was nice to know she is still alive and stuff...but it kinda made me very sad and not want to go to LA. She lives there. There is a one in 5 million chance we'd bump into one another...but my odds are very strange of late.

- Please peruse a picture that I took last night in the parking lot:
It's hard to make out, but well, it's my passenger door which thanks to my lovely lady hump, got bumped open by complete and random chance and accident as I was pulling out the groceries. I freaked!

Why? Because I've related just how close the spots are to one another before, right? The object mere centimeters from my oh-so-big-and-metalic-and heavy-door?
That would be my neighbor's side view mirror that I didn't whack. Not even a touch or a bump or anything (boy are our cars dusty!) But I may as well have, the adrenaline rush was quite something.

I'm on some kind of a weird streak. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket? No really:

- Everything I thought of taking of taking with me? FITS into my carry-on. Yes, mostly shorts and short-sleeved shirts...and my birks. It's to be 90 degrees and clear pretty much all week. I'd be jealous of me too if it wasn't east LA I was going to. Now Maui? That would make me green. What totally sucks is that it'll be about 40 degrees going and returning...will I be the only one in line for LA wearing a pea coat and scarf?

Must finish packing...down to that thing I keep reading about on all the blogs and am so perplexed about, really...WHAT PROJECT AM I TAKING?!?! Really now, this is silly. 7 days, the pair of socks for my mom that I might just finish and hand to her right then and there, right? Sounds like a plan to me...and yet, what if I get bored with that, what if I need something else...Gah! What a nightmare!

I need sleep.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Fell Into an Event Horizon

Or something.

Still here...but um, yeah, nothing to write about as I'm currently busting my patootie to get my work piles in some kind of order for the vacay.

I need a rent-a-mom to keep me from choosing "Bunny Tracks" flavored ice cream over the only slightly less bad for me insta-salad and tortellini.

And no I haven't packed, haven't refilled my prescription, haven't even started writng up, much less crossing off the list of things I should have done by Saturday...I leave Saturday! When did that happen?

And my throat hurts...but I can't tell if it's because it's been so "dry-feeling" out (yeah, it's like misty and/or raining off and on for the last week and everyone is noting how "dried out" they/their skin/sinuses/throats feel...or if it's "that cold" that everyone is passing back and forth and all around at work.

Oh about LA AND the weather? Tell me there isn't something just W.R.O.N.G. with the world when weatherunderground is telling me it will be ninety-freakin'-four degrees at my parents' house on SATURDAY. I am not even kidding.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today, I Have Hope...

Cuz my boss-guy comes back from vacay, kaloo kalay!

I get to pass on my mantel of responsibility back to him!

Hurray! Dance of Joy! Bust out the PEZ and fizzy drinks!

I will poke out of my little world only after this cup has passed on to someone else, because really, keeping it super local here (like just in my head and what I've been knitting) is the only thing that has kept me from losing it lately.

Here's something else I finished, and a peek at my new glasses:
Presented with my new self-portrait discovery*, and my very wet tendril-like hair, Andy's new and improved hat! For the man who is very comfortable with his sexuality...actually the colors are WAY more subdued in real life, but yeah, there is a little pink in there.

So um, specks....

There were very small needles...US2's I think...and some German yarn...I think....why do I bother?

I cast on a million stitches though...well nearly. Somewhere in the world of 146. I knit until it was twice the length of my pinkie, folded the brim and connected the cast on to the live stitches cuz we are really bad with the hemming of things....then kept going, making Andy try and try and try it on until it was long enough and then the double decreasing started...I think I did PSSOs this time. And then it sat on the bookshelf for a while until I finally wove in ends (there was a knot in the yarn and I'd already finished it once...but TOO SMALL and yeah, had cut the yarn...)...but now, it's done.

Just in time for winter.

*And a hint to all your bathroom self-portrait peeps? Stand in front of your mirror like always, but point the camera at yourself. The LCD will reflect BEAUTIFULLY in the mirror and you will know just what you are taking a picture of. And NO NEED to go through the trouble of cleaning that mirror first!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

There May Have Been Some Knitting

So I should probably start dating my knitting BC and PC....Before Camera and Post Camera...seeing as I gave baby L&L her hat sans pictures...and even Lev got his hat with nary a snarling picture to document it...

Yeah, part of it is the laziness factor...part of it is that Lev's hat was still wet when he stuck it on his head...no excuses for the baby hat though...

But I finished this guy last night:
I haven't measured him, and yes, this one is a "he," but he's definitely longer than I am tall.

I really only need a scarf long enough to go around my neck a couple times...and yet...maybe it's the buried Dr. Who fanatic in me...and the absolute OCD-heebie-jeebies that left-over yarn gives me...if it is a scarf, I must use up ALL THE YARN for it...so I get stuff like this...fit for a person much much taller...or um much much colder than I.

More details once it's dry.

Monday, November 03, 2008

No Productive Week-Ending for Me

Does it shock and surprise you that I accomplished nothing this weekend?

I do have to get on the ball really soon. My dad's b-day is coming up and then immediately afterward is my trip to my parents' house and have I even let anyone know? Well, yeah, hi, I know you know...but except for Richard, I'm thinkin' most of the folks who read here don't live in LA anymore/ever did.

And I lie. There is one thing that has been on my list for 3 years now that I can finally cross off...for at least another 7 years...that is, if it lasts that long. I made a side trip on Saturday on the way to the grocery store... I finally upgraded my sony cybershot to the W-170. To give you a hint as to how long I've been plotting, planning, and saving? The W-55 was the one I had had my eyes on...and it had cost almost as much back in the day. 'Member, I own the cybershot, um 1.
I have to say it's a very satisfying feeling to spend money that I saved and set aside for. It really was no big thing to fork over cash I hadn't counted as part of anything but "camera money" for so long. Such a different feeling than BAM! Here's an expense you had no idea was coming and YOU OWE BIG, pay up, NOW. (Yeah, thinking about the accident bills my insurance will no doubt deny coverage on...just because...but then again...I am an odd duck and have emergency doctor bill money set aside as well.)

Where was I? Right! Pretty pictures! From my camera!
I mean, I really really really appreciate Andy letting me steal his camera so as to avoid fighting with my fisher price cybershot (1.3 megapixels, baybee), but I really really really will need my own to capture the sights and sounds of my niece and nephew.

Yeah, we had a whole 2 hours of sun yesterday...Andy took advantage and flew his kite. I took advantage and stood out on the hill and played with my camera.

It takes movies...with SOUND...but I don't know how to post those just yet...and they sound like "WHOOOSH, WHOOOSH, WHOOOSH" from the wind blowing anyway...not exactly exciting.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

If You Give an Accountant a Pumpkin

Remember how I mentioned the "Superman" song last post?

Right, well, seeing as I am superhuman, in my head, along with everything else going on...I volunteered to help out with the pumpkin carving contest at work. I was in charge of the tombstones:
Do click for big, we went all out with the details. We were so very proud! We were so very current! We were so very "scary" (to the accounting department at any rate). We were so very not the winners...

See, I don't want to seem all stereotypical about the groups of people who entered the contest...but I gotta be honest...our group is very creative, but cheap. I know, I know, we're the people that pay the bills and reconcile trips and make sure that you are not spending the company's money in errant ways...duh, it makes sense that we didn't go out and buy or use the embellishments that the winner's did...did I mention cheap? But it was fun. It is really cool how into it all the groups got. I do not begrudge the winners at all. I mean, it's not like we were in last place or anything.

Though I'd have had some words if this one had won:

I didn't get a picture of the winning pumpkin...by the time I had a free moment AND the camera in hand they'd already moved it off to the Halloween party location...which I skipped as I was ready to drop by 5 PM.

Bring on the weekend....

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Coulda Been an Awesome Manager...

Were it not for the fact that I hate people and just really want to sit in my office and do my work and not talk to anyone cuz the excitement and the thrill and the energy wipe me out before 10:30 AM...

Hi. You know that old proverb, "Be careful what you wish for?"

Not only did "Ding dong the witch is dead" run through my head on Thursday the moment I was told I would no longer have to deal with the un-deal-able any longer...but so did that little proverb, as I would no longer have to deal with the aforementioned starting yesterday...or more to the fact, starting last Friday at 11 AM...which was the last time said problem was in the office.

I think I need to notate the different stages of my manic nature...

When I first was told on Monday that I would be the representation of Accounts Payable until the real A/P guy came back from vacay, and/or trouble would return after her need for personal/emotional space, I personified the R.E.M. "I am Super, Man" song and went with the flow.

I have to say I love my department. Almost immediately people jumped in to help. Which was a very good thing because though I know HOW to cry uncle...I have a very bad habit of waiting until my arm has been twisted out of its socket and the pain has elevated me into a new state of consciousness.

Come Wednesday when we were all taking bets that I'd be all by myself for the rest of the week...I developed that headache that won't go away and is rather pressure/stress related and I was hoping maybe a physical change in pressure (rain was coming...) would make it go away...anything, god help me... It became PAINFULLY obvious to everyone around me that I could not do the job of three people even though I kept saying I was fine...maybe it was the extra gloss in my eyes? The pitch of my voice? The literal running around I did to keep up with the flow of paper? So I gave in and delegated jobs and organized and gave mini-lessons in procedure and did not keel over.

Thursday...yeah...I would have won lots of money.

Sometime near 3PM I lost it. The announcement had been made official and I no longer had a light at the end of the tunnel, cuz really, though I said I doubted her return on Wednesday, there was still that tiny bit of hope...I am a positive person after all...deep, deep, deeeeeep down.

I still have to go downstairs and apologize to the people I let it all out on...I honestly could not tell you what I said because my brain and my mouth were no longer on speaking terms...but it was some kind of cathartic because after that? After I got it all out and made it official that I was not going to keep things flowing as three people working full time in an already over-worked A/P office...the day got much better. It is amazing.

And this morning I was given the responsibility of coordinating next week...cuz you know, that is so very easy to do given it is Friday and Monday seems so very far away. Plenty of time to organize everyone AND get my work done, right? Right? Ri-i-i-i-ight.

Um, how did it get to be 11AM already? My list? you know that one I need to have all crossed off before the end of the month/week/day? Not touched...and I am supposed to leave early cuz you know, we don't want to add any more overtime to my already bulging time sheet...(well, management doesn't at any rate...I've got bills to pay...).

(Deeeeep, cleansing, breath....)

Oh well, there really is only so much I can do. It's not defeat, just admitting my own humanity.

And I have a picture to share, but it's at home...so...more later.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

You Know that Joke about Schools & Prayer?

It goes something like:
"As long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in schools?"

It took more than a slow and even count to ten...more than taking a walk down to the water cooler...more than mentally screaming into a pillow--for me to calm down. Yep, I busted out the first few lines of the "Serenity " prayer...

Nope, had no idea it was still in my head...I learned it sometime while still in gradeschool, you know, about the same time as the preamble to the Declaration of Independence? It was still in there along with all the obsolete WordPerfect shortcuts, what to do with that damned cheese sandwich in the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game, the password to my never used livejournal account, my CA driver's license number, and several other bits and pieces that my narrowly-avoided temper tantrum dislodged.

The brain is an amazing machine.

AAAaaauuummm.

'member how I said I would have to use this wee little space to rant if things did not go well?

Ya sure, you betcha.

I've been asked to be a wee bit more patient, that and everyone jumping in to help me out is the only thing that kept me from walking right out...cuz really and truly the tantrum that never blossomed was simply to keep myself from sitting right down in the middle of the office and bursting into tears. Teaching 7th grade was never this hard! Well, except for those times when I had to deal with teachers who I wanted to kill, Kill, KILL! Blood and guts and gore in my teeth!

Ahem, oops, where did that come from?

Anywho...if this makes no sense, I'm sorry, I'd rather keep it more obscure than not, you know, so I don't get fired. Unless I quit first, then boy oh boy will you get all the gory details!

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Did I Even Mention These?

Aren't they fun?
I've been wearing them all day....with my vans...yes, the heal is being felted as we speak. I've decided I just can't win and la la la, not thinking about it.

So they are the ubiquitous Spring Forward socks. I made absolutely NO modifications...and they fit! HURRAY! And before anyone asks me if I lost the ball band on the yarn??? OF COURSE I DID...it's something mountain colors...maybe?

It's a rainbow in my pocket! Or rather, a rainbow on my feet. It is so gray and dismal today that I keep sneaking a peak at my feet to remind myself what color really is! And I've been showing them off to my workmates...mostly cuz I have horrible babbling disease today and cannot focus enough to ask a question as a question and then I just give up and interrupt myself and say, "Look what I did!" as I life up my pant leg and people forget all about the nonsense I was spewing and instead we speak of socks and pumpkins and rainbows and kittens and ice cream.

Or something.

Is it really only 3PM....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Can't Even Come Up with a Catchy Title Today...

Dear 3 AM Mystery Caller,

I am not the future president of these United States of America. I do not need to receive any calls after 9 PM unless they is an emergency room involved or as my favorite Sicilian put it, "Death is on the line!"

Thanks to you, I am officially at the "Rum-Dummy" stage of wakefulness. You know the one 3 year-olds get into when they are avoiding their nap, fighting the good fight, and man are they about to drop? Yes 3 AM Caller, that is the gift you have given me today. And I hate you to the core of my being for it. Cuz I am also getting increasingly cranky.

And I know you are perturbed that I am using a misnomer, but "Midnight to 3AM Dumbass Crank Caller" simply does not roll off the tongue so easily.

All I can say is that favorite line of mine from back when I was about eleven, "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits!" And if it was some robo-election call gone bad because technology sucks? I hope you lose, BY A LANDSLIDE!

Sincerely Yours,
Too Damned tired to figure out a catchy name, either.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Under the 10 Day Mark...

Gah! I swear I posted more when I was traveling!

Okay, week + in review bullet-point style:

- I tried to go shoe shopping again...when will I just give up and admit defeat? All I want is some cute black shoes that I can wear with jeans OR slacks and I'm asking for too much I know, I shall slink away now. And can someone tell me A) When did I opt for brands my mom adores (i.e. Hush Puppies, Naturalizers, little old lady shoes?) and B) my kingdom for cinderella feet... and maybe c) where did all the real non-department store-shoe stores of my youth go?

- I was thisclose to quitting on Monday. I'll only fill you in if nothing happens after all our talks and meetings and more meetings... for I will need ranting space to keep my blood pressure in check.

- Point two would be why I worked 10 hour days beginning on Thursday and THROUGH the weekend and just wasn't in the mood to sit in front of a computer in my free time. So I'm still here...and I can actually stand to sit in front of a screen cuz...

- Last Wednesday I had my eyes checked....today I received my new glasses. Yes, new frames twice in two years. No, it wasn't just cuz I now have insurance and wanted something to placate my inability to have new cute shoes...it's something much grosser, and yes, I will share:

- Remember how I said I don't have acid coming off my feet/why are my socks falling apart (it's my Vans...hence the desire for new shoes, btw)? WELL...apparently among all my natural superpowers I also have the ability to corrode metal via the tops of my ears...or maybe I was possibly exerting too much energy/effort/it's called sweating people during the summer/sunny months and the finish on the ear pieces was maybe not so good and yep...CORRODED. Yes this grosses me out like you have no idea. Yes, this also explains why for the last few weeks the tops of my ears felt kinda itchy and not right.

- EEEEUUUUUUUWWWW

- Moving on...new glasses means I can actually make out your facial details down the hall/street/while driving! This is good now that we are in "All Summer In A Day" land and we're all desperate to make that eye contact so we don't kill/be killed while trying to get to work/home/the market.

- In order to avoid a George-Costanza-at-the-eye-doctor moment I made Andy come with me...that and the fact that I was not hopping a bus to/from the eye doctor made me in need of a ride. You do not want me driving when I can ONLY see far far away out of one eye (i.e. dilated). So while fully BLIND (don't you love that? Andy does not wear glasses and could not believe this is the practice of 99% of the eye doctors out there) I picked out/had Andy help me pick out glasses that actually fit and if not totally and completely, pretty much mimic my last pair, but maybe a little more cat-eyed and definitely brown instead of burgundy. Yeah, someday I'll take a picture but I'm still getting used to them and the idea of trying to take a picture and focus my eyes makes me want to hurk. (My prescription didn't change much, but with my eyes being as messed up as they are? Near-sited as well as far-sited? A little goes a long way. The doctor had a field day pulling out all sorts of tests and writing out all sorts of notes and having me look through prisms and doo dads and gee gaws...It's not everyday a case like mine comes up to Lake Forest Park, oh no... Though it does make me feel special, I would not curse my worst enemy with my eyes.)

- I really need to start getting ready for my trip down to LA...did I mention this? Week before the week of turkey day, clear your calendars! More on why I don't visit relatives during high holidays later, right now I think it's time to put my very tired eyes to bed.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Learning to Walk Between the Rain Drops

So is it just us sun-deprived folks in Seattle or are there other people out there who keep an eye on the radar and then as soon as the last raindrop has fallen bum-rush the outdoors to do their "thing" until the next weather cell moves in?

It's just us, huh, that's okay, I'm very used to be the odd man out. Ah well, at least there are pictures today.

Andy's latest obsession is para-kite flying. If that is not really what it's called, it's okay, I don't really care. It's all really just oh-god-the-kite-is-big-enough-to-lift-a man-off-the-ground, to me. Anything bigger than my 9 x 11 inch kite in he kinds of winds we see at Gasworks is a tad bit excessive, really. I mean it's cool, but come on:
This is a three meter kite. It is NOT the biggest one they sell at the kite shop. Do you see the tip of my shoe over on the left-hand side? Yeah, my job was to play dead weight. It's a job I am exceedingly good at. Given my awesome super powers, as Damage Girl (tm), there was no way I would be allowed to fly the kite, especially in the kind of winds we had:
Andy is unwinding the lines. Can you see the grass being laid flat by the um breeze?

So I didn't get either of the intense action shots of the day...I was a little busy getting out of the way for the first one as Andy was dragged into these huge cement structures right behind the launching area, greatly diminishing the amount of skin on his fingers...and my fists were too busy being balled up and up against my face so I wouldn't have to watch the landing for the second....But in between the gusts and then utter disappearance of the wind:
Andy got airborne, twice. Check out the sky. Even the kite was a bit intimidated. See how big it is? Andy is 6' 3.75" tall, so don't let his height fool you. Can you see the speck over on the left-hand side? WE WERE NOT ALONE. Three other people had kites and boy-howdy were they going to fly them!
Yes, his arms are being yanked out of their sockets. He considers this "fun."
I thought if I took enough pictures, I'd be able to present them to the authorities when he was dragged off into the lake...but the wind was blowing in the complete opposite direction...
Into the trees...

It was right after relaunching from the kite-eating tree that the wind became crazy-dangerous and there were easily four feet of NOTHING between Andy and the grass...he is TIED to the kite, mind you, so he landed somehow--no loud CRUNCH noise was heard, and he did this cool somersault maneuver and yeah...he was done for the day.

Like any boy, he wanted me to take a picture of his "war wounds" for posterity.
So yeah, about then the adventure came full circle, except Andy was maybe whimpering and limping a little as he wound the lines back up:
And I took on the job of dead weight once again:
Sexy hairdo thanks to ma' Nature.

Here is a super cool artsy shot telling us all we needed to get inside pretty darn quickly:
The rain came back full force about 20 minutes later.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rough and Tumble I am Not

And yet, how can I be so hard on socks?

Or is it me at all? I don't exactly keep up with any and all knit-boards/groups/lists/what have you. Has there been a big to-do about Fleece Artist sock yarn that I completely missed?

So maybe let me explain where my head is first. Here are the socks I finished back when it was still summer:
Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn "kit" in a lot of different colors that don't at all seem so pink in real life purchased at least 2 years ago.

Pattern - Totally made up to fit my stumpy legs: Using US2s I cast on um, was it 80 stitches? Maybe 76, I can't remember...and knit my heart out until I got somewhere near the middle of the leg. Then, instead of shaping I started switching out needles, one row at a time for US1.5s then US 1s. Yep, this kept the stockingette from making my brain ooze out of my ears from boredom. It also made me feel really smart for figuring out that you can carry a heck of alot of DPNs in one of those $.99 toothbrush tubey things.

After all the stitches were picked up and I was going to start decreasing for the gusset I switched back UP to US 2s in the same manner...then down again to do the toes.

These socks are so comfy! But they are not going to last very long at all.

I have worn them twice, TWICE, and my vans have pulled and pilled and "matted" (not quite felted) the heel flap and that bit I'd call my big toe's knuckle if toes had knuckles...you know, where bunions usually develop? Yeah, that bit. (I know I amaze you with all my fancy vocabulary, but you get the picture, eh?)

And yeah, the picture was taken this morning. But no matting to be seen thanks to my favorite as-seen-on-teevee purchase from the 80s! A $5 sweater shaver from Tar-jay. I think I shaved them to within an inch of their lives. This does not please.

I realized that this is my second pair of fleece artists to disappoint me in such a way. The second pair of socks I ever made myself is sitting in my sewing basket awaiting to be darned...A BASEBALL sized hole appeared in one of them after only maybe 6 wearings.

After coming to this realization that maybe this sock yarn and I are not meant to be, I had a huge sigh of relief that I haven't actually made anyone else socks out of this yarn! But then again, I've yet to hear back from anyone with regards to how any of my knitting has held up (or not) with the exception of Andy's "safari" cap (made with Lorna's Laces sock yarn). It's going to see it's fourth winter this year and really doesn't look bad at all. Granted, he's not wearing it on his feet.

I totally understand the whole "socks are meant to be used and worn out and yey I get to make more!" attitude, but dude! They should last more than a couple wearings. I don't have acid oozing out of my feet or anything...I'd think I would have noticed. And before anyone chimes in with the whole "maybe wool and you don't get along" or something similar...the "sunshine" socks I made from the Vesper sock yarn and worn much more often look a whole lot better than the "Dublin Bay"'s I made in fleece artist that might be a bit older, but not worn as often (the lace + windy winters = BAD socks for keeping warm.)

Yet another "live and learn" lesson, I guess.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PS...

Or maybe

"Addendum"

I whined about my desk job in real-time yesterday to an old friend and was reminded that I had a teaching job a while ago and didn't that involve hours of desk time...maybe to fall asleep over the paperwork I should have been doing at the end of the day...but I was actually one of those teachers my 7th graders (especially note passers) always hated, I taught from everywhere in the classroom. I was always standing and pacing and walking around and it is so not a mystery to me how I could eat ANYTHING and still keep my weight under control then, you know? Besides that whole not owning a car and biking/walking everywhere deal.

And yes, I made it through the day...but you could hear it in my voice at 4PM (as I was packing my bag and took one last phone call) that I was too tired to continue...

It was too late to nap...so I helped make dinner, and then I crashed, oh yeah, hard. When 3:30 AM rolled around today (oh yes, it happened again) I'd had about 6 hours of sleep...but hurray! I was able to convince myself to go back to sleep by 4AM! For at least another hour!

I hope this not-sleeping through the night thing goes away soon.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Non-Sequetors.../Bullet-point Posting

- No, your eyes are not deceiving you, it is indeed 4 in the AM and I'm awake and blogging about not being asleep. This must be the opposite to that whole "can't wake up" problem I was having last month. The universe has a weird/nasty/evil way of averaging everything out, it would seem. But yeah, 3 AM rolled around and BAM! Wide awake. Oh what fun.

- Thanks to all the headache-well-wishers! I am so thankful it was a Friday and the office is not-so-busy then and maybe I scared off a whole lot of possible queries with the absolutely gruesome look on my face. I now understand that whole "Miss looks angry" whisper my students had about me...I caught a glimpse of it as I went into the bathroom. It was a total, "DUDE! Is that really what I look like!" Moment. The crescendo of the throbbing and aching was at about quitting time though. I want to blame the weather, but WE HAD SUN that afternoon and as miserable as I felt, I thought I could happily suffer if I could just feel a ray of afternoon sun on my arm one last time before the cloudiness of winter hit us...

- Yes, it's happened. I've started appreciating that great ball of gas that burns me within minutes of my going outside, that has given me too many freckles as well as early wrinkles (2 years on a sailboat/4 years in the tropics is so not good for your complexion, le'me tell ya'). It was a sunny, crisp day yesterday but the brightness and the colors...I was so happy! I'm told winter will be back by Friday.

- Mental note to self: Find out the UW football schedule. It will make for easier decisions as to which grocery store to go to. I felt like WWIII had hit and I was the last to know, standing in the bread section of the store, shelves almost completely empty, people scurrying everywhere, grocers rushing around trying to restock fruits and cheeses and the longest line in the world in front of the deli counter.

-It made for an easy-time going out to dinner in Fremont though! The streets were EMPTY. The restaurant wait was so minimal we'd hardly started sipping at our fru fru drinks in the "over 21" section. Yep, knowing when the home games are might make for easier weekends.

- Andy has started looking out for you all...I have this knack for giving away knitted things without photographic proof of their ever existing. Not that I need a picture to prove to myself it happened...not when I've marked up a pattern within an inch of it's life. But when it's baby socks I created from scratch? As my friends' baby modeled them for the first (and only...) time, Andy snapped a picture with his itoy. If it weren't 4:30 AM I'd be asking for a copy to post right now...

- No, LLB (L&L's Baby) is not allergic to wool...she just grew faster than I anticipated. The good thing is that it her feet are only a half an inch longer than they used to be and I'd made the socks bigger than I thought I had. Hence her ability to wear them, once :). The joy about baby socks though is that they are SO SMALL! I can whip another pair out in a couple of hours! (Okay, yeah, this is me we're talking about so more like days...the theory remains the same, smaller socks on US1 needles are WAY easier than say socks for her dad.) I'll post about them as soon as I can. I also have a hat and a couple adult pairs of socks to show off...yeah, maybe I've been a little busy lately. Which leads me to...

- Sitting on my ass all day is not conducive to my happiness...unless knitting is involved. This accounting job is pretty much my first desk job, EVER. I mean, yeah, I've had jobs that required desk time and computer work, but you were also scouring bookshelves for patrons, pulling government documents to verify the data entry, filing patient charts and showing them to their rooms. I've never sat in front of a computer for four-hour stretches staring at spreadsheets and dealing with mystery invoices. What with my recent injuries, it seems that if I don't move every ten minutes my joints become fused. Yes, I AM that lady that took FOR-EV-ER to get up and move out of the table you were waiting for. Dinner with friends at a crowded restaurant is not the best place to keep getting up to stretch, afterall.

Hmmm, 5:09 and all is well...I think I'll go get ready for work. If I go in early enough I might be able to sneak out before I totally crash. Four hours of sleep is so not helpful to my or my coworkers' sanity.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Headache Mutterings

I need a vacation from my body. I feel like I'm in a very bad relationship, WITH MYSELF.

Okay, so you all know there must be something seriously wrong with me that I'm blogging during a headache of increasingly massive proportions...you know the kind that strikes behind your left eye and the only relief is either pressure on the eye (which will break off more cones and rods and cause more of those damned floaty things when you least need them to be there) or squinting a la Popeye and don't you feel so sexy and cool doing that? But yeah, I had to share.

So here's the thing, I am admitting defeat to the universe:

Fine, I am hurt far worse than I wanted to admit. So you can stop with the damp cold mornings that make my right side feel like I've been kicked all night! That make my shoulders feel like I've been carrying the world on them for far too long! That make my sinuses go screwy and make my teeth hurt!

I am not invincible.

(SIGH.)

What's super crazy is that I went out an bought myself a Costco-sized bottle of Naproxen Sodium and took one of those horse-pills this morning as my right side did not want to cooperate for neither love nor money (I tell ya' BAD relationship).

So as I arrive at work and am noticing, yeah, hey, I can get out of the car and the "rocks in the joints" feeling is almost gone...I notice the headache I've had all along. No really, I knew it was there, but I always have a headache, it is so much a part of me I rarely notice them until my eyes and sinuses come into play. But dude, my body hurt so much that I couldn't even TELL I had such a massive headache until the pains started to settle down...

Dude, my body hateses me.

Here is a picture Andy sent me from his iPhone back when there was still sun out...I miss the sun. For all you non-Seattleites, that space needle is just visible on the right-hand side. This would be the park I live 1 block away from. But no jealousy please, it's not like this is my view...I get to stare at the UW lab that is "touching" distance from my HUGE picture window. Seriously now, they do not need to see me as much as I don't need to see them. Someone in planning better have been fired.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So Out of It

I have all these plans for posts and updates and such...and they just aren't happening.

I have the lamest of excuses for today, at least...the batteries in Andy's camera are dead.

We go to Costco once in a million years for such staples as sugar, coffee, and of course TP, but we just never remember such silly things as BATTERIES for all the power-hungry devices that seem to abound in the apartment.

"So what about your fancy new military-grade phone with the camera?" You say? Derher, (in my best WB B-Bunny embarrassed voice) I forgotted to charge it and it is dead this one morning when I am up early enough to play with picture-taking and a couple things I wanted to document before I lose the notes I used to make them...

I am so good like that.

Aside from all this techno-lameness...I can't seem to get my act together enough lately to reply to emails, much less post something that is not whining or ranting or excuses...I think it's that time of year...or maybe the sun sucked out my brain.

See, Friday? Winter arrived. Seriously we went from 80 degrees and sunny to 60 and overcast. It kinda threw me. Saturday it POURED. Sunday I got my "traveler's cold." You know, when you go visit home/abroad/someplace else and on the third day you feel not-so-well and maybe a little sniffly and it's because your body is like "CURSE YOU FOR MAKING ME LEAVE HOME!" or something?

Yeah, only I hadn't gone anywhere. I shared with Andy the feeling that we'd been magically transported from like Hawai'i (seriously, we were having AWESOME weather) to Mordor ("It's still dark, Sam. It's always dark here, sir.") and he agreed with my "We're not in Kansas anymore" feeling.

We'd been sucked into the twilight zone. I wish.

Whatever magical weather we'd been having is gone gone gone and it took my ability to cope and get well and be organized with it...cuz lord do my joints ache and remember that little bicycle accident I just had??? Right. Cold weather is not conducive to healing. Make a note.

Urgh...all I want to do is sleep...I think I was a bear (or a hamster) in a past life...hibernation is such the way to go.