Monday, February 28, 2011

On clothes making the person?

This image was sent to me by three different people my freshman year of college - they wanted to know if I had really pieced my face. This girl isn't me, but I used to look like her. I guess. Without the face piercings. Or the spiked hair. Blue, yes, but spiked, no.
I have never been what one would call conservative, clothing-wise. I guess I've always been more of a Claudia than a Mary Anne, if you follow me. Actually, I was probably more of a Stacy, because I am pretty sure I never owned red Doc Martins that I wore with red suspenders and earrings made out of feathers and newspaper, like good ol' Claud did. ANYWAY, I was into punk and shit through most of high school, so there were a lot of ripped clothes, safety pins, thrift-store t-shirts, and so on. I also had blue hair, on and off, through most of high school and college.

I went to a very conservative, small, suburban liberal arts college in upstate New York. I was the only girl on my floor with short hair. I'm not exaggerating. I went to school with some of the preppiest of the preps - to redeem myself in the metaphor arena, I was the lone greaser in a school of Socs. I was pretty lonely there my freshman year, but I worked really effing hard to get people to see me for who I was, so I didn't stop dying my hair or thrift-store-shopping, and by the end of the year I had made some awesome friendships. To be frank, it didn't hurt that I'm quite smart, because that meant that any time kids who were judging on me got assigned to work with me, I carried more than my fair share. One of the highlights of my college career was at the English Major banquet, right before graduation, where the head of the department described his trepidation at seeing me - five feet tall, Chuck Taylor hi-tops, blue hair, and knitting in lecture, and expecting me to be a slacker, but how quickly and soundly I proved him wrong.

Then I started student teaching, and to make things easier on myself I dyed my hair brown. I dressed in button-down shirts and sweaters and khakis. I was a little tired, honestly, of having to work harder than my peers to prove myself. I knew that the immediate reaction to my appearance was to assume that I wasn't going to work as hard or I'd be mouthy or I wouldn't be "a serious student" or whatever. So, I changed my appearance, but not my personality, and I passed as a "normal."

When I finished my student teaching, I was offered a job teaching. I graduated from college when I was 21, and I was going to be teaching seniors. Two of my students were 18. In an effort to maintain an appropriate distance, I kept the conservative thing going. I also found teaching physically exhausting, so I spent more time sleeping and less time going out to shows. Over the three years I spent teaching, I found myself fading. I liked the job itself - the working with students part - but I really had a lot of problems with the district and the school I was in, and I was pretty unhappy. This manifested itself in my totally unenthusiastic modes of dress. Khakis. Neutrals. Flats (a necessity for standing all day, but did I always have to wear plain brown or black?).

When I started the job I have now, one of the first people I met is my work-best-friend, who has several visible tattoos. In my third month, I asked my boss if it would be a problem if I dyed my hair blue. She looked at me weird for a minute, then asked me why she would care what color my hair was. I dyed it blue that weekend. And for the first time in four years, I felt like myself again, sartorially speaking.

I feel more comfortable when I'm dressed in interesting clothes. In the time since I started dying my hair again, I've also started investing more time in how I dress. I like fun clothes. I like putting things together in new ways. I read a whole bunch of fashion blogs. And I feel more confident when I dress in a way that makes me feel good. I've noticed that I dress less punk these days, even in my off-time, but that might just be my embracing of slightly more grown-up styles (I mean, isn't it a little sad to see a forty-year-old balding punk guy, wearing the same ratty leather jacket he's had for twenty years?). But even the slightly-less-loud versions feel like me. I really like being back in a good place, appearance-wise.

How do you describe your personal style? Have you ever changed your style to fit in? How did it go? Any punks reading this?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adventures at the pound

Sad face: we didn't end up getting that new dog. We got to the pound early and everything, but Numbers 1 and 2 from the list were already there. So he got to go home with Number 1, and we started our search over. (And interestingly, the woman we worked with at the pound said she actually thought it was going to come to blows between the people there waiting for him.)

While we were standing in line (which was about twenty minutes deep, for some reason), we struck up a conversation with the people in front of us, who were only there to get paperwork on the puppy they'd recently adopted, but who told us about this very sweet little girl dog who had just been brought in last night. We went to visit with her, and she's freaking cute. She appears to be some sort of Jack Russel/chihuahua mix, except that she wasn't insane. We decided to get on the list for her. The complicating factor is that she is micro-chipped. This means that not only did her owners care enough about her to pay to have her micro-chipped, so they're probably looking for her, but that the pound legally has to notify the owners and then hold her for ten days. She won't be available for adoption till March 9. If no one has claimed her by then, she's ours.

While we were waiting to get on the list for her, they walked by with a dog who looked JUST LIKE ROOSTER. Same weird body shape, same floppy ears, same weird part down his back where his hair is too long. Because we know the chances of someone claiming the little girl are pretty good... we got on the list for the Rooster look-alike too.

I know. I'm a sucker. And it gets worse: he's available on March 3, almost a week before she is, so we could conceivably end up with both. We are Number 2 on his list, so we're actually almost hoping that someone adopts him, so we don't have to pick between them.

We're planning to bring Rooster in on Wednesday for another meet-and-greet with both of them (separately, of course). Man. This is so much more complicated than it first seemed.

Change of subject: without admitting to having watched three episodes of Bones while Andy was at work this morning, I did spend some time today wondering what the forensics team would be able to tell about my life. You know, if I were a dead body and they were trying to piece things together. And if they weren't fictional. I think that show is making me morbid.

What's your weekend like so far? Am I a sucker for signing up for both dogs? Reassure me!

Friday, February 25, 2011

This and that

So I finally finished my first just-for-me knitting project in a long time! It's so warm and comfy, and it's just like wearing a security blanket all day. The only problem is, it's kind of big and cape-ish, so I think I may have looked like Dharma's mom, Abby, from Dharma and Greg (that's her above). I shared this fear with Andy, who pointed out that I wasn't wearing any crystals or patchouli, so I should have been just fine.

It snowed ten inches in my city today, and my new car doesn't have an auto-starter OR a snow brush. Oops. Today I was the asshole scraping my windshield with my mittens. But I'm still better than the asshole who cut me off because he hadn't bothered to scrape his rear window. Seriously, if you drive in a snowy climate and don't clean your rear window or your mirrors, you're an asshole. That's all there is to it.

In regards to not getting my hopes up about the new dog, I'm searching Craigslist for crates for him. Also, new name suggestions include Chainsaw, Ferdinand, Rumpelstiltskin, and Emily Dickinson (who, for the record, is one of my least favorite poets. I'd sooner name him Sylvia Plath. Or Chaucer.). If we don't get that little guy (I HOPE WE DO!), we're going to check out an adoption event in our town tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight we're going out to celebrate a friend's birthday, which is going to be fun. I've been doing this thing where I don't drink beer during the week. I really like beer, a lot, so it used to be that I'd have one with dinner. But I really like good beer, like Sam Adams and Killians and Dundee, which is absolutely not light beer. So in an effort to really do things right for my body, I cut out booze during the week. It's been going pretty well. And it means that by Friday night, the word "beer" makes me start salivating.

Any thoughts on names for this guy? Any thoughts on beer? What are you up to this fine weekend?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Various updates

1. The dog meeting went really well! Rooster usually seems to think he's an alpha dog (even though he weighs 30 pounds) right up until the other dog looks at him, at which point he hides behind me or Andy, but he and the possible-new-dog sniffed each other and wagged their tails then went on about getting petted. It was seriously the best introduction to any other dog I've seen with Roo since we got him three years ago. Now it's even harder to not get my hopes up that the new guy comes home with us.

2. I realized yesterday that it was three years ago this week that we got Rooster from the pound. I was teaching at the time, and had the week off for February break, so I went and looked at dogs while Andy had to work. Weird.

3. My yarn is still kind of a mess.

4. The Kid's pregnancy is going really well! She's having a girl (did I tell you that yet?). She sends me occasional pictures of her baby bump, which is getting big, and frequent texts about how much she wants to kill her neighbors for playing rap music too loud in the middle of the day. I don't think the pregnancy hormones are doing anything for her patience levels. I can't wait until she's back on this coast!

5. I'm really, really hoping that Andy will finish the spackling today or tomorrow so we can paint the upstairs bathroom this weekend!

What's up with you-all? Also, please suggest a name for the sweetest dog in the world!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Busy, busy, busy.

Gorgeous (and free!) pattern via feministy
I'm in the middle of trying to untangle some really pretty, soft, fluffy, pale grey alpaca yarn so I can start knitting the pattern above. It's a scarf! With leaves! And it's named after a character from Bones! I'm obviously pretty excited to get started, so I wish I had been a teeny bit more effing patient instead of making a giant mess out of winding the yarn from a skein into a ball.

I'm meeting up with my knitterly friends in a bit so we can trek to a new-to-us yarn store, and I'd seriously be ashamed for any legit knitter to see the mess I've made, so I have to go take care of that.

Before we go to the yarn store, Andy and I are taking Rooster to meet a possible new dog friend! The way it works at our pound is that they hold the dog until a certain date, and you can sign up for said dog during the holding period. On the day and time they release him, he goes to the first person on the list who's signed up for him. We signed up for a sweet little Dachshund mix (note to self: if we get this dog, learn to spell Daschshund) but we're third on the list, so we won't know if he's ours till Saturday! It's hard not to get my hopes up. Making sure he and Rooster aren't arch-enemies from birth is an important step, don't you think?

Also, we're accepting suggestions for names for Dog No. 2. I really like "Monster" but am worried about it sounding too close to Rooster. Thoughts?

Have you ever gotten a pet from the pound? Any tips on not making a mess out of winding yarn next time? What would you name my second dog?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On people being weird.

So I was exposed to three different, totally bizarre things today that I want to share with all of you.

1. Sand-pouring ceremonies. Have you seen this shit? I mean, no offense to you if you're totally into this, but I didn't plan to come away from my wedding with a craft-fair piece of clutter.

Apparently, people actually do this.
We had one of those candle-lighting things at our wedding, which was pretty tacky to me, but we had someone important to us get us a candle for it, and it gave us a chance to have Andy's sister sing a really pretty song while we stood around and people stared at us. I guess the sand-pouring thing is only a little bit crazier than the candle thing, at least symbolically, except that I don't really get what the layers of sand are supposed to represent. At least with the candle thing, there's only one flame that represents the two people.

In a somewhat related bit of crazy, I found out my work-friend's friend almost included a broom-jumping ceremony in their pagan wedding thing which also involved sand-pouring. I seriously think that two white folks performing a slave ritual in honor of some goddesses or something would be pretty offensive. But then, I'm kind of an asshole, so whatever.

2. My friend sent me a link to a knitting pattern for a shawl for a chicken. I'm not kidding. The website on which she found it also features updates on what's happening in the lives of the author's Sims characters. With screenshots. It was riveting. I couldn't stop reading about which Sim refused to take out the trash and which one peed herself because she was having too much fun painting. It is 2011. I can't believe the Sims are still a thing.

3. I got a book out of the library on spinning. I know how to park-and-draft, which is basically where everyone starts with a drop spindle, but I need to know more about, like, what to do when my spindle's getting full and how to ply the singles and stuff. (Does any of this make sense to any of you?) Well, the book I got turned out to be part of an awesome series on self-sufficiency. I think the publishers are trying to help people get ready to live in a post-apocalyptic world. Other titles in the series include: Keeping Chickens; Cheesemaking; Beekeeping; and Preserving. I seriously found myself thinking, "I live in the suburbs so I don't have to do any of that." I know there's a big push for local, sustainable agriculture, but I have no desire to start a farm. I like sleeping too much for that shit.

However, I do think that my fiber skills would be quite helpful in a post-apocalyptic society. I'd trade my yarn and hand-knitted goods for some of your chicken eggs, or whatever. I get it.

1. What do you think of sand-pouring ceremonies? Am I just being an asshole, or are they tacky? 2. Do you still play the Sims? Do you blog about it? 3. What skills do you have that would translate well to a post-apocalyptic world? (Answer one, or all three, or whatever! There are no rules in the Land of Awkward!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bonus post: dinner conversation

Me: Did you know that Netflix is trying to do away with the dvd mailers?
Andy: Yup.
Me: Man. It's so interesting to see the progression of that business model.
Andy: That's the most grown-up sentence you've ever said.
Me: Boogers. Fart, fart, fart, piss.
Andy: I'm comfortable with that.

Things I am good at and also not so good at.

Things I am good at:
  • Napping
  • Sleeping in general, really
  • Reading a lot and being pretty fucking smart
  • Watching Bones before Andy gets home from work
  • and then imagining that every creak my fifty-year-old house makes is a murderer
  • Imagining bizarre worst-case scenarios in my own life (see: creaking floor = murderer)
  • but encouraging the crap out of everyone else
  • Making delicious, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes
  • Putting fussy babies to sleep (my secret: talk to them, about nothing, for a long time in a monotone voice. Basically, I bore them to sleep.)
Things I am not so good at:
  • Getting going on time in the morning
  • Resisting the urge to make sure there's no murderer hiding behind the furnace in my creepy laundry room
  • Dancing without looking like I have some sort of degenerative nerve condition 
  • Being as forgiving with myself as I am with others
  • Being patient (we got on the waiting list for a friend for Rooster, but we won't find out till Saturday if he's ours or not. It's killing me!)
  • Listening to modern music without making disgusted faces a lot. Seriously, what is going on in the music world today? Why did The Juliana Theory have to break up? Is emo dead??)
  • Pretending to give a shit that it's not cool to like emo in an unironic way. The Get Up Kids and Brand New 4ever, or something.
What are you good at? What aren't you so good at? Share!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On being awesome at weekends

I was complaining to my sister about only having Seasons One, Two, and Five of Bones on DVD (I know, first world problems, right??), so my sister just emailed me her Netflix password so I could stream it through my Wii! She also included the sentence, "Don't tell it to anyone else or I'll kill you." I think pregnancy really agrees with her, hormonally speaking.

We had some friends over last night and ate a Reuben meatloaf, which sounds either weird or just plain gross, depending on your level of adventurousness, but HOLY CRAP IT WAS SO GOOD. I typically hate sauerkraut, but in this it just adds a new level of flavor without being gross and vinegary. Do yourself a favor and try it out. Note that the recipe is only two servings, so you'll want to double it at least, even if you're the only one eating it.

Today we're starting the search for a new dog-friend for our mutt, Rooster. He's awesome, but he's so happy when he has another dog to hang out with. We also are kind of busy people, and we feel like jerks when we have to leave him home by himself. We're starting at the city pound, which is where we found Rooster, before expanding our search. Wish us luck!

What awesome things are you up to this weekend?

Friday, February 18, 2011

On being twelve inside

Image depicting how I felt today via
Any time I get feedback from a boss that is less than perfectly positive, I feel like a twelve-year-old who's getting in trouble. Today my boss told me (in a regular one-on-one meeting) that my numbers are totally awesome, but that they're that great at the expense of my accuracy. The people who work on my jobs after me had noted some occasional problems, so my boss wanted to bring it to my attention so I can try to balance the numbers with the accuracy and still be awesome.

My first thought was immediately to start listing mistakes being made by other people that I've noticed. Because I get super-defensive and want to remind her that other people make more slash other mistakes than I do. Then I thought about pointing out that the mistakes she pointed out were weird, or justifiable for this or that reason, or invalid, or something. Because I don't want her to think I'm an idiot. Then I wanted to demand to see figures on other numbers of mistakes made by my coworkers, so I could see where I stand.

Of course, because my inner twelve-year-old is a sissy bitch, I nodded a lot, took notes on the feedback, asked clarifying questions, and promised to slow down a little to try to get things back into shape. Then I spent the day feeling like I had gotten a D on an important test and I was going to have to stay after for detention or something - that awful knot in my stomach and triple-checking everything I did. Ugh.

The best part is, if I were to ask my boss how bad this stuff was, with 1 being "it's totally benign," and 10 being "firing is imminent," it would probably be about a 3.

Thank GOD I'm having awesome people over for delicious dinner and then raucous board game action tonight!

Do you overreact to negative feedback too? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three quick things.

1. I am hosting my knitting club tonight. Actually, we're spinning tonight, which is even more cool and not at all a weird thing for twenty-somethings to be doing. I've spent the last hour getting the house into passable shape. But they'll be here in a little bit and I still have to figure out how to make something appetizing out of half a loaf of stale Italian bread and the contents of my fridge, and I have two huge laundry baskets full of clean underwear sitting in the living room. I might just stick the laundry in the bedroom, which will mean we will root through the baskets every morning until we're out of clean stuff again.

2. Speaking of clean underwear: I bleached a load of whites last week. Today I'm wearing a pair of undies from that load. Got to work this morning, went to the bathroom, sat down to pee, and went, "Who the fuck has been swimming?"

3. I am so mad that Dove stopped making the face lotion I was using. Apparently they don't make any face shit anymore, and I'm having a hard time finding something that works. I have dry/combination/sensitive skin, and basically all the shit that's out there is for fucking oily pizza-faced motherfuckers, apparently, because I've tried like three lotions (which aren't cheap!) and each time I ended up all desert-y, which my face compensates for by pumping out oil like whoa. Do any of you have dry skin? For the love of god, tell me what you use, because this Oil of Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer is full of shit. And I don't care about anti-aging or firming or highlighting or what-the-hell-ever else, I just want some goddamn lotion that doesn't cost $37 an ounce. How the hell does everyone else know what to use on their skin?

How do you clean your house in a hurry? Do you have dry skin? Please share your product reviews, so I can learn from you and be a better person or something.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TV shows from my childhood

Totally awesome image via
...that I would like to rewatch to see if they're as awesome as I remember. In no particular order.

Yes, I did have incredible taste as a child and pre-teen. And yes, it would have made more sense to try to find clips of these shows online to link to (instead of the Wikipedia articles), BUT I seriously don't want to watch them and have my rosy memories of them dashed.

What childhood shows are you afraid to tarnish with a re-watch?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On marriage

Picture of me and Andy in forty years via
Do you all fight with your significant others? Andy and I have had two real, actual fights that I can think of. The first was right before the wedding, about how much I had spent on his wedding present - he told me it was too much, and I got it anyway, and he got mad, and it hurt my feelings because I felt he was important enough for any amount of money and so on. The second was last summer, and involved me having way more than my fair share of champagne at a wedding, and then not picking up on his attempts to change the subject when I was talking to Andy's less-than-empathetic father about a touchy family issue.

Mostly, we talk things out. We're both middle children who tend to be the peacekeepers in our own families, so we start potentially dangerous conversations with sentences like, "This isn't really a big deal, but could you..." or "I'm not trying to start an argument, but...". We also both play a game I call "Assumption of Positive Intent," wherein we try to pretend that the irritating or problematic thing is NOT deliberately crafted to drive us crazy. For example, the other day Andy left little whiskers all over the bathroom sink after he shaved, which I think is gross. But I reminded myself that if he had stopped to clean it up, it would have been fruitless because that's the bathroom we're in the middle of spackling and painting so it's a giant mess now anyway, and we would have been late. So I let it go.

I've been thinking about marriage a lot lately because one of my best friends is in the beginning stages of divorce. A lot of the problems she and her husband have had over the years come down to communication, which was never really a strength of theirs. It makes me wonder if Andy and I tend to communicate in the same ways, or if we've adapted to each other over the last eight years. I've also been wondering if hearing about my marriage is hard for her - it's not like I'm bragging to her, but she knows how happy we are together and stuff.

What are your marriage secrets? Anyone want to chime in on how to support a divorcing bff?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Obligatory Holiday Post

Dang, this wreath is cute. Too bad I'd have to take down the Christmas wreath that's still up to hang it.
How are y'all handling this lovely Valentine's Day? [Note: I say y'all an awful lot for someone who was raised in upstate NY.] We don't typically do too much - like no flower deliveries or surprise jewelry or whatever - and I'd actually be pissed if we agreed to not get each other gifts and Andy did anyways, because that's not fair.

Tonight we're having lobster (it was on sale, and they're waiting in the fridge for me to murder them. Not sure how to feel about this. I've only been eating meat again for like a year, and I've never had a chance to meet my dinner before.) with lovely Kerrygold Irish butter and baked potatoes and broccoli, and watching a movie on the couch with our fluffy mutt of a dog and snuggling. Andy gave me my "present" early: we went to bed at 9:30 last night. I do not mean any innuendo by that. He knows that sleeping is in my top three favorite activities, so we turned off the tv, headed upstairs, and were snuggled up falling asleep by 9:45. Who says romance isn't dead?

Hope you're having a lovely day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lovely lazy day

...for me, at least. Andy's upstairs spackling, but I'm on the couch with a library book, the newest issue of Glamour (what? Fashion is awesome.), and awesome Saturday programming on PBS. So far, I've watched Ask This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, Ciao Italia, and Lidia's Italian Kitchen. I think The Victory Garden is up next.

It's snowing outside - sometimes just a dusting and almost sunny, sometimes huge gusts of wind and heavy, thick snow. But I've got a thick sweater and a hand-knitted blanket (the first I ever made! I made it for Andy as a Christmas present when we were dating. He told me he had no idea I could do anything that complicated.) and a snuggly dog who needs a haircut.

Later, we're going to eat leftover pizza and watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Wonder if it matters that I've never seen the first one? And I'm planning to get through a lot more of my current knitting project so I can wear it at least once before it's too warm outside!

What awesome weekend plans are you working on? Anyone want to share budget-V-Day ideas?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three quick things.

1. It's no secret that I'm a knitter, so occasionally people think of me when they have extra yarn. This week at work, one of my coworkers brought me a giant shopping bag full of yarn of all colors, mostly in full skeins, that she found in her house! The problem is, I'm kind of a snot about the yarn I like using, and the bag's full of acrylic stuff that I wouldn't have picked out for myself. So I thanked her graciously and told her I'd share the wealth. I'm going to offer it to my mom to see if her youth group could use it for anything, and if they don't want it, I'll donate it to a local women's shelter. The residents at the shelter I worked at really liked having something to keep their hands busy. Wasn't that nice of my coworker to think of me, though?

2. The upstairs bathroom is coming along pretty well. Tonight there will be spackling and sanding, repeatedly in thin coats, so that next weekend we can tackle the painting! You better believe I will be spending some time this weekend at Lowe's, finalizing paint colors and daydreaming about fixtures.

3. I'm almost done with The Hunger Games trilogy, and I almost forgot how much I really like young adult fiction. Any recommendations for a new series when I finish this one? (PLEASE?)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On February being blah

Picture via
February is not my favorite month. Really, all it has going for it is that it's short, and that when you're a student (or a teacher!) you get a week off in the state I live in. But even that is a mixed blessing: traditionally, February break is held on what's typically the coldest week of the year, to save the state and districts the costs of heating the school during that time. No joke.

February in upstate New York tends to swing back and forth between the mid-30s and the lower teens. Yesterday it was 36°; today it's 16°. So it thaws, resulting in massive amounts of disgusting slush (my least favorite part of winter), then the slush freezes solid and slippery and makes walking anywhere dangerous. And heaters are still running full blast, so my skin is all tight and itchy and in desperate need of more attention than my three-minute-long, scalding hot shower every morning. 

Usually, Valentine's Day means at least one fancy night hanging out with Andy, but we just bought a car, so our entertainment budget is a lot closer to $0.00 than $FANCY DINNER. And it's so freaking cold here that I don't particularly want to get gussied up to spend my evening at McDonald's and the dollar theater. I know we can cook a nice meal for ourselves and watch a movie at home, but then how is it different from, say, any given Tuesday around here?

So I'm looking for some pick-me-ups. I'm thinking maybe some fancy new homemade bath products or a new accessory or even just some lovely pictures to daydream over, instead of eating leftovers and sitting in my cold house.

What do you do to perk yourself up in February? Suggest anything! (Please, for the love of Pete, suggest something.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big plans for the evening

I don't have the Kindle edition but was too lazy to grab a better picture.
Have you all read this series yet? My coworker brought me the whole trilogy this morning, and I was on page 113 by the time I left work. I spent both of my fifteen-minute breaks and my lunch reading (devouring? Because it was my lunch break?) this thing.

I get it, everyone. It reminds me of Gathering Blue, which is high praise for a young adult novel. If you haven't read it yet, go get a copy and then we can have a book club about it.

Sorry to everyone who doesn't give a shit about this, because I'm not posting anything remotely interesting. In fact, I'm ending here so I can go read more before dinner.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Possible names for my band

When they eventually discover a cure for being almost-tone-deaf, I'll be ready. Here's a list of names for the band I'll start when I can identify a note. Most of these are phrases pulled from everyday conversations in my day-to-day life.

  • Mike's Surprise Illegitimate Love Child
  • Stick It to the Peanut Butter Man
  • Bloodbeard
  • Megatron Says Yes
  • You Can't Make Me Be the Warthog [or maybe just Be the Warthog]
  • Those Genies Are into Some Freaky Shit
  • Downsy Russian
  • Slow Seepage 
  • Shadows and Screams
  • The Bacon Situation
  • The Matt B. Dynamic
  • The Jelly Bitches
Obviously, most of these are best suited for punk bands. If you want to use any of them, contact me. They're all up for grabs. Except maybe The Jelly Bitches. That one just has a nice ring to it. Oh, and the Kid calls dibs on Megatron Says Yes. Sorry.

Do you have a list of possible band names at the ready? Share your ideas! (I keep my list as a memo in my phone, and add to it pretty often. I suggest you do the same.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Warning: heavy use of the f-word ahead.

You guys, I am seriously fucking cranky today. I even tried to talk myself out of being cranky. "But wait!" I said sternly, "you have a cute new haircut, and your new car is from the fucking future so the radio turns itself up and down as you accelerate and decelerate, and you started working on the upstairs bathroom. Chill out." All of that is true, but I'm still fucking grouchy. My hair does look cute, and my new car is baller, but I'm still one grumpy lady. In fact, I responded to my internal pep talk with, "Seriously, all that can fucking suck it, because I'm not interested."

So I've been cussing a whole lot today, mostly in my head. I have mentally cussed out my clients who apparently don't know how to read, who send me nonsense and are confused when I ask questions about it. I mentally cussed out my snow-plow guy, who does a terrible job despite being paid to not do a terrible job, because I had to shovel wet, melty slush from the bottom of the driveway when I got home so I don't get stuck in it when it freezes overnight. I cussed out my father-in-law, who isn't my favorite human being anyway, for choosing the cheapest plow service (he pays for half of ours as a Christmas present) instead of, you know, getting some references and finding out if they suck really bad (so far, the services he's picked have sucked really bad for two years in a row.) I cussed out the people we bought our house from for flat-out lying about water damage in the upstairs bathroom, making what should have been simple repainting into a much bigger project with drywall-patching and seaming and stuff (I cuss them out a lot). I cussed out my coworkers for pooping in the bathroom nearest my desk and then emptying half a fucking can of the worst-fucking-scented air freshener ever.

I heartily cussed myself out, too, because I know part of my fucking problem is that I'm PMSing. I'm a grown-ass woman who should be able to acknowledge that my hormones are contributing to me feeling irritable, and then deal with it in a healthy way (interior pep talk: like shoveling the driveway!) but instead I'm just extra grumpy that I'm even grumpy in the first place.

Here's my game plan to get ungrumpy. First, I'm going to change into some pajamas and warm socks. Then, I'm going to eat some chili and the leftover guacamole from yesterday, probably while finally catching up on this season of The Office. Then, when Andy gets home, I'm going to suggest two movie choices for tonight: either Stepbrothers or Die Hard 2 (shut up, the point is to cheer me up, not watch some stupid Oscar nominee). Then, if all else fails, I'll take a bubble bath.

Anyone else grumpy? What's your game plan look like? For the love of god, I'm looking for suggestions over here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Conversation from 10:30 this morning

Me: I was considering putting a shot of irish cream in my coffee.
Andy: Do it! It's Superbowl Sunday. That's, like, a holiday or something, right?
Me: I actually only said that out loud because I knew you'd encourage me to do it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Because Riley asked.

I commented on 1000 Awesome Things that I decorated my cubicle so I didn't have to stare at tan walls, and someone named Riley asked for a picture of it. It's like this except I took down the string of lights because they were really cheap and burned out in like a week. The weird-looking dangly thing in the middle is a string of seashells.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hello, half day! I love you!

Because I worked such long days earlier this week, I got out early today! I'm going to spend my afternoon napping, catching up on 30 Rock, and baking brownies and making guacamole. I'm pretty freaking excited about this plan.

Because it's not fair for me to leave you hanging, here's some other shit going on around the internets:

  • Juniper Moon Farm is giving away a miniature donkey. It's part of a fundraiser for Pete Johnson, an organic CSA farmer in Vermont whose barn was destroyed by fire three weeks ago. (Y'all, the barn stored all his farm's produce and equipment and was under-insured. Check out what you can do to help, if you feel like it.)
  • Do you read The It List? It's a weekly roundup of interesting stuff from various blogs, put together by Jill over at Good Life for Less.
  • The Pioneer Woman has made your life easier by creating a "Superbowl" holiday category. I'll be making my ridiculously good guacamole, and Andy's making his Buffalo chicken dip, and I'm baking the aforementioned brownies. 
  • I have been spending hours of my life staring at Pinterest. I love seeing what other people pin. I requested an invite a week ago, and it came today! I can't wait to get out there and start pinning things. One thing, though: I WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP FUCKING PINNING ITEMS WITH MISSPELLINGS. It seriously isn't that hard to run spell-check. This goes double for mis-attributed quotes/sayings, especially well-known ones. I saw one that was the Mary Oliver line "Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?" attributed to some shmoe. So join Pinterest, and pin pretty things, but do it right, okay?
  • Thinking about trying this spicy hot chocolate recipe from Alton Brown to keep in my desk at work. 
What are you up to this lovely afternoon? Are you on Pinterest? Do share!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fast food is weird.

Classic childhood memories via
Have any of you eaten fast food lately? If you're an American, statistically, the chances are pretty good that you have. I ask because my office is within walking distance of a Subway, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut, and a nameless pizza joint where surly workers serve tasteless greasy slices. And since Andy's been dropping me off this week, if I forgot my lunch, I got fast food.

I had sort of forgotten that fast food joints are staffed by children and idiots. I ordered a Tendergrill sandwich - which is a stupid name - at Burger King, and asked to have it without mayo but with pickles and onions. It came without lettuce and tomatoes, which I thought were standard. I also asked for onion rings instead of french fries. The girl looked at the order, then handed me french fries. I feel like being able to read is probably required to work at these places, but I suppose I could be wrong.

On a trip somewhere last week I stopped at a McDonalds and ordered a Happy Meal (it's not way too much fucking food, like most of their items). I was seriously thrown when the girl asked me if I wanted a toy for a boy or a girl. I think it creeped her out when I said it didn't matter.

Needless to say, I've felt like shit eating so much fast food. Good thing I got my new(er) car tonight! Yeah!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lessons from working at home

My day was a little like this but with less hardwood floors and fire hazards.
I mentioned yesterday that we were supposed to get a lot of snow overnight. Well, the snowpocalypse missed us - we got about six inches. But we don't have my new car yet, so today would have been another ten-hour day for me. Luckily, I have a job that's flexible enough for me to work from home once in a while. I brought home a bunch of stuff yesterday and spent my day working from the kitchen table. Here's what I learned:
  • My house is cold. We keep it at 65°, which is fine when we're snuggled under some blankets on the couch, but way too cold when you're in the kitchen trying to edit.
  • My dog's life is pretty decent. He spent the whole day on the couch, sleeping. Only a slight departure from his usual weekend routine of spending all day sleeping on the floor.
  • It's a lot harder to focus on reading legal stuff when you're watching Bones or The Office
  • Don't try to run the dishwasher when you're sitting right next to it trying to read.
  • If I don't go outside for at least a few minutes, I get a headache. 
  • I would be terrible at being self-employed. I barely talked myself out of baking cookies midafternoon. Deciding factor: I was pretty sure the butter would be too hard, even at room temperature.
Do any of you work from home? How do you deal with impulse control? Anyone get more snow than I?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Long freaking day.

German secret police spy kit, with really interesting information about the Stasi, via. Sorry for such a depressing connection to a secret disguise hidden in a briefcase.
You guys, I worked ten and a half hours today. We don't get my new car until tomorrow, but we returned the rental, so Andy has been driving me in and picking me up. But he works closer to nine hours a day anyway, and with travel time, I worked over ten. It has never been more clear to me that my job can be boring.

Something I noticed today: I was commenting on a blog, and instead of just "Comment as" and then a drop-down menu for you to select from, it said, "Choose your identity."

I'm so in love with that idea. I know we can all be anonymous and whoever we want to be and all on the internet and everything, but that's not what I am thinking about. Sure, at first I was like, do they think I'm in disguise? Like a spy? Because that's awesome. But then what I started thinking about is this idea that we each, with every single thing we do, are choosing our identity.

So instead of complaining about working a long day at a boring job, I can choose to be psyched to get out early on Friday. Instead of grumbling about how we're supposed to get ten-plus inches of snow in the next 24 hours, I can be excited about having a job that's flexible enough to allow me to work from home if there's a weather emergency. I can choose to be identified by the way I handle not-optimal situations.

Or, another fun part to think about, is to think about the identities we already have. I have always been what you might call an extreme extrovert. I'm the one who talks too much. But I can choose my identity! I can spend more time listening and less time hogging the conversation. I get to invent myself! Isn't that neat?

Is this preachy? It's not intended to be. I am seriously intrigued by the idea of choosing to be who I want to be. I like meeting new people because it's a chance to be someone new. I am just thinking about how I can apply that idea all the time!

What identity would you choose? Do you ever feel like you are a spy?