Thursday, August 30, 2007

A letter

Dear Blonde Bimbo With The Big Mouth Sitting In The Cubicle Behind Me,

If I promise you my first born, will you please, please shut the fuck up?!?

I don't know who the asshole was who convinced you that the ditsy blonde routine was cute, but trust me, it's not. Just ask your ex-husband. Besides, for someone who pays $187.00 every three weeks to get your hair to achieve that bizarro greenish blonde hue with the circus tent highlights intentionally, you're not trying hard enough. You give REAL blondes a bad name.

I'm sick of hearing you discuss (quite loudly over the phone to anyone who will listen) the pro's and con's to retiring six months early, but believe me when I say it, we ALL want you to go!



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Who am I?

Someone on Etsy posted the link to an interesting quiz, and being the chronic quiz-taker that I am, I decided to play along to find out what kind of thinker I might be.

Here are the results:

You are an Intrapersonal thinker

Intrapersonal thinkers:
Spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to understand themselves
Reflect on their thoughts and moods, and work to improve them
You understand how your behaviour affects your relationships with others

Other Intrapersonal thinkers include Sigmund Freud, Gandhi, Grahame Greene

Careers which suit Intrapersonal Thinkers include Psychologist, Teacher, Pilot, Child care worker, Explorer, Drama therapist

Very interesting, and somewhat accurate. I guess that explains why I've always wanted to be a teacher. Too bad that a general lack of interest in more schooling overpowered my desire to finish my degree, eh?

Check out the quiz if you want to know what kind of thinker YOU are!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm anxiously awaiting a reply to the note I sent to the woman who makes these amazing tags. I'm looking to place a big order and use these as the price tags on the things in my store. They're red on the back side.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Darkly Dreaming


After all that talk in my last post about television shows, I had to go and find out more about my new favorite show, Dexter. This is just the most clever show...very intense and very well written. I've strongly suggested to everyone I know that they should not only watch the re-runs, but go out and buy the DVD set because you're going to want to own the collection anyway.

I'm thrilled to say that season 2 starts on Sunday, September 30th and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

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Gross name for a title, eh? It's the only way I can think to describe the only effect that Castor oil has on my sister's body at this stage in the game. She's not due until the 18th of September but she's more than ready to have the kid out. Ask anyone and they'll tell you that Castor oil will do the trick. In her case, it's helping but not getting her where she'd like to be. She'd been having contractions pretty regularly up until yesterday when she swallowed that crap, and while it helped her along with some hardcore contractions all day yesterday and into the wee hours of the morning, the contractions have almost stopped completely today leaving behind a very frustrated, and very exhausted Carly. Poor thing. I've suggested she try everything from bumpy car rides (does that really work? Sounds like a job for Mythbusters to me) to trampolines, to lots of sex, but I think she's just too tuckered out for any of those options. I'm sticking rather close to the phone because you never know what's going to happen and I'm not missing a second of this!

Earlier on in the weekend, I had her over for a visit at the house where we stenciled some onesies for little Lola. They came out super cute! We made about six, I think, and these are my two favorites:

Carly made the snail one and the Gandhi one is all me. So cute. I'm loving the metallic paint! I'm hoping that this little project was enjoyable enough for her to keep making them because they would sell like hotcakes in my shop. I'm sure she could use the money, and besides, it gives you such an amazing feeling to sell something you've made. Knowing that someone out there is willing to pay money for your creation is a wonderful feeling.

So, I'm back at work today and I'm dying to get home and play with the Wii for another several hours. That thing is the shit, let me tell you. I'm not a video game person...never have been. Video games were somewhat discouraged in our house while I was growing up, and I think you need to start young because you get better as you grow up. Who knows. All I can say is I have NO talent when it comes to playing them, but with Wii I feel like I've finally met my match. I kicked ass at the bowling and golf games, and didn't get a chance to play the others because we made an incredible dinner and Ben hogged the console by playing Zelda until I turned in for the night.

Speaking of dinner...we had Mike over for the latter part of the day, and Sam (Ben's brother) is now living with us for a short while, so we decided to have a collaborative dinner-making session. How fun! I love to cook, but I love cooking with others even more. I made everyone promise last night that we'll do this more often and they all agreed. Mike and Ben concocted what looked like the best meatloaf ever. It smelled amazing and for a split second I wished I wasn't a vegetarian. I managed to bust out a huge pot of Parmesan garlic mashed potatoes (with the skins in it, thank you very much) and a gigantic pan of roasted asparagus. It seemed like an outrageous amount of food, but with three starving men around, you need it. The house smelled so wonderful and I was thankful for a cool, pre-autumn night so we could turn the oven on for our feast.

After cleaning up and saying goodnight to Mike, I locked myself in the bedroom and turned on the season finale of Big Love. I wish I could find someone who watches this show so we can talk about it. Big Love, for me is one of those shows where I either love it or hate it. I had the hardest time hanging on through the first season, and the beginning of the second season had me convinced that I wasn't going to waste any more time on it. But after a while I just can't stop watching it at all, and of course the cliffhanger that was last night's episode will have me tuning in for season three, whenever that happens. I hate how long you have to wait in-between seasons for most shows. I mean, what the hell could Tom Hanks be doing for all those months??? And hasn't it been well over a year since the last season of Project Runway aired??? Damn!

I'm done with my rant, I think, but I'll close this post with a shot of one of the most adorable little men I've ever seen. I can't get enough of him! He's living proof that miracles can, and do, happen.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Wii = Best purchase ever.

I'll be back in about a week to update. I see this taking up most, if not all, of my time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Apparently I suck

I totally slacked off on my gardens this year and planted a whole lot of stuff that I left unattended. It looks like we moved out of this house and let everything go this year. My bad. I haven't had the time or the energy to do things differently, and I don't care what my neighbors think.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and looked out the window to find what looks like a black sunflower. It's actually a deep red or a reddish chocolate brown, but when the sun isn't shining through the petals, it looks black. A responsible gardener would have kept track of what she planted, but me, uh, I suck. I wish I could remember what the name of this particular variety is because I want to plant many, many more of them next year. Perhaps someone will read this and fill me in.

Friday, August 24, 2007


So, I booted out of work way early today and joined Sandy, Carly and little Seth for a day at R.P.I.'s Junior Museum. I hadn't been there since I was a kid and when they mentioned going I was so excited to tag along. It was pretty cool but they eliminated quite a bit of the original stuff, from what I remember...the highlights of the original museum are gone. Bummer. Still, we had a good time. Lots of animals and hands-on science projects for kids. They had little tide pools set up that had half a dozen horseshoe crabs in them and they were, by far, my favorite part of the day. You could tell we got there pretty close to their normal feeding time because they were literally crawling all over each other trying to get at you.

Elis is in the process of folding 1,000 paper cranes and the set-up in the lobby reminded me of her. Here are a few pictures:

Overall it was a good trip. The museum was small and there was very little to do, but it was nice to do something different for a change, and it was certainly nice to get the hell out of work for a while.

As you get to the end of the museum path, they have one of those interactive projectors where you can wave your arms around in the air in front of a screen and make the image change. They alternated between a screen where the planets were falling out of the sky and you had to keep "tapping" them from the bottom (like a volleyball) to keep them from hitting the bottom of the screen, and a water image where the water rippled and moved around when you moved around in the image. Pretty neat.

Oh, and I'm not a fan of wild animals kept in captivity for any reason, but check out these beautiful owls they had in cages:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happiness is:

1) My wonderful husband, of course. Four years ago today, a man on a blind date walked up the front steps of my little apartment, convinced me with honest eyes that he was, in fact, a keeper, and stole my heart away. We haven't spent a day apart since. Cheesy? Yes. I'm afraid to admit, dear reader (if anyone is indeed actually reading this), that I've gotten soft in my old age. Call it love. Call it defeat. Call it whatever you want. This is how I feel. I've met my match, and he feels as though he's met his. In 26 days we'll celebrate our third wedding anniversary, and I hope we have many, many more.

2) Tomato sandwiches with garlic-basil-garlic mayo on a summer day. Yes, I did intentionally repeat garlic twice in that sentence because when Nabua announces that we're having "Tomato Sandwich Day", I know that it's time to prepare my stomach, colon, intestines and heart for massive doses of the stuff. She's the garlic Nazi, I swear. I've had friends over for dinner many times in my day and they tell me that I could kill someone with the amount of garlic I cook with, but let me tell you, you haven't had amazing food until you've eaten what Nab has to offer. Incredible. I just had a sandwich about a half hour ago and I swear you can smell it seeping from my pores.

3) The smell of the air at this time of year when autumn is creeping up on us. Granted, we're about to have a short series of 80+ degree days starting tomorrow, but after the past five or six days I know for sure that fall is coming...quickly! The air is chilly and dry, and that smell...I can't even explain it. It's a dead giveaway that nature is putting on it's jammies for the year and getting ready for a long winter's nap.

4) Telling my boss that I'm going to be leaving the company next month. That's right, folks. I broke the news to my boss this morning that I'll be taking the buyout package next month. Despite the union's request for me to keep my trap shut and not tell management that I plan on going bye-bye, I felt guilty and broke down. You see, after working here for nine years I am no longer a fan of our union. I know that not all unions are bad, and I know that in most places they're actually a necessity, but here, not so much. I hate coming to work and being force fed the idea that management is the bad guy and we're supposed to "stick it to 'em" as often as possible. These people are here for a paycheck just like I am, and they also have bosses who tell them what to do, just like me. I have no enemies here. Especially not ones who determine if I'm getting paid or not. Anyway, she took the news VERY well, and actually admitted that she knew I was leaving because apparently people here can't keep news to themselves, no matter how tiny said news might be. Not telling management is something I've been bothered by for quite some time now, and now that it's out in the open I feel wonderful!!! Plus, knowing that my boss is on my side helps because if by chance I'm denied the buyout, she might be able to pull some strings for me and set me free. Wouldn't that be nice??? I'm on cloud nine right now, let me tell ya.

5) The contractions my baby sister is having right now. I know. Not good for her, but good for us! This means that my little niece will be coming soon, and I was just informed that I get to join her in the delivery room and watch while Lola is born. I'm honored by this privilege and I truly feel blessed. I've always been fascinated by pregnancy and childbirth to begin with, but for Carly to willingly share such a private event with me is truly humbling. I told you I've gotten soft.

6) Finishing the most adorable diaper bag ever just in time! (see #5) I put the finishing touches on Carly's diaper bag last night and it came out so cute I want to keep it for myself. I'll try to take pictures of it and post them here, but if not, you'll just have to take my word for it. It rocks. That said, NO, I will not make another one. I don't care if you've been declared barren by your doctor and God/Buddha/Jehovah/Xenu himself came down from the heavens to personally touch you with the miracle of life within your very own body. I don't care if it's your last dying wish. I will never make another one of these things again. I'm sorry.

7) Listening to Eric Bachmann sing, uh, just about anything. The man could sing the "Bottles of Beer on the Wall" song counting down from 356,323,243,524,035,676,541,354,654 and it would never get old. Seeing him sing in person is even better, but I'll take a CD any day. Amazing. He's been my favorite for at least 10 years now and that's longer than any other vocalist has held my attention. I just listened to "To The Races" for the eighteen millionth time and it warms my heart. Amazing.


8) The Howard Stern Show. I know some people think I'm nuts for dedicating so much time to this show, but I'm addicted. It makes me happy, what can I say? I've been a listener for 13 years now and I can't get enough. I'm hooked on this show like some people are hooked on crack. Or Days of Our Lives. Whatever, you get the point. I could talk about this show for hours. Anyone want to chat? And oh, Artie Lange. Boy, he's up there with Alton Brown in terms of the secret boy crushes in my life. Me+Artie=Snugglebunnies 4 eva.

Anyway, I'm sure there are many, many more things I could add to this list but for right now this is what's at the top. What can I say? I'm a simple gal.

Stick Boy

I don't know what took me so long, but I finally broke down and bought Tim Burton's "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories". My book club finally managed to add it into the mix and I ordered that bad boy with my bonus points (think: free). Of course it was on back order, so after waiting weeks and weeks I had forgotten all about it. You can imagine my surprise to find a little box sitting on my front porch when I got home from work yesterday, so I took it inside, opened it up and read it cover to cover (it took all of 10 minutes...maybe less). I don't know why I was expecting children's stories. The book itself is very Shel Silverstein, but the stories...not so much. Good stuff. Maybe when the kids in this family grow up a bit I'll read them to them.

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I swear I'm not holding my breath...

...but if luck is on my side I'll only have another 45 days left in this hellishness I call my current job. That number includes weekends, of course, and I'd rather eat a steamy treat from the litterbox than work a weekend. So really I only have 32 days left because I counted Labor Day into that original 45 day lump too. Mmmmm, 32 days left.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jesus Loves You Too

I just happened upon this sculpture while playing around online and it completely wowed me. Dutch artist, Frans Smeets, created this amazing sculpture of Bono dressed at Jesus. The best part happens to be the fact that Smeets embroidered the Nike symbol on his robe and remembered to include a nice, shiny pair of Armani sunglasses. At his feet lies a dying African child, gone unnoticed by Bono. The piece is called "Jesus Loves U 2".

Best. Art. Ever.

Art just is what it is. That's what it's for. And thank god we have it around for times like these. Smeets couldn't have said it better. Why do you suppose celebrities beg the common folk that make up the world to give money when they themselves live in the lap of luxury? Makes me sick. I read a statistic once that showed that it's the poorest people who give the most money to charity, and spend the most time volunteering for causes they haven't even been touched by personally. Why do you suppose that is? Empathy?

If it hasn't been done already (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did), I'm sure Bono would have jumped at the chance for a photo op with fucking Mother Theresa. After all, he IS holier than thou. Gotta love it. I have such a bad taste in my mouth for people like this. And yes, Oprah, I'm talking about you too. Did you know she once stated in an interview that she is God's personal assistant or some crap like that, and pointed out that some people will consider her a saint after she's gone? Gotta love fame!

I'm the decider

Elis and Maggie will probably want to kill me if they read this, but I STILL haven't decided on a store name yet. Pathetic, right? I'm working from a huge list of potentials and every day my new favorite pops to the top. I keep coming back to the same few, but I worry that I'll hate the name after being open for a year. I know how I am with things like this...having the wrong name will drive me insane. I need to make the right decision. After all, this will be the name I promote, the name I use to refer to myself in the business world, the name I say every time I answer the shop phone, etc.

I actually asked the man at the SBA NY what the process is to change a business name and it was one of those questions I regretted asking immediately after the words escaped my lips. Basically I need to pick one and make it last. There's an awful lot of legal mumbo jumbo involved, but more importantly you lose name recognition with your customers, and that's nothing I would ever do intentionally to myself.

I've had plenty of suggestions from all kinds of people. Someone at work made up her mind that the store should be named "Artsy Fartsy" and proceeded to tell everyone that's what the actual name is. I know, right?

The truth is, I feel like I want to include birds in the name. For the longest time I was convinced that I was going to call it, "The Little Sparrow". Then my mom was asking me a question on the phone one day about how I'm coming along with planning "Little Birds" (meaning the shop). It was one of those moments where things seemed right and I fell in love with that name instead. But then it dawned on me that I've always had this idea of owning a store and calling it "The Sky and The Sea", touching on the two worlds of ocean and air and all the creatures who live there. I've loved that name for years and years and it only seems right that I go with this might be destiny calling. I have a strong idea of what the logo should look like. Maggie has been working on some ideas for me and we both agreed on one particular image. I won't post it yet until it's done and I have her permission to start using it, but trust me, it's cute. Think yin-yang only with a horizontal split, and a bird and fish instead of the curvy yin-yang parts.

I was completely convinced that I had my shop name chosen. I would go out and start having little things like rubber stamps and custom printed shopping bags made up now while I wait for the time when the big things start to happen. Lots of people love the name, even though I worry that it's too long. But doubt has crept into my mind once again and I feel like I'm making the wrong choice. These three, "Little Birds", "The Little Sparrow" and "The Sky and The Sea" are the three that have stuck with me the longest so I won't bore you with the list of the other 20,000 names I've pondered. I think I need to stop listening to other people about this. Maybe that's why I've changed my mind so many times.

The things I am 100% certain about are the little details of what the shop will look like. I think I'm a visual person overall because it seems like paint colors and decor are the first things I consider and decide on way before I move into any new environment. I want the walls to be covered in a pea soup green...not too yellow and not too brown, but definitely not too green. Does that make sense? I want black accents everywhere with of pops of bright red wherever I can fit them. Oh, and yes, those are tin ceilings. Off white, you think?

I think I want the cash wrap to go on the back wall of the store and I think I might hire Kathy to paper that wall in a really graphic wallpaper. I'm thinking a damask or something. The gallery/classroom walls should be a lighter color, I think. I hate the idea of white, but I do really love the pale grey color I used in my home office recently. Maybe I'll go with that. Besides, we Saint Rose art students are all too familiar with that "institution grey" we were forced to love in the school gallery and I want to stay far, far away from it.

I have to talk with Mr. Hedley about the flooring before I even consider signing a lease. The last business to exist in there was a shoe store and they had mirrors glued all over the walls. It looks like the demo crew just smashed the mirrors off of the walls, leaving behind shards and blobs of old glue in its place. The flooring is completely torn up. He promised that I could pick my own flooring out, as long as it's not too crazy expensive. I'm thinking either black or charcoal grey, and I'm not too picky about what it's made of. Bamboo or cork would kick ass, and it's eco-friendly, too, but telling a 75 year old man that you want cork flooring might blow his mind. He seemed so puzzled when he asked if I wanted carpet and I refused. I hate carpet. I want nothing to do with it. Especially not in my shop where I guarantee you someone will spill wine on it right at my opening and I'll have to live with a big nasty stain in the middle of my floor forever. Very professional. You think I'm anal about choosing a name? You should see how I am with things like stains. Can you say OCD?
Ugh, so many things to think about. I'm more excited about this than anything else in my entire life! I want everyone to be as excited about it as I am, but I can't help but feel that most people either don't care or they think I'm totally insane and doubt that I can make it work. I'm the kind of person who will work harder just to prove to you that I CAN make it work, but it hurts to think that people are so negative about something that makes me so ecstatic. Sandy shed some light on these feelings I'm having about the poo-poo'ers and it helped me out a little. She told me that anyone who might act negatively around me because of this business plan of mine, is behaving that way because they're jealous. I personally don't think anyone should feel jealous and if they are they should just open up their own business instead of dragging me down. God knows we can use less WalMart and more of the little guys. But she explained that most people have dreams of their own of going into business for themselves, or just taking the plunge by quitting their jobs and following their hearts to do what they truly want to do. Unfortunately most people don't have the balls to do so, and that's why they're jealous. It really meant a lot to me when she said that. It makes sense. And whether or not it's true is not important to me. I don't care what other people think I should do with my life. I've spent my entire life so far doing things for other people and I never think of myself. It's about time I did something for me, and screw you if you choose to stand in my way.

This message brought to you by Tony Robbins. Heh!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

American splendor

For me, one example of pure bliss comes in the form of an early Saturday morning trip to the Troy Farmers Market. There's something ultimately rewarding about getting up bright and early on a Saturday morning, taking a nice hot shower and heading out to be first in line for the day's goodies.

Most mornings I'm on my own. Wrangling poor Ben out of bed that early on a weekend is like trying to wake up a corpse. Being alone for something like this is pretty cool, actually. I feel the same way about going solo to the movies. But bringing someone with you to share the amazing goods this particular farmers market has to offer, especially for their first time, is even better. My sister decided to tag along for her first visit ever.
:::note to self: never, EVER go to Troy on the day they're hosting ChowderFest. Never. Again:::

We were greeted by wonderful weather! It was incredibly cool for August. The temps weren't expected to get past 70 degrees today to begin with, and being out this early in the morning was refreshing to say the least. We found a parking spot right across the street (which is like finding a $100 dollar bill in the gutter) and headed on over. I think Carly was impressed. I suggested that we take a walk or two through the entire market before committing to buy anything, and of course, as soon as I saw the Buddhapesto people, I broke the cardinal rule and bought a tub for myself. This couple makes massive amounts of pesto out of their home. What started out as a little project to give away as gifts during the holidays became quite the popular company! Whole foods just signed on to sell their pesto in their stores, making this little family quite happy, I'm sure! Their story is so sweet! See the article about them in the Metroland here:

After walking through a few times, I picked up a bar of lemongrass (one of my favorite smells) goat's milk soap, two pounds of the absolute sweetest tomatoes I've ever had, and some purple and red skinned potatoes. Ben and I go on this weird kick where we painfully crave mashed potatoes (especially my curried mashed taters) and I had to stock up. We're due for another "episode" soon.

I grabbed a bunch of flowers whose name I can't recall and headed over to watch a woman spinning yarn. Something about yarn, especially wool yarn, tugs at a part of me that so desperately wants to knit. I've learned to crochet about eighteen million times and just can't get into it. Sewing offers more instant gratification, I guess, so I think I'll stick with my machine. Still, the beautiful jewel tones in this yarn were so stunning I was tempted to buy every skein she had, just to fondle them later on (by the way, I do this with paper all the time, too!) Anyway, the woman just so happened to be selling fresh lamb steaks, so I splurged and bought three for Ben. I've been a vegetarian on and off for the greater part of my life, and a little piece of me collapses every time I contribute to the meat industry, but I know Ben loves lamb, so who am I to shove my views on someone else? Besides, I'd rather give the local sellers my money than Hannaford any day.

A new seller I've never met before had a huge tent filled with wonderful gourmet dog and cat treats. I grabbed a bag of peanut butter "tidbits", which will come in handy as we're trying (still!) to teach Olive how to walk on a leash like a normal dog. I also picked up two oatmeal scones for dogs...apparently already a favorite of hers, as she smelled them through the bag when I walked through the door and proceeded to stalk me until I gave her one.

Ben and I had officially declared today to be Salsa Day, so I picked up some fresh Siberian garlic, some extremely strong scented cilantro, a few onions (apparently they had been pulled up this morning) and a large carton of hot peppers. I was so inspired by the ingredients I ran home and made a gigantic batch of homemade salsa. I'm about to eat some as soon as I hit the "post" button for today's entry.

Carly seemed pleased with our little outing. She got some fresh corn, carrots, pears, tomatoes (the sweet ones), dill and blueberries, which she gobbled down all the way home. I think she has plans to join me again next week. Maybe I'll have a weekly partner after least until the baby comes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Would death by chocolate really be that bad?

I stumbled upon a recipe lately that makes all other cakes look like dead dinosaur ass on a plate. For real. Ina Garten, a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa, is one of my biggest heroes on the face of this planet. She has to stand in line behind people like my grandmother and Cindy Sheehan, of course, but let's just say she's up there. I admire anyone who can take their love for something, profit from it without the slightest bit of formal education, and continue to be happy with it even after it becomes a job. This woman creates the most fantastic recipes that are so easy to carry out, no matter how daunting a project it might seem. I mean, I cooked French food. Me. A girl from Cohoes. Thanks to Ms. Ina herself, I was able to pull it off and make myself look like a culinary goddess. Anyway, so I'm addicted to her, her show and her's like crack or something. Her story fascinates me. She actually worked in the White House back in the 70's and realized it wasn't what she wanted to do with the rest of her life because she longed for a job that was more creative...sound familiar? She bought a speciality food store with no knowledge of the business world and certainly no knowledge of the food industry. Despite all of this she managed to make a huge career out of it. I admire that. Maybe it's because I have no business getting involved in the retail world, at least on the ownership end, but I hear stories like this and I feel confident that I, too, can turn my life around in much the same way Ina did.

Back to the cake. One of Ina's good friends gave her this recipe years ago to try out. This particular recipe was an old family heirloom that Ina jazzed up a bit with her own little touches (she puts coffee in every chocolate creation). I made it for my dad's birthday back in July and it was, hands down, the best cake I've ever had. And I don't particularly like chocolate. Or coffee.
I guess I brag about this cake (I refer to it as the chocolate death cake) a bit too much because now I've promised to make it for just about everyone I know. A coworker of mine has this absolutely gorgeous antique cake pedestal with a cut glass cover that's been sitting around the office for over a year now and she told me I could have it if I filled it with cake before I took it home for the last time. How's that for a deal? I'm so exhausted this week I seriously just want to go home and die, but getting an antique glass...anything...makes going home and spending a few hours slaving over my oven worth while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Immediately upon my arrival at work this morning I dashed across the hall to find out from the union if the buyout package is indeed coming. Yes, ladies and gents, as of October 7th I will be a free agent! It seems like the cosmos are in my favor lately because it feels like everything is changing in so many wonderful ways. I mentioned before that I truly feel "right" in autumn and with the seasons changing ALREADY I'm finally starting to come into my own. Does that make sense?

Knowing that I'll soon be done with the job that I've loathed for the past 9 years makes me feel like a million bucks. Knowing that I'll soon have all the free time in the world to make my dreams come true by opening my little shop makes me feel even better. And knowing that the best time of year is literally making a mad dash to this part of the country (it's been down in the low 50's at night here, and no humidity during the day) so early makes me so happy I feel like my head could pop off. Maybe I should knock on wood so I don't jinx myself with a bout of bad luck. Luck is cyclical like that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The gift

So, one of the coolest gals I know, my friend Elis, pointed me in the direction of her Livejournal account in her last e-mail to me. After poking around in her blog I stumbled upon her husband's account as well. It just so happens that the very first thing I noticed was this:

Very Egon Schiele, eh?

I fell in love the moment I saw it and immediately pictured it matted and framed and hanging on one of my olive green walls. Being the generous folks that they are, they are giving me the drawing (those crazy kids won't take money for it!!!) and I can hardly wait to get it in my house. Lurve. Totally. I truly love these people. While we've never met in person they just seem really genuine and I've never wished for Illinois to be closer to New York more than I do now.

This was a pretty damn good day. In addition to the newest piece of art to grace my living room walls, I found out today that I will be offered a buyout package from work next month, which, if my "bid" is accepted, my last day working at hell-on-earth will be October 7th. Can you say happy? Okay, how 'bout ecstatic? More details later as I'm waiting to find out more info from the union reps tomorrow. This is a fantastic opportunity to leave my crap job with a significant amount of money in hand, but it's also a bad, sad thing for those who may be at risk for layoffs. The company announced they want to surplus 600-700 positions across New York state. HOORAY for Corporate America! Nothing like beating a dead horse.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Blog survey

Every once in a while when I pop in to check my e-mail I get one of these surveys. They're at the top of my list of guiltiest pleasures. I'm not ashamed to admit loving each and every one of them, no matter how redundant. I'm also a total sucker for those over-the-phone surveys, too, much to the delight of most telemarketers who happen to call my house. Anyway, I tend to get carried away by these e-mail surveys and I fill them out quickly and send them to anyone and everyone in my address book. People hate me for this.

So, this is the most recent survey I've gotten. I figured I'd spare the party poopers who hate filling them out and just post mine here. Besides, I'm one of those people who draws a total blank when I have to fill out profiles online. Suddenly, without warning, I can no longer remember things like my favorite book or album, or any other basic like/dislike that makes up who I am. This is a much easier way of getting these mundane details out there.

1. How old will you be in 3 years? At this time in three years I'll be 33, but will soon turn 34 shortly thereafter.

2. Do you think you'll be married by then? My husband is absolutely fantastic. So yes, I would hope that I'm still married then. I'd never do it again, though.

3. What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months? Florida/Disney/Nancy/Ned/Robbie/Randi/Keith, autumn (I would seriously kill to have it around NOW), Lola being born, quitting my job, my birthday, Henry Rollins...again, preparing (for real now) to open my B&M shop. I'll stop here because I am a truly happy person in the fall months. Lots of things to look forward to.

4. Who was the last person you talked to? Andrew "Squishy" of the only people I'll miss from work when I go bye bye.

5. What do you think about the person that took this survey before you? She rocks!

6. Who was the last person to text you? I don't have a cell phone for exactly this reason.

7. Who was the last person you hugged? My little Olive, the best dog in the entire world. The cat now loathes me.

8. What were you doing at midnight last night? Suffering from insomnia and overanalyzing the answers from a vicious game of Trivial Pursuit with the fam.

9. Parents separated/divorced/married? My biological parents are divorced (thank god) but my mom remarried one of the greatest human beings ever to talk the planet and he legally adopted me. They're still married.

10. Last time you saw your dad? Last night...handsome bugger he is.

11. What happened at 11:00 a.m. today? I met with our Chief Union Steward to discuss the proper course of action for when I quit this disease of a job.

12. How many states do you want to visit? All of them, really. I'm really drawn to Alaska lately.

13. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet? On myself? I prefer bare feet as often as I can get away with it. I abhor socks. On other people, though, it all depends on how well your toenails are groomed. Talons are nasty, people!

14. Are you a social person? Nope. Not in the slightest.

15. Favorite ice cream? I've always been a coffee ice cream fan for as long as I can remember. Lately, though, those damn Ben and Jerry people have me hooked like a crackhead on Neapolitan Dynamite...Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Fudge Brownie snuggled up together like two peas in a pod. Scrumptious.

16. What is your favorite dessert? Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, hands down.

17. Whats your favorite song right now? Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

18. What kind of jelly do you like on your peanut butter sandwich? That cheap gelatinous grape jelly on white bread, please.

19. Do you like coffee? Hate it.

20. How many glasses of water a day do you drink on average? Ask my bladder.

21. What do you drink in the morning? Water, mostly. If I'm pooped out (see #8) I go for a large Diet Coke (fountain soda only) strictly for the caffeine. Bad, I know.

22. Would you rather kiss someone with or without a lip ring? What the hell kind of question is this? Hmmm. Well, I've had piercings and I know what they can smell like, so I would probably have to say "without" because who wants that kind of cheese funk in your mouth? Ugh.

23. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? I'm always on the right. Ben wouldn't have it any other way.

24. Do you know how to play poker? There are three things in life that I genuinely don't understand: George W. Bush's brain, football (American style) and poker. Countless people have tried explaining all three to me and I just can't comprehend any of it. Oh, and can anyone tell me why poker is now considered a sport?

25. Any plans for this week? Sleep and get through the Netflix movies that are gathering dust in my living room. I actually had to dust them off this past weekend when I cleaned the house.

26. Do you eat out or at home more often? As much as I love to cook, we eat out entirely too often.

27. Have you ever been in an ambulance? I don't think so.

28. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool? Ocean. Although I do love swimming in a pool when it's raining and at night. But not when it's raining at night.

29. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat? Does anyone really ever WANT to sit on the aisle?

30. Do you know how to drive a stick shift? No comment.

31. What is your favorite thing to spend money on? Art supplies, craft supplies, fabric, books, music, movies and other people, especially. I'm a chronic gift giver.

32. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7? Only my wedding ring.

33. Do you speak any other language? Spanish, although it appears as though I've forgotten most of it.

34. Can you roll your tongue? Roll it like a jelly roll, or trill it like in some Spanish words? I can do both.

35. Who is the funniest person you know? Michael Hickok. He can't possibly tell the story about the bottle rockets in his windbreaker enough.

36. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? No.

37. Are you in a relationship? Yes.

38. Do you still have clothes from when you were little? No, but I do miss the "Eat The Worm" shirt I pretty much lived in for the first third of my life.

39. What is the color of your bedroom wall? Chocolate brown.

40. Do you shut off the water when you brush your teeth? Always, but I waste an awful lot of water trying to get it hot before I brush. I have this weird thing about that.

41. Are you crushing on someone right now? Yup.

42. Do you have any tattoos, or piercings? Lots of tattoos but only my ears are still pierced.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bones in your bum

I just got a phone call that my sister's boyfriend had an accident last night. He plays football for a local league and had a game up north yesterday. Apparently the field was muddy from all of the rain we've been getting and after falling while going to catch the ball, someone tackled him and...get this...popped his femur out of the socket and sent the bone up into the muscle and tissue in his ass. Yes, that's right, his ass. They were able to pop the bone back into the socket, but sadly for him, this ends his football career permanently.

Good for my very pregnant sister, bad for the boy.

By the way, the enormous worry over this little incident gave her what her doctor has confirmed to be little contractions. She's not due to have little Lola until next month. Hopefully things will settle down a bit.


A coworker of mine (who has quickly become my friend) has been taking a variety of classes lately on the company's dollar. The obesely large corporation we both work for (whose name shall remain a secret...until I quit) pays for your education once you've been a full time employee for one year. My friend is taking advantage of this little perk while we all still have jobs and one of my favorite things to do lately is listen to her talk about the things she's learning. Already a college graduate, this friend is taking advantage of the opportunity to enroll in classes she'd never had the time to take while pursuing her first degree, so things like Art History, Psychology and Women's Rights are now taking up most, if not all, of her time.

Her most recent assignment was to make a list of 101 things that she procrastinates doing in her life. These things do not have to be in any sort of order, rather, she was encouraged to just write them down as they came to her. Excited and curious about this project, she asked me if I'd make one up too, just to see what we could come up with. Being a chronic procrastinator myself, I, of course, procrastinated making up the list. She harassed me to just get it over with, and I complied, but I was only able to come up with 42 things. I won't bore you with the details of my totally scattered, but more than slightly fascinating list, but I did notice that starting a blog was one of the things at the top. A rather large part of me thinks that our lists are not just random, scattered thoughts, but more like our subconscious minds getting our priorities in order...I hope this isn't the case because if that's so, I've found out the hard way that I'm a terribly shallow person.

So, this is the beginning of a new outlet for me. After 30 tiring years of life gone by already, I feel the need to get my act together and do something with myself. I'm a slacker...lazy is more like it. I'm the kind of person who would rather come home from work and sack out on the couch for hours watching reruns on the Food Network, than go outside on a beautiful day and, I don't know, weed my garden (something that brings me great joy) or something else that makes me happy and keeps me active. I'm growing tired of "me" and I worry that others are too. I feel this empty hole growing inside of my soul that needs to be filled or all will be lost. How's that for anxiety?

I'm 30 years old with no kids, a bachelor's degree in fine arts, a nice house, a wonderful husband and a couple of pets, and you'd think that would be enough. Some people dream of a day where they have all the comforts in life that I've been given already. I just can't help but feel like something's missing. My friend's little procrastination assignment really got me thinking long and hard for a few days and I've made the decision to start doing those things on my list, no matter how trivial or serious. I think it would do me a world of good.