Sunday, September 30, 2007


I toyed around with a few bag ideas today trying to get inspired both for the shop and for the jewelry party I've decided to take part in afterall. This was the only bag I actually finished and I had Ben pose with it. I'm not crazy about the body fabric now that it's all put together, but I love the plum cotton quilters fabric I used for the front pocket and lining. I really like the overall shape, and the piecing on the front wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My camera totally blows so these pictures aren't very good. Sorry.

Suggestions? Comments? Does it completely suck???

I'm excited to try it out with some decent fabric and modern prints/colors.

That baby smell

After the second installment of zombie music video filming, I ventured home and invited Carly and Lola over for a visit. Many people have scolded me for not posting updated pictures, so here are a few. This little bean slept almost the entire time she was here, so most of these are with eyes closed.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Seeing as how today marked the official day the company was supposed to inform us whether or not we were granted or denied the buyout package, my stupid ass marched in here expecting answers. And, of course, I had to go searching for them. My boss is out today, and my boss's boss is out today, along with the only guy at the union hall who was in charge of the buyout process. I had to get aggressive. After a lot of dead-end stops, I finally called the head honcho at the union hall (even though I swore I'd never talk to him again) to find out what the deal was.

Get this...

Because they didn't get the number of volunteers they were hoping for, those of us who have been waiting for answers have to suffer another three days because they've extended the timeline to Monday night. WTF? Why the hell wouldn't they tell those of us who were on time with the decision making and all the paperwork nonsense that we got it, and then wait for a few others to jump on board? Makes no sense to me, but then again, this is a perfect example of how things go around here, and therefore a perfect example of why I need to get the hell out of here.

The good news? Aside from my bid, there was only one other administrative person in the entire 518 area code who elected to take the offer so my chances are very, very good right about now. I'm trying not to get all worked up about it because you never know what could happen over the course of the next three days, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In other news, I was invited to participate in another jewelry party in November and I'm thinking about doing it. Last time I was there with two jewelry people and I was the only person selling handbags. I made a pretty decent amount of money, too, so it's tempting. At the same time, though, I've been making bags for months now and stocking up so when I open the doors of my shop I'll have some stuff that I, myself made. Then again, if I get this buyout I'll have months to make more bags, so what harm is there really? Should I do it???

Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sold on The Little Sparrow for my shop name. For a while there I contemplated calling it Honey after my grandmother, but The Little Sparrow keeps on coming back. One of the managers in my office told me this morning that when her daughter was born she was really, really small and they called her Little Sparrow. Seemed like a neat little cosmic hint, so I think I'm going with it. Besides, I've had this long time fascination with Edith Piaf and this is kind of like a small homage to her. I still like Little Birds a lot, too, but The Little Sparrow just rolls off the tongue nicely and I think it will suit the shop well.
Now if only I can get my mother to get going on the logo.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shop Girl

I poked my head around in Etsy this morning looking for little things to pick up for my B&M shop...boredom at work will do this to you. I wasn't really looking for anything specific, really, but it dawned on me that the woman who made the Frida tags I wrote about a few weeks ago never got back to me, so off to the paper goods section I went. I scored a bunch of new tags for dirt cheap and have heard back from two of the sellers already thanking me for my purchase. Everyone is so sweet there.

First, I got these little tree tags from everyjotandtittle which are my very favorite ones so far:

I scored these pretty little Bohemian tags from PetalsPaperandMore for a steal:

And I also picked up these tags made with Amy Butler paper from PicturesofLily:
I'm so happy with my little purchases today and the three combined didn't even add up to $20, not even after you add on the tax and shipping. Sweet, eh? I think they'll look adorable hanging off some of the items in my shop. I love Etsy so much and I can't emphasize enough how important it is to buy handmade. I try to buy as many gifts as possible from the sellers there. It's easier than eBay and the money goes right into the pocket of the artist.
Give it a try sometime.

I'm also thinking quite a bit lately about my next tattoo plan. I want to connect my chest piece to my back piece and have everything wrap around the rounded part of my shoulders, almost like a shawl. I'm seriously considering getting more bird tattoos after seeing what Kara could do with my chest piece and I'd like to somehow incorporate my sister's initials and now Lola's, too. I already have my parents' initials on my chest and I need to finish off the rest of my family.

I browsed around online today and found this adorable little illustration of a cardinal and thought maybe I'd have Kara play around with the idea for my sister's portion of the tattoo.

Then again, I found a tattoo photo on Flickr that I absolutely fell in love with and I'd like to show it to Kara and see if she can maybe find some inspiration in it. I love the highs and lows in this piece and I'm amazed at how detailed each bird is despite how small they are.

I know what you're thinking...the two couldn't possibly be any more different. But I like the different aspects of each of them, although I can tell you right now I'm leaning more towards the second photo. It looks more like the work I already have. I don't want an exact copy, but I like to give her examples of the things I'm drawn to and let her go wild with her interpretation. Who knows. All I can say is I'm itching to get more work done and I'm thinking my birthday just might have to be the excuse I've been looking for. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, the excitement

Due to the everlasting panic the people of this country seem to still be experiencing, my fellow coworkers have insisted that we need to have an emergency preparedness training session to show us what to do in the event of a bio-terrorist attack. And yes, I'm totally serious.

So at 10:30 this morning we are being called to the basement cafeteria, (sirens, flashing lights and all) where we will sit for several hours while they tape up the air shafts, doors, etc.

How fun.

***please note the sarcasm here***

P.S. No Decemberists last night. No pumpkin bread either. I suck. It was too hot outside to turn on the oven. I'll bake some this weekend, I think. I'm making 4 loaves.

How does this sound:

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Bread
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bread
Pumpkin Carrot Ginger Bread

Sound good? I think so.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Big dork

I was just advised that Magic Cabin now has the zip line in that I wanted to get for Seth. I ordered it and we should be getting it in before the weekend. I can't wait to try it out.

Oh, and speaking of Magic Cabin, Ben ordered my bird cards and they sent the wrong ones. He's upset but I'm so touched that he actually got them for me. I adore that man.


I have so, so many thoughts running through my head today and I'm having a tough time concentrating on just one thing. Work (what's left of it anyway) is downright unbearable these days. I feel incredibly volatile. I have such a small amount of patience for people and certain situations and I'm really holding back from just hauling off and smacking someone. I'm not normally a violent person. It takes a lot to get me to the point where I actually want to inflict pain or harm on another person, and I can recall one or two times in my 30 years of existence where I've actually gotten to that point. But I walk through these doors and instantly any bit of patience or kindness I might have stored up for the day is gone in a split second and I feel like I might snap. I need to get out.

I'm trying not to be a whiny little snot, really.

Corporate America blows. It's not my playground, that's for sure. I have no idea who supplied the crack I was apparently smoking when I decided to take this job for a short period of time for some extra pocket money. You get sucked in. Somehow I went from being an art student fresh out of college and inspired by just about everything, to working a dead-end job with a company I hate and people I despise, but making more money than I'd ever seen in my entire life. Money won the battle even though I swore up and down that I'd never sell out for money. I hate myself for being here so long. I hate what I’ve become and I hate what I’ve allowed this place to do to me. I've stepped on so many people and done so many things I'm not proud of just to hold on here a little longer. It makes me sick to think about it.

So, I'm letting go. After nine very long and life-sucking years I'm letting go. It’s just starting to hit me now. I'm so excited and downright petrified all at the same time and I feel myself pulling in a million different directions. I wake up in the morning and go through the usual routine (pee, brush teeth, shower, dress, put face on, comb hair, check e-mail, drive to work) and this morning it dawned on me that soon I won’t have to do this anymore. It scares the shit out of me, but it’s a thrill at the same time. I feel justified. Above all, though, I feel like for the first time in a long time I'm doing the right thing. Marrying Ben was the first decision I've made that truly made sense to me. This is the second. We may be facing long months where we're stuck eating nothing but PB&J sandwiches and egg noodles and cancelling cable, but I'll be happy. Ben is a godsend for sticking by and supporting me while I make such a life altering decision and I will owe him forever because of it.

I’m sorry to vent like this, but I guess that’s what blogs are for, right? I promise that I won’t do this again. I’ll talk about something interesting next time, I swear. Like, the Pumpkin Bread I plan to make after work tonight. I think I'll pop in "The Tain" by The Decemberists, preheat my oven and just enjoy the simplicity of baking.
And if that doesn't work, I need to find some Valium.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Babies and Zombies, but not baby zombies

Whew! This weekend was crazy! With yesterday marking the first day of autumn I spent a lot of time outdoors. I'm so happy that it's officially here and now that the trees are changing colors and pumpkins are popping up all over the place I feel so content and at peace. It's truly the only time of year when I feel like a normal human being.

We had company over for a good portion of the weekend, but that's nothing new. I actually don't consider Mike and Gary to be "company" anymore, because they could move in and I wouldn't care. I'm past the point where I have to scrub the house from floor to ceiling before they come over, so basically I'm comfortable having them there. The rest of you, though, it's a guarantee that I'm on my hands and knees with a dry Swiffer and a vacuum up until about five minutes before you arrive. Where the hell did I pick up that trait?

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I learned how to crochet while waiting for Lola to arrive. Yeah, I'm a total yarn whore now. I thought I was bad with fabric before now. Yarn? Even worse. Thanks. I've visited AC Moore about a dozen times since Wednesday just to get some practice yarns until I'm used to doing my thing, and now I'm browsing (read: drooling) around on Etsy for some nice but pricey hand spun chunky/textured skeins. If you look to the right at my Etsy favorites, you'll notice that yarn has taken over. It's bad. Even with my "company" over all weekend I sat around and made scarves, and now that it's pretty much a given that I'll be selling yarn in my shop, I'm fantasizing about putting a couch and a few armchairs in the center of the store so people can come in and knit or crochet. You never might encourage people to buy yarn there, and shop for other things at the same time. It's worth a shot.

So, the highlight of my weekend happened yesterday. James, one of the most talented people I know was asked by the band Skinless to make a music video for them. Skinless is a death metal band that went from being a local draw to a worldwide success. I'm not a death metal fan by any means, but I know some of the members and it's really cool to go from watching them practice in someone's basement to seeing pictures of them traveling all over the world. Besides, how can you not love a band with song titles like "Tampon Lollipops" and "Tug of War Intestines"? Heh.

Anyway, Skinless basically hired James to make a music video for them and Jim gladly accepted. They decided to shoot the video in Oakwood Cemetery, one of the oldest and supposedly most haunted cemeteries in the area. James has been working on this for a while now but wanted to get some decent action shots.

He managed to rope in Ben, Sam, Gary, Derrick and his friend Doug to play the zombies and Mike was the priest who went around and killed the zombies in the cemetery. I went along just to watch but wound up being asked to help with makeup and costume.

Dave was in charge of the makeup concept but before long I was gluing Rice Krispies and other various crushed flake cereals onto people's faces to give them lots of nasty texture. I also helped with the overall makeup application too, and Dave fine tuned everything.

The gates are closed and locked at Oakwood at 4:30 every day and the prep work literally took ALL DAY, so we had a half hour to get the cars (and everyone/everything) in, and then get the cars back out before they closed the place up.

After 4:30 when all the cars were out we walked back in and they filmed the rest of the video. It was so cool to be able to watch it happen. I'm glad I went, even though I was pooped out by the end of the day. I think overall it'll be a cool video and I can't wait to see what Jim does with it once it's time to edit. Neat. There are more pictures in my Flickr account. Click the link in the right column of this page.

So that's about it. I'm back in hell today and I'm counting down the minutes until I can get out of here and hang with Lola. She's my little bean, you know.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

3 little things...

...and then I'm off to watch Grandma's Boy for the 56,543,213,542,013,216,543,210,324th time.

I had a fantastic weekend and I'll write all about it tomorrow, but for right now I'm just too damn tired.

But first, I'd just like to mention that I don't even care that I have to go to work tomorrow because, well, counting tomorrow I'll officially have 10 DAYS of work left!!! I haven't even found out if I was granted the buyout money yet, but even if I'm denied I'm done with that fucking place. FOR GOOD! Yes!

Secondly, I'd like to share with you a little something I came up with yesterday:

What the hell is she doing here? I'm thrilled that she's wearing the onesie I made for her, but what's up with that face? I'm so smitten.

And third, I'd just like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little sister who is my new personal hero. You rock, woman.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Zombies, take 1

Just a taste of what's to come:


I've learned how to crochet! My mom taught me over the course of the several hours we waited for Carly to go into labor. I'm hooked now (no pun intended) and already went out and bought nice yarn at the craft store. You're all getting scarves this Christmas. I'm totally serious. I'll be broke after I quit my job, so whether you live in Florida or fucking Alaska, you're getting scarves. Brace yourselves.

A few people have asked me how our anniversary dinner went (especially after my rant a few days ago) and it dawned on me that I got so caught up in baby stuff that I forgot to write about it. Dinner was fantastic. We were actually the only people there. This little place has live music just about every night and the owner explained that most people show up later on to eat while the live act is playing.

The menu at this place is huge. I think it was something like six very full pages long. Mostly vegetarian options, but they had a few meat choices too (turkey and ham only). The owner mentioned that he had to add a few meat dishes because people would come in, sit down, look at the menu and then get up and leave because of the meatless entrees. Now people are starting to understand what vegetarians go through in every single restaurant in the friggin' world! Most places we visit have, like, one or two options on the whole menu that I can choose from and one of them is usually a salad. Shit, I can make myself a salad at home. And salad isn't one of those things that just tastes better when someone else makes it for you. Salad is salad.

Anyway, I went back and forth between "The Adirondack" and the Pierogies and Roasted Veggies. The Adirondack is a sandwich with New York apples, New York sharp cheddar cheese, raw red onion slices and horseradish mayo. Something about that sounds incredible to me and I thought I was going to order it right up until I got to the restaurant. But let's face it, I'm a pierogi girl and I always will be. The man buys the pierogies from some local Polish pierogi lady and he swears by them, so I was sold. Ben got some too. His came with veggies and ham, too. Amazing. Certainly not better than my grandmother's pierogies, but they were fantastic. I think I'll give that sandwich a try at home, too. The recipe sounds easy enough to recreate. Anyway, we spent a whopping total of $23 including dinner, tax and tip. I'm a cheap date, what can I say? Oh and afterward, we hung out at Toys 'R Us for a while picking out presents for a little man about to turn 7, and then scoping out stuffs at a cigar spot.

In baby news, Carly and Lola came home from the hospital yesterday and they're getting settled in. I talked with her three or four times yesterday and she sounds bored. She told me to come over whenever because she'd be "on the couch all weekend with a baby sucking on her boobies." Classy and oh so eloquent. I'm so happy for her. Their little family is adorable and they all seem so perfect for each other.

I'll totally admit that when I was sitting in that hospital I felt that weird little twinge of baby fever. Once I hit 30 I realized exactly what people were talking about when they complained about their biological clock ticking. I always knew that one existed, but I never knew how severe it really was. Man, this sucks. It's almost like an actual craving (of the incredibly strong variety). Like, part of your body is screaming at you to get pregnant, and I can see where most women would follow that instinct and get knocked up. My head, though, overpowers that ticking clock and reminds it that the romantic aspect of getting pregnant only lasts for a short while and then reality kicks in.

Sitting in the hospital waiting room and thinking of having that little baby look up at you and smile melted my heart for a brief second and then I was interrupted by some little kid wailing in the hallway because his parents wouldn't let him have candy from the vending machine. He had a horrible temper tantrum, stomping feet with a flushed face and all, and his father literally had to drag him away. I love how my thoughts somehow materialize right in front of my very eyes as a reminder to get my head out of the clouds. Wow.

The worst part about being a thirty-something sans kids is the guilt people put on you for choosing to stay child-free. I've been scolded and made to feel like a worthless piece of shit on numerous occasions, not to mention the begging, pleading and overly obvious hinting on behalf of my parents. For a short period of time I actually considered having a baby just so that my grandparents would be able to meet him or her before they died. How twisted is that? Having babies is actually expected of you in this day and age and that saddens me. The survival of the human race doesn't depend on having more babies anymore. It depends on securing the future of the planet we need to survive.

I don't have a lot of reasons why I don't want children. I won't go into the obvious rant about the overpopulation of the world and the impact on the environment. I won't go into the obvious rant about all of the unwanted babies in the world and how sick and twisted it is that people wouldn't just adopt them. And I also won't go into the obvious rant about how many people have babies because it's simply the next step in their lives, never once considering how much their lives will change, and then proceed to hold it against their children until they die. Hell, even when I have mentioned that I thought about having one, but I only want ONE, I was told that I'm cruel because it's unfair to raise a single child without siblings. See, you can't win.

No, my main reason why I don't want kids is just that: I don't want kids. I've had every person tell me that I'd be a good mother, but I doubt it. I'm too selfish and impatient to have kids. I've seen what having kids does to your marriage or relationship and I don't want that to happen to me and Ben. I close my eyes and think about my future and a child is never in it. I see myself growing old in our little house, nursing my business and spending the money that would have been set aside for a college education on a kick ass nursing home for the two of us. I'm at the point where I'm used to being treated like a leper when people ask me when I'm going to have them and I tell them never. It's okay. I'm content in knowing that I had the ability to think ahead and know what's right for me instead of doing it simply because I already had the wedding and the house, so this is what comes next. Nah, I'll just take my niece and my sort-of nephew and spoil the shit out of them. You know, load 'em up with sugar and junk and noisy toys and send 'em home. That's what the cool aunt does, right?

So, that's the story. I plan to spend my childless weekend watching my friend James shoot footage for a music video. They've got a whole crew coming in to create zombie makeup and from what I've seen so far it kicks ass. He asked me to come along and take some pictures for him. I can't wait!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

24 hours later...

Carly and Lola are doing very well. Incredibly, Lola's already holding up her own head and even pushing on things with her legs. The doctors and nurses noted her file with the following quote:

"Baby is very, very strong."

That's a great sign! She's a fighter!

She already looks different today. Most of the swelling is down and she's getting the hang of nursing from the breast. She has some pretty nasty scratches on her head from where the doctor not-so-gently broke Carly's water. They'll heal in time.

Spoiled is not the word.

Lola, born at 6:42pm, 7lbs 8oz and 19 1/2 inches long

I should start off by saying that Carly's due date was the 18th. She visited her doctor that same day to see how things were moving and her doctor told her to wait another week or so because there was little to no uterine action and therefore no chance of going into labor any time soon.


Ben came flying into the bedroom at around 4:30 yesterday morning to wake me up and let me know that Carly had called. I got up, made the phone calls I was supposed to and hopped in the shower. Sandy came to pick me up and we were in Carly's room by 6:40. She had already dilated to 4 centimeters by the time she arrived at the hospital and was having fast and regular contractions. The nurses were impressed by how quickly things were moving along so they told her she'd definitely have Lola by the afternoon. Of course, 4 centimeters turned into 5 and then jumped up to 7 where they sat for several hours.

Carly was told up until the day before she went to the hospital that she could have as many people in the delivery room as she was comfortable with, so we were all excited to be there. But, very recently someone changed the policy at Albany Med making it impossible for more than three people to accompany the mother in the room. We worked in shifts all day yesterday waiting around for the action to start happening.

She made a quick jump from 7cm to 10 and she started pushing at about 6:00 last night. I managed to sneak into the room with my dad and they allowed us to stay there until the top of the baby's head and her nose came out. After we were asked to leave, we sat outside the door in the hallway listening for Lola's cry. Ultimately, Carly pushed for about 2 hours before Lola was finally born and I'm impressed and proud that she was incredibly strong through the whole labor. She didn't make a sound and actually cracked jokes in between pushes. She's a tough cookie, let me tell you.

There were some complications with Lola for a few minutes after she came out. She wasn't breathing on her own and the nurses thought they'd have to bring her to the ICU, but once they cleared her throat and lungs everything was fine. She's the most adorable little peanut and we all had the chance to come into the room and hold her.

After experiencing this whole, uh, experience, I'd just like to say that if you live in the Capital District and you're pregnant or planning to be, go to Albany Medical Center. The nurses and doctors there were absolutely incredible. Carly had a nurse assigned to her from 7am to 7pm and this woman sat with her the entire day. Any time she needed anything, she got it. The nurses were so helpful and friendly, and the doctors who worked with Carly the entire day were amazing. The place was clean, the rooms were huge and they made sure that everyone's needs were met. Wonderful.

I'm off from work for the rest of the week, and I plan to stalk Carly and the baby today and tomorrow (and of course, for the rest of the baby's life). I spoke with Carly this morning and she sounded great. She was up most of the night with the feedings every two hours, but she feels good. I'm just waiting for 9:00 to roll around so I can get moving.

Stay tuned...lots more pictures to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The waiting...

Ben woke me up about fifteen minutes ago to let me know that Carly called...she's on her way to the hospital.

I hate waiting.

I should probably go and wash the stink off, as my mother so eloquently says, although I think a shower will help to wake me up a bit.

Lots of obnoxious and plentiful new auntie pictures to come. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007



Monday, September 17, 2007


I realized today how simple and, dare I say, boring, a person I truly am. I've never been a flashy person. I don't buy a lot of clothing and I'm certainly not a shoe whore. I don't keep up on the latest trends and I buy most of my clothing from places like Old Navy and the Salvation Army. Name brands mean nothing to me and if you invite me to a formal event that requires pantyhose or ::gasp:: a dress, I can promise you that I'm throwing a fit and cursing you out behind your back. On a good day I'll throw on a bit of eye makeup to keep people from thinking I've been resurrected from the dead. I do very little with my hair, and this is the main reason why I keep it short...less work.

Sometimes I think I'm too lazy a person and my general lack of energy and enthusiasm prevents me from fixing the "problems" listed above. But today it dawned on me that I'm not really all that lazy. I just don't give a damn. What I wear and where I shop doesn't make me who I am. Hell, I think the fact that I don't make a whole lot of money makes me a decent person. My life is simple and I enjoy living it with my husband, my dog and my cat. We keep a small, neat home on a dead-end street. Most nights we're content to sit together on the front porch talking or just spend hours snuggled up on our old, beaten up couch watching the Food Network. I find great peace in things like baking bread or spending endless hours at my sewing machine. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tomorrow Ben and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary. We chatted briefly this morning about how we'd like to spend the evening and we both agreed to go out for dinner. Last year we had a wonderful time. We dined on Lebanese food in Troy in the tiniest, dirtiest little hole in the ground. Most people wouldn't give this place a second thought. It's not the kind of place one would think they could get a delicious meal without an infectious disease, and the reactions we got from people when they asked where we went disgusted me. Apparently I don't make enough money to be friends with certain people. They simply don't approve.

Things like this make me lose faith in humanity. What have we, as Americans, become? Who decided that we are expected to spend a ton of money on a meal in order to make our anniversary "real"? And exactly how much money do I need to EAT before I become a decent human being in your eyes? I'd love to know. This year we're planning on having dinner at a vegetarian restaurant in Schenectady and from the looks of the menu, we probably won't spend more than $20 for two. That's plenty. Last year we held hands and took a nice walk after dinner around downtown Troy, window shopped and poked around in the antiques district. This year I think we'll find ourselves in the stockade district of Schenectady and if the weather agrees we'll walk around again this year. To me, this is the ultimate anniversary gift. A nice meal (and cheap to boot) and a walk with my love. Hell, we might even throw a card in there for good measure.

Live simply.

I cannot express how important this is. Expensive meals, cars, clothing, hotel rooms, friends...they mean nothing in the end. I'm not impressed by how much money you make. If anything, I feel bad for you. Living a complicated life is a difficult choice you're making for yourself. Why bother? Being a pretentious little consumer has not made you a good person. Stop compensating for whatever it is that you're missing in your life and focus on being a good person. The world needs more good people.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A little bleeding, a sinking feeling

I went to a funeral.

My great aunt Jo, my grandmother's baby sister, died suddenly last week at the age of 63 and today we all had to say goodbye. It was, by far, one of the hardest funerals I've ever had to deal with.

Anyone who has ever been to an Irish funeral knows how trying they can be. The alcohol afterward tends to numb things a bit, of course, but grieving with a family as large and as close as mine is never an easy task no matter how much booze you throw into the mix. Aunt Jo and her husband Don belonged to the Methodist faith and it was Aunt Jo's wish to have the services held in their own little church. I don't think this little church in the middle of nowhere in the Adirondacks had the slightest idea what they were getting themselves into. So many people. Each of them crying harder than I've ever seen adults cry. I always thought that nothing could break my heart more than seeing a grown man cry real tears, but after today I think I've changed my mind. Watching all of those little kids cry over their grandmother's body was awful.

I know that during the service I should have kept the subject of my thoughts strictly on Aunt Jo and my memories of her, but instead I had too many questions. Why do people have open caskets at wakes and funerals? I know the obvious answer is to have your final goodbyes with the deceased, but who wants to see that really? Aunt Jo looked horrific, and I don't mean to sound disrespectful in saying it. I don't consider myself to be the kind of person who is afraid of death. I'm not afraid (or dare I say "grossed out") to walk up to the casket and hold the hand of the person who is in it or even kiss them goodbye. I just don't understand anyone's NEED to see their dead relative or friend after they're gone!
I would never want that. I DON'T ever want that. In fact, I'm writing it down now and letting it be known that if someone does this with my body after I'm dead I'm coming back to haunt the person who made the final decision. Bad, bad, bad.

Every death I encounter whether in my family, or with friends, or even with people I hear about in the news or whatever, reminds me of what I DON'T want when I'm gone.

So, here's my list. Follow it if you will. Someone please bookmark this so my poor husband will have a guide to follow. I've given explicit instructions over the years and I know he just nods his head, but when the time comes I don't know that he'll remember.

1) DNR!
I cannot express how important this is to me. I've recently obtained the paperwork necessary to make this official, but for now I'm stating it here. DO NOT RESUSCITATE! Under any circumstances. Got it?

2) Donate my organs.
While I sincerely doubt that anyone could benefit from this putrid body of mine, you never know. If someone can use my eyes, heart, lungs (although I doubt that one), or any other organs to save or better their life, take 'em. And I don't care if you want to get all soft and tell the recipient all about who I am and what my life story is. I'll be dead and I'm sure I won't give a shit.

3) Do not, I repeat, DO NOT donate my body to science.
I used to be all about this whole idea until I did a bit of research for myself and learned of all the messed up things going on in the world with body part trade and whatnot. I'd rather not participate in that anymore, thank you very much.

4) Take what's left of me after all of my generous giving (heh) and plant me in an eco-cemetery.
The government decided long ago that I have absolutely NO say in what happens to my body after I die so my true wishes will not be granted unless I go with an eco-cemetery. I would like to be buried in a pine box with no lining (I'm dead, remember? Who needs satin lining? For real.) under a big tree. I don't really care where. Anyone who knows me would know what kinds of places I'd enjoy. I do not want to be embalmed. Period. There's something incredibly wonderful about being allowed to rot in the ground and someday become a flower or a tree. Does that make me sound like a dirt hippy? Yes. But still, this really matters to me, so please keep all your snickering to a bare minimum and hear me out. The rules of an eco-cemetery are simple: no embalming, biodegradable casket or simple shroud only, and only a NATURAL grave marker. This means trees, plants, stones, etc. Sounds nice, right? Psssst: I love rock piles like this:

5) If my wishes from #4 cannot be granted, please cremate me and sprinkle a little of me in Lake Placid, a little at the Grafton Peace Pagoda, a little in the Atlantic ocean and a little at Shaver's Pond.
Oh, and it would be nice if Alex could put a little bit of me somewhere near the ice caves in Washington, preferrably in the woods on the way to the ice caves. That's it. I'm not thrilled at all about the idea of cremation. Not at all. But if it means choosing between cremation and the iron casket with the poofy slippery lining looking like formaldehyde-soaked shit, I'm taking the fire, baby.

Anyway, I didn't intend for this entry to be so wordy, but this afternoon made me feel raw and full of emotion. I loved Aunt Jo dearly and I'm glad she's not suffering anymore. God knows she suffered horribly for a while before she died. But I also know that a public viewing was NOT on her list of last requests and someone else made that decision after she was gone. I guess I just feel like I should get my wishes out as much as possible and hope like hell that someone is listening.

You are listening, right?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A little breathing

We had a tiny scare last night...

Carly and Jeremie came over to hang out with me, Ben, Sam and Mike, and in a very short period of time Carly went from having contractions every once in a while to having about 6 or 7 in about an hour. Everyone got excited and she called her doctor to find out what he thought she should do. He told her that she'll definitely have the baby within the next day or so (meaning TODAY), so we're all on call waiting for the little bugger to come on out!

Carly called me this morning to see if I'd take her someplace to walk around for a while. Apparently it's uncomfortable for her to do anything but walk, so I agreed to accompany her in whatever she wanted to do. It's nasty outside today so I'm going to take her to the mall (ugh) to walk around for a few hours and see what develops.

We shall see...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This IS your mother's pad

Someone on Etsy posted this link and I seriously almost peed my pants while watching it:


The buyout package came out today, kids!!!

I can't wait to get home and sign my name on the dotted line(s). Our head union dude here told me it's the same buyout they've been offering over the past few years, not the "enhanced" package we've all heard rumors about. This is a very good sign. If the enhanced offer came around this time I would have a snowball's chance in hell of being accepted because everyone within five years of retirement would take it and I'd be at the bottom of the barrel. Not good.

Oh god, this sooooooo needs to happen. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!! If I'm denied I have a decent shot at an appeal, so I'm not giving up hope. Please, please, PLEASE let me get it!!!

Fork 'em over!

I want these (from here) more than anything right about now:
Each card is 8" x 10" and would look so adorable framed and hanging in my office. I need money.
Seriously, Magic Cabin is an awesome company to check out. I love the simple toys and gifts for kids. I was searching around the catalog they sent me looking for gifts for Lola and Seth and I was surprised at how many things I found for myself! I may have to start ordering my wool felt from here, too! And, with all the controversy these days surrounding toys made in China, it's refreshing to know you can get safe gifts for the little ones from this company. Lurve.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dear Pesto,

How I love thee! You made me look like a culinary heroine last night when I made my newly famous Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Pesto Pizza! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart...and my gut.



Seriously, guys. If you have the ability to get yourself some Buddhapesto, get some. Hell, buy it in bulk. This is not for the faint of heart! Plus, I love the story behind this family's success. They're really sweet people.

Oh, and if you're interested in making this delicious pizza masterpiece, follow my recipe below. This is not an exact recipe. Just wing it and go with what you like. Some people like lots of garlic, some don't. Some like more pepper, some don't. Just do what'cha like!

For the roasted asparagus:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus (washed and rough ends cut off)
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic (lately I'm enjoying Japanese garlic from the local garlic man)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

For the pizza:

Pre-made pizza dough (when I'm not feeling lazy I make my own)
Olive Oil
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
Pesto (preferably Buddhapesto)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Start off by roasting the asparagus. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the washed and snipped asparagus on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and toss them around with olive oil (enough to lightly coat), minced garlic (as much or as little as you like), salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Roast in the oven until they're cooked through. That time depends on your oven. Mine takes between 25 and 30 minutes. If you like them crunchy or smooshy, adjust the cooking time accordingly, and check the firmness from time to time with a fork.

When the asparagus is done roasting, remove them from the oven and set aside. Spread a ball of pizza dough out on a cookie sheet or pizza stone and brush lightly with olive oil (extra virgin is best, in my opinion). Pop it in the 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until it's toasty. Spread a thin layer of the pesto (a.k.a. green lust) over the crust and top with roasted asparagus and garlic, and then add the sliced mozzarella cheese on top of that. I sprinkle the pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder on top of the cheese, but you can put it underneath if that's your sort of thing. Throw that bad boy into the oven and bake until the top of the pizza is browned. I think I left mine for about 15 minutes, but with so much stuff on top I moved it to the bottom rack of the oven to crisp up the bottom of the crust.

This shit is so amazingly good I couldn't believe it. If you try the recipe out, let me know what you think!!!

Oh, and one more thing...I MUST include the following picture, because, admit it, this little man is the most adorable little thing you've ever seen! Until Lola's born, of course! Just kidding.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Birthdays and Billiards

Okay, so for the past three weeks I've been planning a big surprise birthday party for Ben. I know he reads this blog from time to time so I didn't want to post anything about it until now.

Diamond 8 pool hall was the venue, and while I was hesitant to have the party there because we never play pool, I was glad I chose it after everything was over. We had a great time. I'm mostly amazed that so many people were involved and not a single person slipped up around Ben...he had no clue!

Those responsible for keeping him home and in his street clothes before it was time to get him to the pool hall fed him (and, Mike) drinks to keep him from being suspicious, so he was a bit buzzed when he arrived, but not too bad. It seemed like everyone had a good time.

We kept busy with a pool table that was reserved for us throughout the party, plus we all took part in a few rounds of darts (Carly and I had our collective asses kicked BADLY, which totally surprised me), and video games.

The pool hall has karaoke every Friday night at 9:30, and Ben's been saying for a while now that he wanted to participate in a bit of karaoke, so things worked out well. I know Dave is an avid karaoke guy, so he broke the ice and everything went on from there. Tradition in our group has Dave opening the show singing "Secret Agent Man", and no one likes to break tradition.

Ben's 31st birthday certainly did NOT go unnoticed. Friday night was his third birthday celebration for this year, and seeing as how that apparently wasn't enough, we all gathered at Sandy's last night for tacos, Wii, cigars, and a very close game of Trivial Pursuit. I'm so pissed because no matter what team I'm on, or how "on" I am in the game I haven't won a single round in a very long time. I'm not blaming anyone...not even myself. It's just terribly frustrating to lose so many times by such a small margin (1 question). Maybe I should just embrace my losing streak and stop thinking about it so much. I enjoy the game tremendously, and I love playing it with friends even more.

Anyway, I hope this was a memorable birthday for Ben. We all wanted to go above and beyond just having people over to the house to sit around and bullshit. I like planning parties for people. And hey, the man deserves everything we did for him and much more. We'll have to see what my broke ass can whip up for him next year. Heh.

The End.