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Understanding how the college I attended survives in the college that still exists today was the real reason for getting together for dinner. Although there was some ďreminiscingĒ and telling of stories from my time, in retrospect, I think was hoping to be able to hold those stories up to a mirror of recent experience. Although she is familiar with the student experience, she hasnít actually lived it. The weekly paper Ė which was always something of a joke while I was there, I think it came out on a green sheet? Is at least available online now, reporting past events.
First Fridays are now more special: Knit Nite. I suspect I am not going to be as fond on the Thursday night gigs - they will be shorter because we all have to go to work the next day. Knit nite will not be the "end of week" pause that I need, some way to mark the end of the work week. That is really why I have enjoyed it Ė my only real social outlet- so much. It was a way to delineate the transition to weekend, when I would shut my work brain off and focus on having fun.
Physical therapy on a Saturday is not my favorite thing. It isnít so much the interruption of the weekend, as the fact that afterwards, I often feelÖ not exactly tired or winded, but squashed. It isnít like a massage, where I walk out feeling better. I know that with both approaches weíre working through various physical issues, muscles not aligned as they should be. With a massage in the morning, I float through the rest of the day. With PT in the morning? Ė the rest of the day is difficult, I generally am tired, a bit achy and not energized.
There are a number of options to salvage the bread that didnít rise yesterday. The dense structure might work for French toast, especially the real pain perdue. But with berries floating around Ė I think itís time for bread pudding. I didnít grow up with bread pudding, but I like it just fine now. It should use all the bread, and the excess eggs and cream we currently have. And on the plus side? I can freeze a few of the chunks and we can have something home baked in a few months, even when we donít have a working stove.
Repeat after me: I have enough yarn. I can knit for years without having to buy yarn. I am working hard to not buy yarn, but to knit, knit, knit. I did a few calculations for my current sweater project (whenever I get back to it): it will use over 19,000 yards of yarn. Which rather makes my head swim, when I realize that is just a small percentage of my stash. But I really like the look Ė the colors Ė of multiple strands of nearly the same color used together. Iím painting with color without having to dye the yarn.
The stash has grown a lot in recent years, even though I am really not buying as much yarn as I used to. In part because Iíve not been knitting as much as I did ten years ago. I used to knit three hours a day on the train, and maybe more at night. Now, Iím lucky to knit two hours a couple of times a week Ė my consumption has slowed. So Iím trying to plot a few more 20,000 yard sweaters: in burgundy, teal, violet, lavender and blue. That would be 100,000 yards gone, only about 14%. Yikes.
Best of intentionsÖ I was doing fairly well. And then I fell off the wagon. The writing wagon, that is. I am taking notes, sometimes. Some days I get in the groove, and write things, have things I want to write about. And then, work happens. Not as in a surfeit of work, but I am mentally squashed by work. I donít want to talk about work here. I donít love my job, but not sure I ever loved this particular job. Have I ever loved any job? Even though I say I have a career, theyíve always been jobs.
A blast from the past today: I wasnít aware that pizza joints with big, blaring pipe organs was a national thing - I thought it was just local. I can remember driving up to Grand Rapids with my grandparents,standing in line to order the pizza then finding a seat at the long, communal tables. I loved the big Wurlitzer organ. I donít know if the pizza was really that good at The Roaring Ď20ís, but I sure loved going there. The music meant it was OK to not talk, you could just sit and enjoy the experience.
Bribery often is my method for getting through tasks I donít want to do. It is a balancing act: figuring out what my breaking point is for the hateful task, and what is just enough of the thing I want to do to without allowing myself to get lost in it. Iím having a terrible time successfully bribing myself with this damn otter. I must slog through it and Iím running out of time. Last night, the knit nighters seemed surprised (and not in a good way) at how fiddly the work was. I misplaced the same ear three times.
I am working very hard to create manageable ToDo lists these days. The list of things that theoretically should be done at any time is very long, at home or at work. But what actually needs to be done now? And what do I want to do? Thereís a lot more leeway at home on doing what I want. The whole point of the weekend is to do some of the stuff that makes you happy. Knitting, reading, watching a movie, gardening or whatever. Sometimes thatís baking muffins and bread in the same weekend. This is one of those weekends.
The damn otter is done. I donít hate the otter. I hated the experience of knitting the otter. I was frustrated by the pattern. I hated knitting with double pointed needles that were too long for what I was knitting. I was frustrated by the lack of instructions on where to attach the legs. And ears. And eyes. I think parts of my otter are much better executed than on some of the other examples, and other parts. . . not so much. On the whole, I think it came out pretty well. I just hope himself agrees with me.
Listening to a pre-Christmas podcast today, I suddenly became psyched about making cookie boxes to gift at Christmas. Seriously? Seriously. Agreed, I'm a few months late or very early, depending on your perspective. The idea of sweet and spicy nuts, cranberry walnut blondie bites (or the sparkling gems!), my Triple X cookies, ginger creams and a shortbread or Sour Cream Cookie, nestled in a decorative tin sounds very appealing. And small containers of Fromage Fort! Cheese straws! Crackers! Imma BAKE.ALL.THE.THINGS! Altogether too good for work colleagues, so I'd have to give it to the Knit Niters.
Stopped in traffic, I looked up and saw what appeared to be a massive, truly gigantic tulip blossom on a tree. As I looked at it more closely, I decided no, it was a checkered fritillaria: the blossom pointed downward, with purple and almost silver alternating in sequence. I then caught myself: more than twenty feet off the ground, more than two feet in length? Definitely not a flower blossom. When rational logic kicked in, I saw it was a deflated mylar balloon. I then smiled over the untrammeled workings of the mind: trying to find beauty everywhere I look.
We have always done slightly mushy cards on Valentineís Day, even if there is very little other celebration. I found a card at the drugstore that carries a very posh line of cards. I actually bought two, but decided on the one with the outside that spoke to my heart. When he put down his card to me, I looked at the envelop and my heart did a flip. It was the same envelope as the card for him Ė we bought cards made by the same manufacturer. We opened the cards together, slowly: both had a pair of kissing seahorses.
Relationships past: what worked, what didnít; what I got out of them, what did I learn. Reflect. Ummmm. Most of them didnít work because they were fatally flawed: the guys didnít have a real understanding of me. The only looked at the surface. And mostly, they were immature, with an expectation that I would take care of them. Even if they proposedÖ there was a real reliance on my being the grown up, my organizational abilities and drive to get shit done. What workedÖ thatís an interesting question. Iím not sure they really worked at all or why they lasted.
Opening the package, the smell of dark, freshly roasted coffee rose up and hit me hard. It was delicious. And deja vu set in - the last time I smelled that intensity of coffee, where it fills your senses, was decades ago at Upson's. I've been up close to barrels of freshly roasted coffee. I've been next to the coffee roaster as it is going. But there was nothing like this overwhelming sense of being immersed in the coffee. I have great hopes for this coffee. Maybe its time for cup with Kahlua while watching an original Star Trek episode
Saturdays are my day to get shit done, so that Sundays with Geoffrey can be relaxed: chores, errands, the stuff that needs to get done on weekends. Writing lists helps me focus. I am now trying to get laundry done on Saturdays, so that isn't hanging over my head on Sunday nights. Such an exciting life, doing laundry on Saturday night. Yes, I could do it one night after work. And if I were consistently home on Wednesdays, that might be the night. Particularly as thereís not been anything good on TV on a Wednesday since.. I canít remember when.
A complete pajama day. I never got dressed. I lounged around and watched the Olympics. I knit. I played with Boo. Having completed weekend chores, and with tomorrow a day off, I was able to just do nothing of any value today. It wasnít quite blanket forting Ė not to me, but I just did nothing of consequence. I didnít even bake the scones I planned to bake! It was sort of was refreshing, but in other ways. . . it was disconcerting. To not do anything when Iím not sick? Not even anything specifically fun? It seemed a waste, somehow.
My calculations seem to be off: I'm running out of yarn for this sweater. The plan was to complete a single front from each of the remaining balls Iíd wound. But the first ball is running out just at the armhole bind-offs. I canít just go out and buy more, this yarn is a special concoction I made by using five different yarns together, and one of the yarns was completely used in the balls I wound. The yarn that made up half of the total number of strands. Using all the remaining bits together might make up the difference.
Hostile. Merriam Webster defines it at "openly opposed or resisting" or "not hospitable". Only here can I express what I really think of what transpired. What a bunch of babies, who've never experienced a real world work environment, where you are held accountable for your work product. When *the work* is criticized, it is not a personal attack. When the work doesn't meet expectations, it isn't the fault of the evaluator: if you are not clear on expectations, you need to be proactive to gain understanding. I shouldn't be reviewing first drafts that haven't even been run past your manager.
It is February in New York. It should not be 70 degrees outside. Not in any reasonable scenario. The sunshine was beating down on the harbor today. The office was so warm I opened the window a few inches to let in fresh air. It being spring break, the little village was crawling with kids, some with parents, some unsupervised. The daffodils are coming up already, and the French lilac has distinct buds. The Farmerís Almanac says there is still snow in the coming weeks. I really donít want another super early spring with plants that bloom out of cycle. I was doing so well
Knowing that tonight is Knit Nite, I again spend the day being convinced that nothing is getting done, no progress anywhere on anything. Because for five years, Knit Nite has been the end of the week. I am having real problems adjusting to Thursday nights. We are done by 8 PM, so thereís hardly any time to settle in and knit after eating something. I cannot wait until 8:30 PM to eat dinner, as I know some are now doing. I wonít stop going on Thursdays, but it isnít my end-of-week cookie anymore, something that I to look forward to.
Continuing to ponder those past relationships: I think there was only one who saw me, the real me. In retrospect, I am not sure I recognized the real him, though, because he was hiding. In so many ways. And at the time, I wasnít ready to settle down, as the saying goes. I have no idea if a real relationship could have developed, but it was a lovely interlude. Looking back, I honestly donít think I was prepared to handle a serious, long-term relationship until after I bought my house. Because by then, a relationship was icing on my cupcake.
Sometimes you bake, and it works, and you know why. Sometimes you bake, and it doesn't work and you don't know why. Today I baked, and I don't honestly know why it did work (a very wet dough!) but these nectarine scones are like WHOAH GOOD! The dough itself is quite tender, the Yuletide Cheer spice is just barely detectable, a nice back layer of flavor and the nectarine bits are yummy. Thereís enough sugar on top for a little bit of extra crispness in the crust. And theyíre just crusty enough on the bottom, but not overdone at all.
This was only half a day. I slept through the first half of it. When I woke up and saw it was after 11 AM, my mind just sputtered: How? What?! Yes, I took the muscle relaxant last night, but sleeping more than 11 hours? Really?! And I donít really feel refreshed, which is a real downside of taking the meds. But my leg is definitely not as tight, and thatís the reason why I will take the pills. Iíve gotta remember to take them right after dinner, though. Because waking up at 11 AM on a Sunday really sucks.
Twenty five years ago it was 1993. I had taken the day off to finish on one of my main grad school papers, planning to turn it in by 3:00. The news of the bombing at the World Trade Center interrupted my flow of printing and doing final edits. I was glued to the TV, but the story developed slowly, nobody knew what had really happened by the time I left to turn in my paper. After I turned in the paper, I went to Fitzpatricks for a drink to celebrate. That was the night I met Donal, aka Snake.
It was an amazingly beautiful day - clear blue skies, sunshine all the way, warm but not so warm that you were sweating. I walked to the bakery for lunch without my coat on, basking in the sunshine and giving the side-eye to everyone under 70 bundled up in their coat. Sitting at my desk this afternoon, the sunshine coming off the harbor was essentially blinding. When I drove out of the parking lot, I opened the moonroof. This is the balmy day in February you dream of, where the hints of spring are very seductive, not overwhelming and uncomfortable.
Dad is bored. Winter is long, cold and a bit dark in Michigan and he doesnít have a serious radio project. I understand how boredom and depression can begin to set in. The problem is: what might actually distract him, give him some entertainment? Music? Heís got it, unless we come up with something new. He reads, but isnít a reader, if you know what I mean. Movies? Hmmm. Feasting on Asphalt, season two: The River Run. YeahÖ my parents are planning to head south along the Mississippi soon. Entertainment and research all in a set of DVDs. Excitement delivered.
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