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Archive for December, 2006

Whiskers on somethin’*

Did you ever have one of those days when you left the house feeling pretty ok. I mean, it’s the holiday, knitting-crazed, baking-obsessed season, so you can write off the circles and bags that are framing your eyes so nicely and the zits from the stress. That’s all just par for the course. But, the outfit is ok and the hair isn’t a nightmare so all-in-all it’s a alright day. Then, sometime between exiting the house and walking in the door at work, all hell breaks loose.

Marley is amusedI was greeted this morning by a close friend/coworker who said, “Hey, lemme just get this thing off your boob.” And pulled a huge hairball from the underside of my left boob, where I never would have seen it. I looked down at my black sweater that I had lint brushed just an hour or so before and I was covered in fuzz. Not some hair here or there, but covered in strands and chunks of hair. It looked like my dog had pinned me on her dog bed and rolled me around before letting me walk out the door.

So I grabbed the sticky roller and de-fuzzed. And that should have fixed it, except then I noticed that maybe I shouldn’t have worn the ribbed tank top that doesn’t hold its shape well under the fitted sweater. And then my pants started to stretch out and sag, with the lovely crease that I get across the front because I sit on my ass all day.

By the time I left, the edge of the tank top (that had just been peeking out from beneath the sweater that morning) had this folded, ruffle effect above my sagging, creased pants and there was this weird lumpy thing happening under the sweater from the tank top that WOULD NOT BE CONTAINED. And then, somehow the bags and circles and stress zits seem to matter because the outfit, that had been holding the I’m-not-THAT-frazzled look together with a stick pin and a piece of gum has failed.

It just goes down hill from there, because, the next thing you know, your mind has joined that rumpled heap and it’s 5:45 and you were going to leave a half hour ago but are on the phone with a client and watching the emails pile up in your inbox like a bad jenga game. Pick the wrong one, and you’re doomed.

That’s when you pack up the laptop and sneak out the back door so no one can ask you one more thing, drive the hour (14 miles) home, change into clothes that are supposed to look a mess, put the hair in the ponytail and find yourself back in the kitchen, baking pistachio cranberry and crispy chocolate truffle cookies while you glance at the clock, thinking of bed.  And wondering what the hell to wear tomorrow.

*not to be confused with somethin’ somethin’

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Upswing?

Allrighty. Well. The new ATM card came. I have access to money again! I was able to update my Smart-Tag/EZPass thingamabob so my drive home will be much easier. YAY! Incredible relief.

BF also gave me my new digital camera last night! WAHOO! I am SO excited. It’s so cool. It’s got tons of settings and options that I have to learn how to use. It also fits really comfortably in my hand and isn’t too heavy, which is great. First thing, I want to go out and take pictures of the neighborhood, because Christmas has not gently come to our neighborhood—it puked on the ‘hood. It’s insane. Things flash and move and glow and sparkle and rotate colors and inflate and fly. There is a glow over the streets as soon as the sun goes down. A bright, blinky, colorful glow. It’s truly a spectacle. (And even weirder with the 70 degree temps we’ve had. It’s just not right.)

There was the New York City-ing this weekend. Not a ton of shopping progress was made, but the top-down bonnet was finished! So BestFriend and I were walking around, each wearing a baby in a front carrier, each baby in knit hats I made, replete with kitty ears, and it was like being a minor celebrity. “Oooooooooooooooooohhhhh… look at the babies! Oh my god! Are they twins? (duh) Whose are they? How old? So cute!” And on and on. It slows you down, but it’s really funny. (Funny to me anyway, BestFriend is a little tired of it.) I really want walk around like that with a video camera. How much fun would that be to show them later?

We went into The Point for some yarn and needles. What a great place! The staff was super helpful, they had a class going on and folks just sitting and knitting and sipping on some coffee. Everyone was friendly and smiley. It was great! BestFriend got me a yarn dyeing kit for Christmakwanzakah. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. She and I used to tie dye all the time when I was a kid. (Until we dyed the dog. Mom got pissed and that pretty much ended that. I mean, it’s not like we dunked him. We dipped our hands and pet him all over. He didn’t seem to mind, But I digress. Again…)

The long stocking cap for my niece is about half way done. It’s BRIGHT, but she’s 5 so she’ll like it. I really don’t think I’m going to be able to finish all 3 for Christmas day though. Bad Auntie. Bad, bad auntie.

In other news, we had a blood drive today at work. I used to donate plasma monthly before I moved down here. I’m the universal plasma type, so every time I was qualified again, they’d call and I’d go in. I’d also sometimes donate platelets, but not usually whole blood. Regardless, I never used to have a problem and the required iron level is the same no matter what. Well they’ve raised the required iron level and not one single woman in our office has been able to donate today. If the normal hematocrit for a man is somewhere between 41 and 50 percent and the normal for a woman is between 36 and 44 percent, wouldn’t it make sense that they have one required level for women and one for men in order to qualify to donate? It makes no sense that a man’s level is allowed to be below normal to donate, but not a woman’s.

I know it’s for the safety of the donor, but they lost over half of their donors today and there is a major blood shortage. I used to have no problems or ill effects from donating when the required level was 36 instead of 38, even on the rare occasion that I did donate whole blood.

Can anyone offer some insight here?

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But good flippin’ god, I am ON THE EDGE.

The top down bonnet is all but done. I’m stitching over some of the white (can’t remember the term) to make grey spots because I knitted on the round and was not dealing with that much end weaving to make a white bonnet with grey spots and grey kitty ears. I’m seeing my friend this weekend, so I really want it to be done. But, it’s supposed to be fairly warm, so at least the little buggers won’t have cold heads if I finish the last hat up when I’m there (and it’s not done for the tramping around the city part of the trip).

The things you promise in a fit of love and enthusiasm, man. I’ll never learn.

The yarn is beginning to come for the long stocking hats for the nephews and niece. I got my order from kpixie today SO FAST. Crazy fast. I love kpixie. But, I must say, there are huge things to be said for going into a yarn store and seeing the colors in person. Mustard? I was looking for sunshine, not mustard. Oh well. No time to fuss, we must make it work. Must. Make. Work. Now. Fast. Work. Make. Fast. Hats. Now.

But then I saw Sheldon. I MUST make Sheldon. Yarn already ordered.

The pumpkin pound cake and half the gingerbread hermits have been baked. I’ll try to bake the other half of the hermits tomorrow. If I remember to get ginger. On my way home from my 5:30 meeting at work. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I still have to figure out something fruity and a chocolate cookie.

I’m perpetually at the point at work where I want to hide under my desk until the day is over. So let’s not talk about that.

I’m heading to NYC this weekend on Saturday, after my office Christmas party Friday night (but we’re not mentioning work), to do my annual Christmas shopping with my best friend and her baby twins. Typically she and I are really successful on our annual scour the city for the last minute things oh my god I must find it trip. This year better be the same, because I am BEHIND.

I did order BF’s present today. I used my friend’s credit card because I still don’t have an ATM since the thievery and it seemed really wrong to ask to use his to pay for his own gift. Thank bejesus for friends. Not having the ATM means I have to get my patooty down to the bank on Friday because New York business folk no likey the checks. I’m having fun. I am.

Now I have to start swatching for hats and hope to god I remember head circumferences. Someday, this will all make sense again. I promise.

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My life is a sit-com.

2 weeks: A snapshot of my life.

BF, dog and I drove home for Thanksgiving. My home. And usually, I’d stay with my sister and her family. However, BF being a BF and not a husband and there being no ring on my finger to say that there would be imminent husbandness, we couldn’t. So, as to save the inordinate amount of juggling that would have had to occur in my sister’s household in order to accommodate us, we instead stayed with my best friend. She, in fact, repeatedly asked us to stay despite the fact that she has infant twins and three cats. THREE CATS. Yes, come visit and bring your dog. Allrighty then.

It went surprisingly well. Only once did a cat climbed the molding around the window up to the blinds and spray all over the place. Oops. Marley really just wanted a sniff, Lucky. I promise.

Thanksgiving went well, other than me dropping the casserole dish with my tofurkey in it on my foot. My sister’s father-in-law got toasty enough that he was calling me dude and then later fell asleep in a chair, occasionally yelling out, “I don’t know!” (Our guess is that he was dreaming that his wife was asking him questions and didn’t want to appear to have passed out. Right.)

The trip continued with the family outing to the tree farm to cut Christmas trees together. In the oh, 55 degree, sunshiny, balmy weather. In upstate New York. There was a huge crew of us—both sisters, both brothers-in-law, all 5 nieces and nephews, the BF, the dog and Dad and his now fiancee. We trooped out in the fields and scattered. Suddenly from afar, we hear my brother-in-law yell, “MARCO!” Our whole crew responds with a resounding, “POLO!” And that’s how we kept track of each other. And it worked. (Well, mostly worked. There were the occasional outbursts of,” I can’t find my child! Where is my child??” But we always found them after not too long.)

Back at the Pay Here Shack, I told them we were heading back to Virginia and asked if the tree was wrapped well enough or whatever to make it that far. “Virginia?? We’ve never had anyone from THAT far!!” Apparently, we were the buzz of the tree farm. They even told my brother-in-law about us, not realizing that we were together. So, being the crazy foreigners that we are, we all tied the trees to the roofs, BF opened up the trunk and (kind of) jokingly asked if anyone wanted a beer, and we ended up tailgating at the tree farm with the family. Because that’s what we do down here. Or something.

We finally made it home to that far land, Virginny, and then the fun really kicked in. With the fridge dying (And living out of coolers, being told we’d have another one in about a week and then having the tiny used one delivered 2 days later with no notice and the landlord screening our calls after that.), the DSL going out (And the help desk dude zeroing out all the connections other than my work computer.), the stolen ATM card (And ensuing trips to the bank and I still haven’t made it to the notary and need to go back to the bank one more time because my bank doesn’t have a notary and the notary at the UPS store doesn’t keep regular hours and notaries at other banks only notarize things for their account holders because of, you know, “liabilities.”), and the head cold on top of it all.

And work has been insanely busy and I’m trying to keep up. Then, at the end of the week last week, I get this:
“Also, you and the team should know: NAME OF MAIN CONTACT is going to be out for the next 6 weeks or so starting today—he is donating a kidney to his uncle. So, our newest staff member, NEW GUY, will be taking on his duties in the interim. We’ll hook him in next time we need a full-group discussion.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t know, and you just glossed over DONATING A KIDNEY?? Did he wake up in a tub filled with ice cubes? I mean… what do you do with that? What do you say in response? Wow. Good luck. I wish you a future of renal health because you’re screwed otherwise… Don’t misread me here, I have an enormous amount of respect for this person. It’s just not what you expect when you open an email with the subject line Templates and Content.

That’s got to be enough for a pilot, isn’t it?

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Not my best what?

Ok, so the cough doesn’t sound like TB anymore. That’s good. Right? Mucinex rocks, by the way, for those of you who have never taken it.

In other news, the “new” fridge got delivered. And, if your definition of new was used and really small, you’d be happy. Me? Not so much. But it’s cold where it should be and really cold where it should be and, with some fancy organization, things fit, and then some things were thrown away that should have been, and the delivery guy that we didn’t know was coming didn’t have to stand outside too long while we quick got out of the shower to let him in as the dog furiously leapt at the door, snarling and teeth bared and wagging like a madwoman. Um, so fine. Kind of.

And the $400 in charges to my credit/debit card have cleared, so now I can fill out the fraud paperwork, which I would have done today, but the meeting ran late and I got to the bank at 3:37 when it closed at 3:30. Maybe I can go tomorrow after my appointment in the morning.

Though, that would mean I’d be really late tomorrow and I left early today to take care of this and was supposed to then come home and work, but the DSL was down and I couldn’t access email, let alone vpn in, so instead I spent almost an hour on the phone with Juan, who was very nice and got my work computer running but zeroed out any of the other wireless connections. Or something. The bridge was gone. All I know is that I thought I had done well and it was not a big treat for BF when he got home. (Song lyrics: She wasn’t good, but she had good intentions.)

I have not even started the long stocking hats. I’m hoping that the weekend in Pittsburgh will contain a trip to Knit One. Then I’ll at least have yarn, and, with yarn, there’s hope. Well, with yarn I can pretend there’s hope, but I think we all know there’s gonna be some chilly heads come Christmas day. Get used to disappointment, little ones… get used to disappointment.

On a happier note, the Christmas baking has begun. Stout cake and macaroons are done. I roasted pumpkin tonight and tomorrow can be pumpkin pound cake night. I’ll definitely be making some hermits. Now I need to find a chocolate cookie recipe and a citrusy recipe that ring my bell. Hmm. (Suddenly singing Deep Red Bells.)

Right now, however, I’m taking my sorry ass to bed and hoping that I’ll have jovial good luck dreams that will translate into reality when I awake.

Ha.

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Not my best day.

I’m tired. I feel like crap. I came home sick. My brain is mushy, my body is tired and my state of mind is pretty much that of a 10-year-old child who wants her mom to bring her some soup in bed and make it all ok. Except my mom never did that when I was sick. My friend’s mom did though, so maybe I want my friend’s mom. Though she’d annoy the crap out of me in all other ways right now.

Moving on, after a ridiculously frustrating drive home (it was noon. driving should not be frustrating at noon. noon is not rush hour, but it apparently IS dumb people who don’t understand what the lines on the roads mean or know where their blinkers are hour.) I snuggled into my jammies and crawled into bed (I tried to lure the dog onto the bed to snuggle in with me, but the gusty wind noises freaked her out and she retreated to her happy place in the bathroom in front of the tub. oh well.) and decided I should follow up with the bank about my lack of online access to my account all week. I was home, it needed to be done, blah blah blah. So I did. And then I was finally able to log in. And I discovered that someone had stolen my ATM card number, at least, and was charging things. In Texas. And Japan. (I have no idea how they go hand in hand.) $404.58 worth of things, to be exact.

So, the charges are pending, but the bank can’t cry fraud until they clear. Why can’t they just stop the payment on the transactions? Who the hell knows. Once they clear, I can file fraud paperwork and I’ll get my money back in about 10 days, leaving me scant funds until right about my next paycheck. I can just transfer money from my savings to cover it until then, being that it’s Christmas shopping season and all that hoo-ha, but I also had to cancel my ATM and have to go to the bank to fill out forms to get another.

I guess we’re crossing online shopping off the list this season, god damn it. (No, I don’t have a credit card.)

I think I’m going to eat some of the very spicy soup that we made for dinner last night (really good! and we really winged it! chipolte broth that we made, lemongrass, mushrooms, scallions, jalapenos, tofu diced up, and carrot slivers, and then dash of mushroom sauce, fresh lime juice and cilantro in the bowl to taste…), knit myself back to sleepy (I got a little worked up for a bit there) and try to nap the self pity away.

Maybe if I put treats in my pockets, I can even lure the dog back up on the bed with me to snuggle. (She’s now in her happier than the bathroom place, under the bed, where she’s safe from the evil, howl-ly wind gusts. Talk about piteous…)

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