Thursday, September 30, 2010

Involving Cats. And Yarn.

Some of you elders might get that title reference.  For the rest of you...

Herringbone is...just so cool-looking, and easy to achieve.
Also, you can do it in just about any damn color combination you want to use.  A recurring favorite of mine, that certain purple, paired with that certain green...rises again from the mist.
Just a scarf, don't get all excited...
The yarn is Isager Alpaca, from our friends at Needlework Unlimited, located squarely on the path between my house and some place I frequently have to drive to, to transport a child.  It is also very conveniently located near one of the finest liquor stores in all of Edina, so, there is that, too.  If you have no interest in driving to my daughter's best friend's house or seeing a walk-in beer cooler bigger than my first apartment, feel free to do the adult thing and order online.

'Lil Beh-beh Socks, for a friend who is expecting.  I can't remember the yarn but I also made a pair for myself in the same color--some of you may remember the Winter Olympic project that I absolutely did NOT finish before they put out the torch?  Those look different from these, because my phone camera flash likes to create color mutations, BUT, still very cute and appropriate for any fabulously stylish little person.
Please also note, at the bottom of the photo, from an "I can't believe you're wearing that" opportunity straight out of my children's nightmares, red T-shirt style sundress, purchased in 198_, and, if that wasn't enough, a PINK terry cloth robe from 199_, that was given to me by my mother-in-law.  Yes, my mother-in-law gave me a pink terry cloth robe in the 90's.  I hated it the minute I saw it.  Now?  I love it.  Go ahead--shoot me.

And this is just a random picture of Jack's right foot.
Excuse me...Jacks right foot, and his burgeoning gut. Love you, Jack!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Stuff For Your Urban Dictionary

Kittens Are So Insane Cute!


Google it.

Or, watch MTV—either/or.

For those of us in the crowd (myself included) who may be nerds or geeks or rednecks or whatev’s, Parkour is when those people run up walls, do a handstand off a fence rail and a flip over a garbage container, then follow that up with a roll under a park bench.

I like to call it Urban Gymnastics.

My kitten, Napoleon (classic "short man" syndrome on this guy, by the way...) is unbelievably talented at Parkour.  (Kittens throughout the ages have had this skill, but thank God we now have a name for it...)

Say you’re me, and you’re sitting in a chair, just an ordinary, ugly reclining chair, and maybe you have a remote control for the television resting on one arm of the chair and your phone on the other arm, and you’re doing important Facebook stuff on the laptop while cradling a cup of Scotch hot chai.

Oh, come on! Play along!

Suddenly, you hear the kitten barreling down the hallway in his distinctive gallop, and as he rounds the corner, you realize with some horror that he’s headed right for you. In the split second it takes for him to get from the hallway to the chair, the only thought that runs through your mind is that when that cat hits your lap at that speed, you are going to spill Scotch hot chai all over the keyboard and yourself, and the very important remote/phone arrangement will be toppled.

What happens instead?  Magic.

The kitten leaps from three feet away to the right arm of the chair, spots the remote, adjusts, and lands just beyond it.  Then, in the same movement, he launches himself to the top of the chair, hangs momentarily behind your head, then proceeds down the other side, skipping gingerly over the phone, following that with a beautiful long jump to the coffee table where he narrowly avoids three lit candles, vaults again, ricocheting off the front of the sofa, and before you know it, is on his way back down the hall.

And not a drop of Scotch hot chai is spilled. Amazing, that Parkour stuff…look it up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Perspective Rears It's Ugly Head

Life is full of perspective-changing moments.  Saturday night I was out with a friend, and both of us were complaining about how much it sucks being single.  We lamented how sad it was for us, even though we have friends, not being someone else's special someone. 


When I got home from dinner, I found out that another friend had lost her partner of three years in a tragic car accident.  Needless to say, I realized immediately that I had nothing to complain about "just" being single.  After all, alone was a choice that I made for myself, not one that was thrust upon me through devastating circumstance.



The worst feeling in the world is the feeling of being powerless.  I thought I had been feeling that so much lately, and I was, but obviously, I continue to be a very lucky person.


We put so much effort into preventing any bad feelings creeping in--so many unimportant things seem "life or death", and we fight as if we are trying to hold back the flooding waters that will surely drown us.  However, on the occasion that things do blow up, you very often wonder why you were so concerned because, well…you lived.  You made it through the hard part and the sun came up again.  It's never quite so obvious as it is at a time like this.  

My friend is a lot like me in that her instinct in this trauma was to just fix it.  We fix things that are broken.  We can't wrap our heads around situations that our own actions can't cure.  While she will never, ever be able to "fix" what happened, in time it will become a part of the landscape of her experience.  It will be a low point, to be sure, but being the person that she is, someone capable of remarkable things, I think that she will use this tragedy to fuel many, many future insights.

I wish she didn't have to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Now Return To Your Regularly Scheduled WhateverTheHellThisIs

Remember the olden days, ancient times, when you'd be watching a television program and then *POOF!*  the screen would go blank or static-y and after a time, the television station would put up a graphic apologizing for the problem and begging for your patience through the technical difficulties?
They actually used the words, "We're sorry" and everything.
It just occurred to me while writing the title for this post that I haven't heard anyone say "We now return to your regularly scheduled programming" for a very long time.  They used to air that announcement after the President spoke, too, or if they had a breaking news or weather story that interrupted a broadcast.
And most of those apologies happened during my Soaps, thankyouverymuch.
Nobody apologizes for disruptions anymore--did you notice that?
Or is it just that I don't watch soap opera's anymore?  For all I know, they are apologizing all over the place, and I'm just not paying attention.
I had an epiphany last night.  Nothing too exciting, just a sudden realization that I no longer give a shit, so, in a sense we are returning to where we were before the start of the summer, before my stress level shot through the roof.
After the epiphany, I fell asleep and had a dream about a grand, beautiful home filled with fine furniture.  I have dreamed about that house dozens of times, but not lately--nothing like stress to suck all of the success thoughts right out of your head.
Those of you following along in your dream books at home will know that the beautiful house is very much a place of comfort, in a good financial omen sort of way--not that I am expecting anyone to throw money or anything, but hopefully we'll get back to the "The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get" mode that I'm used to.
Did I mention how I love the Fall?
Anyway--we now return you to your regularly scheduled WhateverTheHellThisIs
Hope I didn't interrupt anyone's Soaps.

I Promised To Use My Powers For Good And Not Evil...

Here's a little thing-thing for your consideration from my buddy in Duluth--Heart Walk is coming!  If you'd like to walk, or you'd like to contribute, please do! 
Take it away, Miss Jessica...

I will be joining my coworkers by walking in this year's Start! Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association on September 25th in Canal Park.

I have set a personal goal to raise funds that are needed for critical heart disease and stroke research and education.You can help me raise funds by making a donation online. Click the link below to visit my personal donation web page where you can make a secure online credit card donation.

The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer a smaller amount, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.

Your donation will make a difference in building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, our nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers.

Thanks so much for your support!


Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support American Heart Association-MN Duluth

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Serious Question!

OK, wait....First, here is the background to the Serious Question:  What a dumb summer.  What dumb "writing" this summer.  I shoulda slapped myself a long time ago.  Three months of whining.  They should have taken away my internet access around mid-June.  I wasn't even entertainingly angry, I was just depressing.

So here's the question--Is the name "Garret" an asshole name?  My 17-year old swears it is.

KIDDING!!!  JUUUUUUST KIDDING!  That's not the question.

Here's the question, for real:  Should I just nuke this entire summer's worth of bloggy-poo?  I mean, I can't even read this crap.  I don't want it around.  Whiny, Woe Is Me, bullshit is all it is.  But I don't want anybody surprised when something very recent just goes "Poof!", so, that's why I'm asking...


Or Toss?


(What we may end up doing is "editing" content so that the dates remain the same and instead of the depressing whining, there will be pictures of cute boys and/or recipes for salsa.  That way people will think all I talked about all summer was cute boys and salsa.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Not Much Of An Actress...

...but I have taken on the role of helpless female.

Mind you, this is the exact opposite of what I'm like in real life.  In real life, I am an intelligent, competent, independent, competitive, madly motivated, and hard-working person.

Those qualities are no longer called for.  Crap...I just spent the last 30 years perfecting them.
What I have to do now is something that I have never been good at, which is to Scarlett O'Hara myself out to some benefactor.  I'm stuck, y'all.  Stuck.  My boss makes my work life a hell, and the only solution offered to me by HR and my boss's boss is, "Maybe you should find some other job" and/or "If you want to find something else, we won't try to stop you."
No love at all.  Not a bit.
All that stuff I have been doing all these years that has brought me only good things at work, is the direct opposite of what this situation calls for.  This situation calls for Pretend You're Stupid and Ask The Big Strong Bossy-Poo To Help Silly Little You Navigate This Scary Employment Thing.  Because God knows the fact that I have been perfectly capable of holding my own all these years is not evidence enough of my, no.  I'm just some dumb girl.
I've never been the giggly, girly-girl, flirt with men and get them to do things for me, type.  Some women are good at extracting goods and services from guys, but that's not a skill I ever developed.  I was the stupid one going through life saying, "I don't need you, or your money."  I was the idiot, out there doing it for myself.
What happens when you do that, by the way, is that you end up doing it for yourself.  You end up doing everything for yourself.  You end up raising your kids by yourself and you end up paying the rent and all the bills by yourself, dealing with the auto-mechanic by yourself, taking the trash out by yourself, and also sleeping by yourself.
In other words, there are times when it really sucks to believe in yourself.  There are times when life beats the living hell out of you for it.
I would say that it's not worth getting down about, and that you should stick to your guns no matter what.  People who don't see the value in you are not worth getting upset about.
I would say that.
OK, I DO say that.  Fuck 'em.
But think about it this way...those flirty girls who have that knack for extracting things from men--they are no less capable than me.  They're just smarter about different things than I am.  It's a con job, letting men think that a woman can't function without their help--it's a lie.  I used to wonder what would make a woman want to lie like that, and I used to think they were lazy for not "doing it for themselves".  Now I see that those women are significantly more powerful than me, and can topple men who would use their power to keep a woman down.
Frankly, I want some of that.  I want to come out on top in this situation, and pretending that my boss is NOT a moronic douche-bag is the the only tactic left in my bag of tricks.  I have to lie about my own capabilities and his, because my capabilities hold no value to the person standing between me and success, and that person's lack of managerial skills is of no interest to his superiors.
Thank you, Corporate America for making me a lying whore.  I promise you, I will never forget it.