Friday, January 28, 2011

Pics (Evidence of Actual Work Done...)

The Job That Pays has been busy, as has the Job That Doesn't Pay.  One job has a slight edge on the other in the enjoyment factor, but they have been happily co-existing, so, no worries.  Here are the January projects...

In Lion Brand's "Amazing"
(or "Intriguing, or whatever the hell it is....lost the label, in typical fashion...)
Entrelac Scarf for Teenage Girl #2
Here's hoping she hangs on to it for a while before losing it at a friend's house, etc.

The socks were a road trip thing, have absolutely no stitches in them that required any thought, and had an easy-peasy yarn to work with, the name of which I, of course, can't remember.

OK, juuuuust kidding!  It's Patons Stretch sock yarn in Olive.
But I want you to know that I did have to look that up.

Owing to the fact that I messed up the gusset, they are mine.
-- Sent from my Palm Pixi

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post-Holiday Blech

We will not speak of such things as blog neglect.  I prefer to focus on the fact that I've busy DOING stuff.

Or, I'm a complete and total lazy-ass.

OR!  When there is time and inspiration, there's some kid using the computer(s) and I don't feel like typing out an entire essay on my phone.

OR!  OK, there is no other or.  Those three cover all the possible options.

What follows is all the blog post you can buy with 5 minutes and a cup of Peace Coffee Twin Cities Blend.  No, they did not pay me to say that, I'm just hoping that if I say that Peace Coffee Twin Cities Blend is the only coffee I like anymore that they might take pity on me and send me some.

OR!  They might take pity on me for having such a limited palate and send me some of their other fine coffees.

OR!  Oh, never mind.  I don't really want Peace Coffee to send me Peace Coffee.  I get my Peace Coffee from Coborns.  Have I mentioned how I love Coborns and shop there all the time?  Link, link, link, link link?

OK....I'll stop.

This is truly the season of discontent.  I'm not saying that just because the world is going crazy--don't we always claim that the world is going crazy?  I'm saying it's the snow and the snow and the snow and the snow.  And the dark!  Yesterday while in the car, I realized that it was the first time I had driven in actual daylight (with sun) in months.  On days the sun shows it's face, we are tucked into fluorescent offices well ahead of it, and miss the entire show.  In the afternoon, the sun is setting before I am home.  Weekend clouds are obviously no help.

I can now see why people want to retire in warmer climates.  There's just something about a beach that makes it all better.

The fact remains that I HAD beach and blew it off for the excitement of Minnesota.  Don't think I don't kick myself sometimes--I definitely do.

One of my good friends has a tanning bed in his house and I used to think that was strange, but no more.  I'd love to have one of those right now.

I am waiting for the day when I can get out and sun myself on a rock like the reptile that I am.  I'll shamelessly kick off my work shoes and plop myself right down on the front lawn.  I may be in a shaky mood until then.  You've been warned.

One more thing:  I was looking at blog stats, something I haven't done for a while for all of the reasons mentioned above, and was directed toward an old gem--a remembrance of a sunny weekend year ago, when we drove across the state of Wisconsin for no particular reason other than it seemed like it would be fun.

It was.

Someone out there, bless their heart, actually did a Google search for "Vitamin water psychic caesar".  I can't image what other results they may have had in their search besides this one from my archive, August 2007.  Think warm thoughts and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just Throwin' This Out There...

--Dear City of Minneapolis: what's with the whole "not plowing/sanding/salting" thing? Those of us who have to be somewhere every day are getting annoyed.
--Related: Drivers of the city of Minneapolis, take heed! Now is not the time to practice last-second lane changes, or my personal favorite, crossing 3 lanes of traffic in the space of 100 feet so you can make your exit! If you cause an accident and I'm involved, I can all but guarantee that I'm going to be a bitch about it.
--Still going on about the weather: I sent my landlord a bill for snow removal. The thing is, snow removal is included in my rent and I'm not supposed to have to do it myself, and yet, the snow is never removed, so for safety reasons, I do it.  I actually don't mind shoveling, really, just the fact that I'm not supposed to HAVE to makes me nuts, so I set my rate at $100/hr and billed for my time.  If the weather continues like this, I'll be living rent free until June.
--I set a (as yet unpublished) goal of at least one finished item per month in 2011, to help me keep at the knitting projects and also to help keep my mind off of things that make me nuts. So it's me, my audio books, and my projects. Now if I can just tear myself away from shoveling, being annoyed with my boss, and reading twitter long enough to actually do that...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Because You Must Tear Yourself Away From Current Events Or You'll Lose Your Damn Mind...(AKA Entrelac-ac-ac-ac-ac)

And what's better to help you maintain sanity and humility than entrelac?
Actually, this is an easy project--just that same entrelac scarf pattern you keep seeing floating around.  Mine was on Knitting Daily, and has good directions, video, etc.  I think they may have even written a song about it to the tune of Billy Joel's "Movin' Out"...

...but probably not.

The yarn is Lion Brand "Amazing" wool blend.  The color is called "Aurora".  P.S.: Lion Brand is having a sale right now, but it ends tomorrow!!!

I think if everybody on the planet, or at least here in the States, made at least one entrelac scarf, they'd be much more calm.  I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eye Of The Beholder

I read somewhere recently that communication is not the responsibility of the listener.

That is to say, if you are trying to sell something (ideology, new car, or what-have-you) that the burden of the message is on you.  

That you can't blame the listener for not hearing you correctly.

This concept plays into our lives in many unexpected ways that we may not think of in terms of a communication project.  For example, if you want very much for your children to grow up to be productive and contributing members of society, then it's on you to keep that message going throughout the entire time you have the little buggers within your influence.  The responsibility for their successful adulthood is yours until the move out of your house--even beyond.

Lately, I've had situations in my life in which there are people who talk a good game--they are powerful and influential, and people look on them with favor because they have indicated that's what they want.  Some of them have very large media and ideological infrastructures who are out there pumping their message and pumping their fists all day, every day.  They are yammering on about how they feel, and why you should agree with them.   

There are a lot of these very loud people out there, demanding your attention, and they all make sense at one time or another, making it very confusing to decide which one of them deserves your full attention.

Somewhere on the other end of the spectrum, there are people who's actions are their communication, and there is very little message or fist pumping going on.  Because of their actions, they quietly attract a group of like-minded people (AKA "Friends") and they are happy and grateful for the company.   They don't ask for accolades, but they do get them, because the people who are positively affected by their actions are grateful that they, the Do-ers, got up and did something instead of just talking about it and expecting the listeners to do all the heavy lifting.

When I read "communication is not the responsibility of the listener", it was a part of business communications article written by some Harvard MBA trying to explain how to become a successful business leader.  It applied directly to something I was experiencing at work, so I remembered it.

Two days later, the media exploded with the news that a US Congresswoman is shot in the head at close range, and that the same Congresswoman happens to be one of the individuals "targeted" by political opponents.  

It was then that I realized that  "communication is not the responsibility of the listener" applies to absolutely everything.  While fingers immediately started pointing at Sarah Palin, her camp decided to go with their version of blaming the listener for not hearing them correctly.  

"While all signs point to yesterday's shooting as being the lone act of a deranged gunman, it's not secret that public discourse in this country in the past year has been, as (Keith) Olbermann says, amplified by violent imagery.  In the past month or so alone an alarming number of cable and political personalities have been casually calling for various people's assassination.  To question why that is acceptable is a welcome, necessary discussion and should not have had to be brought about by yesterday's tragedy."

My boss has a saying about how some people "know just enough to be dangerous".  While he uses it in a joking way, and in most cases it is funny, the truth is that the environment of "communication" that we have cultivated, politically and otherwise, has bred a large population of people knowing just enough to be dangerous for real.  While we clamor for ratings or political gain, or even just to be paid attention to by anyone, our language becomes increasingly pointed.  Eyes on the prize, we shorten our message to the 140 character/7 second blip and leave the rest of it open for the interpretation of the listener.

The more people you speak to, the greater your responsibility to be completely clear.  Just as my boss has more responsibility not to be a jerk than I do, Sarah Palin (and any politician/business leader) is more influential and therefore needs to be more careful about the messages they are endorsing, because the message is not the responsibility of the listener--it's on the speaker to be very, very clear exactly what they mean.  It's not OK to be silent until someone gets hurt or killed and then say that's not what you meant.  It's not OK.  It's not OK to allow people to go on believing that you have gun sites pointed at your opponents and then, after people get shot, go back and claim that they are surveyor's marks.  If they were surveyor's marks, why didn't you say that the first time someone expressed concern?  By not saying it then, you allow people to draw their own conclusions.  

To those who have a responsibility to be very clear, this was a huge failure.  It is now upon those of us who communicate through our actions to respond with great clarity.