Tag Archives: work

It never. stops. snowing.

I tweeted this the other day, but I seriously feel like I am the only person in the northern half of the US who isn’t sick to death of snow by now.  We got another 4″  or so overnight, and with today’s shoveling the drifts are officially higher than our car.  I’d take a picture but I haven’t been outside yet (Jeff missed the bus and drove himself to work).  I think Simes and I are going to take Roxie on a walk later, though, because despite the snow it’s actually not super cold.

Let’s see…it’s been over a week since I posted.  What’s been going on?

I finished an AWESOME project and am dying to show it off but I have to keep it under wraps for a while yet (the recipient checks in here every now and again).  I’m also trucking along on Jeff’s mansocks (yawwwwnnnnnn) and when I finish those I’m going to reward myself by FINALLY casting on for Catkin.  I’ll only be, like, the last person on earth to knit it.  I have some yummy Dyeabolical Tenacious Tencel fingering weight set aside for it.  It’ll be the first thing I’ve knit for myself since, well, those stripey knee socks (which are now hibernating) that I cast on right before we moved to Ohio.  SOMEONE (a pointed look in Simon’s direction) has severely curtailed my knitting time, what with his need for “food” and “diapers” and “stories” and “playing” and “interaction”.  Jeez.

We managed to get our act together and hit storytime on Thursday.  These storytimes are SO much better than the one we went to in LA.  More chaotic, but more fun.  Also, there are at least 4 other pregnant moms in the toddler group (plus the teacher/librarian, too).  I’d try to make friends if I weren’t so damn shy.  And of course the kids are still a little too young to really play with each other, so there’s not even really the whole “hey your kid and my kid like to play together! Want to come to our house for a playdate?” opening.  Ah well.  Moving in 6 months anyway; I’ll just try harder to make more friends in our next city.

Simon was LOVING the tunnels during the free play time:

After storytime was over we weren’t quite ready to go home but didn’t have any errands to do, so I called Jeff and asked if we could take him to lunch (one of the benefits of living 5 minutes down the road from his work!).  We also seized the opportunity to get official “helping Daddy at work” pictures for this office:

Simon is terribly helpful, you see.

Because Jeff and I are boring and old, we didn’t make any plans for Valentine’s Day.  But then it turned out that Sarah was free, and there was a showing of the Lego Movie that ended before Simon’s bedtime, and when the stars align so perfectly you can’t just not take advantage of it.  So we ditched the baby and went on a romantic date to see a kid’s movie (lol).  AND IT WAS AWESOME.  It’s one of those movies that really truly isn’t just a kid’s movie or a grownup movie.  I really can’t remember the last time I liked a movie so well.  Can’t wait to get it on Blu-Ray and share it with Simes when he’s a bit older 🙂

On Saturday we decided to head up to Cleveland and visit the children’s museum, since our last couple of family adventures have been more grownup oriented (the Akron art museum doesn’t really hold a lot of entertainment value for the under-2 set ;-)).  It was a little bit expensive for the three of us to get in ($8/person, even though there wasn’t really anything even remotely interesting for grownups), but Simon LOVED the whole thing so I guess he got $24 worth of fun out of it for all of us.  (Seriously though – since kids get reduced/free admission to a lot of grownup events, doesn’t it seem like grownups should get it for kid events?  It’s not like Jeff and I were personally enriched by the fake grocery store or fire truck setups).

Here is where I spam you, big time.  Sorry (not sorry).

We spent the first half hour or so in a play area that was done up like a farm, for the really young crowd:

Simon spent most of his efforts repeatedly mowing the carpet, but he also took a turn on the tumbling/crawling mats and played with the silo/crops activity.  At one point when we’d just been there for a few minutes, Jeff and I were watching him play and Jeff said to me:  “See how he’s over playing all alone?  I wish he’d play with the other kids.”  I told Jeff, “What do you think we’re doing?”  We looked around and sure enough, across the room was a cluster of other parents all socializing, while we were off in the opposite corner with our arms crossed.


At least we know where he gets it 😛

Also, one of the moms in the room was wearing a “flags of the confederacy” t-shirt with camo pants and combat boots.  I’m not sure they would’ve been our type, anyway.

More than the farm area, though, Simes loved the suspension bridge that was in the “city” (bank/grocery store/doctor’s office area):

After a few hesitant steps, he was trotting back and forth across it like a pro.

But the best thing of ALL was the water activity.  This thing was so cool, even as a grownup.  (Maybe I did get my $8 worth after all)

They had rain jackets in every size and step stools for the little ones, and Simon immediately cozied up to the table and set to work.

For a while, his primary occupation consisted of holding his arm over a spout and sending water jetting up his sleeve (so much for the cute little rain jacket).

Explaining his master plan to Daddy:

They had a bunch of bath and pool toys, magnetic fishing poles and random floaties:


Further upstream (we were at the downstream end) there were more complicated things set into the table – mechanical water wheels, locks, etc. – but those were arranged at a higher level (apparently for older kids and, you know, gravity) so we didn’t mess with them too much.  Not gonna lie, I sort of wanted to go play, but Jeff wouldn’t let me shove 6-year-olds out of the way.

Once the little dude was thoroughly waterlogged and getting cranky, we headed home (after a full wardrobe change in the car, of course).  He conked out before we even made it onto the highway.  Success!

Sunday was quiet – Jeff judged a mock trial thing and we ran out for haircuts and FroYo – and that was our weekend!  Just right 🙂

We’ve officially reached the stage where I adore sleepy Simon pictures more than ever, as they belie the sheer chaos that encircles his every waking moment.  I look at pictures like this and he’s just so quiet and peaceful and I love it.  But then he wakes up and we go spin in circles and play fetch with the dog and build  massive block towers just to kick them down, and that’s even more fun.

Isn’t he just utterly kissable?

This afternoon we’re making 12-grain sandwich bread:

I use this recipe and Bob’s Red Mill 12-grain cereal, which makes the whole thing so easy that most of the time it’s honestly more convenient than going to the store.  And it tastes like a gazillion times better too, because DUH.  (Also I add 2T each of vital wheat gluten and soy lecithin, because I can.  It also helps the dough have a little more resilience, while still being soft and tender.  Come to think of it, I could use some vital wheat gluten and soy lecithin for myself. :-P)

And now I need to go tend to my dough and build some of those aforementioned block towers.  Hi-YA!


One down, forty billion to go

…or something.


Today I gave one of the first handmade gifts of the season:


That is, of course, rageguy.  I found the pattern from Lexysaurus Rex on Etsy and knew it would be perfect for my officemate (he’s an avid Redditer and all-around awesome nerd.).  It was super quick to put together, and the frame really adds a nice touch, I think.  (That’s the same frame type I use for my collection of Rembrandts, coincidentally.)


HOWEVER, we should probably be concerned, because Tom said his first suspicion – during the pre-opening present squeezing activities – was that I’d gifted him a framed picture of Rick Astley, or of Goatse*.  I mean, what does he take me for?


(Answer: after he told me that, I thought, “Damn!  That would’ve been brilliant!” and tucked the idea away for future gift-giving occasions).


PS>I have been alerted that this has been added to Reddit.  Stroke my tiny fragile ego and give it an upvote?


*Don’t Google that, Mom.

I drank 6 Diet Cokes yesterday

I’m not gonna let myself go down a black hole of self-pity.  So I’ll just say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone for your kind comments re: Othello.  It’s weird not having the little bugger around, sleeping on my head and knocking shit off tables and doing his best little Oliver Twist impression at the food dish (I never did get him one of those slouchy tweed caps…).

Jeff left on Sunday, early in the morning – I drove him to the airport at 5:30.  His flight didn’t leave ’till 10:00, but I was just ready to be rid of him.

OMG, Y’ALL.  Kidding.  KIDDING.

He did leave at 5:30, though.  And then I kept busy all day, with important tasks like publishing a Wikipedia page for my boss, buying a maxi skirt at Nordstrom Rack (woot!) and making baked beans.

I can hear your jealousy from way over here.  Tone it down a bit, eh?

Sunday night was a work potluck to celebrate the end of the school year, and to be a send-off for my boss (who’s spending the next year at his home far from St. Louis.).  That was really nice, and also served to help distract me from the empty(ish) house waiting for me.  I ate grasshopper cheesecake, which was so good that I almost died.  Seriously, I just about plowed face-first into that fucker.  It wouldn’t have been pretty.

Roxie’s not adjusting to the changes well.  A friend pointed out that Roxie and Macbeth are probably thinking, “OMG first Mommy gets rid of Othello, now she gets rid of Daddy.  AM I NEXT?!?!”.  And when you’re my pea-brained puppy, this fear and anxiety somehow – inexplicably – translates to a compulsion for anal gland expression.  REPEATED anal gland expression.  WTF?  Fucking disgusting.  (Though at least it’s always been in her kennel or on the tile.)  My poor, disgusting, confused baby.  She doesn’t know what the hell is going on.

Macbeth is holding a grudge against me.  He’s become fond of sitting just out of arm’s reach, glowering at me and repeating “You’re not Daddy.  You’re not Daddy.  You’re not Daddy.”  I can hear it.

(And no, it’s not time to call the nice men in white coats.  Yet.  I’ll let you know.)

Here was last night’s exhibit, while I was trying to read before bed:

If that’s not a cat with a grudge, then I don’t know what is.  Little beastie.

In other news, I was forcibly enrolled in a yoga class.  I’m sure we’ll all share a hearty laugh about that one someday.

But all that really matters is, T-minus 1 week until the end of the yarn diet.  I may not ever finish the 29-day countdown (I know y’all were just waiting to see a photo of me scrubbing the toilet), but at least it has been a good distraction these past couple weeks.

Which I guess is the best you could hope for.

The Language of Knitting

My new work environment is populated by many people – those special types of people – the ones who draw you in and make you feel welcome and comfortable, whether you want to feel welcome and comfortable or not.  Somehow, despite my outwardly antisocial tendencies, they’ve got my number.  They know my game, and they’re not having anything of it.


It’s been hella good for me.


Most recently, some of these special people got together and organized a new weekly occurrence:  a knitting/crochet group, including a standing offer of lessons for newcomers.


The teacher?  Me.  Drawing me in was, I think, their ulterior motive.


Now, you know I don’t do small talk.  I don’t watch prime-time TV dramas.  I don’t follow sports.  I don’t even work in the same building as many of these people.  I’m a self-described (and widely acknowledged) misanthrope.  I don’t speak the common social language.


But I do speak the language of knitting.  And I am thrilled to teach that language to others.  To spread the disease of obsession.  To foster the creative, meditative environment.  To draw people in, and share the love.


So even though I can’t participate in work social events or holiday breakfasts or happy hours, I can at least knit.


About fifteen people from the department assembled for lunch yesterday.  Some were established knitters or hookers, some were novices, and some didn’t even have their own yarn or needles yet.  But we all got together.  And I taught.  We passed around extra needles and yarn.  I made pattern handouts, and demonstrated the long-tail cast on.  And the knit stitch.   And I was giddy and excited and cheerful and just grateful to be sharing my language with others.


It was really like coming alive.  I love sharing my skills with others.  I love infecting people with the passion for knitting.  I love seeing that flash of understanding.  I love figuring out different ways to explain a concept.  I love mirroring others’ learning and communication styles.  I love the transition from slow, labored progress to fluid competency.  I love teaching.


I’ve missed this.  But I’ve also never done anything like it before, either.


I could do this.  I really, really could.


Someone – someone I work with – was very nice to me a few months ago.  Inordinately nice.  Unbelievably nice.

So I had to get back at her.

Traveling Woman + Malabrigo sock = REVENGE.

I am ruthless.

I am SO RUTHLESS, in fact, that I didn’t stop there.

I made Fishtail Wristwarmers, too.

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.  ::pantomimed mustache twirl::

I wrapped them up in plain tissue paper and dropped them into the inter-department mail, along with an anonymous note written in my trademark purple pen.

That’ll teach her.



The Awkward

I just got back from one of those perfectly fine, thankfully brief, “meet ‘n greet ‘n stand around ‘n eat cake” work events.


I stayed for the bare minimum amount of time required.  I talked to three people (who I talk to almost every day anyway).  I ate a piece of very nice white cake with coconut icing. After 15 minutes, I slipped out the door, walked a few steps away from the gathering and audibly sighed then did the “covered in ants oh it’s so icky get them off me” dance.


I HATE those things.  I HATE big groups of people (especially nice, friendly, welcoming people who I don’t recognize.  Especially people who I email/speak on the phone with, and know who I am but I don’t know who they are).  I HATE the awkwardness.




At one point I turned to one of the three people I knew, and said, “the more quickly everyone figures out that I’m just awkward at these things and stop expecting me to be social and friendly, the better off we’ll all be in the long run.”


I’m fine being the wallflower.  I like it.  If I could have wedged myself behind the coat rack, I would have.  If I could have brought knitting to occupy myself, I would have.  If I could have just NOT ATTENDED THE DARN THING, I would have.


But I couldn’t.  So I sat there and ate cake and talked to the three people I knew and counted down the minutes until I could make my escape.


Call it “personal growth”.  Call it “being an adult”.  Call it “free cake”.  Call it whatever you want.  But I hate it.


Hey, at least there was cake.

Pookie Express*

Good morning, Internet!

How are you?

I’ve missed you.

I’ve been away, you see.  (You may not have noticed.  I know that if I weren’t me, *I* wouldn’t have noticed.  Chew on that.)

Nothing tragic, just a lot of 15+ hour workdays and some Big Events which involved meeting People.  And you know if there’s one thing I like less than Big Events, it’s meeting People.  Even when the people are all exceedingly kind and polite and forgiving of a well-meaning novice such as myself.

Saturday night, when it was all over, I had a good cry in the privacy of my office.  Then I biked home, slept for 5 hours (it wasn’t enough) and spent my entire Sunday cloistered in a couchnest next to Hanky Mountain, feeling as though my entire face might slide off along with the rivulets of snot.  Allergy season can suck it.

So I guess that’s my way of saying that the past two-ish weeks can be summarized as:

1)Lots of work

2)Horrible allergies


So it’s not all bad, you see.  There was FroYo.


*I just told my co-worker – “Quick! Give me a title!”  This is what he said.