Saturday, September 26, 2009

blogroll, please

a short list of blogs that have been rocking my world lately:
  • a journey round my skull; billed as "unhealthy book fetishism," i can't get enough of the amazing graphic design displayed. illustrations from old books, covers, art and literature, i am smitten. it's visually appealing and stimulating, and gives me a million ideas.
  • my cardboard life; a comic i recently discovered that is sweet, silly, and lovely. i like that the author actually uses cardboard to create colin. it's brilliant.
  • craft leftovers; tiny, awesome projects that you can either make on their own, or clever uses for the little bits of yarn/fabric/stuff you have leftover from other projects. waste not, want not, and use it all up. i ordered a zine just the other day, and have been anxiously watching my mailbox for it's arrival!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


i had a moderately crappy day at work. not entirely shitty, just annoying and i had to work with someone i have never worked with before and hope to never work with again. granted, my job is not entirely essential: i am support staff, i make work pleasant for my tech, and make sure that the patients are comfortable. i clean and tidy and enter information into databases. the tech i worked with today was such a snide little bitch. she talked over me when the patients were around, she was dismissive and condescending, and she did it all with a fake plastic smile plastered to her big, dumb, face. spending the day with her gave me heartburn. a special heartburn that can only be cured with red wine.

my period might be imminent.

the kids are sickly, so they spent the day at home today. well, one of them was legitimately sick, one might have been stretching it. either way, both got lots of time on the couch, and D picked up juice and pineapples for a punch of vitamin C. they both go back to school tomorrow, although i kind of think one of them should actually stay home. we'll see how it works out in the morning.

i have discovered that i love the band mastodon. it's metal and gorgeous and i don't know what it is about the fall that makes hard rock guitars sound so great. i read about them in spin magazine, and checked them out, and they are awesomely heavy. i wish i knew more kids into metal, i think i would have discovered them sooner. hooray for heavy metal!

(i was trying to blog while watching community, and i just can't. A) it's too funny, and B) joel mcHale is too delicious to not watch. i know, i called and cancelled the cable tv, but comcast are idiots and we still have it. don't get too excited, they charge me more now for the phone since we're not "bundled" so i'm not actually getting anything over on them. except we still get to watch tv while pretending to be upset that it's still on.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

bored* to tears

a few work related anecdotes for your amusement!
  • the other day i had a gentleman come in wearing flip flops. normally this would be no big deal, as it has been unseasonably warm and flip flops make sense, however, this man had talons instead of toenails. you think i'm joking, but if i'm exaggerating, it's by a millimeter at most. his toes were adorned with the thickest, yellowest, crustiest things i've ever seen. his feet were also painfully dirty and grass-stained, and wouldn't you know it! the machine we use to power-inject contrast dye wasn't working and i had to stand near his feet to inject him by hand. i almost died. knowing they were right there, close enough to touch, freaked me out. i told my coworker that he owed me big time for that.
  • yesterday i got to hold a self-professed psychic and obsessive-compulsive's extremely sweaty hand for the duration of her scan. there were a few things about that situation that were all wrong, the first one being that this woman told us all she was psychic and the world was going to end pretty soon. honestly, i don't buy end-of-days stories from anyone who isn't walking the talk. if you seriously and earnestly believe the world is going to come to a fiery end any day now, then wouldn't you act accordingly? i want to see you building a bomb shelter, throwing wild parties, taking that trip you always wanted, or digging a hole in the backyard to lie down in and wait; if you're just talking about it while in a hospital waiting room, with your raffia purse stuffed with water bottles, romance novels and tissues on your way to the grocery store via short medical exam, i'm not going to buy what you're selling. i want to see hysteria, baby, pure unbridled freaking-the-fuck out.
  • she also didn't ask me to hold her hand, she demanded it. i'm all for giving out comfort, trust me, but when you natter on endlessly about how i don't seem calm enough for you, and start shrieking, "where's your hand?" the minute you lie down on the exam table, i won't be holding your hand with a smile. sorry. i prefer to be treated like a person, not a prop.
  • last week i had a teen boy who was almost 300 pounds come in after falling and hurting himself at football practice. this week i had another football player who was hurt after a 300 lb boy fell on him. coincidence?
  • i've seen a lot of my ex-coworkers from haggen this month as well. they all left the store as well, and guess what? not one of us will shop there. good job, haggen! way to alienate your employees so much that they quit, and then boycott your store!
  • my coworker bought me a tiny vacuum this week. i got all excited and he dryly remarked, "my wife doesn't get that excited when i buy her that sort of thing. maybe i should stop saying 'merry christmas' and 'happy birthday' when i give her home appliances." yes, maybe that's a plan.

*the "tube" in an MRI machine is known as the "bore." i prefer to call it what it is; a tube, but my bossman looks down on that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

knitting is awesome

start of mayfair blanket, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i spent most of the weekend dorking around with the kids playing video games and knitting. yesterday afternoon i felt a *teensy* guilty for all the lounging, but then i made FOUR homemade pizzas and felt like my mom-ish duties had been fulfilled. (why four? because they're small to medium sized and the boychild can eat one by himself.) i found this great pattern for a lap blanket, which is working up so prettily. i admit i'm kind of smitten with it, and want to make another for myself, either in bright blue or happy red. the one i'm working on now is a christmas present, and aside from one or two wonky spots that had to be reworked, the pattern is easy enough to follow but interesting enough not to be boring.

mom called me this weekend and asked me to come with her to pick out pop's headstone. i know it seems crazy we don't have one yet, but there it is. we got one for free from the military, but it was more of a bronze plaque to be embedded on a stone; there wasn't any room for mom's name on it, and she decided after she got it that she didn't want it. it's just not quite right. one regret my father always had was that his folks weren't able to be buried next to each other (they aren't even in the same state), and he was adamant that he and mom be together. they'll actually share a plot, since mom's plan is cremation and buying two spots is a bit ridiculous, especially given that she won't take up much space (yuk yuk). i'm glad to help, but not looking forward to it. i wish i could make this better/easier for her, and just being around doesn't feel like enough. i know it will get better, and some days are easier than others, but it's just not the same without him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pew! pew!

lately i can't get enough of video games. specifically, i've been playing a lot of on-line tetris and using the kid's DSs to play some Mario games. (which ones i'm not sure! but they certainly are fun!) i love the DS; it's small, easy to use, and you can play with a friend. i'd like to get one of my own, but the kids can't use them at school, which is when i'm at work, so it makes more sense for us all to just share. they let me, because i buy them games, and because i am so incredibly awesome. my latest purchase is ninjatown, which i've heard is a lot of fun (it just shipped out today). i'd also like to get scribblenauts, and some scrabble, but i'm curious if anyone has anything else they'd recommend. i like my games to be cute, nerdy, and not terribly shooty. i've been trying to talk my co-worker into getting one too so we can get paid to play video games all day, but while people are in the bore, he actually has to work.

we're all settling nicely into a fall routine. the other day we went over to D's parent's house; it was his mom's birthday and i had made her some currant scones. we had a super nice visit, and brought home a bucket of tiny cherry tomatoes which are honestly named "mexican midgets" because A) they're from mexico and B) they're super tiny. they're also seriously sweet and delicious. i think they sent us home with 2 lbs, and we have less than a quart left. D's dad also offered to butcher a pig for us if we wanted to do a whole-pig roast for the wedding reception. can you see why i love this family? not only does he not think it's weird to have a big, old-fashioned barbeque pig roast for a reception, but he's all about getting the pig ready for us. what a man. last week his dad also called before he went out to the county fair, to ask me what my wedding colors might be, because he was going to pick up new dahlia bulbs and wanted to make sure he got what i liked. he's sweet like his boy, which is no wonder why i want to join their family. it's touching how excited his parents are; both have already put a lot of thought into our reception, and have offered to do all sort of things to help out. it might be corny, but it makes me happy.

i also started a new yoga class. i admit that last night i did not want to go; i'd had a crazy long day at work, and all i really wanted was a grilled cheese sandwich and to plop myself down on the couch. i was glad i went, though, and feel pretty good about this class. it's terribly basic, which is just what i needed since i haven't taken a yoga class in years. the teacher is awesome and relaxed and not too hippy, and i leave the classes feeling all floaty and worked over but strong. it's amazing how what amounts to a series of stretches makes you feel so good. i picked up some yoga videos at the library as well, i may trying doing it more than once a week. we'll see! it would be nice to be in better shape, and i admit sometimes seeing all these sick folks i get more than a little nervous about my own health. i know what i see is disproportionate (not a lot of healthy people hang out at hospitals, after all) but it is eye opening. what i've learned so far; vegetables are awesome, if you think you've had a stroke, don't wait a week to go to the hospital, keep your bones in good shape, and smoking and suntanning really aren't good for you. if you want to be wrinkly and wizened and fragile in your 60's, go right ahead, but if not, take my advice!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

odds and ends and odds

i remember back in the day when i used to blog pretty much all day, every day. sure, i worked at a desk as a receptionist(a), and had more time and thought i was funnier, but sometimes i go to blog and realize it's been over a week which would have just mortified me back in the day. just saying.

work has been supremely depressing lately. lots of the C word, lots of people at the end of their lives, lots of sadness and crying and claustrophobia. there are times when i think cancer, especially, hits me hard now because of my father's passing; but i remember that even when my dad was alive, cancer patients were hard for me. not unbearable, don't mistunderstand, but it hits me in an especially tender spot. i think of the families involved, the oncology nurses, spouses and children and what they're going through. i think of the web of people involved in a single cancer case, how they're all tied together and what they might be going through. it makes me remember how it was when i went through it, how it was when dad was sick, and makes me more mindful of being kind.

there are times when i'm angry because my dad is gone and other people are recovering from cancer, or men older than my father who are far sicker come in and get better and go home. i'm not angry at them, but i feel acutely cheated. i try to remind myself that i'm being petty, which helps, but i can't help feeling like he should be here, like he shouldn't have missed my wedding or getting to know D and the kids, and also like i should be getting over this, i shouldn't hurt like this anymore and i should learn to be a grown-up without the safety net of parents. it's bad enough sometimes feeling bad, but feeling bad about feeling bad is retarded. even i know this. i definitely have days where i wish i had a mindless job, where i just went in and worked without thinking about any of this, without being reminded of it almost daily; but at the same time i like my job, and think no matter what, i'd probably be thinking about a lot of this stuff anyhow.

in lighter news, the kids are back in school! which is fantastic. we were all getting a bit sick of bumping into each other every five minutes, and as much as the kids hate to admit it, i think they were ready to see their friends and get back into some sort of routine. having them home all summer was nice, and gave me a tiny glimpse of what it might be like to be a stay-at-home mom. my kids aren't mine, and they're older, but even i can see how exhausting it could be! we also shut off the cable tv this week; our summer experiment is over, and i can honestly say that we're better off without it. with all the tv you can watch on dvd or the internet, i don't think we'll be missing out on much. sure, i'll miss coming home and watching some mindless sitcom or cartoon whenever i feel like it, but we were abusing it and not doing much else. i think we were all a lot more fun when we didn't have it, and not hearing the kids fight about who's watching what and when is a good enough reason to get rid of it. i know it sounds drastic and extreme, and i promise to never be one of those people who haughtily declares, "oh, i wouldn't know about that because we don't have tv," because you know D and i will sneak out on occasion to watch UFC fights at bars. tv is great, it's just not for us.

aside from all that, boring sad work stuff, kids in school and no more tv, there isn't much else to report. i change my mind every other day about what kind of wedding we should have, what our colors should be, and spend a lot of time trying to convince everyone that we should all wear top hats in the ceremony. one fact is certain, though, i will have a new, fancy pair of red shoes to wear. hopefully a tiny top hat as well, but that remains to be seen!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

fresh kimchi

fresh kimchi, originally uploaded by pinprick.

guess who's got some chili coated cabbage fermenting in her kitchen as we speak? that's right, ME. i didn't make it, don't get too excited; i helped D a little, but he did all the work. it's my job to take the pretty, pretty pictures and hand him knives or bowls or buckets. i'm like the production assistant on a cooking show. we used a recipe that came in his Yoga magazine; it was nice and basic, and didn't make a crazy amount. not that we can't eat gallons of it (we're fairly certain we can) but because this is a test run and if it works well, we might tweak it before we make it again (make it spicier or let it ferment longer, or shorter). initial tasting were, well, tasty, and i bet after a few days of countertop living it's going to be great. man, i love kimchi. i can't even tell you how much i love that i met a man who loves it too, and is stoked about lactic fermentation and pickling.

the kids start school today! they were both in a great mood this morning, and excited about going. i think they missed their friends, and as much as we all love each other, the house was feeling a bit small the past few weeks. i know that M isn't too excited about her teacher this year, but i met him and he was rad. he's not the "fun" one, but i told her that it's usually not the fun ones that are really awesome. i reminded her nicely this morning that it's his first day too, so maybe she could reserve judgement just a bit longer. she thought that was fair.

my sister is being terrible about the wedding and that is giving me heartburn. in a nutshell, she wants my niece in the ceremony, even though i don't want a flower girl. it's not going to be a super traditional wedding, and as much as i love my niece i have never seen a flower girl who seemed to be having fun, and wasn't all shy and freaked out. you know, except on tv. i just want my wedding to be a bit more low-key, and more about the four of us; i'm not just marrying D, and i want the kids to know how important they are. i'm sure we'll talk about this more later, but for now let me just say i feel crappy about the way things are playing out, and while i want to make my family happy, i also kind of just want to focus on making my own family. as well as making kimchi, and pickled eggs, and someday talking D into curing meats and making salamis. aw yeah, salami!