Wednesday, September 26, 2012

tiny shroom

it's no big secret that i love mushrooms.  i love to eat them, i love to grow them, i love to read books about them, i think they are fascinating.  i also realize that wearing a mushroom necklace might make people think i'm all about the drugs, but i don't really care.  last night i was going to just wallow in my irritation with work, but instead i put fresh sheets on my bed, listened to some podcasts, did some light housekeeping and made this little pendant.  it's hard to remain fussy when you are feeling pleased with yourself. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ohmygod i can hear you over here

everyone who works in a cubicle farm knows this: they are not magical bubbles of sound-proofed quietude.  work in a call center, and not only do you have the constant, never-ending chatter of phone calls, but you also have all the daily, work conversations going on at the same time.  there are a few women who work on the other side of the cubicle divide, basically sharing a cube wall with me, who just will NOT shut up.  i have to hear their daily inane conversations, and one of them doesn't have an inside voice.  (granted, in real life i don't either, but i've been trained well and keep it down in my cube.) it's all back and forth, "i did this this weekend," or "my boyfriend's a retard because of this," or "my favorite serial killer is gary ridgeway that."  it's literally never ending.  i never actually hear them on the phone, which makes me crazy because for some reason i get more calls than anyone else i work with.  where i work has also outfitted with us with fancy IM programs that we all use, so when we can, we can avoid talking out loud and creating noise.  in theory, this works wonderfully.  in reality, today i was the bitch who finally complained to my supervisor.  i just couldn't take it anymore.  lord knows i am not a paragon of goody-goody tattle-tailer, but what sanity i have left, i wanted to keep. i was nice about it, and actually phrased it like this, "maybe they could just be more mindful of their volume?" ugh.  now i'm saying "mindful" out loud.  

they also put our supervisors on the floor with us, with modestly larger cubicles, which i think is to keep morale up (makes them less "management" and more "person who listens to my complaints"), but it has the unintended side effect of making all the conversations they have with everyone audible.  most of the people i work with are super quiet, but one of the ladies that works on the floor under another supervisor comes to talk to my boss all the damn time.  she's the lady without the inside voice, who spends too much time talking about serial killers, and have i mentioned the large, skeleton tattoo that graces her neck? i'm all for self-expression baby, but the moment you tattoo the grim reaper on your neck, you're basically telling the world to "fuck off." am i wrong?  i'm going to get a teardrop tattoo by my eye next, and see if it raises any eyebrows.  (it won't.) 

i love big chunks of my job, and i hate to be a debbie downer, but the past few weeks have been seriously draining.  a lot of people took voluntary leave because call volumes go down this time of year, while our bosses keep telling us how awesome this time of year is because "there are no calls." except that those of us who stick around answer more than ever simply because there isn't anyone else around.  call centers in general tend to be staffed by primarily women as well, and while i love my sisters and give money to all kinds of feminist organizations, i do get tired of hearing about how everyone's boyfriend/husband is so fucking dumb and their kids are so smart and amazing, and did you watch american idol last night? i know, first world problems.  it's cliche, but sadly true. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

book sale!

because we have so many books, i have vowed to never move again. seriously.  this is it.  if we leave this house, it will be due to an act of nature.  so of course, while i was at my mom's this weekend, i hit up the friend's of the library book sale.  here is what i bought,
  • a.s. byatt's possession: i've always wanted to read this since i read one of her books of short stories. 
  • seizing our bodies, edited by claudia dreifus: this is a book filled with feminist writings from the year i was born, 1977.  i am not ashamed to be called a feminist.  i love reading the writings of early feminists, whether they're championing our rights to vote, or trying to make sure we can have access to health care without being called "sluts." 
  • bothers and sisters, by joanna trollope: i don't know, it looked interesting. 
  • random family, by adrian leblanc: i heard about this on npr a million years ago.  then look! it arrives.  ha!
  • the devil in massachusetts, by marion starkey: like all kids born around halloween, i love all things related to that high holy holiday.  witches, goblins, ghouls, vampires, you name it.  that my mother grew up in rhode island and i had an aunt and uncle in boston piqued my interest in historical witches.  of course, when i found this book, i had to buy it.  also, the one i found had a wicked cover.  
needless to say, i'm planning on hunkering down this fall and reading.  what are you reading?

Monday, September 17, 2012

more things i learned in my garden this year

i probably could have grown twice the amount of food with half the amount of plants.  why? because i crowded those poor little plants.  i also literally and figuratively did not give my tomatoes enough support, and yet they still made me a million tiny treats.  imagine if i had bought enough cages, watered them appropriately, and give them enough room.  i would have had a million freaking tomatoes!

i also learned that if you mess stuff up, the chances are good stuff will still grow.  my garlic isn't great and big or anything, but all the bulbs i planted made new heads, and i learned what they like and don't like. 

the other day i picked up a few brussel sprout starts!  i'm going to have a wee fall garden, with the sprouts and some kale.  i know, i'll get sick of kale, but i plan on freezing some too, and we do like it baked, so i'm willing to err on the side of too much. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

true story

once a year, in the fall, i dye my hair black.  no one ever notices.  it's close to my natural color, i don't get roots, but it calms down the red bits from the summer, and covers my greys up for a little while. 

other things i do in the fall; switch to dark nail polishes (damn i love a purple so dark it looks black at first), have pumpkin lattes, buy more pencils than i will ever use (they go on sale and i love a new pack of perfect pencils), stock up on ridiculous halloween supplies, and spend more time baking and in the kitchen.  the thing about the pacific northwest is that summer comes late, and when it does, making the kitchen hotter with any kind of cooking is the worst.  we are just ill-equipped with being too hot.  i like finally getting back in there after being kicked out by the weather for a while. 

fall will always feel more like the "new year" to me than any other time of the year. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

i'm officially small and petty

the other day the girlchild did a "quiz" on facebook that told her what she would look like in 20 years.  it told her she would be all about doing drugs, and look terrible and wrinkly.  i pointed out that there was no way she was going to be wrinkly, and as far as the drug thing went, NO WAY.  then her mom, who only has contact to her through FACEBOOK, left a comment about how in 20 years the girlchild will be 34 and at 34 she had "8-pack abs" and everyone tells her all the time that she only looks 25.  that's great!  she's fit and looks young, but you know what? i'm raising her kids.  i'm glad she's so hot, but some of us who are actually living with kids, making dinners and working and paying for health insurance, helping out with homework, buying school clothes, don't have time for 8-pack abs.  i'm not just fussy because i'm a chubby stepmom, but because this woman gets to pop in with her two cents anytime she feels like it because she's the "real" mom and OF COURSE her life is more glamorous than mine! she's single and unencumbered.  i'm so glad her job is a natural workout, it would be nice if that job didn't just make her thin, but also paid for some child support.

she's also missing out on awesome times with her own kids.  let's hope those awesome abs give hugs and thank her for being around. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

is hypochondria in the DSM?

because if it isn't, it should be.  i woke up at 1 in the morning, with a deep pain circling my ribs.  i thought maybe i was hungry, or maybe too full for a second; still half asleep and unsure why everything hurt so badly.  i got up and went to the bathroom, thinking that might help.  upon standing i realized how much it hurt to stand upright.  i thought maybe i needed to throw up, but that didn't seem to be it.  i tried everything to get comfortable, i walked all over the house, i sat up, i tried going back to bed, i got out a heating pad and tried applying that to my back.  about five minutes into that, the throwing up started.  whoo!  at this point, it didn't just hurt around my ribs, my back from the base on my neck to my tailbone felt like it was on fire.  so. much. pain.  the throwing up made me feel better for a minute, but then it was worse.  at this point, i woke up my husband with a "i think some thing's wrong."  i threw up a few more times after that, and about two hours into it, i had the realization, "this must be what spinal meningitis feels like."  so, then, of course, i got ready to go to the ER.

however, 20 mins before the last time i threw up, i remembered some pills that i was accidentally prescribed; ketorolac.  when i went to the urgent care clinic a few months with an ear infection, the doctor accidentally put my name on someone elses prescription. i  remember D coming home with it and thinking, "upper left abdominal pain? that's not me."  i thought about bringing them back, then spaced it.  last night i was like, "well, i'm having pain."  so i took one.  i didn't think it did anything, and then i threw up again, and made my move.  somehow, on the drive to the hospital, whatever part of the pill that i had absorbed started to kick in.  i think staying in one position for a while, sitting upright, also helped ease the pain in my back.  i drove through the parking lot of the hospital, then drove back home.  i felt ridiculous, because obviously, no spinal meningitis, but still shitty from the throwing up.  i couldn't sleep after that and so i took the day off.  which was a good idea, because i just tried to eat and that didn't go very well.  i kept that half a bagel down, but it is not having a good time in there.

i wonder what it was that happened.  i'm always amazed at how my imagination goes the worst place possible.  i was also happy that my husband didn't think i was too crazy, although he did giggle a bit when i told him my meningitis theory (after the fact, of course).  he's at work, but he's going to bring me home some ginger ale.  hooray! 

*edited to add: well shit! it is in the DSM, according to wikipedia.  i'm clinical! ha!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

county fair time

 last week i had a random wednesday off, because i used my floating holiday.  i thought it would be fun to work for two days, have a day off, work for two more, then enjoy labor day weekend.  i was right, that was fun.  on my day off, D got the brilliant idea to hit up the evergreen state fair in monroe.  i hadn't been to a county fair in forever, and both kids were into it, so off we went.
 D likes to start with the animals.  we hit the horse stalls first, where i was promtly freaked the fuck out.  i won't lie, horses make me nervous. i don't ride them, i don't get too close to them, and i don't trust them.  for one thing, a horse can do whatever it wants. it's way bigger than you, and a single kick of a bored leg to your chest is all it takes for them to show you who's boss. even small horses are formidable! to me, anyway.  of course, the first stable we go into is full of draft horses.  DRAFT HORSES.  i kind of knew in the back of my head that they are the biggest of horses, but seeing one up close was remarkable.  they were like 8 feet tall and all muscled up like the entire WWE were hiding in their haunches.  people were getting them ready for show, and braiding their hair and wiping them down, outfitting them with elaborate bridles, and making small talk with the animals.  it was amazing.  seriously.  i wish i had taken some photos, but i was too busy keeping a death grip on my camera and nervously giggling.  when we got outside of the stable, the kids told me i looked terrified the whole time, and they had more fun watching my face than seeing the animals.  i know that's i have a strange reaction to horses, but seriously, even for all the anxiety i feel when i'm around them, i do appreciate how beautiful they are. like a tiger, though, i don't need to be friends with them.

pygmy goats, in contrast, are more my speed.  funny little fat guys, jumping around and being cute, with the magically ability to provide milk that you can make into delicious cheese.  there's an animal i can be friends with. 
 the food at the fair was mediocre at best.  limpid curly fries, under-salted and rapidly congealing.  bratwurst with boring grilled onions. margarine laced elephant ears.  the only amazing i had was this red velvet funnel cake, which blew my mind.  it was topped with cream cheese frosting ribbons and chocolate sauce.  it was amazing.  we didn't even get any cheese curds because they only had tiny trays of the previously frozen, pellet sized ones, nothing made with a real fresh curd.  if there's one thing i'm snobby about, it's cheese curds.
the cats were hiding far away from everything else. i should have taken some photos of all the little signs you had to follow to find them!  it didn't matter once we got there, though.  i met my first scottish fold, this sweet little guy.  he was a tired kitten, but his owner woke him up so we could play and pet him for a bit.  i also met a smooshed-face cat, and saw a lovely hairless who refused to wake up.  the cages the cats were in were all decorated in sports themes, in honor of the olympics.  the care the kids took in setting them up was obvious.  all the cats were sleepy and worn out by the time we got there, but in good moods. no catfights were observed. 

then of course, we rode some rides, walked around some more, and finally went home where we all promptly passed out.  it was an awesome day, and now we all want to go back next year.  hitting it in the middle of the week was also an inspired move on D's part; the crowds were amiable and there wasn't a line for much, you could stop and talk to the farmers and animal owners, nothing felt rushed or forced.  we talked to a lot of kids in various forms of 4H, which is always fun.  they get so excited about their animals!  it felt nice and relaxed there.  i don't think we'll ever go on a weekend again.