Friday, December 18, 2009

Done

Completed. Finished. Concluded. Finis. Call it a day. End of the road. Curtains. Stick a fork in me.

Yesterday I took (and of course passed) my last exam for my degree. Yes, I said MY LAST EXAM. Which means I am now, for all practical intents and purposes, done. All that's left now is to wait for those last few credits to be added to my transcript, file my graduation intent form, the school does a final review, I pay a small fee, and in a couple months - I have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. 

It was rather anticlimactic. I walked out of testing center and by all rights the heavens should open up, a chorus of angels should descend and serenade me with Hallelujah! Hallellelujah! Hallelujah!  Instead, there was just a skinny, long-haired brunette woman standing on a street corner in Santa Ana, California clutching a piece of paper with a dazed look on her face. 

I am still feeling slightly spacey.  I mean, I have all these rather tired brain cells that are suddenly finding themselves free to play and they just aren't quite sure what to do next. They may need take a few days off to recuperate, mindless chores like shampooing carpets and scrubbing floors actually sound kind of attractive now. But after that? Hmmmm.......

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

iShiver

Somehow, last week it was autumn and we were breaking out the knitted scarves, airing out the sweaters that were in storage, and generally enjoying a little extra coolness in the air. And now this week it's HELLO I AM WINTER AND I WILL FREEZE YOU SOLID!

Of course I defy winter's efforts to solidify me into a human-shaped icicle because I am in constant motion. I shiver. Non-stop. All day. Possibly also in my sleep. I'm not sure about that but it could explain why I wake up still so tired - I've been busy shivering all night long. It'd be awfully nice if all this perpetual motion could somehow be harnessed into an energy source and applied to my utility rates or even considered a good cardio workout and contribute to improving my overall fitness but I suspect it's more likely to result in higher electric bills and/or pulled muscles.

I know, I know - there are many who live in much colder climates than I and they get through their winters just fine. Maybe I'm just a big whiner but I think it's all relative. I also think those people have heat, and insulation in the walls of their homes. Ooooo...and I bet they drive around in real cars with doors? (Golf carts?  Cute and practical for all but a few months each year. These months.)

I'm cold at work too because I spend the time standing behind a cash register a few feet from wide open doors facing the beachfront and those errr....."brisk ocean breezes". The other day someone wandered in and enquired if we had heat in the store? Ummm...do you not see me here bundled up in multiple layers of wool knitwear and fleece, and still, shivering?

I'm going to end this little rant now because as I sit here keying in these words my hands are getting colder and colder. I think the remedy for my icy fingers is the warm, furry belly of a certain feline currently close proximity - I'm just not sure how she's going to feel about that!

Heeeeerre kitty kitty.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grateful

When I read back through some of my recent blog posts I realize how negative some of them sound. (Debbie Downer reporting for duty!) I'm in an odd place in my life right now, close to completion with one phase and struggling to map out the next one. And so much of that is NOT making the blog, and that's hard too, but I'm working on a solution.

However, I am very aware of how blessed I am. I talk about how sometimes it seems like my apartment is falling apart around me - but I do have a home. I wish for new glasses and think about getting in better shape - but I do have my health.  I complain about my workplace and search for something better - but I do have a job. 

I question my relationships with the people around me.  But I have a friend who remembered I might be alone on a holiday, and I have family, both two and four-legged, who love me.

For all of these reasons and so much more I am grateful for the gift that is my life. Blessed be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Every 16 minutes

Someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. Every 17 minutes someone else is left to make sense of it. 

This Saturday is the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention's 11th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Day. I talked about it last year, and you can learn more about the event on the AFSP site



I can't change the past. But maybe someday I can help change the future. I think I'd like that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One part of the elephant

There's a story about blind men and an elephant.  There are many different versions out there but the gist of it is this:

A group of blind men touch an elephant to learn what is it like.

The first man touches the leg and says an elephant is like a pillar. 
The second man touches the tail and says an elephant is like a rope. 
The third man touches the trunk and says an elephant is like a branch of tree. 
The fourth man touches the ear and says an elephant is like a large hand fan. 
The fifth man touches the belly and says an elephant is like a huge wall. 
The sixth man touches the tusk and says an elephant is like a solid pipe.

Of course the men disagree because each one only touched one part of the elephant.

The moral of the story? What you believe to be true is based only on  your perspective, you cannot possibly know the absolute truth without seeing the whole picture.

I thought of this recently after a friend told me his thoughts on my qualifications (or rather lack thereof) for a certain job.  I was shocked at what he said and tried, probably rather badly, to explain how wrong he was, pointing out that his knowledge of me is limited to the time we spend together, which in itself is constricted by his own limitations.  Don't misunderstand me - I'm not really hurt anymore by what he said. In his own way, he actually meant it as a compliment. To him, that particularly skill set has less value, so in telling me I lack them, he was also saying that I can and should do better. Yeah, I get that. Being overqualified for potential jobs is nothing new to me!

But what bothers me is his steadfast belief in seeing me in just that one viewpoint - mindblowing from someone so intelligent who prides himself on being a logical thinker. I also can't help wondering how that affects our friendship. Does this mean that any support or encouragement is limited to only those endeavors he finds worthy? Because as I see it, the action of a friend is to learn what someone wants and then see what you can do to help make it happen. It's just that simple.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mystery Yarn

The other day I was approached by a local acquaintance I'll call "P".  Although she herself can knit, P is very enamored of my knitting and frequently introduces me to others as the "world's greatest knitter!" which is very embarrassing.  Because of course - I'm not. I'm just one of the few sock knitters she's every met and within in her limited circle probably one of the most proficient.  But we all know there are eleventy-bajillion knitters out there far more talented than I.

Anyway - P gets enjoyment from occasionally consulting me on knitting problems, showing me her most recent finished object, and hearing about my current work in progress and it's harmless so I roll with it. But when she stopped by my work the other day it was to share something new.

She explained that she had been gifted by another local knitter with a couple large plastic trash bags of thick and thin cotton yarn, in three colors.  P accepted it thinking she would knit up a small rug, or perhaps chair seatcovers, but found it very difficult to work with. She went on to tell me that this strange yarn was so very thick in some places that she needed large needles to work with it, but so thin in other places that it would break.  I asked her if there was any sort of label or ballband included in the bags of yarn and she said no, there definitely wasn't. P said all she knew was that the other knitter said that "it took her forever to wind it all up" and that she herself was stumped and ready to pass it on - so did I want it?

I admitted to being curious about this mystery yarn but for many reasons - time, storage space, etc. - did not want to accept this stuff sight unseen.  So the next day, P stopped by again with a small sample:

(Hand included for scale)

Okay, I agree with P, this is definitely cotton.  And the colors are nice. But the variation between the thinnest bits and thickest are so extreme, I think this perhaps verges on what some folks consider "art yarn"?  I should perhaps mention that I am 99.9% sure that there are no spinners in this town. (There was one - she moved back to the mainland earlier this year.) So the origin of this strange yarn is quite puzzling. 

(Ruler included for scale)

P said that she thought maybe the three strands could be braided together, I suggested she might try holding the three strands together and using very thick needles. She liked the idea but repeated her assurances that she was no longer interested in trying to knit something with this crazy yarn and was happy to give it to me if I wanted it.

(Wine glass include for scale)

Unless someone out there on the interwebs can quickly identify this mystery yarn and and give me a good reason why not, I think I'm going to pass on the offer. As I've mentioned recently, my time is very limited for the next couple months.  And once my time frees up a bit, I plan to put a considerable amount of it towards cleaning out my overflowing closets and cupboards, drastically reducing clutter (more on this another day) so it seems to me that the very LAST thing I need to be doing is accepting a couple of large bags of particularly odd or tricksy yarn. 

So what do you think?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Figuring Out Facebook

All right, so I've got a handle on the whole twitter thing.  Clearly it'd be a whole lot more fun if I was tweeting throughout the day instead of just at random moments when I happen to be home and online. I see how some folks use it for promotion, some for communication, and others (such as moi) just for venting random off-the-cuff thoughts. And in my case it is probably better that I can't tweet throughout the day while I'm at work because remember - I work in retail.  Uhunh, it's like that.

So I thought my next foray into the world of social networks should be Facebook.  I took a few baby steps - putting up a very minimal profile and sending out a few friend requests.  And then quickly realized what an idjit I was when the sparse amount of personal info I provided and lack of photo meant that some of my actual friends didn't know who I was! Problem quickly solved.

I also realized something else.  Perhaps it is because there was recently a reunion (which I did not attend) but very quickly after I added more details and a photo to my profile I started receiving friend requests from old high school classmates.  Some of these make sense, people who were actually friends during high school and it's nice to hear from them.  But others puzzle me. If you weren't my friend then, why would you want to be my "friend" now?  I mean, if you went through four years of school without ever saying one single word to me - why on earth would you even consider it? I truly do not understand.

One other discovery - a surprising number of the people who live in my tiny town on this tiny island are also on Facebook.  And this presents me with a bit of a quandary.  You see, my blog, my participation on Ravelry, other activities only started when I dropped out of the the working world and my old routine to go back to school. And out there on the interwebs I get to be myself and that is a wonderful thing. I am "Kath" and I am "just26miles" and I like those people. 

But I have another life also, a life away from the interwebs and while there is some crossover, I can count those people on the fingers of one hand and I know they understand the challenge I am facing now.  And if you lived in a town that was less than three square miles and located on an island, you might also understand the need to find a little corner in which to safely fly one's freak flag while still maintaining a more....ahem..."proper" image. (Thank you blog! Thank you Ravelry!) In this town, just about anyone I cross paths with at any moment is a potential employer or a link to a potential employer. Truly. So as I hunt for a full-time job again, I am aware of the need to present some sort of professional appearance. Facebook seems like a good place for that so I think that's how I'm going to use it.

Which is not to say that I don't want to see you there! I most definitely do want to know if some of my blogging friends could also be Facebook friends. If you're out there - let me know! I just don't want the traffic to flow in the other direction so I did not add my blog or Ravelry name. It's not a perfect solution, and I'm still thinking through how to manage this, but it's a start.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Paw of Doom

Which signals the break of dawn (also known as my alarm clock!!!) looks like this:



I knew I couldn't be the only one. And clearly, this guy understands:


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life swallowed me up

And I don't know if it's going to spit me back out until some time in December.

You may remember that my plan for this fall/winter was to knock out my last four classes, essentially the equivalent of being a full-time student for one last semester and be done before Christmas.  Not just so I can actually enjoy the holiday season, but more importantly to get my last credits in before my annual tuition fee is due and save a substantial amount of money. That plan was made when I landed a summer job, with every expectation of being laid off at the end of the season, most likely in October at the latest. But that's not how it happened. 

Instead, one of the other employees decided to leave the island, which opened up a slot for me to pick up her hours and stay on at the shop through the winter.  This is both good - because I need the money, and bad - because it means I have to squeeze in time for school around my work hours. Okay, not impossible. Tight, but not impossible.

(Yes, I know lots of people work crazy hours and go to school full-time. But you will have to take my word for it that this job is harder and more physically grueling that it ever should be. Someday when I am farther down the road and this employer is just a dwindling speck in my rearview mirror, I will share. But not till then.) 

Then, because I am an idiot/crazy person/masochist who forgets she is not superwoman, when someone I worked for on a book project a few years ago contacted me about an additional freelance job, of course I said yes.  It's nothing steady, just a little extra income at the end of each month but with my current status of being so-poor-I-can't-afford-to-pay-attention, even a little bit extra will help. And I'm hoping I can give this new project just small bits of time here and there over the next two months to keep the project moving along and its leader (author? whatever!) satisfied. Then after my school deadline has been met I can really give it the proper attention.

Oooo...and also in the past I think I mentioned that I'm the property manager for some apartments?  So - planned repairs, tenant turnovers, unplanned repairs - all needing more oversight than you'd ever believe.  Seriously, I'm sure in other parts of the world there are repair people who actually WANT your business and show up to do the work in some sort of timely fashion (or even ever at all), but here? Feh. 

So the rest of my life? May have be put on hold for a bit.  I think people in my immediate circle of friends will understand, some have even figured out that if you dangle food in front of me, I am much more likely to be available. Because I still have to eat, right? (And if you are cooking or picking up the check I am SO there. Kidding. Sort of.)

As for my bloggy friends? I'm guessing you will need the occasional reminder that I am still alive. I believe I can do that, but I cannot promise that I will be the sharpest tool in the shed. And perhaps there will be a greater than average reliance on island scenery shots or cute kitty pics. But if you can bear with me - and hang in there -  I'll do the best I can.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My brain locked up

And all that came out was...WHUT?

It was this:

After the system specification is complete but before the design is coded in the actual programming language, portions of the system may be coded in what is called pseudocode, a design technique that lays out the processing in a simple but standardized language so that the logic can be examined before it is translated into the more complex programming language.

Before delving into pseudocode we must consider how expressions are processed in most computers. Expression processing uses concepts from algebra for computing the results of evaluating expressions. In most computer languages as well as in pseudocode the normal symbols + for add, - for subtract, * for multiply, and / for divide are used. Exponentiation, or raising a number to a power, has various representations in the different languages and for our discussion here we will use the symbol ** which is used in several languages and in pseudocode.

The expression A + B * C means to take the value of A, B, and C and perform the indicated operations. However, the rules of operator precedence apply when there are no parentheses in the expression. In the absence of parentheses the rule of operator precedence from highest precedence to lowest precedence is:
     1) any exponentiation is evaluated first
     2) followed by any multiplication or division in their order of appearance from left to right
     3) followed by any addition or subtraction in their order of appearance

So for our simple example, if A has the value 2, B is 3, and C is 4, the expression value is 3 * 4 + 2 which is 14.

However, if parentheses are added to the expression, expressions in parentheses are evaluated first, starting with innermost parentheses. Within parentheses, the above operator precedence rule still applies. If we rewrite our simple expression to (A + B) * C we now add A and B to get 5; then multiply by 4 to get 20

Continuing to use the same values, A is 2, B is 3, and C is 4:
     1) C – A ** 2 is 0
     2) A + B * C ** 2 is 82
     3) (A + B) * C ** 2 is 80
     4) ((A + B) * C) ** 2 is 400

Pseudocode resembles English and contains the following simple statements which are sufficient to describe any process:

• Sequence – an ordered series of simple actions like computations. The pseudocode code statement is SET.

• Decision branching – tests a relationship in the process (called a condition) and performs one sequence if the relationship is true and a different sequence if the relationship is false. The pseudocode statement is IF (condition) … THEN…ELSE…END IF.

• Repetition – the order to continue to perform a sequence of actions while a condition is true. Skip to the sequence following the repetition when the condition becomes false. The pseudocode statement is WHILE (condition)…END WHILE.

A condition can be a comparison. Possible comparisons are:
     = tests if the two values are the same;
     > tests if the left operand is greater than the right operand;
     <>= tests if the left operand is greater than or equal to the right operand;
     <= tests if the left operand is less than or equal to the right operand. 

A condition can use logical operators. The logical operators are AND, OR and NOT. 
     AND is true if both of the operators are true and false otherwise 
     OR is true if either or both of the operators are true and false otherwise 
     NOT reverses the value of true to false and false to true

Again continuing to use the same values, A is 2, B is 3, and C is 4:
     A = B is false 
     A > B is false
     A < B is true

The SET statement gives a value to a variable. An example of a sequence of pseudocode instructions using only SET instructions: 
     SET A TO 2
gives A the value of 2
     SET B TO 3
     SET C TO 4
     SET C TO A + B
changes C from 4 to 5
     SET A TO B * C
changes A from 2 to 15. Why? The previous SET statement changed the value of C. The statements are an example of a sequence of actions that, if they were written in a programming language, the computer would execute in order.

The IF…THEN…ELSE…END IF statement is a decision branching statement that tests the condition specified in the IF clause. If the condition is true, the sequence of statements in the THEN clause is executed and the sequence of statements in the ELSE clause is skipped. If the condition is false, the sequence of instructions in the THEN clause is skipped and the sequence of statements in the ELSE clause is executed. In either case, after the THEN or ELSE sequence, execution goes to the statement after the END IF. Using the values of A, B, and C from the last example,
     IF (A > B) THEN
     SET LARGER TO A
     ELSE
     SET LARGER TO B
     END IF
     SET A TO 0
     SET B TO 0
After this pseudocode is evaluated, what are the values of A, B, and LARGER? A started out as 15 and B was 3. Since 15 > 3 is true LARGER becomes 15, the ELSE clause is skipped and both A and B are set to zero. Which clause would be executed if A and B were equal? The condition (A > B) would be false so the ELSE clause is the one that would be executed.

Repetition is coded as a WHILE loop in pseudocode. The following example showing a WHILE loop in pseudocode instructions is from the CLEP sample test.

     SET A TO 1
     SET B TO 3
     SET A TO A + B
     WHILE A <>

An important point about using a WHILE loop is that some statement within the WHILE and END WHILE pair must change a value in the condition that is being tested to eventually make the condition false, otherwise the loop will run forever. In the above pseudocode A has the value of 4 when the sequence of instructions reaches the WHILE statement for the first time. Since 4 is less than 20, the condition is true and the sequence of statements within the WHILE loop is executed. The value of A changes to 4 * 4 / 2 which is 8. The sequence encounters the END WHILE and repetition causes the execution to return to the WHILE statement. The value of A is still less than 20 so the WHILE sequence is entered once again. This time A is set to 8 * 8 / 2 which is 32. The END WHILE is processed and repetition causes the WHILE to be evaluated again. This time A is greater than 20 and the processing skips to the non-existent sequence after the END WHILE. For this example, the final value of A is 32. 

Note that A, B, and C are just arbitrary names for the values. The name given to a value can be any letter or descriptive name like: 
SET AREA TO LENGTH * WIDTH


I think I need help.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Festival of Art '09

I got so caught up in other things I forgot to mention something...

Last weekend was the Catalina Festival of Art! Between work, school, and various other unpleasant time sucks I didn't really get to enjoy it as much as I have in past years.  I did notice that instead of the pegboard & post contraptions usually set up with tables for the booth space, this year each booth was supplied with a nice white shade canopy and a sort of coated metal gridwork to hang things on the back wall of their space, along with the usual large table and metal folding chair. I'm guessing it made a positive difference for the artists, but I'm quite sure it made a tremendous impact on the overall look of the event. 
 

And you can see an overhead shot on the Art Association's home page here. (Not sure how long that linky will last!)

So, in no particular order, a few of my favorites:

Xavier's pottery, all gorgeous but I really love the mugs.



Oddly pretty and very delicately detailed bug watercolors, I have a friend who would probably love these.



Lorenzo's mosaics, the framed mirrors are nice but the pieced together images of the casino and the island are really clever and special.



Fused glass plates, sparkling in the sun - so pretty & so impractical!



Lastly, the art of Ed Arnold:



I like that he uses recycled materials - discarded bits of wood and mis-mixed house paint. 


Other than that, I don't know what it is about his creations that appeals to me but you can read more about the artist and a show he had last year here and see much more of his work here.

Someday, when I can afford it, I'd like to do more to support independent small artists. But for now - this will have to do! 

Monday, September 21, 2009

PSA: Awesome Yarn Alert

While, like many people these days, I am financially challenged and therefore on a yarn diet, I feel it is my solemn duty to bring to your attention, gentle readers, any extraordinary opportunities to GET SOME REALLY AWESOME NEW YARN!

See this:



Purple pink girly deliciousness = Violet Femme!

And my personal fave:



I love it for the color alone - but don't you need a Penny For Your Thoughts?

These and several more have just been added to Little Red Bicycle, as part of the new "Snowflake Yarn" line.  If you think the rush for Wollmeise is impressive, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  So do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to Little Red Bicycle and grab your own Snowflake Yarn before it's all gone!



Why are you still here?  Didn't I tell you to go? Go nowwwww.......

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The steepness of the curve

Late last week I went overtown to take a Dantes exam for Introduction to Law Enforcement. My trip over in the morning was perfect:



Water like glass - I couldn't ask for a smoother ride.

And on the way home we had just passed the Queen Mary:



When something interesting came into view:


Those are three different emergency vessels, lights flashing. 

Followed by this:



There wasn't a fire or anything else that we could see, so I'm guessing it was a drill and we just happened to pass by at the right moment.

Anyway, the strange list of phrases in my last post was part of my memory key for remembering significant U.S. Supreme Court cases and it must have worked because I passed the test with a comfortable margin. Another 3 credits down, 11 more to go. My goal is to knock out those remaining credits by completing four more Dantes or CLEP exams by the end of the year. It's not going to be easy but I think the trick is to select exams that cover the kind of material I can absorb quickly. I can't really explain why some subjects are easier for me to grasp than others - they just are.

But apparently there are some lessons that I take much longer to learn.  While I do know that I don't have the physical fitness level I used to have, that I have spent the past several years at a series of desk jobs, and that I am no longer in my 20's - still.  Every time I take on a new home repair project I make the same mistake.  I prepare and plan in advance and then on the day, dive in happily, crouching down or reaching forward or grasping tightly or...you get the idea. 

Then the next day I wake up, roll over, get out of bed and
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!

pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain...

This time was no exception.  And I had plenty of time to consider my own folly, as I lay face down on the floor, wondering what had possessed me to spend all those hours scraping layers of paint from my shower walls and wishing I had trained the cat to fetch the ibuprofen bottle.

*wimper*

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's awfully crowded in there

I sat down this evening with the intention of writing some sort of post to explain what I've been up to lately, and what I'm planning to do in the future. But my head is entirely too full of information that I will be needing in the VERY near future, as in tomorrow morning at 11:00am.

Here's a few snippets:
  • excluding this week
  • poison Lumber tree
  • map of the entire country
  • Preston's car impounded
  • Opperman property inventory
  • a locked well
  • Robinson heroin
  • terry stop
  • Smith stuff in a sack
  • attorney's gotta be dere
That gibberish actually does make sense to me and if you could see inside my overstuffed brain, you'd understand it all too. 

I think.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This little piggy went to market

One lesson I've learned is to take better care of myself. I've spent way too much time sacrificing my own health in favor of a demanding job or some other stressful situation, ignoring my own needs and paying the price for it later. To that end, I am trying to sleep more, drink a lot of water or juice, and eat better.

Over the past few months I've watched and been somewhat inspired by someone else's regular acquisitions of produce at farmer's market.  My tiny town does have it's own little farmer's market, not of foodstuffs grown on the island, but nearby on the mainland and brought over once a week. You can watch a video and check it out for yourself here.

Unfortunately, the farmer's market takes place on Wednesday mornings and with my work schedule any additional activities can be somewhat.....errrr....challenging. But this week fortune smiled upon me (and the tourist season is winding down) so I was finally able put thought into action.

I too, at long last, Visited The Veggies.



From left to right we have green beans, carrots, and corn.  Yes, I do realize that only 1 of my 3 purchases is a green veg.  But they are all veggies and I do not believe in discrimination on the basis of color, that would be wrong. Now you will want to know what I am going to cook with these.

COOK??? Are you crazed?  Look at my poor weather girl:



She may look to you like she's smiling but trust me, that is a sweat-drenched grimace. Because it is too late in the evening to still be this hot. I am sweating like a pig and there is absolutely no way I'm turning on a stovetop or oven.

I'm sure the green beans and corn can be microwaved (if I turn off the fan to avoid blowing a fuse) sometime in the next few days. And the carrots can be eaten raw with a nice big side of ranch dip! 'Cause that's healthy, right?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Miaow Miaow does not approve

Living in a tourist destination does mean frequent interaction with a broad spectrum of the island's seasonal visitors, not just during the work day, but sometimes at home too. The house next door to mine on one side is owned by a very large family. During the fall and winter it sits vacant for months on end, and all is peaceful and quiet. But starting in the late spring and throughout the summer it's occupied for a constantly changing variety of vacationers as each branch of the family takes their turn at the house. And after almost ten years, whether or not they know me, I recognize and remember them. And not necessarily in a good way.

Today was my day off so I slept in later than usual, and then finally rose to enjoy a lovely sunny morning out on the balcony, sipping coffee and knitting, and then after a bit, slowly watering the plants while the cat mooched around nearby, purring contentedly. 

Then suddenly, in that ear-piercing, glass-shattering voice that only small girl children can produce....

"LOOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!!
MIAOW MIAOW!!!!!!!!!"

The personage so addressed took that as a cue to dive under the stairs and take refuge far behind the house. Can you blame her?


We do not approve of this sort of behavior. 
Make it go away.  Now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You could get whiplash...


trying to keep up with my mood swings.

Seriously, one day I am just fine and dandy - logging in hours behind the cash register at the bookstore, reading chapters in textbooks or study guides and taking notes, tackling home repair projects, sending out application letters and resumes, and brainstorming ideas and making plans for the future - getting things done. 

Then the next day I am curled up in bed bawling my eyes out, thinking that quitting work to go back to school and get my degree was the biggest mistake ever, terrified and panicking that I won't be able to find a job and/or support myself in this town and will have to leave the place I love, so the choice I made that was supposed to improve my life has actually destroyed it. (Sound crazy? Hey, I never said it was rational.)

Unfortunately lately there's been more of the latter than the former. So while yeah, I guess I could use a bit of a pep talk, there's something else I could use even more.

Income ideas. Online options. Freelance work suggestions.  Something, probably multiple somethings, that I can do to bring in money after I complete my degree in December and if, just IF, none of the current leads I'm pursuing pan out and I do not have a full-time job. 

Here's my current list of ideas:
  • Brush up my graphic design skills and open a Cafe Press shop.
  • Dust off my old jewelry-making hobby and sell stuff on Etsy.
  • Go back to school and train to be a manicurist. (No kidding - a friend owns a salon and thinks I should give this a shot.)
  • Advertise myself as home and pet-sitter.
So - whaddaya think? Got any more thoughts? If you want to help but feel like you don't know me well enough, I'll even send you a copy of my resume so you can see what I've done in the past. At this point, I'm open to considering almost anything!

Monday, August 10, 2009

As the philosopher Jagger once said...


This appears to be my theme song lately. 
It's been in my head - now it's in yours!

*Bonus brownie points if you caught the title reference. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On being a twit

So if the service is "twitter", and the practice of posting messages is called "tweeting" and the messages themselves are called "tweets", does that make the poster a "twit"? Enquiring minds want to know. This mind in particular.

Because I am trying to figure out if this has a place in my life. A friend started using twitter and sent me an email invitation. I don't get to see this friend too often, so I figured, what the hell, maybe a good way to keep in touch, get to know each other better, why not? I signed up, followed him, found a few other folks I knew, and followed them also. I didn't put up any info other than a first name, but I quickly found myself followed also, not just by friends and blog readers, but by random strangers. I'm not sure what the point of that is.

In fact, so far, from a personal standpoint, I'm not really sure what/how/why twitter is used. I mean, after a past history of working for a couple of local non-profits I can easily see how twitter can be used by a business. But for personal use? I just cannot image that the minutiae of my life or the random blips in my brain could be that interesting. From a voyeuristic perspective I can see how it could be quite the fine and wonderful time suck. But hey, I already have Ravelry, YouTube, and healthy list of blogs that eat up my online time.

So...if you tweet, I'd really like to know what you get out of it, why you do it. And why should I?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I finally got Loopy

Ehhh...shifting work schedule, keeping up schoolwork, chasing down tenants, plumbers...aren't we just waiting for the moment I crack?  And then it finally happened.

I got Loopy.



And it was good!

Remember when I talked about the gift certificate I had?  I finally placed my order about a week before the certificate expired. Since this was the first order I've ever placed with The Loopy Ewe I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I received it, and the little goodies included.



So what did I get?



Three skeins of Araucania Ranco Multi in Cocoa Blue. To make the Meandering Vines Shawl. Yes, I know that more people advised me to buy either Malabrigo or Noro, but I have a long history of taking the road less traveled.  Plus, knitting up this shawl will be something new and different, something that will build on my skills.  I did wonder if the end result would be practical, but I have to believe that my life will not always be ratty jeans and sweats.  Or maybe this will help dress up my jeans!  Either way, I'm happy with my purchase and will be casting on as soon as I get a few other projects off the needles.

My other big spendy purchase last month?

These:



New sandals from L.L. Bean. I had $30 in coupons, so they cost me a whopping $9.99.  Even if I had paid full price, believe me,  they are worth every penny. Flat, comfy padded sole, soft lining - perfect for a summer of standing on your feet.

Oh and the cute red toenails are courtesy of my good friend Leah, the "nails" half of the Catalina Hair and Nail Salon.  See what she did on my big toes?



 A flower and a sparkly rhinestone!

Now aren't these just the sexiest lookin' toes ever?


My feet feel so much more appreciated!

Friday, July 17, 2009

wandering wheels

One unique feature of my island life that I don't think I've ever shared is the vehicle issues. I know I've mentioned that I keep a pickup truck on the mainland, and I pay a monthly fee to park it in the garage closest to the boat dock. The fee may seem excessive sometimes but when you factor in the cost and trouble of getting a rental car, it's worth it to me.

But I don't have an automobile on the island, because the town of Avalon received permission from the state of California to pass special legislation limiting the amount of full-size vehicles. Considering how small the town is, the limited parking, and the potential environmental impact, I don't think that was a bad idea. So there's a waiting list - you sign up and then let the decades roll by. I wish I'd signed up my first week on the island, but stupidly I waited until I'd been here for a couple years. A big part of the reason it takes so long for people to move up the waiting list is that there's really no regular review or close oversight of the process. I'm not kidding when I say there are actually dead people on the list! And people can sign up, move away, come back a few years later and still maintain their spot. Personally, I think that's wrong and I could rant for days on the subject but I'm not going to say anything else now.

What I did plan to say is that for those of us who can't have a regular vehicle, a golf cart is an option. I don't know how many there are here - a lot! Visitors get a kick out of it, seeing the little carts putt-putting around, and they can rent them too. But when you live here you get used to it, and after a while it's the norm.

I have a golf cart and even though I only use it a couple times a week, it's a huge help for hauling groceries or laundry. The rest of the time it's parked on the street near my house. On Friday mornings, along with everyone else on my street, I have to remember to move my it over to the other side of the street before 8am, and then back at 12 noon. This is for the scheduled weekly street-sweeping, and even though the street-sweeping machine seldom passes by on that scheduled day, we do it anyway to avoid being ticketed.

So on a recent sunny Friday morning I strolled down the stairs to the sidewalk at 7:55am and discovered that my cart was not there. It's fairly distinctive too - the body is a sort of purple/blue and the seat covers are green. I looked up and down the street a bit, thinking perhaps I had parked it further up the street than usual and forgot? Or perhaps someone released the parking break and rolled it downhill? No, it was gone.

It is not unusual for a golf cart to go off wandering without its owner. Many of the carts are keyed the same, or a used cart is sold, and a previous owner still has a key. This happens with alarming and annoying frequency. But it's a rare occurrence for me. My instincts told me to do what any normal person does when their vehicle is stolen - call the police. I did that but unfortunately the local deputies were too busy dealing with another situation that morning to come over and take a report. So I did what any islander would do when their golf cart gets stolen...I went out looking for it.

That may sound kind of wacky but essentially this is a town of less than 3 square miles, on an island. So clearly - it's here somewhere. I just had to find it. And that is precisely what I did. I borrowed another golf cart from a friend, started at one end of town, and drove up and down each and every street. And just a short time later.....

Hey...what's that at the end of the row there???



Could it be???



Yep! That's my baby!

Thankfully, it wasn't damaged and started up right away. So I returned the borrowed cart to my friend and took my own cart home again. All's well that end's well - right? Not exactly.

The problem as I see it, is that my cart was stolen on a week night from a mainly residential neighborhood. The place I found it is most definitely a locals residence - it's the parking lot of a small apartment complex. This means that someone else who lives here basically helped themself to my cart, and drove it home. And they could do it again. That sucks. In so many ways.

So my golf cart has acquired a fashionable new accessory:



A length of coated steel cable and a padlock. Remember The Club? This is the same idea. Crank the steering wheel all the way around, run the cable through it and another piece of metal and lock the ends together. You could insert a key and start the engine, but good luck driving anywhere but in a circle. That'll fix 'em!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Schedule shift

Well....it appears my schedule has opened up a bit more. Unfortunately this is due my hours being cut back. Nothing personal, just that the store's business did not pick up this summer the way it has in the past. Along with gaining a day off, I also acquired a rather icky bit in the middle of the week where I close the shop late one night and open it early the next morning. The turnaround on that is a little tight if you actually want to shower, eat and get a full eight hours sleep. This is the wrong time of year to pass on bathing, and skipping meals leads me to unbearable crankiness followed by passing out and hitting the floor, so you can figure out where I skimped in order to get it done. And I am feeling it now.

Tomorrow is that shiny brand new day off, and I have every intention of making the most of it. As much as I'd like to sleep in late, I know from long experience that will not happen. Between the neighbors I loathe and the feline family I love, I'm doomed. I accept that. But I do have a list of projects I'd like to work on, a whole day for them, and here's the best part of it...every single blessed thing I want to do can be done with my butt firmly planted on the couch. Yep, that's right. Me and the couch are gonna have some quality time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hiatus

–noun, plural -tus⋅es, -tus.
1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2. a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3. any gap or opening.
4. Grammar, Prosody. the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables, as in see easily.
5. Anatomy. a natural fissure, cleft, or foramen in a bone or other structure.

Origin:
1555–65; <> 
Related forms:
hi⋅a⋅tal, adjective
Synonyms:
3. break, interval, space.

I do not know exactly why this is happening. There are things happening in my life, bloggable things even. But on the rare occasion I sit down to the computer I can barely motivate myself to leave reasonably intelligent comments on blogs I read regularly. So if you haven't heard from me lately, please don't be offended. I'm still there, I just can't seem line up the two brain cells next to each other needed to line up words into a sentence or two.

This may be somewhat a result of the new job. On the one hand, I've been living my life on my own schedule for the past couple years, and rearranging it to suit someone else's schedule has been challenging, not to mention the fact that for about 35 hours a week someone else is "the boss of me". And on the other hand, although on the surface it isn't a particularly hard job, there are aspects of it that cause it to be rather more physically demanding than you'd expect, more so than it ever should be.

So all this to say, please bear with me for another week or two.  Hopefully by then I'll figure out by then how to organize my life for rest of the season so that I can conserve some energy and save a little to put towards the blog and other parts of my life that have been ignored for the past few weeks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Apparently Sunday is the new Friday

Which means that yesterday was Saturday, today is Sunday, and tomorrow is Monday.  In my life anyway. And it will be that way next week also. The week after that and continuing for the entire month of July, Sunday will still be Friday but the following day will just be Saturday, or just Sunday, or perhaps some single day combination of the two that allows for a Monday to follow immediately after.  Confused yet?

I certainly wouldn't blame you. All this is because....(insert drumroll here)...I finally landed a job. And when you live in a tourism economy, what little weekend you get, (if any), doesn't usually line up with the weekend the rest of the world sees on a calender. I am not complaining though. I'm taking all the hours I can get, because it is just a seasonal job and will probably start winding down in September, or October if I'm lucky.  It isn't much money, but it's more than I make just sitting on my couch! (And if you can figure out how to make money doing that, please let me know.)

Even if it isn't the highest paying summer job in town, it certainly isn't the hardest either, and when all is said and done, would you mind spending a few months in a bookstore? Yep - that's right - a bookstore! The only one in town actually. Besides books, the shop also sells magazines, candy, maps, cards, and assorted gift items, rents movies, and has a decent sideline business in selling original and reproduction Catalina Pottery. I know what you are thinking, and sadly, no I don't get to sit there and read all day.  They have this wacky idea that you should be helping customers and ringing up sales, and even when the store is empty there's always something that needs to be tidied or some sort of busy work.  But I am surrounded by the lovely books all day and my planned reading list is growing quickly!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Raindrops keep falling on my socks

As expected our "May Gray" weather slid directly into "June Gloom". I don't really mind this anymore, I know the payback is that sometime in September (or October or November or December) when others are layering on sweaters and long pants, we'll still be sweating under sunny skies. But for added interest, today's forecast included a fairly high percentage chance of rain.

So I planned around that forecast, doing all my errands the day before and lining up indoor projects for today.  I was pleasantly surprised when the sun came out this morning and thought I'd take advantage of it by washing a few pairs of socks and hanging them out on the balcony to dry. 

About ten minutes after I got the last pair of socks hung outside - the clouds rolled in, the sky darkened, and the rain started.  So I dashed outside, collected my socks, and retired to the couch. Almost an hour later the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and the sun came back out. I figured okay, that must have been the big whoop-dee-doo rain forecasted, and hung my damp socks back outside in the sun to dry.

I kid you not - ten freakin' minutes later the clouds returned and it started to sprinkle. Again, I go outside, collect my socks, and place my tushy back on the couch. And a short time later...(you see what's coming don't you?)...the blankety-blank, ever-lovin' sun came back out! %$#&$@#$!!!

Okay, I can take a hint, thankyouverymuch. Fine. I will not dry my socks outside in the sun. I will dry my socks inside. On top of the oven. While it is baking chocolate chip cookies. So there.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wanna get Loopy with me?

I have a lot of yarn. This is a fact. I know of people who have more yarn than I, I'm sure you do also. But by my standards, I have a lot of yarn.  I knew this to be true last year, so I deliberately put myself in check a bit.  But then came Stitches West in February, and an unexpected gift from a friend, and now? I have a hell of a lot of yarn.

I'm actually glad to have this sizable yarn stash, and glad that I purchased so much yarn back in the days when I had either more income or more hope of having an income. Because now I can entertain myself for months on end, knitting through my stash, without spending any money or buying anything more. Except for one thing.

I have a gift certificate from The Loopy Ewe for $25. I have been holding onto it since last year . Why? I'm not really sure. Indecision? Procrastination? I don't know. But I need to use it before it expires and after putting some thought into it, I've come up with an idea.

If you look through my stash you will see single skeins. Whether solid or multi-colored, fingering or worsted weight, wool or acrylic - it's just about all single skeins.  Great for a hat, a short scarf, or a pair of socks. Which is mostly what I want to knit, so no problem. But occasionally I do have the desire to knit up something that would require more than just a single skein. So instead of spending this $25 certificate on yet another single skein of pretty yarn, why not put it towards buying a few skeins of yarn for one specific project?

I've whittled the list down to three possible projects, and I'm going to ask for your input in helping me decide which one:

1. Malabrigo Celtic Cable Set
Last year I knit up a Celtic Cable Neckwarmer in Malabrigo as a gift. It turned out amazingly well, and I thought, why not do another one for myself? And then make a set of mitts and a hat to match?  The Loopy Ewe has worsted weight Malabrigo in many gorgeous colors, but I'm particularly fond of Cinnabar

2. Araucania Meandering Vines Shawl
I almost purchased a skein of Araucania Ranco Multi at Stitches, but held off because I couldn't think of a pattern for it. Then someone pointed out the Meandering Vines Shawl, with a very simple stitch pattern similar to the socks I am currently working on, I saw a couple on Ravelry that had been knit up in the Ranco Multi (like this one) and I was hooked. The stitch pattern is strong enough not to disappear in the colors and I've heard nothing but good things about the yarn. Speaking of colors - I like Verdigris the best. 

3. Noro Stripe Scarf
Does this need explaining? You know the pattern and I'd have happily jumped on that bandwagon a while back but that doing a decent job of it requires at least 4 skeins. I realize ordering the yarn online could make it tricky to match up colors, but I think the beauty of that pattern is the mingling of two different Noro colorways to create something unique. And the Loopy Ewe has plenty of colorways to choose from!

So...thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Bring 'em on!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day of Dumb Decision



That's all I can say on the subject for now. 
Carry on.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The rest of the story

Last month I shared something unpleasant that happened and made me very angry. I suppose now would be a good to time to tell you the rest of the story.

I was indeed very angry, but I knew I needed to get past that anger in order to do anything productive about the situation. After I cooled off, I realized that going to our local paper or complaining to our local congressperson's office would be a bad move. I know our local city council has been blindsided in the past by issues they would have preferred to be made aware of first, so writing a letter to them seemed like the first step.  I didn't know if the other locals who had been burned by the US Census would agree, but it made sense to me. Remember, the idea is maintain the image of me=good citizen, Census = evil wrongdoers.

But as it turned out, I didn't have to write a letter to the Mayor and the Avalon City Council about this issue.  They were already aware. How you ask?  Well, here's where it gets funny, and I mean like stupid funny. 'Cause really, if someone chooses to burn a group of local residents, not noticing that one of those people just happens to be the Mayor's wife? That takes a special kind of stupid, don't you think?

So...if you want to see what happened next, go here. For easier viewing I will tell you that the fun kicks off at 12:20. Then the person from the Regional Census Office, (we'll call her "Corporate Carmen") gets up and starts weaseling around at 20:10. And as you'll see, she did a fine job of that - never answering any questions directly and essentially pointing the finger in every direction except her own staff. Which was a colossal mistake on her part. I firmly believe that if she had just stood up and admitted that a mistake had been made, took responsibility for the mistake, apologized, and then explained clearly and concisely what she could offer at that point in time - it would have been all over in about five minutes. But that's not how it happened.

Some might say she misspoke or danced around the truth, I'd take it a step further and say that what she said isn't the truth at all. And we have a word for that, don't we? I could err on the side of kindness, and suggest that she spoke out of ignorance, and just didn't have all the facts. Which is where I come in, at 36:31.  Bear with me here, and please be kind - I had no advance notice of the meeting and rushed over there moments before it started. I'm sure if I'd had a chance to prepare my thoughts would have been more organized and I wouldn't have sounded like such an idjit.

If you watch through to the end of that section, you'll see that others got up and spoke after me. I give them credit for having he guts to do it - I know I was sweating bullets up at that podium! But there were a few that just sat in the audience, and in the back corner where they wouldn't even show up on camera. I'm not quite sure what I think about that, I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.  Then Corporate Carmen spoke one more time, and then I did again after that, and it was clear that nothing would be resolved there, so everyone involved did as the council requested, and moved our discussion outside.

Somehow, even though I was sitting furthest from the door, I was the first one outside and Corporate Carmen immediately turned to me, put out her hand to shake, and offered her apology for what had occurred. I accepted her apology, but I informed her that it would have meant a whole lot more to me and others if she had spoken that apology inside the council chambers, while still on camera. She also asked me if I was interested in taking the very short-term job of just a few days they were able to offer. I said yes, I wanted whatever work I could get - but asked the obvious question, "How do I trust you?"  I never received an answer to my question, which I guess basically answers the question, doesn't it? 

The end result was that I (and a few other locals) worked for the US Census Bureau for all of ten days. Which is a hell of a lot less than the 10-12 weeks in the original job offer, but better than nothing at all. I also suggested to Corporate Carmen that she contact the local newspapers and ask them to run something about those of us who did get work and why, but apparently she wasn't interested in my advice. So the only info out there is what occurred during the council meeting.  And during the days we were working, we repeatedly bumped into the issue in a variety of ways, with a variety of attitudes.  "Oh yeah, you're the one who got MY job". "Hey, if you're counting people, make sure you count my wife. She was one of the people who was SUPPOSED to get a job". You get the idea. I don't want to imagine how many people think that I only got the job because I spoke up at the meeting, like the squeaky wheel getting the grease. The truth is simply that of the people who took the application exam and passed the background check, I had one of the top three highest scores.  Not surprising considering the amount of time I've spent taking exams in the last several months! 

Along with the paychecks that the federal government will be depositing into my account I got this:



The mug is going to the thrift shop (if they'll take it!) but the bag has potential. It was filled with nifty useful things like notepads, pens, paperclips, and post-its, and it's a useful cloth bag. I'm not particularly fond of the idea of carrying around a bag with the census logo on it so I'm wondering if it can be painted over? Any crafty ideas for this? Now that I'm unemployed again, I appear to have a little time on my hands!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring Forward, Tink Back

Sometime last month I hit a point where every single knitted item I had on the needles was either boring me senseless or driving me mad with frustration.  So when someone in the Hazel Knits group on Ravelry suggested a knit-along of any Hazel Knits yarn in any Knitty sock pattern...I was an easy mark.

I've had this particular skein of Hazel Knits in my stash for a while:



Drool all you want, it's one of Wendee's rogue colorways.  A one-of-a kind-whoopsie-how-did that-get-there-I-didn't-mean-to-mix-that-color-in-with-that-other-color happy accident! But maybe if we beg enough she'll add something like this to her regular colorways. (Hint, hint...) I picked this one up last summer at the Strands & Stitches Trunk Show in Laguna.

A bright, sunny yellow like that seemed destined for an open, lacy sock pattern and I found just the perfect one in Spring Forward.  So I cast on and just loved the way it was working up!


I was initially concerned about the 66 stitch cast-on, 56 is more the norm for me with that yarn. But I gave it a shot and was rewarded - the cuff fit comfortably and the stitch pattern on the leg did a nice job of hugging my skinny minny ankles without sagging. I really enjoyed the stitch pattern too, sailed on through the heel without incident, proceeded happily up the foot and through the toe. Which is where I hit a small snag:



That is my Spring Forward sock with, according to the pattern, four rounds left to knit before closing the toe with kitchener stitch. Clearly, that's not going to cut it. And let me be perfectly clear here - this is in no way the fault of the pattern. The pattern is just fine.  The source of the problem is my freakishly long toes!

I know that along with having long stick person arms and legs, I also have long fingers and toes. But it wasn't until I actually knit socks for myself, that I really knew how friggin' long they are!  I have yet to find a sock pattern that does not have to have additional plain rounds added in between the decrease rounds on the toe in order to accommodate the mutant digits. Sure we all have issues from time to time that may require pattern modification, but seriously? These bad boys seem to actually get a little longer each time I try on the sock in progress! Really!

So the sock that came so close to completion last weekend, will now be tinked back to the beginning of the toe and re-knit.  And maybe if I do it fast enough, I can finish it before my toes get any longer. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rav swag at last

For months now, I've been stalking the store at Ravelry, waiting for them to come up with something that was right for me.  

At this point in my life I apparently have eleventy-jillion tee shirts with promoting various non-profits and corporate events. Plus while some of the businesses here simply ask their employees not to wear logo merchandise from a competitor, others frown on any logos other than their own. So with my limited budget and uncertain job future, I just couldn't rationalize buying yet another shirt that I can't really wear for anything other than exercising, cleaning, or just hanging out at home. (Obviously that last one happens the most.)

And then the folks at Ravelry came up with this:


Wheeee!!!! Isn't it cute? The first version they put up for sale featured a plunging neckline and was made of what I'd consider to be tissue-paper thin fabric.  Both of those are not on my list of clothing preferences so I was initially disappointed. But then they announced that the design would also be made available on a Hanes women's v-neck shirt.  I think the point of that is to make it possible for larger ladies, but if you are a smaller person who prefers a more modest neckline and clothing that you can't see through - this is perfect.

And the logo?  It's back there:


Up high on the back, where my hair easily covers it. So essentially it's a nice white tee with a dark reddish pink graphic on the front that I could wear just about anywhere. (Yes, I'd put my hair up if I was meeting up with other knitters!) It's a perfect fit and it makes me very happy!

You know what else makes me happy?

This:


Doesn't that make you smile?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Emergency PJ Day Update

Yup - I did it.  And I'm here to report that Emergency Pajama Day was a complete success! I spent the entire ding dang day in my jammies and never left the property.  I ventured outside to my balcony, and the patio downstairs and trash can area, but that's as far as I got.  I'll admit I briefly flirted with the idea of putting on sweats and and dropping off an old computer at the HazMat dump, but thankfully the sky was overcast and the thought of a slow trip putt-putting over the hill is less appealing when the sun isn't shining, so it never happened.

I was not a complete slug.  Actually I think I was quite productive.  All sorts of postponed projects and household tasks received my attention, it's quite amazing what you can accomplish when you don't waste any time making yourself presentable and never leave the house.  And the mental health benefits? Huuuuuuuuuuggge.  Really. After that one day off, I got up Sunday morning feeling incredibly refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life had in store for me next.

So - if you've never had a Pajama Day, you just gotta try it. And as for me - I'm going to do it more often!

Friday, May 1, 2009

We just gotta do somethin' about these bad days

What is that line from? I can't remember. But it's true.

I had one of my random, senseless insomnia attacks last night so after only about 4 hours sleep I woke up feeling really ragged and hollow.  But I staggered out of bed and into the shower, moving gamely forward into the day because I had Things To Do and Good Things Were Going to Happen Today.

Well I got my stuff done. But the rest? This was a day in which absolutely none of the good things scheduled happened, and instead the bad things we never expected did. Okay, I'm gonna get through this and move forward, I'll keep walking past the open windows. But. BUT. This is the second time in a row I've ended the week with a truly crap ass Friday. FFS - as some point, you just gotta stop and say, "check please!"

So I have declared tomorrow to be Emergency Pajama Day. Yep, that's right, I am going to spend the entire day in my pajamas. Not leaving the house, not even taking a shower. I might, and I said might, change to fresh pajamas at some point, but I'm not making any promises. Like I said earlier, I got all my stuff done, so I have food, beverages, books, movies, knitting, and miscellaneous projects to entertain myself and absolutely no reason to go anywhere. And besides, between two cruise ships in port tomorrow and the Conservancy Ball at night the town - along with the streets, stores, and harbor - will be overflowing. You could go somewhere, but it'll take you awhile to get there.

It's a plan - Emergency Pajama Day is on. Wanna join me? 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Furniture shopping - island style

Twice a year the town's refuse company, Seagull Sanitation, does a free large item pickup. On that date residents can put anything big - couches, chairs, tables, dressers, ovens, beds, etc. - out on the the curb and during the day a truck comes by and takes it away for free.  This is a very good thing.  Considering that it usually costs money to dispose of anything at the town dump, plus the hassle and/or expense of just getting it to the dump...like I said, a good thing.

For me, this is a chance to work on clearing out the decades worth of old, broken furniture stuffed into the storage and crawlspace area under the house.  Sometimes it's also a way for me to dispose of furniture left behind by vacating tenants.  This happens more frequently than you'd believe. Seriously. That's what happened two years ago and it looked like this:
  


Yes, that is a sleeper sofa, a desk, a table, chairs, a dresser, a small mattress, and a wardrobe. Sheesh!  All of it carried out to the curb by a couple of strong young lads from a local construction company.  They barely broke a sweat and walked away with a little extra cash in their pockets.

What I put out last night for today's large item pickup was a much smaller haul.  But the fun in putting it out the night before is in seeing what's actually still there in the morning.  Or if one happens to be up early in the morning, one could (theoretically) observe islanders cruising the streets, "shopping" the piles of discarded furniture.  I'm not saying I mind this - in fact, it makes me very happy to see that my trash could be someone else's treasure!  It's a far better result than just adding to the already overflowing city dump. And since many of us zip around town in golf carts - it's kinda fun to see how much or how large an item can be transported!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When your cookie is empty

You should take that as a sign. Seriously, all in one day - my summer job offer was rescinded, my vehicle broke down, and most notably - I went to lunch with friends at the local chinese restaurant and at the end of the meal when we broke open our fortune cookies - mine was empty. Yup, that's right - no fortune in my cookie.  Based on how that day went for me, should you experience this particular phenomenon I suggest that you take it as a strong hint from the gods and go home, go to bed, and pull the covers over your head. 

Things did get better though.  I have my cart back and it's running, at least for now.  Tomorrow I have a go-see for another summer job, hopefully this one will pan out better than the last.  And over the weekend I had a chance to go out in the hills with a couple of friends. We had lunch at the airport cafe, saw lots of buffalo, and so much more!


I have many more photos than this, but I'm saving them for future posts. Trust me - you'll be glad I did!

Monday, April 27, 2009

C is for Church

Church of Christ Scientist, in Avalon, California



Or at least it was.

The building, and the property it sits on, just barely borders where I live at one corner.  And they were very pleasant neighbors but as I understand it, the congregation has dwindled over the years, and now the building is up for sale.

Built in 1928-29 by architect Hans Wallner, the design is supposed to be based on an etching of the Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. One of Wallner's clients here on Catalina Island in the 1920's was Philip K. Wrigley. A close friend told me once that Wrigley's wife Helen was active in the church's original congregation at the time.

I've never been inside the building, but I am very curious! Don't you wonder what it looks like beyond the gate and up those stairs?