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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just when I thought this crappy year was looking up

It proves it's crappiness yet again.

Remember back in April when I got that speeding ticket? Well, there was more that I didn't write about that happened afterwards. (Just another way for the universe to kick me in the nether regions.) And, since I was so upset all day, and have already written it all out at least twice, forgive me for cutting and pasting here what I sent to my father for comment...(Read on...)

I am having traffic court hell over here...remember I got that speeding ticket last April? I never received a notice in the mail, so called the court before the appearance date - I just wanted to pay it and get information about traffic school. Since I'd never received the notice, I wasn't able to pay the ticket, because their automated system requires you to enter the amount you owe. So, I called the police station to find out, who referred me back to the traffic division number (automated system - no help whatsoever). I finally pressed 0 for a live person, and they couldn't find the docket number in their system. I asked her what to do, as I was supposed to appear in court on the following Monday, May 22, per the citation. She said it's not in the system, they won't call you up at court, so I didn't need to appear. She also said I didn't need to appear for that type of violation, as I wasn't contesting it. Well, I still never received anything from them.

Last night there was a collection notice for $500 in my mailbox. I called the collection agency this morning and asked how I was supposed to appear in court when I didn't have a court date. She told me my court date was June 19. I told her I was never notified of this, and that I had called the court to pay, but was unable to do so, as my citation had not been logged. The court date on my citation was 5/22/06, and I had been advised not to appear at court as they had no record of my citation. The collector told me I should have kept calling. I argued this (and made myself think of Annamarie), asking if I was supposed to keep calling indefinitely, and why was I being penalized for the court's negligenge? She kept telling me that per the citation, you are supposed to call the court within 30 to 60 days. I had the citation in my hand, and nowhere does it mention 60 days. It says you need to make contact by your appearance date. On my appearance date, the ticket was not logged in. And, I still never received anything from them telling me what was due. It appears that the moron cop wrote my address down wrong off of my license (which still has no bearing on the fact that the ticket wasn't logged until after my appearance date). So again, I'm being penalized for their errors/negligence.

So, I am stopping at the courthouse on the way to work tomorrow morning to get a court date. I was told that would put a hold on the collection until it is either resolved in court or paid. I'm annoyed and it's making me feel ill. What do you think? If I go to court, do I have any chance at all? The court date probably won't be until November, per the 3rd person I spoke to this morning (representative from the collection agency). I don't care if I need to pay the initial $200 that I was never made aware of - I'm not contesting the fact that I was speeding.

They are all idiots.
Could this year possibly suck any more???

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Picture Day

I'm still wicked busy at work (yes, I said wicked...I blame my friendship with Cait for that one). And I've spent the last few nights editing photos from the wedding weekend. And right now I'm wicked irritated with the Vallejo Superior Court, which is charging me $500 for a speeding ticket they wouldn't let me pay two months ago, when I tried. More on that later. No time to get into it now.

So, with that in mind...enjoy the view (from below) of my friends' wedding ceremony site. Nice redwood canopy when looking up. It was really nice.
On Friday, before going out to dinner with select family members of the bride and groom, my friend treated the moms, me and the groom's aunt to manicures. This is the 2nd professional manicure I've ever gotten. (Last one was before another friend's wedding, that she treated us to. Sense a theme?) Anyway, I decided to go with a french manicure this time. I generally liked the results (below), but didn't think they really did a great job. It was flaking by Sunday night. I've never had nail polish flake before when I've done it myself. Not even the self-french manicure I did.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Need Sleep...

I'm making this one short, since I was running around all weekend (and Friday) helping my friend with the wedding prep and then the actual wedding, which was yesterday. All in all, everything went well. But, more on that later, when I have more time.

In the meantime, I really can't wait for the new TV season to start...I watch way too much TV, I know. But, don't we all need a little escape from reality now and then? Anyway, in honor of the new season coming up, here's a little quiz - I think I've taken this one before, so...sorry if it's a repeat:

Which Desperate Housewife are you?

Congratulations! You are Bree Van De Kamp, the Martha Stewart on steroids, whose family is about to mutiny.
Take this quiz!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Final Felting

Well, I finally finished the OneSkein project (and August is almost over! It's been a busy month.) Here is the project before:I ended up just doing a chain for the strap, using the yarn scraps I was able to salvage from my last failed strap attempt. It's okay - I have trimmed those little bits you see hanging off of it. I will not be offended if my pal hacks the strap off and replaces that part. All in all, I'm pleased with the final product - but wish that the lacy bits on the flap showed up more. It's possible (and likely) that I left this felting in the wash too long. (Did it at my mother's house, and she's got a front-loading washer. Can't open the door during the cycle.)

Here's a couple of after shots:
Flap open

Flap closed.

Now, the goal is to get this in the mail before the end of the month. Wish me luck!

Any comments? My brother looked at it and asked if that was how it was supposed to look. I gave him one of my looks, and he laughed. (I am hoping he only said it to annoy me.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Work Rant

Ever have one of those days where it feels like the more you get done, the further behind you end up? I had one today. It was stressful and not fun at all! I am rarely as stressed out as I felt today. I was sitting at my desk, lips pursed, jaw clenched, shoulders tight and hunched, and trying not to kill anyone. Not that my current workload is anyone's fault. Everyone in my department is completely swamped, and completely overworked and stressed out.

But seriously, today I really felt like I was drowning. I really do enjoy my job, when I actually get to do it. But lately, and for the last few months, it feels like a ton of busywork (right Christyn?). Everything we (the underwriters in my department) do only results in more reports and clerical work, which keeps us from being able to continue on with our actual duties. Which reminds me right now, that I forgot to update one of the many spreadsheets that I needed to plug some info into today. Crap. There is no escape!! There's just too much work for too few people to handle. And my department seems to end up responsible for duties that really should be covered by other departments that don't pull their own weight or can't be trusted to do things correctly.

I do not like this level of stress. I feel it in my whole body, and it makes me want to cry. I was fighting back tears today at work for the first time (okay, the first time that it was due to work issues). I guess it was that at that moment, while attempting to field the numerous e-mailed requests and questions I had just received, I felt like I couldn't do it. In the 5+ years I've been there, I've never really felt that way at work before. Not to that extent anyway. I've felt like I didn't know enough yet or that it was challenging, but never that I couldn't actually do it. Weak moment on my part, I guess.

I suppose it didn't help that one of my co-workers asked if I felt okay, and said that I didn't look like I felt well. (That on top of one of my co-workers mentioning yesterday that I looked tired...) And part of it may be that PMS is evil and vengeful (reasons for vengeance unknown), and I'm afraid it may have me in it's claws right now. (And I HATE to admit that PMS might be to blame for any behavior changes, but hormones will kick your butt, given the chance.)

Anyway, I finished up one task and hightailed it out of there for a lunch break. An hour sitting outside with a good book and a nonfat chai latte can do wonders for someone! It didn't banish all of the stress, but it sure did help a lot. And when I came back to work and got back into the groove, it didn't seem quite as hopeless as it had earlier. And after talking to a couple of co-workers here and there, it sounded like a lot of us were having the same stress overload issue today. (Sad how it really does help to know you are not alone in your misery!)

Here's to hoping that I have a much more positive work experience tomorrow! Actually, I'm hoping all of my co-workers have a better day tomorrow!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend Recap

I headed out to Sacramento on Saturday morning (late...Saturday morning), and made my merry way to my friend Kerri's house. She and her mother commented on how long my hair has gotten, and I proceeded to complain about my lack of a hairdresser for the past year. (As you know, I'm paranoid to try someone new!) So Kerri asked if I wanted her to make an appointment with her hairdresser. Well, all I need is a little push I guess - I let her do it. I ended up with an appointment with another woman at her salon, recommended by Kerri's hairdresser. So, off we went to the chopping block.

There ended up being a change of stylists, and the girl that came out to cut my hair was an aging rocker...major mullet action! She was very nice though, and didn't attempt to do anything drastic or weird with my hair (I never try drastic changes with a new stylist...let alone my regular one!). So, now it's layered around the face with long layers in the back.

She straightened it - and I've never seen my hair that straight! (Okay, not since I was young and it hadn't gone frizzy/wavy/curly on me yet.) It took her at least a half hour to do it, with much styling product and a flat-iron. I know that I will probably never take the time to even attempt to get it that straight myself...even if I did, it would still not be straight. And, since I've washed it, it looks a little different and closer to my head/face than I'm used to (it's been pretty wild for a while), so I'm still getting used to it.

Enough about my hair. On to shopping! Kerri got a new job at a high school and was looking for stuff to decorate her office with, so we headed over to the Wal-Mart across from the salon. Even out in the middle of nowhere, Wal-Mart is always crowded with crazies...(it's the same everywhere, isn't it?) We found some posters and little decorative things, and....Kerri thought it might be fun to make Makit&Bakit suncatchers for her window (she found a tropical keychain kit). I like crafts, so I was all for it. You know, we felt it would be like going back to our childhoods...

After Wal-Mart, it was off to the mall. Kerri needed new work clothes (any excuse to shop!) and NY&Co was having a any pair of pants at regular price, get a second pair for $15. Well...let me tell you, Kerri and I could keep NY&Co in business by ourselves. We spent way too much money there! (Though I'm sure they were more than happy to take it!) Of course, it tends to be totally hit or miss for us in that store. Either we each find a ton of possibilities, or we walk in and nothing strikes us... We were lucky this time, or rather, they were.

Anyway, after that we hit The Cheesecake Factory for a dinner of appetizers and cheesecake. I highly recommend the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes - they are awesome! And we ordered too many appetizers and got a piece of Banana Cream Cheesecake to go (and to split).

Back at Kerri's house, at 11:30ish pm, we were both full of appetizers and getting really tired. So what do we do? We turn on SNL and crack open the suncatcher kit with much ambition, and no tweezers. And then it all comes rushing back to Kerri...the reason she hated doing these things when she was a kid. And I'm sitting there wondering why we used to think these were so much fun...though truth be told, I would have enjoyed this more if I had been actually awake. But, I did wonder how much of these projects we left unfinished for our mothers to work on and stick in the oven.

Anyway, here's a shot of the project at the start, when we were wondering what the hell we were thinking...

A shot of them in the oven, midway through the baking process, while we were both waiting for them to finish so we could go to bed. At this stage, they are kind of funky looking, with the plastic bits not liquified yet. All bumpy but smooth. (Quite the oxymoron, I know!)

And here they are finished. After all that hassle, they'd better look good on that school office window! (Did you put them up yet Kerri?) Sorry everyone, if that was a little anti-climactic.

Sunday I headed over to my mother's house for the little lunch party she was throwing him. When I went to Target with Christyn on Friday night, I had agonized at the card racks to get him the perfect card, and also purchased a $25 gift card for him. Well, naturally, when I left on Saturday, the card and gift remained in the Target bag sitting in my living room. So, I felt kind of bad to be there empty-handed. But I can mail it to him. At least I showed up!

And finally got to meet "the girlfriend." She's actually really nice. Seemed to fit in pretty well. I felt bad for her though, since she had a splitting headache about an hour after lunch - very likely caffiene deprivation (we were talking about that too). Mom made up an ice pack for her, hoping it would help. I'm trying not to focus on the age thing, because I know it doesn't change one's personality. It's just weird to see my little bitty brother (who's not that little bitty anymore) with someone that much older than he is, even though she seems cool, and I really did like her. I know I'll get used to it eventually, and then I probably won't even think about the age thing. I also wonder if part of it is my protective older sister thing - I haven't seen Tony with a girlfriend since he was in high school. But, at least I know she's not after him for his money - you know, since he doesn't have any! I just hope he is happy, and he really does seem to be.

(He's wearing a promise ring...doesn't that seem quick? It's been maybe 3 months...)

Friday, August 18, 2006


I hung out with Christyn today after work to help her shop for a baby shower gift. Well, the mom-to-be was registered at Target, so you know I couldn't walk out empty-handed. We were in there at least 2 hours...I picked up The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards. I so didn't need to buy a new book, but it sounded good, and it was there....and I am weak! I should have written down the author and title and searched for it at the library...(well, obviously, that didn't happen!)

I found a couple of cute little cat toys for Gracie. (Isn't the shrimp just the cutest freakin' thing you've ever seen?) So far she has not so much as given a second glance to the other new toys, which I placed directly in her path across the kitchen to her food. She passed them 3 times without even flinching... Oh well, another time, hopefully.

But, she has been enjoying the little shrimp.

Anyway, I was out at Target so long that I didn't get home until almost 10:30. Then I brushed Gracie with the little rubber brushie thingie that picks up a ton of hair (though I still ended up with a good amount on my clothes - I could crochet a blanket with the amount of hair this cat sheds! Well, if I could spin it into some weird kind of kitty yarn...) Then I played with her for a while (yes, I did put that shrimp on her head. It didn't really seem to annoy her either. And that only encouraged me to keep doing it. Silly cat.)
Tomorrow I am heading to Sacramento to go on a shopping extravaganza with my friend Kerri. She needs to get work clothes for her new job. (Congratulations Kerri! We will shop up a storm!) Aside from the mall, we'll also be hitting Target...I will try to control myself this time... I will maybe have less control at the mall...but I can justify that with the fact that I need more clothes that fit me correctly, right? (Just say yes...)

Sunday I head over to my mother's house. She's throwing a belated birthday party for my younger brother who just turned 25. His new girlfriend will be there, so we're all meeting her for the first time. Sounds like she's nervous about meeting my mother (or all of us, I don't know...). I guess she asked my brother what she should wear. I hope she's cool. Tony (the brother) said he thinks I'll like her. I hope so!

I'm not positive, but I think my mom is a little apprehensive, because Tony's girlfriend is 40, and Tony is 25. She is afraid he will get hurt. (I pointed out to her that he could get hurt in any relationship, regardless of the girl's age). Mom seems to think there's a greater chance of her hurting Tony because of the age difference. My Dad was cool about the age difference, as he should be, since my stepmother is 17 years younger than he is!

Anyway, I am rambling, and overly tired really, should be getting to bed. Hasta la vista todos.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

______on a _______

During my usual daily CAP stalking, I stumbled across a comment from Loribird, mentioning a Snakes on a Plane reference on another website. So, I pasted her link into my browser and went to check it out.

The link took me to Knitters Anonymous, where Kristi is having a blogging contest. It's a take-off on Snakes on a Plane in that she wants to see people's pictures of _____on a_____. Any animal on any inanimate object. So I figured what the heck? Here goes:

Cat on a Crate

(This is actually Poom - a friend's cat that I watched while she was out of state house hunting. They live in North Carolina now. Isn't she a gorgeous cat? Very playful too, but shy.)

Goat on a Rock

I took this one on a visit to Safari West in Santa Rosa. (It's a neat trip/tour, if you like wild animals. It's more of a sanctuary, and they have most of the animals in large enclosures so they can roam freely. If they are near the fence you can see them. If they're out in the vast acreage, you won't.)

That's it for now. I didn't have anything too innovative, but if I'm feeling inspired before Kristi ends the contest, I might submit something else, too.

(It's all for fun anyway, right?)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

Something quite rare happened this weekend. I went out. Dancing. In "the City." It was the not-quite-bachelorette party (she didn't want one, just wanted everyone to get together and go out) for my soon to be married friend that I've been helping out. So, we all met up at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco to watch Notorious play and do a little dancing. My friend has known Jay from Notorious forever, and was the wedding coordinator for his wedding 2 years ago.

Well, I don't tend to go out much anymore, and when I was going out more often, it still was pretty few and far between. And while I enjoyed myself on Saturday, it did remind me why I dislike going out in the city. I don't like crowds, and I don't like bitchy drunk people invading my personal space (which is pretty much gone in the city club scenario). And I guess I'm just not assertive (or even agressive) enough to preserve my space (though I have gotten better over the years). And I don't drink, so my persistent sobriety probably doesn't help me tolerate.

One girl in particular seemed to want to snap me in half, and made quite the scene. Some of my water had splashed on her back and she spun around and accused me of having done it on purpose. Then after her yelling "stop, stop, you have to go, I don't care" and some more of the same, she grabbed the plastic cup out of my hand and flung the water over the crowd, throwing my empty cup to the floor in a rage. I was attempting to tell her it was an accident because she kept dancing into me (I was behind her, after she and her friends had trampled past me towards the stage). Luckily, I had my more defensive friends surrounding me. And truth be told, it wasn't "completely" an accident. I could have been more careful of the water, but I was so irritated with how she kept bumping into me that I was careless with that arm. Now, I did NOT tip that cup and pour water on her - THAT would have been deliberate. And believe me, had that been the case, there wouldn't have been any water left for her to drown the crowd with. But she was totally ridiculous - I can't tell you how many times I've been out and ended up with other people's drinks on me out on the dance floor. Give me a break. And her throwing the water in the air drenched her own friends, who didn't know what was going on. The guy behind me saw it and thought it was pretty f***ed up (his words) and he actually knew her. Whatever. (Also, it came out later that the lead singer's wife knows her and can't stand her, so it seems her behavior was not out of character. We were talking to Jay's wife after the show. She told me most of the girls that hang out there are bitchy - all really nice to her husband and awful to her. I told her it's because they're trying to get in his pants. She agreed and we laughed.)

Aside from that, everything was fun. I saw some of that particular crowd that I hadn't seen in a long time. Got lots of compliments from one of them, since he hadn't seen me since I'd lost all the weight (don't get too excited girls, he's married).

Anyway, we headed over to Mel's Diner on Van Ness and had some late-night fried foods. We also figured it would be a good idea to give my friends a chance to sober up a bit before I drove them back to their car in Walnut Creek, where they'd continue on to their place. I didn't get home until 4am, and slept a good long time...and I think it screwed up my whole sleeping schedule (which is screwed up enough as it is!). I slept through my alarm this morning and had to call in late to work. (I have to stop doing that!!)

I did get some good pictures though (which is amazing, since I was blindly snapping shots with my digital - not able to see using the screen feature, nor through the viewfinder.

And, aside from the late morning making this Monday manic, I was also crazy busy at work today. Too crazy even to check CAP's website (or any of my other regular reads). But, at least I feel like I got a good deal of work done. And I also have decided to follow the weight watcher's plan again this week (tracking the points and everything). I have 3 pounds left to get to goal and I am really sick and tired of still paying the weekly fee. So, that's my motivation for goal right now. (And the $200 I spent on clothes last weekend, of course.)

And below, for your entertainment, we have Gracie "helping" me make my bed...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Your Ad Here!

After dialing up the internet on my archaic computer this evening, the following article caught my attention: Ad Placement Gets Extreme. It mentions how ad agencies are having to get more creative, now that fewer people watch tv commercials. Some of these are ridiculous, but I think some are really quite creative.

This steaming cup of delicious java...(, I don't want it! I gave it up!!) is actually covering a manhole on a NY City street. I thought this was a cool idea. It would have gotten my attention. Of course, on the down side, it might cause some traffic (or even pedestrian) problems.

Now...I question the wisdom of this next one. Ads on airsick baggies? Seems like it would give the wrong impression, if you ask me. (Hey, you don't look so good - quick, take this Star Wars Episode III barf bag! Uh oh...bad idea...) Are they going to start handing these out in theaters where they're showing ill conceived sequels/prequels? Or just in airplanes where you can watch the watered down versions of not too successful films to ease you into sleep in uncomfortable upright sitting positions?

Check out this article for even more extreme campaigns. Most of these were not in the U.S.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The long weight loss journey...

I got a WW postcard from my secret pal the other day. (Thank you secret pal!!) She was saying she hoped my weight loss journey was going well. Now I wonder if she is a leader or something. And then I thought, "hmm...I haven't blogged much about my weight loss for a while." So, now I'm blogging about it.

First off, I guess Weight Watchers doesn't call it a "journey" for nothing... I've been a member since 2001 (I think? Or maybe 2002...). It's been forever, plus that was the second time I'd joined. And I'm sure I'd already be at goal if I actually followed the plan like I am supposed to... I go through periods of motivation, usually followed by success. Then a plateau followed by irritation and my abrupt fall from the wagon. Which of course leads to a bit of the weight coming back. And then I'm motivated again...and the cycle continues.

I know I'm not perfect at this, and since it's to be a lifestyle, I allow myself to indulge here and there and sometimes (more often than I should) go off the plan completely. But, I have not given up. I know if I stop going to meetings that all the weight will come back.

So, the above photo is the oldest one of me I have on my computer. It's from 2004, after Joie's wedding (which explains why my hair is done and I'm wearing makeup). I don't know how much weight I had lost at that point, but I know I was down a bit from my heaviest. And, as is very apparent in that photo, weight really shows in my face.

This shot is from back in fall 2003, back when I was still a nurse. Just kidding. It's actually from Halloween at my office job (same job I have now, actually). The scrubs were a Christmas gift from my cousin, who works (or at least used to work) for the UC medical center in southern CA.

This one is Halloween 2004. And no, I don't usually dress that way for work. Or ever. In fact, I pretty much never wear orange at all. But, this is another Halloween shot from work. We all came as sleuths, and I was Velma from Scooby Doo. That was the closest to an orange sweater that I could find to work. You can sort of tell that I've lost some weight since the previous year. I don't remember how much though...probably about 10-15 pounds or so.

Here we have summer '05. I think in this shot, I am about 15 pounds from the goal I had set.

And here I am a few weeks ago, 5 pounds away from the goal I had set. (Check this photo against the first one - you can totally see it in my face.) I have been toying with changing my goal to where I am now, because I don't know how another 5 pounds will look on me (or rather off of me). I don't want to completely lose my shape or look too gaunt. (Not that I'm in danger of that anyway.) But, the last 5 pounds I lost made a huge impact on my clothing sizes. Over the past few years I've gone from a 12 down to a 6 in pants (though really depends on what store I'm shopping in...). I was totally surprised a few weeks ago when I was at the mall with a couple of friends and we hit Victoria's Secret - I needed to be remeasured for bra sizing (they just weren't fitting right anymore, and I was really starting to notice it. And, well, gravity is the enemy for people with certain endowments). Just imagine the surprise on my face when they told me I was a 34 band size! (The cup size had not changed, so it is still impossible for me to find cute bras in my size.) And even more surprising was the fact that I now have a smaller band size than my notoriously tiny friend. I never would have guessed it.

Anyway, I'm excited about fitting into a size 6. I can even wear a size small top (in some stores), which is pretty unheard of for me. So, when I was at the Bass Outlet last weekend I spend over $200 on new clothes!! Now, that is motivation for keeping the weight off! (I am nothing if not cheap. Uh, I mean thrifty...). Don't worry, everything in the store was 20%-70% off, so I actually got a lot for my money. Unfortunately, I have been eating like a pig this past week, and I weigh in again tomorrow. So, I hope I didn't do too's about that time where I need to get re-motivated again. And I think I will change my goal to 120. (It's 115 now, but I think that's too skinny for my height, and my bone structure.)

So...yay me for sticking with it! And here's to me keeping the weight off and continuing to eat healthy!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm a Nymph!

No Christyn, not that kind.

Which Greek Goddess are you?

You are a Water Nymph! Whether it's in thunderstorms, or swimming in rivers or the ocean, you love it. You probably have a great connection with society or your friends, and are a loving, helpful creature. Just as the ocean can be calm and breathtaking, your talents are unique and are a blessing to those around you. But sometimes the ocean is dark, myserious, or stormy, which also reflect your emotions.

Role- They were depicted as beautiful maidens, often riding on the backs of Hippokampoi (Fish-tailed horses), Ketoi (Sea-monsters) or dolphins.

Symbols- water (naw, really?!, seashells, nymphs, helpers of Poseidon.

Story- There are several different types of Nymphs in Greek Mythology, but they are usually helpers and assistants to the gods. Nymphs had the divine power of changing the shape of things, and were agressive lovers. Nymphs are always with their companions (which is why you are so social) and were kind to sailors in trouble (which is why you are so nice.)

Take this quiz!

Hmm...this was a fun quiz. Halfway through the quiz I figured out that you can pick more than one answer (so I did) and the above was the result. Only 35% of people who took the quiz got this result. Now...does this sound like me? (I have to say, I'd have quite a few more barnacles strategically placed on my body than shown above.) My real question though is this - are water nymphs actually Greek goddesses? Somehow I'm thinking no.

So, because I am curious by nature...I had to go back and re-take the test answering each question with just one response (except for the last two, in which you are supposed to choose all that apply anyway). The following was the altered response...(which would have been the original response had I not realized I could pick more than one answer for each question.) Which one do you all think applies to me most? (Those of you who know me personally anyway.) And I'd love to hear everyone else's results too!

Which Greek Goddess are you?

You are Pandora! You are curious by nature, and can't help it! You love learning and seeing and feeling and experiencing everything in life. You are diverse in your talents, just as Pandora was, (as she was created by a bit of each god). You might make mistakes easily, but you can think quickly and probably have good reflexes, just as Pandora was able to snap the box shut just in time.

Role- First human woman in Greek mythologySymbols- box (obviously)

Story- She wasn't technically a goddess, but *correct me if I'm wrong, as I know you will...* the world's first woman according to Greek myth. She was created by all of the gods, and given a box which she was instructed NOT to open. Well, she was created with curiosity, so she naturally just HAD to open the box. Thus, all types of horrible things flew out and plagued the world. But, she did manage to shut the box before the most horrible thing escaped: something that would vanquish all hope. So, if you hear about Pandora's box, now you know the story behind it!

Take this quiz!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Look! I still crochet!

Well, it's August already, which means the finished project for my One Skein Secret Pal Exchange is due this month. (Better sooner in the month than later.) So, even though I'd kicked about some ideas for the project, I actually decided to make the Leaf Embroidered Tassel Bag from Felted Crochet by Jane Davis. Only I decided to forego the tassel, and the leaf embroidery. Good thing too, as there ended up not being enough yarn. (I didn't swatch this could have been avoided.) The bag itself is finished and assembled, aside from the shoulder strap. Above is the open bag before felting, and below is the bag (obviously still pre-felting) with the flap closed.
Now, there's a little story on the strap...I am assuming that the book contained an error, as there is no instruction for making the strap in the pattern, but the assembly instructions tell you to sew it on. Well, I had an idea on how to make a single crocheted cord, that I figured would felt up pretty sturdy (sturdily?). Unfortunately, I did not have enough yarn left over. So I attempted to rip it out. But, the natural fibers twisted around itself and didn't want to give. Well...I ended up with the following mess:
(Gracie is my witness.) Anyway, I think I am going to tie these disjointed pieces together and attempt to make a long (non-crappy looking?) chain to attach as a strap. I worry that it will felt up to be too thin of a strap though. If it looks uber-crappy, I will cut it off the finished product and figure something else out. Any ideas for salvaging it in that case? Think it would be usable without the strap? (That was another idea of mine.)

And's been way too long since I've posted any kitty pics, so here's Gracie with her new(ish) toy. (And one of my shoes.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

6 Months

Today, it has been 6 months since my painful breakup. I was surprised this afternoon when I realized it was today, and I didn't freak out or get all weepy. That's progress, right? I feel like I've come pretty far since February (and I should hope so anyway!).

Now I'm pretty much back to where I was before I met him. Convinced I'm going to be alone forever. Okay, I really have more hope for finding someone I can spend my life with, but in my lower moments I do fear eternal solitude. Even when I was with him, I had those moments of fear that something would happen and I'd be left alone again. Not usually a fear that he was going to leave me, so much as a fear that there'd be some accident or illness that would take him from me. Obviously, I have issues with death and loss. (But at least I'm aware of it. And yes, I know it's out of my control anyway, and I will deal with what life brings. But I am a worrier by nature. I wouldn't not get involved with someone due to the fear of loss.)

But my point is that independence, as much as I value it, is sometimes exhausting. I know I can provide for myself, and get along fine on my own and have a fulfilling and enjoyable life. However, it's nice to have someone there to rely on as well. It really cuts down on the stress factor, and is just comforting. I miss that the most I think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Long Awaited Shower Scoop

Okay, it probably wasn't really that long awaited at all...if anyone (other than me) was waiting for it...

Finally, I was able to upload photos onto blogger. So, here's the scoop on last Saturday's shower. This one was a bit more traditional, for the slightly older crowd. I'm actually more familiar (and comfortable) with the traditional stuff, so I wasn't too worried about this one. We had the shower at Strings, chosen by the bride, so I didn't have to worry much about food. My worry was that the bride (who is not into traditional stuff) would be bored, and that she doesn't like to be the center of attention. She's usually the planner of things (did I mention that she's a wedding/events planner on the side? I've helped her out a few times for some extra cash.)

That being the case, I tried to choose games that wouldn't focus more attention on her than she'd already be getting. (I know, I know...the bride will be the center of attention at a shower...that's why she didn't really want one in the first place, but everyone was expecting her to have one and people she didn't want to be in charge were attempting to plan...and it was stressing her out too much, so I told her I'd do it. Then it became two...but I don't mind. I know I went over this a bit in a prior post...but I do tend to retell the same stories here and there...) Anyway, I went with 2 games and a door prize. The first game was one in which each guest gets a sealed envelope with a piece of paper inside. (I used quarter sheets of cool scrapbooking papers.) They are instructed not to open the envelope until told to do so. Once the envelope is opened, they have one minute to tear the paper into a wedding dress. After the time is up, everyone puts the paper dress back into the envelope, writes their name on the envelope, and then hands it to the bride. Then, the bride has to judge which envelope was opened the neatest. (Twisted, huh?) It went over pretty well. Except that if I were to use this game again, I'd use double stick tape or something on the envelope flap to make them harder to open.

The 2nd game was a purse scavenger hunt. I gave them all 2 minutes to find a list of items in their purses. I've done this one before (at Joie's shower) and it went over well.

As for the dessert, per the bride's request I made the lemonade angel cakes again. This time I used heart shaped foil baking cups. I also substituted raspberry lemonade for the regular. They came out better this time than last. (I think I overbaked them last time.) Here's a shot of the finished product.

I thought they looked pretty cute on the dessert plates provided by the restaurant.

The Thursday night before the shower, on a whim, I ran to Michael's on my way home and picked up a wedding favor candy kit that I'd been eyeing. And thanks to the good people at Wilton, I ended up with these:

Everyone was duly impressed. (And it's not even hard to make! Um, please note that the two in my photo here were the rejects of the bunch. The rest looked better.) The candy wedding cakes went into a small favor box with some paper shreds and a label went on the box. No, don't get too excited, that doesn't mean I got my printer to work correctly. Still no black ink from that one. I stayed late at work on Friday night (because my life is that exciting) and printed the labels there.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. A rather large nutshell, I'll admit. I did get a lot of compliments on the shower as the guests were leaving. I love that! (What can I say? I'm a praise hog...I'll take it where I can get it!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Proof Positive that I work in Marin…

Yesterday morning I ventured into the ladies room, as was necessary at the time. There was a group of women standing just inside the door, apparently waiting for the large handicapped stall to open. I proceeded into a stall after making sure there wasn't a line (you never know, even though the other 5 stalls were hanging open…could have been some reason they were staying away). I hear the other stall door open and the lone occupant making her way to the sink. So far, all seems normal.

The 3 women that were huddled inside the entrance got all excited (squealy even) and descended upon the big stall. Here is what I witnessed…

Disembodied voice 1: Let's see!

Disembodied voice 2: Want to touch them? They're still hard.

Disembodied voice 3: You haven't started massaging them yet?

Disembodied voice 2: I'm supposed to start that tonight.

Disembodied voice 1: They look great!

And then I don't know who's saying what (nor do I care - I feel like I'm intruding on their privacy by using the restroom for it's intended purpose!), but the general conversation went on about how much two of them were happy with their boob jobs, and the other one, who hadn't had one, has a consultation scheduled for the end of this month. Oh, and they're financed at a rate of 10%. And mass compliments - oh, you don't need any work done! No? I'm all saggy since giving birth and you have no idea! Well, I can't tell. Do you always wear a padded bra? Oh always! Oh how happy we all are with our fake bodies! (Argh…)

I have to realize that no, that is NOT normal. It's not, is it? Please tell me it's not. I will never understand the allure of elective surgery. And the scary part…the one who had just gotten the surgery went to high school with my co-worker.

And this whole scene gave me a flashback of a bbq I went to at my boss's house last summer (with the ex). My boss had just had "enhancement surgery." We (the employees) all knew about it. My ex walked through the house to grab a drink and came outside with a look of utter confusion/horror on his face. He looked at me and whispered, "everyone that's not out here is in the living room feeling your boss's breasts." I laughed and said, "that's because they're new." I of course then made sure he didn't want to go back in to check them out (the relationship might have ended sooner if he had...).

I guess I just think it's sad that people are so unhappy with their bodies that they will resort to expensive surgery to change them. I think it says something about society. (And not a good thing.)