Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Anyway, while there, my dad's wife showed me all the crocheting she'd been doing lately. She's only been at it for about a year, maybe even less, and has already made dozens of blankets, granny squares, and baby hats for her soon-to-be-born grandson. She said it's super easy once you get the hang of it, handed me some crochet hooks, and told me to go home and look up some videos online.
When I got home I looked up some videos (thank you knit witch), got out my craptastic yarn, and set to work. Here's what I have so far: Some thoughts/questions/complaints/grumbles about this:
*It will eventually be a dish cloth. Stop laughing, it will. I have spoken, it will be a dish cloth. I don't care what shape it's in when I declare it to be completed, I will be using it to wash dishes. By the way, that's a thing, right? Crocheted dish cloths? I know I've seen them around bloggy land but when I mentioned my plan to Jay he stared at me like I was nuts. Apparently, he just doesn't see my vision.
*I'm fully aware that it's rather ugly. While I've never crocheted before, I've been the recipient of some lovely crocheted work by much more talented people (Dani, to name one.) So I know what it's supposed to look like and I know my work is quite a bit off.
*The first row, when I was just doing the chain stitching, is awful. The next row is pretty bad too. But I feel like as I go on, my work gets a little bit better each time.
*Just learning the chain stitch, took me all yesterday morning. It got progressively easier after that.
*I think I make my stitches too tight. I mentioned this in an email to my dad's wife and she reminded me that I can always take my stitches out and re-do them. I did this. About a dozen times now. At this point I feel like I just need to keep working and then evaluate the finished project. Along that note, Dawn's actually taken a crochet class and her teacher said that it takes time to really master the tension aspect. I know a lot of you crochet, does that part get easier over time? Because right now I feel like my stitches aren't uniform. Some are loose, some are tight, etc.
*I'm not following any pattern. I know, shocking right? I found quite a few patterns that look manageable, but wanted to get the hang of the stitches before I really tried something for real.
*I had meant for this to be square. At best, it's going to be square-ish. In fact, the one end is kind of angled. Why is that? Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong just by looking at the above picture?
Even though my project isn't coming out as planned, I'm trying to not get discouraged because it's a very soothing and relaxing hobby and I like having something semi-mindless and repetitious to do while watching TV. Plus, I think this might be something I could do in the car to take my mind off the screaming chidren just inches from my ears. (Sadly, I can't read in the car- I get car sick.)
But yeah, anyone have any words of advice or helpful hints? Maybe book recommendations?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I've mentioned before that this isn't the first time I've sold a house. The last time I was in this position my experience wasn't great, but it was heavenly compared to what has taken place this time around. The level of unprofessionalism, inconsideration, and sheer ignorance I've had to deal with has seriously started me thinking that there has got to be something in the water around here and that I better hurry up and get my family out before we devolve into single celled organisms.
Words of advice to those looking to buy a home, specifically my home:
Just because I have a For Sale sign in my yard, does not mean it's okay to run up to the front of my house and peer in the windows. It's also not okay to walk around to the side of my house and peer into my son's window. Didn't you see the bikes? Or, you know, the curtains?
Then, when I come out my front door and glare at you, it's really not ok to be like, "Whut? I didn't think nobody lived here."
There are a few phone numbers on the aforementioned For Sale sign. Call them, set up an appointment, and then I will be more than happy to welcome you into my home.
If, for whatever reason, you don't want to call those numbers, grab a phone book and call any of the other 350 real estate agents in this town. I'm sure they'd all jump at the chance to possibly make a few bucks.
Why has it fallen on my shoulders to educate this back woods, podunk town on proper home buying protocol?
I know that it's a buyers market and that I, as a seller, basically have to bend over and take whatever these potential buyers want to give me, but really, What is wrong with people?!?!
I'm starting to think that this house isn't going to sell until I'm out of it and have blown town. I feel myself getting an attitude.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It did get me to thinking that here on the ol' blog I'm always nothing but negative about Florida, and that maybe I should write about all the things I'm going to miss about my home state. So I started compiling a list. I thought of all of three things before not being able to think of anything else. Wonder what those three things are? Dawn, my clothesline, and my compost pile. My best friend of twenty years, the rope tied to the oak trees in my back yard, and my beloved pile of worms and dirt.
What a pathetic list, if you can even call it a list. How sad is it that after ten years in Gainesville and my whole lifetime in Florida, I don't have more people here that I don't want to say goodbye to?
I shouldn't make it sound as if I haven't made any friends in the past 33 years, because that's not the truth. I had some friends growing up, but it's just that, you know, I was raised in a cult and since I'm not in said cult now, I really make it a point to try to avoid the other members. Then there are the gals who've befriended me as an adult. This is where the numbers slim down significantly. Turns out, it's really hard to make friends as an adult once you're married with kids because most of your time and energy is, understandably, directed towards your marriage and kids. It gets even harder when there just aren't a lot of people around like you.
Here I am. Atheist. Animal lover. Part time vegetarian. Part time dirty hippie. Politically, leaning very left of center. Folks, here in Florida I'm a minority. So when I have had opportunity to meet other gals, the friendship will be going along smoothly and..........then it hits a wall and has no where else to go. It's not that the ladies I speak of did or said anything wrong. We're just very different. I still care about them and if they called me and say, needed someone to watch their kid, or dog sit, or run an errand for them, I'd do it in a heartbeat and I know they'd do the same for me. But to be truly close friends, the kind of friendship where the closeness you have is almost better than family, you just have to share some of the same philosophies. You can't let it all hang out with people who aren't on the same page as you. Believe me, I've tried. But I always feel like I'm holding back and can imagine that this feeling is mutual.
I won't miss being the only liberal in a room.
I won't miss the feeling of knowing that if I were to speak my opinions in a room full of people, probably no one would agree with me.
I won't miss rednecks calling me a "dyke" because they can't even begin to wrap their small minds around the idea of a straight gal wanting short hair. (If you know me at all, it probably goes without saying that I don't really care about the opinions of people I view as dumber than my dumbest dog. And whether it's true or not isn't the issue. But it's the way comments like this are said, they're meant to be derogatory, and they're meant to intimidate. The commenter wants me to feel that whatever I am, isn't as good as whatever they are. That's what I'm tired of.)
I won't miss being made fun of because I make my own laundry detergent, or buy organic milk, or hang my laundry out to dry, or enjoy playing with my compost.
I won't miss overhearing my son's friends say things like, "My family doesn't really care about the earth. We're a bunch of animal haters." I won't miss statements like that being the norm rather than the exception to the rule.
Basically, I won't miss feeling like an odd ball.
I know when my family pulls into Oregon that it's not going to immediately be all paradise and rainbows and cheery leprechauns waiting to welcome us with open arms and money. (Although, how AWESOME would that be?) We may get called names or be made fun of. I know for a fact we'll meet people who are our polar opposites. I'm sure we'll routinely run into a bunch of animal killing earth haters. But I know we'll also happen upon a whole lot of other people in between too, which is what gets me so excited because I don't get that here. And maybe, with any luck, we'll find a family with a couple of sweet, dirty rugrats who want to play with my sweet, dirty rugrats while we adults sit around drinking wine and talking about the possibility of their being no god. Is that fantasy too far fetched?
So when the time comes to leave, I don't think I'll be crying. I'll give my compost one last stir, pack up my clothesline, kiss my worms good-bye, and hop in the car headed for (hopefully) greener pastures.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This was one of those slow moving books that took me a while to get into and I really only kept with it because I love Kingsolver so much that I felt I owed it to her.
This book is 440 pages long. I would estimate that at least half of that is descriptions of wildlife or various flora and fauna. If you want in depth descriptions of coyotes, chestnuts, goats, birds, apple trees, leaves, grass, weeds, moths, bugs, snakes, flowers, etc....then this is the book for you. As for me, I found it all very boring. Which is sad because I actually really liked all the characters and their very distinct personalities and I was interested in what they were going through. And once I realized-about three fourths of the way through-that all the characters would connect in a way, I was excited to see how it would all play out. Unfortunately, so much of this was lost amongst the overly detailed descriptions of nature. At times I felt as if I was reading a field guide or a textbook. After a while I found myself skimming over a lot of the lengthier descriptions.
Prodigal Summer definitely wasn't my favorite Kingsolver work, but I still really love the way she puts together a story and I respect that she must do a mind boggling amount of research on each novel. Ultimately, even though I really wasn't feeling this one, I still think it's a well thought out, beautifully written piece of literature. Just one that I can't wholeheartedly recommend.
Monday, March 22, 2010
*Along those lines, you'll notice I have a *new* header photo. It's recycled. I first used it about a year ago. I sorta feel like that's cheating, but I was sick of the Yo Gabba Gabbas that were up there and I wanted a change. But again, was feeling uninspired. So I took the easy route.
*On Saturday night we watched Up in the Air. Sigh. Clooney, Clooney, Clooney. I'm still devoted to Alec of course but...wow. Clooney. So pleasant to look at, and oh so unattainable. Jay and I often talk about what it would be like to have relationships like George Clooney, and I have to say, I think I'm well suited for it. I've always enjoyed my solitude but as I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate it even more and I definitely like the idea of just having a guy come over a few times a week, hanging out, maybe fixing some stuff around the house, and then getting the hell out before he starts to smell the place up.
*Recently the girl told me that I should try to be more like Caillou's mom. If you've never seen Caillou, let me just assure you that this is an impossibly high standard. Caillou's mom has a level of patience I didn't know was possible. Considering the amount of stress I've been under lately, there's no way I could ever compete.
*Part of the reason I've been so stressed can be directly attributed to house selling. After everyone leaves in the morning, I make all the beds and clean the house to make it as show-worthy as possible, considering there are still children and pets living here. I do all this, on the ever so slim off chance that I'll get the call that someone wants to see the house. On the days I do actually get the call I then take it into overdrive, frantically running around doing my best to make it seem as if children and pets don't live here. With that in mind, I'd like to say the following to all potential home buyers out there:
If you're looking to buy a 2 bedroom house and what you're looking to spend is in the 2 bedroom house price range, please don't come look at my 4 bedroom house. Don't waste my time, my agent's time, your time, and your agent's time. Really, we all have better things to do. I realize this isn't the best time to be selling a house and I have no illusions about my particular place or what I'll end up getting for it. But, I'm not going to GIVE IT AWAY.
I would love to write more about the subject of real estate, but I vowed to myself to not say much until all is said and done. But once we find a buyer and all the papers are signed and I can be sure of no takesies-backsies, I'm really going to let loose. And it will feel so damn good.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Six people-five women, one man-meet to discuss Jane Austen's works. The book club spans the course of six months, with each month (or chapter) focusing primarily on one person. Only six months? Somehow it seemed much, much longer.
Before I go on, I feel I should make it clear that I've never really been able to get into any of Jane Austen's actual work. I've never finished any of her books and I've never seen any of the movies based on them. I know that makes me sound like an ignorant plebe, but really, it's just not my thing. In fact, I'm not a fan of nineteenth century literature in general. Again, maybe I'm a doofus, but I like what I like.
That being said, I get what the author of this book was trying to do. I understand that each of the six main characters were supposed to correlate with one of Austen's characters. The problem was that I just didn't care. I found all of these people, the women especially, to be incredibly boring and self possessed and the descriptions of their mostly petty problems to be quite tedious.
The one character I even remotely liked was Grigg, and I think the only reason I did like him, was because all the women in the group were initially so bitchy towards him. I pitied poor Grigg. Here he is, the new guy in town. He only knows one person, a lady significantly older than he. She invites him to her book club and he goes out on a limb and accepts even though he's never read any Jane Austen. Then once he gets there, they treat him badly, criticizing everything from his opinions to the specific copy of the book he has. What a bunch of bitchy cows!
In June, Grigg hosted the monthly meeting. The following are descriptions of the food that he prepared:
Grigg had laid out a green salad made with dried cranberries and candied walnuts. There were cheeses and pepper crackers. A lovely white wine from the Bonny Doon vineyard. It was a respectable spread although the cheese plate had a snow scene and was obviously meant to be used only at Christmas and probably for cookies. And the wineglasses didn't match.
He'd made a cheesecake. The crust was obviously store bought.
From what little I know about Jane Austen, this type of commentary was popular in her books. I find it nauseating and I think it makes the characters seem like a bunch of jerks. Plus, at times it just felt weird and forced for a modern day novel. For instance, this scene when the ladies meet Grigg's sister Cat:
Cat had an open, outdoorish face. She looked her age and then some. But the sun was full on her, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of. It was obviously a good blood line. Both brother and sister had good teeth, neat little ears, deep chests, long limbs.
Really? Neat little ears? Deep chests? What does that even mean and who thinks like that? These types of descriptions and observations just seemed so strange and out of place to me that they clouded my ability to even enjoy the narrative. No problem, since there pretty much wasn't one. When it's done well (like The Poisonwood Bible), I really love the idea of having a chapter devoted to each character. It can keep things interesting. In this instance it was just choppy and the various story lines never really went anywhere.
It took me way too long to get through this book. In fact, the last fifty pages alone took about three days. By the last ten pages, not only did I hate the book, but I was physically angry at it. It just seemed to go on and on and the thought of picking it up again made me clench my fists.
When this book first came out it was a huge hit, so I know some of you've probably read it. If so, did you like it? Is my hatred for it primarily based on the fact that I'm not an Austen fan? Please, be honest.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The girl's rain boots:Rumor has it, she'll get a lot of use out of these in the near future.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
*She wasn't actually jumping rope. She said she couldn't because it was "too bright" outside and she was "sooooo tired."
*After the whining ended she began to tell me an extremely long winded story. I can't remember what it was about, but I do remember making the conscious decision to stop actively listening.
*Other orange things in my house I contemplated photographing: dustpan, scissors, bag of cat food, and candy. The candy idea was nixed because I ate it all before getting a proper picture.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
And the competition is on:Sadly he lost.To an older teenager who was described to me as a "gigantic nerd face idiot boy."
Friday, March 12, 2010
Don't worry, I don't know who you are and I probably never will since a large portion of the student body of your school appear to be cast members from Lord of the Flies. Really, you all look like a bunch of ne'er do wells and savages to me.
I have to say I was pretty pissed when the boy called me at home to tell me his lunch had been stolen and to ask permission to borrow money from the front office to buy school lunch. The boy is picky. He didn't eat well that day. Then I started thinking that you were probably some eighth grade douche bag just picking on my kid. Who steals a lunch box with someone else's name embroidered on the front? Especially when the name is "Monty." I mean, I know for a fact that's not your name. He's the only Monty there!
But it's no matter now. The lunchbox was found. Of course most of the food was gone (as you well know), but thanks for leaving the Tupperware. We re-use all that stuff. I have some questions for you though. I noticed you ate the peanut butter crackers, the granola bar, the fruit cup, and the apple, yet you left the cookies. Are you diabetic? Or could you just tell that they were knock off Oreo's and you weren't interested? I'm sorry, but Nabisco just isn't in my budget right now. Frankly neither is charity, but I didn't really have much say in the matter now did I?
Anyway, I'm glad you had a decent meal. You obviously felt you needed it. And really, deep down there is a part of me that's a little bit excited that somewhere out there exists a kid that not only wants to eat the lunches I pack, but will risk getting into trouble to do so. So thanks for that. Usually I get complaints like,"What the heck?! Two fruits?!" So yeah, I'm glad you at least enjoyed the fruit. Oh, and FYI, that apple was organic.
P.S. Sadly for you, my son only has a few more weeks left at your school. So you should probably start scoping out new lunch providers.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The basic gist of this song by a Christian rap group (I know, right?!?!) is that frontal hugs are indecent and lead to impure thoughts. So if you're not married yet, you need to stick to the "side hug." Gay folks, I don't know where this leaves you. Just avoid hugs altogether I suppose. Or "side hug" everyone to cover all the bases. Or probably more likely since these are evangelicals, just, you know, don't be gay. Anyway, here's the video. Please watch it, if only for a moment, so that you can experience the agony that I felt the first time I heard it. Misery loves company.
Now let's list just a few of the many, many reasons I hate this song.
One: We are talking hugs here people! Hugs. Is this what it's come to? I consider a hug to be one of the more basic forms of human contact and I rarely think of it as sexual. In fact I would venture to say that never in my life has a hug directly led to sexual activity. How sad is it that we as a society have gotten this paranoid?
Two: This line: When I hug people I leave room for the Holy Spirit. I'm sorry, but I just think that's weird.
Three: A few seconds into the song there is this verse, along with sounds of gun shots and ambulance (or police?) sirens in the background:
Stop and listen
No front hugs and no kissin'
I ain't that scared to call your momma
You'll be ridin' home in a coma
Wow. What form of Christianity is it that views frontal hugs as impure, but considers it okay to put someone into a coma? I'm not sure if that's hypocrisy or just naive stupidity. Either way, I find it kind of nauseating and scary.
Four: As much as I hate this song, and believe me I truly hate it, it's catchy as hell and after I've heard it once, it's in my head all day long. My family uses this knowledge to their advantage, routinely side hugging me and rapping a bit, knowing I'm going to be tortured all day long.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on the side hug? If you're a Christian, do you think this is going overboard a bit?
*Lyrics can be found here.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
During last Sunday's episode the characters were in a restaurant and when the waitress came to the table I immediately looked up because I knew her voice. Then I saw her face and knew it too. But I couldn't for the life of me place her. Jay was on the computer at the time so I asked him to find out for me. After a half an hour, his search had turned up nothing. So I took over and within five minutes found the info I wanted. Apparently, I am the Google High Mistress. In Jay's defense, when not fantasizing about Joely Fisher's breasts, he spends a great deal of his time at his, you know, job. So he doesn't have a lot of time to spend honing his internet search skills.
Anyway, back to the waitress. Her name is Kate Micucci and she's a little known actress who's been in a lot of different things. But I first saw her on someone else's blog (Peggy's I think?)performing as half of the hilarious and super talented comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates (she's the dark haired one). The first song I heard them perform was "Pregnant Women are Smug":
But my favorite song of theirs, by far, is Self Esteem:
You have to love a song that melodically includes the line, "I wouldn't touch your dick if I'd been poisoned and the antidote was in your sperm."
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
In about a month and a half my family and I will be on our way to Oregon. We aren't going to wait here for the house to sell, we just don't have that kind of time. Hopefully the real estate agents will still do their job even though we will be thousands of miles away. Tell me they will. Please. Just lie to me if you have to.
I am scared. And excited. And anxious. And ready to go right now. Things seem to be falling into place for Jay's work once we get there, which eases my mind a bit. Although I don't like to get too excited about things before they are definite. It seems that whenever I become overly optimistic (or even just regular optimistic), life has a way of slapping me down and reminding me that joy and happiness were not meant for me. So I remain.......realistically upbeat. I'm trying to not think that we will move out to Portland only to be homeless. We will not end up living under a bridge and my children will not immediately become gang members.
Another thing I'm trying to not think about is the actual drive to Oregon. We estimate it will take four or five days. More than half a week in a car with my husband and kids, 2 dogs, and three cats. (In case you're wondering, we found a good home for the turtle.) I'm toying with the idea of just casually trying to find a new forever home for one of my nicer, more well behaved cats. Casually, as in, I don't really want to part with her, but I will if I find a great stable person who wants a cat. Again, I don't want to do this, but I need to be realistic. Once we get out to Portland it will be much easier to find a place to live if we have one less animal. But, if I don't find someone, she'll just be making the trip with us.
So that's where I'm at. I still have a lot going on and a lot on my mind and I'm just trying to slowly take it all in and process it in a way that doesn't result in me having some type of mental breakdown.
Oh, one more thing. Are the rest of you as excited as I am about the Oscars this Sunday? Sigh. Alec.