Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Exceedingly Discombobulated

I haven't been myself lately. I wouldn't call it a funk, as I'm in a pretty good mood. I have been more frazzled than normal, but I reject that as a descriptor as it reminds me of the teacher who drives the Magic School Bus. I'm not befuddled, stupefied, bewildered, or confounded. I am discombobulated.

My house is normally organized, but I haven't been able to find anything. I lost my camera charger last weekend. I tore my guest room, kitchen, and dining room apart trying to find it. I stopped mid-search to call Mary-Claire to see if she had any insight. Heck, she knows a ton about cameras, surly she knows about camera battery storage issues. She told me to look again, I did, and I found it. In the drawer where I keep it. I must have looked right at it the first time and missed it.

The next day I lost my keys. After about 10 minutes I found them. They were on the key hook. Where they are supposed to be.

My head? Not where it's supposed to be. Maybe it's because this winter was so long. Maybe it's because my last semester was exhausting. I just got back from vacation a month ago and I feel like I need another one. I don't have the ambition to clean my house or do homework. Even more shocking, I don't even want to knit. I need to change my attitude and get some stuff done, but I'm not ready to yet. I need a few more days of being lazy. A few more days to find motivation.

If you happen to stumble upon some extra motivation, please send it my way. I could use it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hey! Check this out.

My yard is filled with pink flowers! I love having a magnolia tree in spring.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stuff that has been bugging me

I went for a run tonight. It was the first time I have been running since I fell on my face last year. My run was wonderful. I had forgotten how much I love running. It hurt like hell, but it was fun. I thought I hated running, but it turns out I just hate long runs. Three miles is just about perfect. It gave me plenty of time to think about some things that have been bugging me lately.

The following things bug me:

1. The coffee shop in my office. You would think I would love it, as I have a love of coffee and it is fewer than 100 steps from my desk (yes, I counted). But I can't stand it. It has a horrible name - Jazzman's. Try walking past it and not getting Lisa Simpson singing Jazzman stuck in your head. Come on, try it.....I dare you. It is also expensive. Coffee is $.50 cents more a cup at out Jazzman's than it is down the skywalk at Wells Fargo. Why wouldn't I walk there if I wanted Jazzman's? They have more flavors.

2. The sushi place in the skywalk. They are expensive, slow, and the sushi is sub-par. If I am going to spend more on a roll than I would at Taki, it had better be rolled correctly. I had it for lunch today and it kept falling apart. I waited 20 minutes for them to make it, you would think that they had enough time to roll it tightly.

3. Dove Ultimate Clear go fresh deodorant. I normally am a fan of Dove products, but this is the worst product I have ever seen from them. I got a sample in the mail yesterday, and I will not be using it. Why won't I be? The scent is waterlily & freshmint. That's right, freshmint. Who was the product manager that thought "hey, people love mint gum, they will love minty armpits." Did they use a focus group at all? Did the market researchers suggest mint as a joke? I just don't understand how they came up with this product.

4. Target furniture. I usually love Target furniture. As I look around my house I only see primarily Target furniture. I bought a buffet on Sunday (did I mention I'm good at procrastinating), and just finished putting it together yesterday. It took approximately 10 hours to put together. It's not that I can't read directions or build stuff - heck, I totally rocked 8th grade industrial tech. It's because the directions were crappy and they didn't pre-drill the holes on the doors. Now that it's done it looks good, but I will look at it with resentment for weeks.

5. The knitting store in Valley Junction. Would it kill them to carry Lamb's Pride? Or organic yarns? I don't like buying yarn on line. Once I decide I want yarn I want to knit with it right away. The suspense of the US postal service it just too much for me.

6. The wine selection at my grocery store. Seriously, would it kill them to carry petite sirah? Even the closest liquor store to me only has two types. I love petite sirah. Maybe they could make Sideways II and have the character obsessed with it. Perhaps then I would be able to pick it up everywhere.

7. Product Management. The class. I had my last final yesterday and Product Management starts on Friday. I am just not ready to start class again.

In conclusion: I have a wonderful life. This is really all that is bugging me. I am so lucky and so blessed. All I have to complain about are things that are above and beyond anything I need.

Expensive coffee and sushi? There are people that can't even afford food. There was a time when I considered getting one cup of coffee a week at a coffee shop a treat. Now there are days when I go get coffee more than once.

Mint deodorant and putting together furniture? I have choices. I didn't get my deodorant from a women's shelter that I checked into to avoid further abuse. I have a house that I own and can afford to furnish.

Yarn and wine selections? Frankly, sometimes I sound like too much of a yuppie.

School? Some people don't get to graduate from high school, even fewer graduate from college. I have the opportunity to go to grad school. As much as I complain about it, I know how blessed I am.

It was a great run. Three miles is enough to give me perspective on how great I really have it. It may sound cheesy, but I really do have a wonderful life. I have great friends and a wonderful family. Each of you enriches my life. Thank you for that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Procrastinator Extraordinaire

It has been a long semester for me. I have zero motivation to do any homework. I have gotten very good at putting off school. I have my last exam of this semester on Tuesday. It's in finance, which hasn't come easy for me. I was supposed to spend the entire weekend studying, but managed get a lot of procrastinating done.

I sat down to study and started by going over the spreadsheet that my friend John helped with me with. Then I remembered that John's wife is going to have her baby before we start Econ together in July. I decided that figuring out WACC could wait, and that I should make him some booties.

When I finished the booties I remembered that I had completed 1 1/2 claw mittens. I decided that finishing the mitten would be like cleaning up. After all, I could put the yarn away when I was done. So I finished the mittens. Unfortunately, mitten 2 is much better than mitten 1, so I'm going to have to make mitten 3. The yarn is still out, but I have resisted making mitten 3 so far. I would like to say that it's because I'm focusing on studying, but really, I'm working on the Hawkeye scarf.

I like the Hawkeye scarf, because it is pretty mindless knitting. I am going to hold off finishing it so I have something to work on tonight while watching Cops.

It wasn't just knitting that has been distracting me. Yesterday I wasted time by baking cookies. This morning I started out the day by making brunch for my aunt and cousins. This afternoon I'm going to whip up a fresh batch of granola. I am also going to get some studying done.

I think I'm going to have to go to the coffee shop to study. I have far too many distractions at home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Today my co-workers found out that I am crazy

I may have flipped out a little bit today at work. Normally at work I am calm and good natured. Very little can upsets me. But there is one thing that will make me freak out wherever I am. One thing that I keep hidden from the world. One thing that makes me feel shame and intense fear all at the same time: I am scared of Large Marge.

Yes, Large Marge. From Pee Wee's Big Adventure. A movie that is rated PG. I have been scared of her since I first saw the movie. It is a very clear memory. I was a kid and we were visiting Syl and her kids in Eagle Lake. We were watching the movie in the basement. Jason said that a funny part was coming on (not technically a lie, as most people find Large Marge humorous). Large Marge came on the screen and I was terrified. I had to check the closet before I went to bed. Jason felt bad and gave me a stuffed monkey to sleep with.

This wasn't a typical I'm scared moment. This isn't like time I watched the Shining and was scared for a night. This was long term fear. I looked under the bed before I went to sleep for months. If Pee Wee's Big Adventure comes on I change the channel immediately. If I am in a social situation where I am unable to change the channel I always go to the bathroom as soon as Pee Wee gets in the semi. Large Marge terrifies me to this day.

So I'm at work today and Chris F. starts to do the Large Marge voice. He starts into her lines. I immediately tell him to stop. He, being a rational person, finds it hilarious that I want him to stop. Everyone around him wanted to get in on the action. They kept talking about Large Marge and doing the voice. I kept telling them to stop. They didn't. I wasn't actually scared, just pissed off that they would continue to do something that I said scared me.

So I did the crazy thing. I not so nicely told Chris F. to bite me, shut down my computer, and went home. Not the most mature way to handle things, but it sure did feel good.

It's important to remember that we all have things that scare us. We all have embarrassing things that come back to haunt us. You can't reason with a person's irrational fear. The best that we can do is respect that person, and understand her. The next time you're at work or hanging out with your friends, and someone starts to freak out over something small that you don't think about, please show a little understanding. I am one of the first to tease over irrational fears, but after today I will be treating people with more understanding.

I do feel free, having shared my irrational fear with the world. I encourage you to join me. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you're scared of. I promise you will feel better for having done so.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pay It Forward

Recently on of the blogs I regularly read set out to make the world a better place on a small scale. How did she set out to make the world a better place? By sending gifts to the first five people to comment on that post. How does that make the world better? By making people happy by letting them know they are appreciated. I'm going to continue her project.

The first five people to comment on this post will get a gift from me. It won't be big, but it will be cool. How cool? I'm not exactly sure, as I haven't decided what it is yet (it will probably be a knit item). But I will decide soon, and get it to you within two months of your comment.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Apologies to John McCain

A few nights ago I was watching TV and came upon an episode of the Soup where they were making fun of Donald Trump's recent appearance on Larry King. They weren't making fun of him because of his horrible hair, or his fake feud with Rosie, no they were making fun of him for tossing fact to the side and calling George Clooney short.

The Donald told Larry that he once met George Clooney and that Clooney is short and small. He said that he surrounded himself with smaller people so that he looked big. Larry pointed out that he was at least 5'10". The Donald said that he couldn't be and that he was certain that George was shorter than Larry. The Donald then brushed off the fact that Clooney is not tiny and went on to talk about how great The Donald is.

It was an upsetting clip to me. Not just because Donald Trump was in it, but because I saw for the first time that I am just as guilty as him. The Donald was basically saying that George was a tiny, tiny man. He was exaggerating how short he is. I have also claimed that someone is smaller than they are. Since John McCain spoke at work last fall I have been spreading falsehoods about his stature. It is time for me to come clean.

I am now retracting statements I have made over the past few months. I would like to state for the record that John McCain cannot fit in your pocket. If elected, we would not be able to save a lot of money on Air Force One by placing John McCain in our carry on. John McCain is not technically a little person. John McCain is not the size of a ventriloquist dummy. John McCain is just smaller than average.

I hate to admit that I learned from Donald Trump. I think I'll give all of the credit to The Soup. Why give credit to a mindless jerk when you can give credit to mindless TV?

By the way, a quick google search shows Clooney at 5' 10 1/2" and John McCain at 5' 7"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wanna go ride bikes?

I went on my first bike ride of the year today. It was wonderful. I am so excited that it is warm enough to be outside.

I like to ride bikes. I ride them like a kid. This often surprises people, because I'm a cycle teacher. Inside the gym I am a serious biker. I work my class, and myself, hard. If there isn't sweat dripping off of every member of the class 10 minutes into class I'm not doing my job.

Outside of the gym, I am not serious. I usually ride with like minded individuals. Upon occasion, we don't even make it to the end of the ride before we pop into the bar for a beer (The Cumming Tap has great beer specials). Here is what I wore on my ride today: a purple shirt with a beer on it, cut off capris, and my helmet.

Today I rode with a real biker. A fast biker. One with a jersey. One with shorts. With shoes that don't look like a toddler would wear them. And a fancy road bike. I ride a mountain bike, which I bought in 1997. I felt like a dork. An out of shape dork. At least I'm a snappy dresser.

Prohibition is over!!

Last night I went to Court Avenue Brewing Company for their celebration of the repeal of prohibition. The band was good and the beer was delicious. A good time was had by all.

Court Ave. is now smoke free, which makes for a much more pleasant night out. Last night I noticed how much more you can smell when you're in a smoke free bar. For example, when someone smokes pot on the dance floor, you can smell it all the way at the other end of the bar. It was really weird. How high do you have to be to think it's a good idea to light up in a smoke free bar? It wasn't just a passing whiff either, it was a lingering smell that came in waves.

There was also an unpleasant smell. At one point something that smelled like stagnant water, ass, and garbage wafted over to our seats. We almost got up and moved. Luckily the smell dissipated and we were able to get back to enjoying our beers.

I ran into a girl I used to work at Girl Scout camp with. I don't think I had seen her for 8 years. It was weird to turn around and see someone from my past. I didn't even know she lived in Des Moines. She stopped by soon after the mystery smell. We had a nice conversation about the smells. It went a little something like this:

Me: Did you smell that?

Girl Scout: The skunk smell?

Me: Yeah, the one that smelled like garbage?

GS: That was marijuana. My friend told me. I think it smells like a skunk.

At this point in my conversation my drinking companion and I exchange confused looks.

Me: No, I was talking about that horrible funk that was here a minute ago.

GS: I don't know about that, but my friend told the guys who were right behind us on the dance floor "did you know this is a smoke free environment so you can't burn leaves or smoke marijuana???" I was so proud of her. She's had a lot of Templeton Rye, so she had the courage to say that. I didn't even know what it was. I'm going to go dance again.

Me: Um, OK.

This conversation left me a little confused. GS went to college. How do you get through college without ever smelling pot? I didn't even know that was a possibility. I was particularly entertained that she felt the need to explain to me that the smell was marijuana; which leads me to believe that she thinks I had never smelled it before (and, for the record, I graduated from college, so I am able to recognize the smell). I was also confused because I don't think pot smells like a skunk. I think it smells like hippies.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Today I played guitar hero and made asparagus

Work was a little weird today. We had a lunch meeting today that consisted of pizza and guitar hero. It was our team building event. Our chance to get together and hang out at work in a fun way. It's totally different that what we normally do, which is being together, hanging out, and generally having fun.
As you can see from the photo, my boss and co-worker rock at it. I did not. It turns out that I suck at guitar hero. Who would have guessed that a girl with no rhythm or hand eye coordination would suck at a musical video game? I think I would have enjoyed it if I wasn't at work and I was drinking. I am way more graceful and rhythmic after a few drinks.
I have spring fever. I am ready to get outside in the sun. I can't wait to get my bike tuned up and start riding again. I have started dreaming warm nights on patios, getting caught up with my friends who hibernated all winter. Luckily it's April. My spring flowers are poking through the brown grass. Spring is almost here.
Someone forgot to tell the world this, because it snowed again today. Snow is depressing in April. To get over to my snow blues, I decided to make asparagus. Asparagus is the food that reminds me most of spring. I tried a new recipe, which used olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. It was delicious. Sometimes a little asparagus is all it takes to put back the spring in your step.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today I decided to start a blog

Today I decided to start a blog.

Here are the reasons why:
  • Weird stuff happens to me
  • People like to hear about weird stuff

  • I can now pick up guys by saying "You should check out my blog"

  • I can link my blog to ravelry

  • I can sing this song to myself when I blog "blog blog blog blog blog blog blog blog bloggity blog, bloggity blog"

  • I can stay up too late typing slightly crazy things and then share them with the world

Here are the reasons why not:

  • I may have to share things about my life

  • People will point out my poor grammar

  • There is a darn good chance you will realize how boring I am

Tonight I had Operations Management class. I would like to tell you what we covered, but I don't understand one bit of it. I wrote notes to John, tried not to laughed out loud when he did an impersonation of our prof, and texted Todd.

I may have to blog about Todd a lot. I learned so much about him while texting him. I learned the following facts:

  • Todd likes hugs

  • Todd likes pancakes

  • Todd is awesome

  • Todd thinks the show Girlicious is a bunch of skanky skanks

  • Todd likes 40s of King Cobra

  • Todd is more likely to hug after a 40

I don't think there is a way to top talking about Todd. He wants everyone to know that there is no need to hold back on flattering him, especially when it comes to his rugged manliness.