Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reinventing my life

Well, I guess not reinventing my life, more of a reorganization of my life.

If you've been reading this, you can see that I have been working only part time in retail since May.  Which is actually pretty great for my health and sanity.  It lets me work on artistic and creative things, and it lets me get a good amount of sleep, and working retail means I am not sitting on my fat ass.  Well let's face it my flat ass.  I'm up and about.  And I like all of that.  It also gets me out of my house which is good for my emotional stability (if I was just not working I would live in a cave of blankets on my bed and not see other humans while I forced myself into a downward spiral of depression and an upward spiral of weight gain).

All of those are good things and mean that I have a life I am really pretty happy with.  I could list the reasons why my life is not flawless but who's life isn't flawless?  And that just gets petty.

So my life is good.  But it has also precipitated a bit of an identity crisis for me because I haven't been a person without an identity wrapped in my own work since I was in high school, probably before, even at points when I was unemployed but devoted to some thing.

But now I don't really have an identity that I feel comfortable sharing when people ask what do you do.

I don't want to say I'm a part-time manager at a large national home goods retail chain because although I do that and I enjoy, I don't think it reflects what I am.  Okay and maybe because I am a big snob.  And maybe because I am embarrassed to say that to fancy people with fancy jobs who ask me this when I am out with the fiancee who's fancy job let's me work part time.

I'm a quilter is tricky because I am just an amateur at that really.

I'm a stay at home cat mom, but that just makes me sound cuckoo bananas.  Although it sort of is the most true.  I am in planning to become a stay at home mom for whence we have babies in the future.  So I can't just stay home with the cat now.  I don't even really want to.  But I keep the place tidy, I make dinners and stock the fridge and run the show and do volunteer work.  All of which would be acceptable as my life IF I had a baby or two, but I don't so I worry that I sound like a spoiled baby myself (and maybe I am, maybe that is the root of the crisis).

I don't even know exactly what I would want to be.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I would like to be a romance novelist.  I have several bits and pieces of novels, some of which are total crap and others that could be a good novel if I ever finished them.  Before I didn't have time.  Now I do, and if I set down to finishing them and refining them, I think--no I KNOW--I could get them published.  And if I could replace my part time job income with a novelist income (I'm not looking to be Jennifer Weiner or Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele, I am just looking for a few books a year from like Blaze or Harlequin) then I would have my ideal life.  I think (I know, I am so non-specific about this).

So that is the root of the reorganization.  Changing/structuring the life I have today to give me time to/force me to write on the novels, so that someday soon I will have one to submit to publishers so that by the time I quit work to have babies or adopt babies or whatever, novelist income will be sufficient that I never have to go out and get a job again.

The reorg means no more sleeping in for no reason and getting up at a regular time each day.  It means voicing the secret goals so someone somewhere will hold me accountable to them just by checking in on my status.  It means using time to write each week a few days a week for a few hours a week.  Which technically is what I should be doing now.  But I plan to build all these steps in slowly so I work my way up into a habit (like I've done with flossing and my nightly face routine).  I need to learn to walk before I enter a marathon.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Working it out

I have actually been so productive today that I have astounded myself.  Especially because included in that productiveness is finishing 70 pages of a novel that I did before all the other stuff even though it wasn't on the to do list.

And also I found a pair of pants that I thought were lost for good which is extra good as all my work jeans have developed holes at the same time (which I guess isn't shocking as they were purchased at the same time like 9 months ago and I wear them pretty non-stop).

Also, the cat seems to have decided he likes me more than the fiancee even though I bought him a tiny vampire cape for Halloween.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have been very slow to post lately

And update on the audition was that I was not cast. Which is fine, it had a really huge potential to screw up all of the rest of my life for a part in a play that meant I would probably never act. Although the director had seen work of mine that I had written myself and performed in the Tim Miller workshops and that was awesome for me. Possibly as awesome as not being recognized and getting the gig.

I did get promoted at retail job which has pros and cons. Pros are I have a set schedule that never involves flex shifts that I may or may not work and I am paid quite a bit more an hour. Cons are that there is more responsibility on me when I am at work (which I am not against just that I am leery of this for me fluffy part time job as it might leech out the fluffy) and I have to do truck which means getting off work at 1:30am one day every other work and then taking public transit home.

I also got put on an advisory committee for the Lincoln Park Zoo education department which means I get to spend the next two years MAKING UP our new carts and curriculum! I am stoked. It is volunteer but super fun.

Also wedding planning is moving forward. We are working on not having it involve yelling. That might need some more work (from me as much as Sam).

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Please cross your fingers

Because I have an acting audition with a not BIG big deal theatre company here but a really awesome second tier theatre here to be a PAID understudy to a supporting role on the first show of their season. Which means it is totally likely that I could get that job and never actually act.

But it would be an awesome experience, and it is for the Sarah Ruhl play In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) so please cross fingers, and certainly at least pray that I totally don't screw it up.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wedding Planning makes me want to shoot myself in the face

I mean, not really but kind of. It is just so much work and so many people and so many dictums that make is SOOOOO complicated. And it is just too hard. Especially from looking at it on this side of the to do list.  Instead I want to cover my face with my bed sheets and skip it.

Also other people are soooo excited that we are getting married. I mean we were always getting married. We just didn't know exactly when. Now we know. Calm the heck down. Also maybe they are excited because they won't be planning this shit. UGH!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I am trying to devote some time on Tuesdays and Thursdays to writing projects although this week it has been curtailed by weird and crappy work shift on Tuesday and being way behind on a quilting project for the shop on today. Last week I did awesome though. So this week I am getting a little bit of writing done right now and maybe some more on the weekend.

However, I had a really great idea for a blog post for the quilt shop and now it is GONE. Totally totally gone, no idea about even remnants.

And I HATE that.

It is so infuriating.

Especially because I think the greatness of the idea grows in proportion to how little I can remember of it. Chances are it wasn't even that awesome, but now I think it is because I have no idea about it.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scared Straight

Well, not straight exactly. Just scared. Scared because wedding planning officially commenced yesterday evening with an email to our preferred venue and an email to the wedding planner I thought we were going to hire like 18 months ago when I thought I was really wedding planning. SO, basically that means very soon we will have a date and then we will have to get married. Not that I am opposed to getting married, but it seems I am very trepidatious of all the wedding hullabaloo that goes into the planning. It is very very stressful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trying to make a comeback

To blogging. I have decided to make a commitment to writing two days a week. Some of that writing will be for the blog on Quiltology (the quilt shop where I sometimes work) and some of it will be on some non-blogging related projects that may or may not have a very specific point except just to do it, but hopefully some of it will also start appearing here. I am also hoping to remember to email pictures and little notes to the email address that auto posts. That would also work to update my life.

We'll see.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I don't know why I stopped posting

Well, I do actually. I have had the stomach flu and a horrible summer head cold and produced a stage reading and worked my tuchus off in the less than one month we have been home from Spain. Both colds knocked me down for the better part of a week. And I still went to work while dealing with them. I am really really not trying to be a hero.

Good news, starting next month I should be working less days a week. Other good news is that I sent a quilt that I've put in over 100 hours and 11 months on off to be quilted. Which means all I have to do is make the binding and sew it on by machine and finish sewing it on by hand. Ummm, yeah. Other good news, close to finishing a top for my very own bed for keeps!! Cut out stuff to start two other quilt projects. Thinking of eventually selling some of this business.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shut the fuck up! This is our hotel room in Spain!

Seriously we have a balcony and a giant room and a giant bathroom and there is a pool!! It's like I'm a princess. For one night. Because this room costs 2-3 times as much as our usual ones here in Spain. Clearly worth it. Our one big splurge.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Going on Vacation

Not sure how internet accessy we will be over the week we will spend in . . . SPAIN!!! We are going all over, but we are mostly staying in modern business hotels that come with wifi. I am bringing my itouch to use as a baby computer that won't try to text me or whatever international roaming that my phone will do, but it also won't take any pictures like my phone will so BOOOO.

Anyway for the next week I will be in Spain. I might not be here at all, nor will I likely be on facebook or thingies like that. Just a heads up y'all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cat + laundry

Steve McQueen likes to help with laundry if by help with laundry you mean push it off his chair because it is in his way.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I love my niece

This is my baby niece who I love so much it hurts!

Friday, June 17, 2011

On the road again

Sam and I are off to Boise for a friend's wedding this weekend. That's my snazzy new suitcase and my purse on the orange line today. The suitcase was a birthday present from the in-laws. I think she needs a name. How do we feel about Rita?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Look you guys I totally cook sometimes

This is the makings of a grilled radicchio and orange salad and my kind of pasta-y pasta salad.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Awesome Surprise Mini Wedding

That is what I did last night. I found out after work around 4:00pm that my friends Anna and Branson (they went to U of Idaho with me) were getting married last night around 11:00pm at their big artist commune loft/performance space/secret residence.

That sounds way crazier than it sounds. But they are having their wedding in Idaho (where they are both from) over Father's Day weekend, but they didn't want Idaho to get the license money for making it legal (Idaho hates gays and well women and poor people etc), so they were going to get legally married here before it all. So then they decided Sunday night to make it a thing and invite people since they live in a crazy big commercial space with a nice clear large performance area (mostly stand up and sketch). However the bride is in rehearsal after her regular day at work, so wedding time was 11:00pm ish.

I headed over late late at night. There were rose petals on the floor, candles, wine, PBR in the hands of the Bride and Groom, a group of ragtag friends some dressed wedding ish most dressed for the hot hot night in the non-air-conditioned space. Somebody fired up the laptop so we had pre-ceremony music, music for toasting, and music for dancing. A bouquet of ribbon was tossed. It was lovely and small and close and fun and funky just like they are, and I think it was a great great night and I can't wait until we travel to Boise for the big version of their wedding.

Click here to see my photo of their first dance last night. To Adele's cover of Bob Dylan's To Make You Feel My Love.

Busy Busy

Ok, so this not really working thing has given me a surprisingly full life. And I am adding an exercise class to it (or two). Maybe. Whatever. I didn't get up for the one this morning. But I was up really late.

I'm doing better at making dinner. Not doing better at keeping super crafty. Well that might get better. Because I broke my desk chair/sewing chair. Then I went to Ikea and got a new one and also a better work lamp. Actually my new work chair is awesome: the Tobias chair! It is also see through which really helps open up the clusterfuck corner where my sewing machine is.

Actually I should be doing this now.

I should also be blogging more since I am home more. Well more after we get back from Spain (we leave in less than THREE WEEKS!!!). So in July. Blogging returns. Probably. Well, believe it when you see it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Housewifery is hard

Well, really I think in my case it is mostly that time management bedevils me since I mostly just skip doing things I don't find fun. And I do only the stuff I want. Like a giant spoiled toddler that can read and has bizarrely adult taste in television.

Anyway, some new resolutions are getting up and getting outside when Sam goes off to work. Even if the outside part involves bribing myself with like Argo Tea visits (its like Starbucks but for tea and is awesome, also has coffee, and is only in NYC, Chicago-it was borned here-and St. Louis and Evanston, but check it out at ORD if you have a big layover). But hey Argo tea visit + kindle would be a nice start to any morning.

I have also resolved to plan the meals for the week in advance. Then I can give Sam the shopping list over the weekend while I am in a store, and I should have 90% of my needs for the week. Occasionally I will need to add to the pile but often at midweek farmer's markets. At least for the summer. I do much better at getting a meal made when I have both the recipie and the supplies to do it.

The dual work thing has been fine mostly. Not as much time for projects as I had hoped but due to an emergency in the quilt store family and an unexpected person quitting at the retail chain I got seriously over scheduled for a couple of weeks (well I mean I got full regular job schedules), so that of course cut into crafting time. I did get a lot of work done on one project that I might be able to finish today. And I gave myself a deadline for the big wedding quilt I have been working on since time began.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am now officially underemployed

Or I will be underemployed as of Friday when I no longer work the big job.

I will return to my former retail gig 15-20 hours a week. Plus 5 hours at the quilt shop. Plus kissing my weekends goodbye. Oh. Yeah, well, let's see how that goes.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wrapping my brain around it OR how I am not coming to terms with it even as I try

I am about to become a housewife, even if it will be a temporary thing, well temporary until we have babies. The babies thing is a couple years off at the SOONEST.

This is weird and hard for me. First because I like to think of myself as a feminist and a strong independent woman who can take care of myself. Which I am and I can, BUT I won't be for at least a while. This is weird and hard, and I also wonder if it makes me a hypocrite because I make snide comments about people from my hometown who have a gajillion babies and maybe a religion I do not look so fondly on and maybe less education then me and maybe who craft a ton and extreme coupon. I have no plans to coupon or join any religion or lose my education BUT I will be home, not so much with the working and quilting at least sometimes if not a lot. DOH! So there is that.

Also, ummm feel squiggy about Sam footing all the bills. In part because I got me, although for a while I won't be able to get me, although by choice because I would obviously not just not work if my circumstances did not allow it.

So I also feel squiggy about my circumstances allowing it. So many of my dear friends and just other people across this nation are fighting for jobs and survival and I will be at home quilting and not even raising babies. Unless Steve McQueen counts, but I have a feeling he thinks he does not AND he also will hate my infringing on his alone time. I know Sam and I are very very fortunate to have weathered the last few years and the recession with the only financial impact on us being totally self imposed and negligible compared to what so many others are facing. And I feel crushingly guilty about my good fortune. And I feel guilty about flaunting my good fortune.

I now even feel guilty about whining about my good fortune.

Also I hate that I am kind of a kept woman. Or something. What the fuck is this? Mona Lisa Smile? What if I go all Betty Draper? Ok I probably won't, but if Steve gets mouthy at dinner I may just slap him around, and then buy him riding boots to make him love me.

Why I am such a mind fuck basket case about simple, FORTUNATE choices in my life? Why can't I be at peace with happiness and good fortune? What is wrong with me?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Life after work

I am afraid that I will get really really lazy if left to my own devices in a few weeks when I go job free for a while. SO, I think I will devote different days to different themes. So Monday is house cleaning day where I accomplish home cleanliness related projects. Also probably cooking day. Tuesday can be museum day where I hit art museums or galleries for at least the morning. Wednesdays are already zoo days. Thursdays can be theatre/project days. Fridays can be me days where I get to do what I want guilt free. But everyday will have at least 1 hour of activity (walking around, biking, going to the gym, wii fit, exercise dvds, etc) and at least 1 hour of writing (for performance stuff or romance novels or just journaling) and at least an hour of food preparation/grocery shopping (which can include farmer's markets). This should keep me super busy. And Saturdays will include work at the quilt shop, Sam going to school or piano lessons. So Sundays will be Sam days.

Am I missing something?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Get Ready

For what I am going to entitle the Last Summer Vacation of my life. There will be bike riding and beach reading. There will also be home improvement projects and homecooking and farmers markets. There will be trips to Tri-Cities, Boise, Spain, and Sattle also a Sox game and many amazing concerts and hopefully some rainy day movies as well as art museums and other kinds of museums. And quilting. And finishing two romance novels I have started writing.

Fun, eventful and HAPPY MAKING. Because after terrible soul crushing job, happy making is what I need.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Other than Quilt Math, things are good and they are only getting better!

We just bought tickets for a big vacation to SPAIN over my birthday!!! So that is only totally awesome, and I am SOOOO EXCITED!.

This week is full of adventures with two plays, a fabulous amazing dinner at Alinea that is a surprise for Sam's 1 year sober anniversary, also a networking party for Sam's school at a fun place on Friday, and tonight a quilting adventure to purchase fabrics for some quilt projects including one for me, one for my auntie, some basic solids for the stash, AND a bunch of solids and maybe subtle pattern for a big project based on my floor tiles in the bathroom (altogether this might be 28 or so yards of fabric which might make Sam tell me not to buy it all at once--and theses are just for the tops however these projects should last ALL year).

That Mies Tiles (as I will call it) piece from my bathroom floor was making my mind explode as I calculated how much fabric will be needed which meant knowing how many pieces cut for each block, how many blocks in the whole piece and roughly how that will fit on a bolt of fabric. Fortunately there are a few cheap and free quilting apps in the iphone store and I used them to figure out yardage the easy way (although still had difficulty figuring out how many inches say a yard and a quarter is but I did it). It might turn out SUPER awesome, but it also will take a gajillion years for two reasons 1) there will be over 1700 pieces in it, 2) I will have to cut them all out, and 3) yup sew them together and together and together. BUT I think it will look awesome as I keep it in the grays/blacks of my floor tiles and if I put little pops of Crimson in here and there if I make it a WSU Cougs quilt for my youngest brother. But he might not appreciate it and I will have to keep it. Suck it Dan.

Also, in trying to figure out what kind of quilts go to what kind of person in my family and in Sam's family the mom's and sisters and grandma's are easy. Not so easy, the brothers and dad's. But dad's are at least super easy to please. Let's face it, if it ain't pink, they'll like it fine. Brothers now. Well, shoot. So for one of mine possible Wazzu inflected gray quilt. For my other one, probably something super country. For Sam's brother oh golly I don't know. Until I saw some quilt patterns using the blockiness of quilts (everything can be broken down into little squares) to recreate something else that can be broken down into little blocks--old school video game graphics. I think a donkey kong quilt will be in order for him: here, also in mario bros.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I quitted my job

For reals. I gave my four weeks notice (because I like a lot of people at my job and want to not make their lives total hell if possible).

And I want it to be a new chapter in my life because for the first time in a long time if not actually ever I am in a position where it is feasible for me to do what I want, just do that and not worry about rent or credit card debt or whatever like eating and clothing myself.

I kind of plan to take it easy with the part time jobness for the summer (well easy being part time job + volunteer work + theatre company producing staged readings + being a really good housewife) and spend it like a last great summer vacation. And dive into the fall in a new chapter in my life where I chase my dreams instead of cover my ass.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am a bougey pig and maybe a bad person

It is true. Because well, we are planning a trip to Spain this June/July for summer vacation. I am super excited about it, and it turns out some friends from here might join us (the fiancee's best friend and his girlfriend who I don't know very well but do think is awesome). And Yay! Right? Vacation with 4 people so much more fun than just two, and maybe I will fall into less travel related rage at Sam (he like dumps all his stuff into the suitcase willy nilly and fills it up to 80% capacity and then seems bewildered that I don't have enough room and that perhaps his packing strategy could use work and well very basic folding skills at the least).

And then we started talking about what to do plan etc. Where should we go? The Alhambra sounds neat. Maybe we want to pick like two or three places (like beach Spain and like 1 city in Spain and Alhambra in between) and just spend more time at each one and be a little more laid back and a little less bataan death march vacation about it. And then they asked us about housing, like what kind were we thinking of.

Here is where we hit a snafu. Because we thought oh great about them going with us because they both have more Sam type jobs than Heather type jobs and Sam and I were envisioning this being a stay in a decent if not pretty nice hotel vacation. Maybe split a room with two queen beds but like at a hotel. Like clean sheets, possible room service etc. And then they brought up couch swapping and hostels and I felt bad because I know that is how a lot of people (including for reals me if Sam wasn't the money man here) get through vacation. And I guess if that was all I could afford, this would be different, but we can all afford hotels! Or we should be able to. Or, this was our vacation first and we SOOOOOOO knew this would be a hotel vacation and not an other kind of vacation, so why are you trying to make my lovely vacation a college kid vacation. (See why I might be a bad person?)

I just wanna stay in a fluffy hotel bed. That is all I want. We are going to Spain not I don't know somewhere else.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

3 weeks and some change

Just about to mark a FANTASTIC milestone, but even better: we will be marking that milestone at the 7th best restaurant in the world. IT WILL BE BLOGGED!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

babies--my thoughts from the comment section of a friend's facebook page

I am in a middle ground.

My new baby niece is SO CUTE I WANT TO EAT HER*. And also looks like she could be my offspring (looks like her dad with red hair, I have red hair and he looks like the boy version of me). And she makes me want babies like I have never known I could want babies since I mostly think they are just fine over there where they don't get me damp or smelly and I cannot drop them or make them cry.

However then I look at my life and my wonderful but totally child inept fiancee (he is going to prove to me that he can win over toddlers and pre-verbals just by convincing them to do what he wants, PS our cat understands that he is the boss of the fiancee, so I cannot WAIT to see this experiment) and I think oh God if we raise kids together I am so going to be the meanie**. Also how will I ever get to sleep or be sick because I am scared of him being in charge of their care. Also, I hear loving babies so much you eat them is frowned upon.

*Kind of like how Margaret wanted to put her nano in her mouth when nanos were new.

**Yes I am worried that my hypothetical future children will not like me as much as their dad, shut up.

***The *'s are added to this blog and not the facebook post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making up for it

In dealing with what the fiancée and I went through in the past few years, I kind of feel like a jerky-ish person because part of me really really needed him to make it up to me, and as he first started to get better and better, I sort of salivated over the idea of him making amends to me.

I have calmed quite a bit down on that. That was pretty clearly an anger issue on my part and as time passed and our life became normal (or I guess not marred by the chaos it was formerly steeped in) my anger died down. It became apparent that our lives had stabilized.

And now, I feel like everyday is making up for it. In his presence in my life and not just his being in my physical space, he was that often before, but his mental and spiritual presence with me and the cat. He is around in our apartment, and he adds to it, and we talk and we laugh everyday. I feel like our regular life is always making up for it by just being happy. Yesterday he steam cleaned our carpets and made us an AMAZING from scratch dinner: marinated pork tenderloin roast, oven roasted tomatoes with garlic and balsamic vinegar, FROM SCRATCH polenta (made with chicken stock instead of water), and a spinach salad.

It is amazing what a year can do!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stunned by the Gold Box

I have gotten into the habit of checking out what is in the Amazon Gold Box deal every few hours while at work. It is basically never anything I either want or would buy even for that price, but it is strangely curious to me.

I think it is because I am always astounded by what things fly like hotcakes. An electric wok is selling like gang busters at this moment.

Some random little still pretty expensive radio sold out the other day. Who knew people wanted those things SO MUCH that they would grab it from the gold box?


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Up and Coming

I always feel like I have many up and coming projects that succumb to the Tivo. Because I love me some tv watching. I love it. Love it. But it diminishes some other returns. I need to get a sewing machine out in the room I just need too the end.

I keep meaning to rearrange the apartment furniture but I don't think Sam will go for the big one I want.

Our main non-bedroom/kitchen/bathroom living space is a big "L" shape. The long bit of the L is carpeted and the short bit which goes into the entryway is floating wood floored.

Right now that means dining room on the wood bit (with a table, a credenza, and a bookcase) and living room/desk space/giant piano on the carpet. Obviously the piano takes up half of the carpet area, and I sneakily tucked the desk in behind it (which I am lobbying to be home of sewing machine out in the open since his giant piano gets to live in the middle of our space my stuff should too--also it is a giant pain in the ass to lug out and smash back into the closet for any project making). The other carpet half is tv and seating area.

What I WANT to do is move the piano into the short bit of the L. Make the dining room the music room if you will. Move the TV into the crook of the L and move the seating around it accordingly and put the dining area BEHIND it, so we could more easily and tidily eat/watch tv. Or really do any project and watch TV (like quilting or what have you) and desk with sewing machine would go back there too making a project area all handy and shiz. It might involve some wacky chair areas, but who cares. It would work so much better for us using more of our space at any given time.

It would however be a MAJOR, MAJOR moving of all of our stuff. All art (painting, photography EVERYTHING) would have to come off the wall and go back up somewhere else. Rewiring/plugging in/using all the many many many many things with cables that are connected to the TV would be another MAJOR chore as would getting the cable cables out from under the carpet.

So this might be a little pie in the sky. In other news I just want to swap some couches and chairs and wiggle the desk to a better tv watching while sewing behind the piano business place.

Friday, February 04, 2011

I need. . .

An ice cream

And maybe a vacation. One so awesome I would then need a vacation from said vacation.

Also maybe a pony.

Not really on the pony.

I am having a day of, shall we say, first world problems. No one should feel sorry for me.

They probably ought to kick me though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh N-Oprah

Okay, disclaimer I totally didn't watch the show where she outed her half-sister who had been given up for adoption. I did watch a long thing on it that was broadcast on the ABC nightly news with Diane Sawyer, but it RILED me up.

The sister has known Oprah was her half sister for 3-4 years, and in that time she did not ask for money, she did not sell her story to the tabloids, she did nothing but live her quiet little working two jobs kind of life.

Last fall, she did finally connect with Oprah. Oprah revealed her on TV which I understand, I mean if I were her I would want to get out in front of a story like this at all costs. Oprah having her sister on her show is not my issue. That is fine on its surface.

What riled me up, is that part of the televised program (bits that WERE aired on the nightly national news which I did see) involved Oprah's sister confronting Oprah's mother that gave the sister up for adoption. WHAT? Oprah, this woman was thoroughly respectful of your feelings saying on your show, "I think family business should be dealt with in the family" (or something close to that, quoting from memory here). And then you reward this woman's tact and sensitivity by airing an emotional and uncomfortable confrontation with her birth mother on national television. Nice. Way to repay that woman and her tact. Or are poor people's tact and sensitivity for sale? Or were your ratings worth more than your family?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Being good

I think it is natural to like things more when you are good at them. Like when I was growing up, I loved playing the board games I was good at and hated playing HORSE with my sister because I was so bad at it. Not surprisingly, she loved playing HORSE and hated and often refused to play the board games with me.

I half think I picked my major and slowly trained myself into laziness by picking things I was good at to do because when you are good at something either you don't have to work very hard at them OR the work goes easy and quickly.

I was bad at my job for a long time and so I hated it. I have been better at my job lately, and on the days when I do something really well, I love my job for at least a couple of hours or even a whole day. Until things get hard. I mean clearly, what I like is being good. Not necessarily the job. And I think that makes me lazy because there could be lots of things that I start out bad at that I could be good at, but they take a lot of hard and probably unfun work.

I don't have like an answer or a solution to this. I think I just need to keep reminding myself about this.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flabby Dabby Doo

I was just noticing the other night (when I went to the movies with friends) that I hardly ever walk anymore. I mean in part this is because it is the lovely and clement Chicago winter (because nothing says walking like below freezing temperature meets 10-15 mph winds). But I used to walk a lot. Even in the frozen times.

Going to the movies from work I ended up walking a bit, and then a few days before that there had been some sort of disaster/clusterfuck on the trains that I knew was going to result in packed cars, fighting to get on a train, and probably watching a few go by before I got that far. I decided my short trip on the train (4 stops, close together downtown ones) was not worth that, and I had other options. Above ground it was snowing fluffy lake effect snow during rush hour and had been snowing all day, so the bus seemed like an equally terrible and slow plan.

Then I thought "Eff it!" I was warmly bundled in my LL Bean down jacket that goes to my calves, a super long scarf, long johns under my jeans, winter socks under my winter boots, cozy sweater under the coat, firmly attached hood with fake fur snow ruff, and I could do this thing. It was about a mile and three quarter walk home, but if it was snowing in Chicago it was probably only a little below freezing instead of in the teens or lower, so let's get it done.

So I walked home. I strategically took a way that went past stores and starbucks and other places it would be totally cool to duck in and warm up if necessary, but it wasn't really necessary although I did make a stop off at a place I had been DYING to try. It has been open about a month and is called Grahamwich and is by chef Graham Elliot of Top Chef Masters and Master Chef fame and also President Obama's birthday dinner 2010 (as well as Heather and Sam Valentines Day dinner 2010, heather bday dinner 2009 and 2010) restaurant Graham Elliot.

Grahamwich is a sandwich shop with kind of spendy sandwiches (they are all $10 a pop), but I wanted to try it. It has had lines out the door and running out of food problems because it just opened, it was wildly anticipated, and was a foodie dream. So I hadn't gotten there yet. But this snowy night, there was NO ONE inside and the employees literally gestured me in. I got Sam the sandwich that sounds like Thanksgiving (turkey confit, sweet potato, sage mayo) and the taste I had TASTED like Thanksgiving, and I got the grilled cheese (white cheddar, cheese curds, tomato JAM, and proscuitto). It was awesome! Super super awesome best grilled cheese of my life.

Anyway, this post was about walking and not a restaurant review. Anyway, would never have eaten there if I hadn't walked home. On the way to the movies I noticed things that had changed since the last time I had been in that patch of downtown, and I reflected on how much more I used to walk. Yes, it does suck to walk in the rain or the scary bad cold, so I probably won't start walking then, BUT I have decided it won't be a bad thing if I start walking more. Staying on the bus or the train and walking the same path to and from home sort of limit what I am exposed to, so I am going to walk more. All I have to do is dress appropriately for the Chicago weather and I am golden.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

2010 in review

I was thinking about resolutions and the past year lately and I wanted to put it down here.

First, 2010 was an INCREDIBLE year for me. It started out pretty bad with my fiancée still living life as an active alcoholic, BUT on the wonderful front he is ending the year having plunged into treatment and loved it and he has 9 months sober. I also welcomed a new niece I like to call the "tiny niece" who is red headed and adorable and wonderful and the joy of my whole family. I took a great workshop from the wonderful Tim Miller, I finished 4 quilts (but I kept only 3, I need to keep more of them next year), I saw some great solo performance (from Tim, Mike Daisey and friends here in town). I deepened a friendship, I took part in the family program at Hazelden, I took a billion (well less) trips all over the country to spend time with family often for weddings, and I volunteered at the zoo. My life at the end of 2010 was full of joy in ways that seemed impossible to me at the top of it, and for that I am so grateful.

For 2011 this is the resolution agenda:
1) Let the baggage go and the water flow under the bridge
2) Monthly date with the fiancée at the Jazz Showcase (and maybe with Flaco's Tacos before
3) Instead of just watching tv (or playing vid games while watching tv), be sure to work on projects while sitting in front of the tv
4) Do a better job grooming my cat (or fight the hairball monster as it were)
5) Use my art institute membership more

All these are both healthy and doable and a couple of them are good for more than just me.