Thursday, November 17, 2011
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Even the early 2000s shaped back up after 2001 and were ok. I was in college with scholarship money to burn. I had hope. I had a FUTURE! I was going to change the world.
Yeah, 6 years down the road, and I find myself fresh out of all of those things: scholarship money, hope, the desire to change the world.
Now I'm jaded. I'm cynical to the point of being a severe pessimist. I didn't change the world. My degree didn't help me get a good paying job. The future just looks like more bills, more work, and even less money day after day.
At work, things are terrible. Our lab just had to cut hours by 50%. Yeah. Hearing that was GREAT!
So that explains my negative nelly attitude in this post. But in general, I'm really tired of the economy, unemployment, elected officials, protests, paying bills, being responsible, be a grown-up. It would seem that I'm primed for a job in our government. Badaboom-ching!
Anway. I just miss when things were bright and wonderful. Where's that blue bird that once sang to me from my shoulder? It feels like the glass isn't half empty or half full; it seems like the glass is shattered on the floor. Today, I feel every inch a member of my jaded generation.
At least knitting still holds true. I can always trust my needles to see me through. If I move them in the same way, time and again- if I work really hard, I'll come out with something useful, functional, and possibly beautiful. Knitting is the only place in my life that I feel that way any more. I once thought that if I worked hard enough that it would make me happy. That I would feel like my actions meant something. I've learned time and again this year that it isn't true. It doesn't matter how hard you work when education is last on everyone's balance sheets.
So here's to making your own happy. To finding that silver lining even if you have to scrape through 10 layers of crap to get to it. In this month of gratitude and thankfulness, I am still happy that I am mostly employed. But I can be bitter and thankful all at the same time, right?
I'll pack up my pity party now and head on back to knitting. I just felt the need to vent that out there. It lightens the load on my shoulders. Feels like the whole world is up there these days. :D
And thanks for the love about my successes at the fair. It means a lot. :)
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
That's right kids, I cleaned up at the fair. My mama taught me to be humble and not to brag, but I can't help it. I'm so proud of these accomplishments I could burst.
I went back to my post (on a limb) and copied the content below.
1 skein of handspun, beaded supercoils- first place
1 handspun crochet scarf - Queen Anne's Lace Scarf - first place
plain roll brim- 3rd place (the first place winner had a beautifully spun.knit snood that was lace. SOO honored to be 3rd after that work. (the hat is pictured above on that foam head)
1 felted singles shawl - Citron -third place
1 handspun shawl- The Age of Brass and Steam - honorable mention (the first place ribbon went to a beautiful lace pi shawl)
3 handspun hats -Fairy Lights didn't place
button tab hat- honorable mention.
I have 1 crochet monster (the one with 3 eyes from an earlier post) - first place with an award of excellence
1 knit shawl - first place with an award of excellence
1 cabled hat second place
1 knit monster (Maddox the monster by Danger Crafts)- first place and an award of excellence.
So for my first year, I think I made out like a bandit! Only 1 thing, ironically the 1 thing MADE for the fair, didn't place or get a ribbon of any kind. I nearly tore boyfriend's arm off as we walked around the convention hall looking for my spoils. When I found more than 1 blue ribbon on my stuff, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
And yes, I'm already plotting for next year.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I was 1 of your 25 million customers who didn't actually care that you decided to raise prices a big 60%. I don't have cable television, so I use your streaming and DVD delivery in the place of that expense. I thought it was still a better deal than a hundred dollar cable bill. I was diehard and sticking by your side.
Notice the past tense verbs? I'm an English teacher, so I used them on purpose. It wasn't a slip in verb tense.
No, it was purposeful because you have stepped in it with me this time. Splitting up the services so that I now have to have 2 bills to pay instead of 1, 2 log ins to remember instead of 1, and 2 new, unconnected websites to learn to navigate instead of one. Thanks. I really did think the all in one method was way too streamlined and modern. It was way too user-friendly. You are right. What the world needs now is 2 totally unconnected sites to order DVDs and streaming from. You are so ahead of the game there splitting things up and making them 100% separate. Yeah.
That is stupid. In a world where my phone can do anything my computer can do and my life insurance can be bundled with my house and car insurance, what the hell makes you think that splitting things up is a good idea? HELLO? Have you seen the Progressive "bundler" commercials? That is the future kids. Not the 1 site=1 purpose deal. Even clothing sites are now "bundled" so that you can shop all of the brands owned by a company by clicking tabs in the website. What's wrong with your management/planning team?
I know, I get that mail is expensive. I get that DVDs cost money to buy, keep in good condition, store, and redistribute. I get that. That's why I wasn't mad about you jacking my price up so high. I understand that you gotta feed your multimillion dollar bank accounts. I'm ok with you making money off of me by providing me with a service. I get that's what I'm paying you for. But I also expect I'm paying for leadership in a company I once respected and liked. I don't see that happening right now.
What I see happening is a company growing too big for it's britches to put it Southern-ly. You managed to become the "600 ton gorilla" that Wal-mart is and you shut down Movie Gallery and have Blockbuster on the ropes. You revolutionized how I get my movie content. You made my life simpler, easier, more entertained. Yes, you won the "badass idea/concept" of the year again and again. Americans welcomed you into their homes and their pockets happily. Until this year.
This year, you seem to have lost your damn mind. First, you wanted to jack rates up. How's that working out for you? Now, you're trying to push the market in the way you want it to move. You are probably right, Netflix guys. DVDs are probably going the way of the dodo and vinyl records. But you forgot that your market if full of red-blooded Americans. We don't do what we're told to do. In fact, when you tell us to do something, we often rear up against that and do the thing you tell us not to do. It's how we roll. It's part of the American DNA strand. Telling us that DVDs are the way of the past and that we should let it go (by making us have to go to another place to get them) isn't going to go over much better than your crazy price hike.
In fact, I'm one of those red-blooded Americans who is now pissed off and thinking of dropping you. I stuck by you through the price increase because I valued your product, but now you've gone and ruined that product for me. I know what your little move of splitting the company up is all about. You are either going to sell off the DVD side or just kill it quietly when you think I'm busy watching Mad Men on your streaming site. You see, Netflix doodes, you've broken the thing that kept you in business: consumer confidence in your product/business. I no longer trust you with my money. You're liable to use that money to do something else stupid that affects me as a consumer.
Since I can't trust you any more, I feel like our relationship is going to end soon. I may keep my account with your Qwikster branch, but I'll probably give Hulu.com my money for streaming. Or Amazon. Or someone else who hasn't gotten too big for their britches yet.
I hope this gives you something to think about while you ride that elevator to the ground floor of stupid and stock prices.
I'm also very tired of dump trucks in my city. We're growing (thankfully) and roads are being fixed and developments are going up to house people we think are moving to our city. With all of this going on, my city is crawling with dump trucks. I hate them all. 1-the drivers are all jerks who drive as though they are in a tank in some foreign country where other people on the road don't matter. 2-the trucks spit gravel etc. from themselves and kick it up off the road and at my car. I'm tired of the sound of gravel pinging off my 2 year old car. Yes, I keep about 3 school buses back, but they like to cut you off in traffic on the highway, turn in front of you, etc. etc. I'll be so happy when all this construction is over and the volume of dump trucks on the roads goes back to something more normal. I saw 12 on my 10 minute ride to work this am.
Monday, September 12, 2011
And then I freaked out the night before everything was due to be turned in at the fairgrounds.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fairly confident person. I usually do things very well (and boy is she humble!). Something about this unnerved me though. I felt unprepared and ill informed.
I sucked it up and put on my big girl panties, and on last Friday, I took the trip to Perry with my mama (for moral support) and turned it all in.
So far, I've entered 7 items.
1 skein of handspun, beaded supercoils
1 handspun crochet scarf - Queen Anne's Lace Scarf
1 felted singles shawl - Citron
1 handspun shawl- The Age of Brass and Steam
3 handspun hats -Fairy Lights, plain roll brim, button tab hat
This is fairy lights.
Those were all for the spinning/weaving competition. I hope I place at least 1 item. I'm really hanging my hopes on that crazy handspun art yarn of mine. I'll probably pout if it doesn't get some nod. :P
This next weekend will see me back at Perry for the last turn in of items. These will be made from commercial yarns. I have 1 crochet monster (the one with 3 eyes from an earlier post), 1 knit shawl, 1 cabled hat, and that might be the extent of it. I'd like to enter more stuff, but I don't want to put too much out there and wind up falling on my face with ALL of them. :P
Look for me in October with a notebook and a critical eye at the fairgrounds checking out what placed in my classes/divisions. I entered at novice/apprentice in all of them since it was my first year ever.
Anyone else got fair fever?
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Breaking News: In the middle of this blog post, guess what boy ims to tell me? The friend I made all this for, yeah- she's having a ....
you guessed it!
Takes the wind out of your sails to find something like that out the day after you have all of the handmade projects completed and beautifully arranged in the gift basket.
To finish this blogfail:
A semi-handmade onesie-
And a handknit monster that will have to get a bow and a skirt:
I also knit a pebble vest and crocheted up a little cardigan. I guess it's back to the drawing board. The only positive thing here: a coworker is preggers too. She had better have a little dude! Otherwise, I have a lot of random baby stuff made for a boy I don't even know. :D
See what I mean by rolling with the punches?
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I made these fellows in a couple of days while I watched Bones on Netflix. I recycled most of it too. The jeans for the short one from a pair of my old ones. All of the buttons came from my collection. The yarn is cotton and something I found in a bag of yarn from a thrift store. I love them.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sockhead hat from BohoKnits in MadTosh sockyarn in colorway Twain. This is the most recent of the knits to fly off of my needles. It is the second of three sockheads I'm knitting *love the pattern!
I want candy Merino.Tensel from Yarn Pirate. And now, a random assortment of projects that I cannot remember when I finished. I'm guessing these were all knit in 2010, but I could be wrong. It was really a year of shawls. I'm still on the shawl crack. I just took a month or so to knit hats.
boneyard shawl by westknits knit out of a mustard colored cotton I got in a swap. The color is wonky here because of the clouds.
honey cowl from MadTosh (kinda gotta thing for them *swoon* ) knit in some purple yarn I got when the Opelika yarn shop closed. I kind of made it into a mobius cowl. Of course it was on purpose, why would you ask that? lol [edited to fix the link and the pattern attribute...doh!]
Socks that Rock lightweight. The color is moss agate. The pattern is Stitch DC Infinity Scarf. I knit this at NWP in Orlando last Nov. Loved the project. It knit up pretty too. :D Ok. I think that is enough fiber in your diet for today. Whew. I have a few more in my flickr stream if you want to check them out. Knitters can go to my Rav page for more knitterly details. :D
Monday, March 28, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Thursday before last, the world went sideways for us at the Random Stitches house. We got an early morning call that D's uncle had been beaten by some unknown party and didn't look like he was going to make it. I had to go on in to work before any more details could come to light, but I was really upset. D's uncle (T) was one of the sweetest men I've ever met, and I cried all the way to work trying to figure out what in the world could have made someone mad enough to beat him to death. I managed to zombie through my day since I only had to suck it up and teach 2 classes as the other 2 were (thankfully) testing. We went straight down to the hometown that night to be there when everything started the next day, but T was already gone, and the story was known by this point.
The facts as known at this point: T tried to stop an argument between an 18 yo neighbor boy and his mother (the boy was on the attacking side in this whole drama). Words were exchanged, the boy tried to push T, and T wrapped him up in a bear hug. The two fell to the ground, and T being a late middle age man was not the first to regain his feet. Mr. 18 yo was. Mr. 18 went to kicking on T's face and head, and that's that.
T was brain dead at the hospital, and some of his organs were harvested for donation. I hope that some good comes from this horrible tragedy, and someone lives, sees, breathes better after T's ultimate good deed.
So that was Thursday.
Friday dawned, and because T lived in a poor neighborhood/town, the family had to clean out the house as soon as they could. D and his family went down there to try and get things boxed to move to a storage shed until things settle down. When they went through his truck on Saturday, they found a number of things stashed in the console of the truck. Now to understand this next bit, follow me back a year or two.
I have travelled a lot in the past few years for part of my job, and on one of these random trips across the country, I sent T a postcard. When I saw him again, he was as proud as a new papa about that postcard. Since he liked it, I started sending him a postcard from all of the little trips I would take on the weekends and on business. I loved sending him a card because I knew he would like it.
Flash back to the present and the clean out of the truck.
In the console, along with pictures of D's dad and step mom, D's Mema, and D was the stack of postcards I'd sent from all over the place. He kept them in his truck, right next to him, so that he could keep them safe and so that nothing would happen to them. These were the things he cared most about in life. A few faded pictures and some dog eared postcards.
When I sent those cards, I just sent them to make him smile. I thought he would like them enough to read them, but I never had any idea what they would mean to him. I can't tell this story without crying each time. There is a Jack Johnson song that has lyrics that now make me cry:
There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
no song that I could sing
but I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
like a shoebox of photographs,
with sepia tone loving,
love is the answer
at least for most of the questions in my heart,
like why are we here? and where do we go?
and how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy,
and sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together.
The first lines now make me bawl like a baby. His memorial service was last Saturday, and I counted everything in the church I could see to try and keep myself from crying. The preacher didn't know T, but I was preaching the eulogy in my own head. I keep thinking about those post cards now. They play on my mind all day and night. Those simple little cards sent with little thought or effort meant more to him than I ever knew. It just brought me back to the awe that I have for simple things. Doing simple, good things for people and the impact that those actions could have makes me think about the life I live every day. Mema hot on to me last year at Thanksgiving because I was sending T postcards and not her. I do not regret a single one I've sent now. I'm so happy I sent those to T because they meant so much to him.
So the whole point of this blog post is to think about those small things we could do for people every day that take little time, effort, or money to do. I challenge you and me to do them. Hold the door. Call your grandma. Wave at the strange fellow on the sidewalk. Make someone's day.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I love local. I love art. I love pottery. I love local art and local pottery. Kelly McKernan is my favorite local artist, and she linked into a giveaway by a local blogger of a local pottery artist. How much more awesome does that get?!! [I'm using local in a wide sense as all the ladies come from ATL].
PS- I own almost all of KM's prints on her website, an original by her, and send out her postcards through PostCrossing.com. I loff her lots. I also go to ATL when I can to see her openings or shows she's featured in. LOFF!
I hope all of you out there in blogoworldo had a great Valentine's Day. I did. My honey rocked out my day (also our anniv.). I've got pics taken, but they are still on the cam at home. Nothing dirty- promise. Just unbelievably sweet. :D I'm still smiling about it.
Joann's Fabric and Craft is on my *hit list. D's boss fired him 3 days before Christmas this year for being tired of the unrealistic expectations and telling him they were screwy. D left that day an hour and a half early after letting all of the managers there know. His boss called an hour later and asked him to bring the keys back to the store because he was fired. For leaving early. The day after he'd pulled an 11 hour shift because the boss couldn't make it to work for personal reasons. Jacked up much?!
So that is reason #1.
Reason the second: Now D is trying to make an unemployment claim. Joann's Fabric and Craft is fighting him on it. They are saying that he "quit" and that he used profanity. 1: he didn't quit. He told his boss he was going to quit if he didn't stop getting harassed. 2: Profanity isn't a fireable offense. It's a verbal warning. He got no kind of warning at all, written or verbal.
So please dear friends and readers, take your crafting dollars to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Hancock's. Don't support a store that doesn't care about it's employees. D was fired unfairly and had been being harassed constantly by his boss (who wasn't doing HIS own job) and his district manager. It's a crappy place that treats its employees like crap and has high prices for its own crappy merch. I haven't been back in the store since before Christmas, and I have zero plans for going ever again. I refuse to spend my money in such a place.
Monday, January 24, 2011
This is the first one to be finished - Citron. I'm wearing it elegantly around my shoulders with a large pin holding it in place.
I also made something of a caplet/infinity scarf/biggass cowl using this pattern [Rav link]. I used stripey handspun, and it is really kinda cute. I found that it wasn't going to be long enough for a full on scarf, so I sewed the ends together to make it a circley thing.
I've also been keeping my eyes and ears busy while I've had the needles clicking. This is what I've been watching on NetFlix. It's really funny to me that his movies/shows still work in the current time. I'm going to profane the name and say he may be as timeless as Shakespeare. :D I think AH is terribly funny. Funnier than most people/shows are even today. It's nice to watch a very different breed of TV. Smart TV even.
I've also stopped watching some TV. I love the original CSI and the NY spinoff. But I heard Stella was leaving NY, so I can't really bring myself to watch it without her. I hear Catherine is also leaving CSI, so I'm not excited about it. I don't know if I'll keep watching if they keep going without her. I'm still loving NCIS and NCIS:LA. Gibbs and LL are both my homeboys. I also like H5-O and Mike and Molly. I'm a little mad because I can't really watch Mike and Molly any more. They were letting the episodes hit the website for viewing but stopped after I got hooked. No show is good enough for me to have a cable bill each month!
I find I have a large span of time in the middle of my work day now that has no strings attached to it. I've been filling it with knitting to keep me sane on the job. I'm not really on the clock, so I dare anyone to tell me I shouldn't. The only problem this presents is that it requires me to have a project on the needles. I cast my last one off last night and didn't have the time to start a new one. Bummer. That is how I find myself here today, telling the world about my dilemma. Any suggestions from the unnamed They about what to knit next? It needs to be something passingly simple since I'm doing it in a distracted environment, and I don't want to stress myself with charts and crazy directions.
Well, it's off to the saltmines soon. I'll leave you here until next time when I shall portray another little playlette to entertain you.