Sunday, December 28, 2008

Work is Hell

It's been a long week. Work has been absolutely awful, as in coming home in tears on Monday. I feel so completely crumbled, torn down by that place; there are small moments of competency, or even a fraction of a second of flow, but mostly I just try to get through each day without breaking down, without walking out in a blaze of curses, without a broken soul. There are bargains made within myself about how long I will, how I will negotiate if ever actually offered the job.

Sometimes I feel like I am living someone else's life and I am not sure how I got here. Who is that person getting up and putting on make up everyday, who is that woman with the closest to chic and hip haircut I have ever seen in the mirror, who is that person picking up clothes the night before. There is no way I know that person who has to remember to take out the nose piercing all the freaking time for work. I cannot figure out where my time goes, aside from work and sleep. How did I once do other things beside work when I last had a full time job? Seriously? I did a lot of things it seems, plus often had a second job for periods of time. Okay, the other full time jobs where not as stressful every damned day which certainly helps to not feel souless at the end of the day, which in turn gives one energy to do other things.

The other day I realized that part of the problem with this place is that there is no intrinsic pay off, just a paycheck. I am not the person that can live like that long term. I do not feel like I am doing bits of good, or supporting associations that actually really make a difference in the world (okay, getting rid of termites is a good thing but not the kind of difference I am talking about). It occurs to me that I need to fill out that application for CASA that I received right after Thanksgiving. Now that is the kind of change, difference I can get behind. Which means it is, of course, a volunteer thing. However if I did something like CASA again maybe a job like this one, but not necessarily this one, bearable.

Right now I need to head upstairs, pick out an outfit so I can go to bed in order to get up in the morning where I will need to run to an office supply store to find pretty invitations that can run on a laser printer for an event that is in less than 3 weeks because that damn association is nuts because if they weren't I could have had the invitations I spent three hours drafting mailed out already. Yes the same association that emailed me at 4:26 Friday December 19th asking "where are we on sending out holiday cards". No they had never said a word about sending holiday cards before that email. Tomorrow I will tell my supervisor that I am taking Friday off so I can have another 3 day work week in a desparate attempt to stay working for them. Tomorrow I will come home and do something fun, or interesting, or in some way satisfying having nothing to do with work.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why I dig social media

Someone I know on an email list wrote about not liking texting/quick phones of the "I just left class" genre, not understanding the appeal of Facebook, etc. She talked about the lack of deep connection in her life, that she longs for debates with friends, about how she doesn't miss PTA meetings becuase the small talk about killed her. What follows is my response:

I completely understand wanting, craving deeper connection- it is that lack that makes living in Dayton so hard. The friends I have the deepest, long term connections with live far away. Through Facebook I have begun reconnecting with someone with whom I once shared a good bond but as our connective social circumstances shifted we had with one brief exception no real contact in a good 15 years until now where through Facebook we are learning about who and where we are now. Another bonus is that she lives about 3 hour drive from me, or maybe less I don't remember.

With the help of Facebook I am growing my connection with a few people from here (in fact some of them are invading our home the weekend between christmas and new year's - again please excuse the house!). [Here means the list I originally posted this on.]

So while Facebook, email, this list, Twitter* are not the same by any means as having deep conversations in person or even over the phone, it gives me ties that hold me in place - literally and figuratively, eases my sense of isolation, encourages me to reach out more than I would by sending random emails or finding backbone to call people. Like here, I am "meeting" people via these places as which helps. Without Ravelry* I don't think I would have survived this move. The online world is not, absolutely not the same but it can become a vehicle for real life connection.

*I am "dharmawrites" on both Twitter and Ravelry, in case you want to connect with me there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In which our heroine is, well trying to be a heroine

Yesterday work just about crushed me with the weight of the unknown, the largess that is it's disorganization, the impending week of stress. It is trying thing for me to feel incompetent and yet that is mostly how I feel at this job. Sure I have moments of smooth running but they are not many and the feeling does not last long.

Up notes

  • Delighted with the pianist I found for the President's Party in January
  • May have gotten invited to a cocktail event at the Banker's Club on Saturday
  • My Boys (TM) help get me through the day

Down notes

  • Following last year's model for a task as I was told granted me a ton of grief (a repeating motif)
  • Trying to find a simple file took at least 10 minutes because of someone's inane idea of appropriate way to store things on a computer (a repeating motif)
  • Tomorrow I need to be Cincinnati by 7:00 a.m. until about 5:00 p.m. where upon I need to come back to the office to load up my vehicle so I can prep for the breakfast meeting on Thursday which means I need to be a the hotel (local thank the goddesses without husbands) for 6:00 a.m. The breakfast is immediately followed by a committee meeting, then I go back to the office until 5:00 p.m. If I was not a temporary employee I would get no overtime or comp time at this place.
  • I have no background in Pagemaker or InDesign yet I need to produce a "wow" invitation to be printed this week for a January 17th event - an event I have no information on except date and place right now.
There's a ton more but it paints a picture doesn't it? One of My Boys (TM) JP said I looked beaten down yesterday. I wish I was better at hiding my feelings about this job but I'm not, at least not in front of my coworkers. Each day I take many deep breaths, I literally shake off things that get throw at me, gripe and make jokes with My Boys (TM) but I have not found my Zen about this place. Each day I challenge myself with goals about staying, which range from another hour, all the way through six months. Mostly I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I wake up in the morning knowing I will go back there. If only I could keep that sense of fullness for more than 5 minutes at a time. I suppose I should embrace the 5 minutes and focus on those moments. Actually I do because if I didn't reflect on them several times a day, I would have walked out already. Maybe I'm greedy thinking that work should be more satisfying but most of my other work has been or I've walked. Maybe my memory is fuzzy but I don't remember a place being such a nightmare from day one and every day like this one is but I suspect because I haven't experienced it at this level before in my work life. I have had sucky jobs but I expected them to suck (the Deb Shop in the Hampshire Mall comes to mind where I lasted 3 months working part time).

So I try to come up with schemes that would make it liveable to stay here. Mostly they include working less than 40 hours and dropping an association or two. If I could do that I would be able to lose the feeling of doing a really bang up job followed immediately by the sense of impending doom by all that is overdue somewhere else. It would be nice if I felt confident that I could make that proposal and it would be accepted. Instead I will focusing on getting prepped for the next two days, doing what I can before I leave, then I will focus on getting through until Friday. No promises about next week, sorry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bullet Points

Lila, our newest baby, is just so damn cute and has the bluest eyes.

How does one lose a 4 foot curtain rod?

I {heart} my knit groups.

Because I'm i
nsane I just cast on a holiday yesterday and as soon as I find my size 5 short circular needles will cast on another one. According to my files on Ravelry I have 9 (soon to be 10) works in progress.

Wednesday I almost walked away from my job. The post event email I received was that bad. Truly.

Because of a flip comment in an email we will have our first real company in Ohio and I can't wait but I wish some of those folks from HGTV would come over quick. This place hasn't been painted in a decade, there's the half assed wall paper removal happening in the kitchen.

Without "My Boys" at work there is no way I would have lasted there at all. They help made that crazy place fun.

Penn Station makes the most awesome artichoke subs.

Yesterday I scored the best deal on shoes. One pair normally goes for about $90, for me? $20. They look kinda like these to the left. Great for work and everyday. Wore them to knit night today, love them!

The second pair goes for about $60 but I scored them for $12.50 and look like high heeled oxfords - great for work when I need to be dressy.

Have I mentioned I lovelovelove shoes?

Now off to bed so I can face the job.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Haunted Streets

Lately when I take Puppyman (aka Wyatt) for a night walk he has been stopping at the beginning of the Greenway to stare across the street in the direction of Brommel Park. I never see anything moving or hear any noises. It takes a few tugs to get him moving. It takes a few more psychic tugs for me to shake the feelings his studious gaze to the north inspire.

Last night I took him out and he did not stop in his tracks however I was spooked by something else. Three darkly dressed children, the youngest was probably no more than six years old, walking, slowly rather aimlessly at 9:30 at night on a weeknight. They might be the kids who are often running after a dog that has escaped and they probably live on Wyoming. But tonight there was no dogs with them, nor were they calling for a lost pooch. There was something rather dangerous in a haunted aura sort of way about them. Their slow movement and dark clothes reminded me of a movie I could not remember but something along the lines of The Riches television which I opted out of following because the desperately dark story lines, the edge of total disaster caused me too much anxiety to watch it. It also recalled the episode of CSI where a house is surrounded by homeless people.

Tonight we reached the spot where he often stops but tonight he was paralyzed. No amount of tugging, coaxing would get him to move. He was smelling something that was absolutely compelling. Giving up I went to turn around and go home but then I thought I would try to distract him a bit and try looping around on the grass rather than trying to get him to walk on the path. Nope he wasn't having any of that either. He headed to cross the street and went to the infamous (in this house) white house and we walked to it's back yard which leads to the alley and back to our house.

My imagination tends to run rampant anyway so as Wyatt sniffed suspiciously my mind became a swirl of activity thinking of wild animals leaving scents (the cemetery one block south has been known to have fox); pheromones of fear left during a mugging (which almost never happens in this neighborhood); to obscure twisted tales that couldn't even fully form in the time I was standing there in the damp, chilled air at the same time I was trying to fathom how to get the dog to move.

Are there energies there that only beings like dogs and babies can sense? Are there deep dramas going on there? Scandalous rendezvouses? Or simple some new animal who we just keep missing who is giving off compelling scents. No way to know but it casts a whole different light on my neighborhood after dark.

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's the small things

We went to the tavern and came home to a huge mess compliments of Puppyman. I am so furious I can hardly talk. The dumping of the cat food bowls is nothing new, annoying and messy but nothing meaningful. He moved my bag to get to a tupperware container located inside that had some chicken and noodles. I decided to be responsible and take it home rather than let it sit around in the office fridge over the weekend. However I was not responsible enough, or perhaps too tired, to remember to take it out of my bag when I got home. Now we have one less awesome piece of rock 'n serve, which sucks.

But the worst of it is that he ripped my bag, which he didn't need to do because the zipper was open. It was a big canvas duffel with a flower print in mauves, pinks, and browns with nice handles that allowed me to carry it on my shoulder. The bag was good for short overnight trips, it held a number of knitting projects along with whatever else I might need for any given day.

Most importantly of all it came from my grandmother's home. I no longer remember whether I snagged from her enormous collection soon before she died, or whether I took after her death when we were doing some cleaning of her hoarder's apartment where the walls were suffocating with her endless piles. It was one of the most tasteful things she owned. Honestly. She had a lot of a lot of things but most of it was cheap and tacky. I called it my Mary Poppin's bag because it could hold an amazing array of things for all occasions if I cared to stock it that way; because it was the closest thing I have ever had to a carpet bag, an item that holds romantic, bohemian imagery and longing in my heart. Yes it had it's faults and I confess to looking here and there for something that better suited for the purposes I needed, but my attachment to this item went far beyond practical needs.

Tomorrow I will look at it again to see if a repair is possible. I will also look for a new bag. If I can do both I will hold both realities - the one that truly suits my needs and the one is attached to my heart.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

How to care just the right amount

Balance seems to be the theme of my life right now. Yesterday I worked 13.5 hours so I rewarded myself by going in an hour late. I felt like I totally paid for that when I received a long email from the president of my company with a thousand and one details that needed to be checked up for the event on Tuesday. Let's just ignore the part where there should be an established check list in the files for this event as they have been doing it forever and I just started a month ago. As well as another email ragging on how I did not follow the procedure correctly on one of their systems. Never mind I didn't even know about this system until Monday afternoon, tried to accommodate the request using said system on Tuesday and busted my butt to finish it on Wednesday before leaving at 3 for a different event.

While trying not to curse out loud, while trying to not cry in utter frustration I turned her brain dump email into a table with columns for draft dates, proofing responsibility, etc. I sent it her and received a positive comment about how it would certainly prove to be a useful document to have. Also she noted that as the event manager it was my responsibility to make sure it was all done and that some items were already late. Um, excuse me but I did not have a reference for 80% of the tasks or know of a place that anywhere that had all that data, and if it existed as it certainly should (since they have been doing this event for literally over 10 years) it should have been known to me long before 3 working days before the frigging event!

Did I mention their "training" sucks? That files are buried under seven layers of directories? That this place functions in crisis mode, a lot?

In the end I threw my hands up several time about several things spanning two associations and quite a few events. I stayed half an hour late which mean the net gain of time off today was half an hour. Most people who work here work late, a lot. The place is understaffed and needs a major dose of organizational management to restructure how it runs things. So how do I do enough work to keep things running reasonably, but not trying for a level of perfection that cannot be done here? How do I accept the limitations of not just myself but the whole company since there is little hope of things changing here. Things could run better but it would require someone, even little old me, to look over all the systems and create calendars for each association which would then be coalesced to figure out the crunch times and make recommendations on how to shift staffing, hire more employees, how to incorporate temps during heavy work times. Something, anything like that would help so much.

But since the likelihood of that happening is close to nil, how to I make this work in way that won't make me crazy. I am writing up notes by association where things are summarized, as I learn them; building calendars for events. To do my job reasonably well and work on creating systems because I just need to do that but be able to let it go when I leave, to not feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster while there, to have things roll off my back and not really touch me. That is the trick, that is my zen riddle.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Levels of assumption

Way back when I heard that one of the ways class gets demonstrated is how one finds a telephone number. It was posited that a lower soci-economic class person would use the phone book (remember those?) and an upper class person would call the operator.

Today was my first experience with the entrepreneurial association and I am their event manager. The event was held at a country club, a venue I'm not sure I have ever been to, ever. I have since learned it is a rather exclusive one at that. It was so clear that the people from this association have money, make major money. It was a joint event with another sibling organization whose guidelines I am not familiar with but for ours I know the members need to be owners, CEO, or a major share holder in a business that grosses at least one million and are under 50 years old. These folks read like that too. So did their spouses, who with one exception, were fashionably thin; who were with one exception perfectly stylish. With one exception the members appeared to all be white; with one exception one spouse appeared to all be white.

The other group had some stickers for spousal name tags since they had left the other format at their office about 2 hours away. At one point a spouse (yes all the spouses were women, and 98% of the members that came to this event were male) folded up a sticker tag that wasn't needed and without even looking for a trash container she handed it to me without even looking at me. It was so clear that as far as she was concerned I was merely staff and would of course handle cleaning up after her. It would have never occurred to me to act like that, to assume someone else would take care of my trash.

In the car returning from the event, my co-worker and I were chatting. Being me, I couldn't help stating out loud how white the event was though I did couch it to suggest that perhaps it was related to the area -southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. He chuckled and said something like "You're not used to that, are you?". No, no I'm not. I noted that wasn't shocked. He said perhaps I a bit surprised. I was but only because I like to be optimist and just because it made sense that this group would be all white did not mean that I had to expect it.

Which leads me to think, would I expect the behavior from a black woman that I received at this event? Probably not but then again I did not expect it from a white woman. It's not that I was surprised exactly but shocked at stereotype being played out.

It's been a very long day what with being on the job from 8am -9:30pm. My bed is softly calling me now. 'Night.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

CASA in the casa?

During the four days I had off from work I wallowed, I waxed, and I waned. On one of the more waxy days I contacted my local CASA office. This is something I thought about doing when I lived in Massachusetts and California but hadn't gotten to it somehow.

Yesterday I received an email about my inquiry. This line made me laugh:
Do you have some flex in your schedule?
Flexibility? At this job? For such an honorable activity? Yeah right. But I can do the application and if I pass muster then I will do the training. I don't know what the future holds and this is something I want to do so why put off these steps. No reason at all. The most daunting part is the 36 hours of training: 6-9pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and three hours on Saturdays for the month of March. I checked the work calendar I emailed myself the first week on the job and I don't think any of the events fall on the training days. Of course who knows for sure if I will still be in March. Or I could be there and I will still be doing things to move myself in a forward direction.

Way back in about 1994 or so I trained with Massachusetts Department of Social Services to become a volunteer foster care case reviewer. Since I working at the Smith College School for Social Work I didn't expect a hassle for using my lunch hour, give or take, to do this activity. I didn't get a hassle either. It was not an easy volunteer experience, many of the cases broke my heart, caused an internal wrestling to find the "right" answer, which of course was really only the best answer at that given moment. Sometimes it was inspiring. When I finally ended my service there, which wasn't too long before I left the area in 2001, I felt good about it but knew I had only contributed a drop in the bucket. But a drop is still one that wouldn't be there unless someone had stepped up. Volunteering with CASA would allow me to once again put a drop in the bucket. It's a small drop but a worthy one.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Starting at the beginning

It's December 1st and the first day to try a new attitude about work. I will confess the positivity is not flowing freely. Perhaps a cwaptastic night of sleep is to blame in part. though right at the moment I am distracted, happily, by my three light colored kittens almost playing together - quite a breakthrough. And the moment has passed as they are each on their merry way. Perhaps that is a reminder to take each moment, and try to find some joy even if it is brief.

I have been thinking of writing a post about how my dog is my daily zen lesson but perhaps it really is the cats. I am more of cat person by nature anyway. Marcelle came up on the bed this morning for a cuddle. Instead of craving sleep or crabbing about having to wake up, I found happiness in petting her, having her sniff my face and tentatively lick at the combination of sleep and tears in my eye. After walking the dog, and attempting to find some zen in that moment that was cold and dark, I sat on the couch to check email. Lila, the newest baby - she is still so small, came up on my lap for her morning check in as she often does. She is the one that is truly "my" cat of the six (yes I said six, yes I know we moved here with only four) and I appreciate having that special bond so much it is hard to explain to folks who aren't cat, or even animal people. She is staring at me while she sits on the dog bed now while I type. She just ran over to squeak in my face and sit on my hands as I type.

Sorry I just had to pet her. So often I wish I could take her to work with me. It wouldn't work on so many levels but I swear it would make my day better. She is sitting on my left wrist as a type now, batting at her own tail.

It's now time to get dressed and put a face on. My lunch got packed last night, just need to grab it. Melissa, I am going to give it all that I have today but I may wind up crying in the bathroom at some point. It's just where I am right now.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Putting One Foot In Front of the Other

Tomorrow is Monday. It is also the first of December meaning the end of NaBloPoMo, NaKniSweMo and NaKnitMo. In addition it means I made it through my first month (well almost given the four days off I just had) of work. Just the adjustment to work and its associated stress levels, that alone would have been, and has been, a lot. With this post I have completed my third NaBloPoMo "event" and I am rather proud of that. This one has been a rather emotional, self involved one but I think some inroads have been made.

As to the other two National Months, not quite as much was done but again given the above I'm pretty satisfied. I finished Owen's sweater, Miche's shawl is about 85% done, I actually did a little work on the sweater for Her Geekyness that I started last November for NaKniSweMo, and I cast on the matching sweater for Henry, Owen's little brother.

If I have picked up any new readers (I hardly ever check my stats),thanks for coming by and I hope you stick around. For my long time readers, I know I navel gazed a lot so I thank you for your indulgence.

Remember tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Take a moment to honor those who have died, those who are living with AIDS, consider making a donation or volunteering. Never assume that you don't know someone with AIDS.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Eye on the Present, and the Future

A few days ago I received a direct message on Twitter from an online friend of about three years asking me to email her about life coaching. In essence she was offering me a session. I plead poverty. She responded by expressing a belief in "paying it forward". With tears in my eyes I accepted the offer. We have never spoken on the phone, never met in person. This afternoon was our phone call.

She was able to coalesce a whole lot of angst and stress very well and with a lot of empathy. The upshot is that ultimately I will pursue a degree and license to become a therapist. But what I need to do right now is face life a day a time; to stop trying to prepare for every contingency, hedging bets, etc.

Everyday before opening the day to my office I will shake off negativity, go there with a smile, do my work in the best way possible. My first goal is to get through the next month or so in order to actually get the job. After that just focus on getting through until June before talking to them about any summer time off for my other job. If I can't get the time I will have at least been financially solvent (relatively) during this time which is an area of big stress so that if negotiations fall apart I will be in a better place and at a point where I start getting paid by DNE. She also pointed out that after six months I might have made connections for a job elsewhere as a planner that would better fit my long term goals, but even if not, all the above will still be true as well.

In addition to that I had been thinking about ways to make this work and fit in other things that are important to me. Once upon a time I worked full time and managed to cook, garden, and who knows what else (hey it was a long time ago!). How can I do that now? That's another piece that I have been contemplating. Of course part of it involves getting up earlier which is a bit of a challenge;
I want to do some stretching, pilates or something in the morning before work. The other place that is going to take some work is planning meals better. Okay at all. It has all fell to Her Geekyness. (No she hasn't found another job yet, so if y'all have any leads, let me know!) Which is reasonably fair given how stressful and exhausting this job has been, is not a state I want to keep and once she starts working won't be possible.

Aside from all this practical stuff, it was so wonderful to talk to Melissa live. Sometimes when I actually talk to someone I have known online their voice doesn't fit my imagination and it takes a bit to realign perceptions with reality. There was none of that dissonance talking her. She just sounded like Melissa. It is sweet to have bonds confirmed when you take them deeper.

Time to make a life calendar so I can stay in shape, meditate, eat well, and be a happier me. (M - let me know if I missed anything or misremembered something 'kay?)

Friday, November 28, 2008


Sorry folks, I got nothing tonight. There are a few random things but nothing really compelling. I hope to have something tomorrow but until I know, I'm not talking about it.

Tired. Really tired. Sleep is going back to it's usual lousy state of waking often. Actually I have already dreamt about work. Great huh?

Thanksgiving yesterday was really nice despite my concerns and whiny of the other day.

One way or the other I will have something more exciting to read next post. At least I really hope so. Inspiration just isn't there tonight. The hefty glass of white wine over at the Tavern probably isn't helping.

See you on the 'morrow.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

It is thanksgiving so it's of course that is a focus for many of us today. As hard as things have been internally for me, I am still grateful for many things. I am amazed by how people can show up in your life in unexpected ways that ooze with love and acceptance.

My goal is be more like for other people. I know I can be a good friend, but I think I need to focus more outward than inward in order to create some redirection in my world. I have not seriously volunteered since moving here and that would be a good place to start. (However I am about to become a liaison for HSPI with the South East Priority Board, so that's something.) Perhaps I will look into being a CASA which is something I have been looking at for a long time. I just plugged in my contact information so maybe I'll get a call soon.

My list:
- family
- friends
- my furry children
- my blog/twitter/internet friends who continue to amaze me
- that I have a home to live that has character even if it's chilly as all get out
- m optimism which is has been a little lacking but is never gone

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

South Park: The Novel

As I sat in my neighborhood association meeting, knitting as I usually do, listening to the cast of characters, I thought, if I were a novelist these meetings and the conversations that surely happen once they are over would make excellent fodder.

We have the president who has been serving for a decade tirelessly, though tired. She is a mom of four, a landlord of over a dozen rental properties and works at least 20 hours a week in an unpaid position serving her community.

The treasurer who holds the same position for his church as he works as an archivist on the national level; he is married to a lovely woman who writes house histories and who owes her health, in part, to a neighbor who has since moved away after donating his kidney to her.

The older gentleman who is deeply concerned that there someone is pulling something over on us at every turn.

The young couple who just moved here: she is heading up the defunct newsletter and he is now the recording secretary. They an energetic pair who have dove right into the neighbor with vigor.

Traditionally we have had a Christmas Tour. I say traditionally like it's been going on for decades, I have no idea it has been happening. Anyway for a set of reasons publicized, and I am betting a host of reasons only talked about on cell phones and private emails exist as well. Or that's my latent writer imagining a plot line that ties people with historic disagreements and broken friendships and deep connections that resurface sideways.

Ah, if only I had the attention span to write a novel.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How do I find my bliss?

It may be time to reread my book, "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow", except deciding what I love enough to do it for work and be successful at it has always been a problem. Of course the last time I read it was over a decade ago and perhaps I more self aware this time around.

Since then I deeply researched going to culinary school and was set to apply before fate intervened and I moved to California. Since I read it I became a doula, something I love a great deal but without doing teaching and other related things (which is hard because many hospitals only use RNs to teach childbirth classes), one can't make a living doing this. Not easily anyway, been there, done that. Since then I became reacquainted with Dance New England (please excuse the incredibly dated site, if you need work for your portfolio and want to redo it, I beg of you, contact me!) which has given my tribe and increased my event planning skills.
In the time since I read it I began and dropped out of graduate school. I have moved from Massachusetts to California and to Ohio. My life has changed a lot. But has my passion, assuming I can uncover it.

For eons now I have wished to sit down with a life coach who would help me, make me, draw out of me what I am hiding from myself. Now of course there is a fear that comes with that wish, that I will unbury so much that it will turn my life upside and shake it like a snow globe only nothing is glued down.

So dear readers if you have ideas, books or websites to recommend, opinions to weigh in on what I should do with my life, I encourage, hell I beseech you - comment! Yes I am resorting to asking virtual (ha!) strangers to offer advice on my life. Did I mention I'd a tad desperate.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A good one liner

At my knit night Andi asked me about the job I applied for, which I had twittered about earlier in the day. I replied that it was at UD. There was a chorus of what job, what department.

"Administrative Secretary for the Center of Catholic Studies"

Snickers, raised eyebrows followed, as did this comment: "Well that would kinda be an oxymoron wouldn't it."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have cheeseball, will party

Being in the Midwest is really different from the other places I've lived. This afternoon I saw my friend Andi mention on Twitter that she was cooking for "Practice Thanksgiving". I asked if this meant that she got to have two thanksgivings and when I could come over. Within about 10 minutes she called and said com'on over to my moms around 6 tonight. Seriously people I was joking but who am I to turn down yummy food.

For absolutely no good reason I didn't get on my way to Huber Heights until five minute before six. In an attempt to cover my faux pas I called Andi to tell her that I was running behind. She told me to worry not as she was also running behind because the roasted Brussels sprouts had taken longer than expected (they were well worth any delay! Her Geekyness loved them too, I must have the recipe). Somehow I figured I would arrive after she had as she lives much closer to her mom's place, but no. I rang the bell to a house full of strangers. Andi's mom is a charming and gregarious hostess, introducing me to everyone in one fast sweeping motion before leaving the family room to check on something in the kitchen. After moving the large ottoman so that I would have somewhere to sit, one of the women pointed out the appetizer on the table "We have a cheeseball!" My immediate thought that cheeseball must be code for "the party has started!" A bit later another woman spread large dollops of said cheeseball on some crackers and handed me the plate. Alrighty then. Actually it was rather tasty and clearly homemade, not one of those rubbery molded in a factory concoctions.

Soon Andi, Hubs and Sprout, their adorable daughter arrived, complete with Sprout wearing cat ears and tail. So cute. We all chatted a bit and then there was food and I mean a lot of food! I learned the orgins of Practice Thanksgiving. Many years ago Andi's mom joined a sorority, after college years it seemed to me but I could have that wrong. Anyway, soon after her mom joined she instituted this tradition of them having thanksgiving together the weekend before so that they could share this ritual with friends and family without making oneself crazy trying to do it all in a day. I think this is a Brilliant idea and am considering franchising it. Sprout read us two books after dinner in between the adult conversation of Andi, Hubs and I, it was sweet.

I made a plate to take home to Her Geekyness and gratefully thanked Andi's mom for her generousity in inviting me into her home and this tradition. It was a really sweet evening stepping just a bit into someone else's world. I like doing that even though it can be a bittersweet experience. There continues to be no thanksgiving ritual for my family of origin. This will be Judy's first thanksgiving without her husband, Judy hosted our family yearly get together for almost thirty years. This year will be our second here in Ohio and already it is different from last year as the hosting home is switching this year. It's not a bad thing but her parents' home has become a bit of a base for me and I am sad to not be doing the holiday there again this year. It means it will be larger, different yet again. There are moments I feel too old, too sad for what is no longer to have no consistency in things that were once landmarks of my year, something akin to knowing the sun will rise - you don't know what exactly will happen, you know that it rises says nothing about whether it will be sunny or gray, but the sun is there somewhere. The family of my youth has shifted dramatically, there is a generation after me now, I know them less not more as I had always hoped, there are fewer of them than ever. Creating your own family rituals is fun but also challenging. Having to tweak them because of changes (like divorce), while it still has this air of "Hey I can make it anything I want", there is a piece of my that misses being a kid and just having it laid out for me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Little girls are sugar and sweet and sexy?

It's not like things will change with this (old news, I told you I've been holding on to things for a long time to write about) information, because it never does. Life is so much like Pandora's Box, once it's open there is no way to re-contain what's been released. The sexualized identity has been let out of it's dark corner, for better and for worse. While it is good in so many ways, among them opening lines of communication and at least some of the time allowing misinformation to be corrected, it has also changed the way society looks a girls. A lot. I have found it hard to browse the clothing racks at stores for girls 5-10yrs old because I know I would have never be allowed to wear things like that and honestly that makes me happy. It feels like growing up has been accelerated but only in regards to sex, not politics, not fiscal management, not study skills.

From 2007 also I saved this link to "special" Barbies. I swear that every time I scrolled and saw the words "Barbie Pivotal Body Cabaret Dancer" I though it said "Private Dancer", yes as in that song. Though the song talks about the men being faceless and having no identity it is still about women selling their bodies. It's about using one's body to get things, money, and hope (the only thing left in Pandora's Box) for a better future.

At the same time this 2007 article (I am certain I could easily find articles from this year if I searched but these are already in my files - I being lazy on day 21 of NaBloPoMo) is scary to me for so many reasons. The idea of using marriage imagery in a commitment ceremony designed to strengthen the relationship between a father and a daughter is creepy. There is no other word for it. That it mimics a nuns "marriage vows" to god is not lost on me. I do question the statement towards the end of the paradoxical effect the purity pledge has on sexual behavior, only because I wonder where the data comes from even though I believe it on a gut level. I do not doubt that many Purity Pearls still participate in sexual behavior, just not vaginal-penile intercourse so they can preserve their virginity. The lack of anything else being "counted" as sex is heterosexist, limiting and delusional. One problem with that is the these girls are not educated on safe sex, which means the sex they likely are having can still lead to life changing repercussions. Another level of scary right there. Some critique is out there which mirrors some of my thoughts when I first read about this - could all this focus on virginity actually sexualizes the very population it purports to protect from sex?

I think it is harder for young women to make good decisions despite the increased openess, despite and maybe because of the ability to find out things on the internet. It is hard to know how and who to be when so many of the examples have been turned into a porn caricature of everything from the nerd, the cheerleader, the good girl, everything has been shown with a flip side that is all about letting loose, being the vixen underneath it all. While I love all that for me, as an adult, as someone who has explored the nuanced meanings of being lots of things at once, I also remember being a teen who was playing at those things and not knowing what it all meant; and I was lucky that worse things did not happen to be because I was playing with fire - a lot- in those days. I cannot imagine trying to navigate those waters now. I am not saying the world is more dangerous than it was, I am saying the images are stronger and the pressure is different.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday


  • To learn that my friend Miche does not carry the gene for breast cancer which means her two sisters and two daughters can breathe a little easier
  • And amazed that the last two days at work have been something resembling reasonable
  • For catching a moment of the short fluffy snowfall that made the world outside of my office look like a life-sized snow globe.
  • To come home to a tidied habitat thanks to Her Geekyness.
  • That after my thrift shop excursion it's felt like I have a whole new wardrobe this week.
You know doing this TT thing, it is a good thing. Really. Gives one the opportunity to hone in on the positive even when life is challenging.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes these things are just so right on

When I remember, on Sundays, I read Rob Brezny's horoscope in the paper. His "predictions" are on target in unique ways, and they are never the typical one liners. Have you read him? Since discovering him while living in Northampton and reading The Valley Advocate (sometimes referred to as The Barely Adequate") which runs his column, I am a fan.

Sometimes his horoscopes are more like an enigma, they require actual thought before you can shake your head in violent agreement or shrug it off as meaningless drivel. Actually I have often done neither because it can take the unfolding of the week before I can begin to make head's or tales of his writings as it might pertain to me.

This week however it was clear as day how it applied to me, how much it summed up my conundrum.

"Dear Rob: In the past I've thought of balance as the ability to move between extremes without falling down. I pride myself on being a Weeble-Wobbler, the toy that always swings back up when you try to tip it over. But lately I'm wondering if I should expand my concept of what we Libras do. I have fantasies of experimenting with a balance that more closely resembles walking on a railroad track. I could dip a foot here and there, first this side then that, just for fun, and still remain on the track. Maybe in time I could even dance on the rail. Your thoughts? - Libra in Expansion Mode." Dear Expander: The coming weeks would be a great time, astrologically speaking, to try the experiment you described.
I have more than fantasies of changing the way balance manifests in my life, particularly regarding work. Going from nothing to full-time, stressful, banging your head against the wall work is more like riding the pendulum than practicing a balancing act. Being in school and unable to write, to not being in school and still not writing, again not an even keel. Tiny periods of being flush with cash, the rest of time rummaging in the change jar for cat food - I detest that!

For many years I have prided myself on my ability to ride the wave, and inevitable crash; I do think it takes talent, grace, and perhaps a touch of stupidity. Perhaps it's age, perhaps it's the crashing of the economy, perhaps I'm tired of being tossed about by the tides. I still yearn for flexibility, I crave a reasonably consistent income without long dry seasons matched with the briefest periods of lush cash; my problem is how to meet what appear to be mutually exclusive goals. I feel like I am a jill of all trades, mistress of none (hush GWF!). That's not quite true but close enough to the truth to make me feel like I have thrown away too many years doing whatever rather than whatever I choose. This is not the best fiscal climate to build a niche self employment business, though I suppose that is merely an excuse. Sigh.

Okay enough navel gazing without a solution, I think I will knit or play Zuma. But before I sign off, seriously check out his horoscopes!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some phrases leave me cold

Or more accurately, peeved and irritated. It is uttered by women about women and yet I find it belittling and sexist. The phrase has been circling around for a few years, I can find a reference dating back to 2004. The offending catchy and annoying verbiage is girl crush. I avoided even typing it as long as I possibly could without driving my readers crazy. From the first time I heard it rubbed me the wrong way completely, and initially it was hard for me to put my finger on why it disturbed me so much. But the more I heard it the more I realized that it felt like derogatory version of what was truly being expressed.

A "girl crush" appears to describe one woman finding another woman admirable, intelligent, graceful, creative - whatever appropriate adjective applies. This is used by heterosexual women to describe being "smitten" in a totally nonsexual way; though often straight women will offer up example of stars that they have a "girl crush" and clearly find the option of their obsession totally sexy and hint that they would maybe even do, as in wouldn't kick out of bed. It is important to note that I have so far only seen a sexual tone of the crush being applied to famous people so there is no chance of having to face the fluidity of sexual identity, which is borders dangerously close to homophobia.

The overall notion is not new however it has been posited that it has not been been used so openly in several generations. It also sounds rather Single White Female in some of the descriptions found online. Apparently it can be used to describe a whole section of the population in a very negative fashion (this link demands a separate post by someone way smarter than me). Makes me love this term even more, not. Moving on. The Times article suggests that it's better than a boy crush because there is no break up, except other sources strongly suggest that's not true. Some suggest that crushes can become great friendships, others say no. One thing I have noticed about a lot these crushes is that the object of affection represents what the crusher longs to be, how they would like to be perceived.

This I think is the crux of the problem for me - by naming your role model a crush it feels like the crusher has no faith that they can attain those traits, that their desire to grow and develop is not realistic - that it is indeed trivial enough to be a fleeting connection, a one-sided relationship. What a sad statement the women are making about their faith in themselves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In which our heroine had shopping success

Thanks be to Andi I had the best time shopping at Village Discount Outlet today. She introduced me to this place last year and I have never failed to score excellent deals. There are two thrift stores in near each other (I think I got the name right) but I've only been to the one on Linden. I seriously {heart} this place. For under $24 USD I scored:
  • a deep cranberry/purple (hard to describe) long, lined rain/trench coat by Fleet Street for $4.00. A quick search on the web tells me that even though it's a few years old I scored big time!
  • a pair of The Limited black pants that are great for work, more casual than I've been wearing but dressier then the bulk of my closet for $1.25.
  • another pair of pants by Clio, which seems like it might be a defunct company but fit great
  • a little black sweater with mock turtleneck, because one can never have too man black tops
  • a fabulous electric green lightweight sweater with 3/4 sleeves
  • a more casual green top that will work for the job
  • a reddish purplish cotton top with a little lacing at the neckline, more for fun than work
  • two dress tops that are great for work
  • a cute long cardigan in autumn red, brown, and burnt orange colors that closing with a simple thin leather like tie just below the bustline
  • a skirt with great embroidery that Her Geekyness doesn't like and doesn't quite fit me, it's the only loser in the bunch.
I am so happy that everything but the skirt fit - the store doesn't have a fitting room. Tomorrow I will wear an outfit that cost me $5.00!!! Woohoo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Matter of Civil Rights

The idea that marriage for lesbians and gay men was something to work for entered my life as a living breathing entity when my friend Ninia Baehr whom I meet when she was began working with me at Eve's Garden in NYC. We became fast friends bonding over a myriad of issues including the research for her Masters thesis; we talked about the interviews for the project while shipping dildoes across the country. When her thesis was published she listed me in the acknowledgments which touched me greatly. She moved to Hawaii, I moved to Massachusetts but we stayed in contact (imagine it, we managed that without the benefits of email and online social networking!).

In late 1990 or maybe it was early 1991 I received a news clipping from her about her latest project - suing the state of Hawaii for the
right to marry. Initially the ruling was in the couples' (there were three couples) quest. Ninia and I had many conversations over the years about this case and the ideals behind it. She wasn't sure she wanted to marry her then partner, Genora, but the fact that she didn't have the option rankled her. I agreed with her. As the case dragged she and Genora moved to to the mainland landing in Maryland. The two of them traveled doing what she called "dog and pony shows" to raise money and awareness. I drove to Boston to surprise her at one of these shindigs back in 1996, I think it was and supported her. Sometime between when this started in 1990 and before it ended in 1999, Ninia and Genora's relationship dissolved which I knew about but needed to be kept quiet in public. It was challenging and incredibly stressful for Ninia to keep doing these ''shows" while separating from her partner but her committment to the right to marry never waivered.

The world of marriage in the United States for lesbian, gays, bisexuals, and transgender/genderqueer folks has changed a lot since I received that clipping in 1991. The world of marriage in the United States for a lot of populations have changed a great deal. African Americans could not marry one another during slavery. There were laws in various place that prevented marriages betwee
n caucasians and asians as well. In the scheme things marriage for LBGT folks doesn't seem to be such a far off.

Except in many ways it is because it seems that a lot of people don't want to share the word "marriage". Civil unions are okay, dome
stic partnerships are acceptable, but marriage? It seems that is what rankles. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are nice but relatively useless when compared with marriage which is gifted with state and federal benefits galore. I have personally experienced the benefits of marriage and the limitations of domestic partnerships; the ease of being covered by benefits on a spouse's work insurance and the financial hell of trying to use the education benefit for my "partner". I worked the difference to my benefit when living with my partner by claiming her as a "tenent" in order to maximize my taxes since my home now qualified as a rental.

So what's the real problem here. The problem, to me, is that marriage as it stands in this country marriage is a dual entity, a clear blend o
f church and state which stands in stark contradiction to the proclaimation that the two should be kept separate. Yes there are those who do civil marriages (which I did, and many of my friends have), there are friends who have done spiritual unions and not filed for the other piece (which I have also done because I had no choice as I could not legally marry in Massachusetts at that time). But why should they be linked as they seem to be and have been historically. Sure one can go to city hall and walk out with all the attending benefits and responsibilities but why call it marriage? In Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Maine, California, Washington there exists varying degrees of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships granting varying levels of state benefits. Well that's fine if you never ever move and are a tax resistor who doesn't file federal taxes.
If everyone had to go to city hall to file for a civil
union in order to get the benefits handed out to those brave, foolish, hopeful enough to believe in legally tangling their lives with someone else and leave marriage to the spiritual or celebratory union to be held in the anytime with or without the legal piece. How hard would that be?

In Loving v. Virginia the right for interracial marriage was taken up by the ACLU as a civil rights matter. The decision says, in part:
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
Change the statement around to fit the LBTG population and see whether you think it still works; I do. The decision goes on to say:
There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.
Limiting marriage to heterosexuals does nothing but maintain that only different gendered people can marry. To what end? Who is protected? Is heterosexual marriage worthy of supremacy?

Proposition 8 in California has unleased a n
ationwide response, mostly of anger and hurt. Melissa Etheridge has written that if she is not granted all the rights of any other citizen than the state of California should not expect her to pay taxes. She has a point. Today there were demonstrations throughout the country to express the disappointment, the anger, to make clear that we will not be silent. Though California's proposition was not the only state in this year's election to pass anti-marriage bills - Arizona, Arkansas and Florida also did, California has borne the weight of the LBGT's outrage because of marriage was possible and this is the first strike in moving to change the laws.

The other day I posted my notion for handling civil unions/marriages to a primarily liberal, aware community that I am part of and was reminded that such folks are unaware of the limitations of civil unions, that there could be another way to do things. It is up to those us who are personally involved because of we are not straight, or those who love people who are not straight to make clear that this is not about "marriage" but about civil rights, about equality.

Personally I don't know that I would take adv
antage of getting the civil right associated by legally committing to a partner but I am damn certain that I should get to make that decision and not the government.
I'm not certain this piece is as clear, or on target as I would like but I hope it inspires my readers to think about this issue and go find better articles on the subject.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sometime I will write about deep thoughts

This job thing is kicking my butt and I have big ideas when my mind drifts (which it really shouldn't while at work but does), only to get home way too tired to write anything coherent. My bookmark folder, writing ideas, is bursting with links stored for anywhere from a day all the way to over a year ago I'm sure.

Some subjects/link titles that are rummaging around in my brain:
  • Prop 8 and the racism overtones
  • "Girl crush"
  • Nebraska Safe Haven Act
  • My Dog, My Daily Zen Lesson
  • Push Presents
  • Living in A Porn Driven, 'Look at me' Culture
  • Purity Promise
  • Age and my life choice
  • Pregnant Men
  • Knitting projects

Tonight I went to the South Park Tavern for the first time since early September. Isn't that sad? It was nice to see some friends, the jukebox was often too loud, some good local political/social debates, silly talk, and getting to newer to the neighborhood folks.

I hope this weekend to sleep in, get a lot of knitting done, cuddling with Her Geekyness, and some quiet brain time. Big goals here people.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I have some friends who do this TT thing and I have thought that it could be a good exercise. In these times of job stress it might be a good thing {tm}, you know?

The List

1 - Grateful for having a job that pays more than $8/hr.
2 - Thanks to said job I have decided to ditch the moniker of "TGF" (The Girl Friend) for my partner. It was a simplistic nickname when I started this blog which came from a joke long forgotten. I have never loved it and without thinking last week at work I referred to her as "Her Geekyness". I just asked her if it was okay with her if I changed her label on the blog and since she proud declares herself a geek, all is well.
3 - Thankful for Her Geekyness's support about the said job, which includes okaying me quitting once she is ensconced in a job, should I still want to leave.
4 - The snuggling of cats.
5 - My knit groups without which I would have any remaining bits of my sanity.
6 - My internet buds like Jbeeky, Mush, Mollena (not work safe!), Sarah, Melissa, Denise, and Rabbitch, just name a few.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (nearly)

I am too tired to truly do this subject justice but for those who know, you can begin to guess some of my thoughts.,2933,409262,00.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dazed and Confused

I have never seen the movie so I don't know whether my state relates at all to the plot, however it describes me pretty well right now. My work day started at 6:30am at a local Hol*day Inn for a monthly breakfast meeting for one of my associations. Apparently when I start doing these on my own (should I stay at this job) JP recommends me getting there at 6:00am to have enough time to do the set up on my own. Great. No getting off early today though I was told that perhaps I could leave early on Friday. Do I want overtime pay or time off? Hard to know which is better.

Which is the crux of the matter. Right now the money is much needed. In truth that won't change anytime soon. I have decided to keep job hunting and in theory devote some time to other more flexible (read self-employed) options. However this place would provide health insurance which none of the other options, as they exist, would provide. It's nice to actually have things to do even if they require knowledge I don't have, impossible deadlines, four associations all clamoring for attention, and a company that needs a structural organizer (think they'd hire me as a consultant instead?).

I am totally being treated as if my hire is a done deal, which is flattering, to be sure. Today the Associate Executive on two of my associations told JP when he showed up this morning (they were tag teaming) that the group wouldn't even miss him, that I was a quick study, I could practically do this myself next month, etc. It was all really nice because in truth I am not confident at all that I am grasping this stuff. I remain unconvinced that I am rocking this job.

If I take the job, how do I keep my commitment to DNE? If I have to be around a lackluster (predominately) bunch of office mates, and mostly conservative people in my associations (the remodeling industry and pest control for cripes sakes!) I am going to need a dose of my "tribe" something awful by August. I would gladly take the time off without pay, my other salary would far make up for it. It could work as long as I could get regular vacation with pay from this place because I will need time off from them that do not include my usual working vacation. Who knows what they will say once I finally find a stud for my nose piercing which is feeling awful empty with the ring missing. And I will definitely need more clothes if I stay here. It seems quite clear the overtime is part of the job but no overtime pay or comp time. That is not okay, not at all in my book. Well maybe if I would be making 40K or more but I would not be, not even close. It is not clear whether I would be able to ever leave early. I doubt it because no one has given me any indication that this place is not crazy with screwy deadlines, last minute changes and additions to programs, et. al. One office mate who seems rather like a Negative Nelly every time I talk to her said today that this place is "toxic"; she also told me she's been there for 4.5 years, 2 years longer than she planned. Hm.

What I do know is I don't want to be like Negative Nelly. I don't want to suddenly find that it's two years later and I'm miserable but getting a paycheck. What I also know is that I don't want to keep struggling to pay the ultities and groceries. Rock. Me. Hard place.

This isn't exactly how I envisioned this post, I seem to think there was something a bit more poetic roaming in my head, but since I slept like crap, woke way earlier than I'm used too and worked my butt off, this is what y'all are stuck with for this post. Sorry.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First this, no no *this* first

See that title? That is the easiest way to sum up my job. Truly.

Today should have been about calculating the judges' scores to determine the winners for the, er, well I can't really say, um, the remodeling whatsits awards. The winners need to be contacted, thank yous need to go to the judges (along with gift certificates for Star*ucks - which TGF would like me snag one for us, if only). Get the entries back to contestants. And probably eight other things connected to this one piece.

Today should have and was about getting ready for tomorrow's Breakfast Meeting, which it had to be.

Today also needed to be all about the pest control group as a blast email had to go out - which I almost sort of get how to do. It was became clear that though our next event is a month away the legislators and field's regulators have not been invited yet and a specific invite needs to be designed, at least I think that's what I need to do for that piece. In addition I became aware, only today, that we are honoring two people from the field. Our company president decided today that the honorees need individualized invites and past presidents need special invites - all of which need to be designed tomorrow! Did I mention that I will begin my work day at about 6:30a.m. and won't be in the office until about 10:30?

Also another member of one of the associations was notified by me early today that there was a scheduling conflict for his event, which is not a huge deal since we have no rsvps for it, but now he wants to tweak the title and description and do it on the 19th! The 19th?? But I said to him, kinda sorta lying through my teeth, that course I would work on this tomorrow. Um s-u-r-e I will. Well maybe. Who knows.

Wednesday I can go to a dinner meeting if I want but I don't have to, however it's a free dinner. Hm, but I think it's in Cincinnati. Nah, forget it. Friday morning I have a committee meeting.

It's going to be a long week.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Twisted Tree Sweater

After finishing the commission project for Anna - Fans of Family, I started thinking almost immediately of her mentioning a sweater for her toddler son. Though I had other things on the needles (OTN) and lots to keep me busy I started browsing patterns for just the right thing. Via Ravelry I found "Twisted Tree Pullover" and feel in love with it. I consulted with Anna about the pattern and color, from there the hunt for the perfect yarn was on. It needed to be the right weight in order to get gauge and machine washable. Oh and inexpensive.

Much debate and yarn fondling occurred until I went to the Yarn Basket's closing sale where I found Plymouth Encore in worsted. I found the close to perfect blue with a touch of green (was really looking for more of a teal). This yarn photo is the closest to the actual color, the photos that follow show up lighter than in real life.

As I began to knit this pattern, I instantly fell in love with the cabling pattern. Luckily it was a fairly easy repetition that was easy to keep track of without a lot of notes.

TGF's sweater, that is shamefully not done, is the same sort of construction, bottom up raglan, in the round. The sleeves are knitted separately and than attached to the bottom from there the yoke is done. Attaching the sleeves however was quite the adventure. Next time I do this sort type of construction I will start by using two circulars in the same fashion that is used for knitting socks.

I would love to make this sweater in an adult size - that's how much I adore this cabling pattern. If I were to make it for myself I think I would maybe a boat neck opening as I think that would be really cool, based on how the article looked before the yoke and neck were complete.

A few days after popping it in the mail I received
an email from Anna saying she got and loved that color - whew! She has been great about letting me choose colors and patterns for her - the loveliest client a knitter could wish for. I am very happy with this project.

Pattern: Twisted Tree Pullover by Blue Garter (Sarah)
Size: 2-3 years
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, Worster/10 ply Acrylic, Wool, in color 598
Yardage: Just over 2 skeins, about 420 yards
Needle: size 5
Timeline: Started May 25, 2008 - Finished September 10, 2008. Does not reflect the ease of project, only procrastinating habits of knitter. I could have easily finished it in much less time had I not been working two camps and more disciplined.