Monthly Archives: February 2015

On getting rid of things (likely a series, so part I – print dictionaries)…

Will I need to be able to spell during the apocalypse?

Will I need a little-used sly synonym to endear myself to others before I shank them for some shoe leather?

dictionary-thesaurus

I’ve been carting around these two beasts since my high school graduation (I think that’s when I got them?) but haven’t cracked them open in at least 15 years since grad school, though it doesn’t look like I used them much then either…

I love old dictionaries – especially with tiny illustrations – but not my old dictionary, though it does have a few pictures.

dictionary-slowworm

But it doesn’t have some everyday words like internet.

(which is weird since it existed then, just among a more select few…)

I don’t care that I’m missing jeggings or glamping (hah! wordpress ain’t got ’em either…) or terms like “hot mess,” but will I miss the actual book?

Will I miss being able to pull it off the shelf on a rainy day, opening it at random…

dictionary-alembic

…and saying, hey, I thought that thing was just called a still?

But then almost immediately forget what I just learned?

Will I lose out on a princely sum not being able to prove a Scrabble play during a power outage?

Will I miss out-dated or somewhat offensive descriptions like:

Runt – 1. an undersized animal, especially the smallest animal of the litter. 2. A person of small stature?

(Definition #2 is listed as derogatory at least in some online dictionaries now…)

dictionary-runcible

Will I miss turning to the runcible spoon and thinking about how it’s like the ancestor of the spork and remembering when we had those crappy sporks in high school that always snapped before the tastiest bit made it to your gob, and all of us cool kids called them sfoons?

Will all of my oversize documents and rugs begin to curl with abandon with nothing left to weight them down?

Will I need a boost to see over the steering wheel when my elderly bones shrink and curve into themselves?

dictionary-tongs

Maybe I just need a pair of lazy tongs to grab things to put in the charity bin to prevent me from opening/touching/examining/experiencing them again…

How about you (especially you writerly few) have you kept your dictionaries?

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Late winter burn out…

I’m just a little bit tired of winter.

Rather, I’m really just tired of the lingering dirty snow and ice and its hazards, and now, a cold snap.

Normally this time of year would have me tearing at my breast and howling with rage at the season, but I’m semi-coping – I think I hate December much more anyway…

The tired snow is showing the well-trod path of our neighborhood deer through the side yard.

deer stomp

And their antics at night in the backyard.

deer frolic

And they’re getting hungry and bold and starting to lurk about during the day as well.

deer brush pile

(We just got more snow, and then some more snow, so it’s back to looking fresh and solidly winter again.)

I’m getting antsy to be finished with organizing my crap, but it is slow going… our basement looks like a well-stocked thrift store with 95% cool stuff.

I finally found the missing box of stash yarn.

stash box found

And it had all possible variations of yarn and notions, so I had to partially undo and redo my massive organizing job of last month.  (And I may have done a little cramming, which is how the messes start in the first place).  But I found some slipper bottoms I forgot I had too, so those will be put to good use… soon?

I finally finished a pair of gift socks I’d had on the needles for months but only worked on sporadically – I can usually crank socks out at a decent pace, but these took a little longer than I expected – especially at the dash to the finish which usually goes quite speedily, but this time was more slow and steady…

giftsocks

(The color isn’t right, they should be less pink – it’s an older ball of my favorite ONline Supersocke 6-fach yarn, and a reminder that I prefer fraternal twins for socks).

And I made five Botanics (some with fold-over brims, some without) in the last couple of months – really burned out on the pattern, but it’s still an easy and good one.

botanic-the last

I sewed a few more curtains, yet five more still need to be hemmed, and four need to be replaced with something more interesting… burned out on those as well.

 And our water line froze (but we didn’t know that was the problem at the time) just before the weekend started, so we just had several days without water and went ahead with some sloppy smelly house projects – think I might need to actually burn the clothes we’ve been wearing…

 (Don’t worry carolsinspring, I mailed those socks to you when I could still bathe and after I gave them a good soak!)

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Renewal

I would like to publicly thank my shop vac.

trustyvac

(Or perhaps I should thank my parents who “loaned” it to me nearly a decade ago…)

It has faithfully sucked up all matters of crumbling house shit – even some of the actual stuff I’m sure – through two whole home renovations.

And each time, it has played in integral part in renewing old floors.

Living in a house with a new lease on life makes me want to revive other aging but still solid things.

renew-longscarf

Like this ridiculously long sock yarn scarf I made for N back in our early days.

(And yes, that is the same spot where the vac was, only with a newly built bookcase made by N to house his cookbook collection – I’m standing in the kitchen – and the color isn’t quite right, the walls are a yellowy cream.)

But back to the scarf.

I’m really loosing the concept of time these days and my brain can no longer keep track of events and markers in which to categorize life and the passing years.  But I do know if I see one of my own garter-stitch scarves, then a helluva long time has passed.  I thought I was past those by the time I deemed N knitworthy, but perhaps I just wanted to work it up as quickly as possible.

renew-scarf detail

He picked out the yarn – I remember that part.  And he said he wanted it to be long, so I delivered.

Only it grew and grew and grew…

So I’m finally going to rip it out and turn it into a baktus sort of neck thing – preserving the original intent with garter stitch, but making it much more wearable.

 Or maybe socks?

And I’m not in the clear with woodworking projects yet…

renew-heywake

We decided to immediately tackle the massive refinishing job of our new Heywood Wakefield furniture, and started with N’s desk as it was in the worst shape…

And I have to pat myself on the back again because it turned out great.

renew-heywood wakefield desk

We used the wheat stain and toned varnish from here followed with some clear poly at the end.  I was a little skeptical about using water-based stuff, but I’m now sold (at least for this furniture).  There was just a pinch of opacity in both products giving it that wood soaked in skim milk (yuck) effect, but it was nearly spot-on with the original.  And though I’m also a whiz as renewing old linoleum, I doubted I would have been able to come up with my own oil-based formula to use on these pieces.  I also used some wood bleach for the first time on the desk, and was amazed how well it worked – it took out 99% of a nasty black ring left by a plant or can of paint or something of that size.

Now we just have four more pieces to go…

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Filed under collecting, home, home decor, knitting

I am [no longer] a statistic…

work-discouraged worker-small

I’ve just been rejected for yet another job opening – at least I’ve been making it to the final round of interviews lately though…

At first I thought I may have been discriminated against for being in my perceived peak baby-making years, but now I’ve made it to the legal category for age discrimination…

Now I hear of vocal fry as a potential reason for not being hired.

My voice doesn’t have that horrid affected one, but due to drippy sinuses and out of control GERD, I definitely sound a bit like I gargle with gravel.

(No one is pointing out that it is also possibly overcompensating for the horrid habit of up-talking in women – I’d rather hear the fry than the question that isn’t.)

I have to blame my failure to be hired on something because being a run of the mill loser is just too depressing.

I’m now in the uncounted/uncountable “discouraged worker” category of job seekers.  Though I’m (at the moment) working  nearly the limit of part-time hours, my telecommuting job is tenuous, ill-defined, and I receive absolutely no benefits.  I have been looking for a better job (in terms of stability and full-time hours for a few years now, but I love what I do now probably more than anything out there).  Now I’m only applying to those things directly in my field rather than the tangential reaches (and wastes of everyone’s time) I formerly applied to to satisfy my quota for partial unemployment (that ran out nearly two years ago anyway).

A weird thing happened during the length of my career wherein it became hip to be a geek, and thus my field was, and is, flooded with brainiacs real and imagined.

Overly large eyeglasses do not make you smart.  The only thing smart about them is that your eyes are protected from the spray of the organic handpicked heirloom ancient sprouted lemon wedge you just squirted into your craft organic heirloom ancient sprouted cocktail.

A career is not hip in itself.

A career is not trendy.

Please step aside if you just really wanted to be an investment banker but were too ashamed to admit it.  It’s okay, you can cover up your tats with your power suit and your asymmetrical hairdo will grow in.

(And I must finally and shamefully fess up that I did not get into a MFA program after working my ass off on a portfolio in the year before we moved.  Looking back, I understand – several of the pieces were weak, and should have been weeded out had I been working on the subject longer and thought things out more, but going back to school is about thinking things out more, isn’t it?)

And did I use up all of my luck when I got in (and received healthy scholarships) to all of my previous applied-to programs?

What about when I turned down that awesome and utterly stable job at that internationally recognized place eight or so years ago – did that damn me forever to failure?  (Especially since the only reason I didn’t take it was because what would have been my office didn’t have a window…)

But I think it may have been the bigger-than-life-sized stuffed koala bear I won in a drawing when I was nine – that sucked up 74% of my lifetime’s good fortune right there…

So I hang my fried greying loser head in shame, and plod on wondering if I need to go through that whole reinventing myself bullshit…

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Filed under art school, unemployment