Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Staycation Recap.

I was supposed to recap my glorious week off on Sunday, but nighttime lightning storms (a part of Florida summers I do not love, but I do live with) have hindered computer time. Here's a look back at what I planned to do last week vs. what I accomplished.

1. Finish and block Colts intarsia square (this is v. close to being done, but I am terrified I made the floats too tight and the pattern will be puckered. Fear of failure has prohibited me from finishing this project so far).

Not done. I did some work on this piece, but I have to face the fact: it is not going to make it. I did learn a thing or two about stranded knitting in the process, but this finished square will serve as nothing more than a misshapen washcloth, at best.

2. Go to the beach at least 4 separate days (darken skin by minimum of 3 shades).

Rainstorms kept my beach visits to 3, but tan is notably improved. Took advantage of one beach trip for doggie exercise time. Lilly worked on socialization and Roach rode some waves. Both v. well-behaved and not disgustingly dirty (surprising). Also finished new Marian Keyes and Jane Green. Loved them BOTH!

3. Think about current job zero times.
4. Search for better job with nice, normal, non-bipolar boss who understands how lovely I am (or at least update my monster.com resume).

Check, check! This was *so* easy. Resume editing and updating found to be very therapeutic.

5. Blog bi-daily.

I did a pretty good job with this, you *must* admit. Highlight of the week was receiving a blog comment from Brian of Football Fanatics!! Love new readers, love new comments even more.

6. Knit a minimum of 16 rows (arbitrarily decided, 10 too few, 20 too many, has to be an even number) per day on Anakin's blankie.

I ROCKED this. Good thing, too, 'cause he's due tomorrow! I am about 2/3 of the way done:

7. Deep clean house and truck.

House is clean, truck covered in sand. It did rain a lot, so the outside is clean. Also did house organization (see previous post). Proud of self.

8. Clear DVR to at least 50% capacity (currently is 72% full).

Easiest. task. ever. Was aided by aforementioned rain. Worked way through 4 movies, JTimber's FutureSex Love Show, 33 backlogged eps of Knitty Gritty, a lot of BB10, OC, and OTH. DVR is now 72% AVAILABLE!

9. Research travel options for DLO September reunion.

Flight schedules v. promising. Thanks to Linds for the itinerary... (modified only slightly from her original draft)

Friday, Sept 12: Lunch at O'Bryon's -- Shark Tanks and tuna salad pitas. Concert tank/tee making time. Toby Keith concert at Riverbend (Toby on stage, us on the lawn draped in American flags)

Saturday, Sept 13: 12 mile run. (?!) Kenny and Keith Concert (and Rimes, Linds refused to admit) at Lucas Oil. 1 hour photo session for MA* in front of Lucas Oil. Shopping trip to Colts Pro Shop. Shenanigans in Broad Ripple, overnight in Indy.

Sunday, Sept 14: Colts @MIN at 1p (viewing party @the Oak, complete with Em and MA* knitting projects, $1 drafts and all the peanuts you-can-eat)

Side note, 44 days til DLO reunion.

The majority of the week was spent sleeping (minimum 12 hours per day) and spending some quality time with Deane and the dogs. I never wanted to go back to work, but yesterday I did find myself re-energized and ready to roll. I was relieved to see the store had survived a week with no (major) upheavals. I made some great knitting progress and am in a much better state of mind in general. Here's hoping I can keep my knitting momentum as I return to work...!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Dream of Craft Rooms.

First of all, hate myself for breaking the bi-daily blog promise of Staycation goals. Did, however, blog all days Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so may be ok that I am not posting again until Saturday. Will also attempt to post a Staycation recap tomorrow.
In days of old, might be embarrassed to be posting a blog at 11:00 pm on a Saturday night, but I went out last night, and am comfortably tapping the Rockies right here at my desk.

I managed to do nothing the majority of the week (more on that tomorrow), but as I explored the option of becoming a professional organizer (thanks to a "neat" marathon on the Fine Living Network and a suggestion from Deane), I was motivated to do some major house cleaning/reorganization.

I have always, always, always wanted a craft room. Although there are just 2 of us in this 3 bedroom house, the 2nd room belongs to the dogs (pictured here with their Scooby decor),
and the 3rd one is the guest room/office, so that doesn't leave a bonus room for crafts. The 3rd room, in sad reality, has always served of less of a guest room and more of that horrible, terrifying room in everyone's house where all the extra stuff ends up: wrapping paper, extra linens, projects in progress, etc. etc. (Also, in this house, the master closet has been graciously donated to my wardrobe, the closet in the dogs' room has been graciously donated to my winterwear and accessories, and Deane has most graciously taken the small closet in the guest room as his own. Relationships are all about compromise.)

Today, we set forth to make sense of the 3rd bedroom and establish, at minimum, a space for my yarn and knitting paraphernalia. We ended up sorting a lot, tossing a LOT (no yard sales for this girl, thanks to some recent suggestions from fellow bloggers), and rearranging several times. I ended up with, well, a yarn desk/wall:

Despite my grandiose notions of wall bins full of beautiful colorways, I had to face the facts (the biggest one being that I do not own as much yarn as a yarn store). My favorite part of the day was when I didn't know what to do with my scraps (yarn storage had filled up quickly), and Deane noticed the lamp I had with the yellow and white shade (previously filled with blue and yellow marbles to match old bedroom decor). We filled it with scrap yarn and it is adorable!

All in all, I love my new craft "room", and I am totally motivated to keep on knitting! There are even more future plans for this room (involving some shelving), but it needs to be painted first, so we're holding off for now. The only problem with my new space is that it doesn't leave much room for new additions to my stash -- guess I better get to work on using what I have. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Preseason Purchase Power.

Today, I embarked on one of my favorite yearly rituals. Ten days before the first Colts preseason game, I shop for my new Colts apparel for the upcoming season. Ten days leaves plenty of time for the new items to be produced, but still falls in the shipping window, ensuring my purchases are here by game day.

Football Fanatics has always been one of my favorite websites for shopping for Colts gear. They have the best selection and best prices, and their warehouse is in Jacksonville (!), so I get the merchandise quickly. This year, however, there was next to no new merchandise, and all of the women's stuff was covered in glitter (ok for bar tops, not ok for football Sundays), so I was forced to explore a lot of other sites.

Thanks to a LOT of DLO reunions and trips to Indy last year, I felt like I was in pretty good shape going into the online shopping sesh. I did know I had retired a few tanks and hoodies (they were threadbare), but I also remembered a lot of RCA Dome and Indy Airport purchasing. Being in Indianapolis is always insane for me, because I see blue, white, and horseshoes EVERYWHERE, a welcome change from teal, black, and jaguar spots. *shudder* I always warn Em and Linds that there will be a *lot* of purchasing when I visit, and they always understand (God help them for not calling some sort of MasterCard Anonymous HelpLine). Before I started filling my virtual shopping cart, I decided to take a quick inventory of what I already owned. I never dreamed I would fill up the ENTIRE sheet of paper:

Jerseys: 4. Manning in white and blue, Gonzalez in blue, Harrison (authentic!) in white. Am holding off for now, but leaning toward Clark in white for a later purchase.

Long sleeve tees: 3. 1 kid size blue with hood, black stripe and helmet logo. 1 ladies light blue, also with hood, and glitter chest logo with flowers. 1 ladies "tissue tee" (grey heather layered over white) with blue Colts logo.

Short sleeve tees: 4. 3 boys size, 1 blue "property of", 1 white with horseshoe, 1 grey with helmet logo. 1 ladies (the new love, not yet worn), lightweight grey with old logo -- kicking colt inside a football.

Hoodies: 2. 1 huge blue with huge white horseshoe. 1 blue zip-front w/ Super Bowl Champs embroidered chest patch.

Hats: 3. 2 pink, one horseshoe, one SB champs. 1 blue with "87" on front and "Wayne" on back.

I won't go into home decor.

Wow, I don't need anything.

Except maybe a few tanks and a tee or 2 to freshen things up.

I ended up with the tank pictured above (good for layering), the tee pictured here (new! love!), and the white coaches' flexfit hat (also great). I'm still toying with the new jersey purchase for the season... I am leaning towards Clark and the 44, but I already have two double digits (88 and 11), so I'm not sure.

Either way, GO HORSE!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Updated! Most 27 year olds might not admit to their love for Miley, Jesse, etc., but I post my new On-The-Go playlist with pride.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Moving right along.

Staycation, day 3.

So far, so good! One beach trip resulted in a bit too much sun exposure on shoulders and arms due to a lot of time spent in the water. Sunday Deane and I woke up early (9 am! Early for me!) and headed straight to the beach (after feeding all the animals, which is a bit of a process these days), excited by the prospect of a rain-free morning. Surf was glassy and waist high, so we took our boards and bodyboards for some fun. I probably caught about ummm, 6 waves, maybe, to Deane's easy ten thousand, but I had a lot of fun lounging in the ocean. Unfortunately, I no longer trust my digital camera at the beach (there was a rough sandstorm incident), so I have supplied a stock photo of Fernandina's finest surfer. I have better, but that would require me logging out of Deane's XP and into my own, and yes, I am just. that. lazy.

Today we took our (my) sunburned arms to the movies to see The Dark Knight. I had mixed feelings about this. I didn't even see Batman Begins, first of all, and I was also feeling pretty mixed up about seeing Heath's final (full) performance. I decided to wait until after the weekend rush and try for a quiet Monday afternoon matinee, in case I suffered any crying attacks, sudden need to leave, or loud proclamations of undying love (I was a big fan. BIG. Like, I spent money on ebay on packages of magazine clippings about this man. My high school friends and college roommates understand the obsession). His performance was amazing, natch (!), and the rest of the film was really great, too. No spoilers here, but I was overwhelmed with a cheesy feeling of the potential for good in mankind near the end.

I also managed to make a little progress on my list! Last night I did a monster.com search and found some potential. I will mention here that this will be the last of my public internet job discussion, as I fear some corporate spys (trust me, she's *that* nuts). But those close to me will know of any developments.

Anakin's blanket is being worked on every free minute, and good thing, because he is due ANY DAY! 16 rows per day+ is going well so far. I am on my second skein of yarn, so that marks the halfway point! Michael, this proves that I am *not* a deadline knitter (never claimed to be!), so Anakin won't be returning home from the hospital with his Linus inspired throw, but he will have it within the first three months of his life. :)

Tomorrow I plan on cleeeeeeeeeeeaning, hitting the beach again (with "The Beach House", thanks Linds!), and purchasing Sugarland and Miley on iTunes. Reviews to come. In country music news, can anyone tell me why me all-time favorite Keith Urban song is being touted as his latest single?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


First of all, an apology for my brief absence. How dare I disappoint my loyal readers by not posting for EIGHT days. (This is humorous, see, because the only people that read this are Mom, Em, and Linds, and I have communicated with them all several times over the course of those eight days).

Today marks the first day of my staycation. Technically, I'm on vacation from work, but I'm not going anywhere. I mean, I live at the beach! I am happy to have some time to enjoy myself in my favorite place -- HOME. Also exciting is the fact that I'll save about 150 bucks this week NOT driving to work. I do want to make sure I take advantage of this rare time away from the grind, however, so here are a few goals:

1. Finish and block Colts intarsia square (this is v. close to being done, but I am terrified I made the floats too tight and the pattern will be puckered. Fear of failure has prohibited me from finishing this project so far).
2. Go to the beach at least 4 separate days (darken skin by minimum of 3 shades).
3. Think about current job zero times.
4. Search for better job with nice, normal, non-bipolar boss who understands how lovely I am (or at least update my monster.com resume).
5. Blog bi-daily.
6. Knit a minimum of 16 rows (arbitrarily decided, 10 too few, 20 too many, has to be an even number) per day on Anakin's blankie.
7. Deep clean house and truck.
8. Clear DVR to at least 50% capacity (currently is 72% full).
9. Research travel options for DLO September reunion.

There are a few others, as well, but these are the important ones. I need to concentrate on knitting and absorption of UV rays to get myself back to... well, myself! De-funkified.

More updates v. soon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I <3 photojournalism.

Happy Birthday to me! It's only halfway through the day, but I wanted to share the photos already taken of some spectacular occurrences during this week of celebration. The first one (left) is a picture of me (at work, gah! excuse the sick polo... it was a truck day) with my awesome cake! One of my employees has a neighbor who makes cakes, so she did this one up for my birthday. It was HUGE, delicious, and 100% homemade (buttercream frosting, YUM!). After I put away a hefty slice I made myself walk around the sales floor at a brisk pace for 60 minutes. The only downside to this cake is that I ACTUALLY had an employee ask me if I was turning 18. (I don't think anyone reading my blog *won't* know this, but the 18 was on the cake because of my love for P. Manning). Considering we don't even HIRE people under 18, I was v. confused as to how she got this impression. I must take a seminar in better applicant screening/interview skills.

Last night after work we had (birthday) dinner with Deane's family. Turns out the restaurant (BBQ, YUM!) we went to had trivia night! It has been a while, but I love love love me some trivia. Despite my urging to name our team "Your Mom" (one of my favorite trivia pastimes), we were instead called "Birthday Girl". Even though we did not win the Budweiser Baffler Bonus Question (all correct answers go in a hat, DJ pulls one, that team wins a free pitcher of beer), I complained so loudly about not getting free beer on my birthday that the DJ bought us a pitcher. :) We ended up in a tie for 2nd, which I was proud of -- I knew a lot of answers! We only missed 2 questions in all 5 3-question rounds, but one team had a perfect score (screw them). We still got a 10 dollar gift card! To the right is a pic of Deane and me with my birthday balloons.

After trivia was over (it takes a whiiiiile, so Deane, Ethan (his brother), and I had put away a bit of Miller Light by that point), we decided to go to a new bar called "The Mill" (literally 2 blocks from Ethan's house). We had no idea what to expect -- all I knew was that it was located inside what used to be a flooring showroom. We were happy there was no cover (yet) at the door, and even happier when I saw the RIDICULOUS drink special (see above). I was so blinded by the beer price (which I read as 4 FOR $1), I didn't even notice the sign said COLLEGE NIGHT until I uploaded this photo (this is humorous because the only college within 40 miles of here in a community one). I was expecting a 6 oz. Dixie cup when I forked over my silver (which still would have been a great price), but the cups were actually a full 16 ounces! I hope this goes on regularly at this place, another in a long line of hip hop club/country line dance place/sports bars. Pool tables and ESPN in one room, boot scootin' in the next, and booty shakin' in the third. Lucky for me, the quarter beers were in country town, and the DJ had generated so little interest from the crowd that he played every song I requested immediately (LOTS of Miranda, Big & Rich, Kenny, Brad, etc.). Never have I *ever* wanted Em and Linds there so badly -- it was pure retribution for the Em BDay Jukebox Shutdown. A personal DJ to cater to our every country whim! We responsibly enjoyed our adult beverages and danced in moderation for the majority of the evening. Before parting ways with Ethan, I forced the obligatory double cheek kiss:

Now I am off to enjoy my free ChickFilA combo meal (if you live near a 7-11, you can also enjoy a free slurpee today!), renew my tags, get a pedi, and think about my new year resolutions (I always make them on my birthday instead of January 1). Tonight we are planning a downtown Fernandina pub crawl (if you are a Denison alum, this would be similar to hitting Brew's and the Villa in the same night). If you're in the area, stop by and buy me a beer! Here's hoping everyone enjoys my favorite day of the year :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Toolbelt Diva?

As much as everything in me (and my pale, pale skin) told me to head to the beach this weekend, I decided instead to throw some serious labor into an unfinished project that had been plaguing me -- our bathroom. Here's a few pictures of "before" (although we had started slight demo at this point, demonstrated by the pile of Deane's clothes on the floor, stopping a leak (?).

Desperate for a more "beachy feel" to our home, we decided to start a semi-remodel with a small project last NOVEMBER. What we thought might be a week long session of painting and decorating turned into 60 square feet of money burning hell. Before really thinking anything through (it's never been either of our strong points), we ripped out the tub (demolition is the best part!), THEN went shopping for a new one. Strike one. Turned out our tub was abnormally narrow, and nothing was available on the market that fit into a 55" space (60" or wider, unless you go cu$tom -- not an option financially). Luckily, Deane is a bit of a "Jack of all trades", so he decided he would tile in a new shower enclosure. I really have to hand it to him here -- already at this point, I was ready to max out some plastic to hire a "professional". Long story short, the bathroom has been an ongoing project with ongoing issues. The entire thing has been re-plumbed, ripped up, re-painted, and so on. I think my favorite part was when I learned how to take a toilet out and sat it on the front porch while we were installing the floor (redneck what?).

Weeks turned to months, and some months went by with no work done on the bathroom at all, but bit by bit it came together. Deane has constantly surprised me with his breadth of handyman knowledge throughout the project, and I was surprised myself that I could install a floor (the last step, which we did this weekend). We still have to paint the baseboard trim and the unfinished part of the vanity, in addition to adding the window treatments, but it is 98% complete and fully functional, so I had to post pics!

Isn't it just the love? The shower curtain looks totally bizarre, but it is actually adorable stripes. I also really adore the mirror (far right photo) with the pink frame (picked out by Deane!). I didn't believe it at the time, but I should have known to never doubt Target decor, as it pulled everything together beautifully.

Fully inspired by the productivity that took place this weekend (and perhaps the zen-like feel of my new spa space), I have also been knitting up a storm, and have made some serious progress on the blankie for my new nephew, due at the end of this month.

Where do I sign up for "The Next DIY star"? :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4 day workweek!

I'm not very good at sharing, but I am happy to share my birthday with a free food holiday, and I would be doing a disservice to society if I did not inform you of chicken giveaways on July 11th (thanks Mom, for the link!). Thanks also to Mom for the early bday delivery of the Betsey fragrance gift set -- I smell DELICIOUS.

I will be 27 this year, something I had to think about earlier today when my DM asked me how old I was. This would be a good segway into the latest work debacle/career plateau, but let me cut it off there, and instead make a desperate plea for any leads on fabulous, well-paying jobs where one is appreciated for their creative talent and not criticized for their "inability" to "develop" someone who never should have been hired in the first place. Until a newer, better opportunity emerges, I will continue to take cleansing breaths to the mantra, "Do the absolute minimum required and get out of here on time at the end of the day". But enough on that.

Anakin's blankie is coming along so very nicely, and I promise to post pictures this week. Once I got through the first 20 rows (during which I wanted to quit about 78 times), the pattern was established and now I am trucking at an average of 8 minutes per 156-stitch row. This pace was discovered during a shameless watching of DVR'ed VH1 documentaries this weekend, during which I realized I could knock out a row per segment (unless Michael Ian Black was commentating, then I spent extra time laughing).

I won't go into the running details. Let's just say that every day, I think I have sweat more than humanly possible; the next day, I sweat a little more. Florida is beyond tropical, it's downright hell to exercise in. Snaps to Linds for the Bondi, at least my sweaty hair is out of my face instead of sticking to it.

Pics of WIPs will be posted soon. Look for lots of blog activity in July... I'm only working 15 days this month. :)