Friday, December 29, 2006

Random website weirdness

Kind of punchy today...

Coupon for a place that offers weight loss programs:

Print this coupon to receive 4 weeks free at the end of your program.

Now, I know I'm being too literal here, but if you've reached the end of your program, aka: reached your weight loss goal, then what do you need 4 free weeks for? Is it a special promotion for anorexics in training?

Seaford, NY restaurant offering Roast Long Island Duck

I get that they're trying to promote local farm products, but when I saw Long Island, all I could think is pigeon or seagull, depending on the season.

Tired still...SO, SO ready for a 3-day weekend, which is pretty sad considering I just got off a 6-day weekend. Does it count if you spend it with family? This holiday had just enough drama where I still feel like I'm coming down from the visit. Tomorrow's Cache the Stash party with the bitches should help...we're all bringing our stashes outta the mothballs and doing some comparing and trading. Hope some of my acrylic finds a new home.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas: big, furry thing that it is...

Never really got in the spirit this year. That's a tough one to accept; never had any trouble in the past. Maybe it is time to celebrate Solstice formally as a family (Les and I, plus future urchins), and then do Christmas with his family separate. I don't know. I mean, sure, as I've grown older, it's gotten harder to fetch up the excitement of years past, but I've always managed it with music, church, or a wander through a mall. I did get a bonus, not as much as I deserved, but enough to get gifts for everyone. This year though, something wasn't there, and I find I'm a little empty. Which is weird, because as Christmases go from a material standpoint, Les and I made out like bandits. He got not 1, but 2 new woobies, plus a fat Best Buy giftcard, the DVD box set of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoons, and other goodies. We both got clothes: 2 new sweaters for him, both suitably manly enough where I won't be borrowing them unless it's an emergency :), and 2 new outfits for me, one classy, one cashe. I got an MP3 player, the Weekend Knitting book, a bunch of cosmetic/bath and body stuff, and a four-pack of candles specifically geared toward fertility (no hint there!). Luckily those were from his sis, not his folks; that would've been a bit weird. Got to spend some quality time with my 5-month-old niece, which was terrific, but also a big reminder of why we're moving to Columbia rather than say, Aiken. Les's mom is a 2nd mom to Kylie, picking up the slack whenever Kara needs her to, while simultaneously resenting how much Kara uses her kindness. Meanwhile Kylie lacks stability and fusses more, besides being a colicky baby to begin with. I don't know why it bugs me so much; probably just the ole biological clock making me wish I could give them both a stern talking-to without it backlashing all over me, but as I'm the childless one, I know I have absolutely no business sticking my nose in, and in Kara's case, it would fall on deaf ears anyway. But they so enable each other, and it's a vicious cycle that I'd rather not be around when it explodes all over them.

Every family has its own blend of tension and drama though, so it was quite nice to get home last night. The apartment is still in the running for disaster-area status, but the complex maintenance guy came by right before Christmas and looked the closet over, said he'd order the necessary parts.

Only drank a little this weekend, kept it totally under control, and luckily still don't really have the taste for it. That'll kick back in the minute I start eating healthy. Went to the doc (OB/GYN) last week and got all my test results. Nothing drastic, but they certainly could be better. My fasting blood sugar is borderline, meaning one doctor might call it normal while another might see it as a precursor for gestational diabetes. And my hormone levels are normal, but I have PCOS. That stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and is far too broad a term in my opinion, so I'm just calling it what it is: a cyst apiece on my ovaries. Certainly what caused my skipping 2 months this year, and definitely a fertility concern. So I'm going to lose at least 20 pounds and see her in April; she was all set to put me on fertility meds now, but it's just not time yet. I'll investigate it, if necessary, after the move. The really good news: Les's results were totally normal! Between his chronic pain issues and a cyst of his own, there was a question there; but now the ball's in my court, so to speak.

With nothing holding me back but me, I found myself looking at food a little differently this past weekend. I certainly wasn't going to try any lifestyle changes on such a significant food holiday, but while I was eating my weight in orange pecan cookies, I was also enjoying green beans and salad more; they tasted better somehow. This week as I get settled, I'll start walking again and thinking about other forms of exercise that don't make me want to slit my wrists, and I'll get out the cookbooks. Man, I wish I had a bike! Ours are rusting away on the porch :( maybe after the college, even though I had a car, I biked almost everywhere because I lived on campus and it was certainly easier than hunting for a parking space.

Exhausted today for some reason...must be reacclimating or something. Looking forward to relax time tonight. Made a hat this past weekend, started a wrap, 86d the mittens in favor of a scarf that I'm thinking of sending to a family friend, sock in slo-mo, SSS ignored as usual. Knitting will be sporadic next week or so as I plow into some serious organizing/cleaning/purging in the apartment.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Where's the damn snow?

Yeah, ok, wasn't likely to get it in Florida...but did we have to get this blankety-blank warm front right on Christmas week?

Was watching Prancer this weekend, plus Mom just sent a cute online Christmas card of a couple of mice sledding in a walnut shell...I do miss snow sometimes. There's a disadvantage to seeing things from an adult's point of view though. Is it considered self-deprecating or sardonic for me to imagine jumping onto a sled on a thick, high bluff of snow and ice, like we used to have on Above All, where it would blow and freeze in sections several feet thick, and instead of sliding down a hill, having the sled slowly sink down to the grass under the weight of my big bod. I don't get upset, just allow a little sigh. That's not negative self-image; it's humor!

I call those "Ally McBeal moments," where full-blown daydreams distract me for a bit. Might be why I think the TV show "Scrubs" is so funny...

Warning: irrational vent approaching...I realize there's nothing to be gained from counting on a Christmas bonus, but when you live in a one-paycheck household and you've gotten a bonus the last 2 years, it stands to reason there'd be some hope for a 3rd bonus coming in. Much to my frustration, this hasn't occurred yet, and the higher-ups ain't talking. Everybody's getting IOUs this year if that sucker doesn't show itself in the next 5 days, never mind that if they're dicks and really do wait until the last minute, it delays our trip to SC, because they cut actual checks for the bonus rather than direct deposit. And then if it does show itself, there's the delight of shopping at the last minute. I'm way frustrated over this, and it's getting in the way of my getting in the spirit. Ho-ho-friggin' ho!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I never thought.....

When I was younger, I played trumpet in band, straight through high school. I was a Girl Scout in the 7th and 8th grades, so I learned to sew and I tried latch hook. Latch hook's easy enough, but it's a serious snore. I wrote stories now and then. But I didn't have a whole lot of hobbies, which could account, I suppose, for the inordinate amount of time that was spent inside my own head.

Fast forward to my mid-30s ::sigh::, ok, late-30s, and 2 friends whom I'm wanting to hang out with and get to know better, decide to form a knitting group and teach people who want to learn. I start with the basics, buy a book or two for reference, and hang with these folks 2 to 4 times a month, knitting and enjoying the caffeine and baked goods at Panera. I baby-step my way into increases, decreases, socks, and lace. I accumulate a stash with way too much acrylic in it, collect a nice amount of needles, and whine about my UFOs, all the while starting new and different projects with a vengance.

What am I getting at? Well, night before last, I cleared away and/or organized a large part of the detritus that is the result of our bedroom closet rack destroying itself; the end result being that I found my bedroom coffee table, wing chair, and stash. Last night I sat in said chair and tucked in. I moved some stuff around, reorganized the stash, rolled yarn into balls, and laid out fresh yarn for several projects. I started a hat, turned the rice stitch wrap strip that I'd started into a gaiter, frogged the Cozy and rolled the Wool Ease into a ball, found the chenilley Red Heart that Dana destashed to me and decided to make mittens from that (and maybe legwarmers), and found the sock yarn ruthee gave me ages ago that I'd ended up ripping out on the first try. It doesn't seem like much, but it took several hours, and between the careful stitching together of the two ends of the gaiter and starting the hat on my size 10 dpns, that "all's right with the world" feeling settled into my chest once again. Is it sounding too new agey to say that knitting somehow speaks to my soul? I'm tired and a little headachy this morning as I sit in my office avoiding weekend work, but I'm feeling so much better inside my head. So much better! I never thought that a hobby could have this effect on me, because I didn't have anything like that growing up, not even trumpet. I tried, but I don't have natural musical talent, so it required study and work. Knitting certainly requires that too, but there's just something about it that's different. When Lil Sis shakes her head at my weird, old-fart hobby, it doesn't bother me at all, because I know I've discovered something precious.

Thank you so much, ruthee and Terra!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back in the groove

It's weird how much a quick side trip out of town can throw you off...don't realize you're a slave to routine until something disrupts it, I guess. More likely it's the fact that this trip wasn't like our usual trips...usually if we go out of town, it's to Aiken, where we're used to the drive and the area, the family stress level is fairly average, and the weather's usually pleasant. Not saying I don't like was SO nice to see my Lil Sis in her element, nudging her way into "real life," and getting to gallavant around the Universal parks for a day. I was beaming and proud as she walked for her Masters. It made me teary and got my wheels turning again about school and all the things I want to learn in this life. There were 4 wheelchair folks getting degrees, 2 blind people plus another that needed walking assistance, and 1 posthumous degree at the end. Talk about your reminders about the tenuousness of life.

But it also makes me nutty traveling in foreign territory without a map (that's not a metaphor; I mean having to follow someone's directions when you're unfamiliar with the area makes me crazy). And my dad's condition was a shock. He's started having balance issues, experiencing vertigo at the drop of a hat. It's most likely related to the fact that his carotid artery is 90+% blocked on one side, so his brain's just not getting enough juice. It infuriates me (we're talking white-hot livid angry) that his cardiologist and neurologist are dragging their feet on further medicinal or surgical ways to remedy the sitch (he's already on Plavix), but in the meantime, it's aged him about 10 years in 6 months. He followed us quietly throughout the parks that day, and sat quietly when we went on rides. Now granted, if you look up the word "taciturn" in the dictionary, it shows a picture of the Lyons' brothers, but this was more than that. He's clearly afraid of what's going on with his body, and it's taking the wind out of his sails. Took him getting plastered both nights for him to loosen up. I mentioned it to Mom, and you could tell she agreed; but she won't push him to talk about how he feels usually, because she knows it'll start a fight and why do that to I understand why she may not push him. The man brings new meaning to the phrase "closed off."

But I, on the other hand, have been pushing at envelopes since I met Les, so after some thought I sent Dad an email. I asked him several pointed questions about his condition and told him that while I wasn't expecting solid answers from him by any stretch, that I was volunteering myself if he needed backup at any of his appointments, to remember what to ask or what's said (I've got terrific recall for medical terminology for some reason). I don't expect anything to come of it, but at least I've tried. I mean, his behavior was a jaw-dropping shock to me, but I guess that's understandable; it's not like we socialize with my fam all that much, even though we live in the same town.....

So I was thrown off somehow by last weekend's trip, and feel like I'm only now getting back into the groove. Christmas is galloping toward us with a vengance and no bonus in sight...the bastards at my work are waiting til the last second apparently, which is maddening since we need to cover bills with most of today's check. I bailed on KB last night and did something I've been wanting to do since the closet exploded: unearth my bedroom coffee table. We own WAY too many clothes. This is going to be a Goodwill-Keep-Toss weekend, as I begin giving the bedroom and closet a good purge. And I'll go through the Columbia paperwork again and start laying out my planner for the next 4 months. We need 60 days' notice to move out of my complex, which means having housing nailed down by end of February. Rather daunting proposition, but I'm still aiming for it.

As for knitting, it's in a state of flux. Like I said, cape's done, but gotta buy buttons. I'm thinking of frogging Cozy because I can't stand the idea of doing that pattern in Wool Ease. Thinking of stopping the rice stitch wrap and seeing if I can sew it together at the ends for a gaiter, because I just don't have the patience for big projects right now. I'm thinking about hats, mittens, and socks for the near future. I pulled Broadripple and Jaywalker off the web, and I'm starting one of 'em with the Regia that ruthee gave me way back when, because I feel a sock jones coming on big time. And I'll unearth the SSS and see what else is unfinished, now that I can actually step around the coffee table to my stash again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Graduation wonderful. Crazily proud of Lil Sis. Family time was interesting, scary, sobering, and a couple of other adjectives.

Got back to discover boss had developed a wild hair and wanted certain people moved. My new desk oughta be called "teacher's pet desk..." as it's directly across from my team leader, so I can't dick around on the web at all at work anymore. Personal phone calls are pretty much out too. Probably a good thing, but boy, it's taking some getting used to.

They also outlawed food at our desks last week. Seven years of grazing and now I've gotta stop cold turkey. I'm not happy.

Cape's done, just needs buttons. Thinking of starting socks and mittens this week, but have to deal with a disaster area of a bedroom first.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Random Wednesdayness

I can think of better ways to start a Wednesday than in a dentist's chair. But on the upside, only one cavity left to deal with, and the dentist is a cutie with a really gentle touch. Seriously, anybody in the Jax area looking for a new dentist, ask me about Dr. Floro. He's very nice, just opened his own office in Mandarin and could use the business.

Name of company: South Florida Home Remodeling
Location: Bristow, Virginia

Yeah, that makes sense.

Busy times ahead...participating in a cookie swap Saturday, which means finding cookie ideas using only ingredients currently in the house, because we's po'...luckily I anticipated this and stocked up a bit when we did the big Thanksgiving shop, so while the cookies won't be anything fancy, I don't think I'll come up short. Then that afternoon we head down to Orlando for a bit of family fun. Lil Sis graduates with her masters' degree on Monday. She's the one working full-time as a PR Coordinator for Universal Studios, so she got us all free tickets for the parks, which we're hitting on Sunday as a group. Should be both interesting and, as it's been a couple of years for Les and I and we both love places like that, and interesting because my mom and dad will be there, and Dad can be...oh, how shall I put this....rigid, demanding, prickly, misanthropic, anal, mercurial, impatient, and a couple of other things I'm forgetting, that make him a delight to be in public with. I'm sure it'll be fine. Meara forgets that she's still the golden child in the family, so Dad'll be on his best behavior while we're all down there. Mom knows how to rein him in; she must, she pulled it off for my wedding, and that required a much longer trip in the car. But figuring out logistics for a get-together like this can be trying enough, without the distractions of graduation, coordinating the iVillage launch, a Today show shoot, and the Macy's parade opening at the parks this weekend, a boyfriend whose job isn't flexible enough for him to attend his girlfriend's graduation, housing we siblings in her cute little apartment for 2 nights, Mom and Dad negotiating the Orlando area from Meara's place to their hotel to the, I'm getting uptight just thinking about it. Watching Mom and Dad find their way around someplace in the car, Dad at the wheel, Mom at the map, is like watching oil and water mix. The memories are vivid of shrinking to nothing in the back seat while they tore each other new ones in the front. Mom's very intelligent, but what goes on in her head and what comes out of her mouth...a lot of the time, it's two different things, and Dad just has/had no patience for mistakes. Still baffles me sometimes that they're still together, and scares the hell out of me how Les and I could change once kids enter the picture. Ok, that's enough of that tangent.

Not as jealous of Meara's masters as I thought I'd be...maybe because I know I'm not ready to be back in school yet. So much has changed...I didn't even own a computer in college. Now you practically need a laptop and a high-speed Internet connection just to get a C in your classes. Plus I've gotten used to a "learn at your own pace" flow; it'd be interesting getting back in the swing of needing to give a crap what the teacher thought. Lil Sis got dinged for format issues on her papers in this last class, because the idiot teacher put in the syllabus that they needed to use the latest edition of APA, but then continued using an older edition herself for grading. I'm sure she found a diplomatic solution to the problem, but I'd have been ready to throw down.

What I am is completely, giddily proud of her and can't wait to see her. With 14 years between us, it's a relationship that's evolved in adulthood to something cozy, and I think we both draw on each other for learning...stuff. I go to her for ideas, because her education was more progressive than mine, and far more modern, and she allows me opinions where experience, a shade more worldliness, is required. Such that it is, I mean, most of my traveling has occurred right here in Florida, but I've been in the workplace for a dozen years now, and she jumped right from college into her dream job and realized fast where she was lacking; it made for some growing pains. I can't wait to see her in that element; Mom and I both will probably be fighting back tears all weekend.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hail to thee, my alma ma...oh, wait...ehem...

So right after I graduated from that illustrious wannabe of a state U that is USF, they added a football program. 10+ years later, my alma mater's scrappy little team made it to a bowl game. Thought that was nifty...until I checked out the page and got a look at how freakin' many bowl games they have. Never mind that it's 3 pages long, some of the names are just sad...I mean let's face it, wouldn't you rather be in the Rose or Orange Bowl than the Chick-Fil-A bowl. Anyway, USF faces ECU (Eastern Carolina) on December 29 at ::sigh::....................wait for it.................::shakes head::...........the Bowl!

Not Papa John's, mind you.

Excuse me, I need to sigh again.

Ah, I'll suck it up, I mean, a bowl game is a bowl game, right? Might even watch a couple of them this year...wouldn't mind actually figuring out how the game is played, plus it'll be a test of sorts to watch football without beer in the house.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A little more light...under the clothes

So I'm puttering around last night, after dinner and in between laundry loads, when I go into the closet to grab 2 hangers for the air-dry items.

You know that feeling, when you witness a type of upheaval so drastic, it doesn't look real?

The main rack, which held all of our hanger clothes as well as god-knows how many boxes of personal items on top of it, had given up the ghost. Pulled right off the wall and fell. The walk-in closet had ceased its walk-in status once again, only not in hey-maybe-it's-time-to-organize way.

"Um, honey?"
"You didn't by chance hear a loud thud while I was at the store?"

Nah, he slept through it. Thank god the cats weren't in there. Usually we keep it shut, but Fig will slip in there if she gets the chance and has spent more than 1 workday trapped in there, climbing the walls and pooping where she pleases. I go into problem-solving mode and we start pulling out the main boxes, which is a treat (she says sarcastically), because Husby would pull a box out, open it a crack, and begin pawing through stuff, while I stood there saying stuff, like, dude, can't we clear a path and look at stuff in a minute? You don't mess with problem-solving Melanie. He got the hint after a bit and cleared out.

Problem was, we were hoping to still hang stuff because the rack was resting/propped on his cardboard-wrapped Star Wars stuff that he acquired when we worked at the theater (potential future eBay sales). Once I started rehanging stuff though, it tipped precariously. Well, fine. I've become a believer recently in the idea that things happen for a reason. Something's telling me to stop stressing about the dining room because it's not its turn yet. The closet and bedroom will take precedence for now. But man, it's going to be a pain in the ass until we can get the complex in here to replace it. I mean, Husby's stuff is no biggie because in his current employment sitch, it's not like he's wearing his khakis and slacks a whole bunch, but I'm a) a working stiff, and b) a girl, so I need to not wrinkle as much. Grr. Tonight I'll fold up most of our stuff, and find a more accessible home for the ironing board, because the closet that sucker's in at present oughta be studied.

7 days sober. Not normally a big deal, but I did enjoy the company Christmas party at the Marsh Landing Country Club with cranberry juice and club soda, so I'm pleased with myself.

Got my hair cut (me likey! Husby loves me with lots of hair, so he's still grumbling and playing on my insecurities, the little punk) and went through the grueling boredom of a glucose tolerance test first thing Saturday morning. Brought my knitting and a book, but seriously folks, we're talking no caffeine here. When I went for my hormone bloodwork last week, the phlebotomist went up my right arm to find the vein (instead of the usual elbow pit locale), and now I have this ginormous bruise that lost its novelty after oh, day 1. We're talking no short sleeves, so-how-long-has-your-husband-been-beating-you-ma'am? huge. My sad, strange self-abusive side usually enjoys a good bruise, but this sucker ain't turning yellow yet and I'm kind of over it.