Unbreakable

I had a real shit week at work this week, I know, try to hide your shock. Negative Nancy or whatever you want to call her was out “sick” for two days and I had to get all her work done in half the time, plus I came in early and off the clock to make sure everything was done, AND cut short my visit with my elderly relatives (aunts and uncles) who come down to visit once a year. And let’s be honest; with the exception of my Aunt Sarah, who is 70, the rest are pushing 80 or 90 and this could be the last time I see them. So, thanks bitch.

And speaking of bitch, my mother was being one, and her new “boyfriend,” who,quite frankly, I HATE, was there, so that was an awkward dinner.

I’m having some health issues and my husband is stressed out and Negative Nancy was her usual bitch self when she came in, but I reconfigured my hours to take Friday off, which I should be doing every week anyway, but whatever.

And yesterday I spent the whole morning watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and loving it. Best theme song ever? You decide.

And the World Figure Skating Championships are happening, and my Frenchies won the gold in ice dance! Ah, Guillaume….

I apologize for the awful commentary in another language, but this is how skating fans are forced to view their sport now. On fucking You Tube.

FYI, I love Gabi, too, she is so beautiful and original and regal – that nose! I mean, I am being serious. She has an unusual beauty that complements him so well. Enjoy four minutes of tight pants, Mozart, Pinterest braid inspiration.

Don’t Rain on MY Parade!

It’s nice to be appreciated, isn’t it? I am not one who seeks the spotlight, sometimes, it seeks me. I am always ready to put my best foot forward if need be, though. Not to make anyone else look bad, but to make EVERYONE look good. Know what I mean?

The Oscars were Sunday night, and some people don’t care, and felt like posting to Facebook things like, “This is me, not caring about the Oscars!” with a picture of Julie Andrews twirling in The Sound of Music, though maybe now they should make it Lady Giggles AND IF THEY WATCHED THE DAMNED SHOW THEY’D KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Seriously, if you don’t dig it, that’s fine. I hate organized sports with a passion with the exception of figure skating (shut up) or the Braves when they’re winning (no seriously, shut up). But I don’t feel like shitting on someone else’s Super Bowl Shuffle, know what I’m saying?

Anyway, it was a perfectly boring show with hardly any surprises unless you count Patty Arquette’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs speech which LOVE, and fyi, I once had the addresses of the entire Arquette clan and don’t ask me how, I’ll never tell but you know what I used to do for a living, and sometimes you aren’t looking for celebs but they pop up anyway, well hello there John C. Reilly, I know where you live, too!

And of course J.K. Simmons said to call your mom, but I did and she was “reading the Bible with her new boyfriend,” I mean, how often do you hear THAT from a 75 year-old, and I can’t even go there right now or I’ll need more therapy.

But you know me, and you know Wes Anderson’s little pic winning all those awards made my heart grow two sizes, but it is still miniature and can be used as a model in his next set design.

SO, if you don’t care, don’t care, but you know, there are lots of people who work in the industry doing things like set design or editing or sound mixing or short films, and don’t they deserve some recognition for hard work? Costume and set designers are my personal heroes, so go fuck yourself if you don’t care. Oops, I did it again.

Let’s look at some pretty clothes, shall we?

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ZOMG, Keira Knightly in Valentino – no lie I have this entire collection pinned to my Pinterest pages. Inspired by Marc Chagall, I find this lovely, ethereal, and I wish I looked like this but I don’t and that’s just that but also, the headband, I mean COME ON, people, this is RENN FAIR REALNESS!!

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Solange in Christian Siriano. Oh Chicken (because I call you Chicken, liebling), who knew you’d be the only Project Runway alum with staying power? I guess everyone, but I love Solange, I am team Solange all the way on the elevator, and this is some Studo 54 INSPIRIGANZA, darling, which is a new word I just made up combining INSPIRED and EXTRAVAGANZA, and why am I not writing for RuPaul’s Drag Race, where is my call from the producers?

 

No one else did it for me, although I did love what Chris Kyle’s widow was wearing and I feel kind of creepy even saying that, but still. Green strapless, lovely.

 

So, that’s my little rundown on the big show, and I do it because I do it every year, and if only five people are reading this, well aren’t you all such a lucky five?

In other news, the co-worker from hell is back, and it’s been…..tough. I got nominated for an award for helping out in her absence, and I didn’t ask for the recognition but you know, it’s NICE when you consider the shit I’ve been through these past eight years. And I deserved it. I don’t try and do a good job so I can make you look bad, or because I want your job or want to throw you under the bus.

I do it because that’s my way of helping YOU when you were gone for six weeks smoking cigarettes and looking at the wall, you know? My beloved pet, who is the only child I will ever have, is dying in front of my eyes and I dragged my ass in everyday for extra long shifts not because I’m gunning for your job, but because I don’t want you to worry about this place while you’re gone, I want you to have peace of mind.

Do I want a full time job? Fuck YEAH. But not yours. Another one! Why can’t women appreciate help from other women and not think someone else is trying to replace them? I don’t get it, but maybe that’s because I think a lot like a man?

Anyway, she’s been withholding work from me and this is a person who bitched ad naseum before she was gone about how I wasn’t helping her enough, I was doing too much for the digital team (which I’d been assigned to). Now that they don’t want me on digital anymore, you’d think she’d be delighted I’m ready and willing to chip in. Again, this is the person who kept insisting I was hired JUST FOR HER, when I was told otherwise. My, how the story changes…

Bottom line, I spoke up today, I had to. And nothing will change, because she’s denying it, but I’ve let the higher ups know, and they even said she was a very insecure person who they know feels threatened.

Sigh. I don’t want this. Why can’t I just…..do my fucking job, and do my fucking job? That’s all I want, really.

I have decided that based on all the stupid articles I read and inspirational quotes I see on Pinterest, I can start a new life here at the dawn of my midlife crisis. So I have decided I am going to fashion school or learning to code. Or both.

Now who has $10K for coding school?!

 

Touch and Go

How does one start what I have to say? I guess you just begin at the beginning…

For the past five weeks, I have been working full time. Or rather, 39 hours per week. Because that extra hour would just KILL a budget, laws.

For the past five weeks, I’ve dealt with the fact that this guy is terminally ill with a lung tumor that I don’t have $5,000 to remove. Even if I do work 39 hours a week.

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I just took a break to give him big hugs, kisses and scratchies. I’m back! No, even with extra hours and a nice tax return, I need to put $1,000 into my six-year-old Kia, which needs a new alternator, battery and timing belt.

But I’m lucky it needs those at all. You see, my Kia almost didn’t make it, and neither did I on Tuesday night.

I drive I-95 to work and back everyday. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Every day I drive it feels like the day I might die. Tuesday night, after a grueling 10-hour shift with no break, I drove home on wet, slick and rainy I-95. Midway home, a car drifted into my lane and I had to swerve out or get hit. I wound up hydroplaning and doing a 180 degree turn INTO THE ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

I actually found that You Tube clip when I came home. So you can kind of see what happened.

I thought I was dead. All I could thing was, “My face. My face will be destroyed.” Now, seriously, Tanya, who died and made you Angelina Jolie? I had three stress zits that day, too. And that was my first thought?

But it was. I have been in car accidents before, but never anything like this. All I can think is I was on the fourth of my nine lives (three other car accidents and one heart attack) or God and all his angels were looking out for me. I’ll take either one. I still haven’t processed the whole ordeal. Somehow, the other cars slowed down and didn’t hit me, even going over 60 miles per hour. I didn’t hydroplane anymore and was able to stop. What did the oncoming drivers think? What did they see? Abject terror in my eyes? One of those “Faces of Death!” scenarios?

I’ll never know and I don’t want to think about it anymore. I was able to get onto the shoulder and drive to the nearest exit and gas station, where I panic dialed my husband and put my George Harrison “All Things Must Pass” CD from the library on track 1. My Sweet Lord, indeed!

So. that’s that. Meanwhile, Ringo (the other Beatle in my life) has been doing okay. I really didn’t think he would be here five weeks in. He has a cough, and it’s not getting any better, but he’s still eating, pooping, and playing our favorite game, “My pimp hand is strong,” which is weird and I’ll describe it another time, but you can sing “My pimp hand’s strong!” to the tune of Alt-J’s “Left Hand Free,” and you’ll get the gist, plus it’s a song about my left hand, or feeding hand to the cat. Okay, I’ve said too much. But here, this might help.

Why have I been working such long and insane hours? Because my co-worker, the one who was such a bitter pill I went back to therapy to deal with her (!) had a family emergency. Her not-quite ex-husband committed suicide. The same one she bitched, moaned and complained about all the time.I guess it IS A thin line between love and hate?

We could all see her taking a week off. Shoot, two weeks wasn’t out of the question. But she’s gone into some sort of a tailspin so they advised her to take family medical leave.

Rumor has it she’ll be returning Monday, but we’ve heard that rumor literally EVERY.WEEK. She’ll e-mail the powers that be and say, “I’m coming back!” And then, nothing. Nada.

Do I seem cold? Heartless? I’m not. The first two weeks, I put my shoulder to the grindstone and pushed it all out, because I wanted her to not worry about work.

But during these past several weeks, she’s texted several people, but not me. No thank you, no nothing. It’s not that I expected it, but she’s made such a big deal about how I was hired to help her, even though…..that’s not really the case. And she loves to bark orders at me, even though….she’s not my boss.

And frankly, we’ve all had tragedy in our lives. I have two uncles who committed suicided (one was shocking, the other not) and my father died on Christmas Eve with no will or burial arrangements. Which we had to make on….Christmas Eve. So I’m not going to say “Cry me a river,” but at the same time, as another co-worker said, “Does she think sitting at home and smoking will make it better?”

Bottom line: She is a miserable, unhappy, complaining person who throws EVERYONE under the bus. She has dug her own grave, metaphorically speaking, by telling me she was intimidated by me when I was hired, yet exhibiting this kind of behavior. Because I can get her job done in less time, without help and mistakes. Person after person has come up to me and said, “we’re rooting for you.” To get full time. But I know that probably won’t happen, she’s protected, she’ll come back and drone on and on about how we couldn’t do it without her.

But I’m not going to dance to her tune anymore. If I’ve gotten one thing, it may not be a full time job, but it’s my confidence back. It had been gone a long, long time.

She has arbitrarily changed my hours since I started in September. Not my supervisor, HER. And I changed them back this week. Because I won’t drive at night, and at rush hour if I don’t have to. I’ll help her as much as I can when she returns, but I will not be dragged into her dark web of drama.

Working women in the workplace can be like this

but for me, it’s been a bunch of drama queens and passive aggressors for too long to count.

In honor of me walking away from full frontal accident, here’s what I’ve been watching on repeat. Some sweet, sweet 1980 goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something blue

Happy New Year. I was so excited for 2015 because I really wanted to make some big changes in my life and move forward, and while that hasn’t altered, sometimes you get a little setback along the way.

I’m not going to talk about that now. There will be another post to come on what we are currently going through here at Chez Tanya and Honey, but it involves my little one, Ringo, my kitty, my baby.

Until then, I wanted to finally share my Knitscene Spring 2015 pattern. The issue is in the mail and stores now, and online for digital purchase. I myself went to a Barnes and Noble yesterday (not the one I worked at) to get a copy for my mom. I actually bought it in the café, along with some cookie dough cheesecake of shame (It’s been a week. A bad, bad week). After I finished eating, I went up to the barista and asked, “Does Holly work here?” Holly was the manager at my BN that finally made me so mad I got out while the getting was good. I had heard a rumor that she had transferred to this particular store. “Yes, he said,” “Because I hate her, ” I said. We smiled at each other and I left. Mature? NO. Satisfying? YES.

So, my pattern. The Ashlee Tee. One thing I knew from having my work published in a couple of books was that the powers-that-be rarely let you keep the name. Only one place, Unique Sheep, has let me. So, this was originally called The Inlet Coverup. I think they gave names of pop stars for my “section” on big cables, like Katy and Colbie. I pray my pattern is not named after jig-dancing Ashlee Simpson, but one never knows. Please Knitscene editors: Love me. Because I love you! Seriously, I really do. This entire process was a joy from start to finish, except the parts where I was on the carpet crying because I’d had to frog something. Knitters know: this happens.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

The Jupiter Inlet (with our Jupiter Lighthouse in the background) was my jumping off point for this pattern. I wanted to capture the color of Jupiter’s waters, a place I played as a child. I pictured someone  in wearing a loose, big gauge knit coverup over their bikini.

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Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

The first thing I’d say is I love the styling story. This was clearly photographed in a  pinball arcade, and I approve! I grew up in video game/pinball arcades. No one could tilt the machines like me!

 

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Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

The theme was big cables, and I love a big cable. HOWEVER: I originally intended to do a drunken cable, but Miss Left-Handed Backwards Knitter came up with something ele. I still love the look, though. The band is sewn on as an afterthought: I did this on purpose, because it gives the top more of a blouson effect. And yes, this is seamed, not in-the-round. As a knitter with a big bust, I feel that seams give me more garment stability. Could you convert this to in-the-round? Yes, but that was not my preference or intention. To each his own, though!

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Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Can I just saw the models are gorgeous? They always are, but this lady is everything. She is giving us Diana Prince realness and I am HERE for it!

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Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

The back is the same as the front: You get a nice, loose U-neck with my design, which is what I was going for. To finish I did a bit of slip stitch crochet around the armholes and neckline. The yarn is Berroco Maya, and I stand by my love of the brand. In my years working in the yarn biz, they were always a dream to deal with on the phone, and their rep was a sweetheart as well. I like a good, mid-priced yarn that you won’t go broke using, but that continually comes up with new ideas every year to stay fashionable, with current color palettes.

I hope folks like this. I’ve already had 43 likes on Ravelry, and that makes me very happy. I wish I had been able to enjoy this accomplishment a little more, but coupled with working overtime this week and Ringo’s health, it’s been difficult. But to have my mother, husband and friends share their pride in me, well, that has been priceless. Thank you.

 

 

My favorite music of 2014 was weird and contained multitudes. Just like me.

I thought I bought a lot more music than I actually did this year! Turns out I just downloaded a lot of free singles off iTunes and ripped a lot of Mozart, Bach and Ricky Skaggs from the library. But since those were two of my money-saving tips, you’re welcome!

Here’s what I downloaded, bought in CD form (if I could have found albums, you know I would have gone there, but the last album on vinyl I bought new was Scarlett Johannson’s Tom Waits’ cover album from a few years back. No, I’m not in love with her, but I do like her singing ventures).

Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar – Robert Plant

I love Handsome Bob but hate Led Zep. I know, right? I was very saddened to hear his marriage to Patti Griffith dissolved. When we saw them both in concert a few years back, the chemistry on stage was electric. Oh well. I love this album, I love Bob’s appreciation for music from all over the world and across all centuries, and his desire to not relive his past. I think being curious is one of the greatest things a person can be. Jimmy Page, who looks like a too-well preserved Robert Evans crossed with a smoked ham, needs to take notes. As for John Paul Jones, holy shit I met him in a Fort Lauderdale parking lot more than ten years ago. I wish the gent nothing but the best!  Also, Glastonbury is on my bucket list. Before 50. I swear.

Aquarius – Tinnashe

One of the best songs and lyrics of the year…”Pretend.”

Let’s pretend we never met.

A good excuse to play forget.

Damn girl. That’s poetry. For all your west coast dreams….

Stay Gold – First Aid Kit

Omygawd they are so adorable. If Ann And Nancy Wilson grew up in Scandinavia and only listened to Emmylou Harris and wore clothes from Free People, they would be these two sisters. Precious. This is one of my favorite album cuts. In all seriousness, I am sad that they only played Orlando in FL. I so wanted to see them.

This is All Yours – Alt J

There is a song on this album called “The Gospel of John Hurt.” We’re done here, right? Okay, it has the weirdest cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” tacked on the end. So there. Although I have nothing against “Left Hand Free,” I give you “Every Other Freckle” instead. Because kittens.

Hypnotic Eye – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

How could I leave TP off the list? I couldn’t. Especially when he’s THIS ornery. My friend was at the show this one is taken from. Even though I’ve seen TP dozens of time, I kind of hate her. Being poor is a hoot.

Jungle

If The Brothers Johnson and The Stereo MCs had a baby, it would sound like this. Look it up. “Busy Earnin'” got a little more play, but this is one of my favorite videos of the year. This child is FIERCE.

Kylie Minoque – Kiss Me Once

I like sex when it has a sense of humor. And thus, I give you….”Sexcercize.” A worthy successor to fellow Aussie Olivia Newton John’s “Physical,” wouldn’t you agree? Also, this woman is my age and has survived breast cancer. I love Kylie, and don’t care who knows it. Best elliptical music ever!

2ne1 – Crush

The album I listened most to this year. Why? I don’t know. Because they are like the Korean Spice Girls? Lord Jesus, I don’t know. When I sat in my THIRD job of the year, working with people I’d worked with eight years ago and no one would talk to me, I listened to this on repeat. I kind of wish no one would talk to me where I sit now. FACT: I’ve looked up all the lyrics in Korean and learned to sing them phonetically. I even know what some of the Korean words mean.

Ah hell. One just isn’t enough!

And for my fever dreams of 1979, I present my favorite video of the year, and a few words on it,

here

and here.

Xanadu crossed with Lost Highway. Indeed.

My favorite movies of 2014 were all metaphors for the modern workplace.

Honey and I don’t go to as many movies as we used to. It makes me a little sad. I think it is hard for us to agree on what to see, even though I try very hard not to take him to every depressing Scandinavian film out there. In fact, I never even attempted to take him to Force Majeure, so there!

As for watching them at home, he will invariably fall asleep, so it’s not even worth it. I have my knitting to keep me awake, not that I expect him to take up knitting. Maybe stamp collecting? I don’t know what the answer is. Again, it makes me sad, since movies are very important to me, to who I am and what I am about.

And so it is with very little fanfare (because who really gives a shit but me?) that I present my favorite movies of 2014. Please understand, there are a lot of things I didn’t see and really wanted to, such as Inherent Vice, The Babadook and Whiplash. I think I will still have a chance anon.

As for what I did see, it’s a mix of high and low. And EVERYTHING IS A METAPHOR FOR THE MODERN WORKPLACE. You have been warned! In no particular order:

Guardians of the Galaxy

If you had told me that the best-selling film soundtrack of the year would have a Rupert Holmes song on it, from AN ALBUM I BOUGHT AT AGE TWELVE BECAUSE I WAS THE WEIRDEST KID EVER! I would have said, please pass the crack pipe, I need another puff. Frankly, I don’t know what brought me more joy: Watching Chris Pratt dance to Redbone or Dancing Baby Groot. Ah hell, I know the answer.

The Lego Movie

Again with the Chris Pratt, right? Frankly, Anna Farris needs to keep her man on lockdown or the whole world will steal him. FACT: I got a Cloud Cuckoo Land Lego Set for Christmas. I don’t know why it came with two pairs of handcuffs, but I guess Emmet and Wyldestyle are into some pretty interesting shit. Save your fifty shades of whatever jokes for next year! Also: Honey and I have watched the video below about 100 times. He will watch a You Tube Clip for days, I can at least say that for him.

Under the Skin

Body horror by Jonathan Glazer for the win! This movie haunts my dreams. The diegetic soundtrack plays in my head. In a perfect world, this almost wordless performance by Scarlett Johannson would get an Oscar nod. What does it really mean to be human? Sometimes, I don’t know. For the boys: Yes she’s nekkid. For the ladies: It’s nice to see a woman with a natural rack and ass for a change, amirite?

Snowpiercer

I waited a long time to see this but it was so worth it. One of the most original, well-designed science fiction films since Blade Runner, and that’s like another ice age ago. I hope Chris Evans isn’t really done with acting, because this was the kind of action hero I could get behind.

Love is Strange

I have a deep twisted fantasy about Alfred Molina, and the less I say about that the better. But this movie was quiet, and simple and the end was devastating and beautiful and hopeful in a way I didn’t anticipate. A beautiful soundtrack of Chopin etudes. And really, two performances that earlier in the summer I thought might get remembered at awards time, but know now won’t with the exception of the Independent Spirit awards.

What really happens when a job with benefits is taken away from you.. .Really people, this movie is a metaphor for the modern workplace.

Only Lovers Left Alive

What’s that you say, the most romantic movie of the year will have Tom Hiddleston and SWINTON as sexy vampires and be languidly directed by Jim Jarmusch! Mais bien sur!

Nightcrawler

And the number one movie of the year for Tanya that was a metaphor for the modern workplace WAS A METAPHOR FOR THE MODERN WORKPLACE! Who am I? I’m a hard worker. I set goals. And I’ve been told I am persistent.

Some of the best nighttime cinematography of L.A. I’ve seen in a while.  Some of the best L.A. auto chases since To Live and Die in L.A. Also, Riz Ahmed’s performance as Rick was a textbook example of what it was like to look for a job in 2014. I speak truth.

 

Next time, Tanya’s mix of K-Pop, hood rat soul and rock from 2014!