Random thoughts

Random thoughts:

1) I really hate it when people give you a condescending compliment, don’t you? Yesterday I was sitting with another woman who has gone gray like me, and a co-worker said, “Oh look, it’s the two natural haired ladies. You know, they say gray hair is “in” now!”

Well, hunty, it’s more “in” that that brassy dye job you’ve been sporting for 30 years, just sayin’.

2) Ringo had a bad morning today. Just earth-rattling coughs that will wake you out of a sound sleep. But then, he carries on like nothing’s wrong. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer four months ago, I thought we had weeks left, and it’s been four months. But in the back of my mind, I’ve always felt he’s just been holding on until April 18th.

The day we’ve been waiting for.

3) My mother is getting married in a month. My 75-year-old mother is marrying her 88-year-old boyfriend. Ask me how I feel about this. Okay, don’t. It’s best if you don’t. The heart wants what it wants, right?

4) I will hopefully interview for a full-time job next week. I don’t assume I’m a slam-dunk by any means. It’s been a rough week; honey and I are under so much pressure we’ve had stomach problems, he’s been working 14-hour days, and he’s leaving for Chicago this weekend while of course, I can’t go because NO VACATION TIME. And there have been tears on my end, I’m not going to lie. But I have come to the realization if I don’t do what I want, and ask for what I want, I’ll never get it. So at least I’ve had that breakthrough? Ask me again next week.

5) I watched 20 hours of on-demand this past weekend because we had an Xfinity Watchathon. So, 10 hours of Outlander and seven of The Knick (which we had started a year ago). It was so lovely to see:

a) A primitive appendectomy (which I’ve had)

b) A primitive hear cauterization by wire (which I’ve had)

c) A primitive splenectomy (which my husband’s had)

All in glorious, gory 1910 color. Also, lots of ROBOT BABIES and women getting their teeth ripped out by quacks because, you know, women!

Let’s end with this: I had not seen this performance from the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships until a former ice dancer turned me on to it. The number three Canadian team, giving you Say Anything feels. Enjoy! (someone clearly had good seats and filmed it on their phone, and yet it’s better than most of the pro videos out there!)

 

Just what I needed.

When I die, I want Ben Orr and Karen Carpenter to sing to me as I enter the pearly gates. Because they are both in music heaven and they have my favorite voices of the rock era. Am I weird for saying that? What if I don’t go to heaven? Oh, whatever. Also, if Larry Gatlin introduces you, you must be special, amirite?

Lord, please find me a NEW JOB!!!

Because I can’t stop….

Changes

Change is good, or so they say. I’m not quite sure who the mysterious “they” are, but they do talk a lot.

This week at work, we had a big reorganization/restructuring meeting. Although I’ve heard of these meetings referred to as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, I’m so burned by the past eight years of gigging from one job to the next that it barely registers with me.

Four high-level middle management positions are being eliminated(is that even a thing?!), but five new positions are being created. Will these four people move sideways? Who knows.

All I know is this: There is a full-time opening that I’m more than qualified for and I WANT IT. I sent my application in today, and hope to interview for it soon.

And frankly, if I don’t get the job I need to move on to the next great gig in the sky. I can no longer afford to work part time for table scraps, hoping something more permanent comes along. If it doesn’t, that’s all the message I need.

In other ramblings, is a bad thing if you’re a two-hit wonder but both your songs are so awesome that when you are driving and they come on, they make driving BETTER?

Thank you, Golden Earring, for just doing you.

In other change news, after the news from the meeting yesterday, my mother sent me a series of e-mails saying she had something she wanted to talk about. I decided to just call her since I got home at the stupid hour of 2 p.m. and just wasn’t ready to dig into Outlander on the Xfinity Watchathon Weekend. Yet.

Besides, I already knew what she was going to tell me. My 75-year-old mother has decided, three years after my father’s sudden death, to remarry an 88-year-old man.

Forgive me if I’m not shouting Mazel Tov! from the top of buildings. I will accept it, and try to deal with it. I don’t think my sister will, but that’s my sister, who incidentally, I haven’t spoken to in two years (by choice) but who now wants to know what I think of this development.

I’m not happy. I don’t like the man very much, and there are other extenuating factors that I don’t feel open enough to get into on a blog, though lord knows I’ve said just about everything else.

But she insists they are getting an airtight pre-nup, so I guess Kanye would approve.

As for me, I can’t pretend to know what makes my mother happy. She has not had the easiest of lives. Do I think she can be naïve? Yes, and I’ve told her so  just like I can be hypersensitive. We all have our flaws and tics, and if we can’t change them, at least we can acknowledge them.

But I don’t want to jeopardize the last years I have left with my mother over a disagreement. She is not senile. She does not have Alzheimer’s. She is not a child. For me to claim otherwise will be a lie.

All I could do was tell her I don’t agree with what she’s doing, nor do I particularly like her swain, who I find just as domineering as my father, albeit in different ways. But I will be cordial and polite towards him.

The heart wants what it wants. Mine wanted graham crackers with marshmallow fluff, so I ate that as a snack all week. It happens.

Life happens. Shit happens. The world keeps turning, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find out where I fit in to the whole shitty mess.

But I’ll keep trying.

Great gig in the sky

I have a confession to make: I am writing this at work. I have absolutely NOTHING to do today. Frankly, I don’t have much to do these days. As I’ve already mentioned, Debbie Downer has been very….let’s say withholding, since she’s been back.

And in fairness, season is running down. But I’m supposed to be learning from the other coordinators, and no one really wants to teach me. Because that would endanger THEIR job.

The only positive thing I can mention is that a sweet girl who started the same day I did, back in September, is leaving to move back home with family. Her position MAY be opening up, and I want it. And I’ll try for it, and if I don’t get it, the writing is on the wall – written in blood and tears!

I would normally be out of here by now, but Negative Nancy told me that she wanted to leave early, and the boss told her she could if I can in from noon to five, the most ridiculous hours on the fucking planet. And it kind of doesn’t make sense, since the boss is off today, the person I’m supposed to coordinate for left at noon and we all knew she would. So why am I here again? Sitting here with a raging migraine, my period and NOTHING TO DO FOR FIVE HOURS.

But wait!  I decided to upload one of my long-hibernating novels to Google Drive and work on revisions! Because I could totally self-publish now, why not? Who cares how bad or dated they might be?! Where was Google Drive ten years ago when I really needed it?!

Except….I put the first one up instead of the second one, and that was a mistake because your first novel should probably stay in that metaphysical desk drawer, I’m discovering.

When I was actively trying to write and get published in the laste 90s, early 2000s (up until 2006), I spent time in critique groups. And they DID NOT work for me. I don’t mean to disparage them, they work for some folks. And who’s to say I just wasn’t in the right ones? I really believe that was the problem. The first was with an older friend I met at a writing group, her doctor friend (who couldn’t write), and an ex-flight attendant and divorcée from Vancouver who hadn’t finished high school.

I’ll give you three guesses who has a shit ton of self-pubbed books on Amazon now. And whether they are good or bad( and they were almost unreadable back in the day), she at least DID it. What she wanted to do. And I can’t turn my nose up at that.

The second group was with a multi-published and agented author, who wrote in multiple genres, and though she was great and encouraging, I felt my writing at that time (the edgy young adult with four main characters) was not a good fit for the group.

So, in the case of my first book, a chick lit set in Atlanta, I let it be critiqued to death and it turned into a cutesy-poo piece of drivel that wasn’t “me.” And it is dated with way too many secondary characters, and that is no one’s fault but my own.

My question now is: Do I abandon the first novel (YES). Okay, I just answered my own question. But do I then work on the second (I can TRY. I didn’t make a lot of changes from the critiques).  Or do something else?

Here is my idea: I wrote a short story long ago that is actually GOOD. I am NOT embarrassed by it. I think I could definitely list that at Amazon for .99 cents.

Then, if I’m really feeling it, edit novel number two and get it out there. But if I’m not, move on to number three.

Write something completely new and different. Make it a novella, so there’s not as much worry and commitment.  Or even more short stories, which I really enjoy writing. Make it what I really want, don’t be afraid to be “too edgy” (something I used to get hammered for all the time, and now, HELLOO! Edge is IN).

Or, number four: Do something in a more essays/memoir vein, about what it’s like working in the new “gig” economy, which I’ve sadly been doing for the last eight years.

Whatever I decide, it’s my decision, and getting to that point alone is worth it.

It’s now Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, and also my beloved husband’s birthday. I hope the coming weeks will provide me with some clarity, and the ability to MOVE FORWARD where I am, or MOVE ON if that’s what I must do.

In very brief knitting news, and just to get some pictures of interest up here, this is the project I am currently working on – Thelma, from Berroco in Berroco Mixer, a tough thick and thin yarn that I had to rip back ten inches on a few weeks ago. But I’m a perfectionist, dammit!

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This is the color I am using – I wanted the steel blue with gold accents, but it wasn’t available. I think this goes well with my hair.

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It is VERY baggy, and I have gone done four needle sizes to what’s recommended to get gauge. Fingers crossed!

 

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.