Beautiful….

It’s going to be an interesting New Year’s Eve….I pulled my back out yesterday, and am in such pain and walking around with an ice pack in my pants and laws, I just can’t with this! It’s funny, I always seem to pull my back out on New Years. Many moons ago in my party days, I went to a gay disco with my friend (who was gay and on the prowl for men) and I ended up laying on a banquette with a waiter trying to help me stand up at 4 a.m. because I was unable to do so on my own. Due to the back pain, not drinking! Needless to say, my friend had abandoned me for….another man.

But that was then and this is now, and I will be with honey and Mom. So if I fall, I should be offered some help getting up.

I’m not going to write a super-huge “Best Of” lists posts, because I didn’t see enough movies this year to qualify for THAT category. I did watch a shit ton of documentaries, which has been my trend a few years now. I encourage you to look at this short list for the Best Documentary Oscar category. I have seen almost all of them, and highly recommend Cutie and the Boxer – it has stayed with me. Noriko is my hero, and the scene of her walking alone in High Line park resonates.

And you already know how I feel about Frances Ha….There are a few movies we have to see this week when we finally get time together, but I doubt they will supplant how I feel about these two. They were my favorites of the year.

There were no books I read this year that set my world on fire; but I did surpass my Good Reads goal of 30 and made it to 37. My goal next year is 52. Seriously. I am struggling to get into the grove since my eyes are bad and it’s hard to read paper books anymore – print too small! But thanks to a Kindle AND a Nook (I know, it’s pathetic) and a library AND a backlog of books to read, I know I can do it.

I would say the best two books I read this year were Code Name Verity (fiction) and Over Dressed (non-fiction).

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The rest was my usual odd mishmash of YA, nonfiction, celeb bios and erotica. But take me out and spank me hard before I ever read 50 Shades of Shitty Writing.

TV was NOT the thing this year; sadly, I just use TV to keep me company when I’m knitting. But when I’m home alone for long stretches, which happened during my lay off and this past week while honey has been working overtime, I keep it off or watch Netflix. Parks and Rec is my favorite show but it’s been put on hiatus. And I DID enjoy Orange is the New Black, which I gobbled up in one weekend, much like honey did House of Cards. But I hate Spacey, so not so much for me. My motto for the new year?

please

Tell ’em, Laverne.

So that leaves me with music. I bought a lot of music this year! Honey is surprised how much. He used to be a music writer and he’s fallen off dramatically. But I remain curious and hungry for new as well as old; I never want to get too caught up on nostalgia that I ossify. I will always remember an interview with Keith Richards, who I am NOT basing my life philosophy on, bless his heart, but he said there was a part of him that was still 15 years old, and he wanted to nurture that forever. I can get behind that.

And though I bought a lot of music by womyn, there was no “chick rock” on my list, or Perry or Gaga or Miley or other such nonsense. I will also always remember my oh-so-dearly departed former office mate from this year and her absolutely abysmal taste in music, which she referred to as “eclectic.” Just because there are a lot of genres represented, doesn’t mean it isn’t crap.

So, enjoy some videos and I will see you NEXT YEAR. Or Next Tuesday. I actually wrote that in an e-mail to retarded Seth Rogen. “See you next Tuesday.” I don’t think he got it…..

1) Little Boots – Nocturnes

2) Goldfrapp – Tales of Us

3) Jessie Ware – Devotion

4) The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law

5) Sarah Jarosz – Build Me Up From Bones

6) Sarah Brightman – Dreamchaser (yes, I love this crazy bitch!)

7) Lone Bellow (going to see them live in three weeks!)

8) Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time

9) Arctic Monkeys – AM

10)  Ben Rector (FACT: I pinned a photo of Ben on Pinterest, and have almost 200 repins. I mean, he’s cute but really? Either way, this is my favorite song of the year. He is giving me Jackson Browne Realness in these lyrics).

Photograph (s)

The year is almost over and I am so glad! I have many plans and goals for the new year, but those will come later. Next week. I need to sop of the last of this crap year with a biscuit and feed it to the hogs. Metaphor too gross? Sorry, that’s how I roll.

I have quit my job at the Camp From Hell, so no more will I face the daily prospect of a dozen rabbis in a tiny room. It sounds like a bizarre Woody Allen pron movie, I know. And yet, it was my life for five weeks. No mas! I spent Christmas Even listening to music that was too horrific to be called klezmer (which can actually be fun) piped in a loudspeaker at Defcon Five levels. Was this how I wanted to spend my Christmas Eve? Mais non! But when I got in on Thursday to listen to the answer phone messages, the neighbors who called to complain were even more annoyed than me. Who knew?!

Because I have a tiny bit of a conscience left, I gave notice in a mature way, and said I’d stick around a few days to help ease the transition, no pay needed. Call me crazy but I couldn’t leave them in the lurch. Tomorrow I’ll go in again and spend a few hours with idiot Seth Rogen’s wife, who is actually quite pretty and Australian, and looks like Muriel’s Wedding era Toni Collette, albeit with Angelina Jolie lips. I know! She is quite fetching in her own way. She could do better than idiot Seth Rogen. But I shan’t tell her this.

I start a new job on January 6th, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Please, don’t let it rise. It’s professional, it’s in an office on the fifth floor, and I have a cubicle. I pray it will be normal and I don’t write here complaining every day. I know you pray that, too.

Honey has been working nights the last week, and my car was in the shop (don’t ask what happens when you don’t change your oil in three years. Just – don’t) and my debit card was hijacked in the Target mess, so I’ve been landlocked. Watching a lot of French movies, reading and going through my Dropbox. I’m pretty boring, but there were a few highlights this year. Because pictures make the blog post so much livelier, why not go down memory lane with me?

One of my favorite things I made this year. A simple triangle granny in 1970s' colors.

One of my favorite things I made this year. A simple triangle granny in 1970s’ colors.

A special summer lunch with mom and honey. She always makes us feel so welcome. It's the simple things that bring me joy, like a well-laid table.

A special summer lunch with mom and honey. She always makes us feel so welcome. It’s the simple things that bring me joy, like a well-laid table.

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It was a small Christmas for us, and a sad one for me. This is mom's tree, which she gave me. We spent the day before Christmas Eve crying. The bell ornaments are from when she and my dad where a couple in high school.

It was a small Christmas for us, and a sad one for me. This is mom’s tree, which she gave me. We spent the day before Christmas Eve crying. The bell ornaments are from when she and my dad were a couple in high school.

One of those Saturdays in  February after lunch and bloody marys at Howleys when the world seemed big and bold and like I could do anything. Or at least take a picture of a blimp.

One of those Saturdays in February after lunch and bloody marys at Howleys when the world seemed big and bold and like I could do anything. Or at least take a picture of a blimp.

Can you tell I'm obsessed with my hair? No, seriously…..

Can you tell I’m obsessed with my hair? No, seriously…..

Before the grey REALLY started to come in.

Before the grey REALLY started to come in.

Watching my grey hair grow out is a process. This is my Mrs. Robinson brown streak in the front.

Watching my grey hair grow out is a process. This is my Mrs. Robinson brown streak in the front.

Another happy customer at Stitch Rock!

Another happy customer at Stitch Rock!

My epic list of all the pies I could think of, and all the Game of Thrones characters I could think of, which I made during our two-day meetings from hell this summer - meant to brainstorm to help save the company. I was in a massive layoff and now my old boss is writing me for resume tips. You can see how well it worked!

My epic list of all the pies I could think of, and all the Game of Thrones characters I could think of, which I made during our two-day meetings from hell this summer – meant to brainstorm to help save the company. I was in a massive layoff and now my old boss is writing me for resume tips. You can see how well it worked!

Minor league basseball makes the summer better down here.

Minor league baseball makes the summer better down here.

Honey in front a a Tardis at Comic Con

Honey in front a a Tardis at Comic Con

A smaller Comic Con we went to in the Fall. It was dinky, but I love this shot I took of Baby Harlequin!

A smaller Comic Con we went to in the Fall. It was dinky, but I love this shot I took of Baby Harlequin!

A dear friend went to an 80s revival concert in Melbourne, FL and got me this gorgeous hand-dyed yearn from Fresh From the Cauldron. It is named after Molly RIngwald's character in Pretty in Pink, and is the best gift ever!

A dear friend went to an 80s revival concert in Melbourne, FL and got me this gorgeous hand-dyed yearn from Fresh From the Cauldron. It is named after Molly RIngwald’s character in Pretty in Pink, and is the best gift ever!

After "She who will not be named" left the office in the Spring. She left this shelf behind, and I used it in my craft shows. I do not miss the bitch.

After “She who will not be named” left the office in the Spring. She left this shelf behind, and I used it in my craft shows. I do not miss the bitch.

Pumpkin patch at our new church. I am glad I finally found a church where I feel welcome, am not hounded for money (though I am happy to give when I can), and with a pastor who is funny, down-to-earth, and not hung up on stupid, extraneous stuff.

Pumpkin patch at our new church. I am glad I finally found a church where I feel welcome, am not hounded for money (though I am happy to give when I can), and with a pastor who is funny, down-to-earth, and not hung up on stupid, extraneous stuff.

My dad made this, and it's on a table in my mom's house. I am still amazed by his creativity, and miss him every day.

My dad made this, and it’s on a table in my mom’s house. I am still amazed by his creativity, and miss him every day.

I developed a shopping addiction to Target (HAHAHA). I was so depressed at my last job that I'd go there on the way home and blow $200 on things like high heels I will never wear.

I developed a shopping addiction to Target (HAHAHA). I was so depressed at my last job that I’d go there on the way home and blow $200 on things like high heels I will never wear.

The Brad Paisley show we went to for free (honey was reviewing) was surprisingly great. It was hotter than Satan at a barbecue and I cried during the most incongruous song, but that's me.

The Brad Paisley show we went to for free (honey was reviewing) was surprisingly great. It was hotter than Satan at a barbecue and I cried during the most incongruous song, but that’s me.

Sorry these are a little out of order, but you get the idea. And that was the shit year that was 2013!

A five pound box of money

It’s true, you have never seen this girl blog so much in such a short time, but that’s what utter boredom will do to a person.

I write this now, sitting in a shed-like room on the campgrounds where I’m “working.” This is my third, and hopefully last Saturday. I come in this room and sit by myself with NOTHING TO DO,while in the room next door, what sounds like contact bingo is happening.

I am working for a 26-year-old idiot I refer to as a retarded Seth Rogen. If you ask me how many rabbis it takes to change a light bulb, I would tell you probably more than seven, because I have been in a room the size of my bedroom with that many and they can’t manage much, unless annoying me counts.

I’m making this brief so we can all laugh at this, and I can tell you I have a job interview on Monday. I think it will be better than the one with the crazy dog lady. It is at a professional building and it’s doing what I’ve done before: research. If the owner isn’t a douche, and I get paid more than I have been (and we’ve already had a phone interview and I think I will), it could be a go.

Either way I’m blowing this popsicle stand. I already told you there’s been a scabies outbreak, and the only girls’ bathroom I get to use hasn’t been cleaned in almost two weeks. My worry is they’d hold to the six weeks notice part of my contract, but I see signs that it probably won’t be the case, plus if I get mental and call this guy a fucking moron (which he is) I think he’ll want me gone.

In conclusion, I am putting up a photo that we took during our modelling shoot for Dreads and Curls items on Etsy. Sadly, I didn’t set the world on fire with my sales like I did last year, but for some reason, this hat is flying off the shelves. Is it the model we used? I don’t know. You’ll have to judge his Blue Steel  for yourselves.

il_570xN.527735626_5yy9And finally, my new favorite Christmas song. Sing it, Pearl!

Getting Ready for Christmas Day

I want to thank the two lovely friends who commented on the last post, and let everyone know I always reply to comments. There are so few, why not?! I kid, I kid, because I love.

I also want to say don’t worry about me; I am that perfect model of the Kübler-Ross grief thing, although I seem to have flip-flopped anger and depression. But that’s me, doing things bass ackwards. I am well into the anger phase now, and it gives me strength and, dare I say it? Pep. Next stop, bargaining and acceptance!

Another thing to say: As bad as things have been, at least I am not in a hospital watching my father die and dealing with the Hospice people, who I like to call the angels of death. Understand, this is me and my black humor, and it is how I cope with things. I would rather laugh than cry.

And so, I can tell you that this week at work, there was an outbreak of SCABIES, yes, I said SCABIES from the girls’ camp that is here now, and I heard about it secondhand whilst my boss was sitting right across from me in a tiny office the size of my bedroom talking with two other MEN, because why in the world would he tell me, when I use the communal bathroom where my ass has not touched the seat since I started here in November??!! I had to ask the cook for clarification.

I can also let slip that I have started applying for jobs again like a crazy person, and actually had an interview yesterday. However, it was at a non-profit showroom that is set up like a store (they look like a thrift shop but……aren’t. Don’t ask! It’s Florida). There was a homeless encampment on the side of the building — well, two guys with a makeshift home, including TV and rolling chairs. And the woman who interviewed me was a dotty elderly English lady who had advertised for someone who knew Pagemaker and Illustrator et al., to do flyers and also manager their Constant Contact mailing list (something I did at the yarn barn). Instead she started telling me she had all these ideas to do doggie yogurt days because she bought a machine that made doggie yogurt, and the dogs and their owners would come in and it would be a social hub and destination where folks could meet and mingle and I did ask, “What about the cats?” but was told they are different, and maybe there would be a cat scratch off game and damn, that’s sad and that was before a vet I used to see came in to bring her a bottle of wine and I told him I recognized him because he used to look like Mark McGwire, but now he resembled a fat redheaded Brad Pitt and I really want you to picture that and then you can picture me telling this nice but dotty old broad that “It’s not you, it’s me, and I don’t think I’m the right person for the job” but she was offended and all “WHY?!” which is what I got when I tried to extricate myself from the scabies shithole I’m at now, but I felt sorry for my boss who I now actively hate, and I actually sent him an e-mail last week that ended with “See You Next Tuesday!” so you can see how that went though I am at least proud of telling her NO, regardless of how uncomfortable it was.

And then I went to Sonic for a burger, onion rings and cherry limeade and went home to watch old drumming videos on YouTube and read a romance novel set in the Ozark mountains.

I hope you enjoyed my Henry James longest sentence ever, and are at least laughing WITH me, not at me.

Below is a photo of Ringo on my quilt; he demands to lay with me every morning and night now.

Remember, just like Cornershop sang, "Everyone needs a bosom for a pillow."

Remember, just like Cornershop sang, “Everyone needs a bosom for a pillow.”

Blue Christmas

I wrote a super long post on Friday when I was at a pretty dark hour (and during work, to boot!) but the thought of publishing it seems a little overdramatic.

It’s saved, but I don’t think it should see the light of day.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a difficult week. I took a part-time job at a camp as the office manager. It could be a good job, even a great one, while I take time to get my life back together and figure out what I am going to do with the rest of it (!). But I don’t think that’s going to be the case, because the director has not been 100% honest with me about what’s going on there, and what the working conditions are like. I think that’s about the deepest I want to go right now.

So, after three weeks of training with the former OM, who was quite lovely and honest but who is now incommunicado, I was thrown into the fire this week. I almost walked out the door several times, never to look back. In fact, that’s what she encouraged me to do before she left. I should have listened, but I felt guilty and didn’t want to be that kind of person.

For all that I sometimes think I am selfish, the truth is that I’m NOT, and it’s my empathy, and to a greater extent, guilt, that has gotten me into some sticky situations.

What will happen next week? I don’t know. I could still walk at any minute. That’s all I can say. Oh, and I’m applying for other jobs. But I think that’s obvious.

In the spirit of not dwelling on this ugliness, I will move on and say I can’t wait for this year to end. My father-in-law has a theory that odd numbered years are the sucky ones, but in my experience that doesn’t quite bear out. Things suck because of circumstances, and I’m in a bad one now. I don’t suffer from clinical depression, but I do get situational depression, and when I’m in a pickle or bind and things seem hopeless, it’s really not a good time to be around me.

I had hoped my knits would sell on Etsy this X-mas, since I had done so well last year. Sadly, with the lone exception of selling a men’s hat, I have not. That’s despite a massive photo shoot we did with some of the most gorgeous models you can imagine. The pictures turned out great, and frankly, this is the best I can do. I can do no better. If these photos don’t sell the work, nothing will. And so, I am at a crossroads. A lot of folks said they wanted to buy stuff, but then they get busy with other things or forget or maybe they don’t like what I’m offering? I don’t know. But it happens, and believe it or not, this hasn’t depressed me. It’s just one of those things. I know most have already seen the photos, but here it is, for some visual interest in this depressing blog post 😉

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Also worth noting: My husband is working almost straight through till the new year, and working every Sunday in December. He is working till 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve. And I am working on Saturdays….So, not a lot of time together, and what we have is stressful.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you: I thought having a parent die on Christmas was about the worst thing I could go through (well, except for my heart attack, and my husband’s life-threatening blood disease, and – okay, I’ll stop!) but no one told me about the year after.

I have been so deeply sad that somedays I don’t think I can bear it. I miss my father so much, and I miss all the things he’d do for us on Christmas. I don’t miss the things that go along with having an alcoholic for a parent, but I had forgotten all the thoughtful things he  did. When I started knitting again in my thirties, dad got me Pam Allen’s Knitting for Dummies. It’s how I retaught myself everything about knitting. Two years ago he got me a sewing machine, and when I used it last Sunday all I could think about was him.  I miss all the Christmas music he used to play, even though it annoyed me at the time. I miss his joy in the simple things, even though I spent years not understanding.

It is going to be a blue Christmas for me, but I am trying so hard to rise above. I will not be with my family for the first time in many years. My mother has decided to spend the day with my sister and her new granddaughter, and I am not invited. My sister and I aren’t speaking. Don’t ask! Sometimes, I wonder if it would be different if I had been able to give her a grandchild. But that ship has sailed, so I guess I’ll never know. My mother is going through a rough time, too, I know. But some of the things she has used to deal with it, like her overt and sometimes frightening religiosity, scare me. Without a surfeit of details, I can say no more.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. I am trying to wrestle with some very difficult feelings and problems that I know I can get through. People always tell me I’m such a strong person. I guess I am? But I am tired of being strong, that’s for sure. They tell me I’m smart, too, but I don’t know….I don’t think a smart person would have taken this shit job! (There’s a bit of the old me, peeking through).

Last night, honey and went out for Burrito Brothers and then we went to Tuesday Morning, the bastion of my consumerist dreams. No, really. If you have been to the shitty, cramped Tuesday Mornings, please know that I have, too! But we have a huge one in a big, high-ceilinged, well-lit space, and it is my mecca. I am always on the lookout for cheap Louisa Harding yarn, but last night we both spent under $30 on each other’s X-mas gifts.

I have so little money, and our financial obligations have increased, so that is the best we can do. But it was fun, and we each picked things we liked, and even got a game to play on Christmas day. I have never been a person to get extravagant things, or even want them. Please know that. What is difficult is knowing how little money I am making compared to what I used to, and how important it is to me to rectify that, for my own well-being, security and peace of mind.

As you can see, I have some goals for the new  year! I really do. What I hope is that when and if I blog in the future, it will be with some fun tidbits on the things I am doing to save money, on the changes I am making to be more financially savvy, and back to the things I love in the world of music and movies. Not so much TV anymore. Not a whole lot I love, and since Parks and Rec got put on hiatus, I am bereft.

Hey, I can tell you my favorite movie I saw this year (so far) was Frances Ha, and that my husband has interviewed one of the SAG and Golden Globe acting nominees, and let’s be frank, probable Oscar nominees, too, and I am going to do a contest when the Academy nods come out to see if you can guess who it is! Prizes WILL be awarded. Feel free to guess now, but I’m keeping mum for a few weeks. Want to make sure it goes as I think it will.

See, I left things on a positive note. Who knew I could do THAT?