Have a little sympathy for Paul Sorvino…

Today I went to the grocery store to get a few things to last me the next few days while honey is out of town. As I was standing and waiting in the checkout line, as one does, I looked at the National Enquirer’s “Worst Beach Bodies!” issue. And there in the top right corner was…Paul Sorvino. Yep, that’s right. Big, round Paul Sorvino.

Paul has always been big and round! He has the body of an Italian opera singer! Didn’t he even try his hand at the opera singing? I seem to remember that he did.

My point, and I do have one, is I would EXPECT Paul Sorvino to be a round mound of man at the beach. This is not shocking, National Enquirer! You are slipping if you think it is newsworthy.

“Older Italian Man at Beach is Hairy and Overweight”

There’s your headline, geniuses.

Hey, good news. Tom Petty, avec Heartbreakers, has a new album coming out tomorrow and I pre-ordered it from Amazon with my AmEx points credit, because I HAVE NO MONEY.

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I love TP like I love sleeping, kitty cats and color pink. Oops, those things don’t go together. Oh well. I love TP so much I have seen him in concert more than 10 times. That’s a lot! I love TP so much I have a concert T-shirt from the “Damn the Torpedoes” tour. When I wear it in public, I get a lot of jealous looks. Yes, beyotch, I was there when I was a mere tadpole. And I kept my shirt in good condition! (Hint: don’t over wash blacks).

I love TP so much I toured the studio (Ocean Way) where he recorded a bunch of stuff, and saw the room he worked in. There were photos of it in the She’s the One soundtrack album art. Hey, that movie blew, but the soundtrack didn’t. TP’s cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Change the Locks” is the stuff dreams are made of.

I love TP so much I once made a friend on a TP forum back in the Bravenet days (did I just date myself?). She was good friends with…Stan Lynch! And she visited me and called him on my phone, because she was going to visit him on the way back from my place. I always thought that was kind of cool. So was my friend, if memory serves.

I love TP so much I once saw him in SoFla, and then a week later I flew to Reno, Nevada to see him AGAIN. Same tour! But guess what — entirely different sets! That’s a true performer. Plus, I hung out with another friend from the Bravenet forum, who took me on a tour of the Ponderosa (yes, THAT Ponderosa, I even had a Hoss burger!) and now he’s a reporter who was on CBS’ 48 Hours, which was kind of trippy to see when I came across him channel surfing one night. I always remember him buying me noodles in the casino. He also had to drive me to a Walgreens to buy tampons, because the hotel gift shop didn’t have them. Have I said too much?

I love TP so much I have a tattoo to prove it, but you knew that. The only good thing about the past few days of my life is that Sirius FM has launched a TP channel that runs until August 4. Nothing but TP, all the time! I could die and go to heaven. And I might, while I’m driving in Florida. Today a semi couldn’t make the turn at a stoplight (where I was clearly behind the line) and almost knocked my Kia off the planet. And he honked at me, because CLEARLY, I was the one in the wrong. ASS. Then, when I exited I-95, and waited at the stoplight by the overpass, someone decided they needed to get back ON I-95 and decided to, oh, just carve himself over in my lane and almost knock me out.

But hey! It’s okay, because MY FAVORITE TP SONG was on the radio! Not “American Girl,” though that’s my tattoo. No, it was obscure-ish album cut “Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid).” I love a song where part of the title is in parentheses! Word nerd alert!

I love TP so much I say that God told Florida it could do ONE THING right, and so it gave us TP. That’s it! Florida has never done anything else worthy. I’m a fucking native. Trust me on this.

The album (well, CD) will arrive from my UPS man tomorrow. I did not buy it as an iTunes MP3, because I have all my TP on vinyl or CD. I don’t trust the cloud when it comes to TP! Nope. I have lost some of my music in the cloud. Let that be a lesson to you.

And the last TP album I got was Mojo, which I got for free when I worked at Barnes and Noble in 2011. When a CD was done in the rotation (and believe me, the rotation often took MONTHS, as the Adele CD proved), we could ask/sign up to get it. And since no one ever wanted the things I did, I got Mojo. And Willie Nelson. And Robert Plant. And Air. You get the picture. Nothing anyone under the age of thirty would consider. They were fighting over that Adele CD, though!

So, TP comes tomorrow, and I am happy.

I put my sample in the mail to Knitscene today. I am not putting up photos because I don’t know that it is allowed, and even though approximately 5.5  people visit this blog a week, I figured I should be a good girl.

I went through hell at the finish line. Is it my fault for procrastinating in June? Yes. But I had a tear-soaked meltdown on Friday, and had to reknit an entire bottom cable band. Which I did on Friday night and Saturday. Then, I melted down AGAIN last night in my grafting from hell session. I finally got it and did it, but I’ve seen better. Then, I found this incredible site today, and he has a left-handed grafting video! Oh had I but seen in earlier. But better late than never, right?!

The finished product LOOKS like my original sketch. But there’s a little lumpy part at the graft (under an underarm seam). Is it very noticeable? No. But to me, it is. I was going to attach a note apologizing for said imperfection, but honey reminded me that I always tell him you shouldn’t call attention to your flaws.

So I guess I am flaunting the imperfection?

I am still in fear this will get rejected. But we’ll see. I did everything I could. I still have to write up the damned thing tomorrow, and if you saw my scribbled notes, you would laugh and point at me. This is why I haven’t posted any humble brags at Facebook yet. And probably won’t, ever.

So, wish me luck. Now that this is done, I have to get a job, and fast. I plan to find out my status in regards to returning to my temp one after my birthday, which is early August. If the answer is no, I at least want to lock down a recommendation.

I have told you how tough this summer has been for me (broken toe, hospitalized mother-in-law, no money, etc.). And it has been. It’s not getting any better. I have enough money to last me into September. That’s it. I have learned to be frugal and accept that buying stuff isn’t the path to happiness. I always sort of knew that, and I’m no hoarder or shopaholic, but there were times when I could have pulled the throttle back. I get that now.

And despite the fact that I haven’t lost a pound this summer, I have come to a truce with my appearance. I am good enough. I don’t need to compare myself to others all the time  — being home alone will help with that! But seriously. I spent my entire pre-teen and teen years feeling ugly and frankly, being TOLD I was ugly. Kids are awful, and in a way I’m glad I don’t have any, because if I did have a daughter and anyone insulted her I would kick the shit out of that person like a spider monkey on Mountain Dew, and you know it.

Maybe my workout level wasn’t what I wanted — hello, broken toe?! — but I have started using the My Fitness Pal app, and it’s helping me see where I can adjust portions. Because I am never going Paleo. I love bread like I love TP. Get it?!

So forgive all the selfies I’ve been posting. But I’ve been having fun taking photos with no makeup but a slash of lipstick and realizing at 47 (well, not QUITE yet) I look pretty good. That’s got to count for something this summer, right?

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Reading, writing and procrastinating

It’s 9:03 a.m. and I have A LOT to do today. The procrastination train keeps on rolling into the station and I have not finished my pattern or sample. I will finish the back today, and block the front and back. Then I have to figure out how I’m going to do the band. I have a few ideas. Time to figure them out!

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a lot. Almost too much? But when you consider I have approximately 200 paid for books on my e-Readers, and almost 50 in my real book tbr stack, I’m in too deep. I also keep checking out books from the library because, reasons.

I signed up to do a 52 books this year challenge, and I am actually….wait for it….ahead of schedule! I have read 32 books this year. So, there is that. It’s not generating money for me, or a 401K or insurance plan, but I am proud of it. I always say I would rather read a book than work out, and although that is not a good thing, it’s true.

I plan to return to the gym this afternoon, but only on the bike. My broken toe is still…broken, but for the first time in three weeks it is feeling a little better.

Instead of working on my pattern, I took a few days off to make a silly hat.

20140717_082049-2I mean, come on, right? A simple striped slouch. The yarn is Takhi Tweed, and I had one ball each in the opposing colors you see. I bought them online for a design submission I never did. When I found the necklace and earring set at a local thrift store, I had to have them. They are made from abalone shells. I plan to cut the beads off the pendant and sew it to the hat. The earrings are my free gift to whoever purchases this bit of pirate/deadhead goodness. That’s assuming I even get in a craft fair this fall.

I want to tell you I have been happy this summer, but it has been difficult. I have delayed on an important project which, if I had just buckled down, could have been done in June. I could have been temping this whole month. So, I am a little mad at myself. Nothing new there.

There are things going on in our lives that I don’t talk about on social media. Family stuff that gets me worried, gets me down. I worry that I will not get this job back, and will have wasted a summer on foolishness. As the days tick by, the worry grows until it is an insurmountable thing that I build up even bigger in my mind, until I am convinced that we won’t have a place to live come December.

Although these are irrational thoughts (I hope?) I can’t help them. Couple that with the fact that I have been seriously ruminating on finding my natural parents before it’s too late. I have all the info I need to fill out for the Florida Children’s Home Society to do a search. But the money is the problem. Yes, they charge. A lot. No, it is not fair or right to be part of a closed adoption in the 1960s with no recourse but to hand over cash to the state to get any info. But there it is.

And it’s tough when your money trickles down to almost nothing. The fear is terrible. I can’t afford to go to the doctor, to get my eye drops I need, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford my blood pressure medication. As soon as I finish and mail this project, I am going to Martin County where’s there’s a new store, Style Encore. It’s like Plato’s Closet, but for adults (not teens). I can sell a bunch of my clothes that I can’t wear and never could. We are talking price tags still on them! That should get me a week’s worth of food.

I’m selling a ton of knitting books on Ravelry. DVDs like Chungking Express (to think I am selling a Wong Kar Wai…) on Half.Com. Some clothes on EBay. I hope some of it pans out.

I am not writing about these things to sound depressing or to further sadden myself. I’m trying to relate that I’ve at least done it, managed on less this summer. I haven’t bought much of anything for myself. I stocked up on my skincare and haircare items – which are inexpensive drugstore brands anyway – before the summer started. That was smart. God bless CeraVe and Walgreens bogo special.

I have also come to the realization that I’m over Facebook, completely. I have curtailed my posting and will cut down even more in the future. Sadly, I still need it for craft fair publicity, and I do love keeping in touch with my college sisters. But I am frustrated by all the ads, by everyone posting the same memes over and over again, and by the thing a co-worker and I used to call “Assaults of positivity.” I don’t want or need your inspirational message on a picture of fucking flowers or some lady sitting at the beach. Ugh!

And I’m sick of the fitness brags, for that’s what they are. I’m so happy your workout works for you. But unless you are telling me about a fun song on your gym playlist, I don’t care. It makes me want to exercise less!

Okay, deep breath. That is enough venting. I have to shower and get to work. But I will leave with this: These are the two best movies I’ve watched this summer. The first is on Netflix streaming, the second on Amazon Prime. I highly recommend both.

 

How to save money!! (well, sort of….)

I’m not going to lie to you. Much like Bananarama sang once upon a time, it’s been a cruel summer. I broke my toe. My “computer reading” glasses broke, and can’t be fixed. Our ceiling started leaking — I mean, really leaking. And it took them a week to fix it. My mother’s beloved dog is dying. My mother-in-law has been in the hospital for weeks with severe complications from diabetes and a probable mini stroke. And much like Simply Red sang, money’s too tight to mention.

So if you will forgive me that opening paragraph of doom and gloom, I want it to be known that I’m still here. Every day is a challenge. I feel a little like I’ve been under house arrest this summer. I have given my car to my husband four out of five workdays a week. The rest I am here. I have, with the exception of the two days a week I go out in cute shorts and T-shirts and sandals (three sets), worn the same three ratty ripped T-shirts and shorts (and don’t forget the forgiving yoga pants!) around the apartment all summer.

And though I have less than three weeks — I mean, a LOT less, to get my pattern and sample in the mail to Knitscene, I’m sitting here attempting to be the avatar of penny pinching. Now, THAT’S a laugh! But this is mainly for the one person who reads this. Gina, this one is for you.

I regret all the years I spent money on things I didn’t need, and never used. I am mainly talking books, DVDs, records (or CDs or MP3s, call them what you will) and clothes. It’s sad that it’s taken me being in my mid-late 40s to see the errors of my ways, but better late than never, right?

My number one tip: LIBRARY.

The library has been my one comfort this summer. I joined a reading program that gives me a free umbrella (I don’t have one. Seriously.) and free tickets to one of our minor league baseball games in August. All I have to do? Read five books. DONE.

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The first one is a manwha (Korean manga) trilogy, so I did actually make it to five. Now, here’s the thing: If you saw the stack of books I own and have to read, and then add to it the ones I have on my Kindle AND Nook (I know. I know I had a problem.) you would realize I will never finish them all. It’s really bad.

But I’ve learned from my mistakes. Every .99 cent book I purchased just because it was……99 cents. It adds up. BUT. What I do now is go to the library, read what I have, and get free books on Friday for Nook (if they are any good) or with the Kindle First program (one book a month, at the beginning of the month — this month I got a new book by one of my favorite authors, Megan Chance. Woohoo!). I have also discovered Open Library, which once you go down THAT rabbit hole, you will never return. All the 1970s gothic romances I read to distraction? Most of them are there. Yes, they are scanned in or uploaded and translated with tons of mistakes, so it’s kind of like reading Esperanto, but I. Don’t. Care. If you have an e-reader, check it out, as Dr. Steve Brule would say!

Also good at the library? Music and videos. Here is what I picked up two days ago, along with FREE samples from Sephora.

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So yeah, I’m kind of bummed that Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer (a.k.a. the only movie I want to see this summer) isn’t playing, but I can watch Mother thanks to the library. Thor the Dark World was decidedly NOT good, but at least it was free? Right? Sorry, not enough Loki or sense. And I really did like the first one. As for Master and Commander….it’s a movie I’ve been wanting to see for ages, and it’s not on any streaming service. It was on BBC America the other day, but I like my movies without commercials every five minutes. I have seen so many bits of this movie, but never the whole thing. I love Peter Weir, I used to adore Paul Bettany before he started making godawful science fiction movies, and I can deal with the killer whale farting in a wind tunnel – which is how I kindly refer to Russell Crowe.

I also got Vampire Weekend’s latest from last year, some Bach and Michael Kiwanuka. You can actually upload these to your iTunes, and if that’s illegal, frankly I don’t care. When I count up all the money I’ve given to recording artists over the years, it adds up. So there. I would also stress if you have an iTunes account, get their “Free Song of the Week.” Are they all winners? NO. But I’ve gotten enough good stuff to make a really fun playlist for work. I mean, for work when I have it. I really want to work again, can you tell? You can also get the free songs (and apps) at Starbucks. And you don’t even have to buy anything!

My point is, if you want to try new music, you’d be amazed at what the library has. So far this summer I’ve checked out St. Vincent’s latest, Tegan and Sara, Lucius, The Head and the Heart, plus lots of classical. It’s a great way to take a chance on something new without forking over the money, esp. if you don’t have something like Spotify. Which I also recommend.

I think I will leave it with my LIBRARY tip today, because I covered a lot of ground. But remember: Knitting books (I never should have bought), magazines (I never should have bought, but I’ve been good with this), audiobooks (if you are so inclined) — they are all there. Never buy these things again. If you want to buy a book, I’m not saying not to. I want The French Cat for my birthday, for goodness sakes!
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I just mean, save your shekels to get something you really want.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Time to stop procrastinating and watch Master and Commander while knitting furiously. I’ve given links to all the things I talked about above (just hover over the colored text), so I hope I’ve given you some usable tips from a voracious culture junkie.