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October 31, 2008

The Universe is Laughing

Okay, it really is. I show up at Job1 for starting work and find out I can wear black pants there as well as Job2. (imagine a raspberry sound here)

But I'm allowed to wear one of 7 basic colors (not listing them here!!) top/bottom, and I can still wear white shirts at Job1 as well. As Boss1 put it, the basic neutrals used in "business casual" attire.


So there, says the Universe. You still need buy more pairs of black pants, and they will be interchangeable with your Jobs. Ha Ha Ha!

But I think I need to have my eyeglass prescription changed, drastically so. Yes, I know I have another month before I'm officialy 40, but darn it! I need either bifocals or trifocals like NOW!

Minor migraine from doing a lot of up-close reading yesterday, and I'm still carrying its ghost with me today. Not fun feeling like you have an hangover and you know you didn't do anything to earn it either! I'm a wee bit nearsighted, but I can read normally at book distance. Even my computer screens sit 18-24 inches away from my face and I can read them. (well, so long as it's not in pizzy-ant our mouse sized print)

Or it could be that I dehydrated, or need to go back onto my prescription acid reflux medicine. I've been trying to use over-the-counter stuff, and I don't think it works as well. The prescription stuff really worked and I didn't have migraines or pre-migraines or minor migraines as often as I'm getting now. I don't care if the COBRA health insurance doesn't cover it, my general health and well being are that important to me. Phooey!

October 28, 2008

Not quite Uniform enough?

I have the joy of attempting to start 2 new part-time jobs this week. And both have "mandatory" dress codes.

One is solid color shirts, with tan (khaki) colored slacks, in twill or chino fabric.

The other is white collared shirts, with black slacks that are not jeans.


Both are retail, with 2 very different retailers, and no, I'm not naming which is which yet, just referring to them for now as Boss1 and Boss2 or Job1 and Job2.

I went shopping for my new "uniforms" this past week and again this week. Why different trips? Well, I knew about the "uniform" for Job1, and I shopped for it appropriately, buying new khaki colored slacks, and making sure that I had proper shoes I could wear all day. (They are the "restaurant" approved kind, with a slight heel, black, and looks a little dressy) And I knew Job2 was a distinct possibility as well, but naiively thought that I could use the same clothes, just change out shoes to a tie-on black shoe (again "restaurant" approved kind) instead of the slipons with the little heel.

Ha! The universe laughs at me! Today, I found out after calling to confirm when and which day Job1 was starting, then calling to alert Boss2 to the fact that Job1 was starting the same day, can I start the next day, I found out about the black/not/jeans pants thing. Darn! More shopping!

So, off to the local ghost-mall, and one chain store, yep, only one, count it, one pair in my size in black that I know fits me perfectly. Scoped out other stores, nope, no women's white collared shirts or even decent oxfords in women's wear. Rats. Off to the other stores.

One store I contemplated pants in, but I am not into showing off my butt crack, so sorry, no go. I did buy some very nice men's shirts that I can wear to both jobs. Then I went to a the large semi-discount-that-everyone-goes-to and bought some more mens shirts, 2 of which were "dress" shirts with the collar and sleeve sizing. Good thing I know how my size translates into men's sizing!

Then I tried another discout-but-slightly-better-quality store, and tried on a woman's shirt. Hah! Hah! Olive Oyl arms I do not have, and it fit completely wrong on me. Okay, I have nice straight (slightly broad/square) shoulders, but I do have a woman's curves, yeah?  I checked, the sleeves were the same circumference on ALL of the dratted shirts! So, off to the men's section, 2 more men's shirts, and oh yeah, a belt to help hold my pants up that isn't brown but is black too.

And one more store, that keeps having weekend sales (when don't they) and tried to find more women's pants in my size in black. Nope. All sold out it seems, and I could force myself to fit into 8 or 10 and explode, kaboom!! and look like a horrible caricature that you only see on TV, a "fat" woman in "tiny" clothes. Nope. I drifted off, went to a sub shop and then home for lunch.

Ah. An armful of nice shirts, a few in oxford cloth, a few (surprisingly to me) are wrinkle-free straight from the dryer. And one pair of black pants that aren't jeans. Hmm, now can I order the same kind online? If only I could KNIT something and have it be the uniform solution, but alas, I am not into knitting pants, and I don't think they'd be acceptable to Boss2.

I can't wait for the day I become my own, real boss, with a real yarn store that is open. But, sadly, not soon enough!

I'm still dreaming though.......

October 17, 2008

Welcome to the Ma'am Generation

Yes, Welcome to the Ma'am Generation!

I've apparently reached the stage in my life where just about any stranger refers to me as "ma'am" instead of "miss" and that was most apparent on Wednesday, when I had new tires put on my car. The guy behind the counter at Mr Tire, I'm not sure if I should refer to him as a young lad yet, started off with ma'am as soon as I approached the counter.

Then as the discussion about exactly what tire and car services I wanted (tire replacement only, thank you) progressed, ma'am was frequently spotted. As I waited for the tires to be replaced, the old ones had just been removed, the brakes deemed to be in good condition, and Mr Tire Jr reappeared where I was waiting, and ma'am-ed me again. When I paid for the tires, I was addressed as ma'am yet again, but by then I had been desensitized to it.

I've also noticed that at various stores, I've been addressed as a ma'am these past few months. Ma'am, did you want to king-size your sandwich and fries? Thank you, ma'am, for shopping here today, here's your change. Excuse me, ma'am? Is that... and so on.

I'm 39, soon to reach 40, yes I was born way back in 1968 and according to one website, part of the so-called Generation X. I actually think it should be called Generation Ma'am by the time you reach 30 or so. Friends have told me I don't actually look my true age. Some people (that I have just met and then became traveling friends with told) who barely know me say that also. I mildly freaked out a relative last year when she found out that I was about 10 years older than she thought I was.

So, I'm guessing that it's in the way that I handle myself, behave, talk, and appear in general. I don't try to dress like a teenager (the body just wouldn't look right in skintight spandex cut down to my ankles) and I don't use like, ya know, kinda like, every other word or phrase. Heaven help the poor kids who try to come across as "mature adults" with like ya know like he said like and ya know like weird sentences ya know?

Fewer people use "dude" the way I do, and seem to not remember what "cool" really was. And no, it was nothing like the tv shows either.


Hi. I'm Ma'am I am. At least for now.

At least my nieces and nephew still think their Aunt A. is still cool. Even if she is "old" and knits great socks (that they pet and then wear to death) or other fun things, like ponchos and scarves. And teaches them how to use a knitting loom, still reads books with them, talks seriously about why the cats are this color and not that, and yes, boys/girls are stinky sometimes. Isn't it fun to borrow kids?


October 14, 2008

Bye Bye, Baby, Goodbye

Poor bottle baby. Just manages to reach 6 weeks, and will always be 6 weeks old. Yes, poor little creature died Monday, fell asleep and never woke up.

He'd developed the sniffles the past few days, but I didn't think anything of it. Some of the other cats and kittens had the sniffles too, so I thought they were the normal way of things for the fall. And he had sneezes that shook his whole little body, and then he'd be tired but fine. Playing hard. stop where he was, curl up and sleep.

Monday morning, he was sitting by himself, snuffly, cold to the touch, and had baby snot on his nose and chest. He didn't want his bottle, and I just thought he was too snuffly/snotty to drink. Funny, because the night before he'd guzzled down his 3 tablespoons of MKR milk out of the bottle.

Since he was messy, I pulled out the cat wipes and a towel, and started wiping him down, rubbing him with the towel to warm him up as I went. Then he had a series of what I thought were sneezes, shaking his little body (maybe they were little seizures, but I'm not sure, even now). He went limp, and I was a little alarmed, but only thought he'd tired himself out, and just needed to sleep and stay warm.

He was tucked into a sunny corner on the front step, wrapped in his towel, with 2 older cats to snuggle with. Another kitten came and snuggled on top of him, and then bottle baby was asleep for a while.

Then I went back a few hours later, to see if he was awake and hungry. He had moved from the top of the step to another sunny spot just below it, stretched out, and fell asleep for the last time.

At least I can say he was a heavy little kitten, with nice thick orange fur, and a full set of baby teeth. He was chewing on cat food and kitten chow, playing with the bigger kittens (ages 9 weeks and 4 months) and getting snuggle privileges with the grand-dame cat, Binka2.

Bye Bye, Baby, Goodbye.

You taught me how to "burp" a kitten when he's on a bottle, that 2 tablespoons is a respectable amount to make his tummy nice and round from feeding/nursing.

I'll miss looking for your noisy mewing, when you would climb my leg and hope you'd get an extra bottle feeding but settle for strokes and purring your little self crazy. I'll miss you climbing up to my shoulder, still a little sticky from just finishing your bottle, sniffing my ear, looking around, letting me tuck you back in with the other cats to get a tongue bath from them.

 Bottle Baby Age 4 weeks on step

Bye Bye, Bottle Baby. You will always be a baby, and remembered as that cute, noisy, annoying but funny kitten.

Good thing I never got the urge to knit a kitten sweater. Never gonna happen!

October 05, 2008

Baby got teeth!

The score thus far is (imagine a small drum roll...)....

Kitten - 4       Bottle - 0

Bottle Baby is chewing through the bottle nipples, and I threw away the third one this morning. He has sharp baby teeth now, ouch! He is still sucking and gobbling away at the KMR milk, between 2 and 3 tablesppons at each feeding, 2 or 3 times a day.

And boy is he growing! I have to get some new pictures to show how big my little boy kittie is growing; he is almost the size of the 7-week old kittens, and now has pretty huge paws. Of course, it's fun to see his tummy nice and round, and he has nice thick baby fur on him. I wonder what I should call him? Yes, he has no name as yet, poor little 4-week old baby.

And I think (and know from catching him at it) that he's sneaking momma cat milk from MeeToo, another momma cat (the mom of the 7-week olders) and B-2 (aka Binka II), the grandmom cat. B-2 is so old, if she wants to nurse, she just does. Always make me laugh to think of an old cat, so old she is no longer having babies (can't remember how old she is, just that it's older than 12 or 13), lying down with another momma's baby and just nursing. She really does sometimes. It helped Mr E.U. so much that he grew up, and he wandered off to find a new home. I no longer see him, he wandered off so fast!

In terms of knitting projects, I recently started knitting Trekking sock yarn marked "6 fach" which to my feeble interpretation means 6 ply, and is making a lovely pair of heavier socks. I'm working a pair for myself using US 2 needles, and they are soft, warm, and just right. I also finally finished a pair of Tsock Flock club socks, Frenchman's Creek, and they are pretty! I haven't blocked the lace tops yet, but I'm in love with the combination of blue, fancy stitches, beads, and the lace tops. I did have to cheat a wee bit on the second sock; I had about 12 rows of lace left to do, and 18 inches of yarn. So, I found some yarn in my stash, sneak-cheated it in, and finished the lace. And you can't tell where I did it, or which sock is #1 or #2, so there!

I just started the York & Lancaster socks, and it is going to be fun! The first sock I'm working on is the red one, and I love the heraldic patterning on the sock. I'm starting to wonder how it would work on its own, sans roses, for a pair of socks that I might make for my nephew (age 16). And said nephew has a neat sense of color for sock yarn.

Yesterday I wound up some sock yarn he picked out at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (sadly, I couldn't go and missed out on the fun), and my mother and I were marveling at the colors he and his sister (age 12) both picked out for socks. As I was watching the yarn move from swift to ballwinder, I was dreaming up patterns to work the socks in, wondering which yarn would look best this way or that, and if I could sneak in a gansey-sweater-like pattern on this yarn or if a slightly masculine but fancy ribbed top would work best...Fun times ahead!

If I can get the patterns set up for those socks, I just might, maybe perhaps, take pictures of them, write up the directions and chart the patterning out, and include them in my sock book.

Yes, the never ending still in creation sock book. I have my rough draft of how a basic sock will be worked, my notes on sock patterns, and the outline of how I want the book to be laid out. Not to forget the book self-publishing software where I put all my pieces together to create the book before I can get it printed and bound into a real paper book!


I keep having little Wow! moments, just thinking of putting it all together. And after the book reaches reality, and I can hold a copy in my hands, I think I'll still a few little Wow! moments. I'm sure anyone else who has ever had anything published, even if self-published, had those kind of moments with their first work!

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