Monday, March 31, 2008

not. hungry.


I have been eating like a queen recently.

Dinner at Q-Shack
Lunch at Watt's. I already talked about that.
Dinner at home. Also already discussed.
Many provisions purchased at Whole Paycheck.
Breakfast at home--an almond croissant from WP with coffee
Farmer's market--strawberries, cheese from the CH Creamery, lettuce and radishes.
Lunch at El Corral over on Hillandale. It was SO cold and we apparently needed some major sustenance.
Dinner at Piedmont. This deserves some talking about. I'll do that after I'm done cataloging.
Breakfast at home--Fage full-fat yogurt with honey.
Pre-brunch at home--salad with my romaine! Yay, garden!
Brunch with My Sweet Emily at Guglhupf. I had an entire bread basket, complete with 2 packets of Nutella.
Snacks at home: I ate the leftovers from both Piedmont and El Corral. YUM.
Breakfast at home--bread from Guglhupf with butter and chocolate chips (What!?)
Lunch: salad made with Farmer's market lettuce and radishes, garnished with green onions from my garden. More bread. A pound (yes) of local (yes) strawberries (you heard me right)
Dinner: Tentative, but likely, a feast at Angus Barn on someone else's dime. Rowr.

OK, so Piedmont: Cheese was smoked blue from Oregon with candied pecans. Yum. However, the candy on the pecans wasn't quite at hard crack stage, and so was that "pull out the fillings" texture. Eesh. Tomato and Fennel soup: fabulous. Mom and Pete both had the NC striped bass. Mom's wasn't cooked. We sent it back and it returned gorgeously prepared. I had the orecchiette with broccoli rabe, roasted garlic, red pepper and Parmesan. The combination was good but OH MY GOD was it overly salted. None of the desserts appealed, so Mom got a nice port comped for her fish being raw-ish the first time around.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Visit visit

Mumma and Pedro are here. We're eating really well. Watt's* for lunch, grilled steak and salad at home for dinner (I had just cheese, apple and bread.), almond croissants for breakfast, Piedmont for dinner tonight....


*I had a slightly bizarre experience with the burger at Watt's. It came bloody rare (as in exploded onto me at first bite and then bled copiously onto the bun), so I sent it back, asking for medium. In what may have been a fit of pique, the kitchen brought it back to me entirely gray throughout, dry and hard to swallow. On the one hand, how marvelous to have a restaurant able to cook their burgers rare for those that want it that way (they didn't ask me how I wanted it). On the other hand, WTF? Medium is NOT rock hard.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My life doesn't exist anymore. Or else it's hiding.

It's barely 9 a.m., and I'm already having a shit day.

When I got to work and opened up my palm software, there were no entries on the calendar. At. All. They were there last night before I left. I have no idea what happened between then and now.

Then, I decided to sync because my handheld probably still had the data on there, right? (I didn't look first.) This then resulted in all of my data being wiped off of the handheld.

My LIFE is on there. I have no idea where to even begin to try and see if there's any way I can recover this data. The Palm software support help area seems to say no. There is, however, an archive that has some of the appointments on there, but really very few.

I am NOT looking for anyone to troubleshoot for me. In fact, DON'T. If I want help I'll ask later, but for now I just want to rant.

In 10 minutes I'm meeting with my boss, who keeps a paper calendar and who has been known to put her nose up a bit at the electronic systems because she thinks they're unreliable. She's going to want to know what I have planned, and I seriously have no idea. I'll be spending today recreating my schedule from emails. I'll have to ask her when we're next meeting, however.

I'm not at all happy, kiddos.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Y'all? I finished the bag and it is SO FREAKING CUTE (if I do say so).

I'm going to email Emily and tell her she's not allowed on the blog until her birthday.


And then a closeup:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Guilty Pleasures?

Tip: DON'T use your real email address. Create one especially for this kind of thing.

Want a free subscription to Star magazine?

All you have to do is write two 50-word reviews of mascaras!! Think of it as a creative writing exercise that will reward you with an entire year of trashy goodness. I think it would be especially fun to do if you didn't wear mascara at all.

Ooooh. And here's a free subscription for Interview! This one only requires one 50-word review of any movie* you've ever seen.

Both of these are for my office.

*My review: I liked the movie Star Wars. It came out when I was really little, and it inspired tons of imaginary play. We made light sabers out of wrapping paper rolls, painting the ends pink or blue and then black for the grips. They bent a lot though, which was annoying. What I didn't like about the movie was how gross the trash compactor scene was. EW EW EW!! Princess Leia was beautiful. Luke was dreamy. I wish I'd realized at the time how hot Han Solo was. Anyhoo, I loved it when L and L kissed just before swinging across the chasm on that planet thing.

They made me take off the last sentence because the review was too long.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My new friend

." o \__
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_.-=" _," ,,;;;'
`"'` `\`\

(from here)

Last night I had an extremely vivid dream that to this minute brings me some very strong feelings of The Happy.

I was outside and saw a small, yellow bird. A warbler, of course. (Yes, this is a bird dream. Come on, you know it's boring as hell to hear about other people's dreams to begin with, so they might as well be about an arcane topic, right?)

So yeah, a yellow bird. Small one. It fluttered around by me, and when I held my hand up for it, it alighted onto my forefinger, as a falcon to my gauntlet. Then it crawled down to my hand, and it became clear that this was not just a wild bird, but a true friend. This bird had been looking for me.

It was yellow all over, but looking at it closely, there were a few areas of turquoise blue feathers on its flanks and near its eyes.

Someone was nearby and expressed surprise at the bird's tameness. I explained that this was a bird that was meant to for me, that it was a friend, and that its name was 'Thon.

'Thon rocked.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ask me to marry you...

...and pony up this ring. I'll say yes, but then dump you and keep the ring. OK?


EMILY DON'T LOOK!!! Blah Blah Blah Half-Double Crochet


Ok, it's safe.

Emily, go home. Scat!

I've been making what I hope will turn out to be a fab felted bag for my sweet Emily's birthday. I wonder how old she is turning this year? Hm. Good question. Eh, doesn't really matter. I was just wondering.

Anyhoo, the bag's mass (as you can see above) is row after row after row of single crochets, which gets really old really quickly. Mind you, I began this bag just a week ago at Michele's going away party. (Sniff!) So that's pretty good progress. I have at least a week to go on it (depending on whether I actually get this to Emily on time or not!), so I think I'm good.

So this morning I got out of the house (for once!!) and went to a local coffee shop over on 9th street. I played around a little with making some flowers from my favorite (and only) crochet instructional book. That necessitated actually following a pattern a learning a few new stitches. The pattern following got quite a bit off target, but I am really glad I know a bit more about the stitches versus actual terminology. There are some basic stitches I apparently didn't know, yet thought I did. I was doing something entirely different. Ah well. Who knows what those stitches are called?! (Sorry, Jamie. I did wrong by time I see you I'll teach you right.)

Back on track. The flower's a bit poofy for my taste--supposedly it's a chrysanthemum. The yarn is thrifted, and really really rough wool. I wonder if it's meant for tapestry? I'm pretty sure that felting it will take very little time relative to the body of the bag. I think I'll felt the flower apart from the bag and then hook it on somewhere.

The rest of the day today:
Lemon Pound Cake
Pick up car from oil change
Maria's house for an equinox party. With a bonfire. That's going to rock.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Recently for work I've been using some creative cheapness skills to find free or very reduced magazine subscriptions and educational brochures for the waiting room. I just got a free subscription to Oprah. If anyone wants a link, gmail me (lastewie) and I'll pass it on.

I first began cultivating these deal-finding skills back in the almost prehistoric era of the World Wide Web, when the Internet was still pretty new and residential high-speed was limited at best.

I had some places that I used to haunt, and to some extent I still find ways to get a heads up on good bargains online. More than anyplace else, I lurked over here. I never much frequented the forums, but going back there now I see some good stuff. Back in those days, marketers were just starting to try to appeal to people who were online, so you could get some pretty outlandish (and random) things. T-shirts, food, tea, whatever. I guess you still can.

Anyway, want a free rosary? (I don't)
Dial antibacterial deodorant soap?

By the way, tomorrow is Free Iced Coffee day at Cristin's favorite, Dunkin' Donuts.
Oops. One last thing I didn't mention is that you have to make sure you have your facts straight. DD is not doing this promotion in 2008. Whoops!

But here's another old-school favorite that I hear never goes out of style.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


So...I continue to think about getting a house. Scratch that, BUY a house.

One idea that's come up has been cohousing. There are actually a fair number of intentional communities in the area, but none in Raleigh. I mention Raleigh because I'm thinking more and more about the 50+ miles I drive each workday. Ouch. Anyway, looking here the only real opening in an intentional community I was able to find in Durham has a house up for sale at $435K. No.

There's another that has no openings at all, and a third that is in its infancy. Looking at this latter one, Footpath, I don't see much commitment to affordability. At least not yet. I've registered on their site and posted to the forum about it, so we'll see.

Carrboro has more options, but again, no room at the inn, ironically. One wouldn't even allow me (AGEIST!), and anyway it's just a gleam in its elderly parents' eyes still. There are two more. One has no openings, and with the other I can't tell from the webpage. Pacifica, the one where I can't tell, offers the most reasonable possibilities for me. There are both 610 sq ft units and 900ish sq ft units. Small, but doable. And affordable, at ~110K and ~145K respectively. Living in Carrboro would add another 20 miles round trip to my commute though.

The final option, in Pittsboro, has a house for sale. It's cheap enough (ok, not CHEAP, but potentially), but the house is your proverbial Money Pit. And Pittsboro is likely to be an even longer drive to work.


But still, I'm very excited by the concept.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Take a moment when you can

This afternoon I walked over a few doors down to the bank to deposit some checks. As I came back into the parking lot of my building, I saw a raptor of some type or another alight on a branch nearby. I have a short day today, with little pressing to do at work; just a lot of catch up. So I decided to see what was up with the bird, and see if I could ID it.

I'm not so great with birds of prey. The ones I most easily ID around here are red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. But the problem is that there's another hawk, the red-shouldered hawk, that looks enough like a red-tailed (in repose and from below) that at this point I don't try to distinguish them anymore unless I have binoculars on me.

Which I didn't this afternoon.

Luckily, Mrs. Red-tailed Hawk (which is what I eventually decided she was) sat patiently in a big old willow oak, letting the jays swarm her. They were really quite ruthless and daring. As Mrs. RTH sat there, one jay after another would dive-bomb her back and peck her. She didn't budge.

I stood there for at least 10 minutes (time flies when you bird), walking around to the south side of the tree to get the best light on her. The jays squawked and buzzed around her. We were all just doing our thing.

And then I came in and wrote this, trying not to scratch my arms, face, neck, ears and face where the 3-month old rottweiler a board member brought by to visit licked me all over earlier. I know that dog spit is likely to do this to me, but rolling around on the floor and holding a baby puppy with puppy breath and sweet soft fur who likes to bite my hair and rip my earrings out of my ears apparently trumps any other need I have not to have a blotchy red countenance. If I don't scratch, hopefully the hives will just chill out and not swell. (Yes, I've doped up)

What a great afternoon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Frustration and annoyance

I'm in a kind of pissy mood today. I won't get into the minute details, but let's just say that I'm frustrated and annoyed with a friend you don't know (for real). The friend has problems but is unable/unwilling (a bit of both) to do things that I know will help.

Yes, it's about depression. I suppose because I've been through it (oh so often!) this friend comes to me to lend an ear. After a while it gets really annoying, and so I decide not to talk to the person about the problem until the person hit bottom enough to do something about it. Cause frankly, there wasn't anything else I could do, and the listening was having a negative effect on MY state of mind. Bubbye. I didn't cut off all relations with friend, but I did withdraw quite a bit, and it feels lovely. We don't have that much in common to begin with, really, and I don't enjoy myself often when we hang out. Very occasionally, yes.

Finally the friend started therapy recently and told me about it. I do want what's best for friend, so I encouraged the therapy. So great. Friend at least is in competent therapy hands. Here's hoping that works. Meanwhile, however, friend is trying to inch closer to me with IM during the day, (which is ignored even if I have the "busy" icon on), and Friend's reaction to the first therapy session is that friend is "fundamentally flawed and will never change." Not at all what the therapist said. Therapist said just that the outward issues are symptoms, and so you can't expect that by losing/gaining weight or getting a boy/girlfriend will solve your problems. Classic depression voice, ya know? Turning things around and making them catastrophic?

Boundaries. I need to (re)set them. I feel bad, but this is just so annoying and stressful to me. I especially feel bad because I know what it's like to be that damn DOWN. But I can't take it anymore. I am not Friend's therapist. Friend now has therapist.

God, I'm annoyed. I'm glad I'm not in Friend's place anymore and will never be again. I at least can ID the signs of depression and not buy into them anymore. It took years of therapy and learning and meds to get me here, but my GOD am I glad I made it.

Now I just need to let go of my guilt by realizing I'm just meeting my own needs.

(But how can I just LEAVE Friend? Friend is majorly suffering! But friend's suffering makes ME suffer! And friend is annoying b/c can't/won't do what needs to be done!)


pant pant pant
(roll eyes at self)

Monday, March 10, 2008


So, do you remember that time right before Christmas when I busted my ASS writing a big ole grant that would have created a program for preventing teen pregnancy in the Latino community here? Where almost 20% of all Latino girls ages 15-19 in this LARGE county get pregnant every single year? Remember? That one that was such a bitch? That I worked SO hard and SO long on? The one that would have provided our organization with $600,000 over four years?

Yeah, we didn't get it. I'm going to go make a butter and M&Ms sandwich on a baguette. Or maybe a soft sesame roll. With nutella, too.

I did, however, get a raise. A SMALL one. But a raise, nonetheless.

Wakin' up is hard to doooooo

Anyone else entirely wasted from this time change? I couldn't drag my ass out of bed at 6 a.m. as has been my norm for the last 6 weeks or so. That's partly because the grow lights are going on and off 30 minutes later than before the switch to DST. The timer is confusing. I need to remedy that.

So tired am I that I just read my sweet Maria's blog thinking it was Maggie's. The comments I left on Maria's blog are actually quite hilarious--I say my piece and then comment again once I've realized my mistake, and then comment again because of yet another mis-reading, and then finally tell Maria why I got confused with Maggie. They actually are quite similar. Since Maria is one of my favorite people ever, it leaves no doubt in my mind that I'm going to need to meet Maggie soon. Hi Maggie!!

My friend Ols FINALLY sent me a picture of her--she's pregnant and radiant. I think all pregnant women are, to a large extent, but Ols is really something else, man. Love her!

I've been spending a ton of time weighing my options for a mini-vacation over Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be working the entire weekend before that, so I'll have Friday afternoon through Wednesday free. I just paid off my credit cards (WOOT!) from when I was unemployed, but that leaves me without much cash. Here are the places I'm considering: San Francisco to visit Ols, but she'll be really near her due date. Still, I haven't seen her in FOUR YEARS (unless her wedding was after the last time I visited her when she lived in San Diego. I can't remember). But still. WAY tooo long. Also: Portland. Another good friend I haven't seen, JJ, lives there and is jockeying for me to go. And of course our dear XTA is there as well. Georgia has been my default mini-vacation spot, and so of course I've thought about going there. Charleston has my friend Nicole, DC has Marco, and I'm positive I've considered other places. (Oh, right: birding somewhere out west, alone. Only I need a place to stay for free or else I can't go. I'm sure I could stay with my Uncle Mike in Arizona. That would be good birding for sure.) Or Mexico? Or camping?

Anyhoo, if you can think of someplace I can go for cheap (Mom, I'm eliminating Michigan only because I always go there.), please let me know.

Wanna weigh in on what YOU think my best option would be? And is there any place I'm forgetting?

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Quizzes bring out even the least-commenty of commenters!

Last night I actually interacted with someone! A friend of mine I hadn't spent much time with recently asked if I wanted to do something this weekend. I've been being pretty introverted/self-absorbed/hermit-like outside of work, preferring my own company to that of others. My inclination when asked to do something (especially at night) is to say no. I don't much like going out to bars, and I don't much like having people over these days. The tendency of my friends to have cats also pretty much rules out visiting them, also. If I want to breathe, that is.

My plans for the evening had been to stay in and cook up a storm for my sweet Pinky, her husband, and the peanut. I still haven't met him, but that's on the horizon for Sunday. So despite really not wanting to interact with others, I invited my friend over for dinner, since I was already planning a slew of food.

He brought a couple of types of fantastic IPAs and some flowers for me!! The flowers really touched me. I haven't gotten flowers from anyone in a few years. And that was from my mom.

I was extremely surprised to find myself having fun. Imagine that.

Today is a book-swap, then a sweet 16 party, and then hanging with my friend Suze, who's back in town after a month in Michigan.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Because it's been a LONG time.

Which Pooh character are you?

In your circle of friends you are the one who likes to keep an eye out for all the others. Always there with advice or encouragement, you are dependable and kind.If you're not a parent already, you'll make a great one when the time comes.
Take this quiz!

I haven't had a lot to say recently, have I? There's no real reason for that. I'm just plugging along, enjoying life for the most part, and thinking about the fact that three of my friends had babies in the space of 1.5 weeks. I've only met one of them so far (so cute!!), but I hope to meet the other one real soon. The third lives kind of far away, so I won't meet her for some time.

Since I put together my grow light setup, I've been getting up a little before 6 every morning. It's nice to have a cup of coffee outside at that hour. I sit and listen to the birds; I've finally been hearing Roo-Roo the Rooster, who lives across town a bit, as an illegal pet. He's sweet, and very vocal. I'm also going to bed really early too. Except for last night, when I was up until midnight. I think I slept too much the night before!

I've finished a couple of neato crochet projects. One was the plastic-bag doormat. Note to self and others--use bags that have mostly the same weight to them. If you have particularly strong bags, cut the plarn WAY thinner than for a typical grocery bag. The other project is a jellyfish, which I think I probably mentioned somewhere else, but can't be bothered to look it up and see. I like this one where he seems to be swimming. (On my unmade bed!) And this one is what he looked like after I decided that he needed to have a heftier head.

I had my little nephew LiLi (Liam) in mind when I whomped that baby up. Now I need two more projects for 10 year old boys. Can't leave the others out, you see. I have no idea what they might like, though. It's also slightly complicated in that I still refuse to use patterns. Cobby Cobberson (Conor) loves soft things, so that's a factor. Bubbina (Ian) is a harder nut to crack. He likes science. Actually, both of the twins are really into nature. Maybe I'll make an caterpillar emerging from a cocoon or something for one of them.

Any other idea? What would 10 year old boys like? A nose with boogers?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Better, I think

Dad called me just now, and said he felt bad for dumping his troubles on me. As IF! I'm glad he told me about it. Even though it's sad to hear he's feeling crappy, I'd much rather know about it, and help if I can.

Anyhoo, he said he's feeling better, but that it's a day-by-day thing.

In other news, I'm getting really excited about an idea that's been floating around the office here, to create a youth community garden as a childhood obesity prevention initiative. I'd been thinking about it myself, since we've been getting more and more into that particular topic here at work. I mentioned it in passing yesterday while everyone was gathered in the conference room eating cake piped with hot-pink icing (hypocrites!), and it turns out I'm not the only person who is thinking that'd be a great idea.

It would be a huge undertaking, and guess who'd be the primary person doing it? MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Luckily we have a sister-city with an organization dedicated to similar programming, though with a different mission.

It may just be a pipe dream, but I know others who are working on similar things who can also advise, I'm sure.


Monday, March 3, 2008


So, Art's not doing so well, a month after his surgery. Sure, he's lost 60 lbs and is almost unrecognizable because of it, but he's also suffering greatly.

Every day he wends his way through never-ending nausea, diarrhea and dry heaves. His back hurts so much he's unable to move around much. He doesn't sleep at night. He's lost his voice. He's got blood coming out of places it shouldn't be. Dying goes through his mind. He can't keep even water down. The day I talked to him he'd managed to consume three saltine crackers with jelly and three blueberries.

I'm sad and worried.

The good news is his blood sugar and blood pressure look fantastic.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ch Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes...

New Roommate is a total gem. He's easygoing, kind, sweet, and considerate. He's also underpaid due to working in the public schools, doing fantastic work with an underserved population. Living here is a stretch for him, and it's not sustainable. I like New Roommate so much that I want to keep him.

In addition, I want to buy a house in the next few years. I'm still recuperating financially from the unemployment days and subsequent fear of house sharing once FreakShow moved out. (Did you know that I PAID him in order to get him to leave? Not much, but it was worth every single fucking penny.) I paid off the credit card in the last two months. WAHOO! MY car will be paid off come October, and I need to begin saving in earnest.

Enter the master plan: we have an extra bedroom. We're going to find Second Roommate, whoever that may be. New Roommate wants it to be a girl. I don't care much either way.

No cats, kids or dogs. (Too small for three people and a dog, sniff). We're laid back but not too slack. We don't want partiers or anyone who's too into illegal substances. We don't want anyone either of us already is friends with to move in. Liberal/progressive-minded is a must.

It's a great and convenient neighborhood and a fantastic house. Really good people live here already. ~$315/month + 1/3 utilities. Shared bathroom. Rent will probably be less than the $315 quoted above. I am extremely comfortable paying more for having my own bath, and New Roommate has the larger of the two remaining bedrooms, so we're going to pro-rate. Neither of us can figure out how to do the math.

1) Know anyone?
2) Can you do the math? If total rent=x, Stew = +$40 for shared bathroom, New Roommate= +$10 for larger than third bedroom, what would each of us owe?

Did ya miss me?

I got a couple of frantic calls yesterday from my sweet mumma, who was worried I'd gone missing or something. I hadn't answered the phone, I hadn't blogged...

Poor mumma!

Of course, I'm totally fine. I'd been busy and out at schools all day every day and my phone has been on silent, is all.

I for sure haven't had much to say here. Lemme think...I saw Nicole this week, which was fun, especially because she brought her little two-month-old. I worked a lot. I've been going to bed early and getting up early when the grow lights go on a bit before six.

I keep buying yarn. I started some new seedlings--eggplant, cilantro, basil, and more ground cherries, since the others haven't germinated. I picked up 5 bags of leaves from a neighbor, which I'll use for my composting. I finally got some new clothes from a gift card I got at christmas. I made a lemon pound cake. I went to an Oscar's party.

Same old same old.