Monday, June 13, 2005

More fun, less work!

It's been almost a week since my last blog entry and I have to be honest with myself about why I started a blog. I'm just going to do a bit of self-examination here, so if this is boring, hypothetical reader, scroll down.

1) I wanted to give this technology a whirl. I like to try new technologies. I am a big consumer of technology, although not a total freak about having the latest toy.

2) I like to read blogs, and thought it would be fun to emulate the ones I like.

3) I thought blogging would be a way to flex my writing muscle, so to speak. I used to do a lot of creative writing in grade school, and a bit in high school. I enjoy writing. But as I had to write more and more for school (starting in high school, and throughout college, both undergrad and graduate school), I sort of lost that creative writing edge. It became more of a chore, and I became more critical about my writing. I had to, it was being graded, right? So, then my writing became work, and work is...well, its work, not fun. Between undergrad and graduate school, most writing done for personal reasons was journal keeping, and that sort of became a chore, too. One can only hash through the same thought processes so long without them seeming like work, too.

OK, so I think #2 and #3 are part of the reason why I'm not blogging as much as I first thought I would. I have to relax and enjoy the process, and stop self-editing so much and setting a high standard for my blog. I have to realize that even the best blogs may have been only OK when they were started by their creators. And, I have to stop thinking that it is always necessary to post nice photos, too.'s a pure text with it!

Last Thursday was my b-day, and while overall it was fabulous, it was also a day with a certain amount of pain. I mean real, physical pain and I'm still dealing with the consequences. So stupid of me to slip on a new pair of shoes and set off on my usual 1 mile walk to the el station. After only 1 1/2 blocks, it became obvious the shoes were not as walkable as I thought. These were Clarks, which are usually very comfy shoes. But the upper part was really rubbing my feet in certain tender spots just below my toes, and I wasn't wearing socks. It was too hot for socks, these were cute slip-on flats meant to be worn without socks, and they were killing my feet.

Fortunately, I had some band-aids in my purse. Unfortunately, there was no place I could stop and sit down to put them on until I got to the el station. So, I sucked it up and kept walking...and walking...and walking. When I finally got to the el station and sat down to put on the band-aids, I already had whopper blisters that had burst. When I got to the office I realized the cheapo band-aids weren't staying on very well, and I needed to replace them.

I'm lucky to work for a big company, and we get all sorts of perks, including fully stocked first aid boxes on each floor. Antacid, ibuprofen, sinus tablets, band-aids, etc. are all right there free for the taking. In fact, the cheapo band-aids in my purse were from the first aid box at work. Yes, the band-aids weren't the greatest, but they were free and easy to get, so I thought I'd just keep slapping on these cheap band-aids during the day as they wore away. However, our office has been slowly moving across the Loop and us final stragglers were being moved over last weekend. I went to the first-aid box on my floor and found NO band-aids.

No need to panic, there was a BIG first-aid box on the lunch room floor. Only, after I got there I was gone! Packed away and ready for the move!

Well, I finally did get some band-aids when a fabulous guy who I only vaguely recognized [a hazard of working for a big company] steered me towards a secret stash. But...I still had to get through the day with only a few band-aids, and I had a lot of extra walking to do that day due to an appointment outside the office.

I realized as I limped to my outside appointment that I was going to be about a block away from Nordstrom's, though. Ha! The mothership for shoes! To make a long story just a tiny bit shorter, I went on a shoe binge at Nordstrom's after the appointment was done. You know the story: big sale, crazy atmosphere, and I just sort of was carried away with the crowd's shopping mania. I went in to buy a new pair of shoes to replace the new pair of shoes that were killing me, and ended up with THREE pairs of shoes, one of which I wore right out of the store. Another pair of Clarks slides, BTW, that were much more comfy, but still ended up rubbing one foot in a totally different place!

My feet are a mess. A complete and total mess. I stayed barefoot as much as possible this weekend and spent what seemed like oodles of money on several packages of fancy-schmancy band-aids at the grocery store this weekend. I had no idea how "high-tech" bandages have become. Obviously, I don't buy bandages a lot.

I suppose shoe-binging may be counted as a fun b-day treat, but I was much more excited about the gift Mark got me: a yarn/ball winder! Not a big surprise since I had specifically asked for it, but I don't expect big surprises. I was very happy that he listened to my request and carried through. Eight + years of marriage have taught me that its best to be pretty clear about your wants and needs, not to expect your spouse to be a mind-reader, and to be damn grateful when they listen to you. So, thanks again, Mark! *more kisses to Mark*

On Friday I finally got the swift I ordered for myself from, too. is not one of my favorite places to order from since they are really slow shippers, and I don't find their yarn selections fabulous. But I had a 50% off coupon for one item and the total price of the swift, shipping, and tax came to less than $40. A total bargain! This is a very nice swift, too.

Now I'm ready to "conquer the world" as one of my fellow Stitch 'n Bitch friends says!

Speaking of SnB friends, the girls really came through for me, too. To celebrate my b-day, several of them organized a get together on Saturday night and treated me to dinner and drinks. We went to the Chicago Brauhaus, stuffed ourselves with German food and decadent desserts, and drank lots of beer. And, there was fun, schmaltzy oompah band music to round it all off.

Jamie gave me a lovely pair of earrings she made herself [she's a talented jewelry artist and a talented knitter, wow!]. It was great, great fun.

...On the needles...

That same damn shawl that I really HAVE to finish this week for Eve. It's an easy pattern...maybe too easy and sort of boring for me. Plus, I have to be really firm with myself and not work on multiple projects since I need to get it done, so it's becoming WORK and not fun. Hmmm...I sense a theme here today!

The GOOD thing is that in working on this shawl I have finally mastered the Continental purl!!!!! *major pats on the back for me here*

The Continental-style purl stitch that works for me is a variation I viewed in a this video from, I think, Finland! Yes, the Finnish purl. Or, I guess that's what it's called. I found it on, a really marvelous site to learn new techniques from.

...In the garden...

Oh, boy is it hot out there! There's some relief on the way, though, or so the weather guy says. I spent some time on Saturday mulching, weeding, and deadheading flowers and sweated buckets the whole time.

Ok, I've been writing for almost an hour now so I have to stop. I'm tired and am starting to descend into the "not fun/work" zone, so that's my cue to close for the day.

Remember: more fun, less work!

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