Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Tens: Ten Reasons *Not* to Vote for Rick Perry

If you don't live in Texas, are not interested in (more) politics and/or you disagree with me, I hope you'll forgive this entry. You may want to skip it. I try not to make this blog too political because it's just not that type of blog. But today is Election Day, and even though the polls close in a matter of hours, I'm going to take a risk.

And if you disagree with me, I still want to be your friend, and I hope you'll still visit my blog for whatever attracted you to it in the first place. I want to maintain this blog's spirit of sanity and general friendliness.

One of my goals has been to campaign against Rick Perry in the 2010 governor's race. I set this goal before I even knew who was running against Perry.

In high school, one of the classes (I think it was the class of '97) ran a potted plant for class president. The plant was named Boopy. That's how much I don't want Perry to be reelected. I was ready to vote for Boopy.

We lucked out. Bill White is the democratic candidate for governor. He's awesome.

I've met my goal. I've been phone banking for Bill White. My personal goal was at least two solid hours on the phones (not including arriving at the campaign office, getting the script, etc.) once a week for the past month, and I've done that. I also want to use my blog to help campaign in some small way. So today, I'm telling you why Rick Perry sucks.

I want to let you know that I did the best I could to find reputable resources and write an accurate blog entry. I'm not a historian or political expert. My degree is in Print Journalism, so I think I know something about writing. However, if this entry was for work, I would have held it to a higher standard.

Some of the resources are partisan, but most of them aren't. I reference Politifact quite often. It is a non partisan site that has become popular in Austin after the Austin American Statesman started carrying its stories.

All in all, I think I did a decent job for a personal blog that is primarily focused on the fiber arts.

1. He didn't want to accept federal funds. Seriously. $555 million in Federal funds was put aside to help the unemployed in our state. Just Texas. And Perry wanted to say no because he didn't agree with the stipulations that came with the money.

Let's pretend that the federal government offered the state a giant piece of American Pie (*rim shot*). We're hungry, and we haven't had pie in a while. But Perry said we shouldn't eat this pie. The American Pie is a bad pie. It would prevent us from getting more pie in the future. Texas can make it's own pie.

"OK fine," Texas says. "When do we get the Texas pie?"

"I don't know," Perry says.

"How are we going get the Texas pie?"

"I don't know."

"Do we even have sugar?"


And we sit there hungry while everyone else eats pie.

(FYI - The state senate eventually went against Perry's suggestion.)

2. He refused to debate, then claimed that Bill White was the one wouldn't debate. Perry has said he won't debate until Bill White releases his tax records for a long time now. White has released his income tax returns going back to 2004, but Perry wants to see more. And from what we can tell, Perry has never set conditions for a debate like this in the past.

What does that say to you when a candidate refuses to take on his opponent mano a mano? And then claims his opponent is the one who doesn't want to debate because the opponent won't comply with his demands? I say it means the candidate is a coward.

PoltiFact says it best:
"If every debate sponsor statewide required the candidates to release their tax returns and White refused, Perry's logic would be more reasonable. But this is a precondition that only Perry has set, and, as we recently reported, a term to debate he hasn't made in the past. Plus, it hasn't stopped White from debating: on July 5, White joined Kathie Glass, the Libertarian candidate for governor, at the League of Women Voters forum in Kerrville — the first governor's debate after the primary. Perry was absent."

Since Politifact's article, White has participated in other debates with the third party candidates. But not Perry.

3. What does he do all day anyway? For much of my working life, I've wondered what managers are actually doing all day. I realize managers have a lot of supervising to do and decisions to make. But the higher up the food chain someone gets, the more they can't be bothered with everyday tasks. I know this because I often do those tasks. But what does that leave them to do day to day?

These musings have caused me to be especially interested in the Part-time Perry, a website created by the Bill White campaign. The whole website focuses on Perry's schedule, and the fact that his schedule shows that he only worked an average of about 7 hours a week in the first six months of 2010. There are a few theories about what this means.

The first one is that Perry has a secret schedule to cover up the fact that he is using state resources for his reelection campaign. In the video above, he seems to imply that his reelection campaign is state business. That isn't helping his case.

Another is that he isn't keeping good records of how he spends his time. Other governors keep public schedules with more detail.

The third possibility is that Rick Perry really spends that little time on state business.

However you look at it, it doesn't look good.

4. Perry has cut CHIP in the past, and he is against expanding it. CHIP is essentially medicaid for children. It's a way for lower income families to get health care coverage for their children. And Perry has cut a lot of its funding.

In 2009 he vowed to veto an expansion of CHIP that would have given about 80,000 kids health care coverage. And then he claimed, "That is not what I consider to be a piece of legislation that has the vast support of the people of the state of Texas." I can't speak for the rest of the state, but I would have supported it.

Won't someone please think of the children?

5. Trans-Texas Corridor Need I say more.

6. I take the whole secession thing pretty seriously. In case you missed it, in 2009 Rick Perry implied that Texas might secede in the future. You can see the video of his comments above. Then when asked about it later, he stood by his comments.

In case you're not familiar with our history, Texas was once its own country. We were the only state to enter the union by treaty. We're the only state in the union that can raise the flag to the same level as the American flag. And we do take pride in this. I'm not a historian, but it seems like Texas is more likely to have the ability to secede than other states, although I don't know what that would take. But just because we can secede doesn't mean we should. I think it's unlikely that Perry would really pursue secession, and I don't think we're at risk of seceding. But I also think it's offensive and unpatriotic to even consider it. And I don't want our governor to promote this, even as a joke.

7. Follow the money. There's so much out there about Perry and campaign funds, lobbyists and corruption. Perry has been sued for accepting illegal campaign contributions, accepted a fair amount of campaign contributions from lobbyists, had many chiefs of staff that were lobbyists and gave public funds to businesses with ties to his donors. And I'm sure there's more that I'm missing.

8. He hasn't been good for the environment. Particularly the air. Perry asked President Obama to ask the EPA to back off on their air quality permitting standards. The EPA believes that changing Texas's air quality permitting process would improve the state's air quality. Perry said we deserve slack because Texas's air quality has improved.

Or in my interpretation, Perry thinks the EPA is mean and wants it to quit being so mean. I have asthma. I want the EPA to be mean to Perry.

9. He's been named one of the worst governors in the nation. That pretty much sums it up.

10. He's a jerk. I could go on for years on this one. I believe that vague criteria of "character" should only play a small part in your vote, so I tried not to spend too much time on this one. But there's so much to cover. Some of his greatest hits include Adios MoFo and "Why don't you just let us get on down the road?" I believe his campaign was within its legal right to air the controversial ad featuring businesses on South Congress, but I think they should have pulled it out of respect. And what kind of person jogs with a gun. Also, as of 1:06 p.m. today, if you Google "Rick Perry is a douche" you get 808 results. If you Google "Bill White is a douche" you only get 143 results.

Go vote everybody! Polls close at 7 p.m., and your local League of Women Voters should have a good non partisan voting guide if you need more information. (It's especially helpful with those smaller races you may not be familiar with.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Paint a Rock (and remember a bunny)

Bunny Foo-Foo's grave marker

Based on this picture, you may be expecting me to wax poetic on the loss of Bunny Foo-Foo. In reality, my main goal today is to brag about how well her grave marker came out.

I made a point of talking over the details of BFF's burial with Mom and Dad while she still had some time left. I didn't want to have to think about the details after she was gone. Among other things, I decided to paint a rock to use as a headstone. I suggested that we lay the rock on top of her grave, rather than trying to dig a hole for it so it would actually be in the ground and somewhat permanently placed. That way Dad can pick it up and move it when he mows the lawn.

I must say, I came up with a great solution. It was inexpensive to make (less than $7 for all the supplies), but still high quality and able to withstand the elements. It's definitely a noticeable landmark, but it doesn't overwhelm the yard. It's a respectful memorial, but it's got a little color and personality to it.

The rock came from Jules. He was always picking up rocks and seashells everywhere he went. It's driving me nuts now because I keep finding rocks and seashells all over my apartment. However, I'm glad he picked up this heart-shaped rock that was the perfect size for a grave marker. I was ready to get rid of it before Bunny Foo-Foo's diagnosis. Luckily, I never got around to it.

I did some research on rock painting and came across Pet A Rock, a site by Patty Donathan with some great advice and tutorials. Her tutorials are kind of like the patterns some knitters and crocheters sell. There's a few freebies on her site and some tutorials that can be downloaded for a small fee, as well as an e-Book with more tips on the craft. Rock painting is more popular than I realized. My project was very simple, but many rock painters do much more elaborate designs. Patty paints a lot of rocks with detailed pictures of dogs and cats.

Patty recommends "any craft, water-based, acrylic paint" for painting rocks. I went to Jo-Ann and got some two ounce bottles of Apple Barrel Paint for 89 cents each. I got the regular paint, not the gloss, the stuff with glitter, the stuff for wood, etc.

I had a hard time choosing colors. I ended up calling Mom and Dad from Jo-Ann. Dad thought of green because many of her favorite foods are green, and that seemed right to me. Mom suggested pink because it just somehow felt right, and I agreed with her too. But I couldn't find a shade of pink I liked. Dad also suggested other colors representing her favorite foods, like the light yellow tortilla chips he fed her* or orange carrots. I thought of red because she loved apples. I finally settled on "20598 Green Clover" and "20784 Red Apple." At first I didn't want to use Christmas colors, but I decided it didn't matter. And the names of the colors sold me, as it often happens when I buy yarn.

I bought some basic paintbrushes for less than $2. I considered using a paint pen instead of painting the letters, but the tips of the paint pens were too thin. The writing wouldn't have shown up.

For the varnish I settled on Delta Ceramcoat Protect Satin Exterior/Interior Varnish. It was an excellent choice. It wasn't stinky, it dried fairly quickly, and once it dried it wasn't the least bit sticky.

When I got home, I practiced painting on paper first. I realized pretty quickly that the paintbrushes I bought weren't going to cut it. I couldn't control them enough to write legibly. I ended up using Q-tips instead.

Then I got another one of Jules' rocks and made a test rock.

Test Rock

'Nuff said.

Then it was time for the real deal. I washed off the rock and let it dry. Then I applied two coats of the Green Clover paint with a sponge brush. I made sure the first coat was dry before I put on the second. That didn't take very long.

Once the second coat of green was dry, I penciled in the text. I was very careful and accounted for the fact that the paint would be thicker. I was able to erase and rewrite a couple of the letters that were a little wonky.

And then came the part that I'm especially proud of. My regular handwriting isn't very neat, so trying to write on the surface of a rock with paint and a Q-tip was especially challenging for me. I went very slowly, and for the most part used little dabbing motions. I basically did one coat with the Red Apple, although I made it thick, and did go back and touch up some of the letters.

Once the red dried, I applied three coats of varnish, because according to the bottle, you should use three coats minimum if the item is going to be outside. The varnish was the consistency of water, so I'd pour a little on, then spread it with the sponge brush. It dried quickly between coats.

Bunny Foo-Foo's grave

I'm very happy with the results, and I think it's going to hold up well.

We had a little memorial last week. The family got together and we took turns reading. I found The Parable of the Mustard Seeds, St. Francis Preaches to the Birds, The Velveteen Rabbit and, of course, Watership Down. I played "Bright Eyes" from the film adaptation of Watership Down. This was when I placed the marker and the Italian Parsley that I bought in lieu of a bouquet. (She loved that stuff, and it's sold in bunches that look like bouquets. Also, Mom surprised me that day with flowers in BFF's honor.) We ended with Dad reading a very sweet story he had written.

I'm going to leave you with a clip from Watership Down. It's the ending of the movie, so consider this your spoiler alert. (Although it doesn't really give away any of the rest of the plot.) And it's that strange combo of sad and uplifting that will make you cry. It's brought me a lot of comfort in these last few weeks.

*Disclaimer - You really shouldn't feed your rabbit tortilla chips or other "human" foods (Or many of the commercially available rabbit treats while we're at it.) More details here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bunny Foo-Foo: 2001 - October 6, 2010

Cilantro Nom

I meant to post about Bunny Foo-Foo a long time ago, but I'd been avoiding it. But I know it will help me move on to blog it.

We lost Bunny Foo-Foo yesterday.

A little more than a month ago, I noticed Bunny Foo-Foo had this strange bald spot on her left hind leg. When I picked her up to take a closer look, I realized there was a giant knot on her leg. I was worried it was broken, but I couldn't afford the after hours vet. She didn't seem to be in distress, so I waited until first thing in the morning.

The vet said it was tumor. Cancer.

At the point she was diagnosed it was possible leg amputation might have saved her. It depended on whether or not the cancer had spread. But I couldn't afford amputation surgery. (Still unemployed.) Even if I had the money, should I really put a nine year-old rabbit through amputation surgery? I know they adapt well after an amputation, so I might have made a last ditch effort to find the money if she were younger. But she already had a swollen lymph node and "quiet lungs," according to the vet. Because I couldn't afford surgery, I skipped the testing and x-rays that would have determined if the cancer had spread. But I suspect it was already too late.

We made the most of our time left together. We had a Bunniversary Party on Labor Day. My family came. I made Taco Soup for the humans and Bunny Biscuits for Bunny Foo-Foo. We talked and played board games and the bunny came out so we could all pet her. And we took "family pictures."

Katie, Dad, Mom, Me and Bunny Foo-Foo

(I don't know how to use the camera timer, so we took another picture with Aaron.)

It was right before Labor Day in 2001 when the Evil Roommates found Bunny Foo-Foo.

In 2001, I was getting back to college after taking a year off. I had just transferred to Texas State, and I had just moved into off-campus student housing in San Marcos. I ended up three people I would eventually dub The Evil Roommates.

One evening the Evil Roommates and a couple of people from a neighboring apartment came in with two baby rabbits with agouti colored fur. They proposed that each apartment take one of the rabbits.

At first I was concerned because I thought they might be wild rabbits. Eventually I heard that they had belonged to someone else in the apartment complex. He'd let them run around on his patio, and they'd escaped. He didn't care about getting them back because they "were only $5." (Sometimes I wonder if the Evil Roommates made this up so I'd shut up about the wild rabbit thing. Either way, she was domesticated pretty quickly.)

Baby Foo-Foo

For the record, I sort of named her. We had a big meeting on what to name her. Eventually they came up with "Akira." Nothing against fans of the anime, but I thought this wasn't a very good name for a rabbit, but it wasn't worth arguing about.

However, I never witnessed anyone call her Akira. Every time they passed her they would say "Hey Bunny Foo-Foo."

The Evil Roommates had intended to keep her in a storage tub with slats cut in the lid. I was the one that ordered a cage on eBay, read up on rabbit care, bought her proper rabbit food and got her spayed.

By the time I took her to the vet to get spayed, the Evil Roommates had lost interest. She was mine and she'd been Bunny Foo-Foo in my mind for a while. So I put it on her paperwork and made it official.

You can probably guess by my nickname that the Evil Roommates and I didn't get along. (Never go potluck roommates.) When the bunny went through her "teenage years", they were done with her, and wanted to release back into "the wild" (aka the grounds of our apartment complex.) I was done with them, so I told them if they'd help me get out of my lease we'd both be gone.

I have no idea what happened to Bunny Foo-Foo's sister.

Bunny Foo-Foo

I attempted to hide her in my dorm. That lasted less than 24 hours. She and the ginormous cage I built for her stayed with Mom and Dad until I graduated. I came home every weekend to see her and clean her cage.

She went to Florida with me by car. It was just the two of us. Every time Mom brought up something about how I'd be alone on the road, I'd tell I wasn't going to be alone. The bunny would be with me.

This is a picture of her in a Motel 6 on the way there. I think this was Tallahassee.

The Road to Florida

We had a lot of fun in Florida, but there were some tough periods, especially in 2006. I know I didn't always give her the attention she deserved or kept her cage as clean as it should have been. But she was always there. And she would lick away my tears.

Bunny Foo-Foo

Eventually we drove back to Texas together. I've talked a lot about my last few years with her on this blog.

Elsebeth Lavold Angora

(I'm glad she decided to stick her nose in this picture.)

Over the last few weeks I've watched her gradually deteriorate. The tumor got bigger. She got tired more often. She got more and more "sideways", since the tumor threw her balance off. She lost the use of her left hind leg completely. (I can see how bunnies can adapt to amputation now. Even when she wasn't using her bad leg, she still managed to get around.) She slept more. Eventually, I think she started falling asleep standing up.

Bunny Foo-Foo

Before the diagnosis, I had posted some pictures of her hanging out in her litter box on Facebook because I thought it was funny. Dad said she was in there because she wanted to lie on a soft surface. He bought her a pet bed. After the vet visit, I put towels in all her favorite bunny spots and over most of the cage floor. The vet said the tumor probably started to grow right before she started seeking soft surfaces.

Her pain medicine made her do weird things in her sleep. It scared me before other bunny owners and the vet explained that she was just dreaming. Some bunny owners told me their bunnies twitched in their sleep all the time.

I went to a House Rabbit Resource Network spa day, where I learned that Bunny Foo-Foo loved parsley and cilantro and that I could put diaper cream on her tumor to keep the skin from getting dry and flaky. It kept losing fur as it grew.

Eventually I had a routine at night where I turned her over in my arms, used one finger to rub Desitin on her tumor,used another finger to put Neosporin on the scabs on her tumor, made sure her butt was clean, gave her pain meds, put her back down and gave her a treat. Once we got the news, we quit worrying about her weight. It was nice because after she got mad at me for making her take her medicine, she would come back to me for her treat and some petting.

The last picture

The end wasn't what I had expected. I had braced my self for incontinence and loss of mobility. I watched her carefully to see how she felt. I had been looking at The Three A's, Appetite, Affection and Attitude. Yesterday, she was eating, pooping (that's important) and coming to see me when I passed the cage. But when she came to see me she started breathing really hard. She'd been gradually breathing harder and faster, but this was different. She would calm down, eat some hay, drink her water and lay around. She wasn't lying in her bed. I think she didn't have enough room to sprawl out.

It was the look on her face. She wasn't having fun anymore.

I find my self wondering if it was too soon. Although I wanted to keep her, I just wanted the whole thing to be over with. I don't think she was truly suffering yet. Then I remember the whole point of euthanasia was for her not to experience that suffering.

Mom picked me up and Dad met us at the vet. I wasn't quite sure if this was "it" until we got her on the vet table and we didn't try to struggle or hop away. The vet said he thought it was a good decision.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about the event itself. It took longer than I expected and there were a few effects I didn't expect. Mom, Dad and I stood with her and pet her during the whole process.

The staff at Westgate Pet and Bird Hospital is great. They made a point of giving us plenty of time, having us pay ahead of time so we didn't have to stop on the way out, letting me carry her into the back room and giving us a room where we could be alone with her for a while before we left.

This is weird, but I have to mention this. After it was over, I asked Mom and Dad to leave for a minute so I could be alone with her. They had swaddled her in a blanket, but I wanted to take her out of the blanket and hold her one last time.

Strange things happen to your body when you die. Everything relaxes. Including your bladder.

When I put her back down, I realized Bunny Foo-Foo had peed on me.

I was glad. You have to laugh. She made some trouble one last time.

Bunny Foo-Foo eats my purse

We buried Bunny Foo-Foo in the backyard at Mom and Dad's house, under the Pecan tree. I plan to put a small marker there and have more of a "memorial" for her later.

When I was growing up, I wanted a rabbit. I used to read The Little Rabbit over and over again. The book was about a white rabbit named Buttercup and her seven babies who were named after days of the week. I tried to convince my parents to get me a rabbit like Buttercup, but they said a bunny would be too much trouble, especially the large hutch the rabbit would require.

I got my Buttercup, and it was worth all the trouble.

The Empty Cage

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Tens: Ten Reasons I Didn't Want to Buy a New Purse


I bought a new purse tonight. Guess which one's the new one?

With all the job interviews I've been going on, the subject of what to wear has been a common topic of conversation with my family. It's an interesting study in class and gender roles. There are specific "rules" in place for men that don't exist for women, and I'm confused.

I even ordered a suit from a catalog that was on clearance for only $20. It was black, single breasted, with pants. After being on back order for two months, I finally tried it on for the family. Aaron's brothers said I looked like Giovanni from Pokemon. I sent the suit back.

Since my first interview in March, Mom keeps saying if anything is making me look unprofessional, it's my purse. It's dirty and the bunny's chewed on it. I agree that I could use another one, but I don't think it's that big of a deal, especially when it comes to job interviews.

Tonight I finally got one at Target. It took me close to an hour to pick one out. I even took a bunch to the fitting rooms and asked for a mirror to "try them on."

I've been resisting getting a new purse for a while, even though (as Mom kept telling me) there's lots of cheap ones that are professional enough at department stores. The reasons are complicated. Here are some of the causes of my procrastinating:

1. For me, a purse is like a car. Personally, I don't have tons of purses. I have a little evening bag that I've had since high school. It's too sparkly for an interview. I have a small purse that's sort of like a small backpack. It's made of a similar material and has lots of zippers and pockets. I use it for traveling, theme parks and similar situations. It's more secure for going on roller coasters or being dragged through the airport, and it's lighter if I'm going to be doing a lot of walking. But it's too casual for interviews.

And then I have the one gets used constantly. That's the "car." It usually only gets replaced if it "breaks" (like the time my strap broke and I kept having to staple it together) or I see a new that's perfect. I don't switch out much, and I don't want to. I'm reluctant to buy a purse either based on job interview standards alone. And I don't want to rush the purse buying process since it'll be constant companion for a couple of years.

2. I'm really proud of myself for getting rid of so much stuff, and I can't bring myself to have another purse sitting in my closet. I've never been the type to buy lots of purses, but I have a bought a couple here and there because I liked them. I also kept old and "broken" purses for that "someday" that never seems to come. I got rid of most of those. I don't want to hold on to another purse, even if it is my "job interview" purse. And I don't want to spend money on a purse to use once and give away.

3. I want to buy a quality handmade one or make one myself. This is a big one. Anyone else suffer from the I-don't-want-to-buy-one-I-want-to-make-my-own Syndrome? I usually only wear one scarf at a time part of the year, but I would really use one good knitted or crocheted purse. But then it's hard to decide, and for one that's really functional I would need lining and a zipper.

I'd also like a purse made by someone else from Etsy or a craft show. The problem is it's more expensive. While it's understandable that it would cost more, and it would be worth the investment, I'm unemployed and can't spend more than $20 or $25 right now.

4. Picking out a purse requires me to reflect on who I am and where I am at life. Here's where sociology comes in. Walking through Target, I deemed some purses too young, some too old, some too professional, some not professional enough, some too shallow, some too dull, some too sexy, some too conservative and on and on and on. Materials, silhouettes, colors, patterns and size all evoke certain ideas and personalities in my mind. Big "hobo bags" remind me of fashionistas and soccer moms. Neutral colors seem bland. Purses with big logos on them seem shallow (even if no one's ever heard of the brand.) Straps made out of chains seem like something sexy, like you'd wear to a club. And the little envelope purses with fun prints and pictures (the ones that appeal to me the most) look like they're for teens and college students (not a good look for a job interview.)

I'm not sure how many of these ideas apply to our culture in general, but I'm sure they're there. That makes me want a "special" purse even more.

5. I feel like a shallow person for believing everything I wrote in number four. I can only hide behind sociological pondering so much. I do care about how I look and how people judge me.

6. Purses that match the image I want to convey don't match what appeals to me aesthetically. Shiny! Sequins! Eye Bleeding Colors! Prints! Cute Animals! Unicorns! Glitter! Rainbows! Weird Shapes!... usually don't make for very professional purses.

7. When it comes to purses, I still have some baggage. (Pun intended.) It took me a while to embrace the concept of carrying a purse. The feminist in me felt like I should be able to get by without one. I finally decided not to feel ashamed for having a purse. My gender is lucky to be able to carry a small bag with them and fit the social norm, rather than trying to shove everything in our pockets or carrying a full size backpack or laptop bag everywhere. Except for one item on that list, I think those are items both men and women need. I like to have my wallet, checkbook, keys, inhaler, medication, pens, chap stick, tampons and eye drops with me. Recently I've been carrying a big tape measure because I've been looking for storage ideas for my apartment. I think women have the right idea.

Yet I still have this lingering idea that purses mean weakness. So I tend to avoid buying them.

8. There's functional things to consider. There's size of course. I bought a cloth covered purse even though it will be harder to clean. I prefer one big pocket to five smaller ones. A zipper is essential. I put back one purse based on lack of zipper alone.

Because my headache seems to be related to neck and shoulder pain, I thought a lot about how it would affect my posture. As much time as I spend carrying my purse, this is a big deal. Instead of the one long strap I've been using, I got one with two short straps that hold the purse right under my armpit. I figured using different muscles would help.

9. My purse really *shouldn't* factor into my job interview at all. The car analogy alone is proof of this. You don't try to but a car to match your outfits, or buy one just for interviews. Think about luggage too. You don't worry about carrying a black suitcase while you're wearing brown shoes. I wonder thought, when men buy briefcases, do they consider how they will look with their clothes?

10. The more your parents bug you to do something, the less you want to do it. 'Nuff Said.

I'll leave you with an example of how my purse got so messed up in the first place. I took this picture while I was writing this entry.

Bunny Foo-Foo eats my purse

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where my knitters at?

Because I've been out of the loop for a while, I'm not sure where are all the knitting groups/stitch n' bitches/ knit nights, etc are anymore. I'm inviting all the Austin knitters and crocheters to post where and when they're getting together. You'll get a little publicity and I'll be in the loop. Everyone wins!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tens: Ten Things My Readers Should Know About the Last Ten Months (more or less)

It's been a while, and I'm not quite sure what to say. So I decided to say it in a list. A Tuesday Tens list.

1. I haven't gone anywhere, I just haven't been myself for a while. Last summer was tough. I was starting to get back in the blogging habit in October, then I got the the Swine Flu and everything came to a grinding halt. (Yes, this right before the vaccines became available to the general public.) Between that and all the other things I'm about to talk about, I just fell out of circulation. It's not just the blogging. It's the knitting, crochet, spinning, yarn sales, knitting groups, local yarn shops, Ravelry and everything else that goes with it. Some of my knitting friends probably think I fell off the face of the earth. I feel so embarrassed. I didn't know that Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe closed, and I'm only vaguely aware that The Knitting Nest moved. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe I just needed a break. Maybe I'll be back even bigger and better than before.

So if you've messaged me on Ravelry, left a comment, e-mailed me, etc and I haven't responded, I'm sorry. But now I'm back. Feel free to contact me again. You'll probably get an answer.

2. Jules and I are no longer together. We haven't been since last October. I'm not going in to details except to say we didn't get along while we were living together. He moved into his own place in October, and then back to California in January. We still talk on the phone every now and then.

3. I'm unemployed again. Not many people can say they've been laid off by the same employer twice. But this time there was no rehire. It happened February 12, and it was the exact opposite of the other lay off. I didn't see it coming, and I was the only one (on that particular morning) that was let go.

I was having a good Friday morning when it happened. Mid-morning my pen ran out of ink and I needed a new notepad. I was finishing up entering stuff into the computer, and I was going to find the office manager to get more supplies when they called me in. They cleaned out my desk for me, and I tried to get to my car as quickly as possible before I saw anyone I know.

But don't feel sorry for me. Between collecting unemployment and a little help from The Bank of Mom and Dad, I'm doing fine and looking forward to a fresh start.

Wall O' Yarn

4. I'm cleaning my apartment. Seriously. After lots of false starts over the past few years, I'm really, honestly, truly making progress. The picture above is my "Wall O' Yarn." (It's all cataloged on Ravelry, except for a couple of specific categories.) You can see more pictures of my apartment on Flickr. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to post the "before" pictures.

5. I have contacts now, but the headaches are back. Last summer I talked about my new glasses hurting. It was awful. The pain around my nose traveled to the back of my head and down my neck. It went on for months, until I finally gave in and got contacts for my birthday in December. For a while, all the pain went away. But then in March I developed a headache in the left side of my forehead (the same side as the pain from the glasses.) The pain also started traveling down my neck, so I know they must be related to the pain I had with the glasses. It's been a problem since March. I'll probably blog more about it later, but there are medications, doctors and a chiropractor involved now.

(The good news is that my contacts are awesome!)

6. I may blog about non-yarn things more often. I've had the urge to write more about other topics than what will fit in a Facebook status update. So you'll probably see more non-knitting stuff here.

7. I have all sorts of unfinished business to blog about. There's an FO that's never been seen on this blog, a follow up to the Potholder Swap and all kinds of pictures to post.

WIP: Back in the Saddle Scarf

8. This is my most recent WIP. I'm calling it the "Back in the Saddle Scarf," for obvious reasons. It's the Easy Drop Stitch Scarf, only wider. I'm planning to add some fringe as well. I'm using Noro Lily from Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe.

9. I feel incredibly guilty about crapping out on the Gauge Scarf Circle. I really owe a big apology to Gauge and all it's customers, especially those in my scarf circle. I never finished the scarves, and a couple have been lingering in my house. I was late, then I was ashamed, so I avoided going, and that made me later and more ashamed and guilty, and then I really avoided dropping them off, and it went on and on like that for months. I'm probably the reason the scarves in my circle weren't finished. And now that I've blogged it, I'm think I'm brave enough to return the scarves in my possession.

10. Guilt has been a huge factor in my absence. It's irrational, but every time something knitting, blogging or fiber related came up in the past few months, I couldn't enjoy it because I felt guilty. Guilty for not keeping up, for being out of the loop, for having big plans and not following up and, in a few areas, guilty for not following through on my promises. So I avoided it. I know this doesn't make sense, so I'm going to push myself back into it until it feels right again.