Crazy stuff from Pinterest

While Pinterest can inspire, start a shopping frenzy, or get you thinking there are just some things you see that make you go “huh?” Here’s a few I’ve come across the last few days.

1. Pig Mug – Apparently you paint the buttom of a mug then make someone you don’t like drink from it.

2. There was no explanation on tihs just “bag head.”

3. Little Audry Hepburn

4. A cup that tells you how much you’ve measured and, I guess, what it is?

5. Elf on the Shelf, all tied up – looks frightening to me!

6. Iceburg salad – not so healthy

7. “For when your jean shorts don’t fit anymore – just add lace!”

Zapped

I’m feeling zapped. Energy? Almost gone. Creativitiy? Eh. Desire to craft? Almost entirely disappeared.

I started a new job this week and, like any new job, the first week is spent awkwardly trying to meet your new co-workers, learning the project, and otherwise getting everything set up. I’ve basically been trying to cram as much information as possible into my head this week and I simply have no energy or brainpower left by the time I get home.

But, I know that this will pass. I’ll get used to the (only slightly longer but now done via car vs Metro) commute and the project and will soon settle into a comfortable rythm. Just right now, I’m feeling zapped.

Hopefully this weekend will be relaxing and help me to realize no one fully understands a new position in their first week. Maybe I’ll even pull out the sewing machine again or finally decide if the Project Linus blanket will ever be large enough.

Either way, I’ll try to find the time  next week to tell you all about it. Even if the “it” is simply that I slept a whole lot and did nothing productive for two days.

Cheryl

So, I was sitting here at my computer, watching a little bit of TV online after work. Suddenly, the door bell rang.  Matt answered the door and brought upstairs a small, brown package with a large amount of insurance on it, from my Aunt Tricia and Uncle David.

After figuring out how to get through the packaging tape my aunt is known for, I pulled out a box from a diet scale. Inside, was another box with a note.

“This is your Aunt Cheryl’s engagement ring from your Uncle John. He wanted you to have it.”

In a thousand years, I never expected get her engagement ring in the mail.

7 Jan - Aunt Cheryl's Ring

See, my Aunt Cheryl died in 1998 in a car accident on her way to work. I was in eighth grade.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve only thought of her in passing a few times since then. I sound like a horrible person but it’s the truth. She lived in North Carolina so we only saw her a few times a year. Plus, well, almost everything about my life has changed in the last twelve years. Sure, I still have my family and I’m really no different in terms of my overall personality, but all the details have changed. I moved to California then to Virginia. I got married. I’m about to graduate from college.

I wonder what she would think about how I’ve grown up. I think she would be proud (and quite happy I keep on her tradition of crafting).

Reverb 2010

Alternate title: Yet another project Angela will give up on in ten or so days.

So, Reverb 2010 is a month-long writing project in which participants characterize the previous year and focus on what the next year will hold. Think year in review on steroids. The project started December 1st, so I’m pretty far behind, but I plan to catch up.

But, first, a summary of the last three months: 30 hours per week of senior project, 15 hours per week of work, 15 hours per week of class, and 20 hours per week of homework. Oh, and just enough knitting and time spent with Matt to keep me sane. In short, it’s been stressful but, somehow, I’ve managed to make it through without strangling anyone or going totally nuts. Barely.

And, now, to the whole Reverb 10 thing.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

Attempt. I attempted to do a lot of things this year. Attempted to be the best student I could be. Attempted to blog daily. Attempted to knit a sweater that fit me properly. Attempted to learn to relax. Attempted to run a half marathon. And, well, I wasn’t successful at any of them. I let stress prevent me from doing my best at school. I stopped blogging due to lack of time and the fact two classmates found my blog (hi, Shavon and Mike). I just have issues when it comes to knitting sweaters for myself (must take a fit to flatter type class once I have the $300+ to afford one). I still have no clue how to properly relax without bringing a bathtub full of hot, bubbly water with me everywhere. The running, well, my hips are entirely to blame for that fiasco.

But, next year, my year will be fulfillment. Not success, that’s doing better than people expect. Fulfillment, that’s being happy with how things are – even when things don’t go perfectly. I need to learn to accept things as they are and only try to change things that both need and can be changed. Stop pushing against a brick wall, so to speak.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I let me brain stop me from writing, basically. I let the fact that my classmates know of my blog stop me from writing, despite the fact there’s really very little I keep to myself, anyway. No big secrets will be revealed if I blog about everything. People may get annoyed that I’m talking about them in “public” but, hey, it’s nothing I wouldn’t tell them, anyway. No names. I’m smarter than that. Sometimes.

Anyway, I also let me mind stop me from writing on paper. The notebook is too new, the notebook is too full, the paper isn’t smooth enough, the pen doesn’t feel quite right, etc.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Standing in front of a crowded room, presenting my senior design project. All of my professors, people I respect highly and whose favor I need. My classmates, who saw my project struggling throughout the semester, unable to do anything but offer emotional support. Our project sponsor, showing neither approval or disapproval somehow. Loud construction noise from the hallway, people snacking in their seats, plastic chairs scraping against the laminate floor, shuffling papers of classmates waiting to present and professors filing out rubrics while flipping through slides, quiet coughs of those slightly sick by the sudden cold and drizzly day. The smell of my co-presenter’s shampoo, tropical yet manly. My hands clutching onto the slide changer for dear life, my talisman for the morning.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I’m not someone who tends to truly wonder. Sure, I play the what-if game every minute I’m awake, but, wonder like a little kid, almost never. But, this year, I was forced to have that wonderment, every time Izzy or Charis was at our house. I saw Charis dip her entire tiny hand into the hottest salsa I’ve ever eaten, curious as to what it tasted like. I saw Izzy wack herself in the face with a plastic bin, wondering if her resulting cries would be enough to garner the attention of the adults in the room. And, they made me wonder when they sat, somewhat peacefully, on our stairs, looking at their favorite books.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Oye. I’m just plain going to skip this one. The list is just plain too long.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

The last thing I made was a pair of socks for Danielle, the owner of my LYS. I used about two-thirds of a skein of Sanguine Gryphon Bugga, in the awesome colorway named Cuban Cockroach. I bought it a couple months ago, when I picked up a few skeins to make myself a fingering weight sweater. Something about the bright greens and the funny name pulled me in. I was about halfway through the first sock before I talked to Danielle about the socks being for her. Thankfully, she loves handknit socks but doesn’t particularly like making them. After I gave her the finished pair, she gave me another skein of yarn (this time in pale purple) to make her another pair.

Of course, there are other thigns I should be working on. A scarf for Leah. Hats for Sheel and Tygue. A hat for myself. But, yeah, what am I working on. Those light purple, cabled socks for Danielle, owner of a yarn store. Thankfully, I’ll have lots of time on my hands during finals, on my vacation, and during break when I can only work 20 hours per week.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I discovered a great community of runners, both locally and online. I have (had?) an amazing group of women I ran with every Sunday morning. They were encouraging but didn’t let me off easy. Danielle made sure we showed up every week we were in town. Jen whined with me through the long runs, making me run faster without even trying. Leslie wouldn’t let us quit. Katie showed us the runners we would some day be. Kathy proved you can be a great runner, even if you don’t pick it up when you’re in high school. Online, I found another group of amazing female runners (who also knit) on Ravelry. Each week, when I posted my crappy times, they were encouraging. When I had to stop running after my injury, they explained how

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

Stupid jokes during presentations? I don’t know. I think I’m mostly a freak.

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

I guess the best social times I’ve had the last year are when me and Matt sit at the kitchen table after dinner, just talking. When we go right from the kitchen table to watching TV, we don’t talk that much. But, those times we refuse to relocate, to sit and have a glass of wine and honestly talk about what’s on our minds, it’s great. I didn’t have that much time to do those sort of long talks this semester, like I have in the past. It was always quick dinner then back to working on homework. Now that my projects are over, I finally have time to do that again. It’s great.

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

The wisest was probably when I decided to look for a new job, before my current one is relocated this summer. The program is moving and, well, I’ll be out of a job as soon as it does. I made the smart (but painful) decision to start looking for something new a few months ago. Looked within my company and outside of it, eventually finding a new internship (with potential for full-time once I graduate in May) within the company. Other half of my current program, actually. The half that isn’t moving to the middle of nowhere (not anytime soon, at least). It’s hard to leave a job I really enjoy and people who just as nutty as me, but it’s much better for me, career-wise. No need to stick around until the end, having to scramble to find something new. I start there full-time in January and I’m both scared and excited. It’s a very different, though related, team whose culture I’ll have to learn. We’ll see how my choice really plays out in the coming months.

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1. Traffic
2. Highlighters
3. Crappy trash bags
4. Textbooks (okay, needed until May but not after!)
5. Spam email that I request (technically, bacon, but you get the point)
6. Scallops
7. Clothes that I won’t ever wear and bought out desperation that I’d never find something that fit
8. Postcards that don’t get sent until two months after purchasing them
9. Uncomfortable shoes
10. ??
11. ??

C-r-r-runch! [Picture coming later]

Let me start out by saying that everyone is fine. Matt, the other drivers, everyone. Perfectly okay.

Matt and I were going to go out to dinner last night. I was just waiting at work for his call that he was leaving to meet up with me.

The phone call wasn’t what I expected.

“Go home. Everyone’s okay. I got hit.”

Of course, my brain totally skipped the “Everyone’s okay.” part and focused on the “hit.”

Two blocks from home, someone (Light Runner, we’ll call him) decided to run a red light. Another car (she’ll be known as Forward Mover) was already coming from the other direction. Light Runner hit Forward Mover and then hit Matt, head-on.

Low speed accident, Matt already at stop.

Light Runner’s car is totaled, as is Forward Mover’s, most likely. Matt has only minor damage to his car. One-hundred percent drive-able but my worry-wort self wouldn’t let him take it to work today.

His car gets dropped off at the repair shop right after we get back from our trip.

Maybe I’ll finally be calmed down about the whole thing by then.

(I ran to the Metro from work then ran home from the Metro. Decided that counts as a weekly run and skipped my run this morning.)

The Leftover Bits

Skipping three days of blogging meant there a few leftover bits I haven’t mentioned. Nothing earth-shattering, just some things rattling around in my head.

1. Our house is officially falling apart. After several days (weeks?) of wondering why our kitchen floor would be mysteriously soaking wet first thing in the morning, we finally figured it out. The hot water line that feeds the kitchen sink was leaking. Of course, we checked the sink before but somehow missed it. Plumber Willie (our new best friend, it seems) is coming out today to fix it. No more having to wash dishes that require hot water in the upstairs sink – though, it’s not nearly as hard to do as one would think.

2. Shortly after I woke up yesterday, Alison called out to me asking where cleaning supplies are. A bottle of wine had mysteriously lost its cork in the middle of the night, leaking wine all over the basement. Thankfully, it was a small bottle of wine and didn’t get on much other than the floor and a set of plastic bins that can be easily washed off. Alison had heard the noise in the night and smelled the spilled wine but believed the cats were making the noise and that the smell was just a result of her dreaming about fruit salad. Mess is now cleaned up and we’ve emailed the wine makers in an attempt to find out what in the world would have caused the non-sparkling bottle of wine to suddenly open.

3. This was the weekend of work parties. First, mine which was at a beautiful park off the GW Parkway. Not as much sports were played this year compared to last due to the heat though we did enjoy ourselves, just sitting and talking and eating BBQ. Saturday afternoon was Matt’s work party, held at the home of a coworker. Lots of games, pool-swimming for the kids, smores, and more BBQ. Finally got to meet more of the people he talks about all the time and put names to faces.

4. After my work party, we headed up to Baltimore to see the Orioles take on the Mets. Being the Orioles, they lost pretty badly but I didn’t care. The game was actually an RIT alumni event, so we had food included in the ticket price. I was expecting hot dogs and soda but it actually included burgers, hot dogs, salad, popcorn, dessert, soda, and beer. Even had our own little room to sit in and hang out beforehand.

5. Although I can’t say I’m really into it, the World Cup does have me at least a little excited. Sunday we watched the Germany/Australia game. Matt rooted for Australia just to annoy Alison who was, rooting for having lived there and still very culturally tied to the country, Germany. I rooted for whoever was doing best at the given moment. The US plays next on Friday against Slovenia (I think) though we’ll both be at work during the game. Hopefully next week my parents don’t mind if we watch a game or two.

6. Running is going decent, I’d say. I haven’t missed a run in a few weeks, after having three straight weeks of missing shorter runs. The Sunday (long) runs haven’t been nearly as hard as I thought though the longest distance we’ve ever done was five miles. Next week, it’s 6. My group will run the bridge that’s at the tail-end of our race while I’ll be in my hometown, hopefully running the big bridge there. I just hope I don’t get really discouraged when the running starts to get truly difficult.

7. Work in a little stressful right now. We have a big meeting tomorrow that we’re getting ready for. The slides are finished but it’s just that last-minute anxiety going on.

So, yeah, there’s the leftover bits. Tomorrow, there should be pictures again. Maybe. Of something.

Do the New Sink Shuffle!

Yes, we finally have a new sink. No more having to keep myself from leaning on it at all. No more picturing the sink falling off the wall when I’m at work, spilling water all over the place and getting the cats wet. No more having to warn people who come over about it.

Sink Before

See, I wasn’t lying about textbooks as sink proper-upper. That was Alison’s idea when the sink started its final fall and I was still groggy from my nap.

Sink After

And now, our pretty, new sink. Complete with pedestal so there’s a lot smaller chance of it falling off the wall.

Couldn’t be better, no matter what

My dad is an annoying optimist. No matter how horribly things are going for him, his reply to “How are you doing?” remains the same: “I couldn’t be better, not matter what.” The man may have a face as red as a cherry from anger and yet, still, he thinks things couldn’t be better. If you disappoint him, he will forever remain certain you were just having an off day, that you’ll try harder or do better at listening to the good that is within us all. He almost always has a big, goofy grin on his face except in the most serious situations. And he’s not deluding himself, he really thinks his life is always amazing, whether because it’s actually good or because he thinks it’s working in that direction.

Dad

I do not take after him this way.

Ask me how I am doing, I will most likely complain. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I have too much work to get done. My team mates are idiots. I can’t find something to do. Clothing never fits me. Things are too expensive. People take too long to cross at crosswalks when I’m driving. My Twitter feed, yeah, that’s just my place to whine about how horrible my middle-class, intellectually and creatively-stimulating life is. I am a first class whiner, no doubt about it.

But, I am trying to change. Really, I am. I can’t say I’ll take my dad’s standard answer, but I’m trying out “I’m still here.” as my usual “How are you?” response. Because, really, how bad can things be if you have your health, shelter, food, and clean drinking water?