Copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-word answers seldom help anyone out.
( Behind the cut )
We knew we were going to get another dog, and that it would be a rescue. We were planning to wait a bit and give ourselves a break. Then poor lthomas987 went to Petco to pick up some cat food. There was Homeward Bound Rescue, having an adoption day with over 40 dogs and at least 6 beagles. LT met several of them. Suddenly our timeline was picking up a bit.
After getting the carpets cleaned to make adjusting to the house and housetraining easier, we started going through the list of dogs. Because Homeward Bound places all their pets in foster homes, we had a great amount of information about all of them. Anyone who didn't handle cats well wasn't coming to live with us. While Her Supreme Majesty Shiva could certainly handle any of them, it seemed cruel to the dogs. Finally, I got it down to a short list. Fortunately, several dogs on that list were adopted before I could even get to an adoption day to meet them. Yesterday, I headed to the Burnsville Petco to meet some dogs and try to make a decision.
Stella, an adorable basset/beagle cross, had already been adopted. That left Forrest. Forrest is a very sweet, quiet little beagle. He'd come from an impound shelter in Henderson, KY, and he'd been in a foster home since May. Forrest's response to stress is to sleep in his crate, so he didn't usually get noticed at adoption days. When LT met him two weeks ago, she had literally half a dozen volunteers telling her how wonderful Forrest was. When I got there, three different volunteers helped get Forrest out of his crate because they were so thrilled that someone wanted to meet him.
Forrest and I headed outside to get to know each other. It was instant love. Despite my plan to wait until LT was back from Seattle, Forrest came home with me yesterday. He and Mort get along very well, although Mort is deeply frustrated that Forrest doesn't play with him RIGHT NOW. Shiva is cautious. They are taking looks at each other around corners and then backing off. There's been no growling or singing, which is a very good sign. Even better, Shiva has not yet attempted to give Forrest a concussion. Shiva is front declawed, but she can hit HARD.
We miss Ed dreadfully, but Forrest is a great little guy.
If I ever manage to figure out how to post pictures to LJ, I'll get them. Currently, you can see them at my Flickr page.
Since I think I totally forgot to post the newsflash here, I'm currently working on my masters in technical communications at Metro State. Then I got laid off in March. I am actively hunting for a job, but there are quite frankly very few to even apply for. Since job hunting is mainly a numbers game, this means things are going glacially slowly. Fortunately, I've got school to distract me. The current plan is now threefold:
1. Continue job hunting thoroughly, at least until fall semester starts.
2. Go full time at school for the fall semester at least. This gets me much further into my degree, and sets me up for a decent internship or the ability to apply for more jobs in tech comm at least.
3. Turn my nascent web design/development into an actual functioning business.
I'm also working on the project management certificate program available at Metro State, so my main class still left this semester is Project Management. It's an entirely online class, which is handy and not so good at the same time. Right now, I'm plowing through my research paper for this class. After over a ream of paper about best communication practices in virtual teams, my brain is very full. So I'm hunting displacement activities that don't mean I stop working for an hour or so. This seemed like a place to start. We'll see if this posting spate lasts any longer than the previous ones. I won't bet on it, but we'll see.
I mostly like my current job, but it's moving into boring territory, which I traditionally have difficulties managing. I'm really hoping that school will provide the intellectual stimulation I need. With this economy, I'd really rather not go job hunting!
I think I've finally found a direction I'd like to take career-wise that I can run with for quite a while. I tried sales, and I was good at it. Sadly, it also ate my soul. When I was laid off from my last sales job, my dominant emotion was relieft. Not fear, not wondering what the heck I was going to do now, but relief that I wasn't going to have keep trying to turn myself inside out to do this job. There are a lot of different directions I can go, once I have this degree. That is a very good thing.
I love being in school. I've missed it. As I was saying to a friend recently, school is one thing I KNOW I'm good at doing. There's a relief to this. Yes, I may well have to work hard, and I'm sure I'll be grousing about homework and group members. I have complete confidence that I will do well.
I thought my mother was going to have a heart attack of joy when I told her. It's made her crazy for years that I'm in admin work.
The down side to all of this is that SCHOOL HASN"T STARTED YET. I would like my distraction and shiny new toys NOW. I'm ridiculously excited that next week I can go buy my books for next semester! I know exactly which day I'll get my excess loan money, so I can go buy my very first laptop that will be all my own! I want the syllabus posted! I'm sure that amblypygid is shuddering at the thought of having to get all of this ready for next semester, but ... impatient!
Of course there are other preparations I should make that I'm avoiding. The largest is that I'm going to need to actually unearth my desk at home. There really isn't a bit of open space. That's going to have to change.
Maybe today I'll go poke around and make sure there aren't any more financial aid forms I have to complete. I do still have to mail the form that will let me go buy my books next week, too. Time to stop procrastinating on that!
1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names)
* Lynn John (certainly qualifies as bland!)
2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)
Gordon Daniel. Unless we go with the name he was born with, then Gordon Bernhard.
3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name)
4.DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
* Purple Beagle - fear the nose!
5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live)
* Joy Brooklyn Park - meh.
6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add "THE" to the beginning)
* The Blue Green Demon (may it should be the Teal Demon?)
7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)
8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie):
* Mint Chocolate Chip
9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet's name, current street name)
* EdGrr 84th - umm, kinda lame.
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on)
* Mollie Oregon - huh, not bad.
I find this article about voter turn-out simply fascinating. The greater the secrecy we've applied to voting, the lower the turn-out has been. Knowing if your neighbors voted significantly increases the likelihood that you'll vote.
Saturday I got up eventually and headed off to the wilds of Cottage Grove to help the sheep (Bri) move into her very first apartment! It was a pretty quick move. There are advantages to moves involved tiny adorable studio apartments - there isn't room for much stuff. I helped her unpack a bit. Next, I introduced her to joys of Aldi's for those on the college student budget. We got almost everything she needed for just about $100! I continue to win at the budget/clearance shopping! We "splurged" on Little Ceasar's pizza and crazy bread - taste of my childhood. I know it's crappy pizza, but the nostalgia factor kicks in every once in a while.
Sadly, this was followed by her cell phone disintegrating in her hands, so we voyaged out to Target to acquire a new one. There was a bit of trepidation, as this was money not in the usual incredibly tight college budget. I'm hopeful that a warranty claim will succeed, as her phone was only 9 months old. After more hanging out and arranging the kitchen, I headed off to Thomas' to get his old green chair for the sheep's apartment.
We decided to go out for appetizers/dessert at Buffalo Wild Wings and got some of the worst service I've ever gotten there. We showed up a full 40 minutes before their advertised close. The waiter had already dumped the iced tea and was distinctly not friendly. He wasn't directly rude, but he was brusque, rushed, and stand-offish. He let us hear he and the kitchen girl complaining loudly that we'd ordered food, despite the significant advertising campaign that their kitchen doesn't close until they do. Our waters were never refilled. He brought us plastic silverware and literally snatched the wrappers off the table as soon as we set them down. He loudly banged the stools and chairs he was already turning upside down on tables. We were distinctly underwhelmed. At least the food was still decent.
Sunday I lazed around with LT for a bit, and then finally headed of to cheshirekate 's home. We had a good, productive afternoon. I got Colleen started on her next knitting project - she's going to make an afghan of squares from the screamingly loud yarn she got for her birthday. It's so cute - she's very excited about all the math involved! She's definitely improved in knitting - she was able to do almost all of her own cast-on.
Home to LT and we induldged in delayed Olympics-watching. I love that we were able to record a bunch so I can still watch it. Olympic volleyball is just such GOOD volleyball. Lots of fun, up WAY too late.
Monday we finally rolled out of bed, got some things done around the house, and finally realized that food was not optional. Off to El Loro for tasty tasty meat. Then we did a grocery run for LT's honey caramel plan, and I got the stuff to make hummus. I love doing my own chickpeas in the pressure cooker, although I must agree that soaking the beans is very helpful for even cooking. This time I experimented with adding some lemon zest to the olive oil. Very tasty, very lemony hummus resulted - I am pleased.
Over lunch, LT and I started talking about a program that Metro State has for a Masters in Technical Communication. I was poking around their website for the Sheep and was stunned to discover how reasonable their graduate tuition is. This program really sounds like a good fit for me, and it would let me transition into more of a process-oriented role. That's the part I love about being an admin, and the rest of the admin gig is getting kind of old.
So, now I'm filling out FAFSA's again and trying to put together a portfolio of work, letters of recommendation, etc. This portfolio thing is kind of throwing me - I have no idea what I should put in there or how to lay it out or anything. I'm hoping that when their admission office responds, they'll be able to give me more details.
Currently, I'm very excited that our household is going to make another attempt at Chore Wars. I always wanted a chore chart with stickers as a kid. Someone has kindly made one for gamer geeks! I've already collected 6 XP by taking the trash cans to the curb and back into the garage. Here's hoping this continues!
AnimeIowa went startlingly well. This caused a brief moment of euphoria in which I seriously contemplating continuing to head a department. Reality is rapidly returning. I need a break! Although there is this bit I could as just a staff member .... I think it might be an addiction.
Perhaps I will begin preparing a longer AI report!
I'm feeling sheepy today, so here's a meme I found on fairoriana's journal.
Cut-n-paste the empty questions in a comment, if you'd like. You could even post the questions in your own journal!
1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
2) What was your dream growing up?
3) What talent do you wish you had?
4) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
5) Favorite vegetable?
6) What was the last book you read?
7) What zodiac sign are you?
8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
9) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me? (hmmm...careful!)
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
27) What's your favorite place to hang at?
28) Do you believe in ghosts?
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30) Do you swear a lot?
31) Biggest pet peeve?
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
34) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you chose?
35) Do you believe in God?
36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
I swiped this meme fromfairorianaand tammylc. I find it interesting. In many ways, growing up, I was quite aware that we did not have a bunch of money and that we didn't have anything we wanted. On the other hand, I can bold quite a few of these.
Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher (social) class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like you were portrayed positively.
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
I ripped out my current sock in progress, because I'd made the leg too long, resulting in not enough yarn for the foot. I could just take the other ball of that yarn and start over. I've brought the book to work to photocopy the pattern.
I'm not taking Lina's blanket, because it is large/bulky. That shouldn't take too much longer to finish, though.
If I were virtuous, I would take the Christmas stocking I promised to make for my sister-in-law. Heck, I need to make one for that brand-new brother-in-law I picked up this past weekend. Not too bulky, very simple knitting (essentially, make a giant sock). Must remember to bring in the old pattern to scan next week. Mom promised to make the crocheted snowmen required. I'll have to remind her that the yarn is at her house. At least that way, if she doesn't get the crochet done, it's not my fault the stockings aren't ready! I also need to check and see where the color balance is at on the mantel. The girls' stockings were both green, because that balanced things. I'm not sure where we're at now.
I'm currently frustrated with my lace stole. I was stupid and relied on the magnets, which, of course, slipped in my bag. Now I have to figure out where I am and why I'm off by a stitch. Plus, it's a large chart and not easily transportable. Thus, it's not going with to Seattle. Fortunately, I've been listening to the Knit Picks podcast, and I got some good ideas to figure out how to do that.
I'm itching to do something with the beautiful periwinkle laceweight LT brought me from Madrona last year. The only problem is that we misplaced the ball band and I have no idea how much I have. I think this means I'm doing a triangle from the point up, so I just quit when I run out of yarn! I'm thinking if I decide I want an edging, I could do it a contrasting color, but I'm not sure if that will look well. Decisions, Decisions. I'm currently trying hard to resist taking the laceweight with me on the trip. I love knitting laceweight and lace, and it's so lovely and compact!
Must have items:
Great-Aunt Lina's bread
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Really want items:
Candy cane cookies
Carol's mint brownies
Nice to have:
Good sugar cookies, decorated
Root beer cookies
Chocolate chip cookies
I'm probably insane to be contemplating this much, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I'd love to add both cardamom bread and julekake to my repertoire. Then there's krumkake and rosettes. Hello, I'm a compulsive Christmas baker. The worst part is that I'll do all of this in about 48 hours of just insane baking. This is why I'm so looking forward to getting a freezer I can fight some baking in!
I'm finally coming out of a knitting slump, brought on by too much obligation knitting. Now that I'm finally knitting for myself, it's really gotten me back into knitting. So, I headed off to visit Knitty and take a look at their new fall issue. It's been over a year since I visited, largely because I wasn't finding inspiration in the patterns. Not this time! Largely so I can remember what I liked and why:
Muir: This could be very nice in the lovely periwinkle blue lace-weight yarn LT brought me from Madrona last winter. It calls for 1030 yds of yarn, and LT said there was almost half a mile of yarn, so I should have plenty. It's on a size 6 needle, so it should be fairly comfy to knit.
Henry: I really have no desire to make a scarf knit lengthwise, but I really like the stitch pattern. I agree with the designer that this could make a great baby blanket. I'm not so sure about working an entire blanket in fingering weight though. Hmm ... maybe more of a car seat blanket.
Roam: One of the things I'm really appreciating about Knitty that is a change is the nice range of sizes in the patterns. This is a hooded cardigan in sizes that would fit me. It has some really nice details, including shaping. I also like the variegated yarn more than I thought I would.
Mr. Greenjeans: I really like this sweater, and again, I like the variegated yarn more than I thought I would. One thing I like is the way it's shaped. Also, it should be fairly easy to lengthen the cabled bottom a bit to hit at a more flattering length for me.
Totally Autumn: One of the things that every member of the family noticed when we moved my grandmother to the hospice unit at North Memorial was the beautfiul hand-made bright pink quilt on her bed. One of the nurses explained that the blankets and nightgowns/pajamas were made for the patients by volunteers. Right then and there, I decided I wanted to knit a blanket for the unit. The patient across the hall had a lovely crocheted blanket in fall colors. Originally I thought I'd finally get around to trying the Great American Aran Afghan. That's a rather large afghan, and I think it might be a bit much for that. This pattern is better, I think. It's of a good size (not too big), interesting to knit, and makes good use of variegated yarn. When did I suddenly become in love with variegated yarn? Rummaging around on the 'nets, I've found a couple of yarns that will wash well and won't break the bank. Paton's Melody is currently at the top of the list, although Bernat's Boucle Stripes is good too. Bernat's Masala has some good colorways.
Not a Knitty pattern, but I also really want to make myself some knee-highs. Now that I can dress much more casually at work, I'm really not interested in wearing hose when I don't have to. Also, I mostly wear shoes that need something a wee bit heavier than hose or even trouser socks. So, I think I shall embark up on making up my own pattern. If I do them toe-up, I can continue to try them on and make sure I'm getting the shaping right. Elizabeth Zimmerman gives the math for doing calf-shaping in one of her books. I think I can do this!
LIfe is rather busy right now, although it's full of good things. Tonight, we decorate the heck out of the yard (actually, LT will likely have most of it done before I get home), and I get to hand out large quantities of candy to hopefully large quantities of kids. I'm hoping that the weather cooperates so we can break our record. Tomorrow it's off to ICON where I'll get back to running an Art Show. It's been long enough that I think I'll be able to have fun at it again. It helps that I'll have Nate, the uber staffer to help.
Work is perking along. Right now, I'm frankly bored. I've played with the spreadsheets I can. Everyone else is fantastically busy writing up the attributions from the holdings I requested (no, that shouldn't make sense to anyone not in this industry). So, I'm left with one of two truly fascinating projects:
1. Try to take apart the stack of wire-bound books in my bottom drawer. Scan them in. Upload them to the portal site.
2. Upload stuff from the network drive to the portal.
Neither of these involves much brain work at all. I could also work on writing up the procedures for the quarterly international attribution. I've been putting that off. I'm very comfortable with gathering the data. I'm mostly comfortable with writing the procedures out. I'm not comfortable at all with how to format the darn things. I've bugged wiredferret for guidance before, and she's been very kind about it. Googling failed to find me any appropriate resources.
Finally it occurred to me that someone had to have written some books on this. So, off to Amazon I went. After some fruitless searching, I finally stumbled on something that's relatively close. Fortunately, in the related books, I found a much more closely related title. Woot! It looks like there is information out there. But it isn't cheap, and I didn't want to ask my new company to spend much more money on me right now. Hmm .... Time to see just how much paying off my civic contribution (aka my library fines) was going to cost. Fortunately, it was something I could swing. Further digging revealed that I can actually make ILL requests online. Ooooooh these people are DOOMED. DOOMED, I tell you! *evil chuckling*
Yesterday, two of the books came in. Technical Writing for Dummies is utterly pointless. It tries to cover far too much in one book. Also, none of it relates to the particular type of writing I'm doing. However, the other book How to Write Policies, Procedures, and Task Outlines, this one is worth the time. I've got several others coming via ILL, but I don't know how long it will take to get them. So, I'm reading at work, and thinking about how to apply this.
Look! It's another attempt to post something more than memes and when something awful happens.
The biggest change in my life is that I have an absolutely fabulous new job! I'm now a Research Assistant at Jeffrey Slocum & Associates ( www.jslocum.com ). It's an institutional investment advice firm; what I really like is that the focus is on non-profit clients. Basically, I'm the admin for a research team. I do a lot of calendar stuff. I'm also doing a lot of work on the spreadsheets they use. The guys I work with are all wonderfully smart, but dear gods they have no sense for formatting at all! Apparently, they're in awe of some basic formatting changes. Look! Change the labels so you can read them! Oooooh conditional formatting tells you when you're late! Okay, even I was impressed with conditional data validation - fortunately, I found a website that made that spectacularly easy. A lot of the spreadsheets they use make me itch, so I think I'll have plenty to do that way. My other big focus is on processes and documentation of such. Less glamorous, but it is much needed, especially because we're a financial firm. SEC audits are not fun nor glamorous.
Fortunately, despite the fact that I haven't even been here a month, the new job has been fabulous about flexible hours and bereavement leave and my brain being mush for a while. I would not have gotten that at the old job.
Last night I finally hit the wall and totally melted down.
Not a ton of excitement, but tonight wiredferretcomes to visit! I'm really looking forward to dinner and stuff tonight. It will be very good to see her. I owe her big thanks for letting me debrief to her every night on the way home from the hospital. Poor LT didn't need to be awoken at 12:30 am so I could tell her all about it.
Yay! A real entry!
Gah, I'm not fond of asking for help, but unless the weather suddenly decides to cooperate, Saturday is going to be the only day dry enough to mow the lawn. Could anyone just come run the mower over the lawn at some point on Saturday? The back practically qualifies as hay.
As LT reminded me last night while I was finally melting down, I'm not exactly good at asking for help. I need to remember that it makes me happy to be able to help my friends, I need to share that happiness with others. Or something.
It was more than time. She was miserable and exhausted. When she was trying to talk, earlier in the week, she'd just tell me that she wanted to go home and be with my grandfather in heaven. My mother did not give us nearly as much trouble as I was afraid she would. That had been one of my major stressors through all of this. My mom is not at all comfortable with turning anything off on anyone. She clings to every story she's ever heard of people who have woken up or suddenly recovered. She also held my grandmother's healthcare power of attorney. I had nightmares all week of her fighting us on letting Nana go. The in-patient hospice at North Memorial is an amazing place. She wasn't there for long, but it made a difference for her and for us. They had a binder of very helpful articles that gave us the key information we needed to be comfortable turning off her feeding tube and IV fluids.
Right now, I'm mostly exhausted. I had the evening shift at the hospital all week, and I was staying the night Saturday. We're still sorting out when the funeral will be. Hopefully, it will be this Saturday in Cambridge. We'll then drive up to Duluth for the internment. Once I've managed some decent sleep, I'm sure it will hit me much harder. I've been so focused on being with her and trying to sort out care needs, that normal life seems a bit surreal. It was very odd not to go to the hospital yesterday, and I had to remind myself that I don't have to go today.