18 February 2009


I don’t usually spend much time on regret. I figure that I make decisions, good or bad (and I have made some BAD decisions in my life), based on so many factors—my age, my mood, my current stress level, my living situation, my hormonal state, etc.—that feeling badly about those decisions afterwards doesn’t make much sense to me. I’d end up spending so much time beating myself up that I wouldn’t be able to move on to the next big mistake.

Having said that, there is one thing that I do regret. I never learned to play an instrument. I wanted so badly to learn the piano, but my parents couldn’t afford one. Being the stubborn person that I am, I decided I didn’t want to learn any instrument if I couldn’t learn the piano. And so here I am, almost 35, and I have never played an instrument. It’s weird because music is so important to me. I couldn’t survive without constant access to whatever music I feel like listening to. I love to sing (not in front of other people – just to myself – and I heard many years ago that I’m actually pretty good at it). Yet I have no means of playing music except to sing. My dad once told me that he considers the fact that I don’t play an instrument one of the big failures of his parenthood (his 5th appendage is his guitar).

The thing about having this particular regret is that as long as I’m still alive, I have the potential to remedy this regretful situation. I actually do plan to take piano lessons some day. First we have to buy a bigger house and a gorgeous piano. Then my life needs to slow down. A lot. Hopefully I’m not old and arthritic before that happens. Maybe I can take piano lessons with my children someday.


This post brought to you by the blog carnival started by Kate.


15 February 2009

A Saturday afternoon

I woke up yesterday morning to this:


The flowers and candy are from Shane. The bear is from BB. When you squeeze the bear's paw, it plays "Can't Get Enough of You Baby" by Smash Mouth while a rose that the bear is holding spins and lights up "I Love You" and "You're the Greatest". It's cute.

Yesterday afternoon Wendy, Pete, Shane, BB and I went to the WWI museum in Kansas City. None of us had been before. It was really nice - very informative without being boring. They had a lot of artifacts from the war from all over the world. According to one of the museum employees, the items in the museum represent only about 20% of their total collection.

In addition to the museum, we went up to the top of this:

liberty memorial

That's the Liberty Memorial (complete with Shane's head). If I were a better citizen, I could tell you some specifics about it. All I know is that it's part of the WWI museum and was built in 1926.

It was a beautiful day. The view of downtown Kansas City was really cool.

downtown kc

Pete took a picture of my little family.

family pic at liberty memorial

After the museum, we headed to Hooters for an early dinner. Yum.

It was a good day.

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11 February 2009

Electronic Freudian Slip

Wikipedia defines a Freudian slip as “an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is believed to be caused by the subconscious mind.”

I think the email version of a Freudian slip is the action of hitting “reply all” instead of “reply”, or “reply” instead of “forward”. We’ve all done it, usually with embarrassing, if not disastrous, consequences. I can remember well two occasions when I received an email from an annoying person at work, and instead of forwarding the email with my snarky comments to a coworker, I replied to the sender. On both occasions, the sender was the same person. Would I have liked to tell him how irritating he was to me, what a whiner he was? Of course! But that just wouldn’t be professional. Instead, I bitched about him to a coworker (because bitching about people behind their backs is soooooo much MORE professional) and it came back to bite me in the ass.

The best example of an email Freudian slip happened a couple of weeks after Shane and I started dating. As you may know, he and I work for the same company. When we started dating, not many people knew. We weren't trying to keep it secret, we just didn't end up telling many people. I was kind of dreading others finding out because I knew both of us would get a lot of shit from our coworkers - good-natured shit, but shit nonetheless. But getting the news out quickly would at least mean the deed was done. Sort of like ripping off a band aid.

Every morning Shane sent an email to all the people in my department (customer service), plus a couple other people, with status updates on the work going through his department. One morning I replied to his email with something like,

"Morning Love,
Do you know if [such-and-such job] will be mailing today?
Love you,

Clicked "send". Then IMMEDIATELY realized my mistake. I had hit "reply all" instead of "reply".

Now, my office at the time was in a low-walled cubicle surrounded by the others in my department, also in cubicles. My horror at my error soon turned into embarrassment as heard my coworkers, one by one, burst out laughing upon opening my email.

The cat was out of the bag. In a big way. My coworkers gave me no end of grief for WEEKS (deservedly so). Shane got it worse than I did - boys will be boys. Needless to say, I am now VERY careful when I send emails.


The above is an attempt at participation in a little blog carnival started by Kate. Several others are joining in the weekly fun, including Lisa, Baino, and jmlc. Show 'em some love. Clicky, read, and comment.


05 February 2009

Thoughts on destashing

“Destashing” has been quite the buzz word in the online knitting community over the last couple of years. Seems every time I turn around, someone is putting their much-beloved yarn up for sale. There is even a blog devoted to destashing, as well as a Ravelry group with the sole purpose of providing knitters and crocheters a forum for selling or trading yarn, tools and books.

Once in a while, when I feel like window-shopping, I stop by the Ravelry group and browse the wares. I always tell myself that if something jumps out at me, I will buy it.

Thing is, nothing ever jumps out at me. I guess I’m more of a tactile yarn buyer. Seeing pictures of yarn is nice, but if I can’t feel the yarn – smell it, rub it against my cheek – then it’s just not real for me. And I always have the sense that pictures on a computer are not color accurate. I can thank my many years at a printing company for that.

So, I look at my stash and realize it’s really not that large. I hear of knitters who have whole rooms devoted to their stash. I imagine shelf-lined walls with cubbies full of all manner of fibers and colors. Such is not the case for me. I have 2 60 gallon plastic bins and 2 flat under-bed storage containers, and a couple of baskets of yarn scattered throughout the house.

When I decided to learn to spin, and picked out the wheel I want to buy, I started looking for ways to raise the money. Selling stuff seemed like the most obvious way to put some cash in the wheel fund, with the added benefit of reducing the clutter that is quickly overcoming my very tiny house. I have some jewelry that the X gave me that I am all too glad to get rid of (and it’s NICE jewelry – the man had expensive taste). There are a crap ton of books in the back of my car waiting to be taken to the used book store. I even sold a Longaberger basket on ebay a few months ago.

But what about the stash? I thought on it, and thought on it, and came up with nothing. Not only is the stash kind of small, but anything that I would want to part with is not yarn that a discerning knitter would want to purchase from me. At least, if I did get a buyer(s), the price I could get would probably not be worth the effort.

I discovered something about my stashing habits: I am a buy-as-I-knit kind of knitter. I don’t buy random skeins of yarn just because they’re pretty, or soft, or, well, “just ‘cuz.” When I decide on a project, I purchase the yarn and cast on. If I have any yarn leftover when the project is finished, it goes into the stash. It is rare that I decide to knit something, go stash diving, and come up with the appropriate yarn for the job. And because I knit so many gifts, I am usually buying the yarn just in time to start the gift knitting so that I can finish it before the gift-giving occasion. Depending on who the recipient is, I will choose a project and yarn based on how much I would spend on a store-bought gift. Since I'm not wealthy, I do a lot of shopping around for the best deals.

There are 2 occasions on which I will "collect" yarn: 1) When I travel. I like to go to yarn shops when I travel and pick up yarns that I cannot get at my LYS. This is souvenir yarn. And, 2) when Yarn Barn has their annual sale. Hey, it's only once a year, so I don't feel too bad for going a little crazy. I must say though that after buying a new couch for Christmas, I didn't even attend the Yarn Barn sale this year (held between Christmas and New Years). I haven't touched most of the haul from 2007's sale, so buying more didn't seem fiscally responsible.

So I guess I fall into the category of people who slowly stash, though not intentionally. That seems to be a popular concept so far this year, "slow stashing." Like completely destashing was too extreme, so instead, many knitters are committing to slowing down their yarn-buying rather than stopping completely.

What kind of stasher are you?