Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feeling Stupid is Just Exhausting

No matter how much one wanted to find a new job, actually starting a new job is never easy. And while one doesn't expect getting that new job to solve all of life's problems, the amount of stress that comes with starting the new job can be startling.

I still have high hopes for my new job, don't get me wrong, but it has been quite a strain. The company has several dozen different clients (who each have their own rules and preferences), there are dozens of different possible material types, projects can have multiple pieces and go through many stages ... it's an awful lot to learn, basically.

And though they are not pressuring me or pushing me, what it boils down to is that I frequently, repeatedly feel stupid, and I don't like the feeling. No wonder I feel stressed lately. And less competent even than usual (which is not a good thing). I haven't wanted to cook much lately, and when I do, it doesn't always work out well. (Guess who's cleaning the oven this weekend? And throwing out unappealing leftovers?) I haven't been exercising (though I did go for a walk tonight; a mile is better than nothing ... but it isn't much). I just haven't been getting up and going much.

Whoof. I am just ready to know what I'm doing, at least a little bit.

I want to send a note to my neighbor, a man I've never met but frequently see from my bedroom window. (My driveway and the building doors are on other sides of the building, so I'm never outside on the side where his house is, to see him and say hi or anything.) He's an older gentleman, I'd guess around 70, one of those people with boundless energy who's always going-going-going. Did I mention the time a few months ago when he had roofers come work on his house starting at 7:30 on a Sunday morning? Or that he's meticulous about his yard work, resulting in hours of lawn-mowing, edging, and other loud noises?

Last night was just the end, though. How does this sound?
My name is (ccr) and I live across the street from you; in fact, my bedroom faces your driveway. I mention this because Wednesday night, when you started your motorcycle at 10:45 PM, and then didn't ride away on it until 11:00 PM, I was trying to sleep. If you could not leave the engine running late at night, I would be very grateful.
Thank you,
Too nice? Not nice enough? Do I have to tell him that it's loud?

I suck at interpersonal relationships.

Let's end on a lighter note. Recently I've been pulling out my camera in the car a lot, for odds and ends of interest. Such as this one, with the many stickers, including the unusual "Wine Not Brine".

Of course I had to go look at the website. It has to do with protesting a proposed gas storage plant neat Watkins Glen, NY (which I have only heard of because I had a friend who was a huge NASCAR fan, and one of the race tracks is in Watkins Glen). So no amusing story there. I don't actually "get" the bumper sticker myself.

Looking this over, I think I made a boring picture even more boring. Sorry about that.

This one is better. Who remembers the old FedEx commercials, "When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight"?

Go Marines!

And who wouldn't rather be at the Mucky Duck?

Most likely, this one is just their initials (George Nathan Klein and his wife, Marie Antoinette), but I was behind it for a while and my brain kept trying to make it stand for something. No dice. Anyone?

For that matter, who can explain this to me: Beer Line Cleaning? I'm not even going to Google it; I'm kind of afraid to know.

Finally, I've seen the window-decal things that look like a baseball through the window, but this was my first hockey puck viewing. Yay!

One more day to the weekend ... one more day ...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Random

I went to bed early last night, turning the light off shortly after 9:30, so this morning I bounded out of bed with energy and enthusiasm for the day.


Actually, instead of my usual practice of hitting the snooze button twice before rising, this morning I hit it four times before dragging myself up. If I could have one selfish wish, no peace on earth or eliminate poverty wishes possible, it would be to need only a few hours of sleep a night. Now that's a dream.

Though perfect health, meaning no more headaches, would also be veryvery tempting. Perhaps it's just as well that I don't get to choose.

So let's have some odds and ends, shall we? Since that's about all I can summon? I look forward to regaining coherence, one of these days...perhaps the upcoming three-day weekend is what I need (it's sure what I want).

So, how about the Winnipeg Jets logo in dominoes?

Welcome back to the NHL, Winnipeg.

How cool is that there's a Chicago Gay Hockey Association?

Last year they had the Cup in their parade...but not this year, sorry guys!

And how about a gay pride flash mob?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hockey Notes: Drinking and Handcuffs

There was a story from the Bruins' celebration with the Cup that I meant to write about last week, and following a further development today, I knew I had to get to it.

After the Cup parade on the Saturday before last, some of the team got on a bus and went to a casino to party. And I guess it's only to be expected (?) that they were given a $100,000 bottle of champagne? I mean, if you say so. And really, who could expect them to limit themselves to just that? They had a lot to celebrate!

There's a pretty good picture of the bar bill/receipt here, and there is a certain fascination in it. All the Red Bull is doubtless because they hadn't slept much that week; but why is there only one "Kami Kazi" but 35 "Jager Bombs"? I don't drink, so I don't know what most of it is, but it sure does tell a story.

And today, in the continuing saga, comes word that Amstel Light is trying to learn which Bruin drank the one Amstel Light on the tab. Can you blame them? That's one hell of an advertising moment.

In non-drinking-related hockey news, word came today that the Montreal police want to question Zdeno Chara about the Max Pacioretty incident back in March. Even Pacioretty says that Chara should not be prosecuted, but we'll see what happens. But what made me laugh was this line, from the Puck Daddy story:
Plus, arrest(ing) Chara might prove difficult, unless they can fly in the handcuffs they used on Chewbacca while saving the princess on the Death Star.
I suppose when a guy's that tall, standard issue might not work, eh?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Finished Sweater, and Other Random Bits

As I mentioned recently, I finished knitting my sweater, while watching the Bruins on their way to winning the Cup (ahhh). I didn't start weaving in the ends until last week, working on it Wednesday and Thursday nights. And while the process was relatively painless, I may take one of those finishing classes at a yarn store sometime, to gain some confidence in what I'm doing (I feel like it's done securely, but not necessarily prettily). But anyway. It was a simple enough thing, as the pattern is knit in one piece, so it's just a matter of securing the ends.

I changed my mind a few times before deciding Friday morning that yes, I would wear the sweater to work on Friday. The weather, sadly, is not too hot for it (it should be too hot to wear it, but weather-complaints are a whole separate topic), and since I haven't washed the sweater yet, I kind of wanted to wear it at least once before that happens. Yes, I am nervous about washing it: you noticed? I'm usually nervous about washing big projects. And I want to get a sweater-bag for the washer and a flat rack thing to dry it on, but Target let me down for both the other night, so I need to try Bed and Bath.

I spent some time Friday, in passing as it were, contemplating the sweater and its fit in the bathroom mirror at work, wondering as I did if I would be "caught" and find myself trying to explain that it isn't vanity, it's a knitter's review! Camera, what camera?

And how do I like the final sweater? Overall, very much. I changed the yarn recommended, and like the feel of what I used very much (I think with the Northampton, I would not have been happy wearing the sweater over a short-sleeved shirt, the way I did today), though if you're not an over-sensitive person the way I am, you might not mind that. This yarn is softer but probably not as durable (it pilled quite a bit on Friday), and while I'm good with that, your mileage may vary.

There are a few things that I might have done differently if I did it again, or perhaps I should say, if I have to do it again (I worry that I'm going to wash it and it will grow to double its current size). Such as:
  • I would make the sleeves a little more fitted. By design, they are currently rather bell-shaped, which I personally find gets in the way of life, plus I can't push my sleeves up and have them stay up, which I like to be able to do. I could probably lose five inches (seriously) at the cuff and be happier with the fit.
  • I might make the body slightly less fitted, though this may be a body-image issue, since I think it actually fits well, surprisingly so. (What do you think? Do you like a lot of ease in your sweaters?)
  • I might put another round of garter at the cuffs and bottom hem, since they have a slight propensity to roll.
Overall, though, I feel very fortunate in how well it turned out. I certainly didn't want the body or the sleeves longer than I made them, but they're not too long for me, either. And for someone who was uncertain about what size to make, and basically winging it on gauge, I got pretty lucky.

(I went with the single-occupant bathroom for photography purposes: slightly smaller mirror and no natural light, but no one walking in on the weird new girl taking her picture in the bathroom, either.)

Awesome Tim Thomas sandcastle!

I received two very amusing spam messages recently:

I know, hard to read. One has "Spam" as the start of the subject line, which sort of gives the thing away, but then the message apparently* starts, "If this email is not spam, click here to submit the signatures...". Sneaky, eh?

*I say apparently because I didn't open the message, but Gmail shows the beginning of what it says.

The other, though the message is from "Sample Men's Supplement", has as its subject line, "Oprah top 10 things to wear", which rather suggests that they don't think I'll be looking at both before I open it.

Backing up photos on the new external hard drive. Select-all in the pictures folder, copy, paste. And it says?

Well. I've never denied that I'm a photo nut. And that does go back to 2006. But still. Whoa.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can't Blog, Things To Do

Lots to do tonight, as tomorrow night I'm going to my friend's house to meet her new baby, yay! Remember the baby blanket and hats I made this spring? Baby boy is safely here, and I get to hold the baby, I get to hold the baby...

And if he cries, I will try to channel the President, and not the First Lady (sorry, Mrs. Obama):

I love babies...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Head Follow-Up, Hockey Filler

Sorry about yesterday's outburst. I'm more prone to headaches around my period, and though they often aren't the terrible want-to-die level, it turns out that having a headache on and off for a week is just about as obnoxious as the killer-pain ones. Unfortunately for you, I had a Bad Moment when I was at the computer, and boom. Like Don't Drink and Drive, there should be Don't Post With a Headache.

Still, last night was better than Monday, when I didn't even turn the computer on, and tonight is better than last night. The worst should be, and appears to be, past.

Though seriously? Come on, menopause.

Anyway! I've been planning for a while to watch the NHL awards tonight, but I'm more like monitoring them (Chara loses the Norris, but wins the Messier Leadership award; still rooting for Timmy), since they try so desperately to be entertaining and just don't hit my buttons. (The Real Housewives fell pretty flat though--that wasn't just me.)

For instance, the opener was a takeoff on the HBO series 24/7, which they did before the Winter Classic, and since I don't have HBO and never saw the show, it was a little hard to tell where the show ended and parody began.

Another time, I left the room when Donny Osmond was announced (and doesn't Donny Osmond seem a little wholesome for Vegas? or am I just out of touch?).

Anyway, it's fun more in a hey, I don't have a headache way, but that will do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My head

needs to stop hurting

better is just not enough

all gone


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Parade Recap: Seeing the Stanley Cup, 2011

Ah, the Stanley Cup parade for the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. It was hot and tiring and sweaty and oh-so-crowded, and it was wonderful. I never thought that seeing the Cup in person would be so special, but just a glimpse had me wide-eyed. I just saw the Stanley Cup. Wow.

And of course, I took a lot of pictures.

First, for Kate, this glimpse of the foam claw and hat combo:

The crowd in Government Center, over an hour to parade time.

All these people, still an hour to go.

It seemed like nine out of ten people wore Bruins gear, which was awesome. Red Sox fans probably feel this way every day.

This is how far we were from the street where the parade would go by.

A plane went by pulling one of those message-things.

Can't read it? Here's the close-up.

i will admit, I don't actually believe that Chara shot Osama. But he is capable of a lot!

Closer to parade time, bigger crowd.

Near us, there was a guy with a homemade Cup. You'll see this one again.



And here we go! Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara on the first duck boat.

Tim to the captain: "You really are ten feet tall, aren't you?"

They had the Cup on their boat, but weren't holding it up as they passed us. I glanced left after they went by, though, and there it was.

Now, the man with the homemade Cup passed it over, and it went to Nathan Horton:

Who obligingly held it up:

He was pretty happy.

As was Milan Lucic:

The Bruins bear was more low-key, though perhaps it was the incipient heatstroke.

He did raise a paw.

Brad Marchand, self-proclaimed rat, Globe-designated Little Ball of Hate, was too cool for school.

And here comes my favorite, Patrice Bergeron. Ahh.

I don't know who this was, or why he was holding up signs for great past Bruins, but Terry O'Reilly was my favorite player as a kid, so I was glad to catch this:

So that was the parade itself. It took almost half an hour to go by. You can see highlights of the parade here.

There were outfit choices both great and ... interesting.

I like the Boston shirt this guy had:

Her boots, on the other hand? Would not have been my choice to pair with short-shorts.

This guy had rockin' Bruins-color sneakers.

I guess the woman at the left side of the photo thought that her shirt was close enough to Bruins colors to count as team spirit, though I think I disagree.

And you can see this guy was just behind her, in what appeared to be a fleece Bruins bathrobe. I just about had heatstroke looking at him.

Bruins pajama pants? Oh, dear, not out in public.


Also speechless.

Jersey foul! No one named Blak wore number 13 (I checked).

Oh, heinous jersey foul! No one but Orr gets his name on this jersey!

Jeez. Heresy, anyone?

(In the unlikely event that all this was Not Enough for you, the full set is on Flickr, here. Don't say you didn't ask for it.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Of Cup-Commemorating Loot

I tried two different stores after work yesterday to get a Bruins Stanley Cup t-shirt, but neither had very many styles in stock, and those in only a few sizes--which I know is like complaining that a restaurant has bad food "and the portions are so small," but I just mean to indicate that there wasn't much there. I could go to the Pro Shop tomorrow before or after the parade, but honestly that might not be a good choice for a person with minor claustrophobia issues, you know? The crowding of the parade may very well be as much as I can take.

So I went to a store at lunch, in hopes of scoring one of the shirts I liked in their ad in the Globe this morning. The one I really wanted was the gold one, and they were out of it: I asked, and was told that they'd gotten them in twice and sold out twice. (I'm not giving up on finding it, but I'm not holding out for it and it alone, either.) I also liked a gray one in the ad, but seen in person it was flimsy material and very faded print, making it look ten years old. I don't mind the "distressed" look generally, but they won this thing on Wednesday, it would be nice to be able to read the shirt on Saturday. So, no.

I looked at the other options, and decided I liked this black one just fine:

And what else is that in the photo? Why, it's a Tervis Tumbler for the Stanley Cup Champions! I was delighted. Wasn't expecting it, but they're great glasses, and what could be better than that logo? Not a bad haul, altogether.

There's also a new NHL commercial for the occasion:

Isn't that nice? (Humor me, just say yes. There's no quiz involved.)

Parade, parade, parade, parade.