Thursday, November 29, 2012

And the chorus, one more time!

All afternoon and evening I've had a song stuck in my head. It's really bad when that happens. It's even worse when the song is really bad.

This morning, after cleaning the cat litter box, I put the trash in the rear hatch of my car, intending to drop it off at the dumpster on my way out of the complex. Unfortunately, something must have distracted me because I didn't make the stop. I didn't realize it until after work, when I got into my car to run errands. I blame the toxic fumes for encouraging that stupid song to repeat over and over in my head. The song? "He's a Garbage Man," a (mercifully) short-lived favorite family ditty.

For some strange reason, my children had very odd career goals when they were little. My youngest wanted to grow up to be a cow. My son's dream was to be a garbage man. Since I was a very good mother who loved (and loves) her children dearly, I supported his ambition by allowing him to take out the trash everyday and by encouraging him to study personal hygiene methodology that would help him get along in the real world should his dream come true. Why, I even went the extra mile and made up a special theme song to show him how wonderful his life could be. His sisters took great delight in singing this song to him over and over again -- which I'm sure had nothing to do with his announcement that instead of a garbage man he wanted to be a policeman with a gun.

He's a Garbage Man
(sung to the tune of Frere Jacques*)

He's a garbage man, a very happy garbage man.
He's a garbage man, and he loves his job.
He can ride the great big truck,
And he makes a great big clang when he bangs the garbage cans.
He's a garbage man, a very happy garbage man.
He's a garbage man, and he loves his job.

*I know that the meter is somewhat forced. Okay, it's outright tortured. And the rhymes are horrible. But the intended audience loved it. At least for the first fifty times, anyway...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This and tatt

tatting (verb) the process of tangling and untangling thread obsessively while trying to look as if one is intentionally forming knots into lace.

Two weeks ago my friend Carolyn offered to show me how to tatt. She had taken a class at SAFF, and was justifiably proud of her new skill. The bookmark she had made was beautiful, so tiny and delicate. Of course I took her up on her offer to see how it was done. Since Carolyn is a card-carrying enabler, she not only showed me how it was done, she loaned me a shuttle and spool of thread so that I could give it a try on my own.

The next 24 hours was spent obsessively making knots, watching tatting videos, and researching pattern sites online. By the time I finished my first bookmark, I was completely entangled in a new obsession. Then I figured out I could justify the new hobby by making Christmas gifts, an idea made easier once I learned that tatting supplies were as close as a trip to mom's. 

So for any of my family or friends who were hoping for knitted socks or woven towels this year, you can thank Carolyn for the bookmarks!

My first tatted bookmark

Monday, November 26, 2012

Whispered in the sounds of silence

I had some time after work today and rather than go home and risk being distracted, I decided to take my music binder to Starbucks to practice bells. Unlike most other instruments, you don't get to bring your bells home with you to practice. Instead, you have to rely on reading through the music and work out counting  your part in your mind. If you want to build muscle memory, you can wave around a couple of pens in place of the bells.

So I sat for two hours at Starbucks, where I drank too many espresso-based drinks -- because the extra caffeine in espresso sounded like such a good idea at the time -- and vigorously waved around my pens and markers to music heard only in my head. I managed to snag a nice-sized area to myself, despite the otherwise crowded location. To be honest, I think I scared everyone away, since I heard one little girl cry, "No, mommy, I don't want to sit by her. Let's just go home, please mommy!"

But the practice paid off. I managed to keep up with the bell choir for a change, with only a few obvious mis-rings. Last season, I did really well in the Boca bell choir. In fact, I was proud to call myself one of the best ringers in the choir. Looking back, the pride was probably misplaced. There were only two people in the bells last year who had rung before. All of the rest of us were new ding-a-lings without a clue of what we were doing. I had the advantage of actually reading music and knowing enough to keep smiling even when you made a mistake. (You would think that music majors, in their senior year of college, would have learned not to say "opps, sh*t" during a performance, especially during a church service. But apparently not.) This year, after waiting several months for the bell choir to start up again, I decided to join the bells at my church. I confidently told the choir director that yes, I was an experienced ringer. She wisely put me in a beginner's chair anyway. Which was really good, since this bell choir really rings out the sanctuary! As a beginner, I only have four bells and four chimes. The more experienced ringers have four bells in hand, which calls for some mighty fancy wrist work. Just imagine what the barristas at Starbucks would have thought of me flinging around that many pens!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The long-awaited October Reading List

Books Read in October

190 - 01  Heart of Texas Vol. 3, by Debbie Macomber (10/1)
191 - 02  Sugar Rush, by Donna Kauffman (10/5)
192 - 03  Public Secrets, by Nora Roberts (10/7)
193 - 04  Country Brides, by Debbie Macomber (10/8)
194 - 05  Secret Fantasy, by Carly Phillips (10/10)
195 - 06  Death Angel, by Linda Howard (10/12)
196 - 07  Shelter Mountain,  by Robyn Carr (10/13)
197 - 08  Redwood Bend, by Robyn Carr (10/13)
198 - 09  Malice Prepense, by Kate Wilhelm (10/13)  AUDIOBOOK
199 - 10  Only Mine, by Susan Mallery (10/14)
200 - 11  Crystal Gardens,  by Amanda Quick (10/15)
201 - 12  Black and Blue,  by Anna Quindlen (10/17)
202 - 13  A Creed in Stone Creek, by  Linda Lael Miller (10/18)
203 - 14  Sunrise Point, by Robyn Carr (10/18)
204 - 15  Second Chance Pass, by Robyn Carr (10/19)
205 - 16 Birthright, by Nora Roberts (10/21)
206 - 17  Hot Item, by Carly Phillips (10/21)  *I'm not sure why I bothered reading past the first page. It just kep tgetting worse and worse..
207 - 18  A Virgin River Christmas, by Robyn Carr (10/21)
208 - 19  Angel's Peak, by Robyn Carr (10/22)
209 - 20  Sizzle and Burn, by Jayne Ann Krentz (10/23)  *This was a Re-Read. I can't help it. I love all the Arcane Society books!
210 - 21  Creed's Honor, by Linda Lael Miller (10/25)
211 - 22  Balance Your Life, Balance the Scale, by Jennifer Tuma Young (10/26)  *I was disappointed. The summary sounded so promising. It still does. But I never found anything in the book beyond the initial theory.
212 - 23  The Creed Legacy, by Linda Lael Miller (10/27)
213 - 24  Touch of a Thief, by Mia Marlowe (10/27)
214 - 25  The Heir, by Grace Burrowes (10/28)
215 - 26  The 5-Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, M.Sc. (10/28)
216 - 27  Already Home, by Susan Mallory (10/31)
217 - 28  Only Us; A Fool's Gold Holiday, by Susan Mallory (10/31)

I'm back. Did you miss me?

Since my last post, I have gotten old and depressed. (There is, by the way, a definite a link between those two items.) I received two really amazing and unexpected birthday gifts, but overall the experience was horrendous. Since my last post, I have learned a new skill - tatting - and have become obsessed. I have started a group to deal with another obsession of mine, spinning. I've done a lot of reading, not surprisingly.  I have gone in - and out - of business. I had my first childless Thanksgiving in over 25 years, which made it difficult to give thanks. (Although I did enjoy not spending days in the kitchen cooking and cleaning.) I took a few sick days, and had my vacation time misplaced by a committee. I've baked cakes, cookies and cupcakes, all of which were greatly enjoyed by myself and others. I've finished several projects on the long, long, WIP list; but I've also added to it - without any expected feelings of guilt. I found, and was found, by long-lost family members.

And yet, I've had nothing worth writing about. Sorry. I'll try to do better.