Category: Adventures Of Me

Goals, in brief….

Just a couple of brief goals as the first day of the new year comes to a close.

  • Read more. I got away from reading so much in 2011 and inevitably it made me frustrated. There are shelves of books here at home and reading lists waiting for me.
  • Write more consistently. I wrote here and there but without any pattern and routine. I’m going to work to build more writing time into each day.
  • Self education. I’m going to start blocking time during the week to read the articles that I need to get to and to take some Lynda classes through our work subscription.

Gypsy and Pyewacket will continue to be adorable, I assume.




Happy New Years from our house to yours!


Across the Pond

I met Jennie shortly after I started blogging. She left a comment on one of my early posts and from there we exchanged emails and blog comments.  Now I see her on Twitter pretty regularly.

But, what with her being in Scotland and I in the United States, grabbing a beverage wasn’t always an option.  Until, by chance, we both happened to have plans to be in New York.

I ended up rising at the unholy hour of 6:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 CDT and really, it was only just after the time change which meant my body said it was 4:30 a.m.) and hauling from Harlem out to a tiny little diner in Queens. The waitress was Marie (pronounced Muh-rie—in true Queens dialect) and she was just fascinated by the knitting I was doing while waiting. As a whole the other patrons watched as we giggled our way through brunch.  I hope we get to do it again soon.

Snowy Day

Had a snow day today, what with Chicago shutting down for the 20″ of snow.  Gypsy and I spent the day hanging out here and we’re just to the point of getting on each other’s nerves, which must mean it’s bedtime.

I did go out and at least make a first pass towards shoveling out the car, with a neighbor’s help.  I’m parked on the street and dug out all the way around. They haven’t plowed my street yet though, or hadn’t at 5:30 p.m., and I don’t really expect they will before tomorrow (side street near Logan Square–not happening), but this meant that we got a path cleared around the car before it all got heavy and dense. I’m sure there will be more shoveling over the next two-three days.

Gypsy got a chance to see the snow, she watched some of the kids who live in my building frolicking this afternoon, and later I opened the back door and let her look out.

Gypsy Contemplating the Snow

She was brave enough to hop into the snow and check it out but temperatures are rapidly falling here and I was cold, so I cut short her adventures.

Gypsy Playing in the Snow

Tomorrow’s commute is on and it’s supposed to be -3F when I leave the house. I think that calls for long underwear, don’t you?

Obligatory First Day of the Year Post

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a snuggly purring feline in one’s lap inhibits standing.  So apparently I need to sit, pet Gypsy, work on some blog posts that don’t require standing and fetching pictures, and such.

Of course, every time she changes position or tries to make the laptop keyboard a spot on which to sprawl does create a few challenges.

But my cat isn’t spoiled.

It was a quiet New Year’s–by choice.  Honestly it seemed muted most of the way around. I know a few people who went to some smaller parties, Restaurant Man was working, AudioGirl got off at the last minute, but there wasn’t the frantic rush or partying I’ve seen before.  And after six weeks of new introductions followed by family holidays, I have retreated to Chez Hedgehog.  Gypsy and I had cheese and crackers and I had some bubbly at midnight in NY. We watched Dick Clark, were amused at Ryan Seacrest’s automatic reaction to anything happening to be to turn and applaud (and look really startled when he realizes there’s not an audience to clap with him), debated if I wanted to go to the NKOTB-BSB tour (just for a second), and acknowledged that at least those guys can all carry tunes while Ke$ha…not so much.  Gypsy, still worn out from chasing Sibling-the-Elder’s cat around the Incredibly-Patient-Mother’s house for five days and suffering the indignity of 2 car rides where she got Arby’s Roast Beef to snack on, curled up on the futon and snoozed.

So now we quietly (with respect for those who are hung over) usher in the new year.  For the first month we’ll be assaulted with the knowledge that we all ate too much over the holidays and must want to exercise.  We’ll be slammed with cleaning out, shaping up, eating right, and making huge changes that are anticipated to be abandoned by the third week of the month so we can be sold an excess of Valentine’s Day chocolate.  For how else beyond excessive caloric intake could we possibly celebrate a holiday? Well…okay, fine, there’s also the roses and jewelry thing but aside from that.

Similarly to the start of the new school year, which is a major restart affecting us each September whether we’re in school or not, New Years is a nice–if arbitrary-time to make plans.  It’s accepted that change will come after December 31.

Last year for me was a year of Up.  And things went pretty well with that, though I can’t say I kept those ideas in the front of my mind at all times.

This year I find myself a little less planned.

General goals for the year:

  • Write more. I love writing. I am healthiest and happiest when I am writing a lot.
  • Self-organize. A lot of this is moving residual but I’m a rather cluttered disaster right now.  So I need to continue to use up, clean out, be realistic, and allow myself to get rid of things.
  • Spend time with people I care about. I’m back in a major city with two airports.  I’m centrally located which means it’s a couple of hours to get to just about everyone.  Plane ticket prices aren’t going down, the TSA will always be weird*, and the Blonde’s baby is only going to get bigger.  (And friends and family who are reading this? Those airplanes fly both ways.)
  • Do more than make the to-do list.

Over on Hedgehog Knitting I made a very specific and slightly rash goal. Last year I knit 13 km of yarn, or slightly more than 8 miles.  That’s what I tracked. It’s not all that I knit but it’s 90% of it.  So this year I set the bar at 20K–or around 12 miles.  And I want most of that to be the yarn I have stashed around Chez Hedgehog.  If I’m successful, and there’s no reason I shouldn’t be, it would make a huge dent in how many things you open around here and find yarn.  It might mean a few more people get knitted gifts next Christmas even….who knows?

But as for now I will begin as I mean to go on. I’m going to go write out a quick–short–to do list and get all of those things done.
Happy 2011.

*I’ve traveled internationally since I was 15. I’ve been full body searched in several European airports. More than anything, I just feel for the poor women having to do it.  Am I looking forward to full body search/back scatter? No. Do I think it really seems to help? No.  Am I going to stop flying? No.

Don’t Make Me Call You…

I’ve been using Silkies mail order service for about seven years.  It’s easy, convenient and considering I’ll rip through a fair number of stockings throughout the year, makes sense. Usually I have it set on quarterly shipments.

It did not get off to an auspicious start. I’d sent away for the first few trial pair. And they showed up a day before the invoice was due–backing me into a corner. I called customer service and was rather irate. It seemed very scam like to not give people any time to evaluate before you were billing them.  The rep agreed and gave me a two week extension.*

In general, things have been pretty smooth sailing. I’ve moved five times since I started and each time been able to update my contact information to the new address.

Apparently not any more.  I had asked for an immediate shipment in early November to try and keep things from getting caught in the moving shuffle. That shipment still hasn’t arrived, though at this point I’ve had to already pay for it. After moving and since it’s cold and I’m wearing hosiery every day (and that other shipment hadn’t arrived), I tried to do it again. Immediate shipment and updating the address.

Only–the website won’t let me update where I live. It claims that the “zip code does not match the account.” This tells me absolutely nothing, because it won’t let me update the zip code anywhere else.  I use the zip code to log in

So I emailed customer service. You have to go through their web form and wait for two business days for a turn around. First email sent–no response.  So I emailed again yesterday, trying to figure out if they’d updated my address for the shipment I’d just requested and asking how on earth I was supposed to update my address online.

I got a rather conciliatory email back this morning saying that yes, the shipment had been updated to the new address and that they had updated the website. So I went to check.

Updated apparently means “shoved your new address in front of your old address” so the USPS is going to have serious issues. And I can’t correct this issue because while the new zip code is listed for my address, the only place that customers can edit their address, it’s still saying it’s the wrong zip code and won’t let me make updates.

Which means I’m going to have to call. I’m not pleased about this. It shouldn’t take 3 rounds of communication including a phone call to update an address.  This should be automated on their website. By the time I get to that person on the phone tonight, while I will try not to take it out on them (certainly not their specific fault) the challenges and difficulties and broken communication I’ve already come up against means that I’m not inclined to make it a pleasant call.  When you force people to a point of irritation…

Choose your own library lesson out of this. I expect I’ll be able to get it fixed by phone tonight. I’m just seriously disgusted that it’s taking this long.

*It probably says something about customer service in general that seven years later I can still recall those details.