Thursday, January 28, 2010

Invisibility and other random musings...

Sometimes, I think I've acquired the ability to become invisible ...I just haven't figured out how to make it work to my benefit. :-)

Tonight I went to a local art museum to see their "Flora in Winter" exhibit. Each room in the museum includes a floral arrangement from a wide variety of floral "artists." A nice sight on a snowy day. Tonight was the opening, so there was supposed to be hors d'oeuvres and other such things. I was hoping to bring a friend of mine to the event but since that didn't work out, I was on my own.

Here's where the invisibility bit comes in. I head over to the main lobby and sure 'nuff, servers are walking around with food and I'm hungry. I was a little disappointed that there were no free beverages (I was low on cash), but the food looked good. Only, the servers kept walking right by me, as if they couldn't see me. I actually trailed one for quite a way before I could grab a single spring roll.

And then there was the woman walking around with roses. She too, walked right by me. Everyone else had flowers to carry, and I had to slyly maneuver myself to be right next to her so I could *ask* for a flower. That's right, she didn't offer it to me, I had to ask. Apparently, the cloak of invisibility was swirling around me tonight. Now, if I could just find a good use for this interesting talent of mine.

But I did enjoy going from room to room, looking for the floral arrangements. Some of which, were really quite clever. I actually ran into someone from my former employer. Sad to say, I couldn't recall his name. There were two men there who had very similar features and people, including me, were always mixing them up. I'm not sure which one I actually saw, but we chatted for a minute, realized we had absolutely nothing to say to each other, and quickly moved on. Weird moment.

It's been just about a year since I was let go from my last job. To do my taxes this year, I'll have to deal with 4 W-2 forms. One from the old job, one from the state for my unemployment payments, one from the contract job that I had for 3 months, and one from my current job. I have 2 of the 3 forms now. Doing taxes will be a pain in the neck. I'm hoping everyone took the correct amount of taxes so I don't have to pay a small fortune in extra taxes.

Final random musing of the night...I've become hooked on a TV show called Fringe. Sort of a thriller, sci-fi, not quite paranormal type of drama. It comes close to scaring the hell out of me, and yet I still watch it. I don't like scary shows, movies, or books. Can't quite figure out what I like abou this show. And yet, it's becoming quite a habit. Go figure.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'll never be a vegetarian

I know that eating lots of veggies and fruits (but more veggies, I think) is one of the best things we can do for our health. I know that limiting consumption of animal products (meat, dairy, and so forth) is a very good thing.

But, most times, I don't really like vegetables as my main course. This weekend, I made a bean and quinoa stew. The beans came from a local Mediterranean market and I did the whole soak them overnight thing. Most of the rest of the veggies came from local farmers (onions, parsnips, and tomatoes frozen from my own harvest last year). I added some carnival squash, various seasonings,, and voila...stew.

And I sit here eating my stew for lunch, I know that if I hadn't added some seasoned, ground beef (yes, from a free range, grass-fed cow, so it's a bit more healthy that store-bought stuff) and a bit of Parmesan cheese, I would have hated the dish.

The recipe doesn't call for much in the way of seasoning, so perhaps I need to work on adding more spices. I did skimp on the salt as I like to keep sodium levels low, but in the end I did have to add salt to overcome the extreme blandness of the dish. I suppose a dash or two of red pepper flakes or tobasco sauce would also help.

Maybe I just need to learn how to season vegetarian dishes to make them seem more attractive to me. Or something. Disappointing...I had high hopes for this dish, as it does look nice.

I think I was born to be a carnivore.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Unneccessary sense of urgency

Sometimes I get into a state of what I call "unnecessary urgency." Not sure where it comes from but if I'm not paying attention, I find myself cramming too many things into a set amount of time. And there's no need for it.

For example, I read an article about a comedy performance that looked like fun. I happened to mention it to a friend of mine who wanted to see it. Despite the fact that the show is running for several weeks and my friend's schedule was quite flexible, I insisted that we go this weekend, which happens to be a busy one for me since I have a two-day class at the glass studio.

There really was no need for that sense "do it now." I could have purchased tickets for next week when there would be no rushing about. Makes me wonder...what am I running from? And why don't I get that sense of urgency when it comes to cleaning the house or getting the dishes out of the sink?

Again, I ask myself -- what am I running from?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Using words to avoid truth in advertising...

In my continuing search for 100% wool sweaters, I wandered onto the REI web site (surely, a place that sells outdoor stuff would have 1 wool sweater...alas, no. The wool quest continues).

I came across this phrase: "regenerated acrylic-polyester."

Regenerated?! Are we talking about clothing for Dr. Who?

I assume they mean, "reused." As in, we took some tossed out old stuff that still had some value and reused it. OK. Recycling is OK with me. I've thrown out torn clothing, wondering if there was some good way to use the non-damaged parts.

And, the description says it's regenerated for optimum warmth. Huh? Reused artificial fibers provide more warmth that the original threads?

Why not just say, reused or recycled? People can be, I suppose. A used BMW is actually a pre-owned vehicle. there's a difference other than an illusion that pre-owned is different than pre-used?

This kind of avoidance behavior annoys me. Is it not possible to be clear about how we refer to things? (BTW -- I think "clarity" will be my word for the year). It's like the way clothing manufacturers have changed sizes to accommodate our vanity when it comes to weight. Although I don't weigh significantly less than I have before, I'm wearing sizes that are smaller than I've ever worn. All because people don't want to admit that they weigh more than the used to weigh. So, rather than just accepting that they have to buy larger sizes, the manufacturers changed the actual sizes. This is especially bizarre for clothing that is based on waist size or length...for example, men's trousers. A friend of mine pointed out that a size 34 no longer reflects an actual measurement. Despite the size of his waist being quite stable, his clothing sizes vary tremendously.

Honesty, folks. It's really not that horrible of a thing.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Where have all the wooly things gone? Long time passing...

OK. It's winter time. It's cold. This is my time to wear wool. Nice, substantial wool sweaters. Classic, lined, wool pants. Wool skirts.

Finding 100% wool clothing seems to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. It's as if America has transported all its sheep to another world. I'm finding lots of cashmere. Which I love, even if I do tend to buy the more inexpensive variety of cashmere. But, what I really want is a nice, thick wool sweater. And I can't find one.

It used to be such an easy thing...wool sweaters and winter was just a normal event. This year, a couple of my favorite wool sweaters developed large holes (in the elbows, of course). So, I threw them out and started looking for replacements. I might as well be looking for the complete mummy of Nefertiti. I was in ENGLAND, for crying out loud. They have tons of sheep. Couldn't find a nice, heavy, wool sweater there either.

I was on the web today, searching for wool sweaters. A preliminary search revealed next to nothing. Most everything is made out of acrylic or some other artificial fiber. Bleah.

Where, oh were, did my wool go????? It's a great fiber, renewable, sustainable, no animals are killed in the harvesting of wool. Perhaps the sheep feel a trifle embarrassed after being shorn, but they're not hurt or killed. I used to have a full winter wardrobe full of wooly things. Now, as the old items finally wear out (oh! They made women's clothing so much better in the past), I'm at a loss at how I'll replace them.

Maybe I need to get my own flock of sheep, just so I can have the clothes I want in the winter.