Wednesday, August 01, 2007


The strangest thing happened today. At ten minutes to 10:00, one of our managers ran through the office saying, "mandatory meeting in the conference room in ten minutes!" We all filed in to the conference room with puzzled and quizzical looks on our faces. Two managers did not show up, the one manager was obviously agitated and put two boxes of Kleenex out on the conference table. We all shifted in our seats uncomfortably. "What could it possibly be?" "A few people joked around quietly but most of us sat in silence. When most of us were finally assembled, our new director, who has been at his post for all of one month informed us that one of our co-workers, Sandi, passed away last night. For about a second there wasn't a sound as the wind was collectively knocked out of the thirty or so of us all bunched up in that room, then a few sobbed loudly or cried out in anguish and shock. It was a surreal experience. She was 64.

Just yesterday she stood in my office asking me if I had seen a missing file folder. I hadn't, and she walked out scratching her head and talking to herself, wondering where she may have put it down. She was the person that ordered everything. Soup to nuts. Bathroom running out of toilet paper? Tell Sandi. Need a new keyboard? Tell Sandi. Floor mats wearing out? Tell Sandi. She also ran the cashier's office. With an iron fist. You could hear down the halls sometimes squawking like a chicken when the drawers didn't balance. When I moved my office last month, she moved into my old space. I was critical of the fact that she hung a poster of Tim McGraw with a smoldering come-hither expression on his face. Sometimes after she had been to a country-western concert, I'd purposely avoid her because I had already overheard her telling the same story recounting the evening's events in the break room and again at the front counter. A few months ago she generously allowed us to use her office to start our knitting group. We ended up moving it since she had a difficult time attending regularly. She had a crocheted baby blanket she was working on for a little girl who is about to turn 2. She used to joke that she just might finish it before the little girl started high school. Yesterday as I walked past her cubicle, I saw her with her head down on her desk, as I passed, she looked up and her face looked tired, exhausted. Apparently this morning, her niece could not wake her.

Our department is walking around like zombies today. Some people went home. Others just sort of hung around. We shared Sandi stories and alternately laughed and wept. It's such a strange thing when someone at work dies. I've never before experienced it. Some people were very close to her, others, like me, hardly knew her at all, yet I interacted with her almost every day. It's really kind of a surreal and odd thing when life intersects with work. In some ways, we are like family. We see each other every day, we get along or don't. Yet there is a strange facade stretched over the whole dynamic. People are ashamed to burst out in tears, yet we all understand it. At work we are supposed to be calm, cool and collected -- "Professional." Today was a very strange day. We floated around, didn't do much, alternately opened up, then retreated back. We don't know how to "be." We are all trying to find our ways of dealing with the hole that has collectively been blown in our hearts.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Things I Would Have Blogged About

Well let's see. I finished a long-languishing UFO, a sweater. (Came out too big, in case you were wondering.) Refrained from buying yarn, although I did purchase a pattern for a sweater (Oat Couture Bistro shirt) and finally broke down and bought the Fiber Trends Leaf Lace Shawl pattern. Saw my first Dodger game. Nursed my daughter back to health (she had a bout with strep). Saw my BFF's daughter get married at the beach. Celebrated my niece's Sweet 16. Got to see the Ballet with her and my kids. (Othello, if you must know. My daughter leaned in to me halfway into the first act as the lead did his first solo and whispered loudly, in all seriousness and with a very concerned tone, "Mommy -- I think that man forgot to wear his underpants!") Fried my shoulders at the beach. Moved my office down the hall. Watered the garden. Harvested a few more green beans. Washed never-ending piles of laundry, especially sandy beach towels. And how could I forget: I helped to start and have been attending a new knit group! We meet on-campus on Thursdays at lunchtime. There is this great room with couches and lots of chairs. I'm meeting a whole new knitting community out at the university! Knitters are always so much fun!
J called me yesterday to let me know the computer is fixed. I should be up and running by tomorrow (we couldn't connect today). See you then, hopefully I'll post a few pics.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

False Idol Exposed

Another Post from the Work Front, Day 30:
I think it was about 4 or 5 days ago. Withdrawal set in. A deep longing down in the pit of my being. A sadness, a melancholy that came from...out of nowhere. There I was, at home, working on a long-neglected cardigan. Suddenly I was deeply, inexplicably lonely. From the depths of my being, a sob wrenched through me as I hoarsely whispered out loud, "I miss my computerrrrrr!"

The next day I picked up the phone and called J, my friend, co-worker and resident computer expert, aka, the man who is holding my computer hostage. He didn't answer. I am sure he must think I am insane because the message I left him sounded like a desperate crack addict: "Hey J, it's me. Um, yeah, so, like it's been a few weeks and I was wondering, like, when you were going to, uh, look at my computer? Yea, umm, so like if it's too much for you? If you don't have enough, like, time? Umm, yea, can you just GIVE IT BACK, I mean, get back to me? Uhh, yea..."

I have yet to hear back from him. My mind is racing. How dare he? How would HE like to go without a computer for a WHOLE MONTH! HE wouldn't like it very much, WOULD HE?! NO HE WOULD NOT!

Does anyone know about recovery programs for computer addicts? Mark my words, if they are not in existence, they soon will be.

My Bible reading these days in Isaiah is all about getting rid of false idols. Hmm, what could it possibly all mean?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Surreptitious Blogger

Psssst! Hey! Over here! It's me! I'm sneaking in a quick blog post from work. It is my only computer connection as of late. Can I just say, I think I was in need of a little vacation from my computer? I have been enjoying the weather, the kids, the beach, and summer in general. Strange to think that the little box sucks up so much of my time. Yes, folks, it's the addict in me. It has to be torn away from me in order for me to stop and smell the roses.

We "harvested" a few green beans from the garden. I bought a cute book on making sock animals and mitten animals. Emi and I are trying our hand at mitten dogs. We had a blast at a 4th of July church picnic with the "world's largest slip 'n slide," lots of food, watermelon, cotton candy and sno-cones. I have almost finished a sock from the Favorite Socks book (Undulating Rib)out of Trekking XXL (shade 107). Oooh, and I have lost 5 lbs. So far. This Friday a wedding. On Saturday it's down to my niece Rosie's for her sweet 16.

But the house remains a mess.

I'm not rushing on that computer. But I'll touch in again soon.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Hi All. A quick note to let you know my computer crashed (again) last night. I'm posting from work just to let you all know. I'll post again as soon as I'm up and running! Truthfully, I probably could use a little break from all the time I spend online. Who knows, maybe my house may even get a little cleaner. Doubtful, but hey, you never know!

I'll be back soon!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Today I got paid to knit in public. No really, I did. I think most people refer to it as "jury duty" but hey, let's call it what it really is. Jury duty is like a knitter's dream if you work for the government. Which I do. I really was disappointed because I never even made it to the jury box. Now, I was just positive that I would have been picked to be a jury member if I had! I am so neutral and unbiased and more than anything, I come off as mild mannered, but of course, not too much so. They dismissed anyone who seemed in any way opinionated or different. The thing is, deep down, I am extremely opinionated and very "different." But I like to keep all that under wraps. I do however, like to think that I am capable of keeping my bias away from my judgement.

You can't knit in the jury box, though. But still. I could have walked to jury duty since it is only a mile from my house. I could have visited Julie at Knit and Pearl since it is only a block from her store. I'm telling you, I am truly disappointed not to be going back there tomorrow! Ah well, maybe next year.

I did make some progress on a project. I'll show it to you tomorrow.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Survived Graduation

I made it. I survived. The hours were not quite as grueling as they had told me -- I worked roughly 10 hours Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I waved traffic by at a stop sign. Sunday I worked the shuttle line, keeping order, answering questions, got yelled at. A lot. The highlight of the weekend was this:
Recognize him from Mythbusters? Yep, it's Adam Savage. He was the keynote speaker for the Engineering and Sciences ceremony on Saturday. Here's how it went down: It is Saturday and the staff are finishing up lunch in this empty theater backstage where they have food setup for us. This is also the area where they dress the chancellor and processional muckety-mucks who sit on stage during the ceremony. So the Science and Engineering group leaves to begin the ceremony and I hear some people nearby at my lunch table talking about Mythbusters. I chime in about how that is my son's absolute favorite show and that's when someone mentions that I just ate lunch oblivious to the fact that the star of Mythbusters was right behind me, that he is the commencement speaker! So I run out to the ceremony just in time to hear him give this great, charming, funny, down-to-earth address to the crowd advising the kids not to get too specialized, not to take themselves too seriously and not to be afraid to start over. It was a warm, folksy talk and worlds better than one of the other speakers who was clearly reading a speech that was so dry you could hear a collectively stifled yawn throughout the first half of her speech and barely hear her over the chatter of the second half due to the bad manners of the audience who, like unruly children, could not even keep still for 15 minutes. After Adam finished his speech, I waited breathlessly with my program for him to return to the staging area and fawned over him like a fifteen-year-old telling him what fans we were of the show and could I get him to sign the program for my son? He was very congenial and signed the program "To Kai: Keep Coooooooool. A S---------g ( that's sort of what the signature looked like). I was so excited I could hardly stand it. Getting stuff like that for your kid is even better than getting it for yourself. That is the first ever autograph I have ever obtained.

The best part was calling my son (who, due only to the fact that his parent's are no longer married to each other, has his own cellphone). It went like this:
Kai: Hello?
Me: Kai, it's me, Mom.
Kai: (Whispering) I'm in the movies, I can't talk.
Me: OK. It's just that I wanted to let you know Adam Savage is here.
Kai: (Whispering really loudly and I could just see him sitting straight up) What?!! No Way! Could you get me his autograph? Please?
Me: Of course.

The rest is history.

I took today off, but I have a sore throat and a bad headache and aches. Maybe my body is just really tired. It was pretty intense. 6 graduaion ceremonies. Probably about 2500 graduates, all told. And lots and lots of people. Everywhere. It's like a rock concert, only with multiple shows. As one group is trying to leave, the next is coming in. Lots of traffic, shuttle busses, maps, port-a-potties. But we made it. I did in fact bring knitting, but not much got done. I finished a hat in the break area between ceremonies and started another. Susan, I did not bring the sea silk because that shawl pattern at this point takes too much concentration. I'm kind of at a funny place with my knitting right now. Lots of starts but no real projects. I think it is a good time to finish up some odds and ends. I have started the Storm Water shawl 4 or 5 times now and either mess it up and need to start over or am not happy with the tension. I need to move down at least a needle size. Size 6 metals were way too slippery. I'm thinking me, ms. loosy goosy needs bamboo size 4 because the 5s aren't cutting it. I love the look of this yarn, but more and more I am discovering silk is not my favorite, and I am not a fan of the SSP. Not even sure if I'm doing it right and the yos next to it are disproportionately huge. I really am a wool-alpaca kind of gal. It's more forgiving. Like me. Heh.

I may take another day. I'm still exhausted and I barely did anything today.