this is the best ever. i want to know more. i may send out christmas cards.


it's so past my bedtime. but you all have been so patient, how can i not give you what you want?

ok, so my favorite things about the trip-
- meeting d's next youngest sister, the only one i hadn't met, who is now my favorite
-playing lots of card games
- thanksgiving dinner, which left me completely sated due to the unlikely availabliity of the requisite corn cassarole.
- seeing the sewing factory where d's mom works- such huge production! it was totally cool. i wanted to run away and work at a sewing factory and get health insurance until d told me how much she makes, and it would not sustain my current lifestyle.

i didn't take many photos while i was there, which i sincerely regret, because now i want to just post impressions, which would be so much better as actually photos, rather than trying to come up with a thousand words. i definately had the feeling of being an ethnographer (or anthropologist? not sure what the difference is...)observing this strange, foriegn culture. i dont' think taking hundreds of photos would have helped much.

it's all just very different from the way i grew up. for instance, every salesperson or waitress who helped us was missing at least one tooth. d and i were talking about how iowaians appear to be exclusively white, so the shit jobs i'm used to seeing hispanics or african americans do are done by the next available minority, women. i didn't encounter any rich iowaians, but as a tourist, i don't know how likely i would be to encounter rich chicagoians.

d made me feel very cared for. she took a lot of care to make sure there was pop with sugar for me to drink, food without meat for me to eat, that sort of thing. it's funny, the things she would warn me about. her youngest sister's house- boy, i don't even know how to blog about that experience. her youngest sister lives in the rundown trailer her parents moved out of, so it was the house d grew up in, and we had to move the boxes of christmas stuff out of the basement to the parents' new apartment. d warned me the back yard contained weeds taller than me- but neglected to mention the dead car and washer and dryer parked out there. d told me it was an unfinished basement, which didn't sound like much of a threat until i encountered the ragged sheets of stained insulation hanging from the ceiling and the thick coat of spiderwebs and dirt that covered everything. there was a broom in a corner that had been so wrapped with spiderwebs it was round, and the grey dirt texture made it look like a hornet's nest- i couldn't look at it without imagining nasty things living in it. d's sister had offered us a bed if her parents didn't get their fold out in time, and d told me that i wouldn't like it cause it smelled, but i think she knew how horrifying i would find all of it- the disrepair, the darkness, the piles and piles and PILES of junk everywhere- it was very cinematic to me. it didn't seem to belong in anyone's real life, let alone people i knew.

so anyway, about these christmas boxes we were moving-
d's mom is the queen of tchotchkies, she collects carosel horses. has three pieces of furnature for the express and sole purpose of displaying said figurines. but after we moved the christmas stuff, it was all slowly replaced by new christmas figurines. the snowman who's foot you press and it plays jingle bells and another snowman pops out of his hat. suddenly, there's a snowflake girl in our room, sitting there next to the tv, and she ice skates when you push her button. but the one of my most intense fascination was the table by the front door, which was completely cleared of horses to make way for the choir of angels (4 white, 1 black) with FIBER OPTIC WINGS. oh yes. you plug them in, they glow, the lights move, they change color. i am Always won over by fiber optics! even though for my own house i try to stick to the rule of not owning anything i don't know to be useful and believe to be beautiful, i could watch them slowly go from red..... to blue...... to green...... all day. that's about how much stimulation i can handle.

this stimulation situation, as you may imagine, was troublesome for me. nothing is ever what you think it's going to be. i was expecting small town iowa, lack of public transit, or dealing with the family to be the hardest part of my trip. but it was television. every moment we were home, d's dad was in front of the tv in the living room, and whenever i had exhausted my entertainment ideas for jr (which, i admit, were slim), he turned on the other one. i'm sure i'd be able to tune it out if i was always exposed to it, but i wasn't there long enough to get to that point. i came home and sat in silence for 2 days. i haven't even listened to podcasts on the train.

now how to end this rambly post? i shouldn't have wasted all of my favourite parts at the begining, because now i'm left with a negative story. so instead i'll say i'm really glad i went, i feel like i know so much more about d now. meeting her family was one thing, but seeing how she grew up, how they all interact, makes so many things clearer to me. they really do all rely on her to run the family, and make everything happen, even from chicago. her house has always stressed me out, but now i know what a long way she's come. i'm always so wary about trying to change someone, but i feel like it's not so much trying to change her as give her valuble life skills, tools that people in the know use, like how to make a budget or "a place for everything and everything in it's place." still, i can't stop singing "sweet lorraine."

i'm being totally condecending, classist and elitist, aren't i? i've been worrying about how to describe things without it seeming that way. but i AM these things, so it's going to be impossible for me to write about them from another point of view. all i can work with are my observations, my feelings, my experiences.

enough. i'm going to bed.

oh, the only other thing i didnt' mention is how i'm totally 6-year-old-ed out. i have a peak capacity for 6-year-old, and it was unfortunately passed before our return to chicago.


no stories yet

...but i'm uploading lots and lots of pictures to flickr. hopefully that will sate you. i whish i could pull out a mini blog entry. i had a great one, a fleeting thought at work today, but i have no idea what it is. i just did the crosswords and ate dinner when i got home tonight, so now i have supermundo bag work to do. the sewing of 4 of them, to be exact. d's coming over tomorrow to help me glue them in.


i'm home!

so glad to be returned from iowa and back to chicago! iowa was just fine, i'll blog all about it soon, i promise!


oh i have never had a way with women...

we leave tomorrow for iowa! i have a half day at work, and d will pick me up at the train station. i will try and blog from there- i have the hightest hopes of having a vacation, and with all that wild free time i will read and knit and play scrabble to my heart's content. i do have to remember that i am going to meet her family, and they may want to at least talk to me occasionally. i also don't know if i'll have any internet access there. but i'm trying to blog regularly again, so hopefully this won't ruin my streak!

was going to upload my pictures on flickr from the last, oh, 3 weeks before i left, but my camera's already at d's. i packed up my stuff earlier. i had a whole suitcase full, but now i'm playing that game- shouldn't i take my spinning? and what about the sweater i knit? if it's cold, i'll probably want more layers... on and on it goes. i may end up packing an extra little bag for all of that sort of stuff. then i'll be draging on the train, hating myself and my last minute oopsies. i should know how to be a light packer by now. i thought this was a skill i'd acomplished in europe, but i guess not. the problem is mostly knowing the weather is going to be cold but not knowing how much time we're going to spend outside, or how cold the inside spaces are going to be. luckly i have a girlfriend who is large and warm i can cuddle with if trapped in a snowstorm. or mostly any other time.

i know it's past my bedtime, but since d and i stayed home and did bags lastnight instead of going contra dancing, i felt like i really needed an extracurricular activity and went to play euchre. and they were even NICER people there tonight! i continue to play terribly poorly, though. i will be happy if i start winning three games a night.

but i have a big day tomorrow, so it's off to bed with me. if i don't blog again till then, may all my readers (this means you) have a marvelous, delicious, thankful thanksgiving!


in which yet another episode of "this american life" makes this blogger weepy

at the laundrymat today (which i'm sorry, it IS spelled that way, it doesn't make sense to spell it any other) was knitting and listening to podcasts. specifically this american life #84, harold. which is all about harold washington, the first black mayor of chicago, in between the daleys. i thought he was awesome before, i mean, hello, look at the LIBRARY named after him, but now i like him even more. and they interviewed people on the street on the southwest and northwest sides, who said of course they didn't vote for harold then, but times have changed, and they'd vote for a black man now- maybe even obama. although, obama sounds like a politician, and harold washington sounded like a real person. which i always like in a politician. i am glad the illinois primary is after the canidate is mostly decided, because i'm still not sure if i should vote obama or clinton. and i don't know if you know or care about all the hooplah going on down in springfield, but the last time i was feeling wishy-washy i made the wrong choice. i voted for the democrat over the woman, and boy to i wish i had made the other decision. they've been MONTHS trying to balance the budget, and it costs them $40,000 a day that they stall- it's nicknamed the "teacher-a-day" plan- and they won't do anything about giving funding to public transportation. they keep giving the cta cash advances on next year's budget, and don't understand why no one's happy with that. there has been doomsday after doomsday, and everything's in permanent flux, and now there's gonna be a strike if SOMETHING doesn't happen by the first of the year.

fun times, here in chicago. i think i'll just ride my bike to the library.



so, i quit my job.

not the flower shop, or the bag lady. the other one, the graduation parade one. christopher was my buffer last year between me and management, and with him run away and joined the circus, i was just at loose ends and didn't know what to do or how to relate to anyone. the manager is a really odd personality, and she gives the shop a vibe that it's hard to work in. and the boss and i have a really hard time communicating. we were fine last year when we had christopher translating each other's messages back and forth, but we can't seem to do it well in real life.

she told me about 2 weeks ago christopher wasn't coming back. it really upset me. so i sent him a text, and it probably wasn't a very nice text, because i've been blaming everything on him, not so much as it's his fault as it's easier to be angry at someone else than at yourself, and he's not around to defend himself. he called me after the text, unwilling to take any shit from me. it's not my problem, he said. i'm with the circus now. i'm not there. deal with your own problems. if it's that bad, quit.

so i did.

i wrote my resignation letter last weekend, and had my mom proofread it, then i sent it yesterday. christopher ended up having december off, so he'll actually be in the shop in december, but i won't. boss said that it's the end of a payroll period so there's no reason for me to come back. i feel like such a looser, even though i quit instead of being fired. like if i was a better or stronger person, i would have been able to keep it. or i'm being cocky- who am i to demand wonderful jobs that i love with fabulous bosses who take me out drinking or invite me to camp on their summer home's lawn?

and i feel a little sucky from her response. it's such a perfect example of how we communicate. i mean, i don't know how my words are recieved. i imagine she thinks i'm prickly, easily offended, and slightly autistic. but i have no idea. as for how i hear her, well it seems like everything she says is so nice, but i hear it all as back handed compliments, or thinly veiled put downs. i mean, i could tell you what she said in her letter, but when i repeat it it sounds snide, and the letter wasn't at all. lets see, like she just said, "I think now would be a good time to end your tenure at the shop, instead of working the rest of the semester- although I thank you for that offer! It is the end of a pay period coming up, so it will be easiest to
transition...So, thank-you, and if you have left any personal belongings at the shop
please pick them up soon so they don't get lost in the vortex of the move..." which sounds to me like being kicked out immediately

eh. this isn't even making sense. i can't even explain what i mean. cause, these all are perfectly reasonable. sure, i imagined finishing out the semester, it's only about three more weeks, i didn't know i wouldn't be back at the shop again... but give me a break, I"M the one who quit! what am i expecting? it's what i wanted. and though i worry about paying for xmas when i've just quit a job, i am also feeling positively GIDDY about having tuesday off. a whole day! in the middle of the week! imagine!

i'm going to use it for all the other sewing i'm behind on. won't have a lot of time to sew over thanksgiving.

oh, and have i mentioned i'm spending thanksgiving in IOWA with d's family? yeah, i know.


cleaning up

i was going to say it's been nice to be home this week and get my cleaning done on schedule, but then i realized, i HAVEN'T been home. after work monday i went contra dancing, after work tuesday i played euchre... but i guess i've been sticking to the flylady outside of that, so i came home and did my cleaning after dancing, and i did all my paperwork last night. tonight i tried to delete some old emails... pretty unsuccessfully, the ones at the beginning i mostly want to keep, you know. but i did delete all sorts of emails from about a year ago when i still had nasty blogger comments, but they were emailed to me. and i had so many of them! it makes me sad. not that i don't get very many comments, anymore, because i still think i get an equal number of comments per post, but that i don't blog anymore. and when i do blog, it's not about very interesting things. but have interesting blogs i MEAN to write. if only i could remember them when i sit down... and the stupid home page making me sign in. it was so nice when i made the blog entry page my homepage. but now, it asks me for my password and shit, and i just can't be bothered so i just read my emails and other peoples blogs. i don't write anything much anymore. isn't that sad?


don't walk

in our lives full of warnings, some seem so reasonable, believable, followable. in a fire, i would never take the elevator instead of the stairs. i wouldn't cross when the light tells me not to. and i won't cross the tracks outside of the approved walkways.

tben of course, there are the warnings i disregard. i eat and drink on cta vehicles. i stand above that step. i use that product while charging. i leave that product plugged in when not in use.

but there are some..

let's just say that everyone has a secret rebel streak in them somewhere. i'm sure some people would commit theft or arson or something if they "turned bad." and others can't resist the pull of the dark side and actually do those things. me, my crimes would be much more minor. but still, though minor, every time i see these warnings, i have to make a concious choice to obey.

i want to pull in case of fire. i want to eat silica gel. i want to write below that line.


crochet urchins and star fish

if you live in chicago, you need to see this:
the reef

if you don't live in chicago, well, maybe you should come visit. my mom said it was worth it.

the promise is still broken

listen, kiddos. it's been a long weekend full of bags. i DID upload a shitload of pics to flickr. y'all will have to be satisfied with that for a bit. sorry. on the other hand, am really glad i'm not doing nanowrimo, cause i'd be a huge dissapointment.



i have every intention of writing a real blog someday. it's just... my girlfriend is over and we watched a movie and i cooked up all my vegetables and there's still all those bags...

i PROMISE to write a long entry tomorrow. and upload flickr pictures. PROMISE.


mom's gone

but i'm still overwhelmed by sewing. ufta! i don't know how it got so piled up. well, i do- i didn't do a single bag when mom was here. then i only did three of the five i had, then brigid brought 9 more over and so now i have 11 bags to do. and charles's pants. and aharona's jacket. and deb's vest. and the cherry print sundress i've been coveting.

somehow i think that one's going to be pushed back till a more appropriate time to wear it.

in other interesting news, i got this from sarah and look at how well i scored:

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

which reminds me of my new vocabulary obsession which is using legion as (i think) an adjectives.

i.e. brigid has brought over more bags, and they are legion. i will not be going out this weekend.


mom's here...

and all is good. thanks for the love, y'all. i appreciate it!


mom comes tomorrow. the house is ready, but i feel emotionaly unprepared. today was just an emotionally fragile day. i fought with christopher. i think i'm quitting my spectacle job. i feel like i just sorta need some time to take care of myself.