August 31, 2009

On the job-hunt again

I still like it here: it's flexible, the culture is pretty cool, I have an office, it's close to home...

However, there are some really strange things going on. My boss randomly hired some new executives, making the company an upside-down pyramid, with more "managers" than employees. The accountant, the lawyer, and I talk a lot about the situation here. We don't pay any vendors, we're really scraping by, my boss is talking about hiring ANOTHER executive as a way to get more projects. On top of that, my boss is SUPER shady: overcharging clients, not actually doing the work, lying, etc. The accountant actually said that if we don't get any projects (and SOON!), he doesn't think the company will last more than two months. He's been telling this stuff because he doesn't want us to be left in the dark, surprised when we're randomly laid off one day.

The kicker is that I *just* found out that the chick before me wasn't actually incompetent or disliked. They fired her and another chick, in order to cut costs. Basically, they hired me to do the work of two positions. That may be a good business move...but it's pretty heartless. I don't think they would be any more kind to me.

Sooooooooo... I think it would be stupid of me to just ride this to the end, when I've had ample warning to get the hell out.

Oh hey, my pee is fine.

Or rather, the blood sugar test came back just fine. Most likely, I don't drink enough water (which is still odd to me since I drink more water than ever now).

(Back story: my pee smells delightful, which worried some friends. They mentioned that lovely-smelling pee can be a symptom of blood sugar problems. I got a blood test just to be on the safe side.)

So, since that has been ruled out, I'm fairly certain it's just the stigmata.

August 30, 2009

Keene's Mom.

Have I ever talked about her? I reeeeeeeeeeeally like her. She is the sweetest lady, but also kind of sassy.

Tonight, we went out to dinner with his family. Prior to dinner, they came over to look at the apartment.

She brought me a book of craft ideas, a book of science stuff for Kayden (because "he's so smart!"), and a novel that she read and thought I'd like. She complimented the apartment and asked, "How are you doing with Josh being so messy?"

Score one for the mom!

A Buckethead Kind of Date

I took Keene out on a date last night. I bought concert tickets to Buckethead (one of his favorite performers). Spent a lot more money than I had planned, but oh well. Unfortunately, Keene was pretty sick the whole night.

But hey, a night out is a night out, right?

I had never seen or heard Buckethead before and I was very impressed. I got a little bored at times because, for me, it's hard to tell songs apart without lyrics.

From what I gathered, his appeal is that he's super quirky and considered one of the best (and fastest) guitarists of all time. He's also very entertaining: robot-dancing, handing out toys, using nunchucks. He even did the Thriller dance (apparently he's a big Michael Jackson fan).



August 27, 2009

"You're into being healthy, right?"

My new coworker asked me this.

I replied, "Not particularly."

She said, "Oh, I was going to tell you about this program my church is putting on...for some reason I thought you were into healthy eating and stuff..." then she walked away, a little dumbfounded.

Raingutter Regatta 2009

Saturday was Kayden's Raingutter Regatta, in which the cub scouts would race wooden boats they built.

For breakfast, to get Kayden pumped, I wrote "Team Kayden" on his and Maia's pancakes with food coloring gel:


They were mildly amused, but I later overheard him telling a friend about it. "Guess what my mom did this morning..." It made me happy to hear that.

Anyways, Kayden only won 1 out of 3 races. Here is the boat he built:


(The green one, with the black underbelly. What you can't see is that Lego figures of Jack Sparrow and Commander Norrington are riding in the back, behind the sail.)

August 26, 2009

School has already helped the kids get along.

Better, anyways.

I think not seeing each other all day at summer camp and all day at home will be a good thing. Yesterday, when I dropped them off at school, Maia yelled, "Bye Kayden!" He called back, "Bye Maia...I'll see you tonight," to which she yelled, "Okay!"

That just really struck me as funny and insanely adorable.

I judge limp handshakes.

As a teenager, my grandma made me practice shaking hands. I thought it was kind of silly, but now I see the point of it. It surprises when I shake someone's hand (especially in a business setting) and it's all limp and dainty.

It makes me think the person doesn't know what to do or that they're not used to shaking hands. Or that they are of a delicate disposition, like the sickly person that always seems to pop up in Jane Austen novels.

So close.

On Saturday, Keene got a call from his drummer, asking if he wanted to go out for drinks that night.

(Keep in mind, last weekend I angrily told him I will no longer babysit Maia until he and I get some alone-time.)

I heard Keene reply, "I don't think I can get away..." but then I went to the bathroom so I didn't hear the rest of the conversation.

Then, Keene came up to me and said, "How would you feel if..."

(cue me starting to get angry)

"I went out and got some..."

(
"alcohol for us to drink after the kids go to bed?"

::snort:: I thought I was going to have to kill him for a moment.

I told him I thought he was going to ask to go out with his friends. He laughed and said, "Do you think I have a death-wish?"

August 25, 2009

Triplets of Belleville

I saw it on Saturday and loved it. It's a beautiful movie, though the boy bothered me. What an ungrateful and bland guy! But the rest of it was so fantastic. I freakin' love the grandma. She was the best character.

And the opening song, "Belleville Rendez-vous"? I lurrrrrrve it. I found this group performing it on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJIlAyg5Trs&feature=related

August 24, 2009

Another loooooooooong weekend.

The kids have been bickering nonstop. The primary problem (which we all recognize) is that Maia just won't leave Kayden alone. He asks her nicely, then not-so-nicely, but she doesn't listen.

So, Friday night, after playing with her for much of the night, Kayden said he wanted to be left alone. Usually it's when he is watching a movie or playing with his toys. But she just kept on him until he got really upset. He started crying and told me, "I want to kill myself because my life is too hard."

Now, Kayden has a penchant for drama, but this shocked me. I talked to him for a long time, then put him to bed (it was late, anyways). Then I talked to Keene for a long time. At first, Keene was just kind of blase ("they'll get used to living with each other"), but I said, "How would you feel if Maia said what he said?" He replied, "I don't know...I've never heard her say anything like that." I said, "Neither had I until tonight."

I told him that whether Kayden was just being dramatic or not, something had to drastically change or this would never work out. If it's just me that is unhappy with the situation, that is one thing...but if my kid is this miserable, that is quite another.

The following day, Keene had a long talk with Maia about boundaries and respect. And all weekend, he was great about staying on top of her. On two different occasions, she was sent to her room because she just wouldn't stop. However, he followed through and she calmed down quickly. Even so, it was a tiring weekend.

She was sent to her room a third time when Keene asked her to pick up her toys in the living room when she was done playing with them. She threw a big fit. She cried when she couldn't bring three Slinkies into the car (just one). She cried when we asked them to be quiet after bickering in the car (even though Kayden quieted down immediately and until we got home).

I complimented Keene for following through when he asked her to do something (rather than in the past he would say, "Oh, okay...well, I'll do it then, but you'll do it next time").

Sooooooo...I had an epiphany of sorts this weekend. I've been so focused on whether this was the right or wrong decision. But really, it's been made. So I'm going to focus on *making* it the right decision. I'm going to get some recommended books about step-parenting from the library tonight. I'm sure Keene will be interested in reading them too. It'll be a start. Maybe it'll help me feel better and deal with it better.

August 21, 2009

Oh Keene.

Keene is surprisingly oblivious to many things. This isn't necessarily a bad thing...kind of endearing, really.

Last night at dinner, he was talkingtalkingtalking about his day at work, elaborating on all the super technical stuff he does, how much he likes the machines, how he met with his boss. I listened, asked questions. Occasionally Maia tried to interrupt, but he held up his hand for her to wait.

Maybe 20-30 minutes later, he said, "So, how was your day?" I started, "It was okay, I had some work to do, got to listen to podcasts--" and right about here, Maia interrupted to say she knew her school rules.

Keene turned to her and said, "Really? What are they?" And from there, they talktalktalked all about school for the rest of dinner.

As much as I grumble about my home life...

I really enjoy the weekends at home. I usually get up about an hour before Keene. If Kayden is home, the kids are usually playing together. If he's not home, then Maia and I will set and watch Hannah Montana together until Keene gets up. Then we make breakfast and lazy about the house for a while longer, before getting on with our errands/chores.

THAT is what I had expected and wanted when we decided to live together.

Books, Books, BOOKS, Books, Books

I already posted a year's worth of book thong photos below. But, well, here are some more. These were actually posted for sale in my Etsy shop, which accounts for the artsy (albeit, badly lit) photos:








And hey, why not a little harmless self-promotion? As long as I don't overdo it, right? And it's not like I overdo it, like I have pictures of my Etsy shop over there <~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ or like I slip links into posts ( http://www.bitteroclock.etsy.com/ ), so I'm not one of THOSE bloggers.


These ones are currently listed in my Etsy shop:


No VPLs in This Blog

A potential customer has asked me to create a bunch of book thongs for her to re-sell in her shop...in Thailand. Wowie! We worked out the details, and I got to work... ::cue circus music, flashes image of clowns traipsing out of small car::

(And please ignore the ridiculously utilitarian photos.)







The other kind of book thongs I've started making are beaded, as opposed to braided. The benefit of the beaded kind is they're obviously skinnier, which means I can add smaller, more elaborate beads to them. However, they're nowhere near as durable as the braided ones. You can tow cars with the braided ones.*

Have I posted about beaded thongs before? This is the segment in which I save the blog and go hunting for previous posts-------No, I have not. Excellent. Nothing worse than redundant blog posts, right? Well, I guess just posting pictures of things I have made is getting pretty redundant. As is my use of the word "redundant." Moving along...






* Disclaimer: It is not advised that book thongs actually be used to tow cars. If you choose to do so despite possible risk of injury to car or person, you will need many, many book thongs. Please visit my Etsy shop to purchase these supplies.

August 20, 2009

Office dynamics are strange.

The more we snark on each other, the better we get along. I routinely say some snarky shit to my boss and he laughs and laughs and says, "I have to watch out for you!"

Just now, this was our exchange:

Kelli: Hey, you never signed this document.

George: Yes, I did.

Kelli: Did you use white ink again? (cue loud laugh from nearby cw)

George: (produces second, signed copy of document)

Kelli: (takes copy) Okay. Thanks!

George: You don't feel any remorse at all for picking on me?

Kelli: No, I don't...how strange! ::skips back to office:: (cue laughing cws and boss)

Weirdest TMI Ever.

My pee smells good. It's very sweet-smelling, especially in the afternoons, but sometimes at other times. Doesn't smell like pee in the least.

If there were a Kelli-pee-scented candle, I'd probably feel just fine about freshening up a room with it.

Do you think this is a sign of the stigmata?

_____________________________________________________________

After giving it a lot of thought...I've decided to compose a poem:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue
My pee smells so sweet!
Why can't my poo, too?

______________________________________________________________

Okay, upon further thought, I will go to a doctor since my friends are worried.

August 18, 2009

Regret.

I can definitively say that those friends who were against Keene and I moving in together? Yeah, they told me so. I have strong weekly (almost daily) bouts of regret, feeling stupid, naive, and trapped.

It has been nearly two months and things aren't any better.

But what the hell do I do about it? I can't break a lease. Kayden LOVES this apartment, and many times he really enjoys playing with Maia. I still adore Keene, but this all too much. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have moved.

Not to mention, if we moved, what would be the point of dating still? I mean, it would be obvious that nothing could ever grow from it.

Does the good outweigh the bad?

So far, the good is that I do see Keene every day, which I love. However, this isn't really quality time. It's like while cooking dinner or doing chores or when he's checking his emails and stuff. Sometimes on the weekends, we'll watch a movie together while I crochet.

The other good stuff: he cooks most nights, Kayden sometimes enjoys playing with Maia, our apartment is neat...

That's it. Seeing him every day is pretty much the only great part.

The bad is that I have to deal with Maia every single day (and I feel like I'm the evil stepmother whenever I ask her to do a chore). Let me tell you: living in a house with a kid who is not your own is really fucking hard. I don't think I gave Josh enough credit in that department.

I wake up every single morning from loud noises caused by the two of them (they don't know the concept of "quiet"), Keene's junk is still everywhere, I do most of the cleaning/bossing kids around, I don't feel appreciated, Keene still finds the occasional time for his band, I have no space of my own (even my side of the desk is constantly cluttered with his shit), we have even less alone-time together because he probably feels we see each other enough now...

Ugh. I just hate it. I've been counting down how many months until the lease expires (though I don't know what that would even mean).

I love heading home from work every day, because I look forward to seeing him. But then I get home and it all crashes down again.

I have told him that I don't think we are compatible living together, that I worry we made the wrong choice. I talk to him about everything that bothers me. And he's super supportive, says we can work it out. But nothing seems to have changed.

I was so clear prior to moving in that I wanted a date-night at least every other week. He even agreed with it, said he'd start setting something up. Um, nope. Nothing. I think he relies on me to do it for him, to find him a babysitter. That, above all else, is what I think makes me feel resentful: that we don't get a break from Maia. She constantly interrupts conversations, always needs attention. And most of the time, Keene allows it without thinking it through.

____________________________________________

I looked into prices of smaller apartments in the same complex. As a VERY LAST resort, I could transfer my part of the lease into a different apartment. It would only be about $100 more than my last apartment, and it'd still be in the neighborhood/complex that Kayden loves.

____________________________________________

Okay, whew. I've made a list of the points we must address, in order to focus my thoughts:

- Will no longer babysit Maia for band practice or when he wants to hang out with friends, until we start getting more alone-time

- Both of us will have to establish daily rules and chores (one of which will include that both kids must pick up all toys out of living room and kitchen before bedtime)

- All this junk he's planning to sell must be actively listed on Craigslist/eBay, or it's going to Goodwill

- Keene and Maia have to be more respectful of other people in the household. This means being quieter while others are sleeping, giving us space when we clearly want it (even Kayden has moments of wanting to be left alone...Maia has driven him to cry because she wouldn't stop bugging him while he was sick)

- Make a point to spend positive alone-time with each other's kid, at least every week or two...this will help me feel not so evil-stepmom-ish.

- Regular bedtimes. I can't stress this enough. Kayden's bedtime is a strict 8:30 on weeknights, 9:00 on weekends. Maia's is really up in the air. She has to have a bath and read and eat dessert and maybe read again and sing and... some nights, she's not in bed until 10pm.

Top Gun at Red Rocks

Keene and I have a sort-of date tonight. To see Top Gun at Film on the Rocks.

One of our favorite local bands is performing beforehand. ::squeal::

___________________________________________

::grumble:: Date is off.

Keene just texted to say his mom cancelled, so he has no babysitter. (I don't blame his mom a bit. His grandma is waiting to be released from surgery and needs a ride. He should have anticipated this issue.)

Sooooooo...theoretically, I could call my friend who offered to babysit for us on Friday. However, my thinking is 1) to call her AN HOUR beforehand is a little rude; 2) Why am I always stuck taking care of it? Dude has lived in CO for several years...that is plenty of time to set up a network of friends to swap babysitting with.

____________________________________________

Keene just texted to say, "Do you think we could take Maia with us?"

I'm not even going to bother putting my friend out. I am so annoyed. Some fucking time alone.

I really don't want to go home right now. I'm kind of tempted to go by myself, if only so I don't have to spend the evening with them.

____________________________________________

When I got home, I found the door deadbolted (one of the deadbolts you can't unlock from the outside).

I. Was. Furious.

Turns out, he (or Maia) had mistakenly turned that one (though we never lock that one unless everyone is already home) and gone out the back door for a bike ride. I had to walk all the way around the building and hop a fence to get into my own stupid home.

That, obviously, did not cheer my spirits.

August 5, 2009

What the hell, "How Stuff Works"?!

I'm listening to their "Stuff You Didn't Learn in History Class" podcast and the editor just said, "Irregardless..."

It's like hearing your teacher give misinformation--it totally discredits the entire lecture. I don't care that the podcast was about the perks of being a President. I don't believe her now because she said "irregardless."

::glares at iTunes::

On a side note, I would love to work there.

If only to start a spicy office romance with Josh Clark. I have a mad crush on that guy.

August 3, 2009

Ice Cream Sundae Hat

Next up was this pain in the butt. I had come across this pattern and made the hat for a friend. The hat itself was easy enough to make. The accoutrements, however, were another story. Have you ever tried to make yarn look like whip cream and chocolate? It ain't easy. I stared at endless photos of ice cream sundaes (cue grumbling stomach) to get it just right.



I'm Back with More Shiznit.

A coworker got me talking crochet, so I've been going through photos of past projects I worked on. And dammit, now I want to update my blog. I had been doing so well, concentrating on this supa-important spreadsheet, but nope....now my mind is on crocheted flowers and felted hats. Thanks, Kaci!


So, here is a scarf I made as a gift last Christmas. This is best, most easiest gift to make. Say you only have two days (or one day if you're a fast hooker...ahem) to produce a gift. All you do with this scarf is create a chain, as long as you want the scarf to be. Then, turn it and just do double-crochets all the way across. Turn and do the same, over and over. Occasionally I changed up the colors. Then, add some skinny fringes to the edge. Voila! (Or as one friend likes to write, Wahla! Bless her heart.)


Another super easy scarf, for which I believe I've already posted the pattern. This seems to sell a lot, if only because it's pretty versatile and, well, matchy! Here it is with an appropriately angsty look from yours truly.

August 1, 2009

Ghosts of One-Night-Stands

So, Croman called my cell phone while I was taking a shower. The phone was in the kitchen and Keene picked it up to bring it to me, seeing the caller ID.

Now let me say, Keene is so not the jealous type and said he wouldn't be bothered in the least if a guy called me. He said he would figure it was just a coworker or someone.

However, he seemed bothered when he gave me my phone. He said, "Who is Croman?" I laughed (because the dude is still calling me a year after we hooked up? Really?), then explained to Keene about how I keep the dude's number programmed in my phone (along with several others) so I don't have to worry about accidentally answering their call. (See? Live and learn.)

Then he asked a few questions, which I answered honestly. Yeah, I slept with him. Yeah, it was fine. But he was dumb as a post and not someone I ever cared to see again. I felt bad because I think Keene was still bothered by it, but he let it go. (In the meantime, I had texted Croman to inform him that I had a boyfriend, so, uh, he needed to scamper off.)

So, it was kind of funny and awkward.

Spotlight on Monolith: Phoenix

(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)

Phoenix is the quintessential sound of 2009’s Monolith. (That should be enough for you to decide whether you will like the band or not. However, if that’s not enough, the next 186 words should help – one way or another.) By “quintessential,” I mean that many of the bands in this year’s lineup consist of solid Indie Rock acts from around the world, which incorporate synthesizers or keyboards to give their music an extra Poppy oomph. Like Passion Pit or Harlem Shakes, Phoenix relies on a complex, but light sound.

Phoenix began in the late '90s in Versailles, France, with Thomas Mars (vocals), Deck D’Arcy (bass), Laurent Brancowitz (guitar), and Christian Mazzalai (guitar). The members wanted to play a form of music that encapsulated the popular genres at the time: Grunge and Electronic, but with a heavy Pop influence. After touring and reaching mainstream success, the band took a break and returned with their newest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Standout tracks include “Lisztomania” and “1901,” fantastic songs that are so infectious, you’ll start to itch below.
If you’re eager to revisit some of their older stuff, try a couple songs from their 2006 album, United: the mellow, “If I Ever Feel Better” or “Funky Squaredance,” a song so random, it’ll take you a few listens to ease into it.

LIVE: September 13 / Monolith Festival

WeArePhoenix.com

Spotlight on Monolith: Ida Maria


(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)

Finally! It seems there is finally a real Rocker-chick that plays good music. The music world has had a bit of a drought lately, with such acts as Lady Gaga, Pink, or that one with the beehive and the smack problem. While many of the artists have admirable qualities, Ida Maria seems to be the whole package: edgy, talented, fun, a little insane, and cute as hell.

Norwegian-born Ida Maria has been making waves in clubs and festivals (including this year’s SXSW and Lollapalooza) across the world with her brand of Pop-Punk. Sounding much like her fellow Monolither, Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, her voice is simultaneously raw and melodic. Her vocal range can go from shouting and thrashing in “Stella,” to a Norah Jones-esque crooning in “Keep Me Warm.” That range is combined with raunchy lyrics and a fast, simple beat in “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” creating an intensely fun and contagious song.

When she’s not singing and going ballistic onstage, Ida Maria plays her own backup musician, working the rhythm guitar. Stefan Törnby (lead guitar), Johannes Lindberg (bass), and Olle Lundin (drums) round out the band.

LIVE: September 12 / Monolith Festival

MySpace.com/IdaMaria
IdaMaria.co.uk