Three Down, Five to Go

1) It’s been nine days solid of rehearsals and performances. We’ve done three full public shows (and one tiny preview show) and the fun isn’t over yet! One more for this weekend, then we can all rest our voices til next Friday.

2) And we do need to rest our voices. Mine is starting to feel it. Unfortunately, the remedy our Director suggested (Barenjager, in a hot drink) is not vegan. I’ve gone with Disarrono instead.

3) I’ve failed at my personal challenge to look for ways to help others for the last two months. Both October and November were so jam-packed I forgot to fit this in, too. I’ll try to pick it up again this month.

4) I’ve come up with some shockingly simple plans to enhance my creativity and lower my stress level: work less. I know, revolutionary, right? Seriously, though, work stuff has given me the impetus to make a new decision that I will hopefully stick to. More details later.

5) I like numbered lists.

6) It’s gotten very cold here, though not as cold as the rest of the country. The boyfriend has gone to the coast for the weekend. I worry about him.

7) Anyone else been watching Once Upon A Time In Wonderland? I find it delightful, if slightly lagging at times. The original Once Upon A Time is much faster-paced but almost everything about it gives me major eye-rolls these days.

8) I finally found a sweater pattern to knit that works with the yarn I bought three years ago. My aunt gave me a gift certificate, and I knew what I wanted to make with it but it didn’t exactly exist in pattern form. I even tried to write a pattern myself. It didn’t end well, but I wasted a lot of energy before I realized that. Now I’ve found it, and I’ve cast on, only to realize that I really do need a circular in a size smaller instead of trying to cobble it on DPNs.

9) In case anyone was interested, the count for work interviews stands at, now, nine. Since March. This last one has been a train wreck starting back in June, and no matter the different people who get involved it just keeps being…odd. One day I’ll write a whole post about it. Right now it’s an HR issue.

10) There is no ten. I just didn’t want to end a numbered list with less. I’ve had too much Disarrono to make sense of why this really doesn’t matter.

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How To…Add Something Nonsensical to Your To-Do List

Another completely random project: homemade vanilla extract. The dishes aren’t done, laundry is piling up–but at least I made something I could have run out to the store to buy, right?

002I followed (mostly) the directions here. I neglected to check on the origin of my vanilla beans when I was at the store, so I’ll do that next time.

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And after one week it looks like this:

001(I’m actually supposed to cover the vanilla beans with vodka, but I ran out and haven’t replaced it yet. So when I do, I’ll fill the jar up the rest of the way. ‘Til then I’m making sure to shake it often and stare the beans down as if that’ll stuff them below the surface.)

All Hectic on the Western Front

The last month has been interesting.

I’ve had rehearsal three days a week, which was a lot more fun than I expected. Rehearsal days are now my favorites.007The Boyfriend and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary.

023I applied for four new positions at work and got turned down for three of them. I’m still waiting to hear back from the fourth, and I have an application ready to turn in for another. Ambitious or a glutton for punishment? We don’t know.

002aI recently changed departments at work, so there are lots of new things I’m learning there. It’s been awesome, but brain-consuming. I’m continuing to train as an assistant for yet another department, so my skills are diversifying.

I’ve tried new experiments on social responsibility, namely: using vintage hankies instead of facial tissue. It was slightly more work to start out (ironing my line-dried hankies, remembering to pack them in my purse and workbag, setting them aside to wash separately so they don’t get stained blue with my jeans, etc.) but I think I like them better. Next up: People Towels.

001I also attended World Veg Festival with my fellow vegan roommate and discovered the most amazing Sjaac’s Chocolate. (I bought way too much and ate it way too fast.)

wvf_cardAnd I discovered Peet’s Maple Lattes, which is a delightful fall treat since I don’t care for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes everyone else is crazy about.

005(This particular Peet’s location has the added advantage of roaming chickens. I don’t know where they come from. But there were chicks!)

011All in all, it was a pretty busy month but I didn’t go under. October should be slightly easier, fingers crossed. I might even dig myself out from under the pile of Things to Do on my table…

The Treasure of 1914

018I found an old coin in the oddest of places at the oddest of times.

I was working with my litter abatement crew close to lunchtime in one of the more impoverished neighborhoods in our area–not impoverished enough to be dangerous, but not affluent enough to warrant well-manicured landscaping. We were picking up cigarette butts and bits of candy wrappers, almost at the end of the job, when I saw something circular and flat in the dirt.

My first thought was to move on, leaving it there. It was encrusted with dirt and grime and who-knows-what-else, and after an hour on litter abatement there is very little I feel like picking up off the ground for any reason other than to toss it in the trash. Even wearing gloves, my hands feel contaminated. To pick up something nice with those gloves? And then to put it in my pocket? Doesn’t happen.

But one of my crew was attracted to, well, almost anything–shiny things and coins in particular. Even though this wasn’t shiny, there was always the chance that he’d pocket it. No one is happy when he comes home with random things in his pockets. So I picked it up, quietly, while he was occupied with something else. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it seemed about the size of a 50 cent piece and I could see the date: 1914.

Once I got home, I did some research and discovered that what I found is a 1914 British penny. There’s a lot of cool information at that link, but the long and short of it is that there were about 51 million of them made so they’re not terribly rare and not terribly valuable.

But the question remains: what was a World War I-era British coin doing at the corner of a mini-mart parking lot in a disadvantaged part of town?

Was this part of a homeless person’s collection, a reminder of better days and treasured hobbies?

Was this a fairly worthless gift to a young child who viewed it as an exotic treasure before he or she accidentally dropped it on the way to buy candy?

Was this, as was suggested by The Boyfriend, a coin dropped by a time traveler? (Specifically: “Perhaps Dr. Who dropped it while surfing the time-space continuum when he last parked his Tardis to snag tacos at [famous local taco truck].”)

Did it accidentally make it into someone’s change jar, only to be discarded on the street when it was discovered (since British pennies don’t really buy anything here)?

What kind of stories can you come up with that involve the historical aspects of money?

Let’s Be Spontaneous…Tomorrow

I’m a fan of spontaneity.

You wouldn’t know this to look at me; I keep a fairly regulated lifestyle and don’t add a lot of extra activities to my routine.

My version of being spontaneous is more like, “I have an afternoon free! I can do anything I want! …but I think I want to do some laundry so I have clothes tomorrow, and since I’m here doing laundry I may as well cook for the next few days. I guess I can watch a movie while I’m at it,” and there goes an afternoon that most spontaneous people would probably spend running off to pick up a game of laser tag or find a circus.

So the whole “I’m in a Christmas play!” thing that just happened made me take a good hard look at my routine (and my laundry). I’m seriously going to have to structure things for the next three months. Like, for reals, you guys.

Right now I’m Christmas shopping, planning Thanksgiving, thinking about Halloween costumes, deciding yes or no on NaNoWriMo, and trying to get all of my outstanding tasks (and housecleaning) done before the end of the month.

It’s all very intense.

I have discovered, however, that I’m still me and have not magically acquired the ability to subsist on less than five hours of sleep. (Who knew?)

So because things will be more structured in my life, expect a little less structure here for the next few months. Because, you know, I’ve got to be spontaneous somewhere.

The Week In Pictures

Friday Five

This week’s Friday Five is more of a Seven.

Pictures of What I’ve Been Up To

So in the time between the last (simply scintillating) post and now, I have been up to the following:
Going to the Reptile Expo

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And the Steampunk Fair

Steampunk

Cooking a mountain of gift produce from The Boyfriend

Garden

Hulling more walnuts

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Making the most amazing hummus

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Dealing with various intense work-related things

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…and…

Agreeing to be in a Christmas play that my coworker is directing.

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