Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Don't Look Back

The two days of training are over. In classic fasion, there was an attempt to suck me in for more but having no child- or elder- care leaves me home this mid-morning, typing in my jammies. I'd like to say I have a cup of coffee but I don't feel the urge strongly enough to go downst.... scratch that; I just got one. You might want to do the same as I've got a lot of stuff on my mind today.

The training blew totally. The targetted role-based training agenda I had prepared five months ago was thrown out---not out of any malice or displeasure, just a lack of understanding of how damn complex this project is and the breadth of material. The consequences, of course, are torturous sessions where only five to ten minutes here or there are relevant to any person sitting in the room. I was a good sport on Monday. Yesterday, however, it wasn't just that I had exhausted my patience (admittedly never much of it) it was that the trainer didn't seem to be getting to the material I needed to go about my business and when I'd try to guide him, ask for expansion of his remarks, he had no clue. It was torture. I ended up staying after the session with one other colleague on the premise of having a directed session on my concerns but it in fact turned in to a dressing-down of the guy and his hopeless efforts to deflect responsibility.

And I haven't even told you that my so-called partner-in-crime, the guy who handled all the telecommunications part while I handled the web, software, servers and data collection parts has yet to show his face in the training room. So I have no idea if the telecomm piece is going to work. Nor does he. $400,000 of taxpayer money plus the $230,000 that the vendor had to eat because of a mistake in bidding and I'm just aghast at the potential loss of resources and revenue. And the apparent lack of concern about that from anyone beyond myself and the previously mentioned colleague. I don't even work for them anymore, remember?

But that's over. All I have to do now is assimilate it well enough, stumble through and deploy one big web- and phone-based quarantine management instrument and that will be that. right. It does indeed reinforce my belief that if you need to learn to do something you know a bit about and have enthusiasm for, you'll probably do better to get a manual and learn on your own.

Talking trash at the card table...

That Anna. She just cracks me up. We've come to tease her about her particular kind of clumsiness by saying her body is simply always about 5 seconds ahead of her brain. She's forever falling, running out of her shoes, walking into walls, walking right past the thing she's focussed upon... its funny. Last night she was playing with Noodle (rant about him later) and he inadvertently grazed her arm with his teeth and it hurt. She was upset but calmed down as we settled at the kitchen table to play a game of War before bedtime (note to prospective/new parents: War is second only to Candyland in parental torture in the pursuit of family-togetherness) . I repeated how sorry I was about the boo-boo and she sighed and said, "I guess I'm kind of used to being injured what with my body always so far ahead of my brain..."

Having said already how much I really don't like to play War (man, its interminable), I pulled some Mommy-sneakiness and gave her a fair number more cards than myself---giving her an advantage to win and likely shortening the game---win/win, right? Nope. The kid totally figured me out and was hoping against hope that she'd lose heavy in the short term but rally in a long game to win. Eventually, I had to kind of call a misdeal and play a real game with her. I hate it when the kids get too smart to be manipulated! As she was winning, she was talking trash about skill and luck and who did or didn't have it, all shoulder shrugs and eyes sparkling, single dimple dancing. Oy. Who knew it could be so lovely to be a Mommy?

My solace

Both days drive home took me right by my favorite LYS, Woolwinder's. What with a muddled, tired brain and all, I took it as a sign that I should stop in both evenings. Monday I left with just a free pattern. Upon return home I sat down to knit while Rob ordered pizza (thank you, Rob; I am so not up to working out of the house every day and coming home to all of the demands of this household.) Remember I said that I had very little yarn left with which to complete the second (read: final piece) of the Krista sweater? Scratch that. What I had was "not enough yarn".

This was high drama as only those born to knit can comprehend. I needed a simple, enjoyable thing to knit to help me decompress. Krista was just the ticket, I knew what I was doing, not a lot of thinking. When it was no longer an option to work on Krista, I was left only with Charlotte's Web shawl which is so far from a brainless knit I can hardly write those words in one sentence. Having been so proud of myself for completing Sadies's blanket I was left with NOTHING to knit that did not require thinking, planning, guaging. I spent the rest of the evening sort of playing at starting a sock but I just wasn't up to the preparation. Pitiful.

Tuesday evening then brought another stop at LYS for a potential meet-up with a favorite friend and to determine whether or not I could purchase matching yarn to complete Krista. Friend didn't show BUT---I did find the yarn. Better, upon arriving home, I held it against the sweater and you know how I was fretting over the color variation when I switched skeins at the neck? HA! This skein matches. So guess what? I'm doing the front over entirely and both sleeves and it will be perfect-o (except for the little yarn over problems on the back that I'm reallly really really trying to pretend don't bother me). I knew that if I ripped back to the color change I'd fret over picking up the yarn overs and would be forever tortured over the possibility of having a less-than perfect front and starting over anyway... know one's self and follies! The time and frustrations saved....


Of course ten minutes with music I'm really feeling will go a long way. I forget that sometimes. But yesterday, the songs you hear playing now queued up consecutively on my iPod sounded just right and soothed me. Hope you like them, too. They are:

Baby, That's Backatcha' -- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

For the Love of You -- The Isley Brothers

Trouble Sleeping -- Corinne Bailey Ray

The Isley Brothers and S. Robinson are long time friends of mine; the CBR is relatively new. I do love her easy pop/r&b groove sensibility but its the lyrics that are killer. I wonder how much of it is very chick oriented but what about that line about the chaos of falling in love as "the constant compromise between thinking and breathing..."? I love it. Its just exactly how I felt when Rob and I fell in love--couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, couldn't think of anything else--you might just die than do anything else... useless, I was.

Just so you know, its annoying the bejeezus out of me that I can't figure out why, or fix, blogger is putting in random hard returns where I don't want them.


As promised: that damn Noodle!!! He's been eating my friggin' plants. I gave up and stopped re-planting one of my new perennials this year after he'd repeatedly yanked it from its pot on the deck and thrashed it about in the yard.

In memory of Beth's birthday I was given a beautiful, beautiful hibiscus bush. Before I plant it, I need to do some research to find the spot where it is most likely to survive our less-than-tropical climate. In the meantime, I took the fairly big plant and pot and covered it with dirt in a still larger terra cotta pot so it could have some sunshine until that task cycled to the top of my priority list. So it was that when I went downstairs a little while ago to get my coffee, I spied the bush lying on the grass, out of both pots. That dog is SO on my list. I've stopped updating the list in the sidebar for a while because its just ridiculous. The thing is, he is so sweet and I love him SO much. So I just have to figure out how to better protect my things. And hope I can indoctrinate my children to follow suit...

Sweet Sister, T. sent me three little pots full of violets last week as well. We both surely miss our middle sister. We're a trio minus one, now; not a duo.

Pop Culture

Today I'm going to try to find out a little bit about this apparently insane genius of a poet/named named Timothy "Speed" Levitch. I saw a documentary feature about him--well, following him, recently and I was absolutely captivated. He is as crazy as crazy can be---so crazy that he might just be a genius. The film was riveting ("The Cruise", 1998) and I won't say much here because there is a really good review at IMDb that is much more cogent than I'd prefer to be just now. The reviewer gets it exactly right when he says something on the order of Levitch being absolutely and utterly bizarre and insane but not dismissable. His daily life is all about his perpective on the world and his role in it. He does indeed have to something to say that's worth hearing. And he is funny. Irony is such a major part of his persona that he probably doesn't even recognize it in his actions and thoughts.... I'd recommend the flick for an after-dinner movie with friends in your living room. I will reveal one really hilarious segment: he spends some time reading off, to the Brooklyn Bridge, a list of people who have treated him badly over his life. Among these was something along the lines of, "and hey, girl one and girl two; that night was supposed to be an orgy---not a double date with me as a fifth wheel!" Seriously. He was serious.

Back at it...

So after at least three days of nothing being done to maintain neatness, cleanliness in the house there is a huge amount of mopping, vacuuming, laundering to be done. Bah. Not today, I don't think. Its me, Lindsay, some movies and knitting. Ciao, babies.

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