Feienabend

(sorry for the blog-silence, I’ve been busy. . . )

Just so you know, Dear Internet, I don’t actually know German. (And yes, the title of today’s post is in German! how exciting!). Well, I do know a few words and phrases in German, learned from my mom (and singing some songs in German as a kid) who grew up there. So I can pronounce German (well, one dialect anyway) but pretty much understand none of it.

It pretty much translates to “celebrate the evening” – it’s the moment where you can all of a sudden relax and enjoy some free time, put up your feet, and (in North American parlance) veg out. It’s really just a perfect word, and marvelously describes a feeling I have always had in my life, the joy of being able to suddenly have all the remaining time in the day all to myself. For me, this is especially important because it means that I can turn off, reset, and be myself. I’m rarely ever completely myself with other people, and it is supremely exhausting to go through a day consisting of public transit, work, conversations with colleagues, more conversations with colleagues, lunch – more conversations with colleagues, talking talking talking, meetings, then when work is done, more public transit. And if I’m going to the gym, there’s further human interaction and public transiting. And there is only so much talking with people that I can take.

So I really do take a moment, once I’ve gotten home and started to unwind, to realize that – HUGE sigh of relief – I don’t have to talk with ANYONE for the next several hours. I can work on my crafty projects, surf the Intertubes, blog, internet window shop, nap, ANYTHING!! And it is amazing.

Feienabend is pretty much up there with schadenfreude (for me) of awesome words/concepts. So I thought I would share it with you, Dear Internet!!

And, speaking of projects. . .

The boyfriend’s sister has two young girls and apparently could not find nice mittens with idiot strings (you know, the ones that keep your children’s mittens from constantly vanishing??). She guesses that it’s a liability issue – if a child can strangle itself on something, even if it’s you know useful, it cannot be sold anymore. . . So she asked me to make a couple pairs for her girls. So I went looking for a challenging and pretty pattern that would be fun for MY FIRST KNITTED MITTEN PROJECT EVAR!!! YAY!!!!!

So I went to Knitty.com to look for options. And I found this pattern:

Matrix mittens

And, well, I couldn’t say no! I’ve only recently started to plumb the depths of two-colour knitting, so this was a perfect project to further develop those skills. Very quickly as it turns out, since it took less than a week to knit four mittens, their respective idiot cords, finish them, and sew linings for them out of polar fleece. FAST PROJECT, guys!!! Check out the pattern here!!

Here are the mittens I made!!

First project 2012 - Completed!

You use a fairly chunky yarn, so they really knit up fast. And I went a little Mod with my colour choices 🙂  My mom was skeptical that the fuschia and mauve went together, apparently, but did own that they look really cool, once made up in the pattern. I love playing strong colours off each other. And the underlying blue to both colours helps them work quite well together, I think.

And now for our close up. . .

Another pair of mittens!!

So, there you have it, Dear Internet. The reason I’ve been too busy to blog for the last week.

I’m hoping to post about my hike along the Humber River last weekend sometime soon. And you’ll be hearing about my other ongoing projects as they get completed. . . One hint though, to keep you on tenterhooks: there will be more knitting. Surprise! Bet you didn’t guess that one!

Hopefully I’ll be baking soon too – a new recipe has caught my eye! Oooo!!! And there’s my 8-part choral experience coming that I will be telling you about so, rest easy, Dear Internet! I have lots up my sleeve for the next little while 😉

Hey 2012, what’s up?

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(Source: Nerd Boyfriend)

So. Do I have your attention now?

No? How about now??

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(Source: Who Is Matt Smith? )

Well, now that sexy men have gotten your attention, Dear Internet, I’ll get to my post. Which doesn’t actually have a whole lot to do with those images. Sexy as they are. . . Though, to be fair, I should probably even things out with some sexy woman action too. Just to be fair.

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(Source: Karen Gillan’s InStyle photoshoot

It’s a new year, and everyone’s getting all revved up about making resolutions and turning over a new leaf. Cause, you know, an arbitrary date management cycle has recommenced? Usually my resolution is that I won’t make any resolutions, cause it’s kind of a sham and hooey and they never get kept cause nobody ever makes really realistic goals for themselves. And then there are the tears and recriminations and apathy, and why start that vicious cycle when I only just jumped off the last one? Not that I’m a cynic or anything. But this year, something’s different. I’m at the cusp of making some changes in my life, and it just so happens that I want to start these changes now, at the turn of a new year. New Year’s Resolutions Bandwagon, you are being jumped upon by me, finally.

Grouped into a few areas, here are my goals for this new year:
1) Manage Money Like an Adult, dumbface
– don’t use the credit card as a crutch, if you can’t afford it, don’t go for it
– pay off the little bit of debt I’ve accumulated
– start actually saving money
– develop a proper budget

I’m planning on finally moving out sometime this year, so I really think I should buckle down and become an adult about money. Like now.

2) Get Healthy.
– start the process to diagnose a potential health issue I’ve been dealing with for the past six months
– develop a regular exercise schedule
– plan on changing some food habits, develop a healthy diet plan (where “diet” = the food I eat, not fad self-denial/starvation plan. Cause that shit won’t work for me)
– hike more. Lots more. And try to be more active in general

As I say above, I’ve been having some minor health issues since I finally got a job last spring. I guess the release of all the pent up stress of the two years previous messed up my system even more than I’d thought. And, having spoken with my doctor briefly about what’s going on, she agreed that we should definitely do some (wheeee. . .) testing and get to the bottom of things. And part of the treatment for the condition I might have developed include diet changes and increased activity. Which I wanted to do anyway. So. Win-win?

Now, what does this mean about my baking obsession?? Well, I’ll probably not change a whole lot, cause the things I bake, I bake them for other people. I’ll just have to pretty much not eat most things. And, I’ll probably start playing with new recipes, to test substitution options, and test the Healthy Baking Waters. But let me reassure you all now, there will still be pounds of butter. Cause, sorry margarine enthusiasts, it’s just better.

3) Make Decisions About Things That Have Been Pissing Me Off (finally)
– specifically, decide what I’m going to do about my choir issues. So there will be much research on choirs going on in the next few months
– find a decent paying Sunday choir gig, if possible. Cause I’m sick and tired of feeling like my opinion is invalid because I’m just-a-volunteer
– think about singing lessons, when I have more money at my disposal

4) Plan the Next Step, Career-wise
– start résumé revisions, cover letter writing, etc. well ahead of my contract ending
– start trolling job listings and job boards soonish
– think about where I really want to end up, and how each job I do apply to will help me achieve my goals in my career

5) Take the Time to Art
– use some of my cherished me-time to go back to sketching and painting
– play with new media, and mixing medias
– work on getting my technique back up to snuff, cause I’m feeling a bit rusty
– think about art classes, when I have some income to burn
– play with my craft obsessions and see how far I can push them into my art. Specifically, work on developing my own knitting patterns

During my vacation after Christmas, I worked on my first actual art project in YEARS. A friend of mine, with whom I have been lamenting letting our passion for our arts go in the name of practicality, challenged me to make something for her for Christmas. Well, being one effing-super-busy lady, I couldn’t do it in time for Christmas, so it became a post-Christmas project. And it felt good to be painting again. No, let me rephrase: it felt GREAT!! I’m about half done, so there’s more to do, but I’ve been putting off working on it a little because I don’t want it to be over. I guess I’m starting to realize just how big a whole I’d dug out of my heart when I decided to give all this up. So it’s time to start patching up that gaping hole, I guess.

I wish I could say I know it’ll all work out great. But I’m a confirmed pessimist and I’m not naive. But I can say right now that I am going to put everything into this, which is something I’ve avoided almost my whole life, and that’s both daunting and exhilarating. There are things at stake now!! I guess this is what it feels like to not be depressed? If so, I think I like it!!

I just read a great article about the physiological issues that might be at play in problems with maintaining weight loss. A lot of which makes good sense to me, especially since I watched my mom go through the whole crash-diet-massive-weight-loss-then-incremental-weight-gain thing my whole life. And I guess I could be discouraged since I’m likely to have to work hard at maintaining any weight loss I do accomplish, but it’s really nice to know that at least part of my overweight-ness can potentially be attributable to forces not entirely under my control. It’s kind of freeing, really. I’m also looking at the Mediterranean diet as inspiration for my new food resolutions.

Well. Anyroad, I think I’ve yammered long enough about this. Time to get back to work, Dear Internet!!

Any new resolutions this year for you, Dear Internet??

My morning pet peeve

Whenever I stay over at the boyfriend’s place overnight on weekdays, I end up at one particular subway station with this damnable poster staring me in the face.

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It might be the fact that it’s before 9am, it might be the fact that I’m by nature cynical, or it might be that this is one huge steaming pile of bulldunkle. But this, Dear Internet, seriously pisses me right the hell off.

Restore each other’s faith in humanity by _smiling_ at one another? Like that would do anything more than possibly lift one person’s day (marginally) at a time.

Because, with genocide, rape, third-world famine, the IMF, greed, war, child abuse, social stigmatization of women (in pretty much all cultures. We may have come a long way, baby, but there’s still this huge, long, bumpy, sabotaged road ahead), self-centeredness as a cultural phenomenon, apathy, tyrants, violent cults, the stigmatization of sex, female circumcision, injustice, the disappeared, the Holocaust, first world waste, rampant pollution, homophobia, the environmental crisis, the Tea Party, the Inquisition, the Crusades, residential schools in Canada, the marginalization of native communities, Fox News, large corporation’s governmental subsidies (especially when the corporations never contribute to the societies that are buoying them up and allowing for their massive profit margins), credit cards, I can’t imagine any one smile is going to have the power to negate these and the many other evils that exist.

I don’t think a smile is going to cut it.

Not for me anyway.

(And before any of you get up in arms about the items on my list and/or the order in which they’re placed, you should know that I wrote them down as they randomly came to me, and these are things with which I specifically have deep issues. You can disagree, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t expect me change my opinion because of yours. That’s my prerogative. If you get nasty, your comments will be deleted. Fill your own blog with your opinion, that’s what it’s there for. Rational commentary will be considered on a case by case basis.)

T-7 days left and counting. . .

So, Dear Internet, I’m on my way to spin class for the first time in a couple of weeks. Boy am I going to be smarting tomorrow. . . But that will be balanced out with a lovely cake-filled baby shower for a friend of mine. And strangely enough, I won’t be providing any baked goods. Oddly enough. Kind feel bereft about it. Huh, maybe there’s a patch to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. But I do have to put together a present package and make a cute card (I have a stamp set that’s perfect for my needs. You can imagine I’m fiendishly rubbing my hands together while grinning maniacally, if you like. It’s a fairly accurate image. . . Well, except I’m actually on a train and writing this on my iPhone, so it’s more what I’m doing in my head that in actuality. Not to burst your bubble there). But I think cake will be a nice panacea for my sore muscles, plus hangings out with peoples what are awesome = double plus good!

But today I’ve been kind of having an existential crisis. I know, right? Who has those anymore, Dear Internet?!

It’s my second last week of actual employment, and though I’ve been assiduously applying to boatloads o jobs all fricking summer, no bites. Not a call, nothing. It’s looking more and more that this was an anomaly instead of, as I had hoped, a sign that I might in fact soon find myself fully and gainfully employed.

Luckily I have PEI to look forward to, otherwise I might get depressed or something. No idea what I’m going to do after PEI, aside from look forward to the next wedding on the docket (and maybe even the making of my pretty dress). And, duh, more job hunting. The benefit to everyone using the Internet for job applications is that if you have access to the Internet you can easily apply to as many jobs as you can make cover letters for. The downsides are that you feel like you’ve thrown your application into a deep ocean crevasse instead of worked to secure your future, and that the hundreds of millions of other people who have access to the interwebs have done the exact same thing. And nobody ever bothers to let you know if your even being considered as a candidate. So you’re left to assume you’re not and forget what you’ve applied for. Cause if you care about the opportunity, it actively hurts each day that you don’t get a phone call.

Of course, by the time someone does call you for an interview, you’ve then completely forgotten everything about the job and then sound pretty silly asking “What job is it I’m interviewing for again?” Also, if you do have the honour to get an interview (yes, it’s an _honour_ Bulldunkle.), the odds anyone ever gets back to you with feedback afterwards (even if they promised to do so) is next to nil. Of the 20-odd interviews I had in the last couple of years, THREE got back to me after the interview, one of which was for the job I ended up getting. A good six-ten others _said_ they’d get back to me.

And my experience so far is that you have to have 20+ interviews, at the very least, before you’re likely to actually ever get a job offer. For example, after graduating from a Masters degree, I spent two years futilely applying to countless jobs only to end up with a temporary, crappily paid summer student gig with terrible prospects cause they just cut 1900 jobs. . .

Oh how I love this state of being.

So I think I should, instead of dwelling on it (and thanks for letting me rant it out, Dear Internet), I should try to live each day as it comes. Look forward to the things to look forward to, and madly apply to job after job after job after job (and go quietly mad from the boredom) and get more into my hobbies. Maybe even start an etsy store or something to fill my time. So I can potentially offload the massive amounts of crafty I’ll probably end up producing. . .

Cause one thing I know for sure is that job hunting, it is one of the most boringest activities known to man.

At least I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and supportive and awesome peoples standing by and being all supportive. Maybe I won’t have to wait another two years for the next crappy short-term job. Always positive, that’s me. Well, I said I should try to look forward to the good things and live each day for itself, not get a personality transplant. When I get chipper, that’s when you know I’ve succumbed to the drugs.

Anything getting you down, Dear Internet?

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Heh. Just saw this sitting on the shelf near me in the bookstore (waiting to go to my spin class, where else would I hang out? Do you know me at all?). Though, sadly, too true. . .

Baking, with some photos!

—UPDATE!!!!—
I have now switched to WordPress! Wheee!!!! Let’s see if this works a bit better for me and my multifarious photo postings. . .
—End Update—
My last baked treat for the bachelorette tomorrow night are the carrot cake cupcakes from . . . Ok. If you don’t know where I got this recipe before clicking the link, you haven’t been keeping up with this blog at all. I’ll give you a hint though – it rhymes with “blitzen mitchum”. And they’re suuuuuuuper tasty!
Strangely enough, I doubled the spice (which is why my dough turned out so much less orange than the original). There’s never enough spiciness for me. Except the nutmeg, which I used very sparingly. That is a very unforgiving spice – too much and you have soap-flavoured everything. Which I don’t like all that much, for some reason.
I haven’t frosted the cupcakes yet (as they’re still warm, the cold room isn’t cold enough at this time of year to set the frosting, the icing needs to chill more, and I’m going to do that tomorrow anyway so they’re perfect for the party. I might even take them over unfrosted and then do it there), so you’ll have to wait for a photo of the final version 😉   I can’t wait to frost them though, the cake is very earnest and healthful (especially since I added a zucchini and an apple, and reduced the sugar in them to 1.5 cups from 2), so it’ll be a great contrast to the cream cheesey/maple (and veeeeery rich) frosting.
But here are a bunch o photos of me making the cupcakes and frosting:
I was going to upload the photos for another Newfoundland post. But the photo uploader is being an asshole, and I really don’t want to learn a new step by having all my photos hosted on another site (à la Flixster or Photobucket). . . I am more seriously considering migrating this blog to WordPress. . . I don’t know if you’ll notice the occasional horizontal photo that would actually look better in vertical. Stupid uploader.
We’ll see.
Are you as frustrated as me today, Dear Internet?

I also like other things, by the way. . .

Hello, the Internet! I can only imagine how grateful, pleased, and replete you must be that I have now decided to start my very own blog!!

As in, not at all. . .

But, since multiple people have now told me I need to do this (mostly right after having eaten some of the food I’ve made), I figure I’ll try it out. It’s no skin off my nose. Maybe even someone other than me will even read this! Though my inner pessimist (i.e. Me) doesn’t think it’s all that likely.

No promises though – in the 28 years I’ve been alive, I’ve attempted journals several dozen times. And none lasted longer than two weeks (most barely lasted a few days, truth be told). Except the ones my teachers made me keep for various school-type purposes. Which don’t count. I’m just not much of a diarist. Hopefully this won’t just sit on the back burner for ages, and to which I’ll only post now and again. I might even develop a schedule of some kind to stick to for posting. Shock! Awe!!

I’m currently at work, so I don’t have any photos of the amazing foods I have recently created – be assured that I will eventually post them . . . And there are several other things I will be baking in the next week, so stay tuned!! All none-of-you who give a crap. . . Well, maybe eventually there will people who give a crap. Not that I’ll be holding my breath or anything. Also, I’ll be going through my massive iPhoto folders and see what old projects I have recorded to share with you, Posterity.

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I guess I should take a moment right now and explain slightly what I want to do here, as well as a little of who I am. I’m a 28 year-old woman, who recently got her Masters degree in Information Studies (oooo!! ahhh!!!). Basically I’m a Librarian. Well, to be completely accurate, I am actually an Archivist. Look it up.

For some reason it has been hard to find good paying work in my field lately (Damn you, The Economy!). But I have recently gotten a government job in Records Management (the boring step-child of archives – it’s not that bad, really, I’m just bitter). It only lasts through the summer, so I hope I can find something more permanent soon. . . In the meantime, I’m learning the vagaries of having to deal with an actual, regular schedule, weekends that only last from Friday night to Monday morning, an ass of a commute, and too many things to do at once (suddenly). So why not add a blog to the mix?? The summer knelled an end to my regular singing schedule, so I have a little free time on my hands now. . .

As to the focus – I’ve been singing since I was 6 and baking since 8 (I told you how old I am, you can do the math on that). I’m not going to pretent I’m the most amazing, ever, at either activity, but I do have some talent which I love to share with the people who eat my food, and listen to the music I make with my singing compatriots. So, music and food are two very large and very important parts of my life – why not share that with you multitudes?

I’ll probably also be sharing other things from my life – books, movies, knitting, drawing – that take up a lot of my time. Things I create, things I attempt, things I find that are cool/awesome/ridiculous, things I want to share will all show up here, and hopefully with pretty pictures attached.

In short – I’ll be talking to myself at you, Dear Internet, and hopefully you will be (at least moderately) entertained.