Saturday, November 30, 2013
So we will have one final set of highlights from faire.
- We didn't turn the fountain on since it is cold outside. Without the water running the milky colored water is very still and looks like glass. All weekend we have been watching people cautiously touching the surface of the water to see if it is a solid or liquid. Most everyone was quietly surprised that it was water with one exception.
About mid afternoon today a little girl of about 4 walked up to the fountain and after all of a second plunged both hands into the water. The reaction to her hands going into the water was priceless. She was obviously not expecting it to actually be water because she shrieked in shock and horror before jumping about three feet backwards. I am sure the ice cold water helped with that.
She then stared at the fountain like it was made of pure evil and had somehow betrayed her. Her parents, and the rest of us, were too busy laughing to really soothe her.
- We sell a large dragon skull that is about 3 feet long and weighs probably 15 pounds. It is pretty cool looking. We have had people buy it as decorations for their kids rooms, trophies in their man caves, and accents for nooks in their homes.
Today a woman came in and looked at the skull three times before she started asking us about the price and logistics of getting it home. She finally looked at me and asked me if it would do well in a garden. I told her I thought so especially if she put it so it was in some bushes. She responded by saying: "Yea I am going to nestle it in the bushes so it is a little hard to see and scare the crap out of the president of my HOA."
Best reason for buying a giant dragon skull ever. Sort of makes me want to have a house with an HOA.
Friday, November 29, 2013
When we were growing up my mom was the cool mom. It was thanks to her that our house was always the place that kids wanted to go. When other kids would whine about mean parents it was always my mom that they would wish their parents were more like. I couldn't ever really disagree.
I don't think I ever had a birthday party or sleepover that wasn't the most inventive and well planned event ever. My mom didn't need Pinterest to come up with crazy cool creative theme parties, she just instinctively knew what to do. I mean come on the woman threw me a Gone With the Wind birthday party when I was seven (which I totally didn't appreciate at the time.).
It wasn't just birthdays or sleepovers, her being amazing was an every day event. I can remember being very young, under seven, and my mother organized a parade on our street for all the little kids. It might have been in honor of Fiesta (I grew up in San Antonio where Fiesta is a thing) or perhaps it was for Easter. Honestly for all I know it was just because the children were bored. We all ended up making parade 'floats' out of shoe boxes and paraded them up and down the sidewalk in front of all the neighbors. Coolest thing ever.
She also was exactly the mom you wanted to have as a kid in school. She made us do our homework but was always there to help with any project and make it that much more amazing. My mother boasts that she always got A's on our projects and we still always learned something. I can remember her spending countless hours gluing bugs to poster board for an entomology project I did in 5th grade. It was winter in Texas and there were no bugs out but my mother knew that our cousin had a freezer full of bugs (she froze anything that got into her pool so she could show the kids what was safe to touch and wasn't safe) and had gone and collected all of them for me. My mother hates bugs but she still glued them all down so I could have the best project ever.
My mother remains incredibly supportive of me and all of my siblings. She has always been there giving as much as she can whether she has it to give or not. She is selfless when it comes to her kids and I love that about her.
If I had to say who my hero was, it would be my mother. I could go on and on about the amazing woman she is and the amazing things she does but there are not enough hours in the days or space on my blog. You will just have to take my word that she is amazing. She is my mom.
Happy birthday Mops, I love you. Xoxo.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Dinner was always the same thing. We always had turkey and stuffing, though the stuffing if I recall wasn't cooked in the turkey. There were mashed potatoes and turkey gravy and frozen corn and green beans. There were dinner rolls and jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of a can. There was always a relish tray with green onions and whole black olives and deviled eggs that inevitably were all eaten before they were served. There was also fruit salad that no one ever actually ate.
I am certain if you suggested to my grandmother that we change the menu even slightly that her head would have exploded. She was very big on traditions which is not a problem in the least. Traditions are important and in our house they were sacred.
Growing up there were only a couple of times that I ate Thanksgiving dinner away from home and each time I was completely freaked out by how different dinner was. I can recall eating dinner with my step family and how I was fairly certain they had no idea what a proper thanksgiving meal was. They had cooked the turkey the day before and served it cold, they served sweet rice instead of potatoes, there was ambrosia salad instead of fruit salad. I was incredibly uncomfortable the entire meal.
When I got out on my own and I was suddenly free of the requirement of tradition I was torn on what to do. I remember the first few years when I was planning my Thanksgiving with friends I found it hard to buck tradition. It hurt my brain to think I was voluntarily making a non traditional dinner.
Now, a decade and a half later, I couldn't tell you what I consider a proper Thanksgiving meal other than it is served among loved ones. I have made chicken, cornish hens, turkey, ham, pork roast, and prime rib for the main portion of the meal. These days we are more likely to serve collard greens than green beans. If someone offers to bring something new I actually find it exciting and not a painful thought.
In the end this day is about being thankful for what you have no matter what it is. Whatever I am eating, I am happy for it, and I am going to enjoy it. It doesn't have to be a specific food made in a specific way. All it really has to be is something that was prepared with consideration and love and served amongst people that warm my heart.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
There is no real point at trying to focus. I can't focus on work either. I am not really sure why I am here other than I am told I have to be. I know in theory we are getting off early, so I am just sort of sitting around waiting for that to happen while poking at some work items.
Basically I am completely useless today.
I am completely alright with this. I will happily flit from one thought to another until it is time to go home where I will flit from one project to another. Days like this were made for flitting.
So I say unto you, my lovely minions, go and flit about on this most flitty of days. Flit and flounce and fly!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Of course as I have gotten older things have changed. I still love giving and getting gifts, but I find that the nature of the gifts have changed. There are still homemade baked goods, thoughtful trinkets, and expensive toys exchanged. I am not sure that will ever really change. If I think it would be something you would enjoy I am damn well going to give it to you.
What has really changed are the things that I want to receive. I love getting all of the things people think I would enjoy and I do have an Amazon holiday list full of DVDs and books. The thing is that when I really think about it, the things I want aren't material things easily wrapped with a bow.
My mother once told me that she knew she was an adult when she asked for new tires for Christmas. It was an expensive gift, but it was completely practical. You aren't supposed to ask for practical gifts for Christmas or your birthday, you are supposed to ask for things that are more want than need. Apparently growing up means those two things blend together more.
Every time someone asks me what I want for Christmas I will generally shrug or point them to my Amazon list. I have things that I want, but they just aren't things you ask people for. I mean telling someone that I would love to wake up and find that someone has finished mudding, texturing, and painting the guest bathroom, or that someone had fixed all the cracks in my walls and ceilings from the foundation leveling doesn't seem festive or feasible. Saying I want a new back fence doesn't really go over as well as saying I want the series 7 of Doctor Who on DVD.
Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly happy with getting the things on my Amazon list or baked goods or whatever. I don't expect anyone to just randomly do manual labor or chores for me, that is sort of ridiculous. I may ask for a hand when I get around to these projects, but they are all things I will do myself. I am just pointing out that the more practical things have become so incredibly appealing.
I think it is safe to say that I have grown up and am no longer a Toys R Us kid, but now very much a Home Depot adult. Not that that will stop me from playing with any new toy that comes my way. All it really means is I will consider a new Dyson or power drill as much a toy as I did a Barbie or Lego set as a kid.
Monday, November 25, 2013
- A warm fuzzy blanket or three wrapped around me.
- The smell of home cooked food simmering on the stove (tonight it is collard greens).
- A purring kitten (if you have read many of my things I love/like/make me happy you will see a recurring theme here).
- TV I enjoy (not necessarily good TV mind you).
- Puppy snores.
- How the husbeast always gets super silly when their is a chill in the air.
- Going to bed under the big down comforter and snuggling up with the husbeast on one side and at least two cats on the other side.
- The way the sound of the wind seems so much crisper and clearer outside.
- The smell of chimney smoke on the air from neighbors lighting fires in their fireplaces.
When it comes to a renaissance festival you really want the weather to be nice. No one really wants to go walk around outside when it is too hot, too cold, too wet, or a combination of any of those. I mean I am sure there are people who like to run around in bad weather, but I am fairly certain that they are the exception and not the rule.
When we have heavy rain days we always say that the patrons who show up are hard core faire lovers. These people obviously want to be there if they are slogging about in the mud and rain for faire. They don't care about muddy boots and wet clothes and they still manage to have fun in the rain.
After this weekend I have determined that bitter cold and rain means that no one will actually have a good time. Not even my die hard regulars were chipper and smiling when they came into my shop. I saw more life out of people when it was insufferably hot and so humid you felt like you needed a snorkel to breath.
The cold is just miserable and adding wet into the scenario is just cruel. We shivered. They shivered. Our teeth chattered. Their teeth chattered. We grumpily huddled against the wind and so did they. Smiling, chatting, shopping, being pleasant all went out the window as the wind blew in. It was miserable.
Thankfully the forecast is showing pleasant weather for our final weekend. After all the unpleasant weather conditions we have suffered through this season I would say we are due. It will be nice for everyone to be able to actually enjoy their faire experience.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I have been in the car for my own fair share of crazy adventures. I once was in a car on a dark back east Texas highway where we hit a couch at 4am. Yes you read that right, a couch, in the middle of the road. Thankfully it turned out to be just the cushions of the couch set up to look like a full couch so that when we struck it the pillows just rolled under the car. The only damage was mental damage in the end. We never figured out if it was someone playing a prank or someone hoping to kill the people who hit the couch but since I am still alive we will assume it was a prank.
Still, of all the things I have seen and experienced I never expected to be saying that I was almost hit by a pig. Yes I said a pig (and here you thought saying I ran over a couch was going to be the weirdest thing I said in this post). To be precise it was probably a 400lb wild pig that darted across the highway in the middle of the night in the cold rain.
We were lucky that the husbeast was driving and not me. I would have hit the pig, the husbeast managed to avoid it, though I swear the thing clipped the bumper as it streaked past. A few weeks back my friend Flo was not as lucky and was hit by a pig on the same highway. That pig pretty much took the front end off of her car.
Even having heard Flo's story I didn't really think that I would ever have a similar story. I mean you hear about people hitting dogs, cats, birds, deer, hell I have even heard of someone hitting a gazelle (in Texas), but pigs being hit by cars is not something you hear about. I apparently know very little about animal collisions.
Texas has a huge problem with wild pigs. Wild hogs are wreaking havoc across the southern united states and half of the feral bacon factories are in Texas. I have seen numbers estimated around 1 to 3 million of these things. If you want to know about the horrible things wild hogs do you can read a number of interesting articles. I can tell you that they destroy everything in their path and can easily kill a person.
They are also very difficult to kill. They have thick skin and an even thicker skull. The husbeast shot one with a 30-06 (which can I tell you I had to ask him how to write that out) and he hit it right between the eyes. The pig dropped bu then stood up and just shook its tusky head in anger. The bullet had hit the skull and just skimmed off. He put the next two shots into the pigs shoulders as it charged him.
The pig problem is so bad that there are pig hunting teams. In some areas they hunt the pigs from helicopters with machine guns. Yea I know this is probably one of the weirdest posts I have ever written, but it is totally true. This is not only a real thing, it is a very common. Go google wild hog helicopter hunting and see all the links that appear.
So along with my couch story I can now add nearly being hit by running bacon to my list of strange car stories. I am just really glad that thing didn't hit us. I really would have hated to be bitter every time I ate bacon just because a pig took off the front end of my car.
Friday, November 22, 2013
So I left work early, stopped by the grocery store, and spent the next couple of hours baking. Because it is cold and when it is cold you bake. Right?
Well whether you think it is weird or not I think it is delightful. My soul (and my tummy) are now soothed. Now to figure out how to pack them for transport to faire.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sadly this is not true in an office environment. There are 50 people in the office trying to share the same small amount of common space, and yet no one ever seems to treat the area with any sort of concern or respect for the other people inhabiting the area. As if the whole cube farm environment were not uncomfortable enough, adding in the inconsiderate habits of dozens of people does not help any at all.
Thankfully my cube is mostly a sanctuary. Most people recognize those three grey walls as the borders of my personal private space. True it doesn't stop people who are visiting my cube from touching my stuff or sitting on my desk. I can at least take comfort in the fact that the bad behavior is only from people I invite into my space. I am not aware of strangers coming into my cube and pawing at things when I am not around.
The worst space in the office is the break room. The one place that is designated as a safe place to eat, relax, and gossip is also the place that people respect the least. It is the place where people seem to lose all scope of socially acceptable behavior. It is the one place that makes what I would assume are otherwise tidy people turn into absolute pigs.
Let us address the sink first. My break room, like many, has a large sink in it. This is used to wash personal dishes, clean produce, fill the coffee maker, and other such sink like activities (we have a filtered water dispenser for drinking water). Mostly the sink is a place where we clean things yet that shouldn't give people the ability to leave the sink filthy.
I just went in to get my morning cup of water and found that someone had dumped coffee grounds into the sink, the same way they do every morning. Seriously people? You couldn't have dumped the grounds in the trash can? You couldn't have turned on the water for the 20 seconds it would take to wash them down the drain? You had to leave a pile of stinking coffee grounds to fester in the sink for someone else to deal with?
Or perhaps we should move on to the afternoon in the life of the break room sink. This is when the used coffee grounds are replaced by bits of peoples lunches. The drain on the sink has one of those grates on it to prevent large bits of anything from going down it. Constantly the drain is full of bits of rice, pasta, meat, and other unidentifiable pieces of peoples lunches. By looking at the acquired glop in the drain it is obvious that the lunch dregs are from multiple peoples meals.
You have to notice that the food you are slopping into the sink is not going anywhere. You have to notice that the last person who did this had no better luck and your lunch actually has less of a chance to go through the tiny holes in the drain since another persons lunch is already blocking it. I get that you don't want to clean up other peoples messes, but you are just adding to the problem and leaving it for the next person which is not cool.
I want to know if this is how these people behave at home. Would they just leave coffee grounds and leftover food sitting in the bottom of their sinks? I mean I know that I am very particular about how my kitchen gets cleaned, but that seems like a thing that people just wouldn't do. Why would anyone just leave that in their sink?
The sink is not the only demonstration of a lack of consideration. Let us not forget the counter tops with the puddles of old stale coffee lingering on it. People know that when they remove the large coffee jug from the coffee maker that the coffee will still drip down. There is a cup sitting there to catch the drippings that no one ever bothers to put back. The least you could do is put down a paper towel to help soak it up.
No one ever bothers to clean it up either. Yes we have a cleaning staff at the office, but they only come in the evenings. When you spill the coffee at 8 am that means that the coffee is going to sit there for 12 hours. It takes all of a minute to grab some paper towels and wipe up the spilled coffee. I should know, I am constantly cleaning up after other people and I don't even drink coffee.
We also have a Keurig in our office. While this is nice for preventing unsightly coffee spills and leftover coffee grounds in the sink, it is just as big an offender in this mess. No one ever removes their used pods from the machine. Any time I go to make myself some hot chocolate I come across a smelly used coffee pod. It takes an extra 10 seconds to pop out your empty pod. It is only polite to do so.
It is also only polite to refill the water reservoir when you empty it. Sure it is something the next person could do as easily as you could, but you are the one that used the last of the water. I don't know about you but I was raised that if you used the last of something you replaced it if you could. Take the extra minute and pour some water in the machine because you know how much it annoys you to come in and find that there is no water.
There are many other examples of how no one respects the break room or the other people who are going to use it. I could rant on and on about how annoying this behavior is, but it would do me absolutely no good. Any time you mention these grievances the responses you get are "Why should I clean up after other people" or "Well if no one else is going to do it why should I?"
So just remember, while your office is a work space, you share it with other people. It might not feel like cohabitation, but it is. Give them, and the space, the same respect you would give to your own home and the people you share it with. It is a level of respect you owe other people and would want for yourself.
Otherwise with the way people act I would not be surprised if the office one day degraded into a Lord of the Flies scenario with the developers holding the coffee pot hostage and stoning people with k-cups. This is the way that people go mad, and we are mad enough here already.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The idea of spending all of that time and effort on decorating for the holidays sort of sets me on edge. I dislike the kitschy side of the holidays finding it all together gaudy and unappealing. I find that decorating to the point of excess is only more opportunities for my cats to destroy things. I know that I will be the only one putting up and removing decorations as well so that isn't really adding to the appeal.
Also can I tell you how much I loathe being surrounded by Christmas music. If it were just gently interspersed in my regular life starting a few weeks before the day that would be one thing, but that is not how it works. Instead every shopping center in the land is blaring some form of Christmas music starting earlier and earlier. One of my favorite radio stations has converted to all Christmas all the time already. It is still over a week until Thanksgiving for Pete's sake.
Normally aside from buying presents you can't really get me into the spirit until about the week before. I will do my minimal decorating in early December just to get it over with, but we don't put up the tree until Christmas Eve. For one thing trees come cheaper the day before and I am already spending too much money this time of year. Really though I like waiting that long because then the tree seems to hold some sort of magic as opposed to a decorative item that my cats have been using as a water dish for a month.
This year something seems to be different. While I still detest the idea of doing anything Christmas like before Thanksgiving, I am finding myself lamenting the fact that I will not be home the weekend after Thanksgiving to do my decorating. I am actually looking forward to decorating and considering maybe doing a little more than I normally would.
I have no idea what has come over me. I am actually feeling the spirit of the holidays early. It is just weird and it is really freaking me out a little bit. I am not a holiday person. The only thing weirder is if I suddenly became a morning person too.
I think what it may be is simply that I need it. I need a little extra joy and merriment in my life right now. I need some cheerful happiness to counteract the doldrums that occupy my life. A few twinkly lights and sprigs of holly is sounding more and more like what the doctor ordered.
I am still not listening to Christmas music, I am not that far gone.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Saturday I was sitting in my shop in the evening chatting with one of my shopmates. It was after 6 so there were hardly any people in our area of the festival let alone in our shop. At this time of day we normally only see people who are returning to pick up purchases or are just passing through sort of lost.
As we sat there a large family came in through the far door and were headed out the other door. They took one look at our shop and decided it wasn't the shop they wanted to be in. We said hello, we said goodbye, we went on with our conversation, or at least that was the plan.
As the father passed the counter he let out this loud laugh and said "Honey look it's a nekkid lady with an eagle."
I stopped mid sentence and looked from my friend, to the man, and then over my shoulder to what he was referring to as I tried to figure out what he was talking about. We don't have anything with eagles in the shop this year.
What he was referencing was the three foot bronzed statue of Aphrodite that sits on one end of our counter. The Greek Goddess of love is indeed mostly without clothes, simply having a wisp of fabric floating about her waist. In her hands is a dove in flight. There are also several doves at her feet. There is nothing obscene about the piece. It is very much in the classic style. Most people who buy this statue from us put it in their bathrooms or gardens I am told.
All I could do was look back at the retreating form of the man and say "It's a dove."
My friend pointed out for the bird to be an eagle Aphrodite would have to be a giant. I just chalk it up to his discomfort in seeing a naked form displayed in public.
It is by far the strangest comment we have had about our classic art pieces, but by no means the first. Mostly we get parents who cover their children's eyes when they see the Three Graces or any of the other Greek statuary that depict naked breasts. I have been told it is pornographic and immoral. I have been told that we should be ashamed of showing that. I have heard so many lectures on it that I easily tune them out now.
The thing I find funny is that these are the same people who will turn around and buy their 7 year old daughter a statue of a fairy that is dressed like a hooker doing suggestive things with a dragon and not think twice about it. Or they will buy the statue of the succubus in chains and leather that would be much closet to pornography than replicas of classic art.
I try and understand where people are coming from, I really do. I know that there are people who consider nudity in any form wrong. I know that they think that people should not look at or appreciate. I get it. I mean I don't really understand it, but I am not going to tell them they are wrong. People can think whatever they like.
I am bothered though by the hypocrisy. You can't look at something that is simply a nude form and call it pornography and then turn around and not condone something that is obviously being overly sexualized and meant to be provocative. I mean a fairy in thigh high boots, a thong and the scantest of bras over heaving breasts that is bent over touching tongues with a dragon should be considered higher on the pornographic scale than say The Birth of Venus.
At least that is the way I see things. I am sure there are people who would disagree with me. I am sure there is some odd logic about the fact that it is a depiction of imaginary creatures that makes the sexual content of the piece invalid, where Aphrodite or Venus are both very obviously human (despite the fact that they are Goddesses) and that is these peoples lines.
Still, lines or not, you should be able to tell the difference between a dove and an eagle. If you can't, I seriously doubt you were looking at the naked woman's birds.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Anyways I am really not fit to do much more than eat popcycles and ramen while curled up on the couch. That is precisely what I have been doing all day long.
Tune in tomorrow when I hopefully feel better and will have a post worth reading.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Me: Pardon me.
Patrons do not move.
Me: Pardon me.
Patrons still do not move or acknowledge me.
Me: *stepping right up next to them and speaking louder* Pardon me. Pardon me. Pardon me.
Woman finally looks up at me
Me: *speaking slower and louder* Par-don me.
Woman: Oh *shoves the men with her out of the way* Sorry we don't understand your language.
All three of the people were speaking English to one another so English is not what she meant by she didn't understand me. Apparently 'Pardon me' isn't English anymore.
It is barbarian themed weekend at faire so there are a lot of people wearing loin cloths and no shirts. One man walks in in jeans and a t-shirt and I immediately recognize him as a regular patron over the last decade who normally is shirtless.
Me: Well you certainly look different.
Him: Yea you are more used to this *lifts his shirt to show off his chest*
Me: Yes we are though I recognized your face first.
Him: Wow that is really nice, thank you.
Me: Yea I wouldn't know anything about people only knowing what my chest looks like.
Him: *glances at my chest blushes and looks back at me*
Me: Remember the phrase is 'My eyes are up here'.
Him: I've heard it enough, I just never realized I should be the one saying it.
Still barbarian weekend. Young man walks into the shop wearing what is basically a diaper and a rabbit fur around his neck.
Coworker: When did diapers become barbarian gear?
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I bring this up because of behaviors I have seen on a regular basis over the last decade and a half of working at renaissance festivals. I understand that ren faires are fun magical places where rules are apparently different, but seriously people they are not that different. Basic common sense should still apply.
I could tell you all about the horror stories of parents allowing their children to run with swords, grab the unsheathed blades of swords and knives (sometimes ending in blood shed), allowing their young children to swing about swords with no concern for their surroundings, or (my favorite) allow their children to lick the blades of swords. All of those are terrifying tales that would make you question why people are allowed to breed without a license.
What I am going to tell you about is the ongoing saga of the fountain.
In front of my shop stands a fountain. It is about six feet tall but only a few feet wide. It has a raised square base with a square pillar coming out of the center. Years ago there were multiple streams of water coming from the pillar and landing in the basin bellow. Now only one of the streams actually works as expected and the rest of the hoses merely dribble water out of them. Still it is effectively moving water in an eye and ear catching fashion.
The fountain has always been the focal point of our shop. It is the first thing you see or hear from our shop. It can be seen from quite a distance. When people get close to it they want to take a picture of it or with it. Heck I have several photos of it in my photo a day project. It is really pretty.
The other thing people like to do is stick their hands in the water. They like to wash their hands in it, splash the cool water on their faces and arms, and clean off dirty children with it. They also like to encourage their children to play and splash in the water of the fountain.
This is not alright!!
Perhaps I should explain.
As lovely as the fountain is, the fountain is actually filthy. I mean seriously seriously filthy. I mean I wouldn't even allow my dog to drink from the fountain it is so dirty. I go and immediately scrub my hands with soap if I have to touch the fountain water.
We do not clean the fountain. Ever. There have been years we drained the fountain and scrubbed it out and put some chemicals in it, but that hasn't happened for years. Now we are lucky if we throw a little bleach in it at the beginning of the season.
During the days people like to throw things in the fountain. Soap chips are the most common thing tossed in the water, which oddly makes the water turn a strange milky color and have an oily consistency. There is of course all of the red clay dust and bits of pine tree that get into the water. Children like to throw trash and turkey bones in. Currently there is a bloated half eaten pickle that Lena is calling George lounging in the bottom of the fountain.
At night I can not say what happens to the fountain. There are a lot of drunks wondering around the sight at night so there really is no telling. I can say for certain in years past I have found out that people have urinated in the fountain on a regular basis and on more than one (or 10) occasion vomited in the fountain. Like I said it is at night and I can't really say what happens.
So what you have is a algae covered rock basin full of water that contains heavy chemicals, bodily fluids, and rubbish filled water. This is not clean or sanitary. We can try and keep it clean but really the best we can do is skim the trash out and throw in more cleaning chemicals to try and kill whatever is alive in there.
Still people play in it and bathe their children in it.
I know, you are thinking "But beylit how would they know it is filthy?"
Well for one thing if you look at the water it is pretty sketchy looking. It has a strange milky oily appearance to it and if we haven't had the chance to skim the trash there is that. Still most people don't look at the water in the basin, they only focus on the fact that it is moving water so they think it is clean.
Also there is the fact that this is an outdoor fountain. It is out in nature that also happens to be what is basically an outdoor shopping mall. I don't know about you but my mom wouldn't let me touch the water of a fountain in an indoor shopping mall let alone one outside.
Still they touch it and bathe their children in it.
I know they still don't know that it is as filthy as it is. I know a little dirt is good for kids because it helps build the immune systems. Dirt is not the enemy.
Did I mention I wouldn't let my dog drink this water let alone wash the face of a 6 month old baby with it? Yes that happens all the time.
Now normally if we see this happening we will shout a warning to the unsuspecting parents. We will tell them that the water is dirty and if they need to wash or cool down their child, or themselves, that there is a bathroom not 50 yards away from where they are standing. At least the water in the pipes is sanitary.
Most of the time they will listen and thank us for the warning. Most of the time.
Today I watched as a young mother allowed her 4 year old to play in the fountain. I mostly ignored it as he skimmed his hand over the water and just inwardly cringed. It was gross but it was nothing too foul. Then he stuck his arm in all the way to the shoulder. Normally when this happens it is older children stealing the coins that other kids have tossed in as wishes (which I stop them from doing and give them a stern lecture about stealing other peoples wishes). His mother just watched him as though it was nothing.
That is when he stuck his hand in his mouth.
After I repressed the urge to vomit in my own mouth I ran outside where his mother was telling him not to suck on his fingers in that tone that clearly said she wasn't going to actually stop him or punish him for whatever he was doing and would obviously continue to do. This kid obviously know he could do whatever he pleased.
I quickly walked up and kneeled down in front of the child and mother and as politely as possible explained how gross and nasty that water was. I explained that it would most likely make him ill if not give him a rash for playing in it. I basically pleaded with her to take her son to the bathroom and at least wash his hands lest he continue to suck on his fingers.
The mother really didn't acknowledge me. The boy just stared at me. He didn't listen to his mother, why should he listen to me?
I went back inside as there was nothing I could do. I had to sit and watch helplessly as the boy, now feeling defiant, continued to stick his hand in the fountain up to his shoulder. It was only then that I realized he was pulling small rocks from the bottom of the fountain and shoving them in his mouth to suck on. Choking hazard was the least of his worries.
The mother never once tried to stop him despite the warnings we gave her. She never once really looked to see what he was doing. She never took him to wash his hands. She just let him play in and effectively eat what she was informed was filthy.
The worst part of this is the fact that something like this happens on a daily basis. For every family that immediately wipes down their baby with baby wipes after being informed the water is gross, there are five families that do absolutely nothing if not encourage their kids bad behavior.
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to parent their children what with me having none of my own at this time. Still I can't be the only person who sees this as a parenting fail.
So let this be a lesson to one and all. Just because water is moving and in a public place does not mean that it is something you want to play in. Well that is unless you want hives.
Friday, November 15, 2013
With this less than favorable mindset already in place I did what any reasonable girl would do; I got all dolled up. I know you were probably thinking I called in sick to work and curled up on my couch to watch old movies and eat ice cream from the carton. While that was an appealing option it really wasn't a productive one.
Any time I just don't feel pretty I dress up to try and fool myself. I typically don't look in mirrors on days like today because it always ruins the illusion I am building in my head. I am a firm believer that what we think is often times much more important than reality. Reality is so overrated.
So here I sit with my textured tights and knee high boots, my short flowy black skirt and my cowl neck purple sweater, my hair with product perfect curls, and just a little eyeliner and lip gloss to give me some facial definition. I sit here knowing that I look fantastic today. I know that I am totally hot right now. I know that this is true.
I may still feel like a busted can of biscuits, but I know I look good anyways.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
In my world the only solution to a shirt not fitting was to go up an X. For me this has always been a rather unfortunate truth. I have an incredibly large bust, so I always have to go up in size to compensate. In the end my shirts always sort of hang around my mid section like a potato sack.
It also always meant that my shirts were too short in the front. If I raise my arms or stretch the world will see my belly. Even when I was younger and belly shirts were cool (I have no idea if they are currently a thing or not) I was uncomfortable with the idea of showing my pasty stomach off to the world. Again the solution was to go up an X and enjoy the extra material that covered my stomach but made me look like I was a small child playing dress up in their parents clothing.
Then I started buying shirts for the husbeast. He is an incredibly tall man at 6'6. He is also mostly torso. I am 5'10 and he and I have the exact same length of legs. The 8 inches he has on me are all in his torso. This is apparently very common in men. It is in fact common enough that they have an entire additional letter option in clothing; T.
So if you have never shopped for a long torsoed man you will probably have no idea what the T is all about. The T is simply for Tall. So we can have XL for extra large, which encompass a broader chest and shoulders or more of a gut, but it won't be long enough to cover all of their torso. The T on the tag means that they have added an extra 6 or so inches to the bottom of the shirts so it will cover there stomachs and actually tuck into their pants.
This is brilliant. Why the hell isn't this an option in women's clothing?
So maybe there aren't as many women with long torsos, but somehow I doubt that is true. Even excluding that thought, there are a ton of women with big boobs who would like to cover up their stomachs. We are not all 16 or spend enough time in a tanning bed and doing ab workouts to make our bellies socially acceptable.
For a very short time I could find shirts at Lane Bryant that were labeled Long. The idea was the same as the Tall for men. The shirts were long enough to cover my stomach while being the right size for my chest. It was glorious and perfect so it, much like a Joss Whedon show, didn't last long.
Apparently the only place in women's clothing that it is acceptable to have shirts that are long is in the world of maternity clothes. The maternity shirts are made to compensate for growing bellies and busts and keep everything covered. Obviously this means I shop in the maternity section a lot.
Can I tell you how annoying it is to be shopping maternity as a fat girl who isn't pregnant? The number of times I get asked when I am due is annoying. I get that I am shopping in the maternity department, and I am fat, but I am not pregnant. You should never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you pretty much already know she is.
Alas this is an annoyance I have to get used to. I doubt that the women's clothing manufacturers will ever mass produce clothing for women shaped like me. I am honestly just thankful that I have a work around that will work for me, even if it does mean having to repeatedly tell strangers that I am no pregnant, just fat.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Now for me New Years (January 1st) is only the calendar start of a new year. Being Pagan I actually celebrate the new year at Samhain, which is around Halloween. For me that is when we let go of the old, say goodbye to the past, and start fresh on a new year. It is a pretty cool thing and by far my favorite holiday.
Of course this has never stopped me from celebrating the turning of the year come January 1st. I will gather with my loved ones on December 31st, stay up until midnight, toast with champagne, and kiss the husbeast amid sounds of horns and cheers and Auld Lang Syne. Come the next morning I will inevitably rise earlier than I like and bundle up to go to the zoo, because that is what we do on New Years Day (and it is better than losing a finger).
This year though it is something a little more for me. Yes there will be friends and midnight kisses. Yes this year there will be the zoo full of our boys enraging gorillas and tales of the mighty baby duck. Yes this year will be like many others, but for me the end of the year is not the only time line ending.
I can't really go into detail right now for many reasons. What I can say is that there is a deadline in my life and it expires at the end of this year. Come January 2nd if the deadline has not been met I get to start out on a new adventure.
Now do not fret my minions. This is not anything bad. This is actually something very good. If the deadline is met, it is a good thing. If the deadline is missed, I think it is a good thing as well. Actually part of me hopes they miss their deadline so I can be free to start a new adventure. I have no idea what this new adventure will be, I only know that it will be an adventure for sure.
Seven weeks and a day from now my life may change. It will be a New Year to remember for sure.
Let the countdown begin.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
After rereading the last three posts I have written this morning I have discovered that I am very whiny and negative in my writing when I am sick. Not exactly thrilling entertainment for you my minion readers.
So instead of subjecting you to my less than positive views on the corporate view on sick time, I am going to try and instead focus on things that make me happy when I am sick.
Ramen- Only the Oriental flavored ramen will do when I am sick. It was what my mom served us when we were kids, and it is one of those things that just makes me feel better. The husbeast makes his ramen and drains away almost all the water so there is nothing resembling a broth, but I like mine very brothy. Sipping warm liquid is always comforting.
My cats- I have heard that animals can tell when you are sick. I totally believe this. When I feel poorly all the cats will come and curl up as close to me as they can. I think part of it is they are enjoying the extra heat my body is putting off, but I still find their closeness incredibly comforting.
Popcycles- This was our sick treat when I was a kid. My mom would feed us popcycles any time we felt under the weather. We weren't allowed to ever eat the red ones though, or eat anything red come to think of it, because she didn't want to have to figure out if we were puking blood or red food coloring.
Fuzzy blankets- I don't really care if it is mid July in Texas or snowing outside, when I am sick I want my fuzzy blanket. I will wrap myself up to my chin and snuggle down on the couch and be content in my fuzzy little cocoon. There is safety and healing inside my blanket.
Apple juice- I don't know why, but I associate apple juice with being sick. I mean I like apple juice when I am healthy, but when I am sick I always request apple juice. I suppose it is because orange juice is just too acidic and I associate cranberry juice with kidney stones. Apple juice is just happy to me when I am sick.
What about you? What is your go to comfort item when you are sick?
Monday, November 11, 2013
So please accept my lack of real content during my NaBloPoMo writing marathon. I am just happy I could manage to get up the energy to write that I am not writing. Which totally counts.
See you tomorrow when hopefully I will feel more human.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Conversation at faire:
Patron walks into my shop.
Me: Good day!
Patron: I am just looking.
Me: I just said hello.
Patron: I am not buying just looking.
Me: That is fine. I was still just saying hello.
This happens all the time.
Patron looks at a pair of earrings with a fake moonshine.
Patron: What stone is this?
Me: Synthetic moonstone.
Patron: What is that?
Me: It is a fake moonstone, basically glass.
Patron: So it isn't real?
Me: Well it is real glass.
Patron: I don't understand.
Me: I am not surprised.
This happens a lot too.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
There are many things that he cooks beautifully but the things I will sing the praises of forever are his steaks and his gumbo. Seriously he makes the best steak I have ever eaten. We had our friend Dan and his wife K over for steaks one night and Dan insisted on a moment of silence because the steak was so good. Two entire biker gangs once drove all the way across Texas to decide who had the better steak; Jessie won.
The gumbo is also amazing. Now I came from a family where we ate gumbo for Christmas Eve dinner and I never in my life ate a single bite of it. The thing is I do not eat seafood and we always had seafood gumbo. The husbeast was the first person to ever make me chicken and sausage only gumbo. It was a life altering experience.
Once a year at TRF the husbeast will make a big pot of gumbo and crawfish pie for the shop. Once a year everyone in the shop waits with spoons ready for him to walk out of the kitchen and declare dinner is ready. Once a year they are ready to stab each other for a chance to get some of his delicious delicious food.
Tonight was gumbo night. Tonight the only sound coming from the shop crew was the sound of forks scraping across empty bowls and happy contented sighs from everyone. Tonight everyone is fat, happy, and full.
I am such a lucky girl.
Friday, November 8, 2013
The most persistent symptom I am suffering from right now is a foggy brain. I can't tell if it is the cold meds I have been taking or if it is from actually being sick or not. All I know is that I have the attention span of a four year old after a fist full of pixie sticks.
My attempts at work are laughable today. One should never be allowed to work in a job that is about looking at details and finding errors when there are cold meds involved. I am pretty sure that when I look at my work in a few days I will cringe and have to re do most of it.
That is all I have. I keep getting distracted. I need Jello. And a nap.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I know you are thinking that most children are weird. Children are always pretty quirky. They make up weird games, say strange things, and do stuff that makes you turn your head to the side in confusion. It is a skill that I think children are born with.
Even at that I still think I was not a normal child. I actually tend to think I was weirder than most kids were. At least I was always rather acutely aware of the fact that I was weirder than all of my friends were. It didn't bother me that I was weird, it was just something I always knew.
I never was much of a joiner. I never had a lot of friends. I mean I had friends that I played with often. The thing was that I really preferred not to go play with my friends. Sure there were times that I would spend hours with the other kids on our block running around playing freeze tag or some weird made up game like Adventurer (because seriously who wants to play house?). Those times fill my memories, but there were so many more times when my friends were not in the picture.
My favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to play by myself. Yea I know lots of kids are loners and just play with their My Little Ponies or GI Joes, but I actually wasn't that kid. Don't get me wrong, I had a ton of toys that I played with because I was a spoiled rotten little brat. More often than not though the thing you would find me playing with was a collection of old nail polish bottles.
Yes you read that right; old nail polish bottles. I probably had two dozen barbies and an entire stable of Ponies, and there I was playing with nail polish bottles. If you are thinking that I was just painting my nails for hours on end you would be wrong. I am pretty sure I never really opened the bottles (mostly because I wasn't allowed to). Besides I hated having my nails painted.
What I would do was play with the bottles like they were people.
My grandmothers bathroom counter was huge and had a chair at the vanity spot. I would pull out all the bottles and divide them into families by brand names. The colors would determine if they were boys or girls, though since most of them were reds and pinks it was always some arbitrary decision on my part as to what constituted a boy color vs a girl color.
Darker colors tended to be evil, while lighter colors were good. The clear polishes and the white (for French tips) were typically some sort of outcasts along with the bottles that were some weird off brand. Yes my nail polish people had a caste system.
I would build houses out of shoe boxes and cold cream jars so that my polish bottles had places to live. I would take tissue and hair bands and make the bottles clothes to wear (costuming even as a child). I would even get cotton balls out to make hair for the bottles when I was feeling especially industrious.
Most of the time there was some sort of Romeo and Juliet star crossed lovers thing going on with my polish people. There was always a feud raging between the Revlon and the Maybelline (there were never enough Almay bottles to be a clan but sometimes they were adopted) clans. Sometimes it would be one of the clear polish bottles trying to be accepted into a world of colored polishes. Whatever the story in my head was it was worthy of any day time soap opera.
My mother would also probably tell you that the nail polish bottles were an upgrade from my original favorite toy; pot holders.
So like I said; I was never a normal child. All I can say is I was having a damn lot of fun and now as adult I find that I can be easily amused which is a blessing in a lot of situations like meetings at the office.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
It is not an uncommon experience for me to be walking along, minding my own business, and have my drawers go slipping away. This is just not right or fair. I mean this is not something that can be solved with something as simple as a belt. Turns out you need an ass for a belt to be useful.
The husbeast suffers from the same sad lack of posterior. We like to joke that he looks sort of like a frog standing up. His lack of butt is actually worse than mine. His pants never stay up under most any circumstances.
Some day they husbeast and I are going to have children and I feel very bad for them. I tell him all the time that we are going to have daughters with a head full of curly red hair, exotic shaped green eyes, big boobs, legs for days, and absolutely no ass.
It is rather unfortunate for our future daughters, or sons. It will be a lifetime of their pants not staying up no matter how hard they try. No belts will ever save them from their pants slowly sliding down to show off their underwear. At least I will know that it won't be them thinking it is some sort of bad fashion statement.
I feel their pain and they haven't even been conceived yet.
Oh well, I suppose there is nothing for it. I have gone this long having to shimmy my undernothings back up to where they belong. At least I will be able to give my kids advice on how best to do it discreetly in public.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The current incarnation on Cinderella, with her fairy godmother and singing mice, is only the latest in a very long line of Cinderella tales. Some quick research tells me that if you look you can find evidence of the Cinderella story as far back as 860 China. There are popular versions of the tale in France Cendrillon, ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre, Italy, Cenerentola, and Germany, Aschenputtel.
Of course there is the Grimm's version (which that version was originally published by Charles Perrault in 1697) which is the most popular version of the tale until Disney threw those damn singing mice into the mix in 1950. Of course the Grimm version was full of the Stepmother mutilating her daughters in an effort to fool the prince. Apparently Walt Disney felt that helpful singing rodents were more appropriate for children than a mother taking a carving knife to her children's feet in the name of familial advancement.
Surely this is not the last change this tale will see. When my grandchildren or great grandchildren are wee tots Cinderella might not be associated with magic pumpkins and glass slippers and all things Disney, but may instead have reverted back to some of its more violent Grimm roots or changed into something I can not even fathom. There is no way to know where it will go.
That is the beauty of a story. Stories are not stagnant things. Stories are not created in one fashion only to remain frozen as such forever. They are not unchangeable entities that we will only know in that one instance forever. They are not static.
Stories have a life of their own. They change and grow and evolve with time. A story that endures is a story that evolves. Every few generations someone will take it and reimagine the tale to make it relevant to a new generation or even to a new culture. A stories theme or moral can be enduring but in order to continue to seem relevant it has to evolve.
In the same vein a story must change as the platform changes. A story that was passed on through the oral tradition will become different once written down. Without that element of performance that comes from being told a story you have to embellish in areas you did not before. Once the story is finally on the page it is not the same story that was once told. With each additional writing of the story the voice of the new author will shine through and much like in the oral tradition it will change.
The same goes from moving from the page to stage or film. Certain elements that are written do not translate into something entertaining on screen. Things are lost, things are added, and things are changed. There will never be a film that is exactly the book, it is impossible. There are just too many elements, and things must be sacrificed. Of course what one person feels is an acceptable sacrifice will always be unacceptable to another.
Still no matter what format you are moving the story too the story should at its core remain. The voice may change and things may look different, but when you peel it down to its core you will find that story again. It just looks a little different now.
This is not to say that all evolutions of a story are good ones. Sometimes you lose the story in the evolution. Sometimes the execution just is not very good. Sometimes you just don't hit the mark. This is bound to happen occasionally. When it does we just revert back to an older incarnation and await the next push forward to occur.
So the next time you find yourself up in arms about something not being exactly as it once was, remember that not only does nothing stay the same, nothing should stay the same. Everything grows and changes and that is a good thing. After all, without change we may still be chopping off toes instead of singing with vermin.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Really it wasn't the fact that she was dressed as a fox that left a lasting memory. That in itself was nothing spectacular. She had on fuzzy fox ears, and a bushy fox tail, and a little fuzzy red dress and matching boots. She was a sexy fox, or at least I am sure that is what the package said when she bough it.
What really caught my attention was how incredibly uncomfortable she was with her choice in costuming for the day. As she came shuffling into my shop she had one hand (with glass of mead) pressed to the front of her incredibly short skirt, and the other hand pressed to the back of the skirt. Apparently she had not counted on there being any sort of wind at faire and her undergarments were not appropriate to be flashing everyone and their brother.
She was obviously completely uncomfortable in her role of
I just can't imagine how she wouldn't have realized that wearing a skirt that could only barely cover her backside and was labeled as 'sexy' was probably not going to provide the best coverage, especially when walking around outdoors in broad daylight. I mean you would think she would at least wear some sort of underwear that would save her dignity if she chose to sit down, or bend down to pick something up, or the wind decided to blow.
Of course I can't imagine wearing anything like that outside the house. Sure I wear a corset that gives me epic cleavage and have had more pictures taken of my boobs in the last decade than a playboy centerfold, but you never see any of my naughty bits. I leave far more to the imagination than I would ever show to the world. My cleavage may say "I have no eyes" but those '
Honestly though, if you have the confidence to wear something like that in public, more power to you. I may not want to do it, but if it makes you happy then I am certainly not going to tell you to stop. Be sexy, but own it if you are going to do it. Don't put on something that is going to show off your OhNo unless you are prepared for it to be seen.
And wear appropriate panties in case of wind.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
As I see it I have a few options.
A) I can cheat and write a post the day before or during the week and just schedule it to post Sunday.
B) I can stay up late Saturday and then just wait for midnight so I can technically post on Sunday.
C) I can post something super simple from my phone.
I am reluctant to use choice A because it really does feel like cheating to me. I said I was going to do this thing and if I just have a bunch of posts sitting around in a queue that really isn't writing a post every day for a month. That is just mastering the schedule button in my sidebar. Also I am rubbish with the schedule button in my sidebar.
I am reluctant to choose option B because I have trouble staying up late on Saturday and then being functional on Sunday. I require a lot of sleep and honestly faire is one of the few places where I always get a good night of restful sleep. I take advantage of it as much as possible. This option is not really cheating but not totally viable.
Option C seems like the best option really. It is not cheating in any way. Low content is not a deal breaker. It is not throwing off my sleep or work schedule at all which is a huge positive in my world. It is also something I think I can remember to do.
Now all I have to do is come up with a clever and easy format for Sunday posting. I will most likely choose to make lists of some sort. Perhaps lists of weird things I saw or heard at faire as those can often be amusing and simple. I like both of those things.
Obviously this week I chose option B, but tune in next Sunday to see what clever thing I come up with that I can post from my phone. Hell tune in next Sunday to see if I can actually make a post form my phone. I will be just as surprised as you.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
American Sign Language had been introduced into the foreign language department that year for the first time at our school. I was incredibly interested in it but was already far too invested in French to switch at that time. I knew some basic sign from doing a show freshman year with a deaf character and having a deaf guy in the theater department for two years.
We had been to a football game that night, or at least that is what I think we had been doing. I remember it was late at night on a Friday or Saturday and we were sitting in the dining room of a McDonalds with another one of our friends. As we were sitting there chatting about nothing over milkshakes and fries I asked the boys to show me some sign language as I was honestly interested in the subject. I was expecting something basic like 'please' or 'thank you' maybe some finger spelling, nothing fancy.
What I got was nothing fancy but it was completely unexpected. My pretty sophomore boy looked me in the eye and without thinking pointed to me and then brushed his hand fluidly across his face in the sign for beautiful, a sign I actually knew. I am not sure which one of us was more shocked; me for him having said it, or him for saying it in the first place.
A painfully quiet moment passed between the three of us sitting at the table. I remember our friend looking between the two of us trying to repress a look of surprise. They were both waiting for me to react to what he had signed.
I could have easily admitted I knew what he had said. I could have said thank you I suppose. I could have simply said what the sign meant. I could have asked him if he was being serious. I could have done a lot of things. I probably should have done something different than what I did.
I ended up just cocking my head to the side and ask him what the sign meant. I don't know if I was hoping he would tell me and have to admit it or I was hoping he would lie about the sign so I wouldn't know. I think I was sort of hoping he would lie so I wouldn't have to admit that I was happy he thought I was beautiful.
He lied. I can't even remember what he told me it meant, but he lied. Our friend just nodded and went along with the lie and so did I. The moment passed and we all just pretended that it had not even happened. He told me I was beautiful and I didn't even say thank you. I just wasn't brave enough.
Looking back on it now I don't think I believed him. I mean I believed that he thought I was beautiful but I don't think I believed I was. I am not certain any teenage girl really truly believes they are beautiful even if they say they do. Insecurity is like oxygen at that age.
I wish I could go back to that moment and tell that girl to say thank you, to acknowledge the compliment. I wish I could tell her that he was right and she always has been beautiful. I wish I could tell her to call him on it and see what would happen if she would just be brave and believe in herself and see what others see in her.
I am not sure I am any better at taking compliments now but at least I acknowledge them when they come. That is at least progress.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Tradition aside this is actually a challenge I really enjoy. I am sure some of you have noticed that over the last couple of months my updates have been less frequent than usual. While I would love to be a M/W/F poster I can sometimes only manage to be a T/TH poster. Of late I have been a once a week if you are lucky poster.
Part of this is lack of ideas, part of this is lack of time, and part of it is I have been in a serious funk since mid June. My funk has been particularly bad since late August, which is about the time my post count took a nose dive. In this case I don't believe in coincidence.
There comes a time though where you must grab yourself by the bootstraps, pull yourself up, and move on. I am trying very hard to do that. I figure a little self discipline and routine will help me there. I may not be able to force myself to eat healthy (especially with two pounds of left over Halloween candy hanging out in my living room) or work out every day, but I damn well can make myself post something here every day.
Of course posting every day can be difficult. Ideas are not always readily available. So I am asking you my faithful minions to help me out. If you have any ideas for something you would like to see me write about drop me a comment and I will put it on the list. I just ask that you comment on the actual blog and not say on my Facebook/G+/Twitter feed because that is the surest way for me to lose track of what ideas you have come up with.
So here is me starting out on this little adventure, and hopefully not only will you tune in for it, you will help out with it.