Sunday, February 12, 2006
My motivation level these days has sunk to new lows. I slept until 2 both yesterday and today, and got very little done even when I was awake. I hate to use this problem as an excuse, but it is the reason why I haven't been returning phone messages or (all but essential) e-mails recently. I'm sure there's an explanation but I don't know what it is. The only things I'm motivated to do are sleep, knit and research my trip to San Francisco. It rather sucks.

Knitting, however, is going well. I finished my two-color knitting class at Stitcher's Crossing (no website yet) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The teacher was wonderfully patient with us and with our questions (which didn't always stay on-topic), and gave us a lot of tips & tricks. I'm still not comfortable knitting with two hands (one color strand in each hand); for our sampler project, I found that I could hold the strands on either side of my right-hand index finger and just move my finger back and forth as each color was needed. The teacher looked askance at this, but I reminded her jokingly that she had said there was no right or wrong technique in knitting--just what works for each person. She laughed and agreed, but said I might want to keep trying for the two-handed technique and see if I could gain any speed that way. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. That's the great thing about a hobby. It's up to me: I don't risk losing ground to others, or losing a job, if I decide to do things the way I want to do them!

I finally found a way to get rid of the particleboard media tower that I got ten years ago, and which has just been sitting around since I got my entertainment center: the Madison Stuff Exchange. It's not an especially easy interface to use (I accidentally erased my listing four or five times before I figured out how to save it) but it worked: inside of 48 hours, I had three people offer to take it. A woman from Middleton was first and, despite making me wait for an hour because her truck wouldn't start and she had to borrow someone else's, she finally came and got the tower last weekend.

Now I'm thinking of other furniture options. My dining room is also home to two cardboard chests holding all my cassette tapes, one bookcase with assorted piles of stuff I haven't gotten around to situating elsewhere, and one CD holder with all my CDs. I'm pondering moving the bookcase around to where the media tower was, and ordering a largish bookcase to go in the dining room. Some possibilities: the five- or six-tier version of this, or the 48" wide version of this. Advantage to the first: better coverage of the available wall space, maximizing storage space. Disadvantage: tall (and light) enough to need anchoring to the wall, which I'm not really qualified to do. Advantage to the latter: non-tip shape, no anchoring to the wall; plus, the small shelves on the top will finally give me a place to display the various chotchkes and religious stuff that I have no place to put now. Disadvantage: more expensive for less book space, plus I'm not convinced those shelves are strong enough not to sag over time if 48" of books are put on them.

Another option is to spend another $50-$100 and get something really sturdy, meant to be with me for many years, from Don's Home Furniture. Advantages: absolutely no particleboard or veneer, I get to choose the finish, and I can work with them for delivery times. Disadvantage: really only two designs I can choose from, unless I want to spend a lot more, and neither one really appeals to me.

I may have to do some more thinking/visiting of furniture stores. This during a time when I'm facing unemployment.

Yup...the money for my LTE position runs out in March. My boss was not very clear on exactly when it would run out when I last talked to her about it; I'm going to ask to talk to her again early this week, so I have a more solid ending date. I'll be sad to leave. Everyone there is so nice, and it's a job I enjoy and I can do, that keeps me occupied yet gives me autonomy in how I fulfill my duties.

Odd thing: there is finally a Consumer Health position open in Wisconsin, and it's not in Madison. The same organization that employs my medical librarian friend Michele in Oshkosh is starting an Internet Cafe (whatever that means) at the hospital in Appleton, and is looking for a full-time Consumer Health Librarian. I know the woman who directs library services there, and I'd love to work for her. And the pay is great (approx. what I was making when I left La Crosse). The job sounds a leetle too Internet-based (whatever happened to helping patrons find information using books, videos, and magazines?) but that's neither here nor there, as they say, because...

...it's in Appleton. It's not here. I worked so hard, and gave up so much, to get back to Madison. Moving (which is not easy for me) has practically been my occupation since I left La Crosse, esp. with my first apartment here having "gone condo" which forced me to move again. I am just now setting in, both in my apartment/city, and in my Barony. There's no doubt that I like Windhaven (and they seem to like me; I have a Bo-Tii's Wing from Baroness Leaina and Baron Dagr), and Appleton's not a bad place to live; it'd be nice to be near my alma mater, for instance. But I can't move again. I just can't. This is my home now.

Do I sound conflicted? Yup, well, I am. I knew when I left my last job that I might never be able to work in Consumer Health again, but every so often it hits me all over again, especially right now, knowing I'll be jobless again soon. The LSA Senior test is in early March, and I'm sure I did well on the LSA test last month, plus with any luck, the UW will have some openings as the school year draws to a close in the spring. But nothing that's likely to open up is related to my chosen subspecialty.

The only thing that's cheering me up about this whole job-coming-to-an-end thing is that I might have a little time off. I'm very lucky that I can afford to take time off working, but it's not good for my mental health; I don't seem to know what to do with down time these days (witness this weekend). So I'm again entertaining thoughts of getting a non-library-related job, temporarily.

They're hiring at Pucci's Gallery, which is where I've gotten some of my framing done recently (the aforementioned Bo-Tii's Wing scroll, plus a photo of my parents from a cruise they took last year). I don't know whether the pay is decent, but it'd be quiet, close by (in Hilldale, about 2 miles down University from me), and I'd have contact with the public, which I've been craving recently. The sign in the shop said "Familiarity with art a plus; chocoholism definitely a plus", and I certainly qualify on both counts. Disadvantages: I don't actually know much about framing, but I'm teachable, and not a math idiot. I also don't know how flexible they'll be with scheduling, or how many hours they'd want me to work. Maybe if I offered to work evenings M-T-W and Sundays, they'd allow me Thursday/Friday nights and Saturdays, so I can still go to Jara Choir, Friday night services, and Saturday SCA events.

Something in me says, "Try it; if they can't be flexible enough, you can quit." But I hate to leave employers in the lurch like that. I dunno...I'll probably apply, and see whether they hire me. But it's mildly scary: do I want to get used to working outside of my profession?

Well, if they don't hire me, or if the pay is genuinely insulting, then the issue is moot. So I'll apply and see what happens. So there. I have made my decision and I shall stand by it. *stiffens upper lip, decides that looks stupid, doesn't know how to show resolve any other way, re-stiffens*

Colleen was gifted with a brand new hood by Mistress Rose Marian at Hare Affaire last weekend. It's about the same color as her blue wool hood, but in silky brocade, very fancy-looking. You know you've created a monster when other people start spontaneously making medieval garb for your anthropomorphized stuffed animal...!

Colleen was ecstatic and has declared that this is her new Court garb. Good for her. I've been thinking maybe her mommy could do with some new (or refurbished) Court garb, seeing as how Jararvellir is hosting Northshield Coronation in April. I have two gowns that need work: the Cranach gown on the bottom of this page, which I got on eBay and which needs taking in, and an Elizabethan that I bought cheap at Pennsic last year, that needs a corset. Both are slightly beyond my seamstress ability, but I'm trying to convince my (unmotivated) self that a challenge would be good for me. I might call Iohanna and ask if she is interested in helping out, in exchange for dinner or socks or something.

Speaking of socks, next knitting project: lace socks made out of Regia Nation Color 5391, for the Queen so her tootsies can stay warm during Gulf Wars. Carodan Farm, by the way, has one of the best selections of sock yarn I have yet found online. Their sock yarn listings include separate pages for Opal and Regia, plus a huge selection of other sock yarns, all accessible from their sock yarn page. Great service too--I was very pleased. Only thing that bugs me: 5391 is not quite as bright as they portray it. It's more a sunshine yellow than a gold, and charcoal rather than black. Oh well. The lace will show it off to good advantage, and the Queen will recognize the colors, I'm sure!

My trip to San Francisco: I'll be leaving Wednesday morning and coming back Sunday night. About the same time-frame as the trip I took to Chicago a few years ago, and the same purpose: to get out of town and have an actual vacation. With my current job being less stressful than the one I had then, I don't know if I need this vacation as much as I needed the Chicago one. I only know I remember the Chicago trip very fondly, even though I didn't do much: just shopped, ate, walked, went to comedy shows, and relaxed. I think it's the change of location, and the complete break with daily routine and responsibilities, that makes these trips fun and refreshing.

Everyone I know who's been to SF raves about it, so that's what I chose this time. I'm not expecting sunny California weather; I know this is a place where 50's in the winter are low-normal (and that's what's predicted). Main plans: to get a transit pass and visit all the ethnic neighborhoods, esp. Japantown (I'll bring a swimsuit and maybe hit the Japanese bath house, if I feel up to having strangers scrub me), go to lots of good restaurants, stop by places I've been wanting to visit for awhile but that don't have local outlets, like the local Lush store and the flagship Flax store. Maybe a comedy club, but they don't seem to have improv comedy like Chicago & New York do, so maybe quiet evenings instead, I don't know.

Saturday there is a farmer's market in a ferry station that sounds a little like Chelsea Market in NYC, with the way it's been renovated into a gourmet food center. I have a ticket for a 4-hour trip to see Sausalito and Muir Woods, and one for a guided trolley tour; that's all the tourist-y stuff I plan to do. Not interested in Alcatraz or the world's crookedest street. I will do what seems fun and nothing else. This is a vacation.

I can NOT wait...






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