amendments and corrections

February 27, 2008

First:

My coworker has been doing graphic design for fourteen years and when I told him about the Apple Z/knitting situation, he wasn’t fazed—apparently he mentally commands Apple Z all the time. Cooking, driving, what have you. If only there was an Apple Z to clean the oven…

Second:

My earlier obsession with yellow reminded me of a Brian Andreas poem I had included in a mass email to loved ones before my semester abroad in England:

She told me once that the year she went to England she painted all her buttons yellow so she would remember what the sun felt like.

Mary sent me a care package during my stay that included, among other things, a handful of yellow buttons of all shades and sizes.

Third:

As my sweet, puzzled sister reminded me, my dad is 48, not 49. Sorry, Dad!

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My goal was to post this on the actual day but impending travel to Nashville and a subsequent paralyzing “common cold” delayed me…

I read that Valentine’s Day was basically the first holiday to be commercialized in the States. I get sick of that like anyone else but I ALWAYS look forward to the day itself because I love thinking of people celebrating love, and because of MY MOM!

I’ve spent most of my romantically eligible days as a single gal and I honestly don’t remember wishing for a date on V Day. Really. (Well, if I saw that statue above on, say, hypothetically, my trek across campus on a February 14th I might’ve been a little wistful. And, I have to say, the few Valentine’s dates I did have always felt like an unexpected wonderful gift of its own.)

When we were little, my mom would get us boxes of Jelly Bellys, the kind with forty little pockets nestled with colorful gems and recipes printed on the lid for Honeydew Melons and Strawberry Milkshakes. … It felt lavish. Like a box full of jewelry.

She gave the best candy. Big cherry heart suckers that left a red stain on your tongue and chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and Fannie May mint kisses.

At college, I got a package one year with pretty scarves to keep my hair back and a ten-ounce Thermos printed with beautiful birds and scrolls, perfect for tea. One year I got a book of Madeleine L’Engle poetry and a tiny pearl clinging to a slender gold chain.

Last year, I received a box of Burberry perfume samples (DIVINE) and two weeks ago, I was slightly bummin’ when I didn’t see anything in the mail. Since I’ve been a married woman for almost a year and a half I figured I’d better get over it—I’m not a kid anymore. But then I moved a throw pillow on the couch and saw that Marshall had gotten the mail earlier…and a bright red envelope had been hiding all night. Voila! A beautiful card and AMC gift card were inside.

So, thanks, mom. You’ve made Valentine’s Day pretty awesome year after year. However, BELIEVE ME when I say that when you choose to forgo this particular gift-giving amongst your constant gift-giving in time, conversation, letters, emails, visits, birthdays, Christmases, work-clothes-shopping and grocery-shopping, I would understand and not be bummed. I know I am loved and always have known!

instant gratification

February 13, 2008

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I’m in the middle of a knitting project that, simple as it is, has caused lots of frustration. I knit the way I cook: I follow the recipe (pattern) exactly, and easily get overwhelmed with two pans on the stove and one in the oven (with two skeins of different colored yarn and four needles and the protruding handiwork snaking its way down my palm and getting in my way). But when I get it right, I get it right. And it’s lovely.

However, I noticed recently that if I dropped a stitch or forgot to stripe or purled instead of knit, I would stare at the needle tips for a split second and mentally pressed “Apple Z”—and actually expected my mistake to undo itself.

For a year now, I spend my workdays mousing and keyboarding and when I was new to Macs in the beginning, my coworker reminded me that “Apple Z is your friend.” I’ve probably done that keystroke hundreds of thousands of times. It’s my buddy and wingman. It saves me from my silly mistakes, in an instant, with little effort on my part.

I guess this expectation has dominated some zone in my mind because commanding my needles to Apple Z has happened at least four times. And when it doesn’t happen, frustration flares like a grease fire, I blush, then undo my error the old-fashioned way. I think about writing (with a pen) blog entries when they come to mind, but if I’m not at a computer I don’t bother because it’s not as fast as typing. I can’t cut and paste. Isn’t that so PATHETIC?

Augsburg is investing in a new IT infrastructure this year and at the kick-off, our CEO asked those of us in the room under 25 to stand up. (We were by far the minority.) We’re considered natives to technology, whereas those 25 and older are immigrants. I don’t know where she got this information but it seems accurate in a general way (although my dad is the savviest techno person I know and he’s 49). I guess it’s a good thing to be “native to technology,” but at the same time I do take the convenience of computers for granted and apparently the rest of my life is slowly being infiltrated with that expectation of instant gratification.

I wonder if I can learn a Lent lesson from this…

yellow cravings

February 1, 2008

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I think yellow was pretty “in” last year. I’m not a gifted trendsetter or trendspotter,
but I’ve always loved yellow. Am especially lusting after it today.
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oh J.Crew, how you taunt me.
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