Sunday, April 26, 2009

Productive Day

Going to bed early has its benefits.  I was able to turn today into a very productive day.  I moved all the things in my car into my new place - and took all the hang up stuff from my suitcase out and put it in my various closets.  It took a couple of trips to the apartment to take care of this, due to the crazy thunderstorms we had off and on all day.  In between the visits, I hit Home Goods and Target for things I needed (like trashcans and mops and buckets) and attempted to find work pants (unsuccessfully though).  I mopped the floors, so now my place is ready for the furniture to arrive.  My plan is to be moved over there next weekend, depending on the work load of the week that is.  

I also got to check out my LYS.  Chix with Stix was a great little find.  Lots of fun yarn (I left with two skeins, one for a pair of socks and one to make the My kind of town Cowl.  I got this great chunky alpaca for the cowl, in variegated shades of rust and red and brown.  I think it will have a great drape to it when I'm done.  On Wednesday's that I don't work, I think I'll be heading over there for their open knit nights.  

I've finished my homework, made black bean soup, done the laundry, made some granola for weekday snacks, painted my toes (its so time for a pedicure!), and I still have two hours before its time to head to bed so I can be awake for the long week ahead.  (we are constructing new lighting fixtures that have to be out with a tour by mid week...  its taking about 8 hours per fixture right now and we have 24 to make....)

So, I'll be back next weekend.  With pictures of the place.  And maybe a finished hat.  Until then....  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Its 10 pm on Saturday night, and I think its about time for sleeping.  Sad, in a way.  But, hopefully it will allow me to make tomorrow a very productive day.

It was a long week, full of running and lots of traffic.  Both Monday and Tuesday, I barely made school before class.  I sneaked in just under the wire both days though.  Tuesday it took almost 2.5 hours to make the drive.  Between the rainy weather we had most of the week, and Cubs games, the traffic just seems to constantly get worse and worse.  I also worked long hours, staying late on Wednesday and Friday and working part of the day again today.  Overtime hours are key in my money situation though, so I'm not about to avoid those, when they are possible.  I'm worn out though.  I wish there was a way to do something while driving, but that just sounds like a bad idea.  I think I'd be much more content and less scattered if I could knit while I made my way from place A to place B.  I'm going to look into some books on tape and see if that helps with the frustration of so many hours in my car.  

Tomorrow, I hope to start moving into the new place.  I need to pick up a few things at Target for cleaning (a mop and some Murphy's Oil Soap - yay hard wood floors!), and I want to get the stuff out of my car so I can stop lugging a few hundred pounds of stuff around with me everywhere.  I have the movers set up to deliver the rest of my stuff May 9th...  it can't get here soon enough.  I'm also hoping to hit a discount home supply store to see if they still carry the couches I am hoping to purchase.  But then comes the fun of figuring out how (well, mainly who is going to help me) to get them to my apartment.  I really need to make some more friends, preferably male ones, so that they can help me carry the heavy (large and awkward too) stuff up stairs.  

Its hard working more than full time and going to school and trying to meet people though.  I live partially in three worlds really.  School, work and social.  Although there is yet to be much of the third one, due to lack of time to pursue it.  I didn't think I'd feel this crazy trying to undertake this.  I'm hoping having my own place will help alleviate a bit of this feeling.  But right now, I have so much to figure out in regards to the move, that its not helping much at all (I need to figure out where to park, what internet provider to go with, what my budget is going to look like, where the best places to shop are, how long it will take me to get to work in the morning, etc, etc, etc...  the list never does seem to end).  

I did get to spend my night knitting though...  I'm more than half done with a hat for mom.  And I watched Across the Universe, which is a favorite movie - yay for netflix watch it now feature!  

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some pictures of my new place.  I keep wanting to take pictures of my drive, but never have the time to stop to get them.  I'm watching the fields slowly change, from dried corn stalks from last year's crop to newly tilled soil that is awaiting this year's seeds.  The one good part of my drive is that it is through some great country side.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009




I sign my lease Thursday after work.  And before school.

I can't wait to sleep in my bed again.  And have my pots and pans.  And real dishes and knives and forks (as opposed to the plastic I have now).  

Next up is a couch.  And I think I need a microwave...  

Now its time for sleep.  I just got home from work (13 hour day, before counting drive time) and I didn't do my homework for nutrition class (but luckily did the extra credit work over the weekend to make up for that).  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My ball winder and swift hate me, I think.  Perhaps they didn't like being in the trunk of the car for so long.  I tried to wind a ball up today, and ended up with quite the tangled mess.  I spent well over an hour attempting to untangle it, before giving up and cutting a piece off.  And then created another tangle.  Which also got cut off.  So now one skein is three pieces of yarn.

On top of that, I don't think the yarn is quite right for a hat.  I do love it, but as I started to knit it up, it just didn't say hat to me.  It has no stretch to it, and seemed a bit small, and was frogged back to a ball state.  I'll have to see what I do with it.  Maybe a scarf might be fun?  

I do have four rows of mom's first hat done though.  The second use of the swift/ball winder was much more successful and gave me a perfectly formed ball.  

And a pair of socks waiting to cast on.  (the baby blanket 
is in a box and on its way to MA, for the baby girl that arrived last saturday...  right on time.)

Today was the most mellow day I've been able to have in quite a while.  I saw a couple of apartments this morning...  I'm trying to decide on one of them.  I liked it, but I can't say I loved it.  So, I'm torn.  The price was right, but the fridge was small.  And the toilet was an industrial style one, rather than a home style one.  And for some reason, the flush mechanism on those industrial style ones just bother me in a house setting.  Part of me wants to call and see if I can get a second look at the place, but then I look at my schedule and laugh.  I'm praying for some insight.  I really want to get settled into a place and have a home.  

After the apartments, I hit a Whole Foods...  mostly for browsing and not buying though.  And then headed to this great Latin market I've found here.  I scored on produce, and got 4 avocados, 3 limes, a red pepper, two jalepenos, a bunch of parsley and a bunch of cilantro, a 5 lb bag of apples, a mango, and an onion for less than 10 dollars.  That is just is unheard of.  I've spent the last three days recording my food intake for my nutrition class, and am trying to make an effort to eat more veggies and good for me stuffs.  We'll see how long that lasts.  As I always seem to say that, but never get further than a few days with it.  

I also had my first Chicago night on the town last night.  A girl who was a student of mine 6 years ago is now a student here in town, and I met up with her and her friends last night.  It was fun to get out, and the bar we hit gives you a free personal pizza with every drink ordered.  I was a bit early for meeting them, combined with their running late, and found a new ice cream shop across the street. 
  (the making of ice cream)
It was a cool concept shop - they make your ice cream for you when you order...  you can specify your milk type and the flavor and even the color you'd like.  And they mix it up in a Kitchen Aid mixer with some liquid nitrogen to freeze it.  Alas, the cool factor and the taste factor didn't combine.  It tasted like frozen milk, and not much like ice cream, which was disappointing after a 10 minute wait in line and a 15 minute wait for them to make my "creation."  

And here it is 11 pm on a Saturday night , and I'm ready to call it a night.  I have a paper to write tomorrow, and to decide if I'm going to go for this apartment or not.  And a bit more cleaning up to do around here...  although it seems easier to leave it in piles and not get too settled in...  I can't believe I've been here three weeks already!  

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I feel like I'm running a marathon, backwards, in high heels, while applying makeup and reading a book.  

School and work, plus driving is a crazy idea.  I wish I could apartment search and drive at the same time.  Or knit and drive at the same time.  But alas, that ain't happening.  Especially with these Chicago drivers.

The weekend may be peaceful, so hopefully I'll get time here then.  As I know next week is going to be insane...  to the point where we'll be working such long hours, they'll be giving me a hotel room near the shop.  ACK.  Yay for OT!  Boo for the lack of time to think/pray/knit/read/do my homework/sleep.  Maybe its good I don't know people here...  there is no one to be offended I have no time to hang out.  

Happy Friday everyone...  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I think the sleep deprivation is starting

Well, its the day after tomorrow now.  And I'm getting ready to sleep, as I don't know when I'll next get a good nights worth.  I'm just waiting for some laundry to dry a bit more so I can hang it up and hopefully not have to find someone who has an iron before class on Monday.  

Work is going to be insane this weekend.  We worked a long night last night, and tomorrow promises to be longer, with a full (probably extended) day on Saturday and Sunday too.  I can't complain, I need the overtime hours.  But, between the driving (about 120 miles roundtrip a day...  I'm filling my gas tank up every three days!  And don't even get me started on Chicago drivers or traffic...  the worst I've seen, and I've drive all over this country!) and the homework and the classes, I am going to be pushing myself to the edges.  

So far school is great.  I really like my two professors.  And my advisor.  My cooking instructor is a French Chef.  Who says sheet so that it sounds like sh*t.  He's always telling us to make sure we laugh and smile.  He's laid back and relaxed and a lot of fun too.  I'm not so good at cutting straight lines - we have been making perfect dices and the such out of potatoes and leeks and carrots for the last two days.  I can't draw a straight line, so I'm not so sure that cutting a perfect square is in my future.  I'm looking forward to getting into the cooking part of the class.  

And I've made a couple of friends in the class too.  There are two girls who I share a station with who are fun to chat with, and who's stories I enjoy.  

Work, well, that is long hours, but I'm learning a lot.  And I'm enjoying it.  Its a bit hard to work so closely with C, but to also not work all that closely with him at the same time.  We can go all day without even seeing each other.  Which is odd, because there is someone I care about deeply in the same building as me, but I haven't seen them.  I do hope we'll get a chance to talk a bit before he leaves town for his tour the start of the week.  Its so hard to read the situation we have...  And I constantly wonder am I to look to actions or words?  One day at a time, and we'll see what happens.  But, on the work side, I've learned how to tear things apart and put them back together.  I get to get very dirty every day (not the best for when your other career is cooking, but...)

There is still no work on when I might get to move to my apartment or if I definitely have to find a new one or not.  I'm hoping maybe the start of next week might bring an answer.  My body is so ready to upgrade back to a real bed and get off this air mattress.  I've been sleeping ok, mostly.  Having some odd dreams -- D was in the one I had last night, asking me to get back together with him.  I laughed at that suggestion.  

Mom is doing well with her chemo.  They had to adjust some dosages due to yeast infections, but other than that, she seems good.  She had her head last week, so that the losing of the hair isn't as noticeable and drastic.  

I really wish I was close to Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado for this weekend.  I saw photos of their annual Easter sunrise service, and I would love to attend that.  I'm wondering about finding a service if I have Sunday off.  I have no idea what kind of church to look for right now though, in this strange state of religious discovery and relearning that I find myself in.  I'm working on trusting that God does have a plan for me, and that great things are coming.  Yet, I find myself having so much doubt because of how much change and negative things I've had in the last two months.  Its hard to trust when you think you are happy, and then things get turned upside down and switched around on you.  And you don't understand why they had to happen that way.  

But alas, I can't start thinking of that now.  It is time to brush my teeth and fall off to sleep.  I get to get 8.5 hours of the stuff tonight.  And hopefully that will carry me through til who knows when.  I may be napping in my car during lunch...

I hope everyone has a great weekend, full of Easter and Passover celebrations.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

With some luck, tomorrow, there will be updates on

* why I should stick to knitting and avoid sewing

* how to chop potatoes and why I have a craving from french fries, hash browns and chinese food (yes, all at the same time)

* the fun of driving over 100 miles a day

* working full time and going to school part time

* sleeping on an air mattress and missing my bed (well, anyone's bed really)

* how to remove motor grease before getting covered in cooking grease

* adjusting to life in a new city

* trying to figure out how to make a friendship work

* trying to learn to trust that there is some great plan in the works despite being analytical and wishing for tangible proof

* and finally, taking suggestions on what newly added stress factor in my life has caused my eye to start twitching and add to the many things that drive me crazy.

For now, I'm alive, sleepy, wishing that work as 50 miles closer, and not as lonely as I feared.  And that my friends, makes time for sleeping.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunsets and Potholes

(the final moments of my first drive home from work)

So far, I've seen two amazing sunsets here.  One included a combination of all types of weather and a rainbow.  Luckily for me, they all seem to happen in my rearview mirror.  Its so much nicer than driving into a glaring sun. 

   (the view in my side mirror on Friday night)

There are also an insane number of potholes in this city.  Driving becomes somewhat of a obstacle course as you try to not explode a tire or bust up other parts of your car.  (Mine just reached 100,000 miles, and I don't need to do anything to make her not want to work for me right now).

I got out to explore a bit today and hit up a cute shopping center area with a very fun spice shop ( .  All they sell is spices, and at such reasonable prices too.  I'm excited because now my food can have flavor!  I also hit up Trader Joe's for a couple of things too.  My friend here introduced me to this fabulous Latin market as well.  I'm going to frequent this place -- who can argue with 25 cent bunches of fresh herbs?  Or limes that only cost 15 cents?  In the big chain groceries you spend almost $2 on a bunch of herbs!  I can eat well on my budget after all!  (I think that is the most exciting part...  I splurged on a printer today to make use of online coupons [and some school printing stuff], but I'm all about figuring out how to keep my life relatively the same and keep to a very tight budget.  So far I'm not succeeding, but thats due to house set up costs and initial purchases.  Next month I really need to focus on that.  But I think I'll be too busy to spend any money, so it might not be an issue.)

And up tomorrow - the return to homework, my attempt to hem pants, and general life updates.  Until then, sleep well.  

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A quick update

Another day comes to a close.  The alarm is set for 6 am, for the drive west to work.  Which isn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Its the drive home that sucks and takes almost two hours to make.  

I'm still trying to adjust to the new environment.  Sleep can be illusive with the strange sounds and fear of not hearing the alarm in the morning.  I need to work on relaxing, or I'm going to be a giant mess of exhaustion and a hazard to myself on the road.  

Work is good.  The friendship with C shows promise of being good for both of us.  But only time will tell on that one.  Chef's pants are the most unflattering piece of clothing I have ever owned (my pajamas and lounge wear look better on me than what I have to wear to school).  And my new knives are strangely disappointing.  But school should be fun.  (orientation was today).

And that concludes the brief update on me.  In short, mostly grammatically correct style.  Perhaps a more in depth look at Chicago life come the weekend.  Until then, enjoy your Fridays.