I wanted to start the new year off with a new look. Thus, I enlisted the help of my new friend, Mr. Baronet.
I discovered him through a link on Spinning Girl's site, and quickly fell in love. His entire blog is dedicated to his sketches. As he calls it, encouraging others to express themselves by putting himself out there.
Much of his work is reminiscent of exercises I did in art class, where you draw without picking up your pencil, or without looking at the page. I hope he doesn't take that as an insult, for I always loved the sketchy look it created. Other pieces are much more detailed, using a complex mix of pattern shading. The hatching and stippling may be simple lines and dots, but they come together to create depth and detail in wonderous fashion.
Admirers of his work have compared it to artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Paul Klee. His work can be both playful, and deeply emotional. Anything and everything is ripe for his imagination. And he does indeed inspire others to express themselves, as his comments testify.
So of course, I had to ask this wonderful person to find inspiration in my site and create me a new banner. I assumed he would say no, as he is a busy man running a company of his own. But it never hurts to try, and this time my efforts were rewarded. Though it is a small return, I'm giving him a free ornament (if I ever get them all done) as a token of my appreciation. One good turn deserves another.
To you Willie Baronet! And thank you :)
December 30, 2005
I wanted to start the new year off with a new look. Thus, I enlisted the help of my new friend, Mr. Baronet.
December 22, 2005
DS got me this for Christmas; some things I'd been wanting from REI.
While these have had me squealing since yesterday (and drinking a lot of water as well), my real present will be a weekend stay at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, along with tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We're not going until the weekend before he leaves for France. Which means I'm both terribly excited, and terribly.. nervous I guess. I know I'll be sad because I dwell. Though I'm going to try hard to be happy at least for the weekend.
In the morning, we leave for Kentucky. I won't be home until late on the 26th. There might be a day or two lag in my posts after Christmas, after which I'll come back with a surprise!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 11:25 PM
December 21, 2005
December 20, 2005
At my work Christmas party, we did Secret Santa. Let me set this story up for you:
Now, back in the fall, a woman named Amber came into the store with her sister, fresh from a craft store selling her sister's jewelry. She bought a lot of stuff, and mentioned that she would like to work there for the discount. I encouraged her to apply, as we were still in need of one more night person at that point, and I like to surround myself with crafty people.
We hired her a while later (my boss is slow to decide on things like this), and we didn't see each other much. Our schedules always conflicted. However, one day she comes in shopping with her friend Aimee, maker of Snuggle Bug Quilts. They tell me that she's hosting a craft show at her house, where Amber's sister's stuff will be displayed. I am excited, and determine then that DS will take me, come hell or high water.
And we go. And while I like the jewelry my friend's sister makes, it was the quilts I fell in love with. Except, they weren't "quilts" perse. They were so artsy. Some were small, like 8x10 size, and framed. More like textile art than quilts really.
Of course, these pieces were much too expense for poor little me. It was the little mushroom wallet that I fell in love with. Only 11.50, and yet still too much for my broke bank pay. That didn't stop me from mooning over it for an hour, and carrying it around the house with me like it was already mine. I got Aimee's e-mail address before leaving, promising to buy it as soon as I could.
Now, back to the Secret Santa thing. What did I get? My mushroom wallet. But you see, Amber wasn't supposed to have my name. We all knew she had Bridget's name, because she was the last one to pick up her person's wish list. So when I opened my gift, I was expecting it to be from Jenna, because Jenna had brought both presents.
I must have sat there for several minutes, trying to figure out how Jenna would know that I wanted this wallet. And once she told me they had switched names, I was so touched. Not only did this woman buy me this thing that I treasured so dearly, but she went around asking who had me so she could give it to me
Nestled inside the wallet? A gift card to Starbucks, another sweet sweet thing. The 1 or 2 times I've worked with her, she always comes in with something good from there. And I always whine about it not being fair to bring that stuff in there and not sharing. And then she always lets me have a drink...
This was a small gift, true, but it meant so much.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 11:51 AM
December 19, 2005
Last night I had a dream that I was in a makeshift hospital, and very sick. Dr. House was my doctor. In his typical fashion, he was avoiding making his rounds. But one day, I had a very large fever, and he came running. And I knew. Dr. House was in love with me. I was the only person he helped all day. It was the awesomest dream ever.
Then I woke up choking...
After that, I went back to sleep, because only crazies get up at 7:30 am when they don't have to. What followed was a very weird dream, but at least it involved my boyfriend this time. We were in some kind of weird world that my head had dreamed up, full of large red rock outcroppings. We had just ordered some kids about 6 dolls, only to leave the "house" to find there was some post-apocolyptic war going on over whether or not people should have dolls. We hiked a long way, meeting some interesting people. Apparently, they were also fighting over whether we should keep around poetry by people like Emerson. Eventually, we came to this store, like a convenience/eatery place, except not so much fast food. We're still talking post-apocolypse here. It was built in to one of these reddish rock outcroppings, and we decided to climb it, along with another couple that my brain manifested at this point. We did some assisted climbing, but not with normal gear like ice picks. No, I had a large tape dispenser. I climbed with ease, and DS fell in love with me a little more. He had never been more proud.
So that was my morning. Merry Christmas!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 11:21 AM
December 18, 2005
Oh wow. 7 days. Now even I'm getting nervous. Christmas is only a week a way and I still haven't gotten anything for my own boyfriend!! Though pretty much everything else is done, so that's good. His family's stuff still needs to be shipped though...
In other news, we spend Saturday getting ready for my work Christmas party, since we're hosting it. Why you ask? Because I'm generous that way, and also because I live a 5 minute walk away. It's almost gauranteed no one will get lost. Though I say almost, because there is no limit to which the stupidity the human race can sink. So now, the house is pish posh, fully decorated, and ready for socializing.
Afterwards, because it's not Christmas without it, we went driving to look at lights. I must say, not many people seem to be into outdoor lights anymore. And those that are have pretty poor taste. Haphazardly throwing a set of colored netted lights into a tree so they don't even make a good circle, but rather an oddly shaped diamond on 1/3 of the front of the tree.. that's just not cutting it people.
On the other hand, we saw a few AMAZING houses that decided that letting the neighbors sleep was someone else's problem. I give you Exhibit A:
Mind, this is only about 1/2 of the lights. Every tree looked like the one on the right. There was a big star over the garage. I couldn't get back any further to fit the rest in. And in addition to this, they had Christmas music playing outside. If ever there were a beacon for Santa Claus, this is it. At the very least, it was a beacon for DS and I, who was kind enough to do a doughnut so we could hurry back and take pictures.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 12:15 PM
December 17, 2005
DS's family got together and bought us a new vaccuum, which arrived in the mail yesterday! I'm SO excited!! You don't know what it's like trying to get up all my hair with that measley excuse for a vaccuum DS had. But no more! This puppy is the real deal. It even has a light that lets you know when the floor is clean, and when it's dirty. And I know it works, because it stayed on dirty for a long time when we tested it out. Now I can rest easy when I sit on the floor. Yippee!!
Also, you can all be excited too! I sent your ornaments out yesterday through priority mail, which means roughly by Monday, you'll have presents too!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:45 PM
December 16, 2005
Well you guys. I'm tired. I've worked all week with a nasty head cold. It was mostly gone today, so I mustered up the strength to go climbing, since I missed out on Monday. I was rewarded with my first "flapper."* It doesn't hurt too bad right now, but I think that's because the skin grafted itself to the band-aid. I'm afraid to take it off.
Tomorrow is the big day that I go to the post office. I got paid today, so I can afford to pay all the shipping costs until I receive/cash/transfer all of your payments into my bank account. I'm also sending out my Christmas cards tomorrow, which DS got to pick out.
* I'm putting the explanation down here, in case some of you are the squeamish type. A "flapper" is when your skin detaches, but not all the way. So it "flaps" if you will. Except, your skin isn't ready for peeling yet, so it leaves the tender stuff exposed underneath. No blood really, but it burns like the dickens.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 12:16 AM
December 14, 2005
My friend Katie got married in May. All my talk about ornaments has had her wondering, aloud mind you, whether anyone would get them an "our first Christmas" ornament. I can't resist these kinds of things. What can I say? I'm a giver...
His favorite color is orange, hers is green. Get it?
In other news, I have officially sold 30 ornaments. This is assuming that all of you actually send me money, which I'm sure you will. I went to the store and bought 60 more balls today, just in case. I had thought they would all be for next year, with the idea that buying them on clearance was worth holding them for 12 months. Then my dad said he had decided that he would put up a tree next year for the first time in at least 10 years, and wanted 12 ornaments. "If I'm going to put up a tree, I at least want ornaments I like." In the off chance that someone else wants a big order, I'll just keep all of these out for a while before packing them off into storage. You can take this as a final call for orders :) Also, I had anticipated that shipping costs would be included in the price of the ornaments. Then I found out it would be 3.85 to ship them. So for all future orders, shipping costs are $2.
And in case you're wondering, it snowed again today. At least 4 inches. You should see the mountains forming in the parking lot where they keep plowing. It's awesome!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 9:35 PM
December 13, 2005
Please be aware that I have limited quantities, so if you're interested, they will be sold first come, first serve at $6 a piece. Send your orders to my e-mail account, and I'll ship them out ASAP. I don't mind making more if there is a lot of interest, but I can't promise the second batch will be done in time for Christmas. Also, feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!
The response has been huge. As of 12:44 pm cst, I have one skier and one snowboarder left. I can still make more, but the post office only gaurantees delivery by Christmas if they're mailed by the 19th. With that in mind, please let me know ASAP if I should be making more.
For those of you that have so kindly placed orders, thank you!! Your support means a lot to me.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 9:00 AM
December 12, 2005
December 11, 2005
December 10, 2005
It's snowing for about the fourth time in less than two weeks. It has yet to be warm enough for it to melt, but the roads have been plowed often enough that driving isn't really a problem. Which means we also have some snow mountains in our parking lot. This makes me happy to have underground parking. No snow shoveling/scraping means I enjoy all this wintery bliss!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:35 PM
December 08, 2005
I feel very honored, as MT has come back from blogging oblivion to tag me. I'm supposed to follow the instructions below, but as my 23rd post didn't have a 5th sentence, I picked a post close to it that did.
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.
For those of you who didn't know, MT's birthday is Thursday.
Now, for the tagging:
Fritz (cause I know how you like to be tagged)
It's not 5, but most of you have already done this, or don't have 23 posts (mr. yak) or wouldn't do it anyway. Of course, I don't care if you do it despite the lack of tagging. It's your blog.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 12:34 AM
December 07, 2005
December 05, 2005
December 04, 2005
I was telling a friend how I'm sappy enough that commercials can make me cry. When they learned that I cried about a Haagen-Daz commercial, they laughed. Now, it's not like I was bawling. It was just a tear or two. But the beauty of the newer Haagen-Daz commercials is just more than I can take. The imagery.. The music.. it's just so pure.
I found out that you can watch them online, and I've been watching them over and over. My favorite is "Anthem", but I also like "Vanilla" and their new "Impossible." I recommend watching them with QuickTime if you can. On my computer at least, the PC versions have been having trouble. They're just not framed right.
You can also download the music to them, which I've had on repeat. I'm all goosebumpy now.
You can laugh if you want to. But you have to admit that even for a commercial, those are some wonderful pieces of art.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:05 AM
December 03, 2005
December 02, 2005
I inherited the nativity set on my mom's side of the family. It was handpainted by my great-grandmother or something like that. I'll have to ask her again, cause I'm not sure. Unfortunately, it didn't fair well on the long trip here. A little super glue and a few cracks later, it's as good as new!
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 11:58 AM
December 01, 2005
November 30, 2005
November 29, 2005
Bobi recently hooked me up with a new toy, which I have been spending a lot of time playing with. Hugs to him for always having an answer! (Also, I found that music I was after finally!)
I have also gotten the piano music to A Charlie Brown Christmas recently, and plan to spend many hours in the near future practicing my favorite songs. I have been wanting this book for so long! Excitement is just not the word.
My desk is currently an assembly line of ornament production. Saying that reminds me of when I use to build cars. That was a pretty cool job. Though tiring. If Rob Beckham ever reads this, I miss you guys.
In other news, I ran a mile yesterday. I was quite impressed with this feat, as I have asthma. It's been a long time since I could run a whole mile without even stopping. So perhaps I will give this running thing another shot. Inhalers are your friend.
There you go, a random update. They may be few and far between for a bit, as I'm doing too many projects at once. But as soon as these ornaments are done, I plan to be back in what shall henceforth be known as "Full Monkey Force!"
Crap, almost forgot to tell you about getting the new Fiona Apple cd! I miss that about working at Wal-Mart.. always knowing when new cd's are coming out. But it's okay, because now I have it.
"You can be nice to me, or treat me mean. I'll make the most of it. I'm an extraordinary machine!"
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:23 PM
November 26, 2005
I came home to a turkey in the oven! It smells soooo good. I love my boyfriend.
So, I'm going to eat some turkey, and stuffing, and drink some wine. And then I'm going to give this santa ornament thing one more try. Should it go as badly as last night, I shall resort to plan B. Wish me luck.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 8:33 PM
I spent quite a few hours yesterday working on my new ornament design after work. The prototype always takes a long time to work out. With no pattern, I have to work out the size of everything, the colors, and how it will all come together. I managed to put together a rather cute santa in sleigh yesterday, only to completely ruin it while trying to find a good way to hang it inside the orb.
I think it would be easier if this part were smaller, but the smaller you quill something, the harder it is. So tiny, and so tricky to handle with clumsy fingers. I had hoped to be able to take a completed one to work today, because everyone has been asking about them. Not it looks like it's back to the drawing board.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 10:57 AM
November 25, 2005
I hope everyone's holiday went well. I know mine did. DS and I spent the morning watching episodes of The Office while we failed to thaw our turkey. Which means we didn't have turkey for Thanksgiving after all. But that was okay, because the whole thing was funny. Especially when we tried putting it in the tub...
This of course meant that dinner was to be vegetarian. Which actually wasn't so bad. My favorite part was the 4 desserts I had. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, some kind of mixed berry cobbler, and rum cookies. Quite tasty, though the pumpkin pie was by far my favorite.
After dinner we took a walk around Monona Lake. This was probably not the best idea considering the temp of around 10 degrees and very high winds. DS and I had to switch scarves, because his poor head was freezing. I'm trying my hand at crocheting him a beanie now. While walking, we came upon a park, which had a shelter with fireplaces built into it. We found a fire at one, with some people hanging out in front. I'm not entirely sure, but I think they may have been homeless. It was hard to tell, as DS claims he's never seen a homeless person in Madison that looked on the brink of dispair. But I really could not fathom any othe reason a group of people would be huddled in front of a makeshift fire made from wood gathered from the park on Thanksgiving when it was so cold out. They were quite cheery, and shared their fire with us for a time as we talked. I hope they have a Shelter to stay in tonight if they are homeless, as I'm sure a night in this cold would be horrid.
Once our appendages were quite numb, we walked back towards our friend's house and decided it was time to head home. We wanted to give Invader Zim another try, since we thought it might be the kind of thing you have to grow in to, much like Aqua Teen Hungar Force. Then, despite the lack of turkey, we fell into a food coma. When I awoke, it was nearly 9. Appalling.
We tried watching the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy afterwards, but DS just can't stay up much past 9. I watched it without him while I worked on his new hat.
Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday: I'm fish sitting for the weekend. Now, considering my previous experience with caring for betas, you would think that my friend Katie would not trust me with Grover. But indeed she has. So far so good. He's eating well, not convulsing, and quite responsive in a good way. I was told that if he were to die while in my care, to not come back to work. Either that, or find another just like him and never let her know... I just have to hold out until Saturday.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 12:39 AM
November 24, 2005
DS has been kind enough to make me a turkey for tomorrow. We have been invited to dinner at friend's house, but that friend happens to be vegetarian. I just can't imagine Thanksgiving without turkey. She says it's cool if we bring a bird, and he said he was willing to make one for me. I am definitely thankful for him this year.
I have spent the evening watching Batman Begins and eating pizza. I plan to spend tomorrow morning in my pajamas for as long as possible. I hope to get some ornaments made, as I've been invited to a Craft Open House on Sunday by one of the people at work. Her sister makes jewelry, and she sells it here in Wisconsin. She says there will be about 12 crafters there, and I'm very excited. I didn't know if I would have any made by then, but she said if I did, to bring them along. She has a seller's permit, and I just have a wholesaler's permit. A seller's permit is expensive! So yes, I'm going to enjoy a crafty Sunday, though I'm not sure it will be as cool as that craft girl sweatshop thing going on down in Florida.
And as usual, medicine meant to dry out my sinuses has given me a dry nose that now burns to breathe through, and a headache. However, nastiness dripping down my throat is no longer an issue. As my biggest sickness related fear is nauseous however, I'll take the burning nose and headache over dripping sinuses anyday. So no worries about me sneezing on my turkey :) (Though I'd probably eat it anyway.. *shhhh!*)
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:50 AM
November 23, 2005
I have recently been rekindling a relationship with one Herbert Kornfield. He's the Accounts Receivable Supervisor in some company. By far, my absolute favorite column writer over at The Onion. If interested in some good humor, check him out.
But for now, I must find some Benedryl, as draining sinuses bypass my nose and head straight for my throat, making me slightly naseous. If left unattended for too long, it'll feel like I have bronchitis. I'm not sure what happened to my ability to be healthy, but I totally lost it somewhere along the college path.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:29 AM
November 22, 2005
I spoke with my Mom yesterday day. I was telling her how DS and I are too poor to buy all the things that go with a Christmas tree, like a tree skirt. And also stockings. So I bought the cheapest skirt I could find, and I'm decorating it myself. She seemed a little panicked. Turns out, she was in the process of making DS and I stockings herself, and was worried that I wouldn't want hers if I made my own. She's so silly. We always had handmade stockings growing up, and I always loved them. My Mom rocks. I can't wait for them to get here!
So now, I have a lot of crochet patterns for stockings and a bunch of green and red yarn. Anyone want to buy a stocking?
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:12 PM
It finally happened. The girl we will no longer name was fired at work. The whole thing was actually pretty anti-climatic. Katie and I had been popping up saying, only 2 more days! Things like that. And now it's over. No more having to do two people's work because the other does nothing. No more having an employee lie to me about how much work they've done, or the fact that they've done it at all. No more awkward hugs from people I would never even speak to outside of work...
I think that was the thing I disliked most. The way she always hugged me like we were best friends. So clingy. And she would stand there, while she wasn't working, watching you work, and stroke my hair. I hated that. *shudders*
The store manager was nervous about it, as it was only the second time she had to fire someone. Apparently the first time did not go well. Being the third ranked manager, and only one witness being needed, I stayed on the floor. They didn't even let her clock in. Just, hi, how are you, let's talk.
I kept myself occupied, as there were floor moves to do, and elderly ladies needing help. Thankfully, I was busy with one of these ladies when they all came back out about five minutes later. She had tears in her eyes as she gave me one of her clingy hugs, me in the middle of telling the customer about our fragrance lamps (no one ever knows what they are..). Kate and the SM rolled their eyes. And with that last moment of discomfort, she was gone.
In a way, I do feel bad that she was let go without any written warnings. However, being that she was within her probationary period still, none were necessary. But then, every time I think of how she actually told another employee that the old manager (whom I was hired to replace) taught her to do next to nothing and get away with it, I lose that empathy. When I remember how she would sit behind the register, where no customers could see her, to build lamps, and then tell not only other associates but other managers that no, she didn't have to listen to them and stand up, because I told her it was okay.. I still don't know how she turned "You can't sit behind the register, no one can see you," into "yeah sure, it's okay." And especially when I think of how she actually argued with a manager about the price of something, an as-is price that only a manager can decide, right in front of a customer... Yeah, I'm glad she's gone.
She had started coming in and saying things like, "My mom is mad at you." This person was over 20. Not by a lot, but still, more than enough to be an adult in every way. You have no idea how aggravating it was to be told that her mother was mad at me. Saying that her mother didn't work there didn't seem to have an effect. Therefore, it wasn't much of a surprise when she later called in anger about her being fired. I can't tell you how many times SM had to say, "If she wants to talk to me, she can call me. She's an adult." Just ridiculous.
So yeah, work is now like, 20 times better. Everyone left that works there actually works. And while things are still far from perfect in the store, the imperfections that remain are ones that I can deal with and still come home without fuming and threatening to quit. So I'm happy.
Note for those that care: I learned how to lead climb and lead belay tonight. Ooyaxzah!
(yeah, so I stole that from mo.. what are you going to do about it?)
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 1:02 AM
November 21, 2005
I have been accused of putting my tree up too early. I have also been accused of making baby Jesus cry, but that probably has more to do with me breaking his arms off. He looks funny in my nativity set now....
Let me explain something. In case you have all forgotten, I work in retail hell. That means the day after Thanksgiving, I'll be spending my entire day fighting with uppity people who want to spend their day shopping instead of putting up their tree. Considering that most of the people that shop at my mall are rich white women, they probably have their husbands/servants doing it for them, but whatever. My point is this: I don't know when my next day off will be after Thanksgiving. It was yesterday or nothing. And I am not one to wait a week or two after Thanksgiving for this sort of thing. I love it too much.
So, you can all take your condescending judgements and aim them at Chanda, who puts her tree up the day after Halloween, every year. (I still love you Chanda)
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 11:45 AM
November 20, 2005
Today, DS did his duty as a boyfriend and bought me my first Christmas tree!! I'm so excited. I've been singing made up songs about it all week in anticipation. :)
It was actually really hard to find one that wasn't prelit. Why do all the trees come with the lights built in now? I just don't get it. Like DS said, putting on the lights is half the fun! Not to mention that the two strings of lights cost less than $5, which saved me at least $50 by not getting my tree pre-strung. What a rip off!
I know some of you will be disappointed by the fact that we didn't get a real one. Especially when you learn that I've never in my life had a real Christmas tree. DS and I discussed this, and we decided that we would wait to mess with all that when we have a house. Living on the second floor of an apartment and getting a live tree up there just seemed like more of a headache than anything.
We went with the cheap ornaments, just so our tree wouldn't be bare. But really, we prefer the random assortment that you collect over the years. The problem is that we haven't had a lot of years for collection, so we only have about 6 of the cool ones. You can't have a tree with 6 ornaments.
This is the only picture of the ornaments that turned out okay. That last drop of my camera at Devil's Lake really made it useless. Stupid broken focus... Also, it's not really our first Christmas, that was last year. But that ornament is at my mom's right now.
Posted by Sleep Goblin at 7:24 PM