Filed under: adorable, animals, awesome!, awkward, charming, learning, life, make it work, miscellany, monkey mind, Opinions, peculiar, pets, play through, pondering, the feline, weirdity
“Hey baby, you smell nice!” she says.
He grins, “thanks, it’s Calvin Kle—”
“ROWR” goes the leaping jaguar.
“Why can’t I ever meet a guy who lives longer than ONE date?” she wails.
: cue sad trombones :
My little story is a parable. A lesson. A warning.
Seems that large kitty cats with big claws and big teeth get a little fired up for….
…wait for it…
Calvin Klein Obsession For Men.
Makes ‘em nutty. Makes ‘em curious. Makes ‘em lusty. Serious, click the link and let the knowledge seep into your brain.
(Regarding the feline in your home, your milage may vary, but give it a try. Ol’ Scratchy might just become Fluffy McLapcat.)
Jaguars, tigers, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, peccaries and coatis, oh my!
Hey baby, wanna see my ocelot?
I learned this random fact this morning while perusing the news over a onion bagel.
Now you know it too.
My work here is done.
Hey baby, how YOU doin’?
Image found here.
Filed under: addictions, anxiety, awesome!, awkward, Bay Area, being sick, big weather, California, choices, cloudy, cranky, don't want!, first world problems, food, good eats, gratitude, irritated, lactose intolerance, life, love and marriage, make it work, mi corazon, monkey mind, Opinions, play through, pondering, sandwich, sugar & fat & salt, The Good Man, they call it stormy Monday, weekending
It is a dark, gray and drizzly day here in Northern California and to be honest, that is a good thing. I say that even as my mood can best be described as poopy. The fact that the earth needs the rain doesn’t preclude a little blue mood to go with the not-blue skies.
To be honest, in March, this is what the Bay Area is supposed to do. It’s supposed to rain. So I’m grateful for the rain.
But still, I’m cranky.
Days like these make me want to stay in bed all day and only come to the surface for something tasty to eat (then dash back under the covers).
Last evening I watched an old episode of No Reservations when our host, Anthony Bourdain, was in France. At one point they showed warm hot loaves of bread coming out of the oven. Of course now all I want to eat is gigantic loaves of warm bread smothered with butter.
But alas, the butter is a non-starter for me with the lactose intolerance and all. And well, we all know bread gets a bad rap these days.
Later in the show, the host was eating some gigantic meat-on-meat madness type of meal and I said to The Good Man, “I…I just don’t think I could eat that. I mean, I would try, but oh how my stomach would hurt.”
What the hell has happened to me? I remember the days when I would and could eat everything from flaming hot green chiles to milk products to fatty meats washed down with a lot of beer and wouldn’t even blink an eye.
Now as I ponder yet another birthday coming along in a few months, I realize what a little lily I have become. A hothouse flower who can’t eat things too hot anymore (damn my GERD) and can’t eat milk products (well, I can, but it’s an unpleasant outcome) and I sure do eat a lot less meat than I used to because my tummy just can’t take it.
Alas! What has become of poor Karen? I don’t even know who I am anymore.
I suppose it’s all a part of the cycle of life. I mean, I have tried and digested a lot of good food in my life. I don’t hold back, I’m willing to give most foods a shot but I have become a lot more circumspect in how I nosh.
A “good” meal can be great in that moment and can then ruin my whole day. So I eat a little less quantity and a little better quality and I wonder what else I’m going to be a candy-butt about in this great life.
First world problems. I got ‘em.
(And give me time, I’ll get over myself. I always do.)
Image found here.
Filed under: awesome!, awkward, Bay Bridge, bridges, business is business, cackle, California, celebrity, cha-cha-changes, gratitude, laffs, latent childhood, life, make it work, memories, Music, New Mexico, odd, Opinions, peculiar, people are people, play through, San Francisco, sorrow, sunshine, wayback machine
After what now amounts to almost seventeen years, I realize that I have lived in California a lot longer than I ever thought I would. Totaled up it’s still a lot less time than I lived in New Mexico, so I still have that going for me.
But here I am. After putting in this many years I guess I have the right to look at a building in San Francisco and say, “hey, I remember when that used to be…”
In my time in the Bay Area, I’ve seen a lot of things change. Like many people in San Francisco, I also have a deep sense of nostalgia for a lot of the quirky things the City brings to the world.
I cried when the last working street clock in North Beach was hit by a delivery truck, rendering it busted forever.
I beam with pride when I see the restored doggy head smirking atop a pole overlooking the Doggy Diner (over by the zoo).
And today. Today my heart is heavy for the loss of yet another San Francisco quirky institution.
Sadly, it was reported this morning that the Bushman from the Wharf has passed away.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of spending a touristy day down on Fisherman’s Wharf, then you don’t know about the Bushman.
He would take several leafy eucalyptus branches in hand and then he’d get real low, usually squatting on a milk crate, and he’d hold the branches out in front of him. He would usually position himself by other shrubbery so any passerby might think it was simply another bit of brush.
Then he’d pick out a person walking the sidewalk and as they walked past him he’d shake the leaves and let out a low rumbling growl.
At the noise, pretty much every victim would leap a foot off the ground. That was when the Bushman would laugh with the best, most expansive laugh you’ve ever heard. This would get the victim laughing too.
People would gather around and watch it happen, and they would laugh too, everyone brimming with anticipation for the next victim. After a good laugh, folks would throw a couple dollars his way and move on.
This whole thing was always done in good fun, the Bushman was never mean about it.
In the early years in my California tenure, I spent a lot of time in the company of blues musicians who worked a lot of Saturday afternoons at Lou’s Pier 47. Back when Lou still owned the place, she paid well and booked the top guys in all the prime spots.
A good sunny Saturday would pull in a room full of tourists who would happily unload their pockets for food and drinks and tip jars.
I would often go to the club on my own and as the afternoon went on and the patrons consumed more and more booze, things could sometimes get a bit weird. If things were too funky in the club and if it was still sunny out, I’d head out to the Wharf to wander the shops, eat some Ghirardelli or just sit by the water, stare at the Golden Gate and ponder my life.
I was my own version of a wharf rat and I loved it.
With all that time spent prowling around, I encountered the Bushman on several occasions.
He only got me once, but he got me good.
I learned to keep a sharp eye out for him so I could be in on the joke and not the punchline.
I liked to catch him, too. I’d say, “I see you!” and he’d growl at me and I’d go “uh-huh” and walk on.
I haven’t spent that much time on the Wharf in years, but when I was there a few months ago I saw him and was happy to know he was still there.
And now he’s not.
The article says that his sometime partner (who helped the ruse by distracting potential victims) will keep up the routine, but I suspect it won’t be quite the same.
San Francisco, so nostalgic, so prone to change.
The original Bushman will be missed.
Image found here. That blog owner is super duper cranky about the Bushman, but c’est la vie. To each their own. The Tumblr is named “I Hate Stuff” and provides content as advertised.
Filed under: amazing, anxiety, automobiles, awesome!, awkward, Bay Area, bicycles, Boss Lady, business is business, commuting, curious, good eats, gratitude, irritated, kerfuffle, life, love and marriage, make it work, metaphorically speaking, Opinions, our happy home, play through, pondering, The Good Man, Wednesday, work
Dateline: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
It’s morning and I’m headed in to work a little earlier than I would like but I have a coworker who is a chirrupy morning person and keeps dropping early meetings on my calendar.
She knows I hate the mornings but just can’t help herself.
So I drive my beat up old Jeep down a major surface street that bisects three different cities. It is my usual route to work.
As I roll in slow traffic, there is a guy on a bicycle keeping pace next to me. I am used to bicyclists now because I live in a pretty hipster-y place and they are everywhere.
But this guy is the kind of bicyclist that bugs me. First of all he’s not wearing a helmet. That seems really dumb to ride on city streets without some kind of protection for the ol’ brain bucket.
Second, he’s the kind of guy who can’t ride in a straight line so he’s weaving in and out in front of me. I’m keeping a close eye on him so I can be sure I am not the person who injuries his pretty mane of curls.
We ride side by side on this narrow two-lane street and then I get to a light at a main intersection. I see there is a trash truck just ahead, but there is enough room for me to slip through the light and wait behind the truck.
To the immediate right there is a delivery truck at the curb unloading produce for the corner market.
As I pull through the intersection, the garbage truck cuts sharply in front of me so I easily tap my brakes and slow.
Boy On The Bicycle doesn’t slow. He plunges into that small space between the now moving trash truck and the large produce truck.
I think to myself, “I don’t have that kind of courage.”
I have packed my lunch today and that makes me very happy. It’s not just a lunch from home, but it’s the kind of sack lunch that I’ve been looking forward to all morning.
In that bag is a beautiful calzone. I have also packed a little glass bowl of marinara sauce.
After much dragging and delaying, the hands on the clock say it’s time to chow. I smile as I pop the calzone into the office toaster oven and I put the marinara into the microwave.
When the sauce has achieved a temperature akin to lava, I pull it out of the machine.
Soon the calzone is crispy on the outside and melty on the inside.
If I was eating this at home, I would quickly dump the marinara over the calzone and dive in headfirst.
I am at work and when I start to pour the sauce a little voice in my head reminds me that my office and the break room are diametrically opposed. I will have to carry my meal all the way across the building and will likely encounter many people on the journey.
I have a quick vision of spilling bright red sauce on the floor. On a coworker. On myself. Or all three.
I decide to put the lid back on the marinara bowl and carry it separately.
It’s the best decision I will make all day.
Once the calzone is thoroughly devoured, I wash my hands and clean my face and freshen up. I have a mid-year performance review with my boss who is a Big Boss and while I get along with her great, I still want to be behaved.
It seems only right. She is grading my performance.
As I walk to her office, that calzone starts to hit bottom and I feel instantly sleepy. I think, “Maybe calzone is more of a dinner food.”
It’s the end of the day and I’m tired. Not the tired one gets from physical exertion, but the fatigue that comes from sitting around all day thinking about stuff and making decisions.
It doesn’t seem like sitting on my can working on spreadsheets all day would wear me out, but it does.
The Jeep is rolling uphill, following the same route home that got me to work this morning.
I am idly listening to sports talk radio where the two on-air personalities are debating, quite heartily I might add, if it is acceptable for fans to boo their own team.
One guy is a former athlete. One guy is a current sports journalist. They have vastly different opinions.
I come to a stoplight on the two-lane street and I am the third car back. A dark car pulls up on my right side.
I think to myself, “They had better be turning right” and of course they are not. It’s become a game on this high trafficked street for people who don’t want to wait in line to come up the side, thus blocking any right turners, and then cutting off people going straight as soon as the light turns green.
This aggravates me.
The light turns and I make it a point to not let that car in. I pull up close to the car in front and I am not giving up. They are not giving up either.
I see that there is an SUV parked at the curb ahead and a woman is unloading her child from the back seat.
This is going to come to a head. I am going to win.
That jerkwad is going to have to slow down and get into line behind me.
Inexplicably, I tap my brakes. The Jeep slows. I let the shiny black BMW slide in front of me as a college-aged girl in the driver’s seat quite literally flips her hair.
There is no wave of thanks.
I wonder to myself, “What made me do that? Why did I slow down and let her in?”
Then I think, “Because it’s not always about being right. Sometimes it’s just about the fact that we all have to get home safely.”
When I finally turn down my block I am happy to see a spot on the street right in front of my building and I park.
I go inside and The Good Man hugs me and the cat ignores me and I sink into the warm familiar comfort of my home and my family.
I am filled with gratitude. I can finally rest.
Tomorrow is another day.
Image found here.
Filed under: amazing, awkward, business is business, creepy, disapproving boss, ew, first world problems, humility, life, make it work, miscellany, monkey mind, office supplies, Opinions, people are people, photography, play through, pondering, selfie, sigh, silly, truth is stranger than..., work
As has been mentioned before, these days I work in an open office plan, meaning pretty much everyone from big bosses to little minions all sit and work in open cubicles.
It’s supposed to make us more collaborative, or something.
Because everything is so open and airy fresh, as I walk through the building I quite frequently get a glimpse of other people’s computer screens. Honestly, most people are working away, boring. Snore.
Occasionally people are shopping or watching YouTube, but whatever, that’s between them and their IT rep.
There is one trend I’m noticing recently that has me a bit confused. There are several people, like five I can count off the top of my head and probably a few more I am missing, who have a photo of themselves set as their computer’s wallpaper background.
Now, I don’t mean it’s a photo of them and someone else, like a nice happy couple, or dad and son or something. No, I mean a photograph of only them, and most often the photo is looking right out of the screen. Most are selfies, some are a photo someone else has taken. Some are full body shots but most are close in, framed from the neck up.
What this means is, as they work, they are looking out at themselves while looking in at themselves.
Look, I like myself a lot. I’m a cool chick. I like hanging out with me. I even don’t mind looking in the mirror now and again.
In fact, to quote former 49ers football player Terrell Owens, “I love me some me“.
But I don’t “love me some me” so much that I want to look at me all the live long day.
At first I thought this was only the younger employees, the kids in their twenties who are supposedly really self-obsessed. No. It runs the age gamut.
I just…can’t. I don’t understand. Did I miss a memo or something?
(See what I did there? Miss a memo. How cute, granny.)
Image found here.
Filed under: amazing, anxiety, awesome!, awkward, breakfast, business is business, coffee, cranky, crazy, don't want!, doooooom!, fail, first world problems, fun, hell, iPhone, iPhoneography, irritated, kerfuffle, life, make it work, Opinions, overwhelmed, play through, randomness, show and tell, sigh, silly, work, yucky
Today I learned something. It may not be a groundbreaking discovery, but it’s an important handy tip to know.
Let me start with the backstory.
This morning I noticed I had a meeting on my calendar that started early and would last all day long, so I decided to hustle up and get it together so I could leave the house plenty early. I wanted to be able to stop for coffee and still get into the office a bit early so I could sit a minute at my desk, gather my thoughts, and prioritize any urgent emails before disappearing into a conference room for the remainder of the day.
What a good strategy! This is part of my new approach for taking better care of myself. Generally I show up to the early meetings five to ten minutes late, anxious and sweaty from running to the meeting. Oh, and lacking coffee.
With determination, I took care of my at-home stuff and hit the mark. I left the house on time and was happy. I had a casual and not harried drive to work and I even lucked out and found a parking spot right in front of my local Starbucks.
I mean, the day was ticking right along on schedule. I was feeling so proud of myself.
With Jeep parked, I walked inside hoping for a short line then opened the door to that very image. Only three people in line. Yesss!
I stepped up to the register, ordered my drink, chatted with the person behind me in line, giggled with their child and was feeling pretty great.
My latte came up quick and I grabbed it and was feeling pleased with the smooth pace of my day.
I carried my drink over to the little station where you can find sweetener and milk to add in. I politely said excuse me as I accidentally walked in front of another customer. I thought about an article I had read recently about the value of being nice, and thought how I need to continue to be a nice person even when the world sometimes makes me want to be mean.
Landing at the sweetener station, I popped the lid off my drink, reached to grab a couple packets of sweetener, shook, tore and when I went to put this into my drink, I knocked over my lidless cup, sending a coffee tsunami into the air.
Seriously. How did my latte catch air? I have no idea. Sixteen ounces of beverage became gallons as it poured all over the counter and onto the floor. The force of the wave shoved my sunglasses off the counter and onto the floor.
The velocity was overwhelming as waves of coffee and soy milk engulfed the entire store and its patrons.
And that’s how I learned that Starbucks napkins are super, duper absorbent.
Keep that handy tip in mind.
A dramatic, yet dry, recreation of events
Image Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app. Also taken surreptitiously in an empty conference room while the big meeting was on break.
Filed under: air, artist, awesome!, awkward, business is business, edjumacation, fresh ideas!, gratitude, latent childhood, learning, life, love and marriage, luck, make it work, monkey mind, Music, New Mexico, Opinions, play through, pondering, show and tell, the globe, The Good Man, truth is stranger than..., woo hoo!
This has been one hell of a week, I mean, just top to bottom really something else.
I have had good days, and bad days (…but when the day is through, I’ll always get lucky with you…this song goes out to The Good Man on an overcast and rainy day in the Bay – thus ends my Merle Haggard rendezvous) but overall I can actually say I learned some things this week.
Yes, that’s right, this old dog has seriously learned some new stuff over the past several days and I want to share it with you.
Maybe I should start by sharing something I learned just right now: the distance between typing “share” and typing “shart” is only two keys away on the old keyboard. Dangerous.
Now seriously, let’s get to the learnin’
1) It turns out that the song Let It Be, made famous by the Beatles and written by Paul McCartney, was actually originally intended for Aretha Franklin to record. And record it she did.
Unfortunately, some fiddle-faddle with her label prevented the song from being released, so the Beatles went ahead and recorded it and released it first.
Give the Aretha version a listen and tell me if you don’t get chills, because I started crying when I heard it, it’s so beautiful and so different from the Beatles version.
I know that song became a bellwether for the Beatles, marking when the group first broke apart, but damn I wish the Aretha version was first to the scene.
(If for some reason the video doesn’t play or the link to the YouTube above doesn’t work, please just Google “Let It Be Aretha” and you’ll find it.)
2) Then there was a space item of edumacation I discovered. Here it is: If there was air in space, the sun, our own little fireball, would make sounds like ringing of cathedral bells at a volume just above that of a train whistle.
If space were replaced with air and we could hear the Sun, it would be incredibly noisy – the output of the Sun is equivalent to 10 million keys, or notes, of a piano. In fact you would struggle to hear little else! Throwing out an energy of 383 yottawatts per second, we get a translation of 290 decibels which makes for a very, very loud Sun indeed.
And it would go on ALL THE TIME.
It seems like that would be cool at first and then it would be like “rip my ears off my head, I’m done now.”
But profoundly cool to learn.
Reference: How Loud Would Stars Be If Space Was Full of Air.
3) I even managed to learn something about my Fair New Mexico this week. On Facebook I noticed a graphic with all of the applicable New Mexico State symbols, most of which I knew quite well.
One I did not. Let me drop my new knowledge on you.
New Mexico has a state slogan and that slogan is:
Everybody is somebody in New Mexico
Is that because no one is anyone everywhere else? I mean, huh?
It’s certainly a noble thought but of course brings out my inner comedian. I’ll spare you.
By the by, there is also a State Motto (that I already knew) which is:
Crescit eundo (loosely translated to mean “it goes as it grows”)
And what about the state nickname “Land of Enchantment”?
Since I am a good soulless corporate drone, I think we should create efficiencies!
New Mexico: Somebody grows in enchantment
Let’s call that good, huh?
And there you have it. Is your mind blown? Mine is.
Actually there is no more space left in my brain. Better start drinking so I can clear out some brain cells for next week.
Image from the Visit New Mexico Facebook page.
Filed under: anxiety, art, awesome!, awkward, Bay Area, beautiful, big weather, Boss Lady, bragging, breakfast, business is business, California, cell phones, changing seasons, electronics, first world problems, funny, gadgety goodness, iPhone, iPhoneography, kerfuffle, latent childhood, life, literature, love and marriage, make it work, mobile phones, Opinions, photography, photowalk, play through, polite, show and tell, sigh, sunshine, The Good Man, The Muse, truth is stranger than..., weekending, winter
On Saturday the sun shone down so brightly on the Bay Area that it was too hard to stay inside. Roaming and marauding were the order of the day.
Yes, I know as a Californian I am supposed to feel Very Guilty about these sunny winter days we are having. I get it.
But instead of guilt, The Good Man and I went outside and basked in the sun. We decided to wander not our own neighborhood but the one just one city over.
It’s a really fun and funky block of shops and restaurants.
They day started with some chilaquilas that were rated as acceptable to me. You see, I grade Mexican food on a very tight scale. Sadly, most Californian Mexican food fails.
Once we were full to overfilled with good eats, we moved on to a really awesome bookstore that I had never been to before.
I do love bookstores. Especially local bookstores with both new and used books on the shelves. You really get a feel for a town by what is stocked on those used shelves.
As I often do in a bookstore, I wandered over to the art section. I am looking for a used copy of a particular Henri Toulouse-Lautrec book. Hope springs eternal.
This particular art book section was more eclectic than I usually find, which was great. A lot of things I hadn’t seen before.
While perusing, I found one very small section of books under the heading of “Wild, Wacky and Wonderful.”
Boy, this small collection lived up to the billing.
There were just five titles. I can’t quite remember them all. One was Toilets of the World. I recall that. Quite an interesting tome, may I add. One was the Pipe Handbook. One was the Diary of a Sword Swallower or something like that. I can’t seem to recall the other two.
As I browsed I kept walking back to that section and laughing. It was *too* perfect. Just too.
So then I decided to take an iPhone photo so I could remember what five titles were there. But how to snap a photo without incurring the wrath of the storeowners? They are sick, I’m sure, of people finding something in their store then buying it on Amazon. Snap click is a means to that end.
My intentions were good but I didn’t want to be a pain in that charming store.
Then I remembered, oh yes, that you can use the volume buttons on the iPhone to fire the shutter. I decided that I could hold the camera at about waist level and take a surreptitious snap.
I went over to the side of an aisle and thought, “Ok, I better give this a try to make sure I know how it works.”
I pushed the button and then loudly echoing through the store was the shutter sound that iPhone so helpfully adds to camera app.
You see, I always, always, always have the sound off on my phone. Always. I mean seriously, always.
Except on Friday afternoon when I was expecting (and didn’t want to miss) a call from my boss. After the call I then forgot to switch sound back off.
The shutter sound caused three people around me to snap their heads up and give me “grrrr” eyes.
Busted. Flat busted.
So there you go. I have no photo of the crazy fun titles, only my hazy memory.
And this piece of photographic art of the wrong shelves. *sigh*
Copyright © 2014 Karen Fayeth
Photo Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons License in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5, the onboard camera app, and not a lot of guile.
Filed under: amazing, anxiety, automobiles, awesome!, awkward, Bay Area, beautiful, birds, business is business, California, cranky, crazy, cursing, don't bully me!, Friday, fun, irritated, kerfuffle, learning, life, make it work, meeting hell, New Mexico, Opinions, play through, rules, show and tell, silly, turkey, work
Growing up in New Mexico, I was used to being around a certain amount of wildlife. I knew from an early age: Stay away from rodents (bubonic plague), keep off the snakes (bitey) and if you happen across a bear, well, nice knowing you.
Ok, just kidding on that last part. Kind of.
My dad and brother were both avid hunters and I spent more than my fair share of time in the mountains and wilderness of New Mexico. Still some of my best memories.
I live in the Bay Area now, which is a huge urban area (seven million and counting!) that is surrounded by lots and lots of open land and wildlife.
When wildlife happens to wander into areas where a lot of people hang out, insanity ensues. It seems most folks weren’t raised with both a healthy respect and a dose of circumspect when it comes to wild animals.
I got to thinking about this because just two days ago, while running late to a meeting at work and trying to find a spot in a cramped parking lot, I narrowly avoided hitting both a white Honda Civic and a rather grumpy wild turkey.
And I don’t mean the kind of wild turkey that comes in a bottle.
The Honda (who was taking their half out of the middle of the road) just kept going but the turkey gave me a fair piece of its mind. I nodded knowingly and muttered “sorry turkey” and kept rolling.
When this happened, I remembered that about six months ago, we received an all employee bulletin regarding the turkeys that are running a bit rampant on our main facility.
Here is the text of that bulletin, with identifying information redacted:
Recently, an employee got too close to a wild turkey, and the bird flew up and brushed against her. The incident serves as an important reminder that the turkeys are untamed animals and need to be given space. Allow at least 10–15 feet of clearance, try not to turn your back on the birds if they are close, and do not feed them.
It sort of paints a visual picture for me of some lady sneaking up on a turkey and it going all hockey style hip-check on her.
Of course, I laughed my butt off when I got that bulletin because, well, sheeyah! Leave the wild things alone. I quickly emailed it to my best friend who passed it along to her husband and two kids because, coincidentally, they were turkey hunting in New Mexico (and not having much luck).
And since we have so many turkeys and deer and lots of other wildlife here at my place of employ, we also have mountain lions who think a nice turkey dinner and a nap is the right idea.
So while I’m enjoying lunch today and thinking about life, and my coworkers who are batbonkers crazy, I came to some conclusions.
1) People are weird.
2) Not everyone was granted the education I had regarding wild animals or animals in general. Though for the most part I think they mean well.
3) Don’t touch the bitey things.
3a) Most animals will bite, even the tame ones.
4) Turkeys are not very agile. Skinny legs and big old body are all out of proportion. Still, I’m glad I didn’t hit that gobbler. That might have been sad.
5) Man I could go for a turkey sammich right about now. Anyone else?
Ok. Back to work. I’m headed out on foot to the next meeting.
Maybe I’ll have a brush with a turkey?
Not my photo, but taken at my place of work
Photo from the Bay Area Bird Blog.
Filed under: anxiety, awesome!, awkward, Boss Lady, brain, business is business, cranky, daydreaming, good eats, gratitude, latent childhood, lazy, life, lunch, make it work, monkey mind, Opinions, overwhelmed, plague, sammie, sandwich, sarnie, The Good Man, truth is stranger than..., woo hoo!, work, yes boss
I started writing today thinking about how crazy or wacky I am regarding the topic of this post.
Then I realized something. I bet I am not that crazy. I bet I am not the only one that has felt this way.
Here’s the scoop:
I have found that if I take my lunch to work, I have a much better day. My office is situated in an oddball industrial slash office neighborhood. It is an area that is rapidly gentrifying.
While we do have some nearby places to go and grab lunch, and on certain days food trucks, the choices are not robust. Also, I work in the far back corner of an office building that is a converted warehouse. It takes me about ten minutes at a brisk clip just to walk to the front door.
This means if I don’t have a lunch packed and I am super busy, I end up with no lunch.
No lunch makes Karen a very cranky girl.
In the New Year I have been working a lot harder on bringing my lunch so Karen is a less cranky girl.
That’s just good for everyone.
Sometimes I lack imagination when making lunches and I eat the same thing day after day. But if it’s good food, then all is well. I’ll eat it and become a manageable and reasonably peaceful person.
When I am able to get my lunch packed the night before that is even better. Oh how I love myself on those days.
Anyhow, this morning I woke up groggy and tired. It’s already been a long week.
As I struggled to break the surface of fatigue and start my day, I remembered that I needed to make my lunch.
It’s Thursday which means most of the good eats in the fridge have already been eaten, and there wasn’t much left that looked good.
The one bit of leftovers we have is something I have eaten for the past three days in a row, and I just wasn’t feeling it.
So it was time to be creative, and creative isn’t something I am in the small dark hours of the morning.
I saw that we still had some of this really good bread that The Good Man had bought. Ok, yum.
I poked around the fridge to see if I could put anything into a sandwich.
Hey, I have a fresh jar of pickles! There is some tasty cheese! Still have a tomato for slicing and some sprouts for fiber and a few other good items. Hey, we still had half an avocado left. SCORE!
This made me so happy. I laid out the details on the countertop and hand crafted one hell of a good-looking sandwich. I did this thing up like an artist in her studio.
When it was completed, I carefully wrapped it up in wax paper, cut it, and wrapped it again, then put it in my lunch bag.
Now here’s the crazy-not-crazy part.
Now that I have made this delicious sandwich for my lunch, I can’t stop thinking about it.
All the way on the ride in to work I was thinking about eating that sandwich. Mouth watering, full anticipation. Oh yes. Gimme my sandwich!
Sammie sammie sammie sammie sammie is all my Pavlov brain is giving me today.
It’s about 10:30 and I have had a little breakfast but still all I can think about is that damn lunch I packed.
I have work to do and real world grown up decisions to make and I have to be a boss and employee but damnit, all I can focus on is my sandwich!
I will do my best to wait until noon, but I’m not making any promises.
I’m not the only one, right?
Edit 1: You know who really loves a good sandwich? The British. It’s like a religion to those folks. I should write a whole post on that.
Edit 2: It’s now 12:40 and this sandwich is *delicious*. Worth the wait? Of course. Worth the OCD? You know it. Happy tummy!
Image found here.
Filed under: adorable, amazing, anxiety, awesome!, awkward, blogging, business is business, cell phones, drama, edjumacation, first world problems, fun, gadgety goodness, game face, iPhone, iPhoneography, kerfuffle, latent childhood, life, light, make it work, mobile phones, Opinions, photography, play through, selfie, The Good Man, woo hoo!
Yesterday, as I blathered on and wrote a blog post and then decided I wanted to nab a selfie that
1) didn’t make me look like an old hag
2) showed off a rare day when my hair was rockin’ (sadly, it was a one day only event) I found myself contorting, head tilting, and generally being weird.
And that was before I had the camera turned upon myself.
At the end of the day, I’m pretty happy with the selfie that I captured yesterday. Respectable enough. It took a lot of work to get that one decent photo, however.
In snapping my own self, I remembered a tutorial I put together a few years back. I still use all of these tips and tricks. Even when The Good Man grumbles at me while self photographing. (he’s not a fan of the selfie)
So hey, I figured I would share again. Here it is, for your fabulous selfie-know-how edumacation.
Your Mobile Phone Camera And You
Originally posted December 21, 2011
Ok, look. Facebook finally got me. Like a hungry, persistent mountain lion, it pounced on me, grabbed me by the throat and took me down.
As I’ve been spending more time in the cavernous Facebook labyrinth, and seeing a lot of pages and a lot of faces, I’m starting to notice a trend.
Remember the infamous MySpace pose? That’s the self-photo taken with the camera above you, eyes looking up but chin down. Sometimes called the Princess Diana pose. Yeah, I think we’ve all seen plenty of that pose.
But that’s so over now.
The pose I’m seeing a lot of these days is the in-the-car self-photo.
Yup. Hold the phone way out to one side and snap a shot of yourself in the driver’s seat.
Look, I fully understand the need to look good in our Facebook profile. An old boyfriend or girlfriend from college might show up or something. None of us wants to look all haggity.
Believe me, I get it.
So what’s with the in-the-car profile photo and how can we make it better?
I will now dig into my deep and (not so) closely held secrets of the art of photography and perform a public service.
Ya wanna know why you like that photo of yourself in the car?
Two words: Natural light.
We ALL look better in natural light. When you are in your car, good ol’ fashioned sun comes pouring in through all the windows. Real sunlight makes you look hot.
I’m not kidding.
So assuming you want to have a nice photo of yourself on your Facebook page without your steering wheel in the background, and assuming you are all alone or too shy to ask for help, and assuming you want or need some advice on self portraiture…..
Here’s Karen Fayeth’s tips for a smoking hot profile self-photo:
Either get outside or if you have a nice sunny spot in your house filled with natural light, go there.
Next, what would be a nice background? How about a wall with a fun pattern or a wood fence with character? Sit down and lean back against it. Sit up straight! No slouchy here because we’ll all see it.
Make sure the sun isn’t shining directly in your face. That will make you squinty. Then make sure the sun isn’t directly behind you. That will make you halo-y and a dark shadow. It works best if it’s a sunny day but you are in shadow, or the sun isn’t directly on you. An overcast day is even better. That diffused light is majorly hot.
Hold your phone camera out at about eye level and a little off center. If you hold it above your eyes, you’ll get that eyes-up MySpace look. If you hold it below, now you are looking down and no one likes a double chin in their photo.
Seriously, no one.
Keep your chin up but not too high. Keep it at normal level as if you are looking straight forward.
Keep your elbow slightly bent. Don’t straight arm it or you will see your arm in the photo. Here’s an example.
Relax your face. Don’t force the smile. Try thinking about something that makes you laugh or smile naturally. Think about that time your buddy slipped and cartwheeled on the ice. Or think about how much your love your kid/spouse/dog/whatever. Something that tickles your funnybone and makes your eyes twinkle.
Look into the lens. Don’t look at the screen. Don’t look off to the side. Don’t look up. Don’t look down. Locate the actual camera lens on your phone and then look that lens square in its little lens eye and snap the shot.
And then another. And another and another and another and another.
Don’t be shy about taking A LOT of photos. You are looking for one good one among the many that make you go “uh, no”. It’s every photographer’s little secret. Take lots of shots.
Wait! Don’t just upload that one photo you like right from your mobile phone to your Facebook page!!!
Look at it on a bigger screen. Download it or email it to yourself and look on a regular monitor.
Check out the photo and crop it down if you want. Look in the background ALL AROUND you in the photo to be sure there isn’t something weird going on back there. (be especially alert for dogs pooping, kids barfing, etc. Check out This is Photobomb for a sense of what I’m putting down here. That site is totally not safe for work.)
Then, if you are happy with the photo, go ahead and make it your profile photo.
And wait for the compliments to roll in.
Oh, and one last piece of advise: Fer chrissakes, no duckface!
No photos in the mirror either.
Sooo many things wrong with this technique. Good light though!
Image found all over the web. If it’s yours I’ll gladly take it down or give credit, at your request. Thanks! I found it here.
Filed under: anxiety, art, artist, awesome!, awkward, bored, bragging, crazy, fun, game face, giddy, gratitude, happy, happy dance, iPhone, iPhoneography, laffs, latent childhood, learning, life, make it work, miscellany, monkey mind, Opinions, optimism, play through, rest, show and tell, silly, truth is stranger than..., woo hoo!, work, writer, writer's block, writing, zen
I don’t know what to write I don’t know what to write I don’t know what to write.
Yes, that’s a good old-fashioned trick now isn’t it?
What to write about when there is nothing to write about?
Oh, sure, there are an infinite number of things to write about, but all of those fabulous ideas seem to be on the wing. None are alighting on my brain and fingers and soul and pouring ideas into me so I can flow them out onto the keyboard.
Maybe it is because I am too content? Don’t they say really great art comes from pain?
I am just off of a very long and much needed holiday break from work. I have just had lunch. I slept really well last night.
My hair even looks great today.
I’m not kidding. Gaze upon those locks lying in the place I asked them nicely to lay.
Let’s not chat about what I had to do to get a good selfie while at work.
I work in an “open plan” office. Yeah. Just…don’t ask.
Wow. I mean, things are kind of going my way which is GREAT for me but terrible for me the artist.
The only thing grinding my gears today is that I want to write a beautiful, meaningful, magical post.
I want to say some words that I read later and think, “I wrote that?” and then go, “Yeeaaah, I WROTE THAT!”
That is so cool. I love that feeling. It’s a dopamine rush like no other.
But alas what I have so far today is a lot of words about making words and none of those words transcending the screen and taking flight.
Yes. I said poop. And I am not sorry.
Ok, over 250 words into this thing and I need to save it before this goes into the mental rubbish bin and I shrug my shoulders and give up and eat another cookie.
Oh, did I forget to mention cookies? Yeah, I have those today too.
I mean can this day GET any better? Not by much, honestly.
So shall I write words of joy and sing songs of happy?
It seems readers like so much better to read tales of woe and pain and hubris and pathos.
Went and got all Greek on ya there, didn’t I?
So maybe I break the mold today. Separate from the pack. Do something different.
Something that means something to me today.
Hello. Welcome to Tuesday, the Fourteenth of January.
I am in an exceptionally good mood today, and being happy makes for uninteresting reading, but for a very knockout day.
I feel so good I want to share it. May your Tuesday be as awesome as possible as well.
Break from the pack and REALLY enjoy your day. Do it just to spite the haters, the grumblers and the cranky pants of this world.
I dare you.
Image of me, by me, Copyright Me, 2014. Don’t go mucking around with my photo of me, damn it! Taken with an iPhone5, the Camera+ App and loads of vanity. But look at that hair!
Goldfish image found here.
Filed under: awesome!, awkward, big weather, Boss Lady, business is business, California, choices, disapproving boss, drama, kids these days, latent childhood, lazy, life, make it work, new year, Opinions, play through, winter, woo woo, work, yes boss
Oh yes, I am the rainmaker of ideas here in my place of employ.
The next big thing is what comes tripping off the end of my tongue.
I’m on the cutting edge.
Watch me work:
Yesterday my Boss Lady (who is the Department Big Boss) was in my office. She stopped by to say hi and happy New Year. She was also lying low for a bit as she can barely walk the halls of this place without being pounced on from all directions.
So as we sat and kibitzed, I dropped my next big idea on her.
Me: “So, I saw this info graphic yesterday. It showed that, like, the majority of the country has a ninety percent chance of freezing temperatures.”
Boss Lady (BL): “Yeah, I know, isn’t that crazy?”
Me: “It is…it is…really crazy. I mean…schools and businesses are closed down because of this crazy weather.”
BL: “Really? Wow, I hadn’t heard that.”
Me: “Yeah, yeah…so don’t you think that we should stand in solidarity with the rest of the country and stay home today?”
Me: “I mean…doing our part as good Americans and all of that.”
BL: “You sit near a window.”
BL: “Look out your window.”
BL: “It’s 65 degrees out there.”
BL: “I can’t really sell a snow day when it’s 65 degrees.”
Me: “I see what the problem is here.”
BL: “What’s that?”
Me: “I need to do a better job of managing my manager.”
The best big ideas are the ones that seem weird at the start. The ideas that are easily pooh-poohed.
The crazy ones.
Sometimes the difference is not in the idea, but how you sell it.
Genius comes in many forms.
I shall continue to make my pitch on this topic as I continue to stand in solidarity with all the poor souls who don’t have to go to work today.
I should be with you. I really should. Here’s hoping my employer can make this right.
Image found here. Check out that page for one school principal’s ritual guaranteed to net you a snow day.
Filed under: addictions, adorable, amazing, anxiety, awesome!, awkward, beautiful, being sick, blogging, bragging, business is business, Celebration, cranky, da blues, doooooom!, good eats, gratitude, hellidays, iPhone, iPhoneography, kerfuffle, latent childhood, life, Love, love and marriage, make it work, objectophilia, Opinions, our happy home, play through, show and tell, stubborn, sugar & fat & salt, the feline, The Good Man, they call it stormy Monday, truth is stranger than..., yes boss
Today feels more like New Year’s Day to me than it did on January first. This is easily explained, as today is my first day back at work and the reality of 2014 is slowing sinking in.
Today was the first day back to old routines and old problems and that dratted alarm clock squawking at me at some unspeakable hour when even the sun doesn’t want to be disturbed in his slumber.
But here I am, back in the grind, wondering how I can keep myself stress free and high energy for all of the many days that lie ahead until my next two-week break.
As such, it’s time for me to turn my attention back to words and writing and the ol’ blog.
I thought I’d kick off the New Year by doing an update post, addressing many of the things we’ve chatted about over the past month or so.
Where to start?
Oh Fair New Mexico
Well, let’s be a little meta and start by talking about my little blog. March will mark seven years of writing words on Oh Fair New Mexico.
Total count (before this post) is 566,730 original words over 1,669 posts.
For the loyal readers, I give you a huge hug and lots of thanks for keeping up with the wild meanderings of my mind.
In the past I was able to consistently post every weekday, and did so for years. Lately that flow has slowed quite a bit.
Is it that I just don’t have anything more to say? Hardly.
The nature of my job is such that I rarely have a free second of time during my days. This job is high energy and decisions required moment to moment.
In my former gigs, I was able to write up a post over my lunch or while on a break. Now, when I eat lunch (at my desk, usually) I have a line of people out my office door wanting to chat.
I often hear “Oh she’s there!” outside my cubicle walls and an “Oh, are you eating lunch? This will just take a minute” when a face peeks around my doorway.
My employees are top-notch folks and I take working for them very seriously.
But dammit! Mommy needs some alone time!
I get quite frustrated sometimes over my lack of time. It’s something I’m working on in this new year.
I’m telling you all of this by way of saying that even if a week goes by and I haven’t posted something, don’t give up on me. I’m still here and I’m still writing.
Nice segue. Speaking of writing, lately I have been getting a nice boost from a website named 750words.com.
If you ever read the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, then you learned the value of morning pages. Per Ms Cameron, morning pages are three handwritten pages about any topic you please. The intent is to help prime the ol’ pump and get the creative juices flowing.
I have done morning pages off and on for years and they sure help, but it’s easy for me to let them drop. They are kind of a pain in the butt sometimes, plus my handwriting sucks. Also, my hand can’t go fast enough for my brain.
Enter 750 words. The creator of the website did the math and figured out that three pages is, give or take, 750 words.
So it’s morning pages, online, with reminder emails and badges and statistics and fun.
Why I’m telling you this is because I have been working on words on that site and boy can I tell a difference.
Hopefully that difference will show up here on Oh Fair too.
Just before Thanksgiving, I wrote a pretty sad post about my little fuzzy one.
She had just spent a weekend in the pet hospital and when we brought her home she was weak and quite skinny.
At the time, we didn’t think she would make it to Thanksgiving.
Then I was just certain she would not make it to Christmas.
So here I am on January 6th feeling pretty amazed that The Feline is actually doing ok. Through the wonders of modern veterinary medicine, she is not only ok, she has gained a little weight and is clear eyed and feisty and full of vim and is feeling like her old self.
It’s kind of amazing. The Feline will never recover from her ailment, what she has is terminal, but The Good Man and I now understand how to manage it. We got her steady and we have more time with the little punk than we thought.
She will be 15 years old in March, and now my hope is that she gets to celebrate her little cranky feline birthday.
Here’s a photo taken about a week ago. This was the first time I really realized she was feeling better and it’s become one of my favorite photos of her:
Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth
That Damn Chocolate Bear
You listened to my tale. You sympathized with my anxiety. You heard my cries.
The response was best summed up by a New Mexico friend:
“Snuff the Yogi.”
And I want to. Oh. I want to.
Here is the status of the Bear as of this morning.
Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth
He sits there, mocking me. He is in residence on the shelf set aside for snacks. During the height of holiday madness, that shelf was cram packed with delicious treats and he survived by cowering in the back behind the biscochitos and the sugar cookies and the See’s Candy and the rocky road treats made by The Good Man’s little sister.
After the piranhas had their holiday feeding frenzy all that’s left is that damn bear and a crappy candy cane.
Yes, people, I’m telling you that the bear is still intact.
I asked The Good Man, “What kind of maniac doesn’t eat a freaking chocolate bear?!”
He politely responded that since things have escalated, he will be seeking a safe house where the bear can be granted asylum.
He’s just doing this to torment me. He knows one day in the not too distant future I am going to tear the apartment apart and walk through that bear’s gold foil restraining order and tear him chocolaty limb from chocolaty limb.
Oh it’s happening.
Well there we have it. I think that gets us all pretty much current and caught up as of today.
I am through most of my first Monday back at work. All in, it was not bad.
Onward until tomorrow.
Feliz Año Nuevo my friends.
I just realized that it’s only two weeks until the glorious three day weekend of MLK Jr. day.
I can hardly wait.
All images © Copyright 2014, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right corner of this page.