BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dream Bathroom

Sometimes I fantasize about what my perfect bathroom would look like and the one thing that is consistent in all my dreams is that I would have a master bath without a bathtub.

I always shower. I can't even tell you the last time I took a bath. It just seems like a huge waste of time and I'd have to hop in the shower anyway to wash my hair, so why bother? And yet every house I've had has had a tub. :-(

Tubs collect dust and they take up valuable real estate that could be purposed for something more useful--like a shower that is large enough for a seat and totally luxurious. Or how about a slightly bigger shower and a linen closet that isn't taking up space in my walk-in closet? (This is making me insane.) Or a vanity where I could sit down to mess with makeup and such. Said vanity could even have big drawers, something my current master doesn't have.

This house has two other bathtubs, so it shouldn't hurt resale and no tub would make me ecstatically happy.

Of course, I can't afford to redo my bathroom and so I'll have to live with this tub. Sigh. But it is nice to dream.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Rough Sketch

One of my great disappointments in life is that I can't draw. I'd love to pick up a sketch pad and some pencils and make beautiful drawings. Maybe if I spent time practicing I'd reach a point where I was adequate and not embarrassing, but while I'd like to draw, I don't have a burning passion for it. Not like writing.

As a kid, when I'd try to draw and fail, I'd give up and go do something else, but when I wrote something and it wasn't exactly how I wanted it, I revised and reworked, and wrote some more. This is the difference, I think, between a passion and an interest.

I've tried coloring books because it allows some color creativity if not actual drawing, but I found this exceedingly boring and gave up quickly.

Of course, this lack of talent doesn't mean I've given up and I frequently have to talk myself out of buying art supplies. Most of the time I'm pretty good about doing it because I know I'll end up with an unused collection if I don't. Recently, I failed. I bought a color pencil set, a regular pencil set, and two sketchbooks.

I had them sitting in my office, next to the computer, and while I was writing, I had this idea. Let me draw a map! I'm working on a scene toward the end of my book and there's a lot to keep straight as far as character/plot/action/etc. and the layout of the land was one more factor to monitor.

Like I said, I can't draw well, but I didn't need an artist's rendering, just a rough sketch of what is where. So I opened my pencil case and made an extremely rudimentary drawing. It might be ugly, but it helped me with what I needed it for. I'm calling it a win.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Little Less "Love"

I'm not sure if it's only my insurance company, but honestly they are constantly reaching out to me. Calling me, emailing me, wanting me to take surveys about my interactions with them. What's that quote? We care about your total well being. I can't remember if I read that somewhere or saw it on TV or in a movie, but it's appropriately sarcastic. They are trying way too hard to show they love me.

The thing is that I don't want my insurance company to reach out to me. I want them to leave me the hell alone. Send me my bill when it's due, send me my proof of auto insurance card, and stop raising my rates. That's all I want from them.

Instead, I get email after email after email, and when it gets close to policy time, they want to call me to discuss my coverage. No. I don't want to talk to you. I'll call you if I need you.

And ultimately, it doesn't matter how much they try to show they love me. One more price hike on my auto insurance and I'm shopping for a new company. I really don't want to do this because it's a time-consuming, royal PITA, but I haven't had a claim since 1998. There is no way my rates should jump every year.

Maybe if they wasted less money on reaching out to people who want to be left alone, they wouldn't have to jack up their rates.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


At work, there are frequent charity fundraisers. Just this week, there were two on back-to-back days--a lunch for a woman who'd been in a car accident and another the following day for a man who had cancer. Both were worthy events, but the difference in flyers posted around the office were amazing.

I will confess immediately that I did the flyer for the woman in the car accident. There is a short, grabbing headline, a picture of the woman and her children, and the necessary information. First, what happened and why she needs financial assistance (this is also kept brief, but hopefully grabs the heart) and then a Where, When, What, Cost list in bold. This allows people to see the important information in a glance without having to study the flyer in detail.

Then there was the other flyer. The headline is long and confusing because of the poor grammar. I actually had to stop and read it twice to grasp what they were trying to say. There was no paragraph of explanation because that was what the headline was. It was necessary to search for the important information like where this was being held. The date and the cost were easy to see, so that worked.

I see bad flyers all the time at work. Literally, the flyer has about a second or less to grab a passerby's attention. Lengthy, confusing headlines don't do that. This is typical. Graphics of the food being served at the lunch instead of pictures of the family in need (or the charitable organization). Everyone knows what food looks like. Show the family, make it real.

Don't even get me started about grammar. My least favorite is the apostrophe atrocity. That would be using apostrophes where none is required. For example: Thank you for your contribution's. UGH! ::sobs:: I hate apostrophe atrocities. Not every S requires an apostrophe.

I'm not the only one who creates good flyers. Another department put together a flyer for a smoothie fundraiser that was exceptionally well done. It conveys the what you get brilliantly and the other information is easy to see in a glance. Someone else made it and did a fabulous job!

The thing is that these charity fundraisers are all good causes and it's a shame to lose people who'd potentially like to attend the lunch, but their eyes skim right over those flyers that are dense with text and confusion. The key always is to make it as easy as possible for people to know what you're asking of them. I try to do that with my flyers and I think I succeed.

My advertising degree at work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Knitting Needles

Last Christmas, I planned the holiday party for my boss's boss and all his departments. It took a lot of nagging, but I managed to pull it off. As a thank you, my boss's boss gave me a gift card to a craft store. Woot!

Recently, said craft store had a super good sale with 25% off of everything and free shipping on any dollar amount. It was time to use my gift card!

As a new knitter, I'm woefully under supplied with knitting needles. Aside from my interchangeable set, I have three sizes of straight needles and two sizes of Double Pointed Needles (DPN). I didn't want to invest a lot of money in the straight needles because I don't use them that often and I don't think it's because I'm so limited on size. I like using my interchangeable needles with the long cord for shawls because of the number of stitches involved.

I'm still waiting for a sale to pick up a couple of sets of DPNs--one set for each sock or sleeve I need to knit--and I definitely would like some 8 or 9 inch circular needles for knitting in the round in this manner when I want to. The DPNs do the same thing, but sometimes I struggle with them.

Anyway, I ordered my straight needles--one set in every size I didn't have--and I discovered my gift card was for double what I thought! Thank you, boss's boss!!! So I bought yarn, too. :-)

After placing my order, I told my dad about the extra money on the gift card and what I'd bought. What was his response? "Do you really need more knitting needles?"


Now granted, he doesn't knit so he doesn't get it, but when I was in college and living at home, he used to ask me, "Do you really need another pair of black shoes?" Well, of course I did or I wouldn't have bought them. Men!