The World According to Marney

Thursday, August 31

Pretty Changes

I just thought I needed to give my blog a bit of a face lift. I got very fed up with the old look. Particularly since Blogger's very attractive banner at the top of the screen would sometimes obscure the title and sometimes show it. Also, you'll note that I have 2 sets of comments on my posts. I'm going to phase out the non-Blogger ones. But in the mean time, there is a strong following of Mom's comments from many people. So I thought I would keep them for a little while.

Not much to share. I'm counting down the minutes before I head out on my long weekend vacation. I was going to do laundry and pack tonight, but I was stuck at the office until it was too late to get to the laundromat. Grrrr.... Oh well, I'll have to make due with whatever clothes I have that are clean.

Oh, I did get new exciting toys from Herrschners. I purchased some cross stitch supplies that arrived today. I think I'm gonna start in on the very fun and naughty samplers for some friends. I have had a few requests already. And I finished the pillow (except stuffing it) as housewarming gift number one. It has a lovely "Beeyatch" with bees on it. Quite adorable.

Monday, August 28

Knitting Update

I think I have been neglecting my knitting progress in my latest posts. Unfortunately, I have no pictures right now, but I'm working on it.

Current projects:

1. Blanket for my newest cousin. It is completely knitted, but i want to put on a fabric back to protect small fingers from the embroidery that I put on it.

2. Pillow as a house warming present for a friend of mine who has just moved into her new apartment. This will also have some help from other needle arts. I was inspired by Subversive Cross Stitch. I am almost finished with the knitted part. I have some cross stitch supplies en route right now.

3. This is the most exciting project of all. After seeing this article, I knew that I had to knit with corn. That's right, 100% corn made into yarn. So, when my shipment came in, I shared with everyone. Strangely enough, each person that I told about it did the exact same thing: smelled the yarn. No, it doesn't smell like corn. To be honest, I'm not sure what part of the corn it's made from. I would think probably not the kernals. But in knitting with it, it is pretty soft and sturdy. It's in a thin tape form, but doesn't stay flat when knitted. This one is just starting, so i'll give updates as I progress.

There are a couple of other projects on needles here and there, but nothing worth chatting about.

Tuesday, August 22

Debt Free

I did it! I made it! After a conscious effort over the past 6 years, I just made the final payments on my last 2 credit cards. No more loans, credit card balances or any other nasty and ugly liens on my financial existance.

It hasn't been easy, particularly when I first started battling the monster. When I first cut up my cards and started doing nothing but paying them back, it was very painful. I recoiled a couple of times, but all in all, kept trudging forward.

I have to say, Peter helped me secure the final nail in the debt coffin. I sold off some of my magical stocks that appeared in my life to take care of the last bit. Nothing like money that appears in my life seemingly out of nowhere to make it that much better.

Perhaps I will venture into other forms of monetary growth. Now that I have played the stock market, perhaps I will dive deeper. I don't think I can handle this much adult responsibility. Being a grown up is scary.

Monday, August 21

The Summer of my Discontent

This blog is starting to sound like a broken record..."It's too hot"..."I hate summer"..."Grumble, grumble"... Well, this entry is going to add to my grumpiness. I have achieved another low in my summer misery. That's right, I have lost electricity.

Yesterday afternoon as I went home from spending time with Peter, there was a sign on my building's front door. "There is no hot water. The boiler is down. It is a Con Ed problem that won't be fixed until 8/21." Fine, I can deal with a break in my hot water, particularly in the hot summer months.

I made it upstairs, through the lighted hallway only to discover that I can't turn on any lights or anything that might be plugged into the wall. Not happy. 88 degrees at about 6PM and the sun was slowly slipping into the horizon. Luckily, Peter was there with me and reminded me that there are a number of (not-so reasonably priced) hotels in the area that are likely full of electricity. After I kicked him and called him a smart-ass, he offered to share his electricity with me.

I remembered to add to the statistic of calls made to 311 to inform Con Ed that they suck. I was informed that my lack of power is of the utmost importance to them and they will push my call to the top of the gi-normous heap of dis-satisfied customers without power. For some reason, I don't have a whole lot of faith in Con Ed's ability to fix these problems quickly. Just ask the folks in Queens and Staten Island.

In a brighter note, I went to see Little Miss Sunshine over the weekend. This is a must see movie for anyone that thinks their family is wack-a-noodle, has dreams of escaping their small life or just likes to see Alan Arkin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear do what they all do best. I laughed so much in this movie. It's smart and funny.

Oh, and thanks for all the well-wishes. I am feeling much better. That icky stomach bug stuck around for about 5 days. So, I don't think I'm allergic to New Jersey. I don't think it was motion sickness. I don't think it was something I ate. I think it was just my involunatary attempt at bulemia. (I didn't care for it and will probably steer clear of it in the future.)

Monday, August 14

Thankfully cooler!

After a grueling week of heat, we have been blessed with gorgeous weather over the past few days. It has been much cooler (particularly at night) with pleasant breezes. I am very grateful that this evil heat has passed, at least for now.

Over the weekend, I got to take advantage of my friend Mary jo's birthday present to me. That was tickets to see Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows in concert at PNC Bank Arts Center. It was a wonderful day of spending time with MJ and a couple of her friends out in NJ. We hung around the Montclaire area for the afternoon, collecting supplies and food stuffs.

Let's face it, there is nothing like letting Marney loose in a dollar store, particularly when it is a true junk store. At one point, while MJ was paying for the sheet set (which came in very handy later) for our picnic, I managed to have a different adjustable ring on each finger, and the ugliest sunglasses in existance on my face. It takes so little to amuse me.

We met up with MJ's friends and made our way south to the concert. There was a bit of time to enjoy the beautiful weather with a bit of a picnic and chatter in the parking lot. It really was a wonderful day for it!

The concert started out really well. The Goo Goo Dolls played well. Though I admit, I was a bit distracted by the 738,947,283 teenagers that couldn't figure out where they needed to be at any point in time. Oh, and the guy with the disgustingly itchy butt. So the Counting Crows came on and brought the concert to a screeching halt. They announced that one of their close friends died the day before and they were going to only play "beautiful" and "accoustic" music. Talk about an instant bummer. It was beautiful music, but terribly depressing.

So the way home was a bit of a downer too, as we talked about the downer concert. Well, that was until MJ and I got into her car so she could take me back to Manhattan. That is when I started to feel queasy, and then, just about the time we hit the stop and go traffic in front of the tunnel, I managed to relive all of the food I had earlier that day. And we were stuck in the stinky car with lots of traffic. Thankfully, the remainder of the sheet set was handy for a lttle clean up action. Not fun. Thanks MJ for putting up with my sickness. I feel awful.

Both Sunday and today, I was alternating between okay and really yucky. I ended up leaving work early to rest. Right now, I'm okay, but I don't truly think that is going to last. At least it's a slow time at work!

So, I'm going to get back to resting and recovery TV. I hope to make it back to the land of the living tomorrow. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, August 8

It's freaking hot!

I am not alone! This article makes me realize I'm not crazy for either hating the ever growing heat or for loathing air conditioning in all of it's comfort-making abilities. I am not as conflicted as I thought.

Monday, August 7

I Officially Hate Summer

I have come to the realization that summer may very well be my least favorite season. It wasn't always that way. Back in school, it was a time of vacation and fun. There was swimming and parties to waste time before having to go back into classes. But that hasn't happened for quite a long time.

Now, for me, summer is a time of extreme weather and sweating. There isn't anything that makes it fun or nice that is different from any other time of the year. In fact, there are many things that I don't want to do because of the heat and humidity.

I haven't even begun to get into the smells that overpower everything. As garbage and other "stuff" bakes in the summer heat and diffuse in the stagnant, humid air, it is almost as though we are walking through a world of fermenting trash.

In the winter, the cold is at least bearable. I can bundle up as much as I like to stay warm. Plus snuggling with kitties or another warm body is much more fun.

Spring may be rainy, but it is not prohibitive to getting things done or motivation to do what needs to be done.

Autumn is the best time of year with cooler air and more comfortable climate. The trees changing colors are and added bonus.

For many seasons, I have relished the fact that how ever uncomfortable I may be with the climate, it will pass. But I am starting to get a bit frustrated with the extremes. Is it global warming? I don't know. But I am starting to wonder if Alaska might be a fun option.

Or maybe I need to find a job that lets me take the summers off. At least there would be something to look forward to in summer.

Friday, August 4

I'm Tired of Summer Already

Make this heat stop. That's all I ask. I know I don't care for the air conditioning as a rule, but I have come to depend on it much more than I am comfortable doing. The A/C at the office has been on the blink for the past 2-3 weeks. And with temperatures hanging out in the high 90s and low 100s (before the heat index), I am not comfortable, ever. I look forward to extra shifts at the theatre just because it's cool.

In brighter, and much more humane news, Ayelet and Moe popped into town last week. For 3 years in a row, the three of us have managed to get a mini vacation in with each other. 2 years ago, it was in Las Vegas, when I planned to go with family, then Ayelet decided to visit her grandparents living there and Moe decided to come along, too. Then last summer, when Moe was staying with my parents for her summer internship in Portland, I stopped by for a visit and Ayelet drove up from California for a weekend. This time, Ayelet came for a visit to NYC and Moe decided to drive through on her way to her sister's house in Jersey. I'm guessing next year will be in San Francisco or Pittsburgh (their respective homes).

It was good to see them, though I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the second gathering of the group. Instead we have to revel in the yummy Peruvian Food and ice cream. It was a lovely gathering of the usual suspects.

In more recent excitement, I acquired something that many people own - in some form - but never really see. When I worked for Morgan Stanley, I bought into the stock purchase plan, paying a percentage of my paycheck back to the company for discounted stocks. Well, after you have been gone from the company for 5 years, they make you take responsibility for these stocks. I got a notice that I had to roll my shares over to a private account or they would cash them out to me - sort of. Since I didn't have an account to roll them into (and was too lazy to do much about it), they cashed out my partial shares and sent me an actual stock certificate. I think that's pretty nifty, actually. Of course, it's really not practical, but it is cool to have. So, I did the responsible thing and opened a brokerage account which is where the certificate will end up going. But until I send it in, I will still have my fancy little stock certificate.