for those who are in or around sane

Sunday, June 29

facebook: why?

answer: freshman year roomie.

no more justification needed. for those of you directed here from my facebook account, i'm much more apt to update here.

Monday, June 23

garden, pt 5

it is with sunburnt shoulders and a happy soul from toiling the earth that i bring you this post! after a lot of hard work and thought, some major edits should be noted:

1. tomato plants
my tomato plants have me worried. they refused to grow UP and started flowering quite early. i worried that they were in too shallow of containers with too poor of soil. so i finally remedied the situation and overhauled all of my pots, starting here. two tomato plants got special tlc and i carefully (oh so gently!) re-potted them into separate containers with a good mix of soil and a bit of fertilizer. the pic here shows romeo pouting demurely on the porch (i was about to leave for work - he's a bit on the needy side). the pix below show one remaining tomato plant with a re-potted flower (it has promising buds) and the other has a new buddy - the new basil plant, which is already strong and healthy.

2. herbies

there is too much thyme. i could make many, many bad puns here but to spare my most loyal of readers (who hear too many bad puns from me on a daily basis) i shall refrain. as a remedy, in my spare time, with a fistful of thyme (oh to hell with it...) i cooked up a simple syrup. simmer 1 cup of water with 1 cup of honey and a bunch of sprigs of thyme for 30 min - 1 hour. strain, cool and use as desired. i created a lovely sunday night cocktail: 2 oz vodka, 1.5 tbsp simple syrup, topped with lemonade.

the rosemary is coming along nicely, but it stopped growing, so my hope is that the new soil enriches the plant's health.

the first basil plant is struggling in the same manner as the rosemary. i tried my darndest to give this one the most new soil. it now has inspiration from the new basil plant in the pot sitting beside it. the best source of inspiration can be jealousy, right!?


Thursday, June 19

banner day with a bit of karmic fall-back

as i rounded 3rd to home and high-fived my teammate who crossed the plate just before me, i heard quite a few congratulatory remarks coming from our duggout. none though, was any more descriptive of my day than karen's comment:

"go megan! what a great day! you learned stick and you SCORED!!"

i swear, the whole field was in hysterics (at least, my side of the field was in a conniption). what karen meant is that i had a banner day. my boss took our team out for lunch and upon our return volunteered to teach me how to drive a manual car. i've had a great teacher, who in fact, taught me everything i know about manual driving (thanks h!) but his truck never quite liked me. it's a good truck, to be sure, but that horse was not for me to ride. so this time i tried a brand new jetta. and it purred for me! hence, i learned stick.

the score part is easier to figure out... for the first time in 2 years, i managed to run all of the bases (albeit one at a time) and provide a solid stat for my team.

as a topper to the day, for the half of the game i didnt play, i learned how to fill out the box score. it was a lot of fun, and my friend kim was very patient with me.

so what, you ask, is the karmic fall-back? see now, i'm not sure if this is karma or not... but it's definitely the world balancing itself out. i got back home and pawed through my mail to find a bill for 3 unpaid parking tickets from 2006. well now aint that a byotch?

Wednesday, June 18

deep, fresh breaths

last night i had a chill time with some friends. went to my pal tq's new apartment (which is in the area of town with the least amount of parking outside of lincoln park) and brought a bottle of chardonnay to share with fish tacos. the food was fabulous, the weather was pristine, the cubs did a good job (albeit losing - it was close though!) and i had a great time overall.

i'm starting to dig summertime. now that i'm "adjusting" my work schedule, i have some great daylight hours of free time. next order of business is to tune up my bike. it's rather late in the season, i know, but you gotta start somewhere! can anyone recommend a good brand of tire pump for compression tires?

my garden is ok... i'm starting to wonder about the tomato plants and the amount of soil in the pots they reside in... i'll post a pix later on in the week. 2nd order of business is to grab more soil and possibly a starter plant of cilantro. those fish tacos were supreme b/c of the fresh cilantro!

Monday, June 16

inflexible flex time

i realize that the majority of the cube working world revolves around an 8-5 schedule with mandatory hour lunches and frustrating sick policies. i, however, work for a company that is marginally more laid back than that. i can enter the office anytime before 10am. as long as i put in my 7 hours (it's a 35 hour work week), i'm good to go.

a few weeks back (coinciding with a huge jump in gas prices) a bunch of us peons proposed the idea of a compressed work week schedule, so we wouldn't have to come into the office on fridays. saves gas and promotes our carpooling.

our company (to our surprise) announced a compressed schedule program last week. we whooped for joy. most sub-peons loved this idea and immediately joined up. i, however, held back. as a regular peon, i have a lot of stupid responsibilities. i would need to check my email on fridays, regardless of day off. i dont get paid enough to check my emails in overtime, mind you, but i'd still have to do it to get paid at all. so i suggested i do a mostly-compressed work week and do a half day from home, answering inane emails.

side note: on a regular friday, i do spend at least 4 hours holed up in my cube, not answering any new requests - i'm simply solving old problems the week did not allow me time to indulge.

unfortunately, the higher ups put the ki-bash on that one this afternoon. no working from home. i simply do not understand this one.

i also noticed some small print in the proposal: you MUST get into work by 8:30am. See now, most folks go "yeah, duh, you'd have to"... i go "no, i really dont" because currently, i stay late. there are nights when i dont leave the office until 7pm. and i do not mind this. i'd rather work late than get here early.

so my overly rebellious mind is completely revolting right now. i do not wish to indulge in the compressed work week. i wish to continue getting into the office at 9am. i wish to continue putting in as much time as i need to get my work done. but i also wish to leave after my work is complete for the week. so i think i will. unless someone talks me down from this stance, i dont see why i cant do it.


Wednesday, June 4

may books: shortie entrie

only one book consumed in may. i also attempted to catch up with my absurdly large pile of new yorkers, to no avail. somehow, softball season, the advent of cable, bbqs and vacations prevented my usual amount of book reading. even my lunch hours have been usurped by things like design memos and bday lunches. but, i must say, i made my may book count.

the brief wondrous life of oscar wao by junot diaz

my preface to reading this book: this is my advance galley copy, received almost exactly a year ago at the bookexpo america 2007 conference. a lit agent slipped me a copy, patted it's cover and said i'd better read it asap. i started it that very day, and was hooked immediately. however, it got mixed up in the truckload of books i brought home, packed into a box during my move and was stored in a basement for many months before i could unearth it again. during this time, at least 4 of my more literary friends brought up "this great new book i found by junot diaz"... oh how i ITCHED to finish reading that damn galley.

and so, here i be, one year later, finished reading the pulizter prize-winning book. yes, that's right, during it's tenure in my cardboard boxes, it won a pulitzer.

oscar is a first-generation american of dominican decent - and my, my what a decent it is... his family is followed by fuku - a deep rooted curse - which threads its way through the lives of oscar's loved ones, crosses oceans and spans generations. oscar, completely out of place in his heritage, is a doomed literary, rotund, sci-fi/anime/comic/gamer fanboy. his mother, sister, great aunt and "best friend's" stories interweave around oscar's, creating an amazingly elaborate portrait of domincan and dominican-american life.

spanglish is prevalent, which was my personal challenge - i had to stretch my brain back to high school (and reach for that dog-eared pocket translation dictionary) to grasp some of the higher meanings. diaz uses native language and [squeal of delight] footnotes to incorporate dominican history, passion and empathy into the story.

read the damn new york times review or the publishers weekly review for the glorious details, but suffice to say, i really enjoyed diaz's debut. take it for a spin - and dont be afraid of the language!