28 August 2007

Me and Linda Blair

It's been so crazy these past few weeks that my head's spinning. Thankfully, I'm not throwing up green pea baby food, too!

It's been fun, and "interesting," trying to finish up all the work I have for the Elections committee and trying desperately to catch up with a very active Seniors, Military Affairs & Public Safety committee (SMAPS, for short). Officially I start next Tuesday. Of course, I was so busy trying to figure out what I was doing that I completely spaced the fact that Monday is a holiday. Normally I would be thrilled with an extra weekend day. But not this next Monday, which is 4 days before my new committee has a meeting. Nothing like hitting the ground running! Guess that's why I'm planning on unpacking in my new office on Saturday. So much for that extra weekend day, after all. Despite the stress, I'm really excited.

Last week the General Assembly was called back into special session, so that just added to the fun last week. It actually only really meant a few extra work hours for me, which I managed to fill just fine.

On top of all the changes at work (and moving the office is just one of them), I've been a little busy in other areas, too. I'm still knitting, and learned how to purl this weekend, so now my teacher says I know everything I need to know. I'm not so sure I believe that, but it's still exciting. I also went back to Weight Watchers with Lisa last week. It's not news that I need to lose weight, and at least for awhile I feel the need to have some accountability while getting in the groove. Lisa's been really into it, trying new recipes and checking out the website. I've been a little slower getting everything online, but I'm still following the program and that's what counts.

Oh, and Lisa...Linda Blair says "Hi!" Sorry...I couldn't resist!

19 August 2007

I'm Hooked!

It's all Kat's fault, really. Me, who has never in my life been a crafty person...there I was today, taking a craft class. And I loved it. I can see myself becoming obsessed.

Kat has always been Mrs. Crafty woman, and recently she's been into knitting big time. Predictably, when she came to visit in July, she wanted to visit our one dedicated knit shop in Louisville, The Knit Nook. And that's where the bug bit me. As I walked around with Kat, looking at the various examples hanging around the shop and feeling the different yarns, it occurred to me that this was a craft I might actually like. And so I started looking around and seeing where I might take knitting lessons, if I could learn on my own over the internet or through a book, and in general yearning for a time when I actually got my hands on some yarn!

This was a new thing for me. I always liked art class, no matter the project, but I never liked doing crafts. Maybe that's because the only one I knew well was cross stitching, and I never really liked the finished products enough to get into it seriously.

Today I finally got my hands on some yarn. And to do it, I returned to the scene of the crime...to The Knit Nook, where Kristin spent 2 hours teaching me and 3 other women of all ages and types how to do the simple acts of casting on and the first basic stitch. Maybe next week I'll learn purling...Kristin offered to teach me today, but I didn't want to get confused when I picked up my knitting later in the week. My muscle memory isn't developed yet, so I knew I wouldn't be able to remember which is which!

Scarves and hats and felted purses, here I come!

18 August 2007

Fast Times

It's been a doozy of a week, but in a good way for the most part. I was sort of in slow motion when I got back from Boston. Truthfully, I still have a suitcase of laundry that needs to be done (and soon, too). But I was just lazy last weekend.

Which is why on Tuesday I got an email from my friend Crady, asking me if I was ever, ever, ever going to do any scrapbook pages for the book that many of us were putting together in appreciation for everything that our friend Maria had done in leading our Affirmation Group (young adult small group started at my old church). We had to get it done by Wednesday because that was when Maria was officially stepping down as group leader and when we as a group really had to start making concrete decisions on what we are going to do as we move forward. Most likely we'll still be meeting, but just somewhere else and probably at some other time. And we'll definitely be splitting up the responsibilities of the group.

I've been distracted all week, though, because there was a potential that I might get a promotion at work. I knew this was a possibility 3 weeks ago, but nothing else had happened since, so I wasn't sure what was happening. A committee staff administrator (CSA) of another committee is retiring at the end of the month. Finally, they decided to hold interviews late this week, so on Thursday morning I got to talk with my agency's director about the position.

Well, I found out about 26 hours later that I got the job! Starting September 1 I will be the CSA of the Seniors, Military Affairs, & Public Safety committee. There are 2 other full-time analysts on the committee, along with a committee assistant (secretary of the committee), and a part-time analyst who is the retired former CSA of the committee. Even before the announcement was made that I was getting the job, one of the chairwomen of the committee had already given me a few things to do for her. And even when I officially start, there won't be much of a grace period because the first committee meeting will be 4 days later. Whew!!! The only downside to the whole thing is that one of my friends was also in the running for the position, and I hated that me getting it meant she didn't. That's just a tough situation.

As a bonus from out of the blue, Mom gave me the emerald and diamond ring she'd bought in Philadelphia two years ago and that I've coveted ever since. She told me that she was planning on giving it to me at Christmas, but decided that my promotion was an excellent opportunity. I love this ring! And I may not be taking it off any time soon.

13 August 2007

Boston Commons

All last week I was in Boston for the National Conference of State Legislatures. It's the second time I've been in Boston this year, though the first time was only for a day. I like Boston a lot...much like I like Philadelphia. I think it's cool being in a city that is so old. But the traffic stresses me out. I'm a pretty aggressive driver (by Midwest standards), but watching our bus drivers slide through "lanes" with less that six inches on either side made my heart race. I don't know how any cars in Boston maintain their side-view mirrors.

In addition to the informative topical sessions I went to in order to hopefully serve the legislature better, we were treated to a tour of Fenway, including seeing the dugout and locker room of the Red Sox. I'm not a big baseball fan, but it was still cool to stand next to the field and hear my guy friends talk about the Green Monster. And Bostonians are pretty rabid about their BoSox, much like Kentuckians are about Big Blue Basketball.

One afternoon I went with a few other co-workers to visit the JFK Library. I'd never been to a presidential library, but it was fascinating. I think my favorite part is the room you come into at the very end of the museum. It is a huge, 3 story concrete floor & glass wall room in the shape of the front of a boat. It sits on a peninsula, just a few feet from Boston Harbor. When we had entered the museum it was bright and sunny, but by the time I got to that room, the fog had rolled in and I felt enveloped in a cocoon. I felt very, very small in that room.

Our last night in Boston included a concert by the Boston Pops in an open-air auditorium on the harbor. We got to sample lots of New England food specialties, and enjoyed the performance. It was a perfect day for being outside, too, with temperatures in the low 80s and little humidity. I felt even more fortunate because I knew it was around 100 degrees in Louisville and as muggy as it gets!

There were several things I wanted to do while in Boston, but didn't get a chance to do: dim sum, the U.S.S. Constitution, Mike's Bakery, and Spectacle Island all come to mind. But what I was really bummed about is that during my entire stay, I never saw a Boston Terrier! Lisa will tell you that I'm somewhat obsessed with these little dogs. It will be several years before I ever have the ability to adopt a dog, but this is definitely the breed I will get. I love these guys. :-) At least I did come home from Boston with a small stuffed BT.