On an Air Boat

Colleague took this picture -- I am laughing to keep from crying. I kept telling myself -- it's just an above-ground subway (as I was moving backwards). I didn't really look around. My hat got blown off by the air boat when we were still on the ground. Pretty comical.

I'm sure I'll have plenty more opportunities for boat rides, grass planting and Louisiana lifestyle to look forward to.

Sore Hands

Planted marsh grass today as part of a work field trip. I used a dibble (?) and dug holes and put the little plants in. I had my first ride on an airboat. That was pretty scary. Check out my kicks -- white shrimp boots that my work colleague secured for me. Def protected my feet from the muck!

It was a rough day overall -- waking up at 5:30, leaving at 6, no food or bathroom break until we were back in BR. I worked the last two hours from home ... I kind of missed it!

So anyway, a long day, I'm tired and my hands are sore from digging. Makes me appreciate my office job more, although it was fun as a half-day thing. Also I should get to leave early on Friday (perhaps for shopping?) to offset the extra work hours today. My hands are still dirty. ICK!

Here's the song that was in Medium (the show that also introduced me to a favorite Dixie Chicks tune). I've liked other Sara Bareilles songs via Pandora. Kind of haunting ... in a good way.


We're having a drought, but I can't tell from how green it is from our view -- the golf course and campus are obviously pretty well watered. Looking forward to rain storms -- there was one when we were first here. I'm only happy when it rains.

I did a really stupid thing. I did an order on Amazon and sent it to the New York address. I didn't realize it until it never came. HOPEFULLY the doormen will refuse it, then it will be sent back to Amazon for a refund. Then I can reorder. At least that's what the guy on the phone said.

Waaah. I really wanted that stuff too -- two books, cubicle clips and some shampoo that I can't get around here. Geez I'm stupid! I guess I'll just reorder once the refund comes through -- probably in a couple weeks. Waaah.

I walked to the post office during my lunch break today. What a drag. No APS machines, not very good customer service and the woman was BARKING loud, letting everyone know everyone else's business. I need to find a big post office I guess.

Early morning tomorrow -- leaving here at 6 a.m. for a field trip. Maybe I can get a picture of myself doing what I have to do. *whimper*


The air was crisp, cool and not humid this morning. It took my breath away.

My Baton Rouge boss said that it will last until January. That made me laugh, because no way. But I guess our swimming days are probably over. I'm glad we got to do one swim party this season! The hot tub still calls my name though.

Shawn's juggling, I'm doing a little side work and should be getting to the count down. I updated the blog header and name. Let me know what you think, but I'm pretty sure this is what I'll stick with ... at least for a while. (I almost wrote "sticks" -- to contrast w/ the city but decided that was a little cutting/tacky.)

Now if only I could see some bright red and gold leaves. Maybe I can find an online slide show of images or something.

By the Numbers

One: black ring gift I received when we stopped in Annapolis en route to our new home. Also has matching earrings and bracelet. Is from Kazakhstan.REALLY like it, and it was sort of put aside in the shuffle of the move. Putting into the accessories rotation now though. (Yeah, I don't really have an accessories rotation, but it sounded good in my head.)

Two: months left in my 20s. Trying to sort out what to do for my 30th is adding stress to an already too-taxed brain/heart/whatever. My big 3-0 falls on Black Friday, day after Thanksgiving. The whole country will celebrate by shopping. I like that.

Three: months until Boxing Day, which means just under three months until Christmas. I need to get started on my list. I already have a few things that I've picked up on travels and from New York (did a bit of a buying frenzy before I left ... but never enough, no never enough). I also got Christmas cards from the Met for $5. They are stunning.

Four: of us at our dinner/pool party last night. We were the only ones in the pool area the entire time. The grilled burgers were amazing -- Shawn even wore his grilling shirt that he hasn't been able to really wear since Maryland days. It's nice to be creating a social circle, no matter how much it goes against my mole-ish, hermit-like tendencies. I had a great time ... and the frozen margaritas helped!

Five: ingredient easy cheat frozen margarita recipe: fill blender 2/3 or so with ice, add can of frozen limeade, fill can with tequila and add, add 1/3 can of triple sec. Crush ice setting and then blend. When you think it's done, blend just a little more. Serve with lime and/or salt (so 5-6 ingredients depending on how you do.) Surely there are better ways to make them (I think I read a low carb version once ... will have to hunt that down). I'm in trouble now that I know I can make these any time I want -- no need to go out and pay $6-10 a pop.

Nothing else right now ... more this week I hope though!

Starburst Blankie

Originally uploaded by silvermari
Quick working project that seems almost like a modified granny square, adding in the points. Mostly double crochet once you get started. This is a kit from Herrschners (Variegated Round Ripple Baby Afghan), and I would NOT recommend their thread -- it includes knots and is easily tangled. But the finished project is darling and I’m hopeful that it will be just the thing for this new baby girl! I definitely recommend the pattern!

Culturally Speaking

Last night we tasted our first bit of the local arts scene and went to opening night of an LSU performance. It had really great costumes. And it was fun to go to the theater, no matter where we live.

I'm going to be helping this theater company do some online marketing and sprucing up of their website (an opportunity that came out of a failed job interview). So that should be exciting and a way for me to keep up my online interests. Perhaps even a spring board to a future career/self-run business. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I wore my black and white floral skirt, something I last wore at grad school graduation. I don't really dress up for work, so it was fun to feel fancy for a minute (or actually 4 hours ... the play was a tad-bit long).

It's another game day, and this time we've invited some people over to take advantage of the (hopefully) empty pool. We're going to grill burgers and swim. There's a chance of rain, but hoping anything that comes through is quick and moves on. We're expecting cooler temps after Sunday, and by cooler I mean high 80s instead of mid-90s.

For these, and many reasons, I miss New York. But I wouldn't trade my life with Shawn and how happy he is in his job for anything. I'll get settled and figure out what I'm really meant to do here.

Thursday TV

Thursday has long been my favorite TV night. It was the night of My So-Called Life for the one season it aired.

Tonight was no exception, and my dual DVR isn't enough to record the things happening on three stations at once. Good thing for the Internet and weekends to catch Grey's. I'm still troubled by the Olivia-Peter-Fauxlivia Fringe thing. I need to get a life.

I'm working on it ... but I would miss my TV life too. I should at least try to stop myself from hooking up to new shows.

Tomorrow the theatre, and some live action entertainment plus opening night reception. More after the fact, perhaps.


Never use exclamation points! EVER!

I think I'm going to break that rule and use them at the end of every sentence in this post!

And how about not copying everyone and their mother on this sage piece of advice?!

I will get over it! And he does have a point!

But I also resent having to get an e-mail reviewed by 5 people before it can be sent! When at the same time being told I'm going to have heaps of responsibility, ready or not! I think NOT!

I just don't know what the wise thing to do is! Press on, I guess!

Consolation -- I have the sweetest photo of a baby Owen posted in my cubicle! He's wearing a little rainbow crocheted cap! And he is such a happy kid! It's fun to look back at baby pictures knowing a little bit more of the story! And what a great kid he is and is still turning into!

Spring Break 2005!
September 2010!

Orange You Glad?

This is the gravel outside my building on campus. Not sure if you can see it, but there are little shells mixed in with the gravel. That made me laugh because the building is called Sea Grant.

I made a video of our apartment, password protected on my Vimeo. Let me know if you want to see and I'll send you a link.

Got a few errands done today after week. How great that Office Depot does USPS packages? Not that great, since the girl was 100 times slower than I could be on the automated machine.

Sorry for the lame-oh post.

Game Day

We were warned about the insanity of home football games and tailgating, and because of that we were able to stay out of the fray. I can't compare it to the madness that is Times Square on a daily basis because we didn't go walk about, but probably on the next one we'll make the effort and I'll be able to offer more informed input. But from a distance it doesn't look SO bad:

Game Day Cars (normally that's just grass)
Stadium, viewed from the roof of our parking garage ... how 'bout that sky?!
We did what has become our normal Saturday routine -- get up, go to the gym, have a swim, then lunch. But there were extra twists, and not because of the game! Our new couch arrived at around 10 a.m. Still not sure how we're going to arrange things "permanently" but for now here is what it looks like:

Shawn on our new love seat
You can tell that he's working on lectures. The free desk in the background is what we're using for my computer, and the little end table that holds the printer was something we acquired from Frank, who lived in 8G before we did. Our dining table is behind the sofa, which works for now because it gives Shawn a place for his computer when he brings it home, and it props up my Thomas Moran print. But we might ditch it (or store it) and go for a coffee table instead -- ideally a lift top one so we could still have a dining space other than the bar counter. There's still plenty of room in front of the couch, and there's space on both sides. Will have to get used to it. So far so good though -- it's very comfortable!

The crochet piece in the photo is a work-in-progress baby blanket that's nearing completion. More photos on that to come, but it's a pattern that Gran gave me (she bought a kit and changed her mind ... I'll take leftovers any day!). It's worked up so nicely, like a modified granny square made into a star burst. Just a few more rounds to go, but they're the longest rounds of all!

So, couch delivered, we go work out. Nothing seems crazy at all. Still plenty of parking spots open in our lot and garage, and traffic doesn't seem bad. We just have to walk around the building to the gym, so no big deal either way. After working out we had a quick swim (would rather do that than bother with sunblock ... shameful I know), and we were the only ones in the pool area. I guess tailgating means partying in the hot parking lot instead of by the pool? Whatever!

I think this means we need to have a pool party next game day ... if only the guests could get into our lot. (There are 50 guest passes available for game days, but seems like there should be more because there's still plenty of parking in the garage ... although I guess it might be a security issue!) Or we should just have a pool party on a regular evening. These kids/our neighbors are certainly not night swimmers!

Then we made lunch -- waffles using our wedding gift waffle iron/sandwich maker/grill. Pretty tasty, although I did overflow the second batch. They were good, but even though the mix was whole grain or something I could still feel the difference of such a carbo-loaded lunch. Got hungry again pretty fast even though we ate a lot. Just a treat, and not something we'll do every weekend. But fun to try out our new toys!

The rest of the day has been spent on laundry and lectures. I crocheted, watched some DVR'ed TV (the new stuff starts this week, and I am ready for some new DiNozzo!) and made a light dinner.

We tried to get delivery, just for something different, but no way on game day. I guess that's really been our only brush with something different about this Saturday; although I'm sure that if we'd gone out in our car it would have been a different story and loads of traffic.

I am bummed that I wasn't able to go out to Michaels -- their 50% off framing ended today, so I guess I'll have to wait until the next sale (or maybe at Hobby Lobby, which is closer) to get my diplomas framed (and pick up a frame for the crochet print). Another day ...


It's not Chelsea like the New York neighborhood or our favorite player on the NYU women's basketball team, but tonight we went to dinner with a couple colleagues of Shawn's and ate at a cafe called Chelsea's.

We had a good time, and the food was tasty. It was a bummer to me that the only drinks were beer. I haven't had a beer in nearly a year because of the low-carb, weight loss effort (still having success although more slowly than at the start -- just crossed the -50 lb. mark). I decided not to break that streak today, although a nice glass of wine (or even a bad one) would have been welcome!

We sat on the patio. Dare I hope that it is cooling off enough to lounge out-of-doors, at least in the evenings? And oddly one of my five coworkers was at the next table. Small world (or really popular place I guess)!

One of the professors said something that struck me as motivational for students. I thought it would be a good opener or overall concept for a study guide. He's done the math/analysis on tests over the years and how grades change for students over time. And he's figured out that only 20% of the outcome of tests is determined by the test itself (whether it's hard, etc.); 80% is based on the individual student and how much s/he puts into studying. So, to students he says (or at least thinks) -- whatever you got on the last test is probably what you're going to get on the next test unless you CHANGE SOMETHING. Because the tests aren't really going to change anything. That's probably a good rule of thumb for life too.

There was also another wife at the table who's not strictly math-y (although she does work with numbers). She's lived in Baton Rouge since childhood and had lots of good tips -- ranging from grocery shopping to movie going to house buying. And she's even already sent me a list of links for things to do -- my kind of girl! Apparently they do their screen on the green type things in the fall when it's cool enough to sit outside ... funny!

But now I'm up too late. The couch is coming in the morning ... a little nervous about bonded leather and not getting a warranty ... and it's game weekend so our complex is rocking ... partying started last night. Woo hoo?


I wore a dress over pants today -- it's too cold at work to wear a skirt like a normal person and the pants are black and tight -- almost like tights or leggings. No one mentioned it, but when I walked to my car with a coworker she asked me if I missed the shopping in New York because I wear a lot of eccentric clothes. THAT is funny, since all my stuff is JC Penney, Target, Old Navy, etc. But if someone wants to think I'm New York, that's OK. I'm as far from New York as you can get now.

The pants and dress combo did keep me a little warmer -- plus the normal sweater, shawl and lap blanket. Charming. I look like I'm preparing for a blizzard or something. But it used to be a server room where they kept computers, so it's either full blast or nothing. Hrm. Broken record, I know.

I've gone from completely controlling my environment when I worked from home to being completely at the mercy of others -- as in I can't set the temperature, I can't set the volume of anything or control ... anything! It's an adjustment. Welcome to the working world again, I suppose.

Phone Diggity

This new job has me on the phone A LOT. A struggle since I'm not much of a phone person. And today I got a couple calls on my own cell phone -- random, since that never happens!

One was about re-joining PRSA -- which I was expecting because I went to their site yesterday to sign up. Clearly a no brainer to join, but they kind of gave me attitude for having been a lapsed member. Not really "welcome back, so glad you reconsidered." Just "you have to pay extra if you want back in" kind of attitude. Oh well. The company is paying so I'll deal with the attitude. And I expect the BR chapter to be much more welcoming and nice.

The other call was for a job -- IN NEW YORK! Can you freaking imagine? Anyway, if anyone in NYC needs a job and knows how to use PowerPoint, I can give you the phone number of this woman. She also sent me an e-mail. HILARIOUS. More than two years looking on and off and nothing beyond some scattered interviews. And I'm away for a month and start getting calls. AH! I went into Monster and CareerBuilder to update my address!

This is my 888th post.

Keep Calm

And Crochet On!

Got this amazing print in the mail. It's a deep plum, so of course I had to get it when I read about it via Ravelry's blog. I think I want to get a frame for it ... am planning to get my diplomas framed finally. And then take pictures ... always promising to take pictures.

We have our loveseat being delivered on Saturday (a game day ... so we'll see how that goes). So pictures then.

And maybe I'll take pictures of my office space. Not sure. Probably inappropriate to hang this print up there ... but LOVE it!


Be careful what you wish for -- you just might get it.

Ask for employment ... get two job offers.

Ask for air conditioning ... get turned into a Popsicle on a daily basis. No kidding, it is so cold in the office I wear two sweaters and a jean jacket and I'm STILL cold. I took a lamp that I have never been able to use because it generates too much heat. I'm STILL cold. My feet especially. I may have to break down and get a space heater, which just seems so LAME when I pushed so hard to get the A/C turned on. I was so cold that I stayed in the un-air-conditioned car with the windows rolled up to try to warm up.

Do I always have to be so unsatisfied?!


With the shorter hair and faux professionalism I'm trying to project I've taken to blowdrying most days. Gone are the rocker chic days, even though my hair's ends are razored in such a way that, if I were in the beautiful New York crisp weather, would lay smooth after being flat ironed. But in this humidity ... the ends curl as soon as I step out in the garage.

I can't complain, because I get into a car, crank the AC and get to an ice box office post haste. But the ~5 minutes in the outdoors is all it takes to give my hair some "lift" -- aka pouf. Mufassa returns!

But really it stays semi-straight and looks OK. Not corkscrew curly or anything -- although my hair will certainly curl in this weather. Always good to have options I guess. And always my hair will go straighter after it's had a day or two to be free and curly. Weirdest thing.

Another perk of the humidity is smoother skin. Someone said it's an insta-facial when you walk outside, and I guess that's true. I still have this ridiculous eyebrow dandruff that crops up. TMI?!

I guess if I can worry about my hair things aren't all bad. And really they are not. Chugging along in all aspects and trying to feel settled. For now, I'll be pretending though. Tra la.

Thirty-Four Days

I meant to mark a month out of New York here, but on the 7th I was driving. And driving. And driving.

And then work happened this week, and I forgot/got lost in the fray. Life is a highway.

On Sunday we'll have been in Baton Rouge for a month. In some ways it feels like forever. And in other ways it feels like we just got here. We certainly haven't explored fully or even finished setting up our apartment. Hopefully we can pick out a couch tomorrow and get it delivered sometime next week. Then maybe I'll feel more settled.

I got my office workspace set up a bit too. Doesn't feel "right" still and certainly seems temporary, but eventually I'll get used to it. I got a new phone, and of course it was staticky. Figured out it was the phone, not the line, and so swapped out the phone. I like my chair OK -- it's new and I got to pick it out. Voice mail doesn't work, the shelf is kind of rickety and probably not the wisest thing to have ... and yes, mice still scurry about at night, ignoring the traps.

Time to go swim and float away for a while!

Hug or Handshake?

Can a hug ever be business-appropriate?

I think handshakes are much more appropriate in a professional situation, but someone already hugged me at my new job. It was when I was leaving Silver Spring -- the woman who had been so helpful to me in Baton Rouge (she'd been down "on rotation") and in headquarters. But it just seemed weird.

She'd never have hugged a male colleague she'd known for three days. Would she?

What do you think about hugging colleagues? This isn't an issue for me at work, and I'm struggling with so many other things, but still it was hanging around in my brain and thought I'd post it out there.

I don't like touching people in general. In fact, a quality I look for when church shopping is NOT having a "pass the peace" and touch every germy hand in the vicinity. Clearly I have issues.

P.S. First home football game this weekend. E-freaking-gads!

*EDIT -- not HOME game ... that happens NEXT weekend. Also, I remembered another person who hugged me within the first week of work. Good heavens!


The mice are leaving poop on my desk every night. They don't care for the traps. I'm going to have to figure out something else to do. Seems like the university maintenance should be in charge of elimination. I'm not holding my breath.

But since there are mice in the building and it's basically a little ramshackle, it's also very casual. Jeans are the norm, which is OK by me I guess. I had been looking forward to building a professional wardrobe, but maybe I can still do that and work in pieces that can be dressed up or down. Oh to get that first pay check and hit the stores!

I am so tired at night after working that I just fall into bed. I collapse, but my brain keeps spinning. It's so hard to wind down really because all I need to process and figure out. And I'm not sure that I'm going to make it. Just plugging along.

Today I got my new office chair set up ... and the "cubicle" walls -- just an L shape. I thought it would provide some sound buffer from my office mate ... not so much. I guess I'll just have to power through, and maybe invest in some headphones for working. It's hardest when we're both on the phone -- or when one of us is and another has a visitor/in person conversation. First world whine. And honestly, I know how lucky I am to have a job!

Owen gets in my face to tell
me about the Wii characters
Webcamming with the Owen Jay. He's putting on a Wii demonstration for me. What a precious moo.

Stream of consciousness doesn't make for very good blog posts.

Doing my best to get into a gym routine. The musclemen are a little intimidating, but I get to watch TV while I elliptical. I've been watching "Who's the Boss" on Hallmark, laughing all the way -- mostly in an "oh, the 80s" kind of way. Almost makes me want ... a briefcase ... HA!


We made it home and back ... barely. PMS and 12-hour car rides are a deadly combination. Poor Shawn! The trek back was a little easier because it wasn't after a half-day of work, but still. Not sure we'll be doing that again. At least not any time soon!

Being home was great fun though, and I did get to feel a little more relaxed and recognize myself again! I didn't really check e-mail, certainly didn't blog (I'm never going to hit 300 posts this year!) and mainly spent time yakking it up with the family.

Sweet Owen waits to blow out the candles!
Owen's sixth birthday party was on Saturday at the Y swimming pool. It was fun to meet some school chums and see others that I already knew from church. Shawn and I were the only adults that swam, same as last year. We think that's funny because we will take any chance we can get to get in the water!

Church on Sunday was good. That's really going home too. The choir sang "Meet You In the Morning," a song I hadn't heard in years. I am still finding myself humming it and hearing Gran's voice singing her parts. We also had a church dinner, and nothing beats that.

Funniest was that a lot of people said they didn't recognize me. Several people said they saw Shawn and weren't sure who was with him! I got my hair cut off and have lost some weight. It was all meant as complimentary, so a good ego boost!

Now we're back and I've unpacked a good bit. The kitchen is shaping up with all our wedding gifts! I'm going to have to get out my gift record book to remind myself who gave us what now that we're actually able to use them!

More brain power and emotional energy being put into the job ... and a small side opportunity to continue with my social media work ... and I'm just exhausted thinking about it! Maybe more on that later. We'll see.

Spirit Lifting

Owen and Buzz


Just checked Google Maps. It's a 12 hour drive to get home.

View Larger Map

Can I do that, even with Shawn, on Friday AND again on Monday? I'm worn out just thinking about it ... and I'm still so unsettled at work.But I want to get home for Owen's sixth birthday party. I want to get my wedding gifts. I want to see Gran and the rest of the fam. The next opportunity will be Thanksgiving, which isn't SO far away ...


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Thanks for your interest in silvermari crochet hats . Most of what I make are sized for infants and toddlers, although I can size up and dow...