and done

my adrenaline levels may have dipped close to normal levels. close.

after months of planning and worrying and anxiety over my job and others’ jobs and logistics and etc. etc., the big event for my work is done. last week was just nasty. we had an event on monday, thursday, friday, and saturday. i worked 11 hours on saturday alone and had almost 30 hours of overtime on that timesheet. the last timesheet also had overtime on it. 

the past two days, our office has closed ON TIME, which has been practically unheard of in the past two months at least. possibly four. it’s just weird to leave the office at 4:30 and have it be completely empty. 

so, i’m finally able to do my actual job for a little while, which will be super nice! 

eventually i should have a weekend to do nothing, also, but that’s not happening any time soon.

this weekend my sisters and i are antiqueing down the mississippi river, and i’m hoping we can hope to wisconsin and check out the laura ingalls wilder museum in pepin. i’m excited for this!

next weekend is liz’s oktoberfest party, which i may or may not go to (haven’t decided yet).

after that is NERDCON which i’m SUPER SUPER excited for. two days of writing stuff!

the 17th is the zombie pub crawl, which i also haven’t decided if i’m going to yet. charlie’s willing to go, and i’m trying to get liz to go, too, even though she thinks she’s going to have no fun since she can’t drink. her costume would be epic, though!

meanwhile, it’s pumpkin season even though this month has been peculiarly warm. it hasn’t even gotten close to freezing at night yet, which is bizarre for late september. the forecast is looking out into october already, and the lows at night are mid-50s. i’m not complaining since i’m not a fan of cold, but it’s just weird.

and, on a final note, as a reward for all my overtime i put in this past month or so, i’m expanding my tree tattoo to include some sumac and pine trees. got to make an appt! 

photo (2)

summer-autumn

the weather today lent itself to some lazy, more subdued activities. summer is so rushed and event-driven; even the light at the end of the day tends to mask the fact that yes, it is time for bed. lately, i sit in my living room thinking it’s time to go to bed pretty soon, only to look at the clock and see it’s only 8:30. 

but today the light slanted, coming from the south sky, across the grass that’s a little bit browner than it was 4 weeks ago, highlighting the plants in my neighbor’s garden that are showing signs of giving up chlorophyll. late-summer crickets buzzed – frogs long gone. the temperature was lucky to crack 70º; great for comfortable sweatshirts, wool socks, and closed-toed shoes.

i went out to the garden and tore out my spent tomato plants, stacking them in a pile. the corn stalks landed on top. charlie perused the green beans one last time; all others on the vine i will let sit for seed saving. a few last cucumbers hung on to the vines, and the pie pumpkins, butternut squash, and heirloom cinderella pumpkins litter the garden, waiting to come fully ripe.

then off to whitewater, where i saw under the trees and watched the sun shine on the bluffs against a dark fall blue sky. while technically still green, the leaves on the trees are starting to tinge to yellow, orange, red, brown. from the neon, bright greens of sprummer to the dark, rich greens of high summer; now it’s time to let go into autumn.

it’s three months to the shortest day of the year. we wait so long for the longest day to show up, then the shortest is here before we know it. 

who’s got two thumbs and is still rockin’ an iphone 4s?

yep. this girl.

Attach0apple had its big event this afternoon, announcing what amounts to a laptop you have to assemble yourself and a $99 stylus. of course they also announced the new iphone – the 6s. four years later, and i’ve still got a 4s in my hand. 

i’ve replaced the screen twice and the gps is spotty at best, but it still works, holds a charge, works as a phone, and plays music. i haven’t updated the ios in about two years, and i still use the facebook app version that allows you to use facebook messages in-app. 

sometimes i think it might be good to replace my 4s – it is four years old at this point and my contract with AT&T has been long up. i could even upgrade to a 5s and get the phone free. but…
this thing is basically indestructible. it fits in my pocket. as in, none of it pops out. (this is important when you’re a woman buying pants, whom designers have decided need no pocket space.) everything i use it for works more than sufficiently. and most importantly? diagonal single thumb usage is optimal on this size screen. i can hold my phone in one hand, pinkie holding the bottom, right corner nestled at the base of the thumb, and the top of my thumb will reach to the opposite top left of the screen. no, i don’t have small hands. i’m tall and relatively large boned. my fingers are about as long as nate’s. 

Attach2

optimal diagonal thumb reach!

also this key point: i keep thinking that by upgrading i’m going to have something completely new and shiny. i have to remind myself that no i won’t; i will have another iphone using the same apps for the same purposes. the only reason i should upgrade now versus after my 4s dies is to get a reliable gps. i really only use one app regularly with the gps – runkeeper. unfortunately, i have to pull out the 3Gs for my runs or map them on the website after my run. who knew how we lived before smartphones? pre-2007 was so antiquated. 

on the other hand, i often consider going back to a dumb phone and living the real prehistoric life of printed out maps and waiting until i got to my laptop to check email *gasp*. at least i’m not going back to a landline. (although…) (no.)

but that day has not come. and until the day apple releases a new phone at the 3.5″ screen size (that day? squee!); my 4s finally craps out or doesn’t hold a charge; or apple sends a stealth explosion update, forcing all its luddite users to upgrade, i’ll keep my 4s in my insufficient women’s pants pocket and easily browse one-handed. 

at the fair

the people were overwhelming the second day i was at the fair. a person comes to expect a lot of people at a state fair, but this far exceeded what i had thought. it was warm enough that my cherry on a spoon ice cream treat was dripping too fast for my mouth to keep up with it, and trying to get around the throngs and SUV strollers (why? WHY??) while maneuvering my ice cream at the same time was harrowing.

in the past, i had gone to the fair the second time with jane on a thursday evening. while the people were still there, it was manageable. this time was not. the food building alone was enough to drive a person batty. i could see the cheese curd place in the distance; it was mere steps away. but the people between us and the cheese curds were too much to handle. then the lines were winding, long, and sweaty. once you paid, though, the cheese curds were done pronto, and soon the fried, cheesey goodness made its way into my belly. 

once we made our way out toward the outskirts of the fair, down by the eco and pet buildings, the crowd was more manageable. we stopped to watch a lumberjack show at the northwoods tent, and cheered and booed with the rest of the crowd. 

on our way out, charlie picked up some martha’s cookies. there is always a line for the cookies, and while he was in line, i went to get my ice cream. jane stayed under a tree. we stood on the boulevard under the shade while charlie slowly made his way to the counter. cookies in hand, we hightailed it out of there.

i’m not saying don’t go to the fair. i’m saying don’t go on the weekend. next year, we’ll go on our regular thursday evening. 

 

hot-cold-hot-cold

Olivier Schrauwen - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/sunday-review/enduring-summers-deep-freeze.html

Olivier Schrauwen – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/sunday-review/enduring-summers-deep-freeze.html

dear retailers:

why do you insist on keeping your thermostat set at 65º during the hottest days of summer? i am in my shorts and tank top because it’s a sweltering sauna outside, but once i enter the door of your fine establishment, i am blasted with arctic air that raises goosebumps on my arms and brings visions of january to mind. 

i keep the temperature in my house anywhere from 74-78º on humid days like these, and i am comfortable sitting around in my summer clothes. i can only imagine that store thermostats are set at less than 70º for some obscene reason during weather like this. 

not only does it make me extremely uncomfortable in stores, restaurants, coffeehouses, etc. and makes me want to leave as quickly as possible, but i’d imagine that the energy needed to maintain this less-than-ideal temperature has got to be insane. is it a status thing? (spoiler alert from the link: yes, it is a status thing.) do you want to get your customers out of your place as quickly as possible? is hot cocoa hard to move during 90º, 80%-humidity  days and you are trying your best to get it off the shelves? i’m baffled. 

i’ve gotten to the point that i’ve started bringing a sweater into stores with me. there i am, 90º outside, and i’m throwing a sweater over my tank top because your store is so freezing cold.  if i’m standing in line with a sweater on and jumping in place to warm up, i think you should take that as a sign. 

one thing is for sure: you make it such a relief to be outdoors in the heat that you’re doing mother nature a service by forcing customers to enjoy the heat and humidity. sure, my glasses fog up every time i step outside, but it’s a small price to pay for not freezing like a popsicle. 

so, retailers, give your customers a break, and not of the crashing icicle variety. pop up that thermostat a couple degrees. you’ll help the environment, your bottom line, and my frozen bottom, all at the same time. 

#pumpkinquota

september is such a temperamental month for me, emotionally. on the one hand, i really like summer, especially the beginning of it. on the other hand, i really like autumn. september starts off summery and ends a little autumny. but it’s so hard to say goodbye to summertime, especially when i know that the cold, harsh winter is just around the corner. (i don’t mind the snow; i don’t mind the ice. it’s the cold!)

this first week of september is just soupy and awful. high 80s all week and humidity through the roof. then next week it gets a little cooler. the weird thing is that i see all these advertisements for autumny things, like pumpkin coffees and foods and all things associated with fall, and the leaves are starting to change, but goodness gracious where has the summer gone. it takes so long to get through winter only to have summer whirlwind its way through the season. and i LOVE autumn. may and october are my favorite months. i am feeling just a teensy bit excited for fall, but when the warmth is what i’ve got, it just seems too soon. but like they say, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, right? (oh, joni mitchell…)

so, all this to say, it’s #pumpkinquota season. bring it on. i guess.