Monday, February 28, 2011

Break it to me gently

I had thought of using "Tell me on a Sunday, Please" as the title for this post, but I'm not sure that anyone would get it.  It's a song from a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  It's a woman telling her boyfriend or spouse how she wants him to break the news to her when he leaves her.  She wants him to tell her on a Sunday, please.  People recognize most things that need to be told gently - in those cases, it's figuring out what works as "gently".  But I want to talk (briefly) about recognizing that there are other things that should be told gently.  Sometimes you have good news that you want to shout to the world.  And you should go and shout it - to most of the world.  There may be one or more people to whom you should whisper your news. 

One example that you would expect to hear about from me is breaking the news that you are pregnant to someone who can't have children or who has recently lost a child or pregnancy.  There is probably no easy way to tell this person, but there are bad ways.  Like, don't send them an e-mail saying "hey check our blog today" so that they'll see the announcement.  A phone call would be much better.

If you just got engaged, be sensitive as to how you tell your co-worker who just broke off her engagement.

If you just got a new job, be gentle in telling your cousin who has been out of work for 2 years.

Your news is wonderful, congratulations - and you are truly a considerate person, a special person if you recognize that your wonderful news may highlight someone else's loss or hurt and you deal with that accordingly.  You're not a bad person if you don't , just normal.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Etiquette of Facebook Friending - is there any?

So, what's the etiquette of friending and defriending?  Sure, it's easy enough to ignore a friend request.  That person you barely knew in high school - or who barely knew you?  Just ignore.  Or accept and then block their postings.  They'll likely never know.  What about family members?  Some of us probably don't want our aunts, uncles, in-laws, 3rd cousin once removed to see what we post on facebook.  So do we have to accept their friend requests?  That can be hairy.  What about co-workers?  I did ignore a co-workers friend request.  It can be sensitive.  But accept the request - well then, best be careful what you post!  I try not to put anything on facebook I wouldn't say elsewhere - or at least I word my post such unless you really know - like you ask me - you don't know who or what I'm talking about, but I can still have my little vent or snark moment or share something funny, gleeful or joyous. 
What about the people you friended previously who are no longer your friends?  If it's just that you don't want to hear their nattering, you can block their posts.  I did this with one particularly obnoxious high school classmate.  He's the kind of guy who peaked in high school - and trust me, it was more of a bunny slope than a big mountain peak - but he really thinks he's all that.  So, I block his posts.  He doesn't know.  Easy.  Too bad they didn't have that lovely feature back when I defriended my husband's cousin (2nd cousin actually) and his wife.  Their posts were so extreme right wing, bigoted and hateful that I just couldn't stand to see them anymore.  So, thinking I was deleting one post from my view, I found out that I had just deleted the wife as a friend.  Well, her hubby soon followed.  And oh boy, that got me a vile e-mail from the cousin.  Suffice it to say he's not on the Christmas card list anymore!  An ignore button would have been easier and saved me his ignorant vitriol.
Now here's the real tricky part - what if it's someone you no longer want to see anything you post - no matter how benign?  Do you just defriend them?  Do you send them a nice little note?  How do you say "You made it clear you don't like me, so I'm defriending you" and do it nicely?  Is it worth the bother?  Really - they already don't like you - do you care if they don't like you more because you just dropped them with no word?  Or do you try and take the high road and be adult and own what you are doing?  Is it not being an adult to just drop them?  What's not adult about it?  What if you don't have something concrete as a reason - just a sense that this person lurked on your blog and talked about it to "friends" behind your back so that said "friends" would get upset?  How do you nicely deal with the situation?
All these etiquette problems that never existed before facebook!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happiness is...

....conquering the kitchener stitch!  Okay - maybe it's not conquered - but I did it.  The first time wasn't the prettiest of results, but my second attempt looks pretty good.  I was smart and watched a video before the second attempt.   I'll be doing my third one today.  I'm going to see if there are special instructions for the kitchener stitch on seed stitch.  Bottom line - once I got going with it the second time, I got to thinking - what is the fuss all about?  It's really not that hard.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I go up and down weight wise all the time.  Lose 15 pounds, gain 10 back, lose the 10 gain it back, lose 10, gain 3 back, lose 1 gain 5, lose 1 gain 4, lose 10 gain 11.  And so on and so forth.  I have not gotten back to my all time high, which was post fertility treatments, post pregnancy, post miscarriage.  But I'm back to a spot I'm not happy with.  I'm back to wearing my loose fitting clothes - or as I'm doing today, suffering in pants that just feel a tad too tight.  Must.Lose.Weight. My goal right now is to get down 5 to 8 pounds by the trip to Vegas in April.  Okay - really my immediate goal is to get home and put on some looser pants.  Then lose the weight for Vegas.  Then I want to be back down to last year's weight by the time I go to my conference in May.  I have started back to the gym.  I'm trying to follow weight watchers again, but may need to resort to a more rigid plan as I've done before.  I just really need to get started, once I get back on the weight loss wagon, I usually do quite well.  But it's Valentine's Day and A is cooking me dinner tonight.  So I'll start tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Photos

Finished Objects!  and Boomer.  The first two photos of the blanket are pre-blocking.  It's amazing what blocking does for lace.  The last three are post blocking - see how it opens up.  Then there's a little sweater that is not quite complete, it needs buttons and a little blocking.  Lastly, always the star, Boomer.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Happiness is.... press at budget meetings.  It's not that I don't believe in the freedom of the press and the peoples' right to know what is happening in their government.  I do.  But I find that the discussions related to the budget are more open and frank when the press is not present.  We did have an audience, just no press for most of the meeting.  Questions could be asked, answers could be given when people weren't trying to pussy foot around, worried about how it may play in the press.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Taking the High Road

I'm a big believer in trying to always take the high road.  I wasn't always that way, it's a lesson I've learned over the years.  That doesn't mean I'm always successful with it, but I try.  I think sometimes I annoy my husband when I say "take the high road".  I feel better about myself when I am successful with taking the high road during a disagreement or other bump in life.  I was in a situation not long ago where I tried it - and failed.  It was the day after the blizzard that hit here - the post Christmas blizzard.  I was headed into work on roads that were still very much snow covered.  On one road near my home, there was a couple walking their dog in the middle of the road.  Not the side, but smack dab in the middle.  So, I gave a quick toot on my horn to alert them to my presence - and as should have been clear, to ask them to move to the side to let me pass.  The female part of the couple immediately moved to the side.  The male partner turned around and gave me a nasty look.  As I pulled up alongside, I rolled down my window and said "I was just trying to let you know I was there."  To keep a short story shorter, he wasn't appreciative of my gesture.  He didn't say anything offensive, but was clearly an asshole.  As I pulled away and rolled up my window, I said "You're an asshole."  Well - as soon as I said it, there were too assholes in the situation, him and me.  I immediately regretted it.  I had given up the high road and put myself down in the gutter with him. 
I will continue to try and take the high road.  It's not always easy - as proven.  Sometimes you just want to yell and scream "because you're a bitch, that's why" but it's really best not to do that.  In all likelihood, saying something like that is not going to result in the bitch having a moment of self-realization and saying "Oh my God, you are right.  I am a bitch.  I am so sorry."  Really - not happening.  She's just going to thinking that you are the bitch, and furthermore, telling all her friends what a bitch you are.
Some people may think that taking the high road is a cop out.  Maybe sometimes it is.  I guess we all have to decide which is the best way to handle a situation.  Fight or fold?  Hmmm - another good topic!  Anyway - cop or or not, sometimes it may be the best way for someone to handle things. 
One reason I learned to try to take the high road is that it leaves less room for people to criticize you.  That doesn't mean no one will.  Such as by saying it's a cop out.  But, that's them.  Those people will criticize you no matter what.  It can be incredibly frustrating.  I know.  That happened to me recently too.  But I decided to let that one roll off my back.  I took the source into account and just decided to let it be and stay on the high road.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Photos...Remember when....

.... it was sunny and warm.  I thought it was time for a reminder.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's Wednesday - I almost forgot my Happiness is... Day!

There is a website that I have in my favorites.  I don't go there a lot - but every once in a while it's nice to visit.  They had a daily calendar of things to be happy about - usually 5 or 6 items.  Today - the first thing on the list is visiting Alaska.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA  Don't need to!  I live in the Northeast and this winter - it might just as well be Alaska.  Or at least Buffalo.  Here's hoping my Chicago friends are holding up during the storm out there.

Damn hackers

A website from which I purchased something months ago was hacked recently.  As a result, I had to get a new Amex card.  I ordered that yesterday, and though it should come today (UPS and Mother Nature willing), I don't have it yet.  Dummy me forgot.  I'm so used to all the things I've set up to be automatic.  My Kindle account at Amazon is one of those things.  So, the book I just ordered will have to wait until I get my new Amex.  I could just sign on to Amazon and give them the Master Card number, but I save the MC for stuff I want to pay off over the long term or for places that don't do Amex.  Damn hackers messing with my reading.  And you know - I had that number memorized.  Now I have to memorize a new number.  Pain in my butt.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


I once had a performance evaluation were one piece of the feedback was that I was perceived as resistant to change - specifically to changing major vendors.  I would say that's a pretty fair statement.  I am a creature of habit and thus change is not my thing to begin with - although my hairdresser will argue that.  But, as I sit here, signing contract after contract, agreement upon agreement, fee schedules up the wazzoo - I think I know why I'm reluctant to change major vendors.  It's a pain in the freakin' ass!  I was going through this 5 inch pile of paperwork required to change a banking relationship, making sure before I sent it all back that everything that needed signing was signed.  And damn it - I found some unsigned pages.  It looks like it won't be so bad, some of it only needs my signature or a co-workers signature.  I won't have to be hunting down any board members today.  And as I sit here staring at my pile of paperwork, I'm dreading the next request for proposal I have to send out.  See, it's been a while since we looked at the other major banking relationship we have, so I have to do an RFP, which opens up the possibility of more change.  That one won't be just a pile of paperwork either.  Can I start crying now?