Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting social

I've been very lonely this time, the adventure portion of the program has passed, and now tis just daily living.  Volunteering has helped quite a bit, at least it gets me out of the house everyday, and gives me something else to think about, and there are people to chat with, so thats helpful.  However, I wanted someone(s) to be able to go and hang out with, but where to meet people on the quick?  A co-worker told me about meetup.com and how they have groups for everything under the sun.  Sure enough!  There are groups for everything and anything you could think of.  

I signed up for two groups.  One is the movie bears, and my first meeting with them will be this Saturday, and tonight was my first meeting with the books and beer crowd.  This was the inaugural meet up, so that helped quell my nerves a lot.  Knowing that no one knew each other either, made it much easier for me.  It can be hard to break into a long term group, due to the clique factor.

About 24 people showed up, which by anyone's yard stick is a win!  It was a bit slow at the beginning, but then people warmed up and started chatting with each other.  The only down side to the entire night, was that it was so loud in the restaurant, it was quite hard to hear some of the people.  After a while, most of us got up and sat next to a different group of people, yes I did so as well.  Did a really good job of being forward and squashing my usual tendency to be shy.  

Usually, whenever I'm out of my comfort zone, I have to dress as boy as possible.  Often if the occasion calls for me to be full on girl, its a total nightmare emotionally.  Today?  I went as a girl, wore jeans and a black thermal girls henley, not uber girl, but within my comfort zone.  I just decided to man up and be the fuck brave, and go for it.  I did darken my eyebrows a lot, and used the same pencil to do a guy liner look.  And? I went to work like that.  I'm thinking I like looking unusual, after xmas, it just might be time to go look for some clothes for that unconventional look that makes me feel less fractured and more me.
And yeah, I didnt make a fake scar......

We picked the book "Enders Game".  Which is an ok book an all, but really I dont want to give that lgbt hater my money!  So, I'll be checking the book out of the library, dontcha know.  Our next meeting isnt until January, boo!  But at least I have something to look forward to, and there is xmas and new years in there sucking up time from people's schedules.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The First Week

Last Friday, I had a brief orientation with "Ben" who is in charge of the volunteers for circulation services at the library.  Then after a few times of me following his motions he took off telling me that he'd be back in a few minutes, leaving me alone with the radio tagging machine.  Things went smoothly, and until the end of the year when all the books in the library are tagged, this will be my job 3 days a week.  What needs to be done, is that every book, audio book, cd, dvd needs to be removed from its home on the shelf and checked to see what radio tag already is attached to the material, if its an old one, then the bar code is scanned prompting a green light to blink of the blue gizmo, changing its frequency to that of the bar code of the material.  The tag is pulled off the tape, attached to the inside of the item, and replaced home.  Repeat until library is done!  To most it would sound boring, but for some stupid reason, I adore doing tasks like this.  Happy as a pig in mud.

                                     Here is Mr. Machine in all his glory.

The other two days a week of "work" at the library are less enjoyable.  I work 3 hour shifts in the snack/gift shop ran by the Friends of the Library.  There are 3 full time employees and the rest of the time if filled out with volunteers.  At first the cash register was a total fear factor experience, but with practice the fear is receding.  However......sigh, tis way beyond boring most of the time.  I dusted thoroughly my first day, taking gift items off the shelves and dusting the shelf and the items, then replacing everything nice and neat, straightened up the used books for sale, then loads of nothing to do again.  The next day was even worse, as nothing needed dusting or straightening up, except for ringing stuff up on the register, there was nothing to do.

The ladies I worked with both days are nice an all, but there is a huge drawback, hugs.  No matter what the fresh hells I do, it prompts a hug from them!  Oh! Welcome to work today!  HUG   Great job ringing up that sale! HUG  sigh  I dont mind being hugged, but they are way to touchy feely for me, and just having met them, its way to soon for me to want to be hugged.  Hugs to me are very personal, and an expression of affection, not some social "grease" that most women seem to view hugs.

Its been a while since I worked with an entirely female staff, I forgot all the back biting, the current of frisson running hidden from casual view that occurs.  On the surface tis all smiles and friendliness, only to have a sharp comment leveled at the other woman's back as she leaves.  Eventually, I'll be asked to take sides, an unhappy thought indeed.

Not going to bail on the snack/gift shop as of yet, but if things dont improve in the next few weeks, I'm going to go to the lady in charge of all the volunteers and request to be moved to a new area.  She told all of us at the orientation meeting that it might take a few departments to find a good fit, and it looks like the snack/gift shop might not be mine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Curry Crazed Me

Curry.....the very name conjures up bowls of spicy seductive delightfulness.  The country of origin doenst matter, all curries are welcome in my bowl.  I'm not alone in my obsession with curry either.  There is a Japanese manga "Addicted to Curry" there is an interesting story line and each volume has at least one curry recipe.  After a few volumes the story line became stale and I stopped reading it, but some of the curry recipes sounded so tasty I wanted to try them.  To do so I need to buy a scale and find some japanese measuring spoons and whatnot as when they translated this manga they didnt translate the recipes, except for the ingredients.  I read this manga online, translated by students learning either english or japanese, and they didnt want to convert the recipes, not that I blame them!

I tend to eat Indian curry out, so far I havent attempted to make it.  Hmm, note to self, get Indian cookbook an attempt their curry!  I make Thai curry at home all the time, however I do use the "cheat" of using the curry jar.  Thai curry is a hurry up dinner for me.

After I got back from my big Twin Cities trip, the hankering for some Japanese curry became to much to deal with.  Back in the days when our Japanese daughter-in-law and son lived with us, she made curry often, but used the curry blocks for the thickening and flavoring.

It was good, and I have access to the blocks here, but for some reason wanted to tackle it from scratch.  Japanese curry is more of a stew than a traditional curry, but mega tasty!  After a visit to my go to japanese food site, and a trip to 3 stores to get everything that I needed the next day was curry day!

Started with sweating 6 large onions, and ended with stirring the roux into the mix, total time?  Hmm, give or take about 4 hours.  I modified the recipe a bit by adding in 2 dried chili pods, as japanese curry is quite mild, heat wise and I wanted a bite to mine.   The next afternoon I came home from the library and was shocked that the house smelled so strongly of curry!  I sure hope my neighbors couldnt smell it!

My freezer is home to 5 containers of curry gold, just there waiting for me to gobble it up!

Monday, December 3, 2012

push push love

The thanksgiving visit with 2nd son and his wife went well.  It was nice not to be hurried and just have time to reconnect.  TH and I had a good visit, it was to short, much much to short, but good.  We talked about some things that has been a sore point with the both of us, and some things were well sorted, others?  Yeah, well there is always tomorrow, yeah?

Looking for something interesting to do on Friday, we all agreed Thursday night to head over to the Minneapolis Art Institute to see the Terra Cotta Warriors!!  I didnt know that China allowed them to tour the world, score!  Great excitement filled the car as we zoomed towards the museum, only to turn the corner 4! blocks away to see the traffic backed up to a complete stop.  We inched our way to the next cross street only to see the the same on that street as well.  Our great idea looked to be the popular go to idea for everyone else in the twin cities!

Our hopes dashed, 2nd son, laughed and said, "I have a great idea what to do, and the best thing is I havent been there either!"  A few minutes later, we parked in front of the Mill City Museum.  If you find yourself in Minneapolis one thing on your list of cool things to do is to see this museum.  The trip up to the top floor area is amazing in that the voices you hear are the people who used to work at the mill.  For decades Minneapolis ground more wheat into flour than any other place on earth.  What closed down the mills was electricity, they no longer needed to power the mills from water.  Now our mills are scattered around the wheat growing areas.   In the late 1990's a fire broke out in the mill and the museum tower is the only original part of the mill that is left.

What views from the observation deck!

2nd son's wife had to get back to university she had more research to do, she left Saturday afternoon,   TH left on Saturday night so he could get some sleep for work Sunday night, it was a day of leave taking.  Sunday 2nd son and I had a great visit until it was time for him to toss me onto my plane that evening.  Once we were alone, the questions began, he was grilling me to see what the truth really is of TH and I living apart.  There is still some residual poison left over from all of DIL's lies she spread, but I think he understands the truth of it now, and no longer thinks that TH and I are calling it quits.

Friday I finally got on the volunteer book at the library!  I work at one area or another every day Monday thru Friday!  I'm excited to finally have something besides knitting and books to take up my time.  oh wait!  books.....ok so I'm not at home alone reading, yeah?  LOL  The funny thing though as I was retagging books in the stacks, I kept finding books that looked interesting....and so I used my phone to snap photos of the books to keep in mind for laters.

Ive joined a few groups.  One is a movie night hosted by the local bears group.  The really cool thing about this group is they take anyone, of any lgbt-ness and str8 people as well.  Each movie night includes some sort of meet and greet, as the purpose is to see a good movie and make friends.  They are having a meeting at 9am the first day The Hobbit is released, and lunch afterward.  So that should be fun.

Also joined a beer and book club, my first meeting is Tuesday night.  This meeting has several pluses going for it.  Distance - 2 miles from my house, Time - 30 minutes after work, I can browse the shops in the area until its time to attend the meeting, and is honestly one block from the library.  Now all I need to do is to find a good title to suggest.  wait..I am back at books again...yeah anyway........

Knitted myself a new hat for the twin cities trip, as I know its cold and windy there.  The pattern name is called Worm as you can plainly see why.