Saturday, September 27, 2008

I admit it

I'm kinda Fringe-y.

I've watched the first 3 episodes of "Fringe" on Fox. It's not horrible, but not spectacularly good. I'm trying to like it, really.

I was a big fan of the X-Files, even during the silly seasons, even through that awful movie. I'm OK with stretching science in the name of a good story, and a little campy-ness works for me.

The neat wrapping up for crazy story lines in just 60 minutes...well, I can deal. It's TV after all. And Fringe's subplot - why is Massive Dynamics so interested in Agent Dunham has potential.

Still, I must confess - the main reason I'm still watching is not the strong female lead; it's not the strange cases they solve; and it's definitely not the stupid 3D floating scene titles.

It's "Peter Bishop" Joshua Jackson.

What can I say...awkward, intelligent, geeky white guys do something for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature - KimForBeads

With so many talented artists on Etsy to choose from, I’ve really been remiss in my features lately! However, I’m thrilled to break the drought with this week’s artist – KimForBeads!

Kim makes beaded jewelry and accessories – gloves, bags, bugs, and much more. Her shop is a fun place to browse, and with roughly 170 listings, you’re sure to find something beautiful just for you!

Kim works in all kinds of beads, from stone and silver to handmade lampwork and ceramic. This gives a delightfully diverse feel to her many creations!

Like so many of us, Kim’s introduction to arts and crafts started as a child with her grandmother. Those fun experiences grew even more 18 years ago, when a job in a rock shop started her working with stone jewelry…and since then she’s perfected her craft and branched out into other mediums as well. Kim tells me her current favorites are the ceramic necklaces and branch necklaces – each One Of A Kind.

When I asked Kim to share a fun or quirky thing about herself, she confessed that she frequently beads in bed! I guess that big surface provides lots of working room…but I wonder how often she’s discovered a “lost” bead at 2am.

Be sure to check out the holiday items just being added at KimForBeads too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Divided Time

So, for those who don't read this blog regularly....I'm a busy lady.

I have a day job as an engineer - no stress there. Ha.

I have 4 great kids, all elementary school age.

I also have my own business - running both eBay auctions and an Etsy store.

eBay is our "fun" money generator. I go shopping, sometimes alone, sometimes with kids, then post my great finds (new and used) and make a little extra money. Last year we used the money to visit Disneyland. This year...well, to be honest, part of that money is going to bills of various kinds.

Etsy is my release - I make jewelry to relax, and express myself. That people want it enough to buy it is wonderful, but mostly it self sustains. That is, I use my Etsy profits to make more jewelry.

Except that...both eBay and Etsy have slowed down in sales. And my time has more demands this fall. So I find myself putting what little energy I have into the eBay business...and neglecting my jewelry.

Not that I don't have ideas - I sure have tons of them! I just can't seem to carve enough time to finish anything! I have a bracelet, a ring, and a pendant all semi-done. Ugh.

Oh well. In the grand scheme of life, this isn't such a terrible thing. I'm sure I'll get back to jewelry soon...and with the time for jewelry, will hopefully come time for blogging again!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

That was a pricey mistake!

I was a complete dummy.

I had a great, new, designer purse - bought it for a song, and from my research on eBay was going to sell it for a good $100 profit.

So I listed it, with Priority Mail (my standard) and Parcel Post shipping - the Priority Mail was the first listed.

I had tons of watchers, tons and tons of hits....and yet it sold for minimum bid. I only got $40 profit! It made no sense...

Until I saw what shipping was to anywhere but my zone - $28! All through the auction, the shipping said $12.

So for too high shipping, I threw out $60 profit. I'm just sick.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm in a Treasury!

I'm a bit late at announcing expires TOMORROW! But please, check it out

Thanks to Etsy seller Tallib for including me! Be sure to stop by Tallib's Blog and share the love!

Que Sera

Is it confidence? Arrogance? Or is my give-a-s*** button broken?

The rumor at my work is that today is LAYOFF day. We have a new CEO who has promised to "turn us around" and "change the paradigm" and all those other CEO buzzwords. I'm sure he'll change something. Hopefully it works.

So with change comes uncertainty. Everyone seems to agree that some jobs will be lost - the question is where and how many. I've heard reasonable assesments (underperforming satellite centers) and wild conjecture (25% across the board). All seem to agree that it will happen today - or maybe tomorrow at outside.

I've been in my industry since 2000, and weathered a LOT of layoffs. Seven so far, to be exact. I remember being very, very nervous about my job the first couple of times. Now...I just can't muster the anxiety. If I'm on the list, I'm on the list - nothing to be done about it.

But hey, if I lose my job, I'll have more Etsy and blog time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's The First Day, Not The Last Chance

Being an old hand at this, I find the first day of school rather amusing. My children who won't stir from bed before 9am during the summer are all awake by 7:15am. Not just awake, but dressed, hair combed, and eager to help with breakfast. Oh, for the excitement to last past this week...but I know that, faster than the first stain can appear on those new backpacks, we'll be back to sleepy, grumpy kids who must be prodded awake at 7:20, 7:25, and 7:30. Oh well.

All of my kids picked their first day outfits, laying them on their floors with varying degrees of care last night. My eldest, now a 6th grader, chose a cute halter dress her mom bought this summer. Paired with sneakers, of course, and a jacket - that sleeveless dress isn't so wonderful when it's only 60-degrees out. She spent almost 20 minutes curling her hair, and looked so incredibly grown up. Too bad it all backfired - she called in a panic at 9am, apparently today was P.E. and she needed pants. Oh well.

My sons went with more casual "cool" looks. The 3rd grader wore his favorite silver shirt with one orange stripe, his brother chose a batman shirt and batman jeans for his first day in 1st grade. I suspect both fared better during recess than the older sister.

And our youngest, Miss Kindergarten, wore pink. Pink sundress. Pink cardigan (that cold morning again). Pink sneakers. Pink crown barrettes. Pink backpack. Purple socks (thank goodness!). Hubby joked that she looked like a bottle of Pepto - a cute one, of course.

So after the required group picture, we six headed for the school. The loaded backpacks slowed the kids to a normal pace, so hubby and I enjoyed the chance to talk to our excited children. Miss Kindergarten was definitely most excited (saying a lot), even though this morning was just a quick 20 minute "meet the teacher" time. (Tomorrow is her first full day) We quickly joined the sidewalk full of other families - said hi to neighbors, pet MoMo the mascot cat, and filed into the school. Got the three oldest kids settled into classrooms, then it was time for Kindergarten.

With so many siblings in school already, Miss Kindergarten is a pro. She knows her teacher's name, and remembers what room is hers too. We walked in and immediately started unloading school supplies, while finding our cubby and locating the name tag on the desk. The teacher, Mrs Brown, welcomed her and the other 3 kids there (calling them by name, from memory...I think she cheated somehow). Then, the kids were set to drawing pictures of themselves while we parents were handed enormous packets.

(Stupid fundraiser stuff was handed out TODAY! But I digress...)

After a quick survey revealed few changes from last year's packet, Hubby and I were left with some 10 minutes to kill. We introduced ourselves to the Aide, met a few of the parents, roamed the room looking around. I noticed one set of parents had captured the teacher's attention - a mom in green plaid, talking at length, and a dad with little to say. Mrs Green Plaid was holding forth on her incredibly gifted son, making sure Mrs Brown understood just how incredibly gifted this boy was.


Miss Kindergarten walked over to show me her picture - nicely colored (mostly in the lines) showing her blue dress she plans to wear tomorrow. (Accuracy - yes!) She'd even printed her own name. I started to direct her to Mrs Brown, but realized Mrs Green Plaid was still hogging her time. "My son went to a Montessori Preschool - they have so much academic merit, you know. He knows his letters, can sound out some words, and can even do addition and subtraction. It's so important to really challenge him..."

As Mrs Brown launched into her description of the general class syllabus (with a look on her face like she was repeating herself), Miss Kindergarten and I decided to meander over to the wall display.

We read that Monday is Music day, Wednesday is PE day, and Thursday is Library day. We read a poem about the months of the year. Other than confusing Tuesday and Thursday, Miss Kindergarten did it all herself.

Feeling just a touch smug, I walked back towards Mrs Brown. Our 20 minute session was over, and we needed to leave so the next group of kids could come in. (Besides, I had that annoying WORK thing) Mrs Green Plaid was still attempting to drill into Mrs Brown's head just how special her boy was...while the boy in question cowered behind his mom. And I realized...he had been there all along.

Instead of exploring his new classroom, instead of find the toys, walking on the alphabet mat, noticing the cow skull, and meeting his classmates...this poor boy had been stuck behind his mother, at best bored out of his mind. And she'd missed her chance too, missed being able to walk through the room, meet the aide, talk to some other parents. All because she wanted, heck needed, to force the knowledge of how wonderful her kid is into the teacher's brain.

What a shame - it was so unnecessary. A good teacher discovers each kid's abilities and talents - and yes, weaknesses - rather quickly once they are in the classroom. We've found that out with all of our kids. Heck, teachers find hidden gifts that parents don't even know about. So Mrs Green Plaid only deprived herself and her son of an enjoyable first day. What a shame.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Not Ready For This

Today is Labor of hotdogs, sleeping in, playing in the park...maybe even a movie for the kids. Today is great.

Tomorrow I'm dreading.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and it's my baby's first day of kindergarten.

There is NO way that this little girl

is ready for kindergarten. How can it be true? How can I be old enough for this???

I swear, I won't be one of those moms - but that's only because I'll restrain my bawling mess for after I leave school property.

Getting old is HARD.