My Crafting Adventures: Basket Weaving

In my old position at my job, I used to go into people’s homes. Alone. The guys at work like to tell stories to each other about what kind of bizarre situations they get into. I rarely join in because my stories are generally even more out there than theirs and at some point it just seems like bragging.


For example: They tell about the time a woman answered the door in lingerie. Yeah, that’s happened to me too. But also I’ve had dozens of men answer completely naked. Or, even worse, I’ve had men “forget” I’m there and come back into the room naked when they didn’t start out that way.


Or maybe this one time a gay guy hit on one of my male co-workers. But I was hit on literally almost every day for the 5 years I was in that position. By both men and women. I was also groped by a gay man at that job. Being alone with people in their own home gives them a level of comfort that tends to not exist at say a bar or the grocery store. They are comfortable being gross or rude or creepy.


That’s not to say I don’t love my job. I do. But it has it’s own inherent dangers and weirdness. And someday, those stories are all going to get told. Unfortunately, I still work there and can’t tell them all now.


But I can tell this one.


Once, I was at this person’s home very early in my career. They lived in a trailer set deep in the woods that was acres away from any neighbors.


The woman was home while her husband was at work. She and I got to talking and I mentioned the decor in her house. There was a lot of Native American decorations. Flutes, paintings, jewelry, etc.


I also happened to notice these lovely woven baskets. They were everywhere.


My first pine needle basket

During the course of our conversation I mentioned how cool I thought they were. The lady, suddenly excited, told me that her husband made them. He apparently was Native American and had learned the craft from his grandmother.


I started telling her about all the crafts I do and how interested I was in learning to make these baskets. I wound up staying for a long time talking to this lady. She was much older and very nice.


Finally, at some point her husband came home. We had a repeat of the basket weaving conversation all over again and he invited me to come back any time and learn.


It came out so nice I kept it

I asked to come back that same night after work. Which they both were fine with.


So, after work I drove, alone, and in the dark out to this lonely trailer in the woods. I am shaking my head right now at the naivety of younger me. I cannot believe I was ever so trusting to do something like that.


At any rate, the man was there, his wife had gone out. That did give me pause, but he was very kind. And he did indeed show me how to weave a pine needle basket. He wasn’t creepy, he didn’t try to hit on me or touch me in any way.


I stayed for long enough to get the basket started and to learn how to finish it off. He even gave me the supplies to make more of them.


And apparently risked my life to learn to make it

It was only in leaving this man’s house that I realized he could have murdered me.


I mean, I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. I did not have a cell phone at the time. I did not know these people at all. I had had one conversation with them ever. And I was alone in his house in the woods at night.
Thankfully it all, turned out fine. But I have never tried or made friends with someone I met on the job since then. Also, I will hopefully not put myself in such a dangerous position to learn how to craft something in the future either.

Food Mountain

I guess I am not going to get back to talking about my trip to Tucson. Maybe because some dark and terrible thing happened there that I cannot speak of. Or more likely because I just don’t feel like it for some reason. Feel free to make up whatever stories about my trip that you want. And if you wanted to send those stories to me, that would be pretty cool too.


I decided that I wanted to tell you about the first time I drank in public. It was at a work function, which is always the best time to test your alcohol tolerance. And I had not really done too much drinking before then.


We were staying overnight at a hotel and the teambuilding of the night before was like 40 fucking rounds of putt putt golf. I am not even exaggerating on that one. Plus it was hot as balls outside so I was already miserable. And I hate golf.


One of my co-workers, R, is a bit of a party guy and he disappeared before the event even started and came back with a hurricane. When he left and came back with his second one I decided that I wanted to taste it. To my surprise it did not taste like hairspray (margaritas), paint thinner (any hard liquor), or bitter wheat vomit (beer) like all the other alcohol I had tried.

I even got a fancy glass to take home that I still drink out of


So I ordered a hurricane for myself. I drank about half of it before I felt much of anything. By then I was two holes in the putt putt game and was teamed with 3 people I did not know at all. They were boring the hell out of me and talking about work bull shit.


When that hurricane hit me, I realized I was fucking starving. I hadn’t eaten anything in 7 hours, and then it had only been a salad. I stopped one of the people that worked there and asked “Isn’t there food somewhere around here?”


She pointed vaguely to the other side of the mini golf course. “You have to play through to get to the food.”


I set down my putter and golf ball and replied “No thanks, I’m hungry now. And as an adult, I’ll eat when I want to.” And I set off across the putting course. I have zero patience for being told what to do, and I was really very hungry.


I managed to walk through about 6 or 7 other groups that actually cared about finishing the game. But I didn’t care. All I wanted was food. I was on a quest. A quest to food mountain.


After about 10 minutes I found some weird fish taco station. And I was pissed! I hate fish. I wanted real food. I asked the woman  that was manning the station, “Is this the only food?”


She laughed and pointed again, even farther away from where we were. “I think there are burgers over there somewhere.”


By this point, the alcohol was hitting me HARD. I felt really silly and relaxed and warm. I ran into my boss. He tried to talk to me but I stopped him. “Sorry, I’m busy trying to find some mythical burgers.” I didn’t even wait for his response. I was on a mission.


But the burgers were nowhere to be found. None of the other teams had seen them. Nobody seemed to know anything about them. I was wandering around this huge putting course, lost and semi drunk asking people about hamburgers. Luckily, everyone knows I am weird as fuck and I don’t think anyone really thought much of my behavior.


And then, I saw them…. It was food mountain! The legends were true!


They were up on a platform under a heating lamp. The red light was like a beacon in the night, drawing me in like a moth. I raced up the steps with excitement. I could already taste that sweet burger meat.


I was alone. Alone with a mountain of mini burgers and a pan of french fries. This was my own little private heaven. I made two triple burgers and filled a tray with fries.




And then, for some reason, I decided I needed to find R. So I wandered back through everyone trying to play through the course and fended off their vulturous attempts to eat my food. I was doing fake karate chops and telling people how to get to food mountain themselves.


It didn’t take long to find R. I’m not sure how many drinks he’d had by that point, but he was very loud.  I finished my food and then had a brilliant idea.


The week before R and I had gotten into an argument about my flexibility. He didn’t believe I could touch my toes to my forehead and it was not something I was willing to do at work. But at a work function, after half a hurricane, I was more than willing.


So I sat down and said, “Give me a minute, I don’t normally do this with pants on.” And proceeded to show him that I could totally touch my toes to my forehead. (I do yoga and it really isn’t that hard). R laughed and took a pic and admitted that I was right and he was wrong.



And then I went to find my original group. But I was so turned around I decided to go back to the beginning and follow the course through till I found them.


Unfortunately, there was an ice cream station at the beginning of the course. And there was no way I wasn’t stopping at that thing. I decided it was too hot for ice cream so instead I talked the guy manning the station into giving me a mouthful of hot fudge and then an ice cream bowl full of mini m&m’s and sprinkles. It was amazingly delicious.

Candy mountain!



I never found my group and so just waited there at the end of the course, eating candy and sprinkles until my co-workers made it through. By the time they arrived R had shown everyone the picture of my flexibility stunt.

But they were mostly too drunk to remember. A bunch of other fun things happened that night but I feel like this story is long enough.

Hello World

I am back! And possibly, but likely not, better than ever. I finished my book a whole day early (a Herculean effort considering my past month). And now I am going to bore you with the details! You’re all so very lucky.


I chose March because I think November is a bad month what with all the vacations and family oriented holidays to distract me. Well, just the one holiday, I guess. And I don’t even spend it with my family. But you guys know what I mean.


It turns out March was a horrible month to pick. The world seemed against me writing this novel. The VERY first fucking day of March, my father decided he HAD to bring me a book shelf I had bought from an estate sale 3 months previously. Go figure. I’d only asked him to bring it to me a dozen times.


Yes, that is a giant Bette Davis oil painting I rescued from being thrown in the trash. And the bookshelf.


The following weekend was his birthday, and despite my efforts to get out of it, I got guilted into going. And I am glad I did. Because I found out his age, which is 69. The most hilarious age. And his 70+ year old girlfriend made some incest jokes to her grandchildren. Plus I got to hang out with her daughter, S, who I simply adore. She has a great name that I cannot share. But let’s just say it would be like naming someone something like Windy Meadow.


Then my boss went on vacation and left me in charge despite me begging him not to. My job got so frustrating while he was away I got the closest I have ever been to quitting a job without actually quitting. And I am pretty big on quitting. Life is too short to be unhappy.


At some point I fell more than 10,000 words behind. It’s hard to come back from that. But I did. And with a day to spare. Want to know my secret? Manic obsessive writing for hours at a time. Overly descriptive language. And no contractions.


Yes, V, I DID take a pic of my computer screen with my phone and then emailed it to myself. I knew you’d appreciate that.


In complete desperation, I found a third movie I could watch while writing. The original Star Wars series. I have to admit, I need a break from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings after 31 days. I also attempted many many other films but most of them were not a good fit for my writing.


Maybe some of you are wondering how my novel turned out. Well, not great. But decent. I actually immediately deleted the last one I wrote for NaNoWriMo because I knew it wasn’t salvageable. But this one is going to be worth editing and fixing.


I had the idea for the plot in a dream. The dream was actually some weird thing about Pangea. But when I woke up I knew, in the way you do with dreams, that it had actually been about revenge and deicide.


I went through stages with the novel. I loved the plot. But after about two weeks I started to hate it. Then I started hating it less. Then I thought it might actually be decent. Then I apparently really missed being “funny” (like I clearly am on this blog)  and threw in some comedy that may or may not make the final cut. And now I think, it has good bones and is an interesting story. So there you go.


Also, I crafted very, very little during the past 31 days. Like, the least I ever have in my entire life. I finished the novel  late Monday evening and immediately grabbed up my crochet hook like a junkie missing a fix. I finished crocheting  a rug yesterday. I missed crafting.


And I am so glad to be back. I had plenty of other fun experiences to tell you guys about during the last month and I am going to Arizona on vacation next week. But most importantly, I realized how much my little WordPress community means to me. You guys are awesome. Thanks for being there for me.


Very “Inspiring” Blogger

Vic of JustPlainOlVic nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger award. I am not sure exactly what I inspire him to do, but I am not one to argue with getting an award. He says I am his muse but I am too scared to ask exactly what I am inspiring him to go do.

I’m supposed to tell seven things about me. And that is tough because my whole blog is just random shit about me. So I think I will make this more fun for you and easier for me and tell you seven times I was so very wrong about something.


  1. Song lyrics: Not only am I wrong a lot of the time. I often prefer my own lyrics (because I am conceited)  and will intentionally sing it incorrectly. It’s as annoying as it sounds. For example: Dancing in the Moonlight the lyrics are “you and me endlessly.” But I’m like “you and me and Leslie” because I prefer to think of him having a three way dance with his girl and whoever Leslie is. I’ll also sing multiple parts or chorus’ or even the instrumental parts. I’m the worst.


  1. Our company holiday party was two weekends ago and I kind of got lost. But I finally found it. And parked. And went to the ballrooms trying to find my party. And then went to the front desk looking for my party. I was pretty embarrassed to learn I was at the completely wrong hotel. In my defense, they were both from the same hotel group and started with the same letter. But still…


  1. My first act as a supervisor at my current job, I had to put someone on a final. Which is the last step before a termination of employment. I called my new employee of one week in and had him hang out until my boss was available to sit down with us and issue the final. The employee sweated it out for about 2o min with me, awkwardly making small talk,  until my boss walked in and told me I had pulled aside the wrong guy. I got so embarrassed I thought I was going to cry.


  1. I didn’t know what an exotic dancer was until I was 15 or 16. I thought it meant a flamenco dancer or something…you know…exotic. My brother told me and I didn’t believe him. But the internet settled that one really quickly.


  1. Once when I was 21 my father had a cardiac event and was hospitalized. I got a frantic message on my phone from my mother and rushed down to the ER. They couldn’t find my father and I threw the biggest fit I think I ever have in my entire life. I was yelling in the ER at the check in nurse about how irresponsible they were to lose a patient. And how I couldn’t believe people trusted them with their lives. They called around and finally found him for me. He was in a different hospital. In a different hospital provider group. In a different county.


  1. I was at a previous job, painting houses, and I was out in the yard trimming back a bush. I thought it was covered with Virginia Creepers. I basically touched it all over my hands, arms, face, neck. Then my boss came running over to stop me. It was poison ivy. And that’s how I found out that I am immune to it. Thankfully.


  1. I could mention basically every guy I have ever dated for this one. But it’s a cheap shot and I am above such things.

So thank you Vic for the nomination. I know I am supposed to nominate more people but I really don’t feel like it.  I decided some time this year to stop doing things I don’t feel like doing. Like eating right, exercising, or being around toxic assholes. And I am much happier for it.

Hair Envy

A few years ago I worked out of a different office at my company. I worked in the field with mostly men. There were quite a few women that worked at my office, but we didn’t really get along.


The women there were older. Serious. Kind of uptight and in my view, not very interesting. They would never talk about their vaginas in the workplace or split their pants and flash everyone their underwear or any of the other things I haven’t even shared with you guys yet.

This sums them up pretty well. Older, white, and with awful fashion sense.

I mostly avoided them and they mostly avoided me. It was a fine arrangement.


And then one day, there was a new employee, E. She was close to my age and exactly the kind of person I like. She was sarcastic and loud mouthed. She was funny and cool and witty and she laughed a loud infectious laugh that was irresistible. We immediately liked each other.


Every morning I would stop by her desk to talk and crack jokes. She was great.


One day that first week of meeting her, I went to lunch with a group of the guys and I met another new employee, C. He was so cool and funny too. He was a big, burly, biker type, but laid back and sarcastic.


He and I really hit it off and in my head I was totally shipping C and E. By the end of our conversation I was convinced they were soul mates. So I asked him if he had noticed her. He had noticed her. It turned out E was his wife. I secretly take a bit of credit for their marriage, even though they were married before I knew them, because I would have made it happen if they weren’t already married.

I do this in my head to literally everyone. I don’t even care if they are married, straight, gay. You are all shipped with other people!

Have you ever had a crush on a couple? I had a major one on them. I’d talk to E every morning and have lunch at least once a week with C. They were from New York city and had recently moved down to Florida.


I heard the story of how they met and got engaged (which are my two favorite stories to hear in case anyone wants to share). I heard about how they were trying to have children. We grew fairly close over the period of about six months.


One day I was talking to E and she brushed a strand of hair back off her face. Normally I am hesitant to compliment women. They almost always take it as a come on. Maybe I don’t know how to do it in a way that seems platonic. But I had to tell her.


“Your hair is gorgeous!” She had the kind of hair I always dreamed of having. It was milk chocolate brown. Silky smooth without a hint of frizz. It was was shoulder length with perfect body and shine like something in a hair commercial. If she hadn’t been so cool I would have hated her for her perfect hair alone.

Like this adorable one right here.

She gave me sort of a bemused at my compliment and I worried I had overstepped my bounds. Or come across as flirting.


She reached up, grabbed a fistful of hair, and yanked the whole thing off her head. She was completely bald underneath.


I have no idea what kind of look I had on my face. It took about 45 seconds for my brain to catch up to what my eyes had seen. I was beyond dumbfounded.  I was completely confused and speechless.


My expression must have been good because E laughed for about 5 minutes until her face was red and tears were running down her face. She was gasping for air when she she finally replied.


“For $200, you could have a gorgeous head of hair too!”


I managed to say something totally smooth like “Why…what… It’s a wig?”

She laughed again and told me all about her alopecia. And then she asked, “Haven’t you noticed the days I wear other wigs? Or the days I don’t wear one at all and just do a bandana?”

Stan Sitwell. Also, I think my real hair generally looks like this terrible wig.

And do you guys know what? I hadn’t. I don’t know if she had never worn anything other than that wig around me or if I am just the most unobservant human being on earth.  But I’d had no fucking clue.


It was a complete mindfuck. E immediately called C and told him all about it. And they never let me live it down.

Finding the Loo

Hmm, my one year blogoversary was on Saturday and I missed it. Oh well.

I try to not talk too much about my current job, but I’ve already broken the seal with the vagina story. So here is another one.


I have worked at my company going on 11 years. But I only transferred to my current office about 4 years ago. It doesn’t really matter where I go, I am the only woman. Or one of very few women. My current office employs over 100 men and me.


This is relevant because it leads men to be very creepy towards me in the workplace. I get that I am one of very few women. But when we have our quarterly meetings there are 500 men and about 10 women, if even. So that means that walking around that space is like walking a gauntlet of 1,000 prying eyes.

Apparently this is not a new phenomenon…

I used to think I was imagining it. Until men came up to me from others offices, months or even years later to tell me about the first time they ever saw me. I did not meet these men. They just noticed me and apparently never forgot me. It doesn’t make me feel flattered, it makes me feel scrutinized and othered and creeped out.


The first time I ever attended one of our quarterly meetings, I was especially self conscious. I didn’t really know anyone at this new office, in this new region. I was kind of standing off to the side, trying to avoid any eye contact that would be taken as an invitation to come talk to me.


Except, I had to pee. Really badly. And I didn’t know where the bathrooms were because we hold our meetings at the Shriner’s club. But I also didn’t want to wander around and give all these men a chance to be gross towards me. Or interact with me in general.

Our meetings would be greatly improved if we could drive one of these little cars.

I decided to approach someone and ask for help. Ideally someone that worked at the Shriner’s Club.


I saw a man talking to a group of suits. The man was wearing VERY casual business casual. He was unshaven and unkempt. He looked hungover with bloodshot eyes and was in a state of general disarray.


Most people at our company wear name tags, and since he wasn’t, I assumed he didn’t work for my company. I approached the group and walked straight up to him.


He finished his sentence and turned to me. He smiled and said “Hello. What can I do for you?”


He was very friendly and looked to be in his late 40s. I smiled back and said. “Can you tell me where the ladies’ bathroom is?”


The other men in the group looked taken aback. I assumed it was because I was a female, asking a male where the bathroom was. Or because women aren’t supposed to do such disgusting things like have bodily functions. A lot of men at my job act that way.

No girls do, from what I hear.

But the man I approached did not even bat an eye. He smiled even wider and said’ “You know what? I don’t know where it is. I’ve never had to use it. But let’s find it.”


He said goodbye to the group of suits and together he and I went into the building in search of the bathroom.


We very quickly found it and I felt a little better about walking through the crowds of men with an escort. I am not so shy these days. Plus, I am the boss now, so that helps.

Beyonce Half-Time animated GIF

And I’m walking around like this. Seriously, they make fun of me for it all the time.

After I used the facilities I headed back outside and took a seat in the picnic area, again, away from everyone.


And that’s when several people came over to me.


“What did you do?” Asked one.


“What did you say to him?” Asked another.


I was really confused. I still thought he was a janitor. He hadn’t introduced himself as anything other. Or seem offended to help me find a toilet. “I asked him where the bathroom was.”


The guys that had come over to me looked horrified. “Why would you ask him that?!”


This is where I should have realized something was up. But I didn’t. So I said “Because I had to pee.”


“But why HIM?”


“Why not him? I don’t get it. He was nice. He helped me find that bathroom. What’s the problem?”


“That’s K!”


I didn’t know who K was. I was still really new. I stared at them blankly.


They told me his last name. But I still didn’t know who that was. I replied “So?”


Then they explained. “He’s our boss’s boss’s boss. Like three levels above our level.” They were looking at me, expecting a reaction.

Cursitivity Drawing for 124

I made you guys a flow chart of the hierarchy at the time.

“Well, he was nice. And he helped me find the bathroom so who cares?”


I explained to them that I had thought he was a janitor. And they explained to me that the group of suits he’d been talking to were our company’s vice president, CEO and other such higher ups.


I kind of laughed and shrugged it off. I couldn’t change it now. K is currently my boss’s boss. He is still very cool and nice and I really like him. And I’m sure he still remembers me as the woman that interrupted his conversation because I had to pee.

That’s how I first got my reputation at this office as being both incredibly weird and having huge balls. I had that same reputation at my other office but for a different reason, which I will tell at some point.


Seems like I haven’t complained about some guy asking me out and then being a total dumbass in a little while. And I wouldn’t want any of you to think that means it isn’t happening. It is. Regularly.


A few months ago, I was asked out by the FedEx guy. This is nothing against FedEx. They offer a great service. Their outfits aren’t as sexy as the UPS guy or even the USPS guy. But they are marginally better than the DHL guys’ outfits.

Oh. Hello…

This guy was decent looking and we had talked a few times. He asked if I could help him out with something related to my job. And then he gave me his address and number.


I got his issues resolved and called him on my work phone to let him know. This is when he began to get idiotic. As we were wrapping up the phone call he said, “So, can I call you sometime?”


“I guess.” I replied. I kind of knew where this was going, but I prefer to not make assumptions.


“On this number?” He asked.


“Uh. Yeah.” I replied. I was already not liking the way he was going about this. But he was still doing better than the previous 10 or so guys that had asked me out.


“Okay. Cool. I’ll call you later.” And then we hung up.


I actually didn’t really expect him to call because I was not being very flirty or friendly with him. That deters the majority of men who seem to want me to swoon at the honor of being asked out by them.


A few days later he called me.  I basically sleep with my work phone. It takes some work to for me to trust someone with my personal number.

Basically me. Without the stubble.

I was out at dinner with my brother when he called. At our favorite restaurant. I decided to answer, to be polite.

Love this place. It deserves it’s own post.

“Hey. I’m eating with my family right now. Can you call me back later?” I asked him.


“Sure.” He said.


Except instead of ending the call he proceeded to ask me a bunch of inane questions about my movie likes and dislikes. I don’t think pop culture tastes really mean much of anything in a relationship. I mean, he isn’t going to be a good boyfriend, or even good in bed if he loves Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Stranger than Fiction as much as I do.

What a great movie!

However, the movies he liked were the kind of stupid, immature humor I can’t stand. He had frat boy taste in movies. But again, it isn’t crucial to my life.


I told him again that I needed to get off the phone as we were interrupting my dinner. But he again tried to derail my ending of the call. “Do you have a boyfriend?”


I told him I didn’t. And that’s when he asked the dreaded question.


“You are really pretty. Why are you single?”


I hate this fucking question. It is rude and presumptuous. Like there can be no reason for me to be single unless I am seriously damaged or lacking in some crucial way. Also, like my physical appearance is all I have to offer. My personality could be shit and it doesn’t matter if I am seen as hot according to WASP-y Eurocentric standards. Also, apparently my only possible reason for existence is obviously to snag a man, so why am I not more desperate for one, right?


But, readers, I behaved. I wasn’t rude right away. Instead I replied “I am still single because I know what I am looking for and I am not willing to settle. I will be single until I find what I want.”


“Oh wow. You’re really blunt.” He said with a very judgemental tone.


I am very blunt. But I did not think I was being blunt, so I said. “You asked me a question. I answered it. How is that blunt?”


“It just wasn’t what I expected you to say.” He replied in some kind of weird, flirty tone.


“I don’t know what you expected.” I paused. “Do you have a girlfriend?” I feel this was a very fair question as he had just asked me my relationship status. Also, he had to have expected me to ask it. Right?


He responded. “Well….I have girls that are friends.” He laughed like he had just said something really witty.


I was basically done at that point. I got irritated. “Do you have ‘girls that are friends’ that would be pissed off at you for being on the phone with me right now?” I asked.


“Oh. Well. You know. I live alone.” He again said this in a flirty, coy voice. Like I was going to be so fucking impressed with him for his inability to answer a very simple question.


And I called him out on it. Because I do that.


“Okay. Well you are clearly either in a relationship or you want me to think you are for some reason. I don’t know what kind of game you are playing here, but I am done.”

Also? Mary Poppins is the shit with her badass attitude.

And I hung up the phone.


If you have read my life’s mottos, you know that when I say I am done, I legitimately mean it.


I didn’t give him a chance to explain his dumbass game playing. He tried calling me every week for months. Which is a separate red flag all on it’s own. We hadn’t even had one date. We had one phone conversation, that I had repeatedly tried to end. And that I hung up on him during.


He also texted me a few times. He kept saying he didn’t understand what had happened. Despite me spelling out what had happened.


I even ran into him at work a few weeks ago. He tried to get my attention with the, always classy, honking at me as I walked by. It should surprise none of you guys that I didn’t respond to him in any way during any point.

I actually think he has figured it out by now. But time will tell. I had one guy texting me for over three years after a single date. But that is a story for another post.