Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Close but no cigar (I think)

Well the interview was... GREAT!

Seriously, it was *so good*! Relaxed, friendly, lacking any bullshit. I did well on all the questions, and managed to ask a few good ones of my own.

I also identified business opportunities that they are keen to move into - but without knowing that in advance.

Great culture fit, and I liked the ethos, etc. We agreed on where my weaknesses are: lack of formal experience managing people and money, and general lack of experience - i.e. everyone else who'd gotten an interview was a lot older and more experienced.

However, we agreed (she suggested and I murmured appreciatively) that managing people without a direct reporting line is a lot harder, and very valuable experience. She also said that she knew how much experience I'd had when she asked me to interview, and that it wasn't as important as one might think.

It is the best job I've heard of - in my career path, that is (I still covet being a personal shopper) - and quite a stretch for me. Less hands-on interweb work, more business stuff. Very, very cool.

I won't get it: the hirer claims no interweb experience whatsoever, and the role I went for - all about the interweb - will be crucial to the business. I think they'll go for someone more experienced (read: older).

Hell, if I had that much riding on it, I'd probably go for someone a bit more experienced, even if they were less dynamic and great.

But I came away feeling so positive because of it. Even if people at my real job can treat me poorly, I know that total strangers think I'm good enough for a big-girl job.

It also makes me think: I don't want the hassle of moving for just any great job: it had better be fan-bloody-tastic!

So I probably won't get it - I'm 95% sure of that. I might get a second interview, but no more. But that's okay. It's been such a good experience it's one I don't mind chalking up.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wedding planning

...makes me want to elope!

Between trying to find a beautiful venue (let alone one in our budget), family dramas and teh sheer pressure of it all, it's enough to make anyone a little bit loopy.

We won't be eloping, but I definitely understand the charm.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Just when you think it's over... all starts up again.

Work, that is. Thought I'd done everything I needed to do on a project, but spent the entire day on extra stuff no one thought to tell me about until today.

So much for an early night home, wrapping my SP's gift, and cooking a healthy meal for The Trouser. I mean, it will still happen - just not in the leisurely fashion that I prefer.

On a more positive note, a large corporation are interested in my CV, and I have an interview for a great-looking job next week. It would be a bit of a step up - managing people, and more real responsiblity - but still essentially what I do here on a shoestring.

Very glad tomorrow's Friday :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Show and tell time

Are all you children sitting down quietly? Okay, it's show and tell time!

Today, The Skirt will show us some of the things she's been knitting, but been too slack to post photos of!

First of all, the almost-completed "Mummy wrap", for my pregnant friend. You take a ball of this crazy ribbon stuff:

And knit for ages. It slips off your needles a lot, and you drop lots of stitches. You swear quite a bit. Eventually, you get something that looks a bit like this:

(I've finished it now, but it photographs so badly I won't be taking any more pictures of it. You'll just have to believe me when I say it's pretty cute.)

Next, we have some baby bootees I made for a colleague a while back. 4-ply cotton in pink and white:

I really hate the ill-written pattern, but they look cute.

Finally, in baby-land, the blanket I've been working on forever and a week:

All that's left to do is to line the back.

Overcoming phobias in the name of wellbeing

As part of my "get healthy and lose a bit of flab" goal, I've been trying to eat right and taking my supplements like a good girl.

if you're me, there are *a lot* of supplements to take. With my breakfast, I take a flax seed oil pill.

Mid-morning, I take 2 high-potency slippery elm pills (they are supposed to be chewed but they taste disgusting, so I choke on them as I swallow them down).

At lunch, I take another flax seed oil pill and 3 liver cleansing pills.

Mid-afternoon, it's time for 2 more high-potency slippery elms.

At dinnertime, it's a flax seed oil pill and 2 magnesium pills.

Just before bed I take yet 2 more slippery elms and 2 acidophilus pills.

Like I said, it's a lot.

It's been okay - till the liver cleansing pills started last week. Amongst the many potential side effects of these pills (they are many and varied, and some of them are icky) is the urge to pee. All the time.

I'm not up to my full dose of 4 pills a day (phasing it in slowly) and already I have to pee all the time. Well, twice a day at work, which is a big step up from my never peeing at work.

You see, I have a phobia of public or communal toilets. Just don't like 'em, no matter where they are. I'm not even that keen on the toilets at the homes of people I know.

I have no idea why. It is a more recent phobia - as a kid I wasn't too fussy. (One memorable holiday, my forever-peeing youngest brother developed a ratings system for the public toilets he visited - invariably one per place we stopped. It was a lot of fun and still makes me laugh.)

My "camel bladder" - a bladder that only needs to be emptied perhaps twice a day - has stood me in good stead, and meant that my phobia hasn't been a problem.

Until now. Damn liver cleansing stuff.

I did consider going home to use the bathroom - it's a 5 minute walk each way - but it seems a little bit obsessive. So whether I like it or not, I kind of have to overcome my distaste for the toilets at work.

Again: damn liver cleansing stuff. Damn health and wellbeing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New treat!

I got a lovely knitting needle case from a friend last night, made specially for me!

No excuses now for not tidying my needles up...

Monday, January 16, 2006


Everyone's been making resolutions for the new year. Most people made them a while ago, too.

I don't like them for myself, because I like to think my resolve will last a bit longer than a year. It also puts a lot of pressure on to achieve something in a year. I'm not sure I need any more self-imposed pressure.

But it isn't like many people I know will read this, so it's probably okay, right? So here's what I might try to apply myself to this year:

Continue to eat more healthily, and to improve my health with all the naturopathic gee-gaws I've been taking.
Continue to get a teensy bit skinnier so I feel better about how I look (no one else will notice but I will!).
Stop feeling so pissed off and unsupported by some people in my life - not by ditching them, but by getting over the fact that they are arses, and will always be this way.
Have more fun.

Finally find a job that I really like, that pays me well, and where I get some respect (only when deserved of course!).
Stop resenting people who are arses. Usually they can't help it, and getting stressed out over it only makes it my problem.

Knitting (siginificant enough for its own category!)
Sort out and store my knitting needles in a better way.
More lace!
Learn a new skill, like sock-knitting or intarsia or something. Maybe.
Use up some of the beautiful yarns in my stash so I can buy more without throwing other things out.
Knit things I really love, damn the expense of the yarn!

The Trouser
Be more supportive when he works late a lot.
More foot rubs.
Make him laugh more.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Let the fun begin!

The Secret Pal swap is all on. I have been allocated to someone, and someone has been allocated to me.

My recipient is going to receive lots of NZ-related booty. (Can you even say booty anymore, or does it make everyone else think of bottoms? What do pirates say now that Beyonce has stolen their word? Loot? Not very pirate-y at all.)

Anyway, lots of loot from NZ, as she thinks it's super-lovely here. Hopefully I'll find some nice yarn for her too.

All I need to do is start shopping...


So I had a little photoshoot last night.

My brother's fiance's friend is a tour guide for Japanese groups who come to NZ. Her group this week was a writer and photographer from a women's magazine. Not a super-fancy magazine, but a magazine all the same.

They needed young, fun, hip women in Auckland to recommend places to shop and eat. For some reason I was suggested, and I somewhat grudgingly agreed.

So I filled out a very interesting questionnaire (favourite singer and actors, and thoughts on marriage!) and yesterday met up with the team for a drink so they could get some photos.

I am not very photogenic at all. This is not false modesty - I simply look much better in real life than I do in photos. So I prepared myself the best way I knew how: weaing a plain outift (patterns can look rotten in photos) and going to visit my hairdresser for a long-overdue haircut.

The shoot itself was fairly low-key: glass of wine and magazine at had, I didn't have to look directly into the camera too much, so I blushed a lot less than I usually do. And it was at a bar/ cafe that I really like, so I was comfortable, even with people looking very interested in what was going on. Thankfully, there were no lights, and my hair looked great :-)

So now I am super-glamorous. Be warned.

Oh, and I also met with a recruiter to look into my job situation. She had 2 roles that weren't quite right, so I emailed her a great job I liked the look of, but am about 2 years too junior for. Cross your fingers something great will come up, or something great will happen here to keep me - the suspense is annoying!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I have:

- A magazine I need to read for work, but that I also enjoy reading anyway.

- A pile of job applications for my junior, which I've been dying to look at.

- A bunch of mind-numbing data entry-style work that needs to get sorted as soon as.

Guess which one I'm keenest on, and which one I'm doing?

Memo to self: must lose conscience. It is holding us back.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

SP7 questionnaire

If you don't care about knitting and such, just skip this post...

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
I love unusual yarns, and I prefer high quality yarns (i.e. those that don't fall apart or pill madly), but that doesn't rule out bargain yarns to me - if they feel nice and are a great colour, I'm there.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Nope and nope.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Um, a knitting bag and a plastic bag. I "inherited" a bunch of needles recently and haven't quite sorted them all out yet.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I started knitting about 20 years ago, but had a 10-year hiatus and began again last year. I'd say I'm intermediate.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not yet... Good idea though!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Mmmm... Vanilla, cinnamon, rosemary is quite nice, cherry, chocolate...

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes! I **love Reese's peanut butter cups/ candy, butterscotch candy, those red-and-white stripy mints... I like chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

I love the candy of the 80s, and am always up for trying local favourites or specialties, as long as it doesn't involve bugs...

I also love Pocky, and don't discriminate against yummy salty snacks. I have both sweet and salty teeth.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Nothing right now.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like all kinds of music except country, I think. I'm not a big music person (that's The Trouser's domain), so I'm always open to suggestions. MP3s are no problem.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I'm not wild on browns, but I'm pretty open to most colours. I've bought a lot of muted greens and blues recently, but perhaps it's time to venture into brighter colours?

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
1 fiance, a plastic duck and a stuffed kitten.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, yes.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Probably a merino or silk mix. I also love fine yarns like Kid Silk Haze (I can't quite believe it either) and a nice cotton.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Itchy ones, and ones that shed like crazy even after you've frozen and/ or washed them.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Finishing Rowan's River, with its airy, floaty lace pattern. I'm also a bit obsessed with finding enough beautiful cardigans to make to keep me warm in winter.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
(Blush) probably something for myself. I like wearing my knitting. Cardigans or wraps are always good.

17. What are you knitting right now?
River (still), and a black cardigan from an Australasian pattern.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
No preference.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I have a lot of aluminium and plastic - prefer aluminium of the two. Have bought but am yet to actually try bamboo - they sound lovely!

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

22. How did you learn to knit?
My aunt taught me.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 6 months (black cardigan, merino/synthetic mix, dye leaks onto my hands as I knit, annoying but will be cute once it's done).

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I don't really have favourites, sorry!

25. What is your favorite holiday?
One on a tropical beach far away from home, LOL. Probably Christmas.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really. Some people might say I collect shoes, but I do wear them all (eventually). And I do own a *lot* of books :-)

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Books: Last Minute Gifts, Loop-d-Loop (though the reviews are somewhat scathing, maybe I am wrong to covet this?).

Yarns: Rowan Wool Cotton, more Kid Silk Haze, Koigu yarns (to see what all the fuss is about).

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not that I know of, but it doesn't mean I don't need to learn them!

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Not yet. I'm a US size 7.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
August 5.


I am allergic to mosquito bites.

Okay, I know we're all allergic to them, hence the "bump", but I am super-allergic to them.

It first happened late last year.

I get a bump, but if I rub it or scratch it *at all* it become a large, red bump. It remains red even if I don't scratch it again.

If I have the misfortune to find a bite somewhere where clothes cover it, I get a really, really big red bump from the fabric brushing it.

In fact, it gets so big and red it kind of looks like a third nipple. Nice.

We use citronella, I use bug repellant when I can, and we have a plug-in thing for night time. But still I get bitten. I'm thinking about dietary changes - anyone have any ideas?

Moral of the story: we're all allergic to mosquito bites, I'm just more allergic than anyone else I've ever met.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Thanks to the photographic genius of The Trouser, here's a photo of my Christmas-related knitting loot:

Yes, that's 3 pairs of Clover bamboos (what extravagance!), a pair of cheapie metal circulars ($1.50 in an emporium, I couldn't say no), some Clover stitch markers (I've used scrappy bits of wool before, looking forward to the luxury of stitch markers that don't un-knot themselves and fall off), and my new love, Alterknits.

We'd never tried ordering from Fishpond before, but it was a good experience. Their catalogue is harder to navigate than Amazon's, but that should come as no surprise.

I already have a few projects in mind from Alterknits - the abstract cardigan (minus all the crazy ribbons on the sleeves) and maybe the lace-up shawl, for starters.

I also accidentally bought another new knitting book on Friday - Baby Bloom.

I know it's meant to be a mothers and babies kind of book, but it has a number of cute cardigan patterns in it that are fine for non-pregnant women, and it also has some cute bootie patterns that I'll use.

If only all the yarns used in these books weren't so damn hard to get here! I know I can substitute, but it is funner not to.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Memo to all those who use computers at work

The people who do things like manage websites and email marketing are not necessarily experts in the Windows operating system (and its associated programmes).

Yes, they know how to do lots of things, but not necessarily how to master PowerPoint or demystify the intricacies of XP.

They might not even really care, not at all (gasp!).

The above is especially true if the person concerned is more of a marketing/ comms person, rather than a traditional tech-head.

If you don't know the difference, you should probably find out by refreshing your memory on what degree the person in question has:
- Anything involving maths or science or computers = tech-head.
- Anything else means the person is probably not super-technical.

The same rules apply for asking questions of anyone under the age of 30: using a computer and being "younger" doesn't mean they automatically know the answers to all of your questions. Or even care.

People, there are loads and loads and *loads* of courses out there that will help you to learn how to do all kinds of things. Employers will often pay, but some are even free.

Plus there's this crazy thing called the Interweb - try to get your answers, or, God forbid, (And no, it's not a good idea to direct the person there to find your answer, or ask for help with your keywords.)

Oh, and by the way? Even if the person *does* know the answer to your query, or could find it easily, they won't necessarily tell you that anyway. They're busy too, and being the unofficial go-to person for PC queries (or Mac queries even when they don't use them, go figure!) cuts into their work time, and thus into their real lives.

They're especially less likely to answer your query when it's delivered in an angry, demanding, or whiny tone - or when unaccompanied by a "please", or even a "pretty please with cherries on top".

Or when you're always too busy to deal with them unless you want a stupid computer question answered.

Just so you know.

Happy day?

I've been in a bit of a funk lately - the holiday was great but not long enough, and work has really gotten me down.

So imagine my surprise to find myself at work this morning, unable to suppress a grin.

Why? You may well ask. I have absolutely no clue.

All of a sudden I'm filled with excitement (as opposed to dread) at planning the wedding. Once we book a venue, we can start making a list of music (an incentive for The Trouser to hurry up and get the venue sorted with me!).

I even feel really positive and optimistic about our decision not to invite The Trouser's sister and bro-in-law (aka The Rotten People).

Even being at work isn't dimming my enthusiasm for life. After finally deciding to leave, I'm enjoying it immensely today (so far, anyway).


Still, I have plenty to look forward to, including a lovely new knitting book as part of my Xmas loot (will take a pic tonight).

After misery and rotten moods, long may this last! I wonder if I'll still be cheery by midday?

Update @ 12.40pm: still pretty cheery. Weirder and weirder...