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July 10, 2009

A breath of fresh friday

Recently a competitor in the financial world re-designed their logo. Yesterday morning our Creative Services director came in and told us it was now visible on the competitor's website and we were all looking at it on a monitor and I said in my customarily reserved and professional manner, "It looks like an ad for tampons!"

And everyone was silent for a minute, because tampons aren't something normal banky people talk about in the office. And then finally everyone laughed and agreed that it did make them feel a little not-so-fresh. Hah! I felt victorious. Truly, I did. Victorious!

And thus ends another week in which I am shocked not to be fired. Well, then again, the day ain't over yet.

- - -

So, I think that just admitting that I have a July issue was kind of cathartic. Afterward I felt surprisingly less gloomy. It helped that I got several emails from others who confessed to hating July, too, or August, and one person candidly shared with me her deep loathing and abject fear of October. So thank you for that! Misery loving company and all. The more the merrier! Or gloomier!

But it's not misery, really, just July. Ever onward July. I have been doing a little summer knitting, a luxe Noro silk garden scarf in plain old garter stitch. But I've done it up in an oversized scale, very wide (I cast on 55 stitches) and using a size 15 needle. I've paused on it for the time being while I finish this book I'm reading (The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million) because I am not one of those crazy multitaskers who can read and knit. The very thought gives me vertigo, and envy.


Noro silk garden, color 246.

I also got lots of emailed book recommendations from others out there who share my obsession with WW2/Holocaust/European Occupation literature. Sometimes people I know talk about going back to school and wonder out loud what they'd go back to study. I would definitely study history. Not because it has any applicable use in my life or to make a career of it, but just for the sheer love of it. Why does everything have to be useful? The cats for example. They are not useful at all, except for loving and pooping and laying on my legs but I can't imagine being without them.


On Wednesday I complimented my friend Corey on how well she was handling a sticky situation with someone and then I said, "I wouldn't have handled it as well. This is probably why my closest friends are cats."

I think I may have turned into one of those people who likes animals more than people ... and yet I am strangely not bothered by this. Next I will be covering my outlets with tin foil and talking into my shoe.

- - -

So far the entire harvest from my vegetable garden is the following:


• One cucumber
• One pattypan squash

Both have already been eaten and enjoyed. I thinly sliced the squash and dipped it in milk, then rolled it in a cornmeal breading and panfried it like you would okra or green tomatoes. It was deliriously delicious. (My recipe for fried okra is here, and the recipe for fried green tomatoes is here.) I am still eagerly awaiting the first red tomato. Still waiting. Waiting. Waiting!

I also need to call my dad and ask how you know corn is ripe enough to pick. I think mine is getting close but I'm not sure. The ears are firm, I guess, I'm not really used to feeling up cornstalks. It is amazing how little attention I paid to the delicate details of vegetable gardening while I was growing up. My dad would tell us when to pick things and we'd pick them. The cornsilk at the top of the corn ears has started to turn beige, but a medium sand-beige, not yet a rustic brown or mellowed ochre, it's more a hex value C4C4A1. (Perhaps proof I have been spending too much time working on branding a newer, even beiger version of financial online services?) (But at least it doesn't look like an ad for feminine hygiene products. I mean really.)

Have I told my graphic designer joke yet?

Q: How many graphic designers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: A lightbulb? Does it have to be a lightbulb? Can we go with a candle, maybe with a flickering light? Or a lantern? Why do we have to go with a lightbulb? I was thinking more along the lines of an open road, with clouds and a desertscape. Who came up with this crappy lightbulb idea? It was marketing, wasn't it?

Anyway, I want to pick the corn in my personal backyard cornfield before the raccoons discover it. One night a few weeks ago I was coming home late from work and it had gotten dark already, just past dusk, and as I turned onto my street my headlights illuminated three very large furry raccoons crossing the road. They were huge! And they raced across my little street and climbed up a big tree. THEY CLIMBED UP A TREE, people. Three gigantic furry raccoons the size of overstuffed footstools shimmied up a TREE.

Now when I go for walks I am always looking up above me, trying to make sure one of those huge examples of urban wildlife doesn't drop down on me all George-of-the-Jungle style. Creepy.

- - -

This week has just been so long, and I am relieved it's Friday. Tomorrow morning I have to go to the dentist, and then check my mail and go to the grocery store and then for the rest of the weekend I plan to do nothing that requires me to leave my house, which is the perfect weekend. Read, do some laundry, make a big dish of no-fail brown rice, water the plants, stay home, follow the cats around with my camera. I love weekends that don't have deadlines or 300 to-do-list items.

Posted by laurie at July 10, 2009 10:37 AM