Risking It!

March 25, 2010

Risk

The time has come. (Sounds ominous, huh?)

Since one of the reasons I am writing is community, I suppose that means I need to put myself out there. Why the wait? Guess I wanted to get on a roll (LOL) – my fingers limbered up and juices flowing. More to the point, it’s scary!!

I’ve (almost) always been one to smooth out situations and generally avoid confrontation. So to just dump my thoughts out there for anyone to see… now THAT’S risk – to me anyway. To publicize this thing, even in the smallest way, is uncomfortable from many angles. Will anyone read it? Will they read more than one post? Will they hate it? Will they laugh? But just maybe, someone will be entertained. Maybe, someone will become inspired to do something… anything. Perhaps in some bizarre way, I can make a tiny difference. In the big picture, none of that really matters because I’m doing this for me.

As one very wise boss told me years ago, “You’re not growing unless you’re uncomfortable.” So here’s to growth.


Perfection vs. Reality

March 25, 2010

Perfect. According to the first entry at dictionary.com, there are 15 definitions of the word “perfect” used as an adjective. (Doesn’t that just scream imperfection?) Here are a few:

  • conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.
  • excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.
  • entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.
  • accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

Society today puts such pressure on us to live life without mistakes, and to fill certain molds. For example, many view today’s models as being “perfectly” proportioned, while for the majority of us, we will never, ever attain even close to that image. Perfection, or near-perfection, is also expected in the workplace. As competitive as the job market is today, pressure to maintain a perfect performance is insurmountable. Perfection is expected in many households as their children move through the school ranks. (Doesn’t every other car have a “my child was on the honor roll” bumper sticker?)

There needs to be a balance between “trying” and “perfection.” I’ve been told to remove the word “try” from my vocabulary, as it includes a built in excuse for failure. In my opinion, trying is good enough – as long as it is giving your full effort to whatever it is you are doing… working your hardest and striving to achieve the best possible outcome or product. What’s so wrong with that?  It’s so contradictory to the pat phrase: “You did your best and that’s all anyone can ask.”

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Not much to clap about

March 19, 2010

I had a bit of a negative foreshadowing about our evening immediately upon arrival at our regular parking lot – Family Ford (or whatever it’s called now). The happy looking attendant directed me to back into a tiny spot (I drive an SUV) that would have required someone else’s backing expertise. I nicely asked if I could park in a different spot and I thought he said yes. As I pulled in, he then told me only “back up.” I asked if he was actually making me back in to the itty bitty spot, and again the answer was merely “back up.”  So I jumped out and made my husband do it. Turns out Mr. Happy, whose job it was to give directions to people didn’t speak English!!!! Ughhhh all Mr. Happy really wanted was for us to back up and straighten out in the space we were in. It never ceases to amaze me when people are unable to communicate and yet they are placed in a position to communicate instructions to the general public. Who is the brainiac in charge here? 

Now into Staples Center and off to find some nachos that my husband RAVED about last time. On our way to our seats radio color commentator/analyst Daryl Evans came bustling along in the hallway. We said hello and rushed along with him so hubby could discuss a recent question to kings talk. He needed some clarification about how the emergency recall rule worked, and Darryl was happy to explain. He’s such a cool dude.

On to our seats, nachos & giant soda in hand. Ahhhh, all is right in Kings-land. Bob Miller really is back – I can see him with my own eyes. Yahoo! Alright boys, let’s drop the puck & get this thing started. First period offered hope. It ended 0-0 and was 20 minutes of hard work from both sides. I’ll save you the gory details from the 2nd and 3rd periods, but let’s suffice it to say even one of our media guys couldn’t come up with any decent questions for the coaching staff. It was THAT BAD.  Ultimately, the kings lost… on clapper night no less. The least they could do was give us something to clap for. Maybe we should ban clapper night going forward?

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What’s up with that?

March 19, 2010

(This is likely to become a recurring category. These posts will include life’s little things – confusing, annoying, or just nonsensical.)

“As of late”: why do so many try to fancy up the word “lately” with this phrase? Are we back in college trying to hit a specific word count? If you’re gonna use it, please do so sparsely. Otherwise, it sounds like you are trying to be smarter than you are – even if you ARE a genius!

Really, where do those solo socks go? I have enlisted the help of a basket to corral socks separated during laundry proceedings, only to amaze myself with how full it is… constantly.

People who steal suck. (See earlier “Wanted: Sign Thief” blog.)

How come I can’t get the cool needle threader feature on my sewing machine to work? My eyes won’t be this good forever.

How do ants get IN the pipes? That just freaks me out.

Are fears hereditary? If so, I completely blame my mother for my irrational fear of needles. Thanks, mom. (Actually, it’s probably a good thing considering how much I like tattoos on other people.)

Why are boys so itchy? Wait, maybe I don’t want an answer to that.


Sew What?

March 19, 2010

Inspired by my uncle’s wifes sewing skills as showcased by her gifts and blog, I thought “what he heck, why not drag out my machine and figure out how it works?” I have used it before but not properly. I picked up a beginners sewing book at Borders, dug out my manual, and realized I had been routing the thread incorrectly. No wonder it always broke! Also, I learned how to wind bobbins. First, I learned how NOT to do it, but after a bit of persistence, I got it right. I really felt accomplished!! Then I gathered up some scraps and practiced stitches. My machine has a number of feet and stitch selections, so I wanted to see what each of them did. I’m still afraid of button holes, but I am MUCH more comfortable with the machine now. 

Blue & White wine bag w/red hearts

Blue wine bag w/green ivy

I started simple with wine bottle bags. Imagine them with a prettier ribbon tied around the neck. Wonder if anyone would actually buy these? They will make good “gift wrap” since I like to give booze for gifts. And hey, they are reusable!   

 
Project #2 warranted a trip to the fabric store. I settled on a pattern “for dummies” thinking it would be really easy. Yeah right! I decided to make an appliance cover for my rarely used 4 slice toaster. After carefully selected appropriate fabric, off I went to tackle this project. (The “for dummies” moniker seems to be a branding strategy, since I felt I had progressed beyond a total dummy and maybe warranted a “novice” rating and was still dumbfounded. The kit included instructions, but unfortunately, they made no sense. Luckily, I grew up watching my grandmother sew, so I just winged it.)

Still unsure about how I should have cut the fabric (where do I fold, which end is which?) but I did manage to get what I needed. This project included a felt insert to give it some substance. Whew, this was quite a big bite!  The end result was definitely not perfection. I am, however, proud of my work. There are no gaping errors and it can certainly serve its purpose.  

4-Slice Toaster Cover

 

  P.S. Corners are hard! Especially when they are so thick (felt, 2 layers cotton, 2 layers of bias tape).


Why?

March 18, 2010

Why a blog?

Sometimes Facebook and Twitter just don’t get it done. I feel like many of my followers and friends probably don’t want to see everything I want to talk about. I know some of my friends are totally over my hockey addiction. Plus, I want to expand on those thought. Also, I want to keep a journal of little life events.  I want a place where I can post my thoughts and opinions without apology. Too bad if you don’t agree! Life would be soooo boring if we were all the same. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the communities within Facebook and Twitter, and have seen (from the outside) the community in the blogging world. I like people, so why not meet more to like?!

Why the name “Bitten By Reality”?

I have always loved the title of the movie “Reality Bites” – because oftentimes it does! I find humor in life’s annoyances. And if I can’t laugh, I figure it this will be a great place to rant. For example, today I realized someone stole our “no soliciting” sign from our front door. Who DOES that? Solicitors? It was pretty cool – it was more than just a “no soliciting” sign.  And there I go… off on a tangent. I know I have a tendency towards ADD. Let’s check it out & see where it takes us!

Why now?

What took me so long to jump on the blog-wagon, you mean? I have followed a few blogs for some time, but I wondered who would care about what I have to say? After much thought, it turns out I don’t care who cares. I was laid off in September ’09 and need to keep my writing skills sharp. (The experience from a marketing standpoint is also a huge bonus.) Plus, it’s a challenge. Now that I’m off work, I’m faced with few strong challenges. (What’s for dinner? How do I make my sewing machine function? Can I overcome my fear of spiders? Can I handle the traffic to Staples Center multiple times a week?) It is a way for me to embrace my IMperfect life!

So, that’s what this little corner of the web is all about. Hit me up – I would love to hear from anyone reading this!


Tonight’s gonna be a good night…

March 18, 2010

Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Any night we are fortunate enough to see our Kings play live is a GREAT night. This year has been one full of excitement as our young core is maturing – much like the young Blackhawks team. It was super-cool to see so many of our Kings and the Blackhawks in the Olympics. Man, that was great hockey.

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