Anne Lorene’s Blog

Archive for February 2009

I have worn glasses for over 20 years now, and somewhere along the way, they morphed into bifocals, (no line ones, of course). I am one of those people who reach for their glasses first thing in the morning. I am also hard on them, and have broken several frames in the past.

Last December, upon breaking yet another set of frames, I sprung for titanium frames. They were pricey, but guaranteed to be durable. They haven’t broken yet, but they did get bent.
I was struggling with my vision being fuzzy and I knew something wasn’t right, and I realized that maybe my glasses needed adjusting.
Yesterday I peeled into my local eye wear place where they advertise free adjustments, and sat down. The young lady in charge took one look at me and said, “Oh my, you do need an adjustment.” She laid them out on the counter, and they were askew. She was a bit nervous, since the frames would have to be adjusted at the key point at the top, between my eyes, one of the more fragile parts of the whole setup. She gamely, gently worked on them and voila!
I can see clearly now. No more fuzziness. I cannot believe the difference in my clarity of vision. Fellow drivers in Oregon rejoice! I honestly can see you so much better now.
Here I was thinking cataracts and laser surgery, when all I needed was a brief stint and someone who knew what she was doing.

I discovered KnitPicks online http://www.knitpicks.com/ years ago. I love them. I have knit so many things with their yarn. I also have found it a good place to find needles and books. Their book prices always beat Amazon’s. My shopping cart at their siteeternally overfloweth . They are located about 15 miles away from me in Vancouver, WA, and Kelly, their president, has been known to frequent local yarn shops here. Don’t ask me how she finds the time.
Anyway, I have been very pleased with their Harmony needles. made out of laminated wood. Besides being beautiful, they are so easy to work with. My yarn just slides over them.

Today while working on a pair of socks, (natch!), using size 0 circular needles, my needle suddenly fell apart. I was just knitting and doing nothing else.
I immediately called their customer service number and told them my problem. Without batting an eyelash, the CSR offered to send me a replacement pair. Of course, she looked up my name, and probably my order history and decided I was worth keeping as a customer.
And now they will. They are a company that stands behind their products and understand the value of good customer relations.
Go KnitPicks!

These are pictures of my Salt Lake grandchildren. Jordyn gets
Valentine’s Day, but Alix has issues. I got to spend two hours with them at the Salt Lake Airport in January whle on a layover on a flight to Boise. Yep, you go through Salt Lake on your way to Boise from Portland. Jordyn delighted us by counting from one to 10 in English, Spanish, and French. Alix walked.
These girls are such cuties. I wish I would see them more often.


Every once in a while Jordyn calls me on the phone. We can carry on some pretty good conversations. The other day her mother was talking to Heather on the phone and asked Jordyn if she wanted to say “Hi.” Jordyn said, “I’m too busy. Tell her I will call her later.” This from a three year old!

The socks mentioned in my last post have reached their intended recipient, my sister Janet. If you go to her blog, at http://janetkayjensen.blogspot.com/ you can see her poor foot and how it needs some TLC.

I guess I had better get my pair started. I met the woman who dyes this yarn, and of course, had to buy a skein of that gorgeous color for myself, and one in icehouse also.

Sharon, you done good.

Go to http://www.stitchjones.com/ to see see her fabulous yarn.
Here are two of her combinations of yarn. I love them.

Several weeks ago, while on my way home, I stopped at the local supermarket to pick up something. In the cafeteria area, I found a group of women and yarn. It seems they have been meeting for a while. They share patterns, ideas and companionship.

One of the knitters, Sharon has her own business hand dyeing yarn. I bought some in her color, Blush. The yarn is 100% merino superwash. It’s the softest yarn that I have ever knitted up. The URL for her yarn is http://www.stitchjones.com
Even someone who is allergic to scratchy wool could wear it.
It made into the most gorgeous pair of socks. The pattern is by Cookie A, and is called Monkey socks. It is so easy and looks as though you have spent days on it. Here is a link to the free pattern http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTmonkey.html
This pair is going out the door to someone special who needs a lift. They are heading out the mail this morning.

I is for Image
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T. S. Eliot
I just finished re-reading that wonderful poem again. That line,”there will be time, there will be time/ to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet,” jumped out at me again and again. Don’t we all do this in our lives, I think as a means of surviving.
How many times have we poured out our souls here, opening old wounds, sharing anguish and pain, and then gotten up from our computers, straightened ourselves up and gone out into the world, confident or at least seeming that we are “just fine.”
It got me to thinking about the face I prepare to go out with when I meet others. Creating that face is an art we develop in order to survive in our professional lives. We are taught early that,
“No one likes a frowny face/ change it to a smile/Make the world a better place/By smiling all the while.” That’s something I learned that from the cradle, I swear.
People comment that I smile a lot at work. I do, rather than be the spreader of gloom and doom.It has taken some conditioning for me. I am such a transparent person, and everything shows on my face. But I have learned over the years to just hide it, and not share all of my life with my co-workers. For one thing, my personal life is just that, personal. I don’t feel comfortable sharing much of it with anyone at work. The good stuff,maybe, but not much of that.

We are supposed to get work done, not share each other’s personal problems. But personal things do intrude sometimes. They slide in, and if I listen, I can learn a lot. During one work interview, I was asked at(DCIP) how it was to work in an all male environment. It took some listening until she told me that she had been the subject of inappropriate remarks and attention at her previous job. Another time,a co-worker let slip that his oldest was 11, after celebrating his10th wedding anniversary. That one, I just let slide. The dividing lines are invisible, but just as real as the ones that Les Nessman used to draw on the floor of his cube in WKRP. Does anyone remember that? He didn’t have cube walls so he drew them on the ground with tape, and everyone had to honor them.
The image I present is that of someone who is capable, organized, and full of energy, ready to tackle anything given to me at work. This is one I have worked hard to create. For one thing, it’s to dispel the idea that I am an older worker. I am a good 15 years older than many of my coworkers in their 40s. I never let on how old I am. Never mention the year I graduated from high school, since many of them were not born yet. I color my grey hair, so that I don’t look so old.
Lately, I have lighted my coloring up, so it doesn’t look harsh and phony, which has the effect of making me look older. I also walk a lot and try to keep fit. I struggle, but work on getting enough sleep, so I don’t look so tired early in the morning. I keep my wardrobe neutral, I hope no frumpy old lady looks, or inappropriate fashion trends that would look stupid on me. I can remember when mini-skirts were all the rage, the first time. I wore them proudly, then, having great legs to show off.
There are so many unwritten rules that govern the workplace. I don’t apply for permanent full time positions. There is such underlying ageism there. I don’t put the date I graduated from college on my resume. I fudge and save I have more than 15 years experience, rather than the 20+ that I actually do have. One of my best resumes has a summary of my accomplishments on the first page, rather than chronological listing of my experience. Contracting is a safer route to go. Most hiring people don’t care how old a contractor is, but HR people see dollar signs of increased insurance with age. The fact that I have not been in a hospital for over 17 years would not cut it with them. But their bias about older workers is out there.
I can mention my grandchildren, generally or that they are all under the age of seven, (except Kayla, but then I never mention her). I just say that my husband died at a very young age (54), but don’t mention how long ago that was.I take the stairs when asked, walk the half mile to work each way,walk to meet people for lunch downtown, not mentioning it might be a stress.
My age works to my advantage in subtle ways though. I learned how to identify parts of speech, diagram sentences, good usage, and to write while in high school. So many younger tech writers have no idea how to do these things. They take a course or two in college, and call themselves technical writers, but don’t have a clue as to how to go about organizing themselves.
They have never had the experience of standing in front of a bunch of seventh graders and having to keep their attention for an hour. After that, corporate America training is a breeze.
I have picked up a lot of information about page layout and design,business process flows, software development, how to get production work done. These are all things that an employer gets with me. When asked about my rate (which is generally near the top), I focus on the”hidden value” they get as a benefit of my experience. I can interview subject matter experts, and manage complex projects, because I have done that so many years. I don’t miss deadlines, and know how to manage my workload. I also don’t complain or say that something is not in my job description.
I know that many of my contemporaries are retired, or have never worked. I plan on working until I am 70. A general lack of money has made that a necessity. But my employer will never know how old I am.They will just have to judge me on my output.It’s the face that I prepare each morning to meet the world.

I am going to publish a few more of the ones I have done.
K is for. . .
K is for what? Well, for one thing I think it is NOT for Kool, Korny,Kute, or Krazy! This is something that just gets under my skin, the deliberate misspelling of words to be “cute.”
It’s a part of a trend that I find creeping into my life. And Kewl is another one I don’t get.
But the worst part is the names people give their kids, including me. Can totally understand a Katherine vs. a Catherine, and then Kathy vs. Cathy. I wonder if it is just laziness sometimes. Catalog vs.catalogue.
If someone has a legitimate reason for spelling something a particular way, that’s fine, but it still causes confusion to the rest of us mortals who are trying to decipher letters and words along the way.I have a hard time with cutesy spelling of kids names. Katilyn, Kaitlyn, Caitlyn, Catilyn, or Katelyn. I have seen all of these spellings at one time or another. Sean, Shawn, Shon, is another name that seems to be prey to this disease.
Two of my kids are caught in this: Erick is spelled Erick, not Eric, or Erik. I say that’s because I was coming out of anesthesia when my husband asked me how to spell his name for the birth certificate. I thought Jeremy was pretty straight forward with his spelling, but I have seen Jeremi, and Jerami, also. And his wife Nancy, how can you mess that up? Well, Nanci comes to mind. My niece is Christina, but is called Christy for short, excluding Christi, Christie, Kristy, Kristie. Another cousin is Kerstin, but it could also be spelled Kirsten, Kersten, Kirstin, or whatever someone felt like messing it up. Darcy is Darcy, not Darcey, Darci, or Darcie. Jayna is not Jana. I have also seen Jenny spelled Jennie, Jeni, or Jenni, much to every one’s confusion.
Jeremy and Nancy’s kids are Jordyn (not Jordan) and Alix (Alixia). So that gets to be a bit much. And Bre is short for Breanna (with a soft a, not a hard one). Her middle name is Clare, not Clair, or Claire. That’s because she is named after Deb’s dad, who was Clarence. Liam is the only normal one. It is just plain Liam. But his middle name is Colin, not Collin. Deb is short for Deborah, but it could have been just as easily spelled Debora, Debra, or Debby, Debbie, or Debbi. Jeannine at work is not Jeanene, Cindy, who sits across from me is Cindy, but could have been Cindi. Jayme is not Jaime, Jamie, Jami, or Jamey, all of which I have run into. Pegie is the supervisor here, but she could have also spelled it Peggy or Peggie.
Brian is my nephew, but he could have been Bryan. Mathew is another nephew, who lost a T somewhere along the way. Amy is Amy, not Ami, or Amie, fortunately. My niece is Honaye, a name I have never heard anyone use before or since. Her brother is named Star, but it could have been spelled Starr.His older brother is Kevin, which could have just as easily been spelled Keven.
These are normal people with normal sounding names. When you get to celebrities, the naming goes wild. I remember when Frank Zappa (way cool name, in my book), named one of his kids Moon. Who can forget Moses, and Apple, or Knox or Vivienne or Bruno Mowgli? I honestly think these kids are going to need a lot of therapy someday.
I know I am a voice crying in the wilderness, but as someone who has taught school in the past, deciphering names was a real challenge. When I would get the class rolls at the first of the year the challenge was to figure out just what the kids’ names were. I am glad I am just an Anne, and that even gets mangled by recruiters from India, who think the e is pronounced. I feel like screaming at them, Annie is Annie, not Anne. But I don’t think they would get it. So I am signing this, just plain
Anne
Or Anne Lorene, if anyone wants to get fancy.