July 30, 2004

Martha Need Not Worry

With Martha Stewart likely spending some time in jail soon, I figured there might be an opening for a new homemaking guru. I thought (for a very brief time) that I could be it.

You see, I bought a sewing machine earlier this month. Bob & I had gone to see Sue speak at a homeschooling conference. Various vendors were selling their wares in the homeschool marketplace. One of the booths we came across was "Learn to Sew." I chatted with the guy behind the table, and he explained their sewing program for girls as young as 6. I (mistakenly) assumed "if a 6 year old can do this, then certainly I can do this." We bought a Level 1 sewing kit and a machine on the spot. (Mind you, I did sew in 8th grade home ec. class—all those many, many years ago. I further tried to convince myself that I wasn't in over my head by reminding myself of the cute surfboard pillow I made way back when...)

The following week we went out of town, and the whole time we were gone, I had a hard time containing my excitement at the thought of my sewing machine waiting for me upon my return.

When we did return, I woke my poor neighbors up at 11:30 on Sunday morning (oh to be young, single and able to stay awake past 10 pm) to collect all the packages the UPS man had left for us—including my sewing machine.

But as soon as I brought the box upstairs, I got stage fright. I set the box down and proceeded to open a different box— the sewing kits that I had ordered as a project when Kate & Beth come down next month. (BTW—they are the same kits that I used in 8th grade home ec!!)

By Sunday afternoon, I still hadn't opened the machine.

By 6:00 Sunday night, I had psyched myself back up and decided to just dive in. I ripped open the box, cut the tape, and pulled my sewing machine free. I was making good progress. I started examining the machine closer, and managed to pull open a storage drawer filled with all kinds of sewing stuff I didn't recognize. I quickly grabbed the user guide in hopes of unlocking this mystery called a sewing machine. It only took 10 seconds more for me to realize I was in over my head.

I have now stared at my sewing machine, sitting on the kitchen table, for almost a week. Occasionally I get up enough courage to grab the user guide again, hoping to find the magic answers to this strange piece of machinery I have brought into my home. Meanwhile, Kate & Beth are still coming next weekend and are very excited to learn to sew. I wonder if I can just send them to sewing camp instead. I think I'll go too.

Posted by heather at 04:37 PM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2004

Things That SUCK

  1. airport security
  2. Quicken
Airport security continues to amaze me. In a bad way. The little Lemmings at DIA still don't get it. As I was returning to San Diego after a week in Denver, I went through the Concourse A checkpoint. I unloaded my laptop and camera, removed my watch, and prepared to walk through the metal detector. As I was waiting to go though, a Lemming said, "I would suggest you remove your shoes."

"That's okay, " I said. "They're fine." Heck, I'd been through the checkpoints at San Diego many times before, without ever beeping. So I walk through the detector and...voila! I don't beep. The Lemming doesn't seem to care—she directs me to the "special screening" area. After a few minutes of waiting, the Lemming instructs me to sit down and stick my legs out so she can wand my feet. She does. No beep. She then asks me to stand up and hold my arms out so she can continue to wand me. At this point, I ask her the point of wanding me since we all know I didn't beep when I walked through the metal detector. "Because you were recommended to remove your shoes," she replies.

"But if my shoes didn't beep, why in the world are you wanding me? I didn't pick up a bunch of metal on the 3 foot walk over here," I retorted.

Realizing that what I said made perfect sense, she was silent as she continued in vain to get her wand to beep. Finally she replied, "Some explosives don't use metal."

"Well then," I continued, now thoroughly annoyed, "why don't you just x-ray my shoes instead of wasting time wanding me for metal you won't find." (Note: I'm not opposed to x-raying shoes, but I am opposed to walking barefoot or sockfoot across the disgusting floor. Have you SEEN what is on the ground?!?! I am happy to have a seat while they x-ray my shoes separately...if that is really what they need to do.)

At this point, another Lemming walked by and suggested she [unintelligible word] my shoes. Lemming #1 agreed. So Lemming #2 comes over with a giant q-tip-looking thing, swabs my shoes at the laces, puts the q-tip in some machine, then 2 seconds later turns to Lemming #1 and says, "she's clear."

Why don't they just q-tip everyone's "suspicious" shoes as they walk through???

Sucky Thing #2: Quicken. After nearly a year of marriage, Bob & I have decided to combine our separate Quicken accounts into 1 account (I know, I know...we're a little slow). Easier said than done. We have spent all weekend trying to figure out how to do that. At one point, I had over $40K in my checking account. Nice. Not accurate, but nice. Searching for help on this topic has yielded no helpful results. We have tried various ways of importing/creating accounts, to no avail. We are now investigating other options. I find it hard to believe we are the only couple on the planet who has ever attempted this feat before.

Posted by heather at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)