Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Friday’s Public Restroom Art Fun

I have this fascination with the art in restaurant restrooms, and I want to share! After all, only the ladies get to see these pictures, and sometimes there is some great art. This is a roundup of the art I saw this week. Unless otherwise noted, let’s just assume the restaurants are in Georgia. The appropriate city is listed.

 

First up, the restroom at Rev Coffee in Smyrna, Georgia. It happens to be unisex, but if you’re just popping in for your morning coffee, it’s probably not a “must visit”, so you might not see it. Coffee themed and quirky:

Last night, during a visit to the ladies’ room in Agave Restaurant. Billed as an eclectic southwestern eatery and tequila bar, the restroom certainly has the southwestern vibe. The pictures did seem to be a little small in proportion to the size of the walls, but they were nice.

Finally, today Roland and I had lunch at the Sandy Springs (Prado Shopping Center) location of 5 Seasons Brewing Company. Definitely the best restroom art of the week! A large painting and 3 large posters make a visit very pleasant.

The Jar Of Positive

IMG_1353Do you ever think of yourself as being one way, and then someone points out that, more often than not, you are acting the completely opposite way? I mean, if you asked me, I would say I am a positive, optimistic person. But last year, Roland would tell me that more times than not, when I came home from work, I would only relate all the bad things that happened that day.

He said that’s a real drag. Not very attractive, and didn’t really make him want to even ask how my day was.

Ouch. But, yeah, I have to admit, there was more than a little truth to that.

The fact is, I don’t really like my job. OK, I actually hate it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find positive things about it.

January 1 is, of course, the chance to start over, wipe the slate clean and for me, an opportunity to change my attitude. I can’t take credit for the way I am choosing to accomplish it, however, because I’m certain that I saw something at least a little similar on pinterest.

But there it is. My jar of positive. The idea is that every day, I take one of the little slips of paper, and write about something positive that happened that day.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t done it every day. Sometimes I don’t, simply out of laziness (yes, I know it only takes a minute or so). Sometimes I don’t because I’m too caught up in the negative-ness of my day, and I’m just having a little pity party.

But there it is. On the kitchen counter. To remind me that I have so much to be grateful for. To remind me to just get over myself, and be thankful, positive and optimistic. To let go of the bad, and embrace the good.

I need to go write something about yesterday.

Perfect is the New Cool

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This rant has been working it’s way to the surface for weeks now. Maybe months! Not sure if it’s a truly qualifies as a vice, like, you know, burping the alphabet or a truly serious vice like kleptomania, but it is something that drives me crazy!! Daily Prompt, maybe you can help me bring this travesty out in the open and together we can make it stop.

What is it, you ask? It is using the word “perfect” as a response, like “great” or “cool”.  As a card carrying member of Perfectionists Anonymous (that’s a story for another post), I am greatly disturbed, and just want to scream, “nothing in the world is perfect”!!!

Here’s how it works in my life. I’ll give you an example of what happens day in and day out at my full time retail job (FTRJ). Keep in mind that I sell bridesmaid dresses and the vast majority of my customers are young women in their 20s and 30s. Let’s call this particular bridesmaid Ashley.

Me: So, looking at the size chart, your measurements fall between the 6 and the 8. Which size do you want to go with?

Ashley: I’ve never worn anything bigger than a 4. Let’s go with the 4.

Me: OK. (semi-long pause) you know you might not be able to zip this dress up. They run 2 or 3 sizes smaller than everyday wear. That’ll be $236.57.

Ashley: Perfect.

Me: (cringing) Sign here, and you’re all set.

Ashley: Perfect. Here you go. (handing me back her signed receipt)

Me: Perfect. (ARRRRGGGGHHHH!)

 

 

WINTER IS COMING!!

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Graphic courtesy of weather.com.

This is no Game of Thrones, people! This is life in the south. Two weeks ago, the powers that be were apparently caught with their pants down, but that will NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Don’t get me wrong. This current storm does look like it’s going to be significant, and this time complete with power outages. At least we’re all at home. Tons of stuff was closed and cancelled today, and we’ve* only had rain so far.

*I know it has snowed in north Georgia and other areas, but I’m talking about the exact location where I am.

The store where I work actually closed 4 hours early! Nobody was shopping anyway. We’re always closed on Wednesdays, so whew! We might even have to open late on Thursday.

What does that mean for this little blog? Well, for one, I won’t be too busy to blog. Hopefully, this will be the last winter post, and I can return to the regular programming. And I’m a little behind in my Zero to Hero assignments. Well, who am I kidding… I’ll just give y’all a little update on how it worked for me.

I need to do some painting, and crafting, and knitting. And of course, make something chocolate. I think when you are icebound, cookies have no calories. It’s a fact. I might just watch movies. Or the Olympics. You never know. The only thing that will really bugger up these awesome stay-at-home plans will be that little thing called “power outage” and “no internet”. Luckily, we have gas heat and a gas stove, so we can still be warm, and have hot food. And dogs.

If you snuggle up with dogs, you’ll stay warm. But you might end up smelling like fritos®.

Sharing the Interwebs

I’m still carrying on with the Zero to Hero Challenge, but I have to confess that mostly the participation is in my own mind, and has not resulted in any actual typing/blogging/etc. I will continue to blame my FT retail job that is sucking the life out of me.

I love the idea of participating in more blog challenges. I think that was yesterday’s “task”. I’ve done it before with my other blog, mostly doing “sew alongs” or other sewing related challenges. I’ll probably do it again, but I want it to happen organically because I find a great one, and not have it feel forced. So WordPress smarties, I’m not theoretically “skipping” yesterday’s challenge. It’s just not going to happen this month.

But the idea of an “easy” post (oooh, I’m using lots of quotation marks tonight) does make me happy. I mean, who doesn’t want to ride the wave of popularity when they have, um, a double digit number of followers. (Each of whom I am thrilled to have!) So. Three paragraphs in, I’ve got some peeps to share with you. I bet you even know some of them, but if you don’t, you should. Here we go.

First, I love Kristen, who writes K-Line. I’ve been reading her blog for a long time, so I can’t just single out one post, but she sews, knits, and is scared of spiders, but not scared of speaking her mind and sharing her issues. And soon… really… soon… I’m going to knit some socks.

Do you know about the Official Blog for Mental Health Project? Again, I’m not singling out a particular post, but the whole blog. Mental health is everyone’s concern, because aren’t we all on the continuum between mental illness and mental healthiness? While I’m screwing up the courage to take the pledge, everyone should check out this blog.

Well, as long as I’m on kind of a serious track, let me introduce you to my husband’s blog, Employment Testing: Failing to Make the Grade. He’s pretty serious about his topic, Pre-Employment Testing, and has dedicated his blog (hell, his life) to this subject. For the record, in case any of you are HR peeps that think the testing is a great idea, well, he doesn’t.

OK, once you get through all the seriousness, you all surely must know about the Bloggess? If you don’t, you seriously need to meet her. Seriously!

Well, This Could Be Awkward

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So, I read today’s Zero to Hero Challenge, and it sends the challengees to a new link and suggests we participate in the Daily Prompt. Okaaaayyy. Do I have a reputation? Hmmm. But first there’s a post I HAVE to post today, and it’s about my dad. Maybe these things are connected. I mean, I was a “daddy’s girl” and all, and yeah, years of therapy have taught me that many of the things that I’m about, my “reputation” as it were, have to do with things that happened in my childhood.

I thought that it would be hard to start writing this post. I wanted to set the right tone, without being shocking, maudlin, or look like I needed sympathy or condolences. But the reason I have to write this particular post is that today is the 23rd anniversary of my father’s suicide. Did you see the sentence above about years of therapy? For me, I mean. My dad was an alcoholic and we (my immediate family and others) are pretty much in agreement that he had bipolar disorder (undiagnosed). It was almost half a lifetime ago, and I’ve come to terms with it. So today, I wanted to focus just a little bit on something else that made my dad my dad. Gave him his reputation.

Dad was an artist (writer, painter, photographer, among other things) and he LOVED anything to do with aviation. LOVED. That was his reputation. He always had something he was creating. Always taking pictures, writing, and painting. Usually not all at the same time, but who knows what was going on in that always scheming and plotting mind of his. He had lots of projects. Mostly in the garage.

It was in our garage where he  developed one style of artwork that was so identifiable, that when Roland (see new widget with my “cast of characters” in the sidebar) saw my latest painting, he knew the reference immediately.

Mine painting is much smaller, because my dad did everything big. He would paint a large canvas or board all black. Then take the time-honored artist technique of flicking paint with a toothbrush, and create stars. His piece de resistance was the planets. He would raid our kitchen “stealing” round items, usually pie plates, much to my mom’s dismay. I’m pretty sure he used oil paint and he would squish blobs of paint from the tubes, randomly on the bottom of said pie plate. Then he would flip the plate over, and press the pie plate to the canvas, slowly spinning it to create his planet.

He spent hours perfecting the technique of planet creation, and I confess that my planets were created more timidly. Ultimately, I just painted the circles. Sorry, Dad. The airplanes on my painting were originally drawn by my dad when he was in high school. I found the drawings in an envelope with some old photos, scanned them, and inverted the colors. The photo of the little boy in the plane is actually my dad, taken in the late 1930s. You can see his love of aviation started very young. So the painting above is a collaboration of sorts.

Today’s post is not about me, but my dad, and his reputation for a love of all things aviation and creative. Boy, I can only imagine what he would have done with a digital camera…

Happy flying, Dad.

Just Relax, Dammit

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I had a facial AND a massage today. Whew! What a day of pampering. The weird thing is that just knowing I was going to take time to do something that is supposed to be relaxing made me stressed out. I’m just tightly wound, and it is so hard for me to let go.

That should be my goal for this year… just let go.

Today’s Zero to Hero challenge (and actually, the past few challenges, which I have, ahem, skipped) stressed me out. It’s like when someone tells you what you know is good advice, and, for whatever reason, you just don’t want to take that advice. Let’s just say that, Zero to Hero challenge writers, yep, if I want more people to read my blog and comment, I should read more blogs and comment on them. And I’ve done that with my other blog, so I know it works.

Here’s the deal though. I need to relax. I have a job that I don’t like that is sucking the soul out of me, so I need to concentrate on finding another one. This blog is an outlet for me, and one that I haven’t shared with people I know. *gasp*…..    I know. Those should be the first people that follow, and then they spread the word because they love me.

Yeah, I’m going to do it without them. At least for now. And I know I’m not going to be “Hero” in 30 days, but I’m going to have the blog I want this time. Don’t worry z-to-h challenge peeps, I’m on board, and I’ll comment, etc. because I like to do that, but I have a lot on my plate mentally, virtually and in reality (do those things all go together?).

Oh, and the pic above… taken by me during our last summer trip to Amelia Island, Florida. A place where I really could let go and relax.

It’s Me, Ellen Maybe

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The first thing you need to know about me is that I love lists, and that is why this zero to hero blogging challenge appealed to me. Plus, the challenge. So, with that out of the way, let me confess that I am not a new blogger. This is probably my 4th or 5th blog, and one of 2 that are actively active. My other current blog is over there on Blogger, and if you like to sew, check it out: It’s A Sewing Life.

The problem with that one currently, is that a little over a year ago my life became less sewing and more full-time working, and for me, the blog became more of a show and tell, than an interaction with fellow sewists. In 3 words, way less satisfying. Plus, it was also a way to promote my Etsy shop, where I sold vintage sewing patterns. I still do that. Sell the patterns, that is. But with way less attention to the shop. In other words, if I sell a pattern, “yay”, but it’s no longer an obsession. See, I’m not even providing a link to it. Not directly anyway.

That brings us to why Ellen Maybe? This is a great time to let y’all know how I got the name for this blog. Oh, yeah, and I’m from the southern U.S. Born in Dallas, Texas and now living in Atlanta, Georgia by way of a few other places.

may·be
 mābē/
adverb
  1. 1.
    perhaps; possibly.
    “maybe I won’t go back”
    synonyms: perhapspossiblyconceivably, it could be (that), it is possible (that),for all one knows; More

noun
  1. 1.
    a mere possibility or probability.
    “no ifs, buts, or maybes”

On Sunday, I’ll be 54, and I don’t like uncertainty. Nope. I want to know what is happening and when. My family calls that being a control freak. I say, No, I just want to be able to plan ahead. But I have always had a lack of self identity. What I like is someone to tell me what is going to happen and when. Frankly, it’s high time that stopped. This blog is going to be that journey of finding who I am, so this “first” challenge post is really only scratching the surface. We’ll work out the other details on the way, m’k?

Oh, and the first 3 letters of my maiden name are M A Y, and the first 2 letters of my married name are B E.

P.S. That’s my family in the photo. Just one camera-shy dog missing.

Happy New Year!

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Wow! Another new year, another new start. Isn’t that usually the plan? A time to reset. This blog is still in its infancy, and what a perfect time to participate in WordPress’ Zero to Hero Challenge. I love me a good challenge, so I’m jumping on board. Today’s the day to update the theme, get the title in order, decide on the look.

If you’ve bumped into this blog more than once, you might have noticed that I am now on my 3rd or 4th theme. I just can’t commit. Hatch had a weird double picture thing happening in my posts. Then I chose AutoFocus, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the widgets on the home page. If you even could. Finally, I went with Spirit because it looked easy and it was Christmas-y. Was there one I tried before Spirit? I can’t remember. That’s a lot for a blog that just started at the end of November.

I’ve settled (for now) on 2014. Appropriate really. And I added a tagline.  I drew the 2014 doodle, too. Can’t have a post without art, can we? Not if it’s supposed to be a blog about art, right?