A cautionary tale involving what I thought was a sensible plan

Last night, Brian and I joined several friends for a pub crawl. Since Taylor was gracious enough to babysit, I decided to wear something that did not need to be breastfeeding-friendly. Naturally, this outfit would also require comfortable, but not quite sensible shoes. No worries, though. Weeks before I found these neat new foldable flats that I could bring along should all the walking prove uncomfortable in the high heels.

We were meeting up with the group close to home, so decided to just walk to the ale house. Within a few feet, I realized that it would be best to just slip into the fast flats immediately. We got to a bus stop and changed shoes at the stop's bench. AH, relief. The fast flats provided no arch support nor much in the way of cushioning, but as a life-long fan of being barefoot, they were just fine and rather comfortable.

But only for a while.

I do not know if it's because my walking routine has been significantly cut thanks to having a newborn. Or if it was due to the fast flats. Or even if the comfy, but definitely high, high heels. But before we even got to the pub, the balls of my feet felt as though they were blistering.

While at the first pub, I put the heels back on in the hopes that my feet would feel better. They did, up until we needed to walk to the next location. About a block en route, I changed again to the flats. I'd stay in these shoes for the rest of the night. I just couldn't bear the thought of heels with my now potentially blistered tootsies.

After the second (for me) pub stop, the group walked the few blocks to Roscoe's Chicken-n-Waffles for food. My feet were in agony at this point. How on earth was I going to walk the five blocks home after our late night dinner?

As we left the restaurant, me hobbling along as best as I could manage, I spied a cab. Brian must have seen it, too, and noting my suffering, kindly hailed it for us. A few short minutes later, I was home and able to finally rest my sore feet for the night. Sure enough, I managed to work up two HUGE blisters just below the base of my toes--one blister for each foot. Joy.

Were I smart, I would have then begged off a trip to LA's fabric district this morning. But, no. My idiot brain wouldn't let me. And I hobbled my way through the streets of LA to gather a few supplies for an upcoming hat class that I am taking. I managed to get those supplies, but also gained some nice new swelling in each blister. Ick.

Thankfully, I am home now and my blistered, wrecked feet are resting. But I will have to be on them again in a few hours and am so very much dreading the thought. Hmm, I wonder if it's possible to strap pillows to my feet?

SOLD: Classic silhoette, blue and silver cocktail dress

Sold, thanks!

This classic silhouette from the 1960s evokes the beautiful 1940s with its beautiful shoulders and cute bows at the neckline.

Zips up the back, fully lined.

Fits a size L. I am typically a size 14-16 and it fits me beautifully.

Measured flat and doubled: 42--32--46

$5.00 OBO plus shipping, if necessary.

Anyone interested?

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Refections on 2010

2009 was such a terribly lousy year that 2010 had little choice but to be an improvement, and it was. For the most part, it was quite good, even. But I suppose any year that includes a trip to Ireland cannot be that bad at all.

On the job front, 2010 was an improvement of one sort and a decline of another. I am quite happy to be at home now, but the loss of income was not great. I have spent several months experimenting with ways to lower our expenses and that has certainly helped. Eating at home almost every night has done wonders for our household funds.

2010 gave me my first real vacation in decades, which was terrific. Granted, it was my honeymoon, but we tried to really keep our trip to Ireland like a holiday. And it was great. Met up with some of Brian's distant family, saw so many wonderful, historic sites--I wish I could afford such a trip every year!

On the family front, 2010 was great. Brian and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary, Taylor turned seventeen and still has managed to remain mostly human. And we learned back in August that Brian is going to be a dad. Yes, I am expecting a baby boy. Brian and I decided to honor our combined ancestry and give our son an Irish first name, a Welsh second name, and a family name for his second middle name. We ultimately decided upon the first two names with no problems. It's the family name that has proven tricky, so we decided to let Taylor decide that part of his name. He will either be Declan Rhys Philip, or Declan Rhys Martin. Last I heard, Taylor was leaning towards Martin.

We continued to keep up with several of our favorite pastimes in 2010. We attended several SCA events, including one of our favorites: Great Western War. Brian and I indulged our love of the Deco period by continuing to be active with the ADSLA, too. We celebrated our first anniversary aboard the beautiful Queen Mary at the Art Deco Festival. Gorgeous clothes, beautiful scenary, excellent conversation and company, and yummy cocktails. (Oh, okay... No cocktails for me this year thanks to Declan. But Brian enjoyed several. )

Looking ahead, I hope that 2011 continues on the upward trend started by 2010. I am looking forward to meeting my son sometime in the Spring, and I am very excited to be able to stay home with him this next year. Our participation with our social groups may decline, fewer SCA and ADSLA events--but we know that the future will certainly hold several good times with our good friends.

a lily by any other name

On the drive home from work yesterday, I heard a segment on NPR discussing the use of an alias, in particular, Starbucks. The piece pointed out that for many folks with ethnic names, the use of “Coffee Names” has become commonplace.

INTERVIEWER: And then you thought up that lots of people use coffee names.
SUBJECT: Yeah. I just assumed I was the only one, but - I was at Starbucks maybe a month ago and I noticed that all the coffee drinks on the barista table, they definitely had all these American names like Tom and Sue and Joe, and I noticed the people that were waiting for the drinks didn't really - I mean, maybe this is totally racial profiling. But they came across as not Toms or Sues or Joes. And at one point, this woman picked up a coffee and she said, oh, this is just my coffee name to her girlfriend and it shook me up. I was like, oh, my God, I'm not the only one. Wow.

Yet, growing up in my immediate family—this sort of thing had been going on for YEARS. Not due to the lack of an “American-sounding” name, but simply for ease.

My father, Robert, was the one to begin this trick. I was in middle school, I think, when I noticed that every time he was asked to give a name, at a restaurant perhaps, he gave my mother’s name, Chris. Even if she was not with us. I asked him about it.

“Well,” he explained, “Every time that I give my own name, I’m asked ‘How do you spell that?’”

Really?@! I thought. There is one way, and as far as I know, ONLY one way to spell Robert. But I can think of numerous ways to spell Chris. These hosts and hostesses were not asking how to spell Chris?! So, I started paying attention. Sure enough—each time that my father would give name, always Chris, the restaurant host/ess would smile and jot down the name. Often, spelling it exactly right, ironically—but that does not really matter. So, at least on this point my father was right—when he gave the name Chris, no one asked how to spell it.

But what about that first part, did people really ask him how to spell Robert? I asked him to give his own name at a restaurant to see for myself what would happen. Sure enough, he was asked several times to repeat his name, and then, “How do you spell that?” Wow.

As I got older, and found myself in that position of having to give one’s name to a host/ess, I began to notice that my own solicited questions, too. “Is that with an I or a Y?” being the most common. Who cares?!, right? But I soon learned that giving my own name caused too many delays and so soon, I found my own Restaurant/Coffee name. I have two, actually.

My go-to name is Flo. Yep, Flo. And yes, I’ve had idiot baristas and host/esses spell it “flow.” Yet, no one has ever asked, “how is that spelled?” Quick, and easy… most of the time. If I see a furrowed brow, or look of confusion, I immediately offer my second Coffee Name. Elvis.

I’ve been doing this for years. And not because my name was not American enough.

***edited to add this additional bonus of weird Coffee Names:

A few times, when with my husband at a restaurant when he's given his name, Brian, he'll be asked for his last initial. Usually because there is already a half-dozen Brians on the list.

I've also witnessed the awkwardness that sometimes occurs when host/esses fail to ask for that last initial and call out a common name. Two or more groups jostling the hostess stand, trying to convince the poor host/ess that no, really, THEY are the right party.

Never have I had that problem with either name. To this day, I've not had to fight off another Elvis for my java. Nor have I seen another group for "Flo" approach the hostess stand. Works like a charm.