Archive for lynchburg

The Power of Attention

Posted in The Soap Box with tags , , , on July 28, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’m going to take you back to an earlier time in my life, a time before I committed to buying coffee only from local shops.

I used to stop every other day occasionally at a particular Starbucks in my town, specifically the one on Wards Road in Lynchburg. It wasn’t really in my neighborhood, but it was near some places where I shopped, and I was willing to hold out until I arrived there because of a barrista that worked there.  I’ll call him Sam.

On of the first times I saw Sam, he greeted me like an old friend. He smiled warmly and said, “Hi! How is your day going so far?”

His eyes twinkled and the corners crinkled up and he was just so adorable I had a moment of excitement thinking, is he flirting with me??  Though he’s at least ten and more likely fifteen years younger than I, I refused to back down from my belief that he might find me pretty and might also be thrilled with my un-complicated order of a venti, half-caff, peppermint, extra-hot mocha.

I smiled back and answered that my day was lovely, thank you. And then, I couldn’t stop smiling. This kid had looked me in the eyes, grinned, and spoken to me in a familiar way. He was cute and more importantly, he was polite, attentive, and friendly, and that and five dollars will buy you a…well, I’ll tell you what it will buy you.

It will buy you a customer who drives out of her way to spend too much on a cup of coffee. It will buy you a customer who tells her friends about the really nice people who work for you. It will buy you the best kind of advertising there is – personal recommendation.

I left the store that day feeling a little lighter, and way happier. I’m not a sappy type, but having someone genuinely seem interested in me was refreshing and the rest of my day was made a little better for it.

Not long ago, my teenage daughter wanted to stop there so I pulled up and let her run in. When she came out, she was grinning and her eyes were all sparkly. When she sat down beside me I said, “He was in there, wasn’t he?”

“What are you talking about?” she answered.

But I knew why she was smiling. And I smiled, too.

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Borrowed Ideas

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on July 21, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I just got this idea off of Delicate Flower and decided since I’m trying to prepare for Indie Art Market I better find a lazy way to post. Like you didn’t already know too much about me, here goes:

Rules: 1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.   2. Tag other people.

What is your current obsession?

-My children falling from great heights into fast-flowing water. Oh, wait – you mean like a fun obsession? I would say it’s iced chai tea with soy milk. And nuno felting. More on that later.

What did you wear today?

-My pajamas. Or at least, the clothes I slept in, which is just a black v-neck tshirt. And I did manage to add yoga pants before leaving the house. The shirt was clean when I put it on, and my body was clean too, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. Okay, yeah. It is.

What’s for dinner?

-Tonight it’s “whatever husband can go out and purchase.” Most likely Chick-Fil-A. I am speaking about doulas at tonight’s Birth Matters Lynchburg meeting. You should come.

What would you eat for your last meal?

-Ecstasy.  Sorry, husband. I’m dying anyway, right?

What are you listening to right now?

-The sound of one house clapping about the children being gone for the morning.

What language do you want to learn?

-All of them. Seriously. But in order of immediacy, I’d have to say: 1. Spanish (I already know some) 2. Italian 3. German 4. French (I can read a fair amount of French already) 5. Japanese 6. Russian 7. Chinese 8. Zulu.  I pick up languages fairly easily, and in fact taught myself Spanish. I had three years of French in high school but can’t really converse, though I can, as noted, still read some.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
I can walk to a park, a bookstore, a gourmet deli, a college campus, a bike trail, a river, my favorite coffee shop, the house I grew up in, downtown, and some of my good friends’ houses. And I can hear the trains thundering through all day.

What style is your current home decorated in?

-Early American-Swedish “Family of Five on One Income” (lots of Ikea, which looks really funny in a 102 year old house)

If you were a time traveler what era would you live in?

1920s-1940s. I would be a flapper, of course, to start with. A wildly inappropriate woman who likes to have fun and do the jitterbug. And actually, that description fits me now.

What is your favorite color?
You know that color you sometimes see at twilight when the sky isn’t completely dark yet but it’s a deep, deep blue and the trees are all silhouetted black against it? That color. And also, aubergine.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?

-Can it be shoes? My Sketchers oxblood, shit-kicker boots that I got at the Goodwill last year. They almost make me wish it would get cold again. Almost.

What are your favorite films?

-I love violence. I do not know why. So here they are: 1. Wild At Heart 2. True Romance 3. Very Bad Things 4. Burn After Reading 5. Memento 6. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels   And also some that aren’t so violent: 7. Princess Bride 8. Ever After (embarrassing, I know) 9. Mo’ Better Blues

Your favorite books?

-This list would be entirely too long. But here are a few 1. One Hundred Years of Solitude 2. Like Water for Chocolate 3. Cold Mountain

Do you collect anything?

Yes. Phobias. And also, turtles. But not real ones.

Okay, that’s enough. I cheated and cut out the questions that would be too boring for you to read my answers to. Plus, some crafty goodness awaits me.

Just look at this nuno felt extravaganza!

Just look at this nuno felt extravaganza!

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday: Found Poetry and Bonus Extra

Posted in Wordless Wednesday with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by Ms. Ex
Found Poetry

Found Poetry

Spuknof is a great local punk band.  The singer’s son goes to my kid’s preschool.  Click on the photo for an insane music video.  Vaguely David Lynch-esque.  Or something.

First Honeysuckle A.K.A. I seriously need a new camera.

First Honeysuckle A.K.A. I seriously need a new camera.

Geek is the New Chic: Yarn Theory in Practice

Posted in Fiber Friday, Knitting with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Growing up, when I heard the word “knitting” I thought of those haloed, plastic-feeling acrylic baby blankets, old ladies in rocking chairs, and the world’s most unflattering sweaters.  If you know enough to have found this blog, chances are you know the needle arts have come a long way.

Not only do we now have thousands of  amazing patterns available for funky clothing, accessories, and even lingerie, but we have BODY PARTS (just in time for Valentine’s Day)!

And in line with our total geekiness, I am writing today about one of my very own LYSs (that’s Local Yarn Store for people like me who are new to the lingo) whose name comes from the field of physics.  Yarn Theory in Bedford, Virginia, owned and operated by Jan Mosely.

The LYS is beginning to take the place of the coffee klatch, girls’ night out, and other forms of therapy.  Yarn Theory is no exception.  Every Thursday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm you can find anywhere from two to twelve knitters seated in the comfortable conversation area in the middle of the store.  The store itself is situated in downtown Bedford, in an old house with a lovely wrap-around porch.

Jan personally welcomes people to the store, which is soothingly tidy and homey.  She seems an unlikely candidate for a yarn store owner, as a former physics major (yes, she graduated), but she joined the cult of the knit and never looked back.

I figured I would pose the same question to her that I posted last week here – where is the strangest place you’ve ever knit?

Like many of you, she didn’t think it was all that strange that she knitted on the TGV (a high-speed train through France).  But when I asked her the oddest item she ever created – well, it puts Baby’s First DNA Model to shame.

While studying physics in college Jan handed in an assignment that included her interpretation of the origin of the universe.  Knitted.  She says it was many-colored, and had a series of ever enlarging triangles in a spiral.  The end was, of course, unfinished (whew!).  I would love to post a picture, but she left it there.  In fact, it was on display at Loyola University in New Orleans for a time, and for all she knows it still is.

While there, I of course fondled every single yarn in the place.  She keeps some Mmmmmmalabrigo, Auracania, some really gorgeous sock yarns, some specialty bling yarns, and some super reasonably priced wool in a great assortment of colors and a variety of weights.  There are really tons of others, but I’m so addicted to Malabrigo Worsted I had a hard time walking away.  As for her favorite yarn, Jan says, “Whatever I want to work on next is my favorite yarn, not necessarily what I’m working on now.”

If you are anywhere near the Lynchburg, Bedford, or Roanoke areas, her store is definitely worth the trip.  If for no other reason than being in a store with such a great, geeky name.

And so you know, I have no affiliation with Yarn Theory or its owner, nor is this a paid advertisement; I just wanted to highlight a local business.

Jan shares tips and techniques with Teresa

Jan shares tips and techniques with Teresa

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