the everyday adventures of sabrina

i'm happy, hope you're happy too



Move is cancelled.



So, everything is a bit topsy-turvy.

I’m currently trying to get a position in London through work. If it works out, it will literally be a dream come true. Maybe not necessarily the job (my dream job is, after all, driving a train for the Underground. I don’t think they sponsor visas, though), but certainly the location, and I do like what I do for a living (even though it’s not driving a train. I mean, trains! Best ever!). We’ll see how it goes. I’m admittedly a little afraid to say anything publicly in case I jinx it. Nothing is certain until the paperwork is signed, of course. But I’ve gotten the cats microchipped, and I’ve started selling off my stuff, Just In Case the stars align. Y’all know how it goes.

It’s a little peculiar how this feels though. On the verge of, as I said, having a dream come true — comes tension. It’s all the stupidest of things. Should I sell xyzpdq? What if I don’t get the job and want my xyzpdq? I had that happen with my drum carder. For those of you who aren’t yarn spinners, a drum carder is a rather pricey gadget that you use to prepare fiber for spinning. I bought mine a couple of years ago, and I loved it… I used it to prep art yarn batts, or prep fleece, or just generally make fiber for yarns for fun. I saved up for it, $25 a month for quite a while, to be able to buy a KitchenAid, and in the end I decided I would get more use from a carder than a KitchenAid, and I finally got it and I loved it… and a few weeks ago, I sold it. Because it wasn’t important enough to make the cut. If I pull this off, I want to pull it off in the least baggagey way possible, and that means not carting around boxes of shit I’ve carried with me since forever. I sold it to two friends, who are actually the fine ladies behind YarnCon (which, if you are a Chicagoan and a knitter or a spinner, you should certainly be familiar with!), and when Natalia picked it up from me she was practically rubbing her hands in glee at getting to process a particular fleece she had. But, all the same, there’s no amount of sending something you love on to a new home where it will be loved that cancels out the sense of pre-emptive regret, the “what if this doesn’t happen, and I’ve sold my drum carder for no good reason.” The price isn’t the most major factor (though it was definitely a sale at a loss) so much as it is, in economic terms, the opportunity cost. The “what-if” cost, the hedge against failure. The things that I have, I bought for a reason; if I sell them off and I wind up losing out on the London opportunity, I’ve not only lost out on my dream but also on the things I had before I was tempted at all.

I suppose it’s a lesson in materiality. I try not to be overly attached to material goods. I live in a small apartment, and I don’t have a lot of stuff in general. I had a CD collection which I did prize, and quite a lot of vinyl for a dilettante, and a fair number of books. Those are mostly gone now. The CDs are nearly all gone, but for one last box that I’ll haul off to sell; and the books are down to about one shelf on a bookcase, which — the more that I think about it — can be cut down even further; and the vinyl, well, maybe I’ll bequeath that to Michael. The more I think about things, I really think I can move with just a couple bags of clothing, my spinning wheel (only that because a Lendrum is pretty expensive in the UK), and my bike (because I love Ella Mae so, and she’s all tricked out with perfectly fitted aerobars and fancy waterproof German saddlebags and everything, these days). But it’s still a little confounding to try and balance the desire to get rid of extraneous stuff against the desire to have all of said extraneous stuff until the last possible minute because, after all, everything could always fall through.

I really, really hope everything doesn’t fall through. For so many reasons, and the stuff is the least of them.

the rules

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(originally published 2003-06-17)

the rules are now posted outside my office door.

1. Always observe the Friday Afternoon Rule.
2. Tuesdays suck.
3. Never talk smack about the servers where they can hear you.
4. Never say “no mail will be lost.”
5. Never, for the love of god and all that is holy, say “this is the worst day of my life.”
6. Never say anything at all, actually.
7. It is broken. We are all doomed.

  • Call my friend Paul to go get drinks, because as long as he’s known me he’s known I want to emigrate, and victory calls for beer.
  • Join the Tate (mostly just for the Tate Modern. I’m sure Tate Britain, Liverpool, and St Ives are all great, but srsly. Tate Modern! zomg!) and the London Transport Museum.
  • Totally gonna buy a Teasmade. Don’t care what anyone says. Don’t care if it’s £60. Don’t care if it’s got a slightly silly name. An alarm clock that makes morning caffeinated beverage for you to wake up to? SHEER BRILLIANCE.
  • Spectacularly enjoy the first time a tourist asks me for directions and I actually AM a local instead of just another tourist like them, albeit one who apparently looks like a local. (But despite that, I will still not know how to give them directions without consulting my A to Z. Some things are eternal.)
  • Speaking of which, I will gleefully, immediately, and shamelessly latch on to “Zed” instead of “Zee.” C’MONNNNNNNN. We already have Bee, See, Dee, Eee, Gee, Pee, Tee, and Vee; the opportunity to dump at least one of the -ee rhyming letters must not be passed up.
  • Try like hell to get tickets to a taping of basically any Radio 4 comedy programme I can, but especially if it’s the Now Show.
  • Switch my spelling consciously to things like “neighbour,” “colour,” “programme,” “labour,” “theatre,” “oestrogen,” “realise,” “catalogue,” “analogue,” and “artefact,” but almost certainly forget to switch out to double L in “traveller” every time. But I will give up the Oxford comma when someone rips it out of my cold dead hands.

Wine to end AIDS!



Overpaying for wine: we’ve all done it. You know what else we’ve all done? Picked a bottle out of desperation, noticing it was on sale, because it had a funny label, because the clerk told you to, or because you were sick of trying to figure out which one to get. Now, here’s your chance to overpay for a bottle that someone else is going to tell you to get, for a good cause!

This year, I have again chosen to train with and fundraise for Team To End AIDS (T2), the charity training program for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I’m training this summer with T2 to complete the Whirlpool Ironman 70.3 Steelhead race, in Benton Harbor, MI on Sunday, 19 Aug 2012. This race consists of a 1.2 mile swim in Lake Michigan — a swim that is so rough it has actually been canceled in two out of the past four Steelhead races (and I really hope it doesn’t get canceled this year, because honestly the swim is the only part I’m really good at) — followed by a 56 mile bike ride, finishing up with a 13.1 mile half marathon run. All in all, it’s 70.3 miles. When was the last time you woke up on the weekend and said, “Hey, self, you know what I really want to do? Go take eight hours and self-propel three different ways for over 70 miles, with no rest breaks?” In August, when it’s like 90 degrees with a billion percent humidity? And you know I’m going to forget the sunscreen! This race is really super hard…but it’s still easier than living with HIV/AIDS. Which is why I’m doing it.

But what does that have to do with wine, you ask? Well, I like wine, but I don’t know a lot about it. When I go to the store, I usually wind up buying whatever has an appealing description on the little index card taped to the shelf, what the clerk tells me to buy, the one that has a funny label, or if all that fails, whichever one is on sale. So I decided a while ago to join a wine club, so someone who actually knows what the heck they are doing would do all the shopping for me, and then one day there would be a box of wine at my door, and all the heavy lifting would be done for me, except for the literal heavy lifting. Except, as it turns out, I cannot be trusted with a wine club any more than I can be trusted with the BMG Music Club, as I never remember to tell them “please skip next shipment” in time, and so here I am with all this wine I can’t possibly drink because, oh yeah, with all this running and biking and swimming and whatnot, getting ready for my crazypants 70.3 race, I just don’t have the time to sit down and kill a bottle of syrah like I used to. Or, in the case of my current personal wine inventory, courtesy of the Virgin Wine Explorers Club, 22 bottles.

That’s where you come in!

a tiny table full of bottles of wine

(If you can believe it, that is not even all of it. I still have more. I just ran out of room on the tiny table.)

I have all these bottles of wine, and they need to find new homes. Homes where they can be loved, or at least drunk. Homes … elsewhere, not in my home. Because if I don’t have time to drink wine, I sure don’t have time to dust the dang bottles.

So, if you would like to adopt a bottle, take it home, hug it and squeeze it and name it George, or just drink it all down, here’s what to do: Go to my Team To End AIDS fundraising page, and make a donation of $35 or more.

You can come by to pick up from my home in the South Loop, or I can deliver it to you at work in the Loop or to your home in Chicago or nearby. If you’re in Central IL and don’t mind a delay, we can work something out. (Absence makes the wine grow deliciouser, or so I hear.) Varietals I have are Bordeaux, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinotage, Malbec … and other things of the red variety. They’re all delicious, or at least somebody at Virgin Wines thinks so. And, you know, it’s scientifically proven that we enjoy wine more when it’s expensive — so, maximize your enjoyment and donate today! The bigger your donation, the better the wine! IT’S SCIENCE! And also tax-deductible!

Donate here!

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a 501(c)3 organization, and they work to secure healthcare, housing, and help for those affected by the epidemic and to prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS, in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and beyond. You should check them out at