dchenes: (katana)
Took Friday off, because I had spent so much of the week putting out fires. I still had a lot of suspiciously smoldering ashes, but I was at the point where I was just as likely to throw kerosene on them as water. So I took the day off. I spent the first part of it spending $1200 on embroidery framing, but I go to these framers because they're good, not because they're cheap. Then I went grocery shopping, and then I went home and did less than I probably should have for the entire rest of the weekend. But at least I didn't answer any emails, even though I was reading them (see "suspiciously smoldering ashes").

I hate being at the point where I have done everything I possibly can to fix a situation that isn't really my fault in the first place, and things are still going wrong, and even though there's nothing I can do about that, I'm going to get blamed for not fixing it. (My lab supplies were supposed to be delivered on Thursday. I don't have them yet. I need them for 1:00 today. The tracking web site says they're in this zip code, but they're not in this building. This is going to be my fault, even though there's nothing I can do about it.) It's turning me into a neurovore (thank you, Terry Pratchett, for inventing that concept!).

I have never come closer to kissing a complete stranger than I did just now (it was the deliveryman with the lab supplies, who delivered them at 12:40).

Maybe I'll survive the rest of the week after all...
dchenes: (Default)
I'm back. Iceland is expensive, but DAMN was it worth it! I went rushing around on a horse and a boat and a bus and a Land Rover, and went wandering around the city on foot, and didn't think about work more than about twice. I saw an active geyser and a giant waterfall and a fault between continental plates and landscapes that might as well have been on the moon. I saw whales and puffins and horses and cows and sheep. I ate lamb I actually liked. I ate pastries with rhubarb and chocolate mixed together and somehow the flavors worked. I ate dried cod and got used to it. I took half a zillion pictures. I bought some very touristy souvenirs and some less touristy souvenirs. In short, I enjoyed myself immensely and now I'm going home to fall over.
dchenes: (katana)
I got the job! Starting sometime in August (yet to be determined exactly), I will be the DMD Curriculum Coordinator for the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

I sort of thought I was going to get it, but I didn't want to count on that until I knew for sure.

*boing*
dchenes: (katana)
So, if you had a fairly obscene number of unredeemed credit card reward points and had discovered you could spend them on Amazon, what would you do? I started an Acquisition Cycle (tm [livejournal.com profile] kaasirpent).

I spent $225 of a possible $600 in points on DVDs and a pre-order for volume 3 of the complete Pogo. I couldn't bring myself to be any more profligate than that in one sitting. But I will enjoy owning all of Foyle's War and all of Rocky & Bullwinkle (and a few other random things, like season 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender; I already have season 2 and season 1 is All About Katara and that gets on my nerves).

And then there are the reward points from the other credit card, which are going for three (or possibly two and a new mattress pad) sets of sheets that actually fit my gargantuan deep mattress. That idea has been on the list for a while, but I never get around to it because sheets are expensive. Now I don't have an excuse not to get around to it, so new sheets it is.

Speaking of sheets, or at least of fabric, I would love to know how I ended up with two different versions of a floss list for the same embroidery pattern. One of them is Not Right, since a symbol that's supposed to mean red is listed as green, but of course I didn't know I had two different versions until last night. Guess which version I took with me when I went floss shopping last month? Fortunately I had most of the right floss already (hooray for a stash that takes up three huge binder rings!), so I only need five new colors. Now that Windsor Button is gone, I have to go to Michael's in Porter Square for floss. I wish there was somewhere a little more local than that, but at least mail order isn't the only option (yet).

Complaining aside, life is pretty darn good. Especially since there's some indication that it might be done SNOWING (no promises about lower-case snowing until next month, though), and I can sing again now that my cough is finally in its last throes.
dchenes: (katana)
Two more weeks (the rest of this week and the first four days of next week) and I'm off on a New Adventure! Unfortunately this week contains an admin staff meeting and a performance review meeting, and next week contains a P&R meeting, but I've survived all of the above before. And I paid all the February bills last night, so I can go haring off to foreign parts with a good idea of how much money I can be silly with.

I'm surprised at how off-the-cuff I'm taking this vacation. It feels like all I need is my passport, my camera, my iPod and a plug adapter, and off I go. It's not quite that easy (extra underwear and contact lens cleaner would be good too), but after India it feels that way. There isn't so much to think about in a place where I can drink the tap water and read the street signs (not that India was big on street signs, but it's the same general principle) and I'm not obviously Not From There. I think this is going to be fun.
dchenes: (katana)
Yesterday sucked, but only indirectly because of P&R. The bus schedules were nonexistent (the 6:20 AM bus came at 6:48), and I was out of energy at 2:00, when we started setting up for the second P&R meeting. When I realized at 6:30 PM that I had to wait 40 minutes for a 65 bus I might fit on, or walk to Coolidge Corner, I actually cried. But I did walk to Coolidge Corner, and then couldn't get on the 66 bus either. At that point I gave up, bought a book and a dish of ice cream, and then couldn't get on the 66 again, so took the train to Washington Square and walked home from there. It was 8:15 or so by the time I hit the door. I hate it when days like that happen early in the week, because it makes the week so much longer.

In cheerier news, I forgot we have Monday off! And since it's a holiday (as opposed to a snow day, during which I have to answer work emails), I don't have to be glued to my computer. Not that I don't spend entirely too much time glued to the computer anyway, but on Monday I don't HAVE to. If it's (still/again) snow-melting weather on Monday, I might have to come up with a Devious Plot. Days off shouldn't all be about laundry and errands.

Found it!

Jan. 26th, 2013 07:23 pm
dchenes: (katana)
It seems that not having voice lessons for three weeks due to the holidays and the Insidious Grue was a really excellent thing, because when I started in again, a light bulb went on for my teacher and she told me what my main problem was, and a light bulb went on for me when she told me, and I fixed it. Now my tone has changed, and I've got all sorts of upper register I didn't have reliably before (what do you MEAN that was an A flat?), AND I can sing all sorts of phrases in one breath that I used to have to break in the middle. Eureka! Lessons are actually fun again!

Now if the rest of the world wanted to be fun again, that would be nice. Work isn't awful, but it's work, and it seems to take me longer to decompress from it lately. I'm not sure why that is. It may be something as simple as the fact that it's cold in that suite and I don't warm up again until after I've come home and eaten something hot for dinner. And since it's so cold out, I don't want to go out and do much of anything on weekends, so I get stuck in a rut and then it's Monday again and I have to go back to work.

Maybe I'll do something silly when (and if) it warms up later this week. I have no idea what the definition of "silly" is in this particular instance; I guess I'll find out when I get there.
dchenes: (katana)
Shockingly enough, Saturday was a B-flat day, although the break between my chest voice and my head voice was very broken. I sounded like a teenage boy whose voice is changing. However, once I got past those two notes, it was all good. Given that, and the fact that we've figured out that I don't run out of air when I don't use vibrato, it was a really good lesson.

Today my sinuses finally decided to drain. Thank goodness. Breathing in is good, but breathing in AND out is better. And not having to be within six feet of a box of tissues at all times is a revelation. Now if I could just convert some oxygen into energy, and stop feeling flattened at the end of the day, I'd be in a much better frame of mind. Last week isn't really a fair comparison, though, because we had P&R. That always flattens me, Mongolian Death Cold or not. This week should be better in all sorts of directions. I'll be rather disappointed if it isn't.

I finished the geisha over the weekend, but I'm going to wait on getting her framed until after I do my taxes. Framing embroidery falls under "mad money", which is what I'm allowed to do with part of any tax refund I get. A couple of things have changed since last year, though, and I'm not sure I'm going to get any refund at all this year. I probably make too much money now that my student loan is paid off and I can't claim the interest deduction. (But I did sign up to have the loan-payment amount put in my retirement account before taxes, whereas I used to pay the loan from what I took home after taxes, so we'll see what happens.) However, all that tax stuff has to wait until I get the W2 and the "yes, I have health insurance" form. For some reason, the insurance form annoys me more than anything else that has to do with taxes. Why can't they just have a checkbox for "same insurance info as last year"?

In cheerier news, the days are getting longer. It's only sort of medium-dark blue out at 5:00 these days, instead of pitch black. Only another couple of months until the clocks change again and I can get indoors and upstairs at home without turning the light on.
dchenes: (katana)
In more cheerful news than the last post, I'm in the process of roasting a chicken which I stuffed with cut-up lemons and fresh rosemary, and then squeezed another lemon over and sprinkled with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In short, it smells good in here.

I also found a new thing that makes me stupidly happy. (Not only is he a superior tenor, but I find him pretty scenic besides.) These guys are also responsible for this bit of silliness, which cracked me right the hell up when I heard it for the first time last year.

And speaking of music, we decided to have fun with the voice lesson I had yesterday, and I absolutely knocked "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" out of the park in a couple of places I shouldn't have been able to do that in. I win!

AND, I wasn't positive this would happen today, but the second of three loads of desperately-needs-washing laundry is in the washing machine. At this rate I might even remember to get the third load out of the dryer before it sits there for two weeks. (Been known to happen, especially if the last load isn't the one with all the underwear in it.) Clean laundry is good, but it's better if you can actually find the shirt you want.
dchenes: (katana)
Today seems to be a "find any excuse to be happy" day. There's actual sunlight out there, and there's nobody on the "hasn't filled out the COI form" list, and the Patriots blew out the Texans, and my sister's household has a new cat, and volume 2 of the complete Pogo will be arriving sometime between now and Thursday. And the HMS holiday party is this afternoon AND we get bagels tomorrow to celebrate the fact that we've been putting up with having all the windows in the building replaced since August. (You know you're used to it when somebody walks past the outside of the second-floor conference room window, and you don't even notice, but the people you're meeting with are rather startled.)

All the things I haven't done yet (but should have) still aren't done, and my finances are still up in the air more than I like, and I'm still fat, but today I'm not letting any of that bother me. I feel cheerful, and I'm going to enjoy that, so there.

Phriday

Aug. 10th, 2012 10:51 am
dchenes: (Default)
A water main break somewhere around the MFA caused most of the buildings on the Huntington Ave side of the HMS quad to be locked this morning. I wasn't allowed into the building I work in, so I spent half an hour sitting in the cafeteria waiting to find out if I was going to be starting my vacation a day early. They did turn the water back on, and unlocked all the buildings in question, so here I sit.

At least the rest of today ought to be quiet. My boss and my grandboss are both out, and the P&R materials for September are posted, so now we can sit around and wait for people to do whatever it is they're going to do with them. September being the first meeting of the year, we do things a little differently. I'm not complaining, though; I don't have to beg people to submit their votes this time. And today is Dog Day in the office again, so we've got a 12-week-old pit/lab mix puppy whose owner's cube is conveniently located next to the printer. Every time I print something, I lose five minutes playing with the puppy. (Horrors.)

I finally had to break down and buy a new umbrella yesterday, which of course meant I didn't need one yesterday. I'm not sure whether I want to baptize the new one today, or whether I want it to hold off raining until I get home. Either way, the air feels like it has to rain soon.

This is the coolest thing I've seen all week: http://panoramas.dk/mars/greeley-haven.html
dchenes: (Default)
I'm feeling very blah today, so here follows a list of good stuff:

- The weather yesterday was absolutely lovely.
- TransPerfect, despite my expectations, has not told me to go away; they're sending me a translation test tomorrow. That's pretty much the opposite of "go away".
- The earthquake yesterday didn't do anything significant, other than provide a topic of conversation in the office for the rest of the day.
- My new work computer is considerably faster than the old computer was. I don't have to remember whether I already tried to open Outlook and then wait for it to open twice.
- The Hairy Beasts are happier now that it's not 85 degrees and humid most of the time.
- I'm still enjoying my voice lessons.
- There are excellent tomatoes to be had these days.
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: the OFA Lending Library is up and running, so now I can read Philippa Gregory without investing in used copies. (The OFA Lending Library is also known as two shelves in the Assistant Dean's office, to which I donated a box of discards to start with, and to which other people have been adding.)

Also awesome: today is Friday, and tomorrow commences a week of snow-melting temperatures. And as soon as my federal tax refund shows up, I can buy plane tickets for April. I'm looking forward to that, because as much as running around in India was an Experience, this time I want a Vacation. Meaning I'm going someplace where I speak the language and more or less understand the culture, and I don't have to worry about the water. (And it doesn't take 16 hours to get there.)

Not so awesome: at least three people in the office (one at each end and one in the middle) have a nasty cough, and I feel like I've been run over by a steam roller. P&R week is good at that. Especially in February, when you have to start preparing for the March meeting before the February meeting has even happened. Next week is going to involve at least one very long day, too.

I wish I had a clue what I'm going to make for lunch next week.

Book #12: The Lacquer Screen
dchenes: (Default)
Book #10: The Chinese Bell Murders

Today is P&R day, so it's LONG. I am very deliberately not thinking about the February and March meeting schedule, because I'll get depressed. There's Longer Service again in March.

However, today's awesome: I'm making a lot of money this week since I've already got three and a half hours of straight overtime. Another hour and a half and I go into the really expensive kind of overtime. And I have a 4:30 - 5:30 meeting tomorrow, which will probably run late.
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: I got sort of kidnapped by a couple of coworkers, and a trip to the grocery store for milk turned into a late afternoon pizza expedition. And I dragged myself kicking and screaming into the 20th century, and filed my taxes online. Thumbing of nose at increasingly urgent tax-preparation commercials can now commence.

If it has to snow again next week, it would be a novelty if it snowed on a day that wasn't Wednesday. It would be an absolute novelty if it didn't snow at all, but I know better than to expect that. (Especially since the February P&R meeting is next week. I guess that means next week it will snow on Monday night and Tuesday. Because of course it's going to snow next week.)
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: I have managed to walk to Coolidge Corner both days this weekend, and proved (again) that exercise and fresh air are good for you. I feel better, except for my right foot, which wanted thicker socks in my sluck-puddle boots.

Book #6: Chalice
Book #7: Ukridge

If my math is right, I'm getting refunds on both sets of taxes again. Now I have to figure out how to e-file them, because the IRS site wants the latest Microsoft Silverlight plugin. To which I said "Bzuh?", because my laptop is a Mac and my work computer is at least five years old and running XP. I doubt it knows what Silverlight is either. I suppose since I printed out the PDF of the 1040 form, I can just fill it out and mail it as usual.

I suppose I should go run all my thick socks through the wash, since I'm not hugely optimistic that I can stop wearing my sluck-puddle boots before April.
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: I made cherry scones last night, and they came out quite well despite the fact that I still don't know what temperature my oven will think it's set for on any given day. (I'm trying to encourage one of my coworkers, who wants to learn scones now that she's mastered biscotti. She said if I made scones and brought her one, she'd bring me one when she made them. She was very happy with mine.)

I feel like I should have a plan for this weekend, but I don't really. I'll do my taxes if the student loan interest form shows up. I wish it would show up before February. I like to get my taxes done in January if at all possible, so I can thumb my nose at the increasingly urgent commercials for tax preparation services afterward. From 1918 - 1955, taxes were due on March 15. Beware the Ides of March, indeed.

The days are getting longer. I still get home in the dark, but it isn't dark yet when I leave work. I like this idea. Perhaps someday we'll stop having plowable snow dropped on us every week. (I make no promises about any of the snow actually melting.)
dchenes: (Default)
Apparently we're gonna get heavy wet snow again and like it. (Well, liking it is optional. Shoveling it is not.) Why do I always run out of milk right before it snows?

Today's awesome: I went to bed at 9:00 last night and slept well for the first time in three nights. Today I feel a lot less like a zombie. I spent most of yesterday doing necessary but brainless tasks, because I couldn't cope with anything more complicated. At least now the November and December P&R folders and the November Longer Service folders are ready to be sent elsewhere. All told, that's three and a half feet of folders.

My shoulder seems to be OK today. I was afraid I'd unstrung my rotator cuff again, because that's what it felt like when I first did it. I guess it just wanted to complain about the weight of the laptop cart.

Smitten Kitchen is trying to kill me (again). There's a recipe up there for Nutella with peanuts instead of hazelnuts.
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: I got a ride to work today, which meant I didn't have to go catch the 6:20 bus. It also meant I got there a little early, which meant I had the Longer Service meeting room entirely set up by 7:30. Longer Service is a small meeting, but it still required 12 laptops and 4 microphones and power strips and extension cords and all that sort of thing.

I would probably have a headache if I hadn't taken Advil for my shoulder. (Tweaked the shoulder while wrestling the laptop storage cart into the elevator.)

If we're really going to get another foot of snow, I hope it isn't the heavy wet stuff again.

Should be naptime, but isn't. Harumpf.
dchenes: (Default)
Today's awesome: it's Friday, and there are only three of us in the office so far, so I've been able to get stuff done. And one of the other two people forwarded us all a JP Licks BOGO coupon good for today only. I voted for closing the office for half an hour this afternoon and going out for ice cream, since we were supposed to be having a retreat today anyway.

I could do without the snow, but at least this time it's powder.
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