dchenes: (katana)
Two and a half hours of chorus rehearsal, with a six-minute break after the first hour and a half, makes for a rather long evening. I was really sorely tempted to dash in, drop off the attendance sheets, and dash back out into the warm weather. But I didn't do it; I was a good kid and went to two and a half hours of rehearsal instead. No rehearsal next week on account of spring break, and good heavens, do I need it. In lieu of a spring break, I'm taking a four-day weekend between the 18th and the 21th. So far I want to use it to do exactly what I want, whatever the hell that is. (Today what I want is open window weather, which makes me more inclined to do things other than staying home and not moving very much. It also makes the Hairy Beasts more inclined to hang around in the windows and get oxygen drunk, rather than hanging around on me and making me not move very much.)

Because sometimes you just need to take five minutes to watch kittens. I love my Hairy Beasts, but the BJDs as kittens were hysterically funny. Fortunately Lily has almost no dignity about anything that doesn't involve water. The other night I was throwing treats for her, and she stopped her front end so fast that her back end crashed into it and she just about flipped herself over. She didn't care that I was laughing at her, because she was busy making sure the treat didn't get away. Snip takes care of the dignity and Lily takes care of the brains.

'Tis the season for good blackberries, and I'm spending a lot of money buying them in fairly large quantities. There are worse things to be spending a lot of money on.
dchenes: (katana)
My left eye, which is the one Lily poked me in, hurt all day Monday. My right eye hurt all day yesterday, probably because it was doing more work than it wanted to. Neither eye hurts today, so that's progress.

This morning my FB friends list included the meme "What's the one thing you can't live without?" Most of the answers were "my kids". I had to think for a solid minute before I came up with my answer: vision correction. I would figure out how to live with it if my vision were bad and uncorrectable, but thankfully it is correctable, and therefore corrected. My thought process boiled down to "what won't I travel without?", because aside from food, shelter, clothing and enough money to provide those things to a level that keeps me alive and out of jail, I could get along without pretty much all of my other material possessions. I might not be happy about losing some of it, but if I had to, I could. Mentally, anyway.

Just by virtue of having a life expectancy of more than 15-20 years, I'm guaranteed to have to live without the Hairy Beasts eventually. Not to say I won't go and get other hairy beasts when the time comes, but they won't be The Hairy Beasts. They'll have to be collectively known as something else. (The Bloodthirsty Jungle Demons are now the Bloodthirsty Jungle Demon, which is sad. Galileo and Bonnie both died in the past year, at the age of 12. Zoe continues to be Zoe, as far as I know.)

Good heavens, that's depressing.
dchenes: (katana)
This week so far has not been very much fun. Fortunately there isn't much of it left, and after 9:00 next Tuesday morning, things should get better.

Without getting into excruciating detail, here's what's wrong with this week:

- Cold-medicine-induced insomnia
- Cement in the sinuses, hence the cold medicine
- Midterm elections
- The unexpected death of Galileo, my favorite former Faithful Catpanion
- The PD2 Oral Health Session preparations
- Somebody who should know not to sing along with the solo parts and does it anyway
- Cold rain
- Next month's credit card bills

The sinuses are getting better, which means I can desist with the cold medicine and therefore the insomnia. The election results are what they are, but I can choose not to read about them. The PD2 Oral Health Session is on Monday afternoon and I won't have to deal with it after that. The weather's supposed to improve enough to make errands on Saturday possible if not pleasant.

There's not much I can do about the other stuff, except stop buying things for the rest of the credit card cycle after Tuesday (vet bill). Sometimes responsible adulthood is a pain.


Nov. 4th, 2014 10:25 pm
dchenes: (katana)
Good night, Galileo. IMG_0411


Oct. 15th, 2006 06:37 pm
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Today was the Annual DiMartino Pre-Christmas My, How You've Grown Festival, which meant I spent last night in Arlington and got romped over by the Bloodthirsty Jungle Demons all night. Actually, this time it wasn't so bad; I think it was cold enough that at least Bonnie was happy to curl up on top of the comforter and be warm.

Anyway, I saw all of my immediate DiMartino relatives, and maybe I'll have somewhere in Brighton to move to next September. Even if not, it gives me something to dream about. I sure as hell can't dream about buying anything.

My father has discovered Google Earth and is having a blast with it. He says he went down the Colorado River this morning, and went to Kazakhstan last week. That amuses me for some reason.

Yesterday I went overboard (as usual) at Wilson Farms, and now I've got apples and cabbage and carrots and broccoli and potatoes and all sorts of recipes to play with. Hooray!

It's not that I don't want to go to work next week; it's that I want some help with work next week, and there isn't any to be had. P&R (the junior appointments meeting) has taken over the world again.

I think maybe it's time for beer and bath, in that order.


Apr. 10th, 2005 01:02 pm
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What with two different people on my friends list having cats put down yesterday, I started thinking about the pets I grew up with. I still, thirteen years after the fact, ask myself "where's the dog when I want him?" when I'm scrubbing out any dish with baked-on cheese in it. I'm half-convinced that the reason my family's first dishwasher lasted as long as it did is because Fido did such a good job on the plates before they even went into the dishwasher at all. He was half Border collie and half Newfoundland, and he knew the difference between "out" (out of the room), and "outside". He could also spell W-A-L-K and you couldn't tie your shoes without his help. We got him as a puppy when I was two years old, because my father didn't want me and my sister to grow up afraid of dogs. It worked; I like dogs, and for some reason I've never quite figured out, most dogs like me. We had Fido put down when he was 14; he couldn't get up without help and he had stopped enjoying life.

Then there was Schwartz. Schwartz was my father's cat from the ground up; her mother was a ship's cat who had abandoned her kittens, and my father was building tugboats at the shipyard at the time and came home with Schwartz and her sister in the palm of one hand. She was two years old when I was born. Schwartz was an orange tabby with white patches, and we could never figure out how she kept all of her white patches so white since she was an outdoor cat. She was the most talkative cat I've ever met; you could have an entire conversation with her as long as you finished whatever you were saying with her name. Apparently my grandmother had a half-hour conversation with her once. Schwartz had an ironclad sense of dignity and knew perfectly well that she had a tail, and if you touched it you were on her black list for life. Once I found out about Klingons, I was convinced that if we had shaved Schwartz, her backbone would have looked like a Klingon's forehead, and we'd be all set for an ambassador if the Klingons ever landed. Schwartz was 21 and I was at college when my parents had her put down. She had had only two teeth for years, but they were opposing molars, so she got along fine until she got too old to wash herself.

Cynthia came along after Schwartz but before me. She was a stray cat who became my father's shop cat in Stonington. When the shop moved to Noank, so did Cynthia. She was a teeny little black cat, and she was the one who knew that the sound of sharpening knives meant somebody was filleting fish. She was also the one who stood directly on top of a 40-pound bass, and couldn't find it. She knew there was fish around somewhere, but fish in her experience wasn't that big. Apparently she also tried to catch a swan once, but she changed her mind about that when the swan puffed itself up and hissed at her. She and Schwartz more or less stayed out of each other's way. I don't think I ever saw them sleeping in the same place. Cynthia had a stroke when she was 14. That was the first time I ever saw my father cry.

After Cynthia died, we had Fido and Schwartz for a while, and then we got Edison. Edison was a black kitten from the humane society, and we think his mother was an orange tabby, because the instant he saw Schwartz, he thought she was going to be his best friend ever. Schwartz, who was over 10 at the time, didn't want anything to do with him. Fido thought Edison was great, though, and Edison grew up thinking he was a dog, except for the whole purring thing. Edison was a champion purrer. We could be downstairs and hear him purring upstairs. When we had Fido put down, Edison took over the "faithful family dog" role. If we went somewhere for the day and left him outside, he would be sitting by the back door waiting for us when we came home. It took me about two years to stop looking for him when I came to Noank. His kidneys gave out when he was 14, and the night before Dad was going to take him to the vet for the last time, he went out and never came home.

I hope the Bloodthirsty Jungle Demons have good long lives.
dchenes: (Default)
The power went out again during the night and I woke up, again, to my alarm clock blinking at me. This time the actual time was 5:30, and the clock was blinking 1:12. I know we had more thunderstorms last night, but I don't know when exactly. According to weather.com, we're going to have thunderstorms off and on for the next six days, and after that we get regular old rain.

I miss the Bloodthirsty Jungle Demons. I guess that means I have time to think about them again.
dchenes: (Default)
Since I got my teddy bear here, I've been sleeping better. Is that silly or what? I mean, for crying out loud, I'm 28!

It was very strange on Thursday to be translating a college admission letter and to be able to think "I've written this letter before, damn it, now what's the word I want?" I used to write admission letters for the Prostho program. It's odd how having been out in the working world for five years helps sometimes.

I miss the cats like mad. I'll be sitting here typing and wish Bonnie would come up and sharpen her claws on my chair, even though it drove me crazy when she did it, or that Zoe would leap up behind me and insist on walking across my keyboard when I wouldn't stop typing, or that Galileo would come up when I'm reading and insist on being in my lap.

If it comes to that, I miss a lot of things. I miss being able to get almost anywhere I want to go without having to figure out if there's a bus route that goes there more than twice a day. I miss going to the grocery store and finding things I think might be interesting to try. I miss not having to worry about how much money I haven't got and whether I can really afford to buy fruit this week. And I miss people. Sure, there are umpteen thousand students here, but the presence of people isn't what I miss. I miss people I can relate to.

I'm also worried about these papers I have to write. I haven't written an academic paper in five years, and this is a whole new level of them.

I'll get through it, but today it's hard to do that.
dchenes: (Default)
I've been letting the cats stay in my room at night this week, for several reasons. One is that I'm going to miss them like mad, so I might as well let them hang around as much as possible. The other is that my bedroom has become such an obstacle course of boxes and miscellaneous stuff that it would take me ages to get them out when I want to go to bed.

Last night I was treated to dinner in a Tibetan restaurant. I had never had Tibetan food before, and although I could have sworn you can't grow cilantro in Tibet, I was wrong (I suppose the yaks have to eat something?). Practically everything had cilantro in it. I could eat around some of it, but unfortunately I'm one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap. I wish it wasn't the latest food trend. It's showing up in everything, and food critics are raving about it. Are there no food critics for whom it doesn't taste like soap? What does it taste like to people who like it?

Ahem. Anyway, the food I could eat around the cilantro of was good.

I just KNOW there's something I'm forgetting, but I can't even begin to think of what it is. Oh well.
dchenes: (Default)

OK, so I get home yesterday and Hillary is in a bad mood. It turns out she's getting sick, which makes her grumpy, and Zoe has some sort of intestinal bug which is causing her to make a mess everywhere. She isn't inclined to wash herself after she uses the litterbox, so she's a mess and every time she sits down, she leaves some on whatever she sat on. This is making Hillary grumpier. On top of which it's hot, and when it isn't actually raining, it's humid.

So I go to bed last night, annoyed because I myself am getting grumpy, and worried about Zoe, and I toss and turn because it's humid, and finally I fall asleep. I wake up, for absolutely no reason, at 5:00 this morning, and can't get back to sleep. Still worried about Zoe, and still humid. When I finally get up, Zoe is still making a mess everywhere, and Hillary is still sick and still grumpy, and all I can think is "I DO NOT NEED THIS!". Which is uncharitable of me, and makes me grumpy.

So here I am at work, scanning slides, having called the vet's office and gotten the suggestion that we feed Zoe baby food for a day or so and see if that helps. I hope it does, because neither of us will be here this weekend and I don't know what will happen if Zoe is still doing this.

Why so difficult?
dchenes: (Default)
Ye gods, is it humid out. I wish it would get humid enough for water to start falling out of the air, and get it over with, already.

The mental packing continues. I now know more or less what's going to get packed, I just haven't done any of it yet. Hopefully when I get down to putting things in boxes, it will be easy. I'm starting to second-guess myself, though; now I'm not sure that everything I own will fit in a ten-foot truck.

My sister has reserved a hotel room for apartment-hunting, and I've made an appointment to see an apartment in a housing complex. Hopefully it will be acceptable and therefore the apartment-hunting session will be relatively painless. The hardest part, as far as I can tell, will be getting from the train station to the airport in Providence on the way out. For some reason they never seem to run shuttles in that direction with any regularity, although getting from the airport back to the train station is easy.

The cats are acting odd because of the weather. It's too humid for them to sit in my lap and be affectionate, so they come and hang around in whichever window is nearest to where I am, and suffer themselves to be scritched on the head occasionally. It works out, but when I want to be sat on and purred at, it's not quite satisfactory. (Remove your minds from the gutter; that's NOT what I meant! :)

I need to find some time to nail Dr. H to the floor and have him sign things. This seems to be physically impossible this week. Grr. I think I'm starting to get short-timer syndrome, but at the same time there are things I need to get done so as not to leave somebody else with a problem they have no background to solve. An ironclad work ethic doesn't combine very well with being a pushover, but somehow I've done it.
dchenes: (Default)
It never ceases to amaze me how many things can be covered by the simple statement "the printer isn't working". This time it was the fact that the paper tray was not only empty, but jammed crookedly back in its slot. I had to unplug the whole works to get it at eye level to get the paper tray out. However, once I got it out, put paper in it, put it back in and reconnected the printer, it worked like a charm. Sometimes it's easy. Then again, sometimes it's a network problem. Sometimes it's a problem with whichever computer is being printed from. Sometimes it's a complete mystery, but I somehow manage to fix it anyway. And sometimes I just hate being The Person Who Knows Stuff About Computers.

In other news, Galileo has been a complete freakazoid for the last two days (cue theme music from "Freakazoid", which I've had running through my head every time I've looked at Galileo lately). He's been tearing around the apartment and wasn't interested in anyone touching him. He got somewhat calmer last night, to the extent that he let me pick him up and flip him over on his back and purred at me when I asked him what the deal was. I don't know if I made him feel any better, but at least he started acting more like his usual self afterward. Now why can't I do that for myself?

I need to decide when I'm going on vacation. Next month sometime, probably. I also need to figure out what I'm going to do for vacation, since the Cape house is booked solid all the way through to September. I could stay with my grandparents, but although I love them dearly, staying with them can be wearing.

Time to (finally) go pick up my T pass for July. Forgetting to do it last month has cost me $6 so far. Shame on me.
dchenes: (Default)
I'm in love with the current weather. It's warm and sunny during the day and it cools off enough at night to let me sleep well. The cats like it too; they aren't spending quite as much time being as long and flat as possible. They are, however, stealing cherries and using them as cat toys. I keep finding random cherries all over the place in the kitchen.

My neighbors were setting off firecrackers last night. Practicing for Friday, maybe? I keep thinking I should decide what to do on Friday. My current plan is to go up on the roof and watch all the fireworks between Brighton and Belmont, but that's only the evening.

I find myself beginning to think about not being single any more. I suppose that's progress, although I'm not looking forward to the "unhappily single" period that always happens to me in between "happily single" and "happily dating". We shall see...
dchenes: (Default)
I should not be at work today. I'm fighting an overwhelming urge to pick up the phone and say "Well, what the fuck do you want now?". Mostly because whoever it is is not going to get a different answer than they got an hour ago, and yesterday, and the day before that. We still can't assign new patients until October. It's not my idea, and it's not done specifically to piss people off. It's done because the students we have now just can't handle any more patients. When we get new students, and they're done with their preclinical work, then we can assign new patients. I'm tired of explaining this and getting "But I can't wait that long, I want my work done NOW!" I've had calls like this, back to back to back, all week.

OK. Breathing. Breathing is good. So is a change of subject.

I brushed the cats last night. I didn't quite get enough hair to knit some new cats, but I got a respectable fuzzball. Apparently Zoe is an attention sponge. It doesn't matter what you're doing to her as long as you scritch her on the head while you do it. The others aren't quite sure about this "being brushed" idea.

I'm starting to wonder if I've found a wrong way to do pushups, because they don't make my arms hurt anywhere, and I know I don't have a whole lot by way of arm strength. I'm doing what I thought were regular pushups, with my legs straight out behind me and my knees off the floor.

My back is another story entirely. I'm considering getting a massage again because it's so tight back there. I can even sort of afford it right now.

Of all the unreasonable things I want right now, the major one is a fried egg sandwich on the bread my mom makes, with ham and cheese and too much ketchup. So there.
dchenes: (Default)
Wow, a whole weekend when it didn't pour down rain once! I feel absolutely ashamed of myself for not going outside and basking in it yesterday, but I think I needed a day of doing nothing, considering how much sleep I seem to have needed.

Saturday was a lot of fun. We went out with some friends and went hiking up and down Newbury St. for a while and had ice cream, and then we went to the friends' place in Medford and watched some rented anime (Argento Soma, which is more or less The Iron Giant with an anime slant) and had crepes for dinner. Mine was avocado and tomato and Monterey Jack cheese and spinach. Good stuff.

Random thoughts on felines )

I keep muttering about making cookies or something. I would make scones if it wasn't humid out, but I learned my lesson last time. I probably left an entire scone's worth of batter stuck to the counter, the bowl, the spoon and myself. Baking always amuses me, because it was a rather improvisational process for a while. Before we had a rolling pin, I used to use a pickle jar. We still don't have anything to cut out cookies with, so I use water glasses. I'm not enough of a cook to make up the recipe as I go along, but I can make up the equipment. I guess in that respect, I'm my father's daughter.

Off to conquer the filing I skipped out on last Friday
dchenes: (Default)
Starting at 1:00, I have to go to two and a half hours of "finance forms seminar". They lock us in a room for two and a half hours and tell us how to fill out forms. If I had a pager, I'd be begging you all to page me. And why, you ask, do *I* get this privilege? Because my boss doesn't want to.

Now, to lighten your day, a funny story:

On Saturday morning I was taking a shower, as usual. Since the bathroom door doesn't shut completely, the cats generally wander in and out. So there I was in the shower, and suddenly the shower curtain comes flying in at me like it does when the heat comes on. I know the heat isn't on, and assume one of the cats jumped up on the sink and is batting at the shower curtain, so I go on washing my hair. Then I hear an odd noise from somewhere overhead, and look up. There's an extremely confused cat hanging onto the shower curtain rod with all four feet. Having gotten up there, she can't turn around and she can't jump down. I'm not tall enough to reach her and I'm soaking wet anyway. I had to get Hillary to remove the cat before she fell into the shower with me. I wish I had had a camera. The look on the cat's face was marvelous.

I'm reading "The Peshawar Lancers" by S.M. Stirling, and enjoying it immensely. The basic premise is that in 1870, a swarm of comets hit the earth, and due to tidal waves and human migrations and such, the British Empire, the Japanese Empire and Russia are the major world powers. The book is set in India, which is the capital of the British Empire. I like to read Kipling, and Stirling has done his homework, so it's mostly believable. Too bad I can't smuggle it into the seminar.

Oh well. At least it isn't raining.


Jun. 6th, 2003 10:55 am
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Last night I made Vietnamese spring rolls, and discovered that the cats like cooked rice noodles. This does not compute. Cats are supposed to be carnivores, right? On the other hand, they like bok choy, too, so what do I know? (They also like shrimp, but I had a reasonable expectation of that.)

This morning, the person doing the NPR weather forecast called today's weather "seasonable". That's the first time this year I've heard that.

Dr. H is in New York today, which begs the question of what I'm doing here when it's this nice out. (I'm doing the time entry for the staff, and faxing things to the Saudi Cultural Mission.) If I didn't have to be at work, I'd be lying around in the grass someplace with a book and a cooler with lunch in it.

The only thing I really have to do this weekend is hunt up a stepladder and replace about five light bulbs in various places. I really hope the problem with my bedroom overhead light is with burned-out bulbs.

I'm out of embroidery again. I don't have the linen for the next project yet. I may have to put it off anyway, because it calls for cream or white linen, and I know better than to try to do that in the summer since my hands sweat a lot.

Like most people who are trying to lose weight, I wish I could just wake up tomorrow morning and be 20 lb. lighter. It always seems to take me ages to lose any weight. Most of the time I don't care what I weigh, but lately I don't want to think about how my bathing suit would fit me. I don't object to exercise, either, but I object to the idea that the only exercise that's good for all parts of you is running. I can walk for hours, but running is Right Out. I hate it. There is no bra tight enough to keep running from being painful, for starters.

Well. I didn't intend that to turn into a rant, but it sort of did anyway.
Computer abuse )
dchenes: (Default)
Cattitude, or Felines 3, human 0 )

I now have a way to contact a plumber about the bathtub drain. Unfortunately, Hillary leaves on Thursday for her sister's college graduation, I leave Friday night for the wedding, I come back on Sunday, leave again on Monday and come home Thursday, and Hillary comes back on Tuesday. So, the earliest possible day I could get the plumber there when one of us is home is next Tuesday. Sigh. Not to mention the fact that plumbers don't work for free and I just spent a gazillion dollars on train tickets. Getting out of Boston will be good, but it's going to put a dent in my finances.

Complete change of subject...last night I finally gave in to my curiosity and found out what canned lychees are like. They're a bit like a cross between a pear and a mandarin orange, taste-wise. Texture-wise, they're weird. They're sort of like canned grapes, except that where the pit of the lychee was, they've got a hard smooth surface with cracks in it. I'm filing lychees under "been there, done that, don't need to do it again".

So passeth time I should probably have spent doing something else.

[edit] Just when I thought I had things under control, I've forgotten which hotel the wedding is at. Somebody please shoot me
dchenes: (Default)
I can't believe I did this, but I went all the way to Central Square and back last night just to get cat toys. Pearl Arts has bags of large pompoms (you know, the puffball things you stick goofy eyeballs and glitter and ribbons on when you're in grade school and call an art project), and those pompoms are the best cat toys on the planet. The cats adore them. I spent large parts of last night watching the chasing, killing, disemboweling and carrying around of puffballs. There's very little I find sillier than a mostly-black cat trotting around with a bright red puffball in her mouth (don't ask me why, though).

I still need more hours in the day and fewer of those hours spent at work. At least I finally got a load of laundry into the dryer, so now I have a reasonable expectation of having a clean shirt I don't hate to wear to work tomorrow. This is the same load of laundry I put in the wash last week and had to wash again last night because it sat there in the washer over the weekend. Yes, I know, I'm hopeless.

Maybe if I had any motivation to do anything when I'm home, that would help.
dchenes: (HELP)
Galileo got the rest of his front claws trimmed last night. Opposable thumbs come in awfully handy (if you'll pardon the pun). 4 down, 2 to go, and the 2 in question belong to the same cat.

There's an unwritten rule that since the entire department is in seminars on Thursday morning, all morning, Thursday is the day emergencies happen. The department seminar is sacrosanct, and I'm not allowed to go interrupt it to get anyone out. So of course, on Thursday mornings, I get more phone calls than I get any other morning, all demanding to speak to somebody NOW.

I wish the hell that's going to break loose starting on Friday would hurry up and break, already. I keep forgetting things. I know I'm supposed to be making key lime pies tonight, but I forgot what time the event the pies are for is supposed to start tomorrow. I know I'm supposed to be going to a party on the 10th, but I have no idea what I'm going to bring to it by way of food. I know I'm going home on the 16th, but I forgot that I have to buy train tickets in order to get there and back. I keep forgetting that doing laundry is no longer something I really should get around to one of these days; it is now a screaming necessity, but I keep forgetting to do anything about it.

I need a spare brain. Or three wishes, the first of which would be for unlimited funds. The second would be for more hours in the day and fewer of them spent at work. The third, I haven't gotten around to thinking about yet, and I'd probably forget it existed anyway.

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