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I need to go look up the Pogo strip in Will Be That Was that starts with "WOWF! I hate this swamp! I hate it!" because that's what I feel like about work in particular (and politics in general) lately. Every morning I wake up and go read the NYT to find out if Trump is impeachable yet. I shouldn't do that, but at least for the last couple of weeks the NYT has been all about natural tragedies rather than tragedies born of the complacency of the average American voter.

And then I go to work and spend my day trying to think of the most esoteric data request the site visitors could possibly make, and then try to come up with results for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and resent the hell out of the site visitors before they even get here.

And today is Sept 11, and all media that isn't rubbing my face in hurricane damage and political idiocy is rubbing my face in that.

HOWEVER. I managed to cook oatmeal without boiling it over, by virtue of setting the clock when I turned on the stove instead of setting the clock when it started to boil, and then letting it sit there and think for a while afterward. This week's oatmeal is zucchini, garlic, and dill, because I wanted a change from tomatoes.

And I went to Sweet Cheeks on Friday night and discovered that what I really want next time is a biscuit and collard greens. I don't know what they put in their collard greens, but I could have kept eating them for quite a while. The pork ribs were better cold the next day.

The eternal question: do I eat lunch now and then go get my teeth cleaned, or do I wait until after I get my teeth cleaned and wind up starving and sore in the gums? (I ate first, and breathed ramen noodles at the hygienist.)
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I'm glad it was a long weekend, but it wasn't quite long enough. I will say that Saturday was a lovely day for hanging around in Harvard Yard and doing not much for three hours in the afternoon while waiting for people to show up for chorus auditions. Half a dozen people showed up over the three hours. And then I did the grocery shopping on the way home, and that was that.

Sunday was cold and wet, so I had a movie marathon (now that I know where all of my DVDs are, except Thor, and I have no idea where he went) and embroidered a lot. And I finally decided that I needed to do something about my phone, which was getting tired.

On Monday I went to the Apple store and said I needed a new phone and wasn't interested in standing in line for three days, and got sold an iPhone 7. So far I like it OK, but the whole "choose your click" thing is either not working or my fingers aren't sensitive enough to tell the difference. It does have more battery longevity than my old phone, though, and that's why I wanted a new phone to begin with. I managed to transfer almost everything between phones, so I didn't lose all my contacts again. I did lose Neko Atsume, though, and I was down to the last cat. Now I have to start over.

I put LastPass on the new phone, but I'm still not sure how to use it.

I've decided that steel-cut oatmeal isn't awful as long as it's not wallpaper paste, and as long as it's not sweet. Smoked paprika and chives worked, and so (so far) does diced tomatoes, garlic and mild chili powder. The next thing is to learn how to cook oatmeal without boiling it over, because it makes a fairly prodigious mess when it does that.
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I would like something this week to be easy. So far the only easy thing is sitting around at home eating whatever's handy because it's handy.

Everybody at work is stressed out for CODA reasons. On top of that, the oral surgery director is in the hospital (thankfully with something that should be fixable), which means he isn't here this week to see patients. I found this out yesterday afternoon, when of course the person who would usually handle this sort of thing was out, and promptly asked who I should tell about it and then did so. But apparently the clinic management didn't find out until today and now they're yelling at me for not telling them because they found out from somebody else this morning. Apparently lack of actual procedure for telling people things like this, and ignorance of what procedure there is, isn't an excuse.

I know I've got the authoritative version of Standard 2. People keep asking me about all the other ones, and they won't take "I don't know, I only have the version I was sent last week, and the person who sent it isn't the one working on it" as an answer. I'm afraid this is going to turn into a massive concordance project among several versions on Friday, because SOMEBODY has to know whether the Student Handbook should be labeled A1-1a or A1-1b, and I'm afraid it's going to have to be me. I've already done massive concordance projects on Standard 2 and the Summative Assessment Guidebook (300 and 150 pages, respectively) and my brain hurts. The fact that the longest of the other five standards is a mere 40 pages does not make a three-version concordance easier.

I was looking at a restaurant menu online yesterday and it had "bone-in skate wing" as an entree. Skates don't have bones. I wonder if the menu writer has ever seen a skate, or at least seen the dish they wrote about?
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Not being at work since last Wednesday was a wonderful idea.

Thursday was Vet Day, and I actually managed to catch Lily relatively quickly and shut her in the bathroom ten minutes before the vet got there. I met him on the porch so he wouldn't ring the doorbell and scare everybody including me. The doorbell is extremely loud. Anyway, Lily decided to be stoic about the whole thing, and got her blood pressure taken and blood drawn and got tartar knocked off upper molars on both sides, and it only cost me $500.

Friday I got the results of Lily's blood tests, and she's the poster child for well-controlled feline hyperthyroidism, so we're all good until November when it's time for rabies shots for both Hairy Beasts. I eventually hauled myself out of my chair around lunchtime and wandered off to the aquarium, which was a better time than I was expecting. After I had had sufficient aquarium time, I wandered off to the Boston Public Market and replaced the Japanese knotweed honey I brought to Noank at one point and which never came home again. Since I hadn't hydrated myself adequately and it was HUMID, I was in pretty sorry shape by the end of that, so I hauled myself home and ingested a quart of seltzer.

Saturday was the usual errands, and I bought six and a half pounds of cherries because they went down to $2.99 from $4.99. Today's Tuesday and I have two pounds left.

Sunday I didn't do a whole hell of a lot, except laundry, and I decided to do something about my craving for Vietnamese summer rolls and couldn't get them because the place in the Super 88 food court was closed for a family wedding. I could have gone to Le's, but Le's likes to stuff their rolls with mostly lettuce and the Super 88 place likes to stuff theirs with mostly noodles. I prefer mostly noodles. I settled for saag paneer from the Indian place instead, and it was good, but it wasn't what I wanted.

Monday I went back to the Super 88 and got the summer rolls, and came home and did some more embroidering. It's going to take three weeks to get a thousand stitches done, which is absurd, but the weather hasn't been cooperating and I don't like sweating all over the project.

Tomorrow when I have to be a Responsible Adult again, I have to reschedule my July massage appointment, and sign myself up to bring something to the chorus executive committee potluck dinner and meeting on the 19th, and schedule an eye exam, and go back to work and concentrate on getting the self-study actually assembled and out the door to be printed.

Next Monday is the drop-dead date for final revisions to all the supporting documents for Standard 2. I expect not to be having very much fun that week, especially since I also have to go to the chorus committee dinner and meeting. I would very much like to be going to a Bastille Day party in Bow, NH the Saturday after the not-fun week, but I'd have to rent a car, and I'm not in any mental condition to be driving anywhere after a week like that.

Just because life is like that, the weekend after the Tuesday-Thursday accreditation site visit in October, my cousin who currently lives in Florida is getting married in Falmouth. I'm trying to decide how bad it looks if I don't go, because the site visit will be three 8:30 - 7:30 days and I'm not all that close to this cousin in the first place. But I probably should go, because even though we're not all that close, I got a Save the Date announcement so they're going to invite me anyway. And Falmouth isn't impossible to get to from here.

My birthday is next Monday. I have no idea what I'm going to do about that. What I want to do about that involves a largish ribeye steak, probably from Mooo, but that's not the sort of place you go in sneakers. I do not like my physical self very much these days, to the point where getting dressed up feels like putting lipstick on a pig, and I don't see the point. I know perfectly well what I have to do about that, but all my will power lately is going to mental self-care because accreditation prep sucks diseased donkeys, and I can't seem to get into the whole physical self-care thing again. This being my 42nd birthday, maybe the answer to life, the universe, and everything will appear after we send the self-study out. Who knows?
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Last week was not very much fun for anybody in my household. The week before last was not very much fun for me. However, the universe seems to have taken notice, because yesterday I wandered into the basement at Brookline Booksmith and came up with six first edition Pogo books I didn't own already (Uncle Pogo's So-so Stories, Deck Us All With Boston Charlie, A Pogo Panorama, Prehysterical Pogo, Pogo Reruns, and We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us. I left Pogo's Will Be That Was and two copies of Pogo's Double Sundae there, because I've owned those for years now.) And then I wandered off to get my hairs cut, and met one of the faculty members there getting his hairs cut too. I wasn't quite in the right frame of mind to have my personal and professional worlds collide like that, so I sort of floundered.

I did get my $20 back on Friday. Also on Friday I had cause to be glad I wasn't drinking anything when the faculty member from Barcelona was in our side of the office talking about class pets, because when he said "hamster", he sounded EXACTLY like Manuel from Fawlty Towers. That would have been an interesting choking fit to have to explain.

Anyway, I survived work on Friday (just barely; I am now responsible for making sure Standard 2 lists all the correct appendices, exhibits and tables, and that we know we need all of them) and tottered off to a massage appointment. OW. Both hips, my right ribcage and my left shoulder were all so tight that they itched when they let go, and that was the first time I've ever been asked if we could skip working on my legs because my back wouldn't have been sorted out in time. The itchy places finally got around to being sore yesterday evening, after I went grocery shopping and cat-supply shopping (Wellness Core cat food is on my List for the Minister of Convenience now; they changed the design of their bags so I had to hunt for the right kind of food, and they put less food in the new bags, but they haven't changed the price).

Earlier this month I woke up with a craving for Sally Lunn bread, but I couldn't find the recipe I know I had somewhere. So I had to ask Mom to send it to me, and then I had to go buy butter and milk and eggs (the only one of those I keep around is eggs, and I generally hard-boil them), and then it got HUMID, which isn't great bread-rising weather, and the upshot is I haven't actually made the bread yet. I should do it today so I can bring it to work tomorrow and not have it sitting around here.

If I'm really being smart, I should make coffee today so I can refrigerate it overnight and have iced coffee for breakfast tomorrow.
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Friday was actually a good day, to the point where on Friday night I was feeling pleased with myself for getting through a large slice of the self-study, and I got paid on Friday, and it was the weekend, and it was nice outdoors. And my boss kicked me out of the office at 4:45, having bought me some iced tea from Starbucks besides. I spent my extra 15 minutes paying all the bills when I got home, and it was so nice out that I went out for dinner afterward. I couldn't decide between Korean and Vietnamese noodles, but it ended up being Vietnamese at the Super 88 in the form of summer rolls AND rice noodle salad. That was more food than I probably should have eaten, but I ate all of it and didn't feel overstuffed.

On Saturday morning I had a carrot and a piece of lemon cake for breakfast, and wondered why the hell there wasn't any food in the house. Because I felt icky last weekend and didn't go grocery shopping, that's why. So I went grocery shopping and got rather carried away, but managed not to buy canned cat food because TJ's didn't have that. This is getting ridiculous; I had to mail-order dry cat food last week because Petco hadn't had that for two weeks. I still have at least half a case of wet food, though, so it won't be a disaster for another month. Since I went grocery shopping in sandals, I gave myself blisters, and I had to come home and do laundry so I could go out again in clean non-wool socks. It was too hot for wool socks.

On Sunday I observed that the container I keep my change collection in was just about full, so I wandered off to the Coinstar machine and came away with $83 in cash. That's about right, because the container tends to hold about $90 and Coinstar machines gouge you on "processing fees". Oh well. I would sprain something carrying $83 in change around everywhere, and I don't think the credit union would cash in change for me. After that (and getting rained on, because of course I was outdoors for the ten minutes yesterday when it rained), I came home and cooked chickpeas and made a non-cruciferous bean salad (chickpeas, not quite enough dried tomatoes, absolutely not enough feta, chives, lemon juice, a teeny little bit of smoked olive oil, and less black pepper than I thought). Someday I will figure out what the hell is wrong with my pepper mill; it likes to dispense pepper all over the place behind whatever vessel I'm trying to grind pepper into.

The embroidery continues to go like gangbusters. Some of that is because I'm into the actual tree, and it has definite areas of single colors and I can see progress when I do that (as opposed to the bits where five stitches in a single color is a lot, and then you stand across the room and see leaves, instead of random blobs). Progress is happy stuff.
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I had plans to be outdoors for a lot of the long weekend, but they got called as of mid-Sunday because my left ankle went out on me again.

On Friday night I went to Target and ended up buying yogurt and the DVD of Hidden Figures. I had to go to Staples for whiteout and Command strips, because Target had neither. Harumpf. But at least now I have whiteout, instead of that stupid whiteout ribbon thing that never gets whiteout where I want it. And if I ever get around to hanging up art at home, I can do it without putting holes in the plaster. Since I decluttered the place, there's more blank wall I can get at, and it cries out for art on it.

On Saturday I went out and got my hairs cut, and decided to grow them out again because it takes too much work to keep them short. And then I went grocery shopping and failed to buy tea for lack of it, went to the bookstore and bought one used and one new, and went to the pet store and failed to buy cat food for lack of that. I decided that since there were several million dogs all over the place in the pet store and the staff were all busy wrangling them (which would have amused me if I hadn't been disgruntled about lack of cat food), I would try again on Sunday.

As of Sunday, the supplier for the pet store didn't have any of the kind of cat food I want, and that's not good. That was also when my ankle went out, so I limped off home again and spent the rest of the afternoon muttering imprecations every time I put weight on my left foot.

Yesterday I cooked beans and made lunch for the week (bean salad: black-eyed peas, roasted cauliflower and zucchini, approximately half a ton of fresh parsley, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and some garlic and black pepper) and did the dishes three or four times as a result, and played most of a game of Civ 5 (unless I cannon up quite a lot and declare war on somebody, I think I might win it by time running out, because I can't seem to get anything else really going well) and did less embroidering than I really wanted to. Oh, and I did the laundry. And watched Hidden Figures, which is a reasonably good movie even if it does have Kevin Costner in it. So far Hidden Figures and Silverado are the only two movies I've seen in which Kevin Costner isn't playing Kevin Costner.

This morning I woke up at an hour that shouldn't exist, on account of pain in several places in my left calf. Of course my half-awake brain thought it was DVT, but of course it isn't. It seems to have settled out into a couple of different muscle spasms as of getting-up time. I should probably start buying bananas again, and in retrospect I've been walking funny in various ways since before I went to Charleston, so of course various bits of me are complaining. More work for my massage therapist on Thursday.
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I never did get around to busting out the vacuum cleaner on Saturday, but I did get the bed made and the bag of clutter filled up. There is no more pile in my bedroom, and all the pants and bras that got chucked in the closet as I changed sizes are sorted out and put away properly so I can find them again when/if I need them. (I don't plan to need the 42DD bras ever again, though, so I should probably get rid of them.) That means the kitchen, pantry, bedroom, and bathroom are DONE. The closet won't take much more doing, and the living room won't take much doing to begin with, and the office is down to just the bookshelves and some other bits and pieces.

Sunday was mostly good; I got to see my aunt and uncle who I haven't seen since last Easter or thereabouts, and I handed off my CD player/clock radio to my parents, whose CD player doesn't play reliably. And there was lasagna, which Mom said wasn't brilliant but I think was jes' fine.

Unfortunately there was also a lot of "Molly sits there feeling like a lump of Crisco while her sister shows off all sorts of pictures and video of static trapeze moves and everyone says 'Holy shit!'". I rather hate that. If I say anything about what I've been doing with myself, it looks like I'm competing for attention. I won't win that one, so I don't get into it. I just sit there feeling like a lump of Crisco. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter that I'm the "other kid" even though I'm the older kid, and in the grand scheme of things I know that, but it still bothers me when my nose gets rubbed in it.

I want cornmeal pancakes with molasses. If I buy cornmeal, I could do that for dinner (assuming I remember where the molasses got relocated to in the pantry).
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Seems today is Pi Day, and me without any pie. Since it's snowing enough to give me the day off, I ain't going out in search of any pie, either. At least I'm making soup, so I'm halfway to a family tradition. I'll have to ask Dad which of my great-grandfathers lived on soup and pie. (I wonder how he was off for teeth?)

Today is trash day, but they usually come around in the afternoon, so I don't know if anything's getting picked up today. I guess my weekly trash bag of clutter will have to sulk in my office for another week. Next week's bag is going to be recycling, mostly, because I have to go through the pile of Paper That Came Home From Foreign Countries (mostly maps and brochures and museum ticket stubs and things like that). It all lives in a box, which means I probably don't need all of it. I think I'll keep the maps, at least, because that's the record of my having been to those places. My India stuff is in a binder; maybe I'll add some other countries to that.

I thought my next trip was going to be Seattle, but Charleston doesn't sound so bad either. I still have to figure out when, though.

There's an orange cat on my keyboard. I don't remember ordering an orange cat on my keyboard. She wants me to go sit down in the living room so she can sit in my lap. We can't always get what we want, though.
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I've got a new bad habit. I go grocery shopping and find things I shouldn't buy but want to anyway, and excuse them by saying "Trump is still president, so I can buy this thing because it will make me happy." Yesterday it amounted to goat's milk cheddar, cauliflower ravioli, and a mint chocolate bar. At least I was right about the chocolate bar; it did make me happy for as long as it lasted (which was less time than it should have, because I practically inhaled it). And I've had the ravioli before, so I know they're happy things.

Since it was snot-freezing weather and windy besides on Saturday, I stayed indoors all day and made soup and did a lot of embroidery. The soup was because my appetite thinks it's spring, and in the spring it wants all the vegetables it can get. It got diced tomatoes and half a bag of lima beans and half a bag of corn and the end of a bag of green beans and most of the end of a bag of brown rice, thrown into the last of the homemade frozen soup stock with a couple of cloves of minced garlic. I promptly had it for lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, and have enough left over for lunch today and tomorrow. It sticks to the ribs pretty well on account of the brown rice.

The embroidery is going again, and that's happy stuff too. I forgot how much I missed it. Various combinations of sore shoulders and sweaty hands and artificial light put me off it for a while, but I got back in the groove on Saturday and might actually get off page 3 before April. Considering I started this pattern last June, that's sad.

I'm getting used to the new vacuum cleaner. I like that it has separate settings for the rug beater versus just suction, so it doesn't have fits when it tries to use the rug beater on plain floor, and that it can cope with the entire living room rug without having to stop in the middle, and that it fluffs up the rugs instead of beating them flat, and that it's quieter than the old one. I don't like how top-heavy it is, and I wish the crevice tool had a wider slot, because cat crunchies don't fit through it. However, in general it is an improvement on the old vacuum cleaner. If I had been thinking beyond "I HATE this thing and I want it gone", I would have kept the crevice tool from the old vacuum cleaner and life would have been lovely (until it didn't fit the new vacuum cleaner, because that's how life goes). Oh well.
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Soup ended up being corn, tomatoes, white beans, chicken, lemon juice, garlic and chives. Not really what I was expecting, and not quite what I wanted. But I've got it, so I'll eat it.

I whine, and I admit it, but the clinical curriculum coordinator is breaking all existing records for whining this week, and I can hear him from 30 feet away and through a closed door between here and where his desk is. Yesterday he came to pick up something out of the color printer and was whining about wanting cake and the fact that we didn't have any. So, since I had to go to Walgreens anyway, I went to Stop & Shop and bought him a piece of cake just to shut him up. It worked for an hour, and then he was back over here whining to somebody else about how Costco sells crab dip he can't stop eating, and he wants some, but he never goes there because it's a waste of time otherwise. One of us needs a vacation.

By the time I got home from chorus last night, it was snowing pancakes; huge fluffy clumps of snowflakes we don't get very often. They were very pretty, but they were snow, and I hadn't ordered any more snow. (But they were very pretty.) They amounted to about an inch in Brighton and less in the medical area.

I have just committed to bringing my enormous framed embroidery piece to work for the On My Own Time exhibit in March. I think the easiest (ha ha) way to do it is going to be taking it on the bus on a Saturday. I would almost do it tomorrow except there's still too much snow. The truly easiest way to do it would be to borrow the back seat of somebody's car for an hour, but I hesitate to ask.

Speaking of things that should be easy and aren't, Lee and White House Black Market are both out of the jeans-that-fit-me business, so now I have to start over. Again. I haven't a clue where to start. I default to "go outdoors and get dirty and throw everything in the wash afterward" type jeans, rather than "only wear in nice weather, wash in cold water, inside out, and air dry" type jeans. I guess I should start with LL Bean and find out how they think my body is shaped wrong for their clothes. (Every clothing manufacturer thinks my body is shaped wrong for their clothes, somehow or other.)
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This is marvelous weather for soup, and I have a lot of good things to make soup with, but they don't all go together and I can't decide which ones I want to use. First world problem, obviously.

I think Lily wasn't feeling well on Saturday, because she insisted on being in my lap or in my face all day and then ate a lot of dry food at bedtime (not her usual routine) and yarfed all over the kitchen in the middle of the night. She seemed to be better yesterday, so whatever it was, it was a 24-hour bug. And she didn't give it to Snip as far as I can tell, which is good too. Snip doesn't care what she yarfs on.

I finally downloaded Monument Valley because I've caught up with Two Dots and wanted something to do with the phone. It falls under "somebody having way too much fun with a computer", but also falls under "reasons to own an iPad" because it's a tad bit too small on the phone screen. Gorgeous and fun, though, and it doesn't kill you and force you to start over when you get something wrong. I had Issues with a couple of the levels in terms of my brain not working the way the game needed it to, but I did get there eventually.

On Saturday I wandered through the bookstore and came up with both Dodger by Terry Pratchett and Eggs, Beans, and Crumpets by P.G. Wodehouse, from the used books section. Both of those books have been on my "keep an eye out for this" list for ages. That's why I wander through the bookstore. It's nice to have things to be happy about that don't involve ingesting calories. In that vein, I'm seriously considering sending a letter to the Patriots.

Speaking of calories, I have a small problem in that I only have one pair of jeans that fits me these days, and they're in the dirty laundry hamper at the moment. I don't WANNA buy size 12 pants again! But at least they aren't size 14. I started the whole weight loss saga three or so years ago when I needed new pants and discovered that they really ought to be size 16, and that was unacceptable. So here I am three or so years later and size 12 is unacceptable. I'm not sure what I think about that. I know I ought to be walking home, but a foot or so of snow is a pain in the ass to walk home in.
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Friday I went back to the post office, again, and they almost didn't find my mail. Whoever filled out the card indicated it was a letter, but it was actually a "large envelope", so they didn't find it because they were looking in the wrong place. Anyway, the contents were what I thought they were, and the upshot is I cashed out my $500 401K that I can't do anything else with, and will get about $340 by the time it gets done with fees and taxes. Whee.

Then I treated myself to a bagel with butter and jam for breakfast (strawberry jam, thank you), went home and filled out the paperwork to cash out the 401K, ironed the Less Is More embroidery and went out again to mail the paperwork and get the embroidery framed. The woman who owned the Washington Square Fast Frame franchise has retired and the new guy admitted he knows next to nothing about framing embroidery. So now I need a new framer, because when I get the cat-in-tree piece done, I'm not letting him have it.

After that I trotted off to Coolidge Corner to go grocery shopping for odds and ends, and book shopping (I did finally buy the book about the Gulag, even though it's depressing) and stopped for ice cream while I was down there. Sometimes I just want ice cream. Then I went home and made mushroom cheeseburger bake, as follows:

Cook one cup of raw rice in the rice cooker. While that's going, fry a pound or so of hamburger with smoked salt, pepper, garlic and sage, and remove the meat from the pan. Fry two boxes of sliced mushrooms in the drippings with more garlic and more sage. Put meat, mushrooms and rice in a baking dish and let it all cool off while grating a ridiculous amount of sharp cheddar cheese. Add cheese to cooled-off other stuff, combine thoroughly, top with panko and bake at 350 for half an hour. Hit the spot when warm, and sticks to the ribs quite well when cold.

On Saturday I did the laundry and wandered off through Coolidge Corner again to do the real grocery shopping. I must have done things other than grocery shopping and laundry, but I don't remember offhand what they were.

Yesterday I finally figured out why I hate vacuuming so much; it's because the bags that are supposed to fit my vacuum cleaner have a 1.5" diameter hole, and the inlet they're supposed to fit on has a 2" diameter. Every time I vacuum, I have to argue with the bags. I hate that. So I went off to Target in a towering rage and bought a bagless vacuum cleaner. Then, of course, I had to walk from Target to Kenmore and from Washington Street to home with a box 2/3 as tall as I am, with one heavy end. My arms didn't like that very much, and they still don't like it today, but they can suck up (ha ha, since they were carrying a vacuum cleaner) and deal.

I assembled the new vacuum cleaner and vacuumed the rugs, and observed that the new one is quieter and more maneuverable than the old one, and fluffs up the rugs instead of beating them flat. And it also sucks up cat hair and other stuff. So it was worth the sore arms.

Along with most of the rest of Boston, I watched at least some of the Super Bowl. I shut it off when the score got to 21-0, because I wasn't having any fun. I spent the rest of the evening merfing around online and keeping an eye on the score. Good thing I recorded it, because it turned into a game halfway through the third quarter. I'm really happy for all the veterans (Long, Van Noy, Hogan, Bennett, etc.) who came to the Patriots this year from one or more bad teams and suddenly found themselves winning the Super Bowl. (OK, maybe Buffalo isn't that bad, but Rex Ryan can take a long walk off a short pier.) And I really wanted the Patriots to win because I wanted something to be happy about that didn't involve ingesting any calories.

The phone spam people have come around to my number again. I've gotten six spam calls since Friday. If I ran the universe, all spam calls would go to an answering service consisting of 30 seconds of air horn. Not that that would make them stop, but it would make me feel better.
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Yesterday I got through the day by thinking about what I would do if I took today off. And then I remembered today is Thursday, not Friday, so it doesn't matter because I'd have to go back to work on Friday anyway.

I think I definitely need Friday off, though. Not only does it not matter what it is, I Don't Wanna, but I also almost got thoroughly annoyed at somebody who didn't deserve it because I failed at reading comprehension. I was copied on an email that I thought was addressed directly to me, and I was about to tell the world at great length and considerable volume that it is not my responsibility to take care of this thing. As it turns out, the other person who was copied on the email also thought it was addressed to me, so maybe I'm not completely off my onion. Yet.

As of yesterday, a day off would consist of going to the post office and finding out who's sending me a certified letter, actually cooking the bean/lemon/tomato/oregano/etc. recipe I found last week, actually cooking the mushroom/hamburger/rice/etc. casserole recipe I'm inventing, watching the final episode of season 4 of Vikings (recorded last night while I was at chorus rehearsal), ironing the Less Is More embroidery and taking it somewhere for framing, buying paper towels, and possibly doing something random for no other reason than because I want to at that instant minute.

As of this morning, skip the post office, because I went there and they couldn't find the letter. (Gee, I hope it wasn't important or anything...) Everything else still seems like a good idea, though.

There's still a hole in the side of my cat, but it has shrunk considerably and is trying to grow hair. I think the cat is encouraging the presence of the hole, and we may get to the Cone of Shame some day. Not now, though.
dchenes: (Default)
For some reason I seem to be having a hard time staying asleep lately. Hopefully now that Dr. G has said that Lily probably licked herself into a hot spot, and the cyst is not infected (it went bald and changed colors), I can stop not sleeping on that account. All the rest of the current accounts will be over after October. I hope.

The weekend was good aside from the cat and the sleep issues. I spent some money because I needed to (foundation garments) and spent some money because I wanted to (spices), and finished reading Babylon's Ashes (so we forgot about the stolen protomolecule?) and started reading The Pillars of the Earth, which had been recommended by several people. And I made soup stock and preserved-lemon wet rub for turkey thighs (preserved lemon slices, fresh rosemary, crushed garlic, and olive oil). And it turns out the teeny little food processor is exactly the right tool for that, and is less loud than the blender besides. I love it when a plan comes together.

I keep thinking I should start thinking about my next trip. I'm inclined to go somewhere in the continental US this time. But then I start thinking about work and whether taking any time off in the spring is a good idea (doesn't feel like it), and then thinking that I said I was going to get scuba certification when taking two weeks off this summer. It's hard to do that in two weeks if I'm also going somewhere else. So I have no idea what I'm going to do or when I'm going to do it. The idea of taking Fridays off every week between Memorial Day and Labor Day sounds good right now, though.
dchenes: (katana)
Progress on all fronts, pretty much. I went through the pantry and got rid of several extremely elderly spices and other various stuff that might still have been edible, but I didn't trust it. And now I know I should have asked for a three-tier spice rack for Christmas. The optimist in me thinks I can go down to Fenway tomorrow and go see Rogue One and buy the spice rack I want at either Target or BB&B. The realist thinks there won't be any available movie tickets until at least January 3, and I should order the spice rack online.

Also progress: Lily is the poster child (poster cat?) for methimazole, apparently. As of yesterday she's a light heavyweight of eight pounds, and her thyroid is behaving itself and her liver is too (I had missed the fact that her liver values were off at the end of November). But now she's done with vet appointments until June. I told the vet we had to stop meeting like this, because Lily was getting suspicious. He thought that was amusing.

More progress: I just about got myself out of the crown of that tree, embroidery-wise. Well, horizontally, anyway. Page 7 will be back in it again, but that's three pages from now. I bought myself the first three seasons of Vikings on DVD, and went and watched most of the first season while embroidering yesterday. I wanted to watch the first season again anyway, because the fourth season just ended an era (knew it was coming, had to happen, but still a punch in the gut) and I missed the way it was at the beginning.

Since it was a good day for it (to wit, raining), I made turkey stock yesterday after the vet excitement. All I had for carrots was purple ones, and the stock consequently came out darker than usual, but not actually purple. I'm glad in the long run, although I was a little disappointed yesterday; there are some kinds of purple soup I can deal with (fruit, or borscht), but purple turkey soup isn't one of them.
dchenes: (katana)
I got Lily's pills by mail on the 9th and started her on them on the 10th. Fortunately she seems to be happy to snarf down half a pill in a pill pocket twice a day, except this morning when she ate the pill pocket and left the pill (second time lucky, though). I may be imagining things, but I think she's already putting a little weight back on in her face. Meanwhile Snip has her annual cold, and this one is pretty fierce; she sneezes about twelve times every time she wakes up, and she had Niagara of the Nose yesterday morning. Poor kid. At least she's still eating like a horse and carrying her puffball around and being herself except for sneezing when she wakes up.

In an attempt to not spend $10 per month on pill pockets at the pet store, I went to Target yesterday. No pill pockets, but they did have shampoo and toothpaste and Brita filters and Progresso minestrone and a DVD of Age of Ultron and a little teeny food processor, which I've been flirting with the idea of for ages and trying to grind rosemary in the blender put me over the edge on. So now I own a little teeny KitchenAid food processor, and am out of excuses for not using up the rest of the preserved lemons making marinade. Or soup. Or whatever I want to use ground-up preserved lemons in.

This is not a post about politics because I have had it up to here with posts about politics and how they say I should be out on the streets screaming at the top of my lungs, only they say I won't be listened to because I'm white, and they say I won't be listened to because I'm female, but I should be out there screaming because white men are screaming at everybody who isn't white and male. I don't want to scream at anybody. I guess I'm in the "Damn it, everybody calm down and start acting like decent human beings to each other!" camp.
dchenes: (katana)
I can has assistant! I guess I had better learn to be somebody who has an assistant.

I'm glad the vet is coming next week, because I alternate between worrying about Lily and wondering, while watching her kill various fuzzy mice and start wrestling matches with Snip and holler at me for chicken skin and generally act like herself, why I was worrying. (Because she's skinny and she has a proportionally great big lump (named Marlene), that's why. I suspect the answer is "feed her some more food she actually likes, and quit worrying about Marlene as long as it doesn't bother her.")

I made coffee jelly, and ended up with a quart of lightly sweetened black coffee that goes boing. That amuses me more than it probably should, but I think it's partly the fact that coffee doesn't go boing in the same way that pie doesn't have tentacles. Only it does. The question now is, does it go with half and half, or does it go with vanilla ice cream? I can't decide, so the answer may be both, separately. The other question is, how odd is it going to seem to me if I eat my caffeine in the morning instead of drinking it? (Thou shalt not have coffee jelly made with high-octane coffee after dinner, except on Friday or Saturday night.)

Speaking of things thou shalt not do, I'm reading a history of the WWII concentration camps. I hadn't realized they started in the mid-30s. I thought it was later than that. I'm still processing information, but it seems to me that the "go back in time and assassinate Hitler" people are doing it wrong. Hitler was advocating and enabling, but wasn't actually doing, the really nasty stuff.
dchenes: (katana)
The reward for hard work is more work, and I know that, but sometimes I wish it wasn't true. Having sent off CODA Standard 2 two weeks ago, I've spent the time since catching up with the alphabet soup (POH, IPE, ICRC), the CODA survey (which is an annual headache and required me to count "clock hours" for the new curriculum, which means going through every single course schedule and counting how many hours of didactics, small group instruction, independent study, lab, patient care, and simulation time are involved in every course and then adding them all up by year), final pre-publishing edits on an article for Medical Principles and Practice, major edits on a new article for the Journal of Dental Education (which finally got me Endnote, because maybe I won't have to reformat so many references), the usual meetings plus the Curriculum Committee, and various other things that meant I skipped chorus rehearsal on Wednesday. My brain needed peace and whatever else a chorus rehearsal is, it isn't peaceful.

I have a truly first-world problem: I make pretty damn good coffee, but only in 6-8 cup quantities. I can't drink that much coffee in a day, and I object to pouring out the extra because it is, in fact, pretty damn good coffee, so now I have about a quart of iced coffee in the fridge and it's too cold out for iced coffee. I think maybe I'll try making coffee jelly, just to see what that's about. The Great Gildersleeve mentioned it at least once, when coffee was rationed in WWII. Google as of today thinks it's a Japanese idea; if it is, I can believe they wouldn't say that on the radio back then.

This is where I hope Dr. Gransky will tell me I'm being a Paranoid Pet Parent, but I think Lily is having teeth issues again because she doesn't want the right side of her jaw scritched any more. If the teeth need surgical intervention, I'm inclined to ask him to take Marlene (a benign cyst which is now ping-pong-ball-size) off while Lily's asleep. Marlene was drained last November when she was grape-size and these things get bigger when they fill up again, so I want her removed rather than drained, if anything. I wish Lily were a human so we could just do local anesthesia and remove it. Maybe I'll ask about that anyway.
dchenes: (katana)
Here follows a recipe for Complicated Work Night Thought Process Soup, which started as Preserved Lemon Chicken Soup with Rosemary:

Strip a rotisserie chicken, but don't do it thoroughly. Cram the carcass into a saucepan with the drippings from the bottom of the container, a box of chicken broth, two cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of celery flakes. Simmer for half an hour, strain, and throw out the solids. Put the broth back in the saucepan and add the lemon/rosemary paste from the original recipe, during which you discover that fresh rosemary in the blender doesn't really blend. Add half of the meat from the chicken and half a box of rotini to the soup, and boil (gently) until the rotini is done.

This whole thing started yesterday, when I found the original recipe and decided I needed to make it immediately. Except that last night I had other things I had to do when I got home, so I did those instead. I just can't stand any more meeting food, because I've been feeding meetings at least once a week since August and I'm so done with pizza and sandwiches, I could scream. Soup and salad goes over well, and that's what I fed the Curriculum Committee today, but I didn't get any.

I read the lemon and rosemary soup recipe again today and shuddered at the coconut milk. And I didn't have any rosemary, or any rotini, and I'm out of good soup stock so I had to buy a box, and since I was at Whole Foods anyway and they have rotisserie chickens with just salt and pepper, well, why not...except rotisserie chicken never works right in soup. But it's Tuesday night, and I can't stay up until all hours cooking chicken and transforming it into soup. Lily was happy, though, because she got odds and ends while I was stripping the carcass. She's convinced that every time cooked chicken happens around here, it happens just for her.

What I ended up with is reasonably tasty, but I think next time I'll double the amount of lemon paste and rub it on meat instead of making soup with it. It's sort of a distant relative of the rosemary and olive oil marinade I used to do pork chops with.
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