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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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I am a shameless enabler. I just loaned a coworker $20 to buy cigarettes, because he ran out two days ago and I have to keep working with him for two more days this week, and I don't want to deal with him being grumpy on account of nicotine withdrawal. At least he knows he's getting grumpy on account of nicotine withdrawal and thought it was hilarious when I said that's why I'm giving him money. He swears up and down he'll pay me back on Friday, but I'll believe that when I see it.

I am also a paranoid pet parent. I've seen Snip was eating and drinking, but I was worried about lack of evidence in the litterbox. It turns out she's started actually burying it (after a mere eight years). And Lily is having teeth problems again, I think. I'll have Dr. G look at them when he comes next week.

Besides those, I threw myself on a grenade on Monday and it has just exploded, so I spent the morning comparing two versions of the Summative Assessment Guidebook (a mere 185 pages) and making sure that all the changes from one version joined all the changes in the other version. So now we have one version that makes sense, and I have to wait for three other people to make changes in their personal versions and then do the whole process again.

I wish it were embroidery weather, but it's just humid enough to make my hands start sweating after I've been holding the frame for five minutes. Doing this pattern in five-minute chunks isn't very satisfying, and I need to create something satisfying because I'm creating frustrating things at work.
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Oh, my creakin' cranium.

I knew this week was going to suck pond water through a flavor straw. Monday was OK, and then I went to chorus rehearsal and got home at 10:30, but couldn't decompress enough to sleep until midnight. Dragged myself out of bed on Tuesday morning and spent the whole day with oatmeal where my brain was.

Tuesday night I managed to stay up late enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and slept like a rock. Woke up on Wednesday morning feeling human, went to work and got stuff done (oh, look, there are two different versions of Standard 2-7 in this document; that's not good), and then I went to chorus rehearsal and got home at 10:30, and had to concentrate too hard on decompressing by 11:30.

This morning I had a weird dream about trying to fly from Barbados to Guam and having my luggage come off the plane in Barbados as individual articles of clothing on the conveyor belt, but no suitcase. Then they found my suitcase and wanted to know why there were embroidery scissors in the lining. I explained that by pulling embroidery out of the lining too, although I don't know why I was keeping it there (and I never take scissors on a plane; I use nail clippers). It was a pattern I've never seen before, but it was very pretty and there was about half of it done. I wish I could remember exactly what it was, so I could write it down and stitch it. It was geometry and flowers.

Today I have systemic oatmeal; it's in my muscles and my brain, but I'm a little better mentally than I was on Tuesday. I still am not breaking any records for brain power and I'm not even trying to revise any complicated documents, but I can at least go to meetings and pretend I know what the hell is going on. Just don't ask me whether I want to be in the meetings in the first place.
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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 seem to have had a 48-hour virus on Friday and Saturday, because while I've had muscle spasms, intractable headaches, unhappy intestines, heartburn, and a couple of other various symptoms before, I've never had them all at once before. There were maybe two hours of Saturday when I didn't have a headache, and I missed the March for Science. Fortunately, when I woke up on Sunday, I felt positively human again. And the weather was better on Sunday besides.

Petco persists in not having the right kind of dry cat food, because their suppliers seem to persist in not having it. I bought some regular indoor dry food, as opposed to the fancy indoor dry food, and since it's the same brand I hope it doesn't upset things too much. Snip will probably eat it if she figures out that that's all there is, and Lily will eat anything as long as it pretends it's poultry-flavored. (I have got to get video of her eating her morning thyroid pill; she really does act like she's eating chicken-flavored peanut butter.)

The embroidery is going like gangbusters lately. I finished page 4 and put a reasonably good dent in page 5 yesterday. I still can't decide if I want to cut down the linen once I get one complete row of pages done. It would be nice if I didn't have to wrangle the entire half yard all the time, and I have masking tape that's younger than Lily so I don't have to argue with it so much when I want to bind raw edges. But cutting fabric with completed embroidery on it gives me the blue creevles.

I went to the DTP tutors meeting, which involved a lot of discussion about TMJ-related tutorial cases, and now I'm very aware of my jaw. Silly brain.
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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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I've got a tremendous case of the fidgets and can't decide what to direct it at. Some of me wants to go outdoors for the sake of being outdoors, and some of me wants to stay indoors and clean things, and some of me wants to do some more embroidery, and some of me wants to walk down to the Super 88 food court and invest in a massive bowl of pho. Whatever I end up doing, it feels like I'm wasting the day if I don't do everything else. ARGH. But I do have to go outdoors at least through the front door, because Part 1 of the Great Jeans Quest is supposed to arrive today. And it had better work, because I'm down to one pair of wearable jeans, and the inseams thereof are going to shred themselves any minute now. Hence the parts of me that don't want to go outdoors for extended periods of walking.

Random silly thing that bothers me every time I think about it: in the Kipling short story "Toomai of the Elephants", Toomai's father is scolding him for doing something fairly terrible, and ends with "Go and wash Kala Nag." Given that Kala Nag is an elephant, I've never been able to figure out whether washing him is intended as a punishment (there's a lot of him to wash) or whether it means "Go play in the river with Kala Nag and don't bother me for a while." I like the story, but I'd really like to ask Kipling about that bit.

I haven't heard from the framer about Less Is More yet. It's supposed to be ready sometime like tomorrow, but I'd really rather go get it today. Add that one to the List for the Minister of Convenience.

Speaking of offices we don't have, is the Office of Common Sense a division of the Office of Not Destroying the Country, or does it have such an uphill battle that it needs its own budget?
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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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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.
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Two nights ago I was running errands in the vicinity of Fenway 13 anyway, so I went and bought a ticket to see Rogue One last night. That was my first experience with actual reclining movie theater seats, and I think I'm spoiled for life now. The movie was worth what I paid to see it, too. (But if I were a stormtrooper and survived the movie, I would have words with somebody about the usefulness of the armor.)

Maybe I want to go see Hidden Figures, too.

Since last night was movie night, I turned it into cheeseburger-and-movie night. Sometimes you just want a cheeseburger, and nothing else will do. What I really wanted was a gold star for my forehead, because I didn't tell the faculty member I was dealing with yesterday exactly what I thought of his failure to tell me until after I scheduled all his lectures (Tuesdays only, please) that he's on vacation for two weeks in the middle of February.

The piece of embroidery I sold is Sampler Cove's Spanish Bleu, just so I have it written down somewhere.

Today did not start the way I wanted. It wasn't snowing when I got up, but it was when I left the house. And then the bus didn't show up for 20 minutes, so when it did, there were enough people on it for two buses already. Good thing today is Friday and I don't have to do that again tomorrow. I'd better do some grocery shopping tonight, though, because it's supposed to snow again tomorrow. I can think of worse things to do tomorrow than spend most of it with a cat in my lap.
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The problem with coming back from winter break and picking up where you left off is that none of the problems have solved themselves over the break, so you're right back in the same rut you left in, if not worse. I don't care who's doing all this scheduling next year, but it is not going to be me. (That's what I said last year, too. Obviously the universe wasn't listening.)

My coffee maker's water level indicator isn't working. It doesn't even have any moving parts, so I guess I can't say it isn't working, but it isn't working as intended. It's got air bubbles in it and I can't tell how much water I actually put in the reservoir, without doing all sorts of math (OK, the top is up to 9, but there's a bubble between 3.5 and 5 and another one in the middle of 6 and 7, so maybe that will be 6? But the coffee maker always subtracts one, so maybe it's 5?). With the result that today I made rocket fuel by accident and had to put sugar in it to make it drinkable. Today is the sort of day that calls for rocket fuel, though.

I have a new recurring dream, but I'm not sure why. It involves going to see a very large model aircraft carrier and having to climb up a ladder to stand on it, and getting stuck at the top because people want to argue with me instead of letting me get off the ladder. And then my aunt shows up and yells at me for something involving somebody else's marijuana. I've had this dream three times now and I haven't a clue what it means.

I keep thinking there's got to be a better way to crush up Lily's pills than doing it on the back of a saucer (which has a rim so the fragments don't go everywhere) with the back of a spoon, but so far I haven't found it. I'm not interested in investing in a pill crusher, because I'm not sure the bits I start with are big enough to crush that way anyway. The problem is mostly getting the teeny amount of powder off the back of the saucer, and remembering to use the "cat food spoon" instead of the "thyroid spoon" on Snip's wet food. Maybe I need to invest in a couple of cheap pill-crushing spoons that don't get used for anything else.

I've sold a piece of embroidery for the first time in my life. It's the blue band sampler from 2012 (the name of the pattern escapes me, but there's a blue one and a red one and I did both. I'll have to look through the archives when I get home). So tonight I have to iron it, but before I do that I have to go to an art supply store and get a cardboard tube to wind it around and a poster tube to transport the whole thing in. Fortunately it's only on a quarter yard of linen, so I should be able to find what I want.
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)
As of yesterday, Lily's thyroid has practically stopped working, so now I get to give her a quarter of a little tiny pill twice a day instead of half. I went and bought a pill splitter because I've been cutting the pills with a paring knife up to now (the pills have a convenient line through the middle), but the bits can tend to go shooting off across the counter and I'll never find them if they're smaller than halves. At least Lily has put on half a pound in two weeks and has perfectly normal blood pressure. You take a cat's blood pressure the same way you take a human's, to wit: with a teeny blood pressure cuff around a front leg. (Or at least that's how Dr. G does it.)

There was some sweat and tears involved with the logistics, however, since I had to bust my ass (and apparently my ankle, as of this morning) to get home in time for the appointment after I missed the bus by two minutes. I did it, and I beat Dr. G by six minutes, but it wasn't any fun. Then it took me four tries to get Lily into the bathroom and get the door shut before she got out. It cost me a lovely bruise on my right knee when I crashed the door into it. But Lily doesn't fight with anyone but me; Dr. G has been able to give her shots, trim her nails, take blood and get her blood pressure and she just sits there wrapped up in a towel and bails out when it's all over. I busted out the smoked salmon before I went back to work, and was forgiven instantly and greeted enthusiastically when I got home at dinnertime.

This is the third odd week in a row; two weeks ago was the mock site visit, last week was vacation and Thanksgiving and interstate travel, and this week is chorus dress rehearsals today and tomorrow. Today's dress rehearsal is why it doesn't really matter that I forgot I already had an entire thermos of coffee on my person when I went to Dunkies out of habit this morning. If I'm going to be at dress rehearsal from 6:15 to 10:00, I need afternoon coffee.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself next week when life goes back to sleep/work/eat/repeat/weekend. Maybe I'll get better sleep. Or maybe I'll finally get out of that tree, embroidery-wise. After last week, I'm almost there.
dchenes: (katana)
I haven't been embroidering again, because my shoulders have been complaining right when I get into the groove and it throws me right out of it again. Sigh. I'm never going to get out of this tree, am I? (Current piece of pattern is the crown of a tree, and all the individual leaves thereof. But I can't tell which leaf is where by looking at the pattern; it all looks like blobs and I faithfully reproduce the blobs and wonder what's the point. Then I stand six feet away from the actual embroidery and then I realize "oh, OK, that blob is about six leaves.")

I finally caved last night and downloaded Civ 5, which required my subscribing to Steam, which I am not thrilled about. But Civ 4 is too old for my current laptop, and I miss it. And messing around on the computer doesn't hurt my shoulders. It does, however, frustrate the Hairy Beasts because they don't fit in the available lap space. I just hope Civ 5 breaks the pattern of odd-numbered Civ versions not being as good as even-numbered ones.

I could have voted early, but the early voting places are more out of my way than my regular polling place, so I'm going to stand in line with all the other regular election day people. Voting early wouldn't have put me out of any more misery anyway, because despite the Facebook filters I put in, half of my news feed is politics. The other half is baseball, which is more cheerful. Even though I'm not a baseball fan, I understand sports-cheerful.

Today was New Crunchies Day, which is the one day in the month when Lily eats breakfast enthusiastically. She actually ate it out of the bowl Snip likes to eat out of, which confused Snip quite some. I'm not sure she realizes there are two bowls with the exact same amount of the exact same stuff. (I love Snip dearly, but she has the IQ of mayonnaise.) I may just stop trying to feed Lily dry food.

The modern music for chorus this semester is growing on me, but I really wish it wasn't as crunchy as it is in so many places on purpose. Nothing like a section in which every other note is an accidental in order to avoid having a recognizable chord anywhere. Granted, it's easier to sing music that looks like that than it is to play it on an instrument, but still. I'm teaching my sense of relative pitch to appreciate that even though the alto section is singing a second against the tenors, ignore what it sounds like and just be glad it's the right interval. After the concert on December 3, I can go back to singing thirds against the processional for The Play of Herod and making myself feel better.
dchenes: (katana)
It got cold (by which I mean 60), and I disapprove. The Hairy Beasts only disapprove of cold floors; they know they can come sit on me with their little cold feet and sooner or later their little cold feet will get less cold.

Aside from being cold, this week is less insane than last week and the week before. At least I managed to get through the 24,000 rows of Excel sheet I was converting into a couple of tables for the last couple of weeks, and get through another several thousand rows of demographic data, and I went through three subsections of CODA Standard 2 like a dose of salts, and I rendered readable the first draft of an article on the results of a teaching method that hasn't happened yet, and I prepared the in-class materials for said method which is being piloted next week, and I have most of the figures for the annual survey that wants to know about clock hours per year for five different kinds of instruction, which (given the curriculum change) is a massive combined guessing game and headache. But this week at least I had time to think about all that jazz.

And, last weekend I finally got off page 1 of the embroidery pattern. This is the first pattern I haven't been able to look at and figure out what's going on before I've stitched it. It will get more legible later on, but right now it's all individual leaves in a tree, and they mush together and the pattern doesn't make any sense until I look at what it results in. I would love to get out of this tree. And I will, eventually.

Speaking of results, I bought a floor stand for the enormous framed piece because I don't trust a plaster wall with it. Actually the floor stand is a $30 expandable easel, but when not expanded, it makes a perfectly adequate floor stand. It's strong enough to hold the embroidery, holds it low enough that the cats can't run under it at 40 mph and knock it over, and it's compact enough that I'm not tripping over it. I love it when I get a good idea that actually turns out to be a good idea.

Trying to throw most of the bills in the recycling before I actually paid them was not a good idea, but fortunately I figured out where they had gone before I went completely insane. Also fortunately, I tend not to take out that recycling bag until it's overflowing, and it was only half full. Most fortunately, the Patriots/Bengals tickets were not also in the pile I chucked in that bag.

I think maybe I'll take the entire week of Thanksgiving off. My brain is kind of stopping there anyway when I think about things that are coming up.
dchenes: (katana)
LONG week, this week. Not helped by the second year students complaining about anything they can think of to anyone they can think of.

Meanwhile I got handed the completed procedure data for the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Problem is, what I got handed was what the electronic dental record system could export, which is every procedure code completed by every student. So if student 15001 did 37 instances of procedure 1110, that's 37 rows of "15001/1110" in the Excel sheet. I swear I could make a million dollars by writing an electronic dental record system that can export useful data. Or at the very least, I could make half a million dollars by writing an appendix to the existing system that can export useful data. HIPAA has its merits, but we're an educational institution and we need this data for accreditation, so we can keep being an educational institution. So I've been staring at Excel for most of the past two days and I'm not even through one class yet. And my boss keeps wanting me to go to more new and different meetings, now that I'm the Senior DMD Curriculum Coordinator. I still don't know why I went to the "nobody cleans up after themselves in the lab" meeting.

Meanwhile, last Friday I picked up my newly framed embroidery and nearly gave myself heat stroke hauling it home in the humidity. It came out 35" x 38", and it's gorgeous, but I'm not sure I trust the plaster walls to keep it hanging. So right now it's leaning on my bicycle, until I decide whether I want to buy a floor stand for it and whether that would be a good idea in the first place. It was a better idea before last night, when the Hairy Beasts were playing tag at about 40 mph for about half an hour. Which goes to prove that even though Lily is skinny, she's still herself, and I should find out why she doesn't eat her dry food these days. It isn't tooth problems this time, as far as I can tell.

I can't decide whether I want a Large Slab of Dead Cow because I want meat, or because I want umami. If umami, a box of mushrooms is cheaper than a Large Slab of Dead Cow. But I do love a ribeye, and I haven't had one in years. Decisions, decisions...but it's probably not going to be Large Slab of Dead Cow tonight because the Red Sox are playing. Maybe next week when they're out of town again. Baseball season is at least three months too long, and I mean to bring that up with the Minister of Convenience the instant we appoint one. As long as it's convenient, that is.
dchenes: (katana)
I got bitten by the cooking bug yesterday, so ended up making potato and green bean curry (came out mushy, because I haven't made it in several years, but I got the flavor right) and muffin-tin frittatas (sundried tomato, basil and cheddar). A dozen large eggs comes out to 11.3 frittatas. I guess I'll have to spring for the extortionately expensive free range organic extra omega-3 extra large eggs, next time. Or I could go to a third grocery store and try to find regular extra large eggs. I do have to admit it's nice to go from a mostly empty refrigerator to one that has a week of lunch and a week of dinner in it.

My attempt to get the filigree embroidery framed was foiled by the framer's decision to close two hours early on Saturday and go on vacation until Tuesday. Everybody ought to have a vacation, but I wish I had known about theirs before I tromped off down there and found they'd been closed for an hour already. The rest of my plans hadn't included taking the embroidery (rolled up around an empty wrapping paper tube) with me, so I had to postpone the rest of the plans and take the embroidery home, while not sweating on it. It is now sitting at home in a trash bag, tube and all, trying to keep the cat hair off it until next weekend.

Speaking of cat hair, Lily has decided that sleeping in the clean laundry is necessary and proper catlike behavior. It actually amuses more than annoys me, because it took her nine years to figure it out. I honestly did wonder sometimes what kind of cat doesn't like sleeping in the laundry. Well, aside from Snip, who hasn't figured it out yet either.

Since the interviews that didn't happen last Friday are happening today, maybe I'll take this Friday off. Finally. I've been trying to take a Friday off since August 12 and haven't been able to yet.
dchenes: (katana)
I got home on Friday night and discovered an Amazon envelope addressed to me stuck between the front doors. I haven't had anything I didn't order sent to me since Oberlin, as far as I know, so I was rather surprised. And it was full of Epic bars, which led me to believe I knew who sent it (I was right). They were meant to cheer me up, and they certainly did that. So, yay, Epic bars!

Saturday I went grocery shopping eventually, but mostly I hung around under the ceiling fans. It got so humid that they didn't help much, and then Lily decided she couldn't sleep, so she was in my face every five minutes between 3:00 and 3:30, and every ten minutes between 3:30 and 6:00. So I slept until 9:00 on Sunday and then hauled my carcass, my mattress pad and my quilt to the laundromat. That was over with relatively painlessly, and then I washed the sheets and the blanket and a load of clothes at home. (Silly me for trying to air-dry anything this weekend, particularly anything I wanted to wear to work this week.) Another minor cleaning fit ensued and now all I have to do is clean the kitchen and the bathroom sink and the floors, and the place will be in shape for me to leave it for two weeks.

Yesterday I thought I would go test my rain pants while it was raining, but I didn't get outdoors before it quit raining on account of being lazy. Oh well. I guess I'll take the rain pants on faith. I did finally get off the couch and go wandering; I meant to wander down to Washington Square and invest in coffee, but I ended up going to Coolidge Corner after that and buying a new luggage tag and three used Dorothy Sayers books (The Nine Tailors, Strong Poison and Murder Must Advertise). Fortunately these are the really old versions, because I dislike the font they used in the last reprints.

Speaking of books, I'm trying to figure out why I object to paying $10.00 for a Kindle version of a book. Part of it is because I already own most of the books I'd want Kindle versions of and I don't want to pay for them again (in short, I am cheap). Part of it is that if I paid less than $10.00 for the actual book, I don't want to pay more for the Kindle version. Part of it is that when I buy a book, I get a physical object of my very own, and it feels different. But I buy songs through iTunes, and I buy tax software online, and I don't object in the same way. (I grumble about the tax software, but that's because it has to do with taxes.) This requires more thinking about.

I discovered last night that I had somehow turned the linen 90 degrees when I started the new project and was merrily stitching away 2/3 of the way down the wrong side, so I have to tear everything (several hundred stitches) out and start over. Again. What on earth is wrong with me these days?
dchenes: (katana)
Thursday the 12th is usually worse than Friday the 13th. Yesterday, that manifested itself in the embroidery I had to keep tearing out. It didn't matter what I was trying to do, it was wrong. (And it's really frustrating when you get to a point where you realize that it's not working because you put in three stitches instead of two, ten minutes ago, and you have to go back and fix it, and you keep doing the same sort of thing over and over in different places.) But today is Friday, and I have to tear out a dozen backstitches and put in about ten, and then I'm down to about three hours of finishing and that one will be done. And then I can go on to the next project. And at least the only thing that really went wrong yesterday was embroidery.

I have different lists sprouting all over the place. There's the grocery list, the list of other errands, the list of stuff I have to do before Iceland, the list of stuff that would be nice to do before Iceland but won't keep me from going there, the list of information I have to track down for my finances, and one other one I can't remember at the moment. But at least I found my list of performance-review goals for this year, from last year. And lo, of the four of them, I've only made partial progress on one, because what I've actually been doing is more important. I'm so glad my boss hates performance review season as much as I do, because she doesn't care what's on the Forms, she cares whether the important stuff is getting done. Which it is, because I do know what's important. So there.

On to the weekend, however. And the grocery shopping and the laundry, and possibly the shopping for rain pants. And possibly the movies. And possibly even the wearing of shorts and the subsequent scaring of livestock and small children, because "pasty" just about describes the skin tone of my lower extremities. But if it's going to be 75 out tomorrow, I'm damn well wearing shorts. In public, even.

Part of the problem I'm having with weighing more than I want to is the problem with how my clothes fit. I keep having to remind myself that if nobody can tell what color my underwear is unless I tell them, I can go out in public and not get arrested, and it doesn't matter that my legs are pasty and my entire carcass weighs 20 lb more than I wish it did. Nobody's going to care any more than I do already.
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