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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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Yesterday I came home and discovered that Snip had yarfed up breakfast and didn't want dinner at all. This is the cat who wanted dinner after swallowing an embroidery needle. Besides which, she wasn't really acting like herself either (lethargic, and staring off into space instead of going to sleep). I decided that if she didn't want breakfast, we were going to Angell in the morning.

This morning she woke me up demanding breakfast and company while she ate it, and has kept it down and is acting much more like herself. Thank goodness. But what did I want cats for, again?

This morning I also woke up with a thundering headache. I'd had it since at least 4:00, when I woke up for no apparent reason and then went back to sleep at 5:30. I don't know if it's post-stress (Standard 2 got released into the wild yesterday at lunchtime), or weather (it rained) or something else (my neck is sore, so it might be the end result of a muscle spasm). Fortunately, three Advil and a pint of oolong tea got rid of most of it.

It seems to be trying to get brighter out and the sidewalks are drying off, which I approve of, and I am going to the gospel concert tonight if I have to take the Advil bottle with me. And, on the bright side of things, I didn't look at which pair of jeans I put on this morning and was pleasantly surprised that it was the smaller pair. That means it's not time to stop eating cheese entirely. It is time to stop buying butter and pasta for a while, though, because I combine entirely too much of both when I have them around.
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I treated my angry and jealous and sad from the other day with retail therapy, to wit: buying out-of-print books I grew up with. Everybody ought to own Harry the Fat Bear Spy by Gahan Wilson (yes, THAT Gahan Wilson) if for no other reason than the threatening letters:

1. "HELP! I am turning GREEN! Somebody stop it! Somebody BETTER stop it! Signed, The Turning Green Bear."

2. (I forget exactly how it goes, but it ends with "and if I am STILL GREEN tomorrow I will do something TERRIBLE! Signed, The Green Bear.")

3. "It is tomorrow and I am STILL GREEN, and I have done something TERRIBLE, JUST LIKE I SAID! Signed, The Terrible Green Bear."

I already own Harry and the Sea Serpent, which is the second and last of the books about Harry the Fat Bear Spy, and is notable for containing an excellent quote: "I'M the one who talks to strangers! And they usually wish I hadn't!"

Everybody also ought to own A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me, by Wallace Tripp, if for no other reason than to look at the illustrations. The fact that two or three of my favorite silly poems came from that book doesn't hurt either. So now I have incoming silly out-of-print books, and that makes me happy.

I walked home last night because the weather was excellent and I had to go to the Walgreens in Brookline Village anyway. I don't remember walking home being as much exertion as it was yesterday, so obviously I had better start doing it again. Today was an excellent day until it got cloudy again, but I got out for lunch and the weather was exactly what I ordered. For once.
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I needed a three-day weekend, but that wasn't going to happen. So the laundry didn't get done, including I didn't go to the laundromat with the quilts. I did put the new quilt on the bed when I changed the sheets, and Snip promptly got confused (I knew she would) and decided the new quilt feels funny to walk on but is OK to sleep on. Silly beast. This happens every time I change anything about the covers.

The concert went; as usual, we could have had more audience, but the fact that it started raining at 4:00 and didn't stop until after 10:00 probably had something to do with that. I wouldn't have gone out in the rain if I hadn't had to. But it went, and I only made a mistake every other page or so, but no really glaring ones. And then I stood in the rain for 40 minutes because rain dissolves buses in Harvard Square. I finally went to bed at 11:30 and slept until 10:00 Saturday morning.

Saturday being damp, grey and gloomy, I didn't do a whole lot with it (except the dishes) until the sun suddenly appeared after lunch. Then I decided I had better go grocery shopping. I gave myself permission not to try to break any land speed records getting there, and decided that what I really wanted was to be parked in the sun for a couple of hours with a very large bowl of vegetable soup. I didn't get the soup, but I did amble around in the sunshine and manage to buy canned cat food, so we're not running out of that. We are, however, out of luck in the matter of Greek olive oil with lemon juice in it, and bottled oolong tea (which I would have bought a case of, except it was only there for a week).

On Sunday I ate my damn fool head off, which I shouldn't have done, and went grocery shopping again for things I hadn't wanted to carry on Saturday. I also made vegetable soup out of a box of broth,a piece of Parmesan rind, a medium zucchini, a medium carrot, a small can of diced tomatoes, and some frozen corn and lima beans. And a pantload of chives and dill and half a pantload of pepper. That'll be lunch for the middle of the week, especially since I also bought bread and cheese to have with it.

Ever since I got that 48-hour whatever-it-was a couple of weeks ago, eating anything with a lot of processed sugar in it makes me feel run down about half an hour later. It's extremely odd to be put off by the mere thought of eating chocolate, and I actually threw away the two half-eaten dark chocolate bars I had at home. This is unheard of, and I wonder if the whatever-it-was didn't kill off some particular gut bacteria. I'll never know, though, because I don't have a Before to compare the After with.
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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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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 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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Back at work again, and actually getting things done for a change. I looked at my email on Thursday night when I got home (shame on me) and reduced 87 emails to 42 (I don't need all the "HMS in the News" and server update notifications and "I'll be in late last Wednesday" emails). By the time I got in this morning, I only had 56. And most of them didn't count. That's an acceptable Monday.

Now that I've spent last week eating everything in sight and gotten gluttony out of my system, it's time to Do Something And Mean It about the way my pants don't fit. I've done it once before, which means I can do it, so I'm going to do it. It can't be that hard to stop eating leftover meeting food from meetings I wasn't at. I shouldn't have stopped walking home from work, either, so starting that again can't hurt in the long run. In the short run it will, because I still have one spot on my left big toe knuckle that's healing but isn't currently happy with me.

It is gorgeous out. I should open two or three windows when I get home and get the Hairy Beasts drunk on fresh air. They haven't had any since February, and they get silly when they aren't used to it. I have to open at least two windows so they can each sit in one. Lily crammed herself onto the windowsill between the back of the futon and the (closed) living room window yesterday morning, and I had to go disturb her just so I knew she wasn't stuck back there. She usually only does that when the window is open and she has the windowsill and all the space before the screen to lounge around in. She wasn't stuck, she just wanted to charge up all her little furry solar cells. I firmly believe the Hairy Beasts are solar-powered, and apparently while I was gone they ran down, because since I got back they've been in any sunspot they can find.

Hopefully now that the weather is getting better and I've had a vacation, it won't be such a chore going to chorus rehearsals. I kept getting to Wednesday and finding my heart wasn't in it. It'll be over after May 5, so I don't have to keep hauling my carcass to Cambridge for much longer. I don't know why my heart isn't in it this semester; it's not that Mendelssohn is boring (in fact, he's sneaky; he looks easy, but he isn't), but I just haven't felt like putting in the work of actually singing for either conductor and I don't know why not.
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Charleston was lovely for vacation in April, but I don't think living there in August would be much fun. I may go back again on vacation someday, though.

I met a man from Reno walking down Tradd St with a camera while I was walking up it with a camera. He said he wasn't used to all these old buildings. I said I was used to old, but the stucco and palm trees were what I wasn't used to. I'm not used to privacy doors, either, and they amused me no end.

I'm also not used to horse-drawn carriage tours all over the place. I must say they have the whole system down to a science, or as close as it can come without using any technology more advanced than cell phones (with which you call a pickup truck with a great big water tank in the back, and they come and hose off the street where your horse has done the necessary). I went on two different tours with two different companies on two different days, and was carted around first by Riley (possibly a Percheron cross?) and then by Trevor (a Belgian with the biggest head I've ever seen on a horse). Charleston has all sorts of rules about who can go where and how often, which I suppose is good because as a citizen of Charleston I wouldn't want a carriage full of tourists looking into my living room every five minutes.

This was not a low-calorie trip, and I had decided that before I went. I ate fried chicken and green bean casserole and shrimp and grits (twice) and fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese and biscuits and an excellent whoopie pie and pulled pork nachos. And pizza twice, yesterday, because I had it for lunch and then JetBlue bought us pizza because the plane was four hours late. The weather in Boston was apparently just about done being completely awful when we landed at 8:57 last night.

If I had been there longer, I would have done the Fort Sumter tour and actually found the Hominy Grill and had shrimp and grits there too (I've discovered there's nothing I don't like about the basic principles of shrimp and grits) and and and...but I got to spend some time Not At Work and Not At Home simultaneously, and that was what I needed. And the weather wasn't terrible for what I was doing in it; it rained like hell on Wednesday night, but after dinner.

I like the Vendue, even though it wasn't cheap. It's half hotel and half art gallery, and I fell in love with one piece of art, but couldn't afford it. It's a picture of a woman in an orange sari, and the orange peacock-feather pattern on the sari is escaping off onto the background. But the whole background is gold leaf, so the piece is for sale for several thousand dollars, and it's staying in Charleston. I took a picture of it, though. And the gallery is doing an exhibit called Homage, so all the art in it is parodies of other (usually famous) art. My favorite one was a parody of Magritte's The Son of Man, only instead of an apple, he has an iPhone taped over his face. And I loved the fact that right next to the elevator on the third floor, they had three of those sand and water frames mounted to the wall. But the elevator always got there before the sand did anything interesting, so one night I stood there and played with them for twenty minutes. The maintenance man who came up in the elevator with me was somewhat amused to find me still there when he was going back down again. But I was on vacation, and I wanted to play with the interactive art, so I did, so there.

Just so I wrote it down, the piriformis spasm took six days to sort itself out and I think a massive amount of walking might have helped it some. But if I ever get another one, I'm not sure I can convince myself to walk for at least five hours a day for a couple of days.
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OW. I am on the third day of a left piriformis muscle spasm, which is trying to pull my pelvis out toward my femur, and I can't wait for it to let go. It won't shut up when it lets go, but at least it won't hurt the same way (and when it lets go, it might respond to Advil). It's got three days to start behaving, or at least behaving differently, before I take it to Charleston. Meanwhile, I have to ignore it to a certain extent in order to get done what I need to get done before I go. I should do the running around tonight before it starts precipitating. Whatever's going to fall out of the sky tomorrow is going to be unpleasant to run around in.

I know that my cats dream (I always ask them if they were dreaming anything good when they wake up from one), but I think yesterday evening Snip had an anxiety dream. She woke up, uncurled, marched into my lap, curled up again fairly tightly and started purring like mad. Usually she just wakes up and curls up in a different direction before going back to sleep. Far be it from me to refuse to provide lap space for a cat who knows she wants it. She stayed there until my foot fell asleep and I had to untangle myself.

I'm not used to flights shorter than five or so hours these days, since my last two trips were Iceland last year and Australia the year before. I keep having to remind myself that five hours of entertainment will cover both flights this time, and my noise-canceling headphones will be nice but not utterly necessary. I'm bringing them anyway, because they're nice, and they don't take up a lot of luggage space. And I keep reminding myself that I'm staying in the same time zone for once, so I might not get back to Boston at evening rush hour feeling like it's 3:00 in the morning. (Nothing says I won't encounter unforeseen delays and get back to Boston at 3:00 in the morning anyway, though. That's why I'm coming back on a weekday. Well, that and the airfare is cheaper doing it that way.)

Even for the week before a vacation, it's been a LONG week. Tuesday feels like it was five years ago. (What the hell did I have for lunch on Wednesday? Oh yes. Leftover borek and potato salad from Tuesday, that's what. And it was very tasty, too.) I didn't actually sing on Wednesday, because by the time I got to rehearsal I had a TMJ headache, which made opening my mouth enough to sing an interesting idea, and no energy. At least I was there. I still can't decide if I'm going to the second sectional next Saturday. There are about an equal number of reasons why I should and reasons why I don't want to. But I don't have to make up my mind until after Thursday next week.
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I did almost absolutely nothing this weekend, and that bothers me. It means I really need to take some time off. Usually I'm happy going charging around on weekends getting non-weekday stuff done, but lately I just sit around at home messing around online or playing Civ or embroidering in front of the TV. Everything that I really should be doing doesn't appeal at all. That's "tired of", whereas charging around doing things makes me "tired from". I've got to get all the running around for this weekend done on Saturday, though, because I'm going to Noank for the day on Sunday.

Maybe next week I'll be Not At Work for a while. This week is the last week of the oral surgery course, which means that on Friday morning I will be handed the handwritten exam that needs typing for Friday afternoon. I know how this course director works, and I can plead all I want, but I won't get the exam before Friday morning. It's not really worth taking Tuesday-Thursday off and coming back again on Friday, so I'm at work this week.

Speaking of exams, in order to get SPSS software (which I'm not sure I want, but which my boss wants me to have for future data manipulation) for less than several thousand dollars, I have to pretend to be a faculty member. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.

Speaking of comfortable, I splurged on an hour and a half of massage on Friday, and OW. My right hip was so sore when worked on that I started wondering whether it would have hurt more to actually cut into that muscle. It got to the point where in the post-massage period when nothing actually hurt (yet), I was worried about how much it was going to hurt. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought, but it did decide to be sore right where the waistband of my jeans hit it. I'd like to say that was part of why I didn't do anything on Saturday, but the fact is I was just being a slug. At least yesterday I cleaned the bathroom and did the laundry and cleaned out the fridge and took out the trash on the way to being outdoors for an hour.

Snip decided that 5:00 this morning was a good time to kill her puffball. I didn't feel like waking up enough to take my night guard out so I could whistle for her. She did wake me up when she finally landed on the end of the bed, though, and I forgave her because she immediately fell over and made very cute mrrp? noises. Silly beast. Apparently tortoiseshell cats are famous for attitude, and apparently I'm lucky that Snip is merely eccentric and opinionated. But so am I, so what other kind of cat should I have?
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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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It took me until yesterday to put together the fact that this afternoon I get my teeth cleaned and then I have to run off to a chorus committee meeting. I think I thought the teeth cleaning was on the 21st when we were looking for a committee meeting date. But what am I complaining about, it's only a cleaning, as opposed to any of the other couple hundred procedures I had a list of codes for earlier this week. ICD-10 codes are much more interesting.

Snip has a monumental cold, and Lily wants nothing to do with her in that condition, so Snip has been hanging around being miserable at me. Poor kid. It'll go away, and she's eating like a horse so it hasn't affected her appetite, but she's congested and sneezy and not having any fun. Mostly she just curls up as tight as possible and falls asleep waiting for it to go away. I hope she parks herself in the sunbeam on the kitchen floor this afternoon.

I also am eating like a horse these days. Some of it is stress and some of it is the return of bad habits and some of it is because I can't figure out what I actually want, so I eat everything trying to figure out what I want. And I still haven't figured it out. Sigh.

The Great Jeans Quest might be over if I can find somebody to shorten the ones I got. I'm back to "normal sizes fit if I grow four inches and petite sizes fit if I lose 20 pounds". Anybody got a good tailor who shortens jeans? I suppose I could roll them up, but I'd rather have them shortened.
dchenes: (Default)
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.
dchenes: (Default)
Welcome to New England! Black ice on Wednesday morning, 50 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, 10 inches of snow on Thursday and 10 degrees on Friday morning.

I managed not to wipe out on the black ice, but I did cross the street on my hands and knees. It just wasn't going to work unless I lowered my center of gravity. It was nice to step onto the bus and not have to worry about the floor being slippery.

Yesterday I was going to shovel at 2:00, and then it got dark and proceeded to snow HARD. So I waited until dinnertime, and cleared off the sidewalk and the plow berm (which, surprisingly, wasn't that bad yet). And when I wasn't shoveling, I did some embroidery and rotted my brain on various electronic devices and provided lap space for various cats.

What I should have done, of course, is get a jump on the weekend chores and do the laundry and clean the bathroom and wash the floors. But of course I didn't do any of that. Maybe that's why I had another frustration dream. New one, this time: I was trying to get across to somebody that I don't disappear when I'm talking to them and a specific third person joins the conversation. Somewhere in there was a bottle of hot sauce with a label on the bottom that said "Scientology supports this hot sauce." I don't know why Scientology, or why hot sauce (or why I was on a charter bus with the hot sauce). Maybe as long as my brain was bringing up things I don't like, it threw those in.

I'm not trying hard enough to get back into my size 8 pants. Every time I think I'm doing well, my willpower explodes and I end up buying and inhaling cheese ends or pork rinds or something. As much as I'd like to blame it on reading bad news every time I read the news, I can't; it's plain old lack of willpower on my part. Helped along by the fact that there's usually leftover meeting food lately. There are too many damn meetings going on around here.

I think I want to go to Seattle on vacation, whenever vacation ends up being. Sometime in April, maybe. It depends on CODA. But I don't need a passport to go to Seattle and I haven't been there since 1984. I know that because my sister got a souvenir shirt that said "I spent my 1984 summer vacation in Washington". I wonder if they still make those shirts?
dchenes: (katana)
To borrow a concept from somewhere else (but I forget where), I have been beaten with the Whelming Stick so much lately that I am now officially Over-Whelmed. There are so many medium-sized things going on all at once that I don't want to deal with any of them.

1. Lily is going to be taking pills for the rest of her life, and the rest of her life is probably five years. This complicates my ability to go anywhere for more than 24 hours; she can skip one pill, but only one. And if I'm lucky, her liver and kidneys won't require medication because her thyroid does. I have no idea how I'm going to convince her to take three medications every day. On account of her not having so many pre-molars these days, she sounds like a dog eating peanut butter when she eats pill pockets. The idea of chicken-flavored peanut butter gives me the blue creevles.

2. Chorus is over until January 25, but the music is still stuck in my head and we got pretty thoroughly humiliated in front of the composers at the last dress rehearsal. It's hard to sing joyfully when you're going to be stopped and savaged for not being exactly in tune/not enough diction/etc. after three bars. We did it for the actual performance, but I had to go find a corner in one of the "dressing rooms" after the dress rehearsal and get some equilibrium back in order to perform up to my own standard.

3. The thermostat in my apartment has decided not to work. It sits there merrily reporting that it's 60 in the living room, and that the heat is supposed to come on at 64, only it doesn't. I'm hoping it's something stupid like needing new batteries, or having a loose wire. I really don't want it to involve tearing out all the wiring between the living room and the furnace; I can live with a certain amount of deconstruction (see "kitchen floor") but I don't want any cats going exploring in the walls and getting stuck.

4. I need new concert dress, or I need to get serious about fitting into the concert dress I've got. I went through about four variations trying to find something that (a) fit me and (b) wasn't obviously two different blacks under strong lighting. I don't fit into my size 10 pants. This cannot be allowed to continue, but when I stopped following Weight Watchers I enjoyed the absence of being hungry all the time. I didn't realize I was, until I stopped. I have to figure out how to get around that.

5. I never get caught up on anything domestic, except the bills (because I like having shelter and utilities and not much debt) and possibly the dishes. I need to do three loads of laundry and sort through the pantry shelves and vacuum all the rugs and wash the floors and clean out the fridge. But I never have motivation when I have time, and I never have time when I have motivation. So I live in a state of more chaos than I really want lately.
dchenes: (katana)
Last week was mostly uneventful, which I needed it to be. I got so completely burned out that I spent Monday unable to think about anything more complicated than the basics (feed the cats, give Lily a pill, rot brain with TV, eat meals, rot brain with more TV, feed the cats again, give Lily another pill, take a bath, go to bed). Tuesday was a little better. Wednesday I threw some clean underwear in a bag and went to Noank for Thanksgiving, and it was just the four of us, which was restful and amounted to one pie per person (apple, squash, Greek walnut and blueberry, although the blueberry one wasn't actually a pie; it was a crumble sort of thing). Friday amounted to a turkey sandwich and a lot of embroidering and a visit with my Fairly Godmother who has just been to Rome and LOVED it. Yesterday amounted to a visit to the thrift shop, which had a mess (literally) of somebody's embroidery floss. I threw out half of it as a hopeless tangle, but ended up with a lot of cream-colored and some various greens and purples of a brand I've never heard of. Based on the color palette, I think it was leftovers from embroidering flowers on something. But for $2, why not?

Yesterday I woke up with a sore leg, and it proceeded to be both legs and my back over the course of the day. It mostly grumbled, but when I got on the train it turned into a screaming tantrum because the seat was reclined at exactly the wrong angle and putting it up again didn't help enough. Fortunately the tantrum responded to three Advil and a very hot bath when I got home. Today it's grumbling quietly enough to be only a possible excuse to be a wuss and take the T from Washington Square to Coolidge Corner instead of walking. I haven't decided whether I want to be a wuss or not, but I definitely need apples and cat food, and they come from Trader Joe's, so I have to go to Coolidge Corner. And I have to mail the bills, which means I have to go at least as far as the mailbox at the bus stop. And I really ought to do it before lunchtime.

Now that I've processed last week some, I realize I've been vindicated; one of the things the site visitors said was "It's obvious you took a lot of care writing this thing, but it's too long." Which is what I said. So there.
dchenes: (katana)
I believe I can state for sure that I had a pretty full weekend.

I bailed on work at 3:30 on Friday, with permission, and took 2300 pages of CODA Standard 2 to FedEx in Coolidge Corner to be bound and sent to two site visitors (1166 pages each). Of course they couldn't bind them while I waited, but said I could come back at 7:00; any other Friday, I would have, but it happened I had a massage appointment at 6:00 and am not much good for anything afterward. So I went home after the massage with a screaming sore right shoulder (rhomboid spasm, which was not at all inclined to let go, but finally gave up) and took three Advil and put frozen peas on it.

On Saturday morning I got up, took some more Advil, ambled through the shower and the subsequent "sit in the sun and dry hair and provide felines with lap space" routine, and then ambled off to Coolidge Corner again to get the bound documents sent and everything paid for. $120 later, I had two tracking numbers and CODA off my conscience for the weekend, and I proceeded to go grocery shopping. I really shouldn't let it get to the point where I need 12 cans of cat food. But I bought them and a half dozen of the enormous honeycrisp apples I had forgotten about from last year, and some other odds and ends, and wandered off home, and then wandered out again to do errands in a different direction. At that point my sore shoulder had Had Enough (having a can of cat food hit it in the sore spot didn't help), so I took some more Advil and ended up having an unscheduled nap.

Post-nap I got up and fed the cats and wandered out to a housewarming party in Somerville. I ended up staying there until about 10:45 and was offered an Uber home. The driver was from the Dominican Republic and said he mostly took the job because he wanted to learn more English and learn about other cultures, and the college students around here are from EVERYWHERE, so he gets all sorts of education.

On Sunday I spent most of the day at the Patriots/Bengals game. We left at 10:00 and parked (for $25) about a mile from the stadium, so we got to walk past a lot of the tailgating. Compared to the Midwest, New England tailgaters aren't even amateurs. But everybody seemed to be having fun, and that's the important part. Apparently I could have resold the tickets for $1000 apiece because it was Brady's first home game this season, but I only found that out afterward and I wouldn't have resold them anyway. The first half wasn't so good from a football perspective, but I enjoyed the experience. The second half was pretty entertaining, involving both a safety by Hightower (and they played most of The Safety Dance afterward, because they had time on account of TV commercials) and a Gronk TD (he's just as much fun to watch live), and I screamed myself hoarse and we won. I don't know where all the traffic went on the way home, but it wasn't where we were, which was nice.

I had recorded the game just to see what was different about TV versus live, and also to see if I showed up on TV (I didn't). Watching the TV version, I found out which of the Bengals players were making plays (if they said that at the game, I couldn't hear it over the screaming), and found out why they threw a flag on Gronk for taunting (couldn't see it from where I was sitting). I actually almost prefer the live game, because even if there are breaks for TV commercials, there's something to watch. I don't mind watching the players amble around on the sideline.

The regiment invested in a real honest to goodness green steel Thermos, so I can make my own coffee and bring it to work instead of either spending too much money on buying coffee when I get there, or buying it from the cafeteria, which I'm discouraged from doing on account of solidarity (the union I'm part of is supporting the striking cafeteria workers' union). I wonder what will happen if the strike extends to the winter break, because part of the cafeteria workers' grievances is that they don't get paid for winter break. Harvard offered them a stipend; is it worse to get less stipend than you want, or is it worse to not get paid at all because you're on strike because you're not getting as much stipend as you want?
dchenes: (katana)
This weekend I did considerably less than I should have, but I did make soup. Soup is one of the things I'm good at. So I made a cross between sausage soup (which usually has sausage, tomatoes, spinach and elbow noodles in it) and Italian chicken soup (chicken, spinach, meatballs and eggs). Mine has chicken, meatballs, tomatoes, spinach and navy beans in it. I really wanted the meatballs; everything else is an excuse to make soup because I'm good at soup.

Everything from the middle of my ribcage up feels "out" somehow. It's muscular, not chiropractic, but it's sore and I wish it wouldn't. The weekend being damp didn't help my shoulders, either. I can deal with a fair amount of muscular discomfort, but I don't like tendon pain and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Grump. I think part of the problem with my back is Snip, who starts the night very nicely at the side of the bed and slowly migrates to the middle and crams me into one side of the mattress. Her life is about to get less pleasant, though, because I have to make an appointment for both cats to get shots.

The other thing of note that happened this weekend is that the cracked pane in my office window went to get replaced. It's been cracked for two years now, and I wasn't home when it happened, so I can't decide whether it was the hailstorm two summers ago or a bird flying into it that cracked it. The crack had gotten fairly extensive, though, so it was time for something to be done about it. Theoretically it will be done on Thursday and I'll have a whole window again this weekend. It would be nice to have a storm window before we have a storm.

I might have cooked up a Devious Plot for the long weekend, involving a trip to Noank and a Viking longship. (And yes, I'm serious about both.) But we'll see if I can actually make it work.
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