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

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

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

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

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

The eternal question: do I eat lunch now and then go get my teeth cleaned, or do I wait until after I get my teeth cleaned and wind up starving and sore in the gums? (I ate first, and breathed ramen noodles at the hygienist.)
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I've been trying to remember what I did between Thursday, when I got back from Falmouth, and Monday. As far as I remember, on Thursday I didn't do very much, except I did take a nap in the afternoon on account of having slept in twin beds in Noank and Falmouth and not sleeping as well as usual because I kept finding the edges of the mattresses. I remember falling over and thinking "Big bed!" and stretching out, and being happy about it.

I have no idea what I did on Friday, so I suspect I didn't do anything important. That might have been the really excellent embroidery day, though, because I did do some embroidery sometime between Thursday and Monday.

On Saturday I gave up and called RCN, and was shocked to find that they would send a technician on Sunday. I don't remember what else I did on Saturday.

On Sunday I was embroidering again when the technician came at about 3:00, looked at what I had for equipment, looked at what I was supposed to have for internet service, asked me what I was paying, and was aghast at the answer. He said I should call the customer loyalty department and ask for more service and less bill, because the service I was supposed to have is so slow it isn't supported these days. And the price for more service is lower than the price I was paying. I know good advice when I hear it, so I called on Monday and got double the internet speed for $30 less.

On Monday I had fun stuff on the list. I did note that the light outdoors was weird on account of the eclipse, but I didn't bother trying to look at the eclipse itself; I contented myself with looking at the crescent-shaped holes in the shadows on the sidewalk. And I went off and bought myself a $350 Olds Ambassador trumpet, because damn it, why not? When I got it home I broke it out and managed to play a C, a G and a D very badly. I printed out a fingering chart, because I already know how to read music (at least in treble clef); I just need to know how to make the notes. My embouchure needs work, though.

Yesterday I had my GP appointment at 8:15, which of course meant I got there at 7:20 and the office doesn't open until 8:00. Under normal circumstances I would have gone in search of coffee, but I decided not to in case of fasting blood test. I didn't want to have to come back again for that. So, appointment (I need to lose weight, but I knew that) and blood draw, and prescription refill, and no shingles vaccine until I'm 60 but go get it pretty much the minute my insurance will cover it (I had a raging case of chicken pox at 16), and then I went off to breakfast at Cutty's and coffee at Caffe Nero in Brookline Village because I hadn't been to either place yet.

Cutty's was good, but too far out of my normal weekend range to make it a possible destination for breakfast. Caffe Nero was good too, and I will definitely keep it in mind because they're starting to be everywhere. Following that I went to Walgreens and Trader Joe's and home. When I got home I decided to be a good kid and schedule the mammogram so as to get it over with, so I did that and it turned out to be for this afternoon. Hooray, I still have Thursday to go whale watching (bought the ticket yesterday) before I go to the eye doctor on Friday morning.

The tape they put on the gauze in my elbow-pit after the blood draw gave me a really impressive set of red marks exactly where the tape was. I probably should have taken it off before I went to the drugstore, but I try not to leave biohazards in other people's trash cans, so I kept it on until I got home.

I should not have read my work email on Monday, but I was trying to keep ahead of all the junk mail and FYI-type messages that get overwhelming if I look at two weeks of them all at once. That's how I found out that CODA has added a subsection to 2-23e (control of pain and anxiety) regarding substance abuse and effective immediately, which means we have to add it to our self-study now. They couldn't have waited until after our site visit? Never mind, I'm on vacation, damn it.

I'm really sorely tempted to drop a towel over Snip and cut her front claws. In my imagination, it works a lot better than I suspect it will in reality. Most likely I would need another set of hands to keep her in the towel.

Lily has trained me to give her cat treats with her morning thyroid pill (sniff at pill pocket in dish, give me a "That's all?" sort of look, act disinterested until she hears the treat bag open, look interested again, dive in as soon as the treats hit the dish). I don't actually care if she won't eat the pill without treats, as long as she eats the pill. Heaven forbid I ever have to give Snip pills twice a day. She'll turn into a dirigible with legs if she gets that much cheese.
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My to-do list is down to one big thing, one medium thing I can't do until I get a reply about it, one optional thing (would be nice but isn't necessary), and one thing I can't do anything about until after I get back from vacation anyway.

Yesterday I spent two hours getting my new night guard adjusted. It doesn't fit yet. I got to be the guinea pig for a new lab, and the lab apparently did what it was told, not what Dr. Y wanted. So it was two hours of put the thing in, bite on articulating paper, take it out and smack my thumb knuckle into my lower lip because I basically have to crack the thing off my teeth, Dr. Y grinds off some acrylic, put it back in again, bite on articulating paper, take it out and smack my thumb knuckle into my lower lip, etc.

I just had to reassure K that no, Snip will not be horribly offended if you don't give her a treat when you give Lily her crushed-up pill and pill pocket. In fact, Snip will think you're trying to poison her if you offer her a treat. I might go get some provolone, though.

My first manager-like act: I asked my assistant to stop starting emails with "Hey!". We're less formal over here than HMS is, but there's a line, and that's over it.
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As of yesterday, the CODA documents are in the hands of FedEx. I have a temporary $768 hole in my credit card, because we couldn't figure out how to fill out the customs paperwork for New Zealand online, so I took those two boxes to the actual FedEx office in Coolidge Corner. I was going to fret about them all weekend otherwise. Then I decided I didn't want to take the dolly upon which I had transported the boxes to my massage appointment, so I tromped back to work with it, and then took the bus back out again. And I was only four minutes late for my massage, having called them and told them I was going to be ten minutes late.

I really needed the massage. I knew I had one muscle in spasm in my neck, but there were three others I didn't know about. It honestly felt like I had rebar in there. This morning it hurts like blazes (it was a three-Advil morning), but in a good way, and I can actually look over my left shoulder. I hadn't been able to do that for about two weeks.

On to the next thing, which is logistics for vacationlike stuff. Not At Work now includes at least two medical appointments after the 17th, which means I can't be out of state, which means the Bay of Fundy is off. Maybe I'll make a four-day weekend out of the weekend after Labor Day instead. But I can still go whale watching after an 8:15 AM (oogh) appointment.
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It took two hours of overtime last Thursday and five hours of overtime last Friday, but I got the 2197 pages of DMD accreditation documents sent to the printer yesterday morning. I might as well apply for a PhD somewhere, since we've pretty much written a thesis. (Problem being, I don't want a PhD in higher education, which is the only thing other than translation that I'd be qualified for a PhD in.)

And here it is, several hours later, and I've been through Books 1, 2, 4a and 4b making a whole lot of niggling little corrections (sent to me as cell phone pictures in my email; I got a picture of what page the error was on and a subject line of what to fix), one of which was a redundancy problem that meant I had to update the appendix numbers in the section and the table of contents; three of which were line spacing problems that meant I had to replace the entire section; and two of which were infuriating "page number melded with the actual document content and had to be extracted" problems and sent them off to the printer again as final versions. I want nothing to do with these documents for the rest of the week, except for the last bits of window dressing I have to do for the PDF versions (linking the table of contents so you can click in it and go where you want; bookmarks are so 2010, but I put them in anyway).

I've decided to be Not At Work for two weeks starting Aug 14. I know I'm going to the Cape with Mom for some of that time, but I'm trying to decide if I want to go to the Bay of Fundy and watch the tide come in for some of the rest of that time. I've always wanted to see the tide there, and I don't need either a car or an airplane to do it, but it's another Thing To Be In Charge Of and I don't wanna be in charge of anything complicated. Too bad responsible adulthood comes with a certain level of complicated.

Now that it's not All CODA All The Time, I need to make the eye doctor appointment I didn't make in June, and the regular doctor appointment I need so I can keep not having cramps, and probably a mammogram appointment because I haven't had one yet. Whee.

Is anything awesome lately? Well, the lunch I was treated to at the Gardner Museum cafe yesterday was awesome. The ant invasion seems to be over. My DVD collection now has a shelf in which it all fits, so I can find what I want when I want it. I have a 90-minute massage appointment for Friday, and I remembered to reschedule that when they called and said my massage therapist would be on vacation in July. Lily is the poster child for well-controlled feline hyperthyroidism. I finally washed the kitchen floor last week.
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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.
dchenes: (Default)
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?
dchenes: (Default)
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.
dchenes: (Default)
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.
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