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Last night I had to go pick up a case of bottled tea from Trader Joe's, so I went out at a little before 6:00 with the granny cart I hate (it sounds like a bag of wire coat hangers falling out of a tree, but it has more capacity than the quiet one) and the empty kitty litter jugs, because as long as I had wheels, I figured I'd restock the kitty litter.

The case of tea turned out to be bigger than I thought, so it had to stand on end in the cart and take up most, but not all, of the space. It also amounted to three gallons of tea, and water weighs eight pounds a gallon to begin with, before you add bottles and a box, and before you add roughly 30 pounds of kitty litter on top of it. I left the pet store pulling roughly 55 pounds of heavy stuff. And it was still rush hour enough that I didn't want to get glared at when I got on the train with it (and I wasn't entirely sure I could dead lift it high enough to get on the train anyway). So I pulled 55 pounds of heavy stuff home from Harvard and Comm Ave, uphill, in the rain, with a cart that sounds like a bag of wire coat hangers falling out of a tree, and that SUCKED.

By the time I got everything upstairs and had lain on the floor whimpering for a little while, it was 8:00. I had some dinner, collapsed into the bathtub for half an hour, took some Advil and went to bed.

This morning I don't really hurt, but I'm stiff all over. Next time I'll take the train and live with being glared at.

I hadn't had dreams about accreditation yet before this morning, and the dream I had got the accreditation mixed up with lab exercises, graduation, and chorus rehearsals, so I was somehow in the class of 2017 and doing waxup exercises because the Dean wanted me to be a DMD student for accreditation purposes (don't ask me why), but the assistant conductor from chorus was the lab instructor. Obviously my brain is cleaning house and throwing everything from the last month into the trash can.

At least today is the awards ceremony for the graduating class. I like to go to that. I guess that means I had better fall back into Standard 2 for the next three hours, though.
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I walked three miles today in the pursuit of getting both quilts washed.

The laundromat is half a mile from home, and there was only one washer open when I got there, so I started one quilt and went grocery shopping. On the way back from grocery shopping I started the other and took the laundry soap and groceries home, so that was one mile.

After I put the groceries away I went back to the laundromat again (with a bottle of iced tea I had bought while grocery shopping) and put the first quilt in the dryer, and hung around waiting for the second quilt to get done in the wash, and put it in another dryer. It turned out that the first quilt dried fast, so I pulled it out early and took it home. That was two miles.

Then I had to go back for the second quilt and bring it home. That was three miles. Oh, and I forgot, I walked home from taking myself out to breakfast, so it was probably four miles. No wonder my feet hurt in places. (I need new sneakers, too. It turns out the phantom white spot on the top of my left sneaker is actually white sock appearing through a hole in the black mesh. It doesn't show when I wear black socks.)

Today's life lesson is, if I want to get anything done for the rest of the morning, don't have biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I more or less dragged myself home afterward and wanted a nap until the caffeine cut through the carbs. At which point began the quilt-washing saga.

After I got the quilts washed, I came home and did the domestic laundry. It ended up being only two loads (I would have sworn it was three), but the last of it is in the dryer now, and I feel accomplished. Especially since while the first load was in the wash, I sat down and typed out the minutes from the chorus committee meeting last Monday. Now I can stop remembering to do that. I spent so much of this week at work wrestling with Standard 2 that the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was type anything else.

The cats are much happier with low 60s than they were with low 90s. I still wish we'd had a thunderstorm, though. The one I slept through on Thursday night doesn't count, because I slept through it.
dchenes: (katana)
On Friday I walked into a conference room at 8:30 AM and walked out again at 4:30 PM with my brain leaking out of my ears. In between, I took notes on CODA Standard 2. After dinner when I finally had enough brain to do it, I took the vacuum cleaner apart as far as possible to try to figure out why it was making a new high-pitched shrieking noise. I cleaned out everything I could get to, and the belt doesn't seem to be the problem, although cleaning out the innards seems to have helped a little. So I probably need a new vacuum cleaner, if I can't get the motor looked at. Who the hell repairs 13-year-old Bissell uprights?

On Saturday I hauled myself out of the house eventually and went grocery shopping, and took very careful note of all the other non-grocery shopping I needed to do, and didn't do it. I vacuumed the living room and the bedroom and cleaned the bathroom and hung around rotting my brain playing Two Dots. And I bought a new Kate Rusby album and discovered that learning new songs is still fun even if I don't do it in voice lessons.

Yesterday it rained, finally, and I waited until it stopped and then didn't go buy a new vacuum cleaner. I did, however, go to Star Market (for the first time in ages; last time I needed cleaning supplies, I went to Target after work) and the Super 88 (since I was in the neighborhood, y'know) and TJ Maxx because the towels I've been using since 1993 have now officially fallen apart, and bFresh because they have my favorite flavor of Epic bars (bison, bacon and cranberry). So I came home with TP and alphabet noodles and Japanese candy and towels and Epic bars. Successful trip even though I didn't do anything about the vacuum cleaner. And then I came home and did laundry, and thereby ensured that I got to put on not-dry-yet pants this morning. It's like putting on a damp bathing suit. Some day I will learn to wash those pants on Saturday afternoon at the latest if I want to wear them on Monday.

Some day I will also learn never to sync my iPod after 8:00 at night, especially if I have to be at work at 7:45 the next morning. I wanted to put Kate Rusby on my iPod so I can keep learning new songs (mostly After This and The Youthful Boy), so I plugged it into my computer at 10:00 (after charging it enough to bring it back from the dead), and it wanted a software update. So, OK, that's about 20 minutes downloading and updating. And then the fun started, because it wanted to use an Apple ID from at least ten years ago to sync old stuff. And then it insisted that my new computer wasn't authorized to sync that stuff. So an hour of arguing later, I finally figured it out (although I still haven't sorted it out, and something is still using the old Apple ID and thinks I've authorized 4 of the allowable 5 devices to use whatever it is it's using. Since I only have three current devices, and the old Apple ID doesn't exist anywhere I can get to and unauthorize anything, I gave up.). So I went to bed at 11:30 with my iPod containing everything it should.

So at 11:15 I walk into the bedroom and discover that after nine years, Lily has finally decided to attempt to sleep in the clean laundry. But she hadn't gotten the hang of it yet, because she tipped over the laundry basket and was sleeping against the stack of folded shirts. By the time I woke up this morning, she had figured it out and was sleeping on top of a blue shirt in the tipped-over laundry basket. Silly beast. It was good sleeping weather last night, at least; I myself slept in my bed, instead of on top of the blanket, for the first time in two weeks. And Snip slept on the blanket instead of on the floor.
dchenes: (katana)
Life Lesson #9472: Turnovers are like cider donuts. You haven't had a good turnover until you've had a hot one.

Life Lesson #9473: It might be a good idea to wait longer than ten minutes after the turnovers come out of the oven before you try to bite one.

Unfortunately, now I know how easy it is to make turnovers with storebought puff pastry. This is not a habit I should get into. (But I want to try apricot ones next time; these were blueberry.)
dchenes: (katana)
Life lesson #9254: If a glass bottle is allowed to break into little tiny shards, you'll never find all of them unless you walk around barefoot in the area they're in. (At least I only got one in my foot.) I hope I've found all of them at this point, because getting them out of my foot is one thing, but getting them out of feline feet would be a whole other problem. (Actually, Lily would probably let me. Snip, on the other hand (foot?)...)

I've been having a lot of fairly disturbing dreams lately. I never remember them, but I do remember waking up in the middle of the night for the last couple of nights and thinking "I don't want to keep dreaming about that." I wish whatever my brain is working on would sort itself out. I know I'm ready for this academic year to be over, and the fact that it isn't over until July isn't helping.

I also wish somebody, somewhere, whoever it is, would get off their ass and do something about the position regrade I was told was starting under review last fall. I haven't heard thing one about it since, and neither has my boss as of last month. It wouldn't mean I get any more money, but at this point I pretty much don't care. I just want somebody to acknowledge that there's more work involved in this job than there was when they invented it. It doesn't really help that it's the end of the performance review cycle and I'm fighting the urge to be sarcastic about the job description that appears on the evaluation forms. "Sweeping generalities" just about begins to cover it. (Insert standard rant here about how worthwhile the whole performance review system isn't.)

Speaking of things worthwhile, I finally get to work on the Flower Duet in my voice lessons. I, of course, am singing the mezzo part, and apparently the woman singing the soprano part can't sing any note lower than the highest note in the mezzo part (which is G5. The B flat above that is as high as I go.). This ought to be interesting.
dchenes: (Default)
Don't sneeze while dispensing dry cat food into a bowl sitting on a wire storage shelf. You'll miss the bowl and pour the cat food right through the shelf and all over the floor. The cats will not eat off the floor.
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Good idea: making my cheeseburger craving shut up.

Bad idea: making my cheeseburger craving shut up in Harvard Square, today. The traffic between there and home is at least 30% UHaul trucks, and at least another 30% people who don't know how to drive in Boston. (How dumb do you have to be to run a red light and subsequently play chicken with the Green line?)
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Good idea: making gazpacho for (part of) this week's lunch.

Bad idea: putting the last empty container on top of the filled ones.

REALLY bad idea: stacking up the filled containers in the blender base, for lack of room on the counter, and putting the empty one on top to fill it.

Result: one pint of gazpacho on the filled containers, the counter, the wire rack holding up the counter, the floor, the wall, the coffee maker, the container of coffee beans, the blender base, and me.

Now I have to go figure out what's for the rest of lunch this week, and figure out if I can salvage the blender base, which has gazpacho in its innards. I think it might be easier to buy a new blender.
dchenes: (Default)
Life Lesson #5974: You're crazy if you think you can get a Zipcar on half an hour's notice on the Saturday of a three-day weekend.

I finally gave up the "buy a 48" butcher block and saw the end off it to fit the 41 3/4" shelves" idea, and bought 18 x 36" shelves and a butcher block top for those. Having bought them, I had to get them home, and I hadn't quite thought that through. I had originally wanted to get them delivered, but not for $45, thank you. The options were cab (I hate cabs) and Zipcar, and as it turns out, the chances of getting ahold of a Zipcar were Ha, and Ha Ha. So the cab cost me $10, and now I've got counter space in the kitchen in case I want to cook anything involving a lot of chopping up ingredients or messing around with dough. Yay!

I also got my hair cut this morning, and got sorted out with my new hairstylist exactly what I want, and got it this time. (And got three or four apologies for last time, too.) And then I went downtown in search of pants, and was thoroughly disappointed with Macy's, and discovered I'm exactly the wrong shape all over for Eddie Bauer pants, and stopped in the hardware store on the way home, which led to the learning of Life Lesson #5974.

And then I came home and opened the electric bill for this month, which amounts to the grand sum of $24. I can't remember the last time I had an electric bill that low. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this apartment?
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Some things I've learned lately:

1. If I'm being grumpy, I should get out of the house and do something, preferably with somebody else.

2. I'm going to run out of silk floss before I get done with my current embroidery project.

3. However, that's not a major emergency, because there's a stitching store in Arlington to which I can go on the bus (but not tomorrow; they're closed and I have other things to do in Arlington tomorrow).

4. The walk-sign buttons at Columbus Ave and Heath Street don't work in either direction.

I'm reasonably sure that nobody other than me really needs to know any of that stuff, but I typed it out for my own edification.
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Life lesson #7864: Dying one's own hair is a pain when one has a fairly large amount of hair.

Life lesson #7865: If I want to be a redhead again, I'm going to have to have it done by somebody who knows what they're doing.

The long story is, the red from last month was growing out from the top and fading out from the streak, so I decided I would re-dye it myself. I bought something that looked, from all indications, like it would come out right. What it came out with wasn't bad, but isn't red any more either. It's darker brown than my natural color, with a lot of red in it. (So basically, it's my sister's natural color.)

When I get my tax refund back, I'm going back to red again. The hair salon I generally go to here is pretty good with color, but not with style.

I'm supposed to be doing productive academic things today, but I need to do laundry and I want to do nothing.

A list, for my own reference:

-Clean up press release draft
-Find parallel texts for letter
-Clean up case study draft
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As it turned out, doing laundry yesterday was so exhausting that I didn't do much of anything afterward. The actual doing of the laundry wasn't so bad, but the hauling of two pillowcases and a laundry bag, all full, down to the laundromat and back on foot in hot, humid weather was Not Fun. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had a full bottle of laundry soap to deal with too; that stuff is bloody heavy! Laundry by itself isn't heavy as much as it is awkward.

I did survive, of course. I'm about as sore as I used to get the day after going climbing, and most of the soreness seems to have settled in my left shoulder. At least it's the good kind of sore, the "you used these muscles for once" kind, as opposed to the "you did something stupid and now you're going to have to heal for a week" kind.

The lesson learned is, the next time I have to do laundry, I shouldn't throw all the bedding and towels in with it unless I have wheels to put under it.
dchenes: (Default)
Life lesson #6648: Paper is slippery when you step on it.

Life lesson #6649: Other objects can hide under papers.

Life lesson #6650: Oyster crackers fly very well.

The long version: Last night I got up from my desk, stepped on a pile of paper, tripped over either the papers or the sandal hiding under the pile, twisted my foot, and managed to toss a handful of oyster crackers all over the room. I wound up sitting on the floor thinking "Well, that was interesting." Juddging by the results, oyster crackers fly even better than Cocoa Puffs.

Therefore, I had damn well better stop procrastinating and get the piles of paper off the floor, or I had better watch where I put my feet when I get up from my desk. Or both.
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Today's lesson is, Do not mess with me when I'm eating my first actual meal in about 24 hours.

That is all.
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Today I've accomplished a whole mess of administrative running around, making phone calls, etc. Over the last two days I've also learned the following:

25 lb. of kitty litter lasts a little less than a week.
The pet store has 50 lb. bags of kitty litter.

It's physically impossible to order office chairs because they have to conform to fire codes, so all new chairs have to be custom-built.

Laughing may be good for you, but it's hard to get to sleep after you've been laughing so hard you feel ill.

Yahoo Messenger is yet another good way to waste time.

It's a lot easier to fall into watching too much TV when you and the TV live on the same floor again.
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Life Lesson #2378: If you discover that your dishwasher is broken, unload it and wash the dishes yourself. (I'm trying not to think about the mildew factory I found in there yesterday.)

Life Lesson #2378a: That goes double for wooden spoons. (I threw a couple out. The spots were never going to come off.)

Life Lesson #2379: 10:30 PM is not the time to eat half a bar of really good chocolate if you haven't had caffeine for three weeks and you want to get to sleep before half past midnight.

I've got to stop getting takeout Chinese food for lunch on Tuesdays. They don't empty the trash in here on Tuesday nights so the takeout sits in the trash and smells funny. I complained about this once and got exactly no response.

I still haven't looked up "Prayers of Steel", so today's poem is postponed till tomorrow.
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