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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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Lily didn't need any teeth pulled. I guess she just needed a piece of tartar knocked off one of her upper right molars, because she's back to being happy about that side of her face again. She's also the poster child for methimazole. The internet says long-term medication will shorten her lifespan a bit, but she's 11 already, so I bet she'll get to 14. Besides, the internet isn't always right, and besides that, Lily can't read, so she doesn't know she's supposed to have a slightly shorter lifespan.

I spent the afternoon at the aquarium, because I wanted to do that anyway and it was a good excuse to haul myself out of my chair and go somewhere with air conditioning. I objected to the whole "get dressed properly" bit, but I did it anyway, and had a good time once I got there. If I ever went insane and wanted a salt-water aquarium, I think I would want a hogfish. The big ones look like Muppets to me. Of course, in order to have a fish that big, I would have to have an aquarium the size of my bathroom, so it will never happen.

What might happen, if I ever hear back from the seller (it's Craigslist, so possibly I won't), is I might end up spending my $500 bonus from last week on a $400 student trumpet. I've wanted a trumpet since I gave up the trombone, and I gave up the trombone because it's in bass clef and my head is in treble. (Six years of clarinet and however many years of singing higher than tenor will do that.) A trumpet is in treble, and doesn't take up as much space as a trombone does. And besides, if I can play the trumpet I could play bits of Fanfare for the Common Man, and the Great Gate of Kiev, and half of Vivaldi's Trumpet Concerto, and the trumpet fanfare that starts Apollo 13, and some other things that have always made me wish I were a brass player so I could do that. I looked at Rayburn Music's sale page, but I'm not willing to pay $1200 for a trumpet I don't know how to play yet anyway.

The weather map says there's a squall line bearing down on us. I wish it would get here and change the air for a little while at least.
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Oog. I seem to have picked the worst two days this week to be at home (Thursday and Friday; supposed to be HUMID again). But I was also told not to come to work on July 3, because my boss doesn't know why the school isn't closed in the first place. (Because it's a Monday and the second year students want all the clinic time they can get. And because it's summer and nobody thought of it.)

I can't quite recite the entirety of Standard 2 yet, but I've just been through it for at least the fourth time this month, and I'm sick of it. I have to go back through it a fifth time and sort out the syntax in about 35 Pathways to Competency sections, and a sixth time to make sure all the course numbers are both correct and included where they should be. And probably a couple more times as I run across other things that have to be consistent through 300 pages and most likely aren't.

As a break from Standard 2, I wrote the third draft of the Scope of General Dentistry statement, because the second draft (which I didn't write) was a single impenetrable sentence. I wrote the first draft too. (Just don't ask me why I, as Curriculum Coordinator, wrote the Scope of General Dentistry statement. It belongs to Clinical Affairs, but nobody in Clinical Affairs was going to admit they should be writing it, and my boss asked me to, that's why.)

Tomorrow is Lily's eleventh birthday, according to the vet records she came to me with. I hope she doesn't end up getting more dental surgery as a birthday present on Thursday, but I only hope so because it wouldn't be any fun for her. I can afford it, and if it needs doing so she can eat happily, it needs doing. Quality of life is important.

I wish I knew what to do about my own quality of life, because my life is accreditation so much that I dream about work more often than not these days. I'm almost afraid to try drinking alcohol at bedtime, because if it works, I don't want to need to drink before bed.
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The Boston Music Intelligencer reviewed our concert, and said "More diction." In Sanders, you can't be on the stage and hear what the audience hears (or doesn't). I suggested we should circulate a few people per section through the house when we rehearse in there, so "more diction" will actually mean something to more of us, as opposed to being something the conductor says five or six times per rehearsal all semester, so we stop listening when he says it.

I have had it up to the eyebrows with responsible adulthood, and it's only Wednesday. This week the Gainful Employment subdivision of Responsible Adulthood needs to be good for more things than providing food, shelter, and payments for utilities, so I'm running off to the movies (Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2) tonight, rather than going home and doing the rest of the laundry.

Speaking of washing, I've ruined one of my favorite things about having a cat who hunts. These days Lily won't go into the bathroom voluntarily unless I'm in the bathtub (in which case there's no chance that the vet will descend upon her), so she won't come hunt grillonpedes in the tub. And I am damn well not getting into the tub myself if there's a grillionpede in it. Which, this morning, there was, and it was very large. And I had to flush it down the drain myself. Harumpf.

I have to make an appointment for Lily to have blood drawn sometime next month. She seems to be doing OK in all the observable-by-owner categories (eating, using the litterbox, sleeping, reminding Snip who's in charge, generally acting like herself), but I have no way of knowing what her internal chemistry is up to.

Snip got a claw stuck in the masking tape around my embroidery last night, and even that didn't convince her she needs a manicure. She does, desperately, but she's rather like Granny Weatherwax in terms of things she can't be having with.
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So I can say I got things done today, here's what I got done today (so far):

- Made a "raincoat" for the massive framed embroidery out of trash bags and scotch tape
- Dressed the embroidery in the raincoat and took it down to my office on the bus, and deposited the embroidery next to my desk and the raincoat in the trash (and made my left shoulder sulky)
- Hiked off to the hardware store at St. Mary's and bought a shower curtain liner
- Hiked off to Trader Joe's and did the grocery shopping
- Wandered through Brookline Booksmith and only bought one book
- Wandered off to Peet's and actually got to sit down for a little while and drink a green tea latte
- Got home and disassembled and put away the collapsible tabletop easel the embroidery had been living on
- Put away the groceries
- Cleaned the litterbox
- Did the dishes
- Replaced the shower curtain liner
- Started the first of two loads of laundry
- Stripped the bed
- Unpacked the second spice rack, which was waiting on the doorstep when I got home, and put the appropriate spice bottles on it

I think I might be forgiven if I take my new book (Sarah Dunant's second volume of historical fiction about the Borgias) and go curl up in the living room with it for the rest of the afternoon, except there are still at least three things I have to do today:

- Put clean sheets on the bed
- Vacuum the living room and office rugs
- Fill up this week's trash bag of clutter

Lily is insisting on helping me type, so I think I'll go bust out the vacuum cleaner so she'll leave me alone. I love her dearly, but I don't need her within three inches of me at all times today.
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Yesterday I got through the day by thinking about what I would do if I took today off. And then I remembered today is Thursday, not Friday, so it doesn't matter because I'd have to go back to work on Friday anyway.

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

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

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

There's still a hole in the side of my cat, but it has shrunk considerably and is trying to grow hair. I think the cat is encouraging the presence of the hole, and we may get to the Cone of Shame some day. Not now, though.
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I didn't go to the Boston women's march, because huge crowds are not my best thing. (Although I was OK with the Patriots game I went to. I think maybe it was because there were seats.) However, I have been thinking about what I can do/should do/want to do about the whole situation. I can't change the whole situation, but I can do something about part of it. The question I keep coming up against is which part. I believe that abortion and gay marriage should remain legal, but apparently my opinion doesn't count on gay marriage because I'm straight. I believe in the Golden Rule and that the Golden Rule should be colorblind, but apparently my opinion doesn't count because I'm white.

I would dearly love to tell one of my straight white relatives-by-marriage to haul his Catholic head out of his Libertarian ass for a minute and think about what happens if abortion is illegal and the country is awash in children their parents can't afford. He objects to abortion, and he's firmly in the "I get mine and I don't pay for anyone else's" camp, and that makes me incredibly angry. If he's going to insist that all children must be born, he damn well can't insist that he doesn't have to help pay for them. End rant.

I'm most of the way through The Pillars of the Earth, and wondering whether pigheadedness was an actual survival skill in 1100s England or whether it's just the way the author thinks. Pigheadedness seems to cross all classes, professions and sexes in the book. No wonder there was a civil war going on?

I bought some disinfectant/anesthetic gel for Lily, and she promptly washed it all off (it's safe for feline consumption). It seems she doesn't want any. Fortunately she seems not to really need it either. I just wish the fur would grow back, because its absence keeps reminding me that there's a hole in the side of my cat. Snip is, as usual, washing the living daylights out of Lily's head, but stopping there.

Remembering the Good Things, the weather on Saturday was a revelation. I feel like it hasn't been sunny on a weekend since before Christmas, so I went out grocery shopping (I had to do that anyway) and indulged myself shamelessly on the way home by going to both JP Licks and Union Square Donuts. And now I have satisfied my sugar craving for the next couple of months. I may have to do something about my chocolate craving eventually, though.

Then I came home and played a complete game of Civ 5 for the first time, and won it by cultural victory. I don't think I've ever won a game by cultural victory before; usually I win by building a spaceship first. Then again, I've never played as the Celts before either. I didn't really intend to spend five and a half hours doing that, but I didn't tweak enough settings to make it shorter, either. Next time I should see if I can tweak the shape of the land masses, because being stuck in the middle of a very long, very narrow continent was a pain in the ass. At least it meant everybody wanted open borders with each other. And I do have to admit it was fun clearing out barbarian axemen by sailing a destroyer up to their islands and going KABLAM.
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Lily's smarter than I am. It appears that she decided the cyst was getting in her way (I watched her not stick a landing on my desk twice on Sunday, and fall off and land on my leg). So she licked a hole in it and hasn't touched it since it drained. If I had known that's what she wanted, I could have drained it for her and it wouldn't have taken two days and a heart attack on my part. This is one of the 1% of the time when I wish she could speak English. The other 99% of the time, I'm glad she doesn't.

My spice rack is ready to be picked up, which of course means I have a chorus committee meeting tonight and can't go pick up the spice rack. But hooray, I should be able to keep track of all my bottled spices! Assuming, of course, that the pantry shelf is adequately flat to cope with a three-tier rack. If all the bottles slide off the front of the rack, I'll be rather severely annoyed. You never can tell with old houses.

I wish Firefox had a "replace Trump pictures with pictures of cats" extension. I don't want to start using Chrome just for that, but I have no desire to look at Trump all over the place for the next however long, either. (Hoping it's less than four years, even though that would take some massive upheavals that most likely wouldn't be good either.) Doesn't even have to be cats. It could be pictures of scenic places, or pictures of food, or pictures of animals other than cats, or...

Short weeks are always longer than regular weeks. I knew that. But today is the middle of a short week and is taking absolutely forever to get over with.
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For some reason I seem to be having a hard time staying asleep lately. Hopefully now that Dr. G has said that Lily probably licked herself into a hot spot, and the cyst is not infected (it went bald and changed colors), I can stop not sleeping on that account. All the rest of the current accounts will be over after October. I hope.

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

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

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

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

Since it was a good day for it (to wit, raining), I made turkey stock yesterday after the vet excitement. All I had for carrots was purple ones, and the stock consequently came out darker than usual, but not actually purple. I'm glad in the long run, although I was a little disappointed yesterday; there are some kinds of purple soup I can deal with (fruit, or borscht), but purple turkey soup isn't one of them.
dchenes: (katana)
Oh, I wish I hadn't come to work today. But if I hadn't, I would be getting this case of ulcers with even less time to do anything about it, so I suppose it's good I'm doing it now. Suffice it to say that the Advanced Surgical Treatment course is mine to schedule again. It starts on January 30 and the course director's department still wants nothing to do with it. The course director himself probably wants nothing to do with it beyond showing up and giving lectures once in a while, because he's only here to see patients two days a week anyway. And now I have to make space in the course for six or seven half-day treatment planning exam sessions. As I say, good thing I found out about this before the winter break, because now I need a vacation.

At least my boss told the medical school that they were absolutely not moving the oral health session from February 8 to January 18. No way could I have sorted that one out in 15 days after break. Even assuming we could get supplies for 200 students ordered, received, and sorted out, I couldn't have gotten enough faculty supervisors.

Lily went and got sneaky on me. She knows I watch her eat her pill pocket, so she does that...and then when I think she's done, and stop watching her, she spits out the pill. Fortunately the pills crush fairly nicely, so now she's getting crushed-up pill mixed with mangled pill pocket in the morning, and crushed-up pill on her wet food for dinner. I'm supposed to be smarter than she is, right?

My great-aunt Gabrielle turns 100 sometime soon (if not already; I don't think I ever knew when in December her birthday is). Sometime in her 80s she was in a car accident, and it kicked off some kind of dementia. As of yesterday she doesn't recognize anybody and has lost her hearing, but can still speak French. But because she can't remember anything, she doesn't worry about anything, and her heart and lungs are still good. She could keep living for another fifteen years. I keep wondering whether that's a reasonable thing to hope for in my old age. It's hard on her kids, but I don't have any for it to be hard on.

The heat is still working (as it should) and I am still very grateful every time it goes WHOOSH. Being cold might have been building character, but I really truly hate it. So I'm grateful every time I come home and I can tell the heat has gone WHOOSH recently.
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)
As of yesterday, Lily's thyroid has practically stopped working, so now I get to give her a quarter of a little tiny pill twice a day instead of half. I went and bought a pill splitter because I've been cutting the pills with a paring knife up to now (the pills have a convenient line through the middle), but the bits can tend to go shooting off across the counter and I'll never find them if they're smaller than halves. At least Lily has put on half a pound in two weeks and has perfectly normal blood pressure. You take a cat's blood pressure the same way you take a human's, to wit: with a teeny blood pressure cuff around a front leg. (Or at least that's how Dr. G does it.)

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

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

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself next week when life goes back to sleep/work/eat/repeat/weekend. Maybe I'll get better sleep. Or maybe I'll finally get out of that tree, embroidery-wise. After last week, I'm almost there.
dchenes: (katana)
The universe tried to drown me at least twice last night: first in the rain (my fault, I completely missed the fact that it was going to rain all day and didn't bother with an umbrella), and then after I got home and dried off, my seltzer exploded up my nose. Just to spite the universe, I refused to drown in the bathtub. But this morning I did have to put on pants that hadn't dried yet after being washed last night. Putting on a damp bathing suit is worse, but damp pants on a grey Wednesday morning aren't thrilling.

Speaking of thrilling, Marlene is gone, and I would really like to know (a) when and (b) how. Sometime between Monday night and this morning is as far as I can narrow down the time, and I didn't have time this morning to persuade Lily to let me poke around. I haven't found any blood or any other unpleasantness (which I assume Marlene was full of) anywhere, and a cyst that size doesn't reabsorb overnight. File under "things I will maybe find out six months from now when I've stopped thinking about them".

I wonder how much rain we got last night?
dchenes: (katana)
Lily is "solidly hyperthyroid". Normal T4 is 1-2, and hers is 6. So, commenceth the pills. And maybe someday I'll have a radioactive cat. But we start with the pills.

I decided to vote this morning instead of tonight, because the line is usually a bit shorter in the morning and it gets cold when it gets dark, and since this weekend it gets dark too bloody early. But today the line was backed up all the way past the bus shelter, so it probably added up to at least a block long by the time it went down the sidewalk, back and forth on the walkway into the polling place (elderly housing), up to the door, down the hall and into the actual room the voting happens in.

I need something to be cheerful about, because politics ain't it, and Lily's health ain't it (I feel bad, even though it's treatable, and she isn't acting sick), and work ain't it.
dchenes: (katana)
I can has assistant! I guess I had better learn to be somebody who has an assistant.

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

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

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

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

This is where I hope Dr. Gransky will tell me I'm being a Paranoid Pet Parent, but I think Lily is having teeth issues again because she doesn't want the right side of her jaw scritched any more. If the teeth need surgical intervention, I'm inclined to ask him to take Marlene (a benign cyst which is now ping-pong-ball-size) off while Lily's asleep. Marlene was drained last November when she was grape-size and these things get bigger when they fill up again, so I want her removed rather than drained, if anything. I wish Lily were a human so we could just do local anesthesia and remove it. Maybe I'll ask about that anyway.
dchenes: (katana)
A lot of that work I didn't get done last week has gotten done this week, to the extent of 940 collected pages of supporting documents. And 140 pages of actual narrative report. I am now at the point where I can't skip anything because the fact that I skipped it will get lost in the morass until the site visitors find it missing, so whatever I don't have is holding up the whole rest of the works.

Meanwhile I am also proofreading large parts of a NIH grant application. I don't know who wrote the draft I'm reading, but they seem to have an allergy to the word "the". I can't say I understand the science (it's a diabetes/endocrine theory) but the general idea is pretty nifty and will be even niftier if it works. And I will leave it at that since I'm not sure how much of it is confidential at this point.

Anyway, the Devious Plot from last weekend came together enough to get me to Noank on Saturday, but then it fell apart some when it proceeded to rain absolutely all day on Sunday. I had planned for it to rain in the morning and let up in the afternoon. But, rain be damned, I went and saw the Viking ship anyway. It involved standing in line in the rain for most of an hour, but I had borrowed Mom's raincoat. The part after I returned the raincoat and hung around outdoors at the train station for three hours, because the indoors was closed and the train was two hours late, was pretty much no fun at all. Fortunately the outdoors at least had a roof on it, and the cafe car still had coffee when I finally got on the train, so I bought and consumed two cups of coffee and was almost thawed out by the time I got home. On the cheery side, I did get some decent pictures of the Viking ship even though it was raining all over my camera. The Minister of Convenience owes me one, though, so it had better not rain this Sunday. (At least if it does, I'll be in the company of almost 70,000 people all in the same situation, and misery loves company.)

As of today I am finally out of soup. I have chicken and tomatoes and a can of black beans, and I might put together something in the chili family, but not tonight. I always seem to get good ideas and then run slap into chorus rehearsal on Wednesday, and then by Thursday the motivation is gone and I never actually act on the idea. Come to think of it, I'm out of homemade soup stock too. Lily will be ecstatic if I make bland soup stock (just poultry, salt and pepper) and save the poultry skin for her. She's taken to hollering her head off every time I set foot in the kitchen, just in case there's any more leftover chicken skin and I forgot about it. We ran out three days ago, though, so hollering isn't going to get her anywhere. At least not until I make soup stock again, anyway.
dchenes: (katana)
My workspace is an L shape, and the corner is three feet deep. I have been trying for three years now to figure out what to do with all that wasted space. Mostly it's got phone cable and dust in it, and my computer in front of it hiding the phone cable and the dust.

Speaking of wasted space, my 10 drawers of filing cabinet should really be two 3-drawer filing cabinets and a set of storage cupboards. I've wanted to get the skulls out of the filing cabinets for two years now. They take up two and a half drawers and the only reason they're in there is because the filing cabinets lock. (Hm. That gives me an idea about the now-unused tutorial materials lockers, which also lock, and are currently harboring books I could lock up in the china-cabinet-size library. And I have to find someplace to put the dissection instruments...) I should bring a tape measure to work tomorrow and start writing things down.

The good news is, if I have time to think about things like that, it means I'm not thinking about the actual anatomy course.

On the home front, Lily has discovered the "stick a foot through the holes in the laundry basket and swat anything that happens to be out there" game. I may have to buy a cat toy with feathers on it, so she can swat that. She has also trained me to put a junk towel over the folded laundry if I'm not going to put it away immediately, so she can shed on the towel rather than on the laundry. Fortunately she thinks towels are perfectly acceptable sleeping surfaces.

This week's batch of frittatas are Italian sweet sausage, parmesan and oregano, and reasonably tasty although I really wanted breakfast sausage rather than Italian. It's nice that I only needed two sausages for a dozen frittatas, and it's also nice that I didn't quite cook this batch to death (I utterly loathe runny eggs, so I cooked the everloving daylights out of last week's batch and discovered how much was too much). The next batch will be smoked salmon and dill and possibly grated potato if I can figure that out. Potatoes always have more water in them than I expect.
dchenes: (katana)
I got bitten by the cooking bug yesterday, so ended up making potato and green bean curry (came out mushy, because I haven't made it in several years, but I got the flavor right) and muffin-tin frittatas (sundried tomato, basil and cheddar). A dozen large eggs comes out to 11.3 frittatas. I guess I'll have to spring for the extortionately expensive free range organic extra omega-3 extra large eggs, next time. Or I could go to a third grocery store and try to find regular extra large eggs. I do have to admit it's nice to go from a mostly empty refrigerator to one that has a week of lunch and a week of dinner in it.

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

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

Since the interviews that didn't happen last Friday are happening today, maybe I'll take this Friday off. Finally. I've been trying to take a Friday off since August 12 and haven't been able to yet.
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