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September can still fuck off, but at least I'm not despairing about it so much.

As long as I was hemorrhaging money anyway, I ordered two new pairs of jeans and two more shirts of a sort I already like. That way I'll have jeans that don't fit in the "waist slightly large and legs slightly long" department, rather than the "melted down and poured into these pants, and not entirely sure I should wear them in public" department.

The only thing I've done to the CODA Tertiary Binders in the last two days is put tabs in them, so they're not depending on my 48 purple post-its in each binder staying put for document-identifying purposes. Now I feel better.

If Dad isn't out of the hospital by the end of tomorrow, I expect he's going to let somebody hear about it. He was feeling better yesterday, but they wanted to give him a stress test and didn't get around to it until yesterday afternoon and this morning.

The place I sent my old phone to for recycling received it, per UPS, four days ago. Yesterday they sent me an email saying they didn't have it yet. As of sometime overnight, they found it. So now I'm going to get a $215 Apple Store gift card in return, and I'm seriously considering blowing most of it on AirPods. That will solve the "Play button on headphones turned itself on while in bag, and drained iPod battery" problem, which I get around by not keeping headphones connected to the iPod and untying massive knots in the headphones whenever I want to reconnect them.

I'm not positive the iPod is new enough to connect to AirPods. Since music is all I use it for, I'm perfectly happy to nuke the whole iPod, install whichever iOS version it wants for AirPods, and put the music back on it. That'll be a nice weekend project. (Because if I try to do it on a weeknight, it will for some unforeseen reason take five or six hours and I won't be able to go to bed until it's done.)
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Friday the 13th has fallen on September in general, financially speaking. Hopefully after this week, I won't be spending several hundred dollars every couple of days. I suppose I could have held off on the new phone ($750), but I did need new contact lenses ($225) and the repairs to my laptop ($480) are still cheaper than a new laptop. And September is when I have to renew the pet insurance, which will probably be another $450 or so (edit: $850, sigh) on account of both cats now being "senior". I can afford all this, but it doesn't usually happen in a clump. The contact lenses would have happened in June if it hadn't been for CODA; I didn't have time to go to the eye doctor in June, so I did it in August, and it took me until September to get tired of 1-800-CONTACTS sending me reminders. (edit: at least I can get a rebate on the contact lenses as long as I buy a postage stamp and wait 6-8 weeks.)

My boss has a phone case I adore; it's got a pull-out section on the back with three credit card slots. I invested in one myself and put my T pass in it, and discovered this morning that the phone picks up some sort of data from the card reader on the bus, because the phone was offering to let me use Apple Pay (which won't work on the T). If that gets annoying enough, I can put my T pass back in my wallet, I guess. It just amuses me how technology tries to be helpful with no context whatsoever.

Since my laptop is elsewhere (dead/dying thermal sensor, requires replacing the entire top case), this morning I spent the time I would usually spend reading email making Snip extremely confused. She's been sitting under the kitchen window lately and looking up, so I picked her up and put her in the windowsill and she couldn't figure out where to put her feet. But then she discovered Food TV. She plastered herself to the screen for the next ten minutes, and ducked every time a pigeon came down from the roof. I wonder if she'll try to get up there herself now that she knows what goes on when she's up there. She did get down by herself when I offered to do it for her. Lily was confused too, because up until this morning, the kitchen windowsill was her sovereign territory. When she came into the kitchen and found Snip in the window, she actually meowed at me.

I managed to turn off the Word Document Gallery when I open the program, but it keeps coming up when I want a new document and the program is already open. This is approaching Clippy levels of helpful.
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Sometime next week or the week after next, the IT department will take this computer away, nuke the hard drive, and start over. I need them to do that because Outlook has been broken for at least a couple of years now and the Exchange server decided two weeks ago that Mac Mail is persona non grata, so I've been stuck with web mail, and web mail sucks diseased donkeys if you're trying to search for something in your inbox. Because nuking the hard drive will nuke everything that isn't on the network, 95% of my desktop is now on the network and my desktop is looking positively naked.

Sorted out the reimbursement for sending stuff to New Zealand. It got rejected the first time, I suspect because the finance office couldn't believe the amount. I had submitted a photo of the actual receipt, so yes, it did cost $768, and I want it back.

I'm making a list of things to be Up To while I'm off work and not going to medical appointments. What I will not be Up To includes anything more to do with anybody's H1B paperwork, which I just KNEW was going to land on me despite my having nothing to do with interviewing or hiring this person. My assistant isn't quite detail-oriented enough to be trusted with it (which has made my life more interesting than it maybe should have been for the last couple of months, besides).

This coming year I have got to take some "how to be a manager" training. I still haven't got a clue how to do that, beyond "tell somebody what you want them to do and help them do it rather than doing it yourself". I managed not to have a performance review on time this year because I was too busy performing, but I can't get away with not having one, so it will have to happen eventually.
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Better. Rugs is vacuumed, ant invasion is over (I hope; I haven't seen any ants since Wednesday), computer is backed up, router seems to be behaving, laundry is sorted. Floors need swiffering and mopping and laundry needs doing, in that order so I don't have to mop around the drying rack, but at least I don't feel quite so much like I live in a pit tangled up with a mass of cat hair and rug fuzz and broken technology.

There's nothing wrong with my computer. The Computer Loft ran a bunch of tests on it and said it was possibly the router, and to try resetting that before I call RCN and spend half my life on hold so they can tell me to unplug it and plug it back in again. So I came home and unplugged the router and plugged it back in again, and tried it, and it wasn't having any. But this morning, when I was resigned to calling RCN, it all behaved perfectly well. I do not understand technology. (And I actually like RCN, especially compared to the other option, which is Comcast.)

I broke down and ordered a DVD bookcase because I am so tired of having more DVDs than I have shelf space. The extra ones do not belong on top of the cable box; it annoys me to see them there, and I have enough other things to be annoyed about and enough money to throw at the problem, so that's what I did. I've found myself not thinking so much about money lately, which is new and different. I used to think about it in the context of not having much at all, and then I gradually started thinking about it in the context of having enough to be able to do things that made me happy but weren't absolutely necessary, and now I'm sort of taking having a certain amount of it for granted. Which is probably a bad idea. I was prepared to throw several hundred dollars at computer repairs, having already thrown several hundred dollars at Lily's blood test earlier this month. That would have been impossible when I was young, and inconvenient five years ago, but now I'm OK with it and I'm not sure I should be.

I am, however, allowed to go spend my birthday gift card for Brookline Booksmith, so I think I'll do that today. Books make me happy, even if they do take up space. I have two largish boxes of books that need new homes. I still want to start the ODE Non-Dental Book Swap Shelf, but I never get around to it. Maybe I'll sneak in some weekend and start it.
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Friday I went back to the post office, again, and they almost didn't find my mail. Whoever filled out the card indicated it was a letter, but it was actually a "large envelope", so they didn't find it because they were looking in the wrong place. Anyway, the contents were what I thought they were, and the upshot is I cashed out my $500 401K that I can't do anything else with, and will get about $340 by the time it gets done with fees and taxes. Whee.

Then I treated myself to a bagel with butter and jam for breakfast (strawberry jam, thank you), went home and filled out the paperwork to cash out the 401K, ironed the Less Is More embroidery and went out again to mail the paperwork and get the embroidery framed. The woman who owned the Washington Square Fast Frame franchise has retired and the new guy admitted he knows next to nothing about framing embroidery. So now I need a new framer, because when I get the cat-in-tree piece done, I'm not letting him have it.

After that I trotted off to Coolidge Corner to go grocery shopping for odds and ends, and book shopping (I did finally buy the book about the Gulag, even though it's depressing) and stopped for ice cream while I was down there. Sometimes I just want ice cream. Then I went home and made mushroom cheeseburger bake, as follows:

Cook one cup of raw rice in the rice cooker. While that's going, fry a pound or so of hamburger with smoked salt, pepper, garlic and sage, and remove the meat from the pan. Fry two boxes of sliced mushrooms in the drippings with more garlic and more sage. Put meat, mushrooms and rice in a baking dish and let it all cool off while grating a ridiculous amount of sharp cheddar cheese. Add cheese to cooled-off other stuff, combine thoroughly, top with panko and bake at 350 for half an hour. Hit the spot when warm, and sticks to the ribs quite well when cold.

On Saturday I did the laundry and wandered off through Coolidge Corner again to do the real grocery shopping. I must have done things other than grocery shopping and laundry, but I don't remember offhand what they were.

Yesterday I finally figured out why I hate vacuuming so much; it's because the bags that are supposed to fit my vacuum cleaner have a 1.5" diameter hole, and the inlet they're supposed to fit on has a 2" diameter. Every time I vacuum, I have to argue with the bags. I hate that. So I went off to Target in a towering rage and bought a bagless vacuum cleaner. Then, of course, I had to walk from Target to Kenmore and from Washington Street to home with a box 2/3 as tall as I am, with one heavy end. My arms didn't like that very much, and they still don't like it today, but they can suck up (ha ha, since they were carrying a vacuum cleaner) and deal.

I assembled the new vacuum cleaner and vacuumed the rugs, and observed that the new one is quieter and more maneuverable than the old one, and fluffs up the rugs instead of beating them flat. And it also sucks up cat hair and other stuff. So it was worth the sore arms.

Along with most of the rest of Boston, I watched at least some of the Super Bowl. I shut it off when the score got to 21-0, because I wasn't having any fun. I spent the rest of the evening merfing around online and keeping an eye on the score. Good thing I recorded it, because it turned into a game halfway through the third quarter. I'm really happy for all the veterans (Long, Van Noy, Hogan, Bennett, etc.) who came to the Patriots this year from one or more bad teams and suddenly found themselves winning the Super Bowl. (OK, maybe Buffalo isn't that bad, but Rex Ryan can take a long walk off a short pier.) And I really wanted the Patriots to win because I wanted something to be happy about that didn't involve ingesting any calories.

The phone spam people have come around to my number again. I've gotten six spam calls since Friday. If I ran the universe, all spam calls would go to an answering service consisting of 30 seconds of air horn. Not that that would make them stop, but it would make me feel better.
dchenes: (Default)
Nothing like going out with a grocery list consisting of coffee, cat food and stuffed grape leaves, and coming home with:

- Coffee
- Stuffed grape leaves
- Lemons
- Mushrooms
- Downeast Cider (might as well see what the fuss is about)
- Garlic oil
- Bacon jam
- Carnitas
- Chickpeas
- White beans

And, of course, no cat food because they were out of the right kind.

I decided not to buy what looked like an interesting book about the Soviet gulags, because right now I'm not in the mood for absolutely everything I read to be depressing.

Speaking of depressing, since the weather decided to be solid overcast, I decided to get all the other depressing stuff over with today, and did my taxes and the laundry and paid the bills. Laundry isn't all that depressing except for how long it takes the air-dry stuff to actually dry, but it keeps me at home because I don't go out while the dryer is running. It hasn't set the place on fire yet, but I don't quite trust it not to try. And actually, taxes aren't so much depressing as "get them over with as soon as possible and don't think about them again until next winter". I ended up getting the usual chunk of refund, so that's nice. But there are definitely things I would rather be doing.

I'm not going to California in March. Next year, when I'm not in charge of the oral surgery course, and the accreditation insanity is over, and the meeting is in Orlando, I'll go. I do want to decide where I'm going next, though. And when. The When is the hard part, because give me a time period between now and mid-October and I'll give you a reason why going on vacation then wouldn't be a good idea. Eventually "because I need to be Not At Work for a while" is going to be a better reason than any of the others, but that's not the case just yet. I've maxed out my accruable vacation (again), though, so I should probably use up some of it.
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Today's excitement consists of writing a business plan for a two-year MMSc in Dental Education program. Because we're not doing enough things around here right now with the DMD curriculum change and the accreditation self-study, of course. (Don't mind me, I'm grumpy, because I probably know more about curriculum development and dental education research than the prospective students do. But I don't have $100K lying around so I can take the two years to get the piece of paper that says so.)

Speaking of expensive pieces of paper, I suppose I ought to finish filling out all the legal documents and then pay the $1000 to get them witnessed and printed and filed and all that. Might as well get all the depressing stuff over with while it's still dark out before I leave work (which is depressing too). And speaking of depressing, I'm sick of remembering that I don't have a W2 yet so I can't get my taxes done and get on with the business of ignoring tax preparation ads until April.

At least today it might still be warmish out when I leave work. If I ran the universe, urban snow would stick around for precisely long enough to give everybody one day off to build snowmen on school playgrounds with. And then it would be 65 and sunny for a week. I think I miss the sun more than I hate the snow, actually. It seems to me like it hasn't been sunny very much lately.

One of the things I could do to maybe help with the lack of sunshine is stop reading depressing books. I got through Time's Arrow by Martin Amis, but only because it was short. I'm giving up on Until I Find You, which is by John Irving (I always want to say John Updike, but I'm always wrong) and which I also got from the FB book exchange. I kind of liked the first hundred pages or so, but after that, suspending disbelief got to be too much work and it's an 800-page book. I guess I should stick my head in Brookline Booksmith and invest in Babylon's Ashes, which I've been simultaneously looking forward to and putting off buying because I don't want a largish hardcover falling on my face when I fall asleep reading it. The Instant Gratification Monster is getting loud, though, so I think I'm not actually going to wait for the paperback.
dchenes: (katana)
I think I'm running out of cope, because yesterday was the second Sunday afternoon in a month that I lost to a headache. Tension headache, this time, but muscle spasms in the back of my skull don't respond to Advil any better than migraines do. So I didn't get the laundry in the dryer and didn't go grocery shopping and didn't buy kitty litter. Fortunately that all falls under "weekend chores" rather than "screaming emergencies". I put the laundry on the drying rack this morning and I can go grocery shopping tonight. The kitty litter may have to be bought in installments, unless I come home tomorrow and go right back out again with the granny cart.

I think the headache was partly caused by a "come pick this up at the post office" slip, wanting me to collect something sent by the first real job I ever had, eighteen years ago. I'm not sure whether it says something about me or something about the company that I got myself all het up trying to figure out what that job entailed that I could possibly need to go to court for, eighteen years later. Turns out it was "you don't work here any more, so we're not going to maintain your 401k any more" paperwork. Since I have nowhere I can roll it into (I can't even combine my two 403b accounts), I'm going to have to cash it out. After taxes, it probably amounts to dinner at a reasonably good steakhouse.

In cheerier news, the aluminum print I ordered last week came out pretty well; it would probably have looked a little better as a 5x7, but I wanted an 8x10, so that's what I got, and although it looks a little grainy if you're on top of it, it looks fine from three feet away. I ordered it with magnetic backing, and it is now stuck to the ecru filing cabinet and providing something interesting to look at. My original plan was to have one aluminum print from each of my international trips (India, Amsterdam, Ireland, Australia and Reykjavik) and stick them all to the filing cabinet. I'm rethinking that based on the cost, though. (And the fact that I have ten filing cabinet drawers.) It is awfully ecru over here, however.
dchenes: (katana)
Heavy stuff this week, because I met with an estate planning lawyer on Tuesday and now I'm $2000 poorer and have a lot of complicated forms to fill out. But at the end of the forms I'll have a will, living will, medical proxy, power of attorney, and all that stuff Responsible Adults are supposed to have. I'm going to need a drink when I get to the end of the forms, and probably need to go snuggle a Hairy Beast or so if the weather is conducive to it. Responsible Adulthood isn't any fun at all, sometimes. Hopefully this is going to be one of those "set it and forget it" sorts of things.

Also, cherries aren't on sale any more, and I refuse to pay $5 per pound, so no more cherries for a while.

BUT, the Patriots/Bengals tickets came in the mail on Tuesday, and I wasn't expecting them until September, so now they're living in my desk drawer until October 16. And the fan part of the unhappy ceiling fan is still perfectly fine, which is good because it's necessary now that the weather has decided it's summer again (which is also good).

And I get an hour and a half of massage tonight, and I need at least that much. Last time I completely forgot the appointment, but that was before Iceland and I had so much stuff in my brain that some of it wouldn't fit. Like the massage appointment. My brain is doing much better since it's been on vacation; at least when I forget things, I'm either forgetting trivial things or deliberately ignoring semi-important things like doing laundry.
dchenes: (katana)
Ugh, finances. But hooray, having enough finances to have to do something about them. (I finally found an independent financial advisor, and I've met with her twice now and we have a Plan, or at least the beginnings of one.)

Also hooray, sunshine! It's so much easier to convince myself to walk home when the sun is out. I think the time has come to find a new route, though. Maybe I'll start doing the one that goes via Aspinwall instead of via Longwood. I like all the enormous Victorian houses back there. And I should start doing push-ups again. I think my shoulders can stand it at this point, and if I'm wrong, I can stop.

The Hairy Beasts have decided the sun is back for good, and were sprawled all over the living room rug this morning, recharging their solar cells. If it were warm enough in the morning, I'd open the living room window so Lily can lie on the windowsill behind the futon and bake her brain (and her entire left side) and watch people coming up and down the street. I'm not sure Snip would fit back there if she wanted to, but it seems she doesn't want to anyway. She'd rather take up as much of the bed as possible.

Two days ago I had a headache. It turned out to be an occipital muscle spasm, which meant that the left side of the bottom half of the back of my head was sore in a post-massage-sore kind of way yesterday. Occipital muscles aren't that big, but apparently they're important. I'm mildly impressed that I managed to make the headache go away without resorting to anything stronger than caffeine, which didn't work anyhow. I guess I really should reschedule my massage appointment, though.
dchenes: (katana)
Just because Mozart is over, doesn't mean he's gone. The Regina Coeli keeps coming back unless I'm thinking hard about something else. But Mozart is over, and so is Schubert, and I can stop hauling my carcass to Cambridge unless I want to, until September or so. The concert went reasonably well, at least. We did away with processing on and off stage, which was nice because it meant we were sitting on stage before the house lights went off, so I could see how much audience we actually had. It was a decent house, but not packed. But we made an hour and a quarter of tuneful noises and got applauded for it, and I took myself out for ice cream afterwards (along with half of the rest of Harvard Square, apparently).

That was Saturday, after the usual grocery shopping and some unusual grocery shopping besides. I didn't really NEED Bloody Mary base and a celery root, but I'm in an experimental frame of mind. I will not be combining those things; they're for two different experiments. At least one of which will involve actual cooking, because on a day like this, hot food is important. I ordered soup for the curriculum committee meeting and everyone thought it was great.

Yesterday I managed not to go outdoors at all, on account of it being grey and gloomy and threatening to rain. Besides which, I had already done all the running around. So I stayed indoors all day and redid the same line of embroidery three times because I couldn't figure out whether or not it was going to be right when I got to the end of it. Even if it's wrong now, I'm not doing it again. I'll work around it. So there. I also spent more of yesterday than really necessary being a feline thruway; Lily had a case of the fidgets and kept wanting to come down my front from the back of the futon. I wish she would figure out how not to do that. I could figure it out for her, but it would probably involve cat foot in my eye, rather than the usual cat butt in my face. I think I'd rather keep the claws out of my eye, thanks.

I have a mess of financial homework and information gathering to get around to before next week. I finally found an independent financial advisor, and (shockingly) was told I have enough in the savings account. I'd rather have it there, where it earns interest, than anywhere it doesn't. But that's why I went in search of financial advice.
dchenes: (katana)
It was warm enough yesterday for opening the kitchen window, so I did. It has to be above 60 before I open the living room window, because the thermostat is in the living room. But whatever it was yesterday, it was quite nice.

Last voice lesson yesterday. It wasn't quite as successful as last week's, but it was a passably good way to end. After that I came home and actually wrote down The List, and tackled some of it. Due to the nature of lists, five or six things came off the top and seven or eight things got added to the bottom, but at least the dishes got done, two pounds of apricots got roasted, the pants got hemmed (twice, because I failed to pay adequate attention the first time and sewed the cuff to the pants leg in unhelpful ways), and the fridge lost a couple of minor biological experiments.

Next time I roast two pounds of apricots, I think I'll do something else with them afterward. Turns out I have puff pastry hanging around in the freezer, so maybe there's turnovers in them there hills. Not good for me, though. Roasted apricots and plain yogurt is about where it's at right now, and the yogurt is an indulgence because the only nonfat yogurt I can stand is skyr, which is expensive.

At least I got my taxes done on Friday night, and am getting the usual chunk of change back. And I can stop remembering that I haven't done my taxes yet. Now if I could stop flinging money all over the place, that would be good too. I should be able to stop for a while, since I can't think of anything I either desperately need right now, or desperately want and can't wait until April for. (Except lunch, which falls under both categories. Getting my teeth cleaned this morning meant I didn't bother with breakfast.)
dchenes: (katana)
Ugh. That's all. It's still cold out, and my touchscreen gloves are still no good under 35 degrees or so, and I got blindsided yesterday by the Oral Health Session having moved to the first year class and being in February, instead of the second year class in October. HMS did tell me that, but they told me that last September as an aside to the October session and I promptly forgot about it because the October session was using all the neurons not occupied by the October faculty retreat six days after it. So here it is, late January, and I've got to do the Oral Health Session dance all over again already. Ugh.

Also, the director of admissions is retiring next week, her assistant left at the end of last week, the registrar is retiring at the end of next month, and the longest-serving Senior Tutor is leaving sometime before next fall. If the registrar's assistant is also leaving, there goes most of the institutional memory in the office. Just what we need right before an accreditation site visit (in 2017, but you'd think it was next week). Ugh.

Good things, lest I get mired in a rant: at least it looks like we're not in for a foot of snow this weekend. I don't want a foot of snow, so that's fine with me. And I have two more weeks before I get my Sundays back from voice lessons, which was definitely the right decision. And I have wing sauce that isn't a biohazard, and another head of cauliflower, and therefore I have dinner for two days. (And I have some excellent frozen poultry jello, so I can also make soup if I want to.) And Trader Joe's has baconesque popcorn again.

Maybe not the right decision: I have ordered myself a Thorgi. I probably shouldn't be spending money on frivolities like that, given how much I'm about to spend on sneakers and chorus dues after spending a lot on a Kindle and phone protective gear and adless apps in the last couple of weeks. But I also ordered my coworker, who had a corgi until last week and has a birthday this week, a Waldo corgi, because when I showed her that, she cracked up all over the place.

If tomorrow wasn't Friday anyway, I would have been sorely tempted to declare it Friday and have another long weekend. Someday I'm going to get somebody to listen to me when I say I'd be perfectly happy to work four long days and have consistent three-day weekends.
dchenes: (katana)
This week wasn't terribly long, but it was pretty intense yesterday and today. The dental public is finally getting its mitts on the new curriculum map next week, which means I've spent the last two days tweaking it. I've sent it to the instructional technologist, who's putting it in a newsletter, three times in the last two days and I've given up telling him that this is absolutely, positively, I mean it, the FINAL final version. Add that to the new (interim?) course director for the oral surgery course coming in yesterday so I could walk him through the course, and it got sorely tempting to say "I don't care if I end up having to lose twelve pounds, this calls for ice cream." But there wasn't any ice cream. But I'm not trying hard enough to lose the ten pounds I should be concentrating on.

Today at least we had an office Powerball pool, so I got to distract myself thinking about what I would do with at least ten million dollars. So far it boils down to "spend two on acquiring and updating the building I live in, give away five, and figure out what to do with the rest if the situation ever arises, which it won't". But it was fun to dream about for a little while.

Speaking of things to do with money, I forgot that Iceland is in my self-imposed travel distance limit (eight hours one way by airplane), and it's been on the list, so I think maybe I'll go there in May or so.
dchenes: (katana)
Today I learned two new and completely unrelated things: elephants are afraid of bees (http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/12/beehive-fences/), and 8 ounces of dried bay leaves by weight is a gallon of bay leaves by volume (https://www.penzeys.com/shop/spices/). Next time you want to impress somebody, try one of those on them. (I can't say I blame the elephants; if I got a bee sting two feet up the inside of my nose, I wouldn't like bees either.)

I also learned that I was at least slightly smarter than usual the last time I went to Penzey's in person, and bought two bags of celery flakes. So I'm not out of celery flakes. I'm closer to out of bay leaves and parsley, but I don't have to go all the way to Arlington Heights for those.

At work I learned that the Great Office 365 Email Migration was only slightly less of a pain in the ass than I thought it was going to be. I had to remind my boss to do what she was supposed to, and then show her how to give me access to her calendar in Outlook so I could go figure out how to get access to it in Mac Calendar. It all came out in the wash, so she's off to Chicago for the rest of the week and I can make appointments for her for next week if I have to.

I'm getting a little tired of looking at my wrist several times a day and being reminded that I forgot that my watch is in Cambridge having its crystal replaced. I suppose I could go buy a cheap replacement watch, but I don't want one. I want MY watch.
dchenes: (katana)
The secession from the ranks of Responsible Adulthood on Saturday mostly worked. Only mostly, because feeding the cats is Responsible, but not negotiable. I cashed in my change collection because it was just about time, and my change collection is always mad money. So I ended up with $74 in mad money (which was really $85, but the Coinstar machine takes 10.9 cents per dollar), and one rupee. I suspect the rupee came from the cafeteria at work, which is where most of my random Canadian change also comes from. The Canadian endodontic resident must not have gone home recently.

I also threw the entire diet idea out the window and bought some groceries I usually don't buy because I eat them, and ate what I wanted, when I wanted to. Including the most evil variation on Annie's mac and cheese I've ever come up with: skip the milk and use mascarpone instead. I'm probably going to be very sorry in three weeks (that's how long weight fluctuations take to catch up with me), but I wasn't sorry at all on Saturday. For once I wasn't sitting around being hungry and waiting for it to be mealtime. I went and ate a couple of oatmeal cookies because dammit, I wanted oatmeal cookies at that instant minute.

It feels like next week is the end of November already, because it's the week before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving week isn't going to be conducive to getting much of anything done. And then it's going to be December and everybody's going to start running around like chickens with their heads cut off because we'll only have another seven and a half months to put meat on the skeleton of the new curriculum (which we're approving next week). I suppose it's job security, since I'm the curriculum coordinator. Although "coordinator" doesn't mean what you think it means. In the institutional HR language around here, it means "glorified administrative assistant". Fortunately my boss lets me do fun stuff too.
dchenes: (katana)
Shoulder does not like being forced not to move, either. One of the MRI scans had to be done twice because I couldn't stop the involuntary muscle twitches. Fortunately it was one of the shorter scans; the shortest one was three minutes and the longest one was ten minutes. By then it was mind over matter, mostly, and I had rearranged my arm very slightly. The lower frequency noise bothered me (in the emotions, not in the shoulder) more than the higher frequency noises. Results supposed to be in to the radiologist and the orthopedist by 10:00 tomorrow night, but I don't know what that means in terms of when somebody will tell me what they are. I have a vestigial PT appointment on Monday, and I'd like to know by then whether I should cancel it or reschedule it or actually go to it.

Had I known that the bus I was trying not to get run over by at 9:45 last night was a Coolidge Corner M2, I would have tried to get on it. But I didn't find that out until it was passing me, so I walked home instead. And due to messing around in Kenmore Square, I managed to see the three FSU football team buses twice (once on the way to, and once leaving from, the Fenway movie theater). Apparently that game is tonight, but I don't follow college football because I don't want to encourage the NCAA if I can avoid it.

Shameful confession time: I do not want to take the Hairy Beasts to the vet in November. It's a lot of money for me (especially given that the pet insurance renews in October) and a lot of emotional stress for everybody, and I don't want to deal with 25-odd pounds of cats in carriers with only one mostly functional shoulder. And having somebody else help won't help, because the cats aren't used to that either. I think I really might have to start looking into vets who make house calls. That won't be cheap either, but at least this week the idea of doing the usual Zipcar and cat carriers dance is giving me a major case of the fantods. Responsible adulthood sucks sometimes.

Good stuff: Hooray for Friday! And hooray, also, for breathing space, and (as much as I gripe) modern medicine, and mushroom-and-Swiss cheeseburgers (dinner last night) and miscellaneous other little things that make my life pleasant, convenient or possible.
dchenes: (katana)
I went clothes shopping this weekend, because although I'm not wearing through the inseams of my pants so much these days, the fact is I own a lot of cheap pants and eventually they're going to fall apart somewhere. So I went and bought three pairs of pants, a shirt and a sweater. But I tried on a lot more things than that, and my shoulder didn't like putting on and taking off a lot of shirts in a short period of time. (At least it kept me from buying a dress I looked good in, but couldn't zip.) And then the weather got humid again. At this point I'm about ready to go to the orthopedist on Thursday and say "I'm done messing around with this thing. Cortisone shot, right now." But they'll probably want me to make Yet Another Appointment for that. And my right shoulder has started complaining (albeit quietly) again too, although it seems to have a little more range of motion than it did when it hurt before.

Other fun stuff: no voice lessons this winter unless I find another teacher. My current one is only teaching in Boston on Wednesdays, which is the only day I can't have lessons because I have chorus rehearsals. Paying for a Zipcar once a week to drive myself to Stoneham after work, on top of paying for lessons, doesn't appeal at all. The question is, given that work is going to be a bear until at least the end of October, do I just give up on lessons this winter and start again in the spring? And if so, with whom? I have a suggested substitute, but I have to decide what I'm going to do. Especially because last year, voice lessons were my chance to have fun singing, and chorus rehearsals were less fun. Decisions, decisions.

Today is Tuesday, not Monday. That means there could be ice cream tomorrow. Of course, there's also HRC EC meeting tomorrow night, but at least that involves less time than a rehearsal does.
dchenes: (katana)
This appears to be The Weekend of Buying Glass. Yesterday was the art festival in Coolidge Corner, and I came out of it with a couple of glass baubles and a pair of glass earrings. Today I was out wandering around, wandered past TJ Maxx, and decided that if I bought some shot glasses, I could see if a shot of something before bed would at least help me stop being so annoyed with the sore shoulders (yes, both. I am most displeased.). These are the first shot glasses I've ever owned, because what does a beer drinker want with shot glasses?

Speaking of alcohol and other things consumed in cold climates, the art festival yesterday also introduced me to poutine. I saw somebody walking past with some, and decided that the time had come to try it. The verdict is "done it once, don't need to do it again". The gravy actually kept me from eating all of it, because I got tired of the flavor. I suspect that's just as well in the long run. Ain't nothing wrong with cheese curds, though. Good thing I left the Midwest...

Other things at the art festival I drooled over but couldn't justify buying: enameled jewelry by Jungwhon Joo (who seems not to have a web site, but comes up in Google image searches), Lush Metals jewelry, pottery that looked best in sets I couldn't afford (as opposed to single pieces), hand-dyed silk scarves, and fish prints (particularly one of a bluefin tuna tail). I like supporting local artists, but I just can't bring myself to buy something I'll never wear, or can't afford, or wouldn't know what to do with when I got it home.

Time to go roast some more grape tomatoes. Half an hour at 400 worked, but also made a mess in the bottom of the pans. I think I'll go back to an hour at 300.
dchenes: (katana)
The traffic this morning was fairly awful for some reason (or combination thereof, including grooved pavement on Washington St between Monastery and Comm Ave, and the T bus getting stuck behind a school bus for a while), but the bus was emptier than it has been for ages. Graduation season has begun, apparently. Therefore I went and looked up the schedule, and it seems all the huge graduations will be over before the 20th. That seems early to me, but I am not complaining.

I'm not complaining about the weekend, either. Saturday was haircut, Age of Ultron and cheeseburger day. Age of Ultron was OK, and I'm not sorry I spent the money, but I don't understand why the romance plot was necessary unless there's a comic book storyline they were trying to get to. Haircut was expensive, but at least now I can stop looking in the mirror in the morning and thinking "Ye gods, do I need a haircut!" Cheeseburger was not wise, because I am now two pounds over the weight I said I wasn't going to go over. But sometimes you just want a cheeseburger and nothing else will suffice, and Saturday was one of those times. And I'm not sorry at all.

Yesterday was laundry, which I had managed to hold down to a dull roar, and embroidery before it got absurdly humid. There was a mistake somewhere in the current pattern repetition and I couldn't figure out where it was, so I pulled out a lot of stuff I had thought I was being sneaky with and started over in a different spot. I was trying to bring the end out to meet the middle, but it wouldn't meet the way it was supposed to. Some year I'll learn that being sneaky almost never works the way I think it ought to. So I pulled the end out again and went back to the middle. And when the laundry was done drying and it was too humid to embroider, I went downtown to look for sandals. I'm still getting major blisters from the Clarks sandals I loved two years ago, and I can't wear Tevas to work, and in a perfect world I would have some unsandal dress shoes for summer. So I went looking for sandals and found possibilities, but didn't actually buy any sandals. I think this is going to be a Zappos proposition, after I get the next credit card bill (at which point maybe some options could be on sale?). But the going out and wandering around was good for me, anyway.

Yesterday I let my phone die completely and then recharged it, and now it's back to happy again. I'm glad I don't have to go phone shopping again already on top of shoe shopping. (And train ticket shopping, although there's not so much "shopping" to be done there as there is "hand the credit card to the only game in town".)

Still enjoying the fact that I can read HHhH without having it in one hand and a dictionary in the other. But now I have to go track down the translation, because I want to know how it dealt with some of the original's peculiarities.
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