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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 weather is lovely again, having been shoot-me-now hot Sunday through Tuesday. It was 85 in the living room at 9:30 on Tuesday night and I couldn't get any cooler air indoors for some reason, even though it was cooler outdoors.

Last night was excellent sleeping weather, and I went and ruined it by having a frustration dream. I've been having a lot of those lately, and they all involve shouting at somebody (usually somebody who I would really like to shout at, but I can't in real life; the two I remember are Trump and, last night, Dad). I've also bitten through my night guard sometime in the last couple of weeks. I do not shout at anybody when I'm awake, but maybe I should start. Or maybe I should go somewhere way out in the back of beyond and shout at trees or something.

For lack of shouting at things, I bought myself a ticket to the Boston Pops 25th anniversary gospel concert on Saturday. One of my coworkers sings with them, and I could use a dose of raise-the-roof music (especially if I'm not singing it myself, which is work). Besides, I haven't been to Symphony Hall in something like 15 years, so I'm probably overdue.

I'm taking the last two days of June off, and am considering going and finding out what the heck is in Providence other than at least one tattoo shop and the train station. I just have to get through tomorrow, all of next week, and three days of the week after next. I hope I can actually manage that.
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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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Oh, my creakin' cranium.

I knew this week was going to suck pond water through a flavor straw. Monday was OK, and then I went to chorus rehearsal and got home at 10:30, but couldn't decompress enough to sleep until midnight. Dragged myself out of bed on Tuesday morning and spent the whole day with oatmeal where my brain was.

Tuesday night I managed to stay up late enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and slept like a rock. Woke up on Wednesday morning feeling human, went to work and got stuff done (oh, look, there are two different versions of Standard 2-7 in this document; that's not good), and then I went to chorus rehearsal and got home at 10:30, and had to concentrate too hard on decompressing by 11:30.

This morning I had a weird dream about trying to fly from Barbados to Guam and having my luggage come off the plane in Barbados as individual articles of clothing on the conveyor belt, but no suitcase. Then they found my suitcase and wanted to know why there were embroidery scissors in the lining. I explained that by pulling embroidery out of the lining too, although I don't know why I was keeping it there (and I never take scissors on a plane; I use nail clippers). It was a pattern I've never seen before, but it was very pretty and there was about half of it done. I wish I could remember exactly what it was, so I could write it down and stitch it. It was geometry and flowers.

Today I have systemic oatmeal; it's in my muscles and my brain, but I'm a little better mentally than I was on Tuesday. I still am not breaking any records for brain power and I'm not even trying to revise any complicated documents, but I can at least go to meetings and pretend I know what the hell is going on. Just don't ask me whether I want to be in the meetings in the first place.
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I was having an interesting dream this morning, half thriller and half sort of romantic comedy. It had something to do with somebody being poisoned (but not killed) by cocaine in food at a resort in Santo Domingo, and the cocaine coming from Egypt smuggled in ancient Egyptian artifacts. The woman (not me) who was investigating this was friends with the guy who got poisoned, and had a couple of other ditzy female friends who did things like get tied up in some sort of resistance bands while trying to do yoga with them. I was observing all of this, but not actually involved in it, and of course I woke up before I found out who the poisoner was. The whole thing might have made a decent novella if (a) I knew how it ended and (b) it had made any sense whatsoever. As a dream, it was entertaining, though.

Today isn't really my favorite day, because people keep asking me for things they could do themselves if they bothered to look for the one piece of information they don't have. That, however, is work, and it's easier to ask me for six things than it is to do one thing.

At least this morning the sidewalks were dry pavement all the way from home to the bus stop. I don't know if it was salt, sublimation, people with ice axes, or some of each, but whatever it was, that was nice. The bus stop is still in the street because there's a three-foot-wide plow berm between the sidewalk and the street, but it's nice that I can get to the appropriate corner without ice skates.

I managed not to go out for a Large Slab of Dead Cow the last time I wanted one, and I probably won't do it this time either, but right now a ribeye sounds like an excellent idea. I suppose I could have gone to Bartley's last night after the chorus committee meeting and had a Large Slab of Ground-Up Cow instead, but I wanted to get home because my brain had quit working. Taking minutes for nearly two hours of half of the committee convincing the other half to spend $2000 on advertising, in order to maybe make money on ticket sales, does that. Besides, it was snot-freezing weather, so the sooner I got the standing around waiting for buses over with, the better. I like Arctic air a lot more when it stays in the Arctic where it belongs.
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Welcome to New England! Black ice on Wednesday morning, 50 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, 10 inches of snow on Thursday and 10 degrees on Friday morning.

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

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

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

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

I think I want to go to Seattle on vacation, whenever vacation ends up being. Sometime in April, maybe. It depends on CODA. But I don't need a passport to go to Seattle and I haven't been there since 1984. I know that because my sister got a souvenir shirt that said "I spent my 1984 summer vacation in Washington". I wonder if they still make those shirts?
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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.
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The problem with coming back from winter break and picking up where you left off is that none of the problems have solved themselves over the break, so you're right back in the same rut you left in, if not worse. I don't care who's doing all this scheduling next year, but it is not going to be me. (That's what I said last year, too. Obviously the universe wasn't listening.)

My coffee maker's water level indicator isn't working. It doesn't even have any moving parts, so I guess I can't say it isn't working, but it isn't working as intended. It's got air bubbles in it and I can't tell how much water I actually put in the reservoir, without doing all sorts of math (OK, the top is up to 9, but there's a bubble between 3.5 and 5 and another one in the middle of 6 and 7, so maybe that will be 6? But the coffee maker always subtracts one, so maybe it's 5?). With the result that today I made rocket fuel by accident and had to put sugar in it to make it drinkable. Today is the sort of day that calls for rocket fuel, though.

I have a new recurring dream, but I'm not sure why. It involves going to see a very large model aircraft carrier and having to climb up a ladder to stand on it, and getting stuck at the top because people want to argue with me instead of letting me get off the ladder. And then my aunt shows up and yells at me for something involving somebody else's marijuana. I've had this dream three times now and I haven't a clue what it means.

I keep thinking there's got to be a better way to crush up Lily's pills than doing it on the back of a saucer (which has a rim so the fragments don't go everywhere) with the back of a spoon, but so far I haven't found it. I'm not interested in investing in a pill crusher, because I'm not sure the bits I start with are big enough to crush that way anyway. The problem is mostly getting the teeny amount of powder off the back of the saucer, and remembering to use the "cat food spoon" instead of the "thyroid spoon" on Snip's wet food. Maybe I need to invest in a couple of cheap pill-crushing spoons that don't get used for anything else.

I've sold a piece of embroidery for the first time in my life. It's the blue band sampler from 2012 (the name of the pattern escapes me, but there's a blue one and a red one and I did both. I'll have to look through the archives when I get home). So tonight I have to iron it, but before I do that I have to go to an art supply store and get a cardboard tube to wind it around and a poster tube to transport the whole thing in. Fortunately it's only on a quarter yard of linen, so I should be able to find what I want.
dchenes: (katana)
I went to the chorus executive committee last night intending to resign, but I ended up not resigning because the President asked me nicely not to. Apparently I take better minutes than she does. But at least we finally got through revising the bylaws and I got to remove the part that says "the Clerk shall run elections" because I said I didn't wanna. The bylaws have only been on the agenda for a year or so. It wouldn't be nice of me, but I could probably have started writing minutes that said "See previous meeting's minutes" because we always end up having the same conversations about the same topics, and we either reach the same conclusions or we never reach any.

The electrician came yesterday and replaced the dead ceiling fan light switch, so now it's a light fixture and a fan again. Apparently she also put a motion sensor on the light over the dryers in the basement. Which reminds me, there are still clothes in the dryer from Monday. I ought to do something about that.

I also ought to stop going to bed so close to midnight. I've been doing that since Tuesday and it's getting to the point where there's not enough coffee on the planet. But I started doing it because I wasn't sleeping all that well anyway, so I might as well put it off some, and...anyway, I could cheerfully have stayed in bed for another couple of hours this morning.

At least today is Thursday. So far it's a short week that actually feels short.
dchenes: (katana)
Eleven hours of sleep is what I apparently needed yesterday. I went to bed at 8:00, woke up at 11:00 and turned off the light, and slept until 7:00. Today I feel considerably better. Funny how that works. I don't know whether I was trying not to catch something, or whether my brain just Had Enough, but turning everything off for eleven hours seems to have fixed things.

Last night probably wasn't the best time to decide to try a new restaurant, but I did, because I was in no shape to cook anything. I went to Stoked and had a meatball and ricotta pizza, finished with basil oil. Tasty, but as usual I like my family's meatballs better. (Mine don't come out quite right, because I would have to make bread to get the right bread crumbs to use.) But I got to watch my pizza cooking in a wood-fired oven, and that was reasonably nifty. Skip the brussels sprouts, though; they were pretty tough.

Anyway, here it is, Friday, and I feel human again, and that means almost everything else is good. Except my foot hurts, because yesterday I was so tired I forgot to change my shoes before I left work, so I went home in my decent flats. That's fine because I want to wear them to sing in tomorrow. But that meant I had to wear other shoes to work today, and they don't fit like they used to, and my foot hurts. First world problem, I suspect.
dchenes: (katana)
Some day somebody's going to have to explain to me how cats can just hang around with one ear inside out. I would think that would feel extremely weird. (Observation brought to you by Snip, who pretty much fell asleep in my lap last night with one ear inside out.)

I took yesterday off on account of the marathon, and got the following things done:

- Made soup (somewhat uninspired, because the stock was bland to begin with, but I threw a lot of herbs and garlic at it and it's edible)
- Tried out the steam mop I bought on Friday (works reasonably well)
- Despaired briefly over the thought of having to do complicated math to finish the embroidery, and then started working back from the other end and discovered no math is required (hooray!)

I also managed to get outdoors for at least half an hour every day over the weekend, and that was good. Sunshine and fresh air and all that. And I bought and consumed some really excellent strawberries, and some fairly excellent champagne mangoes.

But, I had a new and exciting anxiety dream last night, and I know it's about the faculty retreat on Friday. I was in some variation on the Cape house, and had to bicycle to a school somewhere to do something. But I had to take a shower first, and I couldn't because the bathtub was full of dirty dishes. One of my cousins had had a frat party or something. So I had to do the dishes so I could shower, but Grammie wouldn't let me do it without helping, and she's 94 so she was helping very slowly. I eventually gave up on going anywhere and was about to find out the consequences when the dream stopped. I'm sure things will work out fine on Friday, but I wish I could stop with the 24/7 can't get it off my mind stuff. Especially when having it on my mind won't help.

Is it next week yet?
dchenes: (katana)
Last night I went to Deuxave, ate entirely too much and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I had a somewhat complicated salad that came in a soup-can-size cylinder of very thin fried potato, and consisted of greens, truffle vinaigrette, a mushy (but thankfully not runny) egg, roasted mushrooms, bacon, and endive. After the salad came a freebie: three cheese agnolotti and hen of the woods mushrooms on top of some squash puree and under some gremolata crumbles. After the agnolotti came the entree: spice-crusted venison loin and venison sausage on top of sunchoke "risotto" with mustard greens and quince. Everything but the quince was quite tasty. I bailed on dessert for lack of room for it and had coffee instead, but they brought me a chocolate truffle the size of a small marble, a 3/4" square of citrus-flavored layer cake and a toffee that had orange and ginger in it and stuck to the roof of my mouth fairly firmly. (Good, though.)

I didn't bother with wine, although Deuxave is supposed to be good at it. Partly because I'm cheap and I was already spending a lot of money on food. And also partly because I clomped in wearing my snow boots, and first impressions being what they are, I didn't want to be the hick in the snow boots who ordered the absolutely wrong wine. I had brought other shoes with me in case of dress codes, but it was too cold to walk in them, so I walked in my snow boots. I know I'm overthinking this, but I do that sort of thing. (And I read too much British interwar fiction, in which ordering the wrong wine is Not Done.)

Anyway, I had a very nice dinner, and now I can know what I'm missing when I go past on the M2 every Wednesday night until the end of April.

And then I came home and went to bed and had a frustration dream, again. The oral surgery course will do that. This one involved taking a mail bag across a very narrow jetty to get to the post office before it closed, but I was stuck behind somebody walking very slowly on purpose, and snarking at me about how they could walk faster than I was.
dchenes: (katana)
Just so I can keep track, this is Done Since Tuesday:

PD2 Oral Health Day
Flu shot
HRC EC meeting
HRC rehearsal
HRC EC meeting minutes typed up and sent to president
Folders for handouts for retreat
Handouts for retreat
Name tags for retreat
Ride share Google doc for retreat
HRC sectional rehearsal
Grocery shopping (well, sort of)

In the interstices, finished re-reading a book and made some more progress on the embroidery. I think the whole circular pattern might actually fit in the rectangular space available, but I know what I'm going to do if it won't.

Also had an anxiety dream on Thursday night in which I was explaining another anxiety dream to somebody. The interesting thing is, the dream I was explaining is one I've never actually had. However, it was perfectly plausible as a dream I would have had, and it made sense when I woke up. (The Hairy Beasts had learned to drive, and had come to work and started criticizing and tearing up a lot of papers I was putting together for a Longer Service meeting. Never mind that I don't do Longer Service meetings these days.) The dream in which I was explaining this was about trying to get on a train in Mystic to go skiing in Vermont somewhere. Never had that one before, either. But we've never had a retreat at Babson before, so I suppose there's no reason to haul out an old dream for a new situation. My brain is a very strange place sometimes.

Speaking of brains, and the amusements thereof, I've discovered two new phone games: 1010! and Two Dots. Two Dots is just addictive enough to keep around, although I might get rid of it if it keeps insisting that I can win the current level (whatever it may be) if I make enough in-game purchases. 1010! is rather like Tetris, only slower because it doesn't give you falling shapes; it gives you batches of three and you put them in the grid yourself. And you can make vertical lines as well as horizontal.

After the sectional and the grocery shopping this afternoon, I had gotten to the point where I was hungry enough to be grumpy and grumpy enough to refuse to decide what I wanted for lunch. Usually that means I go home and eat everything in sight, trying to figure out what I actually want. Today I went to Whole Foods (ostensibly for seltzer) and came home with braised cabbage and cheesecake, because it turned out that was what appealed more than anything else. I'm still not sure that's what I wanted. But that's what I ate.
dchenes: (katana)
First HRC rehearsal last night was the usual madhouse, but we're singing Purcell (Ode to St. Cecilia) and Purcell (Come Ye Sons of Art) and I can live with that. Especially since I've sung Come Ye Sons of Art before; I just can't remember whether it was high school or college. In any case, I know how it goes. And the altos get the melody at least once, because they pick up where the countertenor soloist leaves off. That almost makes up for the last three or four pages of alto line being "find an A and stay there, except when you go to G# once in a while, for two repeats". Easy to memorize, anyway.

Tonight I get MRIed. I almost don't care if the second thing they say is "And we can't do anything about it" as long as the first thing they say is "THAT is why your shoulder hurts." Because it does, and it keeps on doing so. I rather suspect it's an -itis, but I don't know which one. Bursitis? Tendonitis? Arthritis? Some of each? One from column A and one from column B? I doubt it's arthritis, but either or both of the other two wouldn't surprise me.

It occurs to me that putting in stud earrings on Tuesday night might not have been the wisest idea ever, because I have to remember to take them out again tonight when I take all of my other jewelry (watch and necklace) off. But I did want to make sure the front hole in my left ear was still open. I couldn't get an earring into it on Monday morning, but it turns out it works much better if you aren't in so much of a hurry that you don't aim the hook at the hole properly. Given better light and less of a rush, it worked.

Let's see, good stuff...the weather last night was warmer than I thought it was going to be, based on the heat having come on in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago. It was marvelous sleeping weather once I kicked the quilt off the bed again.

Also good stuff...I bought some new work-appropriate pants, which are very comfortable and make a decent attempt at fitting pretty well. Or at least they fit now. Last time I bought pants like this, they stretched so much when I washed them that I couldn't wear them at all afterward. This time I think I'll wash one pair to start with, and won't put them in the dryer. I have to admit that the idea of experimental pants amuses me, so yes, I am twelve occasionally.
dchenes: (katana)
Despite being Friday, and the Friday before a long weekend besides, today is not ideal. Today is, in fact, annoying. But on the un-annoying side, I met a Great Dane who didn't force me to do the Statue of Liberty act with my coffee, probably because it was coffee, as opposed to ice cream. It could have been ice cream. I wanted it to be ice cream (see "today is annoying"). But I shoehorned myself back into the size 8 pants this morning, so no ice cream.

Today would probably be better if Snip hadn't woken me up twice screaming about her puffball and the weather hadn't woken me up twice rattling the blinds. The puffball situation is all my fault, though, because I hadn't seen it for three days and went looking for it. If I hadn't found it, Snip wouldn't be screaming about it. That'll learn me. (But her puffball is her favorite nonedible object in the entire world. I've found it in some very random places because Snip had been there earlier and left it. On the floor in every room in the apartment, on my keyboard, in my bed, in the water dish, on one of the kitchen chairs, etc. Haven't found it in the tub yet.)

(Couple of hours later) OK, progress is being made, which is making today slightly less annoying. But the Curriculum Committee, the LOHPC, the PD2 Oral Health Session and the faculty retreat can all go suck on a warthog until Tuesday.
dchenes: (katana)
Timing being what it is, I had my own dentist appointment today. No cavities, but no dentist, either, so I got my teeth cleaned but I have to go back next Monday to have my night guard adjusted. (Horrors, I have to leave my desk and walk down one flight of stairs and around the corner.) Lily has an appointment this Friday morning to get her stitches out, at which point I fervently hope she'll feel like eating dry food again. She tries occasionally, but I'm not sure it works all that well yet, with the stitches in the way.

It rained last night. Even if the ground hadn't been wet when I left this morning, I would have known, because something dripping woke me up. It was something at Mario's house, thank goodness (and it sounded like one of his second-floor air conditioners dripping on one of his first-floor air conditioners), but it was both erratic and loud, so I couldn't go straight back to sleep. And my getting up and going back to bed and tossing and turning was something Lily thought she should investigate, so she came and made sure I was still breathing in both directions and providing adequate cat space on the bed. Which is considerably less cute at 2:45 in the morning after you've gone to sleep at midnight.

So it was a high-octane coffee morning. It would have been anyway, because the cafeteria doesn't do iced decaf and today was definitely an iced coffee day.

The laundromat at Washington St & Comm Ave has been gutted and is being put back together again. It has a sign over the door that says "Under New Management! Under 24 Hour Survivance". I wonder if the sign people shrugged and said "The customer is always right", or if neither the sign people nor the new laundromat management are very good at English. I went looking for an email address for the laundromat, because I wanted to point out (without actually saying that it casts aspersions on their perceived competence) that they meant "surveillance", unless they're installing a TV that doesn't show anything but Survivor reruns. I wouldn't have put that past the previous management, who couldn't keep more than half of the machines working at any given time anyway.

The Boston Olympic bid is dead. Thank goodness. I like the fact that the Olympics is a chance to see sports you don't usually see on TV, but Boston can't afford the palm-greasing and definitely can't afford the Mongolian clusterfuck the city would have turned into for the people who already live and work in it. Marathon day is bad enough. Hell, any home Red Sox game day is bad enough. But never mind, because the Olympics are going elsewhere and that's the best news I've heard all day.
dchenes: (katana)
For no discernible reason, my brain decided to be awake at 2:45 this morning. I managed to persuade it to shut off again about an hour later, but I don't know what got into it in the first place. Unless it was the breeze rattling the blinds. The breeze was nice, but the noise was loud.

Performance review finally happened yesterday. It's nice having a boss who hates the process as much as I do, so it's more a conversation than a performance review. It's also nice having the conversation with somebody who actually knows what I do. The upshot is that in two years, when the new curriculum has been through the first iteration, my job will have mutated enough to be put in the next pay grade. And it would be most excellent if I were still the person in that job, so I (pretty please) shouldn't go anywhere until then. At the moment I still think my next thing might be online course development or something related to it, but pedagogy is changing and by the time I'm seriously looking, online courses might not be so big. Who knows?

Last weekend I picked up Swansong 1945, and I really think it ought to be required reading for the entire human race. Want to start a war? This is how everybody feels about it by the end. And I mean EVERYBODY. It's not the historian's perspective from 40-50 years later; it's not an official government opinion; it's civilians and soldiers and journalists and functionaries and concentration camp prisoners and heads of state, and it's stuff that was written while the war was happening. And it's not fiction. Heavy stuff, but worth reading.

In cheerier news, I was making major progress on the embroidery before it got humid again. I think I might have some more redesign work to do, though, because putting a circular design on a rectangular piece of linen means you run out of room in two directions as the design expands. I think I know what I want to do, but I'm not sure it will all fit. By the time I get this one done, I may have to come up with a new name for it because it won't be following the original pattern enough to be called by its original name. I honestly don't know how I would get linen big enough in the right directions to fit the whole thing, though; since Shakespeare's Peddler went out of the supplies biz, custom cut linen is hard to find.

It's peach season, and I hardly know what to do with myself because there are peaches and cherries (although not for long) and apricots (although not for long either, I suspect) and plums, and I could live on fruit if I didn't also need protein. Last week I roasted two pounds of apricots with not enough sugar and just enough nutmeg, and with a little honey on them to make up for the sugar, they were quite nice. I'm still trying to find some way to use up the Turkish honey, because it tastes rather like a pine tree and therefore doesn't go with a lot of things you'd usually put honey in. And I am not making baklava again.
dchenes: (katana)
I still seem to want to wake up (the first time) between 3:00 and 4:00, but hopefully I can get over that by the end of this weekend. It did come in handy this morning, though, because I woke up and my alarm clock was blinking 2:30 at me. Apparently the power went out just enough to kill the alarm clock. So I reset it and went back to sleep. I have no idea when I would have woken up if the alarm hadn't gone off.

Besides that minor anomaly, I think things are back to mostly normal again, and the next thing on The List is the shoulder. It's getting better, but it's doing it very slowly, and there's a lot of range of motion I don't have that I think I could improve upon with different exercises. The general guidelines for healing time is 3-6 months, and six months would be the end of August. I don't want it to be that long.

Last weekend I bought a book in French, because I can still read French and because I was interested in the subject (and because, since I now have all the academic degrees in French I'm ever going to get, I'm allowed to read books by living authors who aren't Making A Statement About Something). The book is called HHhH and it's half about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in WWII and half about the process of writing the book. It isn't actually funny, but it's made me laugh twice so far: once when I discovered that "zoom" in French is a regular verb (je zoome, tu zoomes...), and once when the author described Himmler as a hamster with Hitler's mustache and then referred to him as "the hamster" two paragraphs later.

I can read French a lot faster when I read it in French, instead of trying to translate it as I read. Unfortunately, my brain defaults to translating it and I keep having to remind myself to stop doing that and just read it. It's comforting that I can do that when I remind myself, so I haven't lost all the skills I ever had. All the language skills I use these days are in English, and most of them are in scientific writing (which I never actually learned, and am picking up by exposure and osmosis). But at least three articles I've done heavy revisions on have been published, so I must be doing it reasonably well. I still am not a statistician, however, so the current article is giving me fits. I'm supposed to be writing the Results and Discussion sections, and while I can figure out what the data analysis says, there are so many variables that I haven't a clue what the analysis means. Maybe I need a Statistics for Dummies book.
dchenes: (katana)
Today's excitement consists of a new iMac for work, so I am no longer using an ancient iMac (with a tendency for the display to suddenly die) with an ancient, loud, Windows keyboard. And now my personal laptop and my work computer are running the same OS. The only problem with the new beast so far is the teeny little wireless keyboard, which does not live in the keyboard tray, but I keep reaching down there anyway. I'll get used to it. And I had to hike up my chair several notches now that I'm not reaching down into the keyboard tray either. No sense in screwing up my shoulder any worse than it already is. (Which it is. If it doesn't start getting better, I may have to let the medical establishment tell me there's nothing to be done about it except maybe PT.)

Anyway, this weekend's excitement consists of my spending a large chunk of Saturday, some of Sunday morning, all day Monday and most of Tuesday at the American Dental Education Association meeting at the Hynes. I'm sort of looking forward to it, because I use my brain in unaccustomed ways at meetings like that, but it is taking a lot of time out of my weekend. Since I'm not salaried, I asked about whether I can get paid for going to the meeting. No answer yet, of course; the person who would know is out today.

I did finally get around to making refrigerator daikon pickles, but I haven't tried them yet. I ended up with more radish than brine, so I poured the extra brine over the extra radish and ate it as salad, and that was pretty tasty. Of course, since the brine has sugar in it, I have to account for the pickles. Can't have everything, I suppose. I had to go back to the size 10 pants, because the 8s were looking pathetic, but the 10s are still too big. I guess when I wear out one set or the other, it's time for some utterly different pants. Cue the Great Pants Quest, Part N+1, eventually. Sigh.

Speaking of frustration, last night I had a dream I have periodically, in which I spend most of it shouting at somebody. It's not the same person every time, although usually it's somebody I know. It's a safety-valve dream, but I always wake up feeling confused because in reality I would never have shouted at whoever it was. Generally speaking, I don't shout, and I don't ever shout AT people. I shout at Lily when circumstances demand it, because she KNOWS she's not supposed to be on the kitchen table. Either she hasn't done it lately or I haven't caught her at it lately. I suspect I haven't caught her at it.
dchenes: (katana)
Weight Watchers doesn't admit that singing is exercise. I say that standing up for three hours holding a score in one hand and using your abs that much ought to be worth something since it gave me a sore neck, sore shoulder and sore feet. (We had the first dress rehearsal last night.) And I have GOT to remember to bring water with me tomorrow, because by the end of last night my throat felt like there was a wad of crumpled-up medium grit sandpaper stuck in it. Apparently Sanders Theater's climate control runs on the dry side.

Sanders is an interesting place to sing in, too. For some reason I'm finding it harder to hear the other sections in there. They're muffled somehow, so I have to listen harder. And when we get to the end of a section and the whole place is ringing, it always surprises me. (Not that we shouldn't be able to make the place ring since there are a hundred or so of us.)

Unfortunately I got such a severe earworm from the rehearsal that I woke up five times last night with it stuck in my head. Having gone to bed at 11:30, I woke up at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 5:30 and 6:30. Which, when the alarm goes off at 6:50, was almost not worth staying in bed for except there was a sleeping cat sleeping all over my foot. Today is being brought to you by dint of ruthless caffeination and the happy thought that tonight I can go home and fall straight into the bathtub if I want to, with a slight detour for feeding the cats.

So that's my evenings this week. As of yesterday, I'm spending my days classifying all the lectures in the DMD curriculum according to a five-step content scale, from basic to advanced/interdisciplinary. The idea is that we're going to let the curriculum committee loose on this in January so they can play with it, but I have to give them something to start with. Fortunately it's not all that difficult because I already had the curriculum blueprint with all the lectures in it, and as opposed to last year when I created the thing, now I know what it means. It's nice to have most of the parts of a clue. But I'd really like it to be August already so we can stop agonizing about the curriculum change and Do It. Of course the process will have some lumps in it, but we can iron those out as they arise.

Speaking of processes with lumps in them, apparently my pet insurance wants a diagnosis even though I checked off the "wellness visit" box on the claim forms. I guess I'm just going to eat the $700, because this seems to be one of those processes in which you can spend a stupid amount of time getting rejections for petty reasons before you finally stumble over the right thing, and I ain't got time for that.
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