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I'm glad it was a long weekend, but it wasn't quite long enough. I will say that Saturday was a lovely day for hanging around in Harvard Yard and doing not much for three hours in the afternoon while waiting for people to show up for chorus auditions. Half a dozen people showed up over the three hours. And then I did the grocery shopping on the way home, and that was that.

Sunday was cold and wet, so I had a movie marathon (now that I know where all of my DVDs are, except Thor, and I have no idea where he went) and embroidered a lot. And I finally decided that I needed to do something about my phone, which was getting tired.

On Monday I went to the Apple store and said I needed a new phone and wasn't interested in standing in line for three days, and got sold an iPhone 7. So far I like it OK, but the whole "choose your click" thing is either not working or my fingers aren't sensitive enough to tell the difference. It does have more battery longevity than my old phone, though, and that's why I wanted a new phone to begin with. I managed to transfer almost everything between phones, so I didn't lose all my contacts again. I did lose Neko Atsume, though, and I was down to the last cat. Now I have to start over.

I put LastPass on the new phone, but I'm still not sure how to use it.

I've decided that steel-cut oatmeal isn't awful as long as it's not wallpaper paste, and as long as it's not sweet. Smoked paprika and chives worked, and so (so far) does diced tomatoes, garlic and mild chili powder. The next thing is to learn how to cook oatmeal without boiling it over, because it makes a fairly prodigious mess when it does that.
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Oof. I went through Standard 2 again today based on a meeting I had yesterday that required updating most of the tables. That was all good, but then I went on to another document that wanted all the parts of Standard 2 that applied to every individual course. The way I did that was to search Standard 2 for every instance of every course name.

In the process, I discovered that consistency would be good, but it wasn't happening: one course was going by three different titles (I looked at the results I was getting and said "That can't be all of them", and it wasn't, because when you search for Treatment of Child and Adolescent, you don't get Treatment of the Child and Adolescent or Treatment of Child & Adolescents). Besides that, four or five subsections of 2-23 either had courses listed in the table that weren't in the narrative (uh-oh) or courses listed in the narrative that weren't in the table (easy fix: insert row, copy and paste). So I fixed all that stuff, and now it all says Treatment of Child and Adolescent (which is what the syllabus says) and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Rotation (ampersands don't belong in formal writing that way), and everything in a table is also in the text, and everything in the text is also in a table. And my brain hurts and my shoulder is killing me.

Several hours later...

I got a head start on the sore shoulder last night, on account of it being chilly out and I being curled up pretty tight because I was also chilly. I probably should have put a quilt on the bed, but it's July. It being chilly out does mean there's a cat in my lap, though. That hasn't happened much lately, on account of it being humid enough for a tropical rain forest. My laptop doesn't like the humidity either. I don't know for sure if that's why the fan runs on high speed whenever the machine is awake, but it's been doing that since Tuesday. The internet said to restart the SMC, but that didn't work. I think I'll let the Computer Loft at it on Monday.

Going to bed at 8:30 would be a waste of a perfectly good Friday night, but I'm about half inclined to anyway.
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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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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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I treated my angry and jealous and sad from the other day with retail therapy, to wit: buying out-of-print books I grew up with. Everybody ought to own Harry the Fat Bear Spy by Gahan Wilson (yes, THAT Gahan Wilson) if for no other reason than the threatening letters:

1. "HELP! I am turning GREEN! Somebody stop it! Somebody BETTER stop it! Signed, The Turning Green Bear."

2. (I forget exactly how it goes, but it ends with "and if I am STILL GREEN tomorrow I will do something TERRIBLE! Signed, The Green Bear.")

3. "It is tomorrow and I am STILL GREEN, and I have done something TERRIBLE, JUST LIKE I SAID! Signed, The Terrible Green Bear."

I already own Harry and the Sea Serpent, which is the second and last of the books about Harry the Fat Bear Spy, and is notable for containing an excellent quote: "I'M the one who talks to strangers! And they usually wish I hadn't!"

Everybody also ought to own A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me, by Wallace Tripp, if for no other reason than to look at the illustrations. The fact that two or three of my favorite silly poems came from that book doesn't hurt either. So now I have incoming silly out-of-print books, and that makes me happy.

I walked home last night because the weather was excellent and I had to go to the Walgreens in Brookline Village anyway. I don't remember walking home being as much exertion as it was yesterday, so obviously I had better start doing it again. Today was an excellent day until it got cloudy again, but I got out for lunch and the weather was exactly what I ordered. For once.
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The short version is, oof. That's all. Just oof.

The long version is, Standard 2 is now 300 pages long and has an introduction and tables and diagrams. And I have rewritten bits of the introduction and at least six of the 40 sections, and reformatted at least 32 of the 40 sections, and I still have a lot of stuff to stick in there (some of which is data I have more of than I actually want, so I have to prune it, and some of which is data I won't get until after graduation next week, and some of which is data I have, but it won't fit in the table allotted for it, so I have to figure out how to include it all and make it legible at the same time).

When I'm not doing that, I'm working on data for Table 2, which is Institutional Outcomes Assessment and has nothing to do with Standard 2. Table 2 is now 20 pages long. Fortunately I'm not responsible for all of it, but what I am responsible for is looking through six years of surveys and writing down results from certain questions, and then taking the average and hoping it comes out better than the benchmark from seven years ago.

When I'm not doing anything related to accreditation, I'm making a curriculum map for a six-year combined MD/DMD program, which is actually kind of fun. And I get the Dimly Aware award for looking at the narrative that turned into the map and saying "Wait a minute, this says they'll be going straight from second-year foundational dental courses to seeing dental patients two years later after a lot of medical school rotations. They can't see dental patients without at least taking Diagnosis and Treatment Planning and Treatment of Active Disease, can they?" No, they can't, so now they have to. I feel better. (I do feel sorry for the student who got her DMD in 2015 and is now finishing her first year of medical school, though. It's going to take her eight years to get both degrees.)

When I'm not doing any of the above, I'm messing around with journal articles. If I had known the deadline for the third set of revisions to the JDE article was in July, I wouldn't have been so worried about it. Oh well, it's off my conscience now anyway and I really hope the reviewers are done picking nits, because ain't nobody got time for a fourth round of revisions. The other article, for Innovations in Teaching and Training International, needs to be reformatted (why can't we all agree on one format for citations, and why do I always have to change the one we started with to something else?) before I can submit it.

It got HOT and the cats are, as usual, convinced it was my idea and would like me to take it back. It will be better tomorrow; I just want to know if we're really going to have a thunderstorm (I hope so), and if so, when. Hopefully sometime when I'm indoors, and preferably after Snip has eaten her dinner. If not, either I have to wait until half an hour after the thunder is done with, or I have to sit in the bathroom with her and play London Bridge so she can hide under my legs while she eats.

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. I wish I didn't have two separate accreditation-related meetings at 10:00 and noon tomorrow, though. It's going to be a long morning, and I'm still sick and tired of meeting-food sandwiches. I could get around that by bringing my own sandwich, I suppose.
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This morning I wanted to know what sort of sacrifice the weather gods required before it could be sunny in the morning. As of lunchtime, it was gorgeous out, and after my lunch meeting (indifferent pizza, again) I escaped out into it for as long as it took to go to JP Licks and back. I wish I could have stayed outdoors for the rest of the afternoon, especially because I feel like I earned it. I got 50 pages of Standards 2-1 through 2-7 edited before 10:00 this morning, and then I went to a 10:00 meeting.

I particularly wanted that project out of my hair because I'm going to be no use to anybody next week. Fortunately the Monday chorus rehearsal got rearranged, so the chorus doesn't have to show up until 7:45. That's still a long night because the rehearsal goes until 10:00, but at least I'll have time to eat and actually digest my dinner beforehand. Wednesday is going to be 6:15 - 10:00, with a ten-minute break in it somewhere, and that's LONG. Especially for singers, and particularly in Sanders Theater in which it's pretty dry. The inside of my head usually feels like the Gobi Desert by the end of a rehearsal that long.

However, that's Wednesday. Today's Friday, and tonight I get to do my favorite ritual of the whole weekend: turning off the alarm clock before I go to bed. It did not particularly help anything that I fell down another internet rabbit hole last night and forced myself to go to bed when I looked up again and discovered it was midnight.

I'm looking forward to half an hour from now, when the most urgent problem I will have is whether I want japchae or pho for dinner.
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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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Seems today is Pi Day, and me without any pie. Since it's snowing enough to give me the day off, I ain't going out in search of any pie, either. At least I'm making soup, so I'm halfway to a family tradition. I'll have to ask Dad which of my great-grandfathers lived on soup and pie. (I wonder how he was off for teeth?)

Today is trash day, but they usually come around in the afternoon, so I don't know if anything's getting picked up today. I guess my weekly trash bag of clutter will have to sulk in my office for another week. Next week's bag is going to be recycling, mostly, because I have to go through the pile of Paper That Came Home From Foreign Countries (mostly maps and brochures and museum ticket stubs and things like that). It all lives in a box, which means I probably don't need all of it. I think I'll keep the maps, at least, because that's the record of my having been to those places. My India stuff is in a binder; maybe I'll add some other countries to that.

I thought my next trip was going to be Seattle, but Charleston doesn't sound so bad either. I still have to figure out when, though.

There's an orange cat on my keyboard. I don't remember ordering an orange cat on my keyboard. She wants me to go sit down in the living room so she can sit in my lap. We can't always get what we want, though.
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The regiment has been investing in things that don't involve a million calories. So now I own the complete Fawlty Towers, which I should have bought years ago, and the CD of our last chorus concert. I like to listen to those because I never know how the pieces sound to the audience; all I hear is the alto section and whichever other section(s) I'm taking entrances or starting notes from. When I'm singing this stuff, I'm too busy to appreciate the whole thing. But I have to say we knocked The Golden Harp out of the park, pretty much. I still don't like Fern Hill (it was written in 1964 and the accompaniment has almost nothing to do with what the chorus is doing). The Harvest of a Quiet Eye was OK, but it's more "soloists accompanied by chorus and orchestra" and I'm not in the mood for that (although the baritone soloist was excellent). I'm also trying to adjust my listening out of "Pay attention and get this right" and into "I like this piece of music".

It's going to be snot-freezing weather again this weekend and snow tomorrow and Tuesday. I disapprove of both of those ideas, because even if it's only March, it's March and I'm sick of the sweatshirt-and-wool-socks routine. And I really need to buy a lot of kitty litter, and I'm going to have to do it tonight, because doing it in the snow is Right Out.

I may need to take a mental health day tomorrow, because I can't come up with a good reason why today isn't Friday. It's even been a quiet week, but I'm done dealing with specific people and office machinery (I really wish I weren't the copier expert again; every job I've had, I've sat near the copier, and become the unjamming expert by proximity). Not that not being at work tomorrow would fix much of anything, but I might have a more acceptable level of cope on Monday.
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Soup ended up being corn, tomatoes, white beans, chicken, lemon juice, garlic and chives. Not really what I was expecting, and not quite what I wanted. But I've got it, so I'll eat it.

I whine, and I admit it, but the clinical curriculum coordinator is breaking all existing records for whining this week, and I can hear him from 30 feet away and through a closed door between here and where his desk is. Yesterday he came to pick up something out of the color printer and was whining about wanting cake and the fact that we didn't have any. So, since I had to go to Walgreens anyway, I went to Stop & Shop and bought him a piece of cake just to shut him up. It worked for an hour, and then he was back over here whining to somebody else about how Costco sells crab dip he can't stop eating, and he wants some, but he never goes there because it's a waste of time otherwise. One of us needs a vacation.

By the time I got home from chorus last night, it was snowing pancakes; huge fluffy clumps of snowflakes we don't get very often. They were very pretty, but they were snow, and I hadn't ordered any more snow. (But they were very pretty.) They amounted to about an inch in Brighton and less in the medical area.

I have just committed to bringing my enormous framed embroidery piece to work for the On My Own Time exhibit in March. I think the easiest (ha ha) way to do it is going to be taking it on the bus on a Saturday. I would almost do it tomorrow except there's still too much snow. The truly easiest way to do it would be to borrow the back seat of somebody's car for an hour, but I hesitate to ask.

Speaking of things that should be easy and aren't, Lee and White House Black Market are both out of the jeans-that-fit-me business, so now I have to start over. Again. I haven't a clue where to start. I default to "go outdoors and get dirty and throw everything in the wash afterward" type jeans, rather than "only wear in nice weather, wash in cold water, inside out, and air dry" type jeans. I guess I should start with LL Bean and find out how they think my body is shaped wrong for their clothes. (Every clothing manufacturer thinks my body is shaped wrong for their clothes, somehow or other.)
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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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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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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.
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Two nights ago I was running errands in the vicinity of Fenway 13 anyway, so I went and bought a ticket to see Rogue One last night. That was my first experience with actual reclining movie theater seats, and I think I'm spoiled for life now. The movie was worth what I paid to see it, too. (But if I were a stormtrooper and survived the movie, I would have words with somebody about the usefulness of the armor.)

Maybe I want to go see Hidden Figures, too.

Since last night was movie night, I turned it into cheeseburger-and-movie night. Sometimes you just want a cheeseburger, and nothing else will do. What I really wanted was a gold star for my forehead, because I didn't tell the faculty member I was dealing with yesterday exactly what I thought of his failure to tell me until after I scheduled all his lectures (Tuesdays only, please) that he's on vacation for two weeks in the middle of February.

The piece of embroidery I sold is Sampler Cove's Spanish Bleu, just so I have it written down somewhere.

Today did not start the way I wanted. It wasn't snowing when I got up, but it was when I left the house. And then the bus didn't show up for 20 minutes, so when it did, there were enough people on it for two buses already. Good thing today is Friday and I don't have to do that again tomorrow. I'd better do some grocery shopping tonight, though, because it's supposed to snow again tomorrow. I can think of worse things to do tomorrow than spend most of it with a cat in my lap.
dchenes: (katana)
Went climbing for the first time in roughly eight years, on Saturday morning. Then took my watch to be repaired (dropped it and shattered the crystal), got my hairs cut, went grocery shopping, went home, and fell over. I knew there was going to be pain, and I wanted to get all the moving I needed to do done before I couldn't move very much. On Sunday I couldn't bend my left elbow for more than about a minute before it started screaming at me, and my upper arms (though thankfully not my actual shoulders) were most displeased. I did laundry anyway, because clean underwear is a good idea. But I had to come back upstairs and whimper at Snip for a minute. She was mightily unimpressed. I got to the top of a bouldering route, at least. But the walls at Brooklyn Boulders are taller than the ones I'm used to, and I can't bring myself to believe in the auto-belays from that high up. And I don't have the strength to get all the way up anyway; bouldering routes are short.

Karma smacked me upside the head this morning, because yesterday I watched the Bills/Steelers game get snowed on in Buffalo and was glad I didn't have to deal with snow. This morning it was snowing when I got up, so I dressed for snow, and then stood in the rain at the bus stop for 15 minutes. My supposedly waterproof winter coat leaks at the shoulders. That'll teach me to be smug.

As usual, the fact that I work at a dental school is not keeping me from being surrounded by sugar at this time of year. There's a half sheet cake (chocolate) and a very large pie (undetermined) around the corner from me. At least those are slightly harder to eat than the usual five pounds of shortbread. And the faculty member who just came back from Istanbul came back with baklava. And one of my other coworkers made biscotti. And the lunch meeting today involved leftover chocolate trifle.

I have to figure out traveling for Christmas. Some of me doesn't wanna do it at all, but most of me does. Rib roast is not to be sneezed at, and after Dad's heart surgery extravaganza two years ago, I'll take family when I can get it.
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)
Aside from the heart attack I got on Tuesday because FedEx declined to deliver my guaranteed-Tuesday-morning delivery to Indianapolis until Wednesday morning, it's been a fairly quiet week. I don't even really remember Monday, which means nothing exploded. Tuesday was heart attack day, and yesterday the weather was so nice that I nearly skipped chorus rehearsal in favor of staying outdoors in the evening air. But I didn't; I talked myself into going to rehearsal.

I'm in the middle of trying not to buy a Scantron machine. We used to do 200-question exams as prep for the Part 2 board exams, but the timing changed and we were giving the prep exam after the board exam deadline had already passed, so we stopped. A lot of the course directors are still doing paper exams, and some of them are still doing bubble-sheet exams, but we have to send the bubble sheets to BU to be scanned, and that doesn't make sense any more either. So I'm trying to either get the course directors to quit with the bubble sheets, or get the school to invest in Akindi, which is a program that seems to allow you to make up, print out, and scan your own bubble sheets and then makes reports out of the results. Yes please? The only question is, how much is it going to cost us, and can it fit in the budget? (OK, two questions. The second one is, can I talk the course directors out of using bubble sheets at all by next year?)

Normally, anything on Facebook that ends in a hashtag or depends on repostings is met with my own private circular file. I made an exception for a book exchange, though, and sent Captains Courageous off to somebody in Easthampton this afternoon, and reposted the original post. The skeptical side of me thinks this is just a massive address collection scheme and I'm going to get massive amounts of spam and junk mail. We'll see if I ever get a book myself.

I get an assistant in November. I'm trying to resist the urge to make a list of everything I hate doing and handing it all off to her. "Feeding meetings" is getting right up to the top of that list, though, especially because of the cafeteria strike. I'm tired of pizza and sandwiches, and I'm not sure where to get decent soup and salad except Milk Street, which we can't afford to make a habit of.
dchenes: (katana)
It got cold (by which I mean 60), and I disapprove. The Hairy Beasts only disapprove of cold floors; they know they can come sit on me with their little cold feet and sooner or later their little cold feet will get less cold.

Aside from being cold, this week is less insane than last week and the week before. At least I managed to get through the 24,000 rows of Excel sheet I was converting into a couple of tables for the last couple of weeks, and get through another several thousand rows of demographic data, and I went through three subsections of CODA Standard 2 like a dose of salts, and I rendered readable the first draft of an article on the results of a teaching method that hasn't happened yet, and I prepared the in-class materials for said method which is being piloted next week, and I have most of the figures for the annual survey that wants to know about clock hours per year for five different kinds of instruction, which (given the curriculum change) is a massive combined guessing game and headache. But this week at least I had time to think about all that jazz.

And, last weekend I finally got off page 1 of the embroidery pattern. This is the first pattern I haven't been able to look at and figure out what's going on before I've stitched it. It will get more legible later on, but right now it's all individual leaves in a tree, and they mush together and the pattern doesn't make any sense until I look at what it results in. I would love to get out of this tree. And I will, eventually.

Speaking of results, I bought a floor stand for the enormous framed piece because I don't trust a plaster wall with it. Actually the floor stand is a $30 expandable easel, but when not expanded, it makes a perfectly adequate floor stand. It's strong enough to hold the embroidery, holds it low enough that the cats can't run under it at 40 mph and knock it over, and it's compact enough that I'm not tripping over it. I love it when I get a good idea that actually turns out to be a good idea.

Trying to throw most of the bills in the recycling before I actually paid them was not a good idea, but fortunately I figured out where they had gone before I went completely insane. Also fortunately, I tend not to take out that recycling bag until it's overflowing, and it was only half full. Most fortunately, the Patriots/Bengals tickets were not also in the pile I chucked in that bag.

I think maybe I'll take the entire week of Thanksgiving off. My brain is kind of stopping there anyway when I think about things that are coming up.
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