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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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Yesterday I came home and discovered that Snip had yarfed up breakfast and didn't want dinner at all. This is the cat who wanted dinner after swallowing an embroidery needle. Besides which, she wasn't really acting like herself either (lethargic, and staring off into space instead of going to sleep). I decided that if she didn't want breakfast, we were going to Angell in the morning.

This morning she woke me up demanding breakfast and company while she ate it, and has kept it down and is acting much more like herself. Thank goodness. But what did I want cats for, again?

This morning I also woke up with a thundering headache. I'd had it since at least 4:00, when I woke up for no apparent reason and then went back to sleep at 5:30. I don't know if it's post-stress (Standard 2 got released into the wild yesterday at lunchtime), or weather (it rained) or something else (my neck is sore, so it might be the end result of a muscle spasm). Fortunately, three Advil and a pint of oolong tea got rid of most of it.

It seems to be trying to get brighter out and the sidewalks are drying off, which I approve of, and I am going to the gospel concert tonight if I have to take the Advil bottle with me. And, on the bright side of things, I didn't look at which pair of jeans I put on this morning and was pleasantly surprised that it was the smaller pair. That means it's not time to stop eating cheese entirely. It is time to stop buying butter and pasta for a while, though, because I combine entirely too much of both when I have them around.
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I walked three miles today in the pursuit of getting both quilts washed.

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

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

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

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

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

The cats are much happier with low 60s than they were with low 90s. I still wish we'd had a thunderstorm, though. The one I slept through on Thursday night doesn't count, because I slept through it.
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I needed a three-day weekend, but that wasn't going to happen. So the laundry didn't get done, including I didn't go to the laundromat with the quilts. I did put the new quilt on the bed when I changed the sheets, and Snip promptly got confused (I knew she would) and decided the new quilt feels funny to walk on but is OK to sleep on. Silly beast. This happens every time I change anything about the covers.

The concert went; as usual, we could have had more audience, but the fact that it started raining at 4:00 and didn't stop until after 10:00 probably had something to do with that. I wouldn't have gone out in the rain if I hadn't had to. But it went, and I only made a mistake every other page or so, but no really glaring ones. And then I stood in the rain for 40 minutes because rain dissolves buses in Harvard Square. I finally went to bed at 11:30 and slept until 10:00 Saturday morning.

Saturday being damp, grey and gloomy, I didn't do a whole lot with it (except the dishes) until the sun suddenly appeared after lunch. Then I decided I had better go grocery shopping. I gave myself permission not to try to break any land speed records getting there, and decided that what I really wanted was to be parked in the sun for a couple of hours with a very large bowl of vegetable soup. I didn't get the soup, but I did amble around in the sunshine and manage to buy canned cat food, so we're not running out of that. We are, however, out of luck in the matter of Greek olive oil with lemon juice in it, and bottled oolong tea (which I would have bought a case of, except it was only there for a week).

On Sunday I ate my damn fool head off, which I shouldn't have done, and went grocery shopping again for things I hadn't wanted to carry on Saturday. I also made vegetable soup out of a box of broth,a piece of Parmesan rind, a medium zucchini, a medium carrot, a small can of diced tomatoes, and some frozen corn and lima beans. And a pantload of chives and dill and half a pantload of pepper. That'll be lunch for the middle of the week, especially since I also bought bread and cheese to have with it.

Ever since I got that 48-hour whatever-it-was a couple of weeks ago, eating anything with a lot of processed sugar in it makes me feel run down about half an hour later. It's extremely odd to be put off by the mere thought of eating chocolate, and I actually threw away the two half-eaten dark chocolate bars I had at home. This is unheard of, and I wonder if the whatever-it-was didn't kill off some particular gut bacteria. I'll never know, though, because I don't have a Before to compare the After with.
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Friday was actually a good day, to the point where on Friday night I was feeling pleased with myself for getting through a large slice of the self-study, and I got paid on Friday, and it was the weekend, and it was nice outdoors. And my boss kicked me out of the office at 4:45, having bought me some iced tea from Starbucks besides. I spent my extra 15 minutes paying all the bills when I got home, and it was so nice out that I went out for dinner afterward. I couldn't decide between Korean and Vietnamese noodles, but it ended up being Vietnamese at the Super 88 in the form of summer rolls AND rice noodle salad. That was more food than I probably should have eaten, but I ate all of it and didn't feel overstuffed.

On Saturday morning I had a carrot and a piece of lemon cake for breakfast, and wondered why the hell there wasn't any food in the house. Because I felt icky last weekend and didn't go grocery shopping, that's why. So I went grocery shopping and got rather carried away, but managed not to buy canned cat food because TJ's didn't have that. This is getting ridiculous; I had to mail-order dry cat food last week because Petco hadn't had that for two weeks. I still have at least half a case of wet food, though, so it won't be a disaster for another month. Since I went grocery shopping in sandals, I gave myself blisters, and I had to come home and do laundry so I could go out again in clean non-wool socks. It was too hot for wool socks.

On Sunday I observed that the container I keep my change collection in was just about full, so I wandered off to the Coinstar machine and came away with $83 in cash. That's about right, because the container tends to hold about $90 and Coinstar machines gouge you on "processing fees". Oh well. I would sprain something carrying $83 in change around everywhere, and I don't think the credit union would cash in change for me. After that (and getting rained on, because of course I was outdoors for the ten minutes yesterday when it rained), I came home and cooked chickpeas and made a non-cruciferous bean salad (chickpeas, not quite enough dried tomatoes, absolutely not enough feta, chives, lemon juice, a teeny little bit of smoked olive oil, and less black pepper than I thought). Someday I will figure out what the hell is wrong with my pepper mill; it likes to dispense pepper all over the place behind whatever vessel I'm trying to grind pepper into.

The embroidery continues to go like gangbusters. Some of that is because I'm into the actual tree, and it has definite areas of single colors and I can see progress when I do that (as opposed to the bits where five stitches in a single color is a lot, and then you stand across the room and see leaves, instead of random blobs). Progress is happy stuff.
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I had plans to be outdoors for a lot of the long weekend, but they got called as of mid-Sunday because my left ankle went out on me again.

On Friday night I went to Target and ended up buying yogurt and the DVD of Hidden Figures. I had to go to Staples for whiteout and Command strips, because Target had neither. Harumpf. But at least now I have whiteout, instead of that stupid whiteout ribbon thing that never gets whiteout where I want it. And if I ever get around to hanging up art at home, I can do it without putting holes in the plaster. Since I decluttered the place, there's more blank wall I can get at, and it cries out for art on it.

On Saturday I went out and got my hairs cut, and decided to grow them out again because it takes too much work to keep them short. And then I went grocery shopping and failed to buy tea for lack of it, went to the bookstore and bought one used and one new, and went to the pet store and failed to buy cat food for lack of that. I decided that since there were several million dogs all over the place in the pet store and the staff were all busy wrangling them (which would have amused me if I hadn't been disgruntled about lack of cat food), I would try again on Sunday.

As of Sunday, the supplier for the pet store didn't have any of the kind of cat food I want, and that's not good. That was also when my ankle went out, so I limped off home again and spent the rest of the afternoon muttering imprecations every time I put weight on my left foot.

Yesterday I cooked beans and made lunch for the week (bean salad: black-eyed peas, roasted cauliflower and zucchini, approximately half a ton of fresh parsley, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and some garlic and black pepper) and did the dishes three or four times as a result, and played most of a game of Civ 5 (unless I cannon up quite a lot and declare war on somebody, I think I might win it by time running out, because I can't seem to get anything else really going well) and did less embroidering than I really wanted to. Oh, and I did the laundry. And watched Hidden Figures, which is a reasonably good movie even if it does have Kevin Costner in it. So far Hidden Figures and Silverado are the only two movies I've seen in which Kevin Costner isn't playing Kevin Costner.

This morning I woke up at an hour that shouldn't exist, on account of pain in several places in my left calf. Of course my half-awake brain thought it was DVT, but of course it isn't. It seems to have settled out into a couple of different muscle spasms as of getting-up time. I should probably start buying bananas again, and in retrospect I've been walking funny in various ways since before I went to Charleston, so of course various bits of me are complaining. More work for my massage therapist on Thursday.
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So I can say I got things done today, here's what I got done today (so far):

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

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

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

Lily is insisting on helping me type, so I think I'll go bust out the vacuum cleaner so she'll leave me alone. I love her dearly, but I don't need her within three inches of me at all times today.
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I did almost absolutely nothing this weekend, and that bothers me. It means I really need to take some time off. Usually I'm happy going charging around on weekends getting non-weekday stuff done, but lately I just sit around at home messing around online or playing Civ or embroidering in front of the TV. Everything that I really should be doing doesn't appeal at all. That's "tired of", whereas charging around doing things makes me "tired from". I've got to get all the running around for this weekend done on Saturday, though, because I'm going to Noank for the day on Sunday.

Maybe next week I'll be Not At Work for a while. This week is the last week of the oral surgery course, which means that on Friday morning I will be handed the handwritten exam that needs typing for Friday afternoon. I know how this course director works, and I can plead all I want, but I won't get the exam before Friday morning. It's not really worth taking Tuesday-Thursday off and coming back again on Friday, so I'm at work this week.

Speaking of exams, in order to get SPSS software (which I'm not sure I want, but which my boss wants me to have for future data manipulation) for less than several thousand dollars, I have to pretend to be a faculty member. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.

Speaking of comfortable, I splurged on an hour and a half of massage on Friday, and OW. My right hip was so sore when worked on that I started wondering whether it would have hurt more to actually cut into that muscle. It got to the point where in the post-massage period when nothing actually hurt (yet), I was worried about how much it was going to hurt. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought, but it did decide to be sore right where the waistband of my jeans hit it. I'd like to say that was part of why I didn't do anything on Saturday, but the fact is I was just being a slug. At least yesterday I cleaned the bathroom and did the laundry and cleaned out the fridge and took out the trash on the way to being outdoors for an hour.

Snip decided that 5:00 this morning was a good time to kill her puffball. I didn't feel like waking up enough to take my night guard out so I could whistle for her. She did wake me up when she finally landed on the end of the bed, though, and I forgave her because she immediately fell over and made very cute mrrp? noises. Silly beast. Apparently tortoiseshell cats are famous for attitude, and apparently I'm lucky that Snip is merely eccentric and opinionated. But so am I, so what other kind of cat should I have?
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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.
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What we need is a federal Office of Not Destroying the Country. It wouldn't cost much, because it would consist of two people, each equipped with a taser and a cattle prod, standing behind Trump and Bannon. Every time they want to do anything that would destroy something good about this country, ZAP. Granted, the overtime pay would probably run into the millions, but surely we can afford that in the interests of Not Destroying the Country.

I kid, of course, but only slightly. What I'm not kidding about at all is this: We need to make the willfully ignorant people in power aware that we won't put up with them doing awful things, and I'm not sure anything short of a taser or a cattle prod would do it.

Let's see, are there any Good Things to remember? I went to my first protest on Sunday. My back wasn't happy about that yesterday (standing up and not moving very much annoys it, as opposed to standing up and walking), but it did finally let go yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I went to the protest, but I don't know if it actually did anything other than let us yell for a couple of hours.

One of my coworkers got a kitten last weekend (finally, after she was supposed to get him at Thanksgiving, but he hadn't been neutered until mid-January) and she's discovering Life With Kitten. Also known as Not Getting Sleep Because Feet Under Covers Need Constant Attacks. Been there. Also been in the middle of Midnight Tag Team Wrestling Matches All Over Bed. But kittens are awfully cute.

It's not pitch dark out at 5:00, finally. Maybe there's hope for it being spring someday.
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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.
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)
Last week was mostly uneventful, which I needed it to be. I got so completely burned out that I spent Monday unable to think about anything more complicated than the basics (feed the cats, give Lily a pill, rot brain with TV, eat meals, rot brain with more TV, feed the cats again, give Lily another pill, take a bath, go to bed). Tuesday was a little better. Wednesday I threw some clean underwear in a bag and went to Noank for Thanksgiving, and it was just the four of us, which was restful and amounted to one pie per person (apple, squash, Greek walnut and blueberry, although the blueberry one wasn't actually a pie; it was a crumble sort of thing). Friday amounted to a turkey sandwich and a lot of embroidering and a visit with my Fairly Godmother who has just been to Rome and LOVED it. Yesterday amounted to a visit to the thrift shop, which had a mess (literally) of somebody's embroidery floss. I threw out half of it as a hopeless tangle, but ended up with a lot of cream-colored and some various greens and purples of a brand I've never heard of. Based on the color palette, I think it was leftovers from embroidering flowers on something. But for $2, why not?

Yesterday I woke up with a sore leg, and it proceeded to be both legs and my back over the course of the day. It mostly grumbled, but when I got on the train it turned into a screaming tantrum because the seat was reclined at exactly the wrong angle and putting it up again didn't help enough. Fortunately the tantrum responded to three Advil and a very hot bath when I got home. Today it's grumbling quietly enough to be only a possible excuse to be a wuss and take the T from Washington Square to Coolidge Corner instead of walking. I haven't decided whether I want to be a wuss or not, but I definitely need apples and cat food, and they come from Trader Joe's, so I have to go to Coolidge Corner. And I have to mail the bills, which means I have to go at least as far as the mailbox at the bus stop. And I really ought to do it before lunchtime.

Now that I've processed last week some, I realize I've been vindicated; one of the things the site visitors said was "It's obvious you took a lot of care writing this thing, but it's too long." Which is what I said. So there.
dchenes: (katana)
I knew the end of this week was going to be tough, and I was right. Especially yesterday. Thursday I merely got to work at 7:05, helped set up breakfast, and started taking minutes for the CODA Standard 2 mock site visit at 8:00. Half an hour of break at 1:00, back to it again until 5:15. Dinner out (Taberna de Haro, which was good, but the chairs are too high and I had to mountaineer myself into mine). Home, feed cats, fall into bed.

Yesterday, there was all of the above except dinner, and added fun involving the CODA meeting being in the new building and the clinics being closed for staff development. Everybody at HSDM cuts through the clinics on the first and second floors when they're going from one building to the other. But when the clinics are closed all day, the doors are locked and you can't cut through. (The clinic director thinks that's stupid because nobody's going to be smuggling patients in and working on them. But the facilities director had a fit about security.) Usually you can also get from one building to the other by going outdoors, but the main building entrance is closed for the next several weeks while they rebuild the outdoor stairs. So the only way into the main building (where my office is) when the clinics are closed is through the new building via the basement. Not Useful. Probably also not legal in terms of fire exits. However, also not my problem, because I'm taking the first half of next week as vacation. Therefore I don't have to think about it at all.

Lily likes chicken-flavored pill pockets, thank goodness. We're training each other on acceptable usage thereof; if I put it on the floor, she'll eat the pocket and leave the pill. At which point we try it again, and so far she'll eat the pill the second time. But if she takes it out of my fingers, she'll eat the whole works the first time. Maybe she thinks she's getting away with stealing it if she takes it directly from me, and has to get rid of the evidence? I don't know.

Snip has recovered from her cold, or at least I assume so because her Niagara of the Nose is gone and she doesn't sneeze when she wakes up. She thought I needed to be Washed Properly this morning, which I was inclined to let her do; she wouldn't be trying to sand the skin off my nose if she didn't feel like doing it.

I have to go out at some point today and buy some more pill pockets and run various other errands. This is the first time I can remember since summer that I'm not feeling like I Gotta Do Everything NOW. I wish more of my life felt like that.
dchenes: (katana)
Just so I know why I'm going to be sore tomorrow morning, today has been:

- Sectional rehearsal
- Grocery shopping
- Put groceries away
- Empty, wash and refill litterbox
- Vacuum pantry, living room and bedroom
- Put laundry in washer, in dryer, and on drying rack
- Dishes
- Clean kitchen sink
- Clean bathroom tub/toilet/sink
- Clean bathroom floor
- Take out kitchen trash, bathroom trash, office trash, and recycling
- Fetch from basement, fold, and put away laundry

I still have to go out and buy more kitty litter, and paper towels, and toilet cleaner. I'm sorely tempted to add beer to that list, but I'm not sure I've expended quite that many calories.
dchenes: (katana)
I believe I can state for sure that I had a pretty full weekend.

I bailed on work at 3:30 on Friday, with permission, and took 2300 pages of CODA Standard 2 to FedEx in Coolidge Corner to be bound and sent to two site visitors (1166 pages each). Of course they couldn't bind them while I waited, but said I could come back at 7:00; any other Friday, I would have, but it happened I had a massage appointment at 6:00 and am not much good for anything afterward. So I went home after the massage with a screaming sore right shoulder (rhomboid spasm, which was not at all inclined to let go, but finally gave up) and took three Advil and put frozen peas on it.

On Saturday morning I got up, took some more Advil, ambled through the shower and the subsequent "sit in the sun and dry hair and provide felines with lap space" routine, and then ambled off to Coolidge Corner again to get the bound documents sent and everything paid for. $120 later, I had two tracking numbers and CODA off my conscience for the weekend, and I proceeded to go grocery shopping. I really shouldn't let it get to the point where I need 12 cans of cat food. But I bought them and a half dozen of the enormous honeycrisp apples I had forgotten about from last year, and some other odds and ends, and wandered off home, and then wandered out again to do errands in a different direction. At that point my sore shoulder had Had Enough (having a can of cat food hit it in the sore spot didn't help), so I took some more Advil and ended up having an unscheduled nap.

Post-nap I got up and fed the cats and wandered out to a housewarming party in Somerville. I ended up staying there until about 10:45 and was offered an Uber home. The driver was from the Dominican Republic and said he mostly took the job because he wanted to learn more English and learn about other cultures, and the college students around here are from EVERYWHERE, so he gets all sorts of education.

On Sunday I spent most of the day at the Patriots/Bengals game. We left at 10:00 and parked (for $25) about a mile from the stadium, so we got to walk past a lot of the tailgating. Compared to the Midwest, New England tailgaters aren't even amateurs. But everybody seemed to be having fun, and that's the important part. Apparently I could have resold the tickets for $1000 apiece because it was Brady's first home game this season, but I only found that out afterward and I wouldn't have resold them anyway. The first half wasn't so good from a football perspective, but I enjoyed the experience. The second half was pretty entertaining, involving both a safety by Hightower (and they played most of The Safety Dance afterward, because they had time on account of TV commercials) and a Gronk TD (he's just as much fun to watch live), and I screamed myself hoarse and we won. I don't know where all the traffic went on the way home, but it wasn't where we were, which was nice.

I had recorded the game just to see what was different about TV versus live, and also to see if I showed up on TV (I didn't). Watching the TV version, I found out which of the Bengals players were making plays (if they said that at the game, I couldn't hear it over the screaming), and found out why they threw a flag on Gronk for taunting (couldn't see it from where I was sitting). I actually almost prefer the live game, because even if there are breaks for TV commercials, there's something to watch. I don't mind watching the players amble around on the sideline.

The regiment invested in a real honest to goodness green steel Thermos, so I can make my own coffee and bring it to work instead of either spending too much money on buying coffee when I get there, or buying it from the cafeteria, which I'm discouraged from doing on account of solidarity (the union I'm part of is supporting the striking cafeteria workers' union). I wonder what will happen if the strike extends to the winter break, because part of the cafeteria workers' grievances is that they don't get paid for winter break. Harvard offered them a stipend; is it worse to get less stipend than you want, or is it worse to not get paid at all because you're on strike because you're not getting as much stipend as you want?
dchenes: (katana)
A lot of that work I didn't get done last week has gotten done this week, to the extent of 940 collected pages of supporting documents. And 140 pages of actual narrative report. I am now at the point where I can't skip anything because the fact that I skipped it will get lost in the morass until the site visitors find it missing, so whatever I don't have is holding up the whole rest of the works.

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

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

As of today I am finally out of soup. I have chicken and tomatoes and a can of black beans, and I might put together something in the chili family, but not tonight. I always seem to get good ideas and then run slap into chorus rehearsal on Wednesday, and then by Thursday the motivation is gone and I never actually act on the idea. Come to think of it, I'm out of homemade soup stock too. Lily will be ecstatic if I make bland soup stock (just poultry, salt and pepper) and save the poultry skin for her. She's taken to hollering her head off every time I set foot in the kitchen, just in case there's any more leftover chicken skin and I forgot about it. We ran out three days ago, though, so hollering isn't going to get her anywhere. At least not until I make soup stock again, anyway.
dchenes: (katana)
This weekend I did considerably less than I should have, but I did make soup. Soup is one of the things I'm good at. So I made a cross between sausage soup (which usually has sausage, tomatoes, spinach and elbow noodles in it) and Italian chicken soup (chicken, spinach, meatballs and eggs). Mine has chicken, meatballs, tomatoes, spinach and navy beans in it. I really wanted the meatballs; everything else is an excuse to make soup because I'm good at soup.

Everything from the middle of my ribcage up feels "out" somehow. It's muscular, not chiropractic, but it's sore and I wish it wouldn't. The weekend being damp didn't help my shoulders, either. I can deal with a fair amount of muscular discomfort, but I don't like tendon pain and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Grump. I think part of the problem with my back is Snip, who starts the night very nicely at the side of the bed and slowly migrates to the middle and crams me into one side of the mattress. Her life is about to get less pleasant, though, because I have to make an appointment for both cats to get shots.

The other thing of note that happened this weekend is that the cracked pane in my office window went to get replaced. It's been cracked for two years now, and I wasn't home when it happened, so I can't decide whether it was the hailstorm two summers ago or a bird flying into it that cracked it. The crack had gotten fairly extensive, though, so it was time for something to be done about it. Theoretically it will be done on Thursday and I'll have a whole window again this weekend. It would be nice to have a storm window before we have a storm.

I might have cooked up a Devious Plot for the long weekend, involving a trip to Noank and a Viking longship. (And yes, I'm serious about both.) But we'll see if I can actually make it work.
dchenes: (katana)
LONG week last week, too. I got to Friday despite the CODA meeting, another couple of meetings with and/or about the second year students, and a chorus rehearsal. I was going to go home and have a takeout-and-football night on Friday, but I finally decided I didn't want the entire week to be work, chorus rehearsal and home. So I took myself out to Alden & Harlow instead and had steak and porter and pistachio cake. The food was good, but the room is loud when there are that many people in it.

Saturday I didn't do much of anything, except grocery shopping and I didn't do that until 6:00. But when I did go grocery shopping, I bought a lot of vegetables and stewed them today so I can have stewed vegetables and tomato couscous for lunch this week. I can't stand any more lunch meetings with pizza or sandwiches. I ordered soup and salad for the CODA meeting on Friday and actually ate soup with lentils and chemically hot stuff in it because it wasn't sandwiches or pizza. (You get the Soup of the Day for the day you want it, so you don't know what it will be. This time it was lentil, barley, and hot curry powder.)

Today I did in fact get my act together before lunch, in consequence of which I have a genteel sufficiency of kitty litter and a rack full of wet laundry in addition to the stewed vegetables. I still want to make another round of frittatas, but I can't decide what kind. Smoked salmon and scallions sounds good, but it's 8:30 on Sunday night and I don't want to start cooking again now.

As of today I also have an idea of exactly how much simultaneous bilateral pectoral muscle spasms suck. (Very much indeed, in case you didn't know that.)

Speaking of cooking, or not, last night we had major teamwork going on. Snip found a grillionpede somewhere and played hockey with it until she got it into the living room, at which point Lily took over, stomped on it and ate it. Snip has very definite ideas about what is and is not edible, and apparently grillionpedes are not edible. Lily, on the other hand, will try anything once, and even if she thinks it's disgusting, she'll keep begging for it. Silly beast.
dchenes: (katana)
Took Friday off, because I had spent so much of the week putting out fires. I still had a lot of suspiciously smoldering ashes, but I was at the point where I was just as likely to throw kerosene on them as water. So I took the day off. I spent the first part of it spending $1200 on embroidery framing, but I go to these framers because they're good, not because they're cheap. Then I went grocery shopping, and then I went home and did less than I probably should have for the entire rest of the weekend. But at least I didn't answer any emails, even though I was reading them (see "suspiciously smoldering ashes").

I hate being at the point where I have done everything I possibly can to fix a situation that isn't really my fault in the first place, and things are still going wrong, and even though there's nothing I can do about that, I'm going to get blamed for not fixing it. (My lab supplies were supposed to be delivered on Thursday. I don't have them yet. I need them for 1:00 today. The tracking web site says they're in this zip code, but they're not in this building. This is going to be my fault, even though there's nothing I can do about it.) It's turning me into a neurovore (thank you, Terry Pratchett, for inventing that concept!).

I have never come closer to kissing a complete stranger than I did just now (it was the deliveryman with the lab supplies, who delivered them at 12:40).

Maybe I'll survive the rest of the week after all...
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