I mostly knit, sometimes crochet or cross-stitch.
I read, a lot.
I love cats.
I love hockey, especially my local team, the Boston Bruins.
Want more? Read on.
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Not Even This Bergeron Fan
This week was an odd one for me; after feeling somewhat better on Monday and Tuesday, my resilience dipped on Wednesday and Thursday, and only rose partially on Friday. The symptoms of the cold have been mostly gone all week, but the exhaustion lingers, which is very annoying. It threw me off so much, I was surprised by yesterday being Friday! Pleasantly surprised, of course, but still, that doesn't usually catch me off guard.
Anyway, let's talk about something else. Specifically, an ad that came in the paper last week with the holiday sales at the Pro Shop, which is where one gets Bruins (and Celtics) gear.
Now, if you've been paying attention at all, you know I'm a big, big fan of Patrice Bergeron. In fact, a search of the blog entries before this one shows his name coming up here no less than 87 times (which, in ten years, is actually less than I expected). However, take a look at this.
Specifically, I'm looking at the ugly sweater part-hidden behind the ugly vest.
Much as I love him, and bargain-hunter that I am, not even for $20 was I at all tempted by this. I'm not sure I would take it for free! Wow. What an interesting object.
In the same paper, though, I noticed another hockey player in an ad.
I knew Max Domi was diabetic--I read an interesting article last year about the dog he has, to sense when his blood sugar levels were off--so I thought it was kind of neat that he's involved with a diabetes product.
And on to the next subject--zip!--I started knitting something new.
Not bad, so far. I haven't done a lot of color work, and in a sock it seems kind of tricky, but we'll see how it goes.
With a title like that, you won't be surprised that the next part starts, "I was at Whole Foods..." But there I was, with a little time to kill before going somewhere, so I was looking about to see what sorts of interesting things they might have, when I saw this.
See what it says at the bottom? "Crafted From Single-Origin Peruvian Cocoa Featuring Flavor Notes of Caramelized Sugar" is what is says. Um-hmm.
So I bought it.
On one side is this cheery message:
But the other side? It starts out, "Welcome to the side of your carton." Yeah.
And you are advised to:
Finally, a small note near the opening.
"You can fire your therapist now."
I mean, it is good. But isn't "pretentious" the right word?
Also on the camera: Remember the story from this summer of my plant Seymour becoming parent to little Junior, now his own plant? Well, the other day I noticed that the still-growing tendril was going off the side of the table, and when I stretched it out, I saw that it would reach up to the nail that holds my Bruins calendar on the wall.
That was on Sunday, and today it's looking like this:
Straight up! Further updates as growth warrants.
And as long as I was going to be getting pictures off the camera, I took it first to visit his lordship, who was unimpressed to be bothered for such a purpose.
"I was asleep, you know."
Finally, if you're not in the mood for Christmas music, skip this, but I thought I'd share some of my favorites this month, and here's one that randomly came into my head today: Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord, done by Boney M.
My weird memory attached to this song dates back to high school, when for three years my dad drove me to school, and, neither of us being morning people, turned on WBZ's Maynard in the Morning every day. It was a news/talk radio program, traffic and weather and news and chat, but one day (IIRC), Dave played this song, for some reason, every time slot he could get it into, over and over (at least during the ~half hour I was in the car). Why? I have no idea. But that's how I remember it.
While I wouldn't say today was a total regression, it's true that I've felt more tired today than I did the past couple of days. No laundry today! It's also dark (so early, so sad), and it's been raining and isn't going to stop--though it did occur to me to be grateful that the temperature* is keeping it from being snow, because a foot or two of snow would really knock my mood down.
*It's in the 40s, and actually supposed to go UP a little overnight. Suits me fine.
Another thing making me happy today is that my new neighbor put a wreath up on her hall door, which is right next to mine, so I smell fabulous Christmas-tree scent whenever I open my door. Love it!
I'm not kidding about being tired, though; I stopped writing this to go lie down for a few minutes (and make Carlos very happy). Funny thing, going back to the weather: I had the window open a crack, for his lordship, and the air coming in certainly felt cold! If I hadn't checked it, I would have assumed I should be worrying about snow, but apparently it's 46 right now...it just felt so cold!
On the other hand, as we all know, winter is not my season.
I had every intention of blogging after stitch and bitch last night, to share the happy news that finally, finally I felt some improvement in my health after this damned cold has been around so long. However, the asterisk on that news is that I'm not quite back to full health yet, and when I got home I was so tired I sat down to gather my strength to get ready for bed, and only got more tired, so, yeah. Heading in the right direction at last, but Not There Yet.
Still! It's good news, even if I have to rest a lot more than normal. Do you know what I did yesterday? Laundry! For the first time in weeks! (Boy, was I ever scraping the bottom of the underwear drawer.) And I did more today! I must say, being sick really makes me regret that one of my compromises, when I bought this place ten years ago, was in-unit laundry. Putting two flights of stairs between me and the machines didn't seem like a problem then, and even now it normally isn't, but when I'm sick? Yeah, not going to happen. Two loads yesterday and two more today did not by any means catch me up, but it's a start.
I had hoped that I would feel well enough to go to swimming tonight, but that clearly wouldn't be a good idea, given how I feel after work (exhausted, vaguely sore, and still bothered by that weird taste in my mouth [though that last one wouldn't have kept me from going]). So I will spend a quiet evening, folding my clean laundry, and cutting my fingernails, which have reached the point of interfering with contact lens maintenance. And I will watch the start of the Bruins game, anyway, though I may not make it to the end. The better they play, the longer I'll make it, probably, but a 7:30 start time means I probably won't make the third period anyway. Oh well. It's a long season.
I can't quite believe that today is the 27th of November.
Given the fog I have been in since the night of November 2nd, the passage of time is even less real than usual. Three weeks from right now, I will be in Florida for Christmas, and given that I have done nothing one single thing toward Christmas prep, well, it's going to be an interesting holiday. The fact of having just three weeks left before my trip, and the additional fact that I am still not out of this fog*, and don't know when I will feel truly well again, means that I doubt much will get done.
*Nope! Still sick!
I don't usually get a Christmas tree, much as I love to have one, since I'm not here for the holiday, and especially because there simply isn't a good place here to put one and not regret it as it is underfoot for the whole time it's up.
I like to send Christmas cards, but I don't always manage it, and this looks like one of those years. Perhaps I will copy my mother's example one year, and send Valentine cards. (Probably not, but it's a fun idea to play around with.)
And presents? Yes, I have to think about that...
But not right now. Since I just had to stop the movie I was watching so I could go lie down for a few minutes, perhaps I am not at the top of my game tonight.
But at least I have himself. Last night, he did a Big Stretch that, but for the happy fact of my foot being there, would have landed him on the floor.
I don't think he even appreciated the save. But that's all right. I live to serve.
I did go to the doctor's office today (well, and saw the nurse practitioner), since yesterday I mentioned on Facebook that I had this weird taste in my mouth that wouldn't go away*, and one of my friends said that can be a sign of a sinus infection. I figured it's better to rule that out, and at almost three weeks in, not a bad idea to be checked out anyway.
*It is SO unpleasant.
Long story short, the NP doesn't think it is a sinus infection, unless it's at the very beginning stages, and that's unlikely enough that she didn't want to give me antibiotics. She suggested that I double my usual dose of Flonase, to try to get my sinuses to clear out more, and keep taking the sudafed if it's helping (which it is). And they're open tomorrow, and Friday, if things get worse, but otherwise give it a week and see how that goes.
Sigh. She wouldn't bring out the magic wand, even though I asked nicely. Though I did get my flu shot, as long as I was there. That hasn't made me feel bad in the past, other than injection-site soreness; maybe it will make me feel better! Perhaps it will be magic!
Yes, well, I can dream, can't I? I mean, in theory I will feel better one day: why not tomorrow?
Meanwhile, at work today I found myself sharing this image:
Just among the editors, not to the people who really need to see it, but it was somehow satisfying anyway.
No, I don't feel better, not really, not much. Well, I guess it's like a migraine: it gets a little better, a little worse, but it isn't linear. Right now I feel a bit better. This morning I had to go lie down because I couldn't summon the energy to move. Up and down. We'll hope it's getting better. Two weeks and four days, so far, after all.
However, there are bright spots. Last night I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and enjoyed it very much, as did my friends, and the rest of the audience to judge by the applause at the end. I'm glad they're making more, and I hope Eddie Redmayne will be in them; I liked him a lot.
Also, the Bruins won last night; I was in the car in time to listen to the end, and it was very encouraging. Bergeron and Marchand both scored, and since they've been not doing as much of that recently, it's good. Hopefully Pasta will be back soon--he was out for the second game last night, "upper body injury"--but I'm glad they did well anyway.
Finally, I was TV watching yesterday and saw this commercial, and want to give kudos to Amazon: I think I would have liked it any time, but with all the divisive, us-vs-them stuff going on these days, it just hit me strongly. Yes. This.
There's a nice little story about it here; the story notes that although the ad is scripted, the men are not actors, they actually are religious leaders. Just so cool.
Finally, I saw this on Facebook yesterday, and it just seems to say it all.
Well, I survived the day in the office, just barely.
I did in fact get to bed early on Tuesday night, in preparation for getting up and moving early; I was in bed around 8:15, I think, and only read for a few minutes before lights out. Last night? I was so tired that I was in bed before 8.
It might not have been so exhausting, except it turned out that the new boss was going to be in the office on Wednesday, which meant an hour spent in a meeting*, trying to look alert, and then a two-hour sit-down lunch spent trying to do the same, and wow, that was not easy. Which sounds stupid, perhaps, but when all you want to do is lie down ... the only good thing is that feeling the way I did, I let myself off the hook for feeling like I ought to have Meaningful Questions to ask her, and Pertinent Conversation Topics at lunch, and just rolled through the uncomfortable pauses as I was. Fun times.
*So nice to hear all about the company they just acquired; I wonder if they could afford it because they didn't give us raises this year?
I did get to work about half the day, better than nothing, and then I rolled home again, exhausted and grateful that there have been no noises made about me having to go into the new office in the city; once in a blue moon, perhaps, but nothing like regularly. I kept hearing conversations yesterday about, "How are you going to go in?" which made me actively aware of just how lucky I am. (New boss started that meeting by acknowledging that it would have been good for the move not to be so sudden, with time to gather feedback and plan and, oh, how many of you have longer commutes now? Really? Most of you? Oh.)
My back also hurt yesterday, and even more so today, which I didn't need. I can't imagine it's related to the neverending cold--how could it be?--and I do periodically have lower back pain, which I imagine is my body saying to me, "Hey! Remember that time 20 years ago when you worked for Barnes & Noble and lifted boxes all the time? Bad idea!" But on top of the cold, I really don't need anything else that isn't working right.
A final unrelated note: one of my neighbors sold her condo--the closing was today--so please to be crossing fingers for me that the new neighbor is, at best, awesome, and at worst, unoffensive. The previous woman was a good one; I'll miss her.
Not only do I still feel sick, but tomorrow I have to go into the office, to get the stuff out of my desk before they pack up for the move into the city this weekend. Unless I miraculously feel better in the morning, I will have to pretend I'm a grown-up while really feeling cruddy. Fun. It's also cold and rainy right now, and of course dark. As is my mood, clearly.
So I'm going to go get my outfit for tomorrow ready (no sweatpants? no jeans?), and figure out something to eat for dinner, and get to bed early.
And of course, if you think I'm not going to enjoy tomorrow, imagine how Someone Else is going to feel about it.
When I heard that Leonard Cohen died this week, I couldn't immediately put together the name with the music I knew. But two of his songs are ones I really like, and they've been taking turns filling my head today.
First, from the movie Pump Up the Volume, the version of Everybody Knows done by Concrete Blonde.
And second, of course, Hallelujah; I like the cover by Rufus Wainwright.
(Yeah, I'm still sick. Whatever. Faint but persevering.)
And to think that I was embarrassed for my country when President Bush was re-elected.
I've been numb all day. Not crying, but shying away from what happened. (But reading about some of it. The first thing--first thing?--he plans to do is propose a constitutional amendment for term limits in Congress. What the...?)
I got a headache last night, whether related to the still-present cold or not I don't know, and I went to bed before the third period of the hockey game; was up for a while at midnight when it got worse; and although it was better than that when I got up this morning, it hasn't gone away completely. My stomach is also very upset, which could be related to the head, the cold, the election, or all of the above. I'm going out to get some more cold medicine.
Tomorrow will be better. Repeat until you believe it.
I won't talk politics here today, and who wants to talk about feeling sick? Not me, today. (I haven't been ill a week yet, and I hear this bug runs two, so I'll have plenty of time.) Instead, here are a few random unrelated things.
A friend and I had been talking about the NFL and its horrific problems regarding women shortly before this cartoon came along.
The Bruins won last night! 4-0! They actually played really well, and even got 3 (three!) power-play goals. Considering that on Saturday they not only couldn't score on the power play, but allowed shorthanded goals twice, it was puzzling, but preferable. They play in Montreal tonight, though; hold me. The Canadiens are off to another hot start this year, and although I felt tremendous schadenfreude when Columbus beat them last week 10-0, that was a huge outlier.
Due to my low-energy weekend (such that I watched a movie on Friday night, and three more on Saturday, just for instance), I finished the knitting on the yellow lace shawl, and on Sunday, I grafted the two halves together, yay! The graft looks pretty uneven, though, too loose here and too tight there, so I'm going to go through and tweak it before blocking the whole thing, hopefully this weekend. Can't wait to see how it does!
Carlos is adorable. Still.
All right, just one political thing, but it's important. I saw this on Facebook today.
I'm still not well, but so far at least this cold has not been the totally flattening kind. I ran out and did some errands today, both for the sake of more cold meds and not running out of cat food, and though it has taken most of today's energy, it was worth it, though now I'm fading fast. Another early-to-bed night; I think I've gotten close to 12 hours, each of the last two nights. Won't get that tonight, not on a work night, but I might get 10, if I collapse early enough. And I can't help thinking that ought to help with the cold.
Putting a bandage on one finger decreases my ability to type by far more than 10%. It's like the other nine fingers, instead of pitching in and working harder, are more Eh, what's the point?
Relatedly, I learned last night that the edge of the calcium chew wrapper is sharp, as I drew blood on the tip of my left index finger. Or re-learned, really, since some years ago I remember cutting my lip on one. Also not fun. Let's be careful around those!
I use that finger so much. I hope it's mostly usable tomorrow.
My company has hired a "branding guru" to guide us through our "transformation journey." The email states this, along with so much jargon it is barely comprehensible. There is also at least one subject-verb disagreement, some extremely dubious grammar, and details of a photo contest whose winners will receive things like a weekend trip (in the UK), Premiere League tickets (also UK), and the honor of having their photos posted in the office (in the UK).
The winners will be announced on January 13th. I looked at the calendar, and sure enough, they picked a Friday the 13th. Classic.
Did I mention that we recently learned that our office is moving, and they're making the move the weekend before Thanksgiving? Which is, you know, a major holiday in the US for which many if not most people travel?
They could hardly make it less clear that they don't care about us here in the US without closing the office, and since I'm not convinced they won't decide to do that, you can understand why I worry.
Judging by Facebook, a LOT of my friends were watching the baseball game last night. And it went very late; I can't imagine how much more tired I would be today, had I been one of them.
I have felt very slightly under the weather today, not truly sick-sick but a bit of a sore throat, and decided to pass on swimming, and get groceries instead. If I already feel as tired as if I had exercised, then I am excusing myself. Since I joined this gym in late April, I have gone to class twice most weeks, and at least once every week. I'm doing okay.
Back to the office move: Among some more information we've received about the move is that there are a number of parking garages in the area, with a note of which one "seems to be the cheapest," so I looked it up. It's $17 a day, $335 a month--or $425 a month, which would seem to imply that your $335 a month does not guarantee you a spot. Who can afford that? That's like 10% of my salary.
Back to the lighter side: There is a company that is redefining "nude" in terms of women's underwear, and making seven shades from light to dark. So awesome!
While watching the latest episode of the Bruins reality show, I learned that Torey Krug and David Pastrnak have an odd little ritual in the pregame warm-ups. Jump ahead to 13:50 to see them kiss each others' gloves, then spin around on their knees. Kind of weird, kind of adorable.
My hands are having a bad day for some unknown reason, so let me tell you something quick and then I'm stepping away from the computer. Carlos And His Day
This morning, Carlos got up with me as usual, since it's always a good time for treats and breakfast.
As always, he tried to convince me to go back to bed after this, and when I declined, he joined me on the couch to nap while I read the paper, etc.
When I started working at 8, he had second breakfast, then meowed for me to take him back to bed (yes, seriously, he does this). I walked him back, and he settled down.
As the hours passed, he moved from one spot on the bed to another, At about 1:30, he came staggering into the office, about 12% awake--I swear, I could see sleep rays coming off him. I cuddled him for a few minutes, then took him to see to the food situation. He ate, we went back to bed (I don't stay, obviously), and he came out again at around 3:30, and then around 4:30, to eat more between naps.
I was over at my friend's house yesterday, and got to play with her kittens again. Well, the older one is close to a year, does that still count as a kitten? She's much less kittenish than the baby is, anyway.
They were both interested in my socks, and there was much sniffing. Bigger:
Bigger kitty was also interested in my purse:
While smaller kitty was very, very interested in the new alpaca shawl, and had to be gently dissuaded from chewing on it a few times.
Of course, Carlos too was interested in it. Less in a chewing way, and more in a "If I get close to this, I get your attention, and then perhaps you will notice that I Am Starving" way.
He sat, very carefully, very very close without being on it. Poor neglected kitty.
It's been a pretty good day, in terms of accomplishing things, though certainly the weather did not celebrate my achievements, as it was grey and drizzled and was in the 50s. But no matter:
I got the car inspected, just before the end of the month. And it passed, obviously, which there's no reason it shouldn't, but is always a bit of a relief anyway.
I voted early, the first time Mass has offered that--it started this week, and according to the community Facebook page, about 10% of the city's registered voters have used it already! I think it's great that they're offering it, and would want to use it for that reason alone, but also because I don't want to worry on election day that the line will be so long that I'll miss my swim class. Now it's done and I don't have to think about it. Plus there's the added excuse to avoid the election coverage; in addition to the national nonsense, Mass has four ballot questions for which each side has been strident! strident, I say! in terms of how opposing their side will lead to chaos and anarchy, and boy, am I ready for all this shit to be done. This year, man. Go away, 2016, you're drunk.
I did a few other errands, too, including surviving the madhouse of Costco on a Saturday midday, ugh. The guy in line in front of me did a double-take when he saw me knitting, but it's the only thing that keeps me from grinding my teeth in that situation, the crowds and the pushing and shoving and all.
That sock, by the way, is about ready to start the toe; I'll check it tonight to make sure, but it's close. Yay.
I also finished knitting the alpaca shawl! I actually bound it off Wednesday, and washed it today so I could lay it out. Here it is before:
A little ruffly, eh? After its soak, I laid it out, and first, I had it a different way.
Which, to be honest, kind of messed with me, in terms of seeing how it changed. So I laid it out again the first way.
That's better! And it did in fact grow. Now I have to wait for it to dry before I can play with how to wear it. It felt so soft and cushy before the wash, and while that shouldn't change, I look forward to seeing it happen, so to speak.
Now, the Bruins play tonight. I would not say my hopes are high, but I never quite stop believing that this could be the game where they turn it around. And I'll be on the couch, knitting and hoping.
That knitting, by the way? The yellow shawl, remember that? Puncia? Yes, I'm still working on it! I have 36 grams of yarn left, and since I started with 221, we'll say I'm about 80% done, though the hard stuff is all past, so I just need to keep going...