Monday, January 16, 2017

Nothing of Coherence, I'm Afriad

The Bruins have been tremendously Jekyll-and-Hyde this year, and it's getting on my nerves. After playing a strong game on Saturday (they won 6-3, and it wasn't really even that close), they started okay today, but couldn't make anything of it, and lost 4-0 to the Islanders, who are currently at the bottom of the conference. Argh. This is the first time the Islanders have shut out the Bruins in Boston in team history--oh great, there's a record you want to see fall.

It doesn't help that multiple other teams this season have had long win streaks, nine and ten and more, and here I am wishing for the Bruins to manage two in a row. Not that they haven't done that at all this season, they've even won three in a row a few times, but not recently, not this month. And somehow losing to the bad teams hurts more. This should be easy, guys.

Oh well. It's been a productive weekend, overall, and I need to be happy with that, putting hockey aside. Why, I did three loads of laundry yesterday, and three more today! Things are much closer to being under control in that department, which feels satisfying. I've done dishes, balanced the checkbook, and tried to get ready for the upcoming week. It's the Women's March in Boston on Saturday! I have my hat, and am hoping it won't rain--but pulled out a rain jacket, just in case. I expect the forecast to change several more times before Saturday.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

So, About Friday

Although I continue to find it funny, in a tragic-irony sort of way, that my company chose a Friday the 13th to have our little drink-the-koolaid re-branding event, in retrospect I am supremely grateful that they did choose the Friday before a long weekend, as it gave me yesterday to recover from the total exhaustion of the day, followed by two more days of weekend. Thank heavens!

Not only was the day tiring from the perspective of going into the city (I couldn't even tell you the last time I did that), negotiating the T, finding my way to the office in the bitter cold and wind, meeting new people, wearing grown-up clothes, working around other people all day, oh and discovering that the waistband of the slacks I was wearing had stretched out and I had to be careful not to flash everyone--on top of all that, plenty of walking and carrying around the bag with my laptop and everything meant that I had sore legs and hips, a tired back, and arm muscles that were screaming and still hurt 24 hours after I got home. Which, by the way, was fourteen hours after I left in the morning. Long day. It was joyful.

The whole day wasn't actually awful. But it was a strain, and having yesterday to do virtually nothing, without giving up half my weekend for it, was fabulous. I was lured out to lunch with a friend, very pleasant indeed, but otherwise I was on the couch most of the day. The Bruins won their matinee, yay, and I watched some movies*, and knit, and mostly didn't move except to go get more ibuprofen. Ow. Honestly, my arms still hurt a bit more than usual. I guess my "carrying the laptop" muscles are underdeveloped.
*One of which was Finding Nemo; read on see if you can guess why.

I didn't actually have to be in the office all day, but as long as I was going in for the meeting in the afternoon, and the dinner after, I figured I might as well. I live about ten miles from the new office, so of course it took an hour to get there--and that's with nothing going wrong (other than the obvious rookie mistake of walking a block in the wrong direction when I got off the T, which didn't add much time). So, so, so glad I don't have to do that often. I found the office with no other problems, and took over an empty desk. They had brought in bagels and other breakfast stuff, so that was nice, and someone I knew from the old office offered me part of her sandwich at lunch, when I was trying to decide if I wanted to go out or not. (She lives in the next town from me, and works from home part of the time, so we talked of getting together for lunch or coffee one of these days. That would be fun!)

It was actually weird just being around other people while working, an effect that was exacerbated by the fact that we could hear footsteps overhead as clearly as if they were on our floor. And sirens, and honking horns, and a jackhammer for a while ... cities are loud.

Whether fortunately or not, I didn't have a report to work on, so I spent the day on cleaning out my email inbox, a task sadly neglected for months, and writing my self-assessment (ugh). We had a meeting last week about how the process was going to work, with assurances that it would not slip months off schedule again, which is possible I suppose. I'm not positive it will all go according to their schedule, but as long as I get a damned raise this year, I won't complain too much. Given that the CEO claims they had a "fantastic financial year" in 2016, they should be able to afford a wee bit more for the lowly editor.

Anyway! Self-assessment done and sent in before the meeting, which was mostly on the boring side from my POV, did bring up an interesting number of planned reports from one sector, which I noted to discuss with my fellow editors (neither of whom could make it for the meeting), and at the end, the announcement that the new head of the division will be starting around March, which is actually faster than I would have expected, so good news there, I think.

There was some down time before the dinner, so a few of us went to a wine bar down the street for a drink first. One of the people I knew had driven in, and offered to drive some of us to the dinner, which was actually being held at the Aquarium, pretty fancy! And I was relieved not to have to get there on my own, so perfectly happy to ride. We had a sort of side room to ourselves (there was another event that had the "main floor") and it turned out to be the area where there's a large open tank with sting rays and hermit crabs and things, as well as some smaller tanks of brightly colored fish, which were rather neat to watch. The rays were mesmerizing, and as time went on and I got more tired, it was nice to sit and just watch them rippling by.

Just to complete my review of the event, the food was also really good. And yes, to answer the question* that popped into my mind the minute they told us where the dinner would be, yes, they do serve seafood! Apparently, when you are selecting your options, the fish choices emphasize that they are sustainably harvested, etcetera. There was clam chowder along with the other appetizers for us, and one of the pasta dishes had shrimp in it, so I didn't have either of those, but most everything else was delicious.
*Not that I eat much seafood, so I didn't have a personal need to know, I was just curious!

Still, despite the lack of disasters, I was very, very ready to leave. A few other people were staggering to the T at the same time I was, so I didn't even have to find my way alone, in the even-colder-and-windier night. Was I ever glad to get home, and was Carlos ever glad to see me!

And now, I will go off for the evening, singing a little happy song about having tomorrow off. I can get a little eye-rolling about how we get nine holidays from work a year, yet three of them are less than a month apart (leading to long holiday deserts later), but right now, so happy.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yeah, No

So I was looking at my drafts in Blogger, and found this, from a couple of years ago. Just so you know, this is old, and the item in question in currently unavailable. I don't want to raise your hopes.

I was on Amazon and browsed through some deals of the day, only to see this:
And I wanted to let you know, I'm not buying it.

Not even on sale.

I wish I had noted what it cost at the time. The thing weighs seven pounds!

Also, take a look at both the reviews, and the customer questions and answers. I have a feeling people were getting a wee bit silly about it (understandably). Such as:
Question: can we see a photo of this knife in the closed position?
Answer: No. Unfortunately, closing the knife brings too much mass into one location causing the formation of a small black hole. This is not covered by the warranty. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Looking Back to Florida (part two)

After yesterday, who's ready to see more Florida photos? You are? Excellent!

Palm fronds waving.
Birds massing on the invisible sandbar.
On the side where there's no beach, a passing boat looks like it might be on the grass.
Parasailers, nearer and farther.
In case you forgot it was a Christmas visit, here's a card my mother got.
Not suitable for everyone, mind, but for the right person? Perfect.

Another reminder that it was Christmas was the Santa on the red motorcycle.
Because of course.

Beach walking on Christmas day is nice, if you were wondering.
I do like the rainbow sails.
A flocks of birds feeding.
And sand sculptures. Never seen pyramids before!
That was a lot of work.
It was just a beautiful day,
We had a drink at a hotel beach bar, then walked back. Can you tell this guy was focused on a nearby fisherman?
At home, a different bird awaited: my aunt made cream puff swans. Here's mine, awaiting it's chocolate bath, yum!
And sunset comes again.
It was the last one of that visit, but not the last one for very long; JetBlue had a fare sale last week, and I snagged a trip in February. Having that warm to look forward to is helping me get through January! And with the $75 credit they gave me when my flight down was so delayed (four hours!), it was under $100, which is not expensive for going to Florida in February. Ahhh!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Back to Florida (part one)

Well, let's take a look at the rest of the photos from Florida, shall we? Before January is half gone? Not that that can happen soon enough, but anyway. I won't do all the photos, there are too many for one day, but I'll try to get a good chunk in

Oh, and start with a picture from before I got there. Can anyone tell me why a Norwegian Air plane has a Spanish explorer on the tail?
Let me backtrack first, and remind you that I did blog a little from Florida, and after I got home:
But that leaves a lot to cover! From the flower, outside the grocery store, being all "What's December?"
To the cat, hanging out outside the restaurant where we had lunch:
To these boat dock spaces, which appear to have been randomly numbered, which made me twitchy:
I mean, 17-8-4? What the hell, man.

That was on the day we took a boat tour, and while the weather, unfortunately, was not great, the tour itself was pretty neat. Lots of birds, as well as water and nature views.

Birds will perch on anything.
All sorts of birds.
Not a manatee, despite the sign.
Blurry, but yellow feet!
Doesn't it look like that branch wouldn't hold him?
Light on water.
You can see the high-tide line on the leaves.
Pelicans, being horizontal and vertical.
"Are you looking at me?"
"Honestly! No peace out here!"
The other side of the Snook! I'm used to the view from, not the view of.
More perching.
I do not know WHAT was up with this house.
I mean, how much do you have to love McDonald's?
This boat name, now, I can get behind.
Yes, it's someone's foot, but check out the tattoo!
Birds, hunting.
Bird flying (right of center in front of the trees).
And that's the best of the boat tour! I'll try to get to more soon.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Back to Yesterday, Ahead to Friday

Last night, I was too tired to even list all the reasons I was so tired last night; I got a lot done, but at the cost of sore arms and back, and frayed temper. Still, I'll try to focus on the "got a lot done" part, which included:
  • Shoveling the car out; just 20 minutes, as six inches of powder is easier to shift than heavier snow would be, but still tiring. And cold!
  • Taking four loads of laundry to the laundromat. It's nice to be able to do four loads at once, but it's just as much work as doing it at home, in terms of lifting*, you just do that in less time, so not much benefit, really. Ow. Also, cha-ching, not as cheap! Still, what price clean underwear?
  • Put the laundry away, emptied the dishwasher, ate lunch, showered, and went to the movies with friends--we saw Hidden Figures, and it was great!
  • Picked up some groceries. I feel like I do that a lot. Managed not to buy ice cream. Really want to eat ice cream.
*Or more, actually, with the added carrying to the car and to the laundromat, and back, instead of just down to the basement.

So I don't think it was so super-much to do, it's just that a lot of it was lifting and my arms were achy-shaky by last night. Which does not put me in a good mood, for some reason.

Neither does work, often, though I am trying to be chill and see what happens. It is nice to be back to our normal pace, instead of the pre-end-of-year frenzy. But I have to go into the office on Friday (into the big city, eep; I am such a suburbs mouse), for a presentation and then a dinner that I think is supposed to make up for no holiday party last month. Cocktail dress not required, oh good! But how fun it will be, in January, to hoick around my computer all day and evening, while in semi-formal attire.

Also, we heard today that the new boss, the woman I just met in November, is leaving. Already. So what will happen next? Who knows?

To quote myself, "I will try to be prepared, but not worried. Though that's a balancing act, isn't it?"

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Lots of Knitting

It's usually safe to assume that I'm knitting, but I haven't talked about it much lately, have I? Well, let me do so! It's a better topic than the snow is, that's for sure.

Tonight, I finished a hat. It's knit flat and seamed, which was a new one on me. I mean, you look at this:
And you don't instantly think hat, do you?

You may not think this looks exactly hat-like, either:
But when put on the head of a human (using facial nonrecognition; I am so high-tech):
Ears. Meow.

(The shirt, by the way, was chosen for today.
The hat is for wearing to the Boston Women's March in a few weeks. If you are unfamiliar with these hats, let me direct you to the Pussy Hat Project for more details. I used some Malabrigo I had on hand, color Damask. It came out a little big, but I think it will work. In fact, if the weather is cold enough, I could wear it over another hat!

I also finished the latest pair of purse socks, but haven't taken good pictures of them yet. For now:
That gives you the idea, anyway. Interesting yarn, far more colorful in good light than it appears in average lighting.

But the most exciting knitting I've done recently was blog-secret until Mary Ellen's birthday. I made her an octopus.
She likes purple, so I used a skein of fingering that I had, making for a smaller one than what my brother got. But the pattern is the same one, Cephalohedron, Or as I call it, indiscriminately, squid or octopus. Whatever. More photos:

What's more, I'm going to be making another one sometime soon, since I finished this one in Florida, and yeah, my mother wants one. Who can blame her? If I go through life leaving a trail of knit octopuses*, there are worse things.
*Apparently, strictly speaking, octopi is wrong because it's putting a Greek ending on a Latin word, or vice versa--I can't even be bothered to google it, sorry.

I think that's all I've finished lately, but I did start the next purse sock, of course. Having used cushy but tough Socks That Rock for that last pair, I went for cushy and soft this time, and more color. Crap photo:
As so often happens, the yarn is doing interesting things knit up, and depending on how you look at it, I might be knitting a mostly blue sock:
Or a mostly pink sock.
Fortunately, this doesn't bother me.