Sunday, July 23, 2017

In Which I Am Unlike Myself

I did something this weekend that doesn't fit my usual type of preference, and since it was something I wanted to do, it got me thinking about my exceptions. (Do you have any exceptions?)

Like how I prefer happy stories and happy endings--I recently read what someone said about a book they had read (and enjoyed!), and got no farther than, "This heartbreaking and gut wrenching and gruesome story" before shaking my head and moving on--yet my favorite of Shakespeare's plays is Hamlet, where almost everyone dies in the end.

Or, well, why I read about an exhibit at the MFA of photographs from WWII, and I wanted to go.

The exhibit is called Memory Unearthed, and in case that MFA link goes dead (the exhibit is only there through the end of July), here's the heart of it:
Henryk Ross was among those confined to the ghetto in 1940 and he was put to work by the Nazi regime as a bureaucratic photographer for the Jewish Administration’s Statistics department. Ross took official photographs for Jewish identification cards, as well as images used as propaganda that promoted the ghetto’s efficiency. Unofficially—and at great risk—Ross documented the brutal realities of life under Nazi rule, culminating in the deportation of thousands to death camps at Chelmno and Auschwitz. Hoping to preserve a historical record, Ross buried his negatives in 1944. He returned for them after Lodz’s liberation, discovering that more than half of the original 6,000 survived.
You can go to the website of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which holds his collection, to learn more.

The photos were tremendously moving, showing both the ordinariness and the awful aspects of life in the ghetto. I kept looking at the people and thinking, he or she probably died before the end of the war. (According to an article I read, there were 160,320 Jews there in 1940; less than five years later, 877 remained to be liberated. These are numbers I find it hard to wrap my brain around.)

I didn't take many pictures of my own; I walked around with the tablet in hand, kind of stunned by the photos of the people, being deported, walking past ruins, starving to death. And you can see the photos much better online. But one wall really got my attention.
These were taken earlier in the war. Before things got so bad, I kind of want to say. And some of the subjects are serious, but some are smiling, hugging each other, clowning a little for the camera.
The woman who was using the mirror as a prop, the couple smiling at each other...
I think part of why I wanted to see this exhibit was that it could have been my family. If my grandfather's parents had not come over, brought him to the US, when he was young. My father could have been a teenage boy in one of these photos. It's all strange to think about.

That, and the more general feeling that you never know what's coming, do you?

In addition to the still photos and negatives, there was a very moving video in a side room, showing an interview with Ross and his wife made after he had testified at the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann. She smoking; he demonstrating how he would hide his camera under his coat, to go out and sneak photographs; answering each others' questions. Explaining how platforms had to be added to the carts that took the dead away, as the number of people who died each day grew higher and higher, and the carts couldn't handle them all.

It ended with the simple fact that after the war, he never took another photograph.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Deep and Philosophical. Kind Of

Is it better to have false hope, or no hope? Discuss.

Nothing dramatic; I'm talking about the weather (although you could certainly extrapolate to larger issues). Today's temperature has been cooler than recent temps, though not chilly (around 80, is all), but if we've seen five minutes of sunshine combined all day, I'd be surprised, and as usual, my mood has followed along that pattern (I am very much solar-powered).

So I looked at the weather forecast (how many times have I had a complaint that started that way?), and the next time there will be much sun is expected to be Wednesday*. Which is depressing!
*It may be partially sunny tomorrow afternoon. Forgive me if I don't believe that will amount to much.

So, would it have been better if I hadn't looked? If I had hoped that maybe tomorrow would be sunny, and again the next day and the next and the next? Instead of knowing that's unlikely?
(Recognize him?)

It's not that today was utterly unproductive; I got some things done, including finishing a sock, and winding the yarn and starting the next pair. And boring things like emptying the dishwasher and balancing the checkbook. But it all feels a bit ... draggy.

Especially since, starting yesterday, my lower back has decided to act up, something it does only rarely (and which I attribute to all those years lifting boxes at Barnes & Noble). I am moving cautiously, and with much ow. Which isn't fun anyway, but wouldn't bother me as much in the sun.

Come back!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

An Evening At Home

I'm not sure why, but my ankle started to bother me late this afternoon, so I cancelled my plans for swimming to stay home instead. The ankle healing is just so poky and nonlinear! It's very frustrating. Last week it didn't particularly bother me from the walking I did into the city on Wednesday, but Friday evening it suddenly had some stabbing pains that were very unpleasant. After that, it seemed to be better, but now here I am again.

I thought that maybe it would be a TV night--I got some dvds of Laugh-In out of the library--but it turned out I wasn't in the mood, so I picked up a book instead; I have a whole new batch from the library, so away I go. And as always, we hope tomorrow is better.

And if the ankle isn't better, well, at least it's Friday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The last few days, a number of my friends have been sharing on Facebook the results they've gotten on a quiz that is supposed to estimate the size of your vocabulary. Last night, sprawled on the couch after swimming, I decided to give it a try.

It turns out that it's formatted as 50 questions, each showing a word and asking which of four choices is its synonym or antonym. They weren't always easy words, and sometimes the choices were a little on the obscure side, too. And there were even a few words I'd never run across!
Now, is it accurate? Who knows. Probably not. But it was kind of fun.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Some Small Updates

So, what's been up around here?

Weather: It got better! After the deeply disappointing Thursday and Friday, Saturday didn't start much better, though not quite as chilly, but the sun came out later in the afternoon, enough that I took a short walk to a little park near me and sat on a bench in the sun for a few minutes, ahh. Then Sunday was actually warm, and sunny, and lovely! I brought out my camp chair and sat in the sun, knitting and drinking ice water, and it was blissful. Later I stopped on the way home from an errand and sat on a bench next to a pond, enjoying the sun again. Double ahh.

Mind you, yesterday and today have been stickier, to the point where I go between having the windows open but starting to stick to things, then switching to a/c but getting too cold. And today went between clouds and sun, with some dark skies and the potential of thunderstorms later. Still, I'd rather deal with this than be where I was Friday, wearing long johns under sweatpants, and two shirts and a sweatshirt, and socks and slippers, but still being chilly. That was ridiculous in July.

Carlos: Since Carlos has been losing weight, and his blood work came back fine, I am testing out whether he will gain some weight back by going back onto dry food. You may recall (though it is years back, now) that he used to eat dry food only, and he was overweight. When I switched him to wet food only, he did not like the change, but adjusted to it, and went down to "ideal" weight for a few years. So maybe being able to pig out on the dry food will help!

I hope so, because otherwise the vet's next suggestion is an ultrasound to see if he has a "mass" or anything that might be causing problems, and the idea of both the ultrasound and the potential mass make me very unhappy. I'll try this for a few weeks, see if he gains some weight, and then talk to the vet again. Meanwhile, he's sure enjoying it!

Next: I have solved the shower curtain liner problem! Wait, I haven't written about that here? All the angst I have felt about it was delivered like a soliloquy, only to myself? Well, how nice of me to spare you miles of that nonsense. Let me sum up (and believe it or not, this is shorter than the constant updates would have been).

Back story: The rod that holds my shower curtain is, apparently, higher than standard, since if I get a regular-length shower curtain liner, it just barely reaches to the top of the tub, and once the water is on, it blows around and lets water out onto the floor. This means that I have to buy extra-long ones, and I have also learned that it's handy to get the ones with little suction cups on the sides, and weights in the bottoms, to keep them somewhat in place. However, I don't change them as often as I did during the Harold era, when he made such enthusiastic use of the bags they came in, and this means that I don't always remember where I found the last one, and I end up replacing one with something problematic.

Which is what happened in the spring, when the new one wasn't the same as the previous one, and was kind of bugging me. It didn't have weights in the bottom, the suction cups weren't sticking (one side had been located where the thing was folded, so it was curved and wouldn't even try to stick), and it just wasn't working out. I have a Thing about the shower curtain blowing onto me and sticking to wet skin (shudder), it just creeps me out, so I want to avoid that, and this one wasn't working.

To the point that, a few weeks ago, I went to Bed & Bath after work and got a new one. I spent a ridiculous amount of time pondering the two extra-long options before taking one, and I soon found that, although better than the previous one (has weights; suction cups stick better), it was still billowing in a bit; this one is longer even the previous extra-long one, which means the weights are lower down and not holding the curtain in as much, and good lord why is this little thing so annoying!

I spent many a shower pondering solutions and soliloquizing about the problem, and then one day last week, my eye fell on the large shampoo bottle in the corner. I moved it over to the edge, since the shower curtain is plenty long enough for me to pull it up enough, so the shampoo is on the edge holding the curtain in.

Solved. Just like that. And such a relief!

It really is the stupid little things that drive you crazy some days.

(And yes, this time I kept the package, so next time I'll know what I got.)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Happy Bookish Surprise

The only thing better than getting a free book in the mail is getting a free book in the mail that you had forgotten all about requesting.

(Well, "only thing better" in this context, of course. I mean, winning the lottery would be better than getting a free book in the mail. Note to self: buy lottery ticket.)

Some little while ago, I don't even remember where, I saw a link to click on to request a new kids book that's coming out this fall, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend. I don't even remember if I read about the book before that or after, though probably before, or why would I have wanted it? In any case, I do remember thinking, as I filled out the online form, "Yeah, right, they're just going to send this to everyone who asks for one, sure."

Well, guess what? I went out this morning to go to the grocery store, and found this on the doorstep.
Thank you, Hachette/Little Brown!

So once I got home, and had some lunch, I cracked it open, and oh yeah, good book! It sucked me right in. Good characters, interesting premise, didn't-see-it-coming developments, all that. If you like kids books, I highly recommend. It's coming out in October.

And I already want the sequel.

Friday, July 14, 2017

At Least It IS Friday Night

It's funny how in the morning, I have various plans for things I can get done after work, and by the time the work day is done, all I want to do is lie down and rest. Like, run errands? Get groceries? Why would I want to do that?

Today was a lot like yesterday. Chilly (60s), grey, layers and close the windows, ugh. Bring back summer! I seem to recall that the last few years, I have been disappointed in August's weather as not hot enough, so I really need July to come through for me. They say it will get back into the 80s soon, and I sure hope it does. And maybe whatever has upped my cough the last two days will also fade away. Hey, if I'm not going to win the lottery, I ought to get something, surely.

No, I know that doesn't make sense. I'm tired.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

So Tired. Soooooo Tired

Really. Words can't express how tired I feel.
Today was better than yesterday, in that I was at home, in a t-shirt and sweatpants and slippers, near all my own stuff (no carrying required) and Carlos, and all that. I finished a report that was, well, it was very well written for someone whose first language wasn't English, and then I started one that's just well written, period, which is a really nice contrast.

Today was worse in that it was cold out (well, summer cold, 60), with rain on and off, and for some reason the little tickle of an allergy cough that I've had for a while was, and is, a full-blown annoying cough that is driving me insane.
I was so dead tired last night that I got into bed sometime before 7. There were some big thunderstorms going through, so I didn't figure I'd fall asleep right away (and I didn't), but I just couldn't Be Up any longer. I was awake for a while around 2, then fell asleep again--and still was exhausted today. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm going to eat some dinner and go to bed.

Thought for the day: Why can't there be a Bruins channel that shows Bruins games all the time? The other night, NESN was showing some "old" games (only from this year's playoffs, but still) and I just loved having hockey on TV. Give me more of that! I don't want summer to be over, but I want hockey to watch.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Into the City Report

So I went into town today, as discussed. And it didn't kill me, but damn, it came close.

(I would like to preemptively turn away any comments on how I could possibly plan to move to Florida if today's heat in Boston was so hard to take. In Florida, when it's hot-and-humid like this, I would never choose to be outside for an hour or more. I do love heat, but air conditioning is also my friend.)

So this morning I got ready for work, in clothing fit to wear in public, and hoicked my computer bag out to the car. Drive to the T, park, take the subway into town. I didn't get a seat (of my choice, that is: at rush hour, I only sit in the end seats by the doors, so I can lean into the side where there isn't another person pressed into me, or I get claustrophobic), but I stood by the door, so I could look out and pretend that I wasn't dripping with sweat. Mind you, the a/c was working, it just had a lot to contend with, given how many people were on and with the doors opening all the time. I had to move a ways in at the last stop before mine, and thus had to do some breathing to get through the way being so crammed in makes me feel. But it was only one stop, and then I could get off and make my way to a bench to wait for the ten thousand other people who got off and were all hurrying. Once they rushed off, I made my way out, and walked slowly (to favor the ankle) to the office.

The view has its moments.
It's just not worth it, to me. Despite the slower pace, I had to stop at Starbucks for a cold drink and some napkins to blot my face off, and I still arrived at the office with wet hair. Do I sweat more than other people? I have no idea, but it's deeply unpleasant.

But I got there! Said hello, found a desk to settle at, got set up. Slowly, slowly cooled down. Did some work. Got to show the other editor around, since this was her first visit to the office and I've been there all of twice before. The work day was fine, if distracting: there were a lot of people there, so lots of conversations going on around me, and I don't know if it was because the conference rooms were full, but I got to listen to one of the sales people behind me giving a product demo, on the phone, for half an hour... Do I find it harder to tune out background noise than other people do? Again, no idea. Headphones would help, if I had to do this in-office thing a lot, but thank all the gods I don't. Today was just the kind of show-up-and-be-seen event that drives me crazy--the bigwigs don't talk to us, why should we all have to be there?--but at least it's rare.

The other editor and I ended up leaving mid-afternoon, to avoid the thunderstorms that were forecast to sweep through: I really didn't want to get drenched, but it also made a great excuse not to stay until rush hour. We walked to South Station together, where she was catching a bus back to Nashua (which is about 50 miles away, you think that I didn't want to go in), and I walked slowly to the T, and this time did get a seat, thankfully. So I sat there wondering if I would need to get into a cold shower when I got home, then pulled out the tablet to distract myself for the rest of the ride.

It took me about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the office in the morning (which includes the Starbucks stop), and only about an hour and five minutes to get home. (And I got lucky: the Green Line had major problems this afternoon, the kind that had people evacuating out of trains and walking down tunnels, holy cow, there but for the grace of something go I). Once I got home, getting out of the office clothes was the first order of business (well, after feeding the cat), followed by ice water to drink, ice pack for the ankle, and the fan on: half an hour thusly on the couch and I felt much better.

But still exhausted! I set up the computer and was going to put another hour in, but my brain seems to have turned to mush. Tomorrow it is, then.

And here comes that thunder. Yuck.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ugh, Surprise

It is just possible, if you've been reading this blog for a while, or if you know me outside the blog, that you are already aware of this key fact about me: I am not spontaneous. I am a planner, and prefer to have time to plan and prepare, rather than having anything sprung on me. So, can you guess what happened today?

Yeah; an email mid-morning, a follow-up to one the editors didn't get (we're on that distribution list now, better late than never) saying that yes, even people who work full-time remote should be in the office all this week while the bigwigs are here. Whaaaa?

The editorial manager is on vacation this week; this was from his boss, who is a lovely person I have known for a few years now, and asked the other editor and me IF it would be feasible for us to come in. Since I do know better than to nitpick every word, and since I know she's a good person, I did not respond that since the definition of feasible is "possible to do easily or conveniently," then, no, not really. Instead, I said that of course I can go in tomorrow*, to see and be seen, but could we revisit the idea of the whole rest of the week**? And she replied that just tomorrow would be fine. So that's not as bad as having to go in (pointlessly) for three days, but it still left me scrambling with what to wear, what do I need to bring, when do I need to leave in the morning, all that shit that I don't have to consider when working from home.
*Team player! Woo-hoo!
**Not that much of a team player, though.

I like working from home. And Carlos likes me working from home, too, so that's two of us who aren't thrilled about tomorrow. (Better than tomorrow and Thursday and Friday, though.)

Kind of funny that I saw this on Facebook today:

Sunday, July 09, 2017


Remember that Far Side cartoon of a kid in a classroom, asking to be excused because his brain is full? I'm kind of feeling that way today. A mix of immediate, short-term, medium-term, and long-term things bumping around my head. I did some of the immediates for today (got to Petsmart, did the dishes, made half the chicken salad, anyway...), and a few of the others, but ... my brain is in ADD mode.

It's probably in part because I'm trying not to worry too much about Carlos, who is fine in the short term, but possibly not so much in the longer term. You may recall that when I took him in for his check-up in January, he'd lost about a pound since the previous year. The vet didn't want to wait another year, so I brought him back Saturday for a half-year check, and he's lost another half pound. Which is not immediately critical, but isn't really good.

One of the things I never considered, when I adopted a cat that had been rescued as an adult, was how much I would sometimes want to know how old he really is. I've had him for seven and a half years, so he's, at minimum, probably nine. But he could be older, he could be a lot older, and at some point in treating mystery ailments like this, you want to consider how much to put a really old cat through. But I don't know how old he is! As you can tell, it's bugging me.

There isn't anything I can do about it today, anyway. Well, I bought him some dry food, since he used to eat that and was happily overweight on it, so I figured, why not add some to his diet? But other than that, all I can really do today is appreciate him. Which I am. Here are some recent pictures, so you can, too.


He knows how to relax, and take life as it comes.

Friday, July 07, 2017

I Made This! (rare non-yarn edition)

When I mention that I made something, it's almost always knitting, unless the context is something like the batch of chicken salad I made the other day (which was delicious, by the way, yay summer food). Once in a great while, though, I do something a little creative that does not involve yarn (or food), and today I will show you one of those things.

A few years back, I went into a bead store in Harvard Square with friends, where I ended up buying a handful of beads. Not with anything in mind, exactly, but I got ones I liked, that I thought might go well together, and enough for maybe a bracelet.

At some point thereafter (this is all in the distance now), I strung them onto some heavy-duty thread, and then was at a loss for what to do next. I dropped the bag in the drawer of my bedside table, which is a small black hole, and a few times since, I have come across the bag, sighed, and left it there.

Recently, though, I was tackling the drawer a little more seriously, as part of the Campaign Declutter If You Ever Want to Move to Florida, and when I came across the bag again, I decided that it was time to fish or cut bait. I bought some simple craft supplies (stretch cord and an assortment of closures), and came up with a solution that, so far, is working.

Although someone was unimpressed to be awakened by my desire to have a cute photo background.
But you can't please everyone, can you?
And perhaps a better view.
The stretchy-ness of the cord means that I don't even have to use the clasps. I dropped a dot of super glue on the spots where each end was, and it's holding so far, even with the stretching over my hand.

Here are the supplies:
The crazy glue package is empty because I used the last little tube, so I need to get more. Single-use tubes are the only way I have found to get around the difficulty I have using this product. Sometimes, you just need it. And I did get some on my finger this time, but it came off, and at least I didn't glue myself to anything.

Meanwhile, if anyone can use most of this package of cord...
And roughly 54 fasteners...
Speak up and I will be glad to send them to you. I am happy with this project, but have no interest in getting more into this craft, so they are of no use to me, but I hate to waste them.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Meh, Today Was

First off, I don't know if we ever did have the water turned off.

This morning, I decided that I didn't feel like staying in and waiting for it to go off, so I went out. I was so tired yesterday, and had a bit of a headache on and off, so I ended up in bed before 8 last night, and slept and woke and slept and woke, my head feeling like the brain and skull were from different models that shouldn't have been put together. The head was a bit better this morning, but not to the point where I felt I could deal with the water-uncertainty.

I went to Panera, got a drink and a cookie, and found a table near an outlet, so I could plug the computer in (the battery won't last a full work day). The distraction factor of being in public wasn't too bad, though there was a woman there for a little while that I really wanted to tell not to talk with food in her mouth, yuck. Fortunately, I wasn't facing her, so I could make faces as needed.

After about an hour of work, I had to go to the bathroom, and since I was packing up anyway, when I came out I sat elsewhere so as not to be next to the table of older men who clearly come in regularly to schmooze. That Panera has a small separate room, seating about two dozen, and no one else was in there. It turned out to be even cooler than the outer area, which was unfortunate, and no outlets that I could see*, but it was a bit quieter, so that helped.
*Overall, Panera seemed to have very few, just to report on that aspect of working from there; also, the wifi connection dropped about three times while I was there, though it reconnected easily.

I left an hour or more later, since lunchtime was coming up, and not only do I think it would be rude to take up a table when they're really busy, they actually limit the wifi to 30 minutes at midday (not that I blame them), so I wouldn't have been able to. On to the library! I found a spot in the quiet study room, which actually was pretty quiet, and even near a plug, so I worked for another hour or more before lunch was calling me home.

When I got home, I checked and found the water was (still) on, so I decided to stay unless and until it was turned off. Which, as I mentioned to start, it wasn't, though when I saw them letting water gush out of a hydrant, I was sure it would be. I was very glad it wasn't, though, as my head started to bother me again, and I was just feeling rather listless and not wanting to deal with the laptop-in-public-and-bathrooms dance again and again.

Though I could have done without the noises from the workers outside; at one point, two different machines were making piercing back-up beeping noises, and it was so painful... Anyway, they have packed up and gone for the day, which is good. I expect they'll be back tomorrow, though, even though no updates have been sent.
Call it a hunch, but I don't think they're done. (That's where they were using the asphalt cutter, and then jackhammering, yesterday. When will they be done?)

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Main Problem

Yes, it's the water main work, again. And this time, for Thursday, my block has moved from may be affected to will be affected, so, ugh. No water means no working from home.

The good news is that, since I signed up for the updates, I heard about this by email this morning, giving me time to plan. And I do love to plan: I try out possibilities in my head like putting together a new outfit. "I could go there, or I could start here but then move, and what about..." My considerations included:

  • needing free wifi
  • and plumbing, obviously
  • and hopefully not a really crowded place, both so I wouldn't feel bad about taking up the space, and so that when I packed up to go use the bathroom, I wouldn't lose any hope of sitting down again

There are plenty of options in the area, that's the good news. After pondering, I have a tentative plan in place, as well as a mental note-to-self to be flexible, and now I just need to prepare my "supplies" to bring with me (such as lip balm, hand lotion, tissues, water bottle, and I'm sure I'll think of more). Plus the gym bag, since I'll probably go straight on to swimming when work time is done.

Man, Carlos is going to be so ticked at me.

Ah well. Nothing I can do about it. He'll be pleased when I go to bed early tonight, anyway. I stayed up for the 1812 Overture last night, which was at least an hour after I was ready for bed. I do love watching it, but this morning I wasn't sure it was worth it. Well, once a year...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy 4th of July

On this of all days, I recommend to my fellow Americans that listening to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is a good thing. It's free through the end of July, thanks to Random Penguin*.
*It still bothers me that when publishers Penguin and Random House merged, they didn't call themselves Random Penguin. How boring is Penguin Random House?

Monday, July 03, 2017

A Quick, Bright Thought

Last week, the bulb in my Ott lamp started flickering, and I went to order a new one. I didn't think it had been replaced recently, but I was surprised to see that I last bought one in December of 2012! Over four and a half years, wow. That's a decent return on the cost (which was less this time than it was then; but of course Amazon is weird that way).

And now I can read on the couch again without a flashlight.

With reading glasses.
My close-up vision is starting to diminish, I've noticed over the last few months, and my eye guy said it's best to wait to try the lens options (bifocal, multi-focal, etc) until I really need them. He suggested I try +1 readers and see how that worked for me, and how often I need them, and maybe I can go a year or two before the lens thing. Apparently people tend to adjust better when they really need them.  ;)

So I splurged on this $3 pair at Ocean State Job Lot, and now if I have a splinter, I don't need to take my contacts out to find it. And for books where the print is mysteriously a little smaller than it used to be, they help, too. It's a new cycle of life to be in...

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Oh, Hey, Knitting: I Do That!

I'm not going to go back and see exactly how long it's been since I've written here about knitting. Let's just say, I think it's been a while. Time to rectify that!

I finished the latest pair of purse socks.
Pattern: as always, Simple Skyp Socks
Yarn: Alexandria, from Maple Creek Farm. Bought at Rhinebeck in 2014.
I really like the play of tones of the browns, but when it came time to pick the next yarn to use, I went waaayyy over into COLOR-land.
Same pattern; Knit Picks Felici yarn. As of last night, I'm into the toe; these have flown along. I've really enjoyed watching the wide stripes develop.
Last week, I also finished the shawl I started about two months ago. Pretty quick, really, considering the size.

Speaking of size, this is the size before I washed it. The squares are two feet wide, so about 5.5 feet long.
This morning I soaked it, pressed the water out, then spread it out again. Even without trying to stretch it, I had to get another square. So that's about seven feet, damp.
While I wasn't worrying about making the overall piece longer, I wanted to try to open the lace along the edge. This is before.
And this is after, so I think I've got what I wanted. We'll see when it dries.
None of these really got the color accurately--it's a deep blue with purple tones--so, that, too, I will have to try again later.

Friday, June 30, 2017

To Sum Up

It's raining again. That's bad.

It's the weekend. That's good.

And my paycheck came in today, just as it should. That's also good.

Also, I didn't lose water again today, which is good.

Though I drove home that way tonight and they're pretty clearly not done, unless it's just that they need to patch where they were working ... either way, that may be bad, but next week. Let's not borrow trouble tonight.

I'm really tired, since I had trouble getting back to sleep after a bout of loud, probably drunk people outside my window last night, which was bad. But I can sleep in tomorrow, so that's good.

Sitting here blinking sleepily at the computer. Off to do something brainless. Good night!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

An Ups and Downs Day

My day didn't get off to the most auspicious start. In a way, it started Wednesday night, when I happened to see (on Facebook) a notice I never got* about how the city was going to be working on a water main near my house on Thursday, and how, while I was not in the "your water WILL get turned off" area, I was in the "water issues may extend along these streets" area. Great! Working from home does require my plumbing to function, for sure, and I was worried about where I would go if the water went off. Not that there aren't places, but I'm a planner, and I don't like last-minute things sprung on me (understatement alert). (Spoiler: I did not lose water today. But they are working tomorrow, too, so keep those fingers crossed.)
*I guess this is the downside of trying not to obsess about always being "caught up" on Facebook: I can miss things I actually want to see. I subscribed to the blog for the city, so now I'll get these things emailed to me, hopefully.

Then there's my ankle, which I apparently aggravated by running a couple of errands last night; even though they weren't arduous, and I was wearing the ankle brace, I noticed it during the night as feeling a little funny, though not exactly painful. I was just aware of it, and it's bothered me a little today, enough that I don't think exercising is a good idea. Which, not that I exactly want to exercise, but I'm paying for the gym membership, and I hate wasting the money by not going. Mixed feelings.

Then, I went to read the newspaper in the iPad this morning, as usual, and it opened the app and offered me ... yesterday's paper. It does that once in a while; I'm sure I've mentioned that much as I respect the Globe as a newspaper, its apps are full of problems. I cursed as I turned to the small tablet, since I prefer reading the paper on the larger one, but then the app there wouldn't open at all. Great. I tried clearing the storage in the iPad version (since I have it set to clear automatically, but it doesn't), to see if that would help, and it worked on that for a while, tried to reload the app, and informed me that I needed internet access to open it. Though it was in fact connected to the internet, it wouldn't open at all. (Spoiler: It opened just fine at lunchtime, so at least I did get to read the paper eventually.)

Back to the water main work: I figured that the best-case scenario would be that the noise of the work would be annoying, but I forgot that Carlos' napping would be disturbed by the noise, and oh, can he be annoying when he wants to. He kept coming to get me, over and over (like, around a dozen times by lunch) to express his discontent with Life In General, until I was ready to kill him. He did finally sleep in the afternoon, but when they were packing up for the day, some Extremely Loud Back-Up Beeps woke him, and he was a pest again. Good thing I love him ... and that he doesn't hold a grudge when I threaten to kill him and leave his body out for the crows.
So far, all downs, right? I mean, small downs, no-big-deal downs, but enough of them to add up to annoying. Well, there was a good up: I checked my bank, and they straightened out the double-payment that had my checking account all messed up last week. They even refunded all but the first of the many charges they had assessed, without my having to ask, which is nice. And I certainly don't blame them for charging me that first one; that's on my company, and I am going to ask them to repay me for it (not that I think they will, but no harm in asking). I'm just waiting to see if I get paid on time tomorrow, because if not, we have bigger problems to focus on.

I did have to make a couple more phone calls about the situation, since my online bill paying got suspended due to all the excitement. But the Nice Young Man got it reinstated easily, it's all even still there in terms of pending payments, no problem. He did suggest that I call the bank (he works for another company, not my bank) and confirm that they are aware that the payment pull-back was a one-time deal, so that they won't retract my payment next month. So I called the bank again, and the guy there put me on hold for a while to talk to the claims department, and says I should be all set and just fine in July.

We shall see. I hope so. I also hope that I get paid tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm going to go make some tuna salad, to celebrate summer, or at least summer-ish weather, at last.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fighting the Crabby: Early Oakland Thoughts

I'm in a bit of a mood tonight, nothing major, but after writing it on Facebook, and thinking about what I was not in the mood for (leaf-blowers, thunderstorms, exercise, and more I'm sure), I tried to come up with what I might be in the mood for.

I toyed briefly with finding a new knitting project (having a 6+-hour plane ride to look ahead to will do that to a knitter), but was rapidly overwhelmed by it--sometimes you're willing to dig through the endless possibilities and other times it's kind of, well, overwhelming--but I decided to play around with other ideas for this trip to California that my mother and I will be taking later this year, to visit my brother. I've mentioned this, yes? In passing, anyway? We're going to see him and the house he bought a few years ago, in Oakland. We visited him in San Francisco in 2014 (just before he bought), and I've visited him there many times over the years, but we only spent a little time in Oakland, so it's much less familiar to me.

We're actually not planning to do all that much--we're going to see him, after all, and the house, the garden, the cats--but we'll be going out to eat, and maybe fit some yarn store visits in there, and who knows what else. We have our flights booked from here to there (using miles! which felt like quite the achievement), but the rest is pretty much up in the air. Which is fine for now.

In terms of the yarn, I'd be happy to go back to A Verb For Keeping Warm, and Piedmont Yarn & Apparel sounds good too. I looked on Ravelry, and there's one in Berkeley called The Black Squirrel, which sounds fun, and in Alameda, there's a crafting consignment store, of all things! It's called The ReCrafting Co., and I am quite curious about it.

In non-yarn things, there's a place I came across called Barlovento Chocolates that, unsurprisingly, sounds delicious (the caramels, the marshmallows), and although this review of the "store" is from 2012, something tells me going might still  be a small adventure.

Otherwise? Well, I am open to suggestions. Restaurants? Sights? Hotels/motels that are basic/clean/in a safe area/don't cost the earth? We're not going until September, so if you think of something, pass it on!