Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Of Books and Busyness

As an update to yesterday's post on my friend's daughter, I wanted to share what I got for her:
She had asked for The Phantom Tollbooth, and her mother said she had liked A Wrinkle in Time, so I got her the next in that series. The others were ones I liked. I got her one more, but it arrived late, so I suppose I will give her Jane of Lantern Hill for Christmas.

It's a wild and blustery night out there, which I think is adding to my current feeling of being greatly scattered. I think I've handled my challenging October travels pretty well, but the reentry is going to be rough no matter what I do. Everywhere I look, there are things that need doing or tending or dealing with, and while only two of those things meow at me (and meow, and meow, and meow), the others need attention too. All the  ... everything. I won't even try to list it all. And of course, writing about my trips is on that list! But for now, let me just show you this.
Pretty...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Still Tired, All Right

I was in bed, lights out, by 9 last night. The first time the cats woke me was almost an hour later. (Him: Mrrp? Mrrp? Her: Hisss!) It was good sleep, and long sleep, but disturbed, is what I'm saying.

Today wasn't bad in the grand scheme of things, not quite as zonked as yesterday, but a fairly large number of quite small annoyances left me rather grumpy coming home. Here's what helped, though: getting a thank-you note from my friend's ten-year-old daughter, who celebrated her birthday recently. It read:
Dear C_____,
Thank you for coming to my party. Thank you for all those books! I love BOOKS!

And that makes me smile.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Home. Tired. Happy. Tired!

Really, for tonight, that is all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Game For You While I'm Away

Right, since I need to (a) get packing, and (b) get some sleep, here's a game for you to play while I do that, and then frolic off to the sheepy weekend.

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS, then please comment with your guess as to what he does for a living.
If you know who he is, please don't give it away! You can still guess if you want to, you can even say that you know, just don't say who he is.

What do you think? What's his job?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Holding On, Hanging In

I will admit that I did not ride the bike last night after all, no matter my stated intention. When the cramps moved in, my good intentions died away, as sometimes happens.

And as I expected, I didn't quite make it to the end of last night's Bruins game (a pox on 8 PM starts; tonight's is 7:30, which isn't much better). I took the radio to bed for the third period, read along with it for a bit, then turned the light out and listened, inevitably falling asleep. When I woke to hear them saying that the Bruins had gotten the result they wanted from the shootout, I turned the radio off with satisfaction, both for the result and for my not trying to stay up for it. I didn't hear the end of the 3rd period, OT, or the shootout, and given how tired I already was this morning (So. Tired.), I needed the sleep I did get, much more than any enjoyment the game would have given me.

I was in a really bad mood much of today, and I'm not sure why. Hormones? Rain? Tired? Just stressing out over stupid things for no good reason? A little of all? Anyway, I'm going to eat some dinner now, and hope that will help. And give me strength to not be driven insane by Carlos and his mrrrping neediness. I know, buddy, I know, you missed me. You want my company. I missed you, too, and I love to hang with you, but, you know, not 24/7.
I did not hear you say that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back, Briefly

Oh, hey there. How you doing?

I'm good, myself. It was a great weekend, a great visit with my mother and other family, a great birthday, lots of great food. And now I'm back and pooped and gearing up for Rhinebeck this weekend (or trying to), and hoping that the Bruins break out of their rut tonight (they won the first game of the season, then lost the next three). The game doesn't start until 8*, and I'd place money against my being awake at the end of the game, but we'll see.
*It's in Detroit, and it's on NBCSN again. Just give me NESN, people, I like my homer announcers more than the ones who try to "explain" hockey to me. I've been watching for 40 years, somehow I picked up what a line change is.

It's Wednesday night, isn't it? Today was a funny day, it took forever and ever to get through, and I had to look at a presentation with the most disgusting photos* on the slides, and there's PMS, and bigwigs in the office, and just all sorts of strangeness. Just epically strange all over.
*Ankle fracture surgeries, yuck

I'm tired, is what I'm saying. And I've got tonight, and tomorrow night, and then Friday night I'll be packing to leave early Saturday. And it's worth it (Rhinebeck!), but I'm tired just thinking about it. I actually looked at the calendar today, and I think in 2017, looks like there will be a weekend between Apple Festival and Rhinebeck that year. Woo.

Okay. I think eat, bike, watch hockey, go to bed. Here, for your amusement, look at what the Google Street View camera looks like in Abu Dhabi:
Carlos is calling, got to go...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Diving Into October

My busy month really gets going now.

Tonight I'm trying to get ready for my mother's arrival tomorrow and our departure for NY Friday morning, while simultaneously watching the Bruins play their season opener (yay, hockey's back! hockey new year! hockey hockey hockey). I will also be dealing with one cat who wants me to sit down and pet her already, and another who made his first request that I come to bed at around 7 this morning.

Then my mother will arrive, and we will depart, and odds are I won't be posting over the weekend.

We'll get back, she'll leave, and I'll be unpacking from that trip and packing for Rhinebeck at about the same time, wheee (I loved that year when there was a weekend in between).

Then I will be off to Rhinebeck*, and then I will be back and completely whacked out by it all.
*Fun fact: I first went in 2009, making this my sixth trip already.

So! That's what I came to say. And now I have to go, you know, do all that. Happy birthday eve to me. See you when I see you!

(And there's Carlos, meowing for me. This is going to be a long evening.)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Distraction

I'm going to another funeral tomorrow*, for a friend's husband. It wasn't unexpected--he'd been in hospice for a few weeks--but 54 is just way too young. Way, way too young. Let's talk about something else.
*Fourth this year

Like this monstroisty, which I saw in a catalog recently. What's with the extra fabric around the hips? Saddlebags?
Who needs that? What IS it?
Ohh, I see. "Funky charm," of course. Right.

Also seen recently:
A nice zombie take on the Subway slogan, "eat fresh"!

Next, here's a hint: if I can't make out the name of your company due to the font you use in an ad, the ad isn't worth much.
Really, what does it say?

Finally, courtesy of Dave Barry:
Um, ouch? It's amazing no one was seriously hurt.

P.S. Post number 2222!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

So tired I forgot to put in a title

I am so tired.
It's actually been a really good weekend, and I've gotten so much done, too much to even list, it's great, but wow, I stopped moving and I'm not sure I can move again.

Here, go watch the paper-clip-making-machine. Do you also find it strangely mesmerizing? (I'm so tired, I almost forgot to put in the link. That really is a sign I should get off the machine now.)

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Fighting Startitis

It's a knitting term for when you want to start one new project after another, startitis, and I have a bad case lately. I have two shawls in progress and neglected already, a blanket for myself barely started and another for my friend getting married next year, a scarf in progress for another friend, a pair of socks done magic loop that have been sitting since April, the 2-in-1 socks moving slowly along, a baby present that stumped me and got put aside, and I recently started a scarf with the cashmere yarn I bought in the spring, and I want to start more and more and more.

Basically, this year all I've finished are socks and presents, but nothing bigger for myself. And I probably should, if "should" is a word to use for something I do only to please myself so what does it matter, finish one of the things hanging about, but instead I want to start a sweater pattern I liked, and a shawl with yummy yarn from Rhinebeck last year, and who knows what else besides. And if I start them all, I'll never finish any of them!

Now is probably not the time to start a lace pattern that requires much tracking, so I'll save the Echo Flowers shawl pattern to my computer for later, planning to using the Briar Rose Wistful yarn. (The pattern is intended for thinner yarn, but someone else made it with Wistful, and it looks so nice.)

I could maybe start the Hitch pullover; I have a copy of the pattern, and plan to use stash yarn for that, too. Of course, I should swatch for that, and I don't have time to.... yeah, I know. I know.

Well, I'm not starting anything tonight; it's time to get ready for bed, as Carlos is reminding me. We'll see what tomorrow looks like.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Some Random Car Thoughts

I've gotten the sense from some people that they expect me to be excited by the Kia, and I'm not. It's fine, truly, and having a reliable car is a great relief, but excited, no. The Boat, as we called my first car, is unbeatable in that regard, as you might imagine. I don't usually post pictures of myself here, but I can't resist this one. For throwback Thursday, here I am in June 1985, with the best car ever: a 1969 Cadillac convertible.
(The photo is a Polaroid, by the way.)

I went up to the car dealership at lunchtime today, and got the registration and inspection taken care of, so the car is officially All Set. Whew! That too is a relief.

Buying a car is such a big purchase, such a big deal. Second only to buying a home, right? And you pretty much have to live with your decision for years. Yet I came home from the dealership last Tuesday, kissed Carlos, and realized he's more important to me than the car. I need the car for logistic reasons, but I don't need it to fill a place in my heart. The cat does that.

A benefit to buying a used car versus a new one: I called the insurance company to switch my coverage over, and the rate was a little higher, yes. Before the policy cycles in November, I owe them another $2.47. I think I can scrape that together, somehow...

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Thinking About Exercise

Actually, I'm not just thinking about it, I am doing it: I had a doctor's appointment last week, and I was glad to be able to tell him that, truthfully. He asked how much, and I said 10-15 minutes on the bike at a time. He said he'd rather it was 30 minutes, and I said, "Sure, but my legs don't agree." His suggestion was to try adjusting the bike to lower resistance, so that I could go longer, and I have since made it to 15 minutes much more easily (if easily is the way to put it, which it isn't really), so that's something to keep working at. Meanwhile, however, I find that even with the bike seat cushion, it's hard on my rear end! How sad, with all that cushioning I have, built in, that it isn't where I need it.

It makes me wonder if I should try a treadmill or something else that doesn't require sitting. Gail Carriger recently mentioned her exercise thing, a stepper, but of course I need my hands free to knit (whatever keeps me exercising, right?). I don't really want to spend the money on a treadmill, and I don't have much room for one, but maybe there's something else... Any suggestions?

Meanwhile, I'm off to get on the bike before my evaporating energy dissipates completely. Good evening.


*****
Speaking of Gail Carriger, if you missed it, I'm giving away a copy of her fun book Soulless, and so far no one has put their name in for it! Don't you want it? On its fifth birthday and all?

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Tale of Two Books

I just finished reading a wonderful book, so, so good, and I got it out of the library so I can't lend it to even one person, let alone to everyone. I may have to buy it for myself, though I'll probably wait until it's in paperback, as I usually do. It will be May before I know it, after all.
But anyway! If you are looking for a wholehearted I-loved-it recommendation, the title is Small Blessings, the author is Martha Woodroof, and I know I read about it somewhere, but like so many books, by the time it comes in to the library I don't remember where I read about it. Or much about what it said. I'm so glad I did read about it, though, because my goodness it was good. The kind of good that had me worried about if it could end well enough. Whew.

That's one book in the title of this post, and it's the other I'm giving away (how perverse of me). I happened upon another copy of Soulless* by Gail Carriger, hers are such fun books if you don't mind a little vampire and werewolf with your silliness, and I decided it would be fun to share it with someone who'd like to read it.
*Let me note, as the author often does, that if you haven't read the first book, the descriptions on Amazon and the like for the following books contain MAJOR SPOILERS for the first one, and so on. You have been warned.

Throw a comment down if you'd like to be in the running (and if you want to comment without being interested in the giveaway, that's fine, just say so). Do you have a book to recommend? A comment on the weather? A knitting pattern? Let yourself go. Talk to me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Not Just End of Weekend. End of Month?

September was supposed to be my quiet, get-ready-for-October month, and now suddenly it's the end of September and it doesn't feel like it's been that quiet at all. I have gotten a few things done, and the craziness doesn't start on October first, but still. I went to buy my Rhinebeck tickets last night and the website had a ticker and it's 20 days away? That's all? (And 19 now, and 18 tomorrow...)

Yipe.

To add to my confusion, although mostly the weather has been suitably autumnal, this weekend was actually in the low 80s and glorious, if disconcerting when the leaves are changing and one is seeing houses already decorated for Halloween. Right now I'm sweating, and how can it be October on Wednesday?

Also disconcerting is how I just went to use the iPad, as I had done on and off all day, and it was a brick: wouldn't turn on, or respond to the charger being plugged in, or even to a 30-second push of the serious-button (the rarely used one that makes it turn all the way off). What happened? I was kind of stumped (it was just working...), so I threw the question on Facebook, and my most tech-savvy friend suggested hitting both buttons at once, which woke it up and it's all "hey, la la la, nothing weird here" which is almost more weird than there being something wrong. Perhaps its nose is just out of joint because I spend some time with the little tablet? I'm sure technology can get jealous, too. (It's reasoning like this that means I really need those tech-savvy friends, you know?)

Let's look at something happier, eh? Like a first picture of the finished not-quite-rainbow socks:
I know, that doesn't prove that there are two. I'll get to that sometime. Meanwhile, I started another pair:
But, since it's a thicker yarn, I don't think I'll get a pair out of a skein after all, so I think I'll have to try something else. Excuse me while I go get the swift and ball-winder out. Here, have a cute cat picture:
Or two!
Tune in tomorrow for (maybe) some content of more substance. Or maybe not. No promises

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ch-ch-ch--ch-changes...

The new one is in the driveway:
Driving away from the old one wasn't hard; my only regret is the bumper stickers.
I already have another of the Keep Calm and Bergeron, so that can go right on. I'll be looking for more knitting ones at Rhinebeck. Otherwise? Hello, Etsy, what do you have for me? Some definite possibilities.
What else do you suggest?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This and That, Here and There

So, everything's going pretty well, overall, but man, haven't I been saying for months now that I'm so tired? Stretched? A little crazy? Yeah, that. Still. Winter. Get new cat. Job searching. Return cat. New job! Another new cat! And now a car.

And, since I finished the sock-in-progress at the dealership while waiting last night, I have GOT to go start another one. I had a dentist appointment after work tonight, and I was at a loss waiting without knitting. (Not that I had to wait long. And I could have picked up a magazine. But knitting-while-waiting is what I do!)

Also, the Bruins are kindly streaming tonight's preseason game, so I can cast on to the sounds of hockey (oddly, it's the radio sounds, but the video goes along with. Better than just having the radio, anyway). Happy sigh.

But I won't leave you without anything! Have you seen this sweet Budweiser commercial?



I don't like beer, so trust me when I say that I am unprejudiced by that. But honestly, Bud does some nice commercials.

There's also the change of the seasons, nicely done by Sandra Boynton on her Facebook page.
I'm glad not to be hemispherically insensitive in my seasonal wishes, you know? And this is tidier than wishing someone a "happy whatever your current season is".

Also, happy Rosh Hashanah, if that's your holiday. It isn't one I celebrate myself, though I was tempted by the recipe in the Globe this morning for noodle pudding. Go on, look; doesn't that sound like it might be yummy?

Man, I have to go eat dinner. My teeth were a little tender after the cleaning, so I put it off, but I am starving all of a sudden. Later!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Did I or Didn't I?

Yes, and no.

I did go to the dealership tonight, and kind of did, kind of didn't agree to buy a used Kia Soul. There was a paperwork glitch that delayed things past my bedtime, so to speak, but it looks like it will happen. This week? Probably? Further updates as things unfold.

Damn, I'm tired. Again. Still. I'm listening to the Bruins preseason game in Montreal on the radio, and it's time to get ready for bed. Coherence ... loss ... in three, two, one...

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Few Words, Plus 5000

I expected today to be a crazy day at work, since we're in a push to finish up a big project (kind of an all-hands-on-deck situation, editorially). The bad news is that I dreamed about work last night (I hate work dreams). But the good news is that in the dream, the day went pretty well, which I hoped was a sign.

And in truth, the day was not so bad, but I did still have the edges of a headache most of the day, so instead of going to stitch and bitch tonight, I came straight home to make an early night of it.


After all,


Although the grass is always greener


I can say with some certainty that for today, I am done balancing

 And now, I go here:


Good night!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Too Much and Not Enough

Too much headache (because anything above "none" is too much).

Not enough weekend (just one more day? if I ask nicely?).

Too much left undone (because of the first two items).

Not enough time. Period.

Too much humidity today, oh boy. Sticky. Mostly we're firmly into fall weather now, cool days and cooler nights, but today was warmer again and way way sticky.

Not enough time to make Carlos happy (if that is, in fact, achievable).

Too much meows from Belmont. Girl is loud. When my head hurts, I want to mute her. Particularly when I'm already getting her food, just not (apparently) fast enough. And I found myself thinking that if it's the sight of Carlos that bothers her, perhaps I could fashion a little blindfold for her...

Not enough sleep, I'm thinking that's a sign of. Because that would never work.

Right?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Of Cat, and Ballet Shoes (Separately)

Carlos does not think he is being unreasonable. He doesn't want much, just me at his beck and call 24-7. That's not much! It's just one thing!

Well, it's not the only thing he wants, but it would solve his other problems, like if I was at his beck and call that would mean I couldn't be in the office, which he doesn't want me to be because he associates it with miss hissypants, even when she's in the living room.

And if I would just be at his beck and call, he's sure that the can opener would always bring him tuna (he only gets the water from the can, but he loves that). The other night, I opened a can of mandarin oranges, and he was unconvinced by my assurances that he didn't want it, so I held out the can for him to sniff. His face! I must admit I laughed. It was just like the classic strip in Calvin and Hobbes:


And ... I think that's all I can come up with tonight. My body and brain are both busy (I have cramps, and I'm thinking I might want to get a new[er] car before my trips next month), and it isn't leaving me with much bandwidth. I tell you what, though, if you're looking to fill a little time and I'm leaving you hanging, I found this video about how ballet shoes are made to be strangely compelling.



Obviously I was interested enough to look at it in the first place, but when I saw that it's 26 minutes long, I immediately thought, "Oh, I'm not watching that much. But maybe a minute or two..." And then I watched it all. Fascinating. I had no idea they lasted for such a short amount of time. And when you consider how much work goes into them, I'm impressed with how sanguine the maker is about that. I wonder how much they cost?