Friday, July 01, 2016

Weekend, Mail, and Knitting

Let me start with an update on the mail--Scratch that, let me start by saying woo, the long weekend! It's here! Woo!
Now, more on the mail. Early this afternoon, I heard a little rustling noise out my window, which overlooks my front door--this is the door that goes to a hall shared by three units in the building, and is NOT where the mail boxes are, but of course, how could you expect the US Postal Service to know that, it's not like they've been delivering the mail here for years and years--so I looked out, and when I saw a postal person acting like he was going to leave mail there, I called down to let him know that the door he wanted was the other side of the building, for which information he thanked me (and now, I'm sure, he will never be put on this route again). A while later, I went down to the boxes to see how he did.

Well, he did find the boxes. Mine had one piece of actual mail, two magazines, the weekly store ads (with one side pretty much shredded by being stuffed in), and ... no newspaper. However, one of my neighbors had a newspaper in hers, and when I pulled it out to check the label, yes, that's mine. Sigh. So close.

Meanwhile, the other item I'm tracking, which is supposedly "out for delivery" today, was not there. I didn't see it in anyone else's box, though I didn't feel like I should pull out everything and check it all. We'll see when the tracking claims it's actually delivered. Or if one of my neighbors finds it in their box and leaves it for me, I guess.

And this is why the USPS doesn't guarantee their "2-day Priority Mail" will be delivered in 2 actual days.

On to happier things: knitting! Yes, I still do that, even in summer. As I wrote a while back, the Puncia shawl made it to the social knitting phase for a while, but once I finished the first half and started the second, it went back to being high-concentration home-only knitting. Therefore, all I've been doing for social knitting lately is socks, as you can see.
While they're coming along well., I felt the need for more. And I had something in mind.

In a quick search, I can't see that I ever blogged when I got this yarn, last year:
I was inspired by a shawl the Yarn Harlot made, and got the same yarn she used here, which is the Concrete and Tulips colorway from Caterpillargreen yarns.. I mean, self-striping sock yarn is one thing, but shawl yarn? Where the shawl gets wider and the stripes stay the same? That's seriously cool. I'm off to start it and see.

Carlos is very excited for me.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

(Minor) Mail Mayhem

All right, "mayhem" is probably too strong a word, but I couldn't resist the alliteration.

I was expecting a package to be delivered yesterday*, for the simple reason that its tracking told me that was when it would be delivered. I checked the mail a few times through the afternoon, but never got anything--something that does happen once in a while, even with all the junk mail one gets, but that always makes me skeptical due to the many, many instances proving that the US Postal Service finds this building and its many doors so confusing that they can't always manage to deliver the mail, or not to the right door, etc.
*Not the swimsuits; those should come next week.

But when I checked the tracker around 6, it informed me that the package was in fact delivered at 3. Ah, no, it wasn't; I even walked around the building to see if it was left outside the wrong door, but it wasn't. Hmm. It wasn't like I needed it yesterday, but I am a rule-follower, and expect the same of others, especially companies like this. You said it would be delivered on Wednesday; you said it was delivered on Wednesday; where is it?

It appeared today, so that's the good news (even better, I like the shirt, and it fits). On the other hand, my local weekly newspaper, which is delivered by mail on Thursdays, did not arrive. Nor did another item ordered, whose tracking claimed that it was expected to be delivered today (though, unlike the first package, it wasn't promising). I wonder what tomorrow will bring? I must say, I'm rather nostalgic for the days of living in a house, with a single, obvious front door, and a mail slot therein.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Two Good Things

Today started with a visit to the dentist, but if you imagine all the many ways I could end that sentence, the accurate one is actually the best-case scenario. How often does that happen?

I went in to have a spot checked that was slightly tender; not an emergency, but not something I wanted to wait until my next appointment, since that's the end of August. So I went in, he checked, and found nothing obvious wrong. He said I could be grinding my teeth at night--who, me stressed?--and I might want to try a mouth guard (though as the mere thought makes me gag, I will hold off on that for now). And of course, if it gets worse, let them know, all that, but nothing needing work now. Yay, no drills! And they didn't even charge me for the visit. Whew.

In other good news--even better--I grabbed a ticket to visit my mother in a month, thanks to a JetBlue fare sale. I mean, $300 to go to Florida in the summer is still kind of crazy, but every time I looked before this, I was finding things in the $500 to $600 range, which is totally nuts. Especially since it's set up to show you which days are cheapest, only you look at it and sure, if you want to fly at 6 AM, or midnight, it's cheaper! But I don't, so I've been holding off, and now I can go. I'll have to work a couple of days when I'm there--don't want to use up all my vacation time before Christmas--but there will still be plenty of time to relax. Ahhh.

Funnily enough, this morning Facebook popped up one of those "look at what you were posting a year ago" things, and where was I a year ago? Florida. Coincidence!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Short and to the Point

The two reasons it's hard for me to post on swimming nights: one, ow, and two, meow.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sort of Sad It's Sunday Night

If I ignore the end of the weekend, then the weekend can't end, right?

No?

Crud.
It's been a very good weekend, actually. Starting with the weather, which has been frankly glorious, oh please stay this way for a long time, please...

Friday night was the start of the NHL draft, and to show just how low my expectations there are, I am happy to report that, although the Bruins did not do anything spectacularly wonderful, neither did they get involved in any oh-dear-god-no-what-were-they-thinking transactions. We can hope that some of their picks will help the team in a few years...and that's about it. We'll see what happens when free agency starts in July.

Yesterday Mary Ellen and I went to Newton to watch a documentary, which sounds so dry, doesn't it? Quite unlike me? Well, the title was "Yarn: The Movie," so there you are. That's me, right? And not just me: fortunately we had bought tickets ahead of time, since the showing sold out! It really was interesting, although there were subtitle* challenges, some the fault of the movie itself (white lettering doesn't show up that well against light backgrounds) and some of the location (since the subtitles were at the bottom of the screen, and the setup meant that was at head level, as in the heads of the people in front of you...challenging). But it was still quite interesting, and I'm glad to have gone. And stopping at Wilson's on the way home for more peas was most welcome as well, obviously.
*Some of the people spoke in languages other than English, and some who spoke English had heavy enough accents that they got subtitles, too.

This morning I had brunch with friends, including one I hadn't seen in a long time, so that was great. Then I got some errands done this afternoon, and as evening has come on, I have been trying to ignore it forcefully enough to send it back. Since that isn't working, here, look at the pictures of some sculptures around the Scandinavian Cultural Center, which Mary Ellen took.


It was quite an interesting place, and shares the building with an assisted living center, which looks charming. Just the front porch was enough for me; sign me up!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Swimsuits

As it turns out, it's a good thing that I picked up that swimsuit at Old Navy recently. Last night I was putting on my much-faded "old" one and noticed that the area over the rear end was pretty much translucent (side note: why is it that only the front of the suit is lined?). I don't really expect anyone to be checking out my ass during water aerobics, but neither do I want to be oversharing in the locker room, so out it goes. After just five months! Good thing it wasn't too expensive, but still, I was hoping for more out of it.

Time to try something new: I found a few* suits (on sale, since I don't know if they'll be worth paying Even More than other swimsuits, why are swimsuits so expensive?) that are supposed to be chlorine resistant, or at least more so than regular ones. We'll see. The Old Navy one is fine for now, but the neck is a little lower and the butt is cut a little higher than I would prefer.
*Shipping was a flat rate, so I got two; if it had been cheaper to just get one, I would have, but, eh.

I will admit that it was a little disconcerting to get an email from them, some hours after placing the order, trying to "tempt [me] back" since I "stopped by but didn't make a purchase." Um, yes I did? I hope this is the only glitch in their system.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Different Ow

Exercise, man. Ow. This is supposed to be good for me, right?

Hard to believe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Just Some Random Things

It's late. Bullets it is.

  • The head was better today. Still some associated neck/shoulder ouches, but overall, better. 
  • The NHL awards were tonight, and somehow the two Bruins nominated for anything both managed to lose to the same player (Anze Kopitar). What are the odds of that? Bummer.
  • The weather has been so nice recently, I just love it. After work, I walked into town and got a drink (reward time at Starbucks), and sat drinking it in the sun. Ahh.
  • On the other hand (so to speak), just from that little bit of walking, now my feet are sore. They are so wimpy.
  • Bedtime. Carlos says so, and I think my slow blinking at the computer means I agree. Good night!



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Still Ow

Head status: it still hurts today, though it hasn't yet been as bad as yesterday. Functional but aggravating. Bad enough that I decided I'd better not try swimming tonight: in my experience, exercise with a headache can often make it worse, and never makes it better. Boy, if it did, wouldn't I be more motivated to exercise!

I hate to miss the class, though, as I know I'm prone to gradual slippage in that sort of commitment; I'll just have to keep up my determination once the head is better. I haven't missed a Tuesday since I was sick in March, and I've been going twice a week for two months, since I joined the new gym, so I've shown I can do it. Just remains to do it.

But not tonight. Ow. It's such a helpless feeling, knowing that there's nothing I can do to make it go away. Just have to ride it out.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ow Head Ow

It's been up and down all day, since before the alarm went off. Mild to Moderate, not Severe, but annoying enough.

Ow.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

An Opinionated Globe Today

Even in my usual morning fog, I was startled by this, on the front of the Boston Globe today.
It wasn't just the front, either: it was a four-page wrap section, with this spread:
And an op-ed on the back.
Goodness. Not that I disagree. But it was startling all the same.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

World's Smallest Cliffhanger

Can I tell you how glad I am that Father's Day is almost here? So glad, because it means just a few more days of the related ads popping up everywhere. I am so sick of them. The first couple of years after dad died were awful, and now it's much less painful, but it isn't not painful. Just little pinpricks, a little lemon juice in the paper cut. Almost there. Just a few more days.

I guess I'm in a bit of a mood tonight. Not as bad as last night, when I got home from swim class sore and achy and cross as hell about it, like, I pay money and give up my time and all I end up with is pain, great. Every time I come creaking home and I just want to hang the things up to dry, and Carlos is all under my feet complaining because I left the house and I end up yelling at him to just give me a minute, literally one minute, and then I will sit down, for gods sake. And last night he had thrown up while I was out, which of course I'm sorry about for his sake, but also it was another thing to do, cleaning that up, and ow, and fuck it, I'm not touching the blog in this mood, basically.

So, as I was saying, not that bad tonight! But kind of cross. No particular reason. I should go to the grocery store, but I don't want to go. On the other hand, I want to have gone. It's a dilemma. Tune in next time to find out what happens next.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mostly Hockey, a little other stuff

If you're a hockey fan, you already know that Gordie Howe died last week; if you aren't, I will just say that the man was called Mr. Hockey in all seriousness. Big name in hockey history, is what I'm saying.

Amidst all the stories and tributes that have come along, I ran across this on Stanley Cup of Chowder and found it very entertaining.



I just loved what the last panelist based her decision on.

The Stanley Cup was awarded last night; I couldn't stay up, I was too tired, and anyway I would have preferred San Jose to win and it was Pittsburgh, but in all events the season is over. Now I have to fill my  summer with a patchwork of hockey-related things:

  • the NHL awards
  • the expected announcement about whether the league is expanding for 2017-18 or not
  • the rules for the expansion draft if they do
  • the regular draft
  • free agency and other signings
  • Bruins development camp
  • the World Cup of Hockey
  • training camp

I am used to the nice summer weather being a consolation for me, in the long stretch between seasons, but summer hasn't fully arrived here yet. Consistently warm, that is what I'm hoping for. I would prefer not to be wearing jeans and a sweater right now.

~~~~~
I really can't write much about what happened in Orlando this weekend; it's so horrifying. But I bought myself a shirt today.
And I gave a little money. It all adds up.

And I hugged Carlos a lot. He rewarded me last night by rediscovering the catnip toy as Best Thing Ever.


Licking, rubbing, drooling. Protecting it.
Because you never know when someone will try to take it away.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Visiting Portland Maine: Food and Yarn

As I mentioned before, the idea for this trip started with gelato, but rapidly expanded. I was out of the house for over 10 hours, or "five times forever" as Carlos calculates time, and sorry, buddy, it was worth it! Unfortunately, Mary Ellen and another knit friend were unable to join us, so we'll just have to make the trip again; dang, such a shame.

Stop one, the Holy Donut. My fears that they would run out before we got there were fortunately unfounded.
As you might imagine, it was impossible to just buy one. I decided to get three, eat part of each, and bring the rest home (I finished them Friday night and Saturday morning). This worked out well.

They were sampling the sweet potato ginger, and it was good, but didn't make my three. I got maple bacon, coconut, and cinnamon sugar.

Yes, maple bacon.
And it was fabulous. Moist, dense without being heavy, flavorful... The idea that these donuts are made with potatoes is astounding.

The coconut was also fantastic, as was the lemon (my friend gave me a piece of hers). The cinnamon sugar was "only" very good.

Mind you, these are expensive donuts ($8 for the three). If I lived closer to this store, I would be in trouble economically as well as health-wise. But for an occasional trip, I highly recommend stopping by.

Next stop: KnitWit.
My verdict: on the smaller side, but absolutely packed, with many wonderful yarns. The owner was helpful and enthusiastic without being pushy. Two thumbs up!

Also, much lovely knit-related decor. See the giant mittens?
And I didn't even notice the lamp shades at first, but they're perfect!
Click on the photos to enlarge.
I very much liked how they indicated which yarns are local:
Lobster!

I don't have photos yet of what I got, but here are some of the ones I wanted to remember.

Delightful, both.

A few doors down was an unplanned stop, because look:
A very nice used bookstore that we had a short, pleasant browse through. I was tempted by this one, though I managed to refrain.
Our next stop, PortFiber, was more aimed at spinners and weavers than knitters. Lots of fiber (duh, ccr), not much yarn.
I've never tried needle felting, but look how cute the seahorse is!
We enjoyed touching the different types of fibers, and there was one skein of yarn that jumped into my hands and wouldn't let me leave without it.

The next shop we went to was Tess' Yarns, but I have to specify that we "went to" it, not that we saw it.
Though we went during posted store hours, the lights were off when we got there. There was a sign on the door that said to call to check if they were open, since they might be working out back, so I called and a very cheerful woman answered (just "hello," no store name or more businesslike answer), so I said we were wondering if the yarn store was open today, and she said, "Nope!" in a very cheerful way, for someone who was turning down business. Oh, I can't give you money? Well, okay then. Interesting. (Particularly since, in that part of town, you have to pay for parking, so if you were planning just the one stop, as we were, well, tough luck.) Another couple of women had come along just after us, so that's four customers within five minutes...

Moving on, we decided to lunch at Nosh, home of the bacon-dusted french fries. Yes, that's what I said. And yes, they were amazing. The burger was good, too.

And the wall art? Well ... interesting is the word, I guess.
We passed a store that claimed to have socks "for everyone," which had me noting (nit-picking) that "socks for everyone except sock knitters" probably wouldn't fit on the sign. Still, I've never knit any like these. Spock socks with ears!
On the way from the car to the restaurant, I had noticed this piece of art in the grounds of a museum, and decided that if a figure bent over like it was about to be sick is art, I will never understand art.
On the way back, though, I saw something I liked better.
Swirly and kind of neat.
After lunch, we headed north, and on the way I noticed this bumper sticker.
"All we are saying, is give bees a chance..."

In Bath, about half an hour north of Portland, my eye was caught by this sign.
Naturally, the "Chocolate Church" part. And from the website, the full name is the Chocolate Church Arts Center*, which is not at all what I was imagining. Kind of disappointing, actually.
*The website does not address the name, as far as I can tell.

Not disappointing? Our destination, Halcyon Yarn.
This is the view when you step in the door.
And then you go a little way left, and see this:
Full of aisles like this:
And this:
And with small things, like these adorable needle-felt kits. The octopus!

And the yarn bowl (I don't need a yarn bowl, but still) decorated with sheep in hand-knits.
Just casually, on the floor, these amazing expressive sheep faces.
Friendly staff, and lots and lots of yarn. We had a good time going around and around, and neither of us walked out empty-handed. It's been a busy weekend, I don't have the yarn photographed yet, but I will, soon!

On the way south again, we went back into Portland for the ultimate stop (in more than one way).
They are very open to giving tastes of as many flavors as you want; on my fourth flavor, I found my choice (espresso chip), and sat down to enjoy it, as well as the sign. Don't you love the idea of deploying a Gelato Mobile Unit? Not to mention the idea of bringing nine friends to try The Fiasco.
Once I had eaten it, I bought a few pints to take to a party on Saturday, as well as one for myself. Which means I have a little bit of Ripe Mango Sorbetto and Wild Maine Blueberry Crisp Gelato in my freezer today, as well as an unopened Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Gelato. Mmm.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Who Bruins?

Bruins fan blog Stanley Cup of Chowder is spending some of the offseason rating all the Bruins, and today was David Pastrnak's turn. I was watching the video of the goals he scored, and did a double take at around 2:30 in, when I saw a game where NESN--that would be the New England Sports Network, TV home of the Bruins--apparently thought the Bruins were from Buffalo.

WTF, Sabres goal?
They weren't even playing Buffalo, they were playing Montreal. At least NESN was consistently wrong:
The Bruins players seem pretty happy that Buffalo is beating Montreal...

How does that even happen?

~~~~~
Another thing that SCOC is doing is reliving the Bruins Cup run from 5 years ago, game by game; today was game 4 of the finals. Ahh, so nice (in a bittersweet way) to watch. The moves! The teamwork! All the players who aren't with the team any more...