Thursday, December 18, 2014

Near the End of Prep Time

At work, we had our holiday lunch today, and after last year, when I ended up doing all the coordination with the restaurant (and it was all at the last minute, and plenty of work), I've been enjoying not having anything to do with the planning and prep. I didn't even know what restaurant we were going to until I noticed it on the calendar notice this week. Ahh. I made sure to thank the woman who did do all the work.

We had a yankee swap, and the boss gave us all small gifts, and the food was good (we were even in a small private room, which was so nice to have), and she also said we didn't have to go back to work after, which gave me time to run a few errands and still get home before the usual time. Time? that's a gift in itself, this time of year.

So I work tomorrow; tomorrow night, make cookies for a holiday party on Saturday, and I should do some laundry (hell, I should do some tonight, and I should have last night, but, not, or not enough). Other than the party Saturday, I have packing-and-prep things to do, which will continue Sunday until I leave for the airport. Whee!

Boing Boing comes up with the most amazing variety of things; by the nature of variety, I am not always interested in the posts, but surprisingly often I am.

For instance, I never thought about how hand-made candy canes are made, but it was pretty cool to watch. I know ten minutes can seem a lot at this time of year, but I do think this is worth the time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014, Q3 Review

Ah, thinking back to July! Warmth, and warmth, and warmth ... How I miss the warmth. Well, time to get to it.

In July:
September, I almost remember.
  • Lots about the trip! Here's the last post about it, which has links to all the others, if you really want to delve.
  • Though I also interspersed other things. Randomness, as I like to do.
  • I shared a video about the making of ballet shoes, because it fascinated me.
  • I delved into the let's-get-a-reliable-car process.
  • And brought it home. I still haven't put on the bumper stickers; I need a non-raining, above-freezing weekend day. See you in May, probably...
  • And, there at the end, mentioned a wonderful book I read (which I have since read again, and liked just as much the second time). (I haven't given Kali that other book yet, either: make it happen in January, we must!)
Zoom, another three months gone! Doesn't the year fly by? I seriously can not believe that December is more than half done...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Break Between Year-in-Review Blocks

I've been thinking some more about the cat issue, and you know how I said the other day about how in hindsight, I probably wouldn't have brought Belmont home, since she and Carlos don't get along? I think I've been forgetting just how needy Carlos was, when he was here alone. He doesn't exactly get along with Belmont, true, and he still wants my company and attention, but in a way I think he's better than he was. Maybe.

In knitting news, I am having serious second thoughts about the blanket I started for my friend who's getting married. How did I pick this pattern, given my dislike for seed stitch? The overall pattern is an easy one, but for me, I have to pay too much attention to seed stitch for it to be enjoyable. The project is sitting while I rethink my options. Major waffling time. Not much time should be spent on waffling, though.

I did, finally, finish casting on my sweater, and join it in the round, at stitch and bitch last night. Away we go! Maybe that should be my knitting for the plane? I know, it will get bigger, but not all that fast; I won't be working on it much this week, and have a couple of inches of ribbing to do before it even starts on the body (it's knit from the bottom up) ... Decisions, decisions...

Meanwhile, I got Chinese takeout for dinner tonight, and here are the two fortunes I got:
Rest has a peaceful effect on your physical and emotional health.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
In other words, no, I won't be making it to the end of the Bruins game tonight! (It doesn't start until 8, anyway.) Time to get a few things done before bed, though.

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014, Q2 Review

Following up on the first quarter of the year, here's a look back at the second quarter.

  • Given the way the Bruins have been playing lately, I'm a bit jealous of my April self, who wrote, "They're on such a hot streak, and it is So Much Fun to watch." I want to be able to say that again.
  • The job frustrations continued. My, how I do not miss that job!
  • Then, after some general nonsense of the type for which I am known, came the first inkling of what would be My New Job. Hooray! See, I knew things would get better in Q2.
  • I was still knitting plenty, unsurprisingly.
  • Hey, how about coming in for an interview? I guess I could.
  • Then I was gone for a while, celebrating Grandma's 100th birthday, and returned in a daze, which was at least helped by hearing more about the job.
  • In retrospect, is it a little odd that a dentist in Philadelphia commented on this post? it seems more like a legit comment than spam, but it's funny all the same, isn't it?
  • April finished with a quite good second interview, ahhh.
May I talk about May?
  • Waiting, and waiting...
  • Seriously, the titles from this period! "No News" and "Waiting" and "Not Really, No. Not Yet" and then, finally, "Waiting Rewarded" with an offer!
  • The Bruins were eliminated, ouch, by Montreal, ow-ow-ouch, but at least it was at the same time I was giving notice at that job. Silver lining!
  • And in the midst of all that, I went off to New Hampshire for the 2-in-1 sock knitting class at the Knitting Lab, and had fun! Hey, there's the cashmere for the little scarf I'm knitting (maybe that should be my plane knitting next week). I also bought a lot of yarn there.
  • I finally got official word of when I was leaving that job: end of May, yaaaayyyy!
  • After all the stresses I'd been under, it was a relief to feel things settling down.
  • I took a look at my stash of sock yarn, and considered the possibility that I have rather a lot.
  • The first mention of the cat Belmont, and the prospect of bringing her home. Eh. She's a sweetheart, mostly, and it's worked out far better than George did, but in hindsight I probably wouldn't have gotten her, since she doesn't fulfill the basic purpose of making life better for Carlos. Oh well.
  • I got the little tablet, upon which I am increasingly reliant. When I went out Saturday night to get groceries, I passed a holiday-based traffic trouble spot, and came home a different way because I'd forgotten the tablet, so I couldn't check and see if that spot was still backed up. Not a big deal ... but I've come a long way.
  • And to end May, I ended the old job, joyfully! Two notes to follow up about this: although I still have not seen my old boss (about whom I wrote, that day, "I NEVER HAVE TO SEE AGAIN, NEVER NEVER NEVER, ALLELUIA, do you hear the angels singing or is that just me")--I actually had a dream recently where I went back to have dinner with a few people there, and the head of the office was giving my boss a hard time about how she had to do something or other, and though I still didn't like my old boss, I felt some compassion for her, since it was clearly not what she wanted to be doing. And second, back in October, someone I used to work with updated me as to how the clippings I (or, rather, Seymour) left behind were doing. Our little green legacy:

Halfway through the year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

No, Really: Mumps in the NHL

Have you heard that the mumps are going around the NHL? Strangely enough, it's true. Apparently in the US last year, there were 584 cases, but so far about 13* players in the NHL have it, a number that now includes Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who looked like this on Friday as he said that, no, he didn't have the mumps, he wouldn't be practicing if he had the mumps, come on.
*According to the Globe and Mail today, anyway.
Sunday the team announced that he in fact has the mumps. Okay then.

Now, the exact math escapes me, but if 584 out of 317,292,487* people get a disease, and 13 out of ~500** people get that disease, well, it's against the odds, isn't it?
*US population at the end of 2013
**30 teams, 20 players on each roster; even with changes, it wouldn't be over, say, 650.

Math people, help me out. Am I right?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014, Q1 Review

While I don't quite have the time or energy to do a full month-by-month blog-year-in-review, I thought it would be interesting to do some looking back at the past year, and see what I remember and what I'd forgotten. As I get ready to leave in just over a week for Christmas in Florida, it's fun to look back at last year's visit, anyway! And since I wrote that summary on New Year's Day, it counts.

Other January notes:
  • I came back with that bad cold or whatever it was, so I was still dragging when I went to the MFA for the Sargent exhibition.
  • I wrote more than once about how I was sure Carlos needed cat company. It's a little disturbing for me to read, knowing how rocky the year has been in that respect. Not quite like yelling "don't go in there" at the movie screen, but along those lines.
  • There was the day we had the mouse in the office, ew.
  • A really cute cat video!
  • Also unnerving to read about applying for jobs I know I won't get, but it made me smile to read how I was hoping to have two W2 forms when I do my taxes for this year, "the one from this job and one from the new better job I will get this year!"
  • I knit a shawl for Grandma, and was pleased with how it came out.
  • Brought home a cat! (Guess what? It didn't work out for us. Sigh.)
And February:
  • I am really, really hoping that this coming winter does not hit me like last winter did. Or I may in fact have to move to Florida sooner than later.
  • I decided that I was going to have to give the new cat back. Still sorry about that, though it was for the best. Especially for Carlos.
  • In a break from the relentless winter-and-job complaining, I had a great time yarn crawling!
  • And by complaining about winter, I mean things like this:
...30 with a brisk wind on Sunday, if by brisk you understand I mean, "Step outside and you will lose all feeling in your face, as well as your will to live."
It only gets better, I think. We'll see how Q2 goes.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Phew, Friday

It really has been quite a week for me; how about you? I'm not sure if it's because of adding Christmas things to everyday life things, or whether I may actually be fighting off a bug, too. The only "symptom" I have, other than being so tired, is some congestion and a little sneezing, which could just be related to dry winter air ... it's hard to be sure. It was dispiriting to be so super-tired yesterday, after 10 hours of sleep; today wasn't actually quite that bad. Weekend should help, too.

A random thought:
Why is it that when I get into work on a Monday, I can hardly remember what I did on Friday, and yet, when I read the name Milton Packer, it made me think of Milton Bradley, which made me think of Parker Brothers, and suddenly the commercial for the board game Bonkers, which I adored in about the 5th grade, is running through my mind, word for word? How can I remember that, but not where I parked, or what I had for dinner last night?

Leftover pizza, by the way. But you know what I mean.

I've been wrapping Christmas presents tonight, though rather than the usual Christmas carols, I was listening to an audiobook instead. (I love the audiobook of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, and keep borrowing it from the library; if the Overdrive app could talk, it would be saying, "Seriously? Again? Don't you have this memorized by now?")(The answer to that is, only here and there.)(Ahem.) All the things I've ordered have come (except for cards, which I delayed deciding on*, but they're on their way), and it's time to get things in the mail already--there are almost two weeks to the holiday, but I leave in just over a week, so time to get it done. Which is the fun kind of work.
*Should I or shouldn't I? I like sending cards, but I haven't the last couple of years, it was just Too Much. Decided to compromise and do photo cards this year. I'll show you when they come.

When I say "all the things I've ordered," I mostly mean presents for others, but a few things for me slipped in. It's hard not to, isn't it? Here's what really tripped me up: I get catalogs and emails and notifications from all sorts of companies that make things I like, and just like everyone else, they have sales at Christmastime. So I'm browsing online for others and whoops, 30% off, that's such a great deal, how can I resist that? Or I'm ordering something from Amazon and, to get the free shipping, I throw in a book I've been wanting for myself. It's an easy trap to fall into. No wonder I usually have to tighten the fiscal belt in January. And I found out this week that my condo fee is going up next year, too. Lovely.

Well, let's not get too depressed tonight. I have some photos to take tomorrow, when I'll get to see daylight and maybe even sunlight again (not only is there work during the week, but it's been cloudy all week, often raining or snowing, and I miss the glowing thing in the sky). Pictures! Yarny things! Yay!

And no alarm going off in the morning, almost better. Ahhhh...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Funny, or Heartwarming?

I offer you both! In the spirit of hockey, since the Bruins are playing tonight after 4 days off. In fact, with last week's late games, I've been able to watch about three games in the last few weeks, which is Not Enough. (And of course tonight, even after 10 hours of sleep last night, I'm still tired enough that I'll probably listen to the third period on the radio, from bed. But still.)

For the funny, remember the goalies who did the leapfrogging recently? Well, one of them, Julius Hudacek, did the Macarena with some fans on the ice after his latest win:

Ever think you'd see that? Me either. (Oh, you did not.) Also, how about those adds all over his uniform, even on the rear end?

For heartwarming, here's one of those "talk to your soldier husband from overseas, oh wait, actually he's here" moments.

Gets me every time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What. A. Week.

I woke up around 3:30 this morning to go to the bathroom, nothing unusual there. I had a very slight headache and upset stomach, nothing that notable ... except I couldn't get back to sleep. Could. Not. And those few hours of sleep time? I needed them.

Plus today I had a 4-hour meeting/class/conference call/thing, and it killed the brain cells I had left.
Which means that it's 7:15 and my brain is ticking with fatigue. If I'm to hit my goal of being in bed by 8, I have to get going. So here's something completely random for your amusement.

I like that the cat is smart enough to figure out how to make the water come out, but then doesn't understand why there's water running down the front of the machine...

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Don't Burst My Bubble

Tired tonight. So tired. Watch this (as seen on the Juniper Moon Farm blog). Made me smile.

You too? (If not, don't feel you have to tell me. 'Tis the season to be fragile.)

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ugh, Monday

I stayed up too late last night (10:30, ooh, rebellious), and as a result had a dragging kind of day. It didn't help that I had one of these moments this morning:
I know, I know, it isn't even "winter" yet! But, hey, do you really want to call 18 degrees and snow flurries "fall"? I don't, because that makes me feel like I hate fall, and I don't, not the morning chill but trees changing and sun and crunchy leaves image that fall likes to project. Damned trickster.

Anyway, good night, all. May tomorrow be better.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Trying to Avoid Facing Sunday Night

Last night, while watching the Bruins game (which they won! holy cow! As Stanley Cup of Chowder wrote on Facebook, "Wait, what does it mean when the Bruins have more goals than the other team at the end? Has that ever happened before?" Exactly), I realized I hadn't gotten on the exercise bike yet. I didn't really want to (not that I ever do), but I looked at the calendar and saw that I'd only done it four days that week.

Now, I never said I'd do it every day (that's asking to fail), but I've been doing really well lately, five and six and seven days a week. The last time I "only" did four days in a week was the week I went to the conference and basically walked my legs off. I didn't want this week to be below that, so I got on the bike. And hey, it was as hateful as always, but I was really proud of myself for doing it anyway. Plus I got past the cuff of the second sock. Yes, I finished the first sock of this pair in about a month, by far the fastest I've done on the bike. Woohoo!

I'm now looking Sunday night in the face, with the usual amount of pleasure at so doing. Time to think of happy things. Like, little tree!
Hooray for the little tree. I will be ornamenting it, yes, but for tonight I'm just happy to have it.

Another happy thing: I just caught a glimpse of the full moon, ooh. It's pretty damned cold out, but I'm in now and it's nice to look at.

I did go out earlier, to have coffee and knit with friends, and look what one of them gave me!
Mmmm, pretty. (My own gifting is not quite ready, and although I'm not knitting for anyone I am doing something that I couldn't show you yet anyway, but I look forward to showing you some things, after they're given.)

I got a new phone! Not a smart phone, but a slightly less dumb phone. Touch screen, even!
I switched from Verizon to AT&T, getting slightly more at the same price as Verizon. And the people at the AT&T store were so much nicer than the VZ people, it's amazing.

Time to go off and finish my weekend, doing some of this and some more of that, and eating and biking at all. Here's hoping we have a good week, every one.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Saturday Night, and the Weekend's Flying

After a three-day weekend, two work days, and a five-day weekend, I found this very a propos today:
It's been a good-busy day, but still, I feel the pressure of time upon me. So much yet to do! Yet, while I wait for the last of the laundry to finish, I'm knitting a hat for the charity tree at the library, and watching Christmas specials. A girl can only do so much laundry, dishes, errands, and tasks in a day. Though I have a little seasonal task that I'm also working on (shh, it's a secret).

Speaking of seasonally appropriateness, I got a little tree today, a tabletop size according to Whole Foods; I'll take its picture for you tomorrow.

Later I'll be watching the Bruins game, nervously. Will they manage to win one game on their road trip? Last chance! And while I stand by my statement of the other day regarding the Bruins (i.e., you must score goals if you are to win hockey games), unfortunately the Bruins showed that it isn't always that simple, losing Thursday night 7-4. Good news: they scored four goals! Bad news: they allowed 7. Sigh. I hope they win for me tonight. Yes, for me. It is all about me.

Isn't it?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Hockey, and How?

Two thoughts for tonight.

First, here's something the Bruins need to realize, as they head into the third game of their western road trip tonight: no matter how well you play, if you do not score, you will lose. Every time.

Second ... how does this work? How?
As the Boing Boing page was headed, "Physics, or sorcery?"

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Instead of Here

I've been knitting: started a new sock last night, after I got to the toe of second sock of the last pair while waiting for the doctor's appointment. Had a "good" long meeting today, plus the wait for the chiropractor, and bang!

I've been knitting: I started the cast-on for the sweater. May not even finish casting on tonight, but starting feels good.

And I'm going to be knitting: after being off the bike the last two days, it's time to get back on. Cramps are only an excuse when you have them...and I want to finish that sock, as well as the purse ones. Better get going, time passes and I need sleep tonight, too!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I Won't Let Me Get Started

If I start writing tonight, it's going to be grinchy and grouchy, what with the cold and the cramps and the late Bruins games this week (and they lost last night, to add insult to injury; it should make me feel better about not seeing it, but somehow it doesn't), so instead I'm going to do a little sharing and linking, and then go eat chocolate and knit.

First, amusing and possibly covetous for knitters, today the Yarn Harlot put up the first of her annual gift ideas post. I don't even want everything she lists, but I enjoy the opening note, which starts out, "Dear Non-knittter who loves a Knitter". I'd be lying if I said that the needle sorter/storer isn't very cool, though, and I've favorited the Etsy shop that sells the nice interchangeable cases, for future window shopping. Fun reading overall.

If you don't agree, no judging here. May I offer you some hockey amusement, specifically goalies leapfrogging? Don't mind if I do. Via Puck Daddy, of course.

You're welcome.

Finally, I saw this on Facebook tonight and just loved it (I only wish the image was more clear, but click on it to see it bigger). If only everyone would! Down with offensensitivity.
Happy merry to you!

Monday, December 01, 2014

...Oh, Monday

Last night wasn't quite as bad, in terms of end-of-weekend-regret, as the end of a regular weekend, although there was a fair amount of I-didn't, I-meant-to, oh-wait-I-have-to going on. I did two bouts on the bike instead of three, but I got the week's pills sorted out, and my lunch for today put together (I'm still at the leftovers, yum! stage), and finished the dishes--I normally run the dishwasher about once a week, and running it three times in less than that, and still having lots of hand dishes, well, enough already.

This morning was always going to be rough, the Monday morning after all that time off, but it really outdid itself. First, after I woke up around 3:30 to use the bathroom, I couldn't get back to sleep for a long time due to awful cramps*. I even got up and read for a while to try to distract myself from all the sleep I was missing. Lovely/not.
*I called the doctor's office today to make an appointment; this has to stop. Pill fail. I'm going in tomorrow. We'll see.

Then, when I did get back to sleep, I had weird, vivid dreams, like one where I was trying to see the cats because Carlos was actually standing up to Belmont's hissing, except I congratulated Pan instead, and then I saw three cats so I was trying to turn the light on to see who they were, but the lamp was a strobe instead, and finally I saw three ocelot kittens (cubs?) ... I mean, weird.

And then, while I was showering, I heard a series of thump-bang-smash noises, and the picture that had been on the wall fell into the shower (hello, adrenaline rush!), and it turned out that on the way down it had hit the wall shelf I had under it, just so, knocking it off and sending everything on it cascading onto the floor. At first glance, I didn't lose any of the important jewelry, and I think I'll be able to glue the broken pieces back on the bowl, but mercy, what a start to the day.

Mind you, someone I talked to today had an even worse Monday than I did, so, you know, everything's relative. And there were lots of pretty Christmas lights up tonight. But overall, I'm ready to crawl into bed now.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Yes, I Have Been ... What's That Word? Knitting!

It get dark so early this time of year, which is annoying in many ways, but particularly when you think of taking pictures of something too late to get good light. It makes a good excuse, anyway, for what are pretty crappy pictures. For I have knit many things recently, and I want to tell you of them, crappy photos to the contrary notwithstanding!

Socks are a given: one in the purse, one on the bike. The bike sock is nearing the toe:
And so is the purse sock, though that one is the second of the pair, meaning that soon it will be time to choose The Next Yarn.
What will it be? Decisions, decisions.

I did get a picture in daylight of the little cashmere scarf I'm working on:
It's delightfully soft, but I have to pay just enough attention to the pattern that it doesn't make good social knitting, so it's stayed home. Where, this weekend, it got put aside for the wedding-present blanket, upon which progress is being made.
I know it doesn't look exciting yet, but I'm happy with it so far. Trust me.

I've also swatched for the sweater I want to make for myself (the I-haven't-knit-a-sweater-since-the-Bruins-won-the-Cup sweater), and I like the fabric I got, so I'm going to cast on with the same size. Some time.
Then there are the 2-in-1 socks, which are getting near the point where I have to decide when it's time to start the toe, too. I'll get more pictures of those before I cast off, since when that's done, they will transform from cool, magical knitting trick into socks that probably won't fit all that well. With this pair in particular, the magic is in the doing, not the being done. Which is okay by me.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We Agree

A quick follow-up to say that if you think I'm the only one who was bothered by the Friday Bruins game not being a matinee, Jack Edwards would like you to know that's not true (via Puck Daddy).

So there. (I'm not certain the video is going to show up; if it doesn't show for you, click the link to find it.)

The Bruins managed to win last night in overtime, but it wasn't much of a game. And now they go on the road for their west coast trip, meaning the games start so late (eastern time) that I won't see another game until next Saturday. Urgh. I hope they straighten themselves out in that time. And don't get the mumps.

No, that's not a joke, that's a real thing in the NHL lately. Three or four teams so far. Crazy, right?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Running Some Thanks By You

From Sandra Boynton's Facebook page, yesterday:


There was a moment mid-day today when I realized that I'd been off work for two and a half days, and there was another two and a half days before I have to go back to work. What a treat! Add that to the list of things to be thankful for.

And that's a long list.
  • I'm thankful for "basic" things like food and a roof over my head and heat and power. 
  • And speaking of food, I'm especially thankful for Thanksgiving reruns today. Turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and angel salad! (I wish I'd thought to buy cider, though. I may have to go out tomorrow for that.)
  • For friends and family and no big losses this year. 
  • Also for a better job than this time last year, my goodness. 
  • For enough money to pay the bills and still buy some treats. Yarn and books and chocolate keep a girl sane. Or closer to sane, anyway.
  • For time to knit. And read. And watch hockey.
  • For two cats who aren't friends but can at least live in the same house without fur flying. And who purr, at least separately.
  • For not having to do any shopping today, other than for cat food and litter (and for a PetSmart store that isn't in a crazy parking lot, so that I *could* go today without going crazy).
  • Even for in-building laundry machines! (I have to go fold towels soon.)
And much more. It wouldn't be me if I didn't have some complaints, of course. Winter's barely started and I hate it so, so much. I had to clean snow off my car yesterday and again today, and I get all hot under my coat while my face flash-freezes, and wow, get ready for some complaining this winter. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

But today, that's only a passing thought. Like my bitterness at the NHL for allowing NBC to bully them out of the Bruins having their traditional day-after-Thanksgiving matinee (so that all eyes would be on the Rangers game that NBC showed this afternoon; my eyes were elsewhere, so there). They play tonight, and if they win I will forget the grave insult.

Go, Bruins! Go, thankfulness!