Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Just" is a four-letter word

Main Entry: qual·i·fi·er
Pronunciation: -"fI(-&)r
Function: noun
: one that qualifies : as a : one that satisfies requirements or meets a specified standard b : a word (as an adjective) or word group that limits or modifies the meaning of another word (as a noun) or word group

I've never been much of a one for New Year's Resolutions, so it doesn't particularly bother me that this may sound resolution-y and it's in the middle of February. Actually, we've passed the middle, haven't we? Well, whatever, it certainly isn't January 1, and I'm okay with that. This has been simmering for some time, and I think it's ready to come out now.

I want to live life with fewer qualifiers. I tend to soften what I say, to limit or modify my speech, as the definition says. I think a lot of people do, and while there's room for that (there I go), there's also time to be definite. For example:

I am not "just" making a scarf. I am making a scarf, period. In fact, look at how cool this is, I'm making this incredible thing with sticks and string and my own two hands! How cool is that?

I also want to stop apologizing for my life, or the ways I live it, if it's something I'm happy with, or simply okay with. Such as:

"That's a nice sweater." "Thanks, it's really old." No! "Thanks, I like it, too."
"Would you like to order a drink?" "No, I'll just have water." or "I'll just have a Coke." Those are drinks, I don't have to apologize for them.

I got a good example of this the other day when I was watching Clean Sweep, which I not only enjoy, but find at times to be inspirational to my hold-on-to-it self. The wife was talking to Peter, the organizer, about her Star Trek collectibles, and mentioned needing things for dressing up and going to fan conventions because yes, they were just that nerdy (or words to that effect). Peter said you go to conventions? And the husband said, quite calmly, "Doesn't everyone?" And then, looking at Peter's reaction, he added almost sotto voce, "I guess Peter doesn't." I want to be more like the husband, not apologizing, not assuming that others are judging and finding me wanting. I can't stop living my life the way I want to live it because others don't like the way I do something. I especially can't stop living my life the way I want to live it because others might not like something.

Besides, I need to remember that most of the time, no one is paying as much attention to me as I am. It's harsh, but true. And it makes it especially silly for me to let what someone else might be thinking change what I do.

Let's not limit ourselves more than we have to. Doesn't the world, doesn't society, do that enough already? Let's not handicap ourselves out of the gate.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Douglas Adams found my dimples...

Or, let's talk about Audio Books, shall we?

I love audio books, books on tape as we used to call them before other formats existed (gather round the rocker, boys and girls, while granny tells you a story about the old days). They're great in the car for commuting and for long trips, in the kitchen for cooking or cleaning up, in the bathroom if you're dealing with contact lenses or anything time-consuming (no details, please), I just love them.

The first one I remember listening to, sometime in the early '90s, was The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams. The book hadn't been my favorite of his, but when the audio came into the bookstore where I worked, I thought it would be worth a try, Read by the author, after all, and I did get an employee discount.

Well. I was naive in the way of audio books at the time, and didn't know how important a good reader was, but Adams reads (read, sigh) his works so well, they came to life in a way the printed form could never match. From the first line,
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase 'As pretty as an airport'.
I was hooked.

By the time the frustrated thunder god has been glued to the floor by his father Odin's evil minion Toerag, Dirk has dealt with the eagle trapped in his hall by trapping it in his kitchen, and Kate has changed her answering machine message to cover her evening's trip to Valhalla, I was all about audios. And, since I found Adams totally funny, and since my contact lens regimen in those days was rather time-consuming, and I was therefore listening in front of a mirror, I discovered that I have some little dimples.

Having always coveted my mother's dimples, this was quite a surprise to me: how had I not known these were there? How could I have dimples and not know it? (Rather like a character in a play I saw once, a not-too-bright schoolgirl who, when asked if she knew French, said no, unless perhaps one could know French without knowing that one knew it?)

Douglas Adams has been credited with many things, and this may be the smallest, the least meaningful, but it certainly meant a lot to me.

Tune in tomorrow: I have something in mind for my hundredth post...

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Another Sunday: Bruins lost, cat must be thwarted, what are you reading?

Although the Bruins lost last night, I'm not that upset with them. The end of a road trip, first of all, and then they won four in a row before that. I mean, it could be the beginning of a bad streak, of course, but it could just be one of those games, and I'm willing to let it go without too much gnashing of teeth. Bergeron was back, which I'm glad of, and they re-signed Marco Sturm. Things could be worse (oh, am I asking for it...).

Today, I need to thwart the kitty's desire to make my new job Being a Lap, and get some filing done. He sure wants me to be a lap at every opportunity. The thing about having a cat with a heart condition (or, probably, any health issue) is that any slight behavioral change ups the worry level. "Can he sense something? Does he actually need my lap, really?" When probably it's just because it's winter, and he wants mama as heat source. I can't help worrying, though. Every time I'm home, he wants to be on my lap, just about every minute, starting as soon as I get up from the last lap-time. He's quite pathetic about it, and I feel bad, and I like to have him on my lap, but I can't sit down all the time! I have to do other things sometimes! Sheesh.

Anyway, a few minutes about books. The other night I was reading the recent Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss, which was enjoyable enough in a secondary-series way. Laurell writes the Anita Blake books, which I really like, and then the Merry Gentry series, which I don't enjoy as much, but they're still good, and that's what this one was. The next Anita is out in June; thank heavens for a prolific author. Don't read these if you don't like sex and violence with your supernatural, but if you're okay with that, then dive right in.

Actually, I started reading the Anitas in Charlotte, and remember discussing with my friend Pat whether Anita would be better off with Richard or Jean-Claude. Werewolf or vampire? Ah, the good old days. It's fun to be able to talk books like that, isn't it? I was in a book club in Charlotte that never got as satisfying for me as those talks with Pat. It's hard to find friends who like to read the same books that I do. I just read a review of a novel about four women in a shoe-sharing club, which made me wonder if that ever happened in real life, women getting together based on shared shoe size. Now that's random.

Updating Stephenie Meyer news (mehitabel, are you still here?), her next book, Eclipse, is due out in the fall, though I don't have a more specific date than that yet. In the interim, however, she has a story in a collection coming out in April, called Prom Nights From Hell. Something to look forward to!

I said I have to thwart the kitty, and guess who is now between me and the keyboard? Three guesses, first two don't count. He's purring...

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Winter good, winter not so

We got more snow last night, a fluffy inch or two. I might have appreciated the prettifying effect it had on the trees this morning more were it not for two things:
  1. The ten minutes it took me to clean off my car;
  2. That half the cars on the road didn't bother doing so themselves, so that driving behind them was much like I imagine driving in a snowglobe recently agitated to be (not recommended).
Other than that? Yeah, pretty, whatever. A lot of the mess melted today, the recent mess that is. Last week's cement-like ice and frozen crud is a lot more tenacious, and hazardous. It's supposed to snow again Sunday night.

So listen. All of you with the cute little signs that say "Welcome, winter" and "Let it snow"?

Take them down. They're starting to piss me off. (Starting? Who am I kidding?)

I think I need to switch places with Monica. Before her computer had its recent fit, she was reporting unhappily that spring is coming to her area, which of course I would love to have happen here. Humans are so perverse, aren't we?

Now, I'm off to watch the Bruins game. Last night was a rare Bruins-less Thursday, but tonight, they play. (Of course last night, since I was free from the hockey obligation, I could have cleaned the kitchen, so instead I read a book. I am rather predictable that way. In fact, I predict a bookish post in the future.) Bergeron is still out with his lower body injury, but we'll hold out hope for the rest of them, shall we?

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pan, the optimist

You can tell the baby is an optimist, can't you?

"If I get in the suitcase, either she can't go anywhere, or she'll have to take me with her."

This morning, he was in one of the moods--"Mo-om!"--so I sat down for a moment of lappiness. He got on my lap, settled down, and went to sleep, in about two seconds. Um, Pan? We're not here for the duration. I still have to go to work today.

Pan?

You don't pay for the cat treats around here. Someone has to go to work.

Hello?

Eventually I had to evict him. It was not a popular move. Harold was in Pan's favorite spot, and my lap was his consolation spot, and what do you mean you're getting up?

Hard life, eh furface? As I pull on my snow boots, my scarf, gloves, coat, and so everlastingly on, I feel your pain. Really. I do.

That sounds harsh. I'd love to sit and be a lap for him, but that's pretty much a full-time job. We live in the real world, and in order to keep a roof over our heads, food in the bowl, etcetera, I had to get up. (Who am I trying to convince here, you or myself?) It's almost the weekend again, anyway.

When I wrote about the possibility of going to NYC to Represent with the Yarn Harlot, one of the comments I got (okay, of two) was this:
Marianne said...

Oh! you are so very close, and by train, GO GO GO GO!!!!!
I'm incredibly envious and so very happy that it's such a possible maybe for you!

21/2/07 5:25 PM
Okay, Marianne, just for you, I'm going to go. ;)

I got the time off from work, so there doesn't seem to be any reason not to. I can't spend the weekend there, as I'd started to consider, since I actually have an appointment Saturday morning (way to check the datebook before now, ccr). I had to wait 2 months to get a Saturday appointment, I'm not putting it off another month. Though I guess I'll check and make sure they haven't had any cancellations in the interim, just in case. But if they haven't, I'll take the train down Thursday morning, and back Friday night. Still fun! And Represent-y!

And I have a month to make all my plans, which is part of the fun too.

Wait til you see my bloggy "business" cards. Too cute. I'm having more fun making them.

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Let's all welcome Wimbledon to the 20th century

No, I don't mean 21st. Did you see this?

Wimbledon agrees to equal prize money for women:
After years of holding out against equal prize money, Wimbledon bowed to public pressure Thursday and agreed to pay women players as much as the men at the world's most prestigious tennis tournament.
Nice! I don't follow tennis, I had No Idea they weren't. Isn't it lovely they decided to do this? Finally?

Seethe, seethe.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hockey and knitting and traffic (oh my, what a lame post title)

It was only this morning that I woke up, metaphorically (well, after I woke up literally, of course), that I realized what they did. They've sucked me back in! "It's fun to watch them play, see how well they're doing, they don't give up when something goes wrong, they keep working, and they win!"

Yeah. You know what's going to happen, don't you? Sooner or later, they're going to go back to playing badly, and I'm going to be let down. It might be tomorrow, it might be a month from now, but it will happen.

I figure either they'll only-just qualify for the playoffs, then get creamed in the first round, or they won't quite manage to qualify at all. Such is the life of a Bruins fan. Well, I'll try to enjoy this while it lasts. What else can you do, right? For all my superstitions, I don't actually believe that my watching or not watching, or yelling at the TV, or whatever, has an effect on how they play. And intellectually, I understand that they don't play badly just to torment me (although that one can be hard to believe). There really isn't anything I can do about how they play. I keep telling myself.

Meanwhile, I had one of those things happen at work today that only seems to happen to people like me (klutzes), although it wasn't really anything I could have prevented by being less clumsy. Some people just have these things happen to them, you know? We were having a pot-luck lunch, and I opened a bottle of soda that turned out to be a little, shall we say, over-excited. This thing didn't just spray, it fountained. I have never, in thirty-eight years, even seen a carbonated beverage open with such vehemence, except perhaps on TV when someone shook it violently first. It soaked my cuff and part of the front of my shirt, and sprayed a coworker who was unfortunate enough to be standing near me. It was so bad it was kind of funny. The cream soda that coated the lunch room! Stand back, I have a drink and I'm not afraid to open it! Look out, she's armed with a one-liter bottle.

I wonder what it's like to be one of those people who these things simply don't happen to? It must be nice. Serene. Tidy.

As to the possible NYC Harlot Represent yarn-jaunt, it's still looking possible, and still unconfirmed (my attendance, I mean; remember, everything here is All About Me!). A couple of signs it may be meant to be:
  • I can stay with my cousins, K, Q, and little E--and celebrate fabulous cousin K's birthday with her!
  • It's on a payday. How foreordained is that?
Further updates as events warrant and decisions are made.

And what about the traffic? Well, if it wasn't a full moon (and it isn't), how do you explain all the Stupid People On Wheels out there? In addition to all the usual, garden-variety looney tunes, I got these two right in a row:
  1. Driver two cars ahead going toward traffic light with choice of right or left turn, in right lane, stops when light turns yellow (although legally what he was supposed to do, this is technically Not Done by anyone in Massachusetts). He sits through entire red light, even when no traffic is coming, although MA is a right-on-red state, meaning that if there is no sign saying NO TURN ON RED (which there wasn't), you can turn on the red light if you can find a hole in oncoming traffic. With nothing coming for minutes at a time, he sat and waited for the green light. I was distracted by wondering if you actually have to go right on red when the opportunity is there, or does it just mean you can? Anyway, he didn't, until it was green. Glad to get past him.
  2. Through the next light, and behind more cars, and this time the second-vehicle-ahead Stopped At A Green Light. Full stop. Green light. I waited 5 seconds for him to go, the car between us to honk, something, then I honked. I'm not a big honker usually, but hello? In my country, we go through green lights! And for this to happen immediately after the other guy, who let the inmates out of what asylum? Do these people get licensed by mail order?
And don't even get me started on traffic on Route 3 in the mornings. Once the widening project finished, why didn't the speed limit get increased? By leaving it at 55 when it can handle so much more, it means you're driving with people who cover speeds from 55 to about 80, and my friends, that is a recipe for disaster.

Wait, I told you not to get me started!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Well, how about that?

Those sneaky Bruins. I can't fool them, I can't pretend I expect them to lose, while really hoping they'll win, and have them win, but if I honestly think they'll lose just to spoil my mood?

They won last night.

They won tonight.

A girl could get spoiled.

My favorite, Patrice Bergeron, is out with a "lower body injury". Teams only used to get so silly about describing injuries during the playoffs, but now they do it all the time. I think they would say "lower body injury" if the player's leg was clearly broken, and they probably say "upper body injury" when he needs stitches after taking a stick to the face. Anyway, Patrice has missed a few games and the team has missed him, but here's the funny thing: the last few games, they're actually getting contributions from a whole bunch of players. Last night five players scored the six goals. Spreading it around is good.

The only multi-goal scorer was Petr Tenkrat, who also won the shootout for Boston Saturday night. He's on a roll! I like him because his name sounds like rink rat, but scoring is an even better reason to like him, I freely admit it.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Getting ready for the Bruins to spoil my weekend

You've got to love three-day weekends just by their nature, but this has been an especially good one for me (and here at least, it's all about me).

Saturday was Valentine's Day Observed for a small group of my fellow single women. We get together around VD every year for dinner and a movie, and generally chocolate is involved. This year we saw the new Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie, Music & Lyrics, and enjoyed it greatly. We're right in the target age to find the take-off of the 80s pop band spot on, but it's also well written and the music was well done too; it keeps popping back into my head, two days later, and not annoying me, which is a good sign.

Then we got pizza and brought it back to my place, and had ice cream and made sundaes and talked and it was lots of fun. Both cats made appearances, which is rare, though of course Harold found he had to leave the room a few times, coincidentally when we got loud, and Pan would usually follow him to ask what was wrong. Silly cats. After everyone left, I watched the end of the Bruins game, and they won in the shoot-out, so that was something.

So Saturday was good, and on Sunday I went to Providence RI to have lunch and go to a Providence Bruins game with a friend who lives there (she's not a hockey fan herself, but she humors me on occasion). We had a really good time, although the P-Bruins unfortunately took a leaf from the big club and didn't play too well, which was a pity. Still, I enjoy going to a game once in a while; there's nothing like being there. Plus the pretzel was good.

And thanks to Presidents Day, I didn't have to work today. Although, isn't it a pity not to have Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday off, the way we did as kids? Just because they were born around the same time, let's lump them together with all the others and call it a day. Anyway, it's a treat to get that extra day off, and I did enjoy it. I lazed, I paid bills, did a little laundry, and also got a whole whack of desk-and-paper-pile organizing done, which was unexpected. I mean, it's only been piling up since I moved, or perhaps before, but I wasn't planning to tackle any today, so I feel a glow of virtue for making a difference. I have a box'o'filing yet to do, so next weekend will not be paper-free, but I got a big head start, and that feels excellent.

If only the Bruins would win tonight, so the weekend would finish on a high note. Is that asking too much? Really?

Aannnnddd ... the Yarn Harlot has laid down a challenge, and I'm thinking of answering it.

The examples she gives of the disrespect she gets, as a bestselling author, disturb me. It's got me thinking (and that can't be good--look out!)

So, it's about showing the muggles (non-knitters) how many of us there are. For the occasion of her fourth book release, she's inviting knitters to show up to the event at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, in numbers. In force.

She had over 800 comments on this post in 3 days, and while obviously not all of them can come, I don't think she's going to have any trouble filling a 750-seat auditorium. I think there will be serious overflow.

I'm not that far from New York, it's only a couple of hours on the train, and I could probably take a few vacation days (have to check). I have cousins in NYC who have invited me to stay with them before, so if their guest room is available (have to check)... they're really cool, fun people, too, it wouldn't be any hardship. Maybe, maybe.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Word of the Day: Palinode

You may or may not know that you can customize Google's basic page--you can!--and one of the things I put on mine is the word of the day. An interesting things I've noticed is that every once in a while, instead of giving me a new word, it gives me the same one word, "palinode". This was a new one to me, which is always a cheap thrill for an English major, or at least it was a thrill the first time. Now, it's just a little puzzling each time. Palinode again? Why no new word today?

If you're wondering, here's the 411:

Function: noun
Etymology: Greek palinOidia, from palin + aeidein to sing -- more at ODE
1 : an ode or song recanting or retracting something in an earlier poem
2 : a formal retraction

Friday, February 16, 2007

More on winter

In the spirit of winter (who is an evil-tempered spirit, the kind who wasn't invited to the christening and has been in a snit about it ever since), here are Some Things That I Will Not Miss when winter finally, eventually gives up and hauls her frigid butt out of dodge:
  • my car being filthy dirty all the time
  • dry, dry, dry skin that no amount of lotion changes
  • static electricity so large it's like lightning, so painful I cry out even when I know it's coming, so loud the cats back away from their welcome-home charge
  • the cold (duh)
  • being freezing cold (exposed skin) and sweaty hot (under layers) at the same time
  • wearing layers upon layers
  • rearranging layers every time I go to the bathroom
  • gloves, scarves, hats: it doesn't matter if I made them (not that I've ever made a glove) and love them, I'm now sick of them
  • the Bruins losing (because that's mostly what they do of late, so they won't make the playoffs and won't be playing when Spring settles in)
If you made it to the end of the grousing, congratulations, and what are you, a glutton for punishment or something? I mean, really. But hey, you are tenacious, I'll give you that.

P.S. I bought a shovel.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

!*@#%^! winter

Or, notes to self:
  1. buy a shovel
  2. add "discuss definition of 'snow removal' as portion of condo fee" to list of questions for condo board meeting
Yesterday wasn't that bad. The weather was bad enough that I felt justified in staying home, especially knowing that, as is often the case here, it was worse 'north and west of the city', i.e., where I work. Also, it was supposed to keep snowing, or sometimes freezing-raining or sleeting, all day. So, with prior approval from work, I took the day off. I did all the laundry that I didn't do last weekend (aka migraine-apalooza), and felt very accomplished once 7 loads were washed, dried, and put away. I also went out in the evening and shoved the several inches of wet, heavy, frozen-crusty snow off my car, so it wouldn't freeze there overnight. Then I made meatloaf, having cleverly found ground beef in the freezer (which I had to trawl since I not-so-cleverly didn't get to the grocery store before the storm). It was a decent day. Even Pan enjoyed all the times he got onto my lap, though he didn't appreciate all the times I had to remove him from my lap to deal with laundry, etc.

This morning I got up as usual, got ready for work, went out and spent 20 minutes in the freezing cold and freezing-er winds, scraping ice off my windows (oh, my aching arms), then got in the car and couldn't get it out of the driveway.

...!

I think it's understandable that at that point I was questioning my decision to live here.

It's all about definitions, isn't it? To me, winter should mean, "A fourth season whose sole purpose is to be just slightly less pleasant than the others, to make them look even better. Not as sunny, not as warm, not as nice to be out in. The infrequent snowstorm is allowed but not encouraged, and preferably over a weekend when I have no other plans made, especially travel. Ice is not allowed, except on ponds and in drinks. Arctic winds belong in the arctic. Let's keep this civilized."

That is not what winter is here.

Winter is why I moved away. I moved back in spite of winter, not because of it.

Anyway, I hauled my butt back inside~~carefully, because speaking of definitions, someone's definition of "snow removal", while including "the plow doing a rough pass over most of the driveway", does not include anything on the sidewalk, the steps, or the landing*~~and called AAA. Well, after their line was busy a few times I called work to say I would be there when I could, then I hit redial to AAA until I got through, to get my name on the come-help-me list. I spent about as many hours waiting for the Nice Man to arrive as it took him minutes to extricate my car, and I was able to get to work with a minimum of further aggravation, for which I am grateful. And, there was chocolate waiting for me, which helped (my department is That Way about holidays, and I'm not complaining). Still, Not Fun.

*It was done when I got home tonight, but not before I left this morning, which was after 11 a.m. , I mean, my expectations were higher, is what I'm saying.

Maybe I should have known to buy a shovel. But this place came without a manual, you know? It's all learn as you go. I hate that.

Plus, there was a shovel in the building yesterday, I swear. I saw it at the top of the cellar stairs when I was doing laundry. But it was gone when I went to look for it. Who took it, and why?

Being a grown-up is exhausting sometimes. I swear there are nights when if I couldn't have Oreos for dinner, I'd cry. The Bruins had better win tonight.

You want to know the cutest thing? They're starting a road trip tonight, and all the Bruins players and coaches are bringing their dads on the trip with them. Isn't that sweet? Or, if they play badly, maybe their dads will talk some sense into them? I mean, if you play badly, does your dad let you know about it?

Maybe I'm babbling. It's hard to know for sure. I think I need more Oreos, and a cat on my lap, and for the Bruins to win. I can arrange 2 out of 3, at least. And early to bed, I can arrange that.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

oh, valentine

In honor of the latest of the chocolate holidays, I thought I would quote some apt lyrics from my favorite group, Depeche Mode. I was listening to them recently (what else is new), and it struck me as apt.

There's something beating here inside my body
and it's called a heart
You know how easy it is to tear it apart
If I lend it to you
will you keep it safe
If I lend it to you
will you treat it tenderly
There's something beating here inside my body
and it's called a heart.

Pan is so disappointed in me. What is the point of my being home if I won't stay on the couch being a lap for the baby? He almost can't bring himself to nag me about it.

Almost.

Happy chocolate!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back atcha, part 1

A comment here, a comment there, and pretty soon there are a bunch of little things I've been meaning to follow up to y'all with. So let's have a pot luck day, okay?

mehitabel said "Now I want to see some cat photos... since I've read about your books (love the Stephenie Meyer ones!) and seen some of your knitting!"
Another Stephenie Meyer fan! Have you gone to her website? I was fascinated by Midnight Sun, which is the start of her rewriting Twilight from Edward's perspective. It's fascinating! Well, duh, I just said I was fascinated. But, as a writer, it's so interesting to see the reimagining of the book from another character, and as a reader, so great to see what Edward was thinking and feeling about Bella's first day at school. I so hope she finishes it and publishes it: I can't be the only one who would buy it, which I would in a heartbeat (Are you listening, Little, Brown?).
As for the cat pictures, there are some in past posts, but here's some kitty porn for today (not recent photos, but hey, they haven't changed):
Above is Harold, looking very relaxed, below Pan, ditto.
And then two for the price of one:
They sleep together all the time, especially in winter, though they also tussle and chase and play-fight all the time. They aren't from the same litter, but I got them at the same time, almost 9 years ago, and they don't know they're not brothers.

MonicaPDX said "how the hell are you supposed to slow down your reading, anyway?...The only thing worse than having to wait a year or so for the next book is to find a wonderful older series, then discover the author never finished it! ::making aversion signs against any possibility of this happening with this author::"
I don't know, Monica, I never decided to be a fast reader. I just is one.
One of my friends will only start a series if the author has finished it, for that very reason. She got burned, though, with a 6-book series that it turned out the author couldn't wrap up in 6, and spread into a 7th book. You can imagine how mad she was, as she finished reading book 6! I'm a little more patient than that ... but not much. Fortunately in this case, from her website it sounds like this author is busily working away editing book 3 and writing book 4, so I'm not too worried (famous last words).
On the other hand, I love the book City of Diamond by Jane Emerson, which was the planned first book of a trilogy that never got finished, and I would love for the author to finish it, only she's off writing for TV now, and although I enjoyed the episodes of House that I know she's written, It Is Not The Same Thing, Thank You.
As for other writers, I was delighted to read on your blog that you're a Georgette Heyer fan. Me too! People who dismiss her as a mere romance writer have no idea of the depth of research that went into her work, but sending any naysayers or pooh-poohers to look at The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge should clear a few things up. It's a remarkable biography of a remarkable woman.
And, thank you tremendously for linking me to The Things I Will Not Do When I Direct A Shakespeare Production, on Stage or Film. I laughed and snorted and sniggered my way down the list, stopping along the way to say, "Someone did that?" (But someone must have. It's like warning labels. The warning label for the diabetes monitor does not say "Do Not Autoclave" unless someone, somewhere, sometime threw the little sucker into an autoclave. No, really. Even though it takes batteries and has an LCD screen, and, you know, doesn't survive such submersion.) I haven't had time to go all the way through the list; I think it will be a post to itself.

By the way, I may have answered part of my own recent question, when I wondered why on Earth I was whistling Hail to the Chief the other day. Tonight the Bruins were honoring John Bucyk, aka the Chief. I must have seen some reference to it without noticing. That makes more sense than that I was suddenly thinking of the presidency, since I try not to.

Tomorrow may be a snow day, or at least an "I'm not driving in this" day, so this may continue tomorrow. Or, you know, not. I try not to make promises. Sometime, though, for sure! In the meantime, the Bruins won! Didn't have to go to overtime or a shootout, even! Amazing. I think I'll sleep on that, and on a remarkably headacheless day.

Even if I didn't want to go to bed, Pan wants me to. And I'm so sacrificing for the fur-baby...

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend reflections

I spent a lot of the weekend sleeping. (And I am remarkably unrefreshed for all of that.) I mean, I went to bed last night at about 5:30. I woke up a couple of times, I had a granola bar at around 2 a.m., and I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off. That's roughly 12 hours sleep, though, and in fact I got about the same Friday night, and I took a nap Saturday afternoon, too. Apparently fighting migraines is rather like fighting dragons in the energy department.

It's also a bear on to-do lists. I accomplished very little this weekend. Humph. I wanted that feeling of accomplishment, dammit.

On the other hand, the cats approved of my lethargy. Pan in particular had one of those weekends when he simply Had To Have a lap. Kind of annoying at times, but it's hard to stay mad at someone who is made perfectly happy by being close to you. (Note I didn't say it's hard to get mad at him ... it's easy to get mad at him, as he meows and meows [damnit, you're not listening], but it's hard to stay mad at him.) He wasn't actually thrilled when I went to work today. Join the club, furball. Not that I would have minded going to work--I like my job--if only I felt well. Not feeling well, for the fourth day running, damps my enthusiasm considerably. Right now I'm winning the head battle, but not by much. Earlier, the head was winning, but it cheats: it brought in the stomach for reinforcement. Is that fair? It's really hard to burp discretely at work.

Other random thoughts:

Target has gone downhill in recent years, hasn't it? I still like it, but there's no denying that it's more like WalMart than Tarzhay. The shelves are messy, things are out of stock ... it's not like it once was. Such a shame.

I've now reached the stage of cell-phone-ownership where if I go out without it, I feel nekkid. I don't use it much, and it doesn't ring much, but "I might need it" is now ingrained.

My insatiable curiosity is getting a workout on this one, and the fact that it's none of my business doesn't stop me. Since I moved in the fall, and someone I work with was moving this winter, I gave her some boxes and packing material last month. On Friday, I asked her if she wanted any more, since I've unpacked a little more. She said no, she still had the boxes I gave her before in her car since she didn't have anywhere to put them, and she still didn't know when her closing date was going to be, maybe not until next Saturday, so she didn't know when she'd be moving.

Um? Does that sound to you like she is going to be moving soon and hasn't packed yet? Anything? It's sort of what it sounded like to me. And it is None Of My Business, so I didn't ask any more, but I just can't help wondering. Plus I sort of wonder about where she's living now, if she doesn't have enough room for the few boxes I gave her. I mean, they fit in her car; it's not that much. Killed the cat, ccr, killed the cat...

Has anyone figured out the mechanics of songs stuck in the head yet? I don't just mean songs one might have heard on the radio recently, but how to explain my finding myself whistling Hail to the Chief last week, or humming the Smokey and the Bandit theme today. Why, for the love of fur? Why?

Finally, muse on this: why is "over the counter" not the opposite of "under the counter"?

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm being stalked

I can feel it. It's just around my head, waiting to pounce. Toying with me, it seems.

I think that people who don't get headaches may not realize that headaches can be animate, sentient things. That I say I spent the weekend "fighting" a headache because it's a battle: now I'm winning, now I'm losing.

It was bad enough last night that this morning, I realized that I completely forgot about the Bruins game. Forgot there was such a thing. It's been a long time since that happened. I've chosen not to watch them, sure, but forgotten they were playing? No.

They won in a shootout. They also traded two players who were going to be free agents at the end of the season. Stuart and Primeau. Got two guys I've never heard of. Which doesn't mean they're bad, but, you know, doesn't bode all that well. On the other hand, at least they're not big names on the decline, which the Bruins have had a habit of picking up in recent years. Having recently let Jurcina go for a draft pick (a fourth round pick, which Dupont in today's Globe had some pithy words for the wisdom of), it shows that they're trying to make changes, I guess, but I'm not really impressed. It seems to me they're taking the middle road: not doing enough to make anything of this year, not doing enough to make anything of the future. Just the same little tweaks. This is a team that needs more than little tweaks. I thought they made some big changes last off-season, but it's the same old so-what this year. Sigh.

So, the head. It's not bad right now, and if it would stay like this, I could maybe get a few things done. Yesterday's big accomplishment was what? Probably trimming my fingernails, which I'd put off all week. When I start to have trouble taking my contact lenses out, that's the sign I've left it too long, literally. So I did finally do that.

And I tried to fix the TV set-up thing, only to find that the new thing the Radio Shack guy sold me is not the panacea I needed, quelle suprise. This morning I managed to get the set-up back the way it had been, at least, and with only minor cursing. Take a TV that's about 15-20 years old, add a DVD recorder, a VCR, and a cable box, and I needed help just getting them all to play nicely together when I got the DVD recorder last year. Fortunately a friend volunteered her charming and patient boyfriend to do the job. Unfortunately, when I moved last fall, my RF modulator bit the dust, and I couldn't find the same kind, and the set-up I've managed now doesn't allow me to watch one thing while taping another. Mr. Radio Shack gave me something that he thought would work, but not that I could figure. Why does it have to be so complicated? It's ridiculous, and it doesn't help that I start to feel like the most spoiled brat on the planet that this is what I'm complaining about. But it is annoying.

Perhaps lunch will help the equilibrium of the head, and there's the dishwasher to empty and other little things before I decide if I can tackle something big, like say a trip to Target. Ooh!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

A new pleasure

To the non-Douglas Adams fans among you, this will sound nonsensical, but right now I feel like one of the creatures at the Perpetual Floating Party that Arthur, Ford, and Slartibartfast go to in the Hitchhiker's books, who grab Arthur's cherished bottle of retsina and run off chanting, "A new pleasure, a new pleasure!"

I've found another great blog to add to my favorites!

It's such a great feeling. This is one of Monica's favorites (thanks, Monica!), and I liked her recent posts enough to go back and start reading from the beginning. She started the blog back in August (hey, that's when I started blogging, too), and I'm enjoying it immensely. I've had to stop myself from commenting on about half the posts, a little late to the party but so many of them have had me laughing out loud! The idea that for the outside cats, mice might not be filling, so you're hungry again an hour later (like Chinese food) ... answering the question of what her hat size is with "about the same size as my head" ... the whole Things I Wonder About entry from September 22 ... she's such a good writer, and so funny.

We have so much in common that I'd sound like a stalker to list it all (actually, just that sounds a little stalker-ish, doesn't it?), but let's just say that if she needs another knitting, cat-loving, non-drinking writer to talk about CSI with, add me to the list.

Beyond that? Well, her house has dust gorillas, while mine has dust rhinos.

She started nursing school and was delighted to find an LYS nearby, while I moved last fall and then discovered I'd bought a condo within walking distance of an LYS without even knowing it.

If for nothing else, I would admire her for saying, "It is quite possible to have a headache larger than one's actual head." Because it is! Thanks, Ms. K, for providing another bright light in my day. Long may you reign!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Depressing Bruins fact

Courtesy of today's Globe:
Every Bruin is on the wrong side of the plus-minus rating, making Boston the only team in the league without at least one player with a plus next to his name.
Ouch! Let's work on that, shall we, gentlemen? Cause that's just sad.

Even sadder is tonight's game after 2 periods, and I thank (read: blame) Lenny Clarke. He was on the intermission show between the first and second periods, when the Bruins were up 1-0 and had been playing well, and he said that Carolina, the Stanley Cup champions, were "going down". Carolina is up 4-1 after 2 periods; Ray Whitney got 3 goals in 1:40, and an assist just at the end of the period. The Bruins looked like a different team there at the end than they had in the first, which is not a good thing.

And not to be too black cat/broken mirror/number 13 or anything, but did Lenny Clarke have to curse them? I mean, creepers!

When the big plus to my night is getting some laundry done and put away, well go me, but come on, Bruins. Give me something to cheer for, would you? Being a less pathetic local sports team than the Celtics is not a lofty goal these days; can we aim higher, please?

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Fortunately, unfortunately

I still have a picture book from when I was a kid, called Fortunately, Unfortunately. Our young hero goes along through a series of alternating good and bad things happening to him, along the lines of: unfortunately, he steps on a land mine; fortunately, it isn't active; unfortunately, he disturbs a nest of fire ants nearby; fortunately....

So, unfortunately it's been so cold lately* that walking outside is a punishment, something to be minimized and endured. Fortunately, we can walk inside during breaks, in a large room upstairs. Unfortunately, it's not as much fun to walk in circles inside. But fortunately, on a level surface, I can walk and knit at the same time!

It's a little bit Pollyanna, but oh well. Between that and a stich'n'bitch Tuesday night, I finished the scarf! (And started another, thank you.) I feel very knitty. Especially wearing my handcrafties when I'm chilly. Now I have my wristwarmer and scarf set for work. See me smiling?

*This morning the alarm clock radio went off during the weather report, so what I heard was "...with the wind chill, it feels like 14 below." Try getting out of bed after that.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

The right answer, and some Wrong Answers

The Right Answer is, Because I'm Hungry.

Some of the Wrong Answers are:

Because it is there.

Because it looks good.

Because it smells good.

Because it tastes good.

Because it is good.

Because it is really good.

Because I really like it.

Because someone made it (went to the trouble/took the time/spent the money).

Because it only comes once a year (eggnog, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Girl Scout Cookies).

Because I'm bored.

Because I'm stressed.

Because I don't want to do (something).

Because I don't want to think about (something).

Because it's mealtime.

Because I should be hungry.

Because I will be hungry later.

Thinking before eating is one of the hardest things for me. Because eating is a great pleasure. But I'm not trying to deny myself everything, or always. Just trying to think, before I eat, this one time. And then this one time. And then this one time.

Friday, February 02, 2007

There once was a lass

I heard that there's this poetry celebration in blogland today, and I started thinking about what poem to post. (Disclaimer: I can't prove it, online-ness being what it is, but all snippets herein are typed from memory. Therefore, all errors, misspellings, and grammar or punctuation goofs are also from mine own faulty memory. Live with it; I have to. Actually, I think I'll only minimally punctuate. Moving on.)

I always liked Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (the woods are lovely, dark and deep), and Robert Graves' "The Naked and The Nude" (for me the naked and the nude, by lexicographers construed as synonyms that should express the same deficiencies of dress or shelter stand as wide apart as love from lies or truth from art), and who doesn't enjoy the start of the general prologue to the Canterbury Tales? Good old Chaucer: Whan that Aprile withe its shoures soute the droughte of Marche hathe perced to the roote, and bathed every veine in swiche licour, of whiche vertu engendred is the floure ... I know I spelled most of that wrong, but oh well. (You should see what spellcheck thought of it!) I had to learn it in 1986-87, I haven't seen it in print in many years. Ask me nicely, and I can speak it forsoothely. It isn't meant to be written.

But the more I think about it, I'm just not so much into poetry, these examples to the contrary notwithstanding. Even my pal Shakespeare, and I love his work (whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them), much as I love Hamlet, say (and it's so atypical of Ms Happy-Ending but that is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays), I also adore Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is not what you'd call poetic, except perhaps poetic justice.

Am I getting too English-major? The bottom line is, I'm not so much into the poetry, ironically enough for someone with a poem published in a semi-real book herself. (One of only two poems I ever wrote, it was in college is my only excuse, and the book was published by B&N, of works by its employees, it's as close to self-published as you can get without self-publishing ... though it is a book I can hold in my hand, it's something.) I can enjoy a poem, appreciate a poem, I just don't seek them out, don't read many ... don't know why that is, it just is.

Most of the poems I do like have rhythm and regular rhymes, and that's what I like about them, their adherence to the structure. Let's not get into what that says about me, okay? That's a can of worms to open another day! I'll just leave you with this, a ccr original that took me seconds to craft (you can tell, can't you?).

Words like toys to me
Yet somehow in a poem
I only see rhyme

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Side effects may include

I suppose that medication side effects are nothing to make light of, but (you knew there was a "but" coming, right?), if I have to get one, couldn't I have gotten "weight loss", since I'm trying to lose weight anyway? I know, be careful what you wish for, but still. Losing a little weight would have been a charming side effect to the migraine medication the neurologist's trying me on, so of course, I didn't get it.

Noooooo.

Nor "loss of appetite", which might lead the same way.

I got "tingling in arms and legs", thank you. It's kind of creepy, really. The doctor says it will go away, and quite kindly asked, is it worse than the headaches? And of course it isn't, not by a long shot. But it still weirds me out.

Another possible side effect? "Fatigue". Maybe I'm not imagining that I've been more tired than usual lately, maybe it isn't the winter blahs. Lovely. I sure hope this stuff does diminish my migraines. It's still too early to tell.

Now, here's something funny about WebWorld, where you can wander around searching all sorts of information, some of which may even be true, while all of it is presented as if it is The One and Only Truth.

It can actually be helpful, sometimes.

I am not advocating believing all you read, or substituting what you read for actual medical advice in case of a problem, but sometimes it can guide you to ask the medical professional a question you didn't think of on your own.

Because I never would have thought to ask the doctor, could the headache medicine be causing Coke to taste funny to me? Flat and metallic and blech? Why would that even cross my mind? Until I read others online who said the same thing happened to them.

This is a weird medicine.

If it minimizes my headaches, it's worth it, of course. But thank whoever's listening that's it's left my chocolate receptors alone. That would be a tough choice to make.