Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday meditations

When Pan died, just being at home was painful. Everywhere I looked, everything I looked at ... reminders of him at every turn. The perch by the window where he spent so much time, especially near the end; the back of the couch where he liked to snuggle near me; the soft robe he adored kneading. I would get teary when I climbed into bed at night and he wasn't there to snuggle in, when I showered without him waiting impatiently for his water world, when I came home and automatically started to look for him. Being in the location we once shared hit that sore spot over and over.

The situation is strangely opposite now that my dad has died. My recent memories of him, over say the last 10-12 years, are mainly in Florida. He had been to my condo, but it's not his location to me. Being home doesn't, in and of itself, trigger pain and painful memories.

What's triggered it so far, oddly enough, is the word "parents". I have to start saying "my mother" instead.
"My mother lives in Florida."
Or "I'm going to visit my mother."
Not that I'm erasing him, or the word "parents" altogether; but it has to go to the past.
"My parents moved to Florida in 1996."
"My parents met in Trinidad."
Past.
Passed.
Words.

Tomorrow will be better. No matter how arbitrary is actually is, it will be somewhat comforting to put April behind me, to be able to say, "last month". (Plus, hockey is one of my drugs, and Game 1 of Round 2 is tomorrow.)

Sunday will be better. Done with the worst of the "this time last week" thoughts.

May 11th will be better. Back to Florida. Hug my mom. Better.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spam can be fun, part 2

I've mentioned before that a sense of humor can almost tempt me to open spam e-mails. This subject line made me laugh out loud today:
"Women will be your resigned slaves"
Really? Is that all you hope for?

P.S. For Doctor Who fans, and I suppose Soft Cell fans, Tainted Dalek Love:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Survived Tuesday

Today the temperature was in the 90s, actually record-setting. Personally, I loved it, though I heard complaints. But there's a cold front coming through now, and it should be in the 60s tomorrow.

The change is disorienting, much the way I feel to be home again. Home, and everything's the same as when I left, but my life isn't the same. I worked today, and tried to give it my full attention, or at least as much as necessary to do good work. It's just so hard to care about filing this or printing that right now. It didn't help that some people know Dad was sick, but not the outcome, so two different people asked me today how he was. Ouch. Not "run sobbing from the room" painful, but hard.

Anyway, it is what it is, and it could have been worse (my Dad+nursing home=very bad), and it will get better (very, verrrrrrrrry slowly, over a loooooooooooong period of time). And tonight I had dinner with friends, and they gave me chocolate (perhaps flowers or a plant are more traditional gifts in bereavement, but they know me really well), and I'm going to play with some yarn now and watch some hockey. There are two game sevens tonight (games seven?) and then the Bruins will finally know who they play in round 2. Given their absence from the second round for the last, oh, ten years or so, that makes me happy. And Daddy would be happy for me.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Home again

Last night, my brother and I took a long walk on the beach.


Now I'm home, but in two weeks I'll be there again.

And Mum? Thanks to a fortuitously-timed e-mail, I'm bringing cookies.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My daddy: 1929-2009


I miss him already.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good-bye

I leave for Florida in the morning. Think good thoughts about us getting through this, okay? Because this is the hardest thing ever.

Edited to add: Thank God for the Bruins. A bright spot, and now I don't have to think about them for a few days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hockey, Spring, Music

I have, of course, been enjoying the coverage of the Bruins game almost as much as the game itself. My favorite line so far, from Bostonist:
"We'd also just like to note that Shawn Thornton now has more playoff goals than Joe Thornton. Just sayin'."
Consider that last night I treated my friend to an explanation of just why I never liked Joe before he was traded and got his nose all out of joint and decided to show them and really play (as well as he could have been playing all those years in Boston, which would have meant he wouldn't have been traded) ... well. Yes.

Anyway, time for some signs of Spring. Yes, Spring! It seems it may be coming after all. Not that I'm putting my snow shovel in the basement yet. Living here teaches you not to be over-confident. (I had to scold someone at work today, wondering who the Bruins might face in the second round. No! Bad hockey fan! Don't look past the next game!)

Trees are blooming:



My friend and I agreed as soon as we saw this: the lamp post in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.


Right? Imagine it with snow. (Who said that? Wash your mouth out with soap!)

I applaud a park that puts (presumably) its grounds-keeping supplies in something that is more than merely utilitarian.


Angles everywhere.


Sunday wasn't as bad as it might have been.

Some music to finish. First, because I heard it on the radio this morning and had to smile the whole time, Rosalita by Bruce. You have to go here; embedding wasn't allowed. The video's good, the sound's good, and it's got that young-goofy Bruce who really is excited about that advance from the record company. I'm not looking at any more to try to find a good one that will embed!

If you want to see good Bruce live, my favorite has to be a little Santa Claus:



I love watching him lose it laughing while Clarence is booming out "ho-ho-ho"s.

An amazing thing, old-school computers "playing" Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, has to be heard to be believed:



Now that's what I call an instrumental version!

And if you need to remember the original version:

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Dance!

Game 3: Bruins 4, Canadiens 2

Series: Boston 3, Montreal 0

I watched the game at a friend's house tonight. When I came out, it was sprinkling, and I laughed at it. "You are," I informed the weather, "only raining on my parade literally."

I am joyous. Gleeful. This is the 32nd playoff series between these two teams. For years and years, we Could Not Beat Montreal. For ten years, we've either failed to make the playoffs, or lost in the first round. And look at this.

My Bruins are playing well.

They're out-playing Montreal.

They're winning, and deservedly.

Fun!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

March book summary at last

Dad's situation is the same. We are hanging in.

I've done 5 loads of laundry today, and went to the library for a return and a pick up, and cleaned the kitchen at least partially. (How did I not clean up anything this week? And not notice? Was I subconsciously expecting elves to come in and take care of it or something?)

I vacuumed the rug in the living room that really shows that a long-haired cat lives here now. I talked to my mother, my brother, a friend ... and circulation services for the local paper, who were inquiring if I planned to pay the bill they sent. I've had weeks go by without this much time on the phone, not that I'm complaining (except about the paper; I'll pay the damn bill, stop sending the paper until I do if you want to, just leave me alone).

I watched a parade of Little Leaguers go by: fire truck, police car, lone bagpiper (really), and lots of little kids and their families headed to the ball field. That was unexpected.

I've been meaning to get to it for some time, and yet here it is the 18th of the month and I'm only just getting to my monthly book summary. Whatever have I been doing instead? Ha.

The most interesting thing I noticed about the numbers of books I read in March this year is that it's exactly the same as March of last year. Total 10, 5 new, 5 re-reads, 5 from the library. What are the odds of that happening? Pretty small, I would imagine.

Some of the books I read:


This was my favorite of the month. I've liked Jan Burke since Goodnight, Irene came out lo, these many moons ago (really, how well do you remember what you read in 1993?), but this book was impressive in a whole different way. Throwing a little supernatural into the well-written, well-plotted mix is one way to my heart.


Need was ... interesting. Well written. But somehow, it was so believably "of this world" to me that when the supernatural came in, it was jarring. I enjoyed reading it, but there was an odd aftertaste.


I'm very fond of Jacqueline Winspear and her Maisie Dobbs novels, and this was quite good. It's somewhat harshly realistic about post-war life in England, but never feels voyeuristic or crass. I think I'd like Maisie; I wonder if she'd like me?


My biggest question about this one was, why did he wait so long to write it? A detailed, "I was there and this is what I saw" account of the making of "Life of Brian" released 30 years later? Why?

That aside, if you're a big fan of Monty Python, and liked (or loved) "Life of Brian", this behind-the-scenes stuff is very enjoyable. I just still wonder about the lapse.

Other than these, I re-read a few of Charlaine Harris' Sookie books, and Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, and These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A shrink would have a field day, don't you think?

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Friday, April 17, 2009

So now I have a twitch

Today was not worse than yesterday; it wasn't even as bad. But it wasn't good, and early on I started to notice a periodic twitch in my left eye. I believe I have discovered my own personal, built-in, stress-o-meter!

I am going to give it ice cream, and a hockey game (Bruins won last night! I don't know who's on tonight, but it's the playoffs, I'll watch anyone), and knitting, and cats. Then try to sleep late, and wake twitch-free. Cross your fingers, would you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

No change in FL, bad day in MA

So, what could make a day with a father in ICU even more stressful?

Layoffs at work today.

Yes, unexpected (at least by me) layoffs. Happily (for me), I was not laid off*, and no one I work closely with was, either, but 16 people who had a job this morning didn't at noon, and from about 11 o'clock on my day sucked even more than it had before. The stress molecules rolling around were powerful, and I felt like (and still feel like) I had a 20-pound weight between and slightly above my shoulder blades. Ow.

*Perhaps this is a sign that the universe knows how much I can take (i.e., not much more). It could simply be that I don't work on the project they're scaling back ... but I just like the idea that something is watching out for me.

How was your day?

The Bruins play game one tonight. I threw in some laundry when I got home, so that it would be done before the game starts; then I can sit on my butt and watch Boston (hopefully) beat Montreal. Let's start strong, please, gentlemen; I'm closer to the end of my rope than I like to get. Knitting*, ice cream**, and a good hockey game: that would be a wonderful evening.

*It's not something I can blog about, as it's for someone who has been known to read the blog. We'll call it Secret Project One, as I have others in mind. As soon as it's done and gifted, I'll tell you all about it!

**I stopped on the way home. If ever an evening called for Gingersnap Molasses from Rancatore's, it's tonight.

Finally, so as not to end on a down note, if you haven't seen this amazing middle-school jump rope team, wow, go now. Go. Watch.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holding Steady

Holding steady.

If I could just stop my brain from thinking about it, it would be better, but no change is currently good news, and I'll hold onto that.

As a follow-up to my wish that I could send Harold down to snuggle with my mother, it's nothing against Miri; she's getting more friendly all the time, but except with Harold she isn't really a cuddlebunny just yet. Harold would be the better choice: once he got over the surprise of the trip, he would demand a lap from my mother, and purr at her until she'd had her fill, and put him back into the Kitty-PorterĀ® Feline Teleportation Device to send him home.

"You want me to do what?"

"Not me, right? I'm too pretty for teleportation."

Speaking of pretty: tulips!


(From Mum to Grandma.)

And my obligatory artsy shot for the weekend:


Finally, in honor of the Bruins and the playoffs, which starts tomorrow, here's a new Bruins commercial.



Go, Bruins!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I'd Like To Be

I'd like to be appreciating the first, early signs of Spring. Buds! Blossoms!

I'd like to be sorting through photos, choosing how to show you my weekend. Flowers, cards, food, family.

I'd like to have a way to send Harold to my mother for the evening, to give her purring comfort.

I'd like to not be so far away, to not feel so helpless, to not be so worried.

But there we are.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where we are now

I'm home again. The weekend was overall really good, although I could have done without having a headache most of the time, and without its turning nasty last night. Thanks, Mother Nature! And for the freezing cold and wind on Easter Sunday! You're the best!

Anyway. What really matters right now is that my father is not well. He's in the hospital, and if you believe in prayers, or healing thoughts, or anything, if you could send some my parents' way right now, that would be much appreciated.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

This one's for my mother. Happy Easter, Mum!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

So Long, Have a Good Weekend

I have a window open this evening, and although the air coming in is still cool, it smells so heavenly, I can't bring myself to close it. Spring gets ever closer, and I Can't Wait.

This isn't what the view from my window looks like, but it's what it smells like.


I found the image via Google Images. I tried to search on "twilight", but as you can imagine, that was all Stephenie Meyer, all the time. "Evening" brought some evening gowns, but also some of what I had in mind.

The Bruins are up 1-0 over Montreal after one period. I really want the Bruins to not only win, but win in regulation. If Montreal gets 1 point, they're officially in the playoffs. I don't care if they make the playoffs or not (though I admit it would be pretty funny to me, as a Bruins fan, if they didn't), but I'd rather the Bruins didn't give it to them. Pointless, but still.

I'm packing to go over the river and through the woods tomorrow. Making my list, checking it twice. As always when I go away, I doubt I will be posting. This time, however, I set up a little something for Sunday, so check in if you think of it. Happy Easter to those who celebrate it, whether in a religious or a chocolate sense (or both). Nibble a bunny ear for me.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Just going away for the weekend doubles my to-do list, it seems. Here, see the pretty tulips!


They glow even on a gray day. What would they have been like in the sun?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I got nothing tonight

Why? Well, I need to go clean and re-fill the litter boxes before my trip this weekend.

Too much? I am so suffused with joy and light that I cannot bring myself to do anything so plebeian as type. I'm off to bound joyously through a meadow.

Anyway, here's something to look at. This isn't new, it came out a couple of years ago, but I don't remember seeing it. Sometimes a poor memory just makes everything new! Watch the fantastic car commercial, and enjoy the knowledge that it's not computer-generated. It's all parts from the car, and it's all real. (Well, according to Snopes, the lighting on the car doors at the end is faked. I can accept that.)

My favorite part is the windshield wipers boogie-ing across the floor.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Oh, the cute

This was over the weekend.


They're in much the same positions tonight, only she's washing his face. I could die of the cuteness.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Another "swatch", and another quandry

Okay, I need to get to bed, but I was on the computer "just to do this one thing"* after I got in from dinner with friends (which: yum) (plus, fun and chat and what time is it? We've been here how long?), so I thought I'd show you what I did following the hat.

*Like that ever works.

At first, in my "now what do I knit" quandary, I was thinking it would be fun to have a scarf that matched the hat. I even started another Ruffles scarf, because it's a pattern I enjoy (I think I've made three now, though only one for me).

After capturing that fun moment of Look, I made a triangle!


I frogged it (more of a tadpole, really). Too firm, not what I felt like knitting, I just wasn't feeling the love. With a vague idea of knitting a long tube and calling it a scarf, I cast on 42 stitches on a US size 17 circular needle, and started around.

As it progressed, I started to wonder if it would be big enough to go over my head, and thus might be a cowl-like object, instead of a scarf. It's an interesting feeling, wondering exactly what the thing you're knitting wants to be.

I decided that it might just work, so I got to what I thought was a good length and stopped. Today I took it off the needle and tried it on, voted yes, and put it back on the needle in order to bind off (which felt like walking backward to go forward, but it wasn't actually that time-consuming). I ended up with this:


Which also looks like this:


Or even this.


Me likes it. I wore it tonight, when it was feeling chilly, and it was good. I am happy.

And again, I don't know what to knit next. I must peruse the Ravelry link that Leslie sent; that is so cool, thanks Leslie!

But not now. Now I need to get ready for bed.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Now that's a swatch

As I mentioned last night, I planned to sit down and play with some yarn. (The stomach thing blew over pretty painlessly, ginger ale and saltines, thanks for asking.) I stash-dove stash-dived went into my stash and found a couple of possibilities, and while I was noodling through Ravelry for ideas, I looked at them next to each other, and decided not to over-complicate things.

I held the two together and cast on for a hat, a "so simple there's no way I'm swatching" hat. With something this quick, frogging isn't a major ordeal.

And by quick, I mean that last night I had this:


And 24 hours later, it's done:


I used some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Sportweight, and Mirasol Cotanani (as you can see, almost an entire skein of that).


About the only downside to the speedy knit is that I'm back at square one in terms of what do I knit next? Back to Ravelry! Unless you want to suggest something I could do with 220 yards of handpainted Alpaca?

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's not the best night.

I was driving home tonight, enjoying the sunshine, on surface roads as the highway was backed up, and realized about an inch short of mirror-to-mirror collision that the car next to me was emphatically not on board with the concept of merging. Because the cars ahead of us were seamlessly merging, one from the left lane, one from the right, one from the left, and so on, I did not immediately realize that just because it was "my turn", this person was choosing to play by his own rules. It gave me a tremendous start, but no harm was done.

Though when there was another merge a mile or two down the road, I was quite uncertain if he would let me go, even though I was a few car-lengths ahead of him by then. Once a driver has done one unpredictable thing, it's hard to trust that they won't do another, right?

The extra sleep that I got last night helped today. (I turned the light out at 8:45.) Getting out of bed this morning was not quite the chore it so often is. However, this afternoon I started to entertain a stomachache, which I Very Much Hope is simply too many snacks, and not the bug that's going around. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! And wondering if chicken noodle soup would be a mistake, which might by definition mean that it would be a mistake, if you follow that "logic". It's a sort of "if you have to ask" situation.

Perhaps I will just sit on the couch with ginger ale and watch the Bruins game, and play with needles and yarn. (We call it swatching.) And try to keep Harold off my stomach, which can be a challenge on a good day.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Even more tired than usual, if you can believe it

Y'all, I am so tired.

Apparently, the universe is being sneaky to deal with my having stayed up too late last night when I knew I should go to bed as soon as the game ended (go Bruins! go Bruins!). At work today, I had to work on a project that involved an hour or two of cataloging boxes for storage, and the charming, lovely people who loaded the boxes onto pallets in the first place felt that loading said boxes in a manner that allowed all the labels* to show was overrated. So all the boxes had to be moved in order to read the labels. And the workout was a bit too much for me. I yawned all afternoon, and am yawning still.

*that tell what's in each box

But! says the universe. You won't forget to go to sleep early tonight! And that is true. So the usual scintillating content I craft for this site (ha ha) will be forgone this evening. Please accept my apologies.