Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I feel numb

It's from Novocaine, not U2 (though I do like that song). Yes, at the dentist again!

Like three weeks ago.

And three weeks before that.

And three weeks before that (though that one was the cleaning with a how's-the-crown-doing, not just cracked-tooth related).

Really it all started in March. Since we are now at the end of June, I will try to remember this experience next time I start to grind my teeth when I get annoyed. (The dentist didn't say that's what caused it ... but I think not taking chances here would be good.)

Speaking of being at the end of June ... has anyone seen the summer weather? It should be here somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere. And while we're on the subject, please join me in a rousing "hiss, boo" for the Globe, using this quote in their "the weather sucks and it keeps on raining" story this morning:
“It’s been very persistent, and it could go on for the rest of the summer,’’ said Frank Strait, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.
I think I speak for everyone within at least a hundred-mile radius when I say, "Bite me, Frank." I don't think that's the Novocaine talking, either.

Well, maybe it is. Partly.

I'm off to eat some popcorn in the manner I used when I had braces, and wasn't supposed to eat popcorn: one piece at a time, melt in the mouth. It's sort of peaceful. Zen and the art of popcorn intake.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

The LOL comes along at last

This was me two weeks ago!

funny pictures of cats with captions

I'm pretty sure that's just what I looked like that day.

Today wasn't fantastic and joyful ... but it was nothing like that day, and that is saying something.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not Really Here

Not that I was planning a long involved post, but now I am only here to say "hi and bye" because cat people, have you noticed how "Just give me five minutes" means nothing to a cat? Harold is having A Day, and he Needs me. Have a nice evening, everyone.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cats on a Saturday

Since the weather of late has tended to look like this:


I was terrifically pleased to see this yesterday morning.


Sunshine on my kitty makes me happy.

This morning, the two of them were on the bed (again). They get along better all the time.


Six months ago, I wasn't sure I would ever get a close-up of Miri. Can you see the mix of black and white whiskers?


Of course, along with shots like that, I get shots like this:


Super extreme close-up. Her nose didn't quite touch the camera. Not quite.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Week end

It's Friday night, it's the weekend, I'm worn out. For me, actually last week was worse than this week, but for some reason the stress level at work was higher in general this week, and I've been looking forward to being here, now, since about Wednesday morning.

So basically, blog, I have nothing for you. And when in doubt, throw up a cute cat picture. Not one of mine, this time; it's via Cute Overload:


Happy weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do You See It?


Do you know what's in these fields?

Sunshine.

See it?

Ahhhhh.

This morning it was still gray. Pathetically, as I left the house, I found myself thinking that it was a "brighter" gray than we've had recently. Still. Gray.

For much of the day, it was completely cloudy, before it became what could charitably be called mostly cloudy. Even when I left work, there was a large cloud between me and the sun. But it passed, it passed, and all is joyful. I bought more peas at Wilson's (it's such a short season), and I'm wearing shorts. Shorts!

And I'm smiling. For now, anyway. Blue sky. Sunshine.

By the way: are you one who believes that famous people seem to die in threes? When I type that, it sounds ridiculous, but ... when Ed McMahon died yesterday, we were talking at work about it. Then Farah Fawcett died today, and then driving home I heard about Michael Jackson. Now, the three really have nothing in common, but ... it's funny, isn't it?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, crud

Remember Monday? Remember that the guy on the radio said there would be sun on Wednesday? So guess what it was like when I woke up this morning?

Go on, guess. Three guesses, first two don't count.

Yup. Raining.

Actually, for most of the day it was gray and misty more than actual rain. The mist didn't seem to be falling, but just there, in the air, making it tangible.

Still, enough. I want to see the glowing orb in the sky, and I want it now.

Okay, not actually now, I know the sun would have set by now if we still had a sun. But tomorrow?

Tomorrow they say we will have sun in the afternoon.

And they had better not be fucking with me again. That is all. I still have the tail end of this cold, which seems determined not to leave until the PMS gets a firm hold on me. I just think that, for the sake of everyone who has to work with me, it would be better if the sun came out. I'm simply being philanthropic.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Locally Grown


I went back to Wilson's tonight for some more of "their own" peas. Much to my delight, signs were up announcing "their own" strawberries! I stuck my nose near the box and they smelled like heaven.

I ate one on the way to the car. Red all the way through, melted in the mouth, tasted like the essence of strawberry. The sun isn't out*, but summer is here.

*Maybe tomorrow? Only a 40% chance of rain tomorrow. More likely Thursday. The Globe this morning was validating: this actually is the second-gloomiest June on record, and there's a week left.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain and Cough and is there anything else? (yes)

Can we get this clear?

Yes, I'm still kind of sick. (Cough, cough.) I went to work today, but that took all the energy I had, plus a little. I didn't even go to my stitch and bitch group tonight. When you don't have the energy to sit and knit with friends...?

And I know, I've been complaining about being sick for a few days now. Okay, five days if you count today, which I guess you do, right? (Cough.)

But still. This?


Yes, they are accepting applications for this senior living community, and invited me, by name (no "resident", oh no, my full name), to learn more. And although I can see at least 4 little layout errors on the card, they didn't even have the decency to make an egregious spelling error, so that I could mock them and feel a little better.

Shit.

Though I must admit, now more than ever, I do feel that I "need a helping hand", and who doesn't want a beautiful, new, affordable apartment? But they only tease; you know that if I tried to apply, they would reject me out of hand, simply because I am only 40.

At least it doesn't say, "You're pre-approved!"

So yeah, being sick isn't helping my mood, that card didn't help my mood, and the weather, ye gods. I left work tonight to a driving mist, which sounds kind of odd but really, that's what it was. When I stopped to get gas (fueling the car in the rain being preferable to running out), the stuff was almost perfectly horizontal, which might have been more neat if it wasn't so ... damp. The station did have a canopy, but really those only help with nearer-vertical precipitation.

The DJ on the radio station quipped that on this second day of summer, isn't it lovely out? Then muttered what sounded like, will it ever end? Later, he said that the forecast says sun by Wednesday, and 85 degrees Thursday, and "we'll see, I'll believe it when I see it." Amen, brother. Amen.

A high school friend's update on Facebook says, "Day 4 million of rain. The Ark is almost done, I hope I make it in time."

A final thought, related to neither my cold nor the weather. (I know, I can't believe it either.) On the way home tonight, I got cut off by someone who then slowed down, pulled over, and generally acted like he thought I wasn't going to let him in front of me. Since he was already in front of me, having cut me off, I was frustrated by this behavior. You already cut me off, don't slow things down more!

Which got me to thinking, I prefer my scofflaws to be competent. Around here, they are, more often than not. I've said before that at least in Boston, if a driver hits you, it's usually because he meant to.

But am I weird that I prefer it that way?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yeah. Still sick.

Being still kind of sick did not completely ruin my weekend, but it sure has cramped my style. Today, I managed to vacuum (oh, that long-haired cat!) and to get to the grocery store, but the laundry remains undone and even the dishwasher is only half emptied. And I have no energy. In fact, I'm getting a headache, which officially louses up the rest of the evening, even if the medicine does stop it in its tracks. Sigh. Cough.

When it came down to it, I chose to spend my limited energy on groceries over laundry. I still have clean clothes, whereas the food situation was getting dire. I spent more than usual ($50.20), but according to the receipt, I saved $22.61, which sounds promising. It feels like progress, or something.

What else? Well, it's raining. And about 60, with a cool breeze. Between the weather and my fever, I've been freezing and sweating at the same time much of today, which is just as unpleasant as you would think.

I can't come up with words depressing enough to express my feelings about the weather Boston has had for June. I can't seem to stop looking at the 10-day forecast, even though I don't believe it's accurate, and then get enraged. We might have some sun on Friday?? Maybe?? At least it's getting slightly warmer, but seriously, who's in charge of this nonsense? I want to complain.

Time to snap out of it. Last month, in Florida, I got to see some lovely flowers. Time-travel with me.






Aren't they wonderful? Flowers simply amaze me. Unlike the recent weather, they're a part of nature that fills me with awe. The world isn't all bad, when you're looking at flowers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Health Update (cough-cough)

I'm feeling slightly better today than I did yesterday. Not great, but better. While yesterday, calling in sick to work required no thought, no interior debate, no questioning whether I was actually sick or just sleepy, if today had been a work day, I would have had to think about it.

Though I hope I would have chosen not to go to work, because now, at the end of the day (in a work sense), I'm wiped out by the tremendous exertion of lunch and a movie. It was good to go out, for morale at least, it was fun, and I highly recommend Up except to small children (those dogs are a little scary, friends), but I? Am pooped.

The sore throat is mostly gone, but I have a tickle-cough that is making me realize how I often I talk to myself as I go about my day. I start talking, and I start coughing, from a small throat-clearing up to the occasional sonic boom. I'm also sneezing hard enough that it sounds like this: "Ah-choo! Ow..." Yes, just a barrel of laughs around here. I believe it may be time to lie down again, horizontal on the couch if nothing else. Staying upright is so tiring... I need to gather my strength for tomorrow, and the arduous program of laundry and groceries. I'll try to clean up the kitchen tonight, so I don't leave all the fun for tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2009

99.5

Hot blooded, all right. In recent years, when I get sick, I never seem to have a fever, and when I think I do, I take my temperature and the thermometer says 97 or 97.5. Today? 99.5, which is strangely validating. The throat's a bit better, I have a little cough now and then, and I've been alternating between sleeping and watching crap on TV. If I got enough energy to stand long enough to shower, that would be good, but right now, it seems unlikely. I think the shower would help me feel better, actually, but that's a catch-22.

And it just keeps raining, which is not helping morale.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I jinxed myself

You've done it yourself, right? Thought something and then wanted to take it back, take it back, I didn't mean it, karma don't get me now, please, I'm sorry!

Recently, within the last week or so, I realized, god help me, that I haven't been sick in a while. Migraines, sure, but common cold, no.

And last night, my throat was sore. Today, it still is, and a little tickle cough, and not having the energy to sit up for long. I left work early today, to try a rest cure, but we'll have to wait and see if I'm well enough to work tomorrow.

Fortunately, I have two cats willing to rest with me, and for times when they're busy, look who arrived in the nick of time today?


Thanks, Mum. He's adorable.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Points of Random

  • If you were sitting at a red light, at a five-way intersection, and realized that all five directions have signs restricting trucks, would you wonder how a truck would ever get there in the first place?
  • Though the odds are probably in favor of the one nice day in over a week of rain being a work day, would it still make you depressed to contemplate?
  • One difference between early June and mid-June around here: in early June, the fresh peas at Wilson's are from New Jersey, but by mid-June, the sign proudly states, "Our Own".
  • And boy, can you taste the difference.
  • If one buys almost three and a half pounds of peas, the remaining pods weigh over two pounds. Still, that means I ate more than a pound of peas, and loved every mouthful.
  • And consider myself tremendously virtuous, even though they cost over $10. Healthy dinner! Veggies! Or at least, veggie.
  • One will invariably think of other points upon hitting "post", but if one is quite tired, one should just hit "post" anyway.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yes, I really do still knit

I feel like I wrote about knitting more over the six months when I was virtually only working on the socks and the baby blanket, than I have in the few months since then.

And I do still knit! Last week, in fact, I started this:


You start at the top of the front, work down to the bottom, and continue on the "back", then seam the sides and voila, it's a pretty little bag. (The Ravelry link is here.) It's very hard to photograph, as one really needs two hands to hold it down, leaving none to hold the camera. But I got to here in short order*:


*Ahem, on my third start. The first time, I used bigger needles and decided I didn't like that look only a few rows in. Second time, I learned just too late that there's an error in the row-by-row instructions (there's also a chart, so I didn't have to search for errata to confirm my suspicions that knitting three together on the eyelet row left me with too few stitches). Knitting two together is awkward enough, three was a total PITA, and to have been for naught! I frogged and didn't restart until the next day.

And at stitch and bitch last night, I got to the turn and started up the back.


I'm using yarn that a friend brought me from England two years ago. I've been waiting for it to tell me what it wanted to be (note to non-knitters: knitters will understand this concept, and not think it strange, truly), and I think this is going to show it off just fine. I love this shade of blue!

Also, I'm 100% sure I've effed up the pattern more than once, and you know what? I don't care. I can't tell, and it's still pretty.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Today was Heinous

And I checked to make sure "heinous" means what I want. Hatefully or shockingly evil: yep, that's it.

So, bad day doesn't cover it. Not enough chocolate in the world to make it good. Super stressed and it just kept coming gives an idea, an inkling of how it was. One of my co-workers saying as I left, "Wow, I've never seen you that upset," gives a clue. And I got closer than ever before to something I've only joked about previously, that I'm the type of person who shouldn't be given a laptop because when things go badly, I start thinking, Frisbee.

Tomorrow will be better, because it is a different day, and different from today pretty much has to be better. (Note to the universe: I know it could actually get worse. Please don't make my head explode.) Happily, I didn't get in a car accident or get pulled over by a cop, and that's a pleasant surprise.

Also, knitting at my stitch and bitch helped my mood a lot. I lost my place in my pattern once or twice, but I firmly told myself that it doesn't matter, I'm not getting graded on this project, just go with it. And for a wonder, it worked. Knitting as therapy.

And now, off for fuzz therapy. Repeat after me: tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow is a different day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunny Saturday report

Yes, pictures below as promised, but first, another word about hockey, from the hockey blog Puck Daddy yesterday:
Last night was the best and worst night of the National Hockey League season. It was the best because we all got to see the greatest championship presentation in all of sports when the Stanley Cup was awarded to the Pittsburgh Penguins and skated around the ice at Joe Louis Arena. It's the worst because now we have to wait a whole three and a half months until another meaningful hockey game is played.
Right on.

Now, my Saturday. Stopping by the library first to return and pick up, I noticed some pretty flowers outside:


Aren't they lovely? I so appreciate a spot of beauty where there might easily be none.


Next, I went to a local pond that has a trail around it, making it a beautiful place to take a walk. And benches all along, for when you want to stop and soak in the view.


The summery scents of water and woods made me think of going to camp. There were other walkers, and people fishing, but it was still peaceful.


Well, except when I encountered someone on a cell phone. Good lord, people, turn it off! Look around you for a change.


More interesting flowers. See the bee on the left bloom?


I think this plant has a sense of humor.


I'm not sure if this one is poofing up or down, but I caught it in between.


The next time I see, "the pollen forecast for your area is high", I'm going to think of this:


Such a charming tribute, on one of the benches.


Now, I mentioned waterfowl. There were a few ducks, like this pair napping by the water's edge.


There were geese, like these enjoying the shade.


And these, out with the young family.


Cute little fuzzies!


Still, the swans were the highlight for me.


I don't often see them, so it was a treat. And guess what they had?


Babies! Young swans the size of adult ducks, only fuzzier.


Papa swan thought I had seen enough, so I decided to leave them to it. Boy, they're big!


It was a lovely day. It was raining again this morning, and though the sun is trying to come out now, the clouds to the west indicate that this will not last. I'm grateful for yesterday. The sun recharged my batteries, which were getting very, very low.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

This is why most days, I don't make the bed

Because most days when I'm around, I see a variation on this:


Harold also sleeps on the blankets, but Miri doesn't. (Her claws snag. I'm working on it.)

They look relaxed, but it's not 100%. Check out the ears.


I guess you could say Harold has gotten used to Miri.


I have a lot of pretty pictures to show you from my walk today, including three varieties of waterfowl! Perhaps tomorrow. Right now, I feel rather sun-droopy, which is a marvelous thing to feel, given the recent and future rain. It was a good day.

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Congratulations, Pittsburgh





(The sun is shining! I'm going outside now.)

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Friday, June 12, 2009

At least I have the Cup

Today was not a good day at work.* Not A Good Day. But the sun was finally shining when I left work, and I have hockey to look forward to tonight.

*Two different people that I like both as people and as co-workers are leaving. I will miss them personally and professionally; also, the fact that they're both leaving makes me feel less sure of the company's condition. Like walking on Jell-o.

It's the last game of the season, whatever happens. It's game 7, for all the marbles, and the season will end tonight. It's even Friday, so I don't have to worry about staying up late and paying for it tomorrow.

And since I don't care who wins, I'll be happy no matter what. (Yes, I'd rather the Bruins were still in it, but as they're not, it's rather restful.) There should be good quality hockey, and then someone will get the Cup, hoist it over his head, skate it around.

I'll get to see that great hockey playoff ritual, the handshake line, and speculate on what players are saying when they linger longer than it takes to say, "Good game."

I will ignore the broadcasters interviewing players, asking the winners how it feels to win and the losers what they did wrong.

I'll look at the faces full of joy, the eyes full of light.

It will make a bad day better.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Milestones

I recall reading a Dilbert comic strip before Y2K in which Dilbert is arguing that 2000 is not really the start of the new millennium, and Dogbert counters that it's significant because it's a big round number, b-i-i-i-i-g and r-o-o-o-o-u-n-d. Sometimes milestones have an actual meaning, but sometimes they're just big, round numbers.

And thus I welcome you to my 700th blog post. Innately meaningless, yet somehow satisfying.

Miri is watching me anxiously. She has been very vocal in the last half hour (intermittently, thank heavens) because she can't find Harold. She wants him. She needs him.

Where is he?

I am not hiding him, but he is hiding. He's napping in a quiet spot. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't want to be found. But hopefully he will come out soon and let her relax.

Another thing that's hiding is the sun. It was around Sunday morning, and since then, yuck. And the forecast? (Not that I really believe it.) Only partly cloudy on Saturday. Partly cloudy next Wednesday. Sunny next Thursday, and then rain again.

This nonsense of 50s, raining on and off ... this weather is substandard. It's June. It should be at least warm, if not hot. Frankly, I want hot, but I would settle for warm. I need sun. I'm going down to Florida in August (time off from work approved!), and some coworkers were asking if it wouldn't be awfully hot there, then, and I was all "I hope so!" Because right now, awfully hot sounds wonderful.

And it looks something like this:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

travel numbers

Sometimes, I can tell the exact progression that puts a thought in my head, and other times it's a mystery to me. I don't recall reading anything like this, but recently I just started thinking about various numbers and how they relate to my travel experiences.

1. Party of one. I almost always travel alone. I'm often visiting friends or family, but the actual traveling is done solo.

2. I was two when we moved to Massachusetts. Well, two and a half, really, but who's going to quibble? I certainly don't remember anything before that. Which is a shame, given that we were living in São Paulo, Brazil; Guyana; Grenada. These days, I better appreciate our old home movies (from 8mm to VHS to DVD), and enjoy seeing the beaches, the trip to the Corcovado, and the funny way my parents and grandparents look so young.

3. I've been to three provinces of Canada: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia (on the way to PEI), and New Brunswick (on the way to PEI).

4. At age four, I first flew alone. I thought it was the biggest kick: get on the plane, be spoiled by flight attendants (called stewardesses then, remember?), drink a Coke (!), and land in New York. Visit friend, then reverse.

5. Five states I've lived in: New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

7. I've been to seven countries on the other side of the Atlantic: England, France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Norway, and Israel.

13. The thirteen countries I've ever been in are the US, Canada, Barbados, England, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Norway, Israel, Brazil, Guyana, and Grenada.

17. When I was 17, I went abroad alone for the first time. Thrilling and scary at the same time.

18. I've spent time in 18 of the 50 states. I'm not counting changing planes (hello, Atlanta), or that night I spent stranded after missing a plane connection: I can't even remember if it was Cincinnati or Cleveland, so I don't think that counts for much.

Oh, were you expecting a sequential list? Yeah, sorry, not so much. Though if you want to do that, feel free! And if anyone is inspired to write about travel and numbers, or about anything really, do say so.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dentistry sucks the fun out of the evening

Almost an hour in the dentist's chair tonight, and that was just to get the impression for the permanent crown. I have to go back in three weeks.

He gave me enough novocaine that my eye feels funny. When I blink, my eyes are not moving in their usual synchronicity, but with the left lagging behind. I'm pretty sure it's nothing serious, but it sure feels weird.

And it looks like I had a stroke.

The temporary crown broke when he removed it to do the impression, so he had to make another one.

Bleh.

I'm not supposed to eat, or at least chew, until the stuff wears off. Of course this is making me hungry.

I am glad not to need a root canal. But as is so often the case, knowing that it could be worse doesn't really help my mood.

However! Even the dental blahs can not make me forget that today is someone's day.


Happy birthday, Mum!


I hope you had a satisfyingly birthday-ish day.


Talk to you tomorrow. You know, when I can talk.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Spam subject lines

These fascinate me. They work on someone? Really?

Reply now, bastard
You asked
Don't look inside
Don't answer, but read
Open evening of Bowling
You're a Jerk

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday winds down

I was sitting on the couch reading this afternoon, and not paying much attention to voices from outside. If I thought about it at all, it was to be grateful that the pack of local kids was momentarily doing their yelling elsewhere, instead of favoring me. Eventually, though, a stern male voice penetrated my book-induced haze, demanding to know who did it. I listened for a moment, thinking that some kids must have been playing a prank, and they were in trouble with a dad who had caught them at it. Eventually, I looked outside, and found I was wrong.

Three police cars parked nearby. Three police officers standing around two teen-aged boys. Evidently, not the minor childish offense I was imagining!

I watched for a few moments, but couldn't really tell what was going on. It wasn't violent, no yelling or running, but still, not what I usually see in the neighborhood.

I wish I'd had a camera to hand, though, as the ice cream truck went slowly by the tableau. There's a visual.

I went downstairs to put laundry in, and when I came back, it was all over, no sign of anything ever happening.

The weather map shows storms up in NH-Maine, and on the tip of Cape Cod, but nothing in between. The only reason I mention it is that for the last hour at least, I've been wondering when the rain will start, and Harold is casually hanging out in the bathroom, the only windowless room we have (other than the linen closet). That is one stormy sky out there, for no rain coming.

Which reminds me of a flight I was on once, where the captain asked us to keep our seat belts on whenever we were seated, because although there weren't any reports of turbulence in the area, "someone has to be the first to find it".

Meanwhile, here's another photo from yesterday. Every Spring, there's a goose family around, but this year I seldom saw them at the puffball stage. Already, they're leggy adolescents.


I saw this sign last weekend, and stopped to look at it. "That's wrong, " I said to myself. "I mean, isn't it? Yes? Wrong?" And yes, it is. Wrong.


Lately, I've been making myself one of these smoothies every day. Quite good, and so healthy: juice, yogurt, a banana, and a handful of berries.


Sometimes, though, what I really want is one of these. Not quite as healthy (coffee, milk, caramel?), but even more delicious.


Pretty flowers.



A sky doesn't have to be cloudless to be beautiful.


I hope you enjoyed your weekend.