Friday, July 30, 2010

Quick Friday Moments

Well, if my Friday isn't quite like this:

funny pictures of cats with captions


It is at least feeling like this:

Hallelujah!!! It's FRIDAY!!!!!

I was in bed by 8:30 last night. Around 8, I got all bent out of shape by something stupid, because I was so tired that I just could not cope. (Why am I so tired? Is it this stupid exercising?) I even knew, while I was feeling it, that I was losing my shit out of all proportion to the offense, but knowing it didn't help.

I didn't fall asleep right away, but just lying in bed was such a wonderful, physical relief. I read for a few minutes before lying down, and it felt like something was pushing on my shoulders, trying to get me horizontal. Crazy tired. I'm not quite that bad tonight, but I won't be up much longer.

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Snark Moment

There was a moment at work this morning when I wanted to open a conference room door and say, "Dude, FTLOG, I sit four rows of cubes away, the door is closed, and I can still hear you. Clearly. You are not in a thousand-seat theater projecting to the back row. You are in a conference room that is filled by a table seating 12. Tone it down, please."

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Proofreader Moment

Errors I have found at work this week:
  • thnk
  • carefullly
  • quanitative
  • conceptulally
I mock spell-check as much as the next word-nut, but heavens, this sort of thing is What Spell-Check Is For. Crazy as it may make me when spell-check suggests "alarmed" for my carefully typed "Alameda", and little though it helps when you have a their/there/they're or pour/pore situation, misspelled words are its reason for being. Use it.

Please. Every time you don't run spell-check, a proofreader dies a little inside.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Random, With a Side of "What Does That Have To Do With...?"

I'm not sure if I've really been extra-tired this week (perhaps as follow-up to having been sick on Monday), or if it just seems that way. Yesterday I was jaw-cracking tired, today almost as much.

I slept badly Monday night (not surprising, given that I was in bed half of Monday), so to prevent a repeat on Tuesday night I took a Tylenol-PM. Realistically, one pill taken at 9:30 PM was not what made me killer tired all day Wednesday, up to and through 5 PM, but why else was I that tired? I didn't take one Wednesday night, just in case, and I was awfully tired again today (though I slept fine, at least).


Basically: I'm
sooo tired. Tiiiiiiired! Why? Whhhhhyyyyyyyy?

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At work today, someone put out leftover desserts from some gathering, sugar cookies and brownies and something else. Around 4 I was feeling like having a sweet treat, so I snagged a small piece of brownie.

Well, yuck! I don't know if they were some special formula (vegan? gluten-free?), but that was nasty. Not only did I throw the rest of it away, I actually grabbed a tissue and spat out what was in my mouth. Waste calories on that? No way. I even took the nearest thing to get the taste out of mouth, which was Tums!


It really almost makes me curious about what kind of brownies those were. I mean, were they
supposed to taste like that? I kind of want to sidle up to the maker and whisper, "Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. It will change your life. Go to the grocery store, now."

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I didn't eat lunch outside yesterday or today, and I really missed it. Even on hot days, I like getting out of the climate control into the real world. Granted, on really hot days, I'm thrilled to come back in, but I think that's understandable.

Today I didn't go out because it rained this morning, and I figured the benches would probably still be damp. (I did step outside for a few minutes and
oof, the humidity.) Yesterday, the department had a little celebratory lunch (apparently, after some tough times, things have been looking up for the last six months). It was nice of them to do, though the food was merely fine, not fantastic. Still, I don't want to knock a free lunch! We even ate in the board room, ooh. Always interesting to see how the other half lives.

I want to eat outside tomorrow, though.


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random image courtesy of Zazzle

If you're not a knitter (or even if you are, I suppose), you may not know there are t-shirts (and other items) that say, "I knit so I don't kill people".

I was thinking this week, while knitting on the T, that I'd prefer one that says, "I knit so I can stand public transit".


It can be so nasty, riding the T, and sometimes I only get through it by breathing and focusing on the knitting, only the knitting, don't think about anything but the knitting. Don't look around, try not to breathe (through the nose), just knit, just knit.

Because even a book I enjoy may not be enough to get me through the feelings of, "He's about to step on my foot, isn't he? Who smells like
that? Does that guy not realize that when he leans on the barrier, his butt is resting against my shoulder? Is that woman even trying not to rub our arms together? My elbows are practically touching, my arms are so compressed out of the way, and I can't get away from her arm. Ugh! Ew! Breathe. Knit. One, two, three, two, one..."

Unfortunately, even knitting can't help me on the bus, because of the fact that I rarely get a seat, and there really isn't a good, solid place to stand. (I did try to knit standing once, but the jerk-and-sway was too much for me: I nearly fell over. I can knit standing on the T, if it's not too
crowded, but the bus flunked.) I've said it before, I'm only on the bus for five minutes but it's the worst five minutes of the commute.

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There is a list at work of all the trademarked names we may need to use, and how we're supposed to list them (
e.g., "Newbury® is a registered trademark of the American Library Association")(so not just our products, but also references to Mac and Kindle and McDonald's; and do we really refer to American Idol? When?).

The most irritating thing about the list isn't that they keep updating it; I get that things change, and although there have been about half a dozen versions of this list sent out in the two and a half months I've worked there, well, it happens.

No, what really bugs me is the formatting. Of course.


It's an 11-page list, and:
  • it uses four different fonts, mostly Ariel but switching no less than 20 times to Lucida and Verdana and Times;
  • some of the text is in green, red, and blue, for no consistent reason;
  • the hanging indents are inconsistent;
  • some of the items are repeated;
  • it's mostly in alphabetical order--but not completely;
  • I am dubious of its accuracy (for example, the browser I use every day is "Firefox", not "Fire fox". [Yes there's a difference; yes it matters.] And then there's "Strabucks").
Basically, it's a lovely example of how to drive a proofreader insane.

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In case you thought Preppy was gone: today I saw a man wearing a lilac polo shirt, and slacks just short enough that I could tell he wore his loafers with no socks.

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Finally, to wrap up the random, here's a randomly-selected photo. Welcome to the Boston Public Library.


I love books.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Quick Thought About Blog-Reading

One of the things that I find interesting about reading blogs is that I often have virtually nothing in common, superficially at least, with people whose blogs I really enjoy. A lot of them are married, have kids, are super-outgoing, or are athletic*. Some even don't like cats! If you can imagine.

*These sorts of things are true of some of my friends, too. Hmm.

But I find that when people's writing makes me think, or nod, or laugh out loud, I come back for more. As in:
...when I run, my head overheats, and when my head overheats I feel like murdering everyone in my vicinity (don’t worry, I don’t have the stamina).
So that's all I have tonight, but if you wanted to mosey over to Pickles & Dimes, you might like it. Or not. I do, is all I'm saying.

Have you ever analyzed why you read what you do?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Briefly

I did feel better this morning than yesterday, so I went to work, but I didn't feel 100%. Exhibit A was when I looked at a list of abbreviated titles and didn't immediately guess that RETCHNG was "reteaching". Yeah. The afternoon was better than the morning, though, which I guess is preferable to the other way around.

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I hope I make it to my stitch and bitch group next week. It's been one thing after another on Monday nights lately, and I've only made it once in the last few months. I miss it!

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I am currently pretending that I only have one cat. That would be Carlos, who is not responsible for the scratch on my arm. I may start calling him The Good Cat.

I managed to catch Miri last night, after several weeks of knowing I needed to. I had discovered, through the cautious and infrequent petting that she allows me to do, that she had a fairly large mat in her fur, which I knew I was going to have to do something about. The joys of a super-skittish long-haired cat are legion!

So I got her by the scruff, and she sank into a tense coma while I tried to comb and cut it out one-handed. In fact, she was so still that I was lulled into a sense of false security, and loosened my grip somewhat. As soon as I did, she launched like the space shuttle, leaving me pissed and bleeding. I got most of the clump out, and the little ingrate will just have to live with the rest until I heal (both scratch and temper).

The little pissant is being friendly to me tonight, and I am simply not in the mood for her.

Further evidence that I am a delicate flower: I put a bandage on it last night, to avoid bleeding on the bed. That bandage did not want to come off this morning, ow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Word Analysis: "Sick" and "Suck". Discuss.

Bleagh. Yeah, unfortunately I didn't feel better today. In fact, I woke at 2 this morning with an awful headache, and finally threw up at 3:30, after which I was finally able to get to sleep again. (It was pretty miserable being so tired and not able to lie down, between 2 and 3:30.)

Further unfortunately, though, the headache didn't go away (which, when this has happened in the past, was the case), and when I woke at 6 I knew that work was out of the question. I sent my boss the message and went back to bed.

I woke again at 10, still feeling sick, enough that I thought I might be sick again. It didn't happen, and I went back to bed around 11:30. Up around 1, back down around 3:30 ... you get the picture. Right now, my head doesn't hurt and my stomach is just faintly funny, so it's an improvement. I have my fingers crossed that the worst is behind me, oh please.

Would you cross your fingers, too?

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Counting to three can be good, on a not-great day

One of the things that sucks about being an adult: having to get off the couch, whither cramps and a headache have sent you, to do laundry so you have something decent and weather-appropriate for work the next day.

Two things that can suck about neighbors: one, when they cook something that smells delicious and you can't have any, and two, when they cook something that smells repugnant, and you have to hold your breath in the hall.

"Three good things that happened today" is something I like to consider when I get in bed at night. Tonight's could be that I finished the small secret knitting project AND mailed it out, that I slept in (which gave the headache med help in removing the worst of it), and that there are sunsets and rainbows if you look for them:




There's also knitting that I can show you, namely the growing drop stitch scarf.


This is one of those times when knitting makes me feel rather clever.


And that is all for now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bag Tales

Having been thwarted in my many attempts to find, even for ready money*, the exact perfect know-it-when-I-see-it commuting bag that I wanted, I have decided to try a different tack.

*name that reference

The main problem I've been having with the bag I've used for the last two months is that it's not quite big enough for commuting purposes*, yet it's bigger than I need the rest of the time. So I got a slightly bigger (and better) bag to use for commuting, which is big enough to hold my actual purse instead of just having purse stuff tucked here and there, in pockets and pouches.

*Purse things, book and knitting, lunch bag, and water bottle every day; umbrella, shoes, sweater some days as needed; once in a while a bottle of lotion or box of tissues

This means that I don't need the bag to have all the pockets for purse things (part of what I was looking for in a new bag), and also that when I'm not commuting I take just the purse with me, the way I used to, instead of carrying the whole (old) bag.

Let me show you what I mean. Here we have the two bags. On the left is the one I bought in May; on the right, the new bag, which arrived this week.


The old one was about $13, bought at Home Goods, and was actually (here's a secret) intended to be a diaper bag. I know, I know, but it was in with all the tote bags and purses, and I thought it might work. Which it mostly kind of did, but not well (on Monday, I was stuffing things into it and growling, "It's smaller on the inside than the outside!"), I don't like the colors that much, it's not of very good quality*, and it has some annoying features, so while I was able to make it work, I never stopped looking for a better solution.

*Some of the stitching started coming out about a week into use.

The new one was $19.99 on eBay, brand new in the box with tags. It's well-made (by the Swiss Army Knife people), and I absolutely love the color. I wish it had a water-bottle pocket on one end, but still I think it's going to be a better solution than its predecessor.

There's even a loop on the back that is perfect for my watch; it lies flat, and is easily visible/accessible.


On the other bag, the only place to clip the watch was on the end of the usually unzipped top zipper, which meant that, a), I had to dig down in the bag to find it and pull it out to check the time, and b), if I needed to zip the bag, it had to come off.

I learned yesterday that while it's moisture-resistant, it is not fully rain-repellent. (The books that got damp are flattening nicely in a stack of other books; see the pile behind the old bag in the picture above?) Still, the rain was pretty heavy, so that's not bad.

And I would like to say, it was barely drizzling when I chose to walk home. And by the time the bus caught up, I was wet enough despite the umbrella that there seemed like no point in not finishing the walk.

Moving on.

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Friday morning, some people were giving away drinks near the subway station.


I'd never heard of it; you? Check out the back:

"What do vitamins actually do for you? They counteract the bad stuff you did to yourself last night."

Hmm. I really get the sense that I am not the target audience for this product.

I did try it, but I didn't much like it. On the other hand, I tend to drink either plain tap water, or sometimes soda. Wishy-washy in-betweens, not so much.

So why did you even try it, then?

Who knows. It was free. Only 30 calories, so not much risk.

Oh, just look at the pretty flower.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Knitting and Working and Snarking, oh my

Knit Tease
I'm working on a little mystery knitting project, which should be revealed in a few weeks. I started it yesterday, and it's more than half done, so it shouldn't take much longer, but then it has to be given to the recipient, so... a little while. I look forward to showing you!

Meanwhile, I've knit on the commute, and at lunch, and enjoyed it so much. At its best, knitting can be both peaceful and productive.

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Work Tale
Here is what a book nerd I am: after years of working at Barnes & Noble, I learned a lot of the prefixes in ISBNs, at least for the big publishers, by heart. (Fun fact for those of you who haven't worked that closely with books: part of every book's identifying number, the ISBN [International Standard Book Number], identifies the publisher. Some have more than one for different divisions. The numbers are different lengths, and the shorter ones tend to belong to the bigger, older, more established houses. Here endeth the lesson.)

Today at work, I realized I still remember a bunch of them. I was working on a project that involved check long lists of books that are going out of print, to make sure they're removed from the new catalogs. And I came to some that made me frown, as they shouldn't be our (meaning my company's) products, based on the numbers.

In my head, it sounded like this:
Wait, 440 is Bantam, no, Dell.
451 is NAL/Penguin.
812 is St Martin's?
14 is Penguin, 02 is Macmillan.
380 is Avon, what the heck?
I am so confused.

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More Work-Related
I wear skirts to work almost exclusively these days, since it's just too hot for me to be wearing slacks*. I do kind of miss my jeans, but the one day I wore them recently was a mistake; by the time I got home, they had more or less bonded with my skin, so I had to peel them off and sit in front of the fan before I could stand up again. Skirts are a better choice for now.

*Tonight it's in the mid-60s, cooler than it's been in forever.

Anyway, one of the issues I have with skirts is that I have to be constantly vigilant about them billowing upwards. In Boston especially it can be very windy, because of the tall buildings, and it gets a little tiresome to be on the alert all the time. (And on a rainy day like today, managing bag and umbrella while on skirt watch calls for more hands than I have with me.) However, as I prefer my hem to be closer to my knees than my neck, it has to be done. I'd pass out on the T in warmer clothing, and this is the price I pay.

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Snarky Me
A lot of the time, I may look well-behaved and quiet, at work say, but in my head, snarky me is LOUD.

Snarky Me wants to knock on the door of the person on the conference call and say, "Could you turn up the volume, please? Because I can't quite hear every word out here."

Snarky Me is the one who, listening to a group of people chatting loudly nearby, and clearly not about anything work-related, wants to ask them, "Am I working too loudly for you? Because I wouldn't want to disturb your conversation."

Do you hear that particular voice in your head? What does yours want to say?

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Some Crazy Pants, and Unpleasing* Words

*(unpleasing to me, that is)

Last night I had dinner with a couple of friends from my last job, which was very enjoyable. So good to see them, and so empowering to be reminded that I made the right choice to leave that company (ahem). The funniest thing, though, happened just as we were leaving.

We were standing outside the restaurant saying good-bye when a couple came out after us, and the man had on these ... pants. Unfortunately, words fall short of describing them. And as the mere sight of them froze my brain, I couldn't get my camera out in time (seriously, they were paralyzing).

I can tell you that they were sort of white, or off-white, with a design of swirling blue lines, but it just doesn't convey the sensation that seeing them did. To put it mildly, they were startling. Perhaps on a runway in Milan they would work, but in Burlington, at a mall?

I was the only one of the three of us facing the doors when they came out, and after I froze, I caught the eye of one of my friends when she saw them and almost burst out laughing directly in front of the man. I managed to turn it into a coughing fit, which is something I've read about but never done before, and let me tell you it feels very unnatural to choke back such strong laughter. It was actually painful.

I looked after them a moment later, and this couple, who were perhaps 30, had joined hands and were skipping exuberantly across the parking lot. It was really quite odd.

But funny. We laughed and laughed, sputtering "what were those?" and "those pants!". Even when I got in bed last night, I got comfortable, snuggled the kitty, and suddenly giggled again thinking of them.

Maybe he lost a bet.

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I sent a message to that business card designer on Etsy that I was talking about yesterday, and by the way, can I digress? (Try to stop me.) Etsy calls these messages conversations, which I don't mind, though I think message would be fine (after all, it isn't a conversation until they answer you). But, the real problem is that then they shorten it to "convo", which makes me queasy. Even worse (to me), I've seen people use that as a verb, saying that they "convo'd" a seller with a question. Ew.

In the same way that the word twitter as used by the eponymous website doesn't bother me but "tweet" does, and "I tweeted about that" does even more, *shudder*. Just, no.

I know that things change and today's unthinkable becomes tomorrow's without-a-second-thought, but at least today, I really doubt I'll ever either "convo" or "tweet". I'm not going to swear, but I'm pretty sure.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Typo Time; More Proofquest 2

I was in a Starbucks on Saturday, and I'd left my camera in the car, so of course I saw an amazing typo on one of their signs. It's one of those things that isn't worth blogging about without a photo, and I didn't have time to go out and get the camera and get back in line, so today* I made a caloric sacrifice for you, my pets**, in order to show you this shining example of why proofreaders are worth it, even for small pieces.

*I actually was worried that the sign might have been taken down in the interim, so not only was I the person mysteriously photographing a sign while in line at Starbucks, I was the one doing so with a relieved smile.
**Because it's such a sacrifice to have a frap', especially when it's sweat-dripping-hot.



Because no, you can't just proofread it yourself. Apparently.

Unless it's meant to be some sort of "hip" take on "partnerships", but I think that's reaching pretty far into the improbable, don't you?

Honestly. I wonder how long those will stay up. In, presumably, every Starbucks store. If they hadn't been busy (both Saturday and today), I might have asked someone about it, but it was very busy, so oh well. If they want a proofreader, I'm available in three months.

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In the two months I've been commuting into Boston, I've only seen another knitter on the T once. One morning last week, though, as I was knitting on my scarf, I looked right and saw a guy (in a chef's working outfit) knitting what looked like a hat. Small world, eh? Or like attracts like?

I actually dropped a stitch as I was knitting that day--not one of the ones I was supposed to drop, I mean. I'm pretty proud that I managed to pick it back up, on the T, without a crochet hook or a spare needle or anything. Go me!

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Summer in the City
The train is cool, except when the doors open (every two minutes) and hot air puffs in.
The stations feel like the stagnant breath of demons.
Outside the hot air moves but doesn't cool.
Stepping inside is like walking into a fridge. Humidity condenses on the skin.
Half an hour later, there's still sweat under the layers, but goosebumps rise on exposed skin.
It's hard to take the sweater off to go back outside.
Through the door and whump! Instantly hot, as though cool never was. Sunglasses fog up. Sweat beads.

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I didn't end up getting job-seeker/business/contact cards after I left my last job, but I think I'll get them for Proofquest Take 2, if I can get what I want. I imagine that I'll have to get them custom-done, but perhaps I can find someone on Etsy who doesn't charge an arm and three legs for what I want.

I mean, I do not want a completely white with black type, IBM-type business card. But I also don't want to get too much Out There: no round or square or mini or extra-large. I am also not getting one that says Do Not Feed the Proofreader*, in case anyone was going to point that one out. (Though if I was a photographer, I think I'd have to get a card that says "I Shoot People". I mean, wouldn't you?)

*I want them to feed the proofreader, which is what hiring me does!

There are such a lot of cute designs out there that have nothing to do with my profession, so although they're tempting, they rule themselves out. I kind of like this typewriter one, but it isn't quite right for a proofreader, is it? And a microscope, while cool, is even farther away. I'd kind of like a magnifying glass, but I can't find one. I pondered, and decided that really, I want my contact info on a nice simple card, with a line drawing of a fountain pen and a pot of red ink. So we'll see if I can get what I'm imagining.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Headache Thoughts, and Proofquest Pre-Thoughts

I found Rachel's post about her migraines, and specifically her use of chocolate in treatment*, very interesting, as you might imagine. (Won't-click-the-link summary: in addition to other facets of treatment, she eats a small amount of basic dark chocolate first thing in the morning every day.) However, I have some trouble with adopting the plan myself, both logistically and taste-wise.

*I was delighted when Jo Rowling made chocolate the antidote to dementor contact in the Harry Potter books. Yes! Chocolate is the remedy!

Taking the latter first, I'm not actually a huge dark chocolate fan. I like Hershey's Special Dark, which is really barely dark chocolate (more like semi-sweet), and I like dark chocolate in combination with mint (whether it's Marblehead Mints or Junior Mints), but on its own? Not really. It's better than medicine, certainly, but I'm never going to be buying the high-percentage special-provenance dark stuff when there's caramel and toffee* out there.

*Caramel and toffee "go with" milk chocolate like mint goes with dark. Do other people have rules like this?

Then there's the conflict between "eat the chocolate on an empty stomach, then don't eat for an hour" and my morning schedule, which has been tweaked over the years to be What Works For Me. These days, I get up at 6, eat breakfast while reading the paper, hit the computer for a quick check of e-mail and blogs, and by 7 I'm putting in my contacts and getting ready to shower. Dress, gather my lunch and grab all the crap I carry around, and out the door by 7:30 so I don't miss the (stupid) bus.

If I wait an hour to eat breakfast, when do I shower? I can't shower first, because if I hang around the house dressed for work, I'll end up covered in cat hair! Seriously, the cat hair always wins.

However, I think I'm going to try a tweak: Keep the routine at home the same, then when I get to work*, eat the chocolate, and nothing else for an hour. Perhaps it will help, who knows?

*I'm usually hungry by the time I get there anyway

I'm sure the neurologist would laugh at it, but I'll try it anyway. It's not like I'm planning to go cold-turkey on my prescription meds or anything.

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When this week ends, I will be exactly halfway through this job, which started mid-May and is scheduled to end October 1st. I'm not looking forward to job-hunting again, but I'm looking forward to a job situation that better suits me, both in external and internal characteristics. It's Proofquest 2010, Take 2: the wish list!

External:
  • Not in Boston--no more public transit!
  • Within reasonable driving distance of home.
  • North-northwest of the city, preferably within 128. (It's a big area, maybe 50 square miles? someone in there must need a proofreader!)
  • Starting mid-October (the 20th would be about perfect*, leaving me free to go to Apple Festival and Rhinebeck) (or later. Honestly, I'd be fine with Nov 1, if that worked out).
*It doesn't hurt to be specific when you put the request to the universe, is my feeling.

Internal:
  • Good communication and feedback from boss and coworkers.
  • A cohesive, friendly, stable* department/company.
  • Minimal "we've always done it that way" attitude.
  • Permanent (temp-to-perm maybe, but no temp/freelance/contract), with good salary** and benefits (health insurance! vacation!).
  • Casual/business casual dress code (no suits).
  • And hey, free coffee/cocoa would be nice.
*Please, no layoffs! I'd like to work happily in the same place for a few years. Just until I win the lottery.
**Doesn't have to be 6-figures, but it has to pay the mortgage etc.

Am I forgetting anything? I feel like I'm forgetting something Big and Obvious.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Woe Unto Those Who Scorn Proofreaders


Massachusetts recently released a list of 1000 great places in the state.

Turns out, they put 996 items on the list.

And got some in the wrong cities.

Plus some of these great places are closed.

But they probably saved money by not hiring a proofreader!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, in more pictures than words.

I had a beautiful day yesterday, with friends, down in the south coast area (around the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border). It was gorgeous.


We went down because of the open studios, and saw some wild and wonderful things.

Does he remind anyone else of the Great Gonzo?
The nose is wrong, but something about the eyes...

Cool way to display necklaces!

There was also the disturbing, like this interesting pattern:


Which, in context, was a bit gross.


We brought, and bought, food, and picnicked on a winery's grounds, which were gorgeous:


Before we left, we saw that someone was getting married there. Good choice of location!


Then we went to look at, and walk on, beachness. One of my favorite things to do. The weather was gorgeous, as was the scenery:







This gull was rather freaky. He was huge! That's not the effect of perspective: he's right next to the chairs, and look at him!


I picked up a shell or two, including this crab piece. Of course, it broke, being veryveryvery fragile, but still pretty.


And of course: flowers.









Which one do you like best?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Night, and the walking's gimpy

Cliches become cliches for a reason, and it really isn't the heat, it's the humidity. Uf da. The air is solid dampness.

By the time I got home tonight, I was damp myself (you're welcome!). Not quite as if I'd jumped in a pool while dressed; more like I'd gone swimming in my underwear, then dressed without drying off. Fun. (I have a whole post brewing on how I'd better see this helping me soon, damn it.)(You're welcome!)

And today it actually hurt me! Just a little, though, and I blame the guy in the SUV who, as I walked past while reading my book (just to be clear, he was parked), called out to me that I would fall. "Haven't yet," I told him, and okay, maybe I jinxed myself but it was his fault, he started it!

Because down the road, I stepped off a curb wrong and twisted my ankle a little. It isn't even the ankle that hurts much, actually, but I sort of bruised the side of my foot. It's a wee bit puffy, and ouchy feeling especially to walk on, and has an icky-looking sort of blood blister thing.

Wearing shoes tomorrow is probably going to be more interesting than strictly necessary.

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There were guys on the street soliciting for the Red Cross today ($$ not blood), and I'm afraid I gave him a bit of a start. I said sure, when they stop telling me I have Mad Cow. (They stopped taking my blood, got to be ten years ago, because I spent a year in England. In the 80s. Before I donated a couple of gallons of blood. And platelets.)

You have to have principles, you know? If my blood isn't good enough for them, why would I give them money?

I'm joking ... kind of. They're a fine organization and help a lot of people. They just put my nose out of joint, and it shows no sign of going back in place.

*********
The book I was reading was Amy & Roger's Epic Detour; it's a YA title I read about somewhere, and I really enjoyed it. My subway ride home went like this:
  • get on
  • sit down
  • pull out book
  • look up: halfway there already?
  • look up: oh, we're there? Already?
Yeah, I liked it. Might even buy myself a copy, that's how much! It somehow managed to have events unfold in a thoroughly "right" way without being overly predictable.

Aren't books wonderful? I'll have to tell you more of what I'm reading these days, some time. I know you can't wait!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Funny In Different Ways

I went out after work tonight to run some errands, and guess who was waiting for me when I got home? Hi, Marcel!


I think he and the other, more easily spooked cat I've seen around lately must have moved in to the house diagonally across the street, which sold a month or three ago. Yappy dog moves out and two cats move in? Works for me. I wouldn't myself have outdoor cats around here, as we get a fair bit of traffic through the neighborhood, but hey, you can't tell people how to raise their kids, right?

Moving on. I've said it before: I love it when people don't take themselves too seriously. This from a recent Publisher's Weekly:


Another good one this week: I was walking outside at lunch when a taxi honked at the bike riding ahead of it. The cyclist turned his head and spat on the road in front of the cab. I admit to laughing out loud.

Then, in the funny-weird instead of funny-amusing category, I went to check a book out at the Boston library the other day, and was surprised to be told that my card doesn't allow me to check books out. For some reason, like that I've checked out at least a dozen since I started working in Boston, and even had a book from the BPL at home at the time, I found this unexpected. Silly me.

The woman at check-out sent me to the main desk, where the woman there also agreed that no, my card didn't allow me to check books out. She showed me the area of the screen that had a C code, which apparently stands for courtesy, or perhaps computers, I wasn't entirely clear. (I had trouble understanding the accents of both women I talked to, and if you think you're having language issues, "you have a c-card" could be just about anything.) I showed my license for proof of address, and she changed the code and checked out my book with no further trouble.

But wouldn't you think that, if they had a classification that did not allow book-checking-out-ness, that the system wouldn't let you check books out with that card? Or is that too obvious?

Next is funny-crazy. From Bostonist (italics mine):
-- A Somerville man was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after allegedly threatening to kill a manager at the TD Bank at 1270 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge with a pen. The suspect was upset that the manager couldn't prove the bank was real. [Somerville Journal]
Anyway. I went to bed at 8:30 last night, and that's no joke. Probably 8:25, actually, when I turned the light off. It was still light out! But boy, did I fall asleep anyway. And yes, I slept until 6. And yes, I was still tired, still hit the snooze button, still did not want to get up. I always have needed a lot of sleep, and I think I always will.

Today's weather was better than the last few days, at least. It didn't look promising this morning (I brought my umbrella, though the forecast said I wouldn't need it), but by lunchtime it was sunny and probably mid-70s. I sat on a bench knitting after I ate, and was practically perfectly content.

And, tomorrow's Friday. Ahhh. Let that soak in, will you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Worth Enough Words for One Night

I'm just impossibly tired tonight. Walking home in the heat and humidity (OMG the humidity people urp it's wet-wool-blanket weather*) absolutely wiped me out. We're going to be picture-heavy and text-light tonight, and that's if I can manage to get the pictures in.

*That's when the air is like trying to breathe with a wet wool blanket over your face. Summer in North Carolina was like that, just about every day.

So! Welcome to New England:


Legal's gotten itself into trouble with its sense of humor before. Some people just can't laugh at themselves.


This one reminds me of a tour bus I saw once, with 1-800-NICE-BUS on the back. Easy phone number to remember, right?


And what else would you call your tow trucks?


This photo isn't here for funny, but for delicious. That was some good root beer. Local, too!


We weren't eating in Bristol, but we were in the neighborhood. In fact, look at the wine list:


Where are the wines from? California, Italy, Chile ... and the popular "5 miles up the road".

They had some fun signs on the walls, too.


I can't tell you how much I wanted to straighten that one before taking the picture. Oh well.


And I had to wait for the couple sitting at the table to leave before I took this one (these people, cluttering my photos). Not only might they have thought me a touch odd, but the guy on the left was blocking part of the sign, and we can't have that.