Friday, February 28, 2014

Finally Friday, with a Paean to Bergeron

What a week! I need about 8 days of weekend to recover. I'll be getting right on that, but here's something for you to consider in the interim.

Lest you think I am alone in my love of Patrice Bergeron, know that I am not, and check out this magnificent summary (which you can see bigger at the original location, if anyone but me wants to read it):
Sigh. What a nice guy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Untangling and Unraveling

I am still working on unraveling the yarn that George played with so thoroughly.

I am also untangling my thoughts on this malaise/depression/SAD/whatever patch that I'm in.

I am utterly tired, either as a cause or an effect of the above, so I'm going to bed early.

Tomorrow is finally Friday.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How I Feel About George at this Moment

I was trying to untangle a skein of yarn that George had got hold of last night and spread around half the living room.

He came into the room and used the litter box, scratching and scratching and scratching, and leaving (unsurprisingly) a ripe odor behind.

I decided (unsurprisingly) that it was to clean the box, and after I did, Carlos came along to use it. Fortunately, just after Carlos finished, George came along leaping at him.

I decided to put the yarn aside, as I was getting too annoyed to get anywhere with it. I went into the other room, and discovered when I went to answer the ringing phone that George had pulled the phone behind the bookcase, and I had to move the exercise bike to pull it out again.

After I answered the phone. Which was a telemarketer. Despite the fact that I'm on the do not call list.

The Bruins had better play well tonight. That's all I'm saying.

PS Before I even hit post, he's knocking something over in the other room. He gets into EVERYTHING, and right now I am just in no mood. Deep breaths. And ice cream.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Looking Ahead, and Looking Ahead Knitting-Style

Well, it's still the winter blahs in full force around here--good news, tomorrow's snow should only be a dusting! and Thursday's, too! isn't that great? Monday's may be "plowable" amounts, but it's too soon to be sure--but I booked my flights to Florida for my working vacation tonight, so there's something to make me smile.

And while I have to wait a few weeks for it, that gives the cats more time to adjust; looking at George right now, all peaceful on the couch, you wouldn't believe that earlier this evening he mugged Carlos as the latter was trying to use the litter box, good lord cat have some BOUNDARIES already. Not to mention that if he is HISSING and GROWLING at you, it means back off. Idiot.

But it hasn't been a month yet, and in another month they should be even better able to coexist. They kind of do now, I'm leaving them out together during the day while I'm at work, and not coming home to chaos, but man, George has his moments, the kind that get him shut back into the office, on a regular basis. Every night so far, he's gotten crazy enough to get put away; maybe, like Carlos when he was new here, he kind of wants the down time.

Sigh. Winter blahs. Full force. Let's talk about knitting, shall we?

I've started thinking about what to knit for my friend who got engaged recently. They haven't announced a date yet, but I need time to work on it, so starting soon isn't a bad idea. I'm thinking:
  • a blanket, since that's a good gift for two people
  • Irish/Celtic design, since she's very (very, very) into that
  • natural-color yarn (like your typical fisherman's sweater)
  • machine wash (because it's easier, especially with a blanket)
The pattern? I keep looking and deciding and changing my mind. And of course, I can't select the yarn before the pattern, so I have to decide on that first. I must have flagged a dozen patterns on Ravelry:
Lord. Indecision. Suggestions? Preferences?

Finally, in non-knitting, watch this heartwarming video.

Now tell me, do you think every hospital allows volunteers to cuddle babies? Because I would so be on board with that.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Popping in to Say, No Miracle Cure

Yup, still winter blahs here.
And it's Monday.
I did have fun at stitch and bitch tonight; we had a big turnout, and a waitress that hated us for some reason (make that no reason), but never mind that. Now I'm going to spend some time with the cats before it's bedtime. Because you know that will be here in a flash.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cats and Overwhelmedness, and Yarn

I've had a slightly headache-y weekend, not terrible but definitely impairing my mood, as well as my ability to get things done and to deal with things as they happen. A low point, for instance, was when the tech support guy said he was open to suggestions about how to fix my problem ... like that wasn't what I was calling him for. If I knew how to fix it, I wouldn't have called! I don't know, I've just been questioning my ability to be the one in charge. There isn't anyone else here to do it, but shouldn't there be? I can't be the adult. I was just thinking about Batman...

I suppose I should try to formulate the question I was going to put to you about the cats. Not about how to get them to get along (answer: wait) or how to get George to let me trim his claws (answer: damned if I know, the boy doesn't want it done and he is strong), it's about food and water dishes, and George's propensity for overturning them. Anyone experienced this?

It started when he was still in the office all the time, and I had his food and water dishes on a tray there. I had to put a towel under them because he kept spilling the water, and I kept having to pick up the food because he was tipping that bowl around, too. I was giving him dry food, as the shelter people said that was what he'd been used to, but once he was let out of the office, I started giving him wet food, too, and I put some dry food down for Carlos (who has had wet-only for a few years now) as long as it was in the house (he's delighted). George likes the wet stuff, and only once in a while is he eating any of the dry, but he will often come along and try to overturn the bowls, scraping as though he's covering something in the litter box. I thought at first it was some holdover after he left the box, but he does it other times, too, and the other night I cleaned up the food he'd spilled and five minutes later he was doing it again. 

I have to keep towels under the water bowls, and I'm sick of picking up crunchies, and why is he doing this? I can't figure him out. Like I don't have enough messes to clean up!

Anyway. I have some duck feet to knit. Here's the first one, in progress.
So far, so good!
But I have a ways to go.

And more to look forward to!
It was a yarn sale...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good Anticipation, and a Question Postponed

You know how I love to have something good to look forward to? Well, I had a light-bulb moment this morning that led somewhere good for that.
Recently, my mother asked if I thought I could get down there for a quick visit (for my own sake, to get out of this endless winter)(seriously, I go to Florida for a mid-winter pick-me-up during that mild winter two years ago and don't plan a trip this year, how does this happen), and I said regretfully that I didn't see how, partly from the cats, who were still in first-fortnight-drama, and partly because we're busy at work. The cats are doing better every day, which is good, though they're not quite there, but there's still work, we've got about five reports waiting ... and then this morning, driving in, I thought: laptop. Laptop! I can work from anywhere with wi-fi. And in a few weeks, the cats should be in even better shape...

So I asked my boss today, and she had me run it by her boss, and, well, I have to schedule around some immovable calendar events, but how does a week in Florida in March sound?* A working vacation is still something of a vacation! And did I ever need something to look forward to, amid the snow and ice and slush and general blech of February.
*The correct answer is that it sounds fan-fucking-tastic, by the way.

I was going to posit a cat-related question or two to your collective wisdoms, but I suddenly hit the Wall of Tired*, and can't find the coherent (it was just here), so I think that will wait until tomorrow. When I will also show you how the first duck bootie is coming along, and possibly flash some stash enhancement. Fun times--and the sun is supposed to shine! Now there's something a little sooner to look forward to. I hope you, too, have something good coming your way.
*I just double-checked to make sure I didn't type "car-related"!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cough Update, then cat pix and off to knit

The cough is a lot better.

It is! It isn't gone completely, but the syrup helped me sleep last night without a cough drop, mirabile dictu, and for a further wonder the pill he gave me is also helping. Did you know there was a pill for a cough? I didn't; it continues to surprise me, all the things I don't know. It's called Tessalon, which I can only assume means that after it cures the cough, it will impart the ability to tesser, something I've wanted to do since I first read A Wrinkle in Time. Won't that be handy? Almost as good as not coughing, after almost two months of it.

Anyway, according to its Wikipedia page, "Benzonatate is a non-narcotic oral cough suppressant, or antitussive, with effects that last from 6 to 8 hours. Its formal name is 2,5,8,11,14,17,20,23,26-nonaoxaoctacosan-28-yl para-butylaminobenzoate." Aren't you glad we don't have to use its formal name? Let's be honest, I'm not even going to call it Tessalon or Benzonatate, but just the cough pill. Now you'll know what I mean.

Now, I have to get to knitting and biking (both separately and together). I want to get the biking back into a daily habit, which is a bit of a struggle still, and I want to get that first baby duck foot done, and get to the second. The baby's here! Deadline approaches! Let me leave you with these, for your amusement.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fully Random Bullets

It's only 8, but I'm bleary. Bullets it is!
  • I finally called the doctor and went in today for the cough. He gave me a couple of things to try: a pill which may help, an inhaler to try if it doesn't, and the codeinated cough syrup for nights. We'll see!
  • This morning at work, my document again had the same problem I had yesterday (and, since I was in the office, I could not yell curses aloud, which was frustrating). These templates. Why the company doesn't care that we waste so much time on these issues puzzles me exceedingly.
  • I left George and Carlos together today (they've been left together, but not for an entire day), and Carlos seemed all right when I got home. Of course, I had to put George in for some quiet time shortly after I got in, when he tried to bite me while I was checking on Carlos; I'm not sure if it was a protest at not getting all the attention, or a notification that he had finished the food I put down for him, but an hour apart lets us both calm down. And in fact, I needed that hour to do some work, as I left early to go to the doctor.
  • The "light rain" forecast for this afternoon was big, fluffy, wet snowflakes instead. I had to clear half an inch off my car, and the roads were slushy and slippery. Enough! (It's supposed to be 40 tomorrow and 50 on Friday, but I've had it with the "supposed to" shit.) I could hardly stand to look out the window.
  • In Olympic hockey news, the Russian men were eliminated today, which is going to lead to a lot of hand-wringing. Go, Tuukka! The Finns advanced; as many a headline punned, the Russians were Finn-ished. 
  • There was almost a bigger upset, though, as eleventh-ranked Latvia took Canada (that is, the defending gold medalists) to the very last minute. Canada won 2-1, but I swear I could hear the whole country, our neighbors to the north, not breathing for a few hours there. Latvia? Almost knocked out CANADA? Canada out-shot them 57-15 and barely won. I was watching a live summary online which include some Twitter stuff, and I noticed and was amused by a few from someone I'm not familiar with, Bruce Arthur (who is a "National Post sports columnist" apparently). Such as "Power play for Canada with 8:51 left, in a game in which they are tied with Latvia at the Olympics. These sentences are so weird to type" and "Wikipedia says Latvia has 4,271 registered hockey players. Canada has that many hockey ANALYSTS."
  • The US, meanwhile, defeated the Czechs 5-2, and it sounds like it wasn't as close as I thought it would be, but it's no Latvia. Krejci joins Chara on the "Bruins done at the Olympics" list; Patrice, Loui, and Tuukka play on.
  • The men play for position on Friday, then for medals over the weekend. The women, meanwhile, play their medal games tomorrow. Will the US win gold or silver (women), gold or silver or bronze or nothing (men)? Stay tuned.
  • My blog got an e-mail about an "advert" opportunity for some compensated posts about an online casino, which would be "Tailored to fit in with your site and audience." How exactly do you think I could tailor such content for the tone of the blather I generally produce?
  • The duck feet knitting proceeded well last night. Still not overconfident.
  • Last, but certainly not least: Over the last couple of years, I've tracked when I get headaches, and also specifically when I get the terrible ones. In the last 2+ years, I've sometimes gone 5 or 6 weeks between the awful ones, but no more. It's now 17 weeks and counting since I've had an awful one. Break out the balloons and confetti!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter, Cats, Duck Feet

So I worked from home today, while it snowed.

This snow is not to be confused with the snow last Thursday/Friday, during which I also worked from home, or the snow Saturday, which of course did not interfere with work, as well as the snow the Wednesday/Thursday before, and then the snow before that, two storms in two successive weeks I think, that made me beg them to give me a laptop, and there may have been some more in there that I'm forgetting; it's blurring together at this point. In other words, global warming can come any time.*
*I know, I know, but they need to stop calling it that. Just say "climate change" and it won't tick me off so much.

George continues to have his ups and downs, with Carlos as well as with me. After I was done working, I sat on the couch and he marched onto my lap, draped himself along my arm, put his head against my bicep, and fell asleep. I looked at him and marveled that this was the same cat who came chirping up to me this morning, rubbing against my legs, then grabbed my leg and bit it. He's Jekyll and Hyde, this one.

As for Carlos, he still isn't a fan, but at times he is surprisingly accepting of his fate. This was yesterday:
That Cat is in His Window, and all it elicits is the Ears of Annoyance. Not bad.

It was probably a good thing that I worked from home today, as I opened the file I saved from Friday to find that something had gone wrong with it, as things often do with their stupid worm-ridden templated documents. All the section numbers had vanished, plus in at least one section, the bullet points had been replaced by strings of Chinese* characters. I was able to let the violent language out, which was sort of satisfying. Then I spent half the morning trying to figure out what corrections I had made on Friday that needed to be copied into Thursday's saved version (because yes, this happens often enough that I rename a copy of the file very day, so I won't lose more than a day's work). That felt useful and productive. It was a great day. /sarcasm.
*Or some Asian alphabet, I don't know for sure it's Chinese. That part's irrelevant.

I did half-listen to some of the hockey games today; the US and Canada were off while the other teams sorted themselves out. The Russians advanced, so no one is being taken off to the gulag yet*. In the Krejci versus Chara battle, aka Czech Republic versus Slovakia, Krejci won, scoring the first Bruin goal of the Games, and Chara gets a week of rest before the NHL resumes (which, as a Bruins fan, I can't be too sorry about). Tomorrow, it's US versus Krejci.
*I'm only kind of joking. The Russians have said that if they only get one gold medal in these Games, if it's the hockey, that's okay. I'm kind of worried about what will happen to them if they lose.

After George vacated my lap tonight (moving to the floor first, then the window:
Isn't he cute? He relaxes so thoroughly that earlier today, he relaxed right off the couch, and I laughed so hard it kind of hurt), I picked up a knitting pattern that thwarted me last week, and started again, grimly determined to figure it out. My friend who's pregnant had the baby today, and while I did make a couple of hats, I really wanted to make these adorable duck booties, but the cast-on is, well, we won't say difficult, we'll say, fiddly. Like Guinness Book-level fiddly. (Aside: did everyone but me know that Guinness Book of World Records and Guinness Brewery are the same Guinness? I was so surprised by that; it seems obvious in retrospect, but it just never occurred to me.)  It doesn't help that I don't have a lot of experience with the magic loop method, but sometimes something that I don't "get" seems impossible until I figure out the why or the how or the logistics, or whatever I'm missing.

With the help of this blog post, and some messing about, I finally got the light-bulb moment I needed, and I believe I'm on my way. Off to keep on and see if I have actually figured it out, or am about to face-plant like an off-balance ski-jumper. To use a timely metaphor.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cats and Flowers

I got some more cat pictures this morning. I know you're shocked.

George says, "How do you know..."
"...that you're not the one who's upside down?"
(I turned the blanket the other way out, so I can tell where it ends and he begins. With the dark side up, I was afraid I was going to sit on him by mistake.)

Carlos says, "Hush."
"Is sleeping time."
So I went out this afternoon on a mood-enhancing mission. Can you guess where?

I was wondering, on the drive, how many people who read here are in, or have lived in, snowy areas. Do you know what it's really like to live with? Not this part, the pretty, sparkly white part:
 But this. Grungy, dirty, in the way, can't see over the snowbanks part.
That's why periodically I have to go through this door.
 Where it is this: warm, and humid (in the good sense of "not dry").
Having a blog means having blog archives means I can say I first went to the Wellesley greenhouses in 2010 (and again in 2011 and 2013)(2012 was Florida, and a mild winter, which is probably why nothing that year; only so much archive-diving I'm doing). It makes me smile! Warm and color and green and hope. Join me. More pictures than probably anyone else wants to see, but I please myself first, after all.

Goodbye winter!