Monday, March 31, 2014

Home Again.

I'm home.

It's cold here.

I'm tired.

Someone is veryveryvery happy I'm home. Purring.
That's all for now!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's Good

Hello from Florida!

We are doing well. Today the weather has not been ideal (it may have hit 70, maybe, but with the way the wind was blowing, it didn't feel like it), but I am so fully aware of how much better it is here than back home, it hardly bothers me. (Though I am glad it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow.) I miss Carlos, and the report I'm working on is tiresome*, but still. It's good.
*Serious carelessness issues. We do not write about health car, sir, nor about the prescription patter in a certain market. I could go on and on.

I did have a migraine on Sunday, an awful one, which was too bad (we couldn't even stay for the play, I felt so bad), but I am slightly more sanguine about such things when they are not so frequent. It's been five months since the last awful one, five months! It's years since I went that long between bad ones. And I felt improved on Monday and practically well on Tuesday, so at least it isn't messing with more.

I don't have a lot of pictures, yet anyway (I really have been working), but I'll try to do better. Right now, I'm off to hang with mama. Hang in there, wherever you are!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Quick Laugh

I was listening to the radio on the way to the doctor's office, and caught the end of a story about the Speaker of the House* in Rhode Island, who's apparently in some kind of trouble, and the media, unable to find him, asked his spokesperson about it.
*That's a politician, if you aren't familiar with the term.

However, apparently his spokesperson has not spoken to the speaker yet ...

I do not know how the reporter "spoke" this line without laughing. I start giggling every time I think of it.

Off to pack!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Quick Sock Toe

It is now Thursday evening.

I leave for Florida verrrrrrry early on Saturday (not complaining, just saying).

Which means that I have plenty to do tonight, and probably will not even blog tomorrow night. Will I blog from Florida? Only time will tell. This may be it for March here, or it may not.

No pressure!

But I do need to get it in gear here. Let me just show you a quick sock toe.
See Carlos disapproving of it. Why, you ask? Well, it's too big. See?
It's only a medium (this pattern), but clearly I don't need that much extra room in my socks. Which meant it went to the frog pond. It's too bad, really. See how pretty the pattern is?
And what a lovely cast-on toe. If I do say so myself. (It's Judy's Magic Cast-on.)
But fear not, I cast it on again last night, in a small. Hopefully that won't be too big, because if it is, the yarn may have to hibernate until I can figure it out.

Now, to go tell this guy that no, my entire evening will not be spent catering to him.
He isn't going to be happy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pretty Random

My boss puzzles me. She told me recently that she didn't think I should work from home all the time because I don't live far enough away, but then she tells me on Monday that I can work from home Tuesday if my back is bothering me, and again today*. So I did, of course, because I like working from home, and at the end of today, she said, "Just let me know if you want to work at home tomorrow and/or Friday.  I may work at home on Friday myself.  Believe me, there‚Äôs nothing exciting going on around here, although maybe one of these days, Prince Charming will walk through the door." Um, okay? I mean, it's nice, of course, and the Prince Charming line is actually kind of funny, but mixed messages.
*It's doing better today, though not 100%.

I actually am going to go in tomorrow, mostly because I want to water my plant before I go away, but I'll happily work from home Friday, and use the commute time to start packing. Though I'll have to go out for the doctor's appointment I have after work ... but no big deal. I went out tonight and ran some errands. It was kind of nice not to deal with rush hour getting to them.

Sorry, I'm just kind of thinking out loud here. That's kind of what blogging is, sometimes anyway. Or not; your mileage may vary.

Speaking of mixed messages, I have two things to get done tonight, one involving the bike and the other ice cream. I know, I know, but these killer winter blahs plus PMS demands ice cream. At least I'm doing the bike, too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coworker of the Day

Yesterday, my boss said that if I wanted to work from home to take it easy on my back, I could, and hey, twist my arm! I got a lot done, and took a break to go to the chiropractor (the back isn't worse, but it does still hurt). And lots of fur-snorgle breaks.
Wouldn't you?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Better. Not Great, But Better

So, what was the story with yesterday? It started with the what-else-is-new winter grumps, probably since we went from 60 degrees on Saturday to 30 with a brisk wind on Sunday, if by brisk you understand I mean, "Step outside and you will lose all feeling in your face, as well as your will to live." I did go to an enjoyable brunch with friends, and ran a couple of errands in the afternoon, but my mood was decided non-cheery in the late afternoon. It didn't help that I was coughing, you know, from the thing I got at Christmas. Why, yes, I'm still coughing! On St. Patrick's Day! It's making me crazy! The medicine is helping, but not eradicating. (I have a doctor's appointment on Friday; it's for something else, but guess what I'm going to talk about?)

After moping a while, I decided to try to get something done about the kitchen table, since the mess level had advanced to the "losing things in it" stage (I used a different purse on Saturday, and managed to go off to the brunch on Sunday without my lip balm, lotion, tissues, or cough drops, aka the top four things I want to have with me). I started working on that, and did make some progress, but the next thing I knew, I had severe stabbing pain in my lower back, and it was just too much. Talking about adding physical injury to emotional! Sitting or lying down only kind of worked, and getting up could be agonizing. Carlos was mooching about begging for the laser or fishing pole, even though both had been brought out earlier and he had gotten to the "I'll just watch you moving it" stage with both, and I just kind of lost it.

Sigh. This winter, man. The back is somewhat better today, but not great. Honestly, like I needed something else to go wrong.

I did try the exercise bike later last night, and amazingly enough, it didn't hurt the back, so I was able to do that for a few minutes. Slowly, slowly, I am getting back into the biking habit; it isn't quite one step forward, two steps back, but it does feel like one forward, one back sometimes. Since I re-started in late January, I missed four days in a row here, three days there, as well as single days, for various reasons, so it makes me happy that I've also biked four days in a row, more than once. It's sad how hard the habit is to build and how easy it is to lose, but that's not news, I know.

Anyway! Let's end on a happier note than that. How about this one, for today?
Or, if you prefer sound:


Or, unrelated to today, one for the literalists:
True enough, I am expensive!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm Sorry

CCR can't come to the blog right now, as she has gone out of her mind. Please leave a message after the beep, and she will get back to you when and if she is able.

Beep!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Yarn Crawl 2014 Report

Well, I have been yarn crawling, and I am wiped out. How glad am I that my plans for the evening fell through, and I don't have to rouse myself from this comatose state? Soooo glad. I got home in time to watch the end of the Bruins matinee (they were up 2-1 when I tuned in, and won 5-1, so it was good), but that's, oh, four hours ago now and I'm still bleary. So much good stuff ... I can't handle it!

To start with, we had what my mother would call a cold snap, and what we up here, after this winter, call a beautiful day. Why, it reached 60 degrees! And was sunny more often than not! How about that, eh? The joy of not needing a parka, of bringing a fleece and throwing it in the back of the car because the shawl is enough, this is significant. (Though I'm still very excited to think of 80s, where I will be in a week's time.)

The shawl I wore, by the way, was my Bigger on the Inside, which I think I wore last year too, a fun shawl to wear around knitters. In fact, several people noticed it, which makes one feel good, and one woman said she'd been planning to make it but wanted to see one in person first, so that was my good deed for the day. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I walked over to B's house this morning, as she was driving (bless her), and we headed toward the best first, i.e., Coveted Yarn in Gloucester. The Crawl is much less claustrophobic in their bigger location! I was able to hit my target there, as I thought I would, and get yarn for the blanket I'm planning. I picked this pattern, Due Passi, and the yarn is Berroco Vintage DK.
Six skeins of that should make a decent-sized blanket, and at $6 a skein (on sale from $8), it doesn't break the bank, either.

Once that decision was made, I wandered around admiring other yarns, naturally. Mad Color had a good-sized display, which I much admired, though I amused myself when I chose, from a vendor named Mad Color, this skein of Rapture, in the colorway Stone:
A mild blue gray. I know. There was a glowing blue skein that I much liked, but the color was so great in the lace-weight and not as much in the thicker weights, that it seemed like a letdown. I like this, and it will make nice all-purpose socks (you can't wear clown barf on your feet every day).

I also brought home some more Frog Tree Periboo, the one I used on that shawl for my aunt that I liked working with. Also on sale, of course; most of the store was. (Robert's good that way. They're also open from 7am to 11pm during the crawl. If I lived closer, well, I'd be in serious debt, but I'd also be there all the time.)
Three deep lovely colors, clearly "bought in winter" colors. Not that I'm planning to use them together, but just so you can see.

Other than a needle, that was it at Coveted. We were there under an hour, including waiting in line time, which isn't bad, and they gave out 20% off coupons for future use, so I'll have an excuse to go up again in a couple of months, when I need a hit.

We weren't quite ready for lunch, but fortunately there's that yarn store in Essex, Hooked Knitting, right near Woodman's, so we went there first. Looking around, admiring this and that, I saw that they, too, had some Mad Color, and picked up a nice skein of green. Ooh, I said to myself, it's blue faced leicester! I'd love to make socks of that ... though do I really need it? And then I saw what she had named the colorway.
"Winter of My Discontent"? Well, really, might as well put my name on it. This year? Sold.

We had lunch after that, delicious as always, then drove on to Yarns in the Farms in Beverly Farms. It's a small shop, but very nice, and with an amusing addition to the samples on the back of the couch.
See there, on the right, just below the big owl?
Nap time! Yes, he was breathing. But otherwise, not moving a bit.

I had trouble putting down a skein of lace-weight cashmere that was so soft (duh) and hey, 30% off means it's almost affordable ... but I was able to put it down. I didn't leave empty-handed, though, finding a vibrant skein of Classic Elite Alpaca Sox that wanted to be mine.
They had a cute way of bagging, too.
Our final stop was Seed Stitch in Salem, always a good time. I liked this bit of purposeful yarn-bombing they had outside:
Inside, as I was getting my passport stamped, the woman mentioned that if anyone found the sheep with a blue scarf, everyone in the store would get a 20%-off-next-time coupon. I started looking around, and what do you know, I found it! So I may have to go back to Seed Stitch at some point. It wouldn't be a hardship, they have nice stuff. Toil and Trouble had a table, and as I've used her worsted-weight but not sock, I got a skein of that to try. It's actually a colorway I used before, Starry Starry Night.
It's mostly blue.
But with enough light to break it up.
So that should be fun.

We had ice cream across the street, then trundled on home. My view for a while after I got in was this:
Along with these.
Someone is still very happy to be an only cat.

Meanwhile, I watched the end of the Bruins game, as I said; eight in a row is the most consecutive wins since they got 10 in a row a few years back, you know, the year they won the Cup, just saying... And I worked a little more on the purse sock, since during the day of being a passenger, I had gotten it almost to the heel, and wanted to make sure I started that in the right place. Now it's ready for knitting at brunch tomorrow, so that's good. I'm off to have some dinner and see what else is on, other than early to bed, because whoa, man. Yarn crawling takes it right out of me.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

How to be a Tone-Deaf Boss

First, as a baseline, imagine you are the sort of boss who would send out a reminder before a storm for everyone to take their laptops and work from home, even though everyone didn't have a laptop.

Next, imagine that you are on the e-mail list from the property managers, so you forward notices that the employees may need to know about. The gym is being remodeled. There's a food truck coming on Wednesday. That kind of thing.

And imagine a notice comes in saying that National Grid is looking into a possible gas leak, so traffic is not able to leave the office park at the moment, which you'd certainly forward (for the three people in the office at the time).

And you're not going to forward it without writing something, right?

Would you choose to write, "Have a great weekend"?

To people who are (at least temporarily) stuck in the office, unable to leave, at 3 on a Friday afternoon?

If I could Photoshop this image:
It would say "This person had gone almost 4 days without a meltdown."

Not that I actually melted down.

But I wanted to.

I mean, it's not just that. It's that and two other small, meaningless, not worth being upset about things happening at the same time, coupled with, you know, winter.
I had to change the station quickly, coming home, when the DJ followed up a mention of how nice it's going to be tomorrow, relatively speaking, with, "Sunday, on the other hand..." No, no other hand! My rubber band has stretched for the last time; now all it does is snap. Ow.

Anyway. It's Friday night, which is glorious. Tomorrow is the yarn crawl, which is awesome. The Bruins will hopefully make it eight wins in a row tomorrow. Sunday I'm going to brunch with friends. And I need to spend time planning what to pack for Florida, because that's only a week away.

There are good things, is what I'm saying. I don't feel it, not this minute, but I know they're there. Excuse me while I go grab a kitty, because he's letting me know that he's there, too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Recap of Last Night, and a Photo Question

Today's snow was, thankfully, not in the "I can't possibly get to the office" range, but it had enough mess potential, with yesterday's rain freezing overnight before the snow came down atop the ice, for me to call a work-from-home day ahead of time. Happily. Calm, peaceful, warm, and with a cat to kiss on breaks ... very nice. Plus I got laundry done, which is a needed bonus given that I didn't get to any last weekend and won't have much time this weekend, either.

Last night worked out very well. I tried a new, simple-looking recipe that turned out to be simple enough to do, and also good enough that I burned my tongue eating it. The book I mentioned was entertaining: it's an historical novel called Banquet of Lies, by Michelle Diener, and I liked it enough that I plan to check out more by the author (after my trip). And the Bruins? Well, after a slightly wonky first period, they slapped Montreal with a 4-1 loss, in Montreal, which was (for a Bruins fan) very fun indeed. They hadn't beaten Montreal in a while, and the rivalry goes back so far it feels like a bigger deal than just one game; it gets into the players heads, the "we can't beat these guys" thinking, and in case we meet them in the playoffs this year, that's a good thing to stamp out now.

There were a couple of moments that amused me in particular, based on the game being on NBCSN, which is national coverage and different announcers than our local station, NESN. For instance, Montreal had a long attack that kept the Bruins pinned in their zone for a long time, but they finally got it out, changed lines, and immediately scored (which is an awesome way to ruin your opponent's enthusiasm). The announcer mentioned that a couple of the Bruins who had just come off were on the bench, just exhausted, that they were "sucking dirty pond water," and I was all, what? What does that even mean? "Sucking air," sure, but dirty pond water? That's right up there with Jack Edwards' mysterious "can of corn" comment in puzzling me. (The latter is actually explained here and here ... but I still find it obscure.)

The other thing was related to my favorite, Patrice Bergeron. You know how I love to have him appreciated for all he does so well; well, they were talking about him between periods, and commentator Mike Milbury compared him to Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way." In addition to loving the well-deserved kudos, I love that Milbury, a guy often mentioned for the time as a player that he went into the stands and beat a fan with the guy's own shoe, knows who Mary Poppins is, and can quote her. (It also led to this in no time. I wonder how much shit Patrice will take for it?)

The Bruins play again tonight, so we'll see if they're on a roll or let down. Meanwhile, I have a totally unrelated question for you, based on this photo I took recently of a reflection on my fridge door.
It isn't a perfect capture of how it looked to the eye, but it's close. Weird, right? What do you see in it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Really Here Tonight

I always read at lunch, but what I read varies: it might be a book, a magazine, that morning's Globe that I didn't finish, blogs ... it depends. And just like one of the ways I know that I don't care enough about a book to finish reading it if I don't think about it after I put it down, one of the ways I know I picked a good book is if I keep thinking about it during the afternoon, wishing I could pick it up again.

Which is by way of apologizing (sorry, not sorry) for not writing more tonight (I know you're crushed). Dinner is in the oven, and after I eat, I will be grabbing my consolation cookies (the Girl Scout cookie order is delayed, but Christmas Tree Shop had Hobnobs) and reading, with the Bruins in the background. Gotta go, bye!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cat Note, More OSV Pictures

Carlos is soooooo happy now. He purrs and purrs, he stalks the red dot with concentration, and he doesn't skulk into rooms and stay along walls.

This morning, he walked casually around and past me, where I was sitting on the couch reading the paper. I picked him up and cuddled him onto my lap, and he settled down purring. Obviously I didn't get a picture, but if you imagine the world's most smug cat smile on his face, that was it.

Now, on to the rest of the photos from Old Sturbridge Village!
For instance, want to see what they used as a playpen?
The man told me that it's missing the strap that would have held the baby in, if you were wondering about the climbing out possibilities. As I did.

Now, how about some back pain?
Apparently stoves got progressively higher over the years. Ow.

Books! Printing! Second only to knitting in my interest level.
Beautiful furniture!
There were things in the store other than knitting. For instance, my chocolate radar also works:
And these were fun to imagine finding a use for.
Not technically knitting related. Or at least, only indirectly.
When we were on our way out, a little girl in this display demanded, "Someone take my picture!" I shrugged. Okay.
She looked at me, then said, "Someone else take my picture," and her family came back to corral her.

It was a pretty day.


Monday, March 10, 2014

On Monday, Reporting of Sunday

Some things about today:
  • It is Monday.
  • Due to the time change, my body thought I was trying to get up an hour early.
  • Even though I went to bed really early last night on account of being exhausted (more on why in a moment), this was very hard.
  • And it was snowing this morning.
  • A few minutes after my boss arrived at work, I found myself filling my water glass and thinking, "The momentary satisfaction would not be worth the long-term repercussions." Which is just not a good sign.
  • The good news is that it wasn't as frigid as it has been. In the office, I mean. It's still fucking cold out. And more snow forecast.
  • But unfortunately, my arthritis started bothering me in the afternoon for some unknown reason, so I passed on stitch and bitch, and came home after the chiropractor.
  • Also unfortunately, I reached a decision on the Yarn Harlot's talk on Wednesday, when she's at Brookline Booksmith, which is unfortunate because I don't feel up to going. I'd actually love to go, but the thought of figuring out the logistics makes me feel panicky. Objectively, it isn't hard, but I'm not that familiar with Brookline, I don't know how the parking is (though I suspect bad), and the only thing that Booksmith's website says about it is a note that the meters run until 8pm. Which is valuable information, but incomplete; if I get there at 6 and am lucky enough to find a spot, that isn't a snowbank, and then the meter only allows you an hour, I think I would melt down. Silly, but I just can't handle it right now. Damn it. I'll have to pick up her book on Saturday; one of the stores on the Yarn Crawl will have it, surely. Look ahead, think happy thoughts.
So that was my day! Down and up and down, and down. The extra sunlight when I left work was nice, but did not result in an extreme and sudden mood makeover.

The reason I was so tired last night is that I spent the day walking around Old Sturbridge Village with my friend and her kids, which was a lot of fun, but also quite chilly, and muddy*, and a lot of walking and standing and walking. I was home by 7, crashed on the couch to watch the end of the Bruins game (which started, oddly enough, at 5), and they won so that was nice, and still I was so tired I wanted to cry. Stamina? What's that?
*Should have worn boots! Live and learn.

It did give me some good pictures to share, though. Me being me, and like attracting like, there were a number of knitting-related moments, from knitting in display areas to information about the role of knitting at that time.
 

But let me tell you about my favorite moment. We went into the general store, and I looked into a case that displayed a variety of items, including fans, combs, jewelry, and then at one end, sewing and knitting items. At the end, there were these decorative sticks that reminded me of cases for chopsticks, which I was pretty sure they were not. See there, on the right?
So I asked what they were, and do you know what?
Needle protectors. Just like mine! Only really pretty, of course. How about that? My knitting radar was in fine form, all right.

I took non-knitting-related pictures too, but I am way too tired for more now. We'll have to stretch it out.