Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I am so ready for the fun part

I am in the condo. I am out of the apartment. Moved. Done.

Exhausted, in case that doesn't go without saying.

Unpacked? Ha. That will take time. But even in the functional but still boxy way it is now, I like this new place. I feel like I've been there for a while. It's comfortable. Exhaustion to the contrary notwithstanding, I think this was a good move.

The nice thing about the unpacking part of moving is that there are no external deadlines. My mother said it would be nice if I was done by my birthday (next October), but I think it will be done before then!


Anyway, the idea that I can sit down and read a book again if I want to is a charming one. Even normal chores like laundry will have, briefly, an unusual charm to them. And once my back gets over this shock, and I'm off the ibuprofin diet, I'll have more stamina for unpacking.

Because deciding where to put things is kind of fun! Or it can be, anyway. Or am I a dork? Well, you say tomato. I had the movers place the big items where I'm pretty sure they'll work well, but the small stuff, it's all me.

And that first word in my blog title? Knit? I actually did a little of that this week, at lunch-time at work. [There was no rational reason I couldn't have been doing so throughout the entire move, but I stopped when I reached that crucial too-stressed-to-destress point. You don't want to ruin what you're knitting (especially if it might be a Christmas present) by being so stressed your gauge goes kerblooey.] It felt good, in a cautious way. I even want to pick up that plain-vanilla crocheting I started in a fit of oh-my-sockiness. Of course, it's still packed. But I know roughly where it is.

And how are the cats taking it, you ask? Overall, pretty well, though I wouldn't say they're enjoying the experience. Here's Pan before the move:

He is in the Closet Where the Fishing Pole Toy Used to Live, aha open door at last, and is giving me the evil eye because where is it?

And after the move, the boys take comfort from each other in a sea of boxes:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's really mine

Or so they say. My over-tired brain is struggling with the idea of ownership. But everything's signed, including several forms stating that I'll sign new forms if need be, and it's "recorded", and I plugged in the fridge and hung curtains. And all things being equal, in 48 hours from now I will be fast asleep in my new condo. But I can't think that far ahead without stressing. I'm taking it bird by bird.

Happy Thanksgiving! What do you have to be thankful for?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ice cream

Must take a break from packing. Want to think about something other than packing. For something totally random, how about ice cream?

I was thinking about it last night. No, I don't know why. My brain is pretty much doing its own thing lately. Anyway, here are some thoughts about ice cream.

Most recent purchase: Turkey Hill Choco Mint Chip.
TH is good ice cream, and I like the 'lots of little flecks' of chocolate, instead of big honking chunks. Plus, it's green; mint chocolate chip is supposed to be green. Get that white away from me!

Overall favorite:
Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
I've always liked coffee ice cream, and with Heath Bars, well. Yum. Plus, I love the story of how B&J used to break the bars into the right size pieces (before the company got too big for such attention to detail). They froze the whole box, carried it up a six-foot ladder, and dropped it on the floor. Voila!

Local favorite: Ginger snap molasses from Rancatore's* (Lexington and Belmont, if you're around here).
Oh, so good! If you like ginger snaps or molasses cookies, it's for you. They don't always have it in stock, and I've been known to call ahead and check on it. Last time I was in, I tasted another flavor, I think it was Cinnamon Eggnog, and that might grow on me, too.
I tried "ginger" ice cream somewhere else, by the way, and was appalled: it was completely flavorless! Forget subtle, it was neuter. I didn't half finish it; waste of calories.
*Mum, that's the place we went last time, where you had to wait while they whipped fresh cream for you. Mmmmm.

I remember as a kid when the family trekked to Steve's, and there was always a long line, and you could watch the machine in the window churning out the latest batch. That was when mix-ins were a revolutionary idea.

They say that New Englanders eat more ice cream per capita than any other region of the country. I believe it.

All right, back to work!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How about that?

They won.

Four in a row. Huh. I'm pleased, in a surprised way.

Because of course, they did blow a lead (twice), and had to do it in OT (again), but still. They did it.

Well, go Bruins.

And, it was not Patrice Bergeron who had the game-winner, either. Which is a good thing, really; spread it around.

Less than a week now

I could talk about packing, but really today just boils down to "I did get stuff done, my head wasn't too bad, and I feel good about it", and I don't feel the need to go into it more than that (sorry to disappoint!).

Now, Harold had a traumatic experience that is much more blog-worthy. My landlord has put the house on the market (again: it didn't sell the last time he listed it, in 2005), and there was a showing today. The realtor came in with a nice older couple (older than me, is all I mean), and Pan was dancing around the kitchen trying to decide if he dared get close enough to sniff them (he has a very curious nose). One of them commented on how he wasn't running away, and I pointed out Harold, the lump under the blanket on the bed, and said that he would be thinking about whether he should run now. And the woman walked right up to the bed and lifted the blanket to pet him: she loves animals!

Well. Harold about had a heart attack. He is very skittish and very shy. We live on a dead-end street, so once a week the garbage truck backs down the street, beeping, to pick up, and though we have lived here for three and a half years, Harold still runs and hides from that noise. If he wants to come talk to you he might, but it's on his terms. Poor thing was so upset. He's actually very loving with me, and every pet-sitter I've ever had has raved about him: one called him "The Love Hog" for the way he threw himself down in front of her, begging for attention. But he decides, you know?

Finally, I ran across something that explains why I live in New England, despite not liking cold, and snow, and despite moving to NC (ohmigod, 12 years ago) to get warmer. Franklin posted about maybe moving away from Chicago, and got a ton of comments about where, and one of his commenters said:

"There is no place that is home unless you want it to be."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Countdown: 4 days to close, 7 to move

So the Bruins won again last night, making it three in a row for the first time since January. (They haven't won four in a row since 2004, so the odds of them winning tomorrow night are small, though as they say the game is played on the ice, not on paper, so we'll see, but I digress). They played pretty well, and didn't give up even when they were getting lots of chances and still not scoring, so that was heartening. And who scored the game-winning goal in OT? Well, who was the only one who scored in the shootout Wednesday? And who had the game-winning goal last Saturday? Why, Patrice Bergeron, of course. That's my boy.

Of course, they could be sucking me back into hope, only to dash me on the rocks of these-are-the-Bruins-after-all, but I can't really help myself.

I was so tired last night, I couldn't make myself stay up late packing. I told myself to relax a bit (though not too much), that the movers weren't coming for seven days, and I only work three of those days, so I have time, I have time. It's so overwhelming, moving a packrat. How do I own So Much Stuff? (Notice I don't ask why, just how.) But I am getting there, slowly. All the books in the living room (though not in the office) are packed, which is no small accomplishment. The living room is just about done, actually. But trust me, I'm not complacent.

I did just have to get a headache today, though, didn't I. This may be why I have felt so tired and low-energy, and it's certainly why I've had an upset stomach. It's a chicken-and-egg thing, the headaches and the way the rest of my body feels. I don't think my eyes have been fully open all day.

I hope I don't look the way I feel. I may resemble death inadequately re-heated, but maybe I just feel that way.

In any case, not much got done tonight, either. It isn't really a choice, when my head is like this: I can't do much. I'm hopeful that it's passing now, so with a good night's sleep, I'll be primed for a productive weekend.

It was warm-for-November today, low 60s, so I left a couple of windows open this morning. Tonight the cats had fresh-air fur. Mmmmm.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's full.

My brain, that is.

There was a Far Side cartoon where the kid in the classroom raises his hand and asks to be excused because his "brain is full", and that's where I am now. My brain is just not remembering things the way I want it to. I mean, I usually have to write things down if I want to remember them, but this is a new level. I'm getting tired of feeling stupid, as I forget words and names and what I was just about to do before I did this instead. I'm also tired of being this tired, and of being nervous about the closing, and of blowing off regular housework for packing, instead of blowing it off for reading (ahh, the good old days). I'm tired. But the end is in sight, I keep telling myself.

The Bruins won last night, if by won you mean managed to not fully blow it. They failed to completely screw up, is another way to put it. I am glad they won, I just get a little bitter when a team that was leading 2-0 ends up winning 3-2, in a shoot-out. At least they did win, but although I hate to sound greedy, could I request a game when they don't blow a lead? When they get ahead, stay ahead, and win in regulation? Is that asking so much?

Perhaps it is. I bring you this interesting little list from John Buccigross (ESPN):

Hockey Fact: Top Nine Active Stanley Cup Droughts:

1961 (44 seasons) -- Chicago Blackhawks
1967 (38 seasons) -- Toronto Maple Leafs
*1967 (38 seasons) -- Los Angeles Kings
*1967 (38 seasons) -- St. Louis Blues
*1970 (35 seasons) -- Buffalo Sabres
*1970 (35 seasons) -- Vancouver Canucks
1972 (33 seasons) -- Boston Bruins
*1974 (31 seasons) -- Washington Capitals
1975 (30 seasons) -- Philadelphia Flyers
(* -- have never won the Stanley Cup)

Since I just turned 38 last month, you can deduce that I only know of the Bruins' Stanley Cup days through the tales of others. I want to see it happen again, please! Although, hey, there are quite a few teams that have been around for a long time without ever having won it, aren't there? This surprised me. I also find a top nine list an interesting concept. I suppose the tenth team is less drastically pathetic, but one does wonder.

Finally, it is time to say good-bye to the Halloween M&Ms. I knew them well, too well. They were cute while they lasted.

See why you need a digital camera? How else would I capture important moments such as these?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When you want a really soft pillow...

... find your brother.

The glint in Pan's eye says that if it wasn't so much trouble, he would make me regret disturbing him with my pesky camera. Happily for me, meting out such punishment is almost always more trouble than he cares to go to. It just chases all the sleepy out of a cat, you know?

(And how cool are my Sandra Boynton sheets, by the way? Yes, skiing bears, of course, doesn't everyone?)

I saw the condo today, for the penultimate before-closing visit, and it's looking good: new window, new door, they've painted the hall ... good stuff. Now I must go pack to the Bruins game. Maybe they'll play well, maybe.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A gift for you, and my new best friend

Want a song stuck in your head?

It's the final countdown! (bah-dah-dah dah, bah-dah-dah dah dah)

Okay, so I never said I can sing. In fact, I've said I can't. Never mind. If you didn't catch it, be grateful, and move on.

Songs that have been stuck in my head today: Pixies, Jimmy Buffett, and the Heat Miser's song from The Year Without A Santa Claus. Eclectic, anyone?

Days to closing: 7

Days to moving: 10

Estimated remaining days of sanity: 2 (This may be optimistic.)

Now, math was never my best subject, but I have a hazy impression that there may be trouble ahead...

My new best friend is Ryan at Comcast, with whom I spent a far-more-pleasant-than-it-might-have-been half hour on the phone last night. Pending the arrival of their Person after I move, I should be set up for phone, cable, and internet in the new place. After all my waffling and poor attempts at decision-making on these issues (far too boring to detail), this feels like huge progress, and to have laughed through most of the conversation was an unexpected bonus. Thank you, Ryan, you made my night.

Today, however, was the longest day. Before lunch, I was ready for the end of the day. We do a catalog twice a year, and while I generally enjoy getting everything as good as it can be, at some point in each catalog prep process, I get sick of the whole thing (then I get my second wind). Today was that day--the sick of it day, not the second wind. (There is a valid reason why I didn't want to close in November, aside from my general preference for having things my way. This is one of two times a year when I'd like to not have big distractions.)

I had moderate success in mood management with the popular Comfort Eating strategy. In normal circumstances, I try to be aware of whether I am actually hungry before I eat, not just bored or upset or faced with something edible that I like. Desperate times, however, call for desperate eating.

If you like butterscotch-flavor things, by the way, let me recommend Mrs. Hanes' Moravian cookies. (You can order them online! Can you say impulse buy?) The other varieties that I've tried are good, but the butterscotch, ooh. Such a worthwhile expense.

Now, in addition to the million things I have to do, blogging one-handed is getting old (the other hand is playing tug-of-war with the I'm-so-neglected feline). Time to disappoint you and him, and go wash the dishes and, I don't know, pack something.

Monday, November 13, 2006

packing and more packing and is there anything but packing?

I actually, objectively, did get a lot of packing done over the weekend, but I'm in the stage where all I am aware of is how much I have yet to do. Every thought that crosses my mind starts with one of these:

"I have to..."
"I should..."
"I need to..."
"Don't forget about..."

It's amazing I'm still sleeping at night.

I packed the OED up, which is always perversely fun. I have to dip into most volumes to remind myself what the first or last word covered therein means, and "Volume I, A to Bouzouki" always makes me think of the Cheese Shop sketch from Monty Python, and John Cleese shouting, "Shut that bloody bouzouki off!"

Plus, I kept the boxes it originally came in, for just this purpose, and it all fits so neatly, each volume in its own box, 4 of the volume-boxes into a larger box, all labeled. (Who, me obsessive? Nah.) I lost one box to mildew in the basement, but fortunately the inner volume-boxes were fine, and I found a box in my collection that fits 4 volumes quite well. We adapt.

Last night, as I started to get frustrated, I gave in and packed some books. They're so good for packing, aren't they? Nice squares (okay, most of them are rectangles), same shapes and sizes. So much easier than other things. It made me feel like I got something accomplished, which is a feeling devoutly to be wished. And the cats were very good about encouraging me to take regular breaks, which is also important. I turned around at one point and Pan was sitting on the coffee table where I had been putting the boxes to fill. Who needs to speak English? I could tell he was suggesting that I take a break with a cat on my lap.

Speaking of cats, Laurie has a great cat photo in today's post, and in looking at it, a co-worker and I started talking about what would be on a cat's to-do list. Fun idea for another time... so far, I have this:

1. Do nothing.
2. Rest.
3. Run from one room to another at top speed, then stop and casually lick paw (or, for maximum effectiveness, butt).
4. Contemplate paw.
5. Rest.
6. Jump on That Other Cat as he walks by.
7. Rest.

Not so original, but fun!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In which the universe continues to mess with me

I mean really. What is up with this?

First, it's the book temptation. I've been pretty good about not reading much lately, in this Time of Packing, not reading nearly as much as I usually do (since that is a lot). I still read for a few minutes here and there, but I haven't picked up anything new, anything that I would be unable to put down because I have no willpower that way and thus would lose several hours of packing time, in a few weeks.

But then I got an e-mail from the library saying that the new Irene Kelly mystery I requested donkey's years ago (or at least several months ago) came in, come and get it! And I was tempted. And I checked it out. And, since I only get it for two weeks and The Big Move will not be over by then, I decided that I could read it at work, at lunch, being slightly anti-social but they'll forgive me, and I wouldn't even take it home with me at night. I started it at lunch Wednesday, and since I was going to grab dinner out that night between errands, I took it and read some more (what, like I'm the only person at Chili's reading with dinner? oh, yeah, I sure am). But I left it in the car that night, didn't bring it in to tempt me further. I was strong.

And I read it at lunch Thursday. And I was by then really into it, and I wanted to keep reading. Owie. The book addiction is a strong one. I took it with me after work Thursday, in case I had to wait before my haircut (but I didn't), and then I weakened and brought it inside and finished it over dinner and the start of the Bruins* game. So I was a little weak, but not a lot. I didn't lose hours of packing time to it. Now, though, it's Grey's Anatomy.

The backstory: in the spring, I was talking with another West Wing fan about what we were going to do without it, televisionally speaking, and how House is good but only one night, etc, and she asked if I watched Grey's Anatomy. I said I hadn't, and she suggested I try it. I got Season One from the library, and enjoyed it a great deal in a medical-soap opera way, but didn't want to start watching at the end of season two, since it's the sort of show you should watch in order if you want to know who's sleeping with who (whom) and that kind of thing. Season Two wasn't coming out on DVD until September, and while I was hoping to catch up on it in reruns over the summer, They decided in Their infinite wisdom not to run the reruns in any sort of order, which is just the sort of thing They do, isn't it? So I didn't watch. By the time the DVDs were out, I was into the whole moving thing, saving time for packing and money for moving, but I did request them from the library so I can catch up sometime, and I've been recording the third season episodes to watch someday.

The library e-mailed me: season 2 is on hold for me. Now? Two weeks to moving? I don't have time now! Even if I put it on while packing in the living room, that part of the packing won't take a whole season's worth of time. But if I re-request them, it will likely take months to get them again. Will I break down and buy them? Maybe, probably, sometime. Maybe an after-Christmas sale.

Still, the moral is that the universe has a sick sense of humor.

* The Bruins. Well. Let's just say, it's only now I notice that part of 'Bruin' is 'ruin'. Coincidence?

My bee-stung hand? It's 99% better, thanks for asking. It took a solid week for the swelling to go down, and the itching to stop being a total nuisance. Amazing. One odd thing is that the knuckle at the base of that finger is still red, but it barely hurts, so I don't mind much. I can still see the spot, and it itches once in a while, but finally I can think of other things (like my headache yesterday and this morning, but I won't go into that, except to say that I'm ready to sell my soul to never have another one, if you know anyone who could arrange that for me).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hey, that's what I said!

In writing about the Bruins on SI, Allen Muir said:
It's not just that they lose, it's that they trick the fans into thinking all is well right before they slip spectacularly on the banana peel.
Which is just what I said the other day.

The acne of moving

I don't suppose many people brag about how well they handle stress, but it surely isn't one of my best skills. (I try, Lord knows I try...) I spent most of yesterday morning feeling like I was forgetting something. (If I was, it eludes me still.) With all my notes and lists and calendars, it's getting harder just to keep track of all my memory-aids. I'm grateful not to have had more headaches recently, since stress is a trigger for those, but one thing I am seeing a lot of is acne.

Can we talk? Everyone who thought as a teenager that at least when you grew up, your skin would clear, raise your hand.

I thought so. Why did we all think this? Did we not notice adults with breakouts?

Okay, so we weren't really looking that closely at anyone but ourselves. Still, I am continually surprised by this. I'm 38! I keep my skin clean! I eat fairly well! (Anyway, isn't it a myth that chocolate causes breakouts?) Why do I look like the early stages of chicken pox? Not to be too graphic, but I have a zit right now that I could feel against my pillow when I turned my head this morning. I mean, ewww. Sorry, that's probably TMI (too much information). I'll stop there.

I ran a bunch of errands after work, one of them being the bookstore, and had to make myself leave. Some days I can go in and not find one thing I want to buy, but tonight I think I could have spent $500 without trying. Although, to give myself a little credit, not all of what I did buy tonight was for me (for once). Merry Xmas! Although it doesn't feel it. We may not have been having LA weather, but it was near 60 today ... and raining. And I foolishly or out of habit wore my winter coat today, which I didn't really need outside, and really didn't need in stores. The last few stores I just didn't bother with it, so I'm damp.

Is that TMI?

Anyway, time for some advanced kitty maintenance. Gotta go, bye!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting and blood and stuff

Oh, don't be morbid!

Used to be, you got a little sticker with a flag on it after you voted, didn't you? I didn't notice flag stickers this morning at my voting place. I'm not a morning person (stop laughing, Mum), so I could have missed them, but does anyone know if they still give those out? They always reminded me of the stickers the Red Cross used to give out when you donated blood, that said "be nice to me, I gave blood today", or more pathetically, "be nice to me, I tried".

I say used to, though they may still, because I got blacklisted by the Red Cross years ago, for having spent a year in England: mad cow! Stay back, we don't want your blood anymore! My feelings are still hurt by that, actually. I sneer a bit when I hear about blood shortages. I understand they have to have standards, but it's a little random, if you ask me. No, I never said I was a particularly nice person.

I guess this makes it official: the Bruins are doing so badly (of course they lost last night, what did you expect?) that has written an article about it. Quotes to note:
"the NHL's poster team for disarray"
"Imagine Groundhog Day meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
Whew, tell it!

Our new GM says that he'd already decided to give the team a quarter of the season to assess the situation and progress. If he means that, then they have a few more games before heads start rolling. They changed so much in the off-season, practically everything is new except for a few players and Rene Rancourt* (unfortunately). I wonder where they'd start? I mean, for all the changes that were made, the team looks amazingly like it has the past 10-15 years. That is not a compliment.

*He 'performs' the anthems at the Garden. He's an odd duck. I just found an interview with him during the lockout, when he said of singing the anthem, "I very rarely get it right, and that's why I like it. The challenge is very stimulating. There have been maybe 10 times in my career when I think I sang it really well." Isn't that interesting? I can't argue with his number, either.

They did send Hannu Toivonen down to Providence today (poor P-Bruins, hope it's his luck that changes and not theirs). We'll see how Brian Finley fills the net in Boston, assuming he plays (and since Tim Thomas has only been better than Hannu, not all that good, he probably will). From his stats, he's been fairly successful at the AHL level. A whole two games in the NHL doesn't mean much, so we won't hold those numbers against him.

They get younger every year, don't they? He was born in 1981. I remember 1981.

One more hockey-related peeve, that is honestly not really sour grapes, or at least not completely. I noticed this in Atlanta last night, but it's happening at more and more arenas around the NHL. The home team scores, and one of those godawful loud horns blares and blares. Really, it isn't just because it means my team gave up a goal that I hate them. It's obnoxious! It's rude and sneering and obnoxious. Atlanta also flashes a strobe light over the goal (and the goalie, just in case he didn't notice that he gave up a goal). Horrible.

At least we don't do that in Boston. What I dislike there is that, after the announcer has, in a relatively serious or at least controlled fashion, announced the stats about the goal, he concludes with a sudden and really weird cry of "Wooo!" Which the crowd (or most of it) then echoes. Why? Can anyone explain that to me? Why did the golden-voiced Joel Perlmutter have to leave? He never did strange stuff like that.

I just googled him and found that he died a few years ago, which is sad to learn. He had a beautiful rich voice.

Now, I have better things to do tonight than stay here blathering about the can't-win kids. I'm moving in two weeks. Must dash!

I voted today ...

... did you?

Monday, November 06, 2006

countdown, etc

First, I know you've all been wondering, so I'll come out with it: my hand is getting better. The swelling is going down, and though the itching resurfaces regularly, it's an improvement. What an ordeal! I'm not sure how much I'll panic the next time a bee comes near me, but it's safe to say I won't handle it well. Perhaps I can find a little locket with space to carry a Benadryl always with me ... or is that overreacting? :)

So, two weeks from tomorrow is the condo closing (I hope). What happened to this fall? I blinked, and here we are, two weeks to Thanksgiving. I may have to read back to see what I've been doing: blog as memory-jogger. I'm trying to walk the line between being prepared too far in advance, and not being ready for the movers when they come (my usual course of inaction). We'll see how I'm doing as the time ticks down.

Now, in unrelated news, I read something recently that appalls me. Listen to this:
"Studies have shown that over 60% of low-income children don't have a single book at home; in a typical low-income neighborhood, there is only one book per 300 children."
Isn't that awful? I've been more worried about giving a book to a child who already has it; what a sheltered life I lead. Go here to learn more, and consider doing something, if you are so inclined. Thus endeth the lesson for today.

One of my after-work errands tonight was to Building 19, which if you are unfamiliar is a great place to find bargains (they buy irregulars, damaged goods, mixed lots, basically odds and ends). It isn't a good idea to go with anything particular in mind, at least if you would be disappointed not to find what you want, but you can find amazing deals on things if you're willing to wander. After looking at the items I went for, that I saw in the circular, I did some browsing, didn't find a couple of things on my general need-to-buy list, and then scored!

They had some kids books in a messy pile, and I picked up what seemed to be the only copy of the unabridged Chronicles of Narnia on CD, actually on 31 CDs, read by fabulous people like Kenneth Branagh and Michael York. Original publisher's price, $75 ($192 value, says the box). Interim markdown somewhere, $45.48. I paid $9.98, yes ten bucks for this fabulous set. Whew! I'm giddy.

In closing, I give you Pan-in-a-box (so far, he likes moving!):

and Harold-on-the-bed:

Off to root for the Bruins. Could they win two in a row? Wouldn't that be crazy?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Make yourself comfortable, maybe get a drink, this will be a long one

It isn't that they lost, it's how they lost.

I expected the Bruins to lose Thursday night. Sorry for the pessimism, but the way they've been playing, and the opponent being Buffalo (again), it's a reasonable expectation. When the top of the league plays the bottom of the league, guess who usually wins? I told more than one person that I was sure they'd lose, and they did.

But the Bruins still suckered me, because they outplayed Buffalo, right from the beginning, until with less than 10 minutes left, they imploded. They were ahead 4-1, and lost in the shootout (stupid shootout; a team sport shouldn't be decided that way). They got me. Again. I am one sad hockey fan. Even if I didn't have other plans tonight, I think it would have been a night to watch something else and just check the score every once in a while. Yeesh. I'm not asking for them to win the Stanley Cup, but could they suck a little less thoroughly, please?

Actually, the relative merits of the two teams were only part of why I predicted the loss. I was having such a bad day, I didn't see how any other outcome was possible. But I would have loved to be proven wrong.

Because actually, it wasn't a great week. Remember the reference I made Monday about hearing Gary Larson's angels? That was my Monday.

Gary Larson, of course, is the guy who did the Far Side cartoons. In The Prehistory of the Far Side, he told a story about how he was working in a record store when angels came down from on high and in glorious lilting voices they sang, "You hate your job, you hate your job", and he knew that it was true 'because angels don't lie'. Ever since I read that, I've referred to a really bad day at work as hearing Gary Larson's angels. Monday was the closest to that kind of day that I've had at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, and it wasn't that it was a bad day so much as an annoying one. We lost power, there were printer problems, it was just one niggling little thing after another.

I didn't realize that the week was just getting going.

On Wednesday, the weather was so nice, we ate lunch outside. There were a number of bees around, and conversation was repeatedly interrupted by shrieks and waving hands. After I finished eating, I moved to another table, in the sun, and was talking to someone else when one of my coworkers alerted me to the fact that there was a bee on my hand. I moved my hands, and it stung me.

Well. How long has it been since I was stung by a bee? Thirty years, maybe? I was shocked at how much it hurt! It was painful right away, and then for the rest of the day, I got repeated stabs of red-hot agony in my finger. It was so bad that I was crying from the pain by bedtime. Thursday it was more aching, and swollen, and Friday yet more swollen, and my hand so itchy, it used up all my willpower to not scratch the top layer of skin off. Fortunately, I already had a doctor's appointment Friday afternoon, so I could take him this problem, too. (He said either an infection or an allergic reaction would cause this, and he didn't think it was an infection because it wasn't that red. He gave me a prescription that 'might help', and when I asked about a topical product, said that Benadryl cream works for some people. One or the other seems to be helping the itch, though the swelling hasn't gone down a bit, and I still can't bend my finger all the way. Lordy.)

Also on Wednesday, I had some car trouble, which wouldn't be such a big deal except this car was new in April, and I have higher hopes for its longevity. Plus, I hate the service department at the dealership. Hate them, hate them, hate them! They talk the talk about how important my satisfaction is to them, but I don't believe it. I haven't had one good experience there yet, and why should I keep trying? This is 128 Mazda/Ford in Wakefield, by the way: avoid them! I don't have any reason to doubt the quality of the work they do, but their service is awful. It took them two hours Thursday morning, not to fix the problem, not even to diagnose the problem, just to get me into a loaner to get to work. Two Hours! I'll put "find a garage/mechanic" on my to-do after I move list. Anyone around here have a recommendation?

So what with all this, and having to change my close date again (just by a day this time, but still), I thought that perhaps yesterday would be a good time to start drinking. I've seen commercials for a new Bailey's with caramel, and I am fond of caramel in most all forms, so I stopped in a liquor store to see. Fortunately, they had it in the tiny bottles, because I tried it and don't like it. The boozy bite! I'm just not a drinker. The flavor wasn't bad, but I don't like the kick. I'm so glad I didn't buy a full-size bottle, since it would have been a waste of money. And not a small amount of money! I've saved a ton over the years, not drinking.

Now, I must get going, since I have a lot to do today, and with less than two hands (though more than one, really; one-and-a-half, maybe). At least the sun's out. And just to be Pollyanna for a minute, there is a way this week could easily have been much worse. I didn't have a headache. That really would have been the last straw.