Friday, April 30, 2010


The song of the day is this:

Unless it's this?

You pick!

And why is that, you ask? Why am I linking to songs with lyrics about being free, and going from misery to happiness?

Early release from the asylum That is, today was my last day of work after all. Out, done, gone! Whew. Here's the story line so far:

Today is the day I originally gave notice for. Plenty of notice.

My boss then asked me to stay another week, and caught by surprise, I agreed. But they didn't actually need me for anything more (I think I was asked as a test, which I therefore failed but oh well, I never was that good at power plays and mind games).

This week, I was talking to my boss about how, since I trained The New Guy on everything, and how he was therefore doing all the work, it felt a little pointless to be staying on next week, both for me to do and for the company to be paying me. She went to her boss to see about releasing me from the extra week, and he apparently went off on how if I haven't solved world peace*, how can I say I don't have anything to do?

*Not actually world peace, but a big long-term project that I was not authorized to complete on my own, and which in fact he is the one working on. Jerk.

So I told myself that I could leave any time if anything went particularly kablooey, but otherwise resigned myself to "working" next week ... and this morning my boss told me that he told her I could leave today after all. I barely reacted at first, I was so surprised, but when it sank in, what a relief.

And the weather was much improved today. Temps of 70s, very windy but mostly sunny, not bad at all.

And I went to Wilson's after work and they had peas! From California, and not the best ever, but boy still pretty good, first of the year.

And raspberries, on sale and smelling divine.

And some corn on the cob (I'm finally remembering to try Leslie's way of cooking it).

When asked what I will do next week, I replied, "Sleep late." If you want me Monday morning, I'll be singing this in my sleep:

P.S. Go Bruins, go Bruins!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let me sum up:

hockey, work, headache theory, flowers, cats, knitting

So it's the Big Bad Bruins meeting the Broad Street Bullies!

Sorry. The Globe mentioned that Boston and Philly haven't met in the playoffs since 1978, and I had a flashback to the 70s there.

Game 1 is Saturday at 12:30 in Boston; the early start is apparently to accommodate the Kentucky Derby, and yeah we finished sixth and have home ice in the second round, how weird is that? This is one strange year in the playoffs so far.

Go Bruins, go Bruins!
(Sorry, Kate.)


Work right now is like being on call, or what I imagine what it would feel like to be on call. I have to be there, but it hasn't been busy, and I don't feel inclined to find long-term projects to fill the time. I'm there for when my replacement has questions, or to check his work, but he doesn't have that many questions and he's been doing fine, so I haven't really been working hard, I have to admit.

Say, did you know that at Project Gutenberg, you can read books online, free?

I read, or rather skimmed through, a book on headaches recently, which proposed a rather radical diet scrub to remove all possible food triggers. The idea is that any one of these many types of food could be triggering your migraines, so you remove them all, then you can gradually reintroduce them one at a time to see if they actually are a problem. It's a little extreme, but in theory I don't disagree with it. Also, I appreciate that someone believes there is a connection between my headache tendencies and the stiff, "crunchy" feeling at the back of my neck.

However. In practice, the idea just about gives me hives. I have enough trouble managing everyday tasks, laundry and dishes and grocery shopping and cooking and preparing and storing and holy cow. Just balancing healthy eating and the budget taxes me. I can't imagine working around not eating anything with:
  • chocolate
  • caffeine
  • MSG
  • nuts and nut butters
  • vinegars (including ketchup!)
  • onions
  • citrus fruits and raspberries
  • fresh bread products
  • beans
  • much dairy (cheese, yogurt)
The only way I could possible handle that diet was if someone else prepared it all for me, and all I had to do was eat it. Even then, I would miss everything, but I think it would be worth trying to see what results it had. (Though I shudder to think of giving up so many things for 4 months, which is what he advises.) In the world where I live, it's just not going to happen.

I mean, let's talk about chocolate. I love chocolate. Love it. Yet if I knew that it would always give me a headache, would I eat it? No. Even if I knew that giving up chocolate would mean I never got another headache, that would be worth it. But to give it up because sometimes it gives me a headache? Yeah, not so much. Some things make life worth living.

If you're wondering, I refuse to follow the advice given to people with seasonal allergies, too. Minimal time outside, don't open windows at home or in the car ... why don't I just shut myself in a box and never come out? I'd be "safer" there.

My, am I grumpy lately or what? You'd never know that I've been enjoying all the flowers and slowly-improving weather. I mean, daffodils and forsythia I really only like for being harbingers of Spring, but crocus and tulips and now lilacs?


Also a certain furball makes me happy.

A boy and his bear.

Even his sister was amusing me yesterday, rolling on the floor trying to catch her tail.

And I started swatching for the next pair of socks. Socks That Rock may call their yarn Goody Goody; I will call it rainbow sherbet.

So, you know, in case you were worried? It's not all bad here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cranky! grump grumble

Here are some reasons why I'm cranky:
  • The weather. It's been in the 40s today, cold and blowy and raining. It is supposed to improve over the next few days--but they were saying 80s this weekend and now they're saying 70s! This is why I should never watch the weather forecast. I feel cheated of degrees of warm.
  • Work. I am everloving sick of the place, and even with only seven days left, it is wearing on me.
  • My hands are hurting. Slight flare-up of the tendinitis I had last fall, with possibly some arthritis flare-up as well. Ow, damnit. And it means I have to cut back on the knitting, when I'd like to be plowing ahead. Argh.
  • Car insurance. I got my renewal notice from Progressive today, and boy are they progressing! My premium went up 27%, based on who knows what as nothing has changed in the last 6 months. Now I have to shop around, which is a total PITA. Grrr.
And ... I think that's all, actually. I shall go apply a hockey game to my temper and see if it helps. I'm not actually rooting for either team*, which makes for an interesting viewing experience.

*I usually like to root for the underdog in these situations, but it's very hard for a Bruins fan to root for Montreal, no matter what.

In conclusion, and totally randomly: Go Bruins, go Bruins.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hockey and Work and please send warm weather

Of course I was very pleased and excited when the Bruins won last night, defeating Buffalo to move on to the second round. I was also laughing out loud, thanks to a few new lines from the very excited Bruins announcer Jack Edwards (listen here):
"The Sabres' hopes sleep with the Edmund Fitzgerald", really?
"Snowball one, hell zero" I quite like.
Now, I will admit to being slightly, but only slightly, superstitious. I don't exactly believe it ... but I'll knock on wood anyway (though frequently, I'll knock on my own head when wood is not available, so perhaps that doesn't count). But I don't worry about black cats or Friday the 13th, and the only reason I won't walk under a ladder is because I'm claustrophobic and clumsy, two traits which don't go with confined spaces. (I'm always bumping into door frames and table edges and the like. Ow.)

And yet. Last Monday I wore a Bruins t-shirt with a Bruins oxford, and Bruins socks (yes, I do have Bruins socks). The Bruins won Monday night.

On Wednesday I wore my Bruins hooded sweatshirt over a hockey t-shirt (it says Give Blood, Play Hockey), and Bruins socks (yes, I have 2 pair!). The Bruins won Wednesday night. In fact, they won in OT, so on Thursday I wore my Cows t-shirt showing hockey-playing cows, with the header "Team Moo pumped up for sudden death overtime."

On Friday, since I hadn't done laundry during the week, I wore nothing hockey-related. And the Bruins lost.

So if you think I wasn't wearing Bruins apparel yesterday, well, wrong. I'm not into jinxing my favorite team.

And, it worked! Or at least, the Bruins won, which is what counts. On to round two, against a team to be named later (either Pittsburgh or Philly, depending on the result of Montreal-Washington in their game 7 tomorrow). Maybe starting as soon as Friday!

I'll have to do some laundry again.

Sunday night I slept badly. Lots of dreams, cats jumping over me and only mostly missing my head ... it seemed like I woke up a hundred times.

One of my dreams was that I was at a restaurant near work, in fact the one where my department is taking me for a farewell lunch next week. It's a place with a buffet, and in the dream after I got my food, I found myself sitting at a table alone. One of the managers came over to get me back to the company table, but he was trying to get a man at the next table to come too, and I was objecting because the man didn't work for the company. Then I was out in the parking lot and everyone else had left, and I was going to call someone to come back and give me a ride, but then someone came along who said she was a friend of a former employee and she could give me a ride.

And I tell you this not because I think it's fascinating, but because when I mentioned it at work, someone said that it sounded like I was having separation anxiety. And I was taken aback: I interpret it as wanting separation from a place that won't let me go! I want to separate, to sit at a different table, and they're not letting me.

What do you think it means?

Also, I heard today that that manager is not going to come to the lunch, because he's "disappointed" that I'm leaving the company during this busy project. Un-huh. So does he think he's punishing me? Because I think he's kind of a jerk, and I'm pleased if he doesn't come.

The weather is supposed to warm up by this weekend, but I don't know if I can wait that long. It's rainy and cold today, and brr. Please send warm thoughts.

And energy. Why am I so tired, so early? So falling-down-dead-in-a-fit-of-tears tired?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Year Later, if you can believe it

I can't start this by saying anything along the lines of how time flies, because the last year has not flown. It was at times painfully slow, in fact, and though not all bad, much (much, much) of it was less than optimal, shall we say. Still, I just can't believe it has been a year since my dad died. It still feels impossible. That's not funny, I want to say. Cut it out. Bring him back.

I had a dream recently where my mother and I were somewhere, and Dad wandered by, and I wasn't sure it was him because he looked so lost. That's not something he ever used to look like. Mum knew it was him, though, and then the dream went somewhere else in the way dreams do. It made me sad, in a nagging, back of the mind way. I didn't recognize my dad, because that wasn't what he was like, all my life. I miss the man he was, the part of my life he filled.

The difference from a year ago, I guess, is that sometimes I can forget the hole is there. Other times, of course, I still fall right into it.

I think that from now on, three days a year will be particularly, or rather predictably* bad: his birthday, the day he died, and Father's Day.

*Any day can be a bad one, but some are more than likely to be.

That said, today wasn't a bad day. I went to the grocery store, did laundry, watched some non-Bruins hockey with a cat sleeping on my lap, made dinner, and even got to open a window for a while. Really not that bad.

For a bad day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hockey Mishap

I don't know if you have to be a hockey fan to find this so funny, but I have tears in my eyes. Chicago's Antti Niemi made a save and afterward, they couldn't find the puck in his equipment! For minutes! It got stuck! Please, go watch it and tell me if you find it funny.


I mean, the referee searching the pants ... that's when I started laughing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday thoughts of working, hockey

I may not be the most stylish person around (I heard you--yes, you over there, the one choking, stop it), but I'm actually not sure whether it's a point for me or against me that I don't usually build my outfit around my socks. Today, however, for the first wearing of my new socks, I did in fact carry the socks to my closet and see what went with them. (Other than jeans, obviously.)

Again, I'm not quite sure what I should be apologizing for here, but for some reason I feel apologetic.

My recent work history is filled with change. When I moved back to Massachusetts in 2003, I signed up with a couple of temp agencies. I did one short (day-plus) job, then started the job I was at for a couple of years before the layoff. I job-searched briefly in the fall of 2004 before being extended; then again and for real in the summer/fall of 2005. After getting laid off from that job, I was searching again in the summer/fall of 2008. I have a point here, I promise: what's interesting me is how I've seen the technology of the job search process change in such a relatively short period of time.

In 2005, it was kind of a funny, unexpected thing that people contacted me after seeing my resume on Monster. Applications could still be made through the actual mail, as well as sent by e-mail. There were lots of job ads in the newspapers, but you could also sign up to have those ads e-mailed to you based on your keywords. In fact, that's how I found the job that I got: an e-mail of an ad from a newspaper (though not in the Globe, so I wouldn't have actually seen it in the physical paper I read).

In 2008, I was mostly applying through e-mail. There were fewer ads in the paper, too. I found my job through a recruiter who saw my resume on-line.

In 2010, the ads in the paper are kind of a joke, a few pages of mostly nursing and educator positions. Instead of e-mail, every company seems to want you to apply through their own website (and the interfaces are without exception tremendously annoying to use). Of course, it remains to be seen how I will find my next job.

One tool I've been thinking of using this time is business cards. I hesitate because I'm not sure they're necessary, and I am being very stringent with the non-essential spending until I have a new job and its attendant paycheck, but I can see how it might be useful to have a form of "here's my contact info" before the "handing over the resume" step. What do you think?

And if I do get them, what do I want them to say? "Proofreader" is good but might be slightly self-limiting; "Wordsmith" speaks to me but might seem too cutesy to an employer (though at the interview for my proofreader/copy writer position, the manager did say they were looking for a wordsmith, so perhaps if you're looking for one, the word wouldn't turn you off?). "Proofreader/Copy Writer/Editor"? I want to go for creative without being too much. Suggestions? Thoughts? Guide me, please!

Mr SVP gave me the oddest look this morning, the exact sort of smirk I would expect him to have if I announced that I changed my mind and would like to stay on at work, please. The thing is, I am never going to say that. Is that really what he was thinking, or am I anthropomorphizing? Perhaps it was just his being pleased that someone else, a person he reportedly did not like, gave her notice today? I really don't know.

The New Guy was in a long meeting* this morning, resulting in an unexpected peaceful period at my desk. He came out reporting that one of things about the new project that was supposed to be taken off was now to be put back on. I kind of wanted to laugh, and I refrained from telling him that dude, they change their minds All The Time here. It's like being managed by someone with the attention span of a 2-year-old.

*I wasn't invited to it, didn't even know about it, and if you're wondering if that hurt my feelings, well hell no. I'm glad they're divorcing themselves from me, as I am from them. I'd far, far rather spend a quiet hour at my desk cleaning out my in-box of two-year-old e-mails than sit in a meeting trying to look and sound as if I cared the slightest bit about the project. Whew. I can tell you, I'm never giving more than a two-week notice again.

Of course I hope the Bruins win tonight, though I won't panic if they don't. More than winning, though, I want them to play well. As the announcers love to say at this time of year, hockey is a game of mistakes. I hope the Bruins don't make too many.

And whatever happens, I can sleep in tomorrow! Ah. It's the simple things in life.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh My (Darling) Bruins!

At the end of the third period of last night's Bruins game, when the score was tied and it was heading to overtime after a great Bruins third period, the Garden PA played this song:

Then it played this one:

The first overtime period moved fast, with few whistles. Both sides played hard and got chances, both goalies made impossible saves, nothing went in. Before I knew it, the period was over, and the game went into a second overtime.

And in that overtime, Buffalo got called for too many men (not a small thing to a Boston fan, shades of Montreal [shudder]), and Miroslav Satan made it happen, woo! Leading of course to fun headlines based on his name (he pronounces it Sha-TAHN, but of course that's not what it looks like). Such as: Satan Rewards Those Who Stay Up Too Late. Actually, I liked the one at Miro Worship.

Yay Bruins! The "leading the series 3 games to 1" Bruins, that is. You know, the "17-1 when leading a series, 3-1" Bruins. And of course, knock wood, the "we're not counting our chickens, O Fates, but just enjoying the moment" Bruins. Game 4 tomorrow night. Be there or be ... in front of a TV watching*.

*Yesterday that SVP, seeing my Bruins sweatshirt, made what I'm sure he thought was pleasant conversation. He asked if I knew that the CEO has season tickets to the Bruins? Yes, right behind the bench. Nice.

I got in bed at 10:45, but had to read for a while to settle down enough to even try to sleep.

I thought, as I often do when I'm falling asleep, about three good things that happened that day. Easy: Bruins won, I finished my sock, and the weather was lovely. Then I thought about how only one of those was within my control (vigorous, encouraging Bruins-game-watching postures to the contrary notwithstanding), so I went on to three good things that happened that I did have control over: finished knitting the sock, applied for a job...I had trouble thinking of a third one. I did, eventually, but now I don't remember what it was. Still, a good day.

At lunch today, a bunch of us ate outside, because the weather was gorgeous. Naturally enough, it started to turn into a bitch session about the company, and I do understand that, but I left the picnic table and went to lie on the grass in the sun a little ways away. Because the stupid stuff the company does can still get to me if I let it*, and I don't want to let it.

*Paying who-knows-how-much to make a conference room luxurious, fancy table and new paint and large pictures on the walls, while nickle-and-diming office supply orders. For folders. Just for example.

Besides, it was really nice in the sun. Beautiful day. Wanted to stay out there all afternoon.

Ohh, I can't tell you how slowly the days are going. How much I want to pull out a book or my knitting at my desk.

I did bring the socks out for a photo shoot in the sun.

More on them to come: they deserve a full post to themselves.

The inchworm, on the other hand, folds right into this post.

The New Guy asked me today what people from Massachusetts call themselves. (He's most recently a Minnesotan.) And I couldn't think of anything. Bostonian, sure, if you're from around Greater Boston. But Massachusian? No. Massachusettsian? No. What am I overlooking? New Yorker, Floridian, Californian...

Of course, there's always Masshole, but that tends to be applied to us by outsiders. I'm an American, a New Englander, and ... what?

Finally, the thought for the day: why is a chicken salad sandwich, a tuna salad sandwich, even an egg salad sandwich perfectly normal, while a pasta salad sandwich is a really weird idea?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Work thoughts, 3 month Carlos-versary

At work, I've been training someone on all the stuff I do. He's a new guy, and he may not end up doing all of it, but he's here and that's what they told me to do. He's not a bad guy, though he thinks he's funnier than he is, in my opinion. Anyway, he's nice enough, pretty smart, very cheerful (very, very cheerful), interested in the company's products (much more than I am, in fact), and basically makes me feel jaded and old and super-grouchy. I've had to bite my tongue a few times, in order to stop myself from saying bad things about the company, even vague things like, "Wait until you've been here a while, you'll see why I'm like this."

This morning on the way to work, I was singing along to the radio, and these lyrics really seemed to say it:
I started out clean but I'm jaded
Just phoning it in.
Anyway! I have not said many things, will continue to not say them, and no doubt he will learn in time. Meanwhile, he's doing fine*, and I get to leave after 12 more days. Eyes on the prize.

*I am getting really tired of having him walk into my cube all the time, though; it turns out, I'm a bit territorial. These things are not big enough for two, and I get claustrophobic. He has his own cube across the aisle, but he'll jump right in to "my" space and I want to tell him to back off, he's breathing all my air. He's just doing the work, I know, he has to do some of it at my desk, but give me room! And it kind of creeps me out to come back to my desk and find that he's been on my computer (for a valid work reason, but still). And though objectively I'm sure it's not true and why should I care if it is, I feel like he's judging me, my conduct and attitude and general lack of enthusiasm for working here. Sigh. My head is a neurotic place.

For the sake of the company, though, it is scary how many people have commended me on leaving, said they wished they could leave, confided that they're looking, said fervently how they understand why I'm leaving, and so on and on. My boss is at the same place of desperation I was before I gave notice, with only her mortgage holding her back from giving notice herself. Perhaps the upper management will turn things around, but I get no sense that they are aware there is a problem. And that is a huge problem.

But it isn't my problem.

I still don't know why they asked me to stay on another week. I asked my boss, and she said that "they" asked her to ask me to. But what difference does it make? Was it just a test to see if I was committed to leaving? New Guy has the basics down, and only experience will give him more than that. He's already doing most of my work, which means I feel like I'm sitting around with nothing to do but "supervise" him. It's extremely boring. Boring is better than infuriating, I guess ... but it's infuriating that I'm here being bored! Just let me leave, people.

Someone at work made a contribution to the candy dish on my desk: Lindt truffles, white chocolate inside milk chocolate. I think they're yummy, though I get that not everyone likes white chocolate. ("It's not even really chocolate!" they exclaim, as though I have never heard this and will immediately apologize for my heresy--and nerve.) The thing is, this is free for anyone who wants some, no one is forcing you to have some, and when they ask what something is and then make a horrible face about it, it makes me want to say, "Oh, I'm sorry, is this free candy not to your taste? How can I make it up to you for this tragic calamity*? Please, tell me what I can do."

*Repetitive redundancy alert!

I think it's safe to say that I have no problem providing a candy bowl, but the attendant human issues are wearing me down. It's also safe to say that at my new job (when I get one), I will not be putting out candy, at least not right away.

It's now three months since I got Carlos, and he's doing so well! I really love having him here, having a lap cat again, a cat who welcomes being petted and wants to curl up next to me. I'll always miss Harold, I still miss Pan, but Carlos is a love, and I'm happy to have him.

He was about a hundred times more relaxed and laid back on Day One than Miri ever has been, but there are signs that he is more comfortable living here now than he was at first. He went from staying on the perch in the office most all the time, to venturing cautiously out to explore and quickly retreat, to finding other spots he likes and gradually feeling safe in them. The night-time yowls that led to his being closed into the office have long stopped. He'll play with Miri, or warn her off if he's not in the mood, without seeming either scared or over-aggressive.

He likes to be on the bed, on the corner where he can look out the window (and woe betide any who try to close the curtain, woman, I have to look out! yes, even at night!). At first, he very much wanted me to be there with him: when I got in bed, he would be right behind me, and sometimes when I was getting ready for bed, and going in and out of the bedroom getting things, he kept following me hopefully in and sadly out again, all but asking when I would settle down finally? Now? How about now?

He didn't like to stay there without me, at first: if I got up, he got up. Slowly, though, this is changing. When I got up, he would sometimes stay there. For a few minutes, or for a while. And finally, I saw him on the bed when I hadn't led him there. Not only that, but Miri was there, too. A safe foot away, but still. (I could tell she was lying there sending powerful love-and-snuggle-me rays toward him, but so far he's unbending on that point.) Now, if he's not there when I get in bed, he usually comes along, but he'll also go there of his own accord, curl up, look out.

He's also started to come along when I'm on the couch, and look for a lap, considering my suggestion and jumping up, rather than just accepting it if I pick him up. It's so nice to have a cat on my lap.

Now I'm off to that couch to watch Game 4! The Bruins blog from the Globe had an encouraging stat this morning for the Bruins, who lead the series 2 games to 1: "All-time, the Bruins are 21-8 when they have led 2-1." Doesn't that sound good? Go Bruins, go Bruins!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday recaps Monday

You guys rocked the snapdragon question! Thank you for helping me bridge the "of course I know what a snapdragon is, it's a flower" gulf. They're pretty, aren't they? As soon as someone asked what they were, I said, "I don't know, but I bet the blog will know." You guys are so smart--wicked smart, as we say around here.

Does anyone notice when I miss posting for a day? Last night got away from me, in a very good way. I was planning to go, and looking forward to going, to my stitch and bitch group, especially what with the knitting progress I've made recently and all, but I heard yesterday that friends were going to be in from out of town, and jumped at the chance to have dinner with them.

It's quite exciting: they're scouting out the area to move back to this summer! Yay for friends moving closer. I got a nice catch-up chat and a really good dinner, and made it home in time for the start of the second period. The Bruins played so well! And won! I call that a very successful evening, missing SnB to the contrary notwithstanding. (And then I went right to bed, bad blogger.)

At one point in the third period, the organist at the Garden was playing the little "tune" that has the crowd chanting, "Here we go, Bruins, here we go!" Usually there's a double-beat between repetitions, and people either clap, or stomp, or just pause. But last night, they were celebrating our good goaltending thusly:
Here we go, Bruins,
Here we go!
It was fun. Really, watching them play well is so great. Flashback to last season! Game 4 is tomorrow: go Bruins, go Bruins!

Work continues to be as it has been. The SVP tried again yesterday to guilt me about leaving. (He was supposed to be in Italy this week. Stupid volcano: now it's personal.) Not going to happen, sir, no matter how often you ask.

Thirteen days left! That's working days, by the way: I confused someone today who thought I meant calendar days. I am counting down the number of days I have to drag myself out of bed and go to the loony bin, that's all.

Barely past 7:30 and I'm yawning my head off. Time for dinner, and take out the recycling, and maybe read a little, and bed. Woo-hoo, do I know how to live!

What are you doing tonight? Anything fun?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Night Photoblogging: Bring On The Random

I feel certain there was some coherent story I planned to tell here, or, well, something with coherence involved in some way, but, well, not so much. I had a laid back relaxing-through-cramps weekend, meaning not much was accomplished, and I seem to have lost some brain cells along with it. Making do with what I have, here are a bunch of photos, which won't make a narrative, but hopefully will tell some sort of tale. Maybe.

Yarn! I'm closing in on the end of the current pair of socks (started sock one in July and sock two in January, yikes), so I'm looking at what might be the next pair. So many possibilities!

This colorway is called Goody Goody (Socks That Rock Mediumweight), but I think Ice Cream Sherbet fits better.

I'm thinking of the Van Dyke Socks, from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up. But I won't start them until I finish the current pair, and I reserve the right to change my mind.

I did start another project, though. It's another Meandering Vines shawl, slightly narrower than the first, and planning to make it shorter as well. And bonus, I'm using goosefairy's stitch markers! Fun! Pretty!

I was behind this car recently and when I saw the Got Issues? bumper sticker, I thought maybe it was political? But apparently not, judging by the website address below it. I'm not sure I "get" the connection; do you? Can you explain it to me?

Carlos continues to be photogenic:

Dive! Dive!

And he is letting Miri get closer, sometimes.

It's three more weeks at work, and yes, this is on the wall above my computer at work:

I saw the funniest tree today (in Rhode Island). Most of the blossoms were a creamy yellow just edged in red, but some of the branches had entirely red blooms. What gives? On the same tree?

Do you know what kind of flower this is? Anyone?

I feel like I should know, but I don't.

Of course, I am reliable when it comes to naming very few flowers. Roses, tulips, crocus, daffodils, lilac ... but beyond that is mostly flora incognita. Still, I bet you know! You're so smart that way!

And in conclusion, Go Bruins, Go Bruins! Game 3 is tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quick Saturday Summary

Bruins winning, yay!

Cramps, boo.

Cat on lap for hours of snuggling, yay!

Feeling bleagh, boo.

Feeling bleagh with cat snuggled on lap, watching Bruins win key playoff game...could be worse.

Still, very ready for the cramps to move out with the tide, so to speak. Any time now.

I hope your Saturday was more yay than boo.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun for Friday

Miri does this!

funny pictures of cats with captions

Oh, look at my lovely undercarriage, she says. Don't you want to pet it?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick Note Before The Game

So is it just me or did time move so slowly today that it was almost going backward? Like, I think it might now be Wednesday night instead of Thursday? Just me? Well, at least that means that the Bruins do play tonight, looking on the bright side and how will I get through another 16 days of work I have no idea.

Have I mentioned how every time someone at work, learning that I am leaving, asks where I am going to be working, I want to answer, "ABH. Have you heard of it? It's short for Anywhere But Here."

Here's an example of what things are like at work: one day before I gave notice, I thought the big-boss crazy SVP was coming to my desk, and I considered hiding under my desk. For only a second, but seriously thought of doing it.

And rejected it because it would never work, I'd get caught. NOT because it's a ridiculous thing to do. I mean, it is ridiculous, but I only thought of that after the moment.

Oh, and on the lines of fortunately/unfortunately, I got contacted by a recruiter today, but it was for a position similar to my current one, not proofreading. And a phone message from a company that googling reveals is in sales. Bummer and bummer.

Ah well. Go Bruins, go Bruins!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Work ugh, hockey yay, yarn hum.

I'm thinking of adding a new item to my resume: Excel Support for Senior Vice President. Except that really, it has more to do with how little he can do, rather than how much I can do, with Excel, and I don't know that I should brag about that.

I certainly don't want to set myself up as some sort of expert, when that's far from the truth. Just today, I had to correct something I did yesterday that messed up some hidden columns, and I know better--just because you can't see them doesn't mean you can't change them (damn you, Bill Gates). But I know far more than the SVP.

Yesterday, he called me over to the next building to un-hide a column on a spreadsheet.

Today, he e-mailed me another spreadsheet so that I could print it out for him on one page.

The man needs an admin, so he doesn't have to make me do this nonsense.

Anyway! Seventeen days left in the asylum and I am done (despite his attempt to guilt me* into staying through this next product launch, in September if the current time-line holds). I will try to hold off the waves of why-should-I-care, though I am feeling them already for sure. And although giving notice helped my ability to deal with the crazy, it doesn't remove the entire sting--the place is too crazy for that. I must think of happy things.

*It will sound harsh, he says, but he doesn't mean it that way! But don't I feel guilty for abandoning my team before the project is complete? When they may not be able to make the deadline without me? My team; I like that. If he thinks I'll get cold feet about leaving, well, he'll see.

And for me, these days, thinking of happy things usually involves yarn, or hockey. The NHL playoffs start tonight, though the Bruins don't start until tomorrow. I think it will be a good series, and the Bruins have a chance, though Ryan Miller is going to be a goalie that they don't have to make look good: he is that good. However, the Bruins beat Washington on Sunday, and over the last dozen games played quite well, and I have hope. Also future hope, as we have the second draft pick this year, meaning we'll get one of the best two players coming along, and that can't help but help in the next few years.

As for yarn, I'm coming along well in the second sock at last, enough that I'm going to start looking at patterns and yarn choices for the next pair--stash-diving! I have such yummy yarns to choose from! And I think I'll also start another Meandering Vines shawl, like the one I made my mother, in some of the pretty lace-weight I got on sale a few months back. Mmm, mmm, decisions. Happy thoughts.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend photo show -- yes, Easter weekend

So, I'm a bit late getting to this, but I refuse to give up on sharing pictures from the Easter weekend trip that my mother and I made to Grandma's house (over the river and through the woods). And before I even start, I want to thank Maura and auntiemichal for playing the name-that-plant game I posted about last week. As soon as auntiemichal said "scented geranium", I wondered, because Grandma had mentioned that she could detect a faint scent from the plant. My aunt checked them out online and agrees, that seems to be what they have! Now they can find out its likes and dislikes, which is great.

I knew someone out there would be able to help. You guys are great problem-solvers. Now, in no particular order, on with the show!

Here's a plant with no mystery attached. Just pretty!

And my good friend the crocus:

The ice-cream place we stopped at on the way was very serious about keeping dogs out of their plantings! There were at least three of these signs around.

The ice cream was wonderful. Unfortunately, they weren't open on Monday for us to stop on the way home. Life is full of disappointments.

We saw this mysterious super-high mailbox, and had to go back for a second look. See what it says on the top one?

"Air mail". I love a sense of humor!

We celebrated Grandma's 96th birthday early:

I enjoyed knitting, in knitwear, in the sun. I got past the heel and am halfway through the pattern on the leg. Can't wait to finish this pair (in less than a year, thank you).

Grandma got a beautiful card from a Danish relative.

I wonder if this sort of thing is usual in Denmark?

More pretty crocus.

I liked the peep of red through the trees.

And the birch bark.

Maybe it's winter's end that made it all seem so photogenic.

I want the cool car! Or at least to ride in it.

Not the best picture, but do you see how it looks like an eyeball?

Experimenting with the camera's night setting.

The weekend's weather was wonderful, and it was funny to still see some snow on the ground when it was 80 degrees. Time with family was good, coming home to the kitties was good. (It was the first time I left Carlos, and he was fine. Perhaps a little more attention-seeking, but fine.) Miri, who is like another cat when she's not an only cat, didn't freak out nearly as much as she did at Christmas to have my mother here. Mum even got to touch her! It's amazing: having another cat around is like giving Miri a tranquilizer.

Getting tired here: to bed already!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A lovely day for hockey fans, for knitters, for readers---why, that's me!

Well, it's been quite a good day, and the very least of it was getting the laundry done (that makes it satisfying, but not this kind of good). My pleasure at the day is due to two main events. And neither, sadly, is the weather, which was at least sunny but was very chilly as well. Sigh.

First, hockey. The Bruins are now officially in the playoffs, having won today. Yay! They only needed one point to be in (you get two for winning, one if you lose in overtime or a shootout). By getting two points, they'll finish higher than eighth place, which is significant as no one wants to face the Capitals in the first round. If Toronto wins tonight*, or if the Bruins get a point against Washington tomorrow, they'll stay in sixth, quite respectable given how their season has gone, with more downs than ups.

*All season we've wanted Toronto to lose, as we have their first-round draft pick**, but now we'd like them to win one!
**And they lost enough that we'll be picking first, second, or third, which is excellent.

It wasn't just the win, though, that made it a good game. Just about the craziest thing I've ever seen in a hockey game happened today. A little background if you're not a hockey fan: when your team is penalized, you play a man short, and although it's certainly possible to score that way, it's obviously a lot less likely than that the team with the man advantage will score. Before today, the Bruins had only three short-handed goals this season.

Now they have six. And they got all three on the same penalty, within one minute and four seconds. How unbelievable is this? It's never happened in NHL history. That is, three shorties were scored in 4:44 once, but that wasn't on the same penalty. This was wild; I felt like I might be dreaming. You can see it here, with the Carolina commentary incidentally; I just watched it again, giggling.

There was also almost a bad incident when the Bruins almost let in an empty-net goal on a delayed penalty, which would have been very embarrassing, but my boy Patrice Bergeron lit the jets and got to the net only just in time to sweep the puck off the line and out of danger. Whew.

So that was a huge relief and made for an enjoyable afternoon. When I got the mail, though, I had a very nice surprise waiting for me. Fellow-blogger goosefairy had told me recently that she had a book she wanted to send to me, and there was the package today. With not only the book (and how often is something as intriguing as a werewolf novel in blank verse going to come along? can't wait):

But also this yummy yarn:

So soft, 100% merino, and the colors make me think of outside things, growing things, as everything buds outside at last after this seemingly-endless winter.

And! In this adorable little holder:

So clever, so simple though I could never do it, and don't miss that button!

These beautiful, beautiful stitch markers that have me thinking about what to cast on that needs markers because the plain workaday ones I use are not going to cut it anymore:

Aren't they beautiful? Seriously? She made these things!

Color me impressed. If you're not a knitter (I'm never sure if everyone who reads here is, or not), they're like bookmarks for knitting. Except instead of sticking a piece of scrap paper in to mark your page, these are like a lovely gilt-edged artistic marker brought back from Tuscany (just for example, my friend).

This lovely surprise care package made my day. Thank you so much, goosefairy, for the spirit-lifter, which is much appreciated in these times especially.

Would that everyone had such a good day.

Hydrologic Statement?

It's quite windy here today, and I went to to see if there was any info about just how windy (just curious...).

There are often warnings linked at the top of the forecast page: lately all floods, but other times thunderstorms and so on. I've never seen this one, though:

Have you? Hydrologic statement? Weird.

More later. The Bruins play a matinee today, and I have things to do before. Just had to share this!

Friday, April 09, 2010

If I Ran the World...

... some things would not be allowed.

For instance, the temperature dropping 40 degrees from one day to the next. Nope! Not Allowed. Petition Denied.

For the record, I understand that Wednesday's weather was record-setting-ly unseasonal. But it was fantastic. I'm not sure we had a day that nice all summer last year. Words cannot fully express how much I loved walking out into 90 degree, non-humid weather, feeling the sun on my bare arms, driving with the windows open, smelling the flowers blooming. Gorgeous! And I want more of it, more-more-more, and instead it was 50 on Thursday and now it's 50 and raining. Ugh.

Another thing Not Allowed? Thinking that the rules don't apply to you if they're inconvenient.

The building where I work has parking areas all around it, including a separate section at the front of the building. You drive in and turn right into one of the half-dozen spots there, some marked handicapped and some visitor. Or, if you are someone else altogether, you just pull straight ahead and stop at the end, in a non-parking-spot area right in front of the building. Because you apparently have Personal Parking Spot Vision, which allows you to see a parking spot wherever you want to park. Nope! Not Allowed!

What would be allowed? Time off for knitting. Calling in beautiful-day to work. And quitting a job without another one lined up.

Oh, well, I'm proof that you can do that even now. But it wouldn't seem as insane to others. (As someone put it today, "You're quitting without another job? You must have been miserable!")

So far this week, four people at work have told me that I look happier, more relaxed, or "chipper" since giving notice. Mmm-hmm.

Not that it's all sweetness and light, of course. Yesterday I came to this conclusion: when you realize you've started to imagine composing an e-mail that begins, "Listen you jackass...", it's time to step away from your desk for a few minutes. Overall, though, the place is less annoying because I am letting less of the crap bother me.

"Short-term problem", I remind myself.
"I don't have to solve that."
And "I won't be here when that happens."

It's tremendously relaxing. Happy Friday night!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Briefly, with cows

I was going to put up some pictures tonight, but hey, I'm tired and slightly headachy and it's getting late and why not wait until this weekend to show you last weekend, right?

Before I go, I will give you a quote that I found interesting, though. I just read The Butcher and the Vegetarian, which was a thoughtful and enjoyable book (though really, the cover implies romance which is [spoiler alert!] not to be found), and I came across a section where the author is visiting a ranch and sees cows in a lot that's mostly dirt. She asks if they are ever let out to a nearby grassy area, and is told:
"Cows like their routine. ... Sometimes we take them out for testing, but it's a few days before they settle back down again. They don't like to be disturbed."
I read on, and only later did it strike me: I'm like that, too. A break in routine, even for something I really want to do and enjoy doing, throws me off stride. Getting back into the habit of everyday life takes me a few days.

Yes, I am comparing myself to cows. I realize that. Take it as you will.