Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Was Meant for a Life of Leisure. You?

All this work nonsense lately has me thinking: I wasn't meant for this. I was clearly meant to be someone who did not have to earn a living. What about you?

I haven't got much on my mind other than the work thing lately, and you know how that's making me feel. Tomorrow I have my "three"-month review (it's actually been four months, but whatever), so I'm hoping for an open discussion that will leave me feeling like we're heading in the right direction (hint: the direction that doesn't end at the funny farm or back at the job search), doing what needs to be done to improve the situation. Time will tell. I'm going to a little girl's birthday dinner after work, so at least there will be something good about the day regardless.

Meanwhile, can I send you elsewhere again? Specifically, and again via Boing-Boing, may I recommend the Men of the Stacks calendar? There are some hot librarians out there, raising money for a good cause. Who wants one for Christmas?

A book makes a surprisingly good fig leaf, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not Quite Scraping the Bottom

Well, it's sad that this is meant for a positive statement, but today was not as hateful as yesterday. I yearn for a good, satisfying work day (four months is a long time to spend feeling like an idiot), but sufficient unto the day is the bleargh thereof.

I'm hunched forward like I'm wearing a yoke, though. That's not good.

Usually when I find I'm a bit down, it helps to schedule some things to look forward to, but right now, I already have things to look forward to, and it isn't cheering me up in the moment. I mean, sure, I look forward to dinner with friends, to hanging out with my friend's baby, to Apple Festival and Rhinebeck. But I still feel the way I feel.

So, in lieu of something more productive, look on the bright side: here's tonight's therapy.

If you can't beat it, drown it in chocolate, I always say...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Smile Because it Sucked

Today kicked my ass. It sucked. Suuuuuuuuuuuuucked. Today can bite me, and be over already.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here with my head in the ice cream.

I'm kidding.

There isn't enough ice cream in the world to make this feel better. So! What will?

Well, there's this guy, of course:

These, finished last night:

There's a lovely rant from Borders employees somewhere, which you really ought to read if you ever go into bookstores (and if you don't, why are you here?), and most especially if you've ever worked in a bookstore you must read it! (Click on it for full size, or read it here.)

And this, which I was a little leery of watching when I already wasn't cheerful--a memorial service, and Jim Henson's? Wah. But his friends and fellow Muppet-eers are singing his favorite songs, and, well, honestly. Elmo sings Lydia the Tattooed Lady? Sold. I'm in. (I love that from The Philadelphia Story; well, I love the entire movie, but anyway.)

Close your eyes and hear Scooter or Fozzie; then open your eyes and marvel. (Thanks, Boing Boing.) At least watch the first few minutes. Or click here to go to the mind-blowing combination of Henson and Milne. Whoa.

I got a little sniffly at the end, but overall it made me smile. Which is valuable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reading; Hockey; Ignoring Fall Won't Stop It

I've been reading a lot lately, books I've read before and new-to-me (ahh, escapism). I've been re-reading the Sarah Tolerance books by Madeleine Robins (excellent Regency/mystery series about a Fallen Woman who becomes an investigator) and the Beka Cooper series from Tamora Pierce (really enjoyable young adult adventure/fantasy) in advance of their new books this fall (yay times two). I've also been enjoying the Temeraire series from Naomi Novik; turns out that I enjoy military fiction set in the Napoleonic era if you add dragons (who knew?).

I just got Ready Player One from the library, after reading a number of very positive reviews, and I really enjoyed that as well. If you think that you'd enjoy speculative fiction about the future, and if you are a child of the 80s, pick it up for yourself (I can attest that you don't have to be a game-player to enjoy it, though I imagine it would deepen your appreciation). The kind of mind that can imagine such detail amazes me.

Having finished that, I went in an entirely different direction by picking up Rogue Herries, by Hugh Walpole, in a used bookstore yesterday. It's one of those titles that was vaguely familiar to me without my quite knowing why, but I dipped into it and thought it looked promising in the Quiet sense, something I prize. I am enjoying it so far, and this passage especially resonated with me:
The most common sensation for her would always be fear, and the constant duty of her life would be building up sufficient courage with which to meet it. Apprehension would attack her at every turn. It was as though she had three skins less than other folk.
Make of that what you will, but it seems a good book. And it amazes me that I can pick up this book, a first edition from 1930, for two dollars, and own it for the rest of my life. What a world we live in. I also picked up a neat little copy of Mosses from an Old Manse, on a whim. Haven't delved into it very deeply yet, so we'll see.

I didn't buy any of these; I wonder if poise is so easily attained?

Don't you like the Trade Mark notations on this title page?

And this note intrigued me as well. How quickly we forget, I suppose. Wartime conditions!

Now that my brother has received his birthday gift from me, I can show you what I made for him. If you know him, you know that he is not the sort who naturally "goes with" cross-stitch samplers, but I couldn't resist this one:

I had some trouble getting a good picture, I'm afraid. The mat is medium grey, the frame black.

The colors of the flowers were designed to be brighter, but I changed them; for him even the red is somewhat risky. This is the person who once described grey as "pastel black" after all.

I really need a baby.

No, no, I don't mean I need to have one. I'm single and about to turn 43, without any money to spare: I believe that ship has sailed. But have you seen the Bruins baby outfits? I want a baby to put these on!

There's the general Bruins outfit:

And the Cup-specific one:

I love them both. I am restraining myself from buying them because what would I do with them? Frame them and put them on the wall? But I really love them. (Go to the website to find them and more.)

I had to laugh when I saw this:

Yes, very true. And a lot less depressing than this one, at that:


Friday, September 23, 2011

A ? Or a ! Perhaps; Could Be, Anyway.

It's Friday night.

I don't have a headache.

I'm wearing my Cowch's Corner t-shirt, and listening to the Bruins preseason game on the radio.

So to celebrate National Punctuation Day (tomorrow), I choose The Exclamation Point!


What about you? What would you like to punctuate?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feeling Better (relatively speaking)

I'll be brief, because my week'o'migraine has me in a bit of a pit around here. In a nutshell:
  • it got bad
  • it got worse
  • I didn't go to work yesterday
  • I spent all of yesterday either sleeping, or moaning on the couch when my upset stomach wouldn't let me lie down
  • this morning was better than that, but not enough that I didn't call in to work again
  • my appetite did return somewhat, not hard considering that Wednesday's intake consisted of ginger ale and a few saltines in the morning, and a bowl of cereal in the afternoon (which I then spent several hours expecting to see again, if you know what I mean)
  • I finally left the house this afternoon, having finally felt well enough to shower, and drive, and not wanting to have to reschedule my doctor's appointment and miss more work for it later
  • for the record, having a mid-grade migraine made the annual GYN appointment neither better nor worse
  • right now it's mildly painful, but tolerable
Well, so that wasn't particularly brief. Point is, I just ordered a pizza, and now I want to try to dig out the kitchen a bit, because urgh.

It's not the only reason that I sometimes wish I was in a relationship, but when I'm sick, it sure would be nice to have someone who wanted to scramble an egg or heat up some soup for me. Ah well, tonight the pizza man delivers, which will have to be enough.

Please join me in wishing that this headache is done, though. If it comes back tomorrow, oh, please don't let it come back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where I Was Last Night (when I wasn't at the computer)

In bed. I went to bed at 7:30 last night.

There's nothing to make you appreciate a regular Monday like having one with a migraine. It's not debilitating, but I've been at the low end of functional. Urgh. One sure sign of problems: the glow of the computer screen seems awfully bright.

Today was slightly better, mostly. Kind of. Sometimes I was pretty much fine, other times I was trying to hold my head really still as much as possible, and not move my eyes too much to avoid the rubber-band twang of the optic nerve to the brain, which feels just about as good as you would imagine it to.

Right now, it's barely painful, but I'm a little nervous that the tide will turn again. The only really weird part is that the pain is on the right side, when before the appointment it was the left side. I almost always have left-side pain, so this is ... odd.

That's all I have tonight. As you can imagine, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Report: Of Ups and Downs

Well, it's been quite a busy day around here, and some of us are in recovery mode.


And behind him, herself:

She is on high alert today, and I can't exactly blame her, as catching her for the vet went very poorly. I think we just got lucky last year. Next year, the vet says, I should put her in the bathroom before the appointment time, so we won't have to chase. (Of course, I'll still have to chase her, I suppose.)

There was, happily, no bad news from the visit, pending the blood test results for Carlos's potassium levels. Which will be good, I have spoken. But there was another casualty of the day, I am sad to say.

A hole, in the heel of the sock. Very sad. I only finished them in April of last year. These days I air-dry all the hand-knit socks, but I didn't used to; maybe that would have extended their life. Or maybe the hybrid pattern mix I used left me with a heel that wasn't strong enough. Whatever the reason, it makes me sad.

Making me happy, though, is that I found a purse I like! My old one was wearing out, and I was having such trouble finding a replacement that I actually liked. My mother suggested I try Wilson Leather, so yesterday I went to the outlet in Wrentham, and rather to my own surprise picked up this:

It's the right size, the right strap length, and while I kept expecting to change my mind about all the colors, well, I like them.

Plus, it even goes with my sock knitting bag!

There was a patch of slow traffic on the way, and I got to see some cars up close, over and over. Like this surprising* Nordiques fan:
*The team moved to Colorado in 1995!

And a fellow crafter, if not a knitter:

Even better, on the way home was a great sunset sky.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ah, the Joys of Being a Woman

funny pictures - Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Some cycles are mild, and then some (even on the miracle pill) have me stifling groans all the first day or so. Guess which this one is?

Yup, that's right. Oooohhhhhhhhhhhh. Ooof.

But not all is lost. I recently read The Little Lady Agency after Kate mentioned it, and no surprise, she was right. Very good quality chick lit! I have to get the next one from the library now, but here's my point: Melissa has a habit of finding the three best things about a given person or situation, which reminded me of how I sometimes get in bed and try to think of the three best things about my day, in order to fall asleep on happy thoughts. So, here we are for today:
  1. It's finally Friday, and I didn't even have to work late tonight. Weekend!
  2. I tried a salted caramel mocha frap' at Starbucks this morning, and it was good! I actually like the regular caramel ones better than mocha; I wonder if they'd put the salted caramel topping on a regular frap'? Mmm.
  3. Codeine, and how it doesn't need a prescription when you're in Canada. I'm not sure I'd have been able to work today without it. I'm not overdosing: the bottle says no more than ten in a day, and I've had 8. But some months I don't need any, so that's still a sign. Not the good kind of sign.
Anyone else want to play?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's Blame the PMS, Shall We?

It's been a grumpy day. Nothing major, just grumpy. Probably PMS, plus weather. Who really knows why? It hasn't been a particularly bad week, and nothing particularly bad happened to turn my mood today, so we'll call it hormonal.

The weather was markedly cooler and unsettled all day. After lunch today, I got up and walked from my desk to the kitchen, looking out the windows and noticing how much darker it had gotten. I threw my trash away, turned around to walk back to my desk, and saw that in the maybe 30 seconds I'd been facing away from the window, it had started raining.

Pouring, actually. Downpour, flood, whatever you want to call it. Weird. Then it stopped, then it rained lightly, then it stopped, then there was some blue sky ... on my drive home it sprinkled slightly on and off.


Yesterday at work, I had a casual kitchen conversation with a co-worker about office fridges, how nasty they get, how no one wants to clean them, etc. This morning, I arrived at work to find someone else cleaning the fridge out. So, I wanted to ask the question, for those who work in offices:
  • Does your office have a cleaning schedule, a plan, a person responsible for the issue?
  • Or does the fridge get cleaned out when someone caves, and Just Can't Stand It anymore?

I'm off for codeine/cat/chocolate therapy. The real vitamin C!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fruit, Mostly

I haven't been eating enough fruits and veggies lately, so I stopped at Wilson's tonight, and had fresh corn on the cob for supper, followed by cherries that are deep and dark and sweet, well worth their cost. I also bought carrots, celery, and onion to make bean soup this weekend, once the warm weather wanders away again (80s today, 60s coming). Apples and wild blueberries as well: no excuses while this lot is around.

Speaking of fruit, when I was out last weekend I looked up at this tree:

And noticed what appeared to be fruit upon it. Any idea what this is?

I leave you with a peaceful view. Good evening!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The (Most Likely) Final Word (At Length) on PEI 2011

Well, it's about time to wrap this up, isn't it? Home for more than a week, looking ahead to Apple Festival and Rhinebeck, it's time to put the period on this tale.

We left PEI Saturday morning, made a sadly unsuccessful stop in New Brunswick for sticky buns (would you believe the shop was closed again*? neither did the dozen cars that pulled up while we were there, looking at the map), and drove on without problems. By mid-afternoon, we were waiting to cross the border.

*On the drive up, it was for being Sunday; this time, it was apparently for the holiday weekend. Humph! See if I come back before 2013!

Which is at St. Stephen, which if you didn't know has Bruins ties. Of course.

We spent the night in Maine, had a shorter drive Sunday (surprised to notice a few leaves changing, already, and more than had been just a week earlier), and finally returned to this guy:

LinkHe consoled me for the end of the trip.

Further consolation is to be found in the t-shirt I bought at Cows, which if you're not a hockey fan, or Canadian, can be somewhat explained here. (Or watch something like this, or anything on YouTube under Coach's Corner.)

And the quasi-NHL logo on the back:

I also, naturally, bought plenty of non-American chocolate:

(The Crunchies are my favorite, if you want the report, though I also like the Coffee Crisp quite a lot. The Malteasers are fine, the Caramilk are fine, just nothing to go out of my way for. The chocolate caramels were delicious, almost more a brown sugar than caramel flavor but that doesn't bother me.)

Oh, and what else did I buy? Hmmm. I know--yarn!

Make that: YARN.

I had so much fun. And I brought it to stitch and bitch last night to share the yum. Also, I kind of want to bring a skein to work, to squeeze when I get stressed. I haven't yet decided if I want to look quite that crazy at a relatively new job, though.

Anyway, details!

This is the yarn I bought on Monday, from Stanley Pottery's yarn sideline. It's blue-faced Leicester!

It feels wonderful in the hand. No idea what it wants to be when it grows up.

Also on Monday, at a rather small, very full store called North Shore Island Traditions, which I'd read about in the tour book, I bought some Fleece Artist (which is at least Canadian, though from Nova Scotia rather than PEI). See the socks-to-be!

Tuesday was the day we went to Belfast Mini Mills, where I got two skeins each of these two; blue, don't know what it will be:

And red, socks-to-be:

Then on Friday, we stopped at a chance-met alpaca and quilt shop in Brudnell, where I got this lovely alpaca (two skeins, socks again):

And this, which I think of as a mystery skein.

It's not the most professional label, but it's soft, it's lovely, and it will tell me what it wants to be, some day.

That's most all of what I bought. I'll have to take pictures of the last few things to show you (sweatshirt, shell ball, preserves, soaps) another time. For now, we're up to date, and the furball is trying to herd me to bed, so I'll leave it at that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feline Placeholder

It's already getting late in the evening, what with stitch and bitch tonight and then cat food shopping (I arrived at PetSmart last night juuust a few minutes after they closed; curses). So instead of the post I promised, here's a placeholder, detailing two items I saw today.

Item the first: glow in the dark cats. No, really.

Check out the picture Boing Boing ran with the story!

Now I was thinking that medical discoveries aside (and I wish them all the best with that), this is a bad, bad idea for pet cats. I was thinking that and then I saw this.

Item the second:

funny pictures - Littol sleep aid.

Yes, exactly. That.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Cup, and (last) Friday in PEI

This morning I had an e-mail from a friend, forwarding a message she received that the Stanley Cup would be in a nearby town today. What?

And that is how I was about 15 feet from history today.

The gentleman you see is Harry Sinden, who has been involved with the team for years. Here he is, for instance, with Bobby Orr and the Stanley Cup, some 40 years ago.

It was fun to see the Cup again, and so many people excited about it. Pretty funny too that the Bruins rookies were starting training camp on the same day. This is the first summer I haven't had hockey withdrawal before camp started. Weird.

Now, I have one last day of PEI to show you: last Friday, when we went to see some of the eastern end of the Island.

It's beautiful there, too. Who'd have thought?

Our first destination was Souris, to tour the historic lighthouse there.

You can climb to the top, if you don't mind small, steep spaces.

I do, a little, but it was worth it. I ducked through this door:

And I do mean ducked.

And had quite the view down.

And out.

The water was fairly calm, but we did spot one breaker. See?

Going down the stairs was almost worse than up. I had to do it quickly, without thinking about it. And backward. Urp!

Then I read this message.

And looked at what they're calling a chair.

And my climb didn't seem so bad.

They have a large exhibit of sea glass, for so small a space.

I enjoyed the lighthouse, but wasn't sorry to get back outside again.

Did you know that falling off a cliff can be dangerous? Learn something new every day.

My mother offered to take my picture from the ground, if I wanted to run back up. I declined.

Even from the ground, the view was lovely. We stayed for a little while, enjoying the day.

And were rewarded by the sight of the ferry coming in. It's big!

I suppose it has to be, going all the way to Iles de la Madeleine.

At first we thought it was called the Travesty, which seemed highly unlikely. The camera's zoom cleared things up: the Traversier.

To explain this next picture, I have to explain two things. First, it took us a lot longer to find lunch that day than we expected it to*; and second, though I love the Island very much, it is, sadly, more a Pepsi place than I would like (hence the root been I photographed another day).

*We ate in Cardigan, though I don't seem to have noted the name of the restaurant, and the food was very good!

So you may surmise how happy I was to see this:

Also, the display case with a small whale's tail behind it.

And the bilingual mustard caught my eye as well.

As we were driving on, in a roundabout way back to Charlottetown, my alert mother noticed a sign that said alpaca yarn*, so we turned and went back. It was a small place, like a cabin in front of the house, run by a woman who quilts and sells the work of other locals.

*I like to think I have her well trained as an enabler, though she doesn't knit herself.

And yes, has alpacas:

Sadly, she was out of her own yarn, but I bought some other yarn that I am quite happy with.

Back in town, I saw this on the car next to me when I parked. Love this hockey feeling.

So that was Friday. I think I'll do one more entry to wrap the trip up, then we'll be back to the present day. For whatever that's worth.

Happy weekend!