Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Really Nice Day

I slept decadently late today, ate junk food, read a book. I've been knitting and watching TV, I vacuumed the living room rug, and I'm finishing up laundry. The Bruins could win tonight and make it practically* perfect, is what I'm saying.

*An actually perfect day would not include laundry, vacuuming, or cleaning up cat vomit. But really, it was a pretty perfect day.

Before my headache struck Saturday evening, I went out, and did some old-book shopping, as you know I love to do. Here are some things I did NOT get.

The title on the cover of one book was illegible, so I opened it up:

I regret that I didn't look at the date, to see when it was "modern", but it did still have its calendar wheel for calculations, so I'm guessing not too recent.

I didn't pick up the Treasury of Snake Lore at all. Shudder.

French Girls Are Vicious?

Terror Trail? Bomba the Jungle Boy?

I admit to some curiosity as to what Margy's queer inheritance could have been. And is it my imagination that these days, book spines don't usually have a word break over two lines?

Because clearly it used to be acceptable, but it startles me to see.

I'll show you what I did get another time. Have to keep an eye on those Bruins!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The First Post-Layoff Update

I tried to file my claim for unemployment insurance today, but it turns out that they have so many requests, they're assigning days of the week based on your SSN, and my day is Thursday (otherwise known as the day I'm going away for the weekend). Or I can call Friday, which is open calling (I suppose I could call from Florida). Urgh. One can also walk in to a career center to open a claim, but they can have limited hours/days for so doing. The closest one to me sets two days a week, and yup, it's Thursday and Friday. Perfect. If they're so busy, maybe they're hiring.

Probably not a proofreader, though. And if they were, it's probably in Boston, which if you were reading here in 2010 you will remember I hope very very strongly to avoid doing. So, no steps forward on that front.

I have started to update my resume, which I had not done since getting this last job (all of eight months ago, sigh). Revisiting my resume is getting painful; in the nine years since I moved back to MA, I've had six jobs, and been laid off from three of them. One I left by choice, and that led to two temp positions. I look like a job skipper, and by choice I swear I'm not! But fate has been against me.

But I'm getting ahead of the story, aren't I? Not that there's much to tell, but I can tell what there is. I was working Friday afternoon, hoping I wouldn't have to stay too late on my last Friday-is-always-my-late-night coverage night before the new schedule kicked in*, when the phone rang. It was the woman from HR, asking how late I would be there (?), and then when I said 5 but it might be later, she asked if I could step down to her office for a minute. I kind of shrugged and said sure. I didn't figure it was good news, but couldn't think of anything I might be in trouble for that would involve HR. Still, it was a called-to-the-principal's-office feeling. And that was before I got there and found one of the company bigwigs was there, too.

*And yes, I'm a little bitter about all the time spent revising that schedule, and entering it in the calendar, which was totally wasted. I know, not the biggest problem, but still.

Why? Well, you may recall that they laid off a few people in October; to quote myself, with irony-in-hindsight:
I hate the idea of someone having a job in the morning and not having one at lunchtime.
And apparently business still isn't rebounding the way they hoped it would, they are eliminating the position, it's nothing personal, blah blah blah. Go clean out your desk, oh and your computer will be locked so you can't get back in. Nothing personal.

Of course it is personal. I mean, not like they're saying "we have to let someone go so we chose you because you suck" personal, but one of the other editors started about six weeks after I did, so technically she's last hired and should be first fired, except they didn't. So that is personal. And while I don't think the layoff itself is something my boss planned or wanted to do (she wouldn't have approved a time-off request from me on Thursday, otherwise), I imagine she did have to choose who, and she chose me.

And it hurts my feelings, sure. But let's be honest: I didn't like the job. I was trying hard, giving it my best shot, being grateful to have a job at all, etcetera. It was better in many ways than where I had been, the people were nice, but the work itself, the pace and the juggling and all the it-depends and you-remember did not suit me. At least I didn't get booted out of my dream job; that would be worse.

The long term is scary, but the short term is actually pretty good. Not having to go to work? Beyond the whole pesky paying-the-bills thing, it's a dream come true. True story: someone in the department was out on vacation last week, with no travel plans, and I was thinking wistfully how nice that sounded. How long has it been since I did that?* Sit around reading, and knitting, and not have to set the alarm? How perfect is that? Job search sucks, starting a new job (should I be so lucky) sucks, but short term, ahhh. I could use some do-nothing time. When I will be trying not to worry about the long term. This week, anyway.

*Almost two years, actually. After I left the not-proofreading job in 2010, and before I started the temp job in Boston, I was home for two blissful weeks.

I tried to fit the migraine into my "almost feeling lucky" mentality, since I didn't have to worry about losing all my precious weekend, or not going in to work today, but honestly? Stress is a major migraine trigger for me. Without the layoff, I probably wouldn't have had this migraine in the first place. So never mind that.

My head is finally feeling somewhat better today, but my stomach is not yet fully back to normal (and I still think there should be a law against feeling nauseous and hungry at the same time). After the way I felt last night (rock bottom), I'm grateful for the improvement, but only kind of. This one lasted a long time. Yuck. Carlos has been very patient with my up, down, couch, bed, and up again progressions. You're right, he's going to love having me at home so much.

So that's where I am. Thank you all for the sympathy and good wishes. I hope this will turn out to have been a good thing, in the end. I still hope for that great job, that suits-me job, where I don't dread going in, where I can work contentedly for years. I just have to find it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm OK (it's a migraine)

Don't worry that I haven't written more yet on Friday's news. A migraine blew in last night, and I'm fighting it. I'm okay, and I have plenty more to say. Hopefully soon! I have knitting to tell you about, if nothing else.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Guess What?

So, a funny thing happened at work this afternoon.

Well, maybe not funny. Surprising? No, shocking is the best word.

I got laid off.

It was totally unexpected. They said that the company isn't doing so well, they're eliminating the position, it's nothing personal, blah blah blah.

So. Here we go again. It's Proof-quest 2012! New and exciting!

Yeah. I'm still processing this. Much, much more to come.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Shouldn't Even Be Posting

I have nothing to say. I'm going to knit.

But to ease your crushing disappointment (ha! I slay me!), here are a few things:

Super-cute "sleeping kid and cats" photo at the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee today.

For the hockey fans, a biased but really funny roundup of the Northeast Division at the half-season point from Stanley Cup of Chowder. Sample:
  • A healthy Connolly would help that a lot, but if a core part of your season planning includes the words "82 games from Tim Connolly", you might as well start planning for the draft lottery.
  • Andrei Markov, their best player, has missed the entire season so far with an injury. Excuse me while I sit on the Throne of Amazement and drink from my Goblet of Incredulity.
  • A team that was predicted by many (including me) to contend for the division title has been a Costa Concordia-level shipwreck.
A lot of laughs there, even if (like me) you pay more attention to one team than the whole league.

I did not take this picture.

funny pictures - CHANGED YOUR <span class=

But I had to look twice to be sure.

And Carlos could have captioned it, truly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Knitting, and Thinking About Knitting

The Bruins game is on TV, the baby laptop is on my lap, and I'm typing with my right hand and scritching Carlos with my left. There are three skeins of yarn on my right, and knitting ideas battling for supremacy in my head (and on my Ravelry queue).

So, where is my knitting mind? All over the place.

I'm to the toe of my current sock-in-progress, so I'll try to finish that before leaving for the trip next Thursday. I'd be glad to bring the socks as finished clothes, but it's silly to bring something almost done as a travel knitting project. Finishing won't take long. The plan for the next pair is to use the green STR and try the Claire sock pattern, by the designer of the Skyp pattern that I may have mentioned once or twice ... in the last 18 months, as I've knit it ten times in a row. Ahem. Perfect pattern for me, what can I say? I'm not sick of it yet, just want to see if I like this other pattern as much. Down the road, I'm also thinking of trying the Down the Rabbit-Hole pattern (Rav link); one of my friends is making them and I like the look.

So that's socks! Other thoughts crossing my mind are moebius, scarf, and shawl. I bound off my test moebius at stitch and bitch last night, and was indeed surprised at how much bigger it was once off the needle. I felt pretty sure it would go over my head, and in fact it almost goes over my shoulders! I am now pondering next moebius steps, not ready to move along that line yet. Soon.

Scarf. I've been wearing the dropped stitch scarf I made in 2010 a lot lately, and in particular, instead of winding it around my neck, I've been holding it with both ends in one hand and the middle in the other, then tucking the ends in the loop, which works very well (it's just long enough). Am I explaining that clearly, or do I need to take pictures? Anyway, I like the scarf and will continue to wear it, but was thinking that something similar would be a fun quick project for a skein of yarn I loved, like the one I got at Stanley Pottery in PEI last summer. So I'm pondering pattern ideas, or just doing another dropped-stitch, or hmmm ponder ponder.

And then the thought of that skein of BFL that I got at Rhinebeck last year, the same kind as I got the year before and loved, came to mind again, and what shall I make with that? My thoughts, not clearly defined, went like this:
  • probably I don't have enough for a sweater, but something shawl-like?
  • only no point to the butt this time. Round or rounded?
  • I liked the shoulder shaping in the Frost Diamonds pattern.

I messed around on Ravelry looking at patterns, and have settled (for now, anyway) on Carol's Clever Little Shawl, an interesting yet simple pattern. It's knit from one end to the other, mostly garter stitch but some lace to the points along one edge, a little shoulder shaping, and the ends have a sort of tube thing that allows you to tuck one end in the other, so no need for a shawl pin and hopefully the thing stays put when you wear it. Just interesting enough for me! I printed it out, and need to wind the yarn. Someday I'll live in a place with room to leave the swift set up!

Though that might be dangerous, during startitis.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hockey, Bruins, White House

If you were listening to the announcers of the two Bruins games this weekend, you would think these were two of the best games all season. So close! So evenly matched! So satisfying in every way!

So not what I love in a hockey game. I about had an ulcer by the time yesterday's game finished.

Maybe I'm not a good hockey fan, not enough of a fan of the sport itself. Maybe I'm too much a Bruins fan instead. But I have to admit, I have loved the games this season when the Bruins totally overran the opposition. When they did everything right, made virtually no mistakes, ran up the big scores. 7-0, 9-0, I was in heaven. Laughing with delight. 6-0, even 6-2, 6-3. It's fun, dammit!

Saturday's game against the Rangers was close, and the Bruins lost at the very end, almost the last second, of overtime. Argh! Sunday they managed to win in the shootout, but my stomach didn't unclench for a good hour after. Those blown leads! Unforced turnovers! A hat trick for Hartnell of all players! Are they trying to make me crazy, and if so, why?

Today, they were at the White House, to get the President's congrats on last season. Tomorrow they play Washington. Then it's the All-Star weekend, so most of them* get a rest. I hope they regain their steam-roller ways after the break!

*Tim Thomas, Chara, and Seguin are playing. My nose is out of joint at Bergeron's snub, but I bet the rest will do him more good than the honor would have, so there's that.

The combination of the wonders of technology and a quiet day at work meant that I watched the live feed of the Bruins at the White House this afternoon (thank you, Washington Post). It was less than ten minutes, and pretty cool! Thoughts that crossed my mind:
  • As the players started lining up: that is a whole bunch of white guys in dark suits.
  • Though one of them was in a striped suit! Very mod. He was right behind the President, so it was pretty clear to see. (I believe it was Tomas Kaberle, no longer a Bruin but he was last June, so it's nice he got to go; you can see him on the left in this picture.)
  • Shawn Thornton was also fairly near the President. He looked really uncomfortable--is it wearing a suit?
  • I couldn't figure out why Chara didn't stand out, height-wise, since he certainly does on the ice. I finally saw him at the end of the second row. I think they had the players in the back row on a step, and his head was fairly even with theirs. Brad Marchand, standing in front of him, didn't reach his shoulder!
  • When the players and brass were all out and lined up, every phone in the crowd went up to take a picture.
  • I recognized the coach, the GM, ownership, and Cam Neely in the front row. Cam brought the President a Bruins jersey with Obama and the number 11. I wonder how Greg Campbell felt about that? Not to mention former Bruins Steve Kasper, PJ Axelsson, and Bob Carpenter, to name a few who have worn it for the team. (I was a big Steve Kasper fan as a kid. He was so cute!)(And a good player.)(But mostly cute.)
  • At one point when the President was speaking (I didn't have sound), there was laughter and a general looking toward Brad Marchand. What did he say? Was it the Little Ball of Hate nickname? The recent suspension? What?
  • Was that John Kerry schmoozing the bigwigs afterward? I know he's a hockey guy.
I didn't notice it at the time, but Tim Thomas wasn't there, by choice for his political beliefs. I don't entirely "get" his point, but it's a free country, it's his business. People are funny, though, aren't they? Of course, it's not hard to be more political than I am, so who am I to judge.

I found video of it when I got home, which answered some of my questions, and more.
  • Yes, they were on risers, so Chara's feet were in the second rung and his head was level with the first.
  • Yes, it was the Little Ball of Hate thing that brought the laughs.
  • Yes, Mr. President, they were "wicked happy" to be there.
  • Mayor Menino was there.
  • Yes, the players look much better without the playoff beards.
  • No, he didn't sound comfortable speaking the hockey terms (no hockey fan is going to put an "uh" between Stanley and Cup), but I knew he wasn't a hockey fan already (Washington hockey bloggers have bemoaned his lack of appearances at Caps games).

Overall fun. Now back to work Tuesday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Knit Updates

And how is the knitting lately, you ask? Why, progress is being made, thank you for asking.

I've been tickled by working on the moebius. It looks like I'm alternately knitting and purling, though only knitting happens.

I started in the middle, where the look changes, and am going outward both ways at once. I put a stitch marker on, to mark the start of the round, and after I knit for a while, I see it again, but not on the needles.

See the marker hanging there at the bottom? It's pretty mind-bending. Keep knitting, and it's back on the needles again.

I don't know if you can trace the edge around, but it's an Escher thing to me. The Cat Bordhi book is in at the library; I look forward to seeing what she says, particularly about casting off. I have 2-3 inches now, and am thinking of casting off and, if it fits over my head*, calling it a cowl, but I want to look at the book first.

*If it doesn't fit, it's an experiment--or practice!

I'm also making progress on the sock, second of the pair I started Christmas Eve.

Speaking of socks, here's the almost-full sock drawer:

Most of the hand-knits are machine wash/air dry, but I'm still hand-washing the ones that striped my feet--and they're still turning the water blue, which blows me away, this has to be the third or fourth time I washed them, if not more, and still the blue comes out. (The socks themselves don't look faded; perhaps the dye is coming from a parallel dimension.) The fuller the drawer gets, the happier it makes me.

Yesterday I finished the second mitt for Mum--less than a month late! Hey, once it's late, it's late, right? Here's a bad picture.

My mother has the other one, so I'll try to remember to get a picture of the pair when I'm there. Yes, the trip is coming up: we leave a week from Thursday. Woohoo! Just a long weekend, but yay for leaving the cold zone for the land of seashells and oranges, even briefly. We got a couple of inches of snow here yesterday, three maybe, enough to be messy. I haven't missed the white stuff a bit.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snippets: Work, Tech, Hockey

I had to work late last night*, since we were waiting for one last item (which was with the writer for hours, not that I'm bitter but anyway). It was actually not a busy day overall, and at 5 a couple of my fellow editors were talking about how it had been such a quiet afternoon. I acquit them of malice, but I really wanted to say something snarky about how even after the quiet afternoon, some of us didn't get to leave at five. Sigh. It's not their fault ... but I really wanted to leave, too.

*It ended up being less than an hour, at least.

I wore a pair of non-hand-knit socks yesterday. (A rare thing for me, these days, but I need to do laundry.)

They kept sliding down around my ankles.

The ones I make don't do that.

I know you're curious about how my group at work organized our late-night coverage schedule, after I asked you for suggestions. We did in fact go with a monthly rotation, with the added fillip that the primary and backup coverage are lined up to make Fridays less painful. Well, I mean, it's already less painful for me, I don't have to cover 5 Fridays out of 6! But this way is more equitable for all six of us.

In every 6 months, we each get one month off primary (and do Friday backup that month), one month off backup (and do Friday primary), and four months with a backup and a primary night Monday through Thursday.

I was entering all this and more in the Outlook calendar, and realized that I fell into a certain rhythm of murmuring the revolving info as I entered it: "Thursday primary Jane, Thursday backup John". And what did it remind me of? Kitchener! When I use the kitchener method (usually on a sock toe), I end up mumbling to myself "front knit off, front purl on..." in just the same way.

I can't believe my answering machine died! (Well, partly.) It's only ... about ... what ... okay ... fifteen years old, maybe? Fine, whatever.

I don't actually know how long it hasn't been working right. It was still taking messages, even, but last weekend my brother left a puzzled message about how he was calling for me, hoped he had the right number ... I checked the outgoing message, and it was some standard-robo-message, not my taped one. I tried to re-tape it, and not only didn't it tape me, it just gave dead air. Time for the funeral.

I do actually have voice-mail capability with my landline phone service. Do you remember how I didn't know that when I got Verizon two years ago, and was surprised to learn that I had messages there? Well, since I haven't been using it, I had to do a lot of digging around to re-learn how to access the stupid thing, but at least I have message capability again.

For the many calls I get.


The Bruins played the top team in the conference, the Rangers, this afternoon, and it was a very good, really balanced game. I felt that the Bruins played as well as they have in some total blowout games (9-0 anyone?), but the Rangers are good enough that it was fully even instead. Then the Rangers scored with three seconds left in overtime to win, which really sucked. Oh well.

Now I'm going out to clear the snow off my car (we got a couple of inches today). I haven't missed this part of winter, honestly I haven't.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A disturbed night

I didn't have particular trouble falling asleep last night, but after I woke to go to the bathroom (as I do virtually every night), I could not get back to sleep. I believe I'd been awake at least half an hour when I got up, at 3, thinking that since my stomach was rumbling, perhaps a small snack would help me get back to sleep. At 3:30 I was back in bed.

I fell asleep and into a scary dream. I don't remember what it was, but in the dream, I was telling myself, "It's a dream, it's a dream, wake up wake up wake up!" I woke shuddering, turned over, and went back to sleep.

Lather, rinse, repeat: a different but equally scary dream, and waking myself out of it.

The third dream went on longer (or I remember more of it), a mix of true and not. It all felt true, of course, and only afterward was I thinking hey, I don't work in the library. And why was my brother there? But at the end, when it was feeling totally real, it got very scary: I came home to find the door wide open, kicked in, and I felt this surge of fear and panic and the cats! What happened?

I woke up gasping, and had to bury my face in Carlos's fur and breathe for a while before I was calmer. (He purred me off the ledge; what a good boy.) When I looked at the clock, it was quarter of six, and I decided to just get up.

Shit, though. That's no way to start the day. Sleeping pill tonight.

In happier news, I did start knitting a test moebius last night. I did the dishes first, then as my reward I sat down with yarn and needle in front of the video and cast on. Granted, my longest needle (29 inches) is not what she recommended (47 inches), so who knows what I will end up with, but the point is to try the technique.

I will say that I loved doing the moebius cast-on! Some new knitting techniques are a struggle and a fight for me, while others feel right and natural. This combines the sort of move I've used for crocheting hanger covers* with a yarn-over, one of my favorite little neat tricks. Fun.

*Did I mention doing those for a friend? They're actually pretty easy, if your tastes run that way. You crochet over two wire hangers held together, and end up with one strong, non-slippery hanger.

The moebius itself is mind-blowing. If you're familiar with a moebius strip in paper, you're on your way, but knitting it shows very clearly how weird it is to have only one edge. And although I've done a couple of rows, I still can't picture what the binding off will do, or look like. I requested her book from the library; perhaps when that comes in it will help. Or perhaps I just have to see it to get it. Meanwhile, I'm essentially knitting a scarf from the middle out.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Revelation, and Pangs of Startitis

I had a startling and wonderful revelation today: Columbus Day is early this year. It's the first weekend in October.

I know, what? and who cares? Well, I do, very much.

For the last two years, in addition to my annual pilgrimage to Apple Festival over Columbus Day weekend, I've gone to Rhinebeck the following weekend, and I really really want to go to both, but the schedule is unforgiving, and by the weekend after the two trips, I'm toast. (And last year I had to work very late that Friday night, remember? It was miserable.)

This year, they're not right in a row! There's a weekend between! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

That's a happy yell. Seriously, made my day.* Though I can take time off around the trips this year (at least the Fridays and Mondays, maybe more), it's still a lot in a short amount of time, and I'm delighted to space it out a little.

*Even more than realizing it's no longer full dark at 5PM, and that made me pretty happy too.

Whew. Happy thoughts.

Other thoughts, yarny thoughts, have been crossing my mind lately. It feels like the preliminary stage of a bout of startitis, the season when a knitter (or other crafter, perhaps) wants to start something new, and then another, and then another. This is although I'm making good progress on my second sock (this is Skyp pair #10), and have Mum's wristwarmer to finish, plus the next pair of socks planned (Claire, by the same designer as the Skyp, using the clover Socks That Rock I got last Rhinebeck) ... well.

I think it was contemplating what I might make with the mystery yarn that got my juices flowing. I've done a little pattern-browsing on Ravelry, and last night I got out the swift and ball-winder and wound not only that STR, ready for the next socks, but also a skein of wool I got in PEI, the blue BFL that's on the left in the picture of all the yarns in this post (hey, the Fleece Artist Sea Wool is pictured there too! that's the yarn of the socks-in-progress). I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking of trying a moebius. I watched Cat Bordhi's video and was intrigued.

One other yarn thought: when I do start the Claire socks, I'll be using the last skein of STR I have. I don't think that I can wait until October to get more. I may be taking Grandma's Christmas money for a ride to Webs soon. That last trip was a total blast, after all. Shall I stop and pick you up on the way, Hunny Bunny? Save me a box of Thin Mints!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quick Update

Annoying day at work, but no late work for me tonight.

Dinner is in the oven.

I'm typing with one hand, reaching over the purring cat draped over the other.

We're going to watch the Bruins game. They won last night in the shoot-out, though they didn't play all that well. (Two goals in regulation and one in the shoot-out for my favorite player.) Hopefully tonight will be a better effort.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cold. Tired. And Moderately Irritated.

I'm not actually cold right now, but I was today. When I got in the car this morning, the outside temperature was 10 degrees. I eyed it as I drove, hoping to see it change, and it soon did: to 9. Not exactly what I had in mind.

So of course, it had to be today that was extra-chilly at work, meaning I wasn't the only one who thought it was cold. Lots of people were wearing coats or hats or gloves, and finally an e-mail went around mid-day that the heater needed repairs, parts were ordered, and repairs would be made ... tomorrow.


I had planned to go to stitch and bitch tonight, but I had to work late instead. Thrilled about that, as you can imagine.

Have you seen this phrase on a sign or shirt?

Why do I mention it? No reason.

As I was sorting through a complicated situation in e-mails today, I commented to my neighbor that some e-mails should come with an Excedrin attachment. Wouldn't that be awesome? Or if you got an e-mail apology and a box of chocolates popped out?

What's that you say? Unrealistic? Perhaps I have reading too much* fantasy lately.

*Trick suggestion. There's no such thing as too much fantasy, as long as you're enjoying it, and I am.

This is disjointed, but it's getting late enough that I don't have high hopes of my attention span improving, so I'll leave it as it is. Life's like that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mystery Yarn

I am moving slowly today. I woke in the night with a headache coming on, took something for it, and slept obscenely late. My head doesn't hurt now, but I'm in that swimmy, dreamy, post-head state that does not lend itself to brisk action. I did, however, finally remember during daylight hours that there was something I wanted to get photographed.

When my mother arrived last month, she brought me something that was not Christmas-related. I may have mentioned that she volunteers at her local charity shop, and that she told the woman who sorts out the craft items there that her daughter is a knitter, in case anything "interesting" was donated. Do you see where this is going?

Meet the mystery yarn.

It's dark, but with many colors throughout.

Someone had started something with it!

The skein is 100 grams:

One ball is 99:

One ball 98:

And the last bit is 81:

I shall always wonder what happened to the remainder!

For the math-impaired such as myself, that makes about 379 grams.

Quite a lot! It's not butter-soft, but not scratchy either. There are no labels (of course), and I have no idea what it's made of. (I may have to apply the Yarn Harlot's burn test, and other test ideas from Knitting Rules, but given my currently fuzzy state, today is not a good day for that.) I think, though I am no expert, that it is not plied, but is a single strand. The thickness is inconsistent, but it's fairly chunky-weight.

I don't know what it wants to be yet ... so the story pauses there for now.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Links and Videos

A random assortment here, things I've seen and wanted to share.

I don't know much about marching bands, but this one was amazing. They're playing snippets of the songs of the different branches of the US armed services, and I don't know which was more impressive, the moving tank, the plane with smoking jets, or the submarine submerging ... fun.

Have to have some hockey; here's a nice tribute to Bobby Orr. The clips are almost unbelievable.

This has been getting its share of publicity, and deservedly so. What a work of art! (And how much work...)

What the books do when the store is closed...

This story on words and language was interesting, but Madeleine Robins (a gifted writer herself) quoted my favorite part:
Why use obscure words rather than plain ones, other than to imply intellectual superiority? Perhaps some speakers or writers wield a bulky vocabulary as a blunt tool for humiliation. But I suspect that most are driven by the pleasures of being able to dip their brush into a nuanced linguistic palette.

The Bloggess can be a bit much for me, over the top, but I keep reading her blog because she's smart, irreverent, funny, and finds things like a cardboard Tardis. COOL!

I think that will do. I have a Bruins game to watch. Tonight I'm going to knit instead of reading, so if anyone is traded mid-game, I'll hear about it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My take on the Home Improvement: Undead Edition anthology

I'm so glad I was writing this as I worked my way through the anthology, because that means it's ready to go on a night when I worked 3+ hours late (Fridays suck!).

I picked up the audio version of another supernatural anthology at the library last week, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, since I'm so glad to have "discovered" Patricia Briggs in another anthology recently. I'm not really reviewing it here (and not dissecting the audio performances, either), but after I started listening, I decided I wanted to report in on what I like and don't, entirely subjectively. I like anthologies for exposing me to new authors, but hey, I don't like every author. Nothing personal.

I found a list of the contents online (thanks, B&N), so I don't even have to type them in myself. Lazy win!

If I Had A Hammer Charlaine Harris

Charlaine is of course what draws me to these types of collections. I've liked her Sookie Stackhouse series since early on, and I enjoyed this creepy story quite a bit, though it's not necessarily what I would choose as an intro to her work, if you haven't read it already. On the other hand, if you haven't tried her books, are you picking up this one? Probably not. For fans, we get to see more of Tara and JB, as well as Sam.

Wizard Home Security Victor Gischler

I'd never heard of this author, but that's true of most of the anthology, so no problem. (I hadn't heard of Patricia Briggs before that other anthology, after all.) I listened to part of the story until it irritated me. I wasn't loving the main character, and then he does something stupid which is kind of annoying, but I get that people do do stupid things, plus things have to happen or nothing happens, right? But something happens that presages Bad Trouble, and I got that the first time he described what happened, but then he described it twice more before beginning to go into WHY it was bad, and dude, I got that. Next.

Gray Patricia Briggs

So we've established that I like Patricia Briggs. This isn't her Mercy series, though, it's a different character who's a vampire. I liked it, though not as much as Mercy. (There's just a touch of that I Am Vampire posturing that I find a little wearing with the vampire stories. Werewolves, for example, are much more about emotion, which I think is why I relate to them better.)(I also don't like the word that describes a bunch of vampires: a seethe [shudder].) I'm not sure if this story would have led me to read more of her work, the way the other one did, but it was good.

Squatters' Rights Rochelle Krich

Ohhhh, this one pissed me off. For a while there, I was getting frustrated because we went on for some time with "what is happening" and weren't getting to any discovery or action taken against the evil/creature/whatever it was. It's very in-her-head stuff, and I was reminded of The Yellow Wallpaper in a way (though I like that story). But the end just made me mad. I finished it as I was arriving to meet friends for dinner, and I had to get out my knitting and do some breathing to come out of the fury it roused in me. Ooh! No! This is another author I hadn't heard of, and another I won't be seeking out. Not my type. (Reading is like dating: discuss.)

Blood on the Wall Heather Graham

I found this story hard to get into, and though it didn't make me mad (sadly, a point in its favor), I didn't listen to it all the way through.

The Mansion of Imperatives James Grady

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

The Strength Inside Melissa Marr

Oh, good and amusing and creepy and all. And in retrospect, the title is a good play on words! I may look into more of hers.

Woolsley's Kitchen Nightmare E. E. Knight

This one was very interesting, and very creepy, in a "had to remind myself it was only a story" way. I respect it, but I'm not jumping to try more by the author.

Through This House Seanan McGuire

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

The Path S. J. Rozan

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

Rick the Brave Stacia Kane

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

Full-Scale Demolition Suzanne McLeod

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

It's All in the Rendering Simon R. Green

Didn't get into it, didn't finish it.

In Brightest Day Toni L. P. Kelner

Enjoyable, but nothing thrilling. I liked the main character's sense of humor, though.

In conclusion
I usually read anthologies in bits and pieces, rather than straight through, and I don't think I'll do another on audio. It's just too jarring to jump from one right into another. Also, it's sometimes hard with supernatural stories, if you don't know the world-building, to "hear" what certain words are. On paper, for instance, "she entered the Knowe" is different from "she entered the now", but if they sound the same...

Sadly, there was nothing here that really grabbed me. Unlike what I was reading last night! I had the Bruins game on (of course), but I was reading a book for most of the game. And here's how you can tell it was a good book: I looked up at goals and other scuffles, I knew the Bruins won, but it was only when reading the paper this morning that I learned that Montreal's Mike Cammalleri was traded during the game. Whoops! Kind of big news to miss!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feeling brainstormy? Can you divide 5 by 6 evenly and fairly?

I know I've mentioned before (read: griped about) how at work, we have a schedule for late-night coverage, so we know who will have to stay if work demands it. We're working on the schedule for this year, and being fair and even-handed is a challenge, because there are five days in a work week, and six editors.

Before I and the other new person (TONP) were added to the roster, there were 4 editors (temporarily). Each had one regular night a week, and then they rotated Fridays.

When I was added, I got Fridays (oh joy). When TONP was added, we struggled with how to assign things, and finally she suggested that she could alternate covering weeks for each of us (so I get 5 of 6 Fridays). On the plus side for her, she doesn't always get stuck with Fridays (ugh), but it's harder for her to know ahead of time when her nights are going to be (at least I know that unless I switch, I have most Fridays). She would like to have some more certainty, though, and I don't blame her, but how do we split five nights among six people?

No, seriously, how do we? You're smart people, you can figure it out. Thoughts, suggestions, solutions? If you solve this problem for me, I'll give you credit! I'll send you chocolate! You name it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Tale of Two Cats

I can't tell you how much this reminds me of Carlos and Miri:

funny pictures - I <span class=

There's even some physical similarity.

Really, I could get plenty of video footage of her following him around, and him all but rolling his eyes and sighing.

These still shots might give you the idea.

I was just lying here, comfortable, and SHE came along.
Why can't she leave me in peace?

And stop blocking my sun?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

News Flash: People are different. Really!

Why does it continually surprise me that other people are sometimes different than I am? I know it to be so, but when I encounter an example, it surprises me. Some examples:
  • I was eating lunch at work yesterday, and I should add that perhaps one or two other people may go by when I'm there, but this is not a lunchroom of the everyone-goes-there variety. And a woman came along and said, "May I join you for lunch?" It turns out she's new, and she and I had a very pleasant conversation before I had to go run my errands (post office and bank, tra la). And I'm not bothered that she joined me, but it surprised me. I would never interrupt someone obviously in the middle of reading the paper (as I was) or a book, and especially not if I was new. Good for her, really, but I know I wouldn't have done it.
  • If I am faced with a box of assorted chocolates, the caramels are always my first choice. Thus, if I find caramels left in a half-eaten box of chocolates, it startles me. I recently found a caramel as one of the last two in a box, and whoa, weird.
  • My drive to work takes me past a reservation area*, which at this time of year is not even sunny at 8AM, and yet there are always cars parked at the areas along it, which means (follow my logic here) that there are people out in the woods. Up early, in the cold, and this morning in the fresh dusting of snow**. I can only assume that ALL of them cannot have been forced there at gunpoint, yet that's the only way you'd find me there.
*The kind that preserves nature, not Native Americans or (if you, like me, have been reading Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson books) the fae.
**Yes, snow! I had to clear off my car! It hasn't snowed here since that freak October snowstorm. Shh, don't jinx it: knock on wood!

Do you have examples from your own life? Or am I different even in being surprised by differences?

Monday, January 09, 2012

A Tale of Knitty Kitties

funny pictures - <span class=

funny pictures - Yeah, I didn't know I could knit, either.

I was extra-looking forward to stitch and bitch tonight, and a look at the calendar revealed why: it's a month since I'd been! I was sick last week; the week before we'd just driven back from NY; the week before, I was getting Christmas-y things ready, and vacuuming and the like, the day before my mother's arrival. It's December 12th, the last time I knit with my knit-friends. Whew! It was a nice time, and now I'm home and it's ... time to think about getting ready for bed. Sigh.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Some Video

Well! If you ever wondered what the story of the Three Little Pigs would sound like from Shakespeare ... today is your lucky day! This isn't short, but if words are your thing (as they are mine), try it, I bet you watch to the end!

Or, for a different kind of laugh, watch Robin Williams and Koko the gorilla tickling each other and laughing.

How about that? Isn't this an amazing world sometimes?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

More of Hockey

This morning, as part of Hockey Day in New England or some such, NESN rebroadcast the Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 in which the Bruins won the Cup last season. It was even more entertaining, and much less nerve-wracking, than it was to watch the first time, in real time. Knowing the Bruins win in the end makes all the difference!

I'd forgotten that after the Bruins got their empty-net goal, NBC showed footage of the last time the team won the Cup, in 1972. This is the equivalent of a media outlet "calling" an election before the votes are all in. I would have hated that as a Canucks fan, but of course there we are. I loved it.

The broadcast preceded the Bruins matinee game against Vancouver, the much-ballyhooed rematch, blah blah whatever, how would the Bruins do, after two such unbalanced wins this week?

Well, I hoped. And it was a wild game. But they lost in the end, and two players got game misconducts, which could lead to suspensions. So it was entertaining, but it wasn't quite what I was hoping for.

This video was on Puck Daddy with the headline: This 3-year-old knows San Jose Sharks better than you.

Not only does this kid know the Sharks better than I do:

He may know the Sharks better than I know the Bruins!

PS Joe Thornton makes me choke a little, too, kid. It's the way he is. You'll get used to it.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Go Bruins!

Last night's Bruins game? Rocked. To the tune of 9-0.


At 6-0, the Bruins live-blog asked, "What is this? The Orange Bowl?" Today Puck Daddy named Patrice the number one star for yesterday, and of the game in general concluded:
Sure, a 9-0 loss is an anomaly and the Flames aided and abetted with a terrible performance here, but seriously, the Bruins average 2.09 even-strength goals more than their opponents this season. It's not much of an anomaly.
Amen, brother! That's 15 goals in two games now, and one against. The Bruins have scored more goals than any other team so far this year, and allowed fewer as well. Quoth the Globe, "The Bruins have a plus-69 goal differential to lead the NHL. Detroit is second at plus-40". This makes for a very entertaining time. There are little ups and downs, but most of the team is playing excellently all the time. I approve.

The only even slight shadow last night was when the crowd started chanting, and I knew what they were saying. Years ago I was at a Checkers game and the home team scored nine, and naturally the crowd was having a great time, and if you're having fun you want more, right? So they chanted, "We want ten. We want ten." I was remembering that game before the Garden crowd started the same thing last night.

And my beloved announcers, who are fully into the media hype for this Saturday's Bruins game against Vancouver, It's the Stanley Cup Finals rematch! We've all been waiting for this day since the schedule came out! Blah blah blah! decided that the crowd was chanting, "We want Van."

Honestly. That doesn't even make sense.

But other than that, it was a practically perfect game. They didn't give up, not to the final seconds, on playing the absolute best they could. It was fabulous.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Feeling Bearish (Bruinish, that is)

I'm feeling brief and bullet-point-ish this evening.
  • The Bruins are up 3-0 after the first period. They won last night 6-1. This is a fun time to be a Bruins fan.
  • The NHL 36 program on Bergeron was nothing groundbreaking (ooh, he's a lefty), but I still enjoyed watching it. He's such a nice guy--and such a great player. And he's only 26! He could play for years and years more! (Knock on wood, already.)
  • I've had an upset stomach most of the day (along with a bit of a headache). I had some saltines and ginger ale when I got home, but right now I'm at that uncomfortable intersection between hungry and "what will stay down?"
  • The second period started while I was writing--and Bergeron scored. 4-0! Seguin adds an assist to his first-period goal! Ahhh.
  • I picked up the Patricia Briggs book I mentioned from the library tonight--and left it in the car so I wouldn't start it tonight and be up too late with Can't Put It Down Syndrome. Once in a week is enough to miss sleep over even a good book. (I couldn't get it from the library tomorrow: the library closes at 5 on Friday nights, which makes me nuts.)
  • Whoops, 5-0! Calgary's coach is about to go postal. I didn't realize I was live-blogging this game.
  • I'm finishing up the sock that I started Christmas eve. The second one of the pair will probably take a lot longer!
  • Achoo! My nose still hurts.
  • 6-0! It's not even five minutes into the second! I've got to go watch this game!
All the news that's fit to print!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Go Bruins! The Bergeron, Sore Nose, Patricia Briggs Entry

My brother has a t-shirt that says, "Can't sleep, clowns will eat me" repeating several times in ever-smaller type*, and that's what went through my head as I thought about blogging tonight, and felt slight panic: "Can't blog, Bergeron's on TV!"

*I did a brief web search and found manymanymany options, none of which look exactly like his shirt. Since I don't want to buy one anyway**, I'll leave it there. If you want one, you have a lot to choose from.
**If you're shopping for me, I'd rather have a Don't Blink one, perhaps like this, which combines the Doctor Who saying with the Keep Calm trope
. Or, of course, Keep Calm and Carry Yarn, like this one. Not that I'm asking you to buy me a shirt. (XL.)(Just kidding.) Moving on.

My favorite Bruin (as I've said often and often), Patrice Bergeron, was the first (I think)* subject of an NHL special called NHL 36, which follows an NHL player for 36 hours. (NHL NHL NHL!) It's on at 6:30! I have to watch!

*First I cared about, anyway. Proudly biased.

Well, wait, I then realized. I could always blog after the show, while half-watching the pre-game (the team's on the road tonight, so instead of the usual 7 o'clock start, it's at 7:30). The game tonight's not on the local station, NESN* (so it won't even be "my" guys), it's on the NBC Sports Network, the new name for Versus, which used to be the Outdoor Life Network/OLN, and who knows what they'll call it next. "NBC Sports Network" doesn't exactly flow trippingly on the tongue, does it?

*Though actually NESN still does a pre-game, so I don't have tune out the national guys for this half hour (though I'll still half tune out the locals). The game will be enough of them. I like Jack and Brick.

And what topic compels me to blog at all? Well, good question. Nothing earthshaking, really. My nose hurts, and I'm reading a good series. Let's go from ridiculous to (relatively) sublime, shall we?

Continued Less-Than-Perfect Health
Or: Achoo--Honk--Ow

My poor nose. I've taken out large bags full of trash twice since I got sick, and I swear each was three-quarters used tissues. I'm sneezing a bit today, still rather congested, and thus still extra blowing. My nose hurts.

On the other hand, I'm glad I had plenty of Puffs in the house when I got sick.

AND enough cat food! It was a close thing whether I'd have had "enough to get past the trip" or more than, and it would have sucked if I'd run out on Thursday. Or Friday. Or Saturday.

I'm also grateful that my mother spent part of last Tuesday doing some of my laundry, so I'm not all behind and searching for clean clothes this week. Thanks again!

Reading Again. Or Still. Are You Surprised?

The author is Patricia Briggs, whose work I first encountered in an anthology last fall. I picked up Down These Strange Streets (from the library, of course) based on its Charlaine Harris story, but went through to see if anyone else appealed to me, author-wise. Some stories I didn't finish, some I finished and wasn't interested enough to delve deeper into, but I liked the story by Patricia Briggs, so I got (again through the library) the first of her books in the related series. I liked it, and have now worked my way up to where the next one I get will be my last catch-up title, and I will be (gasp) reduced to waiting for her to write more. Oh, the horror! And, more practically, to trying some of her other series to see if I like them as much (happily, she has many other things to try).

This series features Mercy Thompson, an independent woman and auto mechanic who happens to be a shifter, meaning she turns into a coyote. She was raised by werewolves, so they're all over all the books, plus there are vampires in some books and fae in others (sometimes both in the same). The human characters too are plentiful and well-developed, and the relationships between all of the above are complex and real and may surprise you.

There are a lot of books out there with supernatural creatures, and while I haven't read them all I've tried more than a few. I was thinking last night that Patricia Briggs may have edged out Laurell Hamilton in my preferences; I've read Laurell's Anita Blake books for years, but as the series gets yet more violent and yet more sexual, I get yet less comfortable with reading them, and stopped buying them a few back. Mercy has much-less-detailed/graphic sex, and less-detailed and in-depth violence, which I find more to my tastes.

Also, Briggs writes well, and very ... thoughtfully, I want to say. She doesn't cut the easy corners. Mercy and her I-won't-spoil-it-for-you love interest like each other (it isn't purely physical attraction, though there's that too), and they understand each other. In the last one I read, she tries to apologize to him after something went wrong, and he points out that she wouldn't have done anything different, she had her reasons, and it didn't call for an apology. He's not happy about it, but points out that she is who she is. (What, no pointless misunderstanding?) Not that he's not upset ... he does some damage to the office, but not to her. I don't know; it felt refreshing. I like their relationship. I like that she doesn't run away from problems, but tries to address them, fix them. She's practical, and she feels real.

Even when she shifts into a coyote. No one's perfect.

Now, the game's started, so I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Distracted Start: Old Movies

Isn't it funny when you put things together? I turned on an old movie tonight, Hearts Divided (it's Marion Davies' birthday; learn something new every day)(no, I never heard of her either), from 1936, and found it most amusing, if terribly unlikely. Nice for instance how they make no attempt to have Napoleon and his brother sound French; and the attitudes about the servants are quite through rose-colored glasses.

But I also recognized more than one of the actors, and turned to IMDB to place them. Claude Rains is one thing, but I knew one of them from Holiday, the wonderful Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn movie that a friend introduced me to only a few years ago. Edward Everett Horton was great fun in that, and here he is in this one. I turned to his IMDB page to see what else I might have seen him in, and behold! He was the narrator of Fractured Fairy Tales on Bullwinkle! Also I clearly haven't watched Arsenic and Old Lace in too long, for I don't remember him in that. I'll watch it soon, and I'm sure it will all fall into place.

Another actor who sounds familiar, but looks far too young, turns out to have been in the Hayley Mills version of The Parent Trap--of course! My goodness: Grandfather!

Isn't it disconcerting to see an actor you "knew" as older suddenly grown young? I do love old movies.

Well, that wasn't how I planned to start, was it? I'm feeling so much better today that I've had to remind myself frequently, "so much better than I was" does not equal "well".

Progression in how I've felt during this illness:
Thursday: "I feel like shit. No, worse than that."
Friday: "Wow, I feel like shit. No, worse than that."
Saturday: "Wow, I still feel like shit. No, still worse than that."
Sunday: "Hey, I feel like shit, but not worse."
Monday: "Yup, still feel like shit."
Tuesday: "Wow, I still feel like shit."

Only for so long does the "I don't feel as bad as I did" feeling give me a rush. Today I kept somehow forgetting that I'm still not 100%, attempting to move at my normal pace, and going, "ooh, bad idea." I don't think turning my head should make me dizzy, for one thing. At one point, I made myself giggle by imagining going to my boss and saying, "I'm sorry, but I can't have two monitors after all; swiveling my head between them is making me dizzy."

So there we are! Better, but not all better. The movie is done, I've had dessert and want my dinner, the lovers were parted and reunited, the three spurned suitors (the third one was the butler in Heidi, and the constable in Mary Poppins!) are left to console themselves, and Napoleon must build his empire without the consolidation of a royal marriage by his brother.

Oh, should I have warned you there were spoilers? Well, here's a general spoiler: if I love a movie, it almost always has a happy ending. Goodnight!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Still Tired, Slight Improvement, Look at Yarn

Gradually, my health improves. Today a friend came over for a belated Christmas, and I also left the house. No, I did! I went to the grocery store! It was great!

So I may still be slightly lightheaded. But I felt like I was safe to drive, and it's nice to have fresh supplies around the house. Such as vitamin C, of which I ran out on Christmas weekend (aka, about three days before I was felled by this bug). I swear, I kind of don't believe it helps with colds, but every time a bottle runs out, I get sick. Every. Single. Time. So, back on the C!

I did decide, reluctantly, that I'd better play it safe and not go out again, which meant no stitch and bitch tonight. I did want to go, but I'm still very tired, and I need to go to work tomorrow. So in lieu of that, I'll share some yarniness here tonight.

My mother suggested that fingerless gloves might be nice for when her arthritis is bothering her. I whipped this pair out in no time:

And was emboldened to try another pair as well:

If you are paying attention, you might see that this photo does not technically show a pair. The other hand is half done. Such is Christmas with a knitter! I'll finish the other soon.

In other knitting, I made a cowl and wristwarmers for my friend:

And in knitting for myself news, I finished the second of this pair on Christmas eve:

And immediately started the next pair. Due to the therapeutic power of knitting during a wonderful but overpowering Christmas day, I was past the heel before night fell. I started the toe today.

Santa also brought knitterly presents. For a start, my cousin got me a GC to my nearest LYS, which cracks me up as she is in PA (the powers of the internet!), and my grandmother gave me a check in a card in which (after the pre-printed "To wish you a joyous Christmas and Happiness throughout the coming year") she had penned "and lots more yarn". Smart woman!

My dear brother went into a yarn store in SF, and told me that when he was questioned about his knitter by the woman there, he told her that "She goes to Rhinebeck." Clever boy! He came out with this fun pattern book:

And this lovely yarn of many colors:

So both giving and receiving went well, yarnwise (and otherwise, but I'm yarn-focused tonight).

In other news, Carlos would like you to give thanks with him for the turkey breast I brought home from the store. (It's not all for him, but he doesn't know that.)

He's been a very comforting presence during my illness. Such a good boy deserves some poultry.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Possibly Too Much Information

funny pictures - lovely. thanks so much for sharing.

The older I get, the more it seems that any bug I catch knocks me flat on my back, too exhausted to move, with only relatively minor other symptoms. It's not exactly that I'm nostalgic for the days when my symptoms were more like what the cold-remedy commercials cover, but it's still kind of weird. Plus, you don't get as much sympathy when you tell people that you've been in bed for days. But this isn't the fun kind of lazing around.

That said, I actually have been mostly in bed for days. Wednesday evening, I was so tired, and slightly headachy, that I was in bed before 9 (which is when the Bruins game started, silly Phoenix being time zones away). When I woke later with a worse head, and then later again when I ended up running to the bathroom to throw up, I figured it was a bad migraine, hormonally triggered. And maybe it was; there's no reason I couldn't get a migraine and whatever is going around simultaneously (no reason other than universal compassion, anyway, and how often is the world short on that?).

So when I was wiped out Thursday morning, I figured it was that. I e-mailed work to tell them I'd be in late, and went back to sleep. When I finally got up, I still wasn't feeling well. But we're really busy at work, and short-handed, and I felt like it was the responsible thing to do, going in. (Stupid work ethic.) I dragged in by 11, managed to complete one project anyway, and left at 4 feeling like driving wasn't the best thing for me to do, but what other options did I have? I drove carefully and tried my best to focus, and made it home safely (thanks to my guardian angel for that, by the way). I dropped my coat on a chair, kicked off my sneakers, and fell into bed fully dressed.

Two hours later, when I woke up to go to the bathroom, I did take off my jeans and sweatshirt...and went right back to sleep for a few more hours. Then I was up briefly before going back to sleep. Friday was much the same, I think, though it's all kind of hazy now. But sleep, up, drink or eat something (and what a time not to have ice cream in the freezer!), repeat. I didn't even go downstairs for mail or the newspapers until Saturday. Whew! Basically, the exhaustion, and truly disgusting congestion, are my only symptoms. Today I've been up almost all day; I did lie down for a little while, but didn't fall asleep. Progress! Plus I showered! Standing up all that time! It felt wonderful.

Granted, I haven't done much. Still no extra energy. Reading and watching TV have been most of the day. A little knitting--and wasn't that an adventure last night! I blogged yesterday that I was going to knit while watching the hockey game, then realized that my knitting was in the car (as indicated, I wasn't really firing on all cylinders when I got home Thursday). And I actually went down and got it! Trust me, that was a major achievement, the way I was feeling.

It was nice to knit again, though the Bruins lost. I'm kind of bummed that I missed their 8-0 blowout against Florida on Christmas Adam, when we were in NY, and even their win in OT Wednesday when I was non compos mentis, but got to watch Dallas take them down. Oh well, it's one game. They don't play again until Wednesday, which is weird. These few weeks are a major lull in their schedule, and though it will be hard on them when the pace picks up again, it will be nice for the observer.

I mentioned yesterday that I'd started to write a longer post, but lacked the energy to finish it. This is what I wrote earlier Saturday:

So I'm still sick. I went back to bed at 2 this afternoon, after having been up for some record-breaking amount of time like three hours (in a row!), and fell so deeply asleep, and so deeply into such weird dreams*, that I jerked awake with honestly no idea of what day it was**. Like, I might have been asleep all night. It was 4:30, still Saturday afternoon.

*Like how the ATM rejected me the first two times I tried to take money out because after I messed up my password, I didn't respond to the check question in time, which involved some sort of calculation, and then the third time it ate my card and gave me five brochures about what to do next.
**It was very overcast today, so there wasn't any sort of real clue from the amount of daylight.

So if I sound loopier than usual, it's because I am. I just decided to put in my contact lenses, and had to lean against the handy door frame at one point because oh, I'm still kind of woozy, eh? I hope this is the tail end of this Thing, wagging on its way out.

So let's talk about something else, shall we? I think so. And I choose the 2011 Books I Have Read topic.

Assuming that I don't finish another book tonight (I have 6 hours, but considering my sleep-to-awake ratio of the last few days, it's highly doubtful I'll even open one), the magic number for this year is (drumroll, please): 182. And that's with starting the listkeeping on January 7th, so the actual number might have been slightly higher. Or not.

I did not, in fact, read another book last night, so 182 remains the total. I read 106 books for the first time, and thus 76 were re-reads (which is why Goodreads, neat as it is, is not for me). I liked the spreadsheet method for keeping track of them, and will be continuing that in 2012. At least until the world ends.

And with that, I think I've used up all the energy for tonight. Happy New Year!