Friday, May 31, 2013

Looking at Saturday

Tomorrow is going to be a day of highs and lows for me.

Low: annual mammogram time! Why, it seems like much less than a year since I was called back for a second screening that was so agonizingly painful it left bruises! (Remember that? I do!)

High: well, other than the fact that it's Saturday (ahhhh), and that the temps will be high (double ahhhh), the Bruins' next series starts! Yay! I'm hoping for the Bruins to acquit themselves well overall, of course--hell, you know I want them to win--but I'm really hoping to see Jagr take off, as he has yet to do in the playoffs.
Interesting stats about the special teams (courtesy of Backhand Shelf):
PIT: 24.7% (2nd)
BOS: 14.8% (26nd)

Penalty kill:
PIT: 79.6% (25th)
BOS: 87.1% (4th)
So, basically, it's really good power play versus really good penalty kill, and ... pretty rotten PP versus equally rotten PK. Should be interesting!

In other hockey news, from the NYT, an extremely thorough piece about exactly why a Canadian team hasn't won the Cup since 1993. Twenty years ago, people!
Incidentally, speaking of hockey stats, how crazy is it that the last four Cup winners are the last four left in the playoffs this year? I'll tell you: it's freaking nuts.

In conclusion, now for something completely different: a cow on a car hood. Of course.
That is all. Good night!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Florida: Some Bad, Mostly Great, Lots of Photos (Batch 1, Anyway)

You can imagine my pleasure in the fact that tomorrow is Friday. Coming back from a trip on Wednesday night makes for a fairly painless re-entry to work. Or at least, the pain is short-lived!

It goes without saying that I had a great time visiting my mother in Florida (duh, right?), but I will go farther and state that I had a great time in spite of three things: some rain, fire ants, and food poisoning. Now, that's saying something!

First: rain. It's not unexpected in southwest Florida at this time of year. A nice feature is that storms often blow in and out again pretty quickly, meaning that the whole day is not necessarily lost. And it was nice and warm almost the whole time, which made me very happy. (As Melissa noted, I brought the warmth back with me, which makes me so happy. Sorry if it's not your thing, but it's mine: I like warm. Not as fond of humid, true, but I'll always pick both warm and humid over neither.) I even got a little sun, without burning, which also makes me happy. (In short: I am happy.)

Two: fire ants. They got my mother much worse than they got me. I have two bites on my left foot that get itchy particularly when I walk around with shoes on (and sometimes when I'm just sitting, barefoot). Solution: minimize the amount of time that I walk around with shoes on, as much as possible. I would be complaining about it far more except for the simultaneous perspective I was given when my mother got bitten ALL OVER her foot, so that it looks like she has two different feet from two entirely different people (who do not wear the same shoe size, by the way). The poor woman has been in pain, icing and elevating her poor swollen foot since Monday. Public service announcement: stay away from fire ants*. They are nasty. (You're welcome.)
*No, I don't actually know how to do this. We never saw them before they started biting. Does anyone else know?

Seriously, though, we went to the local Memorial Day ceremony, so nice and patriotic, and look what happened. They need to Do Something About That, don't you think? (It was still nice and patriotic. Just, you know, not really worth the aftermath.)

Three: urp. As to the food poisoning, well, that was all mine, and I'm not sure I've ever been sicker, honestly. It was Saturday afternoon, so it might have been from lunch (if it developed somewhat slowly) or it might have been from the frappuccino at Starbucks (if it developed almost immediately); I don't think we can be sure. Everything tasted fine! Point is, after seven bouts of throwing up, over 5+ hours, I was never so grateful to have a sleeping pill work. Whew! Seriously awful. And did I mention that this was Saturday? As in: I missed the whole Bruins game. I'm glad they won and all, but I would have liked to be compos mentis for the game. (Oh well. Next round starts Saturday, so you'll hear plenty about that in the next few days.) I felt quite a bit better when I got up on Sunday, and back to myself by afternoon/evening, so it didn't spoil too much of the trip.

And really, the trip may not have been perfect, for those reasons, but it was still really good. We spent some time sitting on the lanai, reading and talking, and what's better than that? We also watched an old PEI video I found at the library book sale last year, and The Muppets. Fresh-squeezed oj (squeezed by my saintly mother before the end of orange season and frozen for me; yes, I am spoiled) and raspberries and coffeecake. Delicious meals in and out, often overlooking the water. Sunsets over the beach. Egrets and cormorants.

Pictures! (Click on any one to make it bigger.) 
Here is the weather I left behind in Boston.
The sock, where I got it to *just* as we reached the gate.
Friday night, dinner overlooking sunset on the beach.
Lunch overlooking the water, Saturday.
Fun wine the first.
And the second.
Dude floating past lunch on the water on Sunday.
Clearly a Bostonian boater: it's a "keepah"! ("Keeper" to the rest of you.)
We were wondering when they ring the bell. Closing time, maybe? Last call?
Beach walk around sunset on Sunday.
Feathery dude hopping from rock to rock.
Sunset over the breakwater.
Different feathery dude on the right.
Out for a walk.
Dramatic clouds are dramatic.
Boats being ridiculously lit by dramatic clouds.
Beach vista from left...
And across...
And across...
To right.
Another feathery guy.
"You gots anything good? Like fishies?"
Feathery sky and sailboat.
Floating past.
Tide and beach.
Crazy sky-feathers.

This is for you--you know who you are.
Hard to read, but that's the Shallow Minded.
Sunset driving home.

If you're cold-blooded, does the blood even rush to your head when you hang upside down?
Ho hum, another beautiful sunset.
Now we're just showing off.
All right, I love the warm, but I'm sticking to the desk. More another night! (Yes, there are more. New here, are you? Welcome. I take a lot of pictures.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Again, and all that

I have returned to the land of pigeons and sea gulls, from the land of egrets and cormorants (three guess which I prefer to see). Carlos is very happy to see me; Miri is ... you know. One day, the petsitter's note said, "I was able to pet Carlos but Miri runs away." Welcome to my life, ma'am.

Over the last five days I took, well, less than 200 photos, so rest assured I will be putting many of them up in the next few days. Tonight, though, they're still on the camera, and I have to unpack my suitcase, with frequent kitty-cuddle stops, so I will give you this, which a friend shared on Facebook:
Vacations ARE so relaxing, aren't they?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Of Jackhammers, Weather, and Away!

When I got to work this morning, it was to find that they were doing construction (or, rather, deconstruction) on the sidewalk just outside the office: literally, a jackhammer outside our windows. The floor was vibrating, the desk was vibrating: terrible. We were kind of laughing at how bad it was, but I also took Excedrin, since I could feel the vibrations around my head like an invisible swarm of bees. I was afraid I was going to have to tell the person whose report I was working on that it was edited as much as it was going to be. One of my coworkers had a call scheduled with a VIP in Italy, and was stressing out about how she would be able to hear him.

At 8:15, the noise stopped. We were afraid that it would start back up immediately, but in fact all was peaceful.

For five minutes.

Twenty minutes of rattling vibrating noise later, it stopped again. We waited.

Fifteen minutes later: again. Ten more minutes. Stop. Start again. Stop. I considered the possibility that we had achieved the definition of torture. It started again. Stopped. Meanwhile, someone must have let the boss (who wasn't in the office today) know about it, since she e-mailed to tell us that she contacted the office to tell them it had to stop once and for all. Which it did, thank heavens.

Still, wouldn't you think, if you had an office park, that it might be good to do such work outside normal business hours? Even if it cost you more?

When I booked my flight, about six weeks ago, I remember thinking that by the time the trip came, I probably wouldn't even be excited to go to the warmer weather*, because by the time the trip came, it would be nice weather here. Well, ha!
*I'd still be excited to go, mind you; just not for the weather.

We have had nice weather here since then, but not for any sustained period of time, and this week? Well, yesterday was forecast to be 80 and instead reached the mid-60s. This morning was again 60, damp, thunderstorms coming. Warmer when I left work, but still, not that warm. Not nice. The five-day forecast has "highs" in the 50s and 60s.

In Florida, meanwhile, I'm looking at forecast highs in the 80s to low 90s, and counting my blessings. Relaxing with my mother, letting her spoil me, AND being warm? Count me in. If only Carlos would come, it would be perfect. (But then, it would be much harder to ever leave...)

I also thought I'd be well into summer clothes mode by now, and other than a sleeveless shirt here or there, I am not. Have to dig things out and get packing! I may write here while I'm away ... or I might not. Happy Memorial Day weekend to the Americans, and Go Bruins!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Briefly, On Hockey and Other Things

So, the Bruins ... won last night. That was nice, eh? New York scored first, but the Bruins tied it up, then went ahead on the weirdest bounce I've ever seen a puck make, and then, well, strangely enough I wasn't that worried that they could hold onto the lead, and they did, and they won. How about that, eh? What a peaceful state of non-panic.

They're now up three games to none, and I have to agree with Stanley Cup of Chowder, thinking back to 2010 and worrying about this team this year feels silly. This is not that team. This team went on to win the Cup the next year. This team has learned so much since 2010. This is not their first time at the rodeo, and it shows.

Now, I'm not guaranteeing a sweep tomorrow night; far from it. Just saying I feel neither overconfident nor doomed. Nice.

In non-Bruins news (or only indirectly), points to Puck Daddy for concluding, in linking to the story that astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth wearing a Maple Leafs shirt under his space suit, with this gem: "marking the second time in just a few hours that someone rocking that logo crashed back to earth." Ouch! But Hadfield himself said, "It turns out...both of us went down in flames on the same day."

If I had to write a poem about this morning's commute (don't worry, I'm not), I would try to rhyme "traffic" and "horrific". Just so you know.

They really don't rhyme, do they? It seems like they should.

Early this afternoon (about 1:20 Eastern time, if you noticed), there came a point when I could actually feel time slowing down. A day and a half to work before my trip, and suddenly the clock isn't moving... It doesn't bode well for tomorrow, does it?

Here, let me finish with a random cute picture from the internet. I haven't posted this yet, have I?
How many ways do I love this picture?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Too Tired Too Early

For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night, and oh, how I abused that snooze button this morning. Good thing it can't talk back! Carlos didn't help me sleep, since he had a raging case of the phantom-starving, no, not that food, I want other food going on. So that was fun (not), and it was a long sleepy day, and the Bruins game didn't start until 7:30 tonight, and I'm fearful of more overtime. But sufficient unto the day is the overtime thereof, etcetera*.
*By the way, Blogger's spell-check flagged etcetera, and its first suggestion is tetrameter. Because of course that's what I meant. No, racketeer! No, terrace!

Monday morning was a perfect example of what I mean when I sometimes think, "People don't understand what I really mean when I say that I am totally uncoordinated." I managed to punch* the door frame, and what was I doing? Putting on my shirt. The way I do every morning after I shower, and I've never hit the door frame before, but ow, ow, ow, I hit it dead on yesterday. Seriously, I literally bruised my knuckles** putting on my shirt. This is a special level of uncoordinated, don't you think?
*Being the word nerd that I am, I also wondered if "punch" was the right word. Does that imply intention? I certainly didn't mean to do it!
**I was putting ice on them Monday morning. There is slight but visible bruising. Honestly!

Given that my Monday morning could be said to have started with the 1 AM experience of stepping in cat vomit, it was clear that this week would have another true Monday. It ended, by the way, when I walked into something and bashed my toe, just to balance the hand from the morning. How is it that the weekend before a trip evaporates in the blink of an eye, but the week before departure stretches endlessly?

Naturally, just to make it all Even More So, the head bigwig is in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday, so dressing up is required* (though I still don't understand why we have a different dress code when he's here). Dude needs to go home for a while; he was just here.
*Mind you, today I wore some of my Chico's Travelers wardrobe, which is as comfortable as sweats, but it's the principle of the thing.

I was so tired this morning that, when the idea of boss-sponsered lunch crossed my mind, I kind of hoped that he wouldn't be doing it again, since the ordering was so stressful last time (I know, I'm so weird). And I thought that since my boss didn't say anything about it in the morning, that I was off the hook, but there she was at 11, holding out his credit card and telling me that what we got last time would be fine--like I remembered exactly what we got last time! I'm so much better at planning than I am at spontaneity. This time, I'll keep the notes, which should guarantee that I don't have to do it again. (I don't know what will happen tomorrow; last time, he wasn't here for two days, just the one. Will it be pizza again? Stay tuned!)

It does go to show that if you don't want to get to be The Person Who Always Does That Thing, you should mess it up the first time. Otherwise, you're stuck! Your helpful lesson for the day, kids.

Now, I'm off to eat something and watch the rest of the Bruins game. However long that takes (yawn). Go Bruins!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hockey, Links, Yarn, Knitting. All Good!

I've been getting so much done today, listing it all would make me tired--or, rather, more tired, since the actual doing has been tiring already. In a good, accomplishy way, but still. Of course, watching the Bruins win raised my energy level a bit! They managed to win by more than a goal! In regulation! Nice.

Not that I wasn't happy with Thursday's win, just exhausted: happy zombie. Though I do hope this picture of the celebration makes Hockey Hugs:
I mean, do you know how high Marchand had to jump to be over Chara's head? Ah, Marchand: as Puck Daddy referred to him, "the little guy with the big heart and even bigger nose."

And then the next sentence: "That's Patrice Bergeron with the game-winning assist, as if you had to ask." According to a quick check, I first mentioned Bergeron on this blog on August 10, 2006, a mere day after starting the blog. This is how much a fan of his I am (as you may have noticed, in the 50+ times I've mentioned him). So you can imagine how pleased I am to see him getting some serious appreciation: on Puck Daddy, on ESPN, and from the boys at Backhand Shelf, on the podcast, and also a blog post, "Perfect Patrice," dedicated to his wonder. That's right!

I think that catches me up on hockey. What about yarn? I went to the Webs tent sale yesterday with friends--fabulous! And though I spent $100, I could easily, oh so easily have spent two or three times that, so it was actually restrained.

I was very happy to see that the Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn was 25% off. There wasn't much of the lightweight left, but two skeins of mediumweight in lovely blue will make me something beautiful, I know:
There was also Ella Rae Lace Merino, like I used recently and liked, half off, discontinued colors. Yes please!
I know, more blue. What can I say, I love it! This blue period, first noted over two years ago,shows no signs of stopping. Though it does get broken up. The skein on the right has colors like a kaleidoscope, different on all sides. See?
When I went to put it on the shelf, it found a happy home next to this one, from Webs last fall:
I also got a skein, in Bruins-gold, of impossibly soft yarn that I'm thinking would make a nice little cowl.
Debbie Bliss Andes, which is baby alpaca and silk. Go. Find some. Revel in the soft.

My final purchase was not on sale, but too beautiful for me to mind that. A little Lantern Moon project bag, in the most gorgeous colors, inside and out.

That doesn't even capture it fully. Love it.

As well as yarn, there was knitting. It's rare for me to have car time when I'm not the driver! I got one sock safely around the heel, so it can be purse-ready:
And I finally finished the previous pair, that kept getting set aside for not being in the right place at a pertinent time. Like for the Yarn Harlot's lecture, and the Bruins game. Whoops! Done at last.
If you look closely, you'll see the heels don't match.
I'm such a rebel. Which one do you like better in this yarn? (Knit Picks Stroll, by the way.)

Do you read the blog Love and Hisses? If not, don't miss Miri's moment in the sun. Maybe the right someone will see it! (If not, I'm putting up fliers around town. Operation Get Her Out of Here is in full swing!)

Time to face the Sunday night. Weekends should all be three days long, at least. And getting ready for a trip? Absolutely! (I don't leave until Friday, but I have plenty to do before then.)

Look out: here comes Monday!