Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Here I Am!

I got a bit philosophical on the drive in to work this morning, which is unusual for me at that hour of the day. I was stopped at a traffic light behind one vehicle, which was signalling a right turn, as I also intended to make. When the light turned green, the driver dithered his way forward, as though there was a lot to consider in the concept of going, while from across the intersection, someone making a left turn bulled his way in between the idiot's car and mine. Jerk, right? Which got me thinking, which would you rather deal with, an idiot or a jerk?

Anyway. Onward. It hasn't been my week for blogging, has it? And tomorrow night the boss has invited us to have a happy hour, so who knows how that will go; I may get home with stories to tell, or too tired to turn the computer on*. As for last night, I'm happy to report that it was a combination of laziness and cramps that kept me off the computer, nothing more serious.
 *It needs replacing so badly anyway; right now it's driving me crazy making all sorts of working-so-hard noises when it isn't supposed to be doing anything. I mean, a little whirring is one thing, but this is seriously stupid noise for what I'm doing.

Well, that and a little cat-juggling: I wanted to spend time with Belmont, since I hadn't spent much with her on Tuesday night OR on Monday night, what with the headache-and-knitting-group-ness of Monday and the NHL-Awards-and-peas-ness of Tuesday, and of course my sitting in the office for half an hour with her last night put Carlos's nose completely out of joint, so then I had to spend some time with him ... they need to chill out, soon, already. I tried leaving her out for the night last night, mostly from inertia, and as I tried to get to sleep, between the heat and the humidity and the cramps, Carlos kept waking me over and over, mrrping, even though as far as I can tell she was in the closet the whole time. I finally gave up, lured her out with food, and shut her in the office so that he would settle down already and let me sleep. Between that and the cramps, I was heavy-eyed today. Bleargh.

Tuesday's head was better than Monday's head, which had been better than Sunday's head. Yay, I guess? Monday I was functional, mostly, but that was about the best that could be said. It wasn't an easy day by any means, especially given what I was working on ("challenging"), but I'd rather not rub their face in my migraines until they've decided they can't live without me, and we're not quite there yet. Yesterday the cramps were the factor, not the head, and much the same today. Bleargh, as I said.

The NHL awards, though, mustn't forget them! My boy Bergeron won the Selke again (that's for defensive forward, which fits him to a T), and also the NHL Foundation Player award (which, um, okay, whatever, I guess it's for his charity work), and was announced as the cover boy for the video game NHL 15. Ahh. Tuukka also won the Vezina (or, as he called it, "the goalie one"), and Chara didn't win the Norris, which is too bad but whatever. A good night for the Bruins, overall, and especially for my favorite.

One more thing about that NHL 15 cover announcement: it was preceded by a weird dance-off thing with these dancers in Montreal colors (for the other finalist) and Bruins colors, dancing at each other. It was supremely weird, and I can't believe video of it isn't on the internet. How is that possible? Not one person thought it needed to be up? As WEEI said, "having a group of masked dancers point to a video screen to reveal Bergeron as the NHL 15 cover athlete — with no further acknowledgement of it from anyone — was laughably weird." But here's a still shot of them with Subban:
See what I mean?

By the way, in unrelated news, if I may pat myself on the back, I rode the bike for a few minutes last night, in spite of the cramps. Less than 10, but still, more than zero! I will try to get back on tonight, which means I'd better wrap up this now.

Don't forget to weigh in: jerk or idiot?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I could be blogging

Or I could be shelling and eating fresh peas while watching the NHL awards. 

Sorry (not sorry).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Very. Briefly. Very!

Came home from stitch and bitch, ready to crash. Must pay attention to cat first. Zzzzz. So, what do I have for you?

A random cat photo from the intertubes:
And a random music video, knit-themed. Some people are so creative!

It just blows me away. (Found on The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done)


The head isn't all better, but it's tolerable. Someone is trying her best to heal with the classic laying on of paws.

Today's Migraine Analogy

Imagine that as you are getting ready for your day, a 60-pound weight is placed on your shoulders. It is attached to your head as well, so that it pulls on your scalp and skull and brain, even your eyeballs. Go ahead, tackle that to-do list now.

And this is why I want a round of applause for emptying the dishwasher today.

Friday, June 20, 2014

​And Now the Job Update​

I've been at the new job for three weeks now; it seems both longer and less than that. I've settled in somewhat, remembering names and tweaking the commute, learning the traffic trouble spots and re-centering myself on the new location for after-work errands and the like. I have my plant and pictures on my desk, and both have prompted conversations, which is a good thing, getting to know people. It is nice not to be freezing all the time (would you believe, if we adjust the thermostat, it affects the fan? crazy!), and since we're on the fourth floor, I'm getting some extra exercise since most days I do the stairs. Whuf! Down is much easier than up.

The office setup will change when we move to bigger space down the hall, which is supposed to happen next month, so I don't feel like I'm completely nested, but that's okay for now (she said bravely). I do wonder what it will be like there, what will be different and what the same. (Will I really have my own office? That would be sweet, but I don't want to get too excited until I find out for sure.) My current location in the office is very central, which is both good and bad; I'm interested is getting to know how things work here, but there are a lot of distractions. My desk faces a window into the little common area with kitchenette stuff, the supply closet and coffee machine and bathroom, and the copier, so there's a lot of noise and movement. I also can see the door into the hall, so when deliveries come in, if no one's at the reception desk (which there usually is*, but not always), they see me first. I can also see another door, out in the hall, that seems to be building maintenance or some such; there's no sign on the door, but they are in and out all day long, and I can't not notice, even if I have headphones in (which is more often listening to conference presentations than music, but either way blocks out sound, not sight).
*There's been a temp filling the receptionist/office manager role; apparently the permanent one will be there next week. It's nice to have one, anyway! Since we didn't at my last company. And the president's executive assistant started this week; at my last job, the head of the division (the boss of my boss) didn't have one of those, either, and it always seemed ridiculous to me that she didn't.

I'm starting to figure out who does what in the general scheme of things; it's slightly complicated by the changes that are coming along as the parent company expands operations*, but at least I only have to deal with interim-now and what-will-be, I didn't have to transition from how-it-was. The other editor who's been guiding me and the VP of publishing are both friendly AND are my kind of word people, which is awesome to work for/with; when you are the sort of person who cares about the Oxford comma or if something should be hyphenated, it's wonderful to work with kindred spirits. There are a number of cat people here, too. One of them is the in-house medical writer, who started the day after I did, and she wants us to work together and learn from each other, which will be helpful to both of us.
*Which of course is why I have my job, so I'm keeping that in mind, believe me.

On the actual work side of it, things continue to go well, with only occasional overwhelmed moments. I'm working out my own processes for how to keep track of things, what I'll want to save and how best to save it, physical files and electronic, and I'm organizing all my notes into lists that will allow for quick access when a question comes up that I know I've asked before. I started work on my first solo conference today; obviously I'll still ask a million questions, but still, eek!

Next thing to update: knitting!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Latest Cat Update

I want to update you on the cats, and on the new job. Tonight, I pick cats.

The cat integration project really is going so well*, but at the same time, I'm a little sick of it, you know? All the cat juggling. Last night after I shut Belmont in the office, I sat down for a minute before I let Carlos out of the bedroom, just to enjoy a moment when no one was meowing at me. (I have to shut him in if I'm going to spend any time with her, unless I feel like listening to his complaints the whole time. Most of the time when I shut him in the bedroom, he just lays on the bed or in the window and hangs out until the door opens again. He isn't suffering, is my point.)
*When Tonto had been here this long, I still couldn't leave them alone together. Never did, in fact, did I? But still.

So yes, I have been shutting Belmont in the office at night, just to avoid any drama (there hasn't been much, really, but I need my sleep, yo, I'm tired enough as it is). I first let her out (when Carlos wasn't shut away, I mean) and left them for a few hours on Saturday, and again on Sunday, and there was little enough drama (they mostly ignore each other) that I did decide she could stay out during the day when I'm at work.

So I let her out in the morning, and she meows at me a bit and then heads directly into the closet, which she has chosen as her home away from home. This is a closet in the kitchen that I use as a combination coat closet and general storage: recycling, packs of Coke, odds and ends of kitchen implements, bags, tools, things that I should sort through and get rid of, mostly, that kind of thing. She climbs back into the corner and seems to sleep most of the day; obviously I can't say for sure how much she's in there when I'm not home, but she goes right in, and comes out when I come home. I noticed yesterday that she ate some of her food, which I had put down in the morning but she ignored to go into the closet, so she did come out for that long, anyway.

I don't get the sense that she's scared, just that she feels safe there. Carlos has approached her, cautiously, in the office when he hears her use the litter box for example, but otherwise he only cares about her if I'm giving her attention (of which he does not approve, naturally). Usually she comes out at night and is happy to have me pet her and pet her and pet her.

One really unnecessary complication to the whole situation: this week, there has been a cat outside who is, I suspect, in heat. There has been a lot of yowling out there (one might even say caterwauling, one might), which none of the three of us in here really needs.

And speaking of yowling, someone wants to be let out of the bedroom, which given that someone else hasn't even come out of the closet, I might as well go do. Excuse me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Just a Little Bit, and some little bits

I miss writing at greater length here, but it's been hard for a couple of reasons. First, I'm crazy tired with the new job; it's not like I'm working longer hours, but the brain strain is huge. Second, since the computer is in the office, and Carlos is very jealous of me going in the office even when Belmont isn't in there, I have to either be quick, or shut him in the bedroom. Which I did last night, in fact, booking flights to go see my brother in a few months (yay!), but I don't like to do it a lot. My poor kitty with his nose out of joint, he needs time.

So here I am on the couch with the iPad, already tired of typing. Here, have a cute photo via lolcats today:

Could you die of the cute? Because I think I just did.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Just for a second

I got home from stitch and bitch, played musical cats (Carlos is offended if I spend time in the office, since that means HER and not HIM, but that's where the computer is), booked my trip to SF to visit the brother in a few months, and now I need to switch the cats so I can get ready for bed. Before Carlos expires of sad. So, here, funny dog picture.
Can you imagine? And I thought my cats shed a lot.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Peaceful Coexistence

A couple of people have asked how the cats are doing, and the answer is remarkable well so far, though I will say that this would be easier to write if Miss Thing would stop stepping on or laying on the keyboard; if she had her way, this post would start with six inches of emptiness. It would also be easier if I weren't stupid tired, which I am; I woke up too early (and was too hungry to go back to sleep), then spent a few hours sitting in the sun today, which was delightful but seems to have been enervating as well. There are worse problems to have. I guess. Yawn.

Anyway, the cats! They really are doing well. I've been giving her open access for longer and longer, and she comes around sniffing before finding a closet corner and taking a long nap. If Carlos gets too close, she hisses and growls at him, but it's very much defensive, a warning not to come closer, and importantly, is not notice that she's about to attack. For his part, Carlos is clearly puzzled, and he doesn't like it when I spend time with her (or even just in the office, though the door is open and she isn't there). I'm still putting her away at night, which she doesn't seem to mind, mostly because I'm tired enough without the potential for disturbed sleep. I think, though, that I'll leave her out tomorrow. They both seemed fine, yesterday and today, when I was out.

This was from Wednesday night.
Slightly blurry in low light, but it beats the one I didn't get a picture of. I was at the computer yesterday, no camera in reach, with my foot at the edge of the blanket she's been sleeping on. She came along, curled up, put her chin and paw on my foot, and took a nap. Adorable! And you just have to take my word for it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tired. Cats. Chickens.

I didn't think about it beforehand, but it does make sense that I'm almost as tired after week two as I was after the first week of the new job. Which is pretty tired! It's all going very well, really, but woo. Zonk.

That said, I am going to try my best to stay up tonight, though, because if LA wins tonight's game, they get the Cup, and I love to see that part (well, except last year, but you know what I mean). We'll see how that goes.

I have the door to the office open. Belmont hissed and growled at Carlos when he came along to see what I was doing, and now she is curled up quietly while he lets out mournful meows from the other room. Time for me to wrap up here and see what happens when I go out there. Will she stay here, or come out?

While we await the answer, have some chickens.
I saw them the other night when I was driving home. You can't tell from the picture, but it's actually an unfenced yard on a busy street. I can't figure out why they stay in the yard.

Not that I want them in the road, mind. That's a joke waiting to happen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Not Quite Quiet

Miss Belmont has such the crabby meow, which I tried to capture on video with moderate success.

The mouth! But also the purr.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Better Head, and Cats Update

My head is not 100%, but it is better than it's been the last two nights, so that's something. Hey, look, it's 8 and I'm not lurching toward bed! Progress.

Speaking of progress, the cats are taking baby steps, too. Tonight, I let Belmont out of the office and brought Carlos in for a sniff safari.
 Who does this smell like?
 And THIS?
 Wasn't this MY blanket?
What the hell, mama?

Great, right? So I brought him out, which she was still out there, and let them see each other from a distance. He was ... not enthusiastic.
She seemed intrigued.
Closer... (He's just out of shot on the left.)
At this point, though, SHE started hissing and growling at him. No, no, Nanette!
See him under the table, wondering what the hell is happening? I gave her a minute, talking soothingly to both of them, then when she wouldn't stop, I decided that was enough for the first try. Perhaps tomorrow, she'll relax a little more. Poor Carlos. I'm going to pet him again now. He's so confused.

I know it will take time. This wasn't catastrophic. But I at least have had enough for one night!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I've had a headache since yesterday. I've been able to work, although somewhat impaired, but last night was awful (in bed by 8, because even sitting up was not possible), and it isn't great right now. Fuck migraines, man. Fuck'em.

Ow ow ow. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. My plans were not ambitious! I should be able to do something in the evening! I'm going to try sprawling on the couch, see if I can manage that much. Shit.

P.S. Belmont is doing well. Better than I am right now, in fact.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Quick Cats on Sunday Morning

I've been up for a while, but I'm just getting my planning for the day done. I may or may not get to wordy blogging later, depending how things go, so I thought I would pop in and share pictures I just took of the felines. Still separate, but certainly not too stressed by the changes. 

Herself, in the office.
Note the white spot at the tip of the tail.

And himself on the bed.
Even when he wasn't planning to get up, he doesn't like it when I close the door. But as you can see, he doesn't stay upset. Life's too short to hold a grudge.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Saying Hi

Someone wants to say hi.
Hi. I'm Belmont. I don't know why I'm here, it's all very weird, but hey, meow to you.

It's been a busy, quiet day here Chez Cat Hair (speaking of which, I wonder how many cats Belmont thinks live here?). I got a solid ten hours of sleep last night, thank heavens, since the week, good as it was, wiped me out completely. This morning I got the office ready for its new occupant, then went to get her. She's spent part of the time hiding away, but has come out frequently, and the answer to the question of "are you hungry?" was a resounding YES.
I've been playing musical doors all afternoon, since if I just come into the office and close the door, Carlos promptly comes to sit outside the door and meow for me. So I have to close him in the bedroom, then close myself in the office to check on the lady. I did let her out into the kitchen when she showed interest, and she circled around, low to the ground but not running, sniffing all over, before returning to the office. Right now, she's on a blanket under the table.
The hockey game starts at 7, so what I'll do is leave her shortly, but check on her again once or twice before bed. Then we'll see how tomorrow goes. I don't want to rush introducing them, but of course, I can't wait to see how it works out.

She's very sweet. Come on, Carlos, let her stay!

Friday, June 06, 2014


That's how I did at work, according to two different people (separately). So I'm going to bed early and exhausted, but happy. Tomorrow: Belmont the cat!

And how are you?

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Cat Thoughts, and Hopes

If I hadn't been facing the week I was, I might have brought Belmont the cat home last Sunday, but given the new job, I put off The Great Feline Transfer Plan. However, Carlos has been driving me crazy this week, clinging and whining, and I can't wait to bring the old lady home for him. Lonely cat is lonely! I sure hope they get along.
Dude needs someone, more than I can be home. Let it be Belmont! Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Broken Record

So, yeah, it's still good, and man, am I ever still tired. I just looked looked at the calendar and thought, wait, tomorrow isn't Friday yet? How is that even possible? I can't be this tired just 60% of the way through the week. But here I am.

On the other hand, I was on the phone with the NY editor again today and, man, are we ever compatible, editorially speaking. Unless this is your first day here (in which case, welcome! I'm not making a lot of sense this week. Even less than usual, I mean), you know that I had a variety of issues with my last boss, one of which was that we weren't really on the same editorial wavelength, and yes, that's totally a thing. Welcome to my Facebook page:
I bet the NY editor's page looks a lot like mine, is what I'm saying. This is a good thing.

Also, I edited for real today, instead of just trying out something as practice. We'll see what feedback I get from it, but I think it's going well.

Also? Let me tell you how much it cracks me up to hear a 7-page article referred to as "huge". I absolutely LOVE it, but it cracks me up all the same. Seven pages, in Word, including four figures and a table ... huge. Riiiiight.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Still Good, Still Tired

I mean, really, how is it only Tuesday? It feels like the week should be almost over at this point. Still, let me see what I can get down, incoherent as it may be, before I crap out for the night.

I started yesterday and another person started today, bringing us up to nine people in the office that I know of (there may be one or two more). Then there are three people (again, that I know of) who don't work out of this office, and a few more starting later this month. Not too many names to learn yet, and so far everyone seems very nice. We're moving to larger office space, just down the hall, sometime this summer; since this has been mentioned to explain why some of us are sharing offices now, I wonder if that means I'll be getting my own office then? Who knows, but wouldn't that be something.

For now, I'm in an office with the only guy, who does something production-related, and has been very quiet though not unfriendly. The room is big enough that it has another desk, and could probably fit a fourth, so it's not like I have to look before I push my chair back or anything too claustrophobic. Still, it makes me a little more self-conscious, and thinking of things like quiet snacks (though I can't rule out carrots and eat chocolate forever!). The woman who started today is a medical writer, and when she heard where I came from, the name was familiar to her, though it took a moment for her to pull up the name: my old boss! Yikes. She doesn't know her well, clearly, but it's not the most positive association for me. Still, she was very pleasant, and I will try not to let it prejudice me too much.

My nominal boss has been very busy, but I've spent time on the phone with one of the other editors, who is showing me the ropes, virtually speaking. After we talked yesterday, I put my pages of scribbled notes into a somewhat cohesive list, and sent it to her this morning to ask her if I'd misunderstood anything. Her reply started out, "This is brilliant! We’re going to keep this as a teaching tool" before going on to mention a few small things to add. It was a nice shot in the arm for my confidence (and not the first time that's happened to me, actually, eh Mum?).

I needed it later, in fact, as she gave me a sample piece to work on and I found it kind of overwhelming. She said afterward that she'd chosen one with some issues, so I could see them, and I totally understand the value of that, but I wish I could have had an easy one first. We had gone over a good one together on the phone, but that's not the same as doing it yourself. Still, I know it will get better, it's only the second day, all that. Just, you know, not fun. One day at a time. I can tell that this work isn't going to be beyond me, just that it will take getting used to the 87 things to keep in mind all at once, 42 of which are different from my recent experience. Yesterday she gave me a ballpark idea of how long each type of article will take to edit, once I get used to them, which is actually fantastically helpful*, but that's when I get used to them. It will take time. I have time.
*When I started my last job, the then-editorial manager gave me a report to work on and would not give me an idea of how long it "should" take. If you don't know whether it should take a day or a week or a month, it's sort of frustrating.

If this sounds discouraged, I'm really not feeling that way. I'm tired, and mildly brain-dead, but still optimistic. And now I'm going to ride the stupid bike for a few minutes, before I get ready for bed. Or, in pictures, this (ha):
Followed by this:

Monday, June 02, 2014

Okay! Better Than That, Even

I am so tired, though! So much to learn, little differences but lots of them. No regrets, though, not a one! Just, I need to get ready for bed now.
This is your developmental editor, signing off.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Once Again, the Night Before the First Day

I am deliberately not counting how many times I have blogged the night before starting a new job, because even a general idea of the number is a depressing proposition. So many job changes in the last dozen years! But as always, there is hope that this one will be better, this one will last longer, maybe this time...

I'm a little nervous, of course, but not frantic. I have a good feeling about this place, which was only helped by coming home last night to find this:

They sent me a little welcome box from Harry & David. Isn't that nice? It gave me a warm-fuzzy feeling about them, which can only help the nerves.

Also ready to take my mind off things is this guy:
I was out all day yesterday, and when I got home, he wrapped himself around my hand while it rubbed his belly, and he purred and purred. Because that's how he rolls.