Thursday, July 31, 2014

Work Minutiae

​I can't believe that July is over. Where did it go?

Got through the funeral and all for my friend's father; fine, just tiring and sad. You know. As it is. Must go to bed early tonight. But a few words, first, relative to work, and how the new job is an improvement over the old.

We're still settling into the new space, with some time pressure since next week there is a company "summit" with people from the parent company in California coming out for a meet-and-greet, company exchange sort of thing. A drink-the-kool-aid meeting, if you will, but it does mean that we won't be getting much work done next week, and also it would be nice if there weren't boxes everywhere. (They ordered t-shirts for it, and they're actually quite nice-looking!)

So I brought in a bunch of things to decorate my cube walls with this week, and was interested to see the reactions of my still-fairly-new coworkers. Two different people looked at the photo of my parents and said I look like my mother, which is interesting to me as I don't think I do, all that much. Maybe more than dad, other than the eyes?

More tellingly, the "Stop clubbing, baby seals" sign was very well received; take that, clueless former boss. Having people appreciate the editorial jokes makes me happy.

In a sign that people are starting to get to know me, two people noticed I got my hair cut this week. It's just the usual trim, not a big change.

I was talking with one person, who is my neighbor over the cube-wall, about plants, and plant stands, and in the end we went off to Lowe's after work tonight. I wanted a stand for Seymour, and she got one for her plant, and another couple of plants, and I got a little lamp for more friendly light than the florescent overhead.

Finally, at my last job, I brought in a flash drive because the scanner couldn't send documents, so the drive was the only way to get a scan. At this job, in the old location, we could scan-and-email, but it isn't working right in the new location. They're planning to fix it, but today someone came around handing out flash drives to everyone for interim use.

They have the company logo on them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quick Laugh, Cat Lovers

I'm sitting on the couch between the cats, contemplating blogging. It was kind of a long day, first in the new office with all the fun of moving, then stitch and bitch, slightly fragile day-after-headache ... And then I saw this on lolcats, and laughed.
And there we are!

(I will try to blog tomorrow night, but I have a haircut and then have to make brownies to bring to a post-funeral reception Wednesday night, and otherwise prepare for same ... So if I'm quiet for a few days, that's why.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Here and There, Quote and Share

Yesterday I got a bunch of stuff done, both at home and abroad. Laundry, pay the bills, shop for this and that, things.

Today, I both ran the dishwasher AND emptied it! And put away some of the laundry on the drying rack. And ... there must be something else, it's 6 PM...

Well, you can guess which day was the headache day, can't you. It's been up and down; right now it's not bad except that the back of my neck and my shoulders feel like someone snuck in and injected them with concrete. (Was that you? Why would you do that? Stop doing that!)

All right, so maybe I'm a little loopy. All I'm going to try to do here-and-now is share some things I've seen and read around. I should be up to that.

Hockey fans, have you ever wondered what the "strangest, funniest, or just plain saddest direct quotes from each NHL franchise’s current Wikipedia page" were? Neither had I, but that was a lot of fun to read! Buffalo's might be my favorite, though Florida's is also good.

While we're on hockey ... As Puck Daddy noted in sharing this clip, "this excellent video is from 2010, but it's still amazingly topical" given the recent NHL 2014-15 schedule release.

Can't stop snickering at the Phil Kessel part...

But there's more than hockey stuff. honest. Like cat stuff! Do you read the blog of The Bloggess? If not, you may have missed this utterly amazing cat house. Even if you're not a cat person, if you're a Star Wars fan, click on it now!

Speaking of Star Wars, do you know any couples who need the Han and Leia mugs?
Have to say I love a bunch of stuff in that Etsy shop, such as the Mr Tea mug, but it's this I just bought for a friend.
(via Boing Boing)

And speaking of cats (op cit), Robyn of the blog Love & Hisses takes amazing photos of their cats and the kittens they foster, but even so, this one blew me away:

I mean, right? The in-the-air moment in the background?

And then she put up this one, and I wanted to invite myself over for a kitten snuggle-nap.
Alabama is a bit far to go, I guess.

But hey, I may not have that, but I have this, as I posted on Facebook earlier today:
I had Miri for over four years, and she never got better than "very, very wary" around me. If you've read here long, you know what she was like.

Belmont has been here seven weeks, and she likes to curl up next to me and purr herself to sleep. Plus, she lets me rub the belly. 

This is what you call a win. Agreed? Yes, she still hisses at Carlos sometimes, and when I have a headache, her screech of a meow is what you might call trying, but, you know, come on. This is a nice cat.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Knitting Against Sad

I got very sad news about a friend today, and it's hard not to think about. I'm sad. So, I'm knitting.
Not for her; this isn't a situation I can knit for, at least not yet. But the act of knitting is helping me, a little.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crowds, not Cramps*

If you're claustrophobic, you may find these pictures of 10 Incredible Crowds uncomfortable, but I share anyway since I am somewhat claustrophobic, and I find them oddly fascinating to look at, although not to imagine being in, oh god.

You should go to the site to see them large, and if you do look at them, tell me if you agree that the last one is the least crowded of all? Seems a funny thing to me. Not that they have to be in crowdedness order, but still.

*The title doesn't really make sense to me, either. I need to take another pill, ooh. The joys of being female.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knit, if not knitting

I was going to go to my alternate knitting group tonight, but the cramps, though not debilitating, were enough today to suggest that I would be better off on my own couch, where I could moan occasionally without freaking anyone out. So I went straight home after work, and actually they haven't been bad. I guess that's still a win, if not for my knitting. I did pull my project out, but quickly got frustrated, and decided to put it aside for a more patient moment. (Free pattern or no, if *I* can tell you have math problems, you really have math problems. FYI, 48 - 4 ≠ 42. And that was after 56 - 6 ≠ 48. Ugh.) So let's talk about something more pleasant.

Last week I mentioned a sock wearing out, and I've probably mentioned here before that I subscribe to the Yarn Harlot's method of sock darning (hold the sock over a trash can, say darn, and drop it in), but I actually have a few worn socks tucked away waiting for me to figure out reuses. Like a coffee cup cozy, or something. Anyway, I have figured out two uses so far, so I thought I'd share. I'm very open to more ideas!

The first came to mind when I wanted a bit of protection for the little tablet in my purse. I ordered a case for it but got the wrong model, looked in stores and couldn't find many, and didn't like any of them, and they're not cheap (that's like a trifecta of fail), so I looked around online. In the virtual world there are millions of options, which is overwhelming, and I went from Amazon (too many!) to Etsy (still so many! hey, some are knit, I could...) to Ravelry. Then, light bulb:
I'd still like a stand, I think (maybe like this one, good for a hockey fan; heck, I have pucks lying around, if I could figure out how to cut one, I could make my own)(ha, as if), but for now, it cuts down the damage and the worry about damage. Good enough for these scattered days.

Another idea came to me last night, when I pulled out a pint of ice cream, which I usually hold with a potholder to keep my warm hand from causing premature meltage. Ta-da:
So, what are your ideas?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here I Am

Oh, hi there! How have you been?

Yeah. Headache.

My weekend was largely if not completely headache-unimpaired. I actually woke up Saturday with a mild headache, but I treated it and went back to bed for a while, then took it easy all morning, after which I was pleased that it went away (other times I have followed the same program and had the opposite result; you never know). I spent the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday being that good combination of productive and relaxed; I got a lot done around the house (which sorely needed it) without feeling too put-upon.

Unfortunately, Sunday evening the head started bothering me again. I tried to help it by eating a good dinner and not pushing too hard, but I woke up with it worse, enough that I ended up not going in to work at the usual time, but going back to bed instead. The same old tidal headache: better, worse, better, worse. When it got better enough that I was able to shower and then eat lunch, I went in for a half day, anyway, though I wouldn't say I was my usual self. Stupid things. And while I was feeling pretty good at 5, I had decided I'd better take it easy, pass on stitch and bitch, and head home. Which, it turned out, was a good plan, since it got worse again, and I ended up going to bed shortly after 8.

This morning it wasn't too bad, and I was able to go in to work and even get things done. Also, we went down to the new office space to peek in at the progress, since they're putting the cubes up. It seems like there are ceiling vents everywhere, so it's hard to say if it will in fact be blowing on me. At least the cube walls are tall, thankfully, which may deflect some breezes*, and would surely help if I do need that tarp (kidding/not kidding).
*As well as sound, hopefully

Funny thing: part of my cube wall is a window! I haven't had that before, in all my many and varied experiences of cubicles, and I think it's going to make me feel like someone is standing behind me and watching me all the time. The other editor suggested I put up a curtain, and I may just, or at least put up pictures over it or something. The view of bookcases isn't enough to overcome the who's-behind-me feeling. But we'll see how it actually feels next week. Maybe I'll go with something like this:

Two-sided, of course, for the mutual enjoyment of me and passers-by.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot better if not perfectly normal (or as close to that as I ever get!), so I'm going to hang out on the couch with a cat or two, knitting. Peace, out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Of Cats and Yarn, Mostly

Last night I was sitting on the couch with Carlos, and Belmont joined us. When I went to get up a while later (to ride the exercise bike, aren't you proud of me?), I thought Belmont would get up with me, but she didn't, allowing me to capture the moment.

How about that, eh? The progress is slow, but it's coming along.

When she's not out among us, she spending less time in the closet, as some of her naps happen here instead.
 One way or the other.
Little doofus.

Yesterday she was in the window when his lordship came along to investigate.
 Blurry shot, but I got the moment:
 And then as he walked away, her moment of "Wait, what was that?"
And then she hissed. But as you can see, she didn't stay upset for long.
"Life is short, I am cute."
So that's the cats, doing pretty well. Belmont doesn't get shut in the office at night, and other than a brief visit to the bed and subsequent hiss at Carlos one night, it has been fine. Slow progress is still progress.

In yarn news, more has come into the house, but since:
a) most of it was free
b) the rest was bargain-priced, and
c) it's two months since I bought any,
I think I should be bragging, not apologizing.

Friday after work, I went to a local bargain store to see if they had any left of something from their weekly ad. They did not, but they had quite a lot of yarn, and I bought some.

This isn't for me; I'm sending it to my friend after she moves.
She's crafty and has three daughters; something fun will come out of it.

This, now, this is for me, I don't know for what yet:
So soft...

And this:
This goes with something I started a few years back that wasn't working out.
The scarf is knit from two skeins so that the colors will stripe. This worked out better at first
than it did later. Which is why I stopped.
So I frogged it yesterday. With the new colors added into the equation, something better will come of it.

Today, I brought in the yarn my moving friend gave to me, which has been in the car for two weeks. This is in addition to the pile of books (remember I showed you?), and the huge box of magazines (still in the car). Presort:
And sorted:
I took out the ones I want to keep, and will see if anyone in my knitting group wants some yarn. Otherwise, I'll pass it on to a local senior center or somewhere that can use it. It's mostly acrylic, Red Heart and the like, though there's some cotton and some mystery as well. And some crochet thread:
If I knew what to use it for, I'd at least keep the front left one, I like the colors.
But I think tatting isn't in my immediate future.

So what am I keeping? Well, some Christmas colors:
A potential baby blanket:
Catnip mouse material:
And I have a secret project in mind that can use the white.
And a little black, of which I may have tucked away somewhere already, but why not just keep this?
Then there's some blue cotton:
And a soft blue skein that likes me.
That's all. How was your weekend, in yarn, cats, or otherwise?

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I think she trusts me.
I mean, think of the Miri years, and look at this.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Of Cold, Fresh, and Time Passing

I'm at a loss to explain how, during my first month at work, I wasn't ever really cold (just sometimes chilly), but in the last few weeks, I've been cold, really cold, quite often. I'm right under a vent, it's true, but I was then as well, so why didn't it bother me? Was I really so wound up that my temperature was higher than usual?

I mentioned to the office coordinator today that if I'm under a vent in the new office, I may get a tarp to put over the top of the cube walls, to deflect the breeze. The other editor said that if mine was and hers wasn't, we could switch; good to have an alternative in mind. They're setting up the office space now, so I should know soon.

I was looking for details of something that happened at a conference in Geneva last December, and in the conference notes I came across this gem:
"Climate: The weather in Geneva in December is fresh with an average daytime temperature of 2-3°C."
FRESH? Is that the word you would use? That's the upper 30s in Fahrenheit; I'd use "brisk" as the absolute nicest word I could come up with. Brrr. Even reading that when it's 80 out made me shiver.

I had A Moment today when I realized that I depart on my trip six weeks from today. Have I mentioned the trip yet? Yeah, that's how much planning I've done. (I did mention it very much in passing, a month ago.) The last two months have just been so ... brain-filling for me, I have very little bandwidth to spare for things like "what do you want to do on that trip you're taking?"

So, yes, my mother and I are invading my brother, in San Francisco, to celebrate his upcoming Big Birthday. Happily, my new boss was okay with my taking a few days off around Labor Day weekend, so we're* flying out on Thursday and back on Tuesday, a whirlwind visit to SF.
*I say "we" because my mother is flying from Florida to here, and then we fly there together. Fun to have company on the plane!

So I do have my plane tickets, as does my mother, and we have a hotel room near where my brother lives, meaning the basics are really set. And my brother is an awesome person to visit, not just because I love him and he's the nicest person I know, but because he's an awesome host who Finds Things and Suggests Things and Is Open to Things. Still, I should, you know, think about the trip sometime.

Weekend. It's almost the weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Pictures = 3000 Words

Window sticker on a car the other day:

Miss Bel, snoozin'

Me after I got home tonight: "Did I just step on something wet? Why is my foot cold?"
Oh. These were the socks I wasn't going to wear again, because their time was done. Right.

They only lasted two years. I half a dozen older pairs in heavy rotation, for what that's worth. Still, it makes room in the drawer for more!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

If Only

If only she would stop hissing at Carlos...

Is it so much to ask?

I was getting ready for work this morning, and Belmont came out and started yelling. She had food and water, the litter box was cleaned, she just wanted attention, and time is something I didn't have for her just then. That got me thinking about the current cat situation (spoiler: no new decisions have been made).​ I was trying to figure out why, despite the relative peace they have achieved, I don't feel completely sure about the situation.​

Before I brought Belmont home, I had a cat who frequently wanted my time and attention, and was often jealous of time I spent doing other things.

With Belmont, I now have two cats ​who frequently want my time and attention, and are often jealous of time I spend doing other things.​
​ Which actually isn't the main problem, since I would be pretty happy to have two cats wanting to curl up on the couch with me and be petted; the main problem is that because cat number two can't coexist for very long near cat number one, I have​
​ twice as many demands on my time, and no more time than I had before.

Tonight she jumped up on the couch with us, and she didn't hiss until he jumped down and headed for the food bowl. And all she did was jump down herself and hiss at him as she walked past him to "safety". It is progress. But I am tired of the hissing. We need some kitty prozac over here. Perhaps I'll try the calming plug-ins on them.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The What with the How Many?

I live in a quite nice little town, but it isn't, in my opinion, tremendously upscale or luxurious. It's nice! But it is not the sort of place where I expected to run across a real estate listing for a house with seven bedrooms and twelve baths.

Seven bedrooms and twelve baths! (Actually nine full and three half baths, but still.)

15,000 square feet. Three-car garage. And you know there's a pool.

But really, here?

I wasn't searching real estate listings, by the way. I follow the local small-town-news organization on Facebook, and they shared it there. Wow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend ... End?

As always, I'm sad to see the end of the weekend, which means it was another good one and I should be glad, right? Ah, life. Let's go to the photos. I'm feeling random-order, not coherent-narration, tonight.

A flower from my friend's garden today; she says it's a dahlia, I just know I like the colors.
A stack of (mostly) knitting books gifted me from another friend, who's moving. This doesn't count all the (mostly) knitting magazines and the yarn, which are still in the car. Whew!
Speaking of this friend, when I visited her (last weekend), we ran some errands. Guess what kind of store this was in?
Feed store! Though they also had this charming item, marked down, which I wanted to get for my cousin.
It's kind of big for a gag gift though. Sorry.

The store also had some funny shirts:

I had a delicious new-to-me soda:
I like the occasional orange soda, and pineapple is like it only different. Yum!

We went for a walk in the woods, too, and I was quite taken with the shapes in the wood.

One of her cats, looking concerned as she sorted through books.
Moving on, I caught Belmont playing with this cat toy the other day, and doesn't she look guilty?
I mean, not only is she allowed to, I'm glad she is!

Speaking of Miss B, we're making some progress. Friday night when I got home, I sat on the couch and Carlos took his usual position on my left, so that I could pat him. She came along, meowing, and jumped up on my right side. We stayed that way for maybe five minutes, both of them purring, before I learned that she hadn't realized he was there: he moved, she hissed and jumped down. Silly girl! Still, progress. Last night I was up late, reading*, and Carlos was again with me.
And she came along and again joined us.
This time, I think, she knew he was there, but who knows for sure. A little while later he jumped down and headed toward the kitchen, at which point she decided she was cut off from safety and hissed at him. I picked her up and carried her past him, and she moved away more calmly. Also progress! Given that, I decided that it had been long enough since the previous not-shutting-her-away-at-night experiment that it was worth trying again. And it worked! I feel as though Carlos wanted a little more snuggle-attention from me than he does on an average night, but when I cuddled him, he settled down again, which is great. We'll see if that continues to work.
*Code Name Verity, which is really good and so smartly written, but rather difficult in terms of topic (WWII/POW/torture), so I can't decide if I recommend it or not. It came highly recommended to me, so although it didn't grab me from the start it did catch me before page 50 (my frequent arbitrary number), and I'm not sorry I read it, but I did have to read a little Greenwillow before bed, to soothe my brain.

Other pictures. Like this one of long, lanky Carlos:
Amusing signs for parking:

And a sign of a different type:
Yesterday I went up to Wilmington with Mary Ellen and her husband to visit the Bruins' development camp, where future Bruins* are brought in to get a taste of the big leagues. Hockey hockey hockey! I love summer, but it is seriously hockey-deficient.
*This lot was born between 1991 and 96. None of them are likely to be in the NHL for a few years, at least.
Sometimes the pictures that don't come out are the best. What was he doing? Twerking?
In the first session, one of the players wore a rig with what looked like a camera.
When you've just had shoulder surgery, you wear a red no-contact jersey. Which can get lonely during contact drills for everyone else.

I didn't get a picture of it, but at one point he was firing pucks at the skates of some of the players waiting their turn. "Play with me!"

The other thing I didn't get pictures of was when I was watching Malcolm Subban skate by, and I was wondering why he seemed to be shimmying a bit. Then I saw that he was kicking a puck back and forth between his skates. Wild! These coordinated people.

Pastrnak is the one to watch: consensus is that he's a long shot to make the team this year, but not impossible.
He's been having the best time, by all reports. Brought only skates, no other equipment; lost his passport for a while; laughs and jokes about how often he's falling down (often enough that they're writing about it, anyway).

You can see here that there's a player named Sweezey.
We believe this may, just may, have been his car in the lot.
Just a guess.
Hockey hockey hockey. Happiness.