Monday, March 30, 2015

A Mild Ow

In the course of this evening, I have managed to bump each of my knees, separately.

If you were wondering if the bruises on my knees still hurt, the answer is yes. Yes, they both do.

In other ouch news, the top joint of my right index finger started to hurt last Thursday afternoon, at work. I didn't notice that I did anything, just that it hurt a bit. I put a band-aid on it that night; even though I didn't see a cut, that's what it felt like, and I always get infected if I don't put cream on cuts, even wee little paper cuts.

But it still hurt in the morning, so I put on a band-aid again, kept it on all day. But it never felt any better, and I couldn't see any cut even when I looked with my contacts out and glasses off; I'm nearsighted, so this is generally the way I see really close up, though it means I'm trying to look at it when I'm not very awake, so that may not help. The finger bothers me a lot more during the day, when I literally can't look at it close up.

Basically, it just still hurts. Maybe hurts is too strong a word: it's tender, and I can't tell why. Could be a development in the arthritis, I guess. I wish it would stop, anyway; I'm hoping that writing about it will make it so. I'm trying to favor it, but it is the first finger of my dominant hand, so that's hard. And with the progression of the arthritis in my hands over the last 10+ years, I generally need all ten fingers more and more.

Sigh. Off to ride the bike. Woo.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Not Before and After. Before and During

I've gotten a good start on the office clear-out this weekend, spurred by the bookcase acquisition. Three of the four bookcases are in the room, if not in their final positions, and a fair bit of the clutter has gone out, as well. Lots of "why do I have this?" being thrown out, donated, or recycled, depending.

In the spirit of full disclosure, here are some Before photos, showing just what a mess it was. Looking in from the kitchen:
Better view of the clutter to the right.
And ahead to the left.
Back toward the door, not quite as bad.
Then, not After, but During: having moved the yarn bookcases over where the random box pile was, making room for new bookcases.
Have to sort through what's in those boxes, though I've made a good start.
The bookcase on the left of this photo needs to be thoroughly sorted through. Then it can be moved, and two of the new bookcases stacked there.
Belmont inspects one of the new cases.
A couple of the inserts he gave me have mirrors, and I put them in the unit still in the living room for the time being. Belmont could clearly tell that there was a room in there, but couldn't figure out how to get into it.
She isn't quite sure what to make of all this change. Me too, cat, me too.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Flashing Back

There's nothing like cleaning out your office to time-travel, is there? I found a shoebox full of random computer-associated things, and I'm going through a bunch of 3.5" disks to copy over what I want before I toss them, about which may I say:
  • It's probably good to do this while I still have a computer that reads these.
  • Does anyone still use these? Like, should I bother giving the unused ones to Savers, or will they just throw them out?
  • Oh, but I'm SURE someone wants the booklet "Getting the Most Out of the Internet" from Earthlink.Third edition, copyright 1998. Like a museum. Why do I still have this?! Pitch! (Well, take a picture of the intro first, it's very throwback-Thursday.)
  • How funny is it, in 2015, to see the label "old computer 2/12/98"? Very funny. Particularly when I'm using an 8-year-old computer that really, really needs to be replaced.
  • No, I probably don't need my resume from past job searches, but ... 
  • And hey, the book I was writing! Didn't know I still had that! Multiple versions! Backups! Supporting material! Who wants to see the roster I started for the Bruins team of my imagining? (The book was about the first women to play in the NHL: pretty funny given that there still aren't, but at least there are professional women's leagues now.)
  • Oh, my god, that short story I wrote... And that one...
  • Or the book reviews I wrote, when I lived in the NC (for the Rock Hill (SC) Herald). I know I have the tear sheets, but didn't realize I had the files still.
  • And I found a picture of my friend and her kid on a camel, from 2004. Now, that's random.
Another clean-out item is the little netbook computer I had (remember that? almost 4 years ago), which I haven't used in the tablet era, or two years, and I figured I should just pass on to someone who could use it. I put it on Freecycle, and got about a dozen responses in half an hour. Someone's coming by in the morning to get it. Slowly, slowly, I chip away at the clutter and mess.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Evening, Evaporated

Some nights I find myself with time to think, now, what do I want to do tonight? And other nights, well, they fly by too fast for that. It's 9:30, I want to do 10 more minutes on the bike, the Bruins game is wrapping up, I need to get ready for bed ... I ran three errands after work, emptied the dishwasher, cut my nails, moved one of the bookcases, moved a few things in the office in prep for that, have done 20 minutes on the bike ... and somehow, poof, here we are.

Meanwhile, I'm plotting, hoping for warm enough weather this weekend to do something I have put off for months (as I said in December, "I need a non-raining, above-freezing weekend day. See you in May, probably."). I have bumper stickers, and I have a blank slate.
Plotting and planning...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yeah, ow all right

As expected, I was very sore and stiff this morning (and the cats seemed to be competing for the title of Most Annoying, which made for quite the morning), and I also noticed I managed to bruise both my knees yesterday, ow. So, consider the lesson to remove the inserts before moving the shelves set firmly in my mind!

[In the spirit of "learn something new every day," that was Tuesday's lesson. Monday's was Yard Goats, as in the minor league baseball team coming to Hartford; today's was the meaning of historical control in clinical trials. There's quite a bit of variety in what makes that phrase come to mind on any given day.]

I didn't ride the bike last night, considering the workout I got with the shelves (seriously, sweat dripped off me for at least ten minutes after getting the first one in), but I've been doing pretty well overall. Here's the graphic of hours on the bike, May 2014 through mid-March 2015, and it's a nice upward trend to show the doctor in May.

Really, since the exercise doesn't seem to be having any effect on me physically, the knitting and the looking forward to showing the numbers to the doctor are all I'm getting out of it right now. Which isn't all that much, for the effort and hours I'm putting into it ... picture me shaking my head. And going off to ride again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Short Post, Sore Arms

This is going to be kind of a teaser, as my arms are currently really sore and I don't want to be at the computer for long.

And why are my arms sore, you ask? From carrying in a couple of Ikea Expedit (aka Kallax) shelves that I got off someone on Craig's List. They're both 2x2, so not huge, but these things are solid, man! Which is good and desirable, of course, but makes them heavy, especially the one with door inserts; I forgot to take those out before I carried it in, and let me tell you, THAT was a mistake. Live and learn! I'm pretty sure I won't forget that soon, either; when I wake up in the morning and am unable to move, it should cement the lesson nicely.

It was still worth it, though, especially considering that instead of paying $35 each for new ones, plus $15 x4 for the inserts (really? wow), and putting them together myself, they were $20 each, already put together. I'm going back to get two more from him--NOT tonight, obviously.

And what are these going to be used for, you further ask? Well, who's been reading long enough to remember the project to reclaim my office? Yeah, that post is from two years ago*. No, I haven't done much of anything since then. But cleaning out the kitchen closet, and now getting the shelves, has inspired me. We shall see. And by see, I do mean pictures.
*Kate, I noticed your comment on it; how's YOUR project going?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pop Quiz

When I went into the library tonight, I turned to the stairs and nearly walked into a man coming down, since he was on "my" side. I said excuse me, though really it's more his fault, and walked on, thinking, keep right! Which made me wonder, do we tend to walk on the right because we drive on the right side of the road? It's probably a coincidence, but still. 

So here's the question: what country do you live in, if outside the U.S., and do you typically walk on the same side in two-way foot traffic, or not? Anyone?

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Really, how can the weekend be over so soon?

Well, it's been a pretty good one. Yesterday, despite starting with snow (ugh, honestly), included a good trip to Northampton.

Colors in art supplies.
Seems like the greens are the hot seller.

Not something I ever thought of buying.
And who is that in the gallery window?
Well, the grinch, of course.
A shelf in Raven Used Books (where I bought Clara Parkes' Book of Yarn, looking forward to delving into that).
And at Webs, a skein of yarn that looked almost braided!
Never seen one like that before.

I went with a coworker who has been knitting for a year or two, and is new to the area, so has heard of Webs but never been. Also with us was another coworker who is learning: we've been having crafty lunch-time on Fridays, and she's picking it up quickly. They were both duly impressed, and we had a good time. And I didn't even have to drive!

And did I get any yarn myself? What a silly question.
Pretties. The color of the multi skeins, Manos del Uruguay Serena (alpaca/cotton) is a bit brighter than it seems here, at least on my monitor, but they are still muted, watercolors, not oils. And the grey one is from Baah! La Jolla, it's called, and it's merino. And it's soft. Of course.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quick Report, Then Bike and Bed

So, pictures of the box from Blue Apron:

And the ingredients for the pasta dish:
Wee bottle of cream!
Three recipes, each with pictures and instructions.
And how was it, you ask? My first Blue Apron meal?

Surprisingly good, actually. It's still a fair bit of work: it's a food delivery service, not a ready-to-eat-meal-delivery service, and there was plenty of chopping and  mixing. Some juggling, too, with those "while the pasta cooks..." sorts of things that you have to read ahead for. Not unreasonable, just I had to keep checking on what was upcoming. No, I really don't cook a lot. Clearly.

  • I cooked and ate Brussels sprouts! I've never even bought them before. And while I didn't love them, they weren't bad, mixed in with the pasta and cheese.
  • I also wasn't sure about the Fontina cheese, it smelled slightly strong on its own (to my delicate senses), but it was also good in the final product.
  • The recipe said three servings, but I ate plenty and had, at an estimate, 2.5 servings left over, so I'd say three-plus.
  • It also reheated in the microwave fine. I could probably have left the breadcrumbs off (I put them all on last night), and added them when it was hot, but oh well. Still tasted good.
  • Yes, they only asked me to provide salt, pepper, and olive oil. I happen to think, however, that asking me to add salt and pepper to taste at four different points (plus salting the pasta water) is a bit much, and I didn't add any at the last two steps. It still tasted plenty seasoned.
  • While they did try to minimize the pots and pans, having this pot used for two different steps, and that pot for two other steps, it was still a higher dirty-dish count than I prefer, especially on a weeknight. Okay, it was three. Maybe that's not unreasonable. But still.
Overall, a positive rating. We'll see how I feel after meals two and three.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Aproning, a Little

Has anyone tried Blue Apron?

Well, back up, are you familiar with Blue Apron? I only just heard of it myself recently; perhaps I should explain first. It's a food delivery service: "Blue Apron delivers all the fresh ingredients you need to make delicious meals in exactly the right proportions." I haven't been eating as well as I would like to, nor am I at all adventurous, and part of my excuse is that it's so hard to find the time to decide what to make, and to actually make it, which I know sounds lame, but there we are. Or there I am, anyway: the decision-making and the execution are lacking.

Which takes us to Blue Apron. I had heard of it and been interested, but dubious. Would I use it all? Would I like it? Is it worth the money? But you know me and a sale, I can't resist, and when Amalah offered a discount code to her readers recently, I decided to give it a try (if you're at all interested, you should read her report, it's impressive--and, obviously, convincing!). Clearly, my situation is different from hers (single woman vs married woman with three kids), but I can identify with what she said, about cooking with her husband, all the same:
...overly complicated recipes that sparked our interest but had no place being made on a weeknight. (Or just making the same rotating list of meals over and over, zombie-style.)
You can give them some guidance on what types of foods you like, fish and meat and vegetarian and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things: it didn't take long to sign up, but there was some depth to it. Since they don't have a one-person plan, I am trying the two-person plan ("one delivery a week, with three delicious recipes and the corresponding ingredients pre-portioned for two"), figuring that if I like it, leftovers are not a problem for me. And while it's a weekly delivery schedule (you pick the day), it's totally easy to cancel a week: in fact, I cancelled next week's when I signed up, so that I can assess before deciding if this is for me.

And about that "corresponding ingredients pre-portioned" part, did you notice that? We've probably all been there, trying a new recipe and it needs what is that? So if you have a recipe that needs 1 teaspoon of some unusual ingredient, instead of buying a six-ounce package and never using the rest, with Blue Apron you get a teaspoon of it, period. And they apparently send everything, except salt, pepper, and olive oil. Seems to me that as well as the "making it easy" aspect, and the "decently healthy" aspect, the "not wasting crap" aspect should suit me fine. How many times have I bought ingredients for something and ended up not making it, or using it up?

I got an email on Wednesday telling me that my box was on its way, with a sneak peek at the menu. Apparently I will be trying "corned beef-spiced flank steaks" and "turkey chili" and "baked fontina pasta"! They also mentioned what's in next week's box, noting that I could change my mind if I'm tempted. Later I got another email that was a how-this-all-works message, with links to videos and things for preparation. I particularly liked this note: "All of our packaging is recyclable, biodegradable, or reusable." Good!

My first box came tonight. The pasta is just out of the oven: I'll report on it tomorrow, it's time to eat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Some Ups and Downs and Sidewayses

Today has been kind of a weird day. Very changeable.

A sad thing, though not my own sad thing, was one of my coworkers coming in this morning to say that one of her cats had died suddenly overnight. So very sad for her, and for her husband, with whom the cat had bonded and very much vice versa. If a cat is going to die, that's about the best way for all concerned, but that doesn't help much.

Also a sad thing was a story I read at work this morning, among the health-related news stories we try to keep up on. Sometimes you read something that just hits you in the head, you know? I was struck dumb by the opener of this story:
Over a third of hospitals and clinics in developing countries have nowhere for staff or patients to wash with soap, and almost 40 percent have no source of water, according to a WHO-backed international review published on Tuesday.
Just, how is that possible? What kind of world ...? I don't know. Too horrendous for words.

In much more mundane noticings, the weather has been all over the place today. It was rainy this morning when I went in to work; not rainy but still overcast at noon; at least partly sunny later in the afternoon; then suddenly raining again, just in time for my drive home; and now the sun is out, but that is one cold, cold wind gusting out there. Jeez.

To end on a slightly up note, here's something I was just given:
Salted caramel vodka nip. Yes. I opened it tonight and poured just a little into a Coke, enough that I could taste it, but not enough to have much of an effect (on purpose: it's a work night, not a good night to experiment deeply). And you know what? It was nice!

Finally, I saw this when I was driving yesterday, and thought at first that it was a Yoda costume.
Turns out that a statue of liberty costume gazing at the ground looks like Yoda. Don't you think?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wince, or Laugh, Up to You

I don't know how far afield the news went, but with yesterday's snow, Boston has beaten the record for the snowiest winter ever recorded. Over nine feet, that is.



Seriously, some people are pleased about this.

Anyway, a collection of snow pictures from the Globe, if that's your thing.

Or if, you know, you like things that are actually amusing, may I share this video of a baby laughing as her mother eats potato chips. If you need a smile.

Isn't that better? Thank you, Boing Boing.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Yarn Crawl 2015 Report

It was easier to be blasé about the snow yesterday, when it wasn't snowing. Sigh.

But I had a really nice time this afternoon yarn crawling, and the tuna noodle casserole is in the oven, and then there's the Bruins game later. Will they make it six wins in a row? We shall see.

I have to stop looking out the window...

Look, yarn!
Three stores, three skeins, that seems right. That's right, just three stores, we took it easy this year, partly due to the weather, and partly to being more focused than in past years. Once you've seen all the stores, you can focus on what you want to see the most.

Our first stop was Seed Stitch, in Salem. Such a nice store! That's where the skein on the left came from: Dirty Water Dyeworks had a table of such nice things set out, it was just a question of which, and I picked this. Colorway, Sorrel.
One of the yarns I got at the knit lab last year was their Lillian; this time, I got Bertha (merino/nylon/cashmere). That's both my grandmothers!

The skein in the middle I got at the new store in Salem, Circle of Stitches. It only just opened, so it wasn't an official stop on the crawl, but I wanted to see it anyway, and I'm glad I did, it's quite nice. Plus, we got there shortly before they were due to open, but she noticed us outside and let us in anyway, which was friendly.
I never heard of the brand Anzula, but this, Haiku (merino/bamboo/nylon), is so soft and the color just lovely.

Finally, after lunch at Woodman's, we went up to Coveted, where I got the blue one. Another I haven't heard of, Galler Yarns Prime Alpaca.
It was on sale, 25% off, and it's quite a large amount (660 yards). Probably will be a shawl, but that is TBD.

I'm glad to have had the fun, and that although the rain was snow much of the time it never got awful. It's depressing enough right now, but it isn't spoiling the memory of the day.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's a Good Tired

My, I have gotten a lot done today! I'm very tired, but only need/want to summon the energy to write this, and for a few more minutes on the bike (it wasn't a good week for that, with the time change/headache situation), then I can collapse. I can manage that much, anyway! I've done so much laundry (and so many flights of stairs), washed dishes, vacuumed, swept, watched the Bruins win their 5th in a row (how did that happen?), put away or dealt with any number of little things, and even entertained--the friends I got Belmont from came over to visit her, not that she seemed to care, the little ingrate. Their visit meant I got a few hugs with the baby, who's a year old already, sob, and got to watch his brother's pleasure at seeing kitties, and catch up with my friends a bit, all very nice.

Goodness, I am tired, though. But one of the things I got done today was to take progress pictures on all the knitting, so I thought I'd put it up here, along with a few other pictures.

The current purse socks, past the heel of sock one:
Cheery spring colors. Then the latest bike sock, almost as far along.
The blanket, moving ponderously along.
And the sweater, making barely visible progress.
The needles make it lay funny, not the pattern or anything. It's at the "knit until it measures 15 and a half inches" stage, so progress won't be exciting for a while. That's okay.

In other news, happy Pi Day! I decided last night, when I was at Wilson's, that I ought to celebrate.
They had such cute little pies. Cherry is my favorite, but blueberry a close second. With vanilla ice cream, of course.

Belmont, sleeping off the visit.
Or, you know, like she is every day.

Carlos, acknowledging that I am calling him beautiful, unsure why it even needs to be said.
Finally, I wanted to brag that my brother has sent me a few cards lately, mood elevators in my endless winter. The beautiful:
And the funny:
The good news, I realized today, is that I do actually believe now that spring will come, which I didn't a month ago. Not soon, probably: today's rain is supposed to be tomorrow's rain/snow. But it will come, I think. Optimism is a good thing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week of Tired and Ice

I know that I am not alone in being so tired this week; a lot of us struggle with the time change, and whether I had that headache at the beginning of the week because of the time change, or whether it just added to the difficulty of dealing with the time change, doesn't make much difference. It's been hard, and I've been struggling.

For instance, when I was home with that headache hangover on Monday, I never even showered. I did Tuesday morning, obviously, but when I went to shower Wednesday morning, I realized I must have been fairly out of it the day before, because although I had turned the water off, I didn't flip the lever back that switches the water flow from the shower-head to the faucet, something I normally do without even thinking about it. In other words, on Wednesday morning when I went to turn the water on, it came out of the shower-head and all over my head, giving me something close to a heart attack in the process. I was already feeling deadly tired Wednesday morning, the kind of tired I get some nights when I have not begun to get ready for bed before I hit that wall, the one where instead of being able to get ready, all I want to do is sit there and think dazedly, "Oh my god, I'm so tired!" The waterfall did not help my morning.

So I was that tired all day, and by later afternoon, I could see I wasn't in a good place mentally, so I went to my boss and asked whether it would be okay if I came in late Thursday, so I could really get some sleep. (Fortunately, we're not super-busy right now.) She said sure, bless her, and I was in bed last night at 8. I read for about 10 minutes before turning the light off, and though I got up a few times for biology and/or cats, you can imagine how much better I felt when I got out of bed this morning at 8:30. Whew! Almost human again! Amazing what a difference 12 hours of sleep makes.

It's a real shame that this week, with all of its problems, is also the week when the weather was, at least temporarily, better, because I haven't appreciated it the way I would have liked to. I mean, not only isn't it snowing, but I've been able to wear something other than my big winter coat, and footwear that isn't my big honkin' snow boots, out of the house for the first time since late January. Snow is melting! Why, look at the car today:
Such a small snow pile next to it! And next door, the bush/tree is visible under the snow; it wasn't for the longest time. There's still plenty, don't get me wrong, but the difference is finally noticeable, and here I am in this haze. Figures. I'm sure it will be cooler again next week, when I'm more compos mentis. It was cooler today than yesterday, for that matter. Irony. At least the sun was out.

I've been looking on my calendar, and for someone who has many a weekend without a single social event, I've got a lot going on in the coming weeks. I mean, the next weekend when I have nothing scheduled is the last weekend in April! (And it's staying that way; particularly after being away the weekend before, I'm sure I'll need it.) It's not that they're all big things, and certainly not bad things, just that, for me, there are a lot. This weekend's is the North Shore Yarn Crawl, which I am attending on Sunday, with friends. Yay for yarn and fun and lunch at Woodman's!

Now, don't think I've forgotten that I promised pictures of the ice that came down from my building. Remember the ice waterfall?
That was on February 10th, and it got worse after this, but you get the idea. I came out Tuesday morning to this.
I would guess it came down Monday, when I was inside being headachy, since the ice boulders were frozen to the ground Tuesday morning, as I found when I tried to kick them out of the way (fortunately I didn't hurt my foot in this discovery). Doesn't it seem as though it tried to avoid falling on my car?
Such considerate ice.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

That Rare Time, a Book Review: Shadow Scale

I am so tired today. Even though this wasn't a terrible headache, it was bad enough* to give me that hit-by-a-truck feeling yesterday, and although today was much better, I was majorly fading by mid-afternoon. And I did go to bed early last night! Lights out before 9. Though I guess in the spring-forward week, that isn't as great as it would otherwise be... Naturally, tonight's Bruins game starts at 7:30, not 7; I think this will be a third-period-in-bed night. At least, I hope it will be worth watching/listening to the whole game; they did decently well this weekend, I hope they can keep that up.
*And it's been long enough since I had one even this bad, which is kind of wonderful

However, fatigue to the contrary notwithstanding, there is something I want to write about tonight, since today is the release day for a really good book, and I want to tell you about it. I didn't blog one night a few weeks back because I'd been reading that night instead; the book was Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman. This is a follow-up to her book Seraphina, which came out a few years ago to much acclaim. I recently saw a "click here to get a free advance copy of Shadow Scale" somewhere, clicked, and promptly forgot all about it, so the package's arrival a few weeks ago was a very pleasant surprise. (So, disclaimer: free book, but all opinions are my honest own, blah blah blah.) I showed it to you mid-February, and read it a few weeks later.

Back in 2012, I only mentioned Seraphina on the blog in passing, as "very good ... really well done," which it is, but that isn't much of a book review, is it?* Now that the sequel is out, I feel the need to go back, because while you could read Shadow Scale without having read Seraphina (I think), it makes so much more sense when you've read the first one. And since Shadow Scale is not only enjoyable and well-written, but has enough mind-bending moments that my brain nearly shut down afterward to process it (that's praise, by the way), I want to tell you to read both.
*For a blog with "read" in the name, I don't actually review many books. I find recommending books rather fraught, since what one likes is such a personal thing. And since it makes me uncomfortable when someone recommends something to me and I don't like it, I tend to extrapolate that to others.

So, Seraphina. It's technically young adult fantasy, specifically dragons, but done in a way unlike any others I've read. The world-building is complex and layered, and the characters are true and real, detailed and flawed and interesting. Music plays a major role, but so do concepts of belonging and relationships and connections. The title character is young, trying to find her own place in the world, with a huge secret to hide, and talents that her father has also tried to get her to hide, but that are coming out in unplanned ways. Her fate gets wrapped up in the crises of the kingdom, and secrets beyond her own are unveiled.

Good book, in other words.

Seraphina stands alone, it isn't one of those annoying books that finishes and leaves you hanging until the next one, but Shadow Scale follows up on something mentioned at the end of Seraphina, without feeling at all manufactured or like the act of an author desperate for ideas. Getting to see other kingdoms and how they differ from Goredd is interesting for the reader as well as for Seraphina, who finds herself comparing her home and seeing ways in which it is better, and worse, than its neighbors. There are a few heartrending moments (as well as one "did she just imply what I think she did?" moment that I was not at all expecting [again, that should be considered praise]), and there are new developments in ideas that I had accepted in Seraphina without questioning, only to look back upon and wonder about. It was a complex and thrilling read, which left me rather startled to find myself back in the real world when I finished reading. I'm a big re-reader, of course, and I'm looking forward to reading it again, to pick up details I may have missed as I was rushing to Find Out What Happened.

Another good book, in other words. So now you know what I think.

PS If you're just feeling "over" dragons, but are open to reading about elves and goblins in a new way, pick up The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison asap. It seems I haven't written about that one either, and it's a wonderful book! The way the author provides information without spelling it out in explicit and boring exposition, it's just amazing. It's another example of excellent world-building, with its own language and speech conventions that are conveyed without confusion (or without much, anyway). The audio is also fabulous on that one: I bought it, and listen to it over and over.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Off Kilter

Since I was very much looking forward to my Sunday plans, going with friends to visit one of the group and meet her baby, the thought crossed my mind on Saturday to hope I wouldn't get a headache. And in fact, I woke up Sunday with a slight headache, but I did what I could and it didn't get worse, so I was able to get ready (by making brownies, while watching the Bruins win) and go as planned. I had a wonderful time; the baby is three months old, a perfect age, and even with a half dozen of us I got in some good cuddles with him.

However, as I was getting ready to leave, I realized that my headache was coming back, and it did get moderately bad. I slept poorly, bad dreams and frequent waking, and around the time I would normally get up, I emailed work instead. Fortunately we are between projects, so I didn't put pressure on myself to go in. My head hasn't been that bad, just up and down a bit, and an upset stomach on and off, but I bailed on stitch and bitch, and have been mostly a slug. Hard not to be, when you feel yoked to a heavy load. 

I did finish emptying the dishwasher, and in a good moment I balanced the checkbook and paid a few bills, but otherwise...I haven't even showered. But I knit a little, and watched a movie, and right now I have a cat sleeping on my lap, so it's good.

If warm. But if he wants to sleep on a sweaty arm, who am I to argue?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Did You Remember to Spring Forward?

Sandra Boynton put this on Facebook today, saying, "Reminder: Daylight Saving Time (United States and Canada) begins tomorrow (Sunday, March 8) at 2 AM. Don't forget to throw your clocks out the window so you can get some sleep."
I like the new twist on the old reminder.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Survived the Week! Happy Friday!

The next time I say that I have no willpower, someone remind me that this morning I got up from bed, where I was cuddling Carlos in the sun, to get ready for work. Forget about avoiding the temptation of chocolate: that was hard!

Also, perception of time is interesting, isn't it? Those five minutes passed in a second, while the five minutes of the fire alarm test at work this morning felt like an hour. Ugh! What a horrendous noise.

On the other hand, at lunch today I sat with a coworker who is also a knitter, and we showed another coworker who wants to learn how it works. And other people want to be crafty, too! So that might be a regular thing, which would be fun.

Going back to time and perception, I read something today about a pain scale that had at the top "the worst pain you have ever experienced" and it made me think, it's been a long time since I had one of "those" headaches, isn't it? So I checked my data, and know what? Seven months. That's right: seven months since I had a terrible headache. How about THAT? If that isn't a thing to celebrate, I don't know what is.
Happy Friday, indeed!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

I Was Reading

One Plus One, by Jojo Moyes, and it was good. I was quite near the end and not at all seeing how it could end well, but I'm happy. And now I have to ride the bike before bedtime. Later!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Growl, Growl, Trying to Smile

I'm not sure why, but my weather-induced mood was rock-bottom today. Today, when it didn't snow! And yesterday's snow was just a slushy inch, and it actually went above freezing, woo-hoo! Of course, that means lots of meltage that will then freeze solid. Again. In time for tomorrow's snow.

Yes. I am Eeyore today.
And not just that Eeyore, but this one.
I am Marvin.
No, not Bugs Bunny Marvin! Douglas Adams Marvin.
(That's the movie image, it isn't how I imagine him from the books, but it will do.)

I am a delicate, tropical flower, and I am wilting.

I don't think that I am usually a total pessimist, am I? What do you think? I don't mean recently, of course, but usually? I feel like the endless winter makes me a pessimist, while normally, I look on the bright side enough to disgust my teenage self.

It's winter that has killed that in me right now.

I'm not the only one cracking up, either, if you were wondering. I saw this over the weekend.
That's a snowman in the back of a pickup truck.

There was a piece in this morning's Globe on how people around here are either wishing for the city to break the winter record, or are against even one more snowflake, and I shared it on Facebook before I finished reading the paper. A couple of my friends are, sadly, in the oh-why-not-let's-go-for-it camp, which makes me slightly crazy. And in fact, someone at work said that this morning, and I really felt like crying. No more snow. Please. I can't take it.

Then later, someone else said, well, it's warmer today, it's melting! And I said yes, and it will freeze solid tonight, and snow again tomorrow. But it's warmer today! she said. Look on the bright side! And I said, I don't have any bright side left. (I went back after and apologized for snapping at her.)

Basically, if you are one of those people, let's not talk about it. Let's agree to disagree, and talk about something else. And not whether spring will ever come, because no, right now I don't believe it will.

And telling me how many days it is to the first day of spring, like that's actually going to change the weather, is another sore spot. I was only kind of joking when I made myself this sign today.
Actually, I'm not sure what that leaves me to talk about. Everything swings around to the weather again.
  • I wish the Bruins were playing better, I could use something to cheer me up. Oh, wait... (And, of course, one of the players they traded for on Monday broke his finger in practice today, and is out for six weeks. That will cheer me up! Oh, wait...)
  • Work is going all right; I'm glad I have a laptop to work from home in bad weather. Oh, wait...
Well, I can find a couple of things to make me smile, though. Like, I turned the heel on my sock tonight, which always make me smile and think of what I said the first time. "Look what it did! It turned a corner!"
And my hyacinth smells marvelous, and looks lovely too. If you like that sort of thing. Which I do.
I finally got a decent picture of Belmont's latest nap spot.
Bathroom sink, yes. Usually she gets down once I'm around, but I had to move her once and she was most displeased.

Speaking of the bathroom, new wall art.
And, in a back-ass way, the person who has these bumper stickers.
Top center, and lower right. Click to make big.

And if you want to end on an adorable note, kittens who have been washed, and are all puzzled by it.