Monday, November 30, 2015
Let me back up. Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. I was hoping I hadn't picked up a cold (at Thanksgiving dinner, I sat next to someone getting over one), but also considered it possible that it was either from allergies, or winter-dry air. It didn't go away during the day, so when I was out in the afternoon, I picked up some generic Claritin D, which the doctor had said might help with my allergies. I got the 24-hour kind, and took one last night.
And barely slept.
It seems unreasonable to me that they would design a drug that you're only meant to take when you plan to be awake for 24 hours, so if it was the cause of my tremendously bad night, it must be one of those instances wherein I am a special sensitive snowflake. I don't know (though I know I won't experiment with it again; anyone want the rest of the box?). All I know is that I was tired, oh, was I tired, and I lay there and tossed and turned, and dozed only to snap awake, and I was aware of my heart pounding harder than usual, and I was too warm and then not warm enough, and yes, it was as delightful as it sounds. I would guess I got an hour or two of sleep, all together, and between that and the sore throat, felt like utter crap this morning.
(One good thing: my neck, which I borked Sunday morning by leaning sideways to pick up Carlos, was not as bad today. Something went right.)
By lunchtime, realizing that I wasn't really hungry (so unlike me), I decided to be wise about the evening. I called the chiropractor and rescheduled, and emailed my knitting friends that I wouldn't be coming tonight (which was a bummer, I have some fun sooper seekrit Christmas knitting to show), and made my peace with being asleep, the gods and unisom willing, by 8.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
It's not. In fact, I'm going out again in a while, in hopes that the mall will be a little less crazy later in the day. It worked at Target last night, not Black Friday shopping, an obsolete concept these days if you ask me, but just regular Stuff; cross your fingers for me tonight. I just want to pick up a few things, ho ho ho.
My long weekend so far has been lovely and peaceful. I've slept a lot, and read, and knitted, and lazed about. The Bruins won Wednesday night and yesterday afternoon, and then are off until Wednesday, when they play three late games in four days. Weird schedule.
I made my angel salad, and mashed potatoes, and did all the dishes (I'm trying hard to maintain some of the tidiness I achieved when my friends came over*). I ate so well on Thanksgiving that I went from around 4 or so, when we finished eating, to about 11 the next morning before I ate again. And then I went back yesterday for leftovers! It's been very good.
*Speaking of that post, by the way, I did flatten the cardboard downstairs, as I meant to. Another small achievement!
Above all things, it has been quiet. I don't miss Belmont at all, not one bit, and in fact I am reveling in the peace her absence brings. Carlos is doing well, enjoying the extra attention and showing more willingness to come to the couch and join me, rather than coaxing me to join him on the bed. It's nice to see him relaxed on the couch, purring, not having to look nervously over his shoulder at her.
Peace. It's wonderful.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
S came this morning and got Belmont, but not to take to the MSPCA: her husband successfully lobbied for them to try keeping her again, which is challenging because of their having little kids, but hopefully it will work out. At least for now, she's in a home and not a shelter, which is nice. And not my home, which is nicer! It's a tremendous relief, in fact.
Other things to be grateful for, beyond the cat who is gone and the cat who is here? Sure, plenty of those. How about looking forward to a wonderful dinner tomorrow, good friends and such good food, I'm hungry already. (Wait, have I had dinner? no?) And everyone, there and in the family, is healthy, which is no small blessing. I have a job, a home, food and shelter and all those first-world luxuries, and I don't take them for granted most days, but especially now.
In knitting, I've reached the point on the shawl when I can start the edging, so I'm happy about that.
There's more, of course (I got my coffee maker to work again! yay for vinegar!), but rather than tax my long-weekend brain, I will stop trying to tie everything into gratitude, and ramble on. For instance, two things about yesterday:
- I wore my winter coat for the first time this year (I was freezing on Monday night!).
- I realized that it was nine years since I moved into my condo. I can't believe it's been nine years! On the other hand, 2006 feels like it was about 4 years ago, so clearly I have a time perception problem.
Today I was looking at the Lands End catalog, and was struck by what a good knitting project bag this would make:
Carlos just got up, so I'm going to go start dealing with the dirty dishes all over the counters, and maybe eat something, too. Happy Thanksgiving eve, y'all!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
I took the class tonight, even though I had (and have) a slight headache, can I get some applause, please. It wasn't bad. Not enjoyable, exactly, but tolerable, though the way my legs felt about climbing the stairs when I got home indicates that getting out of bed in the morning may be a challenge.
But S is coming in the morning to get Belmont. That will get me up.
Monday, November 23, 2015
In the situation with Belmont, I've been in a different kind of decision paralysis. I want to get rid of her, NEED to get rid of her, and have had difficulty finding options. Thinking about it today, I could see two, neither of which feels good.
First, my mother offered to find her a home down there, if I bring her with me at Christmas. It's a very generous offer (motivated, one imagines, by a desire to see her daughter stay juuust on this side of the sanity line), but there are two problems for me with this. One, it's a little logistically challenging: can I get her on my flight? If traveling with a pet counts as your carry-on, can I get my work computer (which I need, as I have to work 1.5 days down there that week) into what they will consider a personal item? Two, I would feel like such a hypocrite, having her sedated for the flight when I wouldn't let the vet do the dental work they said she should have because I didn't want her sedated. She's 16, and I don't like the idea, but I'll do it for my own convenience? Oh, nice, ccr.
Plus, of course, that's a month away.
Second, take her to the MSPCA and surrender her. I would feel very guilty about this, as I'm pretty sure they don't foster animals, and she should be in a home, not a shelter. But I can't find a home, and neither can my friend S (from whom I got Belmont to begin with), who has, bless her, been doing a lot of the virtual legwork to try and find a solution. Every road we have tried has dead-ended; every person, every shelter, every idea has come to nothing. (In the latest news, the friend I had lunch with Friday checked with a friend of hers who was talking about getting an animal, and that person decided to get a puppy.)
But. But. I need her out of here. Soon. Sooner.
This weekend, I had to shut her in the office both mornings at 6-something, so I could get some more sleep, because she wanted me to get up, damn it, and sit on the couch to keep her company while she napped--seriously, that's what she wants. She could come to the bed and sleep with me there, but that isn't the way she wants it.
This morning, I dragged myself out of bed to her yowling (I mean, the alarm had gone off, it was time to get up, but she wasn't shutting up), and dragged around trying to get moving, willing her to be quiet, and when I went to make coffee the machine didn't work. And she just kept yowling, and I was on the verge of tears because I Just Could Not Deal. Morning, Monday, cold, dark, no coffee, and yelling from the cat. Cat people joke about their cats being furry terrorists, but it's true, and it's only a a joke when you love them. When you don't ... it feels like an abusive relationship. (Or what I imagine that feels like. I've have never, fortunately, actually experienced that.)
So, I ran into S on my way out of stitch and bitch tonight. She was on her way to see a few friends, including one who had expressed possible interest in taking Belmont, so we'll know about that tomorrow (I mean, S will know tonight, and I will know tomorrow!). And if not, S said she can take Belmont to the MSPCA tomorrow.
She's been really good about the whole thing, very understanding, not at all giving me any guilt about it, which I appreciate just as much as the work she's been doing in search of a place for Belmont. I'm generating enough guilt on my own, I don't need it from outside. This has to happen, I want it to happen, the getting her out of my home part. And I've done the best I can to control where she's going, and now it's time to let go. The guilt will diminish, I hope, and seeing Carlos a happy only cat again will help that.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Yesterday I installed the new modem that the cable company sent me. It was neither painless nor agonizing, but with work and only a few tears, I got two computers, two tablets, the TV, and the printer to acknowledge the change.
Then I took the laptop to work on the couch with the Bruins game on in the background, and while it obliged me by maintaining the connection (wouldn't it be nice if that lasted), I tried to print something and it informed me that the printer was offline.
Which it was not.
And I know it wasn't, not only because the printer claimed it was fine, but because when I cranked up the old computer, it was slow, but printed without a hiccup.
I swear, I did get the new laptop to print at one point, but lately it's been giving me this shit, and I don't even want to deal with it. Just work, already.
Then just now, I loaded some photos off the computer onto the camera, and some of them needed to be rotated so I did that, and saved. Then I went to put new pictures of the shawl on my project page on Ravelry, where the pictures show up unrotated. It did the same here, and though I was able to make it rotate (and went back to Rav and did the same there), I'm still ticked off about the whole thing. Why does technology have to be this way?
The shawl is coming nicely, by the way, speaking of it,
promised to show you the two new sets of flannel sheets I got recently, so here they are:
Now, for the grand finish, how about some cat photos? Miss Belmont, awake for once (in a photo, that is).
And here's the view I get of His Lordship most days, while I am eating my lunch.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Would you watch a movie that admitted to depicting graphically butchered poultry? Is that better or worse than "corporate destruction of communities"? Or is that humans-first thinking?
Which is when I started to wonder who writes these...
Friday, November 20, 2015
*Though I went to Costco after I finished, to pick up a prescription, and while I didn't squelch, it was a strange feeling. Also, I walked in to see a display of fitbits on one side, and truffles on the other. Didn't get either, but such an interesting dichotomy!
It wasn't as warm as I was expecting, but it wasn't chilly or anything. The biggest difference was probably how few people were there. Another woman came out as I did, and we were the only ones in the pool for about 15 minutes, before first one man and then another came out. If it's always that empty, it will suit me fine! Actually, I suppose not having a lifeguard is a difference, but it isn't one that bothers me. The pool also didn't have a deep end and a shallow end, which surprised me but also isn't a problem (according to the signs, it's 3 feet 9 inches at each end, and 4 feet in the middle; kind of funny, right?).
It was pretty peaceful, actually. I only swan for about 20 minutes: I'd planned to try for half an hour, but my back was starting to ache--I haven't been exercising at all lately--and I decided to take it easy the first time, since I wanted to be able to move today. And although I was slightly achy, it was nothing major.
We'll see what Tuesday's class does to me; I hope I like it. Laps are kind of boring, but for me and exercise, that's not the worst thing. "Actively hateful" is how I often feel when exercising, so boring will do. One of my friends said waterproof headphones are the way to go, so I may try that, in future. Not today's worry.
Then, flannel sheets, how's that for a topic transition? After all, it is November! I like a flannel sheet in winter (or, in other words, any time it isn't hot), and recently when my old sheet wore out, I realized that the other one I used to have had also worn out. I found a set at TJ Maxx, and when I got it on the bed, wow, it has been a long time since I had new flannel sheets! So startlingly soft and cozy. Of course, I wanted a second set so that I don't have to do laundry the day I change the sheets, so I went into Bed and Bath this week and got a second set there. So soft! Man, sometimes it's the little things in life.
I'll have to get pictures of the two patterns, so you can see why I was amused when I realized what they had in common. This weekend, maybe...it's the weekend! And next week is a short week, and then it's Thanksgiving, and I will be eating many delicious things while having a five-day weekend. And then, three weeks later, I go to Florida, and in a blink of an eye, it's going to be 2016.
Sorry. Got a little carried away. Have a nice weekend!
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
- I got out my swimsuit and a towel and a lock for the locker. Tomorrow, I will go swimming after work. Classes are Tuesday nights, but I want to try to get there another night a week. We shall see. Baby steps. I saw the pool last night, but I don't know where the locker room is, so finding that would be a good start.
- I am assuming that it will be along the same lines as the Y, so it will be interesting to see how they are alike and how they differ.
- Last week, the sink in my bathroom started backing up, it seemed like suddenly though I suppose it must have been gradual. On Monday I dug out the name of the plumber I called when the same thing happened in 2011 (old building, hinky pipes); I left him a message, and tried again on Tuesday, when he answered, You've got to love working from home an extra bit when you can answer "Is anyone home today" with "Sure, come by any time." It was fixed by noon (and, since I tried unsuccessfully to fix it myself Sunday night, it was sort of validating that he needed the power snake again).
- My agreement with Verizon for internet/cable/phone was up, so I called and suffered through the spiel on Saturday and reupped for only a little bit more per month (it's such a racket, but when you want it, you pay to get it). She was pleasant, the woman I spoke with, but a fast talker, not explaining very well, and when I got an email Monday with the tracking number for my equipment, I had to call to ask what exactly they were shipping me. It turns out to be a faster modem, and it came today. I'm not going to try to install it until Saturday; not messing with the status quo during the work week, thanks. Wish me luck.
- My friends came over on Saturday for lunch (and pie) and a movie, our second new-TV-old-movie experience. This time, we watched Desk Set, another classic. Good movie, good food, good company, and motivation to tidy up: who could ask for more?
- Some very good advice from the new book Humans of New York Stories:
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Monday, November 16, 2015
On the other hand, he is my baby.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015
Mind you, I'm not eating almonds today. They aren't going to appeal to me for a few days, after I had these yesterday:
Thursday, November 12, 2015
*She seemed to find me pretty amusing.
So maybe I can find a way to manage that. I am looking at gyms with pools, and schedules, and costs, and sighing a lot. The nearest one to me does not seem to have any swim classes in the evenings, and I really did like the low-impact water aerobics more than lap swimming. It looks like another one does have a class Tuesday evenings; I guess I should go take a look at it. Sigh.
The idea of paying $40 a month, plus $50 a year ... it's not that I can't afford it, but man, that is not what I want to spend my money on. Yarn, books, chocolate ...
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
As I mentioned, it has this Issue about staying connected to the wifi. Oddly enough, some days it seems fine, but most days (like today!) it drops over and over and over. Sometimes it goes to a "Limited" connection, sometimes it drops altogether. Sometimes it will reconnect at the push of a button, other times it takes a while, sometimes it says it can't connect, though that is often followed by it connecting itself. It has dropped perhaps 10 times as I try to write this. It's maddening.
It's dropping so much, and I'm having to reconnect so much, that I now know someone near me has named their wifi network Waffle House, which is a funny choice.
When I tried googling it, I found that it was an issue going back to Windows 8, which Microsoft in its infinite laziness has not fixed. I found various websites talking about workarounds to fix the problem, but I swear, every one of them, when I looked at the instructions, became the print equivalent of the teacher talking in a Charlie Brown cartoon. There's no way I'm getting into that level of computer tweaking. But I don't know how else to get it to stop doing this. I'll ask my brother if he can dial in, sometime, and see if he can get it to behave.
But not tonight. I can't fight it any more tonight. I'm already bummed because I was all excited and hopeful earlier to talk to someone at a shelter about taking Belmont, only she wouldn't because of Belmont's age, and now I'm kind of discouraged again. Time to think about something else.
Monday, November 09, 2015
The first thing I pulled out was bags of peanuts--packing peanuts, the kind that come in some packages, and get all over everywhere? Yeah, for some reason, I had four bags, kitchen trash bags, of peanuts. And I hate reusing them, and I usually get enough other packing material that I don't need them. So onto Freecycle they went, and someone came for them today. Done!
My next basement project will involve flattening and recycling a variety of cardboard boxes that I had down there. I imagine I'll keep the boxes the OED came in, since they are so perfect for that purpose (and I am absolutely not getting rid of the OED before I move), but otherwise, spring for new boxes next time, not spidery dusty in-the-basement-all-these-years boxes. I don't want to put my stuff in those.
I also did a little work upstairs. I spent some time this weekend tidying up, particularly the living room, since I have friends coming over this Saturday for lunch and a movie (it is SO good for me, and my home, to have friends over regularly; otherwise the piles of clean laundry take over a whole couch, and the dust bunnies start to think they are in charge). While I was at it, I pulled out some more books I can do without, making a nice stack to donate. Baby steps get you there, eventually. Right?
Saturday, November 07, 2015
Friday, November 06, 2015
However, a couple of years ago I switched to reading the paper on the tablet on weekdays, and only getting delivery on weekends (not a tangent: one day recently I heard my neighbor's paper being delivered and looked at the clock to find it was 7:18; so much for delivery guaranteed by 6). And apparently that was the tipping point, and ever since, I have regularly had trouble with the table getting out-of-control messy.
As it did recently, when I went from "getting ready for trip" to "OMG back from trip ahhhhhh" to "my head is just not right, who cares about the table." I am finally digging it out, and it's quite a relief. And a process.
A pass through the worst of it last week revealed three of the local weekly newspapers, a stack of coupons gone through, junk and junkish mail dealt with. Phew. Today, while waiting for my lunch to heat up, I started really tackling it, one segment at a time, both dusting/cleaning, and also assessing what belonged there, removing that which didn't, and thinking about how best to store things that do. Tonight, I continue, with pauses for sticky spots encountered elsewhere--like a file folder, not in the file cabinet, labeled "current medical" and containing paperwork from roughly 1998 to 2008. Mmm hmm.
Anyway, back to it!
Thursday, November 05, 2015
Even better, though, was being able to open a window to the lovely air. Carlos has been much displeased with the window, his window, being closed most of the time that the heater wasn't working, and he was very pleased today. And so was I: his fur normally smells delicious*, and even better with fresh air, but when that air smells of autumn leaves? You can't even imagine how good that is. You may think you can, but it's even better.
*Which baffles me, honestly; what is in kitty spit, to produce this effect?
I've taken a few baby steps toward getting things cleared up around here, as I discussed. After I wrote last night, I thought about some other things I'd seen in the trunk while I was looking for those photos. Like a few board games, which I couldn't even tell you why I've kept, but I put them on Freecycle this morning and someone already came and got them, boom, gone.
And then there were the smurfs.
Did anyone else collect smurfs? I was introduced to them, somewhere around 1980 or so, when I was visiting a friend in New York, which was quite an adventure for me. I want to say she took me to Macy's, though I may not be remembering correctly, but anyway, I bought two.
So last night, I thought of a friend whose kids might be of an age to be interested, and e-mailed her, emphasizing that she could say no but offering them to her. And after sending a picture so she could show them what smurfs are (kids today, sigh), they said yes! So I will be packing up the figures and cottages and kits and all, and bringing them to be played with again. Yay!
But I will be keeping Neil and Jimmy, and one other. Guess why.
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Nine years. This is the longest that I've lived in one place (by far) since my parents sold the house where I grew up, which was over 20 years ago. Two years here, three years there ... I've always hated moving (and I suck at it, frankly; I'm always up at least half the night before the movers come, and still have to tell them to ignore that pile of crap over there), but one thing it does, to some degree, is force you to assess your stuff periodically.
Assess. Your. Stuff.
And guess what I have done very little of in the last nine years? That's right.
Since deciding that, yeah, my next move will be to Florida*, I have started to look around with a more assessing eye. or tried to, anyway. It's hard; I'm not a hoarder, but definitely a pack rat. I take after my dad, and his dad, and I have to really force myself to remember things like how if virtually every library carries a certain author's books (like Dick Frances, or Anne McCaffrey), I don't have to own ALL of them. And I am trying to ask myself, as I look at things, "Is this something that I should (pay to) move to Florida?" I'm not getting rid of everything now, by any means, but given my poor track record with moving, starting a few years ahead of the actual move is a very good idea.
What is making me think of this tonight, specifically, is that I was trying to find some old pictures I have of my first cat, Honey, and I thought I had them in a small album, but it isn't where I thought it should be, and it isn't in the other place I thought it might be, and huh. Where else could it be, where my eye has been sliding past it unseeing for a few years.
Sigh. The place isn't that big, and it's nothing like those nightmares on shows about hoarding (I can't even watch those; it's like being a voyeur to mental illness), but it isn't spare and clear, either. Mostly I'm okay with that, but situations like this are frustrating.
It makes me wish I could time-travel back to when I was laid off in June and, knowing I would be working again by the end of August, make a plan to use all that time I had off, that I mostly spent either frantically buried in a book, or paralyzed with worry about what would happen next. How much I could get done with two months off, if only the worry had let me!
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Well, a picture can be worth a thousand words, perhaps (I should count how many I have here when I'm done with this!), but it can also be very misleading. For instance, Belmont has been on the (nice warm) bed a lot more than usual this week, since that heating unit has been out of commission and it's cooler in here than usual (it's supposed to be fixed tomorrow), so perhaps she is putting up with more than usual in the name of warmth. Also, it's a lot easier to get pictures of the stationary, well-lit, no-fuss, peaceful moments than the howls in the night.
I remember a Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin is pushing the mess in his room out of the way so that he can take pictures showing how tidy he was as a child, for future use in his autobiography. And the truth of this picture is that although there is some "peaceful coexistence" in the relationship between Carlos and Belmont, there is also too much* of the "yowl and scuffle" going on, especially in the night when I can't see what happens, but I sure can hear it.
*Truly, any is too much, but really, I would settle for almost-never, rather than daily.
I've come to realize over the last few months that certain factors about Belmont (her inability to be friends with Carlos, her need for lots of attention, and her VOLUME) add up to a cat that is not working out for me*. Especially since I started working from home, the latter two items have become very obvious, and since the first item means I've never fully bonded with her, the yelling and complaining and interrupting my work time have become less and less tolerable. And given how much the working from home thing is suiting me otherwise, it isn't something I want to stop doing.
*Which I hate, incidentally, as this is now the third cat I feel like I'm giving up on, one way or another. But here I am.
Let me clarify, if I can: Belmont does sleep a lot every day; she's a cat, and an old cat to boot. However, several times a day she will come to where I am at the computer, working, and yowl. She wants up on the desk, she wants me to pet her, and if it was for a minute or five minutes, I could do that, but seriously I think she would want an hour at a time. She is very hard to discourage, walking between me and the computer, bumping her head against my hand at the mouse or keyboard, always with the yowling, and honestly, she's just being a cat, how can I be mad at her for being a cat? Well, but I can, though, especially since I prize a peaceful home and she is Just So Loud.
None of this is news. At least, in hindsight! I mean, early on, I was talking about her "crabby meow," right? I also mentioned how she was "happy to have me pet her and pet her and pet her." And by her lights, she is a nice cat: she's affectionate, she purrs, she likes company (human, anyway). For the right person, someone who has a lot of spare time, and no other cats, she could be a great pet. But I am not that person.
I'm not sure what will happen next. But whatever happens next, at least now you know it's heading that way.
Sunday, November 01, 2015
Another weekend come and gone. How was yours?
Mine was good. The Bruins won both their games. After starting the season with 3 losses, they have gone 6-0-1 since, which is shall-we-say better, and they are still undefeated on the road, also nice. Keep it up, boys.
On Saturday, I went to see the movie version of The Martian, and thought it was great. I haven't been so impressed by a movie based on a book since I don't know when. I usually come out of such movies with at least three major gripes, and the fact that no, Gwendolyn in Earnest would NOT have a tattoo, thank you, can spoil a movie for me. But while I had a few minor quibbles with this, overall I thought they did very well. By the way, the friend I went with had not read the book, and she also loved the movie, so there you are.
Otherwise, not too much excitement. I turned the clocks back, changed the sheets and washed the mattress pad (which requires great cat juggling and displeasure: a mattress pad in the washing machine does not warm the bed for a cat, you know), and of course I kept knitting. I like how this is coming out.