malinaldarose: (Default)
Somehow my brain got on the subject of tattoos this morning. I have been contemplating getting a tattoo (or two) for my 50th birthday. After Fawkes, I had always planned to get another, probably on my left shoulder to balance out Fawkes on my right calf. Wouldn't want to be crooked.

I had always scorned those tattoos based on media symbolism -- I couldn't understand why someone would want Porky Pig permanently on their body -- but Fawkes is actually derived from a medallion worn by a character in a '70s TV show (that ran about eight episodes), so...lesson learned. Things that mean something to you mean something to you.

With that in mind, I have for a long time wanted my next tattoo to be some variation of the Seal of Rassilon, perhaps with a starfield or something representing solar winds or some such. I quite like this one, which I ran across only this morning. Difficult for the artist, though, I should think. I also considered getting it in white ink, but I'm not entirely certain about that.

I recently started thinking about other things, and the prophecy poem from The Dark Is Rising popped into my head. (As personally important things go, that's a Big One.) It could be done in any number of fonts, including Circular Gallifreyan and Sindarin (or Quenya). That might be cool.

In any case, it is something that requires a great deal more thought.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Now that the clocks have been turned back, I am finding I have little trouble getting up at 5:00 a.m. -- whether I want to or not -- so I have been up since a little after 5:00. It is now just before 9:00. Normally by now on a Saturday, I have been out to the stores and foraged for my week's groceries. This morning...I just didn't feel like it. Besides, I have milk and bread and cheese and dog food, so I'm good. (Plus, I'm just about flat broke.)

That means I haven't really accomplished much this morning, but since I intend to go out and Deal With The Leaves later, I'm not too worried about that. I have brushed the dog, and he is now hiding under my desk. He really hates being brushed; he's convinced he's being punished for something. Unfortunately for him, it was more than past time. With his coat, he really should be brushed at least once a week, and I only do it about once a month -- and I didn't do it last month. Plus, it was time for his flea-stuff, and after Teh Infestationing, we will be religious about the flea stuff.

That does make me a little nervous about going out for a bit this morning, though. I need to get out to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, and even though I'll only be gone twenty minutes or so.... *shrug*

His anxiety does seem to be leveling out a bit. He's still stressed about something -- still coming up beside me and either panting in my face or trying to get in bed with me, and then panting in my face -- but the clawing at the door when I exclude him from the bedroom has ceased. I wish I knew what was going on in his fuzzy little brain.

In other non-Jack news, despite my brokedness, BFT and I went for my birthday shopping trip yesterday. The results were mixed. We were both disappointed by the selection at Pier 1; where we both normally spend nearly $200, neither of us broke $100 yesterday, and everything BFT bought was for other people. My plastic didn't even start to smoke, let alone melt.

The store was so pretty when we first got there, though. The Pier 1 store is at the western edge of the mall complex, and the sun was a slanting into the front windows and the Christmas displays were all sparkling in that gorgeous light -- bits of it were even blinding, it was so bright. By the time we left, the sun had moved on, and it was so much duller. Still pretty, just not...winter wonderlandy. (The red displays were in the corner, but the white and silver displays were right by the door.)

Barnes & Noble was a slightly different story, of course, but we both had lots of coupons and I had a gift card, too, so.... I bought six or seven books, a set of dual-tipped markers, and a set of notecards, and got tips on what to get BFT for either Christmas or her graduation (she will be completing her second masters degree next month).

After shopping, we headed for the Olive Garden (chocolate lasagna!) only to find that there were no parking spots, indicating that the wait for lunch would be upwards of forty-five minutes, so we went to TGI Fridays instead.

We should've stuck it out at the Olive Garden.

We didn't have to wait long to get a table, but after our waitress took our orders, she disappeared. Completely. We had this happen to us once at Friendly's, and it turned out that the waitress either quit or ended her shift after taking our orders, and we just never got our food. (Well, we did, eventually, but it was about three-quarters of an hour later). Anyway, our food did come, and it was good (though it wasn't chocolate lasagna, and I really wanted zuppe toscana yesterday), but when we finished, we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and finally flagged down another waitress and asked where our waitress had gotten to because we really wanted dessert.... Turned out she had been assigned to a table with eleven diners and had been so monopolized by them that she had completely neglected all of her other assigned tables, not just us. So first she brought us the check, babbling apologies at us, then when we pointed out that we wanted desserts, she brought a single dessert menu, then hovered while we made our choices, then someone else brought our desserts. And then we waited some more; she had brought an updated check right after taking our orders, so we had that, but no one came to take the payment. I was just about to suggest that we just tuck the appropriate amount of cash -- with no tip -- into the folder and leave, but I had to use the restroom and while I was gone, BFT got someone to take the credit card payment. So a tip was given, after all.

But jeez. I understand having a bad day at work. I get that. And I get being monopolized by customers. But if you can't handle everything, then get someone else to do it, or talk to your manager. Don't make the customers come looking for you. Eh, whatever. (I was also not impressed by her hair falling into her face and her pony tail coming undone.) We were there for more than two hours, and too much of that time was spent waiting for her.

Ah, well. That's our shopping trips for this year. We probably won't go again until BFT's birthday in May.
malinaldarose: (Default)
My birthday celebration is finally over. BFT and I went to Not-Quite-Buffalo yesterday to go shopping and lunching; we go north for my birthday (in November) and west (in May) for hers. (Samhain and Beltaine, that's us.) I picked up a few things in Pier 1, including a collage picture frame that was on clearance. A lot of things caught my eye, but I was relatively restrained; usually, I spend entirely too much while I'm there, but yesterday, I only spent more than I should have. I do rather wish I'd picked up the two sari-fabric patchwork curtains, though, especially as I need to replace a pair of curtains in my office again.

We had lunch at the Olive Garden. The Olive Garden at McKinley burned down a couple of years ago; we were quite shocked the first time we went up after the fire, as we hadn't heard about it. The building had already been demolished, so there was just an empty spot. The replacement was built to a new design; neither of us like it. It's dimly-lit, and rather labyrinthine. Plus, I'm not sure where they stuck the bathrooms, but they weren't right near the exit. The food was good, though, and my dessert came with a little birthday candle and the cook had written "happy birthday" in fudge sauce.

B&N was packed, but they were having a mini-Makers Faire, which mainly consisted of having someone explain how Nooks work (or maybe they were just using the Nook display desk as a lectern) tables full of Lego blocks in the magazine section. I was surprised to not find very many books; I usually come out with an armload, and only bought a few.

I do wish I'd had a chance to buy something without BFT watching, though. She had pointed out a leather folio that she wanted, but thought was too expensive. As I've been stumped for what to give her for Christmas, I decided to order one for her when I got home...except that I couldn't find it on the website, and when I finally called the store to inquire, I found out it was a store-only item. Dammit. I've spent a couple of hours searching online to see if I can find one elsewhere, but my apparently only B&N sells them. I actually considered tossing Jack into the van and making a three-hour round trip for the sole purpose of buying this folio as a gift. Perhaps I'll make a quick trip next weekend -- and get those curtains while I'm at it...

...because Jack didn't do so well while I was gone yesterday. According to my sister, things were fine when she stopped around noon, but when I got home, the office curtains had been pulled down. That curtain rod had already been bent, but wasn't bent so badly that it needed to be immediately replaced. Last night, I had to replace it. Fortunately, I had a spare on hand (and now I will have to go out and replenish my supply) and was able to put the curtains right back up, but discovered, in the process, a great length-wise tear in one of them. I am actually considering just going to Jo-Ann's and getting a couple of iron-on patches to repair it. The pair came from a garage sale, anyway, so it's not like I paid a huge sum for them, but dammit.

I also found claw damage on a previously undamaged window. I think I missed having to replace those curtains by that much; I had opened one of them; if I hadn't, they would have come down, too, judging by where I found the damage.

As for the jumping in the bed thing.... I laid awake for a good portion of the night waiting for him to make the attempt, and he stayed on the floor until nearly 4:00 a.m. before he tried it. I foresee a nap in my future.

He is also not eating; BFT suggested that perhaps he has a bad tooth, as he'll eat if I put something else on the food. I wonder if he'd let me peel his lips back and take a look....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I. Am. So. Tired. I haven't slept well all week because Jack has been escalating his attempts to get into the bed with me every single night. Last night, I lost track at around 7 attempts before midnight. It got to the point where I had to deploy Mr. Spray Bottle, and I don't like to do that with Jack, because he is clearly afraid of it. Every time I have used it on the cats, Jack has cowered. But he would not stay off the bed last night. The one time I almost gave in and left him, he was panting so hard that he was shaking the bed, so I made him get down again.

I am shortly going to try rearranging the furniture in the bedroom and turn the bed sideways and shove it into the corner. I don't prefer it there (especially as it means putting the head of the bed against an outside (cold!) wall), but that opens up enough space to put Jack's bed on the same side that I sleep on, so perhaps that will help. I hope so; I could really use some sleep. I will put a bookcase across the foot of the bed so he can't crawl up from there, which was what he was doing last night because I blocked his access to me; he had been trying to crawl up over me). So far, people keep advising me to just let him. "Oh, there's no harm in it!" "Oh, we let our dog(s) sleep in the bed!" "Oh, it's so cute!" Cute is not the point. Harmless is not the point. The point is that I cannot sleep if there is another creature in my bed, which is why I don't allow the cats to even come into the bedroom anymore. I can't fathom that working with Jack, though; I rather suspect I'd just end up having to replace the bedroom door (on top of everything else). I like sleep. I would like to do it again some time. Preferably soon.

Tomorrow, BFT and I are heading for Not-Quite-Buffalo for my birthday trip. We postponed it from last weekend because I didn't really want to be driving home in the dark on Halloween. Probably there wouldn't have been any problems, but.... So, we'll hit Pier 1, have lunch at the Olive Garden, buy All The Books, then probably head home. We'll likely be home well before dark. My sister plans to be in town tomorrow to start cleaning at Grama's house, so I've asked her to look in on Jack for me. I hope she remembers.

Right. Furniture. Move furniture. And then go write checks since I will be gone tomorrow....

Did I mention tired?
malinaldarose: (Default)
So...it seems I have been a lot busy for a little bit....

Jack: Jack continues to be crated when I go to work. While I had little trouble getting him to go into the crate on Monday and Tuesday, as the week went on, getting him to go in voluntarily got progressively harder until by Thursday afternoon I had to give him a nudge and Friday afternoon I had to actually lift him into it. Food doesn't entice him; he will actually turn his face away from treats he likes if I try to give them to him in the vicinity of the crate. Special crate treats don't work, either. He hates the crate.

Unfortunately, he appears to still need it. At some point this week (and I have lost count), he learned that he could move the crate around the room, presumably by throwing himself at one side of it. After that, he got the curtains from the window he was nearest and destroyed them, then "walked" the crate across the room and got a brand new package of curtain rods which he somehow managed to get into the crate and chewed to death. The rods were longer than the crate, so I'm not at all certain how he accomplished that.

I haven't tried any crate training with him since last weekend because I haven't had the time and he doesn't want to cooperate. My feeling is that he has been crated as punishment.

I am becoming quite fond of his furry little face, though, and he reminds me strongly of Deuce even though his coloration is nothing like hers. The shape of the head, though, and his eyes are very like hers. Well. She was also a border collie mix.

We continue to go walkies twice a day. I am vastly annoyed with the friend on FB who more or less told me that I shouldn't have adopted a border collie as they require more exercise than just a couple of walks around the block, especially as I don't think I was complaining about walkies. I am actually aware of their requirements, having had a border collie mix before. But I didn't adopt the breed, I adopted the dog. My feet are actually bothering me less than I would have expected, and I've lost a couple of pounds. Imagine if I were eating properly in addition to walking with Jack twice a day!

Jack continues to be pretty much all I think about most of the time. Jack will almost certainly be the subject of my LJ Idol entry for this week (open topic). I have been so busy with Jack that I have run out of TeenyTinyTARDIS photos for my Tumblr account.

My Birthday: My birthday passed almost unremarked. I got scads of greetings on FB and a few here, but my parents seem to have cottoned on to the fact that I would rather not have a party. (Finally!) Dad replaced the dryer vent that Jack destroyed as a birthday present, and Mom took me shopping to pick out my own present, while Dad started patching the drywall in my bedroom (which I will end up finishing). (I may have mentioned this.) BFT and I went north to shop yesterday. It was quite a successful trip, too, other than the Olive Garden where we had planned to have lunch had burned down, so we had to go to TGI Fridays instead. We do have to go back north, however, as she bought some clothing and the clerk didn't remove the anti-theft tag. We're going to a different mall next weekend, however; a friend of hers runs a pet shop in one of the other malls up thataway. (Sekrit messij to [personal profile] chelseagirl: Note that I did not use the B-word.) My birthday continues at least through Wednesday, however, as Birthday Day at work is this week. Of course, since we have Tuesday off, no one will remember. Typical.

Doctor Who: That was quite the finale. I am actually rather wishing that some of it would be undone.... Read more... )

Feelings: I got an email from BFT earlier. She wanted to let me know that on a whim, she accepted an invitation from the DM to go to a game this afternoon. She wanted to see Sir M and his lady wife who were, alas, not there after all. HTWIWM was, however. Surprisingly, she did not have a meltdown all over the place (on my behalf), but did, instead, carry on a civilized conversation. She said that the DM wanted to know if I'd be interested in gaming; she told him she didn't think so. Not until I get that apology I am owed. You really think that after not speaking to you for five years, I'm just going to show up for a game? Dude. You really have little connection to reality.

But now I am sad. Well, if Jack hadn't been occupying so much of my brain lately, I probably would have been sad this week, anyway, because whatever else he may have been, my ex-husband was always very good with dogs....
malinaldarose: (Default)
If I was nervous about going to work Thursday morning, I'm even more nervous about going to work today. Jack doesn't like being crated, and we didn't have enough time to really get him to loving it. While he has obviously been crated at some point in the past, I think he may have been crated as punishment. I can't make up my mind about leaving him in there with a bone smeared with peanut butter. So far, he has licked the peanut butter off, then ignored the bone. My mother is coming down midmorning to check on him. I have asked her if she lets him out not to make a big fuss about it. She probably will, because my mother Knows Dogs¹, but I really don't have anyone else that I can ask. We'll see how it goes.

I postponed my birthday shopping trip until next weekend, and my sister came down on Saturday so that I could go out and get groceries. Unfortunately, she didn't come down until afternoon, so shopping was extremely frustrating for me, since I'm used to doing it at 7:00 a.m. when it's pretty much just me and the staff in the various stores.

Mom took me shopping for a present yesterday afternoon, so we spent a couple of hours wandering around Bon Ton. I tried on a bunch of stuff, but ended up with a single plaid blouse (shades of blue and grey), a pair of knit pants that look like skinny jeans (black), and a pullover sweater in the same shades as the shirt. Oh, and an adorable Halloween statuette of a cat in mask with a pumpkin² treat-or-treat container. The sculpture is based on those old-timey Halloween cards with the black cats and adorable kiddies.

Mom was pleased with the result of our shopping trip and has finally acknowledged that it's easier to let me pick out my own stuff. No more stupid holiday sweatshirts!

While we were shopping, Dad was upstairs in my bedroom patching the wall next to the front window. It'll need sanding and a couple more coats of mud (so I'll need to get a small bucket), but it's a start, and it's not like I don't know how to do that.

Jack and I went for several walks, both the short block and down the longer way, though I didn't take him around that block as I don't want him walking next to the highway while we're still unsure of one another. When the big building that is going up nearby is finished, I will add the circumference of their parking lot to our journeys. I am going to need to get a cortisone shot in my foot, though, dammit. That whole tendon was tingling the other night. Well, I needed to go, anyway, right?

With Jack here, I may as well go ahead and cancel my Y membership; I'm not going to get over there to walk. (Not that I was going, anyway; I haven't set foot in the place in months, though I was considering pool walking (I don't swim).)

I tried the Thundershirt on Jack last night. He thought it was the Worst Punishment Ever. He got low; his ears peeled back; he wouldn't look at me. He refused to come to me for at least two minutes while I was trying to coax him to cross the room and come sit on the floor with me. When he finally did come over, I didn't take the shirt off, but petted him through it.

This is such a huge change for me. Sheila was, despite her meds, extremely low maintenance. Jack is pretty much consuming my life....
---
¹ It is true that when I was a kid, she had a prize-winning boxer, but after that dog, she didn't do dog shows again.

² I can understand Benedict Cumberbatch and his "pengwengs" because I cannot type "pumpkin" without adding a "g" on the end.
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, it seems that Jack might have a bit of separation anxiety. And when I say "a bit," I mean "all the separation anxiety." I posted the curtain pics, right? Where I went out briefly and he tore down the curtains in my office? Twice? Even though he was confined to the kitchen the second time?

I went to work yesterday, and I thought I was being terribly clever by stacking two a second child gate on top of the first one in the kitchen doorway. I figured if he hopped the other kitchen gate into the back room and chewed on something in there, it was not a huge deal. I closed the library door so he couldn't get in there, and even though I didn't think he could get through the stacked child gates, I closed my office door. I put a gate across the bottom of the stairs.

And then I went to work....

Oh. My. Gods. You guys.

When I got home at lunchtime, I opened the laundry room door to find the mess I had expected. Stuff everywhere. No big deal. I expected it. But Jack wasn't right there. Oh, no. Jack was cowering in the living room. He had battered the lower of the two child gates -- the one I considered more secure -- out of the doorway. The upper one was still hanging there. Jack apparently spent the four hours I was at work in a complete panic. Starting in the back room and moving clockwise, he:
  1. Pulled down the curtains, destroying one or both curtain rods per window
  2. Clawed or bit at the wooden strips between the horizontal window panes
  3. Got up on the dining room table
  4. Clawed the door to the patio, even though he didn't know that it actually goes outside
  5. Broke part of the door frame to the library
  6. Battered the latch off the gate and actually straightened part of it (heavy-gauge double-wire hook)
  7. Clawed at the back door in the laundry room and damaged the drywall
  8. Got between the dryer and washer and knocked everything out from between them (hamper and vacuum cleaner)
  9. Somehow got the dryer vent out of the wall and broken into two pieces in the middle of the floor
  10. Clawed the window sill
  11. Again, pulled down curtains and ruined curtain rod
  12. Damaged the wall behind the stove while battering out the child gate
  13. Pulled down all the curtains in the living room and, again, damaged the curtain rods, though a couple were salvageable
  14. Chewed or clawed the wooden dividers on the front window right down to the glass
  15. Clawed at the side window
  16. Tore a section of the drywall surface off -- you know, the drywall and paint I was so proud of?
  17. Knocked everything off the couch and a nearby bookcase
  18. Knocked some books out of another bookcase
  19. Tried to dig under my office door, digging up a huge section of the carpet in the process
  20. Clawed the door frame
  21. Knocked the child gate out of the stairs
  22. Tore the shade in the middle bedroom
  23. Went into the bedroom and clawed and dug at the side window sash so badly that I am not sure if I should try to open the window to pull down the storm pane, because he also
  24. Broke part of the frame of that window
  25. Pulled all the curtains down, though I was able to salvage all but one of the rods
  26. Tore the insulation out between the two front windows where there wasn't any drywall
  27. Clawed the drywall next to the front window

I think that's the tally of the damage. Replacing those windows -- and I think they will have to be replaced, rather than repaired -- will cost thousands of dollars. The four-pane windows are original to the house and they are custom-sized. My dad replaced the dryer vent for me this morning. That's my birthday present from my parents. (He also checked to make sure that the gas line was okay.) I bought a bunch of new curtain rods last evening, as well as a wire crate and a Thundershirt for Jack. We also had a trip out to see Doc W to get some doggy Prozac and some much-needed advice.

I didn't even go back to work after lunch; I called and had my sister clean up my desk for me. I took today off to get the place cleaned up (though I haven't done any of that as my mom asked me to go to Goodwill with her while Dad was working on the dryer). I have postponed my birthday shopping trip until next weekend so that I can have the whole weekend with Jack to work on crate training.

It is interesting to note that all of the damage is to exterior walls, except where he was trying to get through the library and office doors (where I might have been hiding). Jack was in a panicked frenzy and trying to get the hell out. The books he knocked off the bookcase? Ignored. The pillows lying on the floor? Unchewed. All of the damage he caused was structural in nature. He didn't chew any furniture, break any knick knacks, or destroy any cushions. The torn curtains were incidental to getting them down so he could access the windows. Oh, wait. He did destroy a single recyclable shopping bag. I stand corrected.

I called the rescue to report this, but rather than be accusatory or anything of that nature, I just asked for advice. They told me to try him with the Thundershirt and the Prozac and the crate, but did say that wire crates can be pretty easy to get out of, and if he does, they'll lend me a heavy-duty plastic crate (which may be what I already have). I have a call in to BOCES to see about getting enrolled in that class for next week. I should call the local dog whisperer, too, I suspect, but I also suspect that his fee is rather more than the BOCES class, and I don't have it right now.

He does seem to do just fine if someone is here. Doesn't have to be me. Just someone. So I may end up getting another dog sooner, rather than later....

Half-Day

Oct. 28th, 2014 07:19 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am taking this afternoon off work because I have an appointment to go meet Jack. Who, naturally, I keep calling "Captain Jack" in my head. (Torchwood, not alcohol.) The house is, I believe, ready for a new dog, but I don't know what their procedure is out there -- how many more roadblocks they will throw in my way -- if he and I do get along. (Note to self: fill Magic Pockets before going out there.) In other words, if he is My Dog and I am His Woman, I don't know whether he'll be coming home with me today or not. If he does, I am debating taking tomorrow off to stay home with him.

I am also debating on how to get out there. They are actually situated not terribly far from my vet's office, so I'm thinking that going out that road might be easier than going up hill and down dale as I did before. From my house, it's probably six of one, half a dozen of the other.
---
My sister, it seems, has a New Guy. And she has had a New Guy -- and been keeping it from the family -- for a while. She has had this New Guy long enough for Number Two to tell her that she is not to have Niece around him. (Of course, he also told her that she is not to have Niece around Nephew's grandparents, either, because they're not her family...except that for the first several years of her life, they were the only paternal grandparents that she knew, just as Number Three was the only father she knew. Assweasels, both of them. But I digress.) She has had this New Guy long enough to feel comfortable offering his handyman skills to me. And, lo, I boggle. *boggle*

But I shan't turn them down, I tell you what. He has agreed to come down and hang greenboard in my upstairs bathroom -- at least the ceiling, which I have wanted for a long time (I may have mentioned this once or twice before) because it would be nice to have something between the bathroom and the attic besides a single layer of insulation. I wonder if I can get him to help me put the trim back up in the various rooms without it? She also offered to have him look at my lawnmower and see if he can figure out the problem. So, this should be interesting. I told her that if he wants to look at the mower this weekend while I am gone on Saturday, the garage is unlocked and the mower is in the shed. She has a key to my house, too, but swears she wouldn't ever go in without permission. (A refreshing change.)

I'm getting too excited about this guy possibly helping me. I need to not do that, because it will turn out just like all the other times someone has offered to help me around here, and it's only a few days shy of the sixth anniversary of my parents coming down to help finish the bathroom....
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Today is supposed to be the nicest day for some time. Temps are actually supposed to get up to 70°, but then it's supposed to storm and slide down until they're calling for snow on Saturday. Given that I am driving toward Lake Erie on Saturday, I am hoping that there is not snow. Or, at least, not sticking snow. Snow showers, I can probably handle. (I hate driving in snow, and hate highway driving in snow even more.)

BFT and I are going for our semi-annual Shopping Trip. Twice a year: her birthday in May, and my birthday in November. I tend to do all the driving when we go out of town because her car has become less than reliable and Das Woofenwagen is newer and slightly more reliable. So far. (And I shouldn't even think about it becoming unreliable.) There won't actually be too much shopping: Barnes & Noble, Olive Garden for lunch, Eddie Bauer, and Pier 1. We should be back by dinner time. Frankly, I'd rather zip up to McKinley (it's slightly closer), but she wants to go to Eddie Bauer and I just went to McKinley a few weeks ago, so....

Anyway. Because today is so nice, should Jack come home with me, I may end up raking leaves while he investigates the backyard. (Waaaah! I don' wanna rake leaves! Waaah!) And I will need to find a better place to put the cats' dish (assuming it's the cats' dish and not the squirrels' dish) to keep doggy noses out of it.
malinaldarose: (Default)
So I am officially middled-aged now, I guess, having turned 46 over the weekend. My official birthday was Saturday, but the celebration was yesterday. Thanks to the end of Daylight Saving Time, I was up and awake at an obscene hour, five hours before I was due to pick BFT up for our trip north. There was snow in the air when I let Sheila out, which did not please me, though it didn't seem to be sticking. Merlin, of course, doesn't give a damn about Your Human Time, so he was meowdeling his fool head off at his normal time. I didn't reset the clocks until after I got up.

The sky was grey when I picked BFT up, and it continued grey all the way north. I had checked the Bills schedule because our normal route goes pretty much right past Ralph Wilson Stadium, and if there was a home game, I didn't much fancy getting caught in football traffic on the way home. There was, indeed, a home game, so I spent a chunk of the morning looking at maps and finding alternate routes. If you look at a map, the mall we were going to and the stadium are pretty much next to each other. Yay? Which meant that on the way up, I got off a few exits early to check out the main alternate route. I don't like it. Too much in-town driving. But that's the way we went, and that's the way we went home, too, just in case the Bills were losing and people were starting to sneak out early.

Our first stop was Pier 1 where BFT just started with one of their little wheeled baskets. I made a circuit of the store before I picked up my own, smaller basket. We both acquired many shiny things there -- literally shiny. Though maybe sparkly would be a better adjective.

Lunch was at the Olive Garden, which was alternately comfortably over warm and freezing, depending on the furnace cycles.

And then we nearly got run over by a bus. Well, technically, I suppose, we nearly got crashed into by a bus, since we were in the van. This guy was just barrelling through the parking lot across the parking spots instead of in the lanes actually marked for driving. Thankfully, I spotted him in my peripheral vision, but jeez. Asshole.

The Lands End shop at Sears was our next stop, followed by Barnes & Noble, which is our traditional last stop so that we don't have to lug books all over the place. We both acquired many books, though BFT was buying Xmas gifts for her niece, rather than books for herself. I saw the new Grumpy Cat book there, but since BFT was with me -- she adores GC, so I'm getting her a copy for Xmas -- I didn't get a copy. I did get a copy of I Could Chew On This, a book of dog poetry, for MyNuncle. I also got my very own squishy Adipose! He's so cute. And squishy.

The trip home was gorgeous, mostly devoid of football traffic -- maybe they don't go that way after all -- and seemed pretty short, oddly. The sun had come out while we were in Pier 1 and it had turned into one of those gorgeous fall days, though it was still only in the 30s. The sun was just at the right angle, though, to be slightly below the visors on the windshield, so I had my sunglasses on, but shoved them low on my nose when we went through valleys that were already in shadow.

And now it is Monday, and I do not want to go to work. Merlin started meowdeling at 3:30 a.m., and I managed to stay in bed until 4:40, but now I have a headache from fighting with my body about not getting up when it wanted to. Ah, well. Things will get reset with a vengeance in a couple of weeks, I suppose.

Also? I have to take my grandmother out tonight, and I do not want to. I really, really, really, really, really hate taking her out. But it makes her happy, so I do it. And this is one of the reasons I won and award for courtesy, I suppose. Funny how courtesy looks a lot like being a doormat.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Last night after work, I went to the salon that I have visited infrequently for the last fifteen years or so and spent three hours there. My hair was washed, gooped, washed, gooped, and washed again, then colored, tin-foiled, washed yet again, cut, dried and styled. I wanted my hair lightened a bit, but not terribly much, and D assured me that he could get the semi-permanent color out without too much fuss -- though in the end, it turned out to be a bit fussier than he expected. He wasn't entirely pleased with it, so threw in highlights to sort of disguise that it wasn't as even as he'd've liked it to be, and told me that in a couple of weeks I could come back and he'd either do more highlights or put in lowlights, whichever I preferred, for free. "My birthday present to you," he said, when I told him it was my birthday present to myself. For my part, though, I love it. It's much closer to my natural color than it has been for years, and the highlights in the lower section came out sort of caramelly (he only colored my roots, not the length, after he got the color that was already in it washed out, and I have to say that I love that he didn't have to bleach it; the last time I had it lightened was two or three years ago, and he had to bleach it, but there's some new stuff out that bonds to the semi-permanent color and pulls it out without pulling out the natural color). My bangs are more golden, which is probably a bit weird, but I'm not complaining. He took the horrible ends off, but my hair is still quite long -- still mid-back. The sides are angled a bit. The only thing I am not all that fond of is that he feather-cut or razor-cut or whatever-cut my bangs so that they're uneven instead of straight across, but he was already doing it before I realized he was, and I'm already kind of liking them, even though they do make my eyes want liner and mascara.

So I am very happy with my hair cut and color. It seems like it should have cost quite a bit more than it did, given how much work it was for him, but this is the sticks, more or less, and the market can't quite bear it to be much more expensive. The only problem, of course, is that I will have to continue to go in to have my roots touched up, because if I try to do it myself, I'll really mess it up. Le sigh.
malinaldarose: (Default)
My unit at work voted to have only one birthday celebration per month, rather than to celebrate everyone's birthdays individually. The idea was that that way, no one got left out (because some people always had more celebration than others (me and My Partner, for example -- she was one of the Cool Kids, so she always had lots of gifts and lots of food brought in, and if anyone other than her remembered my birthday, I was lucky), and there wasn't always food around the office. The third Wednesday of the month was designated as Birthday Day.

By some quirk of the uptown office rotation schedule, I have missed most of the Birthday Days this year by being uptown. I have been in the main office for only two celebrations. Birthday Wednesday is next Wednesday and I will be in the uptown office. As far as I know, I am the only person in my unit with a birthday in November. I'm going to miss my own party.

Edit: Never mind. I just looked at the calendar again, and realized that I was counting Halloween as being in November. Still, I will be on vacation the following week, so I will still miss my own party.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday was not such a hot day. I had workplace violence training at the main office and it was a total fiasco that left me furious and shaking. A complaint was made in the midst of the training (it was a makeup session with only ten attendees), and rather than tabling it for later, followup was had right then and there. There were nine people too many in the room for that, and it was chewed over by the entire room for forty-five minutes and included not only violations of confidentiality, but of HIPAA (the whole room, for instance, should never have known about this, and we certainly should not have known that the person being complained about -- another county employee -- was involved with CPS (even if only peripherally), nor that s/he had had a psych eval on their orders). The trainer, who was the person to whom such complaints are supposed to be made, should have known better. It got to the point where I was finally angry enough to loudly proclaim that this was completely inappropriate for a training session. The single supervisor in the room, and the trainer, both said "Well, you all know that this is confidential, right?" but since they said it to two of the biggest gossips in the office, no doubt the whole thing was all over the agency within fifteen minutes of the end of the training -- including that I complained that they were even discussing it.

Scurried home from work, finished mulching the leaves before dark, went to the pathetic excuse for a bookstore in the mall, then out to dinner. Got home in time for Criminal Minds. No sign at all of my parents, which is really quite surprising.

And so I turned 44. Whee.

Today, I got another thing or three done at work -- which is good, since this is a short month; we have to have our monthly work done by the 18th, and I will be out of the office all day on the 9th (squishygram) and we have the 11th off. I suspect I'm going to be putting my recerts through this month without necessarily having all the information I normally would send for.

This afternoon, I was surprised and, frankly, gratified that my former partner dropped by to bring me a birthday card and a box of Raisinets. I haven't seen her in a few months, since right after the caseload changeover, in fact, and we spent about an hour and a half chatting. I was really happy to see her; since she retired, I have had this nagging feeling that maybe she was always nice to me just because she was a nice person, not because she really liked me, but it seems I was wrong. (I know: insecure much?) Later in the month, it will be my turn to send her a birthday card with a small bag of Swedish Fish.

I was very much annoyed this evening to approach the fenced yard on the corner with Sheila to see it overrun with small children and to hear squeals of "Oooo! Doggy!" A girl-child of approximately six came running out the gate, demanding to know if she could pet my dog. "No!" I snarled. "You may not!" She was plainly surprised that I would not allow it, but I don't actually care. I've never seen Sheila around kids, and while she would in all probability be fine with letting this urchin maul her, I wasn't about to find out. Nor should the child be allowed to just run up to strange dogs, so I was even more annoyed by the whole episode when I spotted the supposedly responsible adult nearby not paying any attention to the fact that this child nearly ran right into the road at us.

And my phone is ringing. Why is my phone ringing? Ah...Grama was afraid I didn't get her card because she tucked money into it.

Right. I'm going to go read. Or watch a movie. Or something.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I really want to say nasty, hurtful, angry things to my mother right now. Instead, I am stepping away and avoiding her. I have so far today received one email and one e-card from her, both expressing the wish that I will relent and choose to celebrate my birthday.

Do. Not. Want.

No means no.

Why is it that what she wants always trumps what I want, even on what is supposedly my day?

I fully expect that they will simply show up at some point this evening. I should not have to leave the house, nor park my van around the corner and hide out in the back with the lights out, when I have already told her -- twice! -- that I do not want to celebrate my birthday this year. Why is that so hard for her to grasp?

Well....

Nov. 5th, 2010 11:44 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
It seems that someone noticed that I was upset on Tuesday. Several of my coworkers brought in goodies today as a belated birthday treat. I think I may have gained two pounds instantly.

(And I know they were for me, not for the person whose birthday really is today, because they sang to me before she even got there.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
After all of the good wishes I received yesterday, it seems churlish to admit that I had a fairly wretched day. It started the evening before when I couldn't stop crying. Just couldn't stop. Oh, I'd stop for half an hour or so, but then something would set me off again: a line in a book, a photo in a magazine, the closing music from an episode of Bones. I was already pretty low, and when I let the autocrat for Hallowtide know how many tablecloths I would have made and that I would have special ones for the head table for TRM, she dismissed them and casually demanded that I buy yet more fabric (no longer on sale) and make more tablecloths.

Having since exchanged further emails with her, I know that she wasn't actually demanding any such thing. But the tone and the dismissal just tipped me right over the edge, and I wasn't feeling any better about things when I woke up yesterday morning.

And then my birthday was forgotten at work. This might not seem like such a big deal, especially when I told my own relatives that I didn't want a party, but, well, my office makes a big deal out of celebrating birthdays. There's a list with everyone's name and date on it. People bring in goodies and cards and presents -- and if you're one of the Cool Kids, you need teamsters just to get out of the office at the end of the day. Me? Not one of the Cool Kids. One of my supervisors remembered and gave me a card and a loaf of cinnamon bread which I cut and shared -- but even then, no one connected it with a birthday. Everyone just exclaimed, "Oh! Someone made bread!"

Even my friends (and I still have a couple in the office) didn't remember. And then one of my supervisors told me that the state was planning to phase out Medicaid at the county level and have it administered completely at the state level by 2014, so, hello, then I was worrying about losing my job in the next three years. So, yeah. I was pretty surly by the end of the day.

But then I got out of work and it was such a beautiful day, and I had promised one of the aforementioned friends a lift to the garage where her car was being worked on as it was half a block from my polling place, and she apologized for having forgotten my birthday. "That happened to me once," she said. "I looked around, and I thought, 'Okay.'" And she made this face. It was pretty funny.

So I voted. I don't like the new ballots and electronic readers. The ballots remind me of taking the Iowa tests -- fill in the bubble completely -- except with markers instead of number two pencils. It's not particularly private; I'm relatively certain that the little old lady who showed me how to use the reader took a good look at my ballot. I dunno. I liked the old lever booths. You knew you'd voted when you used one of those. I don't like converting my vote to pixels; I don't entirely trust computers, and as a friend is fond of saying, paper always boots.

My special birthday treat was a movie. I went out to see RED again last night, and it was almost as much fun the second time around. And it meant that I wasn't home when my mother called expecting me to be home so that she and Dad could invade my space even though I'd told them I didn't want any company. 'Cause what I want is pretty much irrelevant and has been for my entire life (and not just with my mother, either).

Today, I'm off to Rochester for a mammogram, and probably an ultrasound, if past mammograms are any indication. My grandmother and mother have both had fibrous lumps, and it seems that I do as well, which is why I go to a breast clinic in Rochester instead of having my mammograms done at the hospital here, because I'd only end up going to Rochester or Buffalo to a specialist anyway. I am a bad girl, though, as I did not stop drinking caffeinated sodas for the last two weeks.

After the squooshing, I'll go and have a belated birthday meal and some belated birthday shopping. And then I'll come home and get back to work on Hallowtide projects. I'll be glad when this is over, and though I'd planned to go back to Rochester for Æcademy on 11/13, I may just give it a miss -- especially if they don't get the class schedule posted.

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