malinaldarose: (Default)
I seem to have survived another week of LJ Idol. Good ol' Sal Alarra. I'm beginning to wonder if I should write her whole story; I actually have pretty much the whole thing in my head. I've never written sci fi before, partly because of the "science" part. Not sure what sort of research I'd have to do to make Lightcastle Station work properly -- would watching Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 constitute research?

They actually started handing out W2s at work yesterday -- two whole days ahead of when they absolutely have to. I had already printed mine from the online site where I now have to retrieve my pay stubs, which means I can do my taxes this weekend. I may or may not; depends on whether I want to mess with them. The software I use makes them simple, but it still takes up to two hours.

According to an email that went out late yesterday afternoon, we're not only supposed to sign a form stating that we received our W2s from the payroll clerk (if we do), but we're also supposed to sign something giving them permission to not give us hard copies next year. They intend that from now on, we'll only retrieve them online.

I am not thrilled about this. Paper always boots. Well, unless it's a really, really, really hot day, but if the temperature is higher than 451°, then we've got other things to worry about.

Speaking of which, I have ordered my copy of 1984. I had to get it from B&N since Amazon was sold out and PaperbackSwap didn't have any copies left, either. I have actually read it; it was one of the required books when I was in high school. I don't remember much about it other than I loathed it...but I loathed almost everything that was required reading. The few books I have since reread, I actually enjoyed. I have also ordered a copy of Brave New World which I haven't read before.

Having finished one '70s television series, I have gone back to another that was a childhood favorite: The Six Million Dollar Man. It's a bit silly. There was an episode, for instance, where to escape the Bad Guys (a bunch of pro football players) with his friend (another pro football player), Steve and the friend (played by Larry Csonka, who was also in an episode of Emergency!) had to play football against them. It was ridiculous. Also, I've noticed that Steve's bionics are as powerful or not powerful as the story requires. And now that I'm so much older, I have questions like "How does his organic torso stand the stresses put on it by the use of the bionics?" and "Why didn't they armor the back of his skull while they were at it since he gets hit over the head at least once an episode?" This hasn't stopped me watching, mind you, and while I wait for the two final seasons to arrive, I'll either go back to the beginning (it's been a year or so since I watched the first two seasons), or I'll start The Bionic Woman (yet another childhood favorite -- I even had a Jaime Somers doll when I was little), since I've had the first season sitting around for a couple of years.

Also, now I want to see Steve Austin go through the Stargate. Can you just imagine Col. Austin and Col. O'Neill? The snark alone would keep the Goa'uld at bay.

The lake effect storm warning for the weekend seems to have been downgraded to a watch. They were talking about feet of snow for the weekend total, though that would have been in ski country, not around here -- though we could still have had enough snow to make me very unhappy. Well, we still could, I suppose, but I'm hoping not. (Ha! Originally typed "noping," which is clearly "hoping not.")

The only thing planned for the weekend other than a lot of goofing off is dinner out with BFT this evening. We've both had awful enough weeks that the only cure is ice cream in vast quantities....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Jack seems to be over his indisposition -- although he woke me up this morning at 4:30 by hacking up a hairball. No, that's not quite accurate. I was already awake, having forced myself to wake up as a dream tornado was bearing down on me. (I find tornadoes to be the scariest natural occurrence, probably due to seeing The Wizard of Oz as a Very Young Child.) It was actually about ten minutes later that Jack yarked. So I cleaned that up, and decided there was no point whatsoever in going back to bed for twenty minutes, so proceeded with the morning routine.

Jack also yarked his pills this morning, but didn't yark his breakfast, so I gave him replacement pills a little bit ago.

I am going to work this morning. In fact, I am going in early, and I am going out right now to get the car started and warmed up -- it's 9-fucking-degrees-Fahrenheit out there -- but at least there's no wind. Right. Back now.

Jack keeps following me because he understands what the turning the radio on and what the ironing board both mean. Woman is Leaving. Probably Forever. Woe. But may if I follow her everywhere she goes, she'll take me with her!

Yeah, not so much.

Yesterday was, as expected, a quiet day. Also as expected, my brother did not get my message telling him not to bother bringing the Gecko down...and when I explained to him that I was staying home so as to keep a close eye on Jack, he even admitted that the Gecko would be useless as "her face is always in her game." (She has some handheld gaming system which is always on, even when her face is stuck in her laptop.)

I had hoped to be able to write a leisurely LJ Idol entry yesterday (the deadline is this evening), but instead, my brain was eaten up by a fic I'd been working on -- plus, this week's topic (a Wayne Gretsky quote) wasn't easy, and I didn't want to do something as obvious as write about hockey...since I included baseball in the brushback pitch topic. Eventually, after considerable worrying at it, I thought I might be able to do a Sal Alarra/Lightcastle Station piece about how Sal knew the station well enough (having been a maintenance worker for years) to know what was going to fail during the war and shore it up, but that didn't really work even in my head. And then, just like lightning -- say, 1.21 gigawatts' worth -- my brain put together a few words from the quote, along with something I saw on Tumblr (that I think originally came from Twitter) about 2016, and the damned thing fell out of my fingers in fifteen minutes and I posted it right away -- too fast, as it turned out I did have a typo in one spot and a wrong word in another, both of which I corrected.

Weird how that works sometimes.

So that means I don't have to think about it today while I'm working, but can give my whole attention to the thrice-damned case I was going to work on yesterday. I want to get that sucker on my supervisor's desk by the end of the day. By noon would be better, which is part of the reason I'm going in early. If I can get some of the daily routine work out of the way, then I'll have a chance of finishing that case. It's probably not as complicated as I'm fearing; most of the work has already been done; I really just need to do the final calculations and the letters and write out the data entry.

At least...that's what I'm hoping, anyway.

Right. Time to go clean the car off now that it's been running for a few minutes.
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
My fingers are cold, but there's really nothing new in that. Even in July, I can have cold fingers. I went out to the mailbox without any gloves on and the flag was buried in snow, so in order to put it up, I had to dig it out, so I ended up with cold fingers. I am cold in general, though, because I'm still dressed for Going Out in jeans. I need to go upstairs and dig out a pair of sweatpants. That'll help me warm up.

I bought myself three pairs of Fluffy Socks this morning. I have a couple of pairs that I have relied on for years and they're definitely showing it. The one pair has no more elastic, so they fall down and end up looking like very low, very pink pirate boots, while the other pair are still fuzzy enough in the legs and go up to my knees but are very threadbare in the toes and heels. Maybe I should cut them off and make arm warmers out of them.

It would help, of course, if fabrics were as heavy as they used to be. What passes for flannel these days wouldn't keep me warm in the aforementioned July, and most of my newer sweatshirts are barely thicker than t-shirts.

Speaking of Things That Are Not Like They Used To Be, five-pound bags of sugar are now four pounds, just like a half-gallon container of ice cream is now considerably less, or the eleven-ounce bag of Raisinets is the same size, but now contains only eight ounces. And the prices are the same, or even higher for these smaller quantities.

Grrrr.

Also, brrrr.

I got my errands and chores out of the way and nothing is now standing between me and Putting Up The Christmas Tree -- except a total lack of ambition. I will probably get started on it after lunch, though.

We actually got quite a lot of the snow which we were supposed to get, for once. I do not approve. People from elsewhere in the county yesterday were telling stories about how their drive in was okay until they got to this area. Usually, it's the other way around: we don't get much while other places get hammered. We're supposed to get more, too. Ugh.

My brother kindly blew out my driveway last evening, but it really wasn't him being nice. He just wanted to play with my snowblower. Which, fine, whatever -- I wasn't going to do it because the snow wasn't that heavy. It was mostly light and powdery.

I survived another week of LJ Idol, and there is a new topic up: brushback pitch, which is apparently a baseball term that boils down to a warning to not be where you're not supposed to be. I'm considering resurrecting Valentine Church, hard-boiled PI (why, exactly, does one boil a PI?) or Sal Alarra of Lightcastle Station/Station K-32-Droxara, as they seem the sorts of characters who'd go along with a topic like that.

In other news, I am pretty sure my hot water heater is leaking, but I can't catch it at it. I suspect it does either during my showers or after when the tank is refilling. I will have to see if my next door neighbor still has the three-year old water tank she had to replace when she put in a new furnace, and if my father can install it. Or maybe I should just call Sears. I'm already in hock to them up to my knees; might as well go on up to my waist.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am sitting here trying to come up with an entry for LJI for this week. The deadline is tomorrow afternoon. I got nothin'.

Well, that's not entirely true...but what I have is not really enough. Maybe I'll ended up voted out sooner than I expected....

I'm actually not at all in the mood for this. I was writing checks this morning (yesterday was pay day) and heard dripping in the library closet (my check-writing desk is in the library; it's HTWIWM's mother's grand old roll-top, which he left behind and which became mine by default) -- the ceiling was leaking in there again, and it was dripping just a little to one side of the bucket I put in there the last time it leaked. Of course. At least I caught it before it got really wet in there (though it was wet enough). The bucket is on the top shelf; it's an old annual Carmike popcorn bucket, which fits nicely up there. But there's a secondary, very slow drip that is hitting the floor, so I had to pull everything out of there and put another container (my mop bucket) on the floor. Which is why I discovered that HTWIWM did something of a cobble job in there installing an electrical outlet and running the network and phone cables into the library when he first bought the house and that room was his home office. I hope he intended to do something later, rather than leaving naked phone switch wiring (or so I assume it to be) and a naket outlet box sitting in there. Or maybe he didn't. Maybe he figured it was safe enough buried in a closet.

Every time I find something like that (remember the wiring I found just hanging out of a wall in the Spare Oom that I ended up blocking with a dresser after I was told it wasn't live?) I get a little more depressed. When I eventually sell this place, I'll have to sell it as a handyman's special and probably take a $30,000 loss on it -- and that's assuming, of course, that I don't lose my job and the house when the state takeover of Medicaid is completed in a few years, because I won't yet be retirement age when that happens.

Plus, there's a water mark on the basement floor near the hot water tank that I don't remember seeing before. It's dried, but I don't remember it being there when I cleaned that corner out a few weeks ago.

I bought some new CDs last week, which is something I haven't done in ages, and I added them to iTunes for transfer to my iPod this afternoon only to discover that my iTunes library had disappeared. Well isn't that just fabulous. At least I still have all the CDs, so I can begin the laborious process of rebuilding the library -- probably on my laptop. Though perhaps before I do that, I should check my old laptop, if I can get it started and see if it's there and see about transferring it to Dropbox...though I don't know that that will work since I went wireless. Eh, it's not a project for today. It can, perhaps, wait until my vacation at the end of the month.

Today, I have to figure out what to write for this week's LJI....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It will shortly be time to start trying to get Jack into the Box. (Yes. I know. Several people have already pointed it out.) I am really looking forward to this weekend simply because after I get groceries tomorrow morning, I won't have to put Jack into the box again until Monday morning, unless I decide to go out for a movie. I do want to see Big Hero 6....

I am also looking forward to obedience class on Tuesday evening. I haven't been able to do the homework with Jack -- which is to bribe your dog to pay attention to you by giving him treats when he does pay attention -- because a) after a few bites, Jack begins to refuse treats, and b) his attention is always on me. I suppose the homework was mainly for the people in the class with puppies (which is almost everyone).

The second-eldest Gecko has agreed to watch Nick at Grama's house so that my sister doesn't have to fight her way through noontime traffic to go home and feed him. It's not that far as the crow flies, but the route involves all main arteries, so it takes forever. She has not agreed, however, to watch Jack. She wants to meet him first. She had a choice between watching the dogs for $20 a week or babysitting for a year-old child. I don't know what fool thought that great lump would make a good babysitter, but they should, perhaps, examine their choices. I'm not even crazy about letting her watch Jack, but if it gets him out of the box for a few hours.... Well, I haven't entirely made up my mind about the whole thing, either. I don't trust her at all, and I think it's awfully telling that her father (my brother) will be checking in on her every couple of hours to make sure that things are going all right with Nick. (And that's even without Jack.)

In non-Jack news, I got voted off the island; it seems that if I'm going to write non-fiction for LJ Idol, I should fictionalize it first. Those do much better. Well...I'm not really good at essays, am I, but since Jack had been occupying all my time, Jack was what I wrote about and so. And this isn't necessarily non-Jack news.

In non-non-Jack news, I have a couple of pending fair hearings at work and our hearing officer has told me that she absolutely wants me to appear at them. This is not a thing that I want to do. Not at all. I don't mind if the judge says that we have to redo our work, but I hate having to defend my work because I begin to second-guess myself -- and that's a bad idea because the judge who is generally assigned to our hearings has demonstrated that she knows nothing about nursing home Medicaid, but she's quick to pounce on weakness. As it is, I have to go over both cases (yet again!) to verify all my figures. I may do that today, and just take the cases over to the conference room and barricade myself inside.

It snowed yesterday. Not a whole lot, but there was also a bit of freezing rain, so the roads this morning are covered in a thin glaze of ice. Not enough to really slip on, because the road surface is still rough, but enough to make my brain think it was going to fall, and therefore make my legs walk in that hesitant, crabbed sort of "I'm going to slip and fall any second" gait instead of properly striding. So this morning's walk was a bit short because after nearly a mile of that, my legs were going, "Hey!"

Right. Better go start the car to warm it up and begin chasing Jack. Ye gods and little fishhooks, how I hate having to do this. (Yes. I do hate it enough to entrust the Gecko with Jack's warm furry body.) He gives me such a look of utter betrayal when he curls up in the Box....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Emergency Day Off: My mother asked me to go to an appointment with her today. It's going to be a fairly unpleasant thing which I had hoped to avoid because I was working. But she needs the support, and I'm the one best available, as my sister doesn't get paid leave since she's a temp (even though she's been working there for two years), and my brother...is an asshole. So that leaves me to be the responsible one. As usual.

Weather: It's raining. It's supposed to rain the rest of the week. I'm so excited. Oh, wait. No, the other thing.

LJI: I chose a different topic from the one I had been mulling over all weekend, and once a first line occurred to me, the rest of it just sort of flowed. (No pun intended.) I wrote the first draft yesterday morning before my doctor appointment, and edited it last evening. I'm pretty pleased with myself, actually. *preen*

Speaking of Doctors: Louisa is still there (which I knew). I was scheduled to see the PA, but Doc saw me come into the office, asked the staff why I was there, and when they put me in the exam room after the ultrasound (almost as unpleasant as the last one), he came in to see me instead. I really like him. He is such a pleasant change from my last gynecologist who was a sanctimonious asshole. Doc wanted to talk to me about whether I wanted to just monitor Louisa or actually go poking around after her. I am all about the monitoring, so I will have another ultrasound the same day as my yearly checkup in two months.

The Rescue: It's not that they want me to take multiple dogs. It's that they want me to choose a different dog. My mother theorizes that the dog I want has been promised to a friend, even though they say they don't do that sort of thing. Anyway. I didn't call them back yesterday because it was already late afternoon when I got the message, and I wanted a chance to look at their dog roster again. I'll call them this afternoon and see what they have to say. I do not want to take a dog from them just to say that I took a dog. And I certainly do not have $600 to take two. (Though that might solve a number of problems.)

The Cattens: I did not see the cattens yesterday at all, but the food bowl was empty, so I refilled it. I should probably move it gradually closer to the house; right now, it's out under the grapevines at the edge of my property, near where I know they're getting under the fence. I put Sheila's patio water bowl out there, too, since I don't know where else they might be getting water. Not that that is going to make a difference in another month, but in another month, there will be solid water just lying about for the taking.

I don't know why I'm making such an effort for these cats. They are wild animals (truly; they were born wild, not dumped), no different from raccoons or possums or skunks, and I certainly wouldn't be feeding raccoons or possums or skunks. I'm an idiot.

Bees. So Many Bees: A quote from one of my favorite fanfic authors, and also what's going on in my house. Though, really, it's wasps. I have suspected for a while, and confirmed it yesterday afternoon, that there is a wasp's nest either in the attic over my bedroom or in the bedroom wall. There is a hole in the board that meets the chimney, and they're using it for Wasp Highway 101. My sister asked me if I wanted her to call my brother as he has had to deal with such nests in the course of his work, but because so much of my upstairs is open to the attic (or separated from it only by a sheet of insulation) that trying to smoke them out would only result in them getting into the rest of the house. I suppose I will have to call in a professional.

This is one of those times when I think it would be so much easier to just take The Perfidious Ex's route and simply walk away. MyAuntie would love it if I came to live with her. Of course, I wouldn't have a job....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Monday morning. Oh, joy. This is my 9-5 week, so I have a little extra time this morning, which I am hoping to put toward my LJI entry, which is due this evening. Last week's was easy and just kind of flowed on out, but this week's is like pulling teeth. I have three or four ideas, but not time or space enough to really implement any of them. I guess I'll be writing on my breaks at work rather than reading today. At least Country Star is on vacation this week.

I could really use another vacation and am debating whether or not to take one. I have the time. On the other hand, I have a week (or thereabouts) off around Xmas.... Maybe Thanksgiving week; we already get two days off, so I'd only have to use three vacation days. My birthday is a Sunday; maybe I could take the Monday off, too.

It occurred to me last evening that I am much more inclined to think of October as the beginning of a year than January. October is when I turn on the furnace which will run for the next eight months. October is when it really starts to get cold. October is when the majority of the leaves fall. I don't like October. Or any other month that ends in "brrrr."

I have not yet contacted the university's We Help People With Stuff group about taking back the ramp. I have been considering puppies, and one of the breeds I was looking at was English bulldogs. Starting with a ramp out the back door wouldn't be a bad idea, as a bulldog puppy wouldn't be able to negotiate those two steps. On the other hand, a lab puppy or a golden retriever puppy would. Breedfinders also match me up with Great Danes, but I'm not sure I could afford to feed one! Without someone else around to help train, I doubt I will get another border collie, much as I loved Deuce. Too smart for me by myself!

It might be too soon to be considering another dog, but on the other hand, I had always planned to get Sheila a friend, until she got too frail for an energetic puppy; keeping up with nine-year-old Nick when I went on vacation in July nearly killed her. I'll need to find the chipmunk and rabbit holes in the yard, though, and fill them in if I'm going to have a puppy racing around out there....

TGIF

Aug. 15th, 2014 01:21 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
Sheila: I'm beginning to wonder if Sheila is losing her hearing in addition to her sight. The last several days, she has been mostly unresponsive to my voice, even when I'm Very Loud, Indeed. She does have an ear infection, but I shouldn't think yeast would affect her hearing adversely, and I have been treating her for it for nearly a week. Maybe she's mad at me for the ear drops. She doesn't like them.

This morning, it took me shouting at her for the better part of ten minutes to get her up. On the other hand, I did get up about twenty minutes earlier than I normally do, so maybe she just wasn't ready....

LJ Idol: So, I got voted off. (Actually, it's more like "unvoted," since it's lack of votes that gets one booted.) Seventeen weeks is not too shabby, especially when it's two more than I had last time. People have said some lovely things. I am still uncomfortable, though, about admitting that this last piece was not fiction. I should have followed my first inclination, which was to use a bye (free pass) for this week. Some of what I wrote I am quite pleased with and could see expanding. Some of it...well, let's just say that if I hadn't tied someone for least votes in the second or third week, my run would have been much shorter....

Poonstix: I am wearing my squooshy socks to work today so that my legs won't swell and get uncomfortable. (I am also changing the cushion on my chair to keep it from cutting into the backs of my legs quite so much.) Lately I've been doing this when I plan to mow the lawn, but I don't think I'm going to mow tonight, even though the backyard needs it desperately. I just don't want the fair tomorrow to be extra uncomfortable. As it is, I'm going to have to remind the girls that I need to sit down every so often....

Bills: Must remember to get to the credit union and make my car payment. It's four days over due, but I didn't get paid until today....
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I want to post, but I don't even know what to say this morning. I'm tired. As usual.

  • I haven't even started my LJ Idol entry. I might finally use one of my hoarded byes. I do have an idea, but I don't know if I can make it work by tomorrow evening. This is the first time I have seriously thought about dropping out. It's probably better to use the bye (free pass) than to write something that's not good enough to get the votes. I note that it was the 15th week when I got eliminated last time.

  • I have been watching Transformers movies. Sector 7 is just cartoonish compared to the villains in the newest movie. Um. Cartoonish. No pun intended?

  • There were two black cattens sitting at the edge of the street when I got home from work last night. They are, as far as I could determine, in no way tame, and I'm betting that they live under the neighbor's shed. So he never did anything when I told him there were kittens back there. I should've known better than to think he would.

  • On the bright side, maybe they're the reason why I've seen fewer chipmunks this year. Fuzzy, stripey little bastards.

  • It occurs to me to wonder why we make such a fuss about wild housecats. We don't make such a fuss about, say, woodchucks. (Yeah, I know. Because kitteh!!

  • I got most of the rest of the unmowed lawn done last night, but ran the mower out of gas with perhaps fifteen minutes' worth of front yard still left. Since the gas can was pretty much empty, I didn't finish. I'll get more gas this morning when I come back from my grocery run.

  • Of course, the part of the lawn that I did manage to get mown last weekend needs it again....

  • A friend whom I haven't seen in years is in town. I am actually not all that anxious to see her/him, but s/he will probably just show up on my doorstep, anyway. Maybe it will be while I am chucking things around in the garage and I can press her/him into service....

  • I had thought about perhaps running up to Stony Brook today, but the forecast does not look all that great. I am not enthused at the thought of driving an hour and then possibly getting soaked in a scattered thunderstorm. We'll see how I feel about it after I do my chores, because I could still comfortably do it up until about eleven.

  • I see Lucy has opened. I definitely want to see that. I hear that the initial reviews aren't good, but I've also heard that how well the movie does might influence whether or not there might be a Black Widow movie. I do tend to ignore reviews, especially on movies, because I usually don't agree. In fact, the more the official reviewers revile something, the more I tend to like it.

  • My mother informs me that the folks up the street who have the good garage sales are having a sale today. I suppose I shall hike up there at some point.

  • Grama's birthday party tomorrow is going to be dinner out at Pondo. I suppose, therefore, that if I'm going to see Lucy, it had better be today. Which is probably a better plan than driving all the way out to Stony Brook when it might rain.
malinaldarose: (Default)
And...reality comes crashing back in. I do not want to go to work today. Why am I not independently wealthy?

My grandmother was practically apologizing to me yesterday afternoon for opening her bank statement. "I just wanted to see where we were," she kept saying. Gram. It's your money. If you want to open your bank statement, who the hell am I to complain?

I wonder what sort of mess I'm going to go back to. Our trainee, Sweetness, was supposed to be covering my desk while I was away, but she is really uncertain about the job, and she has so far not been trained on spousal cases, only single ones. A good chunk of my pending cases are not cases that she can work on. I did have some recerts that she could do, and they had to be done by yesterday, so I hope they were.

I managed to mow a good chunk of the backyard yesterday, though there's still about fifteen minutes' worth left to go. I ran the mower out of gas twice. Well, the grass was so high and thick that I had to go pretty slowly so as not to choke it with cuttings. I still have the front and side to do.

It was so humid and so still yesterday that when I pulled my laundry in after eight hours, it was still damp. Still. Damp. I left it hanging in the back room with a fan turned on it. Ridiculous. It's supposed to be nearly 90° today.

I could lie back down and go back to sleep.

As usual, I'm not certain what to do with this week's LJ Idol topic (Chekhov's Gun). The only thing I can think of at the moment sort of steps on someone else's toes, though maybe.... Hm. A format has just suggested itself. I'll have to think about that.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It occurred to me this afternoon that if I had to take time off from work to write my LJI piece, I just might be taking the competition a bit too seriously. Especially since I still have all three byes (free passes). On the other hand, any excuse to get the hell out of there for a few hours, right?

Doc W said that she would call me with Nick's blood results yesterday. Around dinner-time, there was email from my aunt inquiring as to what the vet had to say. Just after dinner, my grandmother called inquiring as to what the vet had to say. This morning, my sister asked me what the vet had to say.

Because, you know, I'd totally keep the results a secret. (The only one who didn't ask was my mother, and that's because she has always loathed my grandmother's dogs.)

I told my sister if I hadn't heard from Doc W by 7:00 p.m. this evening, I'd call, since she did say that the results would be available yesterday.

I am beginning to wonder if the ants in my kitchen are coming from two separate colonies. Since putting the baits out, I have seen many fewer ants on the stovetop (I shoved one bait completely under the back corner of the oven, which at least keeps it out of reach of cats), but I have seen more on my countertop. One of tonight's projects is to try the vinegar-water solution...solution¹. If I knew where they were coming from, this would probably be a lot simpler, but I haven't really found a source yet.
---
¹ I once bought my geek uncle a t-shirt that said "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."
malinaldarose: (Default)
I took this afternoon off in order to work on my LJI piece. Which I have not yet done. I would really prefer to be outdoors on the patio, but then I wouldn't be able to see my laptop screen. So...here I am, inside, when it's a gorgeous day out there. Of course, had I not taken the afternoon off, I'd be stuck in a grey fabric-covered box, so I guess I'm still coming out ahead.

This will be the first time I've had an opportunity to use the laptop at all since I got it back -- for other than a quick check of email, anyway. I can already say it's better, since the v-key has been properly seated, which is wasn't, even when I got the machine originally.

I just want it known that I arrived home from work to find that the immediate neighborhood -- and the front part of my house -- smells of Lemon-Sol (or the lemon-scented cleaning solution of your choice). This is particularly bizarre, and other than the guy across the street using straight Lemon-Sol to clean his semi-sized traveling trailer, I have no idea what could be the cause. Although...I do hear heavy machinery in the building site, so perhaps they've hit a Lemon-Sol main in their digging.

Last night's trip to the vet went very smoothly. Nick seemed quite delighted by the echo he got when he barked in the clinic's waiting area, since he kept doing it. I was astonnulized at how skinny he is. Because Gram was always cramming food down their throats, both of her mini-Schnauzers always ran around 40 pounds. Nick weighed in last night at 19.3 pounds, which is down seven pounds from his visit to his old vet¹ only a month ago, yet my sister says he is eating everything she puts in front of him. I should hear back today with the initial bloodwork results, and we'll go from there. On the way home, my sister asked if she could grab my mother "by the jowls and say I told you so!" since Mom wouldn't believe that there was anything wrong.

And the v-key is still not properly seated, though it's less obnoxious than it was before. Why am I not surprised?

I had a coworker raving about how cute my hair is this morning. It's just a braid coiled into a bun. Since I have some bits of layering in my hair now, it's easiest to put it in a bun if I braid it first (a bun is one of my go-to summer hairstyles), because then ends tend to stay tucked in that way. It's just a simple thing, hardly worth getting so excited over. I don't understand people sometimes².

I just spotted one of the black cats out the window. Pretty creatures.

We're supposed to get storms later, so I really need to figure out my LJI piece so I can get outdoors for a little bit. (This is one of the reasons I want to get the breezeway cleaned out, but first I need to get the garage cleaned out, so I can move stuff in the breezeway into the garage.)
---
¹ Because Doc W is his vet now, and that's the end of it.

² Well, I don't understand people most of the time. And then there are the people that I understand all too well, like HTWIWM. I always understood him. Far better than he understood himself, I think.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It was supposed to be sunny and in the 80s today. It is, instead, cloudy, wet, and not supposed to be out of the 60s. I. Am. Disappointed! So...no laundry today because it won't dry -- can't hang it outside, and the basement has tipped from warm and dry to cool and damp (which it does every spring), so I really don't want to hang it down there, either. I'll wash a few things that can just spin in the dryer (sheets, towels, that blanket that Sheila keeps rubbing her face on), but clothing will have to wait until tomorrow. If it stays dry, I might be able to get out and mow at least part of the yard. Yay? Which reminds me...I need to go move the pile of rocks that were unearthed last weekend to dig in the bottom portion of the ramp -- the previous owners of the house put in a stone path in the backyard, and the first few stones had to be dug up. They're big, flat river stones, and they're heavy. I think I'll just lay them flat along the back of the breezeway where I wanted the ramp to go to begin with, and maybe put planters on them. I have planters that would be happy to have plants in them, I'm sure.

I do have to clean the living room carpet yet (though I note that now that it's chilly, I can't smell it anymore), and call the vet to refill meds for Sheila. I need everything for her (her Rimadyl, tramodol, Dasuquin, and heartworm preventative), but can't afford everything, so I need to go count pills and see what I can defer until after I get paid on Friday. (Or get the whole $200 worth of meds right now and just charge the lot.)

A few of the neighbors got together and are having a garage sale today, so the traffic on the street is unreal right now. I am disappointed that they didn't speak to me; I'd've been happy to include stuff. I don't think I'm going to have a sale in two weeks as I'd sort of thought, as I don't have things pulled together. I'm sort of planning to go to an SCA event next weekend, so I won't have any time for pulling stuff out then. The traditional neighborhood-wide sale day will probably be while I'm on vacation. My mother asked if I wanted them to hold a sale for me this year, as they did last, and I'm thinking...not so much. Because they didn't even bother to take care of their trash while they were here. They used one of my little mop pails as a trash receptacle, left their McDonald's stuff everywhere, and...just, no. My parents -- my mother, at least -- refuse to respect me or my property, so, just no.

(Watch me change my mind about that in a couple of weeks.)

There are still ants in the kitchen, so all the stuff I normally leave out -- tomatoes, the butter dish, bread -- had to be stowed in the fridge. I really, really, really hate the thought of putting the baits down, but when I see enough ants on the counter, I'll get mad enough to do it. I just really hate the thought of poisoning creatures that aren't in my house. (The ants carry the poison back to the nest.)

This week's LJI prompt is Barrel of Monkeys. All I can think of is Iron Man 3, when Iron Man is trying to save all the people that are falling from Air Force One, and he says, "Remember that game, Barrel of Monkeys? Everyone grab your monkey!" There used to be a Barrel of Monkeys game in my grandmother's closet, along with Cootie. One or both of them belonged to my mother and/or my aunt. (The Spirograph was my aunt's. Now it's mine.)

My chores aren't getting done while I sit here and type, are they. *sigh*
malinaldarose: (Default)
It amuses me that my mother assumes I accepted her friend request on FB (or thinks that making the request is sufficient). I did not. She also assumes that we have the same friends. (Why on earth would we? We have very little in common.) It's relatively easy to deflect her, though; whenever she asks if I saw such-and-blah, I just shrug and blame FB's newsfeed(s).

She was describing to me yesterday how she has managed to get herself banned for thirty days. She can log in to her account, but she cannot post, nor use the private message function. It all sounded a little hinky to me, and I have to wonder if she managed to get herself hijacked, but whatever. These days, she's pretty insistent that she knows what she's doing, which is a vast improvement for me, in that she no longer calls (or, more accurately, has Dad call) when she can't print. (That was the most memorable of my Adventures In Tech-Sitting My Mother because the printer? Was out of ink and just needed a cartridge change. Even over the phone I could hear Dad turning red in embarrassment.)

Spring has apparently -- finally! -- sprung. Now instead of shoveling my driveway, I need to fret about mowing my lawn. Which means getting the mower looked at. I wonder if I could bat my eyelashes at Helpful Neighbor Across The Street and get him to look at it for me. I should probably just do it myself; I think all it really needs is a new filter and a new sparkplug. Though I'd hate to blow myself up or burn down my house or something over a damned lawnmower.

Speaking of houses, one of my photography class classmates is selling her house, and I covet it. It's gorgeous: Ranch style, with a decently-sized yard with a stockade fence, in a nice neighborhood (not Capital-N-Nice, just nice, like this one), that is still close enough to my office building that as long as I could make the required left-hand turns out of the parking lot in a timely manner, I could still go home for lunch. Three bedrooms; master bedroom with bath; finished basement that is gloriously free of hoarded shit (and in which all of my books would fit with plenty of room for more). All it needs is a tower, but you tend not to get those with ranch-style houses. They're asking $109,000 for it, which is...reasonable, I suppose. But I'm rather stuck here. I was promised that the house would be in saleable condition before he walked away completely, and it is not. Well, I suppose if I wanted to take a huge loss on it, it is, but if I were going to sell, I'd rather have enough left over to make a decent down payment on another. I can't fix it, and I can't sell it. Yay?

I need to give some thought to this week's Idol piece; all I'm coming up with is dinosaurs and spaceships and Doctor Who already did that. Which is probably why I'm thinking of it in the first place, because that episode certainly has a great deal of "Yes, and..." about it. What if the Doctor ended up with Cleopatra aboard the TARDIS? Yes, and? And what if he collected a big game hunter played by that guy that plays Lestrade in Sherlock? Okay, and? And what if he accidentally materialized the TARDIS around Rory's dad? Yes? And? And what if they went to this spaceship that was approaching Earth, but was going to get the bejesus blown out of it because it looked like it was going to crash right into the planet? Great! And? And what if it was really an ark used by the Silurians to rescue Earth's own life forms ahead of an approaching asteroid? Yes? And? And what if there were dinosaurs on the spaceship?!? Great! And, then what? And...what if Rory's dad Brian carries a collapsible trowel? Er...you're new, here, aren't you? Go sit in that corner and keep quiet.

Oh, and those Coke commercials from last summer or whenever it was.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I am expecting to see my parents (or just my father) at some point today bearing the Holiday Coffee Cake of Doom. Because my mother makes almond coffee cakes for everyone in the family for Christmas and Easter, and I can't seem to convince her that I really don't want a whole one. A slice will do.

  • Not that I've tried all that hard; in the List Of Things I Wish My Mother Would Grasp, this is about number 25.

  • The grass has started to grow. The daffodils in my yard are up and some of them have started to open. It looks like there are proto-leaves on the lilacs. The crocuses are actually done. And yet, there was still frost that had to be scraped from my windshield when I went for groceries this morning.

  • I think I passed my ex-father-in-law on the way back from the vet's office this morning. It would make sense, actually, since he lives out that way and since he goes (or used to go, and why would that change?) to a Saturday morning guys breakfast.

  • I have an idea for this week's LJ Idol. I'm probably jinxing it by saying so.

  • I actually did respectably in the polls again last week. I'm shocked, really.

  • I printed a three of my favorite TeenyTinyTARDIS photos and took them to work yesterday. The memory board over my monitor is mostly full of Doctor Who postcards and such.

  • I was late getting out of work yesterday because while I remembered to change my voice mail greeting to reflect my time off, I forgot until the last minute to put a bounce message on my email...and then it took me fifteen minutes to figure out how to do it. I was this close to just letting it go.

  • I'm going to get stuck hauling Gram around tomorrow, assuming she even wants to go to Easter dinner. No one has said anything yet, but I just know it.

  • I am debating whether or not to ask my sister to go with me to my appointment on Wednesday. I'm perfectly capable of going alone, but sometimes it's nice to have company, and she is out of work for two weeks until the Summer Youth program starts.

  • According to the current long range forecast, Wednesday will have the worst weather of the week: chilly and wet. Of course.

  • I have not quite drinking caffeine, as the directions from the clinic state that I should. Mind you, I don't drink nearly as much as I used to, but fuck that noise.

  • Should I tempt fate? Should I start unpacking the summer clothes?

  • Surprising no one at all, nominations for seneschal closed with only one nominee: me.

  • Now I just have to figure out when -- and where -- to have a meeting.

  • My appointment Wednesday isn't until 1:45, so I am debating driving on to Rochester in order to stop at Pier 1, Michaels, and the Lands End outlet, then backtracking to my appointment in Geneseo. It seems silly to have changed my appointment from the Rochester office to the Geneseo office so that I didn't have to drive in Rochester, then go to Rochester, anyway, but really, the shopping district is a) right off 390, so it's b) easy to get to, and c) I always manage to get lost on the way to the main clinic office, because it's not just off 390. Well, it is, in that you drive right past it, and it's only several hundred yards from the road, but getting to it is another matter.

  • Sounds like Sheila wants to go out, and she's already on her feet, so I should go employ my thumbs on her behalf.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Taking a break from banging my head against this week's LJI piece. I actually have a story (more or less). I have a draft. Unfortunately, the draft is all exposition and no action. The story itself is not. But I can't shake what's in my head out into pixels, and I'm starting to get a headache from trying.

Or maybe the headache is coming from knowing that my parents are going to drop in this afternoon.

I also need to sit down and write my Rarewomen contribution...for which I have only vague ideas. I know where I want to go with it, but I am not sure how to get there. There are logical ways to do it using the men involved, but that rather defeats the purpose....

Went out yesterday to see Captain America again. The theater's manager was manning the ticket booth, and we had a discussion about how when I worked there, the evening ticket price was $4.00. I paid $8.25 for a matinee ticket yesterday. Also, I just realized that I misquoted the price to him yesterday; I said evening tickets were $8.00. I'm an idiot, and he probably rightly thought as much.

Right. Time to go bash my head against some words again.

Passwords

Apr. 12th, 2014 09:30 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Okay. So. I spent forty-five minutes or so last evening changing my major passwords, and now I have to have them all written down in a notebook. I recycled two, because they're good passwords; I just used them at different sites. Do you know how hard it is to come up with semi-random strings of characters that still make sense and are easy to type? (Because if it doesn't make sense, I won't remember it, and if it's not easy to type, I'll screw it up.) I will confess that my previous password scheme was easy to remember because it was a scheme. None of it was random. I hate changing passwords. And whether Heartbleed is really a major problem or not, I hadn't ever changed some of those passwords, so it's not like it wasn't overdue anyway. I also deleted three Gmail accounts that had once had specific purposes but which I hadn't used in years.

There was a lot of fog this morning, and it turned pink at sunrise. Everything was pink. It was pretty cool, but I have no pictures. I did take some snaps while I was out shopping, because there were bare trees sticking up in morning fog. It's a requirement, I believe, that if you have a camera with you, you have to take pictures of those.

I actually have a pretty cool idea for this week's LJI piece. At least I think it's cool. I won't get to write it until later, though, as I have errands to run still. I got my groceries, but I still have to go to the post office, then run a urine sample out to the V-E-T's office, then stop at the library on the way back home. After that...well, I may just go see Captain America again today, depending on when the 2D matinee showings are. Hmmm. Noon or 3:10. Well, I'll think about it. (Sheila started peeing in the house again, and Doc P did want me to get a sample and bring it up after a couple of weeks.)

Since it's going to be a decentish day, I should probably start cleaning up the backyard. I do not want to clean up the backyard. (I should probably also load up the lawnmower and drop it off at the repair shop on my way to the V-E-T's office, too, but I suspect I'm not going to. Too many other bills need to be paid today, and that can wait until the grass starts growing.)

My mother emailed me this morning to tell me that she's planning to drop by sometime this weekend...yet more reason to be OUT. She's already started complaining about how much work Easter dinner is going to be. I wish I dared tell her that I wasn't going to be there. One of the reasons she's coming down is to drop of the vet bill from Gram's dog Chip who had to be put down this past week. Chip was thirteen-and-a-half and spent much of last weekend having seizures. The vet says that he had a brain tumor and was blind. Poor thing.

Wow

Apr. 11th, 2014 07:19 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
This week's Idol piece garnered 69 votes which, I see by glancing through the poll, is at the far end of the curve. Not too shabby. Now if only I can think of something suitably impressive for the next topic....

I am being daring today. (For certain values of "daring.") I pulled out one of my favorite early summer outfits: a purple t-shirt under a loose-knit (and loose-fitting) sweater in purples, light teals, and spring greens. Although I haven't picked out jewelry yet, I generally wear this outfit with a mint-green and purple necklace and matching earrings that I made myself. (Apatite (I think) and amethyst.) The necklace is just long enough that the central medallion sits framed in the part of the t-shirt outside the sweater. Of course, if I go upstairs for jewelry and find something else that would match, I'll wear that instead. (Sorry, no pics; I'm rubbish at selfies.)

Anyway, what's daring about the outfit is that the temperature at work has been uncertain of late, and the sweater has only elbow-length sleeves. (Technically speaking, I think it's meant as a beach cover-up.) So I may be pulling the lives-at-the-office sweater off the back of my chair....

I read Rescue Run yesterday and last evening, which is an extremely short Pern novel (probably more like a novella) set a couple of years after the end of the First Pass (so about fifty years after the end of Dragonsdawn). I'd read it before, but probably a good twenty years ago, so I didn't remember any of it. The villain in this one is one of the secondary villains in Dragonsdawn, who was really not so villainous, after all, while the hero is a relative of one of the original leaders of the colonial expedition, whose main interest in the planet is to speak to his kin -- and I kept waiting for it to happen, because it could have without undermining any of the history of Pern. But it didn't. It's probably a better story for not doing so, but I still wanted it to.

I have three more novels in the Pern series, two of which I have read. I'm starting Dragonseye today. (Also, I'm not counting any of the novels that Todd McCaffrey has written, whether they have Anne's name on them or not.) Well, make it four: I see The Dolphins' Bell on my shelves. Oh, and it looks like there's an anthology of some sort up there, too. Okay, fine. I have some number of Pern books still to read...but I am getting tired of them, so I'll probably only read the remaining three main ones.

The weather yesterday was fantastic: sunny and warm, but pretty blustery -- the kind of day I love. And I had to work. By the time I got home after work, the weather was changing (that was part of the bluster), and it started raining around 5:00. Didn't last long, though.

I'm beginning to wonder about Sheila. I have trouble getting her out the door now, too, not just in. And she peed in the house yesterday, which she hasn't done in a while. I think it is getting on toward time to get another urine sample, though. Bleah.

Unsurprisingly, I have been nominated for seneschal. I left nominations open until next Tuesday, but I don't imagine that there will actually be any other nominations. I've had a private message that one of our remaining Major Players would actually like to see the shire dissolved. Of course, that didn't come from her, but from one of our Missing Players, so I dunno. I would really prefer not; we're at a good halfway point between the two shires we'd be dissoved into, and I consider both of them too far away to be involved with. (I was actually invited to play with the one, many years ago, before this shire was formed, but it was too far for me to drive on a week night.) We have two colleges in town; why can't we get more people? Even after we had Crown Tourney a few years back, we didn't get more people. I did call the library yesterday to see about reserving the conference room for a meeting and was told that I'd best fill out a new application and get reapproved, since we haven't had meetings there in more than a year. So I have to make time to get up there. I suppose I can add it to my list of chores for tomorrow, assuming that they're open on weekends.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It occurred to me just now that the moss photo I posted the other day totally needed a TeenyTinyTARDIS in it. Missed opportunity. (I need to take some more TeenyTinyTARDIS pics.)

Yesterday was springlike, so today, we're expecting a winter storm that could give us the great gift of six inches of snow. I'm so excited! Oh, no, wait, I mean the other thing. :-\ I feel like when I go out for groceries, I need to stock up on popcorn and movies. (Forget toilet paper, bread, and eggs. Well, no, don't forget them, as they're part of my regular grocery list, but you know what I mean.)

I have packages that need to go to the post office today, but I suspect they're not going to make it. More shoes to return. I do wish I could find some shoes that my feet and legs could tolerate. This gets ridiculous. Nothing I try, not even the expensive wonderful stuff works. And I definitely need to find something I can live in before next summer!

My Cornelian scroll has been completed and signed. A friend has it for delivery; I may get it this weekend. She was going to drop it off last night, but there was only a narrow window when I was home, and it was pouring, so we both agreed that it should wait until it was dry out. (Though if it's in a case, and since she's a scribe, I'm sure it is....) She told me that some guy had been harrassing someone at Kingdom about getting it signed because our little shire is about to be no more. But it wasn't the current seneschal (my friend asked the other local folks who were there; she's the sort of person who would do that -- Hey, were you the one who....), and if the someone at Kingdom (I know the name, but not her exact function) knew who the person harrassing her was, she declined to say. I can't think of any other guys in the shire who'd've been at Ice Dragon who would know enough about what goes on here to push for getting scrolls signed.

If it was anyone, it should've been someone at Kingdom who has noticed that all of our reports have been...not. I'm still getting emails about the exchequer's report being overdue.

Eh, doesn't matter. I'm not in charge anymore, though clearly stepping down was a mistake. I should've let it go to election, rather than trying not to step on anyone's delicate flowery toes.

There is a new LJI topic up, and it's one that should appeal to me. And I do have some ideas, but I won't even think about sitting down to write until probably tomorrow morning. Too much to do on Saturdays. I'm still trying to figure out, though, what the differences between the previous two entries were. The first week, I was solidly in the middle of the voting, but last week, I was in some danger of getting dropped. I don't expect to go very far, mind, because I know my writing's not brilliant. Or, at least, not often brilliant. But I can't figure out what makes people vote and what doesn't. I don't hang out in the Green Rooms; I don't have time for that. Maybe that's part of it; there's always a bit of a popularity factor with these things. Eh, well. I'm thinking of bringing back Thorn HoneyWhistle, Fairy Tale Caseworker Extraordinaire. Or doing something on our visit to Verrazano Castle during the Italy trip.

But right now, I need to go get groceries, I guess, before everyone else. (And they'd better have registers open at WickedMart this week, or I will just leave my cart in the middle of the floor and walk out!)
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's still not warm out, but there has been some sun today. Enough to lure me into the back room with my laptop, anyway, though that was probably a mistake as my toes have still not warmed up and that was hours ago. It's supposed to start warming up again tomorrow, and the ten-day forecast shows it being warmer. It's even supposed to be in the 40s a couple of days.

There is supposedly a shire meeting in about half an hour, but there has been no official word from Herr Seneschal about it. Even when I asked in the shire's FB group last week, he didn't respond (though his brother did). I am given to understand that he has received some bad health-related news recently and I wonder if there is a meeting. As I am in my Sunday-lounging clothes, I don't want to get dressed and go to the church for no reason. If we weren't supposed to be having elections today, I wouldn't bother at all.

My across-the-street neighbors got back from their peregrinations last night. They haven't been home since...actually, I can't remember when I saw them last. Around Christmas? I know there had been snow, because they had to dig out their trailer (they have a huge semi-sized camper) to go on this last trip. They're both retired now and their son lives out of state, so they're gone for months at a time. I suppose that means my mailbox will be moved. It has started to lean again, and G asked me last summer if I minded if he moved it up to the other side of his yard where his is. I figure that since it's up in his yard, he can move it where he likes, though it'll be inconvenient for me. Right now, it's directly across the street, but if he moves it, it'll be directly across the street from my next door neighbor.

I wrote the Mirabelle piece. I kind of like it, but it's liable to get me unvoted off the island. (People who don't get enough votes get eliminated.) I suppose while I'm waiting for some indication on FB that there's a meeting, I should start polishing it.

On the other hand, since I mentioned it, let me tell you the one joke I know:

In the days of the Imperium, there was a tavern on the Forum that became famous for their Hic Haec Hoc drink. One day, Caesar decided he needed to try this famous drink, so to the tavern he went.

"How may I serve you, O Caesar?" the barman asked promptly as Caesar entered.

"I wish to have a Hic Haec Hoc," Caesar said. The barman nodded. Caesar, to show that he was not unlettered, added, "Huius Huius Huius, Huic Huic Huic...." and so on through all the forms of the word. The barman looked at him oddly, and went about his business.

Caesar waited impatiently, but the barman never brought his drink. At last, Caesar summoned the barman again. "Fellow," he said, "I ordered a drink!"

"Yes, O Caesar," the barman said. "But then you declined it."

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