malinaldarose: (Default)
I'm sure people wonder why I don't ask for help with my household woes. Here's how those conversations go:

Them: I'll be glad to help you any time. All you have to do is ask.
Me: Great! I need some help, please.
Them: *crickets*

While I was walking Jack this afternoon, I went into the vacant lot behind my fence to see what was going on with the sumac tree. It doesn't look like it has actually collapsed on my fence. It looks like a shoot of it (now a large trunk) started out growing across the ground toward my fence, and then bits of it grew upward, so that now it really looks like it's collasped across the fence. I think the fence has actually collapsed under the weight of the grape vines.

I don't suppose I should be cutting any trees on property that doesn't belong to me, but it's a vacant lot, and the people who own it don't do any more than mow it every couple of weeks. I can at least cut the portions that are threatening my fence, I suppose. It's not like it's an oak or a maple that someone planted; it's a sumac, so it's basically an enthusiastic weed. Were HTWIWM here, the thing never would've gotten beyond sapling stage, as he used to keep the fence-line tidied up.

In any case, I will ask my mother if she will allow my father Dad could help me clean up back there and replace the fence. Otherwise I guess I'll have to obtain a chainsaw and learn how to use it.

Today was an absolutely miserable excuse for a day. It started poorly with the dog yarking his morning pills, continued poorly with my left foot feeling as though I were constantly walking on rocks, and just sort of petered out. I had intended to mow the lawn, now that the grass is growing again, and the leaves are falling, but didn't want to aggravate the foot which is hurting less, but is still Not Right. Oh, and I broke my watch strap. Not the tattered one, either. This was one of the good ones. It's the second watch strap in a week -- the strap on the celestial watch broke, too. Well, technically, the pin popped out, but I was outdoors at the time and couldn't find it, so it counts as broken.

On the plus side, Zulily had a sale on Wonder Woman merchandise, so I bought part of BFT's Christmas present.

Oh, and I got a couple of Halloween photo props: a miniature Rider-Waite tarot deck, and an even smaller RW deck. Yes, it's TeenyTinyTarot! (It's so cute!)
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I am taking today off; it seemed like an excellent reward for the three Very Long Days of training -- up at 4:00 a.m., at the office by 6:00 a.m., in Buffalo by 8:00 a.m., traintraintraintraintrain, then not home until 6:00 p.m. or later. Sleeping in until nearly 6:00 a.m. this morning seemed like luxury. I am still feeling sleepy. It was definitely grueling.

I did miss Grama's birthday dinner last night, even though we got back in time for me to go since we finished the training four hours ahead of schedule. We had a big lunch on the way home, though, and I was still stuffed. And Really Tired, to be honest, and I just don't like seeing my grandmother when my parents are present, because my mother insists on being snarky at Grama under Gram's hearing, and it pisses me off. So I will take her a Birthday Cupcake later this afternoon and take Jack over to see her, which will make her happy.

So I am going to go out for groceries, and I do have to run over to the credit union as my car payment is due today. It's the Last Payment! Well. I could make a regular payment and then still owe the last $50 or so of the loan next month, but I will just write a check for the whole amount and have done. In fact, I should write that check before I go out for groceries so that I can do that in the same trip before the credit union gets busy (since it's Friday).

I might mow the lawn today; since I let it go so long before the last mowing, much of the grass didn't get clipped as closely as it should have, so it's already looking shaggy again. And, of course, there's all kinds of work to be done in the house. And it's my turn to mow Gram's lawn, so I'll have to haul up there and do that. Maybe tomorrow.

Isn't this exciting?

The weather is supposed to be lovely for the whole weekend. That would be nice.
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  • The weather forecast called for rain all day, and I was sort of relieved because it meant I could watch movies on the couch all day without feeling guilty. Right now? It's sunny, and although the forecast is still calling for rain, sort of, I don't see any on the map.

  • I just painted my nails bright red. I only paint them this particular shade in the summer. In the winter, I use darker, wine-ier, metallic shades. This is just red. Bright red. Popsicle-red. Summer red.

  • The cat has apparently decided that she will now be peeing in my office, thank you very much. I thought it smelled in here, but I also know that she has been using the litter box upstairs -- and I have been endeavoring to keep it clean for her -- but I heard some rustling over by the window -- and all of a sudden she came bounding out of there. I had thought it was Jack dreaming, but he's in the living room. And the corner reeks. As soon as my nails are dry I will have to go clean and bleach the corner. And put up a child gate across the door to keep her out for a couple of weeks to break the habit. And then wait to see where else she decides to go instead of any of the six litter boxes.

  • Given Tremas and the Portreeve, I should've seen that coming last night on Doctor Who.

  • I did go out and mow the front yesterday. I wasn't going to, but it was looking a little raggedy and I caved to implied homeowner peer pressure (because I was the only person on the street who hadn't mown in the last three days).

  • I have decided that once my parents get their crap out of my garage, I will clean all of the lawn tools and storage and such out of the breezeway except for one snow shovel and one broom. There's no reason to have all that stuff out there cluttering up a perfectly nice space when I have a whole garage I can clutter up. Then I will put a table out there so if I want to eat or work out there I can. I'd still like a deck, but this will do for now.
  • Fucking cat. My office reeks.
  • I suppose I should make an appointment to see if she has an infection, but I think she's probably either senile (she is 19 now) or lazy. Ever since the Great Flea Infestation of 2016, she's been peeing pretty much where she chooses.

  • I saw a rescue dog go by on FB the other day that I think would have been a perfect companion for Jack, but I'm certain it's far too late to apply for him.

  • Related: The Gecko is doing much better with her hygiene. Thank goodness. Mind you, I'm still not taking the covers off the furniture, and I probably never will as long as she's sitting Jack.

  • Still reading the Young Wizards series. I'm not liking it as much as I had hoped. Enough to keep reading it, but.... Meh.

  • Speaking of wizards, I saw one of those special editions that Time does: Twenty Years of Harry Potter or something along those lines, with a cover photo of Daniel Radcliffe from Chamber of Secrets (you can tell from his school uniform and his apparent age -- not young enough to be from the first movie, but not the same uniform as they wore in the later movies). Twenty years? Not of the movies, I know, but of the books. Already? How is it that long already?

  • Right. I think I'm going to go to a different part of the house to let my nails finish drying before I tackle the smell in this room.
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It has been a busy weekend so far. Last night, BFT and I went out to see Wonder Woman for a second time. The movie was much better without a huge head in the middle of the screen. Also, it had been switched into the largest of the auditoriums; when the film opened, it was in one of the two smallest of the houses. The Big House was a far better venue.

By the time I got home, it was nearly 10:00 p.m., but I had left the house closed up because Jack Is Not To Be Trusted, so before I could go to bed, I needed to get some fresh air in. So it was 11:00 p.m. before I went to bed...and I woke up -- boing! at 2:00 a.m. I'm not certain what woke me, but Jack decided that it was a great time to do that stalkery, panty, starey thing he does when he just stands there in the middle of the room, then tries to get in bed with me. It occurred to me to wonder if it was a reaction to the Benadryl I gave him before I left for the movie, or if he was just overheated because it still was pretty warm upstairs.

I opened the bedroom door and he eventually wandered downstairs and was down there for a while, so perhaps it was just the heat. I guess I'll find out tonight.

This morning was all of the regular Saturday chores with the exception of paying bills. Since I don't have anything that can't wait to go out until Monday, I'll write checks either tomorrow or Monday morning. I am taking Monday off; my schedule got changed at work, making my GYN appointment even less convenient than it already was, so I decided to just take the day off. The person I was filling in the 9-5 shift for decided to work, so I was put back on my regular schedule. Besides, it occurred to me that I usually take the day off when I go to the GYN because it's usually a lengthy wait and then I have to go home to clean up after. So, long story longer, I can write checks Monday morning as I will have time before my appointment.

Jack hasn't wanted to let me out of his sight since I got home last night, and I didn't want to leave him a second time today, so I loaded him in the van and took him with me to go mow Grama's yard. And then when I couldn't get the gas can at Gram's to release gasoline into the mower (these new spouts; I can't figure them out), I loaded him back into the van to drive home to get my own equipment. Which is what I should have done to begin with. In any case, the lawn got mowed, and I came home sopping wet because it was hot and humid and later than I intended; I wanted to be home by noon. Instead, I was home by 1:00.

Then there was lunch, a shower, a nap, walkies, and a lengthy telephone conversation with MyAuntie, and now it's getting on toward time for Doctor Who. And it feels cool enough out here to open the house back up and work on getting it cooled down for bedtime....
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Somehow it's already midmorning. I don't know how these things happen, I really don't. One minute I'm walking the dog and suddenly it's time for bed. Well, let's see. I slept in this morning, so it was nearly 6:30 when I got up. It takes time to get around, then walkies, then I washed the dishes because they'd been piled up for a few days (I hate washing dishes), then...what? Oh, shower and washing hair, then read a few reviews of Wonder Woman and last night's Doctor Who, then read LJ and DW, then...midmorning.

It is pouring at the moment, and I'm planning on a pajama day. Well, sort of a pajama day, anyway. I couldn't see crawling back into my jammies after taking a shower, so I'm wearing soft sweats. It's not too warm for them because in addition to raining, it's also chilly. The furnace came on this morning...though that will likely be the only time today, as it is supposed to get into the low 70s.

Of course, since I've been counting on having a pajama day today for basically the whole week, my parents will decide that today is the day they will come around to pack up their garage sale stuff and give me my garage back.

Because of course it will be.

Yesterday was gorgeous. It was bright, sunny, puffy clouds, blue sky, breezy, and around 70°. I did my usual chores, then started pulling maple seedlings and nightshade in the backyard for a bit. There's always nightshade twining around the patio and the foundation and the hydrangeas. Sometimes, I just cut it back, but yesterday, I was annoyed, so I pulled it. It'll come back of course, because there's a parent plant that I can't get to -- it's under the ramp -- that needs to be dug out. The bit of ground between the hydrangeas and the back of the breezeway looks really bare, now. I'm thinking of perhaps planting ornamental grasses there, though maybe I'll just get some really big hanging baskets as there are already hooks there.

In the afternoon, I loaded my lawnmower (and paraphernalia) into the van and met my sister at Grama's house and we mowed the lawn. The neighbors have been mowing the front, and the guy on the one side told me that he'd trimmed all the bushes in front of the house a couple of weeks ago. On the one hand, it does make the house look lived in. On the other hand, it's a dead-end street, so no one is going to be just cruising past. Also on the other hand, his meddling kind of annoys me.

Gram's House )

Ah, well. As the Doctor said to River, times end.

After I got home and got Jack walked, I dragged my firepit off the patio and into the middle of the yard and got a small fire going. It was the first time I've had a fire in a couple of years, but when I went to put some papers into my shredding bag yesterday morning, I discovered the reason I hadn't been able to eradicate the smell of cat piss from the library: Kethri had peed on and into the bag. There was no way those papers were going through my shredder, and the reason they were slated for the shredder was why they couldn't be just tossed into the recycling bin: names and account numbers. So I burned them. It took a while, and I had to keep scrounging for wood to keep the fire going, but eventually it was done, and I sat with the fire until it burned out.

My neighbor was working in her backyard and yelled over that it was about time I had a fire again; when I yelled back the reason for it, she offered me logs and sticks, but I did actually have both. I just didn't want to get a log started because I didn't want to sit there all afternoon.

So...busy Saturday. Hence the desire to spend today just not doing much of anything.
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The garage sale was pretty much a bust. I made less than $80 and my folks made less than $200. That's very little return for so much work. I sat out there all day with Mom yesterday -- except for when I was in the library balancing the checkbook and writing checks to make sure they went out in yesterday's mail -- and there were very few people who actually stopped. I'd say about a third of the people who came down the street, slowed down, glanced at things from their cars, and kept going. Given that the majority of the stuff was actually in the garage.... As usual, lots of people looked at the tub, commented on how they grew up with one, then went on their merry way. Well, except for the one guy who said it was too short to be worth anything, and who then went on his merry way. Jerk. There was a map of all the garage sales in the city, and Dad did go up to pay the fee to get on the map...and we weren't on it. Dad will apparently be taking that up with the organizers on Monday. Not that it will make any difference.

Next week is my town's garage sale day, so we left everything in the garage and will try again next weekend.

I was rather hoping to spend today just vegging out with movies and books and my computer, but the weather forecast indicates that if I don't go do some mowing, I will regret it. The back yard nearest the house went unmown last week because I didn't want to frighten the kittens...who were probably already gone the evening I mowed. Oh, well. In any case, that's the section of the yard that grows the fastest, so it's already ankle-deep again. The front could do with a quick running over, but I may let that go. It'll depend on how my feet feel after I've got the back done.

It turns out that some of the neighbors were asking why I hadn't mown my front yard for so long, but my next-door neighbor K let them know I was waiting for the violets to be done. She told me that I'm not the only person in the neighborhood who does, which is nice to know. But I bet it was the Gossip who asked. He's such a nosy control freak.

K also called me over to the fence yesterday evening when I was retrieving my laundry and contemplating what to have for supper and offered me a burger. She and her neighbor on the other side had grilled out and had leftovers. So while I took the laundry in, she made up a plate that included a burger, some tater tots, and green beans, which was really sweet of her. She's really a pretty good neighbor, despite her insistence on mowing that one strip of my property, and I'm beginning to understand that it's her terror of snakes that drives that. She's convinced that if my grass is too deep, she'll have snakes in her yard. There may be something to that, actually. I've only ever seen one snake in my yard, but she sees several a year, and I mow far less often than she does....

Not Great

May. 13th, 2017 05:17 pm
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I am not in the best of moods today. I was really depressed this morning, but my mood has lightened as the day as worn on. It's the kittens. No one seems to realize how very bothered I am by them. Everybody is all "oh how adorable," and "you can bring them inside and have four bonded kittens; it'll be fine!" and "you have to rescue them and their mama!" I feel utterly inadequate next my many friends who rescue cats and kittens hither and yon, but I just... Eh, whatever. I have decided to leave them alone and let them do their thing -- right now, anyway. Tomorrow morning, I may have changed my mind and be out there trying to catch them. Not that I would have much luck, as Mama is mostly right there with them. I will pretend that they are bunnies, exclaim over how cute they are and let them do their wild animal thing. It's not like they're even the first generation of kittens in this colony; the Progenetrix was dropped off something on the order of five years ago. They are truly wild animals.

And then I torment myself thinking that maybe Mama had them so close to my house -- within ten feet of my backdoor, fercryinoutloud -- so that they will be domesticated.

You see? I keep working myself into a state. Delaware, I think.

In non-kitten news, I escorted a mouse off the premises today. From the size of this one, I either have two separate kinds of mice, or the last several I have caught have been babies. Great. Mouse-kittens. On the other hand (or "to the left" as Vlad Taltos says) this one was brown, rather than grey, so possibly two different kinds.

I finally mowed the front yard this afternoon, except for the square under the apple tree. There's a huge patch of violets there, and since they're in shade, they're not faded and ragged like the ones in the other part of the yard. But that's all I mowed. I didn't try to mow any of the back at all, though I did pick up sticks. My maple in the backyard is shedding rather more than I would like.

My mother has persuaded me to participate in the community garage sale day next weekend, so I have been doing some clean-up in the garage, and hauling a few things out to price. I had brought my beading and jewelry-making supplies up from the basement to put them all in the sale since I haven't made jewelry in ages, but when I started going through the stuff, I decided that I wasn't ready to get rid of it, and certainly wasn't ready to sell stuff I paid so much money for at garage sale prices.

Trying to come up with something for supper and not really thinking of anything. Maybe I'll just have strawberry shortcake. Hm...if the pineapple is still good (might not be, since I bought it fresh a week ago), I could have chicken and pineapple salad.

I'm so tired and down today that I'm not even sure I want to watch Doctor Who tonight.

Don' Wanna

May. 10th, 2017 06:36 am
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I'm tired. I know I say that a lot, but I am tired, and pretty much always in a state of holy fuck, could I use a nap. Right now, I could go back to bed and go to sleep and...be late for work.

Mama Cat appears to have moved her kittens the night before last. I am not displeased by this. I was fretting about them being out there for multiple reasons. I would probably eventually have tried to catch them, and then what would I have done? The SPCA wouldn't take them without expecting me to pay for them. One of the local rescues might, but...I'm not really hot on the local rescues. Ah, well. Decision is no longer mine to make.

I was reasonably certain yesterday morning that they were gone, but when I let Jack out last night, I stayed on the couch in the breezeway where I could read and keep an eye both on the ramp and on Jack. It was actually nice, and I discovered that my old couch, despite its rattiness, is actually more comfortable than the new one. Figures, right?

I finished Iorich last night. That leaves Tiassa and Hawk and then I'll be back to waiting for a new Vlad Taltos book. I'm debating whether or not to read the other Dragaera books while I'm on a roll, or whether to switch to something else. I guess we'll see when I finish Hawk.

I've been trying out posting by email from work. It seems to work okay. Which is nice because it means I don't have to drag posts home on a thumb drive. I'm sure DW is blocked at work, but even it it weren't, I wouldn't want to log in because of the monitoring. Logging into webmail feels easier to explain away. I have been accessing a few things more on my phone at work lately (hey, it's been sloooow), since there's public wifi in the building.

Still tired.

I've been trying to figure out how to find a decent painter for the house. I don't actually want to spend too much on the painting, so there's enough left to do the bathroom -- amazing how fast the money goes when you're making hefty payments on credit cards. So far, I haven't paid any of them off, though; just brought the payments down to within reach. I should pay them off, and I know that, but if I do, then I won't have the cash left for the house, which was really the point of the exercise. In any case, Angie's List is now free, so perhaps I will join and check there. I just need some names, and if all they will give me is The Big Two Names In The Area, then I will try the Old Boys' Network. I could probably get some names from my ex-father-in-law, but as much as I like him, I do feel awkward trying to talk to him. Less awkward talking to his wife, oddly enough, but for this, I'd have to talk to him.

The sky was gorgeous during walkies this morning. We have reached the point of the year where for the next couple of months, walkies will always be in daylight. This morning, the sun was not quite up when we got home, and the clouds to the east were painted all different shades of mauve and peach. I took my camera out back to try to get photos of the neighbor's dogwood tree against the light, but it was really too late for the best color. I can probably pull some color out of the photos in Photoshop, but....

The lawn is getting to the point of having to mow it and pretty wildflowers be damned. I will weep for them...and then zoom right over them because what else am I going to do? If I don't, one of the neighbors will probably helpfully do it for me. It's a toss-up between the Gossip and K next door who is so terrified of snakes that she mows that strip between my house and her fence so that snakes don't come into her yard from there -- as if they spontaneously generate in my foundation or something.

Yeah...still tired.

Day of Moan

May. 1st, 2017 09:37 pm
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Well...no bats so far. Not that I'd really expect to see them this early in the season, anyway, it's just...well, it's just. I think maybe the next thing I have tackled will be the bathroom, even if it's just to have someone come in and put up the ceiling. I have the names of three different contractors: the guy who fixed the kitchen light (and who I thought was a little expensive, and does it really take three hours to change out a light?), and two others. Well, four others if you count the guy who installed the new furnace (he's not just a furnace guy) and the guy who he subcontracted to -- though my neighbor warned me against hiring that last guy.

Yesterday, I met an old friend -- oh, let's be honest, old boyfriend -- for breakfast. We met at 9:30 and finally left the restaurant at 12:30, and we could probably have talked for another couple of hours, too. We haven't seen one another in a few months, and the last time we did wasn't really conducive to chatting, so the last time we had a chance for a good talk was probably a year or more ago. So that was nice. We've known each other for thirty-some-odd years at this point, so a lot of our conversation was about finding ourselves middle-aged (which isn't so nice).

After that, I came home, and decided that since it was sunny, I'd try to get some laundry done, even though storms were in the forecast. I did get the laundry on the line for an hour or so before I had to bring it in; I left it in the breezeway to finish drying. I also started to clean the breezeway out yesterday afternoon; I got the couch turned around and that corner of the room cleared. There's only one outlet, and there doesn't appear to be power to it -- whether it's disconnected, like the wall furnace, or whether it's just turned off, I do not know. I don't really need power out there; I won't be using it after dark. There's still a lot of work to be done, though.

I was sweeping some of the accumulated dirt and dead leaves out the back door when my mother walked in the front door. "What are you doing?" she asked. "What does it look like I'm doing?" I said, broom in hand.

As usual, my folks weren't actually here to see me. Usually when they wander in on a Sunday, it's because Mom has a list of things she's bought for Grama and she wants to be reimbursed, so she wants a check. This time, it was because she wanted to grill me about my sister, who is apparently having trouble at work -- trouble which I had only learned about yesterday morning when Bird caught me on FB and asked if I had any ideas about what she should do.

(It seems that because she isn't constantly Miss Susie Sunshine, she's been passed over for a summer job that she has done for the last three or four years and her unit supervisor actually told her that she would be reluctant to recommend Bird for a permanent position -- which isn't going to be a problem, anyway, if Bird can't ever place high enough on the clerical exam. In any case, this particular supervisor is only going to be with us for another nine months (thank goodness!) and Bird's temporary permanent position (it's a permanent position in that it gets her benefits and union membership, but it's a position with a time limit of two years and some months) runs for another four or five months after that, so it won't be up to Madame High and Mighty. I told her to try to get moved to one of the units upstairs; I'm not certain that those clerks are under Mme H&M's control.)

Today...was Monday. I had a low-level headache by lunchtime, and I stayed in the office for lunch so I didn't have to put up with the Gecko. I was going to stay after work, too, but ended up hurrying home so that I could get Jack walked because we were under not only a severe storm warning, but a tornado watch -- all of WNY was under a tornado watch, and Mom called Bird to let her know that there were tornadoes on the ground in PA. (Bird lives over the border in PA.) Of course, those tornadoes were two and three hours away, but they were on the ground! Mom gets a little...over-anxious about these things.

So I got home, rushed right past the Gecko to get socks and change into my sneakers and take off my jewelry and grab my raincoat and get back out to get Jack around the block...and we got as far as the parking lot at the end of the block where we cut over to the next street and it started to rain. And by "rain," I mean "the heavens opened and all the waters of the world fell down upon us, yea, and also did blow the winds, so that there were white-caps on the puddles." Jack and I were both drenched pretty much immediately, and to get home, we had to turn back into it because it was coming from the west(ish) and we were walking east. It blew my hood off right away, and Jack was simultaneously trying to huddle on the ground and shelter behind me. We passed a bush he usually pees on, and he headed straight for it; I thought he was going to pee again, but instead he tried to crawl under it. He was quite put out with me for insisting that we go home, but he was probably even more relieved than I was when we got there. He looked like a drowned rat and there was so much water in my sneakers that they sloshed. I'll be wearing something else for morning walkies. My pants were so wet that I had to wring them out in the tub and hang them in the bathroom to dry. My socks...well, I just tossed them into the tub. We were a seriously bedraggled pair.

I've been caught out in the rain before, but never such a deluge with such high winds. It was...unpleasant, and Jack's obvious anxiety wasn't helping.

But at least the smell of wet dog overpowered the smell of unwashed Gecko, so....
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I wonder if I should've gone with a self-propelled mower....

I read the manual, finished the assembly, put the oil and gas in, started it up, and ta da! So I mowed this afternoon. "I'll just mow," said I to myself, "until the gas runs out." This is a slightly larger gas tank, but I am used to having to fill the tank three times to mow the whole lawn. It never ran out. I finished the whole lawn (more or less; I leave bits of it raggedy in the spring). So here I am at my desk with the lawn mown and my feet (and legs and back) letting me know that I was an idiot to do that all at once. As soon as I can get up, I'll go find some ibuprofen...and maybe some supper, though this seems like a perfect night for fast food. On the other hand, that would mean hitting an ATM....
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I bought a new lawnmower this morning. I am hoping that the extended warranty is sufficient and I don't have to hunt me up a virgin to sacrifice to the Lawn Gods. I will probably not try it out today, though; it's supposed to be cloudy and chilly. I'll save it for tomorrow and/or Monday. Or maybe I'll at least try it with the front yard this afternoon. We'll see; I have a bunch of desk-related tasks to do as well. I should probably also take the old one in to be serviced and keep it around as a back up.

The folks at Home Depot were really nice about it when I asked if they could take it out of the box for me. The guy took it out of the box, got the handle situated for me (which involved a bit of smacking with tools to get the bolts to cooperate), then lifted it into the van for me and chocked the wheels so it wouldn't roll around. And everybody was chipper about it. It was nice.

In neighborhood news, the couple two houses up has separated. Supposedly, they're not going to divorce, but according to what our mutual next door neighbor told me, the wife has been miserable here for a long time, and so she has moved to Indiana to be near her kids. The husband cannot retire for another five years or so, so is staying here. Five years is a heck of a long time to live apart. Her moving van pulled out yesterday morning sometime between the time I walked Jack and the time I left for work. I feel kind of bad for them; they married the same year I did, and moved into the neighborhood as newly weds a few months after we did.

Across the street, meanwhile, the Gossip and his wife have returned from their winter peregrinations. I am not looking forward to having them around; I have decided that I really don't like him. (She's pretty much a non-entity; she hardly ever leaves the house.) He's nosy, and he's a pain in the ass. He's very helpful, but in a controlling sort of way that is very like my mother's helpfulness. He snatched one of my many lawnmowers out of my hands one time while I was changing the spark plug and marched across the street with it to fix it. I was really annoyed that it did run better after that for a while.

In what is not a surprise to anyone, the switchover to the new phone system at work did not go smoothly. Well, maybe it did, but nearly everyone had some difficulty setting up their voice mail, and when I left yesterday afternoon, mine was still not working. Having now had to use the phone, I can say that I do not like them. The sound quality sucks. But, hey, at least it stays hung up now.

Ugh

Jan. 15th, 2017 10:23 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
If I had any lingering doubts about those water marks in the basement being caused by the hot water tank, they have been thoroughly exorcised by having to get down on my hands and knees in those tight spaces and clean them with a rag and bleach water. (I broke one of the plastic pins holding the mophead in place and it kept flopping all over the place.) My favorite sweatpants now reek of cat urine. But the back corner behind the furnace is cleaned and blocked off. The other corner, nearer the hot water heater is still open, but is far easier to clean up.

The reason I wore my favorite sweatpants to do this chore is that they're so old that I've had to patch almost the entire upper inseam on both legs, so if I end up having to toss them, it's not a huge blow.

Four cross-offs on my do-list: clean the basement, vacuum the house, brush and flea the dog (that was two separate items).

Right, next chore: either clean off the dining room table (covered in plastic bags that need mending and Christmas presents that need to be put away) or clean up the Christmas decorations (that I really didn't enjoy having out this year at all, and really only pulled out for my grandmother). Actually, those two things are pretty much the same chore: Pack up Christmas.

In other news, really looking forward to tonight's Sherlock, despite what I said earlier this week about not really caring for it all that much; I caught last week's episode last night via Hulu. (Yes, I took a break from Emergency!. I also watched Graham Norton on BBCA.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am lying in wait for Jack. He needs to have his flea stuff, and he needs a brushing as he is shedding again. Might as well get him riled up just the once. The thing is, he's afraid of the brushing. Or hates it, or something. In any case, whenever I kneel anywhere near him (because obviously, I have to kneel next to him to brush him), he literally runs away. I have had to chase him into my office, up the stairs, all around the house. So now, I come into my office, wait for him to get settled, then close the door. The brushes have been in here since yesterday. He also needs to have the literally shitty fur from when he was sick trimmed out of his leg fur but I think trying to get that will be pushing my luck. I actually think I need someone else to help hold him and keep his tail up and out of the way.

I have an extensive do-list for this weekend, but I don't expect to get everything done. Really, it's sort of a master do-list in which certain items will just keep getting entered onto new pages as I fill up old pages. I even bought a blank book for the purpose, just because it's nicer than having a cheap little spiral notebook sitting on my desk all the time. Yes, I am totally ridiculous. In any case, not only do I have chores that need to be completed, but a list of movies that I have to watch (since I'm keeping my DVDs in binders now, I tend to forget what I haven't yet watched), a list of writing that needs to be completed (like, say, this week's LJ Idol entry), and a list of books that I am Totally Gonna Read This Year, Just You Wait.

Today's ambitions, though, are to get Jack groomed and flea'd, then take care of the places in the basement where the cat has been peeing -- which are, of course, in tight spots around the furnace and the hot water tank, ugh -- and get the holiday decorations put away. Oh, and laundry, but since that hangs in the basement to dry, I need to get at the floor first. J1 contacted me about possibly selling my hoarded drywall to her folks, so they're going to be stopping by this afternoon.

My grandmother has been complaining about lack of space in her room for storing things, especially since my mother buys her stuff BJs. She lives in a single room now, she really doesn't have space to keep four boxes of Kleenex or three huge bottles of lotion, but my mom just takes everything in and dumps it in her room. She has a superfluous chair in her room. It's a nice chair that she brought from home -- or it was, at any rate, but isn't any longer, as the side is wobbly and not suitable for Gram to use because she has to have sturdy arms to push herself up against. So the chair was tossed into a corner by the door and just has stuff piled on it. I have suggested to my mother that we take that chair out and put in a cupboard or bookcase, and Mom has left it up to me to convince Gram. She says that if she suggests it, Gram will reject it out of hand -- and she probably will, since she and my mother can't seem to ever get along. I tried to get my aunt and uncle to just help me haul the chair out of there, but they weren't interested. We could take it back to the house...or it could just go straight to the dump. The house is probably simpler; we can put it right back into the space it came out of until it's time to finally clean the house out. Gram has been making noises about selling the place, but I don't think she quite understands what that would entail. Just inventorying her collection of angel and bird figurines would take an entire day, for instance.

Ah, well. That's something for another day. Right now, I think Jack has had sufficient lulling-into-a-false-sense-of-security. Time to deploy the Furminator.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was up twice in the middle of the night with digestive issues, so I am tired and not feeling well and just want to be left alone today to read or watch Doctor Who. Instead, I have to get dressed, finish cleaning my house, and be up for my family. And my mother will probably call me right after lunch and want me to go pick up my grandmother and entertain her all afternoon. (Familyfest is a supper-time affair.)

Oh, well. Best get back to work. I hurt my wrist yesterday trying to break up ice in the driveway, so I left yesterday's dishes until this morning; I figured that hot water right after the icing was probably not the best thing for it. Those are done, at least, and the kitchen is in order. The last load of laundry is in. The last gift is wrapped. I just need to clean off the table and excavate the leaves from the closet -- though I need help to get those in, so they'll have to wait until my sister or my father get here. My hair is washed, dried, and ironed. I'm wearing a nice new sweater, but also wearing sweatpants (hey, at least they're black), but I won't get dressed until later. In the meantime, I'm wearing comfies.

I have some photos of my great grandparents from Christmas 1965 that I want to print for folks, so I need to do that.

I'm just tired. Why am I always tired?
malinaldarose: (Default)
Another busy day ahead of me: in the classic way of housecleaning, in order to get the rooms I cleaned yesterday presentable, a lot of the clutter was just moved elsewhere. The library and my office were already sties, and now they're much, much worse. So that's my plan for today. Plus, of course, I have dishes to do as the disposable dishes my mother brought with her last night were not the dishes she thought they were, so we ended up using my dishes. Which is fine, but it means I have dishes to wash.

I also have to go out late this afternoon to see Grama; she was very insistent that I come see her this weekend. She apparently has bills for me in her drawer, and she always frets about them piling up. What she doesn't realize is that when I get them, they're still piled up until I sit down on Saturday mornings to write checks. Ah, well. What she doesn't know.... I'll be taking Jack with me, of course, because I still cannot trust him by himself.

He let me sleep until 3:30 this morning. I have the clock on the digital thermostat set two hours ahead (so I don't forget to override¹ it during the day for the Gecko), which means that at 3:30, the furnace is coming on. Maybe that bothers him. I dunno. I just know that I wasn't happy about it, and am still not. I foresee a nap in my future, if I can get Kethri off the couch.

I may be taking The Niece to see a movie this afternoon, or maybe tomorrow afternoon. I mentioned to Bird last weekend that I'd like to go see either Doctor Strange or Fantastic Beasts again and asked if Niece would like to dogsit. Then it occurred to me that she might like to see either of those films herself, so I offered to take her and let Bird dogsit. She said it might happen. We'll see. I see from the theater marquee that Moana and Trolls are both opening today.

While I'm doing that, I will likely drop the van off for an oil change and to have them inflate the tires for me -- they're soft enough that the beast is wallowing. I used to be really good at adding air to tires myself because I had a car that leaked constantly, but for some reason, my skills seem to have deserted me; the last time I tried to put air in the tires, I ended up flattening them completely and had to call either AAA or my father. AAA, I think. Talk about embarrassing. And the time before that, I had dangerously over-inflated them. So....

It's a pretty dreary day out there. It's supposed to be in the low 40s today and start to rain later. The forecast says "showers," but it's a pretty solid mass of green on the radar map.

Dinner, she says, finally getting to the point, was okay. Mom did make homemade lasagna, and it was tasty. It was stone-cold when she got it here, though, so it had to go in the oven, as did the garlic bread (which wasn't that good). She had also brought both chocolate pie and the fixings for Mexican sundaes, including Grama's homemade chocolate sauce which is basically fudge that hasn't reached candy stage. It was really good, and Mom and Gram managed to mostly not fight.

I have to say that I missed the turkey dinner far more than I expected to. I have leftover lasagna, and plenty of it, and a couple of pieces of pie, but...no hot turkey sandwiches today unless I go out somewhere and get some turkey. Which I might do....

Dad dropped Gram off early, though, around 3:00 p.m., and we ended up sitting in the living room talking about food. Gram's entire day pretty much revolves around food, and it's almost all she talks about. By 3:15, I was desperately sleepy, and just wanted to stretch out on the couch and take a nap, but ended up chatting about food for another forty-five minutes, until I turned on the TV for Gram (schmaltzy Hallmark Christmas movies) and took Jack for a walk. Mom and Dad were just getting here with the food as we walked out the door.

Right. Inertia is calling. Must get moving.
---
¹ My digital thermostat is programmable. HTWIWM programmed it to go to 64° when I was going to be here (so, on weekends) to 60° during weekdays, and 55° overnight. After he left, I had a friend reprogram it for me so that it was 60° overnight and 66° when I was here. Somehow, though, the original programming did not get cleared, so it has two sets of instructions, and on Sunday nights, it doesn't go down at all, so I have to override it then, too. If I recall correctly, all the instructions can be wiped by removing the battery for 30 seconds, but I have a perhaps superstitious belief that if I do, Bad Things will happen. So I just override it a lot.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's going to be a busy day. I have had so many things to do of late that I did not get the back part of the house cleaned up for today's feast. And so I must shortly get started on that. The laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, and back room must all be cleaned, and that will take me hours. I am so looking forward to it, and all so relatives can sit at my dining room table and fight. Yay. (They won't mean to, but my mother and my grandmother can't seem to breathe the same air, so they will inevitably fight over something.)

At least I have tomorrow off, too, to make up for it.

I was so pleased earlier this week because I thought we'd gotten the problem with Jack trying to get into bed with me licked, but that is apparently not the case; he kept me awake most of last night, and the night before. The bench is great; he likes being up on the bench, but he wants the bed, and though I've always drawn the line at dogs on the furniture, I suspect I'm going to give in soon just so that I can get some sleep.

He is also still not to be trusted alone in the house. I arrived home yesterday (or possibly the day before) to find that he had battered down the child gate blocking Kethri's entrance to the Spare Oom -- the window there looks out over the driveway, and I think he wanted to see if I had really driven away and left him. I moved the gate; the next time he tries to batter it down (or perhaps he just went over it, and kicked it down on his way), he'll have to take out the doorframe.

(And he probably will.)

He seems worse this autumn than he did last autumn.

Because the DM (the former friend who made my divorce all about him) does not seem to grasp the concept of private messages on Facebook, I know that HTWIWM will be in town tomorrow. I have some very complicated feelings about that. Because I am weak and wibbly, I would like to see him to cry all over him. Because I have survived all this time, I would like to parade that in front of him. And because I am also angry, I would like to haul off and smack him a few times. Neither of those things will happen, of course, because I will not see him.

And that is the thing I suppose I will be thankful for today....

Well, and maybe pie. I hope there's pie later to make up for the sheer amount of work I now have to do.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I did a fair amount of work yesterday: laundry, changed kitty litter, cleaned the gutters I can reach, swapped screens for storms where able, paid bills for myself and Gram, filed the paperwork that has been accumulating for the last three months. Not a bad list of cross offs.

  • Discovered that there is nothing wrong with Kethri. Well. Nothing wrong-er. She has just been peeing in the Spare Oom, instead of her litter boxes. I finally found at least one spot by getting down on my hands and knees and running my hand over the carpet. I cleaned it up with my little spot vac, and will have to stop and get that pet urine remover stuff on Monday. In the meantime, I put up a child gate, which would never have stopped her even as little as a year ago, but which she is no longer agile enough to jump over. I heard her failing to do so yesterday, and shortly after that, the litter box started being used again.

  • It is snowing. I hate snow.

  • Jack, however, loves it. He was trying to roll in it this morning during walkies. I wouldn't let him because I am mean. I made him wait until we got home, then I let him out in the backyard.

  • My Trump-supporter, control freak neighbor (The Gossip) was out walking his dog as well, and he blathered something about cleaning off the car before going to church. "Yeah, I'm not going to church," I told him -- mostly because I couldn't figure out whether he was offering to clean mine off or just talking about his own. "I'm thinking pancakes and hot chocolate instead." Given the close eye he seems to keep on the neighborhood, you'd think he'd've realized after sixteen years that I don't go out on Sunday mornings.

  • I am probably going to put up the Christmas tree today. I didn't bother last year, and my grandmother was disappointed. Gram is coming over on Thursday for dinner, so I guess the tree is going up today. I might even have enough ornaments to put up both trees, but I'm not sure about that. (I have two tabletop-size trees because I bought a pre-lit one last year because I was tired of messing with the light strings. And then I didn't put either tree up.)

  • I want to finish putting the DVDs into binders, though, so I guess that's this morning's project -- though I should be working on my Idol entry. But I've got nothing on that topic. Not a great way to begin the competition.

  • I didn't give Jack any benadryl last night; it doesn't seem to make any difference. (Nor does the far more expensive Rimadyl, for that matter.) He was bugging me again. And when he wandered downstairs, I closed the door behind him...which was great until I heard a thump from downstairs and found that he'd tried to get at the library window again. The thump was the stack of stuff I'm selling on eBay falling over, because of course it was. He doesn't seem to have done any damage to any of that, though frankly, I'd rather he tore all of that stuff up -- and some of it is pretty valuable -- than clawing or eating the house.

  • It just occurred to me that maybe I should douse that window frame in Bitter Apple. I think I have a bottle around here somewhere, though it's probably a decade old.

  • Some years back, I bought a pretty green padded bench with Queen Anne legs and rolled ends at a garage sale for $20. It has been in the library ever since, but last night, I sacrificed it to the cause of Getting Some Fucking Sleep and took it upstairs. I spread the blankie on it that came with Jack when I brought him home, and after the Library Incident, I called him upstairs and invited him to get up on it, which he did after I assured him that I actually meant it. He curled up and I got back into bed...and even though he eventually got down, he left me alone for the rest of the night. So much so, in fact, that it was nearly two hours after my normal time that I got up. So...a cautious huzzah?

  • I have eBay auctions ending around lunchtime; I finally hauled out a bunch of stuff that was left in my house over a decade ago and am selling it. I'm hoping that the auctions take off in the next few hours because Jack needs to have his teeth cleaned, and that's expensive because it involves anesthesia. Also, my property taxes will be due at the end of January, and that's going to be $1,200, and I have no idea where the money is going to come from. Oh, wait -- eBay auctions....

  • I do believe that I'm going to go make some chocolate chip pancakes.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am working 9-5 today, so I have a little bit of time this morning...and I should probably be putting it to a more productive use than nattering on LJ, but there you have it.

Jack was a little calmer overnight than he has been. He did still try to get in bed with me three times, but Mr. Spray Bottle convinced him that he really wanted to sleep on the floor. (It's not like there isn't an actual dog bed in the room, but he won't go near it.) I didn't have to kick him out, which is good, because I was too tired to get up and do it.

I still don't know what I'm going to do about going to the movie this weekend, though. I suppose I'll have to see about getting The Gecko to come down for a few hours. Ugh.

I spent a huge chunk of Saturday dealing with the fallen leaves in the yard. In the front, they were mostly from Mrs. T's maples across the street; they'd been blown up to catch against my fence, and when I raked them out for better mulching, they covered most of my side yard. The leaves from my own maple in the back were just as bad. I hope that it's the last time I'm going to need the mower this season because it has pretty much had the radish. I could've turned the blade faster with a hand crank at the end, but I kept going until it finally ran out of gas. The weird thing is that when it's just about to run out of gas, it starts running properly again, so I can get a couple of quick swipes with the blades at speed. Otherwise, it's put-put-put-put. I will take it to have someone look at it in the spring, but I will probably also buy another one. I am suddenly thinking about how nice it might be to have a self-propelled mower....

Yesterday, I took as a pajama day. The only times I left the house were to walk Jack. Mind you, I still worked for several hours: I got some stuff listed on eBay (and let me tell you, I had forgotten what a pain in the ass that is!) and started to reorganize my DVD collection. One of my birthday presents to myself was to buy some expensive DVD binders that look like antique books, and I started loading them up yesterday. I'm going to run out of books before I run out of movies, though, and I bought a dozen books. (And that's just the movies. I have a LOT of television on DVD, too, and several of those series -- Buffy, Angel, Star Trek, BSG, All Creatures Great and Small, The Tomorrow People (among others) -- are in big ugly Case Logic binders. So I got the first one loaded (with just movies whose titles start with numbers, As, and Bs), and was all excited to put it in place...and it didn't fit on the designated shelf. Goddammit! The binders are just a smidge too tall. I'm probably going to move my Nancy Drew/Tom Swift collection to the shelves where the DVDs are now and put the binders where the books were. It's a much bigger chore than I anticipated, and I wanted to have it done by T'giving, so I'm going to probably fill a binder or two an evening until it's done. Then I'll have to go back and update my database, which I haven't done in a couple of years, since I chucked out a huge number of VHS tapes that I'd made from television over the decades since I bought my first VCR.

The weather has been nice and sunny, but far chillier than I would like. It was in the high 40s on Saturday while I was out wrestling with the leaves. It was in the mid-50s yesterday, I guess, and will be again today, but that's still nowhere near warm enough for me. Still, it's not [yet] snowing, and breathing is not painful, so I guess I'm going to have to call it a win.

I saw the supposed supermoon last evening shortly after it rose and this morning as it was setting. It didn't look any larger to me than normal. I remember an evening when HTWIWM and I went camping in a pasture belonging to a friend of his. (He just wanted to sleep out of doors; if I hadn't been with him, he probably wouldn't have bothered with the tent.) Anyway, the pasture was at the top of a hill, and we were sitting outside watching the stars when the moon came up. It rose a huge, flaming orange, and seemed to take up half the sky. Now that was a supermoon. I can't remember exactly when it was, but the moon must have been at perigee then. It was gorgeous, in any case, and we watched it climb higher and higher and get paler and paler (and smaller and smaller). I love moonrise and moonset.

Right. I've nattered enough; time to go deal with my wet hair.

Sundayness

Nov. 6th, 2016 11:32 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I woke up at 4:00 a.m. this morning. I stayed in bed until the clock agreed with my head.

  • Jack was exceedingly bouncy this morning. I'm not sure what that was about, but I chased him around the backyard for a bit after we got back from walkies.

  • We were a touch late getting out for walkies, but it was daylight.

  • I have inventoried the crates of left-behind stuff from my upstairs closet and will slowly be listing it on eBay. Hope it sells; I need the cash.

  • I changed the air filter in the lawnmower. I always put it off as long as possible because it's a messy job that I absolutely loathe because it's a sponge filter that requires oiling before installation. As it was, I managed to spill oil in the breezeway and got oil on the casing. And then when I was ready to try it out, I spilled gas on the side of the gas tank and deck of the mower, so I'm not waiting for that to evaporate.

  • We enjoyed Doctor Strange last night, though my companions were glad to see it in 2D instead of 3D, as they both are prone to motion sickness and were reasonably certain that the SFX would have had them heaving in their seats. I was unbelievably pleased to recognize that one of the patients Strange refuses early in the movie was Rhodey, so this takes place at roughly the same time as CA:CW. Also, Strange might just as well be Stark, but with magic instead of tech. I need to see it again, preferably not in a seat in one of the side sections of the auditorium; that's not a problem in the back, but down near the front of the house, it does have a slight warping effect.

  • For those interested in such things, there are two credits scenes -- one mid-credits, one post-.

  • Benedict Cumberbatch needs to work on his US accent. He chewed the rs a little too hard -- though not as badly as Nicola Bryant used to do.

  • (I should talk about accents; the only one I can do is the Monty Python Old Lady accent, which hardly counts.

  • Jack apparently got anxious while I was gone last night; I found some very minor -- especially compared to what he usually does -- damage near the back door. Either he wasn't that nervous, or I got home in time, or the board I have there covering the hole where he tore the wall out deterred him. In any case, I stuff the small pieces of insulation back into the wall -- though I did do a thorough tour of inspection of the rest of the house. I guess I will be taking him with me when I take Kethri to her V-E-T appointment tomorrow evening.

  • I have crossed very few things off my do-list this weekend. Maybe I should think of it as my November do-list and just re-cross the things I do every week, like my chores.

  • I am looking forward to next weekend's three-day weekend, and two weeks after that, a four-day weekend.

  • I think I may post my AuthorQuest entry to AO3. It's not doing me any good just sitting on my hard drive. And the entry that won the contest was released this past summer.

  • The mower deck should be dry by now....

Miscellany

Nov. 5th, 2016 09:30 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • It's still early -- only quarter after 9:00 -- and I'm a little ahead of schedule this morning. Yay?

  • My over-the-wall neighbor at work is utterly useless. I've described her before as a shirker, and she is. And yet twice this week, I've heard her telling people absolutely wrong information about what will happen to their coverage if they're in a nursing home instead of passing the call to a nursing home worker. I've rolled my eyes so hard I had to chase them across the floor.

  • Yesterday turned into a gorgeous -- though chillier than I prefer -- day.

  • Today is supposed to be in the 50s and cloudy.

  • The oak tree in the backyard is nearly finished dropping leaves, but the maple has just gotten started, guaranteeing that I will be running the mower at least until the end of the month.

  • I need to change the air filter, I think. I hate changing the air filter.

  • Kethri has started using the litter boxes in the basement again. I was worried, at first, when I saw how little use the one upstairs was getting, then I saw that she was going into the basement again, and I was much relieved.

  • I am still not putting her food down there, though. I know that if it lingers too long in the kitchen, Jack will clean it up. (Dammit.)

  • I finally actually said something to The Gecko yesterday at lunchtime about the fridge. I had previously just been leaving her notes, because I dislike confrontation nearly as much as she does -- and I try to avoid interacting with her as much as possible -- but something just clicked yesterday. I opened the fridge to find that half of the milk I had left was gone, so I hooked the milk jug over my finger, went into the living room and woke her up. As soon as she saw the milk jug, she mumbled an apology, and I very calmly, without raising my voice in the slightest said that I had told her before to stay out of the fridge and that there was nothing in there for her. Then I turned around and walked away. I heard her clicking on her laptop behind me, so I'm sure all of her little internet friends now know what a horrible person I am -- but so do all of my own little internet friends (sorry, guys!), so whatever. And shortly after that, she was asleep again. Good thing Jack doesn't require active company.

  • My sister, who still gets mail at my grandmother's house, so goes there a couple of times a week to check on the house and get the mail, told me yesterday that she had gone there at lunchtime on Wednesday and someone had put a Trump sign in Gram's lawn. She pulled it down in disgust and tossed it in the back with the garbage cans, and when she went yesterday to get her mail, the next-door neighbor had two Trump signs in his yard. She says that she didn't check to see if that was the one she threw out, but it's likely. We're not going to tell Grama -- she'd be horrified and disgusted. She has already voted by absentee ballot -- for Hillary.

  • I will probably tell MyAuntie, though, so she can be horrified and disgusted.

  • BFT, J1, and I are going to see the cheap matinee of Doctor Strange this afternoon. That gives me plenty of time to change the air filter in the mower and mow the leaves beforehand. Dammit.

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