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On Saturday, BFT and I took off for Buffalo(ish) in order to shop for books. Amazon is nice and all, but sometimes, you just have to fondle the books first. I drove, and it seemed to me that there was a lot more traffic on the road than is usual, but I suppose it was people out doing their last-minute back-to-school shopping. We got there around 11:00, and went straight to the bookstore. We had decided on the way up not to bother with Pier 1 this time, and that's normally our first stop. We spent an hour or so browsing and filling baskets, then checked out and headed over to the Olive Garden for lunch.
We started back home around 1:30, and I complained about how nice the weather was -- if I'd known it was going to stay that nice, I'd've done my laundry and hung it out before we left. BFT wisely pointed out that I didn't know what it was doing at home, and it turned out she was correct; the weather was much different to the south; we drove into overcast in Springville, and shortly after that, we drove into rain.

I mention the weather partly because the van was quite warm when we got back into it after lunch, so I turned on the fan to move some air around. It was still relatively cool outside, so I thought that would be enough, but it wasn't, so BFT switched it to a/c, and we drove along with the a/c on low. And then...when we got to Springville, the car bonged at me -- which I have to say frightens the life out of me -- and the temperature idiot light came on. I pulled right over, and BFT switched off the a/c. The idiot light went out, but the engine temperature remained at the 3/4 mark on the dial the rest of the trip home. BFT advised me to not to go my regular garage, but to take it to a place across town where she goes. I may do that. I'll have to arrange with someone to meet me there and take me on in to work, but I'm sure I can convince my sister to do that.

In any case, it was fine driving around town yesterday; I ran out to get groceries and to see about a new space heater, because even I draw the line at turning the furnace on during the first week of September. I have one of those large radiator-style space heaters, and it has always worked just fine, but I've had it since I was a teenager, so it's about thirty years old, and it makes me a little nervous to use it. I've always been very careful of it, and it's never even been so much as tipped over, let alone bashed about. It's probably fine, but....

I may end up turning the furnace on, though, because while it's going to be 80° and gorgeous today, it's supposed to start raining again tonight and be chilly and damp for the rest of the week.

The weather also concerns me because of the kittens under the ramp. I don't know how dry it stays under there, but I know that the eaves run off onto the high end of the ramp (because I don't have a ladder tall enough to get up there and clean them out, so they're blocked; there are weeds growing up there). I have started leaving food out for Mama (and I suspect it is probably the same mother cat as before), but only in the mornings, and only as much as I would give to Kethri. I have seen her wolfing it (if you'll pardon the expression) the last couple of mornings. This morning, she also loafed on the ramp in the sun for a bit before going back underneath to attend to her kittens.

I have so much stuff to do, and don't know that any of it is going to get done today. Since this is the last nice day for the forseeable future, I may simply say, "fuck it all," and go sit on the patio (thus terrorizing Mama) with a book this afternoon. I should mow, but I'll be hanging laundry out, and can't mow under the laundry lines. There are the other three quadrants I could mow, but fuck them too.

Yesterday, I put together some new shelves for my bedroom. They're cheap white cubbyhole shelves, the sort that you see baskets randomly shoved into, that are put together with dowels and long screws. While putting together the first one, I tried to turn it on its side so I could more easily attach whatever side I was working on, but the center structure wasn't yet secure enough to hold. The dowels snapped and the shelf fell out. It turned out all right, though, as the wider/taller space (I turned the shelves on their sides and stacked them) in the center left room for my Italy photo albums which I have always kept in my bedroom (for no particular reason other than I had space there; my other travel albums are in other parts of the house). Plus that extra space really makes the whole thing much more interesting visually. It looks like it was done on purpose. I like it.

And having extra bookshelf space never hurts....
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Yesterday was the day that BFT and I scheduled our Get Outta Dodge For Valentine's Day trip to Buffalo(ish), and it was a gorgeous day for the drive. The temps reached into the mid-50s and it was sunny and clear. It was weird crossing through ski-country and seeing all the snow still left there while the sun was so bright and the air was so warm. There were even skiers on the slopes, and it took forever to get through the main intersection in Ellicottville. We need to learn some of the side streets down there, so as to avoid the charming little downtown.

We made our usual stops: Pier 1 Imports, The Olive Garden, and Barnes & Noble. I did buy a few things at Pier 1: some purple, lace-edged napkins that were on clearance that will make grand standcovers in my living room (which is painted green, and I love the combination of green and purple), a meditating dog statue that I have been eyeing for years for MyAuntie (which will get hauled out there when I visit in July, possibly as her birthday present), a wreath-holder for my cubicle because wreath-holders make excellent coat hangers. Today, I may also order a tray and mug for BFT because she saw them and liked them but felt that she couldn't justify purchasing them for herself (she bought gifts for her mother instead). Her birthday is coming up in a couple of months....

We had lunch at the Olive Garden, so I finally got to use the gift card I got for my birthday...so I got an extra dessert to bring home, because why not? I'd been curious about the zeppoli, but I also really wanted some Black Tie Mousse Cake, so I got the latter for lunch and the former for later.

And then the Main Event: The book store, yay! We were there for at least an hour and we both came out with a basketful of books, though I also bought a pair of reading glasses, some pretty little Eiffel Tower notecards, and a teeny tiny huge-eyed dalmatian beeny-baby which I will mail to MyAuntie probably later this week.

It was a nice day. The only problem was that we got back into town about half an hour before my brother was due to pick up his spawn, so I had to interact with her. And she was having back pain -- apparently she hurt herself somehow, badly enough that when she walked out, she was actually crooked. She says she's done it before, though, and she didn't do it at my house, so I guess it's all good, though she hadn't had any ibuprofen or anything since 8:00 a.m., which unless she was taking the prescription-strength stuff, is a little too long, and I can understand why she hurt.

We also talked about next year's trip. Apparently BFT and J1 have also done quite a bit of talking about it because they've already decided that we'll do four or five days in England and four or five days in Scotland, and she mentioned a tour of Skye that is limited to about four people and would be perfect for us. I mentioned that I really wanted to go back to Stonehenge and that we would definitely have to go to Glastonbury, and those are already on the itinerary. I would kind of like to hit some museums in London, too, but we'll see. Everybody also wants to go to Avebury with more time before the sidewalks roll up for the evening, and we both decided that we needed to get in better shape so that we can walk at least some of the circle. So right now, it looks like we're going to fly into London and fly home from Edinburgh and J2 will be doing a lot of driving.... (And, of course, everyone wants to meet up with [personal profile] silme, too.)

The plan for today...is to do not much. I have some writing to do (and I have to decide whether I'm going to write another Sal Alarra snippet for this week's LJ Idol or take a bye (free pass) for this week), and the kitchen needs a bit of polish, but otherwise, I have no firm plans. I actually had a whole do-list for my four-day weekend, but didn't do any of it and don't really feel bad about that.

I think I'll start with the Sal Alarra bit and if it doesn't work out, toss it without feeling the least bit guilty and go watch a movie or read a book. I have a bunch, after all.
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Turns out last night wasn't a great one for sleep, either. Woke up in the middle of the night with acid in my throat, but was at the same time too asleep to go downstairs and get an antacid tablet. So I ended up not quite sleeping for the rest of the night slightly propped up on pillows. Eventually, it all went away again and I was able to get back to sleep...in time for the alarm to go off, yay.

And then it turned out to be Valentine's Day.

I hate Valentine's Day. Not a big surprise, right? My last Valentine's Day as a married person was passed in silence. HTWIWM had just returned from his nine-month sabatical with the Twinkie the weekend before, and I thought it wouldn't be fair to try to celebrate what I saw as my triumph when he probably still had feelings for her. So basically, I was being an adult about things. And see how far that got me -- by the time our anniversary rolled around that year, I was divorced.

Anyway. Used to be that BFT and I -- as single women who hated Valentine's Day -- would take the opportunity to Get The Hell Outta Dodge, but the last time we did that, we came home in a blizzard and followed a Very Nervous Woman down Route 219 -- which is, in part, quite twisty and hilly. She didn't go above 35 mph for a large chunk of it, and she rode her brakes almost the entire time. Granted, the weather was bad, but it wasn't quite that bad. And she was, as I recall, from Ontario, too. (Quite a few Ontario people come down to that part of the county for the skiing.)

After that night, though, we haven't gone in years. This year, we're going, but not until this coming weekend. And according to the weather seers, it should be 50°, so the chances of following a nervous Ontarian through a blizzard are...less than they might be.

Remember how I said I wasn't going to obsess about Emergency! any more? Yeah. Turned out that I just wasn't going to talk about it. (It actually makes a good thing to watch when I'm on my treadmill because generally by the time I finish, they're at the end of a rescue and it's a good stopping place.) I found out that there was a cross-over episode with another show from the same producers called Sierra about park rangers. For some odd reason, the LA County Fire Department decided to do cross-training with the park rangers and sent Johnny and Roy out to Learn Some Stuff. (Maybe that's where they picked up the rock climbing that they used in a later episode.) Anyway. I found the episode on YouTube last night. It was...like watching an impressionist painting come to life. Not good quality. Just good enough that you could tell from the general shapes what was going on, but mostly couldn't make out faces. The sound wasn't too bad, though. It was obviously someone's tape of a tape of a tape, complete with bad tracking marks.

I've been to that party before. I used to get tapes of tapes of tapes of The Tomorrow People (the original) long before DVDs arrived on the scene. I mean DVDs in general, not just DVDs of the series.

Bleah. Not looking forward to going to work today. I have a whole bunch of stuff I actually can't work on because I'm waiting for AVS to bake. I suppose I will go back to pulling out my 800 MA-SSI cases case by case by case to make sure that they're correct -- right case type for the recipient's SSI pay status, right address (so far as we know), make sure that any status changes have actually been noted in the case -- because the community workers, when they were doing these cases for two years, often thought that it was all automatic and that there wasn't anything they actually needed to do with them. Really? Really, guys? I gave you a pretty complete run-down on what needed to be done for each kind of change, and you still thought you didn't have to do anything? Really?

Makes me cranky.

Maybe I'll get a muffin on the way to work; I think Dunkin' still has the triple chocolate ones. And if that's the case, I need to get moving.
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Now that the clocks have been turned back, I am finding I have little trouble getting up at 5:00 a.m. -- whether I want to or not -- so I have been up since a little after 5:00. It is now just before 9:00. Normally by now on a Saturday, I have been out to the stores and foraged for my week's groceries. This morning...I just didn't feel like it. Besides, I have milk and bread and cheese and dog food, so I'm good. (Plus, I'm just about flat broke.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, well. That's our shopping trips for this year. We probably won't go again until BFT's birthday in May.
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I didn't get the house sufficiently cooled the night before last -- not my fault; the air just wasn't moving -- so it got up to 80° in here by yesterday evening. Unfortunately, it didn't get cooler than that outside until just about sunset, so I couldn't open the house up to begin the process of cooling it down until after sunset. So it is still 77° in here this morning. I have the exhaust fan going upstairs to draw air through the house and I have an intake fan going at the back-back door (not the back door in the laundry room, but the one in the addition) to draw cool air in.

Reader, it's not working, and it's really quite warm in here.

According to the weather wiseacres, it's supposed to be 79° today, so there's little point in closing the house up at all today. Though since I have an appointment at the hair salon that will take me out of the house for a couple of hours, I'll have to close it up to keep Jack from attempting egress through a screen.

Of course the weather wiseacres also said it was supposed to be less humid today and dry, and so far, there ain't been none of that!

In other news, I ordered a dress from TravelSmith for the cruise. At some point between my getting back from walkies with Jack last night, and going for walkies this morning at 6:00 a.m., it was delivered. There was a hollow boom in the house at 9:45 last evening, and I'm wondering if the package was accidentally delivered to a neighbor who delivered it way late. I didn't think my breezeway door made so much noise, but I suppose it could if someone closed it over-enthusiastically.

In any case, the dress will have to go back. It was described as a maxi-dress, and it is definitely that. It was mid-calf length on the model, but she must be six inches taller than I am, because the only way I could wear this without tripping on it would be to wear heels. And I don't wear heels. Ever. The thing doesn't just brush the tops of my feet, it lies on the tops of my feet and hangs over the sides. It's ridiculous, and I don't have the time or inclination to attempt to hem it. So back it goes, and I think I may send the cardigan that I bought to go with it, too, as the sleeves on that hang three inches below my fingertips.

Nice fabric, though, and I'm sure it would pack well.

Right. Time to go get some groceries....
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I am hesitant to do so, but I think it's time to shut off the fans (one pulling cool air into the house and one expelling hot air) and close up the house in an attempt to keep the coolth inside. There isn't as much coolth as I had hoped. It did get cool overnight, but it's still humid, so the air didn't move as much as I would have preferred. With the exhaust fan running, I got the temperature in here down from 82.5° to 75°. When I set up the intake fan, I got the temperature down another degree, but I think that's all I'm really going to manage. It's just after 8:30 and it's going to start getting warmer outside than not, and I don't want to get to the point where I'm prematurely reheating the house -- even though I'm not going to be here for much of the day.

BFT and I have coupons from Barnes & Noble, so we're headed for Not-Quite-Buffalo for lunch and to hit the bookstore. She should be picking me up in another forty-five minutes or so. The plan is not to do any other shopping, so far as I know, so we should be back around late afternoon. Niece (i. e., Bird's daughter) is coming to Jack-sit...and also to pick up her box of books.

I counted them this morning. I went through my box of culls this morning and added a few more for her, bringing the total I have for her up to 64. She will be over the moon. I hope she enjoys them. They won't be going to Maryland with her, though; they'll be living at her mom's house. Which is fine; if they went home with her, they'd probably be confiscated, anyway (at some point, her stepmother turned into a Bible-thumping fundie). She has to leave next weekend, so I doubt very much that she'll get through more than three or four of them before she does. That'll give her something to do when she comes back for her monthly weekend visit with Mama.

Right. Time to take care of laundry and wash dishes....

Edit: And this didn't post the other morning because I was having computer difficulties. So I'll post it now....
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There was a shooting here yesterday afternoon. Well, not here. Uptown at the courthouse. I know it's been all over the news because when MyAuntie talked to Gram last night, the first thing she asked was about it. Auntie was kind of hoping that it wouldn't make the national news, but of course it did. Anyway. Apparently what happened is that a prisoner being moved from a jail cell to a courtroom got hold of a deputy's gun and started shooting. The deputy is in the hospital, as is another person. Two bailiffs and the shooter were killed. I see that they've released their names this morning; they hadn't last night. That'll make Gram happy -- she was obsessing about not having enough details last night.

I also learned this morning that my office building was evacuated last Friday morning for a couple of hours because of a suspicious package (which turned out to be misplaced mail). When I saw the headline, I was confused because I was there on Friday and certainly didn't remember being evacuated, but then I remembered that I actually had a doctor appointment Friday morning and then took an extra hour to get a start on packing, and by the time I went in, the building had been cleared. Funny that no one mentioned it.

Anyway. Yesterday, we were planning to go uptown early to take the dogs to the Dog Bakery, but the guy that MyNuncle is working with on a software project called and didn't let him off the phone until almost noon. MyAuntie and I ended up taking the dogs for a quick walk by ourselves around 11:00 before it got to be too terribly hot.

Saturday when I got here, it was lovely, but it has been getting steadily hotter. It was 90° yesterday and extremely humid. My aunt and uncle have air conditioning, which I normally can't stand, but for which I was very happy last evening. The back part of the house gets especially warm because they leave the back door open so the dogs can come and go as they please. (And that also explains why I just had a mosquito try to bite my freakin' eye. Little bitch is dead now. (No, I did not squish her into my eye. Ugh.))

Anyway. There is a huge rummage sale to benefit a private school and we went out there yesterday afternoon. I spent nearly $20 on books and some bracelets, and Auntie spent nearly $20 on books for Grama. It occurred to me this morning that I want to go back out there to clean out their Sci Fi books (they had most of the Darkover books, a good chunk of Piers Anthony, and lots of other good stuff) for Niece. She is going to be 16 this year, so I think she is finally old enough for Darkover and Xanth and Earthsea. Well, I think Earthsea is YA, anyway, but....

Nuncle is already on the phone with the Software Guy. Auntie isn't up yet, but probably will be soon, as it is just after 9:00. I've been up for two hours, and will probably switch from noodling on my laptop to reading on my tablet. I finished Season 1 of Shadow Unit yesterday evening, other than the last few deleted scenes. I will probably start Season 2 today. I did bring a book to read, but probably will stick with Shadow Unit.

I'm not certain what our plan is for today. We would still like to take the dogs up to Fuzzy Butz, but I see that there's going to be some sort of memorial walk for the bailiffs that were killed yesterday, so getting uptown might be problematic. Maybe we'll do stuff in the opposite direction, like going back to the rummage sale or out to the used book store. (I never buy a lot there; they have terrible prices for used books.)

It's supposed to be hot again today. I let my hair air-dry yesterday (which meant it was still slightly damp at bedtime), and I straightened it this morning because even if it's hotter than sin out there, if my hair is straight, it somehow feels cooler....

Vacay!

Jul. 10th, 2016 09:24 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, here I am at my desk away from home: the far end of my aunt and uncle's dining room table. I am about to have to go scrounge up an adapter for the outlet under the table so I can plug in my laptop. (I'm not certain when this house was built, but all of the outlets are for two-pronged cords.) Hopefully, MyAuntie will be appearing soon (she's always the last to get up in the morning), so that I don't have to disturb MyNuncle down in his Evil Computer Genius Lair...though I did disturb him once this morning when I took Jack down to investigate.

After spending Friday evening in a sweaty, sweaty swivet (it was so humid; I was just going to rewear Friday's clothes for the trip, but I got so disgustingly sweaty that I had to rethink that) getting packed and ready to leave first thing Saturday morning, I managed to get out only seven minutes behind schedule, and made it here by 1:00 p.m. Not too bad. It is an eight-hour trip, but I always delude myself into thinking it's only seven, and that it's the two stops (for no longer than twenty minutes each) that make it so much longer. We did only stop twice, at the usual places (the first and last rest stops in Ohio; interestingly, on the way home, I sometimes stop three times; by the time I hit Ohio, I generally need to stop, then I have to get gas before hitting Cleveland, then I stop just outside Erie).

The trip was relatively easy; traffic wasn't too bad, and it occurred to me after I got here that they have finally finished the couple of long-term reconstruction projects between Erie and Cleveland; I had sailed through without even noticing. There was, of course, construction; there always is. And, in fact, a new project started on Thursday (according to the signs) around South Bend which is where I exit 90.

Jack was wonderfully behaved the whole trip. He got up onto his seat and pretty much stayed there. He did get a bit restless around the time we crossed into Indiana, but I promised him that we were nearly here and he settled down again. (Though, in fact, we still had a couple of hours to go.)

We arrived at 1:00 p.m. (almost precisely), and the first thing Jack did was go looking for Wishbone, who died in February. Ah, well. Jesse was enthusiastic about having another dog in the house and they settled right in with one another so well that we weren't in the last nervous about leaving them in the house to go uptown to the art show -- the whole reason I always pick this weekend to come out here.

The art show is held in the park on the bluff overlooking the lake. The park is half a mile long, and the sidewalk is lined with artists. Where the sidewalk splits at one end of the park, there are artists on both sides of both tines. It's fabulous, and it can be almost as much fun just watching the people, as seeing the art.

I've already spent Entirely Too Much Money -- half of the cash I brought went to tolls and art. There was an artist with wonderful Indian-styled art from whom I bought two small prints (a mandala in purple and gold and a phoenix in flame colors; they will look surprisingly nice paired in black frames). I also bought a 3-D print of Mr. Eiffel's Tower from an artist who is actually from Rochester (NY, not MN or wherever the other one is), only two hours from me. "Western New York, represent," I said to him. It was a little pricey at $60, but for the work...not so much. He takes the photographs, then cuts them out and layers them into 3-D images. It's gorgeous work.

Speaking of Mr. Eiffel's Tower, I sent MyNuncle a copy of one of my own photos for his birthday last September...and apparently I framed it upside down without realizing it. So it is displayed that way. They thought it was funny. Well...so do I, really. The photo I bought is from pretty much the same spot, as near as I can tell.

It turned into a beautiful day on the bluff yesterday. It was cloudy when we got there, but it was also just on the border between breezy and windy and the clouds blew through and it became sunny. The temp was in the low 70s (I actually wore a jacket and I'm glad I did). There was surf breaking on the pier, and MyAuntie looked at the lake and said, "It's a rip current day." And then we got home later and the news said the same thing.

Last night, we didn't even walk the dogs because everyone's feet were hurting -- which will probably mean extra-long walkies this afternoon after lunch and before we go back uptown.

Today's plan is to go back up to the bluff and try to catch a band concert, either this afternoon or this evening. I'm not especially keen on that; I'm expecting that no matter how talented they are, they'll be playing music I don't care for. Ah, well. I'll take my camera.
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I took Thursday off from work because I had to drive to Rochester for a mammogram, which I think I mentioned on Thursday morning. The trip was pretty stress-free (I was on time even though I had to stop halfway, and didn't miss the exit), and the exam came out okay. They didn't insist that I stay for an ultrasound, but did suggest that I have one as a matter of course next year due to density issues. (My density has popped me to you.)

Sometimes, after my appointment, I go shopping. Sometimes, I just come straight back home. Thursday, I decided to at least stop at Pier 1 because I had $20 in rewards certificates to use, and even though they'll take them after they're expired and there's a Pier 1 right by my aunt and uncle's place (we will stop there, in fact, on one of our Shopping Days), I felt like stopping, and no left turns were involved, so I stopped. I was so pleased that I did because they had in stock collage frames to match one that I purchased in Buffalo last year. I had loaded it with Paris photos and wanted a matching one to load with London photos. Or even Italy photos because I still haven't hung any of those. Anyway, I went through every frame on their website and they didn't have it in stock, anymore. It was still marked at the regular price, but I got one, anyway. And then when I got to the register, it rang in for $17, which is something like 85% off the original price...so I got their remaining one, too. So now I have one for London and Italy (probably one photo per city). I was so pleased with myself for stopping, because I had considered just coming straight home and mowing the lawn. Anyway, I picked up a few other things that I wanted, and with the deep sales they were having and my reward coupons, the whole order came to just about the regular price of one of the frames. So, yeah, pretty pleased with myself (even though I shouldn't be spending any money at all).

So Thursday was good.

Friday...less so.

Jack was really upset with me on Friday because when I came downstairs, I skipped our morning ritual (when I give him skritches for a couple of minutes while fur flies all over my living room), and ran straight to the laundry room because as soon as I got downstairs, I heard this loud hissing noise. My first thought was the gas line to the dryer, but it turned out to be water under pressure -- you know how it hisses, instead of trickling or running or gurgling. I couldn't find anything wrong in the laundry room, though, so I went down into the basement...yikes, what a mess.

I had noticed, on my way through the living room that some cat had pooed on the throw rug in the living room, and when I went downstairs, I found out why: the litter boxes were flooded because something was leaking and water was sheeting down the basement wall and into the litter boxes...and beyond, since they were full. Which...ugh.

I got the cold water valve turned off, but the hot water valve was corroded. I didn't want to turn the water off at the main house valve because I hadn't even been to the bathroom, yet, so the water continued to run for a couple of hours until I could get hold of my parents. (Yes, the same ones that I complain about constantly. Though it's really just my mother. My dad is okay.) They came down around 7:30 (water still running) and Dad got the corroded valve to turn (fortunately, we found the tools in the toolbox that Grama had given me after Grampa died), but it didn't shut the water off, so we did end up shutting off the water to the house. And let me tell you, you never think about how much water you use and where until you don't have it.

I had already called in to work, but then Mom said that since the immediate problem was taken care of, they needed to hit some garage sales and Dad would be back in a couple of hours to fix the problem, which turned out to be an abraded washer hose. Because the valves were in the basement, hoses ran through the floor, and one of them had rubbed against the edges of the hole and kaplooeyhisswetwetwetflood.

Now my mother's time sense is something like Football Time or SCA Time -- if she says "a couple of hours," you can bet she means "around noon, if you're lucky." My sister had already taken the day off to come be moral support, so I had her sit with Jack while I got dressed and went to work for a couple of hours because I had a meeting that morning that wasn't necessarily earth-shattering, but which had been hell on wheels to schedule, and I didn't want to have to attempt to reschedule it. So I worked for two hours, then came back home, and my dad didn't show up for another half hour or so -- just as expected. (I went got to work at 10:15 and left at 12:15.)

Anyway. To make a long story slightly longer, we decided to extend the water pipes above the floor into the laundry room. HTWIWM had left them in the basement because he always wanted the washer and dryer in the basement. Either in the basement or in the upstairs bathroom (and we all know how that story goes). My father used to work at the water filtration plant in town, so he knows plumbing (because there's no way in hell that they'd've hired a plumber to fix anything). I had to buy the parts (which is why I left work instead of just leaving him to it), but I also helped install them (mostly holding the light and extra hands), so I learned a few things.

And right now, my second load of laundry is running, and so far -- knock wood -- things are holding.... But now I've got a full load of filthy rags hanging on the laundry line -- I took them straight from the basement and hung them up sopping wet rather than trying to wring them out -- and I don't want to run them through my washer, so I'm actually contemplating throwing almost my entire supply of rags (old towels, all) away. I suppose I could wash them out by hand in the backyard, then hang them back up to dry. That might be the best thing to do.

The rest of the weekend has been far less exciting: yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the day finishing (more or less) the clean up of the basement and working on getting garage sale stuff around. Today, I have a writing project to finish up, then I'm meeting The Girls this afternoon to see Independence Day: Resurgence. They had better not have screwed this sequel up because ID4 is one of my favorite movies, and the one I always turn to when I'm really depressed.
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BFT had a really, really, really bad week last week, and asked if we could go out of town this weekend. Her birthday is next week, and while we always go out of town shopping for our birthdays, our original plan was for her shopping trip to be the weekend after next as she has other plans for this coming weekend. I really didn't have the money for a trip north, but agreed that we should go (because I've been getting a little cabin feverish also). So after I got my hairs fixed up Saturday morning, I picked her up and we headed straight out of town. We went to McKinley this time instead of to Erie (where we normally go for her birthday so she can visit the Eddie Bauer store in the mall), partially because we got started a little later than usual. In fact, we went right to lunch as soon as we got there instead of plundering Pier 1 first. When we were comfortably stuffed (or uncomfortably stuffed as the case may be), then we plundered Pier 1, and then we plundered the book store.

Ah, books.

We arrived home right around 4:15, and the Gecko was just being picked up, which was either good or bad timing on my part, depending on how you look at it.

Yesterday, I ran up to the local mall in the morning and came home with two huge bags of clothing, most of which will be going back. I don't like trying things on in the store, so I usually have to take things back. I did buy a replacement rain/cool (not cold) weather jacket, but when I got it home, I didn't like it so that'll be going back too. I found something that looks like a better replacement on the L. L. Bean website, but I think I'll check the local Redneck Emporium before I place an order.

Today, I made a last-minute decision to take the day off. I ran out this morning to pick up a few groceries, as I hadn't done that over the weekend (nor did I do laundry, so I have to get busy and load the washer shortly), but otherwise, I don't intend to go anywhere today. It was raining pretty hard earlier (when I walked Jack and when I went out to the store), but it has since stopped. I briefly contemplated trying to mow part of the lawn because it is now in desperate need, but then it got darker again, and I decided that it would wait.

In the last week, I have read three of SciFiGrl47's novel-length Avengers fics, and am now in a state about my lack of relationship...but even if I met someone today, I don't know that I would ever really trust anyone again. So there's that. Guess I'll just go along as I have been for the last several years....

I am also working myself up to having a garage sale in the next month or so (no need to hurry, as the weather still isn't great). I will be taking a hard look at my bookshelves and my jewelry box armoire and my closet. I am also contemplating just selling the drywall that has been stacked in the breezeway for at least a decade. Granted, it did come in handy to already have the stuff out there when I had my Drywall Days and got the walls back up in the bed- and living rooms, but I want my breezeway back. I certainly don't need that entire hoard to redo the upstairs bathroom, and if and when I decide to redo the addition, I can worry about new drywall for that then, though if I can figure out how to repair the broken pieces of panelling (HTWIWM broke it when trying to determine what the insulation behind it was like), I'll just paint them. And I'm hoping that I can just get away with patching the wall that Jack tore out in the laundry room, rather than having to take down the whole rest of the section and replace it.

Mostly, I'm just tired of still having all the crap that HTWIWM hoarded and still hanging onto it Just In Case....
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My brain decided that I needed to see 3:30 a.m. Or maybe my bladder decided it and my brain just tagged along for the ride. Either way, it meant that by 4:00 a.m., I was deciding which cases I was going to work on today. I did manage to fall back asleep enough to dream about stray cats, though.

The moon was setting when Jack and I went out for walkies. Big and yellow and nearly full. Full tonight, I should think...and yes, my calendar says full tonight.

It was a quiet weekend chez moi. I ran errands on Saturday, of course, but was done with those by midmorning. I did go to Jo-Ann's and spend rather more money than I should have on items in their new Paris-themed collection, but justified it by saying that I didn't bring any touristy souvenirs home and the tote bag and free wristlet qualify. As for the keychains, well, I am starting to collect interesting ones, and they make nice accents in my cubicle.

I didn't accomplish much of anything this weekend, though. Just my regular chores, really, and not even all of those -- I didn't vacuum, for instance. I did flip the mattress when I changed the bedding, and spent a couple of hours yesterday cooking, so....

Speaking of bedding, a while back, I ordered a comforter set from Zulily. King-size comforter, two throw pillows, two shams, and a bedskirt, for under $50. I was quite pleased with myself. It took about three weeks for them to get here, and when they did, I was really pleased. Loved the color(s) (reversible). And then I opened the package. The white side of the comforter (the side meant to be in) was soft and pretty. The purple side (meant to be out) was pretty, but not at all soft, and it rustled. It felt a bit like plastic, and I have to wonder if it was flame-retardant at all. It was like a sleeping bag, in fact, with a soft interior and nylon shell, and all of the purple fabric on the shams, throw pillows and bed skirt was the same. I was really disappointed. I won't be using it. Maybe I'll save it for my sister's wedding, since she's supposed to be marrying Number 5 this summer.

I started watching Space: 1999 yesterday; it's available on Hulu. The first episode is a bit slow, but the pace picks up some after that. When the show originally aired, I was...eight or so. Since I remember it in color, I must have seen it at my grandparents' house (we only had a black and white TV until I was about 13). I don't remember much about it other than it terrified me -- but then, so did Star Trek at that age. (Trivia: Martin Landau, who starred in Space: 1999 was almost cast as Spock in Star Trek...or so I recall reading somewhere.)

It's interesting watching TV shows from my childhood as an adult, especially seeing actors that I know from much later things. Ian McShane, for instance, was in one of the episodes I watched last night. I've never seen Lovejoy, but I've seen a lot of advertising for it, and I've seen him in a couple of other things. So I'm staring at this guy, trying to figure out why he looks so familiar, and it finally hits me right before his name comes up in the opening titles. "Surely that's not Ian Mc.... Okay. I guess it is, then."

I am currently reading Alan Dean Foster's novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's like watching the movie in slow motion with the dialogue being not quite right. I need to find my copy of Splinter of the Mind's Eye and re-read it. Talk about your alternate universes.... (In which Luke and Leia go off somewhere or other, crash land on a planet they've never been to, ride giant lily pads, and Luke meets Darth Vader in person. Oh, and Luke gets the girl. Yeah -- they weren't siblings, yet....)
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Merlin has spent the last twenty minutes circling my chair and meowdeling at me to get the fuck out of it so that he can have his morning snooze. (He swears like a sailor.) He jumped onto the chair back twice, with me dislodging him both times, and he has finally wandered off...no, wait, he has just wandered back and recommenced with the meowdeling. Tough. I'm busy, here.

I had intended to spend much of the weekend just relaxing, but instead, I found myself doing a lot of puttering yesterday. I went out for groceries, of course, then loaded Jack into the van and drove out to the V-E-T's office to pick up meds for the cats, then did laundry, brushed Jack (who didn't appreciate it), vacuumed, repaired plastic shopping bags (for walkies), reframed a couple of pieces of art that I've had for years¹, found a place for the extra shelves I had that hadn't fit the bookcase I recently bought (the replacements arrived last week and are snug, but do fit) and put them in place, and so on. Lots of small stuff, but at the end of the day, my dining room table is still covered with bits of art to be framed and put up. I've been saving things for so many years, and of course the things I really want to put up are awkward sizes, so I either have to figure out how to mat them or have them professionally framed, and that costs a fortune.

When I vacuumed I moved the chair in the living room for the first time in a while. I found the floor beneath covered in crumbs, and, oddly, the cotton ends of Q-Tips. Lots of them. I am not certain what she is doing with them -- unless she eats the sticks, which, frankly, wouldn't surprise me. They were unused for their normal purpose, at least. I am not pleased about the crumbs, though, especially as it will soon be ant season. I really need to sort things with Jack so that I can fire her. And out of a cannon would be nice.

I received an order from Zulily yesterday: a pair of book ends (sorely needed) and a decorative finial (not needed at all, but it appealed to me and it was cheap). The heavy-duty ceramic bookends were packed in their own separate box-within-the-shipping-box with lots of styrofoam padding. The finial was wrapped in a single layer of bubblewrap and laid in the shipping box next to the bookend box. The empty space was packed with air pillows, but at some point, about half of them had deflated, and the finial was smashed. I checked the return policy on the website to find that one had to have permission to make returns and one had to do it within fourteen days of the date of shipping (not receipt. Shipping.). Yesterday was the tenth day from shipping, and I emailed their customer service with some trepidation, expecting to be disappointed.

Instead, I heard back from them within two hours. They not only gave me a refund on the spot, but also gave me a $10 credit to the site, and also put me on a notification list in case the finial becomes available again. My flabber was well and truly gasted (to quote Harry Dresden (or maybe it was the other way around? Whatever.)). I am quite impressed -- and I don't have to make a trip to the post office.

Well...I do, actually, but that's because I have some things to mail to MyAuntie.

Right. I have delayed long enough. Time to go clean the kitchen....

Edit: I was just contemplating my tags. "I Need A House Elf," indeed. A house elf would keep Jack company during the day when I was at work....
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¹ Michael Whelan's cover art for The Snow Queen and The Summer Queen. I had thought that I had taken them from the pages of a copy of Spectrum that I bought ages ago, but when I turned the mats over to inspect the backs, it turned out that they were just snipped from the pages of Starlog. They've held up remarkably well for magazine pages, and don't look shoddy. I was surprised.
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My birthday celebration is finally over. BFT and I went to Not-Quite-Buffalo yesterday to go shopping and lunching; we go north for my birthday (in November) and west (in May) for hers. (Samhain and Beltaine, that's us.) I picked up a few things in Pier 1, including a collage picture frame that was on clearance. A lot of things caught my eye, but I was relatively restrained; usually, I spend entirely too much while I'm there, but yesterday, I only spent more than I should have. I do rather wish I'd picked up the two sari-fabric patchwork curtains, though, especially as I need to replace a pair of curtains in my office again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is also not eating; BFT suggested that perhaps he has a bad tooth, as he'll eat if I put something else on the food. I wonder if he'd let me peel his lips back and take a look....
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I am taking today off because I have to take Das Woofenwagen in for an alignment. Meanwhile, my sister, who has pretty much moved into Number Five's house across the border (to the point of taking all of Nick's supplies there), has to sit and wait for a dryer repairman, so there would be no companionship for Jack. Ergoipsofactoepluribusunum, as I don't want him tearing up Gram's house, and I don't want him tearing up my house, I am also taking the day off. I know Jack would be fine to be left for the morning. It's going back in the afternoon that worries me. If I weren't already having to go in late because of the alignment, I might just take the afternoon off.

We need more canine companionship around this place.

I should actually, come to think of it, probably try going to work and leaving him here alone to see how he does, because I can't keep taking time off. Which doesn't mean I'm going to give today up....

I have been looking at cell phones of late, after seeing how very useful a smartphone can be. I was just about set to stop by the Verizon store and sign up when I started reading the fine print and realized that no, it's not going to cost me $45 a month, it's going to cost more like $80 a month. No, thanks. So now, as much as I loathe WickedMart, I'm leaning toward Straight Talk, which is what my sister uses. If I'm reading things correctly, they use Verizon's network, anyway, and there seems to be better coverage for that around here.

My box from English Heritage arrived yesterday. My only major complaint is that they packed my slate keyring and my TeenyTinyTrilithon in the mug I got for MyNuncle -- leaving them to rattle around loose on an international voyage. When I picked up the mug and heard the noise, I thought for sure something had broken. I am pleased with the stuff I got, though, and now I have Xmas gifts for MyNuncle and my father -- that I didn't have to cart on to Paris and back. I was right about the sweatshirts, though. I bought the largest size they had, and it makes me a) look pregnant, and b) like I'm wearing my baby-daddy's clothing. Maybe I'll send it to MyNuncle. Maybe I'll send it to MyAuntie; she could wear it for a dress.

It was a good mail day: I also got a postcard from [personal profile] silme and a Dirk Gently DVD from Acorn, which is (or was, anyway) running their $10 DVD sale. This is also how I acquired Children of the Stones.
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It's too early for anything. I am so tired this morning. I am definitely not going in early. I may not even stay late.

I wanted to just watch ridiculous movies last night, but couldn't find one. So I started watching the last series of Doctor Who instead.

I am thinking that I am finally going to give in and get a proper cell phone. I saw how useful my friends' smartphones were while we were on our trip. (Which is the same reason I got a tablet; I saw how useful one was on the trip to Montreal.) Maybe I'll even sign up for Twitter. (For which I know you don't need a phone anymore, but when it was first getting started, you did.)

...and now I need to go see what the cat is doing, because that sound was definitely a cat where a cat shouldn't be.

Unless it was a bat, of course, but there isn't enough commotion for that....
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Yesterday's trip to Erie was a lot of fun, though disappointing in spots (for more, see earlier post). I picked BFT up a bit early, before I dropped Jack off at Gram's house, so she got to coo over how cute he is (and, indeed, posted a photo to FB before we even got to Gram's). The weather was okay for driving, though it was cold. Since we got out of town about half an hour later than planned, we decided to have lunch first, then go to the bookstore. Normally, we hit the bookstore first to really work up a good hunger, then we walk uphill a bit to get to the Olive Garden that's two doors up from the bookstore.

Getting lunch first wasn't a bad idea, as the place filled up quickly. The waiter was ridiculously happy to be our waiter. I have to wonder if he's still that bouncy at the other end of his shift....

We acquired manymanymany books, then went across the highway to the mall. We really only intended to hit Sears and Eddie Bauer, so we parked outside the nearest Sears entrance, which proved to be perfect. Unfortunately, we weren't at the mall as long as we had planned, and had no other places we needed to go, so we were on the road home again by 2:30 in the afternoon, which is a record for us. We don't normally leave Erie until closer to 5:00 p.m.

I have to say, though, that traffic on Peach Street in Erie is ridiciulously intimidating. It's six lanes, and it was pretty much bumper to bumper. You get off I-90 and the land slopes downward toward Lake Erie. Which means that I pretty much didn't need my brakes to stop at the lights on the way back to 90. I don't like city traffic at all, and this was a bit nerve-wracking, because if you got in the wrong lane, you were pretty much stuck with it. Fortunately, we were okay.

I had hoped to spend the evening relaxing, but instead spent the entire evening making one last editing pass on my Rarely Written entry, before posting it at 10:00 p.m. Ouch.

And so, I had hoped to spend all day today doing Not Much, but I have already been out for groceries, and I have to balance my checkbook and write checks, then balance Gram's checkbook and write checks, then do the dishes and the laundry. (Actually, I should probably go get the laundry started.) I should also vacuum and probably brush Jack, but I rather think those activities are going to go on the FukkitI'lldoitlater list. And just about the time I surface from the library desk (which is where the Financial Stuff happens), my parents will probably barge in unannounced and stay for two hours, like they did last week. Last week, in fact, they barged in around dinner time, and when the timer went off on my dinner, they still didn't leave for half an hour. I find it annoying when they do that on a weekend, but goddammitall, Sunday is my time -- No Pants Time, as BFT says -- and I find it absolutely infuriating when they do it on Sundays. But if I'm short and rude with them, my mother just puts on her Minister Voice and says, "Do you feel all right? You act like you're going to cry."

I hate the Minister Voice.

I shouldn't have to leave my own house to get some peace and quiet....

Oh, look at the time. I've been rambling for Quite Long Enough.
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The cortisone shot definitely did not sort things in my foot. I peeled off the tape this morning (to find a lovely rash under it, yay!) and took Jack for a walk and, well, not a great deal of difference was felt by the time I got home, and now, an hour later. Still, I think maybe the custom orthotics are worth looking into.

I was in the kitchen waiting for an English muffin to pop up, and heard, over the sound of the stereo, mewing. A quick check revealed no cats nearby, so I looked out the back door to find one of the black cats plunked on the patio, looking at the breezeway door (or in that general direction, anyway). When I tapped on the glass, s/he look up at me; when I opened the door, s/he fled. Ye gods and little fishhooks, I hope I don't end up with little black kittens under the ramp. My mother suggested dropping mothballs under there; she said it would keep them out. What if there are already kittens under there, though? Would it make the mother move them?

I am annoyed with my mother this morning. I'm usually annoyed with my mother, but there's a certain level of background annoyance, and then there are little spikes, like this morning, when she informed me that she was planning to have a three-day garage sale at my house in mid-May during the citywide garage sale day weekend. "I know you were planning one, and I forgot to ask," she said, clearly expecting me to just say yes to whatever she wants.

Here's the thing: I was planning to have a garage sale on Garage Sale Day, yes. But I was planning to have it for about six hours, from first thing in the morning until about 2:00 in the afternoon. Then I was going to close up shop and go enjoy the rest of the weekend (or possibly do my Saturday chores). I was not planning to have my parents take over my house/lawn/garage for an entire weekend. And even if I said I was going to be away that weekend, or I was busy, my mother would still expect that I would open my house to them.

Here's the other thing: I will say yes, of course. It's the path of least resistance and least confrontation...and fewest guilt trips.

Merlin seems to be full of piss and vinegar this morning, but it's probably mostly because I'm sitting at my desk and he wants my chair.

I went shopping yesterday, sort of by accident. I only intended to go buy a pair of sneakers because they were on sale, but I ran into BFT, and when the two of us go through a store, devastation follows. I ended up with a different pair of shoes (not on sale), and a boatload of shirts and sweaters, some identical to pieces that BFT was also buying, which is amusing. I don't foresee us walking through Paris in identical outfits, though, as the stuff we purchased is easily rumpled and so I won't pack it, even if she does. Since I didn't try stuff on (other than the shoes), a bunch of it is going back, and I ended up ordering the sneakers I wanted from the store website (and, therefore, paying shipping, dammit). And we're still going shopping next weekend for BFT's birthday trip (well, okay, and we're starting to look at shoes and outfits for The Trip).

Right. Time to get on that RW project since it is now too late to back out....
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Yesterday's trip north was entertaining. BFT and I left town around 10:00 and got back around 3:00. Water fell from the sky for much of the day, which made seeing out my back window without the wiper interesting. I used the defroster a lot to dry it off.

While we were in B&N, I saw tons of stuff that I really wanted, but I only came away with a few books. No Doctor Who toys, though the rubber Weeping Angels amuse me enough that I might have bought one had they not been filthy. Apparently lots of people like to squish them and they either don't have plastic coverings on their packaging, or don't have it any longer. I did buy an anthology that had DW stories by famous people including Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.

What else? Oh, I got a couple of different little map books for Paris and London, and BFT got a couple of yet different ones, so we should be reasonably well-supplied with maps. J2 is our navigatrix, in any case. One of the books I picked up will probably be more useful than the other, as there are contextual pop-up maps, which have much bigger print on them that my all-Paris or all-London maps. I'm actually going to have to carry my reading glasses just so I can read my all-city maps.

I also picked up an anthology of the first three Mrs. Jeffries mysteries, and looked for the next set of Miss Fisher mysteries, but I was drawing a blank on Kerry Greenwood's surname. (I seem to be getting more into mysteries since reading Georgette Heyer's and the Aunt Dimity series.) I also picked up the latest Kate Daniels book and the third Baskerville Affair book (a steampunkish series in which the main character is Sherlock Holmes' niece). And since she was watching Jack on not her usual day, I picked up a book on drawing for the Gecko...who did not, as usual, thank me, and who will probably not even bother to open it. She's reasonably talented at drawing, so I thought it would appeal. I should just keep my efforts to myself, I guess.

Now, the reason that we went yesterday is that we had both received coupons in the mail and we both wanted to get the hell outta Dodge for a bit. I completely forgot to use my coupons. Completely. Forgot. I was turning onto my street after picking Jack up when I remembered them.

Of course.

So I felt completely stupid. I mean, I wouldn't have saved too terribly much more money, and I can still use them online, but the whole purpose of the jaunt was to use those coupons. And I had them with me, so it's not like I left them at home. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

At least I didn't buy a second copy of Good Omens or Thud. I was reasonably certain I had copies of both, and I do. So that's something, at least.
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Here's a few days' worth of stuff I've been meaning to post about, in no particular order:
  • My snowdrops popped right up as soon as the snow above them melted. I have seen them up as early as the end of January before. Not this year.

  • Jack got all excited about a cat loafing in someone's side yard the other morning while we were walking...and it turned out to be a basketball.

  • Merlin's chronic respiratory infection has resurfaced, so I picked up antibiotics for him a few days ago. I seem to have lost all ability to pill him. The first day I tried, it took four attempts, and I ended up scraping my finger on his tooth. (I'm pretty sure it was just clumsiness on my part, not biting on his.) Yesterday wasn't too bad, but today was awful, and I ended up not only hauling out the gushy fudz but also sacrificing a half-pill. In the end, I managed to pop a fresh one straight down his throat. Go figure.

  • I am not certain about my new washer and dryer. They work, yes, but...well, there's a bit of buyer remorse, there. The lint trap on the dryer is on top, and I don't like that. The one on the old dryer was just inside the door, and I much preferred that. The top ones feel to me like they're going to scrape the lint off into the machine when they're pulled out. The washer is high efficiency and has no agitator, and it just sounds all wrong. And it's nearly as enthusiastic about spinning as the old one was, so there's not as much difference as I had hoped for there. So, all in all, I'm not entirely enthusiastic.

  • And I'm betting that they won't last 17 years like the others.

  • I indulged myself in a new camera, which I think I mentioned. I am...not as impressed as I might be. The electronic viewfinder is awful, like looking through a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. And I really don't like having to rely on auto-focus. I have some photos from Italy that would be fabulous, if the auto-focus had caught the right thing.

  • The ice in the driveway is finally gone. In another week or so, if the temps keep up, I might be able to open my garage doors again!

  • There is still plenty of snow, though.

  • I really, really, really need a vacation. I now have enough vacation days for the trip, especially as I'll be going back to work the day after the day after we get back. Or possibly the day after, depending on when we get in from Toronto, though I don't expect that to be until relatively late. I may decide to go to Michigan in May, after all.

  • I decided earlier this week to take a quick bookstore trip this weekend, which means Buffalo, of course. I asked BFT if she wanted to go with me, and our plans were all set when I remembered that I'd have to get a sitter for Jack. It's hard not being able to just up and do something if I want. My sister is going to watch him for me. It's not going to be a long trip, as trips go: we're just getting lunch and going to Barnes & Noble, so we'll probably only be gone about five hours (three of which will be travel time). My sister was dismayed when I told her we were leaving at midmorning. She wasn't planning to be up that early. A coworker and I both scoffed, as we'll both be up before dawn, and I'll have gone for groceries and finished my chores before leaving.

  • The streetsweeper went up and down the streets in my neighborhood this afternoon. I was amused. The snow hasn't even all melted yet.

  • There are little earthen mounds running along the edges of everyone's property where the snowplows have gouged up and thrown sod and older layers of sand. That ought to make mowing entertaining.

  • Yeah, I'm already thinking about mowing, mostly because the snow has melted enough to reveal the leaves that didn't get mulched last fall because the Curse of the Lawnmower struck. I need to get the lawnmower repaired. On top of everything else.

  • Speaking of repairs.... The rear window wiper on the van needs to be fixed. The motor died, I think. And it's probably a dealer part. I have no experience with such things, so I hope one can just go to any dealer, and not the one from which one purchased the vehicle.

  • A coworker, when I said I was reading the Harry Potter series for about the fourth time, declared that she can stand to read books more than once. I...don't understand. (I've even read The Silmarillion multiple times.

  • Gah. I just balanced my checkbook and wrote checks (one of my normal Saturday chores, but I won't have time tomorrow), and it took me longer than expected because I had a check marked cleared that wasn't yet. I had to log into my bank's website, and then it forced me to change all my security stuff before it would let me access my account -- probably because I do so so very rarely. Still, I hate having to make up a new password on the spot.

  • One of the problems with listening to Morning Edition from first thing in the morning on is that by the time I'm driving to work, they're starting to repeat stories. Which is great if I missed part of X because I was washing my face and had water running, but not so great if Y made me want to throw something at the radio. Fortunately, the off button is a lot closer in the car than it is in the house....

  • And that, I think, is that.

Happy 2015

Jan. 1st, 2015 11:00 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
My Christmas present to myself arrived yesterday: a new tablet. (Galaxy Tab 4, 10.1 inch. I have wanted once since the Montreal trip; J2 was carring a Galaxy NoLaste and I thought it was the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.) I had some money from Grama, and some points at Amazon, and I bought the scratch-and-dent one, so even though the price went up $20 from the time I looked at it in the morning of one day until I finally nerved myself up to actually order it the following morning, I got it for a significantly good price. Which is...good. Good price is good.

I have spent a chunk of the morning getting it set up, and I am going cross-eyed (and cross!) from reading EULAs. I eventually stopped reading and just starting skimming. They all say pretty much the same thing, anyway.

Now, however, I have switched to my laptop, as I have some writing I want to do (including this post).

My New Year's Eve celebration consisted of sitting on the couch wrapped in a blankie and watching "The Voyage of the Damned" (Doctor Who) on DVD. When that finished, rather than watch another episode, I read for an hour or so. I am currently reading As You Wish, Cary Elwes' memoir on the making of The Princess Bride. It is entertaining.

Since I went to bed at the usual time (I can't see any point in staying up just to say that I stayed up), I was up at roughly the usual time this morning. Okay, I admit it. I stayed in bed an extra 40 minutes. I was still up before 6:00 a.m. and out for walkies with Jack by 6:30. It was a very dark morning, as there isn't much snow on the ground, and the cloud cover was thin -- nonexistent in some places! (What will we do without the comforting clouds?) It was also quite quiet. It seemed as though we were the only ones awake, at least until we got closer to the main road and saw a car. Yup. Just one. By the time we turned around, the sky was starting to brighten in the east, and it occurred to me that except for the radio station's tower, the front lawn of the university would be a good place for sunrise photos. Not that I'm going to make any happen. This morning would also have been a good time for sunrise photos on the overlook south of town, as the rising sun was also painting the clouds to the west. Also? Last night was a perfect sunset night...of course. Because I'd considered going up to the overlook and ruled it out.

I'm not quite certain what to do with the day, frankly. I don't have day care arranged. I had considered taking Jack to campus and maybe taking some TeenyTinyTARDIS photos, but it's still only in the teens out there, and having Jack trying to snuffle things is not really conducive to taking photos. I could leave him in the van, of course, but there are a lot of places I'd like to take photos that would be out of sight of the van, so that seems like a bad plan.

Wrapping up in a blankie and watching moves all day is beginning to sound quite appealing, actually. I've been on vacation for a week, now, and haven't really had a chance to actually, properly relax....

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