Vacating

Jul. 10th, 2017 05:37 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
So...last week turned out to be a Very Busy Week, Indeed, even with Tuesday off. I spent days teaching the new girl at work. She is smart and a good student. Bonus: she was looking forward to working with me, because she thinks I'm a good teacher. (I also trained her for the other portion of our caseload.) So...bit of an ego boost there.

In the evenings, I was getting things organized at home in order to leave for my vacation. I spent all night Thursday getting my suitcase packed, among other things, then spent a large portion of Friday night loading the car so that Saturday, all I really had to do was get the dog's stuff into the van, walk the dog, brush my teeth, and get on the road. As it was, I was awake at 3:00 and managed to stay in bed until 3:30. The alarm was set for 4:00. I still only just managed to be on the road by 5:00 a.m.

The trip out wasn't too bad. There was rain close to home; as I was going over the Chautauqua Ridge, there was a godawful deluge -- I wasn't sure whether I was going to have to pull over or not. It rained so hard that it completely scoured the bug guts off my windshield. Getting around Cleveland -- the usual worst part of the trip -- wasn't too bad, but I got there around 8:00 a.m. I think I may have figured out the work around for Cleveland and may try it on the way back home. Of course, if it's not raining, I shouldn't have any trouble following I-90.

And then I got to about LaGrange, Indiana, driving down the road, singing along with my tunes (filk and musicals for road trips), and with a bright bong! the idiot light for my tires came on. It blinked at me for a bit, then settled into a steady light. As I had just passed a rest stop (next rest stop 58 miles, or some such), I wasn't quite sure what to do. I still had about an hour and a half to go...so I turned off the tunes so I could concentrate and just...drove. I had no idea whether I had an actual tire problem or not. I should have stopped, but....

So I got to South Bend, got off I-90 and when I pulled out of the toll plaza, the idiot light was off. MyNuncle has since checked my tires for me and found them all to be slightly over-inflated, so...I dunno.

It was almost exactly 1:00 p.m. when I pulled into Auntie and Nuncle's driveway. Auntie and I talked for a bit, I had some lunch, and then we went uptown to the art show. I do love that art show, and there was some gorgeous work. There was also some work that you could only shake your head at and say, "Art." I bought a beautiful photograph of bare trees in mist, printed on...ginwashi? paper. Rice paper, anyway. Beautiful. And I know exactly where I'm going to hang it when I get it home.

Speaking of art, Auntie gave me a gorgeous parquet frame that my great great grandfather made, and which currently holds his centenary portrait. I thought about putting my new photo in that frame, but I think it wants a plain black frame.

Yesterday, we didn't do anything. We talked a lot, and we were going to go to the ice cream social attached to the art show, but just never made it. It was actually nice, because we're usually running around like crazy when I come out here.

Today, we went to a huge rummage sale and bought a paper box full of books, mostly biographies for Grama. She really likes biographies. For myself, though, I bought a 1932 edition of Nancy's Mysterious Letter, one of the early Nancy Drew novels, in pretty good condition, a French phrase book (just because), The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen, and Bringing Tuscany Home by Frances Mayes. That latter has been on my wishlist for a while, so I was pleased to find it.

It looks like the weather for this week is supposed to be rainy (it's raining right now), so I'm not sure how much of our usual stuff we will actually do, since a lot of it is outside stuff, but we shall see. But just now, dinner is nearly ready, so I need to get my laptop off the table.
malinaldarose: (Default)
The first thing I did yesterday after the news broke about Carrie Fisher's death was to go to Amazon and order her most recent books. I'd been meaning to for a while, and I probably would have the next time I needed something (like the dog chewies that I can't get locally anymore), but....

I was a little girl -- in third grade -- when Star Wars (and I'm sorry, it is never A New Hope for me) was first released. My mother wouldn't let me see it. Everybody else got to go see it, but my mother.... Well, maybe "let" is the wrong word. I was nine years old, and if she didn't want to see a movie, I didn't get to see a movie, because she wouldn't let me go alone. Or with anyone else. So I didn't see a lot of movies. (I was an adult before I saw Grease, which came out right around the same time and which all of my friends got to see.)

So I had no idea what the movie was about, and being an imaginative child, I just made up my own story based on the title. So, with my baton (actually a magic scepter), I was a space princess named Venus who battled Mercury and Mars and Saturn all up and down the length of the backyard.

Close enough, right?

The movie was re-released the following summer or one of the local theaters picked it up as a bargain movie -- I'm not certain -- but I finally got to see it the next summer. The funny thing is that I never wanted to be Princess Leia. I wanted to be Luke.

But I'm weird.

Anyway. That's my Star Wars story.

BFT and I did go see Rogue One last night. She called me about fifteen minutes before I had planned to leave the house to let me know that the theater was packed and she was going to buy both our tickets while she could get to the box office. I left the house immediately, and when I got there, the line was out the doors and into the parking lot -- not hard, really, since there's no other room for it in the lobby. The concession lines were also packed. We had forgotten that Tuesday is bargain day, and seats are $5 (or so; I think the price has gone up a bit) all day, and concessions are less expensive, also. And, of course, the kiddies are on vacation, too.

By the time we got through the concession line -- she wanted popcorn, but I wasn't feeling all that great -- the theater was full. Well, they announced that the show had sold out while we were still six people back from getting popcorn. The only seats we could find were in the first three rows and off to the side; we immediately determined that we would have to come back so that we could sit farther back and not see the screen from such an angle -- hard to get entirely absorbed in the movie when half your view is taken up by the emergency exit.

Anyway. The movie was very good. Read more... ) Anyway. We'll be seeing it again, perhaps this weekend, though we also talked about seeing Fantastic Beasts again -- even though I'm taking Niece to see that tomorrow afternoon.

Today's plan is simple: read. Maybe watch a movie or a couple of episodes of Emergency! since it's leaving Netflix on Sunday. Maybe start cleaning the library if I get ambitious (which I don't see happening). Otherwise, another pajama day. I'm on vacation, after all.

Finally!

Dec. 27th, 2016 08:00 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I finally got to relax a bit yesterday. I noodled around on the computer. I called MyAuntie and talked to her for two hours. I watched a movie. I did fuck-all in the way of housework (which means I have dishes to wash this morning, but that's okay). It was good.

Today, though, is going to be a little busier. I decided a week or so ago that it is time to get rid of all the But I Might Be Able To Wear That Again Someday clothing that I've been hanging onto for years. I will never again be the size I was in college, so it's time to get rid of those jeans. I won't even be the size I was after my first divorce, so it's time to get rid of those jeans (and skirts and t-shirts and sweaters and so on) as well. Whether I save them for next summer's garage sale or simply bag them up and take them to a drop box remains to be seen. Anyway, that's the plan for this afternoon. Or maybe this morning (after the dishes). Given all the various things I have squirrelled away, it'll probably take a few hours. And maybe along the way, I'll find the tub of winter clothing that is apparently just missing.

It is warmer this morning than it has been, but it's the windy warmth of weather that is going to get sharply colder by noon. (Dammit.) It was also quite a lot darker during walkies than it has been because most of the snow has melted over the last two days. Only the banks and piles from plows and shovels are left. That won't last long; I'm sure there will be more snow soon, though perhaps not today. Today, I think, is for sleet and freezing rain once the temperature starts to fall. The early sky was lovely, though: clear and starry and the tiny sliver of old moon had just risen when we were out.

BFT and I are finally going to go see Rogue One tonight. We were going to go yesterday, but both agreed that we needed pajama days. I would prefer to go earlier than 7:30, but she is not on vacation this week. Ah, well -- it gives me time to sort the clothing, right?

Brrrr

Dec. 22nd, 2016 08:46 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am sitting here this morning thinking about how nice it would be if women's clothing were truly warm. I am wearing a tank top under a mock turtleneck under a heavy sweater over a pair of sweatpants and am still not as warm as I would like. I was looking in my drawers this morning for something warm to wear and all I had were office-worthy sweaters (i. e., not at all heavy) and sweatshirts that are not suitable for wearing out. Normally it wouldn't bother me, but I have numerous errands to run today -- lucky Jack is going to Go For A Ride! -- and then I'm going out to dinner tonight. As it is, I think that the sweater I am wearing (which I got at a garage sale some years ago) is actually a men's sweater. It's a heavy cable knit in navy blue and I have to roll the sleeves back by the whole width of the cuffs.

I have also come to the conclusion that it is time to let go of all the When I Lose Weight clothing. I own some lovely things that I have always hoped to size back down into, but they're just taking up space, and I'm not going to lose enough weight ever to fit into size twelve jeans again because I was 110 pounds when I wore those, and not entirely finished growing. I came to this conclusion when I realized this morning that I am missing at least one tub of winter clothing and I can't find it. I have many tubs of clothing, and when I opened them, they're all Stuff I Grew Out Of. I'll allow myself to keep one tub's worth of things (like that pink sweater with the navy stripe that I adore), but otherwise? Time to go.

Sorting it all will give me something to do on my vacation....

There is so much to be done today and tomorrow to get ready for company on Sunday. The bathroom needs to be cleaned, the addition needs to be dusted and straightened, I need to make sure I have enough chairs, otherwise I'll have to have someone bring a couple, the kitchen needs to be spiffed, the living room needs to be vacuumed and possibly dusted. The Bat Catching Kit can probably be relocated to the garage for now (a box with a clear glass dish to cover a resting bat, a tupperware container for if the bat is on a wall or similar instead of a shelf or floor, a piece of glass from a picture frame to slide under the container, and a badminton racket for desperate measures. I would never use that last, but a friend at work insisted that I must have one). The chair that the Gecko favors (the one I'm going to have to burn when I no longer require her services) needs to have its coverings laundered and possibly a good spraying with Febreeze. And maybe -- just maybe -- I'll clean up my writing desk which has a coloring project spread out all over it.

Speaking of which, yesterday was the office Christmas party. My unit ordered lunches from my favorite place (Caribbean salad, yum!), and then had a gift exchange of the sort where you pick your gift from a pile and the next person in line can either steal yours or pick a new one and so on. Last year when we did this, we had numerous steals, but this year, only one person stole a gift from someone else, and the last person to go ended up with her own gift and was happy enough. But the reason that talking about coloring projects reminded me is because I took a coloring book and box of colored pencils as my gift. I came home with a nice houndstooth checked scarf. Not too shabby. And I had Caribbean salad for supper, too. (Those suckers are BIG.)

I finished Murder in Montparnasse last night, and realized that I forgot to add a finished book to my list, so I only need to read two more to make it to my goal for this year. I might be able to manage that now that vacation is here at last....
malinaldarose: (Default)
We reached Skagway, the third stop on our Alaska cruise, about 6:30 a.m. on Friday. The weather had been fine -- if cooler than we were used to for August -- but it had changed overnight. We were up early enough that the ship wasn't quite at the dock yet, and it was foggy and cool. J2 knocked at our door a little earlier than BFT and I had expected, but she was summoning us to go down to the Promenade Deck with her and J1 who had seen a seal from their window and wanted a closer look. So we all went down and watched the seal for a while before heading out in search of breakfast.

We discovered, when we disembarked, that it was not only cool and foggy, it was drizzly, too. I was glad that I'd packed a rain coat, and glad that I wore it over the fleece jacket that I'd purchased aboard ship. The excursion we had booked for Friday was a White Pass Summit bus tour, but we couldn't find the bus, and eventually J1 called the charter company, only to find that the bus was on its way. It was a small bus with only about a dozen seats driven by an elderly fellow named Joe...who actually told the Italian couple up front to keep their kid quiet so that the people in the back of the bus could hear his commentary without him switching on his microphone. I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or appalled.

Joe drove us through Skagway, pointing out various sites of interest -- including the small camper he lived in during the tourist season before he headed back home to...Montana, I think he said. Our first stop was a Gold Rush-era cemetery built into the side of a hill. It was damp and muddy and Joe told stories about a couple of the residents, then sent those of us who were interested on a trail up the hill a little way (a steep trail, I might add) to see a waterfall. We were the first tour group to get to the graveyard, despite being picked up late (or maybe we got there in a lull), so the waterfall wasn't crowded, and I didn't have to wait long to get decent photographs. I also got photos of very picturesque red and orange mushrooms with white spots on the way down; I looked them up later and found that they were fly agaric, which is quite poisonous.

We then drove up over White Pass, stopping in a couple of overlook-type spots for photographs, but not for very long. It was a pretty miserable day for photos -- the fog got thicker and the rain went from mist in Skagway to drizzle the higher up the mountain we got. When we got to the summit, the fog pretty much closed in and we couldn't really see anything at all. On the way back down, we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls...which was extremely unimpressive, really, being just a small waterfall at the edge of the road. I seem to recall that there is a section of Niagara Falls called the Bridal Veil Falls, too.

When Joe dropped us back off in Skagway, we hit a couple of gift shops, then checked out the Red Onion Saloon, which is apparently haunted and was featured on one or another of those ghost-watching reality shows. Both BFT and J1 had wanted to have lunch there, but the place was packed, and J-Mother really didn't want to stay there. (The place was so packed that I loitered outside and took street photographs, waiting for everyone else to make up their minds about whether or not we were staying or going.) Eventually, we wandered on to a souvenir shop, then walked the mile or so back to the ship.

One of the interesting things about Skagway is that there is a cliffside along the dock that hosts a lot of graffiti, and ship captains commission bits of it themselves to commemorate the first time their ships stop there. We found the marker for Ruby Princess, which was kind of cool, and then we hustled to get back aboard her because we were all chilly and damp by that point.
malinaldarose: (Default)
The morning after we stopped in Ketchikan, we were supposed to go up Tracey Arm Fjord to see the glacier there, but it was calving and there was too much ice in the water -- or so I gather -- so we went up Edward Arm to the Dawes Glacier. I wasn't on deck for the maneuver (because we got there Really Early), but apparently the ship went up one way, then delicately turned on a dime to present her aft end to the glacier. In any case, BFT and I got dressed and were out on deck early enough that we didn't feel we could knock on the others' door(s). We got a little lost, I think, wandering the top decks, but we had some spectacular views of the glacier, and we saw...not the sunrise itself, really, but the sun clearing the mountain behind the glacier. We'd gone up around 6:00 a.m., so around 7:00 a.m., we went in search of breakfast, then wandered up top to take some more photos. Eventually, we met up with the others, and found that J1 and J2 had been up just about as long as we had and had apparently witnessed the ship's turning.

That was the morning. About noon, we reached Juneau, which is huge. If I understood correctly, what is considered "Juneau" covers a vast area, with lots of wilderness interspersed with pockets of civilization. We drove through the city (and the governor's mansion was pointed out to us; Sarah Palin clearly didn't see Russia from that building as it faces a mountain directly across the [narrow] channel) to the Mendenhall Glacier, which, according to Wikipedia, is twelve miles from the city center. It's a beautiful area; there is a lake at the foot of the glacier, and a waterfall sort of around the bend. There's a park on the opposite shore of the lake with a visitors center (and the all-important bathrooms) and walking paths. It's really pretty.

I missed the bears. Apparently, there was a mother bear with three cubs. J2 saw them, but I was busy fiddling with my camera and looking up at the visitors center and hoping for bathrooms. I did see some ducks and some salmon, but that's not quite the same thing.

The one thing I noticed about the glacier was the deep blue in some pockets of the ice. It's a glorious color, and it's apparently produced by minerals in the ice. We walked around the paths to the shore of the lake where I picked up a pebble (to join the bit of rock I picked up in Avebury). We did not walk around to Nugget Falls, which is apparently farther away than it looks. We only had a couple of hours there, anyway, then we had to get back aboard the bus and head out to for the highlight of the cruise (for J1, anyway, whose bucket list trip this was): the whale watch.

We booked the whale watch with the same company that did the Mystic Fjords tour in Ketchikan, so we were aboard the same type of jet boat. Because we were not going as far, though, the boat never got going as fast (so it was much warmer). We also got seats in the enclosed cabin on the top deck, where it was pretty warm because of all the glass.

As we headed out, we could see where a whole bunch of boats were basically sitting in a circle around a group of humpbacks, and were somewhat surprised when our boat just headed on past them, but then the captain announced that we were headed out a little farther to see if we could find the pod of orcas that had been sighted earlier, and we'd get back to the humpbacks.

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but J2 and I ended up in the bow of the boat on the upper deck, leaning over, and an orca surfaced practically under our noses, and probably only six feet away from the boat. The captain jigged to the side pretty quickly, then brought the boat back around. I didn't get a photo, though I think J2 got a bit of a black and white blur. After that, we couldn't have left our spots if we'd wanted to because there were so many people standing around us.

We circled the pod for a while, but they were just doing their thing, so all we ever really saw were backs and dorsal fins. After perhaps half an hour, the captain circled the boat back toward the humpbacks. There were at least a dozen other tour boats of varying sizes around them. I can't believe all the motors running basically over their heads didn't bother them, but apparently not.

Humpbacks do not, apparently, travel in family pods, but they will come together in unrelated groups to hunt, and that's what we were watching. There were twenty-one whales in the group -- though we never saw more than six or seven at a time. (Heh. Only six or seven at a time...how boring it all sounds....) What they do is to herd the fish they're interested in into a ball (scare them into a ball, probably), then they dive and blow bubbles and force the fish-ball to the surface, and follow it up. What we saw was a flock of gulls sitting on the water -- because the gulls know what's going on and want their share -- then the gulls would fly, and shortly thereafter, this group of huge mouths would break the surface, looking rather like sandworms surfacing in Dune. Then the whales would mill about for a bit (all dorsal fins and tail flukes) then they'd start over. We saw them break the surface twice. It's more exciting than it sounds.

J1 was a bit disappointed, I think, that we didn't see a breach, which would certainly have been spectacular. We did see one small whale-watching boat that looked like it was in danger of capsizing; it was a ponton-style boat and one pontoon was up out of the water as everyone aboard crowded to the opposite side....

After the boat docked, we did a bit of souvenir shopping in Juneau proper. I had been sort of hoping to buy a matroyshka for my mother as I'd seen a couple in the ship's gift shop. On the way out to our excursions, I'd spotted a Russian gift shop, so we went in there. I adore Russian lacquerware, but the only piece I inquired about (a small box with the firebird painted on it) was $250, which was just a little out of my range. I ended up buying some small brooches with flowers for my female relatives and a really pretty Madonna icon for myself (not for any religious reason, but because I liked the style and colors).

Our next stop was a shop selling jade. I have never particularly cared for jade -- never really thought about it, actually -- but I'd bought a small pendant on the ship, which I really love, and BFT wanted to buy something, so in we went. Holy cow -- jade is expensive! I'd had no idea. BFT bought a pair of earrings, but I didn't buy anything, though I looked at a few pieces.

This past weekend, after I showed her my pendant, MyAuntie told me that she really, really, really likes jade, and that many years ago, she gave up getting a piece for herself to buy one for my asshole brother, instead -- a move she now regrets. Now she tells me? (Which just meant that I spent a chunk of Sunday shopping for jade pieces for her for Christmas and ended up ordering her a small jade heart this morning because a) it can sit next to her computer or ride around in a pocket, and b) it was more affordable than, say, a jade buddha.

Anyway, after that, we reboarded the ship....
malinaldarose: (Default)
When last we left Our Intrepid Heroine, her luggage had arrived in Seattle, but her ship was on its way to Alaska, necessitating that Delta send the luggage along after. Fortunately, the airline had allowed OIH and her friends to go shopping on their dime (though we're still awaiting reimbursement), so there was some clothing.

Actually, the shopping was something of a saga in and of itself. First, because it was Sunday, we had trouble finding someplace that was open. Our transfer from the hotel to the port was scheduled for 11:00, but that was pushed back to noon -- fortunately. That still left us very little time, and we couldn't wait until 11:00 for the mall to open. We found a nearby Kohl's and went there, instead.

Which... Have you ever tried to figure out what you need for a week's vacation on the fly? There was no guarantee at that point that we'd get our luggage before we even got home, so we had to consider what to get, but we had to do it quickly, and with basically no time for trying things on. First of all, I couldn't find any underwear to fit. I could find sizes on either side, but nothing in my own size. I finally found a package of panties a size larger than I was looking for. I grabbed a couple of bras labeled in my size (whether they would fit or not remained to be seen, but I could always return them when we got home).

Then it was time to find actual clothing. I shop pretty much in the plus-size department now -- but I couldn't find it. This Kohl's wasn't laid out like the one at home -- it's bigger, for one thing -- and though it was much the same size as the one near MyAuntie's house, the plus-size department wasn't in the same spot. So I began to panic as it got later and I couldn't find any clothing. Because J1 and BFT are shorter than I am, and shaped a bit differently (and don't mind tight clothing), they can shop in the Misses department, so by the time I finally found the Women's Department, they were both loaded down with what they wanted, and so they helped me find some things. (The departments weren't marked, either.) So here it is getting later and later. BFT comes up with a black t-shirt dress. I know I've tried on something similar at home and hated the way it looked, but she brought a larger size. "It'll be fine," she said. I was trying to find a blue skirt that I'd bought at home, but couldn't, so gave up on finding anything suitable, and started looking at shirts. I finally found the clearance t-shirts and started loading up -- just tossing various colors over my arm -- then moved on to tank tops for layering, then grabbed a grey cardigan off another rack, then a couple of floaty tops. There was no point in trying to find pants -- I can't get away without trying those on and there simply wasn't time. I would have to make do with the charcoal-grey knit pants I wore on the plane (Lands End Sport Knit -- very comfy) and the jeans I had in my carry-on.

In the end, I had five t-shirts in various colors, four tank tops in neutral colors, three floaty short-sleeved tops, one black t-shirty dress, one marled grey long cardigan, a package of panties, two bras, and -- damn! I forgot socks! So I had to run back to the underwear department to grab some socks and by the time I got back to the cashier's line, two people had gotten in ahead of me, so we had to wait even longer.

And when we got out to the parking lot, we couldn't find Chester. We found the cab, but he wasn't there, so J1 called him -- he'd gone into the store to see where we were because he actually had to get back home so he could go to church! Apparently, he's an independent driver....

Anyway. So that's how we ended up with lots of extra clothing that we are still waiting to see if Delta will really reimburse us for.

Once we boarded the ship, and after we had lunch, we had to report to the Passenger Service desk to let them know that our luggage had been lost and that we were hoping it would be delivered to the ship at our first port. (This was before we actually sailed and before BFT got the phone call that our luggage had, in fact, made it to Seattle.) There was a lot of paperwork to be filled out for each of us, and it was complicated by the fact that the desk was on the ship's Atrium and that someone thought it would be a good idea to have a singer start a set just about the time we got to the front of the line, and she thought it would be a good idea to have her mic and amps turned up to eleven. So we were trying to talk to Eugenie and Giulia, while not being really able to hear them. It took a while, but everything got sorted out and they gave us these really nice pouches full of toiletries, offered us robes and slippers (which we turned down), told us that we could avail ourselves of the laundry facilities if we needed them, and offered us formal wear rentals (hopefully at a low, lost-your-luggage price) since our first formal night would be Monday, which was before our luggage could possibly be delivered as we didn't reach Ketchikan (our first port) until Tuesday morning. We turned that offer down, also, as we all had something suitable -- though I did later peruse the offerings in the ship's gift shops, and did in fact, buy a fleece jacket which I was extremely grateful to have (and which I did submit the receipt for) on Tuesday when we took the jet-boat tour.

To Be Continued....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Today is the last day of my vacation...though I warned my supervisor that I might just take tomorrow and Friday off, anyway. Actually, I may end up calling in sick tomorrow, as I came home sick. Not dreadfully so, but I have a very sore throat and a cough. And since I'm supposed to spend half the day on Friday training the new Co-Conspirator M, this does not seem like a good combination.

The trip was good. Amazing vistas -- starting with seeing Mount Rainier from the air at sunset as we flew from Vancouver to Seattle. I do wish I'd had the window seat for that, but I had aisle seats on all the flights. Which did make getting up and going to the bathroom easier, but also meant that I got jostled a lot by other people getting up and going to the bathroom. Our flights were all on smaller planes (737s), which was nice. The outbound trip did have one more stop than I had thought at first; it was Toronto to Calgary to Vancouver to Seattle, and that did turn out to be a problem.

Here's what I posted on Facebook: "Arrived in Seattle more or less on time. Our luggage, not so much." And here's what actually happened: We got to Toronto nearly three hours early for our flight, and sat at our gate, waiting. It was quiet enough that there were airport workers there taking breaks. Apparently, there were no flights expected until our plane arrived from wherever it was flying in from. So we sat there, noodled around on our phones (I finally learned how to do a number of things with my phone this trip), read books, ate snacks, and watched weather roll across the field. There were supposed to be severe storms in Toronto that day (I had checked the forecast), and we got to watch the rain coming and going. A couple of times it was so heavy that there was actually surf on the tarmac. Not much, mind you. Tiny surfers. Smurfs, maybe. Smurfers.

Anyway, our plane arrived, we boarded, and then we sat because another storm rolled through, and this time, there was apparently a lightning strike on the field, and the airport ordered all outdoor workers to get their asses indoors and stay there for the duration, and so we had to also. So our plane took off from Toronto a little over an hour late. Our first stop was Calgary, where we had expected to have an hour and a half layover. Instead, we got there with just enough time to go to the bathrooms and find the gate for our connection to Vancouver. By the time we got out of the bathroom, they were already boarding. Fortunately, the outgoing gate was right next to the inbound one -- the two planes were side by side -- and the bathrooms were right nearby, so there was no problem there, and we got settled onto the Vancouver flight with no problems.

Our luggage, though, didn't make the flight. Because, I am told, luggage can't just be moved from one plane to another, but has to be unloaded from the first plane, processed through the terminal, and then reloaded onto the next plane...and there simply wasn't time. Our connection took off within twenty minutes of our landing. The pilot even let us know -- in quite the jaunty tone -- that we were leaving fifteen minutes early.

So we landed in Vancouver, where we had another hour and a half layover, and where we had planned to eat dinner. Because this flight was taking us back into the States, we had to go through Customs and back through Security (and take our shoes off this time; Canada is much more civilized about this). So we got through Security, got our shoes back on, headed to Customs, where we had to use automated kiosks, and then got pulled aside and shunted into a little side room. We were told to wait there until our names came up on a board, then go to Customs. Only our names never came up. We had been sitting there for well over half and hour when J1, who was getting both anxious and angry -- because it was getting closer and closer to time to board our flight to Seattle -- finally went out to see what was going on, and found out that we had been pulled aside for "special screening" because we had no checked bags, only carry-ons.

'Scuse me? (Because at that point, we didn't yet know that our luggage hadn't been loaded in Calgary.)

J1 explained what must have happened, but no one was willing to take any action until she put on her lawyer voice. The time for boarding our flight came and went. We were offered water, and eventually pointed in the direction of a bathroom (thank goodness!), and finally, after our flight had been boarding for fifteen minutes, we were sent to Customs, where we got hauled aside again. We were pretty sure rubber gloves were in our futures, when they finally just escorted us out of Customs and sent us off to catch our flight -- which we did, but we were nearly the last ones on the plane. "I didn't think you were going to make it," the gate agent said. "The computer shows that you just cleared Customs."

So we did make the plane, but we didn't have time for dinner. By the time we landed in Seattle, we were ravenous; we had been going since before 7:00 a.m. on nothing more than a couple of cookies and a package of snack crackers, and it was now...let's call it midnight our time. We still had to go to the baggage claim area to make a claim for missing luggage, but we stopped on the way and got food; we ended up munching fries in front of the baggage claim people.

We had been flying WestJet in Canada, but were handed off to Delta for the last leg of the trip. Delta's computers had no record of our bags at all, and they couldn't access WestJet's systems. We explained that the bags must still be in Calgary. Eventually it was decided that we'd go to the hotel; if the bags were delivered before we were set to board the ship the next day, then we'd come to the airport and claim them. So away we went.

The next morning, there was still no sign of our bags, so after breakfast (where we met up with J2 and the J-Parents, who had been in Seattle for a couple of days already), the three of us headed back to the airport. There was still no record of our bags in Delta's systems. Great. But, they told us, they would allow us to go shopping on their dime: just keep our receipts, and please don't go overboard; just get a few things to tide you over. (We all, of course, had at least one change of clothing in our carry-ons, and J1 and I had also packed our jammies.) J1 wanted to know if we could also get suitcases, since we had nothing to carry new clothing in (our carry-ons being full), and they wheeled out pretty hard-sided carry-on size suitcases like the flight attendants carry. Very snazzy, and very nice -- and they hold a metric fuckton of stuff. Seriously. It's amazing how much stuff can be crammed into one of these bags, and that's without using the expander. This will be my carry-on of choice from now on.

So we called a cab, asked to be taken to the nearest mall...and were told that it wouldn't open for at least another hour, so we went back to the hotel instead. Then we called another cab and got taken to the mall in time for opening...only to find that it didn't open until 11:00, not 10:00. After some investigation, we discovered that Kohl's opened early, so had our cabdriver (a really nice German guy called Chester, who wouldn't charge us for waiting because it was Sunday, and thus the Lord's Day) take us to Kohl's where we all bought stuff to stuff into our new suitcases.

And we earned Kohl's Cash, too, though it expired on the day we got back.

We got back to the hotel and got packed and still had half an hour until our transfer to the port, so we were actually in good shape at that point. J1 checked for our luggage again (she had the claim number), but there was still no sign of it. We headed to the port, boarded the ship (and that was an interesting experience), had lunch at one of the buffets, then went back to our staterooms to unpack (our meager possessions) and collapse. I didn't even notice when the ship started to move.

And twenty minutes after the ship sailed, BFT got a phone call: Our luggage was at the Delta baggage claim area and we could come get it any time.

"Well," she said, "our ship sailed twenty minutes ago. You'll have to forward it to Ketchikan...."
malinaldarose: (Default)
So...say you're catsitting for someone, and the cat yarks up a hairball. Do you clean it up or do you leave it for the owner?

Can you guess what my sister did? Multiple times?
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On Friday morning, Auntie and Nuncle and I went to the beach for a tour of the newly-refurbished St. Joseph lighthouse. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 70s, bright and breezy. We got up to Tiscornia Beach, signed in for the tour (and signed our waivers so that if we fell off the pier and drowned, we wouldn't then sue the city of St. Joe), then wandered off to snap a few shots and watch the sailing class in the channel (cute itty-bitty two-seater sailboats and one larger motorized boat, sailing back and forth like ducklings after their mother) while waiting the twenty minutes until the start of the tour. The lake was a bit choppy, and Auntie made the comment that she wouldn't want to be taking a sailing class that day. A few minutes later, someone wandered past us complaining bitterly about their lighthouse tour being cancelled. "Say what?!?" the three of us said.

Yup. Turns out that just about the time we signed in, whoever does such things had issued a swimming ban for Silver Beach (Auntie spotted the red flags) and a small craft warning (oh, look at all the ducklings!). Waves were, in fact, breaking on the pier, and even the raised walkway in the center was wet, though the waves were nowhere near that high. Now on the previous Saturday, when we were at the art show on the bluff, the waves were that high; I tried to get shots of water breaking over the pier. Anyway, they cancelled the tour at the last minute, so we didn't get to see inside the lighthouse. We did walk out the pier a ways; while Auntie and I waited at the spot where the safety railings end, Nuncle walked all the way out to the inner light, then vanished around the side to check out the outer light, as well. He says that they've put hand rails on the sides of the inner light, now, so you're not entirely taking your life in your hands when you walk around it. (I walked out there the last time we visited the lighthouse, but the lake was much, much calmer that day.) Still, I decided not to walk all the way out there this time, so my lighthouse photos are strictly of the eastern side of the inner light. I haven't looked at them yet, so I don't know if any of them are even any good, and I'm probably not going to today, either, since I'm meeting J1 and BFT in a couple of hours for Ghostbusters.

The rest of Friday was spent pretty much at home. We had lunch late because of going up to the beach, then walkies was extended because Auntie and Nuncle stopped twice to converse with neighbors. One of them was the father of one of the two deputies who killed the courthouse shooter on Monday afternoon, so we got more details about the whole thing from him. The various news services really had the story all messed up. Anyway, turns out he really wasn't a particularly nice human being; he was originally arrested back in April for something or other and they discovered that he had been holding a teenage girl in his shed for two weeks.

When we got back to the house, Nuncle went into the family room with his book, but Auntie and I ended up sitting at the dining room table and talking for the entire rest of the afternoon. It was nice, though my butt wasn't happy about it -- those dining room chairs aren't the comfiest things around.

Yesterday I have already complained about.

This morning, I was dreadfully tired, but still got up and went out for groceries, and have since done all my Saturday chores since I wasn't home for them yesterday. It threatened to be a "nibbled to death by ducks" day, but the nibbling stopped when I got home -- which probably means that I shouldn't go back out, but it's getting a bit late to cancel. I may go take a nap for an hour or so, though....

So. Tired.

Jul. 16th, 2016 09:33 pm
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I am so tired right now. I got to bed around 11:15 last night and woke up at 1:00 a.m. My alarm was set for 4:00 a.m., but from 3:00 a.m. onward, I was basically just counting minutes until the alarm was due to go off -- and staying in bed because it would've been really rude to be packing and making noise when my aunt and uncle were trying to sleep. As it was, they were up at 4:30 with me. (I think Auntie was up and got Nuncle up.)

I got onto the road a smidge after 5:00 a.m. -- just as I did to go out there. The drive was okay, though Cleveland tried to kill me. There was no rain anywhere except in the Cleveland metro area. In the suburbs, there were sprinkles, but the worst, hardest, heaviest rain was on the part of the road where I really needed to be able to see and interpret the road signs and see the rest of the traffic. I nearly missed my exit, and as it was, ended up sitting in the hatched area between two ramps waiting until I could get on the right one and I nearly caused an accident because there was another car in my blind spot when I dove for the wrong one. My watery, watery blind spot. Which might not have been a blind spot had it not been raining so hard.

The rain got lighter and lighter as I climbed away from Cleveland -- and if you've never driven through Cleveland on I-90, as you're driving west, you descend from the remains of Appalachia into the city, and as you're going east, the road starts rising immediately. You literally climb out of Cleveland like ascending from the depths of... Yeah, I'm not going there.

But. I got home around 1:15 p.m. and we survived the trip, so I guess it's all good. I really need to figure out the way around Cleveland, though. MyNuncle can't remember the route unless he's actually driving it. I suspect that I want to take 271 when it diverges from 90, but then I need to meet back up with 90 on the other side of the city. I'm sure I have a map somewhere. Nuncle says that the bypass ends up being only five miles longer.

I puttered around for a couple of hours after I got home, then went to see Grama and deliver all the stuff I had for her. Dinner was from McDonald's, then I unpacked my suitcase and put everything away. Now, it is finally late enough that I can justify going to bed....
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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
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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.

180, Much?

Feb. 26th, 2016 07:05 am
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So apparently my brain has decided to suddenly go the other direction in dealing with HTWIWM, because in last night's dream, instead of being all warm and cozy and happy and lovey, he had hired someone to kill me. Nice. Pleasant. Great way to wake up. Thanks, brain.

This has been a Very Long Week, Indeed, but I suppose since I only worked three days last week, it was destined to be. I got done the three cases which I was commanded to have done by the end of the week, so they'll be off the pending report on Monday. Of course, two of them were reconsiderations, so I should have just waited a bit to re-register them into the system. The third will shortly become a reconsideration, and will have to be re-registered and go back on the pending list. *sigh* But that means I am free to look at recerts today (for the next recert cycle), or perhaps try to catch up on the pending, since the recerts don't become urgent until next week. Or spend the entire day writing fanfic at my desk with my fingers hovering near alt-tab to hide the writing window.

Kidding. I haven't had the type of caseload that would allow that for years. (When I carried the entire SSI caseload by myself, I had that kind of time, even though it's around 2,500 cases, because those cases are generally quiet. So imagine how bored I was when the caseload was split between me and MyPartner in the several years before she retired.) I'm sure I can find something to keep myself occupied.

Co-Conspirator P made it through only one of the new apps that she took for me earlier in the week, and she is off today, so I do have the other to go through. I should probably do that first thing. There. Something to keep me occupied for most of the morning.

I have started to consider what I am going to do with Jack whilst on the cruise this summer. My sister is no longer living in Grama's house, and though she will probably stay there for great chunks of the summer, while she has the kids for visitation, by that late in the summer, she may not still have the kids. Certainly Nephew will have had to go back to Germany by that time. (Niece's custody papers say that she can't stay in any dwelling with Bird if there is a man living there who is not Bird's husband. I'm not certain that Bird and Number Five are still on track to get married, so...Grama's house it is. I can almost see the rationale behind that, but if something is going to happen, marital state really isn't going to play into it -- and I really expect that it was more a non-whore clause and Number Three and the State of Texas being cruel than anything else (because my sister worked as a stripper for a while, and while it wasn't supposed to come up during custody proceedings, it did, of course.))

Anyway, I'm not certain that Bird will want to take Jack in her new place, especially as she now has a rottie puppy. Jack would love it, of course. I thought about asking J1's parents (J2's parents, too, for that matter) if they would keep him for me, since they will be keeping J's little dog, but I think they're actually going on the cruise, also. The realization has already hit me that this trip is going to cost just as much as going to Europe (it was billed as being half the cost), with the added expense of boarding Jack. Yay.

MyAuntie sort of suggested that she and MyNuncle might offer to rehome Jack once their Elder Spot (who is fourteen and may or may not make fifteen) is gone. While that would be good for Jack, I keep picturing myself driving away with him watching me out the front window and wondering when I'm going to be back. I'd never get another rescue dog if I did that, because I'd be breaking my contract -- if I give him up, he's supposed to go back to the rescue place. And I don't want to give him up. As much of a pain in the ass as he is (and as much as I have to put up with the Ravening Gecko in order to keep my house in one piece), I still love his furry little face.

It occurred to me last night as I was suiting up to go chase bunnies out of the yard so I could let Jack out there that I had missed the shire business meeting last evening. Darn.
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This evening is the beginning of a mini-vacation; we have Monday off for Presidents Day, so I added Friday and Tuesday to make a five-day weekend. I am facing -- with great pleasure -- the prospect of not having The Gecko in my house until next Wednesday, of not having to worry about things disappearing out of my fridge, of being able to leave my blankie and pillows on the couch, and of not having to liberally spray my chair and ottoman with Febreeze every day. I have no real plans for the weekend, other than to avoid going out on Saturday if at all possible as it is supposed to be frigid, and to go see Deadpool on Sunday with BFT. I would also like to see Hail, Caesar, but we'll see about that one; I wouldn't be terribly upset if I missed it and had to wait for the DVD. Actually, I'm not all that looking forward to Deadpool, but we do go see Marvel movies on opening weekend....

It has been a really long, drawn-out week. I was beginning to wonder if 4:00 p.m. on Thursday would ever arrive.

My reading seems to have slowed down a bit. I read a dozen books in January, but have only finished one in February. I am beginning the last of the Dresden books, and am not sure where to go from here. I have really enjoyed these; they're part of the reason I was able to get to 75 books for 2015; before I started reading them, it had been a long time since I spent an entire evening reading. Perhaps I'll go to the Kushiel series; I have read the first two books, but never read the third in the first trilogy, and now there are...what, two? more trilogies? Three? They reminded me a lot of Guy Gavriel Kay...who is due to have a new book out in a few months, so maybe I should read a couple of his, as well.

I have also finished the second season and begun the third season of Elementary. When I sit down to watch it, I watch two or three episodes at a time. That's probably what I'm going to do with this evening, in fact. MyAuntie and I were talking about it the last time I called her; she was complaining about the character of Kitty, saying that she and MyNuncle stopped watching the show for a while, but I rather like her. It's early days, yet, though; I'm not yet to the halfway mark in the season....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Grama is still in the hospital. She didn't see the doctor at all yesterday, nor did they perform the test they were supposed to. Gram was not best pleased. We'll see if she gets discharged today.

The weather turned just about the time the weather seers said it would. We had...I'm not sure what. Sleet? Freezing rain? Freezing sleet? Anyway, it's supposed to be warmer and rainy today, so the stuff that's piled up should melt.

I was a bit concerned about how slippery it was going to be for walkies this morning, but there was more danger from the plow, I think, than the stuff on the road. Still, walkies was slow and short. Jack doesn't like it when I walk slowly; he pulls a lot more then. Tough.

Today's plan is to go upstairs shortly and work in my bedroom for a couple of hours. I haven't cleaned up there in quite some time, and there are dust elephants in the corners. Plus I haven't cleaned up the splinters from the lat time Jack attached the windows, so I need to do that. I may also hang some art on the walls up there, as that is another room that is never going to get finished, so I may as well go ahead and stop saving the art for that mythical time when my house is complete.

Someone posted an "Angels have the phone box" photo on Facebook, with eight or so Christmas angel figurines. I have decided that I'm going to have to go up to Gram's house and take one with her angel collection. I'll show those amateurs....

Actually, I do have to go up there to see if I can locate the Yak Trax in the closet, assuming my brother hasn't already absconded with them.

But not today. I am going to have at least one day when I don't leave the house and I get to snuggle on the couch, dammit! Yesterday, I had to go out for groceries, then just as I was getting a movie started, my mother called to tell me that Gram was still in the hospital -- which I already knew because I'd called MyAuntie and talked to her for over an hour.

It's a conspiracy, I tell you.
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My vaction has, so far, not gone as well as I might have liked. I have had company or had to go out every day so far, and the plan was to spend as much time wrapped in a blankie on the couch as possible. Christmas, of course, I hosted dinner. Saturday, my sister showed up with my niece, then after they left, my dad showed up and stayed for half an hour or so. I was so looking forward to finally having a day all to myself yesterday. I didn't bother with going out for groceries; I didn't bother with taking a shower or washing my hair. I did a little writing in the morning, and then settled on the couch in the afternoon to watch Persuasion because one of my favorite cold-weather Sunday things is to wrap up in a blankie and watch Jane Austen movies. Just about the time I was ready to turn the movie off and take a nap, I heard a door slam in the driveway.

Motherpusbucket....

Someone had finally persuaded Grama to go to the ER, and they were admitting her overnight, so Mom had sent Dad to get me to pack up an overnight bag for her because I'd know better than Dad what she would need.

Um...really? Really? RLY?!?

I'm not certain what sort of logic that was, actually, especially since Dad is always with Mom when she gets supplies for Grama -- I'm not. So I'd think he'd know far better than I, but whatever. I got into a pair of jeans (because I was in my favorite pair of ratty sweatpants that I had to repair not too long ago with iron-on patches) and away we went.

Anyway. I sat with Gram in the ER bay for over an hour while Mom and Dad went out to get supper. They offered to take me home, but I figured that someone ought to be there to wrangle Gram's stuff if she got moved upstairs before Mom and Dad got back, and it's a good thing I did stay, since that's what happened.

I have to say, though, when you're in the ER, you don't want to hear this, in reference to the patient in the next bay over, when you're just separated by curtains: "Where's security? I don't trust this guy." (Said guy had put his hand through a plate-glass window, and was asked a couple of times if he did drugs.) And even though the nurse wasn't in the bay with him, if I heard her, he certainly did, as well. Nice.

I'm half expecting to get a call that I need to go pick Gram up at the hospital and take her home, because I haven't yet received email from my mother that she's been discharged, and Mom and Dad have to go to Buffalo today. Though Dad did say that they might cancel because the weather was supposed to turn bad.

Mom was right, by the way: Gram has bronchitis. The reason they were keeping her overnight, though, was an elevated heart enzyme. They were pretty sure that she hadn't had a heart attack and that her chest pain was just from her coughing, but they were keeping her overnight just to be absotively posilute.

After Dad brought me home (while they were settling Gram; because she tests positive for MRSA, she has to be in isolation, and I didn't feel it was necessary to gown and glove up to go in and be in the way), I walked Jack, fed the three of them, ate something for dinner, and finished the rest of my goddamned movie.

And then I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special for the third time, mostly so I could watch Capaldi's face while River is ranting about how she may be the woman who loves the Doctor, but that doesn't mean he loves her back.
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It has been a long week; 9-5 weeks always are. Today was pay day, and my pay stub tells me that a) I am poor and will remain so, and b) I have almost two weeks of vacation available. And since Jack has settled down and hasn't been eating the house, I want to take a week off and go see my aunt and uncle. My pending list is low enough that I think I might be able to get time off, too. Maybe Columbus Day week? I'll have to think about it. I used to go to see them during Thanksgiving week, but I'm not up for that drive if there's the possibility it might snow. One year when HTWIWM and I went out there, we left the house in a blizzard (though we did drive out of it eventually), and it snowed all that week. So, yeah.

Wow. That seems to be all I have to say at the moment, other than I'm really tired and want a nap, but guess I'll make it to bedtime without, because if I give in, I'll be awake in the middle of the night.
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I really wish I'd said fukkity-fukkity-fukk-fukkit to this week's training. I have taken it before, after all. Then I could've taken the rest of the week off. As it is, I did call in (well, email in, because the building's telephone system appeared to be down this morning) and take today off. By the time I got home yesterday, I'd been up for nigh unto twenty-four hours and even though I had a full night of heavenly sleep in my very own bed, I was still dragging this morning.

A broad overview of the trip: It was fabulous, but we walked, and we walked, and we walked, and we walked, and my foot hurts quite a lot. Quite a lot. When I deplaned yesterday, I had to yell at the girls to slow the fuck down because they were speeding for Customs, and I simply couldn't keep up with them. Which meant that we had to stand in line longer, but.... We averaged twelve miles of walking per day (and on the day we went to Versailles, we probably did a mile in the courtyard alone, as the entry line snaked back and forth); on one day we did fifteen, and on one day, I had to discuss with J2 the definition of "walking distance."

In the airport in Toronto, waiting to fly out, I suddenly started having intestinal issues (not pleasant) which meant that a) I refused the "dinner" that they began serving at midnight on the plane, and b) I didn't take my doses of Arthrotec on our first day in London. Which was okay as far as my foot went, but by dinner time, I had a practically blinding headache, hadn't had any food since the "breakfast" on the plane at 6:00 a.m. local time, hadn't had any caffeine since dinner time the night before, and was feeling really wretched. BFT slipped me some ibuprofen, and I managed to down about half my chicken pie and a bottle of diet Coke, but couldn't even attempt what I am told were excellent chips. By bedtime, I felt better, but didn't want to mix my NSAIDs, so ended up getting along by just mooching BFT's ibuprofen the whole time. My foot today is swollen and painful, but I have been mostly staying off of it. Though it is almost time to go pick up Jack, so there will shortly be a walk....

Anyway, misery aside, it really was a great trip.

Side note: Half the people we talked to about flying out of Toronto couldn't believe that we'd drive there to fly out. The people who couldn't believe it clearly didn't know anything about the geography of NYS and thought that we'd just drive to NYC to fly out. Yeah, no. It's a three-hour drive to Toronto from here, and a seven-hour drive to NYC, and that, I am told is if one is really lucky with traffic. (J1 and BFT have both lived downstate, so I trust their opinions in this matter.) The other half we talked to, including the customs guy at the airport yesterday, agreed that it made the most sense to do it that way because it was cheaper and we could get a non-stop flight, which you can't get from Buffalo.

Other side note: We ran into three separate groups of people from Toronto. ("How did you know we were from Toronto?" "Well, we can hear your accent....") Also lots of Aussies.

More details later, probably, as well as photographs, as I get them edited. I took nearly 1,900 photos. I probably won't post that many, though. Well, definitely not, because at least two of them were of the inside of the lens cap....
malinaldarose: (Default)
This morning began with a bit of excitement: when I took Jack outdoors first thing, we heard small noises and rustling from under the deck. There is a space behind the porch glider where one of the boards is missing from the deck. A blue jay had gotten down in there and become trapped. I went to get my uncle, and while we couldn't persuade the jay to come up, we got it to wander around under the deck and perhaps helped it to find a couple of exits. We decided it would come out on its own eventually, so, as it was first thing in the morning and my dog, at least, had not yet attended to business, we opened the back door and let two of the three out. (The third dog was still in bed.)

As Jack was wandering around the yard attending to business, my uncle suddenly started yelling at his dog. It seems that the jay had found an exit and was just sitting there. Jester had noticed the jay....

The jay did escape but it was a close thing: Jester pulled out what looked like all of the bird's tail feathers. When I saw them lying on the ground, I first thought that it was a wing lying there, and that there had been another bird. Stupid, as I had stepped in that spot myself trying to figure out what was making the little noises to begin with.

So somewhere out there is a jay with a tale to tell about getting trapped in the dark space and then escaping the maw of the ravening spotted beast, who can fly, but can't steer....

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