Saturday, February 20, 2010

Much of it contradictory, all of it good

Writing advice and inspiration, that is, from writers who write things you've read. Two parts, starting HERE.

Then there's this, which is pretty muddled and unclear, for a formula. I might feel the urge to rewrite this into something comprehensible later on.

Except I'm awfully busy reading Going Bovine. What a great book! It reminds me of Frank Portman's King Dork--in other words, another one of the very few worthy descendants (that I've read) of Catcher in the Rye.

You don't get a link to Catcher in the Rye.

New Caprica episode is downloading as we type! And probably as you read this too, hours later. Which is why I prefer to download things in town. Won't it be great when I move somewhere with DSL and cable and stuff? Or if they could bring it out here to sticksville that'd be awesome too.

I have to go down up down up down up down the mountain to mail hats and vests and socks to Afghanistan via San Francisco, which is quite a detour, but oh well. And then I get to work on my outline and see what's missing or superfluous or could be made to do two or three useful things instead of just sitting there. I gave my character restless leg syndrome, isn't that mean? Essential, though.

Mr. Kitty rousted me out of bed this morning like a furry tornado, oh good grief. When I could have slept hours more and then felt terrible because of it! My conscience has whiskers and a tail and attacks the bedside llama as a last resort.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Horizontal, vertical

What do you think about a horizontal strip of vertical pieces across the top and bottom of my quilt made up of vertical strips of horizontal pieces, huh? I think that'll be cool. Maybe with a piece of solid color in between.

Now, do I need them on the sides also? I am undecided.

This quilt is more complicated than intended, but generally that turns out to be an added awesomeness quotient, so I guess that's okay.

In general I'm sort of battling with DOOM and GLOOM and other grim drama over here, like enormous medical bills for all of that exciting NOTHING I got last week (well, doom and gloom inducing prescriptions--but otherwise no progress) but that's so boring! I would rather talk about quilts. And oranges. Man, oranges are so good! I must confess I'm slightly obsessive about oranges.

I made some seriously mediocre tofu and broccoli last night. Beh! Tonight, of course, is POPCORN NIGHT, which gives me the capslocky emphasis of JOY.

Mostly I'm excited about the weekend that begins in six hours because I'm going to quilt and quilt and read books and write my own lovely mystery book that I read all of yesterday (and made an outline from, for Mlle. Forgets-a-lot) and sleep some oceans of sleep. For I am THE TIRED which also makes me gloomful and doomridden and full of woe!

I really dislike medications. I can just go down on record one more time as anti. I mean I like it that they fix things like the nasty stabby ow ow ow but oh boy I really hate how awful they make me feel and especially the side effect of DOOM.

That is not listed among the official side effects, strangely. Wait, yes it is: "mental/mood changes" is right there on the list. And on the list for the anxiety drug too. AWESOME.

Hey! Time for lunch. I'm making a tomato sandwich and let me just say right now I am unduly excited about it. Oh yes I am! Oh boy, tomato sandwich!

And that is the state of things.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heya!

A good thing: more Day Job, another month. Woohoo! I find the last two weeks of a job to be horrendously stressful, especially when I don't *know* whether it's the last two weeks. Hurray for more! More is good.

A bad thing: feeling dreadful, for no good reason. I mean I would at least like to have eaten a cheeseburger or some other delicious forbidden thing. Nope. Ate veg. Drank water. Oatmeal for breakfast. What more do you want from me, avocado of doom? You arbitrary bossy thing.

I was all set to make pasta tonight, as in: from scratch. But I think that got trumped by the feeling dreadful. I pretty much don't feel like doing anything whatsoever, certainly not eating anything.

Blah! Blah! And again I say blah!

I'm going to sew more quilt strips. I'm watching the old season 3 Grey's Anatomy episodes where Meredith falls in Elliot Bay and drowns, because lo, they were on my hard drive, yay! Kyle Chandler! Awesome. Of course I'm seriously sick of dead Denny after this season but it's lovely to see Kyle Chandler again. I like him a lot more as the bomb squad guy than as the football coach, but I have a weird bias against high school coaches because all of ours were always sleeping with the students in a creepy manner and are now duly in jail. So, yeah, a bit of a flinch there.

Yuck, brrr!

But bomb squad Kyle Chandler is amazing. The whole monstrous mom story line is great. Horrible Ellis Grey! So horribly hideously awful!

And yes, the more I watch this show, the more I hate Izzie. HATE. Yuck, Izzie is so awful, but I think it's the actress more than the character, if that makes sense. Not that I can really see one without the other what with how they're attached but I can imagine that character being lovable written exactly as she is, whereas I can't imagine ever wanting to watch anything with Katherine Heigl in it. Yeesh.

I had forgotten about Burke, too. How weird to forget him! Goodness, he's imposing. And kind of unpleasant. Written to be unpleasant, I mean. Burke is a case where I don't think I'd like that character no matter who was playing him, but Isaiah Washington is compelling--if scarily intense. And it feels like he has remodeled his accent in a strange kind of way. He speaks English in an unnatural way, is what I mean, like maybe he cured a southern accent or studied voice with a misguided teacher. Kind of like how it's hard to listen to Avery Brooks speak with his unnatural stilty actor voice, but when he speaks normally, he's perfectly fine.

So fascinating, I know! Lalalalalalalala!

There's a pasta setting on the bread machine. Hmmmmm. No no no, not tonight. What a shame it would be to make it and not want to eat it, right? I looked for "no preservatives" pasta in the store today but there wasn't any. I guess it has to be preserved! But maybe in the judgy hippie store they'll have some. Maybe fresh! It would be handy to be in a metropolis now, except for how I'd be dead.

I know I've made pasta before but it was ages ago.

I'm in such a mood to make marmalade and pasta and meatballs and cake and shepherd's pie and everything everything everything! Which is great because that causes food! It's a side effect of the freaking FAMINE, that's all. Famines make me want to cook.

LOGIC. I has it.

Another month, oh boy! By the way I figured out that as of last Friday I've earned out what I would have gotten from taking that job I didn't take, so good call, me! Plus not being exploited and abused is nice.

Another month. It might mean--and I am being timid and trepidatious here--a COUCH. A couch! For sitting upon! And lying upon! And snuggling with the cat upon! A comfortable place to sit and all! I could even--gasp--have someone over, if such a situation were ever to arise. Hard to imagine, isn't it?

I feel like it would be easier to imagine with appropriate set dressing and accoutrements.

At least I might go scope out couchitude and sofage at the various upholstery emporia thereunto appertaining.

Okay, I have to eat something or other. Time to go figure out what. The fridge really is hilariously empty. There's eggs and tofu and cat food and Better Than Bouillon. Funny, none of that sounds very appetizing, though none of it much less appetizing than the other, either. I think I would actually turn up my toes and croak out of sheer self-defense if someone tried to feed me eggs right now. Ooooooh boy.

Quilting! Grey's Anatomy from the archives! Okay!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great big honking bowls of veg

Boy do I love the great big bowl of veg. Mmmmm. It goes like this:

[comes home, looks in empty fridge]
Ack! I have no food! No fooooood! Will starve!
[cooks big pot of frozen veg which takes like six minutes for real]
So much food! Prosperity! Riches! Will live forever!

It's complicated, being me.

I also boiled up a frozen chicken breast because, mmm, chicken.

I could really eat a whole bunch of chocolate, of course, but when couldn't I? Never is when! Mmmm. Moderate chocolate jones in progress.

Today was driven entirely by listening to but not watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy on the handy ipod. Okay, I peeked when it was big Owen scenes. But they've kind of run out of Owen! It's so weird! It's like they got bored with him when he stopped being PTSD guy. I call relapse! I call shooting victims in the ED! I call gang violence and bloody mayhem that send him right off the deep end again!

We shall see!

Today's teeny tiny little half a pill did wonders and everything was gloriously smooth sailing the whole rest of the day. Fascinating thing, though, the whole initiating incident about moving my appointment generated a conversation with someone that led to a discussion of things and now I may know more about the future soon. Which would be great! Not knowing the future makes me BANANACAKES.

That is so a real word. Shut up!

Also I'm sort of in love with how the avocado of doom sort of cracked like when squibs crack in your back and after that it went from aggressive forte con asiago (well, yeah!) to a gentle achy piano.

You know the Daniel Pinkwater book? The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Doom? Well that's what the stoopid gall bladder is. I decided. Except that keeps giving me the image of an avocado trying to expel one of those giant pits through the pointy end. Well, that's how it feels, and it's not that far off from reality, so I guess that's accurate.

Hey! Let's talk about Bones! I'm going to listen to Bones tomorrow but it might be very hard not to peek at it more often with Mr. Decorative Boreanaz running around and my heroine of awesomeness being so very very awesome.

It's weird to listen to tv but it's essentially what I do when I'm sewing quilts, since I can't look up or I sew the crooked seams of decorative actor influence. Oh, it's happened many times, I'm sad to say. But I've seen all the episodes in the ipod before. I can see what I'm supposed to see, only in my head, right? Yeah!

Bones is busy correcting that thing that was irritating, where Booth always fixed Brennan. Now Brennan fixes Booth too. I love that. It was one of the only snags in an otherwise gloriously equal relationship. I adore their relationship!

Okay, so quilting time. I decided not to do this week's workshop since it wasn't aspirational in any way, not financially or future development of Online Job-wise. And Online Job II is not around. Which means, you realize, I'm DONE FOR THE DAY.

Do you know how rare that is? Insanely rare. I nearly always have something hanging over me!

And there are oranges and even weird fruitcake brownies for dessert. Awesome.

The only thing that is not awesome is NO SNOW. We were promised 2-8 inches of snow and got zero! None inches! Unacceptable! It had better snow overnight is all I'm saying. I will wear my ballet flats to work if that's what it takes to get snow to fall. There is more snow in ALABAMA than here in Maine. This will not stand!

Our planet is in so much trouble. We are in so much trouble. Yikes. It's a good winter for mooses though. They don't starve so much when the snow is gone like this. Hurray for moose!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Anxiety clearinghouse: go!

Please feel free to add your own major anxieties in the comments! Yes! I beg you!

Okay:

1) Two weeks left on my job with no idea what comes after. And even with Online Jobs #1 and #2, not enough, know what I'm saying? Ack!

2) Actually getting work done much faster than expected at Day Job which makes me (you get one guess) ANXIOUS.

3) Should I go to the doctor's appointment Wednesday or reschedule it for after my job ends? I really want to reschedule it but then there's that whole wicked pain can't eat nausea blah blah schedule the surgery blah blah blah thing. See. But you know what happens if you keep missing work for illness stuff when you are done with your work early? ACK.

4) Where do I move after here? Do I get out of town? That would be wise. Which Portland, though? And where will I get the money? Not just enough to move (which I do not have) but enough for deposits and things (which I also do not have). Ack!

5) What's that weird loud bouncy squeaky noise the car is making? Is something loose? It's probably a strap on the exhaust system but you can't get under these car-shaped cars to mess with them. And what do I do about warranties and such? It is under warranty but I don't know how warranties work, never having had one. What do I do? Call up some dealership and say fix it? And then what? How do I get to work/doctors/etc. with no car while they're doing that? I am having complete and total failure to cope where this car is concerned.

6) I know, don't you wish I was still on the frelling narcotics of peace and calm? Ack! Ack! Ack! But they make me feel just terrible. They're like extra added tiredness, too. Not to mention the black eyes Saturday morning. I didn't like that. Though they went away, thank goodness.

7) Lunch today was a cucumber sandwich which made me feel completely ill all afternoon. Woe. What can a person eat, if not that? Seriously.

8) It's going to snow tomorrow. Actually I'm psyched about that but you know, the driving and then shoveling out in the dark. I worry a little bit. Though actually it's much lighter out in the evenings now.

9)  I'm missing the Olympics which just makes me sad, not anxious. Sad though. Inspiring! International! Supreme awesomeness of all kinds! I LOVE the Olympics! Alaaaaaas!

10) Online Job #2 starts up again next Tuesday. Hurray! I keep checking it every day even though it's not on. It's been on for so long now that it's weird not having it.

Okay, I think that's everything. Except for wondering where my two dozen paper boxes went out of the attic. Where did those go?

Chicken stew is cooking on the stove. Not on the bookshelf, or in the teapot, or in my sock drawer. On the stove. Thank goodness we clarified that!

That's like when people write, "He had a big smile on his face." No way, on his face? Not on his ankle? Maybe he should verb. Verbing pleases much!

Anyway YES chicken stew is cooking and smells deliciously full of deliciousness. Hopefully it won't make me feel like I'm gonna keel over and die or anything.

I have an hour of work to do and then I think it's quilt strip sewing time, rock and roll! I think the quilt is going to be a lot smaller than I expected. That's because it's made of a lot of little pieces, so there are more seams, which means you lose more to seam allowance than with big pieces. There may be more pieces added, or interesting options like wider borders, or who knows what. We shall see! Quilts: always a mystery how things are going to come out.

Much like every other situation in my life, heh heh! Heh! Hooooo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Check check

Taxes, check. Woo boy, it took some figuring out. I chose the wrong path for the 1099 teaching thing, which got me into a whole morass of unfixableness and had to delete it all and start over. This time, she chose *wisely.* And those choices knocked $500 off what I had to pay. Awesome!

I totally choose to see this evening's investment of time as $500 earned. Because I could have gone, "Eh?" and shrugged in a Gallic manner and hit SEND.

I know, once again, where is my goddamn cookie? But I will take $500 instead. In fact, in general I am willing to take $500 over my aforementioned goddamn cookie, just for the record. Heh.

Oh and then I filed my FAFSA, which takes like two seconds once you have the tax forms in hand. But is impossible otherwise.

So, yay!

What else? I checked the deadlines on those apps, while emailing Jen, appropriately--I often find myself having incipient deadline creep in that I start panicking about getting stuff done and think it's due vastly earlier than it is, but for some reason I associate that particular issue with talking to the calm and reasonable Jen, so there you go. So I checked and they're not due until March and May, respectively. So, whoooooaaaaaaa, there. Calm the heck down.

I baked fabulous bread and washed all the dishes. And did most of the laundry. It's incredible how much I've accomplished given the generalized slowness that the dang drugs give me. I am chopping those pills in half before I ever take one again, IF I ever take one again. I slept 13 hours last night which was after 11 hours the day and night before. That is just stupid.

And it also probably means I won't sleep at all once I don't take them. Wait, I didn't take one Thursday night, after a five hour nap, and I still slept nearly seven hours. (Which also means I can't do math, because that adds up to twelve, not eleven.)

Well, anyway. I'm nearly caught up on the Great Responsibilities so that's good. Each one is a big weight lifted off me. I'm trying to keep the doors open. Future doors! It's like some kind of devious trap where you have to do a certain number of things in sequence at given times or SLAM goes the door, shut.

There isn't much I seem to be able to control these days, what with ROCKS where no rocks ought to be, and all sorts of other things not arriving where they say they've arrived and so on, but at least I can do my best to keep doors from slamming shut. And to open new ones, like with that workshop. Hoo boy, sorry if I sound all impressed with myself, but I still can't even believe I got that all done and got my certificate, in the midst of almighty abdominal hell breaking loose and sitting in the E.D. with the skraelings all night and half of the day. Jiminy. Cookie indeed.

I am all addled with math and anxiety and such. I am going to KNIT. I'm nearly up to the neck decreases on the front (or back) of the sweater. Only I can't remember whether the one that's done is the back or the front. Does it matter? The front neck should be lower, so yes. So as long as one of them is higher, we are aces.

In which case I'm actually *not* nearly done with the back, I guess. It's such a pleasure to knit, this sweater! I'm all fired up to get it all done.

Tomorrow, more exciting adventures in basic coping mechanisms. And also this!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh. Ha ha.

I did not go look at couches. Instead I went to walk-in care. And they made me go to the hospital. So now I'm at the hospital, in the emergency department, which is like a really boring cocktail party of antisocial people who are sick or injured. Or like an airport, actually. Most like an airport.

I might end up staying over. You can deduce that I was prepared for this by the fact that I have my laptop, modem, ipod, and all of the associated power cords and cables, not to mention a book and knitting.

I managed to get my workshop done already (awesome) but I'm kind of fading out what with how they won't let me eat or drink in case of OMG cutting with knives this very night ack ack ack ack!

I keep having funny conversations. Like the nice PA will go, "You see kind of anxious about the possibility of surgery," and I'm like, "WELL IT'S JUST THAT I WOKE UP WHILE INTUBATED THIS ONE TIME," and she's like, "Ooooooh." And I go, "UM YEAH."

They gave me some kind of shot in the bum! But it was for the killer nausea. People don't like you barfing on their E.D. Not that I have! But I was all wobbling around and apparently the nausea bone is connected to the vertigo bone.


The moral of the story is don't watch a lot of Grey's Anatomy or you will perforce end up in the frakking hospital, gaaaaaaaaah! Handy that I have all of them with me on the laptop, huh? Entertainment! Venue-appropriate entertainment! With headphones.

Well. That's all we got. More later, eh?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Curative mint

I woke up exceedingly ill but marched through today anyway, so where is my cookie? Where? Not that I could eat a cookie. Holy cow. I don't know what my problem is. Just hideously nauseous to the point where I went to the store and bought mints and crispy salty things--all organic, which meant I had to go through the checkout with my organic cheesy poofs, so embarrassing! And old school Pepsi.

Those are the cures for nausea: peppermint, crispy salty things, sugar. None of them worked. Oh and I got chicken broth too, on the theory I should eat actual food if at all possible. It was so gross.

I don't know if you remember (why would you?) when my friend A. had the flu for weeks and then found out it was her gall bladder, heh.

What happens if that's what this is? Of course I generally get various abdominal pain just from pure anxiety so how would I know if this was different? See what I mean? Tricky. I've been in fear of the gall bladder thing because you just have to have it out and I don't have insurance, see.

I drank a billion gallons of water on the theory that could only help. Ooh, plus I got the lowest reading ever on the thermometer, one that is completely ridiculous. I'd be shaking with hypothermia if my temp were that low. I tried it later and it went back into the 97s at least. Sheesh.

Maybe I just have food poisoning! We can only hope.

Blaaaaaaaargh, I feel so terrible, ooof.

Today I FedExed those app materials out even though hello, I have the delivery confirmation evidence that it was received. I mean, what the what? The US Postal service says so. I am afraid I kind of tortured the new me with my FedEx anxiety attacks all day long. (Another possible culprit in the whole stomachal issues: return of the app!) I went out there about a dozen times to see whether it had been picked up yet, which actually was good because her directions and MY directions for FedEx didn't add up but mine were right, with the right number and all. I mean my notebook of how to do everything from when I was the old her, before she was the new me.

I know!

So anyway FedEx finally came around 4:30 and I didn't have to drive to Portland tonight in my state of hideous queasiness. It's one of those things where every smell makes me positive I'm going to hurl. No hurling! I might still tonight.

It is awesome to spend your entire day feeling like hurling is imminent every second all day long. Especially right now. OH dear.

Anyway I have work to do, both online jobs, woohoo! One is awesome and one is a workshop thing I might bail on if it's not the essential upward bound one. I'll have to check. I've been lying around on the "couch" moaning feebly, with concerned cat in attendance.


Hey, I stayed at work all day. I get to complain a lot now that I am an awesome survivor person.

Guess how I managed staying there? Besides all those dang mints. I listened to all of the Grey's Anatomy podcasts! I'm sad that not all of them were Shonda and Betsy. Plus I always feel bad when Joan is on because remember when I was there? I heard Betsy down the hall and recognized her voice, and said so, and Joan was amazed and then said, "But I did one too!" only I didn't really remember hers clearly. Awww. I still feel bad about that, because I was all saying how excited I was about the podcasts and then, oops.

It's the comedy team of Shonda and Betsy that I love, see. Also the way they record them, when I listen on headphones, I swear I turn my head to look at them sometimes--it's very acoustically directional somehow. You can actually hear Betsy turn to talk straight to Shonda and then turn back to the microphone.

Hey, I listened for eight hours today, give me a break.

And! I remembered why I really love the podcasts! It is STORY TIME. I mean it's like studying story at the feet of the masters! That's how I got hooked in the first place. Tv writer podcasts are the coolest thing, full of insights on how they got from A to B to what you see on the screen. I wish book writers did this too but they really don't, or movie people, not regularly like this. It's totally story class and character class and I LOVE IT.

Well, let's just hope I'm not up for a cholocystectomy (a word I learned from Wonderfalls, not Grey's, you'll be fascinated to hear) in the near future. I do not have a coupon for one of those. Wouldn't insurance be a good thing to have? I think so too.

I'm just going to go check on that workshop thing and then do the other thing. I really am going to schedule a whole day off some time soon, I swear. Maybe a whole weekend. Shocking!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seriously


Why so difficult? I'm trying to do a reasonable number of things but it's like I'm doing it with a grand piano strapped to my shoulders. It keeps on bonking into the door frames and playing Für Elise when least expected. And it is so dang hard to get out of any given chair at any given time, for no matter what reason. Kettle's boiling? Time to fold the laundry? Gotta pee? Time to make the donuts? Time to get out of bed? Time to GO to bed? DON'T WANNA MOVE.

It's very boring and has a deleterious effect on the awesomeness quotient, is all I'm saying.

What's the solution?

I'm all grumphing about because of Too Much Work, it's true. Though getting all that massive amount of work done and in for Online Job yesterday should help. It only took ALL DAY. Seriously, it took forever, not because the work took so long, though it really did, but also because my connection kept timing out. I had to upload all these separate things in all these separate places and write a message for each, and it sounds dumb but it took HOURS. Very very frustrating hours because each time, the thing would either work or not work, but I'd have to wait up to 15 minutes to find out.

ANYWAY.

Apparently some residual frustration, there.

And then by evening I was so wrought up and into the bubbling shivery shaky zone that I took half of one of that prescription (the amount I was told to take was one half) because I could NOT stop clenching my hands so tight, gripping my sweater or the tablecloth or a puzzle piece or anything in reach, and guess what hurts my hands more than anything? Yes, clenching my fists.

Unfortunately it didn't work for that, but it did make me sleep twelve hours, which is kind of inconvenient because I have a ton more work to do today. ACK!

I made pancakes. Pancakes are good, right?

It's funny, I read this article completely by chance in Psychology Today, which I've been reading once in a while over the last few months. I forget how I started. Waiting for that prescription last fall, browsing the magazine aisle, I guess.

Well, the latest one has a whole article about me and my mom! Okay, not really, but OH YES it does. Go and read it! It will give you all the insight you ever needed. I mean it describes this whole thing exactly. January/February 2010, 80-87. I would quote it but I'd have to quote 98% of it so nope.

So that was kind of awesome because I realized how far I've come just in realizing what that whole thing is and was, which I hadn't ever even articulated until a couple of years ago. In fact I remember being out for dinner with a friend and saying, "My mom doesn't like me," which of course I'd known MY WHOLE LIFE but hadn't ever said out loud.

Fascinating! Imagine not understanding that it's different for other people. I still don't grasp it entirely. Wait, your mom...likes you? How do you know? You don't think everyone is about to scream at you and stop being your friend all the time? Why not? It's like not growing up speaking Arabic so you can't make those particular sounds. Actually it's like the laws of physics are different for other people.

So anyway. It was very cool to read about it as a known phenomenon and not just my own personal hell. I can associate pancakes with getting whacked on the head with a wooden spoon until it broke and all the screaming and yelling that went with going to church, or I can make pancakes and let the cat sniff them because he's always curious about food, and put syrup on them, and eat them up. So now I'm able to make and eat pancakes, which I guess is good? Mmm, pancakes.

I'm curious about butter on pancakes. There's butter in the batter (better!) and on the pan and so why would you put it on top of them also? I'm a butter fan but that is overkill in my book.

Maybe I can't get off the couch (not that I have a couch) but at least I'm cooking food, as part of the overall effort to try to take at least minimal care of myself on the most basic level--like what the SPCA would approve of. Like FEED THE HUMAN. I would take the human for a walk too since now it's a balmy 20 degrees but did I mention I can't really get up and do anything?

Yesterday I cooked up this chicken but tried to step outside my usual sort of pseudo-Thai flavoring zone and ended up making some kind of sage and black pepper and onion thing, basically like stuffing, only chicken instead. It was good but kind of invisible, in flavor terms. Is it possible I'm permanently gustatorially bored with standard American food flavors?

Maybe I just can't taste things, like a smoker. All I know is next time I'm making it with lemon and cayenne and a little sweetness and it'll be delicious, yum!

I have this crazy chicken obsession lately so I got a whole bunch of it and I'll cook it up and then--stay with me here--I'll have food to eat. But only a day or two of lunches, because I need to keep cooking. Take care of the human! I have to remember my amazing dog, right? No one wanted her, she was a stray and at the animal shelter for months, but I saw her, it was history, that dog was mine! She was a wonderful dog and I took very good care of her. Same with Siegfried. He was in that cage at the Humane Society and I took him home and he's mine. I take good care of him. Obviously it doesn't matter who didn't want them. Take care of the human, too.

All of which is (duh) why a grad program app is the hardest possible thing for me. It's like asking someone out (which I would never do, are you crazy?) only they get to reject your whole talent and ability and employment future and everything else. Awesome!

So Grey's Anatomy is fascinating in season 6! Everything is going to hell! Orange scrubs and chaos and anarchy. I just watched the Rashomon one and it was very good indeed. I'm pretty psyched that SOMEONE ran away and hope that SOMEONE stays gone. Though I guess we're into the time period when Ellen Pompeo was pregnant? So Meredith seems to be sidelined and lying in a bed which completely inadequately hides the pregnancy.

Such good episodes. I have many favorite parts. Shepherd standing way down the hall while she thinks and thinks and figures out what to do about her poor old dad. And Lexie! How come I'm so fond of Lexie now? She's a terrific character. Hector Elizondo as Carlos Torres, coming to town again and again. He's so awesome! Callie and Arizona and amazing Cristina and not nearly enough messed up relationship progress involving you know who, our man Kevin McKidd.

I really do like the medical stuff, but it's all soap opera stuff that I love the most! How funny is that? But the very best shows ever are space opera plus soap opera. Is that why space opera is called that? Maybe so! Space opera is exactly like opera opera, with the big giant ideas and social thinkery. And giant wacky costumes, Farscape.

Anyway space opera for me every time! Yay!

I am working with medication names on a daily basis and so far the only ones I've recognized are from Bones and House. I think that's pretty hilarious. Well, and asthma medications, since I've taken all of them. It's funny to read one and think, "Hey, that's what that Santa bomber used in this year's Christmas episode!"

Ooh, I still have a new Bones to watch, and two new Capricas. I have to follow this Grey's obsession until I run out, though.

I'm TIRED. And I'd like to go 24 hours without having to medicate massive anxiety attacks if that's all right with the world. GOSH.

Here's what I have to do today:
1) online job II (which is giving me absolute conniptions)
2) taxes, all that deduction and home office stuff
3) FAFSA after taxes are done
4) clean the house
5) cook some food, possibly tacos, whoop!
6) those apps for the amazing jobs for fall

I can't possibly do it all, just so we're clear. I'm in that kind of state this whole past week where I want tea but getting up to go make it is essentially impossible. If I manage to vacuum the house, it'll be a miracle. Call the Pope!

Latest quilt. That is my carrot: get things done so I can work on this. It's all stacked up and ready to be pinned into strips. Those pieces are wider than high which is going to have such an interesting effect! I can't wait to see how it comes out.

Also, hello, I would like to get the work levels and concomitant PANIC levels down to where I can write a thing or two. Which I think would help with the panic levels. I'm just saying, here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Upstream

The saga of the orange yarn: I needed to buy more autumn harvest bulky yarn for the you-know-which hats. I am out of that orange yarn! Not even enough for one more hat! There have been two or three short periods in the past, er, five years when I didn't have enough yarn to knit a Jayne hat. It makes me tense!

I bought some on ebay, but the seller canceled the sale, didn't actually have the yarn on hand she thought she had. That's weird, right? Weird and also unprecedented. Oh well. So I bought some more from someone else. Only that person ALSO didn't have the yarn on hand and canceled the sale.

That's when I figured someone was trying to tell me something and stopped trying to buy more orange yarn.

No hat orders. No desperate need for Jayne hat yarn.

But today the no-yarn got to me and I just ordered two skeins of the orange yarn. We'll see what happens.

Isn't that bizarre?

I think that's bizarre.

I'm just wishing for a hat to knit right now, that's all. Because I have a lot of work to do and knitting for me is like smoking for smokers. Knit 'em if you got 'em! Well, this blue lace tube scarf (???) is the wrong thing. It's like when you're totally starving and ravenous and someone gives you a delicate little bonbon. Um. No. Also it's kind of a waste of fancy chocolate.

Right, so, work to do, lots of it. I AM ON IT.

That fridge full of delicious food is making me very happy. I don't even have to eat any of it and it's making me happy. Because if I wanted to cook something, I totally could! Awesome!

Did you know I *visibly* calm down when I start knitting in a stressful situation? Yep. They've done studies--not on me, but you know--and it's a measurable effect. Even if it wasn't measurable, you could easily watch it happen. Come on over!

The thing is, Afghans for Afghans has a due date of March 1st, sweaters and mittens and socks and vests for kids 7-14, so I could knit an adult sized hat for them and not only get this hat monkey off my back but keep a kid warm. Hey! Let's do that!

I'm just going to go cast on a hat now. Wait, they don't want many hats. They want vests and sweaters. A vest is essentially just a big hat until you get to the arm holes. Around and around. And no decreases, hence no math! If a 22 inch hat is 76 stitches, how many go around the tummy of an eight year old? Quick, consult a reference work--32 inches. So a little math and I get about 110. (Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns--it has grids matching stitches per inch to age/size of children and adult. Math and information combined!)

It's great to knit for unspecified people because it doesn't have to fit anyone in particular. It just has to fit *someone.*

If a Jayne hat takes approx. 5 oz. of this bulky yarn, I probably need 10-12 oz. for a vest. (No pompom! Those things eat yarn.) Do I have 12 oz. of colors in this yarn that'll go together decently? Yes indeed.

So I could knit a vest of 110 stitches and it'll serve as a helpful anti-anxiety operative and also keep a kid warm whose country has been maybe a little bit bombed lately, like the kid's whole life long. Okay!

NOW I'm going to go cast on. And maybe make another cup of tea. Mmmm, tea.

Other jobs to do today that are contributing to the stress bunny effect:
1) laundry (in the 37 degree basement)
2) cleaning
3) figuring out how two dozen paper boxes disappeared out of my attic
4) cooking food for now and next week
5) Online Job
6) Online Job II
7) oh yeah exercise
8) applying for those amazing dream jobs that just appeared (for fall)
9) inventing fresh orange/tomato/onion salsa so I can make enchiladas

Now you see why I need to knit. TOO MUCH!!! And this is on my days off. No wonder I'm a quivering mess on weekdays. Too much work, no non-work scheduled, ever. Ack!

Right, vest. I'm on it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I blame Grey's

First it made me stay up too late. Then it gave me the aquarium aerator again. Chest all bubbly! This is not good!

Is it actually possible that last weekend's trauma was caused by trauma drama? Mama! That would suck!

Okay so I finished season five of Grey's Anatomy and now I'm hosed because I HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED. But don't tell me or I'll have to kill you.

Instead I'll have to download episodes from iTunes, right? Or does Hulu have them? I have to do the math one of these days and figure out how much data it is to watch a Hulu episode versus an iTunes episode. I do not know these things. I'm guessing the streaming is less but I'm really not sure.

Plus streaming off Hulu means you can't rewatch it compulsively so that is NO GOOD. But it does have the benefit of happening right exactly now. Unless! Unless the episodes aren't up yet!

I am going to need DSL, people. And Directv.

So

OH....SPOILERS!!!!!

So I could tell it was you know who because I recognized his hands, duh. But I kind of have a hand focus thing. Still, how could you mistake those arms for anyone else's arms? No way. So I guessed that right away.

Cristina still completely wins for favorite character. She is so deadpan and hilarious and so completely great in every way. And GROWING. They're all growing! Except Alex whom I still hate. Sorry. Alex is mean and nasty and a jerk.

I'm crazy about Owen, obviously. I'm going to be mad if he's not on the show after season five because I'm hooked.

Meredith is getting somewhat unsnarled which is awesome but also feels sort of doom-laden because the whole point of the show is to torture Meredith Grey. I suppose having several of your friends potentially croak would do it though.

I *really* love how the characters are actually growing and changing and becoming adults and taking responsibility and everything. When they're around their interns it's especially obvious how far they've come. I can't think of any show but Battlestar where characters have changed so much over time.

OKAY NO MORE SPOILERS NOW YOU ARE SAFE

I'm going to have to watch this disc again, criminy. I wish I had Rome instead of The Middleman, but that'll be up next.

I am trying to take some down time, did you see how well I did that? Yeah! Watching the tv and all! It's because I'm still not 100% from that dang flu and New Job and Other New Thing and I'm just exhausted. I did get the dishes washed and some random tidying up done (thank goodness) and sewed a patch on my jeans but mostly I slacked off, doing a puzzle. Mmmm, puzzle.

There's still no food and worst of all, no garlic--horrors! I don't know if I want to brave the bad, bad Hannaford after work on a Friday, though. I might run over during lunch. Seriously, it's that bad. Today I found out that everyone feels the same way I do about the bad, bad Hannaford. Isn't that cool? Must have a terrible manager because it's completely systemic.

But they do have garlic. I shall purchase some! This I vow!

Okay, time to de-drama-fy somehow. Shake it off! Goodness, this show.

I know what I'm predicting, but it may be colored by personal preference. We shall see. Wouldn't it be great if I could download season 6 episodes all day tomorrow over speedy internet and watch them this weekend? I know! Oooh, plus a new Bones and one day whenever next week another new Caprica. Hurray! Hearts for television, seriously!

Sorely tempted

Doesn't the name Morley Safer keep on going around and around in your head sometimes? More. Morley. Safe. Safer. Safely More-r? More, safely. Er.

Anyway.

I am sorely tempted to put off until Saturday what I could do today, because of the all-consuming TIRED, and also the state of my very untidy house. I have this paper-grading thing where I have to wash the dishes first and get things cleaned up or I can't sit still long enough to do it. Ooooh, the dishes...they are THERE.

Well that place that is so terrible with the paperwork has lost my 1099, apparently. Seriously, people. It is not that hard. Also you can make a pdf and email it to me. I would take a fax. I will come and get it if I have to. This has to get done by the 15th which I realize is ten days away but I'd be a lot happier if I could get it done now, so HUP FRELLING HUP.

Jeez!

I got to spend another half day immersed in awesomeness, and then oh boy, puzzle! Puzzle at lunch! With C. who is so very excellent and an EMT who was telling horrific war stories. I mean, EMT war stories, not actual war. How to unleash an endless fountain of amazing stories: say to an EMT, "You must have a lot of stories."

Honestly I say that to a lot of people. Because you know what? THEY DO.

I love love love hearing people's stories. It's our thing! It's what we have to share that's the very best! I love it. Now you know my best opening line so you are free to use it any time, no royalties necessary, not even a tip jar! You can just tell me the best ones. Oh yes!

I am not so sure that baba ganouj was the best dinner choice. Well, it was the best of the available choices...which isn't saying much. I mean it was highly delicious and I didn't eat much but now I feel like I'm going to die. WOE. I feel like making that yowling noise the cat makes before he throws up on the bathmat.

To do this weekend: cook some dang food! Like how about soup and pot pie just to start with? I could eat a scone or two, also. Mmm. And how about oatmeal cookies? I know! Yum. (No raisins, eccccccch., also allergic. I cannot believe I'm allergic to stupid raisins but it's true.)

I'm excited to get paid tomorrow, I admit it. This whole work/pay scenario makes me happy. Online Job has a kind of a delayed pay thing that makes getting paid especially exciting--not until next week. Figuring out when it's going to happen is always tricky. Maybe that's partly why it's so exciting, huh?

Oh my stomach. Maybe it's all the carrots I ate at lunch. Or the Christmas roast beast.

So tonight's to-do list includes:
1) patch my jeans finally so I can wear them to casual Friday
2) wash the mountain of dishes
3) watch those last four Grey's Anatomy episodes unless I decide to save some (probably depends entirely on how much Kevin McKidd time there is, to be perfectly honest)
4) maybe pin that quilt

5) Online Job was definitely high on this list but that was before I ate baba ganouj and began to feel like doom was imminent.
6) put some things away, holy criminy, messy messy messy!
7) it's truly not as bad as all that but it's worse than it ought to be and it's ON MY NERVES
8) find that Crichton poster and put it up because he's one of my character guiding lights or something, a reminder of what I want them to be, and also so beautiful, of course! though isn't that a crabby poster? note to self: acquire Crichton poster falling somewhere on the continuum from soulful to cheerful.

I'm saving the new Caprica for tomorrow. I mean, last week's. Caprica and popcorn! It's like old Battlestar Fridays!

Today I invented new ways to do my new job because the old ways involved a lot of writing by hand, which I cannot do for long without screaming. Screaming is not good office behavior.

I totally want this. I have to consider math carefully though in this time of mathy insufficiency. Also I imagine I'll instantly be outbid. But it's for a good cause! And helps Haiti, too!

Other things on my list of things to do but not soon or anything: get some frames for my beautiful gorgeous Pushing Daisies and Serenity and Sarah Connor onesheets. The Piemaker! Scary axe-wielding River Tam! Heavily armed Sarah Connor! Television's cute boys and dangerously armed women! Funny but appropriate.

I think I also have a 300 one but that might be overkill. Heh heh.

The view south out of the windows at work in the late afternoon is EXACTLY the view north over Burbank. Those same hills at the same distance. And the sunset mimics the smog haze! It's uncanny. No, really. It's like having a big sign that says "Burbank" because I walk along and see it and think, "Burbank." Every single time.

Yep. Pining for Burbank, that's me. IT'S TRUE, TOO! Gosh!

I should totally have a bumper sticker.

But wait...



 

Just a wee reminder for myself why I should stop pining for the greater Los Angeles area. Cough cough. I lived two blocks from that big white building! Ack! That fire got really really really close.

Okay, take a moment to breathe in the nice clean air of Maine, except when the wind is south off the Old Town paper mill like yesterday and everything stinks foully. But usually, so nice and clean! Yeah!

Let me know what you get to hear when you say, "You must have a lot of stories," okay? It'll be like Boccaccio only not as annoying!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

They fight crime!

A highly articulate rundown of why you, yes YOU, should love Bones too.

Go here and read it! Yes! They fight crime!

Why yes, I do happen to have The Bond in the Boot on in the background just now. Because, Wendell! It's one of those days when I just really really wanted some Wendell time.

How's he going to react to the pudding episode news, huh? I feel bad that we know and he doesn't. Wendell! Even though...never mind.

I got the yarn put away. OH THE DRAMA!

Wendell's the one with the icepack on his head and his clothes on, heh. Hockey episode! Excellent.

Scoooooop

You know Jamie told me to get the Scoop last summer so I have no excuse for waiting this long, and REALLY no excuse for going through so much hideous pain from shoveling. I tried it on the couple inches of light and fluffy snow out there, and guess what? Yes. Insanely easy, no pain. Thanks, Jamie!

Always listen to the Waynes, for they are wise. The Scoop is like a sled with a handle on the back and a shovel on the front, so it slides along the ground easily. That shovelway I dug out on Sunday (OW) is perfect for it. In fact, I'm deeply thrilled. Ecstatic, possibly. I love it when a plan comes together! Ha!

I went past the facilities shop in the place I was training yesterday and had to stick my head in the door out of pure nostalgia, but the guy fixing something there kind of looked up from his fixingness the mildly puzzled way you might expect, so I kept on going. Awww. No Waynes for you!

Hey! Not croaked today! I came home feeling like a human, unlike yesterday. Phew!

I got about 7.5 hours of sleep but really I think more would be better. How about that, self? How about getting to sleep earlier? In my nice warm room in my totally silent house in the insanely comfortable bed, with no papers to grade or anything to prepare for tomorrow, seems like it ought to be a lot easier than it is.

Hey so old friend/filmmaker buddy/friend of old students/generally awesome human being Adam pointed me to the paleo diet, which tickled me so much I was all, "I'm in!" Except then I remembered pudding. Mmmmm, pudding. And, you know, TEA. I love these insane pseudo-historical diets. Especially when I read it and it's basically how I eat now, except for did I mention the pudding? And bread. Mmmmmmmm, fresh hot homemade bread....

But it is interesting to think what a zookeeper would give a human specimen to eat. Not pudding, I imagine.

Also I liked Black Hockey Jesus's crazy plan of giving up meat and sugar and running a mile every day. Not that I would consider any of those three things, hello! But I like it that he's doing it. Go, Black Hockey Jesus!

I went out to the diner for lunch, planned excursion for no particular reason, and discovered the chicken tender conundrum. For the same price you can get: a) chicken tenders, or b) chicken tenders plus mashed potato, roll, coleslaw, and cranberry sauce. Huh. I can't remember but you might get twice as much chicken if you don't get the other stuff.

See, paleo-person would totally say: get twice the chicken and not that other stuff, because they're against potatoes and white flour and sugar. I guess the coleslaw is okay. Though if you read the paleo diet materials they all say eat a bunch of meat but eat a TON of vegetables, 1/2 to 1 lb. a meal. Which is me, hello. I'm the crazy vegetable fiend over here. I always believe it's the things you don't eat that'll kill you, like if you eat meat and don't eat a ton of vegetables, you are toast, but if you eat meat and DO eat a ton of vegetables, you will live forever and levitate and shoot laser beams out of your eyes. But only when you want to. Otherwise, inconvenient!

I have this crazy chicken jones lately (too late, my character's name is forever Payday Jones) and could eat a whole lot of it, like, I might get a little wild-eyed just thinking about it. Oh oh oh. Mmmmm, chicken. I have to make that honey chicken thing again. YUM.

Hey! I AM BABBLING! What a shocker!

Well I'm all thrilled at being old hat on day two of Day Job and not stressed out, hurray! I think it's going to be perfectly awesome. I am in love with my cubicle and how often do you hear me say that? Like, never. Even my WB one was not a place I was that fond of in itself, with the old-ketchup walls and the gray and the terrible lighting. But this one!

First of all (you know this part) it's blue. It's cozy and blue and full of a million (blue) drawers and (blue) cupboards, with vast (not blue, but white) desk space. It's quiet and there are lots of nice people nearby whom I already know and like. It's like my kitchen in L.A. in that I can reach everything all at once. And there's one of those adorable printers that is so intrinsically cute that I want to hug it, like those ancient Apple computers that looked like vertical toaster ovens. Know the ones? And the chair is possibly the only comfortable office chair I've ever met.

So anyway. Cozy! I admit I said, "It's like a spaceship!" when I first sat down which sounds daft but means: it's like the pilot's console area in a lot of fictional small spaceships, okay? I knew what I meant.

You know the flaw in the paleo diet, besides pudding, beer, wine, cheese, and maple donuts? The thing that drove us to stop being paleopeople and develop civilization in all of its awesomeness was probably beer, wine, cheese, maple donuts, and of course pudding. Agriculture and viniculture and animal husbandry made us smarter and more interesting people with time to think about things. Did paleopeople have Battlestar Galactica? I don't think so!

Unless your diet creates a culture that evolves complex literature to reflect upon itself, and also did I mention the pudding? then I am probably not exactly signing up wholesale. But I do have a renewed vigor for the giant vegetable meals, yum.

Isn't it interesting to think what diet could cause massive cultural changes in us now? I wonder what we could do that would cause as many huge changes as agriculture did? I mean you don't go sowing grain and thinking, "Thank goodness, in ten thousand years we'll have some quality thinky television with robots!" So I just have to wonder what can develop out of our choices now. See what I mean?

Work to do (yep) and then I have the last disc of season 5 of Grey's Anatomy. More delicious Kevin McKidd and his excellent character who is oh so very screwed up! And although I swear I put Rome up next, The Middleman came instead. Netflix is second-guessing me lately. Or something.

I might have to move some stuff around first, though. Like putting spare yarn back in the blue trunk. I don't know what my damage is, seriously. If it's in there, I'm all frantic and want it out where I can get at it, but if it's out, it's all cluttery and bugs me. Oh so hard to please. I'm putting it away, and putting the fabric fezzes in the attic until needed.

Sudden clutter aversion! Away with you, clutter!

So many quilts I want to make now now now. The new one is beautiful. I mean, in theory. It's eleven stacks of fabric strips right now, waiting to get pinned. My arm was so bad today, my hand was numb, which is really not good and sort of means quilting is a bad idea, but ibuprofin helped a lot which just means I need to keep taking that and icing it. And maybe get that elbow band thing.

Here's the test: grab your arm below the elbow and see if that makes it stop hurting. If so, get the band. I did that and it was like a miracle, it was so much better, so I'll get the band and then hopefully quit moaning about my busted elbow. Hurray! Everybody wins!

Happy Wednesday! Rah, rah!

Monday, February 1, 2010

One person liked this -- you

That is what Google reader says when I click the "like" button on a post--isn't it awesome? I LOVE that! One person liked this -- you.

Well, y'all, I did it. It was like wrestling the freaking kraken but I managed it. Partly because right in the middle of my daffy freakout, with the ongoing panic attack and racing heartbeat and complete inability to cope, a friend sent me this giant YOU MUST DO THIS about something else entirely, an amazing opportunity that I was too overwhelmed to cope with when I first heard about it. The YMDT missive/kick in the pants included something that is still making me giggle with ultimate tickledness.

Yay!

So I did it and it completely succeeded and now I think I have another Online Job! Online Job II is super awesome!

Which reminds me, I have to finish up original recipe Online Job today. Lemme just go do that now.

Okay!

Hey, baba ganouj in the fridge! Goodness, the stress cooking was excellent yesterday. I should be a basket case more often!

Look, I have an instant crush on this cute boy, and what an amazing protest of the protest! Destroy those dumbass sumbitches with your absurdity--that is the best thing ever. I love the looks on the faces of the stoopid protesters who incidentally are dragging their American flags on the ground. Hey! Pick that thing up! They look like little kids throwing a temper tantrum who get all frustrated and mad when no one is flipping out over them. And I love that they got all huffy and stormed off when no one was paying attention to them because of the much more entertaining anti-protest. YAY!

Someone at work called someone a "dumbass sumbitch" the other day and it's been entertaining me ever since. I might have to adopt it, except there's no earthly way I could say it with a straight face.

Gosh, yesterday sucked! Did you ever get a sticky accelerator cable on your carburetor? You step on the gas and it stays revving very high instead of coming back down like the spring is supposed to make it do. I've had that on two different cars. There's a spray you use to unstick it, or you might have to swap it out. But that's all I could think of yesterday. My accelerator cable was completely stuck, so my idle was incredibly high. I could not get my idle back down. This was even after the prescription barbiturates, I am sad to say.

I seriously thought this through like a carburetor repair. And then I fixed it like a carburetor, too. I got on the trampoline and jumped around for a long time, until my heart rate got going legitimately, and not out of MORTAL TERROR OH MY GOD THE KRAKEN HELP HELP AAAAAH. And then it came down normally and I could do the work I needed to do.

Which just goes to show something something insight something toaster-lover something alienation something mechanomorphization something something results! Yeah!

Anyway I got most of it done last night and uploaded it to their site this morning, then threw out the third piece that had to get mailed physically (why? why?) and wrote it again from scratch and printed it all out, then cleaned the cat fur off the printer head and printed it again, then went and mailed it. ROCK AND ROLL MY PEOPLE.

The nice man in the post office was like, "Oooh, that flu is going around...you should go back home and go to bed. Drink plenty of fluids!" Isn't it nice to know that strangers can diagnose you at ten paces? I really look and feel like hell. But I think that's as much to do with kraken wrestling and app grappling as the frelling flu. Also, I really want a haircut today. Haircut! Haircut! Haircut!

I still feel that the idle is kind of high. I mean it's like having an aquarium bubbler inside a quart of milk that is strapped to the middle of my chest. I have been a human for a long time and I'm positive it's not supposed to feel like this. And I'm also surprised the emergency anti-kraken pill didn't fix it and not sure how to fold that piece of info into the mix. But still, I'm sure it's all panic and mortal terror and their ilk, and will get better now that things are DONE.

Hey, I also got an excellent idea out of it. It is in the folder labeled "ideas" now. No, for real.

I keep thinking I might go for a walk, but it's 20 degrees. Also I keep forgetting: flu. Where's the rest of that chicken soup? How about this: chicken soup, tea, oranges, and Buffy dvds, in honor of all the fighting with figurative demons I've been doing? I think that's a plan.