Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flatline! Whoa!

No hits today! That's crazy, man! Actually it's been one a day for a while now. Which is fine. Everyone essentially writes for themselves, don't you think? Or have you forgotten it's in a new place? What's going on there?

I saw a sign in the library today that said Knit Night 6:30 Thursday, so guess what? I'm gonna GO! Now that Bones is over, sniffle, weep.

Apparently the DVR didn't record Doctor Who this weekend. What is up with that? And last night it decided I was wasting time watching an ancient Cheers, not that I was really watching it in the sense of eyes on the screen, because the high-waisted men's jeans really eeked me out, but it was on in the background, yes. So it went all gray. And so I changed the channel. And it wouldn't go to anything else, either. So I turned it off.

It's one of those times when everything says, "Honey? Go write your book." Okay! I the will!

I keep thinking of English words in declensions like Latin. I woke up thinking this one:



Except then I couldn't figure out mine and ours. What on earth do you call those? What part of speech? Substantive possessives? It stumps me in English. Alas. Latin grammar erased the English terms.

Today I saw a long tattoo on another boy's arm and made him hold out his arm so I could read it. It was in Gothic script, one letter wide, running from his shoulder all the way down to his wrist, with the letters oriented



Note: boys are compelled to flex when showing someone their arm tattoos, even frumpy ladies the age of their moms. And it said: "Si vis pacem para bellum." I said, "If you want peace, prepare for war," and the boy was equal parts impressed and completely agog, to which I said, "I know Latin." Because, um, I do.

Personally, I was just impressed that he could keep quiet long enough for me to read the sketchy script and translate it. That's where rural boy trumps sophisticated boy. Rural boys are ACE at not talking. It's their default status.

Actually another boy said a very funny thing. He was all red-eyed and sniffly and I said, "Are you okay?" and he said, "It's that time of the month," and when I kind of blinked at him, he said, "Year! That time of the year! Allergies!" I laughed and laughed and did NOT tell his buddies.

I really am fond of kids that age. I see them and I'm like, "My people!" Students, you know.

Hey! Did you see the sulfite-free cookbook blog? I love it. This stuff is only on my mind ALL THE TIME so it's a good place to write things out and get them, you know, off my mind. And then I have notes and memories and recipes written down. Yay!
Also it's just fun to write.

News flash: I love writing. Crazy revelation, I know. Who's Tiffany?

Monday, May 30, 2011


Here's the terrible but hilarious thing I said accidentally to a guy the other day:

guy: I'm dressing up as Priscilla Presley for this party.
me: I don't even know what she looked like. Did she look like you somehow?
guy: You mean, was she fat and hairy? No. She was attractive.
me: Then what's the connection to you?
[long silence as we both realize what I just said]
me: THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! I mean, why are you in particular dressing up as her?

Oh dear oh dear. It's horribly funny but also appalling. Both! I ran over and patted him on the shoulder and apologized about sixteen times and if you know me (and I think we established above that you do) then you know that I do not do physical contact, so that was me saying I'm very very sorry for implying that you look like a bald furry fireplug with a goatee. Whoops! I mean! I was laughing and totally dying at the same time.

Anyway I just had a revelation that I'm turning into Yoda, living in a little house in a swamp, so who am I to talk?

I really have to trim my bangs. They have never been this long, ever. Unless I was growing them in. I'm not, am I? Wait, am I? I could. They really are getting surprisingly gray and there's just something peculiar to me about graying bangs. Like it screams earnest lifestyle fanatic of some sort. Which of course I AM but only of necessity.

How earnest lifestyle fanatical could I be if I just ate two grilled cheese sandwiches made out of leftover pancakes with provolone inside, dipped into honey mustard made of honey and wasabi powder? I know! If that's my earnest lifestyle fanaticism, count me in. I should put that on the cover of the cookbook that's just a sulfite-free gleam in my eye right now. It's so decadent and delicious! And comfort food-y.

Ack! I just read this YA novel and it was fine, whatever, and then I got to the end and the author was a 23 year old boy. WHAT? Okay, the heroine was not at all girl-oid in any way and the boy was described in way too much loving detail, so I'm guessing the heroine was a genderless stand-in and the boy was the object of desire, but still. It's weird how much it threw me. And the last YA novel I read was written by freaking Joyce Carol Oates. Who is manifestly also not your usual YA author but I could not have cared less in that case.

So what's up with that?

His name was Bennett Madison and the book was set in sort of ritzy land NY, so I took him to be a wealthy NY her. Bennett Madison from Manhattan, come on! I went to college with dozens of her. I had one for a roommate. (A whitebread girl embarrassingly into gospel but had not the slightest groove, but had no idea. I mean, so am I, but at least I KNOW. I play the CELLO. I don't go around talking JIVE. Oh, she just killed me.)

Brrr, shiver.

So anyway. I'm all mad at Bennett Madison for reasons that are not at all his fault. I'm sure he's a perfectly nice boy and he wrote a very funny book. It's just I was busy bending over backwards not disliking this one kind of New Yorker girl, like what's her name, the one with the angry girl albums who I also went to school with. Oh heck. Liz something. Liz Phair! Liz Phair. I thought Bennett Madison was just like her, all full of Latin but wearing a black leather jacket and thinking she's a revolutionary for taking her shirt off and using four-letter words. Dear Liz Phair: grow some self-awareness and a sense of humor about yourself. Also you could have been nice to people instead of cold and judgy and rude. Then maybe you wouldn't have eaten lunch alone every day in the stupid cafeteria where D. and I worked. Regards, Me.

I mean, I used to say hi to her and she'd be like, Whatever.

Actually my New Yorker friend B. in L.A. who went psychotic on me had a funny perspective on this. I was saying how weird people are in L.A. because I'd always say hi (this is my neighbors we're talking about) and some days they'd say hi back and other days they'd blow me off, which is rude and confusing. And she said she thought L.A. people were weird because they'd always say hi to her when sometimes she felt friendly but sometimes she just wanted to be left alone, so she wouldn't answer.

It was kind of doomed from the beginning, wasn't it? I think you should be polite. It's basic. It's where you start. Also, I mean, how are people supposed to KNOW you don't feel like saying hi? It's not like you can tell, when they're just walking along normally, not hiding in their hoodie or wearing a ski mask or skulking in the bushes.

Probably politeness also includes not telling people that they in no way resemble a person they just called attractive, but that was accidental and I feel really bad about it. Truly.

I could totally eat more quinoa salad right now. But I won't. Because I'm full. I was going to make strawberry ice cream tonight, and I had ambitions for some kind of apple crumble with walnuts in it (mmmm!) but again: totally full and unmotivated to cook. It can wait!

Got to invent the oatmeal bars, though. I'm on it, right now. Will report back!

Weird but good, much cookery

Guess what, I made quinoa! I made this amazing quinoa salad. That's because cold grain salads are supposed to be my exciting new lifeline food of eating! Yes! Rice, barley, millet, whatever.

The quinoa salad is probably going to be the first exciting new lifeline food of eating on my planned sulfite-free blog that precedes the cookbook I am totally going to write, you know I am. But guess what goes in cookbooks? RECIPES. So yeah! Must have some, doy.

Someone at work calls people Gertrude when they're being dumb, which cracks me up inordinately even though that was my grandmother's name. She'll be like, "Yeah, figure it out, Gertrude!" and it is so very very funny. Hurray!

So I washed dishes and cooked and then graded papers all day and then cooked some more, went for a very buggy walk with seized up legs, and then cut lots of quilt pieces and ironed all my pants and shirts. I don't know why but when I got to the jumpers I just stopped. Even though I was going to wear the blue one tomorrow. Maybe I'll still iron it.
I like linen in the summer, that's the thing.

Excellent and successful day. I call it a win. Cooking food for the next day or so always makes me happy. I also carved out a lot of melon balls and chopped up a bunch of watermelon, while listening to The Tell-Tale Heart. Actually Selected Shorts gives a little teaser where they read a short line of the performance, to suck you in, before they say what it is, and I heard the line and yelled, "POE!" because I read way too much Poe way too many times, over and over and over, from about fifth or sixth grade into junior high.

And then whenever they'd assign creative writing, I'd write an awesome macabre Poe-like story and the teacher would search around the room to try to figure out who this Burns girl was who never talked but wrote this stuff. And then if the teacher was an idiot they'd try to bust me for plagiarism even though you can't do that unless you can say where it's from.

Sometimes accusations of plagiarism are compliments.

Anyway I ate very well today, including at least two foods consisting of three or more ingredients! Yay, me! Dinner was more my usual thing, smoked salmon on Triscuits with a bowl of melon after. You know, individual things consumed in sequence or simply placed together rather than mixed. But breakfast was pancakes (mixed! cooked!) and lunch was that quinoa salad and I'm feeling pretty proud of all that, thank you very much.

Ha! Ack! Jeebus! Hart Hanson retweeted a goofy thing I just wrote about Bones. Ack! It was the episode on the fairway from season one, which I just finished rewatching for the millionth time. Ha!

Seriously, right near the end of the episode there is a very long hug followed by a shot of the Washington Monument and it did make me burst out laughing, right there over the ironing board.

Well, if he retweeted it, that means it made him laugh, so that's okay.

Gosh, I love that show. It's a rare day when I don't watch it. Truly.

I would normally have to run flapping around the house yelping, "Ack! Jeebus!" but I'm pretty tired so I'll just go to bed.

Enjoy the watermelon shells, coyotes! And the strawberry tops! And whatever else! I know you like baked goods most of all. Unless that's the raccoons. Anyway I have two ancient biscuits to throw out there, so you can look forward to that, as soon as I remember.

Hey, I saw a little baby skunk in a field today (not moving, possibly dead--I did not investigate) and couldn't figure out which way its head was. So I was walking along the road, thinking, and I'm afraid this is true, "Now, are skunks white in the front and the back and black in the middle, or black in the front and the back and white in the middle?"

Except I was thinking of police cars, because skunks are black with a white stripe down the center of their backs, as everyone knows. Another thing that made me laugh my head off today, this time at myself. Though the image of skunks colored like police cars is kind of awesome.

Here in Dagobah, we don't have police cars. We have a sheriff. His car is brown. So there you go!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Huh, what?

I slept most of today. So weird! Those evil cashews of evil gave me instant giant puffy face. Probably should have gone to sit in the ER with the very smelly people and gotten IV benadryl. I hope I never underestimate an allergic reaction and get myself into serious trouble that way, but given that the first thing that happens is irrationality, I certainly might.

Anyway that kind of sucked. Had about a four hour nap about four hours after I woke up. That means doing Online Job tomorrow and not going over to visit the little niece and nephew tomorrow. I will survive. A big allergic reaction like that really takes a lot out of me, like it's incredibly exhausting somehow and I'm all drained, blah blah, so I'm in bunker mode.

Must wash dishes tomorrow, also invent oatmeal breakfast item of some sort. Must buy sugar to make them, though. I tried using Splenda, which I always want to write as Splendor because Maine people say splendor as splenda. Does that make sense? Right! I've been using Splenda in my dinner smoothies and have swelled up like a giant balloon so I might quit using the Splenda is what I'm saying. Like my ankles turned into water balloons. It's horrible! It can't be the fruit and yogurt and the only other ingredient is the Splenda/or, so there you go. Guilty! Gavel! Whack whack!

Quilting! I am charging along! I found the four inch squares though I'm really thinking a lot about alternating squares with those thinner strips. I like the un-regimented quality of the randomness. Yes. And the baby quilt will be bargello rainbow sort of, which is fairly straight-forward and I'm hoping will be kind of quick and stuff. End of the week if possible. Yes please! No school, so I should be able to get a lot more done.

The bugs hover outside like a swarm of killer bees in a cartoon, waiting to dive on me and bite any and all exposed flesh, so walks are not really going so well. Nor is gardening. What is a person supposed to do? Rats.

I keep finding this gigantic huge stripey bumblebee thing in the basement. Except, I mean, it's really unnecessarily large. It's easily an inch long and 3/4 inch across. I have put one out twice or two out once each, not sure which, but I'm highly uneasy about them because a) large stinging insects in my house? and b) if something that big stung you, wouldn't you just keel over? not to mention what about Mr. Kitty! and c) how big must the hole be that they're getting in by? Mice could come through that! Snakes! Bats! Everything! So I have to find and fill the hole. Without antagonizing the giant bees. Or whatever.

Oh! It's called an Eastern Carpenter Bee. They are eating my house, apparently. They drill holes into it. Huh! How about that? I suppose I should tell the landlord, but I suspect that chemical warfare (or doing nothing) would be his next move. It looks like they drill holes to build nests but in this case accidentally drilled right through into the basement, which says fairly telling things about my house, don't you think?

Many things to do for summer adaptation. Wash wool sweaters and dry (when the weather ever gets hot and dry enough) and put away. Mend more shorts. Things I wear all the time wear out! What is up with that?

I cannot believe I'm tired but I am, even after the four hour nap and another accidental one hour nap later. Sheesh! Whaaaaaaaaaat is that about?
The white phalaenopsis orchid that bloomed from about January until now has just lost its flower. But another one is about to open on the same plant. Yay! Actually that new inflorescence (flower spike) looks like it might have two or three different individual prongs coming, which could mean a bunch of flowers. That sounds great to me! Orchids, man, they only get really happy when you live somewhere more than two or three years, which is why mine just get settled in and whoosh! I move them somewhere else.

Not so sure that's happening this time. Boy am I getting antsy about it, though. Like I feel like the time ran out on my parking meter and I have to GO.

I might have relocation issues. Er, duh, Xander. I have daily fantasies about packing. I was eyeballing the black metal trailers at the tractor store with intent. I hesitate about buying large jugs of orange juice because of the pressure to finish them up. I mean, yeah, issues. For true. Serious, profound, lasting longing to FLEE this place.

I have to say, the addition of gigantic bees boring into the basement does not exactly counteract that urge. Heh.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vicious bullies for the...lose?

FTL! Wait, that's faster than light. For the doom? I don't know, DOWN with vicious bullies, is what I say.

I'm not really good with vicious bullies. But it's interesting to see how outside of me it is now. I'm getting better at leaving it outside me and saying things like, "You need to stop calling me that," when the vicious bully calls me names, and so forth.

There's not much you can do to make a bully stop except act like a decent, normal person. They WANT you to flip out and get angry and be upset. They want to draw you into their nasty little world. They want you to play their game.

In fact I think it's my refusal to play the game that infuriated my parents so much when I was little. I am trying to bully you! Why aren't you reacting appropriately? Which I realized also made it impossible to bully me at school. You know the mean kids would come up and say those various mean kid things to try to get a reaction, but they were such small potatoes after psycho, I'd just look at them until they walked away, or say something like, "Actually, such and such is true," and they'd be like, "What."

Which is another thing: I can probably get certified to teach in Maine this summer by filling out some forms and taking a course or two at most. Do I want to teach in Maine? Will the kids be like the horrible people, small-minded and mean and petty and stupid? Possibly. But being certified would be a good thing no matter what I do with it, even if it means taking that certification to another state that isn't poisoned to the core.

I'm trying to be up front with myself about how abusive this situation is and how very, very bad for me it is. It's incredibly bad for me.

Truly, I think Online Job is just as abusive in their offer/neglect cycle, where I can never count on employment, but at least they're not personal. It's less upsetting when it's an institution, maybe? Yuck, though, huh?

I have lovely quilting going on and all kinds of delicious fruit to eat, and I'm going to invent those oatmeal breakfast bars today, but that's a story for another post!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tea tree on my shoulder makes me sniffy

I keep forgetting it's there and going, "What's that weird smell?" There's some kind of red volcano thing so I put tea tree oil on it. It sure is entertaining being Short Term Memory Person!

For instance, today I took a packet of papers out of my file, took the paperclip off it, put the paperclip down, put the papers down, saw the paperclip on my desk and thought, "What is that paperclip doing there?" then put the paperclip away in the box in my drawer. Then one second later picked up the papers, inserted the thing I needed to add, and realized where the paperclip had gone.

Come on, now! That's just silly.

When the brain fog episodes happen, I forget what I'm doing mid-copy-and-paste. Like this: copy something from Excel. Forget where I was going with it. Alt-tab from spreadsheet to spreadsheet until I figure it out. Then paste, if I remember where it was supposed to go.

Dear oh dear. I only do this stuff ALL DAY LONG.

Granted (in my defense) I'm in the noisiest, most distracting, most irritating environment possible, with people having eighteen cows and racing in and going, "Crisis crisis crisis!"

I took the plastic off the front door's screen today! More and more ventilation! It was 82 out when I left work, ungodly boiling hot in humid Maine, and it was hotter indoors, yikes. And I wore jeans today. I got home practically insane from the combination. But now it's much cooler and I should probably even close the doors and windows before long. My toes are cold.
Must! Sew! Things! I'm gonna, even if it means pushing the "play all" button on the DVR and watching ten millions Bones or Doctor Who reruns and fast forwarding through commercials. Yes yes, I'll get a new DVD player one of these days, when I get around to it and feel like parting with some cash. Cheap! Frugal! Unwilling to part with some cash! Plus might have just lost 1/3 or 1/4 or whatever of my income due to no more Online Job just now! Ack!

Okay, okay, time to cut and sew, cut and sew, cut and sew. Lock and load. Rock and roll!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh gosh

Dreadful, dreadful.

Here is a fascinating thing about terrible people. They think that all people are like them, but I know for a fact that all people are NOT like them. In fact, I know many, many, many people who are good, solid, upstanding, kind, generous, thoughtful, and dignified. They do not think that references to body parts involved in excretion are inherently hilarious! And so on.

I am in a grim state of mind.

On the plus side, I can walk just fine today. I don't know what that was about. Except it was scary and incredibly painful and debilitating. Now I'm just a little sore. Weird!
I am trying to think of other good things. I made corn tortillas! Yummy! I baked the cookies I'd frozen in dough form. I made cranberries. It was highly productive. I'm way too full. And I need a glass of water but that requires getting up. Up! Up!

Here's an odd thing. I bought the book Fat Cat from Borders in, I dunno, February. But they didn't charge me. And then every so often the charge ($10.75 or something) would appear on my bank account, and then disappear again, and then reappear, and so on. It appeared last week and then disappeared, then appeared again this week. I think this time it might take! Except then Borders emailed to say they were shipping my book. Which I got in February. Are they sending it again? Mysterious!

Also nobody on Book Mooch has sent me the books they were supposed to send me. Hey! Get on it, Book Mooch!

What am I gonna do? Besides the tortillas and cranberries and rhubarb and stuff, I am profoundly and comprehensively miserable in a long-term way! It's true. Blargh! I do not know how to overcome something that makes it so very hard to overcome itself. Tricky.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


You might not think that the Icelandic volcano would have an immediate effect on me, but so it is! Madness! Chaos! I had to run to the store!

Going to the store for work is always fun because I generally have to get either tremendously huge quantities of something or a collection of very odd items. Once it was something like 20 jars of biryani sauce. Today it was a whole lot of those eight ounce bottles of lime juice. The cashier even asked me what it was for and I had to say, "Oh, I don't even know. They said go get x amount of lime juice, so I did." She was understandably nonplussed.

Hi! I fixed the mower! It needed a new spark plug. Well....it needed its spark plug cleaned. But I got a new one when I got the socket. Which I got by describing my 15 year old mower to the boy at John Deere.

Are they making the boys cuter these days or what? I know he was just a pup but good heavens.

Anyway I was VERY impressed that he could deduce make and whatnot from my description, which went something like this: "It's silver, and the engine part is black. And the wheels are yellow." And he went type type type and showed me my mower on the computer screen. Awesome! Then he got me all the right parts and I was just besmitten.

Engines and spark plugs and cute boys all at once! Oh my goodness me.

So then I mowed the whole entire lawn because it was the first nice day in weeks and it's going to rain again tomorrow, argh! Actually I was only going to do half, and then I was like, "Oh, I'll just keep going until the gas runs out," except it didn't. Which I think has to do with my nice new spark plug. And new air filter. A tank of gas never used to do the whole entire lawn and the path through the fields. No way. I had to refill it, without exception.

The grass was wet and bunged up the side flinger over and over, so I kept having to shut the blade part off and unclog it. Slimy! Gross! Gushy! Ick.

So I did the whole thing sort of by accident and out of curiosity to see just how much further a tank of gas goes these days. Hmm! Ooh, I also mowed the garden. Which needs to get dug this weekend, boy howdy.

By the end of my shower I could barely move and after sitting here on the exceedingly comfy couch and doing Online Job and Online Job Workshop for a few hours, I actually could not walk. Which has never quite happened before. I did manage to stagger to the bathroom and back by holding onto the furniture and sort of propping up one leg at a time. Jumping jiminy.

If tomorrow weren't a work day, I'd take massive pain meds and conk out, but such is not to be.

I may not be adequately expressing the huge relief I feel at getting a) the mower fixed once and for all, and b) the lawn mowed. It was really really really really tall. Far beyond the means of the motorless mower.

The landlord's grandkids kept zooming up to the end of the dirt road on their four-wheeler and waving hi to me while I mowed, which entertained us both far more than it ought to have. But then again, that's how sweet this town is. This horribly buggy swampy town. Sweet! Where "Let's go wave to that red-faced lady who's always mowing the grass!" is an actual fun idea that actual children aged about nine and ten have. And then they do it. Multiple times!

Of course, I was wearing my three giraffe moon t-shirt, so there's that.

I'm thrilled that I COULD mow. Remember when I would try to mow and my legs would just seize up? I know! They can seize up after. Whatever. But during was a problem.

We learned today that we're definitely not moving to Kittery. SIGH. I have to get cracking and get out there and make some friends somehow. Search for knitting groups again! Maybe at that new yarn store! Scour the University's events calendar and go meet anxious single parent physicists, or something! (That is an ideal scenario. If he's balding, so much the better. I kid you not.)

On the plus side, I don't have to move. On the minus side, I don't get to move. Humph.

I got all bitten up but only on the left side of my face, which might mean it's actually hives, come to think of it. Really it's benadryl and ibuprofin and bed time.

Can I describe the hood hunchback phenomenon? Everyone works in very cold rooms at work, except for the office people like me. It's bloody hot where we are. So everyone bundles up in sweatshirts and fleeces, except they have to wear big white lab coats over top. But their hoods have to stay inside the lab coats. So everyone has this similar hood hunchback look, such that I hardly recognize them out of uniform. Well, plus taking off the eighteen sweatshirts means they all look about fifty pounds lighter when they get unbundled.

Okay, I took the plastic off two whole windows today. Several days before it was even June! It's madness!

Can I just say one more thing? OW. This is three-match rugby tournament level pain. Though that would be more impact and crashing type bruise-related pain and less joint and bone and muscle pain. 

I got the wedding invitation today. It's all gorgeous! It feels like a party invitation. So now I kind of want to go. I sort of want to take a mysterious date and refuse to explain to anyone. I also sort of want to eat nothing but fruit and nuts between now and then and become less of a roaming pudding, since wedding pictures have a way of sticking around. Oof. Plus, dress, right? Don't I get a cool, fancy dress if I go? I kind of want one. Something cool and interesting and not at all step-aunt of the groom. Or whatever. Boston in July, though. It's going to be hellish hot and humid, right? Think think think.

Oh right, I'm steam-rollered. Must go attain horizontality.

Mossy and bossy and tattooed boys

It's so damp in here, I expect moss to grow everywhere. And I'm pricing dehumidifiers for the upstairs. I mean where I actually live. So damp!

It poured and poured for weeks and weeks and then it stopped briefly today but only long enough for me to look at the grass and clutch my head in despair. How am I gonna mow it? It's too long for the motorless mower. Must fix motor-having mower! Or get Jim to fix it. He fixed it before. Maybe it's fine! Who knows?

Will try tomorrow.

I'm off to bed. Am WRECKED today. My electrical system seems to be sort of fried, like I was getting electric shocks all down the legs (complete with twitching--that's HAWT) but also numbish from about, ooh, chest down. Awkward!

I can't get too worked up about it. Eh, I say. Whatever. It'll be doing something different tomorrow.

Tonight my work buddy came over and watched Glee! And we drank pink strawberry/rhubarb smoothies! And she brought little homemade cheesecakes! It was all very Glee-ful in the catering department. The temptation to hurl our smoothies at the tv was very strong, but we resisted.

Also the couch, it is confirmed, is INSANELY COMFORTABLE. If damp. UGH, the dampness.

See, I kind of want to get AC because soon it'll be hot and damp (humid) but a dehumidifier just makes it hotter. Though less humid. But then you can't exactly use the AC to dehumidify when it's cold, which it mostly is. And it's still plenty damp when cold. So complicated!

Maybe tomorrow I'll run the dehumidfier upstairs all day? But it'll fill up and stop. Hmmmmm.

Yucky. Damp, high wet grass everywhere outside, raging Amazon-like insect life rampaging. I fully expect dinosaurs. There are monster slugs everywhere. Ugh! Bleah!

But I braved the yard (I hate tall wet grass) and picked an armload of rhubarb, which I cooked despite only having Not Enough sugar. Mmmmm, rhubarb. I picked as much as I could carry, then tromped through the jungle to the compost pile and broke off the leaves there. It's so rain foresty out, the leaves I broke off last week are still green. See? See? The hardwood floor is going to sprout branches!

Online Job is making me take this hard and work-involving workshop (oh, it's right in the name) so I can qualify for that new course/courses I want to teach. Hard! Work! Aaaaah!

Difficult on a day with very little useful brain.

My lack of brain made me take a nap after work, of course, despite all the pre-guest cleaning that had to get done. My very favorite thing all day was that part way through my nap, I woke myself up by saying to the kitty, who was next to me on the bed, "Are you a sharpshooter?"

I feel confident that he is not.

Also, I bought a spherical watermelon. What is the world coming to? What?

How come quick oats are exactly the same in every nutritional respect as regular oats according to their packaging (protein, carbs, etc.) but are ten fewer calories per serving? How? WHY?

Should I switch to Splenda completely? Sugar is not good for you, it's true. In which you is me. I have issues with sugar. Like this: nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. See? Issues.
I have worse issues (similar, though) with butter and cheese.

Speaking of highly decorative skinny people, there was NO Mike Chang time in the Glee finale. What a rip!

It is awesome but also embarrassing to watch Glee with someone who's like 20 or something and have to say which boy you like best. Mike Chang, duh! She likes Artie. But I like Artie too, of course! I have a theory (when don't I have a theory?) that they consciously spread out the awesome traits amongst the boys and no doubt similarly amongst the girls so that each one gets this super appealing trait but no one gets too many. See what I'm saying?

Also the Lima-Adjacent joke is L.A.-specific, Glee! I can't be explaining your jokes to the whole rest of the country!

There is a new chef boy with the coolest tattoo. It's an ambigram that says loyalty one way up and betrayal the other way up. It's on his forearm so it's not like you can miss it, plus he's very and nice and has those nice strong arms where you sort of realize you've maybe lost track of the conversation, what were you saying? Plus he knows the word ambigram. We all like him! It's true. Chefs have this particularly appealing food-maker practical skills kitchen god awesomeness unless they're surly and mean.

Actually I had to take chef boy's picture for his photo ID and it is HILARIOUS because in it you can see he's looking shall we say somewhat south of my actual face, with a dopey happy smile. And he has to wear that picture around his neck every day. So every time I see him (a lot!) it cracks me up in this way where I can't exactly say what I'm laughing at. So one time to cover I was all, "Hey, I like your tattoo!" Awesome. So very funny.

Here is an awesome thing: I had to step in and take over this meeting and you know me, I say stuff like, "The work is more important than anybody's feelings, including mine. All I care about is that the work is getting done right and on time," and all these guys are like, "FUCK YEAH! GIT 'ER DONE!" and go marching off with purpose and accomplish great things instead of being grumpy and recalcitrant. I might get misted up my own self.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great big monstrous PILLOWS

They're dog beds, really. I have to take a picture for you! I finally absolutely had to solve the couch cushion problem once and for all because that person who didn't come over for Glee last week apparently IS coming over this week! I know! She's someone from work, a college student who is the happiest, bubbliest person ever. And I think she's making *cheesecake!* Mmmmm!

She can't eat wheat and I can't eat practically anything so she has been wracking her brains for what to bring and came up with that. I suggested the nut crust where you bash up a bunch of walnuts and mush them into the pan and call them crust. It works!

So anyway if a human other than me is going to sit on this couch, it needs to be couchy. So I was roaming the discount warehouse stores like Marshall's and Ocean State Job Lot and not finding anything, or it cost way too much for what it was, or it was ugggggly, or all of the above. And then I went by the dog section at OSJL and lo! Gigantic cushy thick soft gorgeously upholstered dog beds!

Seriously, they're huge. I think they're four by five feet or something. Maybe 3.5x4.5. Two of them end to end are the length of the entire twin bed. So I got three of those and two smaller ones (2x3 feet?) for armrest cushions. The armrests are the same fabric, sort of rust and tan and green and gold stripes and vague patterns (like a hotel might have) and one of the big cushions is related but similar, but the other two big ones are a giant luscious paisley pattern, one cocoa brown and one ivory. AWESOME.

And now I have the biggest, cushiest, most comfortable couch ever in the whole history of creation.

Also it's kind of, um, LARGE. It makes me feel like a little kid on a big grownup couch. I'll have to take pictures, seriously, because I can't convey the scale properly. It's hilarious, though. Hurray!

And it's comfortable, really comfortable, for the first time evah.

Here are some other bizarre miracles:

1) the power company informed me that they owe me $250. I checked to see if I double paid or something, but nope. What's up with that? Not that I'm complaining! No, I got a new bill and it was like, charges are xyz, but don't pay us that because you have a credit of $250. What? I don't get paper bills, it's all online, so it's really hard to make a mistake paying these bills. Also I didn't. So what's going on there? And yay!

2) When I went to get my prescription Friday, it cost much less than it should have, such that I had to look at the (special fancy not generic) pills to make sure they weren't the (generic, allergical) ones. But no, the clerk person said they have a discount card on file for me. What? Huh? How? Why? Okay! (But really, what?)

3) Online Job says they're going to pay us more starting in September. Hurray!

Not that I have another iteration after this one ends a week from today, but I might get one this week. And I'm doing training for that other kind of thing, starting tomorrow. Awesome!

Oh my gosh! I bet they were estimating my power bill based on therms. But actually I am wicked frugal and only heat one room at a time in my tiny house. Come to think of it, how *would* they check my meter when there's five feet of snow on the ground?

Here is very sad news: my mom had to put her dog to sleep today. He was my kitty's best buddy after my dog died, and of course I lived with him for years. I'm very sad! He couldn't walk anymore or control his functions and wouldn't eat, so it was time. Very very sad, though.

And then I watched the cryingest Grey's Anatomy ever, and bawled my eyes out even more, gosh! Everyone broke up and got miserable and hates their life and it's all very dreadful and sad. I mean, that whole room full of people who lost family members in a plane crash, who stayed around to support the one mom whose daughter survived...but didn't *tell* her they lost family members. They lied because she had enough to cope with. Aaaaaarggh!

That said, Grey's has moments of hideously awful men-are-better behavior lately. I don't get it. You can make your male characters be right without making it all MEN are right. And you can have fights without the guy going all dominating patriarchical.

How are these even dog beds? Who would put their dog on a giant ivory paisley pillow? Wow.

Things feel odd and changeful. I made awesome tortillas out of flour and water and hot Italian sausage grease and ate my black beans with them. My kitty snuggled me for hours after I got the news about Rollodog and cried my eyes out--in fact he curled all around my left hand and held on to it. I love my kitty!

I have to wash some dishes and generally tidy up for COMPANY tomorrow. Company! She better not sit in the glider chair, after all this!

Oooooh, the Indians manager is going to get thrown out. Dude, that guy was nowhere near the base. It was obvious even from here. Give it up. Not that I care about the Red Sox except by geographical proximity (also that one pitcher of theirs is cute in a scraggly kind of way) but fair is fair.

I have to admit something peculiar. I fell in love with this Colombian soccer player who died in the 80s! I know! Andres Escobar, go ahead and Google him up. He's the one who made an accidental own goal in the World Cup and then some drug lords who lost a lot of money on that game shot him to death.

I saw the documentary The Two Escobars on ESPN one day last week and just completely fell for the hero, man! Of course he's a perfect epic hero, godlike talent, beautiful, shy, modest, quiet family man, who has to go to war for his country only to make a tragic mistake and then be destroyed by small, corrupt men.

The other Escobar is Pablo, who was the first huge drug lord, who used soccer to launder money and loved the game so much, he bought one of the top teams and funded the national team and all. But he made soccer such a big money operation that when he was killed off for being too powerful, all the other drug lords got involved in a big war with each other and then tried to use their power to get their teams to win, by threatening team members and killing their family members and kidnapping their children.

Madness, seriously.

But Andres! What a story! Of course if you're even slightly aware of soccer, you know his story going in. I remember it when it happened, even. I can't imagine watching that movie and falling in love with him (you can't help it) and then seeing his car all shot up and full of blood, and seeing the coroner's pictures of his poor dead face. I think that would seriously wreck you. So don't go in unspoiled, not that you could now, cough.

If I were a betting person, I'd be willing to bet that I'd tell Andres Escobar's story in an epic space opera some day. What do you think? What are the odds?

Speaking of stories that made my cry my eyes out this week, oh my goodness. I wonder if I can get a Colombia Escobar jersey?  I WANT ONE.

You know what I think? I think Apollo should have had an arc like that. Destroyed by the black marketeers or someone after the battle had already been lost.

Oh right, really must get house ready for incursion of non-self personage. Weird!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Impulse, but a good one

I figured since I only write this for my own benefit and the 3-4 people who read it (you know who you are!) I'd take it off the public thoroughfare. There are some hostile people, any of whom would love to use this to torture me no matter what I write, so why give them ammo? Limit the ammo, is what I say!

My friend D. says my siblings are hostile because I took on the really ugly hard job of taking care of our dad and they feel beholden and guilty and can never pay me back (not to mention that they destroyed my credit while I did that by failing to forward my bills and by not paying me what they said they would--are we clear?) and *that's* why they're much more hostile and blocking-off-ish to me now than they ever were before, not meeting my eyes and not having conversations and such.
I suppose that may be true. I kind of don't care. I'm not that interested in why people are unpleasant to me, because once they're unpleasant, I don't want any part of it anymore, know what I mean?

So anyway. The fun part was that the sister-in-law was told about how I could only imagine surviving a bridal shower if I had a flask in my knitting bag, so when I showed up, each of the four of us (sister, her sister-in-law, s-i-l's daughter, and me) had a flask, each with a different liquor in it. Yay! So funny! Mine had vodka in case you were wondering.

Of course we all took them to the bridal shower, which turned out to be no big deal, in a pub kind of place, with drinks. My sister bought me all these drinks (unsolicited, I did not ask for any!) and then made fun of me mercilessly for drinking them, typically.

The bride turns out to be perfectly sweet and nice and teaches second grade, which is just adorable. She was not sure what to make of the potato ricer. Why do people put things on their registry if they don't want people to give them to them? I am unsure.

So there, I've been to a stupid bridal shower and now I never have to go again.

Apparently I'm supposed to get some kind of nice dress or something for the wedding. I mean I saw the ones my sister got and they're all like sequins and pleats. (The horror!) Look: NOBODY CARES if I'm there. Nobody. They just do not care. In fact I'm just the target of animosity if I'm there.

Ugh. Watch, I won't be able to get out of it and I'll have to go sit there having people take potshots at me. Help! Escape! There must be a way!

Look, I saw my nephew, the groom, for the first time in what, two or three years? And he was like, "Hi," and then turned to talk to someone else. I cannot emphasize enough how much nobody cares whether I'm there or not. Well. Actually I think almost everyone would prefer that I were *not* there, since they think of me like the bad fairy at the christening. You don't want her there, but if you don't invite her, she gets all rageful.

Got to get to bed, alas. The road trip was uneventful, though I came home via Belfast and Bucksport so I could drive across my favorite bridge, the Penobscot Narrows. So very very cool! That bridge is terrifying but in an exceedingly cool way, because you're up so very high and the bridge goes about that far up above you, too, and the supports are in the middle so there's all this scary wide space and a huge drop. Eeeeeeeek! There's a very solid guardrail fence thing, so I'm sure it's safe--even if you crashed into it there's no way you'd ever fall--but you know how those things seem all rickety when you're big-eyed with automotive acrophobia.

Kitty and I had a lot of really good human/cat bonding time in the car. We are very glad to be home, even though the house is cramped and cluttered and damp, and there's nobody in this town I'm looking forward to seeing, etc.

But I got the laundry done and the Online Job done and the dishes washed and rewatched the season ender of Bones and saw yesterday's Doctor Who (pudding zombies!) and now I just have to make my bed and lie in it. Yes.

There are no pictures from the weekend. I forgot my camera and although the other people I was with had cameras, and they took lots of pictures of each other, no one took pictures of me. I am not kidding. I simply cannot fathom behaving that way to someone. I would never do that to anyone. How do people live with themselves?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ah! Better.

Completely freaky, but the You Know What got a lot better today, for no apparent reason. Today I'm moving around great and got stuff done and cooked a lot of food. Woohoo! Unlike the days when I come home and immediately fall asleep for 1-3 hours, like last week.

Kitty is licking feijoada off my big toe. I thought I dropped some off my tortilla chip! But I couldn't find it on the floor and was all mystified. Thanks, Mr. Kitty!

So this crazy physical therapy thing: it's basically what I already knew I was supposed to do but haven't been doing. Light weights, workouts with the bungees, and surprising stuff like marching in place that's supposed to help with balance and stuff like that. I WILL TRY. The whole "do nothing and see if things get better" strategy hasn't been working so well.

I keep having this urge to say what Deanna Troi said in that weird episode where a dead guy was fused with the wall or something. "I know what I have to do." In fraught and ominous tones! Except I don't mean throw myself into the nacelles or whatever. I mean, you know, like, whatever healthy blah blah.

Like this:

eat primarily vegetables
go for walks every day, including during lunch
get 8-10 hours of sleep per day, weighted toward the 10
stretch and work out with light weights and bungees every frelling day
do those balance things
write yer dang book
do things toward future goodness plans

And, I don't know, keep up with stuff? Instead of letting things slide? Because when the whammy hits me, I'm severely sub-functional, so obviously when I *can* do stuff I have to do it, a lot of it, and get it done. Like letting the clutter levels rise, that's not cool, and clutter makes me unhappy and I feel crowded and like I'm surrounded on all sides by a to-do list. It's hard to concentrate.

Cleaning everything up in a big hurry yesterday made a huge difference. I love how tidy things are! Work buddy was trying to figure out if she could bake us cookies but since she can't have wheat and I can't have basically every other flour ever, it might be unpossible. Though my Glee catering was specifically planned to be mutually okay for both.

Actually I want to invent cookie-adjacent foods made up of chopped nuts or nut butter, legal dried fruit (without the EVIL in it), and, I don't know, other stuff? Do you even need other stuff? Because all the flour and butter and eggs and so forth is just there to make it fluffy and baked-good-y. Whereas something made of say cashew butter and crystallized ginger is going to be AWESOME without all the rest.

I suppose it's something else entirely, like a nut bar or a sweetmeat (gah! what a horrible word!) or something like a peanut butter cup. I mean, can I mix unsweetened chocolate with my own legal sweetener? Can I? Is this a thing worth pursuing? I think so!

But not in severely low energy states. Wow, is that ever lousy when that happens. Beh!

Guess what? The little quilt is in the washer! Soon it will be in the dryer! Then it will be DONE DONE DONE! I'm going to cut out fabric for B's baby's quilt starting tonight. Actually I probably have a lot of squares (or rectangles?) already. But I need to Assess.

Also there's the bookcase quilt begun but never pulled together. I'm feeling like I might work on that first. That one is relatively quick and easy, and I know someone who would love it, and I'm feeling like at least alternating quilts that will be wanted and loved and stuff. Aiiiieeeeeee!

All this rain, man. The kitty spent the time while I was cooking out in the garage, watching the worms move around. Yes, lying there on the concrete floor, sphinx-like, watching with great interest as worms wriggled around. Aw, Mr. Kitty!

Hey, did you see the crazy special on the gigantic jellyfish swarm around Japan? They got up to seven feet across, just huge numbers of them. Aaaaaaaah! I guess it was in 2009 mostly but wow, it was really something else. First of all, jellyfish are completely awesome. They're like aquatic tree people! They're trees that swim around zapping plankton and eating it and having weird little tree babies that plant in the ground and then grow another leg and walk forward, breaking off a foot with each step. And then each foot grows into a whole new tree baby. And then they turn into a stack of saucer flowers and each one breaks off and swims away and grows up into a giant aquatic tree person all over again.

Jellyfish are insanely awesome. But then there's the other kind, like the Portuguese man-of-war, which isn't even one creature, but a collection of different species that live together and have different functions. It's a colony that looks like one critter! And have you seen them? With the inflated sail balloon? And all the squiggly tentacle things? How insane is it that it's a cooperative community sort of thing?

I have a sci-fi premise about a colony like that except when it gets complex enough, sentience arises. But you can't tell from the tiny swimming tree people, can you? Like, what if the gigantic jellyfish swarm got big enough and only then they became brain cells, know what I mean?

I thought it was odd that the article in Wikipedia on colony organisms didn't include humans. At least, human culture requires a colony to exist. Humans can live individually, but aren't the same creatures as they are in a colony situation. Even our brains are completely different with culture than without. We are NOT the same animal physically. I think that's pretty wonderful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Aieeee, is dampness!

Must watch Glee finale in a minute. I tried to figure the most appropriate catering for the event and came up with: popcorn and a strawberry smoothie. Perfection, no?

The smoothie is made of strawberries, yogurt, rhubarb, sugar, and some cranberry sauce I added because it matched the color scheme. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Everything is so very very damp, the dampness is fathomless. There isn't even a lake in the basement. Just a puddle, and I ShopVac-ed that up. It's generalized atmospheric dampitude misting in through the walls.

Someone from work with no cable said she might come over to watch Glee so even though I totally didn't believe it I raced around cleaning up JUST IN CASE but of course she didn't come, but I got a super clean house of the deal and so that's cool, right? It's amazing how suddenly imagining someone else seeing your clutter can make it unendurable. Tidied now, yay!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh so very close

But pas de cigare, alas. Not that I want a cigar. There should be something else you get instead of a cigar. Cupcake? Kitten? Coronet? Corona? Aurora borealis? I totally want that. So there we go. Close but no aurora borealis, dang!

In re: quilt. Of course once again I invented a whole new way to sew on the binding, because reinventing the wheel is my specialty. And then I chopped off the long parts, not realizing I'd need them, so had to take out blah blah blah. Upshot is: not quite done. But oh so close. I'll get it done tonight.

Firefly came on whatever channel that is that I watch with the lovely northern English astrophysicist guy who talks about astrophysics things in this gentle, wondering way, but all full of giant enthusiasm, and who looks like 1974 such that I want to hug him and take him home with me and keep him forever. Adore! Right, so Firefly came on there when he got done talking about the aurora borealis like it was his best beloved. That episode I never rewatch about YoSaffBridge and stealing the Lassiter. You know the one.

So I watched (didn't watch) that while I sewed and sewed and cut and sewed and cut and sewed some more. And then watched (didn't watch) The Message which I've seen one billion times (approx.) such that I know all the words and nuances and don't even need to look at the screen to see it if you see what I mean.

If I could remember things in sequence, I could sit here right now and see it all the way through. But I've never been able to reconstruct a book, movie, or tv show in sequence in my head. Worrisome, no? Including ones I've written, naturally. Which is PROBLEMATIC for the whole rewriting thing. Yes.

The feijoada came out good. I didn't eat any yesterday but I am today. Mmmm. It really thickened up, though. It keeps busting my chips. Which is like busting my chops only more crumbly.

Argh, am exhausted. And generally miserable in the normal way I'm always miserable for the past, hmm, two years? Three? Generalized Maine misery. In general my time here has sucked all kinds of ways, not to be secretive about it or anything, from getting a massive food/drink restriction that is only less annoying than it should be because of b) having no friends, and of course there's the work situation which remains about -27 on a scale of one to ten in terms of using my actual skills and enjoyment and congeniality and whatnot. And having to ShopVac lakes out of the basement, and shoveling snow that makes me feel like I'm actually going to die, and likewise with the mowing, not to mention the whole losing the use of my legs and hands, more or less, and falling into constantly worse condition because of that. And being broke. Did I miss anything? Oh, no dog. And incoming meanness from many quarters. Oof.

Other than that, though? I've been reading awesome books! So yay for books.

Also Mr. Kitty is just abounding awesomeness. All furry! And snuggly. And warm. With paws.

Anyway that sounded negative but in fact it's very useful for me to remember that I have EXCELLENT REASONS to feel completely wretched, and then suddenly I feel better. Paradoxical!

So although I know perfectly well that when I give this quilt to the people who are getting it, they will tell me they don't want it and throw it in a closet, never to look at it again, I have to remember that *I* want to make it and *I* want to give it to him and they can go jump in the lake. I get to do what I want to do.

Same with the next quilt I'm making, though actually it's for an out-law who will appreciate it and possibly even love it to bits. The one after that, I'm not sure. I might find out this weekend. I should get a much better sense of things after, er, meeting one of the people who will get it. I have eight weeks! I can make a whole big quilt in that time. Jeez, it's machine quilted, of course I can.

I dunno, making gorgeous things for people who will despise it and be rude to my face about it, that tends to take some of the pleasure out of it, though it shouldn't, really. Really you should say SCREW THEM and make what you want how you want to make it. Right?

And then I think, Maybe I'll just give it to Cancer Care for someone who needs comforting while going through hell! Or send it to someone who will love it like Jen or Sumara!

Really the whole thing with making a gorgeous quilt for people who will actually say "I don't want it" is all problematic brim full, both on the surface because that's really awful and not even what decent people do, and also in a symbolic kind of way because it's exactly how EVERYTHING is here. Absolutely everything. I'm all, "Here's me!" And the reaction is: "I don't want it." I am not even kidding.

I just found out unofficially that my hoped for escape got smashed to bits, but no one has told me officially because....well, use your intuition there. The escape plan was kind of holding me together so I'm not doing so good after finding that out. Dear oh dear. Now what, eh?

Maybe I'll say, "I made a quilt for X but I know you don't want it and will never use it, so do you want to see it before I give it to Cancer Care in his name?" Hee. Could that be any more resentful? Well, you'd have to have been there for the other times. Actually rolling handmade presents in a ball and throwing them on the floor.

I'm fascinated by this. Why worry about other people's feelings when it's not AT ALL mutual? I guess because I'm not like that, basically. I don't want to be like that, ever! Jeez, who would? I don't see bad behavior and think, "Yeah, let's do that! Whoopee!"

You have to think about things like this if you write books. Because books are exactly the same. You might write a whole gigantic gorgeous book, way more work than a quilt, and then nobody wants it and they're all, "No, ew, move that so it's not in my line of sight, please. I don't want it." Which is one reason I'm thinking so much about it with the quilt. See. Yes. I keep busy doing gorgeous pointless things, is what.

Time to sew some more, no? Time to sew some more, yes! Let's get it done and move on and sew the next one, which is going to be awesome. Ahahahahahaha!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rain means...

...I don't have to mow the grass, not that it needs it right now, but I'm worrying in advance about next weekend.

...I can stay inside and do silly exercising like jumping on the trampoline, instead of going for a walk and getting eaten alive by the swarming biting black flies.

...Probably shouldn't dig in the garden, either, because I'll end up with giant mudball feet and compact all the soil.

Hurray, rain! You are enabling my laziness!

I'm so thrilled not to be in raging pain today after yesterday's highly aerobic mowing, you have no idea. Or some idea. Maybe you have an idea! I took four ibuprofin when I went to bed, which I was *hoping* would interrupt the inflammation cycle and all that.

How you know I'm an idiot: I forget to take anti-inflammatories OR use my inhaler, when I'm completely under the thumb of asthma and, you know, inflammation thereunto appertaining.

Well, I have no memory. I'm not sure that's the same as being an idiot. But the effect is the same.

Anyway. Back on the ibuprofin, doofus.

And I took two benadryl because YES I'd been using the inhaler due to raspy coughy can't breathey stuff. But I'm allergic to the inhaler. Which is all kinds of irritating if you ask me. I kind of remember my nice doctor back in Burbank telling me that all asthma inhalers were going to sulfite-based preservatives. Urf.

Hi! My hands are freezing! It's 45 degrees out and pouring.

Jobs to get done today:

Online Job
wash the dishes
put the laundry away
finish that gorram quilt if it's the last thing I do, jeez
vacuum? nah
write many words! write them! words!
wrap presents, smirking gleefully over the potato ricer in a highly DORKY manner
contact sister to figure out battle plans
find a bag or something to pack stuff in
wash the travel litter box
refill prescriptions I can't afford
figure out where to put the plastic glassware
design the screened porch (already inclined to a lean-to shape [ha ha!] for ease of homemade sunshade installation for a) dog, b) coolness, c) keeping the rain out of the open sliding glass door)
I dunno, check the car's oil and fluids and whatnot?

Terrifically fun things I absolutely must do though not necessarily today:

take apart and fix the dang mower (TOTALLY GOING TO BE FUN)
plan some delicious non-allergical ice cream/sorbet creations for the ice cream maker, like maple/walnut, lemon, orange vanilla creamsicle, kiwi, mango, apple pie, and so on
find non-sucky quick bread recipes so I can eat a damn sandwich one of these days
bake a lot of oatmeal cookies to take on the road
also possibly cake!
plan some lacy summer knits that one wears over a tank top
knit them
cut out a million quilt squares/rectangles for those quilts I want/need to make SOON
oh yeah and start cutting them out RFN
figure out breakfasts now that I've finally come to grips with the OBVIOUS FACT that I'm allergic to my favorite yogurt, sob. I mean, I'll eat oatmeal cookies and cheese and fruit, and be utterly thrilled, but is that the best choice? (actually, it might be!)
learn how to make fancy rum-based fruit drinks, because why not? plus, yum!
make some kind of risotto thing, right? Isn't that a food people eat?

And so on!

This would really be simplified by the possession of a working DVD player. Drat. Honestly, I just won't quilt without non-commercial-interruption tv or movies, though tv is ideal because I love it best, it's true. I could rewatch everything on the AppleTV but unfortunately I've seen it all fairly recently.

Though that should not be a problem for...short term memory person! Aha! Win!

Fine. Dishes, put clothes away, fall into a quilting frenzy and don't get out until the quilt, she is DONE.

Alternatively: put DVDS on the laptop, right? I mean, it's extenuating circumstances. Worth a shot!

I just can't be stopping to fast forward through commercials all the time. You don't get any sewing done that way.

WHAT A FASCINATING EXISTENCE. But at least there's lots of tea. And the world's best pizza, holy wow. Also did I mention all the oatmeal walnut cookies? Yummy!

And I can't tell you how relieved I am to have plastic glasses to drink out of now. Seriously. When your hands are utterly unreliable, every drink of water is a potential explosion of razor-sharp glass fragments. The more I break, the more scared I am of breaking things, which just makes me even more likely to drop and shatter more glasses. Hurray, pretty frosted blue plastic tumblers!

I'm reading this oddly explainy book ("Columbia, the Ivy League university located here in New York city") which is also distressingly good at portraying how a teenage girl falls into utter self-destructive body-based self-loathing. It won the Printz! Dude! One of the best things is the well-meaning but incredibly hateful comments the parents make. It's called The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. Ha! Love it.

Excellent YA makes me want to write and write and write.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Etwas in der Offen

Pizza! Not anything else! Just pizza!

Actually it's waiting for the oven to heat up. Somehow today got delayed. It's because the frakking mower wouldn't start, so I kept thinking it was flooded and waiting for it to drain out. Basically the denial was strong with this one. Then finally I ended up using the aerobic no-motor mower to mow the half of the lawn I didn't mow last week.

And bugged the heck out of the groundhog. It glared at me. And it stood its ground until my back was turned. Where did it go after that? I don't know, but I'm still kind of looking over my shoulder nervously.

Honestly, groundhog, this should provide you with delicious fresh shoots that are a delicacy to Rodents of Unusual Size. You will enjoy them very much! So keep your death glares to a minimum if you would.

Well as you can tell, a) I did not get a dog today, and b) although I fixed the broken mower wheel, the mower would not start.

There was a lot of frustration and anger and rage and stuff. And I mean I had to go say hi to the super nice dog they wouldn't let me get and all that. Argh. And then I had to go buy bridal shower presents for my nephew's fiancee. I'm sure she's very nice. It's just the whole shower/wedding/whatever thing fills me with absolutely blinding furious white-hot frustration and rage. I hate it so much, you don't even know. It's this whole giant thing I have no part in whatsoever, but I'm supposed to shell out money I don't have to people who don't need it. And so on.

Truly, I'm going to be skint for weeks so I can drive all the way down two states away to go to a thing I'm going to hate for someone I've never met with people I don't know (and my sister) and watch someone who probably gets paid double what I do at half my age open many hundreds of dollars worth of presents she doesn't need. Things like this make very broke people rageful. It's true. I tried to get out of it but my sister gave all these excellent reasons why I needed to be there so I folded. Ugh.

Also they might try to make me play stupid sexist games and then I'll have to stab someone. It's just bound not to end well.

And that's not even considering that I won't be able to eat or drink anything except what I bring with me the whole weekend, which is another whole set of worries. What am I supposed to pack, oatmeal cookies?


I do have a slight plan for going to the Humane Society down by my sister's house, just to see. You never know.

And shopping was more fun than it should have been, because I became shopping buddies with another lady with a purple bridal registry printout, and we laughed our heads off over the things on their lists. It was totally funny.

Also, although I'd forgotten about the kitten festival at the Humane Society, this mom and little girl were walking from the cars when I was and you know how I always talk to people I don't know, right? I do. All the time. They were carrying all kinds of kitty stuff and I said, "Oh no, I forgot to bring stuff for the cats!" And the mom said, "Well, we have more than we can carry..." and so I carried in her sack of litter and a big bottle thing of food. And it was awesome to walk in there with other people, carrying the stuff you're supposed to bring, like I was a person with people and all that! Even if it was fake. But I saved her a walk and some heavy carrying, anyway.

There were new dogs but they had signs saying Not available, which I guess means someone else got there first? But anyway there weren't any that I could adopt. I always feel like I have to apologize for this but I don't. Here's what I want in a dog: big, furry, won't eat the cat. And I'm flexible on the big and furry as you can see by how I was about to adopt a medium-sized smooth-coated dog.

I won't adopt a hound, which includes beagles, because I hate their barks and belling. No little dogs. No German shepherds or pit bulls. There's no good reason for any of it, but that's how it is and there's no sense arguing with it OR feeling bad about it.

Anyway there were bright spots like that in the generalized parade of suck. And I DID get the lawn cut, which makes me very relieved. Looking out the back window and seeing it get taller and lusher all week was making me tense, man! Plus it's great to look out the window and see a thing you did, instead of a thing you need to do.

There are violets all around the doorway, which makes me want to say When violets last in the dooryard bloomed, even though that's lilacs.

I might grapple with the baby's quilt some more. I'm hoping the pizza (when it gets done) will cheer me up and energize me sufficiently that I'll be all, Woohoo! Quilting! Accomplishment! Rah, rah! But I don't know, I might just fall asleep.

Also there's the question: when I've sat still for a minute, will everything seize up and make me scream in pain? Or will I be okay? And will I need to hit the surgery meds for the pain to prevent being awake crying all night? Or can I have an adult beverage with my pizza? These are the questions I can't answer yet, see.

Excellent purchases today: blue heavy frosted plastic drinking glasses and wineglasses, though what I think I'm going to do with the wineglasses, I do not know, since I can't drink wine. Hello? I smashed another plate this week. I break SO MUCH STUFF due to the non-working weak hands, I'm running out of drinking glasses all the time. So plastic ones, yay! Plus they're pretty.

I get tired of sweeping up the sharp pointy blue slivers of glass from everywhere, know what I mean?

Am tired in general. This was a very hard week. And the one before. And the one before that. And before that things were dull. Mostly things are tedious and uninhabited. Maybe next weekend will be fun somehow? And I'll get a road trip without a funeral, woohoo, right? Must download Fleetwood Mac to iPod! And possibly the Glee soundtracks or whatever. Am seriously addicted to that show!

Pizza should be out soon. Prediction: yummy, comatose, stiffness, awake all night. But, yummy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Well, that was unexpected

Dog fail again! I was all set to adopt that dog, but they looked on the info sheet and my application sheet and said I couldn't because the dog is known to be very bad with cats.

Which, yes, that's great that they know that. But on Petfinder, dogs are marked with the word CATS and a slash through it if they're bad with cats, so you know. I deliberately search to exclude dogs who can't be around cats. Well, DUH, Xander! But guess what she said about that? They don't put negative things like that on Petfinder because then people might not come in and adopt.

I'm sure you've located the infuriating logic problem there.

Well it was all totally tragic and heartbreaking. The dog was so nice! She is sort of cautious and doesn't race to greet people, but when I got down on the floor and patted my legs and encouraged her, she came over and sniffed me and looked me in the eye and snuggled me through the cage. We had a nice conversation and then I went off to see if we could meet in one of the Meet Your Dog rooms. And that's when I found out about the cat embargo.

They should put it on the freaking sign on the cage, at least. Hello? WHY NOT? I don't get that.

So anyway the girl said to come in tomorrow morning because they put out new dogs Saturday mornings. Which I guess is why they're all gone Friday night when I go, huh? Well now we know.

I'll go back tomorrow but SHEESH. I'm all traumatized.

I went to Lowe's and finally got those two blue plastic Adirondack chairs for my deck. And then realized I needed to build the screen porch out there in order to use them. Oh yeah! So I got screening and lumber and I'll get started on that this weekend. There are some engineering challenges, such as: I don't want to screw anything onto the existing deck, or just in a few unobtrusive spots underneath or something.

The black flies, scourge of Maine, are out in terrible force, swarming everywhere and biting. And they leave giant painful itchy welts the size of a golf ball. I still have remnants of the ones from last weekend. I got refills for that little Off! blower thing you wear on your belt. And I'll use DEET and anything else I have. But I had two kinds of bug spray on last weekend and still got all bitten up.

HATE those black flies.

Later the no-see-ums will come out. They're like tiny darts that burrow into your skin, tiny sharp pointy little arrowheads that also leave you covered with terribly itchy welts.

Maine, man. It's pretty much no fun at any time whatsoever. But very pretty! From indoors.

Oh! I got the RIGHT bolt to fix the mower! Guess how much it cost? Guess? $1.26. I LOVE THAT. I had to go to the John Deere dealership, which of course I adore because they have the best toys in the whole world, a whole wall of tiny tractors and combines and every other conceivable type of motorized farm or yard equipment. So much glorious stuff!

When I go into John Deere I have to say, "You have the best toys ever!" And since John Deere employees are invariably excellent genial guys, they say, "We sure do!" I love John Deere. Well, you know my epic love of engines, so put that together with the lovely glossy green and yellow paint and all of the gorgeous, well-built, high-quality machinery and I'm all hearts in the eyes. Great big green and yellow hearts!

I managed to escape without buying any toys or paraphernalia but it was awfully close and I think I only did it because I was full of no-dog-sadness. Also I had about $1.26 in cash. I'd have paid cash for unnecessary tractor toys but wouldn't use my debit card. I don't know why. Cash seems to be fair game for frivolous things. Which is another reason I never, ever have cash.

I did that smart thing I wouldn't have been able to articulate in advance, where you take the new bolt and the old bolt and mesh the threads together to make sure they're the same everything-ness. It's how you know it'll screw into the same threaded socket. I love that my brain was like, "Hey, do this," and I did it without even the tiniest forethought or even articulating it in my mind.


Do not make the sweet whole wheat quick bread from Joy of Cooking. Kebleah! Gack! Barf. So awful. Too molasses-y, plus I had to bake it much longer and it burned without ever getting cooked in the middle, and the texture is terrible and it smells like burnt sugar. YUCK. In no way was this a good result. Put a big red X on that recipe and go back to baking banana bread or whatever.

The Humane Society is going to be kind of hellish tomorrow due to some kind of huge kitten party thing. Seriously, it was even on the news. Actually the news was alarming all kinds of ways. They did a little offhand feature on how the black bears are waking up from hibernation (just now???) and so you should bring your garbage and bird feeders in at night or they'll totally wreck the house. Duly noted! Yoicks.

One of my projects this weekend is installing heavy duty wire fencing over the garage door screen so that Future Dog can't rip through it and get out (very easy to do) and so bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, and mountain lions can't rip their way in with a casual swipe of a mighty paw. Or some nimble furtive scrabbling, depending. I have the perfect piece of leftover garden fence. Just need to wrap the ends in 3'x2" boards and attach to the door frame.

I think it's pretty clear who's in the zoo exhibit here, don't you?

This Zen radio station on DirecTV is pretty good. Except the cd they're playing now is called Berlin Serengeti. There's this particular clueless pseudo exoticism among purveyors of this specific type of music, have you noticed? Mostly it's gross dorky Asian references but you do get lots of Indian and African dorkitude as well. You just KNOW there's a white guy with a ponytail and a non-white girlfriend behind every bit of it. I've developed a flinch response to bamboo flute!

Mr. Kitty is EXCEEDINGLY snuggly lately. He's all curled up next to me on the couch with his paws over his eyes, awwwwwwww. He joined me for my post-work post-trauma post-Lowe's nap, even. What a good boy. I will try not to spill my beverage on you, Mr. Kitty!

Oh right, finish that quilt. Grumph, grumble. Maybe tonight. But my feet are cold. Want to stay under current quilt, snuggling cat! Look at his little face! This is why the quilting does not get done. Well, that and no DVD player.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I am navigating all these tricky waters these days, seriously. I mean I can't tell you anything about any of it at all but I hereby verify: tricky. It's exhausting! Work, man! I mean, results are excellent but getting there seems to be all kinds of Fraught With Peril.

I don't know what it says about me that I care most about getting the good results and less about how we get there as long as nobody is losing limbs or anything. (Yikes, I hadn't meant to refer to yesterday's horrific burn incident. Shhh.) But it might mean I'm some kind of dictatoresque figure or something. Or, I don't know, who? Results! Very good things! We like results. But are there ways and ways?

Oh well, I just don't even know. Whatever! Dismissive gesture!

I'm supposed to be finishing the baby's quilt (he's six months old now, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?) but instead I'm sitting underneath it because I'm sitting on the floor while the cat is on the quilt on the couch. Hmmmmmmm. Dictator flummoxed by feline wiles!

I've been watching a couple of Glee episodes. Boy, when they're good, they're really good. And when they're about singers I know nothing about (Gaga?) I can't even sit still for the show. Huh.

I'm fascinated by the rehabilitation of Karofsky, to be honest. I seriously thought the character would commit suicide. What a lot of pressure on the writers, huh? Everything's all sarcastic and mean but they're also clearly trying to model certain behaviors. What a complicated tangle to be in!

Tonight I found myself telling the Red Cross ladies about Possible Future Dog, you know, Little Gold Dog. Because it's apparently not possible for me to give blood because my always very deep and hard to find veins are wimpy and hidden because of (they said) not enough muscle development in my arms. I know! I was all, "Oh, am too fat," but they said no, that doesn't matter, it's your dang elbows where they punch the vein. It's a matter of millimeters at your inner elbow. No, it's because I'm not fit and muscley enough in the active athlete kind of way.

Damn. I thought all that snow shoveling would...I guess not though. But now, lawn mowing! Right? Okay, no. Actually I need to do that exercise thing. Argh.

Which is where LGD came in, because I was all MANIFESTO-ing there on the table as I held both arms straight up in the air, all covered with iodine and wrapped in red tape. (It was not a metaphor.) I was like, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther! This will not stand! Dog! Walks! DOG WALKS!" And they were all, "Rah rah, great plan!"

So I'm to get a dog and go for a lot of walks and get all fit and athletical and then go back and give blood.

That is THREE failed attempts. Three! Plus did I tell you about the CT scan where the tech used an ultrasound machine to find my vein after several failed punches? I know!

And okay I went home and ate ham and Tostitos (the scoop kind, they're little bowls!) but hey, dude, that's what's in the house and I have no funds until later, plus what am I gonna do, waste that ham? Where on earth did it come from, anyway? I seriously have to stop grocery shopping in some kind of fugue state. Open the fridge door: SURPRISE!

I also had strawberries and yogurt. Mmmmm. Except, I really am allergic to that yogurt. It sucks but there it is. Factual. As everything else is out of the picture, it's more and more obvious that it sets me off. Argh.

On the plus side, my pulse was 58. I was surprised. Maybe I'm finally chilling the heck out.

I have to go up into the attic in my patriotic socks and find my capri pants that probably don't fit, woohoo! Like the red capri jeans and the blue silky cargo pants and the orange ones. Do I have orange ones? Or were they shorts that I got rid of? Unknown. I liked the white ones best but they seriously shredded into bits. I still have them but the sheer quantity of patching involved on threadbare cloth seems impractical.

Also all those wonderful shorts, where are they? Winter is far too long here.

So I'm looking at Friday for another visit to the Humane Society. It's perfectly possible I'll get into the get to know you visiting room and LGD will be like, "You're not my person, but can you let me out of here? I need to get home." I vividly remember Elsadog flipping out the first week or two, ripping my room apart, trying to get out of there and get loose again. I mean, they don't *know* they haven't been kidnapped by aliens. Domestication is 95% Stockholm syndrome and 5% free lunch. And 100% not having opposable thumbs.

Note to self: have dog biscuits in pockets when I go.

My sister had bits of hot dogs in baggies in all her pockets for ages, training up her maniacal furry wild man. And the dog liked them too. Kidding!

I'm not as exhausted or sore today as the past four days. I almost feel human and mostly do not make noises of pain when I move! I even turned over in bed without inarticulate sounds of agony. Must make the most of today, tomorrow, and Friday, before it all begins again on Saturday! Especially must do weight workout per Red Cross ladies. They were like, "You can work out with two liter bottles of soda!" and without going into the whole soda forbiddenness thing, I said, "Or I could use my weights!" Hee. (They're blue.)

Also must go take the air filter and oil filter out of the mower so I can replace them tomorrow if needed. And spark plug, maybe. Though I doubt I have the right socket. So particular about their sockets, spark plugs. I might not need to replace it anyway. You can clean spark plugs if you don't frell up the gapping.

Embarrassing childhood truth that is not actually that embarrassing, just super weird: I was crazy about spark plugs and used to swipe the old ones and hide them. It's true. I liked the ceramic and okay everything about them. I still do. My best friend M. and I had a plan to save all of our dads' old car parts and use them to build ourselves a whole new car! But then my dad took away the oil filters because of the heavy metals and whatnot. SHEESH.

I got to keep the distributor, though. But not the old spark plug wires. I'm not sure exactly why. You see why I had to hide the spark plugs, though. Well, obviously!

What, you don't have fond childhood memories of an old distributor? Weirdo.

The mower parts are probably fine, is all I'm saying. Secretly I just want a reason to go back to Tractor Supply, my new favorite destination.

How long before they're onto me? Hey, lady! Quit whispering sweet nothings to the adorable little lawn mower carburetors!

Notice how this lovely VW carburetor glows with a heavenly light! This is not the engine my bus had, but a slightly later version. But the carburetor is the same. The big air intake filter hose thing fits on top but they have it off for the picture. Ahhhhhhh! Pull down on that piece on the left where the spring is and it goes vrooooom. See the cute little orange distributor at the bottom left? Awww!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

There'll be no more butter in hell!

Frightening how often the fabulous movie Cold Comfort Farm comes into reference in my daily life.

Ah! I spent half the day in the ER with someone who got badly burned. Chalk it up to an educational experience and we'll see how I do with nightmares tonight. I'm completely exhausted and I didn't even get any narcotics! Jeez!

The person was a huge sci-fi fanatic so I was able to use my headful of sci-fi to distract and engage and all that, the thing you do to make them a) not focus on the pain and b) not lapse into shock and whatnot.

Also I got a whole lot of knitting done. Yes, on the way out the door, or rather while I was waiting for people to gather this person up and move him to the car, I grabbed my knitting. I've been to the ER before. It's all about the waiting. You'd better come prepared.

His favorite part was when I got to the tricky bit and I said, "Okay, I have to knit this complicated part now, so keep it down over there." It's nice when the shrieking turns into laughing, eh?

Hi! Guess what, I can fix my mower with a $4 bolt! I went and bought it today from a place called Tractor Supply which is my new Disneyland. Remember I love and cherish small engines. And large engines. So basically engines. This place is heaven. I admit I was walking around petting the carburetors but then again I'd had a rough day.

I bought my bolt and all I have to do is, you know, bolt the wheel back on. And figure out how those other thingies came off and get them back on straight too. The wheel level adjustor and whatnot. No big deal.

Mowing with the motorless mower just was not cutting it (ahahahahahahahaha! aha! ha!) given that it's Tuesday and I'm still in major pain. And it took forever and ever and I only got half the lawn done because I had to go collapse in the comfy lawn chair and drink tea and eat oatmeal cookies and get less maroon and try to recall how to breathe.

Also I got massively bitten up because I kept having to go back and forth, which meant I slowed down enough for the bugs to catch and bite me, whereas with the self-propelled power mower, you whoosh around. Keeping up is the hard part. I'm all covered with big gnarly welts and I sunburned the top of my head. It's true, I've been trying to figure out why it hurts, is that one big bug bite or what, and why doesn't it itch? It took me until today to figure out it got burned. Through my hair. WHERE IS MY HAT? Why was I not wearing it???

I'm still a vague formless shadow of my former self since the pneumonia. Boy howdy, that knocked me flat. I'm still all flatgeknockt. It's true. If ungrammatical.

Ha ha ha, guess what else? You know I've been rewatching all of Battlestar and loving it. But then I got to Pegasus and got all PTSD-ed up again. I did actually start the episode on Sunday. I did. I watched the teaser and then paused it and gave in to my compulsion to do ANYTHING ELSE. Like every conceivable household errand.

Yesterday I still couldn't face it.

Today I figured, heck, I've been watching a severely burned person scream for four hours. How bad can fiction be? So I turned on the DVD player. Except it didn't turn on. Huh. Play. Nope. On, on, on. Nope. Maybe I took the disc out in a fit of realism! Nope, disc was in. But the DVD player has COMMITTED SUICIDE rather than let me watch Pegasus.

Granted, that ep is very rough on the robots. I can see why it might balk, as a robot itself.

But it didn't need to die! Gosh!

This is my original DVD player that I bought in Oregon for fifty bucks in, ooh, 2001? So I guess that's a pretty good run, ten years almost to the day. Well, ten years and however many trips across the country. Yeah. Okay.

So I'm going to buy a new DVD player, and probably a sewing machine, because mine did such a bad job quilting that quilt that I had to rip half the stitching out, which makes me bananacakes, and also I don't have to replace the lawn mower since I fixed mine with a $4 bolt.

Things I have never boughten even one of yet have owned several of:

1) lawn mower
2) sewing machine
3) Nordictrack

Things I have only ever boughten one of:

1) tv
2) vcr
3) dvd player

Though I seem to own about four tvs. With the foisting! People foist tvs on me regularly. But I still have the original one.

I must end with a paean to my garage. Oh yes! Even not counting all the lovely small engines that reside therein (including the generator, which I kind of worship a little bit) it's the nicest possible place to be. The comfy blue lawn chair, a little table that I got at Ikea in Philadelphia in 1999 that was intended for plants, a cup of tea, a glass of water, a book to read, and Mr. Kitty lying on the floor, looking out the giant wall-sized screen at the world and flipping his tail back and forth. The sun pours in, there are no bugs, and everything is breezy and cool and green and leafy and wonderful. Plus when I screen off the garage and turn it into a room, I think the area of my living space increases by more than half again. 150% is what I mean. I know! My house is small, but my garage is big. Boy oh boy do we ever love it out there.

I might have a line on a dog. At least, I'm an idiot because she's been there for weeks now, but I was telling my sister about her and realized I'm kind of attached. Which probably means she'll be gone when I get back there. BUT. I got dog food today so that I can stop worrying about how to go buy it the minute after getting a dog, like do I leave her in the car or what? What if it's hot? See. So now I have dog food. And a Nylabone. Which I think is some kind of crucial step forward or something.

My sister had this excellent dog named Brunhilde (what?) who was also known as the Little Brown Dog. Because. I'm not explaining that. So anyway this dog reminds me a lot of Bruni in shape and size and general demeanor except she's a Little Gold Dog.

We have to go to this wedding-related family thing (pause for yakking, I can't stand wedding stuff and fully intend to have a flask in my knitting bag)(actually a diet Coke with rum in it or something, obviously--who owns a real flask?) and Little Gold Dog already has a preemptive invitation to my sister's house even though I'm still not sure blah blah blah but my sister seems sure. Which makes me feel more sure. So who knows? We'll see what Friday brings. Or Thursday. Whenever I get paid. I like to be extra flush when going to the Humane Society out of some kind of confused need for security or something, I don't know. Also, weekends! Those are when I'm home! So there.

I'd really like to be 100% back on my feet but you know what? It is what it is. Tautologies are tautological! This is how I am and that's probably not going to change and I want a dog and I can manage it even like this, so there's no sense waiting for some imaginary perfect future state where my legs operate 100% legly instead of 40% useless timberwise.

Plus there is Seriously Ancient Man down the road who walks his dog with an oxygen tank and tubes in his nose. Every time I see him it's like the world is pointing a finger and giving me a meaningful look. Sheesh! I get it already! Okay!

How about that Glee episode, huh? Glee makes me bawl because I'm a big sap but oh well. Listening to the PTSD soldiers on the radio made me bawl. Everything makes me bawl. That's because I NEED A DOG. Or something.

Guess what doesn't make me bawl? Someone all burned and screaming in pain. I freely admit I was awesome in that circumstance like freaking Cherry Ames or something. GOLD STAR, man. I'm good in a crisis, but I suck at this whole rest of life thing.

Oh, am exhausted. Sleep now, blather later.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Relapse is a rheostat

Oh hi. They're not kidding about the fatigue thing. You think fatigue = you're tired, but it's like tired to the umpteenth power. And it's really hard to mow the lawn when your legs seize up and actually quit working after about fifteen minutes. Though the breaks in the comfy lawn chair with the teapot and oatmeal cookies and a book to read are actually quite nice.

Shoveling was exactly like this, so I don't know why I'm all surprised.

Anyway I got about half the lawn mowed and it took me frakking hours and I thought I was going to die the whole time. Fun!

It started Tuesday morning. Stress can set it off so probably not a coincidence. And/or cake icing which is made of things I'm allergic to, cough cough. Am I gonna get a relapse every birthday and every holiday? Probably. Which sucks, but oh well.

I can barely feel my legs right now which is a real improvement over before when they hurt so much. So, yay?

Oh, a rheostat! Like you'd dim the lights. Like that. Only it's brain and energy and ability to do stuff. The scariest is big box stores because I'll get out in the middle of it like it's a giant lake and then have no ability to get back to the shore. I mean, car. But it reminds me a lot of kayaking past my ability. Also it's like that in that I know I'm eventually going to get to the shore but it'll be ridiculously hard and exhausting when I'm already exhausted. You can always do it, though. Sit down and try on some shoes!

I'm going to sleep A LOT. And maybe see if I can mow the other half of the lawn tomorrow. Oh holy yikes. I really believe that mowing it every week will pile up and I'll get stronger and fitter and will be more and more able to do it. More betterer. Everything that isn't numb hurts, but that'll pass. It has to.

Jobs still left to do this weekend, please don't be too daunting and please get done somehow even if it takes superhuman effort while I'm stuck in the stupid relapsey rheostat turned down tar pit:

1. mow the other half of the lawn
2. wash all those dishes
3. bake honey wheat quickbread
4. laundry
5. vacuum
6. finish my library books that are due Monday, or is it Tuesday?
7. catch up on the week's tv which is drastically lame of me but it keeps on piling up aaaaaah!

I wish I could describe the leg thing better. It's like they're in splints. Like they're getting electric shocks that make them go rigid. My legs shook so much with the mowing that I had trouble sitting down. What a bizarre thing. I'm not grasping the new reality. It's been what now, a year and a half? I can't wrap my head around it at all. I'm not getting it.

Also, I don't like being swarmed with bugs. Just for the record. Or discovering that I accidentally got unpitted dates. It's true.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So much!

Am working way too much! Am not sleeping way too much! Am eating way too much cake!

You know how people in this area of Maine say "So don't I" to agree with you? (They do.) Well today I heard someone asking where someone was by saying, "Where isn't she?" I am still wrapping my head around that one. Honestly I don't get "So don't I" either, but I'm so used to it, I don't even notice it anymore.

It's in the Urban Dictionary online, even though it's strictly a rural New England thing. Wacky. 

My birthday was fine, thank you to the lovely people who sent good wishes, yay! The cake is great. Did I mention there is a FRAKLOAD of cake? SO MUCH CAKE.  Four layers and I still have the bottom one, the biggest one, to go. And I'm already well past the point where I'm like, "Ooh, cake!" Like, days ago already.

I have more blathering I could do but I have to go wash the dishes before Bones. And then fall asleep. The dishes have been waiting since Tuesday due to no more detergent, but I just went out and bought all the groceries in the whole world--sorry, rest of the population of the planet--and so now I should also eat some of that exciting non-cake food. From the non-cake food group.

The cake is very pretty and very good but you know. Too much of a good thing etc. I got all kinds of vegetables, oh boy! And strawberries. And beans. Yummers.

I was totally going to the Humane Society today but then wound up working ages late so it was closed. Tomorrow! And then my second cousin is graduating from college so that's all kinds of things to do. I do not know when this mythical sleeping is supposed to happen. Also with the lingering frakking pneumonia. Yuck. Go away already soon!

This is how tired I am: I slept through most of the episode The Farm. I slept during a Battlestar episode! Madness!

Speaking of which, Mark Verheiden is on Twitter, did you see? Hurray! He's awesome. @markverheiden don'tcha know.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frauenweltmeisterschaft 2011! Ausgezeichnet!

Suddenly realized I didn't know exactly when the Women's World Cup started. June 26th! Now I know! Also not coincidentally I now know the answer to the question: when do you want to take your vacation?

Though actually....I don't know that I want to stay home watching tv for my vacation. I might want to Go Elsewhere. We shall see. It's only two games a day, which is quite manageable with a DVR.

Here's the calendar. I know you want it!

I'm so excited about Women's World Cup, oh boy! I love it so much. It's insanely inspiring and brilliant to watch AND I get a gigantic quantity of quilting and knitting done, all of which spells awesomeness.

Speaking of which, lookit! During the miniseries I got the quilt top finished and pressed, the quilt laid out and basted, and all of one direction of the quilting done. Now I'm on the crosstown traffic portion of the program, hellish because I don't (can't) line things up. I mean, I can't do it accurately, so I offset them = don't try.

I realize that if I did squares instead of long strips, it would be MUCH more accurate etc.etc. but I like my way better so nyah.

Ha! Unintentional snapshot of my whole life, right down to my Women's World Cup bag from the one that was partially in Philly due to SARS so I got to go. Kitty! Quilt! Serge! Battlestar on tv! Twitter on the laptop! Baskets of yarn! Books and books! Sewing machine! Can you see Apollo's feet stuck on top of the tv, front and center?

Also, one huge benefit of this is that my quilts could only be mine. You're not going to mistake them for anybody's else's. At least once I got over the ninepatch fixation. And probably even then, come to think of it.

So anyway I watched the miniseries and the first couple of episodes, up to where Starbuck falls down onto that Mars kind of planet, to be continued! That "play all" feature is deadly to a person who wants to keep watching but knows she should go to bed, heh. Because I'd have enough gumption not to go start a whole new episode myself, but if it just comes on, I don't have enough willpower to turn it off. There, you can mark my self-control levels exactly.

The quilt is completely frelling gorgeous, hurray! Am smitten. As always. I have three more to make in fairly rapid succession so it's good I got off (or rather ON) my keister and got this going. That baby's heading for six months old and another is due on the solstice, or is it the equinox? No, the solstice. Plus two weddings. GET GOING.

I have hopes that the whole run of Battlestar will get me all those quilts done, but I don't really think it will. I might have to watch whole runs of other shows, like Leverage, that I want to see from the beginning. It's all win win win win win, as far as I can see. I'll have to go buy some more backing material and two more batts but otherwise, should be good to go. I have mountains of those 3x5 rectangles cut out, as well as variables in the 3 so they make those wonderful variable laddery strips.

You can see I made this one kind of regularized because a) it's squares, not 3x5s, and b) I made a pattern with the dark blue suns and stars fabric. I don't mind squares as long as a lot of them are pieced to break it up. Meaning they're made up of smaller pieces sewn together into squares. You knew that. Secretly I did that at first because I hate throwing out fabric, but then I loved how it looked and now I'm hooked.

You should have lots of contrast in baby quilts, I say. Get out of here with your soft pastels!

Every time I look at one of these, I'm reminded of Dr. Griffith being compelled to stare at it while it was spread out on the floor and try to figure out the pattern. He couldn't stop! I love that. I'm the same way. It's like your brain does math, going "Okay, cloud cloud cloud, but then not cloud, so what about...." I am positive it builds little baby brains, that sort of thing.

Oh my goodness, I used a Britannic post-positive subject appositive! Shocking! I *have* been watching soccer, but it was Mexican soccer with the sound off, so you can't blame British commentators this time.

Well, I mowed the grass from the garden down to the groundhog's realm, and all around the path. I'm sure I got some sunburn. And the grass didn't hugely need mowing, but kind of did, which is why I did it. Must stay ahead or I'll have to pay money to get a new power mower or get this one fixed, which will probably cost about the same. I could be persuaded to buy a bright shiny blue low tech mower, the kind that has no bag and doesn't move itself and is just light and simple and easily fixable by people who get hearts in their eyes over small engine repair.

Must vacuum, wash dishes, make soup, do Online Job, and then back to the quilt and Battlestar front lines. That was one of my favorite Starbuck episodes ever, the one where she falls to Mars, so it was a real wrench to stop in the middle of To Be Continued.

Also I'm full of thoughts about Apollo, how diffident and insecure he is due to the father who never, ever thinks he's good enough. I knew he was like that, I've been writing about it in books and forever, but something about seeing it again from the top has really brought home what a brilliant thing that is to see in tv. This gorgeous, talented, kind, gentle, amazing guy who just isn't fully in the game and can't make it work. Like he excels but he isn't invested in it so it doesn't satisfy him at all. He's looking away from his own life all the time. Apollo was one of the great unrealized potentials of the show, that whole story, which is perfect, isn't it?

My cat is always in the garage now that the screen is up across the whole front of it and he can lie in the sun and sniff everything. Happy happy cat! I expect when there's dog and cat, they'll both be there the whole time. Oh, and me, in the comfy blue lawn chair. Awesome.

Maybe this week, for a dog, right? Could happen! Maybe!

Timmy Time characters. Love those Aardman eyes and the cauliflower body of Timmy the sheep. Just looking at them, I expect Timmy to get into some kind of perfectly understandable trouble and then get out again and make amends in some ingenious way.