Sunday, February 17, 2013

United front

Heh, that's a joke because I'm experimenting with various industrial strength corsetry items to deal with increased ballast. They seem to share a common trait in that they produce, well, a united front. Is that a good thing? At least they're uncomfortable in new and different ways from the old ones.

I also got rid of texting again because only one person texts me but I never, ever see the texts until days later, unless I happen to have my phone in my actual hand when she texts. The result is that it feels to her like I'm deliberately ignoring her. But actually no! I'm accidentally ignoring her! I have to have the ringer turned off at work and my phone doesn't tell me when there's a text waiting.

Anyway. I hate texts. Especially when I don't get them and everyone feels bad. Maybe that's WHY I hate texts, huh? Constantly reinforced negative associations!

Speaking of which, I came up with A PLAN after thinking about what I wrote yesterday. My plan is: go to the nearby Subway for lunch and do Online Job there while eating some sort of sandwich item. Cheap, quiet, effective, solves both the lunch problem, the carrying things problem, the remembering to put food in the fridge problem (dire), the pressure not to take a lunch problem, which is mainly in my head but still, and the getting out of the pressure cooker problem. Also my head. My head is a pressure cooker. That little jobby on top goes rocking around and around, letting off steam.

This way when I get home I can be DONE WITH WORK. How about that, huh? I know!

I could even do that thing where you get a whole big sandwich and eat the second half for dinner. I might do that. I could see whether it works out.


You know that flowchart thing. The flaw with it is that sometimes you have to do sucky things for good results later. It is not exactly the deferred gratification flowchart, is it?

I mistyped that as deterred gratification, which is kind of apropos lately. Oh the stress bunnies. Oh oh oh.

Oof, I'm sad today because I was walking around the lawn admiring the molehills and looking at all the tunnels and ditches and thinking how much I liked moles, and then on the way into the house my dog caught a mole right by the garage door and bit it and it's probably either lying there dead now or lying there mortally wounded. But given the very low temperatures, I'd say dead is more likely.

How wretched is that? Moles are awesome, yay moles, oh holy crap Gawain NO, and then there's little mole lying on its back, big welt on chest, waving its pink hands in the air and squeaking.

I do like moles. I don't know why, when they are utterly destroying this lawn, but I really like the tunnels and ditches, which I guess are collapsed tunnels? I saw a mole running into the barn yesterday and got all excited. They're cute! They're little furry soft dark brown potatoes with pink hands on the corners!

So anyway. It's better than the days when Gunnar Bunnybane used to kill bunnies all the time. Oh that cat! Gawain never caught anything before and I hope never will again.

This is all to explain that I would totally go for a walk out front today and play in all our usual haunts but I won't because of the mole. And also because it's utterly freaking freezing out with a vicious bitter wind. We went out back and worked on that half fallen tree by the woodshed for a while but my hands went numb. That's how cold it is. I never get cold! See above re: ballast for insulation.

The tree by the woodshed is odd. It broke in half about twenty feet up, but the top half fell straight down, still attached by some bark. It's all very unsteady and dangerous. I decided given the high winds and all, it was a good day to stand underneath that broken top half and trim the branches that are holding it off the ground. Genius!

I only realized how dopey it was when my dog got underneath there too and I hollered at him to get out because it was dangerous. Oh!

Then we stood around watching pieces fall off the other trees when the wind kicked up. Then we went inside. Through the back door. Ahem.

The woodshed is about 60% fallen down anyway and has a hole in the roof so I'm not sure why I'm putting wood in there. It's not like it's going to stay dry. Hmm.

Also the lens on my phone is frelled, all pictures are all fuzzy and blurry. This is new. I don't know if there's condensation inside there or if it got all scratched up or what. Or what to do about it. What do you do about it? Iphone people?

I am not feeling made of win today but at least I figured out the Subway thing and I'm thrilled to have tomorrow off from both jobs. And Online Job is done for the week, hallelujah.

My mom is out at some kind of pastor installation & potluck dinner thing (?) so I'm doing laundry in between Online Job and chopping wood and stuff. Dog is all snuggled up in comforters and quilts. I'm a bit rattled by the dawning realization that I have actual free time and could...do things? Fun things? Free time things? What is? How do I?

I do appreciate the experimental corsetry, I have to say. Remember the "somebody else's problem" field from the Douglas Adams books? It's like that. Like something that was my problem is now somebody else's problem and I don't have to deal with it anymore. Which says something to me about how much of a constant PAIN the aging corsetry has become. Figuratively and literally.

It was fun to pick out a range of them from the Walmart sale rack. Some of them make me feel like I should be wearing a faded print dress with buttons up the front and lace up shoes and carrying a white handbag with a clasp in the middle. Maybe a hat with a little netting around the side. And walking very, very slowly. Possibly fanning myself with the bulletin at church.

Anyway I expect they'll be demoted to unflattering but supportive exercise garb once I stop eating peanut M&Ms for breakfast and manage to quit the evil white death sugar and things in general LIGHTEN UP.

Today I had leftover pizza for breakfast so as you can see, we're making real progress here. Snort.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Oh boy oh boy

Today I drove 216.51 miles round trip to go to the bank because neither of my direct deposits actually direct deposited. Nope! Instead I got checks! But I don't have a week to wait around for them to trundle across the country via the U.S. Postal Service, so I got to drive to the nearest branch, over a hundred miles away.

The route there is the most dismal, depressing, awful stretch of road I know. Ugh! And I've driven it approximately one million times, too, which makes it worse somehow. I don't like locations that I've been to a lot. Isn't that odd? Most people spend a lot of time in places where they've spent a lot of time. I do NOT and so I get seriously wigged by places with a lot of history.

This road. I mean it's the one I took to band camp and to pick up our exchange student and to D.C. all those times and for the first nanny interview and for composer lessons with the odd and insightful little man who sat in a rocking chair and looked at me and deduced all sorts of facts about me that I didn't even realize until years later. Fascinating! And cello lessons with the advanced cello teacher until my mom thought it made me think I was special and made me quit. (There are a LOT of stories like that. I am forbidden to think I'm special in any way and anything that makes me think that is taken away.) And I drove past that spot where D. and I rescued that beagle who got hit by a car and then had to go to the adult bookstore (it's still there) to try to find the cops or someone only the guy who lost the dog (drunk, hunter, pickup truck) was parked outside so that was that.

Yes, the time I wrapped a beagle in my black wool cardigan. I know!

It's a hideous road, all run down and crummy and awful every kind of way.

So I came back by a different route, which unfortunately *also* has major memories attached because it's the road between my grad school and the city where my future ex-fiance lived, so we drove up and down it all the time and to the train station and whatnot. I slowed down at that one spot where I got a ticket, lo! these many years later. I mean that was like 1998.

I'm really uncomfortable around all these reminders of personal history.

So anyway. That was my fun day. The dog threw up in the car, as usual. I listened to a lot of music and thought about a lot of things, so the thinking part and the music parts were really good. And of course I avoided total personal financial catastrophe and got out of the house/town/county/rut a bit. Yay! Also it was fun to watch my blue dot get closer to the red dot on the iphone map thingy. I don't get actual directions so it's kind of like playing hot and cold. Dot getting closer! Oh no, dot getting further away! Go back!

Mr. Kitty looked down at me and Mr. Puppy from the dog bed crow's nest I've set up on top of my desk so they can see out the window. In fact Mr. Puppy gets up there to watch me drive away to work and is always there looking out when I come home. Yay!

A rose bush ripped a scratch in my lip. I'm going to say I had a duel, if anyone asks. Which they won't. Sigh.

It has been utterly stressful lately due to Big Changes afoot in employment land, which is all I can really say about that, but OH the incredible stress and uncertainty and every kind of instability! I'm a basket case, not even counting how I fell on the ice that one day and landed hard on both knees, leaving them hugely bruised, all cut up and bleeding, abraded, contused, and in retrospect in need of stitches. Though that big laceration did finally knit up, I think.

I absolutely love that it's shaped like a frown, just a big half circle. In memory of one of the hardest weeks in ages! Fun times! Remember that one week? FROWN.

I managed to re-sprain my left thumb today lifting rocks out of the creek behind the house. Like a dope. I know better! Yet I continually re-injure this thumb. Then of course I drove 216.51 miles which probably didn't do it any real good.

Honestly, things have never been so up in the air. Part B might be along shortly, at long last. And then what? That depends.

I've been so stressed out that I've been taking lots of my prescription anti-anxiety meds, which is fine until I taper off, and then I get amazing nightmares like last night, in which I was in some kind of battle to the death in water against all these sharks and bugs and crawly things. I had to figure out which ones were good and use them against the bad ones, but it wasn't always easy to tell. Hit the scary octopus with a hammer and it turns into a black hole in the water, sucking everything in. Hit the spiders that look like vitamin E capsules with a hammer and you've damaged your line of defense. Tricky! Also the shell pasta is on your side, so don't squish those! And you can use large knitting needles to deflate the giant inflatable rubber soldiers, but the gas inside will melt the needles somewhat.

Man, I have got to get off the sauce.

Actually I also have to stop eating terribly. I've been the most ridiculous food consumer lately. It's been peanut M&Ms for breakfast and whatever food appears for free at work for lunch and then, I don't know, Fritos or fast food for dinner, because otherwise there's no time for Online Job before I have to be in bed at nine. There is NO TIME FOR ANYTHING because I have to get up so early and get home so late and do Online Job and walk my dog and snuggle my cat in between running from the car to bed.

It's not good, bunnies. Not good. Hijole indeed. Someone keeps saying "Oh boy..." all downbeat and I always say in response "Oh boy!" all upbeat because I'm trying to be positive and pro-active and a go-getter and cheerful and stuff. It turned into an excellent running joke. And then we had to listen to the Muppets do "Danny Boy" on YouTube because of Animal going "Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, oh boy oh boy."

So in keeping with my recent health food kick I had leftover pizza for breakfast and Smartfood popcorn for dinner. You will not be surprised to hear that between my idiotic eating habits and my ridiculous schedule, I feel like utter crap and look worse! Woohoo!

Must shape up. Yes. Put that on my list!

Honestly I thought peanut M&Ms would be a good snack food, with lots of protein and a little chocolate. And I suppose they're more paleo than, say, a donut. But they are doing bad things to my innards, alas! Then there's all this cake lately. Oh man. And my mom's baking powder has lost its oomph (it got thrown out today) so the cakes are all short and dense and stomach-destroying. Plus the icing. Oh man. Oh boy oh boy.

So anyway. In sum: ACK!

Here, let me say some good things:

1. It's light out much later! Yay!
2. Money in the bank, two paychecks put in today.
3. Paid a lot of bills. Awesome.
4. Those injuries weren't nearly as bad as they could have been? Did I mention falling on the ice before the knee incident and landing on my arm but not hurting it? How fortuitous! Arms: necessary.
5. Um. My hair is growing? Though it looks fairly ludicrous right now. Sort of large on the sides, if you see what I mean.
6. I was given Monday off. Which has both positive and negative aspects but let's focus on the positive! Sleep! Rest! Relaxation! Woohoo!

Hey, I'm trying, here. It's mostly been like running as fast as possible on a treadmill while random large objects get flung at your head and your stomach churns and heaves, alternating with nightmares about flying snakes and nasty crawly lobster things.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pawprints, snow, the history of rings

Oh, excellent walk in the woods today with Mr. Dog. We saw a great many fascinating pawprints, some of them quite alarming to me. Apparently there's a huge raccoon up there. And lots of porcupines. And coyotes. In fact we followed their trails and went all sorts of interesting places, including to my favorite tree in the whole world, which it turns out is on the absentee neighbor's land. Oh oh oh! It's the giantest oak! I used to go visit it all the time when my parents first moved here, back in, ooooh, the late 80s? Is that right?

Trees! I like 'em.

I just finished re-reading Lord of the Rings for possibly the last time because MAN is that book annoying to me now. I mean I like the first half or so (of the three books combined) but then it gets all Lofty Language and battle arrangements and Frodo suddenly knows all sorts of arcane things like what orcs eat and how they came to be and the characters are increasingly inconsistent and I really don't get where they're all sailing off to in the end. I mean, death? Or what?

So anyway I'm annoyed by that book.

And by my knitting, gosh! Simultaneously! Because I keep trying to knit this cool thing and it comes out utterly hideous. I might just knit stripes, you guys. Seriously. Stripes would be awesome! Hideousness is not!

Back to knitting this totally gorgeous thing instead. Oooh, lovely! And it's wool. I forget how luscious wool is to knit until I've been knitting acrylic for a while. Eesh. Acrylic is pretty vile.

My ring got all loose again. The regular one got too tight so I took it off, the one with the knotwork on it that replaced my late lost lamented ring like Starbuck's that I actually showed to Starbuck herself, you know, then used as a stitch marker on a Jayne hat that I was knitting while walking down to House of Pies and it fell off and got lost. Well, the knotwork one replaced that one. But for a while the knotwork one was too tight so I got this patterny really soft silver one that is banged all flattish from everything from mowing the grass to shoveling snow. I mean, instead of its curvy surface, it's dented in flat. And that's the one that got all loose again today.

When I took the knotwork one off I was at work, so I put it on my keychain, but apparently it fell off somewhere, WOE. And now it's GONE. And now this one is too loose and falling off, but what am I going to wear instead? See what I'm saying? Dang!

There's a certain element of thwartedness about today. While shoveling the half inch of snow off the driveway, I slipped on a frozen tire track and fell, catching my whole weight on my arm such that every bit of it from wrist to shoulder hurts like blood. Though I feel extremely lucky not to have done any actual harmy harm like, oh, breaking bones. Phew!

I guess I'm a wee bit agitato still because I'll catch myself waiting for a Tumblr image to load or something (slow internet) and my toes are curling up and I'm twisting my fingers and making grimacey faces and sitting there with my hair clenched.

Wait, is that from A Fish Called Wanda?

I got a sudden terror that tomorrow was Monday but nope! PHEW. See, that's the kind of anxiety thing. Yesterday I looked at my bank balance and got this total terror and panic that somehow I'd managed to spend my whole paycheck already but how how how, when I have nothing to show for it, how did that happen, arrrrgggghhh!

Then I remembered that although I'd received my check and held it in my hand, I then mailed it off to the bank and the deposit only appeared this morning. Hahahahahaha!

It's been a busy week. My brain is just catching up.

This afternoon two of the Amish kids came over to visit. The older girl mentioned that they see me driving to work every morning while they're walking to school (nothing goes unnoticed in this valley, I swear) and I only realized hours later that the young person meant: you could pick us up on the way, since it's like 7 degrees out some mornings, and you're driving right past us then right past our school. In your warm car. Ahem.

So I should stop and ask next time I drive past them, eh?

My dog really likes the littlest one, a little boy. They were rolling around and playing on the floor. Awww! He doesn't speak more than a few words of English but he sure speaks dog. He had one of his socks on inside out and blond bangs sticking out under the black balaclava he had on under his straw hat.

I have one million chores to do tomorrow but at least I got a bunch of stuff done today, like, um, falling on the ice! And looking at porcupine footprints! And becoming disgruntled with my knitting and Lord of the Rings! At least those are out of the way, right? Oh and I ate all the rice cakes. ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Whooshy snowbuckets

Whoosh go the days. Whoosh! Just zooming on past, so busy and stuff! And oh man, the snow, dealing with the snow. You know how in Maine there was snow the first year I was there and then less and less and the last year there was almost none? Here there has been just tons of relentless snow. It's snowing right now! Whoosh!

Because of The Patchwork Girl of Oz (I think) I always want to make popcorn when it snows. Mmm.

Well I am busy busy busy, yet totally not stressed out about it due to discovering yet again, Captain Obvious, that anti-anxiety meds--get this--make you LESS ANXIOUS. I know! What I did NOT know was that you can take them for a few days to kind of break the cycle/habit and get out of a loop of anxiety. Hey!

It's fascinating. Brain chemistry is fascinating to me. Being all addled and such. Oh my niece's giddy aunt!

What else have I learned this week? Let's see.

1. I never regret shoveling, but I do regret not shoveling. So always shovel.

2. Getting a knitting project started immediately relieves any stress I was having about it. Yay!

3. I sure do like peanut M&Ms. And they're even legit on my dietary limitations because they're nuts and chocolate. Hey! Eating like 40 ounces of them is probably not a good idea, however.

4. Baking that rainbow cake is totally fun and seems all miraculous and also strains the brains, trying to make it be rainbow shaped with the colors in the right order AND flat on the bottom. Basically I think you can't. If you do it in the right order, it curves up, not down. Interesting mental gymnastics trying to figure this out. Also trying to figure out if you can make two rounds and have the rainbows match up. (NO.)

5. Speaking of match, I went on one of those dopey dating websites and had the following fascinating revelations/sequence of thoughts that require their own outline sub-headings:

a. But I don't know any of these people. (Why this is always a surprise, I do not know.)
b. Ugh, a guy in a suit and tie.
c. Ugh, a guy in a t-shirt.
d. Ugh, a guy in a baseball cap.
e. Ugh, a guy in sunglasses.
f. Ugh, a guy with a car/boat/motorcycle/fish/pool cue/other male symbol of supposed awesomeness.
g. Ugh, a guy who actually says without irony that he likes candlelit dinners and walks on the beach.
h. None of these people are awesome.
i. However I am totally awesome.
j. Also they won't like me because I'm fat.
k. Which makes them even less awesome. In fact, they suck baloney. The kind with pimentos in it. Or is it olives?
l. Now I want to write stuff like that in my profile, about how I'm awesome and if you can't see that due to my weight, you are a boring stupid loserface with a speedboat and I hope you have white bread with margarine for supper. And no cheese.
m. Anyway I look great even with upholstery, so shut up, you speedboat-having loserfaces. Someone awesome told me I HAVE STYLE just this very week. And I totally do. Whereas your Nascar-looking sunglasses and haircut from 1980 are so very unstyling. You are Normal Boy. I will have no truck with Normal Boy. We've met before and it did not go well.
n. Oh and Normal Boy is always deeply intimidated by all the places I've been and people I've met and all the cool stuff I can do and how I'm really independent and have read all the books. Seriously, they pretty much crawl under the table and I'm not even trying. It's sad.
o. What on earth would I want with Normal Boy anyway? They are so very boring and I do not want one and they would be terrified of me even if they got past superficial upholstery-based judginess.
p. I would rather have an alpaca. Or two. Three alpacas! Or a Winnebago. Or a trip to Iceland. Or the Orkneys. I would rather have a cup of tea.

6. Which is why I get on these sites and then get sad and then get mad and then get absolutely reaffirmed in my belief in my own awesomeness and then, you know, get OFF the sites, ha!

7. I moved some giant rocks. So what's new?

8. I eyeballed the chainsaw. And I read up on how they're dangerous and what not to do. I haven't progressed as far as finding the manual yet. But I might go to the chainsaw store (they also sell lawnmowers and snowblowers--it is a compound noun yardwork store!) and see whether they can put a guard on this one. A guard goes over the end of the blade so that it can't catch and flip and saw your leg off in 1/10th of a second, which apparently happens A LOT, especially if you're new to chainsawing. Yikes!

9. Snow, man. I shoveled the whole driveway again today. And now it's snowing but not sticking on the driveway except where I left a piece so I could see what would have happened if I hadn't shoveled. What, you don't leave a control patch when you shovel the driveway?

10. My phone totally fell out of my butterfly-covered hoodie pocket when I knelt down on the bridge to move some rocks in the creek. But it did not fall into the creek! Well, it did, but it landed on a nice flat rock and not in the water. It got one teeny tiny scratch, my first scratch ever. On the front at least. But it didn't get a ducking and for that I am seriously grateful. Phew!

11. In a fit of reduced inhibitions (those meds, man) I got a bottle of ginger brandy as well as my intended butterscotch schnapps. I'd been looking at the ginger brandy for a while. I know, don't I get the most vile beverages when on anti-anxiety meds? Remember the Wishniak? What's going on there? But anyway it turns out that if you Google drinks that you can make with ginger brandy, you find some truly glorious names. Like Typhoon Betty, for example. Yay! Anyway if you pour ginger brandy into white cranberry/peach juice it is just ridiculously delicious. It's sort of multi-dimensional.

12. White cran/peach juice is ridiculously delicious anyway. But looks disturbingly like a tall glass of pee. Eep! Hey, that's a palindrome. Pee, eep!

13. I'm knitting something amazing. Well, it's the Honey Cowl, you can see it on Ravelry, but with this particular fancy handpaint yarn I've had for umpteen years, it's coming out far more gorgeous than I had imagined. And I imagined pretty gorgeous. I'm so pleased!

14. I know I haven't taken pictures of knits and things and I am so abashed. Must get on the stick!

15. That story about the family that lived alone 40 years in the taiga really bothered me, because a) if you were starving, you shouldn't have peeled your potatoes, and b) why on earth would you throw the potato peels on the floor? Gross. And c) when two of them died of kidney failure within days of each other after returning to civilization, it was not because of their poor diet all those years, like the article said, but no doubt because they suddenly ate all kinds of things. Come on, now.

16. I really really really want to go buy a painting at a thrift store and paint monsters/dragons/aliens into it in the traditional manner (see Henry Reed et al.) and give it to my brother for his law office.

17. My new month's resolutions are: try to live up to last month's resolutions about not eating wheat and therefore immediately feel a hundred times better. Doy. But damn, sometimes a Triscuit just looks so good.