30 November, 2011

Getting things back on track

One of the stupider things I did during the last few years of misery was neglect my annual exams.  There is no excuse except that misery makes us (me) do strange things.  Before I went on my trip I made myself schedule appointments and this morning was the first one.  Yay me.  Chances are pretty good that I will be called back though because in the time since my last exam they have changed to digital and it is a more detailed picture so I won't be freaked out if they call in the next few days and ask me to stop by again.  Or not VERY freaked out.

I still haven't taken the pictures out of my camera and put them on my iPad and today is noon knitting and I was supposed to have that all done.  I guess it'll have to wait for next week.  I am not all that motivated because my favorite picture was taken with my iPhone and is already on my iPad.  It's of a very handsome man, standing in the sun and smiling at me.   I do want to see the others and it will be on my (very long) list of things to do this coming weekend.

I did get the laundry mostly done last night and now my clothes are all sweet smelling again.... except my coat, which is going to the dry cleaners tonight.  I still have the towels to do since the house sitter left all of them dirty except two.  I still keep finding weird things.  For example, I found the olive oil in a cupboard with dishes.  And my Husky football schedule has disappeared.  I was thinking of asking him to do it again while I'm in Hawaii in January but now I think I will just suck it up and pay for Tink to stay at the Doggie Resort.  I don't think I could stand to come back and have to go through this again. 

My job for this meeting in January is to do the booklet, which has the schedule and all of the abstracts, etc.  I thought it would also be nice to publish it as an EPUB so people could download it from iTunes and put it on their iPads or whatnot. Yesterday afternoon I started learning how to do that and wow .... it is a process.  You can do it with a document made in Word or Adobe InDesign, which is the much better program but I haven't had time to learn that yet.  It is a professional layout program and very very complicated.  I am going to spend another few hours this afternoon on it.  The book I am learning from is very good, so I should be able to get it in a day or so.  Anyway I like doing things like that.

Noon knitting today and then tomorrow ..... I must run.  It is going to hurt.

29 November, 2011

Up and up I go!

I seem to be on a little winning streak with my fantasy team.  I have now moved up to 8th place!  There are two more weeks to go before the fantasy playoffs.  If they were held this week I'd be in the consolation playoff.  I have a couple of tough matchups coming up though so I am not going to get my hopes up.

I am thrilled with my lack of jet lag this trip, or rather the mild effects I have felt.  Going to Europe is always very difficult for me but this time it was a breeze.  Even though I couldn't sleep on the way over I got to the hotel at 1 and immediately went out for lunch and a long walk, then cleaned up and kept busy until dinner and went to bed at an early, but not too early hour.  When I woke up in the middle of the night I popped a couple of melatonin and eventually went back to sleep and the next day I was fine.  I did get the urge to nap in the afternoon the first couple of days but other than that it was painless.  Coming home I didn't want to sleep and I stayed up until a normal bedtime and Sunday I was fine.  I must say though that I went to bed rather early on Sunday and again yesterday I was quite tired when I got done with work, skipped the laundry and just loafed around, did some knitting(!!) and went to bed a little later than Sunday.  I have been sleeping straight through, so I think today I am completely over it. 

Tonight I MUST do laundry no matter how tired I am.  My laundry card never turned up, not that I actually expected it to.  In the next couple of nights I should finish up the cowl I have been working on and then maybe I'll finish the Cloisonne jacket.  I also need to get back to running.  My cough is gone and I have no excuses.  I want to go to the post office at lunch today and tomorrow is noon knitting, so I will set Thursday as my first day back out running.  It is lucky I have a meeting in January in Hawaii.  I will not be able to be lazy and put on any winter weight.

I got an email from Icelandair asking me to please give them feedback on their service.  And I will gladly oblige.  I hope that I never ever have to fly Icelandair again, or if I do I will only do so if I can upgrade to Saga class, which sounds like just normal economy to me.  The seats are excruciatingly uncomfortable and only made bearable by sitting on a pillow.  The service is nonexistent after the first drinks and food run.  On the positive side, they do give you a little bottle of water when you board, there are foot rests, which are key for those of us with stumpy legs, and the TV in the seat back is on so that you can watch a movie while you are taxing and reaching cruising height.  That's it.

Another busy day ahead of me.  I'm going to need that walk at lunchtime.  It's cold outside.  I hope it isn't going to be raining.

28 November, 2011

Back to the real world

I have to say, that was the BEST vacation I've had in a very very long time.  It exceeded expectations a thousand times over.  And I believe I've finally found the cure for the teary days that seem to follow every wonderful vacation.  Basically it seems that crying over leaving people almost negates the good feelings.  I prefer to remember the wonderful time and not concentrate on the fact that those times aren't likely to be happening anytime again soon.  Oh ... I am so inarticulate sometimes!!  I prefer to think of those goodbyes as an au revoir rather than an adieu.  Much more sensible and much less crying. 

I returned home Saturday evening -- 6 o'clock Seattle time but 2 AM body time.  I had to stop at the grocery store to get something to eat, not knowing the status of my kitchen, and I couldn't remember my pin number.  I had a house sitter while I was gone taking care of Tink and my apartment.  I didn't know what to expect when I walked in but what I saw was quite amazing.  He had rearranged my furniture.  Not drastically, but significantly.  I like my things where I want them, so I had to re-rearrange my furniture.  He had also saved all my newspapers.  Who has time to read two weeks worth of newspapers??  He did all sorts of strange things and it took me well into Sunday to get my place back into shape.  Unfortunately I had lots of laundry to do and I couldn't find the laundry card.  I called him and he described where he had left it but alas, it was not there and he had no other ideas where it could have gone.  My guess is he left it in the laundry room and someone took it, since it had at least $20 credit.  "Soooorry" he says ... not unlike how a child would react to the parental "Tell your sister you're sorry!".  That made my Sunday a bit easier since I couldn't do laundry.  I will call the apartment office today just in case someone has turned it in, but I'm not holding my breath.

It looks like I'm going to win my fantasy football matchup AGAIN this week if my opponent's last guy doesn't score over 20 points.  Why didn't this happen at the start of the season?

I did not pick up my knitting once while on vacation.  I was too busy having the time of my life.  I will have to get busy soon - I have so many projects to finish.

But work is what is on my plate for now.

25 November, 2011

Friday late afternoon

After my late and lazy morning yesterday I made up for it with a long walk. I circumnavigated Buckingham Palace, saw a changing of the guard and then just wandered. I found a little something for my sister and that's about it. I headed back to the hotel to get my bags a little early and to a nice surprise - no waiting needed. Since our tickets for the Leonardo exhibit weren't until 4 we had pleny of time for tea. The first place we tried was too busy, having recently become popular by a visit from Kate Middleton, so we went to a most beautiful club. I do believe that part of the tea ritual is food - little sandwiches and scones and such, but I wasn't hungry so we just had the tea and plenty of jabbering. I I seem to have been trying make up for a few years of silence. Kind of embarrassing really. Next we headed off to the National Gallery for the Leonardo exhibit. Even though there is a limit of 150 people per half hour it was packed. I am glad we saw it but wish it had been either a little less crowded or in larger rooms. The drawings were incredible. And then off we went to Windsor. Traffic was bad but we made good time and got checked into the most wonderful hotel before 7, then headed off to dinner in a beautiful old place on the river. It was the best Thanksgiving EVER. Today was another beautiful day, no clouds and mild temperatures. I woke up with a smile on my face. We toured the castle which is right across the street from the hotel. Silly me, I didn't bring my camera but snapped a few shots with my iPhone. It is quite spectacular. I am so glad we saw it. Lunch and then back to the hotel to regroup. It is getting dark now but I have spent the last 1 1/2 hours wandering the shops trying to get used to being on my own again. When Emma and I were in Paris I saw a scarf at the Sunday market. It was only 10 euros but I loved it, unfortunately I couldn't decide which color so I figured since it was at the market they would be all over the place. So I wentin to every women's shop looking for that scarf to no avail. It was something to do to keep myself busy until the worst was over. Now the big chore -- I have to get my bags organized. I need to be at Heathrow at 11 am tomorrow and I want to be ready to go tonight. You can't have the high highs without some lows thrown for balance.

24 November, 2011

Lazy morning

That is what having WiFi in the room does to me. Here it is after 10 and I am still in my nightgown drinking tea and messing around online instead of being outside exploring. I will get going in a minute. I just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful that I am here with a wonderful couple of days yet to enjoy, and not somewhere else cooking a meal for thieves and liars. I guess anyone would be thankful for that.

23 November, 2011

Isn't a martini a martini?

Yesterday we got quite a late start for Trier. I learned that Trier is the oldest German city with some incredible ruins. We got there around 4 when it was still light and set off for the shopping district. There is a city gate that is just amazing. It is Roman and dates from the 2nd century AD. We are so lucky that the Christmas market had just been set up. It was very picturesque and on the way back to the train station it was dark and all of the booths were lit. It was so pretty. I found some awesome boots and a cute top and Emma got a few things as well. A very successful trip. When we got back to Luxembourg we arranged to meet Emma's boyfriend, Fred, at the restaurant of a friend -- very trendy place. I ordered a dry vodka martini up with an olive. A few minutes later he sets a glass down in front of me - a tall glass with ice in it and a lemon slice on the rim. Hmmmmm. I took it up to the bar, apologized and said I didn't want to tell him his business but could I have this martini in a martini glass with no ice and an olive? The he proceeds to tell me that is what I asked for (in my hand) and what I was describing was a martini cocktail. Now I have spent a few years behind a bar on both sides. You give the customer what they ask for, you don't argue. Well, a normal person perhaps. I described again, vodka and dry vermouth. What I got was vodka and lots of sweet vermouth. It was disgusting. We did not stay for dinner. It was a struggle but I got everything in the two bags. I keep wondering what I have that is taking up so much more room. I did get some cough medicine and some lovely massage oil at Harrods, and that is heavy, being liquid. I am a complete failure at packing light. I have other good qualities. Tonight I am in a lovely boutique hotel very near the palace and having a kind of martini in the bar. I have compromised my normal don't buy WiFi at the hotel rule because I don't know this area very well plus we will be leaving from here tomorrow for tea and the Leonardo exhibit so if I want to hang out and wait here I will be able to be on line. It is nice out so I will go exploring for dinner a little later.

22 November, 2011

Out of the basement!

Yay! I have won my fantasy matchup three weeks in a row now. Of course since I lost so many I am still down there but 9th and not 10th! We had a long day in Paris yesterday. Both Emma and I wished we had another day but we managed to do and see nearly everything and everyone we had planned on. We never got to have a nice dinner out. The timing was never right. There is a restaurant we wanted to go for duck but it had closed. It was a gorgeous day again so we spent a good amout of time, after meeting Eoghan for lunch, just wandering around. I got some great pictures of the fountain at Beaubourg and bought a small tote bag since packing light hasn't really worked out that great. I haven't bought much but Emma's mother sent over two Beleek pieces and I couldn't resist a candle from Esteban yesterday. And we are going to Trier today to do a bit of shopping. I need a flatter pair of boots. I know just the style I want but every pair I saw in Paris was crazy. The train ride back from Paris was nice because we were in 1st class and it was direct. We were both so very tired but Emma's brother was I. Town for just a few hours so we went to meet him. And he was late arriving so we didn't get to bed until 3 this morning. We had a super safe ride home. A policeman friend of Emma's happened to be out at the same place and took us home. Tomorrow it is back to London.

21 November, 2011

Our last day in Paris

We have really lucked out with the weather here. And although it's cloudy today it is still not cold. We spent most of last night at the Green Linnet gossiping with Eoghan and watching American football on TV. He finally got the Red Zone and so I got to keep up with my fantasy team. I have one two more players to give me points but I am already WAY ahead so it looks like I am going to win again. Nice! We had such a gorgeous ramble yesterday. It was 60 degrees and sunny and the tourist were out in full force. We hadn't slept much Saturday night even though we were in bed before midnight because there was a club across the street and we had to have the window open because it was so very hot. We heard horns and music and more horns and screaming and think even gun shots. ;-). Last night was much quieter. The evening we got here we went into the Marais to find a little cafe for dinner and found a Brasserie where we got a teensie table under the awning. As I was preparing to sit down a man came up behind and a tried to put his arms around me. At first I thought it might be an old friend but when I turned around it was a total stranger! creepy French guys! We don't get our train until after 7 tonight. Besides meeting Eoghan for lunch I am not sure what else we will do. The is so much to choose from.

20 November, 2011

It is magic

The weather in Paris is spectacular!! Warm and sunny. I am taking lots of pictures. The last couple times I was here there was scaffolding around Notre Dame and it is done now and just incredible. The detail is marvelous.

We had brunch in Saint Germaine at a champagne bar and now strolling around. Ahhhhhh.

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19 November, 2011


I can't even begin to describe our debauched evening Friday. Our train was due to leave at 1 and we woke up at ten to 1. We did not make that train, but got one at 2:30. Oh what a wreck we were. At present we are sitting outside the Green Linnet. It is really warm and nice here. We will go for dinner soon.

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18 November, 2011

Where was I?

That last post was full of typos. The iPad is hard to type on at times and I was in a rush. I think it mostly made sense. So .....after the encounter with the weird American I was off for a gorgeous dinner and awesome evening. Wednesday morning I got up and out and off I went to the Royal Academy to see the Degas exhibit. Wonderful! I learned so much. He was quite avante garde for his time. Then more wandering through St. James. I was strolling down the street and came upon what I later learned was St James palace and witnessed a mini changing of the guard. Just me. I snapped a couple of pictures from across the street. It was cloudy and I don't know how they turned out yet. I did buy an adapter so that I can download pictures directly to my iPad but I haven't tried it out yet. Dinner that night was at the Oxo Tower. Incredible company and incredible views. Too bad it was too cold to sit outside but still we could see a lot. It was just magical. So now I am in Luxembourg. The trip over was so easy. The airport was quiet, no lines anywhere. The flight was about a third full and only lasted an hour. We were served a beautiful little sandwich and a glass of wine, then we were there. Emma collected me by bus. We went out for Italian dinner and then out for the rest of the night at a few bars. Luxembourg is so ....well it is like a fairy tale. There we were strolling down cobblestone streets in the fog. Emma says it reminds her of Shrek. I twisted my ankle on the cobblestones but it is fine today. I barely felt it last night. Absolutely no knitting. I don't even know why I bothered bringing it. Tonight most likely we will go out for a few drinks after dinner. Our train to Paris doesn't leave until 1 tomorrow so we can sleep in. I keep hearing Frank Sinatra singing "Fly me to the moon".

17 November, 2011

Thursday in London City Airport

This is the best airport! It reminds me of how Burbank was a few years ago except the shops and restaurants look much nicer and the security screening was a breeze with nolines Andre got to keep our shoes on. I have been having the best time in London. Tuesday after a nice day at the V&A museum and a quick stop at Harods and Harvey Nichols I had a little rest and then got ready for dinner. I was a bit early so stopped in at the lobby bar for a cocktail. I was sitting there minding my own businessmen this American man started talking to me. Believe me I have heard some big lies in my day, but this guy .... He actually told me he used to work for the CIA!! Thank goodness about that time I got a text ... Oops. Time to board. To be continued

15 November, 2011

Home is where the heart is

Home at long last. Had a great long ramble yesterday, champagne for cocktails and ... Well just the most delightful evening in history.

Today I set off for a museum, getting lost twice on the way. It is sunny so who cares? Now late lunch. Free WiFi is everywhere. It is very handy.

I am going to stop in to Harrods and Harvey Nichols on the way back to the hotel, a little rest then dinner.

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14 November, 2011

Gotta love Starbucks

I am sitting here watching the world go by. Free WiFi and you can't beat that.

I seem to have given jet lag the slip. I stayed awake until 9 last night after virtually no sleep on the plane. I feel great.

Had lots of sun yesterday but clouds today. I do not care. I am happy!!

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12 November, 2011

The requisite airport cocktail

I had to get to the airport WAY early so Omie would be on time. No matter. There is football on TV and cocktails. I am SO excited.

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10 November, 2011

In retrospect .....

perhaps having a house guest the week before a big trip is not a good idea.  But I really didn't have much to say about it, since he wanted to be here for his brother's birthday. And also if I hadn't spent over a week in sick time I might have had a little more flexibility and been able to go home early.  It's water under the bridge now anyway.  He's having a fine time, it's just that I'd like to be able to spend a little more time with him. 

We did have a super fun evening out to dinner with friends.  Great food!  And tonight it's family dinner at a kid friendly place that I don't hate.  ;-)  And then tomorrow .... tons and tons and TONS to do!  I love the run up to a trip.  It's always such a relief to finally get to the airport, get through security and sit in a nice restaurant and have a drink and relax.  That's when vacation starts.  The airport is now SO much nicer than it used to be.  It's the only good thing to come out of the heightened security measures.  The restaurants are all nice and there's plenty to do if you have to wait.

I have decided to take needles and yarn to work on a pair of socks while I'm gone.  I really don't expect to have that much sitting around time, but if/when I do, I'll be set.

09 November, 2011

Oh what a relief!

I had a very long and productive meeting yesterday afternoon and left feeling like things are finally in the correct hands and moving forward.  And now I can have a wonderful vacation without a single worry in the world.  How great is that??

I have plenty of little details to handle these next couple of days and I am very glad we have Friday off because I'm going to need every last minute.  I could have done a few chores last night since my nephew was out all night but instead I caught up on some TV and turned in early.  I was tired but then I ended up awake in the middle of the night for about an hour.  I got back to sleep okay and I feel darned near 100% today.  I'm still a little bit congested and cough now and again but definitely better.  It has been almost 3 weeks since I've had a run but honestly it's not even on my radar.  I am still that congested that a run would hurt rather than feel good.  Who needs that?

Noon knitting today and I may be able to get another few rows of the cowl done.  I really don't know how big to make it, so I'll be asking for opinions as well.  It could be that it's finished and I don't know it.  It's kind of hard to try on with the needle in it and I don't feel like putting all those stitches on waste yarn.  I think I'll go find a pattern on Ravelry that is something like what I'm trying to do and find out some measurements.

08 November, 2011

Tied for last place

I did win my matchup this weekend, much to Omar's chagrin.  But I'm still in last place.  So much of it is sheer  luck but still I was sure I'd do much better this year than last considering I got to choose my own players.  The guys who win this year after year spend an incredible amount of time on it and I'm just not willing to do that.  And they're always making moves, trading players and that also takes a lot of time and effort.  I'm never going to win the whole thing, but it's fun to watch the matchups every week.  There are a few more weeks to go. I could move up.  Stranger things have happened.

One of my meetings downtown yesterday got moved to today so I drove in rather than taking off super early to bus back home to get the car, like I did yesterday.  We had another evening in, watching the Monday night game and then I turned in early.  I have been running on a sleep deficit these past few days because of the time change and staying up late with Omie plus I'm still getting over this cold.  Finally I woke up feeling normal and not dragged out and tired!  It's such a relief.

All my big knitting plans for pre-vacation have gone by the wayside.  I don't think I'm going to get anything finished that I wanted to.  I didn't even pickup the cowl lat night.  That is the one thing I might be able to finish but I'm not counting on it.

07 November, 2011

Perfectly happy

You know how sometimes you'll just be sitting there and you realize that you are perfectly happy at that time and place?.  This weekend I got that feeling just sitting there watching football with my  nephew, my doggie by my side, knitting in my lap and a beer at my elbow, my fantasy team was winning and I have a wonderful few weeks to look forward to.  Oh .. and it was sunny outside.  Truly an embarrassment of riches - the simple pleasures.

I have a busy week coming up.  Busy at work and after work too.  I am truly going to be very ready for a vacation by the time Saturday rolls around.  There wasn't much running around to do this weekend except pick Omie up at the airport.  The rest of the time we pretty much stayed close to home.  Tink got walks and we watched football all day yesterday.  Unfortunately the one I am winning against this week is Omar and he is not at all happy about it because he needs to the win to get a secure spot in the playoffs.  He does have a pretty good chance of beating me tonight since he's got the QB and a good receiver in the game.  I'd like to win, of course, but not at the expense of him getting into the playoffs.  Obviously I don't have a chance, even if I were to win every matchup left. 

I'm going to pick up an adapter tomorrow for my iPad so I can download pictures directly from my camera.  While you can take pictures and video from the iPad it's a bit unwieldy and I don't really want to be dragging it around with me while I'm out walking and sightseeing.  I need to take lots of pictures on this trip.

We changed the clocks this weekend and it makes it a bit nicer getting to work.  I wasn't really liking waiting for the bus in the dark.

All the football meant that I got a ton done on the cowl.  It is going to be very luxurious and warm.

04 November, 2011

Getting the train back on the track

Besides having the cold of the century these past couple of weeks there has also been a disturbance on the legal front.  My attorney had a nervous breakdown.  Seriously.  I finally have an appointment early next week with my new attorney and we've already had a brief exchange, so things are starting to move again.  Thank goodness.

My two weeks of laying around have also given me a brand new appreciation for my hand knitted socks.  They have been the perfect cozy companion to my flannel jammy bottoms.  I had no idea I had knit so many pairs!  But they all came in super handy and I think that'll be my portable project for my trip - a new pair.

Yesterday evening was nearly normal.  I cooked myself another nice healthy dinner and watched a little TV and managed to stay up past 9 pm and I had a great night's sleep as well.  I have lots of little chores to do tonight to get ready for Omar's visit.  I know he's going to be cold, coming from California.  I haven't even had to turn my heat on in my apartment yet because it stays so warm up there but I imaging he's going to need it on.  I don't like electric heat.  It's so drying.

Work has calmed down considerably.  It's very quiet here today.  I have lots of little housekeeping type of things to do and I brought Tink in today because I have a hair appointment after work, so I am going to take her for a nice long long walk at lunchtime.  I hope it's nice like it was yesterday.  Beautiful blue sky and all the trees changing colors.

03 November, 2011

Real progress!

Finally finally finally I am feeling nearly normal!  I definitely had a better night last night and there were only 3 cough drop wrappers to clean up this morning, which is a definite improvement.  I don't feel like going out for a run, but I do feel quite a bit better and I expect to be able to make it through an entire day today.

That was not the case yesterday, but I made it until 3 which I considered pretty good.  I got a little knitting done at noon knitting but nothing at home in the evening.  I was pretty worn out.  I made some soup and had a sandwich and tried to stay up past 9 but it wasn't in the cards.  Tonight I WILL stay up and try to get back on a normal schedule.  I was hoping to do a little jet lag sleep experiment next week but since my nephew is here next week it would be a little difficult to get up earlier and earlier in the morning with him sleeping in the living room.  So I will instead just concentrate on being 100% healthy.

The only good thing about being sick these past ... wow, nearly two weeks ... is that I haven't been obsessing about my upcoming trip and now I've got to play catch up to get organized and ready, not to mention work.  And so .....

02 November, 2011

Round Two

Okay, here we go once again.  I played a little fast and loose with the snooze alarm button this morning and ended up having to drive in.  The windows were frosted and I don't have an ice scraper so I sat in the car while it defrosted and then got caught in traffic on the way in to work.  I believe I would have gotten here at the same time if I had just taken a late bus but at least I can make a quick getaway if need be.

I spent a great part of yesterday sleeping again!  I know!  I can't believe I can sleep at all since that's what I've been doing for more than a week, but there you go.  I cooked myself a real dinner - chicken and vegetables - and ate it.  My appetite has really taken a hit with this bug but I know I need to eat.  It's just so difficult when you're not hungry for anything. 

Anyway, I'm here and I've got to pull it together and get some work done and get organized.  I wish I didn't have a meeting first thing, but I do.  Hopefully it will be interesting.

01 November, 2011

Enough already!!

Yesterday did not go according to plan. I only lasted until 11, then I threw in the towel and headed back home to bed. I thought for sure I would be good until after lunch but I guess I just jumped the gun.

Today I will take it slow. One more sick day, and no sudden moves. It is beautiful and sunny, but quite cold and Tink is in no hurry this morning to wake up. So I will drink hot tea, relax and kiss this cold goodbye once and for all. I have too many fun things on my plate to waste any more time on this cold!

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