28 June, 2012

Second post today

I don't usually do a second post but I just can't help myself! I have to rant. I was getting into the security line and it was very long. A security man told the crowd at large that check point 3 was shorter, so I took off for it along with a few other people. There was a couple walking along behind me. The woman overtook me at one point, practically sprinting, you know? Like getting in front of me was going to make or break her vacation. Oh and the type! Two carry on bags, one wheeled and the other on top. Her husband had a back pack and a piece of hand baggage as well, both of them dressed for camping, her ass about three or four feet wide. As we are coming into view of the destination check point he starts whining -"That's as long as the other one!" I keep walking. Next I hear him mutter, "Quit cutting me off"! I didn't realize he meant me until we got to the line itself when his wife elbowed in front of me, "I think we were ahead of you" she snapped, and stepped back so her husband could stand next to her. You know, I am rather tightly wound these days. She has no idea who she is messing with. But...but of course I let them take their spot. Then, I go through the check point and am standing in a long, serpentine wait for the X-ray when a security guy asks if I am traveling alone and when I say yes, off I go to the employee screening and I leave the dolts far far behind. I wanted to turn and thumb my nose at them, but that would not have been nice. Now I am at the bar. They have Stella on tap and I have 30 minutes to enjoy it. Ahhhhhh.....

Just a few hours to go

I know it shouldn't be surprising because it's about the amount of time gone, not the distance gone, nevertheless I continue to be surprised that it takes me as long (an entire evening) to get packed and ready for a trip to Europe as it does for a trip to California.  The laundry and the trying on of outfits and the packing - there goes most of an evening.  Don't think I'm not envious of those people - men mostly - who can toss a few things into a duffel or a change of socks and underwear and a clean shirt into a briefcase and be ready.  Although I suppose that even those types have to take more time if they're going to be gone a week or more, just like me. 

While the laundry was going I multitask-ed and finished up the last little bit of edging around the Elsie cardigan (darling!) and after I was all done, I settled down with a glass of wine and did the last two rows of the Aristida shawl/scarf and bound off.  Oh, it is going to be awesome!  I couldn't take the time to block it, mostly because if I had pinned it out on the floor Tink would be using it for a bed by the time I returned.  I am just very proud that I got not one but two projects finished.  I will take pictures when I get them blocked.  That cardigan is just the cutest thing ever.  I am not unhappy any more about forgetting about the button holes because the edging is scalloped and it would be perfect to use as button holes should I decide to put buttons on it.  One of the knitting ladies yesterday was suggesting little pearl buttons and I agree that would be perfect.

I don't have much to get done this morning at work, but I am here to tie up a few loose ends and not waste a vacation day.  I need to hoard every last one for this fall.  It looks like I can have a week and a half in Europe in late November and still have a Christmas week with my sister if nothing comes up between now and then.  Perfect!

It is going to be hot hot hot this coming week.  It's blazing hot at the Grand Canyon, although it gets quite chilly at night.  Flagstaff is hot, but not anything like Phoenix, which I find unbearable.  I mean ... 111 degrees?  Hideous.  We will fly into Phoenix tomorrow but not go outsides.  And Sherman Oaks, where my sister lives, is in the 80s.  I can't wait for that sunshine!  It is getting nicer around here, of course.  I hope it sticks around.  I need to have a good weekend for our golf tournament and dinner coming up in August.  Looks like I am going to be playing golf after all so that means I'm going to have to start practicing when I get back.

I also need to get back in contact with Gregg so we can set our song list for the July gig.  I am so looking forward to that!  I hope we can get a better recording than last time.  I didn't even bother posting it because it was recorded on his wife's phone or something like that and was all distorted.  Next time I will get the name of the guy who does the good recording.

27 June, 2012

How being tidy is sometimes not the right thing

I don't care for clutter.  Not in my purse, not in my email folders.  I like things tidy. And so to that end, in Portland I cleaned out my purse of odd bits of paper and tossed my rail itinerary.  Last night I was tidying up my email in box and, not needing the Amtrak itinerary any more, put that in the trash folder.  Then this morning as I am reviewing things I need to take care of before I leave tomorrow I realize my mistake.  I can't get reimbursed without that itinerary.  I searched my mailbox hoping I had stored it somewhere to no avail.  Then I called Amtrak and lo and behold, they can find it by credit card number (since I of course did not have the reservation number) and they are going to re-send it.  Disaster averted.  I mean ... you know how it is when you run afoul of the ladies in finance.  They are very strict.

My ride home yesterday was at least on time and did not break down.  Coming down I found the car to be small and we were packed tightly like on a plane.  I didn't like it.  American trains are not nearly so nice as European trains.  I checked with the ticket desk when I arrived at the train station yesterday morning to see what it could cost to upgrade to Business Class where the seats are spaced further apart and are much comfier.  The man behind the counter quoted me a price that, even in my current financial situation, was very reasonable and do-able.  Then he said, "Oh it's not worth it.  Coach is not full today".  So let me ask you all now - what would you think if someone said that to you?  That coach class was perhaps not full?  That there would be an empty seat beside you?  That's what I assumed too.  He was oh so wrong.  There wasn't an empty seat in my entire car.  Thank goodness I had my audiobook.  There was a woman behind me who did not shut up the entire ride, a stinky woman next to me, a snoring guy across the way.  The good news is that I had 3 1/2 hours of uninterrupted knitting time and I got SO much done on the Aristida.  In fact, I did another couple of rows last night and now I am two rows from being done!  Amazing.  I won't get it blocked but I should be able to finish the knitting.

I arrived home to find my apartment in a mess.  The house sitter had forgotten I was getting home.  Now I know what my place is like while I am gone.  I am not impressed with her housekeeping skills.  She got her stuff cleaned up and out while I was walking Tink.  Then I had a much deserved quiet night.  Tonight it's going to be busy getting my laundry done and getting re-packed for my trip Thursday.  It shouldn't be much of a chore.  I think I know what I'm going to bring - or close enough - and all my toiletries are already packed.

So - here's the really good news.  My hives are all but gone!  I was even able to take a reasonably hot shower last night, after a week or more of cool to cold showers.  Funny thing.  I was talking to my sister and she was telling me another friend of hers had the same thing!  I don't even know of anyone who has had hives so that was pretty surprising.  I was sure suffering there for a few days. There are still a few on my back that itch, but otherwise I'm good.  I think the combination of the antihistamines, which I will continue to take for a few more weeks, and getting away from this environment did the trick.  I didn't wake up with any more this morning so hopefully they will be all done and NEVER come back!

25 June, 2012

All the planning in the world....

Doesn't help at all when it comes to the train. Or the weather. Saturday I got ready to get out of town in the morning, when it was partly cloudy and warm. Unfortunately the sky opened up and it was pouring rain! My friend Monika graciously volunteered to drive me to the train station when I parked my car with them rather than have me take the Link Light Rail and then have to walk in the pouring rain to the train. It left on time but before Tacoma we started having trouble with the locomotive and ultimately had to stop while a new one was fetched. That got me in to Portland 2 hours late. So I missed the reception. I did get upgraded to the Executive Tower, which was a nice outcome. Yesterday was the first day of the meeting. A long day with a bit too much small group interaction for my taste. But I have been doing some good networking. Also not something I always enjoy. Kate and I got out last night for a lovely long walk and a great dinner. The walk took us to our restaurant of choice which was closed! I know it was Sunday but still, their web site had not made that clear. We ended up at a rather nicer place than we had set out for and it was good. A great evening for a walk too. I woke up this morning markedly better! I am pretty happy about that. There a few more people here from the UW. A couple of deans that Kate and I joined for breakfast. Now I wait for the morning plenary talk. We have a dinner tonight and I hope to be able to get outside this afternoon. If weather permits. I did get a few rows done on the train of the Aristida. I had downloaded Wolf Hall, which coincidentally is my friend Kate's book club choice this month, and I was glad for it since the train ride ended up so long and the amount of chatter at times unbearable. I hope to get more done tomorrow. And hope the train ride is on time and uneventful.

22 June, 2012

No pictures today

This was going to be my day for a new passport picture, but that is not going to be happening.  Why?  Well, the fun with hives just goes on and on.  This morning I have one right underneath my right eyebrow, forehead and the side of my left eye.  Not huge ones and not as bad as that first one a few weeks ago, but they are definitely there.  I have too much to get done today anyway.  It can wait.  The likelihood of me needing my passport before November is slim anyway.  I'll get it done when I get back from vacation.  By then I'll be relaxed and tan and hive-free (fingers crossed).

I did get to run in my skirt yesterday, it was that warm.  But not sunny, and it's cloudy and threatening rain yet again today.   Portland is such a pretty city.  I sure hope I can get outside a bit at some point even though their weather isn't going to be much better or different than Seattle.  But in one week I'll be with my sister and on our way to our Arizona adventure!  That's what I'm going to concentrate on.

The Elsie cardigan did not get touched last night, unfortunately.   After work I had planned to get a new audiobook downloaded while I shopped in my closet and tried on a few outfits for packing purposes.  But there was something going on with my laptop and I got frustrated and hot and wow .... it is amazing now that I'm on to what's going on with these hives.  The more anxious I got, the itchier I got.  I noticed it also earlier in the day when I was emailing with my real estate agent.  I really should have asked my doctor for some tranquilizers.  Anyway I was crawling out of my skin by six when I finally got the book downloaded and found a few cute outfits, so I hopped into the shower ... a cool shower because warm water exacerbates the situation.  The cortisone cream I got at the pharmacy doesn't seem to work any better than the over the counter stuff I got, but I put it on anyway.  And then I poured myself a glass of wine and tried to relax.  It took an hour and a half for me to calm down!  This entire situation is just amazing to me, when I can step out of it. Who would have predicted that I could be in such a state for so long that I would break out in hives?  I do believe the antihistamines are helping at least a little bit, although the new ones on my face .....  There are no new ones on my arms this morning and for that I am grateful.

I am looking forward to my train ride tomorrow.  Three and a half hours to Portland.  I shall work on the Aristida shawl/scarf.  I will be able to get well into the border chart, hopefully, if the scenery doesn't distract too much.  It is an awfully pretty ride.

21 June, 2012

A July gig

My guitar playing friend, Gregg, called last night with some great news.  He was speaking to the guy who put together the benefit we played at last year and we have been invited back and he wants us to give us more time!  He also said we could be a band rather than a duo.  This is awesome news!  Gregg was calling to tell me that he has gotten commitments from a bass player, drummer and a second guitar player as well.  I am just so happy!  Now we have to put together a set and they'll start working on it while I'm on vacation.  Then when I get back we'll have three weeks to get it down.  That just made my day. It is going to be so much fun and this band will be so much better than the one with Doug.  Not that Doug isn't a fine guitar player but his singing leaves much to be desired.

On the itch front .... no big improvement yet.   But it isn't worse.  I guess that's something.  Heat really does amplify the problem so I am hoping that I am calmed down by the time we hit Arizona because it is 90 in Flagstaff.

At noon knitting yesterday I  put the last sleeve into my cardigan and last night I tried out the edging on a pocket.  It is SO cute.  I am going to try my best to finish up the edging tonight.  I don't think I'll have time to do all of the finishing before I leave for the weekend.  Instead of normal blocking this one needs to be pressed through a damp towel.  I will probably have to wait until I get back from California.

It's still nice and warm today.  It'll be shorts running for sure.  There are so many wonderful smells along the trail now.  I can smell the wild fennel and the wild roses the strongest.  Then there are California poppies blooming, which don't have an odor, and Queen Anne's Lace.  And of course the blackberries are starting as well. 

I sent an email to my house sitter last evening and haven't heard back from her.  That makes me a bit nervous.  I guess I should give her a call today.  I booked her for this weekend and then all the time I am on vacation.  If she flakes on me ..... well, no need to go down that path now.  I'll talk to her today.

20 June, 2012

Stress related hives

Is that a real thing?  Apparently yes, yes it is.  After a sleepless night Monday I was crawling out of my skin yesterday.  This has been going on for weeks now, these unexplained itchy bumps.  At first I thought it was mosquitoes, except I haven't seen or heard any, nor have I seen spiders ... except for one.  And oddly Monday night when I was reading all of a sudden an itchy bump appeared on my forehead!  Monday and yesterday when I was running I noticed that once I got going my arms stopped itching and all the red patches disappeared, but as soon as I stopped they would come back.  I was just going crazy and decided I had better get some answers since I'm going to be away at a conference this weekend.  Luckily my doctor could see me in the afternoon and that was his diagnosis.  I feel better knowing what's up, but it's not a quick cure.  I have to take antihistamines for a few weeks and soon the itching should stop and the red patches disappear.  "Soon" is the operative word here.  I don't see much difference this morning, nor feel it, but I've got to give it a few days.  It is no mystery why this is happening with all that is going on, or not going on, right now.  But it's got to stop soon.  And by soon I mean SOON!  I did my best to relax and I had an early night, which considering that I might have gotten 3 hours the night before, not surprising. 

Today is the first day of summer and absolutely gorgeous!  Hooray for sunshine!  Let's hope it sticks around for a while.  It sure helps my mood.  And it's going to be light WAY into the night tonight because it's so clear.  I should be able to stay up and enjoy it since I got such a long sleep last night.

I'm starting to get excited about my little vacation coming up.  There is a tour of Cleopatra's things that will be stopping in California while I'm there, so Kelli and I are going to see that.  It's supposed to be pretty cool.  Otherwise we're both looking forward to our little weekend in Flagstaff and seeing the Grand Canyon.  It is super hot there.  I really have to get into my closets this week.  Since I'm leaving for Portland on Saturday and then leaving  next Thursday for California I won't have much time.  That's what I get for putting it off so long, but it's hard to get into the closet cleaning mood and moving winter and summer clothes around when the weather is so cold and icky.  Well, that's my excuse anyway.  Now I have to do it tonight and tomorrow. 

Noon knitting today and I'm going to finish sewing my sleeves into the Elsie cardigan.  Maybe even start the edging!

19 June, 2012

Where's my rain karma?

Instead of a midday break, I once again got caught in the rain for my noon run.  Also on the way to work and my after work walk with Tink.  The trifecta.  At least it's relatively warm rain.  And at least I was able to get out and run.  My stress level is still sky high and I need to blow off steam.  

I'm still very busy with a project that was supposed to stretch out for the entire year.  Unfortunately one faculty member decided that wasn't going to do, even though it is not her project.  So I've been working like a fiend trying to get as much done as I can before I am consumed with Anatomy, which will be in the next couple of weeks.  The good news is that she has been bugging me to "help".  At first I couldn't think of how exactly I could work that out, but I let it stew in my brain for a few days and came up with a workflow and tomorrow I'm going to be giving her a tutorial on how she can produce the 3 html pages and one xml page for each image she wants to review.  I am sure that she has no idea in the world how complicated it is to turn this vision into a link on a web page, but now she's going to find out.  Hopefully that'll shut her up for a while.  Right.

I had a super quiet night last night.  Except for our two walks, I didn't do much but cook some dinner and read.  It's not a bad evening, considering my busy day.  I didn't knit because I still can't figure out what's up with my allergic reaction.  It would be a drag if I was truly allergic to that yarn because it's so pretty and I was going to make myself some gloves with the left overs, which there will be.  I know I'm allergic to alpaca, but this doesn't have any alpaca in it.  It's a mystery for sure.

The name change business has stalled while I'm up to my eyes with this project.  Maybe when I get back from Portland next week and before I go on vacation I can get my picture done.  I'll have to ask again where the photo place is in the building, because that would be most convenient. 

18 June, 2012

From hello to heaven

And now I know what a "House Concert" is.  In a nutshell, there are people who host performers in their homes and invite a select group of people to attend this concert for a nominal fee.  The performer gets all of the money and free room and board.  For obvious reasons, these homes are usually quite large and well appointed, and the affair itself is quite intimate because there are maybe 40 people attending.  I can see where this could be very cool if the performer happened to be someone you wanted to see.  Unfortunately this was NOT the case Friday night, at least for me.  The man playing, Eric, obviously had a very loyal following and he is quite well thought of in his particular circle.  But that circle doesn't include me.  His performing style is like a storyteller who happens to sing.  Long, long convoluted introductions to his every song, spoken in a manner that suggested the character Forest Gump.  A very strange affectation, wouldn't you say?  Seriously.  And every single story had to include at least one celebrity or the president.  He name dropped in each and every song introduction.  The songs themselves were well written and even beautiful, except for the subject matter.  The theme was loss - loss of life and loss of love and loss of faith.  Good heavens!  Not one single uplifting song in the entire looooong evening.  I was in agony, so I took myself off on a little trip through memory lane.  I was reminded by a picture on the wall of Lake Louise - the colors maybe.  So I just remembered everything I possibly could about a wonderfully decadent visit I had there once upon a time.  And then my mind went back to a visit I had in Paris and the phrase "from hello to heaven" popped into my head!  I nearly laughed out loud, which would have been SO wrong.   It was stifled, but still I was sitting in the back, the sole person in the room smiling.

My favorite part of the evening was the last song.  His only cover song, and it was by Bob Dylan.  In this introduction he told us that we might be tempted to sing along, but resist the temptation.  As if!  He sang the song - "I shall be released" - another uplifting ballad.  And at the end in that tiny moment before people start applauding he said, "Bob".  Just "Bob".  Really?  Like we don't know who wrote that song?  See what I mean?  Just an icky guy all around.  I couldn't wait to get out of there.  It was an interesting evening and I am glad I went.  I just with the performer had been more fun. 

I couldn't get to sleep though.  Mike left around 12:30 and I stayed up until after 2. Saturday morning Tink was bugging me to get up at 7:30!  I didn't, of course.  I managed to stay in bed for another hour.  The weather was nice so we walked up to the lake.  Unfortunately Tink found something very nasty to roll in on the way up there, so I had to give her another bath as soon as we got home.  I can't get mad at her because it's just instinct for her type of dog.  I do try to be extra careful but sometimes she finds it anyway.

I worked a good bit on the Aristida both Saturday and Sunday and I have only 2 rows left on my last, fourth, repeat of the body.  Then it's 21 rows of the edging chart and I'm done.  It's going fast.  Unfortunately I think I might be having an allergic reaction to the yarn.  Both of my forearms are irritated and itchy.  I will do a search on it.  It's pretty annoying and VERY itchy.

The train is my choice for the meeting this weekend so I've got to make my reservations today.  I will have to leave a little early on Tuesday and miss the closing talk, but that's how it's got to be.  Otherwise I won't get home until after 9 and that won't do.  I've got to work Wednesday and get packed that night because I'm leaving for California and Arizona from work on that Thursday.

The rain woke me up last night and it's still going at it this morning, albeit not as hard.  Hopefully we'll get the noon break.  If not -- oh well.

15 June, 2012

Oh thank goodness!

It is a beautiful morning - sunny and almost warm.  What a treat!  I was beginning to think I wouldn't see any sun until my vacation.  It is supposed to be cloudy and raining for the weekend, but at least we have it now.  I am going to run in my shorts today for sure.  I didn't get to run yesterday because my knee was tweaky.  I missed it too!  I was so busy and I probably should have just gone for a walk to clear my head.

I couldn't do a thing last night, I was so burnt out.  I knit a little, watched some TV and was asleep by 10.  I slept like a rock, too.  I was going to download a book but I didn't even get around to that.  Tonight McG wants me to go with him to some sort of singer/songwriter concert at someone's house.  It could be cool and since the party I was going to was moved,  I don't have anything better to do so I might as well.  I can't remember the guy's name who is performing but he was married to Nanci Griffith who is another singer/songwriter that I don't know much about. 

Things were so crazy  yesterday I didn't even check about the passport photo place here in the building.  I think I will do it Monday.  I still have a lot I want to accomplish today plus I don't think the top I am wearing would look right for a passport picture.  It's too casual.  Not that it would really matter so much, would it? 

I keep going back and forth about taking the train to Portland or driving.   The meeting closes at 1:15 so if the train leaves soon after that I'll take it.  Otherwise I'll have to drive because I don't want to be getting home too late. The housesitter won't want to hang around either.  So -- check the train schedule today!!  Or this weekend anyway.

Fingers crossed for some decent weather this weekend.  Maybe my house will sell.  That's a good thought.

14 June, 2012

Step by step

I am working my way through this name change thing.  My new Social Security card arrived on the weekend so now I can get my passport changed.  But first, I have to get a picture taken.  I heard there is a cost center here in the Health Sciences where I can get my picture done, so I'll look into that.  I want to apply for my name change passport ASAP.  I don't like to be without a current passport. You just  never know what's around the corner.  Plus, I don't have a passport card so I couldn't even go to Canada for the weekend without my passport.  I might be able to do it today - get my picture taken that is.  I did have a terrible sinus headache yesterday and so it will depend on how I look later this morning.  Sometimes after killer sinus headaches my sinuses are a bit swollen and I don't look my best.  And heaven knows passport pictures are generally ugly enough!  My new driver's license picture turned out great though, even if I do say so myself.

Tuesday when I ran it felt like I had lead liners in my shoes!  I suppose that's because I was a little under the weather.  Also, instead of a noon break in the weather it started raining as soon as I walked out the door.  I feel pretty good today so hopefully I can have a decent run.  I still need those endorphins.  More than ever, it seems.

As a testament to my scrambled and weird state of mind, I couldn't even choose a new audiobook yesterday evening after finishing "The Yard" ... which was pretty good.  It is a brand new book, the first for this author.  I was looking at my wish list and nothing jumped out at me.  I searched for something new .... again, nothing.  So instead I think I'll buy "Playing for Pizza" for my iPad and read for a change.  I can't do that while walking the dog, but oh well.

I was SO looking forward to Andre's birthday party this weekend, but it has been postponed to the following Saturday and that's when I'll be in Portland.  Now I don't have any excuse at all for not cleaning out my closets! 

12 June, 2012

Wakey Wakey

I stayed up way too late last night playing with my iPad.  First I was watching a movie, but it was SO bad I couldn't stand to finish it.  "Hangover II".  It is so bad I wouldn't watch it on an airplane, which is saying something.  I have watched a more than a few dogs in that situation.  Thankfully with my iPad I don't ever have to be in that position again, but I digress.  It is beyond stupid and I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did with it.  No matter, I had a few other fun things on there and got caught up and before it knew it I was well past my bedtime.  So I'm a bit groggy today and a few minutes late to boot.  I have a meeting at 9 am with one of my all time favorite faculty members.  Oh I might be exaggerating just a bit.

I keep going back and forth about those cuffs I am knitting on.  At this point they could still be socks or mitts.  In another evening or so I'm going to have to decide.

McG is coming into town for a week but he's very busy so I doubt we'll be able to touch base.  He's got some vehicle trouble to sort out, then he's doing a gig in Gig Harbor on Saturday, which I absolutely will not be attending.  I already have a party for that night.  That means I may see him the following week, but I am leaving on the next Saturday for my meeting in Oregon so most likely the next time I see him will be when Kelli and I go to Flagstaff at the end of the month.  Which is probably for the best.  It'd hard getting together with him on a week night.  He always wants to go get crazy and then I have to try to drag myself into work the next morning.  Not fun.

My bus driver muttered something at me when I got on my second bus this morning.  Something about not making that stop after a certain date, which I didn't catch.  I'd better look it up and find out what's what before I end up having to walk half way to work in inappropriate shoes!

Looks like it's going to be a good afternoon for a run.  I had to miss it yesterday but I did get a long walk to the bank and back. Today we need endorphins.

11 June, 2012

Things that make me happy

  • The perfect roses I found Saturday.  Are they white? Are they pink? Gorgeous!
  • Having the barista at Starbucks call me by name and know that I want a tall skinny vanilla latte, please.
  • The zen of knitting.
  • Sunshine
  • Audiobooks
  • Knowing that at some point in the day, every day, I cross somebody's mind.
  • Good wine.
  • Crossword puzzles.
  • Clean sheets.
  • Running
  • Vacations
  • My dog.
  • A good sleep.
I had a very quiet and calm weekend.  I needed to de-stress and to keep my mind off of certain things I have no control over.  I find listing things that make me happy helps in that regard.

I went out Friday night for an hour or so for cocktails and that was about it for my social life for the whole weekend.  Which was fine with me.  Saturday I had a hair appointment, ran a few errands and walked Tink.  Then I had hours to work on my Aristida both Saturday and Sunday.  I finished the second of four repeats of the body chart and got half way through the third by yesterday evening.  The rows are starting to take time now as it grows, but the pattern is fairly simple so it's not that difficult.  Plus the back sides are all purl - lace knitting as opposed to knitted lace, which is a killer with complicated pattern stitches on both sides.  Never again!

We didn't get to have much in the way of walks yesterday, which was disappointing for me.  Tink did something to her foot and was limping slightly.  I looked and couldn't find anything obvious and she wasn't in that much pain because she was happy playing ball and running around the apartment.  But when we went outside she would go to the garden to do her business and then refuse to walk any further.  And she was limping quite noticeably.  But this morning she is fine so whatever it was, it wasn't bad.

I mentioned that I finished up the last of my Shardlake audiobooks last week.  I was wrong - they did have them all and I have listened to them all.  I must confess that part of the ways I search for audiobooks is length, and those books were always right there first on the list because they are all nearly 20 hours long.  Now that I have gone through all of them the next longest on that search was another book set in England, but this time the late 1800's.  It's called "The Yard".  At first I wasn't liking the narrator because I was having a hard time distinguishing the characters, but after a bit I figured it out.  It is a little gory but the details about the time are interesting.

I didn't do any closet cleaning AGAIN!  I know ... I am so bad.  I will have to go through my things before I go on vacation because I'll be needing summer clothes.  Maybe if the weather stays nice I'll be ready to dig in this coming weekend.  It's beautiful today.  Can we go an entire week without rain?

08 June, 2012

What a slog

I am SO glad this week is nearly over!  This has been an incredibly stressful week for me.  Things are about to turn around, I can just feel it.  We should have a nice weekend, or at least not pouring rain, plus it looks like it's going to be sunny on Sunday.  That's a bonus because my real estate agent is going to do another open house and it's always best when it's sunny.  Hopefully this will be the weekend when my house sells.  I really really hope so.

I was lucky and did get my midday break in the weather so I had a nice and much needed run.  It was sprinkling when I started, but was clearing on my way back and I had good strength and wind.  It always makes me feel better.  It's nice to be able to count on that.  I do have to proctor a final today but not until 2:30 so I'm going to be able to run again to start my weekend off right.  It's graduation weekend and so there are people bustling about in their caps and gowns and colorful hoods.  The main graduation ceremony is tomorrow but some of the colleges have them today - medical school for one.

I did something yesterday evening that I haven't done for ages.  I sat in my comfy chair after my walk with Tink and knit quietly for over an hour, finishing up the first 20 row repeat (of three) for that new scarf/shawl.  It is truly amazing how calming that can be.  Just silence and my needles and my dog by my side.  It helps when it's a complicated pattern because my thoughts are just on the knitting and not on that other scary stuff.  Then I had some dinner and knit a little more, but only the easy project, and watched the first episode of "Necessary Roughness" that I had recorded.  It gives me my football fix, since it's about a therapist working with a professional football team.  Just a little run up to real football.  Tink was quite insistent that it was bedtime at 9 (!) so I went to bed with her and played with my iPad for a couple of hours and had a very decent sleep.

I keep seeing that jackass who tried to drive through the hedge Sunday night.  He parks a few spaces down from me and I see him driving into the parking lot when I'm out for our 7 pm walk.  I really want to ask him what he thought he was doing, but that's pointless isn't it?  He was obviously drunk out of his mind and the sole reason his truck didn't go through the hedge and instead got stuck is that there was a very large tree behind the hedge.  It took that tow truck driver over an hour and a half- a very noisy hour and a half - to pull him out of that spot.  I think it's better I don't talk to him.  I'm still angry. 

Here's to a good weekend for all!

07 June, 2012

Swimming upstream

The last thing that was said on the news last evening was "It's going to be raining for sure tomorrow morning".  Correct.  It is raining, and raining hard again.  I didn't get to run yesterday so I am hoping that we get our midday break so that I can run today.  Or even if it would slow down a bit.  I don't mind getting a little wet if I can only get out there and try to outrun this mood.

It doesn't help that I had to work Sunday, albeit only for a few hours.  Yesterday felt like Friday and ... well yes, it was only Wednesday.  The good news is that I have lots and lots to do.  It would be worse if there wasn't much on my plate.  We count our blessings where we find them.  I'm digging. 

The Elsie cardigan is that close to being finished.  I got one of the sleeves sewn in yesterday at noon and the second one pinned in.  Maybe tonight I'll do the edging.  Last night I worked on the mystery project.  I wanted to do a few rows on the new Aristida Shawl that I started on the weekend for my sister.  But since I have just started it I really need to concentrate on it and therefore it's not TV knitting, or even listening to music knitting.  Hopefully that'll change after another repeat.

This morning I need to dig right into a tough project.  I really wanted to do it yesterday afternoon, but the IT guy was working on my new server and I couldn't do it!  That's so frustrating.  I was on a roll and wanted to keep at it.  I received an update to some software I am using to make a new virtual microscope that will let us see our annotations on the iOS version pages.  I am hoping it's going to be a simple install and I won't have to do a lot of fussing, but regardless, I think I'm going to have to add a line of code to all of the iOS pages that I've made so far and that's going to be tedious at best. Wow ... I'm a complainer this morning, aren't I? 

On the positive side -- in three weeks I'll be heading out for my nice little vacation with my sister. And maybe we'll get a break in this rain soon.  I can hope, can't I?

06 June, 2012

Just a peep

I think I saw a bit of sun through the clouds this morning.  It just may stay around a bit today.  I have noon knitting so I won't be out at lunchtime, but maybe it'll stick around until after work.  That would be pleasant.

I missed my run yesterday, much to my chagrin, needing those endorphins as I do.  The rain had stopped, there was a perfect window of opportunity.  However, I had agreed to help a friend with lunch for her meeting.  I was supposed to keep a look out for the caterer in case they got lost.  So I stood around for 40 minutes and finally poked my head into the meeting room only to find that they had delivered the lunch earlier.  grrrrrrr .... At that point there was no way I could run.  My stomach had been grumbling and growling for 30 minutes.  Days like that there's nothing for it but just get on with the rest of the day.  I took myself down to the cafe because the microwave in our lunchroom is broken.  I can't truly remember when is the last time I took lunch in the Rotunda, but I did yesterday.  I got a nice selection from the salad bar and found a place to sit and played Scrabble on my iPad.

My afternoon was super frustrating and I very much missed having my run.  I have been reading and working with several programs to learn how to make an ePub document.  It is very complicated if you want to do it so that something other than Apple products can read it.  I would love to just be able to pop my stuff into iBooks Author app, but not every student uses an iPad or iPhone so I have to make sure the documents are for the rest of the folks as well.  It's frustrating and hard work and I haven't even yet gotten to the truly fiddly bit.  I am preparing three separate chapters that contain most of the types of pages we have in the entire syllabus so I can hopefully just do one big troubleshooting session and then know what I need to do for all of the problems I will encounter.  Well, that's the hope.  It rarely turns out like that though, does it?

I had a nice quiet evening, cooked a nice little dinner and took Tink for her 7 pm walk and then did a little knitting on my mystery project.  I don't know if it'll be gloves or socks, but it's something I can pick up when I'm between other more difficult selections, like now.  I wanted to finish up the movie I had started the night before, so around 8 I turned it on and all was going well.  But then a notice popped up that my friend Emma, who is having a holiday in Sweden, had just posted some pictures on her facebook page and I wanted to take a look.  I put the movie on pause, went to look at the beautiful sunrise pictures of Sweden, and when I came back the movie wouldn't let me restart it!  I was over the limit.  If I had kept on watching without  hitting pause I should have been okay, but my curiosity ....

Oh well.  I packed it in for the night and went in to watch a couple of episodes of Firefly in bed in my iPad.  That is so comfy!  And I slept great and am very happy that nobody was trying to drive through the hedge.  Now I've got to finish this cup of tea and head down for the LAST meeting of the year ... the academic year ...woohoo!

05 June, 2012

Hurry up summer!!

We seem to have slid back to early spring.  Yesterday was cold and cloudy and drizzling.  And it's still at it this morning.  It's raining hard.  I sure am glad I've got my vacation to look forward to.  I know for sure I'll get plenty of sunshine and hot weather as well.

I did a little bit of reading about Seattle and towing charges.  Here's a good article, if you're interested.  The original  - the one that I remembered but hadn't read closely - was from last November and this is a follow up.  I was surprised to read that Seattle's towing charges are about 4 times as much as New York City's!  It's just outrageous and now I'm going to drop it.

I was very tired yesterday but still went out for my run, since at that time it wasn't raining and I could. I have now gone more than 300 miles since I started using this app.  I can hardly wrap my head around that.  I was invited to join some people for dinner - faculty visiting for the AWARE retreat - but I just couldn't face it, having been up for hours the night before with all that nonsense with the truck driving into the hedge.  I didn't even knit on anything.  I made a nice little dinner and turned in early to watch a movie on my iPad.  Unfortunately I couldn't make it much past 9:30!  I was that tired.  I'll have to finish it up early tonight because it was a rental movie from iTunes and you have to finish watching within 24 hours of when you start.  I slept like a rock, thankfully, and only woke up because of the rain and went right back to sleep.

It's hard going when the sun is so scarce.

04 June, 2012

A very challenging weekend

My new license arrived Friday so this morning I am at the Social Security office to get my name changed. It is going to be a wait so I may as well be productive. People are lined up outside and they don't open for another 3 minutes. It is cold though and drizzling so I am in my car until the doors open.

Saturday morning Gregg called to say he was going to a jam session at Rusty's and would I come? Nope. I hate jam sessions. I don't play guitar so what am I supposed to do? Hope they know some of my songs and want to play them? Anyway I already had plans to have a girlie knitting afternoon at my friend's condo. Now I wish I had joined Gregg.

You know how people are always talking about their Bucket List? Things they want to do before they die -- which is pretty silly if you think about it. Of course it is before you die. Who makes a list of things to do AFTER you die? Anyway there are also certain things we all hope to avoid. So far I have avoided having my car towed, but that ended Saturday. I had misunderstood the parking directions and when I came out my car was long gone.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the paper about towing in Seattle. I didn't read it but it was about how people get snared in this trap of not being able to get their car because of the exorbitant fees. I had no idea just how crazy until then though. Thankfully my friends live near the tow yard so they drove me there as I was on the phone trying to figure out how much and when I could get my car. Unbelievable as this sounds they were closed on the weekend and the answering service was paging the driver as we drove north.

The base fee is $300 just for picking up the car. Then as soon as they drive into the yard it is 1/2 day storage fee, PLUS an obscene "after hours" charge, tax ...... Oh, and cash only. Now you can see how people get trapped. I was SO angry. What a racket!! It took 3 hours from the time I found my car gone until I made it home.

I am going to look up that article today. Something should be done about this. I know that it was my mistake and the tenant had a right to have me towed. But the excessive fees! It is outrageous.

So I was just fuming all night and I had to get up early Sunday morning to pick up things for the meeting. By the time we were done the sun was out and I had a busy afternoon with chores. I didn't get around to cleaning my closet. I was still so mad about the towing that I treated myself and started a new project. I got my cardigan nearly done Saturday. I just have to sew in the sleeves and do the edging, so it is okay to start a new project. I made a good start.

Last night about 10:30 some drunk idiot tried to drive his truck through the hedge right outside my bedroom window! His truck got high centered and had to be towed. A theme. That noise went on until after midnight. Crazy.

I have been enjoying the audiobooks of the Shardlake series but I am now on the last part of the last book. I will be sorry to finish. On my next trip to London I really want to set time aside to look up some of the historical places I have been reading about. I meant to do that last November but somehow time just slipped away. As it does.

But it is not slipping away now. I have been here 40 minutes. It is slow going. And not the best of company either. But worth it. Soon I will be able to get a new passport!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

01 June, 2012

First one in

I turned off my alarm this morning and woke up 30 minutes late.  I didn't rush, since I've nothing urgent on my plate this morning, and I arrived to work 30 minutes late AND the first one here!  It's like a ghost town around here.  The medical students had their last final yesterday and summer session doesn't start for three weeks.  Very quiet.  Very boring.

It's now officially June so I can call this weather June Gloom and be accurate.  Gloom-B-Gone is unfortunately out of stock everywhere.  I did get a break yesterday afternoon and did my errands and run without the rain, which was nice.  I needed the run for sure.  It did make me feel good.  It must have rained all night because the streets are wet this morning, but it's not raining now and I did see a glimpse of blue sky, so maybe we'll have a decent weekend.  One can always hope.

I am looking forward to a moderately busy weekend.  I might be rehearsing, but have yet to hear from Gregg about that.  He wanted me to join him at the drummer's house as a surprise.  I am not entirely sure that's a good idea but we'll see.  Saturday is errands and then a nice afternoon with the girls.  Sunday I have to get up early and pick up coffee and pastries on the way to work for a meeting that starts at 9 am.  Yes, Sunday.  We have meetings annually with the other faculty from our sister sites who teach the same first year courses to the medical students at their Universities to set the common exam questions for the coming year and talk about all sorts of other tedious things.  Every other year the School of Medicine gets in on the act and holds talks and meetings for all of the faculty jointly during the week, so we have to hold our course meetings on the weekend.   Sunday morning is it.  The good news is that I'll be done at 11 am.  The bad news is that there are two courses I work with and they are holding their meetings at the same time on two different floors and wings. 

Fingers crossed for some sunshine this weekend.  I need some.