28 November, 2012

No ranting or knitting

Nor blogging it seems. I have not had much WiFi for my phone and for some odd reason my iPad was not able to let me post. Strange, because I was able to last time. I should have just made the effort to find the password at Emma's, but it is hard to get to. I had it saved on my iPad but since I have a new phone it isn't there. Annoying. It is too hard to post from my phone so this is short. I am currently waiting for my flight back to London for my last few days. I have been staying cool and stress free. Have not had the need to buy yarn and needles. Wow.

I must say I have definitely had my fill of cigarette smoke. It is crazy bad in Lux, where people can still smoke in bars! I have been stuffed up for days.

Onward to London.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

20 November, 2012

I'm falling ... falling ....

Arghgh!  I lost my fantasy match up this week and now I am down to 4th place!  It was ugly last night - Chicago got just pummeled and the defense, which in the past has gotten me as much as 26 points, got me only 1.  I've got to be perfect for the rest of the games in order to win.  It's going to be tough. 

I am almost on vacation.  The plane doesn't leave until 3:30 today and I'm going to be taking the bus to the train to the airport, so I will be leaving here around noon.  I have a few things to get in order before I go.  I don't want to have to worry about a single thing while I'm gone.  This is going to be all about rest and having fun and NOT STRESSING.  I want to come back all relaxed and ready to pack and move to my new place. 

I got packed last night and I did not put any knitting into the suitcase.  This is going to be interesting.  If I just go crazy and HAVE to knit I will simply buy some needles and yarn wherever the urge hits me.  But I think I'm going to be just fine without it.  I have books and movies on my iPad and an audiobook on my iPhone and I like to just sit and watch the world go by when I'm on a train anyway.

19 November, 2012

It was SO wet!

The autumn storms are here in spades and it was pouring rain Sunday morning.  But races are never cancelled and so off I went in the pouring rain to run around Green Lake.  Oh, and it was cold to boot.  I put on my bike jacket, which is water repellent and pinned my bib number to my thigh.  The bad weather kept quite a few people away though, you could tell.  There were bib numbers over 2,000 but there weren't nearly that many people there.  And yes, I did do the fastest 5K for me.  Not as fast as last Thursday, unfortunately, but faster than any officially recorded time and so I am very very happy about that.  And when that race was over -- boom! --- I was in vacation mode!  Unfortunately I have to work today and tomorrow morning but mentally - I'm on vacation. 

After standing under the shower until the water was no longer hot, I got dressed and headed to the mall to get my nails done and to pick up a few things, then football and beer and lunch at the Ram.  I have to get more than 13.6 points from the Chicago defense in order to win my match up tonight.  I had a couple of REALLY bad performances and one guy didn't get me a single point!  Luckily my opponent had just as bad luck as I did so I do still have a chance.  I have to pack tonight but I have all of my laundry done so it shouldn't be so bad.  I am expecting the weather to be about the same as it is here, unfortunately.  Last November it was positively warm!  I don't think I'm in for that kind of treat this year.  But it will be wonderful, no matter the weather!

I am still holding strong on not bringing any knitting.  I wavered a bit last night, thinking I might as well bring something but if my travel history has taught me anything it's that as much as I think I'm going to knit, I just never do!  I'll save the space for something really important - like little mince pies!

Now I've got lots and lots of work so this day should zoom by.  I don't mind.  I'm getting quite anxious to be on my way.

16 November, 2012

Bus rant #2

Part of the route one of my buses travels is along an extremely narrow residential road that unfortunately also allows curbside parking, making it even narrower.  The buses need to look out for each other and make sure they can both pass, so typically one waits as the other passes.  Yesterday on the way home the southbound bus did not let my bus, the northbound bus, pass and instead thought there would be room for the two of them to make it around each other.  Unfortunately because of a car parked on the east side of the street the southbound bus got stuck before my bus driver thought he had enough clearance to get around her.  So do you know what he did?  He just stopped and called his supervisor, letting the traffic back up on both sides of the road.  People were having to back up and turn around and take a detour.  Finally a passenger from the southbound bus got out and tried to convince my driver that he could easily make it by driving just a little but up onto the curb and the driver refused to do it, saying he needed permission from his supervisor.  Unbelievable.  The passenger then guided the southbound driver in backing her bus up enough to let my sissy driver pass.  MY driver could have gotten out and helped that other driver back up but no, he needed permission.  What an ass.  Oh well, soon enough I'll be on a one bus route that has no narrow streets.

I can hardly believe it but yesterday again I had another stellar run, this time breaking my own mile AND 5K records.  I guess having a few days off didn't hurt at all.  I probably shouldn't be getting my hopes up for a super duper run on Sunday.  Anything could happen - like another party downstairs.  They were quiet last night.  Let's hope they're not saving up for a big bash this weekend.

I have a HUGE weekend coming up.  Vacation is going to be just what the doctor ordered.  Rest and relaxation and happiness in the company of my friends.  In the meantime I've got to get through quite a few chores but then Sunday morning is the run and the rest of the day will be fun fun fun -- a mani/pedi, lunch and football at the Ram and a little shopping.  Now if I could only win my match up this weekend!!!  Reggie Bush is killing me!!  I might have to drop him.  Last Sunday he got benched after a fumble and ended up getting me only a few points out of the 12 or so he was projected to have.  Last night was another bad performance - I think I got 2.7 out of 11.5 points projected.  Not good.  I'll have to count on the Bears defense to go crazy Monday night.

15 November, 2012

The tenants with nothing to lose

My noisy neighbors .... oh I cannot wait to get out of this place!  They had another party Saturday night, waking me out of a deep sleep at 12:30 with their music, not to mention the odd bangs (sounds like they are body slamming into the walls) and the girls screaming.  I threw on my pajamas and went downstairs, pounded on the door and they answered and again promised to turn the music down.  They did, but that didn't stop the banging and the girls screaming and the smoke, which comes up into my apartment because of the shoddy fans in the bathrooms.  It went on until 3:30.  The apartment office was closed Sunday so Monday I dropped by to ask what could be done about them.  Turns out, probably nothing.  The manager told me they had been having trouble with them, had turned it over to the lawyers and he was sorry they were bothering me.  Yup.  It sounds to me like they are being evicted so they have nothing to lose.  Again last night they started up with the super loud music -- let me stop here and explain that I am not being overly sensitive.  These apartment walls are thick and I never heard a single peep out of my previous neighbors.  These guys are turning it up to 11.  Anyway, they started up again and I realized that I have two choices.  I can get angry about it and lose sleep or I can just accept it for what it is - temporary - put in some ear plugs and carry on.  That is what I did.  If they start up that nonsense on Saturday night again I risk being 100% for the race on Sunday if I get all wound up, so I am going to relax and think about England.  hee

I did some great work on the lace blouse at knitting yesterday afternoon, but nothing at home.  I wasn't in the mood for that much concentration.  I took it easy, made a lovely salmon dinner and turned in to read.  The weather is great today and I am looking forward to my run.  It is supposed to be rainy this weekend, which is good for me.

Work is pretty slow these days, compounded by the fact that I am not motivated to do much but daydream about what I'm going to be doing next week and the week after.  I have lists and list of things I want to do and people I want to see.  And a couple of wonderful train rides to look forward to.  I love riding trains.  But in the meantime -- time for another cup of tea!

14 November, 2012

An inadvertent sleep in

I haven't been using my alarm clock since I got my new iPhone.  The dock is different so I can't charge my phone in it and I found that I was just hitting the snooze button or turning it off altogether.  So now I set the alarm on my iPhone before I turn out the light.  But I forgot last night, probably because I had yet another blinding headache.  I woke up around 7:30 feeling grrrrreat!  I hot footed it in to work and made it here just a little over 30 minutes late.  Not bad.

I guess I'm going to be super well rested for the race next Sunday.  I didn't run Monday because I had that sinus thing going on, I didn't run yesterday because I didn't get in to work until nearly noon and didn't want to run back out again and I won't run today because it's Wednesday.  That leaves Thursday and Friday and I am okay with that.  My running last week was just awesome, so there's no reason to think I won't have a great race Sunday.

I had a lazy evening, not even picking up any knitting.  The weather was miserable for both of Tink's walks and I just felt like curling up and staying warm.  I did manage to figure out nearly my entire wardrobe for my trip.  I have a couple of days yet to work out but this time everything is doing double duty.  [I say that every time, don't I?]  My biggest quandary is the knitting.  I am pretty certain that I have brought knitting on all my trips and hardly, if ever, touched it.  Last April when I was in France I know that I knit one afternoon for a bit as I was cooking dinner.  Other than that ... nothing.  So I think I'm going to risk it this time and not even bother packing it.  That'll mean all that much more room for bringing home Christmas goodies.

Now I just have to make it through the rest of this week!!!

13 November, 2012

The reality of not owning a car

Today was the first time I really had to deal with not having a car.  I had a dentist appointment at 10 so I stayed home and went from there rather than come in to work and turn right around and head back out.  It should have been a simple enough trip but the One Bus Away app was not accurate for some odd reason.  It was saying that my first bus was running very late, so I took off walking the mile to the second stop rather than risk being late.  And since yesterday was a holiday I had not only  my purse but another bag with my running clothes and my week of lunches and yogurt and tea and oatmeal.  Not so heavy but rather awkward.  Of course I was half way to the second bus stop when the bus went by - not late at all!  Other than that, it was fine.  Thankfully it wasn't raining. 

Yesterday was a holiday for us and I loved having the 3 day weekend.  Saturday I did all of my chores and errands and watched the Huskies win.  That  left Sunday absolutely 100% free of anything but football and knitting and I did plenty of that.  Because I was watching games I worked on the simple project, the Argosy wrap which is SO huge!  But the end is in sight.  The Seahawks also won their game, but unfortunately I lost my match up this weekend.  I am still second but I was very disappointed to lose. 

Saturday I signed the lease at my new place and so I wanted to get a start at cleaning out my closets on Monday.  Unfortunately I had another sinus headache and so didn't get as much done as I had wanted to, but still managed to get one closet done.  Now I have to find a way to get those two heavy bags donated.  I am sure I can strong arm someone into helping.  And then after a lovely little nap I had a nice long afternoon to work on the lace blouse.  I got a good bit done.  Pretty soon I'll have to move it to longer needles. 

I am starting to get really excited about my trip.  One more week!  And I am busy busy this week and the weekend so the time is going to zip by.  I am so looking forward to it!!

09 November, 2012

They say it was squirrels

A large part of my job is creating and delivering classroom web content to the medical and dental students for the classes taught out of my department.  A few years ago we were forced to change our delivery from individual (and in my case awesome) departmental web sites to a system run from upper campus so that all of the websites could look the same (which is ugly) and therefore the students wouldn't be tasked with figuring out the layout of each class' site.  Like that's so hard ... but I digress.  The histology class, which is currently running, uses not only the site to deliver content like lecture slides and syllabus chapters, but I have also built a virtual microscope for them to use rather than traditional microscopes and all of those links are on their web site.  Yesterday was the second time in 3 weeks that the system has failed during the class.  I was able to email a document to the students so they could do their virtual lab but I'm going to gone for four classes during my vacation.  If we can't count on the system they forced us to use .... it just makes me crazy!  I think I'm going to have to build a back up site to run on our servers in case the system goes down while I'm gone.  Oh ... and the word from the IT group is that squirrels gnawed through some lines.  Really?  Squirrels?

I did not have a terrific night, but for good reasons.  I was tired after getting home and doing all my little chores, plus making banana bread.  The bad thing about eating bananas for breakfast every  morning is that I have to buy 5 on the weekend.  But this weekend I was at Costco and nothing is small there so I ended up with some very ripe bananas so voila! banana bread for the office this morning.  It's good.  So anyway I didn't even pick up any knitting but instead headed in to bed to read.  My eyes wouldn't stay open finally so I dozed off only to be woken up by some noise from downstairs (ooo, I am not going to miss those people) and then I was wide awake, my mind going a mile a minute trying to figure out how I'm going to arrange my new place, and getting excited about my trip, and thinking about my race on the 18th ... around and around and around.  I am very glad it's Friday.

And did I say cold?  Brrrr ... In my bedroom this morning the heat came on!  So it must have been very cold for that to kick on.  It is currently only 2 degrees above freezing!  This is a little colder than normal for this time of the year, but at least it's clear.  I had a nice run yesterday in the beautiful sunshine, although I was a bit chest-y ... a teensie bit of asthma when I stopped.  Still I had a good time.  I am going to extend my run to 35 minutes or 5k today, which ever comes first.  I got my new shoes yesterday!

I am going to have to give my notice today and I haven't gotten final final confirmation yet from my new place.  That's first on my list today - to call them.  Oooo , I'm excited!!

08 November, 2012

One extreme or the other

So now the seasons are changing and it is actually getting cooler outside.  Into the 30s at night and there was frost on the grass this morning.  The heating in this building - well, in this collection of buildings here at the Health Sciences Center - is wacky.  In the summer you see people bundled up in heavy sweaters and in the winter others running around in short sleeves.  At the beginning of this week and all last week our offices here were sweltering.  I had my fan on and windows open.  It was close to 80 degrees in all of our offices.  And then yesterday ... brrrrr.  However, around the corner in the another corridor a lab was in the 80s.  It's just crazy.  You have to dress in layers all year 'round.  But I zipped the lining into my coat this morning because I knew I'd be cold on the way to work and I am glad I did.  It's clear and going to be a lovely afternoon for a run. 

At noon knitting yesterday I finally got back into my lace blouse and did a couple of rows there and then when I got home and got settled I did another few.  It is growing larger and larger. Soon I'll have to change to a larger needle.  And oh is it ever pretty!  The angora gets all over anything dark though and the fuzz made it quite difficult to knit on it with my contact in.  At least I am not allergic to it.

I spent a little more time on my iPad app trying to figure out how to arrange my furniture in my new place.  I got a call and it's 99.9% approved.  The woman who called me said I could give my notice at my new place.  She doesn't have the final sign off from her boss, but was confident enough to call me and say it's on and I am sooooooo happy!!  I can't get in to actually see the unit until I get back from my trip, but that's okay.  It'll give me something to look forward to and then, hopefully, I won't get the post-vacation blues that typically knock me down for a few weeks when I return from Europe.  Maybe tonight I'll start on the closet in my office.  I am going to be ruthless.  Yes, ruthless!

07 November, 2012

New apartment on the horizon

As instructed, I checked in to see if anyone had given notice on an apartment that fits my needs and  lo and behold they did!  The only hitch is that I had to go in person to give them money to hold the unit while my application was processed.  This was 11 am when I got that news so I thought this would be the perfect time to try Zipcar - zip over there and back in an hour.  But there were no Zipcars near - probably because it was getting close to midday - so I had to bus it.  It wasn't so bad.  There is a direct bus, which is very handy.   I had decided to postpone going to the Department of Licensing to report the sale/gifting of my car, but the bus on the way back to work stopped right in front of it, so I went in only to find out that my nephew had already reported it on Monday.  I was under the impression that I had to go in person but hooray anyway.  I cancelled my car insurance as soon as I got back to work.

My move in date is December 15, so I have plenty of time to purge myself of all that extra junk I've been carrying around, and to figure out how I'm going to arrange myself into 605 sq ft.  I downloaded an app for my iPad last night and that's what I did - fiddled with the app, adding furniture and trying to get the dimensions of the apartment down.  It's going to be tight but not impossible.  I love the fact that the windows look out onto the square and there is a fountain below.  What I am just a little bit concerned about is that this is listed as a studio with a sleep alcove, which really means just that it has a bedroom, but there's no window to the outside.  I like fresh air when I sleep, but there are always fans so I'm not going to worry about it.  The location is awesome and the apartment is only 1 year old.  And there is a washer and dryer in the unit - woohoo!  Right downstairs on the square are several restaurants and right across the way is the Regal Cinema and I get two free passes a month. 

I didn't get to run yesterday, nor will I today but that's okay.  I am feeling SO good and I've got another entire week to train plus Thursday and Friday this week.  I'll be fine.

Well, I am very glad the election is over and pleased with the results.  No more politics for four years.

06 November, 2012

It keeps happening

I had an awesome run on Friday, breaking my own record for fastest mile and yesterday I ran my fastest kilometer, which would put me more than 3 minutes faster than I've ever run for a 5k at that pace.  It is the banana.  Odd, but that's what it seems to be.  Needless to say the banana is now a staple in my breakfast.  I am just so happy I can hardly contain myself.  I've been trying and trying to get faster and nothing has worked.  I cannot wait for that race on the 18th!  And then a few days later I'll be in London.  How could things possibly get any better?

I had big plans to get home and give my apartment a good cleaning but instead I got a few things tidied up and said to heck with the rest.  It is nothing that can't wait another day and I was tired.  I just wanted to zone out, which is what I did.   And I got a great night's sleep so tonight will be chore night.  I did not knit, unfortunately.  I was itching to get my hands on that angora blouse but I knew I was just a little too tired to confidently knit lace so I lazed around on the couch reading magazines and flipping through the channels.  Of course my fantasy match up opponent did NOT get his points and so I won this week and now am tied again for first, but I'm listed as second because the other guy has more points than I do.  Now this week if I can win again and he can lose again, then I'll be first!

The DOL in the University neighborhood is closed on Mondays so today is the day I can file my papers and be done with the car.  Yesterday I started to reserve a Zipcar for my dental appointment next week but the lot has been discontinued in the small parking lot across the bridge from my office so the next closest is in the main parking garage for upper campus which is a half mile from here.  That's not a big deal, but it adds maybe 10 minutes onto the trip.  When I did the math it is free and nearly the same amount of time to take the bus, so that's what I'll do.  I am anxious to take my first Ziptrip but it can wait.

I've started thinking about what I'm going to take on my trip this month.  Again, of course, packing light is the key.  I think I've got a good wardrobe arranged where I will need only my walking boots and two other pairs of shoes.  I am not going to be doing a lot of shopping, but there are Christmas goodies that I know I will want to bring back, so I've got to leave myself room for those.  I've got two weeks to get it ironed out.

05 November, 2012

The deed is finally done

After a few false starts getting together with my nephew to make the handover, I finally got it done yesterday early afternoon.   And now I am completely car-less.  I'm all signed up for Zipcar although I have yet to activate my membership.  So far I don't have any plans to use one until my dentist appointment next Tuesday, but I'm going to have to reserve one so I will do that today.  My big chore today is getting the title transfer filed with the DOL.  There is an office not too far from here and, if it's open on Mondays, I plan on taking the bus up there, getting the paperwork filed, and then running back to work.  I believe it should be pretty close to 2.5 miles.  Close enough anyway.  When I get the paperwork filed and my car insurance cancelled, then I'll feel free of my car. 

Besides that I had an incredibly busy weekend.  I am helping a friend with the remodeling of his house, so there were hours spent looking at cabinets and counter tops which was really fun.  I got to pick up all my boots I had taken to the shop to be repairs.  Woohoo!  It's like getting new shoes for a bargain price.  Then I bit the bullet and finally got some new running shoes.  I have noticed that mine are definitely ready to be replaced.  Unfortunately the ones I wanted weren't in stock so they are being sent.  I just want them in time to break them in before my race on the 18th.

No word yet on if there is an apartment available for me at the new place.  I am going to get in touch this morning.  People have until the 10th to give their written notice.  Which means I am under the same rules in my place.  I had better stop by for a chat today to let them know my intention and see how flexible they can be.

In between all of the running around and laundry and such there was football.  Friday night the Huskies won (yay) and Sunday the Seahawks won (yay) and it looks like I will win my matchup this week!  My opponent has one player in tonight's game and he has to get over 30 points to beat me.  It's not likely.  Also, the one guy who is one game up on me looks like he's going to lose so we'll be tied again.  Oh this is exciting!!

I didn't get to do any cleaning this weekend so I must get on that tonight.  At least I got the laundry done.  The clocks even got turned this weekend but I was so tired from running around I don't feel like I really took advantage of it.  No knitting either.  I have a week of catching up to do.

02 November, 2012

Finally clock turning time!

Daylight Saving Time was moved and finally we get to turn the clocks back this weekend.  Although it's not going to make much difference in a few more weeks anyway. 

Here's the thing about my run yesterday - I did it on oatmeal and berries for breakfast BUT I also had a cookie so my calorie consumption was probably more than oatmeal and a banana but my run was not as good.  I was almost as fast, but I was feeling it more.  Today will be the oatmeal and banana again and I will compare.  I was a bit tired yesterday and I am not feeling so tired today, having gone to bed before 10.  I think it's the banana but I'm not 100% sure.  I did find a race to run on the 18th and it's at Green Lake, which is my favorite race course since it's flat.  I want to make sure to have a race this month when I'm feeling great and running fast so I can get a new personal best time on the books.  Plus it'll keep me from being in vacation mode too early. 

I have another busy weekend coming up.  Lots of errands and chores and hopefully getting the car settled in its new home, not to mention the Huskies tonight and Seahawks on Sunday.  I hope I can find a little time to knit.  I did get books on soap making and lotion making but when can I carve out the time?  Oh ... I just realized that I have Monday the 12th as a holiday.  I could do it then. 

01 November, 2012

Hoorah! It's November

Only 20 more days until vacation.  I am ready now.  Yesterday felt like Friday, which is a shame isn't it?  But it shows how much I need to get away. 

Tonight after I get home I'm going to clean out that car so it's ready to pass along.  I'm not paying for parking this month so I want to get it gone as soon as I can.  Already I'm feeling strange about being carless.  I looked at my calendar for this month and see that I have a dentist appointment set for 4 o'clock on a Tuesday.  This is going to take some doing.  Getting there won't be much of a problem since I can take a bus easily enough.  But getting home from there is going to be a bit more difficult.  Yes, there are buses that go to my place but when I drive I can get home close enough to 5 so that Tink doesn't have to suffer much.  But this next time it most likely will take me a lot longer to get home.  Maybe I can see if I can move the appointment to 3 or earlier in the day.  If I move it earlier in the day then I can get a Zipcar here at work and come back.  The only inconvenient thing about Zipcar that I can see is that you must return the car to the same place you pick it up.  If you could pick up in one spot and drop off somewhere else that would be a lot easier.  Oh well.  I'll get the hang of it.

Today is the day I try running with an oatmeal and berries breakfast.  It'll be interesting.  There are other things in play as well.  I was up a little later than usual last night and so I am a bit tired this morning.  But it is wet and my lungs are clear so .... we'll see.