Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This made me feel better

YKWIA and I saw The Secret Life of Pets today. Thank goodness I had pre-purchased tickets (they're not exactly passes, but they count towards an entire ticket, because they're pre-bought and do not expire). I also used one for the concession to get a junior popcorn and small diet cola. (YKWIA got the larger versions on his own). So I figure we saved $16 getting into the movies (who knew matinees had gone up to $8 a pop? It's obviously been awhile since I went to the cinema.) I saved another $10 or so on the concession. So I'm happy--I went to the movies and it didn't cost me a cent, and YKWIA got in for free, too. I get the tickets from work every year (at least the movie ones, the concession ones were unusual) for our employee appreciation. I have four more tickets plus one concession one. So I'm good when Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Sing come out, the next ones I want to see.

Anyway, the movie was delightful. They had the animal behaviour down so well. The story centres on Max, a Jack Russell terrier who is dismayed when his mistress brings home a stray Newfoundland named Duke. Max and Duke wind up getting lost in the city, come up against a vorpal bunny and his minions in a scary version of the Island of Misfit Toys, while his friends try to find him. It's fast-paced and fun, and I have to admit I cried at the end, and even YKWIA teared up (but you didn't hear that from me). The voice cast was excellent. And let me tell you, that is one tenacious Pomeranian. Some critics have compared it to Toy Story's formula, and I guess that's fair, but it's done really well. I would highly recommend it. And you'll never look at your pet the same way again.

Here are the trailers:

I have a wasp in my apartment

and have for two days at least. I don't want to get stung by trying to get it out or killing it. It's hanging out near the window, which is a pain to open since I've got so many plants around it. I prefer not to kill things if at all possible, and I don't have any spray, so hitting it with something is liable to get me hurt. At the moment, I've chosen to ignore it and we're coexisting peacefully.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I take a certain amount of pride

in gleaning news from all sorts of sources, whether barely more than headlines or in-depth exposé, and from different viewpoints, too, as that's really important. I like to know what's going on in the world, and sometimes I share it here, and sometimes I don't.

But as I read and listen lately, I feel a great sadness (and quite a bit of fear, too) washing over me. I used to believe that the world was pretty much as it used to be, only now there is a more immediate media presence these days so we know more of the horrors going on. It's not that there weren't dictators, child molesters, axe murderers, or any of that like years ago, it's that we get word about it 24/7 with things like live feeds on Facebook or Snapchat videos. And that is true to some extent. But the Nazi persecution of the Jews, for example, probably would have still happened even with social media and 24-hour news, because let's face it, there are plenty of haters and trolls online. Maybe exposure would have shocked the world into doing something, but in my experience, the world just goes on like it always does, and people die. Horrible things have happened throughout history; technology just makes it easier to chronicle (and sometimes, aids in the commission of heinous acts as well). If only we could put it to a better purpose, to prevent tragedies. And yes, some folks are trying. But it's the negative things in life, the shocking, the horrible, that gets attention, and I'm as guilty about that as anyone. Lately, though, it seems like the news each day is more horrible than the last. Oh, here and there you may find feel-good stories to satisfy a need to believe in the good of humanity, but most of it is negative. And while I do believe that the vast majority of humans are good people, I don't have faith in my fellow humans' ability to think critically or do something for the sake of right, as opposed to because there is something in it for them. People say they want truth--but they go out of their way to tell supposed 'white' lies to keep the wheels of society spinning, and sometimes they actually convince themselves that something is the opposite of how it is (or follow a leader who does, as if they were sheep). I listen to otherwise decent people who are making decisions that will affect it all as if they were voting for the most popular contestant on one of those reality shows. It makes me so sad to think that there are people who fear the authorities, either for good reasons (they might be shot) or ludicrous ones (t'he government's going to take all our guns away and make us vaccinate our children'). Even the lines between the sound and ridiculous reasons are blurring. I find myself reading the news with a desperation to find something good in the world each day. I'm not as optimistic as I once was. And talking to others only makes me feel worse. I don't have all the answers. I know that. But many people I know either regurgitate what they've seen on TV or decide they'll vote for candidate X without looking at platforms or real qualifications. It all comes down to 'I don't like Y, so I guess I have to vote for X'. I feel like our democracy is failing. It was never perfect, of course, but now?

Anyway, I could comment on half a dozen news stories tonight, ones that worried me, or outraged me, or left me incredulous, but instead I thought I'd just write about my feelings about what's going on in the world in general. Now, can I take a flashlight, get into my blanket fort, and colour like a kid? Because if being adult means being in a big scary world of hatred and vitriol, I'm not sure what the benefit of being all grown up is. Good night.

PS Brief synopsis of my day: busy at work, paid lots of bills (but not all, unfortunately), went to the allergist and discovered they have sublingual immunotherapy (yes, it's a thing), got my shots, went on the biggest grocery run I've gone on in months, had dinner with a friend, eating what we made yesterday--tabbouleh, eggplant paté, and salmon chowder. It was great. Then I helped wash up and came on home, checking the news and Facebook and just really not feeling great about the world right now. Perhaps tomorrow will be brighter, or at least I'll tell myself that. Things were simpler when I was in Lisa Land with the unicorns and dragonets.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I got home about 8:30 tonight, which isn't bad for me

And I remembered to come in the other entrance to the apartment complex, as there is angled parking across from my building and the striped the new asphalt in the opposite direction than it had been, mainly so vehicles would not block the drive as people come around the corner of the wall. I came in and immediately started looking through the cabinets, but didn't find much other than some steel-cut oats, quinoa, and hot chocolate. I did, however, find a full jar of Dickinson's blackberry preserves that I'd forgotten was in the refrigerator. I still have a bit of peanut butter, too. So the first thing I did before changing into comfy clothes or anything else was put the ingredients for bread into the pan of the breadmaker and set it. I should have bread before midnight. Oh, and I found some not-too-limp celery and managed to salvage a stalk, so that will tide me help with my rumbly stomach. I'm so glad I get paid in a little over 24 hours. It's pretty much all spoken for, but I should be able to get some food and restock the pantry some, hopefully.

So now I'm in the bedroom, listening to the OneRepublic station on Pandora. I'm surprised I still have Wi-Fi, to be honest--I need to pay the Internet and electric bills or they'll be disconnected later this week. Sigh. Things will get better. I will find either a part-time job that will help, or a full-time job that will let me avoid the unemployment line next April when my current positions end. The only job of note out there is an associate at Lexington Public Library, which is part-time and I could do that as a second job, but I don't know if they'd hire a degreed librarian. I think I'll call tomorrow; it closes Friday. It can't hurt to ask if they would at least consider it. In the meantime, I've checked out several books on using LinkedIn and other social media to brand oneself, create a network, and find a job. Maybe that can help. One thing about being a librarian, you tend to think the answer to something is to be found in a book. That's not always the case, of course, but educating oneself can never be bad.

Speaking of which, I'm going to go work on my LinkedIn profile a bit. Hope you're having a good week. Oh, and PS, I think I've finally stopped the second period of the month, which is a relief. I still need to make that appointment, though.

The last few days

I have come home and basically crashed before dark.  This weekend I got up in the middle of the night to get someone from work,  otherwise I think I would have slept the night through.  And while I did get up and do my nightly tasks tonight, like taking medicine and flossing,  and I find I'm both tired and restless at the same time right now,  I generally have been okay during the day but feel beat at night.  I'm wondering if my iron is dipping down.  I am on iron due to a deficiency, and I made the mistake of giving blood two weeks ago,  then had my period,  bleeding for four days,  and now I've bled again for five,  and it's worse at night for some reason.  My nurse practitioner said giving blood was the equivalent to three periods,  so in two weeks I've lost the equivalent of five months' worth of blood.  No wonder I'm tired. I'm definitely calling that gynaecologist's office tomorrow,  as this shows no sign of stopping, and it's not just spotting,  but rather sustained bleeding that gets heavier at night. Due to my diabetes and weight,  I'm at a higher risk for issues like fibroids or cancer,  so they suggest seeing a doctor then, according to one thing I read.  It certainly couldn't hurt. I think I'll ask the ladies I lunch with if they've experienced this, as most are post-menopausal and at least one had had a hysterectomy. I could use a little advice.  My best friend--a gay man--insists that I need a girlfriend for just such matters,  as he is neither qualified to give advice nor really wanting to hear about this stuff. And I may call a woman  I game with,  as I seem to recall she had some issues,  too. We'll see.  Thanks for putting up with my ramblings about this,  especially you guys out there.

Monday, July 18, 2016

My precious

I did pretty well today after the first few minutes when I discovered that, while I'd carefully packed everything else I needed for the day,  including the phone charger,  I forgot my phone,  which was left sitting on my beside table. It was kind of freeing,  actually. But let's not repeat it any time soon, okay?

What perverted minion of nature decided

That as a woman's fertility wanes,  she may,  for example,  have two periods in a month,  rather than one,  to the point where it seems the bleeding will never stop and it's probably messing up the calendar application used to track cycles. Welcome to perimenopause,  I guess.  I skipped completely in January,  so I guess this makes up for it.  Still,  I think it would be best not to assume it's normal for 'the change' and make a gynaecology appointment,  as it can be a sign of fibroids or even cancer,  and I'm a little overdue for an exam anyway.

One of my Facebook friends shared this...

Pretty much sums things up,  yes? It was on a shared status by Pete Caballero.  Not sure if he's the originator or not,  but whoever did this captured how I felt today about the world. Thanks to Carl Hylin for sharing.


Ignorance breeds hate. Hatred breeds violence. Stop the cycle.  Educate yourself and others.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Oh, dear...

91-Year-Old Woman Fills in $89,000 Artwork She Thought Was Crossword Puzzle
An 91-year-old woman is under investigation after filling in the blank spaces on an $89,000 crossword art piece she thought was an actual crossword puzzle.

The art piece at Nuremberg’s Neues Museum, called “Reading-work-piece,” is a work of art that closely resembles a crossword. It was made by avant garde artist Arthur Koepcke and features the phrase “insert words.” The woman told police she thought those words were an invitation to start filling in answers to the clues, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. She also said that the museum did not put up a notice telling visitors not to write on the crossword.

Wow, what a mess

How absolutely brazen--and of course, it's the libraries and their patrons that will suffer because of it. This is a good reminder of the importance of maintaining transparency and also accountability of boards:

In New Orleans, scandal tarnishes a jazz star and the libraries he was asked to help
The lavish spending during this time by NOJO [The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra] has made the Grammy-winning trumpeter the target of a three-year federal probe following media reports that showed how he [Irvin Mayfield] and business associate Ronald Markham directed more than $1 million from a private foundation tasked to aid the city’s beleaguered public library system to NOJO, where both men have drawn six-figure salaries. The situation has enraged the city’s philanthropic community and shrunk library donations. A financial audit released late last year shows that NOJO paid Mayfield’s production company hundreds of thousands of dollars. An accounting of where and how money was spent was practically nonexistent.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

This got me thinking about high school tonight

From Facebook:
Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school. This was kind of fun to think about!
    The year was: 1984
  1. Did you know your spouse? No.
  2. Did you car pool to school? No, I walked through a cemetery.
  3. What kind of car did you have? None--I didn't get my first car till I was 21.
  4. What kind of car do you have now? Ford Taurus
  5. It is Friday night... Football or basketball game? Neither. I wasn't into sports.
  6. What kind of job did you have in high school? Docent at a local historical home.
  7. What kind of job do you have now? Librarian/Data Entry Clerk.
  8. Were you a party animal? I didn't even know how. Still don't.
  9. Were you considered a jock? Hahahahaha.
  10. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No.
  11. Were you a nerd? Yes. Definitely. Thank goodness geeks finally became somewhat chic.
  12. Did you get suspended or expelled? No, I was a 'good girl'.
  13. Can you sing the fight song? Not anymore. College yes, high school, no.
  14. Who was your favorite high school teacher? Mr Don Hoffman (Chemistry & Physics), Mr Jim Moore (Math), and Mrs Alice Shelburne (English).
  15. Where did you sit for lunch? Usually in the hall reading. I didn't eat lunch.
  16. What was your school's full name? Danville High School
  17. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Hell, no.
  18. Did you have fun at prom? I didn't go
  19. Do you still talk to your prom date? I didn't go.
  20. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? No. I chickened out of my 30th.
  21. Are you still in contact with people from school? Just Angela L Allen from Danville (I went the first two years in Belle Plaine, Kansas, and I keep up with some of my classmates from there, like Deana Full and Cj Applegate Stonehocker).
  22. What are/were your school's colors? Blue and white.
I even pulled out my senior yearbook and memory book, because I was trying to remember the full name of one of my teachers. And you know what struck me? There are three people who signed my yearbook--the three teachers mentioned in the post. Just them. That's because I was incredibly shut down during my junior and senior years of high school, and barely talked to any of my classmates. My parents were divorcing, and it was incredibly difficult for me to deal with. I was living with my mom and grandparents, having left a school where I knew everyone, even though I was geeky and not particularly popular. I don't think I even participated in anything my junior year, when I moved back to Danville. But I rebounded enough to be in Academic Bowl, Spanish Club, the National Honor Society, and Future Homemakers of America in my senior year.

I don't know if the picture conveys it, but I was a very shy girl with terrible self-esteem, who spend most of her time inside books or in her own head, mostly making up stories I hoped one day to write. I felt so fat, so awkward. One of my classmates made fun of me, calling me 'Orez'--zero spelled backwards. I look at this girl now and she seems pretty and intelligent, and pretty together, all things considered. Why do we never see ourselves like that at the time?

I didn't go to my 30th reunion--or any other reunion, for that matter. I never felt that connected to my fellow students back then, after all, and I doubted anyone would remember me or care to know how my life has gone. Even now, with the maturity of age and all I've learned, I still feel like that shy girl sometimes, and I feel like I didn't live up to her potential. I was talking to YKWIA the other day, and he said something that kind of shocked me at the time, how he thought I'd lived up to about what he expected. I was shocked, because, well, I guess I thought I'd failed to live up to where I thought I should be. He pointed out that considering the various hurdles I've had, I've done pretty well, and I should be proud of what I've accomplished. He's right, of course. But it still shocked me a bit, because, well, most people don't tell the truth like he does, and certainly not so bluntly. But it's one of the things I value in him as a friend, after all. :)

Okay, I think I'm going to go on to bed--enough of travelling down memory lane. Good night!

Found on Facebook

This is me...

And even though I may be the only one in the country not playing Pokemon Go, this was amusing:

Ah, and here's round three. I should go on to bed. Let's go see how the bread is doing and decide from there.

Okay, so I guess they were warning about this one

Here we go again....

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

So now you tell me?

My phone just indicated a severe thunderstorm watch--not warning--right as the storm passed and the windows stopped rattling. :) It's not the phone's fault--apparently it was just issued. There wasn't anything for Lexington before that. The rain is showing up on the radar at Lex 18's weather application now, and we're on the southern tip of severe weather. But I was like, oh, really? :)

Important tip when using bread machines

Make sure the paddle is in the pan before putting in all the ingredients. Really. I just had to reach in and place it after the fact, and it was pretty gooey. At least I realised before I turned the machine on. I hope it still works okay. :)

I came home terribly tired. I'm not sure why, really. I didn't do anything particularly tiring. I went to my ophthalmology appointment this morning, nearly got run old while standing for a moment perfectly stationary in an empty parking place fiddling with my purse by someone who obviously wasn't paying attention to the 300-lb woman in bright turquoise, did my normal stuff at work--where I struggled to stay awake and alert--then picked a friend up from work, took him to the bank, and then met up with another friend so they could both go grocery shopping (I stayed in the car), and then took them to their respective homes. I got home after seven, parked out on the street because they'll be resurfacing our section of the lot tomorrow, spoke with YKWIA briefly on the phone, and then fell asleep for about three hours, finally giving in to the sleepiness. I slept well last night, my blood sugar has ranged from 80 (fasting)-149 (two hours' after lunch) today (which is good, even a little low on that first number). I don't know what the issue was. I just got up and got some pasta leftovers and I'm apparently quite hungry now. While that was heating up I put the bread ingredients together, then realised the thing about the paddle. Now it's happily mixing the ingredients. There's a storm brewing, so I hope it doesn't interrupt the power, as I don't think that would work well for the bread.

I went to the bathroom when I got up and I am unexpectedly bleeding. Now a guy would panic. A woman who's already had a period two weeks ago would surmise break-through bleeding, although this is heavier than the normal spotting. If it continues, I'll check with a doctor. Maybe my iron is low--I gave blood, had my period, and now I'm bleeding again, and they have me on iron (and were quite annoyed that I gave it away in my donation, which I honestly didn't think about). I won't worry for now.

My house smells like roasted pine nuts--not unpleasant, just a little odd, and the smell was something I got strongly through the CPAP machine and couldn't figure out at first.

Ah, here comes the rain. I wonder if they'll be able to work on our lot tomorrow, after all. It's a 40% chance of rain tomorrow, and the rain right now is strong enough to be hitting the windows. On the plus side, it's watering the geraniums on my windowsill outside. We just got a strong lightning burst nearby that made me jump so hard my hand is now cramped, and the car alarms for several cars just went off. There's nothing on the radar to indicate this storm; it must be terribly localised, as in where the pin dot is for Lexington.

Okay, I'm finished eating. I should go on back to bed until the bread is done, because I need to go into work early tomorrow, as I will be leaving to take a friend for a minor procedure and want to make the most of my time. I need to put a book order in tomorrow morning and catch up a little on my data entry. Good night.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I'd also love to see a Ghost movie (or even better, series). Witchblade has been done as a series, but so far no film. Back when I was working at the comic store, I read a lot of those. And besides the question of superheroines, why has there been no Legion of Super-Heroes movie, at least that I know of?

PS My favourite comic of all time has got to be Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. I have all of the stories, most in comic book form, with I think the first three stories in graphic novels. I would love the giant omnibus volumes they have now. I would like to see it in film format, and there is one in the works, but it's been a protracted thing. I do like the series 'Lucifer', which is based on one of the characters.

This is really, really good

It's eggplant pasta salad to die for.  I used farfalle rather than the penne it called for,  because I had some already.  It's sweet and tangy together. I'm also baking bread,  but that'll take awhile.  But this is very filling and I have plenty for leftovers.

Here's the recipe:
Eggplant Pasta Salad, from Real Simple.

PS If they weren't $19 per pound, I could eat pine nuts every day, especially toasted like in this recipe. :) To toast them, you just put them in a pie pan or on a baking sheet, put them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I looked up a video for a song from the year I was born that I've always liked

because Danny Smythe, the founding drummer of the Box Tops, died the other day. I found this. I love the song (much better than the cover by Joe Cocker, which my friend A thought was his originally), but, wow, these poor people on American Bandstand cannot dance, and have about as much rhythm as I do. :) Poor things, they still got on national TV and tried, though, I'll give them that.

This was an interesting business idea

The Reading Remedy: Local Service Uses Books to Help and Heal
That question is one of the driving forces behind BiblioRemedy, a business venture launched last year by Chevy Chase resident and lifelong reader Alison Kerr Courtney, a former teacher and bookseller. BiblioRemedy encourages clients to not only pick up a book, but to pick up one specifically tailored to help with any personal issues they might going through, be they big or small. BiblioTherapy’s primary service is matching specialized titles to an individual’s particular needs or situation, with additional packages including less formal “book chats” and personal book shopping services.
The web site for the service is BiblioRemedy.com.

According to

a random fact application on my phone,  the average U.S. worker stays at each of its jobs for 4.4 years. I've been at mine 19. Does that make me loyal or a fuddy-duddy?

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Something a little more light-hearted

I'm floored

by the posts on Facebook of someone I used to know, whom I was going to try to reconnect with by sending a friend request, and I found that she is in a very dark place, writing incoherent paranoid ramblings of everyone all around her. I struggle with fairly mild mental illness; I'm high functioning with bipolar disorder II and anxiety issues, but this sounds like a full-blown psychotic break. I feel so bad for her, and I'm tempted to reach out to try to help, but I don't think that would be a good idea. I don't know enough about her situation to know if she is in a place where she wants help, and I'm not equipped to deal with this sort of thing, and I know it. But, wow, it's so sad. I don't know what to do.

Finally found it!

I tried one more time to find the channel, using the webcast to match the song, like I did with the boom box last weekend, and finally found Pink's 'Blow Me One Last Kiss' on the radio, and it was 106.3. :) Yay! Apparently the secret is not to use the FM Scan but rather go through the fast forward button, and all the static, one press at a time. I wish it would show the station on some sort of dial, but alas, it doesn't. The funny thing is it's a very clear, it just wouldn't come through on the FM Scan. Oh, well, it should stay on this station even when I turn it off, as long as there's no actual power loss.

Taking a break

I'm making progress throughout the house, but my back is hurting from lots of bending, so I'm taking a break. I know it's best to focus on one area at a time, but I've found that collecting various things from around the house and putting them together is working well, like those reusable bags so many stores have--that sort of thing. I am mostly concentrating on the living and dining areas; the kitchen is okay, except for some dishes that need to be done, the bathroom just really needs a once over, and the bedroom--well at the moment all the clean laundry that had been sitting on the table in the dining area and some of which had escaped throughout the room, is now on my bed, to be folded and put away before I can go to bed. I've also gone through a plastic tote of mostly junk and thrown or recycled a lot of it. I even found the Tamiflu that the gas station company I worked for sent all its employees back during the swine flu epidemic a few years ago and threw it away, as it's now quite expired. I never understood why they did it, and during a Tamiflu shortage, too. I have three more of them to go through, but they're mostly important papers. I did find some important things in amongst the junk, so I can't just summarily get rid of stuff. But I think at least one of the totes is mostly papers left over from my accident over three years ago, so that can go away.

I can't seem to find my normal radio station on the speaker tower in the living room, so I've been playing some pop music on 96.9 FM such as Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, that sort of thing. Right now Tom Petty's 'Free Falling' is on. I usually listen to 106.3 FM, which has more modern rock, I guess, but is owned by the same company. But this is fine to clean to. Okay, back to it!

Speaking of prosthetics

One of my former co-workers died this week, and I just wanted to take a moment to say what a pleasure and honour it was to work with him. His name was Wayne Cottle, and he was a prosthetist who made artificial limbs for children, both in our practice at the hospital, and on mission trips to Guatemala. I was so sorry to hear that he'd died. I'm no fan of funerals, but I would have attended his, but they're having a private service for family and close friends. Requiescat in pace, Wayne.

Bringing Help and Hope to Guatemala

Working to change a life

Here's something kind of uplifting

3 1/2 years ago I was hit by a car and was stuck at home for three months with a broken ankle. I was hopping on one leg with a walker (I couldn't manage crutches at all, given that I have no upper body strength), and rented a fold-up manual wheelchair for going to doctors' visits and to get around a little better. It's amazing how much it helped my mobility. Inside my apartment, it only worked in the living, dining room, and kitchen (although I knocked a little paint off the doorway getting from the the second to last one). I couldn't get down the hallway and into the bedroom, and certainly couldn't get into the bathroom, where the door was actually too narrow for the walker without moving it back and forth, BUT it taught me a valuable lesson about mobility and access, a lesson I appreciate even more because I work in a pediatric orthopaedic hospital where many kids use walkers and wheelchairs.

Amputee Tortoise Gets Moving With Wheels
A plucky female tortoise is winning the hearts of the Indian public as it races around its zoo enclosure on an improvised set of wheels. The animal lost its front right leg in a mongoose attack, and zookeepers added the wheels in a short operation after they noticed the animal couldn't move around and reach its food

Back from my friend's house

This was originally going to be a day when I was just going to do stuff at home, but YKWIA e-mailed me about 11 to ask about going to see the newest X-Men movie at the discount theatre. But the reviews were awful, so we decided no. I had suggested The Secret Lives of Pets, as I have free passes to the regular theatres at Fayette Mall and Woodhill, but we decided to wait on that because it's opening weekend and the crowds will be large, and in this case, involve a lot of kids, which would probably annoy him today. We were e-mailing back and forth and then I went on over before the last e-mail about waiting till next week, so I stayed over for three hours and visited, worked on his back, which was hurting, and watched a couple of episodes of 'Cybill' while he ate (I wasn't hungry at the time, so declined the offer of food. Now that I'm home I'm very hungry and have had a lunch of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and some string cheese.) Although I was enjoying being over there, I really need to work on my house, as I never got much accomplished last weekend with the power outage. So I have my list of things to do broken up into manageable tasks, and we'll see how much I can get done the rest of the day.

Next week should be interesting around here. Our parking lot is being repaved and striped, and they've divided the complex into three sections, each taking a couple of days to work on (depending on weather), in which we'll have to find alternative parking, most likely on the two streets that intersect on our corner. Since I'm in the area of the property furthest from the street, it'll be a bit of a walk. Also, there are days when the apartment numbers overlap, and so it will take four days of not parking there. Guess which set I'm in? So basically, I can't park in front of my apartment from 8 pm on the 12th to sometime on the 16th (depending on whether they work on Saturday) or 18th (if they only work on weekdays)--and that's if the weather cooperates. Fun, fun, fun. Fortunately they gave us plenty of notice.

My plants, both inside and outside, look a little dry. I should water them today. If I have time, I should clean the fish tank this weekend; goldfish are very dirty fish, and even though it's a 29-gallon long aquarium, and there are only four goldfish, they produce a lot of mulm. The one in the bedroom, the 3-gallon one, should be have a water change, too, although I don't have a betta in there at the moment, as the other one did eventually die. I'd like to get another one later in the month.

Okay, I'm going to sign off here for now. Hope your weekend is going well.

I really am not a dingbat

although I'm feeling like one lately. On Thursday I stopped by Kroger to get a elbow strap for my tendonitis using my flexible spending card and a couple of drinks and a little bit of cash using my debit card. Nothing unusual about that, right?

I got the strap, and then was in process of getting the other when the lady in front of me grabbed me by the arm and thanked me for being so patient (they'd had some issues), and I guess it was at that point when the chip card reader beeped and said 'remove card', and I walked off. My mistake, of course, but I was distracted. I went to work, unknowingly, and did not discover the missing debit card until I'd dropped YKWIA off at his credit union and had gone to the pharmacy to get some medicine for him to conserve time. I was on my way back, on on my gas light, so I stopped by Kroger on Alexandria to get gas. That's when I discovered the missing card, its neat little place in my wallet terribly blank. I still had about $10 on me in cash, so I paid for some gas, called Kroger on Richmond Road, and happily, they had my card. After I picked up YKWIA, I went and got it, and all was good. Or was it?

I helped a friend move some of his stuff into his new place, and then later was putting everything back to rights in my wallet and I discovered that my flexible spending card was gone. Now, I had used it at the Richmond Road Kroger that morning, but it had been in my wallet when I discovered the debit card missing. Kroger's customer service desks were closed already by the time I realised it, and so the next morning I went to work, checked my entire purse and the bags I'd gotten the stuff in (I'd saved them for unexpected stuff that sometimes gets carried home in the rain), and they weren't there. I figured I'd dropped it while rifling through my cards looking for my debit card, so I called the Gardenside Kroger on Alexandria Drive and asked if someone had turned on in at the fuel station, but they hadn't. Now, I wasn't panicking yet, because unlike the debit card, the flexible spending card can only be used on certain medical, dental, and vision expenses, not even most over-the-counter stuff, and it has less than $200 left on it. If someone found it and took it to a gas station or liquor store, it would be declined. But I figured I'd just have to cancel the card and have it reissued, which was a bummer. Then I decided that I'd call Richmond Road just on the off-hand chance I'd dropped it when I put my debit card back in my wallet, and it was there. So after work on Friday, I took YKWIA to an appointment and then went by the Kroger and picked up that. They must think I'm a total idiot. I certainly was mocked thoroughly by my friend.

I think it bears mentioning that in the entire time I have had IDs, debit cards, credit cards, etc., while I may have misplaced something temporarily at home, I have never actually lost a card or had it out of my possession--and then I lose two in one day. Now there was the time (again, at Richmond Road Kroger) that I got all the way through the line and discovered my wallet was not in my purse. It had fallen out at home, and had somehow gotten wedged under the loveseat. That was fun, as I'd had no car, so I had to walk home, find the wallet, leaving my granny cart at Kroger, and then walk back to pay for the suspended order, then had to drag my granny cart of food back to the apartment. I certainly got my exercise that time. But I never really 'lost' anything like that before, or at least not since I lost a key to the house when I was eight. So it all worked out for the best, and I didn't quite lose my mind, but I'm glad I was able to pay my rent this morning without some terrible thing happening with my account, that sort of thing.