Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, January 31, 2016

It's amazing

What cleaning up phone apps can do for your battery life.  I was up to 300 apps total.  I took off many I don't use much,  and also Facebook and Messenger (I don't really use the latest,  and can use my browser for the former.)  Instead of having to charge my phone at midday (which is good,  as I ran off today without my charger),  I got home at 10:30 and it was holding at about 50%. Not bad.

It was a blah day

And I really didn't come out of my blahness until after I cleaned my friends' house and sat down to watch 'The Shannara Chronicles' premiere (yes,  we're behind),  which was visually stunning,  pretty decent in terms of acting and story,  and generally I want to see more. I also want to go back and read the books,  as it has been ages, and I've only read the original trilogy anyway.  After that we watched another episode of 'Ugly Betty',  and then I headed home.  So it was not bad after the initial lack of enthusiasm. I think whatever was going on with my mood may be hormonal.  I still haven't had a period,  and it's been over a week since it was due.  (No worries about pregnancy,  at least.) It was also beautiful outside,  in the mid-60s and sunny.  I must admit,  we haven't had much of a winter yet,  but I'm already ready for spring.

Okay,  I've filled my pill box and done a few small things around here.  Time for bed. Good night.

I just slept a long time and I'm still having trouble waking up

So last night, I came home, was online briefly, but didn’t actually sit down and blog, but rather worked out a budget for the next two months, and by 9 pm was so tired I could barely concentrate anymore and headed to bed, forgetting entirely to take my Lantus, but my blood sugar was 99 anyway this morning, probably because I finally got up about 10 am this morning, although the original plan was 6 am, but then I decided I might as well sleep in, as I obviously need it. I had mentioned it had seemed like a long week, right? And I got up early yesterday to take the dog to the vet (all’s pretty okay with that; they treated her wounds, which are shallow and not likely to be animal-related, and sent her home with some pain medicine. She’s still slow and obviously not well, but she’ll drink and take her medicine, and my friend left her in to slowly eat her food last night while the others went out.)

I did do all the running I expected to do except that while I did a small grocery run for myself, we didn’t do the supplemental run with A yesterday, as he got back from the barber very late. I’d dropped him off at noon, and it took until 3 pm, they were so busy, for him to get his hair cut. 3 hours! It makes the half an hour I waited at the cable company to return my equipment seem like a piece of cake.  He came home on the bus, so it was after 4:30 when he got home.

In the meantime, YKWIA and I watched a couple of episodes of ‘Ugly Betty’ and Friday night’s ‘Grimm’. Both of us at first thought Meisner and Lucien were being played by the same person, perhaps a double agent or related characters, but I looked them up last night and they are different actors. But there’s a resemblance.

Okay, I should call A and see what the plans are for the store trip and other things we normally do on Sundays. I kind of want to just hang out here for awhile, but I’m in a sleepy-restful mood, meaning I probably wouldn’t get anything done. At least over there I can get my laundry finished along with all the stuff over there, and spend time with good company.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mortality has been on my mind a lot of late

In seems like everywhere I look, things are hastening to their natural end. Tonight one of my beloved ‘nieces’, a collie shepherd who is about 16 years old, has been doing very poorly. Something has hurt her; I don’t think it was another dog, but she’s bloody under her right ear, and is very unsteady on her feet and more out of it than normal (and lately the senior moments have been more numerous than when she’s alert). So far, even when she’s slowed down, she’s come back and done pretty well. But she was obviously wanting to drink earlier, had her mouth right over the water, and couldn’t seem to. That’s not a good sign. My friends are going to call the vet first thing in the morning and see if they can get her an appointment. We did go ahead and give her the arthritis medicine in the hopes that it would help with some of the pain. The other dogs usually give her a wide berth because she is old and cranky, and there’s been no known dog fight or anything. It’s possible she tangled with something out in the bushes or got trapped and pulled loose. We don’t really know. But hopefully tomorrow at least the vet can see her and make her more comfortable. But we may be looking at the end. She’s been a wonderful and loyal dog. Considering her size, her age is remarkable. I do hope she’ll be alright, but I’m steeling myself for if she’s not.

Today I had my second performance appraisal in a week; I have two jobs at the hospital. I got pretty high marks, and I’ll be getting a raise (yay!) In the first appraisal, I was very candid with my primary boss about looking for another job, and she agreed that I had to pursue what’s best for me. In the second appraisal, my other boss asked me what my plans were at this point, when the hospital shuts down and moves to a new building as an ambulatory care centre. I explained that best case scenario, I find another job that has benefits and is full time. While I could stay to the bitter end and collect a severance, be eligible for unemployment, and have health care for a limited time, it’s very uncertain as to the particulars, a lot of the severance would go to taxes (although I’d get some back as a refund the next year), etc. I did tell him that I will have been here 20 years come next year, right before the move, and I’ll also be turning 50 (another reason mortality has been on my mind as of late), and it will be harder to be looking for a job. And I may need to look outside of the library field, maybe do something along the line of my second job in revenue cycle, if possible. We further discussed that if something did come up in the hospital, I would consider staying, although I’d probably have to take a pay cut, because my library rate is very good, and even though my charge capture position is much lower, it averages out to more than most of those jobs pay, and he was candid about that. He suggested that I could perhaps do something there in fiscal services, and even though I don’t have a formal background in accounting, I can obviously do similar things. Of course, at this point, they’re not sure how many positions in fiscal services will be going, either, so it’s not like he can say, yes, there’s a position you can have. But I think he’s happy with my willingness to take on other duties and help where needed, and I think if something came up, he would recommend me and prefer to retain me. The most likely place to have an opening would be scheduling, which I am trained in, at least to a point. I said I wasn’t sure I’d like to do that five days a week all day, but I would be willing to try, if the pay wasn’t terribly low. The main concern I have at the moment is continuing to have health insurance, and while I might find something on the exchanges, we have excellent insurance and it would be nice to keep it. But benefits are the main goal. That being said, I am having trouble making ends meet, mainly because I’ve overextended myself on debt in the last couple of years. So a pay cut, while it may be inevitable, is not going to be fun, either. Anyway, I asked him to let me know if anything came up, and to keep me in mind for future openings. It couldn’t hurt.

It’s been a very long week, it seems. Tonight I missed the return of ‘Grimm’ because A really needed to go to the store and do a large grocery run. YKWIA recorded it though, and we’ll watch it tomorrow. I also need to see the last two ‘Heroes: Reborn’ episodes. Oh, and he’s been recording the ‘Sword of Shannara Chronicles’ but we haven’t seen them yet.

So, tomorrow I need to:
  1. Possibly take the dog to the vet (it’s very close to where they live, but the poor thing is too unsteady to walk up there, right now).
  2. Take A to get his medicine, or at least go by and get it for him.
  3. Possibly take him to get his hair cut.
  4. Take in the Time Warner Cable equipment.
  5. Do a very small grocery run for a couple of items they didn’t have tonight.
Okay. I’m pretty tired, and it’s after midnight. Good night.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

11:39 EST, January 28, 1986

Photo by NASA
RIP the crew of the space shuttle Challenger: (front row, left to right:) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, *back row, left to right:) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik.

It seems like only yesterday, as the images are still so vivid in my mind. I was a college sophomore, and had not been watching the coverage live because I was in class. I'd met my boyfriend for lunch and a friend came up and said, 'Did you hear the Space Shuttle blew up?' We thought it was a sick joke, but he insisted it was true, so we went to a TV room in the student centre and watched.

And watched. And watched. Over and over, for hours. See, my boyfriend (and future ex-husband) was crazy about NASA and hoped, as a computer science major, that he could join them someday. He had plans to the Space Shuttle (this was before the War on Terror, of course). He knew that ship backwards and forwards, as much as a teenage non-astronaut could. In fact, during replay of the explosion he pointed to a piece of debris and said, 'Look, there's the crew cabin. It's intact. They're still alive at his point.' That fact came out to the general public long after the explosion, but he called it during the first could of times we watched it. I watched his dream die that day. They wound up grounding the fleet for years, of course. Later, he switched to religious studies and as far as I know has been working in retail. Oddly enough, I do have a friend who does work for NASA, a very dedicated mechanical engineer who did several internships with them while in school. She and her husband both work on interplanetary projects.

Anyway, that day was the first time in my life that I had the 'moment I'll never forget where I was, what I was doing', like people do for 9/11 or others did for the attack on Pearl Harbour or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I am so sorry these brave explorers died while trying to touch the heavens. RIP.

PS I'm publishing this at the exact time of the anniversary, but writing later in the day and timestamping it differently. Just wanted to be sure no one thought I was doing this at work. :)

Listening to:

Also reading:

It is late…

And I should be in bed, as it’s almost 1 am. But I just got in and it always takes me a bit of time to unwind. I’ve been spending some time with friends tonight, and trying to troubleshoot some issues YKWIA is having with my desktop over at his house. I also got the model number of his computer to try to match a decent power supply, as I think that is the problem he was encountering. If we can get his back up and running, that would be great, as he hates Windows 10 and Office 2013 (I’m eligible for Office 2016 for $9.95 through work, actually, but I’ll wait until I can properly download them.)

Last night I got some disturbing news and came home and just curled up in bed, thinking about the implications. I couldn’t really write; I just felt sad and helpless, and needed some time to come to grips with it. I won’t go into its cause; I feel a little better today because the shock of it has worn off a bit.

Today I went in early to work and had a performance appraisal, which went really well. Come March, I’m getting a 3% raise. Yay! I will have to go through an appraisal for the second part of my job there, as well, but I expect it will be the same.

One of my co-workers I was going to sub for in scheduling went on leave early, but they think they can handle things unless it gets super busy, in which case they might need me a day or so here and there. Since I have a stack of books waist-high to catalogue, on top of my regular duties, I’m fine with that. I’ve been putting off processing them until I had more time in the library. I’m doing well with the charge entry and reconciliation, but tomorrow I really want to give some extra attention to the referrals part of my job, as there is a report that is run on Mondays, and that gives me a couple of days to really get the queue down to just a few. Given the lateness of the hour, though, I think I’m going to just go ahead and shoot for my normal arrival time for work tomorrow. I need to still return that equipment to Time Warner Cable, but if all else fails, I can do that Saturday.

Today after work I went over to see my State Farm agent and discussed insurance with them. We'd already put in for a low mileage discount and the roadside assistance (replacing the AAA I had). My odometer was different than in my memory; I just passed 55,000 miles on my way there, but it still means that in three years I've only put on 20,000 miles, so I qualify. They like to meet their customers, and when I first got the car and signed up with them three years ago, we kept having scheduling issues, and I never came in. Because I wasn't sure if there was a physical inspection, I went ahead and finally cleaned out the car. After that I stopped by the store for about $10 worth of groceries, and then headed to my friends’ house. We watched some episodes of ‘Castle’ together, and then YKWIA and I watched ‘Lucifer’—which I really liked. I find it refreshing to watch someone who has absolutely no inhibitions or filter. YKWIA is a lot like that—very honest and blunt. I appreciate that in a person, and wish I could be better at it than I am. I helped him put away some things in his library and then worked on the computer. After that, I helped take care of some things to do with the dogs and made him tea. We also watched a few clips from 'Galavant'. I would like to watch Season 1 if we can find it somewhere. But I finally left, and when I started the car, I realised I had a thin glaze of ice on the car, and had to clean off the windshield, but the back looked clear until I went to back out. But by that time I was already moving, using the other mirrors, and just put on the rear defrost and hoped for the best. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to melt.

Tomorrow after work is physical therapy. I’m looking forward to it. Where we’ve had our sessions interrupted, I’ve been in quite a bit of pain if I stand for much time at all. I know things would be better if I could walk more, but it hurts to. My goal is to get to a point where my spine and hip flexors allow me to exercise. But it’s bad to do when you’re in acute pain, so I haven’t been. It’s very frustrating. I feel like I’m losing some of my mobility from it. Just walking from the library to the cafeteria, or doing things in the kitchen for about 15 minutes without sitting, is hurting. It’s mostly the lower back; my neck and thoracic spine are also stiff and hurting though, and improve with the manipulation my therapist is doing, plus exercises to strengthen the muscles. I’m hoping, if I just keep working at it, that it will help me be able to do what I used to.

I guess I can officially say I'm in perimenopause. I'm six (almost seven) days late on my period, with no chance of pregnancy, per my calendar log on my phone. The last period I had, right before new year's, lasted the normal time, but then I kept spotting for days afterwards, just a bit. So maybe that's why. But I've never been this far off before, maybe just a day or two at a time here and there. I guess I should start giving my libations at Dark of the Moon rather than with my periods, going forward from here. Still, it's weird.

Okay, I’m starting to really get sleepy. I suppose I should sign off here for the night. My lids are heavy and my legs are hurting a bit, so they need to be propped up and I need to stretch out on the bed. Good night.

Monday, January 25, 2016


PS This is the first time I've embedded an Amazon preview link. Please note, I do not have an Amazon Associates account, nor do I earn fees from doing this. I simply like Amazon and Kindle, and that's what I'm reading through. I'm not advertising per se. This site does not advertise on purpose. Okay, end disclaimer. :)

Well, apparently Hell has frozen over...

Or perhaps the opposite has occurred. I came home tonight and it appears (at least as far as I could see) that my street has, indeed, been ploughed. Kudos to Lexington for adding contractors to help this year. It was a very pleasant surprise, anyway.

It was nice to be back at work today, and I caught up pretty quickly. One of the ladies at work who is subbing for a co-worker out on maternity leave came in and asked me if I’d seen the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump. I’d seen the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, but she told me that the original was far more surreal. So on my break I watched that and the Stephen Colbert take on it. Oh, my goodness. It was worse than I thought. What scares me? Americans actually pay attention to these two self-absorbed egomaniac blowhards. Only Sarah Palin would make a political endorsement in a showy blouse and talk a lot about herself, rambling on and on saying crude things about the current President and looking like she’s laughing at the very people she’s talking to at the same time. Both she and Trump sicken me.

Granted, I’m the one with a Bernie Sanders sticker on her car, but the man has something these people don’t have (or Hillary Clinton either, in my opinion)—integrity and consistency. The only thing that I have any doubts on Bernie about is foreign policy, but on the one thing, he’s smart enough, as my co-worker said, to surround himself with experts on it, and compared to people like Trump—who has the capability to pretty much undermine any foreign policy and alienate virtually any sane country on the planet, and who has been the subject of a debate in the UK Parliament concerning a ban on his visiting, Bernie looks damn good in comparison. It’s horrible that he’s making gains on fear-mongering, as well. On the other hand, I don’t trust Hillary Clinton one bit, and the whole e-mail server thing frankly causes me to question her intelligence. It’s simply common sense to handle sensitive material—of importance to governmental operations—on secure government servers. I don’t transact my company’s business on my personal e-mail—and I work for a non-profit with no real trade secrets, much less government security secrets. Even if there were no real sensitive information—and it does not look like that’s the case—it was colossally dumb, and even if she were that naïve, someone on her staff should have had a clue. That’s my opinion, anyway.

I thought that it was horrible that the stupid in our country actually elected George W. Bush twice. Now I’m beginning to think that it’s going to be far worse.

Okay, I’ll leave my political musings to that for now. I think I’m going to go find something fun to do, now that I’m home, and take some of my medicine. Good night, just in case I don’t write any more tonight.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Feeling much better

My blood sugar was 96 just a bit ago and I had some cheese and peas,  as I was hungry,  and while the peas are starchy,  they weren't simple sugars like the fruit.  I'll limit my fruit to one at a time from now on.

I'm actually in the laundry room doing my laundry now,  three loads,  as I didn't do any last week.  I brought my Kindle so I have no excuse not to read.  Funny how I keep finding other things to do.

With that in mind,  I'll put my phone down and go from there.

I feel bad

I was listening to music after having a snack of orange juice,  toast and fruit. Didn't think to give myself insulin because I didn't consider it a meal.  So wrong.   I was feeling torpid,  not sleepy.  I took my blood sugar and it was 431! Considering I have been in the normal range rather than running high,  this was terrible. I took my insulin and am waiting for it to come back down.  I think I'll skip the library for now,  even though they just opened.

Back to working on the house,  I guess.  The activity will help.

Listening to:

A pleasant free day after all

So, A called to tell me I don’t have to go over there and help clean house or other Sunday stuff. I suspect they’d decided to have a quiet day together, and they know I wasn’t keen on driving after the freeze. I was putting my laundry together, and I could have gone on over there to do it, but I have quarters, detergent, and dryer sheets, so I can do it over here. I can get over to the new building with my cart. Maybe that will encourage me to spend some time on the exercise bike, since they’re in the same building, although I’ll wait a bit for my back to calm down. All that bending and moving around dirty laundry is making it hurt.

In the meantime, I’m listening to a variety of music. I’ve filled my medicine box for the week, gathered up the recyclables from their receptacle, switched out the trash for a new bag (it wasn’t actually full, but it had been there a few days, so I thought I should take it out. I’ll use the granny cart for that. And then there’s that lamp, of course. I’ve been doing some straightening up in the kitchen and dining room. I haven’t actually done any reading yet, but I didn’t go take a nap, either, and I feel energised. I think I’ll take a shower after I sit and rest my back for a few minutes. The heat will do me good, and I want to get out of my P.J.s and take out the trash, recyclables, and start the laundry.

I put the book that YKWIA wanted on hold over at the branch it’s at. I have an appointment Tuesday over in Beaumont; I can pick it up then, and it’ll be about the same timeframe as if I’d had it sent over to Eagle Creek, as usual. . It’ll be warmer then, so maybe some of the snow will start melting, and the roads should be good. I’m not 100% sure the library is open today; it’s been closed during all the snow. It probably is, though, and I didn’t see anything on Twitter or the website indicating a closure for today. I may still go over to my branch, Eagle Creek, for a little while. I’ll take the laptop with me, too, and then I can do some updating.

So here’s my revised list of what I’d like to get accomplished today, especially since I’ve done very little this weekend on the house:
  1. Do laundry. If I’m ambitious, I’ll also work out.
  2. Do the few dishes that I have dirtied since the dishwasher load.
  3. Finish straightening up, except for the bedroom, which is going to be a major project that I’m not sure I want to start today.
  4. Get my bag and lunch packed for tomorrow.
  5. Water the plants.
  6. Maybe go to the library; or if not, go on Tuesday.
  7. Take out the trash and recyclables.
  8. Work on transcribing that one complex passage for the game notes, which I still haven’t sat down and tackled.
That’s enough for one day, and should give me time to do some fun things, too.

Up and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

For all that I had trouble sleeping last night, and probably got to bed about 2 am and then listened to some Depeche Mode for awhile after that, I got up at 7:45 am and am pretty perky, or about as perky as I get in the morning. Yesterday I was not as vigilant about doing all the stuff to keep my blood sugar in control, and my bedtime glucose was high, so I took both Lantus and Humalog (long-acting and short-acting insulin, respectively). This morning my fasting blood sugar is 117, which is very good, and I’m back on track. I only missed one pill and one injection, really, but I felt a bit like a slacker, when I’ve been doing so well. So, here’s to being back in form today.

It is 9 degrees outside, quite cold, and sunny. I plan on waiting for it to warm up before going anywhere. I’d like to pop by the library today, as it’s been closed, but on Sundays they open at 1 pm, so I may not be able to. We’ll see. A friend wants me to get a book from the Beaumont Library for him, and I’d like to hook the computer up to Wi-Fi for just a bit to get any updates there might be.

But I’ve got some time today before then to maybe work on my to-do list, since I haven’t really done anything on it except dishes.

You’d think with this much snow on the ground, nothing would be bothering my allergies, but I have inside allergies as well. My eyes are watering to the point of crying and I just blew my nose and unstopped it. I just took my allergy pill and I’m taking eye drops for that as well. These help. I really need to get back on track with my allergy shots, since the phials are at the practice and ready.

A few things to do this week:
  1. Get my allergy shots, at least once, but twice if possible.
  2. Take YKWIA to an appointment during the workday and three appointments in the evening.
  3. Go to Time Warner Cable and give back the modem/router.
  4. Go to one appointment of mine during the day and one evening appointment, the second of which coincides with YKWIA’s, at least. Getting allergy shots twice this week is looking slim. But there’s Wednesday, when they’re open late, and that’s free, for now.
Oh, by the way, speaking of taking the box back to TWC:

Vonage will not let me go. As you may know, Vonage is a voice-over-Internet phone provider, meaning that an internet connexion is required to use the phone, unlike bundled phones from the cable company. I have had Vonage for (apparently) nine years and five months. During that time, I have happily paid my bill through an automatic draught month in and month out. So they consider me a wonderful customer. Years ago, I was having trouble making a payment, and they actually comped the entire month. Last year, I lost my internet for a couple of months and they forwarded my calls and gave me credit for two or three months so I wouldn’t be charged.

Yesterday I called to cancel, and they really did all they could to make sure I didn’t. They dropped it down to an account that would be $6 a month with taxes, then gave me the credit for six months so that I could call back in that time to see if I got a connexion back in that time. That way I get to keep my phone number. I agreed to this (probably I will get the internet back in that time, through some provider, if I can find a good rate that I can afford, so I can watch Netflix on my TV again). So, everyone was happy. They really have bent over backwards to try to keep me as a customer. I certainly would recommend them to anyone. Anyway, thank you, Vonage.

I’ve been playing more of ‘Inside Out: Thought Bubbles’ and I finally got through that one level, but I’m stuck again, getting within one ball several times, using both Joy’s and Sadness’ powers. :( I’m assuming I’ll eventually unlock the other emotions, if I can just get past level 24.

Okay, it’s nice and bright in here, with the sun reflecting off the snow. I think I’ll read for a bit. I’ll write later, hopefully.

I don't know

If it was the snow removal or wrestling with the heavy broken lamp,  but my arms are aching badly,  enough to wake me up,  and it isn't being touched by ibuprofen.  :( I think my swiping in my keyboard is suffering as a result,  because I changed from one keyboard to the other on my phone and it only helped marginally. Maybe I should just give it a rest and try to go back to sleep. But I'm absolutely wide awake,  having drunk too much caffeine today. Reading involves holding a book or Kindle.  Working on the computer involves typing.  I think it's time for something passive like listening to music. Good night.

There was this skit on 'Saturday Night Live' tonight

With Tina Fey reprising her role as Sarah Palin giving a speech in support of Donald Trump,  making fun of the actual one given in Iowa. The guy playing Trump says,  'She's about two Corinthians short of a Bible.' I love that.  I'm going to keep that in mind for decribing crazy Bible-thumpers in the future,  since, of course,  one of the most quoted passages (but not by them,  when expressing their vitriol) on love is found in II Corinthians.  :)  Real Christians tend to focus on the love in the Bible,  not the hate.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


'Expect great things, and great things will come.'
'Expect much of yourself and little of others.'


It’s been a weird day. I mostly did some things around the house, ate, and played a bubble shooter game on my phone without much success of getting through level 23 (it’s based off of Disney Pixar’s movie Inside Out). A had called me earlier today and explained that the snow ploughs had not made it to his street but that he was about to go out and do some shoveling. I asked him to give me an update later. About 2 pm he called and said the plough had been through, everything looked good, and he’d shoveled the walks and driveway for me. They were almost out of coffee, and we’re getting temperatures around 0 degrees tonight and tomorrow morning, so I figured conditions would just worsen, so I went out and spent a half-hour digging out my car with a broom and a dustpan. Yes, really. I do need to invest in a snow shovel, after never needing any for years. But last year we had over 10 inches in each of two storms two weeks apart, and this time, while the official measure was over 9 inches, A and I each have about 10 or 11, as our parts of town got more snow. Add the drifting from the wind and it could go up to three feet in places.

After digging out where I could (and I’m counting that as exercise for my Habitica application), and only falling down once into a drift onto my butt, I managed to get out of my parking place, and then there was a moving truck taking up most of the space near the curve to the exit from the parking lot, so I had to go through the snowier area. I got stuck on my street, which never gets ploughed as far as I can tell, but shifting into reverse and then into first and second gear (which I’ve never done using an automatic) and got out and down the road. The next street and the one after that wasn’t bad, just narrower. Once I got to Man O’War, things were just wet, except for slush where people pulled out of other streets here and there. None of the right turn lanes had been ploughed, though, so we were having to turn from the right straight lane instead. I went down Man O’War and then another road that I knew was a snow route just to be okay, not the normal back way I go. Then I got to their street, which was pretty decent, and into the driveway. A and I went and got a few groceries for each of us, stopped by Jin Jin and got Chinese food, and then I headed home, as I wanted to get back by dark and the sun was already low on the horizon. I got home shortly before 6 pm, managed to make it back into the very same parking place I’d been in, after negotiating my street again.

I came in and one of my floor lamps (the newest, which I got three years ago), was leaning awfully badly, so I tried fiddling with it, and it totally came apart and broke, much to my frustration. I decided to walk away from the lamp and eat my kung pao tofu and spring rolls and calm down a bit. When I went back it was obvious that it was broken and not merely unscrewed, and that it was designed somewhat poorly. I salvaged the heavy glass shades off of the torchiere piece and the two reading lamps, and I’ll get rid of the rest when I take things to the dumpster, then look for another one that is similar. It means the living room is a bit dark, having only the original floor lamp over by the computer, and nothing will come on when I flip the switch next to the door, but I’ll eventually get another, maybe when I get my tax refund and have a little money to spend. Who am I kidding, that will all go to bills, I’m sure. :)

So now that I have released the lamp to the Great Beyond and I’ve eaten, I feel better. There are plenty of things to do tonight, but my back and neck are hurting somewhat from wrestling with the lamp (the base was very heavy, and the whole thing was nestled in a spot in the corner behind the couch, which reclined while I was trying to line up the base with the pole and screw it back together. I probably needed two people to even get as far as I could, but in the end, the screw would not pop up to where the pole could be screwed in, and plastic parts, beyond the metal pieces that were giving me fits, just crumbled, especially up in the light. Fortunately I didn’t break any of the shades (I did break one once before when the lamp fell over, and had to replace the two small shades with something similar). In retrospect, the lamp has never truly been completely vertical at 90 degrees to the floor since then, so it probably was on its way out for some time and I managed to keep it going for awhile by leaning it against the wall and putting it between other objects. Oh, well.

To be honest, I think I’m going to lie down for just a little while and then maybe watch something on DVD. Or read. I don’t know yet. I did do a little reading last night, but the book was terrible in terms of grammar so I returned it. It purported to be a history of Rome, but it was very cursory at best, treating the entire period from the founding of Rome to Augustus Caesar in few pages, and I had doubts of it getting any better. Plus, it focussed on battles rather than much of (in my opinion) the more interesting history of Rome, the social and political aspects. Anyway, considering I’ve taken graduate classes where I had to learn the history of the Republic and the Empire pretty thoroughly, this seemed inadequate, more like a listing of kings and emperors. I already had to memorise the entire list of Roman Emperors, I don’t need another listing. What I wanted was a nice overview to jog my memories on certain aspects of Roman history, and was disappointed. The download included another book on the history of Aegypt and one on the history of Greece, but I decided to not even try those.

Okay, the bedroom and perhaps getting comfy with a book (or a Kindle) is calling me. Oh, and probably I’ll just fall asleep for awhile anyway. :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

A lazy day

Well, other than keeping an eye on the snow, taking copious breaks by ‘napping’, eating a couple of times today, checking the news, rerouting my digital antenna to the window using the newly free cables so I get better reception (it kept going out on the newscast at inopportune moments until I did that), reconnected my speakers to the power supply and laptop, etc., I haven’t done much. Oh, and I finally took a shower, because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Officially, our snowfall so far is 6 inches at the airport. On my side of town, it looks more like 8, although it’s hard because the winds have caused quite a bit of drifting. The roads are apparently being difficult—the interstates are being taken at 30 mph as the safest driving speed. Man O’War looks completely covered right now. The road crews have been working very hard, but we’ve just had snowburst after snowburst.

While I haven’t done much of anything on my list, I have tonight and tomorrow to do so. In fact, I think I might watch a DVD and read tonight, and get my laundry together and the dishes, and I’ll be happy with that and do the rest tomorrow and, if need be, Sunday. I’m not sure when I’ll get the car out on the road. The drifts are up on my car up to almost the top of my tyres, for example. I don’t own a snow shovel. Last year, during the 10+ inch snowfalls, I was lucky because one neighbour helped me to get out, and then on the second a couple of women driving by saw me out with a broom and dug me out. While it was absolutely great that they all did that, I can’t rely on that. I really need to invest in one of those small collapsible shovels, at least, at some point. Our winter season is just really getting going, after all.

I’ve seen exactly two regular vehicles going by the window today while I’ve been up and watching the snow. There’s a snow plough doing the parking lot right now. The stairs that were shoveled hours ago are impossible to distinguish at this point, especially in the dusk’s fading light, due to the drifts.

The governor has declared a state of emergency for the state; a lot of counties have, too. We’re not to that yet, so people are out and about. But some parts of the state will get at least 20” of snow.

I am very glad that I didn’t go out today. The afternoon commute would have been very difficult for me. Driving is a source of anxiety on a normal day. I actually take BuSpar for my driving anxiety. Earlier I said jokingly that if I’d gone to work, I would have had to have taken 2-3 of them to get home during a phone conversation. YKWIA chimed in that I’d need a BuSpar drip, which quite frankly, isn’t far off. Even my PT was asking why my back pain had flared up. Part of it is that a couple of sessions had been cancelled due to issues in his family (he’d had a funeral and the birth of his child to attend). But part of it is even the small 3-4” snowfall we had made me very tense as I drive. There’s been two injury accidents so far in the city today, with about 35 non-injury ones. That’s not too bad, considering, but I think most people just stayed off the road, which helped.

Earlier A called me and asked me jokingly if I was going to come to get him from work. He took the bus early this morning and even though it wasn’t snowing yet, the buses were on their snow plan, so the bus driver honked at him from across the street and got him to come over, as the stop he was at wasn’t being serviced. He was at work alone in his department today (he is a central sterile tech, and they had quite a few surgeries that were not cancelled, so he pretty much had to be there). He did have a ride home from work, at least. I heard on the news earlier that LexTran was actually shutting down night service after 8 pm tonight, and resuming at 7:30 am tomorrow. I’m going to check on him in just a bit.

There’s only one flight to Detroit going out of the airport tonight, according to what they just said on the news. Wow. So glad I wasn’t going to Chicago today.

Okay, I think I’m going to sign off here, turn off the news, and call A. Take it easy out there. Good night for now.

Snow Day!

So the snow didn’t actually start until the early morning commute. I got up and watched the conditions being predicted on the weather, though, and decided that while I most likely could drive or take the bus to work, getting back was going to be an absolute problem, whichever I chose. So I called my boss, who bless her heart planned on being in, as her husband was going to bring her from Garrard County, and left a message on her voicemail that I was going to heed the warnings and stay off the road, hunkered down in my apartment.

And then the snow came. And came. And came.

I went back to sleep till about 10:20 and fixed a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast with fruit, a banana, and Morningstar farm veggie sausage patties. As I ate, I watched the snow coming down. It was about two or so inches then, and it was coming down probably at about 1-2 inches per hour. Some of my neighbours, mostly from South Asia, were coming up by foot and visiting others here in the building. No one was out clearing vehicles or trying to drive anywhere that I saw. (I have a front living room window, facing the parking lot, so I can sort of watch the world as it goes by. I did a lot of that after I was hit by the car and was laid up for three months with a broken foot and ankle.) Anyway, one of our maintenance men came and shoveled the walk, stairs, and porch, clearing the snow. It seems to be a heavy, wet type of snow. I decided to go back to bed for awhile (I didn’t sleep that well last night), and so I slept from about 11:45 to 1:00 and got up to about six inches of snow. The walk is completely covered again, and it looks like the snow has been blowing and drifting some. The southern part of the state apparently got ice before the snow, so things have been worse for them. We’re at about the limit of my ability to drive in the snow now; if it continues like this for three more hours, I really don’t think I could have gotten home, and it is supposed to go for some time, up through tomorrow morning.

Now I’m going to try to do some things around the house. I’m a little chilly, but getting up and doing some things should help (it’s one reason I went back to bed.) So I’m going to turn the heat up a notch and then try to (over the next couple of days, since I’m probably not going anywhere soon):
  1. Wash dishes.
  2. Straighten up the kitchen.
  3. Bag up the recyclables.
  4. Take out the trash and recyclables if possible.
  5. Straighten up the dining room.
  6. Fold the remaining clean laundry.
  7. Gather the dirty laundry for tomorrow, after the snow stops.
  8. Straighten up the living room a bit.
  9. Do a quick once-over on the bathroom.
  10. Tackle the bedroom, which need to be excavated, as for once I have dirty laundry on the floor rather than the hamper, some clean laundry stacked up, the boxes of Christmas ornaments to still put away, and some things pulled out of the closets that need to go back. Then I can make the bed and all should be right with the world, and I can mark things off my to-do list.
  11. I also need to call Vonage today and cancel my service, since I don’t have Internet at home anymore. To save on data, I’m also typing this up in Word first and then pasting into Blogger.
I’d also like to do some things for fun while I’m off (what’s a snow day without reading, for example). And while I can’t watch any streaming video, I have some DVDs to catch up on, including Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, some Phryne Fisher mysteries, and of course, ‘Downton Abbey’, where I’ve only finished the first season and have two and three on DVD, so I’m hopelessly behind.

Depending on how things look tomorrow afternoon, I may try to dig out and get A for a trip to the store, assuming there is anything left to get. :) But it may be Sunday before we can do that. I did bring them milk, creamer, and bread yesterday to help bridge that time.

Okay, I guess I’ll start with the dishes. Stay safe if this storm is impacting you.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Unless something changes in the meantime

I will not be going to work tomorrow. Our entire commonwealth is under a severe winter weather warning, and we are expecting up to and perhaps more than a foot of snow tomorrow. Now, according to the Weather Channel, it may not start until about the morning commute, but the problem is that while I might be able to get to work tomorrow morning, I most likely will not be able to get home. They're talking high winds in addition to the snow, causing a whiteout. Most everything is going to be closed, the garages downtown are free through Sunday to keep the cars off the snow routes there. I was told twice today by my boss that if I felt I could come in, that was one thing, but they didn't want anyone risking injury or death to be there, especially as I am non-essential personnel. Our clinic is lighter on Fridays, and while there were quite a few originally scheduled, there were already cancellations and I suspect there will be more. So I will most likely stay home to avoid getting stuck there, or if I do go, it'll be by bus. We already rescheduled my friend's appointment that was tomorrow, too.

After work today, I:
  1. Got gas, filling up the tank. I went to the Euclid Speedway, which had gas at $1.58 a gallon even without any discount. I drove by Euclid's Kroger and it was crazy, with cars like vultures circling a kill. Because of that, there was no way to get to the bank that was next door.
  2. I was, however, able to go by the Chinoe Kroger and get a roll of quarters for laundry from them. When I got there, the parking lot was busy, but I was able to get a spot near the edge of the lot. When I left, people were parking in strange places and circling around and around. I got the last cart before they brought more in (and they were doing that very quickly). I got some basics, including things that don't require power to make (I have an all-electric apartment), including a couple of items for my friends. The lines were backed up down the aisles, even though all the checkout lanes were open and running quickly. I didn't wait a long time, but I was about four or five back and there were at least another five or so behind me, and it was piling up further, with lines snaking around to the freezer section. I was lucky--I'd gone into work early, so I was able to leave early, so I beat a lot of the crowds. On the news tonight, they were showing the denuded shelves at Euclid's Kroger.
Then I went to my friends' house, dropped off the items, and my friend and I went to physical therapy. We got home about 8, recording the finale to 'Heroes Reborn'(we haven't watched the one before that yet). I fixed him some food, pilled the dogs, watched something with him as he ate, let the dogs out, fixed him tea, and then got home about 10 pm. Fortunately the snow hadn't started yet, so the roads were mostly dry till I got to my street, which is probably considered tertiary and to the best of my knowledge, has never seen a snow plough. But anyway, I put my windshield wipers up after I parked the car, brought the groceries in, etc., set the computer back up (I'd had it with me today), and ate some string cheese and the last bit of my pumpkin ice cream. My comma key is sticking for some reason. I'm not sure why.

Other things I did today:
  1. Talked to someone at Time Warner Cable, who initially told me I could get my service back on for about $64, but then it quickly ballooned to a deposit and first month's payment in addition, so almost $200. It's not worth it. I pointed out that I had a hotspot through my cellular plan that gives 5GB of data just for that (my actual data plan on my phone is unlimited). I pay $10 a month extra for that, as opposed to $55 a month for monthly Internet from them. I've been using it, and I quite frankly came nowhere near that cap. So I feel confident letting the cable go. I'll take in the equipment and pay what I owe them, and that's that. Because of that, I'll have to cancel my Vonage phone, but I mainly use my cell phone anyway, and while they have been very good to me over the decade I've been with them, unfortunately it does require Internet to work, so that'll save me another $20 a month. The main drawback is that I can't watch Netflix on my TVs or laptop, as I don't think that 5GB cap would work if I were streaming programmes, but I mostly watch over at YKWIA's anyway. I am considering cancelling the DVD portion of my Netflix subscription, as we're not going through them quick enough to justify the money. I'll see about that. But if I do need Wi-Fi for anything, I can go across the street to the public library.
  2. I rescheduled the appointment for tomorrow.
  3. I added roadside assistance to my car insurance. My AAA is up for renewal, and it's simply too expensive compared to the dollar or so a month I'd pay through my insurance carrier. I also put in for a low mileage discount. In the three years I've had my car, I've put about 12,000 miles on it, and anything under 7,500 a year is considered eligible.
  4. Checked with my allergist to see if I need new phials or if they're okay for now and at the practice. Everything's okay. I may have to go down to another phial, but they're good till April and there, so if I can go twice a week till then, I might use up most of them before they expire.
Okay, the news is off and Jimmy Fallon is on, so it's getting towards bedtime. Hope you have a safe time if you're in the path of this storm--some places are actually expecting up to two feet of snow. Good night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I am so glad that today is (mostly) over

  1. I managed to make it from one side of the city to the other and back, along with various areas between, despite snow and nasty commuting conditions.
  2. I didn't get hardly any sleep last night because I was keyed up over the snow and so I'm looking forward to going to bed tonight.
  3. Tomorrow is pay day. I can't pay everybody, but I can make a dent in things.
  4. Tomorrow I should get my W-2s, and I got my student loan interest tonight, so basically I'm ready to do my taxes.
  5. I ache all over, and part of me just wants to take some ibuprofen and head on to bed.
  6. At least I got my medicine and A's medicine before the really big snow hits on Friday (somewhere between 6 and 21 inches, depending on which model you look at). My meds were ove $500. That's with insurance. Thank the Gods for flexible spending accounts. I don't know what I'm going to do when the hospital moves to the medical centre next year and I lose my job, and my insurance. I have to find a job before then, and frankly, the chances of getting the solo medical librarian position I interviewed for is looking pretty dim, given the time that has passed since the phone interview, sadly.
  7. I did finally get that reimbursement from the Chicago trip. It only took a month and a half. :) It wasn't much, but given that I had less than a dollar between my two accounts, hey, it's grocery money.
  8. I checked on my mom today and she was doing pretty well. Yay for that.
Last night was all about managing various digital content. I ripped some CDs from my collection to my computer so I could put it on my phone, took the photos on my phone and backed them up on the computer, deleting them and freeing up a bunch of space on my SD card, and downloaded some free Kindle books. Today I went online and downloaded updates from my Kindle library (that is one nice thing about e-books--they can be corrected easily).

Tomorrow I need to:
  1. Pay many bills.
  2. Try to get a hold of my allergist (again) and see if I need to start my allergy shots over.
  3. Try to get a hold of a friend's doctor as he has an appointment on Friday evening and I really don't think we'll make it due to weather. I tried to call today but apparently had the wrong phone number, so I'll have to look it up. My phone was running out of battery at the time, and I was about to head to the pharmacy, so I put that off.
  4. I really want to transcribe a passage from one of the games that didn't get put into the notes.
  5. Go to PT. I didn't get to have my session Tuesday because my physical therapist's wife was in labour, and really, I can't fault him on wanting to be there for the birth of his child. But I've been hurting as a result of the missed appointment.
  6. Whittle down my to-do list on Habitica.
  7. Read!
  8. Get my tax info together so I can do it this weekend.
Okay, I've (finally) had dinner, which I practically inhaled, I was so hungry (it was 8 pm after all, and I hadn't eaten since noon). Time to do some quick checking on the computer and then start winding down for the night. Good night!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

That was an ordeal

But the tree is down and put away,  the ornaments and other decorations are packed up,  and the plants are watered.  I've moved a little fountain over by the plants.  My back is hurting;  I'm going to put up my feet for awhile and give it a rest before vacuuming or any of the other things I'd like to get done tonight (mainly the dishes). It was nice while it lasted,  but I'm glad to have some square footage back in the living room,  which is pretty small and has a loveseat, hourglass table, round end table, computer desk with printer stand,  TV table,  seven bookshelves, and an antique steamer trunk in it,  plus the blocks and boards the plants are on. Really. Plus six works of art by YKWIA, a bulletin board,  two college diplomas, a small curio shelf,  and my family coat of arms on the walls. I really do have a lot of stuff crammed in a small space.  That's just the living room.

Oh,  well, it looks roomier now, although in actuality there's barely enough room to do yoga. :)

Getting ready to (finally) take down the tree and ornaments

I've been pretty busy of late, so the tree has had to wait, even though it's almost Imbolc in a little over a week. I helped A take his down yesterday (we would have done it last week, but the shed lock was frozen). I don't have that disadvantage; my tree goes into a tub in my walk-in closet, so it's not exposed to cold, but I just hadn't gotten around to doing mine. I need to get behind it, to the window, though, as my plants desperately need water, and it's hard to get around the tree to them. So I'm going to take some medicine since I just ate, and then it's time to take everything off the tree and put it away. Hope you're having a good weekend. I may write later. Good night (in case I don't).

Friday, January 15, 2016


Just put a security update on my phone and it optimized no less than 300 apps at the end.  300? Is that excessive, do you think?  I'm glad I have expandable storage on the Samsung Galaxy S5. (The lack of that was a major reason I didn't upgrade to the S6 this past year.)

But wait...I freaked out for a moment, as it was telling me that the apps on The SD card didn't exist and it was displaying their icons in grey, but the phone restarted and now everything appears to be back and working. Yay!!!

So far...

    EILIR -- Level 19 Mage
  • Member since Dec 16, 2015
  • Last logged in Jan 15, 2016
  • Health: 45/50
  • Mana: 116/117
  • Gold: 44
  • Level: 19
  • Experience: 207/420
    • Strength: 21
    • Level: 9
    • Allocated: 3
    • Buffs: 9
    • Intelligence: 43.5
    • Level: 9
    • Equipment: 15
    • Class Bonus: 7.5
    • Allocated: 3
    • Buffs: 9
    • Constitution: 21
    • Level: 9
    • Allocated: 3
    • Buffs: 9
    • Perception: 34.5
    • Level: 9
    • Equipment: 9
    • Class Bonus: 4.5
    • Allocated: 3
    • Buffs: 9
  • Streaker: Has performed a 21-day streak on a Daily 19 Perfect Days
  • Completed all active Dailies on 19 days. With this achievement you get a +level/2 buff to all attributes for the next day. Levels greater than 100 don't have any additional effects on buffs.

My main new year's resolution this year is to read more

I think I read something like 5-6 books total last year, which is exactly as many as I read as a kid per day while on summer break (and those were fairly large chapter books). Granted, I don't have as much free time, but I've gotten out of the habit of reading in the name of being busy, and that's just wrong, especially for a librarian. I was reading a lot when I first got my Kindle, but I was also waiting at bus stops and while riding, and therefore I had more time to read. So one of the things I did was set up a habit of reading on Habitica. But I found a better way; I've accepted a challenge on Habitica which puts various things like 'read a book you own but have never read', 'read a book you can finish in a day', 'read a book recommended by a friend'--that sort of thing.

I recently read The Epic of Gilgamesh (a book written before I was born), so that's one down for the year. Here are some books I have queued up, in no particular order:
  • Hekate - Liminal Rites A Study of the Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine (on my Kindle) (a book I've been meaning to read).
  • The Oversight by Charles Fletcher (a book recommended by my friend, YKWIA).
  • The Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (a book I own but haven't read).
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (a book I should have read in school).
  • The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (a book I've read at last once).
Other categories in the challenge include:
  • Read a book published this year (may have to wait a bit on that one, since it's the beginning of the year).
  • Read a book you can finish in a day (I'll probably do a children's book for that one).
  • Read a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller.
  • Read a book banned at some point.
  • Read a book you previously abandoned. (That will probably be Small Favor by Jim Butcher, as I'd like to finish the Dresden Files series).
  • Read a book that intimidates you.
That's a good challenge to start the year off with.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I do love Monty Python

I'm not five minutes into Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which I've seen many times but which never gets old, and I am very happy. We're at the diatribe over worker exploitation. 'Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.' I don't own it on DVD; I have this out from the library. While I do have it on VHS, I have no VCR, sadly.

I was sorry to hear of the death of Alan Rickman, better known as Snape from the Harry Potter movies. I also loved him in Galaxy Quest. Seems we're losing a generation. Both he and David Bowie, who died last week, were 69, both having had cancer. 'Tis a shame.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What is depression--and why it isn't just being a little sad from which you can cheer someone up

We've talked a lot about squirrels on the list for medical librarians of late :)

A terrifying and hilarious map of squirrel attacks on the U.S. power grid
The phenomenon of squirrel attacks is a great illustration of how our perception of risk tends to be skewed away from mundane frequent things toward big, scary improbable things. Plenty of ink gets spilled on the alleged vulnerability of our power grid to cyber attacks. But as none other then the Brookings Institution has noted, "squirrels have taken down the power grid more times than the zero times that hackers have." You could say the same about Hannah Montana balloons, for that matter.
Thank you, Brian L. Baker for sharing this. :)

This is such a cool idea

A Kindle for the Blind? U.S. Researchers Working on an Affordable Braille Tablet
The engineers are currently working on an entirely new technology for building what it hopes will be a more affordable Braille tablet. The device under development incorporates a “microfluid” display comprising tiny bubbles that fill with air or liquid and pop up as Braille characters.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I am so tired that

I just ordered an apple 'chalupa' instead of an 'epanada' at Taco Bell. Now that I've eaten,  I think it's time for bed.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I've gotten a lot of rest this afternoon

I got home from my friends' house about four-something and took a nap, and have been up and down since then just sort of chilling out.  I should have done some things around the house, like take down the tree, and I'll try to do that in the next couple of days, but it was nice just to spend some time thinking and relaxing for awhile.

My counselor says that introverts process things internally, meaning by thinking, whereas extroverts process externally, mainly through talking things out.  I'm definitely an introvert, so it's nice to sort of decompress and think about how things are going in my life, and what I want to do with it next.

I still haven't heard more about the position I had the phone interview for, but I haven't given up hope on that.  It's a university position and those soemtimes take awhile to go through the various steps.  I do hope I hear from them soon.  Obviously, I'd really like to get an in-person interview, but however it works out, I'm happy for the opportunity.

I paid my rent yesterday, the second time in two paydays in a row, and so the next couple of weeks are going to be very tough financially.  I need to make some calls and arrangements tomorrow sometime.  I still don't have Internet at home, which means I have no working home phone (it is Vonage, and so it works over the Internet).  I need to call and cancel that or at least put off the next month or so until I can get it working again  I also need to see about delaying my cell phone payment, which I hate to do, but I simply have about $15 to last me almost two weeks, and there isn't money for anything beyond gas and maybe a little food. I bought flour today so I can make my own bread. I have a little peanut butter and jam in the house, some oatmeal, tuna, that sort of thing, but it's not going to last.  I should get a reimbursement of banking fees on the 17th for $10, and of course, somewhere that reimburseemnt for the trip in Novemmber is in process, which at least could get me some groceries.

I was doing so well for awhile there, several years, in fact, but I've just gotten myself in a difficult position what with having to finance dental work and not having money from the settlement any more.  A lot of that is my fault--I let a former friend, or someone I thought was a friend, borrow quite a bit of money because he was basically in dire straits and had a family to worry about, and he not only didn't pay me back, he blamed me if I even brought it up and treated me like crap. So obvioulsy, he is an ex-friend, a user who really took advantage of me when I was hit by the car and was recovering from it, and then had some money for the first time in, well, ever, really.  Now he's probably much more stable, as he has disability now and his wife has a better job and degree, but I'll no doubt never see that money ever again.  Word of wisdom: if a person's family won't help them from getting evicted or to get back in state after getting stranded hundreds of miles away, there's probably a reason, and it is more likely that they've used up all their goodwill in the past rather than the fact that they're inexplicably mean and grinchy.  Oh, well, Brandon will eventually reap the rewards of his actions. I know karma doesn't really work like most Americans talk about it doing, but I do believe ther will be justice for people who go from person to person using them up like a parasite.  I just didn't want to see his family out on the street, especially during the holidays, and also felt that the only reason he would like me was if I helped him out.  That may have been true in his case, but you can't really buy love and friendship.  My true friends have demonstrated that to me on a daily basis.  Any way, I'm going to chock this up to a very expensive learning experience, and while I do believe in paying things forward, one should only do that if you can afford it and it it's for a good cause, not for emotional rasons.

Well, it's almost 11 pm.  I've taking my nightly meds, brushed and flossed my teeth, put all my daily accomplishments into the Habitica application (I'm almost level 15), and I think it's time to go to bed I'm going to try to get up early, maybe do some exercising tomorrow morning befor work.  It's cold outside (finally), we even had some snow today, so it's nice that the apartment complex has a gym now.  I really haven't used it yet this year, and I should.  Good night!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

So the game is on hiatus for a bit

mostly for the month of January. The last thing we did was have several characters celebrate Beltane, and the gamemaster rolled and one of my characters is pregnant. Tonight he had me roll on a pregnancy table, and lo!, it's twins, a boy and a girl. I'd already had a boy's name (Aiden). Now I have to come up with a girl's name. Of course, this is why I own several baby name books. I'm thinking of Fiona. The mother is mostly Irish in background; the father is Vietnamese. It should be an interesting turn of events. That character is one mission short of going up a level; looks like it will now be awhile. I try not to take the pregnant characters out on missions given what happened to one poor woman in the Everglades. (Let's just say Alligator Men and evil mad scientists working with a variant of the Herbert West serum do not go well together when you go on your honeymoon and you're six months pregnant.) That's the fun thing about Call of Cthulhu--anything goes when it comes to the horror factor, and anyone is fair game for sanity loss.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Today I:

  • Finished The Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • Downloaded some free bestsellers from Amazon onto my Kindle.
  • Explored the Flipster magazine application through the library.
  • Downloaded some songs from the library's Freegal catalogue.
  • Hatched a Shade Wolf in Habitica, which likes chocolate.
  • Went to PT, and I'm feeling much better than I had been, probably because of the work the therapist did and the fact that I'm doing my exercises better.
  • Watched "The Empty Child" episode of 'Doctor Who', which introduces Captain Jack Harkness. :)
Now I'm home, it's after 1 am, and I need to go on to bed, plus my phone needs to be charged and it's the thing powering the hotspot I'm using to get online. So until tomorrow, good night!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

This Habitica thing is really helping--a lot

In fact, now I'm adding things at work from my to-do list there, because I figure, I might as well get experience points for that, too. But my dailies and habits are doing well, too. Since I could choose my character class at level 10, I chose 'Mage', mainly because it tends to go up on experience easier. Now I've unlocked a skill. I also hatched a panda cub in addition to my desert dragon. I told my counselor about it today, and it interested her in terms of motivating her clients. I highly recommend it. And if you want, you can check out my progress in Habitica!. :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Just did my exercises

Which look incredibly easy,  but I could feel quite a bit of stretch and the muscles feel like they have been worked now.

I got back from the library a little while ago.  I had some books on job interviewing to take back along with a couple YKWIA had out,  a couple of renewals, including an Aegyptology book and one YKWIA is reading, and I also picked up two DVDs: Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Forgotten. I love the first and have seen it many times.  The second intrigued me.  I think A would like it.

I should make bread tonight,  but I just don't want to. I may stop by the store tomorrow where I still have $2 on a gift card I got from giving blood last month.  It's the evil Walmart, but still...

Okay,  my back and legs are hurting from the exercises.  I think I'm going to get comfy and read for a bit,  then go to sleep. I have an appointment at 7:30 in the morning,  so I have to get up around 6 am.  I also need to remind YKWIA to record The Chronicles of Shannara tonight.  It was too late to stay up for with such an early morning tomorrow.  Good night!

Monday, January 04, 2016

So, I'm trying an experiment

It's a whole wheat bread with cranberries and sunflower seeds. I sort of mixed a couple of recipes together. We'll see how it turns out in a couple of hours. :)

Meanwhile, I'm eating some macaroni and cheese and watching the goldfish swim in the aquarium. After PT YKWIA and I went to his house, I fixed him dinner, and we watched 'Doctor Who' (with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper). Rose is growing on me, and so is this Doctor. I've mostly seen the Matt Smith and Tom Baker series, so Eccleston's is quite a bit different. But he still captures the essence of the Doctor. This one was called 'Father's Day' and was all about time paradox. I hope YKWIA doesn't put those creatures in the game. But he's right, the basic quality of a good companion is to have lots of pluck (and the ability to run...a lot).

Tomorrow after work I'm heading to the pharmacy to pick up meds for my friends and later that night there's 'The Shannara Chronicles'. 'Heroes Reborn' comes back from hiatus (how do you go on hiatus with only three episodes of a thirteen-episode arc left?) on Thursday. So we're watching TV again. I hope I can get my Internet turned back on this week, although it's looking iffy. I have to pay my rent (yes, I did that last time, very late, and can't take the chance on doing that again) and my car insurance. Not much is going to be left. :( I hate that I've gotten behind like this. But, hey, if I pay what I can and talk to them, it's bound to get better.

I have to admit, I'm a bit tired. I got up early this morning (I've been trying to do that lately) and tomorrow is no exception. I'm trying to get up at least an hour and a half before I have to be anywhere. Not that it takes me that long to get ready, but it's an opportunity to get other things done that should get done, and usually by the late evening I'm ready to do something quiet and go onto bed. So I'm trying to wring as much out of my time as I can.

Speaking of which, I think I'll do some more reading. I'm at the point where Gilgamesh is trying to find the Sumerian equivalent of Noah to ask him questions about eternal life. These ancient epics--Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, Beowulf, even the Vestas--have way too much testosterone in them, and apparently men aren't all that different then from now. Give a man a beer, a weapon, and the chance to get laid and the results are pretty much the same. Except that Gilgamesh rebuffed Inanna, which, quite frankly, was dumb. One thing we learn from Greek mythology is that it is very good to live quiet lives beneath the notice of the Gods. Yes, you should be pious, and make sacrifices. However, it never ends well when mortals run afoul of Immortals, and even worse, when they offend them. Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu terribly insulted the Goddess, in a most foul way. I'm surprised the people of Uruk were not destroyed to the last man, woman, and child. Any Goddess who threatens the zombie apocalypse just to convince her father to let her borrow the Bull of Heaven is to be feared. I guess women haven't changed that much, either. The scene is like watching a teenager beg her father for the keys to the car or else she'll (insert threat here). :)

Okay, back to reading I go. I'd like to finish it tonight. I also need to take something so I can put it in my phone's Habitica application and get some experience points. :) Good night!

Finishing up at an appointment

and thought I'd write for a bit. I hope you had a good new year's weekend.  We started our Monday with just a bit of snow, the first dusting in an otherwise warm winter so far.  Of course, tonight I think it's supposed to be about 17 degrees, so so much for that, but later in the week it's supposed to go back up to the fifties, which is fine with me.

I got a lot of rest over the weekend, and work went well today.  I just had physical therapy and got to check that off on my little Habitica application, so I am now a level 9 warrior, huzzah! (Yes, it tells you that.)  Make fun all you want, but it really is helping me remember to take my medicine and other tasks, and maing them a habit.  I think I started it almost two weeks ago, and I've had a pretty good streak.

One of the things I am definitely going to try to do this year is read more. I've put it as a habit already.  I read some of The Epic of Gilgamesh last night and I  am going to read a bit more while waiting for my friend to get out of PT. I'll write some more later. 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

No game after all

as Brenda wasn't feeling well.  A and I went out to the mall to get his new shoes and he treated me to lunch at Olive Garden.  The service was terrific, the food plentiful and generally fine (Joe Bologna's is better,  but still, it was decent). Back at their house, YKWIA and I watched some episodes of 'Torchwood'. Then he and I  discussed The Epic of Gilgamesh. I really need to go back and re-read it. Also we discussed ancient Roman cuisine.  Later, after I came home, we had an interesting conversation on the phone on the differences between men and women's psychology.  I love these sorts of talks,  although he often hurts my brain. I love that he and I share many academic interests.  He's also honest to a fault.

So now I'm home.  I started the bread baking. It's 'Outrageously Oatmeal'.  I had to microwave some honey that had crystalised, but otherwise I'm hoping it comes out well. I'm having some crackers for dinner.

I'm doing well tracking my habits with the Habitica application and website. My little avatar is now 8th level and has a dragon hatchling that likes potatoes. It really is fun to use.

One of my resolutions this year is to do one fun thing by  myself each day.  I also plan to read more.  I never seem to have the time these days, and I'm resolved to make time.  To that end,  I'm going to read for awhile while the bread is made.  Good night.

PS Once again,  a new season of 'Downton Abbey' has started without me catching up on watching.  I really should watch seasons 2 and 3 on DVD (I don't have 4 yet). Also,  I missed the New Year's 'Sherlock' (I don't have cable,  and PBS' signal is kind of weak), but it repeats on the 10th, and YKWIA said he'd record it for me, as A is interested in it,  too.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Is anyone else looking forward

to the MTV version of Terry Brooks' Shannara series, debuting January 5th? When I was leaving Kansas, my English teacher gifted me with The Sword of Shannara, the paperback version that had a fold out illustration by the Brothers Hildebrandt, which was beautiful.  Sadly,  in a fit of clearing out things,  I gave some of my fantasy books to the Lincoln County Public Library here in Kentucky when I moved out of my grandparents' house,  mainly because they had almost nothing of the genre at the time,  and that edition wound up there. I have often missed that book,  with her inscription and the colourful plate. I eventually went on to get several of the books. In fact, I have the first trilogy in an omnibus now,  so I still have the story,  but I still wish I hadn't parted with that copy.  Still, perhaps it brought joy to some lonely kid like it did me. :)

PS I went to the library website and found several Shannara books,  including the one I gave them. I'm thinking it's the same one because it is a first edition paperback illustrated by the Hildebrandts. The catalogue entry reads: Brooks, Terry.        The sword of Shannara. -- 1st ed. -- New York : Random House, 1977
       726 p., [1] fold. leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm.
Nice to know they still have it. I wonder if I could call and at least have them check that copy for the inscription and photocopy it for me?

I am really getting tired

of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Well, it didn't take long and I was out of jelly (or actually, the spreadable fruit without the added sugar), then I had honey with my peanut butter. Now I'm out of bread, so I'm going to make some tonight. Sigh. For dinner, though, I found a box of macaroni and cheese in the cupboard and made it.  Fortunately it's the type with the cheese already put in a pack, rather than requiring margerine or butter or milk.  So I had something different this time.

Five more days till payday.  I think I have enough ingredients to make bread between now and then, and there is enough peanut butter, plus one more box of macaroni and cheese, a couple packages of tuna and some canned spinach.  Oh, and quite a few multigrain crackers, most of which are still sealed and hopefully not stale.

Oh, well. I've got what it counts when it comes to wealth--good friends, the capacity to love, curiosity about life, a love of learning--all that and more.  I'm thankful for a job that pays better than I've ever had, (even if I wish it could be a little more, although maybe I just need to be a little more frugal), and I love my job and my co-workers.  Life is actually pretty good. Yesterday, on New Year's Day, I was alone and broke and generally feeling unloved and the like. Silly, I know.  My friends were spending time with each other, and I felt odd person out, and although I work well alone, even as a lifelong introvert, as I've aged I've found it harder to enjoy being alone, doing something fun for myself.  It seemed that the only people who wanted to talk to me were sending me robocalls and spam. Today I feel much better.  Loneliness really is a state of mind, not a condition.  I was feeling bad all aroud, even physically.  I realised last night that I wasn't getting sick or anything, that I just felt the weight of the worlld on my shoulders and didn't feel good about myself, so I felt bad physically, as well, and run down.  Getting some rest helped.  Being with friends helped even more.  Now I feel recharged and better able to handle whatever comes my way.

I've finished the game notes.  I still have some things to do around the house, but most of it is not pressing (I should gather my laundry so I can take it and do it during the game preparations tomorrow, and if I put it together tonight, it'll mean less running around tomorrow morning, when I'm on a schedule. I may do a load of dishes tonight.  Otherwise, I think I'll just relax and enjoy some time to myself.  To that end, I'm signing off for now.  Good night!

Friday, January 01, 2016