Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, August 06, 2018


So today I was off work and one thing I did was roll up a Dungeons & Dragons character for a game a friend is going to run.  Now mind you, I've played roleplaying games [and by that I mean the tabletop/dice and paper kind] for 27 years, but, while I have done Call of Cthulhu (for that entire time) as well as Ars Magica, Shadowrun, Brave New World, Vampire/World of Darkness, and Hârn, I never actually ever got a chance to play D&D.  Now I have a half-elven fighter-thief named Aderyn who is going to help escort a caravan with 8 hit points, all the gear I could muster for 110 gold pieces, and an abiding dislike of orcs and goblins. :)  Here's hoping I can keep myself (and the others) alive.  I know my other friend, the one I live with, plans on standing behind me, as he's a magic user with half the hit points I have, so he can be killed by the common housecat. :)

Monday, July 30, 2018

I think

This is the longest break I've taken from blogging in a while. I've mostly been working and getting a handle on the new job, and I think I'm settling in pretty well.

Also, I've started physical therapy for the sciatica/myofacial pain, which consists of deep massage and loosening the tense muscles and tissue, which is pretty painful at the time, but it is lessening the pain I'm feeling the rest of the time. I'm lucky that they have late appointments, plus my schedule was adjusted a half hour earlier on arrival and departure from work, so that helps, too.

The dog is still full of anxiety. She only feels relaxed and safe with YKWIA and Brenda - not me. He was here all weekend but went over to help our friend who has cancer today, and when he got back she was just shaking. She needs a companion (the cat does not count; he just acts out and beats her up when he's ready to eat). But neither of us can afford to adopt another dog from the pound just yet. I hope she gets better at being alone.

I guess that's how my life is going right now.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Blissful coolness

So, I'm broke, but I managed to pay for the air conditioning to be fixed, so things are much more pleasant in the house.  It was funny, I don't see any reason to tell YKWIA this, as he would be terribly offended, but when I called to see if I could get the fan motor that was maybe one tick up from the cheapest part the tech quoted, the lady said that he'd actually given us an estimate on an original Coleman part that is factory-authorised, but knowing money was an issue, had given us the quote based on a senior discount.  So Tuesday came and I left my debit card with YKWIA and apparently the fan blade itself was so rusted in place that it wouldn't move, so the tech had to get that order brought over, which took awhile, but he got it fixed.  I guess that's what burned out the motor in the first place--it rusted over the winter because when we first turned it on in May, it pretty much worked for just a few hours if that. When I got home, I asked how much more the fan blade was.  'I don't know. I just handed him your debit card.' That struck fear in me, as while I had extra money in my account, it was earmarked for my car insurance.  So I went to my e-mail and it turns out that the tech did the complete repair for the original quote, without charging for the blade at all.  Yay! I really liked them--we went with Synergy, and the tech's name was Zach Taylor and he did an excellent job.  I have to thank my former boss for pointing me to them--she'd heard an ad and directed me to them.  That night, I didn't know what to do--I had to sleep under a cover and I wasn't drenched in sweat that morning, nor did I have the 'break-out-in-perspiration-as-soon-as-you-get-out-of-the-shower' issue.  But because I'd kind of gotten too used to that, I didn't sleep super well that night.  I did last night, though.  Yes!

Yesterday was mostly about medical testing.  I did work from noon to 4:30 pm, but I had an EEG at 7:30 am and an MRI of the brain at 10 am.  I had gone to my neurologist concerned over periodic dizziness (I think now that it's vestibular, but we needed to rule out other concerns).  I also expressed concern that my memory issues have gotten worse, and while it's probably normal ageing, I've done a lot of replacing words that I have had a hard time finding with the opposite, stuff like that.  Now I have ADHD, the inattentive types, so maybe it's just partly that, and as we get older there's more information to juggle.  But I've had several untreated concussions, and my family doctor and I wanted to rule out any chance of dementia or early Alzheimer's, a personal fear of mine given my great-grandmother's battle against the latter.

Anyway, the EEG--which was quite interesting, by the way--was negative for any of that.  My brain's not slowing down, even though it sometimes seems that way.  And the MRI was fine, too.  I came home yesterday and looked at the MRI scans they'd given me at Lexington Diagnostic Center.  Not that I know how to read an MRI at all, but you can kind of look for light or dark areas that don't fit the rest of it, and I didn't see anything.  This morning my neurologist's office called and said it was fine.  I did get put on a beta blocker that is good for essential tremor, a benign tremor that can make your hands shake when you hold a spoon or write, or hold a letter, or even a phone, say if you've got it above you in bed. :) Not that you should be lying in bed looking at your phone when you should be asleep, right?  Anyway, it's a small dose and it's good for anxiety, too, according to my psychiatrist.  It does seem to be helping.  Otherwise, I got a clean bill of neurological health.  I just am going to have to accept that my memory is not what it once was (and in truth, it was good when I was young, I didn't have to take notes in high school, but I dealt with a lot less information).  Given my experiences with anxiety and depression, it's no wonder I've had some impact on daily life.  And I tend to compare myself to YKWIA, who has an eidetic memory, rather than say, your average 51-year-old. :)

Today I won the parking behind the building (which is funny, as I'd reserved it yesterday since I was coming from my appointments, so I'm a little spoiled--I have parked there two days in a row), so I took Samantha, my co-worker to her car both days, but today after that I went over to the pharmacy for my pen needles (which are a pain to get anywhere else if you don't have the prescription on you, like you can shoot up heroin out of an insulin pen, thank you, Kroger).  Then I went and got YKWIA from our friend's, the one he's helping who is battling cancer.  Since my schedule has shifted a half-hour earlier and I hadn't had to go to my car on the shuttle, even with the trip to the pharmacy we were home about 5:30 pm.  He was really beat, so he went to bed, and he's still there.  I'm going to wake him in a bit to take his medicine.  I ate, and then realised I was pretty tired, too.  I worked very hard and very steadily today.  I like my new job, but I can't ever say I'm bored.  So I settled down for awhile with the cat about 7 pm after I'd fed the animals and brought the dog in--who actually wandered around the yard and acted nearly normal.  I woke up at 9:45, started some bread making (now that the temperature and humidity are back to where they should be), filled the dishwasher, put away plastic dishes, washed the ones in the sink, took out the trash and recyclables, and took the Herbie and Rosie (the trash and recycling containers, respectively--we name ours here in Lexington) out to the kerb, and generally straightened up a bit.  Now I'm listening to Pandora and spending some time on the computer.  We're about an hour from bread.  The cat's on my bed again.  I think I'm going to put the flowered quilt back on the bed, as I don't have to worry about sweat stains now.  But that might be a task for tomorrow morning--the cat is quite happy and quiet at the moment, and we like to keep it that way.  So I have a task to do online and then I may lie back down till the bread machine beeps and listen to music.  My phone turned off, as I let its charge run down, so I'm playing the music on the computer.  I may do some brain exercises that go with an application on my phone that are pretty challenging, too.  Just to help out on the memory issue--which I do fine with the memory tasks on that.  So maybe it literally is just in my head.  I don't know.

Alright, I am definitely getting some water and finishing up here.  I also should work on a book review by the end of the week.  And I just got another published.  Yay!

Good night.

Saturday, July 07, 2018


The big dog is out in the yard, as first, she sat, now she's lying down. It's progress. Since the other dog died on Sunday, she has been looking for her little friend, even leaving the bed at night to go lie by the front door and wait for her. She's always needed her little friend to go out into the yard with. They used to run out like children, spilling into the grass together, even though little dog was 14 and had to take chondroitin to keep up with her. This one's grieving, as is the cat, who after all, has had little dog around all his life.

Meanwhile, the oppressive heat that means I felt like melting and dying over July 4th has ended.  I actually woke up with a blanket on that I'd pulled up, for the first time in days or even weeks. We are waiting for the air conditioning repair company to call us back concerning a part.  But I think it's okay that we won't get it fixed this weekend, anyway.

YKWIA is soothing the cat, who looked like his tummy might be upset.

I should get a shower, as I need to go by the pharmacy before they close and take him to meet someone/drop something off, and the pharmacy closes at 1 pm, but it'll probably be a couple of hours before he's had his coffee, etc.,  and gets ready.  It takes awhile for him to get going.

Right now I just want to enjoy the pleasantness that is inside the house, though. :) Less than 72 degrees!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A dollar? Really?

Got a text today from Aspen Dental regarding a balance on my account, so I called. 'We were just trying to reach you about the balance left after your insurance so you won't go into collections,' Matt said. 'Oh,' I said, 'I haven't gotten a bill or anything. How much of a balance is it?' '$1.00' he says. '$1.00. A dollar?' 'Yes. Did you want to pay it over the phone or come in to pay on it?' I did pay with my flexible spending card, but seriously, you never send me a bill for the amount and then talk collections over a dollar? Matt could not see the absurdity of it, I guess. He just went on as if it were $100 rather than one. Mind you, I have the Dental Managed Organisation (DMO) insurance, where you pay half of what people who have the Dental Preferred Provider network have (think PPO, but dental), so that's the only practice in my network, basically. But still, really? Weird. Makes me want to change come October. The only consolation is they probably paid more in credit card fees than they collected from me. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

So the other night I upgraded to Oreo

On my Samsung Galaxy S7. Only issue so far is that the Gallery and Music applications weren't pulling from the SD card. I restarted it, tried pulling it out and putting it back in, but about the only thing I saw that it did was show the SD card in the File Manager application. So I went on to an image and opened it in Gallery, and they suddenly were all there, and did the same for Samsung Music. Now my music, which is on the card, is accessible. Simple fix, better than everything else I found online, so I'm including it here.

Monday, July 02, 2018

I have to get up in two hours

When you can't sleep so you upgrade your phone's operating system to Android 8.0 (Oreo). Thanks T-mobile.

Sunday, July 01, 2018


This was at the vet today. The candle was burning for us - - I snapped this after we said our goodbyes. The house seems emptier without her. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight.

When did I get old?

So this morning we were at McDonald's (after all the trauma with the dog) and a nice young man, seeing his kids were dawdling at the drink fountain, urged them to hurry up because no doubt the old lady behind them needed to get a drink. He was talking about me. I've never heard anyone call me an old lady before. I know he meant well, but if I'd had a cane I might have whacked him on his shins. That was my first reaction - - which I realise is the reaction of an old lady. Sigh.

Very sad day

One of the dogs had to be put down today. The whole thing was sudden and traumatic.  But we  couldn't let her suffer. I miss her so much already. I was lying in bed feeling sad and the cat came and laid on my arm and purred. I think he's sad, too. He and the other dog keep looking for her.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

I have not fallen off the face of the planet

I am so sorry that I've been absent.  With the new job, I've been training like mad, plus I have a sciatica flare up so at night I've pretty much been putting my leg up in bed and resting and trying to stretch or applying heat to my back and ice to my leg and it hasn't really been fun. But I've been soldiering on.  My trainer's last day was Wednesday, so on Thursday and Friday I was on my own, and I think I'll be okay.  Still working the kinks out on things (like authorising Dysport injections, as those are a little tricky).  And she said I could text or call her if I did need anything.  I do have a question for her, but I messaged with my former boss (she left for another facility right as we were making the transition.  I owe a lot to her and was wishing her well on LinkedIn, and we discussed who at headquarters might be able to help on that one.)  And I'm finally making headway on scheduling off-site tests.

I'm back to working normal hours, which we are adjusting to 8 am to 4:30 pm, so shifting a half-hour earlier but later than I have been coming in lately.

I'm happy with my office, and I've got it set up quite nicely, with lots of plants:

Succulents in the window with pretty stones arranged around them.

Blooms on the succulents.

This is the orchid I got at the Bluegrass Orchid Society's meeting, plus the sign I had at my old desk.

My peace lily. I think I have to move it; it looks cramped.

An orchid that's been blooming since February, plus an African violet on the desk.

An orchid reblooming on the left, its counterpart, which is peach, but resting, and ivy in the middle.

A lovely bunch of peonies I got at Kroger.

My new title and sign to my office.

I've made contact with several people at the University of Kentucky and corporate that will be of assistance, and I had some training from a liaison from UK yesterday regarding a software package I need for my job since I get authorizations for UK surgeries for our patients that have out-of-state Medicaid plans.  The funny thing is to get access I had to have an account with UK and once they give you a computer account it's for life, as mine is based on one I got in 1985 as a student in a computer science class that has my old initials in it. :)

Here is my agenda for today:

  1. Get insulin I've been out of for 24 hours
  2. Caffeinate and eat breakfast
  3. Work on game notes for our Call of Cthulhu game
  4. Shower and get ready - I look a mess
  5. Go see Incredibles 2 with friends!!! With free tickets from my hoard of employee appreciation tickets [I'm using 3 and I'll still have 5--shows how often I go to the movies]
  6. Check on an ill friend and his mother
  7. Dust two shelves in the bedroom.
  8. Move some files on the computer for YKWIA [we're going to do that tomorrow; I'm tired and hurting]
  9. Do more laundry tonight or tomorrow morning [again, tomorrow]
Not quite restful, but I spent most of last evening in bed with the sciatic pain, and I am going to do everything possible to be productive and enjoy this weekend.

PS They realised that there was no way I could cover for the Physical Therapy secretary's maternity leave and do the new job, so I'm in my office full time now.  New people have been hired in the department for my old job and another checkout position.  One of my co-workers moved into the specialist position I was hired for before the other person left, and then another co=worker moved into hers.  They're still working with headquarters to get my job official, the new pay rate, etc., as it was such a quick transition.  I'm hoping that's just a mere formality, as everyone else has taken the other positions. :)  But I should know for sure next week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Glad that it's Friday, but

I am planning on going in to work tomorrow, at least for a few hours, maybe a half a day. The plan is to move some files (I'm going to stay in the same office, so I need to switch the outpatient visit authorisations and the surgery ones,  as the woman who has the other office said I was welcome to, so long as she knows where things are.) I also have some authorisations to document that we didn't get in today because I trained all day on surgeries and off-site imaging and testing. Finally, I'll work the queue, filling out forms and creating a running request for clinical notes that can be fulfilled by the medical records department on Monday so I can fax a whole bunch of requests then.

That should keep me occupied for quite awhile.  I'm going to run by the storage unit earlier in the morning and get out one of the folding bookcases to take in since I can park in the building's parking lot tomorrow.

On Monday, I'm training from 7-9 and then will be in the rehab department all pretty much all day, or at least till 3 or so.  I think I return to my desk then if I remember right.  Tuesday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab for the rest of that morning, leave for an appointment, and come back from 3-5 for more training.  Wednesday and Thursday I'll train from 7-9, be in rehab from about 9-12 and then in my office thereafter.  By then I should be doing my job with my trainer nearby for any questions.  On Friday I'll be in my office all day and should be working on my own, again, with her just a couple of offices away if I need her.  Meanwhile, she's going to train my replacement on Monday and as needed throughout the week.  So hopefully I won't be doing it all for very long. I seriously don't know how she's done it for months now, with just a couple of things taken over temporarily by others.  The off-sites alone could be a full-time job.  Scheduling is difficult and can be frustrating, as you are playing go-between between families and facilities.  One she showed me today took about 45 minutes to hash out.  That's my part, the scheduling, as my replacement has already been doing the pre-auths for those and they didn't see any reason to switch, even though the others were doing the opposite section prior to this.

So I'll be responsible for getting pre-authorisations for surgery cases that are done in our ambulatory surgery centre, as well as those of our patients done at the university that have out-of-state Medicaid, and patients undergoing halo traction, which is a long inpatient stay, plus scheduling the MRIs, ultrasounds, and EMGs that are done at the university and other facilities.  My counterpart will get authorisations for outpatient visits and off-site imaging and tests.  There are some others things--reports and audits, for example, but that's the bulk of it.  For the outpatient visits, there's a lot of faxing.  For surgeries, there is more contact via phone with the insurance companies, plus, of course, the scheduling is mainly done via phone.  We will, of course, be each other's back up and help each other as needed, too.  I think we can work well together.  We're a little more isolated from the department--on a different floor, in fact.  But because we deal with so much protected health information, we each get our own offices, which is nice.  You've seen mine.  I like the setup there better as the desk is on the left facing out towards the common area and so the phone and computer are on the left.  I am right-handed, so I prefer the phone on the left so I can write with my right hand, although I have a headset, too, and that will help.

If I stay for four hours tomorrow, I'll have a total of 22 and a half hours of overtime for the two-week pay period or an average of about 10 hours a weekday.  Which is good, as I have to file my taxes still, and then pay on them.  The overtime won't last forever, but I'm trying to do as much as I can while it's approved.

Okay, I'm going to try to get some notes transcribed for the game Sunday. I'm assuming we'll do that.  It's supposed to be 95 degrees that day, and I'm not sure we'll be comfortable, but we'll try anyway. :)

Good night.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My head is still spinning a bit

So awhile back one of our co-workers left and the woman who was in my position filled her place. She has been training me to request pre-authorisation for the clinic visits and getting me set up with tools I need to do my job since I started the new position a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing some overtime to train and still be able to cover in physical therapy for the secretary who is on maternity leave, then coming in at the end of the day to cover check out upstairs. Lots of hours, lots of bouncing around, lots of learning.

This week my trainer's husband got a dream job that will require relocation to another state, and they will be moving and he will start in less than two weeks. She will follow shortly thereafter, once she's fulfilled her two-week notice. So the last couple of days have been a bit of a roller coaster ride as we're trying to get me trained before she leaves, and of course, I'm her back up, so there was that to consider (she does the surgeries, which are more involved, as well as other things). So the powers that be did some shuffling and now I have been offered and accepted her job, the second promotion in a matter of weeks, and one of my teammates will take mine. It will still be a struggle to get trained in such a short time due to my coverage of rehab, but tomorrow the whole day will be spent on training. So my new title will be Revenue Cycle Coordinator. I'm assuming it will kick in when the other person leaves.

In the entire time that I've been with the company (21 years), I've had six jobs, four of them in the last year. So it's been a whirlwind since getting laid off from the first two when the hospital moved. But things have, indeed, worked out pretty well. I'm happy, and a little scared given the time frame we're talking about, but I'm pretty sure I can handle it. So here's to new adventures.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I finished the normal

Sunday chores, but it took about 45 minutes of lying under the ceiling fans to recover. Now I'm going to work on the shelves (which is technically a Saturday chore). The only other things on my list are to take some library books back, buy some glucose tablets, and get a birthday card for a co-worker. Oh, and of course laundry goes on for awhile, so I'll finish that tonight. My first load is still in the dryer. There's a second. I also have to wash the mopheads, the blanket the cat threw up on the other day, and YKWIA's laundry. I've been listening to Pandora all morning, mainly the 3 Doors Down station.  YKWIA has mainly had quiet time.  No game today because Brenda is celebrating Father's Day with her husband (I know, Father's Day is next weekend; either she is celebrating early or they made a mistake, but regardless we had a break from the game this week, so I didn't have to do notes, although we should be good to go for next week).


It's 69 degrees outside and 80.8 degrees in here--at 7 am. So much for getting up early to do chores when it's 'cooler'. Time to check the weather forecast for this week. :( No idea when we can get the air conditioning looked at, much less fixed.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


This weekend we're in the 90s during the day and it's been miserable in the house even with the fans on. And because the house is brick, it holds the heat in. So wishing it would cool back down. I did go in to work for 2 1/2 hours today, so at least I spent a bit of time in air conditioning. Tomorrow I have to do laundry and chores, so I'm getting up early in the morning to beat the heat, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I feel a bit like a bouncy ball

Today: I was in my office-->my trainer's office-->physical therapy-->checkout-->kiosk to sign in-->checkout-->physical therapy-->checkout. Whew! I walked 5,588 steps today (not great, but better than my usual lately). It was a lot of mental gymnastics with lots of different tasks and learning more. It was kind of stimulating actually; I feel like I got a real workout, mentally, anyway. So this will be how things go until 1) they get the new person at checkout or fill my position, whichever happens first, then the maternity leave coverage is about six weeks in duration. I'm going to start working the authorisation queue tomorrow morning with my trainer sitting with me, and I'll be able to work part of Friday on top of the early morning sessions. From there I might need to work on the weekend as well, so there's some overtime to get, yay! Okay, off to work on a project with my friend. Good night for now.

Monday, June 04, 2018


Last night I tossed and turned, afraid I'd oversleep for my first day juggling three offices (my new office, physical therapy (where I'm filling in during a maternity leave), and checkout (where I've been working for a year, first as a contractor and now as a regular employee) and training for the new job. I finally got up at 4:40 am, was at the parking lot by 6 (only two spaces from the shuttle stop), at work by 6:30, and clocked in and training by 7:00 am. I moved to PT by 8:45 am and to checkout at 3:45 pm. I've made a food run for a friend of ours who is battling cancer, had a great home-cooked meal with my roommate (who is an excellent cook) , cleaned up the dishes afterwards, and now I'm ready for bed, to do it all over again tomorrow. :) Hopefully I'll sleep better this time. PS The cat has stealthily crept up bedside me. He likes to sleep with me.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

From my favourite poet

Welshman Dylan Thomas, one of his most famous works, as expertly read by Sir Richard Burton. I love the lilt of the poem as much as the theme itself.

So I've moved into my office

Before I moved in

Added my name to the plaque

After I moved things from upstairs to the office [more to come, of course]

Me sitting in my new office

Starting Monday, this will be my schedule:

  • 7:30-8:45 am -- Training for the new position (continued on weekends, if necessary)
  • 8:45 am-3:45 pm -- Coverage in physical therapy for the secretary there, who is on maternity leave (she was in labour as I left on Friday)
  • 3:45-5:00 pm -- Coverage of checkout (my former job) till closing time
So the idea is that I can do all those things without having to stay super late, and only coming in an hour early for training, and maybe weekends if necessary.  That means that I'll get overtime both during my training period and if needed while I am covering for the maternity leave.  They should have someone in place for checkout and trained by the time the maternity leave coverage ends, and I can transition to my job full-time.  Wednesday I get to park in the back (I normally park in a lot at and take the shuttle) as I need to leave early for an appointment so I may bring some more plants from home. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


it was full moon until I saw it come out from some clouds out my window. I never tire of the moon's spell.


So things have been announced officially at work, and I can talk about it here. On Friday I accepted another position at Shriners, Revenue Cycle Specialist, which handles getting authorisations and referrals for outpatient clinic visits, scheduling off-site requisitions such as MRIs, and backing up the person who does the surgery authorisations and other things. It means a promotion to a higher grade, a decent raise, my own office and phone, and I'm really happy with it. While I won't be with our team as much, as the two of us are on a different floor than the scheduling department, and I will miss that, I will be closer to my long-term friends/lunch bunch. I will still be filling in for a lady who is going on maternity leave in one of the other departments as well [we're going to discuss how that's going to work in the next day or so, as her due date is fast approaching]. The next few weeks of transitioning and doing that will be very busy. But all in all, I'm pretty stoked.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

But I'm the smart one, right?

So last night it was miserable in my room.  There was no air conditioning still (it's been about two weeks), the ceiling fans were on, but it was almost 84 degrees with 60% humidity and I really had trouble dealing with it, but finally got to sleep.  The least amount of cloth near me (which is, of course, what I sleep on) was almost too much.

Fast forward to this morning, when I suddenly realise that when we came home last night I utterly forgot to open my window.  So much for skipping first grade, being in a gifted and talented programme, and doing so well in school.  None of that matters if you can't get outside your own head long enough to process sensory evidence and open up a freaking window when you're hot. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Something wonderful

happened today that will improve my life, and I have to stay mum about it at least for a few days, and it's driving me crazy. :)  I never have been great at keeping secrets.  But let's just say I'm feeling very good about life today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The last week or so

I've been watching a mourning dove that has been roosting in a tree near the shuttle stop by the main hospital at the University of Kentucky.  Today I saw her hatchlings for the first time:

I'm not sure if you can see them well, as this picture was taken several feet away so as not to disturb them, then cropped, but I hope you can.  Anyway, they made my day.  And the other day she was sitting on her nest despite a lot of wind.  Here's to continued well-being.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Okay, I'm officially annoyed

I was planning to vote for Jim Gray for Congress, but as I was doing some last minute research, I did consider Amy McGrath as a candidate, but had decided for the most part to go with my first choice. Then I got this text from someone with her campaign that I don't know, telling me to go vote and at least implying I should vote for her, which settled the issue for me, as I do not appreciate unsolicited campaign texts. After all, there are still people who pay per text, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who got this. Granted, mine are unlimited, but still, it is intrusive and unwarranted. I'd also like to know where they got my name and cell phone number, as to my knowledge I haven't given that number out to a political organisation, and it was obviously not a random text, as they called me by name. So in doing this, 'Sam' lost a potential vote for his campaign. Grrr.
Apparently, when checking on this, while it is illegal for companies to send unsolicited texts without consent, campaigns are exempt as they are non-commercial, even though they often use such texts to solicit money or votes. But I did find lots of other people who didn't like this kind of spam. So I'm not alone.
Still considering if it's worth texting back my feelings on the subject, but it's probably some sort of bot texting, anyway. :(

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Had a bit of a scare yesterday as the lower part of my face and jaw went numb on the drive from work. I couldn't smile properly, but it was on both sides, not just on one like a stroke. Fortunately my roommate used to work in orthopaedics/neurology in a hospital years ago. He checked my pupils, grip, etc. We finally decided that it was a pinched nerve in my neck, as I'd been jostled badly while on the shuttle when it hit a bump in the road. It hurt all along my spine, and my neck has been bothering me lately anyway. I feel fine today, didn't need to go to the ER or anything, thankfully, but man, that was a very troubling hour or so, and it wasn't back to normal till later that night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sigh -- annoyance -- and, oh, hee hee

Good news: A former friend who owes me quite a bit of money sent me a payment.

Bad news: The man, who is 50 years old, did something that just made me facepalm. Instead of tearing the perforated counter cheque off like a normal person, he cut it out around the middle so that there is my name, his signature, and the amount, but no routing number, account number, or even a cheque number. Basically, it is a useless piece of paper. He did the same for someone else I know. And probably all the ones he sent out for bills. When he was told that this does not work, he was surprised and then the true horror of what he had done dawned on him. I am considering framing the otherwise weird little slip of paper for future cackling. Hopefully, he will send a real cheque when he gets the ones he ordered.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Finished the laundry and we made his bed. Now I'm in my bed listening to the Bastille station on Pandora, specifically The Lumineers' 'Cleopatra' under the two fans. I got a lot accomplished. Also, I made my friend's mom's day by bringing over the big basket of purple petunias he'd sent me out for. She's said she wanted to adopt me. It made the fact that my own mom and grandmothers are gone seem a little less sad.
Heading towards sleep now, a couple of hours late by my timeline, but hey, it'll work. Good night.

It is a pleasant morning

I am almost ready to begin my chores, which I'm dreading a bit because the air conditioning is not working.  So we have the windows open and it's 77 degrees right now inside and perfectly fine under the ceiling fan at the moment, but that's going to change, as it'll be pushing 90 this afternoon.

I awoke to birds chirping and plenty of sunshine coming through my windows.  I've had a shower and am in the minimum acceptable clothes (denim shorts and a light blouse I usually wear a tank top under but I'm choosing to forego that today, as there are solid panels in all the important places).

As my agenda states, I have a full day planned.  I want to get my hair cut; it's atrocious and it's been more than six months.  I'm thinking of a short layered bob.  Also, a friend who is homebound right now with cancer asked me to pick out a hanging basket of petunias for his mom yesterday for Mother's Day, so I did so and will deliver it when they're up and ready, around noon.

There's the normal Sunday chores to do, laundry (mine and YKIWA's, and that includes his bedding), and helping him apply for a part-time job at the public library and applying for two jobs at the University of Kentucky for me.  One of them was the one, reposted, that I terribly flubbed the phone interview on last year.  I'm hoping they'll give me another chance.  I'd tried to do it on my lunch break surrounded by distractions, and it didn't go well.  But it is in my field of health science librarianship, I would do a good job, and I'm very qualified.  I'm just terrified of interviews, at least ones that are by committee.  I do fine one-on-one, and can teach one-on-one, in small groups, and larger ones.  But being grilled by 3-5 people, whether on the phone or in person, flummoxes me.  This is ultimately why I didn't finish my graduate studies in ancient, mediaeval, and early modern history.  Thank goodness the library science master's degree didn't require an oral defence.  But I am going to apply again anyway.  The other one I may get dinged on because I haven't been in an academic library setting in some time, and while I was trained by the best for the job, I don't have a lot of professional-level experience in aspects of it.  Again, I can do the job, and I think I would be good at it, but it would mean changing things back to what I trained for rather than what I've been doing for 20 years.  But I'm up for it.

Okay, the cat boxes aren't going to clean themselves.  One more review of the timeline/agenda, and I'm ready to go.  Have a great day, including a great Mother's Day (I'm a little sad this year, as I have neither mother nor grandmother to give flowers to and spend time with).  So I'll try to use this opportunity to get some things accomplished.

Rattling and scurrying

There is a squirrel directly outside my window that is building a nest, I presume, as she or he is pulling small branches off the tree and taking it up into it. 

This beauty

opened up overnight.  I was happy to see it when I woke up this morning:

This is the fourth time this one has bloomed since I've had it.  IT's a regular trooper.  The blooms are actually a little small, but quite lovely.  I have another sending out a shoot right now, as well.

Timeline of my ambition


0800      Wake up. Shower. Caffeinate. Take medicine.
0915      Do cat boxes.
0930      Take out trash and recyclables.
1000      Clean the bathroom.
1030      Start laundry.
1045      Go to Supercuts.
1100      Get haircut.
1145      Go to a friend’s. Take his mom’s flowers he had me get for her.
1200      Visit for a bit.
1230      Go to the storage unit.
1245      Drop off winter clothes.
1300      Root for exercise equipment.
1330      Return home. Rest.
1430      Sweep whole house.
1530      Rest.
1545      Mop kitchen and bath tile.
1615      Wash mophead.
1630      Go to Kroger for bread yeast. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1700      Start bread maker.  -- Put off until tomorrow.
1730      Cover Letter-YKWIA
1800      Cover letter 1. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1830      Cover letter 2. -- Put off until tomorrow.
1900      Feed animals.
1915      Apply for the job for YKWIA.
2045      Read.  -- Not up to it tonight.
2115      Listen to music.
2200      Go to bed.

UPDATE: I also unpacked the exercise equipment, blew up the balance ball, and put things away.   The cat is enjoying the box, so I haven't recycled it yet. I brought in my microwave from storage as well since the one we're using is perhaps on its last legs, but then it's way over 30 years old.  Mine is only 26. :)

My job applications aren't due for a couple of weeks to a month, so I'm going to work on those tomorrow.  I'm still working on the laundry, actually.  I've done all his clothes, my clothes (and I put all of mine away from last week and today), and I'm about halfway through his bedding.  So it'll probably be a later night than 10 pm.  Also, the bread I made yesterday came out better than I thought--it had a huge air bubble in the bottom, but not in the top half so I can wait for the yeast and the new loaf.

Of concern is the heat.  Tomorrow in addition to the yeast, I am going to stop by the storage unit and get my fans, something I should have done today, but he is almost never really hot.  But he was today, and the dogs certainly were--we can put the fans in the living room and that should help, as it's the only room other than the bathroom without a ceiling fan.

Okay,  either the washer or dryer just buzzed, so I should go check on the bedding.  Have a good night if I don't write more.

Sunday, May 06, 2018


Brenda left just a little while ago and I fed the dogs, let them out, and then let them back in within a much smaller timeframe than usual as it was very dark and gloomy, much different from the mild, sunshine-full day we'd had so far.  Now the thunder, lightning, and rain have really started, so I'm glad they've come inside.

We didn't wind up playing the game.  We did go to the Indian restaurant Masala, over in Beaumont, to celebrate a belated birthday for me and something else that is a bit private, but let's say was a long time coming (really, and that's why the celebration was belated) but represents a very, very good turning point in one of our lives.

We stopped by our friend's house to say hello (Brenda had not seen him in quite a while), and then came back to play the game, but we wound up watching Batman: Gotham by Gaslight instead, which we have out from Netflix.  It was fun.

I'm working on laundry.  I've almost finished YKWIA's, and I have started on mine.  I don't think I'll get to the bedclothes today after all.  But I did the cat boxes, took out all the trash and recyclables, and cleaned the bathroom.  We knew it was going to rain later, so I didn't touch the tile, as it was just going to get muddy tonight.

It is so humid! YKWIA opened a couple of windows in the living room/study, but while there's a breeze it's not really making it in here, although the cat, satiated from his meal, is happily watching out the window.  I'm sweating and considering going into my room/the library to put the ceiling fans on. I've had quite a bit of caffeine today, so I'm not really sleepy or anything, just hot.

Okay, I should go check the dryer.  Have a good night.  I may write more, but for now I'm signing off.


Him: 'Lisa, Lisa, wake up! It's 8:30!'
Me: 'So?'
Him: 'It's 8:30, and you're not at work!'
Me: 'It's Sunday.'
Him: 'What?'
Me: 'It's Sunday. We're going to eat Indian food later.'
Him: 'Oh, that's right. I thought that it was Monday.'
At first, I thought he was joking with me, but he honestly woke up and thought it was Monday.  Ah, well.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Stop the stigma

My Name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic Depression, and I am not ashamed.

Who knew Wil Wheaton and I shared so many similarities? He's just a little better at describing everyday life with depression and anxiety disorders than I am. I'm going to take a page from his book and start writing that I live with mental illness, but it does not define me. I live with bipolar disorder, social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding syndrome, driving anxiety, among other things. I am afraid almost every moment of my life. It's crippling at times, but I still get up and go to work each day and take one step at a time. I take a good blend of medication -- a mood stabilizer and atypical antipsychotic (I'm not psychotic, but it works for other things, and you shouldn't give someone worth bipolar disorder SSRI antidepressants, as they can trigger mania), and an anti-anxiety medication. That helps immensely. Therapy has helped, too. But I will never be cured. I know that ust like I live with chronic diabetes that can be managed, but never really completely cured, no matter what some people claim in diet books. It's another type of illness, just an imbalance in my brain chemistry rather than the hormone imbalance behind diabetes. It's nothing to be ashamed or stigmatised by, although it often is. So I'm writing about this now. I live with mental illness every day. It is a constant companion questioning my every move. But I'm ultimately the one on the driver's seat. It is my life. I struggle, but I choose to live as fully as possible

Friday, May 04, 2018


Earlier I was at the Redding Road Thornton's, and as I was getting ready to pump gas a man left his wife and two children in the car while he went in to pay. Another woman stopped behind the car and just blew the horn like how dare they just be sitting at the pump she wanted. Fortunately, the pump on the other side became free and she angrily drove over there and started emptying trash from her car. I don't know what her problem was, or how her day's gone. I do know she was being a complete ass, and I'd like to think it had nothing to do with the fact that the woman in the car with her small children was wearing a hijab (headscarf). I would like to think that, but given the current climate in our country, I don't have faith in the inherent good of everyone. Once she moved to the other pump and the situation wasn't escalating I didn't interfere, but I was about to right as she moved. Life is too short for pettiness and prejudice.

The Muslim woman was doing nothing wrong, didn't deserve to have some whackadoo harassing her, and the kids were something like two. Dad came back out and starting pumping and I'd finished, so I left. But I feel bad that for a moment or two that mother was probably quite worried for herself and her children, and no one should have to worry that a small thing like that could escalate beyond that. She kind of laid low and tried to ignore it, and I guess that worked. But my point is, she shouldn't have had to deal with the other woman's overblown sense of entitlement in the first place.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy Bealtaine, by the way!

Today I:

  1. Got pooped on by a bird within 30 seconds of exiting my front door, on a day where I was happy with my outfit and thought I looked nice. Fortunately, I was in a thin but long-sleeved shirt, so I didn't get any on me.  I walked back into the house, went to the front entry closet, where my clothes are kept (left over from when I was living in the living room), and changed shirts, although things didn't match quite as well.  Everyone I've told the story to has told me that it's supposed to be lucky.  I'm not sure how.
  2. On the other hand, I went to take my medicine at the beginning of work and realised that one of the pills looked off, and in fact looked a lot like something I took last night. I pulled out a magnifier I keep with me to look at the imprint, put it and the shape and colour into the drugs.com database, and it wound up being tizanidine.  They're pretty mild, really.  Each tablet is only 4 mg and you normally take three at night, but they can make me loopy.  So I'm glad I caught it.  I went through the other bins of the pill reminder box and there was one more.  I'm not sure if I consolidated some other medicine and accidentally put tizanidine into a similar bottle, then put them in the reminder box, or what.  I think that's what happened, anyway.  To be honest, I'm not sure what small white pill I accidentally substituted it for; I think it was my furosemide (Lasix, or diuretic).   Thankfully, tizanidine (also known as Flexeril) has a scored side where you can divide it into fourths, and that's what clued me in because I noticed it last night when I took them. I guess that was lucky.  Oh,  wait, we're back to the bird poop.
  3. After work (which was steady) I went and picked YKWIA from our friend's house, took him home, let him rest for a bit, then went on a major grocery run on my own.  It took an hour and a half.  I got everything on the list except wine.  I got to the liquor store that's attached to Kroger just at 10.  I asked the security guard if they were closed, and he said they were.  I asked when they closed, and he says, 'They're closed now.' Well, gee.  I got that part.  So I ask, when do they normally close so I know next time.  Nine? Ten?  It was ten--so technically I came up at 9:59, but oh, well, we'll have to get wine to cook with tomorrow instead.  Most of it was fresh produce, dairy, beans, that sort of thing.  YKWIA pretty much never cooks out of a box--it's all real food.
  4. I came home, he helped me bring things in, and he put them away and I did a few small things to help.  Now I'm going to go plotz on the bed.
PS I started the manual update to the April 2018 Windows Update before I left.  It's still in the downloading phase, at 18%.  This may be an all-night sort of thing.  Okay, again, time to just collapse on the bed, listen to music and pretend my back still likes me.  Oh, and maybe take a couple of those tizanidine pills. :)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

I'm pooped, and it isn't even game time

Today I've:

  1. Laundered my bedding and clothes
  2. Changed out the spring and winter clothes, put spring clothes away, packed up the winter ones, and prepared to take them to storage
  3. Swept and mopped the floors
  4. Cleaned the bathroom
  5. Taken out the trash and recyclables
  6. Cleaned the cat boxes
  7. Started a loaf of bread
Yesterday I cleaned a very dirty shelf with magazines and did YKWIA's laundry, and that was enough to make my back hurt quite a bit, so I laid down for awhile while he helped a friend out at his house who is battling cancer.  They called me to go get Subway and we all ate and visited, then we got home about 8:30 pm.  I think we were both done in by midnight (he's been over several days in a row and took the bus out Friday, getting lost on the walk over there, and probably walked four miles back and forth until he found it), and we .were up by 7:30 am.  I have no real reason to be as tired as I've felt lately.  I've done some housework and of course, I worked at the medical centre, but still, I'm just tired all the time.  I've been up doing my stuff and listening to shows he's watching (he finished the 'Almost Human' DVDs and we watched a couple of episodes of 'Up the Women'.  I unplugged my tablet, which has been on the charger for two days and really needed to be unplugged and just turned off.  He's got a lot of documents to transfer to it and we're going to see if there's enough room once I cleaned my stuff off of the microSD card.  There's not much on it, now, just some basic applications and one from Adobe for reading PDFs and one for reading Word files.  That should suffice for him.  I haven't used my old tablet for some time.  I'm not sure it'll have the processing speed he'll need, but it's worth a try since neither of us can afford a newer tablet or laptop right now.

Today I'm looking forward to the game.  I'm kind of grungy and should go ahead and take a shower, but I'm just not up to it.  I'd like to lie down for awhile, but the bed hasn't been made yet.   I just feel a mess today. 

My strawberry plant that Brenda gave me is back outside after being brought in for a frost advisory last night, and it has two ripe strawberries and one that is turning on it.  I have lost three smallish African violets recently, including the two pink ones in the bathroom and a purple one in the bedroom.  I'm not sure what happened; they got puny and I tried to save them, but it was a no go.  On the other hand, one of the orchids has grown a new leaf and I have two that are getting ready to re-bloom.  Maybe orchids are more my thing, although I've had no problem with violets before.  The window seat in YKWIA's room is lush with shamrocks, an umbrella tree I just repotted, dumb cane, and philodendrons.  They love that window:

So overall, the plants are doing well.  Also, the orchid at work is putting out new shoots and buds.  I separated the stems out to give them more room:

It's the same colour as part of my mousepad, my pen holder, and my water cup, so it's coordinated to the checkout bay. :)  What can I say, I like it when things match.

Okay, I'm going to go check on the last of the laundry.  I realised I started the bread while still running the dryer (the bread machine is on the washer, as that's a good place for it usually when I'm not washing, as it has a tendency to 'walk' as it mixes, which is apparently supposed to happen, according to the manual.  But the vibration isn't good for rising bread.  I don't want to mess up this loaf.  I'm experimenting with all-purpose rather than bread flour, as I'm low on the other.  But the other day I forgot to put the yeast in until 30 minutes into the cycle.  While it was edible and looked fine, it was chewier than usual.  I can't believe I did that.  I was washing dishes and remembered suddenly, doing what I could to fix things.  It wasn't bad, but not ideal.  Hopefully, this one will come out fine; I definitely put all the ingredients in. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

So tired

I finished everything on my list except putting away clothes and bringing the winter ones out for storage.  That will simply have to wait till another day.  YKWIA called me about 4:30 or 5 and wanted me to make a run to Long John Silver's for everyone, and I went over there, got some money, got some gas, as I was on my light, with the last of my funds, and got the food and went back.  We visited for another two hours or so, and it was good to do so, but I stood most of that time and YKWIA had done a lot of helping around the house, so by the time we left we were both hurting and tired.  I got home and had to put my feet up for a bit, and then got up and did the dishes and floor.  YKWIA made some coffee and then went into the bedroom.  Now everyone else in the house is asleep in there.  I had to pull out the little dog's bed because she'd been in the kitchen with me and I'd taken up the blanket to sweep and mop, and she was distressed to not have a blanket in every room. :)  The bedroom one is fleece over a comforter, so particularly cushiony.  Anyway, I'm finished.  I'm going to go to the bathroom, drink a little water, listen to some music, and lie down.  At eleven I'll get up (that's the plan anyway, take some medicine, get him to take his medications, and then I'll go back to bed for the night.  I may have to take some tizanidine--everything feels like it's out of alignment and there are pain and numbness radiating out to my limbs.  Our friend's 93-year-old mother is probably in better shape than either of us, really.  Bless her heart, she has a lot on her plate, with his illness and her age.

Okay, I'm definitely lying down.  Everything's hurting.  Rain is coming, and that's part of it, perhaps.  Oh, and the cat is awake, so I think he wants me to lie down so he can cuddle.  Good night.

I'm rarely home without YKWIA

But he decided he wanted to do some things for our friend alone and just needed me to take him there, so I came home.  I've got several chores to do today, so it made sense.  I made a quick stop for cereal at the store (I needed some and I was one point away from 40 cents off a gallon of gas, and I need to get some when I pick him up).  He's going to call the house phone when he's ready, so no headphones while I work.  So I brought my little boom box out from my room and I'm playing Pandora through my phone on the auxiliary setting.  The dogs were angrily barking when I got back; they hate being left alone completely.  So I've let them out and back again, I am eating some of the cereal, and I'm listening to the music (the 3 Doors Down channel, which I've listened to for a couple of days and liked almost every song played).  I took a shower earlier, which was great, as I hadn't had one yesterday or the day before (I usually skip a day at the most and usually shower every day or my hair looks horrible, even though daily cleansing can be drying to the skin).  The bread cooled before we left, so I put it in its container to keep fresh.

So what do I need to do today?

  • Laundry
  • Pack up the winter clothes and put away the spring and summer ones, then take the winter ones to storage
  • Cat boxes
  • Clean bathroom
  • Sweep and mop tile
  • Put away dishes and load dishwasher
  • Do the plastic dishes/hand washable ones
  • Finish backing up the computer (I've mostly gotten it backed up but had to leave in the middle)
  • Make my bed (the cat was on it earlier, on the blankets--he claimed the bed when it was first delivered about a month before I came to live here
I took out the trash and recyclables yesterday, although there are a few more to go out, and I forgot the wine bottle where we had a whole bottle go into soup the other day.  I think there's just my laundry to do, maybe a little of his, but no bedding this time, hopefully.

Okay, I should start working.  Hope you're having a good Sunday. I wish there were three days to each weekend--I need a day between Saturday and Sunday just to relax.  But it's been a nice weekend so far, really.

I'm up and

listening to Pandora this morning and getting some caffeine after a fitful night's sleep. This song came on, which I have always loved. Today we're going over to an old friend's house who is very ill and helping him with some things. I think I'm going to consider this an anthem for today, in terms of helping make the world a better place and making a difference in other people's lives.  Since we're going to be there this afternoon, I'm making bread now and then later, when we get back, I need to do laundry.

Yesterday was pretty productive.  First, I went over my next few pay periods to see if there was a chance of taking care of anything I'm behind on financially.  Then I called H&R Block to discover that the Richmond Road office is already closed, but my paperwork should be at the Tates Creek office waiting to be filed as soon as I can pay to do that, and they'll keep it up to a year. I filed for up to six months of an extension with both the state and federal governments.  Then I called a creditor, but they'd closed a few minutes before.

I took the recyclables out, repotted several plants and watered them all, put the strawberry plant Brenda gave me for my birthday back out on the hanger (there was a freeze warning the night before).  I cleaned and dusted two shelves (we're doing that on a rotating basis so the bookshelves aren't too overwhelming.  There are five walls between the library (my bedroom) and the bedroom that are entirely built-in bookshelves.  Next week I'll only do one, as it's a large shelf of magazines on the bottom of a range.

I spoke to our friend on the phone, and then to Brenda's husband to cancel the game since we're going over there today.  Because of that, I didn't work on the game notes.  Instead of that, I went and looked up part-time work (I'd applied to Kroger earlier in the week, as well as a part-time computer associate at the public library), and in the process discovered a job at the University of Kentucky and one a Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and I applied for both.  The first is a temporary, grant-funded position but pays very well and while only lasting two years, pays over twice what I make now.  YKWIA thinks I shouldn't consider it. because it's essentially got an expiration date.  But one thing I've discovered in the lay off is that all jobs do, and at least this one has a set date you know to have everything wrapped up by.  It could also help me with my need for more supervisory experience and consists of digitising a collection, which appeals to the historian and librarian in me, but also would help increase my experience in digital preservation and provide professional academic library experience.  So I went ahead and applied.  The BCTC position is a circulation manager; again, it would help with being pigeon-holed as a solo librarian for all those years.  I have supervised student workers, but I need more real-world experience as a manager.

YKWIA is up and has made coffee.  The cat is very happy as YKWIA does morning feedings and I do evening, and we instituted that from the get-go so the animals wouldn't beg for food and be loud in the morning when I was getting ready for work and YKWIA was asleep.  He's been fed, and the dogs have as well and are outside, although little dog didn't eat (she does that sometimes) and I had to take her food away from the cat, as he's allergic to, we think, chicken and grain, and so he has his own special grain-free fish-based food.

Okay, I'm going to go check the news.  Have a woderful Sunday, and remember, it's Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Love Google's Earth Day Doodle this year, featuring Jane Goodall

This year's Earth Day theme is fighting plastic pollution.  Do what you can to remember the day on April 22nd and celebrate the diversity and fragility of life on our planet.

Interested in a huge sound database that you can download from for free?

Look no farther than the BBC! Sounds are copyrighted by the BBC, but available for download and can be freely used for personal, educational, and research purposes.  There are over 16,000 sounds in this collection.  Go to BBC Sound Effects to download or learn more.

Thanks to Darren Moura-Smith for the heads up, sharing this link on the Call of Cthulhu Role-Playing Game & Players Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Interested in Kindle books in translation from around the world?

Amazon is giving away nine books in honour of World Book Day.  See the particulars at:

Amazon announces several free Kindle books for World Book Day

The free books are:

  1. A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa, translated from Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown
  2. The House by the River by Lena Manta, translated from Greek by Gail Holst-Warhaft
  3. Still Waters by Viveca Sten, translated from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
  4. The Great Passage by Shion Miura, translated from Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter
  5. Last Train to Istanbul by Ayşe Kulin, translated from Turkish by John W. Baker
  6. The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan, translated from Russian by Yuri Machkasov
  7. The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak, translated from Indonesian by Laksmi Pamuntjak
  8. The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen, translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni
  9. Ten Women by Marcela Serrano, translated from Spanish by Beth Fowler
I had already purchased the Turkish one, but I got the other eight for free during the promotion, which runs through April 24th.  All sound very good, although I am particularly intrigued by The Great Passage and The Gray House.  We'll see.  I thought I'd pass this along, though.  If you need a direct link to the giveaway, go to their Read the World page.  To explore more to do with Amazon Crossing, which aims to bring world literature in translation to a wider audience, you can check out the Amazon Crossing page.

Enjoy!  😀

Saturday, April 14, 2018


After writing today, and visiting our friend--which it was very good to see him and speak with him after all this time-- I went to the grocery to get more contact lens cleaner, took out the trash, and started the laundry (I'm having a devil of a time trying to get the bedclothes dry), and then I've spent the last couple or more hours going over some financial things. I've come to the conclusion that the only way I can make it at all, especially with the taxes to pay, etc., is to get a second job, something part-time.  I went ahead and applied to the Chinoe Kroger, and I'll keep looking for other opportunities.  I think I could work on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday evenings and most of the day on Saturday, without being terribly tired, maybe 16-20 hours a week.

YKWIA is watching 'Hunderby', a British comedy set in the 1830s.  It's got a lot of mystery to it.  I moved into my room (although I can still hear it fine), mainly because the computer has been off its charger all day and I needed to plug it back up.

I called Brenda and we're set to play tomorrow.  So it's just the laundry to get finished, and like I said, it's being very slow to dry.  I'm thinking I may use the spare bedding and concentrate on the comforter and blankets.  The pillowcases didn't really need to be done (the sheets, despite a cover, get the blonde dog's little tiny hairs all over them).  The black dog is blowing her coat; I'll have to sweep the house tomorrow in addition to the usual things I do to prepare for the game.  But they are very sweet doggies.

Okay, I think I'll listen to some music while waiting for the laundry to finish.  Good night.

I somehow managed

to get through Friday, which was a slow 'catch-up' day in clinic, despite almost no sleep.  It dragged by, but I got quite a lot accomplished and got to actually speak with my co-workers more than just a moment or two, which on a busy day is kind of normal.

Last night, I kept YKWIA company while he made dinner and also some soup for someone we're visiting today who is battling cancer.  I haven't seen him in about 20 years, but YKWIA were good friends for a long time and he owned the comic book store we both worked in for a while.  So we thought we'd go and get caught up, visit, and bring soup.

I was very tired before bed, and I was still hurting a bit, although stretching to get things off the printer from my chair during work did help some.  So I took three tizanidine (the recommended dose), a muscle relaxer I've been prescribed for my neck issues. and I slept like a baby, only waking up early this morning to the cat howling because the wind through the windows had shut my door and he was trapped in my room.

Today I have:

  1. Gotten some medicine I forgot for YKWIA the other day at the pharmacy, as well as a small bag for myself.
  2. Paid my rent [I pay half every two weeks].  I'd forgotten the deposit slip for his account (we have the same credit union, so I just transfer it), but they were able to look it up.
  3. Got new lenses for my glasses (for free!).  In August 2016 I got new glasses and got the 2-year Crizal lens warranty.  It was a year before I got one scratch on it, but even though I always use microfibre cloths, they starting getting scratches on both lenses when I was wearing my glasses full-time after running out of contacts.  So, I asked about that, they traced my frames and had new lenses recut and when they came in, I just had to stop by and they popped the old ones out and put the new ones in.  Easy peasy.  I did accidentally leave my travel contact solution on their counter, as I had to take my contacts out to check the lenses were properly made, so I'll have to get some more from the store.  But the travel size that comes with the first pair of contacts is pretty small, so I needed to get more anyway as it was less than halfway full.
  4. Helped close all the windows in the house, as it's about to storm.
  5. Made my bed (usually I do when I get up, but I waited a bit today).
When I got home, I started to feel shaky and wonky, checked my blood sugar, and despite having eaten breakfast (a toasted blueberry bagel, cream cheese, and a banana) just two hours before, my blood sugar was 48.  So I ate a sandwich with peanut butter and spreadable fruit and drank some orange juice (not in that order).  I feel much better.  I may have to dial back my insulin further, which is good.

Now I'm caffeinating and have a little downtime while YKWIA gets ready to go visit our friend.  I don't have to do any notes today due to the fact we visited without playing the Cthulhu game last week.  Tonight I should really work on finances.  I can't pay much of anything, but I need to come up with a plan/call a couple of numbers that are incessantly dialling my phone.  And I have to figure out what to do about the taxes.

Okay, that's all for now.  Hope you're having a good weekend.  It's been in the 70s here, and was nice and clear this morning, although it's going to rain the rest of the weekend, and then the temperatures will plummet on Monday.  But still, it was nice driving weather earlier.  I had Bastille playing in the car, the window rolled down (my hair is a mess), and my sunglasses on.  Not a bad day, so far, really.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Up in the middle of the night

And no, it wasn't the soda.  I sleep in two braces, one on each arm, and tonight they're hot and uncomfortable, they're not helping the pain in my hands, and one arm is hurting from the hand all the way up through the shoulder to the point where I'm having trouble sleeping.  L Although the pain is radiating UP my arm, I know it comes from nerves being impinged at the neck on between the chest and shoulder, as I've had trouble before. I just got up to go to the bathroom, originally thinking it was later and I might as well get up and stay up, but it's only 3 am.  Still, that was good, as YKWIA was sitting up with his glasses on and a cat on his lap (sans a cup of tea in his hand, at least), totally asleep, which is bad for his neck.  I woke him up, which was good, as he also hadn't taken his medicine before bed.  So I went and peed, he took his medicine, I took some ibuprofen, and I'm waiting for that to kick in.  I wish I could take one of the muscle relaxers, but it's too late.

He is winning the war of dog comfort.  One dog sleeps in the bed.  One dog wishes she did, but she's older and can't get into it, for one, and they were discouraged years ago until the puppy came and melted hearts and was spoilt just a bit.  So the little dog usually sleeps at the foot of my bed (well the side, it's a daybed, so it's complicated, anyway, the short end) on a blanket that's actually a thin comforter/bedspread, so it's comfier than the others, which are fleece.  She also loves a little purple blanket I was given when I broke my ankle, that on impulse I put down on a cold night, because one, she knows it's hers, and two, she can make a pillow out of it.  But the other day YKWIA put an old worn out comforter under the thick fleece blanket in his room.  So just now, despite apparently starting out in my room, she was stretched out on this nice, thick, padded bed.  That, and I may have frozen her out with the fans going, but really it's 62 outside right now and the heat is on because YKWIA is from a desert people and freezes in sub-80 degree weather.  My people, on the other hand, are from a cool, rainy island, and I sweat like a pig in any sort of humid summer day.  He'll actually come up in the middle of winter and hold onto my hands, which generate their own heat or try the back of my neck, and his hands will be like ice.

Okay, it's not really easing up yet (in fact my thumb, which is the focal point of my arthritis, is actually throbbing and referring up the arm), but I think I'll try to go back to bed now.  I'm having trouble opening not only jars but resealable pouches due to my arthritis, or turning certain things.  If I'm like this at 51, that's not a good sign. Typing's uncomfortable too, at least at the moment, and since I do an awful lot of that, it's not good either.  :(

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Random things about this week

  • Sunday we didn't actually play the game.  Brenda came over, and we talked and played The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, which was quite fun.  We mostly visited and snacked.  Afterwards, I applied for the second time for a job that had been re-posted from the public library.  I'd love to work there, I'd love to do this particular job, it's a great branch to work in serving a diverse population, and yes, it would mean more money and better financial security.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that at the very least I'll get an interview.  Given my track record of getting nervous and tanking during interviews, cross your fingers again that I'll actually do well on that.  I've got a couple of books on questions to ask and answer and I'm thinking (at a co-worker's suggestion) of running through scenarios with YKWIA, who is a good critic.  The little dog apparently went into the bedroom and harrumphed as she laid down because I froze her out of my room with the fans on, YWKIA told me later.  She's older and gets cold easily.
  • Monday:  I had to shoo a duck out of the driveway to go to work.  She was quacking in an annoyed fashion and walking up to the house when I left.  Work was busy.  I came home, was asleep by 8 or 8:30 pm, and woke up just long enough to take my medicine at midnight.
  • Tuesday:  It was a good day at work.  Either Monday or Tuesday (I can't remember), there was a spectacular car wreck outside our building where someone ran the red light and one vehicle was literally on top of the other.  One person got out on their own, and (I think the one on top) had to be taken out.  Hope no one was seriously hurt.  I came home, had dinner, fed the dogs, and still fell asleep by 7:30 pm and woke up at midnight.  I'm not really sure why I was so tired.
  • Wednesday: I started out the day by accidentally killing either a small rat or a baby opossum by turning on my car engine, which bothered me greatly, but thank goodness it wasn't the neighbour's cat.  It was another busy day at work.  There was a major accident at Alumni and Nicholasville Road that I avoided while taking a co-worker to her car at her boyfriend's workplace.  Despite all that (I do have driving anxiety, after all), I ventured back out and went to the church where the Bluegrass Orchid Society meets, only to wander aimlessly through a very large church wing trying to find it.  I finally ran into some nice ladies who were members of the church, one of whom had the phone number for the president of the society.  Apparently, their speaker came down with pneumonia and they couldn't come up with a replacement programme, so they cancelled it by letting the membership know by phone and posting it on their Facebook page (which I neglected to check, so that's on me).  They may reschedule that talk (on general orchid culture) to a later date.  There is one in May on orchids and viruses.  I may go to that. But kudos to me for speaking up and asking for directions, as I'm shy and don't usually do great at approaching strangers, even nice middle-aged and older women.  That night I checked my account, and I discovered that the treasurer for the state association for health science librarians to which I belong cashed my dues cheque a day early when she said she'd hold it, thereby over-draughting my account. :(  She must have forgotten.  I'm debating if I should mention it or not. I'm sure she would apologise, but it's not going to undo the damage.  The fee was twice the amount of the cheque, which at least was paid by the bank, so I guess that's a bright side. I almost never write cheques because it's harder to track when they'll come out.  I so should have mailed it in.
  • Thursday:  I had a blood draw first thing in the morning and got up early for that.  YKWIA had me move the carcass out of the driveway before I left. I saw a former friend/co-worker there at the doctor's office and caught up with her on what's been going on our lives. Then I went to work and was in physical therapy almost all day learning how to do things so that I can fill in for a woman who's going on maternity leave.  It's a much slower pace but there's a lot of little things to do with many steps that require a good bit of work.  Then I went back upstairs for about a half an hour and caught up on my e-mail and checked out the last patient.  A co-worker went with me to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine YKWIA needed, and then she treated me to an excellent dinner at Planet Thai as a birthday treat.  It was absolutely wonderful.  I had fried tofu (which I adore, although every Thai restaurant I've been to does it differently) and three-flavour (I think that was what it was called) fish, in this case, salmon,  with a medium (3 on a scale of 5) spice.  It made my sinuses run, was very tasty, and was very filling.  Feliz' drunken noodles came in a huge order; I think 3/4 of it had to go home in a box.  We had a good time and talked a lot.  I feel like we're kindred souls.  I'm pretty jazzed from lots of Diet Pepsi, too.  I took her to her car and then stopped by the grocery for bananas.  Now I'm home and I've changed into comfy clothes.  I think I'll listen to some music before bed.
  • Tomorrow should be a calm day at work, a catch-up day (I have about five issues to e-mail about).  I don't really have plans for tomorrow evening. It should be about 76 degrees tomorrow (it was close today), which is remarkable given that we had snow early this week, freeze warnings every night, and frost on the cars in the morning.  As far as my productivity at home, I think I'm falling asleep early to avoid the financial issues I'm having.  I should sit down and work on finances, as my bills are piling up and I'm really not sure what to do about it.  It's like everything's haemorrhaging out.  It's really my main subject of stress. I don't have enough to pay for the preparation of my tax forms, which are sitting at H&R Block, and next week is the deadline for filing--and let's not even get into what I actually owe for my taxes.  I don't get paid for two more weeks.  I'm not sure what to do.  Things are looking bleak.  Maybe YKWIA, who is quite sensible about the management of money, can help me get back on track in terms of planning.  I don't know.  That money could milk money from a walnut.
So anyway, that's what's going on in my life.  It's just a little below average due to the financial woes, which will pass eventually, especially when I sit down and face them head on, which I will do tomorrow and this weekend, for I really don't have much choice.  Avoiding the situation further will only make it worse. :(  Otherwise work and personal life is going well.  So while my emotion tracker on my phone, Daylio, has been set at 'meh' a lot lately, it's not too terrible.  'Good' has to be just around the corner, and 'rad' days will happen, too. Let's try to avoid 'fugly'. :)

Sunday, April 08, 2018

This is kind of interesting...

Kindle readers read novels. Physical book readers read self-help.

Now, granted, this is based on the top 10 sellers of each type in March alone.  There is more diversity in terms of genre in paper format, but each of the top 10 which were non-fiction were what we might call light reading (such as self-help) or in the case of the children's books and Dungeons & Dragons reference manual, heavily illustrated rather than text-intensive (also a reason to read in physical format rather than Kindle--artwork doesn't translate to the traditional e-reader, anyway, not like it would on the Fire, and neither could capture the artwork as well as paper).  The two novels that were on the paper format list were, incidentally, A Wrinkle in Time and Ready Player One, both of which have recently been released as major motion pictures.  Each of the books on this list did have Kindle editions, too.

On the Kindle side, 90% were fiction mainly thrillers.  The one that wasn't was a biography of a murderess in a sensational historical case.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, albeit from a very small sample.  But I did find it rather intriguing.  I'd like to see the statistics for a year, for example, or say, with the top 100 books in each category over that timeframe.