Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Each Sunday, we play a dice-and-paper role-playing game, Call of Cthulhu, which is based off of HP H P Lovecraft's horror fiction of the 1920s and 1930s. We have been playing most weekends since 1991. Really. Same story line. Our characters have kids now. "_Each Sunday, we play a dice-and-paper role-playing game, Call of Cthulhu, which is based off of HP H P Lovecraft's horror fiction of the 1920s and 1930s. We have been playing most weekends since 1991. Really. Same story line. Our characters have kids now. :) But I'm glad we cancelled today because frankly I needed to rest after doing Thanksgiving yesterday. Thank goodness for four-day weekends. How on earth do you people do Black Friday after cooking and eating on Thanksgiving? I don't get it. smile emoticon I had no energy, ached all over, and was just blah all day as I recuperated. But the food and companionship was worth it. But I'm glad we cancelled today because frankly I needed to rest after doing Thanksgiving yesterday. Thank goodness for four-day weekends. How on earth do you people do Black Friday after cooking and eating on Thanksgiving? I don't get it. :) I had no energy, ached all over, and was just blah all day as I recuperated. But the food and companionship was worth it.
    This year's Thanksgiving menu:
  • Bleu Cheese Gougères
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Quorn Turk'y Roast (fake vegetarian turkey made from fungous)
  • Braised Brussels Sprouts, Chestnuts, and Pearl Onions (this is what I accidentally put white wine into, but was very good nonetheless)
  • Butternut Squash Tian with Herbed Breadcrumbs
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans with Shallots and Garlic
  • Rolls
  • Chickpea and Cucumber Salad with Cumin
  • Pumpkin Pie
It was scaled back from previous years, but it still kicked my butt. I cooked under direction, but did all the prep work, stirring, etc. The real cook, who was directing everything, wasn't up to much more than overseeing and putting a spice or two in to taste. Even A was put to work, and he peeled two pounds of pearl onions, just about. I peeled 10 lbs of potatoes, and peeled and slice two butternut squash--easier than kabocha, but still, it's amazing my arms work today, especially with the stirring. But it was fun, it was great, and my mistake was okay and I think it came out really well. But I'm going to go to bed early and hopefully tomorrow will be less painful and more productive. Good night!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Who knew

That eight hours of cooking for Thanksgiving could leave you in this much pain?  Everything hurts.  The food was wonderful,  mind you,  even the dish I accidentally put wine into,  but I am so very tired.  Hopefully the ibuprofen will kick in and I can sleep. My feet feel like they are on fire.

Friday, November 27, 2015

We started working on our belated Thanksgiving dinner tonight

Making an excellent pumpkin soup and a chickpea/cucumber salad with cumin. Earlier today, YKWIA and I watched Inside Out, which was quite excellent. I definitely would be Sadness--she was so like me, and YKWIA kept pointing it out. He is most like Disgust. The story was wonderful. There is a part of the movie where a character makes a great sacrifice, and I bawled like a little kid. So I definitely got into it.

I went looking for my back brace today and in the midst of emptying closets and pulling stuff out, found the holiday ornaments. I seriously thought I might put the tree up tonight, but I got home at 11 pm, so I'm not going to do it now--maybe sometime during the weekend, but not right now.

Tomorrow I'm going to go over to my friends' around 10 am and work on the Quorn fake turkey goodness, the vegetable dishes, and dessert. We plan on eating about 3 pm. :)

Okay, I think I'll go on to bed. Good night.

Okay, I have to admit, this is adorable

Trouble Will Be None the Wiser to a Cute Owl Security Camera
The Ulo is a connected surveillance camera that stands out with an interesting, toy-like design. Adorable isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when talking about security footage but this little device takes it there.

The pear-shaped device features two round 1.22-inch screens that shine as the owl’s eyes. Hidden underneath its reflective nose are a camera, motion sensor and a microphone. It has a rechargeable battery and connects to a home’s Wi-Fi network which it uses to stream live video or photos.

When the “Alert Mode” is engaged, the eyes turn off for stealth and every movement detected will be converted into a GIF and sent through email. Once your smartphone reconnects to your home network, this Alert Mode turns off.

When active, the eyes follow around any motion. They look tired when the Ulo needs a charge and shine bright when plugged in.

If Samsung wants to sell me another phone

they will have to reinstate expandable memory as a part of their handset. It looks like they might just do that:

Android Circuit: Samsung Galaxy S7 U-Turn, Apple Suffocates Android, Galaxy Note 5 Defeated
Samsung Revives Memory Card Support

One of the big omissions in Samsung’s high-end devices in 2015 has been the loss of expandable memory. The removal of microSD card support saw a huge backlash from fans of the Galaxy devices – especially Galaxy Note users. Reports from HDBlog.it suggest that those complaints have been heard and microSD is on the way back in 2016. Forbes’ Jay McGregor:
Samsung of late has more a pragmatism to it. It’s willing to shun convention in order to secure sales, which it showed by bringing forward the release of the Note 5 and the (rumoured) early release of the S7. It’s likely that Samsung has had serious discussions about a possible return of the microSD slot in its flagship line. Even the notorious leakster, Evan Blass, predicted back in August that the Korean company could make an about-face for a future Samsung flagship.
I also thought this was a fun quote about Apple vs. Samsung:
Unlike the early days of the smartphone era, the current crop of smartphones have a relatively fixed hardware platform. Your flagship devices are going to offer a broadly similar feature set, from camera output and screen displays, to chipset benchmarks and battery performance. There will naturally be areas where phone ‘A’ is slightly better than phone ‘B’ but for everyday use the sweet spot of current smartphone technology covers the vast majority of manufacturers’ main devices.

The catch is not in building a cutting-edge smartphone, it’s making a cutting-edge smartphone that people believe is a cutting-edge smartphone that they want to buy. This is Apple’s core strength. Samsung can parade the technology for the Galaxy range, but the knee-jerk reaction is that it has all been seen before in the iPhone… even if the technology itself debuted in a Samsung handset.
UPDATE, 12/5/15: According to new rumours, the microSD capability of an S7 may be in doubt.

Saw this on Facebook and laughed, a lot

This is so true of cats.

I am actually the only child of an only child

Only children are actually totally normal, according to science
Bill and Hillary have one. Franklin D. Roosevelt was one. And the chances are you probably know one or two. Even I have one of the selfish, lonely, and maladjusted creatures said to be populating America in greater numbers every year. I am referring to the “only child,” also known as singletons or onlies.

Despite the only child being a growing demographic, having one still attracts a surprising amount of criticism. At a playground in London, one mother told me she thought having an only child was tantamount to child abuse as she watched my daughter toddle alone in the sandbox. When I told my mother that I probably wouldn’t have any more children, she exclaimed disparagingly that one child was “simply not a family.” My husband, on the other hand, has not had any of these accusations leveled against him. The shaming of mothers of singletons is yet another arena in which guilt, scorn, and impossibly high expectations are heaped upon women, encouraged by society’s biased views.
After complications in my mom's pregnancy, my parents were told not to try again for at east several years, if at all, and when I was about school-age, my mother had her tubes tied. I don't know if she ever received any comments about not having more children, but I certainly have had plenty of the 'how sad, you never learned X because you didn't have siblings'. Any maladjustment, and there was plenty, in my psyche growing up, I suspect, had more to do with moving every 18 months or so as a military brat without siblings, rather than the actual lack of siblings. I attended three junior highs in three states across the US, for example, all in the space of two school years. Besides, I was a bookish child who played fine with other children, but preferred to sit in my house and read. True, I tended to have one or two close friends at the most. I was the youngest in my class (I'd skipped first grade because I could read at a third grade level), and between being smart and nerdy and somewhat socially inept, I certainly was not popular, and I was bullied, but I think that had more with skipping grades than being an only child. Because I was almost invisible in my home, and did not receive much positive attention or encouragement, my entire self-esteem depended on how I did in school, and in retrospect, I was one of those insufferable know-it-alls whose hand always shot up in class, so while I didn't 'deserve' bullying, in retrospect, I understand some of the reasons for it. In junior high a group of girls broke my glasses and tore my coat when they jumped me on the way home from school. In high school someone put gum in my hair (and my mom didn't know the peanut butter trick, so my hair got cut off), and then there were the fish guts from biology class that were put in my biology book in my locker. Not the terrible things that are done by kids to kids today, of course, but bullying nonetheless. By the time I got to the high school from which I graduated, I was in my junior year, was trying to handle my parents' divorce, and quite frankly had learned to keep a low-profile. I didn't really make friends with my peers, and only really interacted with the teachers. Was that because I was an only child? No, not really. Maybe if I'd had a sibling to talk things out with, when there was so much emotional baggage to be had, it might have make things better, but I don't really think so. I don't think it would have been better to have a sibling in that family dynamic--there'd just be two of us scarred, and I think a boy would have fared much worse.

I myself have made the decision years ago not to have children. One, the population is high as it is. Two, I am not emotionally or financially in a position to be a good mother, and I know it. Three, any child of mine is at a risk of genetic predispositions that I don't want to pass on. So yes, I'm glad I never had children. Am I being selfish about it? No. Would I change my mind if I were in a good relationship? No, not at this point in my life. While I am still possibly fertile, I am not going to start a family at age 48. At one point I considered adoption, but am not financially stable for that. Besides, while I like kids on principle and believe we should all protect children and encourage their strengths, I do not have an easy rapport with them. So I'll let good parents do their job. I just wish the bad parents weren't in the position to have kids, to be honest.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Of course, come to think of it, this was my mom's favourite of theirs

Actually, several Simon and Garfunkel songs talk about suicide and depression. A friend calls them the Prozac of popular music, but I disagree. Even when the music is upbeat, it's deeper than a lot of what you hear today. Okay, now for that nap!

The song I considered a sort of theme song growing up

Is that bad? It is a somewhat disturbing song, and I'm talking about feeling that way from say, age 8.

Sharing this again, just because it makes me happy...

For YKWIA, who loves goats


Thanksgiving dinner has been postponed till Saturday, tomorrow I'm going to go get a friend's meds and we're going to watch Inside Out, Sunday there will be no game. Today I've spent time with my friends, reading to the one who's been in bed most of the day trying to keep ahead of the pain left from his procedure. Also, my other friend and I went for a nice walk with one of the dogs, who was very excited when she saw ducks in the pond, but fairly indifferent when she encountered geese. The only problem with walk was that the entire asphalt circuit was covered in piles of what I surmise to be goose poop, so we really had to watch where we were going. Anyway, it was a restful and pleasant day. I have some things to do here at home, but I'm going to take a short nap first, since I didn't sleep well last night.

Anyway, if you celebrated Thanksgiving on, well, Thanksgiving, then I hope you had a safe and happy one with loved ones.

I did not sleep well

despite coming in about 7:30 last night and going to sleep by about 8 pm. But then I was up from midnight to 1 am, no matter how tired I was. After that I tossed all night. I may have had too much caffeine by the time I went back to bed. Yesterday and Monday I'd taken care of a friend who was having some issues. Yesterday he had a painful procedure that should have lasted maybe 30-45 minutes but wound up taking 3 hours. I had to cancel my appointment for physical therapy at the last minute because it ran so long, plus he was in pain and I didn't feel like I could leave him. This is someone with a very high pain threshold, but this really hurt him. After someone else came home, I went and did some grocery shopping, and got some things for him.

This morning my lower back is feeling much worse, and I could probably have used PT yesterday. I'm thinking of going over to the complex gym to walk to see if it would help some. In the meantime, I've got the Macy's Parade on. I like the Rose Parade better, to be honest. And NBC is mostly just talking to various NBC stars with the parade in the background, without showing much, so frankly I think I'll turn it off. You may ask, why are we not cooking today? We've put off Thanksgiving till tomorrow to give my friend, who is the cook, some time to recuperate. In the meantime I'm going to go over there later and spend some time with them. But first, I think I'm going to see if I can stretch out my back.

I just called A and my friend is doing better, and his doctor called to check on him this morning. We decided we'd go for a walk later because the weather is so pleasant (it supposed to be sunny and 64 degrees today), so I'll forego the treadmill for now.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

Found this on Facebook

And thought I'd post it here.

Twenty-six things about me...
A- Age: 48
B- Biggest fear: Abandonment
C- Current mood:  Tired
D- Drink you last had: Diet Sunkist
E- Every day starts with: Shower
F- Favourite song: 'Scarborough Fair/Canticle'  by Simon and Garfunkel
G- Ghosts, are they real?: Yes
H- Hometown: Danville
I- In love with: No one.
J- Jealous of: No one.
K- Killed someone?: No.
L- Last time you cried?:) Watching 'The Librarians' - over the death of the sword Excalibur.  Really.
M- Middle name: I have two - Eilir Aranea
N- Number of siblings: 0
O- One wish: That I could find my dream job before mine goes away.
P- Person you last called: YKWIA
Q- Question you're always asked: So you're a librarian. Do you get to read all day?
R- Reason to smile: I have great friends.
S- Song last sang: 'Stitches' by Shawn Mendes
T- Time you woke up: 5:45 am
U- Underwear color: Purple
V- Vacation destination: Great Britain
W- Worst habit: Eating poorly
Y- Your favourite food: Mashed potatoes
X- X-Rays you've had: Spine,  Feet/ankles,  Teeth,  Chest, Hands
Z- Zodiac sign: Aries

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Having a quiet evening at home

Mainly because I don't have the gas to go anywhere; I've already travelled 10 miles on my gas light and won't get paid till tomorrow. I have yesterday's debit for a quarter of a tank of gas (which I went through in going to four doctors' appointments plus the pharmacy with a friend), so I didn't want to take the chance of overdraughting the account, and since it's down to 59 cents, that would pretty much be what would happen. So I've been home for about an hour and forty-five minutes and I've been mostly enjoying the quiet and thinking about what I need to do over the next few days, and how best to accomplish it. So here are some of my upcoming plans:
  1. Put away the laundry, including the hand washables I'd hung up on Sunday to dry.
  2. Straighten up just a bit and put away the things for the trip and various things I scattered while packing.
  3. Load the dishwasher and do a few plastic cups by hand.
  4. Get the reimbursement request from the trip together.
  1. Work out in the complex gym.
  2. Get gas.
  3. Get creamer for a friend and take it to him before work.
  4. Go in early to work.
  5. Work a half day, and get things in shape for over Thanksgiving.
  6. Take a friend to the dentist.
  7. Get my allergy shots.
  8. Go to physical therapy.
  9. Make any last preparations for Thanksgiving with my friend.
  10. Pay bills.
  1. Prepare and cook under a friend's supervision.
  2. Eat Quorn goodness and a variety of vegetarian dishes.
  3. Spend time with friends.
  4. Call my mom and check up on her.
    Friday (off from work):
  1. Work out.
  2. Work on a cover letter for a job that's due November 30th.
  3. Work on the game notes.
  4. Spend time with friends.
  1. Do the grocery run.
  2. Work out.
  1. Prepare the house for gaming.
  2. Game.
UPDATE: Thanksgiving is postponed to Friday; details above. I managed to get a few things done, but given the trip's lingering effects, trying to get things caught up at work, taking care of a friend, visiting my relative who was in the hospital, and running all over town, I've mostly been coming home and crashing before 9 am and getting up very early.

Okay, search engines can never replace a trained librarian, but

I love to be able to Google anything and normally find something to help me with my question. For example, I weighed myself this morning, and decided to see how different it was between morning and evening. But somehow my scale got set to kg when I pulled it out from its place this evening. I didn't see anything, tried resetting it by taking the battery out, and when that didn't work, went to Google. Apparently there's a switch that's on there but it's the type you depress to toggle the unit of measure on the back, and I'd accidentally managed to depress that. I turned the scale on (you step a foot on the scale to do that), depressed the switch, which does blend in with the rest of the underside, and I had pounds rather than kilograms again. And oh, by the way, even though I'm not having swollen ankles like I did when it was hot, I'd gained 8 lbs in water weight over the course of the day, which is why I don't consider it significant until about 15 lbs. Yesterday, I weighed myself with clothes and shoes on (I don't normally do that), and it was 10 lbs higher than this morning.

Monday, November 23, 2015

This actually might get me in the holiday mood. :)

Technically it's 'Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with other nonmotor vehicle in nontraffic accident, initial encounter', but I love this interpretation.


Our apartment complex built a fitness centre/new laundry and it opened last week. With the trip, this was my first chance to check it out. I got up really early. I started small with my workout -- 6 minutes on the bike, followed by 12 minutes on the treadmill. Now I'm sweaty and feel good about myself. It's just for residents, and has a key fob security system. I am much more likely to exercise with this available, where I can shower at home before work, than I ever did at a gym. There are also towels and a water station. And though I usually do laundry at my friends' house, it's nice to finally have one that isn't down a narrow staircase in the basement.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I have now visited exactly half the states in the Union

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. California
  5. Georgia
  6. Illinois
  7. Indiana
  8. Kansas
  9. Kentucky
  10. Louisiana
  11. Maryland
  12. Michigan
  13. Minnesota
  14. Mississippi
  15. Missouri
  16. New Mexico
  17. North Carolina
  18. Ohio
  19. Oklahoma
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. South Carolina
  22. Tennessee
  23. Texas
  24. Virginia
  25. West Virginia
I just added Michigan, even if I only saw the Detroit airport. Note, I still haven't visited Florida, the only Southern state not on my list, and the one everyone seems to have been to. Okay, now to bed. Good night.

I started my day out

visiting my relative who was still in the hospital. The good news is she got to go home today. The bad news is she fell coming into the house and they had to call 911. The ambulance driver was able to get her back on her feet. That's pretty worrisome. My family is texting back and forth to see if we can help with that.

I spent a couple of hours over there and then went and visited my friends, although I forgot to put my laundry in until I'd been there about three hours, and I was so tired that after I visited for awhile, one of them basically sent me home because it was obvious, so I have hand washables that have been washed but are still damp to hang up. Then I think I really will go on to bed, as I'm still a little jet-lagged from all the flying and walking I did at the end of the week.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This makes me so sick

I thought the last story was horrific. But this? Words fail me.

Toddler Fatally Burned, Put Into Oven by Sibling: Documents
Police believe J'zyra was one of four children who had been left alone Monday by their mother and her boyfriend when the girl and two of her siblings began playing with the oven. CPS says the couple left the four kids home alone without telling a grandmother who lived in the same apartment complex.

Court records show Price's two kids, just three years old, told investigators that one of them put the baby in the oven, and the other turned it on. Records show the children told CPS workers they made the oven "hot", and that the baby was kicking the oven door while inside. Records also show Thompson tried CPR when she got home. But it was too late, the child had multiple burns.

CPS said no suitable relatives can care for the three surviving children from the home, so they are currently in foster care. Thompson also has an older child who lives with his father. In addition, she is seven months pregnant with her current boyfriend's child. Thompson apparently also drove the kids without a license nor car seats.

I have to admit, it scares me that there are people out there who would do this

Pregnant Bronx woman fatally stabbed by woman who cut child out of her womb: officials
The mom, Angelikque Sutton, was 8½ months pregnant and preparing for the baby’s arrival on Dec. 2. Her baby registry on thebump.com was full of items she needed, including a Koala baby folding hamper, a convertible crib and a pink baby essentials duffel diaper bag. She also was registered at Babies “R” Us and Target.

But the 22-year-old mother’s dreams of rocking her newborn daughter in her arms came to a grisly end inside Ashleigh Wade’s apartment on Monticello Ave. in Wakefield, cops said. Wade, also 22, allegedly strangled Sutton, then cut the young woman’s throat before knifing her in the stomach about 2:30 p.m., cops said.

She then tore out her victim’s child, according to Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx).

“It appears that the fetus of this woman was removed ... surgically removed by the perpetrator,” King said after being briefed by the police. “This is an ugly incident that cannot be condoned.”

When first responders arrived, Wade claimed that the blood-soaked baby was hers, a police source said.

She tried to sell the idea that the baby was hers and she had just given birth right there,” a high-ranking police source said. “But that was clearly not the case.”
Wow. Just wow. The baby, named Genesis, miraculously survived. I feel sorry for the father, who has not been able to see his baby girl because of the investigation. Among other things, they're verifying the baby is, indeed, the dead woman's child, but certainly the evidence does corroborate that, they just have the formality to go through. So sad.

Well, I dodged that bullet

While I was in Chicago Thursday and yesterday, the weather was in the 40s, windy, but sunny. Today they have snow:
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport had 4 inches of snow by early Saturday. About 250 flights in and out of the busy airport had been canceled by Saturday morning, according to the tracking website FlightAware.com, while Midway International Airport had canceled about 100 flights.

Roads were slushy due to a rain and snow mix around the Chicago area, which was forecast to get between six and 10 inches.
Update here on the number of flights cancelled.

I'm trying to get back on track

One of the things with the trip and the preparations is that I was very much out of my normal routine, and I did a terrible job of taking my meds. I think I totally forgot to take any oral meds on Tuesday, then again on Thursday, and I didn't take Byetta or either of the insulins while on the trip, even though I had them with me. I also didn't check my blood sugar, so I have no idea how bad it got. I just checked and it was 205, which isn't too bad for me in the morning, to be honest. I have taken everything I am supposed to, plus a little ibuprofen. So hopefully I can get back on track. I didn't eat much substantial food while I was gone either. Thursday I grabbed a danish at the gas station before the flight, then there were the in-flight cookies, some pretzels at the airport, and then finally lunch at the meeting, which was mozzarella, roasted pepper, and arugula sandwiches, some fruit, and salad. Francesca's was substantial--I had a lentil salad and a personal-sized Napoleatano pizza. Friday was oatmeal with fruit and brown sugar from the hotel restaurant, some peanut M&Ms at the airport, and the in-flight cookies on one flight (the one from Chicago to Detroit was only 34 minutes, so they didn't serve drinks or snacks. Fortunately, that was the one I brought a soda onto). When A and I went to the store I got some food. I had some orange juice, banana, and a couple of Morningstar Farms' breakfast sandwiches with soy sausage, egg, and cheese on a flat roll. Later, when I went home, I had some orange juice and raisin bran with milk. So all in all, my eating sucked, too, being mostly carbs, for those two days, but they were spread out so that I think I did pretty well in terms of the fact that I didn't actually eat much. Today's breakfast consists of the other two breakfast sandwiches, some orange juice, and a banana. I'll take bread, peanut butter, and spreadable fruit over with me to my friends' today.

Act Three and Epilogue #2

The flight on the way back to Lexington was pleasant, and I listened to music, drank my soda, ate my cookies, and had a pleasant journey. This time they gave us a whole can of soda. I will say Delta values comfort--the seats, even on the smallest plane, were well-cushioned, and I wasn't pressed up against anyone, despite my size. The carrier I'm used to flying on the annual trip is a little cramped in comparison. The service was excellent this time, in all airports and planes. But I have to admit, touching down in Lexington was a great, because I was home. I let my family know I was back, went to my car, paid my parking fee, and headed home.

I took the nap I mentioned before, but didn't wake up on my own; my friend called when he got home and I hadn't gotten there yet. I was dreaming and sleeping quite soundly. I got ready, went over there, took him to the grocery, fixed dinner for YKWIA, and then we watched 'Grimm' and visited. It's good to be home, to be surrounded by your people. I did really well navigating Chicago and the airports at Atlanta and Detroit, but I never really felt in my element like I do here.

Despite how complex and utterly mind-numbing the travel was, it was a very good trip. The meeting was excellent; the travel went smoothly. I got some wine while we were at the store to give in thanks for a safe and trouble-free journey. I didn't even encounter more than a couple of red lights while driving to and from the airport. And I happened to fly out before snow hit Chicago and Detroit tonight. :)

The worst aspect about the trip was that because I wasn't on a remotely normal schedule, I forgot to take my meds yesterday and missed doses of insulin both days, which isn't good when you're largely subsisting on snacks, rather than meals.

One of the best aspects about the trip was that as far as the actual flying went, I was really mellow and relaxed, despite not taking my anti-anxiety medication at all yesterday or this afternoon. I am becoming a veteran of flying and navigating Chicago's transit system. Now if I were just better at all the walking I had to do, which today was over 14,000 steps and over 6 miles. :) Fortunately my feet feel comfortable, and while I do walk slow, I did it largely without back pain, which I attribute somewhat to my recent physical therapy. Even the small of my back just ached a bit. Now this morning, it was a different matter--everything hurt. But a hot shower did wonders and I walked off any stiffness later. I'm also getting better at sleeping when there's so much urban noise from traffic and the trains, primarily. You can always hear something moving in the night. But when I went to the hotel last night, had my complimentary cocoa, and headed up to my room, it was quieter than I had experienced all day, and I tuned out the background noise as much as I could.

Okay, I suppose I should go on to bed. I'm sure it won't take too long to fall asleep, as I'm pretty tired, although the nap did wake me up and hit a second wind. Tomorrow's there the grocery run and we need to run by the pharmacy and get some meds for A. I need to visit a family member who has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks. That night I need to work on game notes and a cover letter for a job.
Wow, it's getting hard to think and type. I need to sleep. Good night!

Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm home. Yay!

I will update later, but for now I am back in my apartment and am going to take a well-deserved nap, then get up in about an hour or so, grab something to eat, and then go take A on a grocery run. But first, sleep!

I'm on a layover in Detroit -- Act Two

We leave here in about an hour. This morning I got up at 5:10 am Chicago time, got ready and packed for the transit system, not the airport. Then I had some oatmeal and a soda for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. After I checked out, I just had to go across the street to the bus stop. The desk clerk had suggested taking the Blue Line downtown and transferring to the Orange Line from there; he said the buses could be unreliable. But that would take longer, and there's more traffic on the trains at that time of the morning as people head downtown on the Blue Line, so I decided to take the bus, which was just coming up once I crossed the street, so there was no waiting. The bus was lightly occupied, and I took it to the Ashland Orange station, got aboard the train with just about three stops left before the airport, so that worked well--it wasn't very busy. I had put laptop and CPAP bag into my bigger bag, expanding the case by unzipping the expansion. That way, I only had the rolling bag and my purse to deal with on the transit system.

One of my librarian colleagues had described the train to Midway as 'dropping you off at an.lot'. That's sort of true. It's a long walk from the station to the actual airport, and only once you get to the airport do they have, say, wheelchair services for people who can't walk long distances. I didn't need that, but I did park myself in that area because there were some chairs, and repacked my luggage for going through security, so the purse is in my rolling bag empty, the CPAP bag is back as it should be, and essentials such as wallet are in my laptop bag. This time I did a paper boarding pass, although I didn't apparently pick up the one for the connecting flight, but got it later from the gate in Midway so I could get on the Detroit to Lexington plane.

Security was very tight at Midway and I got patted down a bit more than in Lexington because I had a heavy sweater that obscured the scan, and a necklace that showed up on it. She also swabbed my hands with something before letting me go. I got my shoes back on and everything back together--liquids, CPAP, laptop, bags. Then I ditched the sweater into the rolling bag because I was sweltering. So now I'm chatting with a guy at the airport, waiting to board.

I'll check in later.

Prologue - Act One

So, I'd done lots of things to get prepared for the trip, but I had lots of little things to do beforehand, everything from taking the trash out, returning a library CD, and doing a libation to the Gods for safe travel, but knew I needed some sleep. So I went to bed at 8 pm Wednesday night, determined to get up at 1:30 so I'd have a couple of hours to do everything I needed before I'd normally be up. And it worked. I didn't sleep well, as I was worried I wouldn't get up in time, but I actually got all the plants watered and the rest of my list at home completed, left a little earlier than what Google told me to so I could return the CD, get gas, put a cheque in the bank--that sort of thing. While at the gas station getting gas for $1.93 in Lexington per gallon (It's $2.69 or so here), I got a drink and a blueberry cheese danish sort of thing. Not ideal, but I didn't want something heavy, and it was cheap, and I'm trying to go as cheaply as possible. Then I drove around a good portion of the city (I live on the opposite end of town from the airport), parked in oeconomy parking, and went through security. I'd checked in using the Delta mobile application, and so spent the day scanning my phone rather than a piece of paper, which was convenient, but, I had to have my phone out an awful lot, and it was hard to juggle. I may just check in tomorrow the old-fashioned way, particularly as I have something to hold the ID and boarding pass to make it easier to keep up with.

It's always a joy to be behind me at a TSA checkpoint, as I have to take out liquids, CPAP, laptop, take off my shoes, and load my various bags (I had three, as one didn't count as it was medical supplies only). When I went through the body scanner, I guess they couldn't see my lower left arm well in the image, because they patted down just that lower arm. Weird. I gathered my stuff, put my shoes back on, and went to the gate, where I gate-checked my rolling bag for free when they requested volunteers. I noticed many people were not volunteering. It's a small plane, and I like gate-checking, although I didn't realise they would check it on to my final destination, and my liquids and other minor conveniences were in there, so I spent the day without a comb, eye rewetting drops, or lip balm, for example, something I'll keep in mind tomorrow when I pack.

The flight was pleasant and went off without a hitch. It was very dark, as they fly with the cabin lights down and no one really turned on their own personal lights. We arrived in Atlanta about the time the sun finally got up. I had a soda and a cookie packet there in the dark. Once we disembarked, I grabbed a drink and some pretzels and went to the next concourse, where I had an hour and a half layover until the Chicago-bound plane left. There was a mechanical delay, but we left on time and arrived at Chicago on time. I learned that one person can charge their phone (my seatmate did) while on the flight, at least on the 717 we were on. I was in the O'Hare airport, and meant to call YKWIA to let him know I made it okay, but then got distracted redistributing things into my purse and purchasing my 1-day (24 hour) transit pass, wound up taking the train to Division, where I lugged bags up many stairs to a world of newspapers blowing everywhere, oriented myself by the sun to be heading south on Ashland, and then caught the bus to a stop right across from my hotel. I got here at noon, conveniently, as that was when I could check in, and my meeting was at 12:45 CST.

I checked in, actually was able to use the key they gave me for the elevator (I had trouble the last time I stayed at this hotel, and had had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get me to the room then). I washed my face, located my comb, used it, and called YKWIA briefly to let him know I was alive. He was concerned, and had called the hotel already. I hadn't expected it to take two hours to get from the airport gate to the hotel (quite a while, yes, but not quite that long), so I apologised for not contacting him sooner. Then, somewhat more presentable, I took just my purse, put on a light jacket (it's all about the layering, as many Chicagoans are wearing their winter coats today; I had a heavy sweater over a thinner shirt, and had been sweltering in the airports and on transit, so it felt good. But I was happy to have that little layer of jacket.

We had lunch before our meeting, and it included sandwiches with mozzarella, arugula, and roasted pepper. We had an absolutely wonderful meeting, mostly on outreach, and I had a brilliant outreach idea that wouldn't work in my present position, but I might be able to partner with someone to do. I was afraid it would fade; I wrote it all out. It would be easily fundable as well. Part of the meeting could have been webconferenced, but the participatory exercise really couldn't have been. I'm very glad I came, even though it wasn't a direct flight.

After the meeting, a few of us walked to an Italian restaurant a few blocks away called Francesca's, which was excellent. I was tempted to get the salmon, but instead went for a lentil salad and a Napoleatano pizza. None of us could do desert. We walked back. Throughout my stays here, my rock of a landmark has been the St Basil Greek Orthodox Church, which is on the corner of Ashland and Polk. The library we had our meeting at is on Polk; the hotel is at Harrison and Ashland. So it really has helped me get my bearings. A couple of years ago they were using all this scaffolding, but now it seems in much better shape. It's beautiful. [I love the varied architecture in Chicago, and not just the stuff downtown. On the way over on the train I saw an esquisite Turkish bath.]

We got back to the hotel, grabbed some complimentary hot chocolate, and I've already told you the rest. I guess tomorrow will be Act Two. Wish me luck. I've got to get up at 5 am, eat breakfast when they open at 6 am, check out, catch a bus by 6:30 to get to Midway Airport by 7:30. My plane leaves for Detroit at 9:19 am CST, on a smaller plane. Then I'll have another hour and a half layover there before arriving home sometime around 3 pm our time. Whew!

Epilogue of a sort (What, you wanted it in order?)

Today marks my somewhat annual trip to Chicago. I say somewhat because I actually came here in March this year, and so its twice in this calendar year, but that's merely coincidence because the fiscal year runs from May to April, so it's actually two fiscal years. My trips have varied: one was in the middle of December, one would have been November but I was hit by a car and unable to attend, then we didn't have one until a year around through to April, then we had one in March, now this one. And each time, on my trip to the windy city, the temperature is in the 40s during the day. There is a bit more wind this time than in the past, but generally it's been very steady, which is unusual. This trip is also sandwiched between unseasonably warm weather (it was in the 60s here yesterday) to snow (Saturday may have anywhere from flurries to 10 inches, depending on the model. Weird.)

As of 9 pm CST, I had been up 20 hours straight. I was so tired, and I've walked over 11,000 steps (that's over 5 miles for scale), and while thankfully I have ultra-comfortable shoes, my feet are a little swollen, tired, and hurt a bit. I put some of the Thann Aromatherapy Wood scent lotion from the hotel room onto my feet, raised it up, and then went to pains at first not to fall asleep because I wanted to blog, but finally decided that if I could just listen to some music for about 45 minutes with my feet up, I'd feel better, and if I fell asleep, that would have to be okay, too, so I set three alarms for tomorrow morning for 5 am and one for 10:30. I overshot that by about an hour, but hey, I'm awake (I got cold, as I'd fallen asleep on top of the bed covers), I carried this laptop through two airports, on a train, and on a bus, and by God I'm going to use it.

So let me start my day properly....

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Last minute stuff

Today work was all about getting ready for my absence by getting as much done on the referrals, OR reconciliation, and charge entry as possible, and filling up the early literacy cart in the clinic so they'd have books. I got what I could done (the charge sheets are taking awhile to get back to me lately), and then went ahead and ran some errands after work, including:
  1. Picking up a medicine at the pharmacy for a friend and for me.
  2. Picking up my new contacts, which were ready, but I hadn't received a call.
  3. Picking up some milk for my friends to have while I'm gone, plus a box of quart bags because I didn't quite trust the one I got in the women's trial pack I'd selected. These have the slide close, anyway.
  4. Fixing food for my friend.
  5. Eating some dinner myself.
  6. Renewing a couple of library books.
I got home with more things to do. I decided to put all my medical supplies together in one bag, not my CPAP bag, which is a little big, but my tiny carry-on bag that came with my rolling carry-on. See, I'd contacted Delta and found I could gate check the latter, so that would save on baggage fees (and I was needing every dollar to make sure I had food in Chicago, which is expensive--oatmeal was $6 at the hotel three years ago!) Anyway, the CPAP is only half of what it usually is because I removed the humidifier, since I'm not taking distilled water with me. It'll be okay; I only use the humidifier during the winter, usually, anyway, although I have been using it lately. So my meds, my CPAP with cord, hoses, and nasal pillows, as well as my glucometer, all fit in that bag. Yay! I also took the now-extra tag I had off the CPAP machine and printed out a medical supplies and equipment tag for that bag, as well as an emergency contact card plus medical emergency one. I rearranged the packing of my rolling bag for clothes, a book, non-liquid supplies like razor, comb, toothbrush, etc., the travel denture cup, and my glasses in their case. My liquids are in a pouch in the rolling bag for easy removal. I am checked into my flight already using the mobile application; I just have to show my boarding pass on my phone at security and the gate, and they can scan it there. I have my Ventra card (for mass transit) in my wallet, and have also opted to bring my passport card as backup. On the other hand, I've left my non-essential cards that I will not be using this trip.

After all that, it was about 8 pm, and I decided the best thing to do would be to go on to bed in the hopes of getting some sleep and getting up with time to spare to work on a few other things. I did so, sleeping lightly and not well, on top of fitful sleep last night, so I have bags under my eyes, but oh, well. I'm up and have some time before I have to leave to get things ready. I've packed the CPAP away; everything but my phone and its charger are now packed. Here's what else I should do before I go:
  1. Put one of my meds that I picked up today in the reminder pill box with the others.
  2. Double-check the finances.
  3. Take out the trash and recyclables.
  4. Unload and load the dishwasher.
  5. Water plants.
  6. Give a libation in prayer for safety.
  7. Straighten the house just a bit, as they're going to be changing my air filters and inspecting it while I'm gone.
  8. Shower and get dressed.
  9. Put a light jacket that's out in the car into the suitcase.
  10. Return a CD to the library that I couldn't renew.
  11. Put a cheque into the ATM at the bank.
  12. Get gas in the car.
If I can get all that done in the next two-and-a-half hours, things will be good. :) Here's hoping for a productive and safe trip. I'm just hoping there won't be any flight delays, since I have connexions to make, and people are causing disruptions on planes here and there in the news. :(

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In honour of flying this week

Don't get me wrong, I am a little nervous flying at a time where terrorism seems to be lurking in every corner, but having watched several of these clips, I must admit that he really does use history, science, and good old critical thinking to burst any misconceptions or happy fictions we tell ourselves, which is why YKWIA has decided that this guy is like his soulmate, although the hair scares him a bit. :)

That could have been bad

I was pilling a dog when and had given her the pieces of bread with peanut butter and tablets wrapped in them, when I went to give treats to the other two dogs. One was next to me, and that was no problem. The other was on the other side of the dog who took the pills. The next thing I know, this older, half-senile dog jumped up and clamped down on my hand so quickly it was unexpected. The piece of bread with peanut butter fell, and fortunately the intended dog got to it before a fight could ensue. The bite didn't draw blood, but did sting for a bit, and when she was told no, she really didn't seem to understand that she'd been bad. It's difficult to see our furry family members age and get slow and achy, but it's really difficult to watch a once-sharp and very intelligent dog get confused with times of dementia. I couldn't be angry; she really didn't mean to do it. But we're going to give them their treats on the floor from now on, and be very careful. We're going to warn Brenda to be careful with the dog biscuits she brings on Sundays, too.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Preparing to fly to Chicago

Maybe, given recent world events, it's not the best time to fly, but I am doing so this week, going to traveling in four cities--Lexington, Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit--and five airports, on four separate aeroplanes. Wish me luck! But in the meantime, I've:
  1. Bought luggage tags for all bags (rolling carry-on, which I'll actually check, small matching carry-on, CPAP bag, and laptop bag) in basic black, and printed out and inserted contact information in a colour matching my suitcase (which of course, is a type of purple, sort of the clothing colour often called plum or aubergine, but lighter than either of those actual objects).
  2. Put said tags on each bag.
  3. Called Delta to make sure they knew I was travelling with, but not using, my CPAP, which means an additional bag that doesn't count as such.
  4. Checked my model of CPAP to see if it needs a label (it does not).
  5. Bought a small crossbody organiser that is flat with pockets for a boarding pass, passport (which I will not have to use on this trip, so I'll leave it at home), and ID (I may take my passport card, however, as I'm not sure our state ID fully complies with the RealID law yet--I know there was some issue about the fact that they are issued by individual county seats, not centrally). It hangs crossbody and will be very good as I will most likely not have pants with pockets, and I have enough to juggle (liquids, CPAP, and laptop usually come out to be screened, at least here in Lexington).
  6. Found and registered the Ventra card I'll use on the trains and buses. I'll load a one-day pass while I'm there, which will save me some money.
  7. Have printed my airline confirmation, my hotel confirmation, my meeting agenda, and directions/maps from O'Hare to the hotel and from the hotel to Midway.
  8. Have typed up an itinerary of flights with numbers, hotel contact information, and meeting contact information for a friend in case anything goes wrong.
  9. Have found the almost elusive tiny Fixodent from the last flight (it was part of my introductory pack when I got my partials; I usually use Polident, and I think the large tube is actually under the per item limit, but the little one is better for getting things into the quart bag) and put it in the bag with my other liquids.
  10. Checked to make sure I'm complying with my liquids.
  11. Checked to see if I can put a light jacket in my checked bag (I doubt I'll need it, except if we go out to dinner that night). It's supposed to be in the 40s and sunny or partly sunny while I'm there.
I'm going to wear my Mary Janes (the really comfortable diabetic shoes I got from the doctor a couple of months ago). They do have stick in gel heel pads, which I hope will be okay, as they're not normally removed. My actual inserts are foam; they should be fine. I will most likely wear a light sweater that will go with either top I wear, and keep everything simple. I'll pack an empty purse in my checked bag so that I can transfer things as needed to it for moving around town. I haven't chosen what I'll wear yet, and I haven't actually packed--that will be for the night before, because there's always some last minute thing, anyway. Oh, and I bought a little pack of facial tissues in case I need those. I also have to make sure I get up v-e-r-y e-a-r-l-y the morning I leave--my flight's at 6 am, I'll probably need to be at the airport about 4:30, so I need to get up about 3:30 am. I'll try to go to bed early the night before.

I went to see my family member tonight, and she's doing much, much better. I explained that I have physical therapy tomorrow night and am flying out later in the week, so I'm not sure I'll be able to visit till the weekend.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Some random thoughts...

Death, and life, all the points in between, we lead our lives with all the potential and failings inherent in being fully human.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I tried a food truck for the first time today

And while it was tasty, had a big window where you could watch the action, was giving a percentage of the profits to our non-profit organisation, and took debit cards (as opposed to our cafeteria, which is cash only and frankly, of late, has had little in the ways of vegetarian options), it was expensive ($13 for a small eight-inch pizza, before tip) and took awhile to get if you didn't go for the special small pepperoni pizza. (My veggie pizza order took 25 minutes, when my lunch break is technically only 30. But one of my co-workers' order got mislaid; she waited much longer for her cheese pizza with cheese sticks.) They did so well, they ran out of pizza. :) The vendor was Rolling Oven Pizza. It was good, but a little greasy for my taste (I'm more of a Papa John's kind of girl--Pizza Hut is too greasy for me, Domino's I still have some social issues with, and Sir Pizza, the one time I had it, was like cardboard--although that could be related to the fact we were in the midst of an ice storm at the time and they were the only place I could get to deliver to my all-electric-with-electricity-out apartment. There's supposed to be a food truck coming every other week for awhile. We'll see where we go from here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I feel a little guilty

about not going to the hospital tonight after I got out of my appointment, but since they shut down visitation during shift change, I'd have had to gone about 8:30 pm, and from what I gather, nothing much has changed, except she was moved to another unit within the hospital and can squeeze a hand if asked, since she's on a ventilator and cannot speak. I did check with the nurse this morning and her husband tonight. Tomorrow I have yet another appointment after work, physical therapy, and so if she's still in the hospital Friday I'll visit. I would hope she wouldn't be, but I think she probably will. She's pretty sick. It's hard to see her like that, though, and I will say, her husband is doing a good job of being by her side, although I'm sure it's wearing on him. He'd driving home every night after being there all day to take care of his 93-year-old mother, a dog, and a cat, and then coming back each day, and he's about 45 minutes away one way, and he's no spring chicken. In the midst of some of her issues his dog had an infection and had to have emergency surgery and his sister died of a heart attack--so it's been a very rough two or three weeks for him.

I have a somewhat complicated relationship with her, and while we were very close, too close really, once upon a time, we don't see or talk to each other often. But I hate to see her suffering, and I do love her, and it's very sad and I just haven't processed it quite yet, her mortality. Getting older is no picnic, but being older and having multiple conditions any one of which can quickly kill you sucks majorly. It also makes me examine my own life and future, and maybe some changes I could make. I can't imagine losing her, but I'm very much afraid that I will, and soon--if not this hospitalisation, then one to come. It makes me very sad to think about it, although it's tempered by the reality being faced. And as difficult as it is for us to watch, it must be horrible for her. I know the tubes and wires are really making her uncomfortable, and she was obviously frustrated by not being able to speak. My hope is that she can get off all of that and return home, and soon, to her pining cat, crazy dog, and her husband. I know that's where she would want.

My laptop has given me fits today

It was connecting to the Wi-Fi and Ethernet networks, but not to the actual Internet. Apparently, my DNS settings had to be reset. The fix is here. On Windows 10, though, it's best to just search for the Command Prompt application from the search box, then right click on the icon to Run as Administrator--otherwise it won't work.

I got the same feedback as the one person who said it did not work for him--some of the reset failed. But, it still worked. All I was trying to do was move files from one computer to another, either through the network, through Dropbox, or through Gmail, and none of it worked. At first I thought it was my Wi-Fi at home, but it also wouldn't connect when I was using my phone as a hotspot at an appointment I'd taken a friend to.

Also, the troubleshooting for connexion problems kept saying there were no issues, and I was apparently connected, and in fact my anti-virus and Windows Update were downloading updates. Crazy. I even turned off my firewall briefly to see if that was the problem, and had already taken Google Chrome out of the allowed programs and added it back in. Then I stumbled on the fix above. Hope that helps someone.

I've tried both wired and wireless connexions and they're now working fine. Yay!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One last thing of adorable cuteness

Just a brief post before turning in

The physical therapy evaluation was very thorough, and I learned a lot. He thinks my pain is primarily muscular, although there is an issue with my thoracic spine in terms of degenerative discs, arthritis, and a bone spur, in addition to the degeneration in my cervical spine. Oddly enough, my lumbar spine is in good shape, although I have pain in it, so it's most likely in need of strengthening the muscles. I also found out that the tailbone fracture we thought had occurred when I was in my 20s definitely did happen, as my coccyx is off a bit. My neck issue is apparently the cause of the constant headache since last Wednesday as well. So we're going to work on getting the muscles loosened and relaxed so we can then strengthen them. Even though this was only an exam, I have to admit, I felt better than I had all day. Last night I'd decided not to take the tizanidine (the muscle relaxant), and that was a mistake, as the muscles were very tight and spasming a bit today still. So tonight I'll take my prednisone and tizanidine, and some ibuprofen, and hopefully it will be better tomorrow. The whole spine is still doing much better than last week, thankfully. I think the PT will help a great deal as well.

My family member's condition is unchanged. I'll check back tomorrow about her and see if anything improves.

I worked in scheduling today and then had my videoconference, which I did using my own cell phone, so I didn't have to pay a lot in long distance for the hospital (I have unlimited calling, including long distance). We used Zoom, which worked really well, and they could hear me fine. They're going to ask via the electronic list if the membership wants me to continue as our state representative, or if someone else is interested, if we'd like to give them the chance this coming term. I also got some feedback to take with me to Chicago.

I now have my hotel confirmation and, of course, the plane itinerary with confirmation. It's just a little over a week away. :) I've never flown Delta before, so this should be an experience, especially with the layovers and five different airports to navigate. I told my boss about it, and I think he thought it was insane. By the time it's all over, I think I'll agree.

Okay, I'm going to take my meds and go to bed. Good night!

Monday, November 09, 2015

This keeps playing just about every time I go to the hospital

It's terribly appropriate at the moment, which is sad.

Yesterday I was away from my phone for awhile

and when I returned, I had a text message saying a close relative was on life support. Another family member had called, asking for an update, and another e-mailed. I called the her husband, who texted me, got some details, and put my laundry that I had been doing at my friends' house, which was still damp or wet, into the car and went over to the University of Kentucky, to one of the ICUs in the hospital there for a couple of hours. I won't go into the particulars, but my family member is very, very sick. Today she is at least awake, although unable to talk due to the variety of tubes, including a ventilator, but is breathing on her own as well and hopefully will be off it soon. So there has been some improvement. But she'd still in pretty bad shape, and it was sad to watch her trying to communicate without being able to. I went over after work, getting caught in a traffic snarl when a procession for a paramedic from a local community who had been struck by a vehicle while on duty last week, and who has since died, was held to carry his body home, which I thought was a very sweet and moving thing to do, so it didn't matter to me that it took me 20 minutes to go one block to get to the hospital parking structure. I stayed till about 7, grabbing some food at the hospital cafeteria with her husband and stepson before I left. Then I came home and updated some other family members and spent awhile on the phone with YKWIA about what was going on. Anyway, it's been a rough couple of days, particularly for her.

Tomorrow evening I get a physical therapy evaluation for my neck and back, and there's appointments after work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to take a friend to. I'm also trying to get ready for my Chicago trip next week, and working on that job application. Tomorrow I'm in scheduling for the morning and have a webconference for a meeting of a professional organisaton, the Kentucky Medical Library Association, in the afternoon, and then there's PT, so I'll most likely not be able to go visit after then. But her husband said he'd keep me posted.

I think I'll go do some reading and maybe listen to some music and wind down for the night. Tomorrow morning is an early day at work, so I'll turn in pretty soon. Good night.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Where did the day go?

I worked on weekly house maintenance today,  then got something from the pharmacy.  Then I went over and watched lots of YouTube clips from 'Glee' with YKWIA (no,  I've never actually seen the series,  but we watched lots of their versions of songs today).  I took A to the grocery and then I came home and worked on the CV and on my LinkedIn profile,  and Googled myself to find what is out there on the internet,  and I found an old CV that had been archived that had some additional info on it that I may or may not incorporate,  as it is very old,  like from  the GeoCities days.   I've been listening to the radio since I got home,  and I'm listening to a CD now,  so there's been a great deal of music today.  I just changed my phone font  (I loved the other,  but it only had lower case,  and that was a problem when blogging, etc.) and did some updating.  Now I've taken my meds and I'm ready for bed.  There's no game tomorrow,  so I didn't do the notes tonight and I can go over there later tomorrow than normal.

Yesterday they did a series of x-rays on my neck and back,  so I should know more about what's going on soon. The doctor and ARNP put me on prednisone and I'll continue with ibuprofen and tizanidine as needed,  but thankfully,  I am feeling better.  I didn't actually take any pain reliever today until just now,  and it was two ibuprofen,  not the three I was taking during the day with Pepcid, or the Percocet at night. I like to take the minimum needed-- even when I broke my ankle, I moved to Tylenol after about two weeks.  One,  I don't want to take the chance on getting addicted to the opiates, and even NSAIDS aren't good for you long-term. They're bad on the kidneys,  for one.  Ibuprofen works better than Tylenol for me,  usually.  I only took Tylenol with the ankle because it didn't inhibit bone growth like other pain relievers. Aleve does absolutely nothing for me.

Okay,  I should put the phone down and sleep. My hands are hurting. Good night.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

*Fingers crossed*

I've been working on my curriculum vitae in earnest the last few days, as I have a position I'm going to apply for that, while in a hospital, is administered by a university and therefore requires a CV rather than a résumé, which is nice, as I can actually put relevant things on it that I couldn't do on the shorter document, like my professional activities and publications. Now I just have to do the cover letter/letter of interest, which is the hardest for me. Please think good thoughts for me--my position is being eliminated when the hospital moves to its new medical centre model in 2017, and this is not only a librarian position, it's a solo hospital librarian position, but for a larger organisation, and it's here in Lexington. I am positively giddy at the opportunity! And it's full-time as a librarian, so I wouldn't be doing two-three positions to be full time in various parts of the hospital like I do now. I can actually concentrate on serving patrons all through the workweek! Anyone great at critiquing who would like to look it over before I send it to them? Check out the link on the sidebar to my CV. Thanks!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Something a bit more upbeat...

I wish I could figure out

why my laptop can do a Google search, but refuses to connect to any actual websites? My firewall just got updated; maybe that's it. But it's damn annoying.

I'm still hurting, but taking ibuprofen and sitting rather than walking have kept it bearable--I actually got a lot done today, and I made headway on the referrals. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning at 11 am; it was the quickest they could work me in. I hope I just strained something and it'll work itself out soon.

I've been listening to the Linkin Park station on Pandora. There's nothing like alternative metal/nu metal to totally stoke the fire when you're annoyed already. I think I need to switch the station over to Loreena McKennitt or Ella Fitzgerald.

I wish I could stay up some more, but I am hurting, and I took some medicine for it, and while it hasn't kicked in yet in terms of the pain, I'm feeling sleepy. I have to get up early tomorrow, so I think I'll go take my contacts out and go to bed. At least I did get to see 'Heroes Reborn' tonight. They've done an excellent job with it. Tomorrow, as Scarlett said, is another day.


Earlier this evening I hurt my neck, and spasms have gone down all the way to my lower back. At first I could barely move it at all. Now I'm mostly okay when going to the left, but moving it to the right sends pain through the muscles of the neck and down into my back. I was having pain and a little numbness in my foot and hand on the left side earlier; now I'm not sure. I did come home and immediately took a very low dose of tizanidine, a muscle relaxer, and half a Percocet that I had left over from my knee surgery last year. I almost never take anything stronger than ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but the pain was the type that took your breath away. I am having trouble bending down at all, because the spasms went down to my lower back and it's messed up as well. The midback muscles are tight and the pain reaches around to right under the shoulders into the sides and even into my pectoral muscles on the chest. So I'm pretty stiff and while not in the pain I was, I still hurt. I have cervical degenerative disc disease anyway, which translates to bulging discs in my neck, and my neck curvature is opposite of what it's supposed to be, on a straight and J-shaped spine rather than the normal S-curve. So it's easy to make it worse. If I still feel bad tomorrow, I'll try to get in to my doctor's office for an evaluation.

I laid down about 7 pm and woke up just before midnight, feeling pretty decent until I moved. Apparently in that time I moved over to my left side and got my pillow back (I had been keeping my neck straight on the mattress). When I moved to my right side, it was a different story. I went ahead and got up. I'm eating a breakfast sandwich and thought I'd post on my week so far. I know I haven't really done much writing the last few days. Sorry about that. Sunday was the game, of course, and I don't normally write then because, well, I'm usually pretty tired afterwards, especially when we play late, which we did, till about 9:30, and I got home around 10:30 pm, so I'd been over there about 13 and a half hours, and we played about seven.

I think I mentioned that I was feeling overwhelmed at work. If not, let me do so now. I'm working three positions in a standard 40-hour work week, and I'm non-exempt, meaning I clock in and out and should not have overtime. On Monday morning I was in scheduling from 9 am-noon, had lunch, and then my temporary boss asked me to come back from 2-3 pm since a couple of people were leaving at 2. I did so, but wound up there till 3:45 pm. Then I desperately started tackling the backlog of charge sheets I had to enter. I usually work on the same day or maybe the day after at the most. Monday I was working on a giant stack from last Wednesday, where we'd had a very crazy busy clinic. I couldn't work down a list like usual because it had been more than the same day or the day before, so I had to look each encounter up by financial number, which slowed me down, and also, some numbers had been punched through and I had to look them up by medical record number instead, which further slowed me down.

My regular boss came by to ask me about the referral queue, which normally has about 7 or so encounters on it in a 10-day period at the beginning of the week, and had 65 or so this time. I simply have not been able to work it down, and it has crept up each week that I've worked in scheduling, then jumped up this past week, with all the charge sheets I got. He found me sitting there attempting to get through my giant stack of charges, and we wound up having a long talk about how it's affecting my work. I was very candid. I also admitted that I'm not particularly assertive, and probably shouldn't have agreed to help extra when I was so far behind, but I hadn't expected to be there for almost an additional hour. I also told him that I've been having to use almost every moment I'm not in scheduling to try to keep up with the revenue cycle job. I'm even further behind on the library; I've done a few interlibrary loans and troubleshot the copiers or helped others with the computers, but otherwise, no, I haven't been doing much to keep the library going. I have a large stack of books that are stacked up about four feet tall behind my desk. I need to put out new journals, and have two large stacks of them. There are some donated books I was going to put out but haven't. The clinical early literacy programme cart hasn't been filled--that sort of thing. And I told him all this.

On Tuesday, I went in early and was finally able to, between the hour and a half I had in the quiet of the morning and then being able to work between phone calls in scheduling, I was able to get through Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday's charges, then picked up Monday's and did them. I also worked on the monthly audit, various reports, and caught up on the OR charge reconciliation. My temporary boss came by and we talked for awhile. Instead of working three days and 12-15 hours a week over in scheduling, we decided I wouldn't come in on Wednesday, and then each Friday for the next three weeks we'd decide on one day for me to come by and help depending on my schedule and workload and their clinic numbers and staffing. In about three weeks, they'll have more information about when or if the person I'm sitting in for will return, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I felt a lot better after I talked to her.

Today I went in and really hit the referral queue, and got some of it down. I'll do more tomorrow. I did the normal OR reconciliation (I do it every day, normally). I did the rest of the sheets from yesterday and the ones they had for today by about 2 pm. Then at 3:30 I needed to leave for a doctor's appointment. I went to it, got some refill prescriptions for my psych meds, and then went to the pharmacy and picked up a friend's medication. I went over there briefly, at which point the neck injury happened, and I came on home. Which bring us back around to the present. Tomorrow I hope to really bring the referral queue down, especially by Friday, as a report is run Monday. If I can do that, I'll be in better shape. The plan is to totally catch up and then be in good shape for when I go to Chicago later in the month, as I'll miss two days.

Did I mention my itinerary for the Chicago trip? I think I may have. Anyway, I fly out of Lexington at 6 am on a Thursday to Atlanta, with an hour and a half to navigate through that nightmare of an airport, and then into Chicago O'Hare, travel by train to the Medical District, check into the hotel, and go to the meeting. The next day I leave the hotel, go by train to Midway, and then fly to Detroit, where I have an hour and a half layover, before getting into Lexington about 3 pm. So I'll be doing a lot of travelling, and I'll travel four states, five airports, that sort of thing, all for a four-hour meeting. :) Ah, well. I saw the forecast for Chicago that went right up to my trip, and it looks like it'll be in the upper 40s, low 50s while I'm there, although I don't know the rain chance yet--the day before is 20%. I did e-mail them today about the hotel--I hadn't heard anything yet, but they've reserved the block of rooms but are waiting for the confirmations from the hotel, so all is well. Tomorrow I need to e-mail the Kentucky Medical Library Association to get their input before the trip (they have a meeting on the 10th, and while I can't make it to Louisville, will attempt to join the meeting remotely), and also I need to ask them if they want me to continue being the state representative to this committee now that the University of Chicago at Illinois is in its last year of a five-year contract, or if they'd like to appoint someone else in the upcoming cycle. I've really enjoyed being able to participate and the travel has been wonderful, as I never have had a travel budget at work, have never gone to a major conference, that sort of thing. I did miss one year, the 2012 meeting, when I got hit by the car and broke my ankle, but I've been to Chicago now three times, and I'm about to go again. Last time I was able to stay an extra day at my own expense and experience a little more of the town, including going to the Field Museum. I can't do that this time, but still, I'm looking forward to it (although maybe not that many airports!) And this time I can mark Michigan off of the number of states I've been to. :) I think that makes just over half. Anyway, I'm grateful for the opportunity, but someone else might want a chance to do it, and it would be a good time to change, since either UIC or someone else will start the new contract cycle next year.

Okay, I think I'm going to go on back to bed. It's been an hour of sitting and I'm hurting a little. Good night!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I am sorry

I am too absolutely annoyed with the way things went in our state elections today,  particularly in the Kentucky governor's race,  that I cannot blog tonight.  I should be back to normal once I 've cooled off. Good night!

Monday, November 02, 2015


I have come to realise  that while posting about the Breeder's Cup the other day,  I spelled 'Pharaoh' correctly, something I took pains to do because I have such trouble with 'pharaoh',  which is unfortunate because the horse's name apparently is 'American Pharoah', spelled incorrectly, at least in English, per everything I see in the media.  Sigh.  He's still a wonderful horse.