Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Still have a ways to go

But here is the revived aquarium, with its lone fish. :)

Up early

So I didn't really sleep well last night. I got A from work at 1 am, got in bed by 2, was still awake at 3, woke up at 5:30, and slept fitfully until 6:30, when I called to wake him up for his next shift. I then loaded three boxes of books into the car, moved my bread machine and the canisters to one side of the counter, moved my microwave onto the kitchen island (it's been in the dining room on a microwave cart for years), then left and was over there by 7:15, took him to work, then came back and made some scrambled eggs (the last of those). I moved a few more things around in the kitchen. It's not where I'd like things, but I think it will work better. The main reason I moved the microwave is that during my waking moments I considered putting the 3-gallon tank together and moving it. It's in the bedroom right now. But I'd rather it be in the living or dining room. I did consider the table the peace lily is on, but it's one of those flimsy occasional tables, and even three gallons of water can 1) be pretty heavy for something like that and 2) do damage to the books behind it if it falls over, not to mention problems with the fish.

So I think I'll put the tank on the microwave cart, and then something I had on top of the microwave can go where the tank is now. I didn't think the tank should go on the microwave. It's too heavy, I think, and I'm not sure whether that would be good for the fish. I've had my microwave since December of 1991 and I'd like it to keep working. :)

It's very humid inside and out (I still haven't called about the air conditioning, which is bad, as it's supposed to be 88 degrees today). I'll call tomorrow. I've opened the bedroom window, had some cool water, and I think I'm going to put the fan on and try to rest till about 10 am. I want to be over to the game master's by 11, as he lets me use his washer and dryer, and I'd like to do bedding as well as the small amount of clothes I have this week. That way they should be finished by the time Brenda (who was posting on Facebook five hours ago, so she must have had a bit of insomnia) comes, and we can focus on play.

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I had four goals tonight

  1. Finish the game notes, even though it meant reliving the loss of the character. [Check]
  2. Get the living room in serviceable shape so I can sit on the loveseat and actually watch something if I'd like. [Check]
  3. Get the dining room in enough shape that I could get a bucket from the bathroom to the aquarium (which is in the dining room). [Check]
  4. Fill up the aquarium and then vacuum it as thoroughly as I can. [Check}
I'm hoping the one remaining goldfish (which is the biggest, prettiest one I had) will not die, with this major influx and change of water. But I'd let the aquarium languish, to the point where it was too low to keep the pump on, and there was a lot of Java moss, too, which tends to choke the remaining water. I have most likely the dirtiest aquarium known to man, mainly because I can't get those stupid 'self-starting' vacuums to work, and I've gotten enough knowledge of aquariums and infection control that I didn't want to do the old 'suck on the hose until it starts' that we did in the old days. I have three vacuums, two large, one small, all 'self-starting'. The small one is actually for the three-gallon betta tank that is currently not set up.

Well, I took an old Tidy Cat five-gallon bucket (not a liquid five gallons, but you get the idea), and filled up the bucket three times with water, and put it in the aquarium, which brought it up to the right height. I also changed the foam and activated charcoal in the filter (but not the anti-ammonia pellets--you should always keep some of the medium so that good bacteria that eat nitrates and therefore keep down algae blooms spread throughout the filter). I then plugged in the filter and discovered, to my dismay, that the heater had been plugged up all this time, in not so much water, which I don't know what that does. I think it shut itself off, at least. I cleared out some of the Java moss and then I let the filter run for a couple of hours, till the milm was settled on the floor of the aquarium and the water was clear.

Enter the turkey baster. Years ago, a former friend had given it to me as a gag gift, which had nothing to do with eating, as I don't eat poultry. It was still in the original plastic, some time ago, because of course I rarely throw anything away. I had used it once before to start the suction on the vacuum, and tried again. But the large vacuums have very long hoses, and I am too short to properly get the water and detritus into the container from my height, with the hose on the bottom floor of the aquarium and the container on the floor of the apartment. I decided to try the smaller vacuum, with a shorter hose, used the turkey baster to get the suction going, and then vacuumed two two-litres and a gallon milk jug's worth of gunk and water, which I capped and saved to water the plants with, as it's good fertilizer.

I then planted the plants back in, righted the tree branch and gargoyle, and found the little cave the fish like to go into. I replaced the lost water with six two-litres full of clean treated water and got some of the algae off the glass top. I certainly didn't get all the sediment, but I didn't want to shock the fish's system any more than I had done already. I then put away everything, scrubbed my arms down with soap and water, and I'm going to wait and see what it's going to look like when everything settles, then wait a week or two, and vacuum again. If I can get it looking halfway decent, I'll check the water (my chlorine, ammonia, and chloramines are always fine, the pH is hard, given that we're sitting atop lots of limestone, and my nitrates (but not my nitrates) are always very high, which is why I've had feeder goldfish in the tank for years. Of course, goldfish are very 'dirty' fish. They poop a lot, which causes the milm to build up, and the nitrates. Maybe if I can get things under control, I can go back to other fish, like livebearers and plecostomuses, while keeping the goldfish. You are probably thinking, just set the three-gallon up and put the goldfish in there. The problem with that is that goldfish actually need quite a bit of room, and goldfish bowls actually stress them out, and they die quickly. And while they usually prefer colder water than livebearers, mine's use to warmer water. So there's that. We'll see how it goes. I've had trouble with this set-up since I put the aquarium back together years ago. It never matured correctly, even with adding nitrate-eating bacteria and letting it 'cure' before putting fish in. I never had that trouble before, and the aquarium has been up most of the last thirty years, and the only thing I've really changed is the type of filter (better than the old undergravel ones) and that worked for years, and I've put an LED light in rather than flourescent, which provides more natural and long-lasting light. So I don't know. I did fine for over twenty years. Maybe it's somehow how the aquarium has aged. The gravel is the same gravel, albeit having been washed with water (not soap or anything) between set-ups. In the meantime, I'll cut the long hoses down to a better length. Anyway, here's hoping that everything's going to get better, and I get to be a better 'fish mom', not letting stress make me ignore the poor fish and the tank.

Feeling better today

There's nothing I can do beyond what I have for the financial situation, and even if any of the money comes in today, there's nothing to do with it till Monday. So, in a way, my anxiety has lessened. It's just a waiting game now. I've gotten up, showered, eaten some homemade oatmeal bread with some honey, and then I've already taken my friends to an appointment--I'm just waiting for them to go ahead and get out of it. Then I'll take one to to work and the other home. I think I'll come back and work on the game notes. I had all that time yesterday, but didn't feel like doing it, especially as I'd have to deal with the character death all over again. Then I think I'll have a quiet day at home. I think it'll be good for me.

Okay, I think I'm going to get some more water and get ready to get the guys. Have a great day.

I hesitate to write this

But last night the stress of trying to keep everything current with no money coming in (well, theoretically there's money coming, but it hasn't gotten here and I'm not sure when it will) got to me, I got very upset to the point of what I used to call an emotional storm. I used to have those fairly often, but haven't had one in years. It's almost like an emotional seizure. You get so emotional, you get so caught up with anxiety and depressive thoughts all at once, that you can become dissociative, or in my case last night, you want to hurt yourself, and you have suicidal ideation. Usually they last about 20 minutes, leaving you exhausted. Last night's was about two hours. It included intense crying, and I really had to do a lot of self-talk, as my best friend couldn't deal with me, and it never occurred to me to call a hotline, which is what I should have done.

Today I've felt drained and hung over. I haven't gotten much if anything accomplished, although I did try. And I found out there was a check issued today by the unemployment office, although it won't be here in time to keep a debit from causing an overdraught. I was trying so hard not to let that happen. But I'd been told some of the money should come in mid-April, and the unemployment was supposed to be automatically deposited a week after I was finally able to get benefits. Neither of those were the case, which proves that in case of finances, don't believe anyone unless they put it in writing, and even then, be suspicious.

Still, things should eventually get better. I'm still looking for work every day, applying for jobs, and I should have money coming in, as Sunday I request my next benefit payment, which will be for a full two weeks and hopefully they'll have the automatic payment set up by then. I'm even getting my tiny refund from the state on Monday, according to the credit union. It's just none of it was in time. But there's worse things than overdrawing an account. I know my reaction was over the top--it's a known issue I'll discuss with my therapist and psychiatrist. But it was still scary.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Time to

  • Close the windows.
  • Turn off Pandora.
  • Get a light bulb from the drawer to take over to my friend's.
  • Go over to YKWIA's.
Tonight I'll try to work on those boxes (I didn't get to them), put the cooled bread away, and fix some basmati rice for tomorrow, as I won't have time to cook, really, and I have some Indian dinners that I need the rice for, and some frozen naan. Have a great night, if I don't blog any more today. I'm going to try to go back to my Facebook feed and pull out some great news stories that I shared and put them here. That may be a job for tomorrow or Friday, though. Take care, and stay tuned.

Whole wheat bread can be a challenge

This is the fluffiest and best-tasting (a little piece fell off in the lower back) whole wheat loaf I've ever made. I used the normal recipe, but had transcribed the dough conditioner wrong before, and it always came out pretty small and compact. Got it right this time, and used olive oil instead of canola. Yay!

Just realised

that the one thing I didn't do this morning was take my medication, so I've taken the Lantus [which was painful, as I hit a capillary--I wish I could figure out how NOT to do that, after all these years] and my oral meds.

It's beautiful outside, and I've gotten a lot accomplished so far, although the next big project is taking out the trash and recyclables, something that tends to hurt my back more than anything else I do housework-wise. I'm not sure why--it doesn't even have to be heavy at all, there's just something about carrying something in that manner that does it. I usually get out my granny cart and do it, but I think I'll just try to do the trash in one trip and the recyclables in another. My container for the recyclables is totally full--I go through more of that than trash, really.

Right now I'm taking a break and having something to drink (which should be water, and isn't, it's soda, but I did fill up my filtered water pitcher, which was really low, for later).

I have been doing some job searching, too--I usually do check several boards and the library job list each day. I found one yesterday that isn't a library job, but sounds like it could be good, and pays about the same as the last library job I applied for. It's basically a position which assists the anaesthesiology faculty with technology, especially web technology. So I'm not just looking for library positions, although I would like to keep with that if at all possible. But I know it may not be.

I'm starting to get a little sleepy. I've kept the music peppy and my contacts are in, rather than my glasses on, so I wouldn't be tempted to take a nap. I need to make sure that I don't start napping in the early afternoon when I'd normally be at work; I'm trying to keep a fairly normal business schedule, although some days I've slept in a bit.

I wonder if it's worth trying to call the state unemployment office regarding the 'credits have been applied to your account but a check has not been issued' thing. Every time I've tried to call, it's stayed really busy, and I left a voicemail at the career center, and the person never called me back. I would probably have better luck going early Friday morning and asking in person. My understanding from a web search is that for whatever reason, it hasn't been finalised, although I did get a letter saying I was eligible and how much it will be, but there's not much to do, except put your claims in at the times specified, and eventually they'll deposit funds in my account. But it's a little frustrating, as they told us in our seminar before I was laid off that we should file, then wait 16 days (which I did), request benefits (which I did), and then we'd get paid a week later. And that's what happened the first time I got laid off and went on unemployment, but at least that was a reduction in hours and I still had some income coming in. They never mentioned this particular issue. Sigh. Granted, because of the 'waiting week' I was only going to get a week's benefits, but it would have been helpful. I also have to figure out whether next month, when I have to do my eligibility review, if I have to do it there in person, or if if that's what my meeting with the official was when I filed and I can do it on the computer, as while it says in the handbook the first one must be in person, he sort of indicated that I'd be doing it online. It was a little vague, though. So I can ask if I go on Friday, which I'm thinking I should.

Okay, the trash and recyclables are not going to take themselves out. So much for my break.


I'm going to YKWIA's at 6 pm. That gives me time to:
  1. Do all the plastic dishes.
  2. Do the other dishes in the dishwasher.
  3. Wipe down the kitchen counters and stove.
  4. Cut up a pineapple and see if it's still good. (I was hopeful, but it isn't).
  5. Clean out the refrigerator. (My crisper does not keep things crisp at all).
  6. Make bread.
  7. Clean the bathroom.
  8. Hang a new shower liner I've had for awhile.
  9. Take out the trash.
  10. Take out the recyclables.
  11. Work on the boxes that line the hallway.
If I can do that, then at least we're good for workmen and Terminix to come in tomorrow. I'll see what else I can do today and Friday. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment, pulmonary rehab, and an allergist appointment, so I doubt that I'll get much done tomorrow at home.

So far today

I have:
  • Gotten up and ready
  • Gotten gas with the $10 of quarters I'd taken out for laundry at the apartment complex (but I did my laundry at YKWIA's)
  • Gotten breakfast at McDonald's (two egg and cheese biscuits)
  • Gotten something with caffeine (with my last couple of dollars)
  • Spoken with a former co-worker who'd also been laid off I'd run into at Kroger and checked on how she's doing
  • Gotten my allergy shots (the first on the highest build, red, and there was quite a bit of local itching right after)
  • Eaten breakfast
  • Enrolled in COBRA
  • Put Ed Sheeran's album on Bluetooth playing from my phone to my speaker in the living room
I do feel better today. Last night I gave a libation of an entire bottle of wine, some honey, some lavender flowers--both dried and fresh--and prayed about the whole situation that's causing me stress. That really helped. I'm glad it happened to be dark of the moon. :)

Now there's the rest of the day to plan out. I think I'll call YKWIA and find out when he wants to get together, so I can plan around that and get some things done at the house. I'd like to put the windows up and just start clearing some things out, plus working on some of the areas I haven't gotten to. With all the stuff I brought from my desk and everything else, it's kind of hard to get around here. None of that has been put away, really. It's just a disaster, really. So today (and maybe Friday), I'm going to work on it and see what I can do.

Okay, let me go make that phone call.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

So it's been a difficult few days

Lots of stress, lots of little things, lots of running around, lots of phone calls. I won't go into all of it, but suffice to say most of it it financial, and things should get better in the next few days, and in the meantime I'm moving heaven and earth trying not to overdraw my bank account.

And, although the game was very good Sunday, and it was a particularly difficult adventure that the game master really had to rework, I lost a character. Now most of you who roleplay do short bouts of adventures, with a dungeon crawl here, or a single story, and then things happen and sometimes your character gets killed, and you roll up another and go on. But when you play an ongoing story, in which the characters take on life, for nearly twenty-six years, you get a little attached to them, and it kind of bums you out for a day or two. In all the time I've been playing Call of Cthulhu, I've lost three characters. One was stomped on by Shub-Niggurath and became toe-jam, just two months after she had a baby. The second was a guy who sacrificed himself in Antarctica to save the world (and a beloved non-player character), and I felt very good about that one, really, and hadn't been playing him very long at all. This one I've played for about 5-7 years; she had a baby 10 months ago in game time, and was killed by being cooked from the inside out when she missed her saving throw by none other than Nyarlathotep himself. I suppose I should be honoured by the fact that I've had characters killed mainly by major manifestations, but it still hurts. Also, the woman's husband had to be killed because he was turning into a Cthulhoid thing (and he was already a necromancer), just mere hours before her death. So the child is an orphan, though fortunately the family curse was thwarted, and he will not be doomed for all time.

You've got to love Lovecraftian roleplaying.

On the good side, I had no less than three characters on this adventure, and one was my very first character--the one I've been playing for 26 years or so--the one who usually survives by going insane, getting pregnant--she actually spent two game years inside Yog-Sothoth. If that's not devotion to avoiding death and mayhem, I don't know what is.

In this one adventure--'The Burning Stars'--we had seven characters (two for Brenda, three for me, and two non-player characters). Two went insane, two died, one barely survived having her heart squeezed by a spell by Nyarlathotep, and one was left standing to hike back into Port-au-Prince (we were in Haiti) to find help. That was the one who'd been around all these years, and she had an interesting discussion with Nyarly (as we call him) where she was basically tired and mourning and wasn't up to being terribly afraid of him. Of course, she should be.

So I was down a little yesterday, kind of glum, actually. Today I feel better. Of course, I also had my rehab today and did lots of exercise, worked harder than I had, did my breathing exercises, and wound up pushing myself into the beginning of an asthma attack, so I had to use my inhaler. But things are improving on that front. I'm still holding at about 7 lbs short of where I was a month ago and 16 lbs short of my all-time high. So it's helping with that, as well.

Okay, I think I will go do some things around the house. I need to call in the air conditioner and our bimonthly pest control visit is Thursday, and those dishes aren't going to wash themselves (more's the pity).

I will not scream, I will not scream

When you have to remind yourself that most of your situation is out of your control, it is better to breathe than scream, and it will all be sorted in the end, so just do what you can, call a calming friend, pray to your Goddess, and go do dishes, because *that* you can control.

On the plus side, I applied for another job today, at the Lexmark library (which is apparently staffed by UK). That's five active applications since the last week in March, and a non-librarian one that looks to be a good fit to apply for before May 1st. Here's hoping one of them will pan out soon.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I got

My last of the yellow-coded allergy shots today, meaning I have ten more (red) trips before going to maintenance dose. Yay, and finally!

I signed a friend up for his work benefits, taught him about emoticons and texting, took YKWIA to an appointment and to the pharmacy, came home, ate, applied for a job I really, really want--a faculty position at UK in the medical library--went and got A and took him somewhere, came back and got my cover letter finished for another job at Lexmark, tweaked my  résumé for it, and then got A and took him to another place he's staying over at for the night.

So it was a productive day. Now I'm home and I'm considering going to bed because there's no alarm clock where A is, so I'll call and wake him up at 6:30 am and get him at 7:30 am to get him to work by 8.

Both orchids are now blooming fully


I finally turned on the air conditioning today because the apartment was 75.7 degrees inside, hotter than outside, actually, with 44% humidity. It's been running all day, and it's now 76.4 degrees. Guess who needs maintenance to come fix her air conditioning? I doubt they'll be able to get to it till Monday, so at least it's good that tomorrow it's supposed to be fairly cool. I've brought my sleeping fan out to the living room for awhile, and I have the windows open (which unfortunately, being on the first floor, I can't sleep that way safely). Oh, well.


The other day my printer stopped working, which was unfortunate, because I
  1. Had just replaced the ink and gotten it going again,
  2. Need it for reviews of my job materials and keeping track of my applications, and
  3. Know that it's often cheaper just to buy another printer if it breaks, rather than repair it, for which I have no money at the moment.
I'd done everything I could think of: changed the height of the paper, loaded and reloaded the drawer, pulled out the duplexer and put it back in, looked at the back of the machine where the drawer goes in, all that. But that last one I'd done when I'd been frustrated. This time, I realised that there was white in the back. My printer is black. Ding, ding, ding. There was an accordion of paper trapped between the back of the printer and the drawer, keeping the rollers from pulling up the paper. Simple fix. Obvious fix. But I wasn't doing so well a couple of days ago when I was troubleshooting, apparently.

Fortunately, I did drive well last night. We had a very close call. I was in the right lane on Alumni where it meets Nicholasville Road. At that time of night, that right lane can either go right or left (it's a dead end, so there's no straight). I had my signal on for left, and the sign was lit up clearly. When the light turned green, I proceeded in my lane left. The SUV in the left lane, which was huge, maybe an Expedition, swerved halfway into my lane, and ran me up the curb and off the road, briefly, but there was a utility pole so I laid on the horn, got back on the road, and the driver was either drunk, oblivious, or an utter asshole, because he or she just went quickly into my lane and sped down the road. The only reason we didn't collide is I was able to come to a dead stop (without getting hit from behind). We were probably about 2-3 inches from one another or less at one point. My passenger and I were a little shaken, but I got him home a couple more blocks down the road and then got myself home (going back down Alumni).

Things I don't understand:
  1. Why do people get into the wrong turn lane for the lane they want?
  2. Why do people not read signs or indicators like the other cars' turn signals?
  3. Why do people not turn into the correct lane?
  4. Why, on hearing not a little beep but a sustained horn, would you not, if you were blithely turning into the wrong lane, would you not get your ass back in your own lane, as someone was obviously in the other lane?
I'm putting it down to drunken idiocy in this case, for now. I'm glad no one was hurt. If I'd hit that utility pole, my passenger would have taken the brunt. If I'd been hit by the SUV, I would have. I seriously doubt the SUV driver would have had much trouble---I drive a Ford Taurus, which is much lower and smaller. The SUV would definitely have won, which I think is one reason why it seems drivers of big SUVs and trucks don't really seem to care how badly they drive, they can just bully their way through. I see that all the time. Sigh. And people wonder why I have so much driving anxiety. But hey, I did what I could, drove well (my passenger thanked me for that), and we survived.

Okay, I'm alive, the printer is fixed, the corrections have been made and printed, and uploaded to Google Sites (I had the string of letters 'rmaterials' written on one of the sheets). I swear every time I proofread, and think I'm looking at a perfect document, I find something else. I also turned the air conditioner on this morning because it was 75.7 degrees in here and I was sleeping with a fan on the middle setting (normally it's low), without a blanket, and was still sweating. I have some things to do, including some exercising while practicing my breathing to do before I go over to YKWIA's later today. I'll write later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


It's been four-and-a-half years since I was hit by a car on my way to catch the bus to work - - October 12, 2012. Although my memory of that time is pretty decent, since it made quite an impact on me, generally I don't think of it much anymore. The car ran over my foot, breaking two metatarsals, and while my foot was trapped, the car hit me, breaking my ankle on the medial (inside) side, requiring surgery and a couple of implanted screws. But on those rare occasions, like now, when I turn my ankle a certain way, I remember. The pain is sudden and kind of takes the breath away. My doctor says that a small piece of bone has broken off inside my foot since the initial treatment. He tried to get my bone stimulator reset  but the insurance wouldn't go for that. If it gets worse, we may revisit further surgery, but for now it doesn't happen enough to warrant that for now. But when it does, it's definitely an owie.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today's agenda:

  1. Water houseplants
  2. Pulmonary rehab
  3. A friend's appointment
  4. A friend's second appointment
  5. Pharmacy for a friend
  6. Drop friend off at library for class
  7. Finish state taxes
  8. Get together library materials that are due
  9. Load food into car to return to friend
  10. Take materials to library and return
  11. Pick up friend from library
  12. Set up something on the computer for another friend (couldn't do that as he couldn't find the directions; I'll take him to get another set tomorrow).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sometime in the next week

I need to iron my interview suit, as next Tuesday there's a job class on networking I'd like to attend and they have recruiters who come in, so they suggest interview attire. I went and got nude panty hose to wear with it, as I had only black, which wouldn't work. I don't have pumps, so my other dress shoes will have to do (they're a flat, somewhat like a Mary Jane, but with slanted straps instead, and I'd be much more comfortable and assured than being awkward in heels). But this is what the suit looks like. I need to print up some more business cards before then, too.

This is not an ad

But more of a review. I was at Fresh Thyme, a new natural grocery, checking it out the other day, and got a tall can of this grape soda, which has nothing but carbonated water, citric acid, stevie leaf extract, and natural flavours. It's called Zevia, and it's pretty good, much better than others I've had in the past, and it's zero-calorie and has no caffeine, so I've been drinking them (I found six-packs of it at the Euclid Kroger) in the evening. It also doesn't have the phosphorus that dark colas have that cause kidney issues. I thought I'd share my find. I drink too much soda. This is a better alternative,  and it is a little more expensive ($3.49 for a six-pack, not horrible, but enough where I won't get a lot of them at once). The tall can was $1.49, but that was actually less than a regular soda. It comes in other flavours, too.


It's 74.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the apartment. I don't want to turn on the air conditioner yet, so I'm sitting in front of my bedroom fan. I sleep with one going all year round, under a single fuzzy blanket, as I'm hot-natured, and the perimenopause makes it worse.

I need to take a friend's food back to him tomorrow, as we transferred stuff to my refrigerator this weekend when his refrigerator (but apparently not the freezer, although we emptied that, too, as a precaution) went out. He's been storing half and half and mayonnaise (two absolute staples) in a cooler with ice in it, placed in the refrigerator. One thing that stayed in the freezer that he shared with me, though, were frozen bananas, wrapped in wax paper. They are sweet, cold, and a great substitute for ice cream. I may have to get some wax paper and start doing that. Try it, sometime.

Busy, busy, busy

Today I:
  1. Did my laundry (three loads) at YKWIA's.
  2. Took YKWIA to an appointment.
  3. Discovered that today's mail carrier doesn't understand what the 'outgoing mail' sticky note taped to the outside of my locking apartment mailbox means. This is not normally a problem. But my payment for my librarian certification did not go out today for that reason.
  4. Got some food from Captain D's and took it to YKWIA's. They got his order right; I got tilapia instead of salmon. Oh, well, I like tilapia.
  5. Watched the season finale of 'Legion' with him on Hulu.
  6. Came home and crashed for three hours, and feel like I finally caught up on rest from the weekend.
  7. Came out and did some stuff on the computer.
Tomorrow I:
  1. Need to go over about 10 am to help YKWIA with a project.
  2. Have pulmonary rehabilitation at 1 pm.
  3. Need to take YKWIA to an appointment and to his class at the library.
  4. Should get YKWIA to go through the books in my trunk so that I can give any rejects to the library and clear out the four copy paper boxes that are in there.
  5. Need to pay for and officially file my state taxes. Federal was filed weeks ago, but I have to pay for the state taxes, and they wouldn't let me take it out of my refund. Almost forgot to finish!
  6. Should review my cover letter and apply for the job that closes on the 25th.
  7. Need to check the various sites for new job openings.
  8. Need to water all my plants.
  9. Need to give the fish water.
So far there's just one thing on Wednesday, thankfully. Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty busy due to my rehabilitation, which last an hour and a half, so if anything else is scheduled, it can be hectic. But I'm definitely keeping busy.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I've had a total of about eight hours' sleep since Friday morning, I think I'm doing pretty well. Insomnia set in Friday, as I was pumped up on too much soda caffeine. Then A had to get wake-up calls at 6:30 am yesterday and today, rides to work at 8 am, and a ride from work on Saturday at 1 am (and tonight it will be midnight). So I've really only gotten about five hours last night and three Saturday during the day.

We have been playing a particularly creepy adventure in our Cthulhu game where the main character was an unreliable narrator who lost a total of 82 sanity points in one adventure, and was hallucinating people and acting out their personalities and accents, and he wound up beating himself up with a rock when all hell broke loose. Meanwhile, my character, who was not in on most of the investigation, wound up having to:
  1. take out the cultists,
  2. take out the priest-cultist,
  3. seal the talisman that summoned the flying polyp of doom (which had caused the above sanity loss) with an Elder Sign,
  4. get my comrades out of pods of goo in pools,
  5. wake folks up,
  6. put Brenda's crazy character in stasis, and
  7. retrieve the item that will stop an avatar of Nyarlathotep [and it makes me happy that Chrome can prompt me to spell Nyarlathotep correctly] from rising.
Kudos to the game master, who had us questioning the reality of our own presences and also for taking an adventure where technically everyone is dead and re-writing it so we could survive great danger.

I think I'm going to take my contacts out, turn Pandora on in the bedroom, and try to rest before A calls me for the midnight pickup. Tomorrow I'm going to go over to YKWIA's and help him go through some things, then take him to a doctor's appointment. But I would like to get some proper rest tonight, to be honest. Let's hope I can, anyway. I had less caffeine this time, at least, and I'll try to limit screen time for the rest of the night, limiting it to the alarm clock.

Good night.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Things to do soon

[Bold ones are priorities.]
  1. Go through my finances.
  2. Pay my cell phone bill.
  3. Finish and pay for my state taxes.
  4. Do my laundry (at the apartment complex or at YKWIA's).
  5. Do the plastic dishes (a holdover, and several below are as well, as I still have not done that).
  6. Wipe down the kitchen counters and stove.
  7. Do a once-over for the bathroom sink, vanity, and toilet.
  8. Clean out the hair trap in the tub (I have a catcher inserted).
  9. Find my keyboard wrist rest.
  10. Fold the loose laundry and put it away.
  11. Fill up the fish tank (another holdover).
  12. Do the game notes.
  13. Offer some books up to YKWIA so I can take the remainder to the public library for donation.

I didn't go to bed last night, really, or at least didn't sleep

It wasn't from lack of trying. I guess I'd had too much caffeine after not having any for awhile. I went to sleep about 8:30 this morning after taking A to work at his new job (he's working three over the next week, as they overlap). I got up a little before noon. But my night was not absolutely wasted. I got up about 3:30 am and finished and submitted a job application for a Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Kentucky. I also did a cover letter for a job that closes April 25th, also at the University, and a medical library faculty position, but decided to wait to submit until I could absolutely proofread it while truly awake, as it fits my qualifications perfectly, and oddly enough, when I was looking to see to whom to address the cover letter, it was the only librarian at that part of the system I had not met. I'll go ahead and apply Sunday or Monday, when I've gotten some more rest. But it looked fine last night. Here's hoping that remains the same.

I'm connecting on Facebook with several former coworkers, both those still at the facility and those laid off. At least two of those laid off have new jobs, which is incredibly good, and I'm happy for them. I think it's going to take a lot of effort to get the type of job I want. My priority, of course, is to find a full-time medical librarian position. Barring that, I'd like to find a full-time librarian job. If those dry up, I'll expand my to things like retail and medical billing or scheduling, things I have experience in but I do not enjoy quite as much. But we're only two weeks in, entering the third, and so hopefully I'll find a library gig, as it is my first love, I care about patrons, and well, I'm pretty darn good at it.

It's a beautiful day, a little more windy than yesterday, and I have the windows open and Ed Sheeran's 'I See Fire' playing on the speaker in the living room. I am consuming more caffeine, which I suppose means I may make the sleeping thing worse, but I can't afford to spend an entire day, a lovely one at that, doing nothing but sleeping.

I am thankful that the orchids are actually pretty darn resilient, as I knocked over two (one was blooming, and fell right on the blooms, but they were okay) when I opened the windows. I guess I have too many plants, and they're pretty tall, most of them. Plus, I got a new one yesterday. I really had no business getting it, but I love lavender and it has certain spiritual connexions for me. And not only does it look beautiful, it smells divine, even when the breeze comes from the open window. Now to see if I can grow it okay indoors as a houseplant.

Friday, April 14, 2017


was mostly about redesigning my résumé, curriculum vitae, and references pages, along with making business cards, all of which have the same 'brand' in terms of design, font, etc. My résumé, based on a template I found on the internet that was supposed to be updated to 2017's 'look', is a two-column format with very concise information on it. My CV is all one-column, five pages, but contains everything from my work and education history to my professional activities, committees, teaching experience, and publications. It's for academic/faculty positions. The cards have my contact info on one side and a short blurb of what I'm about professionally on the back. The references page is simple, but has the word 'references' going down the side. All of them have a touch of blue very similar to my interview suit. I'm hoping this all looks much cleaner and more professional than the table-format résumé I had. This seems almost like a unified business stationary.

I printed everything out, went to Office Depot and got some business card paper, and went over a little early to pick A up from work, and sat in the hot car with the windows down proofreading, finding quite a few ways to simplify things to a more concise use of language (one of my faults is my wordiness, as I'm sure you've figured out).

After I took him to get his hair cut and dropped him off, I came back, opened the apartment windows, and started making corrections. I printed out a sheet of the cards. (I got the sides mixed up, but I don't think you can really tell). I made 'web' versions of both the résumé and CV [without my address or phone number], posted them on Google Sites at the links on the right sidebar, copied and pasted them in a format that could be easily read when going to those pages, and printed the regular ones out again.

I have a job to apply for tomorrow, and another one I'm going to apply for next week. This will help. I also plan to go to the career center (unemployment office) and library next week and have the materials critiqued and get some feedback. I welcome any comment from those of you who might be more in the know regarding what employers are looking for these days. Just choose Résumé or Curriculum Vitae on the sidebar or the links on this post and to see the formatted versions, open up the document (.pdf) link. Look them over, and let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate it.

I know that they normally look at three references, but I've had one librarian, three nurses, and two doctors offer to be references, so I have them all on the sheet, indicating which ones were supervisors, which were patrons, and which are colleagues. The next two applications will be to the University of Kentucky, and three of the references have ties there. So I think that's promising.

Okay, I think I'm going to take a break. It's been a fairly busy day. I'll probably write later.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Today was the second time in my life I have seen a bluebird. I was over by Good Foods Co-op. The first time was standing at the bus stop at Shriners a few years ago (there are woids nearby, a golf course across the street, and the hospital was on 29 or so acres of rolling bluegrass). Each time it was magical. I love birds, and watch them attending to their daily activities with interest, but somehow, I guess from not living in the country, I missed out on bluebirds as a kid.

I feel much better...

Got my blood drawn, got gas and something to eat, and then went to the grocery. For 20 years, I have eaten two, sometimes three meals a day, five days a week, at a cafeteria. I've lost eight pounds since my last day. I want to continue the trend by eating healthier. So about half of what I bought were fruits and vegetables. Not everything was healthy (i.e., the fizzy drink and the Miracle Whip (for the tuna) ), but it's a start. :)

Well, drat...

Pardon me, I'm about to over share. So I'm awake, it's the middle of the night, and I'm hungry. I had to pay my regular bills like rent plus had an unexpected $117 after my exam for contacts, on the last day of my vision insurance, even with insurance. That was the 31st of March. So anyway, I was careful to save money for my car insurance, which came out yesterday, leaving me a mere thirty cents in the bank. So the last few days I've had to have my friends help me with gas due to all the driving I've been doing for them, and food has been scarce. Today I finally ate at about 5 pm, two seven-layer burritos from Taco Bell, thanks to A, who bought me some. Not good for a diabetic to wait that long. Later, I fixed some steel cut oatmeal with some hard brown sugar in it that I found in the back of the cupboard, along with five crackers.

Flash forward to now. My last paycheque from the hospital, plus payment for my personal time off, has hit my bank account--it is only for a week, so it's not as much as usual, but I can buy groceries. I'm lying in bed awake because I'm hungry and I decide hey, it doesn't matter that it's 3:30 am, I'm going to get dressed, go to the gas station (I'm on my gas light), and then go to Kroger and get some food.

I get up, get dressed, and am about to grab my purse and slip my sandals on, when I remember that I have a fasting blood draw at 9 am. Curses!

So now I'm back in bed, hungry. I guess I'll sign off and hope that I go to sleep. I'll go to the gas station and grocery as soon as my blood draw is over. I'll laugh about it later, I'm sure. But right now it's a little annoying, and I have a headache on top of insomnia. :(

For Latin lovers who happen to be 'The Big Bang Theory' fans

I present the following, courtesy of YKWIA, who translated the song:

mollis cattus, calidum cattus,
parva sphera furis,
laetus cattus, somnolentus cattus,
murmurillum, murmurillum, murmurillum.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One of the things I'm doing

with my new-found time (and through my COBRA benefits) is to go to pulmonary rehabilitation twice a week. That sounds ominous. I don't have COPD, but I do have some asthma issues that kick in with allergens but especially with exercise. Since it would benefit me to be more active, I would like to be able to exercise better. But I get pretty short of breath after a very short time, so I avoid it.

Turns out, that when we get short of breath, the air gets trapped in the bottom of our lungs, and that sets up a vicious circle where we continue to have shortness of breath, because we change our breathing and make it worse.

So pulmonary rehab consists of three main exercises I'm doing. One is that I inhale with a gizmo in my mouth that provides resistance, so I have to work harder as I adjust it up. The second has me blow into a tube and have my breath keep a plastic piece in a certain range for as long as possible. Both of these strengthen the muscles and encourage back breathing, so air doesn't get trapped in the bottom of your lungs. I come out of there actually feeling muscles I didn't know I had in my ribs and back area. The third is really important. You inhale through your nose and then purse your lips and let the air naturally flow (rather than blowing it out) through that smaller hole, trying to keep it going for as long as possible. Then it's put to the test while exercising--inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, and while that sounds easy, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. At first today I was exhaling longer like when we're sitting, and so my inhalations were quite short, and I was getting very short of breath. But then they showed me how to adjust and I got much better. I did a warm-up on the treadmill, worked 10 minutes on a piece of equipment they call the beast, which is sort of like a recumbent elliptical but you're tilted back), and then 5 on another type of recumbent elliptical that was more normal, and 5 minutes on the treadmill for cool-down. That sounds pretty small, but it was a good workout for me, where I had decent oxygen and heart rate readings and felt tired without being exhausted, and it really felt like I'd done quite a bit. After awhile, the exercise became secondary to the actual breathing, and I wasn't nearly as short of breath as I am normally. The whole session is an hour and a half long, with the exercise being maybe half. So I exercised for about 45 minutes, and I do the session twice a week. It's certainly a good start, and as an added benefit, my weight is going down a bit even in the short time that I've been doing it (although that may also be a factor of not eating in a cafeteria every day and having very little in the house right now). :) Anyway, I'm enjoying it, I feel like it's helping, and I'm trying to remember to do my exercises every day, not just on the ones where I'm there.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I have a little garden that

Looks its best about this time of day. Frustrated bumble bees and wasps have been trying to get to the orchids all day, as I've had the windows up, but of course there are the screens.

By the way

I took this picture last night. Two, count them, two orchids reblooming at the same time. I am amazed. (Don't worry about the oxalis/'shamrock' between them--the leaves just close up at night.) :)

An early start to my morning

I am trying to keep a normal business schedule in terms of getting up and starting my day, but I'm afraid things were so busy last week I only managed to get up at 9 am on most days. Today I was awake by 7:45 or so, up by 8. I took a shower, did all that sort of stuff, then moved the car over by the recycling containers and tossed in all the issues of The Journal of the Medical Library Association and MLA News I had in the trunk of my car. Before you go totally aghast let me explain that:
  1. I had issues going back to when it was The Bulletin of the Medical Library Association.
  2. They are actually (at least the JMLA and Bulletin) available freely online through PubMed Central.
  3. They were one of only two things I couldn't find a home for (the other being our hospital newsletters).
  4. I don't have the room to store them.
  5. I already have too much stuff that I'm trying to unclutter.
The one exception is that somewhere in my house there is one where I wrote a book review; I'll keep it. But the others, should I need to refer to the information they have in them, have been digitised and posted freely on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central site. So I felt pretty decent about letting them go.

Then I took the hand truck and took four boxes of books that I weeded from my personal collection the other day and put them in the trunk of my car. YKWIA gets first pick, and this way he can just look through them and anything left can go to the public library, either for their collection or most likely their Friends' sales. I'm cool with that.

After that I checked the job boards and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives' job list site for anything new.

All that in an hour.

Now I've revived a rather hard, previously frozen French baguette (microwaves will make them softer, if you do just a few seconds on a piece), eaten it, had some water, and I'm preparing for my day.

So last night I cleaned up the kitchen and bath of various stuff that was lying around, loaded the dishwasher, ran a load, etc.

What I want to do (I'm going to try to get as much done today as possible, as I'm fairly free today, and Tuesday and Thursday are particularly busy, but if I don't, I'll just keep plugging through the list this week).
    [In no particular order:]
  1. Take out the trash and recyclables [which includes the discarded plants that were diseased or infested with mealybugs, when I made room for the others, so it's heavy].
  2. Wipe down the sink area of the bathroom and clean the toilet.
  3. Clean all the horizontal surfaces in the kitchen (island, counters, stove).
  4. Unload the dishwasher and do the plastic dishes.
  5. Sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom.
  6. Fold and put away laundry.
  7. Collect dirty laundry to take to YKWIA's and wash.
  8. Start unpacking boxes from my desk, etc.
  9. Find a place for the boxes of holiday decorations that are still sitting out.
  10. Take a bag of donations to out to the car so I can take them to Goodwill (and anything else I find to donate in the meantime).
  11. Excavate the dining room table and couch.
  12. Straighten the dining room and living room.
  13. Fill up the fish tank.
  14. Hang up my interview suit and the dress I wore to the funeral in the closet (they've been hanging up elsewhere).
  15. Take the three boxes of books I weeded in the bedroom out to the car for YKWIA to look at/donate to the library.
  16. Get with John if he can come up today and get the family photos from him.
  17. Call my human resources representative regarding continuing AFLAC.
  18. Reschedule my counseling appointment that's tomorrow, as it conflicts with the pulmonary rehabilitation.
I'll probably get A from work tonight and get something from the pharmacy for YKWIA, either this evening or tomorrow morning. We'll see. But I'm going to try to stick around today and get things done at home for the most part, and in case John can come up with those photos.

Okay, I guess I'd better get going. First, the trash and recyclables, as there are a lot of them, and they're often heavy. I think I'm going to put on my Bluetooth headphones (yes, they look like they're from the 70s, but you can move well in them) and listen to music while I work. That usually helps.

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Serious question: with the job loss and everything else happening lately, I've had a lot of stress, which I thought I was dealing with, but I tend to 'deal' with stress by pushing it down and having somatic issues where I express it as bodily pain, plus I get anxiety that just builds and I want to just curl up in a ball and shut out the world. I need to learn better coping skills. How do you deal with releasing your stress in a healthy way? Exercise helps some, and I'm working towards being able to do that better. Meditation sounds great, but I find that to be difficult. What other activities would you suggest?

Friday, April 07, 2017

It's been a VERY busy day

  1. Called my friends at 7:30 am to wake them up, then went back to bed.
  2. Fell back asleep till 9 am. Decided to wait to get a shower and everything, so I just went on out.
  3. Got A at 9:30 for an interview.
  4. Got some gas with money given to me by my friends I take all over the place.
  5. Texted with a former co-worker.
  6. Picked A up from his interview.
  7. Took him home to change for work, then took him to work.
  8. Did an errand for YKWIA.
  9. Came home, showered, ate, took my medicine, etc.
  10. Checked into the job classes offered by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension/Alumni Association.
  11. Picked YKWIA up for an appointment.
  12. Got my allergy shots.
  13. Took YKWIA to the pharmacy and grocery store, and then dropped him off.
  14. Came home, watered the peace lily, made a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grabbed some water, and checked my blood sugar.
  15. Applied for the children's librarian position.
Now I'm listening to Pandora, I've had dinner, and I'm going to go get A from work in a little while. Then I'm going to help him with an application on the computer. :)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Waiting quietly

For a friend's soufflé to bake. I am very hungry, despite him giving me some fusilli salad earlier. It's also much later than I planned to be out, but oh, well.

Remember the children's librarian position for which I recently applied? There was one advertised, same location, but a slightly different schedule. I called the library today to see if it was a reposting or separate listing, and it was the latter, so the plan is to apply tonight or tomorrow for that. I have all the materials tweaked, I just need to go through their website and apply. I know they always say proofread, proofread, proofread. It seems every time I do there's something I missed. Apparently I had my undergraduate degree listed as a Bachelors of Science. I have no idea why. It's a Bachelors of Arts. I have no idea how I made that mistake. *shakes head*

Okay, I'm going to go for now. Wish me luck - with two positions I'm hoping for the best!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The storm that hit

while I gave A a ride to the grocery and his meeting was rather strong, although we didn't lose power. We waited outside the meeting because it was raining so hard I wouldn't really be able to see to drive (especially as it was dusk), and he didn't want to get super-wet. But I did drop him off in the rain and drove back to YKWIA's to deliver something, and even though it was almost dark, there was actually a rainbow. I got over there, helped with the pet feeding, sent them out during a lull in the rain, and we watched 'Legion'. We're a little behind on episodes; after this one, there was the one from last week (which I'll try to see tomorrow) and then I think a new one showed tonight (neither of us have cable TV; we watch on his Hulu subscription). This was almost entirely in David's mind. I cannot begin to say what a very good job they've done with the show and with the character, and Dan Stevens is superb. For all that I worked in a comic store years ago, and enjoy comics, I'm somewhat wary of comic-related shows and movies (they're often quite wrong, for one thing, as YKWIA will tell you, and too caught up in special effects and big explosions), but this Marvel show is very cerebral, as it should be. Although I know the basic premiss of Legion in the comics, thanks to YKWIA, I haven't read those books, so the differences don't really bother me too much.

Now I'm home, eating bean and cheese burritos, and I'm thinking I'll wait till tomorrow morning to take out the trash and recyclables, as it's still raining. But I do have a few more things I can get done before bedtime.

PS Actually, YKWIA have had a very long conversation on the phone. It's almost time for bed. Good night.

So today I

  1. won a contest at our apartment complex, a $25 Visa gift card, which I promptly used for gas and groceries, as I was in need of both.
  2. opened the windows (it's a nice day) and put on my headphones so I could listen to music as I worked.
  3. moved a bookshelf and weeded four copy-paper boxes' worth of books, to be taken to YKWIA for first dibs and then donated to the public library.
  4. worked on the area around my computer desk and the living room, getting things ready for working there a lot in my job search.
  5. hooked the laptop back up to the monitor and the rest of the computer cables.
  6. upgraded to Chrome 64-bit. I've had a lot of restarts and freezing, and when I used the task killer earlier, I realised I had the 32-bit version on a 64-bit machine--which may be part of the problem. Apparently to get it, you have to go download it rather than have it pushed out to you.
  7. watered all the plants and discovered my Christmas cactus from work is shedding whole branches, so I put them in some growing medium (I hesitate to call it soil) that I had, and hopefully they will root. I usually have good luck with that.
To be done for the rest of the day:
  1. Stop by YKWIA's for something.
  2. Pick A up from work and take him to the grocery.
  3. Take him to a meeting.
  4. Come back, take out the trash and recyclables that I've gathered.
  5. Work on the kitchen and bathroom, which are both disasters at the moment.
  6. Work on job search.
That will be a fair day's work, I think. Tomorrow I start my pulmonary class and take a friend to a doctor's appointment. The morning will be for job searching and tweaking my application materials as needed. I need to get ink for my printer as soon as I get that last pay cheque from the hospital. Okay, I think it's time to change clothes and get ready to go. Oh, and I guess I need to close the windows. :( There's a good chance of storms out tonight--we're under a tornado watch, actually. Hope the electricity holds. I finally got around to setting the clock on the microwave, so there's a good chance we'll lose power at least momentarily. On a happier note, the radio-controlled clock that I got for my ten-year anniversary at Shriners has caught up and adjusted for Daylight Savings Time (it changed at a different time, then, and it is programmed and can't be changed). That's good. I moved it over by the peace lily so I can see it better. The plants were occluding it on the hour glass, and that wasn't good. Also, the yellow orchid will probably open in a day or two, at least for the first bloom. Yay!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


I have obviously read too much Lovecraft. My zombie octopus mount from my Habitica task app reminds me of Cthulhu, and the desert rock companion looks suspiciously like a shoggoth.

Monday, April 03, 2017

It was a slow start to

What I choose to call my first day of 'job freedom', but it all worked out to be a decent day. I woke up at 8:30, downloaded some job materials to a thumb drive, looked over my unemployment paperwork again (they came to our workplace a few weeks ago and explained things and gave us a folder). At 10 am I found myself procrastinating the actual trip to the unemployment office, now called the career centre. I actually laid down. YKWIA called and caught me, literally, trying to nap about 10:45 am and mocked me into getting up, getting a shower, and going out the door. So I drove over to the office and got there a little after noon, presented my ID, and then filled out online form (I'd already created the résumé, which was required, on their site prior to being laid off), asked a couple of questions, waited to be called, spoke with a counselor, and got my dates for requesting benefits and reviewing eligibility. He also gave me info on classes run by the University of Kentucky over off Red Mile Road, where recruiters come and may do on-site interviews, so you should dress like you would for an interview. I saw two of my fellow laid-off coworkers while I was there, one of the maintenance guys and a cook from dietary.

I came on home about 1:45 and listened to music for a bit, then went to an appointment. I'm going to go to twice-weekly classes that week help me better be able to exercise better, starting Thursday.

After that I got my allergy shot, came home to check the mail, and then YKWIA called wanting a ride to take A some food, as he was languishing after working several hours at both jobs. I went to the library while they ate and checked out books on job searching and three CDs. Then I took YKWIA to the store for creamer, fed the dogs and cat for him, and now I'm home. I'm getting A from work in a couple of hours, at midnight.

Tomorrow I:

1. Go over and wake up YKWIA at 7 am.
2. Take him and a dog to the vet.
3. Drop him off at the library for a programme.
4. Go to a meeting of the Kentucky Medical Library Association, where I can meet with my colleagues and network.
5. Go to see a doctor for medication management.

That's it, so far, anyway. I'm definitely staying busy.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Me on my 50th birthday

So my birthday started out a little rough, but it got better. With all that's been going on, I guess a little lability was to be expected. But I finally got out and went to a friend's house, and we watched the movie Winter's Tale, which was good, and now I'm home, listening to music. I feel better than this morning, a whole lot better.