Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It has been a very busy weekend

Here's what I accomplished:
  1. Went to the pharmacy. Got to see my plants.
  2. Got nitrogen put in my tyres and discussed my treads and whether it was worth getting an alignment or rotation now or just waiting till I get new tyres, which will have to be soon, although I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that.
  3. Repotted the aloes.
  4. Repotted the orchids.
  5. Did my laundry on Saturday and my roommate's on Sunday. Managed to do that and the kitchen linens with the very last of the detergent.
  6. Moved a couple shelves in front of the library windows so I could put the orchids on them and they could get some actual light (eastern exposure). I'd temporarily placed them on top of my bookcase headboard, but they were between the windows and couldn't get any light. A grow light might have worked, but there's a painting that could be damaged by the full spectrum light. So I decided to try this. They are behind the nightstands, so it's a little crowded, but it passed muster with my friend.
  7. Went to the library and took some books back and picked up my roommate's hold.
  8. Took the other two shelves and summer clothes to the storage unit.
  9. Cleaned out the car.
  10. Did a boatload of plastic dishes.
  11. Went through the clothes I was given and pulled out the ones that needed mending.
  12. Incorporated the new clothes into my existing clothes, and put away laundry at the same time.
  13. Organised my closet and prepared some things to take back to storage and to donate.
  14. Organised the cedar chest and the clothes in the footboard of the bed. The kitten has been pulling my bras and other things through the little divet that's used to open the drawers.
  15. Put the coverlet back on the bed, which will hopefully deter him, as it will be out of sight, out of mind.
  16. Watched several episodes of a cartoon series.
  17. Generally straightened up my room.
  18. Took a nice long shower today.
  19. Swept and mopped the floors.
  20. Did the regular dishes.
  21. Took out the trash and recyclables.
  22. Cleaned the bathroom.
  23. Entertained the kitten, who was inconsolable that he'd been closed out of the bedroom while my roommate slept because he was gnawing on him.
  24. Packed my lunch for tomorrow.
  25. Laid out my clothes for tomorrow (I don't do that very often. I should.)
  26. Actually blogged! Twice!
Things that got put off till tomorrow:
  1. Go by the bank.
  2. Go over the grocery list and see what we already have.
  3. Shop at the grocery store for Thanksgiving (we already have the Quorn roasts).
  4. Get some cat toys for the kitten and food for the older cat.
  5. Complete replacement of the cat litter (once we get some from the store).
  6. Clean out and organise my nightstands.
  7. Take things out to the car that are to be donated or go to storage.
  8. Double check the smoke alarm/CO monitor. I think the batteries are in wrong, and it'll take both of us to change the batteries, as I'm not tall enough, even with a stepstool. I got some new batteries.
  9. Call in the morning and reschedule an appointment to finalise the draft of my revamped will--with my boss' announcement I didn't feel I could ask to leave early the next business day with so little warning and get a good reply.
  10. Get the duvet cover on the duvet and get it on my roommate's bed (it takes two to do well) and take back my heavier blanket.

So on November 11th

My boss came into my office, and among other things said there had been complaints about my plants, that my office was a jungle and that they were afraid it would draw bugs. I needed to get them out of there. 2/3 of them are toxic to cats, and we have a kitten who's about seven months old who hasn't learned not to eat them yet. I wound up packing everything up and with the help of three co-workers and a couple of carts from materials, took them out to the car and took the majority to a pharmacy I go to with a nice southern window that is run by people who love plants. At least I can see them sometimes. One plant I kept but then checked the toxicity lists and decided that I needed to take it that weekend as well was the peace lily that the hospital gave me on the occasion of my mother's funeral. So I was pretty heartbroken. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. I was also told I didn't dress up enough, even though I've worn the same style of clothes for years and considering I had about 68 cents in my account at the time, certainly couldn't go out and get a new wardrobe. I was also told I would be losing my office, not because of anything I did, but because someone else needed it. I'm not as upset about that--it was the way it was told to me as an offhanded remark, that I couldn't have kept the plants anyway because I'd be in a cubicle away from the light, that was hurtful.

The plants were, of course, what bothered me the most. Some I'd had for years. The shamrocks brought a lot of joy to people in the library for years--they were constantly admiring them. They're deadly to cats. I've made peace with the loss of the plants now, as it's been 13 days. And I was able to get some plants home--I now have 12 orchids, three African violets, three Thanksgiving cacti, a red velvet Echeverria, some aloes, and a bamboo plant at home. I'm not sure I've got them where they can get enough light, so I'll be monitoring it.

On the same day I got the bad news, there was a concern that the kitten, who dearly likes orchid bark, had eaten some and gotten a blockage, but that turned out to not be the case. Still, I removed all the bark that I could from the house, and once I got paid I ordered some sphagnum moss, and I spend some time yesterday repotting 9 of the orchids with moss instead of bark, topping off another couple, and repotting the aloes. So we're bark-free.

As far as my greatest concern from that meeting, it was what to do about the clothes. Now I have wonderful co-workers and work-friends. I had no less than four people contribute clothes that were either bought by them, repurposed by them, or repurposed by friends of theirs. One brought a huge bag over to the house full of khakis and nice blouses. I went from having five sweaters and a couple of velvet pants for the winter to a whole wardrobe, and I appreciate all the help immensely. It reminds me that the majority of people I know are good, and while I was feeling a little bullied by my boss (I'm not convinced anyone complained, I'm thinking she just may not have liked what I had).

So I'm dressing up some now, there are no plants or shelves in my office (it feels empty, but I've rearranged my desk now that I have more space, so everything isn't as spread out). I should lose the office around the beginning of the year, and I've come to terms with that. They're going to do some alterations to the cubicles since we deal with confidential info.

It was a hard couple of weeks. But this week has been better than the one before. I got a lot done and one of my co-workers helped me get caught up on a lot of offsite requests. I was useless for a couple of days after the talk with the boss and got behind. But I'm back in the black now, so to speak. Next week I'll have to really work on the surgery pre-authorizations as I'm only three weeks out and a lot have been added on. I try to be four weeks out, although I'm required to be out two. And nothing in our talk was about my performance or anything. It was all about my personal choices. I did what I could to comply quickly. And it turns out my boss is leaving next month, so I'm just going to try to keep a low profile till that happens.

One of my co-workers hit the nail on the head as to why the plant removal devastated me. Surrounding myself with nature is my way of beating stress, and I deal with insurance companies and scheduling with outside bureaucracies. I took all the little knick-knacks that were on the shelves (and the shelves) away, as well as the stones I'd had. There's a clock and a few motivational sayings on small plaques, as well as the wall art that shows any real personality to my office. The wall art will eventually have to go away when I move. But for now, it cheers me.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Hee hee

So the reason why

I definitely made the effort to go to the YMCA this weekend (and why I plan on going to the Water Fit class tomorrow night) is that I had an experience this week that gave me a preview of my life, and I didn't like where it was headed. On Thursday I had an appointment at the UK Legal Clinic to redo my will, mainly some minor changes, and it was down on Maxwelton, a street about a half a mile from where I work, so I saw no reason to go get my car from the Orange Lot, drive there, etc. I thought 'It's not that far, I'll just walk. I'll get my steps in, etc.'

It had been raining all day but was just spitting a bit when I got off work early. I'd alotted a half an hour to get there, even though Google said it was an eleven-minute walk, as I walk slowly. What I didn't realise was that the ground would be fairly uneven going there, even the better sidewalks, and it made me put more pressure on my right foot, which hurt because I'm sure I have arthritis (and it was a rainy day) in the metatarsals that were broken when the car ran over my foot and hit me a few years ago (we'd treated the ankle fracture, but the metatarsals weren't that displaced). Anyway, I had shoes on that were usually sufficient for walking, but they're Mary Janes, not my New Balance ones. My sock on my right foot kept twisting and going down into the shoe, making me walk funny. I wound up actually using my umbrella as a cane. By the time I got to my destination, my hair was wild, I was exhausted, and I was moving like a 90-year-old woman. The lady at the centre saw me struggle up the steps and after my appointment, she specifically asked the nice young law student to make sure I got back down them alright. I then walked the half-mile back to my workplace, and then through UK's hospital, caught the shuttle, and then walked across the Orange Lot. I could barely move by the time I got to my car, and I was in bed by 7:30 pm. All I could think of was that I needed to get back into exercising. I'm up to 310 lbs and terribly out of shape. My friend says that he can hear me breathing hard all the time, and when I listen to the game recordings I can hear myself. I need to work on this, or I will be feeble prematurely.


I'm a little frustrated. On the one hand, I finally made it back to the YMCA after an absence of nearly a month [things happened], mainly because the Cthulhu game was called, and open swim in the warm water pool is all day, from 10 am-7:45 pm, so I made an effort to get over there after doing my Sunday chores. Unfortunately, that means that lots of kids, who could not be in the main pool due to a full round of lane swimming, were all through the warm water pool, jumping in and splashing and playing with balls, etc., and there was precious little space to actually use the pool for exercises while this was going on. I won't say they were young hellions or anything--they were just kids being kids and largely unsupervised ones at that. So I managed to do some exercises next to the wall, but I couldn't do the warm-up walks or anything. After about half an hour I gave up, got towelled off and dressed, and went home. On the other hand, previously to going into the pool I managed to use the Nu-Step reclining elliptical for a longer period than before, about 15 minutes, or about 2/3 of a mile. I also tried out my new Bluetooth headphones, which are placed inside a sport band that is washable (you just take the speakers and controller out). They worked well. I think the solution, for now, is to go to the pool late in the day, after the swim lessons and classes, so about 8:30 pm-9:45 pm. It's late, I know, but hopefully, it's quieter and the kids will be in bed. Of course, it's about the time I start winding down for bed myself. But I'd hate to not be able to use my membership fully or have to cancel, but I'll have to find a time to do my exercises, as that was absolutely the whole point of joining. And the Beaumont YMCA is the only one in town with a warm water pool, so I can't just go to one of the others for that, anyway.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

This is the most succinct

description of privilege, acknowledging privilege, and what to do you when you have it I've seen:

I am so tired

Of premenstrual syndrome, or in my case premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is like PMS on steroids. It's been 40 years, after all. Surely my body couldn't have much left in terms of the baby-making factory. But here I am, at 52, still having horrible weeks and checking my calendar app WomanLog to see that I'm on day 26 and nothing seems to be stopping. I've had my periods pause for up to six months before coming raring back. You're not in menopause until the periods stop for 12 months straight; peri-menopause, the process of ceasing the cycle, can be unpredictable and a bumpy ride. And I'm sick of it all. Last period was fairly normal; the one before that I bled and bled like someone had stabbed me in an artery.

I remember being on the floor of our living room at age 13 in terrible pain, my legs up on the couch because my mom said that would help, and it did, although she never imparted the sage advice of a heating pad. That came from a gay friend who'd worked with lots of nurses. Every month, in and out, another reminder of womanhood, another battle for the emotions, another fourth of my monthly life given over to pain and blood, and of course in my case it was all for nought, as I was never pregnant (and never really wanted to be, mind you, except for about age 30-32, when my biological clock ticked and there was, fortunately, no man in my life at the time). So my periods have not been about the joy of life, but merely a personal nuisance at best and occasional torment. I don't have it worse than some; I've never had to have a hysterectomy or anything like that; the worst was having a D&C for fibroids and a biospy. But I'm definitely ready for menopause.