Entries Tagged 'stoopid' ↓

Settlin In to New Routine

In the last week Ron and his trainer (who’s name promptly fell out of my brain) have moved steel, concrete formwork, and hardwood gym flooring, making deliveries and/or pickups in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and are currently in Georgia. We have a Google Keep list of things to get when Ron gets his own truck. I have a rolling Google Keep list of things I need to do.

Monday Robin put the air-conditioning units in the master bedroom, Yay! Comfortable sleep again! Which means now there’s an item on my to-do list of re-arranging some shelves and things that were moved, and to re-locate Danger Noodle so his tub isn’t sitting right in front of the AC output on my side of the room. I also need to make a new draft stopper, currently using a rolled towel.

Floating to the top of my to-do list is doing the MuseCon program book. The first step of *that* is cleaning the computer desk. This morning the whole desk was a vaguely flat surface with monitor screens rising from the sea of mess. Even the chair was encumbered. Not conductive to doing, well, anything. Since the first content deadline for the book is tomorrow night at midnight, I really need to get the desk cleaned up. Started that task, and actually cleared enough carp to make it possible to use the computer. Along the way I found *eight* pairs of non-prescription reading glasses. Plus there’s two more over by the couch. Now, I know a pair or two lived at Ron’s desk at Toshiba previously, and they’re not all the same power, but ten pairs is fecking ridiculous. And I may have sent Ron a shouty e-mail or two to that effect.

On Sunday I got the snake enclosure re-arranging done – Kajura moved to a bigger enclosure in the bedroom, and the short black enclosures moved to the living room. I still haven’t swapped Moresby and Sif, but at least there’s been some progress. Kajura still seems to be busybody snake, so not all the out-and-about-ness in the small tub was from limited space. Robin helped by rearranging shelves for the black enclosures, and carrying them downstairs and putting them on the shelves.

Buford also seems to be getting a little braver. I’m seeing his snoot at the hide entrance fairly regularly, and Saturday through Monday morning, before there was AC in the room, Buford was actually seen out of his hide, and for a while was soaking in his water dish. I haven’t seen him in his dish since Monday, so I suspect the soaking was to keep cool.

Tuesday I was completely exhausted, so after I let the dogs out and fed them at the normal time, I went back to bed. I think the problem was mainly that the bedroom had been too warm for me to sleep comfortably for several nights – even though windows were open on both sides, there just wasn’t enough air flow for the room to be comfortable until the early hours of the morning. Still a bit tired, but I feel like I’m catching up.

Last night I took Pippin to the vet. Bacterial infection in one ear. I think Gimli cleaning the ear was more of a symptom than a cause, but it certainly didn’t help. Fortunately, the treatment is oral meds, and the goo the vet did put in Pip’s ear won’t hurt Gimli, and apparently smells/tastes icky, so he hasn’t been trying to clean it much, either. Otherwise, the only solution we (me, Robin, and the vet) could come up with was to put both Gimli and Pippin into Cones of Shame. Not something I wanted to deal with.

Robin said he had four days left at Pizza Workplace, but I see he also has an additional one hour on the calendar for Monday evening. I need to ask if that’s dropping off keys and whatnot, actual work-work, or just an oops. I also want to ask if the pair of Ron’s shorts that appeared in one of the dog beds was tossed there by Robin when he was doing the air-conditioners, or if a dog moved it. 🙂

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Work Stoopid and Other Natter

Sunday evening the director of the agency I work for sent out e-mail announcing that all offices/facilities would be open Monday, gosh darn it. Oh, and be careful driving with the bad road conditions and the cold.

I saw that e-mail when I checked my work e-mail from home (which I do only very very rarely) Monday morning to see if the office was open. So I bundled up: T-shirt and sweatshirt, cotton leggings, jeans (yay for weight loss, I can not only wear my jeans again, I can wear them over leggings), and then a skirt over all that (because the jeans are pretty mangy looking), wool socks, and hiking boots. My boots aren’t insulated, but they provide another layer over the ankles, and keep the leggings pulled down. For actually going outside on my head I had a thing cotton hat-thing, a scarf, and then a second thin cotton scarf (which mostly I just wrapped around my neck). My larger coat, because it has longer sleeves and more space for bulk, and my insulated motorcycle gauntlets. Usually I only wear the gauntlets the few coldest days of winter, for about half the trip to or from work, then I switch to the thinner gloves that stay in my coat pockets. And I brought fingerless mittens to wear, as I knew the office would be cold (see below).

Robin went out and started the truck when Ron got out of the shower, and then Ron started the car when he left, so the car was reasonably not-too-cold (I won’t go so far as to say “warm”, as I wore my motorcycle gauntlets all the way to work.) Got to work, piddled around with one thing and another, and about 8:20 actually checked my e-mail. Specifically the 8:12 message from the director, forwarding a message from the governor saying that in view of the weather, non-essential offices would be closed/closing, e-mail to employees to follow. Yay!

We few, we chilly few, we band of brothers that had made it in waited a little longer for the official dismissal, then somebody called the capital. Out of a couple dozen people that normally populate OWR, it sounds like about three were in. Our boss confirmed we were free to go, so I went. Fortunately, the car was still not too cold, and my feet had warmed up while I was in the building.

The trips to and from work were about what you’d expect from the road conditions – some slipping and slithering, but nothing too dramatic.

Last night we got e-mail again saying the state would be open for business today. And another reminder to be careful on the poor roads. Grumble. Bundled up again, with the substitution of a flannel-lined shirt for the sweatshirt. Roads were marginally better, and in theory the weather is supposed to get less fucking cold this afternoon.

I arrived at the same time as the heating technician. I was hoping he was just here to deal with normal problems in our system – essentially, we don’t have thermostats, the system has to be manually controlled.  This means that the building temperature mirrors whatever the outside temperature does. Because our heating system is in-floor hot water, with a defective air-heating system, at least my feet stay warm in winter.

Not today. The boilers are out. I’ve given up and turned on the space heater I got a few winters ago when our floor heat was being turned off on weekends. That winter it was taking up to two days to re-warm the slab, I expect this time around to be on the long end, given the outside temps.

No, we are not actually supposed to have electric space heaters in our facility. Ask me if I care, so I can laugh at you. Yay for having a door and a space heater, I’m starting to thaw out.

Normally the dogs are on whichever floor of the house contains the most humans, but when I got home yesterday they were upstairs in our bedroom, even though Robin was in the living room.

At home we’ve been keeping the cover on the dog door, and only opening it to a few times a day to let the dogs go out. Elrond stays out longer than Pippin, but still not very long. Yesterday afternoon Robin brought a pile of dog blankets (cheap fleece ones) down, and we tucked them along the bottom of the back and side doors, and strategic areas along a couple windows, and under the couch to at least re-route the draft from one of the windows. I don’t know if it helped, or if the benefit was mostly psychological.

My Monster High doll arrived yesterday. Her name is something like Abbie Bominable, she’s the daughter of the yeti. Whatever, she was the cheapest one from Target.com, so I have a model for doll clothes. Wow, she makes Barbie look . . . not quite so unrealistic. Hips?  Nope, got none. And short little arms – she couldn’t reach the top of her head, even with elbows. Maybe if she had elbows and a not-ginormous head, but still.

Also got letterpress things, and did some printing, will natter about that later on the Otter Blog.


How Much of this Fun Can We Stand?

Co-worker A (for awesome) got back from several months of maternity leave Tuesday.

Today Cow-Irker S (for stupid sexist something-S) made one of the borderline sexist comments that he pretty much hasn’t made since A left.  She and I both heard it. I think S tried to explain to A something something something, oh cut the bullshit.

A couple-few minutes later I remembered I had a spine and called him on it. I pointed out the timing, that he’s danced right up to the line before, and that he doesn’t do it to me, or B (and somehow forgot C). Then I walked off. B could tell I was upset and I told her about it while I had a protein shake. Low blood sugar doesn’t help.

I’ve never been S’s almost-target. He isn’t my direct supervisor. I think he’s more clueless than anything. But my hands are still a tiny bit shaky. And I wasn’t even sticking up for myself. This crap is hard. Hopefully if S noticed he attributed it to me being pissed at him (which I was).

No, not asking for a cookie. I couldn’t eat it anyway, because a week ago today I started the abominable pre-surgery diet: protein shakes. I can have tea or decaf coffee or diet soda, BLECH. I can also blenderize in yogurt, smooth peanut butter, or bananas (and some other fruit). And make them with soymilk.  I don’t see a point in running plain yogurt through a blender, so I’ve been eating it with a SPOON, DAMMIT. With curry powder, because then I can pretend. Broth is also on the list, but my system seems happier without it.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m mostly not hungry, but I still want real food. Maneki Neko Con, Friday and Saturday, was before I got to that point. I’m not as thoroughly disgusted with the shakes as Ron got (yet), but I also discovered that cinnamon helps the flavor, and I’m mixing mine with soymilk. Still looking forward to eating ANYTHING ELSE.

The other day I called Pippin in just to see him ZOOM diagonally across the back yard. He didn’t seem to mind, although I think he told me all about what was interesting in the far corner.

Surgery is scheduled for next Friday, the 11th, midday. Tuesday I had what I hope are the last tests (blood, EKG, chest X-Ray, upper GI with pop rocks and a barium chaser, EWWW). Tomorrow I go see our family doctor, hopefully for her signoff. Planning on taking the whole week after surgery off.

Ok, hands not shaky any more. Fight-or-flight reflex has worn off.

Got some more Copic markers Sunday, and a pad of the Copic bleed-proof vellum-ish marker paper. (Engineer’s version vellum, not artist’s vellum), and a basic calligraphy book. Monday I picked up some calligraphy tips, after discovering the standard chisel marker tip is cut the wrong way, and a basic book about drawing flowers, since they seem like something I can manage, and more fun to draw my own than just coloring flowers from Dover books.

Today I managed to make burgundy, or at least a nice dark red, with bright red and shades of purple/blue-violet. I think I’m getting this blending thing down, but it wasn’t easy. The bleed-proof paper was indeed bleed-proof.

Fall has gotten into my brain, I want nice dark reds and other autumn leaves colors.

Pippin was kvetching at us last night for staying up too late while I worked on the Windycon program book.

EBay continues to be evil, in terms of navigational and surveying instruments. Reaper Miniatures has a second Kickstarter running for bonus evil.

The cleaning ladies came Tuesday. They must be getting us trained in keeping the house clean, it wasn’t quite so obvious. It still gives me the giggles to find the end of the toilet paper folded into a point, though. And the bath mat belongs in front of the tub, so you can step out of the shower onto it, not in front of the sink.

Headdesk, headdesk, with a side of AAARGH!

Last week Wednesday I had my sleep study. Blech. This week Wednesday I called the surgeon’s office to see if there were any (epletive) more tests that would be necessary. Person A followed up on a couple things, then called me back to say that everything appears to be in order, I should be getting a call Wednesday/Thursday to schedule the surgery.

Yesterday my new-to-the-position boss (internal promotion) came up to visit the office for the first time since becoming our boss, so in hopes of being able to give him an actual date, I called the office about lunchtime to see about that whole scheduling thing.  A told me that if I didn’t hear by B by 2:00 today (Friday) to call her.  Later in the afternoon the pulmonologist’s office called to arrange for pickup of my CPAP. Well, that was unexpected.

Today, 2:00 came and went, and I held out a little longer (almost 20 minutes), called, got put on hold, and hold, and hold, transferred, not transferred, transferred, transfer didn’t work again, tried to leave a message the old-fashioned way, and finally ended up with B. Who seems to have not been appraised of the fact she was supposed to be calling me to schedule. She said she’d get my paperwork together, move it up the pile, and call me back by the end of today.

Color me less than optimistic. Is my paperwork roaming their office like a bunch of feral cats?

I went to the restroom. I figured that would trigger the phone call. Nope.

I watered my plants, so she could call while I was away from my computer/calendar. No luck.

OTOH, I came back to find my computer re-booting. I was only gone long enough to get water and water one small plant! I assumed I’d juuuuust missed a 2-minute warning or something. Nope, one of the co-workers came by, and his computer rebooted with what amounts to no warning (if windows flicker by too fast to read/click, that’s not warning). So now we have Office 2010. Color me less than enthused.

And still not optimistic about getting a call back before 4:15 (normal quitting time). I really dislike taking calls while driving.


Headdesk, Headdesk

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to a 3-day class which begins tomorrow. I decided that instead of going west and south to my office to meet my co-workers, and then riding with them east and south some more to Naperville, I’d just drive myself south and south and a little bit west to NIU’s Naperville campus. Also, I’m bringing my “own” laptop, and I’m perfectly capable of reading the published agenda myself, thankyouvery much. So, Mr. Cow-Irker, I’ll just excuse myself from your meeting about tomorrow, now that I’ve stated my plans for transport and laptop.

Cow-irker was gobsmacked.  I’m gobsmacked that the meeting has lasted longer than 2 minutes. Other than arranging what time people are meeting at the office to take a pool car to the class, WTF is there to discuss???

In other news, I’ve decided to do a side-gore thumb on my mittens, using the simple pattern from the palm on the thumb and gusset.

Last night was Doggie Torture Time, aka claw clipping. It was simplified this time around by a supply of stale oyster crackers – Pippin does not like being restrained, but rooting in a hand for snackage is enough of a distraction that Ron was able to clip claws and the long (dirty trying-to-mat) fur between his toes.

Pippin was apparently into the mulberries again yesterday, judging by the purple streaks on his face.

Art, Annoyances, Pasta, Peas, and Prosciutto


Been poking around Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons lately for arts, since its time to retire the Christmas-themed Ursula Vernon picture I was using.
I decided that “Pharaho’s Handmaidens” by John Collier (Warning, 3 topless women! http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Collier_-_Pharaohs_Handmaidens.jpg) would probably give some bureaucratic ninny conniption fits. But its the background on my iPad at the moment. Currently using a nice safe portrait of girl in vaguely Persian robes by a guy named Auguste Toulmouche, who I presume to have been French, for the background on my work machine.

Deadline Annoyance

Growl. Snarl. Probably all I should say about that subject here and now.

Bonus Annoyance

Something in the HVAC system at work broke, so we spent the last couple-few days roasting. Again. Think it might be fixed, based on the jet-engine-takeoff roar coming from the vent over my desk.

Pasta, Peas, and Prosciutto

Dinner last night was pasta (mini ziti) baked in a parmesan sauce with peas and prosciutto, topped with bread crumbs and baked for a bit. Trying to avert boring white sauce, I added garlic and a dash of red pepper to the sauce.  Not sure how much it helped, but it tasted fine.

The recipe called for a pound of pasta, a quarter-pound of prosciutto, and I think 2 cups of peas. I decided to double the prosciutto since we were having it as an entree, and used all of a medium-sized bag of peas, which I’m pretty sure was more than 2 cups. But we like peas, and it didn’t seem like too much.  I also added some extra parmesan, instead of putting it back in the ‘fridge.

I substituted unsweetened almond milk for real milk in the sauce. It tasted fine, although Ron reminded me that almond milk is like sex in a canoe (f-ing close to water), he was thinking I was going to use soy milk.

Oriental Chicken Noodle Soup

Last night’s dinner was an oriental-style chicken noodle soup:
Chicken thighs, onions, ginger, rice noodles, chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, bean sprouts, basil, and cilantro. I think that’s everything.

I swear to Ghu, it isn’t my intention to always change something, but…

  • Since I experienced first-hand the horrible caramelized glaze that peanut oil leaves on a commercial popcorn popper, I’ve pretty much avoided using it. So the chicken thighs and onions were cooked in sesame oil.
  • I chopped up the thighs before Robin cooked them, because fishing them out of the finished soup and shredding the meat at the end seemed like a needlessly messy task.
  • Used some oriental wheat noodles instead of rice noodles, because I didn’t feel like buying rice noodles when we had the other on-hand.
  • Skipped the fresh cilantro as garnish because, IIRC, PeaPod didn’t have any in reasonable quantities.
  • Used sliced dried ginger, because we were out of ginger puree (slightly less disturbing than running out of garlic puree).
  • Skipped the fish sauce, because I think I deal with about one recipe a year that calls for it, and the one time I used it I was sorry.
  • I did accept bean sprouts in the soup (at the end), even though I’m not a big fan of sprouts. Yay me. And they weren’t too obtrusive.

I stopped at Panera for a couple sea salt focaccias. Occasionally they even have more than a long-distance relationship with sea salt. But still good with the soup, which looked more like it was made with beef stock than chicken stock, but was yummy. We had leftovers, which we left for Robin, because transporting soup. Although mason jars would probably work a lot better than plastic storage containers.

Not sure what dinner tonight is. Possibilities are a broccoli casserole that IIRC also includes chicken, risotto, or lamb tagine with dates. I think I’m leaning toward the tagine.

On a non-food note, if you’re participating in a conference call via speakerphone, and you have an office with a door. SHUT THE DOOR. If you don’t, I’m just going to come along and shut it for you anyway (yes, politely/quietly).

Bah, Humbug, I’m a Grinch

Today is the annual Christmas party with the downtown Chicago office.  I’m just not enthused.

The menu (served family style):

Fresh mozzarella and tomato basil pizza, or chopped salad for starters. Main course is chicken breast moreno, bourbon tenderloin tips, redskin mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. Dessert: Triple layer chocolate cake and warm baked apple skillet pie with caramel sauce and ice cream (Presumably one big mess of cake and pie and ice cream on the plate, or else a secretarial somebody has forgotten how to use commas (I told you I’m a grinch today)).

Sounds benignly boring, right?

We’re going to Wildfire. A nice, and expensive steakhouse. So we’re going to a steakhouse to have not-steak, I’m sure because some of my co-workers are cheap bastards. I wish I’d thought to say that I’d attend, but order for myself off the menu, thanks, and plead lactose intolerance.

Now, to be fair, I try not to make A Thing out of my dairy issues, and when the secretary from our office organizes the party I usually get to give my two cents on the menu. And I’ve seen worse menus dairy-wise.

Although the creamed spinach is a total WTF to me. Are there that many people who like it?

Oh for the love of Cod…I shouldn’t have looked at the party-type menu. We paid $33. For an extra $2/person we could have had “Roumanian” (whatever that means) skirt steak, $3 for prime rib, and $4 for New York strip or filet mingon. Actual fecking steak! And given the sides to choose from creamed spinach is about last on my list.

Now I’m really crabby.  Cheap goddam bastards. If we’re going to a steakhouse couldn’t we at least have STEAK!?!

But I’m having skirt steak for dinner. Dammit.