Eventful Week

It’s been a busy week.

As noted on Monday, Robin passed his CDL exam.

Tuesday I stayed home sick (cold). Robin went to the DMV and got his temporary paper CDL. Shortly after he got home Wolf called with a paperwork oops. In the afternoon, the Werner recruiter called. Orientation starts Monday (as in tomorrow)…



The dogs seemed very snuggly the rest of Tuesday.

The first thing Robin did after talking to the recruiter was to institute a fix we’d come up with for the edge of the linoleum at the kitchen/dining room doorway, but hadn’t gotten around to. I love him so much.

Wednesday I made it to work, Thursday and Friday I stayed home sick and tired, while Robin ran here, there, and everywhere getting ready to go and I worked on doll clothes. Being sick I forgot to call a dog-walking service to arrange mid-day trips outside for the dogs.

Orientation is at Werner’s terminal in Indianapolis. They’d have sent him a bus ticket, but Gimi and I are going to take him – they don’t have space for parking/storing personal vehicles. Werner is building/enlarging a terminal in Joliet, so when that’s done Robin will be based there.

Friday night I didn’t sleep, between too much naptime during the day, coughing (drainage), and being unable to get comfortable – both temperature and propping myself up enough to minimize coughing. About midnight I finally got something like comfortable and fell asleep. About 3 AM I woke up (hack hack hack) and tried to poke my iPad to see what time it was. No iPad. WTF?

The sticky holding the metal plate to the case had given way and it had fallen off the wall, fortunately no damage, thank you Otter case. Turning on the light to find my iPad meant the dogs woke up enough for Gimli to demand a trip outside.

I took a blanket downstairs and spent the next couple-three hours on the chaise. I’d considered doing that while it was still Friday night, now I know I should have. Fortunately, I improved enough yesterday that I could sleep with only one extra pillow last night, which my back highly approves of.

Ron is on the way west to Peoria, depending on where he stops and how falling apart I am about my baby bird leaving the nest I may detour to see him on the way home this afternoon/evening.

Excitement, with Dogs

My sister’s closing got re-scheduled *again*! AAARGH! Current schedule is Thursday, and she has the paperwork and it appears in order; so Robin is driving to Escanaba tomorrow, helping her move Thursday, and coming back Friday. Robin should be starting behind-the-wheel training for his CDL once he gets back (currently out getting his schedule, then coming home to pack).

Friday morning Ron took Tommy to the yard to visit his truck and put groceries away. Tommy enjoyed the trip, especially sharing Ron’s breakfast, despite twice attempting to hang himself.

And then there was Gimli . . . Gimli figured out how to escape from the yard on Friday, and did it multiple times over the course of the weekend. In order to find the escape route, Robin started clearing brush from the south fence line Friday evening while Ron and I piled the cut stuff up. And then Robin and I continued Saturday morning, after Gimli broke his collar and escaped again and I made new collars for both beagles. So the yard is effectively much wider now, except that it isn’t a yard so much as a series of brush piles (even without dog escapes the brush-clearing really needed to be done), which the plan is to run through a chipper.

Meanwhile, we had not actually found the prime escape route, which Sunday night Gimli demonstrated to be the east fence line. All 60 feet of it. Headdesk, headdesk. We’ve formulated a plan for dealing with it.

Ron left Saturday morning, so he missed most of the excitement of me trying to impale my foot on a small stump/spike (only a bruise and lump on my left arch, thanks to good hiking boots), Robin getting lots of minor scrapes and scratches, both of getting minor sunburn, and me clipping a couple Pippin claws too short Sunday night, so now my light blue skirt is liberally blood-spotted. Fortunately, the skirt was already spotty (bleach, I think) and disreputable. And Pippin was very good about us getting the bleeding stopped (time, pressure, and super glue).

Sunday morning about 3 am my body announced that the UTI I had a couple-few weeks ago was back with a vengeance for round 2. Eventually I got back to sleep. The acute care associated with our doctor’s office opened at 9 am Sunday, and I was there very soon after. More or less uncomfortable the rest of the day, improvement started overnight.

I was not up to the MuseCon wrap-up meeting/party Sunday evening.

Baljeet the baby rat snake did not eat last week, dammit. Trying again tonight, will try what I did last time I got him to eat (annoy him into striking).

Meanwhile, Ron’s temporary crown came loose yesterday morning. A Google search determined that real dental professionals say that denture adhesive can be used until you can get to your dentist to get it re-cemented. Then in the afternoon-evening yesterday, Ron ended up sitting an a highway doing a parking lot impression while the mess from a semi having its fuel tank ripped off was cleaned up.

When *that* was done, and Ron was therefore in violation of his allowable drive time and trying to get to somewhere to park, he discovered that Kentucky has some badly-designed off-ramps, and he got hung up on a guard rail. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence, and other similar ramps have been modified, but not this one. Headdesk, headdesk. After a chunk of guardrail was removed with a cutting torch, he was pulled back onto the road by a wrecker and sent on his way only needing two new tires, some tie-down straps, and a bungee or two. The officers at the scene were very nice about it all, and even invoked pizza.

But I was a stressed, Tommy was baying at various things out the window behind the couch/right next to my ear, Gimli really doesn’t grok this out-on-a-cable thing, and I was up too late plus not sleeping the best the last couple nights (see above, re: UTI), and still off this morning, and took a mental health day.

So I was home when Ron called and said he’d probably be sleeping at home tonight, as he’s got a bright and early appointment with the dentist tomorrow morning, as he has now, it seems, *swallowed* the temporary crown.

Robin just got home to retrieve a piece of paperwork the CDL school doesn’t have, which is needed before he can drive their trucks. Yes, he’s taking his binder of all relevant paperwork back with him.

In better news, the bruising and swelling on my foot is going down. Most of the above chaos is chaos, but not crises. And most of all, we don’t live in SE Texas.

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. 🙂

Non-Nesting Bullets this Week

Let’s see, what have I accomplished in the last week:

  • Nobody complained about how I dealt with the stench at work.
  • Got supplies to make a portfolio and started work on it. For extra bonus fun I decided to change the size from the instructions, but I was intelligent and went through and worked out all the sizes first. The instructions make a portfolio for A3 paper, mine will be for a hybrid of A4 and US letter (i.e.: larger dimension of each). I mis-understood one bit, but not so much because of dimension changes, but have figured out a fix.
  • Procured two more storage tubes, so now I have one holding un-cut paper and book cloth, one for cut paper, and one for cut cloth. When I finish the portfolio, I’ll probably put smaller odds and ends in it.
  • Yingarna is six and a half feet long, and goes where she wants to, dammit. Well, not exactly, but she tries.
  • Smaug is about half the length of Ying, but just as thick, if not more so. This is to be expected, as Ying is a ball python and Smaug is a carpet python.
  • Bruce had a really awful shed – patchy, flaky, a real mess (ideally a shed comes off in one piece, like taking off a sock). Three snake saunas and a bath and he’s mostly shed, what’s left are small patches that won’t cause any problems. The bath was amusing, but not actually helpful – we were trying to get his head cleaned up, and he was doing a really good periscope impression.
  • After Bruce’s bath, I tried Nageswari. She obviously didn’t quite get the memo that blood pythons often like to soak, and was Not Happy.
  • Updated the MuseCon brochure (dates and hotel) and created a legal-size flyer/sign.
  • On Sunday I chewed out the manager at a Panera Bread – one of the employees stood on a piece of paper on the stainless-steel counter to change a soup sign, then assumed she hadn’t stepped off the paper and didn’t wipe down the counter. Wow, both safety and sanitation fail! The employee waiting on me was not happy that I closed my order with “and wipe down the counter where the person was standing”, and pointed out the TREAD MARK on the counter, and not quietly/discreetly, dammit. She sulked, but eventually the counter was wiped. And then I spoke to the manager, who the counter-standing had happened about 3 feet away from. I didn’t tell him I called BS on his claim that he wasn’t aware it had happened because it was behind his back, but it was close. I’d actually have been marginally less grumpy about the counter-standing without the paper – that was just asking for a spectacular slip and fall. As we were leaving another customer thanked me for calling them on it.
  • This is the same store where a couple years ago I pointed out to a manager that he really should get the missing floor tile replaced, and not have the bread-slicer sitting there rocking when in use because it was on a non-level floor.
  • Got a manicure and Halloween-ish nail polish – orange sparkly on one hand, black with red sparklies (that read as close enough to orange to make no nevermind) on the other. Did the same thing last year, although it may have been a darker orange. Ron got the same colors, but alternating fingers.

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Downtime Week Natter

Wednesday was Part One of our anniversary (we had separate legal and ceremonial bits), so Ron took me out to dinner at Siri Thai. Pot stickers, cucumber salad, and the house fried chicken, which is strips of boneless/skinless white meat with a tempura-like batter. Very yummy.
 After dinner we went home and read. It was nice to be a vegetable for a change.
 Last night I took the MuseCon grid Excel spreadsheet and made it into a handout for the WisCon party tonight. As I mentioned about this time last year, the plan was that Someone(s) Else would be in charge of the MuseCon party at WisCon, as ACen and WisCon back-to-back exceed my capacity for socialization.
 It was a good plan, and it was proceeding along smoothly, until the person who’d volunteered to be in charge of the party had a work-related monkeywrench happen. A good one, fortunately, but it took that person out of the picture. Someone else stepped up, but there were still insufficient bodies volunteering.
 The result is/was that Ron and Xap headed up about lunchtime to get day badges and help with the party. Bleah. I’m trying not to be cranky about it, but not entirely succeeding, since that means Ron probably won’t be home until late morning or mid-day tomorrow.
 Yesterday I started attacking the pile of clean laundry that’s been accumulating for a week or so. I’d gotten it down to a manageable size this morning, we’ll see if Robin made it bigger over the course of the day. I know he was baking this morning for the party, so he may not have done laundry today.
 Getting fed up with the mess in the living room, which is better now that Max has moved out to the trailer, but is still suffering from the pre-ACen chaos. Had Robin make a start yesterday, I’ll probably attack it more this weekend, especially since the Cleaning Fairies come Tuesday morning.
 Still waiting to hear about the result of my “Titanic” audition. I used a contact form on the theatre group’s website this morning to ask what kind time frame I should expect, with the excuse that I forgot to ask at the audition. First rehearsal/read-through is Tuesday evening, so presumably they need to let people know Real Soon Now.
 The network fascists at work have locked down internet access fairly tight, which is in keeping with the internet use policies, but that seems to include almost completely disabling anything but IE. The stated reasoning for the lockdown is to prevent malware infections, so by that logic they should be killing off IE and encouraging use of Opera or Firefox, not the bass-ackwards way they’ve implemented. Which is about par for the course for CMS. Grumble.
 – Posted using software from hardware

No Heat and other No Fun

Oops, looks like I haven’t posted for a while.

When last we met, there was no heat at my office for the third day in a row. Replacing the defective boiler (and hopefully fixing what was causing the other boiler to go off-line when the one failed) fixed that. More massive points to the assistant director for staying until at least 9 pm that night. This would be the same day that she got to the office stupid early to let us know about the heat situation by 6:30 am.

This morning the heat was broken again, but only in our wing. I don’t know if the fix for it has been declared complete or just partial at this point, but we’re warming back up.  Yes, I have my space heater on.

In other icky news, my stepfather passed away last week Wednesday night or Thursday morning (I didn’t inquire about the exact time). He’s been in more or less poor health since he lost a leg due to medical negligence/stupidity a few years ago, but was not hospitalized at the time.

The funeral was yesterday. Sunday night Mom called and asked if we could get Stepsister to the funeral. Stepsister is nominally living with my Aunt & Cousins in Chicago, but not necessarily full-time, and its complicated, and that’s probably enough said. I said we could do that, as family does. There was complications, that I could say many, many, many words about, but the end result was that the plan didn’t work out, but resulted in Ron and I not sleeping well between expecting the phone to ring and the knowledge that we had to get up early and the whole “oh noes, what if I sleep throught the not-usual alarm?!?” thing that one does. Or at least we do.

We left at 6 am, which gave us three hours to get to the St. Joseph, MI area.  It turned out to be plenty of time, as the weather and traffic were non-issues. Stepsister had the loan of a friend’s car and arrived a little while after we did.

It was a visitation. It was a funeral service (at the funeral home, w/out internment of ashes). I was not especially close to my stepfather, so I got through it pretty well. Except during the closing ceremony by the American Legion, when “Taps” started playing.

Then we went to the American Legion hall for a lunch the Ladies’ Auxiliary did. Very yummy fried chicken from the local Meijer store, and a bunch of homemade sides, pulled pork sandwiches, a pasta casserole, and desserts. I should have skipped the fried chicken and stuck with the cucumber salad, as fried chicken is officially on my  Not A Good Choice list any more (dammit).

The trip home was as uneventful as the trip over. We arrived home to find Marmaduke and the dogs waiting for us – depending on how long things ran and weather delays, it could have been a very long day, so Marmaduke to come over in the afternoon to let the dogs out.  I was too tired to even think about coming up with something for dinner, so I ordered from Lou Malnatis.

Today is cleaning service day, so I actually got dishes done and all the laundry folded last night, before a hot bath and falling into bed.

On a slightly more cheerful front, we’ve started going to the Park District indoor track and walking. I cannot honestly say I enjoy doing it, but I’m trying not to be grumpy about it.

Plumbing, Sigh

You may recall that on Tuesday I said I was waiting for the plumber.

Ron came home shortly after that, allowing me to go to work and not use a vacation day. The plumber didn’t arrive until late afternoon (very busy day), and the news was painful. To replace the drain line from the ground floor bathroom sink to the main drain line, and up from the sink to the T where the drain for the tub joins was going to be a very hefty chunk of change. While Ron is willing to do supply lines, he really didn’t want to do the drain line work. Hence, the plumber came back today to do the job (busy week).

So, presumably, we have a hole in the wall that has to be patched, spackled and re-painted. Which will mean painting, oh, at least the entire hallway. If not also the kitchen. And the living room. Yay. But given some very tight clearances the plumber had to deal with (getting 1-1/2″ pipe into a 1-3/4″ space), Ron is very glad we paid somebody else to do the work. I’m not quite reconciled, now I have to figure out how to pay for hotel, etc. for MuseCon (August) and next year’s ACen booth space (September). So, that’ll be trying to be frugal for the next couple-three months.

And just for the fates to laugh at me, I committed a bit an extravagance Monday night, of a musical instrument nature. More about that later, trying not the stew about the plumbing thing, as there really wasn’t an option – paying to have the line rodded again would just have delayed the bigger bill, still cost a chunk of change, and may not have even been possible, given the age/condition of the pipe.

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.

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.