I passed!

Jan. 26th, 2017 10:55 pm
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
I passed the certification course, thank goodness. I mean, I can't claim much credit, here, because the instructor practically spoon-fed us the answers to the test at the end. I am a little irritated with myself, but apart from being a sea of acronyms, the course was one I had trouble wrapping my mind around. I think it'll get better once I have the chance to apply the knowledge in a more practical setting (i.e., work) and get to ask questions specifically pertaining to the subject matter as it relates to my job, and not just the abstract stuff we went over this week.

Still, it's over now, and I'm glad for it.

I was going to call it an early night tonight, but I'd forgotten it's Critical Role night, so I guess that's a wash. XD

In other news, my landlady has decided that not only is she going to pitch a fit about dog fur, but she's basically strong-arming me into paying for half of a cleaning service to invade my space twice a month in order to... IDK, vacuum even more? Ugh. I suppose I shouldn't complain too hard, if it keeps her off my back, but that's a lot of money to devote to it each month, on top of the hike in rent. She's really fucking high maintenance, and I regret considerably signing a full year's lease now. Still, the milk is spilled, no use crying over it. The cleaning service will be coming first thing on Monday, so I'll be spending my free time this weekend trying to tidy up my paperwork enough that they won't have to negotiate their way around my clutter while they're cleaning. The house itself is mostly fine, it's simply the room that I was originally going to make my "office" that's a bit of a disaster.

I have to say, that wasn't how I had planned on spending my weekend. I have to go back to work on Monday, and I was looking forward to a quiet Sunday, at the very least. This is disappointing
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Serious Face)
I feel like a change of scenery is in order for this LJ, but I'm not sure who even makes LJ icons anymore. My main source was [livejournal.com profile] iconsbycurtana, but she hasn't made LJ icons in years, AFAIK.

Anyway, the vertigo has come and gone. *waves goodbye to the latest bout of vertigo* I got my sofas cleaned today, and while the state of them was pretty humiliating, at least they are clean and sanitised now. \o/ My resolution now is to get them cleaned once a year and maintain them as best I can until they're well and truly dead, many years from now. The pets are all locked away in the bedroom, highly miffed at not being allowed out while the service people were here, and even more miffed now because they have to wait another four hours before being allowed on the furniture again. Their lives are hard, to be sure.

As for the rest of today, I am 99% likely to go see Rogue One in theatres. I have the points for a free movie, so all I have to do is get up off my butt and go to the theatre in order to see it. I am currently trying to talk myself out of buying myself a birthday dinner of Thai food when I leave the movie theatre. I also need to go buy very cheap sheets or drop cloths to put over the sofas now, so that I can keep them reasonably clean for when guests come. Up until today, you couldn't sit on those sofas without getting covered in pet fur, which is not ideal when you have guests over. At least, guests who don't necessarily want to be covered in pet hair. :P

Ah, the joys of pet ownership.

If I have the time and energy, I will report back on Star Wars when I get home later today.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Carpet Ship)
It's time for my anniversary bout of vertigo, apparently. This one doesn't seem as bad as usual, small mercies, but why it always picks my birthday to strike is beyond me. I need a better vertigo icon, as Snooch is having way too much fun in my current icon for it to be representative of how I feel.

On the plus side, since I took tomorrow off work for my birthday, I'll have plenty of time to recover. I'm also getting my sofas professionally cleaned tomorrow. The poor sofas have taken a beating since I got them nearly five years ago: they've survived a dog, eight cats, and a toddler. They've been peed on (toddler), thrown up on (toddler and cats), bled on (don't ask), sat upon (me and everyone else), shed upon (dog and cats), and generally abused all around. So they are overdue for a thorough cleaning. I should have gotten them scotch-guarded back when I had the option, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.

That's it for now. I have thoughts on writing and other projects this year, but I should probably give up before the vertigo gets too out of hand for me to be able to type and hit "post" on this entry. Stay tuned for more riveting sofa updates! :P
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bad for Zathras)
Little did I know yesterday that my kind of crazy day would continue. I was planning to spend the day cleaning, but as we all know, man plans and the universe laughs.

So around 10:30 I started feeling a familiar, strange pressure in my chest. I experienced the same thing about two weeks ago at work. It lasted for four hours, and I felt like I couldn't quite take a deep breath the entire time. It was super uncomfortable. Still, it passed, and I didn't think about it after that, until yesterday. Yesterday it was the same feeling, only accompanied by a sharp, but not particularly terrible, pain. Annoyed by the inconvenience, I googled to see if this might be a medication side effect. Sure enough, Abilify can cause chest pain, and a host of heart problems, too.

I figured that I would call the Ontario health line and ask if it was okay for me to stop that medication until I see my doctor in two weeks. Turns out, if you call and say the words "chest pain," they transfer you automatically to 911. *sigh* The only way I could convince them not to call me an ambulance was to promise to go to the hospital and get myself checked out. So three hours of my life later, the doctor agreed with my original assessment and told me to stop the medication until I saw my GP.

I know the statistics, I know women tend to underreport or otherwise downplay symptoms of a heart attack, but it would have been really nice to have people not invalidate what I was saying at every turn, until I got to the doctor. I knew it was nothing, but I suppose the HealthLine was covering their asses and thus wasted half my day on nothing.

I decided that the day wouldn't be a complete waste, so I went grocery shopping, and returned to find that one of the cats had peed on the dog bed. The house reeked. So I stripped the bed and put the batting in the wash, to be followed by the cover. No dice. The stacked washer/dryer died mid-cycle, leaving the batting to soak in soapy water, and me to contact my psycho landlady. She said she'd be by today, but there's been no sign of her, and I'm scheduled to go to work in an hour and a half or so. We'll see. I don't know what she thinks she can do, anyway. She's a hairdresser, not a repairperson nor a plumber.

Of course, all of this meant that I never got to have a nap before work, so I was awake for 22 hours, and THEN I had to stay late at work to write a report no one had told me I needed to write, which sucked. By the time I came home and went to bed, I'd been up for over 24 hours. I ended up waking up every two hours today, too, expecting my landlady, who never turned up. So I got about six hours of broken sleep, which makes me not all that functional.

Surprisingly, I spent most of that time in a good mood, except for a few brief minutes this morning when one of my coworkers tried to rush me into doing something while I was still working on my report. I may or may not have made a murder face at them. :P

Today I ended up doing less cleaning and more breaking of the ice outside, so that my mother won't slip and fall and kill herself when she comes to visit on Thursday with my father. I did get the litter boxes, though, so that's something.

So that was the past 36 hours. May the following go a little more smoothly.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
Warning: contains harm to an animal done by another animal )

In other news, everyone is dying this year. Brian Bedford, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Prince, Mohamed Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Anton Yelchin, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and now George Michael. I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch. Not to mention Carrie Fisher's massive heart attack, from which no one is sure she'll recover. Though if anyone can give 2016 the finger, it's our General.

Someone on Twitter summed up this year nicely:
Uncheerful thoughts about 2017 )On the plus side, so far Christmas has been kind to me. I've put up a tree, which the cats, weirdly, are ignoring entirely. Clearly, Christmas ornaments just aren't as interesting as live mice. It was a bit of an adventure, as first of all the place I went to no longer had any small trees, so I am now boasting an eight-foot tree, which I had to cut down a bit because my ceilings are not high enough to accommodate eight feet of tree plus a stand. I have a special stand that I bought years ago at Canadian Tire, which balances your tree by itself so that perpetually single people like me can put up a tree on their own. It still works well after all these years, and after being left outside for two years in the rain and the snow (because I'm a careless person, sometimes).

Second, I had trouble with the tree lights. I bought a second strand (because eight foot tree), and wound it first around the tree. I was talking to my mother on the phone, and accidentally unplugged the power supply while I was trying to light the strand. Oops. Then when I got her back on the line I dropped the phone again, so we decided to call it there rather than invite further problems.

That's when I discovered that my first strand had a neutral prong that was bigger than the hot prong (which is how most are made these days), while the new strand had equal sized prongs, which made them incompatible. No worries, I thought, I would simply switch them around and plus the new strand into the old strand instead of vice versa. No dice. The old strand only had half the lights working. Since these are LED strands, I don't think it's a question of one light being burnt out (the way they used to: I have memories of exasperatedly switching out one bulb after the other to determine which was the defective one, and sometimes it was two bulbs and then you were screwed), so I had to go out and get more strands. I got two to be on the safe side, so now I have a very lit tree. No complaints, tbh. I didn't even have to use the extension cord I got.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Lock The Universe)
I've been bad about posting here, for the same reasons as usual. So much stuff happens IRL that I don't have the energy left over to post when it happens, and then afterward there's so much of it to catch up on that I get overwhelmed. I'm going to try to do better. A few years ago I did well when I challenged myself to post once a day to LJ for a year, regardless of how much or how little had happened that day, so I may try that again in the New Year. You've been warned. ;)

I don't know what I've posted the last few times. I should go back and check, but I probably won't for now. The dog training classes are over, and I haven't been out running in a bit because I find running in over a foot of snow really hard on my ankles and back, among other things. I'm a little disappointed about that, but better to take it a bit easy than to injure myself and not be able to run at all for weeks or even months.

Christmas is in two days, and I'll be at work. I don't mind working Christmas for now, or any of the statutory holidays, to be honest. I don't have kids yet, so I'm fine with the idea of working Christmas so other young families can be together during the holidays. I've done that for ten years now, and I probably won't stop until I have children of my own. I can only hope that someone in my office will choose to repay the favour when that happens, but of course, they're not obligated to. I just remember my cousin having to spend Christmas without my aunt (she was a nurse) when we were growing up, and I remember how much it sucked.

Anyway, it's been a whirlwind of Christmas prep around here. I've sent out holiday cards to everyone I know who wanted and asked for one (if you missed my post on here and on LJ and on Twitter, ping me and I'll add you to the list for next year), totalling fifty-seven cards (egads). Two weeks ago I baked cookies with [livejournal.com profile] ai731, which as usual have been a big hit with everyone at the office and at Meeting. I've been lighting the candles on my Advent wreath for the first time in a long time, and I must say I've missed the comfort of that particular ritual. It's as much a part of my Christmas now as singing carols with the Quakers, so I'm glad I was able to start up that tradition again. It's the only tradition I came up with specifically for myself: my parents never lit candles, nor did my ex (who I'm pretty sure no longer identified as Christian, although the secular part of Christmas was a big deal for her and for Bean too), nor does anyone else I know. I just remember the wreath candles being lit at school when I was a child, and to me it doesn't feel like Christmas without it.

I'm hosting an "un-Christmas" lunch again this year, as I'm working through Christmas. My parents are coming up on the 29th, and on the 30th I'm having them and [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave and his wife for lunch. I have what I hope is a fun menu planned: a beet salad as an entrée, followed by lemon tarragon Cornish game hens, wild rice, and mashed sweet potatoes. Yesterday I baked and froze a tourtière as the final side dish. That's the last time I ever follow a baking "tip," incidentally. Several recipes suggested I wrap foil around the edges of my pie crust so they wouldn't burn, and they *stuck* to the foil and ripped apart my lovely pie. :( It should still taste fine, at least, but I'm disappointed in how it turned out. Today, if there's time, I'm going to bake and freeze an apple pie for dessert. There should be time, if I do it right.

I've been doing some tidying and cleaning of spaces in the house I hadn't touched in a while. The front closet got a makeover yesterday morning, and my CDs got sort of organised. Or at least they're not in a massive pile anymore where they didn't fit into my CD case. I need to get a second CD case to hold them all, frankly. I still need to actually tidy, vacuum, and mop the main areas of the house. I've been procrastinating on that, in part because I've been sleeping poorly of late and the idea of doing those "big" jobs feels exhausting. Eventually I'll get over my reticence and do it, probably on Monday, between my day and night shifts. I even put my curtains in the wash, though I haven't ironed them yet. I should put them back up before my night shifts start, at least, so I can be sure to get enough sleep next week. It's hard to tell what consists of me being truly productive, and what's actually a sort of constructive procrastination. Still, at least things are getting done, and with any luck and a bit of hard work everything that needs to be finished will be by the time Thursday rolls around. Then maybe I'll sleep for the next year. ;)

We've been getting a lot of snow this year, which is pleasing to me, in spite of the shovelling. Last year we had a green Christmas, and it almost broke my heart. So I'm happy enough to have to shovel, if it means having a white Christmas.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
Sorry about the feelings-vomit in the previous post. I will try to be more upbeat about things, as much as I can.

I was out and about a bit today, for the first time during my vacation (other than the jaunt to Montreal to see Captain America). I got up at a relatively decent hour, but then kind of procrastinated during the morning on getting anything done. Still, I saw that my basil plants were threatening to bolt again, so this time I went at them viciously with a pair of scissors. I'm hoping I was fast enough, but a few of the stems have turned woody, which tells me I may not get more leaves from them. I took some cuttings the other day in order to try to propagate the basil, but they are looking pretty wilted, so I'm not optimistic. I seem to have the darnedest time getting basil to keep growing. I don't suppose any of my gardening people have tips or tricks for me?
More gardening stuff )

Books, and a review of Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
I've been having some internet issues. My new provider leaves something to be desired, alas. Connectivity problems aside, it's been a busy few weeks anyway.

I think I mentioned that the move went pretty well, overall. I haven't yet recovered from the exhaustion that came after a month of packing up the house, running the pets to and from various veterinarians, wrangling my parents, running back and forth to sign off on various papers for the house sale, and the actual move itself. That's not even counting all the unpacking I've been doing of late.

House stuff )


Pet stuff )

A brief digression about plans I have for the near future )

Yes, I know, most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking something along the lines of: "Great. Phnee is on another self-improvement kick." What can I say? If at first you don't succeed try, try again. After all, there is a lot about myself I need to work on. I do think that, on the whole, I've improved at least a little as a person in the 12 (nearly 13!) years since I started this journal. That being said, there is a whole lot of room for improvement.

Anyway, I'm going to stop here, because this entry has gotten huge without my noticing. I'll try to update a bit more regularly, but no promises. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Get all that?)
This isn't even one of those times when I thought "Ugh, I'm tired, maybe I'll just post another day." I have not had more than thirty minutes to myself at a stretch since... um... *thinks* I think last week, maybe? Possibly? I don't quite remember. In order to get a proper LJ entry done, I generally need a minimum of thirty minutes, and those entries are usually not particularly long or in-depth.

My life for the past two and a half days )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gone Out)
First off, what the hell just happened to LiveJournal? I DISLIKE CHANGE, OKAY? Well, I dislike change that makes my LJ look ugly, anyway. I am not overly fond of this new look. Still, if the past is anything to go by, LiveJournal is going to ignore all feedback and carry on the way it wants to, and since I'm not yet ready to give up on it just yet, I suppose I'd better just swallow this and keep going. *sigh*

In which I rival anime heroines in levels of klutziness )

Scheduling Woes, i.e.: There are not enough hours in the day. )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Domestic Goddess)
I forgot to set my alarm the day before yesterday, so I only woke up at 7:00 because Bean was actually quite quiet when he got up (apparently at 5:30!). Since I'd gotten a late start to the day I tried to make up for lost time. Bean had already had breakfast, and he and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter were slowly getting ready to go to class, so I emptied the dishwasher, started loading it up again, killed a bunch of ants (if they don't want to die, they can just refrain from coming in my house), and got dressed.

I had a pretty productive day, even if I do say so myself. Full day behind the cut. )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dream the World)
I am a little surprised at how many dreams I'm managing to remember of late.

In this one I had arrived at work and was just starting my shift. In my dream, starting my shift meant going outside the RCMP building and making sure the weeds didn't take over the place. I was still a dispatcher, but apparently weeding was part of the deal. I'm guessing that yesterday's yard work was lodged somewhere in my subsconsious. Anyway, the weeds were plentiful, and I was very worried that I hadn't already done a better job of keeping them at bay. I thought it might have something to do with the arrival of spring, since they were springing up all over the place, but I kept thinking that I should have done a better job during my last shift, even though there hadn't really been enough time to get all the weeds in the short time I was allotted before I began my shift (about half an hour in the dream, if memory serves), since the grounds at work are quite vast.

I wasn't able to get it all done then, either, but it was time to head back in, so I hurried into the building and, for some reason I now don't recall, went into a small conference room. Perhaps I was fetching something, or had to do something in the room prior to my shift, I don't remember. Anyway, the next thing I knew people were pouring into the room. I recognised them all as being from the drug enforcement section, and realised that I was inadvertently crashing an important meeting. There was a beautiful young woman there with very long brown hair and big blue eyes, and I recognised her immediately as the girlfriend (or maybe daughter?) of an important mafia boss, and that's when I knew that she must be there to give testimony. It explained why there were so many officers and why everything was being kept hush-hush. She was being kept in witsec in return for her to turn state's evidence, as they say in the U.S.

For some reason I couldn't figure out, she took a shine to me and insisted I sit next to her. I knew her life was in grave danger just by being there, and sure enough when I turned around I caught sight of a sniper on the roof of a building farther down the street. Amusingly enough, it was Eliot from the TV show Leverage. In the dream I apparently knew him well enough that we were friends of a sort, or at least had been. I remember being very upset at the thought that he'd apparently gone back to being a thug-for-hire. I didn't want the girl I was with to die, so I waved and smiled at him and sat directly beside her, so that he wouldn't have a shot unless he went through me first, and I was convinced that our relationship was strong enough that he wouldn't take that shot. (I'm not 100% sure, but I think briefly in the dream I either thought I was Parker, also from Leverage, and I might have transformed into her for a little while, to capitalise on their bond in the show).

In the end, we got through the interview with no bloodshed, and the officers were able to take the girl back into witsec without incident. There was a strange little interlude in my dream, then, in which I shifted into spectator mode. This actually happens a lot to me in dreams, when I seem to step outside what's happening and just watch what's going on. Sometimes I'm watching myself, but more often than not it's like watching a very surreal movie. It felt like an extra scene from Leverage, but it was taking place right after what had just happened in my dream. Parker was there (perhaps I had been her after all, and was now myself again?), and she'd gone to find Eliot, and gave him a very impassioned speech about coming back to the side of the good. She reminded him of everything they'd done, all the progress they'd made, all the lives they'd improved, and I am pretty sure that by the end of the scene they had reconciled and Eliot had given up his thug-for-hire ways for good. So it was a happy ending for them.

By then, though, I was nearly five hours late for my own work shift. I sprinted down the hall and arrived at my office, where I couldn't see anyone. There were beautiful green plants hanging everywhere, though, as well as lined up on trolleys in the hallway just outside. My office was apparently in the midst of a big campaign to improve employees' lives through plants and flowers. The whole office smelled fragrant and green, and I couldn't help but feel my spirits lift when I walked in. I knew that not only would I be allowed to have plants at my desk, but that I'd be encouraged to take more plants home, which was great. I kept thinking that this would never have happened at my old posting, and was such a vast improvement over my previous job, and that I was very lucky to have such a great job now.

Still, I had to account for my tardiness. I ran directly to my supervisor's office to explain what had happened. He seemed pleased to see me, and had wondered why I was late. I explained that I'd actually arrived at work early for my shift, but that I'd been delayed by circumstances outside of my control. He seemed pretty sympathetic overall, since he apparently knew about the witness meant to give testimony, but I lost him when I told him that Eliot had been the sniper on the roof. I recall saying: "But wait—it gets better!" because I was legitimately excited about Eliot being there, but I could tell my boss couldn't quite bring himself to believe me. Nonetheless, he decided that I didn't deserve to be sanctioned, and sent me back to my desk to get to work.

And that's all I remember of that.

Today there is rain in the forecast, which means yard work will not be happening, alas. I should have gotten up at 6:00, but I was lazy and slept until 7:30, so that means I couldn't get an early start on the yard work at all. Since there's mostly rain forecast all week it's not the end of the world, as my main goal was to get the yard in good enough shape for Bean to play in it. If it's raining he won't be able to play outside anyway.

Instead I shall try to organise some of my stuff today. The back and forth from Ottawa means I rarely stop and go through my things, and so my "packing" has become increasingly haphazard over the months. So today I'm going to cull my things and try to get everything back down to manageable levels of bags.

Poor Bean

Apr. 20th, 2014 07:32 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Rainbow Socks)
So last night's throwing up/upset stomach turned into a fever this morning, as previously mentioned. Poor Bean didn't want to eat much apart from a few bites of apple sauce, and refused most drinks as well. The fever climbed over the course of the morning, at which point he began to complain loudly that his neck hurt a lot. Well, kid + fever + neck pain was something we weren't prepared to take a chance on, so off we went to the Children's Hospital. [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter took Bean in her car, and I followed in mine, so that I could be free to come and go as needed in case we were at the the hospital for a long time. Last year when Bean had pneumonia and an infection in both ears we ended up there for the entire afternoon and evening right up until nearly midnight. In light of that, we figured we shouldn't take the chance and take both cars. Luckily for me [livejournal.com profile] sandman7 generously let me park in his driveway for the duration, so we didn't have to pay a fortune in parking fees.

Adventures at the Hospital )

Home again, jiggety-jig )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Sergent)
Drove back into town last night for Bean's birthday party tomorrow. Didn't get much sleep, alas. I've reached the point where my eyes are constantly burning because of the fatigue. I'm not sure if eye drops would help with that, or what. It's hard because it makes me blink/scrunch my eyes a lot, which is not good for when I need to drive, especially long distances. It feels similar to when my eyes are dry, but I don't think it's that.

Anyway, I've been productive this morning, even if it doesn't feel like it. I'm up, showered, dressed and have been to the bank, to the grocery store, and to the vet's to pick up the dog's new meds. I have fed the cats, filled the water dishes, loaded the dishwasher (except for my coffee cup, which I'm still using), and administered meds to the dog. I even managed to have a bite to eat after all that.

Of course, it looks like I got nothing done. *shrug*

I talked to the vet last night about the dog's (very expensive) test results, and the news is good and bad. The good news is that 90% of his results are excellent. Nothing wrong with his platelets, no sign of infection, super healthy immune system, and his blood sugar/insulin levels are a beacon of normality. He is definitely not diabetic, and is in very good shape for a dog his age. So yay for all that.

The bad news is that he's probably got hypothyroidism. He's now on thyroid medication twice a day forever, which will hopefully solve his problem of forever feeling like he's starving and which might also help him to lose some of the excess weight he's gained. So fingers crossed for that.

The other bad news is that his liver function test resulted in some abnormally high numbers. Luckily his ALT is perfectly normal. It's his ALP that's the problem, according to the vet. She said it could be due to any number of things, and that it was a little odd given his overall state of good health.

"Normally we see this with pancreatitis, or if the dog has had some sort of severe gastric distress," she said.

"Oh, like, say, if he ate an entire Ziplock bag full of muffins and half a box of doughnuts?" I asked.

"Yeah, that would do it," she laughed, even though she also sounded horrified.

So we're holding off on the very expensive pancreas test and the very expensive x-ray to determine whether or not he might have masses growing on his liver. If in a month the slightly less expensive blood test comes back with normal results, we'll know that it was a freak occurrence and not a significant health problem.

[livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is home from dropping off Bean at school and has brought a huge bouquet of Monster High balloons with her. They're enormous and shiny, and the dog is not impressed. He's been eyeing them askance the whole time and backs up if we approach him with them, and gives them a very wide berth/the stink eye every time he has to go by. It's kind of hilarious. Poor doggie, he's been around balloons before, but never ones this big or this shiny I guess.

Now it's time for more coffee and to put together the stuff for the party tomorrow. Pictures are sure to follow.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Rar!)
I seem to be doomed to work in offices that are either much too hot or much too cold. Right now I am exceedingly chilly (or "tilly," as Bean would say, not to be confused with "silly," which he also pronounces "tilly" with only the slightest nuance). I should have worn a hoodie to work tonight, but foolishly I opted for a lighter cotton shirt, and now I regret that decision intensely. Given that it's not yet 2am and this is only going to get worse, I may put my winter coat back on in order to keep warm.

My life, she is exciting, yes?

In other news, I have begun Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It's a heck of a challenge, especially given how little concentration and focus I have these days. I have managed to do the first three exercises, but my brain refused to try again for the fourth exercise tonight. I've been taking very bad photographs of my progress with my phone, mostly because it amuses me, but also because that way I'm sort of keeping myself accountable on Twitter, where those photos have been going.

Part of my problem is that I am not by nature a patient person. In fact, I am incredibly impatient, especially with myself. I never acquired the skill of applying myself to a task for long periods of time as a child, mostly because I was lucky enough that most of the things I did came quite easily to me. Playing the recorder and the flute, swimming, writing, all of that. Sure, I had to work to improve, but I started out with a pretty good initial aptitude. Art? Not so much. So rather than work at it, I told myself that I simply wasn't good at it and never did it again. Ah, thirteen-year-old logic.

So now, at 35 and with some really interesting brain fog/concentration issues, it's a lot harder to make myself be patient and put in the amount of time and effort this project really takes. Mostly I'm finding it hard to sit and concentrate for the required amount of time. Either my mind wanders, or I get interrupted by something perfectly legitimate, or something else happens and I have to put the art away. It took me two days to finish one exercise which had me copying a line drawing upside down. I tried starting a fourth exercise today, as I mentioned, but my brain just went "NOPE," and that was the end of that. I couldn't focus on the original drawing, let alone try to reproduce the lines therein. So I have to contend with that as well as the dissatisfied voice at the back of my mind that keeps wondering why I haven't turned into Tamara de Lempicka yet. :P

I'm looking forward to the coming weekend. I get to see some old friends who are stopping by for a short visit on Saturday morning, and this time I don't have to cut my Sunday short to go to work, which is always nice. If the weather permits, I might even try playing outside with Bean again on Sunday when [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter goes to her cake decorating class. This week is the big week in which she has to bake an entire cake to be decorated, and I believe they are learning to do basket weave (if memory serves). So there will likely be cake this weekend, which is awesome.

Time is simply flying by, the way it always does. It doesn't feel like February should be more than half over, and yet it is. There are any number of explanations for this by way of cognitive psychology, of course. Apparently we form more detailed and longer-lasting memories of first experiences, and that repetitive experiences tend to lose their impact over time, thus lending themselves less well to being readily identifiable at one juncture in time. Sorry, I am rather tired, no idea if that sentence makes sense other than in my head. Time will tell.

Long story short, it feels like it was the New Year just yesterday, and I'm not sure where the time has gone. I should try to come up with a more interesting subject for an LJ post soon. I think I've gone through all the requests, but I'll go back and check just to make sure. In the meantime, I'm going to go put on my coat, because it's freezing in here.

:::ETA:::

I just remembered I have a thermos of warm coffee that I can drink. Tilly me!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (A Little Help From My Friends)
I actually got out of the house today, for reasons other than errands! It's been a while since I saw someone who wasn't [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, not that her company isn't lovely, of course. I just hadn't seen people apart from coworkers since Capricornucopia, which was three weeks ago. I'm trying to not go for long stretches of time in which I see no one, because otherwise I'll become a complete hermit, which is no good for anyone.

Pretty sure my friend is actually on LJ somewhere, but I don't know his handle. Oops? I'll have to ask him next time I remember. It's probably [livejournal.com profile] bullonir, knowing him... *checks* Yep! I am good. Not that he's updated since 2008, but whatever. Anyway, I drove to his place on the South Shore, we had lunch and then went out for coffee and a cupcake at a local cupcake shop. It was delicious. I should upload the photo here to show you, it was gorgeous on top of being super scrumptious. Anyway.

We had a really nice chat. He's my former shift partner from Montreal, the guy who got me into comic books and Breaking Bad, and to whom I introduced Supernatural and Fringe among other things. We geek out over Avengers and things, but we have a lot in common outside our geeky mutual interests. Like me, he was a temporary employee for a long time (and still is, unfortunately), and he has a young family too, so we share many of the same concerns when it comes to the kids' well-being. We also know what sort of toll working shifts takes on our mental and physical health, and on our romantic relationships, too. It's not easy, living with someone who's not there half the time out of necessity, just as it's not easy to be the person who's absent because of work.

So we had a good, productive chat, as well as delicious food. We got caught up on work things and family things and general gossip. He's also a writer, so we touched briefly on how things were going in that department too. All in all, a really great time, and we have a tentative date for the next time we're both off on a weekday to watch the last episodes of Breaking Bad together, since neither of us has seen it yet.

I was going to run some errands in Vaudreuil on my way home, but after an hour's driving I arrived just in time for rush hour, and I realised that if I tried to head to the Smart Centres I would be stuck in traffic for at least another hour if not more, and that I'd be getting home after dinnertime, which is no good. So errands have been postponed until tomorrow morning, and I have pulled dinner out of the freezer. Well, it'll be dinner supposing I don't get "Me not like it!" as a reaction. Bean has been off his food all week due to being under the weather, which has only strengthened his knee-jerk reaction to refuse any food I put in front of him. He's much better about accepting food that Mama makes, but 90% of what I make gets met with "Me not like that/Me not want that!" He's old enough now, though, that he generally doesn't get presented with other options. When he was sick it was a different story, since it was important to get something in him, but in general dinner is dinner, and we're not a restaurant.

This is one of my weekends at home, but as far as I know there aren't any firm plans. I have a game on Saturday (more people! In less than a week! What is happening?), but apart from that I'm not sure. Next weekend we have friends of mine coming for a quick visit with their daughter, who is about a year younger than Bean, and whom I haven't seen in absolutely forever, so I'm looking forward to that a lot.

So, that's today in a nutshell. A little more exciting than my usual fare, am I right?

Varia

Feb. 10th, 2014 12:26 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Reason is a Flawed Tool)
I don't have specific subject matter for today's post, so have a series of unrelated paragraphs!

1- Bean is still sick. It's been six straight days of staying home with Mama now, and I think they're both going a little stir-crazy. I'm told that the doctor can't see him until tomorrow, which means a whole week of being kept home from school, and of [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter not being able to go to school herself as well. At this point it has to be something like an ear infection, which Bean seems to be unable to shake on his own, so hopefully antibiotics will clear that right up. Luckily, Bean is incredibly good about taking his "ear intekshun tedditzin" and so we never have to fight him on that. Small mercies.

2- I have the dentist today. Again. In spite of my insurance I'm sort of running out of money for this. I think that after this the rest of the dental work will have to wait for a while. There's even less money than usual this month. I'm always stressed about money, but when there's less than half the money that I expected coming in, it puts a serious dent in the budget. We're fine for now, but next month's daycare payment is beginning to worry me.

3- I really hope these next two days turn out better than the weekend. I blame the Olympics for how badly shit has hit the fan. Normally nights and weekends are pretty quiet, but I've been putting out fires since Friday, and I am exhausted. It's been a long string of problems that I don't know how to solve, so I've been run off my feet the whole time, and yesterday I left an hour late. 13-hour days are not my favourite thing, let me tell you.

4- My body clock helpfully woke me up at 3:40 this morning. "Time to get up to go to work!" it said gleefully. Of course, today is a night shift. I went back to sleep, but woke every couple of hours until I resigned myself to the inevitable and got out of bed. The morning has been quiet, at least, before I head out to the dentist, but I have a headache building which Advil and Tylenol aren't doing much to shift. I hope it goes away sooner rather than later.

5- There is no spoon. Or a number 5. Sorry. If I think of something else, I'll post again. Might go back to my old ways of multiple LJ posts a day. Shock! Horror! Actually, probably not. I have Twitter now for random thoughts. ;)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Not A Song)
I know I still owe an entry about my relationship with the French language, but it requires more time and thought than I can devote to it today. It will probably happen this weekend. I know you're all waiting with bated breath.

Bean was much better today, after spending yesterday with a fever that wavered between "low-grade" and "high enough to be very uncomfortable." We can always tell when he's truly under the weather, because he sits still and is quiet. He also got quite clingy and latched onto [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter like a limpet, switching to cling to me only when she got up to go to the bathroom. In the afternoon we watched Casper (the live-action movie) together, and he seemed to enjoy it, though predictably about 50 minutes in he declared the movie "too long" and announced he wanted to watch something else. He was too lethargic to really protest when [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter told him we were going to keep watching, though, and the movie piqued his interest again a few minutes later, so all was well.

In spite of [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter's repeated attempts to get him to nap, he stubbornly stayed awake until about 17:30, when he dozed off in her arms. He roused briefly when she tried to stealthily put him to bed, but went down again pretty easily about half an hour later. [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter went out to get more Children's Tylenol (he got one dose before bed, but that was all we had on hand), and of course while she was gone he woke up crying for her. Luckily I was deemed a suitable alternative to Mama for the time being, and he settled again and was fast asleep—though coughing in his sleep, poor bunny—by the time she got home.

Because Bean had an early night, we actually managed to watch three TV episodes in a row! Though, in retrospect, the third one was probably a mistake, as we ended up going to bed later than usual. Still, we caught up on Castle and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which FINALLY delivered an episode that hit the right notes for me and didn't feel forced or boring or have only one good part) before watching the 200th episode of Criminal Minds almost live.

Today I packed my bags, took the dog out, got George's antibiotics from the vet, and drove to Ottawa. It sounds like very little for a day in which I seemed to run out of time for everything. Bean was, as I said, feeling much better, which was a relief, but also meant he was back to his very energetic and rather loud self. He was not 100%, but still greatly improved. He spent the morning making cards for me and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter. He made hers first, and carefully and spontaneously labelled it "MAMA," which made her go all misty-eyed. It was adorable. He decorated both with aluminium foil hearts which we helped him glue on, and then drew very elaborate pictures on them. Mine had a toilet (don't ask, I don't know), green grass, several doors, and a picture of someone I believe is meant to be me, as well as the aforementioned foil heart and a foil triangle ("A mountain triangle!"). I have brought the card with me to Ottawa, and need to find a good spot for it in my little room.

Being a step-parent rocks. :)

Even though I have no money, I bit the bullet today and bought some new clothes, because all the ones I have that were suitable for more "casual" office wear were nearly 10 years old, faded, misshapen, and had become irreparably stained. No longer office-worthy at all. I managed to find a few items on sale for $9 and a few cute shirts for $19, and hopefully that will set me up for a while. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't break the bank.

One of my self-improvement goals this year is to sit down and write out a proper budget. Then I need to stick to it and find a way to cut back even further on some of my spending. I think that some of the trouble comes from not having a strict budget when it comes to "extras" like presents and books and DVDs. (The rest of the trouble comes from trying to wrangle a mortgage, car payments, daycare, a 500km/week commute, and a frankly exorbitant monthly rent on an extra room to sleep in for my job, all on my salary and the contributions [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is able to make, as well as some government money for daycare).

I think I'll save the money talk for a different post. I have Thoughts on the subject, and they deserve their own entry.

Sick Day

Feb. 5th, 2014 10:09 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Sisyphus)
Not me, Bean. He refused dinner last night and this morning wouldn't eat breakfast, and he's running a low-grade fever. Apart from that, though, he's much the same as he always is, if slightly quieter. Right now he's playing a computer game with [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter and providing running commentary about the "tricky" puzzle she's working on.

So today's plans have changed. I was going to try to work on my novel, and I still might try, but obviously I'm not optimistic about whether I'll be able to manage anything on it today. If the current level of quiet persists, I might be able to write at least a few hundred words. Maybe. Afternoons are usually harder for Bean, though, because he's a lot more tired by then.

I think I'll try writing this morning while things are still quiet, and do things like laundry in the afternoon. I have at least one load waiting for me, but I'm reluctant to "waste" the quiet right now. ;)

[livejournal.com profile] tx_cronopio has asked me to talk about the French language and whether or not it's as easy for me as English, and while I was originally going to write about that today, I think I'll save it for tomorrow. What little writing time I have today I'm going to try to devote to fiction, while I can.

I made pancakes this morning, and am about to have a second cup of coffee. Currently chatting with [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter about the clusterfuck that is the Sochi Winter Olympics so far. Human rights violations aside, the whole thing sounds like a shambles. I might try to articulate my thoughts/feelings on that too, in the coming days.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (I amaze myself)
... so consider this today's post.

The car has been dropped off at the shop. With any luck, in two days' time, I shall have a bumper that is no longer concave! I am excited. Ever since the summer of 2010 when someone hit my car in a parking lot while I was shopping, I've had a giant dent in the bumper. I never bothered to get it fixed, but after the little fender bender I had in early December I decided that the insurance could handle it this time around.

Today is a day for errands. Groceries, dry cleaning, prep for tomorrow's cooking day, and then a Capricornucopia meeting. I'm also looking forward to the cooking day tomorrow. We haven't had one in many months, and I've always enjoyed them.

Right now I am sore all over. The thaw and subsequent freeze yesterday morning meant that when I went to start my car, I literally spun my wheels. No amount of salt seemed to help, and I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to shove my car out of the icy hole in which it sat. Luckily some good Samaritans stopped by to help me out after that, but it still took two of us to push the car out of the hole while another guy drove. So all my muscles hurt today.

I did get home a little earlier than I anticipated last night, and Bean wasn't asleep yet (thanks to a nap at daycare which wrecked bedtime), so I got to give him a kiss goodnight. He asked me if I'd gotten cupcakes for my birthday, and was very disappointed when I said I hadn't. Then he all but shot out of bed to inform [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter: "Mama! Dah-dee IS want a cupcake for her birthday!" So it appears there will be cupcakes at Capricornucopia. No complaints here. ;)

On that note, it's time for me to get cracking. I've taken painkillers for the muscle aches and the latent headache, and now I'm running a bit behind on my self-imposed timeline for this morning. With any luck my errands will take less time than I planned for, which will get me back on track.

The dog and all the cats are sound asleep. I am jealous.

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