Sunday, October 26, 2008

A day just for me

Mom & I worked yesterday morning, then went Christmas shopping. We got a ton of good stuff, and I'm now done with presents for my nephews, my nieces and my brothers.

Today, I am free to clean, pressure-wash the east wall of the garage, get my houseplants inside and take a long nap.

*contented sigh*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

*sigh* A little envy

Every time I turn someone else on to a book, I get a wistful little pang. I share books that I know and love, and when I talk someone else into reading them, I know that he or she is going to have an experience I can't ever have again.

While I love to read, and frequently re-read favorites, there is nothing like reading a wonderful book for the very first time. Watching someone else fall in love with a book or a series is fulfilling in the sense of sharing joy, but sad because for me, the joy and wonder of the first time reading that book are part of my past. There will always be other loves to come, of course, but still, I feel a pang for that first sight of something wonderful, knowing that particular moment is gone forever.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does this SUV make my butt look fat?

No, I'm not really going to buy one, but I've been thinking idly that it might be getting to be about time for a new car. I love my Saturn, but it's 11 years old, and sooner or later it will need work that costs more than it's worth. I've ruled out the Dodge Caliber, which would have been my first choice, because it doesn't come with an automatic transmission and I'm too old to learn how to drive a stick. The Passat wagon is too pricy for me, and Saturn, damn their eyes, doesn't make wagons anymore.

I wouldn't get a sport utility vehicle anyway, but the ones I've seen on the road recently look terribly pear-shaped. I've noticed a number of models that seem to swell at the middle. They resemble a bench full of heavy-hipped people seen from the back. I don't care what pretty colors they come in, I can't imagine driving a car that makes my butt look that fat and my head look even fatter for buying the damn thing. :P

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vocabulary test

Inspired by Sherri, who is getting ready for the GRE, I decided to test myself with her vocabulary list. Original words are in bold, my guesses are italicized, definitions are plain text, and the ones I've gotten wrong are bolded and italicized. All definitions are from Onelook.

adjective: demanding attention

Complain strongly
verb: criticize severely

noun: the act of inventing a word or phrase

Something which negates
adjective: of no real value

To make disappear, make irrelevant
verb: do away with

precipitate (alternative definitions here)
Too hurried
adjective: done with very great haste and without due deliberation

Make better, especially after harm has been done.
verb: to make better

adjective: having the power to influence or convince

noun: (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings
verb: take exception to

Strongly lecturing, bossy
adjective: instructive (especially excessively)

adjective: not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course; unsusceptible to persuasion

adjective: excessively unwilling to spend

Constantly present
noun: a disease that is constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in people of a certain class or in people living in a particular location

evanescent (no, not the rock group!)
adjective: tending to vanish like vapor

A cohesive group
noun: the domination of one state over its allies

Defying description
adjective: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

verb: block passage through

noun: the profession of a teacher

Miserably poor
noun: a state of extreme poverty or destitution

Strongly biased
adjective: of or involving dispute or controversy

Not speaking much
adjective: brief and to the point; effectively cut short

noun: complete and confirmed integrity

Complicated, hard to understand
adjective: difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge

Glowing brightly
adjective: radiating or as if radiating light

adjective: marked by care and persistent effort

Deeply held
adjective: having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect
adjective: characterized by or full of force and vigor
adjective: clearly or sharply defined to the mind

Viciously critical
adjective: marked by harshly abusive criticism

fell (alternative definition)
Dark and evil
adjective: (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering

guy (alternative definition)
UK slang: a fool
verb: subject to laughter or ridicule

obtain (alternative definition)
Get (don't know an alternate definition)
verb: come into possession of

occult (alternative definition)
Spiritual, magical, specifically non-religious (don't know an alternate definition)
verb: hide from view

scurvy (alternative definition)
A disease caused by malnutrition or Low, contemptible
noun: a condition caused by deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
adjective: of the most contemptible kind

To give up, refrain from using
verb: formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure

verb: give to understand
verb: describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of

noun: a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
adjective: not faithful to religion or party or cause

Declaim, aver
verb: state categorically

To say untrue, bad things about
verb: charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

adjective: tending to find and call attention to faults

noun: a rate that is rapid

Argumentative, pugnacious
adjective: wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient

See, pick out
verb: catch sight of

noun: a state of inactivity or disuse

noun: a formal expression of praise

SWAG: has its beginnings outside the body
noun: an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)

To make up for, make amends, repair
verb: make amends for

Completely destroy
verb: surgically remove (an organ)
verb: pull up by or as if by the roots
verb: destroy completely, as if down to the roots

The opposite of orthodox?
adjective: characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards

Lewd or oily or sometimes both
adjective: characterized by lust
adjective: having a smooth or slippery quality

False, untruthful
adjective: like or relating to a prostitute
adjective: based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
adjective: tastelessly showy

adjective: threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

A long, boring lecture or speech
noun: (rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
noun: a flowery and highly rhetorical oration

Directly to the point
adjective: loud and resounding

adjective: lacking in courage and manly strength and resolution; contemptibly fearful

adjective: abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing

adjective: having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one

noun: someone new to a field or activity

To make weak
verb: take away the legal force of or render ineffective
verb: make imperfect
verb: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality

Not bad results. I learned a few words, learned the right meaning of some others, and learned that I know a lot of words!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who needs coffee?

Really, why bother with two cups of coffee in the morning when you can start your day with a quarter-sized dark brown spider on your white shower curtain, leading to an adrenalin-filled chase with an old Skindecent lotion container?

Eventually, I got the sucker outside and twitched until noon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy, happy, joy, joy

On November 13th (unless I'm building a book that day or the day after), I get to go have seven hours of neuropsych testing. Then I can either move up my January appointment to December, go see the doc both in December and January, or wait until January to get my test results and suggestions.

Right now, I'm writing everything down, making lists and checking them more obsessively than Santa, and just trying like mad to hold on to my sanity.

I did drink all of my water today out of my beautiful Kogimug.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Out of the closet

I finally told my boss and the other members of my team that I have MS. I've been having some memory problems lately, and they've affected my work. I've got a call into my neuro's office to ask about ALCAR or a prescription alternative. Everyone on my team has been very supportive. It turns out to be a good thing I 'fessed up--one of my co-workers was thinking that because the mistakes I made aren't understandable for someone "as smart as you are," she thought I had a drinking problem.

Coping with all of this lately has been hard, and last weekend, I allowed myself a good long wallow in depression and self-pity. That's pretty much over, but in today's mail there was one more reason to be grateful for all of the love and support I get from friends and family.

The back story:

Earlier this year, my friend Kogi did a gorgeous mug for a customer that was black and covered with roses. The pics were beautiful, and at some point after I saw them, I was on the phone with Kogi, and said that I wanted a rug with moses on it for myself. She said I might get one for Christmas and we kept talking. A minute or two later, the penny dropped, and I interrupted Kogi to ask "Did I just say I wanted a rug with moses? I meant a mug with roses!" Kogi had to stop and think about it, because she'd heard what I meant to say, not what I actually said.

Today, when I got home from work, there was a box from Colorado on my doorstep, containing the most beautiful rug with moses that I have ever seen. I'll take a picture and post it at some point, but right now, I just have to cuddle my present and think again how very lucky I am.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dear Snickers,

Damn you, you horrible man. Okay, granted, I lent you some of my Terry Pratchett books, the ones about Death, but that did not call for such an extreme level of retaliation!

I have been pretty much safe from reading science fiction since Ender's Game and its sequels. I adored those books, but I thought there wasn't much new out there.

Did you really need to send me a copy of Hyperion? It was so good that not only did I finish it today, I did something I am not supposed to do under any circumstances.

I went to Borders.

Yes, I went to an actual brick and mortar bookstore, and worse, I paid retail! *gasp of horror*

To make matters worse, I couldn't just buy the two books that complete the Hyperion series. *bitter laugh* No, I bought four other books.

Why did you do this to me, Snickers, WHYYYYY?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Technical difficulties

We're sorry, the Jammies you are attempting to reach is experiencing a shortage of goodmoodedness. If you wish to reach the grumpypuss bitchy Jammies, please leave a message after the beep.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Yes, I'm lucky to still have them and to have a good relationship with both of them.

However, sometimes they are, in a lovely Regency phrase, the outside of enough.

Flannel Jammies decided back in August that she and I needed to power-wash my house. Plaid Jammies agreed to let us use the little electric pressure-washer and come over long enough to show us how to use it. After thinking it over for a while, he decided that it wasn't powerful enough and would take to long, so he needed to come along and bring the big gas-powered washer. They were supposed to arrive Saturday morning at 10. At 9:30, FJ called and said there was an oil leak in the pressure-washer, and they'd be coming on Sunday. There followed a short discussion about scheduling, owing to the fact that I had to work Sunday morning at FJ's office.

I spent Saturday under the influence of large amounts of Benadrool, and didn't manage to do any laundry or cleaning because I discovered after I had taken said Benadrool that I was out of salt for the water softener (and was unable to drive to the store and get any). Sunday morning I was up at 6:30, dropped off some boxes at the house Mom & I are slowly cleaning out, went to her office and worked, hit Home Depot for softener salt, mulch and spray paint, and got home about three minutes before my folks arrived.

Pressure-washing is fun but it's work. The worst area of mold and yuck was on the west wall of the house, which gets almost no sunshine. Cleaning that wall took about an hour, after which Plaid Jammies decreed it was time for a lunch break. Over lunch, he just happened to mention that he's having hernia surgery on Thursday.

Hello? Surgery in four days? Were you PLANNING to tell me at all? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I refrained from smacking him and just ate my Sun Chips, but seriously. My parents' secrecy about medical matters drives me bonkers sometimes. Anyone who would care to send some good vibes to the curmudgeon who sired me, the surgery is Thursday morning, outpatient with a sedative and local anesthetic. They can't do it laparoscopically because they need to insert a piece of mesh, apparently, so it's going to be done via incision.

After casually dropping this bombshell, the folks were ready to go back to work. Dad actually let Mom & I do any washing that didn't involve being up on a ladder, and although it is immodest for me to say it, I was much better than Mom. She's too slow and she doesn't get up under the folds in the siding. After hearing about her insufficiences from Dad, she took my ladder and started cleaning the outside of the windows on the walls we had washed. I discovered this morning that she had also washed all the windows of my car--no more dog snot (or as Zayrina prefers to call it, puppy kisses).

We ran out of time owing to the late start, so Dad agreed to leave the little electric washer with me. I did the front of the house all by myself (yay me!) and then had a quick lesson about how to use the little washer, complete with instructions on not getting the plug wet. Right, Dad, I was gonna wash that, too. *eye roll*

Overall, the house looks great (the one wall that didn't get done was the east wall, which no one but me can see anyway), I found out about Dad's upcoming surgery, and we mostly had fun and didn't kill each other.

I will say that as miserable as I was this morning, I would not recommend that anyone with a sinus infection pressure-wash her house on a cold autumn day. I wound up leaving work slightly early to go to the doctor and get a 'script for a Z-pack.


Friday, October 03, 2008

*kicks universe*

I am so sick of lousy scary things happening to people I care about. Khover getting fired, my dad being diagnosed with diverticulitis, and now some news from a friend that is just horrible on top of what has been a lousy fifteen months without the recent news. I can't help anyone, can't do anything, can't even suffer for them.

*kicks universe again*

Edited to respond to Sherri's comment:

I hope I didn't come off as thinking this was about me, because it's not. In fact, I'd rather this was happening to me as opposed to the people it IS happening to. I know that I have wonderful, loving friends, and my thanks go out to all of you for all the support over the miles and the years. Sherri, thank you for the practical suggestion about how I can help at least one friend.

And the universe continues to be shitty--another forum friend just found out her husband has a tumor in his lung, and a former co-worker was finally diagnosed with MS after two years of doctors' visits, tests and whatnot. Oddly enough, the latter is actually semi-good news, because the penultimate diagnosis was Parkinson's, which is harder to deal with at 46 than MS. I need to pack up all of my "first year with MS" books and things and take them to her when I take the pups in for their 12,000 mile tuneup in two weeks.

It helps to take refuge in the practical things.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


One of my very first work friends, someone who became a friend friend, was fired today. I don't know why and I didn't get to see her--apparently she did a whirlwind imitation in cleaning out her cube and left. :(