Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beware teh Jammies, Enabler of DOOOOOM

Yes, in addition to luring Otterboyy up the Lush garden path, I've already gotten Mallie hooked on Skindecent, and the holiday season was my excuse for hooking her husband on both Lush and BPAL. If you want to know why I call him the Scarecrow, click the label for "Cast of Characters" and read the first entry. If you'd like to know why I call myself a troll, the short version is that I'm not all that fond of humanity, I like shiny things, and I'd rather live happily here under my bridge than just about anywhere else.

So the package of junk from under the bridge arrived at Casa Clemson on Tuesday, and I got a happy phone call from Mallie and Jay. The kitties would have said thank you if they weren't all nipped out, but the hoomans were still verbal. In addition to assorted Lush goodies (really, what better way to hook a masseur than with not one but two Lush massage bars?), I got Jay a bottle of Troll, which is a gorgeous clove-and-swamp BPAL. Sherri said she can't wait to smell it on him, which is the sentence every enabler wants to hear. ;)

In all fairness, I should warn my victims that it starts off simple, with a Lush product or two. Then, when I've got you hooked on smelling good, I'll lure you in to smooth, soft skin-land with sugar scrubs and it will always end in delicious niche perfumes.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Enabling we will go, enabling we will go,

Hi-ho the derry-o, enabling we will go!

This morning, I got an e-mail from a friend, asking for help finding good quality bath products. Said friend, who shall remain nameless, has been using drugstore bubble bath (oh, teh howwow!) and wants something better. I had a very fun hour looking up scent notes and compiling an e-mail full of Lush, Skindecent and Fantasy Bath suggestions.

LOL! Guess who just called from the Lush store in Anaheim? My crazy friend, who has picked out some bubble bars and promised me a report.

Last week I also got to enable a friend to the Morganville vampire series by Rachel Caine. She was my giftee in a BPAL swap, and since she loves to laugh at Twihlight, I got her a necklace from Stardust on Etsy, a Jinx t-shirt, and a vampire book I hope won't make her fall over laughing. I loved reading about her reactions to all of her gifts.

Ahhh, enabling. It's evil, but I love it so...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In which we learn that some people will stop at nothing.

Once upon a time, there was an international toe porn superstar named Spunky Labia. Spunky ruled the toe porn world with an iron foot, and thought she was secure.

Then, along came an upstart to challenge her, the beautiful, young, breathtakingly-pedicured Toesy Kerrigan.

Spunky was jealous, but in denial about her slow slide from superstardom to opening car shows.

On Monday night, as Toesy went to take a picture of her glamorous new coat of glittery green China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, a footstool leapt out from the shadows and bashed her with a thick piece of wood!

Toesy fell to the ground, crying, "Why me? Whyyyyyyyyyyy meeeeeeeeeeeeeee?"

The footstool is being held for questioning, and an unnamed source says that it is related to Spunky's ex-footstool.

Toesy's people released the following photograph, not for the faint of heart:

Clearly, international toe porn is a cutthroat business!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Auntie Mallie and Uncle Jay

Thank you for the donuts. Mom didn't catch me eating them until the first one was half gone and the second one was one-quarter gone, and then she threw them out! Aren't donuts for eating?

Anyway, thanks!


Little Miss

Monday, December 07, 2009

I need a week to recover from my weekend!

My nephews spent last weekend at my folks' house, and despite not feeling in the least like leaving the house, I managed to spend a fair amount of time with them. Saturday afternoon, Mom, the boys and I went swimming at the Natatorium. While it wasn't empty, it also wasn't so crowded that it was unpleasant. Mom was relieved that there was a swim meet taking place in the pool with the diving boards--she takes most things in stride, but diving makes her nervous, and C (the older of the boys) really wanted to dive. Both boys had a great time on the two-story covered slide, and on the jungle gym which looks like a tree during the swim break.

Saturday night, we had dinner at Stages and then went to see the stage version of A Christmas Story. Dad grumped that the play changed things from the movie, C really liked the play, E seemed engaged but afterwards said "Meh," and Mom and I loved it. Mom was the first to see the big sign announcing that the Cleveland Playhouse would be moving in 2011, and given all of the restoration that has been done to the theaters over the years, we wondered why. I found out today at work it's because the Cleveland Clinic bought the whole shebang. Clearly, health care is still a growth industry!

Sunday morning, I worked at Mom's office and then headed out to Casa de SeniorJammies for breakfast, followed by the decorating of gingerbread houses, an annual tradition for the boys and me. Mom had been saving old candy (including about a dozen starlight mints she and I found under the cushion of one of her client chairs when we were looking for her IOLTA checkbook), and between the old candy, the candy that came with the gingerbread house kits and the marshmallows, both boys created houses that weighed twice as much when they were done as they had when I brought them in. And of course, some of the candy and some of the icing wound up inside the boys rather than on the wonder they fell asleep ten minutes into the car ride home!

Overall, while I wouldn't have chosen this weekend to spend with anyone, I think I managed to do a pretty good job of setting aside my distress and just enjoying my time with the boys.

Friday, December 04, 2009

In which I reveal myself as an ungrateful and tactless bitch

First of all, thank you all for the support and concern. I'll be okay. Today was a day to wear all black, goof off and mope at work, and eat more comfort food (kibbie!).

I am going to rant just a little bit here, and please, please don't take the following personally.

If you are one of the friends or colleagues or relatives who told me this was a new beginning, it's too freaking early for that. First, I have to mourn the ending and get all the sadness and anger out of my system. See me in a month or so, okay? I love you, but I can't take cheer-up thoughts or messages right now.

If you are one of the people who said, "Call me when you're ready to talk," I love you, but I will not ever be ready to talk about this. It sucks rabid swamp rats, I'm hurt and furious and miserable, but I will get over it. And when I do, I will want to move on with no post-mortems, no discussions. When I suck it up, I suck it all the way up.

If you are one of the people with worse things going on in your life, thank you for taking the time to be here for me and for not telling me it could be worse. Given what a bunch of my friends are going through right now with life, health, and family issues, I know my troubles are small. I am really honestly grateful that you have taken time to offer consolation to me.

Right now, the tactless, ungrateful bitch needs a bath.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Damocles' sword has fallen.

Yesterday, everyone in the Cleveland office received a message about a site meeting taking place today. There was a fair amount of concern that the meeting was to announce the early closing of our office. Our team leader answered those concerns in the meeting with a statement that it was not eight weeks' notice for the site; and there was a fair amount of joking and black humor.

I just felt as if something was wrong. This morning, I wore the same outfit I wore on October 7th, but with pants instead of a skirt. While some people might be superstitious about a "bad luck outfit," even if I had gotten bad news while wearing it, it still makes me feel attractive and confident. Since the outfit is mostly brown with a "pop" of turquoise, last night I did my nails to match--brown on six fingers and both thumbs (China Glaze Unplugged), and turquoise overlaid with glitter on my left ring finger and right index finger (Finger Paints Art Dealer Teal-er and Sinful Colors Nail Junkie).

When I got into work and opened my e-mail, there was a meeting request in my inbox for a 9:15 with the biggest big boss, my department head, the Codes department head, a publishing specialist from Codes and two of our three administrative assistants. I thought it was a mistake--why would the big bosses want to meet with me? So I declined and deleted it.

At 9:16, when I was on the way to the bathroom, my department head came down to get me, and made some empty small talk as we walked upstairs. I knew then what was going to happen, but had no idea why it was going to take all these people.

It turns out I was right--I got my eight weeks' notice today. The reason for the crowd at the meeting was that the two admins and the PS from Codes we all canned along with me. Apparently, closing the Cleveland office was not a big enough cut for Unnamed Corp., and they wanted to cut $10.7 million from the 2010 budget in addition to the savings from closing an entire office. There were 100 cuts throughout the company, and four of them were in Cleveland.

I met with my team leader and then the team met. Let me tell ya, it's not easy being the tip of the iceberg. Everyone was very sweet about saying they were sorry, and then the rest of the meeting was basically questions about "what will happen to the rest of us." These questions were answered to the best of her knowledge by TC (and shortly into the impromptu meeting, Baklavette). Later, one of my teammates said that I was more calm and collected that she will be when it's her turn, and I said that I'm like that in a crisis--at first, I am numb and not feeling things, and then when it sinks in, I'm a wreck. I got hugs from all of the women on our team, and expressions of sympathy and one arm slung around my shoulder from the guys.

Maresche took me out to lunch and I had comfort food (tomato soup and fancy mac & cheese) and then I came home and took the HRbot's suggestion of taking the rest of the day off. When I got home, I had a good cry, spent half an hour of recalling the worst job-related moments in my life, then slept.

I've now notified everyone, whether via phone calls, e-mail, message board and now my blog. I've also done my math, and it looks like I'll get my last severance check on April Fool's Day. Thanks so much, Hyphenated Corp.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Esther Williams, you ain't

To the squat blonde chick in the water-walking class:

Wallowing around like a bull moose on crack and shoving past people does not give you a better workout, it just makes people hate you.

P.S. You have too much back fat for that swimsuit.

To ginger-haired flirty guy:

This is the second time you've followed someone you've chatted with in class to the hot tub, only to not get in it after you rinsed off. Quit being a chicken and follow through! (Oh, and yes, I get it that when the pickings are slim you start chatting me up. You have no idea how non-devastating that is.)

To the otherwise good instructor:

Stop repeating the same exact words at the beginning of the class. You are really starting to irritate me.

To the lady who grabbed my travel cup full of water:

I get that you thought I would collide with you like a bull moose on crack, but trust me, I could see you clinging to the side of the pool and I would have waited for you to pass. As it is, you made me thank you for handing me my cup, instead of screaming "DON'T TOUCH MY STUFF!" which was what I really wanted to do.

To the guy in the swim lanes next to the current pool:

Dude, we can all see you, and we can see that while we're busting our asses jogging and jumping and going forwards and backwards, you are freaking posing each time you do one half of a lap, leaning your arms on the side of the pool as if you've just done a huge amount of work. You haven't. Stop that.

To the cute guy in the kiddie pool with his baby daughter:

Stop being so cute and such a good dad, and especially stop towing your daughter over to watch us and wave at us and make adorable baby noises at us. I'm not sure if you're married or not, but I'm very sure I'm too old to be thinking about whether or not you're married and to be lusting. Stop making me feel like a dirty old woman.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New swear word

One of the books I did this year was new to me, and it contained a number of references to a case where the defendant was Something Mfrs. Since sometimes I am still twelve, it immediately made me think of a word often spelled with lots of asterisks.

I shared it with several of my colleagues, and we all agreed that "You manufacturer" is a pretty work-safe insult. I will add that to all of the other catchphrases our team has for things that I will miss very much about Hyphenated Co.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Two stupid things

Last Wednesday, I went out to get lunch. As I was leaving the parking lot, Maresche's TC pulled out from the parking space beside me and also headed out. Before I pulled out, I took a minute to make sure I had my wallet with me, and then drove out of the parking lot. At the top of the hill, there was a tan van over to one side with its flashers on. I thought it was M'sTC, and pulled up next to the van, leaning over to roll down my passenger-side window and ask if she needed a hand.

A very odd-looking gentleman glared at me, and I straightened up and drove to Zoup. Whoops.

That evening, Mom and I met for our last water-walking class before she left for Texas. Afterwards, I had to get some stuff out of her car. She told me approximately where she was parked, and that everything was in the back seat on the driver's side. It was dark and rainy when class ended, and I headed for my car, started it up and drove up the aisle I thought Mom was parked in. A woman with light-colored hair and a dark sweatshirt came out of the Natatorium, used a remote to unlock a silver Passat and got in. I pulled up behind the Passat, blocking it in, and put on my hazards and put the car in park. I had actually gotten out of my car and had my hand on the driver's side door when a stranger rolled down the driver's window and said "What...?" I apologized profusely, jumped into my car, and went to rows over, where I actually found my mom. I still feel bad for scaring that poor woman, but what are the odds of doing essentially the same stupid thing twice in one day?

Only me...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pop culture fail...

I never liked Lucille Ball.

I actively hated Seinfeld.

I never made it all the way through the first Godfather movie, let alone three of them.

The Beatles bore me, ditto The Doors.

I'm not even particularly unique in my tastes, just someone with a number of dislikes.

Pop culture fail. I haz it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's over

My third and probably last ginormous third quarter with Hyphenated Co. is done. I worked ten hours yesterday and built three books, and worked eleven hours today and built four books. I had intended to leave work at 4, but the front bits of two of my books weren't done, and Wilson decided to gut and re-build the other two, so I was there until 7. Ugh.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fish oil is the new snake oil

So far this month, I have heard radio ads claiming that fish oil will:

Repair your joints,

Help you lose weight,

Lower your cholesterol,

Improve your memory and brainpower.

Doesn't keep you from being socially unacceptable, though, especially with fishy burps!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Instead of working for Hyphenated Co. this weekend, I spent a big part of Saturday working with Mom on an accounting. Then I cleaned and semi-tidied Casa de Jammies on Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon, my friend Bun arrived for a too-short visit. She and her very handsome, very dignified, very sweet GSD/Husky/Malamute mix stopped in Ohio on their way from New York to California. SuperDeor and Littlefoot got along quite well for the most part, but Little Miss was a little too in-Deor's-face for him to be really comfortable. He remained sweet and dignified, if a wee bit anxious.

Thanks to a little Momguilt (Oh noes! You'll be alone on Thanksgiving!), I didn't have to cook dinner. Bun and I were invited to a full Thanksgiving dinner at my folks' house, and Mom sent home a barrel of leftovers. I made Jan Hagels, took two to Mom & Dad, sent a few with Bun as travelsnacks, and took the rest to work, where they were eagerly snarfed by my stressed-out co-workers.

Two more days, seven books.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For the first time in 23 years...

I flunked the iron test and couldn't give blood. Two different nurses each did a finger-stick on me and both times my iron was at 11.5 instead of 12 or over. There was a period of time between 2003 when I was diagnosed with MS and told I couldn't donate and 2008 when the American Red Cross said MS'ers could donate blood, but that is the only time I didn't donate. Getting deferred this morning made me sad, and really made me feel guilty when they gave me a t-shirt. On the front was the Cleveland Clinic logo, and on the back in big blue type were the words "I Saved A Life."

Not today, I didn't. :(

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A few good things

can make a huge difference.

Yesterday was the most Mondayish Monday I'd had in months. Littlefoot woke me up several times overnight because he had diarrhea, we had computer problems at work, I have an ear or sinus infection that is giving me severe ear, jaw and head pain on the right side, Little Miss did something so gross I can't reconcile it with my cute babygirlpuppy who sits on her haunches and pulls up her paws like a little bunny, I realized I forgot to tell Imp I am not able to get to WV for Turkey Day, I missed water-walking, and it just sucked.

Today, while I was a little hurt that three co-workers I thought were friends deliberately excluded me from lunch, the servers are back up and I was able to burn through all the work I couldn't finish yesterday and still bring some OT stuff home with me. Then, on the drive home, the radio station played three of my favorites in a row--Jesse Cook's "Havana," Keiko Matsui's "Black River" and "A Song for You" by Christina Aguilera and Herbie Hancock, plus I got to hear the traffic report after I was safely out of it. I am going to spoil myself tonight, and re-paint my fingernails, then use an entire Lush French Kiss bubble bar instead of only half, and finally I am going to go to bed early.

Six books, eight volumes, ten days...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


1. Only one person at work got my redshirt costume without me having to explain it. Clearly, Hyphenated Corp. is nerd-deficient.

2. On the other hand, Maresche's team was totally awesome in their matching costumes of pink slips, and a few people had to have that one explained to them.

3. I got my first 100% perfect senior editor check today. Now I just have to keep that up for 17 more days.

4. Between now and November 20, our last-day-to-manufacturing deadline, I have nine books/16 volumes to finish and build.

5. Last night at water-walking, I was thinking dire thoughts about whoever was wearing the perfume with a top note of a fleshy white floral and a bottom note of melted plastic when Mom complimented me on the whiff of pretty scent she got when I passed her. Thank you, BPAL.

6. Sometime when I am feeling less lazy, I will get the pics of my Halloween manicure and costume off my camera and post them.

7. It's not my story to tell, and I'm fine, but could anyone with some spare good thoughts aim them at Philadelphia? I'm feeling particularly helpless and clutching at straws.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Russian and a Spaniard in a coffee shop...

Or at least a Russian song and a Spanish song...

On Friday night, I tripped over a dog and kicked the Kirby and it felt very much as if I had broken a toe. Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case, and it's fine today. Since I wasn't moving around much Friday night, I took some time to do a fun Halloween manicure. I used Color Club Matte White, Nina Ultra Pro Like Butta, Nina Ultra Pro Evening Sunsetand China Glaze Matte Magic.

On Saturday, Mom and Dad and I went to Columbus for the day. We took the Pickypants family out for lunch, since Annabel's birthday is next week. After lunch, my older nephew loaned me a laser gun for my Halloween costume, and the youngest played the piano for Mom, Annabel and me while Dad and Jeeves did computer stuff. A bit before four, we all headed for a local coffee shop, where the boys were taking part in a piano recital. I don't know if this is common everywhere now, or truly as clever as it seemed, but I thought it was a great idea to have the recital somewhere parents could get something caffeinated and maybe a snack. I just wish the coffee had been better. :p However, they did get points for having an adorable resident tiger tabby cat.

Both of my nephews did a great job on their pieces. I have to say that I was very flattered that my younger nephew was insistent that I ride with the boys and my brother instead of Mom and Dad and Annabel. Of course, that might have been because he absolutely adored my candy corn fingernails...

We left not too long after the recital, and I was home by eight, to the relief and joy of Littlefoot and Little Miss. While I am not usually all that crazy about losing an entire weekend day this time of year, it was certainly worth it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The tomato I can explain. The golf ball is a puzzler.

On Monday, I had a migraine, and spent the day trying not to barf up my codeine. Unsurprisingly, Monday night I had a very odd dream, and woke up at 2:30 Tuesday morning convinced I had missed the deadline for sending Transylvania Practice Series Volume 13 to the Indexing department. When I pulled my car out of the garage at 7:45, I noticed a half-eaten tomato on the garage floor not far from the drain. I parked the car long enough to get out, grab the tomato and chuck it onto the compost heap. I figured it was probably chipmunks trying to get it someplace safe.

Tonight, when I got home and put up the garage door, I thought that the tomato was back. Since Mom and I were water-walking tonight, I turned the car around and left it parked in the driveway, and went to pick up what I thought was a tomato on the garage floor. Oddly enough, it wasn't a tomato, but a green, filthy golf ball. I tossed it in the trash, but I'm still wondering how it got there.

My Halloween costume for work has been chosen and I just need to work out a few details. I will post at least one picture. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to carry out my incredibly cynical idea for a pumpkin, or just take the freebie, extract the pumpkin seeds and compost the rest of it. I still have a week to decide, and I'm sure I'll wait until the last minute.

I am steeling myself to not wait until the last minute to start job-hunting. Getting my resumé updated is on my to-do list for this weekend, and then next weekend I will start sending it out. *sigh*

At least I'm able to exercise again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That wasn't as bad as I thought

Despite not having worked out for six weeks, I did pretty well with my level of exertion and my endurance at the pool last night. Saturday will be more of a test, since Kay's a bit tougher than Sue. Mom and I had a good time, even if she was cranky and didn't want to be there at the start.

Now I need to figure out what toenail polish I'm going to put on!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Right now, I'm angry and I need chocolate"

That's what our department manager said on Thursday afternoon when she opened the meeting to discuss Wednesday's bombshell. She talked about the fact that this really has nothing to do with our work and our professionalism, about the stages of grief and how they're not a neat step-by-step process, and was very honest and open with all of us. I need to go change my Cast of Characters page and come up with a better name for her than "Scary Boss Lady," because while she can be intimidating, she's also not at all afraid to be human. All of our management, from individual team leaders to the Cleveland VP, have been with the core company a long time, and are good with their employees in addition to being good at their jobs.

On Thursday, I received e-mails from two of my Rochester colleagues asking how I was taking the news and if I was going to be okay. Both of them are great guys, and I can't put into words how much I appreciate the support.

There have been plenty of screwups this week, including several by me. Colleagues have been indulgent, but I figure that I better get back on my game starting Monday. I plan to work every minute of overtime I can in the next four weeks, and stash as much as possible in my savings account. I'm starting by going in today for four hours, migraine or no migraine. I've told everyone who doesn't read this blog on a regular basis, and asked everyone to keep their ears open. I'm not sure if that does much in this economy, but I did hear about my current job via word of mouth, so there's that.

Oh, and on Friday, I zipped over to Malley's and picked up one of their "Survival Kit"s for the boss. No woman should ever have to plead for chocolate!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Warning: strong language ahead.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009, 11:05 a.m. EDT. Everyone from the Cleveland office who is in today is packed into the lower level conference room. The VP in charge of our site, the two managers, and most of the team coordinators are wearing black. The porky jackass from the news organization that now makes all the decisions is there to speak to us, and he at least doesn't mince words.

"Between June and December 2010, we are closing the Cleveland site."

To paraphrase Churchill, never before have so many been so screwed by so few.

Porky went on to say that our site management would be here to help us and to answer questions. Way to hide behind a bunch of people who haven't done anything to you, jackass.

I believe Gunnery Sgt Hartman has something to say to this guy:

Monday, October 05, 2009


Fun, but exhausting.

My toes are still infected, so no water-walking and ten more days of antibiotics. Friday was truly ugly, weather-wise--cold, pouring rain all day. Mom called me Friday night, and she sounded awful. Dad had brought some ick home from the cruise, and Mom had caught it, and every time she gets a cold it winds up in her vocal cords. Between her cold and my toes, we agreed that if it was raining, we wouldn't go to the big craft fair at Stan Hywet, but we were still going to spend the day shopping and having lunch at Aladdin's.

Saturday morning was clear, cold, and sunny, so Mom picked me up and off we went to the Ohio Mart craft fair. The only difficulty was that the ground was so soaked from Friday's rain that my feet were muddy and filthy and my socks were wet through within twenty minutes. Still, that didn't stop me from getting a whole bunch of wonderful things. Most of them were presents, but a few were for me--I treated myself to a geranium-scented candle and eight pieces of maple sugar candy, which I love but haven't had in about five years. Mom picked up a really cute and different Santa ornament, and helped me pick out presents for my brother and sister-in-law.

When we had done as much damage as possible, we left Stan Hywet. We stopped back at my house so I could wash my feet, re-bandage my toes and put on a clean pair of flip-flops, and then had lunch. I of course had kibbie, and Mom had the vegetarian appetizer platter, and we talked about the cruise we might take next May.

After lunch we hit Gabriel Brothers, where Mom got an adorable skirt for my niece for her birthday, and I got underwear, a skirt, a new bath mat, a lavender candle, socks and other sundries. Then Mom dropped me off at home, where I took a T3 and a nap.

One thing I noticed Saturday night--Littlefoot makes the cutest noises when he sleeps. He's barking in his sleep, but so softly and indistinctly that it's this adorable burbling noise with a slight undertone of yipping. Bigfoot used to do it too, and I've always called it "puppy percolating," because that's what it sounds like. Saturday night, Little Miss Underfoot stuck close to me, and when she'd been deeply asleep beside my chair, she started making her sleep noise. She doesn't percolate, though, she growls. Cute bitty-girl fierceness!

Sunday morning I worked at Mom's office, getting caught up on all of the outstanding checking accounts (balancing checkbooks and updating spreadsheets) and doing two child support calculations as well as double-checking on some court orders. Then I came home, changed the sheets on the bed and started a laundry marathon which is still going on right now. As my friend Rogue once asked, "How does one person create all this laundry?" *grin*

One last purchase for myself--the founder of BPTP, the partner of BPAL, lost his beloved dog a month or so ago. Ted and Beth created a wonderful tribute scent for Pa-Pow, with the proceeds going to the Pasadena Humane Society. If you click here and scroll down to the picture of Pa-Pow, you can read the tribute and perhaps purchase the scent. I had to buy a bottle to express my sympathy for Ted and Beth's loss, to give a little money to a good cause, and hopefully, to smell my Bigfoot in a bottle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time for some maintenance

I mentioned that last week, I got to go see The Wizard of Oz in HD on a theater screen, thanks to the generosity of China Glaze and Michelle of All Lacquered Up. Even more generous was the fact that as the drawing winners arrived, Michelle surprised each of us with the Rescue Beauty Lounge polish she inspired--Mismas! If you'd like to see an icky picture of me and a better pic of Michelle and the other winners, here is Michelle's writeup, along with pics of her Dorothy Who manicure.

Meeting all those younguns for the movie reminded me that it's time to do something about what my hairstylist calls my "natural platinum highlights." Pleh. If I had witchy streaks at my temples or a dramatic stripe, I wouldn't bother to color my hair, but since the greys are scattered throughout, all they do is dim the color. As soon as I get a trim, I'm going to cover up all the greys!

I have yet another appointment with the foot doctor on Thursday night. Unfortunately, right now it doesn't look as if this antibiotic is working any better than the previous one. :( I need to get my toes healed so I can go back to water-walking, because I miss it like crazy. Plus, Mom's back in town now, and I know she hates going to class without me. I definitely need to do a bunch of Jammies-maintenance things in the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heehee! Miss Jams has a bat in her hair!

That's a direct quote from Maresche, the only co-worker to notice I wore a bat barrette today because I couldn't find a green one. It was a good antidote to the rotten start of my up-and-down day.

Not cool: discovering at 11:30 last night that I was out of coffee.

Cool: having M notice my barrette.

Not cool: having a co-worker verify the stuff I'd just done and discover a lot of mistakes.

Cool: my boss being impressed that I talked to her about it and worked out a strategy for dealing with my memory/concentration problems and our busy time of year. She actually said that she was pleased I came and spoke with her about it instead of hiding from her.

Not cool: wondering how I'm going to put gas in my car and buy dog medicine before I get paid next.

Cool: selling a bottle of BPAL for just about what I paid for it, to someone who will love it more than I ever did.

Not cool: worrying about the health and happiness of several friends.

Cool: actually winning something for once! Michelle at All Lacquered Up had a drawing to see The Wizard of Oz in HD, and I was one of the winners! Yaaaay!

Now to decide what nail polish to wear...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

*note to self* I love autumn

Sadly, it seems like I need to remind myself that I do love this season. From chilly, foggy mornings where my long back yard is an artwork in chiaroscuro to the slow burn of trees across the street to the smell of woodsmoke to the Halloween decorations starting to show up, I love fall.

That gets to be difficult to remember when I'm at work on a Saturday morning, doing something that two co-workers managed to tangle up between them to the point where it was an emergency. Fortunately, both Dogmama and Wilson were there, so we all got to vent a little, yak a little, joke a little.

My September calendar has seven book-building days listed on it, four down and three to go, October will be worse and November will be ugly. I'm hoping that the foot doc will let me go back to the pool, because deprived of that outlet, I'm eating more and still not getting rid of my frustrations. At least most of my colleagues have a sense of humor and can show it when they're not being pounded into the ground by the workload, and I get to share surreal e-mails with one guy at one of our other offices--my sanity savers.

Happy fall to my few remaining readers.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

NO! You may not sleep there!

Friday morning was rushed but uneventful--I did the grocery shopping, went to the library, changed the sheets, cleaned the bathroom and went to my last water-walking class for a while, then came home, showered and dressed and waited for Dad. He picked me up in time to stop and get my post-op prescriptions, and then dropped me off at the foot doc's and went to get lunch. I told him what the doctor's office had told me, that I should allow 90 minutes for the surgery.

The only painful part of the procedure was the Novocaine injections (in fact, I still have bruises on both toes). The one for the left foot hurt, but I could suck in my breath, clench my fists and get through it. For some reason, the one for my right foot hurt to the point where I yelped and the doctor felt bad for hurting me. I must have more nerves in that toe or something...

While the doctor and nurse did gross things to my feet, I read one of the cheesy romance novels I'd picked up for my weekend reading. I couldn't have seen anything anyway, because they had a screen of sorts up, but I didn't want to risk it. I had deliberately worn BPAL's Love and Pain because it's my sleep blend, and it was making me pleasantly drowsy. *note to self* Buy another bottle with your next order. When Dr. W. was done, the nurse cleaned my feet up a bit and helped me get my flip-flops back on and descend from the chair, then walked me out to the lobby. I looked at the clock, saw that it was 1:20; looked in the parking lot and didn't see Dad, so I called him. He was eating lunch, so I told him to finish, and went back inside with my book.

Dad arrived about 1:40, and it wasn't until he said something that I realized that my appointment was at 1:00, not noon, and they'd finished in 20 minutes! Dad dropped me off at home, and I came in and per the doc's instructions, had two of my T3s immediately, then let the dogs out and back in again.

My intention was to take a short nap in the recliner, so I could keep my feet elevated. Between the lavender perfume and the T3, I was more than ready to crash for a while. I turned my cell on, got a light throw, and settled in the chair. The dogs flopped down beside me, but it must have been clear fairly quickly that I was planning to stay in the recliner and sleep, and Little Miss Underfoot decided that was just not acceptable. She is now used to sleeping with me, cuddled up to the small of my back, and when I didn't get up despite some whimpering, some barking, and some Lassie-style running back and forth, she elected to JUMP onto the reclincer, landing squarely on my stomach.

When I had oofed and shoved her off, she jumped back on, so I gave up, got up, went to the bedroom and laid down on the bed. Little Miss Underfoot sprang onto the bed, turned around three times, and settled down to sleep in her normal spot, pleased that her human pet had finally gotten things right.

I had a nice quiet weekend, doing nothing much, reading drivel and posting snarky reviews on Goodreads. Mom and I did work together on Sunday, and got almost all of the prep done so that the office is ready for her to be gone for eighteen days. My toes are not infected, and I am being a model patient, following all the directions for soaking and drops and bandaging. I don't want to have to go a full six weeks with no water-walking!

And Little Miss is just happy I've learned not to sleep in the recliner.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A long weekend

Toe tormenting tomorrow!

I'm going to get up, run to the post office and the grocery store, do one last water-walking class, get an eye exam and new glasses, then go have my toenails pulled out (okay, partially) and then come home and take any pain meds needed.

I have dark chocolate, cheesy romances, silly videos and a cell phone full of friends' phone numbers. I should get through the weekend just fine.

Oh, and I also have enough clean underwear for ten days so I don't have to go down in the basement and do laundry.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feet per second

Not falling speed, just the rate of speed I can manage while jogging in the pool. It's definitely improved since I started water-walking back in April, as has my endurance. Tonight, I really needed the workout, because it was an extra Mondayish Monday.

The day started with an office in which the air-conditioning was apparently blasting all weekend, a work fridge that has been broken for a week, a nastygram from the building management about people leaving their lunches in the ice-maker, and another nastygram from manufacturing, and went downhill from there.

Over the weekend, I did some proofreading for the Little Mermaid on a book she was supposed to build today. I found three small errors, and knowing she had another multi-volume pub to build today, offered to fix the errors when I got in. She took me up on the offer, and I made what I thought would be three simple fixes.

One of them was easy. The other two were not, and in fact, I lost track of the number of times I started from scratch to add one damn form to the book. Start with the .pdf, convert it to a .tif, load the .tif, put the .tif in the book, yell to tech support that it wasn't working, wait forty minutes and start over again. Finally, tech support told me to send them the .tif file, which I did, and they got it to work eleven minutes before LM left for the day. She'd already notified our forecaster that she wouldn't be building the book today, but still, it's infuriating that some glitch cost me a day's worth of work and LM a shot at getting her book done on time.

Another co-worker scared me to death--I had asked her to proofread something I'd done for MegaBookMan, and she said she didn't see any of my changes in the finished manuscript. So I went in to re-do about two days' worth of work, and every single edit I'd made was there. I don't know wth is going on with that co-worker, but I just re-proofed the whole thing and called it done.

Our busy and hellish time of year is starting earlier, and I'm just hoping that my mnemonics and spreadsheets hold up as we head into fourth quarter mayhem.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three cheers for Flannel Jammies

Today, my mother, whose age I will not disclose lest she kill me, is riding in her tenth Pedal to the Point. She started doing this before I was diagnosed with MS, and I've always been proud of her, but since my diagnosis, I've felt even more invested in her ride.

I do get a giggle out of the fact that every year she says it's her last ride.

Way to go and thank you, Mom.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Have you ever heard...

a vacuum cleaner burp? I'm pretty sure my HK (that's Heritage Kirby, not Hessler & Koch) gave either a huge belch or a huge sigh of relief tonight.

Mallie & the Scarecrow gifted me with the Kirby when they were here last month. I would never in a million years be able to afford a Kirby on my own, but now I have one! Tonight, it got one heck of a workout, and Little Miss lost the privilege of being upstairs while I'm at work.

Today was a pretty Mondayish Monday, and when I'd fought my way home through a chain of severe thunderstorms, all I wanted was to collapse for a few minutes before heading out to the Nat to meet Mom. Sadly, that was not to be. When I got home, I could see the carnage in the living room from the kitchen.

All of the cushions were off the couch and the loveseat, the skirting fabric had been chewed off the couch, and there was stuffing everywhere. I was convinced that Little Miss had shredded a couch cushion or six. Luckily, the cushions were still intact, but sadly, what she did gut was my oversized stuffed dog, Beecee.

Beecee was a gift from my uncle and his first wife to my mom when she went off to college. My poor forty-year-old stuffy was savaged by Little Miss. :( Most of Beecee is still there, but considerably less stuffed than previously. After I'd let the dogs in and out and fed them, I got out the HK and set to work.

Little Miss objected to the vacuuming and Littlefoot objected to Little Miss objecting. Somehow, I managed to get the living room vacuumed. I was going to do the rest of the house, but I took a quick look at HK's torso and realized the poor thing was absolutely bloated. I'll have to stop at the Kirby store tomorrow and pick up some replacement bags.

Oh, and Monday evening was Mondayish too--I waited in the rain in the parking lot for twenty minutes for Mom, who never showed. When I gave up and headed inside at six, we had about fifteen minutes of exercise in when the pool was closed due to lightning. Then I got home and found a message from Mom on my cell--she'd left her car lights on and wouldn't be able to make it. I'm so glad this day is almost over!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


It's been a week full of pinpricks, and I just called my mom and told her I wouldn't be driving up to the lake to spend the weekend. I'm sorry to miss Bookworm Mathgeek and Tinkerbell, but it's just not a good idea. :(

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


There seems to be a huge lack of it these days. Some time today, someone left a big wad of gum on top of one of the walls at the pool. I cleaned it up, and then spent the rest of my warmup time thinking about the lack of respect for common areas. I'm constantly cleaning trash out of my front yard where people throw it from their cars.

My conclusion is that it's a combination of laziness, selfishness and entitlement. It's easier to throw your trash out the car window or leave your gum on the wall, you should only have to do what's easy for you, and you paid the taxes that built that road or the natatorium.


Some days, I just hate human beings.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Event of the Season

Was Princess Mathgeek's tea party today. The hostess, wearing a white full-skirted dress with a pink pleated bodice and sparkly pink polish on tips and toes, greeted guests at the home of her grandmother, Flannel Jammies. There were nine young guests, ranging in age from three and a half years old to ten years old, all of whom graciously allowed their mothers, aunts, grandmothers and/or friends to accompany them. Party games were played, including musical hats and a memory game, and the guests decorated a summer visor with Foamies. There were glamour shots on the back deck, with feather boas, fancy hats, elbow-length gloves, lace shawls, fans and a large parasol. Dainty snacks were served, including lemon pound cake with fresh strawberries and blueberries, cucumber, ham, egg salad and PB&J sandwiches with the crusts cut off, heart-shaped sugar cookies, Jan Hagel cookies, watermelon, pineapple and strawberries on fancy toothpicks, mini cheesecakes with cherry toppings, vegan mini strawberry cupcakes, mixed nuts and pastel pillow mints. Each guest was given a handmade sugar cookie in the shape of a hat to take home. After the games, the snacks and the photo ops, there was a great deal of "playing guinea pig," a game which involves running around the house screaming and squeaking.

This was definitely a tres chic and tres successful event, and I pity all of the under-ten set who weren't there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Juror #6

I can now say that I have both served on a jury and had part of a toenail pulled out and the former is much to be preferred.

Much to my surprise, I was actually seated on a jury, sworn in and instructed in the law yesterday (criminal case). This morning, we heard opening arguments, two 911 calls and three witnesses. This afternoon, a fourth witness testified and then the jury was dismissed for a short break while the bailiff worked to get another audio CD of more 911 calls up and playing. During that time, the prosecutor and defense attorney agreed on a plea bargain and the judge accepted it. The jury was dismissed, and I got to be part of our justice system, got a short break from work, and had lunch with my mom twice in two days. For $5 in parking costs and $2 in beverages, that's a bargain!

Late this afternoon, I saw a podiatrist for the first time. I've had ingrown nails on my big toes for ages, but they've started to get bad recently. After talking with Scarecrow last week, I decided to bite the bullet and look into having them permanently fixed. When I saw the doc, he discovered that my right nail was infected, so he numbed my toe, trimmed out what he could and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. I have an appointment next Thursday to check on how it's healing, and then hopefully I can schedule the procedure. Sadly, it means three to six weeks of no baths, no water-walking, no closed-toe shoes and no toenail polish. Still, now that I've got my courage up, I want to get this over with.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Scary stuff

Today was an awfully long day for a holiday. Hyphenated Corp. gave its peons the day off with pay, but Flannel Jammies, being self-employed, had to work most of the day. I went in to her office first thing this morning, and we balanced her IOLTA account and one guardianship annual account. Then I went to water-walking this morning because there won't be a class offered tomorrow morning.

Ordinarily, that would have been enough for one day for me, but I came home, had a quick lunch and started putting the study back together. I got the vacuum cleaner out and started with that. Little Miss went absolutely bonkers, growling, snarling and trying to bite the vacuum cleaner. The 'Foots always ran away from it, so I was trying to get her to back off while not stopping the vacuum. All of a sudden, Littlefoot charged into the room and laid into Little Miss. I'm not sure why he thought she was a threat to anything but the vacuum, but they were really going at it. There was a lot of snarling, a few yips, tons of big flashing teeth and overall just a very adrenalin-inducing 30-45 seconds.

For all that I may bitch about Littlefoot being a long-haired, double-coated dog, that coat proved incredibly handy today. I took three steps to get around behind him, grabbed two giant handfuls of fur and yanked. The minute I separated the two of them, he calmed down and she hid behind my leg, trembling. I put him outside, and it wasn't until I'd been petting her for a bit that I noticed there was blood all over my hand and my leg. Littlefoot had gone across the top of her nose and nailed her on both cheeks, and dog faces bleed just as profusely as human faces, so it took a little bit of time to get her cleaned up. When I'd done so, I put her out and let him in, and she'd gotten in a shallow slice on top of his ear, which was also bleeding like mad. I got him cleaned up and felt like collapsing, but then Mom called and said she was on her way.

Mom and Dad spent the afternoon here. Mom helped out with the cleaning and furniture moving, and Dad installed my new ceiling fan/light fixture. It's amazing to have a fan with more than one speed, and truly luxurious to have a ceiling fixture that actually provides real light. As long as the JammiesFest attendees don't bring white gloves, we should be okay.

Oh, and all future vacuuming will be done with Little Miss outside on the chain!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Someday, there will be pictures.

For right now, my few loyal readers get stories.

Little Miss Smoky has fit herself right into the household. She still needs some reinforcement to not jump on or paw at people, but she's a sweet and loving little girl. Littlefoot got in her face twice on Saturday and got snapped at for his pains, so he's being very nonchalant toward her and very needy to make sure I still love him just as much as I always did.

I don't know that Little Miss has ever had toys to play with. I do know that since I gave her one of the toys and then didn't scold her when she found the toybox Monday evening that she has been very happily occupied most of the time since. She has had every toy out at least once, and while she shows a marked fondness for the rope toys, she likes the squeaky ones too. The only ones I will have to add to the banned list are tennis balls--I came home last night to a study full of quarter-sized pieces which took me a good half hour to clean up.

She's really good about telling me when she needs to go outside, and if I put her out when she hasn't asked to go, she will sit on the top step and sulk until I let her back in.

Tonight was her first visit with Dr. Mark. She weighs 43.8 pounds, and Mark thinks she could stand to gain three to five more pounds. He's pretty sure she's a shep mix, and the only reason she looks slightly Rott-ish is that her head is too big for her frame. She's also got some very dry skin from slightly substandard nutrition, and she got her first kennel cough vaccine tonight. The receptionist working tonight said Little Miss looks like Bigfoot.

After the vet visit, we went out to see Plaid Jammies. She was scared of him at first, but slowly thawed out. At least she didn't growl at him the way she did with Dr. Mark. Dad was supposed to have a quiet bachelor week, what with Mom being up at the lake with my nevvies. Unfortunately, something has happened to the electrical system at the lake house, and Dad was going to head up there as soon as Smoky and I left. Since there were some really violent thunderstorms going on tonight, I think I'll go call and make sure he got there safely.

The house is still a pit, the study is still a half-painted wreck, I am NOT ready for JammiesFest and there are pictures of Little Miss on the camera waiting for me to download them. Hopefully, everything will be taken care of by July 10th!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A New Addition to La Familia de Jammies

Please welcome Smoky Moon. I don't have any pictures of my own yet, so these are the ones from


Doc went with me today to pick up Smoky. I'm keeping the name she already had, and adding a middle name so she knows when she's in trouble. Smoky Moon is the BPAL perfume I didn't get so I could afford the adoption fee, and she's totally worth it. There has been surprisingly little conflict with Littlefoot, just a bit of snapping when she thought he was trying too hard. She's adorable, and it's hard to understand why she was given to the pound by her former owner all of three days after Christmas. She's just about a year old, and although her foster owner called her a Shepherd mix, the jerk who surrendered her said she was a Rottweiler/Lab mix. I hope she has some Shep in her for the longevity, because I want to have her around for a long time.

We spent about twenty minutes in full sun at Pawprint Paradise so Smoky could get comfortable with me, and bless her heart, Doc didn't blink once at doing it. Then she drove home so I could sit in the back seat with Smoky, who fell asleep with her head on my shoulder at one point. There will be more pictures and plenty of stories, but right now, I wanted everyone to know that I once more am owned by two dogs.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Silver and gold, silver and gold

Silver and gold, silver and gold
Dude, this stuff is ug-leee
Silver and gold wallpaper
Is gone from my li-brar-eee!

Just a little reminder from me to me about why all my books are in boxes, my house is a wreck, my neck hurts and my hands are wrinkly old-lady hands tonight:


There will be "after" pictures when there is an after, but first there will be a wee paws in transmissions from KJAMZ, as my computer will need to be disconnected and moved this weekend. It is possible but not probable that Dad will have my new-to-me laptop ready by then, so my few readers should be prepared for radio silence.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Nothin' to Say

Night lets you down
Wonder and wander
There's no one around
Nothing to say now, nothing to do
I can feel my heart breaking
And it's all 'cause of you
Nothing to say now, nowhere to hide
I can feel my heart breaking
All the love left inside

"Nothing to Say" by Chris Isaak

I dreamed about Bigfoot Sunday night--he was leaning on my right leg as he loved to do while I was on the phone with the vet hospital, where someone kept saying to me that euthanasia is not reversible.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Somebody's Got Some 'Splainin' to Do!

Today was pretty much craptastic from the get-go. The drains in my driveway and inside the garage were blocked with maple keys and mulch that had washed out of the flower beds, so after a night of heavy rain, the garage flooded to a depth of about 4 inches before I managed to get out there and squidge around clearing the drains. There wasn't much in the garage that could be spoiled by muddy water, but my folding chairs got drenched and I can't even wash them and set them outside because it's still freaking raining.

On my way into work this morning, I discovered that some genius at ODOT thought that 8 a.m. on a weekday would be a perfect time to close the center lane of one of the main highways leading into Cleveland. A 35-yard lane closure backed traffic up seven miles and I wound up having a stress headache and being more than an hour late to work.

When I finally got to work, I discovered an error in the index for the book I was planning to build early and discovered that two of the people not in Cleveland that I nonetheless work closely with and like very much are both taking the voluntary separation offer and leaving in the next year. :(

The drive home was hideous, with lousy visibility and slow driving. The garage had drained, but to quote Jeff Foxworthy, "It stinks very much bad in there." However, I discovered a box in front of my side door from Blue Ridge Daylilies, containing a Big Foot lily plant. I haven't decided where I will plant it, but I will put the stepping stone Bigfoot and I made in front of it, wherever it goes.

Thank you very much to whoever sent this, and please 'fess up.

Confession received--it was my lovely friend Mouse from the Lush forum. Thank you, my fellow gardener who is also owned by furkids! <3

The dog I looked at is meeting a family today, so while I am sorry that I missed the opportunity, I hope she finds her forever home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In which we taunt an International Toe Porn Superstar

Spunky hangs out here and there are pictures here and here.

As an international sock-porn-writing superstar, I felt the need to mock and then out-do Spunky's pedicure (that orange-red is so last fall).

First I tried Nfu.Oh's #65, a silver holographic:

The holo is mesmerizing close-up, but doesn't really make me smile while I'm doing my water-walking or when I'm taking a bath or wearing sandals at work, so that one only lasted about a week.

I decided that if I was going to outshine Ms. Spunky, I needed something creative, clever and cute. I remembered a conversation between two fellow BPALettes, Yvaine and Girlygirl, and decided to try what the latter called "a fruiticure." I used OPI Holy Pink Pagoda, FingerPaints Art Dealer Teal-er and China Glaze Evening Seduction.

Awesomest toenail polish I have ever had!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to have incredibly smooth yet furry legs

In a warm shower, scrub legs with a clean-rinsing sugar scrub, such as Julphia's Whipped Sugar Scrub or Skindecent's Body Buffer. Rinse well.

Cover legs with shaving cream or bath butter. Shave with a good razor (even if it's not the one you loved for so many years). Rinse again.

Scrub a second time with an oilier scrub, making sure to scrub your heels and toes. Rinse very well.

Finish your shower, and before drying legs completely, smooth on a body glaze, massage bar, dry oil spray or body butter.

Wrap a towel around yourself and run to answer the phone. Tell the siding salesman he's an asshole. Hang up phone, turn around and trip over needy dog in the middle of blowing coat. Ta-da! You now have the smoothest, furriest legs around.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Aquatic Snobservations

Before the snobservations, one big cheer for the older man in my class who's there every single Saturday, doing the exercise the best he can manage before he has his second open-heart surgery. Yay Bill!

To all of the older ladies: if you've got fat on your back, don't wear a low-backed swimsuit. I'm not slamming anyone for being overweight, and I know that most of us have batwing arms, but I don't want to watch your backbacon jiggle when you're walking in front of me.

To some of the younger ladies: there is a difference between body art and white trash tattoos. Body art is exactly that, art. It's executed with skill and clarity. You should have saved up and gone for one good piece instead of getting ten or twelve blurry things that look like '90s clip art.

To the yakkers: it's nice that you're there with a friend. I enjoy Monday and Wednesday night classes just a little bit more because my mom is there with me. You will notice, however, that we do not walk slowly next to each other, so absorbed in chatting that we can't make room for faster people to walk around us. You make me want to channel my inner Jack Butler and yell "Pickups to the south, drop-offs to the North!"

To the lady who spent Wednesday's night's class humming: JUST STOP IT! That was so incredibly irritating I can't even think of something scathing to say. Save it for the shower!

To the skinny fake-blonde with the fake tan: I'm a petty, petty person, and I loved that you got turned away from the class when you showed up ten minutes late and were told you can't join the class when everyone already has their heart rate up. Oh, and I if I were you, I wouldn't wear a hot pink bikini, or any bikini for that matter, until I lost that little potbelly. I notice you haven't bothered to try to join us again, so good luck.

And to my beloved mother: I am doing this class three times a week, and I'm proud of myself. It's the first exercise program I have ever stuck with. I go even when you can't, and in two months, the only class I've missed was the night Stormdog died. Please do not nag me any more about lifting the weights you gave me for Christmas (and let's don't get started on my feelings about that) or adding in more and tougher classes at the Nat. I swear, the next time you say something, I'm going to splash water all over that what-color-is-your-hair-anyway 'do and yell something reminiscent of my horrible adolescence. I love you, but don't push. Please.

And in the non-snobby vein, I love this class, and I love that everyone gets out there and works his or her hardest to do what the instructors ask of us. Whether we're a big galloping herd of a class or a small but mighty one, I've never seen anyone who isn't trying. Yay us!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thank you all

for the love and support. I suspect I'm still a little bit in denial or something--I haven't cried at all since Monday night, and I feel sort of insulated from everything. Littlefoot didn't eat anything between Monday night and Thursday morning, but he's back to being his chowhound self. He's not straying more than six feet from me, not even to go sleep on my bed, which used to be his favorite spot in the world. Tomorrow, I have to go pick up Stormdog's ashes before I go to my water-walking class, and then I have to decide where I will keep them.

Probably in the study, because that's where I am most of the time, but I could also just move them around to all of the sunny spots in the house throughout the day.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has supported me in this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bigfoot’s Last Day

Monday, May 11, 2009.

I stayed home from work today to be with Bigfoot and so he didn’t have to spend his last day in a cold concrete basement. I let him sleep in, offered him a breakfast he didn’t want, and made sure to massage behind his ears every time I passed him. The morning was quiet, and I did laundry and archived books, and Bigfoot mostly slept.

Around 10:30, I decided to make the concrete stepping stone with his pawprints, so I got out my bucket, the concrete mix, my letters for imprinting and started. I think I got the concrete mixed correctly, so hopefully it will come out of the mold tomorrow. I let the poured concrete sit for 30 minutes, then put it on a flat pan and carried it into the bedroom, where Bigfoot was sleeping. I picked up one of his paws and placed it in the center of the stepping stone, and Bigfoot woke up and was not at all happy. He pulled his paw out and glared at me. I tried again and this time he got up and left the room, leaving little concrete footprints on the floor.

I picked up the pan, followed him into the kitchen, smoothed out the marks and put the pan in the middle of the floor. I got the pig ears out, and bribed Bigfoot while I tried to make him stand on the concrete. What I have are two blurry impressions that won’t look very much like pawprints to anyone else, but will always remind me of how stubborn and self-willed my darling dog was. Plus, there’s some dog hair embedded in it, so if cloning ever become inexpensive…

After he’d finished his pig ear, I cleaned off his paws and let him go outside to sulk in the sunshine for a while. When he came back in, we both took a nap. I laid down on the floor beside him and rubbed his belly and his ears and told him how much I loved him.

At 4:30, I took a quick shower and put Bigfoot outside. When I was clean and dressed and made up, I let him in and put Littlefoot out, then I put Bigfoot in the car. I let Littlefoot back in and gave him a treat to distract him, then headed out with Bigfoot.

About halfway to the vet’s office, Bigfoot got himself wedged between the back seat and the back of the driver’s seat and couldn’t turn around. I stopped at a gas station and freed him, then went on to the vet hospital.

I took the urn Megan made in with me, intending to leave it and ask the staff to give it to the crematorium guys.

I let Stormdog have a nice long sniff around the yard of the hospital and then took him inside. The two receptionists working tonight were the two I had always gotten along best with, and I got hugs from both of them. Stormdog got Bil-Jac treats, and Missy offered to send the rest of the box home for Littlefoot, but I declined because he’s always on a diet.

Dr. Bob wasn’t in, as he’d had a 103 degree fever since Thursday, but Dr. Mark was there, and I trust him. He and the techs were pumping the stomach of a dog who’d eaten most of a chocolate cake, so Bigfoot had time to sniff around the lobby and I had time to show Ellen and Missy the urn. They recommended I not leave it, but they offered to transfer Bigfoot’s ashes for me if I can’t cope with doing it when they come back from the crematorium. I put Bigfoot on the scale, and his weight was 62.3 pounds. That sounds big, but at his healthiest, he was 80 pounds, so it’s a big weight loss.

Dr. Mark came upstairs and said hello to Bigfoot, then led us into the smaller exam room. He asked if I was okay with doing the shot upstairs rather than down in the surgery, and I was very pleased to avoid the surgery. I described Bigfoot’s recent symptoms, including the lethargy and what seemed to me to be partial paralysis. Dr. Mark said he was pretty sure Bigfoot had canine degenerative myelopathy, which is progressive and incurable. He also said the only good thing about it was that it’s not painful.

I sat on the floor next to my Stormdog and held him across my lap and in my arms. Missy came in and stayed with us as the tech swabbed Bigfoot’s leg with alcohol. I told him over and over how much I loved him as Dr. Mark slid the needle in and depressed the plunger. I laid my cheek on the top of his head and my right hand over his chest and just told him what an amazing, wonderful dog he was until I felt his heart stop. Dr. Mark warned me that there would be a final gasp, and there was. Everyone left the room, and I sat there with Bigfoot in my arms, petting the velvet fur and breathing in his scent. One of the many things I loved about him was that he never smelled bad unless he was soaking wet, and the smell of his fur was always warm and clean. Eventually, Ellen and Missy came in and put him on the stretcher to take him downstairs. I kissed him goodbye for the last time, and came home.

After hugging Littlefoot and letting him know how much I loved him, I got online and looked up CDM. I found one website stating unequivocally that CDM is the canine version of MS, and although Wikipedia was more restrained, it sure looks like it to me. Right to the end, Bigfoot was with me in everything.

Goodbye, darling dog. I will always love you.

RIP, my heartdog

Thunderstorm, aka Stormy, aka Bigfoot.

January, 1994 to May, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

When you can't nap, bubble-wrap!

Okay, it's silly, but it broke the tension when my cubicle neighbor was having a wretched day with one of his books. He had just said that he was trying not to throw his pen at the window, so I offered him some bubble wrap I had for a package for a friend. All I had was just the kind with the little bubbles--he had a piece of the industrial-strength stuff in his desk, and he took a few minutes to pop the last of them and he went back to wrestling with his book feeling at least marginally better, either from the silliness or the destructiveness.

Not even bubble wrap could keep me from coming home today with a severe stomachache. Bigfoot continues to have one step forward, two step back days and two of my coworkers are making me nuts, and this stupid task force I'm on is complicating what should be a very simple process into something with its own website and forms and all sorts of silly hooha.

Other than water-walking tomorrow morning and working for Mom on Sunday, I will be spending this weekend quietly at home with my dogs. I'm so frazzled I can't even remember what clothes I wore to work today and if I put on perfume!

ETA: I want to thank everyone for the love and support. It helps.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

And juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust to make a liar of me...

Bigfoot is frisking around like a puppy (granted, a puppy with lousy hips), asking for thirds on dinner, picking playfights with Littlefoot, jumping up on the bed to soak the comforter with doggy-scented rainwater and rolling over for bellehrubs.

I love seeing him like this, but now I'm really damned if I know what to do.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Second thoughts, third thoughts, fourth thoughts...

Bigfoot hasn't been a happy dog for a while now. He's not obviously in pain, he's not crying any more than usual, he's just extra quiet and sort of resigned. I've made an appointment for Monday evening with Dr. Bob, and there's a pretty good chance that I'll decide to have my heartdog put to sleep. I still keep worrying, though, that I'm doing the wrong thing. I don't want to tie him to life if he's ready to go, but if he's not ready, then I will be killing one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And it's not as if I can change my mind when it's done. I'm so scared that I'll do the wrong thing for Bigfoot.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

So pastoral...

It is, of course, gardening time. I would be posting nine zillion pictures of my garden if I hadn't loaned my camera to Vintage Attorney for the weekend. This lack of a camera is also why I have not followed up on my toenail polish challenge to Spunky, the Queen of Toe Porn. As soon as I have my camera back, though, I plan to show that there are prettier polishes out there and no one needs to settle for orange.

Yesterday was busy but fun. Doc joined me for water-walking, then we sat in the whirlpool (not the hot tub) for a bit and yakked. After we'd dried and dressed, we went to an AutoZone parking lot, where I handed the fugly old ceiling fan/light fixture from the study to a gentleman who handed me $25 in cash. After that, we went to Mariachi Loco for lunch, and then to Temptation Nursery. I used the cash from the ceiling fan to buy two Snow-in-Summer, three Munstead lavender and a Purple Dragon Lamium. I will be going back to TN repeatedly over the summer, as I need more lamium, more lavender, some foxglove and whatever else I can afford. Doc has to go back too, because she didn't have her checkbook and TN doesn't take plastic. She's planning to follow in my footsteps and take her mom there to pick out a Mother's Day present anyway, so that's good.

On the subject of my title line, recently I looked out the back door on a sunny day. As those of you who have visited me know, the back yard sweeps down to the north property line, and although it's mostly weeds, it is very green at this time of year. As I looked, I could see a fluffy thing peacefully cropping the green grass under the bright blue sky. It was a scene that demanded the music from a Ralph and Sam short. If anyone knows the name of that piece of music, please let me know--I'm pretty sure it's by Grieg, but can't remember and can't find the name!

Anyway, the fluffy thing eating grass was not a sheep, but my beloved and not all that smart Littlefoot.

Monday, April 27, 2009


At 3:30 Saturday morning, I woke up with a migraine. I had about 30 seconds to think, "Couldn't this have waited 24 hours?" before I had to barf. I took a hot shower and half-dozed in my recliner until 6, when the pain was worse but the nausea was better. I had another hot shower, let the dogs in and out, took 2 ibuprofen and tried to drink a little bit of coffee. When that didn't stay down, I gave up and got dressed and just sat quietly until it was time to leave to meet Mom.

I dropped my car off for an oil change and Mom picked me up and we headed for Blossom, where the walk was taking place. We were so early that we managed to walk the 1.25 mile route twice before they officially opened the event. Mom was getting coffee and bagels, and I was taking cautious sips of water and washing down 2 T3s when the DJ from WKDD welcomed everyone and introduced our state representative, who worked with me at Hyphenated Corp. until he got elected. He and Mom have a friend in common, so I introduced them and we talked for a bit. Then the local high school marching band arrived, and Mom and I stayed to listen to one song and then headed out.

The bit I forgot earlier, which I also blame on the drugs:

I try to be a reasonably nice and tactful person, but I blew that when Mom and I were getting into her car. A woman in a minivan had just pulled in to the space next to Mom and was unloading her pre-teen daughter and an adorable and very rambunctious 9- or 10-month old golden retriever puppy. The puppy jumped up on me, and I ruffled his ears and said, "Aren't you a cute boy, but aren't you going to get in trouble for jumping on me?" The woman glared at me and said, "Yes, he is." I apologized for rewarding him for being bad, which was ALSO the wrong thing to say, and she hauled him off with her kid after glaring at me again.

My car was ready, so Mom waited while I stopped in the office and paid the bill, and then I talked her into going to what Sherri calls "Temptations Nursery," which had just opened for the spring/summer season. I made Mom pick out her Mother's Day present, and she chose a beautiful Martha Washington geranium with deep purple petals edged in white. For someone who was awfully reluctant to "waste time" at the nursery, she sure enjoyed looking when we got there!

By then the T3s were kicking in, so we dropped my car off at my house and drove in to the office. We balanced an accounting, I checked the phone messages, went through the mail and did the rest of my weekly stuff, and then Dad came in to install the new printer for the assistants' desk. He also brought me 2 Phenergan to help with the nausea that was still bothering me. By the time Dad was done, we'd been there for 4 hours, and Mom brought me home. I went to bed shortly after letting the dogs out, and Mom washed some more wallpaper paste off walls. I never even heard her leave. I woke up around six with a headache but not a migraine, and was glad to call it a day.

On Sunday, I ran up and down the stairs doing laundry and painted my toenails. The stairs after the walk on Saturday weren't quite enough exercise to keep my muscles from protesting strenuously tonight at water-walking, but I still made it through the whole hour.

*joke that only Zayrina may get.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sorry for the Spam and other random ramblings

If you're my friend on Goodreads, sorry for the giant e-mail with the 168 books I added to my shelves tonight. I'm down to The Last Shelf of Books, which I plan to add and pack tomorrow night.

If you're not my friend on Goodreads, why not? :P I'm Jammies there, too.

It's been a busy week at work. I got a $15 gift card for Starbucks as a reward for taking on an extra project and doing a good job, and won one of the reserved parking spaces in a random drawing. Still, I have felt like a guinea pig on a hamster wheel--I don't fit, I don't know where I'm going, and I never seem to get there.

The water-walking is really going well. I'd have to say that this is the first time I've felt that I have an exercise plan I can stick with. This Saturday will mark the first class I will miss on one of the three days I tell myself to go every week. Of course, that's because this Saturday, Mom and I will be doing the 3-mile MS Walk, followed by working together for 4 hours. Then we'll come back here and she's planning to take the rest of the wallpaper off the study walls and I am going to take a nap!

One thing that occurred to me on my way home tonight: it's still very weird to me to see a Roadway semi cab hauling Yellow trailers. Plaid Jammies worked for Roadway most of the time we were growing up, and Yellow was the big bad rival. Roadway was a pretty good employer--there were company picnics, a kickass health plan, lots of things that made it a great company for Dad to work for back then. Of course, it may just have been the times and all companies in the '70s and '80s had that level of care for their employees, but it's pretty much gone from everywhere these days.

Right now, however, I'm only interested in huffing my wrists to smell my gorgeous dandelion BPAL and heading off to bed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Push the button, Max!

I had forgotten how much I enjoy watching The Great Race. Dad bought a copy recently, and we watched it when my brother, SIL and the boys were up for Easter last weekend. Dad's favorite scene is the pie fight, and the boys loved the whole movie. Mom said they were saying "Push the button, Max!" all day on Sunday. I'm pretty sure that the "Austrian Folly" detour on The Amazing Race. One of my favorite shows paying tribute to one of my favorite movies--perfect!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Busy in a good way.

If you were to look objectively at my schedule for the next 90 days, it wouldn't look as if I had a lot of work. I'm responsible for maybe 4 books in the next three months. However, because two of my co-workers are out, I've been picking up the slack on several books that are not on my list, and have been cramming work into my workdays.

I've gotten all kinds of warm appreciation from the attorney editor whose books I'm doing, which is nice. I've also asked my team to let me know if I seem to be having more cognitive lapses than usual. Despite the fact that I have lived with tingling in my hands and feet since September of 2003, my neuro decreed that my GP hadn't given me a high enough dose of Neurontin and I should try it again, slowly increasing the dose until I'm up to 400 mgs/day.

The catch? One of the potential side effects is cognitive problems. I'm trying it because there's an inexpensive generic, but I have to wonder why my neuro is deciding that even though there's nothing he can prescribe for my cognitive problems I need a med for a symptom I've lived with for almost six years.

Speaking of doctors, I went to make my annual appointment with Hot Doctor for my girly parts checkup and found out that he has gone to a different practice. Okay, he's worth following. Then I found out that he is now in practice with the doctor who thought my request for a hysterectomy should be answered with "When you lose weight, you'll be pretty and normal, and you might meet Mr. Right and want to have his babies. I cannot allow you to do this." Aargh. I went ahead and set the appointment, specifically requesting a time when she is NOT there. We'll see. It's been two years, but it still bugs me.

Oh, and a work funny: I made parmesan and basil scones on Sunday and took them into work on Monday. I was walking past the Big Boss's office on my way to the bathroom and heard her say to someone on the phone, "Do you like basil? Jammies just brought in some really delicous scones." *blush* About twenty minutes later, I got an e-mail from a co-worker at the Rochester office saying "I hear you make a mean scone."

My answer? "They're not mean, they're just misunderstood." I kill me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two women, five degrees, one combination lock...

and the lock defeated both of us.

Mom had a horrible day, I had a bleah-ish Monday, and we both really needed our workout tonight. I am really pleased with the water walking, and I think that this is something I can stick with. I'm also offering guest memberships to JammiesFest attendees for any nights that my water class is held while I have guests. I won't skip my class, but I'll be happy to share the Natatorium!

The one good thing that happened today was that when I turned in my 2009 goals, my team lead said that she'd like to copy one of them and put it on everyone's goals AND she didn't change a single word. Yay me!

Oh, and Mom's going to ask Dad to get a key lock for our locker, lol.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More ow-inna-good-way

As usual, Mom and I underestimated the amount of prep work my study will need before it can be painted. She and I worked together Saturday morning, then came over here to get started. I archived and boxed books, Mom moved boxes and bookshelves and tore down wallpaper, and Dad came over to remove the pretty-but-essentially-lightless ceiling fan. Dad kept telling me what a good quality piece it was, but at a maximum of 4 25-watt bulbs hidden behind white glass, it didn't give off nearly enough light. So it's boxed up and awaiting either sale or donation. I've decided on my paint colors, based on the blue-and-white of Delft-style china, and I'm down to the last two shelving units. I boxed up almost 400 books this weekend, and may do some more tonight (although I should in fact be putting away laundry).

Yesterday, in sunny Dallas, it was 38 degrees and the Mathgeek-Crossword family did the MS Walk. I have a lovely picture of Bookworm Mathgeek wearing her free t-shirt as a scarf, and one of Tinkerbell and Princess Mathgeek all wrapped up and sitting in a little red wagon. Thank you, my wonderful family. <3

Tomorrow is headless chicken day at work, but I have water walking to look forward to, and afterwards I will either finish up the book-boxing or actually put the laundry away!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ow in a good way

I started a new exercise program last night, and I think it's one I can stick with for a long time. Hyphenated Corp will reimburse employees for a one-year gym or health club membership, so I joined the city natatorium. Last night, I went to my first water walking class, and I'm really impressed. I worked every single muscle in my legs and most of the rest of my muscles, had so much fun and worked so hard the hour just flew by, and got to indulge my waterbaby Cancerian otterish side. I'm now thinking about investing in a more sportish swimsuit. The one I have is cute and flattering, but the tank-style top doesn't restrain my built-in flotation devices as well as a T-strap top would.

A big advantage to the water exercise is that the cognitive effects aren't the only MS-related problems I've been having. When I saw my neuro last month, my balance was so bad after the first few tests that the nurse skipped the final balance test. In the water, if I fall over, I'm not going to hurt myself, so I felt safe in trying everything. I do need to work on my jogging/fast walking, because I noticed last night that the minute I speed up my pace, I start using my toes instead of my whole foot. I think next week I will slow down until hitting heel first is completely habitual and then I will start speeding up. Even if this is the only way I ever jog, that's no reason to get into bad habits!

The only thing I didn't do was quack during one of the exercises. For now, I will save my quacking for when I am among friends.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Color me weird

but I just can't allow my clothing to be uncoordinated. Last night, I wore a grey satin nightgown to bed. This morning, I put my red sleestak from Mallie over it and pulled on some red socks. I had to go down to the basement to start the laundry, and I couldn't make myself put on purple or blue or green slippers. I had to spend five minutes looking under the bed and in the closet for my red slippers. Then, when I got as dressed as I ever do on a day when I'm not leaving the house, I had on dark purple sweatpants and a light purple fleece top, so I had to change my socks and my slippers.

It's just a Jammies thing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thanks, Lush

My tax refund order arrived last night, and I unpacked and put away most of my things and set aside Maresche's items to take to work today. Somehow, I missed a little sample of Herbalism, which I noticed this morning when I was folding up all the packing paper. I set it on the shelf unit which runs the length of the back wall of the breezeway, intending to try it tomorrow morning.

As much as I love Lush's bubble bars and ballistics, I've been resistant to getting into their face care because it's so very expensive and I have very odd skin, oily yet flaky, with overlarge pores. Still, I was going to try the Herbalism.

Tonight, when I got home from work, I let Bigfoot out and fed Littlefoot, then let Littlefoot out and fed Bigfoot. When they were both fed and I had changed out of my work clothes, I ran out to the curb to get the mail and bring in the trash can and recycling bin. In the two minutes that took, Bigfoot found my sample and decided Herbalism was a nice dessert. Since the sample was about two ounces, I'm not too worried about the nettle irritating his innards. However, the kaolin may prove to be a bit of a constipator for the old man.

So thanks, Lush, but I won't be trying your skin care this time around.