Thursday, July 24, 2014


Went to San Francisco and ate it up. The middle aged folks dressed up for the fairytale wedding was more fun than I expected. Lots of enthusiasm and what a sweet ceremony. Posting may be light as I step out onto the new job's tightrope.

Here's a Guardian article discussing water usage and the modern toilet/shower/bathroom. Found on Metafilter which features a wider discussion and although plenty of the comments boil down to  'yer doin it wrong' I still found it worth reading.

Pattern for tote bag. This is just what I was looking for...

Friday, July 11, 2014


Well, bust my buttons. I've been made a job offer including a respectable salary amount. I asked for 24 hours to be in a daze, then gave them my yes answer this morning. This is a job I will need to do homework for. It may be stressful. It is a real professional position with growth possibilities. Goggle eyed. Currently grieving for my current job. And worried about how I get the knowledge I need to use for the new one.

Going to SF for a wedding next week. I could use something fancy to wear on the top. Guess it's this weekend or never.

Woke up at 4am ish thinking of job and pet meds and now I am wired tired.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lesser pitch

Summer frenzy continues but perhaps dialed down a few notches. My job application seems to have fizzled because candidates with actual training background materialized. I interviewed but it seems unlikely that I'll get the call unless all the qualified applicants laugh at the salary offer. Which is not impossible so I'll keep half an eye open. I will continue to cross-train for this department and I may get hired that way after they provide me with some real experience.

The girls played against each in other last night's softball game. It wasn't a brilliant outing for either. Kat's team was the victor and it was hot and muggy and I did not enjoy. Bun has successfully lost her mitt, she was lucky to be able to borrow our next-door neighbor's for the game. Only one more game for each of them next week. I feel that I must look on the bright side: a) it was over fairly quickly and b) we've been lucky and had a fairly cool summer so far, all the other games have been more enjoyable.

The long weekend was long for the kids. They are tired of unstructured time, it especially wears on Kat's nerves. She was following her sister around and being obnoxious one morning. When ordered to keep away was tearful and angry. "I hate summer!" said she. The next day Bun was off with a friend. We took Kat to the pool with her own friend and they met another pal there and it was a good thing.

The little dogs' owners are home. Whew! They definitely grew on me during our time of responsibility. Considering Snickers' love for all of them (quite unreturned) I would be tempted to get her a little dog of her very own. But only if: fenced yard, locating another non-barking dog, etc. etc. I went walk/jogging Monday morning to celebrate my freedom. It was sprinkling and quite pleasant. I feel guilty that I did not get out this morning but am making an effort to set that aside and see what I can do later. Perhaps some mowing will satisfy my inner Puritan.

I am bracing myself for the two and a half weeks of library closure before the new building is open. I've abandoned several books so far and completed a slew. I am halfway through Full Dark House and still a little confused. I expected paranormal mystery in an alternate universe. But the cover stresses that it is a locked room mystery and despite my resistance I have to admit that's what it is so far. It has a bit of atmospherically embodied evil but it's set in our own universe. I'm disappointed not to be reading an alternate Blitz story. This book's not terrible, I think I'll finish it but skim over all the elaborate details about the layout of the theatre and who was where, when. Don't care, give me characters and some dramatic moments please. Planning to jump into Nicola Barker's Darkmans next. But oh crap, now I see, that's book #3 in a series. Must find #1 which isn't in the city library's collection even though they have #2 and #3. Grr. The university library does have it so I'll make the hike.

Adventures in unsuitable movie watching for the family: Anchorman. Three of us watched Anchorman II on the flight to Europe so there was some curiosity about the first one. Bun was the odd one out and didn't get much of the movie but I don't think it will stunt her growth. It was a bit embarrassing but we all survived and agreed that II was better than I.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I have some reading to do on I followed a metafilter link to this post about breaking the low mood cycle and I'm very happy I did. Fave quote so far:
We’re just talking about that state that we all get into of wanting to be the Life of the Party but having only enough energy to be the Housepet of the Party. 
[picture of a grumpy cat] caption: “I’m going to stalk dramatically through the center of the conversation and then disappear. Don’t touch me.”
I think I've been the housepet of the party! But probably like a more pathetic cat as in "I'm going to edge around the corners of the party making only glancing, apologetic eye contact and then disappear." Not feeling puny right now but it's always good to prepare for the next time.

I'm busy living in the 18th century right now with Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Here is the Goodreads link for Foreman's biography. I'll probably want to look at the movie too but don't expect the same immersion experience. How letter-dependent this time period was (late 1700s) and what a golden treasury that leaves for historians/biographers/dilettante readers. The culture of high-stakes gambling in British high society at that time is quite a foreign country. This woman lived for decades in dread of her gaming debts. I've read far enough that Georgiana has reached 40 and lost the use of one eye. I keep being surprised she didn't adopt a jaunty eye patch, rather than just feeling self conscious. But I am thinking of earlier ages with their beauty marks and patches and so on. Good book.

No doggie throw up this morning. Fingers crossed for more of the same.

After I get out of the courts of George III and IV I will take a hard left turn and be in Topeka, Kansas in the mid 1960s. A friend lent me a book about the 1966 tornado that flattened a wide swath in the city. She was telling me highlights as we stood in the re-built college buildings on Washburn University campus, home of the frightening Ichabods. Okay, this one here looks pretty jolly but believe me, creepy.

Time to prepare for my July invasion of San Francisco. Not ready, why yes I am!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Called to report but not selected for the jury, whew. The judge was pretty charming but the whole experience was stressful. I have to check the message tonight to see if I'm called for Wednesday. If not, then done.

We finished watching Game of Thrones, season three and took the DVDs back to the library for the next patient cheapskate. It was good, seemed more consistently dramatic than season two. We ff'd through some of Jon and Ygritte, the torture of Theon (gah) and all of Sam and Gilly. I don't mind the Babes in the Woods but Nod couldn't stand 'em. Diana Rigg as the Tyrell grand dame was the best. And Davos (new reader and conscience for King Stannis) is now my favorite character. I wonder if the discs for season four will be out by xmas... Here's a good wiki for reference and looking up the umpty-hundreds of characters. And here's the Guardian's episode recaps.

Little dogs are doing well. They aren't much trouble but I feel the pressure of being on call. Snickers thinks they're great and they don't mind her much. We went to the fenced yard at the Humane Society last night. The hounds sniffed and trotted around. Not much exercise but at least some unfettered outside time. Kat was in charge of keeping the littles behind the sunshade so they wouldn't jump on me while I was driving.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Important Books

In keeping with my goals of laughing and reading, this is very important news to share.
The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize was launched in 2000, in honour of the great comic writer P G Wodehouse... 
Sponsored by Champagne Bollinger, the prize is the UK’s only literary award for comic writing, celebrating the novels that have really made people laugh in the past year. 

The 2013 prize was awarded to Howard Jacobson's Zoo Time. Previous winners include: Sir Terry Pratchett for his 50th novel, Snuff; Gary Shteyngart for his novel Super Sad True Love Story; Ian McEwan’s Solar; Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; The Butt by Will Self; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday; All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye by Christopher Brookmyre; A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka (which went on to be shortlisted for the Orange Prize); DBC Pierre for Vernon God Little (who went on to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction), Howard Jacobson’s The Mighty Waltzer, Jonathan Coe for The Rotters’ Club, Michael Frayn for Spies and Jasper Fforde’s The Well of Lost Plots.
I approve of the champagne prize, that is very apt and very Wooster-ish. I suppose having a purebred pig named for your novel is also in the PGW spirit, but perhaps a little too on the nose? I must read my way through these. I had Super Sad on my to-read list. I've read Snuff and The Well of Lost Plots and am no doubt better for them.

Currently I'm oaring my way through Without A Summer. It's been a bit more effort than the previous two. Too much family politics, I'm wondering where the glamour is? I will try to reserve judgement until I finish it.

This week has taken guts and fortitude. I think I'm on the downhill side but must keep my eyes open. Girl Scout day camp starts at 8:45 and ends at 3:
{record scratch} {sound of me running to pick up Bun 20 minutes later than usual}

That'll teach me to turn off my calendar reminders. At least I was only 3 minutes driving from the scout camp when they called me to inquire. Bun was with friends and was not distressed. I will take what cold comfort I can that there were still two girls waiting for pick up when we left. 

As I was saying, this week has had it all: day camp, Kat taking the city bus solo for the first time, jazz band class, two softball games, music lessons, jury duty, applying for a new job. I'm not done yet! Caring for three extra dogs starts tomorrow morning. I was not called for jury service this week thank cheeses, but I have to call Friday evening to see about Monday's trials. Jury duty goes through next week. Dog duty goes until mid July. I just looked up the Humane Society's hours so we can use their fenced yard to run the dogs in the evenings. 

I have a loose button hole on my blouse and have to keep re-buttoning today. I need to take a couple of stitches to lessen the sloppy gap threat. I haven't needed any coffee for the past few mornings because my adrenaline level was Elevated. Tomorrow is the last of day camp and my application is in so I'd like to step down from Red Alert. But we start with the doggies tomorrow and what if I forget something? 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mountains to scale

I was invited to apply for a job in another team. It was very flattering to be asked. I had to find a way to politely demur because it happened a couple of days before we left for Greece and I had no brain cells for applying then. But as sometimes happens, the posting was delayed and it has just gone up. The deadline is next Thursday to get my resume, letter, and personal references submitted. I will need to tell my manager that I am doing this after all. We had talked about me cross-training for this team in the future. But I'm interested in applying and seeing what they offer. The original post included a salary range that started above mine. Now it's been updated to read 'salary commensurate with experience' which is a load of crap because this is a state agency with very narrow resources we're talking about. I think it'll be more money than I make now and I will certainly turn them down flat if it is not.

This position is what the educational technologists were doing in the office I started working in back in 2006. I will have to learn how to lead a workshop and many other things. I am sure I can do the phone support and deskside coaching part. I wonder if it will make me feel more stressed than this job. I am going to read the description out loud to myself to gauge my reactions.

I saw a clip of a tv show about Garrison Keillor. He was talking to (college students?) about writing and said something like -- we don't know what we think until we write it. That's part of my sporadic need to write here.

Good-as-full moon last night rising over the ball fields. Both girls are fielding and hitting well. Nod said something about Bun needing to run faster. But considering her relaxed approach to life I think it's a bit amazing that she runs at all. Both of them seem to enjoy this summer softball routine very much. Kat is aging out, this is her last year for city rec league. She may be ready for something tougher next year. As her parent I don't know if I am. I don't know what the options are to get her signed up and I don't know if I'm ready for more intense practices, etc. Stop borrowing trouble, save those worries for next year.

Lots of places to be for the kids next week. Kat will be in music class at the high school. She'll get to ride the city bus and it should provide some spice to her summer doldrums. I think she's getting testy with all this time off. Bun will be at girl scout day camp which will require some drop off time jigging by me. Which reminds me I need to tell my manager about that too.