Friday, September 16, 2022


A new what?

I acknowledge some ghoulish interest in an exhumed corpse tried in court, but this is the bit of the wikip article on the Cadaver Synod that really got my attention: 
 Between 872 and 965, two dozen popes were appointed, and between 896 and 904 there was a new pope every year.

That must have been quite a time to be a Roman. And starting about thirty miles outside of that busy city I'd bet that those papal names remained a mystery to most of the rest of Christendom. 

Playing one against the other

I've started both Death In Her Hands and Women Talking. The first is to discuss en book group the first Wed of October. The second one I checked out but never cracked last year. It concerns a lot of I'm trying to read a chapter of one and then of the other. But now I'm making more progress in Death than I expected, it seems to be a brisk one for me. And I've misplaced Women (car? closet? it can't be far). So I'll try to keep some momentum to finish both. 

Start with beauty

I keep thinking about a Mole blog post that covers more philosophical ground than I usually have the patience for. I do like the idea of centering meaning on beauty. What could that bring? Making human interactions more beautiful sounds like a perfectly good mission.  



I had two overripe bananas and wanted something chocolatey so tried out this recipe. Homerun! I left out the half cup of water (why?) and frosted with the Hershey's frosting recipe. Delicious. Since it's made with vegetable oil it is moist and keeps well.  

Debriefing myself

Had a job interview online earlier this week. I got to speak with four people. The last person was the supervisor for the position I applied for and I liked her the least. Ha! It was good to learn more about the organization. I'm not sure I'm what they're looking for or vice versa. Very good to get that first-interview-in-a-long-time over with. I tend to feel like I've failed if I don't sense I am everything interviewers hoped for. But I realize that's not a failure, it's feedback and I get to have my own reactions as well.  

I just got my updated bivalent (fancy!) Covid booster shot yesterday. I feel all right at work today, maybe little sorry for myself. When that resolves I'll be reading more job ads.   

Friday, August 26, 2022

A little off the ends

The hair of it all

Time to cut my hair. Appointment is a week from tomorrow. I have a lot of curls which is fun but it feels like the mane is trying to take over lately. I am trying to strike the right balance of making the curls look cute but also having a slightly sophisticated (or at least intentional) gray-headed look. The color at the ends of my hair kind of clashes with the gray. Cutting a few inches off will no doubt bring me closer to silver fox.  

Trying the shampoo bar again and it seems to work for me with a vinegar rinse afterwards and no conditioner. I'll give it a few weeks and consider. Hair stylist Jessica says that shampoos with sulfates are just variations on the same soap that is in Dawn. 


I need a pet crate to try and trap our wild beast of a cat. I intend to start feeding him in the crate with the door wired open. Hope he'll catch on quick. I'm going to try a small dog wire crate to give him some roooom. 

On the page

I keep checking out books from the library. Guess I should read some of them. I started a reread of Pratchett's Lords and Ladies and it is quite restful to the brain. But I don't seem to be progressing so it's time to try something else. I haven't read any Moshfegh before and have got a novella to try. We're going to read her Death In Her Hands for October.

Taking over

I cleaned out youngest's room and rearranged the furniture. I hope she won't be offended. I found that she left behind about sixty t shirts. We'll do some weeding when she's back for xmas. Or I'll pack them up if we move before then. 

Intersection ahead

Eeeeek. I want to be able to plan long term. And I can't since my project is to find a new job in another city and move house in the next few months. I think it could be worthwhile imagining myself in the process. Rather than just hurling myself into the gray misty unknown.      

Eggplant mania continues [I tried this as written and then with the same cooking technique but a soy/ginger/garlic sauce. It never quite worked for me and I'm going to keep to my broil until smoky good method.]

Monday, August 22, 2022

Find a New Shape

I am working at my job during the busiest time of our year, the start of fall semester. Mitigating that is that we're fully staffed and are using a new system that eliminates some of the questions that were common when using the old system. It'll be busy this week but not crushing. 

I can tell it will be a while before it seems normal to have no teenagers in the house. L is starting her fall classes 897 miles away. K is even further off in Amsterdam at the moment with her boyfriend. She just sent cute pictures of them on a canal tour and picnicking in a park. I'm happy for them and still feeling a little sad and sitting with that. I like them both so much and want good adventures for them. 

It is time for my job hunt to enter the applying stage. An excellent use for my attention and concentration. But before that I'm giving myself permission to be still and listen to my own reactions. I will find my stride. I will assume a new shape as the forces acting on me have changed.   

I feel like tv is getting away from me a little bit. I've been watching Uncoupled which is very NYC elitist in a traditional dram com way which I find enjoyable. Tisha Campbell is so watchable, needs her own series, clearly. I love Brooks Ashmanskas and I swear I remember him from something but the wikip page is not telling me. He was in Good Lord Bird and that's another thing I need to watch! NPH is usually a fun presence but at moments in this show I'm finding him very off-putting. It's a half hour of fairly predictable soapiness that I apparently need. Neither the romance nor the sex is very convincing so far so I guess I'm in it for the repartee, friend chemistry and slapstick. 

Only Murders had the best season 2 ep 1! Such a good cozy mystery conglomeration. I'm almost current on that one. 

Reservation Dogs started up and those girls in peril on the road just about killed me. I hope they get home next episode. We started watching The Bear and I really like it. I'd like to tear through the rest of it but am waiting for my spouse to be in the mood. I may need to just gwan ahead with that.   

Sandman is being just as good as I had hoped. Spoilers follow although I'm not all the way through yet, we just finished episode 7 The Doll's House. Which ended on a very unsettling and threatening moment! I need that to be resolved asap! The Danish reminded me that Tom, of Tom & Lorenzo, has written thoughtful recaps


The Dream character looks like a tough row to hoe as an actor and Tom Sturridge is great. Can't say I liked Cain and Abel but TLo Tom says that they come from some of the horror comics that the original series drew from. I wanted to muss up (Gwendoline Christie) Lucifer's hair. David Thewlis and Sarah Niles should act together again soon, I would watch them do anything together. Kirby Howell-Baptiste is so different in this than anything I've seen her in (Good Place and Hacks is what I can remember). So impressed again with her. The Hob Gadling story was very satisfying. I am scandalized by the serial killers convention and how cozy the coverage of the three coordinators is. 


Updated to stash this for future no-fun reference: Ms Demeanor's guide to handling the administrivia after a loved one's death. 

The sweary version: DeathSucks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Through the Unknown

Ordered and installed a bunky board to shore up my poor spouse's side of the bed. I feared that it wouldn't fit or it would be noisy or something. But lo! the bed is better - not as creaky and his side doesn't feel like an imminent collapse. 

Applied for student loan and got it approved and in process with youngest's school. 

Revised resume and got input from people I respect. Contacted my references and updated their contact info. Next is making updates my online profile. Then actually applying for jobs. Which gives me pause. 

I haven't quite figured out how to get from here to working a job in ABQ. Assuming (I know) I was offered one, I could accept, move in temporarily with my mom and start work. Then we'd need to do two enormous things: find a place to rent and start packing up and selling our house. I also fear leaving house packing to my spouse. I suspect this too will need to be tackled with a combination of 1) bulling forward without knowing exactly what will happen and 2) letting my subconscious turn this transition over until it feels more familiar. 

We leave tomorrow to take youngest to her dorm. A hefty14 hours of drive time each way. I have a long to-do list and have checked off some big items. Many more to complete today!

When we get back: buy a pet crate and start feeding the cat inside it. It seems like the best way to get Catastro-Freddie travel ready. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Sea and Art and Words

Salty sea. We drove to the eastern edge of North America and jumped into the ocean. We didn't find our way to the same part of Shackleford Banks but had a beautiful beach day there. Saw some of both kinds of wild horses on the ferry ride over. Got to watch a school of minnows chased onto shore by mackerel. Gulls feasted. For future reference, we want the Atlantic side with a view of the Cape Lookout lighthouse. This time we were at the western (lower) tip of what is a much longer island than my sketch shows.

Took one of youngest's best friends with us which felt adventurous for her and for us. She's a good egg with a dry sense of humor. Not physically strong but very determined. Palest of the bunch of us - she and I were least sunburned after our 5 hours on the beach with little shade. Nod roasted I'm afraid, he was uncomfortable for the next two days. 

I do love the Maritime Museum and its cosy library complete with fireplace, second story ladder (blocked off with nautical ropes) and boat models. I met an older volunteer who was sharing info on shells. He taught me some differences between whelks and conchs. I was correct that conchs are more rounded at the bottom and whelks have long thin 'stems'. But I war charmed to learn that whelks are carnivorous and hunt clams, conchs are herbivorous. I didn't see any live whelks but the girls did. Makes me think of the big moon snails I saw live on a sand bank in Florida lo these many decades ago. I didn't want the other shell hunters to find and kill them. The gray and black color of the shells we found at Atlantic Beach is due to the smothering layer of sand they pour over the natural beach. Grr.    

Two days of driving each way for about 5 beach outings. It's worth it every so often. Glad we drove since the US air travel system is not extremely reliable at the moment.  

Word games. My blog list, slightly scrambled, I love them:

Sundry Catherine 

C'est moi geezer 

diamond Eden 

Six Strong Gods 

Lazy Weblog 

Millard Fillmore's Kitchen  

Slime on the Lake 

nancy Once  

One Pie 

Word Not Included 

Nag On The Steering Wheel 

Last Word TIME MOLD 

Unemployed Nothing 

Woulda Lawyer Mom 

Link me. One to an art and one to a music:

John Pfahl altered landscapes at the L.A. County Museum of Art.  

Early Music Vancouver. Choral and more with period instruments. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Camera Bamera Book Book Book

Received my Goodwill camera and it came in a box with everything and seems to be in very good shape. Olympus Stylus 1010. I got very frustrated with the crummy camera in my Samsung phone. I am looking forward to taking some better pictures! 

Book comments. I am reading a book that I am enjoying but I do have a bone to pick. One of the main characters sustains injuries and then this has an inadequate amount of consequences in my opinion. This is a character whose thoughts we hear sometimes, the narrator is omniscient and pov moves from character to character within a small group. But there is no treatment described and the character's thoughts go from intense suffering to nothing so quickly. I'm baffled. 

I wonder what caused this lack in the writing. Theories: dislike of violence/injury description? Maybe not since we have a big bad who is busy abusing and terrifying our band of buddies with graphic threats of torture in the section I'm reading. Regarding characters as more abstract entities rather than flesh and blood? I wonder if this could be it. Enough npcs disappearing perhaps dulls the curiosity for what happens after a battle injury? Or too many characters and not enough autorial attention to go around? I can't determine 

Despite this missing bit, the book is providing the fast page-turning romp that I was hoping for when I picked it up. It's contrast to The Historian which is going slower than I expected. I like the mood and the variety of settings and the epistolary pieces. But. It's just not taking off for me and I wonder why. I have decided to trust that it will pick up shortly. The description of the narrator's father's Amsterdam canal house bedroom is pretty great. 

I'm laying down one of the other summer books I started. The historical fiction was including too many modern outlooks for me. Tant pis, lots of other books to taste. 

Oldest kid missed her train from Chicago (Friday afternoon downtown traffic and summer construction) but was able to change her ticket to the next day and is with us now. A knock on effect had her paying a $50 late cancellation fee at the dentist. Young adulting is happening. It's wonderful to have her here and I'll be glad to fling her back to go off to Barcelona shortly.  


Friday, June 3, 2022

Small steps

I washed my hair today and got to work on time. I am congratulating myself on this excellent effort. Being awake in the night made getting going this morning more difficult than usual. I was hot and restless between 3 and 4am. Trying to identify why: I spent time outside (it was a jewel of a day yesterday), I had physical activity (walked to the Union and back plus mowing), I took my B vitamin. Maybe it was the Dr. Pepper at noon? 

Speaking of caffeinated elixirs, I have been making some cold brew coffee and even made with store brand half caff preground - it is mild and nice. I realized halfway through the cup this morning that I could have iced it instead of microwaving. Next time. An additional perk (ha!) is that my coffee breath after is less powerful. 

Our forecast continues cooler than usual for this time of year. I am grateful that climate change (at least this year) is affecting this location in that way. 

I will mow the backyard after work and then I'm going to go downtown and listen to some band at a patio show. 

I'm doing the first week of Liftoff. Trying new things is good for the brain I hear. Pushups are included and I'm using the back of the wooden couch to start. My left upper arm and shoulder are much better after my 25 days with the chatty Canadian.   

 Isn't this gorgeous? Theodore Roosevelt Jr. with a macaw:

Junior grew up to be a hero, links for more info here Kai Ryssdal tweet. From the first citation: 

"56 year-old arthritis stricken, cane using General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. storms the beaches of Normandy with his men(the only general to do so).
Only a week later he would suffer a fatal heart attack while returning from battle. (1944)"