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I arrived on campus this morning at 0600. Last night at yoga my mind had been spinning with things I had to accomplish before the conference, including printing directional signs ("how to get to room x"), the list of names for the prize drawing, and other things. I managed to get them all done (go me!) and left my office just before 0700 for the conference site.

It was a good 10-12 minute walk, as I had a cart full of stuff, and I chose to take the underground (read: flat and without potholes) rather than overground (read: lots of ramps and uneven surfaces, not to mention possibly locked doors at that hour) route. It was a good 30-45 minutes before another team member arrived, and when he did I high tailed it back to my building to pick up another load of stuff.

Let's just say that I should have taken two trips with the six boxes of bags rather than try and make it in one. Oh well, water under the bridge now. At least the guy from the receiving room took pity on me (in my suit!) and helped me figure out a better way to load the boxes onto the cart so they were less likely to fall off. Let me tell you, trying to hoist heavy boxes onto a cart while wearing a suit is no small feat!

As usual, I had a terrific team helping with logistics and organization. Everything went off without a hitch, and we even had a fun game of "bullshit bingo" (a take-off of buzzword bingo) at the expense of one of the speakers (who is a very amenable guy to all sorts of pranks). About the only minus of the day was that we didn't have enough bottled water for the attendees, and had too many tortilla chips. Little things!

Back to the grind tomorrow. I have 35 email messages that all need my attention. Of course I'd promised myself (and the people on the other end of those messages) that I'd get back to them "first thing Friday". Now I have to make good on that promise.
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I'm doing my best to make sure my pulled muscle heals as quickly as possible. That mostly involves sitting around alot (not something I'm good at doing!).

My primary care doc said to ice the hell out of my injured area, so I'm doing just that. I ice it whenever I sit down to eat (or immediately afterwards if not convenient, e.g. I'm not at home or work for a meal), which means six times per day. My doc also said that I should ice it immediately after yoga, which I did on Wednesday night. class on Wednesday was quiet )

this morning I went out and hid a shoe, and have another one to hide later. Hopefully the rain won't deter people from picking them up. Good pedestrians aren't bothered by the weather, of course!

Tomorrow I plan to visit [ profile] mdyesowitch and the weather will not deter me. Rain be damned.
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early: triaged calendar server problems, set up new backup server sets for the month, answered phones. debugged scripts.

mid-late morning: held information session about confidentiality of data to an office that is stuck in 1993 (they only just turned off their vax)

early afternoon: met with person to begin coordination of conversion from paper file archive to digital using OCR software. Need to devise processes to auto-create folders based on specific rationale. probably 1,000,000 pages to convert, some of which we will job out, some of which we will do in house.

mid afternoon: spent 40 minutes listening to a user rant about her boss. luckily, I didn't need to say much more than there there, and vaguely agree with her, but could continue to work while she complained. I will admit that I lied and said I have to go to a meeting now, which was so not true, but I couldn't stand listening any longer.

late afternoon: meeting to plan for annual full day technical conference, which is just two weeks away (!!)

hip/leg pain: still there (even with 440mg naproxen), but I see my primary care doc tomorrow.
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In a few weeks, [ profile] ckd and I are due to travel to Washington, DC to meet his parents (who will be visiting there from overseas). I like going to DC; the museums are awesome (although some of them are just über busy and overwhelming). Favourite stops: the museum shop at SI/NASM, National Building Museum.

On a trip a couple of years ago we stayed at a hotel in Georgetown (thanks to a deal from Site 59 (which specializes in last minute travel deals and bundles flights with hotels and/or cars). There was a really neat (and tiny) store that sold used CDs. [ profile] ckd is a used CD fiend; he loves to shop for them and trawl through miles of bins in the hope of happening upon a "find". I'm not as big into CD shopping as he is, but I do occasionally like a quick browse.

While he trawled through each of the bins, one of us came across a CD Single from Alanis Morissette: Joining You. What struck me wasn't (just) the title, but the fact that the CD single had a "melancholy mix" of the title song. I've been a fan of Alanis' music since Jagged Little Pill in 1995. Between that, and that I can tend towards "melancholy" myself, I figured I'd throw it on the purchase pile.

over the past few days )

Even if we don't get to Georgetown and search through the music bins again, can I let myself think as Alanis does, honestly? why is it so hard to be objective about myself? In so many ways I don't feel like I am mumble slur years old. Will I ever feel "appropriately" old? Perhaps the better word is "mature": appropriately mature. It's not (as much) to do with chronological age as it is with feeling like I haven't made sufficient "progress" towards life goals that I should have reached by now.
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I "slept in" again today. I first woke up at about 0400, but managed to get back to sleep. I did hear my alarm go off at 0520 (which is more than I can say for the last six days), but didn't haul myself out of bed until just after 0600. After a warming breakfast of oatmeal and a nice hot shower, I got to work just after 0700.

During my trip to work I was quite concerned about arriving before my suitemate. While most of the people in my office suite work a traditional 0830-1700 (or thereabouts) schedule, one coworker arrives at 0700 and departs at 1600. I was worried about whether I would arrive at work before her or not. I couldn't even imagine how I would explain away my "tardiness". Typically, I arrive between 0600 - 0630, so an arrival of 0700 is very late.

Luckily, it didn't matter. Either my suitemate was late herself or will take today off. As of 0725, she hasn't arrived. I don't want people to think I'm a slacker with my late arrival. I don't want them getting any ideas on why I'm arriving so late, or even worse, for that to become the topic of gossip.

edited to add )
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I have absolutely no idea what to do this weekend. Saturday is my biggest concern. I will have a gaping amount of time between when I wake up and when [ profile] ckd wakes up. If I'm trying to avoid exercise (which, for now, I am), I need to come up with something to fill the gaping hole in my schedule. Sitting in front of the television for four to five hours is not an acceptable option.

Maybe I can find a yoga class. Something not self destructive.

I'm exhausted, and it's not from overexercise (or at least not from recent overexercise).
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yoga last night was a challenge. None of my usual "yoga buddies" were in attendance. In fact, the only person I had ever seen before was my teacher.

The teacher began by talking about receptivity, and advising us to work against rigidity. She read from BKS Iyengar's book Light on Life. I've browsed through the book before, but it seems more relevant when my teacher reads it.

We went into a sequence of poses to shake off winter (as teacher described it), which included a number of backbends. I really don't like backbends, and my low blood pressure yesterday wasn't helping things. Among other poses, we did (supported) viparita dandasana. Supported meant that our torsos were on chairs. Knowing that backbends are a challenge, I propped myself up as best I could: feet against the wall but resting on a block, head resting not on the floor (that would overstretch my neck!) but on a folded blanket, which itself was on top of a bolster.

We did several backbends, but by the end of class I was emotionally (not to mention physically) exhausted. The going back and forward, dropping my head below my heart, was quite disconcerting (not to mention induced lightheadedness).

Other poses included virabdhadrasana III (aka Warrior III), both supported and unsupported. The penultimate pose was salamba sarvangasana (aka shoulderstand) combined with halasana. I love halasana, as I feel that I can cocoon myself.

I went the entire class without saying more than about twenty words, and those were all to my teacher. As soon as savasana ended, I cleaned up my area, stowed my props, and went home. No dilly-dallying for a brief chat. Home, snack, TV, bed.
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A couple of weeks ago I took a day off from work on a Tuesday. One of the things I did was to buy an apple pie. The end result was that while the pie looked very nice, and even purported to be organic, it was not enjoyable. The cinnamon was entirely too overpowering for my tastes, and the apples were all brown (apples shouldn't be brown, dammit!).

While [ profile] ckd and I were out today, we stopped by a shop that is known predominantly for its pies (although it also makes scones and cookies which are supposed to be good, but I haven't tried them to know). All I wanted was one slice of pie, but no luck. They had quite a selection of whole pies: "classic apple" (pastry topped), four berry (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries), pecan, and pumpkin. I caved in and bought a four berry pie, although I really don't like strawberries in pie (reminds me too much of that nasty American concoction of strawberry/rhubarb. Americans are wimps if they need some sweetness to counter the lovely tart flavour of rhubarb).

The first thing I noticed was how heavy the pie was. This was one solid pie! My shoulder blades were rather fatigued after carrying it home (okay, it wasn't a short walk, but still). I knew I would feel self-conscious about carrying a pie, but luckily [ profile] ckd had a plastic bag I could wrap the pie in (not carry it, mind you, I didn't trust the carrier bag not to break due the sharp corners of the pie box).

We finally made it home and I started some laundry (chores first). I then opened the box to inspect my pie. It had a crumb topping, which I was rather dejected by; I would have preferred full top pastry. I took a sharp knife and cut into it, and sure enough, the pie was dense! I hoped that wouldn't mean it was all corn starch. Damned Americans and their insistence on having pies edible with forks rather than spoons.

I cut a small slice, slid it into a bowl, and popped it into the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it through. While the microwave whirred, I procured some frozen yogurt from the freezer, and after the beep beep beep, I took the bowl out and added a couple of spoonfuls of fro yo.

After topping up my water glass, I brought my pie bowl and water up to the third floor, and sat down to (hopefully) enjoy. The pie aroma certainly was promising. I bit into it. Yummm. Chomp, chomp, chomp. I licked the bowl clean. Now I'm wondering when I can have pie again...

Edited to add: the pie was sweeter than I prefer. Too sweet to be tolerable? That remains to be seen. The fro yo cut down on the sugary taste, and I suspect milk would do the same.

So I've found one source of good pie in this state. Score!
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I'm glad I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. The heater in my office is blowing cool air even though the thermostat set all the way to warm. Oh, the joys of working in a building constructed in 1920 and last renovated in 1964. All the modern conveniences. The temperature outside is 23F with calm winds. Brrr. Long underwear helps, but not the back of my neck (which has cold air blowing on it from the heater). I hate to think how cold my office would be if I didn't share it with a mini rack full of equipment, not to mention a myriad of other hot air producing technology devices.

I meet with my boss this morning, our first meeting in six plus months. I am nervous. Very nervous. Now if only I could start sweating...

a full day

Dec. 5th, 2006 08:12 pm
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I took today off from work, which is not a common occurrence (to say the least). My vacation days are literally piling up, and with a morning commitment outside of work and an afternoon pedestrian committee duty, I decided to take the whole day, and why not?

how I spent my day off (details) )
I hope to have some apple pie later. Rephrase. I will have some apple pie later. No custard, though. :-(

Edited to add: apple pie verdict: way too much cinnamon. Lots and lots too much. The pastry was alright, but I couldn't get over the cinnamon. My search for a satisfactory pie will continue.
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Saturday morning. I knew this would be tough for me, but this seems worse than expected. It's 0625 and I'm up, breakfasted (tried something new, Kashi GoLean Truly Vanilla hot cereal, which was just "okay"), showered, and sitting in a brightly lit room. The sun is barely on the horizon, with a tinge of blue in the sky. The dishwasher is running, and I have the first load of laundry in.

As is usual, [ profile] ckd didn't come home until late (about 0300), so I have quite a few hours to fill/kill this morning. In the past I've used some of those Saturday morning hours to overexercise, but with my hip still bugging me, that's right out. I could sit and watch television, but I don't have that much stored up on the TiVO, and I'm not a TV addict anyways. Well, maybe if I had a bunch of hours of Spooks (aka MI-5) stored up, which I don't.

With no bright ideas, I'll end this entry now, and hope that inspiration strikes.
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Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a start, thinking oh no, I forgot to do X? That happened to me last night. It wasn't on leaving the stove on, or if I forgot to pack my lunch. Rather, I came to in a cold start with the thought of my EU passport expired! How I knew that from a dead sleep I don't know.

Sure enough, upon waking up at the "normal" time, I went downstairs to the area where we keep important documents (known as "The Denby", because it's a Denby casserole dish (which was, actually, purchased for us by my grandmother on a visit to Ireland)) and dug through the pile of passports (three are mine, two belong to [ profile] ckd. Both of my red passports had expired: one in July and one in November. My blue (US) passport is valid for another 4.5 years.

I used to be compulsive about keeping my EU passport renewed (especially when it was my only passport!). I was always afraid of getting "that phonecall" in the middle of the night (although in reality it was always the early morning) and having to scramble to get to the airport with very little notice. With my (aforementioned) Grandmother gone, I am much less likely to get the phonecall. Between that and the fact that I now hold a US passport, I've become sloppy in renewals.

So there I was at work at 0630 trying to figure out how to get my passport application done and completed. My EU passport requires photos (unsurprising), forms, and my old passport. I knew I'd have to obtain the first, figured the second would be easy, and had the third in hand. Forms, actually, turned out to be a glitch. I hold two EU passports, and one country has the forms available for download online, and the other requires you pick them up from the consulate (or telephone and have them sent to you). I didn't have the patience (and didn't want to schlep to the consulate), so I went with the easier option and downloaded the form, subsequently printing it onto 8.5x11 paper (it was designed for A4, of course).

I started to complete the form. It seemed easier than I remember, but it has been ten years since I last completed this form. I squelched at the cost (something like $200, not counting shipping the form down). At least they take credit cards, which is more than I can say for the other country, who I believe still demands a bank draft.

Easier? Not so much. I came to the last page and found the details on "countersigning". A person who is a "qualified professional" must countersign the application and accompanying photos. Acceptable professions include doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, civil servant, etc. I should have thought of this yesterday and could have asked my primary care doc, but obviously that didn't happen. As for lawyers, hey, we have some of them at work. Unfortunately, the first one hasn't (yet) passed the bar, the next one I wanted to ask was out of the office, another one I haven't known long enough, and a third is too creepy for words. Back to the drawing board?

I tried to think of other coworkers who might have a law degree or even a CPA, but came up blank. I asked a coworker to see if she could think of anybody who would qualify. She had a bright idea: another coworker has an engineering degree, and could sign her name with those qualifications. She's even in my office suite. Score! Okay, so the coworker is not a "practicing" Engineer, but she did get her degree from a Most ImportanT place, and that looks awfully impressive in print.

In the midst of all of this, I galloped over to get my photos done. Eugh, I hate ID photos, even moreso when they're not taken by a portrait studio. Although I look at the photos taken for my passports ten years ago, and I don't feel like I'm the same person. I looked so fat...

Form check, photos (countersigned) check, credit card details check, old passport check. I shoved them all into a FedEx envelope and sent them on their way. Who knows when I will use the passport, but at least it will not wake me in the night any longer.
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Mum and I took Toby for a walk this morning, which is nothing new. Now Toby is very afraid of noises, especially ones that go "bang". Ironically, the humming and banging in Dad's machine shop doesn't bother him, but thunder, garbage trucks, show plows, and guns are another matter entirely. When Toby hears one of his "bad noises", he runs away as fast as he can. If that means running toward the noise, sometimes he'll do that. I think he figures that "away" means "the opposite direction to what he was travelling". If he's on the leash, he can't run as far as he wants, and if we try and persuade him to keep walking "towards" the noise, he will literally stop dead in his tracks. Toby only weighs about 40lbs, but when he wants to, he becomes a dead weight.

Hunting season has begun in this part of the country, and there has been lots of banging at Toby's usual park, so we went to a different park in a nearby city. There were trails through the woods (it was muddy) as well as other surfaces around the edge. We had a grand time, waltzing through the leaves, and Toby expressed no reluctance whatsoever. At the end of our little sojourn through the woods, we went to the gated dog park nearby. After we got through the double latched gates, I let him off so he could run as much as he wanted. There were some old crufty-looking soccer balls, and we encouraged him to run around.

Bang. That was all it took. A construction machine across the road made some type of "scary" noise, and set him worrying. You could see the fear in his black eyes. Mum and I were most of the way down the enclosed dog run. Toby high tailed it for the entrance gates. I didn't worry too much, as there were two separate gates, each of them latched.

Uh, I should have known better. He managed to squeeze through a gap in the first gate. After seeing that, I hightailed it over towards the entrance, figuring I better hook him up to the leash just in case. Before I could get there, Toby had managed to paw his way out of the second gate (and yes, both gates were securely latched!). He ran out of the gated area and off towards the (busy) road.

I did eventually catch up with him and hook him back up to his leash, but not before he crossed a busy road twice (I was shouting and waving like a madwoman, begging the traffic to stop while I chased my spaniel). Panting, we chastised him. But what do you do? We thought it was safe to let him off the leash: a gated, fully enclosed dog run. For whatever reason, the gates did not latch properly. His life flashed before my eyes, but he's so oblivious that he has no idea of the fear he caused. While I type this, he's sharing my chair again (or, more accurately, I'm sharing his). Dog love.
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I am currently sitting on approximately 2 inches of chair, as Toby has the rest of it. This is not a complaint, mind you. He's quite comfortable (warm, if nothing else) to lean against. The minus is that he smells like a dog (only a week after his return from the lockup!). Lucky for him (and me), I don't mind about his smell.

On Sunday, my sister and her fiancé flew out. Before they left, we took a lovely al fresco lunch. Outdoor eating shouldn't be possible in November, certainly not north of the Mason-Dixon line! I do know that global warming is bad, but when one can sit outdoors in the sun in November, it's hard to remember that global warming is a bad thing. Later, I didn't even go to the airport to drop off my sister, as I chose to remain at my parents' house and sleep. When my parents came back from the airport, I woke up and we went to the park to take Toby for a walk. I had "pillow face", but nobody seemed to mind (certainly not Toby). Later on Sunday I finished setting up my mother's new 24" iMac. Mmmm, Universal binary applications.

No yoga today, perhaps I will have better lucky tomorrow. Got up early (well, regular time), had breakfast, took Toby for a walk, brought my mother's iMac to the office. [ profile] ckd and I had a lovely lunch at Skyline Chili, went frog hunting (I struck out, wahh), bought some cheap books, made a couple of other stops, then came back to the office for the busman's holiday part of the trip (tech work at the office).

It's still very weird being away from work. I have worked some today, keeping up with things remotely. The very idea of staying disconnected is intolerable, or seems it. I just looked at my calendar for the rest of the week and nearly screamed, thinking of what I have to return to. It is a challenge to stay "in the moment", considering I just printed the boarding passes to return from vacation.
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I can't remember the last time I had so many decent days in a row. In some ways I'm afraid of the (inevitable) downward slide that will follow; it's so difficult to keep on track.

My mother, sister, and I went to yoga this morning. It was an "open/challenge" class; open meaning anyone can attend, challenge meaning we sweated alot! Still, it was a nice female bonding experience. The boys all stayed home: Dad and Toby went to the park, [ profile] ckd slept in, and my sister's fiancé did some homework.

Later, [ profile] ckd and I went to the Apple store with my mother and dragooned her into buying a new 24" iMac, to replace an ancient G4 (which has many problems). The store was hopping, just as I like to see it. Drink the kool aid, people, see the light side of the force. My mother didn't need convincing, she's a mac girl in her own right!

While out shopping I wondered what the chances were of me running into somebody I know. There aren't many places I can go and meet someone who might know me. Yeah, okay, it can happen at home, but home is a much bigger city. As we wandered around the shopping center where the Apple Store was located, I imagined what it would be like to bump into an old high school classmate. Would they recognize me? Would I recognize them? What would I say? It didn't happen, so it turned out to be moot.

After a snack (mmm, booze-less trifle) and a nap, all of us except [ profile] ckd took Toby a walk around the park again. The weather has been absolutely amazing: nearly 60F and sunny. Is this November? It doesn't feel like it. My sister and fiancé go back home tomorrow, but we're in town for another couple of days (hoping to avoid the madness at the airport). With any luck I can get to another yoga class, but regardless, I'm just trying to hold on to what I've got going.
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One full day in Parent-Land over. Mum and I were back at the airport early this morning (0630) to pick up my sister and her fiance. Between now and then I've had lots of dog time and lots of good food (no turkey in this house!). I feel relaxed, and that feels quite strange. No over-exercise (just some dog walking). I don't know what the plans are for the rest of the weekend, and it doesn't really matter.
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I came into work today, a little later than usual (still before 0700, though!). I tend to keep my head down when climbing the stairs (always good to know what I'm about to walk on), and do the same when I come out of the stairwell and into the hallway.

The first thing i saw was a small piece of candy wrapper. That in and of itself may not sound like much, except I know that the candy was from my desk. Nobody else I know has this specific type of single-bite chocolate (not in this building, at least). I see many desks in my daily wanderings, so I would know...

A couple of years back, one of the cleaning and/or repair & maintenance staff had obviously been taking food from the refrigerator. In addition, a coworker's sweater was stolen, and chocolates from her desk rifled through. I thought it was over, that once I moved to this floor (rather than the other floor), it would be an end to the annoyance. Not so much, it seems.

The chocolates are now safely ensconced in my drawer. I should note, however, that whoever pilfered my chocolates did not touch the box of cookies on my desk. If they had to have the nibbles, I wish they'd done that instead, as those cookies are a helluva lot easier to replace.

In the spirit of house cleaning, I went and looked at my ever-growing web cookie collection. Ugh. After about ten minutes, I had to give up. I probably deleted several hundred, and that was just those marked with an expiry date of after 2030! Begone, evil cookie storers!
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[ profile] ckd came over to my office at lunchtime (as his office is now oh-so-close to mine). We debugged some code (well, he debugged some code while I learned!), made some phonecalls, and chatted.

Later, it was invasion of the kidlet kind. Two of my suitemates each brought a child in to visit. One of them, a little one of thirteen months, was just awake from his nap, and content to be rocked back and forth while he babbled at all around him. The other, a two year old girl, hid behind her Daddy as best she could. There was actual "work" in there somewhere too.

I went home for my afternoon nap, while very hungry (even though I'd eaten nothing different than usual). [ profile] ckd and I had dinner together, and I chose to eat something slightly larger than usual. It felt very odd to eat enough food, rather than deliberately undereating (which is my pattern).

After I dropped him off to play boardgames, I came home and had a nice chat with my parents. Mum and I talked of yoga, and then I discussed British politics with Dad. It kept him (and me!) awake. I can't believe I go out there in just three weeks - for an entire week! woof!
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I brought my new shoes into work today, along with the matching new insoles, in the hopes of breaking them in. I put the shoes on around 0800 and took them off at 11:00. All I have to say is: ouch! My calves are throbbing, I'm sure due to the changes the insoles and the way they make me stand. I haven't even spent too much time ambulating today.

Good news of the day: my Tungsten TX is back and functioning!

As far as hopes for the week, I completed the third one (difficult conversation with employee). Still haven't managed to do my job musings.

weekend plans: not sure yet.
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  • booked my weekend at Kripalu !!
  • the lunch today went really well - somewhere between 50 and 60 attendees. I had them eating out of my hand (not the food - the material!)

    Still to do:
  • difficult conversations - my staff member has been out sick all week (grrrrrr)
  • think about what I want to get out of my job
  • Profile

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