hr_macgirl: (sad ipod)
I voted early (love Massachusetts), which meant I didn't have to queue to vote on election day. There was a wait to vote early, but only a few minutes. Overall I loved it.

When I went to bed last night, the first election results had just started coming in. Each presidential candidate had won their expected states. I kept waking up and falling back to sleep all night and checking my phone each time. When the news came through that Trump had won, I almost couldn't believe it.

90% of Cambridge voters chose Clinton. How can Cambridge be that out of step with the rest of the country? It's because Cambridge is prosperous and thriving, unlike many of the parts of the country where Trump succeeded, where people feel discontented.

I don't want to think about what the next four years will bring. Even two years (until the mid term elections) seems a long way off. How much damage can Trump do in two years? He's got a blank check, the Republicans kept the House and Senate. Ruth Bader Ginsburg better live forever.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
if it seems like I only ever see movies on three day weekends, you're not far wrong.

Today's choice was Star Trek Beyond, which was still showing downtown Boston at the Loews on Boylston Street. Even better, it was an IMAX showing. I enjoyed the film, there was a certain amount of suspension of belief, but the movie moved along at a good enough clip that I didn't quibble with the science too much. There was a certain amount of incredulity at the sets on the planet. If you listen to/watch the review by Mark Kermode, he describes them as made out of polystyrene, and he's not far wrong!

It was sad to think that this was Anton Yelchin's last outing as Chekov.

After the movie I walked across the Boston Common and down Charles Street. I poked my nose into a couple of the little boutiques. The weather was starting to feel a bit dicy (strong winds) so I hopped on the T back to Cambridge.
hr_macgirl: (tuppence)
I just took the 2016 Presidential election quiz and found that I side the most with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Who do you side with?

Here are my results... ISideWith.

I wish they did one for the UK election. At least with Boris out of the picture I wouldn't have to worry about scoring 10% with him(!).
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I was walking back to work this morning listening to music on my iPhone (as I always do). I thought to myself hmmm, I haven't heard any Styx in a while. I wonder what that's about. Now I think I only have three or four Styx songs loaded on my iPhone out of all of my music.

The next song that played was "Come Sail Away" by Styx. Clearly my iPhone was able to read my mind. Like that's a surprise!
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Saturday and Sunday were typical days, so I won't detail those here.

Monday was different, obviously, as it was a holiday and I didn't have to work. I originally thought about getting a Zipcar, but the weather forecast looked dicey, so I chose not to.

Instead, I napped a little in the morning, then went to see Love & Friendship at The Kendall. I really enjoyed the movie. It was funny and subtle at the same time. I've never read the Lady Susan letters that the movie is based upon, but I will have to correct that.

One warning: the movie has lots of characters, and while there are some introductions, it can be difficult to remember who is who.

After the movie ended I went to the post office at South Station (open, even on a holiday!) to mail a book to my mother (we had each bought a book that the other was interested in, so we did a book exchange, across the miles. She bought Emma, and I bought Eligible). After that, I went home, got in bed, and slept for a while (again).

change up

Nov. 16th, 2015 08:26 pm
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Back in July I found out that my long-time hairdresser was selling up and moving to be closer to his family. Now he's been cutting my hair for the past 20+ years. We have a great relationship. He doesn't ask me what I want to do with my hair, he just knows. He also knows that I run early, and will try and accommodate that where possible.

I remained in denial about his departure for a couple of months. At the beginning of September I called one of the people he recommended. Hi, I'd like to make an appointment with [name]. The salon receptionist replied how about next Thursday at 1:30? Me I'm working, does she have any time in the evening? Salon How about 5:00 the Tuesday after that? In frustration I replied never mind and hung up.

But my hair continued to grow. It took longer to dry. I didn't like that. It's getting towards hair freezing season, so I knew I had to do something. I called the recommended salon back and booked an appointment for her next Saturday opening (which was 2.5 weeks out!). The first thing they did was ask for my email address. Not bad, I thought. Until the spam arrived. Unsubscribe!

That was last Saturday. I arrived early (as usual). The salon is quite cramped, eight chairs and two hair wash stations in not a very large space. She was running a few minutes late so I sat and read on my iPhone while I waited.

Luckily I had a recent picture of myself that I was able to show her to give her some idea of what I wanted. Did she get it right? No, I don't think so. I miss my old hairdresser so much. My hair is now both too long and too short at the same time. Too long at the front, too short at the back. Oh, and her appointments are an hour long. An hour!. My old guy could wash and cut me in 20 minutes! This new woman took 40.

Will I go back? I'll see how I feel after the New Year. This haircut should last me that long, I hope.
hr_macgirl: (splash)
This morning in the pool I heard Alanis' take on "Crazy", followed immediately by Seal's single version of the same song. What are the chances?
hr_macgirl: (splash)
I listen to music while I swim. For a while, I was using the X1 Waterproof iPod shuffle case (formerly known as "H2O Audio"), along with a standard issue iPod shuffle. However, the case never seemed to last long, the ear plugs would eventually lose sound out of one ear or the other. In addition, the water sealant wasn't perfect, and I had a couple of iPod shuffles die because they got wet.

So I changed tactics and moved on to a waterproof iPod shuffle, which I clip to the back of my goggles. That required me to get separate headphones, and I started by going with the same brand (X1) as my old waterproof iPod case. However, I found the cable very long (it was as long as a standard set of headphones!), so I ended up having to tie a knot in the headphones so they wouldn't drape down my back.

I then moved on to Swimbuds, which had a nice short cord. However, the earbuds don't fit well in my ears, and even worse, the headphones die after less than three months (of admittedly daily wear, but still!). I've gone through two sets and have had multiple warranty replacements on each unit. My most recent set died yesterday, and I immediately put in a warranty replacement request (very quickly, because they only have a 90 day warranty!), while at the same time, going back to my old X1 headphones.

I bought myself a set of Swimbuds Sport which have a one year warranty. I'm unsure what I'll think of them because they haven't arrived yet! I hope they will fit my ears better. I live in hope.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
I've had my brand new iPhone 6 for all of 28 hours now, long enough to charge it, do a couple of restores (one at home for apps, one at work for everything else), and take it out on a long walk this morning.

What I love about it: the big screen, being able to see so much more in iBooks, the camera.

What I don't love about it: the "screen sleep" button has moved, and my automatic finger gesture doesn't know it yet! It had been on the top of the iPhone since the first generation model, and now it's on the right hand side (opposite the volume buttons). I'm sure I'll get used to it, but for now I keep reaching for the wrong location.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
The BBC recently did a list of Top 10 cover versions, and The Pet Shop Boys' Always On My Mind topped the list. I remember keenly when I was in England during Christmas of 1987, and the song was on heavy airplay (in fact, it was the Christmas #1 for that year).

Other good songs are on the Top 10 cover versions list, including All Along the Watchtower, but none have quite the special place in my heart as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe belting out the song.

hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
The weather was terrible last night, blowing winds, rain sideways, you name it.

I went to bed as usual, not thinking much of it. In the middle of the night I woke up, and squinted at my watch. Now I'm wearing a "temporary" watch because my precious Citizen C605 is off getting repaired. My temp watch is a waterproof Casio that cost me $15 (which I purchased because it was waterproof and only cost me $15!). It doesn't have an analog mode (like my C605), only digital.

The watch said "00:00". I panicked, thinking I had left it on "stopwatch" mode, wondering what time it really was. I know there had been power outages all over, and I was afraid my alarm hadn't gone off. I reached over to my iPhone, and it said "00:00".... in other words, midnight, 24 hour time. The power hadn't gone off, I had just happened to wake up and check the time at exactly midnight.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
Columbus Day weekend meant no work on Monday (woo!).

Got home Friday in time for a nap. Had a quiet Friday night.

Saturday was at the pool for 7am, then ran some errands, including picking up a bunch of books at the library. It's feast or famine as far as inter-library loan is considered. Either all of the books come in at once, or none come in! Later on Saturday I watched some English television and slept. One of the books I picked up was Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival. I've started in on it and have found it enjoyable (if one can consider the loss of that many lives enjoyable!).

Sunday I took a long walk through Back Bay and Beacon Hill, talked to my parents, slept some more. Caught up on Downton Abbey (season 5, episode 3). I also watched "This Old House" and saw one of my friends on the "Ask This Old House" segment. Cool!

Monday I swam early, went to the New Balance store. I then caught the 86 bus to Cleveland Circle and the D line inbound (was lucky enough to land a seat on the Type 8 because it was a long ride!) to Auditorium. My destination was l'Occitane. I'm out of shea butter body cream and it's coming up for the season, so I wanted to stock up. Well I got over there to find the store closed for remodeling. Dammit. The only other store in the Boston area is at Logan, and I wasn't about to go there, so I went home and mail ordered a supply instead. After lunch I had yet another nap. Four days, four naps. What a life!
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I heard Crosby Stills & Nash "Marrakesh Express" this morning when swimming. It reminded me of seeing the movie Coral Reef Adventure back in 2003, which was an IMAX film with a CSN(Y) soundtrack.
hr_macgirl: (Default)

I heard The Cranberries "Linger" on my way to work the other day, and the song is now stuck in my head.

lyrics )

Posted via

hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I love long course. The lane lengths, the lane widths. It's all good...except sharing with people who are too fast, too slow, or both (those people who sprint then go into a slow set).

This morning, it was just my swimming buddy and I in our lane. We had no lane invaders. No boys with fins. No Pellegrino-sipping gropers. No water walkers.

If only long course could always be that way.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
when I was swimming this morning, I heard Eric Clapton's "Let it Rain", and the song has been stuck in my head all day!

Judy Blume

Jul. 11th, 2014 08:43 pm
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
I read Judy Blume when I was younger. Perhaps you did as well. Here's a terrific article in the Guardian about her.
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

Lately I've been rereading Terry Pratchett (some reading, some listening via audiobook). I started with City Watch, moved onto the Witches. Death is next.

I always knew Discworld books were funny, but this is like reading them for the first time. Hilarious.

Nigel Planer does most of the narration (no matter how much I like Tony Robinson, I am listening to the unabridged books) and does an excellent job.

Posted via

hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)

The problem with requesting books online is that I can't always remember where the recommendation came from. I picked up a book at the library this past weekend that I requested ages ago, and I honestly can't remember where I heard about it.

Oh well. I'm enjoying it at least!

("Suzanne Davis gets a life" by Paula Marantz Cohen. It's a very New York book, so perhaps I read about it in the Times or WSJ).

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hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Last summer, my sister's Rhodesian ridgeback mix died, just before she was scheduled to take a long vacation (my sister, not the dog, although the dog was going to have to go into the kennel). Sassy was a great dog, quite high strung, but an integral part of the family. None of us knew how old she was as she was a rescue. Towards the end of her life, she got all grey around her muzzle, but she never stopped barking at the UPS man.

It made me think about Toby. He turned 12 last autumn, definitely old for a cocker spaniel. Sassy's illness and subsequent death reinforced Toby's age, when last month Toby had a serious health scare. He went several days without eating, and was vomiting frequently. Instead of being content to sit in the house, he wanted to be outside, in my parents' back yard. My Dad could tell Toby was in pain, but there was nothing he could do about it. Toby also lost several pounds in weight.

After some veterinary care, it was determined that Toby didn't have any sort of blockage, but he did eventually recover. His digestive system is a little more fragile than before (my parents have started wetting his food down so he doesn't gobble it as quickly). Still, there's no doubt he's an old dog. When I was out at my parents' recently, Toby was more reluctant to go for walks (Dad and I managed to get him around the block most mornings, but Toby doesn't really like going to the park anymore). He's also mostly deaf, and my parents have had to start using hand signals to communicate with him.

How long will he last: six months? A year? When I think of how much fun I've had with Toby, the idea of the impending end upsets me. I took some fabulous trips to stay with him while my parents were both away and not away. I think the ones when they were away were the best. I had no other duties apart from to keep Toby occupied and to do the same with myself. I went to lots of yoga classes and took Toby for lots of walks. He slept on my bed and we generally bonded.

Toby isn't gone yet, but I'm afraid of the inevitable. Each trip back to my parents' makes me wonder if I will see him again.
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