Friday, January 30, 2009


Three posts in one day!

I am at the moment by myself in a large computer lab, 'cause everyone else has better stuff to do at 7 on a Friday night. So do I, as it happens. I'm outta here shortly.

Why am I blogging from here? 'Cause my laptop is throwing fits. I'll be going along, playing a game, reading my email, writing a blog entry, and suddenly for a few seconds it freezes. It's almost like the machine gets a cramp. This used to happen very rarely, so rarely that I didn't take it to get serviced -- because I couldn't be sure it would do it for the tech guys and I didn't want them to think I was a nut. Now it's happening about once every half hour.

And now Circuit City is going out of business and I have no idea what this does to my protection plan. I'm also pretty sure the plan's about to run out. Laptop is old. It was old when I bought it -- it was the floor model, so I got it at a reduced price with the knowledge that it had been on and operating for most of its time in the store. Think it's time for a new one? Maybe.

It'll have to wait until I get my tax refund, and considering my taxes just got more complicated, I don't know how long that will be. Now I have PMI and mortgage interest to declare as write-offs. I think I have to use 1040-long form this year. Eeeee! I'm a grown-up!

So anywho, that's why I'm alone in a computer lab on a Friday evening. Now I'm taking myself off to dinner (just got paid! Woo-hoo!) and am heading home. Here's hoping Creepy McSmarmypants doesn't try his "hey-baby-I'm-in-the-book" nonsense on the bus tonight. It's been a grump-making kind of day, and the filter between my mind and mouth isn't fitting as snugly as it should.

Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter

Here's what I meant about Fry and Laurie:

Sometimes work seems like a Fry and Laurie sketch

I found fragments of this post buried in my drafts section. Thought I might as well post it, (after some editing) 'cause even though it is a little out of date, it's still true.

Backstory: The Chief Loon and I both work at the same library. She works in Lending, I work in Cataloging. One of my projects is to barcode volumes of serial titles. The long-range goal is to make sure everything in our library has a barcode attached to it and is in the system. Most of the books are done, but there are thousands of periodical volumes that aren't barcoded. Right now I'm working on a list given to me by someone in another department, because she needs these specific things done for another project.

Anyway, I'd just bumped into a run of volumes that had been put into phase boxes as extra protection for them--they were old and fragile. Not old or fragile enough for Special Collections, I guess. I'd picked up a box in the run and thought it much lighter than its brothers. I had a feeling it was empty. I was right. No book in the box, nor was it anywhere on the shelf or on any of the shelves nearby. I checked in sorting areas, on tables, on the trucks at the ends of rows, by photocopiers--nothing. My last guess at where it could be (besides being stolen, which is probably what happened to it) is to go into the Dewey section of the library, because even though the boxes had Library of Congress numbers on them, the volumes themselves still had their old Dewey decimal numbers. On my way to the Dewey section I passed the circulation desk, where the Chief was on duty:

Chief Loon: Hi there!
Me: Hi. Look at this. [I show her empty box] I think someone stole this book.
CL: Oh, dear.
M: Yeah. I looked all over the place for it, can't find it. My last hope is that someone put it in the Deweys.
CL: Well, that's an idea. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Me: Me too. Fingers, toes, knees, eyes...going to be hard to walk. Well, maybe not eyes. What if I find it with crossed eyes? Then we'll have two. We don't need a duplicate.
CL: Besides, if you go around crossing your i's you'll have to start dotting your t's.
Me: Well, I was cataloging Yiddish materials this morning...*
CL: There you are. [turns to a patron who's just walked up to the desk] Hi! May I help you?

Ah, yes. The absurdist conversation. Another reason I love living in a college town.

And no, I never did find the book.

*See this chart. Middle of the third row, letter called "samekh"

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm on the bus, headed home after a trip to a craft store and a grocery store. As we round the corner onto the street ahead of mine, I glance around at my fellow passengers and see an odd-looking man with long black hair and a brown leather jacket. He's gazing at me with a look that can only be described as knowing. I quickly look away and make very sure I don't look at him again. That would only be asking for trouble.

Too late.

"Do you take this bus often?"

I look up. He's standing right in front of me, on his way out of the bus.


"Well, I'll catch you next time. My name is [first name]. [First name, last name]. I'm in the book. Give me a call."

And then he strut-swaggers (swagger-struts?) out the door. I catch the eye of the woman across the aisle from me.

"I don't think so," I say after the door closes. She shakes her head and smiles in sympathy.

So now I'm going to be on the look-out for this dude every bus trip, without seeming to be looking for him or recognizing him. I'm hoping he a) forgets me or b) takes a hint from my lack of phone call.

Sigh. I must be some sort of beacon for weird guys on the bus. It almost makes me nostalgic for Twitch. Almost.

On an unrelated note: My blog turned three yesterday. Aside from attending school and being a member of a children's choir (I sang with them from ages 8-12. Had to quit when I turned 13, because the conductor had a rule about no high school children in her choir. I was very sorry to go), this is the longest I've stuck with anything.

And guess what! Momo-Mama referred to me in her blog!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"There's always more work to do."

We interrupt this blog for a brief political message.

If you don't want to watch it, go here for some nice Irish step-dancing, but please do come back. I don't generally do politics, mainly because my family's a mixed-party family, and I'm probably not going to write about it again any time soon. Someone tweeted me the following, and the whole time I watched it I was nodding and saying, "yep."

We now return you to your regular blog. Thank you.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Just a teeny tiny post for now. I have a fifteen minute break and nobody to talk to, so I'm blogging. Don't you feel lucky?

I'm a one-woman serials cataloging team today. Everyone else is either on vacation, out sick, or not due in until March (Deena's on a 10-month contract). I's lonely. Pretty sure I just saw a tumbleweed blow by.

I've been spending the day barcoding stuff in the stacks 'cause it's freakin' cold in my cubicle, and yesterday I found out where all the heat is: stack level 2A. That's where I've been most of the morning. Came back for lunch and to input the barcodes from this morning, and after I hit publish I'm headed back over there.

Is it the weekend yet?

I don't know why I'm wishing the day away. There's a massive project headed my way, coming in from another campus. It's due here on Monday. It was Deena's project originally, but they kept pushing the start date back, and now she's gone for two months so it's mine. Huzzah. It's huge, and it has to get out quickly because the room they're going to be storing things is sort of earmarked for something else that should be arriving soon. I suppose I should enjoy the quiet while it lasts, 'cause next week I'm going to be a bit frenzied.

Well, break's over. Back to work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No news is good news

Hi there.

Been a longish week. Lots of scurrying around from project to project, trying to make room in my schedule for something large that's coming next week.

Nothing new to report on the kitty health front, thank goodness. No more seizures, she's still bouncy, and she likes her food. And, as if she could sense I was writing about her, she just appeared at my feet. It's probably just to tell me it's time for bed.

Ay, caramba, it's cold over here. You know it's bad out when the weatherman promises that tomorrow it will go up to 12 degrees (that's Fahrenheit. It's somewhere below zero in Celcius. Brrrrrr). I am really, really grateful for those flannel sheets I got as a Christmas present. The cat likes them too.

She's still sitting here, staring at me. I suppose I should set up the coffee pot for tomorrow and head up the wooden hill.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Delilah's health

So the vet called me Thursday night. Delilah's blood work showed some elevated levels of things, not dangerous yet, but still not quite normal. It looks like she has the very beginnings of kidney disease. He prescribed special food for her, Hill's K/D, which is only available through vets' offices. He wants to see her again in a few weeks to see if her blood chemistry changes on the special food. We have an appointment for the 3rd of February.

I went and got some of this food on Friday morning.Thankfully, she likes it (considering it's the only thing she's allowed to eat now). We've had no more seizures, and she's upstairs right now, galloping around. Sounds like a herd of elephants. She hasn't done that in a few weeks, though I didn't realize that until she started to do it again. I guess the food is working.

I've been afraid to blog about this. Putting it in print makes it real.

The disease is not serious yet, but the vet made it sound like this isn't something that can be remedied. We can slow it way down but we can't stop it.

Well, she's 17 1/2. I can't be expecting her to live forever.

Why not?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

So far, 2009 stinks

Is there some sort of reboot button I can hit to start this year over?

Let's see, rotten head & chest cold that spills over into the new year from the old one, with a nagging cough that hangs around after all other symptoms have departed. And then? My cat has a seizure.

Yeah. Big fun today. Around 2:30-3:00, she's sitting on the back of the couch watching as I dance around to some music and clap arhythmically (because dancing like a spaz without clapping isn't nearly dorky enough), then she starts twitching, loses her balance, and is clinging to the sofa cushions, arching her back, panting, foaming at the mouth, and her pupils are dilating so wide I almost can't see her irises. I scoop her up in my arms, call her name over and over as hold her as close I can.

When she was done, she walked a little bit away from me, swaying like she'd lost her balance, and I don't think she could see there for a few minutes. She wouldn't look at me or respond to anything I said or did.

I called a vet -- the same one I took Dexter and Charlie to when the fostering agency wanted them tested for FIV.

Hang on. I just heard a "thump" from upstairs.

False alarm. Must've been a car door from outside. But that's how I am right now. Delilah seems fine, but I'm jumpy 'cause I'm worried about her health.

Anyway, the vet. They gave me an appointment for 6:40 this evening. I grabbed and locked the cat into the bathroom with me while I took a shower, and when I got out there was a message from the vet offering me a better time. They'd had some cancellations. I took it.

We got there by taxi. Typical Lolly, when I took her out of the carrier to get weighed, instead of trying to hide she wanted to explore the office. The assistants behind the desk remarked that she looked more like 6 than 17.

The vet listened to what happened, examined her, asked some questions, and then took her out of the room to get some blood samples. He's sending the samples off to get analyzed, and told me he should have the results tomorrow or the next day. He said it didn't look like a stroke. The blood tests will narrow down what it could be. Next step (if we need it) is an MRI or something like that. He said when there's another seizure, I'm to time it. And to make her comfortable -- turn off music or the TV, turn the lights down, take her down from somewhere if she's up high when it happens.

a) I don't want there to be another seizure, thankyouverymuch.
b) Acting like another seizure's a given is a good way to make your patient's owner want to bite you.
c) Sorry I didn't time the last one, doc. I was too busy worrying that my cat was about to die. "It felt like it went on forever, but it probably wasn't much over a minute" isn't a good enough measurement for you?

None of this was said out loud, but I'm pretty sure it was all written on my face.

She ate a lot when we came home, but not all at once. She'd go take a few mouthfuls, go get settled somewhere for a moment or two, then get up and go eat some more. I was hoping it was just that the seizure burned a lot of calories, and not that her short-term memory got affected.

Now she's sitting here next to me on the sofa, drifting off to sleep. IF I didn't know this had happened this afternoon, I wouldn't be able to tell. She's been running around and jumping up on things and yowling at me the way she always does. It makes me wonder if this is her first seizure or just the first one I've witnessed. Mom said Needles had these a lot when she got older, and that her vet said Siamese (and Siamese mixes) are prone to things like this as they age.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Word fun

Just Me did this on her blog, and since I can't think of anything to say, I thought I'd give it a go over here:

The idea is, after answering the first question, to find one-word answers beginning with the same letter as your first name. When it comes to the boy or girl name, you must use a first name other than your own.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME: It begins with "V," and we'll leave it at that.


GIRL NAME: Vivienne

OCCUPATION: ventriloquist -- other ones also occurred to me, but this one sprang to mind first, so I took it.

A COLOR: violet



FOOD: veal

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Vehicle -- usually the one ahead of the bus that has had an accident and is now blocking traffic.

SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: Vroom! (when babysitting little boys who play with toy cars. Okay, it's a stretch, but it happens. Occasionally.)

Anyone else wanna play?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello, 2009! (Cough, cough, cough)

Happy New Year!

Last night's celebration consisted of me watching the ball drop on Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show, toasting the New Year with some sparkling cranberry juice, 2 tweets, a failed attempt to call my sister's cell, and (bonus!) running upstairs to watch the First Night fireworks from my bedroom window. Where I was living last year I could only hear them.

I wound up not doing my little party of one. I was too tired, and just not into it. Besides, I didn't know whether my GI tract would take kindly to chips, cheese, turkey pepperoni, crackers, vegetables, dip, olives, and hummus. Instead I got it out today while I watched the Rose Parade. I like that HGTV shows it with limited commercial interruption, but I wish there was a way to mute the commentators and still hear the other sounds. One guy was talking about how much work it takes for a bands to get to the parade, how much time is spent in practice, in fund raising, blah, blah, blah, and I shouted at the screen, "Then why don't you shut up and let us hear them?!?"

I'm going a little stir-crazy, here.

Part of the reason behind taking an extra week off of work was to make sure I didn't go back before I was ready (I'm off 'til the 12th), but I didn't figure on catching the Creeping Crud. I don't know who gave it to me, maybe my parents, maybe some random stranger who breathed on me at Shady Maple. I just know that tomorrow, come hell or high water, I am getting outta here. Going to the mall. Or a movie. Something, anything that doesn't involve being curled up on the couch in a nest of blankets with the cat and the remote.

But right now I'm off to bed. Making up for not getting to sleep before one last night.