Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
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» Sunday, September 29, 2013"How Quiet...How Quiet the Chamber Is"
James worked Saturday, so I was on my own. I intended to go to the Farmer's Market, but nature screamed, and by the time I was done with that, it was nine o'clock and I knew there would be no parking spaces left, especially since it was a weekend for the artists' market, too. Willow can do without natural dog biscuits for a week and we can get grape tomatoes at the supermarket.
So I did some housework and put some things away, and then sat down to do some book reviews and watch Flipping Boston. They showed the first episode, the episode where Dave flips a house for an old friend, and finally the condo flip. The one quibble I had with the condo reno was Dave's surprise that a young woman showed up to check it out. This is a guy mindset that this design, with dark wood and one small closet, would only be seen as a "bachelor pad." The fact is that, if you were a woman who led an uncluttered life (including not having the dozens of shoes and clothes that most men assume all women have from the massive propaganda that surrounds women and their clothes/shoes, probably made up by clothing stores), this condo was still perfect. The dark woods in the kitchen were gorgeous and there was an abundance of prep and storage space. If a woman wanted some "typical feminine touches" as they do when staging homes, some small floral-patterned armchairs for either side of the fireplace, some soft items on the shelves along with books, a bowl of fruit or flowers on the island, interesting porcelain-look jars on the kitchen counters, a patterned rug, some floral prints or watercolors on the wall...perhaps a colored curtain instead of the white...excellent for a woman. Guys have to get out of this mindset that all women like girly-girly pink/white/purple crap, just like the stupid Disney princesses.
When James came home we had supper at Panera Bread. It was so lovely that we ate outside and I tossed bits of bread to the sparrows I could hear chirping but couldn't see. I had a cup of chicken noodle soup with their pasta bolognese, which is quite good. Then we had to pick up a replacement CO2 cartridge for James' soda stream and more pads for Willow's "litter box." Finally we stopped at Barnes & Noble, since our ten percent discount is worth twenty per cent this weekend, perfect for buying a couple of autumn magazines. I found a mystery called Anything But Civil; the main character being a woman "typewriter" (today we would call her a typist) in the late 19th century). Unfortunately it's a sequel and I have to hunt up the first book in the series. I also found A.J. Jacobs' newest book, Drop Dead Healthy, on the remainder table.
Was up late last night, first talking to Jen, who was back from one week's underway on her ship, and then Mike. We were watching shows off PBS's website, but the download speed was absurd and I finally gave up after the sound died halfway through the Earthflight episode about South America. Instead I put on Lassie's Great Adventure for the rest of the night.
Had a nice late sleep this morning later followed by a late breakfast. After a series of silly mis-steps we finally left the house, headed for the new used book store, 2nd and Charles. We had a coupon for $5 off $25—and, to be frank, I was still looking for the Doctor Who poster I saw there last time we visited. (I never found it; James did, and bought it for me.) I did find a nice brand-new copy of A History of the World in 100 Objects at half price, and with a gift book to bring it up to $25, it was a nice savings. After we were done shopping we sat in the Starbuck's next door and had some pumpkin bread.
On the way home we stopped at Publix for those grape tomatoes and a Sunday paper and a few other things, and when we arrived supper, slowly cooking in the crock pot—goat meat simmering in teriyaki/Hawaiian marinade, was finished, and we ate a delicious meal while watching Niagara Falls on PBS and then the first of the three new episodes of Foyle's War. World War II is over, and Christopher Foyle, returned from a trip to the United States, has been recruited by MI5 in the Cold War after his former driver, Samantha, has been implicated in a Soviet spy ring.
You know what I hate about British crime shows? You actually have to pay attention to them! You can't read, or write, or surf the internet while they are on or you will lose track of the plot. They're actually written for adults with an attention span! It's terrible! :-) :-) :-) Seriously, I was wondering if I would like a Foyle taken away from Hastings and plunged into a spy situation instead of a war situation. Silly me to have doubted good scriptwriting and the exemplary acting of Michael Kitchen.
Now I'm on to the season premiere of Elementary.
» Thursday, September 26, 2013...
How many things have changed from last Thursday.
I'm not sure I want to even talk about it all, but I must. It's bottled up and needs to flow. Some times were good. At work we took a co-worker who was leaving out to lunch on Friday at Olive Garden. Found out my team lead used to work at NASA in a clean room, making containers for equipment on the space shuttle. Cool. Saturday we had Hair Day in the morning and a birthday dinner for David Gibson in the evening. John and Betty had just come back from vacation; they went to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Devil's Tower, and John had photos on his phone (ain't technology wonderful?). Sunday, after grocery shopping, we went to the Michaels sale so I could get a few things for Christmas crafts, and then we had a birthday dinner for Aubrey Spivey, who just turned twenty.
Overlaying the entire weekend was the fact that Schuyler wasn't feeling very well. She'd started her fall moult some days ago and it slowly became evident that this was a more extensive moult than usual. Her spring moult has always been very severe, and I started the same procedures I always do in the spring: making sure she is warm, having extra fruit, and monitoring her droppings. On Thursday she was mostly her usual self; I was playing John Denver records while I worked rather than having the television on and she was pissed at me. I sang a couple of songs to her and that mollified her somewhat. Over the weekend, though, she got quieter and I did everything I'd done in the past when she wasn't feeling good, half-covering her cage and giving her millet to tempt her appetite. She was sleepy enough on Sunday that I was worried about her.
Monday all three of us were sick. I know better than to eat shrimp on a day before I need to go in to work. Schuyler was fluffed but eating, which is about normal when she did a big spring moult. Willow threw up. All of us slept most of the day.
Tuesday Skye looked her worst. She'd eaten a grape and the skin was stuck to her nose, and it had made her droppings loose. I had to clean her beak for her and around her vent feathers. After that she actually perked up a little. I talked to the vet in the evening, but the most they could have done was kept her under observation until Wednesday at one o'clock. I put a heating pad under her cage, and she was eating ravenously again. She was so hungry that when I refilled her pellet dish she actually sat on my hand to eat the pellets before I could actually get it put back up. In six years my little wild child refused to sit on a finger. Oh, she wanted company! When I ate oatmeal she begged for some, and if I came by with mandarin oranges she wanted those, too. Her favorite time was when we danced together at the beginning of Ellen or I put her cage on my television tray so she could watch with us. She was totally social as long as it didn't involve sitting on a finger.
Wednesday her eyes brightened back up. She was preening herself again, even her tail, eating, taking little naps, and then starting the cycle over again. Not talking much, but one doesn't get over being sick quickly. Kept her warm with a heating pad under the cage. Felt good enough about how she was feeling to go to work Wednesday morning for a few hours: I had an award to post, two modifications to do, a short training class to attend, and I wanted to pull a file to use as reference. Then I came home to finish doing research for a new order and keep an eye on Schuyler. I was happy with what I saw. Her eyes were bright and her droppings were normal, just a bit wet. Again, typical for moulting. I was still keeping her warm with the heating pad.
Wednesday night she climbed into her swing to sleep as always and slept there all night. When I peeked under the cage cover this morning, she gave me that quizzical, sweet look she always did if I peeked under the cage cover: "Mommy, is that you?" She looked okay. I went to get dressed and move my desk into place so I could work.
By the time I got back to uncover her, she was looking a little odd. She seemed unbalanced as she climbed to the bottom of the cage, and she stumbled around a bit before she found the flat dish I had put at the bottom of the cage so she could forage and pecked at a few seeds. This wasn't good. I was able to reach into the cage and catch her easily, where as even two days ago, when she looked worse, I had to take her into a darkened room to be able to do it. I looked her over but nothing seemed to be wrong except that she was still thin from eating little on Friday and Saturday. When I picked her up she started screeching at me, and even when I settled her in the little carry box she still was crying out and couldn't seem to stand up straight.
I was dressed, but not to go out, and threw on pants and a shirt and shoes and got my wallet and rushed down the stairs with the box just in time to see the guys arrive to cut the lawn. Well, they were going to have to wait for their payment. I was just getting in the car when Schuyler screeched again and started kicking and thrashing her wings. I knew something bad was happening and it was happening now and stumbled out of the car and into the house. All I wanted to do was hold her.
Habit was too strong. The rule is that before I touch the bird I have to wash my hands.
And by the time I did that she was gone, her third eyelid slack.
So that is what has been happening this week. That is what happened. I finished my fourth quarter work successfully and got praised on two fronts, and had a happy luncheon and two happy dinners, and it doesn't matter because my little wild child is gone. My little hen who loved oatmeal and grapes and Zupreem fruit pellets and Mandarin oranges...who loved to travel to that "little room with a teevee" and never turned a hair, even going up that steep, steep hill to the cabin in Gatlinburg, even when her sister the dog was whining because she couldn't figure out why we did this weird vacation thing...who loved Kathie Lee and Hoda, and Ellen, and her most favorite things of all, birdies on the television and the Murray Gold arrangement of the Doctor Who theme (really—she'd hear the music and shriek happily in a volley of chirps)...who answered every night when I came home and called her name. She never sat on my finger, and after a while I didn't care. Schuyler stayed true to herself; she had her likes and her dislikes and never changed because it was expected of her.
James came home from work to keep me company. He said I needed to eat, so we went out to lunch, and then we had to go to Lowes, to buy a concrete paving square to use as a grave marker. We also had to buy grass seed because when they cut the lawn, the lawn guys got their power mower stuck in the swampy grass next to the house. Pulling it out left three big gashes in what scraggly lawn there was there. We spent about an hour tilling the soil, then wetting it down and scattering grass seed. And I cut down the nandina and we set St. Francis on a piece of paving stone so you could see him better. It kept my mind off things.
Funny, it was cloudy grey all morning, but as we came out of Lowes the dark clouds were gone and the sky was brilliant blue and white, just like Schuyler's feathers. Her way of telling us, perhaps, that she made it home.
We buried her next to Pigwidgeon, under the trees, with the birds flitting overhead eating from the feeders. It was almost sunset, but the sky was still blue and white, the breeze soft and cooling. A perfect day...an imperfect day. Life's like that.
Schuyler Hedwig Young, April 23, 2007 - September 26, 2013
"Sleep well, my little love."
» Saturday, September 21, 2013High Wind Over New England
When I was a kid, I didn't ask for fairy tales. Instead I'd say to my mother, "Tell the story about Pearl Harbor" (which was scary and sad all at once and I never could get the image out of my head of everyone just spontaneously going to church to pray) or "Tell the story about the hurricane" (which was thrilling and scary and as good as the Brothers Grimm). We also had what I called "the hurricane book" up in the attic; it was published by the Providence Journal in 1954 after Hurricane Carol roared through. It had comparison photos of the damage done by the Hurricane of '38 and done by Carol.
(The only big hurricane I remember was Donna, when I was not quite five years old. We had no power for three days, and, even worse, no milk! When the power suddenly came back on on the third day, my first remark was "Ohboy, I can watch TV now!" <grin> We lost a bunch of shingles off the roof, and the wind was so strong that it broke the television aerial which was mounted to the chimney and left a big crack in the latter which, patched, was still visible in 2005 when the house was sold.)
I didn't realize until it was too late that I never asked my dad about either one of those days and don't have his memories to go along with hers.
Today is the 75th anniversary of the Great Hurricane of 1938, also known as "The Long Island Express" from the speed in which it battered Long Island's southern shore area.
The National Weather Service's Retrospective
The Providence Journal (check out the videos page! in the newsreel footage narrated by Ed Herlihy, the scenes of the trolley underwater are from downtown Providence)
American Experience's "Hurricane of '38" Special (one of my favorite installments)
Suffolk County, New York, History
Personal Story in the New York Times
Two excellent books on the hurricane:
A Wind to Shake the World by Everett S. Allen (Allen started work as a New Bedford newspaperman the day before the hurricane struck; he certainly didn't lack for material)
Sudden Sea by R. A. Scotti (Scotti's imagery is very evocative; I was reading this for the first time on a windy, overcast day and when she got to the part where the hurricane struck I actually had chills)
Great Hurricane: 1938 by Cherie Burns (substandard but still interesting)
This is a new one which hasn't been released yet ($36...ouch! Think I'll wait for reviews):
Taken by Storm, 1938 by Lourdes B. Aviles
» Tuesday, September 17, 2013
FOR TODAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
Outside my window...
...it's a cloudy day right now, which suits me fine. Since it is still relatively cool (71°F), cloudy, and breezy, I can have the windows open as I work. I even have the front door open a bit so the crossdraft is coming through fine. Eventually the sun will come out and the A/C will kick on, but right now it's nice.
I am thinking...
...how long it's been since I've done one of these. End-of-fiscal-year gets worse every year, and it seems to get longer every year. Or maybe it's just because the time doing things I enjoy goes by so quickly that it just appears long.
I am thankful...
...for a cool day and not a bad summer. It rained much of the summer and even when it was in the 80s, there were nice lush breezes most of the time. It even stayed relatively okay for DragonCon (coupled with our "chill cloths," which really did help) and was only bad, sadly, for the Yellow Daisy Festival.
In the kitchen...
...crickets are chirping. I have washed out one of the goose-themed canning jars to put James' soy crackers in, though.
I am wearing...
...purple and blue spotted black top and aqua shorts and my black scuffs. Nice and cool working here at home. Have finished one purchase order and going on to another.
I am creating...
...I have to clear off the rest of my craft desk, but I have a few little projects I need to get cracking on for Christmas. I bought something for a relative, and have other little bits and bobs to go to friends.
I am going...
...er, crazy? No, that was a few weeks back. I think I've skipped crazy (which should put a hoodoo on me for sure). Going to a birthday dinner soon! Going to the Georgia Apple Festival and the Friends of the Library book sale in October.
I am wondering...
...when the vet is going to help us with Willow's problem. They mention her heart murmur—well, she is fifteen!—and the possibility she might have Cushing's disease (which they've talked about for the last seven years), but nothing about the house training aberrations.
I am reading...
...About Time, Volume 7, by Tat Wood from Mad Norwegian Press, an examination of the Christopher Eccleston and first season of David Tennant Doctor Who episodes, as well as Alexandra Horowitz's On Looking.
I am hoping...
...for Autumn. Soon.
I am looking forward to...
...isn't this the same question? LOL. Aubrey's birthday dinner. And September 30.
Around the house...
...well, it's later, because I didn't have time to finish at lunch. The sun came out and I had to close the windows, so it's quieter: I can't hear the fans or the cicadas in the trees behind the house. Willow has shifted position from the chair to the top of the stairs, better to see her Daddy coming, so her collar tags are jingling. Schuyler's half asleep, and Leo LaPorte is talking about the newest iPhone with fingerprint ID. Otherwise it's quiet.
I am pondering...
...people, again, specifically the Miss America incident. If you've been living without news for a few days, the new Miss America was born in Syracuse, New York, and is of Indian heritage. After her award, a barrage of tweets and other social media posts accused her of being a "terrorist," a "foreigner"—and those were the nicer comments. What is with people?
A favorite quote for today...
Found this on a Charles Wysocki painting; ah, now there's nice weather for you!:
"The sharp wind wails and blows its whistle,
Piercing the meadow and cutting the thistle;
Stabbing, jabbing, pounding the doors,
Rattling the hinges then over the moors;
Wild and invisible it darts and whips,
Kissing the land with cold, cold lips;
Hear now the cry of the forest trees,
As the wind moans a promise to cover and freeze."
One of my favorite things...
...James is making homemade pizza, with diced tomatoes, bacon, black olives, and cheddar cheese. Yum!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Finishing those dang purchase orders, if ICE doesn't finish me off first. I had two purchase orders completely finished and just finished another...and then ICE lost the entire thing. I had to rebuild and retype it all. Phooey.
A peek into my day...
Oh, come on, like you want a photo of a red-faced me screaming at my computer. So much for the 90 over 50 blood pressure reading I had last week! Here, watch Peter Davison play the guitar accompanied by Sylvester McCoy on spoons instead. Much better viewing!
If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.
Labels: Simple Woman's Daybook
» Sunday, September 15, 2013"TV Guide," Memories, and Back Roads
Ah, well, not as cool this morning as yesterday, but we didn't care as we were sleeping in (except for when James had to take Willow out) and having a long, leisurely breakfast of toast and jam.
We put a "Splendid Table" on the player and had a nice drive out through back roads to Acworth. We used to take Lost Mountain/Mars Hill Road, but it's become so built up that the traffic has increased, and it's especially bad when you reach the two churches in a row after going past the "dueling supermarkets." Now we go through West Sandtown and then Due West, which has widely-spaced properties interrupted by little pastures dotting either side of the road with grazing horses (and in one case, a cow!).
I wanted to go to Books-a-Million today to see if they had the new "Country" (because the issue with the fall photos should be out). This was a bad idea. :-) Instead, I found Star Trek FAQ 2.0, which covers the films and Next Gen, and also what is probably one of a dozen books that is coming out for the fiftieth anniversary, Doctor Who: Celebrating Fifty Years. Also picked up the 2014 mini-Susan Branch calendar, which I had to go searching for last year, a fall cross-stitch magazine, a Christmas magazine, and the Fall Preview "TV Guide."
When I was a kid, the Fall Preview "TV Guide" was a big thing. It used to come out right after Labor Day, if you went to the right store (others didn't put it out until Friday, the day before the local listings started, and who wanted to wait that long?). I'd come home from the first day of school and walk the almost mile to Food Town, or, later, the over a mile to Thall's Drugstore to get that "TV Guide." Eventually I started keeping big scrapbooks of my favorite shows and would end up buying two issues, because inevitably two shows I liked were on either side of the page from each other. Mom wouldn't let me keep all the issues, either, or I would have bought them every week and had a nice collection up in the attic, but I was allowed to keep the Fall Previews. I have them going back to 1961. So when I finally did get a subscription, after I went to work, I had to tear the articles I liked out of it. But the subscription inevitably arrived late (thanks, USPS!), sometimes even after the date it was supposed to start, so I still went to Thall's to get my Fall Preview early. :-)
Let's face it, "TV Guide" quit being fun once they didn't do regional issues anymore. I used to collect a "TV Guide" every time we went on vacation because the programming in each region was different. Seacoast towns had boat reports and fishing shows and beach programs; mountain towns had hunting shows, tourist-related programs; the Midwest had farm reports and 4H programming and chatter about grain stocks. You could check out the local children's hosts, see what reruns they had on before prime time programming, who the news hosts were, and see how funny it was that prime time started at six o'clock in Colorado, leading to many stations with movies or old Alfred Hitchcock shows on after 9 p.m. Once cable entries started, the same everywhere, it was the beginning of the end. But I have "TV Guides" to bring back nice memories: of the miniature golf courses in Lake George, flying to Pittsburgh for a Space: 1999 convention, the long flat golden plains of Kansas and the long flat green plains of Nebraska, walking the "old" Strip (with the Sands, the Dunes, the Stardust, the Frontier) in Las Vegas, riding down Lombard Street in San Francisco and visiting CBS Television City in Los Angeles. I even have a pseudo-"TV Guide" in French from Quebec, which brings back a sunny morning at the Citadel, the overlook of the St. Lawrence, Ste. Anne de Beaupre, and the flower-girded Provincial Buildings.
Anyway, done at the bookstore, we had a short lunch at Panera, and then went to the Kroger a few shopping centers down. This has to be the worst-arranged Kroger I have ever been in (and the old Smyrna Kroger was pretty bad). The bread was at one end, wedged behind produce and the health food, and the bakery at the other, and the aisles have no rhyme nor reason to them. Eventually we found what we were looking for and headed home, stopping by Publix for a couple of twofers on the way. Once I'd gone out and filled up my car, we were done—of course, by then it was supper time.
Bought some chicken legs for supper and cooked them while finally watching Broadchurch. We've had five episodes stacked on the DVR. Unfortunately part two was almost a half-hour short (probably the result of a thunderstorm that night), but thankfully there are detailed synopses on the IMDb. Excellent all 'round; a nice complex mystery threaded in with the portrait of a close-knit community horrified by the death of a little boy. David Tennant plays the world-weary detective worn down from a mistake made on a former case well, except his Dr.-House-like five-o'clock-shadow looks entirely too groomed (and why would any police department allow him to go around looking like that?). Can't wait for the final three parts!
Did not realize the first of the four (?) new Foyle's War episodes were starting on GPB tonight and missed it completely. I can only hope WPBA will start running it in a week or two so we can catch that episode again.
» Saturday, September 14, 2013Tastes Good Like a Festival Should
Hark, hark, the dog does bark...but why before the alarm?
But we were going to the Farmer's Market anyway, so might as well get up.
We had a cold front go through late yesterday, and the weather was glorious this morning: a sky of bright winter blue, temperature about 60°F, a light breeze blowing. We could drive with the windows down and were comfortable enough to stroll through the twice-monthly artists' market that sets up on Mill Street and check out the jewelry, artwork, and crafts. At the Farmer's Market, we bought cucumbers, baking potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, some brownies for dessert, and boiled peanuts and chicken salad for James. The Capra Gia folks ("goat cheese guy") brought a two-day old kid with them, and were letting the children feed it with a baby bottle. You should have see the little white goat waggling her tail as she nursed. All I could think of was Heidi and the Alm Uncle's little goat Schwanli.
From the market we went directly to Costco, intending to stock up on toilet paper and Mandarin oranges. We also had coupons for omeprazole and loratadine. Well, we found Star Trek: Into Darkness on sale, and they had a new stock of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, including a neat storm grey color in my size and, even better, my length, that I couldn't resist. They will look slick with my bright blue winter sweater!
Once home James left for his club meeting, and I washed the bathroom floor, made the bed, topped off my omeprazole bottle, cut out coupons, and dubbed off Joanna Bogle's newest Feasts & Seasons about the saints. I could have sworn I had five of these, but there were only four. There was a Lassie episode I was keeping, too, "The Moved Monument." I want a couple of more, too, like "The Rescue" with Kenneth Tobey, "Fire Watchers" with Ruth taking a turn in a fire tower, "The Musher," which takes place at a winter carnival, and "Deadly Goats," where Paul's goats are suspected of having anthrax.
I was thinking I need to start spiffing up my Lassie website; it's my most popular site and two big anniversaries are coming up: December 17 is the 75th anniversary of the Lassie character; Eric Knight's short story was first published in the December 17, 1938, issue of the "Saturday Evening Post." Next September 12 is the 60th anniversary of the first episode of the television series. Special moves should be afoot. :-)
Tonight for supper we went to Taste of Smyrna. Yes, I badly abused my digestion, but I enjoyed what I ate: a crabcake that was much too peppery, but so "crabby" that I ate it anyway, between bites of Atkins Park's "drunken pork roast" over white grits, to cut the fire. (I don't usually eat grits, which tells you how good these are). Also had some chicken pad thai, and some pork barbecue from Williamson with very little sauce (it's still coming up on me). For dessert, chocolate ice cream from Brusters. We didn't go until 6:30, just as the sun was getting low, so it was pleasant, if not cool, and not suffocating in the crowds of people going from booth to booth. (But, dang, doesn't anyone make a crabcake without a ton of pepper in it?)
Oh, here's the Doctor Who poster we saw last night, except the one we saw was horizontal, not vertical.
» Friday, September 13, 2013"Dry Cleaning" and Other Adventures
So nice to have a day to sleep in. Was so tired I completely slept through James' alarm and mine thirty seconds later, waking up about eight.
I had an appointment
The appointment was a breeze; not sure why women hate mammograms—I can only think it's because they are afraid of the possible results. I'll be thinking about them, too, until the results come in, but the process is less uncomfortable than going to a dentist.
Came home by Walmart. I knew this was where we had bought the now missing combination lock for the back gate, and I was right. Also picked out a new rug for near the deck door as the pretty one I had bought was too tall for the door to open over it. Then got some odds and ends like Breathe Rights, and was out pretty quickly for a Walmart run.
Stopped by the bank for money for the Farmer's Market for the comedy portion of my day. Went to the drive-up ATM. Drove up precisely so I could feed the card into the reader—and promptly dropped it. So I had to move the car up, get out, pick up the card, and run it. When I stepped back to the car, my door was jammed in the holly bush that lined the side of the bank. I had to move up to get it loose. Then, as I drove away, I realized I had the money I withdrew and the receipt, but no card. So made a big circle, parked behind the bank, and walked back to the holly bush, and there was the card. [eyes roll]
Finally to the library to return a very overdue book, and stopped at Aldi for milk, then home. Put the bedclothes in the dryer, did some vacuuming, dubbed off Easter Unwrapped, which has been on the DVR for a year and a half, and, finally, having shut the television and lulled by both a sleeping budgie and a sleeping terrier, joined them in a nap.
We went to SteviB's for supper, then stopped by Barnes & Noble to check out the magazines. Found a new "Cross Stitch and Needlework" with lovely fall patterns. While looking to see if they had "Country," I wandered to the regional rack and gave a squeal James heard two racks away: I found a "Best of British"! I haven't seen this magazine in a store in Georgia since the year the Buckhead Borders store went out of business (and they'd only started getting them again; the last one I'd found before that was in the Garden City Borders in Rhode Island the year my mother passed away).
We were up at Town Center to check out a new store called 2nd and Charles, run by the Books-a-Million people. It's mainly a used bookstore, with some new books scattered about (they had a wonderful eleven Doctors poster, but I have no idea where I'd put it; all our walls are taken! and some British Who novels published to celebrate the 50th anniversary), but they also have CDs, DVDs, some musical instruments, and—oh, my ears and whiskers!—record albums! Real live LPs! They take trades (even iPhones and iPads), and I think they want to be McKay's [up in Tennessee] when they grow up. :-) I wandered about expecting to find nothing, and found a beautiful coffee table book of Charles Wysocki art and what I think is a British book called Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters, with not only the feature-length films, but all the shorts, and the series like Tale Spin and Darkwing Duck. The interesting thing is that they talk about each of the animated characters' personalities. Also got a copy of Karen Hesse's Brooklyn Bridge, which takes place in 1908.
It was dark and velvety when we emerged, with Venus hanging low in the west, visible even through the bright lights of Barrett Parkway. It was also, wonderfully, cool! We drove back home, stopping for ice cream on the way, through the sweet night with crickets chirping, back through Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, past the dark expanse of Jim Miller Park all ready for the start of next week's North Georgia Fair, and down Windy Hill Road, with the windows down enjoying the delightful breeze. When we got home the nightly cicada chorus was finally quiet, and it all felt in tune with the fall flag on the porch waving in the breeze.
No time to further peruse the books, though: had to put new sheets on the bed and get the bedclothes finished drying, and run the vacuum quickly before putting it away. So: needed medical work, returned library book, bed changed, trip to Wally World made, milk bought, some keen books, exercise to boot...not a bad day's tally.
(Still thinking about that poster, though...)
» Sunday, September 08, 2013Not Fresh as a Daisy
I figured if I could get through the night without coughing, we could go to the Yellow Daisy Festival—not to mention to work on Monday, as I really have things to finish up! Well, I didn't, and we did, but I was short of sleep for other reasons; the medication the doctor prescribed has mostly taken care of another health problem, but I still have outbreaks now and then, usually at inopportune times—of course. Typical of life, as February Callendar would say.
Nevertheless, we were up at 8:15, stopped for breakfast at Wendy's (their bowl of oatmeal has gotten smaller), and were on our way to Stone Mountain Park. We usually get there five or ten minutes before opening, and were only fifteen minutes late; nevertheless, the crowds seemed very thick today and it was tiring to push through them, rather like the Marriott on the Saturday of DragonCon. They were letting people park in the Crossroads parking lot, near the DUKW tours, so we were directed there. Even at ten, wearing our chill cloths, after this cool rainy summer, the sun seemed unbearably hot. I should be used to it; ever since the radioactive iodine treatment my skin burns when the sun touches it, but it's always a shock. James' knees were giving him a great deal of trouble as well.
So we didn't have as good a time as usual; even though I had some cold water to sip, my throat hurt more as the morning went on, and my sinuses are still being a PITA. We even skipped the last curve of booths because we were just too damn beat with the heat. But we did pick up some nice things: a new, thick leather belt for James; more jelly from One Screw Loose including two finishing sauces (balsamic with garlic and the new balsamic vinegar with figs, which tastes perfect to go on lamb), a gift basket, some fruit jelly, three different soup mixes for the winter as well as some chili recipe we may be able to take to Hair Day, and the first of our two annual "fudge for dessert" instances this year (we'll get more at the Georgia Apple Festival and that will be it).
Alas, unless I'm buying for someone else, I have exhausted anything else I can buy from Country Pickin's, the miniatures booth. I did buy a broomstick to add to the Hallowe'en display of our year-round fall shadow box, and a few more "books" and things to go with my "Linda shelf." I don't garden, I don't sew, I used the camping theme for Jen and Mike's gift, I dislike summer beach stuff (beaches are best in winter when the tourists are gone), and I'm not interested enough in Hallowe'en to make an entire themed shadow box. Wish they had Thanksgiving things! I've got Christmas, winter, two autumns, a seashore theme in the bath, and the "Linda shelf" and I'm done.
Were out of Stone Mountain Park by one o'clock, stopped at Publix for the necessities of life (milk and bread), and came home. Had to clean up after Willow, but was finally able to sit down in the cool, take my cold meds and something for my stuffy nose, and take a nap.
James took the rest of the roast beef that we bought for sandwiches and made it with gravy, and we had it over rice, with nice juicy watermelon for dessert. Had some laughs watching America's Funniest Home Videos and am now dipping into the new British series, Last Tango in Halifax, with Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid. It's got a familiar theme, as the comedy series As Time Goes By: A couple who were interested in each other in high school find each other via Facebook when they are in their sixties.
» Saturday, September 07, 2013Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to the Vet We Go
Geez, this cold is a pain. Feeling miserable, but don't want to sit around all weekend, either. So I went with James to take Willow to the vet to see if we can figure out what's going on with her incontinence problems. It's either medical, in which case it needs to be taken care of, or aging, which we can't do much about, but they say there are some drugs that can help with the problem.
They said she'd be done by "early afternoon," so I saw it through, although what I really wanted to do was go home and sleep. (Kept waking up during the night coughing.) Had nice hot oatmeal and a fruit cup at Chick-Fil-A, took a turn around Five Below, and ducked into Petsmart to get Schuyler a new food dish (but they didn't have the kind I wanted). They were adopting dogs, and had we gotten there a few minutes earlier, Willow might have had a canine sibling. There was a small, fuzzy brown-spotted white puppy that had to be part terrier; she had the same jawline as Wil does. Someone had just adopted her as we walked in the door.
There's only one cure for feeling rotten: a bookstore. The Perimeter Barnes & Noble was the next parking lot over, and there were some cheering items, like a fall-themed "Just Cross-Stitch" and the new "Blue Ridge Country" with fabulous autumn views. Found a mystery novel set in upstate New York and also a book about the history of Newport, RI. Also bought a new tray table (what they call a "C-table" for obvious reasons) at the Container Store next door.
We had lunch at Panera; the hot soup was wonderful on my throat. Then we stopped by CVS to get some recommendations for some cold medication from the pharmacist. Took the first two pills, and a cough drop, in hopes that it will deal with this nuisance of a cough. Still figure I will end up at the doctor on Monday, which is annoying as hell—I don't need to be wasting time at Kaiser. What I need is a good night's sleep, without waking James up!
Willow was freshly bathed when we arrived at the vet; we won't get the result of her tests for a couple of days, and then they will decide what medical course to take. Ordered Chinese for supper and watched PBS most of the night.
Wish I could breathe without coughing or it hurting.
» Friday, September 06, 2013The Body Knows What the Brain Does Not
I suppose it had to happen.
I've been steadily plugging away at my work, putting in an extra hour here, an extra two hours there, a couple of weekend hours occasionally. I've dreamed about doing purchase orders, so I didn't escape them, even at night. I had one particularly fractious one that was really stressing me out, and I was dying to award it.
What was really funny is that, after two months of end-of-fiscal-year workload, I'm usually exhausted, if happy, after DragonCon, from the long-haul walks between hotels. This year by the time the convention was over, I still had some energy, and I wasn't stressed—it was wonderful to not have that all hanging over me for four glorious days.
Tuesday when I got back to work, I finished up two orders, completed my problem child, and did more work on another. I was pretty feeling pretty positive when I headed into the office on Wednesday since my Problem Child was finally out of my hands. I got assigned six more orders, but that's normal for this time of year; there are always waivers for late orders and additional funds.
But there was a new wrinkle after I was at work a few hours; my throat started to hurt. Thought it was the dry air, filled up my water pitcher, and proceeded to drink. Except the water didn't make my throat better; it actually hurt worse. I took ibuprofin and took a nap in the car, and the pain wasn't abated, and as the hours clicked by it felt worse and worse. I finally asked to go home early, and spent the evening swilling water and eating chicken soup, but by bedtime my throat was so sore I was waking up every fifteen minutes for a sip of water or a trip to the bathroom, as each time I breathed, even with my mouth closed, the air passing over my throat made me cough.
Evidently my energy burst at DragonCon was simply psychological; my body's telling the real tale. I have what the doctor usually calls "an upper respiratory infection," with all the unpleasantness of stuffy head, sore sinus and the lot. I worked about four hours yesterday morning until the pen got too heavy to hold and then slept for the rest of the afternoon, when I wasn't in pain. I had been nauseated earlier in the morning and for a couple of hours I had stomach cramps and wondered if I needed to call James to come take me to the emergency room. But that went away while I was sleeping.
Still stuffy, sinuses very painful today, lightheaded, coughing a little, and the least exertion, like answering the postman's knock, makes me breathless. Throat still hurts when I breathe over it. Would have slept in, but waiting for our lawn guys to come. Swilling more water and ibuprofin. I feel like I did when I had the flu, without the fever and the constant cough.
» Monday, September 02, 2013DragonCon, Day 4
This will have to be an even shorter short, short version because it will be time to go to bed soon.
It was a swell day, except that I had to take Willow outside again because she simply would not go in the rain for James. We had breakfast and I arranged to meet James at the garage after my last (::sob::) panel at five p.m.
My first panel was in the Hilton to hear David Warner speak. A wonderful, gracious man, with a lot of good movie stories, the best about Sam Peckinpah, who hired Warner for Straw Dogs. Warner had been in a serious accident and had been told there was a good chance he wouldn't walk again. Sam Peckinpah told him "You will walk again" and cast him in the film even though he wasn't healed yet. He had tears in his eyes talking about it.
Next was a small panel in the Sheraton about Blake's 7 and other British science fiction series, with Kim Holec as the moderator. We did actually talk about other series.
Then I had to hotfoot it back to the Hyatt because I was determined to see Ed Asner. There was a line outside, but not too bad; I made it inside without trouble. I had seen this on James' schedule, so I saved a seat for him, and sure enough, he turned up and we had a good time listening—and I even got up and asked him a question about The Gathering. Funny thing, the guy behind me had the same question! If I'd known that, I could have asked him about The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.
James was off to his last two panels, and me to mine: the Doctor Who 2104 and Beyond discussion. The room was packed!
And then the final one, which for me is usually the Brittrack suggestion panel, but they didn't have one this year. Instead it was "Brit TV You Should Be Watching." Lots of suggestions, of course, and the panel looking exhausted. This year Rob Bowen looked more tired than Caro Brown!
One final walk to the garage and to the truck, and we were headed home. We stopped briefly at Barnes & Noble with our coupons—the new Harry Dresden book was out in paperback, and James got the newest book by John Ringo—and then, as we always do after DragonCon, we had supper at Longhorn; after three and a half days of sandwiches, we always want real food. It took forever. Our drinks came fast enough, but everything else was glacial, and the waitress almost forgot our bread. It took us two hours to get out of there and we still had to stop at Kroger.
If that wasn't bad enough, Willow had used the potty pad and then stepped in it and made a mess. I had to wash out everything and scrub the floor. So where I wasn't tired when I left downtown, I sure am now.
» Sunday, September 01, 2013DragonCon, Day 3
So this is really going to have to be the short, short version because I was showing James the video I took of the Barrowmans and it's later than usual...
Anyway, Willow flunked her "stay out of the bathroom" test. Potty pad was right there near her and she did not use it for either "job." Back to the bathroom for her today. :-( Hope the vet visit on Saturday will help.
Third verse, same as the first: parking garage, the "Luke Skywalk," then breakfast from Cafe Momo. As soon as I was done eating, I trotted over to the Marriott Imperial Ballroom for "The Barrowmans on Books." (If you thought I'd miss this one after the fun last night's panel was, you're mistaken!) I was not disappointed; this was an hour of straight—urm, mostly—fun, where you learned about skiing, china cabinets, woodcarving, and priming your pump. [evil grin] Oh, yeah, and John's conversion van, "Barry Vanilow." They talked more about Hollow Earth and its sequel and its characters, about traveling on location via ferry on a wild day and about a trip to Spain with "Barry" and what happened to him there, about collaborating on stories (including a very funny story prompted by a question from the audience about killing off a character), and divers other things, all the time good-naturedly sparring with one another. The laughter rang from the rafters, and it was a good way to start off the day.
Next I walked over to the Sheraton and attended "Doctor Who Universe: Characters and Companions" featuring Gareth David Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and John Levene (Sgt. Benton). Evidently they know about "skiing," too. Another hilarious, wildly rowdy panel, with Gareth and Noel being the "bad boys" (especially Noel, bantering about his success with the ladies), Eve trying to act the wide-eyed innocent next to them, and John adding a silly joke every once in a while. Eve finally said exasperatedly to Noel "I have a gentleman on one side of me and the ghetto on the other."
Someone asked who was their favorite strange character on the show and she said "John Barrowman."
Asked what their favorite lines were, Noel replied that his was "That means I'm the tin dog," and Eve's was, of course, "Have you seen a blowfish driving a sports car?" (Her favorite scene was one in which she was riding a motorcycle throwing cylinders of explosives; she had eighty minutes to learn how to ride it and they had to do it in one take!)
And they all had good words for Peter Capaldi.
At this point I had a "free period" and decided to dash to the Dealer's Room. Came through the garage and Peachtree Center again, and again had to get lost before I could find the McFarland booth. (they have display windows of various things sold in the America Mart, including Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments; he's doing a line of old-fashioned Shiny Brites this year and they look dreadful, all using that awful lime green! they didn't use lime green back then!). I bought two books of Harry Potter essays, including one just about Hermione, a Doctor Who essay book, and one about the Muppets because it looked interesting and mostly talked about The Muppet Show. Tried looking around at other things and pretty much was confused by the layout, the crowd, and things I didn't care about like clothes and leather.
I came out to stormy skies but no rain, and thank God because the McFarland lady didn't have any bags and here I was with four unprotected books! I ran like hell for the Marriott where my next panel was, and because I was early, stopped at the ARTC table to talk to Caran for a while. And she gave me a bag for my books, too.
Next panel was "Gerry Anderson Remembered," which was just what it sounded like. John Levene was on this panel, too—he was in the UFO episode "Close Up" as an interceptor pilot. We talked a lot about the puppet shows; not so much about Space: 1999 (but hear they look lovely in BluRay), but chatted quite a bit about UFO as that was everyone's favorite. Supposedly Anderson's son is trying to bring back Thunderbirds as a series using real models instead of CGI.
A short trip down the hall and I got right into "A Look at 50 Years of Doctor Who With Two Doctors" (I did not wait in one line today, but just found the end of each of them and went right in; the lines are crazy this year—they have one track's panels queuing up on the skybridge from the Marriott to the Hilton!). Peter Davison helped Sylvester McCoy on stage as the latter just had some surgery. There were lots of interesting question, like how did they feel about their regenerations (this came with much generous ribbing of Colin Baker) and how it was to work with Nicholas Courtney (Sylvester said with a smile, "Ah, bonhomie and vodka").
Favorite enemies: Peter's was the Cybermen (who eventually killed off Adric, to the relief of most fans), Sylvester said he didn't consider himself a "real Doctor" till he'd met with the Daleks. (Apparently Peter was worried about the episode where Rose "died" in the new series and shot Russell T. Davis an e-mail asking if it were true because his kids loved Rose and he didn't know if it would bother them. Russell said back snippily, "You killed off Adric...what do you care?" LOL.)
A boy asked Peter "You always had a fresh celery stalk. Was there a celery plant on the TARDIS?" Yes, said Sylvester, and it was dead when I found it and it stank. Peter said, "No. I was going to say I took the celery stalk and sent it back 24 hours every day so that it always stayed fresh." (He hates celery, by the way, just like Rupert Holmes hates pina coladas...)
And then they were asked "Do you have any advice for Peter Capaldi?" Sylvester: "Wear a kilt!" Peter Davison was on the announcement special with him and said when he had a minute drew him aside and said "What have you done?"
Of course the big highlight was someone asking since Sylvester plays the spoons, does Peter also play something. He was just about to say he did when Ken Spivey popped behind him with a guitar and he played some chords while Sylvester accompanied him on the spoons.
To the Hilton for "Needcoffee.com Vs. the Whoniverse," which was fun and turned into mostly a review of Season 7 and people talking about how they disliked the long drawn-out goodbye for Amy and Rory.
And finally back to the Hyatt for the Atlanta Radio Theatre's production of The War of the Worlds: The Untold Story. It seems H.G. Wells hadn't even seen the invasion; he'd gone off to France. But our hero, a doctor, had witnessed the invasion and told what he said was the true story, which involved a captured Martian, a mysterious professor, and a covert plot. The "reveal" at the end was a great surprise that also brought a chuckle. They also did a Rory Rammer adventure, "The Green Man's Burden" (taking place on Mars).
James was on a panel opposite the ARTC performance, so I had to wait for him to extricate himself from the bowels of the Hyatt before we could head home to hearth and fids. Came home to find the gate pushed away and Willow sleeping on the chair; it may have been during the thunderstorm. But she had used the potty pad during the day and the rug was mercifully clear.