Yet Another Journal

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.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Saturday, May 31, 2014
Day of the Dragon

We had a nice sleep-in this morning, which was just what James needed. He went to the doctor yesterday to address quite a few problems: according to the X-ray report he got back yesterday says he has severe arthritis in both hips and at least one disc which is degenerating. He has to go for an MRI for his tinnitus next week, and he has another test on the 16th which I will need to take him to because he won't be able to drive home. (We would have slept without interruption a lot later had I not forgotten to shut my alarm off.)

We had a great time at Hair Day, though. Alex and Pat brought the main dish, beef and chicken kabobs and grilled vegetables. Lin made her famous Asian salad. (I could eat the whole bowl by myself.) We brought pearl couscous cooked in chicken and vegetable stock with vegetable flakes. We also had deviled eggs, a relish tray, and a mixed bowl of cut fruit. For breakfast we brought doughnut holes from Kroger and John and Oreta brought a big bowl of cut-up watermelon, which was emptied before lunch was served. As always, talked a lot—Alex and James neeping about computer work, Terica and Juanita swapping work stories, Mel and I discussing my new "toy" (I love it; I have all my BBC radio files on it and can play them while I'm working; I listened to Little Women yesterday), Colin talking about his new job (he started one four days after graduating from college), etc. We stayed much later than usual, and then stopped at the Kroger near Ron and Lin's house on the way home and finished the weekly shopping, so we didn't have much of an afternoon left once we put the groceries away; there wasn't even time to look for dog adoptions.

Finally, we just went to Barnes & Noble at Akers Mill, and I walked the whole store. Picked up a bargain book about Betsy Ross for only $4, and bought Philip Caputo's The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, which was offered on Vine once, but I missed it. We were still stuffed from lunch, so we had a small ice chocolate each and half of a double chocolate cookie. The store cafè was full of people either using the wifi or doing their homework, and the aisles were full of people sitting down at the foot of the bookcases reading. I hope you folks are going to buy some of those books!

As we left the bookstore it started to rain with huge, heavy drops, almost drowning out our listening to the final "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" with Carl Kasell. Then it turned into Georgia Monsoon Season as we ploughed our way through puddles on the way home; one was up to the pickup's axle. Lightning flashed along the horizon and we had several great claps of thunder. Of course in that deluge we had no satellite signal, so instead we sat down to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which we had missed in the theatres. I liked this much better than the first movie; if nothing else there were no trolls in it. Benedict Cumberbatch must have had a ball recording the voice of Smaug; what a tour-de-force for a voice actor! The action was well-paced, and, hey, there's more Sylvester McCoy.

But what a place for a cliffhanger!

Now we're watching the extras...ah, yes. New Zealand. When God was giving out scenery, New Zealand got in line three times. :-)

It does looks like we are going to have to get a new receiver for our home theatre system. Just recently, in fact since the movie we watched last week, when the music gets to a crescendo, the receiver shuts itself off—it's like it's getting overloaded and just shuts down. Trouble is, most of the home theatre systems include DVD players. Don't need one. Also don't want to spend tons of money; it's not necessary that we have a state-of-the-art unit.

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» Friday, May 23, 2014
And the Greatest Of These is... guessed it! Sleeping late! I turned off my alarm clock last night with a great triumphant shout, because I have never, ever been a "morning person," even back when I was a baby according to my mom. As I got older Dad would go to bed early, even on Fridays, and get up to use the bathroom about quarter to one, and with incredulity would find Mom and I still up watching The Tonight Show (back when it was ninety minutes): "What are you doing up this late?" "Watching Johnny Carson."

And we did sleep until after nine, which was wonderful, and ate breakfast at leisure, and then had to complete the chores: James had to pick up some prescriptions at Kaiser and then we had to go to Kroger to do the weekly shopping. Was tempted to get some soup for lunch, but didn't there.

Now it was time to go out and have some fun. It was only 2 p.m., and traffic was already backed up everywhere. Southbound on I-85 and downtown was turned dark burgundy on the traffic map. So we headed east via surface streets, and at one point, found a dozen cars lined up blocking traffic waiting for their kids to get out of school (apparently they're not allowed on school grounds so they have to line up outside, on a narrow two-lane road, completely holding up traffic unless you're willing to cut around them! how absurd!).

The convention didn't start until 6:30, so we had lunch at Panera: for my part a nice luscious bowl of chicken soup as well as a bagel with chive and onion cream cheese. Then we drove to Barnes & Noble and spent an hour checking out the books. I got all excited when I saw a "Best of British" there until I picked it up and noticed it was from last November. I had a coupon and picked up a copy of E.B. White's essays, which includes one about being a "St. Nicholas League" kid.

By now it was after five, so we scoped out the best way to get to the hotel. Straight shot was by the freeway, but traffic was even more berserk now than earlier. But all the surface street ways took you way out of the way. James figured we'd get off the ramp eastbound and that would line us right up with the exit; it wouldn't take that long. And it wouldn't have, either, had we not realized from the clouds of smoke and the police car blocking the ramp that there was a pickup truck on fire there. And I do mean fire. Bright orange flames were shooting from the engine and the cab. So we had to crawl along eastbound until we got to the next exit and work our way back. There's always drama getting to Timegate for some reason: once it was a torrential rainstorm.

After registering we oriented ourselves and decided to have supper before opening ceremonies. The restaurant was having an Italian buffet tonight: chicken marsala, beef lasagna, some kind of alfredo pasta, and roasted eggplant and other veggies. They also had salad and watermelon. The marsala was good, and this is odd coming out of me, since I despise chicken breast, but this was nice and moist. I also had cucumber and tomato salad, and a roll and butter, with some tiny cream puffs and strawberries for dessert. Sue Phillips ate with us, and then we were ready to go on to opening ceremonies. I found a seat under the air conditioning vent and was immediately sorry! Wow, I like being cold, but that was cold.

Next it was on to our first panel, which was "The Real History of Science Fiction." BBC America has been showing a series by the same name, but although paying some lip service to Asimov, Clarke, and a couple of other writers, it has been chiefly science fiction movies. At least one friend of mine refused to watch it because of that. So we were talking about what they missed: Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Hugo Gernsback, and so forth. A very lively literary discussion.

I had thought about going to a panel about the two lost Doctor Who episodes that turned up recently, but we had bumped into Anne and Clay coming out of opening ceremonies and they were in the lit panel, but they hadn't eaten. So we sat down and chatted for an hour, and then all went on to the next literary panel, which was about the differences, and the similarities, between literary and media fandom. This very naturally led into a discussion about how people discovered fandom. This was also a very animated, happy conversation, with people coming in having read hard science fiction, and others having come in via media fandom but discovering books. I mentioned the 1972 article in TV Guide about one of the first Star Trek conventions, where I discovered that, by God, there were women out there who didn't want to discuss clothes, makeup, shoes, what their wedding was going to be like, and soap operas, but interesting subjects like books and stories! And Sondra Marshack and Myrna Culbreath's Star Trek Lives, in which I found out the existence of fan fiction—which I'd been writing for years (but not about Star Trek), but didn't know it was called that. And others wrote it, too? Cool!

It was ten o'clock by then, so we headed home to spend a little time with Snowy and watch the news about the big fire that's been burning all day at a chemical plant just north of here off I-75. Terrible photographs of explosions, balls of orange flame, and billowing black smoke. [shudder]

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» Sunday, May 18, 2014
Sunday in the Living Room With Snowy

So James got up at 7:45 to go to work, but I coveted eight hours sleep and I got it. After breakfast I dashed to Publix—of course it started to pour the moment I opened the garage doors—for a newspaper, some French bread, and something for my lunches this week. Because my schedule will be unsettled this week, I started a load of clothes before I left and had the towels washed and dried before noon. I waited to wash the clothes until I'd read the paper, but there was nothing worth going out again for, so that was done this afternoon. No use going out and spending money, anyway, in such damp weather (yet it's still preferable to the upper 80s it will be by the end of the week). I also cut out about four weeks worth of coupons and got rid of the three TV Guides under the coffee table that had been sitting there for ages.

Oh, and I dubbed off the last three Castle episodes, including the stinky season finale. I got out of watching most of it by timing the show segments between the commercials and making myself elsewhere for most of the segments. What a damned shame, because some scenes were lovely, like Javi and Lanie watching the sunset, and Martha giving Kate the earrings, but the main plot sucked. It was preferable to scrub the toilet and fold towels and sweep the kitchen than to watch it again. Also copied off the last two Tonight Show with Jay Leno episodes I recorded, the one with Jimmy Fallon and the series finale.

Then I decided to watch the nice, uncut copy of "The Time of the Doctor" I got from Jack, because the original broadcast was confusing with all the stupid commercials BBC America put into it. It was still a bit over the top, but it flowed much better without dropping out for screaming announcers every ten minutes. My main complaint with it was that the background music WAS SO LOUD! Background music is supposed to enhance the story, not overwhelm it.

Eventually started watching the Little Women miniseries from the 1970s, the one with Susan Dey as Jo. Everything about this screams "1970s"! The March house does not look like they are poor; they even have an expensive breakfront china cabinet like my godmother used to have. The girls wear their hair down in 1970s styles, just like on Little House on the Prairie. The music is frenetic (didn't I just complain about this?). The girls wear 1970s style rubber boots and Jo, Laurie, and Amy wear separate skate shoes instead of the normal 19th century metal skates that fasten on to their shoes. Ann Dusenberry is absolutely horrible as Amy. Every time she looks distressed or angry she lifts her upper lip like a rabbit sniffing out carrots.

The saving graces of this are Dey as Jo, Dorothy McGuire as Marmee, to a lesser extent Eve Plumb as Beth, and the fabulous Greer Garson as the acerbic Aunt March.

Steak and potatoes for supper, with a Call the Midwife chaser followed by Cosmos. Sorry to hear Jessica Raine isn't returning. I spent most of the episode sobbing quietly over the story of Chummy nursing her mother through cancer. Too many personal flashbacks from that story.

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» Saturday, May 17, 2014
The Joy of Slowness

So the alarm rang this morning, in order for us to go to the Farmer's Market. I shut it off, waiting for James to ask "Aren't we going to the Farmer's Market?" When he didn't answer, I went back to sleep. Turns out he was waiting for me to say something. Heh. so we both went back to sleep until almost 10:30, so I assume we needed it. It certainly was delightful. We awoke slowly, rose slowly, breakfasted slowly...such a relief after work running me ragged this week—but I got that dratted last minute order done! I still need a quote on the other one. I hope the people I'm doing this for appreciate it, and they need to thank the folks whose orders I am putting on the back burner to make time for their not thinking ahead. Drives me mad sometimes, and, like yesterday, drove me to tears.

We went out sometime after noon, just to do something, which ended up being a trip to the Barnes & Noble at Town Center. The weather was quite delightful when we left: cloudy and cool with a breeze, so that we wore our jackets, but we abandoned them by the time we had reached the bookstore. Alas, the May "Best of British" isn't out yet, but I did find the newest Victoria Thompson novel, bought the Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit module, and bought a special anniversary magazine for The Wizard of Oz. By then it was three o'clock and we were both peckish, so we stopped at Panera Bread for a nosh. I've decided Panera is my happy place, since there's not much chicken soup doesn't cure. I also picked up something for supper, as James wants Mexican and I can't bear the stuff.

On the way home we stopped at the credit union for James to get money, and then went to Kroger to do the shopping. By golly, the bananas were yellow this week; I've come to consider Kroger the land of green bananas. We got some beef bits for Sunday supper, and stocked up on the necessities of life: bread, milk, and yogurt. :-)

James was going to pick up his Mexican supper at the place across from the Battle Ridge Kroger, but it was closed. So we took all the perishables home, since the sun had come out and the temps had therefore crept up, and then trudged out one more time to go to Mexico Lindo. I made sure I took something to read because the last time James picked up dinner there I think they went to Monterrey to get it. So I sat shaded in the truck reading Red Sky at Morning, one of my favorite novels, and it didn't take too long.

This evening we watched our Netflix disk of the next three episodes of Murdoch Mysteries. The third and last story was a cliffhanger, so now we have to wait until the next disk to find out what happens. Grr. (BTW, I was totally surprised a few weeks back to find Murdoch running on the Ovation channel, except that they call it The Artful Detective. Odd title.) Then we watched two of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, based on Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mystery books, which are up to twenty now, I believe. Phryne is a fearless, open-minded Australian woman living a freewheeling life in the 1920s. She can shoot, fly a plane, and solve mysteries, has an active sex life, and has adopted two orphan girls who were headed for the white slavery trade. Her friends include socialists and importers. The series is somewhat lesser, and the star is a bit too old to be Phryne, who's in her late 20s, but the atmosphere is good, and the actress who plays her maid and companion, Dot, is just too adorable for words.

(Incidentally, we were talking about the Preakness on the way home and then totally forgot to watch the race! So it looks like we might have a shot at a Triple Crown winner this year!)

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» Sunday, May 11, 2014
The Couple Who Fell to Earth

Well, turned the A/C down even more (we had it at 65°F Friday night and I turned it down to 62 last night), and it sort of helped us sleep better, James at least. Me, about 7:30 I was awakened rudely by other things. At least I got back to bed.

Note for next year: We asked for a room in the front because there's a bar at the back of the hotel and it was noisy last year, with loud music, loud talking and shrieking, and glass breaking. (Well, it was Cinco de Mayo weekend last year, yet another holiday excuse for people to get drunk.) The front of the hotel faces east, and while the blackout curtains do a great job on the window proper, it doesn't help the light seeping around all four edges of the window. By the time we got up at 8:30, you could read in the room without a light.

A subdued breakfast this morning. Caran wasn't feeling well, Jessie's injured leg (she went kayaking on Friday and the rapids were a lot stronger than they told her) was swollen and painful, and everyone was sobered with the realization that the weekend was over all too soon. We did have a good laugh after breakfast when someone put Jeanne Robertson's routines on their tablet. Jeanne is a Southern comedienne who does routines around everyday life, especially her husband, who has a doctorate and whom she refers to as "Left-Brain." The routine "Don't send a man to the grocery store" is particularly funny.

Finally it was time to check out. We stuffed everything back in the suitcase (except the second pillow, of course), and took our own food away, and dropped off our keycards. We hoped people might linger in the conference room, which we had until three o'clock, but people were drifting off, car by car and person by person, so we went as well, passing through Helen, and past the animal shelter (with more than a long thought about the black puppy). Unlike Friday or yesterday, it was a clear day with some fluffy clouds, sun shining on the cows and the horses and the sunny buttercups tipping their faces skyward.

We made a short stop at the North Georgia Premium Outlets to go to the Hanes store. James needed new pajama bottoms and underwear; he also found pocketed tee shirts on sale two for ten dollars and bought sleep shorts as well. We weren't quite in the mood for lunch because of the heat, but had a small ice cream.

Snowy was perky and bouncing when we stopped to pick him up, and quite chatty on the way home, although I think he was calling for the buddies he made at the vet's office (there were several birds boarding this weekend). We got him inside and put up our leftovers from Saturday night, then went to Publix for the weekly groceries and to Kroger for James to get gasoline. However, we had to go home to get the CVS coupon that was stashed in the front of our suitcase; a 30 percent off coupon off entire purchase was too good to pass up, especially when we needed Breathe-Rights. So we didn't really "get home" until about five, and then had to unpack and put all the charge cords back, and James' C-PAP back in place, and dump things into the hamper and get ready for work tomorrow and...sob!...turn the alarm clocks back on. I really would enjoy the day better if it started later!

Also found out James' mom got her gift safely: he'd waited too long to get her something, so he got her chocolate-dipped strawberries and cookies from an outfit called "Sherry's Berries." She said it was all delicious and the items were still delivered with the icepack cold.

But it was a relaxing evening listening to Snowy sing, and watching the season finale of Hawaii Five-0 (wow, no extreme cliffhanger this year; thanks for giving us a break!), the last Flipping Boston for the season, a touching Call the Midwife about mental illness, and finally Cosmos, in which we learned Sir Humphrey Davy was a snot. :-)

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» Saturday, May 10, 2014
Heads in the Clouds
Sorry to say didn't sleep as well as I wanted to this morning. Hotels have this aggravating habit of topping their beds today not with a spread on top of a blanket on top of the sheet, but a duvet cover with a heavy duvet in it. No light blankets at all. Very warm, and glad I brought my own pillow!

We all had breakfast in the conference room, but my breakfast was a bit heavy on starches since there was no meat but country sausage and I can't eat that. So cereal and toast with butter and oatmeal had to suffice. Sadly, the skim milk was going bad, so I ate my frosted flakes plain.

We had to leave soon after breakfast because the hobby shop in Blue Ridge closes at two on Saturday. Now, the last time we went to Blue Ridge we had to turn around at the summit of the Richard B. Russell Scenic Parkway because something was wrong on the road. It took us forever to get there. Today was better, although part of the route was obscured with fog. This is a twisty-turny switchback road and at one point driving directly into the low clouds was a bit spooky! We did stop at the summit and I took a few pictures at the overlook, but most of the view was obscured by low clouds. A pity, because now that "spring has sprung" the landscape is the most beautiful combination of what can only be described as "a million shades of green," from the mint pale of the newest of leaves to the nearly black pine green. The landscape is at the most stunning against the dark clouds of the rain that's been falling since yesterday afternoon at about five, and everything was wet and bright and shining.

Twilight managed the curves with the usual PT Cruiser nimbleness, and we rolled into Blairsville and then hung a left on 515, which goes west to Blue Ridge on four lanes. I had some things we could have listened to, but I was too tense through the switchbacks and then said the heck with it.

Anyway, took a stroll through Family Dollar next door while James was in Free Time Hobbies, and then went to rest my eyes in the car. When he got out it was after one and a bit peckish; we tried going "downtown," which is an arrangement of 19th century buildings on either side of the railroad tracks, which have been turned into little boutique shops, gift shops, and cafes. Didn't see anything tempting and couldn't find any parking spaces anyway, so went to Zaxby's on the main road before heading back. Since the switchbacks had been a bit daunting, we tried the alternate route, which was...more switchbacks. In fact, so many more switchbacks. One not only switched back, but almost touched itself in doing so. James was driving and he finally had to stop at a country store to fortify himself with a diet Pepsi.

Oh, yeah, and two ice cream sandwiches.

The rest of the ride was thankfully anticlimactic.

We stopped at the White County animal shelter before returning to the hotel. They had some cute puppies, too, four that were part dachshund and part boxer, and another litter that was supposed to be a terrier mix type. I do mean mixed: one was a black shorthair, one brown-spotted white fuzzy, and one a Leonberger type brown and black with long hair. The little black one was quite cute, but--work. I have to go into work all the time the week after, and then we'd have to dump the puppy at the vet because we couldn't take an untrained dog to Timegate. It wouldn't be fair.

But it was really cute...

Back at the hotel, we found some folks in the jacuzzi, and others talking in the conference room, so we set ourselves down and chatted too, and watched the endless NFL draft on in the background (I can't believe there's television coverage devoted to this; can't they just publish a list?). About six we all got ready for dinner, then went to Bodensee, the German restaurant just down the road. We had a biiiiiiiig group there celebrating Aaron Lawson's sixteenth birthday--he's been counting down on Facebook--at two long tables. Great dinner as always; their dishes are always outstanding. I had pork loin and James had beef stroganoff. Ironically, we had individual dinners instead of sharing the sampler because we always have leftovers. We still have leftovers. James is going to mix his with his eggs tomorrow morning.

Now it's back at the hotel. We have one group playing video games together, a big group playing Cards Against Humanity (again), some folks playing on their tablets, and others just having conversations. It's nice being with friends-that-are-family.

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» Friday, May 09, 2014
Sleepover Camp Newbie

It was difficult to tell who was more concerned about Snowy's first car ride (not counting the one he took home in the cardboard box)/vet visit/boarding (otherwise known as "bird camp"). Granted, when I kept telling him what was going to happen at the end of the week, I'm pretty sure all he understood was "Snowy."

So we'd tossed everything into a suitcase last night, including my pillow (we carried James', as the pillows were lacking last year). The goodies for sharing had already been placed in the car. We loaded the suitcase, the pillow, the C-PAP, jackets and hats just in case even though it was supposed to rain, and finally Snowy in his cage in the back, along with me sitting next to him. He never even panted at all; in fact, what he did was very clever! The perch he eats on is very close to the right side of the cage. When the car began moving, he inched down the perch, and turned his tail to the bars of the cage so that the feathers went between the bars. He used his tail to help keep him stable on the perch, as if he was a tripod. Clever boy.

Still, he flapped about when they took him in the back. It's tough to be new at camp.

We had breakfast at Panera, and bought lunch to take up to Helen with us. It was a cloudy day, but a nice ride, especially once we left the multi-lane and came to the curving two-lane between the trees, with horse farms, lush green or buttercup-dotted pastures of cows, needful country businesses and sprawling homes, and quaint tourist shops and attractions. Here pan for gold and minerals, there play miniature golf, or go through a corn maze.

We didn't need anything from Nora Mill, but passed directly on to check into the Country Inn & Suites, and then join everyone in the conference room. We were starved by then, so we sat and ate our lunch from Panera as the young ones set up the tables for different activities: one long table for chatting, two smaller tables for people who wanted to play card games, another set of tables near the electrical plugs for those who wanted to compute. After we ate we set up in our room, and then went out for a little while: down to the Mennonite bakery to add some fresh cookies to the stash we bought and then at the Book Depot where we were greeted by the store cats. But James was limping badly due to the weather and the deteriorating condition due to his back injury, so we came back to the hotel and did what all old people do when they finally relax on a weekend away: take a nap!

Finally we went back downstairs to chat until suppertime. James, sadly, isn't the only person leaning on "a stick." Both John and Oreta are limping as well, and Jake suffered a stroke last year and is in a wheelchair. The weather wasn't helping anyone, as it had gone from grey and cloudy and spitting rain to a steady pour.

About six o'clock I called up the vet to see how Snowy was getting on. I was told he was in good health except...well, a few weeks back I noticed white marks on his beak. I couldn't figure out what he was doing; pecking at the bars of the cage too hard or something? But since he already had a checkup coming up, I just kept an eye on him. Well, he has mites! I've never had a budgie with mites before and so had never seen the effects. They do not infest the cage or transmit to humans, but it could malform his beak. The vet gave him medicine and I have to take him back in ten days for a second, and hopefully last dose. This is something he caught in the nest box, probably because the people who raised him didn't keep their birds clean. (Well, we could have told you that.) Poor chickie, first vet visit and he gets meds.

Anyway, we didn't want to spend a lot of money at supper tonight because we wanted to go to Bodensee tomorrow night to celebrate Aaron's birthday, so we just headed down to the Western Sizzlin' on our own. They set a by-the-numbers, but good buffet, and we were soon back in the conference room playing this crazy game called "Cards Against Humanity." You can actually play it as a game, with someone scoring the funniest answers, or most outrageous, or too close to home, but we just played it for fun. Everyone is dealt ten cards, then the dealer reads a card in which you have to pick out one of the statements on your cards to fill in the blank of what was read. The answers can be occasionally inappropriate, or adult, or sick, but were always funny. I laughed so hard I gave myself a headache and had to go up to the room for ibuprofin.

It was a great evening.

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» Thursday, May 08, 2014
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, May 8, 2014

Outside my window...
...the sun is behind the trees just now, but the birds are already working up a symphony. Once it gets warm enough the cicadas will be buzzing again. Up to the 80s again. Quite a shock after a nice cool winter with some ice events.

I am thinking...
...about bookstores this morning. I am reading My Bookstore and it's casting me back to Paperback Books on Weybosset Street in Providence, across from the Outlet Company department store, and Read-All, a narrow little bookstore also across the street from the Outlet, but on Union Street (it's a parking lot now). Actually my first bookstores were the five-and-tens, Newberry's and Woolworth's and Grant's, where I bought Whitman Books down in the toy department: Lassie tie-ins, Fifty Famous Fairy Tales, Beautiful Joe, Black Beauty, Eight Cousins...
I am thankful...
...this week will be over soon. It's been so frustrating and so melancholy. But then melancholy seems a way of life these days.

In the kitchen...
...the dishes are washed! We're having Firehouse Subs tonight!

I am wearing...
...aqua blue shorts and a blue and black ombre tank top. And socks, because while I'm warm, my feet are still cold.

I am creating...
...well, I have a cross-stitch of a kitten started. Haven't worked on it in a couple of weeks, though. I have some cell phone jack plugs coming in the mail, to make little cell phone bling things.

I am going...'s third quarter, so "slowly crazy" answers this.

I am wondering... Snowy is going to take his first vet visit. He's going tomorrow and I'm petrified. He's still so shy, and the vet will have to grab him, and give him a polyoma shot. I hope it doesn't upset him too much.

I am reading...
...well, I've partially answered that. I'm also reading an ARC called The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar, plus am in the middle of The Victorians, Wandering Through Winter, The Great Wagon Road, and a McFarland book about flawed television heroes. Oh, and I'm re-reading one of my favorites, Richard Bradford's Red Sky at Morning.
I am hoping... "Stella" I can get my groove back.

I am looking forward to...
...Timegate! The schedule is already up! Too many panels I want to see up against other panels I want to see. An embarrassment of riches.

Around the house...
...quiet right now. There's no television on, so Snowy isn't singing. Once I put "The Tech Guy" on, he will wind up. I think he likes Leo's voice. :-)

I am pondering...
...the calendar. I don't want to get old too fast, but retirement is just not close enough yet.

A favorite quote for today...
"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." -- Kurt Vonnegut
Sorry. I'm still in the crying phase.

One of my favorite things...
...these days? Sleep. I never feel like there's enough sleep. I want to drink it up like great big glasses of milk.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Snowy's vet appointment. Utterly tense about it.

A peek into my day...
...posted on Facebook for Throwback Thursday. Sometime between April 1988 and November 1990 at the old East Paces Ferry Road location of the Procurement and Grants office. My trusty typewriter at my left and my even trustier Wang computer over my right shoulder. Lisa Jordan would be at the desk in front of me, Andrea Stokes to the office to the right of my elbow, Kathy Bridges and Bruce Granoff sharing the office also on my right, and then Martin Hirsch, the Branch Chief, in the last office on the right. I look like Addie Mills grown up in this pic! I think it's the glasses.

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.



» Sunday, May 04, 2014
Queen of the Castle

James wasn't home when I got in on Friday, which I thought odd because he was pretty sure they didn't want him to stay overtime (he worked over his time twice during the week and they don't like to pay overtime). When he wasn't home by 5:15 I called him, only to discover he wasn't at work, but at Kaiser. He'd called them this morning to make an appointment to talk to the doctor about the back problems he's had since his fall on the stairs. He also mentioned to the doctor that he'd been getting brief dizzy spells.

Needless to say they told him to come in.

Turns out he has water on the ear, which the doctor says probably explains the dizziness, plus a couple of other problems, which are being taken care of. Because of the back injury, the doctor wanted him to have a temporary handicap pass.

Which explains why we got up at the ungodly hour of seven a.m. yesterday; the license office opens at 7:30. I know this place; I had to stand in line for nearly two hours the year I had my hysterectomy to get my temp parking pass, so it was best to get in line early, while it was cool. And, luckily, because James was limping quite badly this morning, we found an empty parking place close to the entrance, and, indeed, there were already about fifty/sixty people in line.

However, we weren't destined to stand in it, which I discovered when I asked the attendant if we needed to fill out some type of form. You don't get handicapped parking passes at the license office any longer—a fact that's not on their web site, thankyouverymuch, Cobb County—you get them at the license plate office. And the license plate office is only open during the week .Joy.

So to salvage the morning, we went to the breakfast buffet at Golden Corral. They even gave us the senior rate. Very nice selection: I had some bacon, French toast, pork steak, cheese potatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, milk, the sourest orange juice ever, and also something called "bacon candy." It's thick cut bacon in a light sugar glaze. I only tried a small piece about twice the size of a sugar cube. Between that and the two bacon slices I think I had my total recommended sodium for the day. They also have, believe it or not, battered and deep fried bacon slices, which strikes me as real overkill, and why you would want to kill the taste of bacon with batter anyway?

We stopped by the Farmer's Market, which was crowded on Mill Street this week because of some arts and craft show going on in the Square proper. James just dropped me off and I picked up some chicken salad for him and two cupcakes for a dessert when he appeared, having found a parking space. We stayed long enough to buy some cherry tomatoes and some sweet corn, and then headed home. James left after a while to go to his IPMS meeting.

I decided to spend the afternoon doing something useful. After a few chores, I started dubbing off the Castle episodes I had accumulated on the DVR. I've let it get behind this year; I usually copy them after five accumulate, which is how many fit on a DVD-R. I haven't copied back any, and the DVR has gotten disgracefully glutted this year. At one point I had only eight hours left on it. So I watched some movies, erased a couple of others that I'd been interested in but didn't really care about, transferred the Feasts and Seasons I kept on there because I was hoping they'd show the rest of the Lent episodes and the Summertime episodes, but there was still this big glop of Castle episodes on there, twenty-one of them to be exact, with the season finale coming up in two weeks.

So I sat and dubbed off Castle episodes and reviewed books for my book blog and Amazon Vine until James got home. He was exhausted from having gotten up early—one of the things he talked to the doctor about was his having problems sleeping—and fell asleep on the bed while he was changing. So I dubbed off two more Castles and then turned it off for a little while to watch the Kentucky Derby. Good grief, what a song-and-dance production they make of it now. They used to show a bit of the color, and then the race would be at 5:30. Now it's two hours of pomp and circumstance with the race at 6:30. Sorry to say "Wicked Strong," "the Boston horse," only came in fourth.

After that we went out to Kroger and picked up supper. Finished filling a second disk with Castle escapades later on and then surrendered to sleep very early for a Saturday evening.

Today James went to work and I returned to my Castle-ing, with interruptions for cleaning the kitchen sink and washing a load of dishes, laundering my work clothing, and running to the store for a newspaper. Had a different flavor of soup today, Angus beef and dumplings, one of those Campbell's Kettle soups. Can't say I was impressed. I did enjoy the indulgence I bought for dessert: a lunchbox size box of Cheetos. I haven't had those in over a year.

Once James gets home we're having an Asian salad for supper and we can look forward to Call the Midwife and Cosmos. Thinking about just recording The Bletchley Circle tonight to get extra sleep.

Incidentally, I liked watching the whole series in one fell swoop just to follow the tale of Alexis' unfortunate romance with Pi. She was always such a sensible girl and she fell so hard for Mister Fruit Salad, probably because he was so free-wheeling. Finally she discovered it wasn't for her.

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