Tag Archives: home stuff

Week whatever of working from home: now with protests

Today’s Chomsky-esque translation exercise in Duolingo.

In other news, my neighborhood has been relatively quiet for the last week, given its proximity to staging for marches on Saturday and Monday. Lot of helicopters Monday. Woke at 3am this morning to a fire alarm: not my smoke detector but the piercing, building-wide wail that I’ve only heard during tests before. Unknown people set the recycling and trash on the curb on fire. Fire department was on scene before everyone was out of the building, and there’s no damage to the building, but it’s disturbing in retrospect. Went for a walk south this evening, after walking north and west the last couple of days. A bunch of small businesses have boarded up but have signs that they are open still. Not all have. I think most of the boarded businesses were damaged in 2015 and did it as a precaution this time around.


Filed under miscellanea

A holding pattern

Last week marked the fourth full week of mandatory telework and social distancing; it had been preceded by a week of encouraged but not required.  It has not become more comfortable or routine to me.  We are busier than usual, and everyone is stretched thin between work and home schooling and worry (even as we know we are luck to be able to telework).

I’ve taken to putting an hour on my calendar in the middle of the day in an attempt to schedule a break for lunch and a walk around the block, but more than half the time it doesn’t happen.

Sacrificed a t-shirt to make a series of tie-able face masks.  Not ideal but better than nothing.  Wear them whenever I go for a walk now, even as I cross the street or walk in the street to avoid people on the sidewalk.

Hadn’t been to the grocery store in three weeks, and was out of fresh vegetables, meat, and dairy, so I went yesterday evening.  It was incredibly disturbing, mostly due to people’s behavior.  Still no toilet paper or cleaning products.  No flour of any kind at all. No eggs.  I’m not sure if that is because everyone had descended like locusts earlier in the day or if it is habitual.  Store patrons completely ignored social distancing.  They didn’t have lists and lingered or meandered.  No one (other than me) had a mask.

The nice weather this weekend meant a lot of people were out.  Most of them didn’t seem concerned about social distancing.  Very few of them had masks, and none of the runners did (still).  Very few moved to avoid contact with strangers.  Maybe we really are too stupid to live.

The seasonal farmers’ market should have started last Sunday but has been postponed indefinitely.  The city office that coordinates has some websites for the farms, so I poked around to see about delivery/pickup.  A few have CSAs, but most don’t do half shares; my experience with CSAs in the past is that a full share is WAY too much.  But I do want to help support, so I’ll see if maybe a neighbor wants to share.

Watched the second episode of ST:P.  Started reading Sharon Kay Penman’s Lionheart, but am kind of disinterested in Alicia as MC or potential narrator.  Have been enjoying the #recipesforthepeople videos posted by Chef José Andrés with his daughters.  The recipes aren’t necessarily things I would cook, but I love his delight in cooking/food, and his admonishment to respect the garlic.  (If I lived closer, I would absolutely be ordering takeout from his Jaleo – my two favorite dishes are the espinacas a la catalana and patatas bravas, which I do not share, sorrynotsorry.)

I need to learn about Duolingo’s theory of language learning.  I’ve been using the app to learn a little Portuguese for the last couple of weeks, and I’m utterly bemused by the vocabulary that they introduce early on and their sentence construction.  Is armadillo really an important word for a new language learner, relative to others?  The dog cuts the steak? Seems a little Noam Chomsky to me.  Having said that, my favorite words learned so far, based entirely on how they feel in my mouth and how they sound, are borboleta (butterfly) and tubarão (shark).  Some of it is strikingly similar to Spanish (tiburón) and some is not (mariposa).  And I find the app’s lack of explanation of rules of pronunciation and grammar a little frustrating.  For instance, for the difference in the pronunciation of the letter O –  as I understand it, O gets more of U sound when it is not in the stressed syllable, but that isn’t articulated anywhere.


Filed under language generally, miscellanea

Recently abandoned and/or discarded, and free to a good home


Last week while wandering through B&N, I bought a book of classic Irish tales for a Mother’s Day gift (which was appreciated when given today) and also a copy of Emily M. Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post.  Cameron Post is an eastern Montana almost-teenager when her parents die; the same weekend they die, she kisses a girl for the first time.  The rest of the book covers the next few years of her life, realizing she’s a lesbian and dealing with that in a small town, living with her born-again aunt who eventually sends her off to have the gay prayed away.  The book was very well written, I thought, but very slowly paced.  Which makes sense to the degree that it was marching along with Cameron’s teen years, which did not exactly fly by.  But by the time Cameron gets sent off to be fixed, I was bored.  Next book, please?


Two more boxes of books have been culled from the TBR or ABR shelves, which are finally beginning to be visibly thinned out.  Among the double stacked shelves I found a bunch of Silhouette Bombshells (does anyone else remember that short-lived category line?) written by authors like Rachel Caine, Debra Webb, and Ruth Wind.  I also found some old, old Harlequin Intrigues by Tess Gerritsen and Anne Stuart, as well as Loveswepts by Deborah Smith.  Also found more categories by Ruth Wind and a couple historical mmpbs by Barbara Samuel.

Books I’d like to pass on to happy homes (free) if anyone wants them:

  • John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (autographed but not personalized)
  • Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post (nearly new)
  • Suzanne Brockmann’s Bork to Darkness (autographed by not personalized)
  • Nora Roberts’ The Witness
  • K.A. Mitchell’s No Souvenirs (an unsigned copy — already have a copy, not sure how I wound up with two)

And there are bound to be more soon, since I’ve set myself the goal of finishing out the clear up by June 1.

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Target’s marketing and floor layout is supremely successful. I walked in with a list made of five items and left with ~20. All of them are things I’ll use so it’s not as if the money is wasted. But it was unplanned.

I bought a red shower curtain with a circular pattern that seems kinda retro. And I love it, despite not matching the black & white going on in the rest if the room.

So easily pleased.


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Questions I’m pondering

~ The trailer for HP7.2 looks good. I especially like the way Snape apparates, and seeing Molly duel Bellatrix Lestrange.

~   I am glad the royal wedding press coverage was over. I did not watch it, although I did see some clips online. (Why was it taking up half of WaPo’s front page?) Pretty dress, shiny uniforms, bizarre head gear. I did think it was sweet that Harry watched Kate walk up the aisle and then appeared to lean over and say to William, "Wait til you see her."

~ Why was it so easy to sit and blurt out two ficlets for the GK The Iceman Cometh fic party based on prompts, but so hard to write the fic I promised to The Biochemist (in which Brad’s license is suspended due to his speed fetish on his motorcycle)?  The bike fic is plotted out, I just…can’t get it written.  It’s the first time ever that I’ve never been able to just sit down and blurt everything out on the page with little or no thought or effort or editing.  

~  Mommom’s dining room table is being delivered to my house on Monday.  I probably should make room for it, decide which chairs, etc., are going into the basement, etc.  And yet instead I’m sitting on the front porch, enjoying the sunshine.

~ I would like to be in Madrid this coming week instead of 9 months from now.

~ Is it wrong that I want to see the new Fast & Furious movie? It’s total cheese, but still…


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Pretty stuff for the kitchen

I’ve mentioned before that my kitchen is not particularly well-equipped. This does not distress me. But I still oooh and aaah over kitchen accessories, like this selection of butter yellow gadgets featured by Metrocurean.

I don’t need a butter dish, yet I’m tempted by the color. Same for the baking dishes.


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Cranky pants

I shoveled snow today.  It wasn’t a lot, so I shouldn’t complain.  But it was on my scheduled day off, and the roads were a mess and schools and offices and businesses were all screwed up as a result of the ice/snow.  So all my plans were re-arranged, which makes me irritated.  I like to stick to the schedule, people!

Read Treachery in Death last night, finishing it this morning.  Liked it a lot, much better than the last In Death.  Very focused on the police procedural aspect and the mystery, less focus on the personal relationships.  Although they are very important to the plot, that sort of backs into the procedural piece.  However.  HOWEVER.  If JD Robb/Nora Roberts doesn’t get the fine tooth comb treatment from her editors — a woman who makes her publisher POTS OF MONEY — then I would be shocked.  But still there are stupid errors like a case being referred to at different points as the Geraldi case and the Giraldi case.  At hardcover prices and with a big name author, I expect better than that from the editorial department.

The Goofy Cat keeps getting up on the kitchen table.  I’ve tried putting things on the table to block her — nope, I come home and find them on the floor.  I’ve removed the table cloth, thinking she liked the texture.  Doesn’t matter, she’ll lay on the bare table.  Whenever I see her or hear her on it, I race into the kitchen and pick her up, tapping her nose and putting her down.  Nothing seems to make a difference.

My favorite khaki pants have gone missing.  They aren’t in the closet or the laundry basket or at the cleaner’s.  I was sure I dropped them at the cleaner’s but Su says no.  It’s not like I could take them off and misplace them.  They must have been sucked into an alternate universe with all the odd socks and earrings that I can’t find.

Bought a copy of Where the Wild Things Are today.  I have a copy already, but for the life of me could NOT find it.  (Maybe it’s with the khaki pants?)  I figure now that I’ve bought another copy, my original copy will surface.


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Stupid pet tricks

Work is kicking my ass and I don’t have much to say about my recent reading material.  Plus, it snowed again and is supposed to snow again this weekend.  DNW.

It’s heartless of me, but seeing my cat do this today made me laugh.  I had to grab my phone to take a picture.  Once I got it (blurry as it is), then I could rescue her.  

She stalked off with offended dignity and groomed herself…and a half hour later got the carton out of the trashcan and did it again.



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Discipline problems

Dear Cat:

You are trying my patience.  I do not appreciate the counter walking or the table sitting.  

And the butter I had out on the counter so it could come to room temperature for use in baking?  Really did not need to be batted onto the floor in your effort to get to it.  Frankly, licking butter is not good for little cats.

We’re both going to be sorry if you do that again.



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Mostly unrelated observations about this past week

+  The cat and my wallet have been traumatized.  I noticed last week that she was panting for no good reason, which was odd.  And then I noticed it again a couple more times.  Off to the vet we went this morning.  It was ugly.  Howling and panting all the way there in the car, even though it was a short ride.  Followed by hissing, spitting, biting, and scratching.  Eventually the vet’s assistant had to corner her and scoop her up into a plastic tub fitted with a little spigot-like tube, which they use to give nervous pets gas.  Once that was done, they took X-rays and bloodwork.  Given her age (12!), she may have a thyroid problem.  We’ll know tomorrow when the bloodwork comes back.   Then she and my wallet will be traumatized all over again 😦

+  The vet’s office had a huge display of books and comics of L.Ron Hubbard.  Some appeared to be fictional and others to be motivational or inspirational.  I’m not sure what that says about the vet, or if I even want to know.  The display did seem a bit out of place next to the shelves of pet toys and bags of dog food.

+  Why must Rafa, Verdasco, Lopez, and Ferrer all be in the same quarter at the US Open?  Almagro, Granollers, Garcia-Lopez, and Robredo are in Murray’s quarter.  Djokovic has no Spaniards in his quarter, while Federer has Juan Carlos Ferrero and Montanes.  It’s as if the Open is out to decimate the Spanish Armada, although that may just be the downside of having so many players in the top 50.  Also, why doesn’t the app include the qualifying information?  Qualies were going on this past week, but the app isn’t active until Monday.  😦

+  Other than Mockingjay, which I’m still thinking about and re-reading, I haven’t read anything new this week.  

+  There is an interview with K.A. Mitchell over at Jessewave’s.  Hey, that reminds me that I need to check and see when No Souvenirs will be out in print, because I want a print copy to go on my bookshelf.  ETA:  January, 2011.

+  The MARC train has a page now that tracks its on time performance for each train on a daily basis.  I’m very curious about how they define "on time", since one of the trains they list with that status was actually about 10 minutes late by my watch.


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