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Monday, June 16, 2014

Sum-sum-sum, Summertime!

It is gorgeous outside.  I may be chained to the desk, but at least my window looks out to greenery and the occasional wildlife visitor.

Yesterday, we went up to the regional park and took a stroll to a lake, spotted some turtles and ducks (but no chicks), and said hello to the friendly farm animals (in a section meant for kid visitors).   My sweetie adores visiting the farm animals.  My daughter talks in her kitten-fostering voice to baby sheep. 

W/AW:  I've been having palpitations about this work albatross thing, but it turns out I'm farther along than I was thinking.  Huh.

Household W:  The ice-maker became possessed by demons last night, and just kept pumping out more ice.  It's kind of like an avalanche in there.

AW:  College reunion next weekend!  I don't go to other reunions [HS, grad school], but it makes me happy to go back to this one every five years.  

Do tell us about the whines and anti-whines in your neighborhood.



60 comments:

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Selfish W: my husband's union voted to reject the most recent attempt at an agreement (they've been without a contract since August), and so we're going to have to go for the summer without the expected back pay. We may have to borrow money to get through the summer.

AW: the weekend went relatively will, considering all the family obligations and upset routines.

W: E's been pretty tired and difficult today, because of all the upset routines.

AW: home made turkey soup for lunch, which we shared with Upstairs Cousin! (Seems only fair, both because she's making us supper, and because we shared the household cold with her.)

kathy a. said...

Gah about going w/o a contract and w/o back pay. Hope the negotiations work out! And that E settles down. But yay for good relations with upstairs cousin!

esperanza said...

W: I took the Baboos with me to my preaching job yesterday. It was a total disaster. It will seem funny someday. Maybe.
AW: Despite much lit-candle fondling, the church did not catch fire.

W: Delayed meltdown (by me) today at the car dealership, where an oil change almost defeated me. Getting ignored by car servicepeople just about makes me mad. I was even wearing grownup clothes (dressed for a funeral).

W: After said meltdown and funeral, I am emotionally exhausted tonight.

AW: Mr. E took care of Baboos all day, so I did not have to deal with car dealers and funerals with them in tow. That would not have been pretty.

esperanza said...

Existential/career related whine: Funeral today was for a man from the first church I served. I really loved that place, and seeing those people today reminded me of who I was then, who they helped me to become, and what I've given up. I guess I'm still grieving that, too. There were parts of it that sucked, but there were lots of good things and good people too.

kathy a. said...

((( Esperanza ))) So hear you about the who I was / where am I going thing. xoxo

Um, this is not a totally healthy choice, but if you wrap packaged [low-fat!] crescent roll triangles around prepared [organic!] meatballs, it tastes really good.

Anonymous said...

((esperanza))

((QWP)) ugh about the back pay!!!!

W: field day today. was more fun than I thought (AW) but still....

W: Neighbor Guy not feeling great tonight. Why did I share a drink with him yesterday???? I hardly ever do that, being somewhat of a germophobe, but figured this one time.....trying hard not to feel doomed here....

AW: Almost the end of the school year. Three days left.

--Neighbor Lady

Anonymous said...

((esperanza))

((QWP)) ugh about the back pay!!!!

W: field day today. was more fun than I thought (AW) but still....

W: Neighbor Guy not feeling great tonight. Why did I share a drink with him yesterday???? I hardly ever do that, being somewhat of a germophobe, but figured this one time.....trying hard not to feel doomed here....

AW: Almost the end of the school year. Three days left.

--Neighbor Lady

Anonymous said...

oops--did not mean to submit twice--sorry!
--NL

Andy said...

Last night, I had a dream that I was dating the craziest of my ex's. And since I have a tragic personal weakness for crazy, that is saying something. Antiwhine: She's apparently crazier than ever, so no, my subconscious, I'm not going to seek her out.

Then, sometime this morning, the rod that holds my watch in place fell out, so it's waving and flopping all over the place now and generally being a nuisance.

Then I got griped at for wearing shorts to work. I do at least 5 hours of constant fitness and outside activities on Mondays. I'm wearing shorts. Deal with it, people. I'll dress like a professional Tuesday-Friday morning. Friday afternoon is fishing group; shorts are back.

And now I'm exhausted and sweaty from my long long day of work, and it's blazing in my apartment. Might have to break down and turn on the AC.

...we're dealing solely with super petty whines this weak. Whatever.

KLee said...

NL -- a comment so nice, you had to send it twice! (I feel you on the wonky double commenting. Happened to me too many times to count.) sorry also about the ick factor. Sending "no sickness" vibes your way...

QWP -- do we need to bring the cluestick posse to you in re: the back pay/no contract issue? I have some angst that could use a healthy cluestick workout....

esperanza -- so sorry about the whole car thing. It's bad enough when you have to sit and wait on it to be fixed, but being ignored in the process makes it SO MUCH BETTER!

Got some plans rolling to direct a murder mystery dinner with my theater group in mid-September. Gives me something to co-ordinate this summer, and will keep me busy after Offspring leaves for school. I figure it won't leave me with too much time to miss her.

Would be nice if I could sleep tonight without leaving a sweat outline of my body (a la murder scene, but much higher gross-out factor) on the sheets tonight. remind me again why I live in a place where bursting into flames in the summer is an option?

KLee

Sue said...

(((QWP))) Sorry to hear about the back pay. Mmmm...turkey soup.

(((esperanza))) Oh, I've so been at the meltdown brink at the car dealer/repair shop. Ugh. And I totally understand the "who I was" grief. Sometimes I still grieve the person I was before migraine put me in a head-lock.

NL - Yay for the end of the school year!

All whine-worthy items Andy - whine away. (Seriously, they want you to do 5 hours of fitness in professional clothing? Uh, no.)

KLee - dinner theater sounds lovely!

AW: Lilacs are finally in bloom!! Yay!!

W: All the things I set aside to do after my week of study leave (last week) - well, lo and behold, they await me this morning. Where are minions when you need them?

kathy a. said...

NL -- 2 more days! Almost there!! Fingers crossed that Neighbor Guy is feeling better, and kept any germies to his own self!

Andy, you got busted for wearing shorts to do, ya know, physical activity? In the heat? The posse will point and laugh until your obviously delusional tormentor crawls off in shame.

Sue, sending virtual minions, and hoping the set-aside tasks are not so onerous. Or at least that there is some serious crossing off on the list today.

kathy a. said...

Is blogger acting wacky and slow? I almost hit the button again, because damn.

AW: Exciting times with a longtime albatross project. Things falling together quickly! Reminds me why I love the albatross community.

Potential AW: there might be incoming! kittens! tonight.

liz said...

Andy, the posse ain't coming with clue-sticks, we're coming with black leather seats to place in the spectators' area for the people who are complaining about you wearing shorts for outside physical activity in the summer to sit in in their nice suits for the whole 5 hours. And we're not lettin' 'em drink any ice cold beverages neither.

kathy a. said...

Liz, can't we do a "you're number one" 5 gallons of gatorade overhead splash, just to be sure their suits are in winning condition?

liz said...

Only after they've sat there broiling for 5 hours first.

liz said...

(((QWP))) I'm so sorry about the money issues. That's so stressful.

(((NL))) I hope that the germies don't colonize you!

(((Esperanza))) You are YOU. Filled with empathy, compassion, and the spirit of light and love. Is there a mentor you can talk with about where you would like to be, and how you might get there?

liz said...

W: Muffin Man is at the pool and I am not.

kathy a. said...

And it is hot.

KLee, great about the dinner theater! I personally do not live in a hot zone like many, but blue ice under the pillow helps the internal combustion factor.

Sue -- lilacs!

Drat, no kittens tonight after all...

I need a new netflix obsession. Any recommendations?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Kathy a: what do you think of mysteries and/British TV? I just watched through Foyle's War and the Bletchley Circle (we're watching through Canadian shows that aren't on US Netflix). I'm now working through Call the Midwife. I'm also jealous of you Americans, who can watch Columbo on Netflix whenever you want (it still holds up!), instead of slowly hoarding episodes on the DVR, as the religious station airs it once a week.

Sue said...

I echo QWP's love for Foyle's War. I also like the old Inspector Morse programs - really good mystery stories set in Oxford UK. Inspector Lewis is the spin-off and it's good too.

Love, love, love Call the Midwife.

No kitties = :(

Queen of West Procrastination said...

W/AW: we did some number crunching, and even if the new contract doesn't get successfully renegotiated until the fall (after which we'll get back pay and a signing bonus), we can survive the summer. But it will be AUSTERE until the end of September. Like, not even money for second-hand clothes for me until October. (But I fought for haircut money and won.)

Sort of AW: We've lived on less. And, now that E is old enough that I have the time to cook and bake a lot, it's my time to shine. I'm good at stretching a food budget while eating well. It helps that it'll be summer, and we're in the middle of family members who have giant gardens. (Landscaping won't be done in time for our own garden, this year.)

Andy said...

Sartorial Update! Had a meeting with my awesome boss today, but she could only confirm that shorts can be worn only outside during patient activities, and pants must be worn in air-conditioned areas, regardless of activity. However, one can choose to wear a heretofore undiscovered type of clothing, "gym pants", while doing fitness activities in an air-conditioned area.

I now have 4 designated categories of legwear to balance at work: shorts, gym pants, jeans, and meeting pants, which I am instructed to wear to meetings with people who are not allowed to wear jeans in their dress code. I'm deathly serious about all of this. I do not get anything done except changing clothes.

(Luckily, my boss also gave a bit of an "honestly, I don't care in the slightest about what you wear when you teach fitness" vibe off while we went over this nonsense.)

esperanza said...

Andy, my dad used to keep a tie in his desk drawer for meetings with bigwigs, but this changing pants 10 times a day thing is going a little far, methinks.

Just be glad you're not the person who has the job of sitting around writing down these ridiculous rules.

Sue said...

How about those pants where you can snap the longer part on and off as needed? Shorts when you need them, pants to meet the bizarro dress code.

liz said...

Kathy: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (PBS from the '70's); Nero Wolfe (A&E? Bravo? from 2001, I think); I ditto Foyle's War; I ditto Call the Midwife; Orphan Black; Chef! (BBC comedy from the '80's); Red Dwarf; Farscape.

Re-watch old favorites, too. Make-your-own film festival (binge watch Hitchcock!)

Andy: I ditto convertable pants, and I also suggest that if they want you to have 4 different outfits to wear throughout the day, that you may decently suggest that the suits are "uniforms" and that they will be on the hook for dry-cleaning, since you will be sweaty from exercise despite the fact that you didn't wear them while exercising. "A benefit of wearing active clothes through the whole day when my job requires sweaty activity for most of the day is that active clothes are MEANT to be sweated in, and can be washed." Also: http://www.betabrand.com/mens/pants.html

(((QWP)))

kathy a. said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

QWP, glad the budget is workable, if tight.

Andy, the clothing cops are hilarious. Well, more so from a distance, not if you're the one changing as often as a stage diva.

liz said...

AW: Campaign staffer for the local congressional campaign came over to pick my brains this morning. Saw my district map (made by a volunteer and laminated by my campaign manager) and swooned. SWOONED. I knew she would. That's why I suggested meeting here.

kathy a. said...

woot!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Everyone's Coming Home at Once, and We Don't Have Time For Everyone: An Overcomplicated Tragedy

Settings:
HOMETOWN (the city where I live, after seven years of exile in the WEST)
CAMPTOWN (a city 4 1/2 hours north of HOMETOWN, and the setting for my church's yearly major family camp/retreat, which is widely attended, and happens during the first week of July every year).

COMPETING FACTIONS:
CAMP/CHURCH FRIENDS (who I have known for my entire life, and the core group of whom I call the Teen Girl Squad, after Homestar Runner)
SCHOOL FRIENDS: my BFF's friends from her high school and the friends from mine converged into one big supergroup when we were in undergrad, and several members married each other. BFF and I try to keep up with the group, but we don't spend as much time with the group as the rest of the group does with each other.

Dramatis personae:
QWP (me)
UPSTAIRS COUSIN (upstairs cousin, who goes to and was raised in the same church as me.)
BFF (younger sister to UPSTAIRS COUSIN, who now lives OUT WEST, where we used to live, and who is coming home for a few weeks, starting next Thursday, in order to visit us in HOMETOWN, and then travel to CAMP TOWN with us)
HAWAII FRIEND (dear friend to both BFF and me, and member of Church Friend Teen Girl Squad. Has lived in Hawaii for the past several years, and is returning home in order to attend the final weekend of Camp).
FRIEND FROM BFF'S HIGH SCHOOL: moved to the continental US after undergrad. Is returning to HOMETOWN during the final weekend of Camp, while several of us are four and a half hours away in CAMP TOWN, and we can't come back early, because we already promised HAWAII FRIEND that 4/5 of the Teen Girl Squad would manage to be together for the first time in years, up in CAMP TOWN.

Complicating Factors:
1.)It turns out that BFF'S SCHOOL FRIEND won't be returning to HOMETOWN for a very long time, because her parents are moving away from HOMETOWN!
2.) SCHOOL FRIENDS are hosting a party on the Friday of that CONTROVERSIAL WEEKEND, in honour of BFFSCHOOLFRIEND, and she just found out that three of us will be unable to attend because we'll be out of town, and there's nothing we can do about it, because we have the prior commitment to HAWAII FRIEND!
3.)Just to make things fun, UNCLE FROM UKRAINE and his wife (father to UPSTAIRS COUSIN and BFF) will be visiting at the same time as BFF, making our house comically over-full! Oh, and he's not going to Camp, and so he's probably going to be a little grumpy when we all take off a few days into his visit, but he didn't check with anyone's plans before making his plans!


Blergh. My eyes are crossed, trying to write that out.

The current plan: well, we're not worrying about Uncle from Ukraine. They'll be in the country for over a month, and we'll all see them. I told BFF about the conflicting plans, and we'll contact the school friend and find out exactly when she's leaving town, and will see if we can get back in time to see her before she leaves at the end of the weekend. Of course, she very well could be leaving first thing on Sunday, in which case we're hooped.

We made the commitment first to HAWAII FRIEND, and she's one of our closest friends, and we very rarely get to see her. But I hate disappointing people.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

(Clarification: BFF lives OUT WEST. That was some terrible grammar.)

liz said...

(((QWP))) You can't take care of everyone, and this time you may have to disappoint one of the many people who love you. I hope that BFFSCHOOLFRIEND can stick around until Tuesday of the weekend, so you won't have to disappoint anyone at all. But if it turns out the other way, try to give yourself a break about it. Okay? XOXOXO

kathy a. said...

You know, that actually sounds fairly coordinated, considering all the players and their priorities. Maybe with a small nudging of schedules, everybody can see everyone they want? When were you planning to go to camp, anyway?

kathy a. said...

Also, what Liz said.

kathy a. said...

It's just a fact of grownup life that you will not be there every time, for every one. That's a reason I LOVE LOVE LOVE my college reunion, even though I will not see everyone -- among the lame excuses this time are "my daughter's getting married across the country" and "there is a funeral" and "I'm running a conference" and so on. At least, every so often, some of us get to gather again. And it's a hoot every time, catching up and telling stories.

Andy said...

QWP: Cheerleader! So-and-So! Whatserface! The Ugly One!

(Oh man, was I ever addicted to Homestar Runner in college.)

You sound like you've got some preliminary plans; hopefully everyone will be understanding of all the chaos.

Kathy A: As for British TV shows on Netflix, my knowledge begins and ends with The IT Crowd, which is truly hilarious.

Andy said...

Pants Update! Today I was wearing Meeting Pants, only to have my underlings call in with personal time, leaving me to do outside gardening in my Meeting Pants. Then, the meeting was cancelled, meaning I wasted my day of wearing Meeting Pants, of which I only have a few pairs. Bah.

esperanza said...

Y'all! Major, major AW: I just heard from my little buddy Waylon, age 6 (of the fireplacing neuroblastoma diagnosis 3 years ago). He is the midst of a trial protocol at St Jude's in Memphis, and his latest scan shows he is cancer free!!! Bummer is that he has to finish the protocol, which is two more rounds of yuck.

kathy a. said...

Andy. You need a duffle bag, which will contain one of everything you might need during a messed up workday (dress for success; shorts; long gym pants; regular pants; t-shirts; a spare tiara for the drama queen of the day; emergency snacks and bribes; whatever), and also you need something to take nasty clothing home in. Keep that duffle in your office or desk or the trunk of your car, someplace accessible to you but not necessarily everyone.

The universe does not know the power of a secret snack/bribe stash.

kathy a. said...

WOOOOT! Esperanza! Such good news about Waylon. And yeah, the protocols suck. xoxoo

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza, that's wonderful news!

Andy, that is absolutely ridiculous that you're expected to do constant wardrobe changes in order to be constantly appropriately at tired at work.

Re: making the plans work for everyone. I have doubts that SCHOOLFRIEND's dates can change, because she's likely flying here, and she's only here for the weekend. We're going up to camp for a week, leaving on the Saturday before that, and likely returning on the same day that School Friend is leaving. We really don't want to leave camp early, because we've promised to spend that weekend with Hawaii Friend, and so unless School Friend is staying until Monday or Tuesday. We'll see. BFF is contacting her directly, to find out when exactly she'll be here, and how flexible those dates are.

W: isn't it supposed to be summer soon? Everyone else has nice weather right now (even everyone else in the province), and we've had non-stop rain for days. We're in a new subdivision where no one has put in grass yet, and so we're up to our ears in mud.

Liz said...

Andy: this link is for you. Dress sweat pants. . SRSLY

Miranda said...

I miss my children so much it hurts and I don't see them until NEXT Saturday. They don't talk much with me while I'm on business trips.

To add insult to injury, the hotel coffee machine is broken and I had to leave the hotel to purchase coffee this morning. I scared the Fancy Suit Man with my braless, makeup less, very casual attire.

Sue said...

kathy, "Orphan Black" is my favourite. (I didn't mention it b/c I don't think it's on n@tfl*x up here.) It's remarkable. There are times when I forget that all the clones are played by the same (amazing!) actress. Great storyline too.

(((QWP))) Wow, that's a lot for one weekend! Good advice already given here - I know you'll work it out.

esperanza - WooHoo, such great news about Waylon!!!

((Miranda)) - it's tough being away from them, isn't it? Lol re: your coffee adventure.

kathy a. said...

((( Miranda ))) How can the hotel not have coffee? Can't they run up to the coffee place and buy a few gallons?

liz said...

Esperanza: WOOT!

Miranda: If suited guy was scared by your pre-coffee humanity, then he deserved to be. BOO to the hotel for lack of coffee.

kathy a. said...

Scaring strangers who wear suits at ungodly hours = awesome!

kathy a. said...

omg, possible incoming mama cat + 3-4 week kittens!!! we'll be gone this weekend, so daughter would be all on her own, except mama cat, who thank you very much is probably experienced by now -- but it would be a new fostering experience. 3-4 weeks is tiny/cute/tiny/wow! just starting to transition to solids. mama will probably be freaked the heck out, so that's a potential challenge.

Sue said...

True, kathy, but mama will be less freaked out at your house than in the shelter, right? 3-4 week kittens = squeeeee!!!!

kathy a. said...

Babies and Mama in a couple hours!!! Yay!

I'm toddling off to my reunion tomorrow, also yay! And yeah, I should have gotten that haircut and whatevers, but assuming I get the makeup thrown in the bag at the last minute, everything is packed.

Fun fact: 20 years ago, my reunion class watched the OJ slo-mo chase in a dorm lounge.

My sweetie is going to the far side of nowhere to build houses for 2 weeks, so there is a lot of laundry going on, and mine is done.

I'll try to get awards in sometime. But keep on in the meanwhile!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Have fun, kathy a! And more kitties! Hooray!

And I agree with everyone else, Miranda: a hotel without coffee is nonsense, and the suit guy deserved any scare he received, if he's so delicate as not to handle seeing you in casual clothes.

AW: School Friend is staying until the Monday after the weekend, and so I was worrying about nothing. I just felt so guilty, because she sounded so hurt that we weren't going to be able to see her. But it all worked out! Communication!

AW: haircut!

kathy a. said...

Good that the Great Meetup got resolved, QWP!

Mama cat is about 1 year, black and gorgeous; 3 babies look closer to 5 weeks. So far, so good.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Kitties! I like these updates, kathy.

AW: I have a new cousin! We just received word that my aunt and uncle have nearly completed the process of adopting a 15-year-old boy that they've been fostering. I'll be meeting him in a few weeks, because they now have the legal ability to travel with him. They're all really excited. (My 19-year-old cousin is thrilled to have a little brother.) I thought that is neat and had to share.

Sue said...

Great news QWP - about the visit with your School Friend and about your new cousin!! Fantastic!

kathy a. said...

Yay, baby cousin!

Oh, I do not even know what I was thinking -- we'll just have to see about whether awards are happening tomorrow.

The city of my college is like a hundred bazillion degrees, and somehow seeing all these people you began knowing almost 40 years ago is GREAT, but also a tad tiring.

I swear to dog that my 2d year roommate had no recollection of one of my best friends, who lived a few doors down 1st year. And then when they started talking, they had a lot of stories and the one who didn't recall, she remembered a whole potential career path for v.good friend that I had forgotten all about. You see? I think we remember different pieces, and then every so often get a chance to put some of them back together.

Whereas last time I had to wear jammies to the lobby to tell the Party Class to please let us sleep, more than once -- this time we are in the dead dorm, an uphill dorm, a dorm built during the regrettable "cinderblock era" (which escaped mention during the talk about the architechtural scheme of the college).

But I'm just unreasonably happy to see so many good people. And I got my math teacher friend to come do table decorations with me tomorrow night!

esperanza said...

kathy a, have fun and forget the awards ceremony.

Signed,
The Original Awards Ceremony Slacker

kathy a. said...

OK, I'ma slacking this week. But I'm passing the food!

Buffet last night: white bean salad with green beans; roasted cauliflower with sauce; salad with heart of palm; rolls; shrimp scampi; tiny roasted potatoes; steaks; assorted parfaits for dessert; and I'm probably forgetting something in addition to the appetizer platters.

Anything you could want for breakfast in the cafeteria, which now has those newfangled "food stations," including a long line for individually cooked omlettes. There are a bunch of teenagers on campus for some program, and they all walk straight into old people since we are invisible, so I bailed on the omlette line. (Isn't invisibility a superpower?)

Next in chow: all-campus BBQ lunch, featuring "music for the ages." And for reasons not yet understood, a bouncy house with inflatable palm trees.

Tonight: My class dinner, in a lovely air-conditioned room, with table decor by moi. Only I planned for 5-6 tables based on head count, and there are 8 tables, so some of the snack dishes may be repurposed as low vases. (Like we need snacks, what with the Parade of Food.) Anyway, the food service staff is going all out, so you won't want to miss this virtual offering.

Many apologies, but my brain is melted because of memory overload and the fact that it is 3 million degrees. And my dorm lacks AC, as do the lovely outdoor features of campus.

Sue said...

kathy a - good food, good stories, good friends - Yaaaay!!!!

Liz said...

Yay, Kathy! Yay kitties!

Yay new cousin!!!

I am having a really good time at state party shindig. I'm rooming with a woman who ran an even closer race last year. I knew she was awesome, but she's awesomeness than I knew.

kathy a. said...

Yay, Liz!

It was such a good party! I haven't laughed so much in probably 5 years. It is so strange and wonderful having these conversations with people who aren't really part of my everyday world, but we have these connections in our shared past, and interesting ones in life since then.