10/01 Direct Link
I'm having problems with bounce back or bleed through migraines: day one, have a migraine and take meds, feel better, go to bed, wake up on day 2, and in the afternoon have the migraine explode through your head. The exploding part, that was today. So no knit nite, no social gathering. But since I couldn't look at a computer screen, or watch TV, I did knit. I managed to put on a few inches on the front of the sweater for DH. It is possible I could finish the front this month. Which means a finished sweter by Christmas?
10/02 Direct Link
I have officially begun the search. I went to sit among the unclaimed kitties, hoping one of them would come to me and claim me as their human. It didn't happen. The only one who was ready to claim me was a big guy with blue eyes who wants to be the only cat in a household. That's not gonna work out for us, so today was a strike out. I learned that it is much harder to walk out of a shelter and leave all those cats behind when you aren't walking out with one that warms your heart.
10/03 Direct Link
The inevitable last minute rush to upload a camera ready paper is much like the last minute rush to upload a proposal. You've already been accepted, so that is good. But of course, there's some ridiculous formatting requirement that Word barfs on. There always is. I have yet to meet a publication template for Word that actually works and has all the required style formatting. Brute-forcing Word and Acrobat to get a PDF that is accepted by the system was a team sport this afternoon, but in the end, the paper was uploaded - my third pub credit this year.
10/04 Direct Link
Let us not speak of Tuesday. At least, not this Tuesday. A wasted day as the migraine returns yet again. I have no choice but to tune out and turn off. No electronics for the day. I listen to a Hamish MacBeth story on DVD, purchased just for this purpose, but I had the reader's voice and my clock radio doesn't have a pause button on the CD, so I lose bits of the story when the phone rings or himself comes to talk to me. Salvation: I did manage several inches of knitting, of the blind / mindless stockinette variety.
10/05 Direct Link
The mention of Vestal has me looking at a map to figure out where they are tonight. Tracing their route eastward, I see Liberty. Which immediately sparks the memory of a beautiful wedding in Neversink, my first real venture out of the city and one that was quite eye-opening. Too tired to do any work, I frittered away an hour looking up my past, or at least, Barbara - the other redhead in the office where I worked when I first came to Gotham. It is odd to realize that I am about as old now as she was then.
10/06 Direct Link
So, the universe ate the post I just finished. Literally. This is take two for today, because I can only imagine the subject was deemed inappropriate, since I wondered briefly if I should really write on that subject matter. And since I am no longer writing offline and then pasting/posting, there is no original to copy from any more. It is frustrating, and I've lost a few posts in a similar fashion, but none immediately upon hitting the Preview button. It seems appropriate, somehow, the culmination of a difficult day: lose a carefully written post on a sensitive topic.
10/07 Direct Link
I've written this post three times now. It never comes out right. It was a frustrating day, to be sure. Despite plans, despite questions asked and answered, a long-distance project is going to have a couple of unplanned, unforseen circumstances. How to deal with them at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend? I am so glad himself had the idea to call the landscape guy, and that a fix can be had. At what cost and in what time frame remains to be determined. I'm exhausted, himself is in pain and its just day one.
10/08 Direct Link
Every IT person -- current or former -- knows that they are responsible for all computing technology in the house: cell phones, tables, computers, routers, printers - and probably soon, the refrigerator. There is no escape, just as the car mechanic is responsible for all vehicular maintenance at home, so I must keep things afloat for us, for my parents, for my mother in law. Thankfully, I've managed to get everyone on Apple computers, so real problems are few and far between, I generally do upgrades or fix basic misconfigurations. I don't think I'd have a chance trying to support recent MessyStuff products.
10/09 Direct Link
Everything is on hold due to rain delay. Our Sunday plans were for entertainment and diversion, but the rain has fouled them. With only the roof to complete, the end is in sight, we should be able to finish relatively early tomorrow, but at noon on a Sunday, we don't really have alternate plans for entertainment and diversion given the weather. Everyone is vaguely dissatisfied with the situation. And exhausted, let's not forget that; I am still not sleeping well at all. I can't knit, my arms and wrists hurt too much from mixing 200 pounds of cement on Friday.
10/10 Direct Link
Today was a long slog. But it shouldn't have been. And there more trips to the hardware store today for supplies that we shouldn't have needed to purchase. I know we're all tired, but several times I was quite taken aback at the things that have been missed along the way. I haven't found a way to open the conversation with him, to broach the topic that this may all be something minor, that can be fixed relatively easily. I am pretty sure he's aware, and in denial, because he fears it may be something big that cannot be fixed.
10/11 Direct Link
It is clearly acorn season. They are crashing down around us all day and all night. Bouncing off the eaves, the gutters, the cars; poor G is trying to figure out where to put his shiny new car and his beloved WRX so they are both safe from incoming organic missiles. And given that we have so many fewer trees on the property this year, the number of acorns raining down is a bit surprising. I hope the squirrels and chipmunks make good use of the abundance, but the population seems to be running a bit low - I wonder why?
10/12 Direct Link
Four years ago was a beautiful day. One I never imagined for myself as a girl, or even as a single woman in the city. It never seemed....feasible. Probable. In some ways, we still feel like newlyweds, even though people assumed we'd been married for years, even just after we met. Today, we're a little worse for wear from recent events, so a quiet dinner at home is about all the excitement we can stand, and it is an early night for both of us. We will save bigger celebrations for some time when we can actually enjoy it.
10/13 Direct Link
I hate having to cancel the call with Helene - we haven't talked recently. But I'm so completely overwhelmed at this point I don't know what else to do. Some days I manage to maintain a Zen approach to the absolute avalanche of things to be done, and other days. . . it is all I can do not to end up whimpering in the corner. Today is one of the latter days, even though I'm at the incubator where I supposedly can get stuff done without interruption. But that requires a certain grit and clarity of thought I apparently am lacking today.
10/14 Direct Link
Although I am exhausted, I decided to haul my carcass into the city for a conference, all in the name of making contacts. I am glad I did: it was an absolutely beautiful fall day and the trains ran on time. I brought my morning coffee with me, and careful packing meant I had what I needed but wasn't weighed down. I managed to establish contact with the two people I came to see. And even though I sat in folding chairs all day, I did not destroy my back. It was an ideal business day trip to the city.
10/15 Direct Link
A day spent working for the future. I planted bulbs, which require patience to reap the reward. You plant in the fall, you wait through the winter, and you hope in the spring - sometimes as late as June - to see the green shoot up bringing lovely color with it. Bulbs are a gamble on the future. More near-term, I finally made the hotel reservation for our now-annual Christmas Market visit to the city. Two months from now, we'll be shopping the various holiday markets in the city, visiting Meyers of Keswick and ogling the big department store windows.
10/16 Direct Link
Full moon Sunday. While I miss being able to see moonrise from inside the house, I really enjoy seeing how the bright moonlight lights up our backyard now. Some month, the full moon will be on a Friday or Saturday when I am not completely exhausted and I will go out for a late night, moonlight stroll around the neighborhood with G. Or try to read by moonlight in the backyard. Maybe drive down to the waterfront? There's only one spot nearby, but that might be an interesting full moon madness excursion. It probably needs to wait until spring, however.
10/17 Direct Link
A day of ups and downs, but thankfully there was more the former than the latter. Its so much easier to be upbeat, and have energy in the evening when you've had a few victories in the day. I don't feel I slept last night but I know I did, or even the good bits of today wouldn't be able to salvage the evening. I am hoping for real, solid sleep tonight - a few more nights and I might be back up to functioning at nearly full speed. I will need it to get through the rest of the month.
10/18 Direct Link
Some days you win, some days you lose. Some days you think you win and then you realize you lost. I realized tonight something didn't get done today that needs to be done for tomorrow's meeting. Maybe I can get it done in an hour tomorrow morning? I did spend time last week laying out the concepts, but I am skeptical I can document it that quickly. It was already 9 PM by the time the thought occurred to me, and I just don't have it in me to do it tonight. Sleep is still elusive and requires real preparation.
10/19 Direct Link
The leaves are turning beautiful colors, I realized with a jolt. It is somehow shocking to me to see the colors - it is too early! And then I realize that it is already fall, well into fall, nearly a month. How the hell did that happen? While it is true that I really am ready for 2016 as a year to be over and done with, I can't quite believe that it is the second half of October already. We are rushing headlong into the holiday season and I am not prepared for the madness to ramp up even more.
10/20 Direct Link
I am not going to the Pierce Turner gig in the city tomorrow night. I am really, really frustrated by that reality. I missed the summer gig at the church and now I miss this gig, that sounds really good. But having done a lightning trip to the city last Friday, I know what kind of toll it would take on me to do it alone. Saturday has to be all kinds of productive due to business travel on Sunday. That won't happen if I don't get home until midnight. This is how work is infringing on my personal life.
10/21 Direct Link
I was surprised and slightly appalled at the very personal line of questioning, but Lee was getting at the heart of something I've been wrestling with this year. And she has a very different dynamic in her marriage - almost 40 years so far, so is a successful partnership. So I considered and answered, as best I could answer anyone other than Helene; with her I think I could have been bare-bones honest, but I'm not sure she would have asked me those same questions. Then again, we'd have been somewhere drinking wine, which would also have made it easier.
10/22 Direct Link
It is grey and damp here, with acorns pummeling the house something fierce. Fall colors are seeping in all around and normally, this would be a terrific day to lounge on the couch with knitting and catch up on TV or a movie. I honestly don't remember the last time I did that - just took the day off. I leave early afternoon tomorrow on a business trip and there's just too much to do. Travel on a Sunday means an available comp day that I plan to use either knitting on the couch or playing with G in the city.
10/23 Direct Link
About once a year I have to travel on a Sunday for business. This is one of those days. I thought going down early to spend time at the Walters Art Gallery, which I have wanted to see for nearly 30 years. Just a few hours for myself on a business trip - sounds reasonable, doesn't it? The recent crush at work ruined that plan: I have two briefings in two days on completely different topics to completely different audiences. And neither briefing was complete on Friday. So no fun for me in Baltimore, which is the classic business trip reality.
10/24 Direct Link
Academics often seem to be completely separated for reality. But I was still taken aback at the student research that seemed to lack all understanding of operational reality. Why expend effort to visualize distributed UDP denial of service attacks to defend yourself, when you should be expending effort to turn off and restrict those UDP services available on the internet?! I was not the only one who found the premise ludicrous. The conference should focus on practical and useful visualizations, and case studies of operational uses, not on masturbatory displays that don't adhere to visualization principles or solve actual problems.
10/25 Direct Link
Another business trip of long days spent shuttling about trains with luggage. And yet... I don't hurt when I get home. Not my back, not my feet, nothing aches. I am tired, yes, and at least a bit mentally worn out from the prospect of still more work that waits for me at the office. Not having to drag my luggage and having better support for my feet has made a real difference. I am sorry I didn't figure this out sooner, but I am now able to do many more things without pain. Can I do more, more often?
10/26 Direct Link
Fionn, the kitty of my heart that was, used to come upstairs at night to snuggle with me on the bed when I went to sleep. The last few years his arthritis, particularly in his hip, made going up and down stairs difficult. I wasn't sure what I would do when he eventually would stop coming up at night. But he never stopped. Tonight I learned why: darling husbeast saw him staring up the stairway one night, and picked him up and carried him quietly up the stairs. And then did that every night for some untold period of time.
10/27 Direct Link
Furnace Wars 2016. The general goal is to not turn on the heat in the house until November 1. The fall has turned unseasonably cold, freeze warnings left and right in the last week, but Husband has been resolute: no heat. I wonder if it is his way of testing the efficacy of the insulation and sealing that was done in the spring? The house temperature slowly drifted below 60. This morning I had wet hair in a house that was only 57; I put my foot down. Husband turned on the heat and lost the Furnace War this year.
10/28 Direct Link
I saw the post announcing the spring knitting retreat and was overcome with the longing.. for the fall Maine retreat. While the spring retreat in California is probably very nice, it would require flying across country - and I'm not sure I want to do that again for knitting retreat. It is also the week before NCCDC in San Antonio. I'm not up for that level of crazy, so Asilomar won't make my list for 2017. Edinburgh is also problemmatic in March. But Maine - I'm going, no question. As soon as the dates are announced, it will be on my calendar.
10/29 Direct Link
A productive Saturday... with the most rewarding task being planting more bulbs. I have developed a method that allows me to rip through 100 of the smaller bulbs in about an hour, depending on the soil of course. On a day like today, the soil damp from recent rain, planting bulbs is relatively easy work, even if it means being down on my hands and knees, or sitting on the ground. I am hoping next spring the weather cooperates so that all the bulbs I've planted in the last two years are able to grow and bloom in full glory.
10/30 Direct Link
I am closing in on completing G's sweater. I measured his favorite shawl collar today to understand what I am trying to duplicate. I won't finish the front this month, clearly, but I stand a chance of getting this behemoth done for Christmas. At least the pieces done, I don't know about the seaming. There might well be enough yarn to put in the hoodie pockets at the front that he was hoping for. And then I can cast on something else. Or try to finish something else - for me. I am done knitting for others for the forseeable future.
10/31 Direct Link
As I walked through Union Station in Kansas City, I tried to imagine what it would have been like 75 years ago, when trains and people flowed in and out in a constant stream. The Beaux-Arts building is beautifully restored now, and virtually empty. There's a terrific little coffee shop, Parisi, which had the best soda I've had, possibly in my life: Amarena cherry, with cream. House-made syrup, mixed on the spot and truly wonderfully tasty and refreshing. Very much reminds me of my favorite dessert in Washington DC. And my real Samhain celebration alone in Kansas City.