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Chronicle of Days Past

Jan. 7th, 2018 08:29 pm Burning Oak

It was a strange week.  In some ways, I couldn't believe that I had so little work to do, although Wednesday was a very busy day, especially as I also visited every grocery store as well as the library in addition to works.  I still managed to stay occupied with tutoring confirmations for this week and planning and sleep, as I stayed up late finishing my game of Dragon Age:  Inquisition.

It's also been remarkably cold for the entire week.  I have my heat set at sixty degrees, but I was surprised when it actually came on last Saturday night.  But since then it's stayed on regularly and that's the warmest my home has been.  There have been lows in the twenties and highs in the forties.  It looks like it'll finally warm up now, but it was an interesting change.

Accordingly, Monday night I had a fire.  First I tried to burn the big oak log that I'd grabbed from the cut-up remains of large branch that'd fallen in my parents' backyard.  I couldn't get it started thanks to its thick bark and overall size, so I decided to set a regular two-hour paper-clad pine log at its base in the hopes that that would set it off.

The two-hour log did seem to burn away at the base of the oak log, causing it fall over, but nothing else seemed to result.  Yet it still smelled smoky as I tried to sleep that night.  I went to put the log outside but to my surprise when I turned it over a deep ashy scar was still smoldering away.  Well into the next day the log ever so slowly embered into ash and smoke, finally disappearing Tuesday evening.

I'd hoped to see Star Wars today, but we had a chance to see Melinda and Emily et al. while they were in town for Disney.  It was a nice, quick visit and it was good to chat with Jason's family a bit.

Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: "The Wedding"--"Outlander" soundtrack

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Dec. 31st, 2017 08:13 pm My 2017 Year-End Post

In many ways, my 2017 was a year defined by work.  I've done work for five different companies in 2017, often in the same week.  In March I began weekly work for the German American Society.  Despite busy Wednesdays, I've enjoyed the work.  In September I lost my online ad-grading work, but I've been busy enough not to miss it yet.

And at the end of July, of course...well, let me just quote from the post concerning the matter:  "At the end of last week I learned my former boss needed some help in the office and wanted me to fill in for a month or so.  Although I'll be glad for the money, I'm also glad it's only for a short time.  I don't think I'd want to go back full-time, especially after being let go."

Rediscovering that quote clarified why I've felt so stressed these past months.  I never expected all this continual work, which only increased once tutoring started anew in the fall.  And getting sick twice didn't help.  I have hope it'll dimish with the new employee in the new year, but all the same after the job already lasting so unexpectedly long I'm afraid it will just keep going, too.

While work curtailed my leisure time, I still managed, especially in the first half of the year, to explore new visual novels, finally mod the end of Mass Effect 3 to my satisfaction, play some new games (and buy many more), enjoy local festivals, go to movies, visit family, and see plays.  And, of course, in September, there was the family Rhine Cruise, dramatically concluded by Irma drama.  I also had or got to fix or upgrade my home, getting a new antenna, cupboard hinges, dishwasher, computer, disposal, and Blu-ray player.

In 2017, I went to live soccer and baseball games.  I petted a donkey and discovered Qdoba quesadillas.  I walked along beautiful natural bikepaths in water reclamation areas at home and in the Netherlands.  I saw a Civil War reenactment and Wicked.  I made a chainmail keychain and emailed my senator.  I read a book while floating on the Rhine below the mighty towers of Kolner Dom and walked to the roof of Strasbourg Cathedral.  On to the next year.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "House of All Worlds"--"Dreamfall Chapters" soundtrack

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Dec. 31st, 2017 06:18 pm After Christmas

I had to check back and confirm that I'd done this before, because it's been a long time since I've had actual stuff to post about before my annual year-end post on New Year's Even.  But I do want to make this separate post before that one.

I managed to de-decorate the tree and gather the other decorations up by Friday, but I can't manage to unassemble the tree and get it back in its storage box.  Since the ladder is also stored in the porch closet and there's no point putting it back until the tree box is back in there, I also haven't bothered putting the stuff back in the attic yet either.  And with all the boxes and tree bits about, it's too messy to mop or vacuum.

Friday was still very busy.  There was shopping, pictures, and then a late drive to dinner in Sanford at Mellow Mushroom.  It's the first time I've been to a Mellow Mushroom since we used to walk to the one near the apartment in Winter Park.  I really liked my design-your-own salad.

Afterwards we headed to a storefront theatre in downtown Sanford to see "Who Killed Santa?"  There were in fact two separate 9 pm plays going on in the little black box theaters.  They had free snacks of soda, Hershey's kisses, popcorn, and chocolate-covered pretzels.  The ticket-taker turned out to also be the director, theatre owner, and several roles in the player (after her Santa had dropped out two weeks before opening.)  The casual atmosphere was fun, and the play was pretty funny, albeit dirty enough I was rather glad we'd waited until after Christmas to see it.  Since it was the second-to-last night of the show, we got to see all four endings.

After church we had a delicious New Year's (Eve) lunch of ham, black-eyed peas, broccoli, rice, cornbread, and macaroni pie.  There was French silk pie later for dessert after we sadly failed to get Chromecast to work.  Thus we couldn't watch "The Room" again and watched another MST3K.

Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: "Aurora"--Mike Oldfield

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Dec. 28th, 2017 04:12 pm Christmastime

North and Back AgainCollapse )

Tuesday the 26th we had the family Christmas.  After a pizza lunch, we opened gifts.  I got gift cards, shelves, a map, a Blu-Ray player, socks, pasta, M&Ms, and more.  Mommy tried to get me Marvel's Phase One movies, but they turned out to be from England.

But I'm still grateful for the Blu-Ray player.  As soon as I got home I set it up and watched the Wonder Woman DVD I'd gotten from the library, which was crisp and clear.  It's been nearly a year since I've been able to watch anything via disc on that television.  I still don't know why my VCR/DVD isn't connecting, but it's just such a relief to have that as an option again.

I had work yesterday, but other than that I've been staying up way too late reading and playing Dragon Age:  Inquisition (which apparently is how I end every year.)  Although work shouldn't be as busy in the new year, I worry.  Plus I will have new students, too, and I intend to enjoy this break while I can.

Current Mood: lovedloved
Current Music: "The Pod Dance"--"The Dark Crystal" soundtrack

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Dec. 22nd, 2017 03:35 pm Life

After work Monday I texted and discovered that they're training the new assistant, so I'm not coming back in to work until he starts school next year.  I've enjoyed my unexpected winter break (although I still had work Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.)

Wednesday night was another play, a "radio broadcast" of "It's a Wonderful Life."  Alas, Key wasn't feeling well and couldn't come, and worse, it doesn't sound like she'll be coming with us north.  I did really enjoy the play, though.  We had good seats to the side of the stage.  For a radio play, there was a lot to see.  The actors were good about keeping things moving, and the foley artist and sound technician and directors and other actors all kept up expressions and motions even when they didn't have lines.  Also, the lighting made it unusually easy to see the "studio" audience, and I enjoyed seeing audience reactions as well.  I always love "It's a Wonderful Life" and the old-timey advertisements in-between were fun, too.

I was cleaning Wednesday when I heard dripping beneath the sink--from the disposal.  The plumber came today and replaced it (I guess the seal had gone bad.)  Fortunately it was only when there was water in that side of the sink and he was able to come before the trip.


Trip StatisticsCollapse )

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: "River's Dance"--"Firefly" soundtrack

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Dec. 18th, 2017 01:18 pm Tomorrow

I had a busy "day off" Thursday, but I managed to get most of what I wanted done, despite I later start than I'd hoped (turns out I did need to sleep ten hours.)  Friday I had work, then tutoring, and then I grabbed dinner at McDonald's during the lovely sunset, then drove north to see the "A Christmas Story" musical.  It was a crowded theater, but it was an interesting show, with good tap dancing.

After the busy week I was looking forward to Saturday, though.  Key and I went to the mall and saw "The Disaster Artist."  Since I always like to visit the mall during Christmastime and I was already there, afterwards I walked around.  There were so many tiny babies!

I was trying to plan my busy January and checked with my boss Friday and learned he may have found someone.  I was beginning to be afraid it would never happen.  Part of me still feels guilty for turning down a well-paying job that I don't entirely not enjoy, but mostly I have such a sense of relief at being able to pick up all the stuff I've been neglecting the past five months.  Plus, with my stress and sleep and schedule and getting sick, it's better for my health.

If the interview today works out, I'll still be working a couple days a week in January, but hopefully should phase out after that.  I'm just enjoying being able to sleep in on a Monday for the first time in I literally don't remember how long.

9/11/17--Southward HomeCollapse )

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: "Titanium/Pavane"--The Piano Guys

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Dec. 13th, 2017 09:45 pm Sometimes Christmas

I made myself get the Christmas stuff down (and out from the porch closet) the day after my last post, which was a good thing, despite my continuing congestion, because I didn't have any time to do anything with it until I had a day off that Friday, December first.  Then I did my decorating.

Disturbed by my continuing sore throat (and wanting to be able to sing in the church Christmas concert), I also went to a doctor again and got another round of antibiotics, since the first round apparently wasn't enough.  I was still coughing into the very busy next week, but I was able to sing at the dress rehearsal Wednesday night.

Last week was also when I meant to update Livejournal, but I never got the chance, it was that busy.  I had work and tutoring every day.  It was also grey, and by the end of the week, cold, a proper, double-layer winter cold that's lasted all the way into this week.

Sunday morning the Christmas concert went well.  We had guests for lunch (which meant an extremely delicious Oreo chocolate cake), but there was enough time afterward for me to run to the library before Key and I left to go to see the musical of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."  We had time to walk around Loch Haven first.  It was interesting to see the children's theater and the sets were impressive, but I think book was a better format for this material.

We ate at Pei Wei again and I didn't manage to leave the parents' until nearly ten.  Since I'd only had six hours of sleep (although that was my own fault) and missed my usual Sunday nap, I was utterly exhausted and had an even grumpier start to the week than usual.

At least I finally have another day off tomorrow (although I still have the now-traditional doctor's appointment.)  There's a lot I need and hope to do.  We had our choir party tonight, which involved a fun Christmas song bingo and word scramble.  And it's still cold!

9/10/17--Family and FoodCollapse )

Current Mood: stressedstressed
Current Music: "Carnival"--Twelve Girls Band

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Nov. 25th, 2017 12:15 pm Eyesnot and Thanksgiving

Cooler ended up being fixed by Wednesday, so I spent most of the evening getting my music re-situated (I hope I don't have to do it all again now that I've got my new external drive hooked up.)  It took a lot longer than I expected, and wasn't helped by right eye snotting half over.  That was gross.

So I didn't get as much sleep before Thanksgiving, and the eyesnot issue made me worried about my lack of getting better.  But I made it over to my parents' house with enough time to go for a walk there, and I really enjoyed that.  It was nice and grey outside and not too hot.  I ended up going all the way to Duncan Park and back.  It was interesting to see the remaining hurricaine damage and just what all had change on my old familiar routes so long unseen.

Thanksgiving at friends was a lot of fun.  There was good food (the noodles turned out deliciously) and conversation all in three hours.  I was tired and glad to get home afterwards, though.

Friday I slept about ten hours and woke feeling much better, to my relief.  The weather was nice and cool.  I cleaned the house, but decided to hold off decorating for now.  I'm not sure I'm up to dragging the box down from the attic.  Maybe today or tomorrow; we'll see.


9/9/17--AirportsCollapse )

Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Current Music: "Good King Wenceslas"--Angels of Venice

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Nov. 21st, 2017 05:35 pm Between Whiny and Thankful

It took until Friday morning to have the conversation with my boss about my work hours that he wanted to have.  The upshot is that he wanted me to work more.  At least this time, I get to turn him down.  It still makes me uneasy to turn down work, especially well-paying work I know how to do, but these past couple months have made it clear to me it's not a place I want to spend full-time or even part-time.  Now it's just a question of how long it will take him to find someone to replace me.

I Blame Automatic UpdatesCollapse )

Kountry Mist Yet AgainCollapse )

Mommy was away at her college reunion, so it was just Papa and Key and I (I can't really recall the last time we had that combination.)  After church we went to see Thor:  Ragnarok, but we didn't end up having time to eat before the movie.  I enjoyed it, but it was increasing clear that I was getting a sore throat.  We picked up Subway afterward and had cookie dough pie while watching a MST3K at home.

It was fun, but I was tired and stressed about being sick and my computer and missing the chance to get to the library.  I tried to reload Windows on Cooler, but there was an issue with the partitioning.  I might have been able to figure it out, but didn't want to fiddle with it, plus Papa had agreed to take it to the repair shop the next day.

It's very frustrating to get sick when I finally have some time off, and to have Cooler "sick" too.  But at least it's not like I'll have to reload a lot of stuff (I think I'd loaded a grand total of four programs on him, and I'm not sure I'll bother with Mass Effect:  Andromeda, since I have that on the laptop and I don't think I'll play it enough to justify downloading it again just to enjoy it on the big screen.  Maybe I'll see what Dragon Age:  Inquisition looks like...)

In fact, since I'd set everything up to be able to switch to Tim (the old desktop) when I wanted to play the games I still had on him, literally the only thing I can't do while Cooler's gone is play Fallout 4, and that's not because it's on Cooler (it's on a separate drive) but because it requires newer graphics.

I decided to get up early to go to the doctor's walk-in hours.  To my horror, when I got there at eight I discovered that's when they ended, and I had to take the first appointment at 9:50 and miss work.  I went to work afterwards (and then again afterwards with tutoring) and was glad to get home about 6:45.  I didn't honestly feel that sick, but I was tired (and mad I'd gotten up early to no avail) so I'd decided to sleep late Tuesday and then see how I felt.

I ended up sleeping about eleven and a half hours and woke up about 12:45 pm.  I think I feel worse than yesterday, but it feels nice to have a day off work (even though I'll miss the money.  And I was one day off from Thanksgiving break anyway, although I'm still scheduled for Mathnasium tomorrow.  I probably'll cancel that too.)

9/8/17--Americans AbroadCollapse )

Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: "Technical Difficulties"--2Cellos

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Nov. 12th, 2017 08:28 pm 33

After several busy weeks, the Saturday after I last posted was a nice, relaxing day (mostly spent playing Fallout 4.)  Then we watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 Sunday.  Work wasn't too bad on my birthday and I left an hour early and found my folks had decorated and left me a few gifts and desserts.

However, a Windows update had screwed up the graphics on Cooler's big monitor and trying to figure that out wasted precious time and dampened my birthday enthusiasm.  I finally managed to fix it somehow Wednesday night, which was busy with preparation for the church's small business/craft fair the next night.

I figured I'd wake up early and have plenty of time before my rheumatologist appointment, but to my surprise I slept right up until my alarm, nine and a half hours.  I had a good time at the craft fair and gave out a lot of business cards, but I'm a bit surprised not even one of the greeting cards sold.

It was back to work on Friday (and I ended up going back down right near my rheumatologist's to pick up work) and I ended up being alone in the office after two and stayed until 4:30.  I stayed up late playing Fallout 4 again and spent much of Saturday starting up Tim again (which worked fine after some monitor connection issues) and playing Dragon Age modules.  I stayed up late reading a book.

For lunch today we went to what used to be Crazy Buffet and is still a nice Chinese buffet.  It was delicious, and afterwards there was presents and cookie cake.  I feel like these were my most adult presents ever since it was a lot of clothes and gift cards.  I've already bought more computer games than I've had time to play.  Then we watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 while painting letters.


9/7/17--Engineering and PretzelsCollapse )

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "'Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch'"--"Titanic" soundtrack

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