Dec. 19th, 2012 01:49 am
mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)
Well, I have given in and I have a doctor's appointment in the morning. If nothing else, I figure they can give me a referral to an allergist, and I think it's time to try that. I last went to an ENT doc nearly 10 years ago, and she wasn't even an allergy specialist - somebody may have some ideas they didn't then. Plus, I've had sore throats off and on for weeks now, and while I do think it's likely that it's just allergies, it's time (probably past time) to rule out the other stuff, too. Obviously I've been avoiding it, but man, I'm tired of being sick.

I have not gotten far on my little to-do list from yesterday, except that I did make progress on the making and sending of cards. Some I've done are actually mostly handmade and others less so, but so far I haven't resorted to my leftover bought cards from past years at all. I've been taking scans of the more original ones and I'll post those later, after the recipients have had time to see them. But I'm a little bit happier with myself on that score. Just getting off my butt and doing anything is a triumph these days. I even have a war-wound - I sliced my finger open a little bit with the paper-trimmer - nothing too bad, though.

The fact is, I am not feeling much holiday spirit this year. It comes and it goes so fast now that it doesn't seem like there's time to enjoy it. I guess that's just a part of getting older. (And I think maybe you adjust to the whoosh of time as it goes by. At least, sometimes I think I'm starting to.)
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
I seem to be somewhat in denial about the onset of Christmas. I have done some things - for example, I dragged out the wreaths a couple of weeks ago, and put them on both the front door and the balcony door. (I like both my wreaths - the balcony one is battery-operated and twinkles merrily every night. I like to watch it, and this is its fifth December on our balcony, so I think you have to say we got our $30 worth out of that purchase.) And I put the big long string of LED lights across the balcony railing, as well. My apartment complex is way into the holiday decorating, and since our balcony is the ONLY one visible from the street, I feel compelled to do my bit there. And I have done part of my cards and have been gradually working on the rest. And I bought Rob some gifts.

But... there are a number of things I haven't done, either. We discussed putting up the tree and sort of abandoned the idea, because it's a pain and we don't have a really good spot for it. I did put out a couple of decor things, so I made a token effort there. I haven't called my aunt and asked about what I should bring - or (hell!) even told her that we're definitely coming, now that I think about it. (I really, really need to do that one, now that I think about it.) I haven't done anything about a gift for Rob's parents. They're at the point where it's really difficult to get them anything they actually want, but I do try to at least make an effort. I'm going to have to think up some last-minute something, there. Although, man, with mailing issues I'm cutting that one close, aren't I? I haven't wrapped presents or gotten any kind of token presents for my aunt and my cousins or any of that, although all of that is stuff I usually do at the last minute, too. But I'm working this weekend so even getting out the door on Monday is going to be a bit problematic. I really do have to do some of this stuff, and some of it had best be TODAY or at least tomorrow, while I still have a week to go.

Hell, now I've worked myself into a bit of a panic. I'm not sure that's helpful. But knowing me, I'll have pushed all this to the back of my mind again in 15 minutes, anyway.
mellificent: (Xmas - pink aluminum)
I'm not saying you're actually going to get 7 kinds of random here, but I'm pretty sure that the only way I'm going to get an entry out tonight is to loose the random.

Well, ok, let's start with some updates on things I've talked about previously: first of all, the Texans lost rather ignominiously on Monday Night Football. But hell, they had those injury problems that we had talked about, and it was New England in Foxboro in December and if you read between the lines when I was talking about it before, I wasn't really holding my breath for a victory there. But hey, we're still 11-2. Most teams would give their eyeteeth to be in the Texans' size 14 shoes. We'll see what happens with Indianapolis this weekend.

Also, regarding the cruise ships, this was big news in Galveston this past week: Disney has decided to leave earlier than anticipated. (It looks like the rest of that article is behind a pay wall now, darnit.) Anyway, they're still staying through 2013, they're just not going into 2014 as they had previously hinted they might. And apparently the other suitor for those berths was going to be Princess Cruises, but they have decided to go further inshore and go out of LaPorte. (It's always possible that that will not work out, anyway; LaPorte has had a couple of flings in the past at being a cruise ship departure city and it never seems to work out too well. We'll see.)

I stayed home from work today because I had a sore throat. (I say I stayed home; I didn't drive to Galveston, is what I mean, but I ended up doing several hours of work anyway.) What I really was leading to here, though, was that I have been sick for pretty much the last month now. I'm pretty sure I caught a cold on top of my normal fall allergies, and I was sick for the 10 days or so immediately before Thanksgiving, and since then I've had trouble shaking it. I've been through bags and bags of cough drops. I am getting better, but really slowly. And every few days I get these sore throats, which are usually bad in the morning but then go away again. It's very annoying. I'm pretty sure it's just allergies, but with the way it keeps dragging on, you gotta wonder. (But then what is it? Strep throat? I dunno. I suppose I might should go to the doctor and see what they say. But I hate to.)

I started sending out Christmas cards, finally - I had 5 people on the TUS list who were out of the country, so I did them first, and they're all mailed, and today I started working on the rest of the list. TUS people (until I run out, anyway) are getting some of my precious hoarded cards that I made myself. I've been footling around with more homemade cards this year but haven't gotten far. Anyway, I'm going to use up last year's stash first, some of which are very cute. (I also have Grinch cards and... something else that was on the morbid side... that I'm really tempted to give to my elderly neighbors just to wake them up a bit. But I probably won't.)
mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)
Well, I was sort of saving this until closer to Christmas, but I don't seem to feel like writing anything else right now, so here you go! Some variation of this seems to float around every year, but I ganked this one from azurekitty, I think. (My way of doing this kind of thing is to copy it, delete the other person's answers and then let it sit for a day or two so I'm not just regurgitating their answers, hopefully! Which is why I also sometimes forget where I got them...)

1. Eggnog - Yay or Nay?
Nay - can't stand it. It's gross. (Don't worry, you're allowed to disagree with me. Just because I think it's gross doesn't mean you have to!)

2. Do you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"?
Really, I didn't used to think twice about it one way or the other. But nowadays, well, this is what the "War on Christmas" has done for us - every time somebody says "Merry Christmas" I wonder whether it's a greeting or a political statement. (This is especially true if it's a business we're talking about.) It's funny, though, "Merry Christmas" still pops out of my mouth sometimes - it's what I was brought up with, I guess. In writing I'm much more likely to say "Happy holidays" without even thinking about it. Kind of strange, but there you are.

3. Does your family have any special Christmas Eve traditions? Share them, if you'd like.
We say "Christmas Eve Gift!" to one another, along with a hug and/or kiss. I guess that's the gift, see. Also my grandmother (who is gone now) used to always try to open a gift on Christmas Eve, even though we don't do that in my family. That was a tradition, too - everybody waited for her to do it (and I suspect she knew that perfectly well).

Other than that, the tradition is that the grown-ups sit around and drink and the kids play games and squabble. (That's just what everybody does, right?) And we have some sort of casserole or something for supper that isn't too much trouble to prepare - we save the big meal for the next day. But you're allowed to dip into the desserts so everybody still gets utterly stuffed anyway. Some years we have gone to the carol service in the past, but the last time we went it turned out to be contemporary and not real carols at all, which infurated me. So I am on strike there unless somebody guarantees me the real thing.

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I think maybe I'd have to go with some of those real old-time Christmas carols on this - "Angels We Have Heard on High" maybe.

5. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
My mother pretending she heard the reindeer bells, when we were little. We got so excited.

6. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
White Christmas, I guess, even though I am not especially a Bing Crosby fan. (My sister and I particularly like to make jokes about the "Sisters" number.)

7. What's the best gift you've ever gotten? What about the worst?
We had a discussion on Twitter the other day about toothbrushes as a bad gift. (It began with talking about giving toothbrushes at Halloween, which is a whole different matter.) I think it was when I was 17 that we were on a trip and my mother wrapped up toothbrushes and gave them to my sister and me as gifts. We both thought that was very silly, although I suppose we should have been more gracious about it. (We were 17 and 16, it's not an age where one tends to be gracious about things like that.) I know we got some other gifts that year but that's the one I still remember. On the other hand, we were in TELLURIDE. SKIING. That was a damn good gift, right there. So maybe that year was the best and worst all wrapped up in one.

8. Do you leave cookies out for Santa?
Only if there are kids around, which in recent years there haven't been. The kids presumably go through this ritual at their own houses.

9. Do you believe in Santa? If not, who convinced you that he’s not real?
I'm a natural skeptic, I stopped believing when I was 7 or 8. I pretended I did for a couple more years, though - I was afraid if I admitted it I wouldn't get presents any more!

10. Do you go caroling?
Not in years. In high school I was in choir and we did actually go around and carol at people's doors in the old-fashioned kind of way. Even in the 70s this seemed pretty retro and a lot of people didn't seem to know how to respond.

11. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?
Yes, but mostly not anybody terribly interesting. Seems like back in high school, a million years ago, some boy that I thought I liked did kiss me, but I don't even remember who it was any more. That's sort of sad, I wish I remembered!

12. Who would you most like to encounter under the mistletoe?
I dunno, Karl Urban, maybe. Sadly, I can't even think of a particular celebrity crush to mention right now.
mellificent: (winter snowflake)
I am definitely in denial about it being the 21st of December. I wish the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas went as slowly as it did when you were a kid - I could use that time. Now it just flies by. I guess that's how it works, huh - when you want it to go fast it goes slow, and vice versa.

I've got plenty of stuff for Rob - every bit of it ordered online - and then I got (smallish) gift cards for all the kids - the little ones get so many gifts they go into overload, anyway, and the bigger ones are to that stage where they don't like anything picked out by a grownup. Actually, I just sent my nephew Parker some cash stuck inside a card, because I never see him at Christmas any more. And he's barely even a kid any more, anyway - he's 20, amazingly. He'll be 21 in February. In any case, I figured I'd give the gift cards for the little kids to their parents and tell them to get something later. I got the gift cards at Target, cause I figured that's a good all-purpose option. Better than Wal-Mart, at least. I thought about doing Old Navy or something for the bigger pair but that was too many stops, and I think they'll be just as happy, or maybe happier, with the Target ones.

I need to do a token something for the adults, which I guess will be jewelry, if I can get myself together enough to whip something up. I never did the watches I meant to do last Christmas, so if I can find the watch faces I had last year, I can do that. Or bracelets, which are almost as good. (People are always more impressed with watches, though - like you made the watch-face yourself or something.)

I did finish with the cards, more or less, although I still have some here that I need to go and mail. TODAY. If I don't do it today, they may not get there before Christmas. Not that that's really a tragedy, as far as I'm concerned - I think the holidays go until at least January 1st and maybe longer, but everybody doesn't seem to think that way. Many people who are extremely Christmas-centric seem to think things are over the minute the presents are opened. (I am tempted to segue into a rant about the Christmas-centric but I will refrain.)

And solstice is, what, tomorrow? I read something online that led me to think it was yesterday, but I know that wasn't right. I still haven't figured it out exactly, not that it really matters. The shortest day of the year is definitely either today or tomorrow, whatever. It's not like I'm going to go out and make a sacrifice to the spirit of Yule or anything.

(LJ says this is Bah Humbug! Day. I can see why.)

Q & A

Dec. 19th, 2011 07:05 pm
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
This little questionnaire was an optional part of Weetabix's card exchange, and since I sent all my cards for that exchange out a couple of weeks ago, and everybody has theoretically had time to read it by now, I can post it here, right? It's a good thing to do on a day like today (i.e., not really a good one).

If you could rewrite any holiday movie or song, what would you change?   I am not fond of It’s a Wonderful Life, because I think it’s utterly depressing throughout except for the cheery 10 minutes at the end. But I have no idea how I would rewrite it. (I suspect it would end up a much shorter movie.)

What is the one thing that absolutely makes or breaks the holidays for you?   I guess I would have to say the presence of my husband, sappy as that sounds! I could imagine getting through the holidays ok without seeing the family, although I would miss them. But getting through them without Rob would be hard.

What was the holiday gift that you always wanted but never received as a child?  A chemistry set. In Texas circa 1970, this was just not something a girl was allowed to get, apparently.

What was the best thing that happened to you in 2011?  The fun (although only part-time) and reasonably well-paying job that fell into my lap out of the blue – and the other part-time job that enabled me to afford to do the fun one!

Describe the ugliest Christmas sweater that you've ever seen.   Really, I think they’re all pretty ugly. I guess badly-knitted reindeer would be the worst, maybe. (Living in a warm climate happily keeps seasonal sweaters from being terribly common around here, anyway.)

If you could give any holiday gift to any person in the world, who would you give something to and what would it be?  Oh, you know, peace and good-will and all that. Seriously. Or maybe just the good will, for the people who are lacking in it. I think that might fix a lot of things. Short of that, just something wonderful for somebody who’s not expecting it.

What's your favorite holiday movie or television that must be watched every year? Bonus points if you have a tradition that also must accompany the watching of said show/movie.  I’d have to go with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as the must-watch one. Nowadays I have it on iTunes, which means we don’t have to worry about figuring out when it’s on! (No particular traditions, darnit – I miss out on the bonus points.)

mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)
Hey, cool, look, glitchmas trees!
Glitchmas trees

Hmm, I hope that's not a ridiculously huge screenshot. But anyway, I thought it was fun. (Didn't make it, just stumbled across it.)

In other Glitch news, I am up to 8 of 11 of my pieces of DNA. (See yesterday if you want to know what the heck I'm talking about.) So yay me! (For what it's worth, I found three in Tamila and I'm not quite done yet. For me, anyway, Tamila was a hotbed of DNA.)

I haven't talked about the holidays much yet. We don't have a tree up - we don't really have a good place to put it at the moment - or much else in the way of decorations inside, but we have lights on the balcony and wreaths and such, and I have been sending out cards. Rather a lot of cards, as a matter of fact, and I'm not done yet. I may post pictures of some of them later, but I have been making cards as well as sending out some bought ones. I might yet make some more - I have new stamps (the rubbery kind, that is, not the ones that you buy from the Postal Service) and I kind of got on a roll with them again last night. I have been collecting bits and pieces of stamping stuff for a while now but I really just this year have really started doing much with them. I called myself a craft hoarder a while back, but I really do think that's for a reason: you kind of hit a critical mass of stuff where you have enough to assemble things. At least, that's how I work. It was true of quilting and I'm finding that it applies here too. I had snowflake stamps that I bought in previous years and I had some snowflake felt things that I bought on clearance last year, and I had blue cardstock that I acquired at some point and various colors (and brands) of blue ink... You pull all this stuff out and contemplate it and voila! Festive snowflake-themed cards start practically making themselves! My cardmaking skillz are not all I would like them to be yet, but that's something that takes practice, and hey, I'm practicing. (And I may still be sending cards out into the new year at this rate, but oh well.)
mellificent: (Xmas excess)

Dammit, I'm going to be behind on Holidailies when I get back. And I don't know my passwords - to practically anything except Livejournal, and, apparently, the one to my aunt's computer because she never changes it. We brought the laptop but I haven't even touched it. I don't know why I always think I'm going to have time at Christmas, and it's always kind of crazy and I never have time. For much of anything. (At least we didn't have to rush off to go to Las Vegas, although I admit that was pretty fun when we did it. But right now the thought of it just exhausts me!)

We just watched Julie and Julia - at least, my aunt and I did; the men were plainly bored by it. It was better than I had expected. At least, all the opinions that I remember reading said that the Julia parts were lovely and the Julie parts were boring, and I really wasn't bored at all. Maybe it's because I wasn't a reader of The Julie/Julia Project, or something. I didn't really have any preconceptions about it. (I do think I read it once or twice, but not enough to form any particular opinion about it.) I don't know if that's why, I'm just guessing - or maybe it's because Julie is self-centered and so am I. I dunno.

Rob is in bed reading The Kolchak Papers, which I bought him, although I'd completely forgotten it until I went to wrap things up the other night. He is fascinated. I think that's sort of weird, but I have my own little obsessions, god knows, so who am I to talk? I made a necklace at the last minute last night, which was a big success and the receiver wore all day, and *I* kept staring at the silly necklace. Luckily I have another strand of those beads and I guess I'm going to make another one when I get home, since I love it so much. It's one of those things where being constrained by circumstances works in your favor - I had to work with what I had, and I ended up doing it a completely different way than I would have otherwise. All of the gifts of jewelry went over pretty well, actually. And heck, my cousin even loved the bottle of ale I bought him at Central Market the other day. He acted like it was a bottle of fine wine, I was amazed.

Hope everybody had a good day. Mine was pretty good. And we head home in the morning, which will be good too.
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
(This is not my official Holidailies entry, which was earlier - be sure not to miss it, though, as it's all about movie scores and the question of whether James Horner is a hack.)

With apologies to Col, who said he didn't want to hear any more about the L-word, I just have to link to this great NYT times article, which floats a number of theories about just what the hell is going on with the whole healthcare thing, my favorite being that "Joe's just not very smart." (The article is a couple of days old, so many of you have probably seen it already, but presumably I'm not the only one in the world who hadn't!)

I have finally "let" iTunes fully rotate the Christmas music in. I had forgotten that I bought a number of classical Christmas albums last year and the year before - mostly vocal music - so my Christmas music is dominated by lovely antiphonal choral pieces rather than by Bing Crosby - although he's in the mix somewhere too.

I have given up on studying for the evening. I listened to the lecture on the respiratory system three times because I kept looking at scrapbooking supplies and losing track of what the lecturer was talking about. (I apologize to her in advance if she happens to be reading here, but the lecturer in my class just plain lacks oomph. Losing track is a very easy thing to do.)wanna hear more about crafts? )
mellificent: (Xmas - Urban)
Things that are obsoleteextinct, per New York magazine:
1. answering machines
2. lickable stamps
3. foldable maps
4. cathode ray tube TVs
5. incandescent light bulbs
6. paid porn
7. smoking in bars
8. fax machines
9. Hydrox cookies
10. cassette tapes
11. French francs
12. floppy disks
13. phone books
14. Polaroid photos
15. bank deposit slips
16. subway tokens
17. Rolodexes
Full title: "A Catalogue of Everyday Stuff That Has Become Extinct"

I really don't think most of this stuff is extinct. Obsolete, yes, and on the way to becoming extinct, yes, for most of that stuff, but actually gone, no. I can't speak to French francs or subway tokens, since I don't live any place with francs or subways, and Hydrox cookies are just not something that is on my radar. I have some opinions on several of these things, but actually I think KarenD already said most of them for me, so I will refrain.

Here's the random part )

mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
I did actually put the tree up before I went to bed last night. It was a mess - it badly needed some reshaping, and I did do a little but it needed more - and it had nothing on it, not ornaments or garland or a tree skirt, but it was up. It's a bit of a Charlie Brown tree, anyway. It's a six-foot tall prelit (fake) tree that cost $35, I think that tells you a lot about it right there. We bought it at the grocery store. Sam's had a tree about the same height that was like $150. But I wanted a tall skinny tree, and Rob requested colored lights, and there are not a lot of trees around that fit both those criteria. I had a tree a few years ago which was sold as a 'slim' tree - a much more expensive one - and it was about twice the width of this one. I kind of love my Charlie Brown tree - it's the perfect apartment tree. It has about the same footprint as a dining-room chair, two feet square or so - maybe slightly more than that at the bottom, but not much. It slid nicely into the space between the TV and my mom's green armchair, and doesn't even block the TV.

I know I threw away a lot of ornaments after the storm, but I think I still have a bunch more ornaments than what I found, in some box somewhere which I haven't unearthed yet. However, what I did find was more than enough ornaments for this little skinny-ass tree. So now it is starting to get all decorated and everything. I have a bunch of strands of beaded garland but I didn't use that, I used some red sort of fuzzy stuff like a rope that I bought at Ikea a while back when I went.

So here is the tree (with a goofy little frame courtesy of Picnik, because I am in that kind of mood):

It really doesn't look bad, does it?

I'm partly in a better mood because my nose has quit running, at least for the moment. So yay!

By the way - want to see the cutest wreath ever? Here: Well, cutest except for the other really cute paper one I saw last night... hmm, where was that? Oh well, I'll post it later if I find it. Along with the ton of jewelry blogs I've been reading on Google Reader lately are a bunch of general craft blogs, so I see all kinds of cute craft ideas. (Also a few not-so-cute ones, but I will resist the temptation to talk about those. That's what Regretsy is for, to point out the trainwrecks so we don't have to.)

mellificent: (Xmas excess)
This was the Holidailies prompt for yesterday:
Tell us about an odd-but-beloved holiday tradition you or your family celebrate.

And I wasn't intending to write about ours because I was sure I had written about it before, but if I did it's gone - at least, I couldn't find it on Livejournal, so if I did it was on Diary-X or some other mysterious place, no idea. I checked every Christmas Eve or thereabouts back as far as my LJ goes - which is 2004, although really I didn't move over here full-time until 2006 or so, I think. And it's a Christmas Eve tradition so that's when I would have thought to write about it. It's the only weird holiday tradition I can think of in my family - so I guess that means I get to tell this story again, after all.

It's not really so much a story, anyway; it's just a thing. This little random thing that I've never heard anybody else anywhere mention as a family tradition, so I don't know where it came from or anything about it. It came from my maternal grandmother, as far as I know, and I would guess that possibly it's Czech, because my mother's family was from there, except that it was the other side of the family that came over from Moravia - that is, my mother's father's side, not her mother's. My grandmother didn't pick up on any other Czech family traditions that I know of, so I can't imagine that she would have just picked this one up and run with it. It's a mystery.

Well, anyway, all it is is this: on Christmas Eve, my grandmother and mother would go around kissing/hugging people (they did primarily stick to family members) and saying "Christmas Eve Gift!" Because - I guess - the kiss was the gift, you see. It got to be this family joke. And now that both of them are gone, my sister and I say it to each other, and maybe to Aunt Linda and some of the cousins, because they're the only ones who know what the heck we're talking about. It's this weird little stranded tradition, and it's sort of sad and sweet and funny, all at once.

My parents, 1960 (which would also have been my first Christmas)

Note: apparently I was asleep, or something, when I looked to see if I had posted about this before. There's a much more concise rendition of the story right here, from last Christmas Eve.

mellificent: (Xmas - CB tree)
I've had this picture on Flickr for a week or so but I know not everybody checks my Flickr stream regularly, so here is our balcony in the snow:

People who live places where there's snow on a regular basis probably already knew that the best way to get snow to show up was to set it against a dark background, but it took me quite a lot of trial and error to figure that out. (And hmm, that wreath actually looks real from a distance, doesn't it? It's not.)

I also have the other wreath (which nobody is likely to mistake for real) up on the front door - I don't think it's really meant to be an outdoor wreath, to tell you the truth, but it does alright. It gets sort of droopy when it's been damp, but I just fluff it up again. There are only a couple of pieces of holiday decor out inside yet - candles, and my mom's Christmas quilt is on the bed (although since we rarely make the bed, this doesn't add too much in the way of décor, either.) I get sort of fetishy about candles this time of year, so the candles made it out before anything else. In fact I did go to Ikea today, and it was basically to buy candles, because Ikea has this weird extra-large-tealight size of candles that I've never seen anyplace else. I don't really like regular tealights, they don't last long enough to suit me (although I did actually buy some today). So this gives me an excuse to go to Ikea occasionally, to buy the big tealight refills.

Oh, I have a piece of advice for fellow Ikea-lovers: don't wait until December to buy your Ikea Christmas decorations - because apparently they are not restocking things once they run out. The holiday section was looking sadly picked-over.

mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
I'm just now starting to get interested in Christmas music this year - this is late for me compared to past years. I've been adding holiday stuff to my iTunes queue for a while, but up til now I'd been deleting it every time it came up, unless it was "River" which is my favorite sort-of-Christmas song of all time, or maybe something like A Charlie Brown Christmas. But tonight I have been letting some other stuff sneak in.

And it's December 10th11th so I suppose it's time. Yike - Christmas is two weeks away? How did that happen? I mailed exactly four cards today. I do have some outdoor decorations up but not the tree, still. We went and bought a tree so I feel obliged to actually put the damn thing up, now. And gee, holidays or studying? I already let Thanksgiving interfere mightily with the study schedule and now I'm sure I will end up having the same problem with Christmas. (I'm already thinking, maybe I'll go to Ikea tomorrow...) Shit.

I am more interested in school than I was during the first half of the coding class - which isn't really saying much because the first half of this class was boring as hell - but I'm still really having trouble making myself concentrate. I'm almost wondering if an offline class might not have been a better choice. If I could even have found such a thing, I don't know. I know there were some Medical Terminology classes because I did check that out way back when I started this, but I didn't check again when it came time for coding. I really doubt that there are many CPC-H classes going in Houston right now. (CPC-H = certified professional coder, hospital. It's coding for outpatient surgeries, primarily. It's not as popular as the regular CPC class which emphasizes coding for doctors' offices.) Anyway, as Col pointed out when I was whining about this the other day, I'm probably learning this more thoroughly by going slower, but if I keep going slower and slower, as seems to be the trend lately, I'm never going to finish. Like the event horizon in a black hole - you never quite get there.

In case anybody was waiting with bated breath to know, here are the codes for H1N1:
CPT 90470, which is for administration of the vaccine
and there are two HCPCS Lvl II codes:
G9141 - admin
G9142 - vaccine

(Trust me, if you need to know what a CPT or HCPCS code is, you already know. Maybe some other day I'll attempt to explain that, but not today. Of course, if you really needed to know the H1N1 code, you probably would already know that, too.)

OK, time to go study some before bed. (Uh-huh. In 10 minutes I'll still be looking at Facebook or something. You can bet on it.)

mellificent: (winter - snowflakes)
I told Col my latest project had given me the killer backache I've had all night - and this is the project in question:

It's a Christmas ornament. I bought a pair of these spiral frames - they're about 4-5" wide, I think - and I wasn't quite sure what the heck to do with them, but I had one of those spools of cheap copper wire that you get at Hobby Lobby and places like that (only the cheap stuff comes on a spool like thread does) -  and I started making sort of a webbing out of the wire and then threading beads onto it. This picture was taken over 24 hours ago now and a lot more wire has been sacrificed to my craziness. The problem is not the webbing or the beads, but the way I started wrapping the steel frame in copper. I'm sort of stuck now - I either have to wrap it all or unwrap what I've already done. Anyway, I like the way it looks. I found a big glass pearl - a really big one, maybe 20mm or so and strung it in the hole in the middle. I've had to scale back the amount of time I spend working on this thing, because I spent too much time hunched over it and my back is complaining really really loudly.

Anyway, I need to make earrings instead, next, to get them into the store.

But before that, I need to go back to bed.

mellificent: (Xmas bow)
I hate getting gifts that are useless. I guess that makes me a bad receiver of gifts, I don't know. But I hate it when somebody gives me something that's a big waste of money. I don't mean that I need my gifts to be something practical, like a vacuum cleaner, although I don't mind practical gifts. But mostly I'm just talking about the, well, bad gifts. Things I don't want, don't like, won't use. When I get one of these, I drive myself crazy because I keep thinking of all the things I could have bought with that money instead.

The funny thing is, I'm not so much that way when I'm buying gifts for other people. I mean, I'd much rather get them something they will like and be happy to get, but in real life, it's not always possible to read people's minds with that much accuracy. I try - on the whole I try pretty hard, I think - but I know I'm going to miss with this once in a while, and for the most part I can let that go. It's the receiving end I have trouble with.

And this is why I tend to buy my own gifts, when I can. Sometimes I feel like it's sort of unnatural - which I suppose is the reason for the two-paragraph preface up there before I could actually get around to saying it - but it's true. I've tried making lists and giving hints and all of that, but when it comes right down to it, the best way is if you can pick it out yourself.

(I'm not sure about the origins of this tendency of mine, but it might partly be because we never had a lot of money when I was little, and I never had a lot of money as an adult, either, and there's just something basically frugal in me that doesn't like wasting money. Time, I can waste like a pro, but money drives me crazy.)

As for the actual gifts... )

(It occurred to me again that I really miss giving gifts to my mother, though. She was lots of fun to buy for.)

mellificent: (winter berries)
(Written Christmas night)

I enjoyed the day today - mostly, anyway. I had a sneaky headache that wouldn't go away, but other than that it was fine with me. Rob didn't enjoy it so much, I think. He's not used to kids and we had three small ones (three under three, that is, plus a couple of somewhat bigger ones) and one in particular who kept making a ruckus every time he didn't get his way about something. We weren's sure if we were coming home today or tomorrow but the noise level decided it, I think. (I kept thinking of Dr Seuss: "Oh the noise! noise! noise! noise!") So we stayed until about 5:00 and then drove on home. We got here about 7:30, which wasn't too bad.

Of course, since I said that I didn't mind Christmas Eve services because of the carols, the service we went to turned out to be a sort of a mildly-icky contemporary service, not at all like the last time we went to that church. There were carols, but they were interspersed randomly (as far as I could tell) with songs I'd never heard before, none of which were Christmas-related at all. I call that false advertising. -- Oh, and I almost forgot the very best part: apparently they are in desperate need of a proofreader for the program that was handed out - one of the carols was billed, no joke, as "Hark, The Harold Angels Sin".

I was going to write more about Christmas, but I'm very tired and it's late. I'll talk about gifts and stuff tomorrow.
mellificent: (Xmas tree lights)
Some bits of How the Lich King Stole Winter Veil are funnier than others but it has its moments:

"All I need is a reindeer..."
The Lich King looked around.
But since Nesingwary turned up, there was none to be found.

(If you don't get that, or play WoW at all, I probably wouldn't bother with it.)

We are babysitting at the moment, but since the "baby" (two-year-old Layla) is asleep, so far it has been a piece of cake. Her mom and dad have gone to buy last-minute presents and my aunt went to the grocery store to get something-or-other. (Actually Bryan is not Layla's dad, come to think of it, but he seems to function in that capacity so we'll let it go there. The ins and outs of my cousins, of varying removes, and their various spouses and boyfriends and exes is much too complicated a subject to try to explain.)

I only got about four hours sleep night before last, but I made up for it by sleeping about eleven hours last night. This is a nice comfortable bed that I always sleep on at my aunt's house. And I certainly do feel much better today. My aunt made a rather elaborate lunch - considering we're going to have another one tomorrow - but apparently we are going to have a smallish dinner. We are going to be dragged to the Christmas Eve church service but I am not going to complain, those are usually pretty tolerable, and I like singing carols.

I am not on the laptop, I haven't bothered to get it out yet. We are going to get it out later so that my aunt can try it out, though.

*Family phrase of uncertain origin. It's gotten to be a compulsive thing over the years - I can't say "Christmas Eve" without finishing it with the "Gift" part. My mother and grandmother both used to say it all the time.

Anyway, happy holidays, whatever your holiday of choice may be!


Dec. 23rd, 2008 08:39 am
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
Things to do before 3:00:
Pack clothes, etc. for two or three days. (We still don't know how long we're staying at my aunt's.)
Do cards for neighbors - enlist Rob to go put them on people's doors.
Call my aunt and check in?
Go by Chase and start trust accounts for me and Paula. Take paperwork by lawyer's office.
Figure out what beads (findings, etc.) I'm taking with me. *
Post something for Holidailies

Things not to forget: fruit for fruit salad, rolls out of the freezer, laptop (for clandestine WoW time), stockings, iPod (which allegedly is a Christmas present but which I keep using), address book - which I always seem to need if I don't have it. Camera.

Our land-line doesn't seem to be working but I just don't have the energy to worry about that today. I'll deal with it when we get home.

I'm craving ham. I may ask my aunt if anybody is already bringing one, and if not, go buy a small one. Assuming I can find time to go to the grocery store.

*That's my gift to my cousins (and any other assorted relatives who happen to be on hand) - made-to-order jewelry. I'm letting them pick out their own beads. I didn't figure there was much use in trying to do anything other than earrings ahead of time. With bracelets, especially, it's hard to figure out what will fit, especially given the range of ages involved.
mellificent: (baa)
This is actually surprisingly close to my real attitude toward the holidays.

Your Christmas is Modern

Your wish for the New Year is more happiness.

For you, Christmas is secular holiday. Religion doesn't play a big part in it.

You are patient when it comes to Christmas. You don't celebrate too early, and you don't like seeing holiday decorations in October.

You like Christmas traditions, but you're not uptight about them. You do things your way.

You have some preferred ways of celebrating Christmas, but you're open to compromise.

You love Christmas. You enjoy almost every aspect and tradition of the holidays.

You give a bit during the holidays but nowhere near as much as you'd like to.


mellificent: (Default)

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