mellificent: (Halloween kitten)
You gotta watch out for those Canadians. (via [ profile] iainpj )

(This was written yesterday - I'm telling you that so I don't have to fix all the references to what day it is!)

We just got back from a field trip to Target and Office Depot. Amazingly, I spent more at OD than I did at Target. (Usually I walk in the door at Target and $60 or so is gone. Boom.) That was mostly because I bought printer ink, though. I am still printing out those pdf's for class so I'm still going through black ink like crazy. All we got at Target was a few things we actually needed, like PowerBars and trash bags, and some Halloween paper goods - paper towels and napkins - because I am a sucker for such things and Target always has them this time of year to enable me with. (With Skelanimals on them, this year! I may die from the cute.) (Also, I'm really embarrassed to admit that I like anything you can buy at Hot Topic, as is apparently the case with Skelanimals, but there it is. It's really not the first time that's happened, either, to tell you the truth.)

Speaking of Halloween, the skull necklace is finished, I'm pretty sure for real this time:
Another necklace picture... )

I'm eating leftover pesto pasta from yesterday - we took Art out to dinner for his birthday (which was last week, but he has children who actually expect to see him on his birthday and everything) and he always wants to go to the same Italian place so he can have his baked ziti. Since it's also my favorite Italian place and maybe Rob's 2nd favorite or something - he thinks their marinara sauce is a bit too sweet - we had no objection whatsoever to that. (I did not, however, order the World's Best Calzone, because I've actually lost a tiny bit of weight and I'd like to continue that. The pesto pasta is not exactly terribly low-cal but I figured it was better than the calzone there.) (I didn't think of this at the time I ordered it, but that pesto pasta was also my mother's favorite entree - I took it to her in the rehab hospital a couple of times, even - and yesterday, as it happens, was also my mother's birthday.) I didn't ask Art how old he is, and I have trouble keeping track, but I think he's 87.
mellificent: (Buffy quote: subtext)
I am in the middle of printing a 73-page PDF, which is the reading assignment for module 4 of my class. I finished module 2 yesterday and got started on  module 3. I am mostly finished with it, except that I haven't actually taken the test yet - I've already taken an Ambien, just now, so I think it would be best to wait until later for that. I hope the 73 pages are interesting, at least. They are about diagnosis codes, which interests me in theory, at least. Did you know that diagnosis codes (the official name is ICD-9, for International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition) were developed by the World Health Organization to track mortality statistics? They are used these days for morbidity (disease) as well, but cause of death was where they started.

Anyway, my class has no pre-printed textbook, it is all PDFs. Luckily I have figured out how to do front-and-back printing on my printer and it's not too terribly time-consuming. I'm just eating up ink like crazy, that's all.

So one of our assignments is to make up multiple-choice test questions for the other students to answer. (Some people canNOT write a decent test question to save their lives but that is another topic.) Here's one of the two I made up. I was rather proud of myself for coming up with several perfectly reasonable alternate answers for this.

The abbreviation "US" in a medical record is most likely to mean:
A. United States
B. Urine sample
C. Ultrasound
D. Under sedation

The correct answer, per the textbook, is C. I phrased the question rather carefully since really the answers would all be perfectly legit as far as I'm concerned.

In other news, I have decided I need to record what catalogs come in the mail. It's that time of year.
Today's haul:
Levenger (a dangerous one, that - I have a thing for leather goods)
Woman Within (which is what used to be Lane Bryant)
Land's End Men
another Land's End which is unspecified but which seems to mostly be women's clothes
Connecting Threads (quilt fabric)
The Land of Nod

That last one annoys me somewhat - I ordered some gifts from them ONCE, a couple of years ago, and they won't go away. I occasionally want to scream, "I don't have children! I don't have grandchildren!" at them until they give up on me. On the other hand, I do end up perusing the things from time to time; they have some cute stuff.

Yesterday I got a Crate and Barrel Best Buys catalog, always one of my favorites. It made me contemplate a trip into Houston to go to the big C&B "uptown". But that's probably best saved until closer to Christmas.

Alright, my printing is finished, I am going to bed.
mellificent: (WoW - shiny)
My monitor finally died, so I have a new 20" Acer widescreen. I am pouting slightly because it doesn't seem near as big as the old one (which was a 22" Samsung) but on the other hand it only cost $99, and we had several small gift cards that we used so it only came out $72 in the end. To replace the Samsung would have been $299, which is ridiculous so I decided I could bear to sacrifice the size. The picture quality seems fine.

We went up to Houston this afternoon expressly to go to the Half-Price Books on Montrose, because I wanted more Aubrey-Maturin books and I knew they had them - or they did a couple of weeks ago, at least! They were having a 20% off sale for Memorial Day, too. We came out of there with two more of the A-M books and assorted other stuff, and only $35 or so the worse for wear, which isn't too bad. (I restrained myself once again from buying the hardback Lord of the Rings set that they have, although I was sorely tempted.)

(Note to Col, because we were discussing it: there are apparently at least 16 of the Aubrey-Maturin books, because the Norton trade pback editions are numbered and that was the highest number I saw.)

I posted some more odds and ends of cameraphone pictures on Flickr, including a picture of our balcony and some blurry-but-interesting ones from the wedding, and also a couple I found forgotten on the phone that I took of the Astrodome in January. The camera-phone takes pretty good pictures, on the whole, if the lighting is decent. (All of the pictures I posted from the wedding were taken on it.)

We are still squabblingdiscussing whether to go see Terminator: Salvation tomorrow. The reviews are bad, but a couple of random people who saw it seem to like it. On the other hand, Rob is surprisingly not so set on going as I expected, so we might wait a week or two, at least.

Today's Doonesbury is brilliant.
mellificent: (dragon)
So I spent the evening yesterday hanging out with Anthea in Houston. She is in for a week for work. We had a fun time - we went to Galleria and messed around for several hours - we let a really over-enthusiastic Benefit saleslady in Macy's do our eyebrows (I have dark eyebrows to begin with so it never occurred to me to put any further color on them, but I have to admit that it really didn't look bad) and we oohed and aahed over the overpriced but really cute stuff in the Ed Hardy boutique, and we wandered around the various designer boutiques mostly window-shopping but occasionally wandering inside. (The results of this were usually jawdropping. The really cute embroidered leather Fendi purse I liked? $2700. A cute sort of peasant-style dress Anthea liked? $3500.) We also did a lot of talking, of course, and coffee-drinking, and later there was dinner, although both of us ended up eating breakfast food, at IHOP. Anthea had never had chicken-fried steak, and I had to attempt to explain it ("it's fried the same way chicken is fried" was the gist of it) and so she tried it, and somewhat to my surprise, liked it. We decided that we had both grown up on fairly similar red-meat-based diets in Queensland and Texas. And we are discussing trying to do something else on Saturday before she leaves.

In other news, I am taking a Medical Terminology class online, and will probably take a certification class on medical coding after that. (I'm hoping to be able to zoom through the terminology part pretty quickly.) The job market is really bad right now, as everybody knows, and I can't seem to work up any enthusiasm for going back to doing anything secretarial, anyway. Coding is supposed to be a really growing field and is something I can get into with just a few months of training, apparently, so it seems like a good alternative. And since I've already been working in a hospital, the experience I already have will help, somewhat.

Also, we went to see The Wrestler on Sunday, and as often tends to happen with movies that have hugely favorable reviews, I was just a bit disappointed. ("I expected more there there," was what I said to Rob.) It was good but somehow I felt like something was lacking. Practically every scene with Marisa Tomei was in the trailer - except for the ones where she was topless, and there weren't even really that much of those. It seemed to me that about half of the movie was in the trailer, although of course it wasn't, really. The part that wasn't was the wrestling part, mostly, and I actually liked a lot of that - we used to watch some wrestling back when we were first married, and in fact we went to a WWF thing in Houston once (a "Royal Rumble" along about 1988). I especially liked the backstage bits where they were working out what they were going to do, because of course that's something that you normally don't see. Like I said, it was good, and Mickey Rourke's performance was excellent, of course. I just think I was expecting something that didn't turn out to be there.

mellificent: (Xmas - Mr Darcy)
I haven't been specifically doing the "happy things" list the last few days, but I was aware of it, and all my entries have contained something that made me happy. The pictures I've been scanning make me happy. The idea of going to Las Vegas next month (and mostly for free!) makes me happy. That picture of me wearing a crown made me particularly happy - it's funny, I remembered that picture but I had completely forgotten about the crown. (I suspect that it was a Sunday School thing - it might have been regular school, too, but Sunday School was particularly prone to resort to the silly arts and crafts projects.) The thing we did this afternoon made me happy, too - fighting the crowds to go shopping, even though we didn't have anything we particularly had to buy. I don't know why, but it's not Christmas if I don't get shoved around in Macy's (or some department store, it doesn't have to be Macy's) for a bit.

It also feels pretty Christmassy. A white Christmas isn't what I expect, after all - the only one I've ever seen is once when we spent a Christmas in Telluride. And it didn't actually snow that day, even; there was just snow already on the ground. But it's plenty cold here, for my taste. Yesterday it was 80 but today we were wearing our heavy coats. We are suppposed to have a near-freeze tonight.

We were discussing the concept of a "Jewish Christmas" in my comments a couple of days ago, and actually that Christmas in Telluride was the closest I've ever come to one - we had to eat Chinese that day because it was the only restaurant that was open. I don't think we got the movie, though! We were staying in a condo but I guess my mother didn't want to cook. Maybe they didn't realize everything would be closed. (I don't remember what I ate, exactly, but I think it might have been the first time I ever had Chinese food, even though I was already in college at the time. I grew up in Alvin, Texas, remember. We hardly had any restaurants at all, and certainly not Chinese.)

I also remember that my mother had dragged toothbrushes - among other things - all the way from Texas to put in our stockings, and my sister and I were really indignant about it. She had a different idea than we did of what constituted a reasonable stocking-stuffer - I think she was a child of the Depression when it came to things like that. (Although she was too young to remember the Depression; she was born in 1938.) We weren't all that well-off when I was growing up, but we weren't nearly poor enough to think that a new toothbrush was a special treat.

In fact, the kind of affluence that let us spend the holidays skiing in Colorado was a pretty new thing to us, at that time. Both of my parents always worked and that in itself made us better off financially than a lot of people, back in those days when it was still pretty unusual - but it wasn't until my dad quit teaching school and became a commercial fisherman that there was really money for luxuries like ski trips. (I'm not recommending commercial fishing as a secret path to financial freedom, though. I hear it ain't what it used to be. Just ask my dad.)

mellificent: (Xmas excess)
Things that made me happy today:
-- coffee
-- the necklace I made to give my mother-in-law (blue and green Czech glass)
-- reading So You Want to Be a Wizard (more A Wrinkle In Time than Harry Potter, but good)
-- shopping, even though I didn't buy much
-- the holiday decorations on the gigantic houses in the River Oaks area in Houston
-- sourdough bread from Central Market

So I made my more-or-less annual trip into the horror that is Houston traffic today to go shopping. The traffic wasn't really too too horrible, and in fact I drove around considerably more than I really needed to, just to look around. In fact, I think it's fair to say that the purpose of these trips is as much to get in the holiday mood as much as it is to actually shop. I generally do get some shopping done, just the same. (See last year's entry for actual numbers, although I didn't spend anything like that amount today.)

I usually do this on a Thursday or Friday, and so I was trying to decide how much of the reduced foot-traffic I saw today was the economy, and how much was just that it was Tuesday. I suspect it was both. There were a lot of parking spaces at Highland Village, but the stores I went in mostly seemed to be doing decent business - except for West Elm, which was almost deserted. There were a lot of people in Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel - particularly the latter. There was an exceptional number of very fashionably-dressed women in Pottery Barn, but that may just be that women like that don't work and so they're free to wander around shopping on weekdays. Or maybe it has something to do with that this particular Pottery Barn is about two doors down from Tootsie's, a very chi-chi women's clothing store. I don't know. Usually I buy some ornaments and stuff like that at one place or another, but today I didn't. That might have partly had to do with the economy, too - or it might just be that I can't really justify buying ornaments for the tree I haven't bothered to put up.

I spent the most money in Central Market, actually. I don't think I'd been in there in a couple of years, and I'd forgotten how much stuff they keep around this time of year that's gift-able. We are supposed to be holding down our gift-giving to the minimum this year, more or less, but I sabotaged that by buying, among other things, a big jug of maple syrup for Rob. (Is that a weird gift? He had expressed interest in having some, and it's very expensive. [ profile] columbina has already informed me that giving my father-in-law apples is a rather odd choice, but Rob came up with that idea so I don't take any responsibility. I just bought some nice organic apples that looked like they might survive the trip, and I added some locally-grown honey to it, that seemed like something most people would like.) (Also, I pointed out to Col that if the apples came from Harry and David and cost about three times as much, nobody would think it was odd at all. Which he agreed was a valid point.)

Something I noticed on the tollway coming home - and to a certain extent in Houston proper - is the number of roofs still held together by blue tarps. There are still quite a lot of them, three months after the storm.

Today's Holidailies prompt was "Write the annual holiday card/brag letter for your family." but I have already done that. (And I wouldn't exactly call it a "brag letter" except in the sense of "Can you top this?" -- Which, come to think of it, is one reason I didn't send it to people who are local - because many of them can.)
mellificent: (breathe)

I am typing on the laptop, which we have installed on a folding table, and I'm sitting on a folding chair, both of which we bought at Wal-Mart earlier. The chair is quite comfortable, actually. We are watching Titanic  - I think it's on TNT - just because we flipped by a few minutes ago right when the boat was sinking. (Actually it was already on before we left for Wal-Mart. Long damn movie.) The TV is still sitting on the floor even though it's sitting right next to the new "media center" thing we bought. We're still figuring out where we want to put it exactly, and the TV is damn heavy. Rob carried it into the house and he's really strong but he barely made it, I think. If I'd known it was that bad I wouldn't've let him do it. Anyway, internet and cable, the things that matter. And our new mattress is on the floor, with new sheets on it and my mom's pretty batik quilt. We only bought a sheet set instead of a bed-in-a-bag because I decided we didn't really need a comforter that badly when we had the quilt, anyway. I'll wait til I find something I really like a lot.

The guy is coming to assemble the bed on Monday. No way I was doing it myself when we have to sleep on it for years.

We played WoW for a while this afternoon, but it was hardly the anticipated marathon. Oh well - life is just not quite back to normal yet. We met the cable guy and bought masses of groceries (at HEB) and then went and made a run by Wal-Mart too, for more pillows and the chair and things like that. I had bought a couple of pillows at Ikea the other day, but I am a multiple-pillow sort of person and I decided we needed more. There are some kind of asthma and allergy-friendly ones, I thought that sounded promising. We could have tried to salvage the old ones - they were dry, after all - but that seemed like asking for trouble. I did salvage the couch cushions (which were scotchguarded and completely unmoldy as far as I can tell) but I draw the line at something that goes right under my head.

I feel a bit guilty about not having gone to Galveston today but we were exhausted and I think we needed the day away. Tomorrow we are doing marathon packing to make up for it. If we both end up working all week it might be the last we can do before the movers come on Thursday. Whatever's not done then we will just have to get them to help us with. Hopefully we can knock a lot of it out, though.

They were supposed to come pick up my car today - I guess we will see in the morning if it's gone or not. State Farm has a "facility" somewhere around here where they are taking all the non-driveable cars until they can be evaluated. Then they will let me know. I anticipate it being totalled - as somebody said in comments, it's hard for the electrical system to ever be reliable again after that much water.

mellificent: (WoW - feminine)
I don't know what this says about me, but at age 48 I have just purchased my first washer and dryer. Well, actually we purchased our first washer and dryer, of course, since half of the tax rebate money was definitely Rob's. Rob wanted to just buy the cheapest ones, but I was determined to have a front-loader, and we are now the proud owners of a Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer. (I'm not at all sure that's our exact model, but it looks just like that one, anyway.) Although we won't actually be getting them until next weekend.

(I got my way on the front-loader when it developed that Sears had them on sale. They would have been a couple of hundred more at Best Buy.)
mellificent: (Las Vegas sign)
Speaking of Las Vegas (well, we haven't spoken of it lately but it's still my default icon!), I think I have created a monster. Rob said yesterday that he wants to go back to Las Vegas - luckily he wasn't specific as to when - and furthermore, that we have to stay at TI again so that he can play his favorite set of slot machines, which are, as it happens, right by the elevators at TI. (I have this theory that they put slot machines which pay off slightly better in prominent places so you'll get hooked. No idea if that's really true.) Oh well, could be worse. I like Las Vegas anyway, and it's not like he's given to gambling indiscriminately. We'd probably better not wait 5 years or anything to go back, though, or his favorite slot machines might have been replaced, and then where will we be?

The University is restructuring again. At least it's not layoffs this time. (There are rumors of a possible hiring freeze, actually, but nothing official on that front yet.) Our division (Finance) is getting moved yet again - the last time around, they split us up into Hospital Finance, Academic Finance, and so forth, but now we are all getting rolled back into one big division again. We suspect that our division head is sort of getting left out in the cold in the process, although theoretically he got new employees out of the deal. But he would be the logical person for that third EVP position, and his name is pointedly not mentioned even though he does seem to be performing those duties on an interim basis. (It's not in this article, either.)

Also discussed in the Town Meeting was new dormitories, which affects my husband since the old ones are where he works. (The presentation from the meeting, which I think you should be able to access, has a drawing of the new building on page 5.) We don't know what sort of job changes will shake out of this, but our theory is that we have at least a couple of years to let it sort itself out, since it's highly unlikely that the building will actually be finished by December 2009, as it says there, considering that UTMB never does anything very fast and work hasn't even started on it yet. (It took them three years to build a two-story parking garage, after all. And you'd think that would be a much simpler thing than a regular building.)

I'm wearing my pink plaid shoes again, which I love unabashedly. I do seem to sort of have a thing for pink, don't I? (There are also these beads, which came in my Fire Mountain order yesterday, and which will probably be a bracelet - and possibly matching earrings - before the weekend is over, if not today.) (The pink shoes don't seem to be available on Target's website, but Target is where they came from - they're Keds knock-offs, branded Merona. Keds usually calls this type of shoe "skimmers" - sort of ballet-flat shaped, but with a white tennis-shoe type bottom. Just in case you're interested!)
mellificent: (Xmas excess)
I have been feeling kind of crappy this afternoon - I don't know what that's about. I hope to hell I'm not coming down with something. That would be very bad timing. (But par for the course, really.) Rob was watching the MST3K Santa Claus Conquers the Martians earlier and I couldn't really get into it (imagine that) and I went in the bedroom to read for a minute and fell asleep, which I never do this time of day. Of course, that could be why I feel groggy, couldn't it? We'll see, I guess - if I'm really getting sick I'll know it soon enough.

We went in Wal-Mart last night and it was oddly empty. I mean, not actually empty, just not crazily full like you would think. My only theory is that it's sort of the deep breath between the early shoppers, who are done now, and the late shoppers, who will start their shopping this weekend. (Hey, they have all the way til the end of the day Monday, after all!)

(Oh, looking for a last-minute gift? How about a Segway? Seriously, I got a "last-minute gifts" e-mail that had this listed in it. Only $4700!!)

Anyway, I went in Target after I got off work this afternoon - it was not terribly busy either. I don't know what's up with that, but oh well, it was nice. The only gift I bought there was Letters from Iwo Jima for my dad. (Let's see if he has any wisecracks about it being in Japanese.) I went in the quilt store after that, to buy something for my aunt, but nothing appealed to me too much. Also, one of the employees did say hello to me when I came in but they proceeded to ignore me after that. I probably would have bought something if somebody had been helping me but I wandered around for a while and then walked out, instead, giftless. I hope I get inspired about what to do about that gift because I'm running out of time. We may be looking at a gift certificate. (Or a Segway, who knows?)

I also went in Marshall's but by that time I was thoroughly disgruntled and didn't buy anything there, either. Then I came home, hungry and thinking I was going to have a hamburger for lunch, only to find that someone (hint: not me) had stuck all the hamburger in the house in the freezer. I gave up at that point and ordered a pizza. Forget any semblance of the diet... although the diet pretty much went out the window this morning when not one but two of my co-workers came in with donuts, anyway. So I played GuildWars and waited for the pizza guy to come. A highly productive afternoon, this one.

Oh, I got several more e-mails from my sister, one of which contained the information that she's not coming to Houston after all. I can't say I'm really surprised, but anyway, we are off the hook on trying to meet her on Sunday. At this point, I think that's probably for the best.
mellificent: (Firefly - brain)
I did this a couple of years ago, and people seemed interested, so I'll try it again. And the other version was on diary-x, so it's gone, anyway.

The thing is, I like to go on a full-fledged holiday shopping trip, at some point. It makes it feel like Christmas, somehow. So I had the afternoon off today, and I decided today was the day. The shops aren't exactly deserted on Fridays, but it's better than it would be tomorrow, I figure.

I have a whole little stack of credit card receipts, and it's probably the only way I can remember exactly where I went, so here you go:

the list... )

(The icon is because I am watching Firefly on the Sci-Fi channel, which I only knew was on because somebody mentioned it in GW chat. Should I have known they were showing it? - Maybe I did and I've just forgotten, that's entirely possible!)

Holidailies penguin

mellificent: (Totoro: bus stop)
I don't have much to say because I didn't really do much today. I played GuildWars with [personal profile] columbina and folded fabric. (You can see pictures of some of the fabric on flickr.) It really is an obscene amount of fabric. I am going to have to try to figure out how many yards it is, when I get done. Although I probably don't want to know.

I called this entry "Gray Friday" because there was no shopping going on here and it was a gray, gloomy, chilly day. It's been chilly since Wednesday but today I finally turned the heater on for the first time and the smoke alarm promptly went off. (It stopped after a few beeps, though, which is good because it's on the ceiling and I certainly can't turn it off easily.) Did you see the pictures of all the fools fighting to get in the shopping malls? Honestly, it's just nuts. Rob did actually go in Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things late tonight, and he said it was pretty empty. I said, well, that sorta made sense because the crazy people came early and the sane people wouldn't go near the place today.
mellificent: (Potterpuffs: fawkes)

new outfit
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

I don't know if you can tell anything from this picture - as a matter of fact, this picture makes me nervous because I don't think this shirt is as blinding as it looks in the picture - but I found an outfit I really like, and which satisfies the "bright colors" thing as well as being relatively dignified, and dressy enough that I don't have to feel underdressed (even though it's not a dress). There are also black knit pants to go with it, and little black vintage-y earrings, and a pair of very, very expensive black leather flats. I don't know what got into me about the shoes, actually - I am not generally a shoe person. But oh well.

mellificent: (Shaun of the Dead)
I really need one of these. I can never remember what blood type I am, I have some kind of mental block about it. I'm not O and I'm not AB - I think I'm A-positive but I'm not quite sure. A laminated card I could carry around would be just the ticket. (Of course, once I had it, I would remember.)

You can tell it's a slow day when I start making multiple posts.
mellificent: (winter trees)
I ordered Rob one of those bumper stickers that says "1-20-09" (the last day Bush will be president) for his birthday, because we saw one a couple of weeks ago and he couldn't stop talking about it. I bet we end up putting it on my car instead of his, though, so as not to mar the pristine-ness of the Corolla. We'll see.

I also ordered him a pair of pants from Land's End, because he hasn't had any new ones lately and it's almost impossible to find his size in a store, especially in the chino-type pants like he wears to work. (He's six feet tall & very skinny - the only pants that fit him in most retail stores are the ones intended for teenagers.) The only other thing I've bought for him is the movie The Descent, which I found at Sam's. I know he wants that one. He had told me a couple of more obscure movies he wants that I'll probably order from Amazon. The other piece of his birthday present is traditionally the night we spend at the downtown Hilton for the marathon - that will be this Saturday. (Usually his birthday falls closer to marathon weekend than it did this year - the marathon is next Sunday and his birthday isn't until the Sunday after, which is good because my mother usually likes to have some sort of birthday celebration for him and we won't have to try to deal with that on marathon weekend.) Rob is taking his comp day from the Day of Mourning last week - because he worked the whole day that day - on the Tuesday after the marathon, and since Monday is MLK day he'll have two whole days to recover. Which is good. He'll be all of 44 years old soon and doesn't seem to recover quite as fast as he used to.

We didn't do much this weekend, except go see "The Pursuit of Happyness" - which was pretty good. I'm not usually too big on, you know, heartwarming single-father dramas in the normal way of things, but this one was not overblown and Will Smith was likeable but not quite as cocky as usual and, I don't know, it all worked. (I am just not a good movie reviewer. It's hard for me to put a finger on what makes a movie good or bad.)

I was going to meet my mom and Art at the house yesterday, but he called me to say that she couldn't make it up the two steps to get inside. Her right leg is just practically dead - she can't lift it at all. We are trying to get her back up to Houston to see the oncologist and get another chemo treatment, since the last one did seem to help. The two hospitals do not seem to coordinate their services very well, though. Something about Medicare coverage that I don't quite understand, apparently. I wish we had a Medicare expert to run interference on this, I really do. It's ridiculous.

I almost forgot to say that we are in an orgy of possession-purging, brought on by having to move bookshelves and stuff on Friday and again today, since they are coming back to finish the sheetrock. We are working on piles of stuff for Goodwill and another one for library donations - my god, do we have a lot of books. I found a whole box of books that I thought was Rob's old books and turned out to be mine. It had The Last Unicorn in it, as well as some old Larry Niven and some other stuff I thought had gone in some past round of book-purging. I started re-reading The Last Unicorn and apparently I haven't read it in so long that I can't remember what happens at all. I think, "Oh, yeah, I remember this," as I read, but so far I have completely failed to remember where things go from there. Makes it interesting.
mellificent: (Buffy quote: death star)
When I said in chat the other night that President Ford was dead, somebody said, "That's two" - presumably meaning James Brown was the first one. What I want to know is, does Saddam count as #3? Or do the deaths have to be by a more natural means than execution? I don't understand the rules of that business, I guess.

(I may have more to say about President Ford later. I started writing a massive brain dump about presidents, but that's the kind of thing that I may or may not ever finish. We'll see.)

In other current-events-related things, I am inclined to want to rant about Donald Trump, mostly because, in my interpretation of what he's said, his objections to Rosie O'Donnell are primarily that she's fat and she has a hot girlfriend. (I do not buy for a minute that Rosie O'Donnell is ugly. She's not. Donald Trump is, though, which may be why he's so damn sensitive on the topic.)

Also, I loathe people who call other people "losers" - ugh. I didn't like the man to begin with but I've just gotten a lot more vehement about it.

So, I've been meaning to write an entry all week that was about what I've actually been doing this week, and I keep getting off on other topics.

So here goes. )

Read this: the slackers of bedford falls. Somebody else doesn't like that movie! yay!

Holidailies gold


mellificent: (Xmas - pink aluminum)
I am not very interested in writing an entry. I have been fighting snowmen and finding treasure (in GuildWars), which is much more fun. Plus I am facing two days without GW and I am already having separation anxiety.

But I will not be here tomorrow, so I need to write an entry tonight in case I don't get around to writing one tomorrow. I have been known to write entries at my aunt's house, it's not inconceivable that I will - especially if she or my cousins start pissing me off. (When that happens I tend to go hide in the study where the computer is.) I am a little bit ahead on Holidailies and have been since the first day. I think a lot of people don't realize that you can post more than one entry a day, but you can - one in the morning and one at night, say. And I posted two the very first day - one of them I had written the night before - and so I have had that cushion all along. The fact that I haven't used it before now is a little bit of a surprise, actually.

The only thing I really did other than play games today was I drove up to the mainland and went to Houston Garden Center and to HEB. My mother had made me promise to buy rosemary trees at HGC, I think I mentioned that once before. I only bought one, and I bought myself some other stuff - a christmas cactus, a cyclamen, and some pansies. There was nobody at all in the garden center - people around here buy their trees early for the most part (and a lot of them take them down right after Christmas, too). There were lots of trees, still, and pretty ones, but nobody was buying them. On the other hand, HEB (which is a grocery store, for you non-Texans) was a zoo. For one thing, there were a couple of very disgruntled-looking reindeer out front, and kids were having their picture taken with them. And inside, everybody was buying clementines - they were on sale and they looked good, I got some - and booze and stuff from the bakery. HEB has a good bakery and they were selling rolls and pies and things like crazy. The baking aisle was pretty mobbed too, so not everybody was getting their pies pre-made. I bought cough drops (of course) and some of those disposable containers to put my fudge in, and a six-pack of cranberry hard lemonade to take to my aunt's house. I think I'm going to take that bottle of Tanqueray that seems to make me sick to my stomach, too. Somebody will drink it.

Have I mentioned that? I was getting sick to my stomach every time I made a drink with gin. But if I went to a restaurant and ordered a margarita or a screwdriver I was fine. So I finally faced the fact that the gin was the culprit, and went and bought a bottle of vodka to make drinks with at home. I don't drink all that much at home, but I like to have something on hand for when I get in the mood!

Holidailies gold
mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)

wallpaper (Galleria at Christmas)
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

This is the wallpaper on my computer right now - it's an image that really says Christmas to me. It's the Galleria in Houston, all decked out for the holidays. Usually I go up there shopping once between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even if I don't really need anything. It just puts me in the holiday mood. (However, if you're a person who hates crowds, I don't recommend it. You'll just think it's a nightmare.)


I guess this is supposed to say Christmas in somebody's mind, too, but it's just too damn weird for me:

(from here) (I got to see it in person. It's just as scary as you think.)

Who buys things like this? I seriously don't know. And it plays the Longhorn fight song???

Remember that I did go to Texas. I do consider myself a fan. But lemme tell you about the fight song. It's called "Texas Fight" - very imaginatively. It's sung, or shouted (often by less-than-sober undergraduates) with lots of waving of the Hook 'em Horns sign, and it has words like this:

Texas fight, Texas fight,
Oh, it's Texas that we love best,
Hail, hail, the gang's all here,
And it's goodbye to all the rest.

Only nobody says that "Hail, hail, the gang's all here" part -- or at least they didn't when I was in school. At the time, everybody yelled, "Give 'em hell! Give 'em hell! Make 'em eat shit!" over that part, and I mean, that was what I was taught at freshman orientation, so it was more or less official. (No, I am absolutely not kidding.) By the time I was in graduate school, though, somebody had decided that wasn't very polite, and they were trying to get people to say, "Give 'em hell! Give 'em hell! We're number one!" but I don't know how successful they were at that. (I haven't been to a UT football game since the 80s. I watch the games on TV sometimes but who can tell what they're saying?)

In any case, that's some funky Christmas carol that Santa is singing.

Holidailies gold
mellificent: (Christmas tree)
I have been playing GuildWars, so I guess I'm writing about GuildWars too, at least a little bit. It's what's on my mind at the moment. [personal profile] columbina was gone most of the weekend, and was feeling sickly a good bit of last week, so it seemed like we were playing together for the first time in a while. My paragon, Inaya, had moved ahead while Col was away, sort of by accident - I was only intending to explore, really, but there is a series of titles (called Lightbringer) that you get by battling elementals, and there were a lot of elementals in the area where I was exploring, so I moved up from just plain Lightbringer to Adept Lightbringer while I was doing that. And then I wandered into an area that happened to contain the primary quest which moves you along in the story, so I "accidentally" got to the next mission while I was at it. However, it turned out today that that mission (the Grand Court of something-or-other) was the one that Imri (Col's paragon) had been stuck at for some time, and so the two paragons tried it together and got through it without too much trouble. We probably won't keep playing them together regularly, though, because paragons are support characters, really, and two of them in a party of eight is one too many.

What else happened today? Oh, for anybody who's reading this but hasn't been reading my in-between posts, I got a call today about the results of my biopsy, and it was good. "Everything was benign," was what I was told. The other notable thing today was that I traipsed down to the Cingular store at lunch and got a new phone, since my contract is expiring - or maybe has already expired, I forget. I thought about forking out the hundred bucks to get a Razr (they had pink ones, but not the red one which would have been more tempting - hey, it's for charity!) but I really didn't care that much about it beyond the cool factor. I liked my Nokia that I already had, so I finally just got another, newer Nokia. All the accessories I already have will fit, and it was free with a new contract. Since I didn't blow the money on the Razr, I splurged a bit and upgraded my contract to include text messaging/IM/internet, which I was paying extra for when I used before. (And they said text messages were going up to 15 cents each, too, so at least I don't have to worry about that.) Now I just have to figure out how to work the new one. It's a lot like the old one, but not quite. I might actually have to get out the manual to figure out the differences. (Horrors!)

Also I made another cough-drop run through Wal-Mart after work, and was interested to see that they had generic Mucinex. Only other allergy sufferers will understand the significance of that, I think. ([profile] ms_hooligan, for one, is very fond of her Mucinex, I seem to recall.) Actually, I was worried that I couldn't get through the evening without cough drops, but I've only had a couple all night. The cough does seem to have subsided a bit. I could have saved a good bit of money by not going, because Wal-Mart is a more dangerous place when I go there without Rob. I stop and look at things I don't usually look at, like Christmas socks and computer accessories. I managed to spend $50, one way and another.

(Is the red text blinding? I kind of like it.)

Holidailies gold
mellificent: (yuck! (cat))
I have become something of an expert on cough drops in the last few weeks. Basically, I don't think I'd've been able to survive without them. It is amazingly hard to find the same cough drops at different stores; they seem to all have a little different selection. After three weeks of sucking on the damn things, I have a clear favorite: Halls Sugar Free Assorted Mint Flavors. (Which I have only been able to find at Walgreen's and Krogers.) My back-ups are Ricola Lemon-Mint, which you can find most places, or CVS's house-brand mint - which have the advantage of being extremely cheap (99 cents for a very large bag), and taste pretty similar to Halls. I find that I really, really prefer the sugar-free ones, though. When you've got one of the sugary ones in your mouth all day for days on end, eventually you start feeling like your teeth are going to fall out.

I am not a person who normally shops at drugstores, for some reason. They built a new competing-CVS-and-Walgreens duo on opposite corners of a main intersection here a year or two ago, and I had been in the Walgreen's exactly once and the CVS not at all, up until last week. But it is much easier to run in there after cough drops than to run into a grocery store or Wal-Mart. (For that matter, there is no "running in" to either of those places. There is just no getting in & out quickly whatsoever.)

Hmm, you know, I complain about the big stores, but I am also not a person who shops at convenience stores. I can't even tell you the last time I went in one. Probably the only time I ever go inside one, actually, is when I'm getting gas and can't pay outside for one reason or another. I seriously avoid going inside, I think, although it's not something I give much thought to. I dislike buying gas at all, for one thing, but since I have to do it I very much prefer to pay at the pump and get out of there. I was an early and enthusiastic adopter of pay-at-the-pump, actually; when it first surfaced and was only at a few places, I would go miles out of my way for it.

I'm trying to think why I got that way about it. Years and years ago, when I was first driving, nothing had gotten automated yet and you didn't have much choice about going inside - unless you were willing to pay a lot more to have somebody else pump your gas and bring your credit card slip outside to sign, you had to. But they used to let you pump before you paid, and I think part of my dislike of the whole thing comes from that two-part process they came up with for security reasons, where you had to go take your money or your credit card inside before you pumped, and then go in again if you had change, or to sign your receipt. (And I guess if you don't do pay-at-the-pump, you still have to do that, don't you?)

And then the other part of it is that I am basically and intrinsically cheap, and can't stand paying convenience store prices for things. I guess that comes from not ever having much money most of my life.

Holidailies gold


mellificent: (Default)

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