Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oh look, a squirrel!

Once Upon A Time, writing was incredibly easy for me. I would sit down at a keyboard and whip out stories almost as fast as others could later read them.

Lately (where ‘lately’ is pronounced ‘about the last year or so’), it has not been like that. It’s been more like, I sit down thinking, I am going to write about something.

…and then all hell breaks loose, pretty much everywhere, simultaneously, and instead I’m running around stomping out fires and such until suddenly I’m…well, not necessarily done dealing with all the mess, but done nonetheless.

It’s like I’ve run nose-first into an invisible wall, and I’m just…done now. Chair, meet arse. Arse, chair. You’re going to be the best of friends, for the rest of the evening…

And at this point in the day, opening up the word processor is just a rather cruel joke I play on myself; the cursor will sit there blinking at me, and maybe I’ll get a few words into it.

And then I’ll pause to read them and I’ll think, …where are you even GOING with this…wait…did you start DRINKING at some point, and I didn’t NOTICE…?!

The other problem is, the really major problem, is that there are some squirrels who moved into our yard. Specifically, a momma squirrel with three babies, who appear to have taken up residence under a wood pile just outside my new office.

Just about every time I even halfway glance out my closest window, my eye gets caught by their scampering antics.

And I look out the window a lot. You know how when you hit one of those moments when you’re not entirely sure what to say next, you go, “…um…”? Glancing out the window is how my brain goes, “…um…” because it’s not 100% sure what it wants to say next.

“…why is this code doing that…” => glances out window

“…how can I answer this email without actually calling anybody stupid…?” => glances out window

“…omg, are you seriously doing That Thing where you invite me to the meeting five minutes after it started again? do I even want to know what poop you’ve just stirred up that I’m going to have to live with?!” => stares moodily out window for a rather prolonged “moment”

There is, in point of fact, a momma squirrel attempting to eat a lemon, right immediately now, right outside my window. While one of her babies is being adorable over the the masonry on the greenhouse. Baby has found herself some seedy yum-yums, and they are delicious, and anybody who thinks that weed seeds are not the absolute best is just plain insane.

She thinks momma is insane. Weed seeds are da bomb.

Oh. Wait. Mommy has discovered that lemons suck. Or at least, that lemon does. To the lemon tree, to acquire a DIFFERENT lemon that will PROBABLY be tastier!! AWAYYYYYYYYYYY! {scurry-scurry, scamper-scramper}

I know they’re The Enemy, OK? I know. I know that I will need to get out there and go to war with them. And that I shouldn’t spend any time standing at my window going, “Squeeeeeeeeeeee!” when the little babies are crawling around out there finding seeds or playing on the wood pile or any of those other cute little baby squirrel things they keep doing.

And I definitely shouldn’t be amused by the stupid momma squirrel as she keeps pulling unripe fruit off trees in the vain hope that this one will be tasty-good.

Seriously, though – get a clue, varmint. If the last three were nasty, whyyyyyy do you keep believing that the next one will be delicious? They are lemons, dummy, they are NEVER going to be sweet and delicious treats…

OH. MY. GAHD, now one of the babies is trying the lemon. Hahahahahahahahaha! Yeah, *that’ll* curl your tail up, won’t it, kiddo…

Darn, I wish I could get pictures of this…now she’s sitting there like a tiny fluffy ball of disappointment, back turned to the reviled lemon, the very picture of but it smelled so tasty-good! sadness…but she’s in the shade, and if I try to get around to where I can get a picture of her, they’ll all be gone…WAIT. DAMMIT. I WANT THEM TO BE GONE. ARGH!!!

It’s like the way I got all anxious yesterday when this enormous crow was chasing one of the babies. Intellectually, I know that I should be rooting for him, you know? And the hawks, and the neighborhood cats, and the snakes, and anything else that looks at a squirrel and goes, “Mmmm, tasty!

But instead I’m more like, “Hey! Quit picking on that cute little furry critter, you big mean old thing!” Even though I’m usually rather fond of crows; I mean, they’re kind of scary birds and I wouldn’t want to run into one in a dark alley, but at the same time they’re wicked smart, and surprisingly fun to watch too. The things they don’t get up to…like figuring out how to drop walnuts into the road so that cars will crush them open for them. Darned brilliant, as long as they don’t drop them ON your car – at 50 miles an hour, RIGHT into the windshield…

In short, I am completely hopeless. I’m going to end up gardening purely to feed the damned squirrels, because I’ll keep thinking they’re too “cute” to kill or run off. This is why we can’t have nice things, Me.

But I digress. (I think. Do I? Wait, where was I even going with this? Did I spike my soda with whiskey again? Is there another me that does this whenever I’m not looking? because I’m starting to REALLY wonder about that…)

{watches squirrels for another few minutes}

{…argues with self about how amusing it would be to put a ‘squirrel proof’ feeder out there, somewhere “impossible” for them to get to, just to watch them get to it anyway…}

{…I know, right?! it would be endless hours of very low cost entertainment! and since most of the yard is scorched earth right now thanks to the drought, I could set up a kick-ass obstacle course for them out there! it’d be AWESOME!}

…and that is why, instead of writing an actual post, I have spent the entirety of my ‘free’ time this afternoon watching the squirrels and surfing Amazon for ‘squirrel proof’ bird feeders that are clearly not actually squirrel proof.

This is also why we can’t have nice things, Me…

Monday, April 13, 2015

Splinters: Two basics ways to handle

If you are a normal and/or intelligent person:

  1. Upon having a broom handle shave off a piece of itself the size of the Eiffel Tower into, say, the inside of the second knuckle on your index finger (let’s just say), let out a robust yell, possibly an expletive or two calmly alert those around you to the fact that you have just injured yourself
  2. Retire to the nearest washroom, preferably with entourage in tow ready to assist with Operation Safe Splinter Removal
  3. Wash injured area gently with soap and water
  4. Carefully have your duly appointed deputy attempt to extract the splinter with your choice of:
    1. Sanitized tweezers, and/or
    2. Sanitized needle, and/or
    3. Sticky tape, if you’re lucky enough not to have a sliver which is pretending to be a submarine on a top secret mission in the deepest ocean trench in the world, and/or  
    4. A ‘drawing’ poultice
      1. Baking soda is popular
      2. Warm water + Epsom salt soak is another that seems to work well for a lot of folks
  5. Upon ensuring you have gotten the beast outta there, apply:
    1. Antibacterial ointment
    2. Bandage
  6. Keep clean and dry
  7. In the unlikely event that an infection, swelling, redness, pus and/or an ungodly pain every time you even think about bending the damned finger kicks up, see your friendly neighborhood medical professional immediately

ALTERNATIVELY, if you are stupid and/or me:

  1. Upon having a broom handle shave off a piece of itself the size of the Eiffel Tower into, say, the inside of the second knuckle on your index finger (let’s just say), let out a slight hiss
    1. If anyone chances to overhear this and ask what you did, snarl, “NOTHING!” at them
    2. If they ask again, glare at them and mutter something unintelligible until they give up 
  2. Shift broom to uninjured hand, stealthily inspect injured finger while pretending to actually be inspecting tool 
  3. If you spy any part of the splinter above ground (so to speak), use teeth to yank out
    1. This is totally safe
    2. That’s why $DEITY gave us teeth in the first place
      1. Not really
        1. They’re for softening leather hides
        2. And also opening difficult packaging
    3. Plus saliva has antibacterial properties
      1. Also not really
  4. Put broom back in injured hand because dammit, this is how GROWNUPS deal with things – you don’t get a free pass just because you got a damned splinter, wuss!
    1. Plus if you don’t, others who happen to be nearby may realize you totally did too just hurt yourself somehow
    2. And if they know you at all, they’re going to be all, “LET ME SEE IT. RIGHT NOW.”
    3. Because just possibly they have been through this particular farce once or twice before and know how you are
  5. Finish task at hand
  6. Hang around for a few more minutes, just to prove you can
  7. Sneak into nearest bathroom, wash blood off hand and peer angrily at injury
    1. Really glare at it
    2. This will possibly terrify the splinter into ejecting itself from your finger
      1. Not really
        1. Not even theoretically possible
        2. Unless you have psychokinetic powers
          1. In which case, why in the world were you using your hands to operate the broom in the first place?
          2. Man, I would be doing that work while loafing in an easy chair just to show off
  8. Dig pair of tweezers out of the back of the junk drawer
  9. Dig clean-enough looking needle out of sewing kit
    1. If you can find the sewing kit
    2. Otherwise, check the junk drawer
    3. Possibly the storage shed? Gotta be one around here somewhere
  10. Sterilization is for losers. Just frickin’ get it DONE already.
    1. The clock is ticking, cowboy
    2. Any second now, somebody is going to come looking for you
    3. You are surrounded by professional narks
    4. They will so totally nark you out
  11. Grab exposed part of splinter with tweezers and neatly pluck it out of your skin
    1. Ow, OK, nope, that wasn’t the splinter, that was skin, @^*&@…!
    2. Repeat until exhausted
    3. Realize this isn’t working
  12. Pick up needle and start poking around where you think the sliver is until you’re absolutely sure you’ve got enough of it exposed that you can totally grab it with the tweezers now
  13. Repeat #11 and #12 a few times
  14. Get all of the splinter out
    1. Pretty much all of it, anyway
    2. Well. Most of it
    3. All of it that, you know, matters
    4. Because you’re just sick of gouging at yourself at this point, therefore, clearly, you’re done
  15. Spray with most gawd-awful stinging antibacterial spray you can find – the one that says, ‘Antibacterial and “analgesic” (lol) sprayon it
    1. Stuff seriously stings like a @^*&@
    2. Wonder quietly to self if the “analgesic” property is purely comparative
      1. As in, “Once the burning this stuff causes starts to finally wear off, you’ll feel so much better than you did while it was still cauterizing your wound!”
  16. Apply bandage
  17. Immediately go and do any or all of the following:
    1. Hand-water plants
      1. Bonus points if you use the dregs of last week’s greywater
    2. Wash the dishes without wearing gloves
    3. Turn compost pile
      1. Ratty gloves with holes large enough to pass a mouse through optional
    4. Take a shower
    5. Move furniture / unpack boxes that have been languishing around in dusty, dirty, appalling conditions for months and months
  18. The next morning, note that finger is…more sore and maybe starting to feel a leeeeetle bit…hot
    1. And hurts like a @*^&@ when you bend it
    2. And may be swelling, ever so slightly, right around where that splinter went in
      1. Or possibly developing a rather large…blister.
        1. Yeah. Let’s go with “blister”
        2. Because “boil” is such an ugly term
  19. A few hours later, acknowledge that possibly you may have maybe missed a tiny bit of the splinter 
    1. I mean, most of it you surely got, but, I guess there’s probably a teeny tiny bit left in there
    2. Or something
  20. Ignore pain, swelling, heat and signs of impending pus
    1. IN FACT, tell yourself that this is “good” – because actually, pus = nature’s lubricant
      1. That’s right! Whatever is left of that sliver is going to come shooting on out of there
      2. You know, probably, like, tomorrow-ish
      3. This is the natural way to handle this. You are a paragon of, uh, natural-ish living
        1. Very…zen or something
        2. You should totally eat a couple stale, bright blue Peeps to celebrate your earth-goddess stature
    2. Plus if that doesn’t work, well, your body will probably just break the thing down over time and problem solved
      1. Not really
      2. That is seriously a myth
      3. Your body is not going to ‘break down’ a slab of pressurized lumber any time soon
  21. Continue ignoring increasingly achy finger until it cannot be ignored anymore – probably this will be at roughly the 24-hour mark after initial splinter-acquisition
  22. Remove bandage
  23. Give inflamed area the stink-eye for at least five minutes
    1. Yup.
    2. That’s infected all right.
  24. Consult Google
    1. Have minor anxiety attack because Dr. Google is pretty sure that you’re going to die
      1. Because the splinter is heading straight for your heart, with laser-targeted accuracy
      2. Plus all of these symptoms? => could also be cancer
      3. Or Bavarian swamp-rat muck-tail disease
        1. …wait, what? Go home, Google, you’re drunk…!
    2. Realize that if you go to a doctor, they will do…doctor-stuff to you
      1. …go find reasonably clean looking needle…
  25. Putting on best bad-ass face, poke sore spot gingerly with needle 
    1. Pffft, sterilize, what the hell for?! it’s already infected and besides, you’re going to wash it with soap in a second, and then spray it with more of the stingy-antibacterial-lol-analgesic-my-arse stuff in, like, two seconds
    2. What-ever
      1. I’m tough
      2. It’s just a stupid little splinter
      3. I got this
    3. Plus, there’s no time, in about ten seconds somebody is going to get home from work and be all, “WHAT are you doing?! WHAT did you do THIS time? Lemme see that…!”
      1. And then they’re going to want to “help”
      2. Which makes too much sense, particularly seeing as how it is your dominant hand that you’re trying to work on
        1. With your off-hand
        2. The one that has trouble dealing with things like toothpaste tube caps, and therefore clearly is the hand for this job
      3. Anyway, time is of the essence and cannot be wasted on such trivialities as ‘sterilization’ or even ‘thinking this through’
      4. Seize the day, people
  26. Say a few bad words as ‘nature’s lubricant’ does its thing and the sliver does indeed come flying out of there
    1. Damn.
    2. That was huge.
    3. How did I miss THAT MUCH wood still in my finger?!
    4. Wow.
    5. I suck.
    6. Totally should have had the husband look at this thing yesterday
    7. …eh, whatever, it’s all good now…
  27. Set sliver aside so you can show spouse when they get home
    1. Because now that it’s out, ha ha, it’s too late for all that fussing and carrying on about nothing
      1. That’s right, you can now live another day without having to get over your intense and completely irrational fear of people in white jackets bearing needles and medicines you can’t pronounce and stuff
      2. Now, the thing has awesome gross-out factor and must be shared with the spouse – this is why he married you, after all, because you are FULL of gross examples of your own idiocy
        1. It’s one of my many charms
        2. Along with putting half of all our belongings onto the bed while ‘cleaning,’ and then ‘not getting around to’  finding them all new forever-homes before bedtime
  28. Immediately lose sliver when cat jumps onto table and swipes her tail right over the top of it
    1. Waste a few minutes looking for the sliver
      1. Realize it was only “huge” in the context of ‘a foreign object under your skin’ – it is actually almost microscopic
      2. You are never going to find it…particularly not on a splinter-colored fake-wood floor
      3. Seriously
      4. Just, stop already…
  29. Now that all danger of being helped is past, complain vigorously to everyone you meet about the whole thing
    1. Possibly you could even write a blog post to share with the whole entire Internet just what lengths you are willing to go to in order to avoid being sensible about minor injuries

(Yeah, I totally did “take care of” a splinter that way this weekend. And I totally did try to save the splinter so that I could be all, “OMG, check this out!” when the husband got home tonight – but Fleur immediately started walking around on my desk and swoosh! gone. Which was probably for the best, because on further reflection I very much doubt the husband has any interest in viewing splinters I was storing in my index finger for any length of time, and probably he’d just give me that look and be all, “blah blah blah you need to not do stupid things blah blah blah” and then I’d be all, “What-ever, some of us are self-reliant, dude!” and then he’d give me that look again and I mean, really, what’s the point of starting all that again? NONE, there is no point. So, you know – it’s probably good that it is now safely in the vacuum cleaner [well, of course I vacuumed in here, because you know what sucks even more than splinters in a finger? splinters in your foot] instead of being gleefully shown off as first planned.)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Garden Report: April 12, 2015

Well – it’s going to be an interesting year. It has become very, VERY clear that our big drought out here in California is only digging in for the long-haul, not easing up.

So I’ve cut way, way back on my plans for this year; I have a feeling that just about anything I do plant now in these milder months I’ll just have to watch die later this summer, when we no longer have a drop of dew in the mornings, and the sun is mercilessly beating down on everything.

I’m not exactly giving up on the garden entirely – it’s more that I’m having to take a big step back and come back at it with a different perspective on things.

Basically, I have to be able to keep things alive using more greywater than fresh city water; I have to rework the way I plant and protect to be increasingly water-aware. And able to hand-water – I won’t be able to rely on the drip system to take care of it for me, I will need to have time every day to get out there and individually take care of every single one of them. Egads.

I’ll also have to make more and better use of greywater, and figure out just how much I can reasonably do on a lot less water than I’ve used in years past.

For the moment, I’m focusing on keeping the longer-term investment plants alive. The fruit trees, rhubarb and rosemary, the artichoke bushes and the blackberries. If I can at least keep those reasonably well-watered and alive for now, I’ll call that a win; if I have enough water left over, I’ll think about putting a couple of the beds back into use. I have a feeling it is possible, but I’m just not sure right now.

The only real news in the garden right now is both related and kind of sad – this big old tree is officially, and completely, dead.

We stopped watering the lawn last year because of the drought and local watering restrictions – but we’d thought the tree had deep enough roots to be tapping into the ground water. Nope. The water table has dropped so low over the last couple years that even a tree of this size couldn’t find enough water to sustain itself.

Farewell, old fellah. We appreciated all the shade you gave us during the long, hot days of summer. You’ll be missed.

(But we won’t miss the bird poop – yes, that’s what the white stuff on Homer is, the birds also love the tree and show their appreciation…copiously. Note the lack of street parking – not shown is the enthusiastic nature [or as some have put it, the black and petty souls] of the suburban answer to the meter maid, who love to start slapping pink and orange notices on your windshield if you park on the main thoroughfare up around that corner for more than, say, eighteen seconds. The birds, they have had us RIGHT where they want us, for LO these many years…)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Amazon: At the corner of ‘shut up and take my money’ and ‘lol, really?’

So, this is a thing: the Amazon Dash button, which you can stick on the wall next to your toilet paper dispenser and, when you find yourself running short, you hit the button and boom – more {specific brand you chose} TP is on the way.

It’s not an early April Fool’s gag.

It’s an actual thing.

And the ‘Amazon Fresh’ version of it is even scarier, because you can talk to it, like, say, “Apples” and the thing will add apples to your Amazon fresh order. Or scan the barcode from that empty box of Oreos that some treacherous blasphemer emptied when you weren’t looking – bang! Done. Fresh box of Oreos is a go, people.

I know, right?! Holy computerized enabling, Batman!

I feel as though I should be outraged. That I should be dragging out my soapbox and climbing up onto it to deliver a scathing sermon about the dangers and costs and blah blah blah…

…but instead, I swear, it’s like I want to just start screaming “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY ALREADY!!!” while clicking wildly on the ‘invite me!’ button. Invite me, damn you – INVITE ME NOW! NOW! I NEED THIS, I NEEEEEEEEEED IIIIIIIIIIIT…!

Fortunately, the Amazon Fresh service isn’t available in my area. The single-product-button one doesn’t really trip much emotion inside me, but that Fresh one…yikes.

I can totally see myself sitting here at my desk all day long…and alllllllllll those times throughout the day when I’m working and my brain decides that right now, in the middle of all these work-crises, is the perfect time to go, “oh, hey, psssssssst! you needed {crackers, some specific cheese or other, eggs, milk, crème fraiche, etc. etc. etc.} for that thing you were going to do…”, I’d be grabbing that beautiful little enabler and barking, “Water crackers! Weird cheese, the kind with the little holes, not Swiss cheese, that other holey-cheese! Eggs! Crème fraiche…CREM. FRESH. No. Delete. CERRRRR-REM…FRAAAAAAAAA-ESH. DAMMIT. NO, NOT ‘DAIMLER’, DON’T YOU SEND ME A CAR, AMAZON!!…ooooooo…that…is…is that…a convertible?!…”

…and that would be how I ended up with a brand! new! car!!

(Boom. Next day shipping, y’all. They could probably just drop it into the same box they use for paper towels. I think it would actually fit.)

Anyway, for now, seeing as how the version of this dash-thing that I’m very much intrigued by is straight-up not available in my area, well…I have a free pass on having to actually use willpower to resist this siren’s call.

And, thanks to my geographically-challenged location, I probably have plenty of time to fashion tinfoil hats for myself to ward off the mind control that is clearly in play here.

Not that I will.

Because I remain intrigued by the concept, unsure whether it will be the trumpet fanfare ushering in a new era of copious free time and carefree living, or knells of the cracked bell ringing in our inevitable descent into dystopian doom, wherein our too-many belongings silently and wirelessly order the parts they need to assemble their armies and take us out.

Eh, could go either way, I suppose.

In either case, we do live in fascinating, changing, amazing times, don’t we?

Just TALK to this little token, and FOOD will be sent to your house.

What a world, what a terrifying, amazing, messed-up-but-with-potential-fast-tracks-for-improving world we are building for ourselves, with every passing day…

Friday, February 27, 2015

Aaaaaaaand, I'm back, what'd I miss?!'s The Internet! AT LAST!!! I'm saved!!!!!

I've been without my home computer for a couple days now; last week, my poor, abused desktop began acting a little...weird. It was being kind of sluggish. Throwing the occasional minor error at me "for no reason." And otherwise behaving in a way that made me sit back and think, Uh-oh...WHERE did I put all those system restore disks again...? 

Sure. Enough.

After a couple days of increasingly rebellious behavior, it finally threw in the towel on me for good, entered into an endless ", just kidding, no I'm not! Want me to try to repair this of course you do because that's the ONLY option I'm going to give you! OK!, just kidding, I can't fix this! I'm going to restart now, OK?" cycle and eventually forced me to really get my nerd on and communicate with it only through a command prompt.

Good times.

SO! I've spent the last two days trying to repair a really fried system...and then reinstalling a new system over the top of the hopelessly fried old one...and reinstalling all the software and resetting all the hardware settings and, sometimes I kind of wish I wasn't a "computer" person because @^*@, this stuff is aggravating.

What can I save? What can't I save? Whaddya mean that folder wasn't part of my regular backups?! What the hell, what idiot unchecked it?! Oh. that would have been ME...wonder what I was thinking when I did that...

Things appear to be more or less back in business now; most of my files were recovered with relatively little pain, I've got the bulk of my 'critical' software (like, you know, Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online) (pfffft, email, antivirus, who needs that stuff, focus on the important apps first, right?!) reinstalled or even upgraded in a couple cases, and then had the usual cleaning session that tends to follow on whenever this sort of thing happens.

My computer folders can be a lot like the junk drawer in the kitchen; over time, I've squirreled away things in so many places and then forgotten they were there.

You don't wanna know how many copies I had of the install files for SQL Server, versions 2000 through 2012. Because JUST having them on a CD isn't good enough for me, apparently, I need to ALSO have them copied onto my HARD DRIVE. 

Honestly, I cannot explain this. Any more than I can explain having "My Pictures" and "My Pictures(1)", and "My Pictures_Backup" - all of which contained the same 3.4 gig of photogenic moments in which the Denizens are indistinguishable smeary blurs of action. (This is, of course, the biggest time sink - I think it is completely impossible for me to simply and efficiently "clean up" a photo album, because I end up going, "D'awwwwwwww, I remember when Danger Mouse liked to wear dresses!" or "OMG, it's Mr. Bear! Huh, wonder whatever happened to that ratty old thing..." and so forth.)

At the moment, it's a pretty fast-running, solid machine - a lot like it was the day I so proudly and excitedly unboxed it for the very first time. Before I had loaded, and unloaded, and reloaded so many things onto it - trials of various software programs, video games of all kinds, weird little "here, try this INSTEAD of Microsoft Office, it'll be better because it's NOT Microsoft!" programs my fellow nerds were enthusing about, and so forth.

"Not computer people" are hard on computers in a certain way; they're ignorant of the sorts of things that can cause really big problems, and will innocently do things that really mess them up.

Like powering off during a patch installation because they got impatient, or reading half of the instructions on a website somewhere, going into regedit and oops!

I know better than that.

Which is why when I screw up a box, I do it on an epic scale. And usually haven't a prayer of figuring out what, exactly, it was specifically that I did to cause the explosion.

And then I don't even have the good sense to throw it into the trunk of the car, drive to the near Geek Haven, and throw both the computer and a crap-ton of cash at the nearest person in the store while screaming "FIX IT! FIX IT NOW! MAKE MACHINE GO-GO-GO!"

No indeed. I, the person who caused the huge problem, feel completely qualified to fix the problems I caused. I am a computer person! Feel my nerdly strength! Rawr...!!!

Aaaaaaaaaand, then I spend two days swearing, sweating, arguing with an inert machine, screaming about disks that aren't where I thought they were, backups that weren't done the way I thought they were, oh crap I accidentally reformatted the partition I manually backed everything up to {expletive expletive expletive expletive}!!! and so forth.

BUT, hopefully - I've got it worked out now.

For the most part.

Except for about three thousand security patches and other updates, restoring my email archives, and reinstalling the rest of my various financial, knitting, and other assorted programs. And restoring their backed-up files.

And my music folders.

Oh, geez.

It's going to be a looooooooong weekend, isn't it...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Meanwhile in other news…

Man, it was so hard going to work Monday; I spent Saturday dealing with some long-overdue kitchen purging and reorganizing, and Sunday cleaning up this beautiful stretch of back fence.

I stubbornly kept at it until the light was fading, but was still a bit disappointed that this was all the farther I got.

Left side, pretty darned nice, if a little SPARSE with the bark here and there! Right side…eh, let’s not talk about the right side…(it’s the horseradish over there, which right now looks like death and scorched earth, but it’s already starting to green up and before we know it, it’ll be like BAM! enormous horseradish bushes going, “Pfffft, what death? We’re fine, and trying to figure out how we can jump the concrete here and take over that side of the fence, too…!” – it’s really a waste of money to put down good bark or other mulches over there, as the horseradish don’t care and will totally cover that whole side once it gets going.)

I did get four new rhubarb plants into the ground, the frames restrung and peas planted around them, so, you know – it’s hardly like “nothing” got done there.

But it still just…felt like it took a lot longer than it “should” have taken; and man, when I got up the next morning, the aching and pain-ing from all over was just plain epic.

In related news, WHEREAS I cannot handle the aging I have already done, BE IT HEREWITH RESOLVED that any further aging is a NON-STARTER and that HENCEFORTH, my physical aging shall match my mental aging, which means that I am now twenty-three going on eleven thank you very much and here I shall stay, FOREVER.

The End.

In unrelated news…I have started pulling into the driveway, stopping slightly more abruptly than technically necessary, and barking, “Get OUT…of my VAN!” at the Denizens.

Because, like you after you play this music video, this song has been perpetually stuck in my head ever since I first heard it. You’re welcome.

…come along and riiiiiiiide…in my burrito vaaaaaaaaan…!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Get those itty-bitty violins ready…

I had to go to the dentist today, to get the crown replaced on my implant and to get a filling.

I know. My life = so hard. We shall now pause so that everyone can play me a very sad song on their miniature, invisible violins.

{…conducts invisible orchestra…}

Anyway…I don’t know when exactly it was that “going to the dentist” turned into this horrifying experience for me. I know it wasn’t always that way, but at some point between my twenties and, well, now, it seems that my teeth have turned into semi-solid little lumps of pissy nerve endings.

They don’t like cold. Or hot particularly, but cold in particular seems to make them all yowl as if I’m ramming live electrical wires into them.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but, pretty much the entire time that dental things are going on in your mouth, there’s either cold air or cold water being jetted across all your teeth – both the numb ones, and the not so numb ones.

This plus a general sensitivity to cold…is not a particularly pleasant experience, and there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about it. They can warm up the rinsing-water, but the drills that blast cold air are gonna keep blasting cold air.


Then while the new crown was baking (I am still somewhat astounded by the way this works now, where you need a new crown and you go in to the dentist’s office and a couple hours later you walk out with the new, permanent crown in your mouth – see, back in my day, kids, you had to go to the dentist, like, three times, a couple weeks apart each time, to get a new crown…because the first one would always be wrong in some way, OR would snap in half when they tried to install it, so, two more weeks at the lab for a new one to be made…but, I digress), they went whistling onward to the filling.

This is yet another example of the way I can simultaneously know how something is…and yet not quite get how it works. I know that my teeth are much more sensitive now than they were in my twenties.

And I know that in recent years (ahem), the amount of numb-stuff they have to shoot into me before my teeth will actually stop screaming over even very minor work being done on them has doubled or even tripled.

AND YET…it catches me by surprise, every time, when they do their thing, and I’m all, “Yesh, mah dips are numbuh, ish gud…” and then they touch that drill to the tooth and I leap out of that chair like they just stabbed me or something. Yoooooowch!!!

I never see it coming. I always think I’m more than numb enough. So it not only hurts, but it startles me into the bargain.

Every. Single. Time. (<= my Argonian name would She Who Never Learns)

My poor dentist was caught between laughter and irritation this morning; he had to more than triple the amount of numb-stuff before it would “take” enough for him to get the job done in there.

It was kind of funny, though: The first time he started and I went, “{JUMP!}”, he was all, “Oh, gosh, OK…” and he jabbed some more stuff in there and we chatted a bit while it ‘took’ and we were both so confident that it was completely numb, like, there is no way that anything could hurt now, hahahahaha!

And then he touched the drill to that tooth and it was like this little fireworks display went off in my jawbone and I went {!JUMP!} again and he jumped too and we just stared at each other wide-eyed and said, at the same time, “You have got to be kidding me!”

…I may have added, “…what the hell?!” to the end of that, but as nobody actually got that on film, it can never be proven.

Nor can the five minute rant I went on with his assistant while he was rummaging around in his storeroom looking for the super-nerve-nuke’em stuff. (I think he eventually found them under some leftover K-rations.)

But eventually, he got things numbed up and was able to go about his business without me leaping and squirming around, and then I handed over a slightly obscene amount of money and left.

And now the numb-stuff is already starting to wear off.

And damn, am I ever glad I had enough self-knowledge to go ahead and put in for the rest of the day off when we made this appointment a couple weeks ago. The throbbing, aching and general u-g-h factor is clearly going to be getting no less unpleasant for a while here.

I doubt I have much in the way of “productivity” ahead for the rest of the day.

Feh. FEH!, I SAY!

{…conducts invisible orchestra again…}

But, oh well. Considering the alternatives, I still feel like a very lucky person. It’s a temporary inconvenience, some transitory pain – followed by a whole lot of relief, and years of being able to have my steak, and eat it too.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me, all things considered.

…even if I am going to be having carrot soup for dinner tonight in deference to an aching jaw…

…maybe with some dinner rolls…hmm…maybe barely-sweet-ish ones, made with rosemary-infused honey as their sugar-source…


…why am I suddenly feeling like the rolls are dinner, and the soup is the side…?

…still…yeah…I’m…just going to go trim a little rosemary off the bushes in the front of the Den…mmmmmm, rosemary…!