Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
In Which I Recommend Funny Websites and Give a Kitten Update
So, here’s the thing. For reasons that elude me (but probably have to do with serious personal flaws or some childhood trauma or something), I find certain snarky things highly hilarious. (Yes, that’s more than ordinarily hilarious.) Not truly mean stuff or anything, but when something deserves laughing at, I really like it. Below I list two websites with snark that has left me wiping tears from my eyes or even literally choking with laughter. And one that I think will follow suit.
First, due to a small dust-up on Ravelry, someone mentioned that if people thought anyone on Ravelry was unpleasant or mean, those people should spend time on baby naming websites. This was a surprise to me. Since I am out of the reproductive business, I was not even aware that there were baby naming websites. And I would have thought (erroneously, it turns out) that such a site was a place where prospective parents could go to get kind advice and sympathy from fellow prospective parents. Evidently this is not the case. Without having actually ventured into the websites, I gather that basically people go to these sites to have their possible baby names made fun of and to have themselves called unfit parents, illiterate, cruel, and lacking in sense of humor and understanding of phonics. Or something. Anyway, I have no intention of perusing those sites themselves. I’ve lived through more than my fair share of flame wars already, thanks. However, someone has gone through these sites, chosen some of the worst ideas and trends in baby names, and put together her own website complete with wonderful snarky comments. Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing: A Primer on Parent Cruelty. (Note: The owner of the website is named Diana. She is not me. I am not worthy to kiss her mouse.) There are 15 parts to the list, plus a forum and other things. I am reading a part a day, just to make it last longer. Lovers of snarky humor, enjoy!
Second, this one came to me via my friend Pat, who was directed there by her daughter. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude! This is a blog, so there are presumably going to be many more entries. Cake Wrecks. This blog features professionally made and decorated cakes that are just very, very wrong. Two of my personal favorites are the bride clone cake and the fireman cake. None of these are amateur productions, so I think it’s perfectly fine to laugh at them. I laughed harder at this site than I have since I read the chapter on apostrophes in Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
Finally, one I just found that I haven’t yet waded into: Etiquette Hell. From looking at the site, I’m pretty sure this is not a Miss Manners thinks you should never call co-workers by their first name kind of thing. (Cause if I spend eight or nine hours a day with someone, you can bet I know them well enough to be on a first name basis.) There is a big section on wedding etiquette, as well as more everyday sorts of things, and an area on business etiquette. I strongly suspect this will also be quite hilarious. I’m saving it till I finish the Baby Name list, and will probably go through it slowly as well.
On a completely different note: All of our foster babies are now two pounds or over, so they’re nearly ready to go back to the shelter. They will finish their antibiotic treatment on Thursday morning, so I’m just waiting for an appointment on Thursday afternoon. There is already another new singleton girl I’ll probably pick up. The little disabled baby won’t be ready until at least Friday – she’s so scared (and who can blame her?) that they’re having trouble giving her a thorough examination. I do hope I won’t just have a singleton to bring home – they do better if they have friends close to their age and/or size. Willow and Xander, while they are excellent Auntie and Uncle and co-parents, are too big to be really good playmates for a little one. But we’ve had singletons before and can do it again!
Monday, July 07, 2008
In Which I Have Good Days and Bad Days
Saturday was a Good Day. The mailman delivered “stuff” to me! One was one of my guilty pleasures, a soap opera magazine. Then there was a package, containing my new CPAP mask. And, finally, the first of my ARC books to review.
The book was the one I couldn’t remember much about. It’s called I, Robot, but it not by Isaac Asimov. Someone, a scientist, has decided he can somehow “fix” what Asimov wrote by updating the science. And, I guess, the storyline and I don’t know what all. I am skeptical and it doesn’t help that I’ve never heard of the publishing house. However, I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised! I haven’t started it yet; I’m about two-thirds through Elizabeth George’s newest, Careless in Red and I want to finish it. And I’m loaning it to a friend when I do. So, the ARC will wait till I finish it.
Sunday was Not a good day. I had a lot of trouble sleeping Saturday night. The new mask didn’t fit well. It’s a very different design than anything I’ve used previously (which I believe I’ve mentioned before). The ones I used before were all variations on this theme. A triangular, cushioned thing to completely cover the nose (which delivers the airflow), headgear to go over the head to hold it on, and something on the forehead or the bridge of the nose to hold it all steady. That design almost always eventually leaks air around the nose and eyes, but I’m used to that and have developed strategies to deal with it. The new mask looks like this. It doesn’t probably look all that different to someone who hasn’t had to deal with these things before, but it is. And I probably spent 30 minutes Saturday night adjusting the headgear and the pads that go over the cheeks. Still it wasn’t just leaking air; it could have cooled the room with the air flower. Not only was it probably not doing the job properly, but it was very uncomfortable.
I didn’t sleep well at all and when I got up Sunday morning I had no get up and go. About the best I could do was get up and go back to bed and get another couple of hours sleep. At that point I could sort of vaguely think and through the fog I thought of something.
On the new mask, the middle area where the nose goes (nasal cushion) comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large. On the other masks I’ve always used a small, so I just opened the package for the small and clicked it on. After the nap, it occurred to me that having too small a “nasal cushion” might very well lead to air leakage. So I tried to remove the thing, but I couldn’t get it off! Fortunately, DH had no trouble getting it off. I popped the medium sized cushion on last night. I probably spent 5 minutes readjusting the cheek pads and the headgear and then it just sort of went into place and the vacuum seal all the masks are supposed to create was suddenly there! Very little air leakage and an extremely comfortable night’s sleep was the result. I think this is by far the best CPAP mask I’ve ever had and I am extremely happy. In fact, when I sort of woke up this morning, I just lay there with my eyes closed, enjoying the whole thing and dozing. I decided to get up just a few minutes before a friend called me. Very happy, am I.
Today was also a Good Day. First, the good night’s sleep. Then the phone call, which was about a super secret project that she had finished her part on and needed to get it to me. Then the doorbell rang. More good mail! Today I got the first of the donated yarn for the friend of my friend. Some lovely alpaca and some mohair, in brownish red, white, and a lovely blue. And the person who sent it to me also sent me some homemade, wonderfully smelling soap! That wasn’t necessary at all, but it was very nice. Really, I enjoyed petting the yarn!
I don’t think I introduced our newest foster kitten. We still have Winthrop and Marion, but probably not for much longer. Humphrey, the very active and loving kitten, went back to the shelter a couple of weeks ago, but we kept his sister Minerva, as she was still underweight. This morning Humphrey was still on the shelter’s website, which surprises me, but I can’t imagine he’ll be there long! And I suspect Minerva will be going there soon, too. When I took Humphrey back, I picked up a poor, sad little girl. They named her Goldie Hawn, for no discernable reason. She’s another dilute tortoiseshell, looking a lot like Willow and other dilute torties we’ve had. The sad thing was that she had stopped eating. She (and I think some siblings) had been taken from their feral mom and were doing just fine. They had their operations and the rest were fine, but Goldie stopped eating. They had to force feed her, in fact. And she lost a lot of weight (for a being that size). They thought perhaps she was depressed and lonely and would be better for being fostered. So I brought her home.
She in fact is very social and loving. For the first few days all she wanted was to sleep on a person. And she wasn’t shy about asking for that! She integrated in with the other fosters pretty well and is getting along well with Willow and Xander. She and Minerva especially seem like friends, albeit friends who growl and snap at each other (mostly in play. I think.). Goldie refuses to eat wet food at all; in fact, she doesn’t like to be in the same room with it! I’m sure that’s because of the forced feeding. Then she began sneezing and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, so everybody’s been being treated for that since last week. Goldie has perked right up and eats plenty of the dry kitten food and dry adult food, too. Someone on Ravelry (the stuff I learn on Ravelry is simply amazing) suggested something called Healthy Indulgence by Wellness, so I’ll be looking for that tomorrow. It is not absolutely necessary for her well-being that she eat the wet food, but she’ll gain weight more rapidly and be ready for adoption that much quicker.
I was going to go today to pick up another new girl. She was brought to the shelter on Friday by a good Samaritan. She is evidently about four weeks old and small for her age. But on Sunday they thought she was walking funny and might have a problem with her leg or hip. If so, it’s possible she was abandoned by her mother; they do that. But even if there’s something wrong, it doesn’t mean we won’t get to foster her. The shelter is already caring for a cat with hip problems, who has had several operations to fix the problem. So that might be an option, but in the meantime she’ll probably need some fostering and some loving care and we’d be happy to do that. I hope to be able to pick her up tomorrow.
I just realized that I’m actually looking forward to going to sleep tonight. I always like *being* asleep, but going to bed and going to sleep, not so much. How cool is that?
Friday, July 04, 2008
In Which I Answer Comments
Sounds like a great day, all right. Good for you--the progressive book sounds like one I would be interested in reading the review for.
Lee does library thing. You can get to his off his blog, which is linked from mine. Not sure if you "friend" each other on that or not.
Lee and I have already “friended” each other! I forget how we got on the subject, but we figured out a couple of months ago we were both on there. But thanks for mentioning it! I’m always happy to have new friends!
And the Progressive book? I have the feeling a lot of people I know might find it interesting. I have been watching the mailman when he drives up to my mailbox for the last few days, but so far, no rain of books. Soon, though, I hope.
One day I looked around and realized that the SABLE thing can happen with books as well as yarn. At least some of my kids enjoy reading, so maybe the book stash won't be such a bad thing for them to have to deal with after I'm gone. The yarn stash is another story, though, since none of them knit or crochet.
Oh, I SABLEd out on books years ago. There are bookcases in nearly room in this house, all overflowing with books. And by overflowing, I mean stacked on top to the toppling point and onto the floor. (I have trouble getting rid of books. It just seems so wrong!) DH and/or DS will just have to handle the books and the yarn and the knitting needles and the crochet hooks and the counted cross stitch supplies (that I haven’t used in at least 10 years) and the CDs and DVDs. Well, that last one won’t be too bad. Most of the DVDs aren’t mine!
By the way, I love Tuppence as a name. It makes me think of Agatha Christie. I know a lot of people don’t care for her Tommy and Tuppence books, but I really did, so the name has a very pleasant feel for me.
Maybe the reason you have been feeling down is the CPAP mask going recently? Is the part that went part that helps keep the pressure where it should be? Cause if it's less than functional (even if it wasn't outright broken yet), it may have contributed to your feeling down...
I am afraid to catalogue my books. I have so many...and the hubby has just as many. Pretty soon I'm going to have to buy a new house where we can convert a room to just books. Maybe 2 rooms....
It doesn’t help, I know. The part that broke is where the clip attaches to the mask. With the mask I’ve been using it is evidently very fragile. The mask I’m getting (early next week, I hope!) is completely different. They’ve started making nasal masks. The last time I looked, those all seemed to either get inserted into the nostrils or I couldn’t figure how they’d stay on your face. (Mine is set fairly high.) But this one fits on the face somewhat like the earlier masks, but it really just held below the nose. Generally the comfort isn’t a problem. I can make myself comfortable. But I’m hoping this one will be less fragile and will be even more comfortable. They say you can even read with it on, which you can’t with the old ones. Not that I likely will. But still, that sounds good.
I am sadly very aware of the problems sleep deprivation causes. I had it bad before I was diagnosed. But nowadays if I haven’t gotten enough sleep, my body makes it very clear to me and I go lie down for a bit.
As for cataloging books, I’m really not even trying to catalog the ones I already have. I’m at least half serious when I say I doubt I’ll live that long and I’d still have to give up reading and knitting to attempt to round them all up. I’m just cataloging them as I buy or download or read them. This probably doesn’t help when I go to request an ARC, as what’s on librarything is more skewed towards mystery than my entire collection, but it will have to do!
Great about the yarn project. I'm excited. And I absolutely want to read the progressive book. Too bad about shoes and mask.
I think I’ve sent my address to four or five people. It’s not a lot, but it will still be a surprise for her. I hope it will be helpful.
The good news: I did find the shoes online, in the color I wanted! Yea, me! And yea, Google! I had to look through six or seven online stores before I found them and it was a place I’d never heard of. But UPS has already emailed me that they’re handling the package and I see it’s scheduled to arrive next Wednesday. That’s probably the last of my shoe buying till the next Tapestry concert (which is currently scheduled for November 15, should anyone want to mark their calendars now). Our last artistic director wanted black closed toe, closed back shoes, which is something I wear every ... concert. I bought a pair last year, but they are not so much with the comfort, so when we discuss concert dress with the new director, I will make sure what she wants and go get a pair that it will not be torture to wear for a couple of hours. The local store where I bought the shoes before told me that the company (Dankso; I think I told people EarthShoes, but they’re Dansko) will be making winter shoes with the same sole/platform as the ones I like, so I hope there’ll be something in that line that’ll work.
And so to bed!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
In Which I Hit the Happy Jackpot!
Yeah, it’s been nearly a month. I know. My bad.
I’m just having a wonderfully awesome day today.
A while back I signed up for the Early Reviewers program on librarything. This is a program in which librarything members are chosen to receive Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) in exchange for a review. Free books? Generally before anyone else can get them? What’s not to like? But the pool of available reviewers is fairly large and the pool of available books, while it’s probably expanding, is not as large. Chances of getting a good book seemed slim. While reading the various discussions it became clear to me that there were other ways to get ARCs. So I signed up for the main one mentioned. I should be getting one book from them, maybe two. I’ve asked for more, but haven’t heard anything back. And this evening I signed up for HarperCollins First Look. I really don’t pay a lot of attention to who publishes which author, but from the list, it looks like HarperCollins publishes a goodly number of my favorites. Unfortunately, most of my favorites are writing long-term series and there probably aren’t a lot of ARCs from them. But I do know that one author that I like did have some ARCs go out through librarything, so maybe.
Oh, the book I’m for sure expecting is nonfiction, called The Practical Progressive. I anticipate enjoying it very much. The other one I might get I’ll post about if I get it. It’s fiction, though, and I think maybe in the science fiction/mystery genres, which is right up my alley. (I should know what it’s about, but I was so excited that I didn’t pay close attention.)
This afternoon notices went out on librarything for the June ARCs and I snagged one! It’s about dealing with the cognitive challenges of multiple sclerosis. I realize it doesn’t sound like much of a page-turner, but my brother has MS and has definitely had cognitive challenges, so I expect it to be quite useful. And I suspect that it being not high on anybody’s list helped me get it. I suspect getting my foot in the door, however it happens, is good.
Eventually, as soon as the books come in, which frequently takes a while, I’ll be posting the reviews here.
The other way I hit the jackpot today is this: I had an appointment with my counselor today and one of the things I talked about is continuing acquisition of yarn stash, even though I am clearly a member of the Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy club. My counselor said she has a client who is a knitter (besides me, obviously) who is struggling with depression. She can’t work and has started to feel a bit hopeless. And one thing that’s a problem is that she can’t afford any nice yarn to knit with. My counselor wondered if I could spare some of my stash. Oh, yeah. But most of mine is sock yarn, since that’s mostly what I knit. She’s wanting to knit scarves and baby things, evidently. But sock yarn can make nice scarves and even baby things.
But then I had a brainstorm. On Ravelry I joined a group, yet another one, that really doesn’t have much to do with knitting. In fact, the aim is to be pointless. But there’s a lot of support there for the members and it reminds me a lot of my old CompuServe group. Anyway, I got online and mentioned this to them, and have already had several requests for my address and offers of nice yarn. One mentioned handspun! Very cool!
Oh, and yesterday when I took a couple of kittens to the shelter clinic, one of the staff members gave me a tent sort of thing that you can put outside and let cats be outside without being able to escape or get into much trouble. I had seen it before, but it’s expensive and we generally don’t let our cats outside. Still, I’m thinking that tomorrow, if I can get up before it gets up to oven temperatures outside, I’ll set it up and put the babies out there. I think it would be good for our newest girl.
One of my favorite things, other than being given things, is to give things to people who need them. It’s why I love Christmas, I think. I get to buy presents for everybody. It’s such fun! And so is this.
So, I really feel like I’ve hit the jackpot today!
Except that, I saved up enough money to buy a completely frivolous pair of shoes, and they are no longer available. I know the model name and my size and the color, so I’ll do a little looking around online, but I’m not hopeful Oh, and my second this year CPAP mask broke, in exactly the same way the last couple did (grrr), so I need a new one. Rather than get one from the place the insurance company uses, I think I’ll buy my own online. A different model. I found a new model that looks more comfortable and might have fewer fragile parts. Which means a few nights of less comfortable sleep, till the new mask can get here. Probably by some time next week. But I can manage; I’ve done it before.
Just this morning I was sensing some low level depression, undoubtedly because Mother Nature hates me and has turned on the oven outside. Feeling much better now!
In the meantime, I wonder if I ought to go out and buy a lottery ticket or ten.