Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"With all the charms of a woman, you've kept the secret of your youth."

My accomplishments for the weekend: 1) re-arranging my room by putting our collapsible cube tower in the closet to clear up some space. Granted, the kitty no longer has his favorite perch. But I no longer trip over the laundry basket and have to muffle expletives every morning, and my underwear/sock baskets are off the floor so the cat can no longer steal my socks! Plus, I wake up every morning feeling like my room is so much bigger than I previously thought.
2) Scrubbing down the kitchen in a way we haven't before. I actually pulled off all the parts of the stove that can be removed and scrubbed them down. It's so clean! I also cleared some appliances off the counter and found places for them in the cabinets, swept, and even cleaned off the dog dishes and her placemat. It looks so pretty now.
3) I finished knitting that scarf I've been working on since before Christmas. So now I have two scarves for charity. I'm going to wait until I have a big bag of stuff to donate, then I'll take it somewhere. I have a list from one of my old professors of places in town that need clothing donations.
5) I only read one book, but still. On top of everything else, I read a book. And that's always a good feeling.
6) Had my first "Sweeney Todd" rehearsal Friday night. Earned ten bucks for it (it's 10 for each regular rehearsal, 15 for the dress rehearsal and each performance), and did better than I thought I would. Especially considering that I hadn't watched the movie until I got home from work that evening and the other 1st violinist wasn't there so I didn't have anyone whose lead I could follow. I hadn't really looked at the music! But pretty much everyone else was as lost as I was, so it was fine. That score is confusing. It switched meter all the time. But that makes it funny, too. One part is 6/4 time and in parentheses next to the six it says (4+2). So people were joking, "Gee, I just don't know what six is!" Someone else answered, "Oh, that's 4+2!" "Really? Thanks!"
7) Bought "The Bread Bible" since I LOVE to bake bread, and learned to make pizza dough. Actually, I tried two recipes this weekend. The one I prefer is out of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. But with my new bread book, I plan to try my hand at lots and lots of different types of bread. Foccaccia, bagels, monkey bread, cinnamon raisin bread, challah, etc. Exciting! All the possibilities are very cool.
8) Went for the longest walk in several weeks with Lucy and Pepper. It was only -11 when we went out, but by the time we got home our faces were totally numb. It was nice to actually get outside and walk, though.
Saturday night was really fun because we had a girls' night. My friend James's mom is not only going through chemo, but she slipped and broke her leg a couple of weeks ago. Because the chemo has made her so weak, she's basically bedridden and she gets super bored. So Lucy and I brought a bunch of movies over there, pizza makings for dinner (I'm so glad it was easy on her stomach! She was able to eat it!) and hung out with her and Ruth, James's sister. We watched "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and had a blast. Such a funny movie because it's so good and bad at the same time. We actually stayed up until about midnight with them, talking and laughing. Kathy and Jim left yesterday to go back to the Mayo clinic for a couple of weeks.
I also discovered previously unknown masochistic tendencies. Lucy and I watched a marathon run of the show "Platinum Weddings" on Sunday. The smallest wedding budget we saw was $350,000!!!!!! My gosh, even if I could spend that kind of money on a wedding, why would I want to? Waste all that money on one day? I'd much rather have a small wedding and save the money for 1) the honeymoon and 2) a house. Sheesh. But it was also sort of like I was rubbing my own face in wedding stuff. Shane and I have been talking a bit about getting married but he doesn't actually want to get engaged right now because he's still a student, with a student job, and is worried about even holding up his end of the rent, let alone buying a ring and spending all the money that necessarily comes with getting married. But it's pissing me off, partly because I know four couples who got engaged within two weeks after Christmas (one of the couples is gay, and another is AWFUL and snobby!) and it kinda feels like everyone around me gets to get married, but I can't. So watching those shows probably wasn't the best idea. But it was like a train wreck. We couldn't turn it off! We were knitting away, gasping, criticizing, etc. One of the dresses was horrible and gaudy, and the woman spent about $10,000 on it. Lucy said, "She spent more on that ugly dress than I spent on my entire wedding!"
Actually, it was pretty fun. I never let myself watch trash t.v. like that, so it was something out of the norm.
Shane comes home tonight!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Go ahead, get sucked!"

Sucked into a book, that is. That's a lot of what I've been doing since I got home from Seattle, catching up on reading. I got lots of good books for Christmas, for one thing, and for another I just know I won't have that much free time to read in a couple of weeks. I signed up for my classes yesterday--and paid for it all. Even with my free tuition, ouch! But I turned in Shane's tuition waiver at the same time, which made me feel good. No more student loans is always a plus.
Shane's still in Soldotna at the moment, hanging with his family, playing hockey, and doing some work for his dad. He said he'll probably get back here next week sometime. While a little part of me is enjoying the solitude, mostly I'll be really happy when he gets back. Besides, our roommate will be moving out at the end of the month, so it really would get lonely without someone there. At the moment Chris is just sociable enough that I'm not lonely, but mostly he's staying in his room so I can do whatever I feel like in the rest of the house. Which, it turns out, is really just lots and lots of reading. (Three books in three days? Why not?)
Work has actually been pretty busy this week, since Katherine is taking vacation time to hang out with her family and I'm trying to get all of the reserves done. We don't have a lot this semester--yet--but each book has a decent amount of work involved. And I have nice things to look forward to: my boss goes out of town tomorrow and Monday is a paid holiday. I know it sounds heartless to be happy that my boss won't be here, and she really is very nice. I like her, but she has two tendencies that drive me nuts: 1 is that she can never, ever remember how to do things in office 2007, either Excel or Word. And she always asks me for help. 2 is that she always manages to bring up something else I should do or look into when I'm in the middle of something. Or eight things. Usually there's only about five minutes of one task left, and I just want to finish that before even thinking about something else. But she has to mention something that's odd, or ask me about something that there's no earthly reason I'd know the answer to, or give me another task. And it kinda drives me crazy. So it'll be nice to be able to relax.
My animals have been so funny this week. Zap keeps pestering Pepper, who keeps pestering me. In a way, once I realized what was going on, I could really understand what Pepper has been doing. When she's with me, or if I'm paying attention to her, Zap leaves her alone. But she's been pestering me to the point of running out of sympathy. Zap's pestering is just funny. He desperately wants to go outside, but at -30 it's definitely too cold for him to do so. And I admit, I haven't been letting him play with the laser pointer every night. So he's taking it out on Pepper, by pouncing her and batting at her (claws in). But she's not enjoying it and gives him warnings every once in a while by snapping toward him. (I say it that way because it's obvious she doesn't actually want to hurt him, just to warn him away.) She did that to him the other night when he was particularly feisty, and he jumped back, then they sat staring at each other for a few long seconds. As I watched, one of his paws slowly...crept...up...and then BAP BAP BAP! He hit her on the shoulder, she lunged at him, and he raced off. It was so amusing, I couldn't stop laughing even when Pepper came over to me with an injured air like, "Mom, make him stop!"
The days are getting noticeably lighter, which is fantastic. We're back up to five hours of daylight. I keep having to remind myself that the darkness isn't all that bad. After all, over the summer I'll be pining to see the stars and the Lights (which actually haven't been out that much this year) so I'd better enjoy them while I can. But the lighter days tend to mean it will warm up soon, which means more and longer walks. My short little walking breaks at work can't make up for all of the exercise and peace of mind that I'm missing out on.
One last word about the pets: I've been trying to feed Pepper less because she's quite chubby. So far, she's resisted all of my efforts. The other day I went into the kitchen and it took me a moment to realize that, yes, my dog was standing on the kitchen table devouring the rolls I'd made earlier.