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It is the last Friday of summer hours and I am going to manage to get most of my afternoon back. Yes, there's still hours and hours of work that needs doing, but I bloody deserve one afternoon of fun. Which isn't quite so much real fun as getting some personal stuff done, and getting in the pool! It is a beautiful day -finally!- and as I walk out the door of work it seems like there is an endless possibilities for the weekend. Most of them will go unrealized, but I am looking forward to exploring a few options.
I have tried hard not to think about DragonCon this week, but it is hard when it is there in my Twitter feed. Today there is a steady stream of announcements about last-minute cancellations, schedule changes and other reminders. I have to think that it is a bit easier to be in the loop what with ubiquitous wireless and social media. As much as I think about the drumming circles, the late night parties with "saurian brandy" and watching all the costumes, I know you can never go home again. My three magical weekends cannot be recaptured or relived.
It doesn't seem possible that it is labor day weekend already. I probably write this same sentiment every single year, and it seems to be truer every year. Can something be truer, or is it just more applicable, relevant? Summer just seems to slip through my fingers, faster and faster every year. The abbreviated Friday doesn't seem to matter when you're so exhausted you can barely get out of bed. In February, swore I would change things, find an acceptable balance, but I don't seem to have made any real progress sine then. Maybe I'll have an epiphany in Maine.
A long day today, but a good one. My former office roommate came by today. We sat out on the porch, drank prosecco and ate nibble-bits, then had an impromptu dinner. She is going through a very unexpected divorce, and is just finding her inner strength. The realities of local housing are shocking after three decades of home ownership, even frequently in the news: low supply of apartments, so any new apartments are very expensive, because "luxury" is the trend. I suddenly wonder what I would do: I am not sure maintaining a house by myself would be viable.
Tuesday after Labor Day. School starts back up, parents are dropping off their kids, and big and small yellow busses are everywhere. It is always a bit of a shock, even when experience tells you it is coming. I drive past three schools - directly on the road - and there are three others "just around the corner" so perhaps I have an extreme experience. Yes, this is another annual rant. I dream of living somewhere without this massive shift after Labor Day, either as part of the daily commute, or perhaps because I've left behind the need for a daily commute.
By the time the meeting is over, I want blood. What the ever-loving fuck was that about? Ambushing me, arguing the point of the task - have you even read the bloody proposal?? Do you understand where we are, who are users are? I am livid that the meeting was rendered completely non-productive by his pointless arguing about what we are supposed to be doing. You wasted the time of every person in that room. You're the fucking engineer, your job is to figure out how to make the system work. Do your job and leave mine to me.
I am somewhat aghast at the cost, size and condition of local rental apartments. I knew there was not a lot of stock, but I never actually looked at what you get, at what cost. An apartment half the size of my house on the south shore costs nearly twice what I was paying for my mortgage on a monthly basis. Eep! Salvation seems to come in the form of an older, luxury apartment complex that has been well maintained. It has mature, park-like settings, and a pond with fountain. I am delighted she is seriously pursuing the listing.
What do I want for my birthday? It is a question that really hasn't gotten easier with time. It isn't that there's nothing that I want, it is that I only want very specific things, and I accept no substitutes. The internet era brought us wish lists, which can be helpful to indicate exactly what it is desired - when the product is the product is the product, never any variation. For hand-made items, that is often not the case. So I spend the late evening trolling several websites for ideas, since I've been asked the big question twice today.
The morning is spent dealing with the various credit reporting agencies in the aftermath of another massive breach. The details are astonishing. While I cannot stomach the lack of due care in their processes --even in their credit freeze process-- I know all too well how senior management often doesn't want to listen, doesn't want to divert funds from their pet projects (typically perceived as revenue drivers) to invest in basic digital era infrastructure, a necessity to protect their current revenue. Like politicians, they choose to kick the can down the road, hoping that someone else will deal with it.
I spent the day trying to get ready for Maine. I have the list of what to pack, and I know what gets packed where, but there's yarn to find. Yarn that is lurking somewhere in the closet, but not where I expected to find it. My inventory is clearly out of date. I also made chai cookies today - used more than three times the spicing from last time and the flavor is definitely more there. I didn't have time or spoons to make ginger creams, but I've got a hankering for them; perhaps I'll make them for my birthday.
As I walked out into the sunshine after a massage, I realized that I felt boneless, pain free and relaxed. I don't think I feel that good even when I get out of the pool these days (and then I'm definitely colder!). This is one of the tools I need to use in my surgery avoidance plan - I still have residual pain, and if left untreated, I will be as crippled as I was last month. Yoga, Pilates, physical therapy, massage, whatever. The meds work, but leave me feeling hungover when I wake up, they are a last resort measure.
Months ago I started the search for a new phone. The piece of crap that I bought two years ago as a replacement has never been right. I have been holding off because I have decided to consolidate my technology. For years I wanted diversity, to keep from being locked in, held hostage by a single vendor. Two things in the last year changed my mind. Not that you can really trust a global company to protect your information, but one stood up to the government in a meaningful way. And I am tired of having apps I don't want.
The pool was a balmy 72 this afternoon as we stepped in for an adult swim with an adult beverage. How is it that a temperature that is considered warm for the ocean beach is definitely brisk in your backyard pool? Is it because we expect the ocean to be cold and a pool to be warm? That we welcome the refreshing tang after baking in the sunshine that is so strong at the beach? Our pool is warmer than the local beaches are, and I hope to be able to enjoy it more in its last week being open.
Getting up at six AM was due to an honest desire to get there as early as possible, to have more time to drink in the views. I was in Maine by noon, and stopped for a lobster roll in Wicasset before doubling back to Sebasco. I have the room with the most amazing views, 180 degrees of water. I hear the waves which are just outside my windows. I see the birds and the boats on the water. I see down the last bit of the jagged peninsula, down into the open ocean. Heavenly way to recharge my batteries.
I am racing to complete the sweater, fully, so that tomorrow Amy can see how it fits, and we can --hopefully-- finally diagnose the fit issues I have been having. I am just loving this sweater, I cannot wait to have it be complete and a decent fit. I will pick apart whatever I have to (I'm shocked at how my measurements have changed) and reknit with revised measurements and other adjustments. Having re-arranged the chairs and my lamp, I can sit comfortably in my room, enjoy the amazing view out the window and knit in peace and quiet.
The fog enveloped the shoreline this morning. It was fascinating to watch as islands, some not much more than rocky ledges, disappeared due to tide and fog. I do not want to leave this view from my room except when necessary, but the session with Amy is necessary. Analysis determines the fix is to modify a setting in her software - the very measurement I wanted to modify three years ago. I'm so happy that there is a reasonable solution. I begin picking apart the completed sweater immediately, causing many exclamations from others. Nevermind, the fog and view soothes my soul.
The front of my sweater is reknit and ready to show Amy. She seems slightly agog that its done already, but this is the reason I am here. Well, that and the view from my room. I really want the solitude, I need it. I'm delighted to see Laura, but the SL group is too much for me; I've sent her my apologies for being antisocial. Filled with lobster and chowder, I knit in my room, kept company by the view, the fog, listening to Palestrina and The Sixteen as I watch for the loons to make an appearance again.
The drive back from MWL is always somewhat filled with regret and longing. And despite stocking up on wonderful donuts in Bath, I feel that sadness and loss driving through it. Four years ago, we could have had our pick of old houses that needed some love and attention, but were priced to sell; not any more. Driving south, the fog increases with proximity to the ocean, and it is like driving through clouds, across bridges that float above ground and disappear into nothingness. There's not much traffic, which makes it even more delightful drive, with my chai and donuts.
It is such a (negative) contrast to the first place. There are no semi-comfortable chairs for us, the customers. As the design unfolds, I am beyond disappointed. They clearly did not listen to what we said. The kitchen design they present is not what was discussed, it doesn't work. I don't think the guy took notes at all from the first meeting, I don't think he understands us at all, or what we really want. The timeline is very interesting, but that cannot be the final arbiter. I am intensely curious now to see what the third option brings.
First day back at work after a week's vacation, and in just a matter of hours, I am so worked up by the annoying stupidity of others, I dream of quitting. I'm so fucking tired of needing to repeatedly remind others about how to do their jobs. I want to shred people who repeatedly ask for the same thing without allowing time to respond to their first request. And don't even get me started on people who clearly don't understand the meaning of out of office messages. There isn't enough time to manage all these morons and do my work.
This was not exactly the delightful day I had hoped for today. I woke up with the contents of my sinuses having streamed downwards. Is it a cold, flu? Who can tell anymore. And there's not really anything doctors can do unless it clearly is The Flu. Nevertheless, I start a regimen of pills, nasal sprays and whatever else I can think of try short cut the nasties in my system. I struggle through the day, trying to continue to make progress. Dinner is perfunctory and I go to bed early, alone, the protocol whenever one of us is sick.
This bug is taking me down hard and fast, so any pretense of trying to work from home is abandoned. I cancel meetings and send my regrets to knit nite. The doctor visit is somewhat inconclusive, but I have some meds to help alleviate symptoms, and the suggestion is I'll likely be better come Monday (I can only hope!). At least there is homemade soup to slup, and feel it seep into me. The only slightly productive thing I managed today was to send off various thank yous for the the prezzies. Being sick is such a waste of time.
I realize with a start that it is no longer summer. Yes, it may look like summer outside, and it is a bit warm and balmy, but summer is over, in every last sense of the word. Kids are back at school. It is fall and the days are now shorter than the nights. In two weeks, my parents will be here for Columbus Day weekend. Where the fuck did summer go this ear? Don't get me wrong - I like the cooler weather better. But the pool is now closed until next May (sob!). I feel like I've been cheated.
Sunday is chore day, not a day of resting. Even when I'm sick. And this week, there's quite a backlog of laundry to be done, including linens. I was feeling rather better before doing two loads of laundry, some hand wash, and changing out all the litter boxes. Even with the sore ribs from all the coughing. At the end of the day, I consider what lies ahead tomorrow and the day after... and I realize I am once again in jeopardy of putting work bullshit ahead of my own health -- and potentially putting G's health at more risk. Nope.
Instead of getting better, I am getting sicker. Both physically and in spirit. There is no let up at work - why would there be - and there is essentially no help. Work to complete the slides for tommorrow's client meeting that was assigned last Wednesday still hasn't been completed - hell, it has been barely started in many cases. I cannot help myself from ranting at this point: a year and half ago the idea was to get me "staff" to do the work so I could focus strategically, not tactically. I'm admitting this is never going to happen, so what now?
After snatching something that resembles victory from the jaws of defeat at the hands of the wolf children in the office, I am done. I've nothing left to give them at this point. The doctor gives me a note for several days, and a diagnosis of bronchitis. This results in my being banished upstairs, so after downing the various meds, I spend the remains of the day banished drowsing and binge watching Outlander. I swore I would watch it this summer, but since that never happened, I am taking this opportunity to watch all the girly stuff I can stream.
Clean. It feels wonderful to be clean again, scraping away a few days of accumulation The problem is that I am done in by a shower, and feel ready for a nap. Miss Leo has decided she is willing to share her daytime napping spot with me, for the most part, and so she cuddles into the bed with me. Late September has turned warm and humid, so the AC is cranked, so I'm under blankets to get warm. I still spent several hours working from home today, trying to keep things from totally falling apart, likely a foolish effort.
Having been pushed to the limit, I've decided to abandon work. They can go hang, or sink, or drown for all I care right now. I need to get well. I've been sick for a week now, and I almost feel worse now last week. I've sent word to the team that I am completely offline today. It is pathetic that I've been sick for a week and still. . . well, I don't know if I feel bad for being sick, or need to justify actually taking PTO or what. I guess it is. . . like an adult leaving children unsupervised. Word.
We definitely have a bunny living with us on the property. And he's getting used to us. He is getting quite close to the patio on a regular basis, and we have both nearly walked right into him on more than one occasion. He seemed rather small early this summer, but he's beginning to fill out. I say he for the bunny, but of course, I have no way of knowing. I don't mind sharing some our garden bounty with a bunny. I'm a little concerned that where there's one rabbit seen, there are almost certainly many other rabbits lurking.
Being relegated to the bedroom for a week because I'm sick, I've set up a little entertainment center next to the bed. Laptop and ipad provide good entertainment, and I'm catching up on Outlander, finally. I've got plastic drawer cube on a footstool stocked with meds, kleenex, Ricolas, chocolate pudding and other treats. One drawer has electronic like my cell and charger, and another drawer has knitting paraphernalia in it. I've finished the sweater and am swatching my various Maine retreat purchases. Binge-watching and swatching is a reasonable way to stay confined, quiet and not go stark raving mad.
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