Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another Sunday morning

I spent yesterday morning and most of the evening cleaning out my closet. And it isn't finished yet. What a job! It had gotten way out of hand, and I'd had a landslide last week, so I knew most of this weekend was going to be devoted to taking care of it. I got everything up off the floor and dumped it on the bed and started weeding out what to keep, and what to give away (or throw away). I ended up with ten trashbags full of stuff to give away, and still too much stuff to fit into the closet. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Probably let it rest for awhile and do another purge in a few weeks.

I found a few things that I had absolutely no memory of, a few things that I had thought lost forever, and best of all, a couple of pairs of jeans that I had obviously abandoned because they were too small, but I can wear them now, so that's cool. Especially since I spent last weekend looking for jeans!

I needed jeans desperately, and I'd been putting it off. I had bought a couple of pairs when I first lost weight, and I'd practically worn them out. They're stretch denim, so they don't last as long as regular jeans, and I wasn't crazy about them, so I didn't want to buy more. Every time I'd be out shopping, I'd kind of take a cursory look, but just wasn't in the mood to try them on, since I knew I'd have to try on a bazillion pair.

But when I was resorting to wearing the old ones that were too big for me, because the others were just too shabby, I knew it was time. So I went to Kohl's and tried on about a dozen pair, and nothing fit right. The "rise," of course, is the problem--they're almost all "low rise" now, and even if I had the body for it, they're not comfortable at ALL. So I sucked it up and went to the mall. I went to Penney's, where I'd bought jeans in the past, hoping to find the same style, but no luck, of course. So I picked up a half dozen pair and went to try them on.

And wonder of wonders, I found a pair! Perfect (medium?) rise, perfect length (short), no gap at the back waistband, a little room in the legs ("relaxed" fit). And of course, it was the only pair in the store. And to top it all off, they didn't have a regular tag on them, just a handwritten one, like someone had bought them, torn off the tags, and returned them. So I don't know what style they are or anything, so I can find them again somewhere else. I can't tell for sure--sure enough to buy them online, for instance.

So it's back to the drawing board the next time I feel up to subjecting myself to the mall. But I do have one good pair now, and two from the back of the closet, so I should be okay for a little while.

Sunday afernoon

Today we went out and drove around, looking for a Salvation Army donation box or something. We found one placed by Planet Aid, and filled it up! It was a relief--I'd been worried what we were going to do with all of the clothes that I wanted to get rid of. I'd had bad luck in the past with calling places to come pick it up; I've called and had them not show up, and end up carting the stuff back inside--I know there are several more bags in the basement that I need to get rid of. Now that I know where the box is, I'll take them some more stuff soon.

Then we went to Sam's Club and bought shorts for Bob, and nuts, and Stephen King's latest, Cell, then we went to On the Border and had Margaritas and guacamole, then Bob poured me into the car and took me home, where I passed out for about three hours. What do they put in those things??

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday morning

When I woke up this morning, I went downstairs and got the laptop and brought it back up to bed with me, and checked email and read some blogs, and just kind of hung out with the kitties.

They have their own sides of the bed--Dinah stays on my side most of the time, and Pye stays on Bob's, and never the twain shall meet. Or almost never. This morning Dinah went over and snuggled up to Pye, and wonder of wonders, Pye let her. There was a bath involved shortly after this, and some play-fighting, and I took a video, but I'll have to figure out how to post it. It's awfully large. But I was just happy to document the fact that they do at least tolerate each other most of the time.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Perfume tester

After that horrible period of time where Dinah wouldn't have anything to do with Bob, and would hiss and growl anytime she saw him, things seemed to have settled down a lot. She seemed to decide that he was okay again, and would come in to the office and demand cuddle time, curling up and settling in on his chest and purring, sometimes even if Pyewacket was already on his lap.

Then he called me one day last week and said that she had jumped up on him like always, got up on his chest, stopped, sniffed, then got up in his face and hissed, then turned and ran away. A cat hissing at you is scary enough, but to have one get right up in your face . . . it worried me. She did it at least one more time that I remember; he said maybe he had had Pye on his lap before, and she smelled Pye, but it's not exactly like that would be strange enough to warrant the reaction.

A couple of days later, he called and said that she seemed to like him again, that she was back on his lap.

Then yesterday she did it again, jumped up on his lap, froze and freaked out, hissed, turned, and ran. Through the process of elimination--he hadn't been around dogs, hadn't been holding Pyewacket, didn't, as far as we knew, smell like anything weird--he decided that maybe it was his aftershave or deoderant. Yesterday he had run out of his regular deoderant and was using something different (Axe), and last week when it happened he was using some new aftershave that I had bought him for Christmas (Claiborne for Men, as I recall).

I actually think that must be it. I noticed that he had thrown out the other deoderant, which kind of made me laugh. This morning he was getting ready to leave, and I hugged him and said, "You smell good! Does Dinah like this one?" He said he didn't know, but it was something that he'd had for awhile, and he hadn't noticed her freaking out when he wore it.

I told him I guessed I'd have to buy him something new if he wasn't able to wear what I bought him for Christmas. I said maybe I was going to have to take Dinah along with me when I went shopping. I'd spray some on my hand, and let her sniff it, and if she hissed, well, try again. I guess it's a good thing that I haven't changed my perfume for years. I've worn Clinique "Aromatics" for probably 25 years. I hate to think what would happen if I got something new. Seems Dinah hates change even more than I do.

Ooh, I just had a thought! Wouldn't she be great during the holidays in department stores, when you go through the cosmetics department and are accosted by people wanting to spray you with perfume? She could just bite them or something.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Alternate universe

After deciding that I wanted to be able to play The Sims on the laptop, I couldn't let it rest. I looked around to see if I could find a newer copy of the original game and the first expansion pack, Livin' Large," because that was all I really wanted to install. I found a couple on eBay, and I bid on one, figuring that I could pay up to $20, including postage, because that was what I would have to pay to get replacement disks from Aspyr. Someone ended up paying $20 for the games themselves, plus postage, and while that was only $4.00, it was over my limit (and over what was in my PayPal account, which was also a factor).

One of the other options that Aspyr gave was to install the game on a computer that had System 9 on it, then move it over to the OS X computer via firewire. I looked, and I didn't have a firewire cable. I could go buy one, but I wanted to try to do it without spending any money. So I installed the first two games on the desktop of the old iMac, which was till running System 9. I hooked up a ZIP drive to it, and started moving files over on 100MB ZIP disks. Which went fine until I ran across a file that was 113 MB.

So I stuffed it, and even then, it only got down to 95.8. And a ZIP disk, even after formatting, will only get down to 95.7 . . .

So I thought, okay, I could transfer them over the internet. But the reason I'm not using the iMac anymore, and the reason that Bob bought me the new eMac, was that the ethernet got fried by a lightning strike or power surge or something, so all I had available to me was dial up. But I strung together three phone lines using connectors, and strung a phone line from the computer to the kitchen where I could plug it into a phone jack, then realized I no longer had a dial-up provider since I have cable . . . Well, there's always AOL.

I installed AOL, configured it, started transferring the file. It was going to take so long that the FTP client couldn't even calculate it. From the transfer rate, it looked like it was going to take something like 24 hours, and I was hooked in to our primary phone line. Sigh.

The big file was a sound file, so I thought maybe I didn't need it anyway, and I tried to run the game from the files that I'd moved over (after downloading and installing an OS X update patch from Aspyr), and not only would it not run, it wouldn't even try. Clicking on the icon just brought up the dreaded "I have no idea how to open this file" dialog box.

The third option was to install System 9 on the iBook, but I'd been resisting that because I don't need it for anything else, and I didn't want to waste the space. I was a bit afraid of installing another operating system, and also, I was afraid that if I did, it would be irretrievably intertwined with the preferred operating system, and I wouldn't be able to delete it.

But that seemed to be the only option. And by this time, it's mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I've spent almost the entire day messing around with this. But on the other hand, I didn't want to give up.

Around that time, David came online, and asked me what I was up to, and I related the whole sorry story. He assured me that he runs both OS X and System 9 on his iBook, that he has no problems at all with it, and that it really doesn't take up that much space. Thus reassured, I dug out the original iBook disks, found the software, and installed it.

And then installed The Sims and Livin' Large. And then moved over all my houses and downloads and skins from the eMac. And started the game. And crashed. And deleted some stuff. And started the game. And crashed. Lather, rinse, repeat.


The problem was that I had all six expansion packs on the eMac, and a lot of the downloads would only work with those expansion packs, and would crash the game if you didn't have them all installed. So I caved and installed every one of them, re-imported the houses and skins and downloads, and now, although it takes about fifteen minutes to load the game, it works! I have almost all my stuff -- clicking on a house now sometimes still gives me "some items could not be loaded" messages, but for the most part, my little Sims world is a duplicate of the one on the other computer, except that I must have missed one of the skins, because a woman in one of the houses that used to be blonde is now a brunette.

I think it's an alternate universe.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

So smart

Since I've been sick, I haven't spent a lot of time on the computer. I've been going to work, and coming home exhausted, eating dinner, and then lying on the couch aimlessly channel surfing until I fall asleep, then stumbling up to bed when Bob comes down and urges me to.

But last night I felt better, and Dinah and I spent some time on the computer. I tried to install The Sims on the laptop--I thought that might be a fun thing to do since I'm wireless now--but it wouldn't install. I must have one of the very early copies of the original game, and it won't install directly into OS X (although there are patches to make it run natively in OS X if you already have it installed--quite a conundrum). It says it requires System 9 to install, but I don't have System 9 on the computer; I could install it, but I don't really want to, since I don't use it for anything else. I read somewhere the Aspyr, who makes the game for the Mac, will exchange old CDs for newer ones that will install directly onto OS X for $5.00, but I haven't yet been able to confirm that with Aspyr. I may just have to buy a newer copy.

Then I spent some time on iTunes, listening to music clips. Both Bob and Barb gave me iTunes gift cards, so I have quite a bit of leeway as far as being able to buy music. So we did that for awhile.

Bob always says that when he comes downstairs and Dinah is on my lap, she always looks like she's intently doing whatever it is I'm doing, either reading something on my computer screen, or reading a book. I say that's why she's so smart . . . But last night she was basically just draped across my arm with her head hanging off the chair arm. She lifted it up when he took the pictures, but it was mostly, "Just take the picture so I can go back to sleeping, okay?"

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping

I don't think I've had a cold for at least two years. I'm extremely diligent about washing my hands with soap constantly when I'm at work, but I guess the germs this year were stronger, or maybe my immune system is weaker. But for whatever reason, I finally got one. Cello asked me last week if I was okay, and I said I was getting a cold, and he said, "It's about time!" Everyone else has been sick on and off for months, I guess it was just a matter of time before I got it.

I went to the gym twice over the weekend and sat in the sauna, hoping that might help, and last night I went to bed at 8:30 and slept for ten hours, but I still feel pretty rotten.

Today for lunch I had chicken noodle soup, saltines, and jello, which is an indicator that I'm really sick--I can't stand chicken soup normally. But today it tasted pretty good.

Friday night Bob was looking through my old journal entries trying to find out when we got Pyewacket. He wanted to know how old she is (9, I think). He found the entry, and started reading forward, and I sat down in the recliner and he read snippets to me (or when he laughed, I said, "What?" and he'd read what had made him laugh). I got tired and went to bed after a couple of hours, but he stayed up and read a couple of years' worth of entries.

He said one thing that struck him was how often I mentioned sleeping. Taking naps, sleeping late, not being able to sleep, sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. I used to feel guilty about it; it used to make me feel weird when he mentioned it, because he doesn't need as much sleep as I do, and almost never naps.

But anymore, it doesn't bother me. I sleep as much as I can, and I take it as a gift, especially considering that I've just been through a period of time where I had trouble sleeping. (Bob would probably dispute that, but I certainly don't wake him up when I wake in the night and can't go back to sleep, so how would he know?)

And speaking of not being able to sleep, I woke up early on Sunday morning, and Bob wasn't in bed. I got up and went to the bathroom, then went out in the hall to see if he was in his bathroom, or in the office, and he wasn't. I stood, and listened, and the house was quiet. His dad's in the hospital--he fell and cracked a rib, and they've got him in the hospital for a couple of days of observation--so I thought maybe something had happened and he'd left and didn't wake me (or woke me and I didn't remember).

So I went downstairs--no Bob--and checked in the basement--and there he was, curled up in the bed in the basement. I called down to him and asked if he was okay, and he said that he hadn't been able to sleep because I'd been tossing and turning and snoring with my cold, so he'd gone to the basement. He invited me to come down and join him, but I said, no, that's okay, I just wanted to be sure you were all right, and I went back upstairs and got into bed and slept for four more hours, until 10:30! I can't remember the last time I slept that late.

It was lovely.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Sleep more

I spent almost the entire day in bed today. I got up around 10:00, did some laundry, ate a scrambled egg, read a little, then went back upstairs and curled up in bed with a lot of pillows, a book, the laptop and the cats. I soon snuggled down and took a nap for several hours, and got up when I heard Bob stirring around down in the kitchen. He was putting a chicken in the oven for dinner. I went down and ate some crackers and cheese and got something to drink, then came back upstairs. I've read that you should start the year the way you mean to go on; I was making a "short and sweet" list of resolutions last night, and "take more naps" was on it.

  • Spend less
  • Nap more
  • Knit more
  • Watch more movies
  • Read more books
  • Eat less
  • Exercise more
  • Moisturize more
  • Wear rubber gloves when I wash dishes
  • Be more assertive--stand up for myself more
  • Make more art
  • Listen to more music
  • Take more pictures
  • Waste less time

We had a lovely New Year's Eve. We didn't go anywhere, we just spent the night at home doing what we normally do--I was downstairs reading or on the computer or something, and Bob was upstairs playing a computer game. I had made a couple of dips--spinach dip and tuna dip--that were in the refrigerator cooling, but neither of us had been very hungry. Around 9:00, I was hungry, but wanted something a little more substantial than dip, so I went up and told Bob that I thought I'd make some fondue if he was interested.

He was, so I made cheese fondue and we watched poker on television, which I find strangely interesting. I don't really understand the game, and make no real effort to, but the dynamic between the players is interesting, and so is the amount of money at stake.

So we watched for for awhile, then had champagne in bed while we listened to fireworks outside.

New Year's Day I spent completely in my pajamas. Well, I took a shower sometime mid-day, then changed into new, clean pajamas. Didn't leave the house once. I spent the evening in front of the television watching the Monk Marathan on USA and knitting a sock. Just a lovely, low-key weekend.

This Christmas was a great one for pajamas. Bob bought me flannel pajamas with ducks on them, and my folks gave me a long (floor length) knit nightgown, and Bob's folks gave me two knit sleep shirts from Disney World, one with Tinkerbell and one with Eeyore ("It's never too early for chocolate!") Everyone obviously knows my love of sleeping. In fact, I guess instead of "nap more," I should have "sleep more" on my list. Especially during the week before Christmas.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Funeral on a desert island

A few weeks ago, Bob asked me to look up the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, "Requiem," for him:


Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
'Here he lies where he longed to be;
Here is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.'

He said he wants that read at his funeral, or actually, have it read as his ashes are flung -- I guess I'd better check where that's supposed to take place. I think partly into Bennett Spring, and partly into some body of water near the Duck Club? Not sure. Not that I think it's going to be necessary anytime soon, but I guess I should find out and pay attention.

Coincidentally, I had just read this article in the Guardian: Curtain Music

Supposedly the ten most popular songs at funerals in Britain are:

  1. My Way - Frank Sinatra
  2. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
  3. Angels - Robbie Williams
  4. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  5. Simply The Best - Tina Turner
  6. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  7. You’ll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  8. Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
  9. Time To Say Good,bye -Sarah Brightman
  10. We’ll Meet Again - Dame Vera Lynn

There are a lot of good--and more interesting--suggestions in the comments under the story.

I remembered that I'd made a post about funeral songs, and found it, way back in February of 1999: At my funeral . . .. At that time, I made several lists, and I thought it might be interesting to see if my tastes were still the same.

These are the lists I made in February 1999:

Desert Island Albums

Lips Against the Steel - David Knopfler
Lifelines - David Knopfler
Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
Jack's Crows - John Gorka
Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Rumour & Sigh - Richard Thompson
Man of Colours - Icehouse
Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
God Shuffled His Feet - Crash Test Dummies
Robbie Robertson - Robbie Robertson

Desert Island Books

Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
The Stand - Stephen King
Four Past Midnight - Stephen King
Someplace to be Flying - Charles de Lint
War for the Oaks - Emma Bull
Reservation Blues - Sherman Alexie
365 Tao - Ming-Dao Deng
Ahead of All Parting - Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Winnie the Pooh - A. A. Milne
Living Juicy - Sark

Songs to play at my funeral:

At My Funeral - Crash Test Dummies (from "The Ghosts that Haunt Me")
I Will Always Be - David Knopfler (from "Lifelines")
What a Crying Shame - The Mavericks (from "What a Crying Shame")
or maybe

There Goes My Heart - The Mavericks

And something from Richard Thompson, but there are so many that would be appropriate that it's hard to choose one. Maybe

At the Dimming of the Day - Richard and Linda Thompson

But definitely
Saving the Best for Last - Marc Cohn

You can go a hundred miles a second
Don't have to drive no lousy cab
Got everything you want and more, man
and the King picks up the tab.
You walk around on streets of gold all day
And never have to listen to what these customers say, and I know
They're saving the best for last . . .

~ Marc Cohn - "Saving the Best for Last"

And now? Much the same, probably, but a few differences.

Desert Island AlbumsCurrent Favorite Albums

(My musical tastes change so often, I would really have to think long and hard about what ten (or so) albums I could listen to over and over and not be bored by them. So instead, these are my current favorites.)

Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
O - Damien Rice
The Giver - David Knopfler
Our Eternal Ghosts - Deadman
Love Songs - Paul Young
Ship of Dreams - David Knopfler
Los Lonely Boys - Los Lonely Boys
Elsewhere - Mack Starks
Paramour - Deadman
When the Telephone Rings - The Silos

Desert Island Books

(This is really hard, too. I almost never re-read books, but these are the ones that have stood re-reading, at least once.)

Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Ahead of All Parting - Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis
Enough Rope - Lawrence Block
Mendoza in Hollywood - Kage Baker
The Cat Who Went to Paris - Peter Gethers
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles

Songs to Play at My Funeral

"Angels and Ordinary Men" - Wendy Lands
"Hallelujah" - Allison Crowe
"Whistled a Slow Waltz" - The Silos
"Love Will Guide You Home" - Deadman
"Heaven" - Los Lonely Boys
"I Will Always Be" - David Knopfler

(And I know I don't have to worry about it right away, either, but Bob, you know this is just for fun, right? You don't need to write it down or anything.)

And since it's just for fun:

Desert Island Knitting Supplies

Opal sock yarn and Noro Silk Garden. I keep coming back to these two yarns, and I think if that's all I ever had to knit with, I'd be happy. They're both variegated, which keeps me interested, and being variegated, I can knit big swathes of stockinette and a) not get bored and b) have it still look interesting. I wouldn't even really need any patterns--I've got my basic sock pattern in my head for the Opal, and I've made probably a half dozen multidirectional scarves in Silk Garden and have yet to get bored with either.

I suppose neither would be very practical if I were on an actual desert island--neither wool/silk scarves nor wool socks would be necessary--but it would keep me happy. Oh, and I'd need needles--a set of 5 - 5" doublepoint Size 1's and a pair of 10" Size 7's, both wooden.

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