Monday, May 29, 2006

Good book

I read a great book today -- California Demon, by Julie Kenner. The subtitle is "The secret life of a demon-hunting soccer mom." It's a follow-up to last year's Carpe Demon ("Adventures of a demon-hunting soccer mom").

They're both quick, fun reads; they'd be perfect for the beach or, like today, a rainy day inside. You know pretty much all you need to know from the titles. A young mother was a "Hunter" in her previous life; her husband, also a Hunter, died, she retired, remarried, and has been doing her best to be a normal wife and mother, but those darn demons keep showing up and, you know, someone has to save the world . . .

Kate Conner has a politician husband, a teenage daughter and a toddler son, so her days are pretty full with PTA functions, volunteering at the local retirement home, attending (and hosting) dinner parties, showing up at school assemblies, and not incidentally, killing a few nasty demons who have taken up residence in some otherwise normal-seeming people. Bad breath is the main clue that someone may not be who they seem, also, an aversion to holy water. The books are certainly more "chick lit" than horror -- humorous, too. I highly recommend them.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

New place

We're moving the office next week. The new space is just about a block away from the current space. It's the basement floor of a building, a really exciting space with a full kitchen, an exposed stone wall, and lots of room for expansion.

There are several small offices and meeting rooms building along one wall, but most of the space is open, with an industrial feel--hanging lights, exposed pipe, bare concrete floor. We have a lot of plans for it.

The previous tenant didn't leave it in very good shape, and we've had a crew working over there for several days cleaning and hauling away trash. They're coming back in on Tuesday to move everything from the old space over to the new building. It's not as bad as moving a house, I guess, but there's a lot of stuff anyway.

Bob and I went to the wholesale club tonight to pick up a few things, and as soon as we walked in, I saw an office chair that I wanted. It's a sage green microfiber suede "manager's chair," which I guess is somewhere between a normal "office chair" and what they call "executive" chairs, i.e., it doesn't have the high back, but it does have arms.

It didn't have a price, and it was the last one, apparently the floor model. I liked it so much that I didn't want to leave without finding out how much it cost; we finally found someone who went to look it up, and she came back and said it was just under $100, so I decided to go ahead and get it. My chair at work isn't very good, but I haven't been motivated to get a new one--I just can't get excited about most of the bland, black chairs, and it's hard for me to spend that much money on something that I really don't care about.

Luckily, we were in the van, and Bob had taken out the back seats in preparation for going on his trip to Minnesota next week, so he was able to put it in the back. He said he'll take it down to the office for me sometime this weekend.

I'm looking forward to moving. It's always fun to get used to a new place, I think. It will be nice to have a dishwasher, although I can't imagine we'll use the stove much. Dave and Cello and I spent a good part of Friday cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and throwing away a LOT of old stuff. It'll be nice to have storage space, too. I guess I can keep my cans of soup in the kitchen now instead of in my file cabinet.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006


I was sitting in the living room watching television last night, and looked over at the sliding glass door that opens onto the backyard, and noticed Pyewacket sitting there intently watching something. I got up to see what she was looking at, and saw a little chipmunk sitting on the patio. I grabbed my camera and got one picture of him before he scampered away.

We see chipmunks at my mom's occasionally, but I've never seen one here. I suppose seeing one means that there's a whole family somewhere. I know they can be destructive, but they're sure cute.

When I was downloading the chipmunk picture from the camera, I noticed a series of videos that I took of the kitties one morning, and I don't think I ever posted here. They're of Pyewacket giving Dinah a very thorough bath one Sunday morning. Here's one snippet:

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I love how Pye holds Dinah down with her paw, and how Dinah submits so quietly. Dinah always initiates it, Pyewacket never does, and Pye is always the one to do the washing. I just think the dynamics are interesting.

And this is what inevitably happens at the end of one of these baths:

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Falling in love

Earlier, I posted a picture on the moblog of Dinah and Bob, and Liora commented that we (you) don't often see pictures of Bob with Dinah, that Pyewacket is always the one that's sitting on Bob's lap. That has been true until recently. Dinah has fallen in love with Bob, big time.

She still sleeps on my side of the bed, and she stakes out her territory on my lap in the mornings when I'm reading email before I go to work, but there are certain specific times that Bob--and no one else--will do.

Most evenings when I get home, Bob will have made my dinner and I'll sit at the dining room table to eat while he sits in my chair in the corner. This is prime cuddling time for Dinah--she'll rush from wherever she is to jump up into his lap as soon as she sees him sit down. She's a very wiggly cat, and she has definite preferences. She practically climbs him, and he has to hold her up in his arms. She won't just sit in his lap like she will with me--with him, she requires more active cuddling.

He has to hold her in his arms, and when he does, she tucks her feet in and settles down, sometimes as long as twenty minutes. It's pretty funny, actually. I'm not sure what happened, but she's decided that he's okay.

Pretty pictures of Pyewacket

When she's lying in the cat tree in the front window, she likes to brace one paw against the window screen.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Immediate gratification

I discovered House, M.D. when the USA Network started showing it on Friday nights after Monk. I didn't realize until recently that they're running old shows -- USA is showing Season One, but the current (Season Two) shows are being run on Fox. But until this weekend I hadn't bothered to even find out when the first-run shows are on, because I thought I'd kind of like to see them in order, and watch the character development.

I'm not sure what will happen when USA runs out of Season One shows, whether they'll start up with Season Two or not, although I guess it's getting to be time for reruns anyway, and they always seem to do those randomly, so who knows?

When I was in Target yesterday I was in the DVD department looking around, and saw that they had the DVD collection of Season One, and I decided to get it. It turned out that I had missed a half dozen or so shows, and there are two or three upcoming ones that I haven't seen, so I spent yesterday evening watching them, and I really enjoyed it. It was such a pleasant way to spend an evening. Well, apart from the gross parts, which I just kind of squint my eyes at and try not to watch. I think I have maybe two left to watch, and I'll probably watch those tonight.

I know Bob has bought DVDs of Babylon 5, and we have the set of Firefly shows, but I think those are the only television show DVDs that we have. They're really kind of expensive, but that makes sense, of course. I will usually only buy a DVD if it's $9.99 or $14.99 -- I have a problem paying more than that. The regular price of the House set that I bought is $59.99, but Target had it for $45, which is still a LOT, I think. (Amazon has it slightly cheaper, but I decided my immediate gratification was worth $3.00. :)

I definitely enjoyed it, and I'm glad I bought it. I don't know what I'm going to do about Season Two now. I guess I'll just catch it if I happen to be home on the night that it's on (Tuesdays at 8:00, which is right about when I get home from the gym, if I go) and not worry about it. I can always (and probably will) buy Season Two when it comes out.

The rest of the weekend was nice, too. On Saturday we went to lunch with John's family and friends to celebrate his son Christopher's college graduation, and we did a little shopping at Kohl's (new bras for me and a couple of shirts for Bob. I slept in late on Sunday while he worked at a charity fishing tournament for Special Olympics, then did the aforementioned Target run. In the evening I took a walk, and when I got back I (finally) potted the flowers I bought two weeks ago.

Nice weekend.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I called my doctor's office a couple of months ago and said that I needed an appointment for my annual check-up "sometime after the first of May." Last year I went during the last week of April; I always try to do my annual and my mammogram on the same day so I don't have to take so much time off work, and in order for my insurance to pay for the mammogram, it has to be more than a year since I had one (they would probably be okay with it being a week or so early, as long as I had a prescription for it, but it saves hassle).

So the scheduling person said, "How about May 1?" and I said that would be fine, even though it was a Monday, and I try not to be gone on Mondays. But whatever, I told her fine, and she gave me a few alternatives as far as times, and we settled on 11:00. Then I called the imaging center and made an appointment for a mammogram at 9:30 that same day. They're usually pretty quick, i.e., I don't have to wait very long, and it's usually fairly easy to get an appointment with them.

It's sort of like making travel plans, though. You never know when you're making the airline reservations whether you'll be able to get the hotel that you want, and vice versa. So I usually make the doctor appointment first, then fit in the mammogram either before or after it.

So the appointment was in my Palm Pilot, and in iCal on my computer (on all three of my computers, and on my phone.

The mammogram went fine. She had to do one film over for some reason--I probably breathed--and my arm hurt all night and still hurts today because of the contorted position I was in for that one, twice. And I won't know for sure until tonight--she said if they needed anything else, or if there were any problems, they'd call by 5:00 the next day--but there wasn't any indication that anything was amiss. (Although, I was thinking about that. The technicians are careful to tell you that they don't read the films, they just look at them to be sure they are good pictures, technically. The radiologist reads them later. But you know that those technicians know what they're looking at. I would think it would be awfully hard not to react, or not to say something, if you saw something worrisome.

But they're professionals, so they don't, of course. Like the sonogram technician who did my ultrasound a few years ago and just kept talking to me casually while she was circling the "ton" (my gynecologist's word) of fibroids that had taken up residence in my uterus.

Anyway -- I had the mammogram, got out of there at 10:00, and didn't need to be at the doctor's until 11:00, so I went and gos gas, and went to the bank, and still got there about a half hour early, so I sat out in the parking lot and read for a little while. I got up to the office at about 10:45, checked in, and sat down to wait.

And waited. And waited. And waited.

They have a sign up that if you've been waiting more than 30 minutes, to please go up and ask, because the receptionists don't always know if the doctor cut out the back door to deliver a baby or something. So I gave it 45 minutes--actually an hour after I got there--and at 11:45 I went up to the desk and asked if the doctor was just running late, or . . . ?

The receptionist said no, the doctor wasn't even there, and he wasn't actually scheduled to be there until noon. I said, well, okay, but my appointment was at 11:00, and she looked it up and said no, it's at 12:30.

Realizing that it would do absolutely no good at all to argue, I went and sat down again to wait some more. I called Bob, and work, and let them know I was, through no fault of my own, going to be late. Because I don't think I've ever written an appointment down wrong, which is what the receptionist obviously assumed that I had done. What I imagine happened is that the doctor changed his schedule, they changed my appointment, and no one bothered to tell me.

Oh well. Everything turnedout fine. Well, I guess I don't know 100% until a month has passed, because that's how long they say it could take for PAP results, but I'm assuming everything is fine. My blood pressure was slightly elevated (120/72 when it's normally 110/70), but I assume that's the result of the appointment mix-up. Little enough to be worried about, I suppose.

I love my doctor. He's really exceptional, I think. I used to see a nurse-practitioner in the same practice, but she left the practice for medical reasons of her own right before my surgery, and the head of the practice did my surgery, and I've continued to see him. Bob really liked him a lot, too.

While he was examining me, he asked me if I had a "fresh mammogram," and I said, yeah, this morning, and he said, "Can't get much fresher than that!"

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