Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mashed potatoes

I guess it was about a month ago. I don't think I mentioned it here -- it was the morning that my computer first started acting weird. We had had a thunderstorm the night before, and I had shut the eMac down. It's connected to a UPS (uninterruptable power source), so it shouldn't be a problem, but if we're expecting a severe storm, we usually shut the computers down. Anyway, the next morning, when I tried to turn it on, it wouldn't come on. I tried a couple of times, but no luck. Great.

So I went off to work feeling terribly discouraged. I thought maybe getting breakfast at McDonald's would help--I thought I deserved it--so I drove through and got a bagel sandwich. I took a bite, something felt weird, and I discovered that I had broken a tooth, a molar.

When I got to work, Simon barked to welcome me, and I walked into Dave's office to say good morning. He (Dave, not Simon) looked at my face, said "Are you okay?" and I burst into tears. Not a good day.

Fast forward. Bob got the computer to start up later that day, and my tooth didn't seem to be bothering me, so I tried not to worry about either one of them. But last week, both things went bad. The computer refused to start up again, and my tooth started hurting. We took the computer in to CompUSA to be fixed on Saturday, and later that day, I was lying in bed with my tooth throbbing, loading up on ibuprofen and making a bargain that I would call the dentist on Monday if my tooth would just stop hurting . . .

I have good teeth, mostly, and I haven't been to the dentist in way too long. Bob goes all the time, and I know I should, but I just don't. By Sunday it had stopped hurting, but I knew it was only a matter of time. I called Bob's dentist on Monday and said that I had a toothache, and they said they might be able to work me in that day, but since it wasn't currently hurting, I said it wasn't an emergency, and that any time that week would probably be fine. So I got an appointment early on Wednesday.

The dentist examined me, they took x-rays, and he said that there was a "big hole" in my wisdom tooth on the bottom left. I had never had my wisdom teeth out, they had never bothered me before. But now I had a bad one, and I had to decide what to do. I had been hoping for a filling, or a crown, but that obviously wasn't going to work. The dentist recommended having all of my wisdom teeth out eventually, but obviously I needed to get something done right away with the bad one. He got me a referral to an oral surgeon, who said he could work me in, so I drove over there from the dentist's office.

The dentist had said that for just one tooth, they could probably extract it with a local, whereas if they removed all four of them, they would knock me out. But when the dentist talked to the surgeon on the phone, he said he was uncomfortable with recommending a local until he saw me. When I got over there and talked to him, he said he could do it either way, but that it was probably going to be hard to remove. He left it up to me, and I said that I was perfectly okay with being asleep for it. It didn't look like I was going to be able to go back to work either way.

So he gave me a valium, and told me to come back at 2:00 with someone who could drive me home. I guess it was about 11:00 then. I asked him if I could eat, and he said no, that I couldn't eat for six hours before surgery, that was why he wanted me to come back at 2:00--I told him I'd eaten some yogurt at about 8:00 before I went to the dentist. So I met Bob at home, took about a half our nap in my chair, took my valium, and we headed back.

We didn't have to wait very long, maybe a half hour, before they called me in. The surgeon was there, and his assistant, and they arranged me in the chair, gave me oxygen, and started an IV. I said, "Wow, I can feel it already" as the drug entered my system, and the surgeon smiled, and said, "Are you relaxing?" and I was gone.

Thirty seconds later (yeah, probably more like a half hour, but it felt instantaneous to me), they were helping me out of the chair and taking me to a couch to lie down. The rest of it is kind of hazy -- they went and got Bob, and showed him how to pack my tooth with gauze, and gave him prescriptions for pain medication, and sent him down to get the car while they wheeled me downstairs in a wheelchair.

We went to Target to get the prescription filled and to get a few things that they said I could eat. We got yogurt and soup and juice and ice cream, and then we stopped at Boston Market and got mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese.

When we got home I took a pain pill and ate some lukewarm mashed potatoes (they said not to eat anything hot, not to drink anything with a straw, no soda (nothing fizzy), just warm or cold soft things), and went to bed, where I stayed for about twelve hours. Bob woke me up when he needed to change the gauze, replace my ice pack, or give me a pain pill. He always takes such good care of me--and I've needed it a lot lately!

They told me to stay home from work today, so I did, but I spent quite a bit of time this morning on the computer answering email and doing a few small jobs that I could do from home. I went back to bed early this afternoon and slept a few more hours.

I'm just taking ibuprofen now--I haven't had a pain pill for awhile--so I think I'll be fine to go to work tomorrow. I guess I'll take mashed potatoes and gravy for lunch.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006


It's not that there hasn't been anything going on. There was the morning I pulled out of the garage to see someone sleeping in the backyard on an air mattress, with a baby blue blanket over him. I called Bob from the car, and he said, "Is it a vagrant?" and I said, well, no, I don't think so, he's got an air mattress and a blanket. Bob called me later and said that there were two guys out there, and we guessed that they must have been guests of one of our neighbors who decided to sleep outside . . . who knows? They were gone when I got home. But it was a little disorienting.

Then there was the day that Bob called me at work -- a day when it was, if not over 100 degrees, at least very close to it -- to tell me that he had been out in the backyard on a ladder cutting limbs off of one of the trees because they were leaning over the neighbor's fence and she's trying to sell her house, so he didn't want our tree limbs to be a negative factor. Out there, in the 100 degree heat, on a ladder, with a saw, with no one else around.

I let him know that I didn't think that was a very good idea at all, I yelled at him a little, frankly. Then I called him back later and said, "I wasn't really mad at you, you know. I was just worried about you. The kind of mad that a parent feels when their kid does something dumb. Like when they say, are you okay? And when they are, they smack them for running out into the street, or whatever."

Then my desktop computer died. The eMac. A few weeks ago I had shut it down, and it wouldn't come back on. I tried restarting it several times, and it was just totally dead. Then after I went to work, Bob tried restarting it a few times, and (okay, he smacked it a few times), and he got it to start up. But ever since then, it's been kind of weird waking up from sleep, i.e., the screen will come on, and then go away, and then slowly come on again.

And then Monday night, when I woke it up, it gave me kind of a "disco" screen, flashing and weird stuff, then when I finally got a screen that didn't flash, it showed all the colors of the desktop picture (a big pink peony), but they were kind of just blurred across the screen . . .

After that, it would power on, but I didn't have any video at all.

I was pretty bummed out about it, but then I remembered that Bob had bought it for me, and being the thoughtful person that he is, he had also bought the extended warranty! What forethought! So I called Apple, and they talked me through the various tests to be sure it wasn't a software issue (I knew it wasn't, but I humored them), and they gave me a case number to take in to get it fixed. I'll have to wait until Bob can go with me, because I can barely lift the thing. I had to open it up when I had the tech on the phone, and the access port is on the bottom, so I had to lift it and carry it and lay it facedown on the dining room table on a towel, then after I pushed the button they wanted me to push, I had to turn it over (the hardest part), pick it up and take it back over to my desk. Very awkward. At least the iMac has a handle.

Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, there was the day that Jeff brought his girlfriend's Yorkie to work. That was fun. What a cute little dog! Jeff put one of the other dogs' beds (Dave, Simon and Jojo were on vacation that day) up on his desk and the little guy curled up and went to sleep. He's so tiny! It's a lot of fun having dogs at work.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

What I'm reading

I'm listening to a wonderful book in the car right now -- Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult. It's a love story and a mystery and a ghost story, all wrapped up in one. There's one story involving a young man who's tried over and over again to kill himself, but been unsuccessful--he no longer wants to live after the death of his fiancé, but nothing he does seems to work. He has a sister who's a librarian, and a nephew who has a rare illness that will probably cause him to die young.

There's another story about a young bride in the 1930's and her sad life and death, one about a development company that wants to build a strip mall on top of a possible Indian burial ground, and a single mother with a young daughter who may be seeing ghosts, or she may be psychotic. I'm in the last third of the book, and all of the story lines are coming together. There are quite a few goose-bumpy, shivery moments; I can hardly stand to stop listening when I get where I'm going. At least it makes the drive to and from work interesting.

I think I mentioned the other day that I'm on a "theme" mystery kick. In the past couple of weeks I've read the four "dead end job mysteries" by Elaine Viets: Shop Till You Drop (dead-end job: sales clerk at exclusive boutique), Murder Between the Covers (chain bookstore clerk), Dying to Call You (telemarketer), and Just Murdered (bridal shop clerk).

In these books, 42 year old Helen is in hiding from her ex-husband and is forced to work a series of "dead-end jobs" that will pay her in cash, because she can't take the risk of applying for a job that would cause her to show up on government records. She lives in a tacky apartment complex in Ft. Lauderdale populated with an interesting cast of Florida characters.

Sometimes I just want something light, that I don't have to give a lot of thought to. Something entertaining. Okay, that's mostly all the time. I choose the books I read because I want to relax and be entertained. I don't have a lot of time to read anymore, so I'm pretty discriminating. If I'm going to devote my time to a book (and spend my money on it), I want to be sure it's something that I'm going to enjoy.

The fifth book in the series--Murder Unleashed--has Helen working as a dog groomer. It just came out in hardback, so I've put it on my wait list at the library.

In their apparent quest to make the place where the world goes to buy absolutely everything, Amazon is now selling groceries (non-perishable items only). I can't remember now how I got to the page, but I discovered that they're selling Stash tea, and they even have some of the loose teas, like the Kopili Assam that Bob likes. It's about the same price as it is at Stash, so not really a bargain, but it's nice to know that there's another place to order it from.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I finally downloaded the pictures of the new office.

My office:

From inside my office:

The kitchen:

A little sitting area near the front door:

The creative area (where the designers are):

Another view of the big room from another angle:

Looking down the hall--my office is the one right underneath the ceiling fan.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Long week

The last couple of weeks have been . . . interesting. The week before last was mostly cleaning, trying to keep getting the new place in order to move in. I, of course, didn't do much of the heavy stuff, but I was there for part of it, and did some cleaning of the kitchen, and quite a bit of packing at the old place. And working, too.

Then the long holiday weekend, which I don't really even remember. Bob went to a graduation party for a friend's daughter, and I stayed home and worked on some freelance stuff and did housework and rested, mostly.

We moved on Tuesday. I spent most of Tuesday morning standing in the elevator holding the "door open" button, since someone else in the building found out that propping the elevator door open breaks it, and we didn't want to break the elevator on our last day. So I'd hold the button while the guys loaded the elevator, then I'd take it downstairs and hold the button while they unloaded it, then we'd go back up . . . Lather, rinse, repeat.

Then we ordered in pizza, had lunch sitting around the conference tables out in the middle of the floor, then I drove back out to my neck of the woods for a five hour meeting with a client.

On Tuesday I went to work and spent most of the day setting up my office. Dave built my desk for me, and carried my monitors and file cabinet around, and I manhandled (woman-handled?) the bookcase and the computers, and crawled around under the desk connecting up all the cables, and wonder of wonders, it worked! The whole key was that I have a wireless card in my Mac. The PC wasn't so lucky. We were going to install a wireless card in it, but apparently the CD drive has died, so we couldn't install the software, and it wouldn't recognize an external drive that we had, so it's just sitting there, unconnected, now.

But that's okay, it's just my "testing" computer, mostly. I use the Mac for everything, I only use the PC to view websites to see if they look okay in that environment. I also use it to do credit card processing, since that site won't work on Macs, but I guess if I have to do that before we figure out what to do about my PC, I can go find someone else's PC to do it on.

Most of us are on Macs, actually. Cello, me, Kristi, and the four creative guys are on Macs. John has PCs, and Dan and Eugene, both of whom are usually offsite working at client offices, share a PC.

Anyway. It's been a long couple of weeks. The guy who moved us last week is going to come in sometime this week, I think, and paint the offices that need it. Mine needs it the most desperately, I think. There was one wall that was almost covered with dark cork tiles. They had been there a long time, and some of them were warped and crumbling, so I pulled them off. They had been nailed to the wall with tiny nails, except for two tiles, which were glued to the wall. We figure they started gluing, then got tired and nailed the rest, although who knows?

So removing them left a million tiny nails, and removing the ones that were glued tore off the sheetrock. So it needs it badly.

I had thought they might paint before we moved in, but since they didn't, I thought, well, it will happen sometime. If I had realized it was going to be so soon, I might have left some of my furniture outside my office, because I'm obviously going to have to move everything at least away from the walls, if not completely out. The office is so small that I'm not sure they can get a ladder up against the wall with the desk in there. We'll see, I guess.

Bob left on Friday for his annual fishing trip to Minnesota. I always kind of look forward to it -- it's nice to have a week to myself once in awhile, nice to stay up late and watch television, eat out, not feel like I have to be home at a certain time. Although, really, I do what I want most of the time anyway, and eat what I want, and I can't really stay up that late without falling asleep on the couch . . .

I don't find myself lonely often; I'm perfectly comfortable with my own company, I have a lot of things that I can do by myself, and I love to sit and read, or knit, or surf the web on the computer. I have stacks of unwatched DVDs, and stacks of unread books (I'm on a "themed" mystery kick right now--I'll list them out in the next entry). So it's not like I have nothing to do. And it's kind of nice to have the bed to myself. I can stretch out. But this morning I woke up with the cats pressed up against me, just like always, so it doesn't really do me any good to have the bed all to myself.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long week.

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