Thursday, May 28, 2009



I'm so uninspired. As you can tell, I haven't written much lately. I'm feeling extremely lazy. Maybe it's spring fever; it's finally warm here. I'm sure we'll have more cool weather; it's rarely reliably warm before the first week of June.

I finished my lovely Buckeyes/Eclipse socks--and they're too damn small. I cannot believe this. I obsessively check the fit as I knit, and they. are. too. short. and. too. tight. I can rip them out totally and reknit, but as I mentioned, I'm lazy. I can give them away. I hate to go either route. I love them. And I'm lazy.

I couldn't decide what to knit next (see above excuse) so I picked up a pair of socks in Trekking XXL or whatever it's called (lazy) that I started knitting a couple or three years ago. I made the mistake of using size 2 US needles, which really isn't suitable for such thin yarn. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time. They're lightweight, which I guess could be good, but, again, I was too uninspired to rip out the one leg I'd already knit. Now I'm on the foot. Thin, but wool, so all is well.

I finished reading the Barbara Bretton book (I can't remember the title, and, remember.....) and I loved it. It's fun, it's amusing, I like the characters, and I want to read more of her books. I forget what I'm reading now. Honestly. Oh, Firefly Lane. I think. It's good. Last week our school library hosted a book swap and I got that one along with about 10 others, including the first four books in the House of Night series. I cannot imagine that someone would read an entire series once then give it away. That notion is totally foreign to me. My friend took in 75 books to give away. Can you believe that? There was such a good selection at the swap.

Last weekend was warm, partly rainy, partly sunny, and I got to spend some more quality time worshipping the sun. I guess that rules out the chances of me ever being a vampire. I love the sun.

I'm not getting very far in learning what the Blackberry can do. (Lazy.) When all else fails, wait a while longer before you read the instructions, is my motto. I've tried to download Slacker radio; I've created a station that plays only songs that we like, but it's failed to download several times this afternoon and I'm too irritated to try again. I wouldn't want to fling the thing out into the parking lot and break it before I've learned to use it. I downloaded tons of songs onto it the other night, and yesterday we bought the cable that allows us to use it through the car stereo. For the first time in four+ months, we were able to listen to music that we actually like. If only XM hadn't merged with Sirius and seriously f^cked things up. Ah well, I probably wouldn't have been able to talk my way into a Blackberry if that had happened.

It is cool to be able to email and stuff while we're going down the road. I don't like to text, and those keys are no larger if I'm trying to email, but I'm forcing myself to email. I only check my gmail account once a week or so since school has blocked access to it, so this is a nice option.

AND--we got our very first dvr this week! Yes, we've officially joined the 21st century in all ways but HDtv, and that will have to wait. Too late to catch this season's 24, but we'll use it a lot anyway. (Season 7 of 24 was released the day after the season's finale, and I want it. Along with season's 1-6. Yes, there's Hulu, but there's something to be said for watching tv on a larger screen than this one.)

Kitten Marie has recovered from her surgery and is driving Chester nuts. She's very active. She goes home in a month. When we go to "our" condo in the Keys.

Kitty Lily, at only 10 years, died last week. She spent her final hours sitting on our laps (at times draped across us both). It would take her several tries to walk across the room; she'd have to stop and rest. Bless her sweet little heart, she continued to try to use the litter box after she lost the strength to climb into it; she'd pee on the (vinyl, thank God) floor next to it. She wouldn't eat, but she'd still ask to go outside for a little while each day. She was a very sweet kitty. Tom buried her in the lilies in the front yard, one of the few flowers that the deer don't eat. She was named Lily because she was born on Easter Sunday.

That damned message light on the Blackberry is blinking intermittently. I have no idea what it means or how to stop it. We took it to the AT&T store (take THAT, Ntelos) yesterday and it took the staff a while to figure out how to turn it off. I don't know what they did.

By the way, the sound on the little thing is very good, and much better than the sound on this laptop.

So. That's the news as of right now, except for the stuff I've forgotten.

P.S. Have you seen those photos from New Moon the movie?

Friday, May 22, 2009

So, yeah.

Last night I tried to post on here using my new Blackberry, but I couldn't sign in. Actually, it did let me sign in on the comments page, where it posted my "test" twice, but I couldn't find a link to "new post". Since I'm going to be relying on that this summer, I am a bit pissed.

I know nothing about this thing. Read the directions? Pfffft. I asked a kid why there was a red light blinking constantly; I'd spent a couple of hours trying to find what that stupid light meant and couldn't find a thing. Ask a kid, within seconds she said it was an indication that I had text messages and showed me how to find them and get that damned light off.

I've learned that it's kind of painful to use the thing for internet (I haven't tried it tethered to the laptop yet; I am afraid), since my fingers are bigger than the damned keyboard and I can't type easily, plus is seems that the blazing fast 3G network is slower than dialup. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I expected more.

I still haven't gotten a data card for it, but I think we will after school today. Then I can download music (I'm sure it's reaaaaallllly easy and fast) and take photos and videos and spend hours trying to figure out how to email and blog them.

Last night we went to Roanoke (a two hour drive on a good day, but it was the Thursday before Memorial Day at rush hour) to see/hear Last Train Home featuring Peter Cooper at a tiny place; it holds maybe 60 people. Yesterday was Peter's 39th birthday. It was a "weird hybrid" (Eric's term) of Last Train Home and Peter's band, and I really like it. They sing so well together and both are songwriters, different styles that are merging very well. We thoroughly enjoyed the show; notsomuch the getting home at 1 a.m., but it was worth it.

After the show started, I called Joan so she could "hear" the show. I'm sure the quality wasn't great, but it was nice to be able to share it with her.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm lazy

Or maybe I should be kind to myself and say I've been unmotivated to blog.

Nah. Lazy is the correct word.

Let's see what I've actually done in the last week:

1) Spent a couple of days online comparing cell phones and plans. I am done with Ntelos and their non-customer-service service. I've finally decided on a Blackberry Bold, whatever that is. It seems to have good customer reviews and it can be tethered (through AT&T) to my laptop (for an extra $60 a month) when we travel, and I don't have to keep that tethering for a two-year contract. The monthly plan includes unlimited internet access with the phone and--the big draw, besides being able to access the internet with the laptop when desired--Geez. I got interrupted and I cannot remember what the big draw is. *sigh* Oh yeah, AT&T's minutes roll over if they're not used. I rarely use even 200 minutes a month, and my current plan is for 600 minutes, and if they're not used, they're gone. Forevah. The new plan will include 450 minutes, which will be more than plenty.

2) Read a lot. I finished Stephenie Meyer's The Host. It was really really difficult to get interested in it, but after trying several times (and having nothing else within reach that I wanted to read) I finally got into it. It's an unusual story that I won't even try to explain. It's defintely not Twilight (many would say that's a good thing).

3) I won a contest! Barbara Bretton (if I were at my own desk I could link you, but I'm not so I won't; you can google her name and find her website) chose me as one of her winners and sent me two signed books. One is her last one, Casting Spells, which is about a town of--get this--vampires, werewolves, fairies, and all kinds of supernatural beings (there's even a screaming banshee) and the half-human owner of the best yarn shop in New England for two years running. What could be more appropriate for me to read after being caught in Twilight's spell? I've only read the first few chapters, but it's a light-hearted, fun book. The second in the series (this woman has written tons of books) is due out in June and is about the same town and people and knitting store. I'm looking forward to it.

The second book is Just Desserts, which sounded so familiar, because I already own it, but written by someone else. I guess there's no copyright on titles.

Barbara has several websites, one of which is this one; I think another one is here. You know my memory. I hope that you'll check her, and her books, out. Free books are one of the ways to my heart!

(Hmmmm. It looks like those links will work; if not, blame my brain.)

3) What else have I done. Oh yes, we went to my oldest grandson's first race on Saturday night. First race driving with the big boys, that is. He's 9, the youngest ever to race at that track. One man in his class is 66--how he got into that tiny car is beyond me.

B is an impressive young man. He's been driving in go-cart races since he was maybe 5, and he's quite good. He's done well practicing with the older guys. Fortunately we got there a little too late for his qualifying run; I called my son when we pulled into the parking lot to see where we were supposed to go, and B's brakeline had failed. Failed. As in no brakes. He's 9 years old. What did he do? He calmly zig-zagged around a few cars and aimed the car into the grass, where it stopped on its own.

I would have freaked (both as the driver and the grandmother watching this happen). K said it scared the piss out of him. My boy is eloquent, like him momma. But not B. He handled it well and moved on. I'd still be shaking if I'd done that.

Also, when they first got to the race track, his car wouldn't start. No problems during the practices, but on race day, they came in multiples. They got it going again, then the brakeline blew out.

So the races started (and, thank you, God) it was the first race of the evening. 25 laps, approximately 23 seconds per lap. B started out in the back of the pack since it was his first race, but by the time his clutch burned up on the second lap, he had moved up two spots.

I mean, poor kid! He very calmly aimed the car into the pit area and talked over his headset (this is like professional racing, with full burn-proof gear, the works) to his dad who told him to stay in the car until he could get over to him. B was devastated, but he didn't show it other than being very subdued.

It was just as well that he didn't finish the race; the whole thing was under the yellow flag except for a lap or two, with one car spinning into the wall and the rescue squad and wrecker heading out on the track; fortunately the guy was okay; then the race was called five laps early because it was starting to rain.

We left after B and his mom and dad came back over to the grandstand (and after paying $30 to spend an hour or two there, but some things you do because it's your grandkid even though it scares the crap out of you). Let's just say that I'm not a racing fan. My ex, the bastard, loved racing, and the last one he took me to (over 20 years ago) he told me how "disappointed" he was that he'd gone to the trouble of taking me out and all I did was sit there and read. Instead of being grateful that I'd agreed to go to something that bores me to tears, he was "disappointed". Well, guess who took a book and read this time? Tom, that's who, while I knitted. So HA!

(Yes, I'm childish and vindictive and still hold quite a grudge, thankyouverymuch.)

4) Then Sunday it was pretty and sunny and I spent some quality time in the sun. Ahhh, the warmth of the sun. I know it's not good for the ol' skin and I'm looking like my grandmother much sooner than I think I should, but it's something that I crave.

5) I'm turning the heel of my second Buckeyes/Eclipse sock. I'm loving the yarn.

6) One of my prescriptions finally showed up today. One. There are two or three more that haven't arrived.

As you can see, I've been terribly productive lately. And interesting.

I need to get a life.

Friday, May 08, 2009

If it's this bad now, what's gonna happen when the government takes over health care?


I am so irritated/angry/pissed off at my mail-in prescription service. If I didn't save money by sending them our 90-day prescriptions, I'd never use them again.

Back in March, before we went to Florida, I mailed in a page of refills with six or seven new prescriptions stapled to it. The week after we got home, the refills arrived. Not one of the new prescriptions had been filled. I called the service and was told they hadn't received the new prescriptions. I told them that if they got the refill authorization, then they had to have received the new ones. They were all stapled to that one stinking page. No, they didn't have them. And we were out of a couple of meds.

Ron, or Rod, whoever he was, offered to call the doctor and ask her to fax the prescriptions to him. I thought that was the end of that.

A few days later, two of the new prescriptions arrived. Two. 2. Dos. I called the service again. They'd not received the others. Called my doctor. Yes, they'd faxed all of them. Once again, my prescription service screwed up.

I had a doctor's appointment last Wednesday. She told me she'd faxed the prescriptions the week before, but she'd do them again.

A few minutes ago, I called the stupid prescription service again. Only one prescription had been received, they'd filled it, and I have to allow 7 or fewer (I love that distinction) days to get them. Ooookay. I called my doctor's office yet again. They'd faxed in three prescriptions for me at the same time they'd faxed that one for Tom. But the damn service had not received my prescriptions.

My doctor's office is once again faxing the prescriptions. I am almost out of two of them.

If things are this damn f^cked up when insurance is run by private companies, what the hell is going to happen when the government takes over our health care? Will we end up like Canada and not be able to get surgery that we need because they're too busy? Like Great Britain where women with breast cancer are left to die because the drugs to fight it are too expensive?

I do not have a good feeling about this.

P.S. I am feeling a little better each day. Just a tiny bit better, but at least it's moving in the right direction.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Still feeling icky

I'm so tired of this!

I don't feel sick. I don't feel particularly tired, but I've been sleeping soundly (till 2 yesterday). I just feel weak, like I'm about to pass out.

On the knitting front, I finished one of my sport-weight socks that I started last Sunday. They're some of the freebie Claudia yarn; I think it's Buckeyes, but since it's dark gray and deep red, I'm going with Eclipse (as if you don't know the reference there). I did the heel from some deep red yarn; I think it's Rubies Dancing. They're just plain socks, but since they're sport instead of fingering, and still knit on #1 dpns, they're really cushy. I love this colorway. I still have two hanks of fingering in Buckeyes. Not quite enough for a pair of socks (Claudia's fingering is only 165-175 yards; since I like my socks longer, I always have to use a third hank.)

I finished reading the four books (so far) in The House of Night series; I enjoyed them. Now I'm reading Stephenie Meyer's (do not tell me you don't know what she wrote) The Host, which is a truly odd book. It took me several tries to get far enough into it that I got interested, but now I'm enjoying it.

Star Wars Day

May the fourth be with you.