Sunday, April 29, 2012


Jekyll the cat decided to keep me busy today by puking all over the guest bed. When I stripped the quilt and blanket off, I discovered the sheets on it were still flannel. While I washed the bedding, I put fresh cotton sheets on the bed (I make that bed because it looks funny with just a quilt, and I'm in that room all the time since the computer's in there).

Then I looked in the mirror and discovered that my conjunctivitis was much worse. My right eye looked horrible! Rather than wait a day to call the doctor and get an appointment for later in the week, I decided I'd better go to a walk-in clinic that was open on Sunday. I found one in West Knoxville and waited an hour (reading, of course) to see a doctor for about three minutes. The doctor didn't say much; in fact, I got the distinct impression that if it were up to him, he'd be in bed sleeping off his hangover. He looked in my eyes, listened (presumably) to my nervous babbling about symptoms, and prescribed me antibiotic eyedrops.

When I got home, I thought I might as well wash the sheets on my bed. So I did. I did three loads of laundry today and feel like I've been making beds constantly. Tip taught me by my grandmother: put the top sheet on upside-down; that way when you turn the bed down, the sheet pattern shows.

So I have a clean bed to look forward to tonight, and I don't have to worry about whether I should see a doctor about my eye, and I know--because they weighed me at the doctor's--that my home scale is accurate. Unfortunately.

Also, I had to clean all the stuff off the bed, which I needed to do anyway. Jekyll is pleased with his clean new bed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Eyeballing books

[This was supposed to be posted last night, but my internet connection died right before I hit 'publish.' So I went to bed instead.]

I think I have pinkeye, more properly called conjunctivitis. Sunday morning I woke up with my right eye gummy and bloodshot, and all day long it burned and wept. Monday it wasn't any better, so I bought some Visine eyedrops, which helped. I figured I'd give it a few days and if it didn't get any better, I'd go to the doctor. Then I remembered that I have access to The Internet!, so I looked up pinkeye and discovered that yes, that's probably what I've got, and that it has two basic causes. The more common cause is a virus, and there's basically no treatment except time; it's very contagious and people with viral pinkeye shouldn't go to work or school. The other cause is bacterial, which can be treated with antibiotics; that type is also very contagious although once treatment starts, people with it can safely go to work or school a day later.

I went to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and today I ran errands and bought books. I feel like typhoid Mary. Anyway, my eye feels much better today--I haven't even needed to use the Visine. That matches up with what I learned online too. Whatever the cause, pinkeye usually clears up even without treatment within a week to ten days.

I bought books today because my to-be-read shelves are getting really thin. I'm burning up the reading lately; I think the last time I was reading so much was in ninth grade, when we had half an hour free reading time a day at school which I augmented by reading during all my classes. I burned through the library. These days I buy most of my books, doing my part to keep the publishing industry going.

Of course, part of the reason my TBR shelves are thinned out is because I have actually thinned them. I do this periodically, going through and reading the first few pages or chapters of books that have been there a long time, and pulling the ones I don't like. I didn't count how many books I culled and took to the used book store today, but it was probably 15. I brought home 10, most of them bought used. And then I read one.

Despite all the reading, I've found some time to write. I've finished Bloodhound at long last, and--quite to my surprise--finished my aborted NaNoWriMo attempt from last year, the little kid's book with talking animals. It turned out just 20,000 words and I think it's pretty good. It has no market, of course, but I'm just glad I've finished one of the books in my WIP file.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Google Hates Me

I was going to talk about my day yesterday, which involved a five-mile hike, the planting of many flowers and tomatoes, the scattering of my mother's ashes, and my nearly fatal tumble down some steps (okay, not nearly fatal; I just skinned one knee slightly and bruised my lip). But then Blogger pulled the thing where I have to upgrade to their NEW AND IMPROVED YEAH RIGHT interface.

Why? Why why why? Gmail just got a new interface too, and I hate it for the same reasons I hate the new Blogger one: I can't read it properly. My work computer (not that I ever, ever use my work computer for anything but work; this is merely hypothetical) is very old and can't display the new interfaces correctly. On my home computer, the fields in the new interfaces are so washed out I have trouble even seeing them, much less reading them. On my laptop, the new interfaces are too spread out for me to read comfortably on the small screen.

In other words, it's BROKEN when the old versions weren't broken at all. I am now directing waves of hate at Google, who of course runs Gmail and Blogger and obviously doesn't have enough to do.

For those of you who are interested in seeing lots of pretty pictures of my hike, I've started a new blog just for my hiking stuff called Hiking Hot.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Death and taxes

My to-do list today was long and grim. It started out TAXES and ended funeral home, where I collected Mom's ashes. If you opt not to get a swanky, expensive urn, they give you ashes in a cardboard box with a label gummed to the lid. The box is surprisingly heavy--or surprisingly light, whichever way you want to look at it.

In addition to TAXES and funeral home, neither of which were any fun (those were Mom's taxes, too; I did mine months ago), I called and canceled Mom's credit card, stopped by the utilities office to put the account in my name instead of hers, and got a cashier's check at the credit union to pay the funeral home. I also got my oil changed and bought a couple of books, which was less miserable. Still, not a good day today.

After all that, I felt I could safely pitch my diet out the window for tonight. I went out and bought a big slab of raspberry dark chocolate, and flowers for the dining room table. I've kept fresh flowers on that table since we moved in last fall, but I would have bought flowers tonight anyway. And since that cardboard box, which I've shoved onto the mantel for the time being, looks so bare and sad, I bought some white ribbon to tie around it. And I bought a pair of underwear because A) they had stars on them and I will buy anything with stars and/or daisies printed on it, and B) when I'm depressed I buy chocolate, and when I'm really depressed I buy linens (because nothing makes me feel better like a new nightgown and fresh new sheets; although I often buy nightclothes just for the hell of it, so anyone keeping track out there wouldn't necessarily be able to tell if I'm sad or just wanting a new set of pajamas). Anyway, when I checked out I realized with some embarrassment that with the flowers, chocolate, ribbon, and underwear, I looked like I was gearing up for a night. I wonder if the clerk is still wondering what I plan to do with the grapefruit juice I also bought.

There are still a few things on my list I didn't get to, but I figure I did pretty well today. These things have to be done. They're not pleasant, but they're all part and parcel of being connected with other people.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Staying up late

My Goodreads giveaway had 1,401 entries! My God! One of those people won, and I've shipped the book off to her. One thousand four hundred and one entries. Wow.

The cat is demolishing one of his jingle-balls (the one with the feather, I think) in the living room and I'm still up because I'm waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can start the washing machine. Tomorrow is Easter. I think I'll walk down by the river and think about things.

I hope the weather is pleasant wherever you are. I hope everything is as good as can be expected. I hope you have a good book to read.