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Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Nanowrimo

Nov. 3rd, 2011 | 12:26 pm

Or, why is it that every time I decide to do some really big long-term writing push, and get it all scheduled out and everything, the next thing that happens is I get sick? (In this case, Round 2 of a double-header cold of the most disgusting sort, to mix my sporting metaphors. I think I must have re-exhausted myself handing out candy to roughly 400 trick-or-treaters.)

At least I never actually signed up for Nanowrimo, as my project was already 15K underway. But 2 days are already completely gone under the Bridge of No Return.

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Eye's Right

Oct. 7th, 2007 | 07:17 pm

All's well again ... I hope.  Friday, he doctor said I was recovered, but that I should use the drops through last night, and that I was cleared to start wearing contacts today.  Thank heavens.  The glasses are now where they belong, not leaving horrid little indents on my nose, but in a case on my desk, where I hope I won't need to use them again any time soon except to look at NOAA weather radar in the middle of the night. I can go down stairs again without either counting them or closing my eyes. I've not tried this yet, but presumably I can back up the car again without getting misled by the edge of my glasses, and stuff in the side mirrors will stop looking funnily distorted.

And text on my screen looks bigger and clearer, and my little piggy eyes don't look littler and piggier anymore.


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September 33rd

Oct. 3rd, 2007 | 04:45 pm

The calendar says it's October; my watch agrees. So do all the newspapers, and the date stamps on postings, and files I've edited and ... But I don't agree. October is supposed to bring fall, which technically started eight days before October ended. My definition of fall differs from what is happening around here: temperatures higher than normal, after a summer cooler than average. Highs in the lower 90s. Lows in the lower 70s. Humidity from someplace vile. The occasional sea breeze thunderstorm making its way 200 miles up from the coast. There was supposed to be a big cold front making its way down this weekend, and I could have started calling it October. But no, there is a low-pressure area in the Gulf, headed this way, and in some mystical way it will oppose the front and prevent it from getting all the way down here, they think. I wonder when it will stop being an endless September.

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Eye Still Have It

Oct. 1st, 2007 | 05:42 pm

Ungrammatical as that sounds. I'm in glasses purdah until at least midday Friday, although I only have to take the drops every three hours instead of every two. What a concession! Given that I still have to get up in the middle of the night, I'm not really overflowing with joy.

I did drive to the eye doctor's office this a.m. (C. had a meeting that almost conflicted, I think), and that all went fine, except for something I hadn't expected--backing up. Where the rear of the car is (always problematic--the last car that had nice well-defined corners and all was a 1986 Camry) and where the glasses tell me it is are two totally else different things. The 8 inches or so that I'm off on steps is nothing to this. I'm really not sure why it works this way or what I can do to compensate, other than park in places I don't have to back up to get out of. Given that I'm ordinarily a rather poor parallel parker, rock meet hard place.

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The Eye Has It

Sep. 28th, 2007 | 10:05 am

In spades. Tuesday afternoon my right eye blew up, with an itchy contact lens that felt like it had a whole row of eyelashes underneath, or worse. I didn't actually take the contact  out until after we'd done the groceries that evening, by which time everything was an amazing bright red color, and the whole eyelid was swollen up. Eww. My eye doctor, when applied to first thing Wednesday morning, said the first available appointment was late Thursday afternoon.

My glasses are older than they ought to be, and my 9-or-10-diopter prescription has edge and peripheral vision issues, so I haven't been able to drive, have to close my eyes when dealing with steps, and have only now really adjusted so I can use the computer.

The ophthalmologist said yes, you have keratitis, you need to clean that hard contact *really* well, like three times letting it get bone dry in between, and you need to take these expensive cipro-type eyedrops. Every two hours. Every four hours at night. Getting up at 3 am to try and put one drop in one eye turns out to be mildly problematic--I was sleepy enough that I almost forgot which eye. I'm on this routine until at least Monday morning, which is when I have another appointment to get it admired for progress. And no contact-wearing, either! Oh, botheration.

I've been so disgusted that I've taken to comfort food--made nachos last night, and felt much better for it.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Sep. 21st, 2007 | 01:32 pm

Everyone else does it, and Sophie is a great cat, if for some reason a bit difficult to photograph.

If you want to collect the whole set, taken in January 2007, they're here.

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Sitting and Writing -- Ode to a Coffeehouse (Deceased)

Sep. 21st, 2007 | 10:39 am

Seems like there's a sudden plague of writers who need special chairs, masseurs or trainers, and all that in order to get their writing done. Or something.

It doesn't need all that. At least I don't. I get 1500 words or so a day done in a coffeehouse, with noise, music and conversation around me, a wooden chair, and a pad of paper and a pen.

I suppose I first learned the trick of this my first semester back in school after a decade or so working; you don't exactly get peace and quiet in cube-space, and then I started hanging out in the local coffeehouse to do my Latin prep. That place eventually became my office, much more my space than either my art library carrel (later an actual office with a door I could close) or the graduate assistants' office that I shared with sixteen other people, "owning" it one hour a week. I read the NYT there, graded exams, read books and articles, scribbled outlines for seminar papers, and eventually wrote my entire dissertation there, a couple of pages a day. It closed a month after I turned in the dissertation, a clear sign that I was no longer wanted on or near campus.

I have found other coffeehouses. In my old neighborhood, a great one opened up that I could walk to. After we moved, I found that I had to drive to get anywhere, so I now spread my favors among four places, each of which has its virtues--and vices. But I'll always miss the old Quack's (Captain Quackenbush's Intergalactic Espresso Bar and Dessert Company, to give it something like its full name), with its location right across from campus, its edgy feel, the lattes in the tall glasses, the Iced New Orleans coffee with vanilla in the summer, the green chile enchiladas, the Breuer chairs, and the general vibe of "academic spoken here." Parking around there is a lot tougher now, but I swear I'd still be there if it was.

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Notes to All Hands

Sep. 18th, 2007 | 12:11 pm

Note to Humans:

If you have a cat who is currently struggling with IBS-like symptoms, partially pursuant to a course of antibiotics, it's probably not smart to walk along a dark back hall barefoot. Just saying.

Actually, if I'd had shoes on, it likely would have been worse, in that the substance in question would have gotten into the siphes on my Topsiders, and I wouldn't have noticed what I was stepping in. By feel, that is.

Further: I am not responsible for the amazing pong in the hall, and I am truly sorry that we are now down almost one entire roll of paper towels.

That is all.

Note to Cat:

(A question, really) WTFlyingF is wrong with the kitchen floor, as compared to a decorative, long-pile rug?

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The Prize in the Tummy

Sep. 14th, 2007 | 10:16 am

We finally got around to redeeming the gift certificate that I won for my tiramisu. Good choice.

Andiamo is located in a strip mall right on the interface between a light industrial area and UT's research center, and has made no serious efforts at decor aside from some lace curtains, large photomurals of Italian coastal scenes, and pink tablecloths.

The food, however, is at least two cuts above this ambiance. I had one of the two seafood antipasti, salmon, prosciutto, pepper and mozzarella, while C. had another, involving fried calamari and octopus. We shared them out, and both pronounced the salmon to be the best we'd encountered, even beating out the beet-cured salmon and caviar combination at Mirabelle last month. I also had the salade innamorata, which involves spring greens, strawberries, almonds and corn in a walnut-oil vinaigrette. Very fine, rather sweet--I think they used strawberry juice in the dressing.

C. got linguini with clams, which had a delightful red peppery bite to it, and I had the pasta special, lobster ravioli with scallops atop and a cream sauce. Sinfully decadent, and the scallops were perfectly cooked. Alton Brown would have been proud.

We barely had room for dessert; C. had the tiramisu, which used a sponge cake instead of ladyfingers and was somewhat less alcoholic than my version; I suspect they used marsala in the espresso dip, rather than the brandy I use. Since they run a special menu, changing every two weeks, covering a particular region of Italy, I had determined to have at least one dish off it. They were doing Friuli, and so I got the Sachertorte, which was quite yummy. All of this was washed down with glasses of Veneto chardonnay, lightly fruity and very buttery.
The waitress brought round complimentary liqueurs, Sambucco and Amaretto, which rounded things off nicely--no room for coffee.

The bill was rather reasonable (compared to Mirabelle or Zoot, our usual fancy-dining mainstays) even before $25 got lopped off.

I'd definitely go back, but the scales this morning suggested strongly that I might want to wait just a bit before I do.

If they do lunch, then they're a beyond worthy replacement for the long-departed Eletto's at Mopac and Parmer.

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Sep. 14th, 2007 | 10:11 am

... does *not* consist in finding an entire horde of microscopic ants conducting an occupation of the filter to one's Brita pitcher.

Little buggers have been absolutely everywhere this summer, but it had not occurred to me that they would colonize the water. Oh, well, it does explain certain puzzling phenomena, such as the ant on the espresso filter. (Oh, horrors, is my espresso machine also taken over? I so do not want to have to take it apart and ... do what? Sterilize it?)

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