zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
Ordinarily I get my sister to catsit when I'm out of town, but a full week after booking the holiday I realised that since my sister would be coming out of town with us, this wouldn't be practical. (In the event she didn't come with us because she was sick, but that didn't change the unavailable-for-catsitting status.) So I booked a cattery.

It was a very quick process, involving basically a telephone conversation. I was fluttery at the absence of formalities because I was expecting them to require a deposit if nothing else, or even to get a copy of Boots' vaccinations before the fact. But they were unconcerned so I figured I was just anxious at leaving Boots in a cattery for a week and a half knowing that last time I had to take her away from home during earthquake repairs she hid under the motel bed for three days, and so she was going to hate a cattery.

Now one reason I chose this place was she offered pickups and dropoffs, which is helpful since the bus website suggests they don't carry pets. So at the appointed time on the evening before leaving on holiday at oh-dark-thirty I awaited her arrival. And waited. And waited. Trying to keep Boots inside and yet not stressed all the time. So I phoned and apparently she'd forgotten. Illness or something; okay, there's a lot of nasty stuff going around here at the moment.

So it's fine, she rearranges her evening and turns up with her daughter in the backseat, and I hand over Boots and her food and medicines (both her regular food/medicines and her post-minor-dental-surgery food/medicines, along with an instructional schedule) and so forth and am all helicopter parent while the cattery woman is all "I've got this". We confirm the date and time she'll drop Boots off post-holiday. She gives me her card and asks me to drop her an email so she can send me some photos to prove Boots is enjoying her stay.

I sent her the email, mentioning my email access would be intermittent. Two-thirds of the way through the holiday (which was otherwise lovely, I may or may not blog about it separately) I realised she never so much as acknowledged the email.

So late last night I got home (and dreamed of cats and medicines), and this morning at the appointed time I expect my cat to be returned to me. Yet the appointed time passes with no Boots. Still no Boots. So I ring again, and get voice mail on both landline and cellphone. I continue ringing and leaving messages throughout the day. At 4pm I'm literally putting on my coat to get the bus and find out what the hell's going on when I finally get through to her.

"Oh yeah," quoth she vaguely. "I wasn't sure whether it was today or tomorrow. I think I was expecting a phone call."

Nope. A) I was always clear about the date. If she wasn't, she should have written it down when she specifically told me she was diarying it. Or emailed, at any point. Or phoned, ditto. B) We specifically agreed that Boots would be dropped off at this particular time. C) If you're expecting a phone call maybe you should actually answer one of your phones.

So anyway, we agreed a new time. Then followed two more calls to determine which cat carrier is Boots's. I-- I would have expected her to have been keeping track of other people's property herself?

Apparently not. Because when (with both daughters in the back seat) she drops Boots and supplies off (and a new excuse: she was being audited today so busy all morning) I discover upon unpacking (after she's driven away) that I am further missing not only Boots's food dish but also the collar from around her neck with the magnetic nametag that lets her get in and out of the house.

I've taped the magnetic cat flap open, and found a substitute food dish, and left a polite message on the answerphone saying no rush (because those kids do not need to keep getting dragged around) and just leave them in my mailbox if I'm not home (because I'd actually just as soon not talk to her again); and not saying that I'm not yet feeling any great rush to pay my bill either (those magnetic tags are not cheap).

Online reviews for this place are all positive. Probably most people wouldn't run into these problems as they'd pick up and drop off themselves, so no waiting around and they could point out the cat carrier, missing collar, and food dish at the same time, sans drama. But, wow. This is one business card I'm keeping in my stack just so I can scrawl never again all over it.

(But Boots is now home! And exploring everything. Yes, Boots, eat the business card with the dollar figure and bank account number on it so I can legitimately say "My cat ate the bill," that would be awesome. No? What if I accidentally spill deliciousness on it? Aw, fine.)
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
Zeborah: comes home with takeaways after a long day

Boots: Hi, human, what's for dinner?

Zeborah: It's not six o'clock yet. You don't get dinner until six o'clock.

Boots: But I'm hungry. Can't you just put out some kibble for me?

Zeborah: It's not six o'clock yet and I need Voltaren and a lavender bag and some sleep.

Boots: Please?

Interlude for a chipper dudebro at the door trying to get a look at my powerbill so he can give me a better deal. I offered to take pamphlets but they really want to see the existing powerbill and sit down with you and do the hardsell. So I told him I'd just had a cast off and needed to sleep and yes, that sleep really was more important to me than his theoretical savings kthxbye.

Zeborah: Where was I? Right. takes Voltaren and a big glass of water and goes to find lavender bag for an aching shoulder

The lavender bag has a juvenile mouse nestled in it looking quite cozy and calm, like this is its lavender bag so where else should it be?

Zeborah: Boots, would you please explain why there is a mouse in my lavender bag?

Boots: comes over, looks at mouse, pounces and noms it

Zeborah: takes lavender bag to microwave

Boots: ...So can I have some kibble now?
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
So Boots hid under the bed while I was getting ready for bed last night.

The downside of sleeping in the spare room is that the bed is just a single, but she did manage to find sufficient space to join me on it. So passed the night.

In the morning, I like to exercise my left knee in a possibly vain attempt to get the circulation going before moving my encasted foot to the floor, because by then it's been a while since the last anti-inflammatories and there will be mild pins and needles. Boots interprets this movement as "getting up now" and when I don't follow through immediately starts with the head-butts to encourage me. Of course when I give in and do get up, picking up my crutches causes her to flee the house.

Ten hours go by, during which I do a full day's work from my couch, launder the stinky cat blanket, pick a courgette, and nuke a pie for lunch. Finally Boots comes home demanding food, I reach for my crutches to prepare it for her, and she flees again.

zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
I'm continuing to take it super-easy (the cast and crutches rather enforce this actually) but it is nice to come home to my cat.

I prepared by taking a proper shower this morning, so that if I fell over there'd be someone to help and if I didn't I'd know that I was capable of doing it. Following which success I took a wee rest and then I succeeded in making breakfast and bringing it out to my chair in the dining room (by moving it from one horizontal surface to another, taking a step, repeating all the way).

Then I rested basically for the rest of the day, just eating lunch at the big people's table and spending a few minutes chopping salad for dinner before my (non-injured) leg got tired because it's not used to standing with those muscles. And after dinner I packed and got dropped off home.

So far I've customised my environment by opening all the doors and by dragging a chair into the bathroom, because it seems like this could come in handy for all sorts of reasons. And I'll sleep in the spare bedroom because it's an easier bed to get into and out of.

Boots fled when she heard the scary crutches again, but shortly afterwards came back in the house. As I'm on the couch, not going clunk clunk, I got greeted vociferously and she's now happily exploring the open doors and nomming her food. So now I need to get her to come here so I can show her what this terrifying clunk clunk-maker is and get her used to it before I get ready for bed.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
Boots is on a hypoallergenic diet because we can't figure out why she's sick and protein allergies was an early hypothesis. Might have helped, might not, who can tell. Cats.

She's also on pills to help with blood pressure, which definitely do work. But heretofore the only consistently reliable way I've found to get them in her and keep them there is to crush them up in tinned food.

And my hypoallergenic tinned food supplier is running late and I've run out and she needs her pills so I'm casting my eyes desperately around the kitchen thinking about all the foods that'd work really well if she wasn't maybe allergic to them, and suddenly I remember:

Frozen peas.

Boots adores frozen peas. I don't know why. I know why I like them, but I'm not a cat.

And it turns out that if you cut carefully into a frozen pea, you can pry a quarter-pill into it and Boots will nom it down without hesitation or regret. (I gave her an additional unadulterated one as a treat afterwards as prophylactic against second thoughts but I'm not sure it was strictly necessary.)

This changes everything. Also resolves one more anxiety about being about to abandon her for ten days with a (most capable) catsitter while I'm at conferences in Melbourne. Even if the tinned food doesn't arrive in time I can prepare a dozen pea-pills before I leave and leave them in the freezer for easy dispensation.

(I really should pack for that, I guess.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
It was originally predicted to be Snowpocalypse 2: Worse Than 1992!!!! and the supermarkets accordingly are all out of bread. Therefore all of yesterday it merely rained.

When I got up this morning it was raining particularly miserably so I took some extra clothes to change into at work if I got too drenched. Normally I shut Boots out of the living areas during the day, because she has a tendency to accidentally set off the burglar alarm (I don't even know how but she does), but when she saw I was going she said, "Yeah, not today, bubs," and went back to the bedroom to curl back up on my warm waterbed.

This seemed fair enough.

It started snowing on the way to work. By the time I got out there it was thick enough (though not yet settling) that the bus driver was saying if it kept up they'd be off the road within an hour. So (having shaken a quantity of snow to the floor) I relayed this to the boss, and about quarter of an hour later she decided to send home anyone who doesn't live in the local township, and offered me a lift back.

By the time we got back into town it was definitely sticking, in a slushy way. I've brought in Boots' litterbox, swept my porch, and turned on the kettle and the gasfire. Boots remains curled up on the waterbed but she'll probably exchange it for my lap once it's warm enough here in the living room.

Now to catch up on a few hundred journal articles and do some planning for that rapidly-approaching conference paper....
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
To be fair, it's possible I forgot to fill her kibble bowl before I left the house for 30-odd hours. It's also possible I forgot to put my teatowel covered Herman cake in the pantry. But look, as my friend says, it's not about who's at fault, it's about who I can blame.

Also, I've now filled her kibble bowl and she's still trying to eat my sandwich. This is clearly unacceptable.

The bulldozer next door is now gone, as is the remaining rubble of the foundation. The garage remains, and I think the fruit trees do too.

The land assessment people visited my property this morning and discovered that there's a couple of patches of silt and some uneven pavers. This is approximately what I already knew, except that I wouldn't have mentioned the pavers because I think that predates the quake: it's an area of the backyard that regularly swamps in winter, and I keep a couple of bricks for the express purpose of placing there as stepping stones. But apparently I'm going to get an information package in the post in a few months which may or may not include some kind of compensation offer. Or maybe not, they said something something excess. I'm not clear on the detail especially because I hadn't quite clicked that one got compensation for silt in one's backyard: I'd just mentally classified the sand volcanoes as the remnants of a temporary water feature and moved on.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries today has ALL THE FEELS, omg. I'm going to have to mop my face before I head off to work.
  • Criminal Minds and White Collar are very much going downhill; Elementary isn't bad; Once Upon a Time is currently the best thing on. Around town there are billboards dubbing it "Damsels in Charge" which is exactly what I love about it, and portraying Emma in leather armour that actually covers her entire torso even if it does leave her upper arms worryingly bare.
  • The neighbour has finally scythed mowed their lawn jungle. Hopefully this will reduce the number of biddybids I have to pick out of Boots' fur with sneak attacks.
  • Being an adult means when you run out of milk you can melt some icecream onto your cereal for breakfast instead.
  • Freezing cheese totally (and totally predictably) borks its structural integrity.
  • My plums are almost finished; grapes and peaches seem to be coming along nicely.
  • I've been making lots of curtains and doing lots of baking while watching lots of West Wing. I think it's a phase? Also doing bits of coding and fanfic and other writing and adding to my "Awesome projects it'd be fun to do if I had infinite time and parallel selves" list.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
We were all the same age, 11 boys and 3 girls. At a certain point, about seven of us went to live with Garak on Cardassia. One by one he killed us off, but he liked me, believing I took after him. Unfortunately he then learned (by means of a device on my finger(*) that put me into a virtual reality he could control) that my admirable duplicity was in aid of the less pleasing goal of reforming (my pov) / corrupting (his pov) Cardassia. This discovery was a great disappointment to us both, but we handled things in a civilised manner: we sat down to read a book together so that he could reach behind me and stab me in the back. I was a little concerned whether he was sufficiently advised of human anatomy to make it relatively painless, but please note this was not an anxiety dream of any kind: it was a touching father-son moment.

I did wake with a sensation of a tinge in my back, though.

(*) Boots has got rather more matted fur than I thought, so yesterday I started attempting to comb a bit of it out. I got sufficient fur to make a mouse, and a gouge in my finger pad, so I was wearing a bandaid overnight.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Another day, another earthquake swarm. I was trying on a tshirt in a small shop so was half naked as I grasped the hook on the wall just in case. Fortunately I didn't need to actually put any weight on it because I don't think it was designed as a safety rail. Anyway, so I bought the tshirt (phones were down but EFTPOS stayed up) and went back to my motel to sit with Twitter while Boots huddled under the couch.

Then I wandered down the road to see what traffic was like -- no gridlocks evident in my area, at least as much as I could see before we got a jolt so big I did a 180 and went back to sit with Twitter. A socially decent period of time after I heard the phones were working again, I texted my contractors to see if I should plan to stay at the motel another night. They phoned back and said they'd stayed after the quake long enough to make the place basically habitable for me. Then, having families, they scarpered; but I'm pretty impressed they hung around at all, they've been pretty fantastic. So they'll have to come back after Christmas to finish up and fix some of the damage they caused in the rush to leave, but they were going to have to come back anyway due to supply bottlenecks and other events putting them a week behind schedule. My house is therefore rather a mess, but all the utilities work (apparently we don't even need to boil water this time) and it's habitable.

Mum brought me and Boots home, and Boots promptly disappeared under the house. I located the router and hooked the wireless back up and have since been unpacking. First thing to go into its rightful place was the go-bag, by the door.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
It's the eve of my return to my house, and I'm occasionally tidying up bits of my motel in preparation for starting to pack maybe. I popped out through the ranch slider to check on some towels I had drying and got slightly more distracted than I'd planned. Next thing, Boots (who's been sitting at windows meowling for outside for the last week or two so I should have known better) is stepping out beside me.

It's possible that I swore.

Fortunately it was all too new for her to be comfortable just dashing off into, so I could just scoop her up and deposit her back inside.

In other news, I don't feel like I've got much news. Uni's finished for the year, so I've got until the 4th January to complete the final draft of a journal article, write some more code for the software it's about, finish writing the <counts> four or five fanfics I'm halfway through, create a literal fanvid of awesomesauce, and I bet I'll find some other projects pop up along the way. How do people get bored again?

--Actually I guess I could mention that they'll be finishing up painting after I move back in, which I'm fine with, and I won't have a heat source for a while because when they removed the gas fire (to pull down the cracking brickwork of the fireplace) they discovered it wasn't up to current standards so couldn't put it back in and will have to get some other organisation to talk to me about a replacement, which I'm fine with except I think they should have told me upon discovering it rather than me have to notice an offhand comment they made and ask probing questions. Still, y'know. They're good folk and going above and beyond otherwise. I think they like that I'm easygoing about things (I can imagine other homeowners being stressed) but my philosophy is that I've got water, power, a flushing toilet, and wireless: all the rest is bonus features.

Also I could mention that my choir sang in a small concert in a town that a week later got its own state of emergency due to sudden flooding (I disclaim all responsibility) and in a couple of church services in which I got a solo in a verse of Gabriel's Message. So that was my minute of non-fame. It's absolutely fascinating how I can sing three verses in chorus absolutely fine, but the moment I'm by myself singing the exact same tune and words I've known by heart for years I completely tense up which makes my voice crack; so all my rehearsals were me trying to figure out how to stop doing that. Adequate success.

And finally, some plugs for TV shows that pass the Bechdel test flyingly:
  • I've mentioned Covert Affairs, which is full of awesome blonde spies (and a blonde sister homemaker). Ordinarily it's candy floss (fun but no there there), but has recently started having the occasional episode with a bit more kick; I hope they keep at it.
  • Recently one of my siblings has turned me on to Lost Girl which is full of awesome brunette fae (and a brunette thief sidekick). Like Covert Affairs it suffers from Ms Protagonist being required to have the hots for Mr Male Love Interest but I think that can be ignored for the plots, which so far (I've seen 2 episodes) include Ms Protagonist is... possibly not bisexual, but bi-whatever a succubus is. Bi-hungry? Ms Sidekick insists that she's straight but that's never stopped slash before.
  • And another sibling has turned me on to Once Upon a Time which has a mixture of awesome blondes and awesome brunettes. I think there's a Mr Male Love Interest again but it's developing more slowly and less obnoxiously (again, I've just seen 2 episodes). Prince Charming is in a coma and will hopefully stay there, because he was every bit as smarmy a hero as you'd expect Prince Charming to be. In a brilliant move, Ms Protag is introduced to the strange new world not by a wise elderly male mentor, but by her son who she put up for (closed) adoption ten years ago; this makes the dynamics instantly so much less skeezy.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
While my house is nominally being fixed (they were meant to start on the 28th; they actually started late on the 30th and did a bit more on the 1st and nothing on the 2nd; I can tell these things with my super powers of reading the sign-in sheet) Boots and I have moved into a motel.

I think Boots is actually more or less settled, though it took some time. She spent the first 30 hours hiding under furniture - no food, no water, no litterbox. Then she spent an evening hugging my ankle, and then she spent all frickin' night scritching things and jumping on things and jumping off things (onto my nose) and banging things and trying to open things and generally preventing me from getting more than an hour's sleep at a time. (The asthma attack at 4am didn't help. I ended up going outside and sitting in a deck chair which turned out to have rain in it, and then I slept on the couch for the last hour of the night, and then I went to work and blinked blearily at everyone.)

For a few more days after that she spent the day (while I was out) under the bed and then crept out to hug my ankle when I got back, and then spent the night under the bed again. Nibbling a very little food here and there. But now she's eating fairly reasonably for an outdoors cat being kept indoors and is playing a bit more normally and sleeping on the bed next to my ankles as per usual.

It's weird living out of a motel in my own city, but it's all fine: I've got everything I need (including wifi and the run of the laundry) and it's comfortably lived in (so not intimidating the way I find hotels). I'll still of course be glad to go home. The date set for that is the 22nd December, and I'm determined to believe them despite all evidence to the contrary. They sound like they're determined to give excellent customer service, and I've heard from other people who've had repairs start slow but finish on time, so it's not impossible.

The other day, a friend asked where I was and when I told them they said, "Oh, that's good, there's lots of shops there." It's more that there were lots of shops there, I pointed out. Since the quakes, the fruit-and-vege shop, the two bakeries, and the supermarket (among others) are all deaded, which as far as the necessities of life go leaves the butcher, the petrol station, and a 2nd hand bookshop. I can shop at a mall on the way home instead, but.... But as I stay longer I notice there's more than I thought, because one of the bakeries is operating out of a shipping container, and the fruit-and-vege place is operating out of a tent.

Walking down the road from the motel towards my busstop in the morning, I can see straight down to a demolition crane in the CBD. I have feelings about this but they're fairly vague and unformed. They're oddly different from the feelings I feel on my normal bus route where I see the crane pulling apart the Catholic Cathedral and the crane taking the top off the Hotel Grand Chancellor and various bulldozers painting the town pink with brickdust. I think it's because it takes time for the bus to get me that far, but here I leave my motel at 7:15 in the morning and there it is.

I seem to have started writing my When the Sky Fell story again. May or may not get much further this time around, though today I reached the Ode to the Radio scene which I've never got to before. It aches to write, and there came a point this evening doing research where I had to stop reading mid-sentence. Someone was talking about the "glassy, shell-shocked look" people had after February and. I remember that, when I was walking along Bealey Ave on the 25th February; I mentioned it in a blogpost at the time, but. Words just don't. It's like looking into a black hole where a person should be.

--However, the other thing that happened on the 25th February was my friends' son was born, and yesterday when I went to visit (as I do most weeks) he crawled! Towards me! Seeing him once a week is fantastic, I get to skip the nappies and most of the teething and "I'm hungry but won't eat, tired but won't sleep" screaming fits, while still getting all the fun of playing with him and the excitement of watching him grow up. I heartily recommend being an honorary auntie.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
Behold, I have avoided housework by creating this housework icon! (For LJ people: )

I'm meant to be emptying all my water containers and refilling with five drops of bleach per litre of water. My intention is for this to be an annual thing every Show Day (which was last Friday, and is an easily memorable date on which I theoretically have time for an annual chore).

I'm also meant to be packing all my books and sundry other goods so that earthquake repairs can be done on my house starting November 28th. Repairs consist of:
  • replacing a window;
  • straightening and bracing a header tank;
  • a bit of repiling;
  • taking down the living room chimney and rebuilding it to the same look;
  • putting weatherboards up in place of the current plywood-and-polyfiller where an external chimney used to be;
  • fixing cracks in the foundation (non-structural);
  • rejibbing and plastering a bunch of ceilings;
  • repapering and painting a bunch of walls;
  • and making sure all the doors and cupboards open smoothly again and the wardrobe has straight rather than curved walls.
  • Oh, and rebuilding the garage wall so you can't push parts of it.
I did make a start on boxing up books on Sunday morning, so that's something. I need more boxes, but may be able to borrow some from work. (We've been moving a bazillion books around and have lots of boxes, so as long as they're not needed again before New Year it should be fine.)

I'll also have to pack suitcases full of stuff to live off for a few weeks while repairs occur. This'll be more of a nuisance, but the really hard part will be Boots. The three choices are:

a) leave her behind (returning every day to feed her) - which would waste time, make her lonely, and anyway the noise and excess people doing the repairs would stress her out;

b) take her to a cattery, which I'm pretty sure she'd hate and also my insurance wouldn't cover; or

c) take her with me to whatever short-term rental or motel I get(1), which will require keeping her indoors to be sure she doesn't flee and get lost, which she'll detest. She understands the concept of litterboxes, but neither of us really likes them. But this is still the best solution so we'll have to cope.

(1) I've got a lead on a possible short-term rental, otherwise I've got a couple of other ideas too.

In any case, I got packing anxiety dreams just packing for a few days at conference, so I expect much REM fun over the next couple of weeks/months.


In other news, have spent the last couple of weeks doing strategic planning for my brain, since I had a day where I got too much good news at once and it made my head go all flaily. (To be fair to my head, much of the good news requires me to do a bunch of work in tight deadlines which are getting ever closer; plus stress lingers from various other things.) My brain now feels much more strategically organised, although the operational plan may take a bit more work. What'd be handy would be if I could task some clones to set up action groups and report back once their projects have been completed.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (New Zealand zebra)
I do feel for those with no heating or indoor plumbing (portaloos in this weather, eek!) but it is quite lovely to have a snowday myself and be able to spend it with friends (who I stayed last night with, and would have gone to work with) and their baby and young cats. (In fact I'm basically snowed in with them, since public transport is stopped until further notice.)

The cats have been playing in the snow with adorable enthusiasm, running in it, pouncing on it, hiding in it, batting it around. The baby has been watching it fall with wide eyes, the way he likes watching screensavers or the flames in their woodburner. And we had a snowfight and made a snowman and my friend made a snow angel. And then we came inside and shook the snow off (I had to comb out my hair again) and had hot chocolate in front of the fire.

Typing from my friend's laptop, having left mine of the dodgy battery at home. Shame I can't see how my own cat is dealing with the cold stuff, but this is lovely company to be spending such a day with.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
The One of many problems with earthquakes is they're over before you get a chance to pay attention to what's happening. The bigger they are the longer they last, but the more time you're spending trying to get into the safest possible place. Of course after several thousand of the blighters I no longer bother moving at all for anything less than a 5(*), which gives me a bit more time to look around (not that I bother looking up for anything less than a 4).

(*) "Yeah, whatever" is not a recommended safety measure, just for some of us an inevitability. For recommended safety measures, follow my cat's example: in anything above a 4 she darts under the nearest couch until the shaking's stopped, then calmly evacuates the building and doesn't return until safety inspectors have given the okay dinner time.

But so anyway I remain curious, and so whenever I can I watch videos like this:

What I particularly like about this video is that it brilliantly demonstrates the aftershock experience in that long buildup of surface tranquillity with stressy music: you know what's coming, but you don't know when, so you just have to wait, and wait, and wait.

--Though actually that's more my September experience than my current experience (vide supra re "Yeah, whatever").

But anyway and also, tomorrow we get to go back to work, though our Available Library count -- which was 5 pre-February, dropped to 0 straight after, had slowly climbed to 2.5, and was closing in on 3.5 or even 4 -- is now back to 1. We'll be able to start tidying up and providing some virtual services again though. I've done a bit from home in the meantime, mostly due to Bored Now -- have also done a lot of Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreading for the same reason -- but getting back on a proper 9-5 basis will be much better. Ooh, and I can borrow a barcode reader (as I'd meant to on Monday) to let me inventory my books properly.

Mental note to leave early tomorrow morning, as they've moved the bus-stop again.
zeborah: I found this humerus (humorous)
Conversations on a bus:
Three teenagers (two girls and one boy). One of the girls was rehearsing her defense for the school board of trustees about drunkenness at school. It wasn't that she got drunk at school, see, she got drunk before school and just happened to still be intoxicated when she got there. Also when she gave some drink to another student it was because said student wanted it, not because she'd peer pressured her or anything.

The conversation turned, as conversations do. In due course the boy was telling how once, when a friend had been pressuring him with "Bros before hos", the boy retorted, "Mate, chicks before dicks."


The Press cheerfully mentions that over 50% of the buildings in the CBD may have survived. This is a stunningly glass-half-full mode of reporting for the Press these days. Also, I shouldn't read the newspaper while waiting at the supermarket checkout: going shopping is enough of a punch to my emotional immune system as it is, and today is pouring with rain and I spent all morning looking after part of the church fair's white elephant sale so resilience has been going steadily down all day anyway.

(On the plus side, at said fair I got two skirts for a dollar, and some violets, and some feijoas in red wine which I'm planning to take to friends for a dessert with the plan that she and I can eat the feijoas and he can drink the wine. I restrained myself from going near the book stall, it seemed for the best.)


Boots has returned to her ordinary self, ie restive with outbreaks of annoying, and the vet's battery of tests all read back in the normal range.


There are all sorts of things I keep meaning to say, but I've forgotten them all. Oh! One of them was that I worked out what's been splitting my skin open when I empty my chemloo tank; I then put one bandaid on my finger and one bandaid on the jaggedy part of the tank.


At work I'm still bouncing between three locations, though one predominates. Unfortunately it's the one I hate the most. It's deathly quiet; we share with people we don't know that well and they complained about the beeps of our virtual reference application, so now we need to wear headsets if we want to notice our customers calling us. The only redeeming feature of this place is that it has my computer in it -- my actual computer from my actual office, with my lolcat version of the 5 laws of library science taped on and my rights to modify the software on it which IT accidentally-on-purpose left me because they trust me not to modify it too much. And on Monday we get a new manager and he's going to be sitting at that space.

Sigh. Oh well. At least I worked out how to get my desktop picture (of The Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library) onto the other computers I have to use. Why I mentioned work was really to keep on with the alcohol theme, because in one of the other locations the tiny little tearoom has, next to the coffee and tea and milo, two bottles of wine. They must have come from some function or other. No-one would ever actually open them on worktime, but I feel it's comforting just to know they're there.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
There's this plaintive wail Boots has started doing about 30 seconds before she throws up everywhere. This turns out to be enough time to leap up, scoop her up, and dump her on linoleum instead of carpet. ...I didn't know she'd even eaten that much tonight. <thinks> Unless she saved some of her breakfast and only ate it a little before I got home, that'd make sense.

Her other new thing is to stand at the dish I've filled with kibble and to chirp questioningly at me. The question is, "How about that nice gloppy stuff instead?" Then we come to a compromise, which is I mix a bit of gloppy stuff into the kibble.

In pilling news: mashing the pill into the gloppy stuff (separate from the gloppy stuff added to the kibble, that is) has worked two days in a row. Thanks for all the other suggestions; I'll keep them up my sleeve in case Boots bamboozles me again.

In other news entirely: have been back at work now for three days. The first day I managed to go something like two whole hours before bursting into tears. Yet the second and third days, no problem. Possibly it's just that for the last weeks before my holiday I was feeling like crying all the time, and the associations were still there? Or possibly because we're at a point where we need to be more future-looking, but in terms of work, looking at the future feels like looking into a vacuum: it makes my head implode.

Anyway, if it was the former it was solved by spending a chunk of the evening reading library blogs and lolcats, and if it was the latter it was solved by my manager being sympathetic and also giving me a project to work on. Literature review, whee! Not the most exciting thing in the world even for me but I know its shape.

Also today I met with a phd student who explained to me all about his research. Normally they say something brief like "gold catalysis" and I struggle with how to tease this out to work with them because I don't know anything about these subjects. Whether this one was just a fluke or whether it was helped by an inspired tweak I made yesterday to my standard introductory letter remains to be determined by further experimentation; but either way it was terribly cheering.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
Day 1: Boots gobbles the green pill on the assumption that it's the same as one of her normal pale brown palatable pills. (I'm a big fan of palatable pills.)

Day 2: Boots remembers that the green pill is not in fact palatable so I'm forced to do the ordinary pilling thing. (She gobbles the pale brown pill quite happily.)

Day 3: Boots remembers that being pilled is unpleasant so I hide the pill in some of her super nommy goop.

Day 4: Boots remembers that a pill surrounded by super nommy goop is still a pill so I'm forced to do the ordinary pilling thing and now it's sticky so sticks to my finger so this takes multiple tries.

Day 5: I resort to Google, find some videos of remarkably placid cats and the old how to pill a cat joke which I think is more documentary than humour but anyway. I attempt the margarine thing but it sticks to my finger and when I hopefully attempt to let her just nom it she just licks the margarine off it. I get the pill into her half a dozen times and she spits it out half a dozen times (once after holding it cunningly in her mouth for over half a minute until I unlock her catflap, upon which <spit, flee>) and it dissolves into a crumbly mess twice. --I speak by now of the platonic pill. By the time I succeed it's the third pill of the day. Will have to get another repeat from the vet at some point when I know how many to ask for....

Day 6: I plan to mash the pill into her super-nommy glop. But goodness knows what I'll do on days 7-14.

In random earthquake news:
I turned up at choir last night and discovered our normal practice room has been taped off. Hung around for a while half-chatting with the AA greeting folk and half-trying not to get in their way, but no-one else turned up; I seem to have missed a message at some point. On the bus on the way home I listened to another passenger chatting with the bus driver about portaloos and chemical toilets. Post-earthquake smalltalk is from another world.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
This morning Boots was still eating very little but was a lot perkier about it: wandering around a little and sitting, rather than staying it one spot with her chin to the ground for hours on end. On the strength of that I decided not to take her to the vet, though I did stay home watching her rather than go anywhere.

This afternoon/evening she perked up even more and ate a bunch more super-nommy glop and even a little bit of kibble. (At one point she even asked for kibble; she just got tired of it quickly and decided she'd rather have some more super-nommy glop instead.) When a chunk of lamb mince fell off my plate she practically pounced on it and fought a valiant fight against the fact that it was still very hot from being cooked; that now vanquished, she's sitting watching me eat the rest, very attentively.

Have made power-off images for my Pocketbook and read an old F&SF epub I'd had sitting around.

Chores today included: washing laundry, washing cat carrier, and emptying chemloo. All water sourced from the drippings of my leaky tap (which also provides water for my kettle and washing dishes). I really will get onto a plumber soon, but in the meantime it relieves my guilt a bit that I'm getting increasingly efficient at using the waste.

Attempted to book online for someone to come mow my lawns, but the company's upgraded the website and now it doesn't work in Firefox or Safari on Mac.

What else was today? Ah, yes, Doctor Who. You know, while under urgency due to the earthquake, our government passed a copyright amendment that provides for your internet to be cut off if three accusations of downloading infringing material from a file sharing site are sustained against you. (You see how vital this legislation is to Christchurch's recovery, of course.) The bill as passed plugs a few outrageous holes pointed out in the #blackout campaign a year or two ago that kept it from being passed back then, but keeps this same outrageous premise. So there's not much I can say about Doctor Who. At least not in public.

In general, feeling much less stressed with Boots improving. If I keep sleeping 10-12 hours a night I might be able to cope with going back to work next week...
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
It's terribly thematic for Boots to get desperately sick in time for Good Friday, but once (2009, ate the netting from a roast) was quite enough. This time it seems to be some kind of infection maybe? Ridiculous fever anyway, and lethargic and severely off her food. The vet this morning plied her with injections and pills and super-nommy tinned glop, and Boots did have some of that at least, but remains lethargic and is currently hiding under the couch (whether photosensitive or just sick of me trying to get her to eat more). If she doesn't miraculously recover overnight I'll have to take her to the afterhours clinic tomorrow.

On the upside of today, while she was under the house sulking from too many injections and pills I got a tweet from [personal profile] keieeeye that a box had arrived for me, so I hopped on a bus waited 50 minutes for a bus (for a route where they should come every 10 minutes, seriously, wtf? some of the roads are appalling, but I've never before seen the buses running more than two iterations late) -- anyway, I went around and retrieved the box.

Inside the box was some paper padding and another box, and inside that was another box, and inside that was some cardboard padding and a bubblewrap package, and inside that was a thin-foam-stuff package, and inside that was my PocketBook 360.

Then I walked home playing with it, rather than sit at the busstop waiting 30+ minutes. (I cunningly went first to the busstop with the realtime estimate doodacky, which they've managed to get working again recently.) I was nearly home when the bus went past, and had managed to visit a couple of shops on the way too. (Though one was just poking my head in the door and seeing that they didn't have what I wanted.)

I like my PocketBook 360. I like that I can poke around their websites/forums and discover that someone's coded a Tetris for it, which I can then download and install. --For the record, an e-ink based ereader is not the best format for a Tetris. Sudoku works though. Also, um, that reading function, that works too. :-) Plus and also, it's really pretty.

--That aside, though, running low on cope at the moment so may be only spottily communicado for a bit.


zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)

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