Nov. 18th, 2011 07:27 pm
jmc_bks: (bashful)

April 1997 - November 2011
jmc_bks: (Default)

Target's marketing and floor layout is supremely successful. I walked in with a list made of five items and left with ~20. All of them are things I'll use so it's not as if the money is wasted. But it was unplanned.

I bought a red shower curtain with a circular pattern that seems kinda retro. And I love it, despite not matching the black & white going on in the rest if the room.

So easily pleased.

jmc_bks: (GK_Bradabs)
~ The trailer for HP7.2 looks good. I especially like the way Snape apparates, and seeing Molly duel Bellatrix Lestrange.

~   I am glad the royal wedding press coverage was over. I did not watch it, although I did see some clips online. (Why was it taking up half of WaPo's front page?) Pretty dress, shiny uniforms, bizarre head gear. I did think it was sweet that Harry watched Kate walk up the aisle and then appeared to lean over and say to William, "Wait til you see her."

~ Why was it so easy to sit and blurt out two ficlets for the GK The Iceman Cometh fic party based on prompts, but so hard to write the fic I promised to The Biochemist (in which Brad's license is suspended due to his speed fetish on his motorcycle)?  The bike fic is plotted out, I just...can't get it written.  It's the first time ever that I've never been able to just sit down and blurt everything out on the page with little or no thought or effort or editing.  

~  Mommom's dining room table is being delivered to my house on Monday.  I probably should make room for it, decide which chairs, etc., are going into the basement, etc.  And yet instead I'm sitting on the front porch, enjoying the sunshine.

~ I would like to be in Madrid this coming week instead of 9 months from now.

~ Is it wrong that I want to see the new Fast & Furious movie? It's total cheese, but still...
jmc_bks: (flaming june)
I've mentioned before that my kitchen is not particularly well-equipped. This does not distress me. But I still oooh and aaah over kitchen accessories, like this selection of butter yellow gadgets featured by Metrocurean.

I don't need a butter dish, yet I'm tempted by the color. Same for the baking dishes.
jmc_bks: (GK - layers)
I shoveled snow today.  It wasn't a lot, so I shouldn't complain.  But it was on my scheduled day off, and the roads were a mess and schools and offices and businesses were all screwed up as a result of the ice/snow.  So all my plans were re-arranged, which makes me irritated.  I like to stick to the schedule, people!

Read Treachery in Death last night, finishing it this morning.  Liked it a lot, much better than the last In Death.  Very focused on the police procedural aspect and the mystery, less focus on the personal relationships.  Although they are very important to the plot, that sort of backs into the procedural piece.  However.  HOWEVER.  If JD Robb/Nora Roberts doesn't get the fine tooth comb treatment from her editors -- a woman who makes her publisher POTS OF MONEY -- then I would be shocked.  But still there are stupid errors like a case being referred to at different points as the Geraldi case and the Giraldi case.  At hardcover prices and with a big name author, I expect better than that from the editorial department.

The Goofy Cat keeps getting up on the kitchen table.  I've tried putting things on the table to block her -- nope, I come home and find them on the floor.  I've removed the table cloth, thinking she liked the texture.  Doesn't matter, she'll lay on the bare table.  Whenever I see her or hear her on it, I race into the kitchen and pick her up, tapping her nose and putting her down.  Nothing seems to make a difference.

My favorite khaki pants have gone missing.  They aren't in the closet or the laundry basket or at the cleaner's.  I was sure I dropped them at the cleaner's but Su says no.  It's not like I could take them off and misplace them.  They must have been sucked into an alternate universe with all the odd socks and earrings that I can't find.

Bought a copy of Where the Wild Things Are today.  I have a copy already, but for the life of me could NOT find it.  (Maybe it's with the khaki pants?)  I figure now that I've bought another copy, my original copy will surface.
jmc_bks: (Icicle)
Work is kicking my ass and I don't have much to say about my recent reading material.  Plus, it snowed again and is supposed to snow again this weekend.  DNW.

It's heartless of me, but seeing my cat do this today made me laugh.  I had to grab my phone to take a picture.  Once I got it (blurry as it is), then I could rescue her.  

She stalked off with offended dignity and groomed herself...and a half hour later got the carton out of the trashcan and did it again.

jmc_bks: (bashful)
Dear Cat:

You are trying my patience.  I do not appreciate the counter walking or the table sitting.  

And the butter I had out on the counter so it could come to room temperature for use in baking?  Really did not need to be batted onto the floor in your effort to get to it.  Frankly, licking butter is not good for little cats.

We're both going to be sorry if you do that again.

jmc_bks: (bashful)
+  The cat and my wallet have been traumatized.  I noticed last week that she was panting for no good reason, which was odd.  And then I noticed it again a couple more times.  Off to the vet we went this morning.  It was ugly.  Howling and panting all the way there in the car, even though it was a short ride.  Followed by hissing, spitting, biting, and scratching.  Eventually the vet's assistant had to corner her and scoop her up into a plastic tub fitted with a little spigot-like tube, which they use to give nervous pets gas.  Once that was done, they took X-rays and bloodwork.  Given her age (12!), she may have a thyroid problem.  We'll know tomorrow when the bloodwork comes back.   Then she and my wallet will be traumatized all over again :(

+  The vet's office had a huge display of books and comics of L.Ron Hubbard.  Some appeared to be fictional and others to be motivational or inspirational.  I'm not sure what that says about the vet, or if I even want to know.  The display did seem a bit out of place next to the shelves of pet toys and bags of dog food.

+  Why must Rafa, Verdasco, Lopez, and Ferrer all be in the same quarter at the US Open?  Almagro, Granollers, Garcia-Lopez, and Robredo are in Murray's quarter.  Djokovic has no Spaniards in his quarter, while Federer has Juan Carlos Ferrero and Montanes.  It's as if the Open is out to decimate the Spanish Armada, although that may just be the downside of having so many players in the top 50.  Also, why doesn't the app include the qualifying information?  Qualies were going on this past week, but the app isn't active until Monday.  :(

+  Other than Mockingjay, which I'm still thinking about and re-reading, I haven't read anything new this week.  

+  There is an interview with K.A. Mitchell over at Jessewave's.  Hey, that reminds me that I need to check and see when No Souvenirs will be out in print, because I want a print copy to go on my bookshelf.  ETA:  January, 2011.

+  The MARC train has a page now that tracks its on time performance for each train on a daily basis.  I'm very curious about how they define "on time", since one of the trains they list with that status was actually about 10 minutes late by my watch.
jmc_bks: (Nadasco - 08 Spain Davis Cup)
Today was my last visit to the orthodontist.  Teeth are in good alignment, no need to go back unless I lose my retainer, which (as usual) I'll have to wear perpetually.

After running errands today, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A -- it's my usual reward, sweet tea and waffle fries, after getting all my errands run.  The restaurant was PACKED.  Were they giving away food, I wondered?  Essentially.  Bring your receipt in next week and make a purchase and get the same meal on your old receipt for free.

Organized two packages to take to the post office.  Photos, gifts, etc., to The Biochemist and The Chemist.  A couple books for [livejournal.com profile] jperceval .  I missed my local post office's hours, so they'll be mailed tomorrow, along with my bar dues and payment for the beach house next month. \o/

The Boy Uncle stopped by on Sunday on the way to pick up Young Aunt at the airport.  He wanted to talk to me about the house and make sure I didn't feel forced to be interested.  No.  And I have a checklist and benchmarks, so I won't made a bad decision based on sentiment.  But my timetable has been accelerated because Flaky Aunt has made noises about squatting there as she breaks up with yet another guy who won't support her in the manner in which she believes she's entitled.  Flaky Aunt is the equivalent of Blanche Dubois in many, many ways.

Tennis ogling last week )


Jul. 27th, 2010 07:08 am
jmc_bks: (h's iris)

• Met with a realtor yesterday to talk about selling my house. Banker call today to see about financing for new place. Need to arrange a week's stay to see how/if I can deal with commute change and the shift from urban to rural.

• Had lunch with the Executive Director of the nonprofit I've been on the board of for 10 years. Love the group but lack time and enthusiasm right now. Rotating off the board, but still on a committee and volunteering. Am one of two board members left from the board who hired the ED and worked to keep the organization from going under. She thanked me for that yesterday. *shrug* What else was there to do? Walk away? My modus operandi: just keep going, do the day to day work and treading water, get through it.

• Two more divorces in the extended family (for a total of four within two degrees of separation). One a surprise only that it's happening now: long separated but wife threatened suicide when papers filed years ago. Now she's filed the papers. The other is a surprise and has stepdad heartbroken.

• Stepdad's biopsy results are due back tomorrow. He says Mom doesn't need to come with him. She thinks it's because he assumes all will be fine and is being an ostrich. I think it's so he can tell her everything is fine, even if it isn't. His fatalism when it comes to his health is disturbing. Based on family medical history, he's confident he won't make old bones.

• Mom heard from cousin in Afghanistan. He says it's hot (120F), tedious, boring but still dangerous.

jmc_bks: (Stupid)
This morning my neighbor locked herself out of her home when she went running.  So she knocked on my door at 5:30am -- because my house was the only one on the block with lights on. 

Did I have a ladder?  No, just a two-step stepping stool.  Could I boost her up?  No, too high.  But we double checked, just in case.

Twenty-four hour locksmiths?  Not so much -- after three tries, we found what appeared to be an answering service that promised a call-back within five minutes.  Nope, never called back. 

We ended up borrowing a tall ladder from another neighbor.  As I braced the ladder so she could boost herself up onto the roof, I thought for a moment that it was a good thing we were both white, otherwise we too could have ended up like Dr. Henry Louis Gates, arrested as we tried to get her into her own home.  We live in a mostly white neighborhood in a predominantly black city.  Would one of our neighbors have called the police if they'd noticed us skulking around in the alley?  I don't know.  Certainly she in her running gear and me in a ratty old sundress with bedhead did not look threatening...but neither did Dr. Gates.
jmc_bks: (Chocolate)
Yesterday, before the day became totally overcast and rainy/sleety, Mom and T delivered the hutch to me. For years it was a fixture in Mom's kitchen, but since she has had her kitchen redone, it doesn't suit and there really isn't space for it. My uncle striped and revarnished it, and it is gorgeous. Makes everything else in my kitchen look rickety and low quality.

Know what happens when I am bored and watch Food TV on Saturday? You guessed it: on Sunday, when grocery shopping, I end up buying ingredients so I can attempt something observed yesterday. This morning I made mac and cheese from scratch and pecan clusters. The mac & cheese turned out pretty well, although there is A LOT of it -- I'll be tired of it in a couple days. The pecan clusters didn't turn out quite so well. They were supposed to firm up really quickly, but nougat/chocolate has stayed fairly runny. Not sure what the problem is -- I used Hershey's milk chocolate morsels instead of Kisses, but the ingredient list was the same, so I'm not sure if that was the difference or not. In any case, I've got a pan of chocolate goop cooling in the fridge. Not sure what to do with it. And after that, I made mini ham and cheese quiches, inspired by Lyvvie but not quite her recipe.

The sleet that coated everything last night and this morning has melted, so it's time for a walk. Maybe down to the fort. Or up around the harbor.
jmc_bks: (McCain 08)
Y'know where I often forget to scrub when doing the weekly mop up? The little bit of tile behind the base of the toilet. Noticed a couple of dust bunnies last night while sitting on bathroom floor, head leaning on the edge of the tub, wishing I could just be finished with being ill so I could curl up in bed.

Had lunch with M yesterday, and by 3pm was feeling very, very bad. Barely made it home before the fireworks started; they lasted until ohmygod o'clock (at which time I noticed said dust bunnies). It was ugly. As a result, I took a sick day, sleeping until 10am. Made a quick trip to the drugstore, then returned to sit on the couch and drink mint tea while The Goofy Cat sat on my lap. No kneading please, my stomach is still feeling touchy.

Stopped by Borders (on my way back from the fun lunch that turned out to be not so fun). Had a 20% coupon, sent because I haven't been in awhile. Presumably sent to lure me into the store. It worked. I haven't been in a Borders store in awhile because my local store closed, and the next closest stores are all at malls I avoid whenever possible. There's a free-standing store off the Metro a few stops away from work, hence yesterday's stop. Yes, yes, I could shop at Borders.com...but I'm not impressed with the site. Everytime I've tried to order using the site, it has frozen or had problems, so I've ended up ordering elsewhere.

Also, yesterday Borders had the new Meljean Brook book, Demon Bound, out on shelves even though the street date isn't until Nov 4. They did not have the new JD Robb book Salvation in Death, though. There were multiple copies of the paperback release of Strangers in Death, which has an excerpt of Robb's February release, Promises in Death -- the intro says it is an excerpt of the "next" book, though. Accident?

Unrelated: the bit on The Daily Show the other day by Wyatt Cenac, saying please just let us vote and get it over with? Exactly how I feel. I'm exhausted by two years of campaigning. And demoralized by the ugliness and pettiness exhibited, sometimes by the candidates and sometimes by voters.
jmc_bks: (h's iris)

Next year RWA will be held in DC.  While I'm too cheap frugal to pay the insane prices of the hosting hotel, especially since I commute to DC daily, the registration fee isn't too bad, so (assuming no conflicts) I'll be attending next year.

Now that I've seen George Michael live (as an adult), I totally get popslash, a subset of fanfiction that had previously escaped me. 

Note to self:  8:45am is too late to arrive at the farmers market.  The lines become insane and there are too many people who have apparently never negotiated a crowded space before.  (Yes, please stop in the middle of the way with your stroller and just STAND there gazing around like a doofus.  The people around you love it.)   The meat potpies were gone, leaving only vegetarian ones -- not bad, but I was looking forward to the pulled pork pie.  Plus the quarts of strawberry and chocolate milk at my favorite dairy were gone, leaving only half gallons of chocolate.  Not to whine too much, because it's chocolate milk, yum, but it is hard to consume a half gallon of any kind of milk in a week in my household.  

Because of a conference at work last week, I missed the CSA pick up.  There has been a bit of a soap opera going on because some people who arrive late (including me) aren't getting the alloted amount.  The general consensus is that outsiders are taking stuff because there's no control or oversight.  Maybe.  But I wouldn't assume that people in the group are above taking more than their fair share.  Cynical much, me?

The cucumber plants I planted in a window box?  Are dead.  But the peppermint is growing like crazy, along with the portulaca and yarrow.  Guess what I'll be planting more of next year.

My cooking adventure this week?  Not really an adventure, just an oldy but goody:  crab soup.  And fruit salad with some peaches that were a little bruised, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.  I'm back to packing my little obento box for lunch -- I missed it last week, when I was eating out with colleagues for lunch and dinner every day.  Sooner or later I'll buy a camera and start posting the prettier ones, like Lyvvie does.

jmc_bks: (Default)
I filled two boxes (the ones that hold 10 reams of paper) with books to donate or trade. Sadly, no one looking at my bookshelves would be able to tell that they've been trimmed in any way. The Goofy Cat found the process to be fascinating, mostly because there was space on the shelves for her to sit and observe while I sorted. New perch.

Off to other shelves: Meg Cabot's Mediator series (YA); Elizabeth Lowell's Donovan trilogy (yes, there was a fourth book but I never got to it); a variety of older Linda Howard's; several Charlaine Harris mysteries; and a mish mash of other books. Plus I set aside a bundle of newer books to send to Lyvvie.

Today's guilty pleasure: chocolate flavored whole milk from a local farm via the farmers market.
jmc_bks: (star fort kinsale)
So, my Christmas booty is quite varied.  The highlight?  The Barbapapa book.  And the new spare tire (not a donut) for my car.  The low?  Well, the gift certificate to IHOP.  I appreciate the thought, but am not even sure where there is an IHOP near me.  And I haven't been to one since college, when it (or Denny's) was the only thing open after last call.  In between is a variety of sparklies and thingamabobs.  Plus a four piece double boiler.  Will I ever use it?  Doubtful, but my mom thought it was necessary after learning that I melted a microwave safe bowl while making holiday treats and sweets.  (Who knew that melting chocolate would get that hot?  Of course, as The Biochemist pointed out, anything will melt given enough heat.)

But yesterday when I arrived home, I found the Best Holiday Gift Ever -- the car that had been abandoned in front of my house was finally GONE!  It only took 11 phone calls to the city and 4 separate incident report numbers, one chalking of the tires, three (maybe four?) tickets, and two tow stickers -- one marked that the tag number did not exist in the MVA's database.  It is GONE AT LAST!  Of course, my neighbor immediately parked in that spot, but still, the spot is available again!
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
I met one of my new neighbors today. He lives up the street. I'd noticed a new truck parked outside, but hadn't realized that there was a new tenant. After some polite chitchat, he warned me that this morning while walking his dog, he saw two men in the basement of the building across the way (in the building's private garage, which is lined by barred, unglassed windows and edged by a small patch of grass and short hedges) peering into the upper floors of the rowhouses via binoculars. They saw him and took off, and he is reporting this to the building management. But ewww! It's a good thing I keep my curtains drawn.
jmc_bks: (Default)
One of The Biochemist's biggest actor crushes is having a birthday today: Alan Rickman. Happy birthday, Mr. Rickman, wherever you are. [Actually, I think he's probably filming Sweeney Todd.]

The sun came up while I was waiting for the train this morning. This is a Good Thing, since I hate going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Sunshine. Real sunshine.

Moment of self-induced panic. )
jmc_bks: (bashful)
My kitchen photos are below the cut.

Forgive the poor photo quality. )


jmc_bks: (Default)

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