29 April 2008

OMG! Shoes!

One of the big discussions we've been having is over footwear for the wedding. The concept has been to go with something dressy casual, since we're not planning on formal wear clothes. David's found a very nice pair of loafers here.

I had initially thought to wear ghillie brogues (for a better pic, check out the ones modeled by James's cousin here), since they're sort of considered standard with kilts, but they tend towards the ornate and formal, which doesn't really fit the look we're shooting for. Since I'm wearing an 18th century-style kilt, the other option was to go with period buckle shoes comme celles-ci. Just a little too Plymouth Rock, though.

So I decided to turn to Doc Martens and see what they had to offer. I came up with these three options, which arrived today:

The stripped down, basic brogue

The hip and edgy slip-on

The new and improved buckle shoe

I didn't specifically go into this looking for shoes that were so similar, so it was interesting to see how directed my tastes were - same basic outline and even the same lining for all three of these styles. I'd love to keep all of these because they all look fabulous, but I need to narrow the decision down to just one. I think David and I are pretty firmly in agreement on the one we like best, but I thought I'd throw it out to the rest of y'all to see what everyone else thinks. So go vote already!

FYI: If you can't see the poll just above, check to make sure you have the latest version of Java installed and enabled.

27 April 2008

Weekend Wrapup

This week was supposed to be my week off, but when I commented last Monday at work about how ready I was to have the next several days off, our head tech reminded me that I'd agreed to fill in on Wednesday night. So my eagerly awaited 5 days off was shrunk down to 3 days. As I've recently mentioned, I really need a vacation, so this was not a very happy realization. Still, I had agreed to work the shift and it's always good to have a little extra income to pay down debt.

Wednesday night went pretty well, though, and I made the most of those 3 days - or at least the first two of them. On Thursday morning, I did my first workout at the gym around the corner from work and was suitably pleased. I also made an appointment for my first massage in 2½ years on Monday (which I am soooooooo looking forward to). Then I came home, got a few hours' sleep, then got up and went to get my hair cut at the Aveda salon in Portsmouth. I've been there a few times now, and I think I'm done with SuperCuts forever.

On Friday, my big project was this:


I've been wanting to put in raised beds pretty much since I moved in here, and I finally got out the power tools and made it happen. I made them with very simple frames of wood/plastic composite decking stacked two high. I couldn't come up with a really good way of connecting the stacked frames, but I decided that I actually prefer them not attached to each other, as they'll be easier to disassemble and move if/when it becomes necessary. I just drove plain wood garden stakes in around the inside to help hold them in place and then filled them lasagna-style, à la Norma.

Of course, not having bags of leaves or newspapers at my disposal, I got a roll of thick paper and a couple bags of peat at Homo Depot when I got the decking and layered that with some of the mulch we had delivered this week and some composted 'paca poop (of course). I just ordered materials to set up a drip irrigation system and now I just need plants. Some seeds are on order from Fedco and I've put in a request for my mom to pick me up some more at Johnny's, which is right in my parents' town, but I plan on hitting Portsmouth Farmer's Market for the first day of the season next Saturday.

As for today, it was spent trying to recuperate from everything I did the previous two days. And addressing wedding invites.

23 April 2008

False Economies

I cancelled my gym membership the other day. Even though it was a local gym, inexpensive and not too far from the house, I just could never seem to manage to get there. I went twice, I think, in January, and hadn't been back since. My financial advisor and life coach pointed out to me that this worked out to about $40 per visit. So maybe not so inexpensive.

So today after work I drove around to gyms near the clinic to explore my options. I figure the biggest reason I haven't been going to the gym is that after working a 15 hour overnight shift and driving an hour home, the last thing I want to do is to delay my arrival home. Or to leave the house once I am there. So my hope is that I can make myself do it more easily on that end of the drive.

Of the four options, there is one literally around the corner from the clinic that I liked relatively well. They also offered a 14 day free trial, so I shall be taking them up on it. The only downside is that their steam room is broken and the new ownership apparently doesn't have a firm timeline for getting it repaired. I can schedule a massage appointment there, though, so I'll likely get over it.

A Little Reminder

If you are on any prescription medications, be sure to check them before you pop them in your mouth. Last week I went to my local pharmacy of choice to pick up a prescription refill - my last refill, in fact, which means I need to schedule a checkup. I have been on Requip for the past year to deal with a particularly bad case of restless legs syndrome in conjunction with periodic limb movement disorder. The medication helps both me and David get a better night's sleep.

Anyway, the legs were particularly bad on Sunday, as they often are after an exhausting night at work, but when I went to crack open the new bottle, I found very unfamiliar-looking pills within. I was quickly able to ascertain that instead of 0.5mg Requip, they had filled my prescription with 0.5mg Risperdal, which is a medication most commonly used for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. This could have been bad. Very bad.

The pharmacist on duty when I took the pills in today was at least properly mortified and promised to get to the bottom of how that error had occurred (two drugs side-by-side on the counter, pharmacy tech not paying attention, pharmacist not checking behind them - that's the likely sequence of events). When the local pharmacy I used to use made a similar, though somewhat less egregious error, I basically got the brush-off ("I wasn't on that day."), which is why I no longer take my business there.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Always double check your prescriptions. Pharmacy of choice actually has a description of the tablet printed on a tab on the label and on the information sheet they staple to the bag, which would have clued any non-medical types in had they bothered to read it. But how many people actually read all their labels?

18 April 2008

Long Night

When I got to work yesterday evening, everybody was standing around bored and there were no patients in the hospital. Unfortunately, we made up for it overnight.


This photo doesn't include the charts for my three inpatients. At least I didn't kill anything, which is always good, but it'd be nice if the caseload would just spread out a little more evenly.

Now We Are Twelve

After the onslaught and in between writing up records, Rabbitch and I had a little discussion about the etymological origins of the word jahoobie. She decided that it must be Sanskrit (I'd vote for Hindi from Persian, but whatever), so I wrote it out in Devanagari and took a picture for her.


Just in case you were wondering.

A Little Request

My friend Dena has a little problem. If you happen to have a few yards of Cascade Ecological Wool in color 8095 you could spare, she will probably love you forever.

17 April 2008

Bullet Post

I am so totally stealing this from Annie, but it's technically not Wednesday anymore. I don't intend to make this a regular feature; I'm just too tired tonight to string more than a couple of sentences together coherently.

  • I don't think I mentioned the Easter card David's parents sent us.

  • It contained a photocopy of the first chapter of Romans, you can read the highlighted verses here.

  • His mother also wrote a little note saying that our wedding would be "like a funeral" to them.

  • We felt very loved. Um, wait, no...the other thing.

  • She called this afternoon. David didn't answer. She left a very cheery message on the machine, though (no, srsly, like she hadn't practically called us devil spawn a few weeks ago). She and David's father will be en route to Washington State soon for David's older nephew's confirmation.

  • I suggested we send the boy a copy of the Tao Te Ching or the Dhammapada to mark the occasion. David suggested The Gay Guide to the USA

  • Apparently, the boy takes after his Uncle David more than anyone cares to admit.

  • *sigh* It's rather a bit frustrating.

  • Also today, I stopped on the way home to vaccinate a few puppies, then came home and vaccinated a few juvenile alpacas, and then had to do surgery on one of the ducks. The old male goose pecked her eye out, and I had to remove it the rest of the way. There are no photos.

  • You're welcome.

  • As you might imagine, this meant that I did not get much sleep.

  • On a cheerier note, one of my clumps of species tulips opened today. I shall try to get a photo before they wilt.

  • I also opened most of the storm windows in the upstairs today. It's getting warm.

  • It may sound trite, but I love spring.

  • For dinner, we had leftover peanut curried tofu and veggies. We also watched another bad karate flick.

  • In the past year, I've taken 5 days off (none of them, I don't think, just to be idle and rest) but worked an extra 15 or 16 shifts. I really need a vacation.

  • I expect Steph will also be mentioning this, but I'm willing to bet she's sleeping just about now, so I'm going to tell you first that today is Juno's birthday. Juno is one of those people I always enjoy being around, and she's a hell of a good Scrabble player (I'm pretty sure I won't recover from "monoacid".)

  • I'm pretty sure there was something else, mostly because there's always something else, but it's tired and I'm late I need some sleep. G'night, all.

16 April 2008


A few nights ago, David had what he called his "first bridezilla moment." He decided that the invitations he'd designed and gotten printed up - after two attempts to get the color right - were not acceptable. Truthfully, they weren't, so we'll now be getting pre-designed invitations from a different company - at twice the cost, but hopefully with much less stress.

Then the angst turned to clothes. His original idea was to have something tailored, but now it seems he's turned to off-the-rack options and is having a hard time making a decision. One of his worries is that, with me in "folky" kilt and handknit vest & hose, we'll look too different. I pointed out that bride and groom don't usually dress alike, but that didn't seem to wash with him. So then I suggested that maybe he consider wearing the folk costume of his ancestors.

He didn't care for that idea, either, though I think he'd be dead sexy in it. Still, considering it would cost well over half our wedding budget (26,000 NOK works out to a little under $5200 US at the moment), it's not a very realistic idea.

And then there's my own little source of angst, also known as the wedding vest. It will likely come as no surprise that gauge swatches lie. This is a reality I have been very mindful of as I've plugged along slowly at this item, but it's only just gotten to a length where I could really measure it well. It is, as I feared, too big, but only by about 4 inches.

Now, that's quite a bit of extra ease to have in a vest, but I'm going to trust that I can count on one of Shetland wool's most well-known traits. It fulls like nobody's business. So I'm just going to continue on my merry way and hope that a nice hot wash will pull it in enough, even out my stitches a bit, and make everything perfect.

If not, I'm going to have to channel some of this:

11 April 2008

Satsujin Ken

This week our movie fare has been trashy early 70's karate flicks, from a DVD box set I got dirt cheap years ago. Very violent, but in a B-flick sort of way that makes them particularly fun. Tonight's selection (above) inexplicably had the following as a DVD extra.

There seems to be no relation between the two, aside from some very racist depictions of black people. And for some reason, the town crier scenes in the cartoon were cut from the DVD version.

Maybe he demanded royalties.

10 April 2008

Another Birthday Alert

Today is Stephen's birthday. I'm sure he'll be gettin' some smooches from Janie Sparkles and the man, but be sure to go give him a little extra birthday lovin'.

09 April 2008

Render unto Caesar

Today was dedicated to finishing up my tax returns and getting them filed, since I'd been dilly-dallying and this was going to be my last good chance before the deadline. Once upon a time, I'd have them finished in February and the refund spent by mid-March, but not for the past few years. Every year I think that I really should have an accountant to take care of them, as I could probably deduct a good bit more than I do, but every year it ends up being just me and TurboTax. I still end up with a decent refund and considering I'm one of those people who understands the necessity of taxes to keep the government doing its job (though I may occasionally disagree with how they're doing it), I just don't get too uptight about getting back every possible nickel and dime.

This year, I also pledged to meet VUBOQ's 10% Refund Challenge and donated a bit over 10% of my refund to charitable organizations & funds. Some of it was divided among some of the various check-off funds on my state tax return - endangered wildlife, pet spay/neuter, and children's funds all got a little something from me - and then I donated a pretty good chunk to Seva Foundation. I very much like the work that Seva does and highly recommend them. They'll likely get another donation from me near the end of the year. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was only a couple of blocks from their headquarters when I surprised Stephen at work last week.

At some point, I also need to sit down and figure out how much spare change has accumulated in my underwear drawer (Yes, that is where I keep it.) so I can send a donation to Médecins sans Frontières.

Game On!

When I was in California weekend before last, my friends Karl & Michael spent a good bit of their down time in the evenings playing Scrabulous on Facebook. Now, I've never been much of a gamer. Video games for me pretty much ended with Frogger and I've never really played them online. But I love me some Scrabble and can generally kick butt at it, so the other day I added it to my Facebook applications. Now I know how those WoW geeks feel.

Well, maybe.

04 April 2008

Birthday Reminder

Today is QueerJoe's birthday. Since Joe, as we all know, is a total hits whore, you should go show him some lovin'.

03 April 2008

Golden State

Where to begin? The ostensible reason for my recent trip was a symposium on veterinary hospice care, the reason being that I have to do quite a lot of end-of-life counseling and thought I might get some useful information out of it (which I did). The main reason, though, is that over the past almost 14 years since my last visit to Northern California, I have accumulated quite a number of friends - both real and virtual - in that little corner of the world, and it was high time to see some of them.

And I did see as many people as I possibly could. I stayed with my friends Karl & Michael, both of whom are on faculty at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Karl and I have known each other since 1991, when we were both still in school. I also got to spend time with my friend and classmate Denae, whom I've known now for nearly 18 years; my friends Walt & Rusty, whom I hadn't seen since we all lived in North Carolina (I moved away in 2002 to live in domestic bliss with S, and we all know how that turned out); and my friend Bayliss, whom I hadn't seen in nearly 11 years when I moved from Maine to North Carolina.

In addition to these dear people, I was happy to be able to move some of my online friendships into the realm of real life. Blog reader and colleague JJ tracked me down and gifted me some absolutely lovely hand-dyed sock yarn from Hand Jive Knits in colorway "dusky plum". Clearly, this deserves a special pattern:


It was, however, far too short a meeting, so I'm hoping she gets a position she's looking at near here (and then she can be Tuck's dentist, too).

And as Stephen has already written, I surprised him at work and got to meet Janie Sparkles (and every other dog at Clif Bar). It will come as no surprise that I heart Janie. It may also come as no surprise that Stephen has shown Tuck's photo to every one of his coworkers.


After I skipped away for a tour of the Scharffen Berger chocolate factory (which I also heart), Michael came over and we trekked across the Bay Bridge to Stephen's place, went out and had a delicious dinner, followed by coffee and cupcakes...


...then arrived fashionably late for knit night at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe, where I got to meet Bill, whom I had known for a while from the Men Who Knit community. I had started kilt hose on this trip (in wonderfully soft worsted weight, undyed cormo from Elsa Wool Company - pictures yet to come) to be able to have something relatively simple to work on during the symposium and he had a couple pairs in process, so we had a nice, though again too brief, chat about techniques and yarn choices.

After that, it was a quick visit back to Stephen's apartment, where I was interviewed for the next Y Knit podcast. I'm pretty sure I blushed ten shades of red when they referred to me as "famous", but I've been interviewed a few times in the past and think I managed mostly not to sound like a total ass. Or at least I'm hoping they edit the hell out of it to get that result. Either way, I'm not sure I can bear to listen to it.

There was, of course, more than I have time to share properly - like the visit to Lacis, or the very nice woman (and brand new fellow Raveler whose screen name I neglected to ask) and her daughter who were my neighbors on the Minneapolis to Detroit flight - but it's very clear that David & I are going to have to go back just for vacation sometime, simply so there will be time to do some proper socializing.

02 April 2008

Back East

It's about 3:20AM and I've been back home for all of 2 hours now. California was nice, but I didn't have nearly enough time to visit with people (or Janie Sparkles). Still, it's nice to be home with my sweetie, who woke up enough to say "happy birthday," and my own precious little snorty dog, who gave me lots of kisses. There shall be a better post later, once I have a chance to upload more photos. And sleep. Meantime, here's one of me chugging delicious hot chocolate at the Scharffen Berger factory, where I showed far less fiscal restraint than David was likely hoping.