Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was doing so well in September, and then I slacked a little on the blogging in October. But, with everything as crazy as it is, I really don't feel too bad about it.

So I was totally pumped to keep knitting my ten rows a day. I came home, worked out (3rd time this week, I think I don't suck), showered, and began knitting. Slowly. I got several rows done and then I noticed that on one lace panel somehow I had 9 stitches instead of 7...and I tried to undo it and fix it but I couldn't figure out how far down the mistake I ended up ripping out 15 rows. Fortunately I was able to re-knit those 15 rows before my fingers went numb, but I still don't think I will make it. Not a big deal, really.

In other news, It's the Freaking Weekend. DUDE. This week was long and painful. Work, my moods, home, family, everything has been out of balance lately and it's throwing me off big time.

It will all be over and settled by December.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it really doesn't seem that far off. Thankfully.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Oh, and we are officially homeowners now.

I thought I would feel different.

I just have a headache. As usual.

Our mortgage payment is more than $100.00 less than we were paying in rent.

Super awesomely fabulous.

Icy Hot Rocks!

So my goal was to finish the sweater before I have surgery next Tuesday.

I counted up how many rows I have left yesterday, and I decided that if I knit ten rows per day (and fifteen on weekend days) I would make it in time.

So yesterday, I sat down to knit my ten rows. I knit one row, and then took a rest. I knit another row, the same thing. I got nine rows done and then my hand just went eeeeeeeeehhhhhhhh no. I was determined, however, so I very very slowly slogged through the last row and then collapsed in pain. But I finished my ten rows!

I had to put an icy hot heat pad on my wrist underneath my wrist brace for the rest of yesterday and overnight. Then, today, I had to wear the brace as much as I could.

I got home and had a horrible, sudden mood swing and had to go hide in my room so I wouldn't do or say anything stupid, and took a cat nap. Then I came downstairs, feeling a bit better, and started knitting (because I'm really dumb, apparently). It hurt. Oh yes it hurt. But I wanted to finish my ten rows.

How many did I get?


This goal is not going to work out.

The funny thing is, I keep thinking of ideas for new things I would like to make, and I can't make anything.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Halloween, Buster!

So we love Halloween. It's our favorite holiday. We even like it more than we like Christmas.

Today we went around to like five different stores and got all of our Halloween decorations and stuff to make Scott's costume (and I found some cute Halloweeny earrings, too). I would tell you what we bought, but it would ruin the surprise.

BUT, while we were out shopping we saw this and thought it would make the perfect (and hilarious) chew toy for Buster:
Yes, a severed hand. Buster really enjoyed playing tug on it with Scott:
And, of course, when we were going through our boxes of Halloween stuff we had to put my old devil wig on him. Because that's what dogs are for.
He wasn't too happy about it.

I have my pre-op appointment tomorrow. Then, one week until surgery. I wonder if I can finish my sweater by then...

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Like A Circus

So why is it that every time something breaks at work EVERYTHING breaks at work?

When it rains, it pours...

Anyway. So things were running mostly ok at the beginning of last week. The graphite furnace is a pile of crap either way, so when things are running at all it's a happy sort of thing.

Wednesday I was wanting to spend a little extra time at work because I had to leave early on Monday and I have to work so many hours each week, so when I got in in the morning I pretty much killed time for an hour before I even started prepping the samples. I worked at a pretty leisurely pace all day, and after I finished all my work on the graphite furnace I got ready to do mercury. I turned on the instrument and let it warm up, and then I got set up and started the program and it was all, "No. Not today. I'm not communicating with the instrument. Sucks to be you."

Ugh. The last time this happened it was because the IEEE computer chippy thingie was dead, and it was quite an ordeal to get a replacement, so I was a little worried.

My boss called the repair dudes and they said they couldn't come until the next day (since I had killed time all day and it was actually quite late in the repair man time zone). So, I cleaned up and went home (early, even after all my efforts at being slow).

The next day (Thursday), we had absolutely no idea what time they were going to be able to come out, so I just went about my day normally and got all my other stuff done. I got lead to run normally, and about 1/3 of my arsenic samples, and then the graphite furnace made a funny noise and a clunk and stopped working. So, I took it apart (again) and found the problem and fixed it and cleaned it out and replaced a part and we were back on our way. BUT, then, it wouldn't calibrate. And again. And again. I tried to get it to work for two whole freaking hours. No luck. It was now 3:45, and I was supposed to leave at 3:30, so I decided to give it up for the night and try again in the morning (sometimes this happens and it works inexplicably in the morning with no changes or modifications)(I swear it's haunted). Rod (repair dude) showed up at this time and started fiddling with the other instrument, and I just told him to leave me a sticky note so when I got there in the morning I would know whether it was fixed or not.

You know, it's nice not having to bring work home with me. I can just go home and not worry about anything until the next morning.

So in the morning on Friday I went in, and the sticky note said that there was a part that needed to be replaced, and he would look around and see if he could find one. This was disconcerting, because the instrument is obsolete and parts for it are few and far between, and if this thing kicks the bucket we will have to replace it somehow, and seeing as we just bought a brand spanking new ICP-MS with a collision cell, that would reeeeealy strain the budget.

So I once again went about my day and got everything else started. Just as I predicted, I started up the arsenic samples from Thursday and it worked perfectly. So at least there was something good.

Then, I went to start up my FTIR computer to run a sample on it and the little light came on, but the computer just went whiiirrrrrr, whiiiirrrrr, whiiirrrrr and didn't do anything else.


So I made an appointment for Tim to come take a look at the computer around 1:00. I hurried to get everything finished on the furnace before he got there (the FTIR and the furnace use the same monitor, keyboard, and mouse). Fortunately, he was running late and wasn't there until 3:00 so I was able to finish before he got there.

Rod got there about the same time as Tim, and they were actually helping each other with their respective problems. I had extra samples to prep so I was going to be there for quite a while anyway, so I just hung out with them while they were working.

Tim mostly figured out what was wrong, and was running around like crazy trying to find parts and such and in the end he decided he had to come back on Monday morning to fix it.

Rod tried replacing parts and splicing stuff together and was getting really inconsistent results, and he all but gave up unless the problem was a bad cord, and he planned on coming back Monday around noon to see if a new cord would take care of the problem.

So this morning Tim came by and set up a computer, and was trying to get it set up and it just Would. Not. Go. He fiddled around with it for a few hours and then had to leave to take care of some personal stuff and said he would be back again around 1:00. It ended up being around 2:00, and he had it fixed and finished by 3:00 and I was able to run the pile of samples that had accumulated while it was down.

One down, one to go.

Rod was supposed to be there around noon today, but he was late as well, so got there around 1:30. He worked on it for four hours, I am not even kidding. He took it apart, and put it back together, and did it all over again, and did the Hokey Pokey and apparently that was NOT what it was all about and at 6:00 (I was off at 3:00 normally, yay overtime) he gave up and in the morning I have to tell Ryan we are broken.

I talked to my boss's boss today and asked him, realistically, what would we do if it were unfixable. Basically, there is absolutely no way we can buy a new instrument this year, since we bought the new ICP-MS (still being installed, I can't wait). So we will have to wait until sometime next year.

In the meantime we have rigged our ICP-OES with a mercury method so we're not completely dead in the water, but our outside clients might not be ok with this...we'll see what happens.

Every day is a new adventure at work. Oh yes.

Did I mention that the power went out for 45 minutes on Friday and that my hot block stopped working today as well? Yep.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Bedtime Story (About A Criminal Delinquent)

Chapter One

Once upon a time, a lovely girl named Anna had a headlight go out and got pulled over for it the next morning on her way to work (Friday, October 2). The cop was really nice about it and just gave her a warning, but when he ran her license it came up as DENIED due to medical reasons. He did have to give her a ticket for that, and she had to go into court to resolve the issue.

In Utah (and maybe other places, I don't know) when you apply for a driver license, you have to tell them if you have any medical conditions. If you do, you have to have your doc fill out a form and send it in and then they approve your license and you get to drive around for a year before you have to get the form filled out again. They even send the form to you in the mail every year so you don't have to come in and get it.

Another aside:
When I moved I called the DMV and asked them what I needed to do to change my address with them. They said I didn't need to change it in the system and that I should just put a sticker on the back of it with my new address on it and that would be good enough.

Yet another:
When we moved we forwarded our mail.

And the last:
It turns out they don't forward government mail.

And on with the story:
It turns out that when our heroine Anna moved last year a sequence of events occurred that prevented her from receiving her doctor's form in the mail. Consequently, she completely forgot about it.
When she was pulled over she realized her blunder, and hastened to the DMV the very next business day to rectify the situation (after fixing her headlight, of course). She obtained a new form and called her doctor. Unfortunately, her doctor was completely booked UNTIL NOVEMBER! Poor Anna almost started crying until her noble knight Scott pointed out that she could find a new doctor. Genius!
So Anna found a doctor in Ogden who was taking new patients, but they needed a huge packet of paperwork before they would make her an appointment, so they e-mailed her the packet, she printed it out, and then drove the long and winding road they call I-15 up to Ogden. Fortunately, they were able to squeeze her in the very next day at 1:00.
Now, this entire time, Anna didn't want to continue driving on a denied license, so Knight Scott kindly chauffeured her around wherever she wished to go. He therefore picked her up from work the next day and escorted her to her new doctor, who turned out to be very nice and understanding. She signed Anna's form and our dear Scott whisked her away to the DMV to reinstate her license. Finally, she was free to drive again! Ironically, when she reinstated her license, noble Scott was informed that his license had been denied since 2007 because of his asthma. The same sort of things happened (this time with Anna driving) and Scott, too, was able to drive once more.

Chapter Two

Driving on a denied license, whatever the reason, was frowned upon in Anna's society and she was forced to take time off work to schedule a court appearance to defend her honor. The appointed day came, and, full of trepidation, she found her way to the Weber County Justice Court, where parking was scarce and she had to park several blocks away and walk, which was a terrible ordeal since she had worn "nice" shoes.
Anna found herself in a courtroom full of other delinquents, many of which had the hardened look of seasoned criminals. This only increased her nervous disposition.
As she waited her turn, many many others walked up to the Podium of Doom, in front of the fairest judge in the land. They were there for many reasons, including destruction of property, driving without insurance, speeding, not paying previous court fines, and many others. Fortunately, this was mildly entertaining.
After some time, Anna's name was called, and she was brought before the judge to plead her case. She pled guilty, and was given an opportunity to explain herself. She told her tale, about how she never received the form in the mail because she moved and didn't know they don't forward government mail, and about how she took care of it the very next day. The judge pronounced her efforts good, and, unlike the others before her, he declared that Anna did not have to pay a fine and please don't do it again. She thanked him profusely, and went back to work, where she spilled acid all over the nice shirt she wore to court and completely ruined it.

The end.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

They're Cutting Me Open!

I finished the front piece of the new blue sweater. It is looking so good! There is one little mistake, and it's front and center, so I'm thinking about buying a cute button to go over it or something. I also started a sleeve and got about 8" done. Not bad.

BUT, to get there, I had to knit a row (or sometimes even just half a row) and then wait a few minutes for my wrist to calm down...and again...and this sweater is going to take ten years at this rate.

I had called my doc on Friday but he was out of town for a conference, so I left a message, and they were super awesome and called me back first thing Monday morning, and they were able to see me at 3:15. Usually this is super awesome but Monday we had 32 samples, which is basically a double workload, so I was totally thinking I would have to make my boss finish for me, but lo and behold I am invincible super chemist and I finished it all in 6.5 hours. A NEW WORLD RECORD. And to celebrate I went home and ate salad.

Anyway, I went in to the doc and it has been about 8 or 9 weeks since the cortisone shot and that wasn't very long as far as these things go so I made it very clear that I REFUSE to get a cortisone shot every 3 months for the rest of forever just so I can function on a daily basis. They agreed (thank goodness, they would have had to club me over the head to get another one of those shots in me) and so we scheduled the surgery for November 3. I will have to stay home for a week and wear a splint for 10 days or so and I will have stitches (you will totally get to see them) and then I will have a super badass scar (ok, not really, the doc said it would probably blend in with the lines on my hand).

I am so happy to get this over and done with.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I hate how the holidays go in stores. You know, Halloween stuff starts showing up in September (too early) and then Christmas stuff starts showing up right after Halloween (too early) (and what the heck happened to Thanksgiving?). It's ridiculous. It's like every store is doing everything they can to squeeze every penny possible out of each holiday. Maybe that's why they skip Thanksgiving. They probably can't make as much money on pumpkin pie as they can on costumes and presents. Just a theory.

Plus the Christmas music that never ends. But I won't go there.


There are some things I can definitely get behind.

It's the seasonal FOODS, dude.

I believe I already mentioned my everlasting love for the Pomegranate 7Up that only comes out for the holidays, but did I mention how I want to have egg nog's babies? And I don't even like babies (except babies that belong to people I know)(when they're being quiet) so that is really saying something! Then there's the white fudge covered Oreos. Every year Scott and I stock up and buy many many packages so we don't have to limit the absolutely heavenly taste to the holiday season.

I am totally making myself hungry. FOCUS, Anna, you're trying to eat more VEGETABLES.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Complaints Etc.

Ugh, I haven't wanted to post for days. Not that there isn't anything going on...on the contrary, two BIG things are going on. One will be resolved one way or another this coming Wednesday when I will then post THE WHOLE STORY (it's a doozy), and the other will be resolved in...nine months...eight months...something like that and NO it isn't me that's pregnant.

Things that bug me today:

1. My stomach is all bloaty. I know you wanted to know.

2. I am really confused because I'm working on the new blue sweater and I'm up to the point where I divide for the neckline AND work the armhole at the same time and I just wasn't feeling up to figuring it out tonight.

3. My wrist pain and numbness are back.

4. My doctor wasn't there today. He was at some medical conference.

5. I ran out of Pomegranate 7Up. Holy Yum.

6. My back itches.

7. My body can't make up its mind about whether it's hot or cold. I put on a sweater, I start roasting. I take it off, I get chills. I can't win.

8. Going on a diet sucks.

9. I spilled acid on my pants today and now they have holes all over them. Bye, pants, it was nice knowing you. Now into the trash you go.

10. Damn chemical imbalances in my stupid brain. Lame.

So there you have it. I mostly try to keep things positive and a little goofy around here but sometimes you just have to let it all out.

On another, completely unrelated note, we have all the paperwork done and in and now we're just waiting to find out when we close on the house. This is really cool. And scary. And cool.

Sleeping in
More knitting
More knitting
Watching more LotR
More knitting
(I want to finish this sweater)
(Could you tell?)
And...drumroll please...
Exercising on my treadmill for the THIRD time this week.

Applause is quite welcome.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shower and Socks!

So we are so close to closing on the house! I'm really excited, and also very sad that I will see our bank account a LOT smaller than it is right now.

Oh well.

For my first act as homeowner, I decided to take out that stupid, ugly shower door and put in a rod instead. I hate the thing. It has so many crevices that it takes way longer to clean it, and stuff gets stuck in the cracks and you have to use a toothbrush to get it all the way clean, and I am WAY too lazy for that, so it HAD to go.

Now, technically we don't own the home for another week or two, but I couldn't wait and the house is as good as ours so Friday we decided to get it done. Here it is before:

Stupid ugly thing.

So Scott is amazing and super handy, so he did most of the work. Here he is unscrewing the frame:
It only took about an hour and a half, and when everything else was done he let me put caulk in the holes so I can honestly say I helped (a little).

It makes the bathroom look so much bigger! And cleaner!

And here is the shower curtain, rod, and hangers we found:
They match the brown color on the walls very nicely. The only downside is that bathing Buster is much harder now because before the doors kept him from jumping out. Scott and I had to make it a joint effort, with one of us holding him in while the other scrubbed.

I have been on a roll finishing projects that I have been working on. I finished Em's arm warmers, then I started to finish Allene's pink socks, and I finished those yesterday morning. I washed them and then let them dry/block, which took FOREVER because the air here got cold and wet suddenly so they were finally dry this morning. Here they are on my feet:

They are just a tiny bit too small for me, which means they fit Allene perfectly since her feet are about a size smaller than mine. But they turned out soft and pink and cute and very comfortable so I call this a win.

Now I am back to working on my blue sweater. It's slow going, but I'm having a blast working on it. It's going to be so beautiful!

Last week Kwiddens and I decided that we were going to hang out on Saturday night and watch Zombie movies, but there was a little issue with my driver license and I can't drive until I get that straightened out (more on this another day) so she came up here instead and stayed the night. We watched Firefly and ate snacks and had a lot of fun talking and goofing off and I am so glad we are friends again. Breaking up with your family sucks. For a while there I thought we would never be able to move on and talk to each other again but I guess time plays a big role in healing.

Life is awesome like that.

I'm off to knit more!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birthday Bash

So this past Friday Jorg tuned 14. I can't believe it, it seems like he was just born yesterday. It makes me sound old to say that.

Anyway, so Scott and I went down there to celebrate on Saturday.

On Friday, we had had flu shots (my work gave them to us for free, yay) and so we were both feeling a little crappy.

So we went down there and went to Brick Oven for lunch. Every time I have ever been there, it has been so delicious and the service was great.

Not this time.

SO let's begin with our server. He was very quiet, so we had to strain to hear him. He was terse and socially awkward. He was unprofessional. And he took a long long time to get anything done. When he brought the check at the end of the meal, he called Mim "young lady" (this guy can't have been older than 21 or 22) which was very rude and patronizing and Mim was really bothered by this.

The food: Scott's soup smelled like B.O. Not even kidding. My salad was all wilty and drowned in salad dressing, and the chicken on it was overcooked to where it was mushy. Ugh. The only good thing was the garlic bread, and the apple beer I had (LOVE apple beer, but it's so hard to find).

But, we had a fun conversation and some good laughs.

Then we wanted to do something else, so Scott suggested going to the mall. Jorg was down with the idea, so we all went over there and split up (I know, this was "family time", but we all like to look at different things) and after about ten minutes Jorg called Mim's phone and said he wanted to go.

Jorg does this all the time. He will be ok with something, then get moody and want to stop after just a few minutes. He did it once when I came down specifically to hang out with him, and he was being so annoying that I ditched him and hung out with Mim instead.

While we were at the restaurant he was pouty and when the server asked him if he wanted a birthday treat he just scowled at him, and so when we were at the mall and Jorg wanted to go, and suggested a movie, I pulled Mim aside and told her I didn't want to because ten minutes into the movie Jorg would just start to pout again and say he didn't want to be there. I didn't drive all that way just to have a birthday party for someone who clearly didn't even want to be there in the first place. So, I said goodbye and Scott and Kwiddens and I just left.

I really hope he gets over this moody thing soon. I want to spend time with him, I really do, but how can I when he never wants to do anything?

Moving on.

Scott had to go out of town this week on business. It's only two nights alone, but I feel so strange sleeping alone. I was so lonely yesterday so I went to the craft store even though I had promised myself I wouldn't buy crafty things until after the mortgage. I only spent $25 but it was the principle of the thing.

I bought a bead organizer for when I am working on my perpetual Christmas tree project, two skeins of sock yarn in really happy colors, and fabric to make myself knitting bags.

So I spent lots of time yesterday and today working on making a knitting bag, and it looks terrible but I am so impressed with myself (I don't really know how to sew, I just make it up as I go...). I love the fabric I got, and I'm having fun figuring out how to put together a lining and making pockets and straps and I will post pictures when I'm finished and when Scott is back with the camera.

I felt so stupid. I set up my sewing machine (it was a surprise from my Scott) and got everything cut out and ironed on the interfacing and was ready to start sewing and I got one seam done before my machine made a weird grinding noise and stopped and gave me error messages. I was so mad at the machine and I went to bed grumpy about it and then I got the bright idea to read the manual, and it turns out I was using the wrong kind of bobbin so it was all my fault in the first place. Silly me.

Sometimes I wonder how in the world I got a degree when I do stupid, ditsy things all the time.

On another, completely unrelated note, yesterday I came out to my car after work to this:
I also had to scrape snow off my car, and this morning it was ice. Winter has come, all in one day. And I forgot to turn on the furnace last night so this morning when I woke up it was around 50 degrees in my house...I took a super hot shower!