June 8th, 2010

Venus

Back from Paradise...

I spent the weekend getting the house put back together (and doing a lot of laundry) after we got back from Hawaii late Friday night. It was hard to come back, though the kids missed us and there IS that employment issue. Today, I waded through about an hour's worth of email that included bugs assigned to me while I was gone and then rants from managers about "Why haven't you updated or closed this bug?" Sheesh.

Maui was beautiful—a little windy in the afternoons, which I'm told is common this time of year, but generally sunny and not too hot. The hotel provided beach umbrellas and lounge chairs (thank goodness—I burn easily, and I basically avoid the sun). There was a gorgeous pool, but we stayed there only part of one morning as there was very little shade and people tended to stake their claim early and then not release it. We did a lot of reading and relaxing and spent a lot of other quality time together. I hit the gym nearly every day, since HalfshellHusband can't do much walking or hiking these days (arthritic hip plus neuropathy in his feet from the chemo both cause him a lot of pain). We drove to Hana one day (long trip, but gorgeous), and took a boat trip and snorkeled on another. We hoped to snorkel again, and even rented gear from Snorkel Bob's (who could resist his lunatic ads?) But the wind picked up, and our target spots were unworkable, so that didn't pan out. We watched about half of S3 of Burn Notice in the evenings, and I did almost no writing but hadn't really expected to. We stayed at the beautiful Grand Wailea (thanks to excellent package pricing from Costco), and enjoyed the incredible scenery—gardens, fountain pools, pond-like pools with salmon-sized koi (if you stare at them too long, they stare back and wait for you to feed them. Not so good when they're creepy, creepy gray fish with whiskers and big, gaping mouths). The end of the trip got a little stressful; one of Christopher's closest friends went in for emergency surgery on Thursday, which we thought was stomach surgery (he was previously diagnosed a couple of months ago with "stomach migraines") but which turned out instead to be brain surgery for a tumor revealed by an MRI. Talk about scary. Fortunately, the surgery went well (AFAIK, it was a non-malignant tumor) and the boy is in ICU and recovering steadily. Good news in the end. *sigh of relief*

So now I've got f-list updates and stories to catch up on. I went out biking on Saturday (I avoid the bike path on weekends if at all possible, but it had been a week and a half). I rode with a man from Moldova for awhile and we had some interesting conversation. During the last 5 miles, I had the worst bug incident ever—they go straight to the back of your throat, and this one was big. I had to pull over and hack that thing out, and pray that it wasn't a bee and wouldn't sting me. Gave me a sore throat for awhile, not to mention how disgusting that was. Ack! Not exactly the welcome I was hoping for.

So, while I was gone, what have you been up to? Some of you have graduated (yayyyy!), and others are probably plotting your own vacations or returning from them. We left on yet another "winter" day, and came back in summer (finally), so it's hot here. Whee.

How've you all been?

Starry Night

Stuff What I R Thinking...

The bathroom scale nearly gave me a heart-attack this morning. Why must you be so cruel? I gained several pounds over my vacation, and that was after already having NOT lost the weight I wanted to before we went. HSH is trying to give me perspective, but he was a co-conspirator on the Bananas Foster incident (twice) and he's not stuck exercising himself crazy trying to lose the baby weight from a child who is almost eleven...

About 3 loads of laundry into Sunday, I broke out the patio chairs and started putting stuff outside to dry. Having a bunny living in the laundry room really makes you re-think running the dryer. Last summer, I was using the patio table and all 4 patio chairs. Yesterday, I decided to go for the modified hillbilly route and ordered a drying rack online. A clothes-drying tree, like my grandmother used, would work even better, but the only spot for it is out by the pool (Lauren was mortified by the mere idea of that), and those things aren't easy to fold up and hide. Instead, I bought this thingy from Overstock.com, which should do nicely. This time of year, our ambient temperature alone is enough to dry clothes. When the heat picks up, they go even faster! However, a low-to-the-ground contraption is probably the safest bet, considering our random springtime windstorms...

Now for something completely different, especially because you all KNOW I have no real imagination and I'm interested in what you'll come up with. A meme:

If you could remix any of my stories, which would it be and how would you remix it?

*waits for results*

Psycho Penguin

Back from the gym (so much less interesting than back from Hawaii)...

I woke up with really stiff neck on Friday, and kept thinking the pain would go away (it's on the rear left side). Days (and lost sleep) later, I hunted down the massager, which helped a little, but now it's ratcheting up again. I went on a massive search for some stashed muscle-relaxants last night, but have the sneaking suspicion that I threw them away in the pre-Hawaii housecleaning because they were kind of old. Hah! That's probably why this happened.

Our massager (from Brookstone) is this freaky wandlike thing with a large bulb at the end, and might actually be a Japanese sex toy. It's useless except for the arches of your feet (if you can stand the tickling!), and your neck (where you can even hold it with the opposite hand and not cause cramps/pinched nerves in new places). On other parts of the body (especially if the person running the massager tends to fall asleep, like HalfshellHusband does) it does things like roll off your leg muscles and onto the bed, or roll into the nearest bone and try to sand down the edges. o_O

The stiff neck made the weight machines a little challenging at the gym, but I was careful. I read more of Wired magazine, which so often has the most bizarre articles and snippets, and I love the snarky tone. I already linked the article on Bear-Proof Food Containers (as tested by Betsy the Bear and some random orangutans). Months back, there was a blurb on The Effect of Sams On Box Office Results, and today I read The Best Drugs Based on Venom (no online link—boo!) and Sweating To The Zombies. Seriously, who thinks of these things? They're awesome!

We're caught up on Glee now, and looking forward to tonight's show. Last week's "Funk" episode's best number was the non-funk blues thing Quinn sang (and the recurrences of Beck's "Loser"), and the previous week was all about the costumes and Kurt's Dad for me. Loved Sue's pearls-and-tracksuit combo as her nod to dressing up. Oh, Sue—never change!

We're still behind on Chuck (hope to finish this week), partly from the distraction of watching S1 of Psych courtesy of Netflix. Well, that and the fact that I missed the first 10 minutes of one of the remaining Chuck episodes, and Hulu apparently can't cope with that show at all. It runs multiple, staggered versions of the audio track under the video, which is really freaking annoying. We need to just bite the bullet and watch whatever part of that episode I actually recorded. *sigh* Technology! Often less awesome than you'd expect...