After due consideration, I think I need a name for a small starship. ( Writing stuff under here. )
On other subjects, I survived the summer trip to see the family, though I had the lovely adventure of having the exhaust drop on the Jeep while traveling the NY Thruway. Thankfully my AAA membership was current and I was able to get a tow to a muffler shop in Canandaigua that was able to get me a new midpipe and catalytic converter (ouch!) and have me back on the road with only two and a half hours of delay.
There's not really a whole lot to say about the last few months.
I read a lot and despaired for the amount of romance crammed into otherwise interesting books. I read a very good original fiction novel by a fan author I enjoy and wished she had written more in that universe. Tanya Huff got me hooked into another series of hers.
I knitted some, but nothing that interesting since I focused on finishing a pair of socks identical to the last pair I knit except for being half an inch shorter in the foot. I'm currently juggling a few doll projects. One is finished and needs to be dyed and blocked, the others are all still in progress. Since one of those is destined to travel to Utah with the one that needs to be dyed I'm trying to focus on that one. Unfortunately the last couple days have been very, very bad with my hands so the 00 needles aren't fun.
I got an awesome haircut that I need to go have trimmed . I should have about two weeks ago actually. Wish me luck in getting it cut the same way again by a different stylist since the one that did the original is back in Massachusetts. There is one stylist I am pretty sure can do the cut, but I can't remember her name (I only had her cut my hair once before) so hopefully she'll be working and I can get her.
I lost a bit more weight, just enough that the awesome jeans I bought on clearance for $3.60 require a belt. I'm very glad I didn't spend more on them or I would be ticked.
And I think that gets everything caught up. Get ready for the NaNoWriMo spike in postings. :)
After due consideration, I think I need a name for a small starship. ( Writing stuff under here. )
The cats got FAT while I was gone. I know they tend to overeat when I'm gone but, wow, they are pudgy. :D They'll lose it in short order if the pattern holds. I think they boredom eat (or maybe comfort eat) when I'm not around.
I'll be writing up a knitted hat pattern soon and I think I'll put it up for sale. I need to set a price though, I suck at that. Time to research what knitted hat patterns tend to sell for.
By the way, anyone on my friends list have a noggin that measures 20" around? I've test knit the 22 and 24" sizes but I don't have a convenient 20" skull to try the small size on. I'll post a photo of some of the hats I knit later and if you have a 20" head and think you'd wear one we can talk. :)
More knitting related updates to come later.
Now to get to the unpacking and assorted post-trip chores.
Well it took 18 hours to make the drive this time, not the best of trips this year. I got a good start (for me) on the road at 8:20am (which, considering there is only one bathroom and my brother leaves for work at 5:50am and Mom leaves at 6:30, isn't that bad) and while I did forget something it wasn't important.
The problem started after I got into New York, the first toll booth for the Thruway (Canaan for those that know the area) had an "emergency" and would be "closed for some time" after I had already passed the last exit before the toll. So I sat and waited for about an hour, at which point the lack of restroom was becoming an issue. So I checked the map and decided to cross the median and head back to catch the exit for route 22 from the eastbound side... and missed it somehow. :P So back into Massachusetts I went, stopped at the service plaza and then took the first exit off the 'pike (route 20 north) which was fortunately a zero toll (as the first five exits on the Masspike are). I then drove route 20 back into New York and caught interstate 90 westbound in Albany. The sad fact is that four hours into my trip, when I would normally be about an hour past Albany, I was still in Massachusetts.
Other than that most of the drive was uneventful.
At one point in New York I was hit with a strong scent of fried chicken, in an area with nothing but farms (made a nice change from manure, that's for sure!) and I can only surmise that one of the cars I passed was running biodiesel made from the fryer grease of the local KFC. The scent was so strong I craved fried chicken for the next fifty miles.
Both border crossings were quick and painless, only two cars ahead of me both times.
About 10 kilometers before the bridge back into the US the Jeep informed me that I had a "rear lamp failure" so I need to see what burned out. At least I hope it was just one bulb burning out like the time it said "brake lamp failure" and not a major issue. I just had the shocks replaced all around so I'd like it to be a simple, cheap, fix.
Michigan treated me to quite an impressive light show while I was driving on 69 and 475. The rain must have been stored up somewhere because it was like trying to drive in a waterfall for the short stretch of 75 before the first northbound rest area. I stopped there and waited for it to lighten up because it was basically impossible to drive in.
I did continue on after about 15 minutes, though it was still a bitch to drive in it was only "raining at night on an unlit highway" and not "OMFG, did I drive into Niagara Falls?"
When I started to have problems keeping my eyes open around midnight I stopped with the intent of napping while the rain passed by. This of course meant that when I returned from the restroom the rain had stopped completely. So I opened the windows and let the cool, damp air keep me awake as I booked it that last 150 miles home.
By the time I got home (2am) I settled on just brining in the stuff I had in the cooler, called the folks to say "home and safe", petted the cats, bathroom, PJs, bed.
Speaking of cats, mine must comfort/boredom eat, the younger ones are a pair of butterballs.
Between my mother's doctor appointments, and my father's doctor appointments, yesterday and today were the only days I really had time to do anything with Mom. And even then she had appointments both days.
The Jeep needs some work so I'll be going with her for her 7:15am appointment for her MRI (WTF, who makes appointments at that hour?) and dropping my Jeep off on the way so the shocks can be replaced. Once again there have been unforeseen bills to keep me from getting the AC recharged so I'm sweating out the weeks here quite literally. Realistically I only really need AC for the few weeks I'm here but man, when the Jeep has been sitting in a parking lot for a few hours on a bright sunny day in the mid-80s I really want the AC fixed. *dies*
For those wondering when I'm heading home... well I expect I'll be here for another week. We'll see if Mom is up for the things we didn't get to do on her normal days off... schedule permitting. Once I know one way on the other on those I'll have a better idea of when I'll be heading back.
Instead of the traditional thunderstorm around Albany this year I was treated to FOG, off and on pea soup fog from Albany all the way to my folks' place. :P
The internet here didn't need fixing for a change, but damn I have a lot of software to update....
[Yes, I did get my passport. It arrived while I was at Anthrocon. That would be... eight? maybe seven, weeks after I applied and paid the extra for expedited service (two to four weeks). I'll be writing a letter to try to get that fee back since I paid for a service I didn't receive. Somehow I doubt anything will come of it, the government wiggles out of things that a business would be held to, but it can't hurt to try and I could really use that cash back.]
I'm currently in the 6th week. I want to travel in 2 weeks, but could push it back a week or two if I had to, but I have to get there before the end of July to settle some paperwork.
So I went and checked the progress of my application online... and I'm not in the system. *OMGWTF!!*
It will take two days to get a response to my email (which they recommend over the phone for prompt service!?) but now I'm in a complete ball of gut twisting stress. Yes, worst case, I can drive down and around the Lakes and get there without leaving the US, or maybe I can still get through the border with just a drivers license (I need to check that) but what has me tied in knots is the fact that in order to get your passport you have to send your birth certificate with your application....
The government has lost my birth certificate... with a passport application that includes things like my mother's maiden name and my social security number.
I think I'm going to be sick.
( And now for the absolutely huge LJ interests collage. )
The heat is killing me. The dumping of everyone's problems on me because I'm "the smart one" and a fresh ear is driving me to want to kill. The assorted medical issues and chauffeuring I'm doing is less than pleasant.
In the week I have been here I have:
- installed a (snail)mailbox
- straightened out a screw up with the ISP
- made the recovery disks for my brother's PC
- ripped Norton off it and put AVG on it (and boy, downloading that and the assorted Windows security patches that piled up over the last year over dial-up was just so much fun)
- had my Jeep inspected
- taken over cooking and shopping responsibilities
- ended up tending the arthritic, senile, and incontinent labrador
- become the cats' new slave
- been asked for legal advise (WTF? I'm a geologist and computer geek, not a lawyer)
- been asked for political advise (kill 'em all)
- served as the auxiliary memory device for the household (because no one can remember anything apparently, nor write it down)
And today there was an abortive attempt to guilt trip me over the fact that I live 1000 miles away.
I imagine I will be here at least another week, probably two, since Mom's surgery is Monday and she's taking 4 days off work (which with her schedule gives her two weeks off).