Noname wet the bed last night. MY bed. I am not happy.
1. Cleaning

Noname's old age has been creeping up on her and she tends to have more accidents in the house lately. In the same spots over and over again. I clean it up each time, but the repeated pee smell is getting permanently stuck in the carpet. So this weekend I rented a heavy duty carpet steamer and gave the carpets the best cleaning of their lives. Hopefully it got up all the pee smell so she won't return to her old accident spots again.

The store gave me a hard time when I returned the cleaner, saying I didn't clean out all the hairs. I had cleaned it as good as they had given it to me, so I was pretty annoyed. I parked the cleaner right in front of the door to the customer service desk and attempted to get it as clean at they had it in their heads it should be. Eventually they got fed up walking over me and said I could get my deposit back. I win.

2. Iron Man 3

I don't want to say any spoilers so I won't say much. I thought it was the best of the 3 iron man movies. I didn't like the first one. The second was tolerable. But this one was actually fun to watch.

We watched the movie at the new Alamo Drafthouse near us. I was pleasantly surprised by the theater. The ticket prices were comparable to the other theaters in the area, but you got assigned seats, a little table, and they brought food right to you during the movie. This is a step above Cobb which gives you a restaurant beeper and has you leave the movie to get your food.

I find the schedule for the drafthouse to be a bit confusing, but maybe that's just because they are doing grand opening stuff. Also, the no talking stuff before the film was super intimidating.

3. Programming

My java 1 final is Thursday. I need to do a bit more studying on the final chapter, but otherwise I think I'm ready. The teacher said it was written by committee and is much easier than any of the tests she normally gives us. (Also easier than the homework assignment we just handed in.) So hopefully she's telling the truth on that.

Over the weekend I was fighting with the homework she had assigned. We were supposed to read a list of reservations from a file, assign them to a list of rooms, and create a waiting list for those that could not get the room they wanted.

No matter what I did, I couldn't get it to work. It would only assign reservations to the first room in each category. I was going crazy, so I finally asked ben if I could borrow his eyes. Within minutes of explaining my program to him, I found the mistake. In a section where I tell the program, "Check if the reservation got assigned. If it did, you can quit looking," I accidentally had an = where it should have been ==. That changed it to, "The reservation for assigned, so quit looking," basically. That tiny little mistake broke they key part of the program! So frustrating!

But once it was fixed, the program worked beautifully. I was so proud.

4. Captain Flint

She is feeling better. And never stops screaming for attention. Ever. I am ready to kill her.

5. Other stuff

It is raining so I can't mow the lawn. The backyard is too tall. And the front yard is lopsided because a strange woman mowed 1/3 of my lawn. I want to learn how to run a marathon. Yesterday was Maggie's birthday. She wore a party hat and ate cake. She's now 2 years old. 
The lawn mowing season has begun. Ugh.

I managed to mow both the front and back yards before the battery on the mower died. I still need to trim the edges, but I was about to pass out.

The dogs seemed to appreciate the shorter grass. They both ran out to frolic when I was done and Noname flopped over and rolled around a bit.

I was unbelievably filthy after, so I took a long shower. As soon as I get dressed, I think i'll take the dogs out to chase a ball. And then we are all going to take a very long well-earned nap!
Java midterm went well. I got a 97. Go me!

So far I have straight As in this class. I hope I can keep it up.

A bunch of people dropped the class after the midterm. The class started with 28 people officially on the roster (Although only 10-12 ever showed up) and now it's down to 7. I can remember ever having a class that small at Tulane. Crazy!

I am looking forward to learning more stuff soon because I have been unable to find an app that I want. But soon I will have the power to make it myself!!!

Basically, I want a to-do list app with the following features:
- Schedule reoccurring events x-days after completion, rather than on a specific date
- Create rolling chains of events that require the completion of another event before populating
- Collapsible sub-task lists

I feel like these things are not that complicated, but I was shocked that I couldn't find an app that does them. (If you know of one, please tell me.) It seems like all the to-do list apps out there are just glorified notepads. If I wanted that, I'd just use pen and paper.

So I will make what I want and be filled with productive glee.

In other news, the following dog-human interaction took place:
Me - Maggie, your nails are so long! They need to be clipped!
Maggie - *jumps up on couch* *gives me her paw*
Me - You want them clipped right now? Let me get the clippers!
Maggie - *waits patiently on couch*
Me - *gets clippers* *clips nails*
Maggie - *presents paws as appropriate for clipping*

She's SO smart! It's insane! And now she has perfectly trimmed little toes.

Unlike Noname. who has talons of death. Ben has to hold her down while I clip her nails. It's an ordeal....
We had an unexpected guest this weekend. A friend of laura's missed her connection by less than 5 minutes (airlines are so evil) so she was stranded at the airport until the next day. I happen to live less than 15 minutes away from that airport, so we took her in.

My dogs were totally delighted when she arrived, but then promptly forgot she was there by morning. So all morning I was scolding dogs to keep quiet and stop barking. Maggie did not understand why I wouldn't want her to alert me to intruders.

But all was well and she got back to the airport the next day and hopefully made it to her destination.

Other than that, not much happening in my life.

Noname had a bad night last night. She's getting old and senile. She peed on the carpet last night. Then tried to lick it up so I wouldn't notice. I noticed. Then she threw up in my bed. Probably from licking up all that pee. Poor old senile dog. :( I'm going to have to start putting her in a crate at night. She has had too many nighttime accidents lately. And it kills me that she doesn't even try to wake me. I know she can wake me up when she wants me because she wakes me up all night as she jumps off the bed and then needs a lift back up. So I imagine she knows she's not supposed to pee the floor and is doing it anyway.

Add the anal gland squirting and she's just not aging gracefully at all.

Quick topic change! It's spring break! actually not that exciting when you're not taking many classes to begin with. But I'll work on my homework and study some ruby and do my best not to go crazy at home. (Definitely a challenge with my bird screaming ALL THE TIME these days.)
Noname's metal band name is Anal Explosion.
I started classes again yesterday. I'm taking Java I this semester.

The teacher seems ok so far. She looks like she's going to be a much harder grader, but as long as I study and do the homework and labs, I don't anticipate that being a problem.

It looks like this is going to be another small class. There were seven people there yesterday, not counting the guy who go kicked out for not taking any of the prerequisites. 

We started the class with an embarrassing "getting to know everyone" exercise where we had to introduce ourselves to a person sitting nearby and then report to the class what we learned. At least I sorta lucked out because the person near me was interesting (if a little hard to understand). He's from Russia and used to work for the military, programming missiles. He's taking programming courses because no American employers will accept his Russian credentials, plus he needs more practice with english.

Since he mentioned he reads english better than he hears it, I wrote out the bullet point details about myself while I was telling them to him to make it easier for him. He seemed to appreciate it.

After that, we did an in class activity where we had to write out the directions for making a paper airplane. The teacher then swapped all our papers around so everyone got different instructions to follow to actually build the plane. The ones I received were very clear and easy to follow so I got a decent looking plane. (That flew TERRIBLY!) Someone else in class somehow ended up with a rocket...

I intended on checking out the rest of campus after class, but it had turned very windy so I headed home instead. Maybe next time. My next class day is Thursday.

Today I want to try to get some cleaning done. I'd really like to have a quiet spot to work on labs and homework. Right now I'm using Ben's office and I don't think he appreciates that. If I can get some of my sewing room organized, we can buy a desk for me to sit at. That would be pretty nice.

Tomorrow Noname goes to the vet for her after-surgery check up. She's healing super well, so this should be a breeze. 

Other than that, I need to think seriously about my CSA subscription. I really enjoyed it last year and would totally do it again, except I'm concerned I won't have as much time this summer as last. They've added a drop off point 15 minutes from my house, which is pretty sweet. But that means I would have to make special trips for the u-pick items. But then, if I'm not getting u-pick, I won't have as much food I'd need to cook. But if I'm getting less food, am I getting a good deal? The frustrating decisions! 
Noname Updates

Nothing can slow down the unstoppable Noname. She thinks she's all better and can run around and jump on things and be a little trouble maker. She also thinks her cut is very itchy though, so now she's wearing a cone of shame to keep her germy mouth away. She's so pouty.

Not Enough Sleep Updates

I was invited to a google+ game of Cards Against Humanity last night. Started just after 10 and ended up playing until around 3am. So very sleepy now. Aside from learning that everyone I know is horrible and sick (including my husband), it was fun.

Personal Updates

Had to get a new doctor because I switched to Ben's insurance. Was annoyed by that, but it worked out really well. The new doctor is a lot more proactive than my old one. It was also nice that I had no copay and my prescription was free. The pharmacist laughed at me when I told her that was awesome.

Immediate Updates

Originally I planned to do some yard and housework today, but I think a nap would serve me better right now.
Noname had her surgery and is doing well. She went in early Thursday morning with lots of hugs and kisses and promises of french fries. The staff all reassured me that she was going to get their full attention that day.

I spent the morning panicking until the vet called and gave me the good news that surgery was over and she was doing great. Her uterus and ovaries weighed 3lbs after they were removed. Noname only weighed 10lbs to start!

The initially wanted to keep her overnight for observation, but her heart rate was a bit low. They suggested I take her home because I would be able to take her to an emergency vet faster than they could do anything for her. Of course I took her home.

She was funny when I picked her up. She was drugged out of her mind and growled at her reflection the entire time we were going over discharge papers. I bombarded the staff with questions on every single detail, down to the different types of vomit and which ones to panic over. (As long as she's drinking water, only bloody vomit is time to panic.)

We moved her cage to the bedroom so I could watch her. She slept well that night. Which is good because I didn't sleep at all. I was terrified her heart would stop or she'd pop open and bleed everywhere. But she was fine. I worried for nothing. And she was only slightly groggy in the morning.

She rested most of yesterday. I left her cage open so she could stretch her legs if needed. Every time I checked on her, she had switched between her bed and Maggie's bed. It's good she's feeling well enough to walk around.

In the evening, I gave her her evening dose of pain meds. She felt so good after that, she was wiggling all over the floor like a happy puppy. She's so funny. And then she slept the whole night again without any trouble and woke up perky and happy this morning.

This may be the last day I can keep her locked up in the bedroom. I have baby gates set up in front of the stairs because she wants to start moving around again. I need to keep her at a low activity level until the 23rd. I'm not sure how well that is going to work! 

Also, I owe her french fries.
Test results for Noname came back this morning. Everything indicating pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus. The only way to stop it is to have her spayed. And if it's not treated, it will rupture and she will die.

After getting a second opinion to confirm it is pyometra, I agreed she should have surgery to save her. I really gave the vets a grilling though on every detail of the procedure. And had them confirm in writing that someone will be there as a dedicated anesthesiologist the entire time.

I'm a nervous wreck now. Surgery is super dangerous for old dogs. There's a good chance she could die from the anesthesia. I cannot handle the thought that she might die. But the vets said we were very lucky in catching the infection so early. It increases her chances of survival compared to other cases. So hopefully she will make it through ok.

I'm spoiling her rotten tonight. Hopefully as a pre-surgery treat. And then when she's better we can have a recovery party.

Surgery is tomorrow morning. I'll drop her off early. They might need to keep her overnight, depending on how well she recovers afterwards. And she's going to get through this ok because I will never forgive her otherwise.
Took noname to the vet today because she can't stop peeing herself. We got the person we don't like, which was obnoxious but I'll live. She's always nagging me about how noname has not been spayed. She doesn't understand that my dog is a million years old and I don't feel comfortable having her undergo surgery that isn't essential. Yes, I have explained this to the vet. Multiple times.

Anyway, first thing they did was drain her anal glands cause apparently they were full and infected again. The smell was horrible. I wanted to burn off my nose. Then they tried to collect some urine to test for a uti. Luckily I brought a urine sample, because noname was not cooperating.

Got convinced into xrays to check if the infection had spread to her reproductive track. So expensive. It was determined that she was too full of poop to determine anything, so they drew blood instead. That needs to go out to a lab, so we'll get results tomorrow.

In the mean time, noname got some antibiotics for the uti that she seems to have. While discussing next steps, noname peed on the floor several times. Thanks, noname.

I am learning the skill of shamelessly asking for discounts, so I managed to get $60 taken off the bill. That pleases me. The remaining bill, however, made me very sad. I hate being unemployed.

But hopefully these pills will fix noname right up and we won't have little pee puddles all over the house anymore.
On to January, so I don't have to type up an entire month all over again.

Also, forgot to mention one thing in December: the final for my programming class.

It was written by someone other than my teacher. And was not very clear at all. My teacher ended up having to explain the directions for every single question on the test because the wording was so poor. I freaked out a lot during the test. I knew the stuff, but the wording of everything made me make stupid mistakes. In the end though, I passed the class with an A. Go me!

Ok, now January.

After new years, I got a lot of sleeping done. Then a lot of cleaning. And cooking. Sooooo much cooking.

It felt good to put away the christmas decorations. Freedom from the most depressing holiday of the year.

Maggie's eye cleared up right away. She was back to her old nonsense in no time.

In other news, noname seems to have developed a uti and is alternating between dribbling on everything and directly peeing on everything. I called the vet, but they couldn't squeeze her in until monday. So we bought noname a pack of diapers to get by until then. Poor smelly puppy.

And then speaking of diapers, on thursday ben and I drove up to baltimore to drop off food to our friends who just had a baby. (Hence all the cooking.) We brought spinach and mushroom lasagna, roasted veggie and kale soup, chocolate chip ice cream, pumpkin spice rice krispy treats, and chocolate chip zucchini bread. It was a mighty bounty of foodness.

I'm not really into babies so I mostly just found the creature to be moist and loud. Maybe it'll be more interesting when it's older and does something other than scream. (So I guess when it's 21?) I mostly just spent the time feeling awkward and trying really hard not to say something stupidly offensive.

Afterwards we stopped at ikea because ben needed a new office chair. We also got a new closet organizer and a shoe rack for me. Which meant a wild and crazy friday night organizing my socks. It may sound like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm actually unbelievably happy about having my socks so organized.

Today was completely destroyed by typing a huge lj post about december. But now that I'm caught up, that won't happen again. Oh who am I kidding....
Noname hasn't been sleeping well the last week or so. Every night she wants off the bed, then back on the bed, then off the bed again, then on the bed again.... I've tried taking her out to potty, but she was uninterested. So yesterday I bought her doggy relaxants to help her sleep. (And me too since she has been keeping me up!)

They worked really well at first. Knocked her out good. At one point, she tried to get up to get off the bed, but went, "Meh, too sleepy," and flopped back down again. Until about 3am when the medicine wore off. Then back to her old routine. *sigh* At least we both got some sleep?

I'm going to try to give her the medicine much much closer to bed time in hopes of getting another hour or so of sleep out of her.

Restless pacing at night is a sign of old age and senility in dogs. Noname isn't allowed to get old!
Life goes on. I fail to write about it. Bad on me.

Farm CSA stuff:

I had a theory that afternoons would be quieter than mornings. When I first tested my theory, I was absolutely correct. It was wonderfully peaceful. Second time I tested it, it was the usual nightmare. Perhaps things will improve when school starts. I am extremely tired of children throwing tantrums.

Speaking of tantrums, this week kids were crying in the fields cause their parents would not let them eat apples. What is the point of u-pick if you don't taste what you are picking? It's pesticide free, so there's no excuse. The kids were actually asking for a healthy snack and the parents were saying no. I ended up picking a delicious juicy apple and eating it in front of the kids as we waited for the tractor to take us back to the parking lot. The cries of disappointment only made the apple for delicious.

Did I post a picture of last week's haul? I don't think I did.

2012 CSA week 11
2012 CSA week 12

By the way, homemade grape juice is pretty awesome. I normally don't like grape juice.

Dog stuff:

Maggie is super annoying is she does not have someone to play with her every hour of the day. Until ben comes home. Then she's calm, relaxed, and well-behaved. I think I'm going to throw her out the window.

Somehow today she managed to push noname's empty food bowl under the placemat AND under the water bowl. It was impressive. Corgis are unstoppable.

Noname is a tomato thief. She can't reach any more cherry tomatoes, so she has started to steal my regular tomatoes. I am not amused. Next year, I will need to plant a sacrificial cherry tomato plant and not stake it. That way she can reach all the fruit as it grows along the ground and not take my plum tomatoes. (I need those for sauce!)

She just went upstairs to rest, and farted with each step up. I can't decide if I should laugh or be horrified.

School stuff:

I started my first day of classes today. It went well. I found the room without a problem. The teacher seems nice so far. He walked us through the entire syllabus to make sure everything was clear. The grading policy seemed fair, which is a plus. I used to have teachers at Tulane who graded based on how much you sucked up to them. I hate teachers like that with a passion.

The class is surprisingly small for an intro class. Not that I'm complaining. It'll likely get smaller too. One guy walked out halfway through class. Another showed up 15 minutes before the class ended. And another guy asked the teacher if the quizzes and tests were the same as last semester.

In class, we started talking about programming being problem solving. The teacher gave an example problem and asked how the class would approach it. I gave the right answer! :) Yay for being smart on the first day. Let's hope it lasts!
Last week I made a trip to NY. Ben was out of town and my mother had been bugging me for a visit for a while. I got to see my friends a good couple of times, so it all went very well.

The drive down on Thursday was pretty smooth. I didn't hot real traffic until I got to NY, and even then I got to my parents' house before they did. While we waited, Maggie got to see her first train. (My parents live next to the train tracks.) She waited the rest of the time from the safety of the car.

On Friday, I went with my mother to Williamsburg Brooklyn (hipster capitol of the world) to visit my great aunt. When I was a kid, the neighborhood was entirely polish families. It's so different now!

We got there a little early and my great aunt was still getting her hair done, so we made an adventure to find stroopwafels. The first shop (which, bizarrely, was right next to where my great grandma's old candy shop used to be) was all out, but they suggested a cheese shop a block or so down that usually carries them.They did indeed have them, and I nearly died buying them. The place smelled horrific. Too much cheese! And the woman working the register was telling a couple where to find every single pizza shop in the area. The wait was awful.

But I got my stroopwafels! And they were quite tasty! Not so tasty that I'd make a trip just for them, but it was worth it since I was in the neighborhood.

After that, we ate lunch with my great aunt at one of the remaining polish restaurants in the area. She happily told my mother all the gossip in the neighborhood and then we went back to her apartment where she gave us random cans of food to take home.

The drive back to my parents' house was terrible. It was raining so the traffic took 2.5 hours. With my mother. Alone in a car. Not fun.

But the evening went better. I met up with all my friends at a local pirate restaurant. We had a ton of fun even if the pirate theming was a little weak. And then we went back to amanda's house and played board games and ate stroopwafels until it got late. I am a terrible, smug winner.

Saturday we had a bbq at the house and all my friends were invited. Everyone who could make it did and good times were had by all. I even went into the pool. Then got out because I was FREEZING! But I did manage to go in up to my shoulders, so it counts!

On Sunday, my parents and I took Maggie out on the boat. She did not enjoy it as much as I hoped, but I think she was just scared of the newness. By the end, she was fairly calm. She even hammed it up a bit for the camera.
Summer 2012 boating - Say "Cheese!"

My mom caught the first non-sea robin fish. My dad caught the biggest non-sea robin fish. Both had to be thrown back because they were too small. I didn't fish at all. Instead I just enjoyed being out on the water. I hate beaches but love boats.

I pretty much passed out when I got back to the house. It was crazy. I was pretty much dead for 3 hours. My parents finally woke me for dinner and then after I went to tara's for more fun board games.

Monday was a good day to leave. I was exhausted physically and I hadn't yet exhausted my welcome. Or at least I thought it was a good day until the verrazano bridge shut down. A man tried to jump from the bridge so the entire upper deck was closed down to talk him out of it. All well and good for him but for me, traffic was backed up for MILES. Everyone had to take the lower deck, which scares me because if something happens, the bridge might crush me. (The stupid things I worry about.) But once I got around that, it was smooth all the way down to VA. It took 2 hours to get from my parents house to NJ. But compare that to the drive back from brooklyn on friday and it was nothing!

My dogs were very happy to be back home. They ran around in the yard and sniffed all their favorite things. Then cuddled in my bed. I guess they are not road trip dogs.
I need community college classes to start soon because I am bored. And lonely. I need friends and hobbies or something.

Maggie is taking my being home for granted. She expects me to play with her allllll the time. It's pretty annoying. She's cute though. I was gone for a couple hours today (csa pick up day) and when I returned, Maggie was wild and crazy with kisses for me. It was super cute.

And taking the dogs for multiple walks all day is good exercise. For all of us. Noname is totally exhausted by the end of our walk. She's so tired, she can't even jump up the tiny step to get through the front door. Poor baby.

Today we had a scary walk because a stupid neighbor a few houses down did not care that her child was running up to my dogs, shoving small filthy fingers in their faces.I kept telling the kid that my dogs were scared and she needed to leave them alone, but the stupid kid totally ignored me. To make things more stressful, their dog was running around the front yard barking and scaring my dogs. I finally had to yell to the mother, "My dogs are going to bite your kid if she doesn't leave them alone." Even then, the mother only half-heartedly called her kid back. It was scary because I know if my dogs bite, the law was going to side with the kid and stupid parent. My dogs are very sweet, but they do not like things suddenly appearing and being shoved in their faces. Finally I got my dogs away from the kid and was able to continue my walk. On the trip back, I carried them past that house of stupidity.

In happier news, today was a csa pick up day. Check out all the goodies!

Most of the stuff from the csa is picked by the farmers, but the annoying stuff (berries) is left in the fields and you have to get them yourself if you want them.

It took forever to pick the black raspberries. They are pretty much at the end of their season. Barely any good ones left on the vines. It was super windy while I was picking too, so I got all scratched up as the vines were swaying around wildly.

Blueberries were super easy as they are at peak of season. I filled my entire box with the berries from just one bush. And they're super sweet like candy. I picked a handful just to eat as I walked back to the main building. I'm probably going to finish the rest off like popcorn while I watch a movie.

I didn't know what I was doing when I picked the plums (what does a ripe plum look like?), so I had to guess based on how easily the fruit came off the trees. I took only the fruit that came off with a gentle tug. That sounds about right, right?

Then I had the embarrassment of having to google chives because I did not know they grew in bunches around flowers so I did not know I was looking at chives in the herb garden. And I only knew what the mint was because I was able to pinch and smell it. I am filled with shame because I don't know what my foods look like.

Actually, a really good thing about the farm is that they offer tours for schools and camps on where our food comes from. There were a ton of summer camps at the farm today on that tour. A lot of the kids seemed totally blown away with concepts like "eggs come from chickens" and "you can pull food right off of trees." And these weren't all little kids. Some of them looked to be in middle school ore maybe even a little older.

When I had finished picking all my fruit today, I took a small detour to the barn area because their miniature horse recently had a baby. It was very cute. But not as cute as the BABY GOAT. The baby goat almost killed me with adorable. It was so bouncy! And as it nursed, it wagged its little tail a million miles an hour. Then when it was full, it crashed straight to the ground for a nap. Only to wake up shortly after to bounce around again. I think I need to convince ben to buy me a baby goat.

The adult goats were cute too, sticking their heads out through the fence to beg for food. I bought a little bit of goat food and they ate it out of my hand while I pet them. Sooooo cute! Unfortunately many small children saw my army of tame goats and swarmed over me to pet them. I had to say goodbye to the goats for the time being. (Unless ben buys me a goat.)

Now I need to come up with more recipes for summer squash. Considering what a plentiful summer food it is, there are shockingly few recipes out there for it. Grill it, stew it, stuff it, or bake it into a bread. Ben doesn't like summer squash so I need to get creative.
The last time I posted anything substantial was over a month ago. How did time fly by that fast? I hate this stupid job that consumes my life.

Really, not much has happened though.

Right after spaworld, I came down with a cold. I don't think I caught it at the bath house because colds take a few days to incubate. I probably caught it from someone at work. No one there takes time off when they are sick.So everyone ends up sick.

I took two days off though. I was determined to break the cycle of infection.

Of course no one picked up any of the stuff I had at work, so I fell further behind on everything. It was awful. I guess that's why no one takes time off when they are sick.

This ended up biting me really bad as one of my supervisors then complained to her supervisor that I don't show urgency on anything. How do I how urgency when everything is urgent all the time?

So anyway, I guess they decided I wasn't underwater enough so they gave me a 4th client - League of Women Voters. It's actually a really cool one and one of the ones I had wanted to work with before I was hired, but at the same time I am so swamped with work I worry I am going to damage them. On Thursday I had to actually ask my supervisor on that account (I have different supervisors on each account. this one likes me for some unknown reason) to help me finish the work. Thankfully she did and Friday was a lot less stressful.

Other stuff that has been happening? When ben returned from his trip, his company threw him into a super high level networking class that requires him to stay late twice a week. So he's super stressed too. The certification is like a phd in network engineering so it's a big deal. I wish it didn't take up so much of him time though. When he's not staying late for class, he's staying up late going over class materials or doing labs.

On nights when he stays late for class, I have been eating at mcdonalds in order to collect my little pony toys. I know in theory you should be able to just buy the toys if you ask nicely, but that implies the staff at your local mcdonalds has a strong command of the english language. I keep asking for "the pink one with the pink hair." So far, I've received Fluttershy (yellow with pink hair), Rainbow Dash (blue with rainbow hair), and TWO Lilly Blossoms (purple with yellow hair). I suspect the staff aren't even trying. Half the time I don't even get my sweet and sour sauce.

I need to find a new mcdonalds to go to anyway. This one is convenient because it's directly on my path home. But I worry they are starting to recognize me and my social anxiety won't stand for that.

Today is the Reason Rally in dc. It's an event for atheists. Ben and I would like to go, but we're going to wait until the afternoon. Ben had a midnight shift at work last night (after working a full day) so he's pretty tired. All the big speakers are in the afternoon anyway.

In the mean time I am going to fuss over noname. She woke up constipated yesterday morning. String beans were not helping, so I've decided to go with the big guns - pumpkin puree. I gave her a good spoonful this morning, along with a little cup of milk. If that combination does not get her pooping again, nothing will.
Between my job and my commute, I have n time for anything. :(

Couple things:

Work - Has been super crazy busy. I hardly have time to even catch my breath. And I am still behind all the time. I'm getting tired of this. They clearly don't have enough people for the work load.I am trying to run at 100% capacity every day, but I'm not a robot. I can't keep this up.

Commute - Metro has been a disaster the last couple weeks. First of all, the crazy up and down weather has caused the rails to crack on several lines. Other train systems haven't had a problem, but metro uses rails not designed for this sort of weather. And then, they recent bought a bad batch of breaks, so a part on the breaks keeps cracking and falling off the trains. Add on the usual door issues and sick passengers and you have the commute from hell for weeks on end. For several nights, I've had to take the bus through dc because metro was so horrifically backed up. Best part? Metro announced last week they were going to raise fares.

Home life - Ben is wonderful. No complaints about him. He keeps me sane despite the madness during the workday.

Dogs - Maggie recently started puppy school. She seems to be enjoying it. In the first class we went over "watch me" and "sit." Maggie knew those already though. In the second class, we went over loose leash walking and sitting for strangers. Maggie is having some trouble with the leash walking. She wants to speed ahead all the time. I'm sure she'll get it eventually though. She's smart. Noname on the other hand is a grumpy grump. I wonder if she'll ever chill out. She's cuddled in my lap right now, so she's good for the moment.

Cooking - I have made a few tasting things these last few weeks, but had no time to take pictures. Thismushroom pie was very easy to make, filling, and rather tasty. It also reheated very well. And this vegetarian cassoulet was also easy to make. It was a good, filling stew to have after a long day at work and a long cold commute.The flavors are not very complicated though, so if you like more complexity, it would probably be good to serve it with some herb bread perhaps.
My first week of work was crazy.

When I arrived on saturday, everyone told me how happy they were to see me. Then they threw a giant pile of work at my head. :P

So apparently my predecessor left rather abruptly with a package in the works but very far behind. And no one else knew what to do with it because the woman DID NOT WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. They gave me that package to get out the door. We're still not there, but we are a lot closer than we were before and I have been writing stuff down to make the whole process easier as we get to the end.

Among the problems I've had:
- No contact info for the artist
- No status on draft or reviews of the art
- No indication if the copy was even final
- Specs for the art did not match original specs in the mail plan
- Mail plan didn't have ask build info (telling me how much money we should ask for from donors)
- Data strategy included 3 times more online activists than real donors (online activists are the suckiest type of prospects. you want to only have a few in the mix if you want any at all)

Despite absolutely no orientation training beyond "this is how you log into your computer" I have managed to keep this disaster floating at least. I hope at some point I will be given some training.

Aside from that crazy situation, the place seems nice. They threw a big welcome lunch for me the first day. And everyone has been very helpful when I come panicking to them because something else in that horrible nightmare project has exploded.

I share an office with a woman fresh out of college. She doesn't know anything about marketing at all so they have had to train her every day on everything. I didn't require that sort of training, so I was told by multiple people on Friday that I was "a rockstar" for being able to jump into the project and hit the ground running.

My clients are African Wildlife Federation, Food and Water Watch, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. It's a good mix, I think. I was afraid of getting clients with goals I didn't agree with, but these are all pretty good. (I'd be happier if that last one wasn't religious, but you can't win all battles.)

The workload is a little stressful right now (I had to work late on the first day!) but hopefully once I get more stuff written down, the madness will abate. I can't believe the previous woman never wrote anything down. How did she get anything done?

Anyway, other than that, life goes on as usual. I took Noname to the vet today. She developed a rash. I thought it might be the same rash Maggie had a little while ago, but it didn't respond to the medicine I had leftover from Maggie's treatment (just a solution to wash the region) so I made an appointment to get it checked out.

The vet said it probably started like Maggie's rash, but because Noname was licking it all the time, she introduced even worse bacteria that for some reason was resistant to the old medicine. So now she has a bottle of antibiotics and a bottle of antihistamines. Between the two, the rash should clear up and Noname should stop licking it. However, they didn't have any medicine around the office small enough for my dog! So I have to break up tiny capsules and roll them in cheese or something similar to deliver the medication. The vet even had me do a practice run in the office to make sure I could do it correctly.

After that adventure, I returned home to help stain the deck. During the summer, we only applied one coat before the heat wave hit and we couldn't work outside at all. Then came the rain that didn't stop for a month. The single coat didn't hold up well to that abuse at all. So now we have to completely start over. Ben worked on the floor while I did the tiny stupid details on the railings. I didn't finish, but the railings were in much better condition than the floor. Ben is going to apply a second coat tomorrow. I will probably work on the railings as I have time in the coming weeks.



January 2015

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