Wednesday, June 19, 2024

working for it

In a rare situation for me, I'm blogging from a Starbucks™. I took my little Toyota in for its annual oil change and decided to wait for it nearby rather than schlep back home - about 2 miles. Typically, the shop  calls and tells me the car's ready shortly after I get home, leaving me to just turn around and schlep on back.

So now that I've decided to wait for it nearby, they'll probably not get to it for hours. Yes, this is an annual event for the car and me since I drive it so infrequently and not very far. Even so, I haven't met the suggested oil change mileage.  It seems I've driven about 1,000 miles since last summer's service. Honestly, sometimes, I drive it around just to keep myself in practice.

Today, being Juneteenth - a federal holiday - the college, including the testing center, is closed. I am typically off on Wednesdays anyway, so nothing out of the ordinary for me. As is typical in the summertime, our customer numbers are relatively low. 

The testing center is part of the college, but also operates as its own entity. We administer tests for students with approved accommodations, but also provide a whole lotta "high stakes" tests - professional licenses and certifications. So summers are mostly those professional tests.

It's been slow as far as volume of customers goes, but seems like we've had a lot of high maintenance tests lately, making it feel like we're busy as ever. Expecting to be able to kick back a bit at work, but being faced with these work demands during summertime reminds me of a meme I came across recently:

I've only got one tutee currently, and I'm not complaining. I rather like having the mellow workload during these summer days. I tried reading a particular book, but it was horrible. I saw advertisements for the movie "[The Idea of You]". It's based on a book, so I erroneously figured, "It was made into a movie, so it's probably a good book"


I kept reading, however, because I figured, "It was made into a movie, so it's probably going to get better".


So I stopped the insanity and am now reading a much better book. 

Okay, it's now been over an hour since I dropped off the car, and I'm thinking of heading on home - the obligatory coffee I purchased, rather unappealing with over half remaining. As a bonus, however, the  "heat wave" is taking a break here in these parts. It's a lovely morning for schlepping up the hill. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

like a shadow on me all of the time

I had a work anniversary this week. Three years at the college. I didn't really know the date I started, just remember it was summer of '21. But a higher up, who is three rungs above me on the org chart, started emailing out work anniversary announcements as they occur. 

I think most feel these anniversary emails are kind of lame, and don't we get enough emails? No doubt, the higher up thinks it's morale building or such. Anyway, my work anniversary happened to fall on the same date as Boss's. Three years for me, TWENTY-FRICK'N-FOUR for Boss. 

We marveled at his working there for 24 years, in different capacities anyway. 

"I was in 5th grade when you started", commenced Kitty.

After that, we all pondered and chimed in

"I'd just gotten my Associates degree", from Sarge.

"I was home with three little kids - one of them a newborn", my contribution.

"I wasn't born yet..."

Yeah, that would be Mango. Not even born yet! Well, she was at least a fetus.

I streamed "Baby Reindeer" on Netflix while doing boring tasks around the house, and finished this week. Seen it? Party Girl recommended it to me, and it turned out to be different than I expected. Got pretty deep and dark, but kept me interested. 

Now the real-life "Martha" is suing Netflix, but that's another story.

I thought it was well acted, particularly the actress who portrayed Martha, but I can't really say if I liked the series or would recommend it. It gets dark and creepy, and the main character - who played himself, as it's a true story about him - was so often stupid. Do I like him? Feel empathy? Mmmm, dunno. 

The story is more than about Martha, the stalker. It goes back to "Donny" being groomed and sexually assaulted by an older man Donny thought was trying to help with his career, and how that messed Donny up for, maybe, ever.

Make smart decisions, people!

Oh well. Played in the sketchbook some this week. Fat bird and a face.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

the unclean, the broken

I had a teeth-cleaning appointment scheduled for this week, but the dentist's office called over the weekend, saying the hygienist broke her shoulder - no teeth cleaning happening just yet. 

Ouch. How might one break a shoulder? I'm thinking mountain biking mishap? Seems to be a common injury among the partakers and fits the time of year.

Speaking of time of year, we're having us a heat wave. Nothing terrible. Temperatures should get to mid-90s today. I went for a run this morning, and the last couple miles were a struggle in the heat. I maybe should've brought some water, but, ack, such a pain to carry.

As it was, I popped a Nuun® tablet into my water bottle once back home, and I was quickly back among the living. 

Now I'm using the dry heat to my advantage. Those pesky weeds that grow in the driveway cracks? Can't stand 'em. I doused them with white vinegar, which usually makes quick work of the pesky weeds when applied on a hot dry day. I'd rather not do the commercial weed killers. The murder attempt captured by the driveway cam:

Now we wait.

At least I survived the weed spraying. Coworker Sarge called off a couple of days ago -"threw my back out". He made it in yesterday, moving quite gingerly. I asked how he injured himself, thinking maybe he was doing some heroic handyman project.

He was on a bike ride with his kids, and they stopped at a store. He bent over to lock the bikes to the rack and - *ZAP* - down for the count. 

I hope my dental hygienist was at least doing something more adventurous than reaching for a lock when she broke her shoulder.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

summer daze

I was out running this morning. It's getting noticeably hot, and we're expected to hit close to 90 F tomorrow, I think. Anyway, I was out there while it was still relatively cool, determining that the top I wore was not as cool as I'd hoped.

My phone rang and I had a sneaking suspicion it was Boss calling. Sure enough, we're a bit short staffed today, could I come in (on my day off)? Yeah, why not. These are the lazy days of summer. So I'll go in later this afternoon.

Assistant Boss, Mango, has taken a lot of sick days, today included. We've had our suspicions that maybe she's slacking, but I do think her symptoms are legit. Monday, she had a couple of "appointments" that I hope are to investigate her health issues. 

I'm no professional, but I suspect she may have undiagnosed endometriosis - or maybe it's diagnosed already.

Speaking of "female issues", I've worked a bit more with Kitty now that she's transferred and works primarily at our campus. Recall that she's pregnant, due in late August. She'd rightfully earned the reputation as a slacker, and continues to demonstrate that level of work ethic.

On one hand, I kinda like how "easy going" she is and just know that I will be carrying most of the load when working with her. She just goes with the flow and will be shotgunned wedded to her baby daddy in a couple of weeks.

I was asking about her upcoming nuptials, and she forwarded me an invitation, so now I guess I'm invited?

 It's a little confusing to me. She's late 30's, with a degree from a decent university, but hasn't done much career-wise. Now she's starting a family. Part of me wonders if marriage and motherhood will jump start the adulting... but I have a tough time seeing that happen.

Not my biz, and maybe since I'm used to working with goal-oriented college students, Kitty's go-with-the-flow vibe feels strange.

On that go-with-the-flow note, although it's been dry recently, we did have some uncharacteristic humidity a while back. I got out my sketchbook and pens.

This owl. My spirit animal?

My hair in humidity.

Friday, May 31, 2024

a Friday five

  • Because of Memorial Day Monday, I only worked two days this week. I normally have Wednesdays and Fridays off and there is no tutoring happening until next week. Not complaining as I got caught up on a few housekeepery things and enjoyed some nice weather time.
  • In the meantime, [PEO]'s keeping me pretty busy. State convention is coming up. I'm not a delegate but got talked into helping out on one of the days since convention is nearby.
  • We ended up taking our pooch Merlin to the vet as his symptoms from last week weren't really improving. Vet "gave" him (sold us) some special food that has helped and ran some tests. His bloodwork came back, and Vet says, "this could likely be from an infection or a type of cancer".

Sheesh, talk about two ends of a spectrum. For now, we're treating it as an infection and will watch and wait. Merlin seems like his old self, and hopefully that holds.

  • I don't like wearing sunscreen, yet I live in a place with lots of sun and lots of cases of melanoma. As such, I often wear these moisture wicking long-sleeved tops when I'm outdoors on hot days. 

I got a couple from yamazon that include these thumbholes. 

Made for short-armed people, I suppose. Thumbholes miles away from my thumbs. Oh well, I don't usually use thumbholes anyway.

  • I kind of want to see [Furiosa] in the theater. The movie  didn't do so well in the box office for opening weekend, however. We saw the last Mad Max movie, [Fury Road], in the theater. 

I went in expecting some macho testosterone shoot-em-up, but I found it surprisingly good - wonderfully artistic, with an epic soundtrack, not to mention... Tom Hardy.

Monday, May 27, 2024

smell something?

Happy Memorial Day, to honor fallen servicemen and women - not to mention the unofficial kick-off to summer - to the Americans.

On Saturday, Magnum and I took a bike ride and stopped by the university to see Cosmo the Corpse flower. We rolled right up to a small inconspicuous building, racked the bikes, and walked on in amid the anticipation of the big smelly bloom.

It was a lovely setting, this little white building in the middle of campus. I've probably bicycled passed it many times, not knowing of the treasures inside.

We were there around noonish, and while Cosmo was clearly up to something, no bloom to be seen nor smelt.  As it happened, it bloomed full out later that evening, becoming most putrid around 10:30pm


I got this screen grab from the livestream in case we find ourselves in need of an alibi.

The building was a smallish tropical residence for Cosmo and his roommates. There was a banana tree - I'd never seen one before - as well as a pomogranate bush? Tree? Not sure, but there were pomogranates growing from it. And lots of other cool plants certainly not native to Colorado.

This is Bruno the slider turtle, hanging out in the Koi pond, probably wondering what all the hubbub was about.

So we enjoyed the tour of the little place, geeking out a bit on all of the science going on. Among other things, there was a "proton-transfer-reaction chemical ionization mass spectrometer (PTR-MS)" set up to detect and analyze the awful smells about to emerge.

As expected, the little building was descended upon yesterday by the masses who'd been following Cosmo's progress. We rode by and the line wrapped around a corner with no end in sight. Observers were told to bring water and snacks and sunscreen as the wait would be a long one. We kept on a-ridin'.

Cosmo's bloom is already flopping away as seen in the continuing [livestream], and the plant will soon whither and go dormant in the fall. 

See ya, Cosmo. Another 8 years?

Friday, May 24, 2024

putridity weekend?

 Greetings on what is the start of a long weekend for many. I typically have Fridays off anyways, so it's a 4-dayer for me. 

My high school boyfriend's father was killed in the Vietnam war, and I remember the first time I saw his grave. The headstone is of a military standard and includes a photo. I noticed right away how much he looked like my then boyfriend, which was a bit surprising, because until then, I thought boyfriend looked a lot like his mother. And he looked so young in that photo. He was only 25 when he died, so not much older than my boyfriend was at the time. 

I recall that [last year], I was out for a run and came across the Field of Heroes flag display and travelling Vietnam Wall. I believe it's at the same location this weekend. Just a couple of reminders that Memorial Day weekend isn't about days off from work and sales at Amazon.

As it happens, I did go for a lovely spring morning run today. I didn't go by the memorial display, but I did come across these creatures:

I probably interrupted their early morning gossip and yoga as they seemed to just want to leave after I showed up.

No big getaways planned for the weekend. Just as well because our dog, Merlin, is on the fritz. Dealing with some gastrointestinal upset, if you get my drift. We're thinking maybe he got into something he shouldn't have. He's on white rice today, and hopefully on the mend.

So no getaway planned, HOWEVER, we are hoping to witness a momentous local event. The university owns a [corpse flower named Cosmo that is signalling that it is about to bloom]! If it does, it will absolutely reek of putrid rotting flesh!

Oh, the anticipation! I must go there!

I just checked the [livestream], and Cosmo has grown considerably in the last few days. It's almost NSFW. As a local redditor put it, "it looks like my dog when he's happy to see me".

We are warned that, because of their unpredictability, there is a slim chance that it may not happen. I think that makes it all the more fun.

Schrödinger's plant?