Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Tuesday morning things

* Well, change in plans. The weather Saturday is supposed to be miserable - 40s and rainy, possibly even with some snow and ice mixed in - and I don't fancy going out in that, even if I trusted my fellow-drivers more. So I've decided to take this afternoon, call it "comp time" for the Saturday I spent up here last week, and go to Sherman.

Yes, I feel slightly guilty about that but: all my finals have been written and are ready do go. I did the first-pass grading of the big paper last night, and will start doing the final grading (mostly: determining point values) this morning and finish it tomorrow if I have to).

I never know what's "okay" and "not okay" in re: taking time "off" during "business hours" during the week any more. I remember years and years ago* and I didn't have classes on Tuesdays, the year I bought my house, I spent many Tuesdays that fall in the house, painting and scraping and everything else.

(*Before the budget snafus of 2016, now I think of it, when I felt my job was more secure than it is now)

But I think perhaps with the "extra time" I put in some weekends - last weekend, for example, and also the couple of weekend working with my research student, and of course all the grading and prepwork - maybe it's OK to occasionally take an afternoon "off," when there are no office hours I'm supposed to be holding or grading to do. I don't know.

I suppose other people take time off to do stuff with their kids. Or they take time off for doctor's appointments.

This is running errands, but the difficult level is a couple of them are things I either have to go to Sherman for or mail-order and wait on. Nothing is *exactly* life-or-death, though there are one or two regularly-used cosmetic type items I need to get more of.

* Then again, I remind myself: the reason we're now asked to have "at least one office hour each day of the workweek" is that SOME departments apparently had people either requesting "no Friday classes" or just regularly cancelling Friday classes and not coming in to campus.

* "Never work with children or with animals" - someone in the bell choir had the idea of giving their grandson (5 or 6) a small set of jingle bells to play along with us during "Jingle Bells."

It....slowed stuff down. Because at first we had to adjust to do that FIRST, and then, he decided he didn't want to, and then he pouted a little, and then finally he did it....and doing another run-through later, we had to stand around and wait for him to be cajoled away from the game he was playing and yeah, I forgot what that was like. Though I guess I should have remembered from my niece, but she was a little better about minding the "you need to come here now" thing, it was just occasionally she got the idea in her head she didn't want to do something then.

And I also admit, and I feel stupid and immature for feeling it, but: when a kid does some little thing and gets praised heaped upon them for it, and I, a tired old adult, am standing there having done a great deal more and no one notices....yeah, I feel a little sad. (And also the kid got bribed with a dollar for doing, and a couple of the other women joked, "I want a dollar for ringing bells!" so at least I know I'm not the only one who feels like that)

I know I shouldn't feel that way, that I should do everything I do with no expectation of praise or thanks, because that's the right thing, but....it does get tiring some times.

(I had a LOT of people yesterday coming to me with late work. I have to be flexible about this particular kind of work because it requires a computer package only available on campus, and if you're out sick or something, you can't do the work on your own at home, but still. I get lots of people handing me something and going, "Can you grade it *right now* so I see how I did?" and I look in despair at the stack of grading for another class I am *already* doing...)

I dunno. Yes, "No matter how miserable it was, the farther you get from it, the better childhood looks" (as Jane and Michael Stern once commented in one of their food-history books) but I look at my niece getting a bunch of Build-a-Bears (a concept that didn't even EXIST when I was a kid) a couple weeks before Christmas, presumably because her family was driving by one and they wanted to get them for her and I just....I don't know. I mean, yeah, I can buy my own stuff (After all, I ordered a "Toothless" from them earlier this fall...) but it just feels like sometimes there's very little special about being an adult. (An yes: trying to "make your own specialness" sometimes fails. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable walking up to a Build-A-Bear store alone, even if there one remotely near me, and buying a toy and going through the stuffing process.)

I dunno. I guess yes, when I was writing out allllllll my cards Sunday afternoon, that felt fun and special and nice (and one of my errands this afternoon is to get a few more - there are a couple more people to send to, and also my parents' friends Debbie and Jo need cards, and my relatives around the country need cards...) But there are some things available for kids now that I look at and go "I wish those were around when I was a kid" (Though I'm not sure I'd ever have gotten to go to a Build-a-Bear if they had existed. Oh, maybe ONCE, maybe for a birthday or something. But my parents didn't do the "just because" type of toy buying that parents now seem to do).

I dunno. Then again, I never had to experience cyberbullying as a kid, because the internet as a commercial product didn't exist.

but still. Someday I would like to get together with a group of like-minded friends and go to a Build-a-Bear and us all buy stuffed animals and get to have fun stuffing and picking out clothes to buy for them. Probably that will never happen.

* I had a session of very bad intercostal muscle....it was probably a spasm, now that I look back at it. Serious pain, that feeling of tightness around my whole upper body. I probably overdid it a little working out yesterday (worked out longer and harder than I had) and also going out in the cold didn't help it. I still feel kind of sore today; I have pain right between my shoulder blades.

(I've never had a doctor check me out *while I was having one* because they are rare, but all tests of my heart have come back perfectly healthy and normal, so I do not think they are anything like "mini heart attacks" and anyway, I have none of the other symptoms: no cold sweat, no nausea, no passing out, no arm pain. I once described one to a doctor and he was like "it's probably either asthma or something muscular going on" and the pain seems to tally with intercostal muscle cramping anyway...usually if I sit calmly for a while it goes away, and it goes away faster if I can put heat on it - I was at work yesterday, so I couldn't. )

I also have been coughing more because it's been dry here, and it's also been dusty (windy). I know coughing makes my chest hurt, and I probably overdid something.

I know there is something similar that's also a sign of MS, but I have no other symptoms and there is nothing in my medical workup that suggests anything wrong with me other than allergies or mild hypertension, so.

I do seem to be prone to upper-body muscle cramps or spasms; from time to time I will get one on one side of my neck - an old, old injury, probably a torn muscle, from a swim class years and years ago when it was probably really too cold for us to be swimming outside, even in a heated pool.

* My Christmas present to myself is supposed to arrive today. (It was supposed to arrive yesterday, but something happened. I even checked my front porch at 8 pm, which was when they said it was supposed to arrive by). I hope it does. I also worry a bit about "porch pirates" even though it's hard to see my porch easily from the street (and most of what I order anyway is small cheap stuff - yarn, books, toys...)

* I need to unpin my sweater (now that it's dry, finally) and sew it up but I admit it takes working up some motivation for that task. (Maybe if I get home from Sherman early enough. I am hoping to be home by 4; I don't really need to go to the big grocery store, so I can buy a few things at the natural-foods store. My plan is bookstore - maybe Target - Ulta - maybe JoAnn's - FiveBelow (if I can't find the cards I want at the bookstore) and then the natural-foods store.

I'm also telling myself that (yes) if there is some small treat I want, I can get it. Either some kind of nice bathing thing (at the Ulta) or some little toy (either at Target or Five Below).

* I do also need to remember to do:

- pay my property taxes for the year (I like to do this in person, just to be sure I have handed the check off, and also I get a receipt right away)

- drop off my Toys for Tots toy (the semi-local TV station FINALLY posted a list of places for us, after having everywhere else up for like two weeks, and yes, our Chamber of Commerce is doing it yet again so I can do that when I pay my taxes at the city hall next door)

- Order a gift certificate as part of my brother's Christmas gift to the stained-glass place he likes (he does glasswork as a hobby, and he's sold a few pieces and also done a few commissions.)

- Order a gift certificate either from Amazon or King Arthur Flour for my sister-in-law as part of HER present. Right now I'm leaning towards Amazon because that way she could use it 100% "selfishly" if she wanted, whereas the flour place, it would be something to be shared with the whole family even if she particularly likes baking and the like.

- Next week, arrange to have my mail held (I will have to do that Friday. Saturday is graduation, Monday the following week I leave...)

* I know I said I disliked gift cards some years back but I admit I wouldn't mind a gift certificate to somewhere like King Arthur Flour or Zingerman's or one of the other fancy-food places that I either never or rarely order from because of the expense. (Useful gifts but ones that are higher quality/expensive compared to what you normally buy are nice). Yes, I usually buy King Arthur Flour (though these days I have to be sure to get it at either Kroger's or Target when I'm in Sherman because the stupid local Wal-Mart has concluded no one cooks from scratch any more and has largely eliminated those kinds of things in favor of pre-prepared foods, and also moved stuff around to make room for beer or wine. Pruett's, I haven't checked there, but they don't tend to carry the most expensive brands of stuff, and King Arthur is one of the more-expensive ones).

Heck, I should have asked for a bunch of the SeaBear salmon packets - my parents ordered this as a trial for "emergency shelf food*" and I tried one over break - just plain salmon, but it was excellent, and made good salmon salad sandwiches. I think it was better than the kind I buy - for more money - at the natural foods store.

(*Emergency shelf, both in the sense of "this is something you could eat without cooking or refrigeration in a genuine emergency" and in the sense of "here is something good and shelf-stable for when you can't get out to the store." In my life, the second type of emergency is far, far more common, but an emergency shelf allows you to prepare for both.)

Heh: salmon packets as a stocking stuffer. Am I a woman or a cat?

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