cifarelli: (Ember)
For anyone who might have been wondering, bugspray really does work to get nail polish out of clothing. Corwin dropped a bottle of nail polish in the store a few weeks back, and when it broke it splattered all over the leg of one of my two good pairs of jeans. I also have a t-shirt that has been hanging out in my "to be worked on" pile for literally years (it's a Rice Tuck Fexas shirt, if that tells you anything) because it had nail polish smears on the front that wouldn't budge no matter how much I washed it. Well, I sprayed 'em both with Deep Woods Off this afternoon and scrubbed 'em with a toothbrush. Then I threw them in the washing machine. The nail polish came completely out of my jeans (or else they are just dark enough that you can't see whatever faint stain might remain), and the t-shirt improved drastically. You can still see the spots if you know where to look for them, but they're really barely there. I'm taking this out of the "to be worked on" pile. Now whether it will ever get worn, I don't know. :P

It took Andrew literally 2.5 hours to get home from work this evening. 1.5 hours to get out of the parking garage (which has the misfortune of being attached to the Galleria) and another hour to get home through all the lights on Westpark (some of which were not yet working) as there was an accident on the toll road. That sucks.

Corwin can now climb into the car and into his car seat on his own. He still needs us to strap him into his car seat, though, and we haven't been able to convince him to try getting out on his own yet. But hey...cuts out half the work of getting him in/out of the car. He's also starting to be able to walk (as opposed to climb) up the stairs if he has a hand to hold onto.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Whining...skip this if you don't want to hear it )

In less whiny news, [livejournal.com profile] beckyboo83 is coming to visit me this weekend. :)

We've been getting packages, too. We got a third package from [livejournal.com profile] e_why earlier this week, and a package from [livejournal.com profile] wingsrising yesterday. She sent a handmade baby blanket with a purple and blue fish pattern; it's very soft and nice-looking. :) And this morning one of my coworkers brought me another gift -- a small baby quilt made by his wife.

Grumbling

Feb. 20th, 2007 08:47 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
Apologies for not having updated the lyrics meme with the answers and who guessed what just yet; I intended to do that last night, but found myself in the throes of utter exhaustion and ended up doing absolutely nothing useful with my evening. Instead, I sat in the comfy chair with my feet up and read from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 and Michael Cox's The Meaning of Night. If you want to take a stab at the lyrics meme, feel free to do so sometime today. I'm going to try to update it tonight, but I'm not making any promises.

Today hasn't gotten off on the right foot so far. I slept reasonably well for 5-6 hours last night, but then I laid awake and tossed and turned from about 3:30 a.m. 'til 6 when the alarm went off. So I don't feel very well-rested today. Traffic on 59 this morning was FUBAR'ed (it was just about as bad as it was back when they were doing construction for years), which means I didn't get here 'til 8:30, and now I have to stay here 'til 5:00 to get my 8 hours in, which means my commute home this evening will be worse than normal as well. Guess this is my punishment for the easy commute I had yesterday, when so many people were off work. :P

I'm grumpy and tired today, and wish I would have just stayed home. But I didn't, and I'm here now, so I may as well get my butt in gear and get some work done. I have a desk shift at 9:00 this morning, so I'll be running off for that shortly anyway.

[EDIT: Also, my mother has especially requested that I not have my baby today. It's the 27th anniversary of the day my brother was stillborn. At the time she made this request, I told her I didn't have any control over the matter, and if my baby is born today, it should give her something to be happy about, right? I don't think he's likely to come today anyway, but still. Blarg.]
cifarelli: (Ember)
Stayed home from work yesterday due to acid reflux stuff keeping me awake all night again Tuesday night.

I didn't sleep well last night either -- had trouble falling asleep when I went to bed, probably due to napping too much during the day (but dammit, I needed those naps after not sleeping the night before!). And when I did sleep, I had stressful dreams. I'm taking a midterm I didn't study for! )

So then, I got to drive to work in the rain again this morning. Then I got stuck at the light under I-10 because the train that sometimes goes through about a block down from there and holds up traffic for a couple of minutes had actually STOPPED, blocking the street completely. I sat there for about 10 minutes until the traffic ahead of me finally cleared out enough that I could go somewhere (there are a couple of sidestreets between the light and the train, one of which was the one I needed). So it was 8:30 by the time I got into the parking garage, and there was one covered parking space left. Unfortunately, it was between a large F-150 parked nearly on the line on the left side, and a support post on the right side. I figured I could still get in there since I drive a small car, but I didn't pull close enough to the F-150 when I turned and ended up scraping up the paint on my right rear door. That was just the capstone to my morning. *grumbles*

And now that I'm actually in my office, Andrew has informed me that they're now blocking lj on the internet filtering at his office. So...if you need Andrew's input during the day for any reason, you'll need to either call his cell phone, catch him on ICQ, or ask me to relay a message.

Hopefully the day gets better from here. Please?
cifarelli: (Ember)
The only thing I really dislike about owning a house is the property taxes. Yes, I paid them tonight. Ow, that hurt!

The pants I ordered from Gap on Sunday arrived today, a good half-week sooner than I expected them. I tried them on. They fit. I don't have to pull them up after bending, squatting, sitting, or walking for any length of time. I am happy. Unfortunately, I could only justify buying two pairs. At an average of $50/pair, and a whopping two months left to wear them, I don't think I can justify more than that. Especially not after paying for property taxes. And baby furniture. And car insurance. Don't you just love how all the big bills hit in January, just after you've spent lots of money on Christmas presents? ;)

I still wish I could have gotten a pair of jeans, though. I miss wearing jeans.

While I'm complaining, let me add a gripe about Houston drivers and rain. A mere drizzle brings the freeway to a standstill. I crawled all the way home from work today, including on the toll road. Took me an hour, maybe slightly more. I swear, people are still expecting there to be ice on the roads, or something.

I get to work 'til 6:00 tomorrow -- my week for the 5-6pm reference desk shift. Excitement! I think I'm just gonna go in at 8 as usual and take the comp time. I'll use it to cover my doctor's appointment from last week, so I'll be able to use less sick time this month.

Ice storm?

Jan. 15th, 2007 09:47 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
So Andrew and I are wondering if we will end up having to go to work tomorrow. No closings have been announced as of yet, but weather.com is showing it getting to 32 around midnight tonight and staying there all day tomorrow. And there is a 70% chance of precipitation (sleet and freezing rain, mainly) starting in the wee hours of the morning and lasting all day as well.

If this comes to pass, and the university does not close tomorrow, I'm not sure what I will do. I haven't driven on ice before, and I'm not sure I want to try it for the first time on my 17 mile commute, while pregnant (so if I have an accident, there are two of us to worry about). And given that a large chunk of my commute is over elevated freeways, I'm likely to either encounter ice or closed freeways, in which case I'm likely to get hopelessly lost. :P

Hopefully if the elevated freeways are icy, the city will be smart and close them. And hopefully if the freeways are closed, the university will be smart and close as well. But we'll see.

Anyone know how likely ice is to form if the temp holds steady at 32 for hours on end? What if it bounces between 32 and 33?

I did read something in the Chronicle earlier that indicated that a couple of specific interchanges were being sanded this evening. And that several other interchanges were going to be closed at 5 p.m. today and remain closed until the danger of freezing is past. One of said interchanges is the one from the Westpark Toll Road to 59 North, which I go through every morning. So if I do have to go to work and conditions are still bad, I'm going to have to find an alternate route around that, too (which means I get to go through the intersection of Fountainview and 59, which used to sometimes take me 20 minutes to get through). I'm planning to get up extra early tomorrow, so I can leave extra early if I have to go to work. Blah, just thrilling, ain't it?

[EDIT 7:54 a.m. 1/16/2007: No precipitation at all last night. Everything is functioning normally today, and I am at work. The Chronicle is still trying to scare us by saying it will probably rain in time for the evening commute, though, so we'll see...]
cifarelli: (Ember)
The university was closed this morning for good reason:

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/16/3833622/600xPopupGallery.jpg

This is an image from the Houston Chronicle of the I-45 HOV lane exit onto Milam, which is right next to the university.

Here's another shot, also right next to the university:

http://images.chron.com/photos/2006/10/16/3833631/600xPopupGallery.jpg
cifarelli: (Ember)
Bad: I had to get up this morning to to go work. AND I have to work a full 5 days this week (and 'til 6:00 on Friday, to boot). Yes, I know this is a whine, but when the last two weeks have been 3.5- and 3-day weeks respectively, reverting to 5 is a pain!
Good: I made it to work safely this morning.
Bad: I nearly didn't make it to work safely. As I was coming up to the light at Westpark at the Beltway, it turned yellow. It was iffy if I'd be able to make it through before the light turned red, so I elected to stop. As I was hitting the brakes, I glanced in the rearview mirror to see a big white SUV that was obviously not slowing down to stop start to change into the left lane to go around me. I had a thought along the lines of "asshole who wants to run a red light badly enough to go around me to do it." So I stop, and then I hear squealing from the left lane. I glance over there, and there's a green SUV next to me that has also stopped for the light, and the big whilte SUV is coming up behind WAY too fast and now finally trying to stop because there's nowhere for him to go. He's aiming for the space between me and the green SUV, which isn't big enough for him to fit through. He ended up hitting the SUV and taking out it's taillight....but about a foot further and he'd have been in somewhere between my rear passenger and my driver's side door. No telling if I'd have come through that intact, but I'm pretty sure my little car wouldn't have. :(

Good: Today is a coworker's birthday, so there were donuts downstairs. I was finally able to get my fix! (I have been craving donuts for weeks now)
Bad: The donuts weren't fresh -- they had that slightly dry texture that indicates they're probably a day or so old. So I'm still craving donuts.

Good:This weekend, I cleaned the master bathroom thoroughly, and started making progress on cleaning some other parts of the house as well, signed up for childbirth classes in Oct/Nov, and ordered my Evanescence tickets for my birthday.
Bad:I still haven't finished writing up Dragon*Con or posted pictures.
cifarelli: (Ember)
Fortunately, I have several drops to drink, a whole travel-mug-full even!

This morning's commute was frustrating, as large swaths of Westpark between Beltway 8 and Gessner were under water at the time I was trying to pass through. I finally found a way to get myself to the Westpark Toll Road, but it was 8:00 by the time I got on 59 and 8:30 by the time I actually arrived at work. The reason I found this so frustrating is that I had an 8:00 desk shift this morning, and I got up extra early in an attempt to make it on time. Thwarted by Mother Nature, alas!

I leave early today for a doctor's appointment this afternoon. In the meantime I have plenty of work to keep me busy, and a rising bayou to stare out the window at. I have a (crappy) camera phone now, so I could take a picture, but then I am left with no way to get said picture from phone to computer to post. So you'll just have to take my word for it. There are about four steps going down into the bayou that I can usually see from my window. Currently only two are above the water line. I've seen the bayou much higher in the past, so I'm curious to see how high it will go today.

High Water

Jun. 19th, 2006 09:15 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
No work for me today. Do you know how frustrating it is to TRY to go to work and not be able to get there?

Yup, high water pretty much surrounding the university this morning, at least from the direction I was coming. I couldn't find a way to get south of I-10 on Main St., so I just ended up coming back home. Mind you -- that wasn't easy, either. I wended my way through all sorts of minor back streets in that area, turned around several times as I found myself confronted with more high water, and eventually ended up on I-45 North. I briefly contemplated just heading up to Andrew's parents' house, but decided I'd try a U-Turn, and was able to get home via 45-S to 10-W.

My direct boss stayed home today, too, but the library director is in. I talked to both of them. I may end up having to take today as a vacation day, but they know I tried to get there, and would much rather have me home safe than stuck in high water. :)

I'm surprised the university isn't closing for the day. I suppose it still might. *shrug*

[EDIT: For anyone who's a student where I work, I just got an announcement that the university is closed 'til 4 p.m. today. They're currently planning to open for evening classes.]
cifarelli: (Ember)
This bumper sticker amused me on my way in to work this morning. Which is good, since nothing else did; traffic sucked!

"Democrat women make great leaders. You're following one now."

Try not to focus so hard on the word "Democrat" (heck, substitute your adjective of choice, or delete the word altogether), and you'll see why it was amusing. :)
cifarelli: (Ember)
I'm allergy girl again today. Runny nose and irritated nasal passages that result in frequent sneezing. The eyes aren't too bad so far, but they're slightly irritated, too.

We re-joined the gym last night. Well, I rejoined it; Andrew joined for the first time. It's a lot cheaper than fencing was, and he was getting kinda fed up with fencing anyway by the time he had to quit for financial reasons -- it was aimed more at folks who want to fence competitively, rather than recreationally. Plus the gym has the advantage of being 5 minutes from the house, rather than partway across town. So we'll see how this goes for a while. Hopefully we'll use it consistently and get ourselves in a bit better shape than we're currently in. :)

59-S is open to (what I believe is) its final state between Fannin and Kirby now, so my evening commutes have been heavenly this week. Not having to sit in traffic while we crunch down to two lanes in there has shaved about 10 minutes off my trek home. They haven't opened up the northbound stuff yet, though, so the morning commute is still about the same (though it's been light this week due to lots of places being on Spring Break). This morning, however, was a dream! It was like driving to work on a Saturday. Better than a Saturday even -- I got here in 23 minutes; best time I made on a Saturday was 25. :) Likely due to the combination of spring break, the fact that friday traffic is usually lighter than the rest of teh week (flex-time), and the fact that the UH main campus is completely closed today and a lot of folks here took vacation today. Wish my commute could be like this all the time -- it'd make me quite happy, 'cause I like being able to get on a freeway and just drive for a while. :)

Hrmmm....you know, I really have nothing exciting to report here. I just feel the need to write sometimes -- partly so you, my readers, know I'm still here, and partly because sometimes if I start writing, I'll hit on something that I really wanted to ramble about. But that doesn't seem to be happening today. Or rather...I'm writing a fair bit, but it's not very interesting or substantial. So I guess I'll go do some work instead. :)

Curses!

Feb. 27th, 2006 05:20 pm
cifarelli: (Ember)
I nearly got run over by a BOAT on my way home from work today! Argh!

There's a spot at the 59/45/288 interchange where one lane of southbound 59 and one lane from 45 merge into one lane. Generally in going through that spot (and other similar ones elsewhere on the road) I follow the rule of thumb that if two cars hit the merge spot at close to the same time, whichever one is slightly in front should go on ahead, and whoever is slightly behind should wait and merge behind. Well, today, I hit the merge point AHEAD of a large pickup, but since it takes a few yards for the lane to narrow down to one-lane width, the truck driver was being ASSish, and pulled up right alongside me. He wasn't showing any signs of backing off and letting me go ahead; he was behaving as though he was going to pass me and go in front. That boorish behavior in itself pissed me off, so I was holding my ground as best I could without hitting the car in front of me. But...the truck driver just wasn't backing off, and I was rapidly running out of lane, so finally I decided to take the better part of valor and let the jerk win and go in front. So I slow down...truck starts to nose ahead, and I notice in my sideview mirror the large BOAT he's pulling behind him that's wider than the truck is and about to crash into me. So I honk, curse, and quickly get out of the lane (fortunately, folks in the lane next to me were observant enough to notice the boat before I did, or something, as there was actually a space for me to swerve into).

So yeah...if you are going to cut someone off....please don't do it while pulling a boat. *grumps*
cifarelli: (Ember)
I'm sitting here in my office on the 5th floor watching the bayou rise outside my window. I've been doing so all afternoon. It's up pretty high, but still has a few feet to go before it damages anything that I can see. There's a low-lying building on the other side of the bayou that looks like it might get water in it if this goes up another 3 feet or so, but my distance judgement could be a bit off since I'm looking at it from a little ways away and at an angle. I wish I had the digital camera here so I could take a picture. I'm not sure I've seen it this high in the last year since I moved to this office.

Andrew and I put up the rest of our Christmas decorations last night. The house is now mostly ready for my family's visit this weekend. I still have to make the bed and vacuum in the guest room, and [livejournal.com profile] min_phoenix is going to come over and help me finish cleaning the carpet on the stairs tomorrow night. She was going to let me borrow her sister's steam cleaner that has a hand tool, but when cornered her sister said the hand tool on her steam cleaner has never worked. So we're going to go at via the manual method. Whee! I'm so lucky to have friends who are willing to help me with stuff like this, though.

Andrew and I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Saturday night, and since [livejournal.com profile] mahtab really wanted a review, I'll attempt to write one now. ;) In a nutshell, I found it enjoyable, and it is worth seeing in the theater. Andrew even liked it! :) I thought the beginning dragged a bit; I wasn't keeping track of the actual time, but it seemed forever before all four children had gone through the wardrobe and the adventure was started in earnest. In general, the movie felt long to me. I also haven't read the books since I was living at my parents' house (so likely sometime in high school), so I wasn't able to be overly nit-picky about any plot-changes that may have been made. The movie felt faithful to my memory of the book. Tilda Swinton was excellent as the White Witch. And my favorite characters were the beavers, in spite of them being CGI. :) I wasn't overly impressed with the CGI, but I'm a hard one to impress. CGI creatures just don't look natural to me (ever -- I had problems even with Gollum in the LotR movies), and it kinda pops me out of the immersion. The beavers didn't bother me so much because they were so anthropomorphic, but some of the flying animals, insects, and rapidly growing flowers really bothered me. But again -- that's likely just me and my perfectionist standards. ;)
In sum, go see it! :)

I'm not looking forward to driving home today. I suspect my commute is going to be a long, wet slog.

Notes

Sep. 20th, 2005 11:25 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
Had a busy weekend this weekend just past. Sunday evening Andrew and I went dancing at HavoK, since I was working late last night to teach classes and thus didn't have to be at work 'til noon yesterday. We'd hoped to meet some folks there, but they either didn't show at all, or were there before or after we were (we were there from about 10 to midnight). We caught the end of the listening party for KMFDM's new album, Hau Ruck, and for the most part we liked what we heard. I, of course, preferred the tracks where Lucia is singing, but I'm strange like that. ;) So yeah...we might have to pick that album up. Lucia has a solo album also, which I'm interested in hearing. Dunno if I'm brave enough to pick it up unheard, though.

Last night I worked 11:45 to 8:15, teaching two library instruction classes at 5:30 and 7:00. The classes went well, and I had nice commutes in both directions. If it wouldn't mean not getting to see Andrew much, I'd try to adopt something like that as a regular schedule. I could definitely do with less stressful commuting.

It's looking like my plan to work on the front flower bed this Saturday may not be happening, as it looks like it may be rather windy and wet outside right about then*. I love it when I finally make up my mind to do something and then get thwarted.



*Hurricane Rita is heading in our direction, currently expected to make landfall near Galveston sometime Saturday morning. Of course, there's still time between now and then for a change of course.
cifarelli: (Ember)
I've been striving mightily to improve my getting up and getting to work by 8:00 for the last several days. Friday I left home at 7:10 and made in just barely by 8:00. Monday, I left at 7:15, and it was 8:05 when I got here. This morning, I had jury duty at 8:00 (which involves parking where I work and then walking a few blocks to the jury assembly room -- cheapest way I know to do it, since my parking here is already paid for), so I left at 7:00 sharp (actually really getting on my way at 7:02, as I forgot my jury summons when I left the house and had to go back for it. Fortunately, I'd only just gotten out of the neighborhood when I remembered it) and parked at 7:45, plenty of time to get where I needed to be by 8. So I'm doing better, but I still hate my commute. It shouldn't take 45 minutes to an hour to go 17 miles. And with the price of gas the way it is, I sit in the stop and go traffic and think about how much gasoline I'm wasting. It's almost enough to tempt me to the bus, except that I suspect the bus ride would take a lot longer than 45 minutes to an hour. I would totally use public transportation if it weren't so slow. Which could nicely lead into a rant about the light rail line here, except I don't really feel like ranting about that right now. Lucky you!

I was done with my jury service by 11:00; my panel was taken to the court where we sat around for a good half-hour (yay for having a good book -- I'm currently working on Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian) before being called in front of the judge. The judge informed us that all of his pending cases had been resolved among the lawyers, and that we were being dismissed. I collected my work-release form and then walked the few blocks back here to where I work. And now here I am, boring you to tears. Only really interesting thing was that there were 4 criminals in the courtroom, in orange prison suits, and handcuffed together in a chain. The last guy had a handcuff on one wrist, and was holding the last, unused handcuff in his other hand. I was staring at that, and thinking how easy it would be for him to just put the chain around the neck of the court clerk that was sitting right next to where he was standing, but then figured with the number of police in the courtroom, if he tried it, he'd be stopped real quick.

Traffic

Aug. 8th, 2005 08:44 am
cifarelli: (Ember)
The drive to work this morning was interesting. First, I somehow ended up with a cop tailgating me on the Westpark Toll Road, just past the Fondren entrance. He was right up on my tail, and driving kinda erratically like he wanted to go around me...but his flashing lights weren't on, and he wouldn't go past me even when I pulled over enough to leave room for him to go by. I kept checking my rearview mirror out of paranoia to see if he was trying to get me to pull over, but he wasn't making any motions to that effect, and like I said, his lights weren't on. So we drove like that all the way over the flyover from the toll road onto 59, where he finally did go around me on the shoulder, darted up, turned his lights on briefly, and pulled someone about three cars ahead of me over. The moral of this story is: I wish that cops would drive sanely when they don't have their flashers on, instead of making innocent people like me nervous!

Also, there seemed to be a disproportionate number of drivers with only one working brake light on the road this morning.
cifarelli: (Ember)
First a question:

If you've had a cd player or mp3 player or am/fm reciever installed in your vehicle recently (as in the past two or three years), who did you have do it? Did they do a good job? I'm looking for recommendations/evaluation/feedback, etc. Is using Best Buy likely to turn out okay?

I got a toll tag this weekend, so all you people who were reminding me can stop now. :) Unfortunately, my commute still took me 40 minutes this morning. Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that I left 20 minutes later than usual (we overslept this morning and didn't get up 'til almost 7:00) and the traffic on 59 was backed up more than it usually is. Maybe tomorrow will be a more reliable test.

I'm trying real hard to develop a headache this afternoon. Just took some Excedrin, so hopefully that will take care of it. I have to do a second desk shift from 2-3 (I already did 11-12 this morning), so I'm praying the Excedrin will kick in soon.

Andrew and I are starting our fencing class tonight. Hopefully that will be enjoyable :)

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