Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool

It installed yesterday when I upgraded to Internet Explorer 7.  It ran.  So far, I haven't noticed that it maliciously removed any of my software, but I'm going to keep my eyes open...
With all the talent at Microsoft, don't you think they could have hired someone to create an unambiguous name?

Monday, December 18, 2006

gubmuh. hab.

A week until Christmas. Seven shopping days if you run out now and buy something today. A little snow fell overnight, with more promised tonight, although it doesn't look right for it at the moment. The trees are up (Yes, that is plural. Not a typo. Our monster big artificial tree that works like an umbrella lost a limb two years ago, and I thought it would be a good idea to replace it with two smaller trees, so we could spread cheer more broadly through the house). The cards are mailed. We're down to a handful of presents to purchase, and just a little wrapping to do. All of the cosmic forces are aligning at just the right time.

And it all feels like an afterthought this year. I'm just not all that into it.

My husband is probably grateful for this. Most years, I dive into the season with enthusiasm right around Thanksgiving, and play the Christmas-music station on the radio until it drives him mad (I do mute the Christmas Shoes song, though). I drag him and the rest of the family off to events like TUBAChristmas and the Messiah sing-along, and try to organize an all-girls outing to the Nutcracker. I bake cookies that have butter as their primary ingredient. About mid-December, I start resenting the fact that we're all out spending money like idiots, buying the extra-deluxe George Foreman grill for people that received the deluxe model from us a year ago, and my attitude becomes so "bah-humbug" that Ebenezer Scrooge would weep with envy.

I usually recover right around Christmas Eve, and the Christmas Spirit stays with me until, during the Christmas Eve candlelight service, the idiot minister tries to make the Christmas story more relevant to today's audience by making one or more of the Magi a woman. I haven't got up and walked out yet, but one of these years...

So what's different? I hope it's not our upcoming cruise, because I don't want to be stuck taking a traditional winter cruise every year either. I know I should not be whining about this. I know that there are women everywhere who would gladly trade places with me and embark for the Mexican Riviera a week from Saturday. And when I can divorce it from the season, I do find myself looking forward to it - we have a mini-suite with a balcony and a bathtub and welcome-aboard champagne and maybe even bathrobes. But Christmas season is for being cold and going skiing, and finding out if I can still ice-skate backwards even a little! It's not for "learn to scuba" shore excursions and sunbathing and practicing one's Spanish ("No, gracias." "No, gracias." although I'm sure there's more to it than that.), and having "seaweed wrap rebalancing chakra treatments" at the spa.

Although, when I think about doing New Year's Eve on a ship, wearing a strapless black dress (Isaac Mizrahi - gotta love Target!!!) and bright red spike heels, that seems just about perfectly matched to the season.

Maybe that will be my big holiday for this year. Should auld acquaintance be..."

Or not.

Maybe next year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

For the record, putting your foot in a bucket of ice water really, really hurts.  Really, really, really hurts.
About 3 weeks ago, I was walking down the hall at the office, and my right foot felt like a joint needed popping.  So I stood up on tiptoe and put all my weight on it, hoping that would rearrange the bones or tendons or whatever was a little out of whack.  Instead, whatever it was that was slightly annoying became rather painful - I spent the rest of that day and part of the next limping around.  And on that next day, I had the fatheaded idea that wearing clogs would make my foot feel better - because they would make it less necessary to bend the foot while walking.  Totally did not work - and on the way to the bus that evening, I twisted the same ankle falling sideways off the clogs (they're the kind with the rubber soles and the backs, and the soles are about 2" high).
From then until very recently, I was able to walk around fairly well, but with some pain.  If I were off my foot for a while (like, for instance, driving cross-country for Thanksgiving), it felt pretty good, but reverted to painful if I had to walk any distance at all.  So once we got home after our minor holiday odyssey, I took my foot to a massage therapist to see if he could find the original issue and rub it until it went away.  And he may have actually done that - but he also thought that what I had was a ligament problem and that I should ice part of my foot, or if I couldn't stand that, alternate 5 minutes of ice with 10 minutes of heat.
I did try, but the painful bit was on the top of my foot, and keeping a plastic bag of ice balanced in the right place made me sit sideways - and that made my knee hurt.  So I thought I'd be clever, and I filled a large pan with water and ice, and proceeded to put my foot in it, figuring that total immersion would include the painful area.
Only I can't keep my foot in ice water for 5 minutes.  I think my record might be 12 seconds.  Dip foot, grit teeth, breathe heavily, cross eyes, swear under breath, remove foot.  Wait for the aching to subside and repeat.  I spent the better part of last Sunday afternoon giving this performance for my family - and they did think it was pretty funny.  After the aching wouldn't subside anymore, I gave up, and finished up the afternoon alternating between heat and not so much heat.
It does seem to have worked, though.  After wearing the same, very comfortable shoes every day except Friday last week, I noticed that it no longer hurts to walk.  And that the swelling has gone away, along with the bruise just forward of my anklebone.  And today, I took the RICE cure to new heights (literallly) - I encased the entire foot and ankle in a tight ski boot and made several runs at over 10,000 feet on a cold day.  Okay, so maybe I missed the Rest bit - but I nailed the other three elements.  And my foot feels just fine - especially compared with my quads, which are wondering what they did to make me be so mean to them.
Tylenol PM for me tonight, I think.  And I'm NOT climbing into a bathtub full of ice water.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thomas, we are NOT buying clothing for the cat!

"and besides, that's a dog sweater"
Just something I overheard at Target the other night, and felt compelled to share.