Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I carved my first pumpkin in more years than I care to contemplate last night. Far be it from me to boast, but I think it has a certain joie de vivre. Look for details of seed-roasting escapades soon on the Anderson Recipe Exchange.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Painters and thieves seem to have a thing or two in common. I deduced this this morning, as I tried to open a window or two in my apartment...and found that the ones I'd found open were now stuck closed. Add that to the ladders lying about, my freshly-painted windowsills, and the incredible neatness of the presumed thieves in moving plant pots and plant pot feet, and I think I can come up with a hypothesis that fits all of the phenomena. Alas, it's one that would imply my home security system has yet to be tested (and one that means I'll have to ask the manager to ask the painters to reopen the windows on the east side of the apartment), but it does put paid to the master criminal scenario.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Interesting. I have finally had one of the classic urban experiences I'd heretofore missed: I think someone tried to break into my apartment while I was at work today. Fortunately, they don't seem to have succeeded.

My first clue that something unusual had happened was to find that the plant pot "feet" I'd been using to prop open one of the windows of my sleeping nook were on the futon, and the window was closed. All of my windows are single-hung sash windows, and this particular one is quite loose in its frame. It was a windy day, and my first thought was that the window might have been banging against the frame and that my manager had come in to close it--which seemed unlikely, as I'd seen him in the lobby just moments earlier and he'd said nothing about it, but was nonetheless a highly embarrassing thought. (A year's worth of illness has not done much for the cleanliness of my living quarters.)

I didn't really think about an attempted break-in until I went into the kitchen for cat food...and noticed that the pots on the kitchen windowsill had been moved, and the window itself was unlatched and pushed up against the secondary locks I installed after Carissa's apartment was broken into. After I fed the cats, I checked and, sure enough, the other window on that side of the apartment was also unlatched and pushed up against its secondary locks. I can't really tell if whoever it was also tried the window over the doorway awning or the other windows in the sleeping nook, since I usually leave them open up to the secondary locks anyway, but it seems likely.

The funny thing is that instead of feeling pleased that the secondary locks actually deterred the would-be thief, I just feel vulnerable. I chose the locks--which aren't really locks, but hinged wedge-shaped stops nailed on to the frame a few inches above where the window sits when it's closed--knowing that they wouldn't hold up to a sustained attempt to break in. I figured it was unlikely that anyone would attempt to get in at all since my apartment is quite exposed, and I didn't want to worry about getting out in an emergency or fuss with keys if I wanted to open the windows. (The wedge stops can easily be flipped out of the way if I want to open a window all the way.) Even though I'm pretty sure that whoever tried to get in was a not-particularly-persistent robber who gave up upon meeting resistance, I have a disturbing mental image of said robber coming back with something to pry the stops out of the frame. And, worse still, somewhere in my head there lurks a master criminal who got in, found (without disarranging a thing) the extra key that I really don't think I had, and let himself out of the apartment, locking the door behind him. I know it's silly--but there you have it.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Update: the ants have been vanquished! (I wouldn't want you to worry.) It took about a week to get rid of them, but the Dr. Bronner's solution was pure...magic. I still swab down the counters once a week; my kitchen smells like cloves and peppermint, and I haven't seen a single ant.
I'm back...

I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be gone so long. The short version: I managed to overburden myself last quarter. I got a lot out of doing so--apparently, so much that I'm going to do it again this quarter!--but the workload made me slightly, well, insane. I never thought I'd enjoy driving myself crazy with statistics and economics. It might have been better never to know it was possible.

I've made a solemn oath to take better care of myself this quarter. To that end, I'm spending some time on Sundays cooking, making sure I get to the gym, learning to knit, spending more time with the cats, and updating this web log. (Is there a better way to keep yourself sane than keeping in touch with the people you love? I can't really answer that question, poor correspondent that I am--but I'll keep you posted.)

I have a lot on the schedule in the next few months. This is usually the worst quarter for me at work, and this year's going to be even worse than usual: two new training grant applications and two competing renewals in addition to the circus of admissions and recruitment.* As noted above, I've signed up for two Public Affairs classes on top of that, one on survey design and the other on media relations. I think they'll be great fun, but also a lot of work.

So far, though, the new resolution is working. I was away from the gym for a couple of weeks as the result of an unfortunate tendon injury, but I went back today. I'm finding knitting both compelling and restful; my first project is a scarf in two shades of red, and I think I'll even be able to wear it outside of the house if the cats don't take it over behind my back. I made a big pot of lentils this evening, using a Greek recipe I found on the web. (If you're interested, you'll find it here. You'll need to search for "lentils" or just scroll down until you see the "Bottomless Lentil Soup Pot." I used the cinnamon variation, boiled it down a bit, and put in some sundried tomato paste as I didn't have any passata to hand. It was, and is, wonderful--a good thing, since I'll be eating quite a few bowls of it this week.)

I hope you all are well. Take good care of yourselves, and let me know the latest!

*I can't help imagining The Circus of Admissions and Recruitment. If only we had a big tent and some lions!