a-muse (verb): 1) cause (someone) to find something funny; entertain. 2) provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone).
So things may cause us to laugh uproariously in amusement, yet do not necessarily need to. Something amusing may be simple, and attention gathering enough to focus us for a time on that, exclusively, in a pleasing manner.
Example, this year I changed my schedule at Hospital. True, the first week of this included the last week of Gregorian 2011. No matter, seriously, since my employment anniversary date is close to New Years anyway. This year. I now work 30 hours a week for Hospital, providing me more hours to work for myself either on Ranch or Art (or both). In one sense, this is 10 hours less per week pay. In an amusing sense, because of the time of year, the first four weeks of this brand new schedule include three (3) paid holidays from Hospital, observance of all of which fall on Monday which is one of my regularly scheduled days off. So, Hospital paid me an additional 8 hours for each observed holiday. This equates to 38 hours pay for 30 hour weeks.
Even more amusing, for one of those weeks, I actually worked the observed holiday, so I received 8 hours pay for working plus the holiday pay.
Perversely amusing, another of those weeks (this past one) I worked one of my two weekend commitments so that is, again, an additional 8 hours on top of my scheduled 30. In theory, and in the past I insisted in practice, weekend commitments replace one of the regularly scheduled weekday shifts. Not going to insist on that this time, nor for a bit. After all, one of the amusing benefits of my reduced schedule includes a reduction in weekend commitments.
Less amusing, though still because of personal choice somewhat amusing, that second weekend commitment this past weekend involved Graveyard Shift, so yesterday (Sunday) was my Brain Numb day. The first weekend commitment is that holiday I worked, amusing because it fulfilled both weekend and holiday commitment requirements. This past weekend is less amusing because I am less and less physically and emotionally tolerant of pulling those All-Nighters.
The routine I try to use working them involves getting a nap in on the afternoon/evening before the shift (which starts at 23:00), getting home safely after the shift and catching about three, three and a half hours sleep, then getting up to wander through the brain numbness and accomplish such things as don't require a good deal of thought.
Yesterday that included loading recycling refuse (plastics, metals, cardboard/pasteboard) into Forrest Nissan Pickup, along with one of the Bros, and hauling that off to the recycling trailer. Not a lot of brain-power needed, mostly attention to such traffic as encountered on the road and which door of the trailer does what item go through. When we got back from that, I pulled the log book out of the glove compartment (why do we call it a glove compartment when we don't keep gloves in there?) and started transcribing the mileage recordings into a spreadsheet for income tax calculations.
Believe it or not, that doesn't require a lot of brain power.
Getting closer to our dinner time, Herself informed me we needed some cream of mushroom soup so she could make the promised Beef Stroganoff for dinner, so the Bros got another ride this time into Archer and in Sydney Subaru Outback.
Now, Houdini gets his share of cooing and flirting from people, yet his brother Squrrl... well, Squrrl is proof of that cliche that Blondes Have More Fun.
Sydney needed petrol, so we stopped for petrol. Squrrl likes to ride in the part of the Outback wagon we call the WayBack. Unlike Houdini he stays back there, doesn't climb over the seatbacks to get to the front where the People sit. And he often sits there looking to the rear as we drive. His body language very much says, This Is Totally Awesome! Growly Beasts make things go away from you!
While I pumped petrol into Sydney, another car pulled in to the next set of pumps over. Squrrl was looking out the side window at this point, and the young lady in the passenger seat got out to go in and pre-pay. She stopped when she turned and quite un-subtly made the Oooooo Cute face & body-language at Squrrl, who simply cocked his head ears all perked up. Then, at the grocery store as I finished paying for the cream of mushroom soup and turned to leave (door to the store was open, with a fan blowing out as yesterday afternoon got rather warm for hereabouts at this time of year), another young lady waved her companion to stop their vehicle as they passed the Subaru, to point at Squrrl (now looking out the back window again).
Couldn't hear her, their windows up all the way, plus that fan, no, couldn't hear. Could read her lips, though, very very easily. Oooo, You are SOOOO CUUUTE!
Chick magnet. Bloody chick magnet.
Anyway. Back home, we stopped on the way in to feed teh Horses and teh Cows, thus doing 'Riding Rounds' something that greatly amuses the Bros. Up to the house and delivered the cream of mushroom soup as well as the stories, then transcribed more mileage figures until the announcement 'Dinner is Ready.'
Dinner Ready coincided, coincidentally, with National Geographic airing their show on the recently announced discovery of Anglo-Saxon gold in a farmer's field. That is more really amusing brain-numb time activity. After that, a hot soak, then bed.
Today I feel more nearly human. Good thing, too, because this evening is off to Town of Tioga Farmers/Craft Market to once again set up both the Ranch and Studio 318 booths. We'll see how that goes.
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