Monday, November 23, 2015

I Hope It's A Good Book.

I just took this Do You Have A Book Hoarding Problem? quiz. It told me "SEEK HELP NOW. You are becoming a book."

Is that bad?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Do Have To Wonder What The Questions Were.

Somebody just sent me a link to this Tweet showing Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi, and Mark Gatiss losing a Doctor Who trivia contest at an Australian convention. Do you know what this means? (Other than that they are hilariously adorable losers?) It means that I am a better Who fan than the people who actually make the show! Yes! On account of how my team won a Doctor Who trivia contest, and theirs lost! That is clearly the only logical conclusion to draw. (Why, no, I'm not ever going to stop crowing about that accomplishment. You gotta take your victories where you can get them, I say.)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Three Things Make A Post

Because I haven't been updating much lately, and I should post something:

1. I spent this morning resealing the gutters on my house. Well, the ones in the front. The ones in the back of the house still need to be done, but I think I about reached the limit of how much of that job I'm willing to do in one day. Scraping off the old stuff is tedious, and the silicone sealant I bought turns out to be way worse to work with than the caulk I used in the bathroom, especially when you're holding the caulk gun upside-down and at odd angles. As a result, my gutters are now kind of a goopy, silicone-y mess. Sigh. Well, at least it's clear, so maybe it won't be too obvious? Honestly, I'm not sure I care much, as long as it's watertight. Man, I really hope it's watertight. Of course, I won't be able to test it until it dries.

This has been yet another installment of Ways It Sucks to Be an Adult. Hey, when you're a kid, if you have to do a big, annoying chore like that, at least you'll probably get a word of praise and maybe a little extra allowance. As an adult, all you get is the dull, practical outcome of not having leaking gutters, if you're lucky, and the responsibility of being the one to do it over, if you're not.

2. A not-good-news update on Nova-kitty: He's continuing to lose weight. The vet now thinks it is very likely due to heart problems. (I hadn't realized heart disease could cause weight loss, but it turns out it totally can. You learn something new every day.) He can't say for sure, though, because he doesn't have the equipment to do a proper echocardiogram, and I'd have to see a specialist for that. Which... At Nova's age, honestly, the stress of diagnosing and treating the problem might not be worth the small amount of extra time they might be able to buy him. For one thing, seeing a specialist would almost certainly mean a long, long car trip into the city -- probably more than one -- and he freaks out terribly just on the ten-minute ride to the local vet. Not long ago, he got so agitated about it, he peed all over himself in the carrier on the way. It's not a happy thing to do to the poor animal.

For right now, at least, we've switched him from the slightly-higher-calorie-than-his-previous-food cat food to special extra-high-calorie canned cat food, in hopes of curbing the weight loss some. The good news is, he loves the stuff, and can't seem to get enough of it. The bad news is, it's given him diarrhea. I'm really, really hoping that'll go away as he adjusts to the new stuff. Well, hey, at least it meant I didn't have to give him his laxative last night.

3. On a happier (and more science-y) note, I thought I'd link to this blog post celebrating NASA's Swift satellite observing its 1,000th gamma ray burst. This is relevant to my life because the VLBA is one of the "telescopes around the planet, which then (if they can) also observe the burst," as mentioned in the article. Most of the time, we're busy observing something else, but sometimes these things happen at just the right time for us to participate, and I'm always slightly tickled by the fact that I'm essentially being e-mailed by a satellite.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Time For This Again!

Current clothes: Dark gray sweatpants. T-shirt from White Sands National Monument. Not the new one I just got the last time I was there, but the older, more faded, somewhat more battered one, which has now been demoted in status to the kind of shirt I wear on weekends when I'm cleaning the house.

Current mood: Mostly okay, with a slight edge of frazzled annoyance. I don't want to be cleaning the house this weekend, you know.

Current music: The Best of Elvis Costello: The First Ten Years. Except there's something wrong with the CD, and the last two songs didn't rip properly.

Current annoyance: So many things. So many. And it seems like every time I responsible-adult one of them into submission, another, often even more annoying one pops up. Recent examples include some of the stucco suddenly falling off my house (or, more accurately, off the overhang that projects over my front door), and discovering as I went to put today's dinner into the crockpot that the onion I'd bought for the soup was rotten inside.

Current thing: Doing productive crap that needs to get done, when, really, I'd much rather just lie on the sofa and read all day.

Current desktop picture: You know what? I think last month, out of sheer habit and haste, I linked to the same wallpaper I've had for ages, when I'd actually just changed it! It's now this wallpaper featuring certain Doctor Who characters.

Current book: C. J. Cherryh's Defender, book 5 in her Foreigner series, which I am making my way through, slowly but surely.

Current song in head: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf, because somebody requested it on the radio while I was in the car running errands the other day. The DJ didn't seem thrilled about it, but I have to admit, I have a weird fondness for Meat Loaf. His songs are so overwrought and emotionally overblown as to feel almost self-parodic in a way I can't help being amused by, and yet there does seem to be a core of something realistic and sincere to them. And sincere, awkwardly real emotion wrapped up in a ridiculously over-dramatic package seems to me like as good a representation of adolescence as there has ever been.

Current refreshment: I didn't have anything, but reading this, I realized I was thirsty, so I got up and got a diet Pepsi.

Current DVD in player: I just finished season one of The Wire, because that seemed like a giant gap in my quality-television viewing experience that needed to be addressed. And it is, indeed, an excellent show, but it suffers a bit from what I think of as "Game of Thrones Syndrome," which is to say it's got a million characters whose names I kept forgetting or, often, not even catching, and was reduced to making up nicknames for them in my head. (E.g.: Asshole #1 and Asshole #2, Surprisingly Competent Guy, Chubby Cheeks, The Chin, Lt. Where-Do-I-Know-That-Actor-From?, etc.) I did figure out most of them eventually, though. And I sort of have to admire this show's absolute commitment to its lack of a moral center. Every time I'd try to latch on to a character as someone I liked, or thought had integrity, they'd engage in some terrible act of police brutality or corruption, while characters I'd initially dismissed as criminal scum increasingly won my sympathy.

Current worry: I dunno, all the usual crap, really. Most immediately, I'm worried about a tooth that's bothering me. I need to find the time to make a dentist appointment.

Current thought: Well, I rambled a here a lot, and got distracted somewhere in the middle watching Meat Loaf, so this took me longer than I expected it to, but I think now I have to go back and finish up the damned housework. Sigh.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Talk

Ten years ago today, I stumbled across some service on the internet that'd let you write letters to your future self and would then send them to you years later. So, I sent some, partly because I was bored and partly because it was the closest I could get to time travel. I've gotten, I think, three of them since then, with the most recent one showing up in my inbox today. While I remember doing this, the e-mails always startle me when they come, because somehow I do not understand the passage of time and can never manage to believe it has actually been that long.

I went back and looked at the blog entry I made the day I sent them. It says, "I just sent some e-mails to the me of the future. I bet she doesn't answer them, though. The jerk." Which... Hey! Screw you, past self! I am damned well going to answer this one, right here, right now!


Hello, 2015!

Hello, 2005!

This is the Betty of 2005, after a somewhat longer lapse this time. It's getting iffier whether the e-mail address on this thing will still be valid, though it won't surprise me terribly if it is. Heck, I wouldn't put it past you to remember this letter and keep the address just so you'd get it. Did you?

You know, I don't think it has honestly ever even occurred to me to change the Gmail address this was sent to. I think what I was thinking here is that maybe Gmail wouldn't even be around in ten years' time. Ha! Google is our eternal overlord, Past Me, and Gmail ain't going nowhere.

Anyway... how's the future?

A lot like the past, to be honest. Your life certainly hasn't changed very much. You're boring and predictable, Past Self. You're going to have to fully accept that one day. I'll try to let you know when it happens.

Do we have flying cars and robot housekeepers yet? (We've only managed electric-hyrbid cars and robot vacuum cleaners now, in case you don't remember.)

Well, I guess we've got some fully electric cars, and maybe slightly better robot vacuums? Neither of which I own. I do have a pretty bitchin' smartphone, though.

It's a beautiful fall day here in 2005, though I'm stuck at work without even anything much to do.

Whereas I have today off, but I've got a lot of crap to do. And yet, I am taking the time to answer your e-mail, Past Self, even though I have lots of other unanswered e-mails in my inbox. So who you callin' a jerk, jerk?

I am in pretty good health, though I occasionally suffer from bouts of mild hypochondria. Apparently once you hit your 30s, you start worrying about the ol' body falling apart. I hope yours hasn't.

It honestly startled me to realize that particular "Oh, noes, my body may fall apart at any moment!" thing goes back quite that far, although now that I think about it, I guess I do remember feeling that once I passed 30. Well, Past Self, despite some medical adventures, the ol' corporeal form is still quite functional, but the effects of entropy are becoming increasingly noticeable, and that annoying "mild hypochondria" is going to find more things to feed on. I'm trying to let this be a reminder to myself to enjoy that functionality while I've still got it.

And I have a cute 'lil seven-week-old kitten, who, if he's still around, will qualify for senior citizenship by the time you read this. If he is, give him a cuddle for me.

He's ten! That's not really quite feline senior citizen status yet. But, geez, you should see him now, Past Me. He's huuuuuuuuuuuuuge! And not at all grateful for all that work you put into him, but I will cuddle him for you, anyway.

I hope there's some good TV in the future.

Yes. Yes, there is. Oh, Past Self. Your priorities are... well, not going to change any, really.

With any luck, maybe Doctor Who is currently in the middle of another 25-year run.

It does very much look that way! Even if the ratings, from what I've heard, have dropped a bit this year. But, oh, man, the things that little Whovian you has ahead of her! If I told you what some of them were, you'd look at me like I was nuts. But it's going to be a fun ride! Mostly.

See ya in another ten!

I am honestly nervous about that letter. I think I wrote it with some sense of it being completely impossible to predict what my life would be like that far out, and I more than half suspect that nothing much will have actually changed. Although I'm not at all sure why that feels like a bad thing.


Back atcha, Past Self. Take care of yourself for me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Stuff And Things

I feel like I should really talk about things other than Doctor Who here once in a while. Like an update on what's going on in my own life. It's just that the answer is "not much." Well, let's see what I've got:

  • Had kind of a bad night last night, due to some... let's say "gastric distress." I woke up about 3 AM, threw up, and immediately felt a lot better, so it was almost certainly something I ate. But, man, it's a bad thing not to feel well when you've been reading about nasty diseases. (I'm most of the way through David Quammen's Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.) One headache or abdominal twinge, and some completely irrational part of your brain wants to diagnose yourself with Marburg. (Marburg is, of course, a much cooler thing to diagnose yourself with than Ebola, because fewer people have heard of it.)

  • It looks like the city finally fixed the leaking fire hydrant in my front yard, after at least five phone calls, and it worsening to the point that it was threatening to turn the rest of the street into muddy swampland and not just my yard. Yay.

  • After years of taking a small amount of hormone for my mildly underactive thyroid, the latest doctor in the local clinic's revolving stable of doctors is insisting I should have an ultrasound done of it. "What do you think that's likely to tell us?" I asked. "Probably nothing," she said. OK, then, doc. At least we'll have another pretty picture of my insides!

  • I've given up trying to weigh Nova at home. To say that he is uncooperative is putting it mildly. I think I'm going to take him back to the vet in a couple of weeks and let them re-weigh him. He tends to go very still and quiet when he's there, possibly under the belief that veterinarians hunt by seeing movement.

  • I just checked the weather report to see if we can finally declare the rainy season over, thus removing my excuse for not going out and re-sealing my gutters. (Hey, I don't want to take the chance that it might rain before the caulk dries!) It looks like the answer to that might be "no," but in the course of checking I also discovered that it's supposed to get down below freezing on Thursday. Nooooo! I am not ready for winter! I mean, I don't want to be caulking the gutters out in the cold, do I?

  • Yeah, that's probably about it for now. Whee, what an exciting life I lead!

    Saturday, October 31, 2015

    The Rest Is...

    Happy Halloween! I'm about to head off to a Halloween party soon. Having zero time or energy to devote to coming up with a costume, I decided to go with the lazy Doctor Who fan's solution:

    All the points to you if you get the reference!

    (But, man, I had not realized quite how difficult it is to take a picture of one's own arm.)