Saturday, May 04, 2019

May Currentlies

Whoops, May kind of snuck up on me while I wasn't looking. But I'm not too late with this, I guess.

I don't think I have a whole lot to say about April, though. Well, I did have Vir back into the vet for another (stupidly expensive) blood test, and his glucose levels look great. So he's still a grumpy old lump of a cat, but at least he's a grumpy old lump of a cat with well-controlled diabetes. Yay.

Right. On to the usual.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A t-shirt from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy center, where I got to see the space shuttle Discovery a few years ago. Black socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: An eensy bit annoyed from some stuff at work, but mostly OK. I actually got enough sleep today, which really helps when I'm working a night shift.

Current music: Nothing much. Except maybe this country song written by a computer.

Current annoyance: Aside from the usual annoyances of my life, there's the fact that Firefox broke horribly last night and disabled everyone's add-ons. They've got a fix in for it now, but it completely failed to work on my desktop at home. As far as I can tell, I'm the victim of some other problem that's causing a problem with the fix to the first problem, and Mozilla has no idea what's going on with it. Sigh. I really hope that gets fixed. Because, my god, the internet is a dystopian hellscape if approached without an ad-blocker in place. Well, at least it's working on my laptop.

Current thing: Feeling old and getting nostalgic. About, like, everything.

Current desktop picture: In honor of last month's "currently watching," I downloaded some wallpaper for The Orville. It's nice wallpaper, but I kind of wish I could have found one with Talla rather than Alara. Nothing at all against Alara, but of the two Talla is definitely my favorite.

Current book: Down These Dark Spaceways, edited by Mike Resnick. It's a collection of science fiction mystery novellas.

Current song in head: I've been getting snatches of Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive." Apparently that song will never die.

Current refreshment: Just finished some diet Pepsi.

Currently watching: I saw The Avengers: Endgame in the theater a couple of days ago, and... Eh, it was OK. On the small screen, I recently watched One Punch Man, on the recommendation of a friend, and also just fished season two of The Magicians. One Punch Man was delightful. (Well, if you can ignore the homophobic bits. Sigh.) My feeling about The Magicians so far is very much the same as my feeling about the books. It started out feeling like something I that seemed like it ought to be up my alley but wasn't quite doing it for me, but then got much more engaging as it went along.

Current happy thing: I don't know if I have any one big happy thing at the moment, but I am making a point of appreciating lots of little happy things.

Current thought: May the fourth be with you!

Monday, April 01, 2019

April Currentlies

Time for my April check-in! Let's see, what happened in March? Well, the half-joking comment I like to make about how I expect to die under an avalanche of collapsing bookshelves nearly came true when one of my bookcases did, in fact, collapse all over the place, but fortunately I managed to duck and run in time. (One of the books got slightly water-damaged by falling onto water splashed out of the cat's bowl, though. Woe!)

I've also had Vir in to have his glucose levels checked a couple of times, and he's doing well. The last time, the vet said he was actually on the low end of normal and cut back his dosage. Cats' pancreases sometimes mysteriously recover after you've given them insulin for a while, so fingers crossed that may be what's starting to happen. I do think he's started drinking and peeing a bit more on the lower dose, though, so it may be too low. He's supposed to get checked again in a few days, so we'll see.

Current clothes: Dark blue jeans. Black t-shirt with a picture of Buzz Aldrin on the moon. (At least, I think it's Buzz Aldrin. You can't read his name patch or anything, but I believe I recognize the picture.) Black socks. Brown work boots.

Current mood: Tired. I've been on night shifts for the past two weeks, including one of those 65-plus-hour work weeks that happen pretty much any time someone takes vacation time, and I'm so ready for it to be over. Especially because I haven't been sleeping well. At all. In those last two weeks, I think there've been two whole days when I've gotten a roughly adequate amount of sleep. I just keep waking up too early and not being able to do a damned thing about it.

Current music: The soundtrack to the original Muppet Movie. Which is pretty much my definition of pure distilled joy.

Current annoyance: Long hours and little sleep.

Current thing: Long hours and little sleep? Also obsessive binge-watching, but we'll get to that under "currently watching."

Current desktop picture: Still the same bookish one as last month. So boring.

Current book: Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan. Which I cracked open this sleep-deprived week thinking it would be an easy, quick-reading SF thriller. Turns out, it has a complicated plot, and multiple points of view, and lots of deep world-building it doesn't hold your hand through. All of which is good, but it means it's going much more slowly than anticipated.

Current song in head: "I'm Going to Go Back There Some Day," sung by Gonzo the Muppet, a song I have found incredibly poignant since the first time I heard it, at the age of 7.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: I just recently binge-watched The Orville, and that was a very strange and interesting experience. The combination of earnest Star Trek plots, goofy and sometimes juvenile humor, and relationship comedy/drama is an odd one, and early on it doesn't necessarily work very well. And then at some point things click together a bit, and at least in some episodes, it starts to gel nicely and is pretty entertaining. And then somewhere in season two, I found myself thinking, "Huh, wait, they're actually doing some stuff ST:TNG did better than TNG did it, and that's... interesting." And then a couple of episodes after that I'm sitting there watching the thing with my mouth hanging open going, "This is awesome! When did this turn into legitimately really good SF television? How did this turn into legitimately good SF television?!" What's funny is that people kind of told me that would happen, and yet it still took me by surprise.

Current happy thing: Legitimately really good SF television. Almost being off the damn night shift. Heading into that time of year when I can just walk around outside in a t-shirt even at night. The idea that some day I might actually get some sleep. The Muppets.

Current thought: To probably no one's surprise but mine, I find myself particularly fascinated by the robot on The Orville. My predictable character tastes, let me show you them! Somehow it's always the weird and alien ones. Which is probably also why I have the Gonzo song in my head.

Friday, March 01, 2019

March Currentlies

Well, we've made it to March. February, I'm afraid, was not the greatest month for me, mainly because my stupid cat finally failed his diabetes test. Not that it's surprising. Given how obese he is, I've been half-expecting it for years. I now have to give him an insulin shot twice a day, which is not, in itself, too bad. He sits still for it just fine, and it's not too hard to do. But I was given firm instructions that it needs to be administered every twelve hours, consistently. Which, depending on what shift I'm working and how I'm rotating, ranges from mildly inconvenient to massively disruptive and sleep-destroying, to literally impossible without access to a time machine. SIGH. Worse still, he's supposed to eat exactly half his daily intake of food at those twelve-hour intervals, but you try explaining that to him.

In happier news, I also got a new coffee table. So that's nice, I guess.

Current clothes: Green sweats. A white t-shirt with copies of various M.C. Escher prints on it. White socks.

Current mood: Not 100%. I had some bad gastrointestinal issues and no sleep on Wednesday night, and spent pretty much all of yesterday lying on the sofa feeling wrung-out and sorry for myself, drifting in and out of consciousness. I'm a lot better today. I mean, I'm actually eating food (albeit very carefully). But still kind of weak.

Current music: Nothing much. Oh, except for this sultry jazz cover of the Pinky & the Brain theme song.

Current annoyance: The fallible nature of both human and feline bodies.

Current thing: Poking the cat with a needle twice a day, apparently.

Current desktop picture: Still the same bookish one as last month. I really need to find something new and cool.

Current book: The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.

Current song in head: "Baby Shark". Send help.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: Just finished season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale

Current happy thing: The weather is lovely. Of course, it kept doing that during February and then plunging back down into the frozen depth of winter again, but maybe it's finally over now.

Current thought: Clearly what the internet needed was a sultry jazz cover of the Pinky & the Brain theme song. I mean, clearly.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

February Currentlies

Well, that's one month of 2019 down! I don't know that I have a lot to say about my January. It seems like I was very busy, but I don't really have a lot to show for it. Although I did finally replace my ailing smartphone. And my car battery (again). And we won't even get into the frustrations I had with my new health insurance provider.

Right. Let's do this thing again.

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A red shirt with cover art from Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. White socks.

Current mood: Tired. Physically tired, as opposed to all the other kinds of tired I usually am. Today I finally repainted my laundry room ceiling after having the water damage in there fixed. And a very amateurish job I'm sure it was, but that just means it matches the rest of my house. Anyway, it involved a lot of climbing around on ladders and sniffing paint fumes and stuff.

Current music: Nothing at the moment.

Current annoyance: Tiredness and general having-to-be-an-adult.

Current thing: Tiredness and general having to be an adult.

Current desktop picture: I've gone back to one of my old book-themed wallpapers, but I feel like I really should find something new.

Current book: The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose. It's about the author's project to basically take one shelf from a lending library and read (more or less) every book on it. Which sounds like my sort of thing, but I'm genuinely surprised by how interesting I'm finding it so far.

Current song in head: Nothing at all, really.

Current refreshment: Moroccan mint tea and a Cadbury fruit & nut Dairy Milk bar. Because I need it.

Currently watching: I'm re-watching Fawlty Towers for the first time in a couple of decades. It's not quite as hilarious as I remember it being, and it's showing its age in some ways, but at its best, it's still stupidly funny.

Current happy thing: I have a new car battery and a working smartphone and a repaired and painted ceiling, and my maddening issues with the insurance company have finally been sorted out, so maybe I'm finally caught up with the adulting for a while? Except, wait, I just remembered that I still have to do my taxes. Sigh.

Current thought: I wonder if that irritated feeling in the back of my throat is due to paint fumes?

Thursday, January 03, 2019

January Currentlies

Here I am in 2019, checking in the same way I've checked in every month for who knows how long.

Current clothes: Jeans. A gray sweatshirt featuring the definition of the word "abibliophobia": "The fear of running out of books to read." Aka the reason why I have 922 unread books on my shelves. Well, OK, one of the reasons. Also, white socks. And bunny slippers, because my feet are cold.

Current mood: Not too bad. A little rushed-feeling. I'm working evening shifts this week, and it always feels like there's not enough time to do very much before I have to leave.

Current music: Nothing, really.

Current annoyance: There are many, but the dominant one is the weather. Temperatures that drop down towards the single digits (yes, Fahrenheit). Snow that doesn't melt before more snow falls on top of it. Treacherous ice everywhere. What is the point of living in New Mexico, I ask you, if I have to put up with this sort of thing? Fortunately, next week looks like it's going to be warmer.

Current thing: I don't know if it counts as a New Year's resolution or not, but I'm going to at least try to spend less time on stupid time-wastey stuff and more on things I actually want to do.

Current desktop picture: It's still the TARDIS with a Christmas wreath. Time to change it again!

Current book: Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. It's the final book in a trilogy of kids' books. It's a good story (and one that appeals to my book-loving soul), but overlong, especially this volume.

Current song in head: "Good King Wenceslas." Which is weird and annoying, because I know barely any of the lyrics, because I honestly have no idea who Good King Wenceslas even is or why I should care about him, and because Christmas is over, already!

Current refreshment: Nothing, but I must have some lunch soon.

Currently watching: Most recently, the Doctor Who New Year's special. It occurs to me that I haven't talked about my thoughts about the most recent season of Who here. I hate to say it, but I've found it kind of disappointing. There are lots of specific things I've really enjoyed, mind you. And I think Jodie Whittaker is good, and I love the new companions and the way their relationships with each other and with the Doctor are being handled. But Chris Chibnall's particular weaknesses as a writer, especially when it comes to plot, seem to trip my annoyance triggers hard. And while I think this incarnation of the Doctor being a kinder, nicer version makes a lot of sense in character terms (and manages to avoid feeling like a gender stereotype, fortunately), I long for Whittaker to be allowed to have just a little bit more of an edge to her. Now. All that having been said, I actually really thoroughly enjoyed the New Year's special. In fact, it got me feeling all excited about the show again... just in time to launch us into a hiatus of more than a year. Sigh.

Current happy thing: I always get weirdly happy at the turn of the year about having a whole new year's worth of reading in front of me. This time I'm going to make even more progress through the TBR shelves, I'm sure of it!

Current thought: A raise of the glass to all of you who have been really loving the current era of Doctor Who so far. Lots of people are, and I am delighted for them! And am trying not to be jealous. After all, in Steven Moffat's run I already got a version of the show that -- while I certainly can't say it never made any missteps -- hit my own personal fannish buttons really well and made me feel very satisfied and happy. And it's somebody else's turn for that now. That's pretty much just how Doctor Who works.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

I may not be posting here much, but I could hardly neglect to check in on the last day of the year, could I? I hope everyone out there has been having a warm and lovely holiday season, and I'd like to wish you the very best in 2019.

As far as my personal life goes, I don't know that 2018 seemed like an exceptionally eventful year. To be honest, I think it mostly passed in kind of a blur. Far and away the most significant thing is that I got my new fake tooth properly installed, and eventually even got to the point where I could confidently chew on it without thinking about the fact that it was fake and worrying about something going wrong with it. And very glad I am to have that whole dental saga behind me.

I did accomplish a few things, too. Like finally getting my aging sewer pipe replaced. And the skylights, once they started leaking. And I made it out to California to visit my mother, for the first time in a decade or so. (Not that I hadn't seen my mom plenty of times during that decade. But, well... Let's just say that I very much owed her a return visit.)

Yes, well, I never claimed to have the world's most exciting life.

One thing I do claim to do, though, is to read a lot of books, which brings us to the traditional end-of-the-year book roundup. You can see a list of all the books I read here. There were actually fewer of them this time than in other recent years. But, despite that, the one-in/two-out method of trying to tame my out-of-control TBR has been working quite well: I now have 34 fewer unread books on my shelves than I did at the start of 2018. Admittedly, at this rate it'd still take me about 27 years to get it down to zero, but I'm counting it as progress.

As is also traditional, here's a list of the best books I read in 2018, or at least which ones I gave at least 4.5 stars out of 5 on LibraryThing:


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip bu George Saunders
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness by Zach Weinersmith
Big Mushy Happy Lump and Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work by M.C. Escher
The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield
But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

Which I swear is an even more motley assortment of books than my usual.

Anyway. That's it for 2018, for me. I'll be back sometime in the next few days with the usual monthly thingamajig. I'm figuring on continuing to do that for the foreseeable future, if only because I'm far too lazy to think of anything else to do with this blog.

Until then, and once again: Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 01, 2018

December Currentlies

I suppose the most significant thing that happened to me in November is that I got my roof leak fixed. Again. Actually, this time it seems it wasn't the roof, but the skylight. I have two skylights, and they were both in very bad shape, so I had them replaced. I also had the water damage from the previous roof leak fixed, finally. I really, really should have taken care of that ages ago, but it's good to have it done now. Well, mostly done, anyway. The ceiling in that room will need to be repainted. But I figure I can do that myself. I mean, how hard can it be? Right? Right?

Current clothes: I just got out of the shower, so I'm wearing a bathrobe and bunny slippers. I may have gotten up earlier than I should have this morning -- see "current annoyance" -- but that doesn't mean I'm moving fast.

Current mood: A little tired. Also see "current annoyance."

Current music: Nothing in particular.

Current annoyance: Yes, it's my sleep/work schedule again. This past week I worked until midnight, which is fine, except that I had to keep getting up early for things like having my roof worked on. Which not only means that I haven't been getting an ideal amount of sleep, it also means that I haven't been able to start adjusting myself for the night shifts I'm working next week. Last night, I had plans for various things I could do to keep myself up later -- computer games! DVDs! vacuuming the house! -- but when I got home, the power was out, presumably due to the high winds we were having. I read by flashlight for a while, then gave up and went to sleep. And then woke up earlier than I should have, because my nose was stuffed, and the cat was yelling about being hungry, and I had to pee. So I gave up again and got out of bed. Sigh.

Current thing: Honestly, it's probably doing far too much stupid, time-wastey stuff, while neglecting all the actually useful and important things I should be doing.

Current desktop picture: Since it's December, I've changed it to my usual holiday image of a snow-dusted TARDIS with a wreath on the door.

Current book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I picked this book up because I heard a lot of praise for it, but I left it sitting on the TBR shelves for a long while, mostly because I wasn't sure it would be my kind of thing. I find the Odyssey infinitely more interesting that the Iliad, personally. But now Miller's got a new one out that is based on the Odyssey, which I really want to read, but I figured I should get to this one first. And I'm so glad I did, because it's just terrific. Really well-written and absorbing.

Current song in head: It's been a weird medley of stuff this morning, but right now it seems to mostly be dominated by "Just What I Needed" by the Cars.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I should make some tea. Or maybe think about having lunch, after I get dressed.

Currently watching: Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Which... I dunno. It's cute, but it's still a little too, well, sitcommy for me. Which I'm aware is a silly thing to criticize when you're watching a sitcom, but still.

Current happy thing: It really is good to have that ceiling fixed! It had, if you'll excuse the pun, really been hanging over my head for quite a while.

Current thought: It bothers me that I am constantly so hung up on the rapid passage of time these days, but still: How the heck is it December already? How is it nearly the end of 2018? Where does it all go?!