Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Plus, Even Pictures Of This Guy Fully Clothed Probably Violate The Sexual Harassment Policy.

Hmm. Possibly putting a picture of Jack Harkness up as wallpaper on my work PC is not the very best idea if I, like, actually want to get any work done.

But, gosh, that is pretty.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Falling Back

Dear Self,

You know that trying to take a nap only makes you groggier. Stop it.

No love,

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pretty Much All My Culture Is Pop Culture.

I'm finding myself extremely tempted to actually go to the symphony next week...

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Does Anybody Really Care Whether I Can Post About It?

After a nice, long period of stability, it now seems like every time I try to post here, Blogger's broken in one fashion or another. I've been trying to publish that last links post since yesterday. Sigh. I really do sometimes think that the internet just hates me, but I'm sure it's entirely coincidence that this sort of thing starts happening right about the time I start thinking, "Hey, I have better net access now and will post more often!"

In other things-that-annoy-me news, I know I've ranted about this before, but what the hell: I hate daylight savings time. I hate changing on to it, I hate changing off of it, and I hate everyone who decided it would be a good idea to force the rest of us to arbitrarily mess with our clocks. I suspect them all of being evil morning people -- morning people quietly rule the world, the bastards -- and it's quite clear none of them ever did shiftwork in their lives. Dudes, my body clock gets screwed with enough without the government coming in and deliberately fucking with it twice a year. This time, I get the fun experience of having to stay up for an extra hour at the end of my tiring night shift before I can finally go to bed at a brighter, sunnier hour. Joy. At least I'm not on a schedule now where I ever have to work on Saturday nights. I've also had the fun experiences of being required to work an hour-longer shift and of trying to figure out how not to lose an hour's pay on a shorter one because I was on duty when the time changed.

Also, it seems that half the clocks I own automatically reset themselves during the shift and half of them don't. And since I don't actually know which are which, I can never be entirely sure when looking at a clock today whether it's lying to me or not.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Linkitty, Linkitty!

Yes, it's once again time for me to dump a bunch of random links I've found while surfing about the net on you poor, unsuspecting readers. Thus:

SongTapper: Tap out a tune on your space bar, and a computer attempts to identify it for you. I don't know how good it is, generally, but it guessed my rendition of TMBG's "Theme from Flood" with impressive ease.

Dr. DeBunko: A comics series about a guy who goes around applying reason and common sense to things like, oh, the existence of corpse-eating werewolves. Some nice bits of humor.

Six word stories: I think this has been linked to from pretty much everywhere on the net, but what the heck. There's some wonderful six-word gems here, from some highly talented authors.

Ducktor Who: I totally, totally need one of these for my bathtub.

The book with the funniest Amazon reviews ever: The book is exactly what the title says it is. The reviews are gloriously tongue-in-cheek.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Know Jack

So, I've seen the first two episodes of the new Doctor Who spinoff series, Torchwood. (Don't ask me how. *cough*) I thought I'd say a word or two about it here, for those who haven't already heard me rambling incoherently on the subject.

This show's been described as "a British X-Files," but the setup is much more Men in Black (albeit played much less tongue-in-cheek), and the vibes I'm getting off of it remind me of nothing so much as Angel. In fact, they remind me a lot of Angel.

Anyway, I liked the first episode quite a lot. The second one, not nearly as much so, in large part because it felt far too much like the writers were going, "Ooh, we're on later at night now! We can write sex! Whoo-hoo! Watch us go!" Which, really, is seldom a recipe for genuinely adult storytelling.

Still, I'm finding it highly interesting, and I think it's got a great deal of promise, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of it. Plus, like half the universe, I seem to have developed a slightly embarrassing crush on Captain Jack Harkness. And an even bigger one on Jack's really cool coat. *swoon*

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's The End, But The Moment Has Not Been Prepared For.

I just got the last Lemony Snicket novel, and I've found myself weirdly reluctant to start it, because I know it'll go very fast, and then I'll have no more of the series left to read, and that seems like such a disappointing thought. I gather this isn't exactly an uncommon type of reaction, but it's not one that I'm particularly prone to experiencing. I find it interesting and kind of amusing that, of all the books and series of books I've read, it's this goofy little kids' story that gets that response from me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Now that I have nice, reliable internet access again, you may once more have to listen to me wibbling on regularly and at length about gripping subjects such as whatever TV shows I happen to be watching. I'm sure you're all very excited.

I'll start with Heroes, because it's one of the two new shows I've been following this season (and I don't actually have a whole lot to say about Studio 60). I'm having some interesting mixed reactions to Heroes... I find most of the characters and the ongoing, interwoven storylines interesting but not deeply engaging, and there seems to come a point somewhere in the middle of every episode where I starting thinking that, gosh, I'm really not sure how much longer I'm going to bother sticking with this show. And then, in the last few minutes of the episode, they invariably pull out some incredibly cool and surprising cliffhanger that instantly makes me all eager to see the next one. That's some clever-bastard writing, right there.

So I probably will be watching the show for at least the rest of the season, although it doesn't seem like it's ever going to be one of those programs that turns me into a raving fangirl. (Which is probably just as well, really. I've got enough of those as it is.) I think part of what keeps it from getting anywhere near crossing that line is that, for the most part, it lacks any real sense of warmth or humor. I don't know what it is, whether it's the acting or the visual style or just the fact that we spend so little time per episode with each character that it's hard to get really invested in any of them, but I do feel oddly distanced from what's going on most of the time. The single exception is Hiro, the adorably dorky Japanese guy with the ability to bend spacetime, who lights up the show like a ray of sunshine every time he walks on-screen. I'll tell ya, if they dumped the rest of the characters and turned this thing into The Adventures of Super-Hiro, it'd stay on my TiVo's season pass list as long as they wanted to keep running it. Sadly, I'm sure that will never happen. If people listened to me on this particular topic, Voyager would have killed off most of the cast and become a show about the holo-doctor and possibly Seven of Nine.

Anyway. The other thing that bugs me about Heroes -- though I suppose it's really just another aspect of the same thing -- is its tendency to get all pretentious and take itself way too seriously. Which isn't to say that I don't think a show about super-powers can't or shouldn't take a serious tone. In fact, I think that's a really interesting thing to do. But I'll be very, very happy if I never have to sit through another ponderous, buzzword-filled lecture about Destiny and Specialness and the Next Step in Human Evolution. The self-important tone is bad enough, but it wouldn't bother me nearly so much if the content weren't complete and utter bullshit. Evolution does not work the way the show describes it. It just doesn't. Period. And, y'know, I can accept some bullshit premise for the sake of a cool story about superheroes, but, dudes, the more you dwell on the bullshit, the harder it is for me to keep the ol' disbelief in suspension.

But all of that sounds way more negative than I really want to, because it's much easier to put my finger on things that don't work than on things that do. I am enjoying it, on the whole, and am hoping to enjoy it more as the various storylines develop and converge. I think it has the potential to be something very cool and interesting. I'm just hoping it lives up to it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Triumphant Return to the Internet

I've been having really annoying problems with my wireless internet off and on since I moved. My antenna's been adjusted a couple of times, and it's seemed to help a little, but never for very long, and over the last few weeks, things had deteriorated to the point where if I wanted any kind of reliable connection at all, I had to dial in. Which sucked pretty badly, especially when you consider that, normally, I live about three-quarters of my life online. I was so cut off! *sniffle*

I was on the verge of giving up entirely and just switching to DSL (which is available in my area now, but wasn't when I first got broadband), but the folks at my ISP said to hold on and they'd see what they could do with the wireless. The problem, apparently, was that there are trees between me and the transmitter that were getting in the way. In fact, there are trees between me and every transmitter in town, and while I have a nice, clear view of the mountain, they thought I might be too far south to get a good angle on the one up there. But they tried it anyway, and lo and behold, I have signal! I have good signal: the little status indicator icon in my taskbar is green for what I think is the first time ever.

Hooray! I feel somehow complete again.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Dominar Has Arrived!

My plush Rygel came! And, man, he's way more cuddly than anything that looks like Rygel has any right to be.

The cats seem extremely interested in him. Of course, he loftily informed them that he was far too important to be bothered talking to them, and then when they came sniffing around him again, he inquired as to what use they were and whether they might be edible. I think possibly Vir-kitty was wondering much the same thing about him.

(Why, no, I never do plan on growing up. Why do you ask?)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Get Yer Random Links Here!

Updates on this blog have been a smidge sporadic of late, I know. Partly it's due to some problems I've been having with my internet connection, which I'm really hoping will be sorted out by this time tomorrow, and part of it's been due to a lack of time and energy, which should hopefully be less of an issue once I get off the freakin' morning shift again.

Anyway, have some random links:

Mathematics Genius: Amusing student answers to mathematical test questions.

New York Magazine profile of Stephen Colbert: I'm watching Colbert's show a lot more often now that I have the TiVo and don't actually have to remember when it's on, and I think the guy is utterly brilliant. It's not easy to pull off that particular kind of satire that well.

Official Torchwood Website: The BBC's new website for the Doctor Who spinoff series. A lot of the content's inaccessible if you live outside the UK, though, which is incredibly lame.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

So Many Books...

Today was one of my favorite events: the local Friends of the Library book sale. I am pleased to report that not only did I not exceed my book-buying quota, I also did not buy any of the yummy, fatty baked goods they had for sale, either. In other words, I have been very good, and I deserve a gold star.

Actually, limiting the book-buying wasn't nearly as hard as it often has been in the past, as the whole experience kept conspiring to remind me of how many still-unread books I already have. I'd keep stumbling across things and going, "Ooh, that's interesting! I want to read that! I-- Oh, wait. I already have that one." There seemed to be one of those in damned near every box.

In any case, I walked out with six books:

The BFG by Roald Dahl
Longitude by Dava Sobel
Your Eyelids Are Growing Heavy by Barbara Paul
The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper
Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage
On Language by William Safire.

Looking back to the last book sale, six months ago, I see that I bought exactly six books then, too. I've read exactly one of them since. Sigh.

I did finish a book on the way back from the sale, though, so I suppose that's some kind of progress. Although it's still looking likely that I'm going to die with several hundred unread books.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I told myself I did not need a plush Rygel. I told myself that it was a useless and pointless thing upon which to spend money that I ought to be saving. But the longer I looked at him -- that paragon of greed for shiny things you don't actually need, that exemplar of the unashamed adoration of Rygel XVI -- the less I felt able to resist.

Stupid bad-role-model doll. Ah, well. He can hang out with my Vulcan teddy bear. That could be kind of interesting...

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Current Meme of Mostly-Bitchiness

Current clothes: I'm wearing my lounging-around-in pajamas -- large black pocket t-shirt, Pink Floyd PJ bottoms and Homer Simpson slippers -- because my clothes got all soaked while I was out walking in the rain earlier. (Sadly, that was more or less the high point of my day, too.)

Current mood: It's been one of those days where I pretty much want to crawl into bed, curl up into a ball, and whimper about how much it sucks to be a responsible adult. Well, OK, maybe it hasn't been quite that bad, but that's been a tempting thought, anyway. Although right now, I mainly just feel tired.

Current music: I just got a couple of new albums I've been playing: Weird Al Yankovic's Straight Outta Lynwood (as previously mentioned) and Love, Hope, Loss, Repeat by Carbon Leaf.

Current annoyance: Well, the biggest one is that my roof is leaking again. Aargh. It's been over a year since I last had a problem with it, and a damned rainy year at that, so I thought it was fixed for good, but apparently not. I called the roofers this morning from work... It's still under warranty, and they said they'd come out and look at it, but they never called me back, and when I got home it was still leaking, so if they fixed it, they didn't do a very complete job of it. It's maybe only leaking in one place now instead of two, but somehow that's really not very comforting. (Other annoyances, while I'm at it: my lungs are still full of goo, the same thunderstorm that apparently re-broke my roof also kept me up half the night; my internet connection's still flaky and my ISP never returns my phone calls; my gastrointestinal system is having a bad day, the details of which I won't go into; I just started on day shift, which I never enjoy; and lately I'm tending to feel surrounded by way too much contagious negativity for my own good.)

Current thing: Drinking cough syrup like it was Kool Aid in an attempt to keep from hacking my lungs out.

Current desktop picture: A gorgeous photograph of the Milky Way, taken in Capital Reef National Park in Utah.

Current song in head: Weird Al's "White and Nerdy." Which might as well be my theme song, really.

Current book: Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent. The author disguised herself as a man -- quite effectively, apparently -- and set about joining a men's bowling team, making dates with women through singles' sites, visting strip clubs, and even spending time in a monastery, all for the purposes of the book. The result is way more absorbing, engaging, and insightful than I would ever have expected.

Current DVD in player: Disc 4 of Brisco County, Jr.. And, man, Bruce Campbell really can be astonishingly charming when he has a role that lets him be.

Current refreshment: Lemon-ginger tea. It comforts me in my time of ookiness.

Current worry: The damned roof, I guess, and whether it's going to get fixed and stay fixed.

Current thought: I shouldn't have eaten that fried chicken. I don't know what I was thinking, other than, "Hey, comfort food!" Ugh.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm Walking on Solar Radiation!

I am in an unreasonably good mood today. Which is nice, because I've had far too many irritable, unproductive moods going for far too long.

While the real reason probably has to do with some strange quirk of my brain chemistry combined with what I've eaten, the amount of sleep I've had, and what's in that cough syrup I've been drinking, I am nevertheless inclined to credit it to the cool new Doctor Who t-shirt I'm wearing and the fact that I just got the new Weird Al Yankovic album.

It's the small, nerdy things in life that give me pleasure.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Welcome to the Latest Installment Of "What Betty's Watching."

Thanks to the acquisition of the TiVo, my DVD-watching rate has dropped off enough I can practically hear the folks at Netflix breathing a sigh of relief.

But I'm still making progress through the DVD queue, even if it's happening much more slowly. Currently, I'm working my way through The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., which just came out on disc a little while back. For some reason I never really followed this show when it was on the air, even though all my friends did. Which, I can see now, was stupid of me. It's a delightful series, and it deserves a lot better than the cult-show obscurity it got. I mean, I'm watching it, of course, because I'm a geek. Hey, it's got Bruce Campell and random science-fiction elements and pulpy adventures that remind me of my old role-playing days! But what gets me is that I keep thinking, man, I bet my mother would like this show. Heck, my grandmother might even like it, and it's extremely difficult to find something all three of us can sit in a room and enjoy. (I think the only thing we're usually able to settle on happily is CSI, and then probably only if they're not investigating a sex crime.) It's sorta sad that something with the the pontial for that kind of wide appeal didn't last longer than one season.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Bowling Balls Seem Believable, But I Really Don't Know About The Name...

Fire Crotch

People Iced:Forty One
Car Bombs Planted:Nineteen
Favorite WeaponBowling Balls
Arms Broken:Thirty Two
Eyes Gouged:Twenty Nine
Tongues Cut Off:Two
Biggest Enemy:Cross-Eyed Chris

Get Your HITMAN Name