Thursday, December 31, 2009

Somebody Call Me Tomorrow After It's Charged Up.

My exciting activity for the last day of the year: I bought a new telephone. My old one was prone to bursts of static and annoying clicking noises which finally became a bit too much to bear. This one, although it was very cheap, is a proper 21st century phone, with a phonebook list you can choose numbers from instead of a speed-dial function, and everything.

Slowly, the tech level in my house is rising.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swiftly Now...

Wow, so, there are just over 24 hours left in this year.[*] The end of 2009 really did sort of sneak up on me. First it was Christmas, and then I spent four days working and sleeping and complaining, and then, bam! suddenly 2009 is rushing out the door already, before I can properly take stock of it.

Not that there's much to take stock of, really. It's been a remarkably uneventful year for me, and I'm not sure there's much of anything worth remembering about it. Which is probably a good thing. I mean, any year that doesn't go down as The Year My House Was Demolished in an Earthquake or The Year I Was Diagnosed with Cancer of the Face is a good year, in my opinion.

Next year, of course, will be The Year We Make Contact, so I'll be looking forward to that.

[*] In my year, that is. Your timezone may vary. And, heck, for all I know, you're reading this three weeks from now, anyway. Hello, person from the future!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Wow, will you look at that? Snow!

I don't know whether the fact that I literally started a little in surprise when I opened the door and saw white everywhere says more about how little it snows here, or how easy it is to catch my poor brain off-guard at this hour of the morning.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Little End-Of-The-Year Whining

I need a vacation. I didn't really get one over Christmas; I got the equivalent of a weekend in a week where I ordinarily wouldn't have had one without shuffling my hours around or taking vacation time.

I want to lie on a beach somewhere sipping piña coladas, or go for long walks in the woods, or something. Why is this not on my itinerary?

Sigh. Back to work I go. Again.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Happy!

Hi, everybody! Season's Greetings and all that jazz!

I had a very pleasant Christmas Eve, eating fruitcake and watching DVDs and chatting on the internet and stuff. I was up rather later than I intended to be, though... and then I woke up way too early this morning, for some unfathomable reason. Doggone it, I distinctly remember not having kids so that I could sleep in on Christmas.

But never mind! Presents have been opened -- well, OK, I confess to doing that last night, too. But never mind when they were opened, they are open now, and they are all much appreciated! (The cats appreciated the wrapping paper, too.)

And sometime today, I will call all my relatives... and cook myself a nice holiday meal... and watch Doctor Who... and maybe hang out with friends. And then I'll get some goddamned sleep. Yeah. That sounds like a plan.

Anyway, hope everyone out there is having a wonderful holiday, or has had a wonderful holiday, depending on what you celebrate when. Whether you've gotten enough sleep or not.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm Totally Doing A Little Touchdown Dance Of Baking Right Now.

Behold! Fruitcake!

If I do say so, that came out surprisingly awesome.  And decidedly non-evil.  Although next year -- and, oh, yes, there will be a next year -- I think I will leave out the papaya in favor of more apricots.  The tropical note is very slightly discordant.

Still!  Non-evil fruitcake!  And they called me mad!

Yes, Poor Friend. I Hear She's Fruity As A Nutcake.

I have no idea how well it will come out, considering that I made a decidedly half-assed attempt at following the recipe. But, man oh man, if this thing tastes one-tenth as good as it smells, or even as appealing as the batter looked, I believe I will have single-handedly redeemed the reputation of fruitcake.

On a tangentially related note, apparently Weird Al's "The Night Santa Went Crazy" is now tied for the number one most played slot in my iTunes. This is what the holidays do to me, people.

HOW IS IT STILL ONLY 1:30?!?!?!?!

My holiday can start any time now. Really. Aaaaaany time. *looks at clock, sighs*

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gimme Cookie!

And there are cookies! Man, that really is a nice, easy recipe. Thank you, grandmom! They came out a bit different this time than the last few times I made them, I think, a bit thinner and crispier around the edges. This is not a bad thing, though. In fact, I think they're about the tastiest I've ever gotten them. Mmm. I've eaten a few too many of them already, but they're best fresh out of the oven! Plus, y'know, some of them fell apart, and you have to have quality control.

Also, for future reference, I must keep in mind that while cranking up the wacky Christmas music is a truly essential part of holiday baking, and while generally the most efficient means of timing things in the oven is to use the countdown timer on my wristwatch, these two things do not necessarily work perfectly well together. At least, not if one is wearing headphones and singing along with said music at a significantly high volume. Fortunately, I managed not to burn anything.

Yay for accomplishment! I think I deserve cookies.

Bake We Now

So, this is the time of year where, traditionally, I'm simultaneously going, "It's how long 'til Christmas?! I still can't open these freaking presents yet?!" and "OMG, Christmas is how soon? Wasn't I going to do some baking?"

Well, this year, I am pleased to report, there will be baking. Oh, yes, there will be baking. Tonight, I'm going to crank out a double batch of my grandmother's famous chocolate drop cookies. (Which reminds me: I need to call my grandmother.) And then tomorrow or Wednesday, for reasons far too silly and complicated to get into here, I'm going to make fruitcake. Hopefully non-evil fruitcake. That should be interesting, because I'm not sure I've ever even eaten a fruitcake, never mind baked one. So, uh, wish me luck!

We Can Has Moar Sun Now?

Happy Solstice, everybody! For the shortest day of the year, it's remarkably warm here today.

[ETA: Except it got a lot chillier by the time I left work.]

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Apocawhat When?

I'm not at all sure how I feel about that. In part because I still haven't ever gotten around to watching that movie.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pet Peeve #6,057

Pet Peeve #6,057: Charity-solicitation junk mail that comes with a coin in the envelope. Ostensibly, this is some kind of promotional gimmick, but I think the real intent is to punish anybody who tries to feed the envelope through a shredder without opening it. Thank you so fucking much, unnamed charity I was never going to donate to anyway because you're partly about promoting a religion I don't believe in.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Muppets

Some seasonal Muppet joy:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Murphy's Law Application #4,972

When you've just hit "post" on something only to realize that you've made an embarrassing mistake that you want to correct quickly before anyone sees it, that is the exact moment your internet will suddenly go down. The length of the outage, of course, will be directly proportional to the magnitude of the mistake. Apparently realizing that you've used the same adverb three times in three sentences gets you about 10-15 minutes.

We're Not Getting Any Further Into December Without Doing This Meme.

Current clothes: Olive-colored sweatshirt with the sleeves bunched up at the elbows. Blue jeans. White socks. Gray sneakers.

Current mood: A little rushed right now, but generally very good. I don't know what it is, but lately even when I'm not really doing much of anything, I feel like I'm having a lot of fun doing it. It's weird, but I'm not going to complain about it.

Current music: Of late I've mostly been trying to catch up on the zillion podcasts I've downloaded, with a rather surprising degree of success. But I was just listening to some random-shuffle stuff while I was hanging up laundry. Most recently played: "Learn to Fly" by Carbon Leaf.

Current annoyance: The discovery that I accidentally left a tampon in the back pocket of a pair of jeans when I put them in the laundry. The results are sort of like when you leave a kleenex in the pocket, only even more annoying.

Current thing: OK, yes, I have been continuing to play The Sims 2 -- see "current song in head" -- but I've been rationing my time on it. Honestly.

Current desktop picture: This image from the Doctor Who Christmas station break thingy I linked to in the last post.

Current book: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. This was written in 1968 and set in 2010, which makes reading it for the first time in almost-2010 a slightly odd experience. As is almost inevitable -- and, in this case, was undoubtedly a deliberate choice -- it's really not about 2010 at all, but about the issues and concerns of 1968, projected and magnified onto the screen of an imagined future. Needless to say, the issues and concerns of 1968 are largely not the issues of today, so that the only way I can properly appreciate this book is to try to rewind my brain back to 1968 and then spin it forward again. Which is something of a challenge, considering that I was born in 1971. But that mental exercise really is necessary, because that projection is mostly all there is; the characters and plot seem to exist mainly as scaffolding for Brunner's social commentary. It's a very carefully constructed and highly provocative projection, mind you, and I imagine it must have made quite an impact on contemporary readers, but at this point it's mainly only of historical interest. It seems to me that that alone ought to be enough to make it worthwhile reading, but I have to confess that I'm kind of struggling with it.

Current song in head: Various bits of music from The Sims 2, notably that salsa tune they seem to really enjoy dancing to.

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 5 of Numb3rs. I really like this show. Objectively, it's not a work of artistic brilliance or anything, being just another crime-of-the-week show, albeit one with an excellent cast. But the fact that a show about solving crime with math not only made it onto the air, but is actually very successful... I swear, it gives me renewed hope for humanity. And it's immense fun to watch. I don't even care how accurate it all is.

Current refreshment: Nothing, but I'm getting very hungry.

Current worry: That if I spend too much more time on the internet right now, I'm not going to have time to cook and eat lunch before I have to leave for work.

Current thought: Where are my mornings going lately? Or even my "mornings," which partially take place in the early afternoon this week. How is it 1:30 already?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Random Pop Cultural Links

Summarize your sex life with a Star Wars quote: Way funnier than it probably ought to be. And I say that as someone who's not even that much of a Star Wars fan.

5 Star Wars Status Updates: Star Wars characters' Facebook updates. Y'know, I think that, as with Lovecraft, I may like Star Wars humor more than I actually like Star Wars.

Are You a Lovcraftian Horror?: Speaking of Lovecraft humor...

The 10 Most Clichéd Character Types in Sci-Fi: Despite the fact that I believe I actually quite enjoyed every single example they give here, I have to agree. These are very cliché.

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody: It makes me happy that I live in a world in which this exists.

BBC one Doctor Who Christmas Ident 1: Adorable little Doctor Who Christmas-themed station identification thingy.

Truly, They Would Rule The World If Only They Had Opposable Thumbs.

The intelligence level of my cats is really starting to worry me. Twice now -- twice -- Vir has expressed with meows and the placement of paws on my legs that he wishes me to pay attention to him instead of to The Sims 2[*], and, when this wish failed to be fulfilled, he's gone over and stepped on the off button on my UPS, thus instantly shutting down the computer[**][***]. And, yes, OK, once could easily be coincidence, and even twice could be attributable to the fact that, well, he's flailing around at my feet and could possibly hit it by accident. But I can't deny a strong suspicion that he actually knows perfectly damned well what he's doing. Gaaah! Cats!

[*] Sadly, I have fallen off the Sims 2 wagon. I was doing so well with going cold turkey for many months, but, well, there was this one week where I really needed to try to keep myself awake late in order to switch onto the night shift, and it's so useful for that...

[**] And, of course, he had to do it when things were going well. No, we can't lose an unsaved game when somebody's just set their kitchen on fire. It has to be right after they've unexpectedly won $7,000 or successfully potty-trained their toddler or something. (For I am a benevolent god this go-round, and am striving for happiness and fulfillment for my simulated playthings. Mostly.)

[***] And my router, which then got confused and started handing out duplicate IP addresses, thus denying my PC access to the internet when I turned it back on. Fortunately, rebooting the TiVo took care of that problem. Go, me, fixing minor computer issues!

Thursday, December 03, 2009


There is snow!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hey! You Can Buy Books Offline, Too!

Just got back from running some errands in Albuquerque. And since, this being only the second day of the month, I hadn't quite hit my book-buying quota yet, I stopped at Page One while I was there and did some book shopping. I hardly ever set foot in brick-and-mortar bookstores anymore, since I now do most of my book buying, like most of my everything-else-buying, online. I swear, I was sort of walking around in a daze wondering where the search box was. And, oh what a strange thing it seems, now, to pick up a book I've never even heard of, flip through it, and decide to take a chance on it without even looking up reviews or how people rated it on Amazon, or anything. It's fun! I really must do this sort of thing more often. If nothing else, it's good to throw your local independent booksellers some business now and again.

And now my To-Read Pile sits at 426 books. Which is, um, better than it was at the beginning of the year, at least. Go, me?