Saturday, March 10, 2012

Currently, It's Time For Some Currentlies

Current clothes: Dark blue sweatpants, maroon t-shirt that says, "I know just enough to be dangerous." (Which is true, but I'm still feeling pretty good about the way I managed to fix a problem earlier where my PC and my TiVo were refusing to talk to each other.) White socks. Cthulhu slippers.

Current mood: Today, I've been in one of those bizarre states that I sometimes wonder if only I am capable of: a weird, fluctuating combination of relaxed and frazzled. Sort of a "Yay, I'm off today! I can do anything I want to!" plus a "Gaah, where did today go? I have gotten nothing done!" I did just vacuum, though, which always makes me feel better. It's like an easy, sure-fire way of making myself feel like I've accomplished something.

Current music: Leonard Cohen's Old Ideas.

Current annoyance: Oh, there are so many of them. Which one to pick? How about the fact that my allergies have started acting up again? Stupid sinuses.

Current thing: Cooking! More specifically, crock pot cooking. I realized, finally, that part of the reason why I hate to cook is that when it's dinnertime, I don't want to have to jump through annoying food-preparation hoops. I just want to eat. It's actually a lot more fun if I do it when it's not actually mealtime. Hence: crock pot! I even went out and got a crock pot recipe book, and have made several reasonably successful new meals. Last week, I made a Cuban-style curried turkey thing that looked like a gloopy mess, but tasted amazing. As in, oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-I-actually-cooked-this-food amazing. Today, I just made good, old-fashioned pot roast, although I'm feeling kind of annoyed with myself because I forgot to put in onions.

Current desktop picture: A photo my aunt took from the top of a Hawaiian volcano. Probably Haleakala.

Current book: I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. For some reason.

Current song in head: Brain Radio has been crazy noisy lately. Right now, it seems to be playing "In the Car" by Barenaked Ladies. I have no idea why.

Current DVD in player: Nothing in the living room at the moment, because I'm trying to get caught up on weeks worth of Tivo'd stuff. The last thing in there was season 3 of Merlin. Which is a show that ranges from a fluffy bit of brain candy that I like better than I feel I should to actually pretty decent television. In front of the treadmill, I've been watching season 1 of The Twilight Zone. And, wow, but that is just classic, classic stuff. Even better than I remember it being, most of it. How the hell it manages to hold up so well after fifty-plus years, when everything it does has become so over-familiar in the meantime, I don't know, but it does.

Current refreshment: Diet A&W root beer. I normally dislike diet sodas, but something in the root beer does a good job of hiding that nasty chemical taste from the aspartame.

Current worry: Again, there are many. But the kitten is really trying hard to dominate here. Her eyes are actually looking a lot better, which is great. But then for a while she decided to stop eating much of anything. It wasn't a case of not eating because she was feeling sick, though. She was in no way feeling sick. At one point, the only way I could get her to eat anything was to scatter some Kitten Chow on the floor so she could bat each individual piece of kibble around with her paws and hunt it for a while before eating it. That's not being sick. That's deliberately trying to drive me crazy. Finally, after enough days for it to start to get scary, she seems to be back to eating just fine again. What a relief! Except now she's out of the antibiotics she's supposed to be taking. The vets gave me a small amount of liquid in a big bottle and warned me that sometimes it coats the sides and won't come out, so I could come back for more if I needed it. A couple of days ago, it looked like there was several days worth, coating or no coating. Today, I tried to get some out, and there was nothing but dried stuff crusted onto the sides. And, of course, the vet's office is closed for the weekend, and I can't get any more until Monday. Yeah, going off a course of antibiotics for two days right in the middle is a great idea. New worry: that I am currently breeding resistant bacterial super-bugs inside my kitten.

Current thought: I want a vacation. I want to put all the damned cats into suspended animation and go lie on a beach somewhere and do nothing but read for a week, while people bring me drinks with umbrellas in them.


  1. I kind of half-watched an episode of Merlin when I was in the UK back in 2008. It seemed okay, with a pretty decent adult cast, but I just couldn't get into it. And The Vampire Diaries may be the limit to my "not really great but still more fun than it ought to be" watching. (TVD is also a very plot-heavy show, so one season feels like fifteen.)

    With the Twilight Zone...I watched the first couple of episodes not too long ago, neither of which I'd ever seen before. And, in general, I'd agree, the show holds up. There are lots of times when it doesn't quite, though, or just feels weirdly dated or preachy. But in general, it works a lot better than it ought to, after so much time -- I think because it focused so strongly on the story, and on the human condition, rather than any specific worries of the day. (Although there's definitely a Cold War paranoia and tension to a lot of the episodes.)

    1. Merlin has an excellent cast, really, which I think is a large part of what makes it work better than it ought to. Even the youngsters are good, and Anthony Stewart Head is fantastic, taking what could have been a cartoon villain and making him into someone you can't help but feel sorry for even as you kind of hate him. Which is pretty key, because half the plots revolve around "Oh no, somebody's trying to kill the king!", to which the rational response is often, "Well, good!" But ASH never lets you forget that the guy is a human being, and means well, in his own way.

      The Vampire Diaries, I haven't seen. Worth checking out on DVD? I admit, I may be tiring a little of vampires, but, hey, when they're done well...

      The Twilight Zone does get preachy sometimes. Sometimes it gets away with it, sometimes it kind of doesn't, but it gets away with it a lot more often than you'd expect, I think. And its datedness sometimes actually works in its favor. There's often a kind of earnestness about it that would seem cheesy today, but, when delivered in a narrative voice from 1959, manages to be utterly convincing. And while its subjects are often a product of its times -- not just the Cold War, but the dawn of the space age, and other such things -- they really do play into thoughts and fears and hopes that are universal. I've also been extremely impressed by the acting in the episodes I've re-watched so far. They got some amazingly talented people, who often manage to pull off stuff that, handled less deftly and convincingly, could have just felt ridiculous.

      Not that most of the episodes don't have their individual flaws. But, man... The last one I watched literally sent chills down the back of my neck, and it's vanishingly rare for a TV show to manage that, even today.

  2. I think The Vampire Diaries is worth checking out, for a lot of the reasons laid out in this slightly spoilery article. It moves very fast, and Ian Somerhalder's actually a lot of fun.

    1. For some reason, that link didn't work, but I was able to find the article in question, anyway. I only skimmed it, being wary of spoilers for something I might conceivably want to watch, but I must say, they do make it sounds kind of fun.

  3. Even when it's not necessarily good -- nobody's doing Emmy-level work here, for instance, and it's often a very CW-y show -- it can always be relied on to be insane and move fast.