Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell, 2013

Well, here we are. The last day of the year. Alas, there will be no revelry for me tonight, as I have to be at work at 11:45 PM. Sigh. I'm not much of a New Year's Eve party person, I must say, but I would still much rather be at home watching the ball drop and raising a glass to the new year. Ah, the things I do for science. Well, I do have access to incredibly precise clocks at work, so maybe that will be fun? Even if they do all run on Universal, rather than local time.

Anyway. This would seem to be the time to look back on the rapidly ending year. 2013 was certainly interesting for me, probably mostly in the Chinese curse sense. Significant but less-than-fun events included: The government shutdown. Losing my elderly cat Happiness, as well as Mickey and Newt's feral mother (who really does appear to be gone for good). Dealing with medical issues that, while not terribly serious as such things go, are pretty annoying. And the excitement of realizing that holy crap, water is flooding into my bedroom!

On a much more cheerful note, this was also what I've been thinking of as the Year of Space Tourism, in which I paid a couple of visits to relatives and was able to thoroughly indulge my inner space geek in the process, with visits to Kennedy Space Center and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, not to mention the chance to get close to a real, live (OK, decommissioned) space shuttle.

And almost all of these things contributed to the other main theme of the year: me getting to watch my savings dwindle and my credit card debt rise. But, you know, I'm still doing OK. I'm still here, still being me, still enjoying the things I enjoy, with a job and a roof over my head, and family who care about me. And 4,000 books. I figure everybody in the world should be at least this lucky.

I hope the new year sees all of you alive and well and doing things that make you happy, too. I'll catch you in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

There Be Dragons

I finally got the chance to go see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tonight. And I very definitely enjoyed it. It's got some really exciting parts and some parts that are a bit silly but a lot of fun; the whole thing looks incredible, as usual; and Smaug is sixteen different kinds of awesome. Unlike the first movie, though, this one did feel as long as it actually was. I must say, I am increasingly questioning the necessity of extending this thing out into three movies (and not just because this one ends suddenly at the most annoying possible moment, although that probably does have something to do with it). All the added material is interesting, and I have no fundamental problem with any of it. Heck, when it's all finished, people with lots of time to spare are going to be able to watch all six movies back-to-back and get some kind of coherent, unified story out of it, which is probably pretty cool. But I'm not entirely sure that's worth the all the added length.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Subjects Of My Christmas Presents And Doctor Who Are Related, Because My Mother Got Me "The Mind of Evil" On DVD.

Merry Christmas! And happy holidays in general, whatever holiday or holidays you may celebrate this time of the year! And a great big thank you to the various members of my family, all of whom sent me lovely and useful presents.

As I write this, I'm about 20 minutes from the start of the Doctor Who special, and I am experiencing a veritable roller coaster of emotions. I can't wait to meet the new guy! But I don't want Matt Smith to gooooo! But a new Doctor is so exciting! And I'm expecting to like this one! But... But somehow, despite decades of experience, I am finding it impossible to imagine not having Matt Smith anymore. I didn't feel this way last time, you know. I liked Tennant's Doctor, but by the time he regenerated, I felt, well, entirely ready for him to go. But I think Smith could continue doing this for the next decade, and I still wouldn't be ready to say goodbye to him. Such are the conflicts of the Whovian mind.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

My work schedule over Christmas and New Year's this year pretty much sucks, possibly to make up for me being able to take so much time off over Thanksgiving. So, no grand holiday plans for me this year, but I am fully prepared to enjoy myself in my own, quiet way. Tonight I'm working night shift, so I'll be sleeping until well into the afternoon on Christmas Eve, but in the evening I'm going to make myself a nice holiday dinner, complete with pie, and maybe watch A Muppet Christmas Carol while I eat it. (Blackadder's Christmas Carol is actually my traditional holiday viewing, but I think I might have finally gotten to the point where I've seen that once too often.) Then at midnight, when it's technically Christmas, I'm going to open all my presents, and when I'm done appreciating those, I think the rest of the night is going to involve candy canes and hot cocoa and a vanilla-scented candle, and curling up cozily with a book. Then on Christmas, there will be Doctor Who, and I should probably call my relatives. Then, as soon as it's technically no longer Christmas Day, I have to be back at work again, but I should be well topped up with the introvert's version of holiday cheer by that point and ready to be a functional human being again.

In the meantime, here is a sort of a video card for you all:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Few Random Links

It's been way too long since I've done this. You would think I'd have more links. Well, whatever. Have these!

“Without the imaginary, we can’t function” – In conversation with Neil Gaiman: A lovely little interview with Gaiman, whose The Ocean at the End of the Lane is definitely one of the best books I've read this year.

'Gravity' Spinoff: If you've seen the movie Gravity, you'll remember a scene where Sandra Bullock's character talks to someone back on Earth whose language she doesn't speak. This is the other half of that conversation.

How Many People Are There In Space Right Now": A wonderfully simple website that tells you how many people there are in space right now. If you scroll down, it will also tell you their names and how long they've been there.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Feral Kitty MIA

I have not seen my resident feral cat -- Mickey and Newt's mother -- since just before Thanksgiving. I've been putting food out regularly, anyway, and it does eventually disappear, but I've only seen birds eating it. It's been terribly cold lately, and I'd like to think she's found somewhere else to shelter from the weather, but sadly I suspect she has likely succumbed to it instead. Especially as the last couple of times I saw her, I didn't think she was looking particularly well, as if she barely had the energy to get up and run away when I came too close to her, the way she usually does. Or did. I'm not sure how long I should keep putting food out until I give up, but I fear it may be getting to about that point.

It seems this has not been a very good year for cats.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Isn't That Robot Body Ready Yet?

Well, the good news is, I survived the anesthesia and everything, and, with the exception of some rather horrific side effects from the medication they made me take the night before -- which I won't get into, but suffice it to say that I am never, ever taking that particular drug again -- the experience wasn't too awful. Not pleasant, by any remote stretch of the imagination, but not too awful. The nurses were super-nice, which, in that sort of context, even generally misanthropic me finds helpful.

The bad news is, apparently my stupid uterus is so full of growths that the doctor thinks I am going to need a hysterectomy, because there's not much short of that they can do with it.

Stupid useless troublemaking organ. I think it's annoyed because the kidneys and the liver get to do stuff, while it just sits there not having babies month after month, and it's decided it wants some attention.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Also, I'm Told It's Thicker Than Water.

One pleasant side effect of having to deal with medical crap is that I've finally found out my blood type, a piece of personal information I've been curious about ever since I took high school biology, tried to determine it genetically based on my family's types, and discovered that I had an exactly equal chance of being any of the four positive blood types. Turns out I'm B+. I'm trying to take that as a sort of friendly, blood-borne piece of advice: "Be positive!" (Based on aforementioned high school genetic analysis, that also means my genotype must be BO. But I'm not going to translate anything out of that.)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Last-Of-The-Year Currentlies

Current clothes: Blue jeans. Blue sweatshirt with a map of Alaska on it. White socks. Black belt.

Current mood: Kinda lethargic.

Current music: I haven't been listening to any music lately. Instead, I've been inhaling episodes of Brian Cox and Robin Ince's The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast as rapidly as possible. And wondering why on Earth I didn't know about the existence of this thing before.

Current annoyance: There are many, but the biggest one is that I seem to have slept on something wrong a few days ago, and ever since the muscles of my neck and shoulders have been one massive knot of pain. I can get it to loosen up some during the day, but every time I sleep, or even lie in one place long enough, everything stiffens up again. (Insert standard rant about wanting to know when I'll finally get to upload myself to my robot body here.)

Current thing: I was playing a lot of Kingdom Rush Frontiers, but I tend to kind of hunch forward intently when I'm playing that, and it just makes the pain in my neck worse, so I've mostly stopped for the moment.

Current desktop picture: I just switched to the picture of the TARDIS with a wreath on the door that I usually use this time of year. Maybe it'll help put me into the holiday spirit. Two and a half weeks 'til Christmas, and I'm really still not feeling it yet.

Current book: Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff, an entertainingly offbeat fantasy novel.

Current song in head: I have had "The Things We Do for Love" by 10cc in my head for days now. I have no idea why. Heck, I didn't even know who sings that. I had to look it up just now.

Current refreshment: Nothing. But I need food.

Current DVD in player: Most recently, World War Z. Which... meh. It did have some decent moments, and it kept my interest enough that I didn't have to fight the impulse to wander off and check my e-mail every ten minutes (which seems to happen a lot with me and movies these days). But it didn't impress me. The plot was about a thousand shades of dumb, Brad Pitt was weirdly bland, and the zombies did not scare me.

Current worry: My rescheduled ladybits surgery is coming up on Tuesday. It really shouldn't be much of a big deal -- hell, I'd say it barely counts as surgery, since they're not even making any new incisions in my body -- but I am a tiny bit nervous, anyway. I'll be glad to have it over with.

Current thought: According to LibraryThing, I now own exactly 4,000 books. I feel as if I should hold some kind of party for Book #4000.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Time Lords And Turkey

I hope all the Americans out there had a lovely Thanksgiving! (Well, I hope all the Canadians did, too, but that sentiment is even more belated for them.) I was actually able to take several days off over the holiday, which was nice, since my ol' buddy "Captain Chlorophyll" was back in NM again, and we were finally able to do the Doctor Who marathon we'd been talking about forever. Because he hadn't seen any of the Matt Smith episodes, and that situation simply could not be allowed to stand. Although, sadly, we did not quite manage to get him as far as the Pandorica opening, mostly because I insisted on showing him Tom Baker's classic "The Seeds of Doom" first. (Because, dude! It's Captain Chlorophyll!) But that's OK. I'm sure there will be a next time.

Meanwhile, speaking of time, here it is the beginning of December already. I'm not sure exactly how that happened. And yet, I am already feeling tired of winter. One weekend of snow is entirely enough for me. Ah, well. In the spirit of the recent holiday, I am attempting to focus on the things I am grateful for (food! shelter! books!) rather than complaining. If only complaining were a little less easy.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Who Day!

Happy 50th Anniversary, Doctor Who! Time to party like a Time Lord!

(Don't ask me who created that image. I got it from someone who got it from... somewhere.)

I'd be really tickled and thrilled by the fact that the 50th anniversary special is being broadcast on BBC America simultaneously with its premiere in the UK, except that I'm on night shift tonight and will probably still be asleep when it starts. Oh, well, that's what DVRs are for. I'm just gonna think of it as, you know, not being bound by typical temporal parameters!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Sorry State Of Me

Well, while I'm still coughing off and on, my lungs do seem to be improving. At least, I can take a deep breath without feeling that weird, creepy sensation of air being forced with straining, wheezy reluctance into nearly closed-off bronchial tubes.

On the other hand, horrible, horrible things are now happening inside my sinuses.

I hate the human body. I hate everything about it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well, This Is All Very Epic!

OK, you might not want to watch these if you haven't seen the end of the last season yet. But with that out of the way... Here's a trailer for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode:

And a mini-episode prequel, which fills in a pretty major gap in the Doctor Who canon:

I was certainly not expecting that!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wheeze, Gurgle... Click?!

I am generally feeling rather better now, but, holy crap, my lungs are making noises that should just never, ever come out of any part of a human body.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wally And Me

Well, the cold seems to be getting somewhat better, except for the chest congestion and coughing, which, as usual, were the last things to develop and will probably be the last things to go. I'm just really, really hoping this isn't one of the times when that'll linger for weeks and weeks, because if I have to put off this surgery again, I am going to cry.

I am, by the way, still reading Failure Is Not an Option and have just been told all about how when Wally Schirra had a head cold in space, he got really, really grumpy. Somehow, that makes me feel slightly better about all the whining I've been doing. Although perhaps less so when I think about about the fact that that dude managed to fly an entire Apollo mission with a cold, and I couldn't even make the drive up to Albuquerque. Oh, well. I never claimed to have the right stuff, anyway.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day Four

Yup, I still have the nasty cold. I am daring to think it might actually be improving slightly now, but that may well just be because I've filled myself full of decongestants and cough syrup. In any case, a trip up to Albuquerque today was definitely a no-go. No library sale for me. Sigh. I'm just going to sit in my living room and contemplate all the books I already have, instead.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Time For This Again

Current clothes: Nothing but a towel at the moment. I just got out of the shower. Although, unlike yesterday when I spent all day in my pajamas, I am going to have to go put some clothes on today. I have to run out to the pharmacy and stuff.

Current mood: Mildly miserable, as my minor cold has gone and turned into a major cold. On the upside, I think I feel a little less low-energy today than I did yesterday. On the downside, I may be developing a cough.

Current music: More random-shuffle stuff on the iPod. I think the last thing was something by Jonathan Coulton.

Current annoyance: ALL VIRUSES MUST DIE!

Current thing: Repeated, unwilling viewings of "Betty Can't Catch A Break Theater."

Current desktop picture: Still the secret Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal wallpaper. I should change it sometime.

Current book: Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz, whom you might remember as the guy played by Ed Harris in Apollo 13.

Current song in head: Something by Gordon Lightfoot that also randomly came up on the iPod recently. I don't know what it's called. Hang on, I'll look up the lyrics... OK, apparently it's "Endless Wire." There you go.

Current refreshment: Nothing. But I need more fluids. I need all the fluids.

Current DVD in player: Most recently, Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Which was extremely impressive considering it was basically Whedon and a bunch of his buddies filming in his house. But then, the guy has talented buddies, and a pretty awesome house.

Current worry: I probably have a million things to worry about, but right now I just don't even have the energy. Which I guess is one good thing about being sick.

Current thought: I really, really hope I am feeling well enough tomorrow to go up to Albuquerque. I want to go to the book sale! Those always make me feel better.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Everything That Can Go Wrong Does.

The latest installment in "Betty Can't Catch a Break Theater": I had an appointment scheduled for Tuesday for a procedure -- a bit of minor outpatient surgery -- to help make my annoying ladyparts issues less annoying. So, I arranged to take off work, and had a pre-op appointment and a bunch of blood tests and found somebody to give me a ride back from the hospital, and was all set to go... And then I went and caught a goddamn head cold, and they won't do it. Now I'm going to have to go through all of this again in a month's time, and I'm willing to bet the timing with my work schedule and my menstrual cycle won't be nearly as good this time. Worse, that's going to take me dangerously close to the end of the year, when my insurance suddenly goes to shit, meaning that if for any reason I'm going to need extra follow-up, it's going to cost me badly. Urgh.

I believe the moral of this story may be, never go to a doctor named Murphy. Really, I was probably just asking for trouble.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Another Succinct Movie Review

I'm in the middle of watching Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. And whatever the hell they're trying to do with this movie, they're not pulling it off.


Yesterday, while other people were putting on costumes and bobbing for apples, or whatever it is they do on Halloween, I was doing this:

This would be the infamous (and understatedly named) To-Read Pile. Or most of it, anyway. I previously had most of these books sitting on shelves attached to the wall in my utility room, but said shelves were really never designed to hold that much weight, and since it was starting to pull the shelves away from the ceiling, and possibly deforming my house, it seemed like a very good idea to move it all elsewhere. So, a little while back, I ordered some cheap but functional bookshelves. When they arrived yesterday, I quickly abandoned whatever plans I had -- I think they mostly involved watching a lot of The Twilight Zone -- and instead spent the entire day moving furniture, assembling bookcases, and hauling probably about 800 books around. Today, my body is pretty much one giant ache. But it was worth it! Not only those shelves attached to the wall now highly unlikely to detach themselves and collapse, but I also have a living room full of books! (And part of the kitchen. And, um, a bit of the hallway you can't see in this picture. Yes, I know I have too many books. Shut up.)

Now, I think I'm going to spend most of today reading.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lost In Space

So, I went out to see Gravity tonight. Having now experienced both, I can tell you that it looks fantastic if the theater's 3D projector is functioning correctly, and utterly terrible if it's not. Fortunately, they did get it fixed, and it turns out to be a pretty impressive and exciting movie when you can actually see it properly. I did notice an instance or two of iffy physics -- The Bad Astronomy blog has a nice breakdown of what's accurate and what's not, if you're interested -- but for once I honestly didn't mind.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gimme Some Money

So, in the latest installment of "Why does the entire universe keep trying to get me to dig myself deeper into a financial hole?", it turns out the organization I work for is transferring us all over ASAP to a new health insurance plan. Which not only appears to be ridiculously complicated -- I've been staring at the explanations they've got up on the web for some time now and am still not sure how the whole thing works or exactly what it requires me to do -- but also features hefty deductibles and an out-of-pocket maximum that's fully double the one on the existing plan. (Which amount, as things stand right now, could wipe out my savings quite handily in one worst-case-scenario year.) At least the premiums are lower, and you can put the difference in an account towards your expenses... or something. But I'm pretty sure I'm going to come out the financial loser on this one, not to mention the fact that having to do complicated financial planning always makes me kind of flaily.

And all this, of course, just as I'm hitting a point -- hello, middle age! -- where I'm already starting to feel the pinch of increasing medical expenses for increasing medical needs. Not to mention that my struggles to save more money and/or pay off my credit care debt continue to be in vain, as every time I start making some headway, I'm hit with, say, the urgent necessity to make my house stop leaking, or a $500 vet bill for a fruitless attempt to save a dying cat.

Mind you, I'm well aware that I'm still much better off than a lot of people. But it doesn't stop me from just wishing I could catch a break for once.

Friday, October 25, 2013

But If Anybody Asks Me Whether I Screamed, I Will Deny It.

As has become an annual tradition, I am going to miss the Halloween party my friends are throwing this weekend, this time because I have to work. (Last year, I put in for the day off so I could be sure to make it... and then I got sick and couldn't go, anyway. If I believed in such things, I'd say that something up there simply does not want me to attend any Halloween parties. Possibly because it recognizes my sad lack of costuming skills.)

I did get out to do some fun, seasonally-appropriate stuff last night, though: first the Rifftrax presentation of the original Night of the Living Dead, which was entertaining, and then a haunted house attraction, which turned out to be way more fun, and a lot scarier, than such things seem like they ought to be. I also discovered that, unathletic as I am, I can run when there is an evil clown with a chainsaw chasing me through a parking lot, so that's good to know.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Goodbye, Happiness

I have fewer cats now, and I am sad.

I had thought I'd write this whole eulogy or something, but, really, I don't feel up to it. I'll just say, she was a good kitty, and I'll miss her.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Poor, Poor Kitty

Happiness update: I called the vet this morning when I got home from work, and she said that Happiness did seem a little better, that she'd been eating and urinating, and was behaving "more like a cat." Unfortunately, when they ran her bloodwork again later in the day, the results were actually a little worse. And now she's started to go back downhill again. I just went in to see her and she did not look good. Although at least she seems to be able to sleep, which is no doubt the best thing for her right now. They're going to keep her on fluids for another day. It might help. But let's just say I'm not necessarily expecting much.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Well, I'm Excited!

New trailer for the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary special!

(Although I can't help thinking that it's kind of cute how he's still claiming to be just over 900 years old.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Poor Kitty

My elderly cat Happiness is not doing well. She vomited a few times over the past few days, which isn't all that unusual, but she seemed to be eating even less than usual, and the last time she threw up, it was just thin, watery yellow liquid. So I was worried about her, wondering whether I should take her to the vet. And then when I got home from work this morning, she just didn't seem right. Lethargic and weak, and just not behaving like herself. She purred when I petted her, and even that sounded wrong, somehow. So I took her in to the vet.

Apparently, her kidneys were failing. Not good. They have her on fluids now, and are going to keep her through the weekend. I went in to see her this afternoon, and she did look a little better. They also said she had eaten some, which is encouraging. Mostly, though, she seemed very quiet, like she just didn't want to do anything but rest. They've got her on a nice, cozy cat bed with a hot water bottle, so at least she's resting comfortably.

The prognosis is, well, uncertain. The vet says she has sometimes seen cats bounce back from this sort of thing after being treated with fluids, and be pretty much okay for years. But Happiness is old and frail, and already has a thyroid condition, so... Well, we'll see what happens. Poor kitty.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back in Business!

Sometimes the wheels of bureaucracy grind faster than expected! Looks like we're going to be back up and running tomorrow! If I were one for looking on the dark side, I might say, "Sure, just in time for me to be working 12-hour night shifts." But I'm just hoping we can get things back to normal ASAP.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

About Goddamn Time

Halle-freaking-lujah! Congress finally pulled its head just far enough out of its ass for just long enough to end this stupid shutdown! Although it's going to take at least through Monday for us to get our funding sorted out and get back up and running, so they haven't completely finished wasting our time just yet.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Helpless In The Face Of My Book Addiction

So, the one (admittedly extremely trivial) silver lining to this whole stupid shutdown thing is that, while I'm required to be at work but forbidden from doing much in the way of actual working, I'm getting a lot of reading done. I've been consistently finishing a book a day, which would be good news for the state of my To-Read Pile, if only the local library hadn't just gone and held another book sale, thus wiping out all my progress and then some. Well, I suppose at least I can take comfort in the fact that, no matter how long this goes on, I'm never going to run out of stuff to read.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


It has now, in fact, been officially confirmed that missing Doctor Who episodes have been found! And, OK, it was nine episodes in Nigeria, not a hundred episodes in Ethiopia, but that's still really darned cool! How amazing is it that people are still randomly stumbling across these things, all these decades later?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Isn't It Just Like The Doctor To Randomly Show Up Decades Later Like This?

Well, here's some good news, at least for those of us who care about such things: it looks like missing Doctor Who episodes have been found! I'd been hearing this rumor for a few days, but such rumors crop up so often that I've taken to pretty much dismissing them. This story is on the BBC News website, though, so there seems to be something legit here. It's still just an announcement that there's going to be an announcement, though, carefully worded to make no concrete claims and containing no actual info about what or how many or where. Other sites have been saying it's fully one hundred episodes, recovered in (of all places) Ethiopia. But we'll see. Even if it's a lot less than that, what a great 50th Anniversary present for fans of the show!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Stressed-Out October Currentlies

Current clothes: Blue jeans. My "let's say you've gone back in time" t-shirt, with instructions on how to invent stuff if you get trapped in the past. White socks. No shoes at the moment, although I ought to put some slippers on, because my feet are cold.

Current mood: Surprisingly calm and collected, interspersed with moments when I honestly feel like I'm about to have a panic attack.

Current music: Nothing, really.

Current annoyance: I... Yeah, I just want to respond to this by quoting Marvin: "Life. Don't talk to me about life."

Current thing: Telling myself not to click on cnn.com, and then clicking on it anyway, and then wishing I hadn't.

Current desktop picture: Still the same super-sekrit Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal wallpaper as last month.

Current book: I just finished Thorns by Robert Silverberg, which was an odd little novel. Next up is Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, about which I have heard good things.

Current song in head: Nothing. There is no singing in my head at the moment.

Current refreshment: A can of root beer and some salad. It's the remains of my lunch.

Current DVD in player: I just finished season six of The Big Bang Theory. I have some issues with that show. Some rather big issues, really. But it makes me laugh a lot, so I mostly manage to forgive it.

Current worry: Current circumstances have stirred up all my old worries about the future. Not that they needed much stirring, admittedly. I just can't help fretting about what I will do when I lose my job. Because the way things have been going, it probably is "when" and not "if." Someday, the funding is going to go away for good. And, seriously, what do I do then? I desperately, desperately do not want to leave Socorro, but unless a VLA operator job opens up or something, what work will there be for me here? Will there even be any decent work for me anywhere, given my super-specialized skill set and my one-line resume? Contemplating the possibilities honestly terrifies me. Talking about going back in time... I keep thinking that I want to go back and lambast my teenage self for her choice of college major. I should have studied computer programming. I had real talent for that, once upon a time, and good programmers are always in demand. How much work is there for someone with a bachelor's in astrophysics?

Current thought: Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Everything in my life that I've ever spent too much time panicking about has always come out OK in the end.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Well, It's Nice To Be Missed. But It Sucks To Be Gone.

The shutdown of NRAO seems to be getting noticed, at least by the science press. Here's a blog post from The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla with links to some articles.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Shutdown Update

So, it has been deemed that I am, in fact, essential personnel, and I will be working my full shifts through the shutdown. Our all-important daily observations for the US Naval Observatory will, counting the stuff that needs to be done before and after, take up maybe a couple of hours a night (which will probably mostly be on my shift). Otherwise, we are required to be there solely in case something happens that threatens the safety of one of our antennas, or that will render us unable to run those observations. We are not permitted to do any other work, and the machines that would allow us to do what is normally the other half of our job will be shut down.

It's a good thing I've still got six hundred unread books sitting around, that's all I can say.

We should be getting paid for this once there's actual money to pay us with, and I've still got a paycheck coming for the last two weeks I worked, plus enough money in my savings account to cushion me if there's a delay, so hopefully I won't have much financial hardship from this, although my heart goes out to those out there who will. But it's still all just really, really sad.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Farce Continues

Well, apparently whatever hopes we had to eke out operations another week or so into the shutdown have fallen through, and, as of five o'clock tomorrow, the observatory I work for is officially closed. Millions of dollars of beautiful, powerful scientific instruments that your tax dollars paid for will be sitting idle indefinitely, while hundreds of skilled and dedicated people sit at home twiddling their thumbs instead of doing science. For absolutely no good reason. Go, America.

Exactly what this means for me, though, is still very much up in the air. It seems I am considered essential personnel, at least to some extent. There's a nightly observation we do for the US Navy that absolutely must run, come hell, high water, or government collapse. Depending on exactly when that's scheduled, it could mean a couple of hours of work a night for me, at least for next week. But it's also possible our presence might be deemed necessary for the safety and security of the building, in which case I could be doing my regular shifts, albeit with a highly reduced workload. But that has yet to be decided, so, for now, I'm just waiting for somebody to tell me when and whether to come in on Monday. And then I guess I wait to see when I get paid.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Scenes From The Shutdown

Just got off the phone with my mother. She works stocking products on shelves at military commissaries, and as of today, almost all of them are shut down. Until this thing gets resolved, all the groceries in those stores are just going to sit there, slowly rotting. Even if the government is back in business by the end of the week, that's going to be a lot of expired dairy products going directly into the dumpster, with either the government or the food companies swallowing the losses.

Somehow, all that needlessly wasted milk, sitting there on the shelves of a dark, locked-up store slowly going sour strikes me as an apt symbol for this whole disgraceful thing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Now, On To The Once Upon a Time Season Premiere!

On a happier note... I just watched the finale of Breaking Bad, since I had to work last night and didn't get the chance to see it then, and I believe I will pronounce myself satisfied. I'm already thinking that, one of these days in the hopefully not-too-distant future, I should sit down and rewatch the entire thing in one giant marathon, because I think it'd really reward that.

Mind you, "happier" hardly seems like a word to use about Breaking Bad in any context, but there is, for me, something perversely pleasant about watching stuff this dark and messed-up. During the previous episode, I found myself thinking: man, no matter what, I will never, ever be able to screw my life up as badly as these people. Not in a million years. Not if I tried. It's an oddly cheering thought.

Anyway, so long BB! It's been a hell of a ride. New Mexico is going to miss you.

Now, when does that Saul spinoff start?

I Don't Do This Often, But: A Political Rant

Dear Republicans: FUCK YOU WITH A PICKAXE. Seriously, if you care about jobs even a tenth of a percent as much as your hyper-inflated rhetoric claims, then stop endangering mine for the sake of a dick-measuring contest with the president or some delusional belief that providing poor people with access to health care is immoral and/or going to completely ruin the US economy. You know what will hurt the US economy? SHUTTING DOWN THE SOURCE OF MILLIONS OF JOBS, that's what. And you know what's immoral and indefensible? Using people's livelihoods as a political bargaining chip in a juvenile game of chicken.[*] Cut it the fuck out.

For the record, the NSF-funded organization I work for has stated that they expect to be able to keep paying us for a week or two, in the event. So I might well be able to ride through this with no problems. But I don't need the extra financial uncertainty in my life right now, and I'm sure there are a lot of potentially affected people out there who need it even less than I do.

I am getting so fed up with the crap that passes for politics in this country, I cannot tell you.

Aaargh. End of rant. Good luck, everybody.

(ETA: OK, I should correct that to "Dear some Republicans." More power to the saner voices in the party.)

[*] Yes, I am aware that this is a mixed metaphor. Shut up.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's Random Shatner!

Someone, it seems, left a copy of this in my mailbox at work. Whoever you are, sir or ma'am, I am amused, and I thank you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away. Or, Well, Don't, 'Cause We Need It, But, Geez, Could You Spread It Out More?

If I had any doubts at all -- which I did -- about the drainage in my newly regraded yard and whether there was still any danger of water collecting around my house and leaking in, they are now fully assuaged, because, man, if I was going to have problems, I surely would have had them this week. We got over four inches of rain here on Tuesday, which is impressive when you consider that our yearly precipitation is only about ten inches, total. But my bedroom carpet is dry as a bone, and the few places in my yard where puddles of water accumulate are well away from the house. I am just so deeply, deeply glad I got that taken care of when I did, because otherwise the result would have been disastrous. Although disastrous on a very minor scale, it must be said, compared to the flooding that many people throughout the southwest (and, apparently, some people right here in town) have experienced. The effects in places like Boulder seem to have been particularly horrible.

And it's not over yet. We've had a little more rain tonight, and they're calling for still more overnight... and into tomorrow... and through Saturday. Around here, the saying "it never rains but it pours" has always been true, but this is downright ridiculous.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

At Least There's Always The Currentlies!

Current clothes: A towel. This being one of those, "No, really, I'll get up and get dressed any minute now" kinds of mornings. Well, technically it's 1:30 in the afternoon, but I'm starting night shifts tomorrow, so it's morning for me.

Current mood: Generally not bad. Although there is a thin streak of irritation somewhere in the back of my mind due partly to not having gotten as much sleep last night as I really should have, and partly to the sulky voice in somewhere in my brain that keeps complaining that the weekend is simply not long enough to do all the nothing I want to do. But I'm hoping the former will diminish once the coffee finishes kicking in, and that the latter can be appeased by a few hours of lying around watching DVDs later in the day.

Current music: Nothing much. I think the last music I listened to was on the classic rock station while running errands yesterday, but they kept playing stuff I didn't like.

Current annoyance: Ants! Twice in the last couple of weeks, I discovered ants wandering around on my bathroom floor and crawling into my bathtub, probably looking for water. I'm not sure whether they're nesting in the wall or crawling up through a hidden crack in the floor, but either way, they really need to not do that. So yesterday I put down some ant poison. The good news is, they're all over that stuff! The bad news is... they're all over that stuff. Meaning my bathroom is currently host to some kind of mini Ant Jamboree. They really need to finish hauling it all off, eat it, die, and be gone.

Current thing: Trying to be mellower.

Current desktop picture: Some wallpaper I got from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal for contributing to a kickstarter they did to get a new book of comics published. But I'm not allowed to share it with you. Because you are less awesome than me.

Current book: Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes by Stephen Jay Gould, one of his essay collections from the 80s.

Current song in head: Nothing at the moment, oddly enough, but for some reason the theme song to Deep Space Nine has been popping into my head at random moments over the last couple of weeks.

Current refreshment: I had some cereal and a piece of fruit a little while ago.

Current DVD in player: Just finished the first disc of season 2 of The Hour, featuring soon-to-be-Doctor Peter Capaldi.

Current worry: I really am trying to worry less about everything. I think I'm kinda-sorta succeeding.

Current thought: As is so often the case, Calvin & Hobbes said it best.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Still Here

It's been pointed out to me that I haven't posted much here in a while. I'm not dead or anything; apparently I just haven't had much to say. I'm not at all sure how it got to be September already, but August was pretty annoying and so far this month is shaping up to be less stress-inducing, so I'll take it. For the record, we've had one brief but reasonably intense little rainstorm here in the last couple of weeks, during which my house encouragingly failed to leak, so I think I'm about ready to declare victory in this round of Me vs. Water.

Other than that... Yeah, I got nothin'.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Man, I Never Noticed That Missing Colon.

All right, enough of me whining about my household problems for the moment. How about some humorous Trekkie snark instead? (Warning: spoilers for the latest Trek reboot movie. And some old classic series episodes, if anybody in the world still cares about that.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yes, You're Just Going To Have To Listen To Me Talking About All This Until It's Done. Hopefully, We're Almost There!

Annnnnnd, the landscapers have been and gone! We did have a bad moment in there, because they managed to break a hidden sewer cleanout pipe while they were digging around, resulting in me having a quiet mini-freakout and being repeatedly reassured that, honestly, it was OK, that's an easy thing to fix, they totally knew how to do it, it would be fine. All of which, as far as I can tell, was in fact true, but of course now I'm going to be mildly paranoid about it for the next few months. ("*sniff* *sniff* OMG, what's that smell?! Is that sewer gas?! Oh, wait. Never mind. It's the catbox.") But! My yard now has a nice slope to it -- leading away from the house. Lake Leaky Bedroom is no more. Those horrible trees that kept trying to grow in the corner of the house and which I had been unable to eradicate are gone. And, hell, I can now see the curb in front of my house for the first time since I moved in. It's always been overgrown with weeds and grass before. Anyway, hopefully this should solve a lot of my problems. I am optimistic enough that I'm going to put the carpet in the bedroom back down, anyway. Fingers crossed!

Next step: putting some more sealant on the gutters. Both the old ones in the back and the new ones at the front are leaking a little at the seams. Likely the latter is not the fault of the guy who installed them, as it rained a bit a few hours after he finished, at which point the sealant was surely not completely dry yet. The Weather Channel website swears that it will not rain at all today or tomorrow, though, so this seems like a good time to do it. Mind you, the Weather Channel website has been known to lie through its teeth, but if I don't try doing it now, I might have to wait for October for the rain to stop. This does mean no aircon until the stuff dries, since the runoff from the swamp cooler runs into the gutters, but these are the sacrifices I make.

Here We Go!

The landscapers are here! They arrived with surveying equipment and a general air of confidence, and are now moving lots of dirt around. They also removed my dead lilac bush for me, which seems to have taken them approximately no time whatsoever. I am currently feeling very optimistic.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whining And TMI

Well, the landscapers are coming tomorrow to deal with my drainage problem. I'm more than a little nervous about this, honestly. There weren't huge amounts of local options -- I ended up having to get someone to come down from Albuquerque -- and to a certain extent I'm having to take it on faith that these guys know what they're doing. But hopefully all will go well, and then I'll have one less thing to worry about.

Which I could really use, because there always seems to be one more thing to worry about. The latest: I just got back from the gynecologist, and I'll spare you all the TMI-ish detail, but apparently I have fibroids. Which are benign growths that can nevertheless have annoying effects. The upshot: I've got still more pills to take, at least for a while. All these pills are making me feel really freaking old. In my mind, that's a serious old person thing, having a giant pile of pills to take every day. And even more fun, at some point I'm going to have to have a minor but really unpleasant-sounding surgical procedure. Plus, the doctor was cheerfully talking about future possibilities up to and including hysterectomy. Not that I'm particularly attached to that organ, having never had a use for it, but, dude, I had a little mini-freakout just at the idea of having my wisdom teeth removed. And I wasn't using those, either! Well, on the upside, one of the aforementioned annoying effects turns out to be anemia, so maybe that's part of the explanation of why I've felt so exhausted lately. (Mostly, I've been blaming stress.)

Still... I don't like this being-human gig. Sure, it's got its perks, but lately I am thinking longingly of the idea of being a disembodied intelligence floating around the internet, free of messy biology and the need for things like shelter. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Come On, Gmail, Seriously?

Please excuse the language, but: Holy fucking Christ on a stick! So, OK, a while back, Gmail introduced their "new and improved" compose window. I tried it, I immediately hated it, quickly switched back to the old version, and blissfully forgot all about my brief, unpleasant experience with it. Well, apparently that is no longer an option, and we're all going to use the new thing, like it or not. And ye gods... I am not one of those folks who's quick to declare every change to a software or a service as a sign of the apocalypse just because it's different from what I'm used to. But this thing... Sweet zombie Jesus, is this a steaming pile of awful! All I can say is, well: what this guy said. In fact, every single thing that guy said. What in the name of every imaginary deity in the multiverse were they thinking?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Woefully Belated August Currentlies

Current clothes: Blue jeans. Brown t-shirt from Uluru, Australia. White socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: Stressy. There was a brief period where I'd sort of found my happy place again, but, alas, it didn't last very long. Well, at least I'm not the flaily, "Everything in my life sucks and will forever!" kind of stressy I was a couple of weeks ago. I just don't have enough energy to keep that up forever. So I'm back to a moderate, but persistent, level of stressiness.

Current music: I was listening to the classic rock station for a while in the car on the way back from Albuquerque. (I took my car in so they could erase the "Kill All Humans" subroutine in its software, or whatever that recall was actually about.) When I got home, it was in the middle of an elaborate live version of "Hotel California."

Current annoyance: Water, my constant nemesis. There are, of course, lots and lots and lots of other annoyances at the moment, but the water wins.

Current thing: Having to do way more responsible adult stuff than I remotely feel like. Also, Broken Picture Telephone.

Current desktop picture: Still the same picture as last month. I need to find something new. New, and soothing.

Current book: Shada, the novel version of Douglas Adams' "lost" Doctor Who episode, written by Gareth Roberts. I've only just started it, really, but so far it's delightful. Much better than I was expecting it to be.

Current song in head: It's been an insane musical mishmash in the ol' brain lately. I think right this minute it's "Hotel California," on account of the radio.

Current refreshment: I have some lemon mint tea brewing. Ooh, it should be ready by now! Hang on... *time passes* Well, crap, that was a whole saga, involving me not being able to find the tea and thinking I hadn't actually started it and then realizing there wasn't enough water in the kettle for a full cup... But I now finally have tea. Go, me.

Current DVD in player: I just recently finished season six of Burn Notice, which was so the kind of mindless fun my brain needed. I'm also still making my way through the final season of The Twilight Zone on the treadmill.

Current worry: Oh, mainly I'm worried about my home, my health, and my finances. Yeah, that probably about covers it.

Current thought: I looked for random bundles of money lying in the street while I was in Albuquerque today, but, sadly, I did not see any.

The Return Of The Wet

Fun fact: replacing the gutters, while necessary, did not stop rain from coming into my house. Maybe it's coming slower now, but it's still coming. And, once again, the key word is "drainage." I just went out and looked, and there's a giant puddle of water sitting right where the gas pipe comes into the house. So I suspect I've found the culprit. It actually looks like my shiny new downspout is depositing its load several feet from the house, and it's all rolling right back down to pool at the prime leakage spot. SIGH. OK, time to see about getting this puppy regraded.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Fun With Drugs!

In preparation for the final run of Breaking Bad episodes starting up again on Sunday, a couple of humorous BB videos.

First, Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical! In case you're concerned that Breaking Bad isn't really suitable for middle school kids, don't worry. They're making "rock candy." Really.

And, next, Breaking Bad: The Honest Trailer. Which is tiny bit unfair to a couple of characters, if you ask me, but still funny:

Needless to say, both of these are full of spoilers!

Monday, August 05, 2013

A Visit From The Ghost Of Plumbing Past

In an "if you don't laugh, you'll have to cry" bit of timing... I just got a letter from my plumbers saying they've been going over their records, and they don't show any record of payment for when they fixed my pipe break, a year and a half ago. I suspect what happened is that that's the one time I asked them to charge my credit card instead of writing a check, and they didn't actually do it. Because now that I think about it, I don't remember it showing up on my bill. But I have to wait for the credit card company to send me the records to check, since I don't keep them that far back. If so, whoopee, that's another $300 I owe.

Which I can handle, honestly. It's just that... Sigh. I'm getting tired of all this having to be a responsible adult. I don't know why I ever took that gig in the first place.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Lucky Number Twelve!

The identity of the Twelfth Doctor has now been revealed! And, wow, for once the rumors I was hearing on the internet were actually right. I think that may be the first time that's ever happened. Seems like a pretty good choice, as far as I can tell. I remember really liking his performance on Torchwood, although not the specifics of why, exactly, meaning that perhaps it is time for a rewatch. And much as I love Matt Smith -- and I love Matt Smith to itty, bitty, tiny little Time Lordy pieces -- I'm pleased with the idea of having someone a bit older in the role again. I'll be interested, and am very excited, to see what he does with it!

Friday, August 02, 2013

And On My Homeowner's Woes...

I've now talked to the contractor, and I should have shiny new gutters in place next week. Yay! He also said that, yeah, he could see that I had bad drainage in the front yard -- it slopes for a foot or two, and then for a while it just doesn't. He seemed to think that even just getting that taken care of should help a lot, and, you know... that much, I'm pretty sure I can afford. So, assuming new gutters fix my immediate problem, which they should, I'll look into that next. And then I can start saving up for whatever else needs to be done. Now, hopefully my brain will just stop stressing out over it all. Right, brain?

Not that life doesn't keep hitting me with more annoyances, though. I just got a message on my answering machine saying there's been a recall on my car. Apparently it just needs some software updated -- and how 21st-century is that? -- so it shouldn't be too big of a deal, but that still means I'll have to make time to get it into the dealer. Oh, well, maybe I'll get the oil changed while I'm at it...

Doctor Who-The-Heck-Will It-Be?

Here's something much more fun than my (admittedly somewhat overblown) homeowner's woes! Brace yourselves for the internets (or at least the more fannish/geeky/British corners of the internets) to explode, because they are announcing the new Doctor this weekend! On live TV! I'm pleased to note that it'll be simulcasting on BBC America, too. Since it's on at 7PM in the UK, that should be 1PM for those of you in the Mountain time zone with me. The rest of you can do your own conversions. [ETA: Whoops, correction! It's on at noon my time on Sunday, not 1 PM! Good thing I double-checked!]

Needless to say, I am excited! Even if I do fully expect (and, even, honestly, rather hope) that they'll keep up their tradition of casting people I've never, or only just barely, heard of.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Which I Analyze My Problems

OK, I am attempting to calm my recent, "OMG, my house is going to need foundation repairs and it's going to cost more than $10,000 and I'm going to die broke!" panic by considering the following facts:

1. I did have a structural engineer check out the house when I bought it. His opinion was that what it really needed was better drainage.

2. My drainage still sucks. All I did was replace some of the gutters.

3. When I took a closer look at the gutter in the corner of the house that's leaking, I saw that said gutter is not just leaking at the seams, it's actually got big holes in it that are undoubtedly dropping water right down onto that corner of my foundation.

4. The fact that I didn't see this problem until I unblocked that gutter could be coincidence. It's even possible that this was happening for ages and I just didn't notice it, or it didn't rain hard enough to be an issue. But it is, at least, suggestive.

5. My next-door neighbor is currently having his yard regraded, so obviously I'm not the only one with this problem, and at least somebody else in this neighborhood thinks better drainage is also their solution.

So. Plan of action:

1. I already applied some sealant to the downspout as a temporary measure. It might at least help, for now.

2. I will get those gutters replaced ASAP. I can call the guy who did the ones on the back of the house.

3. It is probably a good idea to find another structural engineer and get a second/current opinion about the state of my foundation, advice on adequate drainage, and thoughts about whether there are cracks in the concrete that need to be patched. Finding one out in this backwater might be problematical, but I can make some calls.

4. Depending on exactly what said engineer might say, I should look into my options for better drainage. Even if I have to have the whole yard regraded, it will almost certainly still be cheaper than foundation repair. If I see my neighbor, I should ask him about his experiences. (Although, a) it's not actually his house, it's his late mother's, and he's not around much, and b) He seems to be doing a lot of the work himself, which is not really an option for me.) I should also talk to the contractor who does the gutters and see if he knows anybody. I did see him talking to some of the guys working over there, actually, when he came out a while back to remove the old internet antenna from my roof. (Also, part of the problem is likely that there are some goddam trees that keep trying to grow right at that corner of the house, and while I keep hacking them down, they keep growing back. That can't be good for anything at all. If I'm getting my yard dug up for drainage, hopefully I can get those removed at the same time.)

5. Try not to panic, or despair, or wallow in self-recrimination about not addressing any of this stuff sooner. One way or another, it'll get handled, right?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It Never Rains But...

Well, Mother Nature has helpfully answered one question for me: it's definitely not a broken pipe. One more torrential rainstorm confirms it: my house is leaking. I hear the rain start, I run and pull up the carpet I'd just got all dried and put back into place, and, sure enough, there comes water leaking in through the corner. I don't think I've ever gone through so many towels so quickly in my life. Well, at least that saves me a call to the plumber. Although obviously I'm going to need to make a few other calls...

I Sometimes Think Half My Problems Involve Water Being Where It Shouldn't, Or Not Being Where It Should.

So, guess what exciting surprise I had last night? If you said, "Stepping on my bedroom carpet and finding it wet and squishy in a manner that brought back flashbacks of the Great Pipe Break Incident of 2011," congratulations! SIGH.

Naturally, my first thought was of another broken pipe, so the first thing I did was to go and turn off the water. Which is a royal pain in the ass. That valve is not easy to turn, both because it's stiff, and because there isn't enough room to turn a wrench properly in there. I never did manage to get it all the way off, but I did reduce it to a trickle. A night without water, what fun!

But, on reflection, I don't think it was a pipe this time. I think I'm to blame, for actually cleaning out the damned gutters. Sigh. You see, the gutter on that corner of the house was completely plugged up when I turned my attention to it. And now it no longer is. But the elbow bend on the downspout is not exactly watertight, and, worse, I knocked it slightly askew when I was messing with it. So I think what happened is that in the massive rainstorms we had Friday night, water was pouring down right into that corner of my foundation, which is undoubtedly more porous than it should be. I'll have to put some sealant on that gutter, but I have to wait until it's going to be dry for a couple of days in a row, which, this time of year, is problematic. Of course, it's also a reminder that I really, really need to look into getting my foundation repaired. I've put it off far longer than I ought to already. But, man, at this point affording that is going to be... interesting. Again, I say, SIGH.

Mind you, I still need to completely rule out a pipe leak. I should have been able to do this myself. The technique is: turn the water to the house on, make sure that all the taps are off, and check whether the water meter is continuing to increment. If it is, clearly water is still flowing somewhere, thus, leak. Well, mine is continuing to increment, very, very slowly. But. The faucet in my bathtub is a bit drippy, and for some insane reason the valves that I thought turned off the water to the bathtub don't seem to do anything. I... am very confused. Clearly, I'm going to have to get the plumbers out on Monday morning, in any case, to make sure there's no broken pipe, and to figure out what the hell is up with the bathtub.

The good news is that the wet spot, unlike during the Great Pipe Break Incident, was comparatively small, and comparatively less wet. With the help of a couple of fans, I seem to have gotten it mostly dry already, so I don't think I'll be needing the professionals this time. Although I can't help being a tiny bit paranoid about the possibility of mold. Not to mention the possibility of this happening again. Maybe I should put some plastic sheeting down under the carpet or something, as a temporary precaution. Since I already have it pulled up.

Gaah. I really do get disproportionately stressed out about this kind of thing, you know. My brain starts out with, "Aaargh, I'm not entirely sure what to do about this problem, and even once I figure it out, it's going to be a pain in the ass!", then quickly moves on to "I am a failure as a responsible adult and should not even be allowed to own a house," and before you know it, it's breaking out the crampons and scaling the heights of Existential Dread Mountain, triumphantly staking out the summit with "Everything falls apart! Entropy is a fundamental law of the universe, and it eats everything in the end! One day, I, too, will fall apart, and I'll probably die broke and alone on account of my failures as a human being! Waaaah!'

Some days, I hate my brain. Also my house.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Well, I took the car by the tire place today... And was told that the tire actually had no damage at all, that what looked like a little scrape with some bits of rubber shredding off was actually just peeling glue. But the guy applauded my conscientiousness in checking. Why there was glue on my tire, I do not know, but I am not sure I have it in me to care. As long as I can avoid a repeat of last night's car-related anxiety dreams, in which, among other not-very-fun things, all kinds of bizarre dashboard warning lights I'd never seen before were coming on, and AAA still hadn't shown up three hours after I called them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Bet Giant Monster-Fighting Mecha Never Have These Kinds Of Problems

Well, that was an interesting trip.

I realized that I hadn't driven the car out of town since I came back from my vacation, and I've been making a point of trying to get it out on the highway on a semi-regular basis, to keep the battery charged and prevent that thing that happened with the Neon, where the terminals would get all corroded because I wasn't using it enough. So I did what I usually do in such circumstances: made it an excuse to drive to Los Lunas and go to the movies.

Brief review of Pacific Rim, by the way: the monster-fighting is awesome, the attempts at having an actual plot less so.

Anyway, then I started to drive home. And got caught in an apocalyptic rainstorm. It was so bad I literally could not see three feet in front of me and had to pull over for a while. Twice. All while worrying that I might run out of gas, because I'd figured I had enough to make it there and back, but the gauge was starting to make me think maybe I'd miscalculated. And then, after pulling back onto the highway, my low tire pressure indicator came on. By the way, I love my car manual's advice for what to do when that happens: pull over in a safe spot and inflate the tire. With what, guys? My mouth? Anyway, I did pull over, into a rest area, waited for the rain to slack off, then looked at the tires. And managed to convince myself that one of them did look really low, enough so that I was afraid to use the tire gauge on it, lest I accidentally let out even more.

I then drove the last twelve miles home very slowly with my hazard lights on, fearing a blowout. But when I got to a gas station with an air pump and actually did check the tires, they all showed a little over 30 psi, which did not seem that horrible to me. I pumped them all up a couple psi, anyway, and by the time I got home the light was off. Possibly this was just an ill-timed coincidence, as I haven't actually put any air in those tires since I got the car, and they were bound to need it eventually. But I am nervous now, especially as I did notice that one of the tires has a scraped spot on it. I have no idea from where. It doesn't look like very deep damage, but I think I'll take it to the tire place tomorrow and have them take a look at it. Somehow, I have the sinking feeling this is going to end up costing me money.

Sigh. I try to do something nice for my car, and look how it repays me.

Here, Have Some Random Links

10 Life Lessons from Calvin & Hobbes: Definitely one of the better places from which to draw life lessons. Awww, man, I miss Calvin & Hobbes.

Extermimaze! Extermimaze! Doctor Who fan creates huge Dalek that covers an entire 18-acre maize field: The single most amazing thing to have been done with plants since the dawn of agriculture.

How to Live with Introverts: Not that much different from a million other "how to live with introverts" guides on the web, and not as useful as some, but I just had to link to it, mainly because I now desperately want to be able to tell extroverts to stop stealing my sweet, sweet energy juices.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Escaped The Dome

So, I got three and a half episodes into Under the Dome before admitting to myself that I just didn't believe in or care about any of the characters, and shut it off. It was very liberating.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mind In The Gutter

Today's big accomplishment: cleaning out the gutters on my house. This was not actually a difficult job, but it was a slightly disturbing one, mainly because in one spot there was enough dirt piled up in there that plants were starting to sprout. Note to self: do this job more often.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

In My Case, That's Pretty Much A Permanent Embrace

Amusingly enough, I just got an e-mail from the Science Fiction Book Club informing me that today is "Embrace Your Geekness Day." Who told them it was my birthday?! And, geez, I know I've bought way too many books from them, but celebrating me that way seems a bit above and beyond.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I Will Also Be The Title Of A Doctor Who Episode.

Tomorrow is my birthday! It is, in fact, that geekiest of birthdays, which, for a brief while, enables one to claim to be the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. It did fleetingly cross my mind that it might be fun to celebrate with a Hitchhiker's-themed birthday party or something, but I've never thrown a party in my life, and 42 seems a bit old to start changing the habit of a lifetime. Plus, I have to work this weekend, anyway. Still happy birthday to me! And thanks to everybody who's sent a card, or wished me a good one in advance, or, in the case of my mother and grandmother, given me a blanket with a picture of Kirk and Spock on it, because they know me just that well. Heh.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Watch More TV.

Speaking of TV shows that fall into that annoying gray area where I'm not that into them but don't exactly want to stop watching them... I'm now five episodes into Millennium. And, OK, it's definitely a much better-made show than Under the Dome is. But I'm already tired of the formula where Lance Henricksen catches the serial killer of the week by the handy expedient of Just Magically Knowing Shit. Whatever else Millennium might be -- and I do get that it was going for something a little different -- it's also the cheatiest cop show in history.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Watch TV.

Now that I have a 21st century TV and a nice selection of channels, I've been slightly more inclined to watch TV shows as they air, instead of waiting for them to come out on DVD. Not much, but slightly. I have, for instance, been tuning in for Under the Dome. So far, though, my reaction to the series has been much the same as my reaction to the book: it's a great premise with lots of potential, but the execution seems kind of off. And since the premise itself is no longer remotely novel to me, having read the book, I think I'm even more lukewarm towards the show. Even if I do really like Dean Norris (and find this a wonderfully amusing choice of role for him in the wake of Breaking Bad).

Man, it's always irritating to me when a show falls right in that ambiguous spot where it's not doing enough for me to make me feel enthused about watching it, but also isn't so awful that I don't want to give it a chance. This, I think, is one of the big advantages of watching stuff on DVD. By the time it's out on disc (or, these days, on Netflix streaming), I can find other people who've already watched a whole season to tell me whether it's worth bothering with, and to reassure me that if I stick with it through those almost inevitably awkward first episodes, it'll get better. Said awkward first episodes are generally more enjoyable to watch, somehow, when you feel reasonably confident that investing your time in them will pay off down the line. Whereas watching something as it's broadcast, well, you pays your money and you takes your chances. It might continue in that twilight zone between decency and suckitude forever. It might end up just pissing you off. Or it might get really awesome, and then get cancelled on the world's most frustrating cliffhanger. I hate that kind of uncertainty.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Currentlies For July

Current clothes: Blue checkered shorts. A souvenir t-shirt from the Australian outback, tan, with various relevant words and place names scrawled on it. Bare feet, because I spilled water on one of my socks earlier and had to take them off.

Current mood: Not too bad. But I've been weirdly tired and sleepy since I got back from my vacation. Actually, since a couple of days before I got back from my vacation. I'm not at all sure what that's about. It seems not to matter a whole lot how much sleep I get, which is odd. Maybe it's just that I'm not used to waking up early for weeks at a time like this.

Current music: Nothing at the moment. Last time I played anything on it, my iPod was coming up with an even weirder and more random mix of stuff than usual.

Current annoyance: Humidity. Oddly enough, it didn't really bother me on my east coast trip. I think maybe the higher oxygen content at sea level offsets the discomfort for me, or something. But when it gets humid here, it's downright stifling. Not that I'm complaining about the rain we're having lately, though; we certainly needed it.

Current thing: Nothing whatsoever. I am entirely thing-less.

Current desktop picture: Still the same Earth from space picture as last time. I seem to have gotten very lazy about changing it.

Current book: The California Roll by John Vorhaus, a fun novel about a con man.

Current song in head: "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club, which has been drifting in and out of my head at seemingly random intervals for no discernible reason for at least a year now. Although sometimes my brain tries to re-write it into a song about The Walking Dead: "Zombie, zombie, zombie, zombie, zombie apocalyyyyypse." My brain is odd.

Current refreshment: Nothing right now. I had some lemon mint tea earlier.

Current DVD in player: Disc one of season one of Millennium. I watched the first episode of this way back when it first aired and didn't feel particularly inspired to keep going with it, but I have friends who were very taken with it and still think of it fondly, so I figured I'd give it another chance. So far, it's still really not clicking with me, but I'm only three episodes in, so we'll see.

Current worry: I keep expecting my roof to start leaking again, but so far it hasn't.

Current thought: Seriously, it's 8:30 PM and I'm feeling sleepy, and that's just so wrong.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Seriously, Could This Get More Perfect?

So, whoever left this bookmark on my desk at work while I was gone? You win everything forever.

I Hope The Neighbors' Fireworks Aren't Too Loud

Happy Independence Day to my fellow USA-inhabitants! I am celebrating by, uh... going back to work after my vacation, and then going to bed early tonight, because I have to get up tomorrow morning, plus I'm still on East Coast time. Yay?

Monday, July 01, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, East Coast Edition

OK, so, the trip! The family reunion thing was pretty much the same as the last one I went to -- which, somewhat to my surprise, turns out to have been six years ago. Surely it can't have been that long, can it? But there was lots and lots of food, and various aunts and uncles and cousins I mostly hadn't seen in years, and a few conversations with people I'm still not sure how I'm related to. The main thing that struck me was the reproductive explosion my various cousins have gone through since I saw them last. They now have more little kids between them than I can honestly keep track of. Well, hey, at least somebody's carrying on the family genes so I don't have to!

Besides the reunion, we also did a couple of side trips. Including one "down the shore," as I still cannot help but think of it. (You can take the girl out of South Jersey, but...) We frolicked in the waves a bit, and helped my nephew hunt for seashells, and walked along the boardwalk, which was chock-full of childhood nostalgia. Skee-ball and funnel cake and salt water taffy and Italian water ice and watching the tram car... South Jersey people, you know what I'm talkin' about! The rest of you: no Snooki jokes, please. Those get old before they even start.

My sister and my nephew and I also did an overnight road trip to Washington D.C. In my grandmother's 20-year-old car with no air conditioning, which I think was extremely brave of us (not to mention extremely cheap), but which was not nearly as bad as you're probably imagining. In fact, it was mostly fine, especially as I made my sister do all the driving. (I have lived too much of my life in New Mexico. Traffic kind of scares me.) Anyway, that was nice to do, because despite spending my entire youth only a fairly short drive from the nation's capital, I'd only been there once before. when I was a teenager. And that was for a bowling tournament, and we didn't have a whole lot of time for sightseeing. Mostly, I remember being vastly disappointed that my parents wouldn't take me to the Air and Space Museum, because that's the kind of geeky kid I was. Well, that has now finally been rectified! And I had my nice, satisfying Smithsonian geek-out only a quarter century or so late.

In fact, we not only went to the regular Air & Space museum, but also to the annex in Chantilly, Virginia, which now houses the space shuttle Discovery. Which also pleased me, since I just missed being able to see Atlantis when I was in Florida. It was something of a thrill to be able to see a shuttle close up and in person, but I found it an oddly melancholy experience, too. That vehicle just looked like it belonged on a launch pad, pointed at the sky, not sitting forlornly in a museum. Poor obsolete space truck.

We visited the National Museum of Natural History, too, although we saw only a fraction of what there was to see. There is a lot in those Smithsonian buildings, and I could happily spend months exploring them. In fact, when I finally figure out how to teleport, I think that's what I'm going to do with my free weekends and afternoons.

We also took a tour of the Capitol building, walked past the White House, and briefly visited the Library of Congress. (Where, apparently, my, "Ooooooh, books!" reaction was of immense amusement to my sister.) So that was a pretty packed two-day trip. Four days later, and I'm still feeling kind of tired from it. Man, I'm just really glad I don't have to go back to work until the 4th.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I am back! And I'm pleased to report that I and all my relatives survived the experience. I'll report more on the trip later, after sleep has happened.

Nova seems relieved to see me, but also extremely weirded out. Poor thing. This must have been a bizarre experience for him. First Vir disappears on him, then Happiness, then me... He must have felt like Dr. Crusher in that TNG episode where she ends up as the only one left on the Enterprise and the computer keeps telling her nobody else ever existed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eastward Ho!

I'm leaving on vacation in a couple of days, so if you try to get in touch with me next week and I don't answer my home phone or my e-mail or whatever, that would be the reason why! I'm going to this family reunion thingy in Delaware, having been told my presence this year was non-optional. We're also going to take a road trip down to Washington DC to visit the Air and Space Museum. Which makes this my second space-themed vacation this year, a trend I thoroughly approve of.

I'm looking forward to that, but also feeling a bit trepidatious, as, honestly, I've been feeling even more un-social than usual lately, and, no matter how much I love them, spending a week in the 24/7 company of my relatives may just break my poor introvert's soul. And when I get socially over-stimulated, I unfortunately get kinda snippy. So, uh, wish me luck. Or wish my relatives luck, maybe.

I'm leaving on Saturday, but I've already dropped Vir off at the kennel. He's being boarded along with Happiness this time, so that he doesn't eat all of Nova's food as well as his own, which he will do if unsupervised, and gain even more weight. But he had to go in a couple of days earlier than Happy, because there's a possibility that he'll just stress out and stop eating entirely, and if he does that, he's at high risk for spontaneous liver failure, thanks to the obesity that's also the reason I have to board him in the first place. Sigh. Personally, I think he's unlikely to not eat -- of all the reactions that cat has to stress, that's never seemed to be one of them -- but it's best to make sure before I just take off and leave him there. But, aww, I miss him already. And I think the other cats are slightly nervous at his disappearance, wondering whether they're going to be next. (One of them is right, of course. And the other is probably going to be lonely here by himself for a week, but I'm pretty sure Nova would freak out and refuse to eat if I stuck him in a kennel.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

So, How's Your Weekend Going So Far?

I'm working a night shift tonight, and I've been having some trouble switching my sleep schedule over, but I at least managed to stay awake until about 2:30 last night, which I figured was a good thing. Except that I then woke up, for no obvious reason, at 8:30. An hour later, I was still working on getting back to sleep, with some real possibility of success, when there was a knock at my door.

At first, I thought I'd imagined it. Then I thought, "It's probably the mailman. Ignore it and go to sleep." And then I thought, "...you know, that was an awfully loud and serious-sounding knock. I'd probably better go and see what it is." So I threw on my bathrobe, opened the front door... and discovered two uniformed policemen. Apparently one of my neighbors saw what looked like smoke coming out of my swamp cooler, and called the fire department. Fortunately for all concerned, it turned out to not actually be smoke. It was just mist. Apparently a hose broke or something, and the thing was spewing water out into the air.

I'm glad my neighbors notice when my house seems to be on fire. But, man, I don't think I'm going to be getting any more sleep now.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Talking About The Weather

The problem with this kind of soul-sucking heat is that it makes it hard to get anything done. It's okay as long as you stay indoors -- all praise to the mighty swamp cooler! -- but any time I have to go outside for ten minutes, I find that I desperately desire half an hour's rest on the sofa while sipping cool beverages afterward.

On the upside, it's great weather for doing laundry. On days like this, I think the clothesline may actually rival a tumble-dryer for speed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

But It's A Dry Heat! A Drought-Stricken, Mummifyingly Dry Heat.

Ah, summer in New Mexico!

Yesterday's high: 103 degrees.

Today's projected high: 103 degrees.

Total rainfall this year so far: Less than half an inch.

Sometimes I wonder why people even live here. Or, for that matter, how.

Friday, June 07, 2013

I'm Not Doing So Great With That "Update This Blog More Often" Resolution, But, Hey, There's Always This.

Current clothes: A red plaid bathrobe. Any minute now, though, I'm going to go and put some actual clothes on. Yep. Any minute now.

Current mood: Eh. I have a lot of stuff I really need to do today, and I'm having some trouble working up the enthusiasm to tackle it all.

Current music: More random songs from my music collection. As I recall, the iPod's random shuffle feature seemed to be in a heavy-duty classic rock kind of mood last time I had it on. At one point it gave me Billy Joel, Dire Straits, CCR, Jethro Tull, and the Who, all back to back.

Current annoyance: Man, lately I've been feeling this sort of generalized irritation that is hard to pin down onto any one thing. Possibly I'm just having some kind of low-key midlife crisis.

Current thing: Wistfully wishing that I could spend an entire week doing nothing but lying on the couch and reading, and then when I actually get a nice block of time in which to do that, getting too easily distracted from it and getting up to do other stuff after all.

Current desktop picture: Still the same Earth from space picture as last time.

Current book: The Infernals by John Connolly, the sequel to his YA novel The Gates. It's fun.

Current song in head: For the last few days, songs have been flitting in and out of my head in rapid succession, at the merest hint of anything that remotely reminds me of them.

Current refreshment: Nothing at the moment. I just finished my morning coffee not all that long ago. I slept a bit later than I probably should have today, given that I have to be up early for work tomorrow.

Current DVD in player: Just finished disc 1 of season 2 of Northern Exposure. Which, while still enjoyable, doesn't seem quite as thoroughly charming as I remember it being back in the day, possibly just because its particular brand of quirkiness is no longer novel.

Current worry: I think I'll let today's xkcd address this one:

Current thought: Bah, I'm hungry, and I haven't had breakfast. And the catbox smells. And I really need to put some clothes on. Any minute now...

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Doctor Who News

I have only one word to say: NOOOOOOOOOOO!

I mean, a new Doctor is always exciting. But I love Matt Smith, and I want to keep him forever.

(OK, that was more than one word. Shut up. I am dealing with trauma here.)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Links (Biblioholic Edition)

Which DOCTOR WHO Library Is the Best DOCTOR WHO Library?: I can't decide, either!

Tsundoku: The Japanese have a word for it. That's oddly reassuring to know. (Also, holy crap, that Bookshelf Porn blog gets me disturbingly excited.)

25 Signs You’re Addicted To Books: I definitely qualify. But you knew that.

bookbookgoose: Shows you random books from Amazon. Very, very random books. I could keep clicking this all day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well, How About Next Week?

All day, I've had this weird feeling like there's some specific activity I should be engaging in, or something exciting that's supposed to happen today that isn't actually happening. And a little while ago, I finally realized why.

There is no new Doctor Who on today. And apparently some portion of my psyche is simply not prepared to believe or accept this fact.

My brain, ladies and gentlemen. My pathetic fannish brain.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How Come I Keep Hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger's Voice In My Head Now?

Now that I'm watching my money more carefully, I've started playing this fun new game called "What unexpected expense will there be for this paycheck?" This week's winner: $66 to the vet to reassure me that the weird brown spot on Nova's eye is probably not a tumor. Stupid expensive cats.

Still, on the upside: probably not a tumor! Yay!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Star Trekkin' Across The Universe

Just got back from seeing the new Star Trek movie. I made a point of going to see this one in the theater, not, I confess, due to any deep affection for the Trek reboot franchise -- honestly, the mere fact that I didn't actually hate the first one came as a pleasant shock -- but mostly because, well, Benedict Cumberbatch.

But I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. Probably more than it objectively deserves, really. It does, at least when it's not too busy being Big and Cinematic, have a fun, TOS-y kind of feel to it, mostly in the characters' banter, which was always one of the best things about the original. And, once again, there were lots of little continuity references and such designed to please us old school Trekkies. Although there were also a couple of points that the old school Trekkie in me had some problems with (including one fairly big one that's also a fairly big spoiler if you're going into the movie blind, so I won't say anything about it here). And, to be honest, I'm not sure the plot was actually coherent at all. More than that, it inevitably (and deliberately) invites comparisons to certain things that the original did, sometimes to the point of deja vu, and if you take it up on that invitation in any remotely serious way, this version is no way in hell going to come out the winner. And, yet, I found I didn't really mind much, but instead found myself settling into some optimal combination of taking it on its own terms and enjoying it for the nostalgic pleasure of being reminded of things I've always loved but hadn't thought about all that much in a while.

And, contemplating that reaction, it occurs to me that the reason these movies work for me at all is because my brain basically treats them as big screen fan fiction. I don't have to take them too seriously, and there's no way I'm taking them as canon, but what the heck. Approached with no expectations, no feeling that anything in particular is at stake, and the sense that I'm perfectly free to enjoy the aspects I like and ignore the ones I don't, it's an entertaining enough way to spend a couple of hours.

Now, on to the Doctor Who season finale! For which I do have expectations...

(Note: You're welcome to discuss details of the movie in the comments, if you like, but for the sake of those who haven't seen it yet, please do label anything that contains spoilers. Thanks!)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Random Links: All-Video Edition

First, we have a trailer for Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie. So help me, I seriously wish this was a real thing. I would watch the hell out of this.

Still on the movie theme, and just in time for the sequel, it's the honest trailer for the 2009 Star Trek movie. With lots of spoilers. Funny, funny spoilers.

And then there's Catherine Tate on some kind of game show, desperately trying to remember what part her co-worker David Tennant played in Harry Potter. This is probably the single funniest thing I have seen in recent memory.

And finally, a promo for the upcoming TV series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Even if I weren't stupidly addicted to the show it's being spun off from, I would think this looked really, really cool.

And Today's Lesson

The lesson for today: If your alarm clock goes off and some groggy, disoriented, wishful-thinking part of your brain says, "What did you set that for? We've already done Friday! That was yesterday! Today is a day to sleep! Turn that thing off!", do not listen to it.

Fortunately, I somehow managed to make it into work on time, anyway. But ye gods, do I need more caffeine. Or at least for all the coffee I drank before dashing out the door to start kicking in.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This Is The Sort Of Thing You Get When I Decide To Post More Regularly.

Lesson for today: it's a very good idea to wear gloves when you apply shoe polish. Oh, well. I'm sure the orange fingernails make some kind of fashion statement.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Know, I Should Be Glad I Even Have A Job.

Things that are happening this weekend: a new Doctor Who episode written by Neil Gaiman, the eagerly anticipated season finale of Once Upon a Time, a huge library sale in Albuquerque, Mother's Day (meaning it would be good if I could at least give my mom a call), and probably still more nice weather.

Things I am doing this weekend: working twelve hour shifts and, hopefully, sleeping.


Thursday, May 09, 2013

And Then There's This Thing

Current clothes: A nightshirt that says "Oops, I bought another pile of books!" and a pair of pajama pants with a pattern of stars and moons on them. I really need to shower and get dressed soon, but I guarantee you that whatever I end up wearing, it will not express my personality nearly as thoroughly as my sleepwear.

Current mood: Groggy. My circadian rhythms have been even more messed up than usual lately, and today's manifestation of that involved repeatedly waking up (largely thanks to a persistently annoying cat) and then falling back to sleep again, until I ended up spending over twelve hours in bed. And now my brain has forgotten how to actually be awake.

Current music: I was listening to my music collection on random shuffle again yesterday in the car. I don't remember much in the way of specifics, but, as usual, it was a ridiculous mish-mash of genres.

Current annoyance: Between the car payments and the credit card debt still hanging over my head, for the first time in years I'm having to carefully stick to a budget, and I do not like it.

Current thing: I don't know. Wanting to get out and enjoy some of this really nice weather we've been having lately, and not actually doing it. Man. That's a sad thing.

Current desktop picture: I finally ousted Rumplestiltskin and replaced him with the terminator. No, not that one. The one that divides day from night.

Current book: Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Deadliest Creatures by Carl Zimmer. So far I've only read the prologue and I'm already disgusted. Not with the book, which looks interesting, but with nature. Nature is icky.

Current song in head: "Demons" by Imagine Dragons. So apparently that band has been playing in my head for a month now.

Current refreshment: A giant-ass mug of coffee. I'm not sure if it's helping.

Current DVD in player: Disc one of season 5 of Merlin. Which I really should have learned not to watch while I'm also watching Once Upon a Time. The fact that they're both fantasy shows with lots of magic that reinterpret familiar characters means that comparing them is inevitable, and I'm afraid Merlin comes off the worse for it. It's frequently entertaining and occasionally exciting, but it lacks the complexity of OUaT, in terms of plot, character, and narrative structure.

Current worry: Blah, blah, existential angst, blah, blah, what am I doing with my life?, blah, blah, what if crises happen that I can't handle financially?, blah, blah, aging... Screw it all. My brain is not awake enough to deal with my worries right now.

Current thought: Maybe if I rub my face vigorously for a while, that will wake me up. *tries it* Nope.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Hey, Look, I Have An Actual Thing To Post About.

So, I went to see Iron Man 3 today. (I confess, this had less to do with an eager inability to wait for this particular movie to come out on DVD and more to do with wanting an excuse to drive the car. I haven't had much reason to leave town lately, and if I don't take the car out on the highway once in a while, the battery will go flat. Right? Plus, it's still an exciting novelty to me to drive a car that doesn't vibrate or fill up with so much wind noise that I can barely hear the radio. Such luxury!) Anyway, the movie was fun, in that improbable stunts, sarcastic quips, and lots of stuff blowing up sort of way. So pretty much what I expected and was hoping for. Also, I think more superheroes ought to suffer anxiety attacks. It makes them much more relatable.

You know, I've talked here before about my ambiguous feelings towards superhero movies in general (especially ones featuring Batman). But apparently any movie with Iron Man in it is pretty much automatically an enjoyable one for me. Which is funny, considering that before the first movie came out, I had only the vaguest idea who Iron Man even was, other than the subject of a song that gets stuck in my head every time I hear it.

But while I, like Tony Stark, enjoy shiny technology, I would like to offer up this tip for movie patrons: please do not let your kids wear those stupid sneakers with the flashing LEDs on them to the movie theater. I mean, come on, people. Seriously.