Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's About To Be 2015?! Wow, We Really Are Living In The Future.

Well, here we are at the end of another year. I'm honestly not sure where this one went. It's all something of a blur, really.

As with every year, lots of things happened, good, bad, weird, and tumultuous. In my own life, I suppose the biggest change is that I'm ending the year with fewer internal organs than I started it with. The surgery and recovery were a lot of no fun, although, oddly, at this point it's almost difficult to remember it all, as if it were some sort of bizarre dream. I actually have to remind myself that, oh, yeah, that really happened, when it comes to things like my complete inability to bend over for a couple of weeks. In any case, I am very happy with the results. Not having a uterus is excellent. I don't know why I was ever issued with one in the first place.

Anyway. Here's wishing a very happy New Year to all of you (and your internal organs). If you're celebrating tonight, have fun and be safe. And may you keep right on having fun and being safe in the new year, as well!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I hope all you Christmas-celebrating folks out there had a good one! Mine was nice. I got some lovely presents -- thank you, various awesome family members! -- and on Christmas Day I got together with some friends, and there was turkey and Doctor Who. And then we watched the last two episodes of The Prisoner, because everyone should have the gift of mind-blowing surrealism at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And Now I Am Tired.

Yay, I am being Christmassy! Presents have all been wrapped and/or mailed off, including the Flying Dutchman Present, which did show up eventually and, with luck, will arrive at its final destination only a day or so late. My Non-Evil Fruitcake is currently in the oven, and, for extra Christmassyness, I managed to spill enough self-rising flour everywhere that for a while it looked as if it had snowed in my kitchen. Festive!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Follow-Up

A follow-up to my previous post:

Hooray for some surprisingly classy customer service from the post office! Which, since I'm quick to publicly complain about them when they screw up, I figured deserved some acknowledgement. They sent me a boilerplate "We're sorry, we know you hate not getting your mail" e-mail, which is about what I expected. But the guy in charge of my local PO also called and, since I wasn't home at the time, left a long, informative message on my answering machine explaining exactly what happened and what they were doing about it.

He said he was able to get an image of the address label sent to him -- yay, technology! -- and the address was perfectly correct and legible, so the sender isn't to blame on this one. What happened, apparently, is that the postal clerk at the point of departure entered my zipcode as 78710 rather than 87801, meaning the barcode label on the thing was wrong. Which... is a pretty imaginative typo. Man, that person must have been having a really bad day. I'd be annoyed at them, but, honestly, if I were a postal clerk at this time of the year, I can't help but suspect I might have a few days that bad, myself.

Anyway, I was assured it would make its way to me soon, and sure enough, checking the tracking info now shows it as being here in Socorro, much more quickly than I was expecting. I should presumably have it in the mail tomorrow, which might even mean I can get it where it belongs by Christmas, assuming no more snafus. Yay! And even if it is late, well, the person it's going to used to work for the post office. She totally understands.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Behold, The Christmas Yo-Yo!

It's not really the holidays unless something goes hilariously wrong, right? This year's example:

I bought a present for a family member on ebay, early in the month. The seller mailed it off quickly, and the estimated delivery date was Dec. 12. Just enough time for me to feel fully confident I could get it, wrap it, and send it along to its distant recipient in time for Christmas.

Allow me to share with you the tracking info for this package, as of today. Keep in mind that Albuquerque is the correct place to send it; that's where mail usually comes before being sent out to my local PO. Note, also, that Austin is about 700 miles away from me.

Friday, Dec 19, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Processed through USPS Sort Facility
Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 ALBUQUERQUE , NM Departed USPS Facility
Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 ALBUQUERQUE , NM Arrived at USPS Facility
Monday, Dec 15, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Departed USPS Facility
Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Arrived at USPS Facility
Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Arrived at USPS Facility
Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Out for Delivery
Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Sorting Complete
Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Arrived at Post Office
Friday, Dec 12, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Departed USPS Facility
Friday, Dec 12, 2014 AUSTIN , TX Arrived at USPS Facility
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 CITY OF INDUSTRY , CA Departed USPS Facility
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 CITY OF INDUSTRY , CA Arrived at USPS Facility
Sunday, Dec 7, 2014 CLEVELAND , OH Departed USPS Origin Facility
Saturday, Dec 6, 2014 CLEVELAND , OH Arrived at USPS Origin Facility
Saturday, Dec 6, 2014 UNIONTOWN , OH Departed Post Office
Saturday, Dec 6, 2014 UNIONTOWN , OH Acceptance

Yeah. Anybody want to place any bets on how long it's going to do this for? Or whether the Post Office will actually respond to the help request I submitted on their website?

I wonder who they tried to deliver it to in Austin...

(Also, the kicker? The item's ebay page said it was going to be sent FedEx. Probably the seller thought it wouldn't make a difference. HA.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Could I Resist The Time Lord Name Generator?

Get your own time lord name from the time lord name generator!

Your time lord name is: The Monitor

Your original Gallifreyan name is Jodtrisdanuarizadathene, or Jodtris for short. Back on Gallifrey, you led a dull and uninteresting life, working as an Assistant Librarian at the Patrexe Academy – but now, you travel Time and Space in search of adventure!
Your Type 66 TARDIS is currently stuck in disguise as a Coca-Cola vending machine, and your latest travelling companion is a bright-eyed, easily confused English teacher from 1968.
Get your own time lord name from the time lord name generator!

I can totally believe that as my story if I were a renegade Time Lord. Although I can't help wondering what exactly it is I'm monitoring...

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Last Time I Will Do This This Year

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. Venture Bros. Guild of Calamitous Intent t-shirt. White socks.

Current mood: Good and relaxed and generally pretty happy. I've had the last five days off work, thanks to a lot of shift-swapping to accommodate people taking time off over the holidays, and it's been wonderful. Almost enough to make up for all the stupid hours I was working last month.

Current music: I don't know what that last song my iPod random-shuffled at me was. There's some odd stuff on there. Hang on, I'm going to look it up. Aha! Apparently it was "Atypura" by Yma Sumac, from The Big Lebowski soundtrack. There you go.

Current annoyance: The fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow. Man, there's nothing like having a few days off to make me wish I were independently wealthy. Or independently middle class. That would be fine.

Current thing: Listening to lots and lots of podcasts. I finally got caught up on the ones I was subscribed to, so I went and subscribed to a bunch more.

Current desktop picture: I have switched it to my traditional holiday wallpaper, featuring the TARDIS with snow on it and a wreath on the door.

Current book: Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould.

Current song in head: "Policy of Truth" by Depeche Mode, "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift, "Every You Every Me" by Placebo and "Everything is Awesome!" from The Lego Movie are currently duking it out for domination of my neurons right now. It is making the inside of my brain kind of an interesting place to live.

Current refreshment: Peach tea.

Current DVD in player: Most recently, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Which was okay. It was fairly ridiculous, but mostly in the ways that superhero movies are supposed to be ridiculous. It did provoke a bizarre combination of reactions from me, though, especially towards the beginning, when I was simultaneously thinking, "Wow, this is a lot of exposition" and "Yeah, I'm sure if I were familiar with the comics I'd know who all these people are." It kept me modestly entertained for a couple of hours, at least, and not just because I kept staring in some kind of weird fascination at Peter Dinklage's amazing 70s 'stache. Mind you, it really needed more Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, but you could probably say that about any movie.

Current worry: I have stopped worrying for the moment, slipping instead into a pleasant, comfortable state of apathy.

Current thought: New episode of Once Upon a Time coming up shortly. Woo-hoo! (Yes, I am a very easy person to please.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

This Is Why I'm Not Leaving The House Today

A humorous fake movie trailer, apropos of the day:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Look, I'm Blogging!

I have been neglecting this blog horribly again. Partly that may be because I've been neglecting everything horribly. I seem to not be doing very much besides working and sleeping lately. Winter is definitely here now, and my body just wants to go right into hibernation mode. As for working, my hours have been even stupider than usual. This is the first full day off I've had in more than two weeks. (Admittedly, some of those days I was only in for an hour or two. But still.)

Also, the things that strike me as entertaining enough to share with the world are things I suspect the world might have a differing opinion about. Like the following possibly TMI-ish observation: Since my hysterectomy, the local grocery store has continued sending me coupons for tampons, which, I confess, I have taken great glee in ripping up and throwing in the trash. (Free! I am free! Never shall I be subject to such things again!) But then, earlier this month, it gave me a coupon for diapers instead. WRONG ASSUMPTION, STORE! Also, that's kinda creepy.

Possibly I should at least have wished a Happy Birthday to Doctor Who on Sunday. But I will do that now. Doesn't matter that it's belated, right? After all, what's time to a Time Lord? The show has now been around for 51 years. I find it oddly comforting, these days, to be into things that are older than I am. It lets me avoid the unpleasant jolt I get when I hear fully adult human beings say things like, "Oh, yeah, I remember that from when I was a little kid!" about things that seem to me to have started practically yesterday.

In other news, I think my Thanksgiving plans have fallen through. Which I feel worse about on behalf of the people I had plans with -- deprived of my Thanksgiving dinner company! -- than for myself. Especially as I fear I may be coming down with a cold (which may be skipping all the usual preliminaries and heading directly for my chest this time, although I hope I'm wrong about that) and might be better off just going with the hibernation impulse. Anyway, new plan: buy a small turkey breast if the store still has any, or a chicken if they don't, and throw it in the oven. Then maybe watch Aliens, as a revival of the Thanksgiving tradition I tried to start a few years ago. (Quite what it says about me that I think Aliens makes ideal Thanksgiving viewing, I don't know. But, really, if we can't be grateful that we're not hosting alien larva in our bodies, we can't be properly thankful about anything.)

Anyway, that's me these days. Still not dead! I hope that is true of all of you as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This Post Is Brought To You By My Chilly Feet

Why is it getting so cold? It cannot possibly be winter yet! I'm not ready for winter! Bring back fall!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Yes, That Helped!

Doctor Who was, in fact, pretty awesome. Also, I may have had some rum.

I am way less stressed now! Yay!

In Which I Whine A Lot About Being Broke

Good news! The roofers are here today working on my roof, and if all goes well, at least water leaking in on me from above is one thing I shouldn't have to worry about again.

Bad news! Once they actually took some of the roof panels off, they discovered even more things that the previous roofers fucked up, and to repair everything properly is going to cost more than initially estimated. Rather a lot more. Which, considering that it was already going to cost me pretty much everything I had in the bank, is not so good.

But it does mean a new 10-year warranty on the whole roof. And they are going to give me 90 days, interest-free, to pay them the balance, which will be doable without too much problem if I put a good chunk of my regular expenses on the credit card. Again. Along with the new orthotic inserts for my shoes, which my insurance is probably not going to pay for, but which I need in order to, you know, walk. Unless I find a way to enjoy stabbing foot pain. Oh, and the new eyeglasses -- hello, bifocals! -- which I have been putting off for two years.

God damn but I am getting tired of digging myself deeper and deeper into debt. I am clinging hard to the knowledge that I should actually have some money coming in soon -- an inheritance from my uncle who passed away earlier this year, for which I am deeply grateful. We're not talking about a life-changing amount of money, or anything, but at least enough to help with this stuff. But I still don't know exactly how much that's going to be or exactly when it's going to be, and in the meantime I sit here hoping nothing else is going to fail catastrophically. (As opposed to the slow, gradual ways everything currently seems to be failing, that is.)

Bah. Now I've whined so much I'm even annoying myself. It's going to be OK, really. I could be way, way worse off, as far too many people are. But that doesn't make me any less tired of it all.

Man, the Doctor Who finale tonight had better be awesome. I can really use the cheering up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

November Currentlies

The way time is getting away from me lately, I'd better do this now while I'm thinking of it, or it'll suddenly turn into December while I'm not looking and I still won't have posted it.

Current clothes: A light gray Doctor Who t-shirt, featuring a picture of the TARDIS and a lot of scribblings in Gallifreyan. Blue jeans. Gray wool socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: I'm in a surprisingly good mood, and have been for days. I say "surprisingly" because I've got all kinds of things I could be stressing about, and it's not like I'm not thinking about them, but for whatever reason my brain has decided it would much rather focus on the stuff that makes it happy. I am so not complaining about this.

Current music: Pink Floyd and Weird Al Yankovic. Apparently the Pandora app on my phone ran into some kind of problem, and now that's all it will play. It took me a ridiculously long time to realize this, partly because I don't actually use Pandora much, but also because Pink Floyd and Weird Al seem to do a pretty good job of meeting my basic musical needs.

Current annoyance: Having a human body. As per usual.

Current thing: Uh... Focusing on stuff that makes my brain happy, instead of stressing?

Current desktop picture: It's still this one. I was going to change it last month, and never did.

Current book: I just finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey, which was a well-worthwhile read. Next up is Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, which I'm very much looking forward to, because the first book in the series was terrific.

Current song in head: "The Scientist" by Coldplay.

Current refreshment: Diet Pepsi.

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 7 of The Big Bang Theory. Ah, The Big Bang Theory. Never have I found a show's humor to be such a thoroughgoing combination of the irritating and the hilarious.

Current worry: Oh, you know, health, money, shelter. The usual.

Current thought: My new coffeepot, unlike the old one, does not beep to let me know it's finished brewing, or that it's been on too long and is shutting itself off. It's astonishing how unhappy this makes me. I can't shake the utterly irrational feeling that it just doesn't like or care about me as much as the old one did.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

And When The Clocks Are Messing With Me Is Precisely The Time I Most Need My Coffee!

Also, apparently the time change was too much for my coffeemaker to deal with, because the clock froze up suddenly and now comes up with odd semi-random numbers whenever I plug it in or hit the on button. It constantly amazes me how many different ways these really very simple machines can find to fail.

The Clocks Are Fighting Me

Once again, the end of Daylight Saving Time has hit me at a point where I really need to be staying up later by the clock, meaning that extra hour works to my disadvantage. But at least I'm not on night shifts this time.

Still, just once, I'd like to experience the fun form of time travel, maybe by TARDIS or DeLorean, rather than just by switching time zones constantly without ever leaving home.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

I've Just Got One Question For You, Punk: Red Or Green?

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight. Well, I think I'm going, anyway. This particular party happens every year, and almost every year so far, something comes up to prevent me going, to the point where, if I believed in such things, I'd half-suspect some cosmic force wants to keep me away. But so far, no bizarre obstacles have cropped up. Yet.

Halloween parties can be a bit awkward for me, though, anyway, because a lot of my friends are really into costuming and do amazing stuff at Halloween, and me? I can barely thread a needle. Basically, any skill that involves manipulating physical objects or creating anything visual, you can safely assume I'm going to be crap at. I'm much better with words. So my strategy generally is: put together a half-assed costume and find something. clever to say about it.

This year, the party has a local theme: "Weird New Mexico." Thus, I am putting on a cheap cape and a Zia sun symbol t-shirt I already happen to own (for reasons I've never been entirely clear on), and calling myself Captain Chile, New Mexico's first superhero. Why such a crappy costume? Eh, it's only temporary. I'll get around to doing a real one mañana.

I have been amusing myself, possibly a little too much, by coming up with details about Captain Chile. Like:


Chile blast! Red from the left arm, green from the right, or, for particularly dangerous miscreants, it's Christmastime! Particularly effective when aimed at the eyes.

A brief but withering blast of hot, dry wind and intense sunlight, resulting in instant sunburn and bodily dessication.

The ability to create small, localized sandstorms.

Telepathic rapport with roadrunners.

Possible origin stories:

Swallowed a piece of trinitite.

Ate some mutant chile. (In retrospect, the way it was glowing and pulsing should probably have been a tip-off, but I just figured that meant it must be really hot and took it as a challenge.)

Toxic waste leak at Los Alamos.

Encounter with a mystical ancient spirit at Chaco Canyon during the summer solstice.

Bitten by a radioactive roadrunner.

Powers bestowed by Roswell aliens. (They're still there, you know. Some of them work at the UFO museum, in disguise.)

Secret government experiment at Sandia. I could tell you about it, but then I'd have to call the Men in Black to wipe your memory, and I don't want a repeat of last week.

Crimes fought:

Cattle rustling. (Well, OK, not really, but it seemed like it needed to be on the list.)

Overcharging people for crappy turquoise jewelry.


Crane poaching.

Blue meth cooking.

Wasting water.

Saying, "Wait, there's a New Mexico?"

(And if you understood everything in that post, congratulations! You're a New Mexican!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Geez, at some point, this blog seemed to turn into a place for me to complain about things. Mostly my medical problems. Gaaah! What has happened to me?

Well, I thought, you know, I should offset all this whining with some positivity. So, some good things today:

1) October is a beautiful month here, and today is a great example of that. The temperature is just perfect this morning, touched with a bit of fall crispness without being too chilly, and the sky is that perfect, flawless, intense shade of blue that you have to just keep staring at, because if you look away, you'll stop believing it exists. Twenty-five years in New Mexico, and I still have not gotten over that sky.

2) Speaking of October, yay for seasonal treats! I have caramel apples and Boo Berry cereal. Yum!

3) I stopped at Page One, Albuquerque's awesome indie bookstore, yesterday, and picked up a couple of books I'm really, really looking forward to reading. I now have so many great-looking books awaiting me. So many.

4) I am off work today! Admittedly, I have a lot of crap to do (which this blog post is maybe helping me procrastinate on), but at least it's my crap and not my employer's.

5) Also, it is payday! Yay, I can pay my bills! And maybe I'll finally spring for that Leonard Cohen album. Cohen always cheers me up. Strangely enough.

In Which My Dealings With Everyone Continue To Be Absurd, And Probably Expensive.

I went up to Albuquerque yesterday for an appointment with my podiatrist because I need new inserts for my shoes. The old ones solved my foot pain perfectly, but they're falling apart now, and it's coming back with a vengeance.

So, I go up and they x-ray my feet and stuff. Then they tell me that they would just take casts of my feet right then, but they need to get prior authorization from my insurance company. You know, I tell them, they covered it just fine last time, but even if they don't and I have to pay for the whole thing out of pocket, I'm still going to need it done, as suffering stabbing foot pain every time I walk really is not an attractive lifestyle choice for me. (Well, I may not have phrased it quite that way.) They told me, yes, but if you don't ask them ahead of time, they might decide not to cover it, just because you didn't ask. All right, then. Fine. I can make another appointment to do the cast. With my work schedule, I don't know exactly when, but OK.

Today, they call me and tell me the insurance company said they wouldn't authorize it. Which kind of angered me, because when they forcibly switched us onto this bone-crushing high-deductible plan, they assured us our coverage wouldn't change, and, again, it was covered last time. So I call the insurance company myself and ask about it. The conversation ended with this little gem:

Me: OK, I apologize if I'm just repeating things now, but I want to make sure I have this right. You won't pre-authorize it, but if they submit the claim afterward, with the reason it was medically necessary, you might or might not cover it?

Her: That's right.

Thank, Cigna. Thanks a bundle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just A Little Pinprick

Got my flu shot today. I've been trying to be conscientious about doing that of late, not just because the flu is no fun, but because it's good citizenship. People who don't get the flu can't infect other people with the flu, and thus we all avoid a real-life re-enactment of The Stand for another year. Right?

And apparently medical science has made great strides in needle technology, because I went in there with my eyes screwed shut and my body all tensed for the horrible invasive poking, and got what basically felt like a quick tap on the arm. It was so uneventful, I half wanted to accuse the guy of not actually giving me the shot after all (no doubt in order to pocket the stuff and sell it on the flu vaccine black market). But I'm not complaining!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bibliophile In Denial

Me, six months ago: OK, that's it! No more library sales for me this year. The TBR shelves are almost completely full, plus, no matter how ridiculously cheap the books are, I really shouldn't spend the extra money. Not until I'm caught up, at least a little.

Me, three months ago: Well, maybe I can go to the local ones. But I'll strictly limit myself to stuff that's already on my wishlist.

Me, a week ago: I'm definitely not going to the one next weekend, since I have to work that night, and I should be asleep for most of the time that it's happening.

Me, yesterday: Then again, maybe I'll just duck in for the last hour or so and have a quick look through whatever's left.

Me, today: wakes up at 8:30 AM, goes to sale, and buys thirteen books, none of which are on the wishlist

Honestly, I don't know why I expected anything different. You'd think I'd know myself well enough by now.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

October Currentlies

A little earlier than usual, perhaps, but what the heck.

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A t-shirt depicting the lifecyle of stars. White socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: I am trying very hard to get past the stress of the last few days. I think I may be about about sixty percent succeeding. Which is actually pretty good for me.

Current music: Nothing much. I have been looking longingly at the new Leonard Cohen album, but I need to limit my unnecessary spending at the moment, and have done way too much of it lately already. So I have sternly commanded myself to wait until the cash flow situation improves a little bit.

Current annoyance: The existence of other human beings. Also dogs.

Current thing: I may have just recently spent an entire week listening to 56 straight episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, which is now my new New Favorite Thing. For those unfamiliar, I will explain/gush about this show: It's a podcast that takes the form of a community radio show, featuring local news and events and such, but the community in question is the weirdest town on the face of the earth, a place where every conspiracy theory is true and the bizarre, horrific, and inexplicable are considered absolutely mundane. It's been described as the News from Lake Woebegone meets Stephen King (Or H.P. Lovecraft, or Clive Barker, or insert your favorite horror icon here), but while that maybe gives you an inkling of what it's like, I don't think it remotely does it justice. It's a fascinating combination of comedy, genuinely creepy horror, existentialist philosophy, and sheer surrealism. It also features surprisingly consistent continuity and character development, an actual story arc (eventually), a weirdly adorkable romantic subplot, and a more diverse cast of characters than you're ever likely to see on your TV. I'm not sure I recommend listening to 56 episodes in a row, though; it could have unpredictable effects on your brain.

Current desktop picture: It's still this, but I'm finally starting to think about changing it. I might need some Welcome to Night Vale wallpaper. Or maybe something featuring the 12th Doctor. I mean, if you can't nurture your fannish obsessions via the medium of PC wallpaper, where can you?

Current book: The Hidden Land by Pamela Dean. This is the second book in a kids' fantasy trilogy from the 1980s. The premise is good, but the writing mostly just irritates me. I can't help thinking I should have just stopped after book one, but I've got the rest of the series, so I feel like I might as well finish it.

Current song in head: I had breakfast at Denny's a little while ago, and "The Great Pretender" was playing on the music system when I left, so it's now stuck in my head, at least temporarily. Mostly because that song always pleasantly reminds me of my unreasonable fondness for the 90s TV show The Pretender.

Current refreshment: Peach tea.

Current DVD in player: Disc 5 of season 9 of Supernatural. I don't even know why I'm watching this show anymore, but somehow I can't seem to motivate myself to stop.


Current thought: Well, at least the ants finally seem to be staying dead.

Friday, October 03, 2014

My Possibly Even Worse Day

So, after the dog bite incident last night, I talked to my neighbor and told him I wanted proof the dog had had its vaccinations. Oh, absolutely it had, he said. But he couldn't find the paperwork. Or the tag. Gosh, the kids must have removed the dog's collar. Don't know where it is. But no problem he said -- and actually sounded very nice and accommodating -- if I came by in the morning after I got off work, if he hadn't found the papers yet, we could call the vet and get the proof. Great.

So, this morning, I go by the house. No answer. He's not there, or he's ignoring me. I give up and try to get some sleep. Four and a half hours later, I wake up, and try over there again. His mother-in-law is there, babysitting. She knows nothing, but I at least manage to find out their names.

I call the vet where they told me they got the dog vaccinated. The vet's office has a record of treating the dog, but say they never gave him any shots.

I figure I'd better go to the doctor, just to be safe. They can tell me whether I need a rabies shot or something. So I manage to get an appointment, and the medical professional -- I actually think she was a nurse or PA -- frankly knows less about rabies than I do. Seriously, actual snippet of conversation:

Her: So, I guess be on the look out for... I don't even know what the symptoms of rabies are.

Me: I do. And once you start experiencing them, you're dead.

Also, she asked me if I knew whether there'd been any rabies in dogs around here lately.

Not that it matters all that much, anyway, since they don't even have rabies vaccines. I'd need to call the state health department for that, apparently. She had no idea whether I ought to or not.

Both the vet and the doctor told me I should call the cops and/or animal control, that in a case like this, the protocol is for the dog to be quarantined.

I hadn't wanted to get the authorities involved. It's a very minor bite, I didn't want to press charges, I'm not a making-waves kind of person, but... OK. I called the cops, who told me to call animal control, who told me to call the cops.

A cop came out, took a picture of my bite, heard the story, and went over to talk to the neighbors. He then came back and said, "Well, she says the dog's been vaccinated!" -- at the same vet I'd called earlier. "She's going to get the paperwork from them. She also says the dog bit you because you chased it, and that you yelled at her daughter."

I then, as politely as possible, pointed out that the vet records she was referring to, according to the vet did not exist, that the dog was running loose, that it had bit me from behind, as was consistent with the position of the bite mark, that I thought it fairly natural to yell when you'd just been bitten by a dog, and that the woman in question wasn't even there at the time and hadn't seen it happen.

Anyway, he just kept repeating that she said the dog had been vaccinated. All right, I said, but what if she couldn't prove it?

The cop didn't know.

What would happen with the dog? Was someone going to quarantine or examine it?

The cop didn't know. But he'd seen the dog, and it seemed OK. (Which is interesting, because the guy told me they were planning on getting rid of the dog today, and then that they were going to take it somewhere last night.)

Was she required to provide proof of vaccination to the police? Would they call me back and let me know any information that might determine whether I needed a shot?

The cop didn't know. But, hey, she was going to the vet to get the records now, he said.

And what happens when they don't have the records?, I said.

The cop didn't know.

So, I said, it sounds like what's happening is that you're going to take her word for it and do nothing.

Oh, no!, he said. That wasn't true at all.

So what are you going to do?, I asked.

The cop didn't know. But if I wanted, I could pick up a police report in 3-5 business days!

But I need to know if I need a rabies shot!, I said.

Well, he could go over to the vet and check himself and come back and talk to me if I really wanted, he said.

I told him that would be great, yes.

And then he got an emergency call for something that I cannot argue sounded a lot more important, and ran off.

So, yeah. I think what's going to happen is jack and shit, other than my neighbors being pissed off at me for something that is entirely their own damned (and quite illegal) fault.

Anyway. The odds that the dog actually has rabies are exceedingly small, really. Of course, exceedingly small times 100% fatality rate still adds up to something worth taking seriously. But at this point, I do not think I am going to call the state health department and demand a rabies shot, especially if the dog is behaving normally, except for the biting-me thing.

Update: Just as I was finishing typing this up, the neighbor woman knocked on my door and said they'd taken the dog in for quarantine. She was mad at me, I was mad at her, but we talked things out, there was mutual reconciliation, and she swears the dog will not be running around loose anymore. I really, really hope that's true. I don't want to have to go through something like this again.

But, god. So much suck today. SO. MUCH. SUCK.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the pharmacy and pick up some antibiotics.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

My Day

My day:

Woke up after six hours of sleep, feeling grumpy.

Got an e-mail from the roofers, who had told me they would let me know when they could schedule my roof work. They want to do it on a weekend when I'm working 12-hour night shifts, and nobody is available to cover for me. E-mailed them back, but did not hear back on whether they could reschedule.

Had coffee and a shower, tried to feel less grumpy. This was not helped by the fact that there were five small children standing in the middle of the street just outside my house having a screaming contest. As far as I could tell, all of them were winning.

Realized there was practically no food in the house. Went out for some tacos. Tacos make me feel better. Also, it would get me away from the screaming children.

On the way back from the tacos, which did make me feel better briefly, the neighbor's dog -- an annoying, vile mutt they let run all over the damn neighborhood -- ran up and bit me.

I want to do today over.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fixing A Hole Where The Rain Gets In

So, I've finally had the new roofer out to take a look at things. According to him, the reason why I'm getting leaks is obvious enough: basically, the roof was installed with a lot of corner-cutting and does not have the flashing it needs. (In fact, he says, the only reason I'm not getting a lot more leaks is because they installed the new pro panel roof over the existing shingles, which are still providing some protection.) Under other circumstances, I'd be a lot warier of "Oops, you don't need a small repair, you need something major installed!" as a verdict, but this, sad to say, is honestly about what I was expecting. Plus, they'd warranty the new work for another ten years, and, just based on a side-by-side comparison of the customer service levels I've seen so far, they seem infinitely more likely to actually make good than the original roofers, whose idea of fixing things appears to be solely limited to applying one more layer of caulk every time they come out. Not to mention the novel concept of actually communicating with me.

And in return, they want... Well, pretty much exactly every penny I could realistically scrape together right now without going too much deeper into debt. Sigh. But if it means I can fix this problem once and for all, and never have to deal with the other guys again, it's probably worth it.

Friday, September 19, 2014


It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrr! I be needin' the distraction.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Am At War With The Ants, And My Potential Allies Suck.

Oh, my god, how annoying is my life right now? Because on top of the leaky roof, there's also the ants. Let me tell you the saga of the ants!

Apparently the damned things built a nest right under my concrete slab floor and were coming up through tiny cracks in the floor and between the tiles. I know they were nesting there, because they built a damned anthill in my floor. This is the stuff of nightmares. As in, I have had actual nightmares about this exact thing. *shiver*

So, OK, I kept my cool. I put down baits for them. So many baits. Baits of every description, to tempt any self-respecting ant. I put them under an inverted plastic tub to keep the cats out, which is good, because some of them were liquid baits, and they leaked, and it was pretty freaking toxic under there. The ants, however, did not seem particularly interested. They would wander around and into the baits, but not form the usual tidy ant-lines to haul the yummy poison away. Still, I hoped they were carting the stuff home and dying from it. And, eventually, after a couple of weeks, I stopped seeing so many ants. There were one or two, but I was hoping they were stragglers. So I cleaned up the toxic sludge, and I cleaned up the dirt the ants had carted up, and I sprayed around the inside of my house to keep the ants from coming back, and I sprayed around the outside of my house to keep the ants from coming back, and I sprayed the area where they were coming up, and I saw some dead ants there a few days later, but I was optimistic.

But... Nope. They found another teeny-tiny hole, and they are building another nest. I saw it when I got home from work today. Eeeeeeek!

Clearly it was time to give up and call the professionals. So I called Orkin. They're a big, reputable national company, right? I called them and they were ever so solicitous as they went about taking my credit card info and making me an initial appointment and signing me up for a bi-monthly extermination service (which, frankly, did not seem like a bad idea), and they told me they could have someone out tomorrow. Which surprised me, but, hey, awesome! So I made an appointment. And they I realized, wait, you idiot, you have to be at work at that time tomorrow. And then I played a lot of phone tag with them trying to change the appointment, and finally ended up making arrangements for someone else to cover for me at work so I wouldn't have to change it, after all.

Then, just after all that, I get a call from the exterminator himself. The conversation (shortened and paraphrased) went something like this:

Me: Oh, hi! You're probably calling to reschedule my appointment. Sorry for the confusion about that! Tomorrow will be fine, after all.

Him: Um, yeah here's the thing. I can't come out tomorrow. I'm not going to be down in Socorro until the 24th and 25th. The person who told you someone would be out tomorrow? Yeah, she's in Atlanta; they don't know how far Socorro is from Albuquerque. I travel around the whole state and only get out there a couple of days a month.

(Which, note, is not in itself a problem. NM is a big, sparsely populated state. Waiting for the person to make it down to your area is often how things go, and I wasn't actually expecting someone to be able to make it out right away. What is a problem is being chirpily lied to about it by someone who clearly doesn't have the information she ought to have. Knowing whether the time and day you're making an appointment for is even available seems like pretty fundamental customer service. Don't you think?)

Me: Oh. Well... This... is not filling me with confidence. But all right. We can do it then. Only I have to leave for work by about 3:30 that week, so it has to be earlier in the day.

Him: Um. Well, actually, I'm booked up all day, and I usually try to work in new customers at the end of the day, but if you're working nights... Well. Huh. Well... I'll call you before then. I'll try to shuffle things around. Maybe someone will cancel.

Me: As long as you're sure you can make it that day.

Him: Well, I am definitely making it to Socorro that day. Maybe someone will cancel.

Me: Wow is this unprofessional. I think I should reconsider my choice of exterminators.

So, um, yeah. I haven't officially cancelled with Orkin just yet, but I think I'm gonna call a local exterminator tomorrow. And then see if I can get Orkin to take me the hell out of their system. The guy swore up and down I wouldn't be charged if I told him not to come, but I fear there may be a distinctly Comcast-like snag-the-customer-and-don't-let-them-go vibe here.

Moral of the story: if you live in a rural area, Orkin's clearly a good company to avoid. Which is good to know, I guess. But... Sigh. I just want to live like a human being: dry and bug-free. Why is that so difficult?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Come Again Some Other Day! Preferably After My Roof Is Fixed.

What is this giant blob of green hovering over my state, and why is it not moving? Seriously, I know I live in the desert and we're never supposed to turn our noses up at free sky-water, but for right now, I think we're good.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sources of Stress

Aargh, there are way too many sources of stress (not to mention expense) in my life right now.

First, there's the cat. A couple of weeks ago, Nova took a giant pee on the bathroom floor, right in front of me. Which is unheard of for him. Fearing it was a symptom of some urinary or kidney problem, I took him into the vet, where they did a bunch of expensive tests and said he seemed all right but had a slightly elevated white blood cell count in his urine, so there might be a touch of infection. They gave him an antibiotic shot, which wasn't quite the antibiotic they wanted to use, but I was worried about being able to get pills or liquid into him, because he can be... difficult. I brought him back in for a follow-up last week, and apparently his bladder actually looked worse, with crystals in the urine and still a higher-than-normal white cell count. So I had to give him pills, anyway. Also, new prescription food. Then, last weekend, he started throwing up all over the place and barely eating. So I took him back in first thing Monday morning. At which point, of course, he suddenly appeared to be absolutely fine. The vet figured his tummy probably didn't like those antibiotics, plus he was throwing up giant hairballs, so they gave me still different (and even more inconvenient) antibiotics, plus hairball medicine. Right now he's sitting here looking all innocent, happy, and fine, but who knows what's actually going on with him? I'm not even 100% convinced the peeing incident had anything to do with his urinary tract at all. I think, at 15, he may be going a little kitty senile. Sigh. Cats. I never asked for any cats, you know. Never.

And then there's the roof. Damned thing has been leaking off and on pretty much since I moved in here. I keep calling the roofers who installed it, and they keep coming by and doing things to it and swearing that this time it's fixed (probably), and it keeps coming back. Now it's also leaking in a new spot, and worse. I finally called some different roofers. They're supposed to come out to look at it and give me an estimate tomorrow. We'll see what they have to say. And, of course, the forecast says it's supposed to rain here pretty much all week.

Also, I have ants nesting under my floor. Or had. I'm not sure if I've managed to finally kill the damned things or not.

Basically, being an adult sucks. Even if it does mean I can eat pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner whenever I want, some days, I really do not think it's worth it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September Currentlies

Current clothes: Dark gray sweats. My Star Trek:TOS t-shirt with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy that says "Beam me the hell outta here!" (Really, I should have worn this one a couple of days ago for Star Trek's birthday, but oh, well.)

Current mood: Kinda tired.

Current music: Nothing, really. But I'm finally getting close to caught up on my zillion-hour backlog of podcasts.

Current annoyance: Apparently Nova has crystals in his urine. So now he needs to eat special food for six weeks, and I have to figure out how to get an antibiotic pill into him once a day. Fun!

Current thing: My current thing was meant to be getting some major projects done around the house during my days off this week, but after much productive activity yesterday, I am now feeling tired, and the muscles in my back hurt a little. So I'm thinking maybe today may be less about climbing up on the ladder and cleaning the gutters, and more about lying on the couch with a book.

Current desktop picture: Still this. I may never get tired of it.

Current book: Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee.

Current song in head: Random snatches of some oldie that was playing in the Denny's when I was there eating pancakes a little while ago. I had such a craving for pancakes this morning.

Current refreshment: Just water, at the moment.

Current DVD in player: Disc 4 of season 2 of Elementary. I feel like I should have a lot to say about this show, but I don't, really. Well, I will say that I like the characters, and that the interpretation is different enough from Sherlock's, in interesting enough ways, that I definitely do think there's room enough in the world for both of them. Which is something I wasn't at all sure about when I started. My interest in the mystery-of-the-week plots is extremely variable, however, and it's not really a show I want to watch more than one episode of at a time.

Current worry: I am still only allowed to indulge myself in worrying at specific, designated times, for the sake of my sanity. Although I've been busy enough the last few days that I haven't really had the mental energy for worrying too much, anyway, which is no doubt a good thing.

Current thought: Despite the appeal of that "lie on the couch and read" plan, I still have a whole bunch of little things I need to get done today, even if I'm not doing any big things. Sigh.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Books: They Find Me Across Time And Space

A conversation I had yesterday:

My cell phone rang. On the other end, a friend of mine said, "I'm at Costco, and they have three books here you might like. So I wanted to ask: Do you already have them, and do you want them?"

Turns out it was three Doctor Who-related books, none of which I was familiar with. So I looked them up. Two of them seemed pretty cool, and Costco (of which I am not a member) was selling them cheaper than Amazon. So, "OK, sure," I said. "Pick them up for me, and I'll pay you back for 'em next time I see you."

My first thought after this was, geez, and people wonder why I have this too-many-books problem. I am surrounded by enablers! I am impulse purchasing books over the phone now!

My second, much belated but infinitely stranger thought was that I never would have imagined I'd live to see the day when Who was popular enough with mainstream American audiences that they'd start selling books about it at Costco.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Three Brief Bits Of TV Talk

1. I need not have worried, of course. Peter Capaldi is just as good as we were all expecting him to be.

2. I am deeply bummed about the (surprisingly unceremonious) dismissal of the secondary team from Mythbusters. And not just because I have a terrible crush on Grant Imahara. Although I do.

3. On the DVD front, I've now started season two of Dead Like Me, and I've come to enjoy it enough that I'm feeling miffed that there isn't all that much left to watch. Up until now, I had not realized what a sad deficit of Mandy Patinkin there has been in my life.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Preparing For The Oncoming Storm

I am getting super excited and nervous for the new Doctor Who -- and the new Doctor! -- tomorrow. Peter Capaldi, from everything I've seen, is a fantastic actor, a true-TARDIS-blue Who fan, and a really good guy, and I have nothing but positive feelings about his casting. But right now, some treacherous little voice in the back of my mind keeps whispering, "But... But what if you inexplicably hate him? What then?" I am attempting to beat these unworthy thoughts off with a mental baseball bat (much like Ace using one to smash up a Dalek).

Seriously, I'm sure it's going to be great, and I so am very much looking forward to it. Isn't it tomorrow yet?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

No Raccoons Or Tree People Were Harmed In The Making Of This Movie

So, I did finally get out to see Guardians of the Galaxy. And I enjoyed it lots, good, old-fashioned, goofy/awesome space opera stuff that it is. It did maybe leave me feeling a little off-balance at the beginning, because, boy, does it just drop you into its universe without giving you much of a chance to get acclimated. Although I suppose that might be less true for people who, unlike me, are already familiar with the comics. And it's better than bogging everything down in tons of tedious exposition, anyway, so I'm not really complaining.

But, yeah, mostly it was great fun, with enough going on that I'm sure I could easily watch it again without being bored. Whether I will or not, I don't know -- so many DVDs, so little time! -- but I'm already looking forward to the sequel. Also (among many other things) it kept giving me Farscape flashbacks, which is never a bad thing. Seriously, Peter Quill and John Crichton? Tell me those guys aren't long-lost cousins!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fortuantely It's Not My Job To Defend The Galaxy, Because I Give Up Really Easily.

I'd hoped to go up to Los Lunas today to see Guardians of the Galaxy, since four people so far have asked me if I'd seen it yet, and in such cases there's really not much to do but give in to pop cultural peer pressure and see the thing. Plus, it looks like great fun. But after peering closely at the sky and at the Weather Channel website, it's looking like I'd have a good chance of being caught in a downpour on my way home. And not only can that crap be super stressful to drive in -- "when it rains, it pours" could be an official motto of New Mexico, and I've been caught in storms where visibility was practically nil -- I'm also not at all sure about the current state of my windshield wipers. (Possible alternate motto for New Mexico: The Land Where Your Windshield Wipers Deteriorate Rapidly in the Sun Until They Are Useless Just When You Desperately Need Them.) So I think maybe I'm gonna do it this weekend, instead.

Bah. Stupid monsoon season. Now I've got no excuse not to do the vacuuming this afternoon.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August Currentlies

Yes, it's this thing. Again!

Current clothes: Blue jeans. White socks. Black t-shirt that says, "I'd rather be sleeping" (aka, my Official Night Shift T-Shirt).

Current mood: More or less OK, with some kind of lurking restlessness/annoyance/anxiety hanging out in the back of my brain.

Current music: More random-shuffle stuff from the iPod, while I was doing some housework the other day. I don't remember what-all it gave me, other than that at one point there were back-to-back Stevie Nicks songs, because randomness is interesting.

Current annoyance: So many annoyances. So. Many. Basically, the human condition is inherently annoying, and I am not exempt from it the way I TOTALLY SHOULD BE. Dammit.

Current thing: Playing lots of Zombie Tsunami on my new laptop.

Current desktop picture: Still this one.

Current book: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. As a Peter Pan prequel, it's a bit odd, maybe in part because it's less J.M. Barrie and more Disney. But, on its own terms, it's a really fun little kids' adventure story.

Current song in head: My brain has mostly been playing medleys of Weird Al songs lately. At the moment, it's mainly "Perform This Way" with occasional diversions into "Living with a Hernia." Which certainly makes for an interesting combination.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I just brushed my teeth.

Current DVD in player: I just finished season 1 of Dead Like Me. I wasn't too sure about it at fist. I think its sense of humor is perhaps a little too deadpan to be easily appreciated. But it really grew on me. I will definitely be watching the rest of it.

Current worry: I have done so much worrying over so many stupid things lately that I am now only allowed to worry during designated periods. Of which this is not one. So, next question.

Current thought:I wouldn't actually rather be sleeping right now, since I only woke up a couple of hours ago. But I would like to go out for some pancakes and then spend the rest of my evening lying on the sofa reading, cuddling my cats, maybe watching a movie. But it's off to another 12-hour night shift I go! Hopefully it should at least be pretty quiet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Got A New Thing

I sort of have this mental list of Things That Really Need to Be Replaced, Except I Don't Want to Spend the Money, and for quite a while my laptop had been steadily creeping up towards the top of that list. My mother bought it for me, used, several years ago. It was a bit obsolete, even then, but perfectly adequate for browsing the web, processing the words, and playing the occasional game of Spider Solitaire. But, increasingly, it'd been struggling with even that kind of basic stuff, and I think the last Firefox update was just more than it could gracefully handle. I may have kept on limping along with it, anyway, slow and stuttery as it was, but then, a few days ago, the power button broke.

Actually, it was sort of half-broken for a while, kind of mushy and loose in its socket. But then, finally, I went to turn the computer on, and it just sort of collapsed into the casing, and all my efforts to get it back into place availed me not. You could still power the machine on, but you had to stick a pen or something down into the hole to do it, and that was just... stupid.

So I broke down and bought myself one of these. (Well, almost, anyway. I got the version with the DVD drive.) It's another basic, inexpensive machine, but hopefully it will manage to keep me going at least as long as the last one did. And it has the advantage of not weighing eight pounds. The only annoying thing about it is that it's running Windows 8 -- well, OK, 8.1 -- and it took entirely too much effort for me to get the damn thing to stop behaving like an overgrown smartphone. (I'd do the "Honestly, Microsoft, what the hell were you thinking?!" rant now, but you've probably heard it all before from people no doubt more eloquent on the subject that I am, so I'll forbear.)

Still, yay for shiny new technology!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Science Hilarity!

Still talking about Weird Al -- which, rather marvelously, everyone seems to be doing right now -- I thought I'd share this, too. Because it is currently my very favorite thing on the internet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Only A Slightly Less Controversial Subject Than The Original

Weird Al has a new album out! I got my copy yesterday, and, as usual, it's great. He's also releasing videos for it. I think there are a couple of prescriptive grammarians of my acquaintance who are likely to appreciate this one:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy B-Day To Me

As of today, alas, I am no longer the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Although when I said that to my sister she told me, "I hear 43 is the new 42." So I will attempt to console myself with that.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Keeping Currently

Current clothes: Gray shorts. One of my Rush concert t-shirts. White ankle socks. Brown leather shoes. (Which are badly scuffed up and desperately need a bit of shoe polish, but that's about item number six thousand on my to-do list at the moment.)

Current mood: OK, but I'm having trouble working up much enthusiasm for the stuff I really ought to do today.

Current music: Nothing. I'm still desperately trying to catch up with months (and, in at least one case, years) worth of podcasts, so that's what my ears have been busy doing.

Current annoyance: Weather that's not only hot, but also humid. Which is just wrong in the desert, not to mention a big disadvantage when your A/C relies on evaporative cooling. Also, the fact that my house still hasn't returned to an entirely liveable condition after my surgical downtime.

Current thing: Trying to bring my house back to an entirely liveable condition after my surgical downtime.

Current desktop picture: Still this same bookish picture as last month. As I said last time, I think this one's going to stick around for a while.

Current book: The Dangerous World of Butterflies by Peter Laufer.

Current song in head: "One Headlight" by the Wallflowers, which has been stuck in my head since I heard it on the radio maybe a week ago. This is particularly annoying, since I don't remember most of the lyrics -- indeed, I'm not even sure I've ever been able to properly make out most of the lyrics -- so what's stuck in my head is basically, "Blah blah blah blah blah, da da da da da, da da da da da ONE HEADLIGHT!"

Current refreshment: Diet Pepsi.

Current DVD in player: Nothing at the moment, as I've been doing a lot of streaming lately instead of watching discs. But I just finished season 3 of Arrested Development. You know, when I started watching that, I could not understand what all the fuss was about. Yeah, OK, it was an American sitcom I actually found watchable, which is rare enough... but it took me a while to appreciate just how brilliant it is. Or maybe it took a while to get brilliant. I'm not sure which. But season three is pretty darned brilliant.

Current worry: So, even though the hormone-suppressing drug they gave me should have worn off by now, I'm still getting hot flashes. I asked the doctor about it, and she said give it until November -- that'll be six months after the surgery -- and see if it goes away. If not, I may just have somehow been catapulted into early menopause. "Which would be a shame," she said, "after I went to all that trouble to save your ovaries." No shit, doc. Imagine how I feel! Here's hoping it's just a lingering after-effect of the surgery and/or the drugs.

Current thought: I don't seem to be able to form a coherent thought at the moment. Right, then. Back to the laundry and housecleaning!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I Feel As If I Should Have Run A Betting Pool

For anyone who might be curious as to how many books I managed to finish during my post-surgical recuperation/reading retreat, the final total, from my surgery on May 20 to returning to work on July 10, is thirty.

Unfortunately for any progress I might have made through the TBR shelves, though, I also read a whole bunch of discount book catalogs that came while I was convalescing.

Monday, July 07, 2014

I'm Back, Baby!

Just had my follow-up appointment at the doctor's, and she pronounced herself pleased with my progress. I now have the official go-ahead to resume all my normal activities. And not a moment too soon! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some heavy things that need lifting...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

I Got A Matt Smith! I Got A Matt Smith!!!

I was bored. I fell back into an old, dangerous addiction. And... And...

That's right! I won at Doctor Who 2048! I am the rockingest thing that ever rocked!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Exploding Outward

To the Americans among you, a belated Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone survived without singeing any eyebrows or setting anything that wasn't supposed to be on fire on fire.

I actually went out to a get-together with some friends. I didn't stay long -- I think I was home and in bed before the fireworks display finished -- but it was the first time I'd been out of the house for more than an hour or so since the surgery. It's nice, if a bit strange, to feel like I'm easing back into my life again.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

More About The State Of Me

It's now exactly six weeks since I had my surgery. Which puts me right about at the point where, although far from 100% healed -- that takes many months, apparently -- one might finally be deemed healed enough not to have to worry about messing up the process any more. That does vary, though, and my doctor's apparently decided to give it another week, because my last follow-up appointment, at which I should get the OK to return to work and various other activities (with or without a few continuing restrictions), isn't until July 7th.

Until then, I'm going to try to continue to take things very easy, and get lots of rest, and give my body everything it needs to keep on doing the repair work it needs to do. Really, I'm very lucky to be able to take this much time off of work without any difficulty, and I should take full advantage of it to get as better as I can get before I have to go back. I gotta admit, though, that I'm starting to go a bit stir-crazy here. Because I'm recovered enough now that that instinctive switch in my brain, the one that makes you not want to do much when you're injured or unwell, that switch got flipped off about a week ago. Now I really, really want to clean my damned house. Partly because my body wants an excuse to get up and move around, and partly because, after a month of neglect, the house has reached the point where you could take pictures of it and use them as illustrations in the entropy section of a physics textbook.

Yeah. I think I might have at last found the limit to just how much lying around and reading I can stand, not because I get tired of reading, but because I get tired of never being able to do much of anything else. But I will continue to be good. For at least one more week.

Monday, June 30, 2014

An Announcement

Hello! I am still alive! (And doing pretty well. More about the state of me later, maybe.) But, more importantly -- or at least, important to a much larger number of people -- the BBC has announced when the new season of Doctor Who will start. Mark your calendars for August 23! It looks like BBC America will be continuing to show them the same day as they air in the UK, which is not remotely surprising. I'm pretty sure if they stopped doing that now, they'd have a Whovian riot on their hands. And nobody wants that. People'd be getting strangled with 12-ft. scarves, you'd have impassioned speeches being yelled at you involving phrases like "unlimited rice pudding," sonic screwdrivers would be shoved everywhere. It'd be chaos.

Anyway. Until then, I will continue avoiding spoilers and attempting not to die of impatience. It's gonna be tough...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

An Offer

Hey, look, it's a post that has absolutely nothing to do with me having or recovering from surgery!

Here's the thing: I have this coupon code for a free two-month subscription to Oyster. This is a new-ish service that seems pretty nifty for those who are into eBooks. It's been described as something like Netflix for books: you pay a flat monthly fee, and you get access to any of the eBooks in their catalog, which looks like it has a pretty good selection. I'm not going to use it myself, though, partly because I don't have an electronic device I enjoy reading on, and partly because, well, I have already accumulated 700-plus paper books that I have yet to read, and I'm pretty sure once I start on eBooks, I am doomed.

So, if anybody is interested, let me know! The first person to request it, either by commenting here or e-mailing me, can have the code for the free trial subscription.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Post-Surgical Currentlies

Hey, look, I managed to do this only a little belatedly!

Current clothes: Blue pajama pants, gray pocket t-shirt, fuzzy blue slippers. I'm mostly not bothering with actual clothes these days. Especially as my belly is swollen enough that even my comfy sweats are uncomfortably snug.

Current mood: Not too bad this morning. I gotta say, though, that my morale is starting to flag a bit. I am ready to be done with this "healing" crap and to get back to my life. It's still going to be quite a while yet, though. And probably much, much longer than that before I'm 100%. Sigh.

Current music: Nothing, really. Instead of listening to music, I'm still slowly catching up on years' worth of Radiolab podcasts.

Current annoyance: Three weeks ago, someone sliced me open and cut out an internal organ. Whatever the long-term benefits of that might be, there is nothing -- nothing about the short-term effects that is not annoying. But I think the grand prize for annoyance has to go to my current inability to get comfortable in any position, anywhere. Gaaah.

Current thing: Attempting to see how many books I can read before I go back to work. Current tally is fifteen.

Current desktop picture: It's still the same bookish image as last month. I really like this one; I think I'm going to keep it around for a while.

Current book: I just finished Terry Pratchett's new Discworld novel, Raising Steam, which unfortunately left me feeling a bit "meh." Next up is Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin by Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony.

Current song in head: "Travelling by Steam" by Fairport Convention, thanks to Terry Pratchett.

Current refreshment: I have lemon-ginger tea brewing. Gotta stay hydrated!

Current DVD in player: Nothing at the moment. I can't find a comfortable position to watch TV in, either. Bah. But I did recently finish watching season 2 of Archer via Netflix streaming.

Current worry: As you can imagine, my current situation is a fertile breeding ground for hypochondria. I have to keep firmly telling myself things like, "Yes, I'm pretty sure the scar is supposed to look like that" and "No, one wrong move in the process of getting off the couch is probably not going to ensure you never heal properly."

Current thought: I actually am showing real signs of improvement. Aforementioned getting-off-the-couch is a lot easier than it was, and I've reached the point where, with great care a little help from my knees, I can reach down and pick things up off the floor. Still, it is all very sloooooow. Where are my tissue-repair nanobots?!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Heal Faster, Dammit!

Hello! I am still here! However sporadically I may be communicating.

I had my two-week follow-up appointment with my doctor, who says that my surgical incision is healing very nicely indeed. It's all taking a while, of course, but that is to be expected. Still, I'm getting there, I guess, however slowly. My mother, having stayed for a little over two weeks taking care of me (and picking up all kinds of things I accidentally dropped on the floor), is finally on her way home, having been at least mostly convinced that I will be able to feed myself and the cats in her absence. (Which I will be, although there are a lot of frozen entrees in my future, I fear.)

Number of books read so far since my surgery: nine and a half. Which is respectable enough, I think. Although I have discovered the flaw in my plan to "read like it's my full-time job" during my convalescence, which is that, well, there are good reasons why I'm not doing my actual full-time job at the moment, and one of them is that healing this kind of damage takes a ridiculous amount of energy. So everything goes very slowly, even more so than it would otherwise, and come the afternoon, more often than not, I need to stop and "rest my eyes" for an hour or so. Still, I at least feel vindicated for all those shelves full of unread books I've accumulated, because when I am awake and not engaged in the basic maintenance tasks of feeding and cleaning myself, lying around losing myself in a book is practically the only thing I want to do.

I fear it's all going to get old fast from here on out, though. Yes, time to lie around and read is great, but, man, I'd trade significant sums of money just to be able to sleep comfortably on my side again. And to be able to reach every part of myself in the shower. And to be able to get up off the sofa without engaging in several minutes' worth of careful gymnastics to avoid using my abdominal muscles as much as possible. Man, you don't realize just how much you use your abdominal muscles for until they're not available! Then again, you don't realize just how much you can do with your feet until you need to.

But the number one biggest thing I think I've learned from this whole experience is that, despite everybody's dire warnings not to because it WILL BE STOLEN OMG!, bringing an mp3 player to the hospital is the best idea ever. I think those back episodes of Radiolab saved my sanity when I wasn't quite up to reading. Because, even when I'm on morphine, I will never, ever be desperate enough for daytime television.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greetings From Recovery Land!

Hello, internet! Just checking in with an update. I've actually been meaning to do that since Saturday, but it's hard to get around to it with my full, busy days. For new, much slower definitions of "full" and "busy," of course. Mostly what happens is that I think about updating, but, well, Mom is making lunch, and then after that I need to walk around for a bit (because walking is important in my recovery and also makes me feel better), and then when I'm done that, I'm exhausted and need to lie down for a while. And then the entire process repeats with dinner. Along the same lines, my decision to let my online life mostly go hang while I'm recovering has turned out to be a good one. Right now considerations like proper pillow configuration or the detailed state of my bowels are infinitely more important and relevant than whether I'm keeping up with website X or owe a response to person Y, which would merely serve as distractions if I let myself care too much about them. Life has taken on a slow, timeless quality, with a focus on primitive essentials.

Which includes books, of course. While plan Read Like It's My Job has not gotten into full swing yet, I have already finished six books since my surgery. Mostly quick and easy ones, I admit. Number seven is more ambitious and is going to take me longer, I think, but it's actually really nice to dive slowly into a book knowing, as I lie in bed resting and reading, that I very literally have nothing better to do.

Anyway. For the record, everything seems to be going very well, post-surgery. I may have made myself sound pitiful above, with my tiredness and slowness, but that's just what a period of healing is like, and it's abut the pace I want to go at right now. I am not a complete invalid. Just taking it very, very easy. So far, there seem to be no problems, and while the pain was pretty awful the first couple of days, it's not too bad now. I stopped taking the narcotic pills a day or two ago, and that worked just fine.

Sitting here at the computer is a bit uncomfortable, though, and I am not even going to contemplate the logistics of using the laptop -- seriously, figuring out the pillows was hard enough. And posting to this blog from my phone is seriously annoying. (If my last post sounded less like me than usual, it's that, and my lack of energy to deal with it, that's the reason, not drugs or pain or anything else.) So, that's it from me for the moment, I'm afraid. Back to my important slow walking and essential lying-around activities!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Hello! Am still mostly incommunicado, but hi and thanks and will get back to you later to those who emailed. Am out of hospital, and all is well, or as well as expected. Abdominal surgery sucks, and I do not recommend it as a recreational activity. But the surgery went very well, and I am more or less up and around. Still don't expect to hear from me regularly for some time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'm Still Alive (But Not Doing Science For A While)

This is just a note to say that I'm out of surgery and am still breathing. Well, I probably am. I'm writing this post ahead of time, and have asked my mother to hit "post" on it when she gets back from the hospital on Tuesday -- assuming that I am, in fact, still breathing -- so that I don't have to worry about it while I'm high on painkillers. Hopefully she'll manage it OK. My mother is, um, not exactly tech-savvy, but it should not prove too challenging. (Love you, Mom! Thanks!)

Anyway, since this is a pre-recorded message, I'm afraid I have no details for you, but I trust that everything went swimmingly.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oh, Just Yank This Stupid Thing Out Of Me, Already.

We're getting very close to my surgery date now. It's scheduled for Tuesday. And the fact that that is still true is something of a miracle. I had yet more awfulness yesterday with last-minute schedule changes from my doctor's office, and the doctor whom I was assured would be around to take care of me if I had problems afterward backing out on me. For a little while there, it looked like they were going to insist on rescheduling for weeks later or that I was going to have to insist on going to another hospital, and I swear, I felt the purest sense of despair I have ever felt in my life. But in the end, things were worked out (and I had a nice, long chat with the practice's manager about their many, many fuck-ups), and we're still going ahead. If I had it to do over again, I would not have this done here in Socorro, but hopefully they will manage not to kill me. (Note: That is a joke. If I really thought the doctors were as prone to screw-ups as the admin staff, I wouldn't be doing it, no matter how many people's schedules or how much of my own life it would screw up. And as surgeries go, this one is very low-risk.)

The real bad news is that the stupid drugs I took to try to shrink the fibroid didn't work at all, so they are going to have to do an abdominal surgery, which means more pain and longer recovery times. Not to mention a three-day hospital stay. Sigh.

Well, hopefully I am ready for it, or will be by Tuesday. I'm working on getting the house cleaned, getting various things set up so I won't have to bend or stretch too much (e.g. to scoop out the cat food), and stocking up on supplies. My mother will be here late Saturday evening, and incredibly grateful I am for her help (and her willingness to stay an extra week if necessary, since I'm having the more invasive surgery). I'm also terribly grateful for everyone who's offered to help out if I need anything once she's gone. Much as I hate to ask for help and am trying to arrange things so I need as little as possible, I may well have to take some of you up on it.

Hard as it is after all the additional stress I've had around this, I'm trying to maintain a good attitude and do things right. I really am incredibly happy every time I think about the long-term results. And as for the recovery period... Well, I'm planning on reading books like it's my full-time job. Which is actually something of a fantasy of mine: just being put in a room with absolutely no distractions, and told to read what I like for eight hours a day. My only worry is that my brain will be too fuzzy from tiredness and pain medication to manage it, and I'll find myself in the shoes of Burgess Meredith in that classic Twilight Zone ep: time enough at last to do all the reading I want, and no ability to actually do it. But worst-case scenario, even that should only last a couple of weeks at most. And I have taken the pain medicine the doctor's prescribing for me before, and it didn't make me groggy. And if I am really out of it for a while, well, I've also got a Netflix subscription, and thus access to all kinds of mindless television.

One thing I have decided is that this time, in general, is going to be thoroughly and unapologetically "me" time. Because I think that's the only way to do it. It's going to be my time to rest and read with no distractions, no little voice in my head telling me I should get up and do something else, no responsibilities to anybody. The rest of the world can do without me for a while. (Some friends, when I mentioned this, commented that this retreat-from-the-world plan made me sound a bit like Thoreau and promptly dubbed it "Nerd Walden." I like it!)

Just for the record, my intent is also to refuse to worry about whether I owe anybody e-mail, or am keeping up with people's blogs, or whatever. Heck, sitting upright at my PC for long periods will probably not be a good idea. I got a bed tray I could put my laptop on, but it doesn't actually fit well over my big, fat belly, even before it swells up from surgery. And doing much of anything on my tiny, slow phone is just annoying. So, come Tuesday, you won't see as much of me online for six weeks or so, either, although I'll no doubt check in once in a while, especially as I start to feel better. I'll at least try to post some sort of "Hey, I survived the surgery!" message afterward, maybe the next day. But don't panic if you don't see me posting here, or if you're accustomed to getting e-mail from me and don't see any for a while.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Books, Man! Books Everywhere!

I went to the giant Albuquerque library sale today, and got two large grocery bags full of books for $5 per bag. I'm not going to tell you how many books that is. Let's just say I, uh, got my money's worth. And exactly how I filled those two bags, I really can't tell you. It's all kind of a blur. I just... walked in, and then things got sort of hallucinatory, and then at some point I emerged with books.

And then I had to fight my way home, through trials and tribulations, like the mighty, heroic hunter of books that I am. Eighty miles home, through high winds and dust storms! And at one point, I came disturbingly close to hitting a roadrunner. Yay, New Mexico. (Note: roadrunners, in real life, are not nearly as intelligent as the one in the cartoons. This one was trying to be less of a roadrunner and more of a highway sitter, which is really not very smart.)

Anyway. It is very, very clear that I am not going to run out of books while I am recovering from surgery. Whether I am going to run out of bookshelf space (again!) is, of course, another matter.

Friday, May 09, 2014

May The Currentlies Be With You

I may not be blogging every day anymore, but there's still always this!

Current clothes: It's pajama-blogging time! Because, really, this is earlier than I should even be up. I've got a red plaid bathrobe, black pocket t-shirt, and pajama pants that I bought at the Seattle Space Needle gift shop, which have Space Needles and other Seattle-themed images on them. Also fuzzy blue slippers.

Current mood: Tired and generally kinda not great. I've been starting to get a little stressed over my upcoming surgery, and my doctor's office is doing a darned good job of undermining my confidence and generally making things more difficult. Yesterday, I got a call from them that basically boiled down to, "Um, your doctor decided to go on vacation a couple of days after your surgery date and wanted to see if you'd reschedule because she won't be around if you need her, but we kind of forgot to call you about it for three weeks. Oops." Which is upsetting on so many levels. I am still recovering from the mini stress meltdown I had over that. I did not sleep super well last night. Sigh. (And, no, I'm not moving my surgery date. Three weeks ago, it would have been difficult. At this point, it is not really doable.)

Current music: Rick Grimes vs. Walter White Epic Rap Battle. I really needed that laugh this morning! (Warning: contains some Walking Dead and Breaking Bad spoilers.)

Current annoyance: Once again, it's the stupid meat body. Waah, waah, I need surgery, I need sleep, I need new eyeglasses, I hurt my pinky finger, these drugs are giving me hot flashes, I've gotten too fat, I need a haircut, waah, waah, waah. Shut up, meat body.

Current thing: Thinking about the zillion and one things I need to do next week.

Current desktop picture: I said last time that I ought to change it, perhaps to something else book-themed, and lo and behold, I did!

Current book: Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland.

Current song in head: Apparently it is "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons. I had to look that up. It's one of those songs that I only know because it's always on the radio. I mean, I listen to the radio maybe ten minutes a week, and I've probably heard that thing a dozen times.

Current refreshment: Coffee. Wonderful, brain-nourishing coffee!

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 3 of Game of Thrones. I fear I have gotten very attached to Tyrion.

Current worry: I really am getting more nervous about the surgery the closer I get to it. But, despite my doctor's office's worrying signs of administrative incompetence, I'm sure it will be fine. Annoying, but fine.

Current thought: Man, I need more coffee.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Oh, Dear, It's All Gone A Bit Wrong.

OK, so, for the record: Homemade chicken quesadillas? Not nearly as successful a culinary experiment as the French dip. Right now, my kitchen kind of looks like a Mexican restaurant exploded and took out the chicken farm next door.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Everybody's Getting Older!

Happy birthday to my nephew, who is thirteen today!



I just keep looking at that word and boggling. Surely, surely I am not old enough for the next generation down to be hitting its teens! Except that every time I think that, I find myself remembering that when my mother was my age, I was already well into my college years. And this thought is really not helping.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Thrilling Conclusion Of Blogs-A-Lot April!

So, we have reached the end of April, and with it, the end of my nearly-month-long blogging-every-day experiment. Whether people who are not me have found this interesting or annoying or anything at all, I have no idea. But for myself, despite sometimes having difficulty thinking of things to talk about and those stretches where all the entries were short enough that I might as well have gone with a Twitter account instead, I did find it worthwhile. Even if the reasons why it seemed worthwhile are surprisingly hard to pin down.

It isn't something I could easily go on doing forever, or even something that I'd want to if I could. But I'm kind of liking the idea of doing it again sometime. Maybe I could even make Blogs-A-Lot April an annual event. April would seem a particularly appropriate month for it, too, since it's this blog's anniversary month. (It's 12 this month! Ye gods, that does not seem possible!) But we'll see how I'm feeling a year from now.

In the meantime, I will at least try not to lapse into silence again too often or for too long. And I'd like to offer up a friendly wave and a "thanks!" to everybody who stopped by and commented this month, whether on the blog or via e-mail. Always nice to know you're out there, guys!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's What's For Dinner.

I have discovered the easiest Crock Pot recipe ever: one rump roast, a couple of cans of beef consommé, some hoagie rolls... Voilà! French Dip! Man, I love cooking that involves hardly any actual cooking.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Everyone Knows It's...

It was pointed out to me that when I referred to the spring weather in New Mexico as "beautiful" a few days ago, I neglected to mention the high winds and blowing sand. I would now like to formally apologize to the wind for this oversight, and respectfully request that it cease its current attempt to make itself the center of attention.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Once Again, Having Run Out Of Things To Talk About Leads To Book-Related Links.

I don't have every problem on the 99 Book Nerd Problems list. But, hoo, boy, the ones I do have..

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Uh... Stuff.

It's probably a good thing that this blogging-every-day experiment is coming to an end in a few days, because I have reached the point where I find myself staring at a blank screen and thinking, "But my life is boring, and I don't have anything I want to talk about here!"

Well, let's see. Things I've been doing with my boring life...

In a break between seasons one and two of Game of Thrones, I've been watching season two of Adventure Time. It is difficult to imagine two shows with a greater contrast. Except that they're both fantasy, I guess. And feature a lot of characters who appear to be royalty. And ice.

On the book front, I am reading David Copperfield. I have been reading David Copperfield for a solid week now, because that sucker is almost 800 pages long, and Dickens, whatever his virtues, is not winning any awards for being Mr. Fast-Paced and Zippy. It is worth reading, though.

I have a very long list of things I need to get done before my surgery, which I keep staring at, but most of it is stuff that I think I should wait until just beforehand to do. Like hacking down the weeds in my yard, because I won't be able to do it again for quite a while, or getting a haircut so that, while I'm lying in bed bemoaning my lot in life, at least I won't have to do it with horrible bed hair. Also, on the topic of lying in bed and recovering, I'm wondering now if I should get myself one of those lap desks so I can use my laptop in bed and bemoan my lot in life on the internet.

This is yet another weekend of working 12-hour shifts. Man, I'm not going to miss those while I'm recovering. Even if, by that point, all the shows I get miffed about not being home to watch on Sunday night will be on hiatus, anyway.

And there you go. That's what's up with me today.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Well, Hey, It's Better Than Owing.

I cashed my federal tax refund check today. All six dollars of it. I think I'm probably going to spend it on candy bars.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's After Midnight, So This Counts As Today's Post.

I just watched Frozen on DVD. And I enjoyed it. It's got some cute, funny moments, and it ultimately subverts some of the more eyeroll-inducing Disney movie cliches in ways I really like.

Also, Pittsburgh Dad's review of it is freaking hilarious:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

And The Planet Keeps Going Around The Sun

I've got my swamp cooler up and running now -- or, more accurately, I've paid someone else to get my swamp cooler up and running so I don't have to go climbing around on the roof -- so I am all ready for summer! Which is effectively here by May, that being about when it starts getting uncomfortably hot during the day. Usually I put off getting the cooler going until about two days past the point where I don't feel like I reasonably can do without it anymore, but given my exciting drug-induced hot flashes, which are aggravated by being in a warm room, I figured having it all ready to go when needed would be a kind thing to do for my poor old self.

I do wish spring lasted longer here, though. And fall, too, for that matter. They're beautiful, but, alas, they are fleeting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Was Warned Not To Get To Attached To Any Of The Characters.

I've now finished watching season one of Game of Thrones. And, well. That... certainly lived up to its reputation.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blasts From The Bookish Past

Apparently when I run out of things to talk about here, my go-to strategy is to post random book-related links. So, here, have some vintage bookstore photos. Looking at these really makes me want to hop into a time machine and go book-shopping.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hey, Don't Blame Me, I Didn't Come Up With That Pun.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

And, as they say on Skaro, "Eggs-terminate!"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today's Adventures In Coffee-making

Today's adventures in coffee-making: I set up the machine last night to brew the coffee automatically this morning. Sily me, though, I assumed the timer was still set the same as the last time I used it. Since, you know, I live alone and the cats haven't yet mastered the art of coffee-making. But apparently, sometime in the last three days, the timer clock reset itself. So Mr. Coffee obediently brewed me up a nice, hot, fresh pot of coffee... at midnight. Needless to say, it was rather cold by the time I got up.

Sigh. It's almost enough to make you want to kick the habit.


Friday, April 18, 2014

I Still Don't Wanna Go Back To Work, Though.

Wow, this having three days in a row off without having to spend any of those days sleeping or any nights struggling to stay awake is nice. I had a very long to-do list for my time off this week, and I think I've managed to either finish or make satisfactory progress on pretty much all of it, with a reasonable amount of time left over for loafing. Now I just need to make time to answer all my neglected e-mail...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dammed Coffee

Here's a tip: when making coffee, do not leave the carafe sitting on the counter, forgetting to actually put it in the machine, press the "on" button, and walk away. Even that feature that shuts off the flow so you can sneak a cup before it's finished will not hold back an entire pot's worth indefinitely. The result... is not pretty.

Between that and the sinus headache I woke up with this morning, I am not feeling optimistic about the direction this day is going.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Hear Winter Is Coming.

So, long after the rest of the world, I have finally started watching Game of Thrones. It's always looked like something I'd probably like, so I really should have gotten to it sooner, but I was thwarted by my own indecisiveness. Every time I'd find myself thinking I should watch the TV series, I'd immediately think of good reasons why I should read the books first, and every time I'd consider reading the books, I'd immediately come up with good reasons why I should watch the TV series first. This conundrum apparently being impossible to resolve, I just kept never doing either one.

But a friend of mine recently announced he was planning on starting up a Game of Thrones-based RPG and asked me if I wanted to play. Sadly, between my highly inconvenient work schedule and the fact that it'll be starting up about the time I'm having my surgery, whether I want to or not may prove to be academic. But, regardless, that served as the impetus to finally break my mental logjam on the issue, and I decided to just Netflix the damned thing.

I've only watched the first episode, but so far, it seems like it's going to be pretty decent. There's lots of complicated and potentially interesting stuff going on, some nice visuals, and what looks to be some thoughtful worldbuilding. And the end of the first ep made me sit up and go, "Yikes!", which is always promising. If I'd known there was going to be quite that much in the way of viscera, I might not have watched it while I was eating lunch, but that's not exactly a problem.

My main reaction, though, is, "How am I ever going to keep all these characters and their relationships straight?!" Seriously. I was desperately trying to draw up family tree diagrams in my head while I was watching, but I fear that by the time I watch episode 2, I'll have forgotten it all and be completely lost again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today has been sort of alternately boring and interesting. But now I am tired. So, relevant to my tiredness, have a video with some tips about how to sleep better, a subject that is always near and dear to a shiftworkers' heart:

Tip #2 startled me, rather. I thought I'd invented that one all by myself, back when I was a kid. Although at some point since then, it seems to have stopped working for me.