Saturday, May 30, 2015

Also, I Swear I Was A More Confident And Assertive Driver On The Trip Home.

I did, in fact, get out to see the new Mad Max movie! And, OK. It is, first and foremost, a ridiculous, violent action movie. If you're not OK with ridiculous, violent action movies, you're not going to enjoy it. But it is a really well-done example of the kind of thing it is, in some genuinely surprising ways. Ones that were still genuinely surprising to me even after having heard people talking about them all over the internet.

Yes, it is basically a two-hour car chase. I would really, really expect that to get dull pretty quickly, but instead it just gets more and more exciting as it goes along. And the character stuff... Well, in most action movies, let's face it, what you get for characterization is mostly cliche, or lip service being paid to the idea that stories are supposed to have character development. But this one creates surprisingly well-realized characters with an absolute bare minimum of dialog, and the emotional moments are genuinely affecting. I'm honestly not sure how they did that, but it's impressive. And, yes, the reviews are all right: this is a movie that does well by its women. In fact... It feels, in a very subtle and hard-to-pin down way, as if it's a movie made for me, just as much as it is for the men in the audience. I think that may be the first time that has ever happened with this kind of gonzo blood-and-explosions action movie. And it could be that's just an illusion, based on preconceptions I had about it going in. But I think not entirely? And that's... a bit mind-blowing. But nice.

So, that's now three movies in three days that I've actually really enjoyed, and that have fully kept my attention the whole way through. (The first, of course, was Interstellar. The second was Big Hero 6, which I watched on DVD yesterday, and thought was pleasant and fun.) If this continues, I may have to take back all that stuff I said a while back about how movies in general no longer seem to entertain me the way that TV shows do. Although, sadly, I suspect this may just be something of a lucky streak.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Home And (Far, Far) Away

I've been working ridiculous hours the last couple of weeks, and now finally have a nice chunk of time off. And, hoo, boy, did I need it. Partly because I was getting super-stressed, and partly because I desperately needed some time to just get things done. In the last two days, I think I've finished about two weeks' worth of housecleaning, yard work, errand running, and various other annoying responsible-adult crap.

Then, having accomplished enough that I felt like I could finally relax again, I treated myself to a movie. I watched Insterstellar. Which was fantastic. Even though there were certain things about it that really shouldn't have worked for me, it was fantastic, which maybe just makes it all the more impressive. I put it on late in the afternoon, figuring I would stop it in the middle to heat myself up some dinner, and then pretty much just didn't re-emerge for three hours. I'd say that I slightly regret not seeing it in the theater now, but there were a few places in there where I found myself weeping like an idiot, and it may be just as well that didn't happen in public. I am, at least, glad that I somehow managed to remain completely unspoiled for it. Seriously, the only things I knew going in were that it got good buzz, there was supposed to be some actual science in it, and (I was pretty sure) there was a wormhole in it somewhere. Which you would think might actually be enough to get me to the theater, but I honestly expected it to be kind of disappointing. So many SF movies are.

Now I just have to get out to see the new Mad Max film, since everyone is insisting I absolutely must...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

An Anniversary

As of yesterday, it has been one year since I had my surgery. Which is kind of an odd thought for me. On one hand, that period of recovery time seems to have receded into the distant past and taken on a strangely unreal quality. I actually have to actively remind myself that, oh, yeah, that really happened, that time when I couldn't even bend over. On the other hand, surely I have not aged a full year since then. Wait, you mean even my cats have aged a full year since then? That's a significant chunk of lifespan for them! It cannot be possible! Seriously, time is just... weird. You'd think the older I get, and the more of it I experience, the more used I would be to the way it passes, but instead it keeps taking me more and more by surprise.

Anyway. They -- by which, of course I mean the internet -- say that it takes a year to fully recover from a hysterectomy, so I guess I should celebrate now or something. I remember, just after the surgery, reading a site that had a timeline of what to expect as you heal, and somewhere a few months in was the milestone of finding you could go an entire day at a time without thinking about having had the surgery. A few weeks in, I was having serious trouble believing that would ever be possible, but, of course, it was. By now, even the numbness around my scar that lingered for most of the year has faded. And the scar itself has faded into an unobtrusive line that I mostly can't see over my fat belly, anyway.

The one thing that hasn't faded -- as I feared it was going to -- is my joy at the results. I have not yet come to take the fact that I am not bleeding massively from my genitals once a month for granted. Indeed, the realization that that is not happening and -- unless something goes very badly wrong -- never will again still hits me on a fairly regular basis, and it's hard to keep a grin off my face when it does.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oh, That's How You Do It!

Yay, I remembered how to sleep! I remembered how to sleep a lot! Mind you, sleeping for ten or eleven hours and waking up very late in the morning is far from ideal when you have to get up early for work the next day. But at this point, I'll take it. I feel better today than I have in at least the last week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Difficulty

Help, I think I have forgotten how to sleep.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Whining And Linkage

Ugh. I'm finally approaching the end of a long, looong week of night shifts, the last couple of which have involved dealing with some annoying middle-of-the-night problems. I've been getting even less sleep than is usual for me when I'm on nights. And this chest cold, while not as bad as it might be, is showing no signs of departing. Basically, it's been a bit of a rough week.

So, clearly, it's time to share a silly link that made me smile: 14 Classic Novels Rewritten With Clickbait Titles. Although, honestly, #9 just tells the simple, unvarnished truth.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Please Send Cough Drops.

Gaaah, never mind blaming my allergies, I think I'm actually kind of sick. Which is just... not acceptable. Seriously, it isn't. I have another 40 hours' worth of night shifts still ahead of me, and there isn't anybody who can easily fill in for me if I'm sick.

Sigh. This is what comes of going out and doing things and being social. You just expose yourself to other people's germs. Hermit mode is much better. How else am I going to avoid that end-of-the-world plague when it comes?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No, I Did Not Forget The May Currentlies.

This is way later in the month than I usually do this, but I've been various kinds of busy lately.

Current clothes: Blue pajama pants, a gray pocket t-shirt, and my space shuttle slippers. It's still morning for me, and I have not showered yet.

Current mood: Tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep today. I overslept a bit yesterday, so I'm trying to tell myself that it all evens out, but sadly I don't think it quite works that way.

Current music: Nothing particularly memorable.

Current annoyance: I seem to be developing a bit of a cough. I think it's just due to some lung/throat irritation from my allergies, but it's not pleasant.

Current thing: I've been doing a lot more getting out of the house and doing social things lately. Well, by my standards, anyway. But I think I've kind of topped out my capacity for that and maybe want to go back into introvert hermit mode again now. I've also been buying way too many books, but I guess that's less of a current thing and more of a perpetual thing.

Current desktop picture: I've gone back to my favorite bookish wallpaper again.

Current book: Inheritor by C.J. Cherryh.

Current song in head: "Winds of Change" by the Scorpions, just because it was on the radio the other day. So, OK, I guess at least some of the music I've been listening to was memorable.

Current refreshment: A cough drop. Mmmmm!

Current DVD in player: Disk 2 of season 5 of Dexter. Which is a flawed show, and one that constantly feels as if it might go right off the rails at any moment -- and people who've seen more of it than I have all assure me that eventually it does. For now, though, I'm still... Well, "enjoying" it might not be quite the right word, but it's definitely holding my attention.

Current worry: Nova might be a little constipated. To risk venturing into feline TMI territory, I've been noticing the last few weeks that his, uh, litterbox leavings are pretty small, hard, and dry. He is obviously still going at least once a day, though, so I'm not super worried. But I'm wondering if I should take him to the vet.

Current thought: Can someone help me get the Scorpions out of my head?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Big, Nerdy Day Out

Yes, this has been quite the day of nerdy indulgence for me! First, I went up to the big semi-annual book clearance sale at the Albuquerque public library. And, man... Every time I do that, I remember how much I love the thrill of the hunt and that squeeful feeling of having big piles of newly acquired books. But I tend to forget the stressful, claustrophobic feeling of being in that room full of people, all of whom appear to be trying their best to stand directly between me and whatever books I might be trying to look at at any given moment. Still... Boooooks! I ended up with a total of, uh, 22. Which is actually a small haul for me for one of these things. And you can't beat the price: it comes about to about 23 cents per book.

Traffic downtown was kind of a pain, though, because there was a chunk of street closed off for some unadvertised reason. I'm not 100% certain, but it looked like they were filming something. I was wondering if it might be Better Call Saul, since I know they use a lot of downtown locations, but I don't think they've started filming season 2 yet. Which is good, because otherwise I would have confusingly mixed emotions, since I really hate backed up traffic, but I really like Better Call Saul. If it was just some random movie, though, I can just feel annoyed. Still... I guess it's a sign that New Mexico's film industry really is taking off, as that's not something I've ever encountered before.

Anyway. After the book sale and navigating the downtown streets, I went to see The Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Which I enjoyed. Maybe not quite as fun as the first movie, but entertaining. Especially as I've always had a soft spot for anything involving AIs. Someone told me yesterday, though, that the director's cut is supposed to be three and a half hours, and I can totally believe it, because a lot of the plot, while it worked OK, did feel like it could have been fleshed out more.

And now, I am about to watch the season finale of Once Upon a Time. I've had somewhat mixed feelings about this season, to be honest, but I'm still ludicrously into this show, so I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, and, yes, somewhere in there, I did find time to call my mom. (I also tried to call my dad, since it's his birthday, but I didn't get an answer. So, if you're reading this, Dad, happy birthday!)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Dear Immune System: Stop Hitting Yourself!

Here I was, going around telling people how great the Flonase I'm using has been working, because my allergies hadn't been bothering me at all this year. Then we got a few days of rain. Yesterday, it stopped. And, suddenly: PLANT ORGY! HUGE PLANT ORGY! And the inside of my nose has become an ugly, ugly place. The Flonase, it does nothing! Or at least not enough. Fortunately, I have some of the good decongestants hoarded from last year. Unfortunately, they're not doing a whole lot either. Clearly the only remaining solution is to move to Antarctica.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

I Have A T-Shirt That Says "Will Work For Books." I Guess It Tells The Truth.

Last night was the Service Awards dinner, in which I was recognized for having worked for NRAO for 20 years. Which is a number I'm still having immense trouble wrapping my head around. Anyway, among other things, they gave me a very nice gift certificate. It's one of those ones that's not a gift card for a specific place, but can be redeemed online for gift cards of your choice. They had a lot of options, but most of them were not places I was especially interested in shopping. So, clearly, there was really only one solution: Shopping spree at Barnes & Noble! Whoo-hoo!!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Bloggish Musings

Well, here we are in May, and thus I am officially done with the second annual celebration -- or whatever it is -- of Blogs-A-Lot April. Once again, I got a small but surprising amount of satisfaction out of it, possibly just because taking the time to post something every day, even if it was only a sentence or two, gave some vague sense of structure to my life of crazy, ever-shifting schedules.

I was going to say, though, that this particular exercise got me to thinking, not so much about whether I should do the same thing next year, but about whether this blog should even still really be an active thing next year. Because whether people comment here or not -- and a big "hello!" both to those who do, and to those who read but comment to me offline or elsewhere instead -- it can feel embarrassingly like talking to myself in public. And, as a format for personal updates, stray thoughts, random links, and occasional cat pictures, the blog feels increasingly obsolete. Normal people these days do that stuff on Facebook, or Twitter. (Or Tumblr, maybe, especially for the younger set. But I have to admit, I don't really get Tumblr.) I've resisted joining Facebook and Twitter for various reasons, for years, but maybe, I was thinking, it might be time to do that, after all, and make people stop coming to me here. Probably only one or two people would miss it anyway, right?

And then, in the last few days, several people have left really entertaining comments, or told me in person that they enjoy my posts here and like to stop by occasionally to catch up, with the implication that Facebook wouldn't be remotely the same. Which made me feel good, and has prompted a surge of real affection for the ol' blog. So, who knows? Maybe I'll keep going. I've been here 13 years, a number that truly startles me. But maybe I'll hang out for another 13, until we're all just communicating telepathically with each other's brain implants.