Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

I may not be posting here much, but I could hardly neglect to check in on the last day of the year, could I? I hope everyone out there has been having a warm and lovely holiday season, and I'd like to wish you the very best in 2019.

As far as my personal life goes, I don't know that 2018 seemed like an exceptionally eventful year. To be honest, I think it mostly passed in kind of a blur. Far and away the most significant thing is that I got my new fake tooth properly installed, and eventually even got to the point where I could confidently chew on it without thinking about the fact that it was fake and worrying about something going wrong with it. And very glad I am to have that whole dental saga behind me.

I did accomplish a few things, too. Like finally getting my aging sewer pipe replaced. And the skylights, once they started leaking. And I made it out to California to visit my mother, for the first time in a decade or so. (Not that I hadn't seen my mom plenty of times during that decade. But, well... Let's just say that I very much owed her a return visit.)

Yes, well, I never claimed to have the world's most exciting life.

One thing I do claim to do, though, is to read a lot of books, which brings us to the traditional end-of-the-year book roundup. You can see a list of all the books I read here. There were actually fewer of them this time than in other recent years. But, despite that, the one-in/two-out method of trying to tame my out-of-control TBR has been working quite well: I now have 34 fewer unread books on my shelves than I did at the start of 2018. Admittedly, at this rate it'd still take me about 27 years to get it down to zero, but I'm counting it as progress.

As is also traditional, here's a list of the best books I read in 2018, or at least which ones I gave at least 4.5 stars out of 5 on LibraryThing:


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip bu George Saunders
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness by Zach Weinersmith
Big Mushy Happy Lump and Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work by M.C. Escher
The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield
But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

Which I swear is an even more motley assortment of books than my usual.

Anyway. That's it for 2018, for me. I'll be back sometime in the next few days with the usual monthly thingamajig. I'm figuring on continuing to do that for the foreseeable future, if only because I'm far too lazy to think of anything else to do with this blog.

Until then, and once again: Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 01, 2018

December Currentlies

I suppose the most significant thing that happened to me in November is that I got my roof leak fixed. Again. Actually, this time it seems it wasn't the roof, but the skylight. I have two skylights, and they were both in very bad shape, so I had them replaced. I also had the water damage from the previous roof leak fixed, finally. I really, really should have taken care of that ages ago, but it's good to have it done now. Well, mostly done, anyway. The ceiling in that room will need to be repainted. But I figure I can do that myself. I mean, how hard can it be? Right? Right?

Current clothes: I just got out of the shower, so I'm wearing a bathrobe and bunny slippers. I may have gotten up earlier than I should have this morning -- see "current annoyance" -- but that doesn't mean I'm moving fast.

Current mood: A little tired. Also see "current annoyance."

Current music: Nothing in particular.

Current annoyance: Yes, it's my sleep/work schedule again. This past week I worked until midnight, which is fine, except that I had to keep getting up early for things like having my roof worked on. Which not only means that I haven't been getting an ideal amount of sleep, it also means that I haven't been able to start adjusting myself for the night shifts I'm working next week. Last night, I had plans for various things I could do to keep myself up later -- computer games! DVDs! vacuuming the house! -- but when I got home, the power was out, presumably due to the high winds we were having. I read by flashlight for a while, then gave up and went to sleep. And then woke up earlier than I should have, because my nose was stuffed, and the cat was yelling about being hungry, and I had to pee. So I gave up again and got out of bed. Sigh.

Current thing: Honestly, it's probably doing far too much stupid, time-wastey stuff, while neglecting all the actually useful and important things I should be doing.

Current desktop picture: Since it's December, I've changed it to my usual holiday image of a snow-dusted TARDIS with a wreath on the door.

Current book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I picked this book up because I heard a lot of praise for it, but I left it sitting on the TBR shelves for a long while, mostly because I wasn't sure it would be my kind of thing. I find the Odyssey infinitely more interesting that the Iliad, personally. But now Miller's got a new one out that is based on the Odyssey, which I really want to read, but I figured I should get to this one first. And I'm so glad I did, because it's just terrific. Really well-written and absorbing.

Current song in head: It's been a weird medley of stuff this morning, but right now it seems to mostly be dominated by "Just What I Needed" by the Cars.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I should make some tea. Or maybe think about having lunch, after I get dressed.

Currently watching: Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Which... I dunno. It's cute, but it's still a little too, well, sitcommy for me. Which I'm aware is a silly thing to criticize when you're watching a sitcom, but still.

Current happy thing: It really is good to have that ceiling fixed! It had, if you'll excuse the pun, really been hanging over my head for quite a while.

Current thought: It bothers me that I am constantly so hung up on the rapid passage of time these days, but still: How the heck is it December already? How is it nearly the end of 2018? Where does it all go?!

Friday, November 02, 2018

November Currentlies

So, here we are in November. I don't have much to say about October, though. Probably the only thing worth saying about it is that it ended in the middle of me taking a little time off of work, partly because they lowered the number of hours we can carry over from year to year and I have to burn up some vacation time, but mostly because I figured I really needed a break for some low-key rest and relaxation. Although I don't know that I've been all that successful at relaxing, to be honest.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A gray long-sleeved t-shirt featuring a travel poster for Saturn's moon Titan. White socks.

Current mood: Not super relaxed. Mostly because last night there was a terrible, terrible smell of sewer gas in my house, which is not an experience I recommend. It's gone today, and maybe it's just that a disused drain dried up, but it sure did not smell like that's where it was coming from. I've got a plumber coming by on Monday just to make sure there's nothing weird going on with my sewer vents or anything.

Current music: I'm going out tonight with some people from work to see Bohemian Rhapsody, so, in anticipation of that, I was watching a video of Queen's performance at Live Aid.

Current annoyance: My house smelled like a sewer! Also last week, the roof leaked a little. Again. In the same spot it used to. Why must I live like this?

Current thing: Trying to relax. I think maybe I'll just spend all day tomorrow reading. That sounds extremely relaxing. Right?

Current desktop picture: Believe it or not, I actually changed it! It's not the 12th Doctor anymore! Sadly, I do not yet have any wallpaper of the 13th Doctor, though. So right now it's this amazing image that won an astronomy photograph of the year contest. I might change it soon, though. It's gorgeous, but my desktop icons don't necessarily show up all that well against the bottom part of the image.

Current book: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I feel like I should say something about it, but honestly I have no idea what. It's an odd book, and I don't think I can really pass any kind of judgment on it until I've finished it.

Current song in head: Thanks to abovementioned video, it appears to be "Radio Ga Ga."

Current refreshment: Root beer.

Currently watching: So, I'm on the fifth and final season of Alias, and... I'm not sure what just happened, but I think I've reached the point where they realized they'd been canceled and panicked. Unless they really, really pull something amazing out of it, based on the episode I just watched I am fully prepared to hand them the Worst Retcon of All Time award. And that's got to be a pretty high bar.

Current happy thing: Not working for a little while is good. It's extremely good. I am not knocking it.

Current thought: You know, there's a terrible paradox to Queen. Freddie Mercury's voice is so inhumanly amazing that you sort of just want to sit there and listen to it undiluted, and yet their songs are so freaking catchy that it's often physically impossible to keep yourself from singing along.

Monday, October 01, 2018

October Currentlies

I honestly don't know what business it has being the first of October already. But since it is, here I am again.

The main event in my life in September was that I spent a few days in California visiting my mother. It was a very low-key trip. I helped her with some stuff around the house and we sort of hung out. It made for kind of a nice break.

Anyway. On to the usual stuff.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A t-shirt with a picture of various Doctor Who monsters crossing Abbey Road, which was given to me by someone who knows me entirely too well. Also Doctor Who socks with a TARDIS image on them. But I bought those myself.

Current mood: Kind of tired. It may be Monday for most of the world, but I've already had a long workweek, and it's not over yet.

Current music: More completely random stuff. This morning, the musical algorithm gave me Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, Klaatu, Tom Lehrer, and some guy with a filk song about Seinfeld. My music collection, ladies and gentlemen.

Current annoyance: My foot continues to bother me, but it seems just enough like it might be getting better that I still can't decide whether I should make a podiatrist appointment or not.

Current thing: I have instituted a plan I call the Whole-House Cleaning Project, in which I will, little by little, often in small spare moments, clean my entire house, including all the little nooks and crannies that never get any attention, as well as doing various organizational and repair tasks that might need doing. I'm starting at the front of the house and working my way around in some sort of orderly fashion. Or that's the idea, anyway. So far, it's been over a month, and I've cleaned, basically, the front door (inside and out! with the screen door!) and a small section of wall around it. So it's going to take a while.

Current desktop picture: Still the 12th Doctor. But we will have a new Doctor soon! Maybe I will replace it then.

Current book: The Best American Essays 2011, edited by Edwidge Danticat. Yes, 2011. It takes me a while to get around to these things.

Current song in head: Toto's "Africa" keeps getting stuck in my head, largely because I keep encountering it everywhere. Which bemuses me. I'm not sure which of the songs from my youth I would have predicted getting huge amounts of love in 2018, but I'm pretty sure it would not have been that one.

Current refreshment: Peppermint tea.

Currently watching: Just started season 3 of Ash vs. Evil Dead.

Current happy thing: I have some more vacation time coming up soon. Which I plan to spent just not working. Not working being my all-time favorite thing to do.

Current thought: New Doctor soon!!! I am stoked. But also, as I always am, a little trepidatious, especially because I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about the new showrunner. Mostly stoked, though.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

September Currentlies

Since I do seem to be pretty much using this meme to check in here once a month, I've decided to start doing it on the first of the month, or close to it, rather than a week or so in.

August was not terribly interesting for me. Somehow, it never is. It's like this big, blank, empty stretch of the year I can never seem to remember much about once it's over. We did finally start getting a decent amount of rain after a particularly dry start to the "rainy season," though, so that's good.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A light tan t-shirt from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Blue denim short-sleeved shirt unbuttoned over that. White socks.

Current mood: A layer of perfectly okay, spread over a deeper layer of anxiety and irritation that pokes through to annoy me at random moments.

Current music: Nothing much.

Current annoyance: Yes, it's the ol' human body again. My plantar fascitiis is flaring up, so I've been walking a lot less, which I think may be one source of my lurking irritation. Walking is good for both body and mind! Also unquestionably contributing is the fact that the calendar of my life has finally flipped over to a new and unpleasant page, and I am getting freaking hot flashes. Like, constantly. This, too, is both physically and psychologically uncomfortable. Sigh.

Current thing: I'm sort of trying to make my current thing getting stuff done around the house, but I have to admit I'm not trying very hard.

Current desktop picture: Still the 12th Doctor.

Current book: Gil's All-Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez. Which is okay, but not brilliant. It's a horror-comedy, and the horror-comedy sweet spot is really hard to hit (although wonderful when it works). The author did a lot better blending pulp SF and detective noir in The Automatic Detective, so I'm finding this one mildly disappointing by comparison.

Current song in head: There's been a lot of stuff bouncing around in the brain lately, some of it more annoying than others, but right this second it appears to be Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".

Current refreshment: Nothing at the moment. But I'm thirsty.

Currently watching: I've started watching Matt Groening's new show, Disenchantment, on Netflix. I've only seen the first two episodes, and so far it's no Futurama, but it's not bad.

Current happy thing: I may not be trying super hard with the "getting things done around the house" thing, but I did actually have a fairly productive "weekend" this week on my days off. I was able to cross a number of things off the to-do list, including one that had been on there for a long, long time.

Current thought: I really want a vacation from the world. I am gonna do that staycation where I lock myself in the house and spend a few days lying on the couch reading books. I have plans... Just, not quite yet.

Monday, August 06, 2018

August Currentlies, And Stuff

So, I was thinking that if these days I'm mostly just stopping by this blog once a month to do this "currently" meme as a way to keep up on the state of my life, I should move it to the beginning of the month and maybe add in a little recap of what I've been up to for the past month. But, for one reason or another, it's still taken me this far into August to get to it. Oops.

Well, there's not a whole lot to say about July, anyway. The main event of note was that I turned 47. Which is maybe not that big of a deal. Certainly I seem to have long since reached the age where I barely pay attention to the number. Mind you, I have little doubt that will change soon. The idea of being -- gasp! -- fifty is just hard to wrap my brain around. It feels wrong, somehow. Fifty is not who or what I am!

Well, I guess I've got a few years yet before I have to face the thought of being wrong about that. In the meantime, here:

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A t-shirt from the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, where I got to see the space shuttle Discovery a few years ago. It's got a nice picture of Discovery on the back.

Current mood: OK, but a little, I dunno, rushed-feeling. I had a very busy weekend -- some errands and a much-belated birthday lunch with a friend in Albuquerque on Saturday, and a frenzy of housework and grocery shopping and other annoying but important things on Sunday -- and I do not feel ready to go back to work this afternoon. I want more weekend!

Current music: They Might Be Giants' Flood, a perennial favorite of mine.

Current annoyance: Besides not having more weekend? Well, there are a lot of things I could complain about, but maybe the most significant one is that my plantar fasciitis has been flaring up a little bit again. It's not too bad at the moment, but it always worries me when it does that. Stupid feet.

Current thing: Honestly, probably buying too many things I really don't need. I mean, OK, look, I know I have more than enough coffee mugs, but how could I not buy myself this one?!

Current desktop picture: Yes, yes, it's still the 12th Doctor. Don't act surprised.

Current book: Neutrino Hunters by Ray Jayawardhana.

Current song in head: "We Want a Rock" by They Might Be Giants. See "current music" above.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I should have some lunch soon, though.

Currently watching: I am still on season 4 of Alias. And I still can't quite decide whether it's a good show or a bad one. I suspect the answer to that may be "yes."

Current happy thing: Birthday lunch consisted of a cheesesteak at this place, which was like a wonderful, delightful little taste of my long-lost home. *happysigh*

Current thought: Everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

July Currentlies

Yep, still doing this.

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A t-shirt with a picture of a Klingon bat'leth sticking out of a book and the words "Today is a good day... to read." Because I am me. White socks.

Current mood: Pretty good. I'm off work today, and glad about it.

Current music: Nothing much.

Current annoyance: I may be off work today, but I've got another extra-long week of night shifts coming up starting tomorrow. Sigh.

Current thing: Still obsessively playing One Hour, One Life.

Current desktop picture: Yes, it's still the 12th Doctor. Clearly I am not ready to let him go yet.

Current book: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang.

Current song in head: It's been a medley of Imagine Dragons tune all day. Why are so many of their songs so stupidly catchy?

Current refreshment: I have some Moroccan Mint tea steeping.

Currently watching: Just started season 4 of Alias. I will finish watching this show sometime before i die.

Current happy thing: I finally got my sewer pipes replaced last month! After a year of me putting it off, and then nearly another year of the plumbers not being able to do it, either because they were shorthanded and busy, or because I didn't want them to schedule it while I was on night shifts. But it's been done now, and a good thing, too, because apparently those old cast iron pipes were in pretty bad shape. Nice to have that crossed off the list of things that need to be done with this house.

Current thought: I don't even want to think about what other things are or ought to be on the list of things that need to be done with this house...

Thursday, June 07, 2018

June Currentlies

Because here we are, in June.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. My Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy t-shirt, and matching socks. Although one of these socks is definitely smaller than the other, and it's weird. I may have to replace them.

Current mood: Not bad. Kind of relaxed, really. I'm on night shifts this week, and I had to get up early yesterday to go in to work for a couple of hours of training in the afternoon, but I was allowed to leave early to make up for it, since it was a maintenance day and there wasn't a lot going on. And, man, that was nice. I went to bed early and got seven hours of sleep, which is often hard to manage when I'm on nights. So nice.

Current music: Nothing much. The other day I did put my iPod on random shuffle for a while -- yes, I'm still using the ol' iPod -- and it gave me mostly soundtracks and other pop culture-y stuff.

Current annoyance: It's hot outside, and my swamp cooler does not seem to be working very well at all. Ideally, it should be able to cool things down by about 20 degrees from the outside temperature, but it seems to be consistently only doing 10. Which is non-ideal when it's 99 degrees outside. (Oddly, we don't seem to have broken 100 yet, but it's still uncomfortably warm.) I think maybe the water lines are kind of clogged? I really ought to get someone out to look at it, but that's not very practical when I'm sleeping all day. (And I'm still working more night shifts than usual, too. Sigh.)

Current thing: I've become increasingly addicted to playing One Hour, One Life. Which is a very odd kind of game, but it's odd in fascinating ways.

Current desktop picture: Yeah, yeah, it's still Peter Capaldi. Whatever.

Current book: Cocktail Time by P.G. Wodehouse. This appears to actually be the third book in the "Uncle Fred" series, and I haven't read the first two, but my experiences with Jeeves & Wooster convinced me that Wodehouse can certainly be read out of order, and that has, indeed, turned out to be true.

Current song in head: "Berlin (City of Night)" by Peter Schilling. I have no idea why. But, man, it takes me back. I spent a lot of time in college listening to that Peter Schilling album, back in the days when CDs were the exciting new way to listen to music, and the fall of the Berlin Wall was still a very recent memory, indeed. And now I feel old.

Current refreshment: Nothing. But I need some water or something. And probably some food, soon.

Currently watching: I'm now most of the way through season 3 of Alias. I still, I think, am wavering back and forth between thinking it's a pretty good show, kind of a bad show, or some complicated thing in between. But, after a slightly meh start to the season, I find I'm surprisingly caught up in the weird plot stuff going on right now. Also, Arvin Sloane fascinates me deeply. I have interesting tastes in fictional characters, really. Interesting, and yet strangely predictable.

Current happy thing: I defrosted and cleaned the mini fridge we have in the kitchenette at work last night, because it desperately needed to be done -- it was genuinely disgusting, as well as difficult to put much of anything in the freezer compartment because of all the ice -- and clearly nobody else was going to do it. But now it is done! My work environment has slightly improved! Also, go me, being proactive!

Current thought: Having a clean refrigerator at work does not, however, make me crave a vacation any less.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

May Currentlies

See? I'm still checking in for these.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. White socks. A brown t-shirt with a picture of a very groggy-looking owl holding a cup of coffee, which is entirely appropriate for me today. Blue short-sleeved denim shirt unbuttoned on top of that.

Current mood: Not too bad, but the sleep deprivation isn't helping. I'm working a lot of midnight shifts right now, and, more often than not, I'm waking up significantly earlier than I should be. Which is an all-too-common problem when I'm on midnights.

Current music: Nothing much. I'm devoting most of my audio time to podcasts again. Or still. I harbor the ridiculous delusion that one day I might actually be close to catching up on them.

Current annoyance: Working lots of midnight shifts! Or, let's be honest, working at all. I still desperately need some time off. And it's still not happening.

Current thing: I dunno. Feeling proud that my book-budgeting system is still actually working, maybe? My TBR is already down more than twenty books from the beginning of the year!

Current desktop picture: Still the 12th Doctor. At this point, I'm sure no one is surprised.

Current book: Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind by Kitty Ferguson. I've had this biography on my shelves since shortly after it was published, in 2012, and the recent-ish news of Hawking's death finally spurred me to get around to reading it.

Current song in head: Brain Radio has been switching songs almost constantly lately. Right now, it seems to be playing "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by the Police, but that may not last long.

Current refreshment: Water. Hey, it's definitely summer here in New Mexico now. Gotta keep hydrated.

Currently watching: I've recently finished the entire run of Black Mirror, which was excellent, although, man, that last episode was almost too disturbing. And I'm now about to start season three of Alias. It's taken me longer to get back to that show than I really meant to. I also just watched this week's episode of Elementary, and, man, there are a lot of things I love about that show, but sometimes their plots are just ridiculous.

Current happy thing: Oooh, it's a big one this time! Are you ready? I now have a full set of teeth again! Well, OK, except for the wisdom teeth, but they were never any use, anyway. Yes, that's right, as of yesterday, I finally, finally have my new artificial tooth. It's actually kind of weird having a tooth there again. Weird, but wonderful. You guys, I can chew on both sides of my mouth! I can smile without immediately feeling hideously self-conscious about it! And there's no longer a stupid little metal cap on my gum that my tongue can't leave alone! It's marvelous. Seriously, I am so happy about this, you have no idea.

Current thought: Thus endeth the first step in my eventual plan to replace all my body parts with artificial ones. I think I need bionic eyes next.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April Currentlies

See, I said I was going to keep doing these, at least for a while!

I have made one change, though. You can tell this meme dates back a long, long way from that "current DVD in player" entry that's been there from the beginning. I actually still have a Netflix DVD subscription and watch probably more DVDs than most people, and even I am sometimes streaming stuff instead. So I've changed that one to "currently watching." Finally.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. White socks. A really cool t-shirt with an illustration of Terry Pratchett's Discworld in the style of Van Gogh's Starry Night.

Current mood: Not great. It's been one of those days, kind of, and I'm tired and a bit put out.

Current music: H.P. Joelcraft , in which some guy sings the words of an H. P. Lovecraft poem to the tune of "Piano Man." Even though he mispronounces a couple of words, it's pretty amazing.

Current annoyance: Oh, geez, where to even start. Some frustrating stuff at work that I've let get to me. A to do list that just gets longer and longer the more I do. Desperately wanting to take a week or two of vacation time just to de-stress and get some things done, and being entitled to do so, but not being able to because we're constantly short-handed. Enduring seemingly endless rounds of dentistry and still not having a normal mouth with a full complement of teeth. Oh, and the all-encompassing existential angst. Can't forget that.

Current thing: I've been playing One Hour, One Life. Which is an odd little video game thingy, and I'm still trying to decide whether it's something I'm going to want to continue playing for very long, because aspects of it have the potential to get pretty frustrating. But it's a really fascinating idea for a game, and it's been interesting to experience.

Current desktop picture: Still the 12th Doctor. We really, really need to get some 13th Doctor episodes soon, just so I can find the motivation to change my wallpaper.

Current book: I've just finished Oneiron by Laura Lindstedt, a weird Finnish novel. It's well written in a lot of respects, but kind of experimental in ways that didn't entirely work for me. Next up is A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard.

Current song in head: Hmm, I'm not sure I have one at the moment.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: I've been streaming season 2 of Black Mirror. I know I'm way beyond the curve here, but I'm glad to be finally catching up with it now, even though I haven't been nearly as impressed with season 2 as I was with season 1 (to whatever extent you can actually say that when the "seasons" are about three episodes long). It feels very much like a sort of Twilight Zone for the 21st century.

Current happy thing: It's my Friday night. Hooray!

Current thought: Sometimes, inevitably, we all end up thinking, "Man, what am I even doing with my life?" This may be one of those times.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

April Thoughts

Happy Easter! And Happy April Fool's Day! Do try not to fall for any egg-related pranks.

So, it is now April, at least in my time zone, and for the last few years, April has traditionally been the month when I revive my flagging desire to blog by posting something here every day. But this year... I don't know. I think I might be done with that.

Because, honestly, there's a reason why I'm posting here less and less and less. This sort of personal blog, in 2018, feels like a relic of another era. These days, other platforms fill the function that spaces like this once did. The problem is, those other platforms don't really do much for me. I'm too long-winded for Twitter, and, anyway, not many people I know are on Twitter. And I can't even wrap my brain around places like Instagram and Tumblr, where posts seem to mostly revolve around images. I don't think in images. I certainly can't communicate in them.

Nowadays, of course, there is one place for personal thoughts and ruminations of various lengths, with or without pictures, to keep friends and family updated on your life and perhaps to reach out into the world at large. But every day, there are more and more reasons why I don't want to be on Facebook, even though every day it seems to get harder to actually participate in society without a Facebook account.

So, yeah, I dunno. I'm probably not ready to let this ol' place go completely dormant yet. I'm pretty sure I'll at least still pop in once a month and do the "currently" meme. That's a grand old tradition by now, and it's kind of fun, and it seems like a good way to check in. But pretending this thing is still a going cocern seems a little bit silly.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

And The March Currentlies

Because even if I have nothing else to say for a month, at least I'll still do this.

Current clothes: A blue t-shirt that says "time traveling to the future one moment at a time," which sadly, is the only way I know how to do it. Dark gray sweatpants. White socks.

Current mood: My mood is a bit divided. Today is the first of my days off this week, and I'm really glad to actually have some days off and to not have to get up stupidly early for day shifts now. But, on the other hand, I've got this long list of things, both relaxing and productive, that I really want to make time for, and the time I need to make for it seems to be longer than the time I actually have. Which is irritating.

Current music: Ten New Songs by Leonard Cohen. I just read a book of interviews with Cohen, which gave me the irresistible desire to listen to him again.

Current annoyance: Not having infinite amounts of time with which to do whatever the hell I want. Sigh.

Current thing: Buying too many dorky t-shirts.

Current desktop picture: Still the 12th Doctor. Apparently I'm never going to change it, no matter how many times I say I'm going to.

Current book: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

Current song in head: For above-mentioned reasons, there've been a medley of Leonard Cohen songs stuck in my brain for a while now. Mostly "Sisters of Mercy," Anthem" and "Democracy." Which, man, if you're going to have songs stuck in your brain, that's a damned good collection.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Current DVD in player: I'm slowly making my way through season 2 of Alias, which is an interesting study in contrasts for me, because I find the characters compelling, but a lot of the plot stuff painfully dumb.

Current happy thing: I have many small happy things at the moment, I guess. Dorky t-shirts. Days off, even if I can't fit quite as much goofing off into them as I'd like. Shirtsleeve weather. Leonard Cohen albums. Mint tea. How unbelievably loudly Vir was purring this morning as he cuddled me while I sipped my morning coffee and read.

Current thought: That's a rather nice list of small pleasant things, I think.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

February Currentlies

Yes, it's this yet again...

Current clothes: Red t-shirt that says "If this shirt is blue, you're going too fast." Dark blue jeans. White socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: Not too bad. I was in a super good mood yesterday, and some of that has carried over into today, but it is tempered by a few annoyances, especially the knowledge that tomorrow my weekend is over and I have to go back into work at stupidly early hours.

Current music: Nothing, really.

Current annoyance: Well, the biggest one is that I really, really want to just get back to having my usual number of teeth. All this dental mucking around is getting very, very old.

Current thing: I may have spent much of my time off last week binge-watching both seasons of The Good Place, and may now be binge-listening to a podcast about The Good Place, whose episodes are at least three times the length of the episodes of the show they're discussing. Maybe.

Current desktop picture: It's still the 12th Doctor. I really, really need to move on. But I'm not ready for 13th Doctor wallpaper yet, no matter how excited I am to meet her, so I'm not sure what to replace it with.

Current book: A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston.

Current song in head: Nothing at the moment, but when I woke up this morning, it appeared to be "See You in Sepetember" for reasons I do not remotely understand.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Current DVD in player: Haven't watched anything since I finished streaming The Good Place. Which I may need to watch again. Maybe.

Current happy thing: It's nice to find shows you enjoy. Also, the weather is lovely.

Current thought: I recently replaced my refrigerator, which was aging, and had a rusty dent in the front, and was experiencing worrying temperature swings. I have now also replaced my microwave, which suddenly stopped working on me, which is kind of nice, because I hated that microwave and have been waiting for it to die on me for years so I could justify replacing it. So, yay for shiny new appliances, I guess!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Our Government Is Bad, And We Should Feel Bad.

Oh, look, our idiot leadership has decided to go from dysfunctional to entirely non-functional yet again. Go, USA.

Well, fortunately, the observatory I work for, while highly dependent on NSF funding, foresaw this possibility and made a point of making sure we'd have enough money to keep going for, hopefully, longer than this will last. (Meaning about a month. If it runs longer than that, we've all got real problems.) So this time, at least, we won't have millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded astronomical equipment sitting idle instead of doing what it was built for and advancing science and our understanding of the universe. All the groceries on the shelves of the military base grocery stores my mother works at are presumably going to be left to rot and have to be thrown out again, though, so fear not, I'm sure the appropriate amount of economic damage will still happen as our country once again cuts its nose off to spite its face.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Am Now Partly Titanium

So, I now have a screw implanted in my jaw, which, hopefully, will eventually serve to anchor a new fake tooth.

For the moment, though, it just hurts. A lot more than the extraction did, but that might just be because I got lucky and the extraction barely hurt at all.

But, man. Replacing body parts with technological substitutes is a lot less fun than science fiction usually makes it look.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

First Currentlies of 2018!

Keeping up with a ridiculously long-standing tradition.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy t-shirt, with matching socks. Because I may be a dork, but, today at least, I am a well-coordinated dork.

Current mood: Pretty good. There are any number of things I could feel unreasonably stressed about, but mostly I'm maintaining my equanimity pretty well. I do feel a little bit rushed at the moment, though. I could use an extra hour or two before I have to leave for work. Ah, well.

Current music: Nothing in particular.

Current annoyance: Amazingly enough, nothing big comes to mind! Not that there aren't a thousand small or long-term things I could complain about. Like having to work for a living. Or the fact that one of my dorky socks seems noticeably smaller than the other.

Current thing: Binge-listening to the Imaginary Worlds podcast. (I'm up to September of 2016.) Trying to stay on top of various responsible-adult things that, sadly, need to get done. Still playing Fallen London. (Although my character's a lot more powerful now, I still don't know what's going on. But it's fun. Except for how I keep getting driven insane by nightmares. Or attacked by bees...)

Current desktop picture: I went back to the Twelfth Doctor. Although I feel like I should go for something new.

Current book: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

Current song in head: A minute ago it was "Total Eclipse of the Heart," I think because I was reading about last year's solar eclipse recently.

Current refreshment: I have french fries in the oven. Soon I will have chicken tenders and fries. Because I am a grown-ass woman, and that means I can eat like a toddler when I want to.

Current DVD in player: Well, it was supposed to be the last disk of season 1 of Alias, a show I finally started watching after vaguely intending to for a ridiculously long time. But the disk stopped playing, and the series isn't available streaming (well, OK, it's on Amazon, but not through Prime, so I would have had to pay extra for it), so now I have to wait for Netflix to replace the DVD for me.

Current happy thing: I finally saw the new Star Wars this weekend, so now people can finally stop asking me whether I've seen it yet. I liked it reasonably well, too, which is always good.

Current thought: "I liked it reasonably well" is, I'm afraid, pretty much the only thing I have to say about the new Star Wars, other than observing that Mark Hamill is a much better actor now than he was forty years ago.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Take A Telescopic Tour

Here's a nice little video featuring one of the radio telescopes it's my job to watch over:

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017: The Year In Books

Happy New Year! It's become traditional for me, on the first of the year, to take a look back on the previous year's reading. And it is now the first of the year, even if we're only a couple of hours in. So.

I read a total of 138 books in 2017, a bit less than the previous year, but a respectable total nonetheless, I'm sure. You can see a complete list here, if you're interested.

As is also traditional, I offer a list of the best books of the year, based on which ones I rated 4.5 or 5 stars on LibraryThing at the time I read them:

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
On the Beach by Neville Shute
Tinkers by Paul Harding
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 edited by Joe Hill
Ethan Frome & Other Stories by Edith Wharton
Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, and Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang
The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

Non-fiction and humor:
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
What Language Is (And What It Isn't and What It Could Be) by John McWhorter
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks
Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years by Geoffrey Nunberg
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
Religion: Ruining Everything Since 4004 B.C. by Zach Weinersmith
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Some really good stuff there, although I'm a little surprised by how many of them were re-reads. The Prachett, of course, as re-reading the Discworld City Watch books was a year-long project for me, but also Slaughterhouse-Five, On the Beach, and Ethan Frome. Which, now that I think about it, is a really depressing trio of books. Depressing, but excellent.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go and get started on 2018's reading...