Friday, August 02, 2019

August Currentlies (And Other Stuff)

Well, it's been quite an eventful month. First, I turned 48, which is a number that seems largely meaningless except for the fact that it's inching disturbingly towards the big five-oh, and that just feels deeply, viscerally wrong. I am not this old. I cannot possibly be this old. What the hell even is time?

Second, I just got back from a week's vacation in Alaska with my mother and sister, talking scenic train rides through part of the state and visiting Denali National Park. We didn't get to see much of the mountain itself, which apparently is not uncommon, as Alaska has lots of cloud cover. But we saw a lot of wildlife, including a startling number of grizzly bears (fortunately at a distance and from the safety of a bus). My sis and I even took a rafting trip down a (very cold) river.

Basically, it was all completely beautiful. And, I gotta tell ya, I could get used to almost perpetual sunlight. All day, every day, it basically felt like the equivalent of a pleasant spring morning (or possibly afternoon). I never had any sense of what time of day it was, but in a way that was the exact and utter opposite of the feeling I get when I get so far out of sync with the sun due to the shift work that my circadian clock just breaks. That feels deeply strange, even surreal. This felt completely natural, as if time was something I just didn't even need. Very odd, but very cool.

So that was all great, although it was marred a little bit by the fact that I managed to catch an unpleasant chest cold at the very end, which certainly made the plane flight home even more annoying than long plane flights usually are. I'm still coughing. I just hope it doesn't settle in and turn into bronchitis the way such things seem to do for me about half the time.

Also not great: I boarded the cat at the vet's while I was gone, and after I picked him up, I noticed one of his eyes was weeping mucus a little. I was worried he'd picked up something while he was in there, so I took him back to have it checked out. Turns out, he's got a bad tooth abscess. Which he's apparently had for quite some time, the poor thing. It may be the stress of being stuck at the vet's worsened it to the point where it finally became obvious. Aaaand, now he needs antibiotics and dental surgery, on top of all the other things he needs. Poor kitty. Also, AAAAARGH.

Anyway. On to the usual state-of-things meme thingy.

Current clothes: Blue sweatpants. My white "tea rex" t-shirt, featuring a monocled T-Rex drinking tea. White socks.

Current mood: Very out of it, in that way that I often get when I've just come back from vacation, except exacerbated no doubt by not feeling super well.

Current music: Nothing much.

Current annoyance: So many, many, many things, but most prominently this stupid cough.

Current thing: Trying to recover from traveling and catch up on the million and one things that seem to need doing upon my return.

Current desktop picture: It's still the main characters from Good Omens. Because they are the best.

Current book: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.

Current song in head: "What about Love?" by Heart, because I heard it the other day in some public place or other. I've been struck lately by how often 80s music seems to be cropping up in such places now. It seems very strange to me, but then I think, back in the 80s, was there lots of 50s music being played like that? And, you know, I think there was. (Which just makes me feel even older, because surely in the 80s the 50s were ancient freaking history. Right?)

Current refreshment: Moroccan Mint tea. (Aka green tea with mint. Very tasty.)

Currently watching: I haven't had the chance to watch anything yet since I got back. There's going to be a lot of stuff on the DVR to catch up with. Also, I still haven't finished Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Well, honestly, it's not the kind of thing you can binge-watch, at all.

Current happy thing: Alaska really was beautiful. Well, is beautiful still, I'm sure. I just can't see it at the moment, because I'm in New Mexico.

Current thought: I have also added to my lifetime list of animal species consumed, thanks to a caribou sausage breakfast burrito I ate in the dining car of the train. I'm not sure why that feels like some kind of accomplishment.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July Currentlies

Not sure where the heck June went or how we're this far into the year already, but here we go:

Current clothes: Blue shorts. A gray t-shirt that says, "I'm not lazy, I'm prolonging the probable heat death of the universe by conserving energy," which is the kind of physics joke that amuses me unreasonably. White ankle socks.

Current mood: I'm in a really good mood, and have been for the last couple of days. I've got some extra time off this week. I've been getting enough sleep. I've been getting some things accomplished, while not stressing out about the things I haven't gotten accomplished. And all of life's little pleasures seem somehow more pleasurable than usual. It's pretty great. I'm fully expecting it all to dissolve tomorrow morning when I have to get up and go to work, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Current music: Nothing much.

Current annoyance: Still the stupid hot flashes, although I think they maybe haven't been quite as bad for the last week or two.

Current thing: My televisual enthusiasms continue to fluctuate rapidly. Right now I'm mostly fighting off the urge to go and watch Good Omens again. Possibly on a loop. I maaaaay have just bought the script book and the making-of companion, too.

Current desktop picture: Current desktop picture, unsurprisingly, relfects the current televisual enthusiasms, so The Orville is out for the moment and Good Omens is in.

Current book: On the Move by Oliver Sacks.

Current song in head: I think it's mostly been a medley of Queen lately.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: For a while now, I've been watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker off and on. It's a TV show from 1974 about a reporter. But no matter what he's sent to investigate, it always turns out to be a vampire or an alien or an evil spirit or something. I find I have interesting mixed feelings about it. Part of me keeps thinking, geez, is this was TV was like in the 70s? How on Earth did we watch this stuff? But part of me finds it rather charming, in its own quaint way. (And then all of me feels very, very old at how antiquated the television that aired when I was a child seems now.)

Current happy thing: Being in a good mood, having time off work, and getting enough sleep! I mean, really, how often does all that happen? Especially that last part.

Current thought: When is someone gonna bring me that dump truck full of money so I can retire and have time off of work and enough sleep all the time?

Monday, June 03, 2019

June Currentlies

No, I didn't forget that it was time to check in here again!

I don't know that there's a whole lot to say about May, though. I think the most interesting thing that happened was that I confirmed to myself once again that, why, yes, if you only go bowling once every decade or so, your skills at the game really will not come back to you in any appreciable way. Oh, well. It was fun trying, anyway.

And now, your regularly scheduled... whatever this is.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A blue shirt that says "Visit Mars: satisfy your curiosity" on it, with a very happy-looking Mars being roved by a very not-to-scale Curiosity Rover. It's cute! Also blue socks with the planets of the solar system on them. I really like these socks.

Current mood: A bit tired, but generally pretty good.

Current music: Not much at the moment.

Current annoyance: There are many of them but the biggie is that I am almost forty-eight and my body has decided that it is now "old lady" time. Result: hot flashes. Freaking hot flashes. Lots of them. Actually the last few days haven't been quite as bad, mercifully, but at the worst, I can have the damned things more than once an hour. It's kind of awful. And what is this even about, anyway? Why would my body chug along happily enough for a few decades and then just suddenly lose its ability to thermoregulate properly? Evolution, what is even wrong with you?!

Current thing: Aging, apparently. Well, they say it beats the alternative, but I think there really ought to be more than one alternative.

Current desktop picture: Still the Orville crew.

Current book: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. Which is a great book to read if you want to be angry at the world.

Current song in head: Nothing much at the moment. Which I am very grateful for. I had Jonathan Coulton's "Re: Your Brains" stuck in my head for most of May, and... Well, actually, for the first couple of weeks it was kind of fun, but even Jonathan Coulton eventually gets unbearable if it echoes around inside your head long enough.

Current refreshment: Ooh, the kettle should be hot now. Brb, getting some mint tea.

Currently watching: I just finished Good Omens. Which I really enjoyed, if only because of how perfectly cast the two leads are and how weirdly adorable they are together.

Current happy thing: I've been in some kind of a mood where I'm happy about lots of completely random things lately, which is in itself very much a happy thing. It's certainly better than those moods where I'm randomly annoyed about everything.

Current thought: Come on Tom, just let me in so I can eat your stupid brain, will ya?

Saturday, May 04, 2019

May Currentlies

Whoops, May kind of snuck up on me while I wasn't looking. But I'm not too late with this, I guess.

I don't think I have a whole lot to say about April, though. Well, I did have Vir back into the vet for another (stupidly expensive) blood test, and his glucose levels look great. So he's still a grumpy old lump of a cat, but at least he's a grumpy old lump of a cat with well-controlled diabetes. Yay.

Right. On to the usual.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A t-shirt from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy center, where I got to see the space shuttle Discovery a few years ago. Black socks. Brown boots.

Current mood: An eensy bit annoyed from some stuff at work, but mostly OK. I actually got enough sleep today, which really helps when I'm working a night shift.

Current music: Nothing much. Except maybe this country song written by a computer.

Current annoyance: Aside from the usual annoyances of my life, there's the fact that Firefox broke horribly last night and disabled everyone's add-ons. They've got a fix in for it now, but it completely failed to work on my desktop at home. As far as I can tell, I'm the victim of some other problem that's causing a problem with the fix to the first problem, and Mozilla has no idea what's going on with it. Sigh. I really hope that gets fixed. Because, my god, the internet is a dystopian hellscape if approached without an ad-blocker in place. Well, at least it's working on my laptop.

Current thing: Feeling old and getting nostalgic. About, like, everything.

Current desktop picture: In honor of last month's "currently watching," I downloaded some wallpaper for The Orville. It's nice wallpaper, but I kind of wish I could have found one with Talla rather than Alara. Nothing at all against Alara, but of the two Talla is definitely my favorite.

Current book: Down These Dark Spaceways, edited by Mike Resnick. It's a collection of science fiction mystery novellas.

Current song in head: I've been getting snatches of Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive." Apparently that song will never die.

Current refreshment: Just finished some diet Pepsi.

Currently watching: I saw The Avengers: Endgame in the theater a couple of days ago, and... Eh, it was OK. On the small screen, I recently watched One Punch Man, on the recommendation of a friend, and also just fished season two of The Magicians. One Punch Man was delightful. (Well, if you can ignore the homophobic bits. Sigh.) My feeling about The Magicians so far is very much the same as my feeling about the books. It started out feeling like something I that seemed like it ought to be up my alley but wasn't quite doing it for me, but then got much more engaging as it went along.

Current happy thing: I don't know if I have any one big happy thing at the moment, but I am making a point of appreciating lots of little happy things.

Current thought: May the fourth be with you!

Monday, April 01, 2019

April Currentlies

Time for my April check-in! Let's see, what happened in March? Well, the half-joking comment I like to make about how I expect to die under an avalanche of collapsing bookshelves nearly came true when one of my bookcases did, in fact, collapse all over the place, but fortunately I managed to duck and run in time. (One of the books got slightly water-damaged by falling onto water splashed out of the cat's bowl, though. Woe!)

I've also had Vir in to have his glucose levels checked a couple of times, and he's doing well. The last time, the vet said he was actually on the low end of normal and cut back his dosage. Cats' pancreases sometimes mysteriously recover after you've given them insulin for a while, so fingers crossed that may be what's starting to happen. I do think he's started drinking and peeing a bit more on the lower dose, though, so it may be too low. He's supposed to get checked again in a few days, so we'll see.

Current clothes: Dark blue jeans. Black t-shirt with a picture of Buzz Aldrin on the moon. (At least, I think it's Buzz Aldrin. You can't read his name patch or anything, but I believe I recognize the picture.) Black socks. Brown work boots.

Current mood: Tired. I've been on night shifts for the past two weeks, including one of those 65-plus-hour work weeks that happen pretty much any time someone takes vacation time, and I'm so ready for it to be over. Especially because I haven't been sleeping well. At all. In those last two weeks, I think there've been two whole days when I've gotten a roughly adequate amount of sleep. I just keep waking up too early and not being able to do a damned thing about it.

Current music: The soundtrack to the original Muppet Movie. Which is pretty much my definition of pure distilled joy.

Current annoyance: Long hours and little sleep.

Current thing: Long hours and little sleep? Also obsessive binge-watching, but we'll get to that under "currently watching."

Current desktop picture: Still the same bookish one as last month. So boring.

Current book: Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan. Which I cracked open this sleep-deprived week thinking it would be an easy, quick-reading SF thriller. Turns out, it has a complicated plot, and multiple points of view, and lots of deep world-building it doesn't hold your hand through. All of which is good, but it means it's going much more slowly than anticipated.

Current song in head: "I'm Going to Go Back There Some Day," sung by Gonzo the Muppet, a song I have found incredibly poignant since the first time I heard it, at the age of 7.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: I just recently binge-watched The Orville, and that was a very strange and interesting experience. The combination of earnest Star Trek plots, goofy and sometimes juvenile humor, and relationship comedy/drama is an odd one, and early on it doesn't necessarily work very well. And then at some point things click together a bit, and at least in some episodes, it starts to gel nicely and is pretty entertaining. And then somewhere in season two, I found myself thinking, "Huh, wait, they're actually doing some stuff ST:TNG did better than TNG did it, and that's... interesting." And then a couple of episodes after that I'm sitting there watching the thing with my mouth hanging open going, "This is awesome! When did this turn into legitimately really good SF television? How did this turn into legitimately good SF television?!" What's funny is that people kind of told me that would happen, and yet it still took me by surprise.

Current happy thing: Legitimately really good SF television. Almost being off the damn night shift. Heading into that time of year when I can just walk around outside in a t-shirt even at night. The idea that some day I might actually get some sleep. The Muppets.

Current thought: To probably no one's surprise but mine, I find myself particularly fascinated by the robot on The Orville. My predictable character tastes, let me show you them! Somehow it's always the weird and alien ones. Which is probably also why I have the Gonzo song in my head.

Friday, March 01, 2019

March Currentlies

Well, we've made it to March. February, I'm afraid, was not the greatest month for me, mainly because my stupid cat finally failed his diabetes test. Not that it's surprising. Given how obese he is, I've been half-expecting it for years. I now have to give him an insulin shot twice a day, which is not, in itself, too bad. He sits still for it just fine, and it's not too hard to do. But I was given firm instructions that it needs to be administered every twelve hours, consistently. Which, depending on what shift I'm working and how I'm rotating, ranges from mildly inconvenient to massively disruptive and sleep-destroying, to literally impossible without access to a time machine. SIGH. Worse still, he's supposed to eat exactly half his daily intake of food at those twelve-hour intervals, but you try explaining that to him.

In happier news, I also got a new coffee table. So that's nice, I guess.

Current clothes: Green sweats. A white t-shirt with copies of various M.C. Escher prints on it. White socks.

Current mood: Not 100%. I had some bad gastrointestinal issues and no sleep on Wednesday night, and spent pretty much all of yesterday lying on the sofa feeling wrung-out and sorry for myself, drifting in and out of consciousness. I'm a lot better today. I mean, I'm actually eating food (albeit very carefully). But still kind of weak.

Current music: Nothing much. Oh, except for this sultry jazz cover of the Pinky & the Brain theme song.

Current annoyance: The fallible nature of both human and feline bodies.

Current thing: Poking the cat with a needle twice a day, apparently.

Current desktop picture: Still the same bookish one as last month. I really need to find something new and cool.

Current book: The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson.

Current song in head: "Baby Shark". Send help.

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Currently watching: Just finished season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale

Current happy thing: The weather is lovely. Of course, it kept doing that during February and then plunging back down into the frozen depth of winter again, but maybe it's finally over now.

Current thought: Clearly what the internet needed was a sultry jazz cover of the Pinky & the Brain theme song. I mean, clearly.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

February Currentlies

Well, that's one month of 2019 down! I don't know that I have a lot to say about my January. It seems like I was very busy, but I don't really have a lot to show for it. Although I did finally replace my ailing smartphone. And my car battery (again). And we won't even get into the frustrations I had with my new health insurance provider.

Right. Let's do this thing again.

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A red shirt with cover art from Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. White socks.

Current mood: Tired. Physically tired, as opposed to all the other kinds of tired I usually am. Today I finally repainted my laundry room ceiling after having the water damage in there fixed. And a very amateurish job I'm sure it was, but that just means it matches the rest of my house. Anyway, it involved a lot of climbing around on ladders and sniffing paint fumes and stuff.

Current music: Nothing at the moment.

Current annoyance: Tiredness and general having-to-be-an-adult.

Current thing: Tiredness and general having to be an adult.

Current desktop picture: I've gone back to one of my old book-themed wallpapers, but I feel like I really should find something new.

Current book: The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose. It's about the author's project to basically take one shelf from a lending library and read (more or less) every book on it. Which sounds like my sort of thing, but I'm genuinely surprised by how interesting I'm finding it so far.

Current song in head: Nothing at all, really.

Current refreshment: Moroccan mint tea and a Cadbury fruit & nut Dairy Milk bar. Because I need it.

Currently watching: I'm re-watching Fawlty Towers for the first time in a couple of decades. It's not quite as hilarious as I remember it being, and it's showing its age in some ways, but at its best, it's still stupidly funny.

Current happy thing: I have a new car battery and a working smartphone and a repaired and painted ceiling, and my maddening issues with the insurance company have finally been sorted out, so maybe I'm finally caught up with the adulting for a while? Except, wait, I just remembered that I still have to do my taxes. Sigh.

Current thought: I wonder if that irritated feeling in the back of my throat is due to paint fumes?

Thursday, January 03, 2019

January Currentlies

Here I am in 2019, checking in the same way I've checked in every month for who knows how long.

Current clothes: Jeans. A gray sweatshirt featuring the definition of the word "abibliophobia": "The fear of running out of books to read." Aka the reason why I have 922 unread books on my shelves. Well, OK, one of the reasons. Also, white socks. And bunny slippers, because my feet are cold.

Current mood: Not too bad. A little rushed-feeling. I'm working evening shifts this week, and it always feels like there's not enough time to do very much before I have to leave.

Current music: Nothing, really.

Current annoyance: There are many, but the dominant one is the weather. Temperatures that drop down towards the single digits (yes, Fahrenheit). Snow that doesn't melt before more snow falls on top of it. Treacherous ice everywhere. What is the point of living in New Mexico, I ask you, if I have to put up with this sort of thing? Fortunately, next week looks like it's going to be warmer.

Current thing: I don't know if it counts as a New Year's resolution or not, but I'm going to at least try to spend less time on stupid time-wastey stuff and more on things I actually want to do.

Current desktop picture: It's still the TARDIS with a Christmas wreath. Time to change it again!

Current book: Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. It's the final book in a trilogy of kids' books. It's a good story (and one that appeals to my book-loving soul), but overlong, especially this volume.

Current song in head: "Good King Wenceslas." Which is weird and annoying, because I know barely any of the lyrics, because I honestly have no idea who Good King Wenceslas even is or why I should care about him, and because Christmas is over, already!

Current refreshment: Nothing, but I must have some lunch soon.

Currently watching: Most recently, the Doctor Who New Year's special. It occurs to me that I haven't talked about my thoughts about the most recent season of Who here. I hate to say it, but I've found it kind of disappointing. There are lots of specific things I've really enjoyed, mind you. And I think Jodie Whittaker is good, and I love the new companions and the way their relationships with each other and with the Doctor are being handled. But Chris Chibnall's particular weaknesses as a writer, especially when it comes to plot, seem to trip my annoyance triggers hard. And while I think this incarnation of the Doctor being a kinder, nicer version makes a lot of sense in character terms (and manages to avoid feeling like a gender stereotype, fortunately), I long for Whittaker to be allowed to have just a little bit more of an edge to her. Now. All that having been said, I actually really thoroughly enjoyed the New Year's special. In fact, it got me feeling all excited about the show again... just in time to launch us into a hiatus of more than a year. Sigh.

Current happy thing: I always get weirdly happy at the turn of the year about having a whole new year's worth of reading in front of me. This time I'm going to make even more progress through the TBR shelves, I'm sure of it!

Current thought: A raise of the glass to all of you who have been really loving the current era of Doctor Who so far. Lots of people are, and I am delighted for them! And am trying not to be jealous. After all, in Steven Moffat's run I already got a version of the show that -- while I certainly can't say it never made any missteps -- hit my own personal fannish buttons really well and made me feel very satisfied and happy. And it's somebody else's turn for that now. That's pretty much just how Doctor Who works.