Monday, November 30, 2009

Again?

Another Monday! And of course I barely slept last night, after staying up late and sleeping late for days. And the writing marathon. I think it leaves your brain spinning madly and unable to stop.

At any rate I was still up at 4, many hours after going to bed, and got up at 6 for facilities management, and then slept again until eight, when the alarm went off and the cat went into Wake The Human mode. He finally got me up by starting to shred the student papers I'd left on the floor. Whoops! I'm up!

Now I feel just terrible. It's my own fault, I realize this. I followed the recipe for Feel Terrible Monday Night Souffle perfectly.

Got about five or six papers still to grade, which is nothing, nothing! Except when you're zombified. Oooooof.

I'm all thrilled to discover that the Walmart house brand chocolate covered graham crackers (strangely delicious!) are no longer squares but have their corners cut off in the manner of Battlestar Galactica paperwork and dog tags and everything else. Awesome! I can't imagine why, though now that I've thought for .23 seconds, obviously it's because there's 1/4 less cracker per cracker. They must get a lot more of them out of a sheet of dough.

Math!

So anyway I just got done with Online and still have grading to do. I was hoping to get it all done during office hours, see. I COULD have. But it's more fun to spend it with students. And also, oh yeah, MY JOB.

Returned library books, checked out Bourne 1, 2, and 3. Why do male writers of a certain era feel that the explainy but flawed older male authority figure is so interesting? He really is not. I got deathly sick of that from Heinlein and I'm bored with it already with Bourne. I get that it's a plot device--he tells us things by telling the other characters things--but OOF.

It feels like being buttonholed by an old bore when you haven't even gotten to the buffet table yet.

Bourne Identity (the book) is making me think about how I used to react to strangers in the feral days (aka up until, oh, grad school--when I taught my first class) with this sort of blank risk assessment face. I just remember dealing with unknown people or known but terrifying people like friends' fathers by holding perfectly still and not making eye contact and being ready to flee. I mean, physically flee. And then I was wondering whether I am doing that again in these Days Of RAGING UNCERTAINTY. I think so, probably.

There are pictures of the blank risk assessment face. I've seen them! You've probably seen them here too. I feel like driving a bulldozer over the people who did that to a little kid. Jeez!

This afternoon got away from me, with the library visit and extended office hours hanging out-ness and post office hat mailing and all. So I didn't get to call a) Verizon to find out whether I can pay for an extra 5GB of data or do I just have to pay the overage fees of $.05/MB, which obviously will add up fast, nor did I call b) the agency to say, "Ooh, me! Me! Pick me!" But I will. Or maybe I'll just go in. They respond really well to just going in.

Today I was unclear about which things I actually remembered from my own past and which were from the book I'm writing. I kept getting book flashbacks, riding mower cutting grass, that smell of cut grass and exhaust and hot grease. That is a weird experience, to remember a place and people and things happening and then realize, oh, that is fiction. I think that means I'm doing it right, or possibly losing my grip on reality. Or both!

I want to get my work done so that I can go straight directly to bed and sleep a whole hell of a lot and get up in time to be ready for class tomorrow morning without my zombie face on. Zzzzzzzzzzzzombiezzzzzzzz.

Hey!!! I forgot to tell you! Remember the large feline sign I found in the yard? Well apparently every animal in town decided to walk around on my garden plot over the past few days to give me many exciting pawprints to look at! There are huge deer prints (moose?) and regular deer prints and little paws and weird-shaped middle-sized paws I can't figure out at all, maybe porcupine or skunk, but there are also big four-toed paws with a big rounded middle pad. With NO CLAWS. No claws means fox if it's little and bobcat if it's big. Dogs and coyotes all have claws that leave marks and this was soft mud so they would show up really well. Especially on the best print, which was pushed down and forward, so there's no chance claws wouldn't appear.

No claws and three inches across means bobcat prints, oh boy! So cool! Mountain lion prints are five inches across. Thank goodness, not that.

I suspect all those animals were all over the yard, not just in the garden. But the garden is good for prints. Was there a wildlife party at my house the night before last, or what?

It occurs to me that snow will be excellent for showing prints also. Snow is coming soon!

I have to get my Christmas tree, dude. OH BOY! I can't figure out where to put it. Maybe in the corner by the bookcases, though. It's counterintuitive since it'll block a lot of shelves, but they're mostly DS9 on VHS right there. Have to measure the height of my room. Oh wow. I get to tie a tree on the roofrack, trunk first!

I am SO EXCITED about the Christmas tree, seriously. It's a weird year because I can't do any Christmas shopping until I get paid (or I suppose when the money's accessible since they mail a check, jeez) but it should add an element of planning and stress and excitement to the whole thing.

I haven't heard back from the brother about the EF visit yet, but hopefully he'll have news of some sort about whether the mother is coming up here. Eek, ack. I'm just hoping for a nice peaceful Christmas BY MYSELF like Thanksgiving was. NO FAMILY. I know, I have low aspirations, but isn't it better than horrific dread? I think so too. Prevention is better than cure.

Kitty and I will wake up and make tea and shovel snow (no doubt) and run around playing with things and reading books and sewing quilts and all that fun stuff, and in the afternoon I'll go for a walk along the road if it's clear of snow and in the woods if it's not. And D will call with an emotional crisis about her husband's family and we'll talk through that and by the end she'll be all cheered up. And maybe I'll cook fun food and bake pie and it'll be oh so nice!

Hopefully I'll be all employed and glad of my day off or something, right?

Two people just bought hats. Awesome!

Good, I'm not as shivery as before. I was so shivery I took my temperature but it's 97, totally fine. Just TIRED.

On to the grading, double triple oof with oof on top.

Yowza!

I did it! I want to do the Dora the Explora "We did it" song, only Siegfried the cat refuses to be my boots-wearing monkey. Aaack, children's television, get it out of my head!

Oh right. I did it! 50K of motley novel chunks! Hurray! It's all GOOD motley novel chunks, however, and will get spackled together into something awesome when I have about another 30-40 or maybe 50K more of it to replace the parts that clearly have to get taken out. I mean, seriously, there are some parts that need to go.

But that's okay! That is like the fabric around the pattern pieces.

I have tomorrow's papers done, for which: phew. I did them first, of course. I have a bunch more grading to do, though.

Maybe now that my gigantic self-imposed deadline has passed, I can get on to worrying about the massive real life panic situation like MY JOB ENDS IN TWO WEEKS. Aaaaaack!

I am having job fantasies, which are not helpful, but fun! I think that's one of the best things about writing a whole blooming lot. My brain gets really good at having fantasies.

Here's one: a certain awesome tv show sets up shop in Vancouver and totally hires me to work there! And I do! And it's fabulous and I work there for seven years and then move on to another show and then another one and the upshot is I live happily ever after, making tv in Vancouver!

I like that one. I also have a dog, of course!

Here's another one: Dark Horse totally hires me on to do awesome things, and I work there, and it's fabulous! They are in Portland, OR, see. Hurray! In this fantasy I get to sew quilts and make marmalade and do other fun stuff with Jen! And see all my many friends in the northern Oregon extremely high friend density zone! And all my wonderful L.A. friends visit all the time because it's right there and we get to go out to eat and drink fancy fun beer and go up Mt. Hood and have so much fun!

I really like that one too. Even though the Dark Horse part is a little murky.

I totally credit the monster walk yesterday with finishing NaNo today. It made me able to sit still! How cool is that? That walk was awesome. I was wearing my too-big black slip-on boots, so they kept getting all this gravel in them. I swear I stopped ten times to take them off and shake the gravel out. And I was wearing my brown jumper over a t-shirt and leggings, so the wind whipped through the sleeves of my black fleece jacket and the insides of my elbows got really cold, so I'd be walking along with my arms bent up at the elbows to keep them warm.

Also I had on my giant orange stocking cap that kept sliding around and falling off and mushing up my hair. It sticks to the jacket, see, so if I turn my head, my head turns and the hat does not. So there was all kinds of ongoing hat comedy for entertainment.

Today I realized that north of the house is not the lake. The lake is not north of the house. The lake is northeast of the house. Dude! Isn't it good I didn't strike off into the woods on any of those paths I considered? Because I'd still be out there. I have FAR too much self-preservation sense to try anything like that, believe me. I was a Girl Scout! Hello!

I've been thinking about Torchwood nonstop the way you do when you have a giant huge crush on someone. Who, ME? Get a giant huge crush on a TV SHOW? Imagine! I have most of season two from Netflix but of course I'll have to go out and buy the Torchwood Season 2 digibook in a slipcase of my very own one of these days.

I love those digibooks. Much better than the Buffy pozzolis. Remember when my job was to weigh and measure every single type of dvd packaging used by Warner Home Video and I ran around the astonishing packaging archive room finding examples of all of them? I know!

Well, digibooks were my favorite. They are like books but the pages are plastic dvd holders. Very heavy for the number of discs, however.

I am still fond of superslims in a slipcase, like Battlestar, though.

Okay so today I got the laundry done, graded tomorrow's papers, finished NaNo, did Online Job, took the turkey meat off the carcass (an ugly job), cooked myself dinner (okay, cooked asparagus and ate it with leftover turkey and mashed potatoes), and listened to The Tell-Tale Heart on Selected Shorts while cooking dinner.

I love that story! I was so in love with Poe from sixth grade on. We had a bookcase full of books in my classroom, so you could read when you were done with your work. Well, I was always done, so I read all the time, and the Poe book was my favorite. I must have read those stories fifty times that year.

When we had to write stories in class in seventh grade, I was the biggest Poe-voiced writer you ever heard. In fact I got in trouble for plagiarizing, except not *actually* plagiarizing--I didn't copy anything. I just wrote so much like Poe that they were sure I had ripped off the thing I wrote. Which I didn't. It was just an awful lot like The Cask of Amontillado in voice and tone and style. My mom gave them what for. I was unawed by their accusation because I knew I hadn't copied it from anywhere but she went ballistic. Yay!

I pretty much ripped off The Tell-Tale Heart in one of those stories too. I remember after a couple of them the teacher wrote a note saying something like, "Why don't you try writing something in your own style?" and I had no idea what she was talking about. Hee. I had to ask. Oh, so not a dark, macabre tale of chilling horror with an unreliable narrator, then? Okay!

So then I wrote this thing about the quest for the Balta-Goon Eagle, which I kind of can't remember now except it was a crusty old Colonel who was telling the story of how he went after this mythical bird back in the day and got it (or did he?) and how that changed his life.

They did not know what to make of me in Curtin Junior High School, that's for sure. I never spoke one single word unless absolutely forced and wrote these giant long stories and stomped around carrying my enormous baritone or cello, or sometimes both, and then joined basketball out of nowhere and was totally the star of the team because I was six inches taller than all the other girls.

That same English teacher had us read out loud from our favorite books, so I read from Heinlein's Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. YAY!!!

I read the part where Peewee breaks Kip out of the prison cell on Pluto where his cellmate got turned into soup for ghouls, so they're running around the base looking for the Mother Thing and he has to stomp on a Wormface's head with his bare feet and it crunches like a strawberry box. I love that part!

BEST BOOK EVER. Except for maybe A Cluster of Separate Sparks.

Okay, I have to go to sleep, if possible. I've been up way way way too late every night so I'm hitting the melatonin to try to cure vacation jet lag. It will probably work better if I actually take it instead of just thinking about it. Hmm.

Tomorrow I can worry about getting a real job and what to do about having used up my whole month's internet when the laptop (without asking) downloaded all kinds of Windows updates, and how to get the new sekrit to copy all of the files from the desktop computer without using the wireless, which it insists it has to do, but surely there's a way, right? Must call them up. I might end up with a home router which is annoying when there's ONE of me, but it might be necessary. Tomorrow! That is all worries for tomorrow. And those remaining five papers. Whoops, plus I ought to do my class prep at some point. Yeah!

Hurray for NaNo madness! Hurray for awesome Torchwood and all those glorious characters! Hurray for a fridge full of turkey and purple mashed potatoes and fresh fruit and veg!

Happy week, peoples!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh! Okay, then!

Figured out just now that the guy who ordered two hats hasn't paid. Phew! That means this one that's nearly done gets me up to date. YAY!

Good thing, because I have a lot of grading to do. And as much as I'd *rather* watch Torchwood and knit hats, the grading really does take precedence.

DON'T WANNA! WAAAAAAAH!

Okay, now that that's over. Heh.

It's nowhere near as much or as bad as I think, of course. I've already been through most of the stack of stuff a week and a half ago.

NO PROBLEM.

This is the psych yourself up part of the program.

And NaNo! I'm up to 44K and change, in which change is in the hundreds. Which means two bouts today ought to get me on to the home stretch.

I'm a little in dread of some kind of catastrophe tomorrow having to do with employment or spring or something. Seriously. I just checked spring enrollment and I'm down to ten, which isn't so good. That class could cease to be any minute.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe when school gets out.

I wish I could move to Vancouver and work in television! You know that's what I want. I would walk out of here in a second.

But Portland, OR is still my top practical dream location. (Can you have a top practical dream location?)

I'm all a-stew about what to do, but can't really deal with it right now due to other major things on the other major burners. I realize that sounds like I'm IN the soup as well as making it, but isn't that true, on a certain level? I know!

Plus I could be out of the frying pan and into the fire, if I'm not really really careful.

Thank goodness I have an absolutely stellar (stellar!) record in decision-making, especially about finances and when to move and where!

Ahahahahahahahahahaha! Cough, gasp.

Man, I really need a good job, so I don't HAVE to move until it's time for the grad school move. That's obviously the best option. DUH. Online Job is lovely but dependent on uncontrollable factors, so I don't know if I'll always have it, see?

These are the voyages of the Starship Crazypants.

I'm going to do the laundry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Far

Remember that day I accidentally walked seven or eight miles or whatever? Well, I did it again, only another route. It was really really outrageously ridiculously far. I only meant to walk down to the Bucksport road sign and back, however far that is, I forget. But then I thought I'd go down this Perkins Point road that leads to the lake and come back up the little power line cut.

Halfway down the mountain I was having QUALMS because about every twenty feet were signs about how Roy Perkins says NO TRESPASSING and no hunting from your car (seriously? people do that?) and don't do this or that or anything else.

Actually I'm not quite clear on whether you're allowed to go walking on roads that have a little PVT on the green official street sign anyway. I mean, it's just a road. I think PVT means the city or county doesn't plow or maintain it, but it's still just there--there's nothing to say DO NOT ENTER or any bars across it or anything.

Like I said, unclear.

I'd gone past the Perkins homestead on the way down the hill but after all those signs felt weird about going back past it again. Eep. So I kept on going. All the way down the mountain to the lake, all the way around one whole side of the lake, back along the lake road to the road I drive on to work, and then all the way up Long Hill Road. Which is APTLY NAMED.

I saw many things! Most of them were trees. But also, half a deer! The back half. Where is the front half? I do not know.

It was relatively near a house, which gave me pause. Because if you are a human, you don't throw half a deer in the woods fifty feet from your house, because of smells (ick) and predation and whatnot. So presumably it got hit by a car or something and some predators ate the front half, right? Still, wouldn't you think the humans would DO something about it?

Half a mouse is even alarming. I hope you never see half a deer. Except in a perspective kind of sense, where the other side is hidden by this side, right? Right!

I am VERY VERY TIRED. It took a million hours. I think three, actually, which means it was super far. Oy! I'm all sore and limpy and feel glorious, all ironed out.

I think I'm going to apply exercise to cure all my ills from now on, seriously. Tired? Exercise! Worried, anxious? Exercise a lot! It's a plan.

S and the outlaw and baby Julia came over for lunch. Actually S called at about 11:00 and woke me up, heh, and I called back and said, "Come on over!" and then scrambled around having a shower and stashing the dirty laundry and whatnot. They brought a chair for the outlaw what with how I don't have any and she is unbendy of the knees and uses a cane. So sitting on a cushion on the floor wouldn't be ideal.

Julia ran around like a happy little maniac and amazed S with how she knew where everything was, like rubber ducky and the various bunnies and all the cat toys. And the kitty, who got rousted out and ran into the kitchen looking a little wild-eyed and hid in the cupboards for the duration. Awwww.

Finally we had to put on Chicken Run to plant her in one spot long enough to eat.

My favorite thing was when I was making tea for the outlaw and Julia said, "What are you doing, Maggie?" and I said, "Making tea for Grandma," and she said, "Where's YOUR tea?" THAT KID IS SO AWESOME!!!

She also saw a finished Jayne hat and ran over and grabbed it and said, "Here's Maggie's hat!" and gave it to me. Yep!

After they left I ran around picking up all the cat toys and stuffed animals and then did my Online Job and then Jen was going for a walk and so I did too, because I am highly suggestible, though I don't think Jen suggested going for an epic hike of many miles on roads I maybe shouldn't have been on through all this misty forest during deer season wearing black and brown, though to be fair I also had on my reflective vest (thank goodness) and my giant blaze orange stocking cap, about which my brother said, "That hat makes you look like a Dr. Seuss creature." Which I take as a compliment.

It got dark while I was still heading up Aptly Named Long Hill Road. There were eerie howls in the woods, I am not kidding you, but I was comforted by the half a deer I'd just seen. For real. Because if I were a wild animal, I would eat the half a deer long before I'd eat the whole English professor. No matter how deliciously stuffed with turkey and cranberries the latter is.

Must find that shortcut down through the woods. Obviously the thing to do is walk out into the fields behind the house and go down the path and find out where it ends up. DUH. It's all torn up with ATVs though. Remember how nasty and rank and muddy it was in, er, July? Yeah! It might be better frozen.

I forgot that my prohibition about not going down paths you haven't gone up only worked with Griffith Park, where my house was at the BOTTOM of the mountain. Here it is at the TOP. Therefore the opposite rule applies, Einstein!

Gosh.

With dinner (i.e. devouring every food visible after eternal hike) I watched the end of season one of Torchwood, oh oh oh!

Spoilers? Really? Okay.

******

First of all, more sweet kissing for Capt. Jack, this time with Ianto, which I just adore. Lovely boys kissing boys! It's like cute boys squared! And you know Ianto is a fantastic character, sort of browbeaten and making coffee and cleaning up, plus they did all shoot his robot girlfriend full of holes. Plus not to harp or anything but that was awesome how Ianto held out his hand to shake and wound up getting a hug and kiss instead. Awww!

And our man Owen is back and forgiven and was very sad. No shooting the boss, Owen!

I'm such a huge fan of Gwen, I almost forget to say anything about it, but she's sort of the whole show for me. Gwen! If she likes someone, I like them, and if she's mad at them, I'm mad at them.

It made me wonder what it would be like to have a character like that and then have them like someone they shouldn't like, know what I mean? Is that season six Buffy? Maybe so. In which case, awesome! Anyway Gwen is brilliant, both as written and just the actress, who is astonishing. I loved how she sat by dead Jack forever and ever, waiting for him to come back, while we were all going, "He's not coming back," and "He has to come back, duh, he's the lead," and "He's really not coming back, is he?" and then she finally gives up and gives him the Sleeping Beauty kiss and walks away but then he wakes up, yay!

There's so much awesomeness I don't even mind the giant hoofed myth monster or the weird time jumper guy who can cause visions (huh?) or *some* things conveniently getting undone with the time rift reversal but not others (always problematic).

But come on, they have a memory eraser drug called "retcon." That is so ridiculously wonderful that I think I fell in love right there.

I wish I liked Toshiko more but she's one the show doesn't really give us a way to love, isn't that odd? I feel like using the code "on Stargate" for how she's treated. She's kind of on Stargate! Not given a life, not given good stories really. Not like the others, anyway. Even her alien girlfriend wasn't much of an emotional arc somehow and I didn't like the actress. Weird, huh?

So that's my one complaint. Give Toshiko more awesomeness! The end.

Mmm, Torchwood. So emotional! With aliens! I love how wrought up everyone gets. That's very Doctor Who, that high emotion. It makes a lot of other sci-fi seem incredibly emotionally stunted. Torchwood is exactly like Farscape that way, massive space opera that is complete wrenching, in all the best ways. In fact, when they brought them back from 1941, all I could think was: everything you want, you get, in the worst possible way. Which is so very brilliant.

Also: Eugene totally Starbucked. Aaaaah!

*****

End of Torchwood spoiler zone if anyone is worried about it.

News flash: they have discontinued my hat yellow! Ack ack ack! I guess that darker yellow was some leftovers from the back of the warehouse. I have to switch from Lemon Drop to Wild Mustard, which looks sort of greenish and dull, or comb the retail outlets for the last of the Lemon Drop, or who knows what. Madness!

Okay, I'm up to 42642 words, but I want to get much further today if I can, 44K or even 45K if possible, to make sure I hit 50K by the end of Monday. Hence this break for bloggery and mental rechargeation and possibly grading some papers, ew. Or I might do that all tomorrow, the paper grading. I'm going with my instinct to corral it and keep it from eating up many days. I think I might have ten papers total, not so bad at all.

Maybe tonight I'll even have a BATH. I am falling behind in my traditions! Friday night should be popcorn, but was not. Saturday night should be reading books in a boiling hot bath with an ice cold alcoholic beverage full of actual ice, but has not been since, ooh, forever.

Guess what I found out? Triscuits: not made with flour! They are made out of whole wheat, not whole wheat flour. I don't know what it means, but I ate some and I'm fine, which is AWESOME. Thanksgiving food, while delicious, lacks in crunch. I've been eating the fresh veg left and right for crunch crunch crunch but adding reasonably priced crackers adds a whole new realm of possibilities. Mmmm!

Okay, off we go to configure the sekrit and then come back and write another 2500 words. ROCK!

Temporal rift

I am sure that's what it was. I mixed up this weekend with next weekend, see? The invitation to the party clearly says December 4th, so I was like, "Cool, the Saturday after Thanksgiving." And since I live purely inside my own head, there is no one to say, "Um, honey?"

So I went to a game tonight that was not tonight! Which actually was fine because then I get credit for going (yay!) and got to come home and watch Torchwoods instead, oh boy!

Torchwood ate my book today. Oops. And errands ate my afternoon. In fact I'm not sure what exactly happened to today. Temporal rift! I'm telling you!

Today I got smitten with Owen on Torchwood but then he was kind of jerky and I got over it, but it was nice while it lasted. Normally of course there would be weeks and weeks for that transition, in broadcast time. Temporal rift! Aaaaaah!

I just got done washing the Thanksgiving dishes, in case people come over tomorrow, though I have not heard from S so I guess not? It's reasonably tidy in here, that's not the problem, but I am going to run out of the leftovers I offered them. I mean, I didn't make a boatload of anything but turkey. I have maybe two meals of everything else if I'm careful.

I'm sad about missing the game. I was all psyched to watch tall boys run around and exhibit skills! There were no cars on campus and the lights were off in the gym.

So Torchwood, huh? It's glorious! There was a beautiful thing with people from the 50s and lots of crabby hurting Owen and lovely Gwen getting pulled all these ways and having utter failure to cope. And the most wonderful dance between Capt. Jack and Capt. Jack, including much heartfelt smooching, and it was awesome!

I still feel like John Barrowman reminds me of someone I know, but who could that possibly be? Is this going to be like when Ed Helms looked really familiar, and then I found out we went to Oberlin together? Except he was in Tank and I was in Harkness. But I remember him in Tank, when I went to see Courtney there, after Courtney bailed on Harkness. You know, Courtney, who grew up with Lars.

Which is also weird, that people keep saying "Harkness," because that was my co-op and the center of the world for many years but it's not a word that comes up in conversation, see? I have to wonder if there's a connection. Someone somewhere back in Doctor Who land or Torchwood's genesis.

Or it could be a temporal rift! Maybe I will have told them once in the future many years ago!

Today I ran ALL the errands. Everybody on the planet was in the Walmart. Why? I got my cable but haven't plugged it in due to massive Torchwood marathon. Also I have to use the white digital tv that I don't use, because of the need for compatible jacks.

Man, that dance. That made me so happy.

There is some kind of typhoon happening outside and water is leaking in under the basement walls. Par for the course. Yawn. I'll vacuum it up tomorrow if it's still there.

Oh! D called as I was reformatting Hopeless Cases to send for grad school apps and talked me through the whole I'm playing a jazz piece for a classical music audition question. As in, the style of this writing is not the style that MFA programs want. It's popular, and they want literary.

But I eventually talked myself around to thinking that that might not disqualify me, if the writing is good enough (and I think it is) and with all the other things I have in the positive column, like all that teaching, including teaching actual creative writing.

Really when I grow up I want to write The Time Traveler's Wife, which is somewhere between popular and literary in style (it is, really) and is obviously sci-fi but in a sort of down to earth magical realism world and also totally breaks your heart. Like Connie Willis can do. Like Sarah Rees Brennan does. I mean, this is out there, so I can be out there too.

Hopeless Cases is not sci-fi. It's sort of Bourne Identity for classicist nannies. FOR REAL. It was funny to reread it today. There's a character called "my brother," for instance, whose name you never hear. Yay! Also it's mysteriously missing that last terrible section that makes me not write it anymore any time I read it. Where did that go? And can it stay away?

What a smart idea/good accident. Just delete the bad parts! I have Deletion Anxiety but it's incredibly freeing to just LOSE parts of it. You don't have to fix them because they're gone.

So really I didn't get a lot done on the apps today but I DID face the biggest issue and resolve it to my rationalization satisfaction, plus I faced the texts head-on and that is major indeed. Well, one text. I think everything else is sci-fi, isn't it? Or tv or screenplay. Massive amounts of that stuff, now unusable except to mine for goodness. It sure is full of goodness, too.

I am not sure but I think the repeated applications of turkey (taken internally) are kind of like wearing cement overshoes in quicksand. Because, oooooooof. Plus staying up too late then sleeping way too late is terrible for you. Must dial it back before school starts up again. Delicious sloth! But the wages require avoidance of sloth. Or something.

Errands, yes! Like taking my wool shirt to get dry cleaned, mailing a hat, buying flour and milk, and going by to look at my old Jeep, which either has been moved down a few or is gone--it was getting dark and raining like crazy and there's nowhere to pull over. They keep all the Jeep Grand Cherokees lined up along the road side of the lot, see. I think it's so funny to file cars. I'm 90% sure it just got moved down a few though. 95%.

Another hat done tonight, another one 1/2 knitted. I have no idea where I am in the list as someone else just bought one. Probably holding steady at four orders outstanding. Haven't even ordered that special new darker yellow for the guy who bought one and wants another one, for whom I need to make them match. But the red arrived today, total shock! It usually takes them much longer. Jeez, I am just barely going to make four with the yellow I have. Jeez! Better order more tomorrow.

I would put the finished hat out in the mailbox except for the typhoon and bears and mountain lions oh my! and the absolute pitch darkness and all that sort of thing. I just feel no percentage in going out there at night. The sheer adrenaline of it is not worth it, since by definition it's night, and then I won't sleep.

Oy I am dreading the endless commentary of the outlaw if they do end up coming over. You know, when someone comes into your home and sits there commenting on all of your things and making observations about you the whole time? You know how you want to stab them? Yeah. Now add in that person's need to make endless digs and jabs. Goodness!

But maybe they won't come! And I think she's leaving Sunday. Now that I've discovered all my commitments were IMAGINARY I feel kind of bad sticking S with all that time alone with her and a two-year-old all weekend. Eeek.

But I do have unholy amounts of work to do. Last slack day! Alas. Only 6-8 inches of grading, but it has to get done. Plus the rest of the application materials. Plus all that endless Online Job. Plus finishing NaNo. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! So much to do!

I'm really glad right now that the dishes are washed because I'm INCAPABLE of doing a lot of that sort of thing when the dishes aren't washed. It's true.

Off to bed, NaNo in the morning. You will just have to wait, Torchwood. For real! I'll have some knitting/Torchwood time tomorrow somewhere but I really can't afford as much as I did today.

Two more weeks of school. Yowza, huh? I'm going to miss my students! I need a job. Put that on my list of things to do also.

I can't stress out about any of that. It is the turkey talking! Or not talking! It is the turkey saying, "Relax, you'll do it, just keep at it and be calm." Meanwhile I'm in there somewhere hopping up and down and going, "Temporal rift! Temporal rift!"

Those basketball games? They are on the 1st, the 4th, 5th, and 12th. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE DATE IS! Daft, I tell you. I was so sure it was today, I drove to campus.

Plus, how about that ancient pre-Celtic stone head face, huh? What about that? First that soccer-playing Scottish student of mine and now Owen. They have the same face! Is it recessive? Is it those ancient genes coming through the overlying incoming population of successive migrations? I could draw you a map of the migrations but that face is the most amazing piece of genetic archaeology.

I wonder what ever happened to my old student? He was GLORIOUS on the field, so amazing to watch, because he cared so much about every second of the game and poured his whole heart into all of it.

If basketball doesn't live up to that, I don't want it. Even assuming I can get the day and month right and show up when they're actually playing.

Temporal rift!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Srsly!

I hit 40,000 words tonight. Outstanding! And surprising! Astonishing is more like.

I am so TARD I must go to bed right exactly now but that is an awesome fact thing there and I'm astounded.

Today was totally fun. Turkey took care of itself as always. I made szechuan green beans and purple garlicky mashed potatoes and a box of Annie's mac and cheese. And that's what we had!

Glorious, perfect turkey, cranberries, szechuan green beans, mac and cheese, purple garlicky mashed potatoes. The wonderful thing is how well those tastes and textures worked together. The only thing I don't like about traditional Thanksgiving is the blandness and sameness. This way you get zip and zing and spicy, sweet, tangy, smooth, everything at once. It was totally glorious and I'm not even kidding.

Even though the cat ate so much turkey he threw up, heh. Poor guy. He really loves turkey right from the oven.

He'll get more tomorrow when his tummy has settled down. Awww.

I successfully managed NOT to do any school work or Jayne hats today. Man, that Adam Baldwin is a right wing loon! Don't read his Twitter, is all I'm saying. Also he picked the comic book Jayne for his background, which...is that really the guy you want to identify with? Jayne Cobb: dumb as a rock, disloyal, sadistic. I mean, yeah, awesome as a *character*, and has a great hat his mom made him, but not really the guy I'd want to hang around with.

Oh! And my sekrit got derailed due to lack of a crucial cable. Must acquire cable! Which I fear means going out to a store tomorrow, possibly even (shudder) Best Buy. But maybe I can go lateish in the day, en route to the basketball game. Why do they play basketball at 8:00 at night? Jeez, people! At least it's a Friday.

How long do games last?

When have I even gone to any sport that's not soccer, wow. Um...when Dennis and I went to see the Philadelphia Flyers play hockey, which puts it in about 1999. Is that true? No, I went to a Willamette football game with Becky and Diana and made them mad by saying, "That guy who catches the ball should try running somewhere else. There's always all those big guys where he keeps going to." Oh, I guess you're not supposed to talk about that.

Well, they kept running the same plays and none of them worked. Mix it up a little, football!

I don't get football.

Man, I ate one meal today. I did. I had a slice of pie for breakfast at 11, then made the massive dinner for 4:00, then had another slice of pie at 10.

I decided not to make yams. I eat yams all the time. I had a yam plan but it was a yam sham.

Of course you realize from that that I watched most excellent Buffy Thanksgiving episode Pangs with my purple garlic mashed potatoes and szechuan green beans because I am all about TRADITION here, people!

I always forget just how totally funny that episode is. Yay! But I do NOT forget Spike going, "A bear! You made a bear! Undo it! Undo it!" Because that's what I intend to say if I ever run into one on the way to the compost pile LO some misty twilight, failing to see the actual bear due to watching the yard to avoid stepping in its poo.

Speaking of which--what is a post without discussion of wildlife poo?--I looked at my brother's scat book and discovered that what I found is actually far more likely to be mountain lion poo than the other big cats. Which means I have to report it to the state, who will go, "Har har, silly little liberal arts person, this is actually [something else entirely innocuous] but have a donut on your way out."

But maybe in the process I'll met the super awesome ranger of my dreams! So it could work out for the best. Plus then, what a great story, huh? We met when I handed him a ziplock of mountain lion/bobcat/lynx poo!

I mean, hell yeah!

I am nervous and excited about my foray into a new sports viewing arena tomorrow. This is a sport I actually understand really well due to having played it for a whole year as a starting forward, rah rah! I am always a forward in whatever sport. Forward! Excelsior! So it won't be like football where I'm scratching my head as to why anyone would design a sport to be 98% frustration modeled on bighorn sheep bashing their skulls together.

Plus, tall cute boys! I met one in the parking lot a few weeks ago by accident. He read my Oberlin sticker out loud and said, "I almost went there," but didn't see me by the car--he was talking to his friend. But we ended up chatting about Oberlin and that is always fun. He looked kind of like Seal and had a wicked stutter but I betcha he's a great player.

Some of the other ones say hi to me which is weird and unsettling because a) so tall and b) why? Though I know why, because one of them who's in my class told me they were all talking about their English professors and apparently most of them aren't learning squat. At least that's the way he put it when telling me. I suspect the conversation was more like our guy saying, "Bleah, mine makes me do way too much work!"

In short (heh) excited about new sport-going fun times, we hope--please let it not suck since I'm driving all the way over there on my day off. But either way it's a fun new thing and I'm glad I'm doing it, Miss In A RUT, for goodness sake.
S seems surprised I have plans for every day (why?) but I thought it was important. Plans! Woohoo!

Tomorrow must buy: HDMI cable, gallon of whole milk, white flour, small quantities of manly blue calico. Unrelated projects, rest assured.

But the MAIN project is to cope with grad school apps. Wish me luck! And no despair! I might have a total despairing meltdown, I'm aware of this. I will do my best not to, but it's a severe hazard of even thinking about grad school. Yoicks!

There was a brilliant quotation from Robert Ludlum about how modern fiction is all about existential angst and how he was a storyteller and that's what people really want from books, but it was on the extras of Bourne Identity and so it's not that easy to quote. And someone else said that he wrote books people actually wanted to read. Imagine!

I'm trying, heaven knows. I would put a Robert Ludlum action figure on my television shrine if I had one, just to remind me of that.

Oh right! So TARD! Right exactly now! Heh heh...are you even surprised I'm making up my word count so fast? I don't know why I am. Words. WE GOT THAT. Plus, my goodness, the Moby character has changed the book. For the infinite better, yes! I think he's about to disappear because the whole book, honestly everything I write, is completely Bourne Identity the whole time. Someone who doesn't really know what's going on but is under extreme pressure and things keep changing and they have to stay afloat/alive and figure out the mystery and get out safe at the end.

It's just that this time it has graphic novels and great-aunts and local history and the Bryson Grant and oral history/mystery and Kid Rock upstairs and a bakery to run and an art professor who looks like Moby. So there you go.

Man, I want a MOBY action figure! Yeah! Will Captain Picard do in a pinch? Hee!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's FROZE

The turkey was still frozen, natch. I was giving it a nice warm bath in the sink (I know you're supposed to use cold, but cold water [and frozen turkeys] are like razor blades on my hands, so OH WELL) when D called in an I-was-up-all-night state about the general frakkedness of their house-buying venture.

You know that stuff my mom does? Similar. Only it's her husband's mom and it's about their HOUSE. They've been trying to buy the mom's house (where they have been living for what, two years? more? since the mom lives in Florida) for years now, but she hems and haws and changes her mind and instead of letting them buy it OR pay rent, keeps stringing them along.

I know. It's so familiar! She will say they're going to do something, then come up with new conditions, so they have to get the lawyer to change the contract, or insist they can't afford it, or put it off, on and on.

Poor D! I can't even imagine. It's bad enough with the car, with just me. Imagine if I were a family of four, two of whom were not even school age? YOICKS.

Fortunately I had already managed to yank the frozen neck out of the turkey's cavity by this point, but I still never did find a bag of giblets. There are only a few places to hide such a thing. It's just not there. The package said giblets, but maybe they meant the neck, I guess?

ANYWAY.

The pie she was making while we were on the phone did not work either. It was her second attempt of the day.

I'm never sure whether it's good that we talk so often, in case we're somehow reinforcing these things or making them worse. Is that possible? I don't think so, really. Obviously we're in similar situations with similar frustrations, so it's very good to know someone else is having the same problems--someone with the same background and education and all. And someone who's met my family is great to talk to. She gets it. And I've met all of hers, too, so I get all of that.

I hope I never meet this mother-in-law person, though. Barb. Isn't that an awesome name for a person who is sort of a thorn in her flesh and can't be yanked out?

I just wish the outlaw had a better adaptive name.

You know if I ever meet a Potential Guy Person whose mother is named Alice I'll quake in fear.

Did I tell you I met this great statistician adjunct at the copy machine on Tuesday? He had the best voice. I liked him. If our school were not so unrelentingly divisive, I probably would have met him ages ago. J and I ran into each other on the way to the stupid meeting on Monday and were marveling that we have never seen each other all semester in a school this size. It really is just amazing how separate we're kept.

Hi! I need to eat breakfast along the way here eventually. Oh, I mean lunch. Yeah, I overslept by a lot and woke up with a nasty cold kind of thing, which is UNFAIR because I just got over being sick. Shouldn't there be a required cooling off period or something? A buffer zone? Virus/bacteria DMZ? Maybe it's some kind of outlaw reaction. Brrrrr.

At some point I'll have to go poking about the innards some more (the turkey's, not mine)(or the outlaw's, heaven forbid) to see whether an hour in the oven has revealed any new potential giblet hiding places that were obscured by frozenness.

Right. Vacuum, mop, shower, go play with/configure sekrit fun thing and hopefully make it work! Hurray!

Sudden strong urge to hear the beloved Pink Floyd album of my youth, Obscured By Clouds. Want! I think I still have the record itself in the garage but no record player, sadly. Oh my golly I listened to that album so many bazillions of times. And Dark Side of the Moon. And all of those. Ummagumma! Meddle! I had to get my friend Rachel to source them for me like contraband because of course I had no money and wasn't allowed to work. Good heavens. I listened to these all the time! In between writing symphonies and practicing my cello and writing out Latin paradigms and conjugations and declensions.

Yay!

Isn't this funny? There isn't an in-focus jpg of it out there because it's out of focus to begin with. I never thought how hard it would be to take a picture of that! And so you get one with a sticker on it, to keep the image clear.

Not Alice

I so wish that someone was named Alice so I could rename her Malice. She really is vicious. She will pick and pick until she finds something that gets under your skin. I have to give them credit for surviving five or six hours under the same roof with her today. I only snapped two or three times in four hours! Yay! Of course, he has that military intelligence training for restraint.

She's a nightmare, seriously. I want to write a character like that who CAN be named Malice.

It was fun to see S and the little bunny though.

Okay, I'm up to 36K legitimate words, which means 14K to go in five days, which is what? Less than 3K a day, isn't it? I suck at math, clearly, because I thought I needed 6K a day yesterday. Pay no attention to my flailing math attempts!

I'm awfully fond of the Moby character. I am having SEVERE Moby malaria right now, I can't even tell you! Yowza. It recurs.

Wouldn't it be awful to have a relationship like that? Actually I did--that's how the ex-fiance was about me. He had Maggie malaria. It was VERY CONFUSING. I think he had serious, major psychological problems, I have to tell you. How do they find me? Go away, them!

I'm smitten with Vampire Weekend and it's all Meg Cabot's fault for posting a link to the video of Cousins on Twitter. So fun!

Also like everyone else on the internet today I watched the Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody and laughed my fool head off for sheer awesomeness. Hurray!

I do not think I'm getting up especially early tomorrow to engage in poultry immolation. I think it can frelling wait. I am TIRED. I had to make tea at 9:00 because my eyes were closing and S was on call until 10:00. Well, she's on call all night, but someone else would admit her patients after 10:00, if they needed to be admitted.

So the only way she'd have had to go in is if someone came to Emergency with acute leukemia, she said. It boggles my mind, the responsibility. It's bad enough having someone's freshman English grade in my hands, jeez.

Anyway this Moby guy is interesting (the character in my book, not the techno guy) and has changed things around a lot. I still feel at 36K words that I haven't written a quarter of what needs to go in yet. But on the other hand, there's a metric whole bunch of material that needs to go on the compost heap with my immature freshmen. So to speak.

Today I took the compost out and there was this huge red pickup with the big hips, you know the kind? parked in the next field, with two hunters putting on their camo overalls and their bright orange coats. These guys at least carried their guns pointing down. Do you know why hunters who carry their guns pointing up make me nervous? Yes, you do! Because what goes up must come down and I live right nearby.

D had a whole rant at me last week about that, because she likes to rant at people as if she knows things they don't, in this shouty manner that makes me hold the phone away from my ear and wonder whether I want to talk to her quite so often. She was all, GUNS ARE DANGEROUS! POINT THEM DOWN! BULLETS CAN KILL YOU YOU KNOW! and I'm all, Sshhhhhh, damn, and also I KNOW, hello, I'm the one who told you. And shhhh.

I have said things to her about that since 1985 (like "Stop yelling at me" and "I KNOW, jeez") but I think it's just one of those Friend Quirks you roll with. Obviously since this is now 2009 and she's still doing it and I'm still squinching up one eye and holding the phone away from my head when she does.

Can we call it circular closure so I can go to bed? Okay!

Goodnight, everybody! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hand grenade arbor


What do you think of this Ektorp couch with the hand grenade vines? $499 at Ikea. Do couches come flatpack or in pieces at all or what's the deal there? (Two packages, one of which weighs 133 lbs....whoa.)

I'm unreasonably smitten with the hand grenade arbor pattern of this couch. Well, it's blue! And less liable to show up cat hair than a plain pattern! I would have to try it out in person, however. Some Ikea furniture is all crummy and uncomfortable.

Oh, it's just furniture fantasies. But one day! Couch will I have! Mmm, yes. Sorry, turned into Yoda for a moment there.

Party!

On the 5th. Saturday, right? Yeah! I am going to the president's party, which is (of course) in the Campus Center, which is where I have office hours. So it's not all that exciting. Ideally they're at the president's big old mansion or whatever and you get to look at the fancy stuff and have a fun time.

At least I know where to park at this one, though. And who knows who I might meet? People, that's who! Could be fun. I don't know anyone else who's going but the whole faculty was invited so I'm kind of psyched.

I'm also going to a basketball game on Friday and looking forward to that. I'm not sure I'll like it, but I won't know unless I try, right?

I'm curious to see whether playing style is a factor. You know there are soccer teams I won't watch because they play like jerks, or do lazy sloppy stuff like kicking the ball the length of the field in the air. Lame! I just don't know whether basketball is the same way. We'll see!

Mmm, I'm full of veggies and onion dip. And an orange. Living large, that's me.

Today I my first class got out early, then I went to hang out in the Campus Center and do Online Job and whatnot, but I kind of lost track of time and also that nice boy (not one of my students) came to talk to me so we were having a fun and energetic conversation about how it's practically illegal to say anything nice about globalization when my student dashed in and ran over to me and said, "We need you in class."

I had forgotten to go to class. Wow, huh?

In my defense, one of the class members was right there in my line of sight and had waved at me and I waved back, so it hadn't crossed my mind it was time, though mainly I just wasn't thinking about time--like I thought there was another hour or something.

Usually I leave one class and rush to the other. I don't even know what time the second one starts. Oy. Numbers! I suck at numbers!

So we gathered up my stuff--I was totally camped out--and I asked the student why he didn't say anything and he said, "I was waiting on you!" and I said, "I was waiting on you!" and everyone felt like a goofus and I was late to my own class. Sheesh!

Anyway.
That's a new one, huh? Forgetting about my class? I can't think I've ever done that before, though I vaguely remember Willamette students coming to my office to get me when some student had kept me delayed.

Pretty funny, though, right?

I think I'll totally blame that student for lulling me into a false sense of security.

I'm FREEZING, ack, what is up with that? You know I just ran and checked my temp and it was a happy 97.4, up from 96.6 yesterday. I'm all mystified how to read that sort of thing. Is my normal low or is it always low from normal? See what I mean? Like if 96.6 is normal then I have a bit of a temp now, right? Or what? I think the lowest was Monday with 96.1. I don't think it's ever gotten down below 96, has it? Seriously, though, I'm verging on hypothermia sometimes but just running around doing my thing.

So I'm all busy and stuff! Tomorrow I have to wait around all day for FedEx, who came today when I was home but they didn't know I was here. They didn't knock and you can't see lights in the front if I'm in the back. Jeez! So I got a note. I left THEM a note saying to use the front door knocker--there's a thought--but I have to wait for them.

So tomorrow is the day to clean the house, launder, bake pies, make certain side dishes like cranberries, and hopefully go to the library before heading to Stately Burns Manor to be baby backup in case S has to go to the hospital.

Babysitting the outlaw (she needs watching more than the baby) isn't big fun but when the oncologist on call has to go to the hospital, you can bet her day is going to be a lot less fun than anyone else's. Except maybe the patient. I mean, it's not going to be anything good. They hardly ever call and say, "Miracle cure! Come on in!" See what I'm saying?

I get to see baby Julia! AWESOME!!!

So SBM Wednesday, Thursday I get to have a lovely Thanksgiving and do whatever the hell I want (NO GRADING), Friday is the game where I'll be one of about ten people in the stands, the rest of them parents who are my age, Saturday is the president's party, and Sunday I get to get ready for classes on Monday.

AWESOME!!!

How weird would it be to have a giant adult son? That gives me vertigo. I don't usually imagine such a thing--I am used to cats and dogs.

I really like meeting students' families, out of sheer people-fascinated nosiness. It's like adding extra dimensions to the person!

Look what else is on the schedule, oh boy: Turkey sandwiches! Torchwood! (Gotta get season two somewhere.) Quilting! Lying about all full of turkey and vegetables, reading books! Knitting until I can't knit no more!

And the SEKRIT that FedEx is bringing me. Aha, didn't catch that, did you? It is TBA. I absolutely have to get it tomorrow or I will be Put Out. Or possibly Vexed.

Bah! Frozen. Let's go do fun stuff that doesn't involve sitting at a computer, huh? Yeah!

I love these black jeans but they are undeniably too short. Must acquire black winter boots that cure that situation and coincidentally keep my feet warm and dry. Boots that are higher than my anklebones.

OH BOY so excited about the break! SO VERY EXCITED!!! Even with grad school apps in the middle I am still very very excited!

A culinary flashback/preview:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Elana! and the 24 hour protocol

Lookit! Elana and Husband Guy are writing this thing and you should all read it!

Also I just read all down the page and whatnot and a) Husband Guy is awesome and eloquent and busted me up and b) I think I just instituted a 24 hour lockdown on complaints, though I'm not sure I can live up to that. We'll see!

It's because I already have the Good Things About Yesterday policy that really affects the quality of life blah blah blah. You know, where you think, "What are the good things about yesterday?" and all of a sudden you are dancing around the meadow with puppies and butterflies. It's true!

I am way better about yesterday than today.

One thing at a time, jeez!

So what if I try to get that perspective thing by actually waiting for...perspective?

It totally might not work though. I have no conversations with people except students in office hours so my head might explode. Seriously, you should try this, except don't, because then YOUR head will explode. But imagine if you will a life in which you do not speak to humans, except college students, and that only briefly, and only about work.

Ugh, I'll get all upset if I try to remember the last actual conversation I had, because I think it was Maine Jane and that was weeks ago. You know, not counting listening to D rant on the phone or trying to make plans with my brother to babysit the outlaw or to get the trailer I'm not getting via the car I don't own.

I mean, like, FUN! Right? Yeah!

So anyway the 24 hour protocol might not work. If I don't tell y'all, where will it go? My head will go kablooey.

There is an argument to be made that telling y'all doesn't count and my head has already gone kablooey, but I don't know, what with how I live in it.

End parentheses.

I'm kind of having giant big eyes and palpitations because Elana freaking CODED on the table and that is NOT OKAY for crying out loud, holy crap, people.

She just emailed me back, yay! Because it means she's okay! Also, how nice is that? Newborn in the house, post-op, barely functional, and she finds the energy to email thanks for the otter noses. Oh my goodness gracious.

I'm so glad you're okay, Elana!

Not even the second cup of hot chocolate is working. Dang it! You know WebMD actually recommended hot chocolate for people who self-medicate with carbs for the serotonin effect. Which I am only allowed to mention because I was totally doing that exact thing anyway without knowing that's what it was. You should see the can of hot chocolate mix I got a couple of weeks ago. It's the size of a big coffee can.

Oh yeah, plus? Hannaford totally has coffee beans in bulk. They're just by the bakery and the deli, not in the aisle where the coffee is. My mind is still in Albertson's. And Safeway, for that matter.

I have got to figure a way out of this, I am not kidding. I know it's all Sideshow Bob and the rakes but I don't seem to be laughing. Maybe you only laugh when you're not the one stepping on the rakes! Aha!

Deep meaningful truth or something. I have to grade more papers.

Uphill!

I am noticing a pattern about Mondays, which is to say, they are not so good. But not the day of Monday. The evening. Oh well, one way or another I only have two more in the semester so whatever the issue is will work itself out soon, right? Right!

Seven more days of class meetings. Woohoo!


I have to tell you, this laptop is giving me major headaches. Vista, man. Why so difficult all the time? Why is the wifi so slow through here? Why won't it remember my touchpad settings when I shut it down and restart it, when everything else stays the same?

Oh, I'm having one of those Cosmic Despair days. Jeez. Bleah. It's still partly fallout from the latest hatebomb, I know it, but somehow knowing it doesn't make it get any better. How do you make stuff like that better? Seriously. How?

The post office closes at 4:45, did you know that? ME NEITHER. I got there at 4:50 because the meeting went on too long. It's okay, I didn't get to knit the earflaps on the second hat today anyway, between people hurling chairs around and dropping pianos and feeling dreadful because of the emotional plague.

Okay, okay, I have papers to grade still tonight, I think twelve of them or so. I will do that. I'm focusing on the GOOD THINGS I get to do afterward, namely:

*watch more Torchwood, which is awesome
*finish that quilt for Amy's baby
*apply to grad schools and acquire non-sucky future
*write NaNo novel and regain writing optimism
*apply for local jobs assiduously to satisfy moral imperative despite feelings of utter local employment hopelessness, la!
*clean and clean and clean and appreciate the glorious cleanliness
*cook and cook and cook and appreciate the glorious cookliness
*decorate the place up, dude! sparkly snowflakes! icicle lights! anorexic gumby snowmen!

Thank goodness I got through the end of season one of Sanctuary. Dear oh dear. They got this new very bad actress who waves her arms in parallel motions all the time and is very mannered in a dreadful way. I'm not sure I can stand season two. On the plus side, I don't have to! Yay!

I have a no doubt schlocky Stargate movie up next. Woohoo?

I think this is funny: that 2nd degree soup burn I got on my arm blistered up and now is an angry red mark that looks exactly like a cigarette burn, perfectly round and that size precisely. It's just such a bizarre and unlikely thing.

Okay, today. Get better. Hup hup! I will make hot chocolate because that's a guaranteed way to cheer me up, and I'll grade the frelling papers because then they'll be done. Right! Rah, rah! I know those bootstraps are around here somewhere....

Big academic sister to you too

Aiyiyi, someone has been emailing me cryptically all afternoon.

Weird day. I wanted to wear my pony skirt but the elastic had gone all hard and mutated, probably left in the dryer too long or got too hot, so I had to take that out and replace it this morning. Should have been a 30 second job but I'd sewn the elastic onto the waistband for once, so I had to unpick the black stitches on black fabric before my first cup of tea, woe!However, now I can wear my wonderful pony skirt again and that is deeply awesome.

Other major weirdness: the maintenance people broke a leg off the grand piano while moving it, so it fell to the wooden stage floor with the loudest, most awesome noise I've ever heard. It sounds like a simile. Ha! See what I did there? Hee. It does, though, it sounds like a simile instead of a real sound you'd ever hear. "It sounded like a grand piano falling on to a wooden stage floor." Right? But it was reality! Hurray!

I'll be watching for someone to drop an anvil or a big barbell that says 1000 LB on each side.

The maintenance people made me move out of my spot (of course) so they could put things there, but then they didn't, so I'm freezing by the woodpile for no reason. Harumph.

Did I mention it's a weird day?

But: I got Online Job all done, so that's a big weight off my mind. I'm always terrified I'll forget to post my materials on Monday. They HAVE to go up Monday for the upcoming week. There is actually no way I would ever forget but I'm constantly afraid I will, if that makes sense.

Issues. I know.

Having office hours and trying to explain to a student how to make his paper better while people are making ungodly amounts of noise hauling chairs around us did NOT thrill me to bits, is all I'm saying.

I do not like being right about sucky things! Do not cancel my spring classes, school! Even though I totally think you are about to!

So I've been learning about serotonin and how people self-medicate with carbohydrates and all sorts of truly fascinating things. I had no idea! Brain chemistry. Whoa! The idea I think is to try to get these positive brain chemicals going without filling your face with food. Fascinating! Far-fetched? Fantasy?

I'm supposed to work on imagining really good things because that helps, or something? If possible, without having them veer off into DISASTER and HEARTBREAK and WORST THING EVER which is my biggest imagination problem. At least, I can certainly acknowledge that the panic/disaster feelings are probably not releasing bunnytonins into my brain. I accept that those things are probably making things worse.

Still, I'm a little better at tackling jobs and just doing them from beginning to end lately, without seeing the whole enterprise as FRAUGHT WITH INFINITE PERIL AND CERTAIN DOOM such that my hands shake and I can't see it going any way but badly. Better! Somewhat! Okay!

Work in progress. Heh. I'm sure that'll go well DOOM DOOM DOOM.

Oh wow. The clock stopped! In the campus center! Madness. Good thing I noticed before I was late to my dreaded meeting.

Yes, I know, I was doing great up until I got another hateful mailbomb of always ever more no no no last night. That really does splatter me all over the place, doesn't it? I have no idea what the solution to that is, other than that she could stop being so EVIL, but I don't really see that happening any time soon.

Oh boy, they're just bolting that piano leg back on. Guy with a drill just went past. The Oberlin Conservatory piano techs would have a complete conniption right now. Also, I can't imagine they really know the force that's in the bentwood frame of a piano or they would not be screwing around with it. Pianos contain an incredible amount of force from the many tightened strings.

Have you ever broken your cello string or a guitar string? Now imagine that times 88 except much more because they are huge heavy strings and twice as long. Piano techs tell horror stories of people who have been cut in two or had limbs severed into a series of pork chops. Think of garrotes, right? Only lots and lots of them.

Time to go! At least out of range!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Take it out of the freezer now!

Oh, I just did. Turkeys take a day per five pounds, apparently? You know what, if it defrosts early, I will cook it early, big whoop. Honestly I'm a little flexible on the whole when you cook the bird thing.

But I'm really looking forward to T-day. Oh yes!

I'm supposed to go run interference on the outlaw on Wednesday, when S is on call. You can't leave the baby with the outlaw because she's not exactly compos mentis, is the thing. Crazy as a flipping loon is another way to put it.

So I get to spend the evening with the dreaded outlaw but it's okay, holidays are for kindness to people and stuff! It's my version of working in the soup kitchen, maybe? Except with PIE!

Note to self: make pie.

Tomorrow there's a dreadful meeting. But not showing up isn't really an option unless I'm all about slamming doors in my own face with my hand still in them. Me, I like to keep doors open. Open! Mmm, possibilities.

So how are you, bunnies? What's up? I'm 6.6K behind on NaNo as of midnight tonight, which still isn't all that dreadful, given Thanksgiving coming up, but I'd like to get it somewhat caught up at least tonight.

All that lovely sleep I've gotten this weekend is really helping. My temp went back down into the mid-97s and I look way less like a warning picture illustrating some kind of moral downfall following some kind of unspecified vice. Also, I trimmed my bangs back to straightish, which helps. Crooked isn't really ideal.

That spinach/white bean/bacon soup/stew/sludge has been an absolute godsend for my Time Of Fluness, really sticks to your ribs. Between that and the pudding and the oatmeal I think I've been eating the healthiest colloids in creation. Goop rules! Goop for every meal! Honestly I think it helped somehow. Though I couldn't really articulate how.

Maybe it's like that penitential pasta. The pure unenjoyability confers the benefits of suffering. Except I don't buy that one bit and anyway I love oatmeal and cheerfully endure healthy sludge and definitely ADORE chocolate pudding with a capital ADORE.

It's like soup, except all thick. It won't fall off your spoon. I call it sludge and I don't think that's unfair.

Something's giving me a random intermittent sharp pain along the hypotenuse, like twanging an electric string, but I don't know what. It goes TWANG and I go "Ow ow ow!" and then it stops and I forget. What is that? I figure muscles from sitting upright in a penitential backless stool all day yesterday. Oh it's along the middle of my stomach to the right side, vertically. In case you don't have a hypotenuse or got yours surgically removed after a tragic zeppelin incident in ought seven.

SO, yeah, I have work still to do tonight. To wit:

*write somewhere between zero and 6667 words of my novel
*finish this hat so I can mail it tomorrow
*prep for class but that seems to work best in the morning lately

And tomorrow:

*teach my class, except it's mostly presentations, if they show up
*remember to show up to that meeting in the afternoon
*take some of my 13 papers to grade so I can use all the waiting around time productively

Tomorrow I'll get another ten or so research papers and a stack of Online Job. But that has a week for turnaround time. Phew!

It's going to be okay!

The biggest awesome thing was getting that work done today, 15 papers, as in NOT the day before they're due back. How about that, huh? All that emotional maturity and whatnot? Are you so impressed? It sure will make tomorrow suck less.

I found MS Word on the blue laptop, hurray! I'm having to learn Vista and also the new fancy Word, which I think is actually 2007 or something and not really that new. But new to me. Highly unfamiliar. Or was. I think I have it now. Oddly difficult to find the double/single space thing, though. Don't worry, I'll get it!

Hats hats hats. I ordered a bunch of red for earflaps but I'm going to run out long before it gets here, like tomorrow. Or Tuesday. With outstanding orders that need to get mailed. Ack! Maybe I'll swing by the yarn store and see if they have any, huh? The yarn store where I've ordered it twice and received it never. Hmmm.

Also this guy ordered a second one so I can't send him one using the yellow I have now, but need to get more of the new yellow they're making. They change shades in the fall for some of the colors. My goodness, hats are complicated things, aren't they? End irony function.

Thanksgiving is coming. Yay! What are you doing? Are you cooking of the foods, or traveling to the relatives, or relaxing by the light of the silvery moon?

I'monna call the agency tomorrow and see if I can get a gig to start December 14th. Maybe! You never know! It's a temp-heavy time of the year, right?

Also? After Thanksgiving I get to DECORATE! With those icicle strings of lights and whatnot! Soon I get to get a REAL TREE! Oh boy!

Wednesday is designated Clean The Hell Out Of The House Day around here, to take care of all the long ages of not really cleaning very thoroughly.

(That is the understatement of the year, by the way. But I don't want to alarm anyone. Well, I just haven't been sweeping or vacuuming, is all. The important things are clean. Just not the floor. Oooh.)

And Friday is designated Cope With Grad School Day. Oy. Then there's grading to do in there somewhere also, natch.

So anyway. Things to do. Some of them fun! Yay!

People are all people, even the other people. I swear!

Moderately ranty post over at Story on the Brain about what Stargate Universe needs counseling for, mainly gender issues and the inability to imagine women as full human beings. Ahem.

Yes! I caught up on the show last night. And I do love it, I do, but it's one of those shows you turn off and then go, "Wait a minute..." because it is so full of sins of omission. It's easy to be enthralled by the plentiful awesomeness but afterward (or even duringward) the glaring lacks kind of, well, glare. And lack.

I've been avoiding other people's commentary on the show since I wasn't caught up, but even so I've caught rumors of gender problems. And lo! There they are! Dude.

It could be SO AWESOME if they just gave the women characters three dimensions and arcs and backstory and ambitions and strengths and weaknesses. Imagine! I think I'm eight episodes in, so I'm kind of losing hope. They have amazing actresses and give them essentially nothing to do. Ugh.

Anyway. I'll keep watching because of the plentiful good things, like our man Jamil Walker Smith who is such a fantastic actor and turns every little throwaway line into something a thousand times better. He is a genius, I am not kidding. And Brian Jacob Smith is also astoundingly good, for real, that kind of clean acting where you are overwhelmed by whatever he's doing. So very good.

I can't discount all the weaknesses but the things that are good are so very, very good.

In fact I'm kind of mad the way I would get at a brilliant student who writes a crap paper, because they're just not trying hard enough, not bothering to do it all the way. This show is phoning in the women characters and it makes me furious. The sheer number of scenes where they're sobbing in the shower, on the floor, in the bed, on the couch, etc., makes me crazy. But the worst is how they're flying in the face of the Bechdel test every single second of every episode. ALL of the women are ALL about the men ALL of the time. See? See? Argh!!!

It makes it very difficult for me to be glib and appreciative of the cute boys in space when they do stuff like this. Honestly, people. And they're such cute boys! In space! Seriously, those two Smith boys? More please!

Bones is verging on getting a Bechdel ticket also these days. Lord, people. Temperance Brennan is such a brilliant character, with so very much going on, and all you can write about is her will they/won't they with Booth? She's a best-selling author and a brilliant scientist and has all this complicated backstory of her own. I am all for the UST but it has to be IN ADDITION TO her life, not the center of it. She hardly does any science anymore, jeez. She has shifted over to such a passive role from her original butt-kicking no holds barred mighty feisty Brennan. Now she sits there looking pretty and in the culminating scene in the latest episode, STOOD THERE SILENTLY BEING SUPPORTIVE SO BOOTH COULD SHOOT WELL. Honestly. Is everyone blind? I miss original multi-layered complicated difficult action hero Brennan!

I'm a little crabby with tv and how it's writing women right now.

It's great for her to have a story arc and learn and change and all but normalizing her and pushing her toward a traditional passive silent role is NOT OKAY. Do not wreck my favorite character on tv, Hart Hanson and cohort. I'm still not over magical mystery Starbuck.

Okay! Got that all scribbled out and off my chest. Time to grade papers! Wooooo! But not on this sewing stool, seriously. I'm sure it's good for core muscles or whatever but there is a limited time I can sit on a backless stool and I passed it yesterday evening some time. I have to get a word processor on the blue laptop somehow and grade in the comfy chair in the living room. Then I can complain about how sitting in THAT one position for hours kills my back.

So pencil that in.

Must acquire couch one way or another, I am not kidding. Something that allows variable sitting positions. Often I end up sitting on the bed, which is contraindicated in insomniacs. They're all, "No no, do not sit on the bed, no!" You know, them.

Too bad, because it's the most (only) comfortable spot in the house. Humph. And warm!

Beautiful day, fever's down a bit, wondering when I take the turkey out of the freezer.

How to enjoy Stargate: focus on the cute boys in space, try not to think about the utterly weak characters around them, okay? Okay. And remember, there's always all those Battlestar DVDs to remind me that it HAS been done right. Right? Right! Phew!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dusk and done

Done with the Online Job for the day, that is. This is the part they pay me for, seriously. In fact as I was trying to work out how many hours a week I work, figured about five on weekend day and one each on the other five days.

So ten hours a week. I still have to do the rest of the math to figure out what that works out to for pay per hour.

I'm thinking ahead to the soon to arrive Date of Unemployment, since the unemployment people told me to file IMMEDIATELY since you can't do it retroactively. File at once! Which is to say, on the 11th, my last day of work. I was thinking I'd be doing grading after that but I won't--final papers are due the week before. Woohoo! Done = done!

Obviously I'd much rather have A JOB especially if it comes with HUMANS but I'm preparing for the worst and most likely scenario, here. Holiday hiring seems to be going on now for people who can start, well, now. Which I can't.

So very very much to be done still today, dear oh dear. But it's very good to get the massive Online Job mental hovering cloud off my back. I would have done this work days ago if I hadn't been so utterly wiped out by the grading.

Which I have to start again, well, today. Yes.

Okay, so that was I think 26 of my 74 papers out of the way. Is that right? Some didn't turn one in, very bad but also good for me. Hurray for slackness!

I mean! Um! No! But sadly, yes.

It's dusk and I didn't get to go out and play, woe! Though actually just in taking some dire items to the compost I was reminded again by the breathing issues, OH YEAH I'm totally sick.

I'm doing a very good job at forgetting. And then I think, "Why do I feel so terrible? What's the matter with me? Do I have food poisoning or something?" No, dearie, you have the frelling flu and have had it since Wednesday or Thursday, remember? "Nope!"

Four hats to knit. One is already a few rows into the yellow. Someone sent me a check, one person is paid up already, and one hasn't sent the payment, so in my mental abacus I'm really exactly where I need to be, but those other three have to get knitted fast fast fast. The way orders are coming in, there will be more. That's the thing about word of mouth, especially with this con this weekend. Cons always generate more orders because people see hats and admire them and ask their fellow Browncoats where they got them. And lo, my inbox fills up!

And so does my bank account. I LOVE THAT! Thank you, lovely Browncoats! And Shawna Trpcic and everyone involved with the show! It's just the gift that keeps on giving. So very very awesome, indeed. Firefly just got me my grad school application fees, for which I am insanely grateful and tearily blinking and all that good stuff.

Okay, so I have to figure out Open Office or something for the blue laptop, because I can work with just about any word processor but ZERO is not acceptable. I really thought it would have Word! I'll look at the discs and things and see what's what. Probably it came with the discs and he just never installed it because he doesn't use it, so they're at the EF and unfindable forever.

Maybe Open Office will work out, though.

Hey! I got iTunes to delete some very determined downloads for me. It was some free episodes of something that I changed my mind about. Well, you can't do that. Once you've said to download, that is FOREVER, no matter how many times you delete them out of your queue and tell it to stop and all. Until you email iTunes and say pleeeeeeeaaaase and then Colleen emails and says, "Done!" Yay! Phew.

Also I have to try to get the Mifi software to install over on the blue laptop. The wireless works but not the with-wire, which is weird! Well. (I'll stop now.)(When?)

Hee.

And NaNo. Oh criminy, I'm so far behind! But I know I can catch up, given enough time and space and lack of flu-itude. Oh yeah, flu! Right!

The main thing is to get the grading done. Seriously. Even though I know 80% of the kids will not show up Tuesday, and I'll just email them their notes, I still need to have it done and ready. Because I'm getting another thirty papers on Monday, see? They don't stop, EVER! You can't get behind or you get steamrollered.

Dieselrollered doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Hybridrollered!

I need more tea. And reasonable goals that land halfway between the oncoming dieselroller and the flu. Oh ack ack ack!

I've been stifling the urge to mention Cherry Ames books to the student writing a paper on becoming a traveling nurse, but it's been so very hard! And so much of my psyche is built out of those books, I tell you what. I read the whole series between 1st and 2nd grade and it was FORMATIVE. There is also ack-ack fire in one of the wartime ones, which combined with Bloom County and Mars Attacks makes me sort of smile at the upper lefthand corner of the ceiling, because it's such an excellent concatenation but impossible to explain to anyone. Wouldn't you go "ack!" if someone were firing anti-aircraft or surface to air missiles at you? From Mars? Ack!

I guess they've replaced "ack" with "alpha" for words you say in place of letters, though. Ack is better. Ack!

Please make all due allowances for my highly flu-ed up state, though honestly, it's always like this in here. Do you ever wonder what's up with the easy delirium, too? I do. Is it normal to get kind of delirious with a not very high fever? Maybe it's because my normal temp is so very low? I'm practically refrigerated at normal times, so 100 is 3-4 degrees of fever instead of 2? I wonder. All I know is things get psychedelic really fast when fevers are around. I don't mind much unless they get scary, like seeing faces where there aren't faces, always my least favorite part.

I don't remember this being a feature of fevers in the past. Just since L.A. And I think it would stick with me! Weird, huh?

Fortunately I'm remembering to take the ibuprofin today and haven't seen scary faces anywhere, yay!

Okay, on to the next job I need to do: baking bread. Mmmmm, when you do that you get fresh bread! Such incentive!

Yes? No?

What is up with being all pouring sweat? It is not hot in here. Hmm. Is that a fever thing? I'm pretending I don't have the flu. Don't mind me.

Watched Sanctuary, a very claustrophobic Sam I mean Helen goes crazy submarine episode with only Helen and Will the whole time--that is so cool that they can have an episode with just the two of them, literally no one else. The whole weird sexual chemistry that isn't there is kind of creeping me out. Quit ringing that bell when that bell doesn't ring, people. I mean, viewers can see that sort of Eeek thing going on.

Come to think of it, why did they cast someone so much younger than her for the male lead? I think it's odd. He seems to be about 20 years younger, and of course her character is like 150 or something so as characters there's much more of a difference. Either way, it reads on the screen as very creepy and weird. Not so much "hot" as "Oh my lord do not do that ACK!"

And a very very cool episode shot almost entirely from the POV of a news cameraman whom we do not even see until the very end, and then (er, spoiler alert) only reflected in a pool of his own blood. It's AWESOME. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen done in a tv episode. Not the pool of blood part, though that is pretty cool too--everything else.

And I say that even though Rekha Sharma is a major character! Though she seems to be able to act in this show, unlike in Battlestar, where she was DEEPLY PROFOUNDLY AWFUL. Ahem. You know, I can't even remember her character's name. Huh.

Really, though. She was dreadful there. In this she at least had emotions and showed them. In Battlestar it was like seeing a bunch of people doing stuff and a community theater actor among them. Isn't that odd? Maybe because of this role: tv weather person stepping way outside her job and trying to get a Pulitzer by covering this scary story, but being completely overwhelmed. I mean, great role!

I knitted much hat.

There was some other bad episode too, part one of two, but it was (as mentioned) bad, bad, bad, except for the brilliant and awesome Chris Heyerdahl who deserves every award they've ever invented, oh my golly. Even as a freaking Wraith named Todd on Stargate Atlantis he could steal a scene with a GRUNT. Or a slight movement. In a giant mask and heavy colored contacts and all this makeup and, like, body armor. That man is utterly gifted.

I'm pretty unimpressed by Robin Dunne. Bad casting, sorry folks. I think he's pretty terrible, though he is adding a facial expression every episode or two. (Dude...) Of course, Amanda Tapping isn't too outstanding either, I'm sorry to say. I adore her and all, but....

Sigh!

The girl playing the daughter is way worse, though, if that's any consolation. I'm never sure whether it's the material or the actors. You know, some of these shows, it's like they're only working with six emotional crayons. I am sad! I want a thing I can't have! I am keeping a secret! I am fiercely determined. I have unrequited love! I have lost someone! Well, I think I like more complicated flavors. Sometimes they make shows like I cook, with unmixed ingredients and simple flavors, but you can't get that excited about a bowl of peas.

Easier to complain than do it myself, of course. But it does give me Aspirations for my own writing, doesn't it? And that is a good thing.

I'm really enjoying the nasty gross Kid Rock villain of my book, even though he's just a pawn of Larger Forces. Today during office hours between baby ducks and plagiarizers and the student writing the OCD paper (we get very obsessive about her research, she and I), I wrote a bunch of notes on the MYSTERY, which really helped me get unstuck. I wrote them in PEN on PAPER due to laptoplessness, woe! But oh such good work got done.

I'm awfully fond of the new laptop. I hope I didn't frell it up by shutting it down. I don't think so, though. I taught it my fingerprints and a password. What my nephew did was add (or unlock?) an admin account to it, so now that's me. It is so fancy! It's blue and sort of like stainless steel or something, super light and gorgeous and all. Except it doesn't have a word processing program! Nothing! Just Notepad. Wow. I will have to do something about that. Also it's Vista, which is hostile, but I'm getting used to it.

I decided the old one really was toast when I managed to start it up in safe mode (F8!) and it crashed anyway immediately afterward. Oh boy. I can try 'last good whatever' next time I can get it to start again. That might help.

Time to take my thoracic nest of fizzy scorpions/kittens/rattlesnakes to bed. I hesitate to turn them horizontal because bad things can happen but really only fictional characters should stay awake way too long. I have to go to sleep eventually.

I am so glad I fended off the drunken handyman for the weekend. Papers to grade, tons of work to do, book to catch up on, vacuuming, laundry, bread baking. Nests of potentially hostile creatures to tend to. Hats to knit. OH boy, the hats. Things to do! Most of them will get deferred due the nest of fizzy things but at least I can acknowledge that they're on the list, right?

Okay. Horizontal with trepidation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nest?

I'm at that weird stage of illness where I move around carefully as though trying not to disturb the nest of kittens sleeping in the center of my thoracic cavity. Or possibly scorpions or rattlesnacks. I mean snakes.

YAY! Rattlesnacks! Favorite mistype in days and days. That's what you had in your purse, Jane!

What a good word. Mmm, rattlesnacks.

ANYWAY.

Yes, the chestal whatever thing seems to be en route but you never know, it might die down again and not bother me at all YES PLEASE LET'S DO THAT INSTEAD.

I did go to campus today, but get this: I wore heels. That was to slow myself down. I don't know if you know but I charge around like a bat out of hell most of the time. Run run run! Hurry hurry hurry! I'm not in a rush, I just walk fast and enjoy that. Hence (or hench if you're really interested in my mistypings) the boots with the tall, tall heels. I don't think I've ever worn them before, come to think of it.

It was so windy when I was walking back to the car after office hours (late--had to shake off baby-duck student) that my umbrella tried to make a break for independence and the wind blew a whole scoop of tea out of my cup and onto my leg, like it had been ladled out. I had to stop and close my umbrella with a half full cup of tea, a satchel, and my shoulder bag, complete with TOTALLY BROKEN LAPTOP inside.

It was all dramatic. And then when I got to the car I had the most hilarious hair ever, bangs blown straight up and out and back. Hurray! So funny!

I had to drive home and get a tapestry needle to pull the ends in on a hat and then go back out and get gas and put air in the tires and THEN go mail the hat. Phew! All in a raging typhoon. Always save your errands for the worst weather, that's my motto. Or my habit, anyway.

I'm making a grim face at this weekend because the drunken handyman is supposed to come paint that hellish stinky paint on my kitchen wall--the same paint that stunk up that dresser so badly--and then paint the whole kitchen.

I don't want him to do this at all. I honestly could not care less about the kitchen walls. Landlord was going to paint them before I moved in, which would have been good, but now that I'm in, it's just a massive pain and I'm not having it, especially when I'm home sick and over Thanksgiving weekend. NO.

So I called and said please don't come and get the flu, and now he's not coming, yay!

I will have to figure out the whole "not until after I move out" part later. I'm all agitating for them to fix stuff, I know, but making me move absolutely everything out of the kitchen to do something I don't care about? Not helpful.

I'm going to stay home this weekend and not go infecting people all around town. Unless I have to go out and buy rum and lemons. Which I might get my brother to bring me. He will show up wearing a surgical mask and latex gloves, I promise you.

I DID go to my class, but they were giving oral presentations, and that's traumatic for them, so delaying would also have been cruel. Two people who were supposed to present didn't show up. Heh. They really get stressed out over this sort of thing!

You know how to clear a room fast? Tell them you have the flu. Bye students! Zoom!

I had lots of people come to office hours and helped them out a lot/potentially infected them with flu, so that was good/bad. Tried to make my computer work, but did not succeed. It did start up once but went into that fritzing thing. I guess I'll try a boot disk resuscitation. It might be a physical problem, though.

Hats hats hats. The orders are coming in fast and furious. Some people are mailing checks, some are asking me to use weird addresses. It's a challenge to my memory sieve at the best of times. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone.

The latest hat is only 1.25 inches along so I have to get cracking. Get into the comfy chair, put on a dvd, and march!

Must do much Online Job, must grade many, many papers--the same ones as last weekend, only better, we hope.

A student showed me his paper today and it's much better, but he had the same apostrophe-s plural on the first page, so I went Ack! Alarm! Badness! and showed him and told him why it was evil and wrong, and he said, "Yeah, you scolded me for that on Monday." Ha! Well, fix it!

I ran into another student as I was dashing to the facilities slowly on my hobbling heels and said, "You're not coming to see me, are you?" from halfway in the bathroom door, but fortunately he wasn't. Actually he was limping a lot, I should have asked what was up, but it's already odd enough to have conversations with students when I'm holding the bathroom door open.
Because I leave office hours right then and he shows up in the building right then, we actually bump into each other at the bathroom door about once a week. I don't know why it's not weirder or more awkward. I am starting to surmise sisters.

Popcorn time. I don't like the rattle in my chest, though I actually don't feel nearly as bad as I'd expected to by now, given the days-already rattle, if you see what I mean. Will the cayenne pepper on the popcorn disturb the rattlesnacks? Should I go out in the pitch dark pouring rainstorm through hunter-startled deer to get rum and lemons now in case I get way worse and can't get anyone to cross the quarantine barrier this weekend? Tricky questions. I am guessing that 6:00 on Friday is about the busiest time in the grocery store, which says to me: do not go, not right now, at least.

Okay!

There were two humongous cows out loose on/along the road down in Dogpatch when I was coming home from the municipal offices--another stop on my Typhoid Mary Tour today. I got a recycling bin! Yay! I would have told the Dogpatch cow-having people their cows were out (they were steers actually, but you know) but no one was home.

They have this amazingly despair-laden farm where there are piles of rocks and stumps and the fences are made out of old pallets--actual literal miles of fences made of pallets cobbled together with barbed wire. Which I guess is why the steers got out. The steers flinched at my lights but they stood their ground. At least they were on the verge and not in the road. Brown cows loose at rainy twilight, man. The road was the same color as the sky, so coming up that hill was amazing, like you could drive up off the top like a ramp and keep on going into the concrete sky.

And it's not really called Dogpatch. It's called Orrington Center. Beautiful old church! And the spitting image of Cold Comfort Farm with its stray steers across the road from it. You can smell it a mile before you get there from any direction. The owner is that guy who I kept passing and he kept passing me, that day I went for the epic walk and got myself a kidney infection. Fun times, fun times.

Right. Popcorn. More Sanctuary or more Torchwood? Torchwood is about a thousand times better. Mmm, Torchwood. I also have a Stargate movie from Netflix along with the Sanctuary dvds. Oh so much delicious yet not especially good sci-fi to watch, and some that is much better!

Speaking of popcorn. I'm off!