Thursday, December 31, 2009

Better make a cup of tea, this might take a while!

Here, I made one for you:


2009 sucked a whole lot of ways, but hey, now it's over! Yay!

2009 started with my Dad's funeral, naturally. Hoo boy. And then getting galactically smashed with my siblings at his totally unplanned wake, which honestly, he'd have loved, so that's kind of cool.

But then I had a good long couple of months of being completely flat broke AND working hard at a job I hated that also, it turns out, really really hated me back. And I was stupid enough to blog about it, which presumably is what got me fired, since I kept my attitude to myself and was good at the job. Which I hated. Did I mention I hated it?

Also I started my training session at Online Job but got the world's worst instruction AND due to a major site glitch they later corrected, could not get into the website to complete the work. And so that crashed and burned.

The first quarter of the year also featured constant hideous hard work just getting from place to place, due to living way out a dirt road and having to shovel my way out ALL THE TIME.

Fun times! I'm trying to remember good things. I liked some people at that job. As usual, the best things are people! They were wonderful.

Unemployment, broke-ness, actually going hungry for weeks at a time...that wasn't so fun. My mom showed up and ate the last of my food. And I had the worst birthday ever. But in fixing Outlook for my mom, I found an email from Online Job offering me a return to the fold and taking responsibility for what happened.

Gosh! I really didn't enjoy 2009, did I? But sometimes good things come from dreadful things.

But then I got to work with the Waynes, and that was AWESOME. I loved those guys! And essentially everyone I met there! It was a terrific eight weeks and I really, really enjoyed it. I earned enough money to survive and catch up on bills and things, mostly. And I moved away from the dirt road house!

The new house brought a whole new stack of problems (I'm sure you don't want a recap) but I absolutely love living here. I do! It's quiet, there's wildlife, it's the right size. There's a garage and attic and basement. I have a yard to mow and a paved road to drive on. I got to rake leaves and cut broken branches. I got to have a real Christmas tree and a pumpkin at Halloween and dug a garden and all! HOUSE, man! I love my house, even with all its issues. I love living here.

I kind of loved the last house too--you could jump rope in the main room! and sleeping in the loft was excellent! and so much space!--but the location and the heinous shoveling and no garage to keep the snow off the car really wore me down.

A month of dreadful stress and mold removal Bay of Pigs type maneuvering rendered the new house livable, I finally got unemployment from March in August, I bought an ACTUAL BED--oh the luxury--and I started teaching. Yay! I love teaching. I really enjoyed nearly all of the teaching. 90%, I'd say. The school (as you know, Bob) was abusive and didn't pay me soon enough, so I spent half of the semester once again literally going hungry. But I loved the students and teaching is such a huge pleasure.

Now I'm in a nice state where I'm not actually without food or the means to acquire it. There's money in the savings account, which is still reeling of shock, since it had $1.39 in it most of the year. Of course, most of that is to pay off the tax bill when it comes, since the school didn't take out taxes and I'll have to pay them. But still! It feels good.

I did NaNoWriMo and loved the book, which is terrific as this is a great story and needs to get told. Just yesterday while puttering around tidying up the house, I realized what needed to change about my main character. It's a tweak, but it makes all the difference.

In fact, it's kind of about motivation and attitude. One of the big things I didn't mention is Online Job, which is profoundly awesome in part because of what I do there. One of the things I stress very much in Online Job is ATTITUDE. It completely changes how well you do at things.

So that's one of my big plans for 2010. GOOD ATTITUDE. Of course, the happy pills help me a lot with that. I can totally tell when I've forgotten to take one because I start getting all gloomy and grim and hating everything. But there's an over the counter pill for that, which feels kind of miraculous to me.

In fact most of my goals come from Online Job.

I'm incredibly grateful to be starting the new year from a place of moderate security and non-starvation and with a job to go to, even if it's temporary, and an excellent online job that I enjoy and am good at--that makes me so happy!

So here are my resolutionary manifestos, rah rah, yay!

1. good attitude
2. write the book every day
3. work on the blog book (i.e., start it, hup hup)
4. follow my own personal write better curriculum (thanks Jen!)
5. watch movies and tv on dvd (I need to keep at this!)
6. keep reading. read a LOT. read a range of things. read things people recommend.
7. oh yeah, half of every meal is veg, and don't forget the carbs or expect to collapse in a heap within an hour with crashed blood sugar. also COOK FOOD but: duh
8. get a solid, enjoyable, permanent job with benefits. SOON.
9. go to things. basketball games, concerts, movies, whatever. GO!
10. pay down the debt, which means budgeting to get rid of it. working two jobs is a good start!
11. half an hour of exercise per day, minimum, or bad things happen, I know it! and I mean psychologically as well as physically
12. read wonderful things on the delicious internets!

To wit:

Wil Wheaton
Elizabeth Bear
Sarah Rees Brennan
Crazy Aunt Purl
Neil Gaiman
Maureen Johnson
Meg Cabot
Justine Larbalestier
Mimi Smartypants

...and of course the awesomest people are on Twitter but don't blog anymore (sob! weep!)

Those people inspire awesomeness, which is why I keep on coming back and soaking in it. Soak in the awesome, not in dreadful things--that's one of my biggest beliefs, because you absorb what you're soaking in. Or at least I do! I really do.

Reading people like Wil Wheaton charges me up a whole lot, in the same way all of them do, because they LOVE things, they are seriously into amazingly wonderful things, and those things drive their lives. Hurray! Also I just noticed (I am not kidding) they all write books. Heh!

Wil Wheaton's repeated mantra is: don't be a dick. Which is good advice! Seriously, if I'm in a situation where I'm feeling wrathful or thwarted and might do something jerky, I hear him say it in my head and then I DON'T, which elevates him to some kind of patron saint or angel on the shoulder or something. Now I really want a Wesley action figure to stand on my shoulder, or at least on my tv shrine.

But the main thing to take away from all those amazing people is: look at the good thing, not the bad. I kind of see life that way. Say you have two things in front of you, one busted up and awful, one beautiful and glorious. Which one do you stare at? I think I tend to stare at the busted up one, but I'm working very hard to look at the amazing one. Because if you look at the amazing one, you get more amazinger! I know! It's like magic or something!

You can even think of it like distracting a toddler. I tend to think most of our behavior can be altered with techniques used on toddlers, don't I? Well, that's because it's true. Look at the bird! Look, a puppy! Look, a train! AWESOME!

This is the year I really rotated my brain to point at books. It took a long time to let go of tv and I'm still very sad about it. But, books! What did I say when I was a tiny little red-haired personage and you asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up? I said, "Books." Then if pressed with questions like, "Do you mean, read books? Write books? What about books?" I'd nod. Yes. All of that.

Books! Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Masterful!

I talked myself into doing all those housey chores by saying I could stop for cups of tea and snacks at intervals and then go back to it. Which coincidentally also copes with the Plummeting Blood Sugar Of Doom issue, which is why I don't want to do things.

Did you know about this? Yes. I don't want to do things because I know I'll crash out halfway through and then DOOM! Or something. So then I don't do them.

THAT IS SO STUPID!

Let's stop for snacks and tea! Yay!

And so all of the things are getting done.

Like:

I moved the phone and answering machine (so old school!) from atop the bookcase near the phone jack, to a handy corner of another bookcase, centrally located and convenient to get to when the phone rings. Instead of having to clamber over chairs and tables and baskets of yarn. I know! Genius!

Took down various cluttery holiday decoration type things. Oh so much better!

Collected yarn to stuff back into the blue trunk. This is actually kind of a major issue. It's a HUGE job to get into that trunk because the 70 or 80 lb tv sits on top of it, not to mention the dvd player on top of that, and my various shrine-like items on top of *that*. Like miniature DS9 and the Wonderfalls lion and the patron saint of television.

I haven't done that job yet, not because of reluctance to tackle it, just because I'm not sure I want to commit to putting sweet delicious yarn that far out of reach. Obviously ten million hours' worth of yarn doesn't need to be out. But *which* should get put away?

Tricky.

It sure will be nice when there isn't a giant extra TREE in my house. Ahem. Though given the state of my Halloween pumpkin (utterly pristine) the tree will still be in fine condition come spring.

What can I say, plants thrive around me. It's true. One of my orchids is blooming! In Maine in late December! Wacky, huh? I still have a tomato plant growing in the office.

Okay, so there's more to do, and I'm on it, really I am!

There is one startling development, though: I'm nearly out of Red Rose tea. Now, I have all of the much nicer and fancier tea Catherine gave me (thank you, Catherine!) but that's, like, for special occasions, or something? I don't know what my issue is there. Too good to use! Nonsensical. So I've been drinking that today. And guess what? It is kind of HIGHER OCTANE than the usual Red Rose! Whoa!

I'll get more Red Rose en route to Stately Burns Manor tomorrow. My brother and I are reenacting our grandmother's traditional New Year's Eve party, with herring and limburger and that spinach dip in the round loaf of bread. Come to think of it I'd better either bake one of those or go buy one today. Drat!

The car utterly reeks of gasoline or exhaust or I do not know what. I've had the hatch open all day to air it out, interior lights turned off. Bleaaaaaah! I think putting the generator in there right after it had been run dry (so no gas was left in the carb) left a certain je ne sais petrochemical combustion quoi.

Add that to the generalized Sterno funk in the garage and it is not so breathe-worthy outside.

Hey! I had thoughts about school, too. Here are my thoughts: if thinking about X makes you not want to write but rather scream in terror and curl up and die, maybe X is not a good choice, what do you think? Especially when there is Y! And Y leads to oh so many glorious books in the world! In fact I would guess statistically based on nothing whatsoever that infinitely more of the books I adore come from Y than X. Does anything awesome come from X except a job?

Y is sitting in the comfy chair writing books. Or at work. Or over lunch break. Y is the Underutilized Temp Worker Writing Fellowship. Y is running outside with my laptop and writing a cliffhanger chapter a day. I am thinking about Y, is all I'm saying. Y does not fill me with terror. Yay!

Break's over--oh my golly it's cold in here when you sit still for a while, jiminy criminy!

Shhhhh

Quiet down, brains! It is too noisy in here.

I'm into a weird diagnostic mode, trying to figure out what's causing all the noisy ruckus, like all the arguments in my head and the defensive yammering and the recriminations. I'm kind of just arguing with myself a lot. Shhhhh!

Well, there are big things. Christmas was hell, no doubt about it. I have to think things through every year and try to figure out why it sucks so bad.

Parts of it are inexplicable, like my beloved godparents sending me an oven mitt. I'm still blinking about that. Though it's not as bad as the ziplock bag of random hideous stationery from some family friends. Seriously, stop wasting the postage to send me your Goodwill items. (I should take pictures of the stationery. You cannot imagine how ugly it is. All from different sets, all loose, in a ZIPLOCK BAG. It was like getting hate mail.)

Parts of it are highly explicable and mathematical, which explains why I have no instinct for it and have to do the math afterwards, like thinking up three awesome and very individual different presents for my sister, my brother-in-law, and my nephew, and in return getting, from them collectively: a hat.

Partly that's because everyone else is a group and I'm just me. But.

I'm still wrapping my head around the hat, though. Oh, it's lovely. It's just...what have I been knitting all day every day for months? I never want to see another hat again.

Also, pure fact: I can't wear hats. I get excruciating headaches. Even when I absolutely have to, like with the baseball hat at a soccer game when we're facing straight into the sun, I pay for it the rest of the day, oh boy. It's just like barrettes or ponytails. OW.

But who would know that? Would anyone know that? How would they know?

Am I only supposed to give the group of them one gift? Is that how it's supposed to work? No one told me that. Also they are completely different, so what would that be?

But enough of the 3:1 holiday mindfrell! Let's talk about grad school!

I'm not doing it, again. I mean, I want to, but I can't make myself. It's weird! It's not like when you can't make yourself wash the dishes. It's like when you can't make yourself stick your hand into that nest of scorpions. Your muscles refuse to operate. (Not that I've tried the scorpion thing, but I can imagine. It's my job!)

It's giving me massive cognitive dissonance and making me upset. I want the end result. But I seem to have gigantic issues about the whole process, especially the application process.

Let's break that down, shall we?

Letters of recommendation. I have never taken writing classes, except screenwriting at Penn State. The ones in my credentials file are from former colleagues and students, mostly at Willamette, saying who knows what. Which is also an issue. How useful is a letter from a student saying that I did a great job teaching screenwriting? Do they say things about film and television? I do not know. But in any case they are all FAR too old.

Statement of purpose. I'm kind of purposeless, I have to admit. I would like to write books--well, I DO write books, that is already accomplished--but I would like to write really good books that get turned into things you can buy in stores and put on the shelf. I would like not to starve. I would like to have friends to hang out with. I would like to pay off my debt and not have to worry about money all the time. I would like to be hired on permanently somewhere for once and stop feeling like an ugly old dog at the pound. I would like health insurance.

And so on.

It's not really anything I can get revved up about for a statement of purpose. Dear university of whatever, I would like health insurance. Not riveting.

Anyway the whole point of school is that you GO there. You're supposed to think it's a place to learn things. I see it as much more a thing to endure, possibly with earplugs and gritted teeth and fingernails dug into the edge of the table, than a place where I'll learn anything useful.

And I definitely have enormous terror over the whole thing, that they'll destroy any ability or desire I have to write. It's not just possible, it's probable.

I know, I think I could probably stomp through it and manage to survive okay, ideally without hateful critical people telling me how much I suck, but I don't really know and it's an awful lot to risk. If this goes, I have NOTHING.

Isn't that a great prospect? What a return on investment! Negative infinity!

I just don't know. My powerful inclination is not to do it at all. Don't do it! I can articulate it any way I want but that's kind of after the fact negotiations. I hate the idea of it. I'm terrified of it. There's so much to lose, and what exactly to gain? Well, the degree, if I finish.

Maybe we'll just say I'm not emotionally secure enough to do it as things stand, what with how I'm not emotionally secure enough for TOAST at the moment. Maybe I need to get some (any) positive feedback on what I've written and build on that, rather than going in blind and clueless.

Maybe I'll join the SFWA and do that whole thing, huh? That's a good idea. Same cost as the application fee to any one of the terrifying universities that might casually destroy the only thing I've got going for me. As the due dates get closer and closer I've been kind of shutting down. Okay, picture the girl in the horror movie who hears the thing coming and turns around and screams and throws things at it but it keeps on coming. Ooh, Ripley, with the alien drooling slime!



Look, it's my graduate advisor!



This is the most vivid illustration of grad school I've ever seen, people. Be afraid.



If I had a metaphorical one of these, maybe I could actually cope with the monster, what do you think?



Grad school PTSD. It's not to be trifled with. Add it to holiday hell and what do you have? It's a miracle I get out of bed at all, I swear.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hoo! za bunnies

What a day! Seriously. The power went off before I got up. In fact that's what woke me, the UPS unit the computer is hooked to going into beep beep beep mode, which meant it was drawing battery power.

It was one of those things where you say to yourself, "I always knew this day could come." All electric house. Electric heat. Electric stove. Electric water pump. Electric water heater. So no heat and no running water, at least once what was in the pipes had been run out.

Note to self: buy jugs of water.

It stayed off all day. Around 3:00 I called up Jim. Remember Jim? Jim's Small Engine Repair? That's where my brother and I take absolutely everything small-enginey that needs to be fixed or given a once-over or anything else. Turns out Jim does not sell generators, but he told me a good place to go.

Jim is kind of in loco parentis in a lot of ways, it's true.

So I went out to CDM Generators, a sort of warehouse building out in the back of beyond in Hermon. Hermon is kind of like Orrington only without the hundreds of years of history and the mountains and lakes. Oh and the swamp. Yeah! So I talked to them and they figured out what I needed.

You will be very proud of me, internet. Generators come red or blue, depending on the brand. I did NOT request a blue one. But when our man Steve was getting it out of its box, using a forklift of course, because they're heavy, and the box fell off and it was revealed in all its glory, I cheered, because it is BLUE. Not just any old blue. Bright shiny royal blue. Hurray!

Steve filled it up with oil and gas and showed me how to run it and how to shut it off, I wrote a stunningly large check, and then I stopped at the truck stop nearby to get gas for it. Which was also epic as it required buying a giant gas can and then trying to fill it in a howling Arctic gale.

This is how windy it was: I stood with one foot on the ground and one up on the little step, to put my card in the gas pump, and the wind BLEW ME OVER. I know! I am a heavy object, too!

That was some wind, I tell you what.

Fortunately the very odd and toothless gas pump man ran over and rescued me and helped me pump the gas and then ran inside again.

And then I called home to see if the answering machine would pick up, the only way to tell from a distance that the power is on. And it was! Yay!

In fact, it was even warm inside again. It was down into the 50s when I left. TOO COLD. Also, it takes an hour to boil a kettle over Sterno in your 15 degree garage with the aforementioned howling gale whooshing through--that is to prevent totally dying of fumes--and I was also nearly out of water already.

Man. Too dramatic for me.

Then of course I felt like a big mug because the power came back on, but you know what? We are having a "historic" snow fall predicted this weekend. They are saying things like "possibly many feet of snow" and other alarming things. Yoicks!

The landlord came and plowed my driveway today--get this--because he thought I was away. Eh? What? I'm still mystified by that. He said, "My brother's coming to visit. I thought you were away." WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???

Anyway I got a plowed driveway out of it, so I'm not complaining.

Guess what else I found out today? My garage door doesn't lock. I mean the one you drive the car through. I discovered this when I had to open it manually. Whoa!

Gosh.

I might chain the generator to something. I have paid less for actual cars than that thing. Three times. Granted I have bought almost exclusively ridiculously cheap and crappy cars, and one was from my friend Brian who wanted to give it to me for free just to get rid of it but in Ohio you have to pay at least a dollar, did you know that? It's true.

Here are things I did not do today:

1. eat the ice cream before it melted. That's my default power outage activity! But when your power goes off and it's 11 degrees out, the ice cream, she is not going to melt.

2. use the internet much. I did my Online Job work (first day of new iteration!) and then shut it off. But I adore that my modem is not at all reliant on power being on. I love MiFi! Yay!

3. drink enough tea. Woe! Only two cups.

4. bathe--no water, hot or cold. I sense a bath coming, partly just to get warmed through again. I got SO COLD when getting that gas. My ears and hands went numb. Gosh!

5. anything else. I mean, what did I do? I shoveled the unplowed half of the driveway. I made tea over Sterno. I went out and bought a generator and a gas can. I did Online Job. I made sure I knew where the battery lamp was. That's about it. Oh and I read Harry Potter 6, all the way to the very sad ending. Slacker!

So this real live Snowpocalypse coming up! What's that going to be like? I'm so curious! Multiple feet of snow. Multiple as in two? Three? Five? I know they had five the winter before last. Five seems like a completely unwieldy quantity to me. Impractical. Where do you even put it?

Right now we're having wicked wind blowing the snow into pretty excellent drifts. I saw some coming home that were like a row of pointy peaks, right along the road. There's a good one on the back deck, too. There's a big winter weather advisory about it and everything. Whoa!

I probably should have bought crackers or something while I was out. I feel like you're supposed to purchase supplies at a time like this! But in truth I'm pretty well supplied. Well, not with things to eat cold, it's true. As I discovered the minute I couldn't cook or microwave anything. Heh.

Seriously, I'm going to need a propane camp stove or something. The tea thing is NOT negotiable. I thought the UPS unit would run my electric kettle, but nope! Apparently that thing really draws some power.

The very best part is that the power was out at my brother's house too, but he waited a couple of hours just like me then went out to the garage to get his generator running, only it was pitch dark, of course, so he said out loud, "This really would be a lot easier with some light." AND THE LIGHTS CAME ON RIGHT THEN. Awesome!!!

Of course my response was, "Say it about my house!" And so he did. And then I called my house after we got off the phone (this was en route to generator-land) and the power was still off. Sigh! But as you know, the power did come back on an hour or so after that. Well done, brother!

I'm glad kitty and plants and I don't have to abandon ship and go to SBM as we were going to have to do. Eeek!

And you know I'm exceedingly relieved in my survivalist/be-prepared way to have a generator. My goodness. I would really like to start it up and try to run the space heater with it before I actually need to, so that I'm adept and all, before the pressure is on. Know what I mean?

I also loved that it took me, the guy at the truck stop counter, and a random passing trucker ten minutes to figure out how to install the no-leak spout on the new gas can. They were so nice! The directions that come with it are completely inexplicable but the passing trucker has one just like it and knew how it worked. Yay!

Oh, and Hoo! za bunnies is one of those peculiar exclamations I seem to make that my brother has been imitating and then giggling hysterically. I'm trying to break myself of the curse of Bunnies Tourette's. Alas! I have spent way the hell too much time alone over the past many months and need to learn to quell the Bunnies Tourette's before I'm in the company of non-loopy people all day every day, starting on Monday.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Harry Potter reading, lace knitting, and appreciation of heat. Mmmmm, heat.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Many urgent tasks that don't actually need to be done right now

It's true! I do need to go mail THE LAST HAT, however. Oh, my golly, goodbye, hat! I don't know if I'm ever going to knit another one, seriously. I'm having serious hat aversion, plus there's that wicked hat injury. Bleah!

But all of my other urgent errands are completely not urgent at all. For example, getting a filing cabinet, finally. Tomorrow will do!

I'm considering waiting because it's all warm and nice out and the snow got mushed down and terrifically disappeared by all the rain. So although it's wet and mucky out, it's a very good day to wrap the foundation. Let's do it!

I am going to get covered with mud. And I'm going to be incredibly sore afterward. It's a lot of bending and crawling and hammering and stapling and all sorts of shenanigans.

But it was 45 degrees *inside* the basement last week, which is not cool. I mean, you know. Cool, but in the wrong sense.

I'm very excited to get this done. There's a big box of 1x1 wood sticks in the garage that I'll use to anchor the plastic. I'll take a tarp out to sit and kneel on. I'll wear my smaller boots so I'm more bendy. What else? Hammer, brother's staple gun, clear plastic tape, all in a bucket to avoid getting them all mucky too.

I have fancy plans to cut out window holes and cover those with clear plastic, but I might not. Though the whole blackout basement thing is very creepy and Silence of the Lambs and I don't like it. But will the tape hold during a long wet winter? That's the question.

I'd have gone with clearish plastic all around but the black is more solar heatingy, see what I mean?

Okay, I'm really all set to go, but waiting for the kettle boil. Can't go anywhere without making tea first!

I learned many things from yesterday's finger-stabby blood test fest. The main one is, duh, eating sweets makes my blood sugar shoot up into the sky. No way! But not alarmingly high--well within normal parameters. I was glad to see that. All of my numbers were perfectly normal. I will be curious to see what the numbers are like if I ever crash out again and can't walk properly, but since that is Unhealthy and I hope to prevent it entirely, hopefully we'll never know. Right? Right. Though I did get a little tube of glucose tablets to keep around just in case, since I'm pretty sure that was drastically low blood sugar. Okay!

Here's what I learned from diabetes.org in my researches: You Are Doing It Wrong. Eating, that is. They say to divide your plate in half and consider one half non-starchy vegetables. Okay! Then divide the other half in half again. So one quarter is meat or beans or tofu etc., and the last quarter is your carb villains, the potatoes or bread or whatever.

Well, gosh. That is exactly how I used to eat when I was all skinny and speedy. Strangely enough I do not do that so much these days!

So I decided: I'll do it! You have to hear that in the voice of Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones when they suggest she go down the Lewisham fire pole. "I'll do it!"

I'm such a huge vegetable fan, I'll pass up any chocolate or chips for fresh turnip sticks or plain spinach--it's true--yet somehow I get diverted into weird eating habits. I suspect they are caused by slackness and not bothering and other negative yet low energy states. And negativity. Negativity can actually kill you! So watch out!

Also it's apparently not the proportion my brain is used to. I made squash and peas and tempeh (AM TEMPEH FIEND!!!) intending it to be 3/4 to 1/4 but it came out more like half and half. Sigh. Will do better next time!

Oh my golly, tempeh. I adore tempeh. Again, there is half a roast beast in the fridge from Christmas but I'm all, Get out of my way, meat--want TEMPEH!

It's chewy, see. I like the chewy foods. I am sure that's the appeal of cheese since if it's melted, I don't really want it. Meat is chewy too, I know, but tempeh is better.

How did a tempeh and vegetable fanatic get into this situation? I know! I wonder that as well. Oh well, I hereby revert to my former tempeh and vegetable fanaticism and fully expect great things to ensue. Also health! Awesome!

Okay! Tea is made. Time to go face the plastic wrap! It's supposed to make a huge difference in how warm your house stays. So they say. My intention is to tuck it under the siding and then if necessary tape it on. The siding is cheap and crappy (no! the deuce you say!) and you can lift it out away from the house because it is NOT ATTACHED at the bottom, because of all the corner cutting and cheapness and other evil landlordly disastrous behavior.

By the way, the original cracks in the basement wall have shifted. I mean the wall below the crack and the wall above the crack are now 1/4 inch offset. I seriously think this house is just going to fall down one of these days, but I kind of don't know if it'll be all that soon. We'll see!

Errands I absolutely must do hup hup soon soon soon but possibly not today:

insure the car myself
get a haircut
procure filing cabinet
acquire brother's remaining present
mail a hat

I think I'll put it in the mailbox to get picked up tomorrow, what do you think?

It's supposed to snow a bunch tonight, so I've got to get this done now now now. Go!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Prosaicist

Oh hi! Things are startlingly prosaical and unworthy of note here. But that never stopped me before!

Let's see...what did you miss? The materfamilias visited my brother for three days and now she's off to visit my sister for three days, and then back home. It's a good thing she only has two children, huh?

I was over at Stately Burns Manor Christmas eve and yesterday afternoon/evening.

Er. Yeah. I am feeling rather blank about the whole thing. On the one hand, I suppose it's good to have it confirmed before reliable witnesses that my mother has no interest in seeing me or talking to me or interacting with me in any way. She likes the other two and not me. This isn't news.

But on the other hand, I'm not sure there's a bigger rejection than YOUR OWN MOTHER wanting nothing to do with you AT CHRISTMAS. Hello? What is that?

I mean, I acted normal, friendly, whatever. I don't know what her problem is but then again, she doesn't have to have a real issue--she can manufacture one.

Anyway I'm relieved that's over.

It was not the most stellar Christmas ever. Julia liked the purple tutu and tiara in her dress-up box. Oh and Elizabeth liked her Japanese knitting books, though she can't read kanji yet. Whoops! But she is having fun figuring them out.

My brother gave me an archery target (yay!) and an air compressor so I can pump up the tires on the car. I'm excited to arch (to arch?) once this heinous knitting elbow cures itself. Maybe I can do it left-handed, though. It seems to me I did shoot left-handed (as well as right) when we tried it out when I first got it.

I know, stupid elbow! I want to do stuff! Like go cross-country skiing and lift teacups to drink from them! Things which require functional elbows! I'm on the last hat, though, so that's good. Argh, hats! I'm off knitting for a while to let my poor elbow recover.

Of course I'm sad people didn't like their presents. Usually I'm good at presents! I don't think I was at my best this year, however. But it was things like, I gave my mom Bailey's Irish Cream (in addition to the main thing) and she doesn't even remember ever drinking it before, never mind liking it so much, so she was all rejecty about that, but I remember quite clearly how much she loved it. She drank almost the whole bottle of it that I had around one time. It made quite an impression on me!

But when you're up against that kind of deep-seated negativity against you, you can't win.

The others, I don't know, they were kind of just refusing to see the humor or the good side in things. What is that all about? Negativity, I guess, in general.

I was hoping for more of my mom's awesome socks--she has knit us all nice wool socks every year. Alas! I had better get knitting some myself. Post elbow recovery.

I went out to Walmart and got me a little blood glucose testing kit yesterday, so my fingers have little poky stabs here and there, just enough to make me think of quilting, because I get jabbed with pins so much when quilting. So guess what I'm going to do today? Quilt! I know! So very subject to the power of suggestion! The pins hurt a lot more than this little spring-loaded jabby thing.

So far judicious testing at various times shows things to be pretty normal, as far as I can tell, though numbers seem to stay highish for a really long time. I'm curious to see what it says during that two-hours-after-eating total crash, the one where I generally fall asleep these days. But that's also not too weird.

Oh and I'm very careful NOT to allow that situation where I was staggering around bumping into walls. That was either very low blood sugar or dehydration from high blood sugar, don't know which, but either way: ungood. But if it happens again I'll do a test during that and see what's up.

Anyway I feel somewhat armored with data or at least the means to acquire it, and that's a good thing.

I've done more reading and it seems that major stress can do crazy things to blood glucose levels. So maybe now that I've gotten paid and I have a job (even if it's only a month long) and the heinous wicked stepmother analogue visit is over, not to mention the major holidays, things will settle down.

Also the sheer stress of getting the little jabby blood test kit is over. Jeez, I was scared of that! I hate needles. And I was scared of What It Might Mean, aka more needles, endless needles, endless problems with this and that and the other thing, insulin in the fridge and your feet falling off and who knows what all else.

So I'm heartened (heartened!) that the numbers aren't crazy off the scale or anything.

Also I've sort of identified this "refusal to be pleased" thing that runs rampant in my family but which fortunately I do not have--a source of much mockery from them, since I'm sort of the opposite, just pleased by practically everything. Tea! Eagles! Snow! Paw prints! Yay! I don't know if there's a better name for that. Cussedness? I'm not sure. Anyone?

What do you call someone who refuses to be pleased by things? And not just gifts, but things like, oh, a totally cute toddler running around in a purple tutu and a tiara, waving her little hockey stick?

I'm pretty tired of ALL of that negativity, let me tell you. It's what makes holidays with my family so exhausting. It's like, if they say they like something, the person who gave it to them WINS! We can't have that! Urghhhh....

While I was at Walmart getting jabby poky things to extract data from my fingertips, I also accidentally got a five-headed dragon incense burner, because it filled me with joy--dude, you put a little incense cone inside the base and the smoke comes out of the five dragons' mouths! Ahahahahahaha! Also there were five of us growing up and a five-headed dragon seemed like a lovely dragonification of that. Plus, I don't know: SO COOL!

It was one of those things where I walked past it and it caught my eye and I picked it up and grinned a lot and said, "Awesome!" and then put it back because who really needs a five-headed dragon incense burner? Even if it is only $9. Then I went to find that other thing for my brother (still out of stock!) and then kept thinking about it while searching in vain for the thing, then got all panicked that someone else would find the dragon before I got back there, so I raced back and grabbed it and took it home.

Mine!

Nobody comments when you buy blood glucose monitoring supplies and a five-headed dragon incense burner. It was pretty awesome though. The guy carefully put the alcohol swabs and testing strips and whatnot in one bag, and the five-headed dragon in its own bag. Hee.

Though last week the checkout lady and I laughed our heads off because I got chocolate graham crackers, chocolate chips, a box of chocolates, and turnips. She was putting things in the bags and not saying anything, but kind of glanced at me with this twinkle in her eye, and I said, "I know, but--turnips!" and we started laughing so much that the lady behind me in line said, "Sometimes it's just that kind of day," and joined in too. As I was leaving she said, "That's the most I've laughed in I don't know how long." Awesome!

It is RAINING here. Rain! Wetness falls from the sky! It's 40 degrees! I am going for a WALK! And doing a bunch of Online Job. And then it's quilting city, I tell you what. I can mail Amy's baby's quilt tomorrow. Then I can make myself some new skirts out of that fabric I got: moss green skirt, soft red skirt, navy blue skirt, and black and brown skirts from leftover fabric I've been meaning to make into skirts LO these many months. Years. Ack! Get going!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My peoples!!!

Look, here's my peoples from work in L.A.! Hearts!

Oh gosh I MISS everyone so much! Look at all of them! Awwwwww!
A. posted this on her Facebook page. I miss you all so much!

Epic!

The battle of the AppleTV has been won! It's amazing. It took a lot of effort and two phone calls to India, as usual. That was to get the router working, even though it turned out the problem was: I was following the directions. I know!

First guy in India had not the slightest idea what he was doing. Second guy was brilliant and knew his way around the computer super fast. He fixed my wagon and sent me on my way. Excellent!

The very hardest part of talking to someone in India is trying to spell things. Isn't that funny? We understood each other perfectly fine until it came time to spell things, especially words that weren't words, like ipconfig. Apparently you say the letter f "eeyf" where this guy was from. I could not figure out what he was trying to say.

I have to tell you, that's one of the hardest adaptations when learning another language, too. Numbers you can get, but the letters can be strangely tricky. And spelling things in another language, using their words for the letters, that is somehow extremely hard.

So I guess it's not that surprising that first guy and I bogged down when he tried to make me write "ipconfig." Especially when he was like, "N as in [incomprehensible word beginning with who knows what sound]." It was exactly as hard when I had to spell my name to him, so at least we know it goes both ways, right?

I feel like people in customer service should have better international language skills than that, when their job is to answer questions for people in the US. I mean, I don't know why my talking-to-India skills should be the sticking point in this transaction.

Anyway, second guy got the router working, and then I got to spend a long time trying to communicate with AppleTV. Fortunately I've had my brain configured by Apple to a certain degree, so when it totally wouldn't work at all I knew enough to tell iTunes to forget about AppleTV from before and learn about it all over again. Which worked. Yep.

It copied a lot of tv over but wouldn't copy it all because there just wasn't room. I think my dumb choice was putting Battlestar on there. Dumb because of course I have the dvds, which are higher quality than the downloaded episodes. And anyway isn't the point to watch current things, as I get them? And also all that old Stargate Atlantis and whatnot?

I really have a lot of iTunes tv episodes. Wow.

Oh, and then AppleTV insisted I wasn't authorized to watch any of it, so I had to be extra double smart and finally figure out how to make the desktop computer use the wireless internet instead of getting plugged in. I don't know how but I figured it out. Amazing! So then I had to teach AppleTV how to connect to it too, which, again: amazing. And then it let me watch tv.

So I moved it back into the living room and set it up and watched the season one Bones Christmas episode, hurray!

It's funny, I only noticed two viewings ago that T.J. Thyne mixes up these two lines. He says Goodman won't get to see his family and Zach won't get to see his kids. It's backwards. How come I watched it about 25 times and never noticed that before?

I love when they're talking about religion and Zach says, "I'm a rational empiricist all the way. Unless you talk to my mother. Then I'm Lutheran." Hee!

Okay, there's a joke about Abergavenny in Harry Potter 3 also. What is so funny about Abergavenny? Is it really like Poughkeepsie or Punxsutawny? I bet it is. Maybe I'll ask Harriet, former student from 2001 who is on Twitter. She is from The England and went to school in Aberystwyth so she might actually even know. I bet she has BEEN to Abergavenny.

Tomorrow I get to bake things! No, wait. Wednesday, right? I'll have to get up early to bake things in time to take over to Stately Burns Manor for Christmas eve, which I plan to start early. The stollen recipe makes two so I'm taking one over there. And I have potentially cannable plans about baking my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies since my brother says he liked them. Oh, and pumpkin pie. I'm making pumpkin pie, so don't try to stop me.

Holiday baking! So awesome!

I have procured presentage for all today. Some items might be met with bemused looks, but that's okay! Honestly I think the one I found for my brother is the most awesomest of them all. What was the title exactly? I have to go look.

Alpha Male Challenge! It's a post-modern critique of our societal perceptions of masculinity! No, wait, it isn't. It's a totally serious approach to fitness based on the concept of the alpha male and dominance as valid goals to achieve! Actually I think it's completely impossible for any thinking person to read the second without also seeing the first, since it's teetering on the edge of parody, but at the same time the exercise regime is amazing. So it's three books in one.

Here's hoping it's received in the spirit it was intended.

You could write a dissertation on this book. Seriously. If you get a chance, have a look at it.

And of course Evil Dead to go along with it. Yep. Army of Darkness is better, but Evil Dead was handy. Anyway Evil Dead is similar in that it's impossible to watch that movie without thinking about how amazing it is that they made it at all, given the lack of money and the various impossibilities. Wait, you've read Bruce Campbell's book, right? Of course you have!

Which reminds me, I thought I saw Mark Verheiden in Borders and I swear MY HEART LEAPT except it totally wasn't him, duh, and now somewhere in Bangor a tall man with that exact hair is still wondering why exactly that wild-eyed red-haired person with the red boots and the basket full of books was so excited to see him.

Wouldn't it be cool if he was like, "I must be amazing in that case! I never knew!" and he was spurred on to a whole new life of heretofore unsuspected amazingness?

Maybe that is my auxiliary superpower! Mistake people for someone deeply awesome and change their lives for the awesomer. Cool!

I seem to be having tremendous difficulty not stopping knitting these hats. I mean, I just put them down all the time. Partly it's because I'm nearly out of yellow yarn. Where is my yellow yarn? Patternworks shipped it but when you click on the tracking button it says "shipped," which makes me very sarcastic: "Oh, yes, that's so very helpful. I KNOW it's shipped, but when? Where is it now? When will it get here?" The button is silent on these matters.

Also where is Fran's red yarn? My brother might be right that Fran spreads badness and disaster everywhere. Watch, this'll be the one ebay purchase that never shows up, even though I've dealt with these people a hundred times, as they sell the cones of yarn I use for hats--when they have them, which seems to be sort of random. They've shipped to me at five addresses in three states!

Isn't it a daft relief my paycheck arrived? How dumb is that? I realized I'll get paid by Online Job tomorrow, too, though that is not much more than the rent.

Now we know why that school is always hiring. Heh heh.

I really like Professor Lupin. He might be my favorite character in all the Harry Potter books. I like how he *gets* everything without either having to be told or stating everything outright. And he's so beat up and worn down and kind. Professor Lupin for the win!

Oh yes! I have sewing to do tomorrow too. No going anywhere! Must make a tutu for a small little niece! Every small girl who is already into princesses at the age of two wants a tutu. It is a fact of nature.

It snowed and snowed when I was out today, but now there's practically no new snow on the ground. How, world? How?

Today when dinner time came bumbling around in the midst of computer wrestling, I went into the kitchen and opened the cupboard and yelled, "I HAVE TUNA!" because I'd forgotten there was FOOD. Food is a wonderful thing!

Also you are not just allowed but encouraged to put a little of that peppermint extract into your chocolate pudding. I'm just saying. See what happens!

Did I ever tell you about the day I walked into my classroom and there was a five foot long slide rule leaning in the corner? How great is that? I'm still sort of looking up at the corner of the ceiling and smiling about that one. Happiness is a surreal moment every day, though they can also be saved up and savored at leisure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grandmas 1, Me 0

The grandmas called it: I woke up sick this morning. Not *very* or anything, just a coldy sore throaty chest-hurty can't breathey kind of thing. So basically a cold but because of the lovely permanent breathing issues, it's all nasty and dramatic.

I discovered things! I learned that Online Job iteration that starts on the 29th *still* starts on the 29th even though that's smack in the middle of the Online Job Place's two week vacation. Go figure!

I don't know why I keep checking every day to see whether I have a contract, when I'll most likely get it on the 27th or 28th.

Today's odd. I'm lurking around in my jammies, doing Online Job work and drinking tea and knitting the you-know-what while waiting for the VERY SLOW INTERNET to load things. I'm hoping that dang check will come in the mail. Aren't you? Where the hell is my paycheck???

I really detest that school.

The front door was frozen shut again yesterday, for those keeping score. It kicks open fairly easily...FROM THE OUTSIDE. That's the trick. When it's frozen, you have to open it from the outside. Physics being what it is, it won't work from the inside. Fascinating! Ack! Um!

You know what I really want to do right now? Get another kitty to play with Siegfried! He is a maniac lately! I mean, reasonably so. He's bored and lonely and humans aren't as good to play with as cats. All I ever do is play ball with him, whereas he would rather play smack you in the head and run away, like cats do.

I am thinking...you know how the landlord would never, ever be able to rent this place in January? He even told me that when I mentioned wanting to stay beyond the end of July, on to the end of summer. (That was when I was renting the place--little did I realize!) Well, if he can't rent the place out in January, then he won't evict me either, right? Am I right?

Think think. Anyway I promised Siegfried ages ago that I'd get him a little brother once I got a permanent job. It's super lame that I still don't have one and HE still doesn't have one, but maybe soon, right?

Mostly of course I want a big golden dog but I do grasp that that might not be wise right now. I mean, cross-country drives and all. We'll see.

What's the plan today? Wait for the dang check and if/when it comes, go finish that shopping I wiped out on yesterday. Okay! Otherwise it is more Harry Potter and more hat-knitting. Glorious, yet restrictive!

Perhaps I will eat unwise food later in the manner of holiday people everywhere. Ooh!

Monday, December 21, 2009

You know that part?

You know that part about how I was supposed to eat caloric food before going out? Well, I didn't. Oops!

And then I got so incredibly cold in the post office, where there was a completely enormous line of three whole people even though I've never seen anyone else in there ever, that this old lady who was mailing her Christmas cards stopped and commiserated with me about how it's biting cold today, and then patted me. I got patted!

Then I went to the Dunkin Donuts on my way out of Orrington because I was already too cold to function. I got something called a Dunkacinno. I think. One n or two? I mean, two or three? Not sure. Cappuccino? Dunkaccino? Anyway it's basically a mocha anyway.

And *that* old lady told me I was probably coming down with something if I was that cold because it's 27 degrees out, that's nothing! She grandma-ed me! I got multiply grandma-ed! It was awesome.

Then I went up to the agency to get my paperwork and I was just telling them how much more awesome and together they are than any previous people, when she gave me my paperwork and it was all wrong so she had to go print it again and then it was STILL wrong and she had to do it a third time. Fortunately it hit all of us exactly as funny so we were giggling our heads off.

Okay, I know the thing about Sully's book and all but STOUT! I got my brother-in-law a bunch of different stouts! He loves stout. And I am all about the consumables this year. Oh, plus guess what else they had there? STROOPWAFELS!!! I know!!! So I got some of them and now I am in anticipatory stroopwafel bliss!

Remember when I kept making everyone eat them, KXEC and everyone? He took one bite and said, "How many calories are in these things?" and we looked at the box and REELED. (A lot.)

I got confused in there somewhere because my legs were already giving out, see above re: not eating food and drinking giant stupid hot coffee/sugar/whipped cream beverage, but I got groceries and went to JoAnn Fabrics (once I found it)(confused) and got skirt fabric and my mom's Christmas present that I didn't know about until I saw it, plus purple tulle to make little Julia a tutu to go into her dress-up trunk. And weird things like a big piece of Elmo pelt for a blanket for her. Oh the Elmo factory farms where all the Elmos languish in cages! Oh the humanity!

And then my legs really weren't working so I came home, except I kind of don't remember that part, but here I am, yay!

Then I cooked FOOD and listened to the Paul Winter solstice concert thing on the radio, which was at my second favorite cathedral, St. John the Divine in New York. (First favorite is St. Stephen's in Vienna but only because I practically lived there.) They kept singing in Portuguese which makes my ears pivot like a cat because I pick up one word in ten. I baked my solstice cake and LO it was awesome. I made fabulous beef and broccoli and OH YEAH it was delicious. And I am drinking a Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale that was actually in the fridge all this time but I'm a hoarder, it's a terrible thing. Like if you have one Nut Brown Ale you can't drink it because then you won't have any! Nooooo!

WE GOT FOOD. I got roast beast and purple potatoes for Christmas, and crazy stuff like celery and milk (for pudding of course) and baking ingredients and peanut butter and jam and crackers and fruit and oh yeah shortening to make pie crust and all manner of awesomeness like that. Food!

That is very exciting because the fridge basically had carrots, potatoes, a few condiments, a Nut Brown Ale, some strangely persistent weird sodas left over from J's birthday a year and a half ago (very persistent indeed given that was two moves and 3600 miles ago) and two tins of sardines, which, ditto. Except not birthday-related.

I forgot to say that in the middle there I went to Target and got all manner of prosaic household items but also THESE, which speak for themselves in sheer unrelenting awesomeness. They are going under the tree.

Wow, huh? I may have been delirious by that point.

The Paul Winter Consort concert (that is fun to say) is still going on. It's making me absurdly happy, all that dramatic classical saxophone playing and Portuguese singing in a cathedral for an astronomical holiday. See what I mean? They're going to crank up the giant organ at some point too.

It is frelling freezing in here and I don't just mean in the surrogate grandma says you're getting sick way. It is COLD. Time to go park in the comfy chair and admire the outgoing presents under the tree and read Harry Potter while drinking my lovely giant bottle of ale and knitting a you know what.

Also? The 4th is not next week. I noticed before I accidentally started my job a week early! Be all proud!

I'm totally going to sew skirts when the hats are done. One is going to be RED. Oh boy!

Happy non-denominational astronomical whatsit, one and all!

Awesome! Ack! What?! When?

Aaaaaaah!

Good news: I got the temp job. It's a month long and not especially well paid! Yet it pays 2/3 what I'd get for a whole semester long course. Goodness! Don't you hope I get hired on in a permanent kind of way? Me too! If I like it, that is. I will like it if no one is mean or crazy and I get to do Online Job and writing in the down time. Oh and if there's tea. I mean, I have pretty low standards for job liking.

I'm so excited! Job to go to on Monday! That makes this a VACATION!!! Especially since Online Job is off all week. OH MY GOSH!!!

If only I didn't have three hats to knit...but that's manageable.

I did not get my teaching paycheck. I am off to beard HR in their den, which I suspect is EMPTY, what with how I called all of them and no one is there. But I left a message with the nice one. I strongly suspect I won't see this paycheck until January. That or it'll show up tomorrow. I vote for tomorrow! Jeez.

But do not worry, because the non-denominational winter holiday was saved by a present. It seems wrong to use part of a present to acquire presents for others, or does it seem extra super right? I am not sure.

Anyway I was making coleslaw from the last of the purple cabbage and also making oatmeal solstice cake (as one does) and of course wearing my analemma earrings (as one also does) (plus, I mean, other clothes--stop being so literal!) when the following awesome things occurred:

1) That amazing captain who landed the plane in the Hudson gave a talk on the radio and I got all inspired because he's the ultimate Do The Right Thing guy and also has Richard Dean Anderson's voice despite coming from Texas and not Minnesota.

2) I realized what to get my brother-in-law: Sully's book. Inspirational!

3) My CELL PHONE RANG. That has never happened, to my knowledge. The ringer is always off and/or I'm out of range. It's hilarious because I just wrote on Jen's blog that my cell phone has never rung and I don't even know what the ringer sounds like!

4) I went outside to get the message. It was the agency telling me I got the job. Yay! But my landline cordless phone totally broke and would not function so I had to call them back from the $1.98 blue phone in the bedroom, which makes it sound like I'm calling from Mars.

5) Because the agency is now run by non-idiots, I get to go in and pick up a form with the parameters of the job WRITTEN DOWN. Whoop! Did not exactly get that last time, is all I'm saying.

6) I stopped making oatmeal cake (had only measured things) so I can go out and procure presentage for peoples and also grocery items of foodage! For the eating thereof!

7) But I will be speedy since that peppermint bark someone gave me is giving my innards conniptions, unless it was just the rice. I think maybe I cooked rice not long enough (how can the rice cooker make a mistake, though?) and then I definitely drank a lot of water, but whatever the reason, I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach pain ever, yowza. That ain't right! (HOW ON EARTH can I give myself difficulties with water and rice? Other foods yesterday: toast; bowl of plain mixed veg. It must be the peppermint bark. Though the quantity was so small!)

8) Anyway groceries: awesome! I will make roast beast and purple potatoes on Christmas day and delicious vegetation and meaty tomato-less chili and various other items! Like salad! And soup! Food, mmm.

9) HR at school called me back and said THEY ARE CUTTING MY CHECK TODAY. Holy crap, people. What makes you think it's okay to behave like this? The 18th is what it said on my contract. Sheesh. She said I'd have it tomorrow or Wednesday. I don't even know what to say about these people anymore. Except GOODBYE. And possibly some four-letter words.

9a) I feel a lot better about telling them I'm going to bail on them now. Which I will wait to do until they make me a job offer, i.e. send me a contract. Jeez, people. Seriously.

10) I get to mail the stupidly huge hat that that guy ordered today. It is 26 inches around! Normal hat size is 22. Hope he likes it. He kept insisting. Super huge hats make me feel like time has stopped because every row takes so much longer. Done!

11) Must eat food before going out. I mean, caloric food. It's been lean lately, for real. I don't think armies fight on coleslaw, do they? Where is my Janissary soup master? I am having fantasies about slabs of beef, I tell you what, but soup is the food of happiness, so I will make amazing soup. Chili is a soup, isn't it? I have fantasies about making glorious soup on a daily basis. Achievable fantasies are the best kind!

12) You could listen to "Walk On" from All That You Can't Leave Behind if you were so inclined. Because it's awesome, and also has a line about a place that has to be believed to be seen--yay! I've been listening to it on repeat for a while here. Some days it's "Grace," some days it's "Walk On." Plus there's a descant by the Edge. Do you capitalize The with Edge? Do they just call him "Edge?" Like, "Hey, Edge, want some peppermint bark?" And then do you say, "Where's the Edge?" or is it "Where's Edge?" In either case the answer is:"Over there, doubled over and clutching his stomach."

Time to roll! Wish me luck at remembering everything! Woooooo!

Isle of Mull

I'm a-mulling things over here. No, not wine. Here are things I'm mulling:

1. Who was in the attic? It wasn't me. The rug was all pushed out. Hmmm.

2. If I get really, really sick, can I get out of the family holiday thing? I'm already avoiding actual Christmas by dint of putting my foot down.

3. I'm making the traditional family stollen, so clearly it's not Christmas spirit or tradition that I'm avoiding.

4. I think it's more getting kicked in the face. I don't want to get kicked in the face. I will assuredly get kicked in the face if I have to go to this thing. Metaphorically, but still.

5. How am I supposed to start a class on the 29th when Online Job is closed from the 22nd to the 4th? I ponder this about once an hour. Mull mull.

6. The moving to Portland thing. I really seriously very much want to. But there's that opposite thing whereby if I don't, I'm here with money and no job (if I have no job) but at the other end, I'd be there with no money and no job. I have trouble seeing that as better, even though it IS better practically every kind of way.

7. Mull mull mull.

8. The house is breaking. That gigantic BANG! from the foundation breaking even further really gave me pause. It's not impossible that the basement wall will fall in at some point. I've been mulling (mulling!) taking a plumb line to it, as I think the top is further in than it used to be.

9. Oh gosh. I just want to enjoy the holidays. Is that so wrong?

10. It would help if sundry bloggery and even what little tv I see would stop with that thing they love to do, saying over and over that it's your friends that matter! And then closing with a big table full of friends. Oh my lords of Kobol, people, you are killing me to death with that. Some of us are all on our own, you know. So stop it. There's a reason I don't really care that I only have one place to sit in this house.

11. Also Bones is on notice for having Brennan *actually say* that if you're all alone on Christmas it means nobody loves you. And then having her wind up with a house full of friends and family. I immediately had to go watch the season one Christmas episode where everyone leaves and Brennan is all by herself. AND ALL RIGHT.

12. So a truck and a trailer to carry the car would be nearly $3K. I have to do the math on media mail-ing books and other media and shipping everything shippable and pulling a trailer with the car. Fortunately I have those financial records from before, aha! Easy!

13. Of course my mom isn't going to let me put the car in my name, is she? Even though she's coming here. Even though (we hope) I will have been paid. Even though my dad gave me that car well over a year ago, she's just not doing it. There is something wrong with that person.

14. I'm on the third to last hat. I think the hats are throwing me into No (Hat) Exit land! Too many hats! And they keep on coming! There are other things I would like to do, is all I'm saying here. Jeez. Like, er, anything! Yeah!

15. Sure, I like Doctor Who a lot, but I really miss Torchwood. I fell hard for Torchwood! Jack and Gwen and Owen (Owen!!!) and Tosh and Ianto Jones and Rhys and P.C. Andy. Plus Doctor Who took away that Doctor just as I became utterly smitten and that is hard to forgive.

16. I'm totally getting an ear infection (oh that baby!) and it hurts like blood so maybe I'll get super sick for Christmas and won't have to endure any hatefulness! Yeah! That'd be awesome.

Mull, mull.

Ack! Did you hear the episode of This American Life this week? ARGH! Birgit (sister-out-law) emailed me about it. It was all on Penn State. It did an excellent job portraying exactly what I hated so much about that place. The marching hordes of drunken idiots. The quest for stupidity. The state religion. (Football.) But Ira, you left out the biggest part of Penn State, which is that if you question ANY of that, you are instantly the enemy. No dissent is tolerated, and I mean that in the most extreme way.

I was alarmed to hear Graham Spanier has been president for 15 years. Really? I was there before he started. Whoa! He really fixed the place up a whole lot right away, too--it was utterly crappy before him and it became all spruced up and cleaned up and tidy and pretty once he stepped in. He made a visible world of difference.

Ira Glass listed all the students who died in drunken-stupidity-related incidents and I was a little surprised to remember every single one of those incidents. They did make a big impression on me. But apparently not on the students, who still treat drinking like their primary mission in life.

That whole show reminded me why my roommate and I found a house way the hell out on the edge of town, away from all the roaming hordes of drunken idiots peeing and vomiting in everyone's yards and all that. I lived so close to the edge of town, it was across the road at the end of our back yard. We *were* the edge of town.

This all gives me pause when considering grad schools for writing, because they are almost without exception in big stupid party schools like Penn State. I hated Penn State the entire time I was there. I'm not kidding. Big schools like that (state or otherwise) seem to generate a terrifying marching moron mentality among the undergraduates that especially on football weekends reminded me irresistibly of the Third Reich. Go listen to the whole giant football stadium chanting in unison before you're allowed to disagree, that's all I'm saying. Leni Riefenstahl would have been appalled.

I kind of think the equation is: I don't want anything I have to have that again to get.

I find it really hard to think of anything good about the place, so let's do that:

My professor Chiyoko was awesome. And my professor Alice was awesome. And the other one who used to be a nun and read medieval anchoress literature with me, what was her name? I liked learning dead languages and I liked the medieval history and art history courses. Oh, and the racquetball courts, where I went to play with Ayumi or Hisaaki. I liked getting inaugurated into the classics honors fraternity by Joe Paterno, because of how hilariously great that was--also he's a super nice and smart guy and between him and Brad Pitt and Desmond Tutu (yes) I'm nearly unbeatable at six degrees of separation. I liked the surveillance bunnies on campus who would stop stock still in profile and stare at me out of one black eye and pretend they weren't there. And then as soon as I left, they would report back to headquarters. "Roger that, over." I liked a lot of my fellow grad students.

There, I have achieved the nearly impossible and generated positive things to say about Penn State. BE AMAZED.

Anyway Ira Glass gave me deep ambivalence about going back and sometimes I honestly think it'd be better to park at a good steady job with benefits and write books until they get good. Er, better. I mean, seriously. Oh boy, big schools. We hates them, precious.

You can listen to that This American Life on their website or on the podcast over iTunes. Go for it! Tell me what you think I should do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hopping

I am hopping up and down waiting for the mail over here. Hop hop hop! Hop! Hopping and hopping with hops! Hop hop.

So here is that fabulous Jay-Z song, my official "I hate the way things are right now" musical cue, to remind me and everyone else: at least I don't have a boyfriend. Oh good lords of Kobol, can you even imagine what a basket case I would be 100% of the time, or more if that were possible? Between the overactive imagination, the galactic relationship PTSD, and the catastrophizing?

Maybe I've got 99 problems, but...hop hop hop hop hop.



Oh P.S. it was a deer outside last night. Or two deer, one big and one little, I think. They were eating the bushes and nibbling the greenery in the raised bed garden under my windows.

Edited to add: now I am well and truly frakked, as the mail DID come and the check was NOT in it. I hope they didn't hold it in the HR office for me. And if they did, I hope the office isn't closed all week. One way or another I'm hosed, though, since a ton of my bills were due today. Oh well, no one ever died of paying bills late. I guess I was more wrought up about this than even the Jay-Z implied because I started crying when I saw it wasn't there. Rats. I WILL BE COMPLETELY FINE. But my brain doesn't seem to know that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Work work work

Heh heh, I know my semester is over, but golly, the work doesn't end. Of course Online Job is plugging away as usual--which reminds me, I need to check in and make sure I've done it today--and the hats just won't quit. I have two more to go. Well, one and another that hasn't paid.

I had to run to campus today to file the incomplete for a student. It's kind of funny because when I first asked the registrar about it two weeks ago or so, with student in tow, they told me to get the forms off the website but be sure to bring them in in person. It has to be done in person!

And then when I brought them in today, the same registron told me I was a silly goose and should have just posted them on the website. Er, yeah.

I slept absurdly late and then did Online Job all day, somehow.

So I've been busy.

No paycheck today. Le sigh! I was all set to dash off to the bank. I even ran out to the mailbox to check twice, madness! With no gloves, when it's 10 degrees, which is a bad idea, no matter how short a time you're out there. Re: mail, now I know when it's here, though. The mail car shakes the bottles on the fridge. I heard them rattle but didn't know why, and then wondered and ran out to check, and lo! Not only was the mail there, the mail car was coming back down the landlord's road.

That's good, knowing how to tell the mail has arrived when the mailbox isn't visible from the house. Listen for the rattle rattle rattle of the liquor bottles. Aha!

Yep, no mail. Well, nothing worth getting. Spam, essentially.

I've gotten two Christmas cards, though! Two! One is from my brother and the other from my godparents. Though I did get an awesome electronic card from Concentra, the urgent care place where I went with the kidney infection.

Yeah, I guess I'm not going there tomorrow as I'd hoped. Maybe Monday. It also means no Christmas shopping tomorrow, which I'd hoped to do because my brother is driving down to PA Sunday or Monday by way of my sister's house, so I could send everything along with him. Not happening, however! Only her presents.

Not that I know what I'm getting the others anyway. I'm strangely devoid of creative ideas this year. Alas! Or any ideas at all.

How come some days the tree takes two cups of water and some days a quart and a half? That is so interesting. And mystifying! I'm mystified.

Oh! So were you waiting for me to become completely smitten with Christopher Eccleston? It happened! Episode 8 was amazing, "Father's Day." So good! And then just like that, he's gone. Okay, like four episodes later, but he turned into David Tennant. Don't you love it when that happens? I adore David Tennant of course but I miss the much-adored Christopher Eccleston now.

It's so weird to see so many of these episodes again, when I didn't really care the first time around. Know what I mean? Now I care! I think that's so odd. Was it all because my heart belonged to Battlestar or something? Because both Torchwood and Doctor Who are very very Farscapey and that is the direct route to televisual smittenness for me. Danger, drama, fear, absurd humor, gross goop, cute boys from space, amazing spunky heroines to identify with, and all manner of awesomeness.

Plus I got to see little baby Jack Harkness. Goodness, the man has aged in just a few years. What's up with that? Watching Children of Earth then these Doctor Who episodes, only four years earlier, he looks ten years older at least. I suppose shooting the show will wear a person out. But I guess he's heavier too and that has an effect. I couldn't believe it was only four years when I checked the dates.

Mmmmmmmmmm, sci-fi tv. My favorite!

"Father's Day" was the best kind, though. Really heart-breaking. I like a sci-fi show that'll bust you up.

I'm so completely susceptible to cute boys from space, why is that? I don't seem to have this problem with real boys from reality. I suppose it's because I know the boys of reality are completely impossible, but the ones from space are in the realm of imagination already, or something. It's true, I cannot get the reality ones into the realm of imagination. That is no go.

That terrible Star Trek movie where Data is stupid is coming from Netflix. I got the wrong one! I meant the NEW Star Trek movie, with Simon Pegg, who by the way showed up in Doctor Who and was so freaking awesome that I might have to borrow the copy of Hot Fuzz that I gave my brother, who is never going to watch it anyway out of pure cussedness. (Typical.)

I might just drop it back in the mail when it shows up. Yuck. There's a dumb dune buggy scene, tricking a positronic brain with Gilbert and Sullivan is asinine and idiotic, AND they cut Wil Wheaton out. Unforgivable!

I seem to have lingering strong feelings about that movie, don't I? Insurrection. Bleah.

I am so tired of the frelling hats I'm feeling kind of hatricidal right now. Stabby stabby. I'm also about to run out of yarn again. I would love a hat hiatus. I mean I love the income from them but oh my golly, I am very very sick of them right now.

Some coyote or wolf was digging around in the snow under my bay window, what is up with that? Like four feet from my chair, though with a wall in between. I heard it out there and so did kitty. He went to look but the blinds are down. I raised the blinds and that scared whatever it was, and then it was gone by the time I got to the garage and turned on the outside lights. I could see the tracks in the snow, though.

The snow is crusted hard enough that I don't always sink through, but this did, which makes me wonder just how big and heavy it was. Whoa! Of course my feet are big and flat compared to canid paws so they probably punch through easier.

I'll look tomorrow and measure paw size and stride, to try to figure out what it was. They should still be clear--no snow forecast. Apparently some big blizzard is hitting New York, but it's not supposed to come this far. It's very weird to think of a blizzard hitting eight hours' drive south of here. I mean. That's a long way south and still gets blizzarded. Gosh!

Also I found a Bangor on the map of Wales that is situated up a river just exactly like we are. Did someone get here and think, "This is just like Bangor back home. I dub thee Bangor"? I believe there's one in Ireland too, though. Don't have a map of there.

I spent a long time looking at that map yesterday. I am bizarrely into maps, it's true, which is why I have that one and a whole box of them. I will just look at them forever. I mean I sat there for over an hour just looking at the map of Wales, which is Not A Big Place. Seriously, I was shocked when I noticed the scale and realized just how small it is. Half the size of Maine or less. There are counties that size in Western states.

Also I found Abergavenny, which is in a joke P.C. Andy makes. All these monsters are running all over the city and then they all disappear and Gwen says, "Where did they all go?" and Andy says, "Abergavenny?" I don't know why it struck me as funny when I don't get the context or whatever, but it did. Something about the way he said it. I get the feeling it's like Punxsutawny or something, an obscure out of the way small town where no one would think to go that is just funny to say. No?

Like, oh, Orrington. Heh.

Hey! Good news. My extra Online Job iteration starts the 29th, not Tuesday. That's good news because I don't have the contract yet and was just getting ramped up to an anxious state about it. But it's too early! So that's okay.

Now I want a little tardis, don't you? To sit on my desk. I betcha they sell those! I still hate the horrible screamy Daleks though. I muted them. The cat was giving me reproachful looks whenever they'd start their shrieking. I really hope they never come back. Bleah!

But I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the show. Hurray! Hearts for Doctor Who!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh yeah!

I feel like I just performed some kind of arcane petrochemical ritual. I went around and sprayed WD-40 on the door frames where the doors keep freezing to the frames. Now it is a lot easier to open the door into the garage, and actually POSSIBLE to open the other two. Which I had to kick repeatedly and hurl my body at and otherwise dramatically abuse to get them open.

Doors! Frozen shut! I do not like that!

That's because there are three ways out: sliding glass door, which is taped shut and plastic-covered for the winter; front door, which was frozen shut and also blocked by ten inch stalagmites of ice in a frozen eight inch crust of hard snow/rain/GRANITE; green door into garage, which leads to the door OUT of the garage, which was...frozen shut.

All of them were impossible to use. I had to go in and out the door that the car drives through. Ack!

So much violence ensued and then my ritualistic spraying of WD-40 all the way around and now one hopes the ice will stay away.

I'm a little bit over winter already, I'm sorry to say. It's just so ridiculously hard in this house. The CURTAINS were FROZEN to the PLASTIC over the WINDOWS this morning. THAT IS STUPID. Condensation on the inside froze and the curtains froze to it.

STUPID!!!

Anyway.

Right, work to do. And more lovely Doctor Who to watch! I have three dvds. Hopefully more will be en route asap.
Right, time to decide the fates of all and sundry. Woohoo!

Also, I get to bake bread. Awesome! Mmmmmmmmm, you know what that means....fresh hot bread coming up in the next few hours. Oh yay!

Strangely unable to find an illustrative (yet completely unnecessary) picture of bread. Instead here is a picture of a bizarre food called Dutch Baby that I made on Monday or whenever that was.



It's basically a big crepe you bake in the oven in a frying pan. I know! I said it was weird! It's super good as you might expect from a giant puffy pancake with jam on it, even though it deflates about a minute after coming out of the oven. I would make more tonight but you need eggs. I am all out of eggs. It's in Joy of Cooking, check it out! Use a 10 inch pan, though. Mine was 8 inch and created this fascinating bowl shape as the edges cooked faster than the middle because the batter was too deep.

Dutch Baby! So strange!

I'm making LISTS for Saturday, though. Vital items I've been doing without all this time. The lists are going to be short as I'm heavily into saving every possible penny for my escape plan, but on the other hand, vital! Vital items are vital!

Some of those things are foodstuffs. Well, mostly, to be honest. The whole iffy transportation here in frelling unplowed Siberia makes me want to stockpile food in a big way. But for instance one item at the top of the list right under medical care and dentistry and shots for the cat is a pair of tall warm black winter boots, jeez! I GOT COLD FEET AND I CANNOT LIE.

Other things near the top of the list are Maine car registration, Christmas presents for people, and a haircut. Well, a trim. True fact.

Hey, maybe I can make Dutch Baby with that egg white powder I have. Let's do it!

Bang!

The house keeps making this tremendously loud BANG! And I don't mean, like, the walls are adjusting with the cold/heat. I mean it sounds like we hit an iceberg.

It is very very windy and also insanely cold. I went to look out front to see what the huge loud BANG! was, but get this: the front door was frozen shut. No way to open it! The door out of the garage froze shut the other day too. And the garage door that you drive the car through was frozen to the ground, but pulled free with the electric opener, thank goodness.

Doors freezing shut, sheesh. That's a new one.

The BANG! scared the dickens out of the cat. And me, to be honest.

I had sort of a sucky evening. Fortunately I had a Doctor Who dvd to watch and cheer me up, yay!

Also I watched the last Children of Earth dvd again and gosh darn it if the cat didn't show up to lie across my lap and comfort me when the Army guys started grabbing all the kids. How does he know? Can he possibly hear me over all the loud shouting and screaming and music and whatnot?

My cat is awesome! Yay, cat!

And then! Third Doctor Who episode, there was Eve Myles! So glorious! I was just all sad that she was gone, see.

I'm pretty happy about this interesting dynamic between the Doctor and Rose, and I'm also fascinated that I never saw it before--and I had seen the first two episodes before, somehow. And the fourth, and apparently MOST of them. Just not the third.

Simon Callow, huh? That Yeats poem the beautiful man reads at his funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral just kills me every time. Even thinking about it can get me all misted up. Oh dear!

I am Wednesday night quarterbacking, a poor idea, but speaking of Yeats, not that I'm not a memorable person but seriously, I have not met this U2 guy, and don't even remember ever seeing him around, so I mean, um.

Anyway listening to All That You Can't Leave Behind (a terrible album title) many many times was glorious today. That's what the poster was, that album cover picture. I even took iPod in the car and plugged it in and listened to it over the car speakers. Which is when I discovered that the audio was set up by an old person who had shot a lot of guns and couldn't hear high notes. You couldn't hear bass at all! I noticed right away because I'd just been playing it on the computer at home.

How bizarre that I never noticed on Pop, the U2 cd I've had in the car all semester.

I have a blistering headache and am now going to bed. Ack! It is deeply acksome. That is the opposite of awesome.

I am hoping tomorrow will be AWESOME instead, though. Maybe segue into some security and a view of the eastern sky!

Kitty is looking out the window nervously again, due to some rattling and crashing. It could be raging icicle activity. Though that wouldn't make that earth-shaking BANG! Houses with no gutters have fabulous, glorious icicles, some of them a yard long already, and they do tend to fall with dramatic crashes, but that's a recognizable sound. Crash smash tinkle.

Well, I suppose it's something harmless like the foundation shifting. Oh! The foundation has those gigantic cracks that water filters into! (And through.) That's probably what it was, ice freezing in there and, like, breaking the house. Not to worry!

Off to bed via the ibuprofin bottle. OW. Adrenaline crash headache, they are stealing the children headache, oh no Stephen! headache, got up early and stayed up too late headache. Whoops! Fixing that now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That went well

I want to write many wonderful things. I want the wonderful things to become wonderful books, the kind you can go to the store and buy and take home and read in the bathtub or I suppose on the couch or exercise bike, too--how long can you really spend in the bathtub?--and earn me lots of money and even another thousand buckets more from movie rights and whatnot. Prosperity! Happiness! Security! Comfort! Joy!
As long as we're making wishes.

AND I GET A BIG GOLDEN DOG!!!!

Just making sure.

So! I have to clean my appalling house! The spruce needles of festive messiness are just frelling everywhere, along with the usual tracked bits of litter and clouds of fur and all those bendy straws the cat steals out of my water glass every chance he gets, then bats around until they're unreachable under the Nordictrack or whatever.

There. My wishes have been registered, universe! Hup hup! And thank you!

Heh heh

Well. There is a THING today. I want the Thing to go well. Go well, Thing!

Time to dry my hair the rest of the way. It is super curly lately if I don't use the hair dryer, so I let it dry on its own as much as possible. The most curliest is when I go outside and shovel snow when it's still kind of damp. Boing! Having super curly hair is highly entertaining, when most of the time it's just wavy at best. And absolutely straight if I dry it when it's wet, if you see what I mean.

Anyway. Wish me luck, if it's a thing wherein luck should be wished! Caveats, since I seem not to know the difference. Okay!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Surprise!

I just had to let you know right away that I feel perfectly fine and absolutely nothing is happening! Aaaaaaah! It's so dramatic!

I am tired! At bedtime! Aaaaaaaaah!

I know, nothing like reading the manual, huh?

What ever happened to P.C. Andy? Because I secretly have to tell you I'm kind of smitten with P.C. Andy. It's true!

"Yes," you say patiently. "But you are smitten with all the boys on the show. Admit it."

"Um," I say, trying to pretend it's not true. "Maybe Rhys a little less?" That is a total lie of course. Not the stupid humanity-selling-out PM though! Hate! See? I have standards.

Oh sheesh. It's mostly true. I adore the people Gwen adores, so there you go. but P.C. Andy is awesome, you must admit. He got so many of the best lines.

How can you not be smitten with P.C. Andy? Look!

Wowzers

I feel like punching Joe Lieberman in the face several times in rapid succession.

Hi! How are you?

Someone was such a (pardon me) bitch to me when I emailed her that I said to the computer, "You are such a bitch." She is just the nastiest person I've ever met. Except for that person at work in L.A. who looks like an ostrich and only eats peanut butter and jelly and is the meanest person I'd ever met before this one.

Remember when she used to be really nice and friendly to me? And then got really nasty in times of stress? Apparently she's the kind of person who thinks that if she's stressed out, she gets to be horrible *to people who don't matter.* I am pretty much seething with hatred for her right now. I'll spare you the email she sent me.

Sheesh!
I took a bunch of those cookies over to Stately Burns Manor and visited with the brother for a while, ran the diabetes hypothesis past him, etc. (To explain why I was foisting all my highly delicious cookies off on them, see.) I think it's fair to say my brother is about to go on a tremendous exercise regime and fascist diet.
As am I, of course. I could not resist one last science experiment, but I pretty much knew what would happen AND it would not be harmful, so don't worry. My theory was that I could eat sweets with other food with no ill effects, if the other food was substantial. Right? So I had some nut crackers and cheese and intermingled the chocolate candy cane cookieness and ALL IS WELL. Well, my stomach kind of hurts. But I don't have crazy Muppet arms and I'm not jittering around spilling tea.

It was more of a confirmation than anything else.

Want to hear the awesome thing? I went up to Fiberphilia (the yarn store) to get yarn for that stupid hat, but they were all out of that color in the brand I use. But the fabulous yarn store owner ran over and said, "We're really low on that kind--I had a class last weekend and they ate it!" And I said, "Well, it's high in fiber," and she totally cracked up so hard she had to put a hand on the bookcase to steady herself.

And then we had a ridiculously fun time looking at all the different yarns and considering this and that and talking about her evil mother-in-law, whom she calls a Dementor (awesome!) So of course I mentioned that chocolate is the antidote for Dementors--hello, I have read my Harry Potter--and she was delighted and said they're going to make sure to try that.

Plus! I told her all about my sister and how she was all hyper and spinning her wheels until I got her knitting, and now she's the world's most amazing knitter. And we picked out the MOST AWESOME presents for her! I am so very pleased.

It's one of those presents that combines two of her obsessions in a fabulous and unexpected way, so it's glorious, and she'll have a lot of fun with it and stay very busy for a long time, enjoying herself. How cool is that? Yay!

My sister is the easiest person to find presents for, because we like a lot of the same things, but finding something super awesome is hard. This is super awesome!

So someone stupid accidentally led to something wonderful and I think that's just great.

Also! Both of the yarn store ladies kept inviting me to Saturday's knitting group so you KNOW I'm totally going. I am going!

Saturday is Christmas shopping day, if my check arrives and clears in time. Fingers crossed!

WebMD put the fear of, oh, SUDDEN DEATH into me, so I really really extra wish I hadn't tried the science cookie yesterday. If this really is diabetes coming on, that's like looking down the barrel of a gun and saying, "I wonder if this is loaded?" and pulling the trigger. Stroke, heart attack, vascular damage, blindness...there's a whole raft of reasons to be really careful with the goddamn sugar.

White death, I used to call it, back in my food fascist hippie days. I think I'm back there again.

Yep, still got steady hands. It's okay.

There is a THING tomorrow at 10 a.m. DO NOT FORGET!!! Do not forget to set the alarm. Do not forget to eat food so you can use your hands. Do not forget to drink lots of water so you don't faint. Do not forget to show up in the right place at the right time. Do not forget to get up early enough to shovel the no doubt inevitable snow. Okay! Remember! Remember all those things! Be awesome! Get the Thing!

Now I get to go wrap presents, OH BOY!!!!!!!! Phew. I get a little excited, huh? YAY!!!!!!!!

I think my ideal job would be Very Specific Philanthropist. I would run around giving people presents that would make them happy. So cool, right?

Wait! Ack! No!

My goodness, it is a morning of discovering that I really should have done things yesterday.

Very bad. Seriously, very very bad.

Terribly horribly bad. I'm not sure whether anyone will even notice, actually. But I'm horrified.

Now.

What do I do? Obviously I did the things right away as soon as I noticed--which was only because I saved a a draft to go check the spelling of a name. And then I had to go to the drafts folder to post the message, and that's when my brain went...

D R A F T S  F O L D E R

In the voice of the aliens from Children of Earth, in fact. With flashing lights and a sudden adrenaline surge and panic attack.

I think I'm going to set up Google Alerts on this. Seriously.

With the other thing, I'll just have to email and see what to do.

Panic!

Ack, eek.

Of course you can put it all down to the crazy-making effects of the body chemistry roller-coaster I've been riding, and it is a major medical thing and all, but somehow that DOES NOT HELP.

Can I please have yesterday as a do-over? I would not eat that terrible, terrible cookie for science, nor would I subsequently have many hours of swooping crazy brain and flailing Muppet arms, nor would I then fail to accomplish my only two essential tasks of the day. Sheesh. FAIL.

Though miraculously I did manage to knit unfamiliar and complicated lace while watching amazing sci-fi. I kind of agree with Mo Ryan that Children of Earth didn't really stick the landing, though. That wasn't how I wanted it to go out.

I have other thoughts about the active roles and agency of our heroes (or lack thereof) all throughout, too. You know what I might have done? Split the team ethically, instead of giving all that power to UNIT and none to our guys. Wouldn't it have been cool if it had been an ethical dilemma, one side saying "Follow the law, we have to keep things calm and safe," and the other side saying, "Break with the law, this is insanity," and then somehow having to fix that rift?

That's what I was thinking, anyway. Because where's the ethical gray area for our people all throughout? There isn't one, right up until the thing with Stephen. Nope, it's all black and white. And Jack spends 80% of the series dead or locked in cells. Grumph.

Plus as always I WANT MORE!!!

Feeling that joke coming on...this food isn't what I ordered, and the portions are way too small. Heh. Typical sci-fi tv fan, huh?

No response from email yet (why aren't people sitting there hanging on my every word???) and no word from the other thing. I don't think the other thing *watches* us. But I'm not sure. Oh good heavens. My poor brains. I just don't know how this is all going to play out.

Going to Google Alerts right exactly now.