Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy new year bunnies all!

I hope you're having a lovely hopeful one! And thinking of all the good things to do next year that will improve things all sorts of ways. Isn't it a great holiday? It looks forward. Yay! We all know looking forward is the secret of happiness whereas looking back is a recipe for grumph. Forward it is!

Naturally I'm watching the Doctor Who marathon because it's all my secret cute boy from space boyfriend David Tennant, whom I cannot resist even one tiny bit. It's the fabulous Mars episode! Every time one more person gets taken down, the Doctor just closes his eyes for a moment. Oh, he just breaks your heart!

I think I might have to go to sleep after this one, though. So very very tired! Mysterious how much more tired I am today than yesterday. I'm mystified.

I have plans for tomorrow. Plans! Well, clean all the things, of course, which includes laundry. But also take the back off the couch and put on a vertical one instead. Note to self: leave cordless drill to charge overnight! Okay, that's really most of my plans right there, except for writing the things. Write the things! Write all the things!

I might bake some of the things, also. Mmm.

Have a good one!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh my!

What a day!

And I say that with all due entertainment value intended.

First of all, not sleeping is very bad. Oh dear. And then I slept anyway, so I had not sleeping and broke the rules and slept, which is either both good things (obeying! yet sleeping!) or both bad things (obeying sucky rules! and then breaking them!) or I'm not actually clear what the other options are. I want popcorn.

Right, so I didn't get enough sleep to be normal, but I did get enough to stop feeling like I was going to throw up and die the whole time. That's how I felt around 3 a.m. Enough, I said. And then slept on my lovely couch with the spare comforter and my beloved quilt, all warm and cozy.

I managed to sleep just fine for the EEG person, so all is well. Honestly I think I'd have slept better for her if I'd felt more normal and less frazzledly and nauseous. The test was not so bad. Lots of goop in my hair and soothing chat of the sort you have with the hairdresser. Her parents just bought a house down the road from me! Naturally, this town being what it is.

The worst part was the terrifying strobe lights, which I watched with my eyes shut (as ordered) but which made me catastrophically upset on some kind of scary deep level. Argh. I have a problem with flashing lights, I know this. Like when you're driving late in the day and the sun is shining between all the tree trunks such that it flashes as you pass each one? That's horrible. I can't bear that.

But then we got to the excellent part of the test where I got to roll on my side and go to sleep. I am so very good at that! Then an hour later I got to shampoo my hair in the sink and use the hair dryer and go off to work all spiffed up though with damp sleeves.

I even stayed awake all day with the help of two cups of coffee. And independently resolved a crisis! I am so pleased by that.

Then I thought, "Hey, I'll stop and give blood, since they're having that big drive." And that was a mistake. Because they were having that big drive, which meant I had to wait an hour and a half, and then the guy managed to jab the needle right exactly into a nerve. We both knew it was a nerve, because I levitated and then started kicking and flailing and also because I said calmly, "You hit a nerve."

Do you know how it feels when a needle goes straight into a nerve in your elbow? Like your entire arm is on fire.

They tell me it could turn into a huge purple football but so far it's perfectly fine. There's this whole crisis management protocol for when this happens, did you know? It's true! Everyone rushes over and they whip out emergency procedures and everything. Apparently it can totally cripple you up. Did I mention I'm fine? I'm fine. It hurts a little but no more than, say, from sewing for a couple hours, or kayaking.

Then I was all, "I'm so hopped up on adrenaline, I won't even feel it if you draw blood from the other arm!" Except they wouldn't because of the TRAUMA and all. Waste of a lot of time, I tell you what. And it's true, I wouldn't have felt a thing. Adrenaline is awesome that way. Now you know the secret of rugby. When you do something that terrifies you, you won't feel it if it hurts.

Speaking of which, the EEG tech suspects the rugby head bonks as the source of hallucinations. She immediately wanted to know about head injuries where I lost consciousness. Apparently I did with that really bad bonk where I cracked that girl's skull. Obviously I didn't know, but Lars said I went down and stayed down for a while. In my recollection I bounced right back up, but of course you don't remember unconsciousness. Lars made me come off the field and get the giant gaping hole in my face taped up but then I went back in and finished the game, which I think is another symptom of the concussion. Had a shower, went and got stitches at the ER, went to the co-op to find some dinner. Later that day I drove the car into a tree! It was all very normal.

So anyway. We'll see. Someone has to read the EEG and will let me know in a week or so.

I'm ridiculously tired and not thinking clearly. For example I just had peppermint sticks for dinner. That is not approved as a dinner food. It didn't just happen, either. I thought, "I'll have peppermint sticks for dinner. Yum!"

I'm deeply anti-dinner lately. If I eat it, I feel incredibly ill and wish I hadn't, and I mean, most of the night. I'm out of bread. Wait. That's not true. But the bread is nearly two weeks old and while not moldy, it has gone over to the dark side somehow. It is off. Yucky.

It's times like this that I long for pasta. Pasta makes me so happy! Except for how it's all poison and stuff. They tried to feed me Lorna Doons and Cheez-Its and things like that but I wouldn't eat any of them and also by the way, I didn't actually give blood, so why did I need to be plied with snacks?

I need to find a way to make my veins more accessible. Vein-lifts! Wait, no. Acquire thinness! I could maybe do that. With the exercising and the limited caloric intake and that sort of thing.

I think no-dinner-mania is related to taking the pill of calming no spaz when I get home from work. It's still way better than taking it mid-morning and gripping my desk like grim death and chawing on peppermint sticks to try to stave off horrendous nausea. They say it takes some getting used to, taking this. Fortunately one of its effects is that I don't care much about the boring side effects, or dinner, or getting jabbed in a major nerve with a needle, or not being able to pay the rent, or possibly not being able to pay the rent next week either. Those things are there, but not really agitating me, see?

Ooh, I got a contract for next week's Online Job! Awesome! That means it's really going to happen!

I forgot to watch Bones until 8 minutes late, shocking! But it's a rerun. But it's Bob Harris's episode! With JFK and pudding! I had to pause it because the radio's on in the kitchen and the cognitive dissonance might actually make my cranium explode. Anyway I should go in there to acquire some sort of non-peppermint foodstuff, though I'm at a loss as to what. Raw green beans? A squash? There's nothing cooked up. And food makes me so ill.

Don't worry, I eat a great big delicious well-balanced lunch. And lovely yogurt and fruit in the morning.

I'm in serious danger of falling right asleep again. Mmmmm, this couch....not so great for sitting on with this inflatable bed, but so insanely comfortable for sleeping on. Very very very. Quilt, kitty, and Bones? Simultaneously? Win!

How can that possibly go wrong?

Oh, doctors. They're making me stay up all night, or at least be awake from midnight on. I think this is daft. The idea is that then I'll be able to fall asleep during my EEG so they can test properly or something. What they don't know is that after a normal night I can still fall asleep at the drop of a hat, no special awakeness required.

But I did go straight to bed after work, just like yesterday, purely out of exhaustification, and slept more or less until midnight. I think six hours of horizontality is going to have to count for something. I'm not ruling out naps on the couch from here until official waking up time, though. I promise it won't affect my ability to fall asleep.

There's also some kind of glue in the hair thing that's giving me pause, from the electrodes or whatever they're called. I'm not going home to wash my hair between the test and work. So I guess I'll bring a hat? Or scarf? Is there really not a way to do this without getting my hair full of goo? And exactly why couldn't this be at the end of the day, when I'm so tired I'm all wobbling and swaying anyway and then could go straight home? I know!

Really, life is not arranged for my convenience NEARLY enough.

The kitty has been sticking close by my side all evening and is right by my knee even now.

Which reminds me, there were bobcat and fox prints in the snow out front today. Apparently my bird feeder is a scheduled stop for both of them. At least I think it was a bobcat. The prints are bigger than they should be but it was walking on top of the snow (which is nearly to my knee) which means it can't be heavy enough to be a mountain lion, so that's a relief.

I was reading that bobcats tend to be larger in the north and this is near the furthest northern end of their range. They're about three feet long and two feet high at the shoulder on average. That's not so big, really, until you think about the fact that they can take down deer. Deer! My kitty is on the larger side at, um, I think around 14 lbs, but they can be anywhere from that size to thirty, forty, or allegedly even sixty pounds.

To which I say, holy crap! It's been up on my porch, too. I sure love snow for showing me where the animals are going.

So yes I'm all excited about a medium-sized wild feline predator hanging out in the yard even though I have an only slightly smaller domesticated feline predator living in the house with me and snuggling on the quilt. Oh boy! And now I know why some days no birds come to the bird feeder. I was wondering! Sometimes they eat all the seeds in a day, and then sometimes it takes four or five days.

Very odd dreams about having to go live in a Mesolithic Celtic roundhouse. Like I actually showed up there and had to live there with a bunch of people in this Near a lake. With all the smoke hovering under the thatch and reeds on the floor and not much more than dried meat to eat such that I went out and dug up some Queen Anne's Lace to eat the carrot roots and some wild scallions, that's how bad I wanted vegetables. Everyone was totally cool with just hanging out and not doing much, which made me kind of nuts but they were happy. And then I was startled every day all over again that there were no books and no tv and so I taught everyone to knit. I told you they were odd dreams.

Also, when did I learn about proper loincloths? I don't know where I got the idea as a kid that they were a piece in the front and a piece in the back, when obviously it's one long strip of cloth that hangs over the string around your waist in the front and the back. I mean the middle is the whole point, not to be indelicate or anything. I can't remember where I read up on this but archaeological finds show this being the standard all over the dang planet at a certain stage of development.

I just think that's so interesting. We all had the same underwear! Now, is that convergent evolution or did the idea get passed around or is it just so obvious to do it that way that everyone thinks of it? Which is the same as convergent evolution.

Prehistoric underwear! I admit I wonder about odd things sometimes. Probably I was researching nalbinding again. It's this really counterintuitive knot-based kind of knitting. I keep trying to wrap my head around it. I could see inventing crochet because you only have to think of one thing at a time (one stitch at a time) but inventing nalbinding and knitting blow my mind. I'm sure the impetus was nets first. But honestly, who ever figured out how to tie knots?

I guess they had a lot of time on their hands.

But don't you ever think...what things like knots haven't we figured out yet? Some really useful thing that will spread all over but nobody has made that intuitive leap yet? At some point we hadn't figured out knots, so clearly there are other jumps to be made.

Maybe knots sort of happened all over just like prehistoric underwear. Well, come to think of it, you'd need knots to make that waistband thing, wouldn't you? Which came first, the knots or the loincloths? Obviously the knots. It wouldn't occur to you to tie something around your waist unless you first had the ability to make it stay there. Would it? I suppose clothes started with hide ponchos or something startlingly unflattering like that.

It's just, they excavated a Bronze Age tomb and the woman buried there was wearing a woven shirt with elbow-length sleeves and a string skirt, as in, a skirt made of strings. Why on earth would you have a string skirt? Here, look at the reconstruction. I know impractical clothing has a long and proud history, but why string?

Honestly, prehistoric people, you could leave better records.

I'm unreasonably interested in mesolithic, neolithic, iron age, and bronze age people, given how little there is to know, or maybe because of how little there is to know. I like trying to wrap my head around how they thought, but the fact is, our brains are different now, because of culture. Did you know this? This also blew my mind when I first learned it. Cognitive development actually physically changes your brain, so when you learn complex things like language and math and all the words to all the Beatles songs, you think differently from someone who hasn't ever learned those things. So it's hard to put yourself into the shoes of someone with such a vastly different cultural heritage. Not less, necessarily, but very different. I mean maybe they didn't drive in heavy traffic but they knew a huge amount about all sorts of other things. String skirts, for example. So come to think of it, they probably had whole areas of brain development we don't have because we're busy reading books and driving in heavy traffic.

Speaking of which, string skirts, not traffic, I'm considering altering (aka potentially wrecking) a pair of my black jeans. Is that a good idea or a really terrible idea? At 2:30 in the morning when I have to be up all night? Ooof. I would totally nap right now but the kitty is on the quilt and I don't want to make him move.

At any previous moment in history, the idea that you'd have a garment that you can't wear and wouldn't immediately change it so that you CAN wear it would be completely insane.

Also, my cat might weight more than 14 lbs. That is one big kitty. Sleeping, lucky guy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It sounds like a noise you make

Maybe when alarmed and grossed out simultaneously. Something gross surprises you. Eeg! Yes, I get to go have things glued to my hair, apparently. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work. I'm bringing a scarf to wear over my gluey hair afterward just in case.

I am really not sure what all this treating me like a NASCAR vehicle is accomplishing other than giving me interesting experiences but it's not my idea and it's not up to me, so okay! Will cooperate.

Today! It did not snow! Nor did I shovel the snow of late yesterday! I was too tired and too sore. Holy boy oh boy was I tired and sore. Not damaged, though. I didn't hurt myself by overdoing it, which makes me very happy. And I didn't overdo it out of personal daftness but out of excessive blizzard snow, anyway.

There was another two or three inches this morning, more near the house where it drifted, but I only shoveled out the drift and the waist-high wall of snow boulders that the plow had left. Guh. So I guess I kind of lied about not shoveling, eh? Minimal shoveling! Just enough to get warmed up!

It goes like this: go outside, it's 15 degrees (that's F), take off coat and scarf and put on gloves and shovel away. I get far too hot instantly to have a coat on. Coats are absurd here because when I'm outside, I'm exerting. I don't know why I bother with a coat. So when I was out shoveling in the freaking blizzard I had on leggings, skirt, t-shirt, polarfleece sweater type thing, gloves, hat.

Ah! Am genius. Remember how those meds make me allergic when I take them at work but not when I take them at home? I realized I don't have to understand that. I can just take them at home. Brilliant!

This medication is kind of like being about to have a migraine all the time. Like sometimes it peeks above the waves and then subsides. Presumably you get used to it and it doesn't stay this way? Eeg.

Hey, guess what? I got offered another iteration of Online Job for Tuesday! Hurray! It's not finalized yet but I've accepted it. That makes ALL the difference in the world between oh holy yikes I am not going to pay any of my bills for another month versus okay, things might actually be kind of okay. Yay! I guess I passed whatever tribunal of doom was eyeballing me. Not that THAT was stressful at all.

You know I'm watching all the extras from Lord of the Rings now, obviously, right? It's impossible not to! I love them so much. I love seeing the crazy hive of activity and the intense hard work and all the amazing models and costumes and sets and everything that goes into making a movie like that. Just astounding. And the cameraderie, don't you want that so bad? I want that so bad! Also the NZ accent charms me excessively, the way that what we'd say as an e is an i, for instance, so flexible is flixable. Yis!

I love accents. The longer I'm in Maine, the more I can hear mine. That's an odd experience! The most peaceful accent for me to hear is Ohio. Ohio/Indiana/Illinois/Iowa sounds like no accent to me. I hear Michigan (where I'm from originally) and I hear Nebraska and Wisconsin and of course southern Illinois and into that area with Missouri and Tennessee and all, but I don't hear those nice Midwestern ones, with the result that I find it very nice to listen to people from there. Yes, I'm hypersensitive to accents.

Also I'm in love with Alan Lee, but that's to be expected. The Tolkien artist. He's an older version of lovely old neighbor M., which I think I've realized before. I could listen to him talk all day.

Today I learned about mesolithic dolmen tombs, Doggerland and the Dogger Banks, the massive undersea landslides that inundated Scotland and Norway, the absolutely huge lake in Canada (Lake Agassiz) that broke loose into the ocean 8400 years ago and raised ocean levels all over the world and did crazy things to the North Atlantic heat/cold currents and dropped world temperatures, landraces, thatch and how it works and how to do it, and something insanely cool called a reciprocal frame that seems impossible but is sort of like the physics of cooperation. Go look!

Isn't that amazing?

All of which just proves that there's infinitely more cool and interesting stuff out there than anyone can possibly imagine. Also that Wikipedia has many typos but fewer now than it did yesterday. Also that I just adore Wikipedia though there's often this moment where I go, "Wait a minute...for real?" and then I have to read references because sometimes things sound so utterly implausible, or rather it seems impossible that I've never heard of some of these incredibly major geological and historical things. And yet they are true!

Like how could I not know that there was a huge piece of Europe that disappeared under rising ocean levels? Inhabited for ages? How did I not know that there was a whole area the size of Scotland between England and the Netherlands? How fabulous is that?

I think there's probably infinite cool stuff out there that I don't know. I mean, there is. You never get to the end of it. I just love that!

Monday, December 27, 2010


You know, if I worked out this hard twice a day more often (or EVER) I'd be in amazing shape right now. Instead of all oofed out in the comfy chair, shaking with the tiredness of me. Exhaustion! Whoa!

A really nice thing is when I make a cup of tea, then go out and shovel the heck out of the whole entire universe, then come back in and there's my cup of tea, just the perfect temperature. Yay! And I'm always surprised, which tickles me no end. (Also that tells you how long it takes to shovel my driveway: not actually all that long. It's just a lot of frelling effort.)

I wonder if I get to go to work tomorrow? I assume so. But boy, I am not shoveling that driveway again. I'll drive through it. The Outback has a higher clearance than I think it does. And it's glorious with that all-wheel drive, goes right through everything, now that the tires have treads. Using the standard option is awesome also--you can switch it from automatic into this mode where you can shift gears manually, which is so very good in snow. Such a great car! I still prefer big hulking Jeep-type vehicles where you could sleep a family of four (if one was very small) but this is such a fantastic car to have. Yay!

A nice man stopped and offered to plow my driveway for me, because, he said, "Do you look like you're having fun, or...?" and I was so touched but apparently also touched in the head because I said no and now I'm squashed and wrecked and shaking and useless. Overdid it! Yes I did. Oh, crikey.

Oh! And someone, probably the landlord, came by and shoved the latest plow wall away from the end of the driveway. Yay! This morning it was three feet high and made of large blocks of frozen road, one of which was at least 100 lbs and I couldn't budge it one bit. Nor could I chop it up with my ice chopper. Fortunately it was off to one side and I could get around it. They plow up the dirt road and then the rolled up bundled up dirt freezes into giant potatoes as big as duffel bags.

I expended a lot of mental energy today wondering how I was going to get that thing moved, actually. It was like an asteroid. I mean, meteorite. Yes! Meteorite.

I have to change because now I really am shivering excessively from damp clothes and exertion, though I'm not remotely cold. Odd, no? Maybe a nice hot shower and a flannel nightie, yay!

Time lapse blizzard video, awesome

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.


There's a hilarious amount of snow out there and it's still coming down just as hard. Whoop! I'm home safe, don't worry. Oh, you weren't worried, because like a sensible person, you figured I wouldn't go to work in a blizzard. But nobody called to tell me not to, so I did. It was fine! I did my thing that needed to get done and then went home again two hours later. And so I've spent as much time shoveling as driving and as much time driving as working but that's okay! I earned more than the gas cost, so, win!

Actually, someone did call, but on my cell phone, which no power on earth will convince people not to use when I'm at home. Where it doesn't ring, or receive texts, or tell me I have messages. It just doesn't know! But it all turned out okay.

Isn't this odd, though? You know that new drug they put me on? I'm dreadfully allergic to it at work, but not at home. What the what? My face turned maroon and lumpy when I took it this morning and Friday, but not yesterday or Saturday. What gives, eh?

I'm going to puzzle over that one. Of course there are other variables, like it was much earlier in the day. And I'm generally more ramped up when out and about, not so slothlike and relaxy. Plus I had a massive workout this morning, shoveling ten frelling inches of snow, gaaaah. I can't believe almost half of it is back already. New, I mean. It didn't blow. I know because I glared at it fiercely and told it not to. (Okay, it probably blew. It is a BLIZZARD, which is characterized by lots of wind.)

Also, they have different tea. That's an easy variable to change, at least. Jeez, this really messes me up when this happens. I was getting the Vertigo shot effect. Everything seemed to be zooming away from me.

Really it is a nonstop funhouse of surprising happenstances around here. Whatever next?

Lookit, pictures!

Can you see the blizzard blizzarding? Horizontal snow and all that. Dramatic, but hard to photograph.

My amazingly beautiful orchids! Holy wow!

And the jewel orchids! They smell so good. They're kind of leggy, though. I suppose replanting is in order.

And Mr. Kitty in his pie, watching the birds in the bird feeder, and saying "Eeh eeh eeh eeh eeh eeh eeh."

Goodness gracious, what should I do with my unexpected half a day free? Besides save up energy to shovel again before it gets dark? Carbo-load! Hahahahaha! That's what I was doing, eating all those cookies--carbo-loading!

The garage door got possessed this morning. I'd shut it, and it would shut and then open right up again. I finally got out and shoveled the snow off the garage floor and that seemed to calm it down.

People who worry about things like this will be distressed to hear that while uploading pictures I turned on the wrong burner and exploded my blue glass baking dish all over the kitchen, instead of boiling water for tea. Even though the tea kettle is always on the left front burner and has been since day one. Oooh boy. The blue shards were pretty. But oooooh boy. That isn't good.

I'm going to sit here and watch the blizzard out the sliding glass doors, because WOW, the winds have picked up and it is incredible. You can't even see those trees now. Drama! Awesome! There has to be some up side to living in Maine, right? Wildlife and gorgeous outdoors and weather drama it is.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Alleged blizzard

I've heard between 10 and 24 inches of snow tonight, but we shall see. The blizzard isn't supposed to hit the area until midnight but it's snowing already, but in an undramatic, pretty kind of way.

It sure would be handy to have snowstorms during weekend days, rather than work day nights, if I get a vote on the matter, which I don't. Somehow going to bed early in order to get up early and carry out Herculean shoveling doesn't seem to work very well. Why do you think that is?

If there really is the upper end of that much snow, I'm not sure I'm getting out of here. We'll see, though. Maybe! Unless it really does blizzard out, which would mean crazy winds and drifting. Drifts are the wild card because two feet of snow can turn into a whole lot in certain areas, no doubt including my driveway.

Not to mention the plow wall across the end.

Goodness, I feel terrible today! What's that about? I got Online Job done and the laundry and washed the dishes and that's about it. Post-skiing effort worn-outness?

You should see the marks in the yard where I fell. They are HILARIOUS. Because the ski marks go ski ski ski sudden attack of flailing limbs ski ski ski. It's like two-dimensional slapstick. It's awesome. I went out to examine those giant paw prints that I saw yesterday but didn't really think through carefully and went tromping all over the yard to check their size and presence or absence of claw marks.

Because: claw marks = a canine of some sort. Also there's a thing with the pad part where if it's a feline the top is two-lobed and the bottom is three-lobed. And no claw marks. Very small, with claws: fox. Larger, with claws: coyote. Larger, with claws, domestic dog. Very small, no claws: cat. Medium, no claws: bobcat. Larger, about 3" across, no claws: mountain lion, so hold on to your hat.

I would be so excited to see mountain lion prints, but also scared. But mostly excited. So cool! But my examination was inconclusive due to blowing snow filling in the toes. Something big, so either a roaming dog, a huge bobcat, or a mountain lion. Obviously dog is the most likely by far but there weren't human prints to go along with it and the landlord's dogs have paws much smaller than the prints I saw.

So there you go.

Inconclusive! So interesting!

I love looking at prints in the snow. It's one of the best things about snow, besides covering up all of the brownness and making cross-country skiing possible. There were prints of deer and moose, foxes of course, and the usual squirrels and rabbits. And I think a cat walking right around the edge of the house but it could have been the fox.

The moose prints were huge but also very deep, so that their sort of dew claw analogues made deep dents in the snow too. And the strides were ridiculously long, like seven feet. I'm sure a running deer would have strides that long, but this was walking. You know, left right left right, versus how deer run, which is in bounds.

I've been watching the clock for hours, waiting for it to be late enough to go to bed. Trying hard to avoid the naps after Friday's kept me up so late! But OH so tired. Yes all this grueling rest and relaxation has really taken it out of me!

Must get up super early to shovel the blizzard and drive to work at the speed of a walking horse. Yes! Or possibly ski there, I suppose. I wonder if I could do that? I mean, obviously not. Going around the yard half wrecked me. But I mean pragmatically, are there routes to take like the power line cuts. It's an interesting thought. There's that tricky river in the way, though. It's far from frozen over.

Happy Monday, bunnies! May you have a good and happy one!

Coincidental failure to cope (not mine)

Everyone's having a hard year this year, huh? I'm seeing lots of evidence of failure to cope. And not just me, for once! Hang in there, people! It gets better!

I think Christmas got canceled but I didn't get the memo. Ah, but I got the memo yesterday. Memo received! Unless that was again a case of nationwide failure to cope. Or family-wide.

I'm hopping up and down to hear whether little niece liked her pink princess poncho with the white-lined hood, not to mention those amazing mittens sent off to New Hampshire, and so on. But I will not hear! When? Ever? Aaaah! I love giving people presents! It's so fun! I realize this enjoyment is not universal!

I'm so glad I got that medication when I did. I couldn't have imagined how bad yesterday morning would make me feel.

Shall I tell you my worst Christmas story?

My grandmother was staying in my room with my sister, so I was on a cot in my brother's room. My brother and I woke up super early and crept out to peek at the stockings and tree from around the corner, then ran back to bed, where we speculated about what we had seen. We were maybe 9 and 11 and well past the Santa myth. I was especially excited because I thought I saw paperback Oz books sticking out of a stocking. Then when we were opening presents, it WAS Oz books! Oh boy! My brother said, "You were right!" and my parents went ballistic, hauled me out of the room, yelled at me for telling my brother what we were getting for Christmas (I think they thought I had seen the shopping and gave it away?) and beat the shit out of me until I was crying my eyes out. And then we went back out and opened the rest of our presents. Merry Christmas!

Though the year my only present was a red sleep t-shirt runs a close second. Though this year might be tied with that year. It's not about stuff, though I can see you might be thinking, "Stuff!" Nope. It's about the not caring of the stuff. You know, when someone goes, "I know what you'd like!" You know that thing? That thing was absent. That's what makes me sad.

Maybe next year I'll run away to Norway! They have great cheese. And I already know how to say, "May I have a cup of tea, please?" And "This is good cheese!" And "This is my cat, Siegfried."

So Lord of the Rings was awesome and I tried really hard not to be distracted by Legolas's eyes turning brown then blue then brown then blue etc. as production completely forgot about his blue contacts half the time. I love those movies! I was struck all over again by how unusual the story is, that it's about how power corrupts and how you can't use the tools of evil to do good, and how everyone can do their part and help save the day, no matter how small and inexperienced and insignificant they might be. That is one terrific set of things to say, all wrapped up in such a brilliant story.

Plus, every time one of my favorite characters appears for the first time (which I admit is a lot of them) I get to throw my arms straight up in the air goalwise and yell, "Boromir!" "Faramir!" "Eomer!" "Eowyn!" I know, isn't it odd that those four are my favorites? They're the regular people! As opposed to being elves, dwarves, or hobbits.

Eowyn especially is completely awesome. She's told to stay home and become the queen if the king dies, which he totally expects to, but instead she sneaks off to war, helps Merry go when he's not supposed to go either, fights in a battle with no experience, chops the head off the flying dinosaur thing, fights the scariest enemy of all (which nobody else does in the whole thing) and KILLS him, and then comforts her dying uncle. Oh and then falls in love with beautiful Faramir which just fills me with joy. Eowyn! Plus her brother Eomer's awesome and his reaction when he finds her on the battlefield gives me chills every time.

Even obvious hero Aragorn doesn't get to have that heroic epic one on one battle with a hugely scary enemy. I know! Well, kind of, in the Fellowship of the Ring, when he fights all those Orcs, but it's not a heroic set piece like Eowyn gets. Eowyn rules!

My eyeballs might fall out from so much movie watching. But my goodness, I love those movies.

A calendar. Sewing pins. An unfamiliar action figure. A book of patterns none of which are my size. Two skeins of Red Heart acrylic. The end.

Oh plus the roast beast came out fabulously great! I soaked it overnight in water to try to draw out the marinade and that seemed to work. I roasted it with potatoes and carrots and onions in the pan and put the leftover veg from the smorgasbord on this pretty glass platter I got at Goodwill for $1. And kitty and I spent the day on the couch in bliss!

Except for when I went cross-country skiing in the yard and down around the fields, which was SO FUN I can hardly tell you, even though I fell twice and could not get up until I took off a ski. Is that normal? I don't remember since I last x-c skied in grad school and not much then. Most of my x-c skiing was in high school, when I loved it so much, you couldn't get me off those skis.

Anyway I didn't wreck any joints or ligaments or anything--I am a great faller--and had a blast. One of these days I have to get over to City Forest where there are trails. Though I'm hoping the snowmobile trails in the power line cuts will work out, since those are walking distance away. Woohoo!

There is a BLIZZARD coming. A nor'easter. All weather here moves northeast so I'm not sure of the significance of that name. It's already snowing on Connecticut. I'm hurrying to get the laundry done before it hits, which makes NO SENSE AT ALL, but what can you do? Some people buy milk. Some people do the laundry. Ooh, I should bake bread, come to think of it. Of course my fear is that the power will go out if one of the huge dead trees in the yard falls on the power line.

Huh. I just remembered how in books when I was little raincoats were called sou'westers. But never in reality as far as I experienced it. Does anyone say that anymore? Ever? Anywhere?

Yum, leftover smorgasbord veg. Yum, red, orange, and yellow peppers! And so much fancy cheese left over too! Also a tremendous quantity of roast beast, mmmmm. I'm so glad I didn't have to give it to the foxes!

Right, off to finish up the last of the last of Online Job, which I hope isn't the actual end of it but might be. I haven't managed to write much of anything since this latest iteration started so I'm hoping to get back on the regular daily block now that it's over, starting today. Rock and also roll!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I carved these runes

Fancy knitting revealed! Black trees just at twilight in the winter. Looks exactly like that. Cool, huh? I used the Deep in the Forest Mittens pattern which is on Ravelry and on the designer's site, here. Scroll down. It's on the right.

I won't hear whether the recipient liked them for weeks, if ever, but how could you not, right? I'm about to start a pair for myself, naturally.

I sure do love making Christmas presents!

I had a plan to figure out something clever to say in runes on a onesie for baby Ryan and then (also in runes) write that I had made these runes, because that's what you do in carvings if you're from a thousand years ago.

Like this, see?

I'm printing off patterns I bought online AGES ago to knit up. The Eris pullover, which features crazy celtic knotwork around the v-neck and really interesting fancy stuff at the hem and sides, but which also features acres of plain flat knitting I might not survive. And the Rogue hooded pullover that I might make just a hoodie vest because I'm a layering kind of person. It also has the fancy knotwork all around the hood. And a kangaroo pouch, excellent.

Oh, they're crossing that crazy bridge in Moria, I have to go. Happy Christmas, bunnies!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy happy Christmas Eve!

Are you totally watching soccer like me? Yay! Yes, kitty and I are on the couch with the soccer and the moose-shaped cookies and the soft peppermint sticks. I made a hot toddy but have forgotten to drink it so it's probably a cold toddy by now and will need microwaving.

The only thing marring our lovely evening is that I had to bathe the roast to wash off the really vile marinade/juice/gobs of fat that it was soaking in, which was a complete horrorshow and I very nearly yakked. It was a reddish stew of I think I just became a vegetarian, holy yikes. I'm not kidding, there was recoiling and scary face and the desire to run away.

ANYWAY. So the foxes and badgers and mountain lions and bobcats and chupacabras might get a nice hunk of meat tomorrow if soaking it overnight doesn't fix it. Which I'd planned to do anyway. The soaking, not the feeding of the meat to boxes and cadgers and mounties and rob rats. Wait, what?

Though, merry Christmas, wildlife! Right?

Hi! Actually things are awesome! Pay no attention to the irrelevancies! Here I am all comfy and cozy on the couch with the cat and the quilt! Yes!

We got kicked out early today so Christmas Eve smorgasbord with the relatives was at lunch time instead of the planned dinner time. That odd smorgasbord thing happened where you eat what seems like very little and are way too full for about a week. How does that work? So I didn't want any dinner. I didn't even want any moose and fox and squirrel and bunny and bear and porcupine cookies! Madness! In fact I have not eaten dinner at all, but I don't, lately, just have lunch and forget it, or have some oatmeal or toast or fruit or something. Breakfast: it's what's for dinner.

People who haven't gotten more than two hours of continuous sleep in a month are very tired. It's true. And when they have a three year old and a newborn to chase and/or care for 24/7, they are even more tired. And monosyllabic. Or less! Mostly less. But I got to hold the baby for a long time and he even went to sleep instead of squeaking and squalling. They always say (when polysyllabic) that the most helpful possible thing to do is to hold the baby. And guess what? I want to hold the baby! GIMME! So that works out great.

Mmmm, smorgasbord. I made cheesey poofs! Well, those little cheese biscuits. They came out the size and shape of those pink or white mints that are that size and shape, the ones made of, I don't know, pressed powdered sugar or something. Know the ones? What are they called? Like a stack of four quarters.

They are super good when still warm and for about an hour and then they are not so good anymore. So make them fresh!

I have vague plans to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast by making the dough tonight and chilling it overnight then baking it in the morning. It wouldn't be hard, just start the dough in the mixer. But the crucial question is: do I care? I have no appetite lately. Maybe I'll care in the morning, though, eh?

Oh, drugs! I think I'm allergic to the new one. What I mean is, I got allergic right after taking the new one today, but you're not allowed to stop taking it without being told to, so either I have to go to urgent care (not likely) or wait two weeks until I see Regular Doctor. My face got all lumpy and blotchy and hivey. But that can happen any day of the week for no reason at all, it seems to me. More data required. Maybe I'm not allergic to the new one. Though when I took it this morning I got hotter and hotter and hotter, like a kettle on the stove, until I thought steam would come out of my ears, and I took off my blue velvet jacket (remember that? YAY! wore it today!) and put the fan on and was still beet red and all that.

I really like the good (non-allergical) effects it's having, like being all cheerful and stuff. I was startled my own self to wake up almost an hour before I really had to get up and do things like cut up peppers and bake cheesey poofs and get to work early. That's good, right? Though the three hour nap in the afternoon wasn't ideal. Very niiiiiiice though. Mmmmm, naps just at sundown. Best thing ever.

Still haven't touched that hot toddy on top of no dinner and no cookies. See what I mean? Where is my urge to consume all things in an agitated and compulsive manner? Is that a good side effect too? YES PLEASE. I'm scared of medications but I'm also scared of, oh, Christmas trees that wave their branches around, so you know, yay!

Well! I hope that you're enjoying your Christmas or other Saturday festive occasion! With or without company! Whether or not roast beast is involved! I hope you have a fabulous day and eat things and sleep a lot and do puzzles and knit socks and play board games and contemplate etymologies and read YA fiction and go for a walk in the woods! Or whatever makes you happy! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Roy Keane is frowning and chewing gum in a snowstorm

It's the silent background, Ipswich versus Leicester game, in a massive snowstorm such that all the lines on the field got covered up. Except, get this! During halftime, they went and shoveled off just the lines. But I ask you this: how did they know where they were? I know! Hee.

Today I was pronounced not bananacakes by a medical professional despite some vivid and alarming hallucinations (pause to glance warily at Christmas tree) and sent to get blood drawn (check) and scheduled with an EEG for next week. Another alarming test! It's been a year of tests. Unpleasant-oscopy, pelvic ultrasound, various vile swallow and x-ray things, CAT scan, two MRIs. There's probably absolutely nothing wrong with me, right? Right!

Soccer in the snow is fascinating to me. It's a completely different game because they don't stick to the field. Soccer is highly based in gripping the field with your studs, see. Hey! Stop that. Their cleats have studs. I hear you snorting back there! Don't make me pull this site over.

Medical professional also told me I'm very funny (aww! thanks!) and should do stand-up. I just love that. I'm in there telling her my woeful saga of how the Christmas tree was waving its branches at me like kelp fronds in the sea and she says I should do stand-up!

Oh plus I got some kind of smooth you out kind of drug, due to my excellent imitation of myself freaking out over freaking out and then wanting to slap myself for freaking out.

Are those soccer boys wearing flat grippy shoes instead of cleats? Surely not. I used to be inordinately fascinated by the prints my cleats made in snow, compelled to print sets of them over and over next to each other. No, they're still in cleats. One fell down.

Med. prof. was also interested in all the many head-bonkings of rugby days. She was asking about head injuries and I had to say, "Well, actually..."

Zuiverloon! That is an awesome name. There's a player named Scotland, too. I would never name a character that, despite my love of place names, because it's too improbable and fiction-sounding. Hey, Belgium! Though Holland would be okay. And France. Anatole France. Enrique Cote d'Ivoire! Okay, maybe not.

When the ref stops the game for injury and goes and talks to the line judge from about two inches apart and they keep gazing into each other's eyes, I swear it looks like they are about to smooch each other.

I have to make these fancy cheesey biscuit/cracker things where you make the dough full of cheese then roll it into a sort of log thing and slice off crackers and bake them and then SO GOOD. Allegedly. I've never made them, but I'm all excited already. Yet here I am still on this couch!

Ooh, a polite disagreement broke out in the soccer game. People were glaring at each other and making innocent gestures! Some of them are speaking heatedly to the ref! Gracious me. Are they calling the game? What's going on? Maybe I should turn the sound on. Oh, match delayed ten minutes due to bad weather. That means they're going to shovel off the lines again.

I am enjoying this WAY TOO MUCH. Heavens above, I love soccer so much!

One of the ways they know you're not bananacakes is if you get excited about Things To Come, like going cross-country skiing and watching the Oscars and making quilts and GETTING A DOG and planting a garden again and Bones and Torchwood and playing with little niece and kayaking and going for walks and writing books and reading books and also books! Books, I tell you!

We had eight inches of snow overnight which I had to get up early and shovel, oh oof, and so now all my muscles are oh so sore and I'm all zombied out, plus the stress of today's visitation and racing around town for the blood draw and prescription and suchlike, aaah!

Must go make cheesey biscuit dough and then maybe bake it tomorrow.

Roy Keane really is the fiercest elf man with a hard buillet head. The oddest thing about this game is that the stands have nearly emptied out. I've never seen an EPL game with rows of empty seats before.

Somebody else go make the cheesey dough! I want to sit here all oofed out and make the sounds of weariness while cute boys exert themselves in the snow!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Holy forgetfulness, why did I not remember that I can't eat things like that? Remember how they took out my gall bladder? Remember the cheese fondue?

In sum, I was up all night being sick and had to call in sick today. Way to go, me! Awesome!

Clearly I need a minder or sitter of some sort, like an external superego that will say, "Hey, that thing you're about to do seems like a good idea for X reason but is actually a bad idea for Y reason." Maybe I can combine this position with my invisible Marine! Maybe I should remember my invisible Marine exists.

This is sort of a Toy Story train of thought but don't you wonder what he gets up to when I forget about him? Watching tv, or doing pushups, or in less stereotypical manner, studying for his advanced degree in something very interesting that I didn't realize he was into, like Agincourt? I know! More power to you, invisible Marine! But please stop me next time I'm about to do something that dumb, okay? Okay!

In other news: uggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. I'm *just* starting to feel human again.

It's snowing like crazy out there. I'm getting to that point where I'm finally getting cooled down after the hot shower and about to turn the heat up to "reasonable."

I should probably make Christmas cookies or something festive, if I can avoid retching at the sight of food. Heh.

By the way I'm now in love with the idea of my invisible Marine working on his PhD in history on Agincourt and writing an excellent dissertation while I'm at work. Invisible non-corporeal people never get to do things like that in fiction, but they should. What, are we corporeal people the center of the world? I read a Harry Dresden book a month or so ago and got deeply irked on behalf of the invisible guy who lives in the skull. Also I kind of wanted to slap Dresden the whole time, but that's another whole story.

Maybe I should write a whole book about me and my invisible Marine, as long as he turns corporeal in the end, like he's trapped in that state but not dead or anything and goes from being perhaps a shallower person to utterly awesome because of the time in, living with me. Ha! Though it would be, wouldn't it? "Sorry, no football. Let's watch Ugly Betty, then Bones!" Invisible sigh! Well, of course I'd have to compromise. I'm already getting irritated by the stupid football, aren't I? Hee.

It's just so easy to imagine a scenario where this would happen. Um, for me. Sorry. Right!

But is he actually incorporeal as I always imagined, or just invisible? Wait, the origin was Battlestar, where a Colonial Marine got blown up right by someone (who?) and Jacob wondered if by analogy with Six getting blown up on Baltar in the pilot, that person would then acquire an invisible Marine. Are the head Cylons incorporeal? Interesting question. Bang goes your head against the mirror.

Good timing, getting a bad case of death by liverwurst (uggggghhhhh do not say that word) on the day there's a huge snow storm. It's so fabulous to watch it down the field out back, that big open space flanked by huge pines on the left and mixed forest on the right and at the end.

The pines, did you know this? They are an AVENUE of pines. Coming back from my walk Sunday, the road led right into the aisle between them. Clearly that used to be the route where you'd drive, between the pines. From the house you can't tell--they sort of merge. But walking up there it was obvious. A double row of huge tall trees between two cleared fields. You'd leave them there to keep the road clear of snow, which it is, which is another reason I noticed it.

Also I was reading Diana Wynne Jones's Dalemark Quartet which is full of ancient roads and things. Even if a two hundred year old half mile long avenue of pines isn't quite so ancient and magical, it's still super cool because it's literally outside my window and I never figured it out.

The grass isn't even covered yet. Come on, storm! I'm already home! Pound it down! Give us a foot of snow!

I'm totally in love with the invisible Marine Agincourt dissertation now, you realize this. Even if it's only 1/4 of a story and a scenario, not an actual story at all yet. They go from this stage to a full-fledged story by means of repetitive physical activity like mowing or shoveling or the Nordictrack or something like that.

Here's how the Nordictrack wigged me out last night. I looked up target heart rate and the Mayo clinic site said for me it's 120-150. Which is idiotic. I can achieve that going up the stairs. That is really low. Then it said maximum should be about 177. (220 minus age.) Except think about me and then think about my friend D., one year older, but in infinitely better shape. Why are you going by age? That's dumb.

I meant to ask her about that last night but we got all distracted by the hallucinations, which we both find worrying but the doctor apparently does not care about ONE BIT since no one has ever called back. Lame!

But anyway I reach that on the Nordictrack within two minutes, on the lowest setting, and not exactly hurrying or anything. So then what? Should I stop? I'm mystified by these dumb numbers. I think I'll just do what I used to do, which is: get on it all the time and go for a while then get off and do something else.

It's very useful for getting warmed up in a cold house. Brrr.

Christmas cookies it is! I wish I hadn't gotten so sick. That was a wretched night. And a waste of most of today. By the time I felt at all human, it was far too late to go in. Which sucks.

Oh wow. I finished Doctor Who. What am I supposed to watch in the kitchen when I'm cooking for many hours? Better have something or I'll just get mad at Doctor Who the whole time and that's no fun for anyone.

Bunnies are appropriate shapes for Christmas cookies, right? I thought so!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Red shirt, angry Martians

The angry Martian earrings go with my red shirt because there's red on the Martians, though now I can't think where exactly because when they are near me, they're on my ears, out of sight.

Right! His Martian union suit, or whatever.

Well anyway, if I wear my red shirt, I wear my Martian earrings. So when I heard a small metallic tinkle when I got out of the car in the garage, I searched around on the floor amidst all the dirt that the car had tracked in. No Martian! Waaaaaah! But there was my frog earring. That's weird. I must have dropped it ages ago. I never wear those earrings. For one, the wires are a little thick and sort of hurt my ears.

Oh well, I must have accidentally grabbed one and put it on instead of the Martian. Remove left earring wire, discover that indeed there is no earring on it, reattach Martian. I mean, frog. Reattach frog. Check other earring.

Also a frog.

If you'd put me up against a wall with a gun to my head today, I'd have sworn until the end of time that I had on Martian earrings. I remember picking them out. I remember putting them on. How did they turn into frogs? Does that make Marvin the Martian a prince, logically?

I'm deeply disturbed by this, obviously.

But not as disturbed as I am by the various hallucinations. Well, we debunked the clock one. The clock in our office *does* stop at 4: 17 every day and then restart at 4:28, the minute hand swooping through that stretch all at once. I made everyone come and look when it stopped and then again when it started again, to prove I'm not totally hallucinating all the time.

But I did hallucinate this crazy thing with the Hannaford bag, and then today breathed out a huge cloud of dust like a dragon except oh yeah that didn't happen. I mean I went to brush it off and it wasn't there, and also there's simply no way for it to be true. Like, how? If I'd used my inhaler one second before, I wouldn't breathe out dust. And I didn't.

Anyway I'm rattled by all that.

So I looked on WebMD and typed in "hallucinations," because I'm logical like that. And of course most of the options were appalling but then there was pernicious anemia, which I then read up on and GUESS WHAT. It is EXACTLY the symptoms of M.S. only it comes with hallucinations too. Holy crap!

Anyway I called up the doctor before 2:00 and they never called me back so I win that bet (but lose the war) and honestly I don't even know what to say about supposed medical professionals who hear you're having multiple hallucinations over the course of two days and don't frakking call you back. Jackasses.

Oh, the liverwurst is because it's solid vitamin B12, which is what you don't absorb with pernicious anemia, so if that's what it is, it won't help, but that's kind of my point. I'm certainly malnourished lately, living on bread and rice and carrots mostly, plus candy canes, but I do take B vitamins regularly. I do! If it's not getting in there, it's not for lack of trying.

So anyway, that's the state of alarming things today. Oh boy oh boy I hate hallucinations. The Christmas tree was the worst, the most vivid and real, and the most utterly terrifying because I knew it could NOT be happening and yet there it was, happening. The others today and yesterday were deeply freaky for the same reason, because I saw things happen that absolutely did not happen and evidence backed that up.

I suppose it could be partly stress. With $1.25 in the bank and one of those you-should-be-with-family-but-you're-always-alone holidays coming up? Could be. But don't you ever think about that horrible half a snake with the rib bones showing and the guts trailing out, hanging over a branch on the grass, and then next time around the yard with the mower it wasn't there? Not snake, not branch?

Granted it's been a hellish year of the worst insecurity and poor pay and jobs that vanish and terrible poverty and for half the year at least, total food insecurity, and terrifying medical things and a maddening doctor who says you have it, no you don't, yes you do, no you don't, but is it actually breaking my brains? Is it? And what can I do about that if the doctor won't even call me back?

Do I call up the medical system coordinator (or whoever that might be) and say, "Y'all are super and thanks for all the free MRIs and whatnot but I need a different doctor because mine keeps making huge, life-changing diagnoses and then saying, "Ha ha! No." and then making the same diagnoses *again* and then being like, "I never said that." And also they won't call me back when I'm having hallucinations and that's not cool." Is that what I do? Who is that person, exactly? It was the emergency room doctor who set me up with this family practice. I mean, I didn't pick.

And how Catch-22 is it that the anti-anxiety medication can also cause hallucinations? I find that disquieting. Also they wouldn't refill it last time I asked. They had to fax in a request. I never heard back about that, either. Who lets someone hang for weeks on a request for anti-anxiety medication? SERIOUSLY.

Mmmm, liverwurst. I had $4! But it only cost $2.99! Plus the other day I found a dollar on the floor in the store. Awesome! Well, I mean, it is. What if you found enough money to increase your net worth by 20% just lying on the floor in the store?

I'll get paid Thursday but that's for rent. But the rent might just have to be late. Equally stressful (or more) to the other situation but with way better snacks. And o.j.! I've been craving o.j. I mean, it's not a stretch limousine. It's orange juice. I think you should get to have orange juice once every six months or so.

Eh, time will cure it. Time, a decent income, security, and a doctor who frelling CALLS ME BACK.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Story rant! Argh!

I watched the last four or so of Season 5 of Doctor Who last night while washing a million dishes, baking bread, cleaning the fridge, scrubbing the whole kitchen, and making the very grainy Fudge of Futility Mark II. (Attempt to make powdered sugar in the food processor: not a notable success. I mean *some* of it powdered but most didn't and that's after five minutes. Hmm.)

Season 5 has issues, not just compared with Season 4, or because of different styles or the cute squirrelly new Doctor. There's a fundamental story problem going on. The stories don't make sense. Somebody tell me who or what took Amy's memories and made Pandora's Box and ancient Romans. Anyone? Anyone? No. Because there is no person, force, or power. Someone explain how and why those cracks appeared all around time and space that were presumably from the TARDIS exploding and what that all meant. No? Exactly.

No, wait. Explain how Rory gets sucked into it and therefore was never born and nobody remembers him, and then wakes up a robot Roman soldier in 102 A.D.

The actual story doesn't hang together in any way and the longer you look at it, the less it makes any sense whatsoever. And I'm very willing to suspend my disbelief, I tell you what. I love Farscape. Muppets! That show features Muppets! I'm the queen of suspension of disbelief! They shove crackers down Muppet Rygel's throat and I get all choky! I like the Bourne movies! I watch Bones religiously! I accepted Cylons who could reproduce because of love! I have robust suspension of disbelief. Come on. Seriously.

But I can't cope with stories that actually don't make fundamental sense. It's actually insulting to get handed one of those because someone is saying, "You are too stupid to follow this anyway, and I don't care." It's like how the Doctor yells, "Shut up!" at everyone all the time. (I hate that.) It's odd to go back and watch previous seasons, because no matter how nonsensical the stories were, they hung together and at the end of the episode you could say, "They want to do X but Y is a problem and also Z, and then boom!" You could explain them to my little niece. In fact I think explaining the story of The Christmas Invasion to my little niece, who is in the "Why?" stage, pointed this out to me more than anything.

We had a conversation like this:

"What are those Santas doing?"
"They're shooting at Rose and Mickey."
"Because they want to get to the Doctor and they're his friends."
"Why's he sick in bed?"
"Because he just turned into a new person and he's very tired."

Okay, she's three, but you get the gist. Questions from a three-year-old have answers.

"Why is Rory a robot Roman soldier?"
"Er. Because the writers wanted to have him stay heroically by Amy's side through 2000 years of history and show up in 1996 and he couldn't do that if he were alive and also because he got shot and died and also because after the crack light swallowed him up he was never born."
"Yes, but why in the story?"
"Um. Some force that was never identified wanted to use him to make 102 AD impossible for the Doctor to resist because it all came from Amy's brain. Allegedly. Even though that's nonsensical. Even though he got sucked into the crack light and was never born so how did he get recreated as a Roman robot if he never existed?"
"That makes no sense, and I'm three."
"I know. They made bad choices."
"They get a time out!"


Let's think of some better solutions. I get that you wanted to keep Rory in the story somehow and the tragic story of Amy forgetting him after he never existed in the first place. That's worth having, I grant you. But what about, oh, the crack will give someone back if someone jumps in. What about the Doctor can finagle whatever's on the other side. He pulled a piece of TARDIS out of it with his bare hand and didn't get disappeared. Fixing things after they're impossible is his cup of tea. What about some huge tragedy happens, like Amy really loves Van Gogh and is devastated when they can't save him, and we get all torn up and wrung out at the end of that episode when he's dead, but afterward, Rory's back.

All of those make more sense than he's a self-aware robot Roman soldier with memories from before he turned into never having been born who can somehow fight his programming because of love, 2000 years earlier.

What was that, failure of forethought? Laxness? Forgetting about Rory? Killing him for pathos then deciding to get him back after the story already made it so he couldn't come back?

It's only one of the many elements that made no sense at all in this double episode. Oh so many. I don't get why someone who obviously knows how to write stories that hang together would just up and put this out there when it doesn't make the slightest particle of sense. It doesn't even have dream logic. The only way to enjoy it is to have no capacity for rational thinking and no one is that way, not even little kids, who require at least fairy tale logic. And I'm the same way. Give me fairy tale logic! Any kind of logic!

This season they do a lot of this kind of hand-waving explanation that makes things worse than no explanation at all. Whereas if you just say, "The Pandorica! It breaks all the laws of space and time!" then we will de facto accept anything. It's like they explain too much and get into huge trouble because the explanations are so poorly thought out. "Because I said so," basically. Nobody buys "because I said so," not ever.

It's torturing me because I keep trying to figure it out. All the enemies got together and built a prison for the Doctor and that somehow connected to Amy Pond because... No, it doesn't work. There are these cracks everywhere and somehow the Pandorica causes them and Amy's house has one so she is connected to it but she doesn't vanish and never get born because.... No. Remember the giant eyeball behind the crack and the jailer from the first episode of the season? How does that work? Wasn't there some other alien with the giant eyeball from that?

I'm mystified. Oh, and angry. Cheated. Irritated. Don't like investing and then having them go, "Whatever, we didn't think it out, and you're too dumb to care," then shrug and walk away.

The only time I've ever run into this before was with Voyager. My friend D. and I got irate at the same moment, about four episodes in, with the stupid de-evolution into lizards episode. It's someone saying, "The audience isn't smart enough to know why this is the most insanely stupid misunderstood twisting of science. And we don't care if they do." Isn't it condescending? And it never has to be that way. You can use science right and tell fantastic stories. Obviously! Science fiction can be good science and still make good fiction. It can tell good stories and not just be a bunch of hand-waving and fast talk. We're not there to get tricked. We're there for good characters and good stories. BOTH.

The main characters are pretty weak too but that's a whole different rant. Ugh!

I'm still in love with Van Gogh, though. Holy cow. Character!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blue would be better. Blue!

Argh, the transition from a great big pile of blue outgoing presents to a motley huddle of incoming ones always makes me sad, but mostly because I LOVE BLUE. Blue is just BETTER. Prettier! And when they're all the same paper, so nice!

So really this is a silly issue to have but then again I have it every year. I think I should just start issuing blue wrapping paper to family members to avoid it in the future. That's reasonable, right? I'm sure they will understand.

Plus there's the sad couples math thing where for every two blue ones there's one motley one which oddly enough I don't think would be solved by getting hitched (not that I'm considering any such thing, goodness no) because then half of them would be his. Does that make sense? I'm puzzling over this math but then again you know math is not exactly my strength. Drinking tea, obsessing about books and tv shows and soccer, writing things that sound like I have my eyebrows raised up high and an excited expression--those are my strengths.


Fancy knitting got done late Friday night and blocked and all, but wasn't dry by noon on Saturday. Ack! So I had to put it/them on the radiator thingy in the office to dry. What do you call those? The baseboard heater. Which is when I discovered that one of them isn't working anymore. Because of course I just got the tires solved (though not paying back the loan that paid for the tires yet) (nor coping with the six weeks of absolute brokeness that will result) so something else was due to break.

I'll have to get the landlord in to fix that. Oddly the prospect doesn't fill me with great joy.

Let's talk about other more pleasant things! You know the jewel orchid is budding and about to bloom, and you know the phaelenopsis has an inflorescence and is about to bloom in another three weeks or so, but did you know that the other orchid whose type and name I don't even remember anymore is blooming? Yes! Great big pink spiky flowers! I'll have to do some research and figure out what it is. Hurray!

That's a significant proportion of the orchids, all blooming at once. You know why? Because I haven't moved! That's what they like, when you don't move. They bloom much better when they get parked in one spot in one house and nobody does anything except water them. I don't even think I've fertilized in ages. I don't even think I *own* fertilizer right now.

My aspirations are low these days. Stay alive is pretty much it. Stay alive! A noble aspiration! But not that exciting and doesn't extend to things like "Fertilize orchids so that they will bloom." Having tires with treads really helps a lot in that regard--the staying alive, I mean. I don't think I've ever done anything as dangerous as that day I drove in very slippery snow with three bald tires and a donut. Not having the means to prevent having to do it again tomorrow morning (when it's going to snow again) really messed me up, too. Yep.

So today I have to do Online Job that didn't get done yesterday because the internet pooped out on me. It's kind of poky and intermittent today, too. Aggravating, but must be dealt with. And then there's all this cleaning and laundry and whatnot. Dishes. All week's dishes. Because I was busy with fancy knitting all of every evening, see.

I'm not actually going to miss that aspect of things. Holy cow. The time pressure! The difficulty level! The stress! In fact if anyone is getting anything knitted for Christmas next year, I'm going to start it in February. So there.

Okay, I guess I have slight aspirations above being alive. I want to have a clean, orderly, uncluttered house. I came home last night full of anti-clutter mania, which has to wait until I get Online Job done, alas, though I did stagger around all tired, putting things away and out of sight.

The lack of storage space struck me again last night. There just isn't any. There's a very shallow closet full of shelves by the door to the garage. Each shelf has a group of things on it like: hats and mittens, bags for going to the store, the drill and socket set. When I say shallow, they're about as deep as halfway between a paperback and a library book. There's another closet like that only with just one shelf high up. The vacuum lives in there, with its bottom half sort of dislocated (the way it goes when you vacuum under the bed) so it'll fit.

That's the closet of poor space usage. There's sort of a stack of things on the floor next to the vacuum, and some things on the high shelf like light bulbs and stop-motion animation supplies. The shelf is built in an idiotic way to the point where every time I look at it, I just shut the door again and walk away. It's so high up, there's only about four or five inches between the top of the doorway and the shelf, so even though the shelf has more than two feet of space, you can't use it because you can't get anything in there.

Doesn't that make you crazy? Me too!

Other than the cupboard in the bathroom, that's it. Though suddenly I'm having fantasies of putting a bookcase at the end of the hallway, where the full-length mirror is, and using that. No, I don't know where the mirror would go. Do not trouble me with details! I never look in it anyway.

Also I have to take the back off the daybed/couch, because the angle is too shallow. Steep. Too far tilted back. Sitting on that couch kills my back. I'm sorely tempted (har har!) to put the daybed up in the attic until I can afford a real mattress, since the inflatable one isn't working out. Inflatable mattresses are good if you're in the middle, but if you sit near the edge, they squish and tilt. No structure. Guess where you sit on a couch? Not in the middle.

None of that can happen until after the Christmas tree is down and gone, because I can't get anywhere near the attic, certainly not with a twin size bed frame.

In other words, it's my regularly scheduled uncomfortable elbowing at my living space and urge to move furniture around to declutter and better-ify. Business as usual! Where's the tea?

Once that's all done, I'll go, "Dammit! Nowhere to sit again!" and go out and buy a couch. No, wait, I won't, because there's no money and there's never going to be any money, because Online Job is presumably vanishing. Ack! Nothing like a pay cut plus a pay evaporation plus tires plus you know, the very pretty blue outgoing loot. Oh, everyone is pinched this time of year. Ooch! Ouch! Quit pinching!

Is it illegal to hang wrapping paper all over the walls like wallpaper?

Hey! I get roast beast from work on Tuesday! Awesome!

This week I have two things to sew. Three! Three things to sew. And one set of six (or five?) to decorate with fabric markers. And one to make with the Dremel router, unless I chicken out on that. But I would like to make it. My fear is that the sewing machine will not cooperate and that I'll suffer severe Lack of Awesomeness and just send up sitting there feeling crabby and doing nothing. It could happen!

But, come on! Blooming orchids! Roast beast! Actual working tires! Survival! Survival has to count for a lot. Plus my unstuck arthritic sacroiliac joint that now works and crunches like it used to before it got stuck! That sounds obscure but it gave me so much trouble moving around, I can't even tell you. The improvement in every way since it got unstuck (wrestling the flat tire loose) just blows my mind. I can move! Woohoo!

So do Online Job, bake bread, launder all the things, wash all the dishes, clean and declutter everything everything everything, make a tomato sandwich (first procure tomato), cook food for the week (um....), plan out or even cut out the sewing, and lie there staring at the ceiling wondering where the energy is going to come from to do the other things. Right!

I think I'm comprised of equal parts anxiety, dread, desire to crawl in bed and hide, food insecurity, bootstrappery, debt, sense of doom, relief at actual doom avoided, sadness, and a tiny bit of hope that one day things might get better, though the last one is afraid to admit it exists in case someone whams it on the head with a giant sledgehammer. So shhhhh.

Library books! Yeah! What a good thing library books are. Mmmm, library books.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tired! But in a good way!

I mean of course that I have tires. I am attired. Be-tired. Tire-having. All treaded up!

Turns out they were so bloody expensive because they're low profile tires. Which I guess means they avoid media attention, so I probably ought to stop talking about them. Oh and they're all weather tires, so that they can cope with snow. And lack of snow. And rain. What other weathers are there? Scirocco? Monsoon? Tornado? They cope with tornadoes! Hey, you said ALL weather, man, you have to be specific!

I think a set of high profile some weather tires would have set me back considerably less. Or, rather, my brother. I mean I paid for part of it. 3/8, approx. But he lent me the rest, on the logic (his) that if I went into the ditch he'd have to come get me. True!

It would have been cheaper but perhaps more harrowing to have lent me a car for two or three weeks, as I suggested first, but you know, buyer's choice.

I got a Christmas card from my cousin I've only met once in the past thirty years, and that at a funeral! Oh, that doesn't narrow it down. From ONE of my cousins I've only met once in the past thirty years, and that at a funeral. I'm excited, though! It can go next to the one from lovely Sumara, yay!

I have to mail all of mine tomorrow. They're ready to go, but getting to the post office requires more of a lunch hour than I get what with how it's not an hour and the post office in town always has a line a mile long. I will go to my adorable small blue rural post office tomorrow, where there is never ever a line.

Tonight: popcorn! Then finishing the fancy knitting! I nearly got done last night but went half blind from it and had to stop. Plus Bones was distracting me with its awesomeness, even in rerun, even when I'd seen the Christmas one ten million times. I love that episode! It's last year's. What will this year's be like? Will we get one? Want!

Y'all, I stopped taking the Tylenol I was supposed to take when I became allergic to the naproxen because the Tylenol did absolutely nothing. I couldn't tell if I hadn't taken it. No reduction in pain or inflammation of osteoarthritis. Blargh! So now I'm back on ibuprofin which is what I was taking for it back in August when I first went to the doctor, flapping my useless hurty hands and going, "Hellllp...taking too much ibuprofin...ungood." Yes, we have come full circle, only now I have a big bottle of Tylenol I don't need. Want it? There's LOTS.

I guess it just doesn't work for some people. From my reading, this is the consensus. Suggested: try something that works. Well, no duh.

Mmmm, popcorn. Why am I still dithering here instead of going and making it? Well, because I'm afraid I'll disappear into the popcorn/fancy knitting vortex and will neglect to come back here and therefore people will worry and wonder, what with the utterly hosened tires of hosening I had before I got retired.

They put the spare back into its hiding place under the trunk but I had to go look because I'm anxious and untrusting. And then the tire pressure light kept blinking on and off and I was like, "Oh no! Still be-hosened! What do I do? Go back? Wait? Check the tire pressure? Oh no! Ack! Alarm!" And then I drove out of the parking lot and it was fine. Yes. Why wait to panic when you can panic now? I know!

More smoked salmon for lunch which means I keep smelling it despite the ten million candy canes and whatnot (yes they are contraband shhhhhh) which is why fish isn't my favorite despite being my favorite. It's like bananas. Don't you keep on smelling bananas forever after you eat one? I can't stand it.

Actually, you know what would be awesome? Watching Aliens while eating popcorn. But I will not! Because it's too scary and I'll frell up the fancy knitting. But I have Sherlock from Netflix and that has a cute boy from the past in it. The past is an acceptable alternative to outer space. Just so you know. Or the future. That's good too. Ethan Hawke does not strike me as cute, though, so don't try to Gattaca me none. Sorry, Ethan Hawke. Shave off that appalling mustache, I beg you. I tell the truth because I care.

I was nervously fiddling with the zipper on the change section of my wallet in the tire store and then flipped it over and all the change fell out, which was an excellent illustration of my financial acumen, and also made my brother do a scoffing Jeremy Piven imitation, in honor of the time I was picking up change off the sidewalk while waiting for my chance to cross the street and Jeremy Piven was at the stop sign in his little Prius and saw me and looked utterly disgusted at such a thing, which made me laugh inordinately. Yay! Because, who cares? Why have an opinion at all? Why have a negative reaction? What a hilarious reaction to have!

Which reminds me, because it's a vivid character thing: did you hear the interview on the radio with the girl who's in the new Coen Bros. movie? Well, it doesn't matter, because this has nothing to do with her, but with a little character thing the interviewer explained, about this character who was kind of egotistical and had to show off his status. It just made the character pop into life for me instantly. Oh boy! Someone who's a little insecure and defensive and always proving his rank even to people who could not remotely care less, that's so very awesome. Love it!

It's one of those rich character things that utterly fills me with joy and makes me want to go write everything forever and ever, hurray! It's the things I never usually think about but which are so outrageously true to life that way--I love those! You win, Coen Bros! Again and again!

Mmm, character.

Mmm, popcorn with garlic butter and cayenne pepper. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The blue fez worked

Clearly this is why I prefer things that are blue in most circumstances! Only not when they're the cat and mostly food and other beings. Also drinks. But the blue fez worked perfectly!

I put it outside the door with a tiny sticky note on the garage's human door window (parse that, yaaaar!) that said, "USPS/UPS, please use the big blue container," with an arrow pointing down. The arrow was just to be silly.

And lo, I came home today and there was a large box fitted carefully inside the blue fez! Hurray! And not sitting in the snow where it otherwise would have been. Awesome!

It's okay to put things in the snow when it's 20 degrees. It doesn't melt or soak into things. But I can't grasp that because I'm not from around here. In my experience of the world, things put into snow get wet. Hence the fez.

I'm going to work very hard to find occasions to say "Hence the fez" from now on.

Things that did not work well today: the whole car thing. The tires are too worn out to fix flats on them. They have to be able to pass inspection to get fixed. I know! I know. I stood there in the store with the clerk guy and the tire guy and we all talked about how much more dangerous it is for me to be driving in snow on three bald tires and a donut versus four matching bald tires. (MUCH.) But they weren't allowed to help me.

Also it turns out they ARE allowed to sell you one tire for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. They're just not allowed to put it on the car. I was all, "Yay, let's do that!" until we discussed that it's even more dangerous than living with the donut. Sigh.

And I got fix-a-flat but apparently it's a fluid that freezes so when your car is at rest, it'll all sink to the bottom and freeze there into a hard ice cube inside your tire. Yay. I'm not sure why I got it except it seemed prudent. I dunno. I'm not going to use the fooked tire.

So we'll see. I've asked to swap a car with one of the baby people until I can afford tires, since they have three cars and no jobs. We'll see! It's only what, three more weeks? Or one week if I pay the rent five days late. I will have to see.

Here's the fun exciting part that is unrelated to the above except of course to the blue fez portion: I get to wrap up a bunch of presents and put them under the tree! Yay! I love it when the tree is sheltering a whole mass of outgoing (and therefore BLUE) presents! Yay! Yay! Yay! So pretty!!!

Ooh, fancy knitting...I discovered last night that I am much nearer being done than the pattern suggested! I had to elide many rows right out of it and fold the pattern so that they disappeared! Which means I could actually get done tonight, even with my tire store visit of futility. That would be awesome! I will totally post pictures after that whole Christmas thing is over with, do not worry! For I am full of pride and glowing feelings about having made something so awesome. I show people at work how much I've done and how cool it's coming out every day.

My phone croaked while I was gone today. So off the hook, it only holds its charge some number that's less than 10 hours. That's appalling. I'm appalled! I will put a phone on my wish list.

The whole tire mess is, how you say, bumming me out, both on the immediate This Is Dangerous, Expensive, and Inconvenient level and also on the larger Oh Holy Frak You Are Incapable Of Basic Things level. I don't mind so much (or at least I'm used to) not being able to afford food, clothing that fits, and utilities, despite work work work, but somehow utterly failing to maintain this very nice car that I didn't even have to pay for is bothering me inordinately.

Tire guy was upset on the issue, for fear that I'd crash into a tree or someone else and wreck the car. And get offed myself, he added as an afterthought, which charmed me, truly. I love it when people care so much about their subject that everything else is a distant second. Awwww.

My eye kept doing that weeping thing while I was there, which I didn't mean to be as manipulative as it was, I swear. But it was needlessly melodramatic to be standing there going, "But I can't afford new tires!" and wiping away a tear. Repeatedly. I mean, come on! Bathos! Gosh!

I like how watchful and slightly alarmed the car store guys always are with me. Like they're not quite sure which way I'm going to jump. I LOVE car stores so I'm all excited about torque wrenches and I go around touching things (not the staff, I assure you) with one finger and smiling at them, which is a little odd, okay, but I absolutely love all those shiny chrome and blue and red things that are exactly 100% function. Plato would have loved the car store too. Hence the fez!

Okay, that didn't really work, but it felt like the right time.

Did I tell you the car rolled off the jack today? Yeah. I need chocks. I really do. You should have chocks! Normally I use a big rock from the wall around the garden, but there was all this snow and I thought they were probably frozen together. Hence the boot. But the car rolled right onto the boot. It did stop it, though. I mean, I was able to pull the boot out without moving the car. That means it worked, right? Anyway it couldn't have gone anywhere except into a stack of fezzes and then pushed those into the big stack of railroad ties that are piled against the back wall of the garage.

Still, I've never had a car roll off a jack before. It's because I took the brake off. Why did I take the brake off? Because I could not get the damn wheel off. It was good and stuck on there. But it came loose when the car fell, so there's that.

Lum de dum.

This is why you never, ever put limbs under the car when it's on a jack. Never, ever, ever.

So anyway. Chocks! Put them on my list, too.

My list:

a non-busted cordless phone
pants that fit? (optional)
fixedness for the sewing machine
fixedness for my busted leg (and all that whole thing)
steady, large income
writing awesome books!
a working memory
non-frelled hands
friends (sniff! wipe away a single tear!)
more fish!

I can acquire the last one right exactly now! Mmmm. Though, fish: it makes me keep on smelling fish. Which is ungood. Fish, why do you not come with a point of stoppitude? I had to wear SCENT today because I could not stop smelling fish and it was making my fins twitch.

At some point last night when I was tossing and turning and going, "Gaaaah! I suck! I can't buy tires!" it occurred to me that I'd invented that Not Peter Wimsey character for the C. Blue book and the whole series of books she features in and a whole story for the imaginary author and all that great stuff. I was thinking about the new pre-history research, see. So I went back to working on that and lo! Progress, she was made! I am so very pleased about that, too. Yais.

Right, fancy knitting, with television for once. Gosh! Television, huh? And also cinnamon toast. I'm afraid of smelling the fish forever. But cinnamon toast, mmmm! Yes please!


Flat tire this morning. On the plus side, it went flat overnight, instead of, say, in the mall parking lot at night in a torrential rainstorm or heinous blizzard. And it was soft yesterday so just in case I backed into the garage, which meant I got to change the tire in a 20 degree garage in a dry spot instead of in a lake. Normally the front of the car is in a lake, see.

The spare is a donut. Oh and did I mention it snowed 3-4 inches this morning? Yes. Guess what happens when you drive on 3-4 inches of snow on icy roads with three bald tires and a donut? The donut is smaller by enough that it makes the car slew its back end around to the right and toward the front. All the time. Which might not matter if the other tires had treads. Yep!

I managed to get to work safely, if 45 minutes late due to the tire-changing and the need to drive 15 mph and the other need to stay off the interstate.

I think it's a miracle I got here at all. There are cars off the road everywhere you look, which means regular seasoned Mainers with actual tread-having tires were going into ditches.

So I call it a win so far. But I'm a shaky wreck myself from the stress of it, seriously. I might actually leave early to get home before things get icier out there. Though it's stopped snowing and presumably someone might plow a road or two between now and then. Oh I should shovel the driveway at some point, too.

The donut makes the car so crazy, I might put the flat tire back on and pump it up every time I need to get anywhere. Or don't they have that gunk they can inject into tires that fills leaks? No? Not when they're as bald as our beloved Patrick Stewart? Maybe I'll swing by the tire fixing place and see what they say. Except what they say will be NO.

World says no! But in such a nice, considerate way, today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Home! Yay!

I got to come straight home today, hurray! Quelle relief, seriously. There aren't enough hours in the day in the first place and then errands do not help. All the home errands are done already, except for pumping up the very very squashy front tire. I would say "flat" except in my mind flat = no air in it at all. And there is *some.* Oh dear.

Math is being unwieldy. I can't afford tires yet. I might put the spare on if pumping up the squashy tire doesn't help. I'll pump it up before I go home at night too if I have to. I mean, if it works.

Dang! I hate it when math bosses me around. I would rather boss math around and tell it what to do and when and where and what for. Instead math seems to be the boss of me ALL THE TIME. Always. Ugh! Math says, "No, you can't do that," and you know there's no arguing with math.

I have to call up the school I may or may not be going to in January and see what their math says, because very likely that says "No, you can't do that," also. Though there are very good reasons to go and not to go, I'd rather decide based on them than on math, see what I mean?

Boarding the cat will cost a lot, plus missing work for a week will cost a lot, plus Online Job seems to be about to vanish, though of course I don't know that for sure. And did I mention the tires? Tires! Need some. I guess they were right to insist I needed all four, since it's the front ones that have gone kerflooey. Or who knows, maybe it just got low because it warmed up outside? Maybe? Oof.

Anyway! Today I was forced to fill many empty hours! And what I did was research on this fabulously awesome story idea I've had for ages but wasn't ready to write. I might not be yet either but the research is giving me the tools I'll need to *get* ready. It is so very very interesting! Look at all the stuff I've learned!

I learned a whole heck of a lot, I tell you what.

Mmm, I broke into the Christmas Eve smoked salmon off-cuts. Did you know they sell these? Maybe they don't everywhere. Well there's regular smoked salmon, and then there's the bits they cut off to fit it into the packaging or whatever, which are packaged up nicely and cost half as much. And are the same. SO GOOD! I swear smoked salmon is my favorite food, next to my other favorite foods like fresh hot bread with cold butter on it, and a good hot cup of tea, and spinach, and kale, and brown rice, and pie, and all those other items of deliciousness.

So there might be a lot more of this in the future. Math permitting. Frakking math! This is Ducktrap River brand and is made with cane sugar juice and no sulfites (I can attest, having eaten half the package) and it is absolutely fabulous. More please!

Oh oh oh, research. This is so very very fun. I get to make a whole new historical timeline, which is easy enough because I don't know much about the actual one. Did you know there was a major weather event in the year 536 or so that changed the course of history? Or maybe it didn't. Apparently the big book on it is full of crap! So it goes. But the weather event definitely happened only no one knows what it was.
I remember hearing about this in some college history class where I wasn't following anything and just lighting up with ideas, which is probably when I should have realized that fiction was my metier. Did I mention this before in like 2006? My apologies for the repetition. Oh, there's only one person still here from then!

And something odd happened around the year 1000 in North America that made everyone change their way of life. I love reading about the fragmentary history of North America before colonization. It's like, nobody knows who they were, or what they were doing! (Snork.) But truly, we have the archaeological record except it doesn't tell you why people started living in smaller groups instead of big ones, or why they gave up this big trade federation thing, or even why they built the serpentine mounds.

Which is all so very cool, because you know how I'm obsessed with pre-history, except in North America pre-history is infinitely more recent. We know just endlessly more about, say, England in the year 100 than about the entire North American continent in the year 1500. And even up until not that long after that, it was the Bronze Age here, pretty much. They didn't have WHEELS.

Of course, that to me is half of what makes the history so mind-meltingly boring, since it's a lot of people just having regular lives and occasionally skirmishing and such. It's like if you were going to write the history of Ohio from 1970 to 1980. I would just perish of boredom. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with it--that's what we want, regular normal life--but as far as storytelling, nope.

I up and wrote a beginning because I had this image in mind, so that's great and fills me with that bubbly joy that writing always gives me. Plus I get to write about several glorious things that I totally adore.

This is all in the very most beginningest stages and really needs massive planning and much more research before I can do the slightest thing.

But you know what kinds of stories I like best. Strangers coming together to form a family. People discovering their innate awesomeness and blooming. Road trip quests. And oddly enough, great big economic/social upheaval. Free us of the oppression of math! Or that other oppressive thing!

Oh wow. I just remembered this terrible book I got rid of that sort of maybe dealt with some of the same stuff in a peripheral way. Its cover was coming off and did I mention it was terrible? Now, how am I going to find out what it was called? It was blue and the author's name started with a B, I think. Or maybe was Magnus something somebodysson. It had ocean and ice on the cover. It was trying to be like a saga but as usual with that type of thing, the effect didn't make it out of the first chapter and then it was into regular novel style.

So anyway! I'm writing my lovely fun romance novel in intervals between frantic knitting, which must resume immediately. There's a reason I'm suddenly crabby about my fancy knitting but it has nothing to do with the knitting itself. Humph. The knitting is outrageously awesome, though I'll be glad to get done since it's eating my whole entire life.

Mmmmmmm, salmon.