Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mission control

Oof, banged my temple on the corner of one of the many monitors here in Mission Control, while I was plugging in the tea kettle. Hoping that I wasn't dying for a cup of tea. Maureen Johnson has me worried about minor head injuries again, after that Shades of London book. Though I've had plenty of major head injuries and no lasting harm done, except for a less active right eyebrow, an inability to do anything involving numbers, and of course that personality disorder.

Ha ha! Just kidding. I can totally do SOME things involving numbers!

Speaking of OCD, I had to cut down a dead tree to make up a group of three dead things that I dealt with, so that, you know, THE WORLD wouldn't fill up my group of three with some being that I don't want it to. It's contrary that way. Isn't it? No? Superstitious OCD nonsense? Okay!

Dead thing #1: dog skellington. Duly buried in the field. Carefully avoided the spot where the horse is buried (I put the brush pile there on purpose) and where I buried my cat Shrubsole in, ooh, 1994?

Dead thing #2: garter snake that Our Lady of the Lawnmower ran over, which my dog was rolling on. Fortunately it was not gross at all, just dead. It looked like it was faking, honestly. I had the shovel out anyway for dead thing #1.

Dead thing #3: tree by the driveway that somehow I never noticed before even once although apparently it's been dead for years. And right there. I mean, they don't move around, trees. It was only 4-5 inches in diameter but nine feet tall. It's easy to overlook a thing like that, surely? Anyway I cut it down and then alarmed my mother by dragging it away with one hand. I'm strong, okay? Doesn't everyone know that I'm unrealistically strong? I thought we covered that.

Ooh, in between #1 and #2 I moved all the rescued barn stuff out of my trailer and into the red trailer, so I can go get my stuff from Maine one of these months, then cleaned up a lot of junk, then moved the giant metal culverts out of the way, then built an archery target stand out of the PVC pipe my dad made dog agility jumps out of.

Then I got to shoot my bow! Hurray! At a target! I even hit it sometimes! And when I missed, they were near misses. Obviously I just need a bigger target! And one of those greaves or whatever that you put on your left arm because OW I have some welts from the bow string hitting me. Also it snapped me right in the bosomnal area at one point but my bare arm is way less protected.

Archery is so totally fun. I don't know how to do it right but it's really fun. Also I have a right-handed bow and I'm pretty sure I'd be way better left-handed. I tried switching and I was infinitely steadier lefty. But there isn't a little guitar pick thingy to guide the arrow on the left side.

I need to learn how to do this right. That THWACK when the arrow sinks into the target is incredibly satisfying. More, more! I stopped after the last giant welt on my arm, though.

What else? Gosh, that's plenty. Oh! I got my mom's wooden recliner chair thing out of the shed and put it on the deck for her. Needs a scrubbing. And moved all the winter clothes into the big blue fez in the garage so I can put some other stuff down there instead of leaving it in a neatly folded yet somehow extremely irritating pile in the upstairs hall.

So! Is it time for hot dogs yet?

I'm assuming I didn't catch hantavirus or tetanus or anything vile in the gross barn and won't expire painfully or anything like that. I did have to pull these big old vines off the dog skellington and only later realized they were poison ivy, but I don't think the viney part has that oil. Urushiol. Isn't that a great word? So Harry Potter. Or like a demon name.

I don't actually think I get poison ivy. I've been camping since forever and in Girl Scouts and always up in the woods and fields and everywhere but I've never had it. So here's hoping!

Nor will I expire from banging my temple on that monitor, right? Can't I get renewed? Because clearly in this scenario I am a library book? Those don't expire, exactly, just get overdue. Or perhaps a grocery item on a shelf. What else expires? Credit cards, I guess. Milk. Leases. Options. Your visa. Your driver's license. Your car registration. Oops. I have a week left on that, crap!

Okay NOW it's time for hot dogs and possibly an absurd adult beverage like a pina colada or something. Whee!

What a gorgeous and productive day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Emo burrito and pumpkin pie

What are you doing indoors on a nice day like today? Waiting for it to be burrito time, of course! Soon, my precious. Soooooon.

And I'm syncing like nobody's business. All I really wanted to do was watch the Star Trek movie (the first reboot) on a tv. Is that so much to ask?

But it requires copying the movie from my laptop to the iPod and then from there to the desktop and from there to AppleTV.

AppleTV is apparently a one-computer kind of being.

The desktop is busy downloading those unspeakably terrible Community episodes that I don't want.

AppleTV is busy syncing all those 10th Doctor episodes that I don't want it to sync, and also the rest of Torchwood. I don't know, they get these ideas. It's best just to go with it, I find.

So I have three live monitors, three Apple devices, two computers, and two remotes.

Also I seem to have set up the sound wrong on the tv connected to AppleTV because there's no sound. Hmm.

Doesn't that burrito sound good right now? I know! I have an avocado and everything. There may even still be a tomato. Is that tomato still around?

Oh, hi! I'm being all functional. But actually I'm being all emo too, because I forgot to take my anti-emo meds. They are way over there.....all the way across the rooooooom. At one point I actually caught myself leaning back in my chair, staring out the window, with one arm dramatically outflung. It's like the emo alarm went off and reminded me to get on the pillage.

Between the dramatic moping and the constant obsession with burritos (oh man) I might be having my second adolescence or something.

Also, I'm knitting a dishcloth! I love those. They're all finishy. Start! Knit! Finish! Yay!

Because of that, I'm thinking I might start a great big afghan, the kind you knit one square at a time. I can use all that acrylic I got to make a sweater but then discovered it was horrendous at stranded knitting. Which I should have known. It kind of sticks. Don't even talk about it because acrylic yarn sticking to each other like that is fingernails on the chalkboard for me. Gaaaaack.

Anyway the squares for an afghan sound very fun and doable and I'm excited about it. I can do some plain, some stripey, some log cabin, and some that thing where you pick up on right angled sides and knit in, with the mitred double decrease down the middle, what the heck is that called? Anyway it'll be fun! And super finishy, which is great.

So I've been replaced as lawn mower person, sigh. Two bouts of lawn mowing, two bouts of massive asthma attacks and allergies and up all night coughing and whatnot, and my mom replaced me. You can't actually blame her. And I kind of don't even mind, except I liked the exercise and the Doing Useful Things of it.

But today Our Lady of the Lawnmower zoomed in with two acolytes and mowed the whole giant place, including trimming and cleaning up with a leafblower, in half an hour flat. It takes me about three and takes my mom all week. So. Yay!

Also while they were doing that, I took the dog for a walk up the mountain to play with my dam--remember my dam? The one that makes the field not be a soggy pudding?--and the whole time my eyes were itching and tears ran down my cheeks and all that boring allergy kind of thing.

I suppose I should get back into the habit of taking those six antihistamines again, now that the stupid bronchitis is gone. Right? Sigh. Pillage. Don't like! However.

I switched from not working Mondays to not working Fridays, plus Monday is off, so I have a four day weekend, woohoo! I am REALLY enjoying it. Oh boy oh boy! I did the last piece of that room rearrangement, the part that actually makes the place workable and liveable, ha ha! It's pretty awesome. The only bad things about it that I can see are unavoidable for the moment, namely the giant monitor on a table in front of the comfy chair. Because the monitor on the laptop is kaput. That whole monitor on a table situation is fraught with peril. That sucker is unsteady. Also I can't get out of my chair in a hurry, which is another whole issue unto itself.

However! Otherwise: excellence.

So when laptop buying time comes around, should I get an Apple product? I think so. Maybe then the four of them (goodness) could all be friends and converse over the airwaves and hang out and stuff. How many Apples does it take to make you one of those Apple people? I already am one, aren't I? Oh.

It is just ridiculously hard to write this way. That's all. It's even hard to write this here dithery blathering. Sheesh.

What else do I have to report? I bought a bunch of clothes, did I tell you that before? And then the excellent cropped pants in pretty colors instantly became ludicrously too big. I figured that would happen. It always happens. Unless I get them just right, in which case they instantly become ludicrously too small.

So now I have to a) sew a bunch more belt loops on to supplement the inadequate ones, b) figure out how to take them in without making them uncomfortable or weird looking, and/or c) gain a bunch of weight so they fit again. Ha ha! (NO.)

I've been reading the most ridiculously empowering book--like lemon bundt cake!--called The Unapologetic Fat Girl's Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts. The only bad thing about it, seriously, is the word incendiary. Because I do not wish to set fire to things. And I do not think that word means what she thinks it means. In fact, I know it. Oh, sure, metaphor, but even as a metaphor it doesn't really work. It should be something more like revolutionary or something. Incendiary has a lovely ring to it and sounds great in the title, though.

Anyway. AMAZING book. It goes into all the ugly crap that people say and do and gives you great ways to shut them the hell up and do what you want anyway. I love how she gives these terrific comebacks. Seriously. Like just saying "Get out of my way."

The main message is to get out there and get moving because it'll make you feel awesome, which is totally true. And don't expect to lose weight, because you probably won't, and anyway that's not what exercise is FOR. It's for moving, having fun, feeling good, playing, being strong, and so on. How can you not love this book already? I adore it. I think it's in my top ten must-take-with-me books. Like I think if I went on a plane trip, I'd take it along.

I make an empowering lemon bundt.

What? Oh, right.

I've also been stomping around lately going I'M IN CHARGE because of course, I am, and remembering that is very important. I will tell you what I can and can't do. What you do with that is up to you. (Implied: so suck it.) I keep having the most amazing conversations about this. In one of them, I told this to someone who needed to hear it, who then told someone else, who then came around and told it to me right when *I* needed to hear it. How fabulous is that? I love it!

I like being told to say aggressive things like "Get out of my way" because I really do feel quite aggressive about this sort of thing. And it's better than imagining punching someone in the face. I suppose I don't look like I would actually punch someone in the face, but oh boy, I totally would if I needed to. A right hook to the nose would put someone right out of commission, if they were being threatening or whatever.

I also seem to be having some kind of weird reappearance of ancient dusty emotions that I'd forgotten about, which is nice. I wonder where they've been hiding? Maybe they were in storage.

Ooh, and I've been jumping rope, because it's so stupidly fun. I take the dog out and while he's romping around in the bushes, I jump rope. It doesn't hurt anything (yay!) and now I can do up to seventy something without running out of air or legs. Actually it's more the ability to breathe while counting that gives me trouble. Or coordinating breathing, jumping, and counting.

I remember very vividly how I'd have to time breathing and running pace, or I couldn't do it. Like x number of steps per inhale, x number per exhale. Or I would actually get tangled up and fall over. It's true.

So once I figure out a good breathing/jumping/counting pace (I might have to give up the counting, seriously) I'll probably be able to do it for ages.

Maybe I'll go make my burrito and put my pills into it, like you do with a dog. No no no, I won't do that really. I just have to extricate myself from this ridiculous table fortress and deep chair and knitting horb that is doubling as a footstool. Without spilling anything. We shall see!


I'll tell you what will help this whole situation: putting the 2x4 back under the back of this chair. Its angle of repose is far too shallow and leaning back-ish. It needs to be much more upright. Up! Up! Up and at 'em!

Happy long weekend, internet! I got hot dogs for Memorial Day and ooh, I'm really into this one George Strait song lately. Someone played it and I heard it that way, or I'd never have come across it. I don't know what the title is. Give it all we got tonight? Something like that. So you should go listen to it. Also that Darius Rucker song Wagon Wheel. Then you can eat your hot dogs and listen to country music and feel like it's the Olympics and it's a baseball and apple pie kind of holiday weekend. After that I'll be back to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and international soccer, but hey, I get to feel like I belong for a bit! Maybe I should move to a more urban type of area, ha ha. Anyway. Great songs! So enjoy!

I'm going to make pumpkin pie, actually. I love how off kilter that is for this holiday. Whee!

Happy Memorial Day emo burrito and pumpkin pie!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Always look on the bright side of life

Oh, man, it's late. But I am so full of words! I'm saying.

I don't know, today was...nice? Right up until my mom told me about the rattlesnake I ran over with the mower on Monday. Whoops! Or was it Sunday? When did I mow? Unknown.

It's also possible that the rattlesnake was alive and slithered away from where she saw it. Because when we went out to look at the piece of rattlesnake, it was gone. Though lately it's been made very clear to me that dead things vanish very quickly around here.

Like the bunny that the mail truck ran over right at the end of the driveway. It was all gory and freshly dead when I left for work, then when my mom went out two hours later, it was down to just bones and a few scraps of fur.

Turkey vultures: they are fast eaters and very thorough. They also leave great big pools of, well, evidence, to show where they were standing while they were eating. Ewwww. That and the big smear of blood make me wish for more of those giant thunderstorms.

Or maybe I'll learn how to use the power washer?

My dog just got in BIG TROUBLE for jumping at the buzzing moths bonking into the screen. He's lying down next to me being extremely good and immobile. He's learned this recently, not sure how. When in trouble, lie down next to your human and don't move. Good boy!

It's a good default option.

He's all drenched in flea and tick drops and smells like medicinal gum. There are ticks again. Ewwwww. I sure do hate the ticks. Especially when you're enjoying a lovely morning cuddle with the dog who spent the whole night under the blankets with you and you find a great big fat engorged one in the curve of his ear. Gaaaaaaaaaah!!!

I figure if he cuddles up tonight, I will also get flea and tick immunity. Woohoo!

This is unrelated: I'm going to try to wear either a gingham or madras shirt tomorrow. I don't know why I'm pushing myself like this. I only this past year graduated to t-shirts that SAY THINGS and HAVE IMAGES. And I only got a non-drab/forest/sky-colored garment when I bought red shirts for the WGA thing. So you know. Eeek!

The new clothes are quite alarming. QUITE alarming. Because there are so many of them! And they were so necessary! Eeek! And now I have to wear them! I prefer to let new things sort of seep into my usual wardrobe incrementally. But I can't wait on this due to the unholy heat.

Madras or gingham. Gingham or madras. It's a tough one.

One of these days I'll get brave enough to pack away and/or give away all those oxford shirts I don't wear and haven't worn since about, ooh, 2006? Around then. I don't wear them because they don't fit right anymore. Unbelievable! When I only got them in about 1997! How can this be?

The unholy breathing issues have returned, starting yesterday. I'm having those giant coughing fits where I can't get my breath and I turn scarlet and tears run down my face. It's AWESOME. It's nearly as awesome as finding out you either did or didn't run over a rattlesnake with the mower!

The odd thing is, I definitely remember hearing some rattling over there and wondering if it was related to the mower somehow. Jeebus. Running over a rattlesnake and not realizing it = horrible because a) oh man, so gross and awful, and b) I didn't know it was there and I was that close to it, ack ack ack! Not running over a rattlesnake = it's still out there, roaming around, waiting to bite me or my dog. Gaaaaaack!

Not good. Stuck between a snake and a snake place?

I suspect (but obviously can't prove) that it was alive and slithered away. There was a big swervy dent in the grass where my mom showed me. Like a big snake sunned itself there. Oh man.

Snakes. Possible snakes. Possible partial snakes that then disappear. Anyone else having flashbacks?

At least I didn't see a raptor flying over with a whole snake dangling from its claws, like back when I lived in the land of myth and legend, where you could get poutine at the pizza place.

Ha ha ha, that dog flea and tick stuff: I washed my hands thoroughly, realizing even while I was doing it that someone was going to rub it all along my legs. And lo! He has done so already. And my hands and lips are already swelling up! That's just awesome.

All together now! You live your life like a canary in a coal mine. You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line.

Today really was an oddly good day, though, in between the impromptu bunny bones golf (whacking them across the road so my dog wouldn't get into them) and forensic snake remains investigations. And other various assorted stressors. And Alison's mom died yesterday, which is awful. The local paper had the biggest, most comprehensive, best written obituary in the entire time my mom has been reading it, which is over 20 years now. Oxford commas and all! So clearly not written by that paper, because they are legendary for outrageous misspellings and grammatical solecisms.

The dog ate most of an apple and a lot of snow peas. Oh and I gave him a dewormer. In the evening, on a Wednesday. So I am an idiot and fully expect to have to go out at least once tonight. Serves me right, man. I only hope there isn't a carpet steamer involved.

In positive news, that amazing soup I invented (onions, lots of olive oil, cumin, garlic, black pepper, cayenne, salt, dry mustard, black beans, squash: puree) was still ridiculously outrageously amazing. It has the most wonderful texture. I used canned black beans and a brick of frozen squash, so I don't know if it would work as well with regular home-cooked ingredients, but I'm certainly willing to try. They do something extra velvety with the squash you buy in frozen bricks. But it just says squash on it. I dunno.

Right, off to bed! To cough, perchance to sleep. And in that sleep what dreams may come must give us pause.

So much cumin. I wonder if a giant cumin aura repels rattlesnakes? Brrr, I would not like to be bitten by one of those. I love snakes but going to the ER and getting LifeFlighted to Danville to get antivenin is not my idea of a good time. Though it sure sounds like a great thing to put into a story, huh? Plus then I would have special snake superpowers! And speak Parseltongue! And could live happily ever after with the alternate history version of Severus Snape! I know!

That's me, looking on the bright side of everything, yep, uh-huh, oh yeah.

Monday, May 13, 2013

An oboe. Or possibly someone talking in the next room. Strangely compelling!

Well hi! You're looking great today! Did you get a haircut? Looks terrific!

I'm having a weird day! Yes! Oh, thank you, yes I did actually get out the blow dryer and dry my hair, then put it back in a top-only scrunchie because I'm twelve and also from 1987! And the scrunchie matched my t-shirt! I have to get some of those curly laces for my sneakers.

No no no, it's a weird day because my temperature has been doing trapeze tricks or something. Way down to a whisker away from hypothermia! How about that, huh? I thought hypothermia was 93 but it starts at 95. Mine was 95.4. And I was SO BOILING HOT I could barely stand it. This is after mowing the grass for an hour.

Hmmmmm.

So I googled things that cause low body temperature and it told me: hypothermia (wait...is it an effect or a cause?) as well as oddities like problems with the hypothalamus. I think I remember that they go in through your eye sockets to do surgery on that. SO LET'S NOT HAVE THAT.

Anyway. Now I'm curious what on earth it could be. First of all it was 48 degrees outside and I was mowing in shorts and t-shirt, which honestly is pretty normal for me. Remember all the snow shoveling in regular clothes plus gloves when it was ridiculously cold in Maine? Exercise heats me way up.

Then I remembered Jim Henson and got all scared I was having sepsis or something, I don't know! Wouldn't I know? I think I'd know. Wouldn't it be readily apparent in some way? Besides hypothermia?

At any rate, today I bought some clothes to help me adapt to working in a hot hot place when I'm already super boiling hot. I don't seem to have proper clothes for any environment, do I? Well, sweaters. I'm good with the sweaters. And hand-knit wool socks. And hats, gloves, snow boots, cardigans, scarves, and so on.

So now we have some capri kind of pants in an array of khakis and darkish colors (and one pair in lime sherbet! awesome!) and some sleeveless tops and short-sleeve crinkly kind of cotton and all that kind of thing, in gingham and mild-mannered madras-y plaids.

They also had all these long-sleeved t-shirts like I wear all winter for $1.99, so I got a bunch more of them, feeling like a murderer because they were probably made in Bangladesh. (No, Nicaragua, but you know the same issues apply.)

I really wanted a stripy Mo shirt.

Wait, back up.

Last week while going about my business I ran into the supremely awesome Alison Bechdel. You MUST know who she is, right? I could not believe the number of people who didn't. I was agog. I've been reading her comic since the 80s, people. Literary heroine! Every kind of heroine!

I was a complete daft loon about it, of course. Remember when I found Emily at the screenwriting thing and I was like, "Hi, I'm Maggie, from the internet!" One of my finest hours.

Well my brains could not wrap around running into someone that outrageously awesome here in nowheresville *despite* knowing perfectly well she's from the next town over. So I said brilliant things like, "Are you Alison? You're super famous!" And I'm hitting myself over the head with my keyboard right now, believe me. Anyway she was very kind and friendly and I had all these huge unwieldy feelings the whole rest of the day (and a fever from the bronchitis) about how we went to the same school and are from similar nowheresvilles and so I CAN BE AWESOME TOO. Because I got that inspired. I know!

So when I went to the library this weekend, coughing furiously the whole time, I checked out a gigantic volume of her comics. I think it's called The Selected Dykes to Watch Out For? I think so. And then I read it all. Hundreds of pages. Ate it all up.

I remembered bunches of it from back when the lesbian moms I was a nanny for got the paper and I grabbed it and read that before they even got home from work. In fact the one mom kept all these back issues (I wish I could remember the paper's name--it was in D.C. and I feel like it was hyphenated, but I'm probably remembering Whitman Walker) and I went through ALL of them, reading the comic. It's excellent. It is all about liberal co-op going march attending bumper sticker having people who are basically all of my friends and I loved it. The characters are so fantastic. And the art is brilliant. And there are all these tiny visual jokes sprinkled all throughout that just cracked me up.

And ever since reading that whole book, I keep imagining Mo flipping out about things as I go about my shopping. Legitimately flip-out-able things, like buying a lot of t-shirts for cheap that were made by underpaid exploited people and so on. Well, first I imagined her asking why I needed more clothes. (Which is a fair point.) And then the cartoon rants.

So that's why I was hoping to find a stripy Mo shirt but alas! I did not! Probably a good thing, given the problematic nature of imagining a cartoon character's rants every time I would have worn it.

One shirt is stripy. It's a navy blue hooded t-shirt thing with thin white horizontal stripes. It has one of those sewn in pretend white t-shirt things that make it not obscenely low-cut. I'm against those on general principles. Things that are made to pretend to be other things! Dislike! Degeneracy in artistic creation!

My own head is full of those same rants, see. Oh boy!

Mo's shirt is equal width red and white stripes, though. Isn't that what the U.S. Women's team is wearing now? Wasn't I just searching the world for one so I could write WAMBACH on the back? 

The library didn't have that Lynda Barry book, can you imagine?

Anyway I'm still all inspired to awesomeness. And I have a lot of inexpensive but very necessary guilt-ridden Mo-ranty light-weight clothes so I don't utterly die of the heat at Day Job. Which is probably my own personal thermostat going wonky but does that even matter?

I'm mystified by the hypothermia thing, seriously. I would put it into WebMD as a search but absolutely everything I search for, unless it's that neuroma on my foot, comes up multiple sclerosis. Like, always.

Which is annoying because either it is or it isn't, it can't be both, stop Heisenberging me with your mixed messages, nervous system and also WebMD!

Speaking of which, it's been 8 days since I fell last! Woohoo!

I did rearrange the furniture while in bronchitis exile. And vacuumed. Those are two things you're not supposed to do with a massive respiratory infection. Oops.

Boy have I been coughing a lot. So much coughing! Unreal how much coughing, actually. What's that thing where you hurt your ribs coughing? Costochondritis? Yes. Where it feels like your ribs will actually break off your sternum, sproing, sproing, sproing. It causes much dramatic hand to the bosom action in the manner of pearl-clutching.

So this all started when I mowed the grass last week. And then today I did it again. Oops. Now my mom feels terribly guilty because she kind of nudged me to do it by telling me that the Amish neighbors called to see if we were getting the lawn taken care of or if we needed help. Which is to say: cut your grass, it's a big eyesore.

You can't see it from their house, not clearly, so someone must have come over to check on it. They are very good at taking care of my mom so nobody minds but I felt like maybe I ought to get the giant tall grass cut. It went bananas in the past week. All this rain, it shot up ridiculously high.

So now I can't breathe and I'm wheezing and coughing and basically having a relapse. My favorite thing is the oboe sound. And I did at one point stop to wonder who was talking in the next room, then realized it was a rattly/wheezy inhale sound. Oh dear.

I have bronchitis all the time in the sense that I have chronic bronchitis, so that plus the asthma means that exercise plus pollen and dust and junk (and gasoline engine exhaust, for what! a patch of grass! --Mo) pretty much puts me on the bench after mowing.

Though I don't really recall it being this bad in Maine. Was it? Maybe it was.

Plus I can't take all those antihistamines because of the cold/respiratory infection/chronic bronchitis. You're not supposed to take them AT ALL with chronic bronchitis. Or benadryl. Yep. How about it?

Today I realized I've never seen the Zapruder film, so I was going to watch it, but apparently the President gets shot in it or something (okay, I knew that) and so it says WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT which means I certainly won't watch it.

My hands are all creepily wrinkled up like I'm a hundred and ten.

I guess I do feel pretty weird. But don't worry, I'll be fine! I have all these new clothes, man! Royal blue capri pants. Me oh my. Also the brightest most colorful pair of outrageous sneakers in the whole world. I really wish I could wear them all day every day. I should find a picture. But instead I'll find a picture of Mo.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toddy, hot

See, I just don't think you'd have to talk to the replicator that way. Surely it could figure out syntax, if it could make things out of nothing and all that? Why would modifiers need to follow the noun? If you said "hot tea" would it freak out and unleash hell upon the ship? Nope nope nope.

This hot toddy is terrible! I squeezed a lemon and an orange and put in honey and rum and hot water. Oh, I think it's the rum. Too much rum, maybe. Dilute, dilute!

Did you use Dr. Bronner's soap ever? Me too!

I'm about to pour some cran-cherry juice into this hot toddy, which isn't hot anymore anyway. It'll make it colder and redder and possibly might make it taste even yet more dire still. We shall see!

Oh, I have a nasty cold/sinus/breathing thing. It's boring. It makes me cough a lot and not get any sleep. Also I clear my throat all the time, ahem AHEM ahem.

Here is my ongoing quandary. It's very hot (to me at least) where I work. I can't even really ever get comfortable there. What can I do about that? Skirts and knit tops are pretty much the coolest attire I can figure out. But then I remembered my linen obsession phase. Linen is the ultimate coolest fabric. Wrinkly, yeah, but so? Actually, where are my various linen garments? Where is that tan linen skirt?

I think many of them are in Maine, alas.

Mostly I have dark dark dark clothing, which looks odd against my utterly white legs (except for all the rosebush scratches and various gouges and bruises.)

Also these great pants I have are a) too hot and b) too short, unless worn with boots. Can you even imagine wearing heavy twill pants and boots to a place that is already boiling hot to the point where I'm dripping sweat down my face? Me neither!

And how, HOW I ask you, did I manage to acquire a bunch of tops in a collection of colors none of which go with essentially anything else I own? How?

Hum de dum.

Obvious solution #1: make some linen skirts. Doy! Okay. Obvious solution #2: go buy some skirts since my motivation is approximately nil these days.

Obvious problems with both: my motivation is approximately nil these days. Don't wanna go anywhere or do anything. Oof.

Well. I don't know the solution to any of that. Online shopping? Maybe! If I could be sure things would fit and be flattering and not be shoddy or see-through or anything unfortunate like that. Except paying all that money for skirts really grates my cheese, since they're just two not very large squares of cloth sewn together and very easy to make. Quandary!

I need motivation. This R2 unit has a bad motivator! Uncle Owen!

Any suggestions? I can't even get around to reading my library books, you guys. Or cooking reasonable food. Or stopping in the grocery store that I drive right past every day to buy reasonable food to cook. It's serious!

Maybe the evil bug of doom that has infested my breathing apparatus is part of the cause? Maybe it's being boiling hot a lot of the time? Or not getting any sleep due to coughing and gasping for air? Lassitude, I tell you what. LASSITUDE.

Get gone, lassitude. You are not wanted here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Romulans? Roald Dahl's mom?

Ugh, why are the Romulan villains so boring in the Star Trek movies? I can't stand them. This Christian Bale one might be the worst, though. Also, figure out how two ships go through a black hole (um, problem) and emerge 25 years apart. And then the Romulans basically sit around sulking for 25 years. How did they know that other ship was even coming? How did they know when it would?

I've watched this movie a couple (a lot) of times now and the logic holes just get more and more glaring.

However. That's okay! Because it's really just about cute boys bonding. So many cute boys! Bonding!

Cute Zachary Quinto Spock is not the gorgeous creature original Spock was, but he is eerily similar at least in body shape. It's kind of alarming. I have to keep looking at his chest because it's the same. How? How would you even do that? Normal Zachary Quinto is not shaped like that.

Also I can't figure out what it is but Chris Pine has very strange features somehow. Like they're all overly large? I'm mystified by what bothers me about him because he's utterly charming and a Cute Boy but something seems off. What is it?

My favorite Star Trek cute boy will always be John Cho, obviously, because a) he's clearly the winner of the cute boy competition and b) he looks sort of slightly sad all the time. Actually that's even when he's not being Sulu. Why so sad, John Cho? Don't be sad! You are awesome!

Okay, tied for favorite Star Trek cute boy is Scotty, because of course Simon Pegg! I mean! Yes! I would totally watch a show that was just those two left aboard in Utopia Planetia or whatever, while everyone else was off on shore leave getting into gratuitous fistfights (obligatory fisticuffs! drink!) and running around in their underwear. Scotty and Sulu would manage to get the ship nearly destroyed by trying to do a fancy unauthorized upgrade and there would be lots of worried faces and racing around in Engineering. And by the time everyone else got back, you wouldn't know any of it had happened except Sulu would be exhausted and Scotty would be asleep at the transporter.

Also I really think Uhura should have been captain while Kirk and Spock were off being heroes. Seriously. I wanted to see her in the captain's chair! In fact I hereby insist that she WAS and we just didn't get to see it.

I wish we'd seen more of Kirk's dad, though. Fall through that black hole, Kirk's dad!

Anyway. I'm watching Star Trek (this movie) a lot lately to try to cure a) insomnia and b) nightmares. So many nightmares! So horrible! The nightmares really contribute to the insomnia, alas. Ideally I'd watch lots of DS9 episodes or something. Maybe I should get it on iTunes.

Nightmares like: a couple of other people and I decided to go to a hospital and murder some people for the thrill of it. On Halloween. So we did, covering each other and whatnot. Skinning them with a fish knife, hiding the remains in these public area trash bins with the enameled covers, you know the ones? Except then we realized that there was video surveillance and our perfect crime had been recorded, so we skedaddled, arguing about whether anyone watched that kind of surveillance video anyway, and whether we could run. With our bags full of flayed skin.

Horrifying nightmares to have. There are lots of other mundane ones about trying to do absurd paperwork in incredibly messy and gross places while people go by indoors with leafblowers and such, making it impossible to tidy up, because as soon as I did, foosh, there it all went.

And the ones about holiday candy and those kind of public holiday events that are all garish and noisy and crowded and plastic and horrible--the kind of thing lots of people enjoy but which are actual nightmares for me to be in, never mind the literal nightmares. I mean it's horrible in real life, plus I have horrible nightmares about it while asleep. Things with loud music blasting from speakers. They make me want to be a hermit. And I'm already basically a hermit!

Tonight I ate some anxiety cheese and knitted socks and watched that Star Trek movie and cuddled the furry animals. Today I mowed the rest of the grass (except the back) and worked on this dopey puzzle I've been doing, of three black Lab puppies looking guilty over a pair of work boots. One has a bootlace in its mouth. Oh and I baked that fabulous oatmeal cake for my birthday cake finally.

SO EXCITING, my days.

It's because I'm super anxious. I tried taking those anti-anxiety as-needed pills but they just made me super depressed. It's true! I kept listening to that "A Team" song, which is not about the A Team but about a dying crack whore in the winter in Ireland or something? It has excellent music and goes around and around, but the lyrics are truly depressing. Oh and I've been reading Roald Dahl's autobiographical material, which I just adore. Star Trek and Roald Dahl = comfort food for the brain.

The thing I realized this time through was: he got his writing chops from writing all those hundreds of letters to his mother. He doesn't even seem to realize it himself, though he includes photos of various letters to illustrate his stories. It's actually a method I've taught in writing classes, directing your writing to one person who thinks you are absolutely wonderful, even if you have to make up that person.

It would be totally fun and interesting to write to your alternate reality pen pal self, where everything went very differently but you're the same person. Hmmm! I might do that.

Things I am NOT doing include: writing, editing, emailing people I need to email, writing thank you notes (I got birthday presents from family members!), cleaning, unfrakking my habitat, ironing, sewing, quilting, fixing that heat shield thing on the car, doing situps, doing crunches, jumping on the trampoline, brushing the housepets, reserving a truck to get my stuff out of Maine, looking at housing/work listings all dreamily, making skirts, or making the bed.

Things I AM doing include: mowing the grass, laundering my clothing and bedding obsessively, forgetting to wear my glasses, staying up way too late, failing to drink enough water, sleeping too long, and today, forgetting to take any of my dang pills, except the thyroid ones of course. I never (almost) forget those.

It's all this feeling that Something Is About To Change. For which, yay! But also, ack! That's my dual reaction to any change, really. I mean I get utterly bored into stupefaction and then freak out when it's time to change things. Oh I am so hard to please.

I will tell you things that please me, though, because of Positivity and whatnot.

1. sleeping all snuggled up with my dog
2. reading a whole lot
3. strong hot black tea
4. this possibly vile but delicious butterscotch schnapps stuff that isn't really schnapps at all but liqueur
5. oatmeal cake oh man
6. mowing the grass
7. sitting out in the blue chair with the dog on my lap
8. snuggling the dog and cat simultaneously
9. water goblets
10. running out of hangers because all my clothes are clean except what's on me RIGHT NOW
11. those TARDIS towels
12. pictures of my little niece playing soccer, her first game!
13. knowing I'm in charge
14. the unspeakable dorkiness of socks and shoes with skirts (seriously, it's so over the top!)
15. bunnies, especially the surveillance bunny that came and watched me through the sliding glass door on my birthday even though my dog was going ballistic and my cat was there. That's dedication!
16. those little bright yellow chirpy birds that make me feel like a cartoon character
17. messing around in the creeks, like clearing out clumps of dead leaves that are blocking water flow
18. did I mention cheese? cheese. Also strawberry jam.
19. making wild non-fascist quilts. seriously I am so done with these fascist straight line Teutonic quilts.
20. squeezing orange juice and drinking it right then. Get away from those nasty jugs of fake juice! Squeeze it yourself! It's actually eight hundred million times better by actual count!
21. my blue backpack with the soccer ball embroidered on it

There, that's a twenty-one thing salute.

Maybe I can sell going to bed early/on time as dog snuggling time, right? If only I had a no-nightmares guarantee. Dreams really stick with me. I get flashbacks to dreams all day, every day, even dreams I had years ago. Dreams are persistent so bad ones are really something to dread and avoid if possible.

While I'm busy doing/not doing all those things, you should also read Boy and Going Solo (Roald Dahl) if you haven't. Even if you have. Especially Going Solo. The utter insanity of what was asked of the RAF pilots in the Mediterranean just astounds me. The mind reels. And the part about the Air Commander who told him to burn up this package of secret papers if he happened to crash, did he have a match? And it was his friend who had to say: I think he'll burn up with it if he crashes, sir.

Anyway I'm more muddled and less like writing letters to Roald Dahl's mom but it's good to articulate things, don't you think? So I'll try to be around more often. Mwah.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mow mow mow your boat

I mowed today, first time of the year, woohoo! You know how I love the mowing of the grass. Except it was hard to do it today because of a carpet of gorgeous dandelions. The thing is, though, tomorrow there will be more dandelions. But still.

I saw a baby snake (of course) and a baby toad (SO CUTE) and all kinds of assorted stinging bee/wasp varieties, all of which considered killing me dead and then didn't. Yay! Thanks, stingy things!

So then I had to look up the Vulgate Genesis again, as I seem to need to do every so often, to see if there was a word for crawling things (well, reptilia, which is kind of disappointing) to go along with flying things. And stinging things. But nope. Stinging things don't get their own category. They're mostly flying things, though, anyway. Volucri.

There is some funky Latin in the Vulgate Bible, seriously. I know I'm a medievalist and all but I'm biased toward classical Latin's neatness and complexity. It makes medieval Latin look inept and clunky, like someone's homework that is going to get a C.

Today I read Roald Dahl's book Boy again. So very awesome. I have Going Solo up next. Oh man oh man I really want to learn to fly. But maybe not.

I'm really enjoying this anxiety-free weekend. I'm not sure what brought it about except a) I got all finished with the latest iteration of Online Job and so I'm actually OFF for once, b) birthday margaritas interrupted the cycle of anxiety, c) my birthday got over and that's a relief, d) I got lots of actual sun and fresh air, e) I've been eating barley on the advice of that Mother Jones column and for whatever prebiotic/probiotic/biotic/unknown reason, all that heinous constant inflammation has dialed waaaaayyyyyy down. 

Here is how much less anxious I am: I sat there working on a puzzle for hours. Hours!

I did some yicky tasks such as sorting through the ancient crap in the barn to see what I might want to keep. In fact I put a lot of stuff aside (in my trailer) just in case I decide later I want it. I probably don't. But some guys are coming to clear out all the metal and take these giant culverts that have been there for umpteen years, so I had to rescue whatever we wanted to save.

I now have a toboggan, in case you're in need of one. And our childhood sled with the metal runners. And I saved my mom's childhood sled with the metal runners, too. I saved a lot of weird stuff, like our old camping lantern (no doubt rusted out or otherwise corroded) and this rusty dutch oven and some white enameled box with a matching lid that looked all 1930s surgical or something. There are about forty horseshoes in there, too. I did not save those. Though actually...you can totally PLAY horseshoes, can't you. Hey!

Here's the other reason for lowered anxiety: I realized that I'M IN CHARGE. Of my life, I mean. I tend to get into these situations where I get battered around and beat up (metaphorically of course) and feel like I have no control and then I get miserable and hate it and all. But I'm in charge. If I put up with a crappy situation, it's because I decided to do that.

I don't know why this was such a blinding revelation to me, but it was. And it's awesome.

Here's another fabulous thing: the box that came from my brother included a drawing that my little niece made of me and her in a canoe. I'm a big blue oval with arms and legs and head sticking out and she's a short purple oval with arms and legs and head sticking out. And our hair is drawn perfectly. And we each have a briefcase. And it says LOVE MAGGIE! and then there's a stick figure with a heart for a head and it is saying love in a speech balloon thing. And we both have great big smiles.

It's the most awesome drawing ever and I'm keeping it for all of time.

We did all this weird errandy stuff today like haul the garbage down to the road (the firemen moved it so they could turn around in the driveway one million times) and get the snowblower out of the garage finally and move the cart here and the wheelbarrow there.

The snowblower turned into a saga. First my mom couldn't get it started and then I came outside after a decent interval and tweaked the choke a bit and it started right up. Which must be a little aggravating, but I think she was just glad to get that sucker running.

I am the small engine whisperer, I'm telling you.

Then she wanted to leave it running in the shed until all the gas was gone, which is fine except a) the firemen have already been here enough today, b) there were three grass fires and two house fires in the area today, c) I like that shed and don't want it to burn down, and d) smoke isn't good for me to breathe.

So I stayed outside and watched over the snowblower. Also I took the great big gas can out of the shed, away from the hot running engine. Holy mackerel. Boom, huh? And then it was getting dark so I turned off the outside lights and my pup and I sat in the blue plastic Adirondack chair and watched the satellites and planes go by and looked at all the constellations. Or asterisms. Whatever. And drank another margarita. Mmm.

When the snowblower got very low on gas and started doing that high/low/high/low revving thing, Gawain jumped down off my lap and trotted over to the shed to bark at it. I just love that. He also always barks when you pull the starter cord on a small engine, like the lawn mower or the pump. I love that he's engine literate. That's my boy!

Anyway, that was a great day. And we are all pooped out. Gawain's actually asleep on the dog bed under the desk, with his paws up under his chin in classic dog manner.

I have to fix the heat shield under the car, between the exhaust and the drive train, or whatever that aluminum baffle thing is. I was looking for the horrendous rattle and hoping I didn't need a catalytic converter or mufflers. I think it's just this aluminum thing, though. A tab tore off and it got all bent up somehow. I have to figure a way to punch a new hole in it and get it re-bolted on there. Then the loud embarrassing noise can stop. Phew!

Also I have to bake myself a birthday cake, though it was behind mowing the grass and Online Job on my priority list.

Here is my cute dog story then I'll scamper on out of here. My mom took him outside with her when she was gardening and gave him one of these frozen yogurt dog treats my sister made. He ate part of it then took it off and hid it in the bushes somewhere for later. After a while she told him it was time to go in, so he ran off and got it out of the bushes and brought it over to take inside.

That dog knows a lot and understands a lot. Scary, huh? And fabulous! Good boy!

I've been unplugged from the internet due to excessive relaxation levels since Friday night, so I know I owe everyone and their dog an email and all kinds of things. I am getting there, I swear! I'm just enjoying the rest and relaxation oh so very much. Lovely!