I made John watch the videos of The Bloggess putting her cats in this astronaut backpack thingy, and he was like, “Isn’t that kind of cruel, to force them into the backpack?”, and I was like, “Dude, that’s what you do when you have a cat. You dress it up in clothes, you drape it around your neck like a stole, you sit it in your lap and pretend it’s a drummer, you laugh when it sits in the kitchen chair and looks like it’s ready to eat dinner with you, and you hope it doesn’t claw you when you try to scratch its tummy.” That’s cat ownership in a nutshell.
I love Robin McKinley. I’ve read 90% of what she’s written, and the only book I didn’t love without reservation was Sherwood, her take on Robin Hood. Mostly, she writes her own versions of fairy tales (she’s written two very different versions of Beauty and the Beast) and folk tales, but she’s written non-fairy tale books (still fantasy) and short stories and it’s all so good!
Then I found out she has a blog! How wonderful! And…it is, but I’m pretty sure I only think so because I already love her. For someone who likes her okay or is more indifferent than that, I think the way she formats her blog posts would come across less whimsically challenging and more hell-no-what-a-pain-in-the-ass-I’m-not-reading-this. Of course, that person probably wouldn’t be interested in her blog regardless of her footnote formatting, so it doesn’t really matter.
See for yourself. Footnotes within footnotes within footnotes. Because I love her already, and I like puzzles, and I like footnotes, I think it’s great. And I get sentences like “There are some vaguely luminescent white stripes in approximately the area where you might have expected a tab, but these are a snare and a delusion.” in a funny post about trying to open a package.
I need to find a way to work “but these are a snare and a delusion” into normal conversations.
We had an ice storm today. Well, we didn’t, but there was an ice storm in parts of Oregon today. And we had enough sleet that we’ve got little icicles hanging from the gutters and the trees are covered in ice and the poor rosebushes are weighed down by the ice.
It’s icy is what I’m saying. Also cold.
We’re slow-cooking for dinner (good day for it), and The Bloggess made me laugh.
We are considering sticking around Eugene for a little bit longer than originally planned. Partly, it’s because John is excited about his new band (which still needs a name) and wants to give it a real shot, but mostly it’s because we’re not ready. We haven’t made much of an effort to figure out where we’d go next or how we’d make it happen, and if we go right when our lease is up (which is less than four months from now), we have to be moving at full speed on that right now.
I don’t want to do that, and neither does John. We still like our plan (possibly with modifications), and we still don’t plan on staying in Eugene forever, but we feel like we just got here. There are still things to do. So maybe we’ll stay a little longer.
On the other hand, John is sick again (congested and miserable), for the third time in five months. Maybe it’s the house and maybe we should move.
I discovered Paw My Gosh today. Lots of puppy videos, as if the internet needed more of them. Actually, with the news lately, maybe the internet does need more. The blog part is somewhat cutesy, but the videos are cute. Did I really just write that? That’s terrible.
CNN is not the greatest news source out there, and despite where you might think this sentence is going, I’m not providing an exception here. The article I’m linking to isn’t news. It’s helpful, and it’s health-related and general happiness- and stop-hating-the-world-related, but still not news.
My tolerance for petty bullshit is, as you can probably tell by my phrasing, LOW. So is my tolerance for incompetence, willful stupidity, and intolerance. I can still be patient with people. I’m still patient with LOTS of people. I don’t seem to have as much patience, though…and then I get irritated…and then I get frustrated…and if I’m lucky, I remember to stop and wonder just what I’m so irritated about. Is it important? Does it matter? Can I do something about it? I’m rarely that lucky (to remember to stop and think), but I think I’m getting better about it. Things like that article help. Sitting in a chair in the backyard for a few minutes during the workday helps. Reading helps.
Why am I not reading? I’m pretty much always asking that question.
So I was thinking about all that on my bike ride this afternoon, pedaling along the path by the river, enjoying the sunny day and the stiff breeze that made me work a little harder, when BAM! Something small and sharp and OW PAINFUL IT HURTS hit me in the upper arm. I never saw it, it was gone immediately, like it bounced right off, but it felt like I’d been stung. Can you get stung at that speed? Can a bee or a wasp or some other flying (I assume flying) insect hit you at just the right angle at approximately 15 mph to sting you and then get away? I shouted a few things, maybe startling a duck, and pulled over to look. It did kind of look like a bee sting (although the last time I was stung was on my knee in Chesapeake Beach in 1985 or ’86, so how would I know what it looks like?), and there was a tiny dot of red in the middle, and it hurt like crazy. I considered going home, but I was mostly done (6 miles left!), so I figured I’d keep going unless it started to hurt more or I started to go into anaphylactic shock. (WordPress doesn’t think “anaphylactic” is a word. Screw you, WordPress, I spelled it right on my own!) Would I recognize anaphylactic shock? If it started, would it be too late at that point to get home? Why was I worrying about this? I didn’t die when I got stung when I was 6, so I’m probably not allergic to bee stings now. Shut up and bike.
So, yeah, I think I got stung. It stopped hurting as much, the swelling started to go down and spread out, like more of a welt, and now (an hour later), there’s hardly anything to see. I think I’ll live.
Moral of the story: I didn’t get angry or irritated or frustrated by it. No, that’s a TERRIBLE moral and has nothing to do with anything. Getting stung by a mystery insect on a bike ride is not in the same category as the things that annoy me. What’s to get annoyed about? Nope, this story only barely escapes being a non sequitur, and it’s only a sequitur because the bee sting literally followed my thoughts on that article. It’s a LITERAL SEQUITUR.
I don’t know if this is real (it probably isn’t), but it’s hilarious, and I’ll enjoy it anyway. Read it left to right.
Dueling church signs (from reddit somewhere):
Holy shit, guys. This is small potatoes to lots of people (LOTS of people), but this is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me on the internet, and I need to tell you about it. Saturday afternoon, about 3pm, I tweeted this.
We bought a copy of The Bloggess’s second book, Furiously Happy (which was really good, by the way), for Tania for Christmas, and we found that $5 bill with the note attached inside. It’s really sweet (and a great idea), and it’s the kind of thing you tweet, you know? I included The Bloggess in the tweet because we found it in her book, and I thought she’d appreciate it. Didn’t think anything else of it.
Then John and I went out for an early dinner with a friend of his from high school. I didn’t look at my phone until we got back to the apartment, around 8pm. That tweet was re-tweeted and replied to by The Bloggess, and it blew up (in a good way).
My phone buzzed pretty constantly for about 24 hours, as people saw, liked, and retweeted that tweet. It was SO weird. I texted Jess in the middle of it: “What in the hell is happening to me on Twitter?” and she said, succinctly, “The Bloggess is happening to you.”
Then I tweeted this, which is still pretty much true:
I got a bunch of nice replies and retweets to the original tweet, and then I heard from the woman who was responsible for it, which was really cool. A few more people are following me, I’m following a few more people, the lady whose idea this was gets more exposure – everyone wins.
She put me in her weekly wrap-up! That’s a link directly to my tweet! So, you know, that’s cool.
Don’t worry – I won’t let it go to my head.
I follow The Bloggess on Twitter (@thebloggess) and I have never been happier that I do than this week. It started on Sunday, as we were traveling back from Oregon. You may have heard about it – this showed up on Buzzfeed AND in the New York Times. I’ll let The Bloggess tell you about it, but I’ve been reading these tweets since Sunday (and re-reading some of them over the last day or two). I was giggling in the airport, chuckling while the plane was on the tarmac, laughing in the next airport, and I stayed up way too late after we got back (which was late to begin with) practically crying while reading them in bed. Some of them were so funny I couldn’t read them out loud to John through the laughter. I think they have a cumulative effect – they get funnier the more you read at one time.
couple bunch of my favorites (that I actually favorited on Twitter so I could read them again):
Then there was one that I thought I favorited in Twitter, but I can’t find it, so I’ll paraphrase. “My brother called me in a panic because he couldn’t find his phone. I said, what did you call me on? He hung up.”
Anyway, The Bloggess has two posts about them, and she reposted a TON of them, so you can enjoy them, too!
Despite the title of this reddit post, I focused on the llama in the background first. Then I jumped a little. Then I sang a little.
Presented without comment (sometimes):
From The Bloggess, An accidental competition for the worst mother ever.
Dad, you have to watch this gif. The category it belongs to is Kids Falling Down. It has cracked me up several times in a row. Because I am a terrible person. But so are you. 🙂 Click this link.
From reddit, the caption was “Hover mode engaged.”
From Dinosaur Comics:
(I’m sorry the text is blurry. Not sure how to fix that. But if you can’t read it, click the link to go to the page directly. True for both of the dinosaur ones.)
And this one, which actually made me laugh out loud (this should surprise no one):
And The System:
I found my new favorite fantasy dress. I need it (NEED IT), and I need an opportunity to wear it. Somebody win an Oscar, okay? I’m wearing this on the red carpet.
Maybe without the sleeve trains. Or make them detachable. The rest of the pictures are here.
I was going to post something deep, something meaningful, something that would change everyone’s perception of…something. I’m sure I was. It was all right there, right at my fingertips. But then John sent me a link to reddit. (The only thing more dangerous (in a losing time kind of way) than reddit is TV Tropes.) This particular thread is about getting songs stuck in your head, or having other people do it to you on purpose. Every redditor lists another song, and before you know it, reading the thread is like listening to a jukebox on absurd shuffle, where a toddler with ADD is in charge and you only get 10 seconds before the next song starts. But even with all that constantly-changing noise, you know what I keep coming back to?
I love it.
I’ve been hearing for years that blogging is dead. Maybe it is – it’s certainly changed over time. Maybe I’m a ghost. Well, I’m alive, but my blog is a ghost! Ghost-blog! Nananananananananana GHOST-BLOG! (That’s my theme song. It’s similar to Batman, but a little more melodic.) Back when I had more free time (less going on at work), I read a TON of blogs (seriously a lot). Maybe not daily, but certainly weekly. They’re all saved in GBookmarks (all 82 of them – I just counted), and over this long weekend, I decided to check them out after my long absence. My VERY long absence.
SO many of them have died! 56 out of 82 are gone. That’s actually not as many dead ones as I expected when I started checking and counting, but that’s still an awful lot of dead blogs. Some of them still exist but haven’t been updated in two years or longer. Others don’t exist at all. The next step (in cleaning out my bookmarks) will be to see if I actually go back and read the ones that are left. The bigger question is how long will it be before this happens to me. There’s nothing wrong with the people who have dead blogs (I hope). Life got too busy, they didn’t have anything they felt like saying so publicly, some made their blogs available to invited people only (and I was not invited)…I only know of one who actually died (Roger Ebert), but I guess I wouldn’t know if that happened to anyone who wasn’t famous or who I didn’t know personally.
Let’s hope I don’t get bored, too busy, or die so I can stay right here for a while yet. For all three of you who are still reading. Okay, maybe five. Love you guys!
The Bloggess is a wonderful thing (as is love – thank you, Michael Bolton, we’re aware, please wait your turn), and whoever invented her should be given a parade. So, you know, that would include everyone she’s ever come into any sort of contact with. No, that makes it sound like she’s only who she is because of other people, and I don’t think that’s right. She should get some credit for molding herself into who she is (as should everyone, of course, good and bad). So maybe I just want to give The Bloggess a parade. Of course, she probably wouldn’t go, or maybe she’d hide in the crowd (either of which would be totally okay). She can send a stand-in – maybe someone in a red dress. Oh, EVERYone in the parade could wear a red dress! If they wanted to. No pressure.
In a recent post, she used Twitter and the Benedict Cumberpatch Name Generator (which I wish I’d known existed when I posted the thing about him a while back) to name her new fish, and between the suggestions and the picture of the lemur who looks like he’s about to jump out of skin in panic, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I am SO naming my first horse Rinkydink Clompyclomp. (Someday I’ll own a horse, just you wait and see.)
And now it’s Michael Bolton’s turn (warning: language not safe for children):
I don’t generally enjoy the year-in-review articles and lists (except for Tom and Lorenzo’s Best and Worst Dressed lists – those are awesome), and I’m not going to do one myself. I don’t know what would be on it, anyway. But it’s New Year’s Eve, and we can all say goodbye to 2014 (and good riddance) and hello to 2015. In 2015, we WILL move out of this house. We WILL.
I haven’t had much time to play on the internet lately (very sad for me), but not working on Tuesday gave me a chance to browse Reddit. I saw a hilarious picture of a church that looks like a chicken (posted by Reddit user Chillypow)…
…and followed the link to the BEST SUBREDDIT EVAR!!!1! The title on the page is “Pictures of things that look like other things”, and the pictures are mostly of inanimate objects with faces. CUTE faces. Call it a mood-lightener. I can now browse pleasantly amusing (and amusingly captioned) pictures to my heart’s content. Like this one (posted by Reddit user Dewdeaux).
This is what the internet is good for.
I just checked, and it turns out I didn’t actually publicly declare my intention to post something here every day in November (my version of NaNoWriMo, which, turns out, is an actual thing, as I discovered by reading Ms. Wombat’s blog). And it’s good that I didn’t publicly declare my intention because I’ve already failed, having skipped Sunday the 2nd. So let’s just say I didn’t even privately declare any such intention and move on. Nothing to see here. Except when I post something. Which will happen every once in a while. “Every once in a while” might look a bit like “every day”, but let’s not raise expectations. Expectations lead to obligation. I don’t want any more obligations.
I was looking for free audiobooks last weekend. Something classic, maybe something I’ve already read, but definitely something I can read when a book in my hands would be impractical. Googling “free audiobooks” got me to LibriVox.org, which is awesome. I searched for Anne of Green Gables (it came up at work last week), found several versions, picked one, downloaded the whole thing to my phone (you can download chapter by chapter if you want), and started listening. Then, because it’s Anne of Green Gables, I kept listening. I took my phone running, I’ve been listening in the car, I’ve been listening in the shower – can’t get enough. It’s not like I’m new to listening to audiobooks, but listening to this one is different. Running while listening to someone read me one of my favorite books ever (EVER) is crazy relaxing and makes my run fly by.
One of the weird things about it (that I kind of like) is that these are not professionals reading the books. Volunteers record themselves reading books, a chapter at a time, and I guess all of the chapters get compiled by someone. I had assumed each book had one reader, but what I’m listening to switches readers nearly every chapter. It’s interesting, and some of the readers are better than others. Maybe better isn’t the word. Less distracting? Some of them are doing voices for the characters, which can be cool, but there’s one woman who gives Marilla a southern accent, and it drives me crazy. Luckily, she’s only read a couple of the chapters. Makes me want to volunteer, too.
Things have been busy. And stressful. And sometimes, even when I have time to myself in the evenings, I’m so worn out from EVERYTHING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED EVER that I can’t do anything but sit on the couch and watch Scrubs. Sometimes I can stretch my brain far enough for Mad Men, but that doesn’t happen as often as it should. So I haven’t been here. And I’ve been trying not to feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about other things – no, not guilty (not about everything, but definitely about some things). Responsible. And that’s tiring. Weighs me down. So I let this go. Not writing doesn’t hurt anybody. I let other things go, like book club. We were reading good books (most of the time), but fitting in the time to go to the meetings turned into another responsibility, another obligation. I have other obligations, ones that are more important to me, so I let that one go. I’m tired of ignoring my friends (hi, friends!). What other things can I let go of? Selling the house ought to open up some time (no more open houses every single weekend), but then moving will take over with all the packing that entails. But then we move. Will free time appear the way we hope it will? Emily’s wedding will be past us soon – that should free up some weekends.
So am I back? I’ll try. But it might be at the expense of other things. I don’t like having to choose.
Wanna feel better? Visit the Bloggess’s Pinterest page. Some highlights: