There’s always a letdown

You know how sometimes taking a shower is a chore?  I don’t get why, but there are plenty of times I just don’t want to.

Some of my reasons:

  • I don’t want to get up, I’m comfortable here.
  • It’s too hard.
  • I’ll have to move my arms a bunch.
  • I’ll do it tomorrow.

And in that mood, once I finally do shower, yeah, it’s a chore.  Get it done, get out, go back to doing whatever I was doing (or not doing) before.  Eh.

But then there are those other times, those times when I step under the hot water and realize my whole life has been waiting for this.  I was meant to be in the shower.  I live here now.  In fact, I’m typing this from the shower.  (Okay, I’m not, but I wish I were.)  The water is hot, the bathroom is warm and steamy, my shampoo smells good, I’m warm and comfortable and no, I’m never coming out.

Whoever invented the hot shower should be celebrated around the world, praised be their name.

But then, the sudden but inevitable betrayal*: the hot water runs out, the water goes cold, and I reach for a towel, sad and bereft.

*All sudden but inevitable betrayals boil down to this:

Used books are treasure chests

I bought a used book at a convention in Boston the other weekend, and it is a perfect example of why I love used books.  It came with STUFF!

I got it home and I started reading it, and a few pages in, a bunch of Mickey Mouse stickers fell out from between the pages.  Early birthday present, I guess.  The next day, further into the book, I turned a page and found two business cards for a lady in Massachusetts.  Someone had written what looks like flight information on the back of one of them, plus “Poo Monday 9:00”.  I have no idea what that means or what it has to do with flight times, and I don’t plan to speculate.

Next up, maybe halfway through the book, was a flattened piece of red cellophane, maybe a candy wrapper.  Pretty.  And last, an actual bookmark.

On top of that, I liked the book.  It was the gift that kept giving!

Hugo burnout

I had to take a break from reading only Hugo-eligible books.  Since I started that plan (right around New Year’s Day, I’ve read 19 Hugo-eligible novels and novellas.  I’ve really liked seven of them, but that leaves too many books in recent memory that I didn’t like all that much.  That hurts my brain.  I need to go back to my normal approach to choosing books, and for next year’s Hugos, I’ll just have to sprinkle in eligible books throughout the year.  I think it’s the only way I’ll survive.

I started my break, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER.  I never expected to be so stressed out by this.  When I don’t like a book, or when I put one down without finishing (I only did that ONCE), and the stakes are whether or not I nominate it for a Hugo, I feel like I’m letting the author down.  As if my one nomination is going to make a difference.  Still, I’m sorry, author!  I feel bad!

Nominations are due a week from Friday, so this will soon be in the past.  Until it’s time to vote.  But that part should be fun.

I get emotionally attached to my TV shows

I’ve been watching Jane the Virgin (really enjoyable show on Netflix) when I’m on any sort of cardio machine at the gym, and today, the show betrayed me.  Something happened at the end of an episode in the middle of season 3, something awful, something SO FREAKIN’ SAD, and really truly shocking because this isn’t that kind of show, and I broke down bawling right there on the machine.  I had to go hide in the bathroom for a minute.

Let this be a warning to you: the show is funny and sweet, light, totally a telenovela, and so fun.  Right up to episode 10 in season 3.  Be ready.

Similarly, I love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but two separate episodes in season 3 of THAT show made me sob, too.

Huh.  The CW is doing some good work, I guess.

An apology is warranted

I am not a pizza snob.  I love pizza of all kinds, from all places.  I don’t love all toppings, but that’s my own personal taste – I don’t care what you put on your pizza.

So we went out to a pizza place last night, and for the first time, I’m questioning whether what we had was really pizza.  I mean, it came out on pizza dough.  It was round (not a requirement, but a helpful visual indicator).  It was flat.  It had crust.  But instead of sauce and cheese, it had mashed potatoes, bacon, and scallions.  That’s it.  It was good, to be sure, but was it pizza?

I’m on the fence.  It certainly didn’t scratch my pizza itch (we’re ordering more traditional pizza tonight), but who am I to say it can’t be called pizza?

Mashed potato pizza, I’m sorry I questioned your bona fides.  I apologize for repeatedly telling John today that you weren’t pizza.  I didn’t mean it.  It was only so I could justify having pizza again for dinner tonight.

I am ashamed.

Odors everywhere

Something smells in our kitchen, and I can’t figure out what.  I’m pretty sure it’s the fridge, since the smell appears after we open the fridge door (unless that’s just coincidence, which I haven’t ruled out), BUT when we stick our noses right in the fridge, nothing smells bad.  I’ve already tossed everything that could possibly have gone bad or be going bad, and there are no spills.  I’ve gotten rid of the ice just sitting in the freezer.  The trash has been taken out.  The garbage disposal is clear.

This smell won’t go away.  I mean, it DOES go away – it fades pretty quickly and even when it first starts, it’s not as strong as it was earlier in the week, but why does it keep coming back?  What is it coming from?

It’s driving me crazy.

Which reminds me of the smell in the car, which has FINALLY gone away.  About a week ago, we smelled skunk right around our parking spot, like a skunk had sprayed or died or something near the car.  No sign of it, but the whole area smelled.  We got in the car, no smell, and went off to do whatever we were doing that day.  Then, every day for the next week, outside was all clear, but we could smell skunk pretty strongly INSIDE the car.  It was just this morning that we got in and realized the smell was gone.  Why was it inside the car but not outside?  It was gross.

Bad smells suck.

Make it stop

I’m working late, and when I’m working late,  I’m cranky, and when I’m cranky, there’s no room in my head for anything but what’s making me cranky, and I don’t want to talk about work.

I might be cranky about describing myself as cranky – I am NOT a toddler.

(I might be acting like a toddler.)

If I throw a tantrum, maybe I can stop working.

No, that’s not how this works.  Big deadline tomorrow, and I’m stuck waiting for four other people to do their thing, one at a time, before I can do MY thing, and this is the fifth time we’ve gone through this exercise today.  It’s 8 o’clock.  I want to be done.

Oooh, we have butterscotch pudding.

I AM a toddler.

Seems plausible

It’s raining.  It’s lovely.  It’s a nice day, with real steady rain falling, dim lighting so I can have my twinkle lights on all day long, and the store had my favorite creamer in stock, so I can have coffee all day.  (I blend decaf and regular together – I can’t handle fully caffeinated coffee all day long.  I’d die of a cracked skull from bouncing off the ceiling.)

It’s pouring, and I can’t concentrate.

Like, how-is-there-that-much-water-up-in-the-sky kind of rain.

Let’s forget this whole water cycle thing – that’s too logical.  REALLY, my neighborhood is in a giant shower.  Some alien has decided it’s time to bathe and I can’t see it (the alien) because a) we’re all really really tiny compared to the giant alien in its giant shower, and b) we’re off to the side of the tub so we’re not in danger of getting stepped on.

Sure, this alien must be taking a really long, really cold shower (it’s been raining for hours), but hey, aliens aren’t like us.  Maybe it prefers cold water.  And the shower is going on for so long because it doesn’t happen all that frequently, and the alien has a lot of dirt to wash off.

That river that’s just a couple of blocks away?  Nah, that’s a trickle of water heading toward the alien’s giant shower drain.

And when the rain stops and the sun comes out, I’ll know that the alien has stepped out of the shower and opened the curtain again.

I should be working.

Tempting fate

Yet another upside to working from home: I can’t get whatever awful bug everyone at work is passing around.  No kidding, in the last few weeks, nearly EVERYONE I work with has taken at least a couple of sick days with the flu.  I never leave the house, so I am SAFE.  Also, everyone at work is 400+ miles from me, so even if I left, I wouldn’t get THAT bug.

On the other hand, I didn’t get any sick days.  I should take a sick day.

Does anyone else hear echoes?

There are days when even I don’t think my brain is an interesting place.  This is not one of those days.  Okay, yes it is.

I’m looking askance at this jar of peanut butter I bought at CVS today.  I don’t know why I expect it to be sub-par.  I mean, peanut butter is peanut butter, right?  It’s the same brand I usually buy at the grocery store.  It’s not like CVS made it themselves, and besides, who am I to say that CVS couldn’t make some damn good peanut butter if they felt like it?

Don’t let it be said that I stood in the way of anyone’s dreams.

I’m so hungry I could eat a whole elephant

I think my blood sugar is low.  My head hurts, I’m cranky, and I can’t settle on any one thing to do while I’m waiting for John to finish working so we can eat.

I ate a couple of crackers.  We’ll see how that goes.

Starting at the cursor isn’t going to feed me.  I picked up my book a couple of minutes ago, but it’s a dinner scene and they’ve having Chinese food (well, they’re Chinese), and oh my god I want Chinese food but we’re not having Chinese food tonight, we’re having tomato and mozzarella sandwiches and have I told you about our basil plant?

We bought one of those basil plants you can sometimes get at the grocery store, and we kept it on the window sill in the kitchen.  Turns out that window gets zero sunlight, and the plant began to die.  We finally moved it to the front room, lots of light, and stuck chopsticks in the pot so it could stand upright again (it was practically horizontal), and now it appears to be doing better.  But now, John is invested in this basil plant, and he won’t let me pluck leaves from it to cook with.  He wants to get a second basil plant that we can eat.  Well, neither of the nearby grocery stores carry them, so I’m out of luck, I guess.

As far as I know, he hasn’t named it.

Hey, he’s here and we’re going to eat tomato and mozzarella sandwiches without basil!

Stick with what you know

I have haircut regrets.  I went to the salon planning to just do my standard mid-length bob, maybe angled down in front, maybe stacked up short in back.  While I was there, I remembered that I wanted to do something more like this:

To be fair, my stylist did exactly what I asked her to, and I approved it before I left.

It came out KIND of like in the picture, but rounder?  Shorter?  Fluffier?  Now that I’ve had a couple of days with it….

I hate it.

It’ll grow out.  And it’ll grow fast enough probably that I can get it fixed within a month.  Probably.  And I don’t have to see anyone I know in the meantime and NO, you can’t have a picture.

I don’t like it, and this sucks.

Two out of three ain’t bad

How to make the perfect Saturday for me:

  1. Sleep in, but not too late.  We got up just before nine.
  2. Go out to breakfast.  We tried a new place, I had bananas foster french toast, and it was glorious.
  3. Go to a bookstore.  We went to Barrington Books in Cranston, which is on a list of the five best bookstores in Rhode Island.  I got four more Hugo nom possibilities.  New books!
  4. Go to a used bookstore.  It was about four miles from where we were, so we checked it out. Disappointing. It was the back room of an antique store.
  5. Go to another used bookstore!  Much better.  I picked up four more books, including the full set of the Amber books (in two volumes) by Roger Zelazny, classics I’ve never read and now can.
  6. Go to the gym.  Watched an episode of Jane the Virgin while I was there, and now I feel better about myself after the french toast for breakfast.
  7. Spend the afternoon reading.
  8. Get Chinese food delivered.
  9. Watch a movie (or binge TV).

Who’s going to hire me a personal chef?

It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that I’m not a huge fan of cooking.  Today’s experiment with beef stroganoff, while ultimately successful, didn’t change that.  We started it around 9am, and the smell drifting through the house started out overwhelmingly of garlic and onion.  Around midmorning, the smell had shifted to thyme, and only thyme, and I discovered after the too-much-thyme incident with the chicken and dumplings last week that I’m not a huge fan of thyme.  By midafternoon, the house smelled like hot dogs.  I have NO idea why.  Thankfully, by dinnertime, the smell had drifted back towards something more like stroganoff.

Sure, cooking is science and that was all just chemistry and blah blah blah cooking.  Too bad I like to eat.

Cause and effect

I slept in this morning.  That’s why I had terrible dreams about cartoon villains murdering my pets.

I haven’t walked down to the river since mid-December.  That’s why it’s frozen now.

I spent a little time today sorta kinda doing stretches that resemble yoga.  That’s why the mailman didn’t pick up the package we left out for him.

I’m getting a haircut tomorrow.  That’s why it’s going to rain.

I don’t like the cinnamon bun creamer I bought earlier this week.  That’s why my eyelashes are stabbing me in the eye.

Makes as much sense as anything in the news.

I want to be like Barack

I finished City of Brass, which was fantastic, and I can’t wait for the sequel, and oh crap.  I have just rediscovered the down side to reading brand new books.  This book was published two months ago.  The author has not yet finished writing the sequel.  She’s probably only barely begun.  What have I done?

I’m excited to have finished City of Brass, not because I wished for it to be over (I did not, despite speeding through the last third because wow stuff was happening), but because now I am free to read my next potential Hugo nominee, The Power, by Naomi Alderman.  I had just barely heard of it, had JUST added it to my list, when Baader-Meinhof kicked in.  The very next day, maybe later the same day(?), I read about Obama posting his favorite books, songs, etc., of 2017.  Top of his list?  (Okay, it’s alphabetical, but it’s still ON his list.)  The Power, by Naomi Alderman.  I am vindicated.  Also, super excited about this book.

Head in the clouds

Do you care what I had for breakfast?  I didn’t think so.  You’d think I could come up with something to write about that isn’t my breakfast, but you’d be wrong.

I went for a short walk at lunchtime today (this is not the introduction to me telling you what I had for lunch) that became a slightly longer walk because apparently I forgot where we live.  On my way back, less than four blocks from home, I took the first right instead of the second right because I have no idea why, I just did.  And I didn’t realize I had done that until I was most of the way down a really long block that has no cross streets to cut through to my block.  I turned around.  Safely on my block, heading home, I stopped paying attention again, just long enough to walk right by our house.  At least this time I figured it out before I got more than one house away.

I wish I could tell you I was mapping out my first novel or calculating the escape velocity I’ll need when it’s time for me to come home from my first galactic journey or, I don’t know, pondering the true nature of couscous and if it’s possible to have a single cous, but since I don’t remember what kept me so lost in thought as to forget where I lived, we can only assume I was thinking about breakfast.