Isn’t that always the way?

The Bloggess recently discovered Doctor Who.  She pinned this…

…on her Pinterest page.  It came from here and here, and since I’m not caught up (and I’m putting off being caught up because who wants to wait a year?), I’m not looking too closely at those.

But I’m SO happy she’s hooked.  I’m a new convert, and I want to convert EVERYBODY ELSE.  Because that’s how it works.

Happy Sunday

It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I finished my calculus quiz last night.  I don’t have to do ANYthing today.  I feel like I should.  But why?  I did some stuff.  I updated my book list so it’s a table and includes dates and stuff, now that I’m tracking that (see?).  What else?  Um…the internet.  I’m all caught up.  On EVERYthing.  Or I was ten minutes ago.  I’m sure I’m behind now.  But that doesn’t matter because I just got my quiz back from my professor and I got an EXCELLENT.  Because I am excellent.  One final exam to go and I will be done with differential equations.  And with that, I have permission to continue doing nothing today.  Because I am what?  Oh right.  Excellent.  That’s me.  Excellently lazy.

This holiday snuck up on me

I don’t know why I expected to be productive today.  I really really wasn’t.  At all.  Nope.  The only good thing I did all day was keep the dogs company so I could put off the guilt of dropping them off at the kennel.  Something I will be doing within the hour.  The guilt is rising.  At least it’s only two nights.  We’ll be back before they know it (I hope), and they can spend the whole weekend draped over our toes as we spend lots of quiet  hours working on our schoolwork (John plans to put in some quality thesis time, and I have my last calculus quiz to work on).  We may watch the rest of Twin Peaks.  We started it a few days ago, and we’re five or six (seven or eight) episodes in.  We’re looking for stuff to put off getting caught up with Doctor Who and Torchwood.  I’m not ready to not have any new episodes of those to watch.  So I’m treating Twin Peaks like a movie, kind of.  The end isn’t far off (it wasn’t on the air that long), and I want to know what happened!  I could do without the music, though.  Truly awful stuff.

I’m not ready for Thanksgiving.  Mentally.  How did it get to be late November?  Wasn’t it August, like, yesterday?  What happened to August, anyway?  Well, crap.  I must be old.  Maybe I can find a way for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to slow down a little so I can enjoy them.  Unlikely.  I can’t get today to slow down – how could I get whole weeks to stop rushing by?

On the other hand, no work for four whole days!  Yay!  Save some green bean casserole for me.  That’s all I care about this year.  That and sweet potatoes.  And stuffing/dressing/however it’s made – I love it either way.  Really, it’s just the turkey I can do without.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I always wanted to Impress a dragon

Anne McCaffrey died today.  She was my first favorite author.  (I think.  Asimov came soon after.)  My tattered copy of Dragonflight is the same copy I read for the first time when I was ten (ish), after Dad and Corey read it.  So is my copy of The White Dragon.  (I had to replace Dragonquest – it survived being dunked in a pool because of a lousy toss (NOT my own), but not falling into chunks on a school bus after a sudden stop.)  I always wanted to meet her.  My never-quite-planned trip to Ireland would have included a trip to County Wicklow, just to be where she was, where she imagined and wrote.  She seemed so cool.  She had horses and cats and all those worlds in her mind that are now in mine…well, damn.  I might be tearing up.  Reading the comment thread here (he’s how I found out) isn’t helping.

Quiet, you quazy quackers!

A crossword clue I liked the other day: Tango quorum.  Maybe because I like the word quorum.  And quagmire.  And quackery.  Quell.  Quench.  Quibble.  Quest.  But I have never understood why the uppercase cursive Q looks like a big floppy 2.  Whose decision was that?

I finished reading Orson Scott Card’s Hidden Empire yesterday.  There are times when knowing more about an author makes reading their books more enjoyable.  There are times when knowing more about an author makes no difference whatsoever to how you feel about their books.  And there are times you wish you could unlearn things about an author because you were SO much happier reading those books before you knew what you know now.  Orson Scott Card falls into the third category for me.  In high school, when Randy badgered me into reading Ender’s Game (I have no idea why I needed badgering, but thank you for doing it), I didn’t know anything about him (OSC, not Randy).  I LOVED Ender’s Game.  I still really like it, and I like all the sequels.  I’ve read just about every novel OSC has written, and with the exception of the Homecoming series and maybe one or two others, I really liked them.  Later, I found out OSC was Mormon.  Not a big deal – an author’s religion is completely irrelevant to me.  Knowing that, though, made me notice that it comes through in his Alvin Maker series, but those books are still fantasy (alternate history with magic), and I like them.  His religion, his feelings about religion, come up sometimes, in some books, but they don’t get in the way of suspension of belief.  Usually.  Yes, one of Ender’s parents is Mormon and the other is Catholic and that’s why they want more than their allowed number of children and yes, the government in the book is painted as evil for hating religion (and other things).  It’s still part of the story, and when I first read it (the first few times I read it, probably), I didn’t see that plot point as anything other than a plot point.  I can still NOT view it as something planted by the author for a reason because it serves the story.  It helps that the vast majority of his books take place in the past or in the far future.

A few years ago, I found OSC’s website.  He writes a weekly column called “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything”, and for a long time, I enjoyed reading it.  At least, I enjoyed reading it when he was reviewing books and movies and restaurants and random products.  I like his writing style, and I’ve found that I like (and often love) books that he recommends.  Sometimes, he discusses politics and world events.  I can’t read him when he discusses politics and world events.  I see red.  He’s a Democrat who hates Democrats.  He thinks global warming is the left’s religion.  He – no, that’s not my point.  My point is that I know this about him now.  And I can still dismiss it when he’s writing science fiction or fantasy that takes place in the future or the past or in nothing resembling real life.  But Hidden Empire (and Empire, which came out a few years ago) takes place in the immediate future.  I don’t remember having as much a problem with Empire, but with Hidden Empire, I couldn’t go two pages without being hit over the head with his worldview.  Right, people who believe global warming is a problem secretly want a third of the world’s population to die.  Sure, only Christians would volunteer to help the sick and dying.  The action was good.  The preaching was not.  I was disappointed.  End of review.

I started to quote bits of OSC’s latest reviews as examples of what makes me want to tear my hair out, but reading those articles is making me crazy, so I’ll just link to a couple.  You can read them if you want to.  Then breathe deeply.  He gets into politics in this one from 9/15/11 and there’s a section on Herman Cain in this one from 11/3/11.

I’d rather get my marching orders from a baby panda

What’s worse than a work bathroom with terrible lighting?  A work bathroom with terrible lighting and a flickering florescent bulb over one of the sinks.  Come ON.  You’re already unhappy because you’re at work.  Then you look in the mirror and get depressed about the bags under your eyes and your death-warmed-over complexion, both caused by the sucky lighting (you hope).  You start to lose patience with all things work-related, letting your anger boil up every once in a while (but only on the inside).  THEN you realize that your increasing rage was created by the nonstop flickering of the light over the lefthand sink.  Your self-awareness of the cause of your rage doesn’t diminish it – oh no.  Your rage rockets to the sky because this light, this awful, headache-inducing, horror movie flickering light, has been flickering like this for MONTHS.  You’ve reported it to the office staff several times, and you probably aren’t the only one.  Have they fixed it?  NO.  I should get a medal (a raise would be better) for not going on a homicidal rampage.  The light made me do it.

Nice things

Nice thing #1: Manicures.  I had one the other day.  Tuesday.  I feel much better now that my nails aren’t in danger of tearing/breaking or hurting someone (myself included).  Also, they’re pretty.  And neat.  Toes are next on the agenda (maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday).  I didn’t have time to do both on Tuesday.

Nice thing #2: Yoga.  I like it.  I’m all relaxed.  Hungry, but that’s what strawberries are for.  My yoga instructor says we shouldn’t drink anything for 15-20 minutes after we’re done because our bodies are detoxifying.  I’m not exactly sure what it means, but I’m always really thirsty when class is over.  Waiting 20 minutes is like torture.  But I was talking about nice things.  Like strawberries.

Nice thing #3: Strawberries.  I bought some when I went shopping on Friday, and oh crap.  It’s been almost a week.  I hope they’re still good.  If they are, that’s dessert.  Dinner was nice thing #4.

Nice thing#4: Whole grain English muffins with cream cheese and strawberry  jam.  Why whole grain?  (That’s what John wants to know.  Why would I ruin a perfectly good idea by buying whole grain English muffins?)  Because that’s what I saw when I was at the store.  I have no ulterior motive.  It’s nice that they’re better for me and they taste essentially the same (especially when covered with cream cheese and strawberry jam), so why fight it?

Okay, people, you can relax now.  The strawberries are fine.  I’m going to eat them.  Right now.  Good night.

Death by brisket or barking pug – your choice

We have had an eventful couple of days.  I tried to poison us, and then we got attacked by a pug.  Not on the same day, thank the whatever from high atop the thing (because I am a DORK), because I don’t know if I could have handled that.

First things first: I made brisket for dinner on Sunday.  It cooked all day long, smelled fantastic.  Last time I made it, I didn’t cook it quite long enough, so I added time this weekend.  I kept an eye on it, added water, and kept it tightly covered, but I guess I didn’t add enough water at the end.  Maybe.  I’m not sure, but the bottom was not edible.  Very tough.  The rest of it tasted fine, so we ate it anyway and put away the leftovers.  Within a couple of hours, by bedtime, I was not feeling so hot.  Like so not good that I was contemplating sleeping on the floor next to the toilet.  The smell of the brisket was SO strong we had to open the windows, and when I did crawl back into bed (bathroom trashcan nearby), I tried to sleep sitting up, knees up, head tilted forward and toward the fresh air coming in from outside.  I didn’t have a good night.  By about 3am, John wasn’t having a good night either.  Neither of us could sleep facing the hallway (even after John closed the door) because the overpower smell of brisket was nauseating to us both.  That’s a tragedy.  Brisket is one of the best smells in the world.  We were a little woozy the next morning, but we got over it.  John even made a brisket sandwich out of the leftovers for lunch today.  He’s braver than me.  We’ll see how he feels tonight.

This morning, after a light dinner last night and a normal night’s sleep (I’m feeling much better, thank you), I took the dogs for a jog around the neighborhood.  We turned down this one street, and every dog on the block started barking at us.  Making a HUGE racket.  Roxy and Riley were really good, though.  They stayed on the sidewalk with me, didn’t bark, didn’t lunge.  About halfway down the block, a woman across the street from us was admonishing her barking ankle-biters and eventually scooped one of them into her arms.  We got past them, but all that little-dog barking was getting louder and louder…I looked back and I saw a pug charging across the street toward us.  I grabbed Riley’s collar to keep the crazy down, and the pug stopped short right in front of Roxy, who didn’t even flinch.  That pug was inches from her face, barking his head off, and Roxy stood her ground and looked at him, head cocked to one side like she was confused.  Maybe she intimidated him (’cause Roxy’s SO scary).  He ran back home a few seconds later.

For those of you who were wondering, John feels fine.  Maybe it wasn’t the brisket.

Know what I mean, Vern?

You know that feeling when you’ve promised someone you’ll do something and then the time comes and you REALLY REALLY REALLY don’t want to do it?  But you still have to?  I hate that feeling.  And I don’t want to do it.  But I will.

I did, and it was fine.

You know what I love?  Three-day weekends.  I LOVE three-day weekends.  Even when they’re full of stuff to do (calculus quiz) and errands to run (too many to count), that extra day gives me SO much time.  I don’t feel rushed.  I love that.  All weekends should be three days long.

You know what else is fun?  Updating your Amazon wish list.  It’s like following all those links and getting lost in Wikipedia, except you’re finding stuff you want to buy.

And you know what ELSE?  A cooking brisket is one of the best smells in the world.  And there’s only about half an hour left before we can eat.  I’m not sure John is going to last that long.

Juggling is a skill I do not possess

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old(er).  Maybe it’s because I was never very good at multi-tasking.  I’m not handling doing lots of things at once very well.  Not at work, not at home, not combining work and home (where home = school and fitness and oh, right, grocery shopping and cleaning and playing with the dogs…).  Something is always getting neglected.  Which something changes day to day, except for grocery shopping.  That gets neglected every day.  Which means we’re eating SO much crap.  Pop tarts for breakfast today, guys.  I can’t remember the last time I even saw a pop tart.  I went to CVS this morning to get more allergy medicine, needed something for breakfast, and grabbed a box of strawberry pop tarts.  Yum, sure, but not good.  Yeah, I could have picked up a box of nutri-grain bars or granola bars.  Or those milk and cereal bars.  Frankly, the milk and cereal bars both fascinate me and gross me out.  They say they’re made with real milk, but who wants to eat cereal with solidified milk holding it together?  It’s probably more like frosting, and frosting for breakfast doesn’t sound all that appealing either.  Anyway, yes, I took the easy, junk-foody way out.  And that was dumb.  But it was quick.  This morning, I’m trying to learn how to solve higher order homogeneous linear differential equations with constant coefficients (before I have to go to Baltimore for work) so I can finish my quiz on time.

At least I got an extra hour out of it

How does a whole Saturday, no, a whole weekend disappear like that?  It had productive moments, but mostly – I need a do-over.

On the non-productive front, we started two new shows over breakfast.  Grimm looks like it could be really good.  The other show, Once Upon a Time, looks interesting, but maybe not quite as good as Grimm.  I still want to watch it.

One of the things we didn’t do was buy a new flower pot to plant the remaining avocado sprout.  John said flower pot to me and all I could think of was this:

It starts a little late, but I can’t find the beginning of the scene on YouTube. Close enough.

You’ll never believe it because it is SO unbelievable

I gotta tell you something crazy, peoples.  Last night, after I got home from work….wait for it….I DIDN’T TURN THE COMPUTER ON.  I know.  I don’t know how I survived.  I’m making up for it today.

From reddit: how did I not know this?  Wait – maybe it’s new.  Right now, go to Google.  Type in “do a barrel roll”.  Google is awesome.  Here’s more.

I want this outfit.  She looks fantastic, of course.

Also, watch this.  I’m too lazy to embed the video, so follow the link for a very fun father-daughter dance medley.

Sorry for all the links and no content.  I have to go to Baltimore at too-early-to-be-believed tomorrow morning, so I’m going to bed.

I probably jinxed it. I do that a lot.

Cold weather = dry air = dry skin = can I just spend all day every day in a bathtub full of moisturizer?  That wouldn’t be weird, right?

Here, have an insane puppy.  I’m tired.  Too many interrupted nights for sick puppies.  But yay!  No incidents last night or all day today!  I think we might be able to sleep through the night tonight.

I’m going to regret saying that, aren’t I?