Total about face

I’m back after a week-plus of silence – all my free time has been spent working or watching WorldCon panels – and I just re-read my last post where I got all excited about Robert Silverberg, and MAN do I have different opinions about that now.  After the Hugo Awards ceremony.  After the Hugo Awards ceremony that wouldn’t end.  After the Hugo Awards ceremony that wouldn’t end because two super-famous, super-old, super-white, and super-out-of-touch men wouldn’t stop talking about the past. It was mostly GRRM, but Silberberg’s segment was just as bad.  They mispronounced finalists’ names repeatedly and spent SO MUCH TIME talking about Campbell without ONCE acknowledging that the name of the award was changed to the Astounding Award, let alone WHY it was changed.  It felt deliberate, which, if it was, is super insulting.  If it wasn’t deliberate, then the nicest things you can say about them are that they’re hopelessly out of touch and possibly senile.  I’m not going to get into it much more than that (there are many people who did so online, and they go into much more detail), but I would like to take back my squee.  It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I can be kind of a jerk

A mom I don’t know very well contacted me the other morning and asked if she could call me.  She had something she wanted to talk to me about.  ON THE PHONE.  Who does that?  To an acquaintance?!

Judging her.

Her message (via WhatsApp) was FULL of typos.  Like, so many typos.  (SO MANY TYPOS.)

Judging her.

She didn’t give me any indication of what it was about.  John was convinced she was going to try to sell me something, maybe try to involve me in a pyramid scheme.  I told her I was free all day EXCEPT for between 3 and 4 pm.

A few hours later, she replied and said she’d call me around 3pm.

Judging her.

I responded right away and said no, that’s when I CAN’T talk. Let’s aim for 4:30.  She said okay.  More typos.

Judging her.

She called me at 4:33. I was prepared to be all annoyed that she was late, but I’m not a monster.  No judging on that one.

Are you ready for the anti-climax of your life?

The conversation was perfectly pleasant, she was perfectly nice, and she was calling to tell me she’s offering a free fitness class over Zoom Saturday morning and wanted to know if a) I was interested, and b) do I think it’s okay if she tells the mom group we have on WhatsApp about it.  The answers were yes, and of course, I think they’d be excited about it, and hey, it was really nice to talk to you.

I feel like I should apologize, even though I didn’t express any of those terrible things to her.

I’m still here

Hi.  I’m back (as you may have noticed after the last few days of semi-consistent posting).  I’m sorry I went mostly dark, but I was trying really really hard not to talk about something, and when I’m bursting to talk about something, I can’t think of anything else to say.  I’m fine in person (although I went almost full hermit, so I didn’t have to test that very often), but for blogging purposes, it basically elbowed everything else out of my head.

But hey, the secret is out (THANK GOODNESS), and my head feels clearer.

I’m not being deliberately enigmatic.  I mean, I am, but not with the intention of leaving anyone in the dark.  It’s just that I don’t tend to get too personal here, so it feels kind of weird.  On the other hand, I plan to talk about it (or at least not NOT talk about it), so for the maybe ONE person who reads me who isn’t an immediate family member or high school/college friend: I’m pregnant.  Yay, happy dance, and all that stuff.

You know what?  I am going to talk about it.  Because it STILL doesn’t feel quite real, and it’s kinda freaking me out.  That it doesn’t feel real, I mean.  Despite the fact that less than a week ago I was at the doctor’s office and I heard the baby’s heartbeat, it appears that I need further proof.  (I mean, maybe that tiny fast heartbeat was just a clever ruse because the doctor is in on this charade or maybe it’s a tiny mechanical device, like a pacemaker, that somehow got implanted or hey, maybe it’s a tiny ticking bomb (and you know what?  it kind of is).  I’m not showing yet, and my first trimester symptoms have been pretty mild, with the exception of OH MY GOD THE WORST TASTE IN MY MOUTH ALL THE TIME except when I’m eating which means I want to eat ALL THE TIME but eating for two isn’t really a thing and gaining too much weight too fast is a BAD thing and also I’m supposed to drink a TON of water and water TASTES BAD because of this awful taste and please please please make it go away as this trimester ends….

It is getting slightly less unbearable, so I have hope.  Also, I have noticed actual feelings of lightheadedness and weakness when I need to eat something, which is new and unusual and super not fun.

So I’m looking forward to LOOKING pregnant.  I think.

Oh, also, we’re calling unborn child Hugo (Hugo Nebula when we’re being formal) until he or she is born because due to the timing, we will not be able to go to WorldCon for the Hugo Awards.  Turns out they don’t let women on planes when they’re THAT pregnant.  Color me disappointed, but there will be other years.  Our little baby nerd will go to LOTS of conventions with us.

He grew up okay

Memory associations are weird.  When I came home from dinner with Christina tonight, John was watching the end of a Law & Order: SVU episode.  It was about pedophilia at a boarding school (aren’t they all?), and this guy was on it.

John asked me if I thought he looked familiar, and I was like, yeah, he was the TA in Road Trip.  (This was not a good movie.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother.)  So I looked him up on IMDB, and yes, I was right, he WAS the TA in Road Trip, but why was THAT my association when I SHOULD have recognized him as Daryl from Adventures in Babysitting?  I’ve seen that movie WAY more times and it’s a million times less embarrassing to reference Adventures in Babysitting than Road Trip.

Stupid brain.

Stop! Thief!

So….yesterday sucked, as I mentioned yesterday.  Because that’s when it sucked.  Yesterday.

Let’s just say it’s a darn good thing I check my gmail account EVERY SINGLE TIME I see an email come in.

  • At 10:34am yesterday, I got an email from my bank with the subject “Password Reset Confirmation”.
  • At 10:35am yesterday, I got an email from my bank with the subject “Credit Card PIN Change”.
  • At 10:36am yesterday, I got an email from my bank with the subject “TRAVEL NOTIFICATION CONFIRMATION”.

At 10:34, 10:35, and 10:36am yesterday, I was NOT logged in to my bank account, and I did NOT change my password, change my credit card PIN, or log a travel notification.  I did immediately call the bank, but I wasn’t quite fast enough.

Somehow, a thief in Fullerton, CA figured out my bank account password and then immediately used the cash advance feature on my credit card to steal $400.  That happened before I called the bank.  Once I called, the bank froze everything – the credit cards, the debit cards, the accounts, my access to online banking, bill pay – everything.  Like, it’s one thing when your credit card gets stolen, but this person LOGGED IN TO MY ACCOUNT.  They could see EVERYTHING WE’VE GOT.

We got lucky.  There were no withdrawals from any of our checking or savings accounts, and we had the bank close them all and open new ones with the transferred funds, so even if the thief got our account numbers, they’re useless now.  And of course my password and username are new.  And we’ll get the $400 back.

But UGH.  Hours on the phone with the bank, verifying transactions, checking balances, closing accounts.  And how on earth did the thief manage to log in?  I’m a little freaked out.  I’ve already changed most of our passwords, but in the meantime, we don’t have access to our money.  No active credit cards, no active debit cards or ATM cards.  It’s a good thing I went to the grocery store on Sunday because we’re living on the cash we have in the house, and you know what?  That’s not much.  New cards should arrive tomorrow, so this is short term, but I don’t like it.  We should probably have a credit card with another institution.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.  Right now I have to make sure all the doors and windows are locked.


I ride my bike through the park three or four times a week, and I see a lot of people doing a lot of different things, but it wasn’t until I noticed someone sitting on a bench reading a book that I realized I almost never see people reading in the park.  They walk, ride, run, play with dogs, play catch, throw a frisbee, have a picnic, take a nap, swim in the river, fish in the river, play on the playground…but no one reads.

So one day, someone was sitting on a bench, reading a book, and it caught my eye because it was unusual.  A few minutes later, I passed another someone sitting on a bench, reading.  A few minutes after that, I passed a third person sitting on a bench reading a book.

That’s when I got suspicious.  People (other than me) don’t read in this park.  Clearly, these are plants, spies set to report on my workouts.

As if to confirm my suspicions, after I noticed them and realized what was actually going on, there weren’t any more.  For the entire rest of my ride that day, there weren’t any more people sitting on benches reading books.  I haven’t seen a single other person sitting on a bench reading a book during one of my bike rides since then.

I’m on to them.  And they know it.

Why, yes, I am still listening to Welcome to Night Vale.

SETI is alive and well in Eugene

The other day, in the park (where you could be forgiven for thinking I LIVE now), I saw a couple of sheriff’s deputies roaming the tree line between the path and the river with these big grid-like antenna things (like an old-fashioned TV antenna).  Naturally, I assumed they were searching for aliens.  I’ve checked the news and haven’t heard anything about it.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  That’s just the sort of thing they would keep quiet.  I’ll just have to pay more attention.

The truth is out there.


A thing happened to me online last night and today, and I’m super-excited about it (and a little overwhelmed), and I’ll write all about it tomorrow, I promise.  Tonight, I’m drinking wine and watching Jessica Jones (which is SO great so far) and trying to get a little distance from the super-cool thing that happened last night.

(Mom, Dad, it’s a Twitter thing and you’re probably not going to be as excited about it as I am, but TRUST me – it’s cool.)


Our new mattress is great, but it has one big flaw: it’s too comfortable.  It is getting increasingly harder to get out of bed in the morning.  Yesterday, I didn’t get up until 8, but I excused it by running at lunch.  Today, though, no running before work AND I didn’t run at lunch AND I’m not running this evening.  This has to stop!

I am seriously considering using my other phone as my alarm clock and leaving it across the room.  Not running in the morning is practically a crime this time of year – it’s finally cool enough to be really pleasant running weather, and I KNOW I’ll regret not taking advantage of this when it gets cold….I said this about being outside yesterday, didn’t I?  At least I’m consistent.  And if guilt is what it takes to get me up and moving and outside in the mornings (and any time the weather is nice), then I guess I’ll just have to deal with that.  Future Me will feel worse about missing out on this weather in amounts far higher than Present Me’s short-lived feelings of contentment about staying in bed.  Present Me really needs to be more considerate of Future Me.  Past Me has learned that lesson, but Present Me doesn’t always listen.

Ouch update

My back doesn’t hurt as much anymore, and there are times it doesn’t hurt at all.  I mentioned it to my yoga instructor Tuesday night, and she added some stretches to our routine for me (and I remember them, so I can do them on my own).  Then I mentioned it to Nick in class Wednesday morning (he wanted us to do leg lifts with our arms stretched out over our heads instead of hands tucked under our tailbones and WOW does that make my lower back twinge), and he gave me an exercise that should strengthen my lower back muscles.  Maybe this is an ache that would have gone away on its own, or maybe it’s a result of something I did over the weekend, or maybe the fact that our mattress is almost 15 years old is catching up to me (or maybe the fact that I’m almost 36 years old is catching up to me), but at least I have stretches and exercises I can do that may help keep it away.

My back may be feeling better, but I woke up this morning with a weirdly achy right forearm.  I think I must have slept on it funny because I can’t remember doing anything to it, and it definitely didn’t hurt last night.  Maybe I pinched a nerve or something.  I keep trying to stretch and twist it to see if I can shake it loose.

Am I falling apart?

Flaky agent

We like our real estate agent, mostly.  He’s a little odd, but in an interesting way, and he talks too much (when we get back from being out during an open house, we want you to go home so we can relax), but he’s nice, and he’s giving us a discount, and he’s doing the hard part of selling our house for us (except that he hasn’t sold our house yet).


At least three times (I think four, but I can only think of the reasons he gave for three), he has flaked on us for an open house.  The first time, his mom broke her leg, and he was the son in charge of getting her to the hospital and helping out. We totally get it, sorry it happened, do what you need to do, we’ll do the open house ourselves.  No problem.  The second time is the one I don’t remember the reason for.  The third time was two weeks ago.  I got a text 45 minutes before the open house was supposed to begin saying that he was stuck in traffic in Maryland and would get there as soon as he could.  Then he didn’t respond to my next text, and he didn’t answer when I called.  So we started the open house ourselves, and when it was halfway over, I texted him again to tell him to just skip it – go home.  He didn’t respond.  Later, we got an email about the horrendous traffic and how he’s so sorry and blah blah.  Sure, things happen.  But seriously?  Where the hell was he exactly, and why stop responding to me?  The fourth time was today.  About 90 minutes before the open house was scheduled to start, I got a text from him saying his dad is having chest pains and he’s going to the hospital to be there for him.  My response, again, is of course, I hope he’s okay, do what you need to do, we’ll handle the open house ourselves.  No response.  And we haven’t heard from him since.

So what’s going on?  We’re no longer certain when he’s being truthful.  Are these excuses to not do the open houses?  We’ve told him we understand if he doesn’t want to do it every single weekend.  He could get someone to cover for him (which he’s done once) or we could take a week off.  He’s the agent – what should we do?  He says keep doing them.  Okay, then.  He keeps sign in sheets when he does show up for them, but we never see them (we haven’t asked yet), and it seems like every week, 5-6 people come through (so he tells us when we get home).  But on those occasions when we do the open houses, we get one person.  Maybe two (it was two today).  So how is he always getting 5-6 people in?  Last week, he did the open house, and he said only two people came, so that felt true (even if it sucks).  Are the other times exaggerations?  Or the truth?


I’m not afraid of my boss.  She and I see eye to eye on most things, we get along well, I know I’m a valued employee, blah blah blah.  But some days, when she sends me an email asking me if I have a few minutes, or if I can come by her office to talk, I get nervous.  Like I’m being called to the principal’s office.  Like I’m in trouble.  Have I done anything?  Not that I’m aware of, but I’ll start to get paranoid about something small, something that no one would get in trouble for, but maybe it’s something I thought twice about doing.  Not once have I ever gone to her office and found that I AM in trouble, that I HAVE done something wrong.  Will I ever grow out of that?

Oh no

I came home from work today with a headache.  Not cool.  And kind of a weird cough – I’m not really coughing much, but every once in a while there’s a tickle in my throat…I put the two things together just seconds ago, and OH NO PLEASE I DON’T WANT TO GET SICK DON’T MAKE ME SICK.

Who needs it?

THIS is a really good idea.  I think I’m going to do it (on my personal cell, anyway), and I think Mom shoulddefinitely do it.  Anyone who never listens to their voicemail (which is everyone*) should do it.  It’s not as rude as never listening and never calling anyone back because you never listened to the message.  So go, change your message, and come back.  Go on.  I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

I could live here (link goes to more pictures):

Or here:

I forget about this blog for months at a time, but that means I have lots of content to drool over when I remember.  Our house could look something like this if we threw out 75% of what we have.  And painted everything white.  And had better taste.  And more money.

*Exception: if you’re job-hunting, DON’T DO THIS.  But then, if you’re job-hunting, you don’t belong to this group.  You’re probably listening to your voicemail messages.

Do your #*$^^#!*@ job!

I’m uninsured right now because SOMEBODY doesn’t know how to do her job.  Irritating.  On the bright side, an uncooperative jerk in customer service who refuses to do his job gave me the opportunity to learn how to do something more technical that I used to have to rely on others to do for me.  So there’s that.

Come on, people.  You get paid to do a certain thing.  Is it really too much to ask that you just do it?

Update: She did her job (finally), so I’m covered again.  Nothing to worry about.  It’s just ridiculously annoying.

Why should I put up with that?

I went to see my doctor last week to have some blood drawn.  No big deal, really quick visit.  I was in the examination room for all of five minutes, but in that five minutes, I got really annoyed with my doctor.  She didn’t even really do anything – it was just the way she said something.  She asked me a question, and I said well, not really, but maybe a tiny bit this, and she jumped at that and said no, that’s wrong, which I heard as what? Are you crazy? Only crazy people would think that.  Stop it. So I shut down and yessed her until it was time for me to leave (which was only 30 seconds later).  I probably overreacted.  In fact, I’m sure I did, but I still think she was wrong and I was right-ish, and now I’m considering finding another doctor.  I’ve only been seeing this one for six years…  I’ve never felt strongly about her (it was her nurse practitioner I really liked, but she left for bigger and better things years ago), so I don’t really consider this any great loss.  It’s just a pain to find someone else.  Because I’m lazy.  But you already knew that.

Close encounters of the fender-bending kind

This week was a bad week for driving.  I didn’t have any trouble myself, but I was WAY too close to one actual accident and one almost-accident in the space of 15 minutes.  (Why is it called a near miss?  It was a miss.  It’d be more accurate to call it a near hit.)  I was on my way to DC for a middle of the day meeting on Wednesday, and traffic was terrible.  Lanes were closed for construction and everyone was inching along the access road where three lanes were merging into one.  While we still had two lanes, I watched a guy rear end another car.  They weren’t going fast, but the one guy hit the other hard enough to buckle his hood.  Not pretty.  Not 15 minutes later, I was on a three-lane highway and I watched a car in the left lane and a car in the right lane both try to merge into the middle lane ON TOP OF a car in between them who was already in the middle lane.  There was much honking and swerving.  I was about four car-lengths behind the guy in the middle lane, and I kept my eyes peeled the whole rest of the trip.  No more incidents.  Today, though, there were a bunch of idiots in a huge hurry on the way home from Baltimore.  I was going about 80 most of the time, in the rain, and these guys were flying by me.  In the rain.  Why do people drive like morons?  Why was I going 80 (speaking of morons…)?