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.

Caffeine is a jerk

I have had a headache the last two evenings, and I think it’s because I haven’t had any caffeine the last two mornings.  I didn’t avoid it on purpose; it just worked out that way.

I don’t want to continue having headaches, but I also don’t like the idea that I’ve gotten so used to caffeine that my body protests when it doesn’t get it, so I’m going to avoid it for another few days and see if the headaches go away.  I’m in control here, not you.  It’s especially annoying since I don’t drink much to begin with.

And it’ll be healthy for me to drink only water for a few days.  Water…and wine.  Totally healthy.

Not my kind of OM

I am still in the market for a yoga class because last night’s class was not for me.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t terribly challenging, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t been to a yoga class in at LEAST a year and a half.  It wasn’t that relaxing, either.  They did actually say “om”, though.  That’s a first for me.

The gym offers a couple of different yoga classes, so I’ll try one of those soon.  Until then, I’ll ponder the mystery of the font color of my current book.  It’s BLUE.  Aside from kid’s books, I can’t remember ever seeing a printed book with text any color other than black.  It’s weird.

Repairs are needed

John’s bike is pretty old.  He’s had it at least since 1998, when he used it to get to his summer job in Connecticut when we were in school, and he probably had had it for a while at that point.  (I’ve only had my bike since 2004, I think.)  Anyway, sometime last week, he noticed that one of his pedals was coming loose.  It was wobbly, and he couldn’t tighten it with any tools he has.  There’s a bike shop right by our gym, so we biked over there after work today, figuring we’d go to the gym once the pedal was fixed.  Of course, the pedal fell off about halfway there, and you just can’t ride a bike with only one pedal (John tried), so we walked the rest of the way (it wasn’t far).  Naturally, fixing it is not as simple as replacing the pedal, so John left the bike at the shop.  I think they have to order some parts – his bike is either old enough or non-standard enough that they just don’t have whatever it is he needs.  Still cheaper to repair than to buy a new bike, though.

This would be necessary if either of us were capable of running….grumble grumble grumble.

Well, yes it would.  We bike to get places around here.  Never mind.



When we were packing for this move, we packed up the wine glasses for storage and decided to use the four monogrammed glasses (whisky glasses?  tumblers?) we got for our wedding.  We never touched them, and making them our default wine glasses (stemless) seemed like a good way to actually use them.  They made it through two moves just fine, three moves, using them all the time.  We used them one night last week, washed them, put them away in the cabinet.  They were fine, unblemished.  Then, a couple of nights ago, I pulled a glass out and, well, LOOK.


That horizontal line just under the rim is NOT part of the design.  That is a crack that goes almost all the way around.  We have NO idea how it happened, but we’re very not happy about it.  It’s just one of the four, but MAN.  We really liked those glasses.

To avoid breaking the other three, I’ve been drinking wine out of normal glasses.  Looks ridiculous, and it doesn’t taste as good, although that might just be in my head.  And this weekend, we will run out and buy cheap wine glasses.

Our poor fancy glass.

I guess I’m not in control of my own destiny

Remember how yesterday I was going to leave work early and enjoy some sunshine?  Yeah…I shouldn’t have said it out loud.  The universe didn’t take it well.

“Oh, you want to leave early?  You’re a little frustrated with work?  Looking forward to some nice spring weather?  Need a break?  Oh, ha ha ha.  That’s so cute.  Tee hee.  That you should have such aspirations – oh, it’s too much.  Really.  Pardon me while I wipe away tears of hilarity.  Oh, ha.  Hum.  Hee.  YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.”

A three hour conference call began at 3pm.  I left work at 6:30.  I might need to placate the universe somehow.  I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean to offend!

Update: It JUST occurred to me that yesterday was April Fool’s Day.  Was this a cosmic joke?

Me? Boring?

You could be forgiven for thinking, “Jesus, Zannah, please don’t write another post about the weather or dry and crumbly bread or really, anything about food.  Inane is one thing, but boring is just not okay.”  I’ll see what I can do.

St. Patrick’s Day?  Eh.  I’m wearing green today.  That’s about as far as I’ll take it.

My guilt over not having lunch with my team when they went out for Ben’s birthday today?  Minimal.  Hardly worth mentioning.

I ran three miles this morning, in the dark, and it was great!  But not interesting.

Stir fry for dinner?  No.  Food.  (But it was good.)

John made egg salad?  No.  Also food.  (Also good.)

I was not able to get my access key (for the apartment complex gates) fixed today because the maintenance guy left early?  Nope.

Okay, then.  Boring it is.  Better luck tomorrow.  BUT – I am a pretty, pretty princess.

Slacking off and feeling bad about it

I didn’t go to yoga last night.  I went two Tuesdays ago for the first time in a year and a half, and it was great.  I’m ready to get back into it.  Really.  Except that last Tuesday was the first day I tried Doug’s boxing class, and I was all-over achy (especially in my shoulders).  Yoga has lots of shoulder work, and I hurt.  I ran that morning, too, and three workouts in one day seemed excessive.  Excuses?  Sure.  But I didn’t go.  I was going to go last night, but then I didn’t, and now I feel like I let down the instructor, my yogamates, and I don’t know who else (maybe all the people in the world who would go to yoga if they could).  You know, because the world revolves around me and everyone is paying that much attention to what I do.  If the class were bigger, I probably wouldn’t feel this way, but attendance has been dwindling.  When I went two weeks ago, I was only one of two students.  So I made a commitment to go, to myself, to the instructor, to my yogamate, and then I didn’t show.  Bad Zannah!

Take deep breaths and count to ten

I’ve been really irritated with Amazon this week.  It’s probably (almost certainly) not their fault, but that doesn’t change how I’ve felt (and how I feel now – there’s no need to be rational).  I got my new phone last Saturday (which you already know).  The Sprint store didn’t have any accessories for it, so the first thing I did when I got home that night was go to Amazon and order a screen protector and a case (three, actually – I can’t decide until I see them in person).  Unfortunately, nothing I ordered was being fulfilled by Amazon directly – they were all coming from the sellers.  My order status was “Preparing for Shipment” starting Saturday night all the way until last night, when the stuff finally shipped.  That might have been okay, but the estimated delivery dates were Jan 31st to Feb 4th the entire time, and there was a message about the status that said the delivery dates wouldn’t be affected.  I’m going to have to call bullshit on that.  If you don’t ship until late Wednesday night, there’s no way the package is going to be delivered by Friday (short of using some sort of express shipment method, which I did not pay for and was not expecting).  So why not adjust the delivery dates?  That’s totally something Amazon controls.  Yes, I’ll probably still have it by the time I get back, but all week I’ve been hoping to have that stuff before we leave for the weekend and now my hopes are dashed.  Dashed!  Manage my expectations, Amazon!  It would have been so easy to set me up for mild disappointment that I wouldn’t have my stuff in time instead of irritation that you jerked me around.  I’m running around with a phone that doesn’t have a screen protector and has NO case whatsoever and now I have to travel with it that way.  Disappointment is acceptable.  Irritation is, well, irritating.  Too bad I don’t go to yoga anymore – maybe yoga would help me transform my irritation into acceptance.

Missed already

I made a kinda-sorta-quasi-resolution to post every day for as long as I could this year.  I told John about it yesterday, thinking how cool it was that I’d made it 11 days in, and then I went back and looked at the little calendar widget that shows me the days I blogged.  Where was the link for Friday?  Wait – seriously?  I missed the 10th?  But I remember writing something…oh, there it is.  Safe and sound (and unfinished) over there in Drafts.  Damn.  And also whoops.

Now go look at some maps (via Reddit) while I figure out what I’m reading next.  For real.  They’re pretty fascinating maps.

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.

Mom can’t always be right

A couple of months ago, I went to my favorite nail salon, and the manicurist talked me into trying gel nail polish on my fingers.  Mom has been talking it up to me for a long time because it doesn’t chip, so it lasts longer, and it looks nicer, and she’s right on all of those counts.  I was going to go bare (just buff up the nails) because I don’t really like color on my nails and clear nail polish chips, and the manicurist said, well, gel doesn’t chip, and it comes in a natural color.  Okay – it’s time to try it.  First, natural my ass.  It was light pink and sparkly.  Pretty, but in no way natural.  Still, it was pretty and light enough not to bother me much.  It dried super quickly (always a plus), and then the lady swiped nail polish remover across the nails and it didn’t come off!  I was impressed, and everything was great for about three weeks.  My nails were growing, but it wasn’t obvious to anyone but me that my nails weren’t all painted anymore.  After that, I was about done with the pink and sparkly and ready to go clear again, so I went back to have the gel polish removed (since I had no idea how to take it off myself).

What Mom neglected to tell me is what a HUGE PAIN it is to have it removed.  You can’t just swipe with some special gel polish remover.  Oh, no.  My nails were wrapped in acetone-soaked cotton and foil for what felt like an hour (and was at least 20 minutes in real time), and then when the manicurist removed the foil and cotton, she still had to chisel away at each nail to get it all off.  It took FOREVER.  I thought it was never going to be over.  And even once the polish was removed, my nails still felt like regular polish was fading and chipping off on its own.  Not a nice feeling.

Conclusion?  No gelicures for me.  No way.  Uh uh.  Sorry, Mom.  Can’t agree with you on this one.


Hey, guys?  The Hobbit was disappointing.  I won’t ruin it for anyone with details, but…hm.  I can’t say a whole lot more without ruining it.  Here’s the thing, though – once I get past it not being what I hoped, it was still entertaining.  It just wasn’t what I expected from Peter Jackson, after he took such care with The Lord of the Rings movies (with one major exception for which I haven’t forgiven him).  So see it, by all means, but lower your expectations.


Lost, not found

What do you do with one diamond earring?  Sounds rhetorical, but I really need an answer.  John bought me a pair (little diamond studs) last Christmas, and I love them.  They’re exactly what I wanted, and I wore them every day, with everything.  Then, out at dinner the evening after we spent the day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (more on that later), I reached up to my earlobes and noticed that one of them was bare.  How do you lose just one earring?  Clearly, it’s not that hard.  And since the earring wasn’t in my immediate vicinity in the restaurant, and it wasn’t in the car, it was most likely lost on the ground in 16th century England (otherwise known as some woods not too far from Annapolis).  Maybe I can get my remaining earring turned into a necklace or something.

Guess who we ran into while we were there?

We don’t know what Captain America was doing at a 16th century renaissance festival, but his was the best costume we saw all day.  Other than the Doctor’s, of course.  His being there made more sense, what with all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff (speaking of that, I totally want these).  I wasn’t able to get a picture of him, but his costume was fantastic.

I could be a red and splotchy version of Nightcrawler

I look like a lizard.  Like a salamander.  Or maybe a newt.  It’s awful.  Apparently, I’ve found another antibiotic I’m allergic to.  Sure, that’s only two now, but one of them is amoxicillin, and that rules out everything in the -cillin family, which I think includes penicillin.  (So someday I’m going to die because I need medication I can’t take because I’m allergic to it.  Yay for me.)  At least with that one, the reaction I have isn’t visible to anyone.  With this one (bactrim), I turn into a lizard.  A lizard on fire.  Ooh, like a salamander!  (I knew there was a reason I went for that one.)  Seriously, though, I look scary.  The doctor said I shouldn’t exercise for a few days (because I shouldn’t sweat – weird, right?), so I’ll be fat and scary.  Good combination.  Too bad it didn’t happen right before Halloween instead of right after.  Built-in costume.

Roxy is still wearing her lampshade, but she’s doing much better.  We gave her a break from it for a lot of yesterday (because we were home and could watch her), and we only had to stop her from licking her paw a couple of times.  I’ll probably be home with her a lot this week.  I don’t want to go out in public like this, so I will most likely work from home.  Today is a sick day.  Morning with the doctor, home for now, another appointment this afternoon – too disjointed to be productive at work.

Man, if I have to look like a mutant (and I totally do), I should at least get some cool superpower.

After all this time, I still bleed blue. A little. Enough.

I don’t think I have to tell any of you how little I care about sports.  That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching a game of whatever here and there (I’d rather go to a game than watch one on TV, not that that happens very often), but for the most part I don’t care who wins.  The other day was different, though.  UK playing Louisville in the Final Four – hell, yeah, I had to watch that one.  (Let’s ignore that I don’t care even a little when they play each other during the rest of the year.  The NCAA tournament is different.  It is.)

So even though I didn’t go to UK or U of L, even though I haven’t lived in Kentucky since 1997, even though I’ve only been to ONE college basketball game in my life (and that was at GW, not either UK or U of L), I HAD to watch this game, and, like I have during every game I’ve watched since 1987, I cheered (and gasped and yelled) for UK.  (Are you thinking that that last clause sounds like I root for UK even when they’re not playing?  Well, maybe I do.  Even though it makes no sense.  I’m loyal that way.)

Why 1987?  It’s more complicated than just that that’s the year we moved to Kentucky.  That’s the year I had to pick a side.  Or else.  Picture 8-year-old me.  I was in third grade, brand new school, brand new state.  One of the first things I remember somebody saying to me at school was completely unintelligible.  “Yookay or Yoovell?”  “What?”  More insistently, “Yookay or Yoovell?”  I had NO idea what they were saying to me, and they couldn’t understand what was so hard about the question.  (I don’t even know why it mattered right then.  It was too early for basketball season, and football doesn’t really count in Kentucky.)  Somehow it got through to me what they were asking, but I still had NO idea what the right answer was, or why anyone cared which one I picked, and why won’t they stop asking and leave me alone?  I remember asking them which one they were for, getting more Yookays then Yoovells, and going with the Yookay kids.  (It was the right answer for several reasons.)  Somewhere along the line I made the mental switch from Yookay and Yoovell to the actual school names, and then Allison introduced me to Travis Ford and his three-pointers (Not literally, of course.  She didn’t know him, but he was only 5’6″ and rarely missed, and she had a crush on him.  We were 14.), and I started watching games.  Just in time, too, since that was 1993-94, and the championship wins were ’96 and ’98.

I fell off the wagon after that, though.  I watched the ’98 tournament by myself in college (I couldn’t believe I knew so many people who didn’t know what March Madness was) and then paid very little attention to basketball except for the occasional UK game (and that one UNC game we watched the night of Jess and Chuck’s wedding).  Even though I enjoy the games when I watch them, the paying very little attention part is still true and unlikely to change.

Still, UK playing UofL in the Final Four is pretty awesome (especially with Rick Pitino (the UK coach during the years I cared) coaching UofL now), and I didn’t want to miss it.  And considering what a good game it was, I’m glad I didn’t.  Even John watched it, although he was rooting for UofL (For reasons unknown.  Out of a sense of balance?  An appreciation of how well they were playing?  Solidarity with Mark?  Sheer orneriness?)  UK won, I cheered, and the championship game is tonight.  I could watch it.  I might watch it.  What time does it start?

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  The game doesn’t start until nearly 9:30?

Yeah…I’m going to bed.  UK, you’re on your own.

Inter-charity rivalry

Every so often we get a flyer in the mail from Purple Heart that lets us know when they’ll be in our neighborhood picking up donations.  We try to always have something, but not as hard as we used to.  They used to call ahead to see if we had anything to donate, and if we did, they’d come to the neighborhood.  I always said yes and then made sure I had something ready that morning.  I certainly don’t want to have them come all the way to our house only to find we forgot.  That would suck.  Now that they’re mailing us a flyer that says they’re coming no  matter what, we’re not as diligent.   But still, we do try.  Anyway, AmVets still calls ahead, and they called us the day before we got a Purple Heart flyer, so I figured that this month, our donation would go to AmVets instead (and we didn’t have enough to get rid of this time to give to both).  Both places have the same process: put your stuff in a bag or a box or whatever and LABEL it very CLEARLY with LARGE letters.  It has to say AMVETS (or PURPLE HEART) or they won’t pick it up.  You can leave it on the curb or on the front porch – anywhere that’s clearly visible from the street.  I always leave mine on the edge of the front porch with LABEL facing the STREET.  (Got a little carried away there.)  Which is what I did the other morning.  I was working from home that day, and I made sure that my big bag of clothes was out on the front porch by 8am with AMVETS written across it on two sides in really big letters.  Around lunchtime, the dogs started barking, and when I looked out the front window, I saw a guy walking back to his big truck (like a small moving van, white sides) with the bag.  Pickup completed.  EXCEPT.  A couple of hours later, the dogs started to go nuts again.  I went to the door this time and saw a guy walking back to HIS big white truck.  There was a “sorry we missed you” AmVets receipt in the door, and I realized what had happened.  I ran back outside to catch the guy and apologize.  He was really nice about it, but STILL.  Purple Heart stole my donation!  And he came all the way out here, and I didn’t have anything else ready to give away.  I’m sorry, AmVets.  I’ll have twice as much next time.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone at Purple Heart noticed the AmVets label on the bag and donated it to them anyway?  I wonder if they do that.