Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wikimedia, Uncle!

I give. 
Finally guilted into actually donating to Wikipedia, which I do use all the time.  Mostly for pop-culture references, since I just don't get those otherwise.
Awoke this morning and said, "It's really windy today."  TheLimey asked, "How do you know?"  "Can't you smell it?"  I replied, which just made him laugh. But sure enough, when he went out, it was super duper windy, and trash and trashcans were blowing about the streets wildly.  I could smell it being windy.  Weird.
Limelet had a great time opening presents on Christmas morning, playing with them all day, and then taking them to bed that evening.  It's taken him several days to stop asking for presents every morning, however.  He's now a one-man band with his kitarrh and his marmogginah.  Figure that one out, willya.
I now think it's harder to write fiction than nonfiction, although that wasn't always the case.  Maybe now I unreasonably apply nonfiction standards to fiction.  I keep telling myself, "It's okay to write derivative crap.  It's okay to write derivative crap."  Because you know what?  It is!  If that's what's in my head, which it is.  I have no delusions that I will write the Great American Novel or Great Literature (or even Good Literature), so what the hell.  Derivative crap sells, anyway.  When I was in music I always said I'd sell out first, then I could afford to do artsy and daring stuff, rather than be accused of selling out after I had an artsy audience. I think that philosophy may apply here as well.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Stupid Eddy in the Time-Space Continuum

Strangely, I often find myself with an urge to watch the original Star Trek on Sunday afternoons at about 4 p.m.  It occurred to me to see if it's available on Netflix instant streaming (actually TheLimey mentioned it).  So I checked, and it's there!  Woo hoo! At least Season 1 is.
Except that it's only available for streaming until December 30.  Dammit.
I'd have to watch 10 episodes per day to see them all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, One of "Those" Posts

I don't usually have time to remember my dreams this day, even if I am woken up at a point where I could remember them.  But by some chance I remembered this one, or rather three mini-dreams.
1. It was still my birthday, and some friends (I think grad school people) were having a party for me.  Party things were set up in a work area and I sat down at a table for a minute.  I was tired, and fell asleep with my head on the table.  When I woke up, it was hours later and the party was over, and no one had woken me up for it.  I missed the whole thing!
2. We had a garage that adjoined that of our new next-door neighbors, whom I met.  The husband was a small wiry blond man in his 50s or 60s, and told me that his name was Göran Visnjic  (Not, apparently, to be confused with Goran Višnjić, the actor of Practical Magic fame--at least, that's why I know of him), and they were from Denmark.  I guess my subconscious thinks that Göran is a Danish name.  Anyway, he offered me some Parma ham and said it was a traditional Danish food. I ate some out of politeness, but felt revulsion because I really dislike meats that are not cooked.  Blluugghh.  Anyway, he said that there was some kind of Scandinavian association in town, and that I was welcome to join them some time.  I said I'd be glad to, which I was, until he told me that they'd basically be eating all kinds of cured (but not cooked) meats.
3.  I had Limelet with me, and was climbing some giant iron stairs like a fire escape (but on a bigger scale).  There was a supervillain after us. His power was this super-stretchy candy cane, which he was throwing after us like a fishing line in an attempt to hook Limelet. Instead, I caught the hook myself and used the candy cane to throw the supervillain really far.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice
Originally uploaded by BarneyF
If I took a perfect photo, it'd look like this guy's.

Now, forward to the longer (and temporarily colder) days!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today I received a UPS shipment from my PhD alma mater: a new diploma! 
This was nice, since the last one had a random letter capitalized in the middle of my last name. Also, it was unexpected, since I hadn't complained to them about it.  I don't know why.  Imagined I was stuck with it, I guess.  Learned helplessness in the face of bureaucracy, that's for sure.
Unfortunately, the new diploma had a new error, in which it actually left out a letter, although there were no extraneous capitalizations this time.  This finally gave me the impetus to actually call them up and ask what the heck was going on. It helped that the return address contained a specific person's name and his phone number. Wow!
The guy was quite nice and explained that they had sent out the replacement because many of the PhD diplomas had had errors in them (blamed on some particular person, possible no longer there). Before I even told him about the new error, he spotted it and told me he would send out a new one, possibly tomorrow.
So, hey, for once being a squeaky wheel gets me some grease, instead of being the blade of grass that sticks up and gets cut off.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Random Idle Complaints: Amazon Again

More love/hate ambivalence with Amazon, with whom I have such a dependent and needy yet angry relationship.

So one of my FriendFeed feeds is my Amazon wishlist. Rather, my Amazon wishlists, as they have diverged into half a dozen or so different categories. (For the record, they are mostly not pleas for someone to buy me something, but reminders to myself of various items that I'm interested in getting someday. Just so you don't think I'm terrifically greedy. Even if that is the case.)

And the reason I have the wishlists on FF? I don't know. Not any particular reason. Really more of an OC thing than anything. I just like FF to collect all my lists and stuff into one spot so I can see them organized neatly in my Google Reader.

I finally decided to once and for all change my wishlist email addresses from the one associated with my uni and teaching life to my private Gmail address. (Do I really want students finding out in idle curiousity that I want Victoria's Secret Very Sexy cologne? There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but...it's just not something I want so easily findable, I guess.)

However, once I finally changed the email address associated with the wishlists (had to each be done individually, of course), FF can't ever find them under the new email address. And when I search Amazon itself with the new address, it claims to find nothing. Looking under the old email, it finds them all. Maybe it just takes a while to propagate. But the thing is, I've tried this before, albeit not so systematically. Amazon's "search engine"* [spits and makes sign against evil eye] just never, ever recognized the new email address and I ended up changing it back and just making some lists private. This time I wanted to try and do it methodically to see for once and for all if it worked.

Ths is probably just one of those things where I don't know how the hell to do something simple and am therefore blaming some outside entity in frustration.

*Update* : It worked! It finally, finally worked!
Now, if only the great 'Zon would allow me to cancel my inactive subscription to Emergen-C fizzy drink powder.

*I have a long and angry history of dislike for Amazon's so-called "search" function

Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter Day, Postbirthday

As I wait for my breakfast barley to cook, I write.  A pile of dirty dishes has somehow already accumulated since I loaded the dishwasher last night, and they are literally staring me in the face.  Okay, I give, the dishes are not literally staring, as the dishes don't have eyes.  It just feels like they do.  Accusatory, glaring eyes.  I read an article the other day in which a woman claimed to have "literally devoured" a great number of books and journal articles, which made her an expert on her topic (herbal fertility aids).  Naturally, I couldn't take anything she wrote seriously after that.  I wonder if I could have simply eaten my grad school materials instead of wasting all that time reading?
I am currently reading a Neil Gaiman novel and enjoying it a lot more than I expected (yes, I do a lot of things for which I have low expectations).  Maybe it's just a reflection on the kinds of books I've been reading this year, but I am really impressed with his writing. Once past the introduction, the writing itself became invisible and there is nothing now but story.  I haven't had this kind of reading experience in a long while. I thought it was because I'm a grownup now and perhaps don't read in the same way I used to.  It didn't occur to me that it could have to do with the writing itself, except in cases of very clumsy or amateurish writing.  So, Mr. Gaiman, I'm impressed, for what that's worth.
Last week I splurged and got a lovely, pungent bunch of dried eucalyptus branches because I love how they make the house smell.  I haven't had them since before I got married. However, when my smelling-impaired husband came home that evening, he sniffed and asked with genuine concern, "What is that? Is that garbage?  Does the trash need taking out?"  Hmpf.
Speaking of smells, I am terrifically disappointed with the Christmas tree we just got over the weekend (I picked it out).  It has almost no smell at all, unless I'm practically roosting in the branches.  The smell is possibly the most important aspect of a Christmas tree, and there are still three whole weeks to go!  I will have to do something drastic, such as clipping some of those raggedy bottom branches off.  Admittedly, it was fun decorating it with Limelet this year, as now he is old enough to hang hooks instead of taking everything off and throwing it.  At least most of th e time.
TheLimey got me a One Touch video capture device for my birthday that works well with the video camera, so I plan to post some clips on Flick'r, including the aforementioned tree decorating. Now, off to finally undergo a bunch of fillings at the dentist.  Bleah.