walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (sga: with a TOOTHBRUSH)
a. thanksgiving by the numbers: TWO parents and ONE cousin up from florida for SEVEN days, ONE niece home from college, and TWO in-laws driving down, for a total of ELEVEN people staying in the house. TWENTY-ONE bodies for dinner on thursday. SEVENTEEN bodies on friday. approximately FORTY BILLION hours spent cooking in the kitchen: FOUR kinds of sweet potatoes, THREE cranberry relishes, TWO stuffings, and TWELVE pies served. ONE afternoon spent at the atlanta botanical gardens, ONE morning spent at the high museum's louvre exhibit, ONE night at the movies, TWO nights at home watching videos, ONE day of running errands to confirm the uselessness of best buy and drinking margaritas at neighbor's with m. and cousin m. and kansas.

all told, not a bad week. cousin m. and i talked about how lucky we are in our family that everyone's so laid-back; some people have their little irritations, and our dad scrapes against our nerves like we're cats getting rubbed the wrong way, but it's just dad being dad. no one fights, no one gets drunk and embarrassing, no one yells. everyone's nerves were badly fraying by sunday night, but we KEPT IT TOGETHER. returning to work on monday was strange and brutal. what were these piles of paper for? what was i to do with them? and why? i asked myself, "how did i get here?"

b. intervention: we took informal bets on how many times during the course of the very, very long weekend i would be asked what i was up to, what my plans were, WHAT I WAS DOING WITH MY LIFE, but our estimations failed to take into account my niece's wildcard presence as a first-semester college student, and most of the boilerplate life questions ended up deflected her way. for the record, she's highly stressed and very unhappy in her major, but she's making lots of friends and seems to be having fun, so we're hoping next semester will be better; and after that she'll evaluate.

no, all the impatience and worry about the course of my life were deferred until my parents and cousin m. were on the way to the airport, when my mother unloaded; luckily i wasn't there, but my brother seems to have gotten an earful. on wednesday night he and i went across the street to THE RIGHTEOUS ROOM (no lie!) for dinner, compliments of my father ("here, take your sister out"), and after we ordered our first round and debated whether or not i should partition my hard drive (see below), m. handed me a present:

me: wow, what have i done lately?!
me: *unwraps package to reveal a copy of what color is your parachute?*
me: ahhh, it's what i haven't done lately.

and he reported the earful he'd gotten from our mother, and we came up with a plan of sorts, and he gave me ASSIGNMENTS with DEADLINES, e.g. read the book, investigate night classes at emory and georgia state, solicit references for a therapist—because it's time! maybe!—and we ate onion straws and drank many more rounds and then stumbled home drunk.

c. the power of apple compelled me: in fact, i was too drunk to turn on the SUPER-SHINY APPLE COMPUTER that had that day been delivered into my feverish consumer hands! i opted for the macbook—in white, like the white album is white, like it should be playing honey piiiiiiiiii-aiiiiiiiie, i love you! ALL THE TIME—with two gigs of RAM and a 120GB hard drive and final cut express preinstalled for the fulfillment of all my pirating, surfing, songvidding needs. obviously i also opted not to wait ONE MINUTE LONGER. so on thursday when i got home, i booted it up and transferred all the contents and settings of ezekiel to the new computer (new computer still has no name. *frets*) and then spent the rest of the night downloading widgets and arranging them to my satisfaction on the desktop and playing bubble trouble, a game that you should not download for the love of god, unless you don't mind losing YEARS OF YOUR LIFE to it. i tell you this as a friend.

it's so shiny, you guys. SO SHINY. and super-duper awesomely fast, and at first it was running plastic-meltingly hot and the fan was whirring like a jet engine and the battery drained after an hour and a half; but i ran activity monitor, and immediately after disabling the new york times headlines-retrieving widget i'd been running, the fan died down to nothing and the battery time left increased by a hundred percent. o.O i didn't need to be globally informed ANYWAY. over the weekend i tried to trick out safari, becuase i know it's fast and native and passes the acid test, but i couldn't configure it to my satisfaction (i can't find a del.icio.us client that works for me—cocoalicious refuses to load my bookmarks and delibar is only for browsing—and i somehow resent having to pay for saft to plug some—but by no means all—of the holes in safari that inexplicably haven't already been plugged by apple. session saving? hello?) so instead i further tricked out firefox and am finding new extensions all the time. i mugged for the photobooth camera and watched apple's famous 1984 ad and then the spoof of apple's famous 1984 ad, and then some of my favorite songvids on the wide, glossy screen.

we're going to be very happy together.

d. saturday: i found myself in an incredibly bad mood friday night, toward the end of happy hour and on the drive home. i played listlessly with the computer for an hour or so, and then went to bed and slept for fourteen hours. i felt a lot more human saturday morning, i won't lie. met m. and kansas at taco mac down the street, and then we checked out the telephone factory lofts art show; there i saw a photograph of goldfish that filled me with rage, and we found, possibly, the perfect artwork for kansas's kitchen. i watched football all afternoon and evening, FOOTBALL of all things, at m.'s apartment with m. and his friend c.: USC and UCLA (which i feel compelled to pronounce yoocla when it's written out in lowercase) and then florida vs. arkansas, and i asked m. a million questions like why were they lining up like that, and how many time-outs did they get, and when could they kick a field goal, which he very patiently answered in between cursing the gators and cheering them and their chances at the championship. which i understand they now have!

we ordered thai and when the games were over we flipped channels to find the last thirty minutes of van helsing, which was AWFUL, except for david wenham saying that if there was one thing he'd learned, it was never be the first to stick your hand in a viscous liquid.

e. visitors from beyond the perimeter: [livejournal.com profile] silentfire and i have been like busy ships with conflicting schedules playing phone tag and passing in the night, but yesterday she drove down to play dueling laptops and trade music and roll around in fandom. we ate sushi and walked across the street to publix in the cold to get ice cream, and watched the first episode of life on mars, which we think is groovy!

f. don't jinx it: i'm applying—i think?—to this graduate program, and i'm almost afraid to mention it; it was a capricious, spur-of-the moment decision i made when i tripped over its website last week, and i've been busily regretting it and fourteenth-guessing it even as i go about drafting emails to solicit letters of recommendation and fretting over a STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES, and the deadline's january fifteenth, so it may all come to NOTHING. but there it is. *bites nails*

g. it was twenty-eight degrees out on the drive to work this morning: i feel GREAT today! even after resolving to get the number for a therapist, and the nightmarish prospect of contacting old professors, and the reams of paper under which i am buried at work! i think it's the weather! and the fact that the computer bag i ordered last week—the one that departed california last wednesday and took what sounds like a lovely road trip through illinois, indiana, ohio, and tennessee—should be arriving at the office MOMENTARILY. i love package tracking and plunging mercury and the WORLD.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
a. right, went to atlanta last weekend with my dad: on saturday we scoped out a scrimmage for the kids' robotics competition and had italian food in celebration of c.'s birthday; the new georgia aquarium* was (unsurprisingly) jam-packed on the sunday of a holiday weekend; fernbank still has awesome dinosaur skeletons in the rotunda and a kick-ass children's section upstairs; and we watched 4940352 hours of olympics coverage in high definition. i do not need to see bob costas that clearly. also most sports commentators should not so much commentate as shut up.

b. now is still a good time to request songs and icons!

c. i have to write a 10,000-word lj entry in four days omg. and by "have to" i mean "i brought this down upon myself" and "what kind of influence was i UNDER anyway?"

d. last night instead of writing 10,000 words on anything, i was filling in sudoku puzzles compulsively.

e. also i was listening to starship's "nothing's gonna stop us now" on repeat. i know there are people in this world who don't like starship—who, in fact, think starship is one of the worst bands ever to record a hit song in the 1980s, and those people are DEAD TO ME kthx.

f. ALSO last night my hair looked FABULOUS. (my hair looks best when i wash it, like, once a week, which is about how often i'm getting out of the house these days, so that works out.) [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i met for coffee and milkshakes and cards in dunkin' donuts, then we took a trip to borders, and then we drove along the beach for a while listening to RENT.

g. i feel like i have a thousand things to do, but i don't really—unless you count tagging all the fic on my hard drive into my del.icio.us account, or making criminal minds icons, or writing up a giant NCIS pimp post of doom (it's coming, mwahahaha), or writing a 10,000-word lj post, just for the hell of it—which i don't, particularly. and all the big things that i should be doing i just keep shunting into my blind spot and avoiding like the plague. basically i have no money and no prospects and no direction and no motivation (except—see: "no money") and i'm starting to wonder what's so wrong with staying in bed all day anyway?

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] silentfire texted me to say, "so i was thinking, and i decided that you should get a job up here in boston" and she is so right.

h. like everyone else on the internets i took the quick and painless enneagram test. i am a five (the observer: "i need to understand the world") and yes, it is a direct pipeline to my soul, but its html is horrifying, so here are some highlights:

how to get along with me: remember that if i seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that i am feeling uncomfortable; help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.

what i like about being a five: coming to a thorough understanding—perceiving causes and effects; not being caught up in material possessions and status.

what's hard about being a five: feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all; watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally.

fives as children often: spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on; have a few special friends rather than many (for me this is true now more than ever); are very bright and curious and do well in school.

i. someone ought to drop language log a line and suggest that gray text on a white background isn't the easiest combination on the eyes, but man are they fun to read. yesterday they nominated this something positive cartoon for a trent reznor prize for tricky embedding. in it they linked to a fascinating post on writing style and dementia, in which mark liberman commented that "geoff pullum will be happy to learn that strunk and white's stylistic advice may actually rot the brain." and then i spent a happy hour reading through the language log archives for all the times geoff pullum has whaled on the elements of style—here are some of my favorites!

j. all or most of the above was written sometime before i went to bed at six or seven a.m. this morning, but obviously not posted. today i woke up at around one-thirty, had breakfast at three, and puttered around until my mom got home at around four-thirty. we started drinking white wine and eating bruschetta at five, ordered italian food at five-thirty, and my dad brought it home at a little after six, or maybe six-thirty, at which time we switched to red wine and continued with season five gilmore girls on DVD. luke and lorelai are the cutest EVER and i just want those crazy kids to work it OUT. you guys. i've had, like, five glasses of wine, and that's the perfect time to start finishing up my [livejournal.com profile] rec50 recs, right? right. right.


* frankly i was BORED at the georgia aquarium. the fish were cool—the jellyfish were the COOLEST—but we were ten people in our party and my pace was a lot faster than most of them, meaning i spent a lot of time standing and waiting for everyone else while surrounded by mobs of people. plus we found the exhibits curiously short on information. when i'm looking at the tanks and asking "but what ARE they, where do they live, what do they eat, why do they look like that?" you're not volunteering enough. i did discover that sea otters (who, by the way, seem to have just as much fun as we think they do) have hair on every part of their body but their front paws, which they hold out of the water to keep warm. also they use tools! luckily, [livejournal.com profile] silentfire was reading about the dull thoughts of dead white men in a boston coffee shop and was available to text me with ideas of gibbs and tony making out in the aquarium's dark and blue-tinged recesses. \o/
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (always starring in the movies in my head)
ahaha, so [livejournal.com profile] isilya used livejournal's new nudge feature to say, "hello, please post now kthx." i am tickled pink by this. it's just that i have so little to say. things that have been nominally worth noting in the month of january thus far:

a. my parents and i were in atlanta over the holiday weekend, for my brother m.'s birthday, but also just to visit. it turned out we were in perfect time for a cold front, a good excuse to break out the sweaters and scarves—and while i was there i finished one for my brother and then ransacked l.'s yarn collection to start a new one for my mother, in a slightly desperate attempt to stave off boredom, of all things. i don't usually get bored at these family gatherings, but there i was: wandering upstairs and downstairs, pacing from room to room, uninvolved and uninterested in the conversation.

we ate a lot—surprise, surprise!—and while the new aquarium was booked solid (and their telephone support system leaves a lot to be desired), we did get to the andrew wyeth exhibit at the high museum, which was engrossing and fantastic. as the captions and audioguide kept telling me, his works are highly symbolic and generally deal with memory, imagination, and death. and maybe the guides were a little repetitive, but i had a much better grasp of both his intentions and their execution by the time i finished than i had when i started: i knew better what to look for and what it meant when i found it. and technically his work is just beautiful. one of the last paintings in the exhibit was a portrait of a woman, entitled braids, and it was so simple and beautiful and rich in texture and detail—the ribbing of her turtleneck, the few wispy flyaways from her loose braids, her blonde eyelashes, her nose, her cheekbones and complexion—that i stared at it for long minutes, came back to it a second and third time, and could probably have looked at it all day.

b. i tried to hold out on the last volume of his dark materials, but i had seventy pages left by the time our plane touched down in ft. lauderdale monday night, and i finished it as soon as we got home. more )

so, yes, i loved it with all my heart. undying gratitude again to [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone for tipping me into checking it out, and to [livejournal.com profile] bunnymcfoo for supplying the means. [livejournal.com profile] isilya, i would dearly love to hear your commentary.

c. sometimes i get sleepy at around eight in the evening—which is kind of like a midday nap, if you tend to tear youself away from the internet at four in the morning and crawl out of bed at two in the afternoon. i mean, right?

d. okay, yes, basically my sleep habits are for absolute shit. yesterday i got a text message at eleven a.m.; i got up at noon to stop the phone from beeping, went to the bathroom, fed the cat, then fell back into bed and had to drag myself out of it at three. when i got back from the gym last night, after a solid workout, my mom did a double-take and said i looked like i'd just gotten woken up. ha ha!

e. for the record, this makes three days in a row i've been to the gym. do not give me a cookie, for the love of god.

f. when [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was here a couple of weeks ago, not only did we watch SGA and meditate extensively upon the characters of john sheppard and rodney mckay et al., we plotted out SONGVIDS. i find myself in the market for vid tutorials! oh my god, i know absolutely nothing about it. i expect to be pathetically grateful for [livejournal.com profile] vidder_weekly. and now that we've started plotting songvids, we can't stop. we are completely ruined for music now. nothing is safe.

g. my dreams don't tend to go to apocalyptic fannish places, but they did the other night! think reign-of-terror meets high-school-AU. for "guillotine" read "mass disembowelings in the cafeteria."

h. how do you read? i must use whole-word recognition to some extent, because i have—hmm, not quite orthographic, maybe topological?—problems sometimes: i confuse words that look alike. that is, i have trouble when ronon and rodney are in the same story, or jack and john, etc. i always have to go back and re-read more carefully. this is the same problem i have with r. kelly and rilo kiley (which also sound alike, except that i don't pronounce words when i read them; that's the bonus of reading, that you don't have to figure out how to say passepartout, you just recognize it when you see it and move on), who you'd think would be easy enough to differentiate.

also, in my head ang lee is a woman, i swear. i should look up a picture or something.

i. former-roommate s. came back from her fabulous internship and invited me over for dinner the other night. she made salmon; i read her personal essay for admittance to a master's program; we talked and talked, we watched the daily show with jon stewart. a pleasant evening, all around! i ought to reciprocate soon, or at least make arrangements to get together again. i have very few friends, and even fewer with whom i'm currently living in the same county. wait, whose fault is that? i forget.

j. in the spirit of making honesty my best policy, i think from now on whenever people ask me what i'm doing with myself these days, i'm just going to admit that i spend my time sitting on my ass and wasting my potential.

k. YAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN. i would be even happier about it if i could, you know, watch the matches, but there's no cable in this house; also no best-friend-slash-roommate around to give me carte blanche to sprawl on her bed and watch tennis on her television into the small hours. *dejected*

i was pleased as punch when i heard a couple of months ago that martina hingis was definitely going to rejoin the tour, and i was very glad to see she's handily won her first two matches. she was a bitch, but i loved watching her play; john mcenroe always likened her to a chess player, and that's infinitely more interesting than maria sharapova banging flat, heavy groundstrokes off both sides point after point. see also: andy roddick. the papers kept talking about how geared up andy roddick was for this year, and i was all, who CARES, omg who CARES about andy roddick? okay, i'm sure the boy has fans. also a mother who loves him.

l. i've adopted the exclamation, "oh, bitchcakes" (TM neil gaiman). it trips so lightly off the tongue!

m. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire has intersession starting next week, and i'm trying very hard to get up to boston to visit. current plans have me coming in next friday; new classes start for her on the following wednesday, but it's new semester stuff, and possibly i can attend them WITH her and we can dork out together, \m/. also it might be the perfect time to visit my uncle et al. up there, who have been badgering me to come visit for years now. i should call them. i should do LOTS of things.

n. my parents have gone up to mt. dora (a small, quaint (so i hear) town in central florida) with another couple for the weekend, to do some antiquing, no really. that will always mean celestial navigation to me. i have nothing planned in the meantime, except perhaps cousin m. will want to watch the last disc of boomtown tonight or tomorrow. there's talk of a sketching circle meeting at barnie's on sunday, and even if that falls through, [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu scored tickets for whoever's at the improv this sunday night. right now, i have to get out of the house.

o. end of ze world, as told by funny accents and flash animation.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the highest branch on the apple tree)
when last i managed to update about life in general, [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was on her way into town: and she got here! and she stayed for a few days, during which we stayed up until five a.m. and knocked out all the SGA we hadn't seen together (excepting, still, "grace under pressure" and "the tower") plus various sad and bizarre and adorable items from the CVs of david hewlett and joe flanigan (in re: canadian cinema: o.O . . . O.o) and for the millionth time she tried to get me to articulate what it is i love about lt. col. john sheppard; she did not emerge victorious. more on that much later. *waves hand*

family came into town after that, my two cousins with their families, and we had tea for my dad's birthday last sunday with what felt and sounded like fourteen small children bouncing around the house, but was in reality only six. cake and coffee is delicious, but not sustenance, so i crashed after all the company except cousin m. had left, while we were getting down chanukkah decorations and setting up our menorahs (we have seven or eight, most handmade, and in our house everyone present gets to light one). good times! averted the small crisis with hydration and some protein, and then we got down to the serious business of scarfing down sweet-potato latkes and playing dreidel for pistachio nuts.

special to [livejournal.com profile] isilya: i have not forgotten about recipes for you! curried sweet-potato latkes are at the top of the list.

i had a dentist appointment on monday (or maybe tuesday? something). the receptionist called the day before to remind me, which was a damn good thing, as i'd had no clue. unfortunately i must have misheard her over the phone, because i showed up an hour early to what turned out *not* to be a 9:50 appointment after all. *facepalm* however! this wasn't even close to as bad as the two—two!—times i showed up an hour early to my wretched 8:30 a.m. anthro of religion class. so i ended up sitting with my book (always bring a book to doctor's appointments) in the bagel shop at the other end of the plaza and had a bagel and coffee (good bagels; lousy waitstaff) before, you know, a dental cleaning. so awesome. everything looks good, still cavity-free, blah blah blah have you ever considered bleaching your teethcakes.

randomly: the dog had some kind of skin irritation on his back, which the vet duly shaved and treated him for, and then they put him in one of those lampshade collars for the next two weeks so he couldn't worry at the patch. he's pathetic in it: he keeps knocking into things and trying to fit through small spaces, and i know i shouldn't think it's ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS, but i DO.

in general this past week was characterized by the successive lighting of more and more candles, the playing of several games of dreidel (note: dreidel is an amazingly boring game), and the eating of more and more delicious fried food. chanukkah says, "they tried to kill us, they didn't succeed, let's eat!" and "fried food: it's not just delicious, IT'S THE LAW." with various company (including cousin m., my visiting cousin l. and her two daughters, and [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu) in attendance on different nights, there have been three different kinds of latkes, salmon fritters, southwestern eggrolls, and—for the coup de grace this afternoon—sufganiyot, aka doughnuts with powdered sugar. and now we are putting away the electric wok and never speaking of this again until next year. after thanksgiving, the cookie-making FRENZY my mother got caught up in making gifts for colleagues, my father's birthday, and the holiday that oil built, we're calling uncle. it's going to be all whole grains, big green salads, and steamed things for us for a while. also i'm going to whip out my map and compass and try to find my way back to a regular routine at the gym. *scans horizon*

last night we had cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktail, and three of us (my mother, cousin m., and i) polished off two bottles of champagne. if it's true that whatever you're doing at midnight determines what you're going to be doing for the rest of the year, i was frantically posting last-minute john sheppard recs to [livejournal.com profile] rec50 with a three-glass buzz on; i don't know if that bodes well or ill.

SPEAKING of [livejournal.com profile] rec50, my john sheppard recs are all done, and you can find my table with links to all 46 of them here (or check out the john sheppard tag at the community here). i'm signed on for rodney for round two. things that make me cry are web pages with no self-referential url, authors who go by two or more names, and smart quotes. also fake lj-cuts (see: the part where i like to click on the link to a page, not its cut-tag, meaning i'm clicking on the WRONG THING if your lj-cut is really external) and target="_blank"—because i'm perfectly capable of opening a link in a new tab myself, kthx.

there have been, like, fourteen million stories posted on the internets, and i have fifty pages of holiday-challenge fic recs saved for sorting through later, encompassing yuletide, [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa, [livejournal.com profile] undermistletoe, [livejournal.com profile] shackinup_sesa, jingle bells, batman smells, [livejournal.com profile] ds_seekritsanta, DWNOGA, and [livejournal.com profile] go_exchange. the only yuletide fic i've read so far is istanbul (not constantinople), a singin' in the rain story which i recommend here without reservation. it's don and cosmo on the vaudeville circuit, and it's perfect! so well-tuned to the times and to them.

[livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was at home for a while, then up in lakeland securing housing to go with her shiny new job, but she's here again now. she came in for the tail end of brunch at cousin m.'s today (featuring bagels and lox, blintzes, and MIMOSAS). right now she's sleeping on my bed and has been since ten p.m., when she said she wasn't falling asleep, she wasn't—maybe she would take a nap. *pets her deluded little head*
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (we're in a road movie to berlin)
hey, remember thanksgiving? i don't know if everyone else's attention span is contracting like a puddle on a sunny day, but mine sure is! already thanksgiving has faded into the fuzzy past; it could have been years ago. but we had thanksgiving, thanksgiving was lovely. and by "thanksgiving" i mean the extended holiday weekend remix stretching from tuesday night to sunday night. during which time there were eight family members in town, plus [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker who i hadn't seen in AGES; and we used all the bedding in the house putting everyone up, and we ate, seriously, SO MUCH FOOD. do you want to know what we ate? oh my god, if you care, i will tell you:

in which we did nothing for six days but eat and cook and then eat what we'd cooked and sometimes ate what other people had cooked for us )

in the odd moments when we weren't eating we were being entertained by my two and a half year old nephew (extremely vocal, extremely energetic, extremely bossy, so cute); catching up with each other; reading—we firmly believe that the family that reads together stays together. at one point there were five or six of us spread out in the living room with our respective books; i managed to finish the man who mistook his wife for a hat, but much more on that later.

on friday we saw the ice harvest )

[livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker and i managed to watch most of season one stargate: atlantis, but there is much, MUCH more on that to come. we were up until five a.m. on saturday night but we still had to skip a couple of episodes and we didn't make it to "the siege," part II; though i did make sure we saw "trinity" before she left on sunday morning. we had some technical difficulties and some platform incompatabilities which means she'd downloaded "the hive" but couldn't transfer it to me by hook or crook; it's hopefully in the mail. i have a folder of episode reactions and spoiler-ridden fic on my desktop, and i created another one last night labeled post-EPIPHANY *cries*. i love everyone and their cut tags. you are all beautiful.

between thanksgiving and tai chi i'm two weeks behind on house; i did see grey's anatomy on sunday ) where can i get a grey's anatomy icon or three?
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the day is like wide water)
the vacation went on a week longer than i'd planned and could have extended indefinitely, but michael drove me to the airport yesterday morning after bagel sandwiches and coffee; and after missing the exit twice and wondering belatedly if holiday travelers would put a crimp in my stand-by plans, i bought a ticket and hopped the 11:40 flight. hitchlessly! my dad took me out to lunch when he picked me up at about 1:30, and at home i took a three-hour nap and woke up groggy. after chinese food for dinner i stayed up until five a.m. catching up on fic and livejournal. hello, livejournal!

to sum up, over the past two weeks i

1. started and finished a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, which i loved and laughed out loud at, but recommend with reservations, as it is consciously self-conscious about being self-conscious, and some people don't like that sort of thing. he reminds me very strongly of david foster wallace, the introspective young white literary male endlessly and obsessively analyzing the world, himself, his relationship to that world, how others relate to that world and thus to him, etc., etc., ad infinitum; for a writing style and way of life that seems to ceaselessly strive for meaning and the proper, most effective way of engaging the world, it's a great distancing tool. between you and the experience is always the interpretation, a translation of a translation between event and response and emotion.

2. consumed the following visual media:

a. four full-length feature films: the aforementioned i) harold and kumar go to white castle and ii) team america: world police; iii) the 40-year-old virgin with [livejournal.com profile] silentfire—and neither of us can remember *ever* laughing so hard in a movie theater; and iv) finding neverland, a nice movie that made us cry and yet lifted our spirits, aww.

b. a grand total of, like, fourteen billion hours of fannish television, including i) all 27 episodes of stargate: atlantis; ii) every cheesy tv show and made-for-tv movie joe flanigan appeared in that [livejournal.com profile] isilya in her grace and lovingkindness made available for download; and iii) the entire first season of house, since it came out on dvd at such a convenient time.

c. a tivo-ed episode of bill maher, who talked to anderson cooper* and fareed zakaria via satellite; quoted richard nixon in calling america a pitiful, helpless giant (because, seriously, what is the fucking point of an infrastructure if not to do exactly this, the epic, huge-scale things that federal governments should be good at, even if they're good at nothing else); and had bradley whitford, mary frances berry, and michael eric dyson venting some serious spleen at republicans, structural poverty, and racism.

* anderson cooper is my new hero and has been since a couple of months ago, around the time of the edgar killen trial: cooper was interviewing, via satellite, harlan majure, the former mayor of philadelphia, mississippi and a character witness for killen. early in the interview cooper asked majure why he thought the kkk was a benevolent organization, and majure said the klan took care of the entire community, even "visiting" more whites than blacks, to which cooper incredulously replied, "are you kidding?" and i almost fell off the elliptical machine. the interview continued in exactly that vein, cooper angry and disbelieving, quoting statistics and not letting up for a minute; the poor mayor had absolutely no idea what was happening. i have never seen anything like that on any television news show, ever.

d. early-round action at the us open! between CBS and USA there was hours and hours and HOURS of coverage to be had, and often i could trick people into sitting down and watching with me, ha! there have been some very, very high-quality matches at the open so far this year, e.g. federer-santoro on friday, that was AWESOME. not so awesome was andy roddick going out to giles muller in the first round—and even WORSE, we all still have to watch andy roddick driving a lexus during every other commercial break. and they come often in the game of tennis.

okay, the structural integrity of the list has been compromised, or at least its readability has, or perhaps i mean my patience with letters and roman numerals. speaking of structural integrity: [livejournal.com profile] silentfire made me an omelette one morning, and i sang a little song while it cooked, a song i call "breakfast lament (the green pepper blues)", to be sung to the classic pete seeger tune "where have all the flowers gone?": it starts with the structural integrity of the green peppers being lost to thermodynamic chemical reactions and goes from there.

on sunday a bunch of us went out to six flags over georgia and rode rollercoasters for eight hours, and on monday my brother tried to teach me how to throw a frisbee between matches at the us open, and all told i must have eaten in a dozen different restaurants, never the same one twice and all delicious. i laughed a lot, an awful lot. i went to sleep some nights awash in anxiety, because as much as i love my family and think they're totally neato-keen, i'm not completely comfortable with them, in the way that i'm not comfortable with all but three or four people in this world. but [livejournal.com profile] silentfire is one of them.

i was up at eight this morning but managed to stretch it to ten-thirty, and man was i tired at the gym this afternoon. i'm tired now, too. i can probably trace the cause of the tiredness back to something having to do with five a.m.

sometime soon i will post the pages and pages of sg:a meta that i have been generating, but believe me when i say you'll know it when you see it.

[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i have a lunch date for tomorrow at noon, and tomorrow i have bellydancing class again!, and also tomorrow i will give cousin m. the first season of boomtown on dvd, which i picked up for twenty bucks in the same used-cd store where i found the kaiser chiefs' employment and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire got [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker star trek: the voyage home (but only after we made many, many the search for spock jokes, e.g. spock, spock, where are you? i turn my back for one minute, etc., etc.; also the synopsis on the back mentioned that they eventually found spock's *living essence* in mccoy, and i have no way to interpret that that doesn't involve canonical mpreg. which i suppose is only to be expected from the creative mind that brought you both sex pollen and have-sex-or-DIE). thursday's looking good, is what i'm saying.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when we're all brilliant and fast)

the second leg of my late-summer atlanta tour is drawing to a close. i fail at life and didn't say good-bye to everyone before i went to bed last night, and though i was up a little after eight this morning, i only caught my brother and l. before they left for work. i'll leave them a love note.

on saturday we spent the day lazing around, visiting the condos my brothers bought and are trying to sell (if you have $180,000 and are looking for a nice place in the atlanta area, they're charming as all get-out; i'd buy one, but am lacking the $180,000+, woe woe), and watching—of all the movies ever produced in the history of hollywood and the entertainment industry—harold and kumar go to white castle and team america: world police. in between movies m. grilled salmon, entire civilizations were built around the sweet potato, and i made the ice cream run with my niece and nephew to go with our pie.

my sister c. had come down with a sudden and violent case of bronchitis that she thinks she contracted in the hospital when she was having three stitches sewn into her pinkie finger last tuesday, but she was feeling much better yesterday. i went out with her and the boys for lunch and a quick visit to the lovely piedmont park, though it would have been much lovelier if it had been twenty degrees cooler. our conclusion: everything is better in the fall and winter. after an hour of chasing around the kids in the sun, she took herself and the boys home so everyone could take naps; and i went back to the house, where my nephew was working through piles and piles of homework. i kept him company downstairs and continued reading a heartbreaking work of staggering genius: i'm, like, five years late to the party, i know, but it's an awesome book and a funny, interesting read. in case you're five years late to the party, too.

we all met up with c. and the boys again for dinner at an indian restaurant, empty but for our large party, and a party we had. i got a graduation gift of a shiny blue ipod that—did i mention?—is shiny and blue. the monsters on sesame street sing a song about being fuzzy and blue, and that's what's in my head. when we got home i charged it up, named it belle, and sucked the new music off my brother's computer. then my brother a. loaded it up with lectures from the teaching company (including—but not limited to— einstein's relativity, detective fiction, explaining social deviance, and contemporary economic issues, which a. calls the best economics lecture ever given) and al franken reading his own lies and the lying liars who tell them. also senuti, a third-party client that will get all these lovely bits of media *off* my shiny, blue ipod and onto my computer when i get home. i can't believe there's no native program that does this already—this is intuitive, right?—but the problem is solved regardless.

i'll call [livejournal.com profile] silentfire sometime soon, when i'm sure she'll be awake. and we will watch more television together and be stupid over john sheppard. plus she'll probably make me work on my harry potter proto-fic. maybe one day it'll get out of the proto phase.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (right? right.)
okay, the revolving boarding house is almost closed for business this season: my sister and her two boys left last monday after a lovely visit, and my uncle and his son who came in last friday are leaving early tomorrow morning. in summation, we all had a lovely time and ate too much. oy.

in an unrelated story, i would rather be broke and desperate than ask for money, if anyone was taking a personality survey or something; but luckily my parents just don't work like that. it's just that the time has finally come to get a job. however, i do mean to get in my visiting before that unfortunate eventuality. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire has been rightfully impatient about me hauling my sorry self up to atlanta, and now she's even fallen under the spell of major colonel john sheppard and is amenable to PIMPAGE of both the episode and fanfictional kind. on the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker keeps bemoaning the 105-degree heat index of gainesville and then urging me to come visit her, often in the same sentence; i've told her to expect me some time in, like, october. she'll have read the half-blood prince by then! hopefully! it won't be long now. i've suggested we switch places next time, so i'll be the one waiting to read book 7 until a month or so after it's come out, and then she'll spontaneously combust and we'll all be even. don't tell [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, but my fannish energies have kinda been directed in a non-hp direction as of late anyway.

that is to say i'm getting really impatient about not being able to read or understand all the season two atlantis reaction and meta popping up everywhere on my flist, but i also refuse to jump right in without seeing season one in order all the way through (yesterday my uncle t. called me ocd based on the way i eat cereal, can you imagine?), so i'm buckling down: by this friday i intend to be all caught up. is it my fault john sheppard keeps distracting me? i mentioned to [livejournal.com profile] isilya that 100 icon spaces is an embarrassment of riches i hardly know what to do with, but it does present the opportunity to see john be pretty from almost every conceivable angle. icons are coming.

babble for episodes 110-116 )

you can set your watch by fandom. really, there should be calendars and special clocks, equinoxes and full moons, high and low tides. i see that it's time again for fanfic criticism: a healthy/natural/inevitable part of the literary lifecycle? or a chance to get on your high horse and make cruel fun of the devices/kinks/authors/pairings/grammar you don't like and have been waiting impatiently for the chance to mock? you decide! discuss! let the flames begin! i think i might actually want to throw myself into the seething fray for this iteration, but maybe not at four a.m.—and by tomorrow it might be gone again! oh, fandom. i do <3 you so.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Ah, weekend. Not that we differentiate around here.

On Saturday I did wake up in the morning but I did not go to the gym: I lazed in bed for a couple of hours more, and then the rains came. Cousin M. and I did go on an outing to Aventura in the afternoon: Howl's Moving Castle at 5:10, browsing and buying shirts and shorts for my father for Father's Day, and dinner at the Italian restaurant outside the mall. I had a dish I think we can re-create (we have the technology): pennette with spinach, pinenuts, and sundried tomatoes—all the fine things in life!—in a little olive oil with huge slices of garlic just for fun.

Today was Father's Day and we'd talked last night about all of us going down to the beach for breakfast and then picking up produce at the organic market behind the Hollywood Beach Hotel, but then my dad said why don't you guys go, and I'll sleep in. It's hot out there, my friends. Today was one of many summer days to come when sweat and sunscreen slide across my face and the back of my neck all day, no matter how often I dry off in the air conditioning. The ocean's still pretty. Breakfast was still good. And I can't complain about the company. My mom and I won for Best Presentation with the wicker basket we brought to the organic market. We felt so European and story-bookish, going out with a basket over our arm—our collective arm—to do the marketing. You know who I think of when I think of marketing? Not business majors, but William Henry Harrison. William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on March 4, 1841, at which time he gave an hour-and-forty-five-minute speech (full of Greek rhetoric and Roman references) during a snowstorm while hatless and coatless (this was before Kennedy, but after hats). And in the days after his inauguration, he liked to do the White House marketing. This is the story my high school American history teacher told us, anyway. You know, I just can't picture Richard Nixon walking out of the Residence with a basket over his arm and leading his Secret Service detail to the local greengrocer's. William Henry Harrison was the guy who took ill and died thirty days after taking office.

We dropped off the produce at home, wished my father a Happy Father's Day, and took ourselves off to Publix for the weekly shopping, including more produce and hurricane supplies. 'Tis the season. I spent the entire day tired and sweaty and dizzy sometimes, when I stood up too fast. I figured as I was getting up from putting groceries away in the refrigerator and the kitchen tilted that this would be a good time to eat lunch. Nothing much else happened all day. My mother and I watched some Alton Brown that cousin M. kindly tapes for us, and then we made dinner for my dad. After dinner, as part of my Father's Day present (a general attempt to be perfectly civil and more generous), I watched Seabiscuit with my dad. My heart was warmed.

So tired! Was up before eight-thirty this morning (my mom and I planned to leave by nine since storms were expected early in the afternoon) and had to walk the dog first-thing (still in pajamas, with my sunglasses stuck on my face) as my dad was sleeping in. I meant to squeeze in a nap between the cooking shows and cooking dinner, but the timeline squeezed me out in return. I am no match for its elasticity. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the dermatologist, and after that I am determined to sign up at the Y for regular gym access. I love [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu's fitness center and fully intend to take advantage of all the yoga classes I can for the rest of the month, but it takes a full half hour to drive there and back, and it's not just the time I'm losing but the gas and the money the gas costs. The result is I don't end up working out at all, and that's not going to work. Tomorrow has a plan. Tonight I'm going to fold my laundry, look at today's crossword, and take myself off to bed.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (he said "the world is as soft as lace")
I'm calling today a wash. I pronounced it dead c. 10:30 this evening and it's shown no signs of reanimation.

The day started well enough—okay, the day started with mixed feelings and continued unevenly until crashing and burning. I had to get up early for a 10 a.m. optometrist appointment, but the appointment itself was good-time fun: I got a new prescription (the last time I had a check-up was almost three years ago: in the interim, my eyes have gotten better—it must be all the beta carotene?) and he dilated my eyes. Having your eyes dilated is so cool!! Your pupils swell up so big you look alien or animal, and you can't focus your gaze within two feet of your eyes. He gave me these roll-on temporary sunglasses to wear on the way out.

My mom's been attending a workshop at her school in re: technology in the classroom, etc. and on the way home I stopped by to drop off a pair of shoes (she'd broken hers that morning and called for reinforcements) and show off my temporary roll-on sunglasses. My eyes are dilated, I told them, can't you tell? Either that or I've been off getting high. The doctor told me everyone was different, but my eyes would probably take three hours to get back to normal. Sunlight was appropriately excruciating.

Dilated eyes stopped being fun around the time I got home and tried to sift through blueberries, picking out the moldy, mushy ones and dropping the good ones in my yogurt. The blueberries were on the counter and out of focus and I had to rely mainly on touch. I got through an article on the Wimbledon draw in the Sentinel (Wimbledon starts next week! Whether you care or not!) but had to give up on reading after that. Television, then. Four episodes of Dead Like Me, the entire third disc. In between there was an aborted trip to the Division of Family and Services and a severe thunderstorm. By "severe thunderstorm" I mean that it was sunny, then it was cloudy, then it was pouring, and then lighting was cracking constantly and the trees were bent over backward. It was all so loud and violent and sudden I went looking for a weather advisory: Channel 10 showed satellite pictures of three storm cells, one of which was basically over my house, moving northeast across Dade and Broward Counties; people were advised to stay inside, as winds were up to 60 mph and there could be three-quarter-inch hail. The wind speed sounded about right and I did hear hail tapping at the roof and windows. It poured, noisily: the water level in the koi pond rose rapidly right to the top. Lightning flashed and flashed and thunder boomed. Half an hour later the sun was shining. Welcome to South Florida, home of extremely local weather.

My eyes didn't start returning to normal until after three hours from dilation. Even four hours later the pupils were smaller but definitely not responding naturally to light. Between that and the storm I didn't get to the gym today. Yesterday the car was in the shop and I didn't get to yoga. I have been to the gym exactly once this week. I am so tired of myself.

The cap to the whole day was dinner at my aunt's house, which I usually enjoy for the most part, but I was just bored out of my MIND tonight. It was my family, my aunt and uncle, and another couple, long-time family friends: they're not very interesting people. She watches an awful lot of television and they go on cruises all the time, all over the world, and they didn't talk about much else. I just don't have a lot to contribute to a conversation about houses (buying houses, finding houses, re-decorating houses, etc., etc.) or grandchildren or luxury cruises. All I could say about luxury cruises I learned from David Foster Wallace, and I didn't think death-transcendence and having every need met choicelessly from someplace outside me would really spark any dialogue. My parents raised a well-bred child: when I exploded in the car on the way home with OMG THAT WAS SO BORING they were surprised and said I'd looked interested. I'd tried to send my mother looks of silent desperation, but obviously they didn't take. She says we need a code word. I offered to tug on my ear, but she vetoed that.

We got home just in time for Numb3rs, but I found it uneven1—and halfway through my dad came into the kitchen where I was watching and let my sister play with the running water in the sink, and I just couldn't take the noise anymore. He got annoyed that I was annoyed, because was it really that loud?2 but it was, and I couldn't even watch in the family room because my nerves were just shot, too many people and too much noise in the house; I was just prickly and wanted to climb out of my skin, leave it here, and take myself off somewhere dark and quiet. My mother followed me to my room a minute after I'd stalked off, to see if there wasn't anything she could do, and I told her I was fine, just prickly. We looked into ordering tea online for a while, but nothing came of it; and in the end I was working at not snapping at her too, glad when she kissed me goodnight and closed the door behind her.

I retreated to my cave of a room, signed online, and turned on music, starting with Leonard Cohen's Suzanne, music to drop your blood pressure. I'm tired, and it's PMS, though happily without any unprovoked urges to burst into tears, so things could always be worse. I will go to sleep and I will wake up; in the morning I will go to the gym, and in the afternoon cousin M. and I will go see Howl's Moving Castle. I'll pick up a Father's Day present too.


1. But the scene that made me sit up and take notice: Charlie and Don's father brings lunch to Don's office and warns him that "Charlie would do anything for you." Boys! There was that one-night binge on Numb3rs fic a while back, and then nothing. Dare I venture off the rec-path and seek my fortune in the archives?

2. I've been kinda pissed at my father for a while now, and we've been pissy back and forth. I'm always resentful on my mother's behalf for how little he helps out around the house and how much he begrudges what he does do. The other day I was sniping at him to take his stuff off the kitchen table where he was reading the paper, so I could set the table for the dinner my mother had made; he handed me the ripped-up mail that had been sitting next to him so I could throw it away, and I was like, Jesus, why can't you throw it away, and he said, "wow, look how lazy you are." I said, incredulously, "I'm lazy?!" and in classic Dad fashion he smirked and said, "I'm glad you admit it," and I snarled as I walked by and told him he's lucky I'm not the violent type because that kind of thing just makes me LOSE MY SHIT. Or words to that effect. My dad calling me lazy (which is not untrue—I'm the first to admit it) is like me poking somebody in the chest and shouting "where's your direction? Where's your sense of purpose?! Slacker." This is a man who routinely leaves a tablespoon of soymilk in the refrigerator so he doesn't have to throw away the carton, and then pretends he has no idea what I'm talking about when I get apoplectic about it. No one can make me apoplectic like my father can. It's like his super power.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the future freaks me out)
I lost the weekend somehow. It was not spent in an alcoholic stupor, I know that much, but suffice it to say nothing happened that was worth posting about. I'll never have that weekend back again. The trouble with life is pacing. Who was it who said time is what keeps everything from happening at once? Because he was wrong. Time moves at its own speed and it doesn't keep tabs on events—those like to spread out unevenly through the fourth dimension. They dogpile, crashing one into the other like a bad day on the highway, backing traffic up for miles while the road ahead stretches clear and barren, miles of unrelieved straightaway inducing hypnosis.

There was a flurry of activity yesterday when I made, broke, and re-scheduled last-minute plans to fly to Atlanta to see Rufus Wainwright in concert and visit with [livejournal.com profile] silentfire and my siblings. If you're between the ages of 18 and 22 you can fly stand-by on AirTran for $59 per segment ($79 for "long-hauls") plus another ten bucks or so in fees, which is and would have been fantastic! Except that the weekends are inadvisable for attempting stand-by; and I would have stayed over until next Monday or Tuesday, but this Sunday is Father's Day and I should be here. It's my dad's first Father's Day without his father. In which case I would have come back Thursday, but it seemed like an awful lot of time spent waiting uncertainly in airports flanking a pretty short visit. And I could have tried flying back Friday or Saturday—because hey, there might be a spot!—but I'm paranoid: I have vivid visions of myself sitting in the airport all day and in the end still not getting on a flight. I've reluctantly taken the pragmatic view and planned a visit for next week (or so?) when I can stay a week complete and not worry about anything. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, I don't know if you've gotten my voicemails re: all of the tedious above, but I'm sorry about the failing at life thing, and give my love to Rufus Wainwright?

While I didn't do a load of laundry and head to the airport this morning, I did set my alarm as though I were going to do just that, so I found myself awake and breakfasted at nine a.m. A nap never materialized. I did get taken out to lunch by my dad at one or one-thirty (after I'd spent most of the morning and early afternoon methodically (read: alphabetically by author, and I'm up to "D") re-reading the SG:A fic on my harddrive. Lunch was a surprisingly delicious wrap at Waffleworks—of all places—but I could have done without the lunchtime conversation, whose topic was: So What Are You Going To Do With The Next Year and/or The Rest of Your Life? Let Us Brainstorm In Search of an Answer! My dad remains firm in his conviction that I should become a constitutional lawyer; or, barring that, an editor. Of something. It doesn't matter what, but I have editorial skills, you see? It was awful. Because he does want to help, he only wants to help, but I tend to go fetal and non-responsive when I start thinking about careers. He had me trapped in the booth with my really good wrap on the table in front of me though, so I had to grit my teeth and hostile-witness my way through it. I have never felt more like a sullen teenager. Plus the fact that my dad and I are radically different personality types and that he doesn't quite know what would or would not appeal to me in terms of things I would be happy and fulfilled by doing every day for a given large number of days. He's a salesman and he likes people: meeting people, talking to people, being around people. I don't. He asked if I'd ever taken any aptitude tests, and I said yes, I have: it turns out I like everything, except people.* This is not exactly helpful.

I know I am not built for the service industries. In addition to but apart from that, I don't like the idea of working in a service industry. I'd much rather be in the actual process of creating or producing something** rather than form part of the necessary but non-specific network surrounding it. I know also that wherever I end up I won't have a time card and be forced to clock in and out. It's too close to bells ringing to announce class changes, monitored for punctuality for its own sake and not for how much work ever gets done. I am not cut out for nine-to-five. Give me what you need done, tell me when it needs to be completed, and I will do it. I'm fairly sure that I'm not destined for time cards anyway. But I think of working in an office like I did last summer, and part of it is appealing, because it's a culture, with rituals and common experiences: daily commutes (of whatever duration), elevators, clocking in first thing in the morning, desks and coworkers, the lunch hour, the refrigerator in the break room, counting down until it's time to go home—but it's only appealing in an anthropological, or even role-playing kind of way, acting at office work. In practice it would sap my will to live. My dad is able to picture very few jobs that don't involve an office.

I learned at least one thing from our little chat: my statute of limitations. I'd wondered what the cap was for having no direction in life, and it turns out it's right about . . . now. They're still in the supportive stage—merely worried, not impatient—but my dad did joke today about wondering where they'd gone wrong with my brother and me. They may tell you, repeatedly, to take all the time you need, but I've been waiting. It's like an all-you-can-eat! buffet of indecision and some of us brought bigger appetites than anyone anticipated. The proprietors first grow nervous, then indignant; it all ends with icy smiles and polite requests to never come back again.

* When asked to rank these four items: people, facts, things, and ideas, it's a close call between the last three (usually I put it down as ideas, facts, things, but it changes if I stare at it too long) but people is waaaay down at the bottom of the list. There might only be four items, but it's in tenth place. I've probably got some low-grade social-anxiety going, but barring any professional diagnoses, people make me tired.

** Anything—be it a fact, a thing, or an idea.


God, that's all boring. After lunch we drove down the street to the library, who'd called this morning to tell me they had two (TWO) books waiting for me, and before I picked them up at the check-out desk, I browsed for another three. We got back to the house a little before four, in just enough time for me to change my clothes and get back in the car to head up to Ft. Lauderdale for yoga with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu. I definitely work up a sweat. My legs shake when it's time to leave. Something to duly note: one can be too flexible. I'll have to take care not to hyper-flex my back.

For dinner my mother made the most fantastic soup ever omg, recipe courtesy Alton Brown. you can even find the recipe for Curried Split Pea Soup behind this very cut tag ) Did I mention it was FANTASTIC? After dinner we watched N.C.I.S. (my dad and I guessed most of the major plot twists) and House: I enjoyed it, I still love him, there were many interesting decisions and reveals, but basically I don't have much to say.

I have appointments to make tomorrow, bills to pay, books to read, and the gym to go to. I was up early this morning, did an hour of yoga, and have had no nap. It is way past my bedtime. I shall take my crossword puzzles with me.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (people can lose their lives in libraries)
It's mighty tedious experimenting with lj styles on a dial-up connection. That's self-evident, isn't it? The problem is, I like my journal style; all those right angles make me happy inside in a way right angles probably shouldn't, and it's all clean and simple and narrow down the center of the page, as I am reclaiming the vertical on my computer monitor. I like that each entry is separated; I like that it links to my allpics page; I like that it shows the day of the week along with the date. I just get bored, so every now and then I rifle through the other styles, channel Goldilocks, and end up just messing minutely with my colors. I give the purple one day to grow on me, and then I'm changing it back or trying something new.

I've been doing so little these past few days it's barely worth recounting, but I did read Ella Minnow Pea: kinda cute and a little too clever, but at least it didn't take up too much of my time. It's the story of a tiny island nation off the Carolina coast whose claim to fame is that the man who created the sentence The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog was a native son. A monument of the immortal pangram has stood for a hundred years or so, but letters have started falling off, which the island Council interprets as a SIGN from beyond the grave that those letters should no longer be used in speech or writing. It's an epistolary novel, so we see the islanders struggling to communicate using progressively fewer and fewer letters as the Council gets more and more fanatical. It's an interesting premise, I just felt like a lot more could have been done with it. I'm almost done with Never Let Me Go—I'll give it its last forty pages to surprise me.

I woke up to rain this morning, and I woke up early, to have breakfast with my father. By "early" I mean my dad wanted to leave by ten, so I set my alarm for nine-fifteen and dragged myself into the shower at nine-forty. We ate at a diner (I think we're just taking a tour of all of them) on US-1, a diner now open 24 hours!—something to remember when it's midnight and all the city is silent. My dad and I split the paper and I drank coffee and ate eggs and biscuits while I mocked the Sentinel sportswriter for stupidity and mediocrity, lamenting the lack of cable in this house, which means I'll be missing the Federer-Nadal French Open semifinal tomorrow. So it goes. Then I spread the crossword out next to me, hiding my coffee cup, so that later, when a waitress came by at the end of our meal, while we were just lingering, she was confused and apologetic, having not refilled me earlier. I said it was okay—if I'd wanted more coffee and she hadn't seen my cup, I would have asked for some. She made some jokey comment about my not looking old enough to even drink coffee, and when asked, said first that I looked to be in my "early teens," then revised to seventeen. Ha! If I'd had my hair in ponytail buns like I've been wearing it occasionally I probably could have passed for twelve.

My dad said he essentially owned me until three—the time I'd normally be just getting up. Which was slightly unfair, really; by three I've usually at least had breakfast. The skies opened up on the way out of the restaurant and kept opening wider and wider as we drove down Stirling and into the Barnes & Noble parking lot. It was raining so hard that I waited to dart out of the car and into the store, even though we'd pulled up right to the overhang. We spent an hour or two browsing. I was poking through the essay section looking for likely library material when a woman down the aisle near the children's section started hitting her child. She pushed her, and kicked her when she fell down, and a man who'd come up behind me said "if I see her do that again I'm calling the police. Did she just kick her?" and I nodded at him silently, wide-eyed, probably looking even younger than the waitresses had thought. They left though, the child and the mother and another woman who might have been the mother's mother, the child wailing through the store. I don't know where the man went.

I almost got The Best American Nonrequired Reading (edited by David Eggers and Viggo Mortensen), but in the end came away with only The New Lifetime Reading Plan. It's patronizing and necessarily limited and focused quite a lot on dead white European males; this "new" edition boasts the inclusion of "literatures of the whole world", an admirable goal, but it comes with this baffling passage from the preface: "The inclusion in this edition of such works as the Koran—the fundamental scripture of Islam—and the Zen scripture The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch raises the question of why the Bible is not listed here as well. The reason is simple. We assume that nearly every reader of this book will own a Bible and be at least somewhat accustomed to reading it; and there is nothing we might try to say about it that would not seem presumptuous." I thought that was quite an assumption to be making about their readership. But perhaps that's just me! Well, me and my mother, who looked incredulous when I read it out to her. But I recognized just about every author they included so I figured they'll make a good starting point. The editors talk earnestly about quotidian drudgery leaving one mentally unsatisfied and the enlargement of the mind that will result from Great Conversations with these great minds. It's a little irritating, but I know there's quite a lot to be said for digging into the primary texts. I'll break up my reading schedule with Nietzsche or Montaigne or The History of the Peloponnesian War, trading off as I've been doing: math for crime, history for autobiography, novels for science, something heavy for something light. I have all the textbooks I've never read. I have nothing but time.

We saw Madagascar after we'd made off with our books (and after we'd sat in on the end of The Longest Yard, since we were half an hour early for our showing) which was, you know, cute. I had to keep reminding myself to shut up and enjoy the anthropomorphism. Obviously I haven't been getting out enough. My mom called my cell phone just as my dad and I were driving by her school; he dropped me off, and my mom and I paid a visit to my grandmother, who was very chipper and relatively lucid today. It comes and goes, but today was a good day.

I need desperately to get to a gym. Forget the loss of muscle tone and the jeans that are too tight in the thigh, I'd like to get my metabolism and energy up again, I'd like to not be stiff and slightly achy when I wake up in the afternoon. I miss swinging my body through its whole range of motion, and I just won't do it on my own. I've been helping my mother get a routine started, and I do a little weights and stretching at the same time, but my body is not impressed. I want to get to the Y this week (not today, though today was a good today, and not tomorrow because I'm meeting S. for lunch and GRE studying), and then sometime next week [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I should be able to work out together for a little while, just to get me started with a fucking routine. I'd go jogging, but it's South Florida out there and the humidity has come. Plus I hate jogging. I take it all back.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Verdict: Gallstones. They didn't even need to do the last test on Thursday, so I trotted over to the hospital after the bus and the dog and the cat and the garbage were dispatched to bust my dad out of there and take him to breakfast. We popped into my mom's school to say all was well, and then we went home and I took a very long nap omg. Nap! Which translates in my language into "sleeping the afternoon away," though I stumbled groggily out of my room at three-thirty to find my mother was doing the same. We had a huge salad for dinner. Um. I read for most of the rest of the night, offline and on.

I slept in today, iiiiiin. The cat mewed at my door at about one p.m., but I could hear that my dad was feeding him for me, so I drifted for a while longer. I dreamed of . . . something I can't remember anymore, though I think I could earlier, and then I dreamed of planning a robbery with three other girls, at least one of whom was from my Visual Anthropology class, though not in my group. We had different targets and they were symbolic and meaningful, but small and random. We worked in pairs and I was going to steal DVDs from a store that was also a classroom, which was going to involve pointing a gun at the owner-slash-teacher and then hurrying out. I lingered over the DVDs, checking them off a list I had, but the teacher got a little impatient with me, waiting to start class you know, and my partner was angry, because I was obviously having second thoughts and betraying THE CAUSE, whatever it was, but I couldn't do it. I was sure I'd be caught, that the people here didn't know me but would get a good enough look at me to draw a composite and I would be recognized immediately. I've been reading Blue Blood, I don't know. I have twenty pages left and I'm going to be sorry when it's gone.

My dad always wants to go to a movie, but he's had his heart particularly set on it recently, so tonight after dinner we took ourselves off to Revenge of the Sith which surprisingly did not suck as everybody has said it sucked! Part of this I'm sure is because I'm just not that invested in Star Wars, the institution, so while I could have been so bored I was ready to gnaw off my own arm and then repress the entire experience (see: my reaction to Attack of the Clones), it could have disappointed me and wasted my time, but it couldn't break my heart. As it happens, it did neither.

Long, rambling discussion of high points, low points, and points of contention. Spoilerrific! )

My dad and I talked on the way home from the theater about whether or not there would be more movies to come, Episodes VII, VIII, IX . . . I personally don't think so, but I also think it would be a horrible mistake if there were. The series is complete as it stands, the descent into darkness and the rise up to light, a departure from balance and a return to it, two generations that mirrored each other and chose paths that alternatingly converged and diverged, not canceled out but thrown into sharp relief by the contrasts. To continue the story would require the construction of another arc entirely or risk reducing the entire enterprise to twelve hours of cheesy hijinks in space and thirty years of merchandising.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
If I'm going to be getting three hours of sleep a night, I can just go back to college. My mom was all in favor of my going to bed early tonight because "there's no reason not to now"—little does she know there was never a reason! Ha ha! Unless you count compulsive fic reading over the internets as a valid reason, which I think you do.

I got out of bed before eight this morning; I put my sister on the bus, took the dog for a walk (emptied the dishwasher, took out the trash, milked the cows and slopped the hogs, etc., etc.), and brought my dad's thyroid medication and a change of clothes over to the hospital. Jesus but it was hot out today. Hot, but still not summer yet; the temperature still drops when the sun goes down and the nights are gorgeous, almost cool; there was fog down the street this morning.

My dad was supposed to be ready to come home around lunchtime. I came home to eat breakfast and maybe snatch a nap, but while I waited for his phone call I read Autumn's The Taste of Apples (SG:A), a long, beautiful and brilliant story, beautiful and strong and sad, about knowing and being known and loneliness. It broke me apart and I offer it to you here in sincere hopes that it will do the same for you. Lunchtime came: I made myself a sandwich and a smoothie and signed offline, switching to reading my book in bed with the cat lying warm and heavy across the backs of my legs. I walked the dog again when he whined for it. The sonogram technician thought my dad had gallstones but a doctor hadn't seen the results yet. My mother came home. I lolled around on my parents' bed with back cramps and scratchy eyes while I walked her through today's strength-training regimen (back and biceps); I took a shower and walked the dog again; we went out for Thai and brought cousin M. along.

There was no sign of my dad leaving the hospital any time in the immediate future when we brought him a change of clothes and his razor after dinner. The tests were done late, the last test hadn't been read by the doctor so while it might be gallstones—which would render both tomorrow's scheduled test and tonight's stay unnecessary—we had no official word on that, so stay tonight he did. Is. I'm tired. I'll be getting up at the same time tomorrow morning as I did today—I don't mind anything I've been doing, just the time I have to do some of it at.

I took the dog for one last walk, up and down the alley in the yellow suburban half-light of night, lit by a streetlamp or two, the bulging moon, occasional headlights, ambient lighting from the cities north, east, south, and west of us, plus the lights in everyone's backyards, triggered whenever we passed by. If I were a burglar, I'd say thanks for lighting the way. There was a frog squatting on the sidewalk at one end of the alley, still as stone and unmoved every time we checked on it; the dog tried to bound after something skittering in the pile of dead leaves by our gate, but I pulled him back to peer at what it was before I let him attack it and saw in the striped and shadowed orange streetlight that it was a zebra butterfly, injured, fluttering on the ground and scattering the leaves as it tried awkwardly to fly. The dog strained at me, but I led him away. I'd come across a leaf-filled puddle one day and put it in a poem, comparing the leaves, dead and drowned, to the velvet wings of butterflies they'd reminded me of. I wondered if this was a transformation, or at least the beginning breaths of one, the leaves really butterfly wings after all, buckled and crippled, warped like pages of homework you'd spilled coffee all over and mopped dry, cursing. You can press butterflies and flower petals both between leaves of a book meant for just that, to keep them dried and dead, slightly crumpled and only slightly faded.

I even remembered to feed the fish this morning (my dad had forgotten all about them, as though he has his dog now and doesn't love them anymore—or so I teased; my mom forget them too). The light in our backyard switched on as the dog and I came into the house, reflecting off and into the pond to show the fish were sleeping on the bottom, fat silvers and oranges and golds. With my flip-flop I killed a roach on the kitchen floor. The dog had spotted it but did nothing to help, crouched over it with his legs splayed and his nose near the ground, tracking it curiously. Roach guts smeared all over my shoe and the floor, which the dog would have eaten if I'd given him half a chance. Dogs.

The dog misses my dad. You can tell by the way he's followed me around all day, padding into my room to rest his head on my bed and whine for some love and affection. Both the animals are curled up in my room right now, but I'll be kicking them out so I can go to sleep. Poor animals. The rest of the house is yours for the night.

come back and haunt me

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 02:55 am
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
I'm still working my way through Blue Blood—I can't remember the last time it took me this long to get through a book I was putting constant effort into. It's not difficult reading, it's just slow going. It's fascinating, and beautiful. To give myself a break from it I've requested novels from the library. Not that I don't have entire shelves of books I mean to read.

Last night my dad pestered me about getting up early and going with him and the dog to the park ("sorry, you had me until 'early'"), but when I finally rolled out of bed at twelve-thirty or so today and asked how their outing was, he said they hadn't gone; he had an awful stomachache. And that was pitiable, so I did so, and then went about eating breakfast and curling up with the cat to read. I took my sister off the bus for him at about four or four-thirty, and soon after he wanted me to call my mother and have her come home. I said she was getting her hair cut, but I left her voicemail telling her to come home right after. She didn't get the message, but she did call when she was through, and she did come right home. My dad had lain down on the couch in the family room, and she came into the kitchen after talking with him to let me know she was going to take him over to the hospital—he thought he was having a heart attack. We looked at each other, a little amused, because we really didn't think he was. He could be, I suppose, but the pain was in what he called his "upper stomach", right under his ribcage, and nothing he talked about sounded like any heart-attack symptoms I'd ever heard described. My father is many things—great in an emergency, highly vocal in his advocacy, always ready to take you seriously rather than dismiss complaints of pain—but he's a terrible diagnostician. Anyway, he's been at the hospital all night and all tests have so far come back negative, but they're keeping him for observation. This means I get to put my sister on the bus at eight tomorrow morning. Lucky me! I can also go back to sleep immediately following.

Speaking of diagnosticians, I love House. I'm ready to shrink him down to pocket-size so I can take him out and poke him whenever I want him to entertain me. Can't you just hear him? "Entertain you? Shall I juggle one-handed? Dance a little jig? The last person to demand a performance settled for a striptease and an a cappella cover of Heartbreak Hotel, but at least he had the decency to get me drunk first." He's wonderful with Sela Ward, and I love him haranguing his team, but I like him best when he's figuring out a problem. I love that he's always right (which is helped by the fact that I'm not the one who has to be wrong) and I love to watch him piece things together to get there. But let's talk spoilers for tonight's episode. )

Hugh Laurie has a very long philtrum, which is what helps give him that hangdog look. That and the sad, thin mouth underneath that philtrum, plus his habit of looking up at you with big blue eyes. And then he'll open his mouth and flay you alive. Appearance versus reality! Has Shakespeare taught you NOTHING?

Oh god, do I need an icon? If nothing else a "fannish crackwhore" icon is several fandoms overdue.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (he said "the world is as soft as lace")
The library called last week to tell me they were holding books for me, so I trotted over and picked up The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax, Stephen Fry's The Liar, and Blue Blood. I've read more SG:A fic than anything else since then, but. Books!

That was Saturday, and later on Saturday [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I met at Gateway to see Melinda and Melinda, which I personally do not recommend. Why, if you care ) We got out of the movie at nine or nine-fifteen and found the evening nice and cool, an unexpected and welcome cold front having dropped in. We crossed the street for sushi at Heart Rock where we had the waitress who was obviously, painfully new, and Mal kept assuring me the service is usually wonderful and the edamame doesn't usually come that way. I promised I wouldn't hold it against them. Mal showed me the studio she's setting up in her house, with a huge working table at standing-height and stools if you want them, supplies organized and labeled all around. Maybe I'll start drawing again. Or painting. Just get myself a new sketchbook and start filling it up. We'll schedule some studio time together. Other things we mean to do: get up to the Morakami, seek out the world's best green-tea ice cream, and see Crash.

Mother's Day was a success: the weather was gorgeous and cousin M. made us brunch, really nice brunch of a Gruyere-and-spinach strata, fresh fruit, sliced tomatoes and onion and avocado, all the fine things in life. My mom seems very happy with the wallet and chuckled over her card just as I'd pictured her doing. We stayed for a while chatting and I left loaded down with DVDs to watch: Spirited Away (which I saw a while ago and was charmed by), the first season of Dead Like Me, and Firefly: The Complete Series! [livejournal.com profile] bunnymcfoo offered to ship the Firefly DVDs out to me this summer if I promised to return them, but now she won't have to fret every moment they're out of her hands and a continent away. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

We had Chinese food for dinner and then I took non-drowsy cold medication but my cold still made me woozy. I drifted around the house for a while, my mother exhorted me to go to bed before going to bed herself, and I watched Grey's Anatomy (have now seen a weekly television show for the second week in a row!) then read fic, then read my book, and then, finally, went to bed.

I did . . . hmm. Nothing today. Slept in, until twelve-thirty or one, had breakfast, lounged around. Realized it was about three in the afternoon and started unpacking my room. I got a lot of the boxes emptied into drawers and put the boxes out of my room, so it looks a whole lot better and I have room to move around. Next step is to go purge the bookshelves before unpacking the rest of it and finding homes for everything.

My mom is reading Alton Brown's book on kitchen gear and she just called out that our family as a whole is falling down on the job: the average American, according to Alton Brown, consumes 23 pints of ice cream a year. Twenty-three pints! We're totally falling down on the job. We're not even pretending to do our job. We've called in sick to our job so many times management would fire our asses in a heartbeat, but we're just so good at what we do! Twenty-three pints probably also helps to explain the rising obesity levels of the average American. Then while I was still standing in my parents' bedroom doorway and my dad was sifting through the detritus of paper and books that had slid behind his bookshelf in the past ten years, he told me he had greeting cards signed by "M.K." I looked confused for a second, and then my mother grinned at me and pointed at herself, mouthing "the Mad Kisser." And I said, okay, you two are adorable.

That was a few hours ago though, and they're long asleep. It's just me now, me, a 56K dial-up connection, and a cat sleeping on my bed.

March 2011

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