Thursday, October 31, 2002


My favoritest holiday of the year, though of course it's been a bit of an anti-climax since I was finally forced to stop trick or treating by people who threatened to call the cops.

You all know how much I hate scary movies, right? I've gotten a lot of flak for this over the years. I trace it back to a night in 1979 when my best friend Karen came over on Halloween and her big sister Elizabeth was babysitting us, and she decided to watch the absolute worst choice of late-night movie possible in this situation--namely, the blockbuster horror hit from the year before, John Carpenter's "Halloween." My god. Two nine-year-olds and a babysitter, watching "Halloween," on Halloween? I was petrified. And that's with having watched the movie in short bursts, punctuated by me and/or Karen fleeing the room screaming. I didn't sleep for days.

So the other night on AMC, what should be on but a documentary about the making of "Halloween." Wow, I thought to myself, this could be fascinating! At last I can de-mystify this movie for myself, conquer my fears, and look forward, not back!

You guessed it. The documentary gave me nightmares.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

More Aquatic Fun!

Red the Fighting Fish hasn't been doing so hot in the past couple of weeks. I'm not sure if it's that the thuglike danios have been beating the crap out of him, or if he's got some kind of fungus or disease that's causing discoloration. All I know is, he spends 90% of his time hiding under the air pump and he looks awful. So I resurrected my old goldfish bowl from my parents' garage, got the loan of a pump, airstone and tubing from my dad the fish expert, and set up a real hospital tank. No more beer pitcher for Red! I medivac'd him from tank to bowl this morning, and it's been a little stressful for all concerned.

1. He immediately injured himself on the plastic plant I put in there to give him something to hide behind. I had to take it out.

2. I went to the store to get some mecurichrome (mom's suggestion for disinfecting injured fish) only to find that it's no longer being made. One of the staples of my injury-filled childhood! And now it's gone. Apparently, someone found it disturbing that parents were painting their children's cuts with a vile orange compound containing mercury. Go figure. So I settled for iodine; it was just a bit of a shock.

3. The cat, who has never shown the slightest interest in the fish before, has locked onto the new fishbowl like a guided missile. Those who know my cat Hal know how big he is. When he stands up, he's tall enough to pat his little paws against the fishbowl sitting atop a 3' high, slightly tippy bookcase. So we have to find a new location. And lastly,

4. Froglet is now paralyzed with fear. Froglet is my tiny African dwarf clawed frog. He was an impulse purchase two years ago when I was in the depths of a serious personal depression. (Some people turn to drugs, or alcohol. Me, I go buy frogs.) He's in one of those little aquababy containers, and he's always seemed pretty laid back, never really took an interest in his surroundings. But now that there is a giant red fish floating (in his perception) just about 10 inches up and to the left of his box, he is pressed up against the wall, his little beady eyes locked on Red's every move. As Red's eyes are kind of atop his skull, I think he hasn't even noticed Froglet's presence. But he's being watched...

Sunday, October 27, 2002


Spent all day today planting bulbs. Well, not all day, but a while. I had to do a lot of preparatory digging first, I'm turning my front yard from a crappy looking lawn to a garden of bulbs and perennials and that requires the removal of a LOT of grass and weeds. Today the menu was as follows:
30 Grape Hyacinths (3 varieties, 10 each.)
6 Real Hyacinths (3 Peter Stuyvesant, 3 Woodstock)
6 Tulips (3 Orange Emperor, 3 Red Emperor, also known as chipmunk food.)
This is in addition to the 20 Lilies of the Valley and 9 Bleeding Heart I planted last week. Man, if this doesn't look cool in the spring, I am gonna be SO pissed.
Don't mind me, just trying to fix my archive problem....

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Could Cathy Be the D.C. Sniper????

Well, no. Definitely not. I think I effectively removed myself from the pool of suspects yesterday when I went target shooting for the first time in about 10 years. Not only does my choice of weapon not fit the M.O. (bow and arrow, field points, rather than semi-auto rifle, .223 caliber) but my marksmanship is so poor as to be almost laughable. I mean, wow. I was shooting at a target about 16" x 16", 20 yards downrange, on lane #7. I hit that target 27 times. Out of about 120 arrows. Yep. Just call me Oliver Queen. The other arrows hit above the target; below the target; over in lane #8; over in lane #6; and the wood framework around the top and bottom of the backstop, which causes the arrow to make a really loud "BAM!" noise when it hits and bounces backward up the range. This also causes the other archers on the range (all using compound bows with advanced deer-seeking target systems) to glance over at me with a "What the hell are you DOING?" look in their eyes. My personal dignity is in a shambles. But it's a small price to pay for the eventual realization of my dream--which is, of course, to hit the target with a full 50% of my arrows! Woo hoo!

Monday, October 21, 2002

Well, THAT was exciting.

I always wondered what it would be like to have one of my tires blow out while doing 75 mph on the highway. Ideally, this would happen on one of the stretches of I-65 where there is nothing for 15 miles but corn, soybeans, and the occasional sharp-shinned hawk wheeling overhead. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if it had been sleeting at the time.... As it was, aside from the high winds created by passing semis, the whole experience was really not too traumatic! I had a mini-spare, I had a jack, and I had the sheer muscle power required to get the lug nuts off (that last was sort of iffy for a few minutes.) I got to Chicago just fine, and Alex helped me go tire shopping the next morning, so all is well.

Friday, October 18, 2002


Well, all right, so the only demand I got was Jeremy's. But it's been a busy week, and then when I did try to post a couple days ago, Blogger rejected me. I was sad....hurt....unable to continue. I had to have time to recover from the experience.

So what have I done for you lately? That is to say, what have I done worth writing about in the past 10 days, in no particular order? Let's see:

1. I took the GRE. Again. When I did the practice test I missed 20 out of 24 questions on the quantatitive section--I'm too old to remember crap like how you find the circumferance of a circle! Well, too old, or too dumb, or something. Anyway, I did fine on the exam, apparently 66% of GRE testers are even older and dumber than me about math.

2. I gave a paper at an academic conference. My first paper-giving experience ever. A success, plus I made friends with an Egyptologist. You never know when you might need one of those.

3. I went to a haunted house with a bunch of friends down on the southside, and almost got myself punched in the face by a high school girl who didn't take kindly to me gently pointing out that it's rude to yell "CUT THAT SHIT OUT ASSHOLE!!" at the masked Jaycees one has just paid $10 to be scared by.

4. Won two games of Warhammer, a surprising feat coming from me.

5. Finished a rough section of the book I'm trying to write for Call of Cthulhu, and posted it on the web for Mr. Willis to look at. (If you'd like to look at it too, find it here.) So far I haven't heard back from him. The way my luck has been going, he'll reject it out of hand. :]

Oh, and to bring everyone up to date--no, I still don't have a job. Right now I am looking for temporary work, and am applying to go back to school at IUPUI here in Indy in January. This will hopefully lead to my getting a "Museum Studies Certificate" which hopefully then will lead to an actual job at a local museum. That's the Life Plan at the moment. Subject to Change Without Notice.

Monday, October 07, 2002


That's what I thought, too--good god, there's a dead cat in my trash can! I was on my way to Evan's yesterday to watch the Colts/Bengals debacle, running out the door, and as I pass the tall green trash can I keep outside the back door, out of the corner of my eye I see matted grey fur smashed down in the bottom. I did a pretty visible double take, and came back to find NOT a dead cat at all (thank you, lord) but a very small opossum, curled up, asleep. Apparently he/she got up on top of the recycling bin to climb into my trash can, and then found he was too small to climb back out and too lightweight to tip it over. Being a possum--practical animals, though dumb--he made the best of the situation and sacked out. I left him there for the rest of the day, figuring that evicting him during daylight hours would be unkind at best, and dangerous for him at worst--plenty of dogs here in Rocky Ripple. Got home after dark, shined a flashlight on his now awake and irritated little self, and tipped the trash over so he could escape at his leisure. Which he did.

What else is new? Not much. Heard from Chaosium again, so I am throwing myself wholeheartedly into this book project. Giving a paper at a medieval studies conference this weekend, I'll probably get all worked up about that in another day or two. Wish me luck.