Monday, February 27, 2006

Holy #$@%, Octavia Butler Died.

Got several funny posts on the burner, but they'll have to wait, as this news drove all the funny out of my head. Damn. Butler was not my absolute favorite sci-fi author; I'd read 2-3 of her books, and found them beautiful, fascinating, and slightly unsettling enough that I didn't seek and devour everything she ever wrote. (I'm sensitive. Sue me. And anyway, that argument breaks down when I admit that one of my favorite authors is Jonathan Carroll, because he's creepy as all hell.) But I still feel a sense of loss, even not having read each of her books cover to cover. The sci-fi world is smaller, today. So I'm sad.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It's All Aboot the Rocks

I've always said I hated the Olympics. I rage bitterly at the excessive, obsessive coverage of sports that interest me slightly less than extended dental surgery (figure skating and downhill skiing being two of these) at the expense of sports that are genuinely interesting (archery and fencing in the summer, biathalon in the winter,) I recoil from the incessant "medal count" graphics in the paper and on the news--who cares which countries have the most?--and I hardly ever watch them. I'd forgotten this was an Olympic year until I found myself in a BW3's with Ratgirl last week, and she asked them to put the opening ceremonies on one of the giant TV's. "The what? Oh yeah....boooring!" sez I.

While I don't fully recant my opinion of the Olympics as an overrated media phenomenon, and while I still don't give a flying crap who won the snowboard halfpipe, I've found something to love about the 2006 Winter O: Women's Curling. I know curling is kind of oddly fashionable this year, and that makes me a little uneasy. I hate being trendy. But I can't help it, it's awesome. O-some, I say! It's like billiards on ice. It's fascinating. I love it. I just watched the US team trounce Italy; it probably won't be enough to get them to the semi-finals, but it was fun to watch. I have to grade 204 exams this weekend, and having something to watch on TV is making it bearable.

One things I've decided I do like about the winter Olympics is that every sport, and every interview has a sound effect: "Snf." Athletes aren't immune to drippy noses; and it makes me laugh when they turn on the mike on the skier or curler and you hear them going "Yeah *snf* I'm planning to take the *snf* turn real tight *snf* and this should be my best *snf* run yet..." Things to still hate, though, include the figure skating (everything about it. everything) and some of the ad campaigns. What is up with the weird animated thing with the dragon--how does that make me want to fly United? And the random Ronald McDonald sitting on a bench commercials? WTF does that have to do with EITHER their food OR sponsoring the Olympics? Go figure. Just don't go figure skate.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

OK, before I say anything else, I have to link to this photo. A good reason why I'll never own a Roomba; I can't begin to list all the things he'd try to eat in my cluttered home, but he'd probably just choke and die.

No penguin or cat stories to report, it's been a rather quiet week. I watched a pretty good movie called "Ping Pong," a Japanese film about two friends playing competative table tennis; one's got a burning desire to be the best in the world but not quite enough talent, and the other one has the talent but no competative urge. It's about friendship, and dreams and heroes, and I quite liked it.

Jane's got a meme this week, and while I ordinarily avoid these things (and while she thoughtfully refused to tag anyone else with it) I'm actually tempted to do it just to fill out this otherwise unventful post. Sure, why not!
4 Jobs I've had: zoo gardener. retail manager. exhibit installer. sales director of a small but popular wargame company.
4 movies I can watch over and over: Big Trouble in Little China. Star Wars: A New Hope. Better Off Dead. Antonia and Jane.
4 Places I've lived: Indianapolis. Chicago. Lexington, KY. Poughkeepsie, NY.
4 TV Shows I love: The Muppet Show. Buffy. WKRP in Cincinnati. Forensic Files.
4 Places I've vacationed: Kenya. Brazil. Ireland. The Wisconsin Dells.
4 of my Favorite Dishes: Spaghetti and meatballs. Grilled salmon. Fish n Chips. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
4 websites I check daily: Sluggy. Rubber Hose. Big Top. The Croc Forum.
4 Places I'd rather be right now: Er.... Is it really lame that I can't think of any? There's lots of places I'd like to go in the long term--but none of them right now, coz dinner's almost ready....

Interesting how hung up the phrase "right now" got me, I really did sit here for a couple minutes thinking hard about it; I suspect this is a reflection of my general unwillingness to be spontaneous in certain areas of my life. I'd like to think I'm the sort of person who can drop everything when the opportunity to do something new or fun arises--but really, I'm kidding myself there. I like things to be planned out well in advance, and while I can be spontaneous, it almost never comes easily or comfortably. Hmm. Know thyself, I suppose...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Snapping Out of It

I haven't been posting much because I've been a little down lately; I'm working 5 part time jobs, I'm not making much money at any of them, and I'm tired and cranky all the time. Part of it, I think, was that I didn't really have a single day free for the better part of January and haven't had time to unwind at all until this weekend, when my work at the museum was unexpectedly cancelled. While I'm sorry I'm not making $60 this weekend by annoying little kids, it was a huge mental sigh of relief when I realized I didn't have anything to do yesterday. This gave me a little time to reflect upon all the stuff that I'm happy about, which offset the honestly very few things I'm unhappy about right now.
1. I haven't had a cold yet this winter. This is amazing; especially considering how many little germ-factory kids I've had contact with at the museum in the last 2 months.
2. I got to be in a movie last weekend. Yes, my role as "Martinique, the Fencing Assassin" has been recorded on digital video, to debut online in a few months as the second installment of the popular soap opera "MD HEARTS" from ANC Movies. I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille! Seriously, it was a great time. That's the back of my head in the teaser photo.
3. It snowed yesterday. Perfect snow, about an inch, didn't stick to the roads or my car but coated every tree branch and power line, and it's just beautiful.
4. I have a job interview next week. Part time, no benefits, but it IS at a museum. More details if they become relevant.
5. I've cooked some really good food lately. I made a resolution to do more cooking in 2006, and specifically to try a new recipe every week. This week's installment was Chinese dumplings, to celebrate the Year of the Dog (which is my year, in the Chinese Zodiacal sense. Come to think of it, that's another reason to be happy--this is my year! Things have to be better--dogs unite!)
6. My pets are insane. No, wait... this was the happy list. Well, I'll tell this story anyway--see, the Orange Cat has this habit of playing with things that aren't technically cat toys, in the traditional sense. So I'm used to waking up in the night and hearing him assaulting some random thing, and unless it's really annoying I just yell "Shut up, dammit!" and then roll over. This happened the other night, I yelled "shut up dammit" and rolled over, and thought nothing more about it. Then the next morning, I wake up for real to discover that his "prey" was a bag of peat moss that I'd been using to try to lower the Ph in my fish tank (which is another depressing story, somehow my Ph spiked to 8.2. it's amazing my fish haven't just dissolved.) So he's found this bag, stalked it, killed it, and then dragged it around the house like a cheetah carrying a Thomson's Gazelle, leaving a trail of blood (that is, peat moss, which is something akin to potting soil) all around my bedroom and living room. When I found the bag, it had been utterly bled dry. I was stunned. Stunned and amused. That's what he's best at, after all, causing stunned amusement. So I'm happy I can wake up to find something that makes me laugh even as I'm dragging out the vacuum cleaner again.
There's more, I'm sure, but this is a good start. It was good to have a day to stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself that I will not always have 5 part time jobs with crummy pay. Hope springs a turtle!