Saturday, July 23, 2016
Anyway, the movie was delightful. They had the animal behaviour down so well. The story centres on Max, a Jack Russell terrier who is dismayed when his mistress brings home a stray Newfoundland named Duke. Max and Duke wind up getting lost in the city, come up against a vorpal bunny and his minions in a scary version of the Island of Misfit Toys, while his friends try to find him. It's fast-paced and fun, and I have to admit I cried at the end, and even YKWIA teared up (but you didn't hear that from me). The voice cast was excellent. And let me tell you, that is one tenacious Pomeranian. Some critics have compared it to Toy Story's formula, and I guess that's fair, but it's done really well. I would highly recommend it. And you'll never look at your pet the same way again.
Here are the trailers:
Thursday, July 21, 2016
But as I read and listen lately, I feel a great sadness (and quite a bit of fear, too) washing over me. I used to believe that the world was pretty much as it used to be, only now there is a more immediate media presence these days so we know more of the horrors going on. It's not that there weren't dictators, child molesters, axe murderers, or any of that like years ago, it's that we get word about it 24/7 with things like live feeds on Facebook or Snapchat videos. And that is true to some extent. But the Nazi persecution of the Jews, for example, probably would have still happened even with social media and 24-hour news, because let's face it, there are plenty of haters and trolls online. Maybe exposure would have shocked the world into doing something, but in my experience, the world just goes on like it always does, and people die. Horrible things have happened throughout history; technology just makes it easier to chronicle (and sometimes, aids in the commission of heinous acts as well). If only we could put it to a better purpose, to prevent tragedies. And yes, some folks are trying. But it's the negative things in life, the shocking, the horrible, that gets attention, and I'm as guilty about that as anyone. Lately, though, it seems like the news each day is more horrible than the last. Oh, here and there you may find feel-good stories to satisfy a need to believe in the good of humanity, but most of it is negative. And while I do believe that the vast majority of humans are good people, I don't have faith in my fellow humans' ability to think critically or do something for the sake of right, as opposed to because there is something in it for them. People say they want truth--but they go out of their way to tell supposed 'white' lies to keep the wheels of society spinning, and sometimes they actually convince themselves that something is the opposite of how it is (or follow a leader who does, as if they were sheep). I listen to otherwise decent people who are making decisions that will affect it all as if they were voting for the most popular contestant on one of those reality shows. It makes me so sad to think that there are people who fear the authorities, either for good reasons (they might be shot) or ludicrous ones (t'he government's going to take all our guns away and make us vaccinate our children'). Even the lines between the sound and ridiculous reasons are blurring. I find myself reading the news with a desperation to find something good in the world each day. I'm not as optimistic as I once was. And talking to others only makes me feel worse. I don't have all the answers. I know that. But many people I know either regurgitate what they've seen on TV or decide they'll vote for candidate X without looking at platforms or real qualifications. It all comes down to 'I don't like Y, so I guess I have to vote for X'. I feel like our democracy is failing. It was never perfect, of course, but now?
Anyway, I could comment on half a dozen news stories tonight, ones that worried me, or outraged me, or left me incredulous, but instead I thought I'd just write about my feelings about what's going on in the world in general. Now, can I take a flashlight, get into my blanket fort, and colour like a kid? Because if being adult means being in a big scary world of hatred and vitriol, I'm not sure what the benefit of being all grown up is. Good night.
PS Brief synopsis of my day: busy at work, paid lots of bills (but not all, unfortunately), went to the allergist and discovered they have sublingual immunotherapy (yes, it's a thing), got my shots, went on the biggest grocery run I've gone on in months, had dinner with a friend, eating what we made yesterday--tabbouleh, eggplant paté, and salmon chowder. It was great. Then I helped wash up and came on home, checking the news and Facebook and just really not feeling great about the world right now. Perhaps tomorrow will be brighter, or at least I'll tell myself that. Things were simpler when I was in Lisa Land with the unicorns and dragonets.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
So now I'm in the bedroom, listening to the OneRepublic station on Pandora. I'm surprised I still have Wi-Fi, to be honest--I need to pay the Internet and electric bills or they'll be disconnected later this week. Sigh. Things will get better. I will find either a part-time job that will help, or a full-time job that will let me avoid the unemployment line next April when my current positions end. The only job of note out there is an associate at Lexington Public Library, which is part-time and I could do that as a second job, but I don't know if they'd hire a degreed librarian. I think I'll call tomorrow; it closes Friday. It can't hurt to ask if they would at least consider it. In the meantime, I've checked out several books on using LinkedIn and other social media to brand oneself, create a network, and find a job. Maybe that can help. One thing about being a librarian, you tend to think the answer to something is to be found in a book. That's not always the case, of course, but educating oneself can never be bad.
Speaking of which, I'm going to go work on my LinkedIn profile a bit. Hope you're having a good week. Oh, and PS, I think I've finally stopped the second period of the month, which is a relief. I still need to make that appointment, though.
I have come home and basically crashed before dark. This weekend I got up in the middle of the night to get someone from work, otherwise I think I would have slept the night through. And while I did get up and do my nightly tasks tonight, like taking medicine and flossing, and I find I'm both tired and restless at the same time right now, I generally have been okay during the day but feel beat at night. I'm wondering if my iron is dipping down. I am on iron due to a deficiency, and I made the mistake of giving blood two weeks ago, then had my period, bleeding for four days, and now I've bled again for five, and it's worse at night for some reason. My nurse practitioner said giving blood was the equivalent to three periods, so in two weeks I've lost the equivalent of five months' worth of blood. No wonder I'm tired. I'm definitely calling that gynaecologist's office tomorrow, as this shows no sign of stopping, and it's not just spotting, but rather sustained bleeding that gets heavier at night. Due to my diabetes and weight, I'm at a higher risk for issues like fibroids or cancer, so they suggest seeing a doctor then, according to one thing I read. It certainly couldn't hurt. I think I'll ask the ladies I lunch with if they've experienced this, as most are post-menopausal and at least one had had a hysterectomy. I could use a little advice. My best friend--a gay man--insists that I need a girlfriend for just such matters, as he is neither qualified to give advice nor really wanting to hear about this stuff. And I may call a woman I game with, as I seem to recall she had some issues, too. We'll see. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings about this, especially you guys out there.
Monday, July 18, 2016
I did pretty well today after the first few minutes when I discovered that, while I'd carefully packed everything else I needed for the day, including the phone charger, I forgot my phone, which was left sitting on my beside table. It was kind of freeing, actually. But let's not repeat it any time soon, okay?
That as a woman's fertility wanes, she may, for example, have two periods in a month, rather than one, to the point where it seems the bleeding will never stop and it's probably messing up the calendar application used to track cycles. Welcome to perimenopause, I guess. I skipped completely in January, so I guess this makes up for it. Still, I think it would be best not to assume it's normal for 'the change' and make a gynaecology appointment, as it can be a sign of fibroids or even cancer, and I'm a little overdue for an exam anyway.
Pretty much sums things up, yes? It was on a shared status by Pete Caballero. Not sure if he's the originator or not, but whoever did this captured how I felt today about the world. Thanks to Carl Hylin for sharing.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
An 91-year-old woman is under investigation after filling in the blank spaces on an $89,000 crossword art piece she thought was an actual crossword puzzle.
The art piece at Nuremberg’s Neues Museum, called “Reading-work-piece,” is a work of art that closely resembles a crossword. It was made by avant garde artist Arthur Koepcke and features the phrase “insert words.” The woman told police she thought those words were an invitation to start filling in answers to the clues, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. She also said that the museum did not put up a notice telling visitors not to write on the crossword.
In New Orleans, scandal tarnishes a jazz star and the libraries he was asked to help
The lavish spending during this time by NOJO [The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra] has made the Grammy-winning trumpeter the target of a three-year federal probe following media reports that showed how he [Irvin Mayfield] and business associate Ronald Markham directed more than $1 million from a private foundation tasked to aid the city’s beleaguered public library system to NOJO, where both men have drawn six-figure salaries. The situation has enraged the city’s philanthropic community and shrunk library donations. A financial audit released late last year shows that NOJO paid Mayfield’s production company hundreds of thousands of dollars. An accounting of where and how money was spent was practically nonexistent.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school. This was kind of fun to think about!I even pulled out my senior yearbook and memory book, because I was trying to remember the full name of one of my teachers. And you know what struck me? There are three people who signed my yearbook--the three teachers mentioned in the post. Just them. That's because I was incredibly shut down during my junior and senior years of high school, and barely talked to any of my classmates. My parents were divorcing, and it was incredibly difficult for me to deal with. I was living with my mom and grandparents, having left a school where I knew everyone, even though I was geeky and not particularly popular. I don't think I even participated in anything my junior year, when I moved back to Danville. But I rebounded enough to be in Academic Bowl, Spanish Club, the National Honor Society, and Future Homemakers of America in my senior year.
The year was: 1984
- Did you know your spouse? No.
- Did you car pool to school? No, I walked through a cemetery.
- What kind of car did you have? None--I didn't get my first car till I was 21.
- What kind of car do you have now? Ford Taurus
- It is Friday night... Football or basketball game? Neither. I wasn't into sports.
- What kind of job did you have in high school? Docent at a local historical home.
- What kind of job do you have now? Librarian/Data Entry Clerk.
- Were you a party animal? I didn't even know how. Still don't.
- Were you considered a jock? Hahahahaha.
- Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No.
- Were you a nerd? Yes. Definitely. Thank goodness geeks finally became somewhat chic.
- Did you get suspended or expelled? No, I was a 'good girl'.
- Can you sing the fight song? Not anymore. College yes, high school, no.
- Who was your favorite high school teacher? Mr Don Hoffman (Chemistry & Physics), Mr Jim Moore (Math), and Mrs Alice Shelburne (English).
- Where did you sit for lunch? Usually in the hall reading. I didn't eat lunch.
- What was your school's full name? Danville High School
- If you could go back and do it again, would you? Hell, no.
- Did you have fun at prom? I didn't go
- Do you still talk to your prom date? I didn't go.
- Are you planning on going to your next reunion? No. I chickened out of my 30th.
- Are you still in contact with people from school? Just Angela L Allen from Danville (I went the first two years in Belle Plaine, Kansas, and I keep up with some of my classmates from there, like Deana Full and Cj Applegate Stonehocker).
- What are/were your school's colors? Blue and white.
I don't know if the picture conveys it, but I was a very shy girl with terrible self-esteem, who spend most of her time inside books or in her own head, mostly making up stories I hoped one day to write. I felt so fat, so awkward. One of my classmates made fun of me, calling me 'Orez'--zero spelled backwards. I look at this girl now and she seems pretty and intelligent, and pretty together, all things considered. Why do we never see ourselves like that at the time?
I didn't go to my 30th reunion--or any other reunion, for that matter. I never felt that connected to my fellow students back then, after all, and I doubted anyone would remember me or care to know how my life has gone. Even now, with the maturity of age and all I've learned, I still feel like that shy girl sometimes, and I feel like I didn't live up to her potential. I was talking to YKWIA the other day, and he said something that kind of shocked me at the time, how he thought I'd lived up to about what he expected. I was shocked, because, well, I guess I thought I'd failed to live up to where I thought I should be. He pointed out that considering the various hurdles I've had, I've done pretty well, and I should be proud of what I've accomplished. He's right, of course. But it still shocked me a bit, because, well, most people don't tell the truth like he does, and certainly not so bluntly. But it's one of the things I value in him as a friend, after all. :)
Okay, I think I'm going to go on to bed--enough of travelling down memory lane. Good night!
And even though I may be the only one in the country not playing Pokemon Go, this was amusing:
Ah, and here's round three. I should go on to bed. Let's go see how the bread is doing and decide from there.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I came home terribly tired. I'm not sure why, really. I didn't do anything particularly tiring. I went to my ophthalmology appointment this morning, nearly got run old while standing for a moment perfectly stationary in an empty parking place fiddling with my purse by someone who obviously wasn't paying attention to the 300-lb woman in bright turquoise, did my normal stuff at work--where I struggled to stay awake and alert--then picked a friend up from work, took him to the bank, and then met up with another friend so they could both go grocery shopping (I stayed in the car), and then took them to their respective homes. I got home after seven, parked out on the street because they'll be resurfacing our section of the lot tomorrow, spoke with YKWIA briefly on the phone, and then fell asleep for about three hours, finally giving in to the sleepiness. I slept well last night, my blood sugar has ranged from 80 (fasting)-149 (two hours' after lunch) today (which is good, even a little low on that first number). I don't know what the issue was. I just got up and got some pasta leftovers and I'm apparently quite hungry now. While that was heating up I put the bread ingredients together, then realised the thing about the paddle. Now it's happily mixing the ingredients. There's a storm brewing, so I hope it doesn't interrupt the power, as I don't think that would work well for the bread.
I went to the bathroom when I got up and I am unexpectedly bleeding. Now a guy would panic. A woman who's already had a period two weeks ago would surmise break-through bleeding, although this is heavier than the normal spotting. If it continues, I'll check with a doctor. Maybe my iron is low--I gave blood, had my period, and now I'm bleeding again, and they have me on iron (and were quite annoyed that I gave it away in my donation, which I honestly didn't think about). I won't worry for now.
My house smells like roasted pine nuts--not unpleasant, just a little odd, and the smell was something I got strongly through the CPAP machine and couldn't figure out at first.
Ah, here comes the rain. I wonder if they'll be able to work on our lot tomorrow, after all. It's a 40% chance of rain tomorrow, and the rain right now is strong enough to be hitting the windows. On the plus side, it's watering the geraniums on my windowsill outside. We just got a strong lightning burst nearby that made me jump so hard my hand is now cramped, and the car alarms for several cars just went off. There's nothing on the radar to indicate this storm; it must be terribly localised, as in where the pin dot is for Lexington.
Okay, I'm finished eating. I should go on back to bed until the bread is done, because I need to go into work early tomorrow, as I will be leaving to take a friend for a minor procedure and want to make the most of my time. I need to put a book order in tomorrow morning and catch up a little on my data entry. Good night.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
I'd also love to see a Ghost movie (or even better, series). Witchblade has been done as a series, but so far no film. Back when I was working at the comic store, I read a lot of those. And besides the question of superheroines, why has there been no Legion of Super-Heroes movie, at least that I know of?
PS My favourite comic of all time has got to be Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. I have all of the stories, most in comic book form, with I think the first three stories in graphic novels. I would love the giant omnibus volumes they have now. I would like to see it in film format, and there is one in the works, but it's been a protracted thing. I do like the series 'Lucifer', which is based on one of the characters.
It's eggplant pasta salad to die for. I used farfalle rather than the penne it called for, because I had some already. It's sweet and tangy together. I'm also baking bread, but that'll take awhile. But this is very filling and I have plenty for leftovers.
Here's the recipe:
Eggplant Pasta Salad, from Real Simple.
Monday, July 11, 2016
That question is one of the driving forces behind BiblioRemedy, a business venture launched last year by Chevy Chase resident and lifelong reader Alison Kerr Courtney, a former teacher and bookseller. BiblioRemedy encourages clients to not only pick up a book, but to pick up one specifically tailored to help with any personal issues they might going through, be they big or small. BiblioTherapy’s primary service is matching specialized titles to an individual’s particular needs or situation, with additional packages including less formal “book chats” and personal book shopping services.The web site for the service is BiblioRemedy.com.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
I can't seem to find my normal radio station on the speaker tower in the living room, so I've been playing some pop music on 96.9 FM such as Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, that sort of thing. Right now Tom Petty's 'Free Falling' is on. I usually listen to 106.3 FM, which has more modern rock, I guess, but is owned by the same company. But this is fine to clean to. Okay, back to it!
Bringing Help and Hope to Guatemala
Working to change a life
Amputee Tortoise Gets Moving With Wheels
A plucky female tortoise is winning the hearts of the Indian public as it races around its zoo enclosure on an improvised set of wheels. The animal lost its front right leg in a mongoose attack, and zookeepers added the wheels in a short operation after they noticed the animal couldn't move around and reach its food
Next week should be interesting around here. Our parking lot is being repaved and striped, and they've divided the complex into three sections, each taking a couple of days to work on (depending on weather), in which we'll have to find alternative parking, most likely on the two streets that intersect on our corner. Since I'm in the area of the property furthest from the street, it'll be a bit of a walk. Also, there are days when the apartment numbers overlap, and so it will take four days of not parking there. Guess which set I'm in? So basically, I can't park in front of my apartment from 8 pm on the 12th to sometime on the 16th (depending on whether they work on Saturday) or 18th (if they only work on weekdays)--and that's if the weather cooperates. Fun, fun, fun. Fortunately they gave us plenty of notice.
My plants, both inside and outside, look a little dry. I should water them today. If I have time, I should clean the fish tank this weekend; goldfish are very dirty fish, and even though it's a 29-gallon long aquarium, and there are only four goldfish, they produce a lot of mulm. The one in the bedroom, the 3-gallon one, should be have a water change, too, although I don't have a betta in there at the moment, as the other one did eventually die. I'd like to get another one later in the month.
Okay, I'm going to sign off here for now. Hope your weekend is going well.
I got the strap, and then was in process of getting the other when the lady in front of me grabbed me by the arm and thanked me for being so patient (they'd had some issues), and I guess it was at that point when the chip card reader beeped and said 'remove card', and I walked off. My mistake, of course, but I was distracted. I went to work, unknowingly, and did not discover the missing debit card until I'd dropped YKWIA off at his credit union and had gone to the pharmacy to get some medicine for him to conserve time. I was on my way back, on on my gas light, so I stopped by Kroger on Alexandria to get gas. That's when I discovered the missing card, its neat little place in my wallet terribly blank. I still had about $10 on me in cash, so I paid for some gas, called Kroger on Richmond Road, and happily, they had my card. After I picked up YKWIA, I went and got it, and all was good. Or was it?
I helped a friend move some of his stuff into his new place, and then later was putting everything back to rights in my wallet and I discovered that my flexible spending card was gone. Now, I had used it at the Richmond Road Kroger that morning, but it had been in my wallet when I discovered the debit card missing. Kroger's customer service desks were closed already by the time I realised it, and so the next morning I went to work, checked my entire purse and the bags I'd gotten the stuff in (I'd saved them for unexpected stuff that sometimes gets carried home in the rain), and they weren't there. I figured I'd dropped it while rifling through my cards looking for my debit card, so I called the Gardenside Kroger on Alexandria Drive and asked if someone had turned on in at the fuel station, but they hadn't. Now, I wasn't panicking yet, because unlike the debit card, the flexible spending card can only be used on certain medical, dental, and vision expenses, not even most over-the-counter stuff, and it has less than $200 left on it. If someone found it and took it to a gas station or liquor store, it would be declined. But I figured I'd just have to cancel the card and have it reissued, which was a bummer. Then I decided that I'd call Richmond Road just on the off-hand chance I'd dropped it when I put my debit card back in my wallet, and it was there. So after work on Friday, I took YKWIA to an appointment and then went by the Kroger and picked up that. They must think I'm a total idiot. I certainly was mocked thoroughly by my friend.
I think it bears mentioning that in the entire time I have had IDs, debit cards, credit cards, etc., while I may have misplaced something temporarily at home, I have never actually lost a card or had it out of my possession--and then I lose two in one day. Now there was the time (again, at Richmond Road Kroger) that I got all the way through the line and discovered my wallet was not in my purse. It had fallen out at home, and had somehow gotten wedged under the loveseat. That was fun, as I'd had no car, so I had to walk home, find the wallet, leaving my granny cart at Kroger, and then walk back to pay for the suspended order, then had to drag my granny cart of food back to the apartment. I certainly got my exercise that time. But I never really 'lost' anything like that before, or at least not since I lost a key to the house when I was eight. So it all worked out for the best, and I didn't quite lose my mind, but I'm glad I was able to pay my rent this morning without some terrible thing happening with my account, that sort of thing.