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Today is Thursday. Settlement on the sale of our house is Tuesday.

I took the dog for a walk today, and I started to get a little emotional.
I QUIT MY JOB!

The Word for World is Forest

So it wasn't until late 2013 that I learned how amazing Ursula K. Le Guin is, and how much I adore her. I have been slow in getting through her works, though. (There are just so many books out there I want to read!)

Next on my list is The Word for World is Forest. It's part of the Hainish Cycle (which doesn't have to be read in order I don't think, which I love; I like it when books are connected (like Banks's Culture series) but not necessarily chronological).

I can't get enough of that title. I don't even have to read the book, really, I just want to read the title over and over again and think about it. The word for world is forest. Since it's in the Hainish cycle, I feel confident that a researcher is going to discover a forested planet and meet its inhabitants and in their language, "forest" and "world" are the same word. I mean, if you think about it, on our planet, in English anyways, the word for world is dirt. Right? Earth. (Which I suppose is one reason why "Terra" is used in so many science fictions. We probably don't want all the universal translators having us say "ah yes, my home planet Dirt, how I miss her so.") The word for world is forest. Goddamn I love that. The word for world is forest. I could say it all day. I'd love to live on a planet where the word for world is forest.

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I watched the first half or more of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night. (It's my favorite book of the series.) A few thoughts:

-David Tennant is Barty Crouch Jr! Ha!

-The scene with Harry & Moaning Myrtle in the bath makes me super uncomfortable. First of all, what is with her voice. Seriously, I hate the way they did Moaning Myrtle in the films. Why is she so obviously a forty-year-old woman in ridiculous pigtails?? Did they run out of British children?? I don't understand! Also SHE IS TRYING TO LOOK AT HIS DICK THE WHOLE TIME. First of all, gross, he's supposed to be like fourteen. (Or maybe fifteen. Still kind of gross.) Also SHE'S A KID TOO. Despite how much she looks like a forty-year-old-woman. What school girl wants most to look at another kid's dick? Come on now. Dicks are weird and scary. What fourteen year old girl is like "yeah his hair is okay I guess but did you see his dick?" No one. No fourteen year old girl says that.

-Harry's hair is fucking terrible in this one.

-dragons are always awesome. I wish they showed how the other champions handled theirs. Although I also would like a tiny mini handheld dragon pls thx. My birthday is coming up, etc.


So, yeah. I stayed up too late watching it, even though I've seen it before and it wasn't even in HD and Harry's hair is terrible. Still good. Mad Eye Moody is so great, I can't believe it's not really him the whole time (it's the Doctor) (spoiler alert)

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I did that thing where I hid Christmas presents but can't remember where I hid them.

***

I just discovered that for the past four years, I have been stuffing a queen-sized comforter into a twin-sized duvet cover. That is not a euphemism.


Also Chris just figured out (after over five years in our house) how to operate the doors on our medicine cabinet. This whole time we just thought it was poorly designed.

***

My 2014 resolutions went really well this year; I'll have to think of one or two for next year. Hopefully I'll write about that at some point.

***

That's it.
I watched two movies this weekends.

Guardians of the Galaxy was good. I laughed a lot, and it looked great. (The strangest thing about director James Gunn becoming successful is seeing his brother -- that is, Kirk from Gilmore Girls -- continuting to portay a series of bad guys with mohawks. Seriously, wasn't he the same guy in Super?)

Transcendance was terrible. Really really predictable and awful. I will never get those two hours of my life back. :(
Songs written by a dad for their infant daughter:

"Jessica," Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Band
"Aubergine of the Sun," Ott
"Isn't She Lovely," Stevie Wonder

Anything else? There's "Still Fighting It" by Ben Folds, but it a) is written about his son, not a daughter and b) instead of being "oh man you are great holy shit I am in love with my brand new kid" it's all "someday you're going to grow up and it's all going to be depressing!" which is not the vibe for which I am looking.

Any other nominations which fit the theme?
Chris got me an anniversary present this year and I didn't get him anything. I think that this disappointed him a great deal.

I thought of something thoughtful to do for him while he's gone (he's away this week for work), BUT NOW I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS. Worst wife ever.
My legs are covered with scratches (from green briar) and poison ivy rashes and itchy bug bites and it was cute at first because "it's summer! I'm a kid! It's proof I'm having fun!" But it's getting pretty old and I would like to stop itching now please.

In the shower in the morning they all get, like, re-itchied when I loofa my legs. It's terrible.
Chris and I went up to the house in the Poconos for just one day this weekend. We arrived late Saturday and left Sunday at around 6.

On Sunday we saw a snake that was halfway through eating a frog before we bothered him. We also went down to the river and there were a bunch of large fish remains along the edge; apparently an eagle (we assume) was feeding there recently. The eagle is a better fisher than Chris, as he couldn't land anything longer than four (4) inches.

There was a large raptor wheeling overheard at the river, actually, but we weren't sure what it was. It seemed like maybe a juvenile red tailed hawk but it was SO BIG. So maybe it was an eagle? But it didn't seem to have the right shape.

Then on the drive home we saw a mink gamboling at the side of the road! I had never seen a mink in real life before. It was a big wildlife day, that's for sure
In heaven, it is early September every day. From Monday through Thursday I get up early to go birding, and then take a nap on a hammock outside (if it's not raining.) In the afternoons I go birding again, and then read a book. From Friday through Sunday I'm at a camping music festival, and our camp site is in the woods, and I see live music all day and all night. And then on Monday I do it all again. And Chris and Indiana are at my side like 85% of the time. Oh and there's barbecue in there somewhere.
Okay so spoiler alert for last night's Game of Thrones episode, I guess. Read more...Collapse )

IMPORTANT WASHU UPDATE

So, I'm starting to get in to jazz.
I feel so much better -- just, overall -- when I've been what I consider "productive."

It's weird though because sometimes I'll feel like things are going all right in my real life, I'm doing things that I want to do, accomplishing things that are written on a list somewhere, and then I"ll get to work and I don't even . . . care? Like, as long as I'm productive in some aspect of my life, I don't have to bother trying to stay on top of things at work. That is not the greatest attitude to have!

I feel good lately because of a lot of little things. One is that I'm finally back on the horse in terms of tracking what I'm eating. And it's working! I lost a little bit of weight every weekday last week, and over the weekend didn't gain so much that it was a net gain. And I've been doing well this week as well, so far.

I also decided to stop sweetening my tea at work. This may not seem like a big deal, but I drink 4-5 mugs (and I have a very large mug) a day. That was a lot of Splenda! Splenda will probably give me cancer. So I stopped. And sugar is, in addition to calories, not necessarily so good for you either, so I didn't switch to sugar. I just decided to drink my tea unsweetened. I think I will have to bring in my own tea from now on (it's tough to drink regular ol' Lipton without a sweetener, it gets bitter so quickly) but it's about time I became a tea snob. I'm only amazed it took this long.

We are making slow and steady progress on doing something about the hall bathroom. We had Oth (he doesn't like to be called that, but I don't want to use his full name and he probably won't see this anyway, sorry Steve!) come over to check things out and we'll hire him to do the work. It's stuff we could probably do ourselves, but if we pay somebody to do it it will get DONE in one day instead of dragging out for a week, and also I feel way better about paying a friend (but a LICENSED, experienced friend) to do it than some random dude. Chris and I went to Lowe's to look at some vanities and it turns out that it would be better to pick that stuff out online. I thought it would be better to see things in person! But what do I know. So we didn't order any stuff yet but we had a look around, and last night I picked out a new valve and trim (handle thingie) for the master bath and we'll see about that first. I know it seems like such a minor thing but we have a habit of putting things off and putting things off, so my goal is to at least do ONE small thing a day, and then I think we'll be okay.

Maybe tonight (which is gaming, and Dark Sun again because they're trying to finish Mike's game before he moves to Myrtle Beach) I'll finally touch up the paint in the den, as I've been meaning to do for like two years.

Also yesterday I finally bought a pair of jeans. They're from Old Navy and they're thin, so I still need a pair from Lee or Levi's or something. But I figured I'd want more than one pair anyway, may as well get a cheap pair from ON (and I remembered by $5 ON cash! I only remember that like half the time!)

Also Teege came over to watch Breaking Bad; we haven't done that in like two months so it was great to do that as well. Didn't kill any monsters, though.

I also baked cookies last week. I like giving them away. I like that I've been baking on a more regular basis lately. I also would like to make some stew: a few weeks ago Chris made a big stock pot full of chicken and dumplings, and it kept us fed for like a week. I'd like to feed our family for a week as well (once we've eaten all the SuperBowl Taco leftovers.)

When writing this entry in my mind, I added a part about how my "productive" is probably totally lame to some people (I'm actually thinking of someone in particular, whom I shall not name,) but I actually don't think I give a shit about that sort of thing anymore. Maybe I'm just in a good headspace today, but who cares, right? As long as I keep truckin' along, it doesn't really matter to me how slow I'm going. Just so long as I keep moving, I'm happy.
I started feeling sorry for myself so I put on the Les Miserables soundtrack. It's helping.

Best of 2013

Best Movie I saw in the theater: The World's End (This is the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright joint, not the one with all the American comedians in it.) It cracked my shit up AND I thought about it for the next, like, week. At least. I watched again after it came out on disc and wasn't disappointed. It was fun, funny, and clever and had decent action scenes. What more could a girl want?

2013 was a big movie year for me. In the five to seven years previous, I'd only see one or two movies in the theater each year. This year I saw a ton. Here they are:

Les Miserables, seen with Sean, May, and Carol (****)
Star Trek Into Darkness, with Jeff and Stephanie (****)
Star Trek Into Darkness, with Chris (*** 1/2)
Star Trek Into Darkness: 3D, with Mitchell and Tesa (***)
The Great Gatsby with Mitchell and Chris (*)
Man of Steel with Chris (**)
Wolverine: Japan Style with Chris (****)
World's End with Mitchell and Jennie (*****)

Hmm. I thought there were more than that.

Best Band, Live Edition: The Soul Rebels. I saw them twice, both times at Blockley. Man oh man do I love those guys.

I saw a lot of music this year. I attended two festivals (Tiny Rager in the Catskills in late March/early April, and The Big Up, also in upstate New York, in uh August I think.) I went to a bunch of shows at the Blockley, including the farewell show this past Sunday (December 29th.) The Blockley is a big reason why I saw so much great music this year, it's a fantastic venue, and it's a goddamned shame that they're closing their doors at the end of the year due to liquor license issues. Hopefully the people involved will be able to to open another venue soon, but also hopefully maybe we'll move soon so whatever. We'll see.

Highlights include seeing Ott in a tiny club in West Chester with Tesa, who had never heard of him before but had a blast; Kung Fu's Prince Tribute at the Big Up, which just a lot of fun, fun bootyshaking; The Naphrok! Allstars, which funked our (Chris's, Adam's, and mine) faces off at the Tiny Rager; seeing Deltron 3030 at the TLA by myself because everyone else is lazy; Moon Hooch opening for TMBG at the TLA, and playing what I can only describe as home-made dubstep; the first Soul Rebels show, to which we brought a bunch of friends; and the second one, which I attended by myself whilst Chris & Indiana napped in the car.

Music is important.

Best Book: The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin This was fordmadoxfraudDavid's pick for Book Club. It was wonderful. I told Mordicai that it was my "Platonic ideal of a science fiction novel." I don't even 100% know what I mean by that, but I back myself 100% anyway. It stuck with me, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I read 75 books in 2013. (I had read 71 total in 2011 & 2012 combined.) On the one hand I read a bunch of graphic novels at the beginning of the year, but on the other I tend to read super long books (and especially audiobooks) so I think it all works out to not cheating. I read at least half of Les Miserables in 2013, for example, and that thing is a beast.

Best Bird: Snowy Owls As you may have heard if you pay attention to anything, there was a significant Snowy Owl irruption this year, and there were more of them sighted in the US this year since a similar irruption in 1927. (I think I got that right.) Chris and I went to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Brigantine (where we got engaged one time) (I have to mention that every time I say anything about Brigantine) to see a pair of them, and were not disappointed. They seemed unimpressed with the scores of birders staring at them.

Chris was gone, but now he's back

So I fell down a LiveJournal rabbit hole yesterday, and have been doing it again this is morning. (This morning I'm at work, so that's bad. I should stop doing that.)

I've been reading stuff from c. 2003. I wrote so much! I had so much ENERGY. I was HAPPY or DEPRESSED or EXCITED or ENRAGED and I felt everything so freaking STRONGLY! Go young Washu!

I'm also amazed at how much I've forgotten. Apparently I stopped seeing Mambo because he wanted me to be his girlfriend? I totally did not remember that! Stuff about my old job, too. I really ought to write things down more often, so that I can remember them properly when I'm even older and lazier than I am now.

(I also ought to backup my LiveJournal.)

SO ANYWAY let me tell you about right now: Chris has been gone since Friday, he's in the Poconos to murder a deer via bow. I had a nice time when he was gone! I mean I miss him of course (so does Indiana, I can tell) but in some ways it's nice to be alone for a little while. I was super productive for the first few days. That sorta trailed off but hey, whaddaya gonna do. It's hard to go to work AND take the dog for a long walk AND get myself fed AND also do stuff around the house. All by myself. So eh, whatever.

I spoke to him a little while ago, he was on the road home. (He is probably home by now.) And he was like "I was thinking of having the guys over . . . " and my heart sunk. He meant Saturday though, which is okay. Tonight I sort of want him to myself. (Though I'll bet dollars to donuts that someone will "stop by" at some point. Dollars! To donuts! I do not know what that idiom means, really!) And I realized that it's not so much that I want Chris to be gone sometimes (though I do enjoy my Kerry Time, always have,) it's that there are always people coming over when he's home. And that's not the worst thing in the world really (though sometimes it is,) but it's nice to always have it be MY decision whether I'm hanging out with someone or not. I did have Mitch over one night, and drinks with my old work buddy Adam one time (though he was gone by like 7:30,) but I think that's it. Oh I also had drinks with my OTHER old work pals, but that was over before 8 as well.

(Although if Chris still wasn't home tonight, I was going to try to get myself invited over to Kevin & Kathy's for dinner tonight, so that I didn't starve. And also so that I could hang out with them, and with Haley.)

Anyway. Now he's home and Kerry's vacation is over. As with every vacation, though I had a good time, I am glad that things will be getting back to normal. The phone reception at the house in the Poconos is not so hot, and phone conversations were frustrating and unsatisfying. Also I would like to get laid.


OH WAIT I also have to tell you about this cute thing that Indiana did:

Last night we went for our walk at night (she didn't even seem to mind that it was raining!) and then we came home and sat on the couch to watch Thursday Night Footbaw. Indiana is always a snuggly beast, and this time she was especially nuzzly. She came over and curled up and nuzzled nuzzled nuzzled my legs and the afghan and &c and then just looked up at me. I looked down at her and her nose was pointed up at me and we looked at each other for a moment or two like that and then I said "Hello," and she immediately went "slrp!" and kissed me, quick, on the lips. And then nuzzled her way under the blanket. Good god that dog is adorable.

The 2013 Armchair Audies

As you may know, I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I'm pretty much always listening to one at any given time. I mean not any given moment in time -- for example, right now I'm at work, and I can't do work and listen to an audiobook simultaneously without diminishing the effiency of either. Or both.

But generally speaking, I'm always in the middle of listening to an audiobook. I listen in the car when I commute; I listen when I take my walks at lunch; I listen when I have to do boring housework like laundry; I listen when I'm out walking the dog.

So when the call went out to participate in the Armchair Audies, I quickly signed up.

The Audies are annual awards given out to audiobook productions of the previous year. There are a whole lot of nominees, so the Armchair Audies are one lady's attempt to make sense of it all. Listeners (like me!) choose one category, and listen to all of the books in that category. They write reviews, and the reviews are collated at the Armchair Audies site.

I chose to read the Classics category. Actually I asked to do Classics or Science Fiction, but there was already another volunteer for Science Fiction, so I said I'd stick with Classics.

I'm sort of done, and I haven't written any reviews yet because I'm a terrible person who is only good at doing things when there's no expectation of getting them done.

But the real Audies are being awarded in fewer than two weeks, so I'm about to get going on it. Prepare yourself for some high-octane audiobook reviews of classic fiction! Strap in!

What I did on Tuesday

I had a pretty productive day yesterday! Chris had plans (he went to the Flyers game) so I was hoping to get some work done on my dress, but that didn't happen. Mostly because I stayed too late at work again for no reason (GEE WHAT A SURPRISE.) But I still did pretty well, all the same.

I rode my scooter to work yesterday. (I should have maybe done that today as well, it doesn't seem to be raining after all.) At lunch I took the shorter walk, but I did take a walk, which was better than Monday. As aforementioned I stayed too late at work, maybe until 5:45 or 6 or so. I rode to a shopping errand. Then I rode to the library, where I a) returned one science fiction book, b) borrowed two more science fiction books which I had requested (2312 and Alif the Unseen, both of which I saw discussed/mentioned on tor.com,) and c) renewed my library card.

Then I rode home. I dilly-dallied getting out of the house because I was reading my OTHER science fiction book which I own and which I have already read, The Diamond Age. (I've had too many two-star books in a row and sometimes when that happens, I read something I already know is a four- or five-star book to get me revved up again.) Then Indiana and I went for a walk. I had intended to walk in the woods, as Chris and Indiana and I always do. But I had forgotten that when she and I head out together, she always heads for York Terrace, so that's where we went. This time we went around the little pond that's in the back of this development, but when we exited through the hole in the fence in back, we turned right instead of left so we were in woods I'd not been in before. So that was neat. Of course I was scared the whole time that I'd get yelled at by a neighboring homeowner, but I tried to be brave and it never happened anyway.

When we got home I took a shower, and then went down in the basement to do some work. (We are hopefully moving soon, and there are a lot of bullshit boxes down there that I need to organize, and a lot of stuff I need to toss.) By the time I got upstairs it was after ten and there was no way I was going to a) make dinner (egg salad?), b) work on the work I had brought home from work, or c) work on my dress, all of which I had intended. Instead I poured myself a bowl of cereal and watched a recorded episode of Project Runway. Once it was over, I immediately read the recap on tomandlorenzo.com to confirm that I had the correct opinion about the dresses.

Shortly after that ended, Chris came home and he turned on the latest episode of Game of Thrones and we both pretty instantly fell asleep. I woke up just in time for the dramatic last seconds of the ep. MAN I wish I had watched that with someone who hasn't read the books. Oh well.

So that was yesterday! We'll see how today goes. It's Wednesday, so that means lunch with Michelle! Huzzah.
Yesterday: I did the shorter walk at lunch because I left too late, as usual.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home, and got just the right amount of groceries: I filled up my whole milk crate.

I love riding my scooter. I felt a zillion times more confident than I had on Monday.

After work I took off my pants and sat on the couch in the den with the sliding door open, and read The Collection, which is the short story collection in which Imogen has a story. It's the first story. It's speculative fiction!

I wish I were a writer. I wish I had ideas. I think I could write them pretty well, if someone would just give me some stuff to write about. Maybe not, though.

When Chris came home we went for a walk with Indiana. Not a super-long one, just down to the sand pit and back. I love watching her run around.

We had sandwiches for dinner and started to watch the season premiere of Mad Men. We watched the entirety-up-til-now of Mad Men a few months ago, so this is the first time we'll be keeping up with the series in real time. (Well, the same week.) I don't think Chris would care but I'm interested in being part of the online conversation about it. Commercials are annoying! Even if you get to fast forward through them. It was a two-hour premiere so we only got three quarters of the way through it before Teege arrived.

When Teege showed up we watched two episodes of Breaking Bad. Well, Teege and Chris watched two episodes; I saw one and then fell asleep. I was up until 3am the night before though, so I'm not sorry.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013: I walked Indiana around the park this morning. I weighed less this morning than I did yesterday morning. I've already eaten a sleeve of Peeps today, though. Man. Candy. I just cannot resist its siren song.

I scooted to work again this morning.

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