May 21st, 2004

mr. robin

My life is wonderful to me, boring to you. Sorry!

Hey, wow, today is a great day. I mean for no reason in particular, besides that it's Friday I guess, but you know, life is good and all that.

Earlier in the week I had a two-day seminar, up in Burlington County for one day, and Ocean County for the other. It was Vegetation Identification for Wetlands Delineation. That means that they taught us what different kinds of plants look like in South Jersey, and whether they are uplands plants or wetlands plants or what. We'd do an hour of geology/soil talk in the morning, and then we pretty much just wandered through the woods, following the instructors around, and they'd say "this is highbush blueberry, you can tell because of this" and "this is black huckleberry, you can tell because there's green resin on the underside of the leaves, and also they have seeds when you taste them". They told us that the leaves of the bayberry had a distinctive smell, and I smelled one and it made me think of roast turkey and I went WTF but then I remembered I use bay leaves in my turkey seasoning procedure, so eureka for that. We saw orchids, a box turtle, a fowler toad, a cranberry bog, and a tern who was so cool -- they HOVER! They hover in one place, swoop and dive, swoop up again to hover. We visited a tidal salt marsh and cedar swamps. We saw forests filled with pygmy pines and scrub oak, a result of constant forest fires. The first day was beautiful and my nose got pink, but the second afternoon it rained a lot and we didn't spend as much time outside. I didn't get any ticks! I had to drive for hours and wake up early and get home late, but it was still way better than being at work.

Earlier in the week I watched Wrath of Khan. (Man, that link is not working right now, and that makes me sad. That site was awesome). I liked it, a whole whole lot. I'm so used to the overly dramatic acting in the series and first picture, that the quiet scenes in Khan between Kirk and Spock and Bones were so nice and real and unexpected and wonderful. And I cried for eight million years at the end, because I am in love with Spock. (I watched the last 40 minutes or so the next night, because I may have dozed off during the final battle, and I cried like crazy AGAIN.) And then a night later I had a dream about him. Spock likes it rough. FYI.

Last weekend I went home to visit my folks, and give them tickets for Cirque du Soleil, which I had purchased for them as a combo Mother's Day/Father's Day gift. They seemed to like the show. They think it was shortened, though, due to the thunderstorm. Man, and I was just working off a vague recollection of my mom saying she'd like to see that sort of thing, but apparently there had been ads on the radio and such and Mom had been hinting or something, and Dad wanted to get tickets, but he "didn't know how to spell it." So thank goodness for my dad's complete lack of French comprehension, or we'd have doubled up on a pretty expensive gift.

Mom and I went to Ikea. And had my car's oil changed (it had been wayyyyy too long, and I actually felt a difference as I drove off the lot. Man, I am so not responsible enough to own a classic car. Boo me.) And I hung out with high school boyfriend Oliver. We had wine and smoked a little and watched terrible, awful TV. I fell asleep in a La-Z-Boy and arrived back home at 6am, as my dad was leaving the house to go golfing.

The last time I was at my mom's house, I had forgotten to bring my book, so I started reading House Atreides. For those of you who aren't familiar, Frank Herbert wrote six books in his Dune series, and then up and died. His son proceeded to (with the help of an actual writer) write a slew of (apocryphal, to my mind at least) books. I've avoid reading them because, well, they're fake. But I started reading this one (it's the first of a trilogy that takes place before Dune), and man, I couldn't put it down. The writing is pretty awful, and the plots are boring, especially since I KNOW certain people are not going to die when they're fourteen, etc. It just reads like a regular, shitty scifi novel. But I can't help it, I want to read it anyway. There are some parts that remind me of Frank Herbert, and also, 85% of the reason I love Dune is just the hugeness of the universe. And so any extra story, extra information is interesting, and if I don't think it exactly fits Frank Herbert's version of things, I can just make it work In My Mind. So I bought the second two books of the stupid trilogy. And now, since they are my books and not my mother's, I will be able to fold corners and mark up the parts I think are stupid. Okay, I will stop talking about this now, but I can tell you more about how and why the book is so shitty in the comments, if you want.

So yeah, I bought books last night. I was really good for a very good time, in regards to spending money. The end of last year, the first part of this year. That's all been out the window for the past few months, which is stupid, because I have a very expensive summer coming up. Oh well, I'll survive.

Speaking of summer, I received the Bonnaroo tickets yesterday! Hooray! I will scan them in if I remember, they're so big and colorful and shiny and I like the way they smell.

Holy shit, it's totally pouring out! I didn't even realize.

Oh hey, remember the Netflix issue? I emailed the folks over there at Netflix, and it turns out that there IS a reason such things have been happening. Here's the skinny: seasons of television shows -- as well as movies with bonus disks -- are considered "sets". If a particular disk in a set is not available, Netflix will NOT send you the next disc, because then you'd be receiving them out of order. Rather, they send you the DVD that is next in your queue AFTER that set. So there you go! I had been mixing movies in with my Star Trek to keep things interesting, and didn't notice this phenomenon because the TOS DVDs were arranged in completely random "sets". But now I know. And knowing is half the yadda yadda yadda. And I did watch the first episode of I, Claudius after all, despite all my moaning. Man, Livia! You are totally awesome and evil already, I can't believe you assassinated somebody in the first freaking episode. Also, Augustus rules, I can't wait til he gets old and grey and wears a straw hat and eats figs. Man, that reminds me, I really gotta order that straw hat . . .