Sunday, December 30, 2007

Too awesome; must stop

Okay, well, the Dresden Dolls were too awesome to be withstood by mortals. Also all the associated opening stuff was great. Thank you soo soo soo damn much for calling last minute, Tattoo Queen - sorry Wonderful Guy couldn't go, but it was great, and I also had a good time being silly with Her Majesty and her R'ness.

Amongst the things I am thankful for this year:
Amazing, kind, generous, loving people in my life (yes, you, too, farm-witch).
My incredible kids.
A functioning mind.
Food, shelter, all that stuff, too.
My extended family, who are sometimes really, really weird, but that's why I am, too.

The year has turned and the dark lasts just a little less every day. We still have at least six inches of snow on the ground, but it's melting, melting, slowly but inexorably, and it begins to be possible to imagine spring. It begins to be possible to imagine a lot.

Peace, all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry. Also Happy. And pirates!

Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice and Happy New Year!

Christmas was good - how was yours? My extended family makes the holidays kind of improvisational, which adds excitement and a sense of danger to what would otherwise be a Traditional Celebratory Thingamajig. It's fun. But we're still trying to coordinate what happens this weekend.

I went on a date. It was okay. I contacted an old friend, who I sort of had a mutual thing about a long time ago (actually "last century," as he pointed out), and so we're trying to make plans to go do something silly. That's neat. There's still a very cute person via OKCupid I'm emailing, which is nice, too, and various other actually interesting people in whom I have no romantic interest but who are fun to correspond with anyway. Still figuring out the "blocking" option for the occasional deeply creepy weirdos that post pictures of their underpants, but I think I've got it figured out.

Santa brought the latest Pirates movie on DVD, so we got to watch the Best Wedding Ever in Cinema History yesterday. I think back-to-back in a sword fight to the death on board a ship from the underworld headed straight for the edge of the abyss is really the way good marriages function, when you get down to it. Don't you?

Listening to "Wicked" lately - it's such basic, good ol' Broadway; hard not to like. Great fun to sing along with, which I'm doing to the point that my kids are really sick of it.

Oh! Possible road trip! The WEBS annual sale thing is now through Jan. 5, and I think it'd be fun to go. I'll see people at Javaroom (for once), but also anybody stopping by here, hey, whatcha think?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Perpetual catch-up

So not quite a week since the last post - sigh. Preparations for Christmas are underway all over the place, except of course with my courses; this makes things tricky. I have reading to do, more work to do (what would a weekend be without a paper to procrastinate?), and the mild freak-out that comes with the end of the semester. This means that those of you who normally receive Christmas cards from me, um, haven't, but I swear, I'll get to it.

Today, just as the light was fading in the evening sky, youngest helped me with the evergreen garland and lights and wreath and stuff that I put up every year on the front of the house. This requires a ladder, multiple extension cords, string, scissors, and at least three smacks in face (or head!) with any one of the following: 1) the evergreen material itself, 2) snow caked onto the evergreen because I left it outside for yesterday's blizzard, and/or 3) the lights, extension cord, or any other electrically-related item. It's up, it's all plugged in, and it looks rather sweet if I do say so myself.

Let's see, what else ... it's felt like a really long week; it's hard to remember as far back as Monday. Monday! Holy crap! Okay, Monday was the second midterm for bio, and it was, er, challenging. I felt better about how I did than on the last one, unlike every other person I've spoken to from the class, which is either good or so bad it doesn't bear thinking about. There's been a lot of rumbling about how tricky a question on drosophilia genetics was, and I vaguely recall the question but not it being remotely tricky (um, genotype for parentals when they give you phenotype, three traits, and whether or not the traits are dominant or recessive, and also given that the parents are homozygous? WTF, people? how is this tricky? Am I out of my mind?!?!). Cue the sinking feeling in the stomach.

I am nearly finished with the delicate repair of my laptop. But not quite. This involved several successive runs of Disk Doctor, the discovery of a couple of tree errors that couldn't be fixed, and then the recovery of the entire volume onto an external drive, virus check & fix & everything on said external drive, and now...I'm just waiting to steel myself for the big Wipe Everything Off Completely and Re-Install the OS.

I have completely f****d up logistics for this weekend. I really, really thought I'd made sure to purchase tickets to our annual winter outing to the theatre to NOT conflict with my neighborhood party; WRONG. I blew it. I also seem to have forgotten to do a lot of stuff.

I'm skirting how I'm doing emotionally, you'll notice. Long to do lists, la la la, oh btw Town Hall is suddenly uninhabitable, I may have to work on some semi-emergency funding crap (see?). How I'm feeling is weirdly okay. You all continue to amaze me. There are great heaps of kindness and generosity of heart and life and time and patience that everybody plops on my foolish head. I'm noticing the (mutually) attractive guys in bio lecture, talking to people generally - still flirting online, too - none of which I would have imagined myself to have the capacity to deal with even six months ago. Met a particularly cute guy (yes, yes, brainy, too, of course) online who's been keeping me more distracted than usual most of the week, who happens to have excellent taste in music & pointed me to this singer:

Sufjan Stevens. New to me; quite lovely, don't you think?

I notice that as I answer the computer's weird questions intended to figure out what I'm like, I have trouble. I keep having to stop, and ask myself, wait is that what *I* really like to do, or is that the compromise S. & I had that became one of the habits of our marriage? (e.g., Hey, wait a minute! I like to go dancing! I forgot!) In all the fussing around with what I want to DO WITH MYSELF, I have conveniently avoiding doing much thinking at all about what my heart wants, likes, or needs. Or the opposite of any of those.

So it continues to be an odd journey. Especially grateful to the men in my life who've been helpful in ways they probably don't understand. Have a good weekend, all.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Biology Ninja

I am quietly getting good at this stuff. Discarded titles for this post: Iron Maiden of Genetics (too medieval), Cell Biology Samurai (too gender-identified), and DNA Assassin (completely wrong - just...wrong). Study, study, study. Distract! Flirt online! Then more studying.

I seem to have hit a groove of accepting that I always have a damn paper due, so I'm not stressing and am just getting on with it. If I am always writing, then it is not a big deal when I have to write. I was bitching (to people face to face; obviously the blog has been pretty quiet) about my last paper being a piece of total crap, and I got an A on that one, too. I think I've got the hang of this academic writing business. At least for these two particular graders (the lab reports are going well, too).

So that's nice.

The dating site is OKCupid - no, I'm not linking, you'll notice, because I do find this faintly embarassing - and it has some fun quizzes, and questions that are supposed to match you up with like-minded folks. The quizzes have established yet again that I'm an INTJ (so far, every single assessment I've ever taken gives the same result), a ninja (possible alternatives: pirate, knight, or cowboy), an English language geek, and so forth - nothing none of you don't already know. There is a kinkiness scale, too (on which I just fell off the "less kinky" part), and a sluttiness test (on which I'm at 56% slut)(okay, I hope that's not too much of a surprise, people). Go figure. The "matching up" questions get rather weird; it's a bit like the parts of "Blade Runner" where they're quizzing beings to determine whether or not they're androids. So far, no "You see a turtle lying on its back..." but it may just be that I haven't gotten that far into the system yet.

Anyway, it's distracting me about the right amount. Now and then I'll email back and forth with some cute, bright guy, which is great fun; also I've stumbled across a person or two ridiculously similar to me (hello, if you've stopped by), so that's neat, too.

Logistics are closing in with a vengeance. This is cutting the tattered shreds of my social life into even teensier bits. So I haven't seen Double Helix for brunch since , oh jeez, since the weather got cold; Carole, I haven't seen since Rhinebeck; nor have I seen much of Yarn Harpy, or Tattoo Queen, or Lucia, or Lynne, and I've been woefully behind with checking out the fine and fabulous doings chez(s) farm-witch, Mel, and Lorena (who should imagine herself getting a big hug right now on general principle) (actually, you all should. there.). Grrrrr.

At least study group is productive and fun, not to mention crazed and occasionally more than a little silly. This week, we were on the edge of deeply silly while trying to learn our beginner genetics material, because so damn many mutations mean cancer. So we'd nail down yet another thing, and somebody would pipe up "and it causes cancer too!" (all together:) "because if you can't make it stop, it's cancer!" And then, crazed laughter. Seemed normal at the time. Grim, perhaps, and maybe a little sick, but we're trying. Exam Monday night.

Picture of me trying to think last night:

Apparently the ninja-ness is invisible. This would be its stealth aspect.

Oh, I actually saw Ruth for a few minutes! Hey, wow! Jen, the "possibly offensive" picture is in the post a few back - just linked, not shown. Heh. And Manise, I will post a picture of the yarn and stocking-in-progress - er, now!

Well, there we are. The days roll along, and now and then I look up and notice that I'm different. The kids are different. (The dog is the same, wretched creature.) Gradually picking up the threads in my hands, again, and tossing the rope up to the next part we climb, guys. Thanks for coming along.