Sunday, November 20, 2011
It finally happened. A combination of fever, upper respiratory grossness, and my mom's birthday made me forget to post yesterday. I made it over halfway through the month, which is not bad. Since I already failed the NaBloPoMo objective, I probably won't post much here for a little while. Let my mind grapes regain their juices.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Yep, I'm sick. Surprise surprise, the girl who never takes vitamins, hates orange juice, and may or may not frequently eat cold cereal for dinner has no immune system. In my defense, my favorite cereals are Raisin Bran Crunch and Frosted Mini Wheats, which seem like they should be healthy.
I just woke up after another nap. I was thinking, as I was falling asleep, that this infection was finally going to keep me from posting during NaBloPoMo. But, no, I'm still here. This disease will not keep me from reaching arbitrary goals!
So before I leave you to drink some more Sprite and take another 3 hour nap, I would like to ask why I'm the only person who ever looks sick in the doctor's waiting room. Seriously, today I was in the waiting room with two adorable old guys, a lady in an ill-advised but clearly not fever-induced outfit, and a guy in a suit. None of them behaved remotely like they were ill. Meanwhile I was wearing mismatched sweats, shivering through four layers, and trying not to vomit or fall asleep. This is not the first time this has happened, either. It's like this every time I go to the doctor. Is it because I only go to the doctor when I'm super sick? Or am I just such a drama queen that it's impossible for me to hide my symptoms?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Y'all, I was in middle school when Titanic came out. I saw it 3 times in theaters. I loved it so hard. I loved it so much my mom made sure I got the Titanic on VHS the day it was released. For my eight-grade picture we were allowed to bring props, and I brought my copy of the Titanic soundtrack.
Honestly, I still kind of love it. Last year I was heartbroken when I found out all DVD versions of Titanic were out-of-print, because I wanted to buy it for Abby to go with the Gin and Titonic ice cube trays I had also bought her. Well, now I know why they weren't selling the DVDs: because it's coming back to theaters!
I want to get drunk and watch this so bad. Abby, you're going to have to fly back here so that we can go to Hollywood Blvd and watch this shit.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
People who are excited that Black Friday shopping is starting at midnight this year clearly aren't planning on drinking as much wine with Thanksgiving dinner as I am. 10pm-1am are prime passed-out-in-front-of-the-TV hours, not waiting-outside-of-Target-with-a-bunch-of-weirdo-strangers hours.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Do you have coats that your kids have outgrown? Jackets that are no longer your style? Coats that are missing a button but are otherwise in great shape? Donate them to your local coat closet! There are tons of families in your town that would appreciate your generosity.
Do you have filthy coats that have been in your basement growing black mold for the last fifteen years? Sweatshirts that were most recently used as a dog bed/ pee pad? Coats that are in such bad shape I can only assume the last time it was worn the owner was attacked by a Chupacabra? Donate them to your local dumpster. Seriously, nobody wants that shit.
If you would like to help out your local Coat Closet but don't have any extra coats, here are some fantastic ways to help:
* Volunteer your time. We can always use people to sort through donations, do laundry, or man the tables.
* Do you knit/crochet? Handmade hats, scarves, gloves and mittens are always appreciated.
* Stalk department store clearance racks and garage sales during the spring/summer seasons. Coats may not come down enough in price that you'd buy one just to donate, but hats and gloves will get down to less than fifty cents a piece. Warm socks are also popular.
If you're not sure where your community coat closet is located, check with local churches. The library will probably also know where you can get involved.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I am getting much better grades in graduate school than I ever did in undergrad. I don't think that grad school is easier than undergrad, far from it, I just think I care more. I suspect that this is true for most grad students.
Last week I got a perfect score on a midterm. I had worked really hard on it and spent the entire week stressing over it. It was a take home exam, and a coworker, let's call her L, who is in the same class (different section) and I formed an unofficial study group. We didn't share our answers, and we never saw each other's midterms, we just bounced ideas off each other for some of the questions. It was really helpful.
When our grades were posted, I happened to be at work, so went to ask L if the instructor had posted the grades for her section yet. He had, so we thumbs-upped each other to signal that we had both done well. The director at our library was standing behind us while we had this conversation, and she kind of scoffed and said "I hate to burst your bubbles, but it's hard to get a bad grade in grad school."
I think she meant that most of the people in the class probably did well**, which is probably true, because as I said earlier, people in grad school care. But the way she said it implied that L and I shouldn't be celebrating our good grades, because grad school itself isn't hard. I mean, her statement is factually wrong. It would have been a lot easier to get a bad grade. I could have disregarded grammar, done fewer essay drafts, half-assed my research. It would have been a lot easier to use shitty examples rather than squeeze my mind grapes. I mean, seriously- the hours upon hours L and I spent working on this midterm was hard. I don't appreciate having my accomplishments belittled.
Whatever yo, I worked my ass off on that assignment and I earned that 100%. And my mom bought me tiramisu as a reward for being awesome.
*I could not think of a good title for this post. This seemed kind of all-purpose.
**I have to do a lot of this kind of interpreting. Some people just need to think before they speak.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I no longer get AMC since I downgraded my cable package, so every Sunday night I go over to my parents' house to have family dinner and watch The Walking Dead. Because nothing says "family bonding" like zombie apocalypse. I've taken to calling these gatherings "Dinner and Dead." When Mad Men starts up again it'll change to "Dinner and Draper."
Anyway, my dad's out of town, so tonight's Dinner and Dead was just madre and me. Kind of odd that it would be an all female audience for Dead tonight (well, in our house at least) because I feel like tonight's episode did nothing positive for its female characters. Spoilers below.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the only things the main female characters did in tonight's ep were: do laundry, make dinner, accidentally shoot a main character, and cry. And two of the male characters had a distasteful conversation that basically boiled down to "Are all these bitches PMSing?" "Don't let them hear you say that!"
And of course when Darryl was hallucinating, his brother called him a girl name to shame him. Because there is nothing worse than being female. Although, I guess that makes sense, because an asshole like Merle would totally use girl names as his go-to insult.
Now I still haven't finished the first season (shut up, I'm busy), and I haven't read the graphic novels, but I'm wondering: Is this what the female characters have always been like? Kind of useless? Also, did I miss it, or did they not show how Carol reacted to the doll? Did the other characters not tell her?
Although my judgement may be a little skewed because right before The Walking Dead my mom and I watched the excellent episode of Downton Abbey where Lady Sybil is all pro-women's rights and has the dressmaker make her a frock with pants. Lady Sybil is my favorite.
UPDATE: Apparently I'm not the only one who felt this way about tonight's Walking Dead ep. A facebook friend's status: "Soooo... basically The Walking Dead just told everyone that women should do the d@mn laundry and stay in the kitchen."
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I'm super tired tonight, so I'm falling back on one of Blogher's NaBloPoMo writing prompts. This prompt is actually from yesterday, but whatevs.
"It's 11/11/11. Make three wishes."
I'm just going to go ahead and give you what my 3 wishes would be should I happen upon a Genie.
1) No more debt. Basically my only debt right now are my student loans, because I'm carrying less than $1000 of debt total across all my credit cards. So that just leaves the tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt that I'd just like taken care of, please and thanks.
2) New car. Ye olde Ford Focus is still running strong, but I worry that she's going to give out on me one of these days. I'd really like to avoid car payments.
3) More time with friends. My best friend lives several states away, and I hardly ever get to see any of my nearby friends because I'm so busy with work and school.
So there you have it. When I finally find my wish-granting Genie, I'm taking my friends on shopping in my new car.
Friday, November 11, 2011
My dad has discovered 30 Rock.
I'm not really sure how it took him so long, but now he loves it. Apparently he's been practicing his Tracy Jordan impression by walking around his office yelling "Liz Lemon!" It's his favorite non sequitur since the Lil Jon sketch on Chappelle Show introduced him to "What? Yeah!" Y'know, it's a good thing he's often alone at his office.
He's started watching it on Comedy Central, which is showing 2 episodes on weeknights starting at 6. This is the perfect time for him, because if he's working days he'll get home from work about 5:15-5:30, eat dinner right away, and then settle down in the family room to enjoy some TGS shenanigans. If I'm joining my parents for dinner (which is often, because I'm too lazy to go grocery shopping on a regular basis), I'll watch with him. It's fun to watch comedies with my dad because he has an awesome, booming laugh. He laughs loud enough for five people.
Last night was the two-part episode where Liz has to go to three weddings in the same day. After the cold open my dad turned to me and said what might be the greatest sentence he has ever uttered. It was originally the title of this post but I changed it so as to not spoil the surprise.
"I'm gonna need a fudgesicle!"
So that's pretty much the best description of my father ever. He's a loud laugher who enjoys offbeat comedies and fudgesicles. Who can blame him?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Well I finally remembered what I wanted to write about yesterday, and I was right. It was good. But, it's going to have to wait for another day because I have another story to tell first, which is not as thoughtful, but I'm telling it anyway.
So for one of my classes I have to read a "context" book and talk about how it relates to library science. I decided to listen to the audiobook because I'm super busy and would rather have someone else read the book to me than use my precious free time reading it myself. I had to get it on a Playaway, which is a pre-loaded mp3 player, instead of CDs because well.... that was my only option. "That's fine," I told myself, "my FM transmitter in my car has an auxiliary input, so I can still listen on my commute." After I finally got the Playaway (it took a few weeks, apparently I'm not the only person who wants to listen to The Warmth of Other Suns), and I finally found the cable I needed to plug the Playaway into the aux input, I finally started listening to it Tuesday on the way to class.
Now, I bought my FM transmitter the same day I bought my iPod. That was well over five years ago. Since I'm pretty sure electronics age in dog years, let's just say my FM transmitter is definitely over the hill. Or I guess I should say it was over the hill. It is no more. It has ceased to be. And it was all my fault.
I've known for a while that the transmitter was on its last legs. First the display started lighting up randomly. "That's okay," I said. "I totally know where the 'lights off' button is!" Then the numbers on the display (the ones that let you know which radio station you're tuned to) started fading, eventually to the point where the numbers were no longer visible. "Oh, that's alright, as long as I never change the station, everything will be fine." I seem to talk to myself a lot in the car. I also seem to talk myself out of replacing obviously dying electronics.
So on Tuesday night after class, as I'm pulling out of the parking garage, I notice that the display light on the transmitter has turned itself on again. For some reason I have a complete brain fart and I forget which button is the "lights off" button. It's one of the round circle buttons on either side of the transmitter.... but which one? What happens if I
cut the wrong wire hit the wrong button?? The pressure is building as I debate between the right button and the left button, until I'm sure the car behind me is gonna be pissed that I'm not turning, so I hit the button on the transmitter's left side. It was the wrong button. Now I'm just listening to static and bits of other radio stations.
I'm going to go ahead and blame the fact that I had had a very long day and insufficient caffeine. Because, y'all.... the buttons are labeled. One button has a little light bulb next to it and the other has a P inside a circle. Had I just looked at the damn thing instead of feeling my way towards the buttons, none of this would have happened. But, no. I was sure I could figure this out, though. What could a P in a circle mean? "Power! Just hit the button again and it'll turn back on!"
I tried hitting it over and over again, I tried holding it down, but I couldn't figure out what that button did. I've moved about five times since I bought that transmitter, so I'm sure I don't have the instruction booklet anymore. Even if I did have it, the display doesn't work anymore and I'm sure that's something I'd need after all those buttons I hit. Oh, yeah... I didn't just hit the P button. I may or may not have also hit the arrow buttons a bunch of times to change radio stations to try and figure this out. Which may or may not have been the stupidest thing I could have done, because I may or may not have already mentioned that the display doesn't work anymore. So now not only do I not know what the P button does, I also don't know what station the transmitter is tuned to.
I finally had to admit that my transmitter was dunzo. Without anything else to listen to, I turned on the radio and listened to what might be the Chicago radio version of Barney Stinson's Get Psyched mix. It was all rise. I sang my heart out to I Don't Wanna Miss A Thang by Aerosmith and some Alanis Morrisette that I was surprised to learn I still knew the words to. And when I got home, I ordered myself the cheapest replacement transmitter I could get. $11. We'll see how this works out.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
So today while I was at work I had a great idea for a post. It was so good, part of me wanted to open up blogger and start writing right then and there. However, my conscience got the best of me and I decided to do real work and leave the blogging for after.
I've now been off work for three hours, and I have no idea what I was going to write. None. I'm Paul Kinsey in the Mad Men episode "The Color Blue," where he gets a great idea for a Western Union ad but then falls asleep without writing it down.
I need a Peggy Olson.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
My professor showed this video in class tonight, and I don't have a post prepared for tonight so I'm just going to go ahead and leave this here.
Now excuse me, I have to go watch The Emperor's New Groove. And Lilo and Stitch. And Monsters Inc.
Monday, November 07, 2011
Yesterday, in a desperate attempt to not do housework, I decided to convert some more old home videos to DVD. Christmases 1991 and 1995 are real winners.
Both of these videos highlight how my sister and I were complete opposites when we were kids. My mom used to say that she could have put Laura and me in a bag, shook us up, and maybe normal kids would come out. We were always at opposite ends of any spectrum. In Christmas 1995, my 5 year-old sister barely hides her contempt for all her gifts that were not her My Size Barbie. Contrast that with young Miranda, who shows an equal level of enthusiasm for all of her gifts. And not like a mid-range level of enthusiasm either. Every present I open is the best present ever.
Laura developed a theory based on these videos. The reason we get along so well now is because I used up all my enthusiasm by being overly excited over socks, and she saved up all her pleasantness by literally throwing presents she didn't like (clothes) over her shoulder and out of the way of the good presents. So now she's nicer and I'm grouchier. We've met in the middle where we have an equal amount of enthusiasm for life.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I'm pretty good at recognizing actors when I see them in other roles. I guess I have to give most of the credit here to IMDb, because mostly I just go "hey that guy looks familiar" and then jump on IMDb to figure out where I know him/her from. There are very few times when I completely do not recognize an actor in another role. But this one blew my mind:
The main character from The Walking Dead, Sheriff Rick Grimes...
... is the same man who played the guy with the cue-cards who was in love with Kiera Knightly in Love, Actually.
I did not realize that was him until someone pointed it out to me.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
On October 25th, I drove home from school in a terrible storm. I knew even before I reached my apartment that the power was out. I could tell as soon as I pulled into the neighborhood. I mean, usually there isn't a lot of activity in the houses on my block at 10:30pm on Tuesdays, but usually there is some form of life inside the houses. A TV on in the front room. A light on in a back bedroom. Nothing. So dark.
I pulled up to my apartment and arranged the things I would need to get inside. Obviously leaving my porchlight on when I had left for class that afternoon was doing me no good now. However, my go-to back-up light (streetlamp on the corner) was also dark. It was pouring buckets of rain, and I didn't have my umbrella. I had to get creative. I decided that my school bag could survive a night in the car. I doubted anyone would bust my window in an attempt to steal "Foundations of Library and Information Science." So I tucked my small purse under my jacket, right up in my armpit so that it wouldn't slip out onto the sidewalk, grabbed my cell phone in one hand and got my house key ready in the other. I pulled my hands close to my chest and made a mad dash from my car to the front of my apartment. My phone made a dim light so that I could make out the lock and open the door. I actually managed to make it inside before I got too soaked.
Mission #1: Find flashlight.
Not as easy as I thought it would be. Apparently I had used the flashlight for something else recently, and had not put it back in the nightstand where it's supposed to be. I was also unable to locate the flashlight in the utility room, but honestly I didn't look that hard. I finally found the bedroom flashlight on the counter in the kitchen, only to discover that the batteries were dead. Even if I had replacement batteries somewhere in my apartment (which I don't) I wouldn't have been able to find them because I didn't have a working flashlight.
Mission #2: Find candle. And lighter.
Super easy. I had a big jar candle on my dresser, and happened to have left the lighter lying right next to it. So convenient, I can almost over look the fact that I screwed myself over in the flashlight department.
Mission #3: Read.
I realized at this moment that I had a perfect opportunity to read something non-school-related. I've been using every ounce of self-discipline this semester to dedicate every second of reading time to school-related reading. However, I now found myself with a solid hour of uninterrupted reading time with my school books out in the car. I grabbed the book I had read the first third of on the trip home from Georgia the month before: Sex With Kings. It's about royal mistresses throughout history and it's awesome. I was so happy to get some real reading time. Finally my eyes grew tired from reading by the flickering candlelight, so I blew out the candle and went to sleep.
Sometime in the night the power came back on. Apparently at some point before settling down in bed I must have absentmindedly flipped the bedroom light switch, because the room was suddenly flooded with light. I probably could have slept through that, though. What woke me up was my printer suddenly springing to life as loudly as humanly possible. Or I guess that should be "as loudly as machine-ly possible."
Anyway, the reason I tell you this story is this: it is now November 5th, and I have not yet reset any of the clocks in my apartment. I have been solely relying on my cell phone and computer clocks for the last week and a half. Why? Because I knew that the daylight savings time clock change was this weekend, and I didn't want to have to deal with changing my clocks twice in two weeks.
Yep. I'm that lazy.
Friday, November 04, 2011
I'm only four days in and I'm already having trouble coming up with something to write about. It's really kind of pathetic. I've had this window open for a couple hours now but I just keep watching episodes of Better Off Ted instead of writing. Speaking of Better Off Ted, have you watched it? It's pretty funny. Netflix has been recommending it to me forever but I never got around to watching it until a few nights ago. I fell asleep halfway through the first episode, not because it wasn't interesting, but because I'm an old lady who can't stay awake through a 21 minute show. And by "halfway through" I really mean that I fell asleep within the first five minutes but was woken up later in the episode by all the screaming. The screaming made sense when I watched the pilot episode again tonight, but when it woke me up the other night I was pretty sure I had dreamt it. Because, seriously, I wasn't expecting the screaming.
Netflix has pretty much been on a roll recently, recommendations-wise. Everything else the company has done recently has been clear evidence of severe guano psychosis, but their recommendation system seems to be making better suggestions. At least they make more sense than they did before. Right now two of the categories Netflix is recommending to me are "Romantic British Dramas" and "Teen TV Dramas Featuring a Strong Female Lead." And the "More Like Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bride of the Monster" is just a listing of a bunch of random MST3K episodes. Which all look seriously awesome. Oh, Netflix. Nobody understands me like you do.
Speaking of MST3K, Jaccie and I watched an awesome episode on Halloween: Pod People. The movie was the worst. Which means it was a fantastic MST3K episode. For some reason I assumed "Pod People" would be sort of like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." It's not. The episode is hilarious though. My poor mom doesn't understand the concept of MST3K, and kept begging us to switch it to something "good." We tried explaining that the movie being terrible was the whole point, but she didn't like that explanation. It's like she couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that the movie playing in the background is kind of irrelevant, and that the wise-cracking robots were what she was supposed to be paying attention to. She should be grateful we chose to watch Pod People, though. Originally we were just looking through Netflix's selection of horror movies, and were intrigued by the titles under the "campy horror" heading. Including, I shit you not, The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror. When we came across that one, we realized we didn't really want to watch a campy horror movie, we wanted to watch robots make fun of campy horror movies.
There, I wrote something. I'm going to bed. Peace out, y'all.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Today's NaBloPoMo prompt was "Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?" I can listen to music and write at the same time. I usually don't. I heard lots of songs today, including but not limited to:
Beat Control by Tilly and the Wall
The actual music video for this song isn't available on Youtube, and all the live videos were of not awesome quality, so here's a video of a bunch of kids dancing to it. Because why not?
Beat Control has been my ringtone for years. It wakes me up every morning. It's such a peppy song, I love it. If I were ever to replace Beat Control as my default ringtone, I would have to go with this song:
Seriously, how awesome would it be to wake up to that song every morning?? It makes you want to go out, find some back-up singers, and save the world. I've listened to this song approximately a billion times since Jezebel posted it a couple weeks ago. The 112 people on Youtube who gave it a thumbs-down have no souls.
And while we're on the topic of Sesame Street, I'm just going to leave this right here:
How much do you love Sesame Street right now? How badly do you want to have kids so that you have an excuse to watch it all the time?
Before you rush off and get started on baby-making, I have one more song for you. I mentioned this song in yesterday's post, but I wanted to post the actual video here in case y'all don't have the Cartoon Planet closing credits song committed to memory.
Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye! Everybody.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I'm sure eventually I'll come up with something to write about without using the NaBloPoMo writing prompts. Today is not that day.
If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?
Chicken Pot Pie. It's delicious, warm, and comforting, which are all qualities that will take my mind off my apparently imminent death.
Realistically, though, my last meal is probably going to be Raisin Bran Crunch. And it's probably going to occur within the next couple of days. Let me explain:
So last night, I'm lying in bed half-asleep, desperately trying to will the furnace to kick on without having to drag my ass out of bed and mess with the thermostat. Eventually I had to accept that I was not going to make my bedroom warmer via the sheer power of my brain thoughts, so I had two choices: A) try to fall completely asleep and ignore the fact that there must be some Clovers in the atmosphere or B) wake myself up and go turn up the heat. I chose option B.
So now that I've woken myself up, my insomnia takes over and is all "We're not going back to sleep now. We're watching 30 Rock on Netflix." Since I don't have to work until noon on Wednesdays I said "Alright Insomnia, you win. Let's Liz Lemon it up." Around episode three I finally started drifting off to sleep, when I heard a faint beep coming from somewhere in my apartment. I decide that I'm imagining things and try to fall back asleep.
::just ignore it and it'll go away::
::just go to sleep....::
So I drag my ass out of bed to take the dying batteries out of the smoke detector in my hallway. Just as I'm looking for something to stand on in order to reach the smoke detector, I hear the beep again.... coming from somewhere else. This is all too much for my poor sleepy brain. For some reason the fact that it's not the smoke detector in the hallway makes me think that something might be really wrong. Because I'm a panicker. The beep only happens once every couple minutes, so I'm slowly moving to different areas of my apartment trying to figure out where the beep is coming from. Every minute that passes is another minute my brain comes up with some completely batshit explanation for the beep. Finally I track the beep down to my laundry room, where I figure out that it's the other smoke detector. Yeah, my place is so swank I gots two smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide alarm. Jealous??
So, yeah. Now that I've sussed out that the beep was coming from the smoke alarm that I had forgotten existed, I'm able to quickly solve the problem. And by "solve the problem" I clearly mean "remove the battery." As long as the beeping stopped, I considered it a win.
Which is why I'm going to die soon, and my last meal is going to be Raisin Bran Crunch.
I eat an obscene amount of cereal. It's ridiculous. I just had a bowl when I got off work, and it might not have been my first bowl of the day. Sometimes I try to get ambitious and pretend that I'm an adult, so I cook myself a real dinner. We're at least a week away from me replacing that battery in my smoke detector, so the next time I go to make myself grown up food there's a good chance that I'll burn my apartment down and either die in the fire or give myself a heart attack/stroke once I realize I've burned down my dwelling. I told you I was a panicker.
And when I'm brought down by this panic-induced arrhythmia, there's a 90% chance that the last thing I ate will have been Raisin Bran Crunch. I would like the closing credits song from Cartoon Planet played at my funeral.
Now for something a little more pleasant. I'm really upset that they cut before Tracy finishes his line, but since I used it as my post title I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
So I decided to try my hand at NaBloPoMo, where you post at least once a day for the entire month of November. Basically, I'm doing too well at this whole graduate school thing, and I need something at which I'm guaranteed to fail. The likelihood of me actually accomplishing this "blog every day" nonsense is about as likely as me accomplishing that whole "shower every day" thing.
The BlogHer prompt for November 1st is "What is your favourite part of writing?" I'm pretty sure I speak for all grad students when I say that the best part of writing is when you give up and just submit the damn paper as-is. And then get an A-. My favorite part of blogging is writing something I know will make Abby laugh. She is my target demographic. Aim small, miss small.
I'm predicting that tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up, convinced that this was all a dream. I'll come to this here blog, read this post and say to myself "Dammit. Now I actually have to write something."