Thursday, February 27, 2020

Words, music, travel, and vampires

I follow writer/librarian Kristen Arnett on twitter and she's a lovely ball of Florida / lesbian / 7 Eleven / book energy. She recently asked for poems to read and I found two in the thread that really hit me. One by Ross Gay: A Small Needful Fact . An interview with Gay was featured as the opening piece in the recent This American Life - Show of Delights which I loved from start to finish. I am not sure why Bim Adewunmi is not a household name already. Her wit, speaking voice and the Thirst Aid Kit podcast - don't miss her. Back to poetry, Maggie Smith: Threshold - I, like all cats want to be half in the door and half out. (Btw Maggie Smith is not Stevie Smith as I had initially assumed, whoops.) 

I don't remember ever hearing about Teddy Powell and his Orchestra. The music has been lifting my outlook this morning. Per the wikip article the band played from 1938 through the 40s.

I thought I'd skim this Kottke piece on his travel to Vietnam, Singapore and Qatar but got sucked in and read the whole thing at once. Solo travel to far flung locations doesn't interest me but I really enjoyed the vicarious exploration. A street food tour sounds like a good introduction to a city but I think I would find it overwhelming. I like to have more control over what I eat and when. I don't want to eat myself sick, or eat when I'm not hungry or...

The What We Do In the Shadows series has snuck up on me and I am totally hooked as of the end of the first season. The second one starts in April which is only a smidge over a month away so my timing is not terrible. It's deadpan with a bit of a slow warm up over the episodes although each one made me laugh at something. Core cast is great - four housemate vamps (Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Kayvan Novak and Mark Proksch)  and a human familiar (Harvey Guillen). The vampires are gorgeously pompous, vain and a bit out of step. The season ending cliffhanger is spicy. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Last day of antibiotics for sinus infection. This was as sick as I've been for a long time. So glad to feel more energy coming back.

I've had a low backache for the time I've been taking the pills. I checked but it isn't listed as a side effect. I fear that planks and pushups are what is needed. I did some yesterday and hope to get walking (maybe even more) soon.

We freeze and thaw in turns. That's how February usually goes here. Last weekend it got into the 50s and felt amazing.

I wonder how I'm going to watch the 6th season of Schitt's Creek. I've finished the five on our free channel. I noticed that for the last season they didn't bleep the f word which still makes me laugh because I'm 10. The set of engagement rings also crack me up.

I've started the women in Afghanistan book. It's going to take an effort to get through but I'm glad that it's written in a cool tone. At least she's not trying to twist the knife. As a balance (? contrast, at least) I'm also reading The Impeachers about the trial of Andrew Johnson the VP of Lincoln who became president after the assassination. I keep thinking - Andrew Jackson? - and have to remind myself it's this other guy who I do not remember at all. Both books are written by women which pleases me.

A friend is doing a Nerd Nite presentation on Braille tonight and I think I'm going to allow myself to be hauled out to be in the audience. She is a teacher who does exciting things like create tactile materials for advanced math classes for her blind students. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Falling and rising

Back to work after missing five days. I thought I had a cold but it was instead a nasty virus that turned into sinus infection. So glad to be out of the house and upright. But I can tell it will be a challenge to do all 8 hours.

Currently there is wet snow falling. It is beautiful and my timing coming back to work kinda sucks. Fast falling large snowflakes are filling the air. The movement so far is straight down. The wind is supposed to shift during the day. It may turn to rain but then back to snow overnight and up to 30 mph gusts. Single digit temperatures next couple of nights. Ah pre-spring. We'll need to leave the faucet dripping.

Saw my dad at a distance in a dream last week. It was a neutral helpful appearance and it felt good to see him. I forgot that codeine ramps up the dreams - I've had some odd ones since then.

I've also taken large doses of Schitt's Creek over the last week to help me heal. I'm on the last season now. There is a particular kiss that I may go back and watch several more times. 💓💗💖💘💜 The actress who plays Stevie reminds me of a friend of mine.

I've lit several candles thinking good thoughts to the Danish and her upcoming possibilities. Last night I was saying intentions about my health, family members' well being, the Danish, travelers on the road. The match head popped off when I tried to strike it. I figured that was a lot to put on one little match. The next one lit right up.


Friday, January 31, 2020

End of January Owl

Twitter is very good for vicarious birding by which I mean reading actual birders' posts and seeing their beautiful pictures. Here's a barred owl having a peaceful moment in an oak tree as photographed by the grad students of Team Sparrow @HeidingSparrow.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Blinks to Books

First week of the semester is over. And by the end of the weekend I was even feeling less flattened by it. Crummy weather made everything a little harder. On we go through the last days of January, however many weeks they last.

Schitt's Creek on the rku channel is providing my latest batch of reliable small-bite tv enjoyment. The cringe factor is lightened as these characters are such comic exaggerations. Alexis - so annoying yet not unbearable. I would prefer zero Chris Elliott but can soldier on. Wish I had a David of my very own. Canadian goodness.

Speaking of which, a friend just told me about Killjoys space series and I need to give it a try. The library listing has comments complaining about too much sex and violence. I hope there's just enough.

That friend and I cooked up a wonderful part of my revival weekend. I confirm that this is not a passing phase, I like it a lot. I may need to do more of it.

Getting ready to plunge into the remote book club selection The Underground Girls of Kabul . We're meeting at the end of Feb. If I start reading the book now then I may forget too much by meeting. But I don't want to leave it too late.

I'm rubbing my hands at the thought of reading the latest Herron book Joe Country.

I've been listening to The Mountain Goats - In League with Dragons cd. I hoped all the songs would be D&D themed but am satisfied with Clemency for the Wizard King (lyrics) and am grooving with many of the others. Younger (lyrics) is ominous good.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

End and Start Again


Mmm, dirt
Three things that taste like dirt but that I still enjoy eating:

  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Black eyed peas

On NYE I made a fire in our backyard pit. It was the first fire I lit there after our move this past summer. It was twilight with a bright crescent moon and Venus in attendance. My youngest daughter came out and helped me get it going. Lighting the leaves produced smoke but not fire, newspaper was required. I wonder if people will eventually pay for fire starting paper as newspapers recede into nothingness. The sycamore and maple branches smelled wonderful. I was able to let go of the old year in the lick of flame and brilliant glow of the embers. Nod joined us and got to add some branches. Once we were done he doused the remnants.

I cooked the ritual foods yesterday, mostly for myself since everyone else in the fam was off doing their own thing most of the day. I looked for BEPs on NYE and didn't find any in my fave grocery store. Both dried and the canned were all sold out. Luckily I had one can left in the pantry. The cornbread, greens and zhuzhed-up black eyed peas made a tasty bowl of prosperity.

I made my husband cry first thing in the morning on Jan. 1. That's not a good omen, not the right foot really. I apologized and meant it. And still felt frustrated about the thing I snapped at him about. I went with him to a party on the Eve. I got to play a word game and that was fun even tho I did not find any word nerds like me. I dozed on a couch for about an hour before the pre-midnight scurrying began. Over the evening I drank a cider and a shot plus a little champ and we got home after 1am. I was low on dopamine the next morning (an excuse).

I can't decide if I want to avoid similar parties (Nod's friends) in the future or not. We went to one on solstice that was nice enough. It was smaller and quieter and had fewer kids. In order to enjoy such gatherings I need to make my own friends or form deeper bonds with Nod's probably.

I saw part of a screaming argument between my neighbor and her ex and her daughter yesterday evening. Maybe I wasn't the only one low on dopamine. I felt like a coward for going back into my house during the screaming outside. But I saw one adult who seemed to be calm. I've turned it over in my mind a bunch and me barging in on the fracas still doesn't sound like it would have been a good idea. Later there was an unmarked police car and then a patrol car and then someone had to go to the station. I am sorry for all of them.

A Different Eve
I've been watching the second season of Killing Eve. The first ends with our two protagonists coming into proximity after the whole season has been about them hunting each other. I thought it sort of took the wind out of the sails. Okay, they've clinched, now the suspense is done. I do love the actors/writing/characters though and have been chomping through S2. I live for Fiona Shaw's Carolyn.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Welcome Yule

Art by Swedish illustrator John Albert Bauer. That is one magnificent gift-bearing goat.

I hung some lights in our picture window last night. I tried scotch tape and they fell down. Then I tried packing tape and they fell down. Last night I put four nails in the top sill and hung loops of string then used wire ties to get the light strings strung. Festive perseverance is my name. I am happy to have lights up both because colored lights are pleasing and because peer pressure on our cul de sac. All the neighbors have decked their halls.

No tree at home. Everyone in the fam but me said they wanted one but then they didn't make a plan to go get one so here we are. My MIL has sent a photo of the one she bought so we'll get to bask in its glow in Austin. We're leaving on Sunday and that is perfectly fine. I'm sure we'll all be packed and wrapped and so on by then. Our dear music teacher pet whisperer is tending our livestock while we're gone. That makes me very happy.