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I haven't gotten much done today, certainly not as much as yesterday, but then, I didn't have as much to do...

I finished the laundry. Yaay! I also spent some time outside, masking off certain parts of the car, and trying out that rust-inhibiting, black-drying primer on some of the rust areas. So far, I'm not all that impressed, but then, it's still drying, and the real test will be if the rust growth is at least slowed significantly.

Mom is finishing up painting the exterior of the upstairs window with painting her bedroom window. So, her window was open, and she's getting ready to come out on the "first floor roof," and Riffy's right there at the window, all curious. And he sees me, and is ready to come out.

Now, I figured he hated me, or had at least lost interest in me, because of Rocky, even though I had originally gotten Rocky as a playmate and companion to him after Loki, my sister's cat, moved out when she moved out.

Anyway, to prevent any tragic problems, Mom put Riffy in Minerva's room.

Just checked on them... Minerva hasn't run under her bed yet, and Riffy is just hanging out on the windowsill. This is progress, since before, Riffy hid in a corner and Minerva growled from under her bed. Now, she is at least affording Riffy the same courtesy (?) she gives Rocky... She's Not Happy about Rocky being in there, but, she'll stay on her bed until Rocky hops on the bed with her. As soon as he looks away, she darts under the bed. If he's lucky, he'll get close enough to where he is obviously sniffing her, at which point, she'll smack him across the face and then run under the bed, whether he's watching or not.

But, yeah, this is the first time Riffy and Minerva have "interacted" since the annual trip to the vet a little over a year ago. At that point, they just didn't give a shit about each other.

Anyway, whilst painting, Mom managed to let the window close, and couldn't get it back open from the outside. She started banging on it. I...had just laid down since my hip was killing me from working on the car, so, I wasn't paying much attention. Fortunately, Rocky pulled his "Lassie: Timmy's in the well!" routine, and I finally heard the noise and went to open the window to let Mom back in.

Life around here is... Yeah.

On a final note... Rich is much more ambulatory these days. But when he sits down in the rec room and props his foot up, Yoda asks him if he's okay and if he'd like some water. Not like Yoda will get up and get Rich some water, but, it's still nice to know he asks. I dunno. Maybe he thinks Rocky will get the water.

Hard to believe it's just about October now. But what's worse is remembering that tomorrow is Monday.

*sigh*

Comics )
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It has been a busy but productive day.

I have:
-Finished making iced tea and made my sandwiches for lunch for the week
-Changed the sheets on my bed, washed the previous set, and put them away.
-Did a load of towels
-Cleaned my bathroom
-Cleaned the cat boxes and bird cages
-Took out the trash
-Watered my plants
-Cut the grass
-Vacuumed the house
-Ran weekly maintenance on the computers (virus scan, disk defrag, updates)
-Bought syntec oil and topped off the car as well as checking the other fluids and lights
-Started my last load of laundry

All that's left for tomorrow is to finish my laundry, since I doubt I'll get it through the machines and such tonight.

All the work is catching up to me, and I'm getting sore. Oh well. On the bright side, I have a chiropractor appointment Monday after work.

Rocky followed me around as I did most of the stuff above. He helped me make the bed. He kept me company while I cleaned the bathroom. He followed me around when I took care of the litter boxes and bird cages. He hid while I vacuumed... Now, he's zonked out on the bed, snoring.

Anyway, time for reading and coffee... I'm almost done Una McCormack's contribution to The Fall miniseries with her Next Generation novel The Crimson Shadow.

Comics )
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Well, it has been a productive and relaxing weekend for me. Which is good, because next weekend's going to be busy. Though, I might get some stuff done during the week. We'll see.

I just finished up my defensive driving renewal/refresher online course. Alas, it actually took about three hours. Most of it was reading, with a short quiz at the end of each chapter (there were nine chapters, plus the introduction). For most of the chapters, I was done reading in 10-15 minutes, but, you had to wait 20 minutes from the start of each chapter until you could take the quiz. So, yeah, if not for that, I would probably have been done in about two hours instead of three.

But, it is done, and my defensive driving discount is good for another two years or so.

So... I went dancing last night. Take the Lead had their 7-year anniversary party, so, there were instructors there, most of whom did a performance. The only...uncomfortable...part of everything was that Katherine, one of my former partners, was there, and I definitely got some sort of hostile vibe from her. Oh well; her problem.

On the bright side, I got to see some people from Crystal and one former teammate I haven't seen in quite awhile. Yeah, Raisa apparently teaches two hours a week, just to get out of the house for a little bit. Makes me realize something similar could be possible for me when I'm ready to get back into teaching. But, yeah, she asked me to dance a swing, and I asked her to dance a samba. Apropos, given that she, Heather, and I taught a 10-week swing class back when I had first started teaching, and that she (Raisa) taught me my first samba steps right after I joined the dance team (on a Tuesday afternoon in Pearson Gym... Don't ask me why I remember those details...).

I danced more last night than I've danced since I went back to dance at the end of last year. Consequently, I'm kind of sore today. But sore in a good way. You know?

I got in a few dances with Lydia, who had nothing but nice things to say about my dancing. She lectured me to start dancing more, because otherwise, I'm just wasting my talent. You know, the positive feedback is such a 180 from what I used to get when I was on the team. There were a few other people - both old and new - who seemed to enjoy dancing with me.

I also ended up dancing with one of the instructors up there. Francesca. The ballroom-edited version of "El Tango de Roxanne," which is one of my favorite tangos, came on and, of course, I had to dance with it, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Harry had to dance pretty much any tango in True Lies, even when his life was in danger. I digress. Anyway, the song came on, and I was compelled to dance, and Francesca was the closest person with which to dance, and with whom I knew I could just dance. So yes, it was a good, fun dance.

Afterward, Lydia commented on it. Apparently, most guys are intimidated to ask Francesca to dance because she's (1) really attractive and (2) really good. Apparently, I had balls and didn't know it...

Though, this only occurs in dance situations. The reason why I have had any sort of relationships with women is because women are attracted to confidence, and the dance floor is one of the few places I truly feel confident.

I so need to get further back into dancing. But not joining the dance team again. No. Just not gonna happen. I'd rather be poor and barely dancing but have full control of my dancing and not have the bullshit that went with being on the team.

Incidentally, now would be the perfect time to find a partner can't afford lessons or competitions, but would have plenty of time to work with a newbie and teach them in the ways of the Ballroom-Dancing Jedi.

Last night also reminded me of something. As I watched the performances, I realized I missed performing, or running music, or working the background. This is a significant reason I can't stand commercial sports: I suck as a spectator. I want to be doing something. Contributing.

Anyway, in the meantime, I have to replace a light bulb and finish up some laundry.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] sir_cat, [personal profile] oxymoron67, AND [personal profile] klingonguy!!!



So... High-speed, low-budget post...

I slept in all of fifteen minutes this morning, since Rocky wanted food and insulin, Yoda wanted food, and Brigid and Brandon needed to go out and go potty. Oh well. Though, I've been napping on and off all day...

That's not to say I haven't been at least somewhat productive. I've gotten a start on laundry. I cleaned my bathroom. I've watered the plants. I've gotten other odds and ends done. I'm mid-way though taking care of the cat boxes and trash, but, I'm slowly whacking back my to-do list for the weekend. My goal is to have next to nothing to worry about for Monday. And the less I have to worry about for tomorrow, the better.

Not much else. Rocky is happy it's the weekend and has been following me around most of the time. He, Yoda, and I watched the series finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation, "All Good Things..." Now, I have finally seen all of the TNG episodes. Yes, there were a few that I never saw because I had set the VCR to tape them, only to have a hockey game or somesuch pre-empt them. Actually, that's why I stopped watching Voyager in the seventh season... It was never on when it was supposed to be, so, setting the VCR was useless. I'll eventually get Voyager (and DS9 and the enhanced Original Series [I have the regular Original Series on DVD]) on DVD.

To top it off, the last year of TNG was my senior year of high school, so, I was also a bit busy with graduating and getting ready for college. In fact, the original air date of "All Good Things..." was my high school graduation night. And I just never...watched the beginning of the episode. But now, I have seen the TNG run in its entirety. That last episode was like some sort of warped Christmas Carol as well. I mean, it starts and ends with Picard demanding to know the date. And he's visited by the past, the present, and the future.

Thing is, and thanks to all the wonderful Trek authors, I had a hard time watching "All Good Things..." as an end to TNG. Leaving aside the movies, the fact is that the books have done a more than adequate job in continuing the TNG story/saga. (Not to mention, DS9 and Voyager, too.)

Not much else. So, back to work, I suppose...

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First point: I did indeed go dancing last night. Though due to a brain fart, I forgot that they ended the social dance at 11 instead of 11:30 these days, and I didn't get there until a little after 10. Still, I got a good amount of dancing in. It would be much easier to count the number of times I didn't dance in that hour. The androderm patches must be making some progress, because in that hour, I danced two cha chas, a few rumbas, plus a bolero, a few fox trots, a few waltzes, and a few tangos. The cha chas are especially significant, since, as a high-energy dance, they tend ti wear me out a bit more quickly. And I did two of 'em!

My legs are screaming in pain, of course. The good kind of pain, as from a good workout. Still, I feel like I've got a giant knot in my left quadriceps.

This morning, I managed to cut the grass. While the temperature wasn't that high (mid-70s), the humidity was such that I was sweating rivers. Even the cold shower I took afterwards had a hard time cooling me off.

Now? I'm feeling rather physically drained. Still replenishing lost fluids. Hopefully before I develop another kidney stone, too.

Not much else, since I've just been busy with housework and whatnot.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] robinredpress AND [personal profile] headtrip_honey!!



So...this weekend is not going as I had planned, as those of you on FB probably already know...

The car was not, in fact, done yesterday, as the shop stated it would be both on Monday and again on Thursday. At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, I finally called Deltrans, who informed me that they got the crossmember yesterday morning, but that it was the wrong part and they had already ordered the correct part.

To say I was pissed would be an understatement. They had assured me twice that I would have my car back by the weekend. I used that information to take a day off of work to go get it. I will be mentioning this to them when the car is finally done and politely demand that they stay late for me to pick it up, since it was a screw-up on their end that caused the delay and has further inconvenienced me.

And I think I know where the screw-up is... I think they went and looked up the stock part for that crossmember. Not double checking things seems really stupid, since I told them that the car had a non-standard engine and a non-standard transmission in it. Gary installed a conversion kit so that a transmission from a truck would fit and mate correctly with the engine. Granted, Gary probably did a good enough job installing the conversion kit that it looks like it's been with the car for forever. Still. They should have checked the part, done a google search on images, whatever.

The new estimate is that my car will be done on Wednesday. At that point, it's a week beyond the 5-7 workday estimate they gave me.

I have two bus rides left, and only because Mom gave me a leftover bus card when her new one came in. To say that this has fucked up my weekend is an understatement. Mom has generously offered the use of her car to go dancing tonight, but now, I'm still pissed enough that I'm not sure I'm in the mood to go.

I'm especially pissed at having taken a vacation day to pick up the car yesterday, when I would have preferred to continue to stockpile some time.

I'm also pissed that they didn't call me as soon as the wrong part came in. After telling me that the car would be done by yesterday, the minute a snag like that came up, they should have called me and let me know what was going on, and maybe what they were going to do about it. Personally, I think they should have had the correct part Fed-Ex-ed to be there by the afternoon or today at the latest and bolted it on and given me my car back today. Either that, or they should knock the price down. They obviously haven't done the first. We'll see what they do for the second. But since they've wasted a bit of my time, I'm going to make them jump through a hoop for me in waiting an hour, hour and fifteen minutes, past closing on the day it's done to accommodate my work schedule to go get it. Either that, or they're going to deliver it to me at work and take a check.

So, that's where that all is now.

In other news... Mom got these cat toys for the cats. First, it's pretty bad when the cats have battery-operated toys. This thing has a wand with a fake rat tail attached to a motor, and a plastic blanket over it. The motor then "wags" the tail in a circle under the "mysterious" plastic blanket. It's supposed to be an automated hunting simulator thingy, kind of like the Angry Birds pole or a "flying feather."

Rocky...watched it, tapped it a few times, and pretty much lost interest. I am amused at this. At the same time, I feel really badly for Mom, who was so sure this would be a hit with the cats and maybe get them to start tolerating each other by playing together with it.

Anyway, hopefully something good will happen this weekend to make me feel a little better. I doubt it, but, eh.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] daytonward!!!



Granted, he won't see this here, since he moved over to WordPress, and I don't have a way to cross-post from LJ reliably, so, oh well. And I tried leaving birfday wishes on his wall, except he, like a good number of others on FB, have disabled the ability of others to post on his wall. I sent him a private message instead. There are very few people I would go to such lengths to wish congratulations for surviving another trip round the sun, but, Dayton has always been friendly and free with advice to people like me who toil in the hopes of one day joining the ranks of published authors, so, yeah.

Anyway...

When I got home tonigh, er, last night, Rocky had the little bathroom rug half out of the bathroom, and I could see where he'd thrown up on one corner of it. Mom says he was trying to hide it somewhere. I say he was trying to bring it down to the laundry room. See, the difference between me and Mom is that I don't yell at them for having hairballs or throwing up or whatever. Consequently, I think Rocky was being helpful instead of sneaky. In any event, it's all good.

I think some of my esophagitis and general stomach upset this week is because of stress. Waiting on the car and such. Tomorrow, that should come to an end. And on the eve of getting Cammie back, I've been contemplative on a few things. They say you don't know what you have until it's gone, and I never quite fully understood how much a car is needed for an independent, active lifestyle. Public transportation sucks in Delaware. And if I was as active with dance as I was a few years ago, all of this would have probably ground dance to a halt.

I am very grateful to Mom for sharing her car with me over the last few months so I could run errands, do grocery shopping, pick up my meds, and take care of Rocky when he got sick and his diabetes came back. I am grateful to Rich for bringing me in to work for the last three months and picking me up on certain days so I could go to the chiropractor.

For most of the past three months, I adapted to my circumstances, living around the bus schedule, accepting limitations in being social or disappearing from the house for a little bit. Alas, the living frugally will continue for awhile yet; part of me is crying over the lost progress I've made on my credit card debt, since I'll be not-quite-maxing them out again, but, eh. On the bright side, I'm just looking at another month or so of really tight finances and not at an added bill. I should still be able to pay off Henry's by the end of the year, and probably sooner. I should still be able to replace the windshield by the end of the summer. As is, I've budgeted for meds, food, and gas until the next payday in addition to paying for the transmission. And since I've socked away spare cash, going dancing on Saturday is in the budget.

Back to what I was starting to say about adapting to the bus schedule... The past week or so has found me increasingly frustrated with this particular lifestyle. Nothing has changed, really; I was perfectly okay with things, for the most part, for most of the time I was without Cammie. But ever since I dropped her off at Deltrans, I think having it be so close to when I'd get her back, and I started thinking of all the benefits that would entail, that I realized how much I need a car and how much I adapted my life over the last three months. Not that it happens very often at all, but if someone calls me late at night needing to talk or whatever, I like being able to just hop in the car and go and be helpful. It's important for me to be able to have that ability. Not having to wait on a bus, not having to take extra time off at work for a doctor's appointment, and so on... Little things add up. Even with walking to the bus hub, and from the bus to the house... I realized I've been holding back on my walking at night, keeping enough in reserve to get me home. Normally, after reading time, I'd go for a good walk on campus and get to the car feeling like I'd had a good workout, and it was okay, since I didn't have all that much walking left to do. Also? The shitty suspension on the bus took something out of me in the way of motion sickness and I swear it's why my back has been so bad lately.

At least the timing works out okay. Rich has an infection in his toe/foot, so, with me being able to take myself to work and all, he's free to take care of himself without having to worry about me.

Anyway, here's to new beginnings...

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It has been a busy few days. Half week. Something like that.

Mom is now Mrs. Magner.

It's a good thing I took Thursday and Friday off. Thursday, I took care of the errands of running to craft shops - Michael's and Joann's - to get stuff pertaining to flowers, decorations, and various other wedding festivities. I also picked up my tux. This might not sound like much, but, given that I'm not super artsy or anything, and being given a list of items I'd never heard of and sent on a seek-and-obtain mission to get them... It's kind of like a commercial scavenger hunt. I've been told that this was a "nice guy" thing to do, as other males would have simply looked askance. On the bright side, I got everything that was needed and managed to get the pew clips for just $1.oo instead of $2.00.

Friday, I dealt with more back issues and spent half the day with an ice pack on my back. I was originally going to deliver the goodie bags to the hotels where out-of-town guests were staying, but, my brother-in-law Scott got roped into that. My brother-in-law is awesome like that. Instead, we just had the rehearsal dinner Friday night. After the dinner, I went out for coffee and quiet time, and when I got home, I had apparently missed the festivities of the bridal attendants who helped finish making the centerpieces and assembling flower stuff. Instead, Mom was busy printing out the programs. Since she had had little sleep the night before, I helped fold them and cut the insert pages and so on. I did what I could to help her get to bed at a decent time in preparation for the next day's events. Except, she couldn't find the tiara hairpiece, and we spent the next hour and a half going through the house looking for it, to no avail. Turns out, it was with the rest of her stuff for her dress at the church.

Because I was up late, I got up a little later than originally planned on Saturday. Mom had already left with the rest of her entourage for hair and make-up. Rich called from down the street to make sure it was safe to come home and get breakfast, which it was. He left to get the lunch sub tray and pick up one of the groomsmen and head to the church. I stayed to grab a shower, make sure all the furkids had food and water, give Rocky his insulin, put the dogs out to go potty, and so on. I should note that the humidity was oppressive, and I was sweating even after my rather cold shower. Also, all the furkids were off the wall. Brigid and Brandon were almost constantly barking, which was excessive even for them. Yoda seemed to be permanently hungry and doing the alarm noise ad nauseum. Rocky was bordering on aggressive and howling more often than usual. Fortunately, I got everyone calmed down enough before I left. Giving Yoda a leftover stuffed shell from the rehearsal dinner seemed to mollify him immensely, and he was then able to call for Rocky and yell at the dogs, which helped get them all under control. Anyway, after the kids were taken care of, I made a pass through the house for anything that might have been forgotten and left for the church.

At the church, I changed into my tux. Of course, the room we had was sweltering. Thankfully, the rest of the church was decently air conditioned. While getting dressed, I helped Paul and Rich with their tuxes. While competitive dancing doesn't need a full tux at the level I danced, and even dance tuxes are different from regular tuxes, I still had done enough shows to know how to take care of bow ties and cuff links and so on. The tux pants we had were adjustable. Of course, I had a broken adjuster. Fortunately, Mandie had safety pins and helped me out.

Then began the busy-ness.

Somehow, I was drafted at random to take care of the boutinears. I found the 'fridge with the flowers in them, snagged my sister to help me figure out who gets what, and began distrubution of flowers. I had barely gotten that done that people started arriving. Got the young ladies set up with the programs and started escorting people to seats. Did what I could remembering who Mom said was to get front-row seats. This has a lot to do with the people who were there for us during some of the shittiest times of the past ten years.

Then the ceremony begins. Or, at least, the processional. They changed, at the last minute, where us groomsmen where entering from, which was neither here nor there, but, anyway. Then the ceremony begins. And fortunately, my sister and I get along rather well these days, so, I see the look of horror slowly crossing her face right before she mouths to me, in front of the pastor and the priest (Rich is Catholic, so, we had two officiants), "Oh shit! I lost the ring!"

You know that sinking feeling you get right when you realized you jumped out of the plane before strapping on your parachute?

So, I start thinking about my options. Do I pass out, let them cart me out of the sanctuary and then spring to life and go look for the ring? No, too dramatic. Sneak out? Might be considered rude. Fake a coughing fit or a bad sneeze? Yeah, that could work, but, let's save that as a last resort. And to note, this was planned to be a short ceremony. I look around me, as there's a piano behind me, some sound equipment off to the side... Maybe there's a coupling or somesuch that could work in a pinch. No such luck. So then it dawns on me that at least two of the other groomsmen are married. I whispered urgently to Nutsy next to me the situation and ask if he has a ring we can borrow. No, he's had problems getting his ring on lately, BUT, he had his father's wedding band on his keychain. Unfortunately, his fingers are still a little too swollen to get it off, so, I got it off, and we passed it down to my sister. Crisis averted. The ring, the "real" ring, was recovered shortly after the ceremony. It fell off of Mandie when she was adjusting Mom's train right before the processional.

After that was the receiving line and becoming borderline germophobic. Thankfully, there were the anti-bacterial hand sanitizer bottles throughout the narthex. After that was getting my Magic Murder Bag (Venture Brother's reference) packed with my clothes, and then pictures. Before the rain. Woot.

Fortunately, the rain stopped by the time we got to the reception, and we had a nice walk-in.

Pictures )

Now, the wonderful people at ThinkGeek.com have dinosaur plushies...



Thanks to internet memes, Mom and Rich have this joke about "I love you this much" with the picture of a T-Rex whose arms aren't very long, and so it doesn't look like very much. So when I got one of my regular e-mails from Think Geek advertising these new plushies, I got two of the T-Rex for Mom and Rich for a wedding present. I figured it would be a cute novelty thing that they'd like and would be better than a picture frame or somesuch.

Turns out, they were a big hit with them. They have been playing with their dinosaurs (curse their sudden and inevitable betrayal!) since I gave them to them. In fact, they had left them with the caterer to put on their sweetheart table (to raised eyebrows). You can even see one of them in one of the pictures above. Anyway, Mom told me that just about everyone, at some point, had come up to their table and asked about the dinosaurs, so, they had to explain the joke about 100 times. Mom says she should have just gotten on the mike and explained. I'm just glad I managed to get them a gift they enjoy, and are still enjoying. Especially when I wasn't expecting it to be such a hit.

Mom and Rich had a nice dance to their song (can't remember the title, but it's by Lady Antebellum). Mom and I danced a Fox Trot to Michael Buble's rendition of "The Best is Yet to Come." Mandie and Rich danced to "Thank Heaven For Little Girls." Then Mandie and I did a Cha Cha/Hustle to some 70s song. That was way too long.

At this point, I need to pat myself on the back while thanking my coaches Lisa Bently and Pete Taylor. They both taught the difference between competitive dancing and performance dancing. Both when dancing with Mom and with my sister, I thankfully knew enough floorcraft to make sure they were the center of attention. Having taught enough dance classes and having a derth of experience working with new dancers, my leading skills are still sharp, though I'm sure my sister felt tossed around a little. But, hey... performance! It was eough to impress pretty much everyone.

As for me? My footwork was atrocious (note to self: NEVER go to a wedding where I know I'll be utilizing my Captain Tango skills without my dance shoes!). My frame was okay and I felt my leading was on par with bludgeoning my partner to go in the right direction. However, again, I am forced to remember what I've been taught about the differences between competitive dancing and performance dancing: In competitive dancing, the judges know the steps and the technique and will grade you on it. In performance dancing, the audience doesn't give a fuck (Pete's words).

They had remarks from the best man and maid (matron?) of honor, which included my sister. She wasn't expecting that part, and the invective she used when she was called up was amusing. Nevertheless, she made a good speech and managed to use our phrase of "putting the 'fun' into 'dysfuntional.'" I don't think I've ever seen her husband, Scott, laugh so hard.

On an aside: I have to say I'm very proud to have Scott as my brother-in-law. He's cool to begin with, and I am glad that he takes care of my sister so well. He helped her where he could, made sure she had something to drink, and so on. After three (or is it four?) years of marriage, and years of dating before that, and he still dotes on her, is something nice to see in this day and age. Such treatment, I think, went a long way to keeping my sister on an even keel throughout. It was a good example of, "It's not her problem, it's our problem to solve." Hence, the support thing.

I think that about covers the reception. Afterwards, we changed and loaded up the cars and trucks and tralers with decorations, gifts, and so on. Managed to get the bulk of the stuff loaded before the clouds opened up again.

To give Mom and Rich some time to themselves, Mandie insisted I stay with her and Scott last night. So, I stopped at the house, gave Rocky his shot, refilled everyone's food and water, packed an overnight bag, and left.

Loki, one of Mandie's cats, who was adopted when she still lived with me and Mom, was taught well by TomTom. He remembers me from when we lived together, and in the same way TomTom would make sure to visit with Mandie when she came over after she'd moved out, Loki makes sure to visit with me whenever I go to my sister's. Anyway, he followed me around while I got set up in her guest room, looking at me funny. "Why are you here? What are you doing? You're not normally over here this late. Why are you sleeping here?"

I slept like the dead, but woke up around 10:30 to the sound of someone going through my stuff. I sat up on the bed, and sure enough, Loki and Lily were rummaging through my book bag and overnight bag. I asked them, "What are you two doing?" And they both looked at me like, "We're um, um, um... We were going to iron your clothes and put your books away for you. Hi. How are you?" This might be off-putting or just plain weird for most people, except, my cats do the same thing, so, yeah. They do better security than the TSA.

In general, I'm glad the wedding went off almost without a hitch. The only hitch being the intended hitch of Mom and Rich getting hitched. I'm glad my sister and I get along well these days, which has been the case since we had to break Mom out of a nursing home three years ago when she got her hip replaced. That helped a lot this weekend with averting possible situations and whatnot.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] miss_tish AND [profile] deweybeachgirl!!



So, I took a sick day today. And I slept through most of the day.

I'm almost feeling normal. Right now, I still have a disconnected feeling. And some occasional dizzy spells, but, considering my activity level has been reduced for a few days, and my hemoglobin's been running low for awhile now, that's to be expected.

I did keep my chiropractor appointment this evening. However, there might be a problem with Cammie...

Specifically, she's slipping. That is, the transmission is giving me a hard time shifting gears. On really cold mornings, I could get out of the driveway, and then the transmission would basically act like it was in neutral instead of engaging in first gear. I could either over-rev or pull over and give it another minute to warm up, and it would be fine. Today, however, even warmed, there were some problems. It would give me a hard time shifting out of first. And if it was in the correct gear for the speed at which I was traveling, it would sometimes downshift to a lower gear and thus over-rev. Sometimes I'd manually shift into second, but it would sometimes downshift into first on its own. I could sometimes get it to shift by slamming the gas.

I checked the fluid... It's still pink and at the correct level. No burnt smell, doesn't seem like there are any metal shavings in the fluid. I'm wondering if I have a blown seal somewhere, which would be Bad. Or maybe my torque converter went bad. Or maybe the throttle position sensor/cable needs to be adjusted. If it's a simple adjustment, then I need to get it in to Gary. If it's a seal, then I might need a new tranny. If I need a new tranny, I'm fucked.

But, again, the fluid was pink and full, so, I doubt it's a seal. Still, thoughts anyone? (Looking at you, [profile] scarybaldguy...) Unfortunately, I don't have the model number. All I know is that it's a three-speed turbo (automatic) from a truck. I doubt the new engine ate it since I've had the new engine for a little over two years now and haven't had any problems. Then again, it could just be the crazy weather we've been having. Fortunately, tomorrow is the last day it drops below freezing for the better part of a week at least.

I hate being poor and massively in debt like this.

On the bright side, I am feeling better. And I got some reading done.

Otherwise? Meh.

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] monkeyspy AND [personal profile] shadesong!!



The Battle of the Cold...continues...

I went out this morning and resupplied on Coricidin. I also made a semi-impulse buy and got a vaporizer. And some Vicks Vapo-Rub. It's helping a little. I also stopped at the grocery store and get a few more cans of chicken noodle and chicken and rice soups.

This is easily the worst cold I've had in years. Part of me is wondering if it's not a mild version of the flu. But, with no fever and no nausea, I'm skeptical it's any kind of flu. I think it's just a Really Bad Rhinovirus.

Sorry about no comics, but, I am just not feeling up to going through and posting them and such. Sorry. They'll return when I'm feeling better and can type without my eyes gooping up and making it hard to see.

Yeah, my sinuses are so congested, they're pressing on my tear ducts and assorted nerves. Hence, the tearing up.

With all the sneezing I've been doing, as well as blowing my nose, my abdominals are hurting. Imagine not exercising for a few years, and then being compelled to do about 500 crunches or sit-ups. Yeah. Hence, why I refer to my ample gut as an alien baby bowling ball. The muscle tone I have under there is still significant. And yeah, I'd like to get started on testosterone therapy before I lose that muscle mass. In fact, once that all gets started, I might start some mild yoga or calisthenics to rebuild some muscle tone. Right now, I'd just be spinning my wheels. Or spinning my myofibrils.

Anyway, dance is out for tonight. I'd likely hurt myself. As is, work on Monday is iffy. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

I'm muddling my way through housework. It's all intermixed with naps. Though... See, with all the tired muscles and such, the area where I have the herniated muscle that contributes to my GERD is also all fatigued, and thus the surrounding muscles are fatigued to where they can't compensate for the minor herniation. So, I had some reflux wake me up from a nap. Meh. :(

And yes, this is even with being raised a little.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more that whole situation is a Catch-22: The acid reflux medicine has side-effects which are affecting my weight and such, which then leads to me having more weight to push on my stomach, which makes the acid issues worse, which necessitates more medicine...

I'm a medical mess.

Fortunately, I have Doctor RockyCat trying to help me out. I really hope this cold isn't something that can jump species; I'd hate to put him through this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but the people most annoying to me.

Though, it gives me an excuse to freebase Wasabi.

More later...

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Well, I got a good five or six hours of sleep, but now, I am not tired enough to overcome the congested feeling and go back to sleep. Oh well. Maybe I can wear myself out with house stuff and take a nap later.

Dance is really iffy tonight. As much as I want to go, I don't want to just sit there because I'm too congested to dance or anything. Then there's the whole contagion issue. Grr, I say, GRR!

Oh, and I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. And my abdominals are making their presence known, what with constantly blowing my nose and evacuating snot from my sinuses.

Fortunately, I don't have much left to get done this weekend.

More later. Maybe.

Reading Update: Books read so far this year )

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] andrian6!!



Today was, overall, a good day. Despite being sick, blowing my nose every five minutes or less, and the fact that my sinuses and tear ducts actually hurt right now. It doesn't help that I finished one book, Wrath of the Prophets, about a virus and started a second one, Double Helix: Infection, about another virus. Yeah, Star Trek, but, so what? I still think that when my nose drips into a puddle on my desk that it's a droplet of contagion and misery. I hate the rhinovirus with a passion.

But, I digress.

Despite turning off my alarm and such, I only slept an extra hour. I woke up with a rather dry and sore throat and Rocky trying to shove one of his toys in my mouth. I don't know if he was trying to wake me up or quiet my snoring, since the only time I snore anymore is when I'm sick and congested.

Anyway, I managed to get the house vacuumed, which takes considerably less time when no one else is here. Then I had lunch, then errands. One of them was to stop at Henry's and ask very nicely if they would patch the one tire that's been giving me problems. Turns out, Gary was there. They pulled my car into the bay, popped the tire, and found not only the screw, but a second puncture from a nail. Patched both. Gary also insisted on checking the oil and other fluids. I mentioned the slow oil leak, and he found that the valve covers just needed a little tightening. They also tightened the power steering belt. Oil looks good; it's not dirty, so, even though it's been a year since the last change, it's still good, what with it being syntec and all. I asked him how critical the tires looked, and he said I've got 5-10k miles worth of tread there. I barely put 6k on it in a year, so...tires are not nearly as critical as I first thought.

So, Cammie is doing well and can last a bit longer sans maintenance (beyond what I do here, of course), and I have enough time on the tires to finish paying Gary off and letting him pit the right tires on her when the time comes. Gary said that right now, I can't have any major repairs or work done, but for tire patches or lights and such, he'll still work on it. Hell, even with something major, he'll to a temporary repair, if need be. But with not having to set aside $500-$600 for tires, I can hopefully pay him off sooner. Though I still need to replace the windshield. But, overall, things don't seem nearly as insurmountable as before.

So, it was a good, productive day, despite being sick. Though now, maybe I'm paying for it. And I used the last of my Coricidin. I thought I had another package of it, but, alas, I don't. First thing in the morning, it's a trip to the drug store.

Anyway, no comics today, since I don;t feel well and my eyes are gooping to where I can't see. So, laters folks...

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So, Rocky apparently had an eventful day...

Whilst Mom and I were at work and Rich was at lunch with one of his Marine buddies, New Castle County Cops responded to a call from ADT that an alarm was going off in the house. ADT called Rich and Mom. Rich ignored the call since he didn't recognize the number, but then took Mom's call when she asked where he was, is he all right, and so on.

Everyone's fine, but the alarm for the garage door was triggered. When Rich got back to the house, the door leading to the garage was open.



Note the sisal mouse hanging off the door knob...

We figure that either the door wasn't closed all the way, or the material managed to grip the handle/knob the right way, and that while playing with it, Rocky managed to open the garage door, which has an alarm on it, and set off the house alarm.

Of course, the alarm company is notified, and when no one responded when they called the house, they then called the police, who then came out to the house looking for bad boys. Not realizing they needed to look for bad cats.

Actually, Rocky didn't do anything bad.

This is the second time the cats have managed to set off the alarm and cause the county cops to come out here. The first time was several years ago, when TomTom and Riffy were lounging in the kitchen window box and displaced a ceramic planter into the sink. The crash of the ceramic onto dishes and glasses set off the audio sensor, which is programmed to respond to the sound of breaking glass. Again, no one was home at the time, the cops came out, and we had to figure out what happened when we got home. Well, it was pretty obvious, actually, once one walked into the kitchen and saw the mess in the sink.

What can I say? My cats are real party animals. I mean, when the cops have to come out... Yeah.

In other news... This cold is kicking my ass. Time for meds, a hot shower, and sleep...

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You know, I've discovered that each time I re-watch my Firefly DVDs, I enjoy the series even more than the last time I watched it. Each time I watch, I discover another layer of nuance. I notice different details. I see evidence of larger arcs.

They should have given Star Wars to Whedon. With what Whedon did with Mal and Inara, I think he would have done great with Han and Leia. And with what he did with River? Yeah, we'd have Jedi fights of sheer awesomeness.

Something that's struck me about the series since I first read the novelization of Serenity is the relationship between Simon and River. My sister and I had our fair share of sibling rivalry, but, and I just watched "Safe," which is the episode where Simon and River are kidnapped by hillfolk, and River's telepathy leads her to be deemed a witch by the townsfolk, I still love my sister. Indeed, while I'm not out risking my life to save her from an alliance trying to turn her into a weapon, I think some of my current animosities towards family are a...protectiveness...towards her, given that such animosities have arisen about people feeling snubbed at not being invited to her wedding.

I think some of our past rivalries had come from a security to have such rivalries. When I look at some of the darker times in our lives, predominantly when Dad was sick, we still worked well together. And we've always managed to set aside differences when pets were concerned. When the going got tough, we were backup for each other, and typically didn't go for each others' throats unless there was nothing else going on. Maybe sibling rivalry, or at least our sibling rivalry, was born of boredom. But now, we play very nice together, whether we're rescuing abandoned felines or breaking Mom out of a nursing home or making sure Rich doesn't have a diabetic episode while with Mom at the hospital.

Fortunately, Mandie and I also had parents who gave a damn. I look at Simon and River's parents, who just plain didn't really know their kids, didn't see the signs River gave that the Academy was hurting her... At least our parents would have been more concerned about us rather than about how things might look to other people. Then again, we were too poor to worry about anything other than each other.

I'm glad my sister and I get along well these days.

And as far as Firefly goes... I realized I can't pick a favorite episode. The whole series is my favorite episode...

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First, on the tangent heels of yesterday's entry, here's a new way to watch all six Star Wars movies.

Next, today begins a week of remembrance of those who gave their lives to explore the great beyond...



Beyond that? Not much. Well, not much of interest to many people, if anyone. Overall, it's been a productive weekend. I got my weekend chores done. I also made some progress with cleaning up and reorganizing my desk and work space. Plus, I've gotten a few other odds and ends done.

Hopefully, the week ahead will continue to be productive. And low-key/reduced stress.

Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] dungeonwriter, [profile] brainlesswonder, AND [profile] hmpinky!!



So, weird dream last night where some teenagers stole my car for a chop shop, and the local teen heroes were total douchebags about it. But my car was saved from the chop shop and returned to me by the A Team, because they had a soft spot for cars from the 1980s.

Rocky is behind me, snoring. Every time I fart, I figure I'm giving him a Dutch Toaster Oven.

So, with regards to JJ Abrams and Star Trek and Star Wars... I understand I'm in the minority in Not Liking Abrams, much less the stuff he did with Star Trek. An alternate timeline, I can handle. I can even accept some changes in Trek technology, or even "Treknology," as it were, but total disregard of physics (building a starship on a planetary surface, besides being rather unsafe, is too difficult for 22nd-23rd technology; transporters with no range limit; red matter; Spock, who was all about preserving original timelines as far back as "The City on the Edge of Forever" deciding to alter/interfere with his own past, alternate timeline or no...) It's just...too much. I think good storytelling was sacrificed for the eye candy that makes the masses happy. And I think Star Wars now has the same problem looming ahead. Or, actually, more of the same problem; I think this is what tripped Lucas up with the prequels. I think this is what tripped up Ron Moore in the last half of BSG. I think this is what tripped up Abrams with Lost.

Maybe I read too much. I've read too much of James Luceno, David Mack, Dayton Ward, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Michael Stackpole, Allan Allston, Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, Timothy Zahn, and others... Others who have taken some of the crappy things from movies and turned them into halfway arcs in novel form. They tell a story and shock people with the quality of the story itself, the ability to transport us to another time and space, and make us forget about believability, rather than using Michael Bay-esque explosions and M. Shyamalan-esque twists. We have the frugal deaths warned against in Scalzi's Redshirts.

Unfortunately, this is what the masses want. Because no one has the time or patience to sit down and read a book. Even if they can do so on their phone.

Interestingly, some of the above can be said of the late 90s debacle known as Batman and Robin. Maybe Joel Schumacker was simply before his time...

If people like the new Trek and such, hey, glad you enjoyed it. But when you start saying it's the best thing ever or better than what came before? I'll need to beat you with my empty wrapping paper tube lightsaber. I will then throw bound pieces of paper at you as I throw the Vanguard series at you, or James Luceno's Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, or even Steve Perry and Michael Reeve's Death Star. No, no, these things are books. You might want to look into them...

Hi, my name is David, and I'm a tie-in bibliophile. As well as regular bibliophile. And comicphile (really glad Gail Simone is sticking around for Batgirl, and I hope they keep Geoff Johns for Green Lantern).

I guess, having read enough, I have a different standard by which I judge a story to be good or not. I mean, it's all subjective anyway. I guess I just get tired of people looking at me funny and saying, "You don't like the new Star Trek? What is wrong with you?"

Then again, these people can understand the problems I had with I, Robot and why I've no interest in seeing World War Z. Sorry, folks, but Susan Calvin was an older, asexual scientist, not a young cute thing that would wet her panties at the sight of Wil Smith. Furthermore, the movie had nothing to do with the novel, aside from Robots based on Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, and in fact was originally under a different title until the producer, at the last moment, trying to capitalize on Asimov's name, changed the title at the last minute. Likewise, World War Z is not a single narrative. You want to film it? Make it a miniseries. Kind of like Tom Hanks and HBO with the From the Earth to the Moon series.

Of course, this is all just my $0.02, which is worth less than even that. Your mileage may vary. Just...stop treating me like a freak when I say, "Actually, I don't like Abrams' Trek and don't plan to spend money I don't have on World War Z and so on.

Meh.

Comics )
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It's a good thing this is a three-day weekend. I need the time.

I didn't go to dance last night. Instead, as it was Mom's birfday, we all went out to Capons and Lemons (Italian restaurant), courtesy of Rich, for Mom's natal day celebrations. Mandie and Scott came along, too. It was a good family fun time.

Today, I...pretty much slept through the day. Not sure if this is anemia-related, just plain fatigue, or if my body was fighting off something. I don't feel particularly ill. And now, I'm just feeling a little bit restless. I want to go for a walk and then do some reading.

On the bright side, I think I may have come up with some sort of "work flow" for writing that will keep me engaged and (somewhat) sane with it.

I stopped at Staples and bought $25 worth of desk organizing stuff. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will get a little more work done on organizing my desk and such.

More later...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] annietopia!!



Just have a little laundry to finish up, and then the weekend chores are done.

Mom and Rich may have a solution to the wedding flower woes: Costco. In short, they can order flowers from there, then create the centerpieces and such themselves. With help, of course. Good thing I'm already looking ahead and figuring of taking some vacation time around then.

Today has been a lazy day for me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache and esophagitis, coupled with an obligatory panic attack. Took stuff for it, then zonked out. Until noon. Then I took a nap. So, yeah, brain no worky today...

The cloudy/rainy/drizzly/foggy weather doesn't help, either. Though I do get a sense of happiness, or maybe just smugness, that I did get the outdoor Christmas decorations and lights taken down and put away yesterday.

I'm also in a weird headspace to begin with... One of the books I'm reading, My Enemy, My Ally... It's an original series Trek novel by Diane Duane. I've read it twice before, and both times, it was during a rather nasty life-changing crisis. The first time was when Dad had his heart attack back in July of 1989. The second time was when I had to change schools in 1991. I know it's entirely irrational, but since then, I've considered the book to be "cursed" somehow, and even though I enjoyed the story, I've avoided re-reading it. But now, I have a copy on my Kindle. I feel like I need to hurry up and finish reading it before something bad happens rather than to just...enjoy the story.

Again, I know it's entirely irrational. But the events mentioned happened in my early-to-mid teens, and have stuck with me since. One of those irrational childhood things that carry over to adulthood, you know?

Anyway, not much else. Dental cleaning and night guard fitting tomorrow. Mom's birfday next weekend and a three-day weekend. Other than that, it looks to be a fairly quiet week. And since I get paid this week, that also means a trip to CBH. Woot?

Though, when all is said and done, I'll be happy to be a non-sick, normal-ish-feeling human bean.

Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] booraven22!!



In case you haven't seen it, here's the amazing response from the White House regarding the petition to build the Death Star.

In Dave Land... It's been a productive Caturday, which I guess is the trade-off for waking up early. And I mean the insomnia kind of "wake up early." Meaning I kinda wanted to sleep in a little. Eh, no matter.

I did some research on NTB's website, and, well, getting replacement tires for my car may be...problematic. As in, the size and brand I want, well, they carry the brand, but the size not in the brand I want. I'm fairly sure they could special-order the size from the manufacturer, but, I doubt they often run sales on tires that they don't typically stock. So, no hurry right now. As is, the problem tire has been holding the air and such, so, it's not critical for me to get tires this weekend. I figure I may have a month or two. Depending how the trip to the dentist on Monday goes.

Anyway, I managed to get most of the weekend chores done. The outdoor Christmas lights are down and put away. In fact, all the outdoor decorations are put away. I have taken down some decorations and put them in the living room for now. I still need to bring up the storage boxes, but, at least there's a start to everything. Furthermore, the lights, which draw this magical power called "electricity," are away until next season.

I also managed to put some storage boxes away in the attic for Mom.

I doubt I'm going to make it to dance tonight after all. Despite having energy earlier, it feels like the anemia has kicked in and I'm just lacking the energy. Mer!

Mom and Rich have encountered a wedding problem. Their wedding is Mother's Day weekend, and so, they're having difficulty finding a place that would even consider selling them wedding flowers that weekend. Artificial flowers have become a possibility.

Comics )
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Here's a Cracked article about horribly misguided attempts at teaching lessons creatively.

In other news... I haven't been reading as much the past few days, but that's because I've been somewhat productive with rearranging/reorganizing my desk. It's actually going a little better than I thought it would, and just cleaning up all the clutter is making me feel a little better. I still have a LOT to do, but, it's starting to come together. Already, I've managed to find a lot of crap that can just be tossed, have put other things in a better storage place... I think things will be a bit more organized and stream-lined. Less chaotic and confining. More comfortable and functional.

Comics )
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