Fuck everything right in the ear.
So this happened:
I was driving to work in my lane on the freeway, and then a flatbed semi was running into me. He hadn't seen me when he went to switch lanes, and did so right into me. The front of his cab is what struck me first, so I don't know how this is entirely possible (D says it's because he sits so much higher in his vehicle), but whoa. I somehow managed to maintain control of my vehicle with a blown-out tire and the impact. For a minute there I was close to spinning out in traffic. That would have been bad.
The back rear wheel is totally ripped up. Thank freakin' whatever that Mercedes Benz builds its old-model cars like tanks. Not a scratch on me even though the driver's side door is totaled. People have been advising me to stop saying "I'm fine" just in case...but seriously. I'm fine. There was no whiplash-type movement. I have some muscle soreness from the sheer adrenaline (back/shoulder tension, etc.) but that's typical.
Frankly, I have no idea how I got out of the car because the driver's side door will not open anymore.
State Patrol came and my car was towed and all that jazz. The other driver was despondent. He asked me about a zillion times if I was okay--in near-tears. He had never been in an accident before. As a commercial truck driver, well, depending on his company he pretty much just lost his job. He said that he knew he wasn't supposed to say he was sorry, but that he was so, so, so sorry. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that accidents happen and that I was okay and that cars are just things. No one was hurt, and that was the important thing.
I'm bummed though. I loved that car. It was older (2001). It had lots of miles. Yeah, it was a Benz, but it wasn't fancy. The "brand" of the car was incidental--it was a fantastic vehicle. It was a *great* MN snow car. All wheel drive. Heavy. Agile. I never once worried about getting stuck. I could haul most things that I used to be able to haul in my old-old minivan.
We likely won't get too much for it. Maybe enough for a downpayment on a newer used car. But (whine!) I want *my* car. And I want to be able to go out and run errands for Thanksgiving if I need to. And I am NOT looking forward to the possibility of having car payments again...or driving a no-payments but less-reliable older car. Alas and alack. Life happens.
The TLo reviews of the Miss Universe national costumes:
Miss USA is inexplicably a transformer: “AMERICA! Due to the decimation of our manufacturing base and the destruction of our middle class, we don’t make cars anymore! We make movies about cars that turn into robots. BOOYAH, MOTHERFUCKERS! Forefathers! Constitution! FUCKING FREEDOM, AMIRITE?”
Brazil features some questionable folk-art: ”They told me I had to keep my top on, so check out my “Blow jobs & Tits” cape instead! Brazil! THE SEXY PEOPLE.”
And some are more folksy than others: “Come to Ukraine. Our mothers don’t let their daughters leave the house looking like common Belarus streetwalkers. Hips are for wedding nights.”
Sweden is badass: “Sweden is here to crush its enemies and hear the lamentations of their women! SWEDEN IS NO LONGER FUCKING AROUND. I’ll take out this whole front row if I have to!”
But Canada decided to go stripper-mountie: ”MOUNT ME! It’s what you’re all thinking, right? Go fuck yourselves. Canada’s sick of your bullshit.”
It's a beautiful thing.
My co-worker just asked me if I am wearing tights.
No, no. I'm very jaundiced in the legs and my skin always wrinkles and folds like that. Stop talking about it, I'm self-conscious of my kidney failure*.
*Also the hair coming out of my armpits. Because capturing lower-half outfits using the Maccybookie Cam is always SO natural looking.
Voting in Saint Paul in an off-presidential year is not NEARLY as exciting as voting in Minneapolis. Saint Paul is like Minneapolis's older, quieter, less-flashy sibling. Sometimes we try to pull shenanigans, but we just don't have the shenanigan spirit that Minneapolis has.
For instance, they had 35 (I think) mayoral candidates. Some of them pirates. Some of them just named after pirates (but not part of the official pirate party).
We had 4. The incumbent, Chris Colman, is a decent enough, non-exciting dude. No one really love-loves him, but he's pro-gay-rights, a solid dem, and he gets the job done. Safe. Dutiful. Totally about reviving DT Saint Paul. He didn't have any serious challengers...they were all a bit on the crazy side. The only reason to vote, really, was to make EXTRA sure the crazies didn't get in. CC won with 78% of the vote. So there you go.
Running against CC?
The woman who compared the light rail to Nazi train cars carrying Holocaust victims to concentration camps.
The guy known as "Dirty Kurty" who said things like: “My campaign has become like when Adam first saw Eve. He told her: you better back up because I’m not sure how big this thing is going to get.” Also, he vehemently opposes bike paths.
And the semi-reasonable-yet-very-slimy candidate who had sort of a chance...except that he ran opposing light rail (already completed, mostly, and pretty popular). Oh, and the Saints Stadium (also very popular). Also, he gives off a total "ick" vibe.( Let's talk about Light Rail and the Stadium for a minute.Collapse )
After working at Grandma's over the weekend (and taking lots of showers to wash off mouse-dropping-and-spoiled-food stank) Sunday became a chill, lazy kind of day. I mean, as lazy as you can be when you start out the day with an almost-7-mile run. I still consider it lazy.
I finished Chuck Palaniuk's Haunted. Man, it's fun to read Palaniuk sometimes, but I understand the mantra of, "Never date someone who says their favorite author is _____ [fill-in-the-blank]." Because if CP was someone's FAVORITE author and they went out of their way to say so above all else? I would back the eff away because that dude has some unresolved issues and they probably involve murder-sex.
You can tell a lot about someone by their favorite authors. For instance, anyone who lists Dan Brown (DaVinci Code) as their *favorite* needs to be smacked upside the head with some decent, multi-layered literature. Not that there's anything wrong with reading and enjoying these authors, mind, but the "favorite author" label is a commitment. It SAYS something about you, personally. Or about how you want to be perceived.
I don't even know if I have a favorite author, or not one that I could name off the top of my head. I love Tolkien's worlds but find him deeply flawed outside (and even inside) LOTR. I love The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but find Kundera's other work to be varying levels/combinations of dull and pretentious. Dorothy Parker? In small doses. Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Only when I'm in the mood. Maybe Diana Wynne-Jones, but I haven't read a few of her major series like The Dalemark Quartet. On and on and on.
I can't think of someone where: 1. I've read a vast majority of their work and 2. They have a near-perfect record and 3. I would buy anything they put out with the expectation that it will be good just because it's written by them.
We're staying at a hotel that has only been open for a week. It has that very-new-building smell that you don't really get to experience all that often. The carpets are still all squishy; without all the gross matting and wear-and-tear that you see in hotels. I stepped into the hotel ballroom and did not instantly start dripping from my nostrils (rare!). The towels are standard hotel towels, but they are SO FLUFFY. Not the threadbare, thinned, rough towels that they'll be in a month or two and then forever and ever after.
But there are definitely trade-offs. They totally don't have their shit together in any way, shape or form. Check-in time was 1 p.m., we got to the hotel at 3 p.m. and had to wait in the lobby until 6 because our rooms weren't ready. Not that they weren't cleaned, no. They were STILL INSTALLING STUFF. As it was, I was put into a handicap-accessible room...and they haven't, um, made it 100% handicap-accessible yet. Also, when I use the shower it floods the bathroom.
No one seems to know where the soap is. They haven't figured out how to make the auto-faucets sensitive enough to actually work for more than three seconds at a time. No one can make the room keys work right the first half-dozen times and people are constantly missing their floors (you have to use the key to access your floor) or going to the desk to get new keys. The woman at the restaurant told us that kale was a type of cheese.
But the best part is that they are ridiculously ill-equipped to handle an event. They don't have enough chairs, guys. Part of our audience WILL STAND tomorrow. The A/V crew is currently STILL setting up (they have been since yesterday). What's taking them so long? They didn't install the house lighting yet. So lights are either dim or off. There is no "on". They had to drill the holes in the ceiling to install the rigging mechanism for the A/V lights. This is totally unheard of.
But at least the towels are really fluffy.
We adopted a new kitten from my parents' farm. His name is Matzah Ball. He looks like this:
He is all-white now, and curls up into a little ball of fluff. He will probably develop a little orange/tan/grey coloring on his nose, eartips and tail tip, because he's part siamese. He has a broken tail, which is better than his two siblings (who have deformed hips, twisting one back leg and making them three-legged, essentially).
His name was almost Aegon Targaryen (he has a half-sister named Khaleesi at the farm) but then it wasn't. Matzah Ball was cuter.
Comrade Smokey is having none of it. I know he'll get used to the new companion, because he's already done this twice before. Right now though?
CS: What fresh hell are you?
MB: You smell weird.
CS: Deargod. Make it stop.
CS: No. Nooooope. No. No. No.
I don't want to have a dog*.
Don't get me wrong. I like dogs just fine. Love them, even. If you have a dog, I will likely go out of my way to treat it kindly and talk to it and pet it and play with it. I've logged hours of belly-rubs and ear-skritches and fetch-playing in my lifetime. I would never hurt a dog or be cruel to a dog in any way.
I just know my limitations, and right now our schedule would be grueling for a dog. It's a lifestyle alteration that I'm unwilling to make at this time and a responsibility that I'm not willing to take on.
BUT: If I did somehow end up with a dog, I would be a good dog owner--because I'm a responsible pet owner in general. I would groom it and trim its nails, it would be spayed/neutered, it would have proper leashes/harnesses/tags, it would be current on shots and vet checks, and we would house-train it.
People that own pets--that willingly take on that responsibility--and then do NONE of those things *really* piss me off.
We found the owner of the lost dog. They weren't even LOOKING for it. We had put signs up around the neighborhood--they didn't even walk around that far to see where their dog had gone.
When D came home from work yesterday, we decided to fashion a sort of leash for the dog and take him out walking to see if he would "lead" us anywhere. While out and about we ran into another dog owner from the neighborhood. We asked if he recognized the dog. He sort of shook his head in dismay and pointed to a house that's about four away from ours, and across the street. We took the dog up, hoping for that triumphant reunion...because, well, if MY pet had gone missing, I'd be really glad to have it come home.
The woman answered the door and shouted to her kid, "Hey, I guess your dog is back." The kid was about 3-4, and was pretty happy to see his pup. In the short conversation, the woman said things like, "Oh, I guess that's why he didn't come home last night..." and, "Well, he's going away on Sunday anyway." (I can't remember the exact wording of that last one, but it gave the impression that he was going to another home instead of a shelter or to be euthanized.)
The dog also didn't really want to go inside. It just gave D and I a bad vibe. We don't think he was being abused--because he didn't exhibit ANY kind of flinching/people avoiding behavior that abused dogs do at first--but the owner definitely wasn't *thrilled* to see him or anything. It explains why he followed me everywhere, cuddled with me all day (and all night) and was so happy to have attention; he probably wasn't getting much at home.
So that was that. Not much we can do. It's not the worst situation for a dog to be in (he has a little boy who loves him!) but it's not the best, either. We left him there and conspired with our next-door neighbor (who had almost taken him in, but I was the last to pick him up, so I was saddled with that responsibility); if he runs away to our door we're just going to take him in, not tell anyone, and find him a better home ourselves.
*Caveats: I don't want to have a dog right now
, and I don't want a small dog. Maybe someday I want a dog, because I liked having dogs as a kid, I think it'd be nice for MY futurekid to be around a dog, and it'd be nice to have a running buddy.
Last night I found a dog.
I was returning from my run and a small chihuahua was running around the neighborhood. He followed me to the steps, where I was able to get close to him and I quickly became his new BFF, apparently.
I carried him over to the adjacent neighbors' to see if they had any guests who had dogs (I didn't recognize said dog). No dice.
Because I'm a huge softie, I took him inside. It was getting dark and cool, and he was just running in the street. I was afraid he was going to get hit by a car or something.
He has a collar and looks well-fed and healthy, but he has no tags, is not neutered, and has rather long nails. He's very friendly, and seems somewhat trained/intelligent.
Derrick and I took him to the local vet and he has no microchip.
After posting in a ton of places (and giving a description to animal control), we now have a dog staying with us.
I do not *want* a dog right now, and if I wanted a dog, a chihuahua would not be my first choice. We're not set up for dog ownership. The plan was to take him to animal control this morning, but I figured I'd wait a day to see if the owners were in the immediate vicinity or contacted us right away.
Ugh. I was a stray-magnet as a kid, too. My poor mother can attest to the number of weird animals I brought home. I can't help it. My sympathy for creatures is very high. For instance, D suggested that Temporary Dog stay in the porch in the cat carrier last night. I thought he would be cold, but agreed. Then D (who is a bit of a softie himself) suggested that maybe he stay in the cat carrier inside...and we put him in the porch if he gets too noisy or whiny. And I agreed, but then he followed me up to bed and crawled under the covers. So. That was that.
Now I don't know what to do. He's not really my responsibility or problem. I just gave him a warm home for the night so he wasn't on the streets. Wait for someone to claim him? After that, take him to animal control? It feels yucky to abandon him again. He's taken to following me everywhere and cuddling up with me whenever he can.
But truly? there are so many things I don't know about dogs. He doesn't seem to want to go to the bathroom--we've tried--and I don't know how often he needs to. He ate the food the vet gave us last night and drank some water, but hasn't really shown any interest this morning. Maybe this is normal, maybe it's not. I have no idea.
This weird guy already contacted me via craigslist lost-and-found saying simply, "I'll take him." When I responded that we wanted to try to find the owners before considering other surrender options, he said, simply, "I'll give you $50 for him."
Ugh. Gross. Who would sell someone's lost pet for $50?
Also, it's really weird that dogs don't purr.
It’s been a week and it already feels like vacation was forever-ago. That was something we did in the distant past! Adjusting to the time change going overseas was a breeze; you’re so in do-different-things mode that the hours you sleep seem largely irrelevant. Coming back, however… I still haven’t stopped waking up at 2-3 a.m. thinking that it’s time to get up for the day.
So this is going to be a big, long update. Originally I was going to do it in one post but then…my god that’s a lot of text. So first is Spain. TLDR summary? Vacation was awesome and there were lots of cool things and it was also tiring. Spain and England are both culturally different than the US, but in much more subtle ways than, say, Morocco. ( Details on Spain + PicturesCollapse )
Man, DuoLingo has some of the weirdest sentences. Like: "We are going to reduce her!" Even the native speakers on the ensuing discussion thread are like WTF? Are you going to sit around in a circle and taunt her until she cries or something? What does that even mean?
This conversation also happened:
Me (practicing Spanish via web translating): Esto no va a quedar bien. (This is not going to end well.)
Derrick (shocked): What site are you translating? SnuffFilms.es?
And it has lots of soap-opera-y scandalous things, like "He denies that he is my father!" and "They must die now!"
I also learned how to pick/escalate fights. I can say, "No. We settle this here and now." and "Don't walk away when I'm talking to you!"
Oh DuoLingo, you never cease to amuse.
Picking out books to go on trips is fun. I'll always remember that I read The Count of Monte Cristo in the airport in Amsterdam; The Known World on a beach in Lithuania; Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by the pool in Mexico. Things like that get etched in your memory. I like having book-place associations.
So what to read in Spain and Morocco and London? I downloaded a bunch of things to my Kindle. Don Quixote, some other stuff... Of course, Don Quixote alone would be (nearly) enough for a two week vacation. I never read as much as I think I will. But I must have at least a half-dozen other backup books. Pre-Kindle days I would be taking all the books with me, knowing I would likely only read a few. Now I have thousands to choose from on my Kindle and, of course, I'm bringing a backup paperback just in case. (The book hoarding urge/book panic drive never quite goes away, you know.)
It still makes me book-nervous. What if I want to read something I don't have? What if the books I've picked aren't good? I fight the urge to toss in two or three more paperbacks...just in case.
What would YOU want to read on such a trip?
Don Quixote (Spain!)
For Bread Alone (Morocco!)
Gone Girl (American Thriller!)
Mortal Instruments (American Sci-fi/fantasy!)
Crime and Punishment (Russian! ...?)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Gaiman!)
Some Mil Millington for British dry humor
Some Tahar Ben Jelloun for more Morocco
Some Roberto Bolono for more Spain
The Regeneration series
And if I want to look like an asshole in Morocco: White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves.
[See article on homosexuality in Yahoo! news]
[Click on article]
Ahhh...there's my daily dose of ignorant douchebaggery for comedy gold. As invigorating as the first cup of coffee in the morning.
It's almost soothing in its predictability. I could set my watch by the amount of time it takes for the first idiotic, "Itz a sin, bern in hell [f-word, f-word]."
It's almost like they've become self-aware and are just parodies of themselves. Only they aren't.
There are certain trigger points where I find myself slipping into curmudgeonry. Going to the movies is one of those points.
I kind of want to see Elysium, despite rather mixed reviews. But do I want to see it enough to go to the movie theater? Probably not.
I last went to the movies for the latest Star Trek. Before that, though, it was the latest Harry Potter.
Movie theater experiences:
- Are expensive
- Are cold
- Include crappy popcorn (compared to D's homemade stove kind)
Additionally, there are things I can't do in a movie theater that I can do at home:
- Cuddle with D w/o armrests (yes, some movie theaters have armrests that go up, but not all)
- Pause the movie to go to the bathroom
- Have a glass of wine if I want (again, some movie theaters but not all)
- Have ice cream mid-movie
Yeah, yeah, yeah...the movie theater is all about the experience--and I appreciate that experience, trust--but it's often not worth the hassle for me.
Yeah. I'm like 65 years old on this. I know. Those damned kids and their movie picture buildings!
So this is Doctor New-Who.
Apparently there has been freakout because reasons. He's old, or something. I don't know. I don't understand it.
Would it be nice to have a non-white Doctor? Or a female Doctor? Sure. But I like this guy (Peter Capaldi) just fine. He's kinda badass.
I'm just glad that he doesn't look like he's 12 anymore. I ended up liking Matt Smith in bits and pieces and thinking he did an overall-good job, but he never quite grabbed me the way Tennant or Eccleston did (or even some of the older-Who Doctors). Then again, the most recent seasons of Doctor Who had a lot of waiting-around-feeling episodes. Or episodes that were only setup for other, bigger episodes, but didn't have enough to them on their own. So maybe it was a writer/direction problem instead of an actor problem.
I would just be really glad to have the whole companion-swoons-over-Doctor thing end. That's why Donna was one of the better Nu Who companions. It's why Martha was great AT FIRST.
Though Peter Capaldi IS pretty sexy, I have to say.
I watched all of Orange is the New Black. It is good, but--I feel--somewhat over-hyped. It's interesting, but when each episode was over it was like, "Oh, okay. Well, when I feel like watching something interesting again I'll watch it." It didn't have that compulsively-watchable feeling (like...I have to stay up all night to finish this).
Then I started watching Orphan Black. That is a different story. Because that is really freakin' watchable. I intended to watch one episode and go to bed but ended up making it a three-episode mini-marathon. So far it's super-duper good.
I feel like I'm on a theme. Perhaps Black Adder is next.
Indirect object pronouns en espanol are pissing me off, man.
I don't remember struggling with them at all in my high school/college Spanish. Oh DuoLingo. Our relationship. It is love-hate right now.
I volunteered at my niece's girl scout camp today. I was in the group with going-into-fifth-graders.
You know what would be really effective in stopping terrorism? Plunking a suspected terrorist down in the middle of a girl scout camp and making them lead crafts and badge activities. They would confess, alright.
It's not bad, it's just so exhausting. Like maintaining order and decent social behavior (between the girls) is a constant struggle. They're at the age where a third of them are trying to get away with something, a third of them are too cool for anything, and the final third cling to the adults.
I feel bad for my mom. Today she had me and my sister there too. Tomorrow she's alone. With the chil'uns.
Tomorrow they're doing their archery badge.
I was sure to tell her I loved her when I said goodbye tonight. You know, just in case it gets all Lord-of-the-Flies with the bows and arrows.
I started Wool (Omnibus--Hugh Howey) and got halfway through it in a single night.
It's been kind of a long time since I've done that with a book. It's super-fun to be that sucked in. Very little Great Literature can get you to do that. It can be meaningful and good, but it doesn't always compel you to read hours upon hours without a break. I had to force myself to stop reading because it was 3 a.m. and I needed sleep.
It's not necessarily THE mark of a good book (though in this case it is); I found The DaVinci Code really impossible to put down, and that book was awful.
So this song is super-catchy (warning, video is NSFW visually because boobs):
But also, um, super-rapey, (or at the very least...really freakin' disrespectful) no? I mean...
[ETA: SFW Version]
I actually kinda like the Bill Clinton version better:
Actually...I also find that the Bill Clinton version is much sexier. Because 1.) Bill Clinton and 2.) The kind of leering-objectification in the first video just SO isn't.