New look for Christmas

Blargle, Moving 1 Comment »

Okay, I finally found a Christmas theme that is not too loud or flashy or cartoony, like most of the other WordPress themes seem to be. (Do a search for “WordPress Christmas themes” and tell me if you think I’m wrong.) This one is elegant, simple without being plain, and easy to read, at least on my monitor.

That being said, now I can announce my Christmas Fundraiser. Times are tight, and I still don’t have a job, etc. I’ve spent most of the past hour uploading my resume hither and yon. It’s difficult, because I really don’t want to commit myself to a permanent position since I’m planning to move out of the state in April or May, a date that is getting closer than ever. A temporary position that will last those few months will be ideal.

Update: do you think it would help if I added to my resume that I’m not gay? Heh heh.

*GASP* of relief

Blargle, Moving 1 Comment »

See the new sidebar message. Thanks to all my readers — I couldn’t survive without you guys. Literally.

Here’s a picture of my cat for you to enjoy (?) while I formulate my new plans for world domination my future.

Health update

Blargle, Moving 10 Comments »

Okay, you’ve probably all been waiting with bated breath (all 2.5 of you) for an update on my ear situation. Well, the stuffiness has gone down a slight bit — I do think that part of the problem with my ear is it’s swollen inside the ear canal from some sort of irritation (like from me pouring gunk down it and sticking Q-tips in it, or allergies or an infection of some sort) as much as a wax buildup. The decongestants did help a little. Of course, now that my ear isn’t bothering meas much I am getting a swelling in my left eyelid. It’s on the same side of my face as the problem ear, hmm. It could be from the soap I’ve been using — I started using a different soap, one of those hard herbal bars. Bar soap seems to be harsher than liquid soap, at least where my face is concerned.

That reminds me, one question about the St. Louis, Missouri area I keep forgetting to ask is what is the water quality like? I’m used to Florida’s mineral-heavy gunk, which creates kidney stones, and it takes me ages to rinse off soap and shampoo.

Today I woke up late, due to a peculiar silence which I realized meant the power had gone out and none of those little humming sounds I take for granted (refrigerator, DVR, a/c going on and off) were present. So the power was off, which meant no coffee, so I fed the cats and went back to sleep. (When I move up north I’m going to try to get an apartment with a gas range, so if the power goes out I can at least make some coffee.) The power came back on about two and a half hours later, but the day was shot by then. Oh well, it’s Columbus Day (or as it will be known after Obama takes power*, “Evil White Oppressor Day”), so a lot of people are off.

I will go to the doctor for my ear some day this week, I promise.

*What, you don’t think he, or rather, his followers, are just going to roll over and accept a loss, do you?

Moving Plans Update

Moving 3 Comments »

Well, I managed to sell one of my typewriters, so that’s one down, five to go. I’ve decided to keep the Olivetti Lettera 22 because it’s the first one I bought and it’s just so cute. (It looks just like this one except mine has a few scratches and worn spots in the paint.) I still have all my furniture to sell, a crapload of clothes to get rid of, books to sort through, etc. I suppose I should wait until further down the line since I said I was going to try to stay here until my lease ends at the end of April but I know how I am about preparing and packing for a move: I’m the Last-Minute Queen. Well this time I’m not going to be delayed one more minute than I have to be — I want to be ready to throw my cats and suitcase in the car and go.

By the way, I will be collecting funds in my Paypal and Amazon accounts for the move. Every little bit helps! Thanks in advance. One more thing: I think my laptop is totally dead. I’m pretty sure the hard drive crapped out. Getting that fixed will probably cost as much as buying another one (you can get decent laptops for $500 now) so I will probably end up doing that instead. Towards that end I’ll be selling my almost-new desktop along with the monitor. It came with all these bells and whistles I never use, like a home-theater attachment thing, and a bunch of drives, and all this stuff, and the monitor is a 17″ LCD that I already had that I’m throwing into the price — I’ll probably charge $500 for it.

I can’t wait to move.


Moving 10 Comments »

Sorry folks, but I have just been beat. This ear thing is really getting me down — I am starting to think that I have an ear infection, not just an ear stuffed with wax. It’s possible — ear infections were my childhood scourge, and I have memories of hot oil being poured in my ear, having to lie down with my ear on a heating pad, feeling like someone was stabbing me in the ear with a skewer, etc… I don’t have any pain, but I feel more tired than I should. Or is that the cold medicine I’ve been taking?

Also, I decided to start going through all my stuff to separate what I’m going to get rid of, hopefully by selling it, and now I am surrounded by piles of books, boxes of Pampered Chef items (I so want to get rid of that junk), typewriters — I am only keeping the smallest portable, the rest of the collection is being sold. (I belong to a typewriter collection email list so I am sure I will find buyers.) The worst are the books: I have decided to get rid of all but a few very essential volumes. Most of what I have are scifi and fantasy paperbacks that frankly it’s time I let go of (yes, bad sentence construction there, I don’t care). I’ve read most of them a thousand times anyway. But when I move up north I want to move with practically nothing, just the cats, some clothes, a few household essentials. Nothing I own is irreplaceable except for some jewelry (and none of that is valuable). But dang, right now I wish a fairy would sweep down and whisk all this stuff away and leave a bag of gold behind.

Okay, I’m going to try and eat something and see if that makes me feel better. At least my appetite, which had almost vanished, came back.

Domestic Weekend

Blargle, Moving, Parallel Worlds 9 Comments »

Since I haven’t received my last check from work (it wasn’t in the mail box today, so I guess I’ll get it Monday) Update: the check came in — I thought I had seen the mailman turn down our street, but he seems to have a bizarre and circuitous route and must have come in later — but I’m still going to be staying close to home this weekend. (Or maybe not. We’ll see.) Oh well, that will give me a chance to clean this place up and make it homelike for the brief time I’ll be here. Right? Right… I did throw out some old art class junk that I’d been lugging around, and some other items that I knew I wouldn’t use and didn’t need. I’ve gone through some of my clothes — I want to get them down to what I can stuff in my suitcase, which by the way I bought in Woolworth’s in London in 1981 and I will not throw out until it crumbles in my hands. It’s one of my few souvenirs of England, a country it looks like I will probably not be able to visit ever again no matter how much I want to. It’s just too painful to see it go even further to the chavs and Muslim fanatics. Well, I’ll always have Doctor Who.

Speaking of Doctor Who, I watched the “classic” episode “The Invasion of Time” recently, thanks to Netflix. In fact, I haven’t returned it yet. (I also have Shaun of the Dead and four Firefly episodes still to watch — I just haven’t been in the mood.) It wasn’t bad for an old episode — there is a great scene near the end where the Doctor (in his Tom Baker incarnation) is carrying around a Big Fucking Gun, and he gets to use it too (and on a Sontaran, one of the more annoying of Doctor Who villains; really, I can’t stand those big toes in space suits, whoever came up with them as a tedious metaphor on militarism — ooh, they even have “stiff necks!” — needs to be slapped several times). After having endured David Tennant’s shell-shocked pacifist take on the Doctor this is unbelievably refreshing. (And in another Tom Baker episode, “Planet of Evil,” the Doctor gets to sock a guy in the jaw. Awesome.)

Anyway, the episode isn’t perfect, but it has its moments. It’s the companion Leela’s swan song from the series — the actress playing her got sick of being a piece of dumb eye candy — so I guess that’s why throughout the whole show she wears her tiniest outfit yet, a kind of tankini made of what looks like ivory silk (but is probably polyester). She’s definitely there “for the dads,” as the saying goes, and I’ll bet the dads loved this episode. There’s her entirely gratuitous scene where she’s swimming around in the swank pool in the Tardis, and then there’s this one scene where she’s bending over the Doctor, who’s been knocked out by some Time Lord thing, and you can see right down her cleavage all the way to France.

If I have one complaint about this episode it’s not the cheap special effects (that’s considered a feature, not a bug, for Doctor Who) but the fact that the Time Lords and Gallifrey just aren’t alien enough. I don’t suppose they could have come up with much on their budget of fifty pounds or whatever, though, but there could have been subtle things they could have done. See, for example, the Vulcans as portrayed in the “Amok Time” episode of the original Star Trek series. That show may have had a slightly higher budget but what made the scenes there more “alien” was really the way the characters were portrayed. And there was nothing like that cheesy organ music, or whatever the hell that was that played when the Doctor was going through that ceremony to make him class president or whatever. It’s things like this that make you realize that Doctor Who is really just about an Englishman who travels through time and space and otherwise gets to do things that residents of staid, old Blighty aren’t allowed to do. But on the whole, watching it was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Speaking of aliens, I never reviewed Buckaroo Banzai. Well. I remember when I saw it in the theater thinking “that’s something I’ve never seen before.” It was unique in my scifi movie watching experience: a hip, ironic, comical, yet serious science fiction movie. Or so I thought at the time. Remember, most science-fiction in the sixties and seventies was either serious, didactic, cautionary stuff that picked up on the whole “the world’s gonna end” of something (whether nuclear armageddon, a life-crushing ice age — the notion of global warming back then would have brought mostly sighs of relief — or uncontrolled pollution) fears running through society, or else straight “action adventure” like Star Wars that was basically nostalgia with space ships. This was different: a movie showing eccentric people who, however, weren’t too different from some of our nuttier school pals or even us (at least in our dreams) dealing with aliens from some weird other world who also seemed to have personalities and a hint of background. Now after enduring over two decades of hip, ironic, meant-to-be-serio-comic nonsense coming out of the film factories, not to mention a more varied science fiction output, Buckaroo Banzai has lost much of its burnish. It was still fun, however, and if the dvd appears in the bargain racks somewhere I might pick it up. Peter Weller was kind of blank as the hero, Jeff Goldblum once again played himself (as he always does), and Ellen Barkin was more irritating now than she was when I initially saw her, but there isn’t much she could do with the part as written, which is a neurotic take on the standard damsel-in-distress. But there are all those bright 80s colors, John Lithgow, all those guys from Quincy, M.E. in bit parts, aliens giving each other the finger and sitting around bored watching tv when they are supposed to be fearsome and evil, the “nest,” etc. The plot was confusing so I won’t go over it here (something about aliens trying to take over the world and free themselves from another dimension, Peter Weller is some sort of singer-neurosurgeon-kung-fu-master… I dunno). A great party movie when you don’t really need to pay attention to dialogue and stuff.

More later. I watered my tomato plants, so of course rain clouds are advancing, and I need to go to the store for a couple of things I forgot. Be back later. Oh — and thanks to everyone who has contributed to my fund so far. You all deserve a personal email, but I downloaded the Paypal alerts with your emails in them to my laptop and then my laptop died. When (if) I get it fixed I’ll send you all a thank you note — for now this will have to do.

PS: I revamped my main gateway page with links to all my old websites — or as many as I could still link to. A couple of my early blogs are gone due to server crashes or incompetence on my part. But if you are at all curious about My Past on the ‘net (at least from 2001 to today), you can have a look.

Update: I forgot to mention one of the inadvertently funny moments in the Doctor Who episode I talk about above: the Doctor asks where one of his fellow Time Lords is — they had taken him into the Tardis to hide from the invaders — and Leela says “in the bathroom.” Now if you’re American and don’t know that “bathroom” to the Brits means a room where you take a bath — in other words, the room with the swimming pool I mentioned — you’ll have a vision of the character, meant to be a crusty old super-dignified sort, sitting on the commode.

And now for this brief commercial interruption

Moving 2 Comments »

Just to remind everyone, I am moving out of Florida. My chosen destination, for reasons mysterious even to myself (though bloggers I like do live there) is St. Louis. What can I say, I like the sound of the place — lots of beer, it’s on a big river, it’s in a state with real mountains, it has four seasons (I can have a Real Autumn at last! And I’ll finally experience snow!), has a big park and a botanical garden (I like things like that) and a lot of history, all things I love.

Right now I am trying to be good and have fixed my desired time of leaving at April 30th, which is when my lease ends. However, if I can’t find a job I will probably make an arrangement with my landlord to get out of my lease early and throw my cats in the car and head on up there sooner. Sure, I’m not used to a colder winter with possible ice and snow, but freezing temps are not unknown in the Orlando area — in fact, in my first year in my own apartment here over New Year’s temps went down into the twenties and my heater broke, and I survived. Florida’s bad weather is rather famous so that’s not a worry. I am sure the job market can’t be any worse than it is here — probably better, because it probably isn’t as hitched as Orlando’s is to the tourist industry.

Anyway, that’s just a repeat of my statement of my plans so far. I’m taking contributions towards the move, links on the left, etc. Every little bit helps.

Update: oh, and I just noticed, my air-conditioning has gone on the fritz. It’s already up to 83 degrees in here. Great, just great. (Yes, I have called maintenance.)

Update on the a/c situation: okay, the maintenance guy was here, and it’s not a problem he can fix tonight, it will have to wait until the morning. So I get to sleep with my sliding glass door open. Yays. At least I have the screened patio. And at least temps tonight are supposed to drop to the mid 60s. Right now, though, it’s about 87 outside. Do I really have to wait seven months to move up north? Ice and snow are looking quite attractive right now.


Moving No Comments »

I swear I didn’t choose to move to St. Louis because of this. I don’t drink that much… =O

Bloody Tuesday

Moving 1 Comment »

No, not election day, today — I made the mistake of going outside, getting in my car, and driving. I had places to go and things to do, but nothing urgent — I could have stayed nice and safe indoors and avoided all the people in Orlando who all apparently decided to double up on their ASSHOLE JUICE and get behind the wheel. Cars stopping in the middle of busy streets for no reason, people driving 23 miles per hour under the speed limit for no effin’ reason and then darting in front of ME because oh, they forgot, they wanted to turn left not right, cars darting out of side streets as if I were invisible, assrider assholes hitting their horns because I didn’t floor it the minute the light turned green (notice to impatient assriding assholes with overactive dick-on-horn syndrome: 1) my 1995 standard shift Toyota Tercel does not go from 0 to 50 in the space of one second and never will, and 2) that just makes me inclined to be even slower to engage my elderly gears). And then there were the weavers, who just can’t stand not to be in front of everyone, even though they are on the streets in a large metropolitan area and therefore there will always be someone else ahead of them.

Anyway, I got back home intact, and now I am on my ancient laptop, trying to get used to using it again as my major computer since I have decided to sell the snazzy, newish desktop in order to finance my move out of this hellhole. One of my tomato plants is starting to grow blossoms, but I might not even last as long as it take for the tomatoes to develop. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold out here until spring — staying here seems so pointless now. The one remaining friend I had in the area seems to have vanished off the face of the earth (her phone is disconnected, I had no other way of getting in touch with her), and I just don’t have anything tying me here except a lease which more and more seems to be just more money down the drain. Then again, if I don’t find a job, I won’t be able to stay here anyway…

Stay tuned for more updates to my saga.

Just to say

Blargle, Moving 3 Comments »

I am making chili, which is one of the world’s easiest meals to cook, at least the way I do it. I usually use whatever chili spice mix catches my eye — this time Publix brand. Just chop up an onion and a little garlic, throw it in a big pot with some vegetable oil (I favor olive oil, you can use regular or extra-virgin), throw in a pound to two pounds ground meat (1.70 lbs ground chuck, it was on sale), a big can of diced tomatoes, two regular cans of red or kidney beans, cook. See, the weather, while warm, is overcast and somewhat gloomy — perfect chili weather. Well, it would be more perfect if it were cold, but if you wait until one of Florida’s random cold snaps to make chili then you are a stronger person than I am.

Anyway — I can’t wait until I’m moved out of here. I am so looking forward to moving to St. Louis. I’m not exactly a great decision maker, but this feels right. I’ve never felt that I belonged in this state, and I don’t know why I haven’t already left. (Actually I do — laziness, inertia, fear of change, etc.) For many reasons which I won’t get into now I have been on a long process of making myself realize that I’m a grown woman who is allowed to live her own life and do what she wants. If I have the means to go somewhere I can. I don’t live in Soviet Russia, there’s no one I have to check in with if I want to take off somewhere. Yesterday I decided to drive up to High Springs, a small town outside of Gainesville that I had passed through on a trip with a friend (one of those “friends” who turned out to be just another chain on my life, thereby hangs a tale I won’t tell) many years ago. The town itself turned out to be a bit of a bust, though maybe I shouldn’t go places in rural Florida on Sunday if I want to see anything be open. But the weather was nice — rather hazy — and the countryside along I-75 is quite lovely. It passes through that part of Florida that’s full of horse ranches, and there are hills and vistas and things. With any luck I’ll be able to take a few more of these little jaunts, just to keep my restlessness down to a minimum, until I am finally able to leave this state for good.