Tags: summer

*gen - tiffany

Summer blahs

Summer's almost over. I head back to work on Monday. (I'll skip my usual explanation of why our schools start so "early".) I'm actually excited about my placement next year, as it's the subject I've been wanting to teach for a while. But I'm also very lazy and would rather not work at all. ;) This summer has been weird, though. It's all been a haze, leaving me with the sense of too much wasted time. I feel like I haven't really taken advantage of it, with my sloth a serious liability. So I decided that I should make a list of all the things I *have* done, in hopes of giving myself some perspective! Let's see. Since Memorial Day weekend, I have....

-- Read 23 books, most of them throwaway mysteries but with some real gems in there.
-- Knit four summery sweaters, with a fifth close to completion. Lots of cotton, which makes them perfect even in this heat. Alas, one was for my sister, and another isn't at all suitable for work. But hey, I still have two that I can wear for the next few months!
-- Cuddled my happy, laughing baby nephew, and played with his awesome four-year-old brother.
-- Kept my home reasonably clean, which is a huge deal for me.
-- Fashioned a rainwater collection system for watering plants that I have somehow managed not to kill.
-- Attended a two-day workshop even though I didn't qualify for the stipend, in hopes it would score me the aforementioned new teaching position. *g*
-- Reorganized my closet, and it looks awesome.
-- Gotten pathetically addicted to various Facebook games, especially the evil Gardens of Time.
-- Eaten lots of fruits and vegetables. I might not actually be any healthier for it, but I like to think that it helped.

So. I suppose that the list still isn't all it could've been, given how lucky I am to have an extended break. But it's something, right? Now I just have to start shifting my brain into Work Mode -- and hope that I can also shift over my sleep schedule. :)
*gen - tiffany

Heat and wool and beans.

1. You'd think that after spending my entire life in warm climates (aside from a year in London), I'd be used to summer. I'm not. Hate the heat, especially on typical days like this afternoon with "only" 90 degrees but with 58% humidity. When I ran to Publix earlier, I came back with an itchy scalp and freshly-washed hair soaked with sweat. I should apologize for my A/C overuse, but I'm a wimp who needs a steady stream of cool air. One thing I miss about TX is that although the temps were high, it was a nice, dry heat. (And yeah, I know that neither place even has it that bad compared to many others!)

2. And I segue from heat to ... sweaters. ;) It really is funny how I avoided them for so long because I didn't think I had the patience or money, but now I'm addicted. Just finished my sixth this year! Collapse )

3. I'm now a little over halfway through S4 of The Wire. The first handful of episodes were just as hard to watch as they were when I tried as it aired four years ago. I have enough stress and dejection teaching at a low-income middle school -- though in conditions a bit better than Tilghman's -- that I can't really stomach seeing it play out onscreen. It cut way too close to the bone. But I'm enjoying it a bit more now that things are improving a bit for Prez and his classroom. This might be the best season, but it probably won't be my favorite!

Oh, another funny thing about it: I hadn't read the actors' bios, so I had no idea that Aidan Gillen is Irish until the other night he slipped up and said "been" to rhyme with "bean". Popped over to IMDb, saw his place of birth, and laughed aloud. Works every time! (Silly, but my favorite line on BSG is when Lee says "This next group has never even bean in a cockpit!") And I got a kick out of the cast's mini-reunion last weekend at Dominic West's wedding. Great photos! Ah, from Baltimore drug dens to an Irish castle. :)
*gen - tiffany

Swimsuit frustrations.

I've been feeling both antsy and lethargic all day, which is usually a sign of PMS. Lovely. This afternoon I went to Target to get a swimsuit, but the only one I liked (and could afford) didn't come in my size. I even considered going by Wal-Mart to check a few that I saw on the website, but the lethargy struck. I'm a cheapskate and don't want to spend more than $30 or so for a swimsuit that I'll only wear a handful of times per year, but options are very limited when you're a plus-sized woman who needs one before Monday. I do have one of those "tankinis", but the bottoms sag in the back, and the top rides up when I move, exposing my ample belly. Lovely. I suppose it'll do, but I'll look around a bit more this weekend. Fortunately, I'm not so self-conscious that it'll keep me from hitting the pool next week!

Anyway! Day 10: A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving. I suppose I'll go with BSG. I've never been into true science fiction -- a tiny bit of prejudice, maybe, but mostly because it's just not all that interesting to me. Watching it never would've crossed my mind if not for how quite a few people on my flist started raving about it early in S1. I was bored one Friday night, so I turned it on. As fate would have it, the episode happened to be "Act of Contrition". Quite unexpectedly, I fell in love with Kara Thrace and the show itself. :)
*gen - tiffany

Life continues apace.

Haven't updated in a few days, so here are the wild adventures in my life. (Note the sarcasm.)

-- Celebrated the Fourth with a bad sunburn.
-- Heading to Dallas tomorrow to see the family and play with my adorable two-year-old nephew.
-- Finished knitting the February Lady Sweater. Second sweater in two months, which is a huge accomplishment for me.
-- Watched last season of 24 over two days. It's still as fast and dumb and fun as the previous seasons.
-- Otherwise hibernating and being somewhat antisocial. It comes in phases. Hopefully this one's on the way out.

And here's a linkspam before I go finish packing.

-- From the NYT: Sarah Vowell on the renaming of Rhode Island, and collecting fancy stationery.
-- Mental Floss lists ten ways to learn stuff while procrastinating online.
-- The Times has tips on how to write erotica. Most are familiar but worth a look.
-- Making the rounds: Air New Zealand's nude in-flight safety video. Well, with body paint. I quite like the gender parity.
-- For fans of run-ons: One-Sentence Stories.
-- Here's a new blog devoted to awful library books.
-- I adore Amy Poehler's web series Smart Girls at the Party.
-- On the local front... NPR profiles Georgia peaches: a ripe legacy.
-- On the fandom front... jamiebambernews has some great Jamie pics, including a reappearance of the flip-flops! And daybreak777 wrote a hilarious ficlet about the medical consequences of Kara's "free love" lifestyle. ;)
*gen - tiffany

... in which I babble in the form of a numbered list.

1. After dropping off two boxes of clothes donations at the women's shelter today, I felt the siren call of IKEA two blocks away. I am powerless to resist its song, even though I really don't need more stuff. I am also powerless against my addiction to reusable shopping bags, and IKEA has the absolute best shopping bags ever. Collapse )

2. On a related note, I also got some of their new hair conditioner just for the hell of it. The front of the bottle is making me laugh. Collapse )

3. In addition to linguistics, I am totally geeking out over this huge architecture picspam. Just like poor Gaeta, I spent most of my childhood designing floorplans for truly awesome buildings, though none of them were shaped like food. I wanted to be an architect until I realized that all my buildings would fall down because I hate engineering. I just love looking at architecture, even if I know very little about it.

4. I'm also giggling at the guy who is being a wee bit wanky about who gets to listen to his exclusive Sufjan Stevens song.

5. Yarny friends: don't forget that Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day! Looks like I'm meeting some friends at Park Tavern at noonish.

6. Recently I decided to stop bitching about it taking over the world and finally join Twitter. (Not posting my screenname here because I have some RL friends there.) This afternoon I asked a friend there if she wanted to do the Knit in Public thing at a nearby bar, and within an hour that bar's Twitter acct had started following me. I'm not upset or creeped out -- hey, it was a public post, though I've since made my feed private -- but it's still a bit funny and disconcerting!

7. Thanks to the news that Katee Sackhoff is joining the cast of 24, last night I dreamed that the equally-as-awesome Franka Potente was also joining the cast. Starbuck and Lola together? Excellent. Then I woke up. :(

8. I've posted a couple of ficlets for oxoniensis's massive Porn Battle, and I'm toying with a couple more that might not get done before the deadline. Scrolling through them is mind-boggling just for the sheer breadth of all the different fandoms, including some I've never heard of. I grinned when I saw that someone has written for Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, my favorite play, but I can't quite see Thomasina and Septimus getting naked. ;)

ETA: Just turned on Globe Trekker, which is doing one of their best-of clipshows. One guy made me do a double-take. I looked closer, and... yup, it's pre-fame Bradley Cooper with really floppy bleached blond hair. HEE!
*gen - tiffany

How many weeks? How many sheiks?

1. Ah, the power of traffic to rule one's summer schedule. One of my projects for ESOL certification class is to visit DeKalb Farmer's Market and write about the cultural representations that I observe. I really wanted to go today (and get in some grocery shopping while there), but unless I'd left at noon, there was no way I could get across town and back without hitting the rush hour wall that lasts from 2-8. Lovely. Guess I'll go tomorrow.

2. Speaking of farmer's markets, I need to find a list of all the fruit/vegetable stands in town. Seems like they're popping up all over the place, but they're usually held at inconvenient times like Saturday mornings. I keep meaning to go to the one on Tuesday nights at the Episcopal church down the street, but every week I forget about it until five minutes after they close.

3. I used to be such a noctural person. Still am, to an extent. But lately I've found myself getting rather sad at around this time of the evening when I have to close the blinds and turn on the lights.

4. I know some of you are also old Sports Night fans, so here's a heads-up that Sepinwall has started reviewing the first season. Yay! I rewatched the first two eps last night. Damn, I loved that show. (And nope, never really liked The West Wing.)

5. A favorite quote from Conan the other night: "YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook will merge to create one super time-wasting website, YouTwitFace." (And speaking of late night TV, the theme song from "Where and When Is Stephen Colbert Going to Be in the Persian Gulf?" is my current earworm. Gah!)

6. Many thanks to padabee for bringing us more half-naked Jamie Bamber. Also, Pilots-loving friends, mintenergy has finished Signal Fire. As I plan to say in the feedback that I promise to leave tonight, it's very lovely and *fulfilling* after what happened in the finale. Do go read it and give her lots of great feedback!

7. My dad wants a subscription to Wine Spectator magazine for Father's Day. Amazon has it for $50, which is nearly half the cover price, but that's still a bit steep for my current budget. Any idea where I could find it a bit more cheaply?

8. I'm sad that The Hangover looks like a crap movie, because I still have a tiny crush on Bradley Cooper. ("Will Tippin" remains my favorite fictional name. Such fun to say aloud!)

9. Nominations for the Television Critics Awards have been announced. I'm dismayed that out of ten nominees for "Individual Achievement in Comedy/Drama", only two (token) women made the cut. While I'm sure all the nominees did a marvelous job last year, would it have killed the critics to find more women for the lists?

10. While I was never a huge fan of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I wish it had stuck around. Even those of you who weren't fans should check out this blog post by its executive producer about its cancellation. Both hilarious and depressing.
*gen - tiffany

The summer of staying home.

The dealership won't be able to look at the car and give me an estimate until Monday. I'm trying not to live in dread. Caught a lucky break when they offered me a free loaner instead of having to shell out for a rental. It's much nicer than mine and even has Sirius. Fun! I might take it for a spin later, but I'm staying home as much as possible to save money. Rather frustrating, because a friend invited me to a neat-sounding hipster craft fair. Such is life! And on that note, I decided to make a Summer To-Do List.

1. Finish some forgotten projects and knit a sweater. Collapse )

2. Stay in the ESOL certification course. No dropping out because I'm bored and want to be lazy at home!

3. Do some tutoring to earn money. Post an ad on Craigslist. Figure out what exactly a summer ELA tutor does.

4. Get out of the apartment. See parts of town I've never visited. Try out some of the local farmer's markets.

5. Write some fic outside my usual genres. Take a few risks and stop killing my characters!

6. Try out DVDs of shows I missed the first time around.

7. Wean myself of this terrible addiction to Spider Solitaire.

And since my bookmarks are once again out of control, here's a linkspam:
-- From the NYT: Designing Women was a subtly progressive sitcom, older actresses thrive on Broadway, and a fun article about the Zamboni.
-- Foodie links: regional cuisine is dying out, and Top Chef's Richard Blais has some fascinating blog posts on Creative Loafing.
-- Inspirational: a teen goes from a homeless shelter to college, Nia Vardalos adopts a foster child, and Kenyan women become footballers.
-- Birmingham Magazine interviews Mental_Floss about their clever t-shirts. (And here's their weekly roundup.)
-- Amy Sedaris video awesomeness: on Letterman, on Yo Gabba Gabba, and my favorite old interview with Colbert. (I need an Amy icon.)
-- Slate asks whether we should be threatened by the Terminator robot takeover. (Why no BSG shout-out?) Plus, a piece on Wes Anderson's influence on movies. And Matt Zoller Seitz has a very long and interesting essay about Anderson.
-- Missing 30 Rock already? Check out The Complete Tracy Jordan.
-- Toilet humor: Run Pee tells when you can take a bathroom break during movies. And a game involving men, toilets, and aiming.
-- Randomness shameless culled from M_F: cat yodeling, a Milky Way timelapse video, the greatest explosions ever, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus!, rules for time travelers, and a fun pronunication poem.
*gen - tiffany

"Robots. From the future."

Last summer I downloaded the pilot of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I didn't like it AT ALL. It wasn't bad; it just didn't appeal to me -- and I got even more grumbly when so many people began to rave about it as it aired. (Yeah, I'm irrational that way.) But I've been bored, and last night queenofthorns posted that she'd just started watching and really enjoyed it. So last night I downloaded all nine episodes. I'm still not sold, but I'm liking it more than I'd expected. Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

The Saturday Ramble

How much do I adore marenfic? She drove two hours to visit me. The Sacred Heart Air Band in reruns. Minivan. Lunch. IKEA. An unexpectedly closed yarn store. Diet Dr. Pepper. Trader Joe's. And then we came back here and talked about every single person on our flists. Okay, the last one is a lie. Still, we had more fun than is humanly possible, and we'll have to do it again this summer! Everyone should have wonderful friends like Maren. :)

Today really felt like summer, too. I'm starting to get excited about all my vacation time. Right now I'm rewatching Horatio Hornblower, because Baby!Jamie always makes me grin. Beautiful day, and my apartment's actually clean for once. Speaking of cleaning, I need to clear out my bookmarks.

-- proggrrl posted a heads-up that The Envelope is doing another screening series in LA next month, with actors and creators from Damages, Mad Men, Big Love, Breaking Bad, BSG, and House. And their forums has a list of episodes that various actors and shows have submitted for Emmys consideration. I'm always amused by some of the shows that putting themselves in the running. "Sine Qua Non" must be pretty darn good, huh?

-- Again, in fandom news, Gawker sings the praises of "blonde tomboy space girl!", which makes me giggle.

-- More TV stuff: Interesting Pile has a list of Memorial Day Weekend TV marathons. Vulture interviews Danny Strong (Jonathan!) about Recount. And PopWatch has an interview with Hart Hanson about the Bones season finale, though it doesn't explain that hour of "WTF?"

-- txvoodoo has an interesting discussion about whether TV fandoms expect too much with our analysis and criticism.

-- Cracked always has interesting lists. Here are 8 child prodigies so amazing they'll ruin your day. RealSimple also posts good lists. Since I'm planning my Vancouver-Seattle trip, I've been reading their list of travel-related tips.

-- Today's dose of randomness: Jezebel's weekly YA book club is on The Girl with the Silver Eyes. Jack Handey (remember him?) wrote a hilarious essay about his American flag. And The AntiCraft!'s Beltane special issue is all about... uh... bacon. Now you can make your very own baconhenge.

-- Making the rounds is this very long NY Times Magazine essay about one blogger's experiences in over-sharing her life. I should probably take a hint, because I talk WAY too much!

-- On that note, I'll finally start trying to catch up on comments. :) And my Kara/Lee friends should really check out the fic and linkspams that my amazing friends have posted on the birthday community. I'm still SO touched and delighted, and all that marvelous stuff should really be shared with everyone!
*gen - tiffany

The Celebrity Wank Edition

Resisting the urge to buy more yarn is a constant struggle. I've been making fingerless gloves (yes, I fell off the wagon) as gifts for friends, and I'm so tempted to head to the yarn store to buy more Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran or, even better, some Karabella Aurora 8 (and that name still makes me giggle for BSG-related reasons.) Unfortunately, the skeins are $8 a pop. I could make perfectly nice gloves -- albeit not as soft -- with Knitpicks' Merino Style for $2.49 plus shipping, but where's the fun in that? And let's not discuss the fact that my storage closet contains *boxes* of yarn from previous projects, or bought just because I liked it. Knitting is an expensive hobby, and yarn stores full of temptation don't help one bit.

I've been melancholy and out-of-sorts all day, obviously due to the back-to-work thing. Some fic would certainly cheer me up. ;) I've been trying to think of witty things to say, but I keep coming up blanks. So, I'll just toss some links out there. At least I have some good ones tonight!

-- The poet Robert Olen Butler is not pleased that his wife left him for Ted Turner, so he sent an e-mail to his colleagues. The wank here is magnificent. (Check the links after the e-mail for more hilarity.)

-- Speaking of celebrity wank, EW interviewed Isaiah Washington about his post-GA career and his BW role. Kudos to him for being a Katee fan, but the rest of it? OMG. I started laughing like a fiend when he talked about what philanthropist he is, and then it only got worse. This guy is something else.

-- Sepinwall has an interview with Steven Moffat, primarily about Jekyll, which starts Sunday night on BBCA. I've seen the whole series, and I'm not sure what to make of it. I think it was good, but I'm as confused as all get-out.

-- In an audio story, The Onion breaks the news that New Jimmy Buffett song "Cold Weather and Personal Responsibility" disappoints long-time fans.

-- Salon has a really interesting book excerpt about quinceañera parties.

-- Finally, Slate asks, Why are we so obsessed with Jane Austen's love life?