Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today was my grandpa's birthday; he turned 84. We did what most grandkids do on such an occasion, and accompanied him to the metal recycling yard to haul in his cans, copper wire, and scrap brass and aluminum. (We made about a hundred bucks.) Then, we went back to his house to play rummy for about eight hours, before heading out for tacos.

I'm sure most people celebrating their 84th birthday this year got similar presents: a new shop light for a barn, a step stool, yard lights, and war movies. When we tried to sing "Happy Birthday" to him over pineapple upside-down cake, he sang along to the same melody, but his words were, "No no-no no no no."

Last week, we were hanging out at his house, and saw that he had about a dozen very heavy railroad ties in his barn. Laura started interrogating him: where did you get these? How did you get them up in your car? How did you get them down here to the barn? These are heavy! And he finally put a finger up and said, and I quote exactly: "HEY. SHUT UP."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's not wise to talk about how happy you are spring is imminent when it's still March. We lucked out, in that we didn't get the six to twenty inches the local meteorologists were crowing about excitedly as they frighten people and drive up ratings predicting. Instead, we got freezing rain, tiny baby hail, sleet, and finally about two inches of gross, wet snow. Now it's cold and I can't go do anything because the van doesn't drive well when it's cold (yes, we are still driving that van, and no, it hasn't been fixed yet, and yes, that means we have to enter on the passenger side and climb over seats to get into the driver's seat).

We went to my cousin-in-law Heather's baby shower yesterday, and it was okay, as these things go. I never understand the stupid shower games thing. What is its purpose? I am not doing that shit. My mom bought some cute baby dresses and such, and then we made things, because we figured she'd get a lot of stuff bought for her (we were right), and we thought some homemade stuff would be nice.

My mom made this lovely cream blanket. One of Heather's friends came up to her afterwards and asked how much it would cost for my mom to make her one, and just gushed about it. She really, really liked this blanket.



Laura made two adorable little hats; the other one is pink, but this one was my favorite. It's about two-thirds of the length of a new pencil, to give you a sense of scale.



Sarah whipped this one out in no time; straight double crochet, but the cream inner border really makes it smart, and it's got kind of a retro look that we really liked.



And this is the one I made; I just used the pattern on the skein, except that I used a variegated yarn for the border, which I think brightens it up and makes it a little more fun.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So we've got, like, eight different bitching and whining threads on the boards, right? Which is fine, because Lord knows I love to bitch and whine. But Laura and I just finished watching Happy-Go-Lucky, and it made me think that there's really something to enjoying life as much as you can, even if it's just being aware of the little things, and not taking anything for granted.

Here is a brief list of things that have made me happy recently. I am going to try to do this on a more regular basis.

1. Basketball. Not just KU playing and winning, but the tournament as a whole. Every year, Laura and my dad and I look forward to it, and fill out brackets, and listen to sports talk, and watch all the games, and it's just a great three weeks.

2. Star Trek, if only for moments like this:





3. Finishing my script.

4. Spring. Even though we've had a bit of a cold relapse, even that's not too bad because I know we're almost out of the woods. The grass is turning green, the trees are budding out, the air smells wonderful, like a greenhouse.

5. Eating some really good chocolate yesterday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yay! We made it to the Sweet Sixteen!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The good thing about Kansas really having to fight out a win today is that all my tension and stress got directed into basketball, and I haven't been in a state all day awaiting the BSG finale. I'm trying to decide if I want to rewatch Daybreak I or if I want to watch an old S1 episode in preparation. These things are important.

No matter what happens tonight, it's been a hell of a ride.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

BAAAAAASKETBALL. That's pretty much been my day, although it was a bit marred by the fact that CBS decided to show the entirety of the UNC game in our region, which, like, (a) we all hate North Carolina, and (b) it's not fun watching a blow-out unless you are the one blowing out. We play tomorrow morning, and we should advance with little difficulty, but you never know.

Yay for Maryland! I ended up following that game by watching the score at the top, because of the aforementioned blergh. If I had been at home, I would have watched online, but we were at my Gamps, having taken him his outdoor lounge chair he got for Christmas but which never made it over to his house, being as how it's been winter. Today was about 60, very breezy, but with just the right amount of humidity. Sunny. Gorgeous. My grandpa and I sat outside just basking for about half an hour.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sarah tied for seventh out of eighty-six students. The top three qualified for the national spelling bee in Washington D.C., so I think she was actually more upset at how close she got than if she'd gone out a round or two before. After correctly spelling dundrearies - and I include the dictionary link so you too can boggle that she was able to figure out how that word is spelled considering that we doubted at the time that it was actually a real word - she missed on communique. Which is a tough word, and definitely not one I would have been able to spell at that age. We're very proud of her.

Although, she slyly pointed out to my parents that one of the winner's prizes was a new laptop, but she didn't actually have to win a spelling bee to be given a laptop...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Horror and tragedy. Last night, I was entering a doze state when I heard the front door bang open and closed. My first thought, obviously, was, "Why is Marshall home on a Thursday night?" Because no one is so cavalier with slamming doors after others are asleep than Marshall. Then it occurred to me that it must be my dad. I got up at the same time Laura did, to find out that someone had backed up into our blue van.



My dad had been downstairs watching TV when he heard the crunch. He looked out the little window and saw the high schoolers all get out and look at the van - they had completely smashed in the driver's side door, rendering the car undriveable.



Then the kid who lives across the street from us (we call him Pugsley, but my mom thinks it's a mean nickname, so for the purposes of this blog, we'll call him the kid who lives across the street) ran into his house, and the girl driving the car took off.

We called the cops, who responded about forty-five minutes later. In the meantime, the younger kid across the street, who's in elementary school, and another friend of his just paced around in their driveway, in sub-freezing temperatures and near midnight, on the lookout for the cops, so we thought at first. Then we turned the lights off, and two minutes later the kid who lives across the street ran out to get something from HIS car parked on the street - who knows, but my dad ran out and stood and watched him, in case he was thinking of taking off himself.

After the cop arrived, the girl, with a simpering girlfriend in tow, showed back up. They stood in the street and giggled and never said a thing to my parents, standing right there. Apparently, her first words to the cop were, "I'm just seventeen, and I've never had an accident before, and I just didn't know what to do!" In the interminable amount of time it took for the cop to fill out paperwork, I ended up going outside. My mom asked me why I'd come out.

"To see who it was that hit my car."

No response.

"I see she's not even sorry about it."

At this she looked up at me from behind her waves of hair and snotted, "I AM sorry." Now, I've heard those words in the same petulant tone of voice too many times to mistake any actual sincerity in them, so now I was mad.

"Really? Then why didn't you come up to the house and tell us that right after it happened?"

"I wasn't going to do THAT. I panicked, and went home to talk to my dad."

And then my bullshit meter WENT OFF. And so did my heart. Boom boom boom. It did that shaky thing which is wont to turn into tears if allowed to go on too long, as I'm sure at least some of you have experienced.

"OH YEAH? You don't have a cell phone? You couldn't have gone into his [pointing to the house across the street] house to call? And it took you forty-five minutes to figure out that you're not supposed to leave the scene of an accident before you decided to come back?"

She muttered something about how it wasn't forty-five minutes when my mom, sensing imminent danger or possibly an assault charge, told me to go back into the house. I snarled, "Stupid, spoiled brat," over my shoulder as I went inside. Laura, who'd stayed inside, opened the door for me and added, "Fucking idiot," a most welcome contribution. Then we glowered from inside the door.

Finally, my parents came in, and we sat in the front room and watched for half an hour as the girl was put in the back of the police car and given tickets for hit and run and not having proof of insurance with her. She was much more sober upon her exit, perhaps finally understanding the seriousness of the situation. My dad found it hard to believe that a girl her age, having gone home and told her father that she'd hit a car and left, would have let her come back alone and without checking that she had all her paperwork in order. Just a little liar that hoped she could get away with it, who now hopefully has $500+ in tickets.

And oh, the poor blue van. It's been with us through thick and thin. It now has a single working door. No radio, no clock. The air conditioning doesn't work, and the heater has to think about it. The windshield wipers scrape across fitfully, and the defrost just laughs at us. The driver's seat has to be propped up with a box. The reverse makes the car shake. The transmission's going. The engine...oh, the engine. Twenty miles an hour up hills, a roaring forty down them. But goddamnit, it gets us to the library and Grandpa's, it gets me to work, it corners like a bull elk on ice, and I love it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

THANK GOD OKLAHOMA LOST TODAY, TOO.

No, I am doing nothing today other than making icons and watching basketball, thanks.
To work off my extreme basketball-related funk (wherein I committed the ulitmate blasphemy of bitterly hoping that they lost in the first game of the NCAA Tournament, too, the assholes), I played around on Photoshop for about an hour. New header, and a new desktop, which I copied after an earlier Cate Blanchett header I made years ago, if the style looks familiar. Also, a couple icons:

1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

10. 11.

The fact that number three is a direct quote from the show The IT Crowd should be all the reason you need to watch it.

ETA: Icons I made from the previous desktop. This actually worked out pretty well, I thought, as there's a lot of texture and depth you can get into an icon when you crop it down from something much larger, but I usually don't have the patience or time to work on a canvas that large for an itty bitty icon.
Jesus Christ, we lost to Baylor in the first round, what the fuck. We're going to get a four seed. I don't believe this.

KU, KU, what hast thou dunst?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yay! I'm sick again! Some weak people whine that the symptoms of the flu are just too much to go through, but I know they're just proof that one's immune system is functioning properly. It's like running a diagnostic. Do I ache all over like I've been hit with a baseball bat? Check. Am I generating a fever high enough to make me shake and shiver? Check. Am I producing absurd amounts of snot? Check. Do I have a deep, wracking cough tearing up my throat and sapping my will to live? Check. Am I able to remain upright for only half-hours at a time? Check.

I wonder what Gaius Baltar thinks of this.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Funniest thing I've ever seen on BSG, hands down. ---------->

Saturday, March 7, 2009

At the beginning of the season, pretty much everyone - ESPN, Sports Illustrated, AP, the coaches' poll - put Kansas at fourth or fifth in the Big 12 Conference, and pretty much gave up on the idea of us doing anything at all in the NCAA Tournament. And honestly, our play at the beginning of the season didn't really belay that prediction.

But as of tonight, we are the champions of the Big 12 regular season; if we can win the Big 12 Tournament next weekend, we'll pretty much be set for a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which is more than I ever could have hoped for. (Of course, if we had beat Texas Tech on Wednesday we might have scraped up a 1 seed, but them's the breaks.)

In other news, I typed up 30+ pages today, and the weather was frakking perfect. 60s, around 50% humidity, light breeze. We're getting thunderstorms tonight, so my life is pretty much made right now. I'm waiting for the BSG torrent to finish up because I have an epic icon to make, and maybe watch some Big Love. Good times.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Normally, I like to post my own icons here. Every now and then, there will be a really simple crop that I'll like and it seems kind of pointless to go through, find the cap, and crop it myself just so it's "my" icon - the wonderful shot of Michael and George Michael with Buster's hook in the foreground is an example.

But I saw this Mary icon today, and...well, it's mine now. Loves it. Nnngh.

Monday, March 2, 2009



Kansas is back in the top ten, and all is right with the world. We lost every single starter from the National Championship team, and there was a very strong understanding that this year would be a rebuilding year. We didn't have high expectations. But now we're on top of the Big 12, looking at a high seed for the tournament, and the hopes, they are a-creeping back in.

We mauled Missouri yesterday, and here are a few pictures; one from the game itself (that's John Brown, with the Championship trophy instead of the Bible), and one a t-shirt that was made up for the game. For reference, see, teams like K-State and Texas? They're rivals. Missouri? Is our enemy. We HATE Missouri. Every year, the KU students make up new and exciting shirts to mock and deride Mizzou (since we're no longer allowed to wear the "Muck Fizzou" t-shirts at the games), and this might be one of my favorites.



Sunday, March 1, 2009

February new media.

Movies
10. Gran Torino (2008). 2-1.
11. Utopia (1951). 2-4.
12. Stand and Deliver (1988). 2-5.
13. Slumdog Millionaire (2008). 2-7.
14. Death at a Funeral (2007). 2-8.
15. Ghost Town (2008). 2-11.
16. Coraline (2009). 2-15.
17. In Bruges (2008). 2-19.
18. Persepolis (2007). 2-27.

Books
6. Caesar: Life of a Colossus, Adrian Goldsworthy. 2-22.

Television Episodes
61. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x06 - “The Schizoid Man.” 2-1.
62. The Office - 5x13 - “Stress Relief.” 2-1.
63. Heroes - 3x14 - “A Clear and Present Danger.” 2-3.
64. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x07 - “Unnatural Selection.” 2-3.
65. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x08 - “A Matter of Honor.” 2-3.
66. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x09 - “The Measure of a Man.” 2-4.
67. The Office - 5x14 - “Lecture Circuit Part I.” 2-5.
68. 30 Rock - 3x10 - “Generalissimo.” 2-5.
69. Big Love - 3x03 - “Prom Queen.” 2-6.
70. Battlestar Galactica - 4x14 - “Blood on the Scales.” 2-6.
71. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x10 - “The Dauphin.” 2-8.
72. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x11 - “Contagion.” 2-10.
73. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x12 - “The Royale.” 2-10.
74. Heroes - 3x15 - “Trust and Blood.” 2-11.
75. Big Love - 3x04 - “On Trial.” 2-11.
76. The Office - 5x15 - “Lecture Circuit Part II.” 2-12.
77. 30 Rock - 3x11 - “St. Valentine’s Day.” 2-12.
78. Star Trek - 1x01 - “The Man Trap.” 2-13.
79. Dollhouse - 1x01 - “Ghost.” 2-13.
80. Battlestar Galactica - 4x15 - “No Exit.” 2-13.
81. Star Trek - 1x02 - “Charlie X.” 2-14.
82. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 1x05 - “Queen’s Gambit.” 2-14.
83. Extras - 1x06 - “Patrick Stewart.” 2-14.
84. Star Trek - 1x03 - “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” 2-15.
85. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 1x06 - “Dungeons and Dragons.” 2-16.
86. Heroes - 3x16 - “Building 26.” 2-17.
87. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x13 - “Time Squared.” 2-17.
88. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x14 - “The Icarus Factor.” 2-18.
89. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 1x07 - “The Demon Hand.” 2-20.
90. Dollhouse - 1x02 - “Target.” 2-20.
91. Battlestar Galactica - 4x16 - “Deadlock.” 2-20.
92. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 1x08 - “Vick’s Chip.” 2-21.
93. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 1x09 - “What He Beheld.” 2-21.
94. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x15 - “Pen Pals.” 2-22.
95. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x16 - “Q Who?” 2-22.
96. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 2x01 - “Samson and Delilah.” 2-24.
97. Big Love - 3x05 - “For Better or For Worse.” 2-24.
98. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x17 - “Samaritan Snare.” 2-25.
99. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 2x02 - “Automatic for the People.” 2-25.
100. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x18 - “Up the Long Ladder.” 2-26.
101. 30 Rock - 3x12 - “Larry King.” 2-26.
102. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x19 - “Manhunt.” 2-27.
103. Battlestar Galactica - 4x17 - “Someone to Watch Over Me.” 2-27.
104. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 2x03 - “The Mouse Trap.” 2-28.
105. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 2x20 - “The Emissary.” 2-28.
106. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - 2x04 - “Allison from Palmdale.” 2-28.