Friday, October 30, 2009

"Has anybody seen my tambourine?"

Tim Curry is Halloween.

A lot of people have Halloween traditions that revolve around The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I don't think I've ever even seen the whole thing. For me, Tim Curry has some films in his reperitoire that are quite a bit scarier:

Between It, which basically ruined my sister's childhood & ability to go to birthday parties without melting down (and which, sorry SisterJ, they are remaking :yay!) and my favorite nonsensical Halloween 80's throwback treat, The Worst Witch, there is plenty of proof that Tim Curry is an excellent actor, appropriately cheesy, and just a creepy, creepy guy.

Evidence: He hates orphans; he wanted the rainforest destroyed; he ruined the word "poppet" for me; he plotted to kill a king; and he did it all with a smarmy, oil-slick sneer. He can be funny, could be charming - No: he is charming - but at the same time, you can't kind of tell he wants to rip you to pieces as soon as you aren't paying enough attention.
This is a guy who just can't help it: He's creepy in two Christmas movies... and a Muppet movie, for goodness sake. So here's a little Tim Curry to get you in the Halloween Spirit:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

15 years and counting...

I turned 30 earlier this year, and, in the months leading up to that day, I was getting a whole lot of "Is turning thirty going to bother you?" "Do you think you're going to freak out?" "Does being 30 make you feel OLD?" type questions. I didn't think 30 was anything to freak out over, and told people so, even if I don't think of the number as having any actual relation to my life. (If you're going by how I feel I might as well be 97 right now, physically, and about 12, on a good day, emotionally.) But there is something about turning thirty that I knew was going to really mess me up, and that is that it marks a different sort of milestone for me: I have now been sick longer than I have been ill.

The last day I remember being well was October 20, 1994: Fifteen years ago. I have now been living with chronic illness for exactly 1/2 of my life. And that is a heavy, heavy thing.

It shouldn't be, probably: It's certainly no surprise, at this point, to realize that my illnesses aren't going anywhere. For the first few months, and even the first couple of years, there was the constant thought that "I could wake up better tomorrow" just as suddenly as I had woken up devastatingly ill that first morning. As time went by, and test after test would come back screwed up (but not treatable) and doctor after doctor stopped treating anything except the active infections (rather than the underlying whatever-the-hell-is-causing-this), it got harder and harder to believe that one day I'd just wake up better. One thing snowballed into another, relapse ran into relapse, sleep problems followed pain problems followed breathing problems followed energy problems, and the cycle just seemed inescapable. (It still seems pretty inescapable.)

And to know that there is no end in sight, that these 15 years are probably just the beginning of a really long haul (if I am lucky), that's a hard pill to swallow as well.

But here's another thing I've been thinking about: There were also numerous times where I figured, "I'm just going to die from this... I can't survive this time." (I still have those times, too.) And if I look at it that way, if I look at the past fifteen years and think - "Well, I've survived this for half my life. I've coped as best I could, and survived a lot of things I didn't think it was possible to survive. And I am still here" - then it's not quite as hard to swallow, I think. Seeing myself as a survivor, rather than a sufferer is one of the many distinctions about my identity I have had to make over the years, and it's one of the hardest to hold on to.

Here's the thing, I'm a woman with a disability: I have now been disabled half my life, and I am so proud of the ways in which I have met the challenges of my disability, in the ways I've cobbled together an identity from the bits and pieces of myself that were left over and the new ones I discovered along the way. In that way, I figure that I am no different from anybody else: Everyone - disabled or temporarily able bodied - spends those 15 years of their life (from 15 -30) trying to figure out who they are, who they want to be, and how to live in a way that is best for them.

Life experiences change who we are, and being ill has certainly changed who I am - and not in a completely negative way. But still, when October comes, I remember the part of me that I lost - the part of me died 15 years ago: the dancer who could be touched without crying, who had energy to spare after walking 5 miles, who thought she was going to be a million things, but none of them included this - and so I'm still mourning that person that I could've been, that I maybe should have been, but, at the same time I'm also incredibly proud of the woman I am turning out to be. Does this make sense to anybody but me?

Basically, as I came up to this Sick-a-versary, I was more conflicted than I've been in years past - it feels like both a solemn occasion, because of all that I've lost, and a cause for celebration, because I am Still. Here.

(I've been working on this post for a week, and it still doesn't feel like it explains exactly how I am feeling, but I suppose this is the closest I am going to get, for now. I hope it makes sense to some of you.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The End

Final Tally!

Title of book(s) read since last update: The Areas of My Expertise
Number of books read since you started: 8 whole and two halves (of different books)
Pages read since last update:74
Running total of pages read since you started: 2282 + 74 = 2356
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 87 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1269 + 87 = 1356 = 22.6 hours/24!
Mini-challenges completed: 8
Other participants you’ve visited: Around 24
Prize you’ve won: 1 ! T

Alright Folks - Readathon's Final Hour

End Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Somewhere around 5 o'clock, and hour 19, when I completely lost the ability to do math.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? My first two books of the Readathon, The Sugar Queen and The Perks of Being a Wallflower were definitely winners.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Maybe I will when I have some time to think about it, but not right now.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Using audiobooks for exhausted/overly busy time periods; having enough of a TBR pile that I could just skip ahead to the next thing if what I was reading wasn't working for me. The Amazing Cheerleaders!
5. How many books did you read? 8 complete books (and 2 halves of other books)
6. What were the names of the books you read? The Sugar Queen, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, My Father's Dragon, Tempt Me At Twilight, Crouching Vampire Hidden Fangs, Positively Pooh, Visions in White, Bound By Your Touch and half each of The Introvert's Advantage and The Areas of My Expertise.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Sugar Queen, I think: it was the most enchanting, and unique.
8. Which did you enjoy least? The Introvert's Advantage: By the time I got to it, I wasn't in the mood, and there was a lot of specific science that I would like to read about, just wasn't happening for me today.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I know I'd love to participate again, I just am not sure whether I'd do it all exactly the same.

That said, I had a fabulous, fabulous time and I can't thank the cheerleaders/challenge leaders/organizers enough!

Hour 22

Into the last couple of hours here, and while I wouldn't say I'm still going strong, I am still going. Not all that unusual for me, except that I don't usually post every hour or two of my insomnia, so it's weird to try to think of things to say, or to attempt to add numbers together (thank god for calcuators!) Here are my latest, updated stats... I probably won't check back in again till it's almost finish-line time, so I just want to wish everybody who's still playing along a great last little while: You can do it!

Title of book(s) read since last update: Vision in White, Areas of my Expertise by John Hodgeman
Number of books read since you started: 8 & 3/4
Pages read since last update: 65
Running total of pages read since you started: 1840 + 167 (hour 19) + 210 (hours 20/21) + 65 (now) = 2282
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 40 min
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 180 +140 + 40 +909 = 1269 = 21.5 hours
Mini-challenges completed: 8
Other participants you’ve visited: None since about 1 o'clock this morning
Prize you’ve won: 1! Yay! From JoyStory.

Hours 20 & 21

Yeah, I'm still having issues with the maths, but I do know that I finished another book, which I'm pretty sure makes it 7, but I'll have to go back and double check in a little bit. It took me a little bit longer because of sleepy brain cells, but another 210 pages are done. And there's on a few hours left, so I'm going to turn off the lights and listen for a while, see if I can't get closer to the end of one more book.

Hour # I hate maths (also = 19)

We're getting into the wee small hours, here, and I'm not exactly feeling the number-love, so this post is just going to say that I finished another 100 pages of Tempt me at Twilight and am 67 pages into Vision in White by Nora Roberts, which is my first re-read of the whole Readathon. I've been reading non-stop since my last update, an hour and a half ago, so that's 180 minutes. And now I'm going to listen to the end of my audiobook, or head back into La Nora, (something nice and easy) with a short break to go grab another water and to close my window because it's getting cold.

Before she went to bed, Mum says to me "If you happen to feel your eyes closing... don't fight it," which is kind of one of those very sad jokes that only we get, because I've had insomnia now for at least 7 years: You can wager any amount of money that, challenge or no, if my eyes started to close? I would let them. She did have a good point though, that if somebody tells you you can't do something, it makes you want to do it even more, because people are perverse that way. So maybe, in the next couple of hours, I'll figure out that the way to solve my insomnia is to tell people I HAVE to stay awake. You could also lay a wager down that, if that works, I will pay someone to tell me that. Every night, for as long as it takes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon - Hour 17 - Getting closer now!

Title of book(s) read since last update: Bound by Your Touch, Tempt me at Twilight
Number of books read since you started: 7 (and two halves of other books)
Pages read since last update: 365
Running total of pages read since you started: 1475+365 = 1840
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 105 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 804+105 = 909 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: I've got 6 previous ones, and I'm including the Children's Lit mini-challenge & I gave my dancing routine mini-challenge over at Fyrefly books, so that brings me up to 8.
Other participants you’ve visited: I've been lax this past chunk of time, but I'm planning on getting around a little bit now, between books.
Prize you’ve won:0

Infantbibliophile asked for 5 of our favorite children's books, and that is a challenge that could not be more up my alley:

Here are 5 that we've read this past week:
1Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
2Baby Sees by Eloise Wilkins
3Big Dog, Little Dog by PD Eastman
4I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Firth
5What do Doozers Do? by Michaela Muntean

Heading into Hour #15, here's where I am

Title of book(s) read since last update: I read about 60 pages of The Introvert Advantage, which was great, but just not holding my interested, and then spent the rest of an hour listening to some Tempt me at Midnight, and now I'm 144 pages into Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran
Number of books read since you started: 6 books, 1/2 of two others
Pages read since last update: 284
Running total of pages read since you started: 1189+284 = 1475
Amount of time spent reading since last update: All but 16 minutes or so, when I was talking, since 8:00, so that's about 104 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 700+104 = 804
Mini-challenges completed:
5 previous, and then I did the re-reading the classics mini-challenge, so that makes 6
Other participants you’ve visited: Nobody new this time, I've been caught up
Prize you’ve won:

Halfway through and A survey too!

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?Tempt me Twilight audio, and I think I'll be picking up Dairy Queen next.

2. How many books have you read so far? 6.5

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Three Cups of Tea, which I've been saving forever.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Not really: I was hoping to have Youngest Nephew over for a sleepover tonight, but it wasn't me that held that up, so aside from my parents, I've been all clear.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I've had very few interruptions, honestly. Mum or Dad wandering in, but that's about it.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? That time goes by so quickly, so I don't get to fit in as many of the add-ons as I might like. I think I'm going to cut back a little on the extracurricular chasing in this second half, unless I feel like listening rather than actively reading.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I'm having such a fabulous time, I can't imagine what would make it better, at this point.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Definitely vary the books a little bit better, have more choices immediately on hand (if I ever unpack the bookcases, this will not be an issue, but as it is, I can't get to all those boxes right this minute.) And maybe asking for sponsors to help with the donations (I'm still thinking about that).

9. Are you getting tired yet? I'm always tired, so this is just an ordinary day for me, only more people are playing along.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
So far, the only trick I've got is the listening to audiobooks while I do the detail type things - the food getting, book retrieving, stretching of sore parts - so that I'm not losing any of the reading time. But I do that normally, too, so I can't say it's an adaptation I have just for the challenge.

Best of luck, everybody: We're halfway there!
(And, having made it to 6 books, I'm up to $50, so I feel pretty damn good about that!)

Readathon Hour #11 Update

Title of book(s) read since last update: My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett; Another couple chapters of Tempt me at Twilight
Number of books read since you started:
Pages read since last update: 140
Running total of pages read since you started: 1049+140 = 1189
Amount of time spent reading since last update: Since 5:55, I've been reading non-stop so that's 75 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 625+75 = 700 minutes (I love even numbers like that!)
Mini-challenges completed: Three previous challenges, plus the two I completed this hour = 5
Other participants you’ve visited: Skrishna (who has a fantabulous reading rate); All of the Readers of the hour
Prize you’ve won: 0

Things I would do differently next time: I would be better prepared - already, even though we're one hour short of the halfway mark, I find that I don't have the right mix of books - my non-fiction has been disappointing, the children's books too short - So I'm thinking next time have a better mix of re-reads and new-to-me reads, and probably add a few more YA books (which I love, but just didn't have any on hand) or branch out to graphic novels.

Readathon Mini-Challenges

Linus' Blanket has a mini-challenge called Feed Me Seymour, where you're supposed to post a scene where somebody is eating in from your books.

Here's Pooh Bear, being, well, Pooh Bear from Positively Pooh, Timeless Wisdom From Pooh:

Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o'clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, "Honey or condensed milk with your bread?" he was excited that he said, "Both," and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, "But don't bother about the bread, please."

And Joystory is hosting a Reading is Fundamental mini-challenge where we post a picture with kids and books... If you've been here before, you know I've got plenty to choose from... Let's see what I can dig up quickly (so I can get back to the printed books and give Kleypas a rest for a bit):

It's Youngest Nephew and Lil Girl at the local library - 2 years ago! - when we were first introduced to the joy of Llama, Llama, Red Pajama:)

See you back here soon!

Readathon Update - Hours 8-10

Title of book(s) read since last update:Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang by Katie Macalister & a few more chapters of Tempt me at Twilight
Number of books read since you started: 4.5
Pages read since last update: 399
Running total of pages read since you started: (650+399=) 1049
Amount of time spent reading since last update: I can't believe my last update post was at 1:30! I've read non-stop since then, taking only about 15-20 minutes out here and there to talk with the people who are actually real in my life. So that's about 220 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 405 + 220 = 625 (10.42 hours!)
Mini-challenges completed:I just completed theRe-read Challenge, so that brings me up to 3 mini-challenges.
Other participants you’ve visited: I visited all the readers of the hour for hour 8 (Thanks again, everybody: I am not used to so much traffic all at once!)
Prize you’ve won: Still nunca, but that's ok... I'm having a ball!

Mini Challenge !

This is for the minichallenge over at Bartsbookshelf:

My title is Delicious Dairy Queen: Don't tempt me!

Readathon - Hour 8

(I'm left wondering what it says about me that every time I try to type "Readathon" I want to type "Readathong"?)

While I was busy updating this post, there was a sudden influx of comments: It turns out I am a Reader of the Hour! Welcome everybody ~ I'm so excited & am having a great time... I really appreciate the feedback & support!

Since I've got your attention, I'm just going to mention again that I am reading for The Whittemore Peterson Institute, for their astonishing and groundbreaking work with CFIDS research; Donors Choose, which allows teachers to post classroom needs and donors to pick which they can help with; and, since this is about books, what better way than to support a new generation of writers by supporting 826 National, which SisterK introduced me to this summer and which has an awesome program that promotes creative writing in schools. For every three books I read, I'm going to donate $25 (I haven't decided how to split it up yet), so I'm already up to $25 for three worthy causes.

Best of luck to everybody, and I'll try to do some visiting while Poppy continues to chase her sister's ferret (in the audiobook listed below)!

Title of book(s) read since last update: I'm listening to the audio of Tempt Me Tonight, by Lisa Kleypas
Number of books read since you started: Still 3 (audio books take so much longer, but it gives me a chance to see what everybody else is up to)
Pages read since last update: I have no idea how you measure that for audiobooks, so I am estimating (by counting the # of pages in a chapter from the last Kleypas I have in print and using that) that I am about 65 pages in.
Running total of pages read since you started: (585 + 65)650
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 75 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 330 +75 = 405 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: The Map, and now a title game
Other participants you’ve visited:Eclectic Eccentric (whose mini challenge was cool, but I had no shot at completing); Biblophile By The Sea (who is supporting a very worthy cause!); Alita Reads(who's a great cheerleader);A Striped Armchir (who happens to have one of the same books I have in my TBR) and Just One More Thing (who have a great title sentence sequence!
Prize you’ve won:

Readathon Update - Hours #5 & 6

"But first, I want to thank you for being one of those people who listens and understands ... And even though I didn't know you, I felt like I did because you sounded like such a good person. The kind of person who wouldn't mind receiving letters ... The kind of person who would understand how they were better than a diary because there is communion and a diary can be found."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky

Title of book(s) read since last update:The Perks of Being A Wallflower; Postiviely Pooh
Number of books read since you started:3
Pages read since last update: 289
Running total of pages read since you started: (294 + 289) = 585
Amount of time spent reading since last update: I updated around eleven, I spent 20 minutes since then doing other things (I drank three cups of tea and a
bottle of water; I think you can do the math on that yourselves), so that gives me another 160 minutes... and I'm going to correct my math from this morning (when my brain was still trying to understand the numbers and say that 10 minutes from 3 hours is not 80 minutes, but in fact 170 minutes (IDK why I was thinking in terms of half hours, and so I made it every 3x30 and subtracted 10: Don't ask me)... so that means:
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) I've got 330 minutes total, 5.5 hours! Yay
Mini-challenges completed: Still only the map one, but I'm going to do a bit of that now, and start fresh at 2:00
Other participants you’ve visited: Also am on my way to do this
Prize you’ve won: 0.. except for reading two extraordinary books and one pretty positive one!

Readathon - Hour 4

I'm about halfway through The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and it is NOT disappointing. I'll be back to have some lunch and do some mini-challenges, when I'm finished!

Hour 3, Readathon

"Books can be possessive, can't they? You're walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it. Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around. Man of these books haven't even had their spines cracked. 'why do you buy books you don't even read?' our daughter asks us. That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course." - The Sugar Queen, Sarah Addison Allen, p180

<3 Loved it! This was an awesome book - really: awesome. I am definitely adding Sarah Addison Allen to my autobuy list.

So, an hour and a half in, let's see what's what:

Title of book(s) read since last update: The Sugar Queen
Number of books read since you started: 1
Pages read since last update: 294
Running total of pages read since you started:
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 80 minutes - 5 minutes for an update and 5 minutes for talking to the lazy people who are just getting up, and that's it.
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) 80 minutes
Mini-challenges completed: I pinpointed myself (ish) on the map over at heylady
Other participants you’ve visited:
Prize you’ve won: 0

Up next is one that's been on my list for quite a while, because I kept seeing quotes from it all over the place and going "Yes: that is truth", and now I'm going to see if it's as good as the parts I've seen. It's The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

See you in an hour, all!

Readathon - Hour 2

Hi there! I'm an hour and 125 pages into my first Readathon, and I'm loving The Sugar Queen so far (I've just reached a twist in the plot, and am glad that I didn't see it coming from page one - page 71 maybe, but that's pretty dang good for me).

Here's the Dewey's Readathon Introduction meme that's going around:

Where are you reading from today? I'm reading from bed, at the moment, but I might switch it up later and head to the chaise or the couch.

3 facts about me … I'm living with my parents, one sister (out of 5), and three chronic illnesses; I have no idea how to decorate the my new space, but I like to cut out pictures of places that I'll never be able to afford to decorate like; and I like pigs in a blanket (the only snack I have pre-prepared for today's challenge).

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? I've started off with a stack of 9, but there's about 12 others on a shelf four steps away.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I do: at least three books, so I can do my first charitable donation; I'd like to do at least 12 hours, which seems entirely feasible so long as the people in my house cooperate; and I'm going to participate as much as I can online!

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? Sorry: I'm a first timer!

Alright, I'm back to the North Carolina mountains, and some mesmerizing stories.

And they're off...

I've got a stack of books, a cup of tea, and my cosiest sweat pants: I am ready to go! I have no idea how this works, but I'll be checking back in pretty soon, to keep you guys posted - although, in all likelihood, this will just be a series of posts clogging up your Google Reader come Monday morning, in which case, feel free to skim/skip: Synopisis? I am reading A LOT, for charity even. Scroll through to the last post and see how many of the 24 hours I actually made it.

First book up: Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, whose first book Garden Spells was charming and enchanting. I've been saving this one for a special occassion, and now I've got one.

Best of luck to all the Readathon-ers, and I hope everybody has a great time!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tomorrow, for the first time, I am participating in Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-thon. This challenge is something that's right up my alley because A) I love to read and B)I don't really sleep. Basically, I pledge to read - in whatever quantity or quality I choose - for 24 hours, beginning at 8 am tomorrow morning. I am wicked excited about it, for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it seems like these are my people - the book blogging community as a whole, and the idea that a community of bloggers are all going to be reading - & posting about reading - for this specific time period kind of fills me with a weird sense of glee... the sense of belonging, I suppose.

Secondly, I've set a few personal goals for myself:
  • For every three books I read, I'm donating $25 to one of my chosen causes. The readathon isn't about how many books you read, and I don't want to make it about that, but I did want to have a few specific intentions to meet along the way. Since I am a relatively fast reader (although not the speed reader my family makes me out to be), I have no doubt that I can read three books within the specified time period, but I wanted to make sure that I stayed motivated during the 24 hours, so I decided that for every three books, I will make an additional donation. The three charities I'll be supporting are the three newest worthwhile causes that have made my radar: The Whittemore Peterson Institute, for their astonishing and groundbreaking work with CFIDS research (post to follow, really, but probably not till next week); Donors Choose, which allows teachers to post classroom needs and donors to pick which they can help with; and, since this is about books, what better way than to support a new generation of writers by supporting826 National, which SisterK introduced me to this summer and which has an awesome program that promotes creative writing in schools.

  • I am going to do a 2:1 ratio of New to Me books to Old Familiars. Which means I'm hoping to make a rather large dent in my TBR pile, which means that I can then post those books on PaperbackSwap and get some more new to me books. ;)

  • And I'm going to be posting as many times as possible during a 24 hour period (thus breaking my previous record of 3). I'm not going to set up a strict schedule, because if I say I'll post every half hour, and I'm really into the book I'm reading, I don't want to have to put it down to update y'all. I want to keep it so that it's still about enjoying the books. But I will promise to update as regularly as I can, participate in a few mini-challenges along the way, and check up on some of the other readers as well.

And lastly, I excited because this is something new. It's a new way to connect with new & old bloggy friends. It's something that incorporates the things I know I can manage physically with something that is out of my ordinary, and helps me to remember that, even in a flare (as I am still battling through), I can try something new and different.

So, I hope to see as many of you as possible here - at some point - tomorrow: I could use some great cheerleaders, if you're up for it. And if you're participating yourself, please let me know and I'll do my best to come root for you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've been working really hard on two posts: one on my sick-a-versary, and one on all of the new CFIDS research that's been coming out, and my take on the news/issues that surround it. They are both proving incredibly difficult to write (hello: conflicted much?), and so instead, today's post is going to be about how it took my virus scan 13.5 hours to scan my computer. That is more than half a day... I knew the computer was running slow, but that is fracking ridiculous! Of course, it may have something to do with the fact that there is about 8 GB of free space left on the drive, but that only goes to show you that this computer (four and a half years old now, which seems really YOUNG TO ME), is just not cutting it for me anymore. Of course, it's just going to have to hang on till the new year, or I win the lottery, which ever comes first.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A good way to start off the week

I know sometimes it must seem like all I take pictures of is Lil Girl, but that's just because she's here the most... On any given day, it's just me and Mum in the house for the majority of the day, and we both don't like to have our picture taken, so it's only when Lil Girl (a child who has known how to take her own picture since she was less than a year old) is around that I get the opportunity to play around with portraits.

Of course, she's also three and half, so a lot of the portraits come out looking like I was trying to take a picture of a blond and pink tornado, but I'll take what I can get. Anyway, here's my favorite shot from the batch I just finished editing (completely out of order, which is a pet peeve of mine, but I skipped ahead because of a friends wedding and forgot to go back).

I've been playing around with the sun and natural light lately (just in time for it to go away, right?), because I like the way it creates a halo through her curls... here's one of the ones that I think came out pretty good:

As always, you can catch more Best Shot Mondays over at Tracey's, where you can also hear about her exciting news! Way to go, Tracey! You can also check out some more of my newer pics by clicking on my Flickr badge in the sidebar.

Have a great week, everybody!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"I Love the World/And I Want to Lay Down"

"I love the world

it is so beautiful.

I love the world

every single day.

I love the world

when I was a little boy,

when I was a little girl,

when I was a little tiny baby.

I love the world

and I want to lay down.

I love the world

when I am a grown-up.

I love the world

and when I was a grown-up

I will be a teacher."

~ This is the song LilGirl made up for us the other day, which she then sang whilst spinning around in circles in the kitchen, waiting patiently for lunch to be served. The song includes what is probably my favorite line of lyrics ever, which I have used for this post title. Also, I have no idea where the whole teacher thing came from, except that if it were true (rather than the ramblings of a hyped up, loves to sing songs with nonsense words like "doobalala", 3 year-old), it would make her the fourth generation of teachers in our family. Which is nice and all, but I sure hope she decides to be a billionaire instead. Billionaires can teach.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A sale at Old Navy makes me wonder what year it is... I see shirts for Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe, Snoopy, Hulk & Spiderman (all for boys, of course, but that's a different rant). At Target the other day, searching for a pair of pants to fit Lil Girl (who seems to have a permanent plumber's crack), there were Hello Kitty and Little Miss clothes right and left.

I'm just checking: it's not really 1985 is it?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"You are not as alone as you thought"

"We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — ‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.’ ” John Steinbeck

Some quotient love. I've been feeling particularly lonesome lately, and it's nice to recognize that other people get it, so here are some random quotes that are sticking to my brain tonight.

"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them. — Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

"It's too late to sleep anyway. The coffee's gone cold, so I just heat up another pot. Tonight, I feel like my whole body is made out of memories. I'm a mix tape, a cassette that's been rewound so many times you can hear the fingerprints smudged on the tape. Press play." Rob Sheffield, Love is a mix tape; Life and loss , One Song at a time.

“She read about people she could never be and adventures she could never have.” - Pushing Daisies

and, finally, to sum up how I'm feeling about the state of our nation lately:

"I know you have a lot on your desk/plate, but as a thin man who smokes, you may not understand the concept: all that stuff you've been putting on your plate? It's F(*)%$ chow time, brother. That's how you get stuff off your plate!" Jon Stewart, in an aside to President Obama, The Daily Show, Oct 6, 2009

Start eating, people. Start eating.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I've had the house to myself this weekend (and, when I say weekend, I say after Saturday at 6 pm, because the people in my house never get anywhere on time), and I think I like it.

Sure it's quiet, and there's nobody to talk to, but I really don't feel like talking anyways, so it's all good.

Here are some things I did that I couldn't ordinarily do:

  1. I tried eggs, which I used to love and then about 9 years ago, all of the sudden started hating. To the point of gagging when I smelled them, kind of hate. (I think it had something to do with baking a cake with the kids at school one day, and one of them cracking open a rotten egg, right into the cake mix. Obviously we started over, but the damage was done.) But lately, I've been making a lot of eggs - scrambled eggs are Lil Girl's go-to meal, and fried eggs on toast are Youngest Nephew's, so there was a lot of egg making this summer. And the last couple of times I've made them, I found myself thinking "A little salt, some toast and bacon, and that yolk might actually be yummy," which is a big improvement over having to sing a song to distract myself from the fact that I was cooking eggs. But I haven't been brave enough to try them, the way I like them. There's just still an 'ick' factor. But this morning I figured, what the hell - I'll make them, and if I don't like them, there isn't anybody around to pester me into trying them a different way, or asking me why I don't like them, or to rail at me about wasting food. (Yes: I don't like to waste food either, but one egg isn't going to kill anybody.) Besides, it's not a waste - it's an experiment. Yeah, so - experiment concluded: FAIL. ALL CAPS FAIL. Still do not like eggs.
  2. I threw up. (See #1)
  3. I listened to the radio for two days straight: WERS' weekend line up is awesome. Including the Playground, just for nostalgia points. As quietly or loudly as I wanted to, not competing with anyone else's music or television or voices.
  4. I scrapped and semi-organized my scrap stuff, commandeering the table, the floors, the chairs and just leaving it all there overnight because I wasn't done. (Ordinarily, people would want to, you know, walk or sit or something, and I'd have had to put it all away and start over in the morning.)
  5. I kept the door open all night, which I never do, because Jebus forfend that I should actually be in some form of near sleep and hear someone in another part of the house: death to them! But with nobody here to make noise, I figured what the heck.
  6. I kept the porch light on all night, which is slightly paranoid. I didn't want to have to flip it on if somebody rang the bell, because then they would know someone was home and I would have to answer the door. This way, if I didn't want to answer the door, I didn't have to, but I could still see who it was. (And yes, the doorbell actually did ring twice this weekend: Once was the delivery guy who brought me disgusting food (see #2) and the other time was a guy Dad works with whose mother is our neighbor. He brought us cookies his wife had made. I will answer the door for cookies ANYTIME.)

Not too much, really. No orgies, to the disappointment of some corrupt family members. No parties, because I am not 17 and this is not a movie from 1986. Nothing reckless (although I was sorely tempted to try the shower on my own, even I am not that stupid) or even really that interesting. Just a little alone time, which is hard for me as far as taking care of myself physically (argh - why is there so much eating that has to be done?), but I think it was something that helped me take care of myself emotionally. I don't know about you, but I start to get a little growly if there are always people around. And closing my door doesn't always close out the rest of the house, so it was just a nice little break from what passes for normal around here.

How's your weekend going?