Smokin’ In the Boys Room

One of our neighbors in the post-holiday spirit.

I listened to an audiobook of Rob Lowe’s memoir last year (recommend!) and wanted to nostalgia watch St. Elmo’s Fire which originally came out the summer between my jr and sr years of college. The movie is available on Prime right now.

It’s really not a great movie but somehow I still like it? Everything is over-the-top. The characters are all terrible. Their relationships are dysfunctional. It’s hard to imagine that group realistically being such close friends in real life.

That said, I enjoyed my rewatch. I owned the soundtrack and listened to it to death. The music is terrible but I like it, too.

But the smoking. UGH, so much smoking. The opening scene is in a hospital and they are smoking. The smoking was distracting.

I also watched the first season of Prime Suspect which came out in 1991. Again, so much smoking. Every scene starts with someone lighting a cigarette.

And both shows, sexism. That was part of the plot in both shows, less so in Elmo.

Man, poor Helen Mirren — getting her big break as Detective Chief Inspector and having to full time emotional labor her crybaby boyfriend who is burnt that she works so much and isn’t home on time to make his dinner.

Things aren’t perfect but they have improved since then.

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Vacuum Cleaner Bag of the Damned

I was forced to buy a new vacuum cleaner last year when my old vacuum cleaner died and the dead part couldn’t be replaced. I can’t remember the exact details or even if it was really last year.

I bought a more expensive vacuum from our local vacuum cleaner shop thinking that if I have problems, I have a handy place to get repairs.

I had noticed it didn’t seem to suck like it used to but my old vacuum cleaner made a discouraged beep and popped open when the vacuum cleaner bag was full so I was waiting for that cue.

I finally opened the canister to check and holy thundercakes — the bag was so big, I wasn’t sure if I could even get it out. I had to wrestle out the filter first and then yank it out.

Lesson learned to check the vacuum cleaner bag much earlier next time.

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Happy New Year

Three for drinks!

I still haven’t figured out how I can make gifs on my own. Well, I can make the gif but the file is huge. When I use the tips to make the file smaller, the gif looks like caca.

So for now, we’re stuck with embedding from a third party.

This is 2020

I intended to do this yesterday but time got away from me. It’s going to be a half-assed year end wrap up.

I got to go to 4 soccer matches. Grateful I went to preseason matches or it would have been only two. Among the last “normal” things I did.

And now that I’m sitting here, I can’t figure out what to say.

We’re doing okay. We’re grateful for what we have. We’re hoping things get better soon. We worry about the world.

Walk at Klamath River bar. Mom likes to tell people she’s going to bars.

I was going back through my old posts. Remember when one of my teeth epically failed? I had to get a root canal. We had the crud. Then I had that weird spell where I would get disastrously dizzy when I turned my head a certain way (luckily resolved on its own). This was all in January and February! Before the protests, and the smoke, and not getting into the writing workshop, and people we lost, and other disappointments that aren’t even related to Covid.

But some good things: my wildlife camera has been super fun. We thoroughly enjoyed our yard this summer. Bob just got me some bird-feeding equipment so looking forward to getting that going. Bob’s enjoying retirement and has taken over the cooking which is fabulous. Braces are off. Zoom calls with people that I rarely see or have lost touch with.

I’ve picked a new writing project — get ready for the ups and downs of that.

I probably won’t keep this updated but for fun:

989 / 90000 words. 1% done!

Some shows we enjoyed: Ted Lasso (10 million gold stars, I watched it twice.) Ozark. Chernobyl.

I’m trying to think of movies we saw. I loved The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. We just watched On The Rocks.

We enjoyed the Creem Magazine and GoGos documentaries.

Even this guy knows the importance of washing hands.

I managed to read a lot this year. LOVED LOVED LOVED Murderbot (Martha Wells). I am precious with my reading time because I have so many books I’m dying to get to but I read the novellas twice and considered reading them again this month. Olive, Again (Elizabeth Strout). The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is phenomenal and needs a new title and a new cover because it should be huge. I loved the Broken Earth Trilogy (N.K. Jemison) and the Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb) even more. The Liveship books are sitting on deck. Barkskins by Annie Proulx was fantastic.

I don’t think turning the calendar over is going to be magical but it’s a great time to refresh our optimism.

Happy New Year.

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Getting Crowded Around Here

I actually have a funny clip of three raccoons on the porch but I can’t get the weakass web gif maker to do what I want it to do.

Looks like there are some fun tricks I can learn with the Adobe apps that a few months ago I swore I was going to learn to live without, but I can’t learn them this afternoon.

So here is a photo from September.

At this rate we’re going to need a velvet rope for this hot spot.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Highlight of 2020

Yes, I know the bar is low but getting my braces off this week was the highlight of my year.

The whole idea that they make my teeth look better is of little consequence. I am so happy those things are off. I complained about them almost every time I ate. They rip up your toothbrush so you need to replace it every month. Flossing is completely unsatisfying. I always felt like I had bad breath. Thrilled to be done.

The before picture is right after I got the top braces on December 17, 2018. I couldn’t find a decent shot of me with the bottom on, too.

The after picture is when I exited the building after getting them removed.

I have eaten caramel, mixed nuts, a wide variety of crunchy things, raw vegetables. I have snacked and not brushed my teeth immediately after.

Tomorrow I get a retainer that I will need to wear full time for 6 months so back to more careful oral care. But probably for the better of none of my pants will fit.

This is not the clearest view but I put it up because if you enlarge the video and watch the little turd on the right, he is pulling off the bottom of the drain spout. Those raccoons throw wild parties. I put it back and they haven’t touched it again.

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The Last of Bites of Summer

Before I pulled up the tomatoes I picked as many green tomatoes as I could deal with and lined them up on the windowsill. We’ve had them in our salads this whole time. They don’t taste the greatest but we still like them.

I can’t remember how it came up but I mentioned something about the original The Bad New Bears movie that came out in 1976. Bob spotted it in the TV guide (is it still called that?) set it to tape for the DVR.

It would be difficult to overstate how obsessed I was with this movie. I was the perfect age – right around the same age as those kids. I had a crush on all the boys. I had a girl crush on Tatum O’Neal — that outfit when she goes to the arcade — brilliant. Back in the early days of cable there would be 5 movies on over and over for a month. I watched it a million times when it was on. I had the tie-in novel, too.

It’s hard to know what to say watching it in 2020. My deep inner 13 year old self still loved it. But my adult self was horrified but also laughing my face off. Where were the parents of these kids? Letting them go off and hang out with Walter Matthau, piled into the back of his convertible, cleaning swimming pools, serving him cocktails before he got back behind the wheel to drive them to the ball park. The coach falling down drunk is played for laughs. The entire movie is a phone call to child welfare services.

My favorite moment when I laughed the hardest was at the end when the coach passed out beers to all the players. Inappropriate bits aside, still a classic. Isn’t it the template for all the kid sports movies that came after?

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The Mystery of The Clean Floor

Yesterday we went to pick up our Christmas tree. I went into the shop to look for a bucket to fill with water so we had a place to keep the tree until we got it up.

There was already a bucket of water ready, but also, there was water everywhere like someone had just swabbed the floor with a sopping mop.

What is going on out here? I looked around and then I had a hunch.

Remember during the summer when I posted about my bucket for slow-watering the fig tree?

Bob accidentally picked that bucket first. 😂 “At least we know it works,” he said.

I made my goal by writing 27,040 words words in November. I wrote every day. My lowest day was 535 words. My best day was 1393. Often it was torture but I did it anyway.

The result isn’t pretty but I did get to know the characters and a few surprises came up so I guess it was a worthwhile exercise if my goal is try to get my mojo back.

What next? I keep changing my mind.

I’m going to spend one more weekend on my short story and either finish it or pack it away. Then go back to my longer projects and try to pick one. The possibility of writing another romance is still out there, too.

27040 / 25000 words. 108% done!

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When Did Pillowcases Get So Complicated?

It seems like pillowcases come in two sizes. Barely there, so the tip of your ancient pillow sticks out and you’re constantly fussing with it to get your gross pillow carefully concealed.

And child’s sleeping bag so that you have to tuck in this giant end or it flops around and gets tangled up while you’re trying to sleep.

I vaguely recall from last time I was replacing pillows that pillows have also become complicated so I suspect the two are related.

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When Did Lightbulbs Become So Complicated?

A quick glimpse of no-tail guy at the beginning. These two look very well fed. I think they’ve got a good source somewhere.

I never know what I’m doing when I’m buying lightbulbs now.

I bought some that said “natural light” and they emit a blazing blue light as if from a space ship.

I have more than one light fixture with several bulbs. I never manage to get the bulbs to match. I label the bulbs in the lightbulb area with notes that say, “this is for the bathroom” “these are the ones you hate in the living room.”

But also somehow you can never buy just one bulb. We also have a sort-of nightlight and I used to be able to find a very low wattage for that fixture. If you wake up in the middle of the night you can see enough not to break your neck. But now the lowest wattage I can find, you could still read the side of the cereal box.

Just kidding, I need to be under the space ship light if it’s very small print.

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My Brain is Not the Same

Last night I had a dream that I was with a group–like we were staying in a house together–and they were teasing me because I couldn’t remember what day it was. I finally found my phone and turns out all of us had gotten up at 3:30 in the morning.

Later I dreamed that I missed an important professional Zoom call.

It’s a pretty good representation of where my brain is at right now. I am so worried about forgetting things that I keep jotting little notes to myself. I have so many little notes that I’m overwhelmed. I went through a few and consolidated and then tossed but there’s still underlying concern that I am forgetting something.

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