In which She Tries to be Smarter

I started a post this morning on the bus but my WordPress app ate it. Trying again. I will be back-dating this post for yesterday’s missed BEDA and then I will post my final BEDA tonight.

Wednesday was a hump day in more ways than one. I’ve been emotionally drained lately. I’ve been pulled in different directions by people I am very close to- and not in a major way. Just little things, here and there, all adding up. I had the opportunity to talk it out some yesterday and afterward I felt much better. However, I foresee this happening again so, here is my plan for avoiding this in the future.

Yes, I am not happy unless the people I care about are happy and are getting along together. Yes, it is unrealistic to think that everyone I care about will all be best friends and won’t ever compete for my time or attention. Yes, I need to know what I want and, sometimes, I need to put that first instead of trying to make everyone else happy. Yes, people cannot read my mind. Yes, I need to be open and honest with everyone. No, I’m not going to be bitchy about it. And no, I don’t expect everyone to take this honesty well all of the time. Sometimes you have to disappoint people.

I have no control over other people’s expectations of me. Some expectations may be explicit to others but completely unknown to me. Some expecatations I didn’t sign up for at all. I guess I need to anticapte this better somehow, to make sure these expectations are realistic. Communication is probably the only way to do this.

My Friend Pinky

My mind is a complete wasteland right now. I’m not whining- just stating facts. OK, that said, onto the post.

So, if you had a flying pink monkey, where would you keep it? Personally, I’d keep it in my non-running car. It would be able to come and go as it pleased of course, but it would sleep there and play and eat and crap outside. NO monkeys in the apartment. Aside from the mess it’d probably make, my apartment is SMALL. It wouldn’t be fair to keep a cat here, well enough a large-ish, flying primate.

What do flying monkeys eat anyway?  Do the pink variety ever wish they weren’t pink? I saw pics of tattooed hairless cats recently. I wonder if flying pink monkeys like tats. And maybe they think that is CRAZY.

I wonder what the other tenants would think. You’re heading out to your car on a cold, early morning and WHOOSH. Flying monkey. Come on. That would be pretty sweet. Unless the flying monkey scene in the Wizard of Oz scares you. Then I suppose the above scenario would be decidedly uncool.

OH! I could ask Pinky to crap on that stupid white boat of a car, which is always poorly parked because its owner is a genetically deficient asshat. Take THAT! I bet Pinky would scare the crap out of the lady who pushes her cat around in a stroller. She’d probably think that Pinky wanted to eat Baby. I think Pinky and Kitty-Baby would get along famously. Monkey not eat Baby. Baby friend.

I wonder how well flying monkeys take to training. He could fetch the mail. It’s probaby a bit much to expect Pinky to do the laundry, but maybe he could master taking out the trash. I wouldn’t trust Pinky to water my plants. In fact, I’m not sure that Pinky wouldn’t EAT the plants. Bad monkey.

Alas, Pinky isn’t a servant. I’m not even sure he’s a pet. Pinky is his own person-primate-thing. That flies. He could fly away one day and not come back. Maybe Pinky would get lonely. He might leave to go find a Mrs. Pinky to settle down with. I would wish Pinky well. It really wasn’t right that he was reduced to sleeping in cars and terrorizing the neighbors for my amusement.

Be free Pinky. Be free.

Time Wasters

I spend a lot of time staying connected via email, feeds, Twitter, etc. but that time spent pales in comparison to the shocking amount of time I spend per day online playing with various tools and web goodies. Here are a few that wasted my time today. Ah, well technically, I wasted my time. The goodies were just THERE, all shiny, waiting to be played with…

Blog Widgets

Generally, I try to be selective about which widgets I put on my blog because I don’t want my sidebar to be miles long. However, I love my book-related widgets (LibraryThing and DailyLit). I was going through my starred items in Google Reader this morning and was reminded of a recent LibraryThing post announcing updated widget creators.”Oh, boy!” Jenny says, pointing her browser to the appropriate link. And then I wasted time- lots of time- customizing a new widget for my blog.

I’m still not completely happy with my results (my own fault probably) but I’m curious if the newer widgets will load faster than the older ones as promised. It *seems* like my blog is loading faster (but honestly, there are so many other factors that could potentially affect load time, that it’s not fair to blame it on just one widget!). The CSS customization is a huge improvement, as is the mega-cool lightbox feature (click on one of the book covers to see what I mean). Curiously, they coded the author links to open in the same browser window, instead of in the lightbox, which to me is quirky but ultimately forgivable.

I opted for one of the lighter versions that stay static. There are, however pretty flash versions that rotate book covers, for those who wish to add some bling to their blogs. I also like that my own reviews can now display in the widgets. This is almost incentive to start writing reviews in LibraryThing. I haven’t reviewed there yet but I do make an effort to rate each book (which appears in the widget). Incidentally, I discovered today that I can rate 1/2 stars by clicking again on the star. This may have been a feature that’s been around for awhile but I found this by accident. The discovery is liberating and annoying- now I have to reevaluate my previously rated books. Ah well.

Facebook

I have begun interacting on Facebook almost exclusively via my iTouch app because when I visit Facebook on a computer, I end up taking quizzes and getting distracted by all of the random shinies that live there. This is great if I need to kill some time but lately, I haven’t had time to kill. And really, isn’t my time better spent doing something else? I still prefer Twitter over Facebook. On Twitter, I can still chat with or message people, follow specific topics with the use of hashtags, and share links, photos and videos on a simple platform without all of the other dren.

Whines the acolyte, “But EVERYONE is on Facebook!”

“Hah!” scoffs the skeptic, “That’s what Facebook and its hordes would have you… oh. Nearly everyone IS on Facebook.”

It wasn’t until I saw more friends that I speak to on a normal basis and a few family members that I finally decided to join. Even though not everyone I’d like to see has an account, I see the utility of a large social network. I get it, really. But if I must go to where the hordes are and put up with a horrible user interface (I joined after the redesign), then I will do so using what I’m referring to ‘Facebook Lite’ on Pan (i.e., iTouch). I even found a way to bypass having to visit Facebook on a regular basis by having Twitter cross post to my Facebook status. This last tactic proved awkward though, as @, #, and RT don’t mean anything to people who don’t use Twitter.

Lovely Charts

I received an email newsletter from Lovely Charts informing me of various updates they’ve made. Nothing seemed earth-shatteringly new. There are a few nice things for Premium users but even with the new features, Lovely Charts is still not a service I feel strongly enough about to pay for. The free account allows you to create and save one project, which you can come back and edit later. I suppose you can get by on the free account if, like me, you don’t have an ongoing project and you can delete your completed chart in order to create another. It is easy to use and I don’t know any other tool like it that is free.

BEDA Note

A cautionary note? Already?? Yes, friends, it’s true.

Realizing that I should provide easy access to my BEDA posts, I will beginning tagging all relevant posts ‘BEDA2009.’ Then I realized that my current WordPress Theme doesn’t display tags and categories on posts. Boo! So, please use the BEDA2009 tag link to find all things BEDA. Savy?

BEDA 01: A Beginning of Sorts

Today marks the beginning of BEDA, Blog Every Day April, spearheaded by YA author Maureen Johnson (#BEDA for those following along on Twitter). I’m join in, seeing as I’ve been terrible about blogging consistently. Can’t promise where my post will appear (I’m primary author on two blogs and an admin on three others), but I will try to pump out one post each day on one of these blogs. The easiest way to follow along is by following me on Twitter, where I’ll post links to my #BEDA posts. If you don’t want to join Twitter, you can follow my account using RSS (see my posts here and here for more info on RSS).

Here. We. Go.

Regency Era Zombie Hordes

Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.
Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.

The previously blogged about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is due out… nowish. I’ve seen different release dates but Amazon is reporting that they’ll have more in-stock on April 6th.  Here is a sampling of the first three chapters of the novel.

I like what I’ve read from the preview. I may need to keep a copy of Austen’s work handy while I read this. I’m curious to see how much Grahame-Smith embellishes (or not, as one reviewer complained) Austen’s original. It’d be nice if he tweaked the language in between the Zombie. Mayhen. Scenes. Hey, if you’re going to frell with a classic you might as well DO it.

I read a rumor that the publisher, Quirk Books, is considering similar adaptations of public domain works. I’m now considering other classic mash-ups I’d like to see. I’m also seriously considering trying my hand at one as a writing exercise. Oh the possibilities… A short story would be a reasonable length. I’m afraid I’d never find time to finish a novel length adaptation. Hmm…

Words that We Couldn’t Say

My Life in iTunes

RULES:

  1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, device, etc. on shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the ‘Next’ button to get your answer.
  3. You must write that song name down no matter how silly it sounds.
  4. Share.

If someone says, ‘Are you okay?” you say:

“The Inner Light” by Jerry Goldsmith from the Best of Star Trek soundtrack.
Because there is light peeking through the cracks of my dark soul. [Come on, 5 emo points? 4?] Continue reading Words that We Couldn’t Say

Columbus

If you are following me on Twitter, you already know that Tim and I hit the road Saturday morning for Columbus, Ohio to see the musical Spring Awakening at Palace Theatre. Tim already gave an account of the weekend and, since I’m feeling lazy, I won’t recount every detail. I enjoyed the show and the food and I caught a few pictures. I recommend reading Tim’s post before reading this to get the what-where-when because I’ll be using photos to fill in the details.

Pencil-growing plant.
Pencil-growing plant.

When it was clear that our bladders could not withstand another mile, we made a quick stop in some nameless town in Ohio. Our choices: Arby’s or Micky D’s. McDonalds had a play place, so that was clearly the place to stop. It turns out that Tim’s reasoning was irrefutable: play places=cleanly bathrooms. The women’s restroom even sported a very rare plant. What fortune!

We press on until lunch time. We see a sign on the interstate for a Max & Erma’s. Tim assures me that the food there is decent so we got off at the indicated exit and follow the sign’s directions. We drive. And drive. We leave civilization. It seems we are the only ones on the long, straight road.

Can't be too careful in a space-time vortex.
Can't be too careful in a space-time vortex.

Clearly, we missed the restaurant, so we pull off to turn around. Tim already has his trusty iPhone at the ready to search for the Max & Erma’s and get directions to it from Nowherewhenville. The iPhone’s built-in GPS cannot pinpoint our location. Fail! Resigned to the fact that the interstate exit dumped us into a space-time vortex, we backtrack, hoping to find the restaurant or indeed, the interstate. We eventually found the M&E’s attached to a hotel. Now, too hungry to care if we ever return to our proper dimension, we enter and order. Even being as flummoxed as we were as to why there were televisions in the bathrooms, our appetites were hearty. We partook of our victuals and got back onto the interstate, in what we can only assume was our proper place in the space-time continuum.

Shush.

We only had about another hour until we reached our hotel. Upon arriving, I was tickled to see this sign. Surely, such a proclamation would ensure that our brief stay would be quiet and peaceful. Clearly, the fools forgot to hang the sign reading, “And furthermore, NO UNATTENDED CHILDREN.”

Our room was on the ground floor, right by the pool. Had this been a prolonged stay, we would have had to endure the endless rapid, tromping of young feet eager for liquid immersion. The tap water in the bathroom smelled of chlorine due to the sheer proximity of the room to the pool. There was a lot of yelling and the floor in front of our room was wet at day’s end. But the place was clean and we only had to stick it out for one night so we worry no more of LOUD PARTIES and drive off to the Lemongrass for dinner.

If incendiary eggs don't kill you, surely the USE OF CAPS, punctuation abuse AND highlighting will... !!!
If incendiary eggs don't kill you, surely the USE OF CAPS, punctuation abuse AND highlighting will... !!!

We both really enjoyed our dinning experience at Lemongrass and I hope to find an excuse to go to Columbus again to sample more of the menu.

Spring Awakening was very good and this particular touring production was good. I’m always disappointed with the sets of touring musicals but perhaps that is just the nature of the beast. The last two touring musicals I’ve seen had three high, flat walls plastered with random bits of kitsch and this design just doesn’t excite me. The lighting was done fairly well. There was only one time that I thought it was distracting. If lighting is going to be noticeable, it should be done to make an awesome impact. There was at least one gobo sequence that didn’t do anything for me. This production did have a raising platform in an attempt to add levels. The cast was excellent. I really enjoyed Melchior (who was performed by understudy Perry Sherman) and Moritz. I thought the female characters were well performed well (beautiful voices!) for what the actors were given. I attribute the want of interest in some of the female characters to be the fault of the writing/adaptation. Ilse could have been developed more.

A very enjoyable evening at the theatre nonetheless, we head back to the room and fall almost instantly to sleep- or as close to as possible. I know better than to not take my pillow. Sigh.

We have a highly lack-luster breakfast featuring a bagel, an apple and, yep, you guessed it more hordes of unattended children. We get the hell outta there. And then someone mentions the word doughnut. I suspect it was Tim. Thus is inspired the Columbus Doughnut Hunt of ’09. We couldn’t have been happier to FINALLY stumble upon the Jolly Pirate Donuts to be served up sugar and doughy goodness by two rightly jolly lassies in pink behind the counter. Craving appeased, we head to a place that advertised artisan chocolates in our Playbills.

I’ll skip the part where I post pics of the gorgeously presented chocolates at Yosick’s. The tasties didn’t stick around that long. This was easily the best chocolate I’d ever tasted. Ever.

All in all, Tim and I had a pretty darn good time in Columbus. No really, that’s Tim’s ‘darn good time’ face (and the only picture in existence that proves he went at all!)

Jen and Tim at Lemongrass.
Jen and Tim at Lemongrass.

PHOTOS: Plant and two sign photos taken with Jen’s mobile. Portraits taken with Tim’s iPhone. Bathroom shot by my Canon Powershot. All photos by me except the final photo of me wearing solid red.