Thursday, July 26, 2007

Half-assing it

  • Lab work for thesis: completed!
  • Sunday divezors out at Catalina: excellent!
  • Harry Potter reading: commenced!
  • Recent weather: hot!
  • After-work gym attendance: resumed!
  • Leo: hungry!
  • Husband: wonderful!
  • This post: lame!

Sorry it ain't much, folks. I'll be back to write something for real, real soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I had my weekend all planned out. It was going to go something like this:

Ass-early: Wake up. Take Tom to Catalina ferry carpool. Return home. Go back to sleep.
8-ish: Wake up again. Feed cats. Go to work.
9am: Work on data collection for hateful thesis project. Finish data collection. Do a little, celebratory dance.
Mid-afternoon: Purchase & consume ice cream cone. Return home. Pick up Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, which whill have been delivered. Whoo!
6pm: Purchase and consume dinner foods. Drive to Long Beach. Take ferry to Catalina.
8-9:30pm: Read Harry Potter on the ferry all the way to Catalina.
9:30-ish: Arrive in Avalon. Meet up with Tom & friends. Hand Harry Potter over to Tom. Go to sleep.

7am: Wake up. Breakfast. Go to dive boat. Dive all day.
7:30pm: Ferry home. Resist urge to read Harry Potter over Tom's shoulder. (He really doesn't like that.)
10-ish: Arrive home. Shower. Sleep.

Seems like a pretty good plan, no? Alas, a hitch has developed. Yesterday afternoon, I got the standard shipping confirmation email from Amazon.
Your item has shipped! Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, July 21st, at [Tom's work adress].
Noooooooooo! How could we have been so stupid?* Even though the book will arrive on Saturday, campus mail won't deliver it to Tom's box until Monday. Gah. So lame.

It should still be a good weekend as far as everything else goes, though. I heard that the water temp at the island was averaging around 73F last weekend, so the diving ought to be spectacular. And after Saturday, I won't be stuck at work every evening shaking and sifting dirt**; this will make me very happy.

*Actually, I know exactly how. Originally, the release date for the book was going to be 7/19, which is today. A Thursday. Which would have worked out fine. When they pushed back the release date, I forgot to adjust the shipping address accordingly. Rest assured, I will be flagellating myself for my grievous error.

**It's the dirt that is both shaken and sifted. I am not so overwrought by this chore that I am reduced to trembling.

A foray into frivolity

I am not a very "girly" girl. I wear makeup almost never. Shooting guns and driving tractors make me happier than shopping for shoes and reading Cosmo. It takes me all of 30 minutes to get out the door on an average morning, and that's only because I'm a slowpoke; I could probably be ready sooner if I had to be. I certainly don't devote an appreciable amount of time to my appearance. If my clothes (generally) match and my hair (mostly) isn't sticking out all crazily, I'm good to go.

I have, however, recently begun investing in good haircuts. It's a time savings, really. If my hair is cut well, it takes very little effort to make it look at least moderately presentable in the morning.

I got my hair cut last week. Since it's summer and about a million degrees outside, I went a little shorter with the cut than I've gone in a while. It's a very versatile 'do. When I get ready in the morning, I wet my hair down and run a little gel through it with my fingers. I can part it on the left. I can part it on the right. I can part it right down the middle. I can spike the back out a little if I want to be all sassy. (Or something.) It takes all of five minutes, which works out just fine for me.

Okay. Now to the frivolity. I've been rockin' the side part since I got this new haircut, since a center part seems to make everything fall a little flat. I like how my hair looks when I part it on the right. It looks fine parted on the left, but I did that so rarely when my hair was a little longer, that it just looks less like "me" than a right-side part. However...I am looking at myself in a mirror. To everyone else, it's backward. I've been walking around all apparently-left parted, looking the opposite of how I think I look. So now I have a minor dilemma - do I part my hair on the right so it looks good to me but less good to everyone else (and in photographs), or do I part my hair on the left knowing that it looks better "in real life" than it does in the mirror?

(Dude. I warned you this was going to be frivolous.)

I'm going to go now. We can just pretend I never wrote this post at all, if you want. That's cool.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Disorder of the Phoenix?

I watched the Harry Potter movie tonight. Not going to spoil it, so don't worry. I will say that while I wasn't entirely satisfied, it was about as good as can be expected, considering how much they had to cut out from the book in order to not have the film be seventeen hours long. (Of course, since the book's got about 300 superfluous pages of Harry whining, you'd think they could have managed to whittle it down without carving up the story, but whatever.) It was kind of like a two hour long version of "Harry Potter in 30 Seconds as Re-Enacted by Bunnies," in that it basically jumped from plot point to plot point without any real transitions or detailed explanation. It was prettily shot. There were only a couple of minor inaccuracies. I think I'll probably enjoy it more upon a second viewing.

I may get my chance for that pretty soon, since Tom was called away as we were walking into the theater. Seems there was some major disaster in the lab, torrential flooding, badness all around. He's just now on his way home. At one in the morning. It's awesome. Poor guy. :-\

I'm off to bed. Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2007

GIMPing Along

I finally got around to downloading The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) yesterday. It's basically a free, open-source analog of Photoshop. I got the Catalina pictures developed today, and they're all pretty washed out, so I'll be spending a lot of time tweaking the color balance and such before they're ready for public view. Here's the first one, though. The original image (complete with exposure burns), followed by the GIMPed one. I can see this rapidly becoming my new obsession...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

See the bandwagon. See Sue. See Sue jump on the bandwagon.

As I do not yet have photos to post from Catalina, I will do this Simpsons avatar thing everyone else is doing. My hair is no longer a braid-able length, but all the short styles didn't look right either. So we'll just pretend. (Yes, as if that is the most unbelievable thing we've got going here...)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

More to life than diving? Are you sure?

We're off to Catalina at the crack of dawn tomorrow, if not before the crack of dawn, so that we can (hopefully) finish our deep diving certification. As we have to be in Long Beach shortly after 5:00 in order to catch the 6:15 ferry, I'm basically headed off to bed as soon as I finish the sentence after this one. Have a good weekend, all, and you know the drill (check back for photos etc. in a few days, if you are interested in that sort of thing); good night!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

8...8...I forget what 8 was for

Chimmy says: "There's more to life than diving Sue..."

We'll see about that.

1. Post the rules, then list eight things about yourself.
2. At the end of the post, tag and link to eight other people.
3. Leave a comment at those sites, letting them know they've been tagged, and asking them to come read the post so they know what to do.

Ready? Okay!

1) At this moment, I am sitting on the couch with my husband. We are trying to reason our way though figuring out the physical size of "the world" in Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince/Dragon Star books. It takes two days to ride from Stronghold to Radzyn. We figure a person can easily hike 20 miles on foot in a day; a horse could probably cover twice that distance without having to go too fast. Estimating then that Stronghold and Radzyn are 80 miles apart, we can extrapolate (using a ruler and the drawing at the front of the book, which for our purposes we must assume is to scale) that the whole island is about 120,000 square miles - about half the size of France. These are the kinds of conversations we have, sometimes. (Technically, I know this is more about me-and-Tom than just me, but...meh, I don't care.)

2) My legs are pretty sore right now because I finally went back to the gym yesterday for the first time in over a month. I decided that I should start lifting weights at least a couple of times a week, so yesterday I jogged for 5 minutes on the treadmill to warm up and then did a bunch of leg exercises in the weight room. And by "a bunch" I really mean "a few, but more than I've done in a while, obviously."

3) I frequently have dreams that I'm walking through a hospital. Not because I'm hurt or sick or even visiting anybody. It's usually just that I'm on my way somewhere, and on the way, I have to pass through some hospital. No idea why I have these dreams.

4) I'm having a hard time completing this list. I've been working on it (okay, off and on) for over an hour now, and I'm barely halfway done. I suspect it's because I don't believe there's much about me that is all that interesting (that I haven't already mentioned in the Six Weird Things meme), and I want nothing less than to be uninteresting, or at the very least, amusing. I fear this probably means that, despite my claims to the contrary, I actually do care what other people think of me.

5) I wish I were a better photographer and/or I had more time to devote to taking neat pictures. I suppose all I really have to do is make the time, so I wish I bothered to do that.

6) If I knew how to skydive, I would probably pack a parachute in my carry-on luggage for every flight I took. Seems about as reasonable as carrying a life jacket on a boat. In fact, I'd rather my seat cushion be able to double as a parachute instead of a flotation device. At least then I'd have a shot at survival, even if I don't have any formal skydiving training. What are the chances of a plane crashing into water and everyone on board not dying on impact, anyway? Do we really need life rafts? Has anyone ever deployed a life raft after a "water landing?" I highly doubt it.*

7) I really REALLY want to spell flotation with an extra A. Why in the world is it not floatation?!

8) I make wishes on hay trucks if I pass them on the road ("Bale of hay, bale of hay, take my wish away."), but only half-heartedly, because part of me is afraid that whatever wish I make, the opposite will come true. This is undoubtedly because I usually wish for things like, "I wish for the workday to go by quickly and without any stress," and at my old job, that was pretty much never going to happen, magical hay powers or no. For a while there, I was trying to "fake out" the magic hay by wishing for the opposite of what I actually wanted, but the magic hay always knew what I was up to. Then it came down to bargaining with the hay - "Okay, just let the day be relatively painless and without any major issues. I'll deal with the usual crap. Just no extra crap today. Okay? Please?"

Aaaaand, we're clear. Anyone who may want to attempt this (Tom, Meg, Megan, Amy, Raul, Dana, Sunny, Neil, others?) should consider themselves tagged.

*It seems that I am wrong.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Little Love Letter to Oregon

Tom & I spent this past weekend at my parents' house in Portland. One of my best friends was getting married at a beautiful vineyard not far from there, so of course we had to attend and wish him well.

It was raining when we arrived on Thursday evening. Our plane, which contained a surprisingly large number of small children, shook and bounced its way through the clouds as we descended toward PDX. The kids weren't freaked out by this; on the contrary, they seemed on balance to find all the turbulence almost delightful. Ah, to be young and invincible...

Even at the airport, the freshness of the air outside was enough to provoke audible sighs from us as we walked to the car. The rain, though little more than a drizzle, was a welcome relief; Los Angeles just posted the driest year on record (just 3.21" of rain since last July, a mere 21% of the normal 15.14" per year), so we haven't smelled precipitation in the air for quite a while.

For the whole rest of the weekend, it was almost painfully lovely outside. It rained a little on Friday morning, clearing up in time for the 6pm wedding, but leaving gorgeous, billowy clouds in the sky. Saturday was actually hot, but still breezy. All the while, we were treated to the freshness of the air, the intensity of the blue sky during the day, and the stillness and darkness of the night.

Far too soon, it was time to return to our too-warm apartment in too-dry L.A. with its too-crowded roads and too-smoggy skies. As much as I love being able to scuba dive here, this weekend really served to re-affirm my desire to get back up to the Pacific Northwest on a more permanent basis. And I know that we eventually will, so I am also resolved to focus on the few things that I do enjoy about living here (diving, visiting with the friends and family who are here) and make the most of them.

Congratulations on your marriage, M&B. Thanks for giving us a happy excuse to come home again, if only for a little while.