28 on the 28th

I had a pleasant birthday morning with Alex, who gifted me with the best possible combination of things--I think he knows his wife well: a Batman hitch cover, two Fairy books, and an awesome graphics tablet. Then we drove for hoooours to get to Abilene for the HSU BYA meeting. The meeting went well, I'm on a great committee with my buddy Kathryn, I somehow offered to head up the BYA email newsletter, and we got to veg out with our pal Jared (there's nothing like the Food Network and SG-1 for a relaxing evening).

And now, it's Monday. Doesn't that just say it all?

Unrelated Banter:

Timewaster Update:



My kind of fame is really weird.

First, we all know the story about me being a girl, and being first in line for Star Wars Episode III in Dallas after camping out at the theater for over three weeks. (And if you didn't know it, now I've just outed myself. Drat.)

Second, a few weeks ago I got contacted through MySpace by a writer for ECW magazine to see if I'd be interested in being interviewed for an article about people with tough jobs (apparently, the editors thought that having to shush people all the time was stressful). No, I didn't give him the interview (even for me, that's a little weird--I don't think I want my professional life in ECW magazine). But I was a good little librarian and suggested that he contact a public librarian, who probably has more stress and more shush-ing than I, and gave him a list of places to find contact information for such librarians.

Today, I got a phone call (and email) from a nice reporter from the Dallas Morning News, asking to talk to me about my post on "Goofus and Gallant" for a story she's writing about Highlights magazine's 60th anniversary. (I'm sure I'd break any future claims I'd have to modesty by mentioning she called my post "hilarious," so I'll refrain.) As this story doesn't touch on my professional, librarian life, I think I'll go along with this one.

But really, what's next? I'm afraid to even come up with an amusingly bizarre scenario here, in case it comes true.

Here's My Day--How Was Yours?

I chuckled at two signs spotted during my morning commute:
There was also a glitch in the Matrix during my commute. It sounded like several CD skips, but since I was listening to the radio, it was clearly a glitch in the Matrix. (So look lively, Neo.)

I IM'd the lovely Amy "Pink Five" Earhart during lunch and found that not only did she have a marvelously peachy time at ComicCon, but that she met Stan Lee. Stan-freakin'-Lee! And Edward James Olmos. And James Callis. And Aaron Douglas. And has the photos to prove it.

I'd explode with jealousy, but then I wouldn't get to wear this gorgeous bridesmaid's dress at her wedding. Yes indeedy, I, the lucky & insane fan-film-fan, will be participating in this blessed event. Thus firmly securing my supreme-geek status for eternity. Seriously though, this is just going to be a load of fun: Amy's great. How can she not be--she's originally from Texas!

I won't mention my incredible sinus headache and how hard it was to get my end-of-the-week work done. That'd just be sad.


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Firefox users, my apologies for the un-nifty bleedover into my sidebar. Works in IE, but then again my sidebar doesn't work so well in IE. Can't win for losing.


Our Priorities

I just found out in a roundabout way that The Man has a Skype account. And I think--What? How did I not know this?

Then I think--Well, does he even know I have an AIM account? What the heck do we talk about, anyway?

And then the answer hits me: we talk about home improvement, which ice cream flavor we're craving, and the sci-fi/cartoon OOTM (obsession of the moment).

Gotta have your priorities, man.


Comics & God

I heard Kevin Smith interviewed on NPR yesterday.
Steven Innskeep: "Most of your movies seem to be about two themes: comics and God."
KS: "Yeah, I'm a big fan of both."

I'd have to agree with him there.

Unrelated Banter:
Classic Sesame Street on DVD! Hooray!


There's hardly been a month since I started graduate school that I haven't battled sinusitis in one form or another. I didn't even realize it at first, because it first manifested itself with only occassional headaches; my primary symptom was fatigue.

Not just fatigue in general, but specifically I, the voracious reader, couldn't read more than a few pages of either textbook or novel without falling asleep. I began to notice that this happened less often when I held a book upright on a table, instead of on my lap, which caused me to bend my head down.

Once I knew what was going on--about two years after the whole mess started--it became easier to manage. I've had ups and downs using Tylenol Sinus, Sudaphed, Excedrin, saline irrigation, and various medicated nasal sprays.

No real reason for this post, other than that I had a slight sinus headache and a huge problem trying to read a report at work today. But for those who suffer like me, here are some bookmarked sites that may or may not completely fail to relieve your symptoms.


A Piercing Narrative

I would have to guess that it's not often that a person walks into a tatoo & piercing studio and finds that something is more innocent than it appears. Three weeks ago, I walked into such a place and eyed the piercing price list with a flutter of naivety. I won't go into the details of what I expected, but I read the item "tragus piercing" with a mild wondering of why anyone in their right mind would voluntarily pierce parts of their anatomy in secret, dark, and/or extremely sensitive areas.

Of course, once I told the piercing artist that I wanted that flap-thingy-in-the-middle-of-my-ear pierced, she informed me that it was called a tragus. I immediately felt as flushed and silly as the last junior-high girl picked for the dodgeball team, and humbly followed her into the studio, trying not to wonder too hard about how much her multiple arm piercings hurt.

As someone who has had one cartilege and five earlobe piercings, I mistakenly thought that a tragus piercing wouldn't hurt any worse. What I didn't realize then is that your tragus isn't part of your ear, it's part of your face.

I'll spare you the details. The important things to know are:
  1. they don't use a gun and a small stud, like at Claire's Boutique when I was 11,
  2. if you choose 14-gauge, and the piercing artist says that's an "effin' bad-@$$ idea," and that she's never seen that gauge in a tragus before--these are signs that it will likely hurt a lot (and is thus a bad idea),
  3. they don't poke a needle through your flesh--it's more like an apple corer with a razor-sharp edge, and
  4. if you're going with a potential piercing buddy, and you're trying to encourage them that it doesn't really hurt that bad, the only way you can contain the raw reaction to that level of pain without emitting a 50-db scream is to kick your feet against the wall, HARD.
It doesn't hurt much now, three weeks later, unless I manage to punch myself solidly in the ear--which I've been apt to do in the past week. It's still slightly uncomfortable to sleep on--I made the sad mistake of piercing the side of my face on which I sleep. It has given me much pause concerning the (admittedly implausible and highly unlikely) consideration of ever piercing my nose. Or anything else not a part of my ear. Strangely, it also increases my urge to get a second cartilege piercing above the first. I think there's something about stainless steel (or whatever metal they use in piercing) that gets in your bloodstream, because it's definitely addictive.

It is at this juncture that, if my parents read my blog, my father would have to comment, "Why on earth do you get holes poked in your body, anyway?" To which I have no completely rational answer, except the inevitably-juvenile but-admittedly-true, "Because it looks cool." Translated into adult-speak, that's, "Because I am extremely vain."

It's also an odd way to attempt to both break out of the frumpy-librarian stereotype and to retain my youth (as if I'm not already routinely mistaken for being a decade younger than I actually am). And perhaps to get more street-cred with the geeky/goth/comicfan-crowd.


Graphic Novel Education Progress, 7/18

Have Read (2005-06):
Batman: Dark Knight Returns
Batman: DK Strikes Again
Batman: Y1
Batgirl: Y1
Maus I/II
Ghost World

Have Read (May/June):
Crisis on Infinite Earths
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 1
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2
Sandman, vol. 1
Sandman: Endless Nights
Death: The High Cost of Living
Death: The Time of Your Life

Currently Reading:
V for Vendetta

On Wishlist:
Serenity: Those Left Behind (yes, I've heard it's bad--no, I don't care)
Astonishing X-Men (Whedon)
Infinite Crisis

I was going to mark my favorites, and then I realized that it was pointless. So many of them are my "favorites" in one way or another. But sentimentally--not art or story or sheer genius-factor---my three faves are Batgirl: Y1 and the two Death books.



I just had to say, praise God that the Discovery touched down just fine this morning.


Spreading It A Little Thin

So, the old adage is that something particularly boring is "as interesting as watching paint dry." Does the same apply to reading blog posts about paint? Hope not--for your sake.

So, we're painting the bedroom. After one false start--and several nights of "We'll move out the furniture after this one episode of Mythbusters"--I began painting the ceiling Wednesday night. The original plan was to have 3-4 days to allow for 1-2 coats on the ceiling and 2 on the walls. Ha. Don't you love those original plans? They're so fragile and naive, like newborn kittens.

I bought a gallon for the ceiling, knowing full well it was more than enough. I've painted enough rooms in my day to make up quite a mansion, and I've painted several ceilings in the rest of my house, so it's not like I don't know what it takes. Then again, I didn't account for the Paint-inator.

We bought a power-roller awhile back, and I hadn't had a chance to use it yet. So I thought, anything that makes the tedious task of ceiling-painting faster and less drippy sounds like a good idea. And it was--it worked really well, and I was astounded at the little amount of paint that dripped--the most that got on the floor was from me putting the roller down when my arms got tired. But apparently it also puts paint on thicker than your manual-rolling technique. Which is great--it means I probably won't have to paint two coats, hooray! But, um. I used the whole gallon. And, um--there's still about 9 square feet of my ceiling that isn't blue. And I didn't find this out until 10:30pm last night, so of course I get to buy more paint on the way home--my last day for painting, btw, and walls are on the schedule.

So, either I have the thirstiest ceiling on earth, or a gallon just isn't what it used to be anymore, or there is something bizarre about power-rollers. In any case, word to the wise when using one--buy lots of paint. Lots and lots of paint.

Also, I must note that if you haven't listened to the audiobook Chronicles of Narnia, do so. I listened to them all in the spring, and last night while painting brought out "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" again. It's even better than I remembered--Derek Jacobi's reading is simply genius.


Kindness of Strangers

The gas station was packed this morning, because for some odd reason, in the heart of McKinney, a single gas station was a dime less per gallon than anyone else. And it was packed with industrial trucks. So getting my cute super-crew-cab F-150 in place at a pump was quite an exercise in manuevering. I just about couldn't make it, because there was a big trash can in my way beside the pump, but before I had time to even think about it, a young hispanic guy on the other side of the pump cheerfully moved it out of my way. I was kinda shocked--I can't remember the last time a stranger did something genuinely nice for me--and thanked him. Then I noticed that one of his friends picked up some trash in the area--not his own trash--and put it in the can. And when I left, easing my big fat vehicle out of the space, his friend also kindly held the cable of the gas pump away from my truck, so that it didn't bang into my cab.

It's the little things that matter.


That's Us, All Right

Hardin-Simmons generously provided Rangers tickets and dinner for Alex, two friends, and myself to meet with new-this-fall HSU students. Alex and I hit it off particularly well with a baseball-loving family; their older daughter is starting HSU this summer, will be playing softball, and is staying in the dorm and on the same floor where I was an RA my senior year (which I'm pretty sure most people there thought must have been seven months ago, not seven years ago).

So, as I attempted to keep score--an activity that I dearly love but am only passing decent at--I realized that here Alex and I were, supporting the university at which we met, in the very place we got engaged. I think the only aspect of our marriage that was missing was somebody in Star Wars costume--perhaps that was covered, though, since one of our friends there is a SW/HSU buddy.

In any case, the day was absolutely gorgeous--clear sky, 87 degrees--and for once, I attended a Rangers game that they actually one. By a lot. Woohoo!


The Blind Leading the Editor

Don't let the trailors/reviews for Ultraviolet deceive you. Oh, it's bad, all right, but not in that usual cheesy-sci-fi-movie way of predictably lame plot, hollow lines, and action-focus. Those can still be enjoyed on some level. This movie is more like a collection of those cheesy scenes with badly, slowly filmed action sequences and a jumble of great and subpar CG--that is, a collection of those scenes that the editor chopped up, threw in the air, and then assembled willy-nilly. If the plot originally made sense on paper, it's lost now. It's not just bad--it literally makes so little sense that in a number of scenes, we weren't even sure what was going on.

If you want to watch a gorgeous girl run around in pretty effects and sweet action sequences, there are a lot better choices--cheesy or not--and several even feature Milla Jovovich.


Good to Know

Today at work, I learned that tongue splitting was prohibited by Texas Law in 2003.

Geeky Genius: broken image shirt.

Bryan Singer is Forgiven

...for his absence on X-men 3.

To be honest, I think I could have seen just the opening credits and gone home happy. To hear John Williams's score and then see the unbelievably awesome 80's-style credits flash past, I felt like I was 8 years old. (Not that I was 8 years old in 1978, mind you, but then again I don't think my parents took their infant daughter to see Supes that year.)

**spoiler alert**

My biggest complaints?
  • The kid needed a haircut. I thought he was a girl in the trailers. A really unkempt girl.
  • Most predictably cheesy moment: Lois in the hospital talking to Superman, saying, "I don't know if you can hear me..."
  • Superman's affected enough by kryptonite to get beat up by Lex & Co., but later "overcomes" his weakness enough to hurtle the crystal island into space. The kryptonite-infested crystal island. ...How?
  • And Alex has a point about how on earth did Lex get stranded on a tropical island when he was right off New York. Not that I thought about it at the time (unlike the dramatic day/night shift in X-men 3 that drove me crazy).
The biggest potential for disaster?
  • In my mind, the kid. Just two days before, a relative spilled the beans on the kid's father to Alex and myself. But they handled it fairly well--he wasn't instantly all-powerful, you didn't actually hear Lois tell Supes (thank goodness), and at first I thought Supes was just going to strongly hint it at the end--but then he had to go and say "son," which I thought was a shame. They were handling it so elegantly--but then again, I'm sure they didn't want 35% of the audience to leave the theater saying, "So what was that about? Why was Richard White's kid so strong?" Sadly, the writers' lack of faith in the audience is probably justified.
  • I was also skeptical because beautiful, gorgeous, as those trailers were, Jor-El's voiceover had a distinctly Messiah-like flavor. However, the voiceover being used in a different context in the actual movie, I didn't get that feeling while watching it.
  • And I was distinctly unhappy--pre-movie--with Kevin Spacey's casting as Lex--but I take it all back now. He might be old enough to be Superman's dad, but he's so delightfully good. Er, at being evil. (And Parker Posey, as usual, is genius.)
So, favorite things?
  • Did I mention the opening credits? What a beautiful ode to the original, and that nostalgia struck a cord in our GenX hearts last night.
  • Beauty. Um, did you see the costumes, the sets, the colors, the cinematography? Classic. Gorgeous. I could watch it with no dialogue and be immensely happy.
  • Restraint. They almost made it on the kid point, but they really shone through on the romance. Not a lot of mush, and in the end, Superman doesn't get the girl (really). And related to this: Lois didn't find out Clark = Supes. It was elegant instead of eye-rolling.
  • The spirit of Christopher Reeve. I was also skeptical of their casting here, and maybe some people won't like his attempt at channeling Reeve's performance, but I thought it was spot-on. His Clark was enjoyable, and his Superman was classic.
  • The moment where the kid looks at Superman on the TV, then looks at Clark with that "hmmm" look.

Good to Know

Today at work, I learned that tongue splitting was prohibited by Texas Law in 2003.

Geeky Genius: broken image shirt.


"Supes" of the Day

I will take this tour of the Daily Planet tomorrow, after I’ve seen Superman Returns.

And I have to agree: Look, Up in the Sky is a truly spectacular documentary on Superman and all his incarnations. Forgive me, diehard-comic-fanboys, but I have loved Superboy, I buy Smallville on DVD, and I inherently think of Christopher Reeve as Superman and Dean Cain as Clark Kent. Yes, my Superman is a small-and-silver-screen version. Just like my Batman is Bruce Timm’s animated vision.



And the sun shines on yet another Morning-After-Party.

I very much enjoyed having my pal Auntie K over, and the yummy chow she brought. We played a mean couple of rounds of Mafia--of course, we found out in the first round that it doesn't work out so well when the narrator accidentally kills of one of the Mafia. Oops. But Seth's "Happy 1st of July" cake was fairly funny. I think we'll forgive the narrator flub for that.

Well, for the second party in a row, we had no fireworks--don't you love Drought Stage 3?--but we still had glow sticks! We had glow stick wars outside for awhile, came in for a breather, and--lights out! The whole block was black for quite some time--so we trooped out again and had another round of running around in the dark, throwing little glowing sticks at each other.

Like my neon-lit glasses?

Aside from the fireworks, we missed our Jaime--I think this is the first party in our five years that she's missed--and since we had it on Saturday, it was the first party in awhile where no one stayed overnight (aside from the usual Hardcore Four who are staying longer anyway). But good fun was had by all.

And yes, that's a new hole in my ear.