Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's a good thing I wasn't really set on the idea

Right. So awhile back I did the dollar a day thing for about two weeks. I know that it can be done, but it sometimes isn't a lot of fun. It would be even less fun if you had to do it for real. But if you are doing it just as an experiment, the most annoying thing is that if you decide to do it for a set amount of time you can't go out to dinner with friends and such until after it is over.

Having only gotten to the two week point last time, and having the membership dinner to go to in the middle of that, I was going to see if I could do it again. I was thinking that I did not have any social commitments for almost a month, and that it was unlikely that anything would come up until the middle of April.

So I ate less than a dollar's worth of food on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I'm planning on that again today. But now on Friday I've been invited to go to lunch with my husband and some of his co-workers who want to meet me. They do that sort of thing once in a while, and I don't want to be unfriendly.

Anyway, they picked Friday lunch, because my husband told them I didn't have anything to do on that day. That isn't exactly true, since Friday morning I have an appointment at the clinic to have some blood drawn and some other things. He just didn't remember. Anyway, you can never know how long you are going to be waiting when you have some sort of medical appointment, so I might not make it. But I'm guessing that for something that should only take half an hour or so that I'll actually be there for two hours. So I think that I'll be done with it just a bit after eleven and should be able to get to the restaurant by 11:30 or 12:00.

If I don't make it by then they'll just have to assume that I'm not coming. I won't be able to call him to say I can't make it. My husband still doesn't have even the little emergency cell phone like I have.

Maybe I don't want to do this dollar thing right now anyway. I had planned to eat kale for several days, and the kale wasn't that good. Also, it looks like I'm being asked if I want to go with my husband for a couple of days in Texarkana or overnight to middle of nowhere. Or maybe he just left me this note to let me know that the hoped for trip to Houston wasn't going to happen. Or at least, it isn't going to happen at the beginning of next month like he hoped.

Business temporarily picked up a bit. He had three good weeks at work, which translates into one good check that we've already spent, and half a good check coming next week. Since then it hasn't been great. This week and next week we were hoping that it would be good, and they expected so much business that they got another photographer to work with him. Only it really hasn't been that busy or that good. The salespeople are doing okay, but not great, and what work there is gets split between more people than usual. And my husband works faster than the other guy, so he is getting more money than the other guy, but still not a lot. So that means that my husband both has less money than he would like, and also having to feel a bit guilty that he's making more than the other guy. But we need money too, and there's only so long that you can expect people to wait on the other guy, so my husband ends up with twice as many customers, and he still isn't that busy. If they had know there wasn't going to be a full schedule, they could have left the other guy off the schedule. But maybe the other guy is having a tough time of it too, and would rather go to work for the minimum pay rather than have two weeks off with no pay.

Maybe I didn't want to go to Houston anyway. It is starting to look like we wouldn't have had enough money to do anything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Growing your own food and the dollar a day thing

There used to be this British comedy called The Good Life (or The Good Neighbors, depending on when and where you watched it). On his fortieth birthday, Mr. Good tells his wife that he is tired of his job and wants "it", and he quits his job, they turn their nice home into a small farm and do all sorts of things which upsets their very prim and proper neighbors.

Seeing as this was a British comedy and not a documentary or a how-to video, they did a lot of silly stuff, and most of it was all wrong.

Even if on your fortieth birthday you decide that you want to do this sort of thing, you'd probably give it a lot more thought than just the one day, and you probably wouldn't immediately quit the job and start tilling the backyard. You would probably keep the job for another year or so and save up some money (maybe longer depending on the time of year and how much money you want to save up), try your hand at some weekend gardening projects, do some research, visit a farm and see if you actually like being around livestock, etc....

But since this was a comedy, Mr. Good has to both get the idea and start working on it the first day. Doing something sensible like waiting a year and doing research just wouldn't be funny.

So on the second or third episode, they have decided to decline a dinner invitation because they supposedly have their own dinner waiting at home. And they have bragged that it is a completely homegrown dinner, with nothing store bought. But, it is only the second or third episode, so they have been at this for less than a month. They really can't have much of anything growing at that point, much less anything ready to eat. It takes about a month just to grow radishes.

But, after having bragged about going home to eat this dinner that has nothing store bought, they decide that they are going to kill one of the chickens and eat it. That's a very bad idea. Luckily, the chicken is so startled by almost being shot that she lays an egg, and Mr. and Mrs. Good eat their first homegrown dinner by splitting one fried egg.

I don't have any chickens, and I'm unlikely to get any. We had at one time discussed getting chickens or maybe ducks, but we never did that. And I wanted a goat. The husband wanted to keep bees, but I was having none of that. We talked about making a pond to raise some sort of fish. We never did any of it, but we talked about it a lot ten years ago. Now I don't think that I would ever do anything like that. If something happens and you need someone to watch your dog or your cat, that is hard enough. It would be much more difficult to get someone to take in your chickens and ducks and a goat, much less a bunch of bees. So I don't think that I'll ever be doing that.

I was going to do the dollar a day thing again for a bit. Monday I skipped breakfast, not so much to keep things under a dollar, but more because I was too lazy to get up and fix anything. Tuesday I did a bit better and got up to fry an egg. At some point I hope to do this dollar a day thing with stuff from the garden. And then it occurred to me that I already have a few things.

If you've been reading my blog you know that I dug this new garden bed about a month ago, but I have not yet planted it. Not even the radishes. So I don't have anything from that yet.

But I do have asparagus from a couple of years ago that has actually grown enough to eat now. And several weeks ago I bought some kale transplants, which I planted in pots. Some of the kale didn't do well, but two of them are growing just fine.

In this part of Texas, I could be eating all kinds of things from the garden right now if I had just thought to do the work earlier. In fact, if I really worked at it, I could probably have some sort of produce all year. Stuff like broccoli doesn't do that well here in the summer, but it grows in the fall, and even somewhat in the winter as it takes several days of hard freeze to actually kill the plant. So with proper planning, I could have broccoli most of the year, except in the summer, when I would have squash and tomatoes and wouldn't miss not having broccoli.

But I never seem to get around to that.

So how does adding homegrown asparagus and kale to the dollar a day thing work out?

If you read the dollar a day stuff that I did before, you'd see that I spent about fifteen cents a day on some sort of veggie, maybe broccoli or tomatoes, and then ate the veggies with pasta. So really, having the homegrown veggies just saved me about fifteen cents, and the rest of it is about the same.

Having your own asparagus saves you more than fifteen cents, if you were planning to go to the store and buy asparagus if you couldn't just get it for free from the backyard, but you probably wouldn't be buying asparagus if you only had a dollar a day. Sometimes asparagus is three or four dollars a pound, so for what I like to eat with dinner would cost seventy-five cents or a dollar. So that's out. But right now you can get asparagus on sale, sometimes as little as a dollar a pound. So if you look at it that way, I'm saving twenty-five cents a day (or at least every other day, as I don't yet have enough to eat it everyday).

The kale was a disappointment. I don't know if I'm not cooking it right or if I didn't buy the right type of kale or if it is too late in the season for kale. I ate some of it yesterday anyway.

Today, if it doesn't rain and such, I will got out and plant some radish seeds.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank my gods it's over

I was a big fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. I even watched Galactica 1980, which wasn't near as good. As for the resent remake of Battlestar Galactica, well....

And I'm not one of those people who just hates remakes. The second Invasion of the Body Snatchers was my favorite of the four movies based on Jack Finney's book. I liked Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. I have enjoyed all versions of Star Trek, including the animated series.

I've even decided that Enterprise wasn't that bad.

I liked The War of the Worlds that Tom Cruise was in. I will even say that pollution is just as valid a reason for making The Day the Earth Stood Still now as was the threat of nuclear war in the original.

So I'm not one of those people who is just so in love with the original that they'll always see remakes as a bad thing. Sometimes we just like to update things a little bit. Every twenty or thirty years we remake Miracle on 34th Street for a new audience, and so far they've all been good.

I saw the Marlo Thomas version of It's a Wonderful Life before I new who Jimmy Stewart was.

So I'm okay with remakes, if they are good remakes. And maybe sci fi stuff gets remade a lot because of the new special effects. Sometimes you look at an old sci fi movie or tv show, and you think that people would still like this, if not for the rubber monsters and bad special effects. Now that we sometimes have pretty good cgi, maybe some of it is worth doing over again.

So there were a lot of people looking forward to the new Battlestar Galactica. A lot of us were disappointed that it wasn't a continuation of the original series, but I for one didn't totally dismiss it just because they decided to go with a remake instead.

Until I actually saw the thing.

The first episode was good, it was just too different for me to like it as part of the Battlestar Galactica universe. And right there at the end, it looked more like it should have been called The Second Variety (Screamers). But, to be fair, I like Philip K. Dick stuff as much as the next person, so that wasn't what I didn't like.

I didn't like that they took the names of characters that I cared about and gave them to totally new characters, some of whom were real a**holes. I didn't like the new special effects with the shaking camera. And I didn't like that everything looked so old.

Yes, I know it was an important part of the plot that Galactica was older than most of the fleet. But I still didn't like the way it looked. The sixties are over. Rotary phones shouldn't be on spaceships.

But, still, I was trying to give it a chance.

I think, for the most part, that the first season wasn't that bad. I would have liked it better if they had done a real Battlestar Galactica, and I just wanted to shoot the camera guy, but I was watching the show and liking parts of it.

Among my friends, I was in the minority of people who were disappointed with the new show. There were a few others, and I even know one person who refused to watch after the first episode, but most of them liked the new show. The really odd thing was that some of my friends would go on and on about the things that I didn't like as if they were really good. Like shaking cameras add realism to the show.


But when I really started to lose interest was in the second or third season when the new a**hole characters really started to behave like a**holes and play musical beds. The show became more about the soap opera of the a**holes than about the war or the quest. There was an episode where most of the main characters were in a boxing ring. I think that I really would have stopped watching the show then except for two things. A.) I was already going to my brother's house to watch Stargate stuff he recorded for me, so I might as well watch Battlestar Galactica with him too, and B.) half the time Battlestar Galactica was all my friends wanted to talk about, so I had to watch the show just to have something to say about it, even if it was negative.

While everyone else was cursing that Galactica was getting canceled, all I could think was it would finally be over. All I have to do is watch one more season to keep up with what everyone is talking about, and then I'll be off the hook.

And I'm still crossing my fingers that it will get interesting again.

And for awhile, it does get interesting. There's this bit about a Cylon named Daniel, who must be Kara's father. So that explains Kara. Kara must be the first child born to a human/Cylon couple instead of Hera. So then what is the big deal about Hera?

Turns out that Daniel was not Kara's father, and Kara is not part Cylon, and we weren't supposed to be thinking that at all. What we were supposed to infer from the Cabel kills Daniel story is that they are Cain and Able.


So, on Friday, when everyone else is all excited about seeing the two hour finale of Battlestar Galactica and even planning little viewing parties around it, I'm just sort of relieved that it is about to be over. I don't know if I'll watch Caprica. It might be interesting. I'll certainly watch the first episode and at least give it a chance. But Battlestar Galactica, at least this version of it, is finally over and I'm not really sorry to see it go.

I look on the website just to make sure I have the time right. I had heard that it would be two hours. According to the website, it will be two hours and eleven minutes.

My brother records all of the shows. I call my brother to tell him to change the recording time.

I usually end up watching the recording the following Sunday, but due to our schedule that week I got to see it on Friday with everyone else.

And there were all of these flashbacks. And I'm thinking, who cares about this stuff now?

About an hour into the program, it looks like they've pretty much wrapped everything up. My brother looks at me and says "Are you sure it's two hours and eleven minutes. Maybe it's one hour and eleven minutes."

He wasn't making a joke. He just really thought that I had read it wrong.

More flashbacks.

A bit later, my brother looks up and says "There's still half an hour left."

Again, he's not making a joke. It sounds funny now, but he wasn't trying to be funny.

This is like the longest two hours and eleven minutes that have ever been on the small screen.

Okay, I mostly like that they got back to the original idea of these people being our ancestors. If you are a serious fan of the show, you've probably heard that the idea was originally to be a show called Adam's Ark. (I first heard the title Adam's Ark on a Sci Fi Channel show called Sciography, which is damned funny, and if you haven't seen it you could watch it on Youtube.) So I'm kind of glad that they finally got back to Earth.

I don't think that they needed to send the fleet flying into the sun. I think that most of the people watching the show are fans of science fiction in general, and they are already familiar with the idea of colonists losing their technology. It is just something that happens over time, or something that happens after some catastrophe. You don't need to deliberately get rid of the technology. It just sort of gets lost anyway.

I think that I might have sent the Galactica into the sun, because it was too damaged to land. Maybe some of the ships weren't designed to land, and I would have sent them into the sun rather than leave them in orbit where they might later fall and kill someone. But I would have kept everything else, and there probably would have been scenes of people dismantling ships and making homes from them.

But this people don't even keep the agroships. And they are on a new planet where they don't even know what to eat. I guess they'll eventually learn from watching the natives, but this still seems like a really stupid thing to do.

Never mind, it's over. We can all look forward to the next Stargate series now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today might be a good day

My husband came home last night. Last night was not bad at all, and it was nice to have dinner with him and discuss the week. I took a pill and got almost eight hours sleep.

This morning I am already annoyed that I don't have the house to myself and have to be quiet now. I can't do anything that might make noise. I can't roll over in my empty bed and grab the remote and watch TV, cause it isn't an empty bed at the moment. I can't make breakfast yet. I can't listen to the infinite versions of Watchtower that pop up on YouTube while I type this post.

Today we will probably have a nice day. Probably lunch and a trip to Home Depot or Lowe's and maybe a movie later. I've recorded six hours of TV for him to watch, and if he decides to watch it I will probably watch it with him, even though I've already seen it. Monday he will have to go to work, and I will go back to talking about cleaning house (and not really doing much of it).

Several nice things happened in the last few days. I got some of my annual exam over with. I've had some blood drawn, but I will have to go back Friday and have more blood drawn to test my cholesterol or some such thing. Still, it was good to get some of it done.

The paycheck came, and it was finally a good one. Not enough to make up for the last three months of bad ones, but it is still good to have money in the bank.

Having money in the bank allowed me to do just a little bit of shopping. Nothing really special, but I bought blue jeans and black pants. So I now have two pairs of pants that actually fit my a**. I would also go out and get a haircut, but I think that my bangs still need to grow out a bit after that time that I decided to trim them myself. Bad idea. Really bad idea.

Today I should buy some seeds and some other gardening stuff, and maybe a new skillet. You wouldn't think that a person would stress so much over whether or not to get a haircut and buy a new skillet, but that is what it has been like around here since Christmas. And I still have to try to restrain myself, since this is nowhere near enough to even get caught up on everything, much less think that things will soon be back to normal. But I can feel like normal for a few days anyway.

Friday I also got the new garden bed filled and will be ready to plant it today or in the next few days depending on the wind and the rain. So that little project took almost a month, and there are still big mounds of dirt to deal with, and I haven't even started on the rest of the yard. There's still a lot of work left to do before I can relax a bit.

But, for the most part, I think that today is going to be a good day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Might try the dollar a day thing again

I have found two more blogs on the subject, plus there were a couple of idiot guys on YouTube who might have ended their friendship over a few items from Taco Bell.

I would say that it started with the One Dollar Diet Project, but I suppose that they weren't really the first to try the experiment, and even the idiot guys on YouTube were about a year earlier. But for me and a lot of other people, the couple in California were the first that I heard about. Just see if you could buy food and only eat the small amount that would add up to a dollar a day. They bought a lot of stuff in bulk, used packages of condiments from fast food restaurants, and figured out that they could eat on a dollar a day, but not very well and they had to give up most of the vegetables and fruits that they liked. They're vegans, so they were already giving up meat, eggs, and diary. During the experiment they ate a lot of beans and rice and peanut butter sandwiches.

Two non-vegans from Michigan also did the 1 dollar a day thing at their blog Hope Heals. Their blog started out very similar to the first one, only they also ate eggs and cheap hotdogs. They then moved on to trying to be Freegans for a month, and are now doing this sort of random kindness thing. I was going to say that I didn't like the changes in their blog, but I've decided it isn't so bad. I was disappointed with their lack of posting in February, but it's their blog and they can write (or skip) whatever they want to. And I was at first disappointed with their March project, but I've looked at it again and they never really said that they were going to go out and help the needy. They just said that they would be doing little things for people when they thought they could help. They might accidentally help out someone who really doesn't need it or doesn't deserve it, but finding the most needy people to help for a month and then going away was not the point of the project. Just doing little things to make a person smile was the point, and maybe the point was to have fun doing it, which seems to be working.

Now I've found someone else in Michigan who decided to try this dollar a day thing in November of 2006. And he did it, though for the first few days he only had one meal a day. He figured that he saved just over two hundred dollars, which he donated to a local food bank. He called his experiment Hungry for a Month.

I found that blog from another blog called Less is Enough, which I found after checking back with the One Dollar Diet Project. The lady writing Less is Enough decided that she could also eat on a dollar a day, without being a vegan, and without stealing condiments from restaurants, and with more fresh veggies and fruit. And, for the most part, she did. The really interesting thing about this blog is that instead of trying to figure out how much the individual meals cost so that it added up to a dollar a day, she just went out everyday and spent about a dollar. If she had money leftover, she spent it the next day. If she wasn't going out on a certain day, she spent the dollar either the day before or the day after. She started with no food (not even salt) and thirty dollars, and at the end of the month she still hadn't spent her last $1.40, and she had just a little bit of beans, salt, and cornmeal leftover. So while she can't say for sure what her daily totals were, they averaged out to less than a dollar per day. For her next project, she's going to see how much it really costs to eat everything you are supposed to (three meals a day, fresh veggies and fruit, and all the food groups in healthy portions) if you are trying to stay on a budget. So I look forward to that.

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing it again maybe next week. It is easier to do when I'm by myself, and when I don't have any social obligations. I never know too much a head of time when I'll be by myself, but I don't think that I have any social commitments between this coming Sunday and the middle of next month. So that would be a good time to do something if I wanted to.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maybe not the brightest bulb

This is just a bit too late to count as Monday Morons, but I don't want to wait til next week to write it.

Okay, so I've just heard that someone I know auditioned for a certain show called America's Got Talent.

I'm sitting here scratching my head, cause as far as I know, this particular individual doesn't have any talent. Or, at least, she doesn't have any talent that I am aware of, and I just can't picture her having any talent that she would want to do on stage in front of people.

Anyway, I don't watch American Idol and all of that stuff, and I don't know much about America's Got Talent. I know on American Idol there's this part early in the show where they let complete idiots perform so that the judges can make fun of them. Is there something like that on America's Got Talent? Is this person I know going to be made fun of in front of millions of TV viewers? Is it maybe like The Gong Show?

I think that if I refer to this person as Miss H, one of my readers might recall who it is. She is not attractive in any way. She's overweight and has bad skin. She lacks social skills, and she's lost jobs because of that and other complaints that I won't mention at the moment. If you take her aside and say that you didn't want to embarrass her in front of the others...but maybe she didn't know she should...and then she shrugs and says that she's been told that before, and she never seems to do anything about it.

So, Miss H doesn't have a lot of friends, but so far as I know it's just that people don't like her. I don't know of her deliberately hurting anyone or anything like that, so I can't imagine that we would ask her to go away, just cause some of us don't like her much. And there are several other people that don't seem very popular either, and they hang out with her, so that works out.

I still cannot picture what she would do for a talent contest. She might have some talent. She might bake or sew or write or do some sort of art, but you usually don't do any of that in a talent show.

Maybe she has a comedy routine? She did this one thing that was just fall down on your butt laughing funny. But that one time the thing that made it really funny was when this other person we just happened to meet backstage came in at the end of her routine and pretended to strangle her. Without the other person, it just wasn't that funny. I've always wondered would she have done this same routine without the funny ending if she hadn't met the other person.

Without the other person, it would have been more of they're laughing at you, not with you.

I don't get why these people do this sort of thing to themselves. Do they not know how they look? Did grandma tell them twenty years ago that they were just wonderful singers and just no one has had the heart to tell them she was lying?

America's Got Talent? Is she crazy?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I don't like other people's blogs

And I think that I may do a few posts on the subject.

I know, I don't have a zillion fans either. Maybe there is someone out there complaining about my blog. Or maybe there are people out there who would complain about my blog, but they have better things to do. Writing posts complaining about other people's blogs is a silly waste of time.

But it's my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it.

Today, I am going to complain about a blog started by my brother-in-law.

Okay, so I'm guessing that the people reading this are somewhat familiar with my blog. This one and most of the blogs that I read are for the most part anonymous. I don't use my real name, and I haven't posted many pictures, and if I do post a picture it isn't of my face. I've posted maybe two pictures of myself, and I covered my face in both of them so that I could post them without any of you seeing my face. For the most part, you don't know who I am.

Let's see. My friend from the great white north knows who I am. There's another blogger that I met in real life. If my husband reads once in a while, well, he knows who I am. I don't think that the Homewrecking-slut and her friend read anymore, but if they do, they know who I am. But, in general, I don't tell my friends that I have a blog, and I haven't told the rest of my family, and I haven't given anyone the name of the blog, though one friend claims that he has found it anyway.

If someone I already know happened to find this blog, they might figure out I was the one writing it. Or if someone really wanted to figure out who writes this blog, they could figure out some things, like they know the general area where I live and such. But I usually don't write down anyone's real name when I'm writing about them, and so forth.

For the most part, it's anonymous, cause I want to be able to rant about this and that without people really knowing my business. You should be careful what you write about if you use your real name and such. There are a lot of weirdos out there.

So I don't care for my brother-in-law writing a blog where he uses everyone's real name and such. Not that he's writing anything bad. No. His blog isn't like mine in that respect. He just writes this is what they did yesterday, and this is what they did last week, and here are pictures of it.

Now, that kind of thing is okay, if you have a private blog with passwords and such. If only he and his family and friends could read it, that would be just fine. But he has an open blog like this one, and just any weirdo out there can stop by and find out where they like to eat lunch.

That sort of thing would really make me nervous.

But, he's a grown man, and if his wife doesn't want to tell him that isn't a good idea, then I guess he can do that.

Now I've just read a post where he pretty much gives out my grandmother's address.

He was making one of those "it's a small world" comments. My grandmother lives at a certain house, which was like down the street or around the corner from where his grandparents used to live. So I think he's just really amazed that none of us ever met before he started dating my sister.

But I think that he could have just said that, and not said where it was that his grandparents lived, and not said where it is that my grandma lives, and not write that whole thing under a picture of my grandma with her name and everything.

I know that it isn't nice to say that your in-laws are doing something stupid, but why does he have all this personal information and pictures on an open blog?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wardrobe and other malfunctions

It is probably going to rain some more today. It looks like it will be nice and sunny next week, but I'm not sure how long it will take for everything to dry out so that I can get back to the gardening.

Later today and tomorrow and Sunday, my friends will be going to a convention. Right now I am not planning to go, even though with the weather I have no plans for anything else. The convention is run by a group that I found to be a lot of fun the one other time I went, but there's no one in the guest list that I'm just dying to see, though Aaron Douglas will be there, and I'm sure that a lot of my friends are looking forward to seeing him. I hear that he's a nice guy.

The convention itself reminds me of bad things that started that same week three years ago. That really shouldn't be held against anyone at the convention, but as it turns out I haven't been back since then. Also, they moved to a different hotel, since the roof leaked at the one I went to. The new hotel is nowhere near the other one, and I would either have to drive on the freeway going through Dallas, or I would have a very long drive on surface roads. I don't care to make such a long drive there and back, especially since it is likely to be in the rain and it would end up with me being in an unfamiliar area.

But the real deciding factor is that I have no money.

Of course I have no money for tickets to the thing or buying autographs or cool sci-fi stuff from the dealer's room. That's just a given that I don't have money for that. And I really don't have money to eat out, so I would have to take peanut butter sandwiches, and if anyone asked me to go out anyplace afterward I would have to say no. And I have nothing cool to wear, so it would be just me in maybe a club t-shirt and jeans, and even the jeans are against me at the moment, and I have no money to go out and buy new ones.

But the really sad thing about the lack of money situation is that I don't even feel like I have enough money to volunteer to work at the thing. I have the day off and nothing planned. In fact, I have the whole weekend off and nothing planned. But last month someone made a point of saying that they still needed volunteers, and that if I worked enough hours it would get me a free ticket for next year. That's a good offer, one that I don't remember getting before.

But I don't think that I should spend the money even for just gas and a couple of sodas.

So that's a bit sad. I've just been reminded that a friend of mine has a serious entry in the costume competition, and I won't be there to cheer him on.

Speaking of costumes, it has recently occurred to me that I have nothing to wear on May 8th. Staying home on May 8th is not an option. My friends will be out in force (and of course, in uniform) to promote the club and the new movie.

Right now, I don't really have a uniform. The old ones either just don't look good or don't fit me at the moment. I'm not even sure that I have any decent black pants should someone offer to loan me a shirt.

The borg costume would not really be good for this occasion, though if I looked better I would probably wear it anyway. I probably still have a Centauri dress or two around, but no bald caps or head wear to go with them, and that stuff is Babylon 5 anyway. I have tons of costume stuff, but most of the stuff that still fits is either Harry Potter or an old Halloween costume. I just don't have anything Star Trek related that I can wear two months from now.

So I'm surfing the web, looking for pictures. With the economy and my current personal lack of funds, my other personal problems, and having less than two months to come up with something, making a new costume should be the last thing on my mind. Still, I'm looking. If I found the right picture, I might try it anyway.

I've decided that trying to get something that looks like the new uniform is out. One of the designs is simple enough, but the fabric is some odd polka dot thing that I probably won't be able to match. Plus that dress would require me to go out and buy new boots.

I'm thinking that the best thing as far as a new costume would be some Vulcan robes. But that would also require wearing Vulcan ears and probably plucking my eyebrows. And then there's the glasses. I am blind without them, and they tend to look out of place on an alien face, so I spend a lot of time getting the glasses on and off to pose for pictures and hoping that I don't actually lose the glasses at some point when they are off.

But there are some costume designs that aren't too bad, if I could just find a decent picture of what I want. The glasses would still be a problem, so I would have to add a pocket somewhere just for them. And depending on the color I could use some things that I already have around.

Still, it seems a totally silly thing to be worrying about right now, and I have zero funds to spend on such a thing. But somehow that doesn't stop me from looking at the pictures.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The garden will have to wait

Saturday I went out and found some peat moss and other gardening stuff at Walmart. It was almost eleven dollars for the 3.8 cube, which was a little bit more than I wanted to pay, but I was so happy to find some after not finding any earlier that I bought it. If I had waited and gone to Lowe's, it would have been a couple of dollars cheaper. Still, I managed to buy both that and fifty pounds of sand and get it into the car.

Getting it out of the car and into the back yard was a bit more difficult, but I managed. I ran some more errands and didn't do much else that day.

Monday I got a bit of work done, but I was too tired to get it all done by Tuesday. Tuesday it was already threatening to rain, so every time I took a break I tried to put plastic on anything that I didn't want to get wet.

Tuesday night and Wednesday it was just a downpour. A dark, cold, wet mess. I mostly stayed in bed and watched DVDs. I was still a bit sore, and there was nothing I could do outside anyway.

The house is still the usual mess, and I suppose I should do something about that, but I guess I'm just not that interested since I was this close to getting some major work done on the garden.

I cut one piece of asparagus. I should have a lot more soon, now that it has rained.

It is not raining at the moment, but it is still a cold wet mess outside, so I still can't do anything. Some of the stuff I put plastic on got wet anyway, so I can't even work there. There's just nothing to be done until it dries out a bit.

I guess that it's back to boring stuff like laundry and dishes for a while.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Watchmen

Time for a movie review. I don't think this one will have much in the way of spoilers. If I change my mind and start writing stuff I think that you don't want to know, I'll warn you.

Okay, so I tend to go out and watch all the big movies based on comic books, even though I don't really read comic books. I think I read Elfquest back in the day, and that was about it. I'm not even sure that I read all of those.

So I go and see the movie versions of Superman and Batman and Spiderman and so forth. Being that I'm not a big comic book fan, I sometimes like to have a few little details explained to me after the movie. I have a lot of people around who can explain such things. While they aren't as much into comic books now, both my brother and my husband used to read a lot of them twenty years ago, and they still try to keep up with the major developments. And I have friends who read them and sometimes still read them. I have a friend who has been reading Ironman for about fifty years now.

So maybe I don't totally get everything that is going on in these movies, but for the most part I think I enjoy the movies themselves more than the real fans of the comics. I go into the theater expecting less and just watch the movie, while the comic book fans are sometimes disappointed that the movie didn't really do justice to their favorite story.

I would say that most writers of these movies I have seen realize that a lot of other people in the theater don't read comic books either. The movies often tell the beginning of the story. Superman told how Superman first came to Earth, and then he had to deal with Lex Luther. Spiderman showed us how a teenager became the wall crawling crime fighter. Then you can also watch Superman II and III and so on, and you can watch Spiderman II and III and so on, and if the writers of the sequels don't expect you to have read the comic books, they at least expect you to have seen the first movie.

The Watchmen didn't feel that way to me. We are mostly watching the end of the story instead of the beginning. How Dr. Manhattan came to be is explained through flashbacks, but little is really said about the others. There's a lot of stuff in the opening credits trying to establish that there have been masked superheroes around for a long time. And there are a lot of flashbacks about this and that which I found confusing, and the "present day" which most of the story takes place in was 1985, which I couldn't quite figure out at first since Nixon was still president.

It must was sort of an alternate history that split from ours maybe at some point in the 1920s.

Okay, I suppose that all comic books (and movies based on comic books) take place in alternate histories or even alternate universes, because in the real here and now we don't call for Superman to come and rescue us, and there aren't millions of people living in someplace called Metropolis. But when we watch the first Superman movie, everything else seems about the same until the point in time where a small spacecraft brings us a baby from another planet. But in this movie there are references to real life things that just aren't quite the way that we remember them. Things have been different for long enough that it changes stuff like who is president and there being laws against mask-wearing crime-fighters.

So I found it all a bit annoying.

I should also warn you about the sex and nude scenes. One of the characters is a glowing blue guy who often goes to work in a little black speedo. Only in a lot of the scenes he doesn't even bother with the speedo, and we get cgi frontal nudity. There's sex with that character, and a lot of sex with two other characters, and an almost rape scene with still two other characters.

I just didn't care too much for this film. I thought that it was just me, with my dislike of characters switching sex partners and my lack of knowledge about comic books in general. But my husband didn't care for the movie either, and he had read the comic book when it first came out.

So I think that if you really like this comic book and already know the characters and such, and you'd just like to see what it looks like on the big scene, then you should probably go see it but try not to expect too much. I don't think the rest of you will like it that much, except those of you who'd really like to see a giant nude glowing blue guy.

Monday, March 09, 2009

A short reminder

I will be back later to review The Watchmen. I started writing it this morning, but I didn't get finished with it. And I can't finish it right now because I'm trying to get some gardening done before it rains later this week, or maybe it will rain just a little bit later today.

But I thought that I should come back and remind everyone that Summer Glau is going to be on tonight's episode of The Big Bang Theory. So everyone has to watch how our favorite nerds deal with meeting the actress who plays a terminator.

And while I'm reminding people about this and that, here's a coupon for a free Arby's roastburger. Doesn't look like a burger to me, but it's free with purchase of a soda, so I'll probably try one. This coupon is only good for today. I had a better one that was good til Saturday, but I can't seem to find that one now.

I'll be back later or maybe tomorrow.

Update: I found that other coupon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

More adventures in gardening, or not

So I waited for the check to come this morning, and it wasn't as much as I'd hoped for. But the rent still has to be paid, etc.... So off I went with my checkbook.

We hardly use paper checks anymore, and I forget to order them, and then I forget where I've put the ones that I did order. So I've only got a few. Should have paid the rent and the car, but I just paid the rent. After that was done, I decided that it was time for a trip to Home Depot, even if we didn't have as much money to spend as I would like. There is this almost three by twelve hole in the ground that needs to be filled. So I need some peat moss.

Now, you can either buy peat moss from some big name company in a big bag with pretty pictures of flowers, or you can buy peat moss from some not so big name company in a not as pretty plastic covered block. The blocks are usually more product for less money, so I buy the blocks, usually as big of one as I can manage to get into the car.

So I went off this morning to get one of those big blocks of peat moss, only they didn't have any. They do have the bags with the pictures of the flowers on them, but I don't want those. So I went on to Walmart.

Walmart didn't have them either.

I didn't want to keep driving to Lowe's, so I thought I'd just buy a dollar bag of this other plant stuff, just to get started with, and get some peat moss later. Only they didn't have that either. They had manure, but I've still got some of that from last year. That's not what I need.

So this is getting annoying.

I'm also wondering, is it my imagination, or has the price of some of the gardening stuff really gone up this year? Now that some of us have decided to expand our little hobbies into something that might be enough to feed a few people, have the onion sets almost doubled in price, and have the tomato and pepper plants gone up a bit, and are the tomato cages that used to be two for a dollar now more than two dollars each?

I know that some of this stuff went up before, but I'm pretty sure about the onions. I was already to plant just rows and rows of onions, cause I figured onions are a total no brainer and we do tend to eat a lot of them anyway. But it seems like last year they were eighty for a dollar, and now they are eighty for $1.88.

I guess tomorrow I'll have a look around Irving for the stuff that I want. I can't just give up. I can't just leave a big hole and a mound of dirt like that.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Well, this is one of those weeks when my husband goes out of town for most of the week. And since he wasn't going anywhere particularly interesting, I did not go with him. This saves a little money, if I can manage to stay at home for most of the week. And it also gives me grand delusions of all the work that I can get done when there is no one else here to distract me. I imagine that I'm going to organize the back room or get the house really clean or get a lot of work done in the garden.

In reality I'm doing really good if I can manage to get all the laundry done and still wash the dishes, water the plants, and maybe organize the sock drawer.

Usually I get nothing at all done the first day. Usually, the first day I sit around and imagine all the work that I would like to do. I don't get much of it done, get really annoyed with myself, and try to do something really useful with my time on Friday. Saturday I either don't finish whatever it was I wanted to do, or maybe I don't even try to do anything because I suddenly remember that I am supposed to be doing something with the club.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not supposed to be doing anything with the club this weekend.

Anyway, I totally broke with my normal routine, and on the first day he was gone I did some serious work in the garden.

I wanted to dig a new garden bed, about three feet wide and about twelve feet long. Then I thought that maybe twelve feet was too long. Maybe I'd get to nine feet and see how it looked. So I spent about two days last week digging, and I thought that I got a three by six hole dug. On closer inspection, it was closer to a two and half by five feet hole, but I was still glad to get that much of it done. So I figured that I could dig to nine feet and probably even to twelve feet in the next two or three days.

Yesterday, I got most of that done. I dug the last few feet this afternoon. I'll still have to go back and widen the bit that I did last week, and then it will take a long time to mix proper soil to put back in the hole, but the majority of actually just digging the hole itself is done, just in the first two days.

But now my back really hurts, so I don't expect to do anything useful for a while. In fact, I think that other than going to the library to get more DVDs, I don't expect to be doing much of anything except watching TV from my bed. But it is good when I actually get done with the work that I plan for the week. I feel like I got a lot accomplished, even if the bed isn't all ready to plant. I've still got another week or two for that.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Life expectancy calculations

I was just at someone else's blog talking about relatives who don't take care of their health. I was reminded that my brother took an online life expectancy test, which told him he would probably live to be 44. That was several years ago, and he's done very little to change his health. So he's probably still going to die in about five years.

I just took one of the things myself. It said that I'm going to live to be 79.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Anyway, it probably isn't terribly accurate. There was a box to check how much coffee you drink, and there was a box to check how much tea you drink, but there was no box to check how much cola you drink. And there is a box for how much red meat you eat and another box for how much white carbs you eat and so forth. But there's not really a place for explaining that this if this is a recent change. There is a box to check if you are currently trying to diet and think that you will end up with a healthy weight, but that's not quite the same. There's no place to put that you have the yo-yo weight or that last year you ate fast food daily and ate twice as much red meat, almost no veggies, and drank about half a gallon of sugar soda. Somehow I don't imagine that the changes in the last two months make up for the last twenty years of fried foods and Cokes and binge eating cookies.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Okay, so I'm not a very social person, at least not when it comes to the formal stuff. But I do get the occasional written invitation to parties, when one is expected to RSVP, or tell say whether or not one is going to be there.

I've always thought that this means to say if you are going. If you don't say that you are going, it would be assumed that you are not going. So if you send out a hundred invitations to something, and then you would get back maybe seventy-five answers saying that they would be going and whether or not they were bringing an escort, and then you would maybe get back five or ten answers saying that they would not be going and apologizing and saying why they would not be going. And then that would leave fifteen or twenty other people not going, but they either did not have a really good reason for not going or else just didn't want to say what it was, and you would assume that since they did not answer that they would not attend.

A few years ago, my sister got married, and one of her new in-laws explained to me that the opposite was supposed to be true. For a formal invitation only event, it is more important to answer if you will not attend. If you send out a hundred invitations and seventy-five people answer that they will be there and possibly bringing escorts, and five or ten people apologize that they will not be attending because they have to be somewhere else, that leaves fifteen or twenty other people you assume will also be there but that their answers were lost in the mail or something.

As no one else on my side of the family had ever heard this explanation, I just went back to thinking that just isn't the way it is done. Maybe that was the way it was originally supposed to work, but I don't think that anybody does it that way now. It seems almost rude to say that you're not going to something you're invited to if you can't give some good reason to stay away. I'm not going because I have to be out of town that weekend sounds perfectly reasonable. To make a point of saying that you're not going to be there and not give a reason sounds cold or something, and it seems unnecessary. They'd figure out that you're not going to be there when they notice that you haven't said that you were going to be there.

No need to rub it in that you won't be there because you'd rather wash your hair or clip your nails and watch TV.

I more often get less formal invites anyway, by word of mouth or emails. If I want to go I say that I'm going and ask if I need to bring something or if I need to wear something special. If I don't answer, they'll figure out I'm not going. If they ask me a second time I'll elaborate that I don't like to drive in the dark or to the other side of Dallas or whatever my problem is.

Now there is the electronic invite, the Evite and other similar things. I haven't quite gotten it through my head that this now counts as a formal invite, though if it is a wedding I think that paper invites are still the thing.

So the daughter of a friend at the club is getting married this month. And the wedding is a small family only thing, but he said that we were invited to the reception they are having later. And I don't really know the daughter and thought he just mentioned it in passing to me just to be polite, and that he didn't really expect me to go. I don't go to a lot of weddings. I went to some with my family when I was younger, but as an adult I can only remember going to three. One of them was mine and another was my sister's. I really don't go to a lot of weddings, and it seems that those I want to attend happen when I really do have to be somewhere else like an out of town business trip.

So an email about the friend's daughter's wedding went out, and I didn't really pay any attention to it. A lot of emails come about club stuff that doesn't really have anything to do with me and I don't answer them. Just thought that it was one of those group emails that goes out to the whole group, mostly to be polite, but they don't really involve everyone.

So then I got another email, saying that I most have missed the first one. Well, this one I didn't see until just now, but he sent it a few days ago. And I hadn't seriously thought about going at all, since I think I've maybe met his daughter twice, and he has two of them and I tend to get them mixed up. So I'm not even clear on which one is getting married, that is how little I know her.

So I wasn't going to go because a.) I don't really know her, b.) I think that one usually gets all dressed up for such things and I'm not sure that I have anything to wear that fits right now, and c.) I think that when one does go to a wedding reception that you get the couple a gift (often something expensive and/or totally useless) and I have no money for that sort of thing now and I certainly don't want to spend money on someone I really don't know anyway.

Now I'm not sure if I'm being asked because he would just like me to confirm that I am not going, or if he was really expecting me to be there and wants me to say that I am going.

Now I don't know what to do, but I'd better say something to him today.