Me at work, yesterday (gruff voice)

As I entered the break room and made my way to the fridge, I overheard my co-workers discussing a book (probably Twilight-related). Teri mentioned how she originally thought so-and-so was a good vampire, and others expressed disbelief that she would have thought that. Then, a momentary pause, and I speak up without turning around:

“The only good vampire is a dead one!”

“What? Ain’t any of you ever played Castlevania?”

(Lindsay’s response: What’s Castlevania? A computer game? Sigh.)

Silent monks singing Hallelujah: Merry Christmas, everyone.

Me to my sister, a few minutes ago

“Only an hour and eleven minutes until you can see what Santa got you.”

“If you’ll excuse me, I need to go outside and find some dog poop.”

Home Alone, Twitter variant: some crazy attempt at recreating Home Alone as if it were happening, live, where everyone has Twitter accounts.

Too bad the family can’t just @KevinMcCal

Carol of the Belmonts: seasonal and nostalgic. (From the album 8-bit Jesus, by Doctor Octoroc.)

The ice level

Two weeks ago we had a stretch of super-cold—by Pacific Northwest standards—super-dry days. (My poor hands, which normally dry out a fair bit during the winter, were cracking all over the place; I quickly learned to use a whole lot of moisturizer.) At the end of the week California sent some wet air north, which translated into freezing rain last Friday night.

Marin and I were both home by the time the freezing rain hit, so I didn’t really pay it much mind. Then, as I was headed downstairs, I noticed a car outside my house with its hazard lights on—and a guy standing next to my porch. Curious, I went out to see what was going on.

As I’ve mentioned from time to time, I live on a hill. The freezing rain had turned my hill into a deathtrap. Some poor Vietnamese woman driving a van had foolishly tried to drive up the deathtrap without any sort of traction device, and was now stuck just below my driveway with her back end stuck in the middle of the street at a jaunty angle.

The guy was next to my porch because he was making his way down the hill, and had discovered that it’s easier to walk on grass and under the dry parts of people’s driveways than to fall repeatedly on the sidewalk.

It was apparent that the van lady had no experience driving on ice. I don’t have any experience either, and on top of that I had the damnedest time understanding her. It was clear that the only way she could go was to slide back down the road—but there’s a house at the bottom, and so losing control had the potential for a massive damage score bonus.

On top of that, one of the sons of my neighbor across the street was trying to cross the street below her. He had two surfboards (?), which he had long-end down for stability as he tried to shuffle across the road. His crossing took something like ten minutes, and involved him getting frozen to the road twice. As he was halfway across, the van lady started making motions like she was going to start back down the hill—panicking both me and the guy trying to cross.

Thankfully, another one of my neighbors is a firefighter, who came out to drive some friends home (he has something with four-wheel drive and chains). He and his friend were able to navigate the lady’s van down the deathtrap safely, and also gave her a ride to her house afterward. Still, it was a hell of a half-hour.

…which leads me to my ice guarantee: I may not be able to help you, but I’ll stick around and call 911 on your behalf if the need arises.

The Future of Magazines (maybe), part 2: this digital magazine looks like a prototype of the rumored Apple tablet. I like where they’re going with that; if the thing could also display PDFs, it’d pretty much be the digital reader I want.

My dirty secret: I don’t need to be able to read for weeks without a charge. I do need something that pays attention to how text is positioned on the “page,” though, and allows different texts to use different fonts. Part of the fun of reading a book, I think, is how each book is presented differently.

Bedroom: transform!!

My big accomplishment of the last two weeks has been going back to Ikea (shudder) to acquire a few more bookcases and a tall dresser. With those pieces, I was able to rearrange my bedroom (with the help of my sister and mom—sometimes I know my weaknesses, and ask others for help) into something that didn’t look like the dumping ground of my house.

If you can name a fake wood veneer, I probably had it in my old bedroom.

The other benefit of this is that it gives me more storage space, allowing me to pick up my books from my parents’ house—getting me one step closer to having all my stuff out of their hair.

Yesterday I (in my fog of half-doing myriad things) unpacked those books… I actually have a lot of interesting stuff to read.

Space cadet

I have been out of it the last two weeks. Hardcore. Not so bad that I can’t fake it and blend in with society, but I’ve definitely been powered by fidgety-energy and have been sporting an attention span to match.

Consequently: sitting down to type text out (here, or in email) has been about the last thing I wanted to do. Instead I spastically attended to various loose ends hanging about my house: paying bills, cycling the dishwasher, hand-washing items too cumbersome for the dishwasher, laundry, ironing, etc. The so-called tasks of everyday living.

Only I didn’t do them with any sort of focus. I loaded the dishwasher until I got it in my head that I needed to take some cans out for recycling. On the way back from the garage I saw that I could start the dryer, so I did that and then wandered into my closet to figure out what to wash next. In my bedroom I stepped on something—the final straw to get me to vacuum my floor. After that I figured I’d make some tea, and so went back to the kitchen to discover that I left the half-filled dishwasher open. On and on and on. Fifteen thousand tasks spawned, each only given attention when I was physically reminded of the task.

This is no way to live.

WTF Comcast: I swear I don’t work for Comcast, but these descriptions are the kind of text I’d write if I did.

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