Wednesday What’s: Errant Edition

Since interesting things aren’t really happening at the moment, I’m forgoing the list and rambling.  Which will actually probably make for a shorter, more easily read post.  Go figure.

No one who knows me will be surprised that I am, on balance, pleased with how the election turned out.  I have a feeling that Obama will be a very different second term president than he was a first term one, about which I am cautiously hopeful.  The balance is more or less maintained in Congress, and the rightwing rape apologists got their wrists slapped.   State-wide, the proposals were a mixed bag.  I would have been happy if two, three, and four had gone differently, but the fact that one, five, and six lost pleases me immensely.

I am all registered for classes, financial aid accepted, and go to an orientation day on December 7.  So far, I see no books assigned, which means most reaings will likly go through blacboard, I think.  Or they’ll get the book lists to the bookstore eventually.  So, it’s really real.  Which is a little terrifying, but there you have it.  I am a grad student.  Or I will be, anyway.

Theoretically, we are going to Iowa for Thanksgiving.  I still need to make some arrangements around that, but it is largely settled.  It will be the first time I’ve traveled for Thanksgiving in…  a while?  I want to say several years, but I think we went down to Indiana for a holiday recently, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.  I know last year we had it in our apartment, which was rather nice.  But, Iowa promises to be yummy, and it will be good to see the folks there.  And also the folks in Illinois on the way back.  I should probably warn them about that.

I’ve been playing Skyrim, again, recently.  Someday I may actually finish the main questline of the game.  Someday.  Right now I’m wandering around trying to get  Falkreath to sell me land so I can build a house.  I rather like RPG problems.  There’s always a solution, and in the meantime you can go do other things, like be attacked by bears.  This happens to me a lot.  Not as much as it did in Oblivion (this game’s predecessor, for those who have other things to to do with their days off,) but still rather more than you’d expect.  This world has some very aggressive bears.

Wednesday What’s-es: October Squee

Listening to: Depends which way I’m driving, these days.  Mostly Pandora, really, until I get around to putting more music on my phone.  Usually it’s dance radio in the moring, to wake me up, and then John Denver/Paul Simon/Mumford and Sons type stuff on the way home, because it’s soothing.  

At home, the sound of traffic.  There is this odd quality to the sound of the cars out on Washtenaw when one sits in Cariad’s office – it makes all the cars sound like snowplows – rumbly-scrapy and ponderous – or lawnmowers on crack.  I think it’s nifty.

Eating: I made Chickpea of the Sea spreadlast night, substituting capers for the umeboshi vinegar.  The little spoonful I had was tasty- the substitution seems to be successful – the rest is for sammiches this week.  I am also working my way through the world’s most precious supply of honeycrisp apples – $6 for 3 pounds.  They didn’t have the $4 ones (Jonathan apples, which are not bad for the price but not my preference,) so at that point I was going to pay $5 for 3 lbs if I wated apples at all.  I figured it was worth the extra dollar for apples I actually like.

Drinking:  Not enough water.  I tried a bottle of Lime-Cucumber Gatorade (on the premise that I really like the lime flavor of their “Rain” flavors: it’s lime without the overwhelming acidity, and very tasty.)  This was not a successful experiment, judging by the heartburn.  Fake cucumber flavor is… not a positive use of culinary science.

Reading:  Plato’s Gorgias.  Rhetoric, its relation to politics, then on to a discussion about the goals of life.  That’s what the abstract says, anyway.  I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done, maybe.

Watching: Alphas.  Boy, oh, boy did I start watching this too soon.  Cariad and I are working our way through the first season, and quickly.  Soon I will be reduced to actually waiting for episodes.  Quelle horreur.  Really, though, this show is an actually quite awesome exploration of super-human abilities possessed by human beings.  The characters are multi-dimensional, and the powers they possess are explored in  excellent detail.  Which is not to say there isn’t a certain amount of handwavium, but it’s good.  Which means that it will no doubt be cancelled in the very near future.

Playing:  Dragon’s Dogma.  Jeff calls it the single-player MMO.  I can see why – certainly several of the ‘make-work’ quests are reminiscent of MMORPGs, but I rather like it.  This also marks the first time I have had the leeway to create a character who actually physically looks like me.  Which is interesting, and quite likely part of my attachment to what is otherwise, thus far, a pretty straightforward video game.

Wearing:  Skirts and dresses.  Hah, I say that as if I have multiples.  Which I do, so long as we are talking anything more than one – I have three skirts, one of which is about to be retired for winter (it’s lightweight, and pastel,) and two (work appropriate) dresses, one of which is quickly approaching ‘retirement to the pajama drawer’ status.  But, in an effort to reduce decision fatigue and save energy for things that actually matter, I’m trying to routinize the wardrobe.  If I only  own three pairs of pants that are suitable for work – and right now, I do – then I need to cover the lower half of me somehow.  So, skirty things it is.

Writing:  This stuff.  Trying to do it every weekday, with some experiments.  I make no promises.

Thinking: About how to do Thanksgiving.  Our presence has been requested in/invited to Dubuque, so there will be car renting.  I’ll likely try to leave work early on that Wednesday, drive out, and probably drive back on Sunday.  If schedules and budgets allow it, maybe that Monday, but we shall see.

Feeling:  Nervous to go back to school as a grad student in January.  It’s a little surreal, but it will be a welcome step forward.  I mean, holy crap, I’m going to grad school.  Online.  Doing school things.  Ack!  But on the other hand, whee!  When am I going to have time to do anything?  Oh, right, I don’t do all that much right now.  Well, that’ll take care of itself, now won’t it?

Wanting: UM med development to call back, which is looking rather unlikely att his point.  Which is sad, because I would really have liked to work there, but also because it means I have to back to actively job hunting, which is tedious and humbling.

Needing:  More time or more focus.  The latter would be better, the former would allow more sleep.  Adding concerta into my medication mix has helped, the rest is mostly a lot of scattered-ness that I have allowed to creep in.  Always problematic, because it’s so much harder to root it out than to guard against it.

Enjoying: Hazelnut coffee.  The receptionist ordered a box of it, mostly at my suggestion.  Coffee at work is now suddenly so much better…

And, the weather:  Yesterday was *gorgeous.*  Clear, blue and mild.  A break from the weather Ireally, really like, which is to say grey, colder, adn windy.  Love those fall days.  I could do with lower humidity on those days, to keep my knee from getting cranky, but I tae what I can get.

Friday Five, Sausage Edition

  1. I caught up on my HBR queueueueue (she knew how to start spelling it, but not how to stop.)  I think there might be one of you out there that looks at my google reader starred items, and probably stopped looking because it’s been about 80% Harvard Business Review.  That’s because in the past three days, I’ve caught up on about 90+ entries.  It’s actually a really interesting – and totally non-nauseating! – source of business news / info / trends.  I recommend it, actually.  Many posts are applicable to more than just their primary subject, talk about the personal as well as the personnel, and some don’t read like business articles at all.
  2. Apropos of the VP debate, which I did not watch, but read the twitter feed while it was going on: an excellent post which I’ve seen referenced on Facebook, but I finally got around to reading through metafilter, about the difference between opinion and argument.  A difference that a lot more people need to learn, really.  Some of us (me) need to be reminded of it occasionally, as well: I am in charge of finding reasons why I am right, no one else. 
  3. Also through metafilter, GLOSS: an online resource for “lessons [that] are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills.” The language selection is actually quite impressive – all the usual suspects with others like Pashto, Urdu, Punjabi and Hausa as well.  Time to polish up my German skills, and learn some French, too. 
  4. Two blogs that I’ve recently added to my list:   Study Hacks (through Wandering Scientist, but I think it might also have ben mentioned elsewhere, maybe Gretchen Rubin) but I started reading back through it for posts like this.  Number two: Raptitude This piece, posted to metafilter I believe, lured me in.  This piece made me stay for coffee.
  5. The office manager in my building is totes going to make one of these using all first gen (i.e., Keaton) sets.  Just a reminder that nerds are awesome.
  6. And a bonus: if you use dates as file identifiers, like many of my projects do, you probably (should*) use the (YY)YYMMDD format.  If you do that for today, you’ll notice something that  think is nifty that everyone else probably really doesn’t care much about: 20121012.  Twenty-twelve-ten-ty-twelve.   Yes, I am easily amused.

*This keeps things like correspondence, which I generate in massive quantities, and deposit tickets, which I also produce rather prolifically, together by date in chronological order.  So you don’t have April-August-December-February-January-July-June, or worse, January-October-November-December-February.  When you produce a LOT of these files, these things matter.

Also, I did this today. I will NOT tell you how long it ook me to figre out how to take a pictureof my phone case with my phone Just send coffee.