Counteracting the Bleah

I don’t know what happened, but starting about an hour after spinning class last night I have felt like, well, bleah. Tired, stomach a tiny bit upset (but not incredibly), just sort of sagging into the chair or couch cushions. Hmph.

And outside, it seems like nature is of the same mind. Summer seems to have officially fled the region about a month early; we all had our suspicions but this gray, cold, rainy day is definitely under the auspices of autumn and not summer. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. (I like the idea of not having long runs in the baking heat, but there is something to be said for the slightly warmer weather.)

As I have a long run scheduled for Saturday morning, I think I am heading home to lie down and see if I can bounce back. (Book club for tonight, at this point, is also up in the air.) But I am going to look at pretty pictures and think of bright, cheery things. That works just as well as anything else, right?

Painter's Cup

Avoid This Movie

Jamie S. Rich, I owe you an apology. You were right and I was wrong.

When you reviewed The Ten you mentioned that you’d never really liked The State, and so I assumed that your blisteringly negative review was because it was a similar sort of comedy that just wasn’t to your taste. I put the movie on my Netflix queue, and it finally made it to the top.

I still have something like 25 minutes to go, and I think I will save my remaining brain cells and send it back partially-unwatched. That was one of the unfunniest, most wince-inducing (but for the wrong reasons), criminal waste of talents I have experienced in a long, long, long time.

Seriously, this movie completely wastes Liev Schreiber, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, and Famke Janssen. Isn’t that against the law in several countries? My mind is still reeling over the sheer badness. (Doubly so because I thought the trailer was kind of funny.)

Avoid, avoid, avoid, avoid, avoid. Not even out of idle curiousity’s sake, people.

It’s like having a newborn, but worse

Starting Saturday afternoon I’ve been dogsitting my friend Roger’s dog, Mikey. Normally Roger’s friend Bob dogsits Mikey, but Roger’s trip overlapped one of Bob’s, and Saturday through Tuesday were empty.

And, um, I am so not cut out to be a dogsitter. Or at least not for one that I have not grown up with. Watching Jake and Gus (the last of the family dogs) was tough/annoying at times, but at the same time I also knew all their little quirks, tricks, and many years of dealing and disciplining them. With Mikey, well, it’s totally different. He’s not my dog, I don’t really set the rules. But at the same time, there are some things that are non-starters in my book—like letting him sleep on the bed with me, which is a-ok when Roger is there.

So instead he has to sleep on his own bed in the living room, and he clearly hates that. On both Saturday and Sunday night (or techically, Sunday and Monday morning) he’s started whining several times because he wants to be on the bed (and I’ve been warned by Bob that he is a bed hog, it’s not like Suzanne’s dog Bruno who is content to sleep at the foot). It’s a real joy to be woken up a little before 1am. And then again around 3 or 4am. Ooof.

It's a rough life, being a dog.Now clearly he’s not happy about Roger not being there and I know he doesn’t like changes in his routine. But as I like to be able to breathe, him on the bed is not an option at all. So now all I have is one more night where I mutter words about strangulation before finally getting up and telling him to be quiet (and then taking half an hour to fall back asleep). It’s a good thing the rest of the time he is awfully cute. Well, except when this morning he refused to get off the bed to go the bathroom one last time before I left. I finally had to lure him to the door with a dog biscuit (which I then chucked outside and he ran after it). Sure enough, a few minutes later he was up in the yard taking care of business, so it was worth me having to trick him outside, and he was just being a bit of a jerk.

Why yes, I am tired and cranky from the repeated waking ups the past two nights. Can you imagine if I had a baby? It would all end very, very badly. So not cut out for that idea at this point in my life. Instead I am just focusing on being done in 24 hours. I believe the score right now is Mikey – 4; Greg – 1.

Then Again, Maybe I Won’t

Last week I had a sudden, out-of-the-blue, burning desire to read old Judy Blume books from my childhood. Instead, I settled for reading Wikipedia entries on them, and while I was surprised at how many of my old favorites I remembered point-for-point (like Blubber, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great), the one that had quite firmly lodged itself still in my head was Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. It’s not surprising; it was the “boy hits puberty amidst personal crisis” book (and the counterpoint in many ways to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.), after all.

I was surprised and intrigued to learn that a lot of Blume’s books have been edited/updated to reflect the modern day. Nothing huge and plot-point shattering, but small mentions like casette tapes turning into CDs, that sort of thing. I guess it surprised me in part because I remembered reading books that had belonged to my parents and grandparents when I was growing up and having no problem with the earlier time period, but also because it hit me that the tweaks were probably in part because the rest of the books are so completely fitting into the modern day already. Then Again, Maybe I Won’t with its story about members of the family assimilating when they move from Jersey City to a wealthy town in Long Island is the sort of thing that still goes on today, after all. People rejecting/ignoring their heritage to fit in more happens as much in 2008 as it did in 1972, when you think about it. Probably the only gaping hole in the comparison between the book’s original time period and now is the existence of the internet and search engines to get a lot of the answers that the main character was wondering about.

This weekend I’m half-tempted to head to the library and check out copies of the Blume books I never did get around to read, and maybe a few of the old favorites. (Never mind the 9000 other books I have waiting to be read.) Boy, those books were great.

Five Things That Make Me Happy (part 8)

It’s back!

Tenba Messenger Bag
Karon found this bag and while I was initially unconvinced, I watched the video and am now totally in love with it. Special camera insert! Mesh back to stay cooler against your body on hot days! Specially lined bottom to keep it from getting wet on a damp sidewalk! Metal rings for the strap! (As someone who had a beloved messenger bag break because the rings snapped, this is particularly important.) Lots of little carrying things! Of course, at just under $100 on Amazon, it will be sitting on my wish list instead of me snatching one up. I am trying to be frugal these days.

Registration
I finally got off my butt and registered for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23rd. (The 45th anniversary of Doctor Who, ha ha.) I’d planned to run this for a while, but actually getting around to doing so is such a great feeling. It makes it feel, well, real.

Black Orchid
My DVD of this classic Doctor Who episode showed up today. At under $9, and being a story that revolves around a cricket match, look-alikes, and a costume ball, it’s hard to not see the awesomeness. Yay! I cannot wait to watch it as well as all the extras.

Demo
I freely admit it, I never read more than an issue of Demo back in the day. I decided to give it another whirl, though, and this time I’m really enjoying it. It reminds me a bit of (bizarrely) Dubliners in how it’s just little snatches of people’s lives; it thankfully doesn’t go to James Joyce’s extreme of ending a story in mid-sentence, but I’m really liking it. I’ll definitely check out Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan‘s follow-up when it drops this fall.

Lunchtime
Why am I so hungry today? Seriously, totally ravenous. Cannot wait for lunch.