mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
It's baseball season! I don't know if people who know me online necessarily know what a big baseball fan I am, because the "peak" of my baseball fandom happened before I even had a computer at home. (I think I inherited my dad's old Compaq in the fall of 1999, that was my first home computer. Little did he know what he was letting loose there.) I used to go to about half of the Astros home games in the last four years they were in the Astrodome; I probably went to about 200 baseball games total between 1996 and 2000. (Often with Rob or with friends, but also often alone.) Once they moved to the "new" park in 2000 it became a much more expensive hobby - I can't imagine any circumstances other than, y'know, winning the lottery under which I would see live baseball that much again. (If I was rich I would buy a townhouse near the ballpark and season tickets.) So I gradually went to fewer and fewer games, but we still watch a lot on TV. That's partly because it's just so much more expensive to go to games now, but it's also just life circumstances. In those years I had a day job and Rob had a night job, so I partly went to the games rather than sit at home alone. In the late 90s you could walk up on game day, especially on weekdays, and usually get a single in the field boxes behind the plate - it was $25, which is what an upper deck seat costs now. (Or if I was feeling broke, the good upper deck seats were only $7.) Rob started out not a baseball fan at all and I would drag him along some of the time, and he would eat his way through the games, pretty much, but he gradually got more interested. (I realized this was happening when he started asking me questions about double-plays and such.) By the time the Astros traded for Randy Johnson in the second half of 1998 he was really into it, too.

I'm partly thinking about baseball because I made a comment on Twitter over the weekend that baseball is one of the few things tying us to an actual TV any more. You can get MLB.tv but it still blacks out home games. We haven't figured out a way around that one yet.

(Rob also watches that goofy channel that shows all-old-TV-all-the-time, but there's bound to be some sort of substitute for that.)

Let's see, we watched a couple of episodes of MST3K, and I think that was the only thing I watched on Netflix over the weekend. MST3K was pretty good. Rob used to watch the old MST3K a lot more than I did, so he said it was taking him a while to adjust to the new robot voices, especially. I thought the skit parts of it hadn't quite jelled, maybe, but the jokes during the bad movies seemed just as funny to me as ever. (The first movie is a 1961 Danish (Danish?!?) monster movie called Reptilicus and it is just the most MST3K movie you can imagine.)

And in the middle of the night last night I watched the new Doctor Who. (U-verse was down all night Saturday night, which is the kind of time when I start thinking about whether we get our money's worth out of old-school television.) I liked "The Pilot" a lot. I liked Bill and I liked Nardole and I liked the Doctor more than I have a lot of the time in recent seasons. (I love Peter Capaldi but I think his doctor is either harder to write for or the scripts have just gone down in quality generally. Or maybe both, but I don't have the sort of DEFINITE OPINIONS on this question that a lot of people do.) This episode managed to be simultaneously very creepy and quite funny. Also, while I pretty much expected to like Pearl Mackie as Bill, I really liked her much more than I thought. And I liked the way Bill was clearly gay without anybody ever having to label her as such. SO refreshing. (Admittedly, that might have been why they announced it quite loudly ahead of time, so not too many people were surprised. I only float around on the edge of Doctor Who fandom, though, so I don't know how much flouncing around about it is going on over there.)

I feel like I'm forgetting something else that I watched that was worth noting. If I remember I'll come back and talk about it later!
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
Music advent for 1986 (although it's a later performance, as Eddie Vedder's presence might tip you off to):
R.E.M. w/ Eddie Vedder - Begin the Begin
(Dreamwidth note: I can't get embeds to work so far so here's the link.)

So, the parade of reminiscences about concerts and such stops abruptly at the end of 1985, because at the beginning of 1986, I left Austin. I gave you the hints in the last entry - I hated my job, I hated my roommate. I loved my friends but I was 25 and I felt like my life needed to go on and I didn't feel like that was going to happen in Austin, mostly because there was so much competition for every decent job in Austin. And I had a teaching certificate that I hadn't done anything with, and a library degree I hadn't really done anything with either. To be a school librarian, you have to have teaching experience, so I decided I should get some. So I moved home "temporarily" with my parents. The idea was that I would get a job and be gone again.

(Aside: the main reason I didn't go to concerts after this is because in Houston at that time, all the big concerts were on the wrong side of town. The main concert venue is The Woodlands, which is on the north side of Houston, and I lived - still live - on the south side. It's about 75 miles from Galveston, a little less from where we live now, but anyway, it's out of easy distance. You have to be more motivated than I was to go to concerts. These days many of the concerts are downtown, so those are more accessible, but concerts are so expensive and I'm far too unmotivated to even consider it, most of the time.)

Unfortunately I waited rather late to apply for the jobs for the semester, and the jobs were pretty limited at that point. (I was and am way too impulsive about these things. I think it would have been more logical to wait - to stay in Austin a few more months, maybe, and start looking for jobs in the summer. But I didn't do that, obviously.) I came really close to getting a job in my hometown, but I didn't get it. So I spent the spring substituting - mostly in elementary school. Mostly I enjoyed it. But then school was out and I got a summer job - in Galveston, at Gaido's, which is a fancy seafood restaurant.

Those of you who know me may have seen this coming by now. I met a boy. I thought he was my age, but it turned out he was a couple of years younger than me. He was a bartender, not college educated. But I was in love, I didn't care. In October we got engaged. I spent the winter working at Gaido's part-time, substitute teaching, still, and planning a wedding. (I made my own dress, and did a lot of other things myself - in many ways I was a forerunner of the "handmade" kind of weddings that are popular today.) I picked the 1987 song because it was on the mix-tape we played at the wedding reception:
Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
(again, if I the hang of embeds I'll try to fix this later but here's the link)

Yeah, we had a mix-tape. (See below for a bit more about that.) We got married at my parents' house, which was not the house where I grew up, but out in the country, and we had the wedding in the back yard, on a tiny budget. I loved how it turned out.

My parents never said a word to me about the wisdom of marrying somebody who wasn't college-educated. I suspect they knew it wouldn't do any good - I was always stubborn. My dad hadn't paid for my sister's wedding the year before, though, and he wouldn't pay for mine, either. (He said he paid for college for both of us, and that was enough. Which I guess is fair.) (And my mom still found ways to pay for items here and there.)

And well, it hasn't been a bed of roses, but that'll be 28 years ago this spring, and we're still married. So I guess it all turned out pretty well, right?

wedding cake


We had a lot of fun with that mix-tape. We went around and collected oldies singles to put on it. It started with "Going to the Chapel." We also had that Aretha Franklin and George Michael song which turned out to be the number one song the week of our wedding:
Aretha Franklin & George Michael - I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) [Official Video]
(here's the link)


mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
Sometime around 1990, my mother and I went to see the touring production of Les Miserables. And my mother hated it. Apparently she thought all musicals were supposed to be all sweetness and light and Rodgers and Hammerstein and so forth, and she didn't seem to have gotten a clue from the name, either. I loved my mother, but she had odd ways of thinking sometimes - sort of a mental block, I guess, that didn't let her change her mind about some things come hell or high water. And apparently this was one of those. The only part she liked was "Master of the House" because it was funny.

I thought of this because I more or less dragged Rob to see the movie today, and I was a little nervous about it. But he liked it. I was relieved. I was pretty sure he wasn't going to react like my mother did, but still. I didn't really think he would utterly hate it, but I didn't really expect him to actively like it, either. He even expressed willingness - unprompted - to go see it again later.

I was going to say more but I'm sleepy. Maybe tomorrow.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (winter trees)
Just got home. A lot of flights were running late, including mine - some sort of weather system coming through, I think? and when our plane eventually pulled up to the gate in Dallas, they hustled us all on and were pulling out again in not much over 10 minutes flat, period. I thought they were just trying to catch up to the schedule, until we started to land, and then we came down through clouds, clouds and more clouds, and didn't see the ground until we were awfully close to it - in other words, we came very very near getting fogged out. They obviously knew exactly why they were rushing.

It's warm here - that's when we get fog - but it was damned chilly in Dallas yesterday when I was out and about, and it apparently is supposed to get even colder this weekend. Or so the people who live there were saying, anyway. I will talk more about Dallas later, because I wrote a lot of stuff down on paper while I was sitting around in various airports and I might as well transcribe it, since it's already written.

It looked like fall in Dallas, I don't think I said that elsewhere. There's a little bit of fall color here, but it was very pretty there. I'm sure up north the leaves are already gone, but in north Texas it's high season.


Somebody on Facebook linked to this YouTube video - I don't know what that weird guitar-like instrument is that that guy is playing but it sounds good!

OK, I'm very very tired - I got up really early this morning and had makeup on and my luggage stowed in the car before seminar registration even opened at 8. Go me.


One more thing - no, two more:
1. In case you were wondering, there is now a CPT code for H1N1. I can tell you what it is, if you really want to know, but I don't have it in front of me right now. I only know that it exists, but it's not in the new code book, because they didn't add it in time for the publishing deadline.
2. When I called to say I might be late, my husband informed me that he was taping "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for me. Aw.

mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Valentined)

Rob's suit
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

Um, just ignore all the clutter in the hallway, ok? I'm working on that.

mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (PotC3 Sparrow)
Rob ran the marathon in 3 hours and 3 minutes - not as fast as he would've liked but not bad considering the weather. More later.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
We are trying to figure out what the weather is going to be like in the morning - it seems like the front has speeded up and it's going to be cold and rainy instead of warm and rainy. Rob says if it's too terrible he's staying in bed!

But that would be very unlike him. I will be very surprised if he doesn't run. If you want to check up on him, his race number is 1773. Or I think (based on past years) that you can probably also look him up by name. The website is here.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
I ordered Rob one of those bumper stickers that says "1-20-09" (the last day Bush will be president) for his birthday, because we saw one a couple of weeks ago and he couldn't stop talking about it. I bet we end up putting it on my car instead of his, though, so as not to mar the pristine-ness of the Corolla. We'll see.

I also ordered him a pair of pants from Land's End, because he hasn't had any new ones lately and it's almost impossible to find his size in a store, especially in the chino-type pants like he wears to work. (He's six feet tall & very skinny - the only pants that fit him in most retail stores are the ones intended for teenagers.) The only other thing I've bought for him is the movie The Descent, which I found at Sam's. I know he wants that one. He had told me a couple of more obscure movies he wants that I'll probably order from Amazon. The other piece of his birthday present is traditionally the night we spend at the downtown Hilton for the marathon - that will be this Saturday. (Usually his birthday falls closer to marathon weekend than it did this year - the marathon is next Sunday and his birthday isn't until the Sunday after, which is good because my mother usually likes to have some sort of birthday celebration for him and we won't have to try to deal with that on marathon weekend.) Rob is taking his comp day from the Day of Mourning last week - because he worked the whole day that day - on the Tuesday after the marathon, and since Monday is MLK day he'll have two whole days to recover. Which is good. He'll be all of 44 years old soon and doesn't seem to recover quite as fast as he used to.

We didn't do much this weekend, except go see "The Pursuit of Happyness" - which was pretty good. I'm not usually too big on, you know, heartwarming single-father dramas in the normal way of things, but this one was not overblown and Will Smith was likeable but not quite as cocky as usual and, I don't know, it all worked. (I am just not a good movie reviewer. It's hard for me to put a finger on what makes a movie good or bad.)

I was going to meet my mom and Art at the house yesterday, but he called me to say that she couldn't make it up the two steps to get inside. Her right leg is just practically dead - she can't lift it at all. We are trying to get her back up to Houston to see the oncologist and get another chemo treatment, since the last one did seem to help. The two hospitals do not seem to coordinate their services very well, though. Something about Medicare coverage that I don't quite understand, apparently. I wish we had a Medicare expert to run interference on this, I really do. It's ridiculous.

I almost forgot to say that we are in an orgy of possession-purging, brought on by having to move bookshelves and stuff on Friday and again today, since they are coming back to finish the sheetrock. We are working on piles of stuff for Goodwill and another one for library donations - my god, do we have a lot of books. I found a whole box of books that I thought was Rob's old books and turned out to be mine. It had The Last Unicorn in it, as well as some old Larry Niven and some other stuff I thought had gone in some past round of book-purging. I started re-reading The Last Unicorn and apparently I haven't read it in so long that I can't remember what happens at all. I think, "Oh, yeah, I remember this," as I read, but so far I have completely failed to remember where things go from there. Makes it interesting.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Halloween - faces)
In the shower this morning, I was thinking about the things I buy that I really can't afford. The shower is a natural place to think about this because it's full of them. Biolage shampoo, Vitabath, L'Occitane soap. I seem to have a bit of a fetish about bath stuff.

Now you have to understand that we are people of very moderate income. I'm a secretary and Rob is, well, a janitor, basically. (Although I very rarely use that word. I don't like it.) We are pretty well-paid as those professions go and we have wonderful benefits, but still. Not really high-paying jobs. We try live a reasonably moderate lifestyle to go along with the moderate income, but the world does not make that easy, you know? I gave in on the Biolage after I started paying to get my hair colored instead of doing it myself - I decided if I was investing that much in my hair I ought to invest in maintaining the color, too, so I started buying shampoo that's especially for color-treated hair, and it does seem to help. There are cheaper ones than Biolage, god knows, but it works really really well and one of the big liter bottles lasts me nearly a year. So I decided not to feel guilty about that one. (Even though it's $20 a bottle if it's not on sale.)

There's probably other things that qualify. I gave in and got a cell phone a good many years ago, for security reasons. I drive by myself a good bit and it makes me - and my family - feel better about that. I recently gave in on the question of high-speed internet, too - that one is not so easily justifiable, but boy, I sure do like it. I made do with dialup at home for a long, long time and I don't want to go back.


 We only had two trick-or-treaters last night. They were very tiny - I didn't get a good look at them since Rob answered the door, but the knock was so faint you could barely hear it. They must not have been more than two or three years old.


I was trying to buy stamps online earlier and the Postal Service is not making it easy on me. Apparently the whole online store is down - I don't imagine the Postal Service is too happy about that, either, actually. I get aggravated with them anyway, because their website(s) don't really make it terribly easy on you - if you go to usps.GOV there is a website there but no obvious way to order stamps. I guess you are supposed to go to usps.COM to order stamps. (Which isn't working, anyway, so don't try it if you want to order stamps. Although the rest of it seems to work.)

I think I get sort of obsessive about stamps, anyway. I went there today because I wanted to order holiday stamps and it pisses me off that I can't. They have some stamps with snowflakes that I like, and it's certainly not too early to start thinking (at least in a vague way!) about Christmas cards.


I'm trying to remember any ideas I come up with for something to write about so that I won't run out of stuff, if I'm really going to write an entry every day this month. (And next month, too, since I always do Holidailies.) Although I usually write a good many holiday-themed entries for that - and heck, since all of my past ones went into the black hole that's all that's left of Diary-X, I can consider myself to have a blank slate there, and feel free to start over again, topic-wise.

mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
Also... if you would like to see Rob finish the marathon, go [to this abclocal link that no longer works] and put in his name in the middle box, and then click on the link that comes up. (It's Windows Media, unfortunately.) He doesn't show up for a few seconds after the clip starts - he's the guy with red shorts on and no shirt. You can clearly see the hitch in his gait every other step. That's the hamstring thing. (But hey! 2:59 and change is still nothing to sneeze at!)
mellicious: just your basic burnt-orange longhorn silhouette (Longhorn)
I feel so scattered lately. And the bad thing is, I'm always scattered, so for me to notice it it's got to be even worse than usual. I don't know what to make of that, I just thought I'd throw it out there.

On that cheery note... We will be busy this weekend, so hopefully I won't have too much time to brood. I feel kind of broody right now (as you can probably tell), but I'll get over it. I always do.

If you want to know what I'll be doing this weekend, see last year's entry. Because it'll be pretty much exactly the same. Except that I can't tell you ahead of time how fast Rob will run, of course - although barring injury or something like that, he always runs something just under three hours. And also, we are staying at the Hilton this year, unlike last year. I'm fairly excited about that, actually, because it's right there by the start/finish line. No shuttling back and forth - I can stay in bed all morning if I want to! (Although we have yet to negotiate whether I'm going to try to meet him someplace with Gatorade, which I do most years. We'll see about that part.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (buffy quote - huh)
Well. The police have just been here. Rob went out for a walk before bedtime - he always takes one, has since I've known him - and he passed two teenagers on the street back behind our apartments, and as they passed, one of them suddenly punched him in the jaw. Pretty hard, apparently. (He said the other kid looked nearly as surprised as he did.) And then they just ran off. Rob's alright, he had a little bit of abrasion and his jaw is pretty sore, but I don't think anything's broken. He took some advil and he's gone to bed now. First he wasn't going to call the police but after a while he decided to. I could tell he felt better after he did. Of course, the police can't really do anything except file it away and see if they get any more reports that match up with it (?) but unless the kid is dumb enough to go around randomly punching other guys I can't see how anything much can come of it. Still, it doesn't hurt to call.

This is a turn I didn't quite expect my Thursday night to take. Really bizarre, and a little bit scary. We don't live in a really low-crime neighborhood; we live in apartment-ville, an area of nice-but-not-ritzy apartment complexes, and the tenants are a pretty mixed lot. But the crime around here is mostly the occasional burglary, as far as I know. Cars broken into, sometimes an apartment. No gang stuff that I know of, even. (And how do you explain that anyway? Gangs? The guy was on drugs? Or he somehow thought Rob was attacking him? I don't have a clue.)

Very, very odd.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Default)
I've been trying to figure out what to do with my various "web presences" - I really didn't intend to do anything with this one, originally, but I think I'm going to use it to just talk about my day when I'm in the mood to. I've been doing that some in my Diary-X journal, but somehow it doesn't feel right. My brain seems to think that "real" journal entries are supposed to be a little more organized than that. So, fine, I'll do it here.

Then I also have a couple of weblogs, now - one which is political, which I've been keeping for several months, and a brand-new one devoted to quilting (because I was complaining about there not being enough quilting blogs - see the latest journal entry - so I figured I ought to start one, right?) - it has exactly one entry at the moment. Don't expect too much there for a while.

So... well, today I worked. That was very exciting. It was slow, naturally, being the Friday before a holiday, but since I'm only working two days next week I need to be caught up. (I did manage to spend some time in chat, up in the afternoon. I am the Chat Princess, after all; I have an image to keep up.)

After some, um, time alone with my husband after work (if you know what I mean)... well, I haven't done much, really. I've been surfing around and reading the board and watching baseball (the Astros won again! yay!) and drinking sangria. A very unexciting evening (other than the sex, at least), which is okay with me. And I have absolutely nothing out of the ordinary planned for the weekend. Sounds kind of fabulous. Next weekend I'm going to be gone the whole weekend-plus (Thursday to Sunday) so a little time at home is a good thing.

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