mellicious: Happy New Year! (new year gif)
 1. Bumblebee

I really liked Bumblebee a lot, quite honestly. I'm the wrong age to be nostalgic about Transformers - I was a young adult in the 80s - but they surrounded that with all kinds of other 80s nostalgia, and it's been well-established here that I love me some 80s, so that part made me happy. And it was well-made, so that always helps.

I'm starting to think I might ought to go back and see Aquaman again at some point, and see if I was just being cranky about it. That was right when I started getting really sick, so it's entirely possible. And it was awfully pretty to look at (and I don't just mean Jason Momoa).

But before I can do that I have to go back to work. I don't mind the work itself as much as I mind getting up earlier, darnit.

Does anybody else think 2019 just sounds more futuristic somehow? (I also pointed out to Rob that it's only one year now until we know what to call our decades again!)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
 Have you ever walked through a door just in time to see another car hit your car? That's what happened to me earlier tonight. Luckily it turned out not to be nearly as bad as it looked. This guy (who I know by sight because he parks by us and apparently gets off work at exactly the same time we do) kind of sideswiped my car - he was trying to back out the wrong way, basically - the spaces are slanted one way and he wanted to go the other way, so he swung wide and my car was in the way. He has a pickup and my car is really low, so he probably couldn't really see my car very well - which doesn't make it any less his fault. Anyway, we opened the door to the parking lot just in time to see it happen. It looked pretty bad. But amazingly, it really did very little damage. Rob said he could see a couple of little fine scratches, but I couldn't see anything wrong. My car is ten years old so a couple of scratches more or less don't worry me. (I just hope it doesn't look a lot worse when I see it in the daylight!) He was very apologetic and I wasn't going to go to the trouble of filing an insurance claim for invisible damage.

I got home and there was a box of nail polish on the doorstep that I'd been feeling guilty about ordering, and I decided that I earned that nail polish (for my trauma, more or less) and I wasn't going to feel guilty about that one any more. It was cheap nail polish, actually, but it's really pretty and amazingly, none of the 12 polishes was broken despite being really really badly packed. (Amazon is notorious among nail polish people for just throwing bottles of nail polish into boxes with inadequate packing materials, and then being shocked when they arrive broken.) This one came with a dozen polishes in a plastic bag stuck into a way-too-large box, with like a couple of little cushiony things thrown in - not enough to make any difference whatsoever. Are they extra-frazzled because it's almost Christmas? The only thing that saved it, I think, is that the plastic bag that the polish was in actually was the right size. (Amazon needs a big button when you order where you can say, "I don't need this til after Christmas, thanks." They do have something like that for some things, but I've wanted it a couple of times in the last week when it was not offered to me.)

We have to work tomorrow, then we're off til after New Year's. Woo! Apparently the students are mostly already gone, because things have been dead the last couple of days. Tomorrow it's going to be even slower, presumably.

I had a doctor's appointment today, and it went okay, but she ordered blood-work because I hadn't had any in a while, and they took about a pint of blood out of me, it looked like. - Ok, well, it was five vials, it probably didn't actually add up to a pint, but still. And my old doctor had retired, and this was the first time I'd seen my new one. I was a little worried about that, but I really liked her, thank goodness. The other one was my age or a little older, and she talked to everybody like they were kindergarteners. It drove me crazy - I think she gave me flashbacks to my mom the elementary school teacher.

Anyway, the day could have gone a lot worse.
mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
When I got to work yesterday, they had put up a Christmas tree in the middle of the counter where we work, right next to the computer monitor and completely displacing the cash register, which was relegated to a little low table. I'm not exactly sure whose idea this was, but I don't guess it matters since I assume the boss okayed it. The tree is right next to my face when I'm at the monitor, and I hate that, but I guess I'm stuck with it for the next three weeks. I'll live. I also got stressed at work because nobody had done any data entry while I was off and so I was catching up on an entire week of paperwork. I got most of it entered and left some only-mildly-bitchy notes about the part I couldn't figure out. I am definitely not full of holiday spirit at the moment. But then it's only December 3, in my opinion that's too early to be expected to have holiday spirit anyway. (I also think it's ridiculously early to put a tree up in a non-retail environment, but obviously everybody doesn't share that opinion.)

I actually have all my gifts bought, I think. I started collecting stuff early. Our normal Christmas routine may be shot to hell, though. Normally either one of my cousins or my aunt does Christmas, and we spent a night or two up the country at their house. But the cousin is in temporary quarters - they're in the middle of a two-step move out of town - and my aunt is in Houston taking care of her 102-year old father, who broke his hip. (My aunt is actually my aunt by marriage, if you're wondering, which is why her father is not my grandfather. But I've known both of them since I was five years old so they're just family in my book.) We may end up having Christmas in Houston, which would be more convenient for us anyway - and we wouldn't have to spend the night at all. It seems like it would be sort of hard on my aunt hosting it, but she volunteered (or rather sort of semi-volunteered, which is why I'm saying it's still up in the air). I certainly don't have room for all those people. George, the 102-year-old, has a good-sized house - although of course he's been in rehab after the hip incident - and if my aunt has been staying there for months it's clean as a whistle, if I know her. So anyway, we are just winging it on all that. (If I don't end up seeing my cousins I'll have to ship their gifts to them in the mail or something - but I bet I'll end up seeing them.)

2015holibadge-blue.gif
mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - sparkly)
I do hope we're not about to get invaded by Daleks. That would kinda mess up my plans to play Diablo for the rest of New Year's Day.

Also, before I forget, thank you to Richard and Jennifer for running Holidailies again (and I hope you manage to banish those nasty Daleks)! And thanks also to Jette, whose idea it was back in the day!

I don't normally make resolutions, because I just forget all about them by the end of the week, but this year I have one that I need to take seriously. As everyone who was around to hear about it endlessly at the time knows, I got certified in medical coding a few years ago, and then I happened on two part-time jobs that I liked - neither of which had anything at all to do with it - and so never got a coding job. I did keep up with my required 48 hours of continuing education (I know that's kind of a lot, but it's because I ended up with two certifications - one more intended for physician offices and one for hospitals - thus I have to do twice as much!) in 2011 and 2012 - it's 48 hours every TWO years. And in 2013 I slacked off. I didn't mean to, I just did, because that's how I roll. I am a procrastinator. So not only do I have to make up for that, but this is the year when I probably need to get a coding job if I'm ever going to, because October 1st is when ICD-10 finally is going to happen, and supposedly a lot of older coders are going to retire rather than learn a whole new system. As near as I can determine from what I've seen so far, there's nothing particularly difficult about it, it's just different, but you know how some people are about change! So the big window for getting a job exists, at least in theory, and also there is a possibility that my bookkeeping job (which like most jobs with small businesses, is contract work) is going to end at some point. In any case, it has come to stress me out unduly and it's probably best that I move on fairly soon, whether it ends or not. So, studying needs to ensue, both to catch up on the continuing ed, and to learn ICD-10, and also just to catch up in general, because I got certified, what, almost 4 years ago? and I am rusty. It's a big resolution, really, as far as the amount of work that needs to be done, but I've got to knuckle down and do it.

(Good news for those of you that enjoyed this little feature, though: the "medical term for today" entries might well be making a comeback!)
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - giant robot)

As I have undoubtedly said before, I have never understood that "5 random things make an entry" meme. I find it unaccountably annoying, somehow. Why 5? What's wrong with three? or seven, for that matter? (Which isn't to say that I'll stop with three, anyway, I'm just sayin'.)

I've been reading back over my old Holidailies entries, and maybe I should resolve with Stef to talk LESS about the holidays, odd as that may seem. (Everybody needs to read Stef's entry, in any case, because it's awesome.) I can just refer you back to the last five-years-plus of old Holidailies entries for pretty much any particular holiday subject, anyway.

I've been doing this for more than 5 years, actually, if not quite from the beginning, but the oldest ones were on Diary-X and are long-gone. There's lots of whining about that in the LJ archives, too, if you're interested. (Also some on my old Whys and Wherefores blog, which I had forgotten about until I went looking for the CW bit that I linked yesterday. There are also some resurrected entries from Diary-X over there - the link above is to one - that I had forgotten were there, and I can't say that I remember exactly where I resurrected them from, either. Maybe I had just saved some of them on Notebook or somewhere like I'm doing with this one now.)

I'm at work and it's slow, so this might be a long entry. Or if it gets really long, I might go ahead and post it and start another one! Hopefully it won't be THAT slow, though, or it's gonna be a long afternoon. Generally I am good at finding ways to fill my afternoons on slow days, though. I read Go Fug Yourself, or look at Pinterest, and I used to fool around with Glitch, a year or so ago when I was still all into that. I mention that because I was just over  there - although being there generally seems kind of useless now, since it's about to shut down. I had a bunch of credits, though, so I bought some wardrobe stuff, just the same (see below) - I think it's appropriate that I go out wearing a tiara! (Old joke which a few of you will get...)

In other game news, our current one is Guild Wars 2, which I am not going to talk about too much right now, because I'm sure there will be one or more entries about at a later date, assuming I follow past patterns. I will say, though, that my sylvari elementalist is up to level 75, now, since I've been playing her exclusively. And the reason for that is that Col, my normal game-playing partner, has been off writing a novel. (Not doing NaNoWriMo, or he'd be done now - theoretically, anyway. He's just writing a novel.) Anyway, sticking with one character is not something I normally do, much, and it does do wonders for leveling. 80 is the cap in this game, so I'm going to get there, and soon. I'm not anywhere near done with the story part of the game, though.


Really completely random thing: my dad got stung by jellyfish so many times that he became immune. (I think it was Guild Wars that reminded me of this, because there are jellyfish pets. They are much cooler than real jellyfish. Or cooler than the jellyfish that I have personally encountered, anyway.)


I am amused that half of the Holidailies entries I have read so far are something to the effect of, "Fuck, why did I sign up for this?" I've been doing this long enough that I have quit panicking about it. I always manage to think of something to say. It's never great art, but oh well. (That could be my motto in life, actually.)


My Glitch character:
glitch

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2010 07:00 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - sparkly)
We are home from Dallas (again). I have to say the drive seems much shorter with some company. I think Rob enjoyed the trip, too, so that's good. I took my test, and I basically have no idea if I passed or not. I might have or might not have - I did a good bit of educated guessing, here and there, and it all depends on how well I guessed! If not, then I do this again later, although hopefully I'll be able to do it without another trip to Dallas, because I am very tired of that drive.

What with the intervening holidays and all, I don't know when I'll find out if I passed or not - sometime the end of next week, maybe. Before that, I have another job interview - for an OB/Gyn coding job, this time. I think that might be a very interesting job.

Oh, I did get over being sick in time for the test, thank goodness. I was still sucking on cough drops the whole time, but at least I wasn't sneezing and hacking and all that. Wednesday morning I was still feeling bad enough that I briefly considered trying to reschedule, but I really, really wanted to get it over with, and happily, it all worked out.

We went to the grocery store on the way home this afternoon, and oh my god, it was a zoo. Now we are home watching Doctor Who specials, and I am very happy to be here. I've spent so much time running around in the last week that home feels like a giant treat.

Happy new year, y'all!
mellicious: pink manicure (Potter - bits & bobs)
I am just home from DallasIrving (I think it was Irving, anyway - I'm never sure, around there). I went for a coding seminar, which didn't end until about 4:50, and then I had to wend my way through "Metroplex"-area traffic and then the 250 or so miles home. I'm tired, but I'm listening to more of the same Dexter audiobook that I was listening to in the car, and unwinding, so I think I can manage to write a bit before I collapse. And I wasn't here to write an introductory thing for Holidailies yesterday, so I guess I'll take a stab at that rather than talk about my little trip - I can always do that tomorrow.

So, hey, welcome to anybody new who wanders by! (Incidentally, Jette - who has an LJ name but I don't remember what it is and I'm too lazy to go look it up - has posted a fun entry about how Holidailies got started.) And if you're new, and wondering what all this rambling is about, I should probably just tell you now that it doesn't get all that much better. I ramble. And I don't really try to to control the rambling, particularly, beyond making it fit (mostly) into complete sentences, and sometimes into actual purposeful paragraphs. But don't count on it. (I suppose that anybody who's too too bothered by that hasn't even read this far, so oh well.)

I always hate writing about myself, and at the moment it's even worse than usual, with my life all up in the air. I'm Mel, and I'm verging on middle-aged, and I'm unemployed. I live in the general vicinity of Houston. I got laid off two years ago and I've been working towards a new career (the abovementioned coding - which means the medical kind, not the computer kind) without too much in the way of concrete results so far - meaning that while I have an official certificate and everything, I still don't have a job. I have one rather stressed-out husband, and no children. I'm spending my time applying for jobs, and reading too much, and studying for yet another certification test. I dabble around with various crafts (jewelry, quilts, papercrafts).

I've been doing Holidailies since 2003, the same year I started my journal. I named my journal "Catchy Name Needed" intending to change it later, and then decided it was sort of funny, and sort of appropriate, and just kept it. I started out on Diary-X and then moved here to LJ, where I've been ever since. I haven't written too much this year - there's not too much that's appropriate to say in public about job-hunting and such. So I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. And that'll have to do, for now.


(Incidentally, the icon is from the Rifftrax to "Sorceror's Stone".)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
Funny for today: Ricky Gervais singing a lullaby to Elmo:

[That link is bad, but try here. Or just google it!]


(That is Elmo, right? You can tell I don't have kids.) (Found on The Daily Dish.)

Also from the Daily Dish, the crazies are out and they're all running for public office:
"To think that we can save the Constitution without God's help when the government of the United States is corrupt is absurdity. We are in America's second Revolutionary War to save our freedom, which we paid for with blood. We need God's help and I'm not ashamed to ask for it,"  - Rex Rammel, Idaho gubernatorial candidate.

(That's not the first example of this I've seen. There was also the guy who said we ought to be more worried about Democrats than about terrorists - I think that one is running for Congress.)


I've been reading [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna 's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - it's very entertaining. It's a long YA story (in 24 chapters) which is entirely up online. (There's even audio!)


Added: I dug further down the Daily Dish website and found the other quote I was talking about:
“Our country is being destroyed. Every generation has had to fight the fight for freedom… Terrorism? Yes. That’s not the big battle. The big battle is in D.C. with the radicals. They aren’t liberals. They are radicals. Obama, Pelosi, Walz: They’re not liberals, they’re radicals. They are destroying our country ... This [health insurance bill] is the most insidious, evil piece of legislation I have ever seen in my life… Every one of us has to be totally committed to killing this travesty… I have to kill this bill,” - congressional candidate Allan Quist.

"Walz" is the poor schmuck this fundamentalist is running against.

mellicious: pink manicure (fall leaves orange)
I'm still stewing about holiday decorations, to a remarkable degree - especially when it's still not even Thanksgiving. I bought another string of solar lights at Sam's today, quite expensive ones, because the ones that I got before hadn't ever been working, even though I"ve had them out on the balcony soaking up daylight all week. Then I went out on the balcony after dark tonight and figured out why they weren't working. The little solar panels have a sensor on them so they know when it's light and when it's dark, and the lights only come on after dark. Only there's a big floodlight right outside our balcony - it's around the corner where it doesn't shine in our window much, which is why I hadn't paid much attention to it - and it was shining right on the solar panels. The minute I moved the solar panels where that light wasn't blazing right onto them, the lights came on. So now I have to decide whether to take the Sam's ones back. The Sam's ones are big sort of old-fashioned looking (LED) lights, where the other ones (which came from Target) are little tiny things. And the big ones are pretty cute, so now I'm waffling about this again. I may experiment around with them next week and see which I like best in the field, as it were.

Let's see, what else? I also bought I am Legend at Sam's - it was under $10 and Rob liked it pretty well, so I figured that'd make a pretty good gift. Oh, and I bought  a Christmas cactus. They had really pretty ones and I have a weakness for plants, anyway. I did bring two plants home from work that belonged to me - in a way I was being petty, I was like, they can decorate the outer office for themselves, dammit. But I figure a bit of pettiness is allowed. And I like those plants, although whether they'll survive the winter on the balcony is rather iffy. I am spoiled by Galveston weather and never bring my plants in. (And the weather 20 miles inland is different enough that it may make a difference - the few degrees between a hard freeze and no hard freeze, at least.)

I am feeling much better today, and I did do a few useful things, in between the trip to Sam's and watching Shakespeare in Love (which I bought on iTunes for, I think, $4.99, if that interests anybody) and playing WoW. I tried to make a doctor's appointment, even, although whoever was watching the phones at the clinics today couldn't make appointments, which makes me worry that all the real employees were off somewhere finding out who was getting laid off. Still one more day of layoffs to go, too, on Monday. They sure are ruining a lot of people's Thanksgivings.
mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: bad cop)
I got laid off. So did my boss, and about half of the rest of my department.

I'm okay, just very tired. I will have more to say later, probably!
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Several people have called me - my dad, a couple of friends - wanting to know if we still have jobs. All I can say is, "as far as I know"! The UTMB layoffs even made the Wall Street Journal, and it's been big news in Houston, so everybody around here knows all about it - which is why I'm getting these phone calls. Actually, as far as I know they haven't started letting the affected people know yet, so no news is not necessarily good news. We think that Rob's job is probably okay, it's mine that might be in jeopardy. I know you guys are wondering about this too, so I will let y'all know when I know!
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
I know some people have seen this article already - and the thing is, I don't disagree with a lot of what she says. But I went to Galveston right after I read it yesterday, and I thought, "Hell, this place isn't dead." It's going to be a different city for a while, and it may end up a smaller city, but it ain't gone just yet.

I drove down Broadway, and there's still a ton of trash piled up out there, but apparently that's because Broadway is technically a state highway and the city isn't allowed to pick up trash there. (It's been in the paper, lately, which is why I know the answer to this. The state said they were held up by having to award contracts for the trash pickup and it will be done "soon".) But things are clean behind the trash piles, for the most part, and the stoplights are all back on and the businesses are starting to reopen in force. In general I was pleasantly surprised.


I went to Galveston because I had a check to put in the bank (a very belated estate check) and then my boss kinda did one of those, "Well, while you're going..." things, and I ended up going by the office. Which ended up being rather heartening, too, really. The rumor lately has been that our building wasn't going to be ready to move back into until January, and I'm sure there's some reason for that that I didn't see - but honestly, our office looked fine. The elevators were working (the front ones, anyway - I didn't try the ones in the back of the building and I suspect they are not functional) and the a/c was on and the toilets were working, although the bathroom lights were off, for some reason. And most of the plants were alive, rather amazingly, after all this time. I think a couple of my co-workers have been up there at various times and have watered them.

Well, anyway, I want to be able to enjoy working at home for a bit, before we have to go back, so I'm not trying to rock the boat. And like I said, I'm sure that for some reason the building is not approved to be open. But from the looks of things it's perfectly okay, at least in our area.

woot!

Oct. 28th, 2008 01:10 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Astros: holytoledo)
We get to work from home! Yay!
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
I have a new car! Woot! I actually don't go get the money from State Farm until tomorrow but I spent more than we're going to get, anyway - I decided that even with Carmax, who is supposed to be on guard for these things (such as water damage, I mean), I don't feel comfortable buying a used car right now. So I have a brand new green 2009 Corolla with ABS brakes and side airbags and all other kinds of bells and whistles. And a gray interior, yay! (I am just not a fan of beige.) Tight credit, smight credit - the dealer and the credit union were falling all over themselves to give us low interest rates. However, we took the somewhat-higher rate the credit union gave us - still awfully low - and a $500 rebate from Toyota instead.

Pictures of the car to come. Instead, here is a picture of my current workplace:

Temporary digs
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)
Let's see, I last really wrote something on Wednesday night... The movers were supposed to be there early Thursday morning, so we left the apartment at 6:30 and stopped at Waffle House on the way to get breakfast. We got there almost exactly at 8 and they weren't there yet, but they were there before 8:30. We had found some movers that were based in Pearland, the next town over from Friendswood, figuring that all the Galveston-based ones would be totally swamped. And they weren't cheap but they did a really great job. (Moore and Son, if anybody local needs a mover any time soon.) We even had them move the washer and dryer and they are stuck in the back of the dining room - since the new apartment doesn't have w/d connections - with a quilt draped over them. I mean, they're brand-new and probably still work so I wasn't about to just throw them away. Maybe I should have tried to sell them but I was pressed for time.

It took the movers about an hour and a half on each end. Gawd, we have a lot of crap. And we threw away a ton of stuff while we were packing, too. The back bedroom is just stacked with boxes. There were a bunch in the living room, too, but I've been working on those and the stacks there are getting smaller.

Yesterday (which would be Friday - I'm having trouble remembering these things lately!) I did work for half a day. I sort of felt like I should have stayed longer but really I didn't have that much to do, anyway. And I'm glad I left because it turned out the AT&T guy showed up and he seemingly had trouble finding the problem and went in and out of the house several times with his little tester box. So we finally have a working phone, which is more of an annoyance than anything, really - but since Rob refuses to carry a cell phone I don't feel like the land-line is optional.

We had told Art we owed him a birthday dinner (I tend to lose track but I think he's 86) so we went to Angelo's and ate Italian for dinner tonight. Other than that we didn't do much today. A bit of unpacking and a bit of WoW and a bit of lounging around. Rob hasn't been to a movie in ages and he is wanting to go to one tomorrow. There is a big Cinemark over on the freeway that seems to be about the closest thing to us, but I'm not sure there's anything I'm really dying to see so I may stay home. And we'll have to go do the shopping that we didn't do today, at some point.

UT beat OU. Wow. I forgot all about it today. SportsCenter is on with the Longhorn Band in the background, playing the inevitable "Texas Fight" - they play it about 10 million times during every game. (But it's not as annoying as "Boomer Sooner", at least!)
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Alright, they finally posted and said that there will be no classes for at least a week and normal clinical activities will not resume for at least two weeks. That's not to say they couldn't call us back earlier, but at least a week seems likely. So unless we hear something in the morning to stop us, we are probably headed to Ohio sometime tomorrow. We're just going to drive on up there and take our time (going, at least) and kill two birds with one stone. It doesn't sound like the power will be back on in Galveston any time soon and right now there's no water, either, so home isn't liveable even if everything turns out to be okay there. Hopefully they'll give us 48 hours on having to return and we can get back in that time if we really need to. (It's two loooong days or 3 shorter ones, from here to Ohio.)

We went to Wal-Mart and looked at the laptops and as usual with Wal-Mart and electronics, I got frustrated because they were all locked up and stomped out. We'll have to find a Best Buy somewhere, or maybe an Office Depot or something.
mellicious: pink manicure (breathe)

They finally let the news helicopters fly over Galveston, and we have our first tentative "news" about home - a quick flyover shot of our apartment complex, revealing no visible major damage and no visible standing water, and cars sitting in the parking lot looking normal. It went by too fast for me to pick out MY car or anything, but the very fact that they moved on so quickly is sort of a good sign - because if they'd seen anything the news people thought was interesting they would've slowed down. So there's that.

We're toying with the idea of driving up to Ohio for a few days. We're guessing that it's going to be at least a week before things can get back to (semi-)normal at work, maybe more, so we're thinking we may just take off and go. We're trying to get hold of our supervisors and see if we can get any confirmation that we wouldn't get in trouble there by doing this. If we can't get them we may just go anyway. If worse comes to worst we can get home again in two days, and surely we'd have that much notice.

Jitters

Sep. 10th, 2008 03:55 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (umbrellas)
It's hard to relax with a hurricane breathing down your neck, as it were. We have been reading up on various storms this morning - this article (which also talks about my place of employment) mentions the 1900 storm, which a lot of people know about. Less well-known nowadays is Hurricane Carla in 1961, a very large category 4/5 which came in at Matagorda Bay and did a lot of damage in Galveston. I knew a lot about Carla, but I didn't understand until now how very big it was. I don't actually remember it - I was a toddler - but it's part of the family lore. I may have told that story before, but if not I'll have to explain later, I don't have time now. I still have to work.


Later: the new tracks seem to be shifting our way. Damn. My boss is gone to a meeting about it so we may hear something new when she gets back.
mellicious: pink manicure (Austin)
Since we are not going to Ohio (at least not for a month or so), we got tickets to go to the minor-league baseball game in Round Rock on Sunday. We are going to drive up that way and mess around for a couple of days. We are not going to see my sister. Is that terrible of me? We're really not planning on spending much time in Austin at all - we are spending the night (at least one night) in New Braunfels. I haven't spent much time in that area in years and I just want to poke around a bit! And hey, bonus: wildflowers!

Apparently the credit-card companies require the airlines - at least the shakier ones, like Skybus - to maintain special accounts to cover people like me in case they go out of business. I haven't called Bank of America to ask yet, but that makes me a bit more confident that I will get my money back. (I hate making phone calls so I've been putting it off. I wonder if I could get away with e-mailing them instead.)

I got a call saying a spot had opened up in the Plaza parking garage, which is the closest garage to work, for me - I don't care so much about that, since where I am now isn't that much further, but they are also supposed to build a building where I'm parking now before too long, so I figured I'd better take it. But jesus, $62.50 a month? That's nearly twice what I was paying before. Our cost of living has already skyrocketed in the last year, it's just one more thing. At least they take it out pre-tax.

I have now seen the new $5 bill in person and it is scary. If I hadn't known about it ahead of time I wouldn't've thought it was real money. (Also, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's new website cracks me up - "moneyfactory.gov.") 
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas tree lights)
Huh. An Austin doctor and his wife gave 55 million dollars to the UT School of Music, and the whole school is being renamed in their honor.  (I assume somebody did the math about how much it costs to rename a school - seems like that would be a substantial amount, right there.) I have to admit that the "Butler School of Music" (technically it's the "Hisfirstname and Herfirstname Butler School of Music", but you know that's not actually what it'll get called in normal usage) does sound fancier than just the plain ol' UT School of Music, though. And such things probably have an impact in recruiting and so on. Maybe they've just been waiting for the right donor to come along to give them a chance to do it.

There has been an ongoing discussion in my department about the phrase "herding cats" - most of my co-workers weren't familiar with it, which is a bit odd because it seems like I've been hearing it for years. It's an interesting concept to try to explain - "Well, cats aren't herd animals, right? So what happens when you try to herd them?" I forgot all about the Super Bowl ad from a few years back but one of my co-workers came across it. I'm putting the link here because it's still a funny ad. (And it worked for me so hopefully you won't get rickrolled.)

Oh, I'm about to find out for myself about the health of the Houston real estate market - the townhouse is going on the market in the next few days. If they post pictures online I'll put up a link. It's just a little two-bedroom townhouse but it looks pretty good. ([profile] mslilly- who I think is the only person on my friendslist who lives in that area - you know anybody who's looking for a townhouse in Clear Lake?)

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