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Pulled in too many directions

There's been so much going on since the beginning of the year. January and February are always incredibly busy months, and 2011 is no exception.

Dad's coming into town this weekend for market, we're going to lexmaniac's birthday celebration tomorrow; we've got Valentine's dinner booked as well as Chinese New Year (I'm excited about both). It's a heavy card-shopping month: both fathers' birthdays, as well as an anniversary card for my sister and her husband, a get well card for a family friend, Valentine's Day cards, and the aforementioned birthday for MADR.

I've taken our cat for a follow-up (she's doing so much better, and I still get tears in my eyes from time to time when I'm holding her and I think of how close we came to losing her); I've had my braces tightened. I've written some letters to Syfy and MGM petitioning for Stargate: Universe's renewal. (If you're interested in catching up, Netflix has S1 streaming, and Syfy is running a S2 marathon on February 8th.)

We finally got the sofa and loveseat delivered, but we're still waiting on the armrest covers. I need to call La-Z-Boy and follow up on that, but otherwise, they've been very good to work with. I would buy from them again. If you haven't visited one of their galleries in a while, you should: they've completely updated their look.

Gaming
I've reactivated my City of Heroes account after five years, three months, and some number of days. I don't know how long I'll stay, but I needed a break from Warcraft. There are a number of things about the Cataclysm expansion that simply aren't up to Blizzard's usual quantity standards.

Regardless of where I make my gaming home, my dear guildies are there. Rod, the one we've known the longest, recently went through some medical stress over a cyst they found on his liver. Fortunately, although he hasn't received the final results, it appears to be benign. Nevertheless, I sent him a liver plushie on behalf of the guild. :)

Tech
I've been keeping up with plenty of Android news (I love hearing that an entire community has formed around expanding the Nook Color's functionality by turning it into a low-end tablet). I still think my Evo is the most amazing device I've ever owned. I've had it over six months now, and I've yet to find the limits of what it can do. I tried Pocket Legends for the first time today, and was amazed by the quality and scope. It really is an MMO for your smartphone. As for the build quality of the phone, it can stop a bullet, and that's more than good enough for me. :) Go, HTC.

My generous, awesome husband got me Windows 7 for Christmas, halleloo, but I've yet to install it because now we're beginning to consider full machine upgrades, and I just don't see a compelling reason to endure the tedium of installing it twice.

Yarn
I think I've mentioned my dear, dear friend, Portia. We both crochet, and when I saw her last Thanksgiving, she expressed an interest in learning how to knit. We've both admitted to ourselves that all the cool kids knit, but we fear that we lack the hand-eye coordination to take our yarn up a notch. I got her this kit as a Christmas gift, but she's having trouble, and so I agreed that I'd buy the same one and we'd either succeed or fail together. She's without internet access, so the book is currently her sole source of instruction, though I plan to suggest that she might talk with someone at church to see if anyone there knits. As for me, if anyone reading this journal happens to knit, I'd welcome a few pointers, stated in language that a three-year-old can understand. :)

Television
I'm also watching the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Some might dub this a guilty pleasure, but I actually feel better about watching this than I do True Blood (yes, the cast is full of classically-trained actors who elevate the material, but King Lear it ain't). Drag is an incredible amount of work, and I've always been fascinated by the artistry and craft involved in creating an illusion. I don't have a favorite yet: I'm about to watch the second episode.

I'm so far behind on the DVR, not to mention getting back to Doctor Who and my Babylon 5 rewatch that it's just not even worth mentioning. I think I'm going to have to make a vow: pick up nothing new until I finish everything I've already got planned! :)

As a side note regarding favorite television series of the past, I happened to find out today that Tori Amos was a fan of Twin Peaks. It always makes me happy when an artist whose work I enjoy shares a few of my interests.

Food
I've been doing some cooking: I made a huge batch of black-eyed peas, and despite three large cloves of garlic, three yellow onions, pancetta, carrots, smoked turkey broth and I forget what else, they came out kind of bland. I'm thinking of freezing them and using them in things, such as the black-eyed pea hummus recipe I found on the back of the Publix bag, or maybe this Black-Eyed Pea Pâté with Pickled Onions on Flatbread Crackers recipe.

I've tried several new restaurants so far this year, including Peter Chang's, The Iberian Pig, Heirloom Market BBQ, and TRE Vietnamese. The Taco Stand opens almost within walking distance of my house tomorrow ... I'll go just to see if I am still underwhelmed by their offerings. I suppose it's ridiculous to still be sort of disappointed that they won the Mexican war in Athens, GA, and my beloved Mean Bean is gone, but I am. Even if my memory begins to fail me in my later years, my regular order there is burned into my brain: "Mean Bean Deluxe burrito, small side of chips; small side of guac ..."

Comics
I read Kingdom Come one week ago tonight, and found it thought-provoking. Even though I found the ending a little schmaltzy, and despite one character's motivations being completely transparent, I think the main part of the tale addresses some very important concepts about honor. It absolutely returns to the key tenet: "With great power comes great responsibility." And the art ... I'd hang some of the images that Alex Ross painted in my house, had I the money to buy the originals, this one, in particular.

So many people seem to neither know nor care that comic books can and do address weighty, profound philosophical questions. It's a pity: there's some excellent work out there. At best, they might see the movie, but it's a rare and wonderful thing when a comic's substance survives the Hollywood treatment.

Given the origins of the hero's journey around campfires, given our early history of storytelling, given that a play from 472 BC still survives, it puzzles me a little that the disproportionate majority of successful television shows deal with common, attainable heroism: medical dramas, police procedurals, sports victories, and so on (don't even get me started on reality TV). Not that those sorts of stories weren't told: they were -- a warrior who slew a tiger that was terrorizing a village; a great battle in which one tribe was victorious over another, that sort of thing. But mythic tales were also told: tricksters like Coyote in Native American culture and Loki in Norse culture entertained humans long before the printing press existed. Why does it seem that the segment of our culture that still seeks out tales of myth and wonder is somewhat marginalized? Does religion fill that niche for a certain part of the population? I could fill a whole post with musings about this, so I'll get back to hitting the high points.

I've recently subscribed to the Whedonesque Twitter feed, and was delighted to learn that there's going to be a Dollhouse one-off comic! I haven't dabbled at all in the Buffy or Angel continuations, but this will get me in the comics shop. Actually, maybe I can hope for it as a birthday present, as it's due out March 30th, just before April. :)

Books
I'm also reading books without pictures. :) I've put down A Game of Thrones for a bit because my work book club is reading East of Eden. This is probably going to sound a little ridiculous, given that he's one of America's great authors, but I never expected to enjoy it this much. I guess I thought that it might seem a little dated, but I'm astonished by how timeless some of his perspectives are. Indeed, I'm normally a fast reader, but I've averaged a full page of notes (10 point type) every two chapters so far! It's slowing me down, but in a good way.

Speaking of books, and bringing the post full circle, lexmaniac has mentioned the last three times that I've been on the phone with him that he's interested in an e-reader. I got him a Barnes & Noble gift card, and I'd love to see him apply it toward a Nook. It'd be a win-win situation to be able to swap books with the press of a button, and the Atlanta-Fulton Library is an Overdrive affiliate, so he could check out digital materials as well (can't do that with a Kindle).

As you can see, I've got just a few things occupying me at the moment! And somewhere, somehow, in the midst of all this, I could really use a hair cut.:)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ssilverfish
Feb. 5th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
The only Steinbeck we read in high school was The Pearl, which was just okay, I thought, so I never pursued any of his other work. During grad school, on a whim, I read Of Mice and Men and it was a revelation. I debated on whether to read Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden next and I opted for the latter, and oh... my god. I fell in love.

I did later read Grapes and while I understand the acclaim (it's a very powerful book), it's very depressing. In fact, when I tell people Steinbeck is my favorite author, they always say, "Oh but isn't his stuff just awfully depressing?" Grapes is, but Steinbeck also wrote some of the most hopeful things I've ever read.

Anyway, very glad to hear you're enjoying it. I'm tempted to read along with you, but I'm scrambling to keep up with my GoodReads book clubs at the moment! :D
pointedview
Feb. 12th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your perspective on this. I vaguely remember reading The Pearl, but it was a very long time ago, and I don't think I liked it. I haven't read Grapes of Wrath yet, though I know I ought to do so at some point.

I've enjoyed your Goodreads updates! I wish I could get my work book club to use the site, but, well, let's just say I'm the most technologically-inclined member of the group. :)
streamweaver
Feb. 6th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you're gaming again. Why COH again instead of Champions Online or DCUO?
pointedview
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Hey, there! *smiles* :) Yes, I'm superhero gaming again! I've been in Warcraft for ages now, and while my account is still active there, I figured I'd take a little break to visit the bright, spandexy world of City of Heroes.

Why City of Heroes is a very good question. When Champions Online first came out and they were offering lifetime subscriptions, I bought one. I regret it -- I thought I'd be getting a marvelous City of Heroes II, but I never connected with it. I can log in any time, but I found the costume creator buggy (I encountered problems with capes), and the world didn't seem as vibrant to me -- I enjoy the bright, comic-book hues of City of Heroes.

Also, after being away for so long, there's a ton of new (well, new to me!) content:

* Tip missions, that add a bit of practical roleplay in terms of alignment
* An auction house
* Crafting in the form of Inventions! New costume pieces, enhancements and more!
* Player-created content! Seriously! I was delighted to find out about this aspect, known in-game as the Mission Architect.
* Day Jobs

Regarding DCUO, David tried it, and found it disappointing. He felt that the game was very clearly designed for the PS3, and that the controls and interface did not translate well at all to the keyboard input format. He also disliked combat, as he felt he had little control over his character. It certainly looks pretty, though -- I've seen some lovely screenshots. Still, I probably won't try it soon. I'm not good at dividing myself between two games, much less three. :)

Are you currently playing an MMO? If so, which one?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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