Sunday, November 23, 2008

Too Lazy to Title Today.

I need to catch up on all the "Internetting" that I've gotten behind on in the past several days of doing other things. There's blog-reading, comment-reading/-responding, twitters, Flickr, and so on. It doesn't take long for these things to pile up!

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Wednesday morning, I wrote that we were having problems with our water. Fortunately, that soon cleared up, and we think we know what happened and have tried to prevent it from happening again.

Going without running water isn't much fun, even if you have water saved for emergencies. No showers, no easily flushed toilets. You can't even brush your teeth or wash your hands without a hassle. (Try washing one hand while pouring water with the other.) Still, at least every other aspect of life could continue as usual. Not so on Thursday morning. . .

Thursday, Trixie barked to be let out fairly early (as usual), and it wasn't long afterward that the electricity fluttered a couple of times and then went out completely. I think it was only out for an hour or so, but that was long enough for me to get impatient. I rarely think about how many of my morning rituals rely on power. Showering, turning on the local news on TV, turning on the lights (because it was still pretty dark when I woke), checking email, bumping the heat up a degree or two. All postponed indefinitely. (I think that not knowing how long it would be until we had power again was the most frustrating aspect.) At least I could still have breakfast, since my usual is cereal and milk-- but the house was dark, chilly, and boring. (Donald was still asleep. He's not a morning person, anyway, so it was just as well. I've learned not to bother with serious conversation until later in the day. (g))

So, the point? None, really. Just to remind myself of how spoiled I am by the necessities of modern life.

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Hm. Just read that ABC hasn't ordered any new episodes of Pushing Daisies. Disappointing. It was definitely something different from the ordinary TV show, so I suppose it was inevitable. Still annoying, though.

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Thanksgiving's already sneaking up on us (much too soon, since that means Christmas is just around the corner)! This week will be much out of the ordinary for us. First, there's Donald's birthday on Wednesday. Then Thursday is Thanksgiving. (We'll be eating lunch with family at my paternal grandparents' home.) Black Friday* follows, of course. Then Saturday afternoon Aunt Debbie, Uncle Jim, and John are hosting an Iron Bowl party. Neither of us are that interested in football, but fortunately we won't be the only ones not glued to the screen.

*For internationals who may not be familiar with this term, the Friday after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday", and it's traditionally a day for big sales in many stores. Lots of people get up well before the crack of dawn-- and some never even go to bed at all the night before!-- to be waiting at the doors for early bird specials and to try to catch the best deals, which are usually available in very limited numbers. You're sure to have to deal with lines, crowds, and traffic-- and some people seem to use it as an excuse to be crazy and rude-- but if you're lucky, you can get some great deals. You can read a couple of explanations for the name on Wikipedia. (I never know how far to trust Wikipedia. The only explanation I've ever heard is the one about "black ink/profit".)

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Recent musical obsessions*:

Instrumental Section--

"The Kiss" from Last of the Mohicans.
A.K.A. "The Gael" by Dougie MacLean. No wonder it sounds Scottish, right? ;o)

"Cora" from the same film.
Much more subdued than the previous piece, but still beautiful.

"River Waltz" from The Painted Veil.
I think I've linked to this song before, but back then, the best video I could find wasn't of the best quality. This is the piano solo version. For the orchestral version (which I also love), check out this video.

"Other" Section--

"Thursday" by Asobi Seksu.
Not crazy about the name of the band, now that I know what it means in Japanese (I mean, please. Must you have a risqué name in order to be "cool"? Do you want me to be embarrassed to talk about you in front of my grandparents?), but I do like this song of theirs.

"February Air" by Lights.
I would never have heard of this artist if her music hadn't been featured on a couple of Old Navy commercials, and the same is true for quite a few other bands/singers. This is one reason why I don't get people who moan and groan about "selling out" when music they love is used in advertising. (The other reason is that I think those moaners and groaners are generally pretentious counter-culture types, and I have little patience for them. What? Can you only enjoy music so long as it's not known and liked by the masses? Why not just like it or not like it regardless of who else likes it, plays it, or uses it to create an image that helps sell things?)

"Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday.
When I was a kid, I thought she was singing something like "Baby, don't go! / This is scary!"-- like apparently everyone who was young when this was popular-- though I never really knew what she was supposed to be scared of. The song and video are pretty silly (with the exaggeratedly mean boyfriend), but for whatever reason, it makes the list.

"Cars" by Gary Numan.
He looks kind of creepy and definitely silly. (He reminds me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, if any of you watch that.) The non-singing portions of the song are much more familiar than the lyrics, probably because the lyrics are so odd.

Stopping now because this is past boring for most of you, I'm sure. . .

*I'm not so much interested in the videos, but YouTube is the easiest way for me to link to music. Videos are ok, but I wasn't an MTV kid/teen, and often I find that videos "ruin" music for me by forcing me to look closer at the fact that the band or their lyrics promote things I don't support. It's easier to ignore that fact if I'm immersed in melody alone. Not that any of these videos in particular make me uncomfortable. Actually, I haven't even watched all of them all of the way through. I tend to start them, then leave them going in the background while I do other things on the computer. Aren't you glad it's early enough in the morning that I'm rambly and decided to tell you all of this?

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Donald had some dental work done this week, and he's still not feeling completely back to normal. I guess I was lucky, back when I had my wisdom teeth removed, that I didn't have to take more than one of the pain pills they gave me. Apparently those things can make you feel sick and just generally not-quite-right.

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Blogger is still underlining my contractions in red. So weird! I didn't know that I couldn't use contractions, Blogger, or I wouldn't have-- or shouldn't have-- tried to. Yep. Four for four! "Haven't" seems to be ok, though. Oh, but "ok" isn't. . .

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We're more seriously looking into getting a new range. The situation with the burners just keeps getting worse, and rather than pour money into possibly fixing up an old appliance, it just makes more sense to put it toward a new one. I'm not sure how old our range is, but since it came with our 1978-ish trailer, I'd guess it's probably of comparable age-- 70s to early 80s. Normally, I'd say that something made in (. . . or, well, someone born in) the late 70s was still practically a baby and certainly nowhere near "old". In fact, I would stick my tongue out at anyone who suggested such a ridiculous thing. But in this case, I make an exception. The range has lived out its useful life*, and it's time to let it retire.

*The AHAM-- Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers-- tells us that according to a 1996 survey, "we" expect a slide-in single oven range-- like ours-- to last seventeen years. Let's see. . . That would be 1991. This range was probably already feeling its age by then. On the other hand, I know someone who's had the same range since before I was born in 1979, so. . .

Aha! I found a site that explains how to use the serial number to tell the age, and unless I'm mistaken, the range was manufactured in October 1985, so it just turned twenty-three. Good enough for me. I also saw the price for replacement burners-- and assuming replacing them would even fix that problem, it's still not worth it to put that much money into such an agéd appliance, I think. Sorry if that makes me part of the modern throw-away society. (shrug)

While I was at it, I checked out our lovely avocado dryer (that also came with the trailer), and it looks like it was manufactured the same year as the trailer-- 1978. Fortunately, it still seems to be working properly. (fingers crossed)

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Can't remember what else I was going to say, so it must not have been too important. . .

It seems awfully dark to be only 2:30! I'm taking a while adjusting to the time change and shrinking days, this year. . .

P.S. Blogger, I don't like the way you eat my double and triple spaces when I go to the "edit HTML" tab. It's rude and completely uncalled-for!

P.P.S. I apologize for the excessive use of asterisks and footnotes in this entry. (I probably "can't" call them footnotes, though, since they just went at the bottom of sections instead of the bottom of the whole page. I thought it made more sense that way.)