Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the year end stuff

This morning, around, oh, 3:45am, I threw back the covers, grabbed my pillow, and stomped out of the bedroom because Joe was snoring so loud that I felt my only options at that point were to either smother him with a pillow or go sleep downstairs. I chose to sleep downstairs. I hope Joe appreciates that.

So, you know, I guess it would seem that the year is going out the way it so often comes in: with too little sleep and a headache. I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel hungover even though I haven't had a drop of alcohol which seems unfair? But c'est la vie.

I'm so tired, in fact, that I have started babbling even more incoherently than I usually do, leading Joe to tell me multiple times to just take a nap already. But will I? No! Because I'm not tired! I am basically this today:

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But that's not what I want to focus on. OH NO IT'S NOT. It seems only right that I write some sort of end of the year wrap-up, because of, I don't know, blogging rules or some shit. So here are some things, mostly good, that happened this year.

1. I had some book reviews published on Pajiba. SO AWESOME.

2. Related: Marcus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, tweeted me about my review of his book. SO VERY AWESOME.

3. Also related: blogger and writer Pamela Ribon also tweeted in response to a review. ALSO SO VERY AWESOME.

4. I quit the job that was causing me emo feelings.

5. I got a new job where it's actually in the job description to play with dogs and cats.

6. I went on several trips, Chicago (twice!), South Carolina, Florida, and had almost 100% positive experience with all! I say almost because one trip was for work. The non-work parts were awesome. The work-work parts were...not.

7. Two friends had babies.


9. Had some feelings about volunteering.

10. Wrote a lot. I know it doesn't seem like it if you just look here but I wrote here and for Cannonball Read and Ashley's Harry Potter project but I also did a lot more personal writing. So there's that.

There's probably more but I'm tired of typing and really wanted to end on 10 SO THERE.

Happy New Year, internet. I wish you many David Tennant GIFs (and, you know, other good things) in the coming year!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

hold onto your butts

I can't believe I haven't written about this yet. I guess I've been busy...um...watching The United States of Tara in its entirety over the course of a week. PRIORITIES.

Christmas came and went, as it does, and very quickly, as it ALSO does, and faster and faster each year. But, lucky woman that I am, I got to open one of my Christmas presents early.

I came home from work one evening, exhausted and stinking of puppies (which is pretty standard these days), and trying to work up the energy to go to my work Christmas party (which wasn't too difficult, it's just that I need to work up energy for any kind of extended social interaction where small talk might be expected), when I noticed a card sticking out of my Christmas stocking.

Inside were two tickets to Newport Aquarium's Penguin Encounter. See:

Craziest eyes to have ever crazy eyed.

My response to opening this gift was something like, "What? What? What does this mean? Does this mean...oh my god...oh my god...what does this mean? Does this really mean we get to meet penguins? Like meet meet them? Like shake hands?" for, oh, about half an hour? And then for the rest of the week? JOE IS SO LUCKY.

It was awesome, you guys. The encounter itself lasts only about twenty minutes, which passes far too quickly, but it's great. I'd go again. Like, SO MANY TIMES AGAIN. I'd pay five times as much if it meant I could spend twice as much time with the penguins. I briefly considered asking for a job application once it was over. I mean, how different are penguins from dogs really?

When you arrive at the penguin encounter, a penguin handler makes you wait five minutes while he or she tells you about how you can't pick up the penguins and cuddle them like little babies unless you don't have a particular fondness for your eyeballs anymore. (Still. It's tempting.)

After the liability spiel, you're finally allowed in the room with the penguins. When we went, there were about eight penguins roaming about the room. You mostly just sit in one place and have to wait for the penguins to approach, which is difficult. I really wanted to get up and waddle around with them but I don't think that's allowed.

The handler picks up various penguins and you're allowed to, like, pet them on the back and wings. They're so soft! I wasn't expecting that. And they sometimes make sounds like braying donkeys. Definitely was not expecting that, either. Anyway. Here are some pictures of penguins. That's what you're here for, right?


I named this one Donkey because she made donkey noises. CREATIVITY.

Blueberry tried to steal my umbrella. I guess cause it was blue.

Newport Aquarium opened in 1999. It's open every day (except major holidays), there are five penguin encounters daily, and each encounter has a limit of 12 people. Assuming the penguin encounters started when Newport Aquarium opened, over 300,000 people have taken this tour. It's fairly easy to buy a ticket. It's not all that expensive. Anyone could do it. But I don't care. It still feels special. Like, I touched a penguin! Who cares if so many other people have done the same? Extraordinary experiences don't become any less extraordinary just because others have experienced them.

I'm not sure when my obsession with penguins began. It was probably always there, along with my obsession with, oh, all other animals. I know seeing this video a million years ago definitely didn't help:

And this latest penguin encounter has only strengthened my resolve to have my own pet penguin someday. I'LL SPARE NO EXPENSE.

Friday, December 06, 2013

All I want for Christmas is this

I keep dreaming about work. But not my current job or anything, because that would be normal. No, I keep dreaming about my old job, which is very annoying as I no longer work there. 

I guess I had a lot more anxiety tied up in my previous job than I realized. The reasons aren't really important. But apparently the anxiety didn't magically go away, even though I haven't worked there in months. I had the most vivid dream about it last night, so vivid that I woke up convinced I was running late, that I needed to get up right away and leave early since it was snowing.

I don't have to be at work until 11:30 today. I woke up at 7:30. So. You do the math.

I don't have anxiety dreams about my new job. Not yet, anyway. Maybe those don't show up until you've been there at least six months. Still. I wish I'd stop dreaming about my old one. I'm not holding my breath or anything, I mean, after all, I had an anxiety dream about high school a while ago and high school is a lot further back than a few months.  

Speaking of work (NICE SEGUE), I had yesterday off so I took my sister to see Catching Fire. We went in the middle of the afternoon and there were about ten other people in the theater, and yet there was still a lady sitting a few rows behind us, explaining specific plot points (loudly, of course) to her husband. She was one of those people who, instead of whispering to her partner during non-silent parts of the movie, would try and speak OVER the loud parts, because OMG what if he couldn't hear her? What if he didn't know that, in the previous movie, Peeta and Katniss had almost eaten poison berries? What if he forgot that Katniss had volunteered for Prim? What if he didn't remember that District 13 supposedly didn't exist? OMG PEOPLE GO HOME AND READ THE BOOKS.

Usually movie-talking sends me into an apoplectic rage. I normally sit there fuming, wishing I could get up and scream, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUUUP" into the person's face.

Which. I never do. Not out loud. But my brain always looks like this:

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Actually...it's probably more like this:

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But it didn't bother me that much yesterday. I thought, "well, maybe he's hard of hearing and he missed that part." I guess I finally remembered the whole "this is water" thing while I was actually IN the moment. Score.

(Though that didn't stop me from passive aggressively complaining about the ongoing idiot commentary within earshot of Talking Lady as we exited the theater. YOU GUYS I CAN'T HELP MYSELF.)

Anyway. I'm finding it hard to get worked up about things lately, especially this morning, as right now I'm sitting on the couch, curled up with Max, a blanket, and a hot cup of coffee, the computer screen illuminated by the Christmas tree next to me. I'm listening to the Muppets sing Christmas carols and snow is falling softly outside. I plan on reading Harry Potter until it's time to leave for work, where I will get to play with puppies and kittens until I come home and hang out with my family for the rest of the evening. No wonder I can't bring myself to get worked up about anything, not even Talky Lady and crazy anxiety dreams. Hopefully it'll stay this way. You know, if the fates allow and all that.