Thursday, March 27, 2008

Torchwood 2.9: Something Borrowed

One of the sweetest scenes of the season-opening Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was Gwen (Eve Myles), wide-eyed, explaining to Jack (John Barrowman) that the ring she was wearing was an engagement ring. Rhys (Kai Owen) had asked, and she'd said yes, because "Nobody else will have me." Throughout the season the writing team has done a good job of referring to the wedding without making too big a deal of it, which was a very good thing. Anyone who has ever been married or planned a wedding knows how the process can take over your life; the problem is, the details you're obsessing over are deathly boring to the rest of the world. "Something Borrowed," a wedding episode, Torchwood-style, avoids both the precious and the obnoxious, with shape-shifting aliens, tons of snappy dialog, and terrific action set-pieces; in the end, love and a really, really big gun conquer all.

If you couldn't tell already, I thought this episode was a blast. Read the rest over at The House Next Door.

Torchwood 2.8: A Day in the Death

Nothing has really changed by the end of "A Day in the Death," but at least Owen (Burn Gorman) -- still dead -- has found a reason to hope. "A Day in the Death" is the circuitous story of Owen's journey from despair, and the two strangers he meets along the way. It all feels comfortably familiar, but the performances elevate it above cliché, most of the time.

Better late than never, right? It's been up over at The House Next Door for ages.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

left shin, right shoulder

I should know better than to open my mouth at the dermatologist's. I went yesterday for my semi-annual "mole check" and asked him about the spot on the shin and the small non-healing wound on my shoulder. Today, he biopsied both of them -- punched out the shin, shaved the shoulder. Whee!

I'm wondering if I'm undergoing all this medical crap because I'm basically a whiner. In a recent conversation, someone said something like, "Well, I may have had that complication, but I just blew it off." With the implication that the complication then just straightened itself out.

My experience is, my body doesn't straighten itself out, it ties itself up into even bigger knots. I blew off the problems with my voice until my throat was constantly sore and I could barely speak; now I'm in speech therapy and it's much improved. I don't know, maybe everyone else is walking around enduring various dysfunctions and pain, they're just more stoic about it. Being stoic basically 1) gets me through the every day baseline issues I've decided I can live with, like the number that my RA+fibromyalgia combo does on my hands/hips/tailbone and 2) doesn't work for me for the stuff above and beyond the baseline issues.

My shoulder is quite annoying, but so far the shin is quiet. I wonder if it's because the anesthesia hasn't worn off yet, or it's just in a good place where it won't be pulled and disturbed all the time, unlike the shoulder.

Friday, March 21, 2008

as Spring Break draws to a close

I'm looking forward to getting some rest when it's over.

DS1 is having a sleepover; I expect they will be playing on that XBOX 360 well into the wee hours. At least they're in their pjs, and are nominally "in bed."

Got lots done but don't feel nearly ready for Easter, which is three days away.

Started my new class, Classroom Management, with exceptionally poor timing. The kids are around all day, when am I supposed to do my own classwork? Also, the first assignment requires that I interview a teacher... and it's spring break! It'll keep. Tomorrow's going to be an interesting day, what with the sleep deprivation and all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

new toy

Bought a new laptop today, for schoolwork. It was very, very reasonably priced at my local Best Buy. My first classes required hardly any work at all, and still they engendered a lot of jockeying for the home computers. Now that won't happen anymore, right?

It's oddly slow except when it's blindingly fast; setup has been a breeze, and I already have my school software running just as I need it too. Now I also have the opportunity to be one of those people who totes her computer along with her everywhere... somehow I don't see that happening, although I may bring it to our weekly Friday Borders run, to give myself the opportunity to do something productive.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"I'm busy"

I met with an academic advisor today to try and hammer out some kind of overall timeline for my studies, and to get answers to a few specific questions. It seemed every other sentence, some other commitment of mine would come up.

She said, "Next time I see you, I'll have a t-shirt for you that says 'I'm busy.'" We both cracked up. I am busy, though, and I like it. It's good for me.

Lots to do these days. I should make a list, but not here -- I need one I can carry around with me and cross things off of, just so I can get a sense of accomplishment.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Torchwood 2.7: Dead Man Walking

How fondly I recall last week's "Reset," the episode which brought Dr. Martha Jones (Freema Agyema) to Cardiff and unexpectedly killed off Torchwood's resident medical officer, Owen Harper (Burn Gorman). I was worried about whether or not Owen would stay dead, and I was right to be. "Dead Man Walking" oscillates between creepy and campy, and even occasional side jaunts into seriousness can't save it.

At times, I thought this one would topple over into "so bad it's good" territory, but alas, it didn't. Read the rest over at The House Next Door.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

way late to this party

Well, whaddyaknow?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is every bit as fun as everyone has been telling me all these years.

I'm so grateful for TV on DVD.


When was the last time you had to factor a polynomial?

I couldn't remember, but somehow I managed to dredge up the process from the deep, dark recesses of my high school memories.

I don't normally have any use for algebra, but today I took the Accuplacer exam for my EDU class at Rio Salado, and it went very well. It took me an hour and 48 minutes to go through all five tests (my score/cut off), which included reading comprehension (119/78), sentence construction (117/87), writing (10/8), arithmetic (119/86), and elementary algebra (116/88).

I don't think I'll be having any difficulties with my classes.

let's try that again

I'm on round two of Cefzil, this time 500 mg twice a day, and for 15 days. If that doesn't knock this thing out of me, I don't know what will. I'm still hacking a bit but I do feel better. I think it's just a matter of waiting it out.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Torchwood 2.6: Reset

Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) first met then-medical student Martha Jones (Freema Agyema) in Doctor Who's third season pre-finale "Utopia," when Jack clung to the exterior of the TARDIS as it raced to the end of time. Luckily, Jack was uniquely qualified to solve the technical problems that were keeping the remnants of humanity from reaching their final home, and it was Jack's wrist jump-unit that got the Doctor and his two companions away in the nick of time in "The Sound of Drums." But it was in "The Last of the Time Lords" that Martha Jones saved the world, and Jack Harkness is one of very few people alive who remembers it. It's a great pleasure, then, when Dr. Jones arrives at Torchwood, where aliens may shuffle in and out, but the monster of the week is nearly always human.

Click here to read the rest over at the House Next Door.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Torchwood 2.5: Adam

Torchwood enters Bizarro World when an alien reprograms the team's memories – and personalities – in "Adam." We're short on science fiction and long on character again this week, as is usual for writer Catherine Tregenna, but we get a big juicy chunk of Captain Jack's backstory. It's up to you whether or not it's a worthy trade. I was happy to hear Gray's story only four episodes after John Hart dropped that bombshell ("I found Gray") on Jack.

Click here to read the rest at the House Next Door.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

still here, still sick

I've still got this cold, or possibly I just coincidentally caught another cold before the first one really cleared out. Regardless, I'm still sick.

I've tried everything -- Mucinex, Mucinex with cough suppressant, Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus (on the recommendation of my ENT), Robitussin cough gels, Claritin... and nothing really works. Nothing. No matter what I take, I have congestion and a cough, sometimes productive, sometimes not. The cough has been the worst. I have never had a cold like this before. At least the cough is better now -- I haven't taken any cough-type medicine since yesterday morning, and for the most part I can ignore the urge to cough.

I did have a 10-day course of Cefzil that seemed to help for a while. My ENT confirmed that the original sinus and ear infections had cleared, but judging from what's happening now, I think it has come back or another has developed. I spend a lot of time blowing my nose, with disgusting results. (One thing I've discovered, post-turbinate reduction surgery: If I tip my head down while I'm blowing my nose, my sinuses clear out a lot better. Maybe that would've worked before the surgery, too, but I don't think so. I never could clear my sinuses well before the surgery, which is of course the reason I had it.)

Last week was uniquely busy. I subbed in the pre-school 4-year-old class all week, and it was a blast, although it would've been a lot more fun if I weren't having to medicate myself every day so as not to be hacking all over the classroom. I also started my classes at Rio Salado, such as they are. Nothing much to do just yet, but things will pick up once I take my placement exam next week. On top of all that, there was a Thyca meeting Tuesday night, the kids started fencing lessons last weekend, and we discovered the most recent leak in the dining room ceiling is from the roof, which we had fixed to the tune of about $1800.

Finally, I just watched the most recent episode of Torchwood, "Reset," and I can't believe (highlight to see spoiler):
They killed Owen! Those bastards!
Now I just have to find some time to write it all up.