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1. Took communal compost bin to the curb for pickup. (I seem to be the only person in both houses who remembers to do this. I am not exactly complaining about that, but I do wonder who, if anyone, would step up to the plate if I weren't here.)

2. Sliced two chicken thighs and baked them in balsamic dressing.

3. Began summer apartment photographs and turnover inspections at work, which is interesting.

4. Called my dentist to ask when I would be billed for my May 15th appointment. Apparently the office manager has returned and sent all the outstanding bills earlier this week, so I should receive mine on Friday. It's not that I especially WANT another bill, but I was even less happy about the prospect of an unknown bill hanging over my head indefinitely.

5. Bought a zester/grater at Target.

6. Saw Wonder Woman, which I enjoyed a lot! Quick impression: vague spoilers, I guess? )

7. Bought groceries.

8. Paid my monthly internet bill.

9. Recharged my bus pass.

10. Cooked the first of three Blue Apron meals. More details in this post (poll and general comments) and also this post (pictures and recipe).
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this afternoon, and I'd been forewarned that there were Feels as well as laughs and quality explosions, but oh man, I was not prepared.

*wallows happily in All The Emotions*

Also, this film does surprisingly well on the female characters with their own plot arcs who talk to other female characters front? Which I was frankly not expecting from this particular corner of the MCU, but there it is. And it is very nice!

Some vaguely spoilery thoughts under the cut )

Anyway, I enjoyed GotG2 a LOT. I mean, I went in expecting to have a good time, but (as I remarked to a friend years ago, in reference to Captain America: The First Avenger), that movie was way better than it strictly needed to be, and you could tell everyone involved in making it was having a ball -- and that carries through on screen in both obvious and subtle ways. :D
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1. I did not go to church on Sunday, since it was either a Sci-fi Sunday (alternate joint program for high school and middle school kids, runs the first Sunday of each month) or an improv/drama session, and in either case I wasn't needed to facilitate anything. Also I was very tired, so I slept in. Then in the afternoon, I took a nap. Sleep is delicious. :)

2. Changed linens.

3. Thawed and cooked some more tilapia fillets.

more items under the cut )

8. Changed the wax in my wax melter. The new wax was another of the kinds my parents bought me as an ancillary Christmas present, and as before, I do not recommend it. The Glade scent was obtrusively artificial -- it just smelled off in a way that's hard to put my finger on. This brand -- ScentSationals Scented Wax Cubes -- smells less off-putting... but the smell is impossibly strong. I could literally see volatile fumes rising from the surface of the melted wax, and it permeated the air to the point where I felt like my breaths were slowly coating the inner surfaces of my lungs with a layer of wax. I could not sleep because the scent and the wax-in-lungs sensation were so overpowering and inescapable. And this persists for hours even if the heat source is removed from the wax after only thirty minutes!

Despite this, the scent wears out very quickly. I had to dispose of the new wax on Wednesday because it had lost its advertised scent and now was just filling the air with the scent of generic candle wax, while still feeling like it was coating my lungs with aerosolized wax particles.

Additionally, the wax itself is not packaged usefully. It is notionally divided into six cubes, but in practice they're all fused together into a massive lump that requires a heated knife to separate, and even then sheds annoyingly sticky wax flakes all over one's work area.

In short, I actively disrecommend ScentSationals brand wax melts. I have thrown out the unused portions of the scent I tested, and have tossed the unopened other scent into my box of assorted random donations for my church's annual recycling sale.

(For the record, wax melts I have had good experiences with are Yankee Candle, Woodwick, and (tentative initial assessment) Chesapeake Bay Candle Home Scents.)

more items under the cut )

And now, I think, to bed.
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1. Finished outlining Susan's super-belated gift story. My next creative task is to finish editing "Second Chances" (my Daredevil Secret Santa fic from Dec. 2016), after which I will move on to my FandomTrumpsHate fic.

2. Bought some groceries.

3. Watered my houseplants. Also applied a drop or two of anti-fungal solution to each of my peat cylinders, since they were starting to grow mold and that is obviously no good for the pepper seeds I am actually trying to grow. *crosses fingers for the seeds*

4. Cut my fingernails and toenails.

5. Took an afternoon shower and finished packing in preparation for the lock-in.

6. Helped staff the Ithaca/Oneonta lock-in!

details under the cut )

Anyway, enough about that.

7. Shoveled my sidewalk when I got home, despite being dead tired, because I am apparently the only tenant who cares about that. Nrgh.

8. Unpacked, took a shower, and then TOOK A NAP.

9. Posted about my week on Facebook. I think I've mentioned that I'm trying out weekly updates over there as a way to stay connected to people I know non-fannishly. It seems to be working as intended.

10. Called Vicky to sing Happy Birthday to her answering machine. :)

11. Boiled a dozen eggs.

12. Received my federal tax refund, yay! I promptly transferred most of it from checking to savings, where it will sit while I figure out how much of it I want to apply to a church pledge and how much I want to dump into my IRA as a 2016 contribution. (I would really like to be able to eventually retire rather than having to work until I'm ninety to keep up with expenses, so I contribute what I can when I can, even if it's not nearly as much or as often as I'd like.)

And now, I think, I will go back to bed. :)
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1. Photographed my peppers.

2. Changed the scented wax in my wax melter.

3. Bought, wrote, addressed, stamped, sealed, and mailed birthday cards for my sister and my cousin Ben.

more items under the cut )

14. Made a functional (albeit sketchy and a bit slapdash) outline for Vicky's super-belated gift story. Took a few stabs at making a similar outline for Susan's super-belated gift story, but stalled out since I am still not entirely sure what kind of weirdness I want to use in the worldbuilding. Maybe if I pin down some stuff about the main character and her life/friends, that will constrain the shape of the world around her. *ponders*

In any case, if anyone has suggestions for either story, I am all ears!

Bonus 15. This actually belongs on my previous 'stuff done' post, but since I forgot to write it down there, I will mention it here. I read The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis, which I bought for Dad as his Christmas present and then asked to borrow once he was finished because I wanted to read it too. It is about Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Israeli psychologists whose work is at the foundation of the study of humanity's systematic errors in judgment and decision-making; it is both about their theories and about their unlikely friendship. Michael Lewis writes readable and engaging prose, and doesn't get in the way of his own (fascinating) topic. I recommend this book a lot. :)
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1. Cut my fingernails.

2. Asked rental office bosses about getting a week off in late June. They said that should be okay, so... I may actually get to Cass Lake this year!!! \o/

more items under the cut )

13. Got to work rewriting my Cotton Candy Bingo fic, as per my realization that the characters needed to be nicer in general. I have managed to salvage and reuse a bunch of existing dialogue, just tweaked a bit so everyone's friendly rather than annoyed, and I have also tweaked a bit of scene-setting so there is now an obvious physical way to conclude the fic when I get there, instead of having it vaguely peter off into awkward silence. :)
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1. Recharged my bus pass.

2. Deposited my semi-annual mutual fund dividend check, which is more welcome this year than in some others.

3. Crossposted my remaining December three-sentence ficlets to AO3 and updated my fanfic directory posts through January 1.

4. Dumped a dead houseplant and cleaned its pot. I am sad about the plant, but not too torn-up -- I rescued it from Vicky about fifteen years ago, I never successfully identified its species, and it was always kind of finicky. (There was a reason Vicky was throwing it out, after all.) I figure it had a good life and that's all any of us can really ask.

more items under the cut )

13. Finished reading The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton, which I need to return to the public library ASAP as it's now several days overdue. The book is well-written and engaging (it could, perhaps, do with more diagrams), but slightly odd to read because it's only half the history the title led me to expect; the other half is a vehement argument against a school of thought (relativism) that I have never personally encountered in this field of study, and which seems to me self-evidently ridiculous in its strong form, but which has apparently become the mainstream in history of science over the past couple decades; hence why this history is 'new'.

I suspect I have been insulated from this debate, despite my perennial interest in the history of science, because my dad is himself a historian of science and technology and he also thinks that the relativist school of thought is barking too far up the wrong tree. I should probably go read a book from that school just to ensure I am getting both sides of the debate in their own words, though I have a feeling I will still end up thinking it's wrongheaded. The big-name text from that school seems to still be Leviathan and the Air-pump by Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, even though it's over thirty years old and has been extensively criticized on multiple fronts, so. Maybe that will be my next book to cart around and read bits of on busses and when bored at work, if I don't end up throwing it across a room in exasperation.

more items under the cut )

And now to bed. :)
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1. Taped, sanded, and painted a fifth frame; touched up the two I painted on Thursday. Then I touched up the fifth on Saturday morning before packing them all into a laundry basket, carefully cushioned by towels, and took them down to NJ.

2. Made a packing list. Then packed.

3. Bought groceries.

more items under the cut )

10. Went to see Rogue One with Susan at 4pm. I liked it a lot!

cut for spoilers )

On the other hand, as Susan justly remarked, there wasn't very much of that ineffable sense of joy/wonder/boundless possibility that is the hallmark of Star Wars at its best and most inspiring. For me, the movie's virtues outweighed that flaw -- I am totally down with Star Wars attempting a gritty and morally gray war movie (the tragedy is not a departure; tragedy is a central theme of the franchise, just as much as hope) -- but judging by reviews a bunch of other people feel differently. And that's okay!

more items under the cut )

17. Responded to all the comments on my Yuletide fic and my Daredevil Secret Santa fic. \o/
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I got my dates mixed up somehow and thought the Ladystuck Remix posting deadline was the 24th instead of the 25th. Oh well, that just means I have an extra day of editing time, and that never hurt anyone.

The posted version is kind of, um. Well, dire is too strong a word. It's serviceable. But it's awfully clunky and I think about half my point gets lost in that clunkiness, besides which I didn't have time to apply the formatting thing I want to do. I suppose that's a project for Tuesday.


In other news, Susan and I did succeed in seeing Star Trek Beyond, though the only tickets left were for the very front row so all the characters' faces and shoulders looked weird and some of the action scenes became visually unintelligible because of perspective issues. That aside, I liked it! It was a lot more hope-peace-exploration-wonder than the previous reboot films, and there were no women randomly posing in their underwear, both of which I take as victories. :D

Correction: Several hours later I remembered that there is one very brief shot of an underdressed woman, as part of the montage accompanying Kirk's opening Captain's Log. He's talking about morale and relationships among the crew, and after we see a shot of a happy (and fully clothed) couple ducking into a doorway while kissing, we see a shot of a (barely clothed) woman throwing a (fully clothed) man out of her room into the corridor. So it's gratuitous underwear, which is annoying, but it's also over in about two seconds and it's not set up in a way where a male character is watching a female character undress without her knowing he can see. Everybody else remains fully clothed through the entire movie, despite a gag reference to Kirk's shirt getting torn.
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I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens after work today.

That was a fun movie. That was proper Star Wars. :D

It was also a very silly movie in some places, and the dramatic tension (which was really good up through the first, oh, 1/2 to 2/3 of the movie) fell apart in really unnecessary ways toward the end. For example, I believe it's still polite to cut for spoilers )

But those quibbles aside, I loved our heroes -- both new and old -- and am looking forward to Episode VIII in a couple years.

(I do not have high hopes that the next movie will deal with the social, political, and economic consequences that spoiler, I guess ) will have on the New Republic, nor provide much explanation of the relation of the Republic to the Resistance and why the fight against the First Order appears to be covert rather than overt, but hey, that's what fanfiction is for. Canon just needs to keep providing good characters, narrative tension, and dramatic fights, whether those are space battles or lightsaber duels. *grin*)


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Elizabeth Culmer

September 2017

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