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I don't understand the drafts

Despite sleeping for more than half of last weekend's hours, I still managed to sleep twelve or thirteen hours last night. I didn't even manage to get up in time to go buy the groceries I needed to buy before work. Naturally, because I slept so late, I'm only now starting to get tired, and it's almost four in the morning. I wish I still lived near somewhere that sells that Marley's Mellow Mood tea. I never never found a sleep aid that was even half as effective as that stupid tea.

Work was pretty annoying today. A bunch of people from the day shift were out sick, so I had to do a bunch of leftover day shift work instead of the stuff I normally do. My irritation at the day was also compounded by my earbuds. I had plugged in my MP3 player to charge last night, and when I grabbed it this morning, I apparently caught it on something without noticing and pulled off the rubber shell from one of the earbuds. They are much less comfortable with the shell missing, and the sound isn't as good. Ended up with a pretty massive headache by the end of the shift. It's only now starting to die down.

Still no sign of my state refund. I feel like it's taking way longer than usual. I feel like it's usually only a week or so behind my federal refund. I guess I could go back and check my bank account history from last year.

shut up about the gosh darned flower shop

Today was a day of small food adventures and watching several things. The first adventure was trying a Japanese food cart advertising sushi burritos. C-Cakes and I have been trying to find a local source ever since discovering them in Vegas. This place was not as advertised, although they were still pretty tasty. The ones in Vegas were actually wrapped in a tortilla. These were wrapped in nori. In fact, the only thing that really made them any different from an uncut sushi roll was the addition of lettuce. Still tasty, but did not satisfy the craving.

Second food adventure was another visit to Toadstool Cupcakes. (First for her, fourth for me!) After which we went to see The Lego Batman Movie. Not quite as gonzo as the first Lego Movie, but pretty freaking entertaining. It succeeds as both a Batman movie and a parody of Batman movies. The plot involves a jilted Joker feeling undervalued as a nemesis by Batman, while Batman himself struggles with intimacy issues in general. There are more in-jokes than you could possibly believe, from pretty much every single version of Batman, as well as many things you wouldn't expect. I left the theater deeply amused, but slightly exhausted.

In between bits of cleaning and dealing with cards, I watched a whole bunch of new (to me) things this evening.

Riverdale - In case you thought there was any single property immune to being rebooted as a sexy crime drama, this should dispel that myth. Yes, this is based on the Archie comics. Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats, etc. So far, the first season centers around the murder of a rich, popular teen. Archie is the boy-next-door who comes back from the summer utterly ripped from doing construction work with his dad. Betty is his next door neighbor and best friend. Veronica is the rich new kid from New York. Jughead is a sarcastic loner who blogs and writes about the town's drama, and also serves as the show's narrator. The show has a really weird vibe that's somewhere between Mean Girls and Twin Peaks. I honestly can't decide if it's any good or not, but I'm sort of hooked.

Legion - This is an incredibly weird and amazing show that is part of the X-men universe. The main character David is an unreliable narrator who may be schizophrenic or simply a very powerful mutant who is unaware of and unable to control his powers. The bulk of the first episode takes place in a psychiatric facility, and the bulk of the second takes place with a group of people who are trying to help him harness and understand his abilities. It's on Hulu right now, and definitely worth a watch. Full of disturbing imagery astounding performances. It reminds me a little bit of Hannibal in that way.

Powerless - This is the first sitcom I've actually enjoyed in a really long time. It takes place in the DC universe, although mainstream DC characters are frequently references but so far have not appeared. It's essentially an office comedy about a group of misfits who work at Wayne Security, a small company run by one of Bruce Wayne's black sheep relatives. This company makes security products to help average folks protect themselves from the dangers of becoming collateral damage in the ever-escalating brawls between super-powered heroes and villains. Things like an epi-pen for Joker venom, or a rubble-proof umbrella. It's a little bit The IT Crowd, with a lot of 30 Rock thrown in. And it's got Alan Tudyk and Danny Pudi in it!

Shanglo, the city under Shanghai

Apparently, this is the weekend I catch up on all the shows. I couldn't fall asleep last night, so I ended up watching a bunch of season two of The Librarians. It's basically the cutest show ever. It has essentially the same premise as Warehouse 13, except the overall mood of the show is more ridiculous and exuberant. Instead of objects imbued with powers due to the circumstances surrounding them, the artifacts in this show are just straight up magic items. It has the sense of adventure from Indiana Jones, but the shameless goofiness of National Treasure. I still haven't seen the original trilogy of movies that inspired it, though. Anyway, it's fun, and the first two seasons are both on Hulu.

I did manage to leave the house and run some errands today, so that was progress. They took much longer than I expected them to, though. The big errand was getting a new ink cartridge so I can ship Jughead's weekend orders. However, the first place I went was sold out of them. The second place I went had the wrong hours listed, and I didn't make it in time. The third place was also sold out, but the fourth place had the one I needed. Since I was in the neighborhood of a hardware store, I went to see if there is an actual object designed to wedge under bookshelves to keep them from tipping forward in carpeted rooms. I normally just fold pieces of cardboard in half, but it occurred to me that this is a common enough problem that it must have an official solution. I was right. You can get enough of them for six bookcases for less than two dollars.

more nope

I slept another twelve hours after that last journal entry. I missed another day of work, but I'm feeling mostly better now. Still pretty low energy. I ended up binge-watching season one of a show called The Expanse, which aired on Syfy but was recently added to Amazon. It's kind of a hybrid detective noir/political espionage drama/science fiction horror. Takes place a few hundred years from now, when most of our solar system has been colonized. Tensions are brewing everywhere, with the governments of Earth and Mars involved in a cold war, and the Belters (inhabitants of asteroid mining colonies) feeling oppressed and exploited and possibly looking to form a new government of their own. The acting and special effects are top notch, which is a surprise for a Syfy-produced show, and the world-building is intense. Season one has ten episodes. Season two is currently airing, so it'll be a while before I get to see that.

I left the house briefly to stock up on fluids, and two extremely annoying things happened that put me in a pretty foul mood. The first was some random people in car that did that thing where they yell something at a pedestrian right when they pass by. People have done this to me one or twice a year for my entire life, and I've never understood the purpose, or what is enjoyable about it. I've never met a person who did it to anyone else. Well, if nothing else, it's incontrovertibly proof that I have no telekinetic power, because if I did every single one of these cars would have crashed immediately after doing this to me. It both startles and infuriates me, so I'm pretty sure if I was hiding any hidden superpowers, it would bring them out.

The other thing was an asshole in a gas station. The guy at the other register was a gigantic white guy with a shaved head, and he asked for a pack of "African-American Spirit" cigarettes. I immediately knew what he meant, but it flustered and confused the poor cashier. See, there are ten or so types of American Spirit, and each one comes in a different colored package. The flavor he wanted came in a black package. When the cashier kept grabbing the wrong one, he finally pointed out to her which one he wanted, and read the package and said "It just says American Spirit!" so he patiently explained his oh-so-clever joke and then looked around expectantly to see us laugh. Nobody did. I really wanted to say "The reason we aren't laughing isn't that we don't get your joke. We just aren't racist assholes." I didn't, because he was gigantic and had two friends with him. I hate being reminded that I'm not brave enough to call out crap like this. Maybe it should have been worth getting my ass beat.

nope nope nope

People keep telling me that you can't actually make yourself sick when you stay out in the rain and get drenched, yet I keep going out in the rain and coming home drenched and getting sick shortly after. I called in sick today for the first time in ages. Turns out I picked a good day to get sick, because the workload was fairly light today. I wish I could say I made good use of the time at home, but I mostly just slept. Just woke up about an hour ago, and now I'm trying to decide whether to stay up or go back to bed. Bed is currently winning the debate. If I can just sleep three more hours or so, I can probably make it all the way to midnight without crashing and be on some semblance of a real schedule again.

I really need to get away from being on swing shift.

what the smell?!

A small section of my apartment smells faintly of corned beef, and for the life of me I can't figure out how or why. I catch a whiff of it every time I walk up the stairs, but every time I sniff around and try to nasally triangulate it, I make no progress. I'm fairly certain nothing I've done has generated it. I don't think a single one of the ingredients that form corned beef has been in this apartment since I moved in, except for maybe a spice or two. I thought maybe a neighbor cooked it, but I did a lap around my building and couldn't smell it anywhere outside. Maybe the wolves in the walls are cooking it? Maybe I'm having a highly localized stroke that only occurs on seven steps of my stairs.

Mysterious smells are about the only things worth talking about today. Work was uneventful. My morning was uneventful. My walk home was eventful, but the event was just rain. It was pretty spectacular rain, though. It's not often a walk that short drenches me so thoroughly that I hang my entire outfit over the bathtub. (Even the socks!)

Just a couple hours until I get my first full forty hour paycheck at my new pay rate! Then I can figure out how much I want to set as my monthly donation to the ACLU. The raise technically kicked in the previous pay period, but I didn't quite work a full week that week.

After weeks of being in a severe depressive funk, I feel like I might be starting to finally crawl out of it. It's basically been off and on since election day, but it's been non-stop since the day Lord DampNut took office. This week it's finally starting to feel like the movement to oust him is getting some real traction. It looks like the pebble that finally started the avalanche was the resignation of his national security adviser after it was revealed that he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador last year and then lied about it to the VP. Naturally, Lord DampNut is furious, but of course he blames the "illegal leaks" to the press, rather than the possible treason committed by his administration. I expect the next few days are going to be interesting. I'm told Vegas is giving 4 to 1 odds that he gets impeached within the first six months.
Shirts acquired! I got a WAY LATER start than I wanted to. I ended up having to take a Lyft to Fred Meyer. I also ended up having to take a Lyft from there to work. It was worth it, though. I was able to get five fancy new collared shirts for eight or nine bucks each. My only regret is that I accidentally bought the same one from last Friday again. I would rather have ten unique shirts, but I suppose I can deal with having nine unique shirts and one duplicate. Especially since the duplicate is really comfy. Anyway, I now officially only have to do laundry every two weeks. That's exciting!

While I was there, I also picked up a replacement for my frayed phone charger. I have since noticed something interesting (to me) about my Samsung Galaxy Whatever. When I plug it into an unofficial power source, like battery brick Jughead gave me, I get a "Charging" notice on my lock screen. When I plug it into its own high speed charger, it says "Fast Charging" and gives an estimate of how long it will take. (Usually less than 90 minutes for a full charge!) The guy at Fred Meyer assured me that the one he sold me was a fast charger, even though it was a third party brand. When I plugged it in at lunch, it just gave me the regular "Charging" note, but it showed the same estimate I get when I use the Samsung charger. The takeaway here is that my phone is self-aware but extremely proud. It knows damned well that this third party charger will do the job just fine, but it sure won't admit to anybody else. I may have devoted too much thought to this.

Today was Valentine's Day. I don't have any particularly strong feelings about that anymore. It didn't make me lonely. I saw some funny cards and laughed at them. I saw a lot of people making "Roses are red" poems about impeaching Lord Dampnut, and that made me happy.

you can't add a nap to a sleep

Things don't look quite as bleak today. The friends I was supposed to see yesterday are being patient and understanding. Also, the sale that I wanted to go to at Fred Meyer is still going on through tomorrow, so I may still be able to live the dream of doing laundry only every two weeks. Assuming I can get up early enough to go before work. I didn't manage it today, but I did get up early enough to do laundry. My lead might actually go with me if we both get up in time.

I heard about a trick called a coffee nap, where you are supposed to drink a cup of coffee and then immediately go to sleep, setting your alarm for twenty minutes or so. The idea is that the nap help clears out the adenosine receptors so that when the caffeine kicks in (which takes about twenty minutes), it can bond with more of them at once. This technique is meant to be used in the afternoon to give you a big boost of energy. In my half-asleep state this morning, my alarm woke me up and I suddenly thought of the coffee nap, so I tried it. Spoiler alert: It doesn't work in the morning. I slept right through the alarm. Slept for about four hours longer than I meant to, actually. Oops. Interestingly, the coffee did seem to make me dream faster.

Things are really coming to a boil with the day shift right now. They left so much of the most difficult work for us, including special requests that should have taken priority over everything else. My lead sent a truly pissed off email at the end of the day, and even my progress report email was a little on the passive-aggressive side.

I am why I can't have nice things

As always seems to happen whenever I have an action-packed day full of adventures, I managed to completely screw up the next day. I overslept and missed my plans, which was made worse because I let my anxiety get the better of me and didn't say anything to my friend until the time we were scheduled to meet. I ended up accomplishing absolutely nothing today other than feeling like a failure. I didn't even make it to the nearby Fred Meyer to pick up more work shirts on the last day of their giant sale. I didn't even make it downtown to see The Lego Batman Movie, which I also had plans for. I'm not entirely sure what I did do today. I have no idea where the rest of the day went. I'm going to try and go to bed now and hope I can get up early and have somewhat of a day tomorrow.

be seein' you

Spent the morning doing card stuff and listening to Sammus. Good music to work to, but difficult to write a journal to because the lyrics demand attention. A little after noon, my movie buddy came over and we had an epic movie adventure. First we went to Cash & Carry to stock up on groceries. Then we went back to his neighborhood and ordered a ton of Chinese takeout. (All appetizers, because we were in kind of a dim sum mood.) Then it was time to re-watch John Wick.

This is my third time seeing that movie. It's a damned near perfect action movie, in my opinion. It also has a surprising amount of emotional resonance, since it's actually about trying to process grief when you don't have the luxury of doing so. It also has some of the finest fight choreography I've ever seen. After the movie, we watched the Movies With Mikey episode about it. If you haven't watched this show yet, you definitely should. Here's the John Wick episode.



After this narrative chaser, we had to kill some time before the next showing of the sequel. We went to Toadstool Cupcakes again for dessert. This time I tried the spumoni and marionberry cupcakes. Amazing as always. Then we spent some time puttering around nearby shops on Hawthorne. We went to Gold Door for a while, and then Powell's. I was able to resist buying more books, but my buddy wasn't. Then it was movie time!

John Wick Chapter 2 is everything I wanted in a sequel. It's maybe not quite as emotionally intimate as the first one, just because it isn't about grief in the same way. In this one, a shady character sees Wick coming out of retirement and decides it would be a good time to cash in a debt marker owed to him by Wick. He basically strong-arms Wick into doing something bad for him, and then double-crosses him. Once again, this leads to Wick kicking an ungodly amount of ass. This movie appears to have been made by the same team as the previous one, and it feels like it. Bigger budget, but the action works the same way, the cinematography is just as gorgeous, and the world-building is even more rich. Just a class act all around, and it definitely leaves things in place for a possible third movie, which I will be first in line to see.