Category Archives: twelve

Pollyanna is not politically correct

Lyda here.

A decree came down from management that we cannot celebrate Halloween in the office any more. Apparently Halloween is not politically correct.

Geez, lighten up, people.

I’d cast a turning-them-into-bats spell, but I suspect that’s not PC either.

Anyway, I could not dress up as a zombie this year, but I’m not taking the little green witch off my desk.

In other news, I’m considering writing a country song titled “I’m turning blue from missing you, or maybe it’s because of my new jeans.”

 

 

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Pollyanna reads on Discworld, part 3

Lyda here.

I finally completed the seemingly-endless Reading on Discworld Challenge which was inspired by the books of Terry Pratchett. I wanted to read new books for the challenge, which is why it took me so long. Oh yeah, plus getting my masters. And life. I already reported here on the books I read for item #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 15, and here on the books I read for item #s 6, 8, 12 & 14.

These are the remaining parts of the challenge that I completed:

3. ‘Albert grunted. “Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?” Mort thought for a moment. “No,” he said eventually, “what?” There was silence. Then Albert straightened up and said, “Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve ‘em right.”’  Mort

Read a book about something you’ve always wondered about. What is string theory, really? Who was Deep Throat? And, now that we’re thinking about such things (y’all know you are)… How have attitudes and morals about sex varied and changed by country and era? (That book was my sister’s college graduation present to me – my first graduate course, she said.) Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Pyramids” (mathematics, philosophers, why camels look smug, and what really happens to mummies), “Monstrous Regiment” (why military intelligence isn’t always an oxymoron).

I read “The Walking Dead  – Compendium One” by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, and Cliff Rathburn.

What? I’ve always wondered about graphic novels – I had never really read any before – and specifically, I wondered about these graphic novels.

I love “The Walking Dead” TV series, and I knew from watching “The Talking Dead” that the graphic novels (on which the show is based) were different. Some of the characters and their character development are different, important plot points are completely different, and reading the graphic novels is a totally different experience from watching the show. They are both excellent, too.

7. ‘The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.’  Guards! Guards!

Go to the library and wander into an aisle you do not usually frequent. Pick a book from the shelf  and read it. One way to do this is to look in the new books section, and pick something from a category you don’t usually read. Just don’t interfere with the nature of causality while you’re there. Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Good Omens”, “Nation”.

I read “The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size” by Julia Cameron. (I actually bought this book, so I can use it over and over like her other books.) Y’all, I never ever read diet books. But this one is different. For one thing, it is written by one of my favorite authors, who wrote “The Artist’s Way” and many other awesome books about which I

just (blog post link #1)

won’t (blog post link #2)

shut (blog post link #3)

up (blog post link #4).

This book is really about expanding one’s creativity and shrinking one’s use of food as a block to emotions and creativity. It does not contain a food plan or rules. Instead, it give tools to use to explore one’s relationship to food and get free of old patterns and unhealthy habits. Those familiar with Julia Cameron’s work will recognize some of the tools, like Morning Pages, and find new tools, like keeping a food journal.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try out the program.

13. ‘It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.’  Equal Rites

Read a book about sex, sexuality, and/or sexual politics. I think y’all can find one of these on your own. Terry Pratchett book suggestion:  “Equal Rites”, “Sourcery”.

I read “Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide” by Maurine Dowd. I wasn’t crazy about this book. Some of the science is out of date, and I didn’t agree with a lot of her conclusions. For example, she quotes a survey that found that 86% of women would quit their jobs if they didn’t need the money. This supposedly shows that women are less invested in their jobs than men are. But I immediately wanted to know: what percentage of men in equivalent jobs would quit if they didn’t need the money? I’m guessing it would be neck-and-neck.

But agreeing with her is not the point. She made me think, and that is the point. Plus, she is a good and occasionally funny writer. While discussing the ‘war between the sexes’ she says, “Will there ever be peace? I doubt it. But there should always be laughter.” And I’ll drink to that.

16. ‘To Rincewind’s annoyance the Luggage barreled after her, cushioning its fall by dropping heavily onto a slaver, and adding to the sudden panic of the invaders because, while it was bad enough to be attacked with deadly and ferocious accuracy by a rather pretty girl in a white dress with flowers on it, it was even worse for the male ego to be tripped up and beaten by a travel accessory; it was pretty bad for all the rest of the male, too.’  Sourcery

Read a book with an inanimate object as a character and/or an important part of the plot. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Sourcery”, or any of the books with the Luggage in them.

I read “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. There is a sword that is essential to the plot, and is practically alive. Plus, there is a talking magical doll in it. I realize as I’m typing this that “talking magical doll” sounds really creepy, but in this story it actually isn’t. No, really.

17. ‘ “It would seem you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said.
“Have you thought about going into teaching?” ‘  Mort

Read a book that teaches you something. Something that will not come in handy in your everyday life. Learn something completely impractical.  Terry Pratchett book suggestion: “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents” (you will find out more about rats than you ever thought there was to know).

I read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I feel as if I found my homeland – it is a land of truly weird stuff and wonderful off-kilter people, and Jenny is our leader. Also, I learned quite a lot of very bizarre and not-useful stuff, including things about taxidermy. See this post for my full review.

18. ‘… human beings, little bags of thinking water held up briefly by fragile accumulations of calcium…’  Pyramids

.

‘It’s not for nothing that advanced mathematics tends to be invented in hot countries. It’s because of the morphic resonance of all the camels, who have that disdainful expression and famous curled lip as a natural result of an ability to do quadratic equations.’  Pyramids

.

‘It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong… It is used. And one of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary and turn the unusual into the usual.

‘Because if this was not the case, then human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing big stupid grins, similar to those worn by certain remote tribesmen who occasionally get raided by the authorities and have the contents of their plastic greenhouses very seriously inspected.’  Small Gods

Read something spiritual, mystical, mathematical, or amazing. Something that will remind you of how magic and unbelievable the universe and everything in it really is. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Small Gods”, “Good Omens”, “Wee Free Men”… really, any of his books.

I read “River Flow: New & Selected Poems” by David Whyte. I love his writing. It feeds my soul. I discovered his work at school, where several of his books are required reading. Which shows you how awesome my school is.

19. ‘He [Vimes] wasn’t strictly aware of it, but he treated even geography as if he was investigating a crime (Did you see who carved out the valley? Would you recognize that glacier if you saw it again?)’  The Fifth Elephant

Read a detective novel, a crime story, a mystery, or a thriller. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “The Fifth Elephant”, “Thud!”.

I read “Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson. It’s not a traditional mystery, but it definitely fits the bill. The plot twists like a corkscrew, the characters are unique, the ending is surprising, and the world is fascinating.

————————————————–

I post about this so I can keep it straight in my own head. Which is a rather chaotic place sometimes. Witness the digressions…

Pollyanna finds her people

Lyda here.

Last night I finished re-reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I feel as if I found my homeland. It is a land of truly weird stuff and truly wonderful off-kilter people, and Jenny is our leader.

Also, I learned quite a lot of very bizarre and not-useful stuff, including things about taxidermy that I could happily have lived my whole life without knowing. See this post for my first crazy gushing fan post  review of this book.

Now that I’ve read it through twice, and injured myself laughing, I can loan it to the Sith Master, so that he can understand his mom better.

He promised not to lock me in the padded room.

Pollyanna and the Parrots of Doom

Lyda here.

First, a small digression. One of our spam comments was from  “totallyrealsitenotfak7e…” (I’m not going to put the whole address, in case it is some horrible computer virus and/or porn site. Y’all have to find those on your own.) and it read as if it was a continuation of a previous conversation.

Kinda.

A conversation with a stunned parrot whose been drinking all day and is concerned that I might acquire a fake payday loan.

Not that I am saying that a parrot is not capable of being concerned about the veracity of payday loans. They are very smart birds, I’ve heard. Nor am I saying that being stunned would affect that concern. How would I know? I’ve never stunned a parrot.

Although the only parrot I remember was one that whistled at me when I was eight and said “Look at that blonde!” Which totally freaked me out, because why would a parrot come on to blond eight-year-olds? That’s just weird.

Not that I’m saying that parrots do or do not experience weird attractions to girls. How would I know what a parrot finds attractive? And yes, I’m judging them.

I’m sure that the man who owned the bird taught it to say that, although hopefully not just to children.

However, after my grandma raked him over the coals for teaching his bird to say such an unseemly thing, I’m sure the man saw the error of his ways and spent the rest of his days teaching the parrot the Bible.

With the result that the parrot now whistles and says, “Look at that whale swallow Jonah.”

Although now that I think about it, this is not really an improvement.

Plus, that parrot would be pretty old by now. He might not be able to whistle any more.

Oh, and I should say that I do not approve of letting one’s parrot get drunk.

Nor do I approve of parrot stunning. That is not what stun guns are for, people.

Um.

What was I talking about?

Oh well. Here’s a link to Monty Python’s parrot sketch with a stunned parrot. Or is he?

Pollyanna and the Game of Thrones, office version

Lyda here. I was going to call this post “Pollyanna gets PWNED“.

This post contains no spoilers, in case you haven’t read the books or watched the series yet. Which you totally should do.

Have you read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin? My Brother the Professor calls him “Railroad”. It’s the first book of the Song of Fire and Ice series, and it’s awesome. My son The Sith Master loaned me the books, and I devoured them and can’t wait for the next one to come out. Write faster, please, Mr. Martin!

Have you seen the HBO series “Game of Thrones” which is based on the books? A coworker loaned me his DVDs of seasons 1 and 2. The series is awesome, and faithful to the books. As it should be, as the author is involved.

So – this co-worker and I decided we should play Game of Thrones in the office. Without the “cutting off body parts” component of the originals. Silly HR rules.

We named it “Game of Flags.” It’s basically Capture the Flag. We divided the office into four teams.  You have to get the other team’s flag to your workspace, take a picture of a teammate with it, and email it to the office.

The competition is getting brutal.

Friday I was guarding my team’s flag.

It was stolen twice.

Twice.

I only had to guard the thing for two hours. How hard could that be? Very hard, apparently.

So I learned some things about myself.

  • I am a very bad loser. When I discovered the first theft, I acted like a toddler whose been awake for a month, ate all the Frosted Flakes in the store, and lost her toy. I was just lucky that there weren’t any managers around to witness my meltdown, and that my coworkers accepted my profuse apologies for behaving like an ass. I was calmer for the second theft, at least on the outside, although inside I was cursing.
  • I am still capable of embarrassing myself so much that I want to run away and never come back. (See previous.) One might think that one would outgrow such things. One would be wrong.
  • I hate competing. I didn’t like it as a child, and it still sucks. Possibly because I’m such a bad loser. Possibly because I always seem to lose. I never liked sports, spelling bees, or anything else that pitted me against the other kids. Instead, I was always rooting for my friends to do well. I hated it when the teacher called on someone who didn’t know the answer. I didn’t like being graded on a curve. Not because it wasn’t fair, but because I was the one who aced the test and ruined the curve for everyone else. Yes. That was me. Sorry.
  • I am far too trusting to be let out on the streets. I never suspected my coworkers of trickery. I probably need a keeper. Hopefully my keeper would have an awesome sense of direction, which would also solve my getting-lost problem.
  • I’m a terrible guard. Don’t hire me for that. You’ll only have yourself to blame when the crown jewels go missing.

Pollyanna and the Laughter of Doom

Lyda here.

So, you know when you are reading a book in bed late at night and you worry that you are going to smother yourself with your pillow because you don’t want to wake up your roommates and have them call the men in white coats to drag you off because your constant hysterical laughter has convinced them that you have finally gone over the edge – which, let’s face it, you have been skirting for months – but you know it would be counter-productive, because wouldn’t it be better to end up in a nice padded room than dead from smothering yourself, plus you wouldn’t get to finish the book.

And then you are reading the book the next day at lunch time in your car and you laugh so hard that you are sure all your internal organs have been completely pulverized by the shaking, and also you have gotten a fabulous ab workout just by reading – take that, 24 Hour Fitness – but you know that if anyone from work sees you shaking so hard they will panic and call the paramedics and you won’t be able to talk to the cute paramedic because you will be so out of breath from laughing, so he will give you an oxygen mask, and then you won’t be able to flirt with him at all, because who looks appealing in an oxygen mask?

No?

Then you haven’t read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess.

Buy it. Read it. Share it.

This is a book so awesomely twisted and so funny that you’ll hurt yourself laughing, and also feel a bit guilty because you are laughing at terrible things that you know you shouldn’t laugh at. But you will laugh anyway.

Y’all are going to snort sweet tea up your noses. Or the drink of your choice. So make sure it’s not too hot, and eschew ice cubes. Trust me.

Pollyanna, cyber stalker of weirdness

Lyda here.

I can’t stay long, because I’m reading every. single. one. of the old posts on The Bloggess. Also I ordered her book, and I have to go to see if it is waiting for me in my P.O. box.

Yes, I have a post office box instead of a real mailing address. Because I’ve moved too many times in the last three years to keep the post office updated and I do want my mail, even if it is almost exclusively junk mail consisting of fat AARP envelopes telling me I need more insurance to pay for my funeral, and other cheery advertisements to make me feel older than God. Seriously, they must mail this stuff to me three or four times a week. My conclusion is that the people over there retired too early and have too much time on their hands. Someone check into that, would you?

But I digress…

And maybe 4 moves in 3 years doesn’t seem like that many times, but the first one was so traumatic that it really should count for a billion times. And then I accidentally moved into the House of Filth (hello cockroaches, I’ll be subletting this room from you…), and then back to Chez Disney Condo, which my landlords/roommates then SOLD and I was forced to move again, and we moved into Chez Disney House which will always be full of half-empty boxes and random workmen fixing stuff I did not know was broken. And which is too far away, even if I do get to see horses on the way home from work which makes my Texas heart happy.

Plus I’m currently living without cable and it’s making me cranky. How can I be a balanced, contributing member of society without HGTV and BBC America?

And I’m looking for a new place right now even though the voice in the back of my head says I’m crazy to even think about it.

And anyway, I should have reached my lifetime quota of moves already, as I lived more places before I was 10 than the gypsies did in all of the last century.

But I digress again…

Also, I have a p.o. box because I’m afraid of stalkers.

Even though now I’m in danger of being one. See first paragraph.

Again.

I’m like that.

Obsessive, I mean.

When I become interested in something, I can go on and on about it for hours – and frequently do, which might explain why my friends and family live far far away…

Hmm.

Anyway, I have to go now because if I wait too long the horses will be inside the barns, and I won’t get to see the rabbits eating the grass in the park. Which always makes me shout “BUNNIES!!!” in a giddy voice, over and over, as if I were a stunned 3-year-old.

And then I start wondering if the horses and bunnies will become zombies when the Zombie Apocalypse happens. And if they do, will they say “Graaaaaaaaaaasssssssss”?

Stuff like this explains why no one car pools with me.

But I digress…

I’m going to the post office now.

Probably y’all should issue an alert of some kind.