I stumbled across this earlier today; I think it was in a companion article to the GoT review in The Atlantic. This is so exciting, and it's killing me not to be able to talk with anyone about it! It's conjecture, of course, but it's also spoilery as hell if you haven't read the books. It's about Talisa, Robb Stark's wife and queen. The author of this theory has made a six minute video to underscore his theory, and it's kind of brilliant. The video and my reaction are going behind cut tags.

It's brilliant, I tellz ya )

So what do you think?
Seriously, I'm dealing with massive fatigue and an allergy attack that combined are making me pretty loopy. Let's just see, shall we?

As those of you on Facebook know, we were hit with a huge ice storm Thursday night into Friday. Power is out all over the damn place. Deb, whose apartment is in the basement, didn't own a backup battery for her sump pump, so with the power outage and the freakish amount of rain, her apartment flooded. Like … flooded. The cats' food dishes were floating. All of the floors have to be torn out, all of the walls need to be replaced as far up as the moisture seeped. Some of her furniture, some of our stuff stored down there is toast.

And speaking of toast, that's what we're living on pretty much. We finally got a big generator hooked up, so now we have water (yay, toilets!) and the fridges are running again. But we have to be really careful about everything else. We can use the toaster or the electric kettle or the microwave. I really had no good sense of how much I used the stove until I lost access to it. Also no TV, no radio, no hair dryer, certainly no washer or dryer. Or shower or bath. We use a candle in the bathroom instead of the lights. One light in the livingroom/kitchen, and I get to use a light in my room because I am truly night blind.

Hydro One (the power company for rural folk) keeps pushing back when we'll get power. It started out as Saturday night, then late Sunday night, now sometime Monday afternoon. I'm not holding my breath. I am, however, going to be missing Game of Thrones tonight. Bleh.

The good news is that the alpacas are all OK. The girls and babies were closed in their barn, but the boys had freer access to the outside. I did see a couple of the boys gingerly making their way across the ice-covered ground. Lots of damage all around the area, though.

Dar has had a buttload of medical tests (literally in the case of her colonoscopy last Wednesday), and Friday we get to hear all of the results put into - it is hoped - some concrete diagnoses and plan. We know that the colonoscopy results were A-OK, but the results of her upper GI tests won't be disclosed until Friday. Good thoughts, please.

I'm still waiting for my damn work visa to be renewed so I can get some tests and procedures done. It's over 22 months, guys. On June 4 it will be two years since my visa and healthcare expired. I'd say that's a wee bit excessive, wouldn't you?

Im not reading much anymore because I keep falling asleep. I've been trying to get through Mort (part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) for several months now. I bring it with me to read while I'm waiting for Dar to do her thing at the various units at the hospital in London, then fall asleep sitting upright in uncomfortable chairs before I get more than a few pages in. My life, she is exciting, no?

I went kind of overboard with The Walking Dead right near the end there. AMC reran the whole series every night for a week before the finale, and even before that they were rerunning the first season on Thursday(?) nights in b&w. Which I watched. As I watched the whole series rerun during the last week. It became so much a part of my world that I found myself looking for zombies in other TV shows. Like Boardwalk Empire. For god's sake, Nucky, don't just pull over to the side of road and start yelling! The walkers will hear you! I started getting a little concerned about our glass patio door. Way too easy to break down. Now I have until October to settle down.

I was initially concerned about Glenn Mazzara leaving as show runner, especially when I heard that he didn't like the direction that the creator (Robert Kirkland) wanted to take the show next season. But then I watched the episodes that the new guy (whose name I cannot remember right now) wrote - and they turned out to be my favorite episodes of the series. I'm going to have to trust based on that, because the finale had a big WTF moment at the end. But as I said … I'll trust.
We all know about my spotty memory, right? So this is more of an attempt at a list than a true reckoning, but I thought I'd play anyway. You'll notice that almost all of my "new" movies are old hat to everyone else. I have to wait for them to come to the movie channels.

Books
Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett
Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
The Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
Snuff - Terry Pratchett
The Folklore of Discworld - Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson
(I'm still only halfway through the Discworld books. I want to work on that this year.)
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Walking Dead: Compendium One - Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor - Robert Kirkman
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Lost City of Z - David Grann
The Lands of Ice and Fire - George R R Martin
Zoo Borns and Zoo Borns: The Next Generation (Yes, I'm counting those)
Drift - Rachel Maddow (but I'm still working on that one.)
Plus I reread all of Pratchett's Watch series and the first two of the witches series.

Movies
The Station Agent
The Hunger Games
Small Town Murder Songs
The King's Speech
Moneyball
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Melancholia
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (I & II)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
In Darkness
Silent House
Hanna
The Tree of Life
The Help
Appaloosa
Hidalgo
The Bridesmaids
Dream House
God of Love (Short film, won Oscar last year. Hysterical.)
Margin Call
The Ides of March
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
Jane Eyre
Shutter Island
2012
There are more, I'm sure, but that's all I can pull out of memory now. As you can see, there's a prominent lack of action movies, bro movies, and comedies in general.

And just for the hell of it: TV shows I loved last year.
Treme
Boardwalk Empire
Nashville
The River (yes, really)
The Walking Dead
Hell on Wheels
Project Runway
Game of Thrones
Nurse Jackie (Excellent season)
The Rachel Maddow Show
Up with Chris Hayes

Huh. Now that I see it all written out, I did pretty well for myself. Cool.
I was getting ready for bed, just checking LJ, and suddenly the Post an Entry popped up. Weird. OK, I'll give. Just a short one, though. Maybe with numbers.

1. Definitely with numbers.

2. I've been waiting to post something good, because I don't want to come on here just to post rants. Still waiting :)

3. Wait! I heard from Immigration. Or Dar did because I was out running errands when they called. They said that my application is in process. That's it. It's been 18 months since I sent my latest application in - you might remember that someone from Immigration had called to tell me that I was here illegally and had to start again (headdesk x 1000) - and all I get is "in process." Dar said that they probably really called to see if 1) I were still alive and 2) if so, if I had given up and gone back to the States. So, I don't know. I'm taking it as good news.

4. Many baby alpacas born. Two of them were miracle babies. One other died, and it broke our hearts. Two, possibly three, left to go. One, possibly two, will be born tomorrow because they were medically induced today. It's been a very weird year for everyone and their alpacas. We all suspect it's due to the extremely long, hot summer.

5. We've been in coat and jacket weather for a few weeks now. I really hope we're not going to jump from summer into winter over the course of a month.

6. I've discovered that I'm a very good salesperson for our alpaca products (yarn, hats, scarves, mittens, lots of kits). It turns out that I enjoy talking about alpacas. Who knew? Heh. Plus it just supports my belief that most people are pretty nice. I've had the two top sales days at our booth at the farmers market. But then I've also had a day when I've only made three sales. Now that the weather is cooler, more people are thinking about warm clothing and/or knitting. We fit that bill nicely.

7. Dar has become a master of the dye pot. I'm dead serious. She's developed a way to get various shades (depths?) of the same color on a skein of yarn. It's a beautiful effect. And her variegated dyed yarns are luscious. We have the dyed yarns right on the end of our shop that's nearest to the corridor, and they pull people into the shop like a giant magnet.

8. Considering that I work (volunteer) at a television review site, I actually don't watch much TV. If it weren't for AMC and HBO, I'd probably just tune in to the MSNBC political news at night. And Up With Chris Hayes on weekend mornings.

9. Pixel is getting very round. She looks like a Kliban cat. She's still my baby girl.

10. Now I'm going to bed. Night-night, guys.

I'll save the not-so-good stuff for another day. Aren't you the lucky ones :)
I keep bemoaning the lack of activity on LJ, but I'm one of the problems. There's a quote about trying vs. doing, and I think Yoda is somehow involved. Anyway - here we go.

1. My record of reviewing new shows and having them die a rapid death still holds. First there was The River, and now I have Missing. I can pick 'em. Actually I like both of those shows, warts and all, and I wish they could have another chance. Missing is still on, but the ratings are plummeting, and the word is it's to be canceled. It's really got a lot of potential; the story started off slowly, then became quite gripping. The acting is great. The locales are gorgeous. It suffers from horrible marketing. As did Prime Suspect, which was far and away my favorite new show. I'm still kind of bitter about that one.

I realized that I'm way outside of the mainstream fandoms (even though that sounds like an oxymoron). I never got into Bones or Castle or House; I tried, but none of them took. I hate Sherlock Holmes. (I don't care if Bumbersnatch is to die for. Get another role, please.) Fringe turned me off right from the get-go because they decided to go with lots of gore, at least in the beginning. It may be better now on that score; I know it's beloved by rabid fans, and it does sound really interesting, but it's waaaaay too late to jump into it now. I avoid Big Bang Theory. I have to leave the room when Sheldon is on: I've had roommates like him - they are in no way funny or endearing. However, I really, really like Leonard. Likewise, Chevy Chase's character drove me away from Community. I have a very low tolerance for assholes, especially on TV. Again: not funny, not endearing.

I don't actually watch a lot of fictional TV. Of course I'm damn near welded to the TV when Game of Thrones is on; the same goes for Treme and The Walking Dead. I also try not to miss Dexter or True Blood or Nurse Jackie (love!!). The thing all of those shows have in common? Short seasons and they're not on network television. That appears to be the way to my heart.

In bookish things, I'm almost finished with The Lost City of Z. What a page turner! It's a fascinating read, and it just astounds me that it's all true. It is nearly unbelievable what those explorers put themselves through. [livejournal.com profile] darlong has been on medical missions to the Amazon with Doctors without Borders, and she vouches for how deadly the area can be due to insects and parasites. I had to stop reading the book before bed because it was giving me nightmares.

Even more horrifying than the diseases that struck down so many explorers is the brutality that the European and later North American conquerors inflicted on the indigenous people in the Amazon. The stories of the horrors inflicted on those poor people - by the millions - is the true stuff of nightmares. How does anyone get to be that savage, that callous about another human life? Or about animals, for that matter? I'd like to think we've evolved beyond that point, but I'm not so sure we have.

I don't mean to make it sound as if it's a horror show from page one to the end, but it certainly has those elements to it. Mostly it's exciting and instructive, and now in the final chapters it's showcasing the reality of the people and tribes who were spared contact with the early (and more recent) invaders - their civilization and culture and their advanced knowledge of homeopathic medicine. Fawcett (the main subject of the book) was one of the first Europeans to spread the word about the real Amazon cultures and to try to change the prevailing perspective of the "natives" as being stupid, brutish, weak and sickly. He's a larger than life character, and they truly do not make them like that anymore.

Next up is Rachel Maddow's Drift (thank you again, [livejournal.com profile] caerwynx!). I've heard nothing but praise for this book - even by conservatives - and I kind of worship the ground she walks on, so I'm anticipating a great read.
I cannot believe that my brain is as wired as it is right now. Even our very nocturnal cats are all, "Will you go settle somewhere? We're trying to sleep here."

Things:
1. it's the coldest night we've had so far. The air temp without the wind chill is 1F/damncoldC. Yet it's supposed to 50F/10C the day after tomorrow.

2. We had a major wind storm Sat. night thru Sunday. Woke up to no power, which out here also means no water. I had every intention of filling the bathtub on Saturday before I went to bed. This I failed to do. Once everyone was up, we headed into town and the local McDonald's for free wifi for Dar, coffee and bad food for me. I had to take my morning pills, so that's what had to be done. Ran a few errands because we were out anyway. The electricity was out for 8+ hours, so it got just a tad chilly in the house.

3. When the power came back on, it surged. It took out the power plug for my TV satellite receiver, which I eventually figured out after a process of elimination and a lot of swearing. Fortunately we had a spare, so I got my TV back.

4. Not so lucky with the dishwasher, however. The surge fried the solenoid that opens up the seal that lets the water into it. This I did not discover until running the same load of dishes twice trying to get them clean and succeeding only in baking all that dried food onto everything. (This would not be the case if people would just rinse off their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or leaving them there for me to put in. But apparently rinsing off your dishes is an onerous task - Herculean, even - so it usually doesn't happen.) Anyway, it should maybe hopefully be fixed by mid week. So it's hand washing for me until then. I don't mind that much. I've been washing dishes daily for 58 years now, so it seems to be my lot, eh.

5. I knew that my camera battery was dying, but it is now officially dead. It was fully charged after the last time I used it. I got three pictures out of it today. Time to buy a new battery, I'd say.

6. My latest review for The River went viral. I have no idea why, but it's been viewed over 2,800 times the last time I checked. I in no way think it has to do with my writing; the hits are coming from Google searches, so there's something about the combo of the show and episode title that led people to it.

7. It also brought me my very first bitchy commenter :) I gave the episode a C; she liked it a great deal more than I did. So I got the "it must be so nice for you sitting back and critiquing other people's creativity. I'm sure everyone at the show is waiting on the edge of their chairs for you to tell them how to make the show better." I didn't want to harsh her buzz by saying how flattered I was that she thought anyone connected with the show would read my review. I just sent a simple reply that I'm glad that she enjoyed the episode; from what I'd been reading, public reaction was mixed, and ultimately I was rooting for the show because I do like it. No response yet. Heh.

8. [livejournal.com profile] darlong, in a protective mission to find out just who was dissing me, tracked her down on Facebook. Dar triumphantly told me that the commenter was a fan of Sarah Palin, so "what else could you expect, right?" That's my babycakes :)

9. The problem with living in such close quarters is that you can't really get up and do anything once insomnia hits. I could do laundry but the washer/dryer is right next to the bedrooms. I'd make tapioca pudding from scratch, but it's about now when Dar wanders out to sleep on the sofa (it's a chiari thing), and the kitchen/living room is just one big room.

10. Oh, look. Game of Thrones is on! OK, that should occupy me for a while.

Hope y'all have a great day ahead of my, my friends.
I love Grimm. Every week it just keeps getting better. It is quickly becoming my favorite show on TV right now, and it certainly is high on my list of all-time favorites. Everything about it is first rate - from the writing and casting right down to the lighting and the set decorations. So much thought goes into every episode in an effort to present a cohesive vision of the noir world of the Grimmverse. Plus the humor is organic; that's a big hook for me.

On a personal level, it's just fun to watch a show where so much German is spoken :) I squeed a bit tonight when Monroe said to Nick, "Bis spater, alligator." Pretty much, "See you later, alligator." My brother and I say that to each other all the time!

And then there's Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell). He's one of the freshest characters to come out of a writers' room in ages. Ages! I understand that the character was going to be more of a cynical loner until Silas did his audition. They were bowled over by his take on it, and the rest is history. I was saying elsewhere that I believe that Monroe is very soon going to join the ranks of the iconic one-named cult favorites like Spock and Sheldon.

The true example of my love is that for Grimm . . . I would go to a con.

Seriously, if you haven't watched it yet, check it out. If you only saw the first episode, give it another look; everyone settled into character and the whole feel of the show is just spot on.

Now I need to go find some damn Grimm icons.
There is snow everywhere; the sunshine is streaming in around the edges of the window shade in my room, and the Rocky cat is snoring happily next to me on my bed. CBC Radio 2 is playing a lovely assortment of choral music; I'm trying not to nod off to sleep amidst all of this contentment.

I've just come back from spending a few hours in Lancre with Granny, Nanny, Magrat, "our Shawn," and a truly vicious horde of Lords and Ladies. That's it for unread Discworld books in the house. Now what do I read? I have a gift certificate to Amazon.ca, but I'm having a lot of trouble deciding on what to order. Top choices: Catching Fire (the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy), The Lost City of Z (a true travel/adventure book about an expedition to the Amazon), or any number of still unread Discworld books. You see my dilemma. Of course it's not as though I get this one choice and then will never be able to order any other book ever again in my life - ever. But that's how it feels when it comes time to place an order. I don't have this trouble in an actual bookstore, only online. And that is why I am considered to be a classic neurotic. (I do love the classics.)

I have a job. Or at least a job title. I'm now Executive Producer at The Voice of TV. Dar is an executive producer, too; we have different specific duties but identical general ones. My stuff doesn't actually kick in until the new site is launched in March, at which time I'm supposed to be a liaison with various networks and studios, scheduling set visits and interviews and such like. I'll also continue with reviewing and editing. It is a nominal salary for the time being, but that's fine with me. It's interesting, and it keeps me off the street corners.

I'm reviewing The River on ABC right now. Have you seen it? I like it, but then I like horror stories. This show is not a gore-fest, for which I am very thankful, but it has a wonderful eeriness, and they make great use of sound and all of those multiple camera angles. There are some squeamish moments for me - it takes place in the Amazon, so there are big bugs. Do not do big bugs. But other than that, I'm enjoying it.

I'm gearing up to review Game of Thrones when it returns April 1. I guess that the producers are sticking with GoT as the series name; the actual second book is Clash of Kings, and the whole story series is A Song of Ice and Fire, but I think most viewers haven't read the books.

Next up for reviewing is Missing, again on ABC; it stars Ashley Judd and Sean Bean! And you'll never guess what happens to Sean Bean's character in the very first episode. He gets killed! No, really! Hahahahahaha. That's no spoiler; it's built right into the story line, btw. But just the thought of Sean Bean's character being killed again . . . I just have to watch this show. And they're going to have to update the Sean Bean Death Reel.

In not so amusing death news, the oldest alpaca on the farm died on Jan 31. Daniel belonged to Deb, and he was one of the top alpaca studs in Canada. He'd been sick for a good part of the winter, but Dar nursed him back to health. We were all breathing sighs of relief that he was back to his old grumpy, adorable self when he suddenly just dropped dead. We think it was a heart attack or stroke. The only good news is that he went very quickly, and he went while he was grazing in the winter sun. We miss him terribly. As does our white suri boy, Ozzie, who lived in the paddock next to Daniel, and who was his best friend. After Daniel's body was taken away, Ozzie paced the fence line, crying. Dar let him into Daniel's paddock; Ozzie searched around Daniel's little house for him, and then sniffed out where Daniel died. He spent some time there and then went back to his own paddock. You cannot tell me that these aren't sensitive creatures.

The rest of the alpacas are doing well. It's been a relatively mild winter here, for which we're thankful on the alpacas' behalf. Most of the adult females are seven or eight months pregnant now, and Dar said she's seen cris movement in some of the pregnant moms. We should start seeing babies popping out in late May.

I haven't even picked up my camera in weeks. It hasn't been the greatest winter for me as far as health goes. I went completely off prednisone in late November:just in time for the cold, windy, wet weather to kick in. My joints were not pleased. Then I got hit with the world's longest lasting cold last month. It just finished with me a few days ago. Not that health was the only reason for not using my camera. The battery is going on it, and it's not working all that well. I really want a new camera, and I'm hoping to get one in a few months. I'd like to go back to a smaller Canon. We'll see.

And that's about it for now. Oh, hey, I just realized that I do have one more Discworld book squirreled away: Wintersmith. And The Walking Dead compendium, too. I can has books! To read, it is good.

The rest of the alpacas are doing well.
I never thought I'd get to the point where I'd only be posting every few weeks, but here I am. If thoughts could flow from my mind onto the screen, I'd have been spamming y'all from here to hell and back. Instead I wait for the confluence of time, energy, and a working internet connection. Tonight the stars, as they say, are aligned.

I think I mentioned that the screen on my MacBook is kaput. It's a stylish deep black, which is lovely but hardly functional. I have an old Samsung monitor hooked up to it; the down side is that the connecting plug falls out if I breathe wrong. Some days I swear I'm just going to Crazy Glue the damn thing in place, but then my rational side takes over, and I pick up the stupid plug from off the floor and reinsert it. Along with this comes my "now you have it, now you don't" internet connection. I keep the network diagnostics window open so I can watch the internet connection button flicker merrily back and forth from red to green. It kind of drains the fun from the whole internet experience sometimes, but, as my journal title declares, I am an internet junkie :)

I think I've also mentioned that I was writing reviews for Hell on Wheels for The Voice of TV. The series ended its first season a week ago Sunday, and it feels weird not to be filing a review on a Monday morning. It was scary to leap into review writing, but I ended up enjoying it. It was the one form of writing that had always given me trouble; I'd end up writing a recap instead of a review. I hate not doing something simply because it frightens me, so I took the time to study a raft of different reviews by writers I admire and took that leap of faith. It worked out pretty well, I think. My reviews didn't have a huge following (usually around 185 readers), but one of them was Tiffany Vogt, who is a bit of a big deal. That's flattering. Next up is Game of Thrones. Yay! The tricky part, having read the books, will be avoiding all those, "OMG, guys, wait until you see what happens next!" moments :) I may end up doing The River, too. It's a mystery/thriller/supernatural story by the people who brought you Paranormal Activity.

Oh! I got my brother addicted to The Walking Dead! For a while I was getting frequent emails titled "TWD Stupid Question of the Day." Heh. He went out and bought the first trade, but he's watching S2 on Comcast On Demand, and they're slowly doling out the episodes. He should be just about at the mid-season finale, and I'm dying to hear his reaction. That was one hell of an episode, even if you knew what was coming.

Speaking of scary stuff, I've been watching the GOP primary race. I . . . it's insane. I'm all bruised from my jaw hitting the floor so often. I've become a serial sputterer. I'm just holding on to the thought that the audiences at those debates are an extreme subset of average Republicans, and the majority is not fooled by those hateful idiots running for the nomination.

OK, complete change of subject. I need suggestions on what to eat for breakfast. Dar has been reading a few studies that are linking gluten to autoimmune diseases including lupus and Sjogren's. Every morning I have one whole wheat English muffin: half with peanut butter and apricot or peach jam, and half with veggie cream cheese. Here's the deal: I need to get a decent serving of protein and fiber; it has to be filling enough to counter the nausea that comes with my morning meds, but not so much that it gives me nausea from having eaten too much. (The reason why I do half peanut butter and half cream cheese is that too much of either gives me nausea.) Oh, and I've reached the point where swallowing even tiny pills is difficult, so I chew almost all of my meds. That means that breakfast has to be able to cancel the bitterness of the pills. So - what do you think? Also, keep in mind that I'm in a rural area; salsa is considered exotic.

The cats are fine. The alpacas are mostly fine; it's been terribly cold and windy lately, so we have coats on a couple of the more vulnerable ones, and we're terribly worried about Daniel, who is the oldest alpaca here. Dar is doing her best; he gets better then relapses a bit. He's not having a good day, but we're hoping he starts to bounce back tomorrow. And speaking of bouncing - or not - Dar took a bad fall on the ice a few days ago and bruised her tailbone. Scared the crap out of me when I looked out the window and saw her lying on the laneway. Damn ice. Damn winter. Just a few more months, and things should start to improve. We can do this!
1. Damn, it was cold today. Blowing snow at times, but then the sun would come out and it would melt. Fifteen minutes later, it would snow again. Then sun. Repeat a hell of a lot of times. It ended with snow squalls.

2. Because the weather has been on the mild side for this time of year, we hadn't completely winterized the alpaca stuff yet. One of the hoses froze, and some of the boys' buckets had ice on them. It's going to warm up again starting tomorrow, so it's not going to be horrible for them again before we can set things to rights.

3. Poor [livejournal.com profile] darlong didn't have the best birthday today. The weather was crappy (which affects her neurologically), she forgot to put eggs into the cupcake batter (but she rescued them and they were delicious!), and our gift to her - business cards for her position with The Voice of TV - turned out to have outdated information because the site is changing, like now. I felt terrible about that.

4. NBC is pulling Prime Suspect. I'm watching it now, and it's so damn good. They say they're not canceling it, but I don't trust TV networks any more. It kills me that there is absolute drek that's been renewed, and top-flight shows like this can't pull in viewers. I think it was Barnum who said you'll never go broke underestimating the American people.

5. I think I've maxed out on the news. There's only so much outrage and anxiety that I can take in, you know? Well, at least for a few days.

6. I have a letter waiting for me at the local post office. It's addressed to Lee Anna . . . that's my official paperwork name here in Canada (everyone else uses Lee) I don't have a good feeling about this, but I'm trying to just put it out of mind until I can actually open it. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I'm really a bit of a Luddite when it comes to social media. I can barely use Facebook, and I wouldn't know how to attract followers on Twitter if my life depended on it. (And who wants hordes of strangers following them, anyway? Besides, obviously, most of the world. [Introverts Unite!]) I'm even at a most basic user level on LJ - and I've been here for over seven years. (Holy crap.) But here I am, trying to get you to use GetGlue. And why? Because the networks pay attention to this little piece of internet real estate.

As I may have mentioned a time or a dozen, I love Prime Suspect. I know that some of you love it, too. And we who love Prime Suspect are worried that it will be canceled because it's getting low Nielsen ratings. But now, with GetGlue, there's a new game in town. You log in to GetGlue and "check in" with Prime Suspect; there's a running tally of how many people have checked in. You can leave a comment about the show, or you can just leave it at the default: "I am watching Prime Suspect." You can reply or rate the other comments, too. (I seem to get a lot of "So and so thinks this comment is funny.") The great thing is that you can check in whenever you're watching it - real time, download, DVD. It all adds up. And then there are the stickers.

Dar is the one who explained GetGlue to me. I'd seen a couple friends post on FB that they were watching such-and-such on GetGlue. I thought it was something akin to Netflix. I still wasn't sold, so she tried to lure me in with the stickers. They are a big deal over there. I was thinking they all had glitter and rainbows, perhaps tiny ponies. I scoffed. But then I started getting stickers while I was checking in - and it was kind of neat. Some of them are handed out based on your activity (Checked in four times for this show? Here's a fan sticker!), and some of them are kind of random (Hey, we've decided to hand out stickers during this episode's check in!). The cool thing is that the stickers are designed by the shows and their networks, so they're really pretty nice looking and appropriate to the show. They stay in a virtual list in your account until you acquire twenty of them, at which point they will mail you the actual stickers free of charge. Mine are in the mail, and I'm expecting them any day now :)

This isn't solely for TV, either. Books, movies, politicians, music, etc. etc. - I think they have things pretty well covered. I checked in with Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum page when I started reading the book a few days ago, and I had a laugh at the witty comments other fans had left. (Favorite comment: Time I visited again with The Maiden, The Mother, and . . . the other one.)

So. Go support your show. It doesn't have to be Prime Suspect, of course. God knows we've all had shows pulled out from under us. That's how many of us bonded. *sighFireflysigh* I just think it's a neat way for us to be proactive. And, you know, get stickers.
I've started watching network TV. I know! I love Prime Suspect to little itty-bitty pieces, and it just keeps getting better and more comfortable in its skin every week. The cast is uniformly excellent, and I want to track down whoever does casting for the extras and the small speaking parts and give her/him a big ol' bear hug. Just outstanding work on that usually overlooked part of series television.

Tonight I checked out the premiere for Grimm, and I truly enjoyed it. The lead actor needs to loosen up a bit (and I think he will), but everything else was great. The visuals! Holy crap, they were gorgeous. It had a cinematic feel to it - deep colors, shadows, and some surprisingly witty little moments. (Hummels! VWs!) The dialogue was good, but given that David Greenwalt wrote it, that's to be expected. I'll be back for more.

(Just as an aside, when I was a kid I had the complete collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Hard cover. Illustrated. Those stories were not for the faint of heart, but I loved them. They didn't frighten me, but they definitely put a different spin on the world. I wonder if they're even offered as children's literature anymore?)

I also watched "Once Upon a Time." Yeah, it's about 180 degrees from Grimm, but I thought it was fairly enjoyable. I think kids would like it. It's nothing I'll make a point of watching, but if it's on and I'm not doing anything else, I'll tune in. The biggest problem for me is that the casting is very Hollywood. I can't tell the women apart, and the same goes for the leading men. Why do they do that? There really are different kinds of facial bone structure, you know. Yeesh.

I watch Suburgatory with Dar, because she's reviewing it for The Voice of TV. It's very uneven, and frankly, it's dull and flat as dirt when it concentrates on the daughter. But it has its moments, especially when it centers on the neighbor, Dallas. She's my favorite character, but she has to be carefully written, or she just comes across as a bimbo. So, see to it, writers.

Now having said all of that, I'm predicting that Subpurgatory and Once Upon a Time will make the cut, and Grimm and my beloved Prime Suspect will get the axe. Because that's the way it works with me and network TV.
While I'm waiting for my battery to run down so I can plug it in and while I have a stable internet connection - a little catch up on what's been happening.

We spent many, many hours in the local ER (spread across two days), because Mark had intractable head and neck pain for a week prior to getting medical attention. Of course thoughts went to meningitis, stroke, aneurysm, brain tumor , all the bad stuff. It turned out to be a subluxated disk (C2?) from coughing so forcefully when he had a cold a few weeks ago. The disk was pressing on a nerve which in turn became more and more inflamed. He was put on a short course of high dosage prednisone, and it's mostly cleared up. There were some other health problems found during various exams and tests, and the bottom line is that he really, really needs to start taking care of himself. We'll see if that happens.

As that was happening, Dar got a call from her son that Little Cat was very sick. (Dar rescued a very fragile Little Cat when she was practically a newborn and nursed her to health. Little went to live with Dar's son a few years ago when we had so many cats that she just couldn't handle it.) It seemed at first as if Little (an indoor/outdoor kitty) was hit on the head; she had a big lump on top, and a few days later she became lethargic. Then the bump started to ooze pus. Then she went blind, lost her sense of smell, and started a manic pacing around the house. Off to the emergency vet went Dar, Oliver, and Little Cat; Mark (who had to drive, because I had to stay home to do chores) slept in the waiting room. It turned out that she inhaled the larvae of a bot fly; the larvae usually hatch and work their way out of the body by boring up through the skin, but occasionally they get lost and end up in the brain. (The vet said they've been seeing a lot of cases of this in urban areas, so please be advised.) High doses of prednisone for Little and sedatives so she could sleep; she's improving daily. We all really thought she was going to die.

Happily for us, [livejournal.com profile] sffan was visiting, and she saved our butts frequently over the week. She pitched in for chores like she did it for a living, and that helped us out tremendously. Our friend, Skye, also volunteered to drive up and help us (me) once SF had gone back to Toronto. Poor Skye - she was going to a benefit dinner immediately afterward, but it was raining while we were doing chores, and she left here with soaking wet jeans.

I realized at one point that I was the only around who could drive. If I took a header (and I was feeling poorly, too, at the time), we were sunk. Mark was too sick; Dar has a fused neck and is legally blind; Deb was gone (as were our friends down the road), and SF doesn't know how to drive. I told her that the next time she comes to visit, I am dragging her to an empty parking lot and getting her behind the wheel. She doesn't have to be a great driver, but if she's here during an emergency (and let's face it - we have a lot of those), then I want her to know at least how to accelerate, brake, and basically keep the car on the road. She unenthusiastically agreed :)

We spent about three days in the beautiful glow of autumn, and now we're on to winter. This is completely unfair, and I hate it. I was hoping to get out and take some pics of the foliage, but the week was taken up with medical emergencies. By the time that all settled down, the rain and high winds moved in; now almost all of the trees are bare, and we're trying to remember where we put our winter work clothes.

I'm down to 1/2 mg of prednisone; I'll be done completely with it in 3 1/2 weeks. Yikes. I take 1 mg every other day now, and on those days when I take none, it feels . . . scary is probably the best word. It's been a lately ineffective talisman, and I've hated the side effects, but it's also been a bit of a security blanket, because maybe it will start working again, and I'll start to feel better. I know that's not going to happen, but you get these irrational hopes, you know?
'
I told you that my monitor died, right? I'm using an old Samsung monitor hooked up to my laptop. That's working out OK, and I'm getting spoiled by the large screen and large font. However, just to add to the mess, my internet connection is now ridiculously unstable. I keep the diagnostic window open all of the time so I can tell if I've dropped the connection or if everything is slow (or not loading at all) for some other reason. While I've been writing this, I've been watching the button next to the Internet line flicker merrily back and forth between green and red. Mostly it's stayed green tonight; I think because the winds have died down. I don't know; I'm just making stuff up as I go along. Some days I can barely keep a connection, so if I'm not commenting, that's the reason.

I'm hoping that AMC will rerun the opener for The Walking Dead before the next episode airs on Sunday. I missed a lot of it because I was exhausted and not feeling all that well; it was hard to concentrate, and I kept muting it when there was screaming - which was pretty frequently. I did like what I saw, though. Oh - I tried to post a link to a youtube video, but I couldn't get it to copy. Please do yourselves a favor and seek out "The Walken Dead." A little bit of genius, that.

And that's it for the highlights. I hope that life has been dealing well with you. I know the answer is "Not so much" for a few of you, and you're in my thoughts. I had this small epiphany this morning; I realized that I no longer ask that things go better with me (us); now I just ask that they don't get any worse. I think that's some kind of growth. Acceptance, perhaps. Or maybe desperation? Ha :)
I kinda sorta have my internet connection back. If I'm online in the living room, the connection to the network will wonk out every once in a while, and I'll have to reset it. I keep the network diagnostics window open all of the time now, to make the whole process easier. If I'm in my bedroom, I have to pretty much contort myself to keep the laptop in line with whatever connection voodoo is making its way here and in a position where I can see the external monitor. So far it's working.

For the first time in over two weeks I went outside to do the afternoon alpaca chores. It's amazing how quickly I can get out of shape. The good news is that I made it through without triggering an asthma attack - and that hasn't happened in months. I'm very psyched about it all. Plus it was great to see the fleecey guys again. They're still goofballs :)

I watched Terra Nova last night, and I was bored, bored, very bored. And I'm pretty sure that they recycled the sound effects from Hitchcock's The Birds. I'll probably not bother to try to catch it again.

In my romp through the Discworld, I've just started on Witches Abroad. God, I love those old ladies. And Magrat :) This is my eleventh Discworld book, and while not strictly in order for all the written material, I'm reading the different serials in order, i.e. the witches and the watch series. Then I'll go back and fill in where I can when I can.

And now I'm going to watch Glee. I know. I can barely believe it myself.
Hey, guys! I have been noticeably absent from LJ. (Or at least I'm going to flatter myself that y'all have noticed my absence.) | am just now crawling out from under what is colloquially known as The Trifecta of Suck. 1) My body is going wonky from the loss of cortisol supplied by prednisone 2) I developed pneumonia, and 3) the screen on my laptop died, so it's basically become a big, black paper weight.

I'm still waiting out the cortisol deficiency; I'm hoping that things will start to improve soon, because this can get pretty crazy without any warning at all. It makes straying too far from home, shall we say, exciting. I saw my doctor on Thursday after two weeks of violent coughing (I kept waiting for it to improve on its own), and she confirmed that it had developed into pneumonia. The whole household has been sick - and that's including one of our cats (Holmes) and Deb downstairs. |The doctor prescribed Zithromax (my very favorite antibiotic), and there's a major improvement. Still some coughing and wheezing, but much, much better than earlier in the week.

After being computer-less for many days, Dar kindly let me use her little Acer laptop. I think she kind of regrets it because it's Windows 7, and it's making me insane. Loudly insane, I might add. Just posting this is taking much longer than you'd think, because the cursor has a mind of its own, and the screen scrolls just for the hell of it (apparently). But you know - it's computer access, and I am very grateful. Really. So we're off to an Apple reseller about an hour away to buy a cable to connect my Mac laptop to an old Samsung monitor we have hanging around. It's going to anchor the laptop to one location (probably the kitchen table), but, hey - I've used a desktop computer for many years before I had a laptop. I shall survive.

I've checked out a few of the new TV shows. I am madly, deeply in love with Prime Suspect. Maria Bello is flawless as Jane Timoney, newly transferred to an NYC homicide squad. God, I adore Jane. I want her to be real, and I want to hang out with her. Please, check out this show (Thursday night, 10PM, NBC, repeating Saturday night at 9PM). It can use the buzz and the viewership. I'm afraid it's going to be another case of an excellent and critically acclaimed show being canceled because no one besides me and a handful of others is watching.

I checked out Terra Nova; it's OK. Love the dinosaurs :) Hate the stupid teenage boy subplot, but that's their main demographic, so I'll live with it. Stephen Lang - a longtime favorite of mine - is looking kind of . . . ill. He doesn't look slim as much as he looks unhealthily skinny. I hope that he's OK. Watched Person of Interest because Dar is reviewing it for The Voice of TV; I can take it or leave it. Michael Emerson is an actor who is always worth watching, and I usually like Jim Caviezel, but the story isn't really grabbing me. Checked out Suburgia (again because Dar is reviewing it) and was pleasantly surprised. I usually hate sitcoms, but this was clever and it has the added bonus of no laugh track. Also, I kinda love whoever is playing neighbor lady Dallas. Very nice job of walking a line between obnoxious stereotype and quirky individual.

And for no reason I can detect, the font size just went to gigantic, and I'm typing part of this blind because it goes off the screen. Hoping I'll be back online soon with my old mac.
1. It went down to 1C/33F last night. Dar and I got pelted with ice stuff while trying to wrangle Sandstorm back into the paddock yesterday. (He's quite the Houdini, that little boy.) Dar says it was hail, but I think it was sleet. Four days ago we were frying with the heat and humidity, and today I was rummaging around looking for a warm jacket.

2. We did very well at the Knitters' Fair last Saturday. From opening until about 3PM (it closed at 4:30PM), we were constantly busy. There would literally just be a matter of seconds when no customers were at our booth. The big sellers were the items that Dar had come up with - various types of hand-dyed yarns, kits for crocheting rugs, and kits for thrum mittens. Those last items were just about flying out the door, as they say. Dar had knitted up one demonstration model of the mitten, and we kept having to toss it to each other across the crowded booth, because everyone wanted to try it on. It got pretty funny. Dar will be knitting another demo mitten before our next show :)

3. [livejournal.com profile] puffgirl_two is here for a visit from Toronto. It was very warm when she left home, so she didn't pack for the sudden cold spell we've been having. Poor girl :) We've supplied socks, shoes, and a jacket so she doesn't freeze when she steps outside. The weather system is very like that in New England - very changeable.

4. OK, really (rereading that second to last sentence) - how many of you have given up on the serial comma? I just can't bring myself to let it go.

5. I'm down to 1.5 mg of prednisone a day now, and my body is not happy about this. My asthma has become very, very twitchy, and I never know what is going to set it off. Pretty much any strong scent, that's for sure. I've had to get changed out of my newly laundered pajamas, because the scent of the detergent was setting off my asthma. Perfumes, cleaners, dyes, the alpacas' urine, cat urine, some litters, wet hay, dry hay, damp grass, newly mowed grass, even mildly spicy foods, night air . . . loads of stuff. Oh yeah, and the liquid manure (a mixture of pig and turkey manure) that the neighboring farmer has been spreading copiously around his land. Oh, and dust. This is problematic because I have a dusty room. I need to dust my dusty room, but that just stirs up the dust. You see my conundrum. Although now that the farmer has quit with the liquid manure, I can open the windows; that should help with the dust. That and wear my face mask. Which I wear when I do chores now. Sigh.

6. To go along with the asthma, my body's ability to control my body temperature is just fubar. I overheat very suddenly, and it gets quite scary. It's happened a number of times - always without warning - and I'm suddenly weak and dizzy, confused, burning up, and my heart is racing. If I lie down and cool off, everything returns to normal in about 30 minutes. Conversely, my body temperature can plummet just as unexpectedly. It's been quite the ride.

7. This is in addition to the usual nonsense (pain and fatigue); it means that I'm not doing chores on a daily basis, and then it's a reduced number of chores. I'm not happy. I like doing chores. I like working outside. (OK, not in bad weather, but you know what I mean.) I love working with the alpacas. I also feel guilty as hell watching Dar do the majority of the work out there. Dar says that my body will be wonky for at least another year as it tries to adapt to the loss of the corticosteroids I've been taking. I'm trying to keep myself open to the changes, trying to adapt and roll with them, but I admit that I'm nervous about what may be coming my way.

8. OK! In more pleasant news, I'm about halfway finished with Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Let's just say that I'm inclined to adopt two more female cats and name them Esme and Gytha. I'm also anxiously awaiting the publication of Snuff. It'll be released Oct. 13 in Great Britain, but I don't know how long we'll have to wait to get it here. Not very long, I hope.

9. A little pimping before I go. Dar has become very involved with a TV review site called The Voice of TV. It was started by a young man in the Netherlands, and Erwin's done a great job of building it up. It's grabbed the notice of several of the networks, and everyone is working very hard to make this a success. Dar does a number of reviews there, and I'll be reviewing Hell on Wheels and Game of Thrones when they start their respective runs. Check the site out, please. Sign up. Hell, maybe you'd be interested in reviewing a show that the site doesn't cover yet. It's volunteer status right now, but perks include screeners for the shows and the possibility of interviews with the cast and producers. And the occasional set visit. (Dar was at the Suits set, watching the shooting, meeting the cast.) Just throwing that out there.

10. I made it to ten! Bed time for this Bonzo. I hope that y'all have a great weekend ahead of you.
It's been a very busy week or so. Dar's daughter M is starting at the University of Guelph this week, and we spent a lot of last week helping her get ready and then moving her into her new apartment. She's renting a basement bedroom/bathroom set-up from the woman who owns the condo. It's a nice place, and it's close to a lot of things to which she'll need access. Of course we had a bout of horribly hot and humid weather during all of that, but she's in and settled, and that's what matters.

Dar is dealing with the empty-nest thing by working herself like crazy getting yarn/rovings/product ready for the two venues our fiber consortium will be attending this weekend. She's really turning into an expert dyer; she's taken skeins of yarn that weren't selling and dyed them in variegated fall colors. They're gorgeous! I'll see if I can get some halfway decent pictures of them. She's also been using some of that dyed yarn to knit alpaca-lined mittens, and they're beautifully soft and warm and luscious looking. Plus she crocheted throw rugs and made up kits to sell. In her spare time, you know. If the consortium makes a lot of sales this weekend, most of the credit will be due to her.

And while she's been busy as a very busy thing, I've been kind of laying low for the past few days. Oh, I did a lot of driving and moving and helping with M, and I've been looking after Deb's cats while she's been on vacation, but I've also been having some serious asthma attacks, so I've been keeping away from the barns and also away from the kitchen where Dar is using all those dyes. I had a bad scare a few days ago, and since then I've just learned not to push myself too hard right now.

It seems that prednisone was masking a few health issues that I thought were under control - asthma being one of the big ones. Now that I'm nearly off the pred, I'm having to get control of the asthma again. It hasn't helped that the air quality has been awful recently (smog, we still have it), and the surrounding farms have been harvesting (grain dust)and then laying down liquid manure (very stinky chemicals). Plus lots of rain and moldy grass and hay everywhere. So - it's not surprising, just annoying.

I don't think I'm going to survive the election season in the US. I'm a news addict, in case you didn't know, and since we got our internet back, it seems I spend every spare minute glued to twitter, reading scores of links about issues national and international. I scare myself sometimes, but I'm rather well informed :)

I need another book. More Pratchett, definitely. I've finished the first three Discworld books, and now I'm rereading some of the Watch series just for fun. I need to get to a Chapters and find something new (to me).

The new TV season is nearly upon us, but I'm not all that psyched for it. There are a few shows that I want to check out (Person of Interest, Prime Suspect, Terra Nova), and one that I'll be reviewing for The Voice of TV. It's a new show on AMC called "Hell on Wheels," which makes me laugh because [livejournal.com profile] cajoje had said that her fantasy roller derby name would Helen Wheels. Heh. But this is not the roller derby show I was hoping it would be; it's a post-Civil War revenge Western that takes place somewhere along the laying of the transcontinental railroad. Sounds interesting, and being as how I was brought up with cowboy shows on TV, I love me some Westerns. I'm hoping it will be a good fit.

And now I must hie me to bed. It takes me - without exaggeration - 35 minutes to get to bed. There are routines (flossing! meds!) and traditions (cats. must. have. catnip! omg!) And the washing and the brushing and the getting of water and . . . by the time I hit the sheets, I'm kind of wired. May an easier sleep be yours, my dears :)
I just got into LJ. I'm guessing that there are still people who are locked out, mostly because I don't want to believe that I was the last one in :)

Huh. Lady Gaga is performing on So You Think You Can Dance as I type this. It's the first time I've seen her perform. OK, she's good, but I don't get the adulation. But then I'm old. And speaking of SYTYCD, I am loving this season. Melanie! Marko! Sasha! Tadd! That's my top four, and I'd be happy with either Melanie or Sasha winning. No, I take that back. I think Melanie should win. Did you see that leap she did last night? It literally took my breath away. The courage and passion that took - it boggles my mind.

We had a surprise baby yesterday. Conchita had a little boy! It didn't seem like she was in labor, so Dar and I took off into Waterloo to run a bunch of errands. We were about 15 minutes away on our way home when Dar got the call that a new cria was seen in the pasture. Uh-oh! We zoomed home to find this lovely brown baby boy. It was a hot and humid day, and he was dehydrated but otherwise OK. Dar got him back up to speed with liquids, and today he's nursing like a champ and trotting around checking everything out. I have pictures which I will try to post.

We got the heat wave up here, too. That surprised my brother; he thought we never got hot weather. Ha! Would that it were so. With the humidity, the temps were around 100 each day. Most of the time we had at least a breeze, sometimes a wind, but then there were the calm days when it was just grueling to move. Doing that many days without access to a/c took a toll. Dar (who has chiari) was having some brutal headaches due to the humidity; I was having a hard time dealing with the heat because of lupus. But we did it, and the alpacas made it through, too. Today was massively humid, but at least it was mostly cloudy so the temperatures didn't go as high as they could have.

Don't I lead a fascinating life?

I'm about halfway through A Dance with Dragons. It's certainly the darkest of the books, and I find that it can't be the last thing I read before I try to go to sleep. I switch over to the City Watch books from Terry Pratchett before I nod off, because I'd rather dream of the Night Watch than the Night's Watch. Although I would kill for a collaboration between Pratchett and Martin on a crossover between those two groups. Vimes and Carrot on the Wall! Nobby, Colon, and Sam! Gaspode and Ghost! C'mon - it's perfect :) Seriously, I wish I had my writing joint back, because that would make for some great stories.

I just heard tonight that HBO will only commit to 10 episodes per season because of the intricacies of the production. My heart sank. There is no way they can do the series that slowly. The stories expand and intertwine and diverge and add so many new characters that it will take a decade to get even most of it in, and there is no way they can follow the arcs with Arya and Bran over that length of time. The young actors are going to age way past the point that they continue to play those characters. Ah, it makes me sad.

Other things. I drove Dar to a nearby farm to check on a pair of alpacas who had been doing poorly in early spring. What a cool place it turned out to be. The couple who live there love animals, so they have their own little menagerie. There were the two alpacas (who are doing very well now), two llamas (one of whom seems to be pretty pregnant, much to the surprise of the owners), a donkey, a pony, pigs, cattle, chickens, two farm cats, a newly adopted quartet of the cutest kittens ever, and an older girl dog named Spot who has the patience of a saint. One of the kittens took to Spot like a magnet to metal; at one point the kitten had wrapped all four of her legs around one of Spot's front legs, and used it to hoist herself up enough to chew on Spot's ear. Spot just kind of sighed and took it. BTW, Spot looks to be a beagle/basset hound mix. Kind of soulful-looking and low to the ground. It was adorable. All of the animals are well cared for, and outside of the alpacas who have their own fenced-in enclosure next to everyone else, all live peaceably with each other. It was fun to visit.

And what the hell is going on back in the States? I've been following things pretty closely, and I can barely believe that things have come to this pass so quickly. I don't understand why the Democrats won't stand up to the Republicans. The conservatives have trashed the country that I knew, and they seem intent on bringing it to a total collapse. Why won't someone stop them? There are still a few moderate Republicans left, and even the bluest of Blue Dog Dems should be sicked and frightened by the rapid attacks - and victories! - against women's rights, workers' rights, and the basics of a compassionate civil society. I'm heartbroken.

OK, now I have to shake this off somehow. City Watch to the rescue, I think. I just bought Jingo. Maybe I'll just leaf through the book and find the pages that have Lady Sybil in them. Truth be told, she's my favorite character of them all. I adore her, and I cherish Pratchett for bringing her to life.

Yup, that's the note to end on. (On which to end, OK?) Heh.
Well, according to a pair of starlings trying to build in a nest in our barbecue I am. I feel pretty bad about it, too. They had quite the stockpile going there when I cleared it out today. We'd been watching them for a few days now, flying in with beaksful of straw and hay and grass. The hood is down on the barbecue (which is on the deck right outside the kitchen), so they've been crawling in under the vent. Dar had cleaned it out a few times, but then we got busy and ignored it for a few days. I didn't want it to get so advanced that the female would actually lay some eggs there, so I cleaned it out this morning and put the cloth cover on the unit. (There's so much vegetation in there that we'll have to burn it out to get it really clean.) Very unhappy starlings! I feel like a monster, and I hope that they find a more suitable site very soon.

We have three crias on the farm now. The third one (from another of Deb's huacaya girls) was born this afternoon; it's a cold and windy day, so the baby had to be dried with a blow dryer and rubbed with towels and outfitted with a cria coat. Dar had to help with the birth again, but the little boy is extremely strong and vigorous. He was up on his feet within 20 minutes! Mom wasn't that interested in him at first, and I had to lure her back into the barn with him by feeding her alfalfa bits. They finally bonded, and he's nursing like a champ. For now, his name is Harley.

Our little suri girl, Buffy, is a week old now. Her little huacaya pal, Ezra, is five days old. Yesterday they discovered how much fun running is. It's like a light suddenly goes on, and zoom - they're off! God, they're so adorable at this age. You can see them tearing around the paddocks, in and out of the barn, followed by two anxious mothers moaning the alpaca equivalent of, "Stop that! You're going to hurt yourself!" I expect that Harley will be joining them very soon.

In less adorable news, my car is on its last leg/cylinder/tire. There's so much wrong with it that when I drop it off at the garage tomorrow, I'll be asking for a priority list of what we absolutely need to fix and what we can continue to put off for a while or until we can get another vehicle. It's a 2002 Mazda with over 160,000 miles on it, so it owes me nothing. But still, it's my baby car, right?

I finished reading Game of Thrones last night. I wanted to go into the last two episodes of the series knowing what was coming. Yow! I plan to be impressed with how they're going to do all of that in two episodes. I really loved the book, and now I have to be on the lookout for the next book in the series. I'll tell you, if I had had an e-reader, I would have downloaded that sucker immediately. As it is, I'll have to wait for a few days.

So You Think You Can Dance is back on TV! Yay! This looks like an extraordinary year, and I'm especially impressed with the female dancers. They're usually overshadowed by the boys, but this year they can more than hold their own. And if nothing else, Cat Deeley is back on my screen, and that's cause for celebration right there. Why she hasn't won an award for best host(ess) is a complete mystery to me. She's Cat Deeley, people!

On the medical side of things, since I've stopped taking the evil metoclopramide, my blood pressure has returned to normal. My last pressure was 126/80, and that's just about perfect for me. If it continues to stay good, I can try quitting my anti-hypertension meds. That would be wonderful. I'm getting ready to drop down to 4.5 mg of prednisone daily. I've never been able to get lower than 4 mg, so the next few months should be interesting. My doctor and I have been working on some pain control, so I'm trying to be optimistic. Watch me try! Try, mays, try. Heh.

Almost time for Game of Thrones. Yay. Time to get out the headphones. Yes, really. Otherwise I miss some of the dialogue, and I don't want to have to blast the TV.

Hope you're having a good one, guys.

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