Only a Semi-Abandon Blog

I don’t mean to not post! I just don’t get around to it.

So instead of writing, I am:

  • Rewatching Star Trek: TNG on Netflix. Actually Leaf started it a year ago? And I thought it was a good idea! So yeah, rewatch. Season 1 wasn’t so great…like it hadn’t hit its stride and was a bit uneven. I think so far the second half of the second season has been on an upswing. Recently, we’ve met the Borg! “Q Who” was a Borg and Q episode, together! I was excited. Edited to add: Ben mentions that Star Trek: The Next Generation is also available (and in HD) on Prime Instant Video. I fell asleep last night after like 1.5 episodes!
  • Other shows I recommend watching: Orphan Black, The Wire (available on Amazon Prime), and Daredevil (fun, I thought, but not deep?).
  • Read Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which was so good. It’s fantasy, fairy tale style. Reminded me a little bit of Robin McKinley? Which is a good thing for me, since I enjoy Robin McKinley books very much.
  • I keep telling people about Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel because it was great. Post apocalyptic science fiction, but different. Not grim, but rather hopeful in a way? And I loved the “survival is insufficient” quote. Really resonated with me.
  • Hanging out with baby. What can I say, there’s much attention required.

Obvs. in no particular order. :D And there’s probably more but honestly my brain is not super high functioning right now. I mean, even when compared to normal.

On Healthcare Costs, And Why They’re So High in the United States

John Green of VlogBrothers talks about why American healthcare costs are so high. It’s really fast and well done and features facts and graphs. The articles and posts he links to are worthwhile reads as well.

By the way, John Green is also the author of The Fault in Our Stars, which is a pretty damn good book which I would recommend to pretty much everybody. Maybe not the people who don’t read, or don’t like fiction, but everyone else, including those of you who read less than five books a year. :)

Emoji FTW

This is my new fave music video!

It’s the lyric video for Katy Perry’s Roar.

You know how I feel about emoji; how could I not like this?!
They enhanced them though, right? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure the emoji on my phone aren’t as cool. :)

Sunrise, Sunset

I have pretty much always hated Daylight Saving Time. Well, I suppose that’s overstating it a bit — basically I agree with Kay on this one except for the driving bit.

I mean, I suppose Fall Back isn’t too bad, but Spring Forward sucks! I like my sleep! It doesn’t take impossibly long to adjust or anything, but that first weekend feels too short (I know it’s illogical since it’s one hour, but it feels like my weekend was too short) and that first Monday back at work is not fun.

But this year, Dr. Drang sort of changed my mind. Just sort of, mind you, but still.

If we stayed on Standard Time throughout the year, sunrise here in the Chicago area would be between 4:15 and 4:30 am from the middle of May through the middle of July. And if you check the times for civil twilight, which is when it’s bright enough to see without artificial light, you’ll find that that starts half an hour earlier.

This is insane and a complete waste of sunlight. Good for a nation of farmers, I suppose, but of no value to anyone in our current urban/suburban society except those people who get up and go running before work. And I see no reason to encourage them.

That’s true; I don’t know why I hadn’t really thought it through. I mean, on Saturday before DST (information from Google’s sunrise sunset calendar):
5:01am Start of astronomical twilight
5:32am Start of nautical twilight
6:02am Start of civil twilight
6:29am Sunrise
6:11pm Sunset
6:37pm End of civil twilight
7:08pm End of nautical twilight
7:38pm End of astronomical twilight

On Sunday after DST:
6:00am Start of astronomical twilight
6:31am Start of nautical twilight
7:01am Start of civil twilight
7:27am Sunrise
7:12pm Sunset
7:38pm End of civil twilight
8:09pm End of nautical twilight
8:39pm End of astronomical twilight

Basically, instead of light coming in at 6 in the morning, it was dark ’til 7 or so. That’s not bad! (Not that I can’t sleep with sun in my face, but y’know I sympathize.) But it’s super awesome for sunset: instead of it being dark already by 6pm, it’s now nice ’til after 7. I still don’t really get why we can’t just DST all year round — I mean, so what if it’s still dark at 8am? I used to get to the bus stop when it was still dark in the winter when I was in school, and it sucked, but no more so than getting up in the morning to get to school when it was light outside. So… that part of the argument, I don’t get.

Still though, I appreciate DST a bit more this year than previously, so thanks for that. But now I am on the make DST permanent bandwagon. :)


Gross Hair Treatment

We had a couple of overly ripe avocados. Or at least I thought they were overripe — they were all brown instead of green on the inside.

I didn’t want to waste them though! So I smushed them up and added two teaspoons of olive oil and two teaspoons of jojoba oil.

Avocado   olive oil   jojoba oil

I think it would’ve worked better with a blender, but I didn’t want to bother. Then I wet my hair a little and slathered it all over. I suppose if I were smart and/or prepared I would’ve had a throw away shower cap to use, but I didn’t. It was super disgusting! Bits of oily avocado mush kept dripping off my head onto the tiles. Then after I was done working what I could through my hair, I stood around for like 20 minutes (with an iPad, thank goodness) in the shower. Then I showered and washed my hair as normal.

I gotta tell you, my hair isn’t amazingly extra soft and shiny, or easy to manage or whatever. Nope, none of that. It’s not bad, mind you, but nothing special. And certainly not worth the yucky clean up and brown greasy avocado chunks like so much vomit everywhere. Blech. So I am thumbs down on this one. I could get better results from judicious application of Fekkai Glossing Cream, which I do like, and as it turns out also contains olive oil. So there.

Tissue Recommendation

As you probably know by now (am whiner), I have been sick, and carrying around a box of tissue. So I thought I’d update my tissue recommendation!

It’s still Trader Joe’s. (Anticlimactic, no?) There aren’t that many brands of recycled paper tissue available — NRDC has a listing (click on Facial Tissue), although I think it’s somewhat out of date since it says that Trader Joe’s is 10-25% post consumer content whereas the current box I am using says it is 80%. But you’ll notice most of them are Marcal, and dude, TJ’s is better than Marcal — I have reconfirmed this, and have a red nose to show for it. If I remember correctly, it’s better than Seventh Generation too — been a while though. Also, I like the box.

So for now, if you don’t want to contribute to two trees per year’s worth of tissue (average American usage?), plus you want to use recycled paper products (’cause what’s the point of recycling paper if no one wants the resultant products?) then I am recommending Trader Joe’s. But let me know if you find something better, because it’s not super soft with aloe or whatever. I should look into handkerchiefs — one of these days.

Sacrifice: Do Not Like

This past weekend I watched Sacrifice, available on Netflix streaming — being sick is good for something! Except when it’s not, because it wasn’t very good.

Sacrifice (趙氏孤兒 Zhaoshi Guer which could translate more literally to Zhao Orphan) is based on a thirteenth century Chinese play about a general, Tu Angu, who frames and kills his rival in the local ruler’s court, Grand Councillor Zhao Dun and his entire family, including his son General Zhao and daughter-in-law, the sister of the local ruler. *SPOILERS, but dude it’s an old story full of what are now cliches only they were maybe new back then.* Continue reading

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