Hey! Look at that. I’m not a complete moron and I can still fuck around in code and CSS and make it work, usually. Years ago, when I set up the Scout blog on my other domain, I found a way to syndicate it over to this blog so that posts there would show up here. Partially because this weblog is the running history of my life, and partially because I wanted to see if I could do it. That was years ago and I’ve always been annoyed with how the syndicated posts show up in the feed. A while ago I hacked at it a little bit and got WordPress to spit out the category name as a class so I could restyle the header and link colors (that’s why they show up as blue) but there was never any real context for what those posts were. I fooled around with conditional statements this afternoon and now there’s something that explains what these are and why they’re there.
The doctors told me that coming down off the steroids I’m on would cause emotional issues this week; I’m going to blame them for the following. SPOILER ALERT.
Watching the end of the first episode of Stranger Things this evening, when Hopper came home to his cabin with two meals set at the table, and Eleven sat down with him, I cried in happiness.
This looks like it could be genuinely terrifying. The 90’s miniseries was utter shite; from this trailer it looks like what they may have done is split the book in two, dealing with the main characters only as kids, instead of the then/now structure of the book. I’m hooked.
I’ve been slacking, I know. I’ve gone back and forth between having a lot to write about and then feeling like it wasn’t worth mentioning, but fuck it.
Jen and I are in the middle of the last season of Penny Dreadful, a series that aired on Showtime up until this summer. It’s a wild, beautiful, gory horror story set in London of the 1890s and it’s absolutely stunning in its production design, writing, and subject matter. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a series this much since Deadwood. I’ve also been trying to sort out my thoughts on Stranger Things for about two weeks now, but I’m struggling to say what I’m thinking. More on that later.
I ran into a friend on the train by chance who shared employment with me in a previous organization, and we caught up on life since we both moved on. He’s doing very well, is much happier, and we filled in some of the blanks for each other–things I was unaware of, but found hilarious and annoying. I’ll just say it was great to have some unexpected validation on a Thursday evening.
Jen and I spent some quiet time on Saturday morning looking through a bathroom remodeling book for ideas. It’s getting closer to reality, which is kind of shocking. Further research on a home equity line of credit took me down a different path to where we’re looking at refinancing the house. I spent about two hours on the phone on Saturday with banks going through the information and getting quotes, and along the way I wound up with a Navy Federal Credit Union account for a $5 minimum deposit and no monthly fee. If the math is correct, and the quote doesn’t change drastically, we could wind up dropping more than a full point, pulling a chunk of cash out to use on finishing the bathroom, and saving a bunch of money each month. I’m supposed to get the final quote by Wednesday (fingers crossed) and if everything looks good, get it on the fast track to close as soon as possible.
School starts up this coming week, and I spent Sunday finishing my syllabus, posting everything online, working on my first lecture, and sorting through admin stuff. I’m starting from scratch again this semester, so I had to work through the schedule and the workload repeatedly to make sure everything balanced correctly. This class is once a week for four hours, so the schedule is compressed, and I hope it works out well.
I spent the first two days of this week working from home, but had to come in to the office Wednesday to film participants at a seminar. Washington is strangely quiet due to the snow, but life moves on. Meanwhile, Finn has been off all week because Baltimore County couldn’t be bothered to plow the sidewalks in front of her school.
Our first week of teaching at UMBC got cancelled as well; the move-in/first day stuff got plowed under and pushed back everything. I don’t know if they’re going to extend the semester another week to make up for time lost, but we’re ready to roll when the doors open back up. I’ve got 13 students in total, two of whom I had last semester. This class is going to be heavy in Illustrator and information design, which is an exciting new avenue to explore.
After the game on Sunday, I found myself in front of the TV when the new X-Files came on, reconfiguring my syllabus for the third time. Much like the old X-Files, the new version is a retread of the same dumb plot point bullshit I remember:
“It’s a conspiracy”
Weird shit depicted in lousy CGI
“This conspiracy goes deeper than we thought”
All evidence gets blown up by guys in black suits
Fuck the X-files.