Posted in Odds & ends

Happy Thanksgiving

A turkey made from Lego bricks

I hope that you had a good Thanksgiving (unless you’re not from the United States, in which case I hope you had a good Thursday.) After the last few hectic days at work, I appreciated the one-day respite. 

Tomorrow, it’s back to reality and the oncoming rush towards Christmas. Yay.

One of the prayers from the Thanksgiving Eve service I went to last night asked for forgiveness for losing track of what holidays are supposed to be.

Patient Lord, we are rushing headlong into the holiday season, forgetting that the word “holiday” is actually comprised of two words: “holy” and “day.” Forgive us when we treat the “holiday” as a task and a burden, when we load ourselves down with tasks that do not enhance this day. Help us move past the busyness of the day into the attitude of gratitude we should display for all the many wonders and blessings you have poured on us.

I’m pretty bad at this – I often look for the busyness to have something to do to make this time of year feel less empty. It sorta works – “busy” feels better than “empty,” but it probably explains why I don’t really look forward to Thanksgiving very much.

My goal – and my prayer – is to do better as we enter the Christmas season. 

Posted in Gardening

A splash of color

A trio of small, colorful potted plants sitting on a windowsill

The weather, much like my mood, has been rather gray for most of this month. But every time I walk by the kitchen window and see this trio of small, colorful plants, I smile a little.

During the summer, we had coleus and celosia plants growing outside in the garden. The coleus plants ended up resembling small shrubs by August — much too big to bring inside, and too fragile to withstand New Jersey winters. (Celosia seems to have a five- to six-month lifecyle, regardless of temperature.)

But the larger plants scattered some seeds, and a few of them grew. I dug them up and put them in these small windowsill pots to have a bit of color to help get me through the winter, until it’s time for the spring daffodils and violets to start blooming again.

Does the winter grayness bother you? What are some of the things that you do to help fight it?

Posted in Odds & ends

So that happened….

A Lego minifigure drinking tea in front of a computer

I usually work on weekends, but I had this past Saturday off. I spent part of my Saturday sorting food donations for my church’s food pantry. And honestly, that was nice. I got to do something that helps people who are less fortunate than I am, and also get out of my own head for a couple of hours. Volunteering is awesome.

She-Ran and the Princesses of Power

I also got around to checking out Netflix’s new version of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. I remember the original show that aired when I was a kid, but I can’t say I was a fan. I’m not even sure that I would have paid any attention to this new version at all if it weren’t for the whiny, entitled fanboys who think everything has to be made for them making a lot of noise complaining about it.

And you know what? This new She-Ra is actually good. Noelle Stevenson took a property that was an extended toy commercial back in the 1980s and turned it into a show about friendship and family with complex characters that are better-developed than the ones on some shows that are aimed at adults. My favorite character ended up being Catra, who is at least nominally a villain.

Magic: the Gathering

I had planned to go to Friday Night Magic at one of my local comic shops, but I ended up having to stay late at work and couldn’t make it. So I still have a budget mono-black burn deck and a Dimir Etrata deck that I want to try out 🤷‍♂️ This weekend, Strictly Better MtG posted a video about a budget mono-black aggro deck that matches my preferred play style perfectly, so I ordered the cards that I needed to put it together. So that’s three decks waiting for trial runs to see if any of them are worth tweaking and upgrading… 

William Goldman

On Friday, screenwriter William Goldman passed away at age 87. He wrote the screenplays for a bunch of well-regarded movies, but the only one I’ve ever seen was The Princess Bride. It is one of my favorites. So I’m going to share a clip from one of its best scenes, and Atlas Obscura’s story about the scene-stealing Mad Max. RIP, Mr. Goldman.

How was your weekend?

Posted in Odds & ends

Hello again

Here I am, taking a selfie to show that I don't have the sense to come in out of the snow

Um, wow… last time I posted something here I wrote about planting something in our garden. Today we saw our first snow of the season.  😮

This morning, I read something that Jenny Lawson wrote about blogging. The Bloggess talks about how people write blogs for various reasons, ranging from wanting to change the world to wanting to share cat pictures.  

But mostly for me blogging is a way to say, “Hi.  I’m here.  You’re here too.  We’re a little less alone than we were yesterday.”

— Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess

And that really struck a chord with me. Sometimes, I write because I have something to say. Sometimes I want to entertain you. But mostly, I write to share a little bit of myself and feel a little bit less alone if someone reads it.

And lately, I haven’t been writing. Partly that’s been me being busy with other stuff going on in my life. Mostly it’s been me isolating myself and listening to my doubts and anxieties. I don’t want to keep doing that.

So here I am. Here you are. Take a moment to say “hello” if you like.

Posted in Odds & ends

So that happened… (Monday, Sept. 24, 2018)


Monday might be when you had to go back to work, but it ended up being my day off this week. Happily, the weather cooperated and let me work in our garden today. Mostly, that involved getting areas ready to put to bed for the winter in a few more weeks. But I also planted the balloon flowers I accidentally found and purchased on Saturday. I think they should have enough time to settle in before we get our first frost, and they should look really nice next summer.

* * *

Lord-of-the-PitElections are just a few weeks away… I got my mail-in ballot today. My other piece of non-junk mail? A Magic: the Gathering Lord of the Pit card that I’d purchased from last week. Coincidence?

But seriously, make sure you vote in this election. If you’re not happy with the way things are going, this is your chance to make your voice heard.

* * *

There were two passings of note to sci-fi film fans this weekend: Gary Kurtz, who produced Star Wars and The Dark Crystal, died Sunday at age 78 and Al Matthews, who played the cigar-chomping Sgt. Apone in Aliens, died Saturday at age 75.

* * *

I got to watch the new Bleach live-action movie today (thanks, Netflix!) and it is amazing! The film succeeds in bringing the major elements of the first arc of the anime to life. The actors playing Ichigo, Rukia, Renji and Byakuya are all perfect. If you’re familiar with the story from the anime series or the original manga, you should definitely check it out. And if you’re looking for something a little bit spooky for October (and don’t mind subtitles), keep Bleach in mind..