Friday, April 24, 2015

Losing my motivation

I think it's Allergies Round Two (or maybe Round Three, hard to tell) for the spring: One day I noticed my neighbor's pecan was out and flowering, the next day I noticed I was congested again. (And the day after that, my pecan started to flower. Yeah, my pecan tree is just a little Special....)

Tree-pollen allergies kind of take away my energy - I feel like I need to sleep more, things seem more effort-ful than they should. Sad, because I had gotten over Round One of allergies and was beginning to feel more hopeful about getting stuff done, and then this hits. (I'm antihistamined to the max - I always am, hives - so there's nothing more I can do other than make sure the filter on my furnace/ac blower is new)

It was an effort getting through the short papers for one of my classes last night. (I will say they were better - and I don't suspect these of plagiarism, the topic is too specific and the writing on the papers doesn't sound tweakled* from anywhere - so I'm wondering if the students slacked off on the first paper, thinking I wouldn't grade them that closely, and then were surprised when I did. That annoys me just slightly - the fact that someone puts in less effort because they think they can halfway it and get by. Oh, there's stuff in my life I've halfwayed, but more often it's things like cleaning house or whatever that really only affect ME.)

(*But I still will check. And, "tweakled," if I'm remembering correctly back to my doll-collecting/auction-going days, was a term used to apply to a company that either got ahold of molds another company used, or made a mold off their product, and did a knock-off product that was similar but not quite as good. Fairly common in the old early-20th c. bisque dolls, especially when Japan started producing them, some of the factories "tweakled" German molds instead of making their own. I could be misremembering the word....)

But at least I read them all. Have to put grades on them this morning. I will probably be more generous on these, mainly because I'm tired.

I have tentative plans tomorrow to run to Target (because I get 5% off there, and on an expensive thing, that's a decent amount) and look at dvd players. I think, based on the information the local place gave me, the one model they sell is one of the fancy snazzy hooks-up-to-the-internet-so-you-can-watch-Netflix ones, and from a few reviews online, it seems like occasionally their firmware updating hangs up....and I don't want another thing with firmware to have to update. (And if I want to watch streaming video, I have a nice laptop I can use). So I'm going to get one of the cheaper, "just a dvd player*" models. I guess that will be my "treat."

(*Cue David Lee Roth. Or maybe Louis Prima.)

 I kind of hate that that's my "treat." I don't find buying electronic gadgets all that fun or exciting (unlike a lot of people) and especially not when it's replacing something that I feel like *should still be working, darn it.* I admit I am kind of a cheapskate about some things and this is it. I'll happily spend close to $100 on yarn for several pairs of socks, but spending that on an appliance, and I balk a little.

(I also still need to replace my microwave. It still works but the turntable in it is getting balkier and balkier.)

I also figured out the finger food I'm going to make - I'm going to do the crockpot raspberry meatballs I've done a few times for AAUW get togethers. They're fairly easy to make, most people like 'em (and I like 'em), they're lower in sodium....and I can make them, cook them the night before, refrigerate them, and then pull them out to heat up shortly before the lunch). That will mean a trip to Kroger while I'm down there, because it calls for ground turkey and seedless raspberry jam and I think one or two other things I don't have on hand at the moment.

I did also start a new project last night, as a reward for powering through the papers: I pulled out my "Mount Rainier" (grey) Heartland yarn and my Elisabeth Doherty amigurumi book, and started on Folio. (Sorry, Mabel Pines.) I'm just barely begun on the head. I will have to figure out a good way to do the mane - I want her to have a loopy mane and fringe, so I'm thinking there must be some kind of crocheted loop-stitch I can do, maybe off of a chain foundation, and then sew it to her head. Instead of doing the painstaking "rooted in" hair like I did on the other Ponies. The "rooted in*" hair is great for Ponies with long straight hair but if you want curly hair it doesn't work so well.

(*This is another doll-collecting word. Rooted hair is like what Barbie dolls currently have, where it's punched in through the scalp and secured on the other side and therefore is hard (but not impossible) to pull out. I use something like a larks-head knot to anchor strands of yarn around the stitches and it gives a similar effect.)

(Actually, I think it's funny that I've gone from doll-collecting - something I was very big into in high school and even into grad school - to stuffed animals instead. Oh, I still have most of my dolls (though some days I think I should winnow the collection down to my few favorites, bring them down here, and sell the rest). When I was a small, small child I had a few dolls - a couple of baby dolls relatives bought for me, a big Raggedy Ann my mom made - but when I got a bit older, like 4 or 5, I totally preferred stuffed animals, to the point where, when someone gave me a Barbie, I didn't really know how to play with her and wound up trading her to one of my friends for a small toy dog. My parents' weren't too happy about that because the doll was a GIFT after all.....but as a landlocked child with a fear of deep water, a  Malibu Barbie was a pretty useless thing. I did play some with paper dolls as a kid but they seemed different....then I got interested in the history of things and started collecting dolls as a teen. The dolls were mainly for the clothing styles....the stuffed animals I have now are as "pet substitutes" because I can't have a furry animal because of allergies.)


Joan said...

Sorry about your allergies-- I am in Seattle at the moment, happy to be missing birch pollen season chez moi. Your Malibu Barbie story made me laugh. That was the number one item on my daughter's gift list for her fifth birthday-- an unusual request. We cheerfully complied and she was thrilled when she unwrapped her gift. Then Barbie got shoved aside and forgotten, but the plastic dolphin she came with saw a lot of use!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the DVD player - when my big, expensive, slow-to-load first-generation Blu-Ray player died last year, I resented that I would have to buy another player for the reasons you articulated. Replacing a defunct item with one of the same functionality is not a treat, it's just spending money to wind up where you started.

I didn't have the heart to do research so next time I was at Costco I picked up one of the models they had sitting there, I think one that was on sale. It was small, and it was cheap, and the reviews were so-so but they have a good return policy so I took a chance.

Can I say . . . I love it! DVD players have come a long way. It loads much faster, the menus are better, and once I took the time to register it (laborious process using an on-screen keyboard and the remote), I was able to access Internet content using the built-in Wifi. I have an Amazon Prime subscription, so I can watch any movie or TV show available through Prime (thousands) on my big screen TV rather than my puny laptop. Score!

BTW, it's a Sony - go with a reputable brand and I think you'll be pleased.