November 18th, 2004


Light-sabers and lipstick cases

Drove in to work yesterday since there was an Arcana meeting at 7 and I really didn't want to face a bus ride to the train, the train ride out to Fort Snelling, and a long walk to the truck from there. Besides, I've been pretty tired of late what with classes, the cold, persistently high blood sugar levels, and another damn infection, which is probably part of what's aggravating the blood sugar.

Ain't life grand? Anyway, en route to the Arcana meeting I stopped by Uncle Hugo's and found a Tim Powers' Expiration Date on the used shelf; I also found Harry Turtledove's In The Presence of Mine Enemies in paperback and snapped it up as well. The Powers is passing strange; the Turtledove is...creepy. There is something particularly horrible about alternate universes where Nazi Germany is victorious over the Allies, and In The Presence of Mine Enemies, which is mainly about the struggle of a handful of Jews hiding in the very heart of the Reich to survive brings that horror out in force.

On a lighter note, Phantom Quest Corporation is a lot of fun. If you've seen the "Ghostbusters" AMV by ErMaC, then you have a pretty good idea what it's all about: a high-fashion redhead and her partners trashing supernatural troublemakers. Adding to the fun, Ayaka Kisaragi - the redhead in question - has a problem controlling her taste for the high life, especially when it comes to shopping and drink. Fortunately, she's a pretty good detective and has the most lethal lipstick case (yes, it does turn into a light-saber) in anime history. It's too bad there's only four episodes; it could quite easily have become an interesting cross between Moonlighting and Ghostbusters. A lot of the reviews online compare PQC unfavorably to Ghost Sweeper Mikami, which I haven't seen but apparently covers the same territory, but I think series ought to be judged on their own merits. Good series, definitely worth renting and probably worth buying if you like the series a lot.

Things we take for granted

In an attempt to build a little morale and team spirit here in the corner of the Evil Banking Neighbor that I occupy during business hours, the employees got management to agree to set aside one of the conference rooms for a lunch hour once a month, and today was the first such day. There was a celebratory mood not just on account of that, but also because C. had been sworn in as a U.S. citizen yesterday and we'd decided that we should throw him a small party and celebrate.

It was well worth celebrating. C. came here ten years ago fleeing the bloody chaos of the Liberian civil war, and has been working hard to pass the exam and qualify for citizenship ever since. He's pretty pumped about having finally made it, and I can't say that I blame him. For all its warts and other defects, this is still the best place in the world to live for many reasons...the world is full of places people are dying to escape, but there aren't too many countries people are dying to come to. C. is triply happy, because now his teenage daughter qualifies for citizenship, and his wife gets her case expedited as well. I was surprised when I heard that he wasn't a citizen, and more so when it turned out that three other people in the section were also immigrants. You work with people for years, and have no idea. Wow.

Waitaminute, here...

So I have this ingrown toenail, which has now become an infected toenail, and it's a little swollen and painful but no big deal. I call the triage nurse at my clinic who says soak it in hot water with epsom salts and go pick up this antibiotic. I get the antibiotic at the Walgreens on my afternoon break, take it, and twenty minutes later the toe is throbbing painfully and I feel all sweaty and feverish. WTF?

In other disagreaable news, the MTC reorganized the bus routes out my way and actually added more trips to and from West Bloomington...except in my corner of the city, which now has only two trips in and two trips out. I guess I could start getting up early enough to catch the 6:56 AM bus in and the 5:05 PM bus out, but driving to the P&R at 94th & Nesbitt or the one I presently use for the 597 bus seem like better options.
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