October 12th, 2012

no tea

Chimney Sweeps and Baby-faced Firemen

The sty hasn't been totally purified, but my living room is reasonably decent, mostly because I have to have my chimney inspected today, and I wanted the front room to not be scary in case they have to come inside and view things from the fireplace end. I have figured out that one big reason for my do-it-yourself efforts isn't so much my stubborn independence or my extreme frugality. It's that I really hate waiting around for repairmen or service people to show up. When I do it myself, the time I spend researching it, making multiple trips to Home Depot and then doing the job generally doesn't come to the amount of time I spend feeling like I'm on hold, waiting for someone to show up in that "sometime between ten and four" window. True, that shouldn't stop my usual activities, but it's hard to let myself really focus on anything when I know it could be interrupted at any moment. If I'm doing the job, I can get it done and over with and then go on with my life. Unfortunately, the insurance requires a certified chimney inspection, and going out and getting that certification so that I can do it myself would be overkill, even for me. But it might be more profitable than writing novels is, these days (curse you, pirates!).

Just thinking of this has made that "Chim Chim Cheree" song from Mary Poppins stick in my head. And I want to write a chimney sweep character in a Victorian-type setting. He'd be the perfect spy. Now I'm going to annoy this poor guy when he comes by watching him intently to see how it works and asking him questions like "Can you hear conversations from the room below through the chimney?"

In TV news, if you were left wanting a little more closure to Amy and Rory's story on Doctor Who, or if you thought the episode should have ended with someone receiving a letter, as happened the first time we saw the angels in "Blink" (keeping it vague for spoilers), it turns out that such a scene was actually written, but wasn't filmed. Now the scene has been put together into a video using storyboards, the script, and a voiceover from Arthur Darvill, and you can see it here. Tissue warning. Even in this stripped-down form, it made me weepy. If we'd seen it actually acted out, I think I'd have been a sobbing mess. It also makes me feel shortchanged, since it seems like there's a lot we didn't get to see or learn about Rory's dad or Rory's relationship with his dad. Why introduce this great character so close to the end of that storyline?

Other TV news: I've fallen way behind even on shows I like. I was doing some OnDemand catch-up last night, but we started having these weird power blips that were just enough to turn off the TV and re-set the cable box. So I switched to watching something I'd taped, and there were still enough tiny outages to make it frustrating. I did catch the pilot of Chicago Fire, which I think will fall into my category of "comfort food" television. It's not at all challenging or thought-provoking, and I doubt I'll be doing any online discussion of it, but it is mildly entertaining. We've got attractive people doing exciting things, and in this case, fire is the enemy. Until the inevitable sweeps arsonist episode or arc, there aren't any villains or bad guys to creep me out. I mostly checked this one out because I liked Jesse Spencer in House and thought he was criminally underused, so I wanted to see what he could do in a part that allowed him to do more than react to the crazy things other people were doing. He was good, but bless his heart, he still looks younger than a lot of the people playing teenagers on Glee. I don't know what it is about him, but he can have a week's worth of scruff and still somehow look like he's not old enough to shave, and that makes it hard to believe him as one of the leaders of the fire crew. It's like watching Bambi fight fires, which I suppose has its own entertainment value. This may be background noise while doing crossword puzzles on Sunday afternoon viewing. That category is really stacking up for me. They'll need to make the puzzles harder because I can get through the regular Sunday puzzle and the New York Times Sunday puzzle in less than an hour.

Although I said I wasn't going to get too worked up about any of the new Amazon ranking stuff, I had a nightmare last night in which one of my books got a "mature content" advisory put on its Amazon page because of what one reader said in a review, but I didn't want to try to get that review removed because all the other reviews for that book were in response to that review, and I'd lose all the reviews if I had that one removed. I figured all the other reviews were pointing out how insane that was. I just wished I could get rid of this huge content advisory box on the book's page (which doesn't really exist on Amazon). I suppose I have some deep insecurities at work there. I have had e-mails chastising me for my books not being clean enough to share with an eight-year-old. Um, they're adult books. They're not meant to be children's books. And if you're horrified by the "adult" content in my books, how do you function in today's society? Everything must offend you.

Now to go find something to do that won't have me so engrossed that I scream and jump three feet when the chimney guy rings my doorbell.