Two blogs I read today had posts about sleepwalking incidents. Here is my sleepwalking story. Names have been changed to protect myself from these people getting really mad at me.

I was babysitting a little girl named Lily when I was in middle school. Lily was very cute and liked nothing more than playing with her Bert doll (from Sesame Street), and me reading The Monster at the End of This Book (starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover) in funny voices. Including the shouting.

In retrospect, it is not the best idea to get a five-year-old all riled up by yelling and laughing right before she goes to sleep, but I was twelve and dumb. And Lily did fall asleep. Once she stopped getting out of bed to ask for things ("Can I have a glass of water?" "Can Bert have a glass of water?" "Will you play hide and seek with me?" "Do you want a glass of water?"), I sat down to watch their copy of Jurassic Park (I was a little obsessed with Jurassic Park in middle school. I bought a pair of hiking boots because I was convinced I was going to become a paleontologist, and there was at least a month of Study Hall when I read nothing but Jurassic Park, going back to the beginning of the book as soon as I reached the end).

The movie was just about to the part when the guy gets eaten by the T-Rex on the toilet when I heard Lily get out of bed again. I expected her to come in and ask for a glass of water, or a Fruit-Roll-Up, or a puppy, but instead she went into the hallway linen closet.

"Um, Lily?" I asked her, going over to the closet. She did not reply, so I asked, "What are you doing in there?"

"Towels," she said, sitting down on the floor. "I have to go."

"What?" I was confused. "Go where?"

"I have to GO," she said, adjusting her seat.

"Go wh- OH!" I said, waving my hands around in distress. "How about you GO over here, in the bathroom?"

"Okay," she said, standing up rather unsteadily and following me into the bathroom. She got herself all set up and did her thing while I waited in the hallway.

"Are you okay?" I asked, peeking into the bathroom after a long moment. I was just in time to see Lily throw her toilet paper... right... into... the bathtub. I would have thought this entirely gross, but I was laughing and Lily was making her way back to bed, zombie-like.


Another time, I was at a hotel with my family. My sister and I were sharing a bed (which, sidenote, is not the easiest thing when the person your sister sleeps on all the pillows at the same time). In the middle of the night, my sister sat up in bed.

"What a great idea!" she said.

"Huh?" said my mom.

My sister went to the door of the hotel room and opened it. "Great idea!"

"Not a great idea!" said my mom, and caught her before she went out into the hallway.

I'm almost sure I have never walked in my sleep. The closest I've probably ever come was in high school, when I woke up in my bed at my parents' house and saw that the last two numbers on my digital clock read :42. My school bus came at 5:44! I was going to miss it!

I leaped out of bed, threw on some shoes, grabbed my backpack, ran down the stairs and out down the street.

It's 5:42! I'm going to miss the bus! It's 5:42! I'm going to miss the bus! It's 5:42! I'm going to miss the bus! It's 12:42! I'm going to miss the bus! It's 12:42! I'm going to miss the bus! It's 12:42! I'm going to... wait. It's... crap.

And I turned around, walked back to the house, and went to bed. Because it was 12:42 AM, and I, inexplicably, thought that was the same as 5:42 AM.


(Also weird, this post is dated yesterday. I'm from the fuuuuuuture, everyone! Tomorrow people will post on their blogs about sleepwalking! You'll see!)


National Parks are the Shizz.

I am a fan of Ken Burns. I'm not sure if that is square, or stupidly conformist, or neither, but I am a fan of Ken Burns. I love the Ken Burns effect (if you don't know what that is, you obviously don't have a Mac or don't use iMovie). I love the music. I love the to-the-point yet always entertaining narration.

My first introduction to Ken Burns was in my American Military History class in college (which, by way of anecdote, was taught by a foul-mouthed dead ringer for Ulysses S. Grant... best casting career choice ever), where we watched portions of his Civil War documentary. We watched more of it in my Civil War History class (taught my the same professor), and thanks, Ken Burns, I got As in both.

I haven't seen Baseball, but I'd like to. It's the only one of his documentaries we don't own at the library, which is incredibly annoying. The West is enjoyable, Jazz I have to enjoy because I was in a jazz band once upon a time, and he was apparently in Gettysburg. NERD!

I'm currently watching The National Parks on PBS, which after one and a half episodes, is fantastic. I thought before it started that it might go through the history of a handful of individual parks, which was silly because that isn't really the way Ken Burns does things. Instead, it's taking us through the history of the formation of the National Parks and the National Park Service, which is brilliant. I have re-fallen in love with John Muir (sure, he had a semi-gross beard, but he's John Muir). It has also given me a major case of the wanderlust, which is decidedly inconvenient.

If I don't see Yosemite and climb Half Dome before I die, I shall be very put out. If I can't put a finger on a giant sequoia at some point in my life, then that's just stupid. I pay federal taxes and thus own things like the Grand Canyon General Sherman, and would like to go visit them. Say hi. Probably cry a little. It'll be great.

I haven't been to many National Parks. I camped in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, and wish I could thank everyone involved in the park's creation so that we can enjoy it today. I have been to Gettysburg, but I was a wee child and didn't realize where I was when I was there (stupid kid!). I have, however, been to many National Forests, which are sort of similar in that they are natural areas that our ancestors decided to set aside for all of us to enjoy (thanks, ancestors). One of my favorite places on the planet is a National Forest. Going there changed my life. Does everyone have a place that changed them? Whether everyone does or not, I feel lucky that I was able to visit such a place.

Ensign Lake Campsite

The thing you can't understand from this photo is how peaceful it is. How the islands feel under your feet, and what they smell like. How tired your arms are and how sunburned you are after paddling all day to get there. The sense that getting to this place is its own reward. So really, you can't get the most important things about the Boundary Waters from looking at this photo, so you can stop looking at it now.

Does anyone else geek out when they realize that celebrities they like are friends with each other? Like when you find out that Wil Wheaton is having lunch with Neil Gaiman? On second thought, that may be too nerdy. It would be like Felicia Day having lunch with Brian K. Vaughn. No? Um... what if Bono and Barack Obama were BFFs? That's how I feel when I hear about Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir spending a weekend together talking about nature. It blows my mind, man!

Also, they shot Return of the Jedi in Redwood National Park, so clearly if I don't go there dressed in a Princess Leia cammo outfit with my Wicket puppet, I am a terrible, terrible geek.


Magical sporting moments and Almanzo Wilder

There's a magical moment that happens in close team sporting events when there is a ball, flying in the air. For this particular kind of moment, the ball must be in the air at a pivotal moment in the game, because the game itself hangs in the air, with that ball. Everyone stands up, breathless, waiting. Time seems to stand still, because that moment is full of hope - for that seemingly endless moment that the ball is in the air, anything can happen. The game may be over, depending on what happens with that ball. But for the short time that ball is in the air, it is flying through endless possibility.

Of course, hopes are dashed or met when the ball is caught, or blocked, or dropped, or hits the back of the net. But while the ball is in the air, everything is amazing. This moment is of course best when your team is down by one point, and that ball would just nudge them over the edge toward winning.

I love that moment. I don't care if it's baseball or American football or soccer or cricket or squash or hockey (in that case, it's a puck. Obviously). It is a magic moment, and I less-than-three it.

In unrelated news, I had a dream last night that I was Laura Ingalls, and Jude Law was playing the part of Almanzo Wilder. It was one of those dreams you wake from and try very hard to recapture by falling asleep immediately after hitting the snooze alarm. Oh, Almanzo (not sure why my brain felt the need to substitute Jude Law when real Almanzo looked like that, but I'll take it).

That's all. How are you?


I hate this place, and I hate this cat!

Nobody enjoys hearing about other people's dreams, right? That is, of course, unless they're funny, or involve you in some way.

Did I tell you about the one I had in which I had somehow been roped into joining the army and was deployed to Iraq? I acquired some sort of stray desert cat as a pet while there, and the most vivid part of the dream was me screaming at the top of my lungs, "I hate this place! I hate these tents! I hate this sand! I hate this place, I hate this place, I hate this place, and I HATE THIS CAT!"

What about the one in which I was carjacked outside a mini-golf course? I woke myself up when I screamed to Oprah (who was playing mini-golf), "HELP ME, OPRAH!! CARJACKING!!" I'll never know what Oprah would have done, as I awoke screaming, "Carjacking!!"

Last night my dream was not nearly as pleasant as these. Suffice to say it was the most terrifying and awful nightmare I've had in years. I managed to startle myself awake at about 3:00 this morning to find myself confused and tentatively relieved that no, the country had not been destroyed by h-bombs, the population of the country had not been reduced to melting Dali-esque mutants (all of whom were desperate for my help... I didn't know what to do, re-mold them into more peopley-type shapes?), and my right eye had not melted and fallen out.

Put that way, it doesn't sound terrifying as much as it sounds gross. One thing I learned from this dream, though - DO NOT TRANSPORT NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN SEMI TRUCKS.

I always trust the advice I get from my dreams. You don't see any cats in my apartment, do you? Nosiree.


It's a whatnow?

Microsoft is playing dirty, giving us commercials with adorable children in them! The commercial with the little girl making the slideshow about Windows 7 reminds me of an exchange I had with a small child when I worked at Linens N Things. She was putting things from her mom's shopping basket on the counter for me to scan:

Girl (handing me napkin holder): This is a napkin holder.
Me: Oh, thank you.
Girl (handing me lettuce knife): This is a lettuce knife.
Me: Thanks.
Girl (handing me a lotion bottle): This is a lotion.
Me: Sure is.
Girl (handing me a washcloth): This is a towel.
Me: Close enough.
Girl (handing me a garlic press): This is a schwigglefrishiggle.
Me: ...you bet it is.

Adorable children or no, I will not go to the Windows side. Oh no.

I'm watching The Vampire Diaries right now, because I enjoy watching television shows that make me feel stupider. It's the same reason I watch Gossip Girl. I'm not sure why a show called The Vampire Diaries has spent the first half-hour of the show assuming the audience has no idea that one of the characters is a vampire. Are we stupid (I think I already answered my question, there)? I wonder if the vampire could be the guy who has all the antique pictures in his house who acted weird when the main character fell down and cut herself! How totally out there and unexpected. Insert eyeroll here. (And yet, I have not turned it off. This suggests very bad things about me.) Remember when vampires were bad (with the exception, of course, of Louis and Lestat), and Buffy killed them? Boy, those were the days.

Sheesh, is the football game going to start soon?


See you in September

Ah, September. The time when a young man's fancy turns to - wait, no. What? Who are you?

Now, I know some of you are nerds (it's okay, you can admit it) and you should be watching The Guild. I won't link to it, because if you're a nerd you already know where it is, or you are net-savvy enough to type it into Google. While you're doing that, can you figure out a way to make me be Felicia Day?

School is back in session. The students are back on campus. My insane amounts of down time at work are now at an end and have left me with far too much to do. I'm not sure how that happens - it's like there are twenty minutes in which my free time and all the stuff I have to do coexist, and then the twenty minutes are gone and I'm left with... a huge to-do list. Whoever decided time would work this way is fired.

The end of summer did provide some good times, however. I went to a baseball game with some of my favorite people on the planet (this planet, that is - you wouldn't believe how awesome people are on Neptune... sorry, Earthlings), attended more than one bonfire, caught something which may or may not have been Swine Flu, and acquired several Jane Austen BBC miniseries adaptations from the library.

Like I told the class in the library this evening, I'm a librarian. I get excited about things like having a new copier.

...and finding imitation designer shoes at Target. I am a woman of simple pleasures.

In other news, who is going to start a collaborative video project with me, hmm?