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Nov. 29th, 2011

a good day!

You guys, today was awesome! Things went right! I didn't have screw-ups to deal with at work, or meetings that went pear-shaped and made me look like a moron. My project progressed REALLY WELL, I got a lot done, and I got pastries during a field trip with my officemate.
[Ok, and this is going to be meaningless for anybody who doesn't do web stuff, but I totally feel like I get a gold star for threading my way through 6 nested CSS files and the associated ASP.NET templates to figure out how to make all the necessary changes to the home page so that they don't break the interior page layouts. Go me! It feels really good to be crunching the website guts around after so long just doing minor cosmetic touches to the existing layout.]

I didn't have to comfort myself with wine and pizza and Iron Man movies after getting ridiculously depressing news. I had a couple of really good conversations, a nice dinner out with my parents, scored some great produce at the Farmers' Market, and have a coffee date to look forward to later.

I'm role-playing in a small way again, which is awesome. I went back to yoga yesterday and did probably 70% of the class to my utmost, and plan to keep going back until I am more flexible (and have lost enough weight to successfully do child's pose? Well, we'll see). Next class: probably Thursday.
In general I feel optimistic and excited and full of energy.

After the last two weeks of craziness, it felt SO GOOD to have a good day! Yay!
(For the record, Thanksgiving was awesome, too.)

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Aug. 4th, 2011

Thursday at the Tea House

So I'm sitting at this Tea House out in the city, and the tea is awful (it's a bubble tea place - I had no idea you couldn't get regular tea here), but the company is nice. Katy and I are supposed to be writing. Well, you can see how well that's working out for me so far.

Actually, I have made some progress on the story. I know now that there's a dark secret between the Magician and the Envoy, and that the Handmaid knows much more than she lets on. The Captain is caught up in repairs and investigations of sabotage, made worse by the presence of Imperially well-connected civilian passengers. It seems like there's something there to work with. I just haven't figured out what the real story is yet.

I have big plans for art projects, as usual, but this time I may have more opportunity to get them done. I'm looking for ideas of Awesome Ladies of Science to make a series. I really want to do something with Astrid Farnsworth, and with Dana Scully, and Ellie from Contact, and maybe Madame Curie while I'm at it. Other ideas? I'm willing to stretch to some fandoms I am not familiar with, within reason and with sufficient science awesomeness (and preferably a character with more than token screen time). (And I do mean Science, not just general Action Hero Amazingness. That will be a different series. And I am going to be choosy with lady doctors - not all of them will pass my bar of Science Awesomeness, ok?)

(Should I include my list so far?)

In other fandom news, my love for Dr. Stephen Maturin continues strong through HMS Surprise, during which he and Jack have the MOST ENTERTAINING CONVERSATION:

Stephen said, 'Have you ever contemplated upon sex, my dear?'
'Never,' said Jack. 'Sex has never entered my mind, at any time.'

I laughed out loud when I read that line. Just in general, Stephen is awesome. I did miss that in the film, that in order to go with the naval battle adventure, they had to cut so much of Stephen's awesomeness. I like Jack, too, and feel he was better cast in the film, but they're both a bit too fit and healthy, if you ask me.

Katy and I have been thinking we should have a Hot Regency Guys movie marathon, during which we would screen portions of Sharpe, Hornblower, Master and Commander, Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth and Matthew Macfayden versions), and maybe Sense and Sensibility. I'm sure we could find some locals who could get behind such an event.

I've also been re-inspired to work on my Ancient Afghan Princess painting, which had been languishing in the WIP folder for a while. I credit the inspiration to a gorgeous photo shoot with Freema Agyeman that scrolled across my tumblr a few days ago. Thank you, mysterious Doctor Who reblogger! (The initial inspiration was the "Afghan Gold" exhibition of artifacts at the MFAH.)

Hopefully I'll be able to do some of that digitally. I'm hampered in my digital work by the loaner tablet I'm using. Since I don't have the correct drivers, it's a bit frustrating, but it works well enough to finish my in-progress stuff. I just don't think I could really sketch with it at all. My beloved Intuos4 is somewhere in Washington state, hopefully in a queue to be repaired. I miss you, baby!

Until then, I'm thinking I may try some work with colored pencil and watercolor again, plus I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with Stewart Gill fabric paint on muslin. (Wash fabric thoroughly before painting, though - uneven sizing makes for an interesting application experience.)

Ok, I've procrastinated enough for tonight. I should be writing.

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Jun. 19th, 2011

Back from exhausting trip

A brief recap:
Last Sunday, at Mom's birthday dinner, we received the phone call telling us that Dad's Aunt Irma, age 94, had died. We had been told she was doing poorly, but expected some more time. So we had to fly up at the last minute. Making the flight and hotel and car reservations was exciting (whee!), but we got it done.
This is the first time in ages that the four of us (Mom, Dad, Peter and me) had traveled together as a family. We took advantage of that while we could. We had hoped to get some time in with our Connecticut family, but the surviving sister, Dad's Aunt Aida, was feeling poorly herself (at 91? 92? I wasn't clear on how old she was.) so we had a smaller window of opportunity for visiting. Still, it was a lovely chance to see her, and the cousins we had never met.
We ended up with Saturday free, and headed into Manhattan for a few hours, most of which we spent at the American Museum of Natural History with Jaye.
On Thursday, we were also able to go into Brooklyn after the family dinner had broken up, and attended the Pub Quiz at Rocky Sullivan's. Both occasions were quite fun. I'm glad we managed them.

Peter and Me with Dinosaurs
Peter and me with dinosaurs.

Dad and his Aunt Aida
Dad and his Aunt Aida

Calverton National Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery

Click the photos to see more at my Flickr set.
Now I'm back at the ancestral homestead, and have all sorts of work to catch up on. Work for my regular job, work for ApolloCon (this weekend! Come on down!), work for my apartment, work for the family.
Good grief I'm tired.
Sleep sounds really, really good right now. Once my laundry is done, I am totally going home to get some.

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Apr. 3rd, 2011

Dorks in Manhattan: Thurs-Sat

Team Line Party at the Game of Thrones Food Truck (except Lisa who took the photo):

Read more... )

When not going out to stalk the food truck (first come, first served, 300 portions per evening of two entrees), I have been wandering around the city having fun.

Read more... )

Friday I'm in love )

Saturday full of fun )

And now we are at Sunday, and I hope to have dinner later with Seminary classmates. E and I are preparing to leave for the Brooklyn Flea. Yay!

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Nov. 10th, 2010

Latin for fun and profit

LOL, the medieval story we got to translate in class was HILARIOUS: guy kills enemy, makes a cup out of enemy's skull, marries enemy's daughter, delights in giving daughter the cup and inviting her to have a drink with dear ole dad, daughter plots and kills the guy. Fun times with barbarians!
And now, guess what?

We're reading GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH, you guys. A story about HENGIST.  LOLZ forever.

Ahem. Yeah, I can be serious.  Someday. There are tales of SPACE: IT'S REALLY BIG! \o/ plus cute baby elephants, the biker invasion of Galveston Island, airport delays with bonus beagle action, and an XTREME QUILT SHOW experience to be blogged, maybe.  Eventually.  Some of the photos are on Flickr already.


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Nov. 4th, 2010

Fun times with Jaye and the world

So after my brief Twitter encounter with Jaye trying to figure out how to say "Fuck you, bitch!" in Latin, I mentioned it to the guy sitting next to me in class - right when one of those brilliant silences fell upon the classroom.
So my prof ended up taking the first few minutes of class discussing how one might figure out "Fuck you, bitch!" in Latin, given that it was a difficult structure in English in the first place. (Is it actually an imperative? Is it, in fact, more indicative? How do you deal with 'bitch' when the Latin for dog is identical in both male and female genders?) And it turns out that sexual insults in Latin are heavily gendered, so there are special ones for men based on twisted Roman ideas of masculinity and the place of the "real man" in sexual encounters, and others for women based on the typical property rights issues. The prof also gave us all a reference to The Latin Sexual Vocabulary.
In conclusion, "Vae te, scorte!"
Thank you, Latin 201.

On Tuesday, I worked the morning at the polls since one of Mom's regular workers had to go to a meeting, then went home and cuddled Gabi, then went to pick Jaye up from the airport. We had a lovely dinner at the Red Lion pub with strange but delicious British-Indian-TexMex fusion, and hung out a bit watching the returns.
Yesterday, Jaye and I ran out to the grocery store and the drug store (because of course I got terribly congested the day before she arrived - argh, it's just like our trip to London!) and to drop off my rent and to take a tour of the neighborhood. Then we grabbed lunch on the Rice campus and I went to class, then we tried to hit the science museum, but they close at 5 and it was already almost 4, so we went to the gift shop instead.
Then we went to Rothko Chapel and the Byzantine Fresco Museum, which are both part of the Menil Collection.
We picked up Kim to have some excellent BBQ in the cold and rainy night. Goode Company is a mostly outdoor joint, but they have plastic tenting around the perimeter and heaters running the length of the patio roof, so we ate outside. The BBQ was delicious as always. Nom.
Post-BBQ we scored a table at Inversion Coffee, which was a bit more crowded than usual since another local coffeehouse, Agora, burned to the ground over Halloween weekend. Their crowd has been looked for replacement hang-outs, apparently, and bringing business to other locally owned joints around the neighborhood.

I have done no writing and very little drawing in this time, as expected. Maybe I might get a bit done during our downtime, but I'm not fussed over it, really.

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Sep. 3rd, 2010

Symphony of Science and other neat things

Last night one of my old friends had a birthday party - it was a "Swango Dance Party" and there were some very impressive dancers. I met up with more old friends, mostly from high school, and met some new people. I may need to check out the dance scene here - not club dancing, but social dancing. Apparently there's a thriving tango and swing culture that I've just missed.

Here, Symphony of Science, just to put a smile on your face (And in case the embedding doesn't work, you can just go watch it on youtube at

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Aug. 7th, 2010

it's cuteness all the time up here

It's awesome being the visiting fairy godmother - everything the kid does is cute, even when he's screaming. ;)  Seriously, though, I am having a wonderful visit with Michelle and Andy and Milo up in beautiful Ithaca.  We've visited some cool places, and today there will be a Farmer's Market lunch and maybe a park!  w00t!
This is the only photo I have so far on the web: Milo at the ScienceCenter.

I just laughed and Milo said, "She's laughing checking her e-mail." LOL.  Awesome. Onward.

P.S. It's supposed to be a high of 76 F today.  ♥

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Apr. 22nd, 2010

The Great 2010 Art Quilt Placemat Challenge

So now that Keet and Julie have received their lovely gifts, I am posting the collection of photos about making my offerings, plus shots of the ones Mom made. (With apologies for the totally crappy quality of the photos.)

Mom made this for Julie's theme of "fireflies":
The fireflies, stars, tree, and details of the figure are in embroidery, with quilting over top to give the landscape.

And Mom made this for Keet's theme of "sunshine":
"Sun"The center of the flower is full of embroidered French knots.

I made this one for Keet's theme of "A Midsummer Night's Dream":
That's partial square patchwork and partial (badly) reversed applique.

I made this one for Julie's theme of "Japanese water garden":
"Japanese Water Garden"
And seriously, go look at the big version of this one, it's not quite as blurry as the others, and I am really proud of the quilting I did on that one. Again, partial patchwork.

The Great 2010 Art Quilt Placemat Challenge set on Flickr includes a few making-of shots and some close-up on the details.

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Apr. 18th, 2010

fun geeky weekend

This weekend I had a grand time with various geeky pastimes.
On Saturday I finally got to see Secret of Kells with my parents.  It was a great little film - very different from what I expected but excellent anyway. It was gorgeous - totally inspiring and intriguing on many levels.  I really liked the animation of the illuminations, and the voices.
ETA (not really a spoiler but cut just in case )
After the movie we had a nice dinner, then I came home to finish setting up my new computer, which I named Aisling after the fairy in the film.
It's kind of amazing to work on a machine that doesn't take much time to boot, and doesn't default to error messages from the start.
Today I went with Chuck, Val, and Julie on the Texas Wine and Wildflowers Tour of local wineries. It was really lovely. The flowers were abundant and colorful, and even though it threatened rain all day it didn't really pour until after we were done with the tour. We had some wonderful wines on the tour, and met some very nice wine makers as well.  I learned that I have no idea how to taste wine any more, but that there are a lot of wines out there that I like.  I also appreciated the way the selections offered for the tasting were complemented (or not) by the food offerings. The discussion around the table was great.
I got a few photos, but nothing exceptional, and no flowers, unfortunately.  I'll have to go out on a wildflower quest later.

Also this weekend, I watched the latest episode of Doctor Who, "Victory of the Daleks."
fandom nonsense, cut for spoilers )

I'm planning some new art, but mostly now that it's the end of April I need to concentrate on finishing my Prismacolor of Morgana for the show in June, and making prints of my digital work.  It should be a pretty good spread of pieces, I think, fandom-related and not.

Nov. 6th, 2009

evening out

This evening the lovely [info]alisanne was in town, so we met up for dinner and tea and much chatter of fandom and other topics.  It was quite a nice time. 
Now I must prepare for my weekend adventure in Austin, plus try to make some progress on my art coming due.

Oct. 25th, 2009

At the Faire

Keri and Donna
Originally uploaded by zephrene.
I ran away to the circus.. er, Renaissance Festival today!
It was pirate weekend, so I got into a pseudo-costume (I wore jeans), and met Donna, Jon, Lando and some friends.
It was a long drive, by the way. Geez. It seems so much shorter when there is another person in the car.
This is us in front of the waterwheel by the carousel, which was the designated "let's all meet here" location.

Aug. 23rd, 2009

bullet points

  • my best friend really really really wants me to read Twilight.  sigh. I probably should read it just so I'll have a point of conversation with my younger cousins, who aren't readers but have apparently all finished the series.
  • she also spent some time discussing the ways that she thought my characterization of Draco Malfoy in Far Away as Moonshine echoed that of Michael Corleone in The Godfather series.
  • and we spent our lunch talking racebending and white-washing in film, something she's been aware of and talking about for longer than I.
  • good times, despite the sparkly vampire complication.

  • Friday evening I actually went out. Yes, really. Had dinner and then drinks with friends. I visited a new bar I'd never been to, and had some lovely Scotch.
  • The lightning on Friday was apocalyptic.  Made me wish I had a camera with instant shutter speed, to capture it.
  • Saturday morning at the gas station, a lady saw my "I'm blogging this" t-shirt and said, "Hey, can I ask you about blogging?"  So we ended up having a conversation about social media while my tank filled. Bizarre.
  • Spent Saturday evening at my aunt's house. We had dinner and conversation and played two rounds of Scrabble.  Fun times.
  • Today Mom and I made a HUGE dent in my cleaning. We moved the sewing cabinet, and put away almost all the books, although actually really they're all thrown willy-nilly onto shelves, not actually organized.  It'll take me weeks to get them organized.
  • I hung two more pictures on the walls, too.
  • Baking soda really is a miracle cleaner.

  • I have two more bigbang arts to do, and then a fest to illustrate before Snupin Santa hits.
  • I'm working on a concept for a series of fairy tale illustrations in Prismacolor and ink, for my Advanced Visual Arts studio class this semester.

Aug. 7th, 2009

WorldCon Day 1: The short version

-- Jaye and I are going to hell.
-- Jaye fell asleep in the panel on Consciousness.  (I fell asleep in the Putting the World in WorldCon panel)
-- I feel like I walked several miles along the corridors at the party hotel.
-- the Polish restaurant in Old Montreal is awesome, as I remembered it, and I really must get back there for dinner.
-- We are still in search of decent coffee, but the place in the Palais serves "cafe mocha" ghetto-style, which is hot chocolate with regular coffee poured into it. OMG, it is So Damn Good.
-- became a pre-supporting member of the Texas 2013 bid. Yay.
-- found Jake randomly by the elevators at the party hotel.
-- random guy in the panel about Genocide in Literature spent 5 minutes of panel time summarizing the most recent Star Trek movie.
-- Charles Stross predicts human drivers will be illegal in 30 years...
-- Paul Krugman to Charles Stross: So where do you get your ideas?
-- Opening Ceremonies included a really good contortionist. Those folks always make me cringe a little, though, when they fold their spine backwards just below their diaphragm. Eep.
-- Neil Gaiman seemed shorter than I am when I ran into him (almost literally in a narrow doorway). That is so weird. Also, he did not offer Jake a blow job. (But hey, it's only Thursday.)
-- Margarita ok. Aquavit excellent. La Fin du Monde local microbrew AWESOME.
-- Now Jaye and I are going to bed.

Mar. 14th, 2009

fun friday, busy saturday

Happy Pi Day!

Last night I went to see Jonathan Coulton with Paul & Storm, of whom I had never really heard before last summer, nor ever seen perform, whether on youtube or live.  It was a really fantastic performance with lots of humor and audience interaction. Paul and Storm's opening show had me falling over laughing. Jonathan broke a string on his guitar in the first song, then later discovered his mouth harp was in the frame backwards. It being Friday the 13th, he joked, of course things went a bit awry. But none of that really interfered with the show, or the music. I could have done without the hair-flinging, loud-singing guy sitting one row down from me, but every concert-goer has crosses to bear, and as concerts go a hair-flinging, loud-singing obnoxious dude is better than drunken groping or being fallen on.
At one point near the end the entire balcony was doing Thriller-type zombie gesturing from their seats while shouting "All we want to do is eat your brains." Yeah. Nerds in groups. I should have taken photos. (The few I did take will be posted later, mostly of House of Blues itself.)
I went out with a party of six folks from the Houston SFF community, all active con-goers or organizers. We had dinner first with a few of them, then met at House of Blues downtown, where there were a bunch of other local nerds that folks in my party knew.  We ended up with seating right near each other in the balcony, oddly enough.
After the concert, we all went to a diner/coffeehouse on Westheimer and had food and drink and conversation until after midnight.  I did not get back to my car (I'd been ridesharing to avoid the downtown/midtown parking crunch) until 1:30 am. 
I haven't had a night out like that in quite some time, so it was pretty awesome.

Today I woke up at an ungodly hour to take care of my unruly stomach (it's pretty much a clockwork alarm all on its own - 6:25 am it wakes me without fail, just before my alarm.  I nibbled on a rice cracker and some orange juice and chatted with mom for a few minutes, then crashed again. I got up for real at about 11, and looked soberly at the packing I should be doing...  and turned away.
Instead, I cut some batting and the backing fabric for the quilt in progress, pinned it all together and trimmed it, and now I'm working on attaching the border pieces to the front before getting in there with the machine quilting.
Ideally I would like to have this finished in time to take it to New York at the end of April and present it to the recipients in person. I may not finish it before I move, but I'll definitely try to get as much done as possible before then, and keep the pieces in a separate box so I can find them pronto in the new place.

I just finished giving the kitchen floor a sweep and clean and mop, so I'm taking a sit-down break in front of a fan to type this up. My only minor angst today is that I really wanted to watch Ghostbusters while I did my sewing but I couldn't find the DVD.  I am pretty sure that I actually bought my own copy, but I could be mistaken. (Sorting out my stuff from the family stuff will be such fun!)  I put on The Last Unicorn  with Real Genius in the bullpen instead. 

Ok, and Dad just told me a joke he heard on Prairie Home Companion and I didn't know enough about music to get the pun in the punchline without clarification. FAIL.  :P   He needs to tell it to Peter.

Jan. 14th, 2009

Merlin-commentary - in one compact post

Post #1:
Here are the caveats:
I don't tend to watch TV, so I have seen neither the show nor any clips.
The web site video doesn't work if you're logging in outside the UK, so all I had to go on were the character descriptions and stills. 

Transcript of chat below:
a plenitude of snark and a lack of saxony goodness, or evilness as the case may be )

Post #2:
I have now seen the first episode of the BBC's Merlin.
Here is my running commentary.  bwahahaha.

snark and hilarity )

Oh, interwebs, I love you! I'm going to watch the whole show now!
Except not right this minute because it's time to sleep.

Dec. 24th, 2008

festive holiday cheer

Things I have done that are fun:

- went to see The Day the Earth Stood Still with my dad. We snarked. And enjoyed ourselves. And snarked. It was good.
- played two rounds of The Downfall of Pompeii with my mom. w00t! Sacrifice them to the volcano! Muahahahaha!
- made cinnamon pecans, watched Donna bake while entertaining the little one, played with Lando, danced Lando around the kitchen, introduced Lando to Sandra Boynton's brilliant Hippos Go Berserk! counting board book, and ate yummy festive holiday pound cake (which isn't fruitcake. really).
- watched A Muppet Family Christmas  and A Muppet Christmas Carol with Donna and Lando and, later, Jon.

also done:
- laundry. lots of it.
- moved furniture, re-arranged my room, sorted books, sorted more books, including antiques, moved boxes of toys, and helped mom hook up her computer to the network printer.

coming soon:
- baking cookies! (maybe.)
- playing more games with the family.
- big extended family Christmas meal and game playing.
- making art.
- sewing.
- moving all the boxes to make space for the new craft table.
- packing for Philadelphia (what do you mean it might snow in December? Where did I put my boots?)

Dec. 16th, 2008

updates and whatnot

OMG, I'm trying to create (I'm a day behind on advent drabbles again, not that I'm going to panic over it, but I have IDEAS) and there's nobody to commiserate with. The only chatroom I know about is kind of dead, or at least slow, and gchat is empty, and sigh.
I miss my old writers' chat, but they wouldn't have been the best folks to blather with over fanfic stuff anyhow. It was just such a big group it was almost always busy in the chatroom.

And how sad is it that I feel so out of sorts trying to work without a background hum of interweb chatter? Geez. *firmly opens photoshop, or GoogleDocs at the very least.*

I have deadline stuff to do, too!

In related news, I updated my Art Master List up to yesterday's snarry_hols reveal, including the drawbles so far.

Dec. 2nd, 2008


Where are people talking / planning for Azkatraz?  Am I missing a crucial post on their LJ comms full of comments, or an especially active area on the bbs?
Or is it just too early to see anything?

Is anybody else arriving Thursday or earlier for the movie, who wants to hang out?
:D   I should take some touristy photos of SF just to prove I was there and that I left the hotel.  (Good grief, leaving the con hotel - what a concept.)

Nov. 15th, 2008

Julie visit teaser

We're having a good time!

Julie & Keri in the Water Garden

So are the Storm Troopers!

Highland Storm Trooper

More photos to follow when I get a spare minute to process them. Plus of course we're going back to the Festival tomorrow.

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