Dec. 28th, 2011

oops, I fell off the internet

Which isn't really true, I just was terribly busy this holiday season - work was crazy, then I was out and about all the freakin' time, so when I was home I didn't really want to do anything but read Avengers and Iron Man comics. (I love my Marvel Digital Subscription!)
I haven't really been doing anything creative, but I have been making plans.

Right now I'm in the lovely suburbs of Philadelphia, in the Great Valley area. My goddaughter and her parents are hosting me for a week of craftiness, cooking, game-playing, and reading excellent books. (Maya just got started on the Chronicles of Narnia, and is reading A Wrinkle in Time.) I have two volumes of the adventures of my beloved Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in my luggage, but I'm mostly rereading Iron Man fanfiction (Civil War fix-it fics - so schmoopy.)

I have been keeping up with a few fests, but not in any big way - I'll have to catch up when I get home.

So, quick fandom / genre-related hits:

  • Finished S4 of Merlin, loved it. Beautiful visuals, excellent acting, and the problematic parts were not sufficient to keep me from loving it.

  • Doctor Who Christmas Special - really enjoyed it. This was an amazing episode. Had a really good time with it.

  • Got my parents watching my Marvel Cinematic Universe Collection. \o/ (I ♥ Phil Coulson!)

  • Christmas was pretty awesome - it's not really my holiday anymore, but we have a secular gift-exchange at our house since my dad likes giving us things. He apparently ransacked the BBC store for me this year - Merlin action figures and Doctor Who gear all over. We were really cute about making sure the various animals gave people gifts, too. And all five of us actually spent a good portion of the evening together and we GOT ALONG and it was beautiful. Dinner and a round of Ticket to Ride: Europe made for a fantastic family fest.

  • Watched Super 8 with Sam and Keet last night, and it was really awesome. Sam described it as "The Goonies if JJ Abrams had directed," (more lens flare!). I thought that was pretty accurate. Maybe the Goonies + E.T. It surprised me, how much I really enjoyed it. It was nothing at all what I was expecting. So, yay!

  • I found the elusive Iron Man / Captain America Annual 1998 in an anthology in a comics store here in King of Prussia, so I know it exists now. I did not buy the anthology (too big, too expensive - I'm an all-carry-on traveler this trip), but I will look for it or order it when I get home. \o/



I am looking forward to a New Year's season full of jigsaw puzzles (a tradition), board games (\o/), and bonus Cheesemas! Yay Cheesemas!
At some point I'll post photos, when I get them off my phone.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/498531.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 1st, 2011

Imbolc

So I've made lots of false starts on a lot of goals, but I did want to take a moment to say that today I did a formal ritual at my new altar. I used a variation of James Wells' tarot game, as sent by Joanna Powell Colbert for adaptation for Imbolc, and used quite a lot of fire.
One thing I learned by doing this, though, was that I still need a few tools. ;) Some of them I know I own already, I just need to find them. Others I'll have to acquire.

It was a really good feeling.

Now I just need to use this inspiration toward some exercise as well as creative pursuits. Heh.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/475523.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 31st, 2010

excellent fun on vacation

Quick hits from the last few days:

- epic game of Outburst! at the extended family Christmas gathering = lovely
- Christmas morning was fruitful - much moreso than I expected, honestly, although it was certainly awesome. Santa left a package under the "tree" (which was really just a hippopotamus ornament hanging from the chandelier) for "The Discworld Fans in the Household" full of books. Awesome. There was much excitement and cheer during the day.
- flight to PA left on time despite blizzard, I got through security easily which was great because then I had to run for my gate. Made it on time, flight was uneventful except for the windy turbulence as we arrived.
- have enjoyed the fantastic hospitality at Chez Sam and Keet and Maya (and Cedar), especially their excellent new kitchen, which is totally party central.
- saw Yogi Bear in 3-D with 6-year-olds. Hilarious. There was a moment of romance at the end, when the hero wins fair lady and goes for a kiss, and across the theater could be heard shouts of "Oh, noooo!", "Don't do it!" and "Cover your eyes!" *chortle* That was the best part.
- Cheesemas was AWESOME. I was unfortunately not feeling my best (congestion in the head), but I had a tiny dram of scotch and much delicious food. I got to see Julie, who I miss very much, and many other lovely folks.
- I am reading Zombies vs. Unicorns (xmas gift!) and it is AMAZING. :D
- my tummy has been behaving very well, yay!

Now we prepare for New Year's Frolics. I may try a New Year tarot spread later, and I have heard rumors of a jigsaw puzzle after our dinner party.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/469514.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 24th, 2010

holiday cheer

East Texas weather is unpredictable. This morning it was sunny and gorgeous and I had all the fans running and windows open as I had breakfast and did a bit of sewing. By the time we got home from our jaunt up to Magnolia, I needed to be bundled up in my fleecy pajamas, and it's raining!
We had a last-minute change of plans to go to Magnolia, where all my cousins had gathered with my aunt and the children. Unfortunately my brother couldn't get off work, and we missed him. One cousin is leaving shortly for an 8-month deployment as a chaplain with the Navy, and he and his wife and daughter were able to drive down here as part of his holiday leave. It was really awesome to see him, and everybody else. (We even got the chance to talk shop, he and I, about ministry and ministering. It's fascinating to get that perspective on the military.)
We're all hugely different, and have all taken divergent life paths, but man, it's so wonderful to sit down around a table and feel like we're still all friends. I don't think we really had that feeling as teens, so to regain it as adults is great.

Tomorrow it's time to visit the other side of the family, and then to prepare for my trip up north.
I'm also pretty excited about the Doctor Who special, which I'll be watching at the parental domicile since they've got cable.
My sewing is so not done. I think at this point the only to do is deliver them at the end of January, instead of trying to rush through and getting it wrong.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/469264.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 21st, 2010

Eclipse=awesome

Despite 90% cloud cover, Mom and I sat out by the pool listening to the wind through the fan palms, and waited for the tiny breaks in the clouds that let us see this rare and wonderful event. It was pretty awesome.
Today is Yule, and with the eclipse it has bonus powers of renewal (and awesomeness). I hope that it will be a time of some real connection and rejuvenation for me. I will try to record my thoughts and activities here in a more organized fashion, so I can track my progress.

In conclusion:

Space! It's really big! \o/

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/468995.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 18th, 2010

awesome holiday tarot and more

The Tarot Meetup for the holiday ROCKED. We had a trading faire at which I acquired some sweet new items, and got rid of a few that were no longer useful for me. We also did some fabulous spreads - reading for each other as part of exercises is always really exciting and energizing. And I did some public reading, too, basically interpreting for the group with discussion. I LOVE THIS GROUP. And I felt wonderfully connected at the meeting, enough that I stayed almost an hour afterward chatting with a few other folks. I love Meetups like that!
I picked up a tiny deck that is just gorgeous and really spoke to me, so I may start carrying that around instead of the huge one that bulges out my purse pocket currently.

I need to get my holiday gifts together (I finally decided on some things for my brother, although I think I got just a TAD carried away.), and set them aside somewhere so that the ones going to farther distant relatives will go to their recipients before Epiphany. (I grew up with more the Twelve Days of Christmas celebration than the Advent ones. Advent calendars mystified me, when I was a kid.)

I would just like to say that it's both nice and sad when you can go to the liquor store with your dad and have bonding moment over how much you each would love to purchase a $300-500 bottle of scotch. (Different bottles, natch.) As usual I was puzzled by my apparent taste (I keep notes in my Book of Books and Other Things To Buy Someday on which distilleries produce the single malts I like) because the scotch aisle is supposedly arranged in an array moving from less peaty to very peaty and my choices are spread pretty evenly throughout. Puzzling. Or perhaps I misunderstood the salesguy. It happens, they were very busy. (But not their busiest!)

We re-watched Tron today, in preparation (I hope) for a viewing of the new movie. I don't care how bad the plot sucks (I have heard mixed reviews, but nothing yet from anyone I actually trust), I really want to see it on the big screen.

In other news, Gabi is the CUTEST BEAGLE SISTER EVER. She was so excited when I walked in with my laundry, she was like a pinball among the bumpers. And then while I was reading and watching Tron she came and curled up next to me on the sofa. Plus when I ate dinner she sat next to me and just watched, with those sad sad sad eyes, waiting for the moment when I was finished and let her lick the bowl. SO CUTE.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/468654.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Dec. 14th, 2010

holiday madness

So, it's been one holiday event after another, everywhere, lately.
I've been to several parties, including the one at work which was actually the most fun I've ever had at an office holiday party! Plus food! The only problem with all the holiday stuff is that I am in the midst of my most urgent DEADLINES now that the rest of the office has finished theirs. (Mine always come later.) So I was actually working every minute of today when I was not partying. I did make it onto the Cork Board of Awesome in the director's office for my graphic design today, so that's excellent. It's nice to be visually represented with the department even though I have minimal contributions to print collateral.
My poor officemate, though, had to listen to me berating my computer and bewailing inaccurate pixel measurement and padding versus margin error and WHY WON'T THESE WIDTHS LINE UP CORRECTLY, etc. When I finally got it done, I exclaimed, "Oh, my god, it's perfect!" And everybody came in to look at the ruler-straight right margin I had achieved. This is my life. ;)

Tonight there's another holiday Meetup, and tomorrow, and yesterday there was one, too. Fun times indeed, except that I STILL have art deadlines and need to work on some stuff before too long.

I've been feeling really creative, though, and wanting an outlet for that. Luckily I have quilts in progress, stories in progress, and illustrations in progress so basically it's Pick My Poison every day.

I am hoping for clear skies the night of the Solstice so I can go outside and see the eclipse. I may inform work that I'll be in late, so that I can stay up for the whole thing. That will be really awesome.

In other, totally random, news, my adenium plant has grown EIGHT INCHES! And it has leaves again, after the sad sad summer of leaf loss and insect contamination. It would be amazing if it actually bloomed next year, but I'm not holding my breath. There has been no sign of buds since it recovered. My other plant is also doing well, and growing. Very exciting.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/468147.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 31st, 2010

and now, movies

In less sober Memorial Day news...

- My family enjoys watching some of the Memorial Day movie marathons put on by AMC and TCM and other such stations.  So when I got to the parental homestead yesterday with my laundry, I walked in to see some German soldiers on screen in tight quarters, speaking German with no subtitles.  Mom look up at me expectantly and asks if I recognize it. So I said, "The Guns of Navarone?"  And Mom busts up laughing and looks at Dad in the kitchen and says, "All those years of Memorial Day movie marathons paid off have ruined them!"  Seriously, I was actually thinking it was a submarine movie until the scene cut to an interior of an elevator cut into rock. [ETA: Mom tells me I remembered her comment incorrectly! ;)]

- We watched Bill Maher's Religulous, which was both funny and depressing. I don't really have a lot to say about it; I thought he was often correct, often funny, and often confrontational. He found some great folks to talk to, and featured some crazy crazy clips.  It was both educational and adversarial. I'm glad I watched it, but I don't know if I would watch it again.

- We watched Avatar together. It was actually really disappointing, after all the crazy build-up. Mom's verdict, as the credits rolled: "Titanic was better."  mild spoilers )  It felt like an attempt to combine allegory and adventure movie that fell flat on multiple levels.  I thought the best part of the whole thing was actually the way the tree roots lit up when they were walked upon. 

- Winding up the evening we watched Operation Petticoat.  It's a hilarious comedy classic starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis on a submarine in the Pacific.  The sub is in a constant state of disrepair, breaking down and needing parts.  Over the course of the movie, through various hilarious machinations of con-man Curtis and twists that confound commanding officer Grant as they try to get things into working order and into the combat zone, the sub ends up painted pink, hosting five Army nurses and a passel of civilians, and seeing some action from both sides of the conflict.  It's a real hoot, one in which every other line is a subtle (or blatant) innuendo, and the whole thing increases in hilarity if you add "in my pants" to the dialogue.   Most hilarious family moment: in the interior of the ship one of the nurses has fixed part of the sub's machinery with an item of clothing that stretches from several snaps. I had to look over at Mom and ask, "Ok, what is that?" and she laughed and told me it was a girdle, and how nice must it be to live in a year when I don't recognize one.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/447066.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Memorial Day

When I was a kid, my family took part in quite a few memorials and tributes to Vietnam Veterans, often involving the Moving Wall. I remember one year, here in Houston at Hermann Park, they came to set up the wall, and my brother and I were part of a team doing a special job. We had a swathe of grass by the reflection pool roped off, and inside the ropes we planted one mini American flag for every name on the Wall.

There were a lot of flags.

I saw the Moving Wall many times before I ever got to Washington, DC to see the full-sized version. I heard a lot of stories. I listened more than once to the recitation of names. It was a very formal sort of mourning even as it was completely chaotic, almost a fairground atmosphere with food and tents and educational displays. Being around veterans, growing up with the Vietnam Veterans' movement all around me, from television shows to holidays to vacation trips to the tales of family and friends, it's impossible to forget that I owe a debt of gratitude to those men and women.

So here it is Memorial Day, and my thoughts return to the men and women who serve and have served. Those who died, and those who came home. I continue to dream of peace, of the day when no man or woman need sacrifice, but until then we can only do the best we can.

Sometime before this weekend, at military cemeteries across the country, volunteers and groundskeepers went out to place an American flag on each grave.

There are a lot of flags. 

Thank you for your service.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/446750.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 9th, 2010

Mother's Day for peace

Every year for Mother's Day, this is the hope I post. Let us make of  today and everyday a remembrance and an ongoing labor toward peace and  tolerance.

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, written  in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of  tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions  decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us,  reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not  be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them  of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be  trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated  Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The  sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe  out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often  forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women  now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of  counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and  commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other  as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be  appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the  earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance  of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of  international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/444897.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

July 2014

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by InsaneJournal