Mar. 2nd, 2011

Life, the universe, and the rest of it

So mostly over the last little while I've been posting photos of food.
I should take more photos of the food I cook at home - I made a really excellent dinner tonight that hasn't made me sick, so hooray!
Today I went to a Brown Bag Lunch Presentation at the university, by the Executive Chefs from a couple of the residential colleges here. These students eat so well! They prepared some great stuff in the kitchen theater and then we all got to eat it for lunch. (On the menu: Seafood medley, Beef Wellington (with portabella mushrooms instead of foie gras), and mascarpone crepes with berry flambe drizzled with strawberry jam, a balsamic reduction, and fresh basil.
HOLY COW.
I did not eat like this in college... (photos) )
I LOVE FOOD. HERE I TALK ABOUT IT. )

Ok, that was more than I thought I'd type about food and eating.

On a different subject: reading.
I read The Eagle of the Ninth and really enjoyed the heck out of it. I borrowed a nonfiction title from the office Liberal Studies Library, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control that should be an interesting follow-up to that. I don't know if I will be able to bring myself to see the film while it's in theaters. I might find that very fun, actually, but I have terrible motivation about going to films alone, and I don't have a movie-going geek tribe here. At least not movies in the theater. ;)
I also have on the back burner some Northern European primary source mythology - The Eddas and the Mabinogion and some others, as many as I can find in Public Domain libraries for download. (Have I mentioned that I love Nefertem the Magical Purple Smartphone/eBook Reader?)
And yesterday I spent the entire evening devouring in basically one sitting Anne Bishop's latest Black Jewels offering, Twilight's Dawn: A Black Jewels Book. I have read much criticism of the series and even agree with some of it, but damn, they are addictive and I love them. I couldn't bear to put it down. And I thought it would be easier to pause since it was a series of connected novellas rather than one story! Ahahahaha, so wrong. I was very surprised, but not in an unpleasant way, by the turn of those novellas, so that's good. Kept me engaged.


Today's card: The Four of Air, Gaian Tarot
Four of Air, Gaian Tarot )
Oh, dear, it's the nesting card. I just put in some inquiries with my property management company and some warehouses in the First Ward about larger apartments and art studios for rent. I am taking active steps to pursue changes in my living and creative working situation. I am actually a bit amazed to be in a position to consider such, but again, that's part of why I moved back here. Options. Relatively low cost of living. Thriving arts community. I have to do some buckling down here, too, and make decisions.
It's a good card for today, I think.

Plus I did my taxes. Always a nice feeling.

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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.

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Nov. 18th, 2010

life imitates art

I just got home from a very enjoyable evening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with my Continuing Studies Advanced Visual Arts classmates and our teacher. We stormed the European Galleries building and saw lots of cool stuff, but more importantly discussed the lives and times of many artists, the tragedies and joys and physical hardships that influenced their work. We also did a lot of interesting technical discussion, on media and material, the function and meaning of art in its various times, and the nature of aesthetics. It was great.
I love visiting museums with people, although I admit I am not always a good co-museum-visitor. I tend to bounce from place to place without rhyme or reason, only occasionally reading the signs, or I will systematically go through a gallery in such a way as to hit every single piece in the least number of steps. Or sometimes I'll just sit on a bench and slowly rotate my view until I've taken it all in.
So now I want to paint. I have paints, even, but not much time. I need to get my workspace set up so that I can leave my in-progress stuff on the drafting table and not have to do an elaborate song-and-dance every time I want to paint.

In other news, photos have been posted from the epic week of Jaye, including some nice ones of Houston sights, but nothing from the Observatory because I left my camera at home. Besides, it was dark. Still, our tours of the various small telescopes on the terrace and the two big research domes at the George Observatory were excellent. We did a lot of running around in the dark with our hands in the air squeeing, "Space! It's really big!" Seriously. I mean, people who know us will just know that we did exactly that, but it's not a cute text message code or something. We jumped up and down and waved our arms in the "touchdown" manner.
It was awesome.

As for the Zoo, I may need to go back one day just to sit around the elephant enclosure for a while because, OMG BABY ELEPHANTS! So adorable.
One of them tried very hard to escape from the stalls where they were being bathed, and the tiny one kept poking his trunk through the bars at his slightly bigger friend as if to say, "Hey, Baylor? Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

Latin continues to be hilarious in the way that it can be for me since my grade is just so much happy funtimes. We're reading about the martyrdom of St Alban in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of Britain. It's funny, but the medieval stuff really is easier, despite the way that it warps the Classical grammar and conventions. Medieval Latin syntax starts to resemble English syntax, so it's amazingly simple to connect concepts. Sometimes there are things that are just weird, but so far it's been very straightforward and also quite fascinating. I may ask about auditing next semester after all - if the professor doesn't mind a tourist.

I had my first of four dental visits this afternoon, and spent the latter half of my workday with a Novocain-induced numb jaw. I had to hold a napkin to my mouth for part of it because I was drooling all over my desk. Very professional. Still, at least it's done, and I can get all of it done now before I need any major surgical work. I am thankful that it's a relatively straightforward couple of procedures.
Although I do have to say, contrary to the conversation I had at lunch with coworkers, those needles they used to numb my jaw were HUGE! HUUUUGE!

Now I am going to do some translating, and mourn the fact that I haven't been able to draw all week. Perhaps this weekend.

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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.

Seriously:
SPACE! IT'S REALLY BIG!! \o/ ♥ ♥


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Sep. 10th, 2010

stuff and things

Ok, so I can predict things pretty well, because last time I posted I said that I would screw up in class after thinking I had things down, and lo - I did!  I talked a lot more in general, but I also had totally done half the sentences wrong.  What fun!  I commiserated with a couple of classmates afterward. We all feel like idiots, so at least there's that much consolation.

In other news, yesterday evening Mom and I went to a lecture by Retired Colonel Ann Wright about her experiences with the military, diplomacy, and the Gaza Flotilla.  She was really quite amazing.

Now I am working on my art entries for the [community profile] eid_ka_chand community challenge. Fun times!

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Aug. 23rd, 2010

goodbye, drawing time

So I enrolled in a credit Latin course at the university, because I can. I opted for the Intermediate course as a review, and boy am I glad I did because the first assignment is kicking my ass. I am almost two hours in and almost halfway through the paragraph we were assigned. (The paragraph! Argh. I used to sit around reading Cicero's letters all day, I should be able to do this!)
I am getting better, maybe, as I go.  Or at least feeling less like an idiot.  We'll see how it looks when I get it to the classroom.  The nice thing about taking the course now is that the Grammar book and the Dictionaries are almost all online in their entirety. I love the Perseus Project! 
I'll still probably fork over for a physical grammar, though - looking stuff up in the ebook version is giving me a headache. 
Note to self, though - I'm in this for credit, it's ok to speak up when I know the answer. 

Someday I will have time to draw again!

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May. 27th, 2010

catching up - the bullet points version

So, I keep meaning to post something and then getting sidetracked.  I've even drafted things and then closed the window.  Fun times. It's been busy here, though.

- Of course, ApolloCon is coming up very soon and that takes up a lot of bandwidth.
- I blew through the Twilight saga at last, on Donna's recommendation, and actually I really enjoyed it. I didn't find nearly as many objectionable political themes as some reviewers, and while I found Bella rather unappealing as a protagonist I certainly enjoyed the world and many other characters in it.  I also watched the first two movies, and they were pretty blah. The second was better than the first by miles, which is true of the books as well, but I don't hold out too much hope for the translation of the books to screen.  Look what movies did to Harry Potter.  Anyway, the point is that they were fun books and I enjoyed the heck out of them, and while I won't be jumping to find some Bella/Edward fic on the internet any time soon, I would totally be down for some explorations of Caius's experiences with the Children of the Moon.  Anybody? 
- Still enjoying the heck out of the new Doctor Who, and very much in love with the characters, most especially Rory.
- I am now reading Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld book, and it's quite fun. On deck are a whole slew of YA fantasies from the library, and then I really must get back to the Dresden Files so I can catch up and stop avoiding spoilers.
- Enjoyed a great benefit concert at House of Blues Houston with the family. It was really nice to be out just the four of us, and it was an interesting evening full of fabulous music.
- Went to my first Geeks Who Drink pub quiz in Houston with a co-worker, her husband, and their friends.  I hope it will become a regular thing. It was a fun quiz, with the usual moments of woe and of genius, plus bonus outdoor patio bar with friendly dogs. I wore my Heroines of Science: Marie Curie t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
- I was accepted as a College Associate for one of the residential colleges here, which basically means that I get to have lunch in their servery sometimes and hang out with the students, support the college in its projects on campus, and maybe be more involved in other things as well.  I understand the definition of the role is still somewhat fluid, so come the fall semester I'll find out more. It'll be nice to have a connection on campus proper, since my office/cave is off on the far side and I don't get to mingle much with the undergrads or faculty.
- I've been mainlining Legend of the Seeker Season 1 on Netflix for the last few weeks.  It's a bit awesome and a bit awful, not sure yet where the balance will end up. I may be slightly skewed in my viewing after watching part of Season 1 of Xena, though.
- Been getting a lot of "Thanks for your opinion, but I'm on the opposite side of the issue" replies from my congressional representation again, which is typical but for some reason coming in floods now.
- I had a brilliant idea for a story while on my morning commute the other day, listening to Democracy Now! on KPFT. I'm not certain it will work, but it's exciting to feel inspired.  Also, I have some direction on my current WIP that my crit group will love to see, if I can get it all typed out in time to turn in on Monday.
- I'd really like to take an art class this summer, so I'm counting pennies and figuring out schedules to see if I can work something out. Hopefully I'll still feel like working after showing my illustrations at ApolloCon (eep!). At least I finally got my drafting table and lamp set up. Yay workspace! Now I just need to break out the watercolors again.

And now it is time to sleep.

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