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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.

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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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Jun. 15th, 2011

today started at 3am

This has been a long long long day.
I stayed over at the ancestral homestead since we were leaving in the middle of the night, and dozed on Dad's recliner.
We got to the airport crazy early - it took a lot less time for us to find parking and get to the terminal than estimated, so we were in line before the Southwest airport workers were even on duty. Whee!
Our flights were largely uneventful, but I had a helluva headache by the time we landed in Long Island.

Now we're sitting around the hotel waiting for our dinner delivery.
We have a graveside service tomorrow afternoon at a National Cemetery. The last living sibling of Aunt Irma's generation, her sister Aida, who must be 91 or so, will be there, having been released from the hospital for the occasion.

I am quite exhausted now, and Mom has declared that I can stop being "in charge" and relax. So of course I've plugged into the wireless and am reading fanfiction. Fun times.

Any minute now, our dinner will arrive. Foooood. I can't wait.

Looking forward to seeing (and meeting) family tomorrow.

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Jun. 8th, 2011

Hey, it's Nashville!

Check out the orb on this one!
Interesting Orb, Parthenon

I'm at the Parthenon!
Me outside the Parthenon

And at the Grand Old Opry House!
Self-Portrait at the Grand Old Opry

In general, fun was had. The conference wasn't half bad, either.

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May. 26th, 2011

stuff, things, travel

So I find myself suddenly traveling to Nashville for a conference next week. Anybody know any good places to visit if I have downtime? I've only really ever driven through on my way somewhere else, taking time to visit the Parthenon and not much besides. I shall be there on weekdays.

This comes at an interesting time of year for me, since we are gearing up for ApolloCon the last weekend in June. (Houston's Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Convention, full of awesome! I'm in the Art Show, too. Come on down!)

Work = Intense as well. Fun, but intense. We've got some stuff going on. :)

Art is progressing. I'm thinking that one of my challenge entries is going to involve major angst, and Colin Morgan's face just lends itself to that so well. I'll have to find some cute fic to get me through it all. LOL.
I've been contemplating fic writing, too. Although I must have a rule that I make progress on my original fic (I can pretend I'm writing fanfic for it, right?) before I indulge.

Speaking of fic, I am almost at the point in my BSG viewing where it will be safe for me to announce that I would like to read all the Adama/Roslin fic in the land. I may also have to create a very belated reaction post to the end of the series, as everyone I know has lately reiterated to me just how badly the show ends.

I have several Dreamwidth invite codes if anybody wants one, by the way.

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May. 5th, 2011

marrying and other fun hobbies

Once again I let myself get behind on posting, and on general creation of stuff.

So over this past weekend I married my friend Lola to her sweetie Robert, and it was awesome. I love marryin'. :)
They had a game-themed reception, which I have quite a lot of on my Flickr account. Hopefully soon Lola will post some official wedding photography from the day, and I'll be able to share it.

I managed to turn in a new segment of my steampunk submarine adventure, but I still get the feeling that I am not being correctly descriptive, and got crit that my sentences are too complex. So the upshot is that nobody actually understands what's happening. Gotta work on that.

Stalled out a bit working on my gnome mechanics, mostly because I was not getting what I wanted from the airbrush on Photoshop, so I scrapped it and will start again with Painter.
Plus maybe do some other work in Painter, as well. I have a poll up for suggestions.

Just finished reading Paladin of Souls, which was amazing. I really enjoyed it. I don't remember a damned thing about the prequel, but this one stands quite cheerfully alone.

Randomly, in the last two weeks I have gotten tons of raised eyebrows and excited reactions to my X-Wing Fighter pendant, which is more than I usually get. I would blame Star Wars Day, but I wasn't even wearing it then.

At some point I may get back to recounting my adventures in NYC and Philadelphia, but until then you can always just check my Flickr stream.

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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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Apr. 1st, 2011

cold in NYC

I was going to make a big post with photos and stuff about my time on vacation so far, but I got distracted running errands in Manhattan and then catching up on LJ and email.
I had a very busy day yesterday - so much so that it feels like two days squished together. Lots of travel across three major cities, a medical emergency mid-flight (not me, and all ended well), then lots of standing around in line in the cold (which I'll be doing again shortly) for the Game of Thrones food truck (BEST. PROMO. IDEA. EVER.), then Pub Quiz in Red Hook.

I will try to make a bigger post soon, and will continue to update Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe Tumblr on the fly. (Yay magical purple smartphone.)

For now, it's time to put on extra socks and a third layer before heading down to the river for the final day of the Game of Thrones cuisine - including HEAD CHEESE, yeah!

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Feb. 13th, 2011

Home with new toy

So, I made it home from San Antonio after a very fun conference and a brief stop at the Alamo and at El Mercado to have lunch at Mi Tierra restaurant. (Well worth the hype, IMO, and also a family tradition.)

Here is the required photo op:
In front of the Alamo
I think I will go get my hair cut today. Egads.

Also resident at the Alamo, which I had forgotten or perhaps never seen, beautiful giant koi fish:
Giant koi at the Alamo. Gorgeous!

Yesterday I visited the ancestral homestead to pick up my new smartphone (purple, already be-stickered), so expect me to become a head-down drone during all important interactions for a while now. :P He really is very cool, and I am very happy with him so far. (I think, as he is purple and has an Egyptian lotus sticker on his back, I will call him after the god of the lotus, Nefertem.)

I also got to have dinner with Donna and Jon and the little ones, who are very entertaining. (And were forgiving of my smartphone obsession.) We watched Star Wars, Episode I, which is Lando's current favorite, and it was actually not terrible to watch. Lando is a very enthusiastic Padawan learner, with his own lightsaber and everything. Watching with kids really makes you view these films in different ways.
As long as I didn't listen to any of the dialogue, it was great, and Liam Neeson was awesome! Donna and I had a whole conversation about the AU where Qui Gon lives and Obi-Wan doesn't fuck everything up with Anakin. It was awesome!

Today's card: Temperance from the Gaian Tarot.
Key 14: Temperance, Gaian Tarot )
In her description of this card, Joanna mentions specifically that it is a card beloved by and created for artists. It is a card of mixing and making, of creative solutions to problems and cooperation among disparate elements. I'd like to think that Temperance creates great energies in my life all the time, both spiritually and socially. I hope also that she watches over my creativity to keep me from becoming too predictable, or stuck in any ruts.

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Feb. 9th, 2011

professional conference + karaoke = ?

So I'm at this professional marketing conference for folks in Continuing and Professional Education, and as part of the programming for this evening a consulting company is hosting karaoke. As I type this, a gaggle of marketing professionals are doing the Electric Slide in the 4th floor lobby of the convention center.
Yeah, so my boss dared me to sing, and I got called right after a really talented guy did Queen's Little Thing Called Love and he was a smash hit (and could actually sing). So I have to follow that, with "Human" by The Killers.
I sing this all the time in my car, but what karaoke makes me realize is that A) I have no ear for pitch; B) I don't know the timing without the singer to do it with me. I did some aside about being nervous, and being a dancer not a singer, and I had a table of very enthusiastic fans up near the front, so that was fun. And I got kudos from the folks in the audience, because I think that everybody else who has gone up has some connection with the organizers of the convention. ;)
I am just happy to make a fool of myself in public. ;)
My boss gave me a standing ovation and our table thanked me for representing them so they wouldn't have to get up themselves. LOL.

Ok, now some folks have gotten up to dance while a girl sings "I Will Survive" on stage. Some of these dancers are really awesome!

Best. Conference. Ever. ROFL!

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Jan. 28th, 2011

Card of the Day: Three of Cups

Yesterday I got the Two of Water again - Deck, I love you, but I seriously can't have a pet in my current apartment.

Today, The draw is the Three of Cups.
Three of Cups, Hanson-Roberts Tarot )
This seems especially appropriate given that today I went out for a very lovely social lunch with four other ladies from the office, and we ate outside in the sunshine at a sidewalk cafe serving crepes. Delicious!
I am making good progress with my various illustration projects, but not so great progress on my crafty ones. Time to get on that.
Work continues to be crazy busy but fun, and I am thankful all the time that my new boss and my team make going to work such a great experience.
I've been super busy the last few nights with meetings and classes - I'm working on a great new random art project that's turning into a vaguely Avatar: The Last Airbender inspired dancer / bender figure in watercolor and colored pencils.
I've also blown through most of Season 1 of Fringe. I think I'm on the last three episodes, now, then Season 2 will start arriving in my mailbox. I am really enjoying it! I can see why the show is so popular, and I don't know how I will ever catch up when I run out of DVDs.

In other news, I am officially visiting the NYC-Philly area in April. [ profile] minimerlin is happening April 8-10, and I'll be in NYC the week before, then in Philly for a couple days after. Yay!

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Jan. 4th, 2011

new year, new germs

Well, I'm sick. Had a pretty miserable night last night, but I feel a lot better today. Flying with head congestion really, really sucked, even after taking meds. Blah.
But now I'm home, and hopefully I will sleep better tonight than last night, and be able to go in to work tomorrow.
Mom and I ran a few errands today, and that was good because it meant I got out of bed and did stuff.
Of course, today was supposed to be a day off to clean and organize my house for the New Year, and after a week of holiday parties and chaotic trip prep, then a week away, my house is messy, my fridge is mostly empty, and my bedroom is piled high with bags that need to be unpacked and sorted. Whee!
So probably shortly I will take my next dose of meds, make some more tea, put on a movie, and get to the unpacking / organizing.

In other news, Pete Postlethwaite died over the weekend. What a loss. He's been a household favorite here since the Sharpe series, but his other roles were all awesome, too. I was possibly the only person in the theater for Inception who clapped her hands and squealed, "It's Pete Postlethwaite," when he was first on screen. Yeah, I did that. He was too young, and I'm sad for his family and friends, and for all his fans.

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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.

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Oct. 15th, 2010

delicious green tea + photos

Mom and Dad came by for Sushi Happy Hour again, which may become a tradition. They serve a really great green tea.
After, we came home and I put the Youtube video of the Prague Astronomical Clock Anniversary projection show on my TV. It was awesome.

Then we sat around looking through my old photos of Prague and points East, and now I am scanning the photos into my computer for future Flickr posting.

You know what?
I seriously couldn't use a camera when I was 16 or 18. I have tons of photos that are one quarter fancy rooftops and three quarters sky. Sometimes there are people's heads in them. Oh, well.

Some of them are really quite excellent, and I had the presence of mind to label them (hopefully mostly correctly) shortly after I got home, so at least I'm not sitting around thinking, "Where the heck is this?"
(I take a lot of random photos of architecture or artistic touches on city streets. Hard to say what city unless you had the negatives or remembered.)

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Oct. 13th, 2010

Prague Astronomical Clock Anniversary Video

600 Years and an Incredible Projection Show. Wow.

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Aug. 27th, 2010

Top 5s: Places, Movies, Snupin Stuff

Ok, this is me caught up on my Latin homework (for the moment) and continuing the Top 5 Meme.  I'm going to try to knock out several in one block this time.  I am saving the crafty / art ones until I have the time to actually sit with my various sites and portfolios and things.  Plus I took photos of the first sophisticated doll I ever made, when I was 14, for Emily's Top 5, so I'll have to post those before I can do that one.
Also, I have a shoebox full of photos from my high school trips abroad and my college years - those are going to be scanned soon and posted to Flickr.  So watch out, college buddies. (I admit there are a few folks I wish I could airbrush out, but I will maintain the integrity of the photos.) 

from [personal profile] glockgal

Top 5 places you've visited (and loved) )

Top 5 things you do to stop being bored
1. Read fanfiction.
2. Draw something.
3. Start a crafty project
4. Grab a beloved book off the shelf to re-read.
5. Start organizing my apartment. 

from [profile] dizilla
top 5 favorite sci-fi movies (or if not enough, fantasy too) -- Oh, Diz, I could do five of each!  And in fact, I think I will! 

Top 5 Science Fiction Movies )
Top 5 Fantasy Movies )
Top 5 Snupin Kinks/Cliches )

Also, I thought of a woman to add to my favorite characters list: Philippa Somerville from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett.  In fact, most of the women in the Lymond Chronicles are rockin' awesome, with Sybilla right up there after Philippa. I still haven't finished the Niccolo books, I have got to get on that.

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Aug. 9th, 2010

hanging out in Ithaca

So I'm posting this from my seat at a nice table on Ithaca Commons where there is not only wifi all day for a buck but also electrical outlets. NICE.
Today was my 'hang out around town by myself' day, and I have spent most of it here on the Commons.  I popped into a few shops and found some lovely items that I wish I could afford to take back with me, and ate at a very cute little cafe, and have been sitting in the shade for the last few hours with the netbook.

I have done exactly no writing today, although this trip has yielded a few hundred words from the airport/plane stage.  Tomorrow I am back in the airport stage, but most likely will be watching the last episode of Sherlock on the long leg. Planes and reading do not really go together for me these days, and using a computer is only occasionally ok.

I think I'll go ahead and do a wee bit more browsing before it's time for dinner.  Got to escape the mosquitoes!

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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. 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.

Mar. 10th, 2010

prepping for travel

I always forget how much stress increases as I approach air travel.  Even the relative ease with which I have managed in the past serves only to temper the stress, never eliminate it.
In any case, I'm flying on Friday.

I shall be landing in Philadelphia, and barring any other plans I will be training directly to Manhattan from there, and spending a week in the land of college buddies, spiritual friends, museums, and pubs. I am hoping that once I have landed my stomach will proceed as it has in this last month, and allow me to enjoy large chunks of time without distress.  Whee!

From NYC I'll be heading back to Philly for the Equinox weekend and some fandom fun in the city. Yes, it's a tiny Merlin Con. ;)

My biggest hope for the week, outside of quality time with folks I don't get to see a lot, is that I'll get some use out of my sketchbooks and pencils.

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