wickedwords: (john rodney yay)
My family and I just spent a fabulous 8 days in beautiful, warm Kauai. For Ev's graduation, J gave him a week's worth of timeshare at one of the resorts at the sunny south end of the island. We hung out and did touristy things, including a day long catamaran trip up the coast to the north shore, with some snorkeling on the way back. We didn't do much snorkeling other than that, and only made it to a beach once, but our room face east and we saw the sunrise every morning over the rocky coast below us. We saw waterfalls, the lighthouse, and we did the drive up Waimea Canyon to the incredible lookout. Completely fabulous, and I am utterly exhausted (not to mention lightly tanned!). Can't believe I am supposed to be back at work tomorrow.
wickedwords: (john rodney yay)
Sorry I haven't been round much, but life has been pretty busy. Still training for my ride to Vancouver BC in August, still working on the new product launch. Plus my son graduated high school yesterday! No wonder I am utterly exhausted. :)
wickedwords: (Default)
My son is really low key about his activities. This morning I was reading through the end of school activities, and "dramafest" was mentioned. I asked Ev if he was interested, and he said, "yeah, I kinda am. They're producing the play I wrote and I want to see what they did."

"...Producing the play you wrote?"

"More of a monologue really. There's a drama 2 student is directing it."

"You have a play being directed?"

"I submitted it as part of my play writing class. I think they picked ten or so."

"Out of how many?"

"30? 33? I guess."

So a we're going to go see evan's monologue produced next week. Lucky I mentioned the dramafest to him, or I wouldn't have known that my kid -- who has orthographic dysgraphia and cannot write by hand so anyone can read it -- had a play selected for production.

You know, I wish he were a little less low key about his success.
wickedwords: (christmas balls)
This end of year stuff has been crazy, and I am leaving town without knowing if we are going to launch or not; it's right down to deadline. Before I left, I wanted to say thank you to my wonderful [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa author, who wrote me a lovely fairy tale called Ripples. I really enjoyed it, and loved the creativity behind it. So a thumb's up for the story from me!

Speaking of stories, I haven't managed to read anything from yuletide other than the texting squid and octopus one. I thought it was nice, but not really my thing; go you all for loving it so much. I downloaded about half of the top 50 hits from yuletide-- mostly avengers, calvin and hobbes, and doctor who crossovers-- so I have plenty to read. I also downloaded Mulan to my kindle fire so I'd have something to watch as well. I'll be back new year's eve, and pretty much consider catch up a lost cause. I'm going to start over fresh with the new year.

Have a happy few days, and I will see y'all when I get back!
wickedwords: (yuletide stress)
Oh. my. I am at BEARS! BEARS! BEARS! on my story. I wasn't able to write yesterday as work had a meltdown while I was at a doctors appointment (still looking good, yay!). So I still have that one last scene to do and I have promised myself I will get it done tonight. ::determined nod::

In other news, Ev received acceptances to two universities yesterday, western (or as he prefers to call it, the mages college at winterhold) and PLU, the college I graduated from. Since Western's his first choice, that's probably where he'll end up, but I want to get the financial aid letter first so we can compare costs.
wickedwords: (Default)
In interesting news, the oven died this week in a fiery flame out, so while we tap the emergency fund for a new one, I need stovetop and microwave and slow cooker recipes that include something other than soup , pasta and frozen veggies. Any help would be seriously appreciated.
wickedwords: (Default)
It was a whirlwind of activity, and I got absolutely no writing done, so I am now heading into near-panic over my unplotted, unwritten story. I did have a marvelous time, though.

Friday was L's company Christmas party, and I got to learn about playing craps. I won enough to get a few chances in the 'big winner' drawing, but not enough to win anything. There was good food and cake, and I finally met the guy that we play left 4 dead with sometimes, which was cool. I also ran into some people that I had interviewed with last may, when I took my current contract, and they asked me if I would be interested in a full-time gig. So that was a yay, too.

Saturday, we slept in, then headed into seattle to go to the BSG exhibit (I have pictures that I hope I remember to post. Nothing great, but pictures! I was that excited.) Then we checked into a hotel, walked down to the wild ginger for dinner (where we ordered way too much food, but all of it tasty), and walked over to SAM where we realized it wasn't open late on Saturday nights so we missed out on the Picasso exhibit.

We froze out tails off walking back to the hotel, but the streets were so lovely with the horse drawn carriages, the special holiday lights, and the figgy pudding caroling competition going on, it was totally worth it. We ended up just hanging out watching the history channel in the hotel room after that, all of us dinking around with our phones (or video games, in the case of my son) while American Pickers was on.

We crashed early, since we had tickets for the 10:00 am entry at the Harry Potter exhibit. We walked to a Starbucks that wasn't open for breakfast, so then navigated to one that was open, passing a block full of people already waiting in line to have pictures taken with Santa.

Then it was on to Seattle Center and the exhibit, which was truly wonderful. It was amazing to see all of the detail that went into everything. I loved it. We followed it up with Dim Sum in the international district, then wound our way home and essentially crashed. I'm not exactly sure why I am still upright, but I think inertia may be the answer. I took tomorrow off to hopefully catch up on housework, do some christmas shopping, and writing. So hopefully by tomorrow night, things will be in better shape.

But gosh, the weekend was worth it.


Sep. 6th, 2010 08:20 pm
wickedwords: (wickedwords blue and gold skies)
Previously, my car's radiator had exploded while in the taco time drive through, my boob was declared 'non-lethal', and my son took second place in his sparring group at his karate tournament. In current news, a new ford fusion hybrid has been purchased to replace the car with the exploded radiator, my son started back to school, and I have finally been allowed to take a bath! On the horizon: apparent credit card fraud to be sorted through, my son is moving into the second largest bedroom so he has more space, and lar is doing use it or lose it vacation this week.

For myself, nothing really tops that whole 'not lethal' thing, but I did drive down to my dad's place for the long weekend. Wow, did the ride feel smooth; my old car was 12 years old and had about 100K miles on it, so things have changed a lot since it was new. The hybrid's quiet and easy to handle, and I surprised myself by actually liking to drive it. I was really happy to take the trip. There's a little fall out from the whole 'new car' thing -- the seal on the trunk needs re-glued, and the USB port is loose, so it doesn't have a good connection to my phone -- but I got 44 MPG with in on the trip, which seems amazing to me. I'm still in the excited first-love stage now that that we have the financing straightened out, and part of me wants to name the car 'Sherlock'. Not sure I can sell the family on that, though you never know.

Speaking of sells, we all watched movie #29 "Kick Ass" (movie #27 was Salt and #28 was Murder on the Orient Express) together before I left town. It was bloody and violent, and full of wicked fun. We'd had a conversation a while back where lar had said "everyone's the hero of their own story", and ev had countered it saying that he wasn't the hero. "Look, all of the heroes are screwed up. Their parents are dead, traumatic childhoods, stuff like that. I'd rather be the cool-and-competent ally that joins the hero part way through their journey than be the hero himself."

And if you look at Kick Ass, it goes with that same definition. The protagonist, kick ass, isn't the hero in a classic sense -- that's hit girl. She's the hero with the tragic past, hell bent on revenge for her parents death, while kick ass turns into her sidekick over the course of the movie. I thought that was an real interesting to see Ev's theory played out in a film, and wondered what that said about our cultural conscious right now. I have no good thoughts on it, but I think there's something in it that needs to percolate a bit before it comes out.

I also think I need to add more journey to my car tunes playlist. I need to go find it.
wickedwords: (eeyore oh dear)
Today is my son's first day of driving instruction. On our way home, we swing through the drive through of the local taco place, and we're talking about, oh, the fact that my car is 12 years old and we need to start looking for a new one, plus where we can go for him to get some experience behind the wheel. The person taking orders is slow, and it's hot, and we finally pull up to the window and she asks me if we want a drink tray, and I say "sure...". Something catches my eye as we are sitting there and...there's white smoke pouring out of the hood of my car.

I yell at Lar, interrupting his discussion of good empty parking lots: "There's smoke coming out of my car."

The drive through attendant asks if we want salsa.

"Uh, no!" I yell, gesturing at the hood, the nearby mall, and the smoke.

She hands us the drinks and a bag, and I head for the closest parking space.

"You forgot your salad!" she yells at us, as I slide into place. As lar jumps out --"pop the hood, pop the hood, pop the hood"--There is a long string of water, a bad noise, and I get the hood open. Steam gushes out, and we can see the radiator fluid leaking onto the pavement.

Ev jumps out of the back, drinks in hand. "I'll get the salad."

So. While he gets the salad, Lar looks it over, we talk, we trudge back to the fast food place and grab a booth to call AAA from. I look at the trail of water, plus the huge puddle under it and sigh. It's obvious that my car completely lost it when it realized we had a teen driver.
wickedwords: (jim blair domestic by copracat)
Hiya! I was a little out of it this weekend -- we had real sun on Saturday for the first time in forever, so I'm afraid I was a bit of a bum and did absolutely nothing that day, except attend the local stargate meetup. ::Waves::

We've also been experimenting with restaurants lately. We purchased some cheap gift certificates on restaurants.com ($25 for $2) for places we'd never been to (for the most part), and we sent to one of the places last night. Where the barbeque one had been a real kitchen nightmare, this one was warm and open, with an intimate level of seating. The food was great and the portion size reasonable; the big weirdness was it was part of a retirement community. So all the tables were far enough apart that you could get a scooter or wheelchair between them, and there were very few diner under the age of 65.

Actually, I think it was just us. ;)

Still, it was fabulous, and Ev loved the gelati trio that he had for dessert. We'll probably go there again, as the food was good and the wait staff friendly. I'm sure I'll get used to being one of the young diners as well.
wickedwords: (john rodney mensa)
I'm gonna try and do some of this posting thing. In my mad gaming frenzy, I completely forgot to post about my life on occasion. I guess that's because there's been nothing major happening in my life -- no major fandom, no major family things (YAY!!!), no serious issues now that the cat's feeling better. In general, I just feel so much better than I did when I was going through treatment that even though I'm still tired at times, I can see on a daily basis that I'm doing okay.

Work is also okay. I'm learning the job, which is similar to one I used to do, but slightly different--and that's making me feel good too, since I know I can do it. A little bit of a challenge, and it's not overwhelming.

I'm carpooling in and taking the bus home most days, so my husband bought me a kindle. I had to wrestle it out of my son's hands as we took the train down to my dad's place this weekend. I bought him a book, but he loved being able to read on it, and he didn't hardly play his video games at all. It was so weird! I ended up reading my books on the kindle iphone app, but it's impossible to read fanfic that way.

Speaking of -- what is your favorite kindle-ready fanfic story? I downloaded a couple of things from the efiction to go site, but if you have a favorite set up for a kindle, point me at it! I think I'm ready to read just about anything.
wickedwords: (reading)
I haven't been reading LJ/DW for a while, and I think I'm just going to have to call it. Anything that has happened in the past week has passed me by, so let me know of the significant-to-you things that I have missed.

Otherwise...I finished Radiation Treatment on Monday! So that's it for me, other than the standard follow-on care. I am done, done, done! with cancer treatment. I have my 3-month appt with my medical oncologist next week, and after that, it is on to Escapade! I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the con. I'm gonna be dead tired by Sunday, which is when my panels are, but it's gonna be worth it.

Other things that have happened: Evan got his purple belt in Kempo, and has moved up to both the adult class and the advanced class. He's really taking this seriously and starting to do very well. Who knew that he needed a paramilitary dojo to make him buckle down?

We also went to see Percy Jackson this weekend, so that's movie #7 for the year. It was okay, but not great; it also has some issues that made me roll my eyes a lot and come close to laughing out loud in an inappropriate way. It did have the prettiest people ever in the film, though. Man, the cast is pretty.

The Seattle Children's theater production of "In the Northern Lands: Nordic Myths" was incredible on Sunday. The cast had to learn acrobatic work for it, as the production used ropes for all the aerial work showing people climbing mountains and falling from the sky. The occasional puppets-- Odin's raven, a serpent, the wolf -- were cool, designed to look like old Nordic carvings. We really enjoyed it.

I think that's it. "Seven Year Itch" is on at redwood theatre, so I helped out with ushering one night. I'm unemployed at the moment, so I said I'd help co-ordinate volunteers for the show; I'm currently procrastinating on both phone calls and submitting another application somewhere.

No wonder I feel so tired.
wickedwords: (wendy lacey chair)
Unlike a lot of my friends, I don't watch a lot of movies. I watch a lot of tv, but it's mostly episodic rather than the self-contained flick. So this year as a family we set a goal of seeing 50 movies, whether on TV or in the theaters, just for the heck of it. So far, we have managed to see one a week, but I thought I better write them down before I forget.

1. Sherlock Holmes
The first movie of the year, and a pretty good choice, too. I liked the movie, but didn't love it, even though I very much wanted to. I really didn't like Irene, and the focus on her bugged the heck out of me, but I liked Holmes, Watson and Mary. I liked the steampunk elements, and the quasi-Cthulian story, but I never identified with the characters. So it was something I watched and enjoyed, but felt no huge attachment to.

2. Duplicity
This was fun, a good caper flick, but the ending soured it for me. I felt like I had the rug tugged out from under me there at the end, and really did not like it.

3. G Force
This one we saw on-demand, and I kinda had one eye on it and one eye on my iPhone throughout the flick. It was fun and undemanding, plus there were a lot of pop culture references which was cute. Not a stellar flick, but entertaining.

4. Up in the Air
I totally loved this movie. I believed in the characters and their journey, and I loved Ryan's mentor relationship with Natalie and his friends-with-benefits relationship with Alex. I was involved with them all and watched them change and grow--or not--and I was with them every step of the way. I think this one will go on my favorite movies list.

5. Stand and Deliver
I love this movie and it is one of my all-time favorites. So when I saw that it was on the free movie list, I could not pass it up. I love underdog academic movies, and Edward James Olmos is brilliant in this; Evan could not believe it was the same guy that played Commander Adama at first. (And Lou Diamond Philips was such a baby back then! He looks so different now on SGU.) Evan got completely wrapped up in it, and he reacted as deeply as he does when he's wrapped up in a good book or manga. This was a complete win for all of us.

6. The Birds
Neither Lar nor Evan had seen the full movie, and it was just as tense and unsettling as I remembered. This is probably the most intense edge of the horror genre that we can watch as a family, but we all enjoyed it. Then we sat around a bit and compared it with the zombie genre that is currently popular, along with all of the sci fi "nature hates you" movies.

So 6 down, 44 to go. So far, we're doing well
wickedwords: (christmas balls)
This christmas, I got two awesome presents, awesome in completely different ways. From my husband, I got an iPhone, and I have spent a lot of time bonding with it. I love that I can read on it--I have set up shortcuts to both my LJ and DW pages--and I installed the kindle for the iPhone app, and am working my way through the adventures of sherlock holmes (which was free, and thus it doubled its awesomeness.) I've got a few games, and the heyway and shazam apps, plus the facebook and pandora apps. I also use it as an ipod a lot, and even have the Adam Lambert album on rotation. Fandom is joy, and music is joy, so if you know of any good fan mixes, point me to them please.

The iPhone is win, I swear.

In a completely different manner, my son also wins for presents this year. When I opened the gift from him, I got a calendar and a bar of organic dark chocolate and a book; turning it over, the book turned out to be Twilight. I laughed, he laughed; we high fived. His well-developed sense of irony is a total score.

The double irony comes in that I decided that since I had it, I might as well read it, and so I take it with me to radiation every day. Since I can only manage about 10 minutes at a time of being in Bella's head, this is working out. If they're backed up and it takes longer to get to me, I read Holmes or email, or play games on my iPhone. Seriously, radiation sucks, but I'm loving my waiting room time.

Interestingly, having the Twilight book with me is giving me a whole new perspective on being out about fandom. Okay, my son hates to be seen with me, but it's his own fault for giving me the book. *g*. The thing that makes him the most uncomfortable though is that female fans of the series openly approach me to talk about the series and how much they love it--and after gushing to me, they will 'see' him too, and try to talk to him. That's what's making him hide under the desk more than anything; he's not used to being seen like that.

So, anyway, these women come up to me and talk about their experiences, how much they love the books, about their favorite scenes, and talk about things that I'll really love later in the series. They are open and enthusiastic, and just by having the book in my hand, I have created an instant bond with these strangers, a community of two or three in the waiting room of a hospital or at a restaurant or, well, anywhere. I still have my fannish community by iPhone, but the in-person warmth and openness is exciting. I guess I just love talking with fans that are in love with their fandom, no matter what that fandom might be. The fact that they are in love is totally cool.
wickedwords: (eeyore oh dear)
For those that are keeping track, in the past month, we have:

1) Discovered that saying 'please take taxes out of my UI checks' means 'please take much less than you need to out of my UI checks, so I can pay a significant lump sum to the government next year'.

2) Had my car fail the emissions test, and spend much money trying to repair it so it can pass--yet does not. Car license paid after the 'wow, they paid a lot to a certified mechanic and it still didn't fix the darn thing' waiver secured.

3) Leak in upstairs bathroom estimated at $1500; husband freaks, goes to home depot, and pays $60 to get the parts and repairs it himself. Yay, shower in 2nd bathroom works!

4) Hot water heater dies.

5) More money shelled out. Permits secured. New water heater installed. Bath taken. Life is good.

6) Wake up this morning, and find a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. Water filtration containment system cracked when water heater installed (husband calls this the 'water hammer effect'.) New trip to home depot in his immediate future, so that the dishes can be done and tea made without having to go upstairs to fill the kettle.

Just...ugh. These little paper cuts can stop anytime soon. I am tired of bleeding money.
wickedwords: (Default)
Yesterday, my brother and his family were in town, so we had a holiday at home with them. They were staying near the seattle center, so we met them there and went to the SF museum, then walked down to the waterfront for lunch. By the time we got home, we were pretty bushed, so we had take out from whole food and watched 'Ghosts of Mars' before heading off to bed.

This morning, we made the lovely discovery that sometime yesterday our water heater had sprung a leak, flooding the garage; this left us with no hot water for the day. So we had a trip to home depot to price hot water heaters, and then a trip to the dump later, to clean out some of the junk so an installer could get to the hot water tank as well as cleaning up what hadn't drained out the way it should've. Then we watched 'Aliens', thus add two more 'ass-kicking girls in SF horror movies' to Ev's life list, and went out for a really big dinner of comfort food.

And yeah, I haven't taken a shower yet. Thankfully, there are showers my work building, so I will be trying them out this week while we get a new tank installed. I had so many plans for what I would do this weekend, and very little of it was done. Hopefully, I can still get a couple of things done tonight.
wickedwords: (Cthulu XMas)
My son went out and measured the snow in our backyard, and right now, we have six inches, but the snow continues to fall. It is lovely and nice from inside the house. We've already baked muffins and I have some russian tea cake cookies almost ready to go, plus we're having pot roast for dinner. I have managed to get lights on the tree, and plan decorations for later; I also want to read a bit, and play on the wii today. I guess my son's snow day means I get to have one too. ;)

Ooh. Time for more tea I guess.
wickedwords: (W for wickedwords)
Why is it that Food Lifeline days always wipe me out? We had the largest group of people that I have worked with (my kid's middle school group, a law firm, and a Seattle Works group). I think we had over 40 people on the lines, sorting through crates of rescued apples for 2 1/5 hours, and putting them into boxes holding about 40 lbs of apples. (Lar and I sorted apples, while Ev loaded finished boxes on the pallets, for later loading onto the truck.)

The volunteer coordinator said that they'd been having a record number of volunteers in the past couple of months, which is excellent news. They can really use the help, as the quicker they do things like this--sort the bad apples from the good--the quicker it can get out to people's tables, and the less the chance that even more apples will rot before people can eat them.

When we were done, we had about 22 pallets, which is a full semi truck load. So we processed about 22,000 lbs of apples -- 11 tons -- which would be about 17,000 meals (if the meals consisted only of apples.) The 'ick' factor on this one was pretty high, as some of the apples had started to rot, and every now and then, you'd go to pick up one, checking it for major issues, and find that the half you couldn't see at first had turned completely to mush.

After, we stopped at Burgermaster for lunch, which is an old fashioned drive-in just off of 520 on the seattle eastside. We pulled in and parked for a 'dine in your car experience'. We chatted and listened to NPR, and at some point, I noticed that this bright green mercedes had pulled in and parked across from us.

"Hey, that guy looks like Bill Gates," I said.

"He is Bill Gates," Lar replied.

"Bill Gates!" my son gurgled, hiding himself in the back seat behind me.

Bill was apparently being a dad today, going out and picking up burgers and shakes for the family at the drive in. It was kinda cool to see him hanging out like the rest of us, except that his car was a lot nicer and cleaner than anyone else's, and no microsoft parking stickers in sight. He eventually drove off with his to-go order while we ate our burgers, and then we headed back to the house.

It was a pretty fun day.
wickedwords: (Default)
As with any big holiday, there were a few hiccups. I woke in a grumbly mood, and it took more than my first cup of tea to really wake me up. While I was in my not-awake state, I put the back-up cinnamon rolls (yes, the pillsbury ones) in to bake for an easy treat. Only I must have set the timer for too long and didn't notice; with the cat sitting on my lap, I sort of forgot to check on them and they ended up on the lighter side of burned. Which left fewer to eat, and required a liberal dose of frosting to cover up.

At that point, my dad called, and peppered me with questions on how to make my mom's creamed onions. It was a dish that she may have invented, and she took it to every family gathering: easter, Christmas, and thanksgiving in particular. I knew she had par-boiled the small onions then made a cream sauce, covered the onions with it and baked the whole thing for at least an hour, but I had no idea what the temp was. My dad had asked my mom about it, but she can't remember those details anymore; when my brother tried it, he cooked them for an hour at 400F, but it didn't come out quite right. My dad was going to try steaming the onions, then baking at 375F; I agreed that sounded good, and wished him a happy thanksgiving.

At that point, I proceeded to: burn the some of the sausage for the stuffing and drop a mixing bowl and have it shatter all over the floor.

Lar then suggested I go back to bed and try again.

Once we got the stuffing assembled--with the non-burned sausage--I sorta did that, having the tiny freak out about my mom not being aware anymore, bathed, and dressed. And that was pretty much the last of the cooking that I did for the day. Lar had gotten up early to do the Turkey, sticking it in Alton's brine, and when it was ready, putting it in the oven to roast.

When it came out, I stuck the sausage, dried cranberry, and apple stuffing in while Ev worked on the mashed potatoes (first time responsible for a dish, woo-hoo) with his dad's help. I assembled the green bean casserole, and stuck it in the oven next to the dressing.

Only, there wasn't quite enough room, so a stuck my hand in the oven to shove the stuffing over, forgetting that it had already been in a hot oven for ten minutes. I yelled, my son asked if I was okay, I said "no", put the green beans in the oven in the newly created space, got myself some ice out of the freezer, wrapped my hand up with it, and promptly sat down to play a lot of pandemic until dinner was ready, leaving Lar to make the gravy.

Despite the minor mishaps, everything turned out great. The stuffing was fabulous, the turkey moist and flavorful, the yellow gold mashed potatoes perfect. And the pies for desert were fantastic; I really owe [livejournal.com profile] alexfandra for her chocolate pie filling recipe, as it was 'lick your plate clean' yum for the whole family.

Today, we're taking leftovers down to the MIL, for a second day of feasting. See y'all when I get back.
wickedwords: (Default)
It's the first Saturday of the month, so that's the day we often go help with Food Lifeline. Today we had 2 other volunteer groups with us, including one that was doing a team building exercise for a church mission in Haiti. They were hugely enthusiastic and I'm afraid their eagerness and go-gettem attitude made my head hurt; I felt very old and grumpy by the end of the shift, while they were still all eager and wide eyed, challenging each other as to which of their groups would box up the most frozen corn.

And as they'd made some changes in how the frozen foods were repackaged, we got to work in the heated part of the warehouse, and those efficiencies helped a lot. I don't know if it was more the new process or the new volunteer's enthusiasm, but we repackaged more corn than we'd ever done before in a three hour shift and we got to take a full 15 minute break. I have no idea who won the church's self-challenge, but all the volunteers together packed up almost 10,000 lbs of frozen corn, enough for over 7,000 meals.

If, you know, you were gonna only eat corn. *g*

My hands were frozen by the end of my shift, just like the corn, and I really loved taking a nice hot bath and thawing out. Now, though, I think it's ice cream time, and finally a chance to watch last night's ep of Atlantis.


wickedwords: (Default)

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