I realized I should probably make a post about a decision I made. See, I haven't looked at LJ in almost a month. It's not because I've been too busy (though I have, and that's not changing any time soon). It's because I finally realized I couldn't use LJ anymore and feel good about myself. Even after all the previous times when people left, I stuck with it, but this time I've realized that my complacency about it pretty much implicitly condones Russia's attitude toward the LBGTQ community. I think it's because I've been so focused on American issues for the last year that it's too hard to think beyond the border. But on this, after seeing all the atrocities that have been happening? I can't ignore it any longer.
This realization was my straw. I just can't, in good conscience, use LJ anymore. I won't be deleting my journal because I may decide I want to do Yuletide this year, but other than that, I'm walking away.
It makes me horrifically sad. Because it means essentially I'm walking away from a lot of the fandom stuff I've loved. It's been a huge part of my life for over a decade. But I have to do this.
I haven't made my mind up about DW. I'll be honest, I don't really like it. Plus, not checking LJ the past month has relieved me of stress a tiny bit. It's time I can devote to other things. But I don't know if I'll be able to stay away. I guess we'll see.
Today was one of those days where I wanted to be doing stuff, not sitting at a computer writing. It makes for a very frustrating day when you are trying to be productive, let me tell you. On the other hand, I got a ton of errands done, and Craig and I took the next step in getting new flooring. We are sick of the carpet we have, not to mention that it's been pretty trashed by the pets, so we're getting hardwood floors put in. We're starting with the family room, then we'll get the formal front room done next. After that, probably next year so we can spread the cost out, we'll get the hall and media room done upstairs.
Anyway, we went to the store we want to use and spent half an hour discussing options with one of the owners. She sent us home with six samples of what we liked best, so we can see what they look like in the rooms, in varying light, against the furniture, etc. We both knew almost from the start which one we liked best. It was Alicia's favorite, too. A glossy medium hickory with a heavy grain in random widths/lengths. It really does look the best, but Craig and I figured out the reason we both love it so much is that it reminds us of the hardwood floors we had in our apartment when we lived in Pennsylvania before getting married. I was a little amused when I realized we'd both made the connection independently of the other.
I managed to get my flight in May to Atlanta booked as well. Six days away, where I can geek out about writing and writers. God, I love going to RT. Next year, it's in Reno, so I'll be able to drive it. Plus, I might actually *finally* get to see manoah then, too.
Oh, and we went to see Beauty and the Beast last night. Visually stunning, and I'm absolutely in love with the ear cuff she wore with the yellow dress. Of course, Disney hasn't done a thing about making them for consumers, so I'm going to have to find something similar on Etsy.
Alicia is gone in the morning for LA for the next four days and Craig has to go into the office, so I'm on my own until the other kids get home from school. Fingers crossed I feel more like writing. :P
The kids went back to school after their two-week spring break. Alicia has a short week, though. On Thursday, she travels down to LA for four days with her band for a competition. They go to Disney on Saturday as a kind of reward. Alex and L (the exchange student) aren't thrilled she gets to go and they don't, but we'll probably end up going to Monterey (if the weather holds up) to make up for it.
With the kids back in school, I got my routine back. Since my edits are done, I was able to get back to my new project. I meant to get a ton of writing done, but I got bogged in research and details. I am just not one of those writers who can get the words down and then go back to fill in the holes with either missing scenes or correct details. I'm way too linear. So not much actually done, but I got what I needed so hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Two bits of good stuff made up for it, though. First, I had no idea Laini Taylor had a new series. She's the one who wrote the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy that I read last fall. The first book of her new fantasy series, Strange the Dreamer, came out on the 28th, so I bought it as soon as I found that out today.
My other bit of good stuff was finding apricots on our tree for the first time. The tree is very young, so we're only likely to get a couple pieces of fruit off it this year, but it's oh so pretty:
Plums are showing up, too, and our orange tree has gone mad with blossoms. Even our grapefruit has a ton of new growth. All that rain we had this past spring, that brought us out of our drought, has worked wonders in our garden.
Yesterday, I got to go to a couples bachelor/bachelorette party, albeit without Craig. Championships for winter guard were yesterday, and we agreed he'd take the kids while I made an appearance at the get-together. It was a two-hour boat cruise with dinner and dancing afterward, and though a ton of alcohol was flowing, I wasn't drinking anything but tea and water since I had to get myself home when all was said and done. The couple getting married are friends of ours through the kids and Band Boosters, but basically I didn't know 95% of the people there. Socializing, especially on my own and amongst strangers, is neither my favorite thing to do nor my strong suit, but it wasn't too bad in the end.
One thing pissed me off, though, and it's pissing me off--mostly because I didn't say anything at the time--more as time progresses. Here's the backstory:
The bride-to-be's son is the same age as Alicia and our exchange student. A really lovely kid. Very well-mannered and mature for his age. L, our exchange student, has been crazy about him since last September, but he made it very clear to her he didn't want them to pursue a romantic relationship because she was leaving at the end of the school year and he didn't think it was fair for either of them to end up being hurt by the distance then. I thought it was a very mature decision on his part--especially because a) he was coming off a bad break-up, and b) when he's in a relationship (whether it's romantic or platonic), he's the kind of person who gives 110%. For the most part, that's the way it has been, except for an incident back before Thanksgiving. L and the son were hanging out, which led to some kissing. When L was ready to come home, the son told her it was a huge mistake and they had to go back to being just being friends. She was extremely hurt by it, and was pretty depressed about the way he got her hopes up for a few hours. They were back to being friends by Christmas, but it was pretty rough for her several weeks.
So yesterday, I spent a lot of time explaining to people how I knew the couple. At one point, we were talking about L, and the bride made a comment about how she's surprised L never got a boyfriend while she's been here. My response was that L has been hung up on the son all year and joked, "Remember the kissing?" Bride made a comment that son said L started it all, to which I replied, "Well, (son) knew exactly how L felt about him. He should've stopped it."
That's the point the groom jumped in. He and another man started laughing and said to me, "Of course he didn't stop it. He's a sixteen-year-old boy."
And it's this response that has aggravated me so much since. It's the reason I begged off the dancing after dinner because I was too annoyed with everyone. Their response excuses the son's behavior and puts the complete responsibility of it all on the girl, which is exactly the kind of mentality that leads to boys growing into men who never truly understand how to own responsibility in a sexual or romantic relationship. Where exactly are they going to draw the line? Would they be so glib about his behavior if they'd become sexual and she got pregnant? I doubt it, but somehow, it's okay when it's kissing. Um, no, it's not, because that's how lines get blurred. They were *both* responsible for what happened, so don't try shrugging it off as male hormones. That doesn't fly with me, and it shouldn't fly with them, either.
I got my edits done today after lunch, woo hoo! I have to come up with a new title for the book, though. The editor thought it didn't fit, which is disappointing. I wasn't married to it, but I'm drawing a blank on another one.
1. What was your favorite past time in high school? ANSWER: I'll go with school activity here which means it's hands down forensics. I was in forensics for four years, three of which I did the prose/poetry category (which meant alternating prose and poetry performances each round), and dramatic interp my senior year. I LOVED it. I did well, too, advancing to state level my sophomore and junior years. I was prepared to place at states my senior year--I had won or come in second in every competition the entire season, so advancing to state should've been a shoo-in--but I got screwed over. Four people were in our final round at districts. Our judge walked in, sat down, and declared, "I don't believe in interp events." He then proceeded to score/rank us based on the order we went in the round. I went fourth. So even though I was in first place going in to finals--with perfect scores from both of my prelim judges--the score he gave me dropped me enough to come in third and meant I wouldn't advance to regionals since only the top two got to go. I was livid. What was even more infuriating was that my friend Tim, who ended up coming in first because he went first in our round, did an illegal piece--a fact I was well aware of, as was my coach--and got caught for it at regionals and disqualified as a result. I wanted to submit a complaint after districts, but my coach wouldn't let me. Basically, she said, "You won all season. Let Tim have this."
In case it's not obvious, I still get angry about the injustice/unfairness of it all. :P It was a truly crappy way to end my high school forensics career.
2. What is your all time favorite board game/card game? ANSWER: I can't pick just one. We own over 170 board/card games, and it all depends on what my mood is. I can say some favorites include Magic the Gathering, Talisman, Smash-Up, and Duplik.
3. What is the last movie you saw at the theatre and what did you think of it? ANSWER: I can't believe I haven't seen a movie since January, and that I have to say it was xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. I had a free preview pass, which was why we went. Okay, and I love Vin Diesel. But needless to say, it wasn't that great.
4. What is something (no matter what kind of mood your in) that makes you happy the moment you do it, see it, or hear it? ANSWER: My kids' baby pictures. I always melt.
5.Do you believe that crop circles are made by human or alien? ANSWER: Human.
I got edits for my first solo venture with a new to me publisher a few weeks ago, with a due date in May. I responded confirmation with a minor note and never heard anything back. Because of our trip and how busy I was being on my own, I decided to put off starting until we got back. Then I got sick, so that's been slow going, right?
Today, I got an email from the head editor saying she made a mistake on the due date and meant to put *March* instead of May so how soon can I get them in (since technically I'm now late)?
I told her the end of the month, of course, because I want to be as professional as possible. I just wish I'd started sooner in spite of everything just so I was further along now.
Vegas was pretty damn great, but my hopes that life would calm down afterward were too ambitious. I caught something while we were there, and I've been pretty flattened by it for the past three days. So badly that I was stuck in bed all day on Monday, which was Craig's birthday. We decided to postpone celebrating it until Wednesday since there was no way I was going to be able to cook dinner for him and get anything wrapped. Today wasn't great either, but I only slept for three hours this afternoon instead of five, and I was actually able to eat something at dinner. I'll take the win where I can get it.
Alicia started watching Grey's Anatomy over the weekend because she wanted something to watch on her own, but I was on the couch when she was halfway through season 1 and I got sucked in. Not in an ohmigod I have to watch it kind of way, but definitely more interested than I thought I would be. Not that I need more shows to watch.
Speaking of...is anyone watching Feud? Ohmigod, I love this show. Jessica Lange is killing it. I'm not as keen on Sarandon--I think I still see too much of her and not enough Bette--but I'm so enjoying the overall effect.
And I think I've wasted what little energy I had. Back to sleep for me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Craig gets home tomorrow night. It can't come soon enough. I don't know what it is about this particular trip, but we've both been missing the other more than normal. He's been sending me random Skype messages, saying that and how he wishes he was home, which is very much not his usual modus operandi. He tends to get pretty wrapped up in work, and he'll say things like that when we're in conversation but not completely unsolicited and when I'm not even around.
I do wonder if my missing him more than usual is about this week being so busy or perhaps a reaction to the realization that my kids might be gone soon. Alicia goes off to college in a year and a half. Eighteen months. Odds are very good she'll leave the state, too. And I'm missing her already. Alex is only two years after that, though I have a feeling he'll either go to Berkeley or Stanford. He's not as driven to be on his own as Alicia is.
Speaking of Alex, he just got back the results of a nationwide math test. Top students in high schools across the country took this test apparently. Alicia took it, too, but they both walked out of the test knowing they didn't do great. There was a ton of stuff on it that neither one of them have been exposed to yet. That being said, Alex still managed to score in the top 45% in the country, and he had the highest score for the freshmen and sophomores in his school (the juniors and seniors took a different test). I'm quite proud of him.
Tomorrow is a busy day. The kids have to be at their coach's house at 5am to start doing hair and makeup for the double competition tomorrow. I'm getting up at 6am (yay for Alicia driving so I don't have to take them, lol), so I can be ready for 7 when another team mom is coming over so we can make breakfast for the kids. Then I have to run out to Michaels to pick up a couple props they've added to the routine, and we head out at 11am for the two competitions. They're at different high schools in the same city, with the second awards starting at 8:30pm. That should get us home around 10, so we can pack for leaving for Vegas the following morning.
So the washing machine is kaput. The element we thought was the issue was definitely broken, but so was the transmission and a water valve, putting the total damage to getting it fixed to over $600. On top of that, he couldn't even guarantee the work because it's an eight-year-old machine and if something happened to the tub while he was fixing it, there was no way to repair that as it's out of date. We need to get a new one, but I'm not comfortable buying one without seeing it in person first, and I want Craig with me when I make the decision because he thinks of different questions to ask than I do. Since he's in Barcelona right now, it has to wait until he gets back. We've decided to take a morning or two next week in Vegas to look at the big stores to find a model I like so we can then get online to order it. Hopefully for delivery when we get home, but we'll see.
In the meantime, my friend L let me go to her house this morning to do a couple loads for the kids. It's an insanely busy week for us, made more so since I'm on my own. In addition to their usual evening winter guard practices, our exchange student is giving multiple presentations on Germany tomorrow morning at one of the elementary schools, Alicia has a major band concert Wednesday night, and Alex has a dentist appointment on Thursday afternoon. We'll come home from that last to visitors who are coming for dinner. Then, on Saturday, the kids have two different winter guard competitions. The last awards ceremony--which we have to stick around for because it's Alicia's turn to be the representative there--doesn't even start until 8:30pm which means we won't be home until 10pm. And we leave the following morning at 7am to drive to Vegas.
My house is currently a disaster. At some point in the next thirty-six hours, I need to find time to make it presentable for guests. Our friend wants us to meet her boyfriend for the first time, so it's kind of a big deal. I get the feeling he's the one for her. It exhausts me just thinking about it.
Oh, and did I mention I got a set of first edits today on a novel? Luckily, she liked the book, though she doesn't the title is appropriate so I have to reconsider that. She thinks it comes across as more sinister than the characters and story suggests, which I don't see, but it's a concern since she does. Plus, I have three books to read by the end of the month for a contest. I think I have time to get it all done. Fingers crossed
I've been trying to enjoy the Buffy stuff all day, but it's been tough. Just a crappy day all around.
1. My washing machine has decided to stop spinning. I wouldn't normally be too bugged about it except...
2. Craig leaves for Barcelona tomorrow for a week, and I've been trying to get his laundry done all day so he can pack in the morning. He made an appointment for it to get serviced Monday afternoon. Which makes my skin crawl. I hate dealing with strangers in my home. Well, I generally hate dealing with strangers period, but having them in my home when I need something from them on a subject I'm not well-versed on at all is worse. I really, really don't want to deal with it, but I won't have a choice. And it has to be done this week because Craig returns from Barcelona next Saturday, will get home around 11pm from his flight, and we leave at 8 the following morning for a week in Vegas with the kids. We need a working washing machine so we can wash his clothes from the trip before we go, and we don't live in an area that has a 24-hour laundromat.
3. Aunt Flo showed up today. Which is good on one hand since Craig will be gone all week, but means I'm going to be miserable and even more emotional this weekend. Plus, I'm out of the house all day tomorrow at a winter guard competition with the kids.
4. Someone's been trying to hack into one of my gmail accounts. I spent an hour tonight going through changing passwords and verifying accounts.
5. My government makes me sad. I'm so tired of the greed and hypocrisy. I'm tired of the misogyny. I'm tired of all the -isms.
This is all over my flist today, so I figured what the hell:
The BBC estimates that most people will only read 6 books out of the 100 listed below. Reblog this and bold the titles you’ve read.
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (couldn't finish, Austen bores me to tears) Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien (I've never been able to get into Tolkien) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte Harry Potter series To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee The Bible Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman Great Expectations – Charles Dickens Little Women – Louisa M Alcott Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy Catch 22 – Joseph Heller Complete Works of Shakespeare Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks Catcher in the Rye The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffeneger Middlemarch – George Eliot Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald Bleak House – Charles Dickens War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy David Copperfield – Charles Dickens Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis Emma – Jane Austen Persuasion – Jane Austen The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (own it, but it's in my TBR pile) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (own it, but it's in my TBR pile) Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne Animal Farm – George Orwell The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood Lord of the Flies – William Golding Atonement – Ian McEwan Life of Pi – Yann Martel Dune – Frank Herbert Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth (own it, but it's in my TBR pile) The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens Brave New World – Aldous Huxley The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov The Secret History – Donna Tartt The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas On The Road – Jack Kerouac Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie Moby Dick – Herman Melville Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens Dracula – Bram Stoker The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson Ulysses – James Joyce The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome Germinal – Emile Zola Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray Possession – AS Byatt (own it, but it's in my TBR pile) A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel The Color Purple – Alice Walker The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry Charlotte’s Web – EB White The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks Watership Down – Richard Adams A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas Hamlet – William Shakespeare (it feels weird getting credit for this, too, when I've read the complete works) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Looks like I'm at 68, which is courtesy of all the lit classes I took in high school and college. That would be higher if I actually liked Austen or Tolkien. But I fell in love with Russian literature when we had to read Crime & Punishment in World Lit, which explains why I can bold so many of those (even though The Gulag Archipelago is my favorite and doesn't appear here; man, I do love me some Solzhenitsyn), and I devoured a lot of classical French lit after seeing Les Miz the first time on Broadway.
I have no excuse for having read Dan Brown. It's the only title of his I've read. I just wanted to see what the big deal was about.
This past weekend, my family and I went to DunDraCon, an annual gaming convention we've been attending the past three years. As usual, it was an absolute blast, but this year even more so. Why? Because I *finally* won a lottery slot in the Buffy RPG game. :)
I've been trying to get into this game for the last three years, to the point where I make everybody in the family put it as their number one pick for that session in hopes of increasing my odds. I traded off with them for Car Wars, since there was only one session of that, which turned out to be hysterical when all five of us got in. For the Buffy game, we only managed to snag one slot, and crazy enough, it was even me.
Now, I'm not an RPGer. I always loved the character building aspect of it, but the actual play always left me a little bored. However, I didn't care about that since this was Buffy. Even better, we got to pick our characters. Buffy and Willow were already taken by the time I had a chance to snag one, so I made the obvious choice. Spike. The scenario was set between S4 and S5, which was fun even though we ended up with a Riley in the mix. Oddly enough, that turned out to be hysterical because he ended up volunteering to protect Willow (who we needed to keep safe since she was the only one we could trust with magic), so I made a point of alerting Buffy every chance I got that Riley seemed more interested in her best friend than her.
The game took all of Sunday, and I came home to rummage around in my Buffy stuff because I was pretty damn sure I'd bought the core rulebook for the game at some point. Lo and behold, I had. I don't think I've ever looked through it before, though. I bought it mostly just to have. I'd love to play again, but that would require finding people who would play with me, and I just don't know who that would be. Oh well. At least I got to play once.
1. Do you take any daily prescription medications? ANSWER: No
2. Do you take any daily OTC (over the counter) medications? ANSWER: I take glucosamine for my arthritis, magnesium because it's been a godsend since I turned 40, and Allegra from February to November to help with my allergies.
3. Do you take vitamins? ANSWER: Yes, Vitamin D because I have a deficiency without it.
4. When you are sick, do you take OTC remedies or immediately go to your doctor? ANSWER: OTC remedies most of the time.
Today's the last day to sign up for the camelotremix! If you're looking for a challenge, or for something new to try, give it a go. It's both the scariest fest I ever do and probably the most rewarding because it pushes me so hard. Plus, the more the merrier!
My favorite game store got their copies in on Friday, and when I saw their FB post about it, I arranged to have one held for me to pick up today, in spite of the fact that I'm going in there tomorrow for one of their huge ding and dent sales. It's a good thing I did, though. He ordered six copies, and four of them were already on hold, including mine. The thing with the sale tomorrow, too, is that people have to wait in line for so long, either to check out or to peruse the merchandise, that there is a lot of impromptu shopping of regular stock. I have little doubt those other two copies are going to get sold tomorrow.
I'm making everybody play with me this afternoon. It's a cooperative game, which isn't my favorite, but who cares? The artwork looks amazing (except they made Spike's nails sharp and pointy like claws which is just wrong and weird), and it seems to be very well made. So excited!
1) Do you try to see all the nominees for Best Picture each year before the Academy Awards show? ANSWER: Try is the operative word here. The Oscars are my Super Bowl, and I have a personal goal of seeing everything that's ever been nominated for all but the short film and documentary categories (mostly because those tend to be difficult to get a hold of), stemming from getting an Oscar history book for Christmas when I was 18. However, time and being a mom has made that harder. There was a decade where I saw very little, so I'm always playing catch-up. But I do try to see what I can every year, and then end up making up the difference afterward.
2) How many of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees have you seen so far? ANSWER: Only 2--La La Land and Hell or High Water. I wanted to see all but one of them prior to the nominations (I still have zero desire to see Hacksaw Ridge).
3) Of those nominated films you’ve seen, which is your favorite? ANSWER: I probably enjoyed Hell or High Water a bit more than I did La La Land, but only slightly. I really enjoyed both for very different reasons.
4) Is your favorite the same as the film you think is actually the “best picture”? ANSWER: No, because La La Land has more strengths as a whole, I think.
5) Which film do you think will win Best Picture? ANSWER: This is La La Land's to lose this year. If anything stands a chance of beating it, it's Moonlight, but I just don't see that happening.
There is no good reason for this except to make the religious right happy. He said freedom of religion is a sacred right, but you know what? So is freedom without religion, especially when it comes to the government.
I have no idea how I'm going to survive this administration without my head exploding.
I've been finding it very hard to stay focused the last ten days. Every day, the news about what is coming out of the White House gets more and more frustrating. I finally broke on Facebook yesterday, though I suppose it could've been a lot worse. I just feel so damn helpless, when I want to jump into the fray and help.
Marching and donating are great, but it's not satisfying that itch for me. I actually started looking at colleges yesterday and considering going back. First it was for law school, but honestly, I'd be in my 50s before I could take the bar, and the thought of all that added expense when both Alicia and Alex will be going to college in the next few years stops me. So I started looking at paralegal certification. I could still find ways to work for legal aid organizations as a paralegal, I figure. But then I see how those positions are diminishing as more and more is done by the attorneys themselves.
So I don't know. I'm still thinking it over. It would be nice to find some creative outlet for it, but I don't see what.
One of my favorite British treats that I miss the most is battenberg cake. For my American friends, it's basically an almond sponge cake, with jam between layers, that gets wrapped in marzipan. This is what it looks like:
When Alicia and I realized that we were making a traditional English roast dinner today, I remarked that we should have an English dessert, too. A battenberg was the first we agreed upon, but the thing of it is, neither one of us has ever made one before. So we decided to give it a go.
Since it was our first attempt working with marzipan this way, we decided to forego the checkerboard effect. We used blackcurrant jam between the layers, but the recipe in Craig's old cookbook (the one his nan gave him ages ago dated from 1962) sucks at instructions. It just said roll it in the marzipan and trim it up, but it was impossible to get a really right roll on it. From what I googled afterward, a lot of people put jam on the outside of the cake, too, so the marzipan has something to adhere to. We're going to try that next time.
Still, it didn't turn out half bad. And oh my god, it tasted delicious.
Alicia and I have decided to start making stuff from Craig's old cookbook on a regular basis. We use it for a couple things already, but Alicia really wants to have more of those recipes under her belt before she moves off to college. We'll definitely be doing this again, though. And I'll do the checkerboard effect next time. It was so worth it.
1) How do you like your coffee? ANSWER: In bulk. With fat-free half and half. One tablespoon per 8 ounces of coffee. And yes, that's what I do at home, lol. My favorite mugs are 24 ounce Starbucks mugs from when we lived in the UK, and it takes three tablespoons--which I measure--to get it the color I want. I started measuring a few years ago when I was watching calories so I could track more easily.
2) How do you like your tea? ANSWER: I usually drink English breakfast, which means taking it with a bit of milk. I had never heard of putting milk in tea until I met Craig. Tea, other than iced, just wasn't part of my world.
3) What's your favorite late night beverage? ANSWER: I don't usually drink anything past nine o'clock it's for a specific reason, like I want caffeine to keep me up or we have company and there's alcohol.
4) If you could only drink one thing for the next week, what would it be? ANSWER: I need my coffee. As much as I like other fluids, if I didn't have coffee in my day to day, I would likely be in jail from doing something harmful to someone else, lol.
5) If you were on vacation, what would be the first thing you'd drink to celebrate? ANSWER: It would depend on where we were. A generic vacation, probably a white wine of some sort. For places where we go to an urban destination and are staying in a city center with bars and restaurants around, I almost always order a Bloody Mary. It's my mixed drink of choice.
In a desperate attempt to not give tomorrow any undue thought, Craig and I went and saw the new xXx movie tonight. Mostly because I had a free pass. I probably would've buried myself in gaming otherwise.
It was...a xXx movie. Sometimes, I just need random violence and good stunts to forget about the rest of the world, because let's face it, the story is always pretty thin. This one is particularly cliche-laden. But I didn't mind too much since I got to watch Vin's arms and Donnie Yen. Seriously, I could watch Donnie Yen all flippin' day. Mesmerizing and hot as hell.
Plus, Ruby Rose is in it. With green hair. How could I resist?
We've been beset with storms the past twenty-four hours. Winds that are knocking over trees and rains that are causing floods. I saw over a dozen different reports in my small town of fully grown trees that were uprooted just in the past five hours, so there's no telling what neighboring towns got. Someone I knew got stuck on the highway between two fallen trees for over two hours because the police said it was too dangerous for them to get out to them yet. People have lost power, too. The worst part is, it's not over. It's supposed to be like this for the next few days.
Which is why I didn't end up going to the gym today. An excuse, I know, but seriously, with bridges closed and the winds so dangerous, it's just not worth it. I might not go for a few days if this keeps up.
Bit by bit, I'm getting back into my routine. Even writing. I'm going to start posting next week again on my Spuffy WIP over at Elysian Fields. I regret that it's taken me this long to get back to it, and the last thing I want is for people to think I've abandoned it. I haven't. My time has just been so consumed with other stuff that I had to shelve it for a little while. The best I can manage are little ficlets that don't require a ton of thought.
Of course, the bad thing about those are they spawn ideas for longer fics. I did a Merlin/Percival last week that has the hallmark of a great opening, and my apocalyptic Arthur/Merlin story I did for the drabble community this week could easily get turned into something longer. I can't pursue either of them, though, since I have other WIPs waiting in line ahead of them.
Too many ideas. Too little time. It's the story of my life, really. :)
That's when I overeat. When my stress levels get too high. Between the problems professionally and the election, I had more bad months than good months, and I pretty much stopped caring about anything after November started. When I'm stressed, I want something to make me feel good, and food does that. Exercise sure as hell doesn't. I do not know what these endorphins are everybody but me seems to get to experience.
But I'm trying to make 2017 better. I started double-tracking today--both on my app for WW and in the new workout/food diary I got for myself--and I went back to the gym. Twice, actually. Once for yoga this morning--gentle because I've not been in over six months--and once again this evening for some cardio. I have lost any stamina I might've had, but hey, I got to read two chapters so I'll take what I can get.
Food was on point, too, oddly enough. I got a new cookbook for Christmas--But I Could Never Go Vegan--and I tried the first recipe from it the other night. Broccoli and quinoa tabbouleh with a tahini-lemon dressing. I had leftover dressing--that's my one quibble with it, I only used half the dressing it made--and most of the veg, so I made another batch of it tonight. We won't be going full-on vegan, but I'm drastically cutting back on animal products again. As long as I can keep food interesting, it's easier for me to stick to eating more healthily.
Menu is all planned for tomorrow, but I might not get to the gym the way I want. Tuesday is the cheap night at the theater, and I haven't seen a ton of recent releases. I'd dying to see La La Land, and Hidden Figures, and I still haven't seen Moana...the list is very extensive.
In an effort to post more often, I'm doing these thefridayfive things.
1) What would/did you name your first child? ANSWER: Alicia Marie. I had a massive spreadsheet of names that Craig and I went back and forth crossing stuff off of, until we finally settled on one. In all honesty, he loved the name more than I did (the ones I loved most tended to be a little too androgynous or unusual for him), but I can't imagine one more fitting now. The middle name is both a family tradition in mine and a variation on his mother's first name.
2) What do you think makes a good name for a baby? ANSWER: Easy to pronounce, easy to spell, no obvious ways to tease the child about it.
3) What do you think makes a bad name for a baby? ANSWER: Anything you have to explain. Or spend too long having to justify.
4) What's a name that you love, but would never give a child? Why? ANSWER: I have been madly in love with the name Isabeau since I was a teenager, but I'd never use it. People have a tendency to only glance at names, and she'd be saddled with being called Isabelle a lot of the time in error.
5) Did your parents do a good job naming you? ANSWER: I'm going with no here. I HATED my name growing up. In my whole life, I've only ever met one other woman in this country with my name. It's much more common in Nordic/Scandinavian countries, but here in the US, people look at it and either completely mangle the pronunciation by adding letters that aren't there (because male variants on my name with those letters are more familiar to them) or don't even try. To this day, my name is a conversation piece with strangers. In addition, it's easily distorted to create truly awful nicknames that I was teased with as a child. For decades, I wished I could've been a Laura or an Elizabeth. It's gotten easier as I've aged to appreciate the individuality of my name, and adults are certainly more complimentary about it, but I went through almost thirty years of torture because of it.
So. The recital happened without me. Around 3, anxiety started to win, but I still managed to get ready and go. There were random crying jags before that, but I was mostly in control when we arrived. Way too early, unfortunately. My nerves exploded into a full-blown panic attack, and I had to go outside because I couldn't control the hyperventilating or sobbing. It wasn't pretty. And I couldn't stop. My friend L came out and tried to hug me, but I couldn't handle being touched. I had to start pacing and counting in an attempt to get the hyperventilating under control. After I'd been outside for half an hour, Craig came out to find out how I was doing and told me he was going to tell my teacher that I wasn't doing it. It took me another half hour to get to a point where my heart wasn't racing and I could breathe again.
I never went back into the performance space. I stood outside in the cold to listen to the kids perform.
I'm not proud of my reaction. Part of my panic came because I couldn't deal with looking like a coward in front of my kids, that Alicia might view me with disdain because she never lets her fear hold her back, but I couldn't go through with it. It's been a long time since I've had such a strong panic attack. The last time was three years ago when I got triggered at a birthday party by two dogs getting into a fight. (I was attacked by a German Shepherd when I was five. The barking and crying of the dog that got bit set me off this time.) I know it was all on me, but I still feel like an idiot.
Craig was wonderful through it all. When I told him how afraid I was of looking like a coward in front of Alicia, that I feared she would look down on me for giving in to fear, his answer came back reasoned and assuring. That nobody who loved me would want me to be as miserable was I was. And that if Alicia wasn't supportive, she would have to answer to him, because nothing was more important to him than making me feel loved.
That helped. A lot. But I'm still mildly ashamed I couldn't do it.
I want it to be 24 hours from now more than I've wanted anything ever. Because in 19 hours, my guitar recital starts and I would literally prefer to have open-heart surgery right now than have to do this recital. I'm not ready. I'm going to be sitting there, screwing up or not even playing because I've lost the rhythm, and there is very little I can do about it. I've been knocking myself out trying to learn what I'd been given, only to find out first on Monday that I was doing an additional solo near the end, and then today that I had the wrong chords for all the verses. So he gave me the music he gave EVERYBODY ELSE (but not me because I hadn't been to lessons since October), 24 hours before the recital with the intention that I'd be comfortable with it all by the time to perform rolls around.
Which I will not be.
I even begged Craig to call him and tell him to let me out of it in order to save our marriage because I was going crazy, lol. Which he refused, telling me, "You're the one who agreed to do this. How many times have I told you to say no to people?"
None of this helped by the fact that Aunt Flo decided to visit yesterday. The past thirty-six hours have been a muddle of agonizing pain, desires for crying jags, and complete lack of motivation, with real life happening all around it, including a board meeting tonight that meant I couldn't practice after my lesson this afternoon until 10pm tonight.
Craig is right, of course. But that doesn't change the fact that I would do anything--including trying to bribe the band teacher at the booster meeting tonight to get him to play for me--to get out of this recital tomorrow. This whole nightmare has even made me hate Hotel California. Which I have always loved.
This past week was our trip to Tahoe. For anyone who hasn't heard, a ton of snow dumped in that region beginning in the middle of our drive up. What should have taken us four hours at most, took us eight, and it didn't stop snowing for over two days. In the end, we had forty inches dumped in the front yard of the cabin we rented, which managed to bury all three cars. Literally. Not a single inch of any one of them was visible when the snow stopped Thursday morning. It took over three hours of ten people digging and moving snow to get them out.
The kids had two great days, though. While it was snowing, it wasn't windy and the temperatures stayed in the twenties. The reason we ended up leaving a day early, however, because when we woke up on Thursday morning, we discovered the power had gone out in the middle of the night. A line had snapped on the road, and they couldn't tell us whether or not it would be fixed by the end of the day or not. Since temperatures were supposed to dip to zero (in Fahrenheit) that night, we decided it wasn't worth sticking it out. So home we came. It was so bad the day before we left, they'd even closed I-80 for almost 24 hours.
Tomorrow starts my new year for real, though. Healthy eating, getting caught up on writing (I can finally get back to my Spuffy story, I do not want that to languish any longer), getting life back on track. I'm going to be knocking myself out the next few days to get the introduction to Hotel California under my belt for a performance on Thursday night, too. I made a promise and as much as I'd rather not play, I have to do it. Even if I suck.
Hopefully posting will happen more. I know there's been another LJ/DW migration, but frankly, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not a fan of DW, and I just paid for another year here. I'll be sorry to lose anyone, but I can't say that it would be shocking, considering how many people have drifted away from LJ over the years. I'm not such an integral part of any one community to feel the need to make the move.
ETA: Oh, and I wrote a few things for the holidays.
The Space Between (1440 words) by eurydice72 Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Humans (TV) Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Leo Elster/Mattie Hawkins Characters: Leo Elster, Mattie Hawkins, Anita | Mia (Humans), Laura Hawkins Additional Tags: Post-Season/Series 01, Epistolary, First Love Summary: Set after the end of series 1. Leo and Mattie try to move on with their lives. It's not nearly as satisfying as they'd hoped for.
For camelot_drabble's Holiday Exchange fest, I wrote fluffy Arthur/Percival.
An Elf in Wonderland (3170 words) by eurydice72 Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Merlin (TV) Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply Relationships: Arthur Pendragon/Percival (Merlin) Characters: Arthur Pendragon (Merlin), Percival (Merlin) Additional Tags: Christmas Fluff, Alternate Universe - Human Summary: Modern AU. When Arthur starts his Christmas shopping, the last thing he expects to find at the market is a wondrous world and the more wondrous man who helped create it.
More arguing with the FIL. This time about something stupid.
Next week, we are going to Tahoe for a few days. We are *not* skiing. It's a sledding kind of holiday. He is insistent that all of the kids need snow pants because otherwise it'll be too cold and wet. I refuse to buy snow pants to wear for three days out of the year if it's only sledding. The sledding will happen behind the cabin we rented, and there is literally no way these kids are going to be out for more than a couple hours at a time. He thinks I'm being unreasonable, even though we have to literally buy everything else--coats, boots, gloves, hats. I just don't see the point in spending even more money for something that isn't as necessary. Especially since we live in California and finding them cheap in a store nearby is a bitch. We're going to have a hard enough time finding appropriate coats and boots right now.
I grew up in the snow. We did not have snow pants. You wore jeans and layers if you went out. I have zero problems buying thermal underwear and more jeans for the kids, because I know they'll wear them beyond those three days. And yet, I'm the one being unreasonable because I refuse to coddle them.
What am I missing here?!?
At least Craig agrees with me about not buying anymore. As it stands, we have three pairs the adults wore the last time, none of which fits the kids properly, but FIL thinks will have to suffice since I'm being mean and not getting them new ones. Alex will wear my MIL's--which are four inches too short--Alicia will wear Craig's--which are way too big in the waist and hips--and our exchange student will wear FIL's--which are three inches too short. Apparently, these ill-fitting pants are better than nothing to him, a point I disagree with since it's worse to get snow up your pants legs and Alex and our exchange student will probably struggle to get them tucked into boots properly.
Why my experience of having grown up in snow isn't valid, I don't know. He's lived his whole life in southeast England. His only experience with snow is as a tourist.
I've written 24k in the past five days in order to meet two deadlines. On top of handling a dentist appointment, guitar lesson, three trips to the grocery store, two school runs for emergencies, a trip to San Jose on Saturday night to see the Dances with the Stars with Alicia and our exchange student as one of their Christmas gifts, a minor catastrophe with Alicia when she dropped her saber while practicing and clobbered herself in the eye (huge bump, big gash, and now a black eye), and a hair appointment that ended up lasting three hours.
So...yeah. Officially dead.
Tomorrow morning I have to read through line edits on a 40k story and then finish cleaning my house to prepare for 75 teenagers descending on us in the afternoon for a potluck dinner. Then I have one more Christmas fic gift to write at which point I can finally start thinking about wrapping gifts and finishing up the grocery shopping for Christmas.
Fingers crossed I actually make it to Christmas this year. :P
I feel like I'm barely holding it all together. My professional life is overwhelmed with stuff that needs to happen, most of which will be late. I've been killing myself trying to get Thanksgiving ready--entertaining/feeding 13 people for 4 solid days. I had to take a break from writing fanfic because of the professional stuff I need to get done, which makes me feel like crap because I don't want to look like I'm not going to get my Spuffy story done again not to mention I haven't even been able to start my Merlin Holidays story which is due in a week.
And then there's all the election shit. Every day is something else that makes me wish I was anywhere but here. I'm in a red section of California and it's frustrating as hell to hear so many local people denouncing those of us who hate Trump and what he's normalizing and the threat of what his administration will do to so many people.
I'm eating to self-medicate, which isn't good at all and I know it.
I have no time for anything for myself. Craig offered to send me for a pedicure and facial the other day to help me destress and I turned him down because the prospect of losing three hours to something that would only put me further behind on other obligations made me anxious.
My FIL arrives tomorrow from the UK. If he brings up Trump, I'm going to lose it. He's going to say something like how on earth could we have elected someone like that here, and I'll explode on him because he voted for Brexit. He's against all the immigrants and how they're hurting the UK economy, which was his primary reason for voting for it, but if I dare to bring up the similarities between those who voted for Brexit and those who voted for Trump, it's going to be a miserable three months.
I'm whining. I know. But it just builds and build and builds and there's no place else for me to put it.
I'm getting really tired of biting my tongue around people I know it's a waste of breath with, but I'm so sick and tired of people telling me that I need to suck it up or that voting for a misogynistic, hateful man for a reason that is not about hate means his voters are completely blame free or that I'm the one being hateful for continuing to talk about "so-called hate crimes" when most of them aren't real anyway.
In a desperate bid to not think about the election and have it ruin my day completely, I'm throwing myself into holiday planning. There's one item I'd like my flist's help with.
Every year, I buy Alicia a new book set to read. It's typically been a YA series of some sort, like Hunger Games and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. I'm looking for suggestions because I've been ignoring the YA market the past year or two. She loves fantasy and strong heroines, and typically isn't a big fan of stories that center on romance. Other types slip in there--some John Green, for example--so if a series is fantastic, please feel free to recommend it. Then I can take the list to compare it to her library to see what she might not have.
Oh, and the series should be complete or mostly so. She's not a fan of having to wait, lol.
I spent most of my night sick to my stomach. And crying. And then getting sick again. While Hillary was definitely not my first choice, when the electoral college process means the president will either be someone who has never done a day of public service in his life and wants to stack the Supreme Court with conservative judges that will take back the rights women, LGBT+, non-Christians, and minorities have fought to have for decades, or a woman who at least is familiar with how our government works and will be a balance against a Republican-controlled House and Senate, the choice was obvious.
My vote wasn't about me. It was about everybody. Though I might loathe the misogynists and religious right on principle, I voted for a country that would uphold their rights as much as they would uphold the rights of others. I'm saddened I was so wrong about our country that they would fall prey to the fear.
At least California got it right. Plus, we legalized marijuana tonight. I am never leaving this state unless I absolutely have to. :P
I just want 2016 to be over. What an awful, sucky year.
I'm thisclose to canceling a double date tomorrow because I'm angry/upset with the female half of the other couple. I talked to her yesterday--in what I thought was confidence--about something a mean girl said to Alicia, mostly because I knew her daughter had problems with the mean girl too and she'd be a sympathetic ear. I just needed to get it off my chest.
She turned around and told her daughter, who then went to the friend who'd witnessed the exchange (whose mother had been the one to tell me) and demanded to know what was going on. The other friend turned on his mom, who then called me and told me what happened. It was all a mess. And ugly. And I was furious that what I thought was between two adults got tossed back into the teenage ring, and even more furious that I didn't see it coming and said anything to her in the first place.
She apologized profusely but doesn't think she really did anything wrong, telling me I should've been clearer with her. Which is ridiculous because she only hears what she wants to hear sometimes and has been known to blame me for not telling her things other people have communicated multiple times (seriously, she never reads emails or checks our parents' band group so doesn't find out about things until it's too late and then gets mad at me for not keeping her up to date; I am not her damn secretary).
All of this on top of the news about my aunt's breast cancer, dealing with family, trying to get writing done (I have my Spuffy story I'm working on, a 55k short novel due on 12/1 that only has its outline done, edits for a different novel, and another set of line edits that I got today), keeping up with the kids' schedules (currently comprised of band/color guard/election canvassing/leadership/basketball/college testing), two different fundraisers for band boosters, a guitar recital in a month (though it looks like now there's a scheduling conflict with that), the annual Christmas basket/gift program for my hometown, and just feeding and clothing my family since nobody else will do it.
Then there's the election. Which makes me want to cry.
Halloween isn't quite the same with the kids now being teenagers. We walked around a little with the younger children, but then the girls came back to our house and are currently ensconced with a couple of friends in the living room, eating leftover candy (for some strange reason, we didn't get very many kids this year at all) and watching A Nightmare on Elm Street.
But my day, which I meant to be productive before we headed over to our friends' house, got derailed by some bad news this afternoon. My aunt texted me, wanting to talk. She's my mom's youngest sister, the one I spent every summer living with from the ages of 9 until 17. I always thought of her as an older sister since she's only 15 years older than me, but we're not as close as we used to be. Distance will do that.
It turns out that my other aunt, the oldest sister of the group who just turned 70, has breast cancer. ( Read more...Collapse )
A bit of chaos around our house today. Alicia's BFF was in a car accident right by our house this afternoon. She's had her license for less than two months and was test driving a car her parents were thinking of getting her. She pulled into an intersection she thought was clear but someone coming too fast around a curve hit the front driver side of her car. Both cars needed to be towed away, though thankfully nobody got hurt. Needless to say, BFF was very shaken up by the whole incident, and Alicia went with her to the ER, just to make sure everything was all right.
That threw an anchor into my work plans for the day, but like I told BFF's mom, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that nobody was hurt. Everybody got to walk away from it. The rest of it is details that will get sorted out one way or another in the long run.
Well, I actually started posting new Spuffy over at Elysian Fields. I can't believe I did it. Frankly, I'm terrified about the whole thing. It's been almost a decade since I wrote anything substantial for the fandom, and my bunny for the challenge grew of its own accord. It won't be anything nearly as long as most of my Spuffy (it still boggles me to think that most of my multi-chaptered fics ran as long as they did--Rhapsody was shortest at around 125k and Rook is nearly 300k), but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being 70-90k when it's complete.
If anyone is curious, it's called Razing the Veil. The first chapter is up, and I'm going to be updating on Tuesdays and Fridays. I think that's a reasonable schedule for me without losing my mind. I waited to start until I had a few chapters done, too, so I have a cushion in case I fall behind a bit. Fingers crossed I can maintain it. I have a 50k novel due 12/1, and this week I got a galley, a set of line edits, and another set of first edits, all due by November 1. When it rains, it pours, lol.
Alicia passed her driving test today! On one hand, it's such a relief that she's going to be able to help in getting to her different activities. On the other, I don't want to think of my baby out there on the road with crazy drivers. It won't be right away, either. Craig has to get her added to the insurance, but that's not going to happen until after he gets back from his business trip Saturday night.
Oh, right. He's leaving for another trip early tomorrow morning. Three days gone. It'll just be me and the kids for that time period.
We missed watching the debate tonight. I forgot to set it up to record in time. From the sound of it, I didn't miss much except to hopefully put the final nail in Trump's coffin. I just want this whole election over. It's been awful from start to finish, but the worst part is, I don't think things will improve soon. Trump's campaign has cut open the ugly underbelly of everything that is wrong with America and made it all right to be openly misogynistic, racist, and violent. These are not people who will go quietly into the night. I also hate that I'm so disappointed in so many people I know because of their choices during this campaign. It kills me how selfish I find them because they refuse to look at the bigger picture, that somehow their needs are more important than the needs of the many. I've rarely let a difference in politics get in the way of friendships (it always shocks some of my liberal friends that I have so many Republican friends and that half of my family is Republican as well), but this year has been different. I don't want to judge them because they're buying into lies or voting third party as an act of rebellion, but I seem to be doing it anyway. It makes me question how I can be friends with someone who could be so willfully ignorant or selfish.
The hardest part? Even though California is pretty firmly for Hillary, my town has a TON of Trump supporters. I had to listen to local people go on and on about Killary and how Trump is what this nation needs for way too long after the debate tonight. It's not surprising. These are the same people who refuse to pay the necessary taxes to get proper fire coverage for our area, leaving us woefully uncovered. I have to listen to them scream about how all the "libtards" are trying to steal their guns and repeal the 2nd amendment just because some of us advocate for stronger gun control mandates.
I like California in a lot of ways, but sometimes, I really hope both of my kids go to college in New England. Then I'll have an excuse to move back east. :P
A good part of my week was spent running teenagers around. Craig was in Seattle for work, so it was all on me. Alex had color guard practice three nights this week, our exchange student had tennis every day as well as a party tonight, and then there was Alicia. On top of her band stuff (three days this week) and STEM meeting (one day), she has a new internship with a local(ish) candidate for State Assembly. She had that three days this week. She takes her driving test next Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed she passes.
Craig's home, but tomorrow we're all in Santa Cruz for a massive band review competition. On Sunday, Alicia has to work on the campaign in a town that's near where we used to live, and I'd told our exchange student I'd take her to the mall over there while Alicia was working, but I'm considering seeing if I can beg off and stay home to work. I need the time. I have so much to do.
There were two bright spots of news this week, though. This morning, Craig got a call from Universal saying they'd matched a wallet with my lost and found report, so they are mailing it back to me. Craig didn't ask whether or not my driver's license was in it. At this point, since I already have my replacement bank cards, that's the only thing I'm desperate to find in it.
The other bright spot? Craig's boss went straight to the CEO about me working for them, and she has no problem with it. It's about 85% settled at this point, which is kind of nice, though it's going to mean more juggling with my time again, lol. The money will be a bonus, though. And having something recent on my resume is always good.
We went to Universal today. It was turning into a pretty perfect day - gorgeous weather, the new Harry Potter section, got to see Dermot Mulroney - to discover at 1:30 that my wallet was missing. We walked back to the car to make sure I hadn't left it in there, but no luck. Nobody had turned it in by that point, either. It still wasn't turned in by the end of the day. :(
I can handle my debit and credit card being gone. Canceling those and getting a replacement is relatively easy.
It's the zillion store cards and my damn driver's license that annoys me to no end. Craig is away next week, and there's no telling when I can get into the DMV. And I have no idea how I'm even going to replace a lot of the cards.
I guess the universe wasn't happy with how good my mood was. :(
I figured since I just made my Yuletide letter public that I should probably check in to let people know I'm alive. The past week has been crazy busy as we left on Saturday for our family vacation. We are currently in Los Angeles and will be here until Sunday. So far, it's been shopping, hanging out at the pool, and Downtown Disney. We hit theme parks for the next three days---Disney tomorrow, Universal (and Harry Potter, woo hoo!) on Wednesday, and California Adventure on Thursday. Friday is the beach, Santa Monica Boardwalk, and college tours at UCLA and USC. I have no idea what is happening on Saturday. Recovering from the week, probably, lol.
Because of our long days, I'll be mostly incommunicado until next week again. Unless I get motivated and post pictures/updates along the way. But I think I'm going to be exhausted frankly. ;)
Alicia ended up being home for two days, but on Tuesday at lunchtime, Alex called me from school saying he didn't feel well, too. I kept him home for two days with a fever and the same stomach problems (though not as severe, thank goodness), but both kids seem to be good now. I don't seem to be getting a full-blown version of it. I've got minor cold symptoms, but those are manageable and I think more likely to be caused by poor sleeping and eating habits from the past week.
I got other work done in the middle of all that, like a completed set of edits (though I got another set back to me today) and another chapter of my M/A fic, "Let's Get Personal," posted. I signed up for a word war and gave myself an insane goal of 10k for four days, of which I've managed to get 1.6k done so far. To be fair, I never really thought I was going to hit it (even though I have two more days to go). I just wanted a high bar to shoot for to push myself.
Tomorrow is another busy day. It's the first of three marching competitions, which means I'm up at 6am to get Alex over to his coach's house to get ready. Craig is with Alicia, helping to move instruments and then get the kids ready for the actual competition. I may or may not have to go. I won't know until after I get to Alex's coach's house. This is our first year with color guard so I have no idea what the standard practice is. Regardless, I have to take our exchange student out afterward to get groceries for a project for her Spanish III class. I'm going to need Sunday as a day of rest, lol.
On the plus side, Alicia and I did watch some new TV this week.
Gotham: Still enjoying it, though I hate the kids. I watch for the bad guys mostly. And Harvey. The Good Place: It wasn't quite what we expected, but we laughed out loud in a couple places so we're sticking with it for the time being. This Is Us: We LOVED this. ( Mild spoilerCollapse ) Designated Survivor: Craig and I are giving this one more episode. So far, we're not that impressed. It's too heavy-handed, but maybe that improves. Blindspot: I did not realize Luke Mitchell was going to be on this season. I love him. And it kills me how torn up Jane is about everything. She's so screwed. ( Mild Patterson spoilerCollapse ) How to Get Away with Murder: My favorite trashy TV. God, I love this show. And I love even more that Conrad Ricamora is now a regular. Have you heard him sing? God. Love him.
With the fall TV season starting up, I finally sat down to figure out what I need to program into the DVR. And I'm soooooo embarrassed by how long the list is, lol. I know most of them won't make it, and some of them I freely admit I'm only watching because of who are in them, but...well, you just never know when you'll fall in love with something if you don't take a chance.
--American Housewife - I've heard mixed things about it, but I'm hoping it'll be funny. --Conviction - Hayley Atwell. The absolute only reason. I haven't heard good things about it, though, so I don't know how long it will last. --Designated Survivor - Kiefer Sutherland. That's the only reason I need to try it. --The Exorcist - I've been waffling on this, but Father Tomas is played by one of my favorite actors from Sense8 so I'm going to try. --The Good Life - The trailers made me laugh. Plus, Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. --Man With a Plan - I've heard this trashed more than once, but it's Matt LeBlanc who I adore so I'm trying it anyway. --This Is Us - I'm hoping to find a good family drama for a comfort watch. Plus, Justin Hartley! --Timeless - Because I'm a sucker for a time travel story. --Van Helsing - Bloodthirsty vampires. Need I say more? --Westworld - It looks utterly fascinating.