Mar. 18th, 2014

My knee isn't quite better from my fall, and the muscle or tendon or whatever I pulled in the back of my leg hurts a little worse now than it did. I've been trying to stretch and keep it from getting stiff, but I heal really slowly so who knows how long it'll take. It made me miss most of my final week of my Daily Burn program. I started back with Day One last night, but I can't really do a lot of the exercises with my knee... so I did what I could and then rested.

This weekend was really busy and full of nerdiness. We had Pathfinder on Friday Night (we did stop for Pi Day pie). Then Saturday shadowfell came over and we made of day of gaming and Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill and she hung out and we chatted about all things nerdy until I started to fall asleep where I sat. It was super nice to have her out, so hopefully we can do it again soon.

Sunday night we went to the Welcome to Night Vale show out in Lawrence, which was phenomenal. Cecil's voice is even more amazing in person. The musician touring with them currently is Eliza Rickman who has this whole dark cabaret/chamber pop thing going for her, and she plays a tiny toy piano and I really loved her. I went home and bought her album on Bandcamp immediately.

I spent all the time inbetween either playing Thief, or making Thief gifs. I'm trying out Adobe's creative cloud, which is probably out of my price range to keep at $20 a month, but I'm poking at it to see what I can do with it. I'm going to work on some web design stuff with it too -- see if I can figure out the new stuff they have to offer. I miss web design and while I code stuff now and again for RP and other personal stuff from time to time, I'd like to make stuff for other people again.

pi

I wonder if we can find a pie to pick up before gaming tonight. Seems appropriate. Play D&D, enjoy a pie, profit!

Wednesday on my way to have lunch with Matt's mom, I fell in the parking lot at work and smashed my knee. It's okay-ish, but is badly swollen. You can't even tell it's bruised, but there's a big pocket of fluid on top of my kneecap. Really, I'm more worried about the tendon or muscle in the back of my leg that I pulled. Hopefully it'll clear up over the weekend, because I'm sort of relegated to minimal exercise until I can move my leg more freely.

Last weekend we got to see K and the baby. She's definitely on the verge of leaving Gray. I talked to her on the phone four different times last week which is unprecedented since they moved out. She even mentioned letting Matt and I babysit Aiden sometime in the future, which we'd love to do. I'm thinking about asking her what she's doing next weekend, seeing if we could take him Saturday or something -- maybe even just for a few hours. He needs the socialization and time without mommy, and she needs a break for sure. Even the idea that she'd consider letting us watch him is a HUGE step forward for all of us, so I hope this means good things for the future.

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Feb. 28th, 2014

Proof that some repeated advertisement works on me.  After several weeks of seeing the commercials for Daily Burn on Hulu+, I decided to give it a shot.  I haven't been to bellydance since before Christmas, and I was having such a hard time with my back and my feet when I was going that it was really painful.  I have been wanting something I can do at home that will be good for mobility and joint strength, where I can work in smaller doses than a typical hour class.  Daily Burn suggested it's True Beginner program for me, and I just finished Day 10.  It's great.  Really great.  I have pretty much told everyone I know how much I love it already.  What I love more than the workout though, is the trainer.  As far as I can tell, this is his only program on Daily Burn, but I hope they change that.  He's positive and affirming and reminds you throughout each day that you it might be basic, but it's not easy, that showing up is the hardest challenge and you've already met it, and he says things like "shine your heart open" which sound cheesy written out, but sound sincere coming from him.  When I mentioned this to my friend Amy, she said that Zoe Jakes (a world famous bellydancer) says this in her classes too, so it must be a thing somewhere.  *shrugs*  Whatever it is, I like it a lot.  I'm currently under their 30 day trial, and that lasts as long as the True Beginner program lasts, which is perfect.  When that's done, we'll see how I feel and see about getting into one of their other programs.

You all that have been around awhile know that I'm not really one for exercise.  However, with the fibromyalgia, movement -- the right movement -- can help.  On Sundays, they slide in one of the sessions from their Mobility program which is all about stretching and testing those joints, just as a cool down from the week.  That in itself is worth the price admission for me.  I'm not one for prothletising programs like this usually, and it really doesn't seem like much special the first two weeks and the last two weeks are just the same four workouts cycled, but the fact that I feel good after all of them, and I'm not tired of the trainer and his positivity, really says something about it.  Next week it'll switch to the harder sessions, so we'll see how I do there. Maybe when my four weeks is up, I'll just do True Beginner all over again and try to up my pace to see how I've improved.

So.  For Valentine's Day, Audible sent out a free book option out of 5 pre-selected short programs it has.  None of them seemed particularly appealing, but I chose one that seemed most interesting.  It was a two and a half hour recording and I had to shut it off after an hour, that's how bad it was.  Here... I'll share my Goodreads review with you:

PhiLOLZophy Critical Thinking in Digestible Doses by Chrissy Stockton, Sarah Heuer: This book is bad, it should feel bad, and if I hadn't gotten for free, I'd honestly ask for a refund. I still should, one of the other free offers has to have been better than this.

Despite the authors touting feminist as the thing everyone should be (the only point to which I agree) this book is full of misogynistic stereotypes about women, ableist language regarding "crazy" women, and a host of other problems (including but not limited to an author story about "hooking up" with a guy while she was blacked out (the point at which I noped out of this book)).


So, as much as I hate to leave a book unfinished, I've since moved on to Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan which is the only John Green novel I haven't read before.

I turned in my fanmix for bigbang_mixup last week and I'm super excited to see what gets written for it. It's my first time making anything for the Hannibal fandom and I'm really excited about putting the mix up. And I finished up my bingo card for femtropebingo card. I wrote two dragon age stories, two Dracula stories and one for Saints Row. I'd never done anything for Saints Row before, and of course femslash is so rarely recognized in most fandoms that I'm not really sure how/if people are liking it. But I'm pretty happy with it. And I'm really glad I finished that card.

the friday five - technology

1. What was the first Internet site you remember joining?
Yahoo, maybe? I was not an early user of the internet, in fact I was in college before I had an email account and that was because shadowfell was kind enough to show me what the hell to do.

2. What was the last Internet site you joined?
Do beta's count? I signed up for the beta of Storium yesterday.

3. Are you Mac, Window or something else?
Windows. Always Windows. The Macs we used in college for Graphic Design turned me off Macs in a big way. Then there's the price tag, and the limitations on gaming, and expansion and... yeah.

4. What is the one thing you wish you could easily do with your computer?
Same thing I always want to do... keep better track my music. A better tagging system would work.

5. Are you happier with the all the advances that have been made in the last ten years or do you wish for an earlier, less technology-based time?
GIMME THE TECHNOLOGY. All of it. I want Google Glasses and wrap-around computer wristwatches and everything but 3D anything. 3D can die a slow and violent death for all I care.

---
PS. Regular stuff later.

official app


So reading my flist from the official LJ app for Android is SUPER annoying.  there's no way to make the fonts, or the posts bigger in order to be able to read them, AND the text doesn't wrap.  Stupid.

 

At least posting with it is nice.

Femtrope Bingo Card

My [tumblr.com profile] femtropebingo card and the five stories (diagonal top left to bottom right) I wrote for it:

Card below the cutCollapse )

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it's half a snow day

I'm still worrying about work.  Friday afternoon I had a conversation with my manager and when to topic of conversation turned to hiring me permanently, her reaction wasn't a good one.  She still wants to, but she laughed in that strained way that people laugh when they have bad news.  At this point I've decided I'm done talking about.  She knows I want it, and knows that I could be better served by looking elsewhere.  So its just a matter of waiting until they figure out what they want. 

 

I got to talk to the kid this weekend.  called her about one thing, but ended up talking to her for about twenty minutes or so.  Its pretty clear she's lonely, she's the one that wasn't ready to hang up.  It was a pleasant conversation, and I think besides being lonely, she and the baby are doing okay.  Gray is working a lot so its hard for him to be much of an asshole when he's barely home.

 

Thought I'd also report on one month of using the bullet journal method.  I'm still loving it.  I'm actually keeping two, one and work and one at home, and they're both coming in really handy and very useful, especially at a glance.  I wish that I'd chosen a different journal for my home one, know that I better understand my own style, but I'm making this one work so far.

 

I'm on track for getyourwordsout at the end of January, hitting 18k for the month, better than my 16kish goal. 

 

I've been keeping up with my reading, finishing several books so far.  Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, and I've started the second book in the series, A Local Habitation.  They're good... but her style is starting to get on my nerves especially when listening via audiobook instead of reading them. I might not have noticed how repetitive she can be if I was reading it, but now that I've noticed it, its hard to ignore.  I might have to put more than a one book buffer between future books in the series. 

 

I also finished Hounded by Kevin Hearne, which I actually highly recommend if you like urban fantasy and are looking for something different than the standard fare.  Its got a male protagonist, but he's funny and there's good pop culture references and he's far less brooding and bitter than regular male MCs.  Plus if you like dogs, you're sure to get a kick out of his dog, Oberon, the wolfhound.

 

I getting out of here early today.  The weather is a mess, and only getting worse.  By the time I leave there's likely to several inches of snow on the ground.  But I had to come in if tomorrow is a snow day too.  Three or four hours of pay is better than no hours for two days.  :/

lately

As much as I currently love my manager, I'm feeling a little disheartened. I'm really hoping that by March, or at the latest, July, they'll be looking to hire me on directly. In the past both my manager and my supervisor have mentioned wanting to keep me permanently, and even before that talked about just being super happy with my performance and really wanting to make sure I stick around. I know that they took a risk when they upped the offer to take me on, so I'm slightly out of their budget (though hiring me directly could alleviate that somewhat I'd think). But in the past few weeks they announced that they were going to bring on a summer intern for our group. Then today, when I was talking to my manager (as a precaution) about the vacation I'll want to take in July if I'm still around, she mentioned that at the moment they're only really certain they want me to be extended past March. My contract as written I believe ends in July... but I'm worried that I might not get the chance to be around that long.

I know that my manager likes me. Not a doubt.
I'm just super tired of not having A PLACE to work. I don't want to contract anymore, I never wanted to in the first place, but once you do it - it's hard to stop (for various reasons).
I feel like if they DID hire me that my manager would be someone I could really work with for years to come, that she might actually look out for me if I wanted to move over or even up in the company. Being so close to that kind of work employee/manager relationship again and feeling like I might not get to keep it is so very frustrating. I'm trying really hard not to let it get me down and mostly, but not always, succeeding.
In fact, I've been doing really well the past few months mentally/emotionally. I do not want this job, getting it or not as a permanent placement, to get in the way of that, but it's sitting on a lot of things right now that are making it hard remember that whether or not they hire me, is not up to me, no matter how good I am at this job (or how often they tell me they like me/want to keep me).

----

Since I've talked about the fact that a lot of the books I'm finishing lately are audiobooks, I thought I'd share that the current Humble Bundle is a collection of audiobooks. Currently the average price is a little less than $6. If you pay more than the average you get 7 books. If you pay less you still get 4 books. It's a pretty good deal. Of course it's my good luck that having just finished The Satanic Verses, it's one of the books available. :/ Still for me a buck a book is better than my audible credits.

Unrelatedly:
I came across an interesting post the other day on LJ about "sick systems"; basically, the psychological process that goes into keeping someone in a bad situation (personal and professional relationships). It's worth a read, although a warning is probably in order since the post is written as though you were wanting to create this sort of situation to keep someone around and that language can be hard to read around if you've been in (or are in) a system as discussed. While also slightly depressing to read, it's good insight on the sorts of things to look for in people or situations that might be signs it's time to get out -- especially because it'll be hard to do so.

PS. I am pretty much beside myself about the Mona version of Stand By Me used in the Hannibal season 2 trailer. Adding that to my small (but growing) Hannibal playlist and putting that on repeat. I'll resurface for other music in a few months, or maybe after I get to see the new season.

silhoutte seasons

I have started working on details and scheduling for crimebb the Crime/Heist Big Bang, with the idea to open signups at the beginning of February and run them through the month. I need to work on writing up the FAQ and sign-up posts, but I've still got time to get that done. Then I think I'll maybe open dragonagewomen challenge sign-ups in April about the time Crime stories and art will be due. That'll give me a free month before I have to open whatever mid-year exchange people want for DA Holiday Cheer. I don't know if there's anything happening in the fall (probably not), so then it'll just be the Christmas exchange I have to worry about. (Unless people are interested in a RBB for Crime.)

Then I just have to think about what I'm actually going to write for. I haven't even signed up for dragonagebb yet because I have no idea what I actually want to write (if anything). I haven't written anything huge for DA in a while (aside from second account kmeme stuff) and I don't know if I want to right now either. I have other stories on my mind (or in the works) including picking up some old WIPs.

My reading binge sort of dropped off at the end of the year after I started The Satanic Verses, because it was just really hard to get through. I did just finally finish it, and honestly, I was so unimpressed. From what I've heard about Rushdie's writings is that his other books follow similar formats, so I doubt I'll read anything else from him. Now that it's over though I've started up one audio book: Rosemary and Rue by seanan_mcguire which I'm already in love with (not surprisingly), and I picked up Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood on my Nook again to see if I could finish it this time. At some point I should also finish Naked by David Sedaris so I can give it back to my boss and stop carrying it around. (I don't know what I'm missing, but Sedaris' writing bores me. After years of hearing how funny he is, I'm unimpressed.)

the friday five: sleep

1. How many hours of sleep do you like to get in a night?
On average 5-6 hours a night.  I've always been a night owl, and it doesn't seem to matter what my daily schedule is like or how early I have to get up, I feel my best and most productive at night.  However, on the weekends, with no plans and no alarm set I have been known to sleep 13-14 hours if given the opportunity.  Usually I have no choice in the matter, I wake up when woken, by alarm or person.

2. How many hours of sleep can you survive on indefinitely?
Overtime, especially while working in a corporate seeting, I've tried to adjust back up to something close to 7 or 8 hours, but it's not something I've ever been able to do long term.  And whne I'm not in a period of severe fibro fatigue (unlike now) I function just fine on those few hours, sometimes less.

3. Do you enjoy napping?
No.  But I am often not in control of when I fall asleep (especially in a car these days), and I've also learned to appreciate the use of them to get through the rest of a day (or night) when necessary.

4. The average amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep is seven minutes--do you tend to need more or less time than that?
Less.  Usually by the time I hit the pillow and am fully covered in blankets, I'm asleep.

5. If you were offered a pill that would enable you to sleep only two hours out of every twenty-four and remain fully functional, but you could never sleep more than that, would you take it?
Hells yes. In a heartbeat.  Listen, even if my day is nothing but television, video games and tumblr, I'd rather be awake than asleep. 

under the tide

I have a cold. I had been doing so well this winter and then Matt brought me this. It's not horrible, mostly just annoying. I've been sniffly because of sinus for a week or so, but last night it just sort of hit me all of a sudden. I ended up just finishing off an old Portal 2 saved game because it was all I really had the brain power for.

I know it's only a few days into the new year, but I did start up a new notebook for the year, following the bullet journal method I linked to before. I'm really liking it so far, although I'm a little worried about space? I picked a journal that Matt's mom bought me for Christmas a few years ago and while I like it, the lines on each page are big and I don't know -- it seems like it might not hold a whole year's worth? I suppose we'll see. Maybe it'll be fine.

I'm still listening to The Satanic Verses... because well, it's long. And honestly even on audio it's a little boring. I'm determined to see it through, but it's just going to take me a little while to get through the second half of it. At least I'm into actual story now instead of all background. It's not something I can listen to while I'm working though, which does change how fast I can get through it, it requires concentration so it's basically become a car-listen. I should start up something else while I'm at work, but I haven't. Instead I've been putting the new Kings of Leon album on repeat, and mixing in Chvrches and other stuff as Google Play recommends them to me.

yuletide reveals

I only wrote one story for Yuletide this year, but I'm pretty proud of it. It's no surprise that I'm in love with the movie Legend, but I've never written anything for it before. This year my recipient's letter read like one I could've written and when I saw her request for Legend, I knew that's what I was writing.

Not Words Alone
Fandom: Legend (1985)
Word Count: 1341
Rating: Mature (not explicit)
Pairing: Dark!Lili/Darkness
Summary: Darkness seduces Lili and she submits... or does she?

This year was a bit daunting as I ended up with the same recipient I had last year. I wrote a Portal story for her last year, but wasn't sure I could do it again this year. I put Legend on my own request list this year and seeing it on hers was just perfect. She wanted something that was very close to my own request and while I wasn't sure what I'd get -- or if I'd get a Legend story -- I wanted to do my best to write something I'd be happy to receive. (Which is always a goal, but most especially when it's a shared fandom request.)

I also really wanted to write something that could fit within the seduction of Lili scene, something that felt a little ethereal or dream-like. I hope I succeeded in that. I also really liked having a good excuse to go on a bit of a Legend bender, rewatching the Director's Cut, and then the seduction of Lili scene (which has always been my favorite scene of the movie) again and again on Youtube.

And then there was the long internal debate about whether or not write Lili or Lily and I had a whole thing where I was looking at all the places where one or the other shows up. Of course Lili seems to be the more accepted form, so that's what I went with.

---

Since I mentioned that I also requested Legend for myself this year I thought I'd mention the two (TWO!) Legend stories I received.

calliopes-pen wrote a really FANTASTIC story for me that used a challenge I threw out where Dark!Lili is a werewolf. It's an evil wins scenario where Lili goes with Darkness. Her story is Blood Begins a Curse Anew and is 14k words of awesome.

A Darker Dream is a story from boywonder. Long after the unicorn has been saved, Lili still has dreams of Darkness that are definitely NSFW. It's always nice to get a little smut for yuletide. <3

i don't remember moving superman

My desk is full of toys, including a funko superman figure. Only he's been moved and I don't remember moving him. I think I must have, but when? Or why? I only just now noticed and it's creeping me out. *carefully moves him back*

ANYWAY.

I came here to talk about the same thing everyone else is talking about: end of the year/beginning of 2014 stuff. Tomorrow, when I have more time, I'm going to talk about Yuletide. Plus, it'll be hard for me to talk about Yuletide without talking about the thing I wrote for Yuletide because this was a weird year for me, Yuletide-wise.

2013 has been a mixed-bag. On the heels of what was an awful, horrible, no good year (2012) it's understandable that 2013 had to work out some of the kinks before it could get better. And it did. And then it didn't. But it's ending on a good note I think.

I don't typically make resolutions, not in the 'it's January and I should change my life via this 10 point list of things I've never done before' sort of way anyhow. Of course there's always stuff to improve or change, but January doesn't necessarily make it easier to do than February or August. But, I do think about how I want to capture my life in the new year, if that makes sense. So I reconsider the notebook I take with me everywhere: do I want a new one, do I want to change how I use it? That sort of thing. A few weeks ago I came across a method of journaling/task-listing that I want to try in the new year: http://www.bulletjournal.com/ It's pretty close to how I already do things, and gives me a good excuse to start a new journal (I've had the same huge book in my purse since 2009, I think it's time to start a new one).

I also want to better track my word count this year, which might change where I keep track of my writing since I don't have access to gdocs (or any shared doc site) from work. The way I wrote was little scattered this year so I want to improve that so I avoid the giant void where I'm not writing anything other than RP posts for months at a time. ushobwri and getyourwordsout should help some with my writing goals.

And this isn't really a resolution or tracking or anything, but in the last month or so, I've started doing a lot of sudoku puzzles during my lunch break. I started because inside these little box meals I get for work, there's a puzzle on the cardboard box. I ignored them for the longest time and then on a whim I did one, thought it was pretty easy and did it again the next day. Decided to get an app on my iPad and then my phone and now I'm looking forward to the calendar Matt got me for Christmas which is basically a page-a-day sudoku. So maybe I'll improve my brainpower a little this year. I've already peeked at one of their 'very hard' puzzles and it is exactly that.

holidays

My head hurts so bad this morning. Like I don't even have words to tell you how much. It's just pounding and it hurts to move my eyes or really any of me at all, and I'm a little nauseous. My whole body was definitely ready for it to be Saturday this morning, not Friday. I think I will likely spend some time in the quiet room, or my car around lunch time. Or if the weather starts getting bad like they're calling for, I might go home early -- that's not the desired outcome, but it might be best.

Anyway. On to:
The Friday Five

1. What is your favorite holiday?
My Birthday. That counts right? Halloween and Christmas would come close after. In fact, when we were in the planning stages, Matt and I almost settled on getting married on Halloween. But... it's his birthday, and it was a Monday, and so we settled on the day after.

2. Do you send holiday cards?
I try to. Some years I'm better at it than others. This year, I didn't get cards together in time. I barely got my Christmas decorations out, and they're only up because Matt put them up while I made Christmas crafts last weekend.

3. What has been your favorite holiday gift to date?
My former aunt used to give me books every year for Christmas when I was younger. I still have the collection of American Girl books she gave me (I have three? Felicity books, and the first Kirsten book.) I mean, I never got into the AG stuff other than the books, but I still keep them around. Maybe that's a weird gift to say is my favorite... it's not those specifically, but the books and the thought that went into picking them specifically.

4. Do you have a favorite cold weather drink?
Hot chocolate/cocoa. No marshmallows though, gross.

5. Do you do charity work during the holidays?
I have. We do try to participate in some sort of charity like the Project for Awesome, or Child's Play. Usually wherever I'm working also has some charity work days like wrapping gifts or adopting a family for the holiday.

writing

For the last few years I've tried (and failed) to keep track of my word count. I end up only doing it for a short period of time, or for a certain type of writing. So I never have the most accurate count. Now that I have a good way to count things (a nice, fancy spreadsheet) I'm going to do better at it this year. I pledged 200k for 2014 at getyourwordsout, and I think I can make it if I wrote like I did this year. I don't have the same RPs going as I did in 2011 & 2012, but that's okay, I filled that this year with original stuff which was good. If I can do next year what I did this year, with an accurate count, I'm hoping 200k is a decent challenge.


GetYourWordsOut: Year Six!
Pledges & Requirements | GYWO.net

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crafty hobbitses

I spent all day Saturday (typed Satyrday because my brain is fog) working on homemade Christmas presents. I made ornaments out of cinammon and applesauce (easy and omg it smells good), a few out of salt dough (but I didn't like it as much) and some air fresheners (much stronger than expected). Everything was pretty easy, but the ornaments take a long time to bake. (Put some pictures on Tumblr on Saturday.)

Matt and I took a break in the middle of the day to go see The Hobbit movie, which I'm not sure how I feel about. The version of the movie we watched (the HDFR 3D version) wasn't great. That high frame rate just made it feel like some cheesy 80s movie. It was pretty but the action scenes just didn't feel right. And then there's just a host of other stuff, actual plot stuff I'm not sure how I feel about. I DID like the addition of Tauriel when I didn't think I would... so that helped balance out some of the things I was underwhelmed by. IMHO Smaug was the best part (no matter how much I couldn't care for BC).

Yesterday was the yearly Christmas party at my grandparents. I don't know what was up this year, maybe it's just because there's such a disparity in ages now? but it seemed really low-key. It was nice and we were only there about three hours, but as usual I was absolutely exhausted when we left.

I'm about 98% positive that I'm in the middle of a fibro flare-up. Aside from the general brain fog, everything is sore and/or swollen, I'm tired to the point that if I'm ready to sleep it's pretty much uncontrollable. I've been sleeping an hour or two in the evening, and then going to bed earlier than normal. And I'm still tired/fatigued. Fatigued is really the better word. It's everywhere, every part of me that just feels exhausted. To top it off, I'm either getting a cold, or have a sinus infection.

Let me tell you the wonders of a working humidifier in your bedroom though. I knew my sinuses were a problem... but my head was so dry. Add a humidifier and I still don't feel good, but at least my face feels better--or less likely to give me bloody noses.

--Finished White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland. Just as good/funny as the first two. Definitely a series I'll keep reading/listening to. Started listening to The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Maybe not the best follow-up, but the narrator is really amazing so far.

body conscious

For thefridayfive

1. What is your favourite part of your body and why?
mmm. I don't know, I think it changes depending on my mood.  Most often, maybe my eyes?  I like that they're not a regularly defineable color, I like that they change, and that sometimes I have a very distinct green eye & blue eye.

2. What is the first thing you look at when you meet someone new?
Eyes, hair, lips, hands.  In that order I think.

3. Do you match your shoes to your outfit/accessories?
Sometimes?  I buy shoes for comfort, so sometimes what looks best is not what I know will be comfortable or easy to walk in with the outfit.  I also choose shoes for the day depending on level of activity.  I have and often will wear comfortable, non-matching shoes to work if I know I'm going to be up and down more often.

4. Do you like getting dressed up or prefer to be casual?
I very much dislike dressing up, unless it's for bellydance.  "Dressy" dance clothes are often times still more comfortable than regular clothes.

5. What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought for yourself?
Article of clothing/accessory-wise?  A dress probably, or my winter coat (a pretty, purple, wool peacoat).  I need a new coat too soon, so chances are that'll be my next expensive purchase.  I like buying fancy coats, but only do so every four or five years or so.  Oh! My last tattoo might have run about the same... if that counts.

Dec. 9th, 2013

Things I can't get enough of lately (and would link you to if I could right now):

"Gay Pirates" by Cosmo Jarvis.  Look it up on YouTube, it's a love song about, you guessed it, gay pirates.  It's catchy as hell, and there's a good video to go with it.

"Bandit" by Orla Gartland.  Also on YouTube, a catchy song that's pretty much a perfect theme song for my old Warhammer character, Captain Katrina VanLuen.  It's lovely.

The new musical by Team Starkid, Twisted: the untold story of a Royal Vizier.  If you don't know Team Starkid, then you need to get ye to the old YouTubes immediately.  Start with A Very Potter Musical, and work your way up to Twisted.  You can thank me later.  If you're already a fan but haven't watched Twisted yet, do it.  It's hilarious and the songs are great.  If you don't know, or can't tell by the title, Twisted is basically an AU of Aladdin where Jafar is the main character and Aladdin is pretty much a villain.  There's a TON of great Disney references, worth the two-ish hours to watch.

Also if you're looking for new music to listen to, check out Capital Cities.  I don't have a great comparison for them, Imagine Dragons maybe.  I've seen them dubbed as electro-pop, I guess that's a close description.  You've likely heard "Safe and Sound" but I don't think that song is the best indication of what they're like.  Alternatively, if you like country-ish music check out The Grisly Hand, they're local to me and I think they're really great.

I just finished listening to Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeline Roux, a zombie novel told in blog posts.  It was good, slow at times, and I'm not sure I like how quickly the ending wrapped up, but that's a problem I have with a lot of novels.  I picked up the third White Trash Zombie novel and am currently listening to that.  They're popcorn lit, fun and lighthearted and decently written.  There probably won't be a fourth until next year, but in November I managed to pick up quite a few cheap books on Audible, so I have more to keep me busy after this one.

I've also started a complete rewatch of the Charmed series on Netflix.  Let me tell you, late 90s, early 00's fashion is pretty laughable.  I'm really having a great time watching back through the series.  Tonight I'll probably finish season 3, which is the Cole season -- god I love Julian McMahon.  Watching him makes me highly interested in rewatching Nip/Tuck after I finish Charmed (although I still have five more seasons of it to go).  You know watching Charmed also makes me miss shows like Buffy and Dark Angel, Witchblade, Birds of Prey, Alias - those 90s/00s shows with female leads that were focused on the women being powerful and badass, and ocassional worried about their relationships, but weren't defined by them.  I think Nikita and Lost Girl might be the best we have today, but it's certainly not as prevelant as it was then.  It's amazing Charmed was around for eight seasons.  Truly.

This week I start the great handmade Christmas gift creation! I've been working on a baby blanket during Charmed, but there's a ton of small gifts I need to put together to send out to people too.  So, as soon as all the ingredients are gathered (tonight after work), I'll start putting things together.  I'm going old-school with some stuff too -- salt-dough items and cinammon ornaments.  At least my house will smell nice while I work.

buying nothing

Cyber Monday. The day I'm not buying a darned thing except for dinner.

We have given all our thanks for this holiday -- three dinners down and a billion Christmases to go.  We had a nice day with friends yesterday at out house, which is always my favorite of the holiday meals.  Mostly because Matt cooks good food, and it's nice to hang out at my house and chill with friends.  I like being with my families for the holidays, the challenge is not the few hours I spend with them, but WHICH few hours I spend with them, because it inevitably means I'm missing those same hours at someone else's house.  It works out okay, and people don't so much mind (or at least they understand), but still...

The downside to having everyone over for seven hours or so on a Sunday is that it's just mentally exhausting.  Even when it's nice to have friends around, I can only really safely handle people for a few hours at a time.  Add to that the few hours cleaning before people showed up and the day of cleaning and organzing on Saturday and I really could've used the day off today just to make up for our last Thanksgiving.

I do think I sort of have a handle on Christmasy type things this year.  I'm going to get the decorations out toni- tomorrow night probably and put them up while the living room is still clean.  We've purchased about half of our family gifts and I've started knitting on the ones I'm going to knit.  I haven't figured out the crafty part of the rest of the handmade gifts though... so there's still some I need to figure out.  Plus, there's always like that one person (Matt's dad) that's impossible to shop for.  So, we'll have to figure out that and the few other gifts we need to get still.

Sunday I'm having an Arbonne party for my step-sister so she can maybe pick up some sales before the holiday.  I love the stuff I've bought from them so far, and I know I have a small wishlist for this weekend.  Hopefully some of that can be subsidised by the party since some of what I want to buy is also going to be Christmas presents.  I don't normally do these party type things, but I feel like I go to enough of them hosted by other people I could get away with doing one.  Especially if it's a company I actually like the products from.  When my mom had hers, I bought one of their skin care lines (mostly because I was almost out of everything I normally use) and I've really been liking it.  In fact one of them has actually been helping the scar I have on my eyebrow, it's not as deep or noticeable as it once was.  I'm not huge into skin care and makeup/beauty regimens and all that, but as I've gotten older I have picked up a few things.  I might not have another Arbonne party ever again after Sunday, but I'll probably still keep using their stuff.  Has anyone else ever tried their stuff?

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a mighty need

I came out of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode wanting one thing (aside from Moffet to stop using time paradoxes to zero-sum all his plots), more Ten. Maybe it's true that you always love your first Doctor more than the others. Or maybe it's just that I adore Tennant's portrayal more for another reason, but I didn't realize how much I missed him as the Doctor until we got to see him again. I desperately wanted at least one moment where he and Rose/Bad Wolf/The Moment got to interact. But the scene of him with the screwdriver where she's at his side, and then again when he's like Bad Wolf...?, those were good moments. The closest we got, and not nearly enough, but good nonetheless.

As for the rest of the episode... man, I hope Moffet passes the writerly reins to someone else soon. Sometimes he gets it right and he gives us interesting, heartbreaking stories like with the end of the Ponds. The rest of the time he creates these zero-sum plots that are so massive, but ultimately mean nothing. BECAUSE TIMEY-WIMEY. *shrugs* I'd just like to see what someone else does with it now. (I'd also like someone at the helm that doesn't find the idea of a female Doctor laughable.)

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We're in another round of silence from the kids. We had two weekends in a row at the where we got to see her, and she was answering texts and talking to us. And now it's no-response-ville again. With the holidays coming on, I hoped we could spend some time together, maybe have them out to our meal on Sunday, or get them to show up at one of the grandparents places. It's unlikely, but I continue to hope. I mean, sometimes I wonder why I hold onto that hope with her. It does nothing but hurt me. It's not for me, I guess? And I also wouldn't know how to do anything else.

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My hope to write a bunch in November fell away pretty quickly. I was ahead of the NaNo wordcount for about a week and I'm still writing, but far more slowly. In part, I lost momentum, and once that goes it's really hard to find motivation. It's not a lack of words either, when I do sit down intent to write something, the words come quickly. It's just making myself do it that's gotten harder. And I know with winter and the holidays it's only going to get harder. I have a lot of winter knitting to do -- baby blankets and stuff for my SIL, fingerless gloves for my MIL and slippers for my step-mom. Plus a round of crafting for gift exchanges. Add to that the two fandom gift exchanges... (and running one of them) it'll be a wonder if I finish anything at all.

Even my reading has slowed down. I haven't finished the last two Sedaris books I have (though I'm finding it hard to care about them). I finished Allegient (which I enjoyed even if most of the fans are whining about the ending). But, other than that I've only finished audiobooks of late because they require little effort. After I finished Anne Hathaway's version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (which was entirely adorable), I listened to the second white trash zombie book, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland and Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire. I still haven't gone back and finished Chuck Wendig's Blue Blazes but I probably should before the end of the year.

things we lost

Did you know that there's a whole album of Bastille remixes? Well, there is. It's really about three of their songs remixed two or three times each, but if you're into that sort of thing, it's good. I'm pretty sure that one of them is going to be my new half-choreography/half-improv song for a bellydance show in the spring. (Or whatever comes around when I think I'm ready for it.) Despite being back in class, and being at nearly every show, I haven't actually danced for a while. Not anywhere outside of class or my house. I know if I wanted, Amy would let me step up to level 2 where I could be learning choreographies and potentially dancing in a group again... but I don't quite feel up to that yet. Maybe in a few more weeks.

Part of the problem is my feet aren't ever going to be the same as they were. Along with normal everyday pain in them, I've lot nerve feeling in the last two toes on my right foot. And this spring after injurying my foot when I fell (concrete floor + rain + slick shoes = major foot injury) there was also a lot of pain in my arches that makes my foot extra stiff. Like simple turns are hard if I don't have shoes on.

Maybe if my doctor had realized the pain was actually from the injury instead of assuming it was plantar fascitis, I would've been able to save myself the trouble. But, as it is I can't move those last two toes and you'd be surprised how often that's distracting. As much as I like being back in class again, I feel a lot more clumsy because I can't turn well/fast and I can't rest my weight there for too long without feeling stiff or sore or wobbly.

This turned into a long tangent about dance. Oops. Mostly despite all my issues with it right now, I'm excited to have found a song I think is a good fit for me to work on.

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missed / opportunity

There is an event at a library this weekend with John Green and Rainbow Rowell as speakers and I badly wanted to go. I waited to check to make sure my friend could (and did) grab a ticket before getting mine and when I went to buy mine last night they were sold out. *cries* I was so excited to meet Rainbow and have her sign Fangirl for me. Plus, I was going to get one of my remaining two unsigned John Green books signed. This is what I get.

In other news, despite the fact that I need another project like I need a hole in the head, especially with all the holiday things coming up, I started one anyway. I discovered (when I went searching for one) that there is no such thing as a kink meme for Dracula -- not the new one, not the books, not any interpretation of Dracula ever. This saddens me, especially since I'd like to hop aboard the Mina/Lucy train and write some things. All the things.

I'm a giver, this is what I do. So I decided to fix it. draculakink

There's nothing there yet but there will be tonight I think. There was going to be last night, but I fell asleep on the sofa after a long night of.. playing games online for my audience of three.

For November, I didn't make any sort of official decision to do this I just started and then decided to keep going, I'm writing a bunch of dragon age stuff on what is close to a NaNo schedule. I'm just slightly ahead already. It's not really FOR anything, just short kmeme prompts that I can write in a day or two that help me work on a few things. It's a chance to interact with a fandom that's BONKERS right now without actually attaching my name to anything, it's really, really good practice not on writing (that too though) but on short story arcs. In my original stuff last month, I'd been struggling with how to break things down in certain places. This is giving me a good way to figure those things out. Plus, it's also preparing me to write my Yuletide fic, which needs to be kind of dark, so I'm working my way up to it through kmeme fics. Trawling for prompts gave me the idea to look for something Dracula related, hence finding there was nothing and starting one. I'm pretty sure there's a Pacific Rim one... I might touch that too.

a weary world

Beats Antique has a new album out based on the Hero's Journey, called A Thousand Faces.  I haven't listened to much of it yet, but I'm definitely interested in it, since this was an album they Kickstarted.  Plus, over the summer, the troupe's Fringe show that I narrated was ALSO based on the Hero's Journey, so the coincidence of these things in pretty interesting to me.

Also out today is part one of the new Fables game, The Wolf Among Us. I really want to check it out, because in the past I've actually really enjoyed Telltale's brand of games.  But I'm not a huge fan of buying games like that one installment at a time.  I might wait a bit on it and then just watch people's reactions jealously.  :D

Yesterday, I was pulled into my manager's office with the preface of "I don't want you to feel weird about this", which of course meant I felt weird about it.  But, I've been told that (even though it's not blocked and they don't plan on blocking it), they want me not to go to Tumblr anymore when I'm at work.  This pretty much leaves me no personal outlet at work other than using my work email, which I've only given to two people.  Pretty much any webmail site is blocked, even the Tumblr inbox got caught by the blocking software every now and then.  I also can't get to my google drive, or any sort of site where I might be able to write anything is also blocked.  It's really frustrating.  I understand some of the levels of security to a point, but also just really, really frustrated by them.  I've taken to writing long-hand at work when I have the time, but it's harder to do.  I get lost easier when I'm writing by hand and have to stop a lot.  Plus, I just don't feel like I write as fast and I don't like having to type it all out again later either.  *grumbles*  It's just frustrating.  Really, I didn't so much mind being told not to use Tumblr - a lot of their security precautions make sense based on the type of company I'm working for now - I'm still just frustrated by how uncertain this job is, and how bored and underutilized I am there.

My boss keeps hinting at how she wants to keep me around, and how I'll be around after this new project/program launches, but that's never a certainty.  I've heard it before at contract jobs, and things don't always work out.  Not doing any report or development work is going to hurt if I have to look for a job again in six to nine months, if I can last that long without bashing my head against the keyboard from cleaning up spreadsheets all day every day.  BUT, I do like my manager, and I feel like if I did get to stick around long enough to be made an employee, that she'd probably help me figure out where else in the company I could work.  Or, maybe let me figure out how to work my way up to manager.  I haven't had a manager on my side in a long time and it feels nice, and not something I want to just give up for another contract job.

Ps.  Did anyone watch American Horror Story: Coven?  If not, and you're thinking about it?  MAJOR trigger warning for that first episode.  Just why does Ryan Murphy hate women so much?
I didn't watch OUAT: Wonderland yet, but I'm thinking about it.  Thoughts?