feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
UGA gives you a whole week off for Thanksgiving, which I think is pretty fucking great, because it gave me a lot of time during which I could frantically write papers and work on projects, without having to do annoying shit like "go to class" or "teach class" or "prepare to teach class" (though one of the things I did was revise a lesson plan).

I wrote a term paper (14 pages) and an essay (3 pages) for the same class; I made a rough draft of my final project for pedagogy seminar; I read a large stack of papers for my literature seminar term paper; and I made a study guide/quick reference for History of German for our take-home final (12/1-8). I did all the rest of my Russian homework for the semester, and I did half my homework for HoG Tuesday.

Lest you think all I did was work, I watched cartoons with Ben, and I mostly took evenings off to hang out with him (and the cat) and read comic books. And on Sunday, we went to see Arrival, which was REALLY GOOD YOU GUYS, go watch it. It's like The Martian but with less cardboard characters/dialog/acting and for language nerds. Today we took a walk to catch and hatch Pokemon and stopped by the pub for a quick beer.

For Thanksgiving, we went to a friend's house and did a potluck with some damn good food followed by boozes. (Becherovka: tastes like cloves and gasoline, but it grows on you.)

I'm going back to Georgia tomorrow morning, boo. I need Sunday to go grocery shopping (because I can't go during the week), plus traffic should be less sucktastic than it will be on Sunday. I might go to the office and print out the papers I need to read for pedagogy seminar on Tuesday and my paper & essay drafts so I can revise them.

Six more days of classes, then finals start, and my first semester of grad school will be over. Holy shit.
feuervogel: (happy)
Poker night was fun. I won/tied for first (I took my first hand with a full house). It was all people I already know, including two of my tai chi teachers (they're married). There wasn't a whole lot of Deep Conversation or anything, but it was nice.

Game night went well. We had 6 RSVPs, then one of them broke her leg, so we went down to 4 (+ me & Ben). We played Lego pictionary for a while, then switched to a ridiculous game called King's Blood, which is sort of like Uno x dominoes with anime-style drawings of people. Not a whole lot of Deep Conversation, though we had some "OMGWTF TRUMP" with our pizza. Some of the people I invited couldn't make it this month but wanted me to let them know about next month etc, so I'll call it a success. (Also it makes us clean the house, which otherwise wouldn't get done.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I invited about a dozen local friends to a monthly game night at my house. Two responded yes, two responded "definitely maybe if we don't have other plans." Two can't make it because of school commitments. One would like to come sometimes. Silence from the rest so far. I guess I should send them a ping and ask for an RSVP by next Wednesday so we can plan appropriately, but that feels so pushy.

So I've made my move; now it's up to other people to respond.
feuervogel: (group hug)
We didn't get to SF as planned very late Monday night because our plane had a maintenance flag, which resulted in a 2-hour delay. We could have gone home and rebooked for a Tuesday AM flight, but going to Atlanta (and staying in a hotel on Delta's dime) meant we could get an earlier flight to SF. So we did that.

Tuesday we went to lunch with Mo & Enne, and we went shoe shopping, where I tried on the Vivs at the Fluevog shop, and now I really hope Santa brings me some shoe money. Then we BARTed over to Oakland, got dinner with Robynne & Starchy, then I tried on about a million bras at Robynne's shop (bought one). After that, we thought about going out to a tiki bar, but sitting down felt really good, so we had mixed drinks at home instead. I had a de la Louisienne, which is rye, Benedictine, vermouth, and Peychaud's. It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday I met several of my VP classmates for lunch, which was nice. I hadn't seen any of them since VP, and I missed them. I miss talking about writer stuff. After that, we went back to R's for our stuff, then took BART to a station where Ben's parents picked us up & dropped us off at our B&B. Dinner was at a Vietnamese place called Tamarine. I had a squash & sweet potato curry which was lovely.

Thursday we didn't do much until dinner, which was around 3:30 or 4. Ben's brother & his wife (and her parents--this was a packed house) made dinner. Ben's mom had Christmas, which was a bit excessive IMO. (Too many presents. Too many stocking stuffers. I don't need more Stuff! I need LESS!)

Friday we went for a walk at a nature preserve in Mountain View then had lunch. Ben and I went to Adam, Alexander, and Rachel's. We played a round of Sentinels of the Universe (where we ALMOST WON but the environment killed us a lot) then went up to Vynce's to hang out and play more games.

Our trip home was entirely uneventful.

Luna is sick and not really getting better. She doesn't have much of an appetite, and trying to convince her to eat is difficult. She's lost more weight since we were gone. She still loves Cheetos, though. IDK. CATS.
feuervogel: (moo)
Some of you may recall that there was an incident on the way to Dragon Con last year.

I resolved not to go any places where Dennis will be and to inform the organizer of the reason: Dennis verbally abused me. At that point, it's up to the host to decide whether they will invite the abuser or me and Ben. In my ideal world, they disinvite the abuser and unfriend them.

I don't live in my ideal world. I couldn't even get the fourth person in the car to agree that he was abusive, though she did admit he was out of line.

So anyway, there was an invitation to a party/cookout this weekend, and I wanted to go, because a lot of people I like were invited and may be there, and I don't ever see them. I know that the host is friends with Dennis (he's parked his MPV in host's driveway on occasion), so I asked if Dennis would be there.

He said probably, so I replied
If Dennis is there, I would rather not attend. He verbally abused me on the trip to DragonCon, and I will not be in his presence. He will not apologize, and he probably doesn't think he did anything wrong.


Host's response started off "I'm sorry to hear that" and said he'd find out if Dennis would be there or not. No consideration of disinviting him. So anyway, Dennis is definitely going to be there, so Ben and I will definitely not.

I am very glad for Ben's support in all of this. He is fully on board with my plan to tell people why I will not be in the same place as Dennis.

What's most disappointing about this is that none of my friends--including the 4th person in the car (let's call her W)--have my back on this. W's preferred strategy, as discussed over gchat, is to ignore it and continue not seeing Dennis anywhere, as opposed to ~~creating draaaamaaaa~~ and telling people who interact with him that he's an abuser. (Which W wouldn't even accede to anyway.)

It's the Geek fucking Social Fallacies in action.

Yes, we are all adults here, and we can all make our decisions about who we are friends with. But if someone tells me that Mutual Acquaintance X has done a horrible thing, X is off my invite list forever. (One friend told me about an X who picked on her cat and made the cat sick. X wasn't really on my invite list to start with, but that earned him a permanent NOPE.)

What Dennis needs to receive are consequences for his actions. One of the things Ben told me that Dennis said in a rest stop bathroom was that he was "sorry" for the consequences (which were I think 'having to deal with this irrational cunt you call a wife'). Not for being an asshole, but for inconveniencing Ben.

The consequences I want to see are universal shunning. I want him to be told that he is not invited to parties because I'll be there and people want to see me. I want him to understand that being abusive has consequences, and that those consequences affect him, not the person he heaped abuse on.

Which is the part that makes me the most upset, really. I was a victim of his abuse (I know of one similar story, there are probably more), and I'm the one suffering a loss of social life.

And this is why I need better friends.

La la la

6 Feb 2015 02:30 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I went to the doctor yesterday for these weird pink bumps on my toes that hurt and itch sometimes. Chilblains. Caused by excessive vasoconstriction in the capillaries at the extremities. Not much you can do about it other than wear multiple pairs of socks and wait for the weather to get warmer. Can be related to Raynaud's, which I've suspected I have for a while now.

Since I've been feeling a bit off and have had more migraines recently, I brought that up, as well as this feeling of swelling on the front of my neck. She said if it's still bothering me next week, I should call & she'll refer me for an ultrasound. She also had me give some blood for a thyroid test, since my last one was 10 months ago.

(I haven't been feeling up for exercising, which I don't like. I like exercising. I felt too fatigued this morning to do my lifting, and I wasn't happy.)

I've got 3 stories on submission (20, 7, and 1 days) right now, and a fourth I intend to get out soon, once I remember where the next place I wanted to send it was. (I also want to give it a read-over in a few days to see if the revisions I just made work or are clunky.)

I finished the last exam in my certificate course, which means I should be getting my certificate in the next month or so. I don't know if I need to do anything else, like say "hi, I finished everything, do I need to do anything else?" I read the syllabus-like thing, and it didn't really help.

I've almost finished reading this book about Berlin 1961, and, somewhat annoyingly, it's given me ideas that would make my novel better but require more extensive rewriting than I did during NaNo. -_- But now that I've finished the course, I can spend several hours every day reworking it. (And I also have a white board where I can make notes and outline things that happen off screen.)

This weekend should involve hanging out with people I haven't seen in entirely too long, games, pizza, beer, and cupcakes, so I'm pretty excited about that. (There was a red velvet cupcake mix at the store, which I couldn't pass up. It included a frosting packet! Not that cream cheese frosting is particularly difficult, mind you.)

I think for my next baking trick I'm going to make chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate M&Ms instead. Though I might hunt down an oatmeal chip recipe for that for texture purposes...

Um, still teaching & planning to apply to grad school, which means I need to revise the paper I wrote in Marburg and contact people about writing LORs and prepare for the GRE ugh.
feuervogel: (happy)
I got your calendar yesterday. It's gorgeous. Thank you so much!
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I volunteered to read a Swiss friend's 25-page seminar paper on the South African Constitutional Court. (It's in English; his native language is French.)

I'm on page 6. It's hard, really; the register, as academic writing, is formal, then there's the weird word choices and sentence structuring because of French. I'd like to get halfway through it today, but I don't think that'll happen.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
the mouse will do pretty much the same thing she'd do anyway. :/

While Ben is off at his college reunion in California, I've been looking for things to do to break the monotony. Being self-employed (technically, after all) and not really ever going out of the house means that when Ben's not here, I literally don't see any other human beings unless I go out.

Thursday night I had sword class, which was normal, and that was fun. Friday I went out to see Iron Man 3 with a friend. Saturday I did my usual grocery shopping and stuff, and it was LA's birthday party, but it didn't start until 10 pm, and after falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon, I didn't think going out was a good plan. So I did homework and read.

Today I checked out the new Mystery Brewing Public House. It's small, about the same capacity as the Wooden Nickel, and it's quiet (thus far). A couple people were playing some complicated board+card+token game, and there's a game table of some sort (kind of like air hockey? I didn't investigate too closely). My kung-fu-older-siblings (if it were a Japanese art, I'd call them sempai, but I don't know the Chinese word) James and Violet joined me, and we talked about life, cats, tai chi, life, stuff, beer... It was fun. I hadn't ever seen them outside of the context of class or some school-related thing before, so it was nice getting to talk about things other than "am I doing this right?"

Tomorrow I'll do my usual work day things, which is play stupid facebook games for a while then start writing, and I'll pick Ben up at the airport at the appointed time.

This is actually the most successful I've been at not going slowly mad while Ben's out of town yet. I'm an extravert; I need people. If I'm alone too long, I start retreating into myself and not wanting to go out, which makes things worse. So this time, I made plans (though today's plans were tentative), and it worked. Yay.

:/

17 Apr 2013 08:01 pm
feuervogel: (enemy birds)
I am grumpy.

I am chronically undersocialized.

I can't afford to host parties as often as I did when I was actually getting paid.

I am an extravert (ESTJ).

I am also apparently a horrible unpleasant person that no one wants to spend time with because I'm mean and horrible. (No really, I've gotten emails detailing exactly how I am a horrible person and that's why no one wants to invite me to things.)

These things are all related.

But apparently when I throw a party, people come (probably because they know I make good food, because I'm a Heinrich, dammit, and we like food*).

But finding time when people are all free is tricky, because, you know, grown-ups and work and other standing plans and whatever.

But regardless, I'm going to try to have people over once a month on a standing basis because if I don't start seeing and interacting with humans other than my husband on a regular basis, I am going to go insane.

*digression: when I was a kid, I used to love these hors d'ouevres my mom would make that are dill pickles (not spears) coated in cream cheese and wrapped in corned beef. I hadn't thought about them until the Xmas party, when mom brought them. I made Ben eat one to feed my nostalgia. If anyone knows of a vegetarian corned-beef-like substance, please let me know.
feuervogel: (hetalia germany reads porn)
Tonight:

- Make custard for ice cream so it can chill overnight
- Clean off the kitchen table

Tomorrow:

- Run custard through ice cream freezer, put into actual freezer (morningish)
- Chop apples & onion, dump with squash into crockpot (by 2 pm)
- Bake cake (~1 hr)
- Vacuum living room and stairs (~1 hr)
- Wash slip covers on couch & futon (which was nice and clean until a cat hairballed on it, sigh) (~1 hr; start before vacuuming)
- Make cornbread
- Last-minute tidying & horizontal surface usable-making

I bought another broom today, and it had a cleaning tip on the wrapper: sweep your carpet before vacuuming to get more dirt up. I've never heard that, but I'll give it a shot. We have a lot of cat-related dirt in the carpet. It may also help with the long hair tangling around the vacuum brush problem.

There are going to be 15+ people in my house. I don't think I have enough chairs...

(Also, I'm starting to feel left out again, because people never invite me to things, and lately when I invite people over, they're "doing something else." YAY FUN ANXIETY.)
feuervogel: photo of a lighted Christmas pyramid at night (Weihnachten)
Yesterday involved sleeping in a bit, eating gingerbread cake with lemon curd whipped cream (and I had to make the lemon curd myself, because the store was apparently having trouble with the supplier and I didn't feel like going to Harris Teeter; it really says something about me when I'd rather make custard from scratch than drive 15 minutes each way to the store.), opening the one gift on the table (a framed picture from Ben's aunt), and generally lazing about until we went to see Sherlock Holmes with Laura & Paul then get Chinese food for dinner.

I read all of Dragon Bones (because I betaed a fic in that universe and had a very vague memory of enjoying the books when I read them; it's odd that the only part of the book I remembered was the subplot about the twins...). I started it after breakfast & present (around 11, I think?) and finished it around 2. Ben was astonished, as usual. I can read 100 pages an hour (in English, if it isn't dense). That's how I roll...

Sherlock Holmes was fun and fanservicey and actiony. Holmes' German (and Moriarty's) was atrocious. Mostly they were quoting Schubert's "Die Forelle." (Thematic!) Their accents were horrid and unintelligible. Also, Moriarty sang "Vorüber wie UN Pfeil." Nein, nyet, non. Un is French.

We got to Jade Palace later than we've gone on Christmas before, around 6:30, and it was packed. We got a table at 6:45, which wasn't awful, but we had to flag down a waitress to take our order, and she didn't bring our drinks for a while. But she was running around in circles, so we couldn't really blame her. Next year if we go out for a movie rather than watch one on video, we should time it better. If that means dinner at 5 for a 7 pm movie, so be it...
feuervogel: (group hug)
Ben and I spent 3 hours this afternoon hanging out with a friend of mine from pharmacy school, her husband, and their kid. The last time we saw them was at the kid's 1st birthday party. He's 4 1/2 now.

We're both really bad at getting together, probably because facebook is there. Click the profile, see what folks are up to. I'd invite her over, but the kid would probably get really bored, and our house isn't very kid proof. We have a yard, but it's not a very nice yard, and the deck has nails poking up.

But I have 3 pretzel knots from Guglhupf, and Ben has a raspberry Pfannkuchen, so it's all good.

Nom.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Ben & I drove down Friday, picked his family up at the airport, and checked in to the Lion and Rose, the B&B we stayed at when we went there for our anniversary a couple years ago. The breakfast is still awesome. Saturday we had eggs scrambled with veggies in a wheat shell, Sunday was blueberry pancakes with bourbon-pecan syrup, and Monday was a variant of eggs Benedict (with foccacia, spinach, ham for the meat-eaters, a poached egg, and a Hollandaise-like sauce made with goat cheese). Yeah, it was awesome. If you go to Asheville, look it up.

After we got settled in, we went to Nine Mile for dinner, which is just up the street from the B&B. It's Jamaican-pasta fusion. I had a tuna dish with perfectly-seared tuna and a coconut curry sauce; Ben got a dish called Soon Come, which was cheese tortellini with pineapple, apples, bananas, and currants in a cinnamon syrup. It was awesome. We split a piece of their Chocolate Spliff Cake, which included black pepper in the cake and had a lemon-thyme cream filling. It was awesome, and I wonder if it got the name because they were high when they thought of it. After that, we went back and Ben opened his birthday presents from his family, and we drank port and talked. (They have port and sherry you can drink.)

Before I talk about Saturday, I need to mention the cold front that just came through the state. Thursday it was 80 degrees. Friday's high was 60, and it was windy as hell.

So, Saturday morning we went hiking in the Blue Ridge. We walked up Craggy Gardens. When we parked, the car's thermometer told us it was 32 degrees, and it snowed a little bit. The trail was in a cloud, except a brief moment at the end when it cleared just enough to see the view for a few minutes. There was hoarfrost on the ground, and the grasses looked like they'd been covered in ice. It was pretty miserable. I packed for cold, but not for wind. We went back to the B&B, changed, and went downtown to see the sights (and eat food). We planned to go to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, but we got sidetracked by a crepes shop. Then we walked up Haywood, stopped in Malaprop's, and eventually made it to the chocolate lounge, after which we went to the Grove Arcade, then back into town a bit. Ben's parents went to Sante (a wine bar and used book shop) while we went to the Chocolate Fetish (and where Beth dropped off our free Biltmore tickets). We were heading to meet them and got sidetracked by a game shop which had just reopened after renovation. We picked up Trans Europa (a game about building railroads) for half price: $15. Dinner was at Laughing Seed. Their vegan sloppy joe is amazing, and the red cabbage sauerkraut is pretty good, too.

Sunday was the Biltmore. We toured the house, walked through the gardens, saw the smithy and woodworking shop, and this time we went to the winery. Ben & I aren't wine drinkers, but his parents are. Then we went to dinner with Beth at Tupelo Honey (and didn't get seated until after 8 because the 6-person tables were filled with people who just kept hanging out after they finished eating; so they sat us at two neighboring 3-person tables instead). Peach-ginger cornbread ftw. I ordered a side veggie combo with sweet potato fries, tofu, and the cornbread, all of which was awesome. (I was tempted by a tuna dish, but I had my monthly-ish tuna on Friday.)

Monday we drove back, and [personal profile] ranyart and [personal profile] picklish went out to the Wooden Nickel with me, Ben, and his brother. His brother can't come into our house because he's highly allergic to cats, so he stayed at a nearby hotel. The other 4 of us hung out and talked. It didn't feel like I hadn't seen them in a year since they moved to California; it felt like any of the dozens of nights we all just hung out at our house and talked (sometimes with alcohol, sometimes not). They'd planned to stay here Saturday after the beer festival as well, and they're probably coming Friday night because their other plans may be falling through. So we get to see them a lot, which is awesome.

Now I'm trying to get back into my usual routine, and it's hard. I finished building the 00 Raiser yesterday afternoon, so I don't have that distraction. I need to schedule a couple appointments today and call in Claire's refill. I need to finish revisions on The Novel, though I haven't figured out how to change the things I need to fix yet. Joy.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I'm going to be in Boston for ReaderCon (July 14-17), and I will probably need a place to stay Sunday evening before catching Amtrak back to DC. (And likely a ride from scenic Burlington, because it's only vaguely accessible via public transit, but I might be able to bum one.)

The trains that leave Boston that don't mean I have to miss part of the con get me to DC very late, and my sister (whose couch I'm crashing on) would probably object to picking me up around midnight when she has to be at work at 8. So I'm looking at the 9:30 am Monday train to DC (5:30) then back home Tuesday.

My clothes and things will be covered in residual cat hair, since I have cats, if that poses a problem for you.

I have not yet bought tickets, because Amtrak runs specials on certain days of the week up to 5 weeks in advance of travel, and I'm waiting to see if any of these legs go on special. (Not holding my breath though.)

Please let me know if you have a couch I can sleep on and a shower I can use :)
feuervogel: (hurra bier!)
Thursday evening, the lovely [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt got here, so she and Ben and I went out to the Wooden Nickel for beer and food (dinner for her, tater tots for us, and some AMAZING pear bundt cake). I love the Nickel.

Friday Julia and I headed off to Atlanta, stopping at Cup a Joe for breakfast and arabica and Weaver Street for picnic comestibles (tabouli and hummus on seven grain, omg yum). There wasn't much traffic, which was great, and we stopped at the welcome to South Carolina to eat our sandwiches. I took over driving somewhere in SC (and probably did horrible things to the clutch because the Honda isn't my Mini and I had trouble hitting the release point right, and reverse managed to elude me consistently), and we rolled into the hotel around 3:30, checked in, and got badges.

Julia's weekend consisted of being the point person for the Outer Alliance and interviewing people, and mine either of trying not to look like a lost puppy following her around or trying to talk to strangers. But with Julia, I managed to actually meet some people and not feel quite as out of place.

The ratio of men to women was REALLY HIGH, so I ended up mostly hanging out with gay guys (three of whom complimented my awesome swirly shirt which, as promised, looks better on a person than being held up), though I got hit on by a (straight, not even bi) guy. Figures.*

Between panels, I thought it would be nice to get a breath of fresh air, or at least not over-air-conditioned extra-dry air, so Julia and I went outside. I saw a person walking toward the hotel in a brown outfit with goggles on the head (which I initially thought was steampunk), then as they got closer and I could see the outfit better, I realized it was America (from Hetalia). I bounced a little bit and said "awesome costume" or something to that effect and got a picture and chatted briefly.

Then I was getting a drink in the con suite and making small talk about Cheerwine (it's good...), and my head was going, man, she looks familiar... and then I realized it was the America cosplayer from the previous day! *waves to [livejournal.com profile] narroch*

What all did I do? Went to the Match Game panel, which was funnier than I'd expected, went to a few readings, a few socials, the Hellebore and Rue launch party, the Outworlders party (where I got to talk about hot soccer players with one of the guys, because eventually everything with me will turn toward soccer briefly), shared cat photos (queer nerds are cat people. I know, shocker, right?), had a little to drink, bought a couple books, and met some people.

The con is small (150ish), so it's a good size to be able to get to know people a little bit, without feeling too sparse (though panels had 5-10 people at them usually). Unlike something massive like D*C, where I've never managed to actually MEET anyone (and half the time I can never find the people I know are there and am nominally travelling with**), I met a few people who I'm adding on facebook and will be seeing at future cons, and I met Steve Berman who gave me a free book when I said I was broke (since I'm unemployed and Ben's income is marginally sufficient...). Meeting other writers and businessy people is important if you're a growing writer. Networking. I am terrified of it.

So we drove back Sunday afternoon, slightly later than intended because someone grabbed Julia to interview them. Traffic is much nicer than during Labor Day weekend, and we made good time. Stayed up way too late hanging out, but that happens.

And as I wrote this, I realized she left this morning without me giving her money for the room. At least she's not far yet, visiting friends in Durham. *facepalm*

All caught up on my corners of the internet and contemplating lunch. I should contemplate a nap at some point, so I don't spend the next few days too brain-fuzzy to get my editing done. I'd love caffeine, but I had some yesterday to be able to drive. Stupid migraines.

Depending on a variety of factors, I might go again next year. Gaylaxicon is in October in Minneapolis, which I can't afford to get to. (Hello, airfare.) I didn't see anything about pre-reg for next year's Outlantacon, so I don't know when it is. We'll see, I guess.

* And "I'm married" didn't deter him >:[ I'm bi and poly, but that doesn't mean I want to sleep with YOU, dammit. I know there's a button with a pithy version of that in existence; anyone know where to find it? Also, having a conversation with you doesn't mean I want to sleep with you. It means I am performing the skill "Social Interaction" which humans learn as they age. Fucking patriarchy.

**most common phone/sms conversation at D*C: "Where are you?"
feuervogel: (hetalia germany with beer)
Over on facebook, Friend A posted a link to this article with the lead in
what? we all know Persians aren't really Arabs. Duh! The Prince of Persia movie that just came out had a white guy as the lead.

Because I wasn't sure Friend A knows that Persians really aren't Arabs, I commented to that point. Then the following exchange occurred.

Friend B: I thought Persians were extinct?
Me: They're called Iranians now.
Friend B: ok...so what are dinosaurs called?
Me: Oil.

(Yes, that's a bit of a simplification and elision on my part re Iran/Persia, but it's facebook wall commentary, not the encyclopedia.)

He just *handed* me the perfect line, and I had to take it. I never bring the funny, and "Oil" has 2 likes now. I just had to record this for posterity: I had a snappy comeback.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. Saturday, a few friends and I went on the Big Boss Brewery's tour for my birthday. It was extremely popular, but the weather was nice - 70 degrees or so - so after it was over, there was a big open-air festival almost in their parking lot. There were two food trucks (OnlyBurger (the veggie burger was pretty good, but the fries were meh) and KoKyuBBQ (Ben enjoyed the duck bratwurst sandwich and tater tots fried in duck fat)).

I tried their new Dunkelweizen, D'Icer, and it was pretty good. It wasn't Weihenstephaner or anything, but it was drinkable. (Speaking of Dunkelweizen, I tried New Belgium's in their Lips of Faith series; it was black as Coke and about half as sweet.)

After digesting the beers and food, Ben and I went out to Sage for dinner, where I boringly got the fesen joon. The jokey waiter must have cut his hair since New Year's, because I didn't recognize him until he started talking.

2. I haven't gotten anything productive done on my writing in a while. I fixed the plot issue I think; I still need to propagate some of the changes, but I can do that while I'm doing the hardest part of the revision process: getting into the characters' heads and adding descriptions. What do they see/hear/smell/feel/etc? What can I say other than "he narrowed his eyes" (eg)?

3. SCHEISST EUCH IN DIE HOSEN, WIR STEHEN GANZ AM OBEN, UND WIR STEIGEN WIEDER AUF. HIER KOMMT HERTHA! Yesterday's match pitted the best offense (us) against the best defense (Fürth), and we got a 2:0 win out of it, extending our lead over our next competitor to 4 points. Unless we lose the rest of our matches (which is, of course, technically possible, but not terribly likely), we'll get promoted back to the first league. HA HO HE!

4. I got the results from my bloodwork last week. I'm currently overmedicated for my thyroid, so I get to take half the Cytomel for a while and see what happens. (My TSH was undetectable, and my T3 was above normal limits, but T4 was fine.) Hopefully this won't lead to a return of The Nausea. Inability to concentrate is one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, so that helps explain #2.

5. Reading one of the free books I got, Darkship Thieves. I'm not very far into it yet, but so far, our heroine has ripped her nightshirt in half to stop the men attempting to abduct her in their tracks and commented on how she knows the man whose spaceship she ends up in is a "real man" (I paraphrase) because he responds to the sight of her breasts. Said real man (who's got cat's eyes, which is actually kind of nifty tech) is from an anarcho-individualist culture (barf), and on p 87, there's this bit about "those wacky 21st century folks, thinking there aren't really gender differences in brains" which made me want to hurl the book across the room.

Frustratingly, Persecution of the Other (and the people the cat-guy is descended from are basically bioengineered to be smarter/faster/stronger/fit better in X situation and were, of course, persecuted and wiped out on Earth, except those who fled) is very frequently a liberal/progressive motif, where The Other stands in for queers or racial/ethnic minorities or other real-life disprivileged groups. I don't get the impression Ms Hoyt has any truck with that librul pansy nonsense.

At least I didn't pay money for it. (I did buy Mark Van Name's omnibus Jump Gate Twist, and I feel OK about that, because Mark admits to being Baen's token liberal. Also, it features a beefcake/emo shot of Jon on the cover.)

6. Still taking tai chi. I'm taking a break from weapons to go back to Dr Jay's 9th Street Dance Chen class for the current session. I can't take both, because they meet at the same time. I may go back to weapons over summer, because it doesn't look like he's teaching Chen over summer. (I could be wrong; it happens on occasion.) I'm also taking Nina's Tuesday evening class, which may ALSO be going on hiatus over summer.

So I'm going to have to self-motivate if I want to get my yellow sash this year. I'm awful at that.

7. Cats are evil.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
About 5 years ago, a friend moved from here to Seattle, and after some personal stuff (and the rain, oh god the rain) she moved back here a few weeks ago. She and DFS came over last night and hung out.

We're introducing her to beer, via lambics and chocolate stouts. It's always fun to hear people say, "wow, I didn't know beer could taste good, and not like bitter ass." (Paraphrased slightly ;) )

We gave her some raspberry lambic (liked it ok), Young's double chocolate (enjoyed), 1554 (liked), Bell's winter white ale (didn't much like, but didn't hate), and some of Triangle Brewing's stout (didn't much like; it's kind of bitter.)

Then we introduced her to A:TLA, which, you guise, is seriously the best American cartoon in the last 15-20 years. (And I liked The Dark Knight and Animaniacs fairly well, though neither had a strong story arc.) We watched The Blind Bandit and Zuko Alone. TBB is fabulous for the pro wrasslin gags, and ZA is, well, Zuko backstory-tastic.

This morning we went to Cup a Joe and the farmers market together, and she was pleased to find locally-made bacon and whatnot, so that's grand. We should let her know about Giacomo's salami, too.

Always fun to see people you haven't seen in ages and feel like it was just weeks since you last spoke.
feuervogel: (hetalia germany with beer)
Those of you who live in North Carolina know exactly what I'm talking about, I bet, before I even say it. For everyone else, March Madness is the college basketball tournament season, starting off with regional tournaments and culminating with the national tournament.

There are many major basketball schools where I live, including my alma mater, UNC, its arch-rival Dook, NC State, and Wake Forest. There may be more, but idgaf about college basketball, except when it interferes with my other plans.

I turn 35 in just under a month. Since I'm a bit broke right now, I thought, hey, we could go to the bar and hang out, and people could get food there, then we could go back to my house and eat cake. That would be awesome and save me the $60+ on food and drinks. (I throw a party with damn good food.)

So I had Ben ask the folks at the bar if 15 or so people coming in on a weekend afternoon would be cool. Apparently Saturday afternoons are pretty busy, but Sundays aren't so bad. Unless there's a game, which they'll have on the TV. So I checked the UNC basketball schedule to see if there were any that weekend. OF COURSE. It's the ACC tournament, times TBA.

If Sunday's game doesn't start till later, like 7 or 8, or if it started around noon, it wouldn't be bad; we could leave before people start pouring in for the game. But I don't want to invite people and be like, well, we might have it at the Nickel, or it might be at my house, depending on stupid March Madness.

The Dook match on the 5th starts at 8 pm, as do most matches. But I don't want to assume anything and end up scrambling for new plans and not have food for people. The Nickel is very cozy, probably holds about 35 people comfortably, 50 like sardines. They have a surprisingly good beer selection, mixed drinks, and food for a small town bar. The staff is great.

We were there last night, actually, and the bartender was mixing a martini made with green stuff. I said it looked pretty, and he poured the excess into a small glass and gave it to us. Before we left, he gave Ben a taste of Bärenjäger because he mentioned he'd like to try it sometime. (It's alcoholic honey. Delish.) I want to try the Kentucky Orange Blossom next time I go: Maker's Mark, St Germain, Gran Gala, and soda. St Germain is ridiculously good; I apparently am quite fond of elderflower. (I tried elderflower (or was it elderberry?) palinka in Budapest, and it was YUM.)

So I have no idea what I'm going to do for my birthday this year. Balls.
feuervogel: (smiling Zuzu)
When's the last time I wrote about what I've been doing, other than writing? Uh, can't recall. April 10, maybe?

Let's see. Sunday the 11th I went to the park to practice San Shou with my tai chi school, then went to UNC for the anime club's spring picnic/ohanami. That was fun, aside from there being no fucking parking on campus diediedie.

I did the usual weekday stuff during the week, then Friday I went to Charlotte to stay closer to where I was going for a writers conference. The conference itself was OK; it was only $20 so even if the session I went to in the morning was billed as a workshop but was more of a lecture on what to do than how to do and there were so goddamn many Christian-interest writers there, it wasn't a huge waste.

The afternoon session I went to was David Drake talking about how he writes - his process, that sort of thing - and taking questions. It was interesting, and he's really intense. He told me I shouldn't read Hammer's Slammers, because it would disturb me (eh?) because he wrote them after he got back from Vietnam and they were a form of therapy. Now, I like a good, realistic, gritty war story, so I'll see how that goes. I might have time to start reading again soon.

Saturday evening, since I was in the process of flipping out about that volcano in Iceland, after I got home, I texted my ex-coworker and we went out to the bar in Hillsborough. (There's just the one, actually.) Then I tipsy-posted when I got home.

Sunday I went to a Turkish festival out at the fairgrounds. It was OK; there was Turkish coffee, and for an extra $5 I could get it in a Kütahya porcelain cup to take home. I bought some more helva, and Ben got some chocolate-creme-filled cookies that were pretty damn tasty. There were demonstrations of ebru (video) and folk dances (these guys were pretty amazing).

Monday I went out to Greensboro to meet [livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex and J, to talk about starting a regional genre writers group, for things like networking, promotion, support, etc. The coffee machine at the Borders was broken, wtf. It was fun, and we're going to work on how to make it bigger & better. And maybe if we get enough interest, we can do a writers retreat out at the Outer Banks in like January when it's cheap(ish).

Coming up: Saturday I'm going to a conference/CME event on pain, addiction, and the law (from 7:30 am to 5 pm...but I'll get close to 8 hours of CE credit for it.) Sunday we have to run another blood glucose curve on Isis, so I'll be home all day. Then next week, I'll be running around and getting my shit together for Germany (clothes, toiletries, hair cut) and trying to see people before I go. L's having her birthday party Friday the 30th, and I may or may not go. I probably won't decide until Friday, actually. My plane leaves at 12 something (I forget if it's noon or like 12:45), so I'll have to be at the airport at like 10:30. We'll see.

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] av3rnus I have a lot more German industrial & techno. I need to find time to sit down and make note of which bands I liked enough to want more of, now that I've listened to all 3 CDs like 2 or 3 times each. (The only band whose song I skipped was Einstürzende Neubauten. Sometimes music hits certain frequencies or rhythms or something that makes me either cringe or become anxious. I can't reliably describe what exactly it is, either. EN tripped that button, each time I listened to it. Thankfully, I know how to use the 'next track' button.)

Right, then. Time to get the last few scenes on this novel draft edited/written. I only have 4 left. Which means I'll need a few hours tomorrow to finish it, because I'm good for about 3 scenes a day, if they need extensive reworking, and these, uh, do.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
I apparently thought it was a good idea to have a power bar at 5ish and a yogurt at 7ish then go to the bar with my one cool ex-coworker from the health department. (Which, apparently, hasn't changed a bit and mgmt and the clients still suck. Good to know that quitting was a good idea.)

Two beers should really not feel like 4. Especially because I know the second one for sure wasn't over 6% abv. Mmm, Hoegaarden.

I should either drink more water or sleep. Probably both.

Ow.

3 Apr 2010 06:11 pm
feuervogel: (do not want)
Helped Sarah move. In the process, I smashed my finger between a box and the corner of a filing cabinet. It's swollen and tender, but I iced it for a while (at A's place, during another friend's birthday party) and it's a little better now.

That's pretty much been my day so far. Need to finish this book I'm reading. I only have 110 or so pages left, I think. It's very challenging: it challenges a lot of assumptions I have. One in particular is librul guilt over colonialism. The author says it's condescending and arrogant for people (Americans, mainly, are his target) to assume that everything fucked up in the "Third World" [sic] countries is our fault and we should flagellate ourselves over it.

That deserves its own post, with the relevant passage quoted. But right now, my finger hurts, so I'm going to stop typing.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
Is that possible?

Anyway, last night I went out to the Flying Saucer in Raleigh with friends for a belated birthday shindig/shenanigans thing. One of my friends who I haven't seen in ages couldn't make it to my party, because she was out of town, so I organized a get-together.

I got all dressed up and everything. Wore my new Vogs with the 3" heels and didn't break anything.

Beer #1: Shotgun Betty, Lone Rider Brewing, Raleigh. 6% ABV. I've had this in bottles and from a growler, but they had it ON TAP! so I had to get it. Still awesome. It's got a nice clove finish.

Beer #2: Maredsous 10 (tripel), Duvel Moortgat. 10% ABV. I generally enjoy tripels, and Maredsous is no exception.

Enne said they'd split a Malheur 12 with me (it came in a 26-oz bottle), so after the first 2 beers were worn off a bit, we ordered one.

Beer #3: Malheur 12 (quadrupel), 12% ABV. I'd heard good things about this beer via the internet, and good god DAMN. It may be the best beer I've ever had. It's smooth, sweet, fruity, has a good body and a beautiful wine color. If it weren't 12% ABV, I'd probably drink it ALL THE TIME.

Oh, and because it bothered me, I looked up what 'quadrupel' actually meant. It's quadruple fermented, which means sugar is added 4 times (to feed the yeast and get them to produce more alcohol.) Dubbel = double fermented, tripel = triple fermented. That makes sense.

Also, I found this convenient guide to beer styles in the process.
feuervogel: (safety dance)
I had a successful party! Food was eaten, beer was drunk (and all the sweet tea I made; it's quite popular. I make simple syrup for sweetener, but when the sugar is all dissolved, I put a few sprigs of rosemary in then take it off the heat. Once it's cool, remove the rosemary. Also makes a nice soda when mixed 1:4 or 1:5 with seltzer.)

There's leftover beer, unsurprisingly, and about a dozen inch-square blondies, 2 slices of the buttermilk spice cake (OMG, I'm making that again, it was easy and delicious), and about 1/4 of the linzertorte (also delicious, but piping the dough was such a pain in the ass I may never attempt it again.)

I think everybody had fun, even my HS friend K who didn't know anyone and doesn't watch Japanese cartoons or play video games. Now, if we could have turned the conversation toward ST:TNG...

About halfway through, though, my throat started hurting. I don't know if it's because of all the dust I kicked up in the cleaning process or if I'm getting sick. Obviously, I'd prefer the former. I feel somewhat better this morning, after a nice hot shower. I feel like I could use some sudafed, but fucked if I want to put my name in some PATRIOT Act database bullshit. *shakes fist*

And thanks to the time change, it's 11:00 already, and I haven't done much. Stupid time change. Though the towels are in the wash and we have a fasting blood sugar on Isis. We got a new meter, an AccuChek Aviva, whose strips use far less blood than the Comfort Curve. This should make Isis-poking much easier, since we can skip the "hold hot washcloth to ear until it's warm so blood flows better" step.

OK, time to change computers and work on the novel.
feuervogel: (crowley eternity)
Toradora is disturbingly relevant to my current situation.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
As I mentioned yesterday, we went to see tigers in Pittsboro. The Carolina Tiger Rescue (fka Carnivore Preservation Trust) had a bunch of tigers, but also a lot of ocelots and binturongs and caracals and another spotted cat I can't recall. They're mostly from people who thought it was a good idea to have wild animals as pets, then discovered, oshi, this 6-month-old tiger is bigger than me.

Seriously, folks, what the hell?

After that we went to S&T's Soda Shoppe, which has OK food, but it's mostly for the ambience: it's an old pharmacy/soda shoppe, and there's a bunch of old pharmacy stuff there (including a pharmacist's license from the original owner. The board of pharmacy still uses the same font/calligraphy.) The ice cream is pretty darn good, though.

I didn't want to stop hanging out with people (I don't get enough social time!), so we called Nolan, who called Mo, and we all went to Tyler's Taproom. They had dinner, and Ben & I had beers & chips. I tried a Duvel Green (verdict: nice, but not as good as regular Duvel) and a Kasteel Rouge (verdict: cherry juice flavored beer; I like cherry lambics better, but it's worth a try.)

Today we're doing another glucose curve on Isis, who still hates it very much thank you. It's not as bad as last week, so far.

A couple cons have come to my attention: MidSouthCon, just over the TN/MS border from Memphis, my birthday weekend, and RavenCon, in Richmond a month later. MSC is a bit further (and could involve flying, since I-40 is still closed in the mountains after a rockslide in ... October, was it?) and the hotel is pricier, but there's a writers' conference thing, which appeals. RavenCon is closer (Richmond is about 2.5 hours) and the hotel is cheaper, but it appeals to me less. Financial constraints mean that I shouldn't really do both, especially if I want to apply to VP this year (assuming I get in, which I certainly don't.)

On the VP tip, thanks to my recent employment, I haven't made progress on this damned novel worth a damn, which means I have less time to get my application packet together (8000 words, including synopsis, so 6000-ish words of story + synopsis; cover letter iirc) before I go to Germany for a month. If I can do it, I do it; if not, I'll count it a learning experience and get it together for next year. When my finances might look a little better to begin with, since I'm not spending a ton on German school tuition, food, and 2 weeks' vacation in Vienna & Budapest.

So, blah. Now to focus on this writing thing the rest of the day (in between laundry and cat-poking.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
So, I was working on my review of All the Shah's Men for my blog, and I decided to google my high school classmates who were from Iran, to see if they were on the internet anywhere, unlike the last time I googled them.

Turns out one of them is a real estate agent in Miami. He's got a photo on his website, and he looks pretty much the same as he did in high school, just older and a little shaggier. Weird. I wonder if he's still a jerk. (With pretty, pretty dark brown eyes.) I keep debating dropping in the link, but I don't know if he checks referrer logs.

Of course, the one I want to find is still nowhere to be found.

Writing progress today: 760 words in a (more detailed than usual) outline. It's weird forcing myself to outline, but for this, I really need to work out in advance, in detail, what's happening. There's a lot going on, and planning it out will prevent me from writing a scene and going, "derp, this is shit and doesn't work." Like I did the other day. I'd like to avoid having to scrap 10k words and rewrite.

I think, with some effort, I can get a good 9k words out of this battle scene. Hopefully more, but I don't know how much attention I want to pay to the details. I don't consider myself a military SF writer, though apparently I like to include military themes. I prefer to follow the model of CJ Cherryh or someone like that, as opposed to, say, David Drake.

I miss my friends in the SF Bay area. Still, there's no chance in hell y'all can get me to move out there. I like my large home and low mortgage and bourgeois lifestyle. And I really don't want to deal with California licensure. (And we couldn't afford to let me be unemployed at SF rent prices.)

Stuff.

5 Dec 2009 07:00 pm
feuervogel: (never too late)
Today I slept in a bit (though I laid in bed awake a while), then did the Saturday morning routine: Cup a Joe for coffee & breakfast, then grocery shopping. We skipped the farmers' market, because we didn't need anything, and, besides, the weather was nasty.

It's the type of day where you want to stay inside where it's warm and dry. It's been in the 40s and rainy all day. It's supposed to get into the 20s overnight. Brr!

I finished reading All the Shah's Men. I'll put a review and some thoughts on my blog later this week. I made a brief review on GoodReads already.

I wrote a couple reviews of books I finished earlier for my blog; they'll be autoposted at specified times.

Inspired by [personal profile] sabeth, I'm going through my hoard of BPAL and deciding what I want to get rid of. I'll possibly post here, then at the forum. Primarily looking to sell; I have more freaking perfume than I know what to do with. (You'll pry War from my cold, dead hands, though.)

Tomorrow, Mo & Nolan are coming over, and I'm making them Turkish coffee. One pot makes a demitasse cup for 3 people (approximately), so that should work out fine, since Ben can't have caffeine. I'll have to break out the antique cups I got from Etsy that I'm terrified to use (because they're 80 years old!), since I only have 2 cups from Ikea.

If you want to hear this year's Bad Sex in Fiction "winner" read out loud in silly voices, go here. NSFW, obviously. Possibly also not safe for your mental health. Or your sex life.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I find console-based RPGs unspeakably dull and tedious, with the grinding and talking to people and the item optimization and stuff. But give me a fighting game that has taken all the story bits out of arcade mode and dumped them into scenario mode, wherein you take your fighter and an assistant and beat up hordes of enemies, and I'll put in 20 hours in 3 days, grinding and getting items.

(Yeah, I have Tekken 6 now. I've mostly finished scenario mode, except 2 hidden areas - the ones that unlock Mokujin (HARD! OMG!) and Devil Jin (HOLYSHIT this is HARD as FUCK.) I found an item that gives Lee Chaolan an extra 300 life, and that's the only way I made it to the bottom of the level full of ninjas to get Yoshimitsu unlocked.)

In other news, I had a party last night, and it was fun. It was the latest I've had a party over in ages -- there were still half a dozen people here until almost 2 am. Of course, I'm wiped today, because I still woke up after 5-6 hours of sleep at the time my body said "Hey it's wakey time, get up now!"

Improvised garlic knots were OK; I still need to experiment with those. Meringue ghosts were win. Two growlers of Shotgun Betty were enough; 1 would have been too little. I still had a pint left in the second, so I finished it off with lunch.

Pepper Dog Salsa, from Apex, NC, is tasty, but revise your selection down. The medium was too spicy for me to enjoy thoroughly. It was good, but very hot.

I'm supposed to be rewriting the first chapter of this damn novel, but I'm mired in worldbuilding still. Some of it isn't highly important at this stage, so I can do both.

I'd like to take a nap, really. Or go grind some more levels with Lee. I played with Hwoarang a lot already.

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