I love NPR

Oct. 29th, 2011 11:10 am
gwendolyngrace: (GrumpyDean)
The first installment of "All Things Considered"'s kids' book club was yesterday:

The Graveyard Book.

Although as usual, either no one asked or they didn't ask Gaiman to answer the important questions. Like "WHAT IS SILAS? WHERE DOES HE GO?"

But that's okay. And then I found this:

Mouse Circus

Which I'm sure anyone who reads his blog regularly (yes, [livejournal.com profile] etakyma, I'm looking at you) knows already. So I'm behind the curve. Sue me. Wicked cool.


Okay. Updates. Oy. So much has happened in the last month. Mockingbird is over. Bell, Book, and Candle will be over tonight. Of course it's supposed to snow and we're supposed to strike.... We'll see how that goes. My neck got all twingey again last night and it hurts to turn my head to the left again. ARGH.

In the next week, I have a class on Tuesday morning, I'm leaving early on Wednesday for an appointment, I have an orientation session all day Thursday, and then on Friday I'm heading to Rochester for the weekend because after that, rehearsals for Big start in earnest and I won't have time until January. Somewhere in there I have to get my passenger-side front tire looked at because I had to fill it with air about a week ago. No road trip with a bum tire, thank you!

The reason I'm going to Rochester is not a particularly happy one. It's time to kick Mom's move to assisted living into high gear. )

So, it's been a bit...hectic. Fraught. Tense. Those things. But it's okay.

I'm not going to audition for any more theatre through the winter - at least not until we have a better sense of timing - so that I am free to travel back and forth to Rochester on weekends and ferry stuff away one car-load at a time. The good news is that there should be no reason Mom can't go to the house over the winter as well, to move some of her items that she wants, or if I came in on a Friday we could go on Saturday and spend the day going through several boxes, then bring what we're keeping back to her new place. The bad thing is that it'll be more expensive than we'd hoped because it's more on the order of assisted living than just living someplace on one level. But insurance will pick up some, the sale of the house will bring in some funds (not a lot), and my earning shot up with the new job *just* in time to be able to help.

And as I put it to her, it's happening while she's still able to be fully in control (or at least mostly in control) of what's happening. She can make the decisions, she can still enjoy high activity and in fact may be more healthy as a result. It's just hard to face the reality of leaving her house after 37 years.

Then again, the maple tree's gone. So really? Not all that much point to staying anymore. :)
gwendolyngrace: (GrumpyDean)
It's been a busy week with lots of time on the road.

Thursday - left Boston for Rochester.
Friday - left Rochester, met [livejournal.com profile] beatricedwinter for lunch (AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIS!) and then proceeded to War Practice.

War Practice was WET. But it was also WARM, for a change. On Friday there was a lot of Scotch. On Saturday there was carbonated wheat beverage that failed to qualify as beer.

Sunday - broke camp and went to Pittsburgh. Fwump. [livejournal.com profile] grouchyoldcoot made delivery food happen. Watched the rest of the 5th season of "Weeds." (I've decided that "Weeds" is sort of my televised, x-rated version of "Twilight" for those who read that - it's 100% crack, and thrives on the "OMG, I can't believe they're going there!" factor.)

Monday - drove back to Rochester. Had dinner with our friends Mike and Toby and their grandson, M, who has officially entered foster care with family friends of theirs who live locally, as opposed to fostering in New York City. Complicated story - short version is that their daughter had some trouble a few years back and is not available at present to raise her 18-month son. He, however, is a cutie, and while he's no J, he's tracking just fine for his age, developmentally. He spent about ten minutes standing on my driver's seat checking out every available gauge and button and feature of my car. Adorable.

Tuesday - drove back to Boston. More fwumping.

I am still exhausted, but I must gather trash today and also the mighty hunter must capture milk. And I have an audition this evening. So, gotta get that ready. Oh, and apply for a bunch of jobs.

Other news:

Ticket saga, part II: Monday morning, we got a call from the Pittsburgh CLO. The tickets were returned as "undeliverable" - even though the address and zip were correct. So the lady from the office is hand-addressing them and will try again. If they bounce again, I'll just have them hold them at the box office, which all things considered is probably the easiest option, anyway.


And my parents. Okay, so anyone who has met both of my parents can probably agree that two more different people do not exist. It still mystifies me how they ever got married in the first place, but whatever. But occasionally they do things that show a glimmer of that sameness. For example, I called my mother on Sunday after confirming Monday's dinner, to let her know the plan. We talked briefly and hung up. Thirty seconds later, she calls me back. "What?" I ask. "Nothing, except I realized I forgot to say I love you."

Now, lemme stop here for a second. I don't have a problem telling the people I love that I love them. But I also don't think it's necessary to do so at the end of EVERY CONVERSATION. This is a point of contention with my mother, especially, who seems to think that if she doesn't tell me I will forget that it is true, or think that her affection has shifted. And conversely, that if I don't say it, it means somehow I have stopped. Um. Well ... no.

Okay, so Mom calls me back for the express purpose of making sure I know that she loves me. Yeah, I got the memo the last time, but thanks, Mom. I love you, too.

At some point, I got a message from my father, informing me of his schedule for the next few days (Outer Banks chillin'). Again, fine - no problem, I'm not nearly as worried about knowing where he is as he is about making sure I know. He says in the message that there's no need to call him back - so I don't.

Monday evening, he calls (right after we got back from dinner, actually - and at the very beginning of "Chuck") and during the conversation, he says, "I realized that I forgot to say I love you last time we talked. And I thought I should clear that up."

Yeah.

My parents, they are so weird. I told my mother. She laughed.


And finally, check it out:

BAF 3 is on Amazon!!!

Whoo-hoo.

I'll be doing a reading / signing in Auburn, MA, on June 12, but unfortunately I will not be at Balticon this year. (Though if you are going to Balticon, there's a bunch of fun stuff planned for the launch party.)
gwendolyngrace: (bela)
I haven't updated in a bit.

Well. My week, let me show you it )


Oh, I think I may have at least partially dislodged some of the writer's block on my original novel. But only a toehold. And I had a couple ideas about a short story I've been invited to submit to another anthology, though nothing is flowing yet on that, just more thoughts. But it's some progress, anyway.

Alternity continues to be awesome, but a little slow at the moment. The muses are taking a breather, I guess.


Well, there you go. That's what's up with me.


Oh! Memage:

What was the #1 song the day you were born? Google the date and #1 song and then post your #1 song on your LJ - preferably with a Youtube vid if you can find one!

Well, according to Billboard, it was Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." And here is a vid from 1972, the very year in question:



Yeah, I don't even know what this is supposed to signify. But check out the blazer!
gwendolyngrace: (Maxim's Hat)
So, I'm in Pittsburgh, a week early because [livejournal.com profile] grouchyoldcoot's mum passed away this weekend. We'd been planning to visit her and her husband for Christmas - now that's up in the air. I'm not even sure how long I'll wind up visiting - whether it will be through Christmas as planned, or longer, or what. I may or may not pass back through Rochester on the way home; this is also unknown at this time.

Of course, I had about 8 hours between when we decided I would come and when I left, so my hasty departure meant that a few things were not packed (nothing I can't replace), and a few things were not done (like running the garbage disposal to get rid of the eggshells), and a few things were done ahead of time (like leaving a note and rent check for January for the landlord) and a few things will have to sit until I get back (like my severance check, Dad's SS check, and any bills that come in). I should be able to pay the bills I've received out of what's in the checkbook, no problem, and a lot of my bills are autopay - cable, electric, phone, insurance - so that'll all take care of itself.

I didn't get to clean the house yet (that was a this-week project), and I haven't made room for the other sewing machine. Though I may be able to put it in the car if I do go back through Rochester.

I postponed the lunch I had planned with my friends at the vendor, the ones I worked with closely, and we'll reschedule in January.

Meanwhile, I called unemployment for the first time today to report no earnings. Man, I need to actually get back to looking for work!

One interesting thing was that on a lark, I brought the radar detector out with me, figuring that I could call the company if it still didn't work. But it worked! I don't know why it didn't all the times before when I tried to restore it, but this time, yay. And it's been working, yay. Of course, I didn't know that in the meantime NY passed a ban on them. Luckily, so far, I haven't been stopped (knock wood!). Of course, speeding is also illegal, so... in for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. But I don't need to be caught, in either case. My dad got a ticket in Georgia a couple weeks ago. Bastard got off with only a $75 fine. I've already had two tickets in NY, neither for actually speeding (they were both downgraded), but even without the points or anything, they were over $200 each. No, thank you! There's no need to speed that badly.

As [livejournal.com profile] etakyma posted, we went back to HP: The Exhibition on Friday and took our sweet time walking through it. The names are WHACKED. I don't think very many of them were ever meant to be seen close-up, because they are really totally made up, Monty Python types of names (no, there's no throat-warbler-mangrove, but some come close). The frustration of the day was not being able to look at some of the costumes in 360 degrees - which we knew would be the case, the way things are setup - but I think we can look for screencaps of some of the angles we wanted to see. I should have brought a mirror, really. The silly moment of the day came right near the end. We were looking in detail at McG's and Sirius's costumes - they are two of the last things on display - and trying to make out the back of Sirius, to see if it has a riding slit up the back of the coat, or not. We each had mini-mag-lites, though the battery in mine needs to be changed. We were using A's light to try to get a better look at the construction. One of the docents asked what we were doing. We explained ("No, we're not taking photographs, we're not touching, we're just looking with a mini-flashlight"). Where all the other docents had been happy to let us do our thing, once they figured out that we weren't disturbing anything, this guy had a problem. With a 10-watt pocket torch. A few minutes later a security guy comes over and tells us that we can't use the light. Whatever - it was the *last* costume. We'd been in the exhibit for 3 hours already, dude. What on earth is the objection to a teeny flashlight that can't possibly cause fading?

Anyway. Lots of sketches, lots of names and titles and little details. I totally forgot to copy out Umbridge's questionnaire for the teachers, and the O.W.L. papers, but that's okay. There were so many little things on the Common Room notice board that you couldn't read. Man, I'd love to have some time to throw on protective gloves and actually manipulate some of the artifacts.

We each bought a program guide (more reminders than anything), and I replaced my Nimbus hat with an HP: The Exhibition cap, and I also got a wicked cool mug that is heat activated. With hot liquid inside it, a Marauders' Map shows up on the outside. Very nifty. Also noticed HP music boxes from SF Music Box Company, very expensive in the gift shop but very *not* expensive on the SF Music Box Co's website. Not for buying right now, though.


Sunday, while J's mother was busy dying (wah), went to the Wellesley holiday party. Interesting confirmation that my audition for Hodel was *not* pointless, but that there weren't enough other people auditioning within the same age range, so that they had to cast everything younger. Still, I know I'll have fun with the role and was assured by many that I'll be great. Whee.

Monday, when I got in to Mom's, we went out to her pastor's house. It's her pastor's 53rd birthday, but she cooked dinner for 15 people - because she loves to cook. Okay by me! We had salad, beef burgundy over noodles, butternut squash risotto, and two kinds of cake and two kinds of ice cream. Yum, yum, yum. Also, although these are 'church' people, they are the least churchy group I've ever known. Even when I lived in Rochester, I can say definitively that these folks do not shy away from the innuendo and the double entendre. Much blushing was done by nearly everyone as we all embarrassed ourselves and each other. Very fun. (The topics included how quickly one can get drunk on champagne, first experiences with marijuana, the effect of long nails on certain parts of anatomy, etc. You get the picture. Christians with dirty minds!)


Ah. J is now done for the time being so we are going to get dinner. YAY. Food.

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