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: (Love Is... Impala)
It's been a busy dang weekend.

Yesterday morning, [livejournal.com profile] etakyma and I went to the Museum of Science to take advantage of a Groupon offering the chance to tour Cambridge - by Segway. Segways are totally, totally cool.

And wicked easy to use. Amy had a little trouble just after we left the training paddock, but within a few minutes we were both zooming around like pros. We had a fabulous time with our tour guide (Evan), who was Our Kind of Geek. And there were bits and pieces of Cambridge that I had never really known much about. The tour took in the park that was installed as part of the Big Dig, went down along one of the canals built in Cambridge (which I'd actually been to before, but it was at night and I was actually trying to find a restaurant and had taken a wrong turn), and then down to MIT. It was cool to tootle down to MIT again, though I have to say that my perception of MIT's campus and buildings is forever coloured by participating in Civilite.

We freely admit, though, that the real reason for taking the tour was simply to gain the experience of riding a Segway! Which was SO COOL! And I can now state for the record that Quidditch on Segways would be completely awesome and totally safe.

We also saw a Planetarium show (which was marred only by the rather fractious child next to us, but her mother finally took her out), and then wandered a mere half-mile away to the site of my boss's wife's art show, which was good.

A took a nap and then went home, leaving me to fend for myself for supper. More adventur ensued when I decided to have A Beer with my pizza. I chose (unwisely) to use the bottle opener on my all-purpose kitchen shears and when I had finally pried the cap loose, the beer exploded all over my PJs. I swiftly set the beer down in my kitchen sink (thank goodness I had just washed the dishes) and ran to the bathroom to strip off my now beer-soaked PJs and leave them in the tub to dry before adding them to the laundry. Except that when I go to toss the PJs in the tub? THERE'S A SPIDER IN THERE!!

A big one, too.

Yeah. Well, he was down by the drain, so I dumped the discarded clothes at the other end and proceeded to put on fresh PJs - and shoes. Because gods know, I can't be expected to KILL A SPIDER barefoot (let alone naked)! I grabbed my trusty spider-swatter and thus armed, proceeded to Battlefield: Bathroom. He tried to run into the pile of clothes, but I got him before he was able to hide in their beery folds. Terror! But I prevailed. Then I ate - and drank what was left of the beer. Half a beer is better than none?

That was a pretty full day by itself. But then I added today to yesterday.

NEW GLASSES! Ouch. $500 of new glasses (though that's both regular and a pair of prescription sunglasses). No, they were NOT very expensive frames. In both cases, the lenses were way more expensive than the frames, in fact. And guess what? LensCrafters does not accept EITHER my health insurance OR the vision care insurance I took out expressly because I knew I would be replacing my glasses! Well, I understand that I can submit claims directly to both and see what I get reimbursed. But... PITA. All-around PITA.

And of course, had to spend two hours malling while waiting for the glasses (because sunglasses take two hours, not one). Which is okay - I had a birthday present to shop for and I needed new 'intimates' - but zoicks. Those little errands (plus a couple others) set me back another couple hundred (literally). I was in the mall for 6 hours, altogether! And then I still had to hit Target for a couple other items.

Man, I'm tired.

And broke.

But I do like my new glasses. I especially like being able to see properly.
gwendolyngrace: (orly)
Ever have a party and no one wants to come?

Sent out the notice about the department picnic last week, and the directions today (serving as a reminder). Now, I know - no weekend is gonna work for everyone. And it's slightly short notice (just short of 4 weeks), so many people already have plans. But out of the first 12+ responses, I've got only ONE person (and her husband and kids) who are coming. One. Out of 14 so far.

And me.

So. The department wants to do social things, except that they don't.

The tide will turn. I know there are people who will come but just haven't told me (please, let this be true). I know that this department in particular is REALLY BAD about rsvp-ing. For anything. So I think it's not as bad as it feels. But still, gotta say, what's running through my heart is: Why don't they like me? j/k, sorta.

And it's got to start somewhere. So even if it's just me and one family, we'll have a great time.

And if by next week I still have no other takers, well... Anyone want to have a picnic in Chestnut Hill on September 10th?
gwendolyngrace: (FunnyGuy)
Oh, hai, LJ! I remember that I have a thing here. I can post on it. I can read up on what my friends are doing.

Yeah. I haven't done, like, any of that since returning to what I like to call real life.

Job is going fine. Still feel like I'm swimming in an ocean of things I don't understand, but it will start to make sense; I see the edges getting more and more defined each day. Of course, my Wii no longer knows who I am. I went 42 days without using it. It yelled at me. Metaphorically. (And yet I did lose weight, because my schedule really has been that grueling.)

Show (Nunsense) went okay. Would have gone better had I not caught the flu at Balticon, thus losing my VOICE three days before opening night. Yeah. But it's okay. I wish I could say this is the first time in my life I've had to deal with such a thing. Luckily, long experience has taught me how to pull a credible performance out of my butt even when I have very little instrument to work with. The notes were all there, but all my air was simply going into sound production. And the middle of my range, right at the break, was just really friggin' scratchy sounding all weekend. But it worked; it's over; I did manage to find the sound somewhere.

So I've been recovering from that and trying to force my computer to cooperate long enough to record all the necessary vocals for Lena's LeakyCon project ("The Warlock's Hairy Heart.") - gods, I need a new computer. That is next on my list, I swear.

What else? Oh - most important: PENNSIC IS A GO! I may need to cut things a little shorter than usual, so that I can be home and back at work *on* the 15th, but yes, I am going to Pennsic. Yay!

I think that's about all for the time being. Watching the Bruins (since the Penguins must win next year instead) and Game of Thrones and playing HP Alternity. What's up with you lovely folks?

Pancakes!

Apr. 12th, 2011 02:11 pm
gwendolyngrace: (BrightIdea)
Coronation was cold. Everyone who was there knows this, so call me late to the party.

The only time I was warm was down by the playground / creek with Josie. Fun. And great timing, because we got her bored with the creek just in time for court, so the kids could babysit again.


Sunday was very quiet and relaxing. When we got home Saturday night I saw that J had only just unpacked his Christmas presents (heh), which included the pancake molds and a "pancake pen" from Williams Sonoma. This put the taste in my mouth. We hadn't yet tried his pancake molds! We must have Millennium Falcon, X-Wing and TIE-Fighter pancakes for breakfast!

So I did a quick check of his on-hand ingredients and proceeded to walk to the nearby grocery store for supplies. Alas, I did *not* adequately check his kitchen utensils. He lacked a proper griddle, and his mixing bowls are fine, but have no pour spouts. This presented a difficulty when trying to pour the batter into the "pen" for the pancakes. Unperturbed, I used a measuring cup to transfer the batter and then proceeded to punt with a large cookie sheet spread over two of his gas burners.

Well.

It was a very amusing morning, anyway. And we did manage to produce totally edible pancakes. But the molds need some, um, practice, I think. And a proper griddle would certainly help. The surface was not as non-stick as one might have hoped, and the batter wasn't cooking through to set up enough before the bottom utterly fused to the sheet. The result was that we didn't make a single successful mold shape - but I did make some cute pinwheels with the pen once we abandoned the molds. And they ate just fine, too. His baking sheet is a little scorched :( but I think it survived just fine, really.

We then dropped by fight practice just long enough to say hello and then went to the new Elbow Room to watch the Penguins win (!) their final regular season game. Then home, where we played with my Netflix account on his ginormous TV, ordered Indian, and watched a movie.

J promises to obtain a proper griddle and a mixing bowl with a pour spout before our next attempt at this. :)
gwendolyngrace: (Wee! Winchesters)
This is the first year I've been on Facebook for my birthday. So many people "wrote" on my "wall" - I feel a little lame about it. Is there some kind of rule that says you have to wish everyone on FB a happy birthday? Do I now "owe" all those people birthday greetings?

I'm not good at that. That's a tremendous amount of pressure! There's a reason I don't send Christmas cards or give presents at the office (when I have one). It's not that I don't appreciate it, but I'm bad at reciprocating. And furthermore, I'm just not sure how to deal with that kind of attention.

It's quite a contrast to the year when I was in a new job, so no one knew it was my birthday, I had a rehearsal that night and no one there knew it was my birthday, and I got stopped on the way home for speeding. I didn't say anything to the cop, either, but he can't have failed to see from my license that it was, in fact, my birthday. In fact, I think that's the only reason he made it a warning instead of a ticket. As he handed my my license and registration and the paperwork back, he said, "Happy Birthday" - and as I drove away, that's when I started getting misty. It was 11:30 PM on my birthday and he was the first person all day to acknowledge it.

Not that I make a habit of feeling sorry for myself on birthdays. My family really just doesn't make a big deal out of them. From the time I was about 13, my idea of a birthday celebration was to go out with family friends and maybe have cheesecake for dessert. I didn't have big parties, because among other things, in Rochester in February, you've got a high probability that everyone you invite will be sick, or the weather will be so bad you have to cancel. And nowadays I'm nearly always in a rehearsal on my birthday (at least the last 4 years!), so making plans is just not big on the list.

OTOH, I'm still having a little trouble with this birthday just passed. I know I'd have less of an issue if my job situation were not what it is. But even without that... I never thought I'd be my age and still so far behind on everything. I found out the other day that at least two people in the show, whom I thought were older (not by much, but a little bit!) than I am, are actually younger - one by a year and one by four years. Yikes. It makes me feel rather pessimistic.

I have received one very odd present... One of my birthday twins sent a DVD because, as he put it, even though he's also out of work and shouldn't be spending the money, this was "a gem" that I would "appreciate." It's called The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. Apparently it's a spoof of B movies. Er. Okay....


Meanwhile, I have to take action tomorrow with the temp agency because my W-2 was supposedly mailed on 1/21 and I still haven't received it. I also want to follow-up on the jobs I interviewed for - I think a week is a good length of time to wait without making contact - and gently push to see if I can make sure they know I'm still very interested. I'm also planning to call Unemployment on Wednesday and see if I can file a claim for the temp stint. Even if it's only a few buck a week, it's something.

I've been working at the theatre (and will continue to do so next week) building sets. Yesterday we had to clean the place because they're renting it tonight - so we had to put all the set-building stuff onstage behind the traveler curtain and completely clean / reset the house for the event, clean the bathrooms, etc. And it turns out that the older gentleman who does most of their set-building and maintenance used to work for Universal! We got into a long discussion about the parks and the rides. He was there for 10 years - though I don't know if anyone he knew there still works there. I'd still like to work there, dangit. I wish there were a tailor-made job for me.... Maybe it's time to check in on that again, too.

In other news, the computer is still hanging in there (knock wood), although the case is now really pulling apart at the seam. There's a strip of plastic that's supposed to sit between the top of the case and the DVD-ROM drive that is now free-floating. The DVD still works, but it rattles while the disc is turning. But I'm glad it still works because I've got 4 more episodes of Doctor Who (series 5) still to watch (and they don't work in the DVD player in the TV)....

Speaking of watching things, Netflix brought me Ponyo this weekend. Adorable! And so definitely Miyazaki. But that song at the end? ROTFL. And all I could think was that it is quintessentially Japanese, somehow. These are the same people who brought the world Sushi TV.

Yes, my life is Soooo Exciting, everyone!
gwendolyngrace: (IvoryPureSam)
1. So, I got through my father's visit. More importantly, he left and I did not cause him bodily harm.

Not a whole lot to discuss, only because I've already been through the rants and I don't wanna do that again. We went on a whale watch, which was awesome fun but not enough to keep him occupied the whole visit, so he basically drove me up the wall the rest of the time. He was coughing like mad when he was here, ignored me, went to the Urgent Care clinic, got told it was bronchitis, misunderstood the clinician's instructions, and is now in Strong for a few days because it tipped over into pneumonia. Dumbass. (He's fine. They put him on IV antibiotics and he'll probably check out tomorrow. He's got his laptop and phone, and he even had pie last night. Mmmm, pie.)

2. No, I can't believe it's been two years, either. Yes, I miss him too.

3. I fucking need a job already.

4. Alternity continues to be awesome.

5. Two friends are switching coasts in the next couple weeks. We don't get together very often, but I wish them well in their new jobs (and hope in both cases it improves things considerably!).

6. First playreading committee meeting is tonight. No idea what the plan is there - I'm not in charge. Still wonder if I should gather up those soundtracks I have. I don't think I have any of the straight plays on our list in my library. Hm.

7. This is a silly / stupid thing but I found my little toiletry pack that was missing after Infinitus. YAY! I knew I hadn't left it behind. Tiny, tiny win.


I should be writing, or doing something else productive. I'm trying to remember to update here and not so much on LJ. I also need to get all my fic up on Archive of Our Own at some point. Yeah, there's a project....
gwendolyngrace: (In Fanfic...)
This has been a rather intense week. And no, I'm not cutting it. So there.

A short while ago, I offered to record a bunch of audio narration files for a pervasive game that [livejournal.com profile] flourish and a friend of hers were working on, called Civilite. The narratives took several locations around the MIT campus and transformed them into 19th-C. Parisian locations. It was so cool-sounding that I asked if I could play in the play-test.

And I did.

But it came on perhaps the busiest week I've had since I've been back after Christmas. Arisia was last weekend - convenient, in one sense, as it was just up the street from MIT, but also resulting in much walking and many late nights. Then this week, I had rehearsals every night, including two for the Weston gala performance last night, plus the gala itself, and plus there was voting this week (which did, like, no good, of course), and a few other miscellaneous errands (groceries, etc.).

On the upside, I did a LOT of walking this week, so it was good for me to get out and be active.

On the downside, it sapped a lot of energy.

I didn't suck at the game, but it was hard to not have easy access to the campus at all hours, as some of the other players did. I at least managed my planned double-cross expertly, though it's interesting that the character's post-game story included some negative consequences, though the character still survived and managed to escape to a less illustrious existence. That's not so surprising, though, considering some of the goals of the research study component of the play-test. Ethical choices and pressures, indeed. I am not really all that burdened with those. ;^D


I also did really well all week with the dieting - mostly because I was out and didn't spend money on any food while I was out, and didn't have time for anything more than micromeals before going out again - and then of course, this weekend. Blown. Spent a lot of money going out with the cast of the gala, too, but well, that was social, at least. Must get back out of the habit of drinking, as it more than doubles the bill. Diet Coke is just fine without that shot of Jack in. I don't need a margarita, either. (Although I *WAS* good Friday and had a salad instead of dessert, but Saturday we had cheesecake and brownies and I split chicken fingers with another cast member. Today? Leftover cake, sigh. Cheese and crackers for dinner. then a piece of cheescake for dessert. Must resist the tray of goodies leftover from the show!)

(There's a fun story about Victoria's Secret in here, too. I tried to find a better undergarment for my dress, being nearly backless. And Amy and I took one look at VS's "solution" and proceeded to construct one... for about $2.25 in materials and five minutes' sewing, instead of the $50 it would have cost for a bra and this little halter thing! Yeah.)


I had to make a mad dash to rehearsal tonight. For the second time since we started! Oy. I swear I read the schedule, but all I saw for tonight was "Russians and Bottle dancers." I didn't see the "Work Scenes 1-6 with principals" that was written *ABOVE* "Russians and Bottle Dancers". Oops. Luckily I screamed out there and made it in about 20 minutes. Narg.


But I got some interesting news today, too. Two of my SPN stories have been nominated for "No Rest for the Wicked" awards. I'm not sure what that is, but there are some cool folks nominated in various categories, like [livejournal.com profile] musesfool and [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge so I guess I'm in good company. The fics are Sometimes a Day Goes By for angst and The Children's Hour for best gen. And that's really interesting, because a. they're both older stories, and b. I don't even think TCH is my best gen fic. I don't know if there's a word limit, though, and most of my better stuff is longer.

I also don't know what I'm supposed to do, other than respond to "accept" the nomination. I'm a little new at this, getting recognized for writing, that is. It doesn't happen often.


Alternity continues to be awesome, if a little slowish. I know that events will pick up soon, though, so keep reading it, if you are! (And if you are, let us know? What do you think of how we're doing? We'll keep going, but a little feedback does help on occasion....)



Job search is nowhere. It's hard to stay motivated. I have callbacks for "The Final Battle" to prep this week (due the 30th!) and I dunno. Other stuff.

I guess that's pretty much the state of the Gwen right now.
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
Yes, yes, I know.

Mainly, I've been using LJ for about the past, oh, 9 months, as an outlet for roleplaying gaming (in the form of [livejournal.com profile] hpalternity which is more fun than should be legal), and thus not really using this journal much, at all, or doing much of anything else terribly creative writing-wise.

I have, however, been planning a certain conference...which let me just say is going to be HELLA AWESOME and OMG AMAZING and is in YIPE! Two Weeks!

Followed by Comic-Con International.

Followed by Pennsic.

Yes, I am a CRAZY person, why do you ask?

But, I needed to post about something important and (getting more and more) shiny: My New Palm Pre.

She's a coy little thing sometimes, but I am learning her quirks. I picked her up Wednesday and she's actually a twin - her sister had some out-of-the-gate issues and the friendly tech at the Sprint store switched devices - but she and I are in those new stages of a relationship. As Amy said, I'm trying to determine if this little beauty will give me "the love [I] need from a cell phone."

There were a few bumps in the first 24 hours, but since making friends with my phone's very large and comprehensive User Guide, I am learning the ins and outs of Pre ownership. I already LOVE the apps and wish there were more.

Downsides are that the text editor will take some practice (I am SO still not used to the lack of a fast, easy trackball) and the QWERTY keyboard is a. very small and b. not fully featured (like no Tab, only one Alt and one Shift key (both on the left thumb) and y'know, little quirky things that will just take adjustment to over time). I would love an app for it that pops up a regular touchpad keyboard like the IPhone, but perhaps that will come soon. My father will be *thrilled* that I have downloaded the "AccuWeather" app and can now tell him *exactly* what the weather is doing wherever we are.

One thing that is frustrating me currently is that I can't seem to figure out how to get music to synch to the phone. Theoretically one plugs in the USB port, tells it to import "media", and it just ... does. But that's not happening and the manual and the online help don't seem to want to tell me why. It may be a call to the support staff at Palm. Unless someone knows? Maybe I'll check the Palm website for help.

We even ate dinner tonight courtesy of the Pre's "CitySearch" app. Found a new restaurant that went in on Moody street where the Iguana Cantina used to be. Pretty good food, too.

We got together here and not in Framingham (I've mostly been going there these past couple months to either help or stay out of the way in Amy's pre-Azkatraz Project Factory), because the local theatre, the one that plays more arts films, was showing "Moon." This is Duncan Jones' full-length directorial debut. And while that might not mean a lot to many of you, to me and Amy it has significance: he was two years behind us in college.

Yeah.

It was a really good movie and we're very proud of him, even though Amy only took one class with him (Playwriting) and I never even properly met him.

Did I mention that I'm running a conference? It's sort of an accomplishment, I guess.


Anyway. So. Conference. Alternity. Palm Pre. Job continues. Stress puppy = me.

Yeah.
gwendolyngrace: (KlingonSnape)
I went to Rochester this past weekend to accomplish a few things:

1. Go to Pax
2. Get my mother's phone switched to her own account
3. Switch cars with my dad and pack up bunches of furniture to bring back here


Um... one of those happened; one happened differently, and one didn't happen at all.

[livejournal.com profile] ecwoodburn, I have absolute sympathy: My car was broken into Friday night, in my mother's driveway, of all places, and my fanny pack with wallet and cell phone, plus my portable CD player, the tape deck converter kit, and all three power cables (CD, Phone, and power splitter) were stolen, along with 6 CDs (including the one that was in the player).

Instead of Pax, I spent Saturday online and on the phone with credit card companies, my bank, Sprint, the RMV, my car insurance company, Social Security, etc. I still have to follow-up with my insurance agency, my health insurance, all my memberships (including the SCA) and so on....

And I had to purchase a new phone, because I had planned to add the technology insurance (which covers loss or theft) *after* Mom and I transferred her phone to her name.

For my own reference, the list of things in my wallet )

Now my question is, because they got the Social Security card, should I cancel out the other 5-6 cards (like Lord and Taylor, JC Penney, Casual Corner, etc.) that weren't in the wallet? Or not bother?

I also bought a new phone, we wound up upgrading to a "family plan" instead of splitting it off, and getting 800 flexible minutes between us. But, because the old phone was lost, I have of course lost my *phone book* in the phone. So if I had your number, I probably don't have it anymore. If you want me to have your number, please let me know. The good news is that the phone is blue once more, and I now have the tech insurance, god dammit. I have learned my lesson; never again shall I go without it.

The saving grace was that the Clie was *NOT* in the car; I had brought it in in a different tote bag (the same one, in fact, that I *THOUGHT* I had thrown my fanny pack into when I got there), so no $400 machine for teens to trade in as drug money, thank you. Probably about $300 once I've replaced everything that needs replacing, though, but things like the CD player are not a high priority right now.

And we did switch cars, so I have Dad's behemoth van, currently full of furniture. I will have furniture - this is good. Ooh, and next month he's also going to give me his desktop, so I'll have a faster, spiffier, and most importantly functional, computer at home. Whee. No more limping laptop.

Plus this means I have the van for Pennsic, so no worries about stuffage. It's very difficult, though, mustering the mental energy to deal with all the stuff one has to deal with in order to get back on track from this kind of thing. And the worst thing is being pissed with *myself* for not checking to make sure I had all the valuables out of the car first.

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