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: (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?
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
I'm watching Tim Gunn lose it on Project Runway ("animal wooly balls" vs "real balls" - yeah, if you don't know what I'm talking about you're probably better off).

I have dried out the sleeping bags, but the tent probably needs to at least be set out on the other side, probably better to actually set it up (oy). And I need water seal for the seams.

So the quick Pennsic Update )

I went to the grocery store today for milk (yay!) and more cheese (my open cheese got moldy while I was away) and will do a "real" full grocery shop tomorrow or over the weekend when the new flyer prices go into effect. (Need soda, yogurt, dinners.... but have a coupon!) I also got QUARTERS so I can do my laundry! I did a load of whites (with bleach) but needed more change to continue.

Have decided not to pursue Aflac. I've contacted them a total of 3 times now on separate occasions and apparently they can't be arsed to get back to me. Screw'em. The guy at the bank suggested I apply there. Hm.

I also need to go to Macy's to see about the perfume spritzer (yes, the saga continues!). Short version of story: It definitely leaked while at war, the temperatures were hot enough to sort of "bake" the ester and I have visible proof that the bottle leaks. A little pointed questioning of Joel resulted in his not only remembering that he bought it at Macy's, not Sephora as previously believed, *but* that his receipt was still in the bag in his bedroom. From 2 1/2 years ago!!!! Frightening, but not a bad thing in this case. So I am armed with the receipt now, too!

I must re-motivate to start looking for work again. I can't seem to get up the energy. I've been sleeping a lot.

And I must clean. Oy. Really, really need to clean. I currently fear that I accidentally returned the unused high-capacity black toner cartridge instead of a used one. Sigh.


I'm caught up on Project Runway, and I'm ready for tonight's new episode. I watched last week's Burn Notice but I think I missed one in there. But USA shows it all the time. I also watched last night's new The Choir but BBC America does not, apparently, repeat the old episodes as much as I would like, so I missed one there, too.

Way behind on White Collar and others. Meh.

I did get an order from Amazon that I ordered with gift certificates: A Little Princess (the good, BBC / Wonderworks TV version); Chronicles of Narnia (ditto, the BBC / Wonderworks one), Snoopy (replacing the CD stolen from my car about 4 years ago), Season 2 of The Closer, and The Addams Family - the musical. Turns out [livejournal.com profile] etakyma bought the same soundtrack! Wish I'd known, but oh well.

But I am also loving Top Gear on BBC America. OMG, these boys are SOOO funny. And they are boys. They constantly play tricks on each other. It's like if Moony, Padfoot and Prongs grew up and had a car review show. Seriously. (Jeremy is Moony, Hammond is Pads and James May is Prongs, of course.)

And Alternity? Man, it's awesome. I love that even when there are issues behind the scenes, we work them through and we're committed to helping each other remove roadblocks and at least trying to keep it fun for everyone. We don't always succeed - because let's face it some characters just are harder to play in Alternity than others - but we sure as hell try. Meanwhile, I think the measures we take do improve the game, not just for those characters but for everyone, and offer new dimensions for the readers, too.

So y'all should read it. Really.

Oh, and I found out that somehow I missed the email about the October cabaret thing that Wellesley's doing - but I got to the organizers in time. And I even talked them into a solo! So that'll be cool and rehearsals start at the end of the month. I'm sure there are other auditions to look out for, too. Back to the grind.

And back to job search. Bleah. But there's simply no alternative. I have to get a job.

My week

May. 12th, 2010 08:05 pm
gwendolyngrace: (Bitch/Jerk)
So, last week there was this water main bustification in Boston, and we were on a "boil water" order for a while. They lifted it the morning I left for Rochester (so I got to wash my dishes before hitting the road), but my dentist appointment had already been postponed.

I hit the road, spent a couple days with Mom, went down to Pittsburgh for Crown, and came back home (via Rochester again) yesterday.

The highlights:
- Haircut! (quite a few compliments at Crown, too)
- New Headshots! This is good because I had an audition last night (grump: no callback) and one tomorrow, and I'll need 45 of the suckers for the June auditions
- Watched "Harper's Island" with Mom
- Acquired a bag of old garb, some of which can still be used, most of which either needs modification (ahem, I'm fat) or will just be part of the costume closet for theatrical use
- Continually squicked / worried about Mom and the way she lives. Not sure I can do anything to improve her situation.
- Left "The Last Detective" with her (she was finishing them up when I got there on Monday), which she enjoyed / devoured.
- Crown was COLD, RAINY, MUDDY - in other words, an AE Crown. Good practice for War Practice (note to self, remember arm-warmers and cold weather gear)
- I have a new misspelling of my name on the magnet! It's always hilarious when they get his name right (the complicated one) and mine wrong (the easy one)
- Watched Game 5 with the family
- Puked a LOT on Saturday night (yuck!)
- Went to dinner with [livejournal.com profile] erink and her partner, and also went to see Iron Man 2 with them. Did not get to play with the iPad because [livejournal.com profile] grouchyoldcoot bogarted it.
- Took Mom out for dinner for Mother's Day. Then she topped off my gas tank (which didn't quite even it up, but I'm not complaining)

Came back to Boston, got ready for the audition. Dutifully left in time to find the place, only to wait until after my appointment time with no one around. Phone dead! Went home, turned on computer. Immediately noted that I was IN THE WRONG PLACE - but the right place was only 5 blocks away. Jumped back in the car - tearing my pantyhose - and screamed over there. No problem. Only had about a 10 minute wait (enough time to shuck the torn hose!), but really didn't do well on my songs - especially the second one. The first one was okay, but I was tired from the long drive and I guess my voice wasn't sitting right. I could not get my heart rate or breathing back after the first song, so the emotional shift for the second was off. No callback. Not surprised, but MEH.

Cloudy and cold today. Also cramps, yuck. And NOTHING on the job front. Dentist appointment. Gum recession - yay. Don't need to do anything yet, but will.

ARGH.

And the Penguins are losing. What the fuck, boys?

Can there be Alternity? If I have to be wearing my crankypants, I'd like to at least be able to escape to where my characters are having a crappy time for much more life-threatening reasons.

How much?!

Apr. 15th, 2010 11:21 pm
gwendolyngrace: (bela)
So I went downtown today to fill out paperwork and test and interview with yet another staffing agency - one can never be enrolled with too many. But I didn't want to take the T because dude, my back is still not up to walking or standing as long as it would take to go via public transit.

However, I should have done it anyway.

I drove around and around and around hoping to find a lucky parking spot. All the garages had their "full day" rate signs up and I balked: $23 or $26??? For like, an hour? How much is just an HOUR?

But finally, it was after the time I was supposed to be there, I'd gone around the block(s) about 4 times in different directions, got stuck on one-ways taking me *away* from the target, u-turned to get back without running into more one-ways, and called to let them know I was just looking for parking.... and as I came around the corner, the garage in the same building as the place was taking down the all-day parking sign and putting up its hourly sign: $6 for the first half-hour. Great!

I pulled in and gave the car to the valets (yeah, but the rate was still $12 for the hour), and made it to the appointment.

Where they ran me through MS Office testing, typing test, and then I had to wait a good 10 minutes for a room to open up. (During this time, btw, I realized that this agency's "gimmick" for team-building is that when someone successfully places an employee, the agent rings a bell - and the other hiring agents applaud. All I could think was "How...Pavlovian.")

Anyway, so I'm already over the hour-mark and then we get into the interview. And I probably talked too much, but she wanted me to "take her through" my positions, which is understandable, because my work history is a little wonky. And then she asked if I could meet with a couple other agents in the various arms of their organization (e.g. "creative" vs. "administrative") - and I looked at my phone (which doubles as my watch). EEK. I was 3 minutes shy of two hours on the car.

So I said, "Actually, if you don't mind, if I go right now, I'll make it within two hours" and she was very understanding and I rushed to the garage... Where I realized that between one and two hours, the price JUMPED from $12... to $28.

Thirty bucks to park!!! $15 an HOUR. I almost should have stayed, because the *next* hour was only $34 - at which point, who cares?

But YIKES. Okay, the T would have taken 2 hours of travel, and I certainly would have had to be really careful walking, but YIKES. In retrospect, I should have just gone in at the day rate!!!

I hope it pays off.

Meanwhile, I'm doing the exercise that the chiropractor prescribed. My father had also recommended a particular brand of adhesive "hot" patch, which happens to be relatively inexpensive (especially compared to the thermacare patches), so I tried that during the brush-up tonight.

OMG. No. First off, I'm glad a. they're cheap and b. I got two, because the first one folded onto itself and got all stuck to itself and had to be sacrificed. The second one still got stuck to itself, but in a more wrinkled than folded way, and I was still able to stick it on, albeit kind of at a weird angle. Second, the "heat" it generates is from capzaisin, so it's more of a "spicy" heat than an actual warmth...and it burned more like a chemical burn than a radiating heat. I wound up ripping it off on the way home, because when I was sitting in the car, and couldn't get away from it, it felt like it was flaying my back.

So, yeah. Not doing that again, but at least it was only a couple bucks' worth of experimentation, and certainly not another $30 mistake!

Argh.

So. Get the back back in shape. Then the next order of business is to get ME back in shape - walking and more. Zoicks, I'm gaining weight like whoa.

And lastly, unfortunately, a quick check of my odometer from last year confirms that I will not qualify for the "low mileage" discount with my insurance company. Which is a pain, because apparently I have to suffer another year of surcharge due to the accident in '07, because while the anniversary date of the accident is coming up in a couple weeks, the surcharge wasn't actually applied until January '08. Sigh. So my rates don't drop for another 8 months.

I can haz new life now?

Okay, a few good things so I'm not all about the bitchy.

Alternity continues to rock hard.

I should be able to sweet-talk my family photographer into new headshots when I go to Rochester, which I'll be doing on the way to Crown (along with a haircut at my old hairdresser's). This means I'll have really good professional headshots again, that aren't 20 years out of date, in time for the big StageSource auditions (in early June). Now I need to choose a monologue and song, always an agonizing process, but something that I just have to DO and then not worry about. Whatever - as long as it's memorable, and I do it well, that's the point.

Only two more performances and then I can really focus on the summer shows.

I finished the first draft of my sci-fi story, though I haven't read it over to begin editing it. I fear it is more lame and simplified than I intended when I was outlining, but it's also short, so I have a little room to expand if necessary.

BAF3 is gonna be awesome - it's set to launch at Balticon, where I probably won't be, but that's okay. The book will launch and maybe a few of 1 and 2 will sell, too.

Oh - I almost forgot! There's a new episode of SpellCast out! Actually, it's not new, because I recorded it in December, but it's finally out!
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
So, I called up the chiropractor this morning. This chiropractor is the brother-in-law of one of the ladies in the show.

Trouble is, brother-in-law has no availability because he's going out of town. But they refer me to another chiropractor, and yes, they have a cancellation this morning, so can I be there in roughly 40 minutes from oh, right now?

Sure. I can do that.

Well, this chiropractor is *also* a neurologist, which is cool. He starts off by checking things like my ability to track with my eyes, my balance and reflexes (uh, I don't really have reflexes, btw, never have), and a bunch of sensory perception tests (am I touching with one point or two?), then range of motion. Oh, and did I know I have a little scoliosis?

Why, no. I did not know that. (Apparently Mom did - but they always told her it was too mild to do anything about. Gee, thanks, Mom. Helpful information for health history forms....)

Anyway. He does a bunch of exams and says, "Well, you may be having problems with your lumbar, but your real problem is the S-I joint on the right."

Yeah. Like the pain I've been interpreting as a. sciatica; b. hip dysplasia; c. I dunno wtf but my hip friggin' feels dislocated - for oh, twelve years? The pain that everyone else I've ever seen has told me it's because of the lumbar problems? Other way around.

And then he used electrical stims on the area (which is always the most wicked cool feeling in the world - it's uncomfortable but in a good way, like a really good stretch), and then ultrasonic stim (which I've never had before). Which also cracked me up because he had to leave the room twice to get all his equipment together (so, in other words, he's normal). And then he cracked the subluxation.

At which point he said, "Wow. That was big. Are you okay?"

Yeah, it was fairly major. He gave me an exercise to start doing when I feel I can get up and down from the floor (which is not quite yet) - six times a day, but not in a row. Six different times. Makes sense. Funny thing is, it was one of the exercises I had in my regular rotation, before the yoga and the action that threw the back out in the first place.

And I'm still hurting. Because by the time I got home the lumbar pain was back with a vengeance.

Tell ya, I can't win. I have a follow-up on Saturday. I'm going to try to stretch out these follow-ups, because dude, co-pays are not cheap. But I like him - he's a riot. (ETA: Sister-in-law apparently emailed 1st chiropractor directly and he said "No I could see her tomorrow at 4", so if I'm really still in horrible shape tomorrow I will call again - but I hope that it won't be necessary.)


Go read [livejournal.com profile] etakyma's journal for an account of the LOLTASTIC show we watched last night. Well, she watched all of it. She pinged me about halfway through it to share, and then I switched and we IM'd through the rest of it. OMG Polar Bear.


And the Penguins are LOSING. Down by two after the 2nd period. Nargh. Boys, you can't do this at this point. This is not playoff-worthy play. I'm not pleased. (ETA: Dangit. Lost by one, grrr. Next game is Friday, so they can catch'em.)


On the worksearch front, two items: 1. Going downtown tomorrow to interview / sign on with another placement firm. This one has both admin and professional jobs, so maybe it will turn something up, at least on a temporary basis if nothing else. 2. I have signed up to attend a 6-week long phone-in seminar, offered by Women For Hire. It promises some of the same tips and techniques as the career coach, only for a fraction (and I mean like, 2%) of the cost. Of course, I know going in this is because they fully expect it to be 1,000 people all listening, so it will be unlikely to have any kind of personal support, but hey, if in 6 weeks I can acquire 5 useful tips, it's worth it. The only worry is that once I paid my money, the invitation I received didn't tell me anything substantive about how to actually connect to the call. I'll go ahead and assume / hope that this means they will be in contact at a later date, closer to the beginning of the seminar, with the procedure. I hope it's something I can call in from the cell, as there will be at least one week when I'll be out of town and won't necessarily have net access.

Ow.

Apr. 8th, 2010 05:48 pm
gwendolyngrace: (SadDean)
I was going to make this a longer post, but now I think bullets will do:

- The contract job site selected a different candidate. This isn't a horrible thing, as I really wasn't excited about putting 40 miles on the car every day (especially with a 17MPG average right now)

- I did, however walk through the Stoughton Jordan's Furniture and the Stoughton IKEA. But other than lunch (It's not IKEA without Swedish Meatballs!) I didn't buy anything. Yay, me.

- I always fantasy furniture shop at Jordan's. It's fun! This time I found a cool flip-top writing desk and I believe Narcissa Malfoy's bedroom furniture. I took pictures of the bedroom, but may go find them on the website later.

- Instead of my little self-devised "workout" this morning, I decided to finally get out the Yoga DVD I bought months ago. What a workout!

- Yoga on a rug that really needs to be vacuumed, however, is not so fun.

- Having done that, though, I really needed to start getting my books and all back in tubs to get them downstairs. And that's when

- I threw my lower back out. Ow. I was testing the weight. I swear. I lifted with my legs. I did. I gauged the weight, put it down, and I was straightening up. And POP.

OW. OW OW OW.

So, no brush-up for me tonight. I'm icing / heating, trying to take it easy, only moving when I have to....

But, yeah. I'm a dumbass. I'll take the netbook to bed, as the laptop is too heavy to lift right now. At least I can kinda hobble around the apartment. When it first happened I could barely walk to the bathroom for Tylenol.

Ow.

ETA: And now there's something wrong with the power supply to the netbook. Not sure if it's the brick or something else. Sigh. Grabbed the regular computer - and yeah, it actually hurt to carry it to the bedroom, but it's here now.

I'm moving a little more easily, but still hurts. Tiger Balm is my friend.
gwendolyngrace: (DeanCrying)
So, y'know I said yesterday that there was a lot of flooding in Waltham?

Yeah.

My basement was not immune. Specifically, my *storage unit* in the basement. The one where I had books.

About 30 books with probably near-irreparable damage, including my senior yearbook from high school, a limited-edition "Order of the Phoenix", some books signed by the authors.... My dad's dissertation, some of the framed artwork he asked me to keep for him.... some are rare, some are out of print, a few are trade paperbacks easy to replace, but there's no extra money for that kind of thing right now.

About 20 books with medium damage, and another 30 or so with little to no damage, thankfully. The deluxe edition "Beedle the Bard" is okay inside, though the big case needs some repair. They're all drying out currently. I've got the worst ones in the bathtub with a fan on them; the medium-damaged ones are on the clothes drying rack. A few are outside. Some sheets and clothes that I'd set aside for a yard sale anyway, but that now have to be washed and dried.

There's stuff all over the place, drying out. Oy.

I have no idea if renters' insurance covers flood damage.

As losses go, really? Not so bad. The only thing that rips me up is the yearbook, and I'm working on saving that. I wish I could have saved the HP5, without having to tear off its box edition cover. No value left there. But the book will dry out.

I have to go report to unemployment and then I should shift laundry. Fun. Only - not.
gwendolyngrace: (Clank gets a clue)
The first three performances are in the bag. It's come together to be a great show; I'm scoring points with the director (yay) and with a couple exceptions I really enjoy the cast. (And almost everyone is agreed on the exceptions.)

My cold cleared up (mostly) by opening night and completely by yesterday. And it's stopped raining!

On the downside, OMG I had insomnia on Saturday night. By 5 AM I gave UP on lying in bed not sleeping and decided to turn on the TV and hopefully go to sleep to a movie (which is a fallback for me when all else fails). Unfortunately, I chose a movie I like that I hadn't seen in a long, long time (The Sixth Sense) and got completely engrossed and didn't fall asleep the whole time.

So at 7 when it was over, I tried the process again, only this time in the living room, in my chair, with my afghans, and an older movie, one I've seen much more often and don't need to "watch" to know what's on the screen (Labyrinth). I listened from the beginning through about the point where Sara was talking to the worm and then was out. I did wake up enough to hear the end of "As the World Falls Down" and a bit of the conversation with the trash lady, and a bit of the battle for the goblin city (since that part gets loud), but that was it. Next time I woke up the movie had ended and was back on the DVD menu. I tried to repeat the process with The Last Unicorn but was less successful. I heard every scene almost up until they got to King Haggard's castle, and woke again only about 20 minutes later, when they were tricking the skeleton (Rene Auberjenois!) into telling them how to find the Red Bull. By that time I had to get up, anyway, to make breakfast and wake up enough to go to the theatre for the Sunday matinee.

Sunday night, thankfully, I got to bed around 9. Not to repeat the night before, I turned on HBO since they were showing Apollo 13 (another film I know by heart), set the "Sleep" function on the TV, and don't remember it turning itself off. Woke up at 8:30, yay.

Meanwhile, my face is still very chapped from the makeup and makeup removal process. Ouch. No matter how mild the moisturizer I use, the shit burns like acid when I put it on. It's better than not using anything, but yeeps. Ouch.

I got my census, filled it out, took it and two bills to the post office, returned my OCLC library loan book to the library and picked up Massachusetts tax forms. I also signed up for information about working for the census. I figured out that I'm "earning" about $14/hour on Unemployment, so if they're paying nearly $20 that's better. The question is can I go back on Unemployment after the census work is over? Will I have to? Oy. I dunno.

Waltham had a LOT of flooding - in fact, nearly everywhere I had to go today I had to take detours to avoid flooded areas. Concord, too. Pain in the butt, especially at 3:30 when school traffic and the detours combined to slow everything down to a crawl. And man, are other drivers ever STUPID in the rain. I'm kinda glad I don't have to go out tomorrow unless I really want to. Give the ground some time to clear itself up.

Um. That's about it. Tomorrow I will get to the taxes and some Fleur business and oh, yes, laundry.

My days are so exciting.
gwendolyngrace: (Made of Awesome)
I am not on Facebook. Or Twitter. (The Gwendolyn or Gwen Grace on each of those is NOT ME.) I am on LinkedIn, but by my real (legal) name, not my fan / SCA ones.

I do not have a photography studio in Arizona.

I am not an Executive Delivery Program Manager at IBM in Denver, or an Independent Investment Banking Professional in New York City, or an Office Manager in Dallas/Fort Worth.

I was not born in 1937.

I am not a pig who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. (No. Really.)

I am not a student at Johns Hopkins.

I am not a blogger on a poetry competition board. (Wow.)

Um....

I'm also kinda flabbergasted. I guess there really is nothing original out there.
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: (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: (TywinKevan)
Okay, so I just spent 2 weeks in Pittsburgh and I drove back to Rochester last night.

Um. There's probably lots more to report about being in Pittsburgh, isn't there?

Well.

Went rock climbing twice, bloodied myself twice the second time, but managed only to embarrass myself slightly. Slipped and fell down Joel's back kitchen stairs on the middle Sunday and have a bruise across my right buttock that looks like someone hit me with a PERFECT wrap shot.

Joel's cat is sick actively dying. (Yes, only a week or two after his mother died, his cat sorta stopped eating. We tried all this week to tempt him with various kinds of cat and people food, but no dice. Joel took him to kitty hospital yesterday and per his latest post, Eek's remaining days are very limited. SUCKAGE! TOTALLY UNFAIR SUCKITUDE.) And of course, we all learned about Eric Bowling this week, too, which was really sad and unexpected and also unfair.

Hm. Well, we ate a lot of good food, and also things I cooked (note that those two are exclusive). Seriously, I cooked Christmas dinner and it was actually edible, though not amazingly awesome. There was pie. We visited friends and friends' family on Christmas Day eve (as opposed to Christmas Eve day) and had a great time. I got to snuggle Josie a little. We also admired Joel's neighbour's fabulous new mosaic in her fireplace. And first Saturday I was there, we not only moved Joel's fridge into his kitchen (thanks to my AWESOME knowledge on how to move appliances thanks to watching the movers do it with cardboard!), we also went out to play some games and watch a mind-bending film called Primer with some other of Joel's Pittsburgh friends.

We also got and put up Joel's Christmas tree and on Sunday we measured, cut, and successfully hung Joel's kitchen door. Big win!

We went to a bar around the corner to watch the Penguins game, and even though they lost we had a good time. Small world department: the two guys down the bar from us - twins! - have been to Pennsic! Yeah, it's not quite the coincidence in Pittsburgh that it would be if we'd been in Boston. But still. Funny.

We went to see Avatar and I liked it, though it was certainly flawed. The 3D was well done. I want to be a Na'vi, or failing that have my own USB port. I won't mind seeing it again if given the chance.

And of course, PREZZIES. I got a Bluetooth headset (which works pretty well!) and also a gift certificate to see a national tour during the summer, which reminds me I have to call them and select the show. We're going to shoot for Curtains on the last weekend of June.

So. That's Pittsburgh.


I've been reading a lot of Yuletide fics. Some good stuff this year, including ASOIAF (see icon!) and some Dead Poets' Society. A few Big Bang Theory, some other stuff. I've been getting comments on my two pinch hits - one of which was written in about 3 hours, so I'm glad that people have appreciated that at all.

Job-hunt-wise, I've got an interview on Monday and I had a good networking phone call today. Hunt-and-peck applications still suck, but I'll spend some time on that later.

And I went with my mother today to her hairdresser, who used to be *my* hairdresser, and told her to go crazy. So I've got some significant hair change - not colour, just cut. She curled it, too, which has made it weird to get used to, but the curl will be gone in a day.

Hm.

We're watching Season Two West Wing. One of my favourite shows at its height. Can't really beat that!
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.
gwendolyngrace: (Mr President)
It should have been one more day, but Human Resources offered to extend me one more week (to shift things like COBRA into next year), and because he's determined to suck every ounce out of me, Boss D expects me to be in the office during that time. Although, to be fair, I clarified with him later and he backed off on that - "Oh, no. I fully expect you to do what you need to do for you, but if there are things that you can continue to push forward, that would be really helpful. And I don't want anyone getting the idea that you should be burning vacation for that week." Which, the last part? Is BS - because no one would blink.

But whatever. Basically I have to pop in and out for the week - I figure no more than 3 hours or so a day, unless there's something specific I need to be around for. But Friday will definitely only be a couple hours, and then immediately off to Rochester before Masked Ball.

Meanwhile, here it is Thanksgiving. My holiday )

Anyway - everyone else is listing their thanks and so, lemming-like:

I'm thankful for my friends, the family I have chosen for myself.

I'm thankful for the online communities, fandoms and friends, who are there for each other even when we're hundreds of miles apart.

I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had over the last ten years, to travel (not as extensively as I'd like, but y'know - California, Texas, and New Mexico were all new within the last two years), to get to go to VIP nights and special events in the HP world, and occasionally get treated like a sort of important person too.

I'm thankful that HPEF has done so well (comparatively) in its 7 years so far and I'm thankful that there are folks running Infinitus so I don't have to.

I'm thankful that I can actually call myself a professional writer, something my teachers alway said I'd be. Published author and professional actor have always been two of my goals - although again, not necessarily "grand scale" but nonetheless, something.

I'm thankful that I have learned to live within my means. I don't deny myself little luxuries from time to time, but I try not to over-extend myself. That means that with this layoff looming, I've got some savings laid by. Not a lot, but enough to make it to the next step.

I'm thankful for the things I've learned in all my jobs - both the good and the bad. I've had great examples of management and motivation and I've seen where leaders go astray. I'm thankful for recognizing the things that push my buttons and knowing when it's time to detox from a poisonous situation.

I'm thankful for Alternity. It sounds silly, but I was really worried at first that getting into the game would take over my life. And it sorta has, but not to the exclusion of all else (I hope), and in the meantime it's given me some creative outlet when not much else in my life was feeling creative. Plus it's hella fun.

I'm thankful for cozy socks and fuzzy blankets and movies and pyjamas and hot tea.
gwendolyngrace: (Palpatine)
First off, pursuant to my post about upcoming movies, there's this piece from A.O. Scott in today's NYT:

Screen Memories - in which he actually has kind of a meta discussion about movie-viewing and personal canon.


Second, in my ranting about SPN last night, I forgot a mini-rant about Top Chef this week. I'm not sure this counts as a spoiler - so without revealing the outcome, I'll just say that Tom Colicchio FAILS at Food History 101. He actually criticized one of the chefs Wednesday by saying, "I don't know how much you know about Medieval food, but basically, meat was so rank back then that they spiced everything really really heavily to cover up for it."

NO, Tom. That's a myth. Granted, I pretty much agree that the chef didn't show any understanding of medieval food, or any creativity, but they did NOT spice things because they were eating rotten meat. Thanks for setting cultural anthropology back again - on national TV. No Love, Gwen.


Third, sigh. I was really hoping she'd be out today.


Fourth, Project Runway: Um... Why am I not thrilled with any of these collections - and honestly, I really don't care for any of the models who are still in the competition. Tanisha is a great model but really vain. I don't like Kalyn at all. Lisa annoys me. Oh, and Irina? Get over yourself, honey.


Fifth, Job search: I had an interview yesterday (oh, and must write thank-you note to her), but it's for a job that I would not accept. It's within the Medical Center, but it's a serious step *backward* - and not with any sort of path that would open up. Basically it's what I was doing at Mt Auburn, only within Nursing Quality, which means it's actually a level *down* because I'd be doing it for the director of nursing and not the director of quality for the whole medical center. It's also down a paygrade, which would mean a minimum of a $6,000/year cut. Now, maybe if I'd been out of work for 6 months already and wasn't finding anything, I'd consider it just to get working again. But at this point, I don't think it's the right move at all.

But on that note, when I talked with the HR person about the job search and other positions to which I'd applied, I got some of the same crap I've been getting all along. HOW in the FUCK is anyone supposed to get supervisory experience - by which they mean, professional *direct* reports over whom one has the power to hire, discipline, and fire - unless you can get a job that involves supervision?? I mean, shit, at this point, I'd be doing better if I'd gone into retail full-time. The problem with that (aside from the obvious Retail Sucks!) is that it's all nights and weekends. Which means theatre takes a swan dive. But seriously - SERIOUSLY - I can hire people. I can interview. I can fire people - it's not comfortable to do and it sucks, but dude, there are procedures and guidelines in almost any professional organization. It may be hard, but it's not *difficult*.

ARGH. I've got to find something this time that is not completely independent, that involves leading groups and/or managing other people. That's just all there is to it. Even if it's ONE other person - it's the gap I have to figure out how to close.


And speaking of theatre (I really was, didn't you see it in there?), Sixth: Auditions for "Musical of Musicals". They added a third night of auditions (which I may or may not have blogged about. I meant to, if I didn't), but even then, they could not cast the male lead. Which means they have scrapped the show - but they've asked everyone who auditioned to participate in a more traditional "gala" performance with concert-style presentations of numbers from popular shows - I believe popular shows they've done, but I'm really not sure. Don't care - I'm in, and it means I might get some good showcasing.

And auditions for "Fiddler" are coming up and I have to figure out what to do. Must go read the notice again.

Also need to check some job boards.

Bleh. I really, really hate looking for work. I kinda hate working, which doesn't help at all.
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
My throat hurts and my nose is running and I'm coughing in a very non-productive way. Headcold. BLEAH.

On the plus side, I am NOT going to work tomorrow! Yay! I have a day full of appointments and errands, and I just hope I can get them done without feeling like utter crap.

Oh, and hey, I have a storage locker in my flat now, instead of in my car! Thanks very much to Iwain MKA Graham who came over last night and helped muscle the monster locker through the door. Once we got it up the stairs it was no problem at all, as I expected. (And thanks to Carl for putting me in touch with Graham!)


I've been thinking about theatre work and finding jobs, and especially voice work. I found a site, but just like ExploreTalent, you really have to subscribe to the service to be able to respond to auditions or upload your own files for people to reference. Is it worth $200/year? Well, if I invest and get a job for $500, then it's paid for itself, right? But if I invest and don't get a job at all.... hm. Will continue to think.


GAH. I am taking cough syrup and going to bed.

Oh - I have things to say about SPN and ProjectRunway but...not tonight. Bleah.
gwendolyngrace: (Winchesters Walkin')
So my uncle died last night, around midnight.

I'll be heading to Baltimore tomorrow late afternoon and returning on Monday same.

(Oh, and apparently the recycling guys put my Netflick in the post! Because I'm sure I didn't, but Netflix received it today, hooray!! Phew, because of course that was an obscure, out of print DVD and not something easily replaced.

Thank you nice recycling guys!)
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.

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