eilonwy2017: (why this is hell nor am i out of it)
I got home last to PA last night after 10 hours of driving. It's the third time I've been home in two months (Thanksgiving, [livejournal.com profile] tamnonlinear's memorial, now Christmas.) Before this I hadn't been home since last Christmas. (I usually come home in summer, but it was a crappy summer, I was sick with, as it turned out was probably iron deficiency, and I couldn't face the drive.)

I brought three out of five cats home. (Mia and Jessie would in no way be okay with getting put into boxes-- if I could even have done so--, driven for 10 hours, and then forced to live in two rooms with three other cats. They are being checked on daily by a good friend.) The cats, of course, hate the drive. Marlowe and Callie cry most of the way. Widget, in recent years, has become a terrible traveler. She used to be completely fine, but now she drools all over herself and usually poos a few times, too. Yesterday was the worst day of the year for Miss Widget... and it was capped off with a quick bath. Every year since she started to get some bad at traveling, I tell myself that next year I won't bring the cats. Yes, I'm away for almost 3 weeks, but they've had me away longer. This year the reason I brought them was because Marlowe goes through phases where he scratches his back to ribbons and he started doing this again while I was gone for Thanksgiving. The vet and I can't quite figure out what's going on with that. (The vet is convinced it's flea allergy, but I've never seen fleas on Marlowe, he gets flea treatments, etc.) I think it's seasonal allergies, but I can't quite figure out the pattern. The other option is stress, and with his getting the scratchies while I was gone, on top of having moved several new cats in (and out) of the house, although he never saw them, I worried what my being gone for 3 weeks without him might do. Once I decided to bring Marlowe, I had to have my Callie-cat (she's my baby girl who sleeps cuddled up with me) and my Widget (she's the adorable fluff ball of equal parts sweetness and rage.) So into the car they went.

And now that I'm sitting here in PA typing this, glad to be away from KY, from work, from being alone in isolated rural appalachia, I'm so glad to have my fuzzies with me. Widget was asking for love (always a delightful surprise, since she's the most catlike of my cats) and is now curled up on a novel beside me. Marlowe was wedged beside me for a while, purring up a storm, 'til he got bored. Callie is at my feet, curled up on a blankie, and she spent the night beside me. They are a comfort.

I feel guilty about Mia and Jessie, though.

I need this feline comfort, at the moment. On top of the other Big Bads of this year (the illness and death of Shelby-turtle, the election and its aftermath, the loss of Abby, which still hurts like a punch to the gut), my family's beloved labrador passed away Tuesday night. She was a dog with personality-- with a capital P. She was wonderful. In her later years, she was a stately matriarch, watching the world spin, but always ready for a belly scratch. She howled at the train passes our house, and taught the younger dogs to do it, too (including a doberman -- not a breed known for howling.) When she had surgery to fix her throat (so she could breathe) she could no longer howl (or bark) and she went deaf so she didn't hear the train anymore, but she still let her needs be known. Since puppyhood, she'd clap her jaws-- not bark, just a clapping sound-- and you'd known she needed something. When younger, this was accompanied by a jump, which was adorbale, although disconcerting if you weren't familiar with it. She liked ice cubes in her water, and even if there was already water in her bowl, she preferred it to be freshly poured, so there was always a pitcher of water for the dogs in the fridge. She loved walks. I took her for one on Thanksgiving, and it was very short because she limped and tired very easily, but it was a joy to see how happy the walk made her. She loved chewing on coke bottles (the 20 oz kind), but would lose interest as soon as she got the cap chewed off. She'd roll on her back for tummy scratches, but inevitably she'd start to sneeze  after a bit and you'd have to get out of the way of her flailing limbs. Every night after dinner, she'd dash into the dining room and rub her face and back on the carpet. She loved ear rubs, and would just leeeeaaaan into them in a way that you felt you were doing something good and proper. She won fans everywhere she went-- even at the acupunturist, where she'd placidly let them stick her. (The acupuncture genuinely helped her keep going and mobile the last 2 years.)

I didn't get home to say goodbye to Miss Murphy. Last week she stopped being able to keep food down. A vet diagnosed her with mega-esophagus and aspirated bronchitis and sent her home. The next day, my parents had her back at the vet and she was hospitalized. Tests were run and more were planned. By Monday, it was clear that things were bad. Tuesday night they had to let her go. I think it was one of the hardest choices my parents have ever made, because Murphy was that special of a dog. I didn't get home until last night. The house still has two large dogs, and in the past years Murphy was a quieter presence than she'd been before, but it's still a palpable, painful loss. I look at the bed she usually slept on, and it's either empty or Katie is in it, and it's just wrong.

Hug your loved ones, both human and pets, a little closer today, okay?
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
It's nearly 5am on Tuesday. DO NOT WANT. Very shortly Flurry will be here to drive me to the airport and I will head for Virginia-land for two days before heading for England-land (heh.) I have lots to write about even BEFORE vacation stuff (grandparents, glasses, apartment-rent) but no time. I also have a painful headache (yay?) and an upset tummy (from not being so tired and eating-- there's no breakfast food here so I'll eat at the airport.)

I may update from the airport(s), or from VA, etc. (I can't seem to get LJ working on my iPhone so probably no really on-the-go updates.)

Anyway, there'll definitely still be updates at least until the 20th (possibly the whole month) but I will not be reading LJ. I just can't imagine I'll have time. I will miss you guys, though. :(

Probably not as much as I'll miss (and worry about) my cats. But pretty close. :)

Zzzz

Apr. 6th, 2010 10:47 pm
eilonwy2017: (Today? Lame (Sam))
V. tired. Time to shower and sleep.

Am back in AZ. Am grateful for arriving safely, for H. picking me up at the airport and F. meeting me at home in case my keys didn't work (long story.)

I'm enjoying my full sized screen and full-sized keyboard on my usual laptop.

I've plugged my iPhone into said usual laptop and am delighted at how much space there is on it even though it has now downloaded alllll my music.

My cats were cautious. They'll be happier once I shower and smell like me again.

The flights were typical. I slept. I read. I read/commented on a chapter of The Heart of the Dragon, heh.

I know I should prep for tomorrow (ie: make lunch, pick out clothes) but I'm finding it hard to pull myself away from the computer-- not because I'm terribly interested in anything (I've caught up on everything) but because I'm just unmotivated to move... Heh.

My grandfather's being moved to a rehabilitation place as of tomorrow morning. That seems really fast. I choose to take it as a good sign. AND he's being taken to the place we wanted. (Said place is popular [because it's good] so it can be hard to get into.) He was up and in a chair today, my Dad said, so I choose to take that, too, as a good sign.

So much to do. Tomorrow: class 1, class 2, Office Hours, then dealing with London paperwork that I haven't done, probably a nap, hopefully working out. I'd really like to make some progress on my SPN Tarot card, too, as well as maybe even finish up (!?!?!) the most recent yarn!chester who has been alllllmost done for weeks now. (She needs eyes, the finishing touches on one of her accessories, and another accessory from start to finish because I broke the first iteration of said accessory.)

Crap, I forgot to get my mail. Well, here's hoping I get up when the alarms go off and that I remember to get it before class. La.

G'night. I promise to try to have more interesting things to say... someday. :)

At LVI

Apr. 6th, 2010 06:57 am
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
It's a wee airport, and mostly empty. And yet the people who are here are generally annoying today. Oh well.

I have obtained a muffin (for breakfast) and am, I guess, more or less ready to go.

Leaving is always hard (and I get all sniffly at the security point where I leave my parents) but it's harder still when my family is so .... yeah. My grandfather is still so sick. My parents are so stressed that it's driving them insane...

The plane pulled up, all tiny and with propellers. That's never reassuring.

Then there was a woman who'd just gotten off the plane bitching at another woman (who'd gotten a gate pass to come pick up her daughter) about looking out the door (it leads directly to the tarmac). "You have to wait for the gate agent! It's a restricted area!" Dude.

So, from here to DC, from there to Atlanta, then finally from Atlanta to Phoenix. It'll be a long day o' traveling. Tomorrow I have to teach, too. Hurrah.

I'll try to catch up on LJ ... when I can. (I'm caught up as of last night, mind you, but I'm sure I'll miss imporant goings on today.) Don't know if I can get online in DC or Atlanta, so don't break the internets while I'm gone. :)
eilonwy2017: (Jack sleeps)
Of course, I have now safely arrived in PA, so it is now Saturday (as it is 2am here.) Yeah, time for bed, but thought you should know: alive!

Parents: Exhausted

Grandfather: Fell, hit head, has bleeding in his brain, is in hospital. Neuro-surgeon says bleeding in the brain is not cause for worry (as there is so little) but because he's in the hospital and there was concern over neck injuries-- and they found more bone cancer, this time in the neck-- he wasn't given his usual medicine. So he is now horribly confused and "wants to go see the bear." Sigh. They're giving him his normal meds now, and he'll hopefully be stabilized in the next few days...

Flights: Were fine. But my feet were so! cold! on the first (long) one. Sucked. On the second one, I spent the whole time talking with a guy named John who lives in NY but his parents are in PA (hence heading to ABE like me) and was coming back from a visit to his brother in Las Vegas. He was really nice, attractive, the right age, clever, and so, of course, I'll never see himn again.

Cats: I miss them already. Flurry says she'll take care of them. But she also says she'll eat them. :(

Dogs: I love my parents' doggies-- they're so cute and funny and smart. (But not as cute, funny or smart as my kittehs.)

Laptop: Am using it, and am still quite happy with it, although it still seems like a toy. Also, my mom tried to steal it. :)

Weekend: Going to be busy and not just a little difficult.

LJ: Wlll update when time and mood permit, but will probably not be following journals 'til my return to AZ next week.

Now: Bed.
eilonwy2017: (Hotch: glee)
Weirdly, I do still read my LJ friends page every day, but I don't seem to have as much to say as I used to...

NOTE: I added the headers after the fact (having just written things as they came to me) so if they're a bit awkward, apologies.)

Working Out
I've been working out again. (I mentioned this earlier, but I've been keeping at it.) I used the elliptical Sunday and Monday, went walking on Tuesday and used the elliptical again on Wednesday. Thursday I took a day off 'cause Wednesday night my left leg started aching from the knee down. I decided it seems to be because I walk oddly, with a twist to my ankle, so a rest was in order. (Also, I had terrible cramps on Thursday.) Today (Friday) I went hiking at the Lost Dutchman National Park with Flurry. It was only a 2.4mile hike (and we took 2hours to do it) but none of it was level, and some of it was even scrambling over rocks. There'll be pictures posted eventually-- it was pretty day.

Plans
Tomorrow probably no work out because I'm going to the Ren Faire with Flurry and a few other TAs/grad students, and that will be lots of walking, too.

I'm way behind on my grading. There are 36 Shakespeare papers waiting for my attention... but I don't think the prof wants us to hand them back 'til Friday anyway, so ... heh.

TV: MI-5/Spooks
Flurry and I have been watching the first season of Fame (yes, the early '80s tv show) on Netflix instant. It holds up remarkably well for being nigh on 30 years old. And has a more diverse cast than most shows on tv now. But the song gets stuck in your head.

I've just finished watching MI-5 (ie: Spooks) series 7. I am desperate (DESPERATE) now for series 8. It's one thing to wait for something that no one can see (like series 9, airing in the UK in October), but it's another thing to know that it's available via the UK iTunes (having been on UK tv) but not available to us poor Americans. (That said, I know that it's often the other way 'round with tv, so I shouldn't complain. But I'm going to. Complain, complain, complain.) Any UK peeps wanna hook a fan-girl up?

May's Travel
Speaking of the UK, planning for my trip continues, albeit slowly. I'm in that "how much luggage?" process. Everything, of course, says to pack as light as possible ("You can never have too much money or too little luggage.") And fair enough-- but I am going to be gone for a month. And while there will be laundry facilities, I think I'd have trouble trying to pack in just a carry-on, despite all the recommendations that I do so. My current plan is one checked piece of luggage (with room in it for souvenirs, although I'm already going into serious debt just for the trip itself, so plan on doing my best to rein in any extra spending) and my backpack as my carry-on, complete with my not-yet-purchased mini computer. Clothing will consist of lots of black for mix-and-match purposes, and layers. A pair of jeans, a pair of nice trousers, a plain skirt or two (I am, after all, going to London for the theatre.) I need to buy new Mary Jane style Sketchers since I wear them with jeans and skirts and they're comfortable for walking around in. My current pair, however, has been worn out with wearing (there are holes in the sides...) I haven't decided on sneakers yet, as I don't wear them normally (only for working out) so I always feel like I'm sticking out (even more than Americans have to) as a tourist in them, and such. We'll see... I haven't decided on a coat yet either. The information I got from the group I'm going with said not to bring one (just to wear layers) but I'm usually cold. And I'll be in the German Alps at the end of the trip....

Any advice from travelers? :)

Reading: Kate Griffin (and refs to Neil Gaiman)
I've finally begun reading A Madness of Angels (by Kate Griffin, whose real name is apparently Catherine Webb.) I had picked up an ARC at Bookman's back before comps. [livejournal.com profile] maiafire mentioned the series (apparently there's at least a second one) last week, so I finally picked it up. My fiction reading of late has been total candy (and by this I mean trashy romance novels set in the regency), so it took a wee bit to get into the right mindset for the book, but I'm now loving it. I'm about a 1/3 of the way through and I really wish that I had more spring break so I could just spend the time reading this book (and not grading, or researching or whatevs.) The only downsides are that 1. As I say, it's an ARC so there are typos and grammar issues (which I really hope didn't make it into the real printing) that drop me out of the story at times and 2. it's clearly written by someone who knows London intimately. I ... don't. I'm fine with, say, 85-90% of Britishisms and references, but when you start getting into specifics about geography of the city, I know I'm missing references. (There was an acronym-- forgetting it now-- that I just had no clue about and had to let sail past me, even though it seemed at least tangentially relevant to the plot.)

Maiafire had quoted a blurb about the series calling it "Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere for the digital age" and it's quite right. (And I love Neverwhere.) But one of the things that that comparison made me realize was that for all its creativity, Neverwhere was really quite straight forward. It helped that the main character (Richard Richard Mayhew Dick) was the outsider and point of view character for the audience. While Matthew Swift (the main character for Griffin's series) has been out of the, er, loop for a few years, and while he is trying to figure things out, he's deep in the events, and himself is a mystery (unlike Richard Mayhew) and so the reader isn't led by the hand. This isn't a bad thing either way, really. It's just an observation. I do feel a bit disloyal to Neverwhere , though, for having made the comparison.

(Then again, I've bene feeling grouchy at Neil Gaiman ever since he announced his engagement to Amanda Palmer, and grouchier still when she announced Evelyn, Evelyn and complained about being attacked by disabled feminists. So, whatever.)

The Play
We are now two weeks out from the performance of The Second Shepherd's Play and it is, as expected, a complete disaster. Wheee. We had rehearsal yesterday but since we have no director and the person in charge (ish) (ie: his vanity project) can't be bothered to actually plan for rehearsal space (arg!), this necessitated wandering about campus for a while as I carried two bags full of props and my spinning wheel. I am now bruised from the latter-- it's not heavy but it is bulky and awkward. Also, I tried to make constructive comments after our customary runthrough (being the only person in the room with, oh, I dunno, directing experience) and was, as per usual, pretty much ignored by Mr Vanity Project. Rehearsal again on Sunday. Yay.

Mainly it makes me want to direct again.

Cooking, badly
In a bid to get healthier, (read: weigh less) I've been trying to cook. I have been, however, repeatedly reminded that I am, in fact, a terrible cook. :P

Project-Cat
Updated Project-Cat a few days ago with a sad post. :( Today, however, when I left to go to Flurry's house (to go hiking) I had seven healthy looking cats sitting around the food dish and that made me happy.

Aaaand that's that. :) I'll probably upload pictures of hiking and tomorrow's ren fair on Sunday or Tuesday... I'll post about it here, in case anyone's curious. :)

(Icon is Hotch from Criminal Minds because it's the closest I have to Lucas from MI-5. I should fix this.)
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
EDIT: NEVERMIND. I don't think this plan will work. :P Although I'll still take suggestions about what to do as a voracious reader who needs to travel super light.


So. I'm trying to pack as light as humanly possible when I go to Europe. (The advice I was given was "You can never have too little luggage or too much money." Sigh.) But I'm a READER. I read. A lot. So I was thinking, Kindle? I saw a friend's Kindle last week and was actually really impressed with it.

But then I realized that I actually really want a GPS for travel, too-- I've heard that you can get programs/what have you for walking around places like, say, London. So then I thought, iPod Touch?

(I have a second generation iPod Nano, which works just fine. I would take that for music listening if I did not buy, say, an iPod Touch.)

So, thoughts? Anyone have an iPod Touch? Like it? Hate it?

What size would I need?

Other advice regarding readers or GPS or devices that do many, many things?


(And thank you for the many comments on the previous post. I'll be responding either tonight or tomorrow. My brainz aren't at full speed just at the moment for some reason.)
eilonwy2017: (Help?)
So. I'm going to Europe this Spring, as you know. And last time I put forth a question regarding this trip (ie: what to do about a cell phone) I was rapidly given a barrage of information and advice. It was exceptionally helpful and good and lovely. So now I turn to you again.

So. I own a laptop. I love my laptop. I am typing on said laptop right now, in fact. It's a Dell Latitude D820, and it's about four years old (eek) and it is my primary (read: only) computer and I am not looking to replace it.

However, it's a relatively heavy laptop. (Okay, so it's freakin' light compared to the one I took to Ireland in 2000, but nevermind that for now.) And it's large (I love my enormous screen).

I need a computer in England/Germany because I will have to do some grading for ASU, and I will need to take notes for the dissertation in England and for a potential theatre review in Germany. I would rather not take my Dell only because of its size and weight. I'll be traveling for a month, and staying in multiple places and such. (Man, I already know that I am going to be so glad to get home.)

So. I have no idea how I might afford it, but that said, I need a tiny computer. It needs to be able to word process and surf the web. It needs to be as inexpensive as possible, but also sturdy. (Oh, and it needs to be a pc. But since I mentioned my dell above and the caveat of inexpensive, I suspect that was already obvious.)

Suggestions?

(Sadly, I have several other Expensive Purchases to make before the trip, too. I need a new pair of glasses because I'm scared I'll break my only pair (and then I would be blind), so that's several hundred dollars. And I should get a microchip for Jackjack, too, just in case. Since I'm not going to change my phone at the moment, that's one expense not to worry about-- woot!)
eilonwy2017: (Lucifer: reindeer games)
Why am I awake?! WHYYY???

I am mostly packed. The house is mostly straightend up. Ish. Errands have mostly been run. Before bed I need to change the cat litter, put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (without hurting my injured finger too much), and take a shower.

At 11am, [livejournal.com profile] wild_donkey_man will be arriving to take me to the airport (as he is, once again, my hero.) Before that, however, I need to go to the post office (although because I did not receive payment for a recent Etsy order, this has been downgraded to Not As Important, but I want to get a pressie in the mail for [livejournal.com profile] pyrite), the campus bookstore (for a polo shirt for my dad), the university library (to drop off the ILL books so that I do not have to pay exorbitant fees since they're due on the 4th and I get back the evening of the 5th) and the apartment complex's management office (because rent will be due while I'm gone.) I had intended to get up at about 6:30 in order to accomplish all of the above, but now that it's 3am, I don't really see that happening. Meep.

My finger is healing much better than I anticipated. It already doesn't hurt unless I actively hit it against something. (It is, admittedly, dangerous to reach into my pockets or a bag-- gotta use my left hand for that. But everything else is pretty much okay.) I had put nail polish on just before the Great Car Door Accident of 2009, so I can't really tell what's going on beneath the nail, having been too squeamish to try and take the polish off 'til now. That said, the discoloration I can see beneath the nail is not nearly as bad as I expected. I'm going to brave the polish remover before showering yet tonight, I think. (Besides, it's looking ratty on all m fingers.)

I don't want to leave my kitties for 2 weeks. :( My parents assure me that I'll have two BIG kitties to keep me company in PA (meaning their two dogs) but while that'll be great, I'll be worrying about my babies, here alone most of the day. Especially given the veterinary issues they've had this year. Skilliam is coming over to take care of them every day, but still. :(

I've packed a giant suitcase o' clothes, which currently weighs about 40pounds, I think. I'll also have my backpack, into which I'll put my laptop. I consider that my "personal item" as far as carry ons are concerned. And I've packed a duffel bag full of comps reading as well. Delightful. But I'm coming down to the wire as far as comps are concerned. Mergle.

But I can't study all the time, and sometimes I'l lhave to be around family, so I did pack some knitting. I have the makings of fingerless gloves, two headbands (ear warmers), one toy I promised ages ago, and then a whole bunch of yarn for catnip mousies (especially the one I still owe [livejournal.com profile] chibimitch.) So expect some more mousies upon my return.

I had hoped to create a Yarn!Chester Christmas Carol before leaving, but that's now quite out. But I will (FINALLY) be posting a picture of the two newest Yarn!chesters while I'm gone as I have taken two and they're on my camera, which is coming with me.

While getting stuff ready over the past two days, I've been watching a lot of ER. (I have the first three seasons on DVD.) The last episode I watched (season 2) had a very young Trickster playing a med student. Hee. Oh Trickster.

I might ship some of the books back to AZ... Heh.Flat rate priority for the win!

Right. Bedtime. (Well, see above.)

I'll be online, but not in any sort of normal capacity, over the next few weeks. I'll probably not be reading LJ with any kind of thoroughness, so I apologize if I don't respond to something that you expect me to. Whee.
eilonwy2017: (Default)
I neeed this book. Why are you so expeeeeensive???? Neeeeed this. As in, for the dissertation. Need need need. The bibliography alone is requisite. I might, I suppose, be getting it for Christmas as it's on my wish list, but I doubt it. And ASU's library doesn't have it. I currently have it on ILL, but need to return it tomorrow because of leaving town on Monday. Pout, pout, pout. Anyone have any idea how I can get it for less than $113 (the current lowest "used" price on Amazon.) I've already checked Alibris and ABEBooks. It's too new (having come out in late-ish 2009. I know because my adviser showed me her copy and said, "You need this." And I said, "I can't afford this...")

This is my new favorite quote: An author places himself uncalled before the tribunal of criticism, and solicits fame at the hazard of disgrace.

I can't say I'm a huge Samuel Johnson fan. (I approve of the fact that he approved of Frances Burney, but it seems to me it was in a rather patronizing way.) But that's a good quote. I ran across it in the comment section on an article about the new Stargate series, but find it particularly useful given both my own run in with an author (as you'll recall, over at Amazon) and the one that Neil Gaiman recently linked to. (In which Candace Sams responds to a one-star review of her book Electra Galaxy's Interstellar Feller. The trainwreck was here. The author defended her work by claiming that the reviewer was drunk with the power of being allowed to review on Amazon (?!), had called her minions down upon the author, suggesting that the reviewer was not smart enough to understand the book, and was generally out to get her. She began anonymously but within a page of comments was outed as the author. She raged against everyone commenting, suggested that the reason her book sucked was the editor's fault, that because Harriet Klausner gave her a good review, the book must be wonderful, and eventually declared that she had been receiving threats and was reporting everyone involved to the FBI. This included other authors (such as Meljean Brooks) Sadly, however, I've just noticed that she has deleted all of her comments, so all that is left is the (still amusing) responses. [Although you can see the other review she commented at here-- there's no long drawn-out argument, but you can see her "issues" and a response.], Many people had tried to gently point out that this is not, in fact, the best way to handle the situation, but to no avail. (Hell, the review in question wasn't even that vitriolic. The one-star reviews I've written were fiercer.) You can see the Best Of in a blog entry here. Perhaps savvier people than I will know how to find archives/screencaptures. There is now speculation that the author wasn't batshit crazy, just pretending to be, in an attempt to get out of her contract with her publisher. ...That's still insane, 'cause there are now thousands of readers who won't buy her stuff (maybe more-- this was linked by Neil Gaiman, both his Twitter and blog, after all!)

On internets, you amuse me.

(Speaking of, it turns out that when the above author writes "Fantasy and Erotica" it's under the name C.S. Chatterly. I have to assume that the C.S. is her real name-- Candace Sams-- and that the Chatterly is a reference to Lady Chatterly's Lover. I then have to wonder if she's ever read that book because while, yes, it is certainly explicit in its sexual content, it's actually far more about industrialization than it is about erotica. But then again, her homepage declares her to be a not only a former cop/ambulance driver but also a gardener, author and senior woman on the US Kung Fu team... when would she have time to read DH Lawrence?)

(Oh, and apparently Laurell K. Hamilton did something similar, which you can read here. It's pretty awesome, too.)

I understand the desire to respond to criticism. But... it does no one any good. Well, except for the thousands of people reading the trainwreck. Whee!

In other news, I'm drowning in stress. I leave on Monday for PA and I'm totally not ready, and I have gotten nothing done for comps and ohmygodhelp. Also, Christmas shopping? What Christmas shopping?

I did go to the Heard Museum today-- well, to their shop-- in order to get a book signed by Sandra Day O'Connor. Well, two copies-- one for me and one for my Pseudo-Sis. While there I picked up a few things for gifts. Justice O'Connor was very nice but was clearly growing tired of the whole situation by the time I got my book signed.

I was in line for a little over an hour. Cleverly, however, I had brought a book with me (one other than Justice O'Connor's!)

Here, have a health-care (of me) Sum Up. This week I saw 3 doctors, went to the health center 4 times, was prescribed 3 new medicines, had 3 vials of blood drawn. Did I miss anything...? I wrote about Monday and Tuesday's appointments before. Wednesday I stopped in twice, first to get a prescription (#2) that they'd had to special order and second to get a letter that my doctor wrote for my insurance company (and oh crap, I have to deal with that too.) As far as I can recall (and it was a hell of a week, so I could be wrong) I did not go to the health center on Thursday (but instead worked at the bookstore.) Friday, however, I was to be on campus not for the health center but to give my 221 grades to the my prof, and then go out for lunch with her and the other TAs. I was, however, running late. In my rush, I parked in the nearby parking garage and hurried to gather my things.

Unfortunately, I then slammed the middle finger of my right hand in the car door. There was shock, and then there was searing pain and there was rather a lot of dripping blood, and an amazing instantaneous bruise. I sat there for a few minutes, crouched between cars, trying to decide what the hell to do. I considered calling my mom for advice. I considered going to the coffee shop for ice (and napkins) and then going to my appointment. In the end, however, I called [livejournal.com profile] wild_donkey_man and asked him to meet me at the health center so that I could give him my grades. I wrapped my bleeding finger in some tissues and went to the health center. Poor W_D_M, I'm sure he didn't need to get a phone call from a semi-hysterical colleague. By the time I got to the health center, I was already doing much better-- while the finger hurt if I so much as looked at it, I was no longer in so much pain that I was crying. If I thought about it, though, it hurt horribly again, so I went on in to Urgent Care. I felt foolish-- it's a bruise and a cut, right? Gimme a bandaid. But see, since it was both, and since I squashed the nail and stuff, I thought it best to go in. They gave me an ice pack, and made me wash out my own wound (!!). The Medical Assistant was the same jackass I'd seen on Tuesday, so I was displeased on that front. The doctor, however, was really nice-- she was very sympathetic. She had the assistant put a compression bandage on me, and gave me some follow up care suggestions as well as a prescription for an antibiotic. She offered me a painkiller, too (if I thought Tylenol wouldn't be enough) but I demurred. She warned me that there might be bleeding under the nail which builds up pressure and requires a cauterized hole to be put in it. Fun! Surprisingly, though, this does not seem to be the case, ::knock on wood::

I stopped at CVS after, to pick up some guaze and stuff because the compression bandage didn't, y'know, catch blood and I was still all oozy. I still managed most of my errands, believe it or not-- bank, post office, gas for the car. Then I came home and slept. By last night I wasn't in much pain, just the occassional twinge. The finger is ugly and I don't want to, y'know, bang it into anything, but I was knitting last night already and my typing is normal. At this point it looks much worse than it feels (and likely will for months, since I bet the nail is going to fall off, ewwww.)

An update on the Paypal saga... Zynga's last email just said they're dealing with it. Then I found a refund in my Paypal account. But Paypal then said that they were giving me back the $150 while they investigate. So where did it come from? Before that Paypal comment, I'd tried to cancel the investigation, but evidently it didn't work. And I don't have access to my account now-- which really sucks because I'd bought something on Etsy before realizing I can't pay for it. I emailed the artist, so hopefully it'll be okay. :( (I'd also really like access to the rather large-ish amount of money in my Paypal account just now-- between the yarn and mousies I have enough money in there to maybe buy the Oxford book... if I can ever have access to it again... )

Tomorrow, I'm braving Target (!!) and packing and cleaning. Monday, off to the land of the COLD. (Mom says it's 24 degrees in PA today-- it was 71 here.)

I really don't know what to do about this damn Oxford book. Poo.
eilonwy2017: (Stabbity)
and, in fact, miserable.

What I desperately need is three months (ie: 'til mid January) to do nothing but teach (and not that, if I could help it) and read for comps.

Current Stress:

221 LECTURE: Tomorrow I must lecture on A Midsummer Night's Dream. While on one hand, that's a piece of cake (better that than just about any other play, and I can talk about staging for half the class) it's still a lot of work to prep the lecture and the power point and to then be ready to stand in front of an entire lecture and my prof.

221 PYRAMUS & THISBE: I am currently leading about 15 undergraduates in a "production" of Pyramus and Thisbe. It goes up on Wednesday in class (a week from tomorrow), so on one hand it's short-term stress, on the other, though, it's additional time and effort.

PFF: This class has been fairly useless and it requires a great deal of effort-- not to mention twice monthly THREE HOUR seminars on Friday afternoons, plus other workshops and such. I am very close to withdrawing from it, but it may well be too late in the semester. (Just looked-- I have 'til Nov 8th to withdraw... I will make that decision very soon. I promised myself I'd stick out this year but... why? I shouldn't make this decision while I'm this upset, though.)

SLEEP APNEA: This one is a multi-part cause of stress. First, the apnea itself which causes me to be tired all the time. I know most people are sleepy in the mornings, for example, but I could barely keep my eyes open during the Blackfriars Conference, and these were all papers I was interested in. Imagine how you feel after catching perhaps only 2 hours of sleep-- that's how I feel every day.

Add to that the fact that the people who are processing my prescription (for the machine) are incredibly incompetent (I spoke with them today.)

And the fact that my insurance company has denied my claim.. I now get to spend $1000 for a machine which may or may not help me to actually feel better. Turns out I can spend $225 on a humidifier (gotta buy that regardless, evidently) and "only" $105/month in a rent-to-own scheme (which is how I'll go because I am not convinced that this is going to entirely work. Judging from the nightmares I had when I used the !#@$ machine in the sleep lab, I may not be able to keep the damn thing on when there's not a tech to come rushing in and admonish me.)

I will be emailing/calling the health insurance for a clarification of their denial, of course. My mom said it could just be something like messed up paperwork. I, however, am a cynic, and am fairly certain it's because my apnea is only "moderate" meaning I am unlikely to die in my sleep because of it. This would be more reassuring if it weren't for the fact that I'm likely to die while falling asleep in my car or something equally stoopid, and still caused by the sleep apnea. Even more likely is the fact that I am not exactly functioning very well, and so I honestly don't know that it's at all possible for me to continue this career. Melodramatic? Perhaps. But honestly true. I don't know that I'll be able to write the diss at this point (or pass the comps) let alone struggle for tenure! This is BULLSHIT. My body is defective and I can't afford to get help. And I can't say that anyone really understands, either, which is equally frustrating.

COMPS: Most people get 6months to a year to prep for comps. I get 3months, while I try to do everything mentioned above and below as well.

VACUUM: Is broken. Gots to fix.

CATS: Still a bit worried about Jackjack's spot (on his tummy) but it actually looks less bad than it did before (it hasn't shrunk, but less of it is scabby.) Callie's feline acne seems to be clearing up even though I can't get her to let me clean it with anything. (I did, however, take away the plastic bowls.) So that's good stuff. But then there are the ferals... There's a kitten I need to catch (and doing so, and taking care of him will probably run about $200 in vet bills-- shots, neutering/spaying, check-up, food, medicine) and at least 5 adults I should try to catch and get TNRed (Pigpen, as before, Tigger, the gray tabby who's friendly, a new Tuxie, and the new gray-ish cat with the white tip to his tail, and a couple of moo-cows I never caught.) I need to raise $300 before I can contemplate these endeavors, though. I considered another raffle (the last was very successful) but then remembered that those are, actually, technically, illegal.

GIRL-PLUMBING: Probably as a result of stress, I've been having some, relatively minor but very very very irritating, issues. I shan't say more here, 'cause I don't want to lose readers.

STUDENTS: The problem? I has them. No, most of them are great, but how can I focus on studying when I have teaching and vice versa? And some of my students are ... difficult. Apparently the 17% student saw the prof today and he cannot recall the name of the book we are currently reading. She directed him to talk to some other people here at the university, but he's evidently resisting the idea that he might have memory trouble. He is, however, the extreme version of many students here, frankly. (One student went to the prof to complain that she'd gotten a D on the exam. She said she'd googled all the answers and studied for 3 days, so how could she have done so poorly?!)

MONEY: I'm not, like, unable to pay my bills on a regular basis (thank goodness), with the exception of the unexpected things, like this sleep apnea equipment. But I need to get to the Globe this May, as part of my dissertation work, and I don't have $3500 to do it. (Plus food costs.) I have no ideas. I'm all out.

CONFERENCE: Honestly, I'm still frustrated by the conference even though it has now been over for several days. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time to attend and it was ... not great. Good parts? Absolutely. Awful parts? Yes. And the worst was my own "roundtable." I honestly think I'd have gotten more out of just flying out to VA and hanging with [livejournal.com profile] spade and peeps from C'ville.

Cut for Probable Insensitivity )

So now I'm going to do some German homework in an attempt to play catch up in that class (I'm behind by a week's worth of work AND I have to make up a quiz). Then hopefully I'll still have some time to work on the power point for tomorrow's lecture before German class. I don't think I'll go home right after class, though, 'cause I still have 101 stuff that needs doing and such. Sigh.
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
[livejournal.com profile] flurije has assured me that one of my dresses (which I was worried about) is not, in fact, too fancy for the conference, so this means that I actually have 5 nice outfits that I like and don't feel hideous in. (Often dress clothes make me feel fat and ugly and therefore panicky, which is not what you want at a conference, y'know?) So that's good.

It is, however, much later than I wanted it to be as I finished the packing extravaganza. Le sigh.

And I don't have a nice briefcase/bag (or even a not-nice one). This is problematic as I feel a backpack does not give the right ethos. :P Not happy. I asked Flurry if she had one I could borrow, and she said maybe, but since she's picking me up at 6am, and neither of us are morning people, I'm not holding my breath. :)

Maybe the conference will supply messenger bags like last conference! :)

I'm wearing jeans on the flight tomorrow. I know that I'll be meeting a scholar and an MLitt student, but ... I just can't see dressing even snappy-casual, let alone business-nice for a cross-country flight.

Speaking of cross-country flights, I haven't had time to think about mine, and therefore panic, so that's good. But if you don't hear from me within a week, assume I've been in a horrible plane crash. :( (I got this icon just for this sort of thing!)

I'm pleased that I won't be missing a Supernatural (this week is a random repeat) but I am very displeased to be missing this week's Criminal Minds. Anyone know where I can get it? I don't really want to bother the (totally awesome and kind) person who gave me the season premiere because she's a friend of a friend, so it would suck to bother her, y'know? (So I'm bothering all of you instead.) I'd *almost* rather miss Supernatural because I already have a season pass to download episodes of that.

I keep sneezing because of the dust I kicked out of my (not currently working) vacuum when I replaced the bag. Y'know, vacuum bag manufacturers, the see-the-dirt! window on the bags is cute and all, the first time or two you use the vac, but I'd prefer you put your efforts into a bag that not only formed a seal when *in* the vac, but formed one when you took the bag out of the vacuum, too. (My old vacuum's bags did that. You'd think the one that *isn't* 30+ years old would be able to, too.)

Shower is scrubbed. I *love* magic erasers. They work very, very well. Surely there must be something horribly wrong with them, right? You have to cut down a whole forest to make one? They're carcinogenic? Something-- 'cause no cleaning product that works that well can be without drawbacks.

Time to finish packing (does one ever really finish packing, or does one just eventually stop and assume that there's enough stuff in the bag that whatever's missing is just too bad?), shower and sleep. Gotta get up at 5. :(

VA here I come. :)
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
Doing all the travel prep crap. Whee.

Tonight's tasks have been CLEANING and LAUNDRY. Fun, fun. I'm about to scare the hell out of the cats vacuum. I'd rather wait 'til I've straightened up my bedroom, but it's almost 9pm and I know I wouldn't want my neighbors (especially if I had any above me) vacuuming late at night, so I'll do it now. I also have to run to the post office-- yes, obviously the counter is closed, but the machine thingie isn't, and I need to ship out a skein of yarn I sold. (My shop is now on Vacation Mode until I return from VA.)

Not a good day-- nothing went right the first time around. Everything took multiple tries. BUT the portfolio (a step in the PhD process) is turned in. Unfortunately, when my chair saw it, she thought the secondary sources on my reading list were too few. Sigh.

But I should get some ideas at the conference this week-- seeing as how my dissertation is renaissance performance practices on modern stages and all.

(It was ridiculous, the hoops needed to be jumped through to turn this damn thing in.)

On the bright side, I've straightened up much of my house, so that's good. I found my kitchen table, which has been buried beneathh stuff for so long I wasn't sure it was still there... Still need to scrub the bathroom and straighten the bedroom.

Laundry is almost done-- I can go get it in a few minutes. Much of it will be immediately packed, which saves on folding/hanging up. :)

I have to pay to check my bag, so I'm packing some books for my dad. I figure if I have to pay anyway, let's make it worth my while. :)

Now if only I had the money to pay for this trip... Must. Be. Frugal!! (Thank the heavens for [livejournal.com profile] spade's family letting me stay with them!!)
eilonwy2017: (Norrington- Looking Forward)
(Sorry for spamming the LJ tonight.)

So....

September:
My adviser invited me to London for a panel at the Globe, but I have to decline as I can't get money for that that quickly.

The former Aussei_NYC is visiting me and we're attending the Discworld Convention.

Then a week later [livejournal.com profile] xayide, a friend from college who hasn't posted on LJ in so long that I had to look up her name, will be visiting. She'll be here for a conference, but has agreed to make time to see me. :)

October:
My paper for the Blackfriars was accepted as part of a public round table discussion. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I have to decide within 3 weeks if I'm going to go. I'm leaning towards yes, if only because it means I'd get to see 6 plays, which is relevant to my work, and see [livejournal.com profile] spade and her family. Plus, I think I'd be able to stay with them, so the cost wouldn't be too terrible, just airfare and incidental-stuff.

November:
Parents will, I hope come visit me for Thanksgiving, although this is not definite.

December/January:
The usual trip home, I sincerely hope.

April:
I really, really, really, really ought to go to SAA. I've been informed in no uncertain terms that I must go. It's in Chicago this year, and Want has already offered to let me stay with her. But I'm thinking that if I can swing the trip I want in May I'll have an excuse not to go to SAA this year yet. (Not going to SAA likely means going home to PA for Easter as these are at the same time.)

May:
I'm scraping pennies together to go to London with [livejournal.com profile] spade and her family and the college kids that they take every other year. This way I'd get to the Globe and such. I'd also, I hope, I hope, be able to spend a little extra time and see a number of British friends here on this LJ. (I'm looking particularly at you [livejournal.com profile] a_starfish, [livejournal.com profile] hobbitblue and [livejournal.com profile] ladylizbet. I have no idea where *any* of you are in relation to London, but I figure once I'm in the country I'm too close to not find a way to meet you.)

June or July:
Out of freakin' nowhere my parents have decided that if they can afford it, they want to go to Oberammergau in Germany. Seriously. Out of nowhere this came up. They're going to an information session about it on Thursday. (It's a multi-hour passion play put on once every 10 years.) If we can afford it, they'll pay for me to go. And I can't say no-- Germany! Once in a lifetime every ten year opportunity! More to the point, apparently they've been putting on this play for hundreds of years (since the plague), so obviously I want to go (even though it's in German and a passion play) and potentially write about it. I mean, at the moment I know nothing about it, but it's got to be useful to my research somehow.

August:
Vancouver. Supernatural Convention, with [livejournal.com profile] spade. Yes. Yeah, it's one of the big ones (but not as crazy as LA, I imagine) but I figure if I'm ever only likely to go to one fan convention, it should be a biggee. I plan on splurging (although how to afford that, I'm not sure. I was saving pennies, but now those pennies are likely to go to London, so... eek?) and getting autographs with everyone. And if there's a set to tour, I'm touring it. (A set to tour would require a season 6, however, which is far from a certainty.)

So. Um. Heh?
eilonwy2017: (McSqueaky)
I just found out that the same kind of Trojan Blasting Caps boxes that I use to hold the Yarn!Chester accessories recently sold at auction for $70 each.

Um. Hee? Only the best for my Yarn!Chesters! Or something. ...maybe I should take better care of these boxes... (Then again, when I expressed my guilt at taking two from my grandparents' house, my dad pointed out that auctions are weird things and when the bag of these boxes (there's still a bunch in the basement) go for auction next month, they'll probably for $5 each instead. Darn, there go my hopes for financing my MANY 2010 trips via Trojan Blasting Cap boxes, heh.)

When the auctioneer saw the boxes, his first question was, "Those are empty, right?" And y'know, in my granparents' house? That's actually a good question. But yes, they're all empty.... as far as I know. Mine were at least.

I haven't left the country since 2005 when I went on a cruise with my parents and pseudo-family. Now I'm trying to leave it 3 times in 2010. I'm trying to go to London in May, my parents are talking about Germany (!!) in July (for the Oberammergau) and Vancouver in August. I... have no idea how any of that is going to happen. But we shall see...

I'm procrastinating. I need to figure out what to teach tomorrow (no idea) and how (that requires the what first). And I'm trying to convince myself to type up this letter that's been hanging over my head for aaaaages now. Lost most of my evening, though, between a long chat with my parents (they were too tired yesterday for our traditional Sunday night talk) and a flotilla attack on Puzzle Pirates. Oops. Didn't help that it took me all afternoon to comment on student drafts. Whee. Is the summer session over yet?

(I've also been compulsively checking for comments on my Yarn!Chester entry from today.)

Tomorrow I should be able to come straight home, though, after class. So that's good. Oh crud, no I can't. There's a Winter's Tale discussion at 1. Poo.

Oh! I'm kitty-sitting this weekend! This is relevant because it's for former-foster-kitten Malcolm! Woot! (And, of course, his brother Fritz.) I haven't seen Malcolm pretty much since adopting him out, so this makes me happy. Evidently he is now huge. There will be pictures.

(Dean's going to be big. And via late growth spurt, Zoe turned out big, too. I'm guessing Sam got big. We grow our feral kittens big 'round these parts. Except that I think Zadie and Dolce are staying small. Not sure about Momo/Iso, although I did hear recently that he's doing well. Beatrice isn't *big* but she's loooong. Also, rather angry at present because her house has been invaded by 2 more cats (staying for a few weeks.))

Bloody hell, that !@#$@! letter should *not* have taken me so long to write. I finally give up and have printed it. The package goes out tomorrow. Harumph. It's all taped up. ::firm nod::

Class tomorrow is... going to be figured out in the morning, I think. Not the healthiest perspective, but what the hey. Well, I'll update files yet tonight.

Now I have to read/recap/review a chapter of Bone Key as I have run out of buffer chapters. Wheee.

Bleaargh.

Jul. 5th, 2009 11:42 pm
eilonwy2017: (Tired Dean)
Home. Got home about an hour ago. Heather and Dan picked me up and there was no trouble getting luggage and stuff.

Foster-Kitten!Dean is thrilled to see me. Jackjack wants love. Callie won't come near me until I've had a shower. Widget is... under the bed being Widget. Dean is driving me nuts.

My apartment smells yucky, but I don't know why. (I can't trace the source because I don't smell the yuckiness after a minute inside, but it struck me upon getting here.)

I'm sleeeeepy, but know that I won't be able to sleep very well tonight. I have to be up too early, and I have to teach tomorrow. :(

The flights were more turbulent than I'd like, but overall fine. The only downside is that I was in the last seat, last row for the longer flight, so couldn't recline. Couldn't really sleep, so I finished reading Preston and Child's Riptide (verdict: somewhat disappointing due to under-developed characters, a "romance" that came out of nowhere, and an answer to the mystery which I had figured out long before the main character did.) Upon failing to nap, I made notes for a SPN meta, and drafted the first quarter of it. (These are not thing which normally require drafting, nor writing by hand, but my laptop still hasn't got a new battery. Notes, in this case, it did require because it involves a lot of episodes.) I started reading Coal (a book I bought at the canal boat ride/technology exhibit), then slept for the last hour or so. I was startled into wakefulness at Phoenix.

I ought to have gone straight to bed, of course, but instead I waded through 600+ entries on my Google reading list. (I did not read them all-- many blogs got a "mark all as read" click.) My syllabus is printed out, along with my roster (18 students?! In summer?! WTF? And also, fuuuuck. That's going ot make weekends rough, reading all those first drafts. Maybe some will drop. As long as I have 9 and therefore get paid fully.) Now, a shower, and choosing clothes for tomorrow. Tomorrow, doctor way the fuck too early (WHAT WAS I THINKING?) and finding some food, then getting my mind in the game for, y'know, teaching. Then, teaching from 11:20-1, although tomorrow's class is unlikely to run that long. (I figure it'll be going over the syllabus, in detail because it's that kind of class, and Introductions of Students and self, and blah blah blah, now go home and read this article and this chapter and write something, and I'll see you tomorrow.) After teaching, I suspect there will be lunch and/or falling over.

Oh crap... there's no canned cat food here it looks like... Well, given how much the cats got over the weekend (my fault-- I didn't leave notes, and they got overfed) that's probably okay, but it'll confuse the hell out of the kitties in the morning.

Right. Bed. Now. (Ish.)
eilonwy2017: (Tired Dean)
I'm all pouty because my trip is over. I'm sitting in the LVI airport, and have found an outlet for my computer in my terminal, so that's good. (There's a whole area set up for laptops, but it's halfway down the terminal. Mind you, the terminal consists entirely of 10 gates, so it's not like I'd be far, but I prefer to be really close to the gates to be aware of any updates. Which in retrospect is dumb because gates 10, 11 and 12 share one desk, which I am now behind. Drat. Oh well. I'm comfy now, and connected to both interwebz and 'lectricity, so I shan't be moving. ) But I am sad because my mom was sad all day (Because of my leaving town) so between that, and being very tired (from travel and such) and the knowledge that tomorrow begins a whole new (and busy) routine, I'm feeling kind of down.

Mind you, the Lehigh Valley Zoo was pretty awesome. It is small (although the game preserve in which it sits is large), and we covered pretty much everything in under 2 hours, but was awesome. In particular, for $1 you could get a little cup of nectar and go into a lorikeet area and feed them. I got to feed a bunch of them, and one of them stole the cup away and flung it about before i could retrieve it. I then had to wash a bunch of nectar off of me, but that was fine. They were very cute. Apparently the time my parents went, my dad even had one land on him to take nectar from the cup. (This time there were quite a number of small screechy children and the lorikeets not flying about were staying safely out of the range of the smallest people-puppies.) I also bought feed to give treats to some very round sheep, and some BABY GOATS. I love goats, so cute! You could go into the enclosure to brush them (I did not-- I figured that I was a bit old for this) or stay outside and feed them; I did the latter. The mama-goat kept butting in on the babies to demand food, so of course I fed her too. But the babies were so cute with their tiny little muzzles!!

Also, I took many pictures of the zoo's brand new (African) penguins. And of their river otters (they're next to newest exhibit.) The otters were so cute. they have three, and they were wrestling and playing. I took video, which I'll post eventually along with pictures.

So where was I in describing my week (backwards)? I skimmed through Friday evening, but I feel there was something on Friday which I have now forgotten. Poo. Thursday was... um... well, I remember going to my (paternal)grandparents' house to do yardwork and look around at my the paint job my parents have been doing. I wasn't really dressed for yardwork, but I raked a lot nonetheless. Also, the visit rekindled my desire to live in the upstairs portion of the house and rent out the bottom. Whether this will ever happen, I do not know.

Also, I was suckered by the neighbor. Apparently my grandparents and their neighbors, who had always been friends as far as I knew, had a falling out before my grandparents moved to assisted living. The woman (we'll call her "C") hates spruce trees. This seems like an awfully specific thing to hate, but whatever. My mom says she remembers C, who had a terribly bad back, going out late at night and putting salt around all the spruce trees in her own backyard so they'd die and her husband would get rid of them. Somehow they eventually convinced my grandparents to get rid of their spruce tree as well (I think there was something slightly more nefarious, something about bringing people in to look at it, even though it wasn't theirs and such.) Anyway, my grandmother is the Queen of Holding a Grudge, and she never forgave C or her husband. (Evidently C sent flowers, but my grandmother refused them, heh.) It's a shame since apparently they were quite close because both my grandmother and C kept late hours and would send notes between their houses and such. But whatever.

Anyway, the neighbor has 3 greyhounds. Not knowing about the falling out between my family and theirs, and certainly not having guessed that my parents had not spoken to the neighbors in all the times that they'd been working at my grandparents' house, I went over to say hi to the puppies. I am a sucker. Out comes the husband (I can't remember his real name, but we'll call him "B".) "Are you [Eilonwy]?!" he asked, doing the whole "My how time flies" schtick. I said yes, and he came over to talk. I wanted to know about his dogs, but he immediately asked if my parents had decided what to do with my grandparents' house yet. I said that they weren't sure yet, but they were thinking about buying it and renting it out (which they are thinking about doing, but they haven't decided.) He made some (very) small talk then excused himself. I thought it was a bit odd but nice that he wanted to chat and went back to my parents who immediately wanted to know what I'd said about the question B had asked. They had realized, as I went to pet the puppies, that no one had told me about the feud. Sigh. So I gave away more information than I ought to have, but not too much I guess. What pisses me off is that B didn't even so much as ask after my grandparents. Grrrr.

Then we went to my maternal grandparents' house but they were not home, which is odd. We found out on Friday, though, that this was because they were visiting my cousin Sie who had ended up in the hospital the night before, having been hit in the head with a baseball. (She plays softball, but had stayed after her own game to watch the boys' game.) Until Friday they thought she'd broken her collarbone and her neck, as well as having a hell of a concussion. By Friday afternoon, thankfully, they'd decided that she just had a concussion (and she came home on Saturday.) On Wednesday she had memory loss (she knew she had a sister, but not her sister's name and didn't recognize her picture) that continued through Thursday (she didn't recognize my grandmother) and by Saturday she still had not regained her peripheral vision. Scary. But she'll be wearing a collar for 2 weeks then seeing a specialist to be looked at again and hopefully will be okay after that. ::fingers crossed::)

Thursday evening my parents dropped me off at the Japanese steak house to meet with [livejournal.com profile] moobie for sooooooshi. I didn't eat that much because I'd had pizza with my parents in Wport (so much food this trip!) but I enjoyed it greatly. More importantly, the company rocked, of course. Moob and I caught up a bit then went to my house where we watched "The Devil and Peter Tork". Twice. (The second time with commentary) while I took notes for the article I'm (hopefully) writing with Heather. Then we played several games of pool (Moobie is unfairly trained, however, due to several boyfriends who played pool.) Moob left around midnight. Fortunately she did not have to work the next day, but I knew I had to be awake(ish) for visiting my grandparents.

Wednesday was the canal. My parents and I got to Easton just in time to see the 1pm boat pull away from the dock, but in retrospect that worked out okay as it was full of small people puppies. So we walked around the wee technology exhibits for a while (lots of information on Bethelehem Steel and the Dixie factory) as well as looking around outside. The boat ride itself was awesome. We saw how the mules got hitched up, how they start the boat, how they turn it around and such. We didn't go through a lock, but we did float (sail? get pulled?) as far as the Glen-something lock and saw its lockhouse before turning around. We also got a thorough history of the canal and its workings, so when we didn't make it to the canal museum, that was okay. Also, while we were on the water, the Sojourners (canoe and kayakers who start in Mauk Chunk/Jim Thorpe and boat/camp their way to Easton over 5 days) pull in, and the (local) news was there and such. Also, the captain of our boat was very attractive. Alas, a canal boat's captain is in the *rear*. Poo. Had a nice chat, though, with the interpreter (not the captain) after the ride, too. (Asked about how this area's canal bit is treated differently than Walnutport's, for example. W'port is also a canal town, you see.)

After the canal, we drove up to the Crossings, a series of outlet stores, because my mom had broken her Bass sandals and wanted new ones. It was a bit silly going that far, but the price was right. She got two pairs, I got one, and dad got shoes, too, which he'd been seeking (nonchalantly) for months, evidently. I also got a floofy skirt at the Coldwater Creek outlet.

Then it was back down the road to Bethlehem Steel, which is now the Sands casino, to meet up with Deebs for dinner. I played slots for the first time-- $.02 ones. I won $30 from playing (my dad's) $5, so that's cool. It goes towards Vancouver. I also lost a second $5, so that sucked, but at least it wasn't much. Sis Steph won $44 on a $5 (she was up to $55, but went down again.) We had dinner in the St James' Gate pub. Unfortunately, the service sucked and the food, while good, wasn't good enough to make up for the sucky service. Grrr. When we came home that night it was pouring down buckets and storming, so I just went to bed.

There, now you have the whole PA experience and we are all caught up. The flight before mine has arrived and landed, so we'll probably start boarding before too long, so I shall post this and turn off le laptop. Also, all this typing, while tiring out my hands, has made me feel a wee bit better. And I plan on sleeping on the plane. I probably shan't post tonight, but I'm sure I'll be back into the regular posting routine (and I'll start with the Bone Key reviews) quite soon.

Don't break the interwebz 'til I gets back. Also, please think happy Keep The Plane in the Air thoughts for me. :)
eilonwy2017: (Sam grins)
I fly back to Phoenix this afternoon/evening (getting in at 9:30, which I didn't think bad 'til I realized that that's 12:30Eastern, and that's how it'll feel. And I have a doctor's appointment at 8am tomorrow, before teaching my first 101 of the summer. Ugh, and oops.)

Everything is packed except my computer (and iPod which is charging), but while I still have 3+ hours before needing to get to the airport we're heading out asap. We're going to go to the zoo (at least that's the plan, but time keeps slipping away.) The Lehigh Valley Zoo, to which I've not been, used to to be the Trexler Game Preserve (to which I had been when I was a child.) Mom says they're turning it into a nice little zoo, mostly for children, I guess. But there are penguins and otters and wolves, so if we make it, it should be pretty awesome.

Yesterday we celebrated the fourth with a picnic. Deebs and my maternal grandparents came down. There were So! Many! Clams! Good god, I don't need to see another clam 'til next year, that's for sure. There was also corn on the cob and my mother/paternal-grandmother's potato salad and deviled eggs and all sorts of nummy picnic food, all done the way I like best, 'cause mom did it. Chris brought his Wii, and Deeb brought a projector (from work), so we hung a sheet up on the side of the house (Dad grabbed some wood and fashioned a frame, hanging from the rain-gutter, and balanced on the deck's bar). As it got dark, we played with the Wii (some of us for the first time) and then when it was properly dark we watched Eagle Eye which wasn't bad. I also worked on ami!Bobby, but I haven't yet looked to see how well/poorly I did in working by what amounted to the projector and an oil lamp's worth of light. (I sat at a table where there were two oil-filled lamp-thingies meant to keep away bugs.) It was a really nice picnic, except for one of our neighbors (not next door, like we originally thought but a bit farther up the road, ironically near where the constable used to live) setting of huge, professional grade fireworks. These were the kind you'd normally pay money to join a thousand of your closest friends to go see in a stadium-- serious grade. Frankly, it was scary-- not the explosions themselves, but the fact that we live in a rural-ish, residential area filled with trees. Thankfully it's been a wet summer so the fire hazard wasn't as high as it could have been. The explosions scared the bejeezus out of our dogs (Murphy was running around (indoors) panting and Katie went and hid under my parents' bed all evening) but it was the potential for fire that had me quite scared. My parents debated calling the police (we don't have any locals, so it'd have had to have been the State Troopers), but finally went across the street to confront who we thought was doing it. It wasn't him, and the explosions seemed to cease, so we didn't do anything about it. (In retrospect we ought to have called the cops when they started. But it's a difficult choice because do you really want to make trouble with your neighbors?)

I had planned on helping my mom with the food prep, at least a little, but was distracted. I went out for coffee (well, tea) in order to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] sinnerforhire who drove all the way out here (she lives partway across the state from where my parents are.) I figured we'd chat for an hour or so. She's really lovely, and lots of fun. Because we're both huge SPN dorks, there was much chatting about the show, and about fandom-- about which she is best qualified to speak because she studies fandom! She showed me her pictures and autographs of the SPN stars, over which I drooled (no worries, the pictures were protected by plastic) and squeed. I showed her the Yarn!Chesters, and she took their pictures with the actor pictures, hee! (ami!Dean is even dressed the same as Dean in her autographed picture!) We hit it off really well. So well, in fact, that I had no idea what time it was. I got a "happy independence day!" random text message, which caused me to look at my phone for the time. I was shocked to discover that it was 1:30 (I had thought it to be about 12:30, and therefore time to wrap things up and get home.) I panicked (holy carp!) and we took our leave. I felt bad at the hurried exit, but I had completely lost an hour of time! Eek! :) So I called my mom to apologize, picked up the items I'd promised to grab on the way home, and zipped back to the homestead, where my grandparents already awaited. Oops. :)

Friday was a bit more calm. My parents and I had lunch with my paternal-grandparents at their assisted living place. What was great about this (beyond seeing my grandparents and showing them the Yarn!Chesters because my grandmother wanted to see them) was to see how well my grandfather is doing. He was put on a medicine for dementia-- meant to slow it down, etc. I saw a commercial for it recently, showing it to be marketed towards Alzheimer's patients, of which my grandfather is not one, but apparently it's for any kind of dementia. Anyway, my point is it seems to be working as my grandfather was brighter and sharper than before.

Eek. Looks like we're ready to go, so time to shut down ye olde computer. Anyway, Friday evening was prepping for the picnic, and games of pool in the basement. :)

Thursday and earlier will have to wait. But Thursday was cool 'cause I got to see [livejournal.com profile] moobie. And watch The Monkees as research!

(Hee. Appropriate music. Thank you iTunes Oracle. Heh, followed by "Ramblin' Man"!)
eilonwy2017: (Caffeine Mmmm)
So... once I'm back in the land of the desert, I have a ton of Yarn!Chester type stuff to post. ami!Sam and ami!Dean traveled from Phoenix to Franklin (TN) by car with me, then got to explore a heck of a lot of Staunton, VA. They're now with me in PA, and are quite likely going to be going on a canal boat ride today, and there are pictures of all of that.

There are also pictures of them recreating various scenes from the show (like the ones from "The Rapture" and "Skin" that I'd posted before.) The plan for those is to post one every day with no explanation to see if people can guess. :)

Also, there is one (so far) full episode's worth of pictures (and a video) for a full, very silly picspam of Yarn!Chesterness. (It involves wind-up, jumping.... you know what? Nevermind. :D You'll see when it's posted. It'll be a surprise.)

And I finished ami!Castiel (v2.0) on the train on Monday. This just leaves ami!Bobby to complete the four slated for the production company. (Yes, I'll be sending some of the travel photos, too. Heh.) [ami!Bobby v2.0 so far only has a head and hands, the most basic, generic pieces. I did start on his hat last night (because it's the only appropriate yarn I had with me) but it was while I was playing pool with my parents, and so I really only managed a few stitches. It didn't help that while playing pool I slammed my right hand into the side of the table (twice) enough to hurt a lot at the time, and be bruised this morning. On the bright side, both times I did that I got a ball in the pocket, so. But it doesn't help with crocheting.)

I still plan on taking some pictures of the Yarn!Chesters in my parents' yard as well, 'cause there are summer flowers blooming and the incongruity pleases me. Plus, I promised way back when, when I posted the original Yarn!Chesters in front of my flowery lap-desk.

So the question is-- and this is a question for Yarn!Chester fans and those who are totally disinterested alike-- should I make a separate journal for the Yarn!Chesters? Should they have an LJ (or other) that's totally theirs so that I stop filling up this journal with quite so much Yarn!Chesteriness, and it is al in one place that various people can be directed to? Or should it stay here in this LJ, where people already know to look for them (or avoid them)?

Thoughts?

I am now going to go make breakfast. (French toast bagel! Um, not a bagel that's been made into french toast-- a bagel purchased as being a french toast one. Oh nevermind.) Then, National Canal Museum. (This will both get me on a boat-- a 4th kind of transportation for this trip-- and has also always fascinated me because my great-grandmother, as a young girl, was one of the people who'd lead the mules along the tow-path.) Dinner tonight will be at the brand new casino in Bethlehem (the Sands) which weirds me out, but hey, whatever, we'll be eating at the St James' Pub and Carvery and just looking around because it's still new to have casinos in PA.

Tomorrow we're going up to my grandparents' house to do some work. I'll try to get a proper picture of a real sign for Nazareth (ala 1.04 "Phantom Traveler") just because it will amuse me.
eilonwy2017: (We're So Screwed - SPN)
Other than "of confusion," of course. (The answer is: none! I'm in a commonwealth! Ha! No, really, I'm in PA. And it is technically a commonwealth. In fact, although I have lived in many different places, AZ is actually the first state I have lived in, as PA, MA and VA are all commonwealths (and Ireland is a country). For the curious, KY is the only other commonwealth, but I have not lived there. I digress. A lot.)

Anyway, left VA yesterday morning, having woken up early and said goodbye to [livejournal.com profile] spade and her family. This was very sad, as I adore them. The train-ride to Philly was fine, and the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] lizabethanqueen, whom I had not seen in 5 years, along with her significant other, met me at the train station. I got to hang out with them (and their cats) for a while 'til my parents came to pick me up. (It was like being in junior high again, only instead of staying with friends after school, it was after a train ride.) We then had dinner (a second one for me, sigh, but I had salad both times, so not so bad) in Manayunk (yes, Manayunk) at a pub, while I regaled said parents with the tale of my trip. (I told them that the plot was weak, but the setting and characters were awesome.)

Today I went to the eye doctor because I'm having difficulty seeing with my contact lenses. He informed me that that's me just being very aware of my (slight) astigmatism, mainly because my glasses fix my vision so well and I wear them so much more often, but also partly exacerbated by my eyes' dryness. Until I move away from the Southwest, he cannot condone my wearing contacts more than 2-3times per week for 4-6hours, tops. Which, given that I can't see crisply through them is fine, I guess. (It's a vicious cycle.) On the bright side, no glaucoma (first time I had that test-- not a puff of air like the other time I've had it, but actually checking the pressure against your cornea! eek! no warning!), no corneal vascularization (my real fear), etc. And my prescription has not changed at all, 100% the same. Woot.

Then my parents ran errands while I slept in the car (although I joined them for lunch at Panera.) I just cannot wake up today, a fact I blame on a combination of sleepiness from so much travel and the fact that it's gray and rainy and dark here. Also, cold. Brrr. In a sweatshirt all day. We stopped in with my grandparents for a little bit, too, but we'll visit more with them on Friday. My grandmother wants to see the Yarn!Chesters but there really wasn't time this afternoon.

Tonight I'm going with my mom and Miss Murphy (our labrador) to Murphy's "good canine citizen" class at "Cold Nose Lodge." Yes, seriously. But if Murphy masters this class, she can work towards being a therapy dog, something my mom has always wanted to accomplish with Murphy. I don't much care to go, but mom really seems to want company (although she prefers to guilt people into this rather than just saying so.) On the bright side, I'm taking my camera to see if I can get some video of Murphy doing her "clapping" because apparently she doesn't bark at the only dog in the class who is bigger than she is (and tries to dominate him) but claps.

In preparation for said video, I took the videos and pictures off of my camera's card-- 202 of them. Yikes. They fall into several categories: random travel pictures, pictures of the Yarn!Chesters in various places, recreations of scenes from SPN using the Yarn!Chesters (more on that later), pictures for a Yarn!Chester story, and several videos.

Now, though, it is dinner time. Tonight I think we will be playing with the magical game playing pony. (Read: playing pool.)

Tomorrow we're going to the canal museum and taking a canal ride. (This will put me on a boat, bringing my total types of transportation on this vacation up to 4.)

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